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CNN NEWSROOM

Berlin Suspect Pledged Allegiance to ISIS in Video; Outrage Grows Over Texas Arrest Video; Suspect Arrested After 3-year-old Shot Dead in Car; Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired December 23, 2016 - 10:30   ET

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


[10:30:00] VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): An aggressor mean? That is one who potentially could attack the Russian federation. And right now we are stronger than any potential aggressor.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Josh, what's your take-away from that, saying -- you know, I mean, this is a president who chooses his words, Vladimir Putin, very carefully.

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. What an amazing press conference. In addition to attacking the DNC and Hillary Clinton and, you know, getting very close to what Donald Trump has said on all of these issues, here's Putin responding to President Obama's press conference, where President Obama threw some shade on Russia by saying that their military is weaker. So Putin is making a very calculated, public, you know, comprehensive effort to get as close to Trump as possible, right, but wait, you know, could there be trouble in paradise?

As soon as, you know, Trump heard that Putin wants to increase the nuclear weapons of Russia, he tweeted that we could -- an arms race would be totally fine. So this is the Trump foreign policy. It's -- you know, it's going to be chaotic, it's going to be, you know, personal. OK. And while a lot of people in Washington are hoping and expecting is that as Trump begins to deal with Putin, it's not going to go well and he's going to realize that the bromance is really more fragile than it seems.

HARLOW: I do want to get your take on this because one of the things, gentlemen, as you know that Trump tweeted yesterday about this U.N. vote that was delayed on the Israeli settlement, he said the resolution being considered at the U.N. Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed. Obviously that was delayed. That's still up in the air.

Just now from Oren Liebermann in Israel, an Israeli official said, quote, "The U.S. administration," meaning the Obama administration, "secretly cooked up with the Palestinians an extreme anti-Israeli resolution behind Israel's back which would be a tailwind for terror and boycotts and effectively make the Western wall occupied Palestinian territory."

This again coming from an Israeli official -- Ron.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, we know the one president at a time issue here is very pronounced. Look, relations between Benjamin Netanyahu and Democratic presidents are not good. It was not good under Bill Clinton, it was not -- it's not good under Barack Obama. And, you know, part of -- a big part of that is that the U.S. view of ultimately what security in the region for Israel entails is different than the Netanyahu view. It is much more tilted toward believing that ultimately there needs to be a two-state solution for, you know, lasting stability.

Donald Trump has given every indication that he is going to defer much more to the Netanyahu view of what it takes and is not going to pressure them to do really pretty much anything they don't want. And so, you know, what you have here is just this extraordinary statement by Israel kind of, you know, throwing a blow at Obama as he is out the door and expecting I think a much more deferential relationship from Donald Trump when he comes in.

HARLOW: Ron Brownstein, thank you. Ryan Lizza, Josh Rogin. A lot of news this Friday morning. Gentlemen, appreciate it. Have a nice holiday.

Still to come, the man suspected in the Berlin truck attack dies in a police shootout in the middle of the night in a small town outside of Milan. Is he taking crucial secrets to his grave? This as investigators intensify their search for answers.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:36:38] HARLOW: Breaking news on the man suspected -- the main suspect in the Berlin truck attack. Just hours after Anis Amri killed -- was killed in a police shootout just outside of Milan, ISIS has released a video, this video appears to show this 24-year-old Tunisian terror suspect pledging allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi. There is no mention of Monday's attack in this video and it's not clear when the individual was shot or where it was shot.

Our Erin McLaughlin is in Berlin right now with the latest on this.

Quite a lot has transpired in the last 24 hours. They apprehended him by chance it seems, Erin, not because of intelligence leading them there, in this small town outside of Milan. What else do we know?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, a short while ago, Poppy, we heard from German Chancellor Angela Merkel thanking Italian police for their efforts, wishing the Italian officer who was injured a speedy recovery. She also expressed her relief that this man no longer poses a danger to the public. But at the same time, this investigation is still very much under way. A federal prosecutor really outlining the remaining priorities today.

They're going to be tracing Amri's footsteps to figure out exactly how he got from the Christmas market that you see behind me, with the scene of the attack, all the way to Italy. They're also going to be looking at the gun that he used to shoot that Italian police officer to see if it's the same gun that was used to shoot and kill the Polish truck driver. They are also critically going to be looking at whether or not he had any accomplices in carrying out this attack.

We know that he had ties to a pro-ISIS recruitment network. Members of that network arrested in November. The question being are the remaining members of that network out there who could potentially have helped him because it does seem incredible that someone acting alone could hijack a 25-ton truck, plow it into a popular Christmas market, killing 12 people, and escape completely undetected -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Erin McLaughlin live in Berlin. Erin, thank you very much for that reporting, the reaction from German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

We have a lot more still to come here in this NEWSROOM. Outrage is growing over this viral video out of Texas that you may have seen. We will speak with the woman who was arrested with her daughter after she called police to tell them that her son had been choked by their adult neighbor. Next.

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[10:42:31] HARLOW: Outrage is growing this morning over a video showing several arrests this week in Fort Worth, Texas. This started when Jacqueline Craig called police to tell them that a neighbor choked her young son. She said the neighbor accused her boy of littering. As the responding officer came, you see him there, and looked on, she told her neighbor that he had no right to put his hands on her son. Here is how the officer responded.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why don't you teach your son not to litter?

JACQUELINE CRAIG, MOTHER: I didn't -- he can't prove to me that my son littered but it doesn't matter if he did or didn't. It doesn't give him the right to put his hands on him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why not?

CRAIG: Because he don't.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: The back and forth with the officer got more heated as the video continues. Here's a bit more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRAIG: Why would you ask me -- why don't I teach him -- you don't know what I teach him. And you know, whatever you teach your kids don't mean that they go by your rules when they're out in your sight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you yelling?

CRAIG: Because you just pissed me off telling me what I teach my kids and what I don't. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you keep yelling me at you're going to piss me

off and you're going to jail.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Well, eventually she did. She was arrested. You see right here one of her daughters steps forward facing her mother and she's grabbed by -- from behind by that officer. After several interruptions in this video, the mother and her daughters are both arrested. All three of them. This video is going viral now. The officer is on restricted duty as the department investigates. The name of the officer, his identity, has not been released.

As for the man, the neighbor, who the mother said choked her son, police say they did investigate that complaint. He was not arrested.

Joining us now live from Dallas is Jacqueline Craig, the mother arrested in the video along with her attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing Craig and her daughter Brea Hymond.

Thank you both for being here.

S. LEE MERRITT, ATTORNEY: Thank you.

CRAIG: Thank you.

HARLOW: Jacqueline, let me begin with you. You know, obviously it's about a six-minute video, much of the public hasn't seen all of it. Some people may have just seen those two clips we showed. What is it that you want the public to know about what happened this week and what is it that you want to see done as a result?

CRAIG: Of course I want to see justice done. The way I was treated, I feel like was unfair. He made me feel less than a mother, not being able to protect my kids at the time they needed protecting. So, I mean, it was just unfair totally.

HARLOW: Lee, to you, do you know if the officer questioned -- I mean, we do know that the officer questioned, they say, the neighbor and that he was not arrested for what Jacqueline says was choking her son.

[10:45:09] Do we know why? Is there any more light you can shed on that conversation between the officer and the neighbor?

MERRITT: You know what, I think it's evident from the video that the officer's posture from the beginning was that he was not going there to investigate the claim of a child being choked, but he went there as if the neighbor was in fact the complainant.

What we do know is that a report was not filed that day. I spoke with internal investigations the next morning and as of the next morning, there had not been a report opened. There has been a report opened after the fact. We are going to find out later today. But the officer responded to the incident as if my client, the complainant, was in fact the assailant. HARLOW: And let's talk a bit about this video because, you know, when

you do watch the six-minute version, the one that's published on Facebook, Lee, it does jump at a few moments. Has this video been edited at all?

MERRITT: No. So we got the video actually directly from online. It was being recorded by a friend as Brea, Miss Craig's daughter, was recording it, but here's the thing with using the live app on Facebook. If you call in the middle of the live app, it will pause, it will time out, and to viewers it will look like it's jumping. And so what you have there is friends seeing Miss Jacqueline live and calling her daughter's phone and the video begins to jump.

HARLOW: Is there -- because we've heard from one of your colleagues that there's a longer version of the video, perhaps it has not been streamed live, has not been released. Is there, and if so, what else does that show?

MERRITT: There is a longer version of the video. The video starts recording prior Miss -- prior to the officer coming to the scene. As soon as they go approach the neighbor, so that there's no allegations that they went to approach him violently or in a negative way at all, they start recording that much. And once we capture that video, we are going to share it with the public. Right now, my client's phone was taken away as evidence. And so she does not have direct access to that video. I'm sorry. I have a little earpiece issue here.

HARLOW: OK. We'll try to get that fixed as I ask Jacqueline a question.

Jacqueline, what more can you tell me about your interactions with the police officer? We heard a small clip of the video where he responded and said sort of why not, why was it not OK for the neighbor to come., and as you say, choke your son for apparently littering. What other interactions did you have with that police officer?

CRAIG: None.

HARLOW: None.

MERRITT: Yes, there's -- there's nothing more than what's shown right there in the video. As far as her interactions with the police officer, it's all caught on tape.

HARLOW: I mean, did he say anything else to you? What was your overall feeling when he arrived, Jacqueline?

CRAIG: When he arrived, I didn't get a good vibe from him. He was not willing to even look at me from the beginning but I still went on and talked because I have faith in the system at that point, which I don't anymore. So I mean, it's like I said, I'm just at a loss for words because I wouldn't have expected what happened to happen.

HARLOW: Well, you said you had faith in the system. You are the one who called the police. What were you expecting? What were you hoping would happen when they came? CRAIG: I was hoping that they would protect and serve my child, which

they took an oath to do, and they failed at that.

HARLOW: Let's read what the Fort Worth Police Department has said in a statement. This is just part of the statement. "We acknowledge that the initial appearance of the video may raise serious questions. We ask that our investigators are given the time and the opportunity to thoroughly examine the incident and to submit their findings."

What do you want to see, Jacqueline, and what do you want to hear from the Fort Worth Police Department as they investigate?

CRAIG: Once again I want to see justice.

MERRITT: You know, when we see statements like that from the police department, they are cautioning people to not jump to conclusions, the fact is the video shows what the video shows. The video shows a mom who is complaining about her son, her 7-year-old boy being struck by an adult or being choked by an adult to a police officer who then arrests her in a really brutal way and her two daughters.

And so instead of saying alone, you know, don't jump to conclusions, what we would like for them to say, we will ensure that anyone who violated the law is brought to justice, that our goal is to go out there, to determine the facts and to make arrests where appropriate.

[10:50:09] Not hey, we are going to look for a way to say that the officer was doing -- somehow doing the right thing and when we have a good excuse we'll come back to you. That's what we're not looking forward to.

HARLOW: And Lee Merritt, before I let you guys go, you have previously said in an article that I was reading in the "Dallas Morning News" that you believe the police officer's actions were racially motivated. What indicates that to you?

MERRITT: So in the law often in cases, and I do a lot of civil rights work, you won't have incidences where people are using racial slurs directly and so you have to make inferences based on the facts. Mad so, you know, here we have two similarly situated individuals, two citizen citizens. One who is accused of a crime, another who is the complainant. Both who are relatively subdued.

My client was not aggressive, she was not violent, she was not confrontational, but somehow the person who admits and he admits to my client, he admits to the officer, that yes, I choked the kid because he was defiant and that he was littering in my yard. I did touch the kid. And somehow, the complainant ended up behind bars while the assailant sat home. And so the inference that we have to draw unless there's some more reasonable explanation that has not surfaced yet is that racism played a role.

HARLOW: We will watch as this is investigated. Please keep us posted on your end as well. Lee Merritt and Jacqueline Craig, thank you very much. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARLOW: An arrest in the Arkansas road rage shooting that left a 3- year-old boy dead. This comes almost a week after the toddler was gunned down in the backseat of his grandmother's car.

CNN's Cara Kneer has the details.

CARA KNEER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. Well, Gary Holmes has been arrested on capital murder and terroristic act charges.

[10:55:04] We've been talking with our local sources all morning and according to Pastor Terrence Long, whom we should also note is a relative of the grandmother, he was -- he turned himself in after the father convinced him to do so.

The Little Rock Police Department began to receive tips shortly before a vigil for Acen King Wednesday evening. The tips included that Holmes was the person who shot into Kim King Megan's car last Saturday evening. You remember she was driving to JCPenney with her grandson in the backseat when a man pulled up behind her at a stop sign, honks because she believed she was taking too long, and then fired a shot into her car. When Acen King's grandmother arrived at the store, she realized at that time Acen had been shot in the neck.

You know, we also know that the U.S. Marshal Service in Little Rock staked out Holmes' parents' house, which is approximately five miles from where the shooting took place. And police have been saying, Poppy, early on that they believed that the suspect would live or have family nearby where the incident took place because it was isolated from a main road or highway.

And we just want you to know that Acen King will be buried today at 2:30. With this arrest comes some solace and a weight off the victim's family's shoulders -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Devastating. Cara, thank you for the reporting.

Also, updating you on some top stories. The death toll in that Mexico market fireworks explosion has now risen to 35. 31 of those victims have been identified and returned to their loved ones. Mexican officials still investigating what caused this blast. That explosion as you know ripped through a popular fireworks market just outside of Mexico City on Tuesday.

More than a dozen states are now facing a winter storm threat. 300 flights already canceled according to FlightAware.com. A winter storm is already hitting the Rockies today and that snow and ice could be moving east as 100 million people plan to travel over the holiday week.

Thank you so much for being with us this Friday. I'm Poppy Harlow in for Carol Costello. "AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND BOLDUAN" begins after a quick break.

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