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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER

Ted Cruz Flip-Flops on Trump; North Carolina Police Shooting Video Released; Interview with Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri; Ted Cruz Changes Course, Endorses Trump. Aired 4-4:30p ET

Aired September 23, 2016 - 16:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[16:00:08]

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: A video emerges.

THE LEAD starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAKEYIA SCOTT, WIFE OF KEITH LAMONT SCOTT: Don't shoot him. Don't shoot him. He has no weapon. He has no weapon. Don't shoot him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: The first video we have seen showing the events surrounding a deadly police shooting in Charlotte, police repeatedly screaming, "Drop the gun," a wife yelling in terror. When will we see the police body camera video?

Also, breaking news, Donald Trump attacked his wife. Donald Trump called him lyin' Ted. Donald Trump suggested his dad had a hand in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, but tonight -- today, Donald Trump received the endorsement of Ted Cruz. What changed Ted Cruz's mind?

Plus, give his hair the old tussle or hold his feet to the fire -- how the turbulent times of 2016 are posing serious conflicts for some funny people.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

TAPPER: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

We will begin today with breaking news. We want to warn our viewers that this video we're about to show you may be tough to watch. And you might want to ask children to leave the room. We are now getting our first look at the scene of the fatal encounter between Charlotte police and Keith Lamont Scott on Tuesday.

Mr. Scott's family released video from his widow's cell phone taken at the scene before, during and after the shooting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT: Don't shoot him. Don't shoot him. He has no weapon. He has no weapon. Don't shoot him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the gun! Drop the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) gun!

SCOTT: Don't shoot him. Don't shoot him. He didn't do anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the gun! Drop the gun!

SCOTT: He doesn't have a gun. He has a TBI.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the gun.

SCOTT: He is not going to do anything to you guys.

He just took his medicine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the gun. Let me get a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) baton over here.

SCOTT: Keith, don't let them break the windows. Come on out the car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the gun.

SCOTT: Keith, don't do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the gun!

SCOTT: Keith, get out the car. Keith! Keith! Don't you do it! Don't you do it! Keith!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the gun.

SCOTT: Keith! Keith! Keith! Don't you do it!

(GUNSHOTS)

SCOTT: Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him? He better not be (EXPLETIVE DELETED) dead. He better not be (EXPLETIVE DELETED) dead. I know that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) much. I know that much. He better not be dead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: There's more in this video that we will show you in a minute.

Officers at least 10 times, by our count, told Mr. Scott to drop the gun. His wife told the police he did not have a weapon. She implored her husband to get out of the car. She also says a number of times, "Keith, don't do it," and tells police that he has TBI, or traumatic brain injury.

It's unclear what she meant by, "Don't do it."

We still have yet to see police dash cam or body came video of the shooting. Scott's family is standing by its claimed that he was unarmed, contrary to what police have said all along and what you heard them say on that video. Ryan Young is in Charlotte, North Carolina, for us.

Ryan, why is the family releasing this video?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jake, you know it's all about transparency.

And the family continues to say he did not have a gun. And I can tell you, that narrative is growing in the community, because right now they don't trust the police department. I had a bunch of them walked by and say if the police department had clear evidence, they would have shown it by now, and now the family has beat them to it.

And the idea of that is really sending ripple effects through the downtown area. We have actually seen businesses start to close right before 3:00, saying they wanted their employees go home to be safe.

We have heard from several people after this video was shown that they believe the protests tonight will be bigger. Trying to get an estimate on that talking to folks who can just feel the fact that they believe this video may change the narrative in terms of some of the people who have been staying outside of the protests.

Of course, one question that we heard over and over, what is referring to when she says, "Don't do it, don't do it"? That's what one business owner said to us. He was like, I have watched the video. It's hard for me to watch. And in fact he feels he's going to sit inside his business tonight to make sure it's protected.

He said it has hurt them tremendously. But he is worried about the city at this hour. And he would like to see North Carolina and the Charlotte Police Department step forward with more evidence.

Now, people say the police officers did say 10 times, hey, drop the weapon, drop the weapon, drop the weapon, but they want to see an image of a gun. And they want to see that come from the police department. There's been a lot of things are floating on the Internet. They would like to see it from there.

That's been the conversation we have been hearing in downtown Charlotte. And on top of that, this is coming from a cross-section of people, people who say they support the police department, but they want to stop what they have been seeing in the streets so far -- Jake.

TAPPER: And, Ryan, police arrested a suspect in the deadly shooting of a protester during demonstrations in Charlotte Wednesday night?

[16:05:10]

YOUNG: Absolutely.

And that's one of the things that people refer to, the idea we're actually standing on the corner where that happened, where that shooting took place, and there may have been video from a protester that helped police track the person down. Some people are saying, well, if a video can help make an arrest in

that case, why can't video help to clear things up in this case? Now, you see how it was used. People blame that shooting for turning things violent that night. That's something they don't want to see repeated again.

TAPPER: All right, Ryan Young in Charlotte, thank you so much.

Let's go to Tom Foreman now.

Tom, the video, it is chaotic, it's hard to watch, and, frankly, it's a bit inconclusive. You hear Mr. Scott's wife pleading with police. You hear police shouting for Mr. Scott to drop the gun. In an odd way, it could be seen as reinforcing the narratives of both sides simultaneously.

Walk us through what you think we should we be paying attention to in this video, the critical moments caught on the cell phone video.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's broken down into a series of segments.

The video starts with her basic call to the police, don't shoot him., as he is unseen, we believe in this vehicle back here, the white one farthest away from the camera. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT: Don't shoot him. Don't shoot him. He has no weapon. He has no weapon. Don't shoot him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the gun! Drop the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) gun!

SCOTT: Don't shoot him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: Now, it is difficult to hear the police, but around 15 seconds in, you can hear them. You may have heard them there shouting that he has a gun and saying drop the gun. Listen again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT: Don't shoot him. He didn't do anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the gun! Drop the gun!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: Within seconds, she insisted they are wrong. She says he doesn't have a wrong and that he does have a brain injury.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the gun!

SCOTT: He doesn't have a gun. He has a TBI.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the gun.

SCOTT: He is not going to do anything to you guys.

He just took his medicine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the gun. Let me get a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) baton over here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: Now, a half-minute in after she said this, she changes tactics.

Like the police, she begins shouting at her husband, Keith, warning him to get out of the vehicle and not to do something. What? We don't know. Don't let them break the window. Don't resist. Don't offer any argument to them. We just don't know. But listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT: Keith, don't let them break the windows. Come on out the car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the gun.

SCOTT: Keith, don't do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the gun!

SCOTT: Keith, get out the car. Keith! Keith! Don't you do it! Don't you do it! Keith!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: And right about here, 18 seconds later, we see him for the first time.

And moments after this comes the gunfire. In all, in that single minute, we hear an awful lot of action. The end comes up here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT: Keith! Keith! Don't you do it!

(GUNSHOTS)

SCOTT: Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: And finally we get around to the end here where this has happened.

If you watch all of this and you watch it in detail, you can find out that she says is five times she tells the police don't shoot in this short period of time. Three times, she says he has no gun or weapon.

Two times, he did not do anything. One time, she talks about him having a brain injury and speaking his name, calling out Keith, or warning him about his actions nine times.

Now, we hear all of this because she is holding the phone. Whether the police could clearly hear her what looks like 20 to 30, maybe even 40 feet or more, we just can't really tell while they're shouting at this man. We don't know if they could really hear or if they were paying any attention.

And based on this video, we certainly can't tell about some other matters too, including, as one of our affiliates marked here, objects on the ground. We don't know what those are. You simply cannot tell, nor can you tell from this video if he has anything at all in his hands or what it might be -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Tom Foreman, thanks.

Joining me now to analyze the video, CNN law enforcement Tom Fuentes and former federal prosecutor Roscoe Howard.

Thanks, both of you, for being here. We appreciate it.

Tom, let me start with you.

When you watch this video, what stuck out to you?

TOM FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think one of the first things, Jake, was that you're right. You can take it both ways to either support shooting him or not shooting.

And the part that I heard first was five or six times the police shout at him, drop the gun. Now, I have never been in a situation where the police shouted drop the gun that there wasn't a gun.

So, that reinforces the police story that there was in fact a gun. Secondly, when she says that he has a brain injury and he took his medicine, if they heard her say he took his medicine, now you have to wonder, is he not responding to their commands, he is not dropping the gun or he is not doing what they tell him?

[16:10:00]

Is there something to do with some condition, that he's impaired because of the medication? So there's questions there. And what she's yelling at him, don't do it, don't do it, I don't know what that means.

TAPPER: I know. Certainly, we need to know more definitely.

Roscoe, police said drop the gun at least 10 times. That would seem to suggest that even if there wasn't a gun, as the police claim there was, they thought there was.

ROSCOE HOWARD, ATTORNEY FOR CARLA MARTIN: It seems that there's a reasonable conclusion they thought there was.

The fact they make mistakes happens all the time. You can see it's a chaotic situation. There are people running around. But, yes, it does appear that they thought there was a gun, whether there was one or not.

TAPPER: Roscoe, as far as you can tell -- and, obviously, this is just one video. There's a lot more information that will come out and there's other video, so keeping that in mind, as far as you can tell, is there anything police are doing in the video that is not textbook procedure?

HOWARD: Textbook. It seems textbook. The one thing I question is clearly his wife is behind them.

I understand the comment that it's hard to tell whether the police heard it, but she's yelling at them. She clearly believes Keith can hear her. You do wonder why they didn't try to involve the wife.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Yes.

FUENTES: If I could answer that, Jake, if he doesn't listen to her, how would you expect him to listen to commands from the police?

Clearly, she is repeating and repeating and repeating don't do it, and it sounds like he's not obeying what she says to him, his own wife.

TAPPER: Yes, although we don't know what kind of medication he was on or how that might have affected his response to the police or her.

But let me ask you. When there is a situation like this, because probably a lot of people are watching this, people who are not trained by law enforcement, and are thinking, the wife is right there, why don't police just use her to try to defuse the situation?

We don't know. As Tom pointed out, we don't know if the police could even hear her. In a situation like that, does that ever happen or because they think he has a gun they are so focused on that?

FUENTES: Sometimes. But I should add that many times, when family members have been brought in to defuse a situation in a hostage negotiation, sometimes, they make it worse. They start screaming at their loved one and start a fight with them, instead of trying to calm the situation.

So, it doesn't always work out when you do that.

TAPPER: And there are going to be a lot of -- were you going to say something?

HOWARD: I was going to say and you also have to remember that you don't know what the situation is.

I mean, the police should not be in a position where they are in a neighborhood, we don't know why they came across this gentleman and people end up dead.

They have got guns. And the one thing you try to do is calm things down, even if it means the police have to back up. This is not a hostage situation. It's not as if anybody seems to be having their life threatened.

There doesn't seem to be anything that makes it as critical as it is, not a terrorist alert, anything like that. It looks like you just came across this man in a car. In a situation like that, sometimes, you have to remember where you are, what you're doing there and let's make sure nobody dies.

TAPPER: Tom, there's going to be a lot of questions about what the black objects on the ground were and if any of them were a gun. A lot of people who don't trust the police are suggesting that a gun was planted. There's no evidence for that.

I should point out police have been very consistent and we see in this video that they're very determined. They believed there was a gun from the beginning, but we're going to want to know what those objects are.

FUENTES: Right.

And, eventually, when they release all the videos, we might get a better idea of all of that. On that issue of releasing it, you see in this video that there are a lot of other people running around on the street.

And one of the things the police want to do is make sure that they're interviewed every one of those individuals before a video gets released, before there's other public information, so they are locked into a factual story, and can't later, if they're testifying on the stand, have the attorneys question, well, did you actually see that or are you saying that because you saw it on television?

And so that's part of the integrity of the case. Once they have all been interviewed, once these other videos are out, then I see no reason at that point. But in the beginning, that's the integrity of the case. Get all of the witnesses first before there's stories that can say they saw it on TV, not in person.

TAPPER: Do you think the police should release the body cam and dash cam video?

HOWARD: Not right now.

Too premature, as Tom was just saying. They're in the middle of the investigation. They want to keep the investigation as pristine as possible, so that -- one of the things that confuses investigations are that people want to be famous.

They come in, they want to be part of it, they see something on television, they want to say that they're a witness. You keep the things you have close, so, one, you can figure out what happened, and, two, when witnesses do come forward, you can tell the good ones from those who are just looking for a little publicity.

TAPPER: Roscoe, Tom, thank you so much. Really appreciate it.

HOWARD: Thank you.

TAPPER: This new video could put more pressure on Charlotte police to release their own video shot from other angles. We will talk more about that right after the break.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[16:18:49] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't shoot him. Don't shoot him. He has no weapon. He has no weapon. Don't shoot him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the gun.

(EXPLETIVE DELETED)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't shoot him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to THE LEAD.

Those are scenes of a dramatic video CNN obtained a few hours ago shot by Keith Lamont Scott's widow as Mr. Scott was being confronted by police in Charlotte on Tuesday, you hear the shots on the video, shots that ultimately killed Mr. Scott.

Joining me now, Democratic Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, he's a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Congressman, thanks so much for joining me.

What do you see when you watch this video?

REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D), MISSOURI: Well, I see a nation where a lot of young, African-American men are going to become even more frightened, particularly here in Missouri where the Missouri general assembly just overrode a governor's veto so that people all over the state can carry guns out in public.

I also see a troubling situation. I don't want to pass judgment until the authorities get to investigate, but I do think that because of the questions that are being raised, it would be good for Attorney General Lynch to decide that there's going to be a federal look at this case.

[16:20:13] TAPPER: In the video you do hear police officers at least ten times shout for Mr. Scott to drop the gun. That certainly could be seen as lending credence to the state's argument, the city's argument that, at the very least, they thought he had a gun, much less than he did have a gun. CLEAVER: Well, yes, I think that as your experts have said this may

be inconclusive. However, and it's probably going to be difficult for people around the country to understand this when this happens with such frequency, you can -- hopefully, people around the country can understand what it does to the psyche of young Americans who are good, decent kids.

I got a call that said, you guys have told us raise our hands and do all of those things, you know, that we're supposed to do and we do that and we still get shot. So, I think we have a lot of problem that's need to be addressed. And, first and foremost, we need to make a commitment that we're going to provide every police department with body cameras and that we're going to figure out the solution to the extreme cost of the storage of that data.

But I think it was William O. Douglas who said, sunlight is the best disinfectant. Even when it's inconclusive, it gives people some comfort that their own eyes and brain can make a conclusion of what they saw.

TAPPER: Congressman, the police chief of Charlotte has said that the early release of the dash cam and body cam video could jeopardize the investigation. There are others who say, release that video right now. Let's see what happened. Where do you lie?

CLEAVER: Well, here's the issue for me and a lot of people, and it is this, if the police are going to hold the video that they have, then the person who was involved or the individuals involved should not be allowed to see that video because if they are, I'm not saying this is the case, but they could make adjustments in the statement that they give. They are all required to give a statement and what you don't want to happen is for them to see the video before they make the statement.

And that -- I think that's where a lot of suspicion and paranoia rises. It also talks about the level of distrust that we have. You mix non-transparency with, you know, a kind of mystery about the video and you're going to get what we have now, and that is people who are absolutely certain that the police are hiding something.

TAPPER: Yet you seem to be saying if they did release the video that might help the police officers on any sort of charges, and that releasing the video might actually mess up prosecution of those officers assuming there was going to be any prosecution, assuming they did anything wrong which I'm not saying they did. But is that not what you're saying?

CLEAVER: Yes. You get statement from the officers involved and then you release the video. I don't think -- holding the video is only going to create problems. So, you get a statement immediately and then you release the video and you don't allow amendments to the statement that the police give immediately after they're interviewed.

TAPPER: Very interesting. Thank you so much.

CLEAVER: Because people are nervous about it. Good to talk with you, Jake.

TAPPER: Appreciate it, Congressman. Thanks so much for coming on.

We also have some breaking news in the politics lead today. After that very contentious primary fight, Senator Ted Cruz is endorsing this guy, Donald Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth.

A narcissist I don't think this country has ever seen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: So, what changed?

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:28:43] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD.

Politics now, the biggest chance for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to change the course of the campaign comes Monday night. That's when the candidates will come together on stage for a 90-minute debate.

With that matchup just three days away, Trump is getting a huge boost from one of its former rival. Senator Ted Cruz was booed when he declined to endorse Donald Trump at the Republican Convention after some bitterly personal attacks. But now the man who Trump nicknamed "Lyin' Ted" has changed his mind.

CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta joins me now with more on Cruz endorsing Trump.

Jim, what changed?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: A lot has changed.

But, mainly, it's Ted Cruz's concern about the Supreme Court, Jake. Donald Trump has lured a crucial new ally into his corner, lining up the endorsement of Ted Cruz. They fought bitterly during the primaries, as you said. With Trump at one point suggesting that Cruz's father was involved in the Kennedy assassination.

Now, Cruz says he's backing the GOP nominee to keep the Supreme Court from tilting to the left, adding in a Facebook post, we'll put it up on screen, "A year ago, I pledged to endorse the Republican nominee, and now I'm honoring hat commitment. If you don't want to see a Hillary Clinton presidency, I encourage you to vote for him."

No question, this announcement is a big coup for Trump at a critical time.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA (voice-over): With the violence in Charlotte almost certain to loom large over their first debate, Donald Trump is previewing his lines of attack, accusing Hillary Clinton of siding against the police.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Those peddling the narrative of cops as a racist force in our society -- and this is a narrative that is supported with a nod by my opponent.