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Pact Would Replace Kyoto Accord; Geneva On High Alert After Intel On Possible Attack; Source Neighbor Built Bombs With Farook; Trump Launches First Attacks Against Ted Cruz; Republicans Discuss Possibility Of Brokered Convention; FBI Reports on Potential ISIS Sympathizers in the U.S.; Gut Check Moment for Trump in the Presidential Debate; First Freddie Gray Trial Coming to End. Aired 6- 7a ET

Aired December 12, 2015 - 06:00   ET


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: You're looking at live pictures from Paris as world leaders talk about a vote which is imminent, we believe, on a climate deal, something they're saying is an ambitious agreement that will replace the Kyoto accord and we're hoping to speak with Secretary John Kerry as well once this vote is processed and possibly finished at the end of the day, but what is in the agreement is the big question.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: It's called the change that would define the century, but of course, what's important here are the details. What's inside this agreement? Is this something that should happen or is this something that shall happen?

Because that then relates a requirement of the 195 countries plus the European Union to do what has been decided here. Of course in the U.S. that comes done to will this need, will this get congressional approval, all things important to discuss.

But to back up and take a look at the world's nations, the final day of this two-week conference coming to this deal, we will of course hear the specifics in just a moment.

We've got our Jim Bittermann in Paris standing by to give us some details. As we see this picture of the world's represent testifies coming together to fight climate change. We will of course get to Jim Bittermann, get to the details in a moment.

But, again, what you're watching is a statement of the work that's been done over the last two weeks and really just putting into some frame the gravity of this moment of this global summit, the greatest agreement since those Kyoto accords.

PAUL: A lot of people wondering what kind of substantive change it might bring, we will indeed get to all of that. But we do have some other news we want to get to. We do want to welcome you. Good morning on this Saturday morning. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you.

PAUL: Let's talk about the Swiss city of Geneva on high alert this hour after a tipoff from U.S. intelligence that terrorists were discussing plans to attack that city. Authorities also say there may be an ISIS terror cell there in Geneva.

CNN's international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, with us now. Nic, help us understand, what are the factors that triggered this alert first of all?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: There are three basic factors here. One is intelligence from U.S. officials picking up intercepted communication between four ISIS members in Syria saying they may want to attack here in Geneva and Chicago in the United States.

The concern is now those four people who were ISIS members, who were in Syria, their whereabouts are unknown. A Belgian registered van was driven into Switzerland. When the police here checked the registration, it was owned by associates of the Paris attackers.

They found the van but they haven't found its owner so that's a concern here. And the other thing you have as well is one of the French attackers was recruited to ISIS by a man from the Geneva area. That man, he joined ISIS, then al Qaeda.

He's been arrested by the French, was last year. However, another one of his associates from this area joined ISIS, went to Syria and is now back somewhere possibly in Europe, his whereabouts unknown.

So those are all the three contributing factors, but the police chief here in Geneva saying that there is the possibility of an ISIS cell here in the city. They're on high alert right now.

PAUL: So what are they doing to try to either find or discern what -- who is in this cell? Where these people might be located? I mean, help us understand the process of what's going on in that city right now.

ROBERTSON: Let me set the scene for you. Geneva is a big hub of European skiing and this city is on a Christmas footing. There are Christmas markets in the town.

[06:05:07]The U.N. headquarters behind me the biggest in the world outside of New York. The guards are carrying heavier automatic weapons than they would be.

The police are on higher alert. There is one thing the police chief was asked about last night, local media reports reporting that a vehicle was found here and two men of Syrian origin arrested and traces of explosives found in this vehicle.

When the police chief was asked about these local media reports, the reply was, well, I can't talk about that right now. And that's the same response that we're getting from Swiss officials when we call them.

So no one's knocking that down. So how are the police trying to join together these dots in a city where there's a lot of tourists that a will the lot of people some to this time of year. Maybe that's why they're not saying a lot because they don't want to damage the sort of tour of here, if you will.

But the other thing you have to bear in mind, if they have picked up people, they won't want to publicize it because they will use the information they get from them to potentially track down others. That's the picture we have here -- Christi, Victor.

PAUL: Nic Robertson, we so appreciate the update. Thank you, sir.

BLACKWELL: Let's get to this developing story we are following out of California. California sheriff deputies are investigating a mosque fire near Palm Springs. They believe it was a, quote, "intentional act."

Deputies are questioning someone, but the person is not being considered a suspect at this time. It happened around noon yesterday in Coachella.

Investigators say someone threw some incendiary device at the mosque. The fire was put out before it caused any mosque security guard said he saw the flames from miles away.


RAY BREWSTER, MOSQUE SECURITY GUARD: I pulled up to the intersection, I turn left and there's a huge plume of smoke, mushroom cloud.


BLACKWELL: County leaders called it a terrorist act. That may have been in response to last week's attacks in San Bernardino.

PAUL: We have new developments on the San Bernardino terror attack, in fact, more than a week now after 14 people were massacred at the hands of Tashfeen Malik and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook.

The investigators have learned one of their neighbors allegedly built pipe bombs with those killers. This comes as dive teams are searching for evidence in a lake that the couple may have visited just prior to that attack. CNN's Kyung Lah has more for us.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, Christi, one of the men being questioned by authorities made a stunning announcement, Enrique Marquez, an associate of Syed Rizwan Farook, said he and Farook built pipe bombs in the past that this was their hobby.

He said that they were just something that he and his friend did. Authorities are very interested in this because in the search of the Farook home, they found 19 pipes, pipes the FBI says could have easily have been converted into bombs with any of the bomb-making materials that they also seized from the Farook home.

Also, the lake, this is where we have seen two FBI divers slowly combing the bottom of this lake for a second day. The divers are going back and forth painstakingly looking for something. There was a report that the two killers were seen here at this park.

So the FBI says they are searching this lake for evidence. What they are looking for are missing items from the Farook home, items like a hard drive that is missing from the computer.

They want to try to build a case, an electronic footprint of what these killers were doing. The FBI has said that they're going to be at this lake for days -- Victor, Christi.

PAUL: Kyung, thank you so much.

Donald Trump has a new target, former ally Ted Cruz, his faith in foreign policy all in Trump crosshairs it seems?

BLACKWELL: Plus jackets and teddy bears, a warm welcome here, Canada's new prime minister greets the first group of Syrian refugees arriving in his country.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to have a new life with hope and everything. You can do here, a lot of things you can do for my kids.




BLACKWELL: Three days now until the big CNN debate and the gloves are off for the GOP. Donald Trump is now launching his first attacks against Senator Ted Cruz. The GOP frontrunner is slamming Cruz for opposing ethanol subsidies, which I'm sure you understand are widely popular there. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE With the ethanol, really, it's -- he's got to come a long way because he's right now for the oil, but I understand it, oil pays him a lot of money. He's got to be for oil, right?

The oil companies give him a lot of money, but I'm with you. I'm with everybody. I'm with everybody. Look, I'm self-funding. I have no oil company. I have no special interest.


BLACKWELL: Now, that's Trump in Iowa last night. This comes after audio emerged of Cruz raising questions about Trump's judgment as potentially president.


SENATOR TED CRUZ (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I like and respect both Donald and Ben, but I think in both instances and particularly, you look at Paris, look at San Bernardino, it's given the seriousness to this race that people are looking for who is prepared to be a commander-in-chief.

I think the people are honest who they are. I believe that gravity will bring both of those campaigns down and I think the lion share of their supporters come to us.


BLACKWELL: Meanwhile, a new Monmouth University poll has Cruz now ahead of Trump by 5 points. Not so small. Trump conceding it is now a two-person race in Iowa.

PAUL: So let's talk more about this with CNN politics executive editor, Mark Preston. Mark, you know, the interesting thing is both Carson and Trump at one point were surging in polls because they were non-establishment guys.

[06:15:00]All of a sudden out of nowhere it seems Cruz is coming into play. Do you think that the enticement of an anti-establishment guy is starting to wane?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Look, there's no question that Trump and Carson were able to fuel their campaign by being anti-Washington, not being politicians. But had they not been in this race that was going to be a Ted Cruz lane anyway. He's very much against the establishment.

In fact, Ted Cruz doesn't even get along with his fellow Republicans in the U.S. Senate. I do think that you're still going to see this fervor go on. As we heard Ted Cruz say in his comments behind closed doors to supporters that he thinks support for Trump and Carson is going to go away.

Where is it going to go to? It's going to go to him. Who are those supporters? Those are folks who are angry at Washington -- Christi.

PAUL: All right, let's get back to the Monmouth University Iowa poll showing Cruz in the front of the pack. Here's what Trump had to say about it.


TRUMP: You know, we're leading in most of the polls. We're leading in every poll. No, every poll, except Iowa there was one poll, Monmouth -- I never even heard Monmouth. What the hell is Monmouth? Explain it. I don't look Monmouth. You know why I don't like it because they always treat me badly also.


PAUL: All right, first of all, he was lauding Monmouth back in April because he was ahead in the polls so I'm not sure what that was about. Do you believe now that he's picking on Cruz there is a genuine concern in his camp for Cruz's surge? PRESTON: There is no doubt about it because whenever Donald Trump has had somebody nipping at his heels, he has turned and he has criticized them. He's not done it to his opponents. He's done it to the GOP establishment. He's done it to us in the media.

If he feels like he is not being treated fairly. In fact we're going to so a new poll out of Iowa, probably about 12 hours from now from the "Des Moines Register" and "Bloomberg."

Last night, he went and criticized the "Des Moines Register" and said that the "Des Moines Register" isn't fair to him, setting up the scenario that if he doesn't do good in this poll, he's going to say that the "Des Moines Register" is out to get him.

So there's no question at this point that the race right now in Iowa is between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. The question is who can actually win it on February 1st right now.

PAUL: Right, right, GOP leaders are starting to have this conversation too about the prospect of none of their presidential candidates being able to win that majority of delegates and upcoming primaries and caucuses, which would create a brokered party convention next summer. In fact, here's what Trump said to CNN's Jake Tapper about that.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: What do you think about the idea of the brokered convention? When Dr. Ben Carson heard about it, he got very upset and said it sounded like people were trying to subvert the will of the voters.

TRUMP: You know, I watched what Ben said, I agreed with him 100 percent. I even wrote him a little note. I thought it was excellent. Frankly, he may be right. I haven't seen it yet, I've been hearing about the closed door meetings and I don't like that. That wasn't the deal I made.

I signed a pledge but the pledge was a double deal. They're supposed to be honorable. So we'll find out. If it's that way, they're going to have problems. I hope it not going to be that way.


PAUL: He said there may be problems if there's a brokered convention. Help us understand what could happen if there's a brokered convention? And do you believe one of these guys could go to a third party?

PRESTON: Well, I mean, look, there's no question that Donald Trump has been threatening, you know, since day one that he will leave the Republican Party if he feels the establishment is not behind him. We'll see over the next couple weeks, perhaps the next couple of months where Donald Trump ends up in the polls.

If he decides to leave the Republican Party and run as an independent, there are a lot of folks who are very concerned that he will siphon off enough votes, Christi, that will allow the Democratic nominee to win in November.

Another question, though, is what happens if there is a brokered convention. What happens on the floor? That would become very, very messy in Cleveland when Republicans gather to nominate their nominee. And that would on be a few months before the November general election.

So the GOP establishment clearly is uneasy with Donald Trump. They don't want him as he is nominee. That's where you're starting to see these discussions unfold. And Donald Trump could leave the party today. He would probably have the same kind of support he has right now -- Christi.

PAUL: All right, Mark Preston, thank you so much for the breakdown. We appreciate it. And don't miss the last Republican debate in 2015 right here on CNN. Wolf Blitzer moderates the debate Tuesday night at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Eastern.

BLACKWELL: All right, still to come, it's happening right now for the first time women in Saudi Arabia are voting in the country's municipal elections.

Plus Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomes Syrian refugees, jackets for the whole family, teddy bears for the kids. We'll take you there.



BLACKWELL: It's 23 minutes after the hour now. This is a live picture here of Francois Hollande, president of the host country, France, the top 21 global climate change conference happening there in Paris. Negotiators will present a draft agreement this morning to address global climate change.

An agreement has been reached among the 195 countries and the European Union. Twenty years of research and discussion, the participants at this U.N. sponsored event. Cop21 is the conference of parties, 21st conference.

That's how you get to Cop21. They hope to have the final text of the draft later today. The goal is to reduce worldwide consumption of fossil fuels and keep the world from overheating.

PAUL: Other news now, the Spanish government says a second police officer has died following a suicide attack against the Spanish embassy in Kabul. The Taliban fighters hit that compound with a car bomb and gunfire just as night fell. Afghan officials say all the attackers were killed in a furious gun battle.

BLACKWELL: Saudi Arabia, for the first time women are participating in the electoral process. More than 130,000 women have registered to vote in the male-dominated country and also a first, nearly a thousand women are actually running for local offices, which was unheard of just a few years ago. PAUL: And in Toronto, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau personally welcomed Syrian refugees. One refugee said we feel like we got out of hell and came to paradise.

[06:25:05]Canada is expected to take in 25,000 Syrian refugees over the next few months.

ISIS sympathizers lurking in the U.S. officials say there's no telling how many of them are here so a lot of people wondering what's being done to trap and monitor the potential threat.

BLACKWELL: And Tuesday's big debate is about national security. Donald Trump is leading the polls. So will the debate be a fight with Trump or a fight to be the anti-Trump?


PAUL: New this morning, Swiss authorities say there may be an ISIS cell in Geneva and they've ramped up security in the city, particularly in front of the United Nations building. The U.S. Embassy in Switzerland is warning Americans in Geneva to be vigilant.

BLACKWELL: Investigators looking into the San Bernardino terror attacks have learned that Syed Rizwan Farook and his neighbor allegedly built pipe bombs together but his neighbor, Enrique said he had nothing to do with the devices built for the couple's deadly rampage.

PAUL: The attacks in San Bernardino are adding some urgency for U.S. officials to identify and track down potential terrorists in the U.S. Many analysts and counterterrorism officials are going to tell you lone wolf-style attackers are some of the hardest to identify.

Our Polo Sandoval has more on the hunt for these terrorists. Good morning, Polo.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Christi, good morning. You know, that is a reality that officials are facing this morning as those lone wolf-style attackers very, very difficult to track down, as you mentioned. The shooting in San Bernardino attacks simply adding urgency to the mission for U.S. officials and counterterrorism as well.


SANDOVAL: There is no telling how many ISIS-inspired operatives may currently be in the U.S. There are, however, the numbers. The FBI reporting it has some 900 active cases where they are looking at potential ISIS sympathizers. Pair that number with figures published by the George Washington University earlier this month. They showed at least 300 Americans, U.S.-based sympathizers who actively support ISIS on social media and spread the terror group's propaganda. 71 people have been arrested by U.S. authorities for so called ISIS- related activities, 56 of them this year alone, the most terrorism- related arrests since 9/11, according to the G.W. report. Ahmed Mohammed Al-Gamal is one of them. The Arizona man is charged

with helping a New York college student get ISIS training in Syria. His case among dozens making their way through federal court systems across the country.

The figures reflect the cost and struggle for U.S. officials to track down extremists already in the country. The efforts were not enough to thwart last week's ISIS-inspired attack in San Bernardino, California. Investigators continue digging into Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik's past.

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: We also believe they were inspired by foreign terrorist organizations, and we're working very hard to understand exactly their association and the source of their inspiration.

SANDOVAL: The U.S. facing its greatest terrorism threat since 9/11, a sobering statement from the FBI.


SANDOVAL: The FBI does believe that the trend of foreign fighters leaving the U.S. headed to parts of Syria or Iraq is actually in the decline. But still, some more numbers for you this morning. U.S. officials previously estimated that at least 250 Americans have actually traveled to parts of the Middle East and other regions to join terrorist groups. Out of those, at least, only about a dozen of them actually joined the ranks. And of those only about 20 have actually died in the fighting, Christi. So, it's a more context to these numbers that are constantly changing.

PAUL: Absolutely, all right. Hey, Polo, thank you very much.

SANDOVAL: You bet.

BLACKWELL: Turning now to the race for 2016 and Donald Trump heading back to South Carolina today where he's likely going to go address his proposed ban on Muslim immigrants coming into the country, even Muslim visitors. And Trump's controversial plan could be a big topic in the next GOP debate, which is happening here on CNN on Tuesday. In fact, we expect that it will be. As the big night approaches, it seems Trump's lead is growing. We've got this new CBS/"New York Times" poll. Donald Trump is now up to 35 percent in that poll, more than double his closest competitor, Ted Cruz. You see they are followed by Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, and then Jeb Bush down at three percent.

Let's talk more about this with CNN political commentator Errol Louis. Errol. So, the next debate on Tuesday. Is this going to be a fight with Trump for the top spot as we've seen in the previous debates? Or we are now at a position where they are going to - I guess live Trump alone, and fight amongst themselves to be the anti-Trump/ What do you expect?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: There will be some element of that. There are lots of different lanes, if you want to put it that way, Victor, where there is the sort of the government service lane where you see Kasich and you see Bush talking about their experience, their extensive experience in the government. You have sort of the evangelical lane where you've got Ted Cruz and Ben Carson making an explicit appeal to religious conservatives. You have got Marco Rubio who's sort of dancing between the two, but also bringing a generational kind of an argument that he's not a Bush, and he's not a Clinton and he's the youngest of the group. So, and then you've got Trump in a league by himself.

My guess, though, is that Trump is going to be the center of the debate, as he often is, and people are going to have to - it's going to be a real gut check moment. I mean you raised exactly the right question, Victor. Do you want to try to take him on, or do you want to try to sort of hang in the background? Hanging in the background has not worked for the other candidates for the most part. So I think it's entirely possible that some, like Kasich, will try to really sort of ramp up their criticism of Donald Trump of some of his rhetoric and some of what he stands for.

And frankly, that's what a debate is supposed to do. You know, when you reach the point that we have reached with some of these statements and some of these proposals and an international outcry that has resulted, folks have to really decide why they're in politics and whether or not they're going to stay silent when it gets to this point.

BLACKWELL: You talked about Trump being in a lane of his own. Let's put up this latest finding from the CNN poll as it relates to who voters, the Republican leading voters trust to take on ISIS. It shows Donald Trump at 46 percent here, Cruz at 15 and Rubio at 8.


Now, Cruz and Rubio, the two candidates who, you know, are climbing by most estimate here. What are they doing to possibly cut into that lead and can they make a -- I guess take a big enough bite on Tuesday?

LOUIS: Well, it's a very interesting question. I don't know if cutting into the lead at all costs is going to be something that Cruz, Rubio or anybody else attempts to do. Let's keep in mind that what Donald Trump has proposed in some cases amounts to war crimes. When he says we'll get the families of people who are involved in ISIS and we'll take them out. You know, meaning execute them. It's completely illegal. You know, that - you know, you can end up in a jail cell for doing that. There are things that Donald Trump has proposed like his radical proposal to sort of have a religious test for entry into this country that also probably won't stand legal scrutiny in this court - in the U.S. Court or anywhere else. So, will they try to outdo him in that regard? I hope not.

BLACKWELL: All right. Errol Louis, always good to have your insight.

LOUIS: All right, thank you.

BLACKWELL: And these topics and more, of course, will be up for discussion, up for debate, in fact, the final GOP debate of 2015 right here on CNN. Wolf Blitzer moderates. It's Tuesday night, 6 and 8:30 p.m. Eastern.

PAUL: And still to come, a search is under way now for two Afghan military personnel who disappeared from an Air Force base in Georgia. We'll let you know.

BLACKWELL: Also, vacation time being canceled next week for all Baltimore police officers. The city will be ready to deal with the reaction from the verdict in the first trial of those officers, trial on the death of Freddy Gray.



PAUL: 40 minutes past the hour right now. And the Department of Homeland Security has joined the search for two pilot trainees from Afghanistan who are AWOL from Moody Air Force Base in South Georgia. No one is raising alarms about the men, at least not yet, but there are concerns here. Both men were nearing end of their year-long training. They were due to return to Afghanistan soon. CNN military analyst, Retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling joining us now. General Hertling, thank you so much. How concerned are you when you hear this?

GEN. MARK HERTLING, U.S. ARMY (RET.): I'm not very concerned at all, Christi. And good morning to you. This is something that happens more frequently than most Americans would like to believe. A lot of foreign armies come to train not only in the United States, but when I was commanding in Europe, they used to come to our base and train and in fact, the same kind of things happened there. We had a few Iraqi soldiers who were there to train, actually went AWOL and truthfully it's because they get a glimpse of the West, they see the nice people and the pretty women and the alcohol and they tend to like what they see and they don't want to go back. It's particularly interesting that these Afghan soldiers were about to return home from what I understand the following week. So, we should be concerned. Our head tells us be very, very concerned. But truthfully, my heart says these are just young soldiers who had their first glimpse of a better society and necessarily don't want to go home.

PAUL: So, if you see this happening, where do they go? If they are not citizens here, do they meet up with somebody who houses, them, who helps them? And then what kind of legal ramifications are there after that?

HERTLING: Well, just like any soldier that goes AWOL, American soldier, I'm talking now, they try lay low, they don't try to get caught, they may try to rent a room or camp out, maybe, even somewhere. But that's why the authorities were told right away, the Valdosta police department received information on this from the officials at Moody Air Force base and then it was turned to homeland security.

So, they are searching for these folks. Where do they go? Wherever they can to stay outside the law and being caught. But again, as I said, especially in these times after the San Bernardino shootings, we feel these could be terrorists, but truthfully, my head tells me they're probably not.

PAUL: Lieutenant General Mark Hertling. Can't do this without your insight. We so appreciate it. Thank you, sir.

HERTLING: Thank you, Christie.

BLACKWELL: All right, coming up, the defense has rested. Closing arguments expected to begin on Monday. We'll take a look at what's ahead in the first really fast-moving trial in the death of Freddy Gray. Also, this is one of the hottest items for Christmas. If your kid haven't asked for one, stand by. Before you buy this hover board, though, or put it on the list, you should know that it's on the no-fly list. We'll tell you why.

The 2015 CNN hero of the year thought that she was taking a year off from college to travel the world, but Maggie Doyne's life took an expected pretty dramatic turn. At just 38, she became the mother to nearly 50 children in Nepal and helping to educate hundreds more. Michaela Pereira sat with Maggie just moments after she won that $100,000 award.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ladies and gentlemen, in 2015, CNN hero of the year is Maggie Doyne.


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When you heard your name said on the stage from Anderson Cooper's mouth, what went through your mind?

MAGGIE DOYNE: Just joy, just pure joy and gratitude.

PEREIRA: What did it feel like?

DOYNE: I'm proud. I'm proud that I took that step. And I'm happy for the kids. This is really for them. They're the ones that have had the hard stories and the struggles. And have overcome so much.

PEREIRA: What do you want people to know about the children of Nepal?

DOYNE: There is hundreds of thousands of girls who are not enrolled into school, there are many orphaned children as a result of civil war and disease and starvation. And I can't do it alone. We all have to do it together.

PEREIRA: How will this money help you do that?

DOYNE: I'm building a brand new school. I'm going to take in more kids. It's gas in the tank. It's, you know, remembering what this is all about and why we do it. So, I'm taking this back to Nepal and for Nepal and for my kids and I'm just going to keep going.


PEREIRA: We're terrifically proud of you, young lady. DOYNE: Thank you.

PEREIRA: Keep on doing it, OK?

DOYNE: Thanks, Michaela.


BLACKWELL: And this is just - She's 28. If you're thinking she looks great for 38.


BLACKWELL: She's 28. And now, if you missed the show, you can watch the moment Maggie won and an entire CNN Heroes and all-star tribute program. Again, tonight at 8:00 Eastern right here on CNN. We'll be right back.


PAUL: Well, Baltimore is ramping up security precautions as the first of six Freddy Gray manslaughter trials nears an end here. The police commissioner even canceled leave next week for all officers and scheduled them to work 12 hour shifts to ensure that men and women on duty ahead of jury's - the jury's ruling on the fate of officer William Porter. CNN's Jean Casarez has the latest for us.


JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The defense has rested and now on Monday jury instructions and closing arguments in the criminal trial of Baltimore police officer William Porter. Porter is one officer, one of six charged in the death of Freddy Gray. It all began on April 12th when Freddy Gray in West Baltimore was arrested and put into the police transport van. Defendant William Porter was an officer there that it was there that day and the heart and soul of the prosecutor's case are the six stops that that transport van made with Freddie Gray inside before it got to the police headquarters. Somewhere along the way, Freddie Gray suffered a catastrophic neck injury to his spinal cord.


And it's the prosecution's theory that especially on stop number four when William Porter said to Freddy Gray, "What's up?", and Gray said either "Help or help me up," and then the defendant asked him "Do you need a medic?" And Freddy Gray said yes. William Porter didn't call for a medic and did not put a seatbelt on to restrain Freddie Gray. Prosecutors say that is criminal negligence right there, and a reasonable police officer in the same position would have called for a medic and would have put a seatbelt on Freddie Gray. The defense is saying that Officer Porter knew Freddie Gray, knew him from the street and saw him almost every day and that Freddie Gray when he was arrested never wanted to go to jail and would say anything he could to get out of it. Jean Casarez, CNN, Baltimore, Maryland.


BLACKWELL: We have with us CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson. Joey, good morning to you.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN ANALYST: Good morning, Victor.

BLACKWELL: So, let talk about this final day of the defense's case. They put Captain Renault of the Baltimore Police Department on the stand - and he actually helped to write the department's policy. He says that, at least told the jury that transporting officer is responsible for people taken into custody, and Officer Porter was not the transporting officer. Does that absolve him of any responsibility here?

JACKSON: Surprise, surprise, Victor. What happens commonly in cases is, defense attorneys in building their case often point fingers at others. And so, in this case you saw the defense point fingers at really two people. One of which you mentioned, was the driver. And of course, since the driver of the van is transporting the prisoner, it's his responsibility to do so, not mine. In addition to that, there was also pointing fingers at Sergeant White. He told a supervisor, I'm an officer. Once I do that it absolves me of responsibility. Unfortunately, though, it's not really that simple, because there is a collective responsibility shared by officers who are actually, you know, in charge of the custody and control of that particular inmate. So, it's a question of really what the jury buys in terms of facts of what Porter knew and when he knew it. Was Freddie Gray in dire medical condition, such that he needed to respond immediately, or as Porter and his team described it, it wasn't that serious and I did all I could do under those circumstances.

BLACKWELL: The defense also put on the stand Porter's mother, a woman who described Porter as a grandson - so there was two women up his character witnesses. In this type of trial, what's the value, what's the impact of that testimony?

JACKSON: Well, when you're talking about someone's reputation for peacefulness, someone's reputation for truthfulness and whether or not they are actually a good and quality person, then of course, character witnesses can be extremely important. Obviously, if it's the mother, you know, a mother, the problem is that there's an inherent bias, obviously, with the mother's testimony. I think what the prosecution was trying to do, Victor, is say to the other character witnesses, you know he's a good guy, you know him to be a good guy, he has a great reputation for peacefulness and truthfulness, all that you are right, but you never worked with him, did you? And so, what they were doing, of course, is saying, hey, at the end of the day you really don't know how he is as he walks that beat and what he did in this particular case.

BLACKWELL: Relatively, quick proceedings here. Just a few days from each side here. How long do you expect or is there any indication of how long these deliberations will take after the closing argument and instructions to the jury?

JACKSON: You know what, there's always a wild card. Because remember, in any case you have two professors in the courtroom, you have the prosecution saying, you know what, there are two issues here, and it's easy for you to decide. He should have gotten a medic and he should have known that Freddie Gray was in a terrible condition. He didn't do it. And he failed to seatbelt him. The defense, of course, had a lot to say about that he acted reasonably and he acted responsibly. And that's what a jury is going to have to conclude and who knows how long it will take them to make that final decision.

BLACKWELL: We know going into this Christmas break that vacation time has been suspended for Baltimore police officers, potentially for any reaction after this jury deliberates and comes back with a verdict.

Joey Jackson, always good to have you.

JACKSON: A pleasure, Victor. Thank you.

PAUL: Coming up next hour -- look at this brawl breaking out. You're going to hear gunshot. One teen dies. Six others are injured and nobody was charged. Why a judge said go ahead and ....

BLACKWELL: Plus, they've been chummy for months but now Donald Trump is launching his first attack against Ted Cruz. He questions his appeal to evangelical voters. Here have to be a heated showdown for what Donald Trump classifies, rather, as a two-man race, at least in Iowa.


Plus, one of the hottest ticket items for Christmas this year. This hover board, as it's called, but it's on the wheels. It doesn't really hover. Everybody come down. It's also on a no-fly list. We'll tell you why.



TRUMP: But not a lot of evangelicals come out of Cuba, in all fairness.


BLACKWELL: Donald Trump launches his first attacks against Ted Cruz, not only questioning his appeal to evangelical voters, but his ties to big oil.


DONALD TRUMP: It's a huge plume of smoke. Mushroom cloud.


PAUL: Near this morning, police questioning someone after a mosque is firebombed in California. Why one congressman wants it investigated as a hate crime. BLACKWELL: Plus, a judge sides with the victim's family ordering the release of cell phone video of a deadly skate park shooting. A prosecutor say, that could hurt their kids.

And a breaking news this morning is out of Paris.