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Paul Ryan Disagrees with Steve King's Controversial Comments; New Video Out on Michael Brown Shooting; St. Louis County Prosecutor Holds News Conference on Michael Brown Video; Interview with Jason Pollock, Michael Brown Sr. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired March 13, 2017 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:30:00] ANA NAVARRO, CNN COMMENTATOR: He's an embarrassment to the Republican Party. I congratulate the GOP leaders who have come out today, Paul Ryan, and denounced the racist and disgusting things that he's said yet again.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Wow, wow. And you're right. Speaker Ryan has just announced - let me quote this, quote, "He believes in America's long history of inclusiveness is one its great strengths."
But, Andre, I understand you see it a little differently.
ANDRE BAUER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: What's great about this country is everybody is entitled to their opinion. And you don't have to agree with them. I think it does provide interesting fodder for a debate. You can't build a country without immigration when given the fact that our population is shrinking and we've got to maintain a healthy workforce and a healthy economy. So let's have the conversation without immediately jumping and calling everybody a racist. Let's listen to their perspective and be respectful of each other. We all care about where our country is going. We just have a different idea what vehicle we take.
BALDWIN: Do you see this, Ana --
NAVARRO: Oh, I --
BALDWIN: Is it up to debate?
NAVARRO: You know, Andre is completely entitled to think that Steve King is not a racist. I think he is a pathetic racist. I think this is the only thing that sets him apart in the entire Congress. He has done this over and over again. When he's calling for things like homogenous civilization, when he's saying "somebody else's babies," of course, those are dog whistles, of course, that speaks to racism, that speaks to division. You know what that speaks to? That speaks to an Aryan race. We've heard that type of rhetoric before. As a Republican, I will denounce it. I will tell him that my babies, Andre's babies, anybody's babies are as American as his babies may be. That the congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, they don't look like him, they don't act like him, they don't think like him, and they are just as American. Because what makes us American is our love of country, our pride in this country, our work ethic, all those values we have in common. America is not going to allow itself to be divided by pathetic little racists like Steve King.
BALDWIN: It's very clear how Ana feels.
Andre, help me understand. She brought up the "calves the size of cantaloupes" comment a little while ago when he was on that panel last July, questioning what non-whites contributor to civilization, saying, quote, "Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization." Help me understand what you agree with in these words.
BAUER: Well, let me first say, I don't know Representative King. As I get older, I try to be more fair and reasonable to listening to others' perspectives. I may not agree with them all the time. I don't say that I agree with Representative King's viewpoint. But I think it is getting very slippery that any time someone discusses something that may not be what another person agrees with, we immediately jump to throw the race card out there. Let's engage in the conversation, see what his perspective is, see why he feels this, and see what he thinks we should do differently to move our country forward when you talk about immigration.
BALDWIN: I can't put words in Ana's mouth, but I think she's basing this just based upon all these things that Congressman King has said in the past and, therefore, has arrived at, you know, how she feels not just -- it's not a one-off thing.
Am I right, Ana?
NAVARRO: Look, you know, Brooke, as I listen to this conversation, this weekend, Saturday, I was at the Smithsonian National Museum for African-American History. I saw exhibits there of how slaves were treated, how black people were treated, just because they were a different color. They are now a proud part of America. And I think that we have to be active, proactive. We have to have no shame and no silence in denouncing people who want to divide us by color, by creed, by gender, by race, because we can't go back there again.
So, you know, Andre, if you don't want to see what he's saying as racist, that's certainly your prerogative. But I think most of Americans can hear loud and clear what Steve King is trying to say. All I want to say is that he is not representative of the Republican Party and he's certainly not representative of the America I know and that has embraced me and so many others like me.
BALDWIN: Ana Navarro, Andre Bauer, thank you both very much for your opinions.
We need to move along. I'm told there's a news conference under way on this new documentary that's been screened at South by Southwest in Austin, the story of Michael Brown, the teenager who was shot and killed after some sort of altercation in a convenience store. New video has come out trying to paint a fuller picture.
Let's go to the news conference.
[14:3r:37] ROBERT MCCULLOUGH, STL LOUIS COUNTY PROSECUTOR: You ready?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.
MCCULLOUGH: Over the weekend, there was a pretty pathetic attempt at a video production regarding the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. That was released at a fair somewhere in Texas, I believe. Contained in that was a very poorly edited snippet of a security video taken from the store in Ferguson shortly before, about 12 hours before Michael Brown returned to the store and shortly before he was shot. That has generated some inquiries and questions from the public and the media regarding the content, the source, the origin of that particular video.
The video is indeed security footage from the market that night. On August the 14th, the county police during the investigation were advised that Michael Brown had come into the store somewhere around midnight, and according to the employees talking to the police that day, had attempted to steal something. They also indicated that it had been captured on the security video. So we secured a search warrant to obtain the hardware and the hard drive, everything's downloaded on the hard drive or recorded on the hard drive in this entire system. That search warrant, we got possession of the equipment on August the 15th of 2014. The particular video was downloaded in its entirety and we'll have a copy of the entire thing for you as soon as we're finished here.
But it starts at about three or four minutes before Mr. Brown and his companions pulled into the parking lot of the store. And it ends about two minutes after he and his companions pulled off the parking lot. It shows four different angles, two from the parking lot, one from each side of the parking lot, one from inside the store, looking from front to back, that covers the customer side of the counter along with the back of the store where the coolers are. And then the fourth one is from behind-the-counter, looking towards the counter itself.
In a nutshell, what that shows is that Mr. Brown entered the store, entered by himself, and arrived with other people who never got out of the car, went back to the cooler, got a couple of cold drinks out of the cooler, went up to the -- there is no audio with this, by the way -- but went up to the counter, clearly ordered or asked for a couple of boxes of cigarillos. The clerk put those in the bag along with the drinks that he had. Mr. Brown put something on the counter. There is a discussion clearly going on there. Everything is in the bag. Mr. Brown and the clerks were examining whatever it was he put on the counter. Mr. Brown had a discussion with them, picked up the bag, started to walk out of the store. One of the clerks said something to him or more. He returned, put the bag back on the counter, continued the discussion with them, and then took something off of the counter itself and walked out of the store. The clerks then, as the entire video shows, the clerks then took the cigarillos out of the bag, put them back onto the rack behind-the-counter. Another clerk took the cold drinks back to the cooler and put them back in the cooler.
That whole video was examined early on. We were well aware of it. Of course, we issued the search warrant in order to obtain it. It was determined early on -- this is not new, everybody knew about it. It was determined it was neither relevant for material to anything that occurred later that day, around noon in the store, or on Canfield Drive.
As I'm sure you recall, I indicated we were putting everything in front of the grand jury that would have been admissible at trial had there been an indictment. There clearly wouldn't have been admissible. So that was not presented then to the grand jury. Which means then it wasn't released.
But it's important to note that the conversation that police had with the store employees is documented in the police report, which was released on November 24th. Their application for a search warrant, the discussion about getting a search warrant for this information, is also in that same police report. And ultimately, a description of the content of the video is in that police report. All of which was released on November 24th, 2014, as part of the release that I made that night after the grand jury returned its verdict.
So in answer to the question, this is not new information. It's certainly not a surprise to anyone. It's certainly not relevant or material to anything that occurred, as I said, later in the day around noon at the store or shortly after that on Canfield Drive. So that's pretty much the extent of it.
[14:39:58] We have copies of the entire video. And I think that's very important. Number one, it's documented in the report, so it's not as though this was hidden away somewhere, as this fellow with his video project was trying to say. Well, actually did say. It's documented in the police report. If you look even at his pathetic video, it shows the police report where he got the information. So it's all there. It's been there since December or since November of 2014. It's available. It's not edited. It is from start to finish, from a few minutes before he arrived at the parking lot up until a few minutes after he leaves the parking lot. Those will be available. We'll try to get it up online for (INAUDUBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you think the video, the way it was released in the documentary, was fair and accurate or did they edit out portions or put a spin on it?
MCCULLOUGH: Tell you what, take a look at what this fellow put into his documentary and take a look at the real video and you answer the question. It was clearly an intent to distort this and turn it into something it isn't, to get back to another big lie. Pretty clearly what went on in there. There was no transaction. There was certainly an attempt to barter for these goods. But the store employees had no involvement at all in that. They didn't accept -- no, they didn't do that. When he left, they put everything back on the counters where they longed and went about their business.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Last question from me, in light of --
BALDWIN: You have been listening to St. Louis County's top prosecutor. He was just talking about the newly released surveillance video that's raising new questions about the 2014 police shooting death of Michael Brown. That footage that he was referencing was from the South by Southwest
festival in Texas, in a documentary called "Stranger Fruit." It appears to show Brown inside the Ferguson Market and Liquor Store, the same he was accused of robbing several hours later. The video apparently takes place overnight, several hours before any altercation began. And later that day, police responded to a call for a sick person and then a robbery. Moments later, that's when police Officer Darren Wilson encounters Michael Brown, an altercation happens and then Brown is shot and killed.
First, let me play a clip from this documentary, and then my interview with the filmmaker and Michael Brown's father. But just a heads-up to everyone, just transparency here, I taped this interview just before my show, about an hour before this prosecutor came out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON POLLOCK, FILMMAKER: I couldn't believe what I had read. Michael was in the store the night before he died. And St. Louis County, they saw the videotape and didn't tell us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was some type of exchange, one thing for another, that these people know each other well enough that this is the relationship that they have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Joining me now, Jason Pollock, the documentary filmmaker who uncovered this never-before-seen surveillance video of Michael Brown. And Michael Brown Sr., Michael Brown's father, is with us as well.
Thank you so much for taking the time today. I appreciate seeing both of you.
Mr. Brown, I have a couple of questions for you.
But just, Jason, the video, I know this is not what you say that the whole film is about, but we have to talk about this video.
POLLOCK: Sure. Yes. That's why we put it out.
BALDWIN: I got you. For people who have not seen your film yet, walk me through what you believe the video shows.
POLLOCK: OK. People keep saying this in the media, what I believe. I don't think it's what I believe. OK? It's what any rational person sees when they see this video. That's why Mike Brown is the number one trending topic in the world. This isn't Jason's opinion.
BALDWIN: I got you. So you tell me what the video shows.
POLLOCK: OK. So the video shows -- and first of all, let me be very clear, we first -- I first discovered a page in the St. Louis County police report which we show in the clip that has gone viral, and the page, which has been around the whole time, and anyone in the media could have found it, says that the police saw the videotape of Mike Brown walking into the convenience store on August 9th at 1:13 a.m. And they say this on their page, which I show the page in the video. But what they don't tell us is what actually happened in the store in their report. They make up this thing about nothing happening. So then we got the video, which is corroborated and authenticated by the St. Louis County Police Department, because their page proves that it existed before we had it.
[14:45:01] BALDWIN: OK, let me just jump in, Jason. I know you're in the weeds, and I appreciate your passion. But for people who have no idea what you're talking about, right -- we all covered this story. We saw that one piece of video that was put out there. But your point is there is this whole other piece of video which, in your opinion, totally changes the narrative. I want you to tell me, in that video, what do we see.
POLLOCK: OK. So basically at 1:13 a.m. in the video, you can clearly see Michael Brown walking into the store. And by the way, at the top of the left-hand corner of the video, you can see the time code and you can see the date. And it's corroborated and it is the exact same time as the St. Louis County police report. So Michael Brown walks into the store. You see him then make an exchange. He trades a little bag of weed for two boxes of cigarillos. It's about $20 of an exchange. And we've asked many people in the community, this is very common, bartering at the store. The store is bartering with people all the time. I've been told by many people you can buy weed in and around the store and all the night guys know about it. So Michael is not a drug dealer, because of this video. And we are tired of listening to bigoted people say that when they see this. So we see the trade take place. The weed goes over the counter. We know it's weed because then they pick it up and smell it. One guy smells it. He hands it to the other guy. He then smells it. And I hope you're playing this moment so people can actually see this.
BALDWIN: Of course, we are.
POLLOCK: The whole thing is there.
BALDWIN: We've got the behind-the-counter shot, everything.
POLLOCK: The behind-the-counter shot is the shot we wanted to show the world because that shows the exchange. We didn't want to show the front camera shot because you can't see it. So you see the behind- the-camera shot. The weed hits the counter. It's taken. It never comes back on the counter again. What comes back on the counter is you see the guy take two boxes of cigarillos, the clerk puts them into the bag himself, hands a bag with product to Michael Brown over the counter. So don't tell me that he stole from the store if they handed him a bag that they created themselves over the counter. Anybody that sees this with their eyes can see what's actually happening.
BALDWIN: Right, which is part of the issue -- because let me just jump in, again. I'm at a 30,000-foot view. Initially, when the story was covered and the St. Louis P.D. put out the video from several hours later and there were allegations of a strong-arm robbery and him being aggressive with the cigarillos, your point with the video is to show the full picture.
And, Jason, I want to come back to you in a second.
But, Mr. Brown, when you see your son in this video that the world is now seeing, what do you see?
MICHAEL BROWN SR, FATHER OF MICHAEL BROWN JR: Everything that I had believed in the beginning, you know. It's some things that I have seen already, that you all are just not seeing. So, you know, it justifies itself.
BALDWIN: How long have you known the video existed? Did you know it existed when you filed the civil suit?
POLLOCK: Mike can't really talk about the case too much and --
POLLOCK: -- we want to protect that, obviously, because it's ongoing. But the video is the video. And it's corroborated by the police. The time code is there.
BALDWIN: Got it.
POLLOCK: Whatever they're saying about it is obviously not true. John Belmar gave a statement that he didn't know about it.
BALDWIN: Well --
POLLOCK: Chief Belmar, it's in your report. Either you don't read your report or somebody's lying.
The real question now is, who knew about this video, when did they know about it, who did they talk to, who covered it up, who wrote the wrong report, and how high up the chain does this actually go.
BALDWIN: Jason, is it possible that there is even more video that we haven't seen? Do you know?
POLLOCK: I bet you that if we looked at convenience store video from the nights before, that we would see other people in the community trading other things that are probably way worse than weed at that store. And let me say this. You guys issued several Sunshine requests to the
Ferguson police and you were given not what you asked for. You were given half a video. You asked for the videos and you were not given them. And I don't know if that's a law break right there, but this seems like suppression of evidence. This seems like legitimate new evidence. I don't know if the grand jury saw this video. We definitely didn't see it. The world didn't see it. Which shows they were trying to trick us.
BALDWIN: I understand these are serious allegations you're leveling and I'm not sitting here representing the store, but I'm just trying to get the full picture. Part of the fuller picture -- and you know where I'm going to go -- the store is accusing you of editing the video, manipulating the video --
BALDWIN: Hang on. Let me just finish -- this is what the attorney from the store says.
POLLOCK: I know what he says.
BALDWIN: Let me tell everyone else who is watching. "I can now confirm that the uncut video shows the clerks throwing the bag back to Mike Brown. The filmmaker edited it out."
We're supposed to see, apparently, their full video later today. I have no idea what that is going to show, if it shows anything.
Jason, go ahead. You're shaking your head.
POLLOCK: That's another video.
BALDWIN: There isn't another video.
[14:50:20] POLLOCK: Bring it on. Bring it on, Jay. Bring it on.
And I think this store -- let me just say something. The store is being as immoral as possible, because what they could have done in this moment is own up to what they are doing, being shady with the community. Those three gentlemen in the video have known all along. They're lying to -- OK, the store is owned by the older guy. The older guy is there during the day. The night guys, who were running all these games, they don't want to tell the grandpa guy what's going on. So he didn't know about the trade that had taken place. That's why we see the altercation during the day.
But if you look carefully at the video that we've all seen, Michael first walks into the store with his hands behind his back and politely leans in. All he was doing was going to get his stuff. The old guy didn't know about it. There were younger guys there but they didn't want to say anything in front of the old guy. And they're still playing these ridiculous games with Jay Kanzlor (ph), the lawyer, and now they're playing ridiculous games with the whole world. So -- (CROSSTALK)
BALDWIN: Hang on, Jason. How did you get your hands on this tape to put in your film?
POLLOCK: We decided -- I got -- Brooke, I got my hands on this tape because I decided to move to Ferguson after this incident to do real investigative journalism, because I was tired of watching how the news was reporting this issue. And to get the truth about big stories, you have to stop everything you're doing, move to the location, and figure it out. And that's how I got this video. And it took two years, and anybody could have done it.
All this money, all this time spent on Ferguson, to misreport it. And we wonder how Donald Trump got elected, a man who lies 60 to 70 percent of the time. The media could have done its job.
BALDWIN: OK. We're not going there with Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump is the president, and we're talking about Mike Brown.
BALDWIN: Hang on, hang on.
POLLOCK: It's all connected.
Mr. Brown, if I may, listening to Jason and his passion and the fact that he essentially embedded himself, it sounds like, in Ferguson to seek the truth, you are now, two and a half years later, watching your son on loop again on the national news. What, if I may, final question, what is this like for you as a father?
MICHAEL BROWN SR, FATHER OF MICHAEL BROWN JR: Well, you know, this deal, you know, I'm still broken, hurt, mad, you know, to think about the whole issue with this. I just want the public to know that he wasn't, you know, a bad guy. How bad they actually demonized his name and the family because of what they showed, they put out there. You know, I'm just happy that the public can see with their own eyes on what had happened and what had led to, you know, the ending.
POLLOCK: I really wish America would treat grieving families with more empathy and respect. This is a grieving father who did not need to be here, who is fighting for his son still, grieving publicly. Let's think about that more. Where is our conscious as a country? How did we let this happen? Mike Brown was a great guy.
BALDWIN: Mr. Brown, I appreciate you coming on. I am so sorry for the loss of your son.
And Jason Pollock, thank you so much. I appreciate both of you very much.
POLLOCK: Thank you.
BROWN: You're welcome.
BALDWIN: So in the last 15 minutes, hearing two sides of a story. I have David Klinger with me, a former LAPD officer, professor of criminology at the University of Missouri in St. Louis, and author of the book "Into the Kill Zone: A Cop's-Eye View of Deadly Force."
David, it's nice to see you again.
We talked so much about this. You were in the weeds of this story in Ferguson. You heard first -- there was the first we all heard from the top cop in St. Louis County, and now you've heard from the filmmaker and Mike Brown's father. Where is the truth? How do you interpret all of this?
DAVID KLINGER, PROFFESSOR OF CRIMINOLOGY & FORMER LAPD POLICE OFFICER & AUTHOR: I think the first thing is, it's awful that Mr. Brown has to relive this --
KLINGER: -- and be back in the public eye. His son is dead.
But I think that the best word I can come up with is codswallowup. The film says nothing about the issue at hand, which is whether it was appropriate for Darren Wilson to shoot Mike Brown. This is hours and hours before. It has nothing to do with anything, unless there's something that I'm unaware of. Darren Wilson made a pedestrian stop, at some point, thought maybe these people were involved in the call he just got. He hadn't seen any video, even the one that was released years ago in the wake of this. And the only thing that matters is what does the evidence show about the shooting?
[14:55:14] And the United States Department of Justice did a very, very, very thorough investigation. And they determined that Mr. Brown assaulted Officer Wilson, tried to take his gun, and Officer Wilson fired a shot. Michael Brown ran away and came back and charged him.
I really don't understand why anyone is spending any time talking about a video from some 12 hours before, other than the fact that this filmmaker is happy that I'm on, and you're on, and everybody is now talking about this. I've been fielding calls from other news organizations today. And I don't get it, Brooke. It has nothing to do with the issue of, was it appropriate for Michael Brown to be shot by Darren Wilson. And the federal government has said, yes, no crime was committed. And that's where it should end.
BALDWIN: Right. And the criminal investigation is over, the officer walked. But the civil suit, which clearly Mike Brown Sr couldn't really talk about, that is still ongoing. And so --
KLINGER: Sure. BALDWIN: -- would this video at all affect that investigation?
KLINGER: I have no idea how a plaintiff's attorney would want to bring this up to show something. But quite frankly, if there was a video that showed Mike Brown doing something awful, committing some violent crime, if Darren Wilson had no knowledge of that, it's completely irrelevant. Similarly, if there was a video of Michael Brown doing wonderful things, Darren Wilson has no knowledge of this. It has nothing to do with the question of, was it reasonable for Darren Wilson to shoot Michael Brown. So I just don't get it, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Clearly, you know, that investigation is over. That's not a lingering question for police. But still, when you listen to this filmmaker and you listen to Michael Brown Sr, it is still a lingering question for family. It's still a lingering question for the community.
What do you, David, then, saying what you're saying, and I hear you loud and clear, but what then do you say to those people who are now really just questioning the police investigation?
KLINGER: Well, first of all, what I would say is, once again, to Mr. Brown, he lost a son, that's awful. But this Pollock character, it sounds to me like he is trying to trade in the tragedy that happened to Mr. Brown's family. And what he is trying to do is get as much publicity as he can.
He dropped himself into my community and for two years tried to uncover the truth and all he can come up with is some video from 12 hours previously that maybe there is some evidence that maybe there were shady dealings going on in the location where Michael Brown was engaged in an altercation with the owner. It has nothing to do with anything.
And so if people want to come up with questions, fine. Show me something that is relevant, directly relevant to the question of, was the use of deadly force appropriate. That's the only thing that matters in terms of the concern about the legitimacy of what the police did that day. And that's the only thing that should matter. I just don't see how something from 12 hours previous has anything to do with anything.
BALDWIN: David Klinger, thank you.
KLINGER: Thank you for having me, Brooke.
BALDWIN: You got it.
We'll take a quick break. Very newsy White House briefing in the last hour. We'll show you what happened, walk you through it all, next.