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Trump Voters in Florida Weigh in on Impeachment Push; Deliberations to Resume Monday in Officer Shooting of Naked, Unarmed Man in Georgia; 1 Dead, 13 Injured in Hard Rock Hotel Construction Collapse; Firefighters Work to Contain Southern California Wildfire. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired October 12, 2019 - 13:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, everyone. And thank you so much for joining me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. We are following some breaking news right now. Desperate words coming from a Kurdish military leader on the U.S. troop pullout of Syria. Saying this, "You have given up on this. Leaving us to be slaughtered." That sentiment in a document obtained exclusively by CNN detailing a fire exchange between that Kurdish leader and a top U.S. diplomat where the Kurds vented their fury over the U.S. troop pullback in Northern Syria.

Of course, the U.S. does want the Kurds to have to turn to Russia but that's what the leader is saying, they just might have to do. Kurds in Northern Syria had been fighting alongside the U.S. to defeat ISIS in that area and the U.S. remained there to protect the Kurds. But, the U.S. abruptly pulling its forces out of that area and that triggered a long expected offensive now by Turkish forces who consider the Kurds a terror group.

Turkey launched air attacks and its troops quickly began taking at least border town. We've got full coverage of this story. Barbara Starr is at the Pentagon obtained this document exclusively. Arwa Damon is along the border between Turkey and Syria. Barbara, you first. What more are you learning about this conversation?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fredricka, this is a document that is a readout circulated in the Trump administration of a conversation on Thursday between General Mazlum, the head of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the U.S. is key ally in the fight against ISIS in Syria and the top and state department envoy. General Mazlum is hard to overstake how upset and dismayed he is on behalf of his people and his fighters about the Trump administration decision.

Let me just quickly read everybody. A couple of parts of what this memo says and it's the readout of what Muslims' comments were to the U.S. He says, you have given up on us. You are leaving us to be slaughtered. You have nothing for us. You are not willing to protect the people but you do not want another force to come out and protect us. You have sold us. This is immoral. He goes on and he says -- and let me read, I need to know if you are capable of protecting my people of stopping these bombs falling on us or not.

I need to know, because if you are not, I need to make a deal with Russia and the regime now and invite their planes to protect this region. So what the Syrian Kurdish military general is telling the U.S. is he is willing to turn to Russia and if Russian warplanes and Syrian regime airplanes start patrolling the skies over Syria, it is going to make it very difficult for any U.S. troops to remain on the ground under their purported air protection.

This is becoming a very complex situation very, very rapidly. U.S. Special Forces have been with the STF fighters for years now. They have thought with him, they have died with them. There is growing dismay in some of those U.S. Special Forces ranks about everything that is happening. Fred?

WHITFIELD: All right, Barbara. And Arwa, there are reports that the U.S. is very concerned about the scope of Turkey's incursion but at this juncture is -- really, any turning back on what Turkey's approaches is -- Turkey's approach is.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: From Turkey's perspective, Fred, no. And President Erdogan has made it very clear that no matter they are going ahead with this. And he's not being shy about what the scope of this operation is and it's quite extensive. He showed the map at the U.N. general assembly and spoke about what this operation would be entailing effectively going some 18 miles into Syria and then across hundreds of miles of stretch of border to create what Turkey is calling a safe zone.

Because from Turkey's perspective at least, those very same Syrian Kurdish fighters known as the YPG, they opposed an existential threat to Turkey because they are effectively an offshoot of the PKK. The PKK being the separatist militant group that has been fighting the Turkish state for decades. The Turkey, the E.U. and the U.S. in fact considered to be a terrorist organization. But in launching this operation, Fred, Turkey has already pushed civilians out of these areas.

Hundreds of thousands of them have understandably fled. Where? What are they going to do next? No one really knows. And those civilians who are mostly Syrian Kurds are unlikely to come back to these areas if Turkey ever does actually exert control over them. Turkey is planning to also move upwards of two million of the refugees that are currently inside Turkey to potentially resettle them in these areas.


DAMON: So what we're also looking at is a significant demographic change along the border. There's a lot of fear on both sides I have to say because as you move up with these towns that are on the Turkish side, a number of them have also come under counter strikes, artillery strikes and rounds and many of them incidentally as well are also Kurdish. They have relatives on the other side but there's one thing, Fred, that's very clear in all of this. This offensive is not going to remain contained and just to this border area. WHITFIELD: Wow. OK. Along the Syrian-Turkish border. Arwa Damon, thank you so much. Barbara Starr at the Pentagon. Appreciate -- we'll check back with you ladies. Appreciate it. So, it has been a dramatic week in Washington, that really is the understatement as impeachment looms over the White House. President Trump is facing another series of setbacks. New questions surround President Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

The New York Times now reporting that the former New York City Mayor is now under a federal investigation according to the paper's sources. But Giuliani now tell CNN that he is now aware that he under an investigation. Even calling it a political attack. This follows the arrest of two of Giuliani's client on charges of attempting to funnel foreign money into U.S. elections. Friday, this was President Trump when asked about whether Rudy Giuliani remains his personal attorney.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is Rudy Giuliani still your personal attorney?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I don't know. I haven't spoken to Rudy. I spoke to him yesterday briefly, he's a very good attorney and he has been my attorney.


WHITFIELD: And this comes as the investigation loses key court battles on everything from immigration policies to the release of President Trump's tax returns over an eight-year period. I want to get straight to CNN's Sarah Westwood there at the White House. So, Sarah, is the White House now in the position where it's clarifying the president's comments about Rudy Giuliani?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: It certainly a different tone, Fred, than what we heard from the president. We're sort of getting mixed signals about the status of President Trump's relationship with Rudy Giuliani. As you just heard yesterday, he was a bit evasive when he was asked whether Giuliani is still representing him, seeming to try to put a little bit of distance between him and his embattled attorney.

But today, President Trump is praising Giuliani and defending him on Twitter writing, so now they are after the legendary crime buster and greatest mayor in the history of New York City, Rudy Giuliani. And he goes on to say, he may seem a little rough around the edges sometimes but he is also a great guy and wonderful lawyer. Such a one-sided witch-hunt going on in USA. Now Trump's defense comes as the New York Times is reporting that Giuliani is under investigation for a potential violation of foreign lobbying law.

Now, that is related to his attempts to get dirt on Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch in an apparent effort to get her recalled from Kiev. She was recalled from her duties in Ukraine. She testified about all of that. For hours yesterday on Capitol Hill. Now, just moments ago, Giuliani is responding to all of this to CNN's Michael Warren who asked Giuliani whether he was aware that he was under investigation.

Here's what Giuliani said. No. Nothing but leaks which has to tell you whether they are or not investigating, it's a political attack otherwise why leak it? Giuliani said, if it's an appropriate law enforcement investigation, you try to keep it secret so the subjects aren't alerted. Now, sources told CNN that President Trump has privately begun to express doubts about Giuliani's ability to keep defending in all of this impeachment imbroglio, those doubts were just exacerbated by the fact that Giuliani's two associates were arrested on Wednesday.

A person close to the legal team said, that while Giuliani does remain the president's lawyer still, Fred, he's no longer going to be working on issues that deal with Ukraine.

WHITFIELD: Sarah Westwood, thank you. All right. Here to discuss this now, law professor at New York University School of Law, Melissa Murray. Melissa, good to see you. So --


WHITFIELD: So, this New York Times, you know, reporting that Giuliani is now under federal investigation. You know, two of his clients have already been arrested for allegedly attempting to, you know, funnel foreign money into U.S. elections and now we're seeing this Giuliani respond saying, if there is really an investigation, you know, I wouldn't learn about it. Meaning, it wouldn't be made public that he would be informed, that he was being investigated. How serious do you see this potentially for Giuliani?

MURRAY: This is very serious. I think it's part of why we see both the president and Mr. Giuliani dissembling. The fact that the two men, Parnas and Fruman have been arrested and indicted and they were apparently arrested and indicted quite quickly because they were flight risk and they were caught at Dulles Airport attempting to leave the country on one-way tickets. The hope in a situation like this is that those two men will cooperate with the government for reduced sentences or reduced charges and that might in turn implicated Mr. Giuliani who in turn if he is indicted, would perhaps be inclined to cooperate and then the web would get even wider.


MURRAY: So, this is serious. When you have some low-level information like that coming from those kinds of sources, the ideas that it will spill up and they will continue to sing until they actually get the canary they're hoping for.

WHITFIELD: Uh-hmm. And at least for now, it looks like that the president -- well, yesterday it seem like he was distancing himself from the president. Now, a new statement, you know, showing that they are -- they do still have relations, you know, as Giuliani, his personal attorney. So, in that vein then, would the White House, can the White House offer any assistance legally speaking for Giuliani? MURRAY: Well, you know, what it can do and what it should do might be two different things. The optics of providing assistance to Giuliani if he is under indictment or under investigation would obviously have real political ramifications. Mr. Giuliani has talked about being able to asset attorney-client privilege with regard to any dealings he might have with the president going forward in this impeachment inquiry.

And ideally, he might be able to use that same privilege in the context of this investigation but the attorney-client privilege which allows attorneys to work with their clients with the assumption of confidentiality does not imply when it's in the context of perpetrating a fraud or other criminal act. So, if this is actually a fraud or a criminal act, a violation of this federal lobbying laws then he would not be able to invoke this privilege and there would be nothing, keeping these kinds of communications confidential.

WHITFIELD: And what does it say to you that possibly the very, you know, Federal office in New York in which Rudy Giuliani once led, worked in in the 80s is the very office now reportedly investigating him.

MURRAY: Well, I mean, that is the biggest irony of all. He was the top federal enforce in New York City for some time as the U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York. And again, that is the office that is now going forward, perhaps investigating him, certainly investigating his associates and they are known for being really aggressive in terms of what they prosecute but also being very careful to make sure that the cases they bring are airtight. So this a serious matter and he knows that having run that office.

WHITFIELD: All right. All right. Melissa Murray, thank you so much. And this breaking news out of New Orleans, right now we're getting word of a partial building collapse at a Hard Rock Hotel that is under construction there. Louisiana State Representative Royce Duplessis says at least one person is dead. 13 others have been taking to hospitals. And it's being described as a huge rumble that people heard and then they saw a giant cloud of dust. At least three people are missing.


REP. ROYCE DUPLESSIS (D-NO): Unfortunately, there's still a lot of questions in terms of exactly what happened and what caused this tragic incident. What we do know at this point is that there was obviously a structural failure. The question right now is how many -- how many have been injured, who and how many have been injured.


WHITFIELD: Wow. Remarkable. And of course, we'll keep you updated on this breaking story out of New Orleans. All right. After her testimony, more than two dozen former state and national security officials are calling Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to defend the former ambassador of Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. What they are saying, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


WHITFIELD: As the impeachment inquiry ramps up in Washington, President Trump is facing more scrutiny for his dealings with Ukraine and his removal of a top diplomat. On Friday, former Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch went against the White House testifying to Congress for 10 hours. She's a U.S. ambassador stationed -- based in Ukraine. And in a statement that she provided in her opening statement, she said, "I met with the deputy secretary of state who informed of the curtailment of my term.

He said that the president have lost confidence in me and no longer wished me to serve as his ambassador. He added that there had been a concerted campaign against me and that, the department had been under pressure from the president to remove me since the summer of 2018." And now, nearly 30 former state and national security officials are calling on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to defend the former ambassador.

Wring in an open letter that -- quoting now, "Her performance and leadership have been exemplary." Joining me right now, former U.S. Ambassador for the European Union, Anthony Gardner. Ambassador, good to see you.


WHITFIELD: So what are your thoughts on this letter defending Marie Yovanovitch?

GARDNER: I never worked with her but I can say this, the men and women of our foreign service deserve to be respected and they deserved to be protected. I worked with many of them when I was at Post Brussels as ambassador the E.U. and before in the White House in '94, '95 under Clinton. There are (INAUDIBLE) group of people. And they are our first line of defense, before our blood and treasure sometimes have to be spilled.

And, you know, the thing that sometimes baffles me is that our military understands this much better sometimes in our civilians and certainly much better than this White House. So that letter obviously is quite strong. She had a very good reputation and all I can say is that we need to respect and protect our officers of the foreign service.

WHITFIELD: What is this revealing about either the knowledge, respect, or a lack thereof between this White House and the role of the state department and foreign service officers?

GARDNER: Well, it's certainly not in good shape. You know, the problem is that when you send demagogues abroad to represent the country, bad things occur. We should be sending professionals, not just a career by the way but people who come in from the outside, I happen to be one of them, but it's important to send a critical post like he have. And the U.S., E.U.s and other in Berlin Tel Aviv and Angkor and so forth. Quite a few.

We need to be sending confident people who are doing their jobs. And the very important point as well, who are representing the country. Now just narrow party political interest and certainly not doing anything like digging dirt on opponents of the person sitting in the Oval Office.


WHITFIELD: What has been expressed among, you know, fellow veteran foreign service officers. And their observations of how the state department is being run differently or what have people been talking about behind closed doors?

GARDNER: Well, you know, I think morale is low. It's not the first time that morale is low. There have been ups and downs in the past under both administrations. But I think this hits a new low from what I've heard is that again, when we are represented abroad by individuals who are only thinking about the party and only thinking about the president, not thinking about the country and not being concerned about doing a professional job and sometimes not even acting like diplomats abroad.

Spend their time insulting their host countries. You know, bad things happen. And there's an important point here for people watching this program who may think, some of them may think that embassies and ambassadors frankly don't matter because they're there to hold nice soirees and receptions. Well, that's just isn't true. There are some very important post and Kiev is one of them which deal with really critical issues of war and peace of sanctions, of sometimes technical issues that -- for example, I had to deal with like trade and data and digital. Things that impact business and impact Americans.

WHITFIELD: Uh-hmm. It is potentially a very dangerous job and commitment that thousands are committed to carry out in their duties. So, what are your worries about how any kind of repairing, you know, could take place as a result of what damage may have been cause Yovanovitch being an example?

GARDNER: Well, I would hope the new administration returns to the normal of, you know, being publicly supportive of the foreign service. Another important point is that these are people who often have a very difficult career. You know, when you start in the foreign service post to some very difficult post and you change post every three to four years and it has an impact on family and sometimes they serve in truly difficult post like Afghanistan and Iraq and so forth.

So the first thing I would like to see is a president say, look, we respect this profession and we will do our best by you. It also means increasing the budget frankly and making sure those people are, you know, well paid and look after. And, you know, our vetting process, I think frankly needs to be changed. You know, our vetting process should be a real vetting process, means -- meaning that people who are sent to this post are considered for, you know, whether or not they're appropriate for that position. WHITFIELD: Ambassador Anthony Gardner, thank you so much.

GARDNER: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: President Trump calling his partial trade agreement with China, the "Greatest and biggest ever." But what's actually in it? We'll discuss.



WHITFIELD: President Trump took to Twitter today to tout his partial trade agreement between the U.S. China. Her wrote in part, the deal I just made with China is by far the greatest and biggest deal ever made for our great patriot farmers in the history of our country and other aspects of a deal are also great. Technology, financial services, 16, 20 billion Boeing planes, et cetera, but wow, the farmers really hit pay dirt. I'm joined now by White House Producer Kevin Liptak.

So, Kevin, the president describing this as a substantial phase one deal. But where is the specificity? What do we know about it?

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE PRODUCER: Well, what we do know is that this is partial deal. This is not the sweeping comprehensive trade agreement that Trump had once said that he was seeking with China. Instead it's something smaller. Something to ease tensions with China as negotiations continue. Some of the specifics of what our -- in this deal are not known. The deal is not paper yet, the president said it will take up to five weeks for that to be completed.

But what we do know, the president said China has agreed to a certain agricultural purchases. He says they're between 40 billion and $50 billion. Now, remember China has agreed to that in the past and they -- that hasn't materialized. So we'll have to watch that going forward. He says there's agreements on currency and intellectual property. What exactly those are, we don't know yet.

The president mentioned them in the Oval Office yesterday but we haven't seen any details on it yet. And finally the president has agreed to delay an increase in tariffs that was on Chinese products that was due to take effect next week. Now, what is not included in this deal is also important. There's no enforcement mechanism that we know of. That's something that the U.S. had insisted upon in previous negotiations.

The president said that will safe for a later round of negotiations now. We also know that there's -- the larger of structural changes to the way Chinese -- industrial polices handled some of the big changes that the U.S. had wanted in the Chinese economy, those are not included in this deal. The president says those will be safe for a later day, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right. Kevin Liptak, thank you so much. Appreciate that. All right. As recent poll shows, support for impeachment of the president is growing. Our Martin Savage went to a key election state here from Trump voters. What they said, next.



FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Recent polls show support is growing for President Trump's impeachment and removal from office, including this FOX News poll from this week showing support up to 51 percent.

But that same vulnerability doesn't seem to be as clear with his base.

CNN's Martin Savidge talked to voters in Florida.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Welcome to Orlando, Florida, not the land of make believe, but where people really live and vote. And we're talking to Trump voters about impeachment.

RICHARD DOMZALSKI, TRUMP VOTER: I don't think he's getting a fair deal out of it. I think it's very political.

SAVIDGE: Nearly three weeks into the formal congressional inquiry, polling shows a noticeable shift in the public's attitude towards impeachment. A Fox News poll released this week found 51 percent of registered voters supported President Trump's impeachment and removal from office.

We wanted to see if shifting polls suggest Trump vulnerability among his base in the swing region of a key state. For most, the short answer is no.

(on camera): It doesn't change your opinion of this president?

BRIAN BARNES, TRUMP VOTER: In this case, no. No.

SAVIDGE: And you don't believe he's done anything wrong or broken any sort of oath of office?

BARNES: In this case, no.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): On camera, no Trump voter would tell us the president should be impeached.

(on camera): Do you believe this president has used his office for political gain?

DOMZALSKI: In this particular case?


DOMZALSKI: I don't think so.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Most Trump voters we spoke with called the impeachment inquiry a sham put on by democrats followed by unsubstantiated claims. They downplay the president's phone call with the President of Ukraine that seems to seek dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.


(on camera): You've seen the transcript of the phone call: I'd like you to do us a favor.

DOMZALSKI: I've seen the transcript, but I haven't read the whole thing.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): But off camera, we did find Trump voters troubled by the president's actions. In fact, two admitted it was wrong but stopped short of calling for the president's removal.



SAVIDGE: At a "Latinos for Trump" rally outside Orlando, we found something that should concern the Trump administration. Though these Trump voters say they've heard nothing so far in the impeachment inquiry to change their support --

(on camera): Has this caused you to question or second guess your vote in '16?

NANCY ACEVEDO, TRUMP VOTER: Never, ever. We need Trump to be elected for four more years to make sure his agenda is completed.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): All we've spoke with did say the inquiry should continue.

(on camera): Do you want the process to at least go forward?

SERGIO ORTIZ, TRUMP VOTER: I want the process to go through the whole shebang.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Even as they work for Trump's reelection, these Trump voters say they reserve the right to change their mind.

(on camera): Is there something that come to light that would change your feelings?

MARIA SCOTOLONGO, TRUMP VOTER: Maybe. It depends what it is, what is truth.

SAVIDGE: There's no question that the impeachment inquiry has raised the level of political tension in this country to a whole new realm.

We've been talking to Trump voters for years now on all kinds of topics in all different places, but never have we had as much difficulty engaging or getting people to talk on camera with us on a subject more so than this one, impeachment. People are either so angry or so over it, they simply just don't want to talk.

Martin Savidge, CNN, Orlando.


WHITFIELD: And still no verdict in the murder trial of a Georgia police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man. This man was found running naked in a neighborhood. The police officer says he was a threat. Why some are comparing this case to the Amber Guyger trial in Dallas, next.



WHITFIELD: For the second time in roughly a week, an American jury is deciding the fate of a police officer charged with killing an unarmed black man. A Georgia jury resumes deliberations on Monday after failing to reach a verdict in the murder trial of Officer Robert Olsen, who shot and killed a named unarmed American war vet, Anthony Hill, who served in Afghanistan.

Officer Olsen is accused of killing of the 26-year-old Hill after responding to reports of a naked man acting, quoting now, "deranged, knocking on doors, and crawling around on the ground naked," end quote, according to police. Olsen opened fire after Hill charged at him and ignored the officer's calls for him to stop.

Here to discuss, Avery Friedman, a civil rights attorney and law professor, and Richard Herman, a criminal defense attorney.

Good to see you both.

AVERY FRIEDMAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Go to see you, Fredricka.


WHITFIELD: Avery, you first.

This case, you know, after the recent conviction of Dallas police officer, Amber Guyger, who shot and killed an unarmed black man, Botham Jean, in his home, the issue of threat or lack thereof is at the core of this Georgia case as it was in the Dallas case. How do you see it?

FRIEDMAN: Well, actually, I think you nailed the issue, Fredricka. This is a case in which Officer Olsen claimed that he was pummeled by Anthony Hill. There was no evidence of that. That is what Olsen told his colleague, Len (ph) Anderson, another office of Dekalb County. And there's no evidence to support it.

In the Guyger case, we never really accepted that Amber Guyger was being untruthful. She was forthright about things like that. And one thing juries don't like, one think juries don't like is officers lying. And that is a big one here, I think, that makes the difference in not guilty or guilty. I think this is an officer in a lot of trouble right now because of that statement alone, not being truthful with his colleague.

WHITFIELD: So, Richard, at issue is establishing the threat. When someone is unarmed, maybe they're acting erratically, many jurisdictions have protocol, means they're beyond words, use of a baton but not lethal force.


WHITFIELD: Is that what is at issue here?

HERMAN: Fred, it's really -- first of all, it's very difficult to convict a police officer. That's for starters. Let's go there first.

FRIEDMAN: That's right. That's right.

HERMAN: Secondly, this is not the Amber Guyger case. This is completely different. This man, he's responding to a 911 call where people are afraid.

So it's very easy in slow motion, as a Monday morning quarterback, to look at this and analyze it and take your time and think about all of these other -- the officer pulls up on a 911 call, gets out of his car. There's this guy running around naked. He sees the police officer. He starts charging the police officer. The police officer gives him two commands, stop, stop.

And we know what happens, Fred, from all these years. When you ignore a command from a police officer, nothing good is going to happen.

Now, the officer, the argument is he felt - he reasonably felt fear that he was going to be severely injured and harmed and --


WHITFIELD: And harmed.

HERMAN: -- the rational --


HERMAN: -- for him taking his gun out.


WHITFIELD: Right. But he's unarmed and --


WHITFIELD: And, Richard, what's been revealed --


WHITFIELD: -- according to loved ones, is that this young man suffered from mental illness. And perhaps --

HERMAN: The police officer didn't know that.

WHITFIELD: -- off medical or on medication, it had something to do with his medication. FRIEDMAN: Right.

WHITFIELD: It might help explain this erratic behavior. And, you know, looking at the video here of that kind - some examples of his behavior, is it then incumbent upon a police officer to a certain extent to be able to observe, what's erratic, may not necessarily mean threatening behavior?



FRIEDMAN: Oh, that's a very important issue here. Very important.

Let me just say this quickly, that when it came to the failure of dispatch to explain the mental illness, we know Olsen knew, at the end of the day, the default should be, what can I do short of lethal force.

He talked about training, Fredricka. Training deals with looking at those alternatives short of this fatal approach. And that's where Olsen, I believe, is in a world of trouble.

WHITFIELD: So, Richard --

HERMAN: The officer --

WHITFIELD: -- there's video tape. I mean, how much does that play into the decision making? Clearly, the jury --


WHITFIELD: -- is still deliberating. But, you know, how impactful is having this kind of video along with the explanation of actions, thinks that the jury --

HERMAN: It's amazing --


WHITFIELD: -- finds difficult, you know --


HERMAN: It's amazing, Fred. In fact, that's just what the jury looked at Friday before they deliberated for the weekend.

FRIEDMAN: That's right.

HERMAN: People had cell phones and they took videos of this. So if the jurors -- if the defense is substantiated by the videos, you're going to get an acquittal here.

And you can talk about all these least-restrictive means, a baton or pepper spray or a martial-arts takedown. The officer did not know this man was suffering from mental illness. He didn't know he didn't take his meds that day.

He was responding to a 911 call. He gets out of his car, this guy sees him, is running at him. He commands him twice, stop, stop. OK, he wasn't armed. There are --


HERMAN: But is happened so fast, Fred, it's so fast, you have to make a quick decision. And if the jury believes that the officer reasonably fears, they're going to acquit him.

And, Fred, I think there's going to be an acquittal in this case.

WHITFIELD: So the jury has to believe --

FRIEDMAN: He felt, oh, my goodness.

WHITFIELD: -- the officer felt threatened by the man who had no clothes on, and --


HERMAN: Charging him.

WHITFIELD: -- according to any of the witnesses, didn't appear to be holding a weapon. And the jury now has to really get into the head of the officer to have a clear understanding about --

HERMAN: Yes, exactly.

WHITFIELD: -- the kind of threat that he felt.

FREIDMAN: They did - Fredricka, they did that -- that Georgia Bureau of Investigation tape provided the opportunity for Officer Olsen to say whether he was in fear of mortal danger or serious bodily injury. He never says it. It wasn't fear. He defaulted back to training. And that's, I think, pivotal, critical in what the jury is going to do here.

Richard may be thinking acquittal. I don't see it that way at all.

WHITFIELD: All right, Richard, Avery --

HERMAN: You could have a hung jury, too, Fred. One or two jurors could --


FRIEDMAN: Yes, that's possible --


HERMAN: You may have a hung jury next week.


HERMAN: You may have a hung jury.

WHITFIELD: Tough to call. OK. They go back to resuming deliberations on Monday.


WHITFIELD: Richard and Avery, thank you.

HERMAN: Thanks, Fred.

FRIEDMAN: Good to see you. Bye-bye.

WHITFIELD: And this breaking news out of New Orleans where part of a building has collapsed. We'll show you stunning video from the moment it began crashing down.



WHITFIELD: Following breaking news out of New Orleans now. At least one person is dead and three people are missing after several floors collapse at a Hard Rock Hotel that's under construction there.




WHITFIELD: That was the incredible moment in which part of the collapse happened. This video just coming in. Witnesses describe hearing the huge rumble. It looks like, from the vantage point, people were on the trolley that just happened to go through the area when they saw this collapse. At least 13 people were taken to the hospital.

Right now, fire officials say the biggest fear is that a crane might collapse there as well.


TIM MCCONNELL, SUPERINTENDENT, NEW ORLEANS FIRE DEPARTMENT: The building is unstable, so a collapse is still possible, further collapse of the building. Our biggest fear is the crane, 270 foot. The reach of that, if it was to come down. There's a tremendous weight on it that works to support the crane as it stretches out. The weight on the end of it is tremendous. It weighs several tons.


WHITFIELD: Oh, my gosh. We'll keep you posted on that situation, breaking story from New Orleans when we get more information.

Meantime, firefighters in southern California are working to get a fast-moving out-of-control wildfire contained. The Saddleridge Fire has forced 100,000 people from their homes. So far, 31 homes have been destroyed and more than 7500 acres have burned.

CNN correspondent, Paul Vercammen, is tracking the latest in Granada Hills, California.

Paul, firefighters appear to be gaining some ground, but what are the conditions like?

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you're right, Fredricka, tremendous progress. You can see the police line. Just moving a little bit in the winds behind me. The winds have calmed down. We're starting to feel moisture come back into the air.

Right over here, you can see this emergency management engine. They're going to go in there, through the neighborhoods where we had a loss of homes.

What's super important today is they make sure none of this ash gets blown into the air, sparks up again, restarts the fire. We are not seeing any huge leading edge or flank of flame now.

But, again, the story is the homeowners that did lose their house, quite often, the fires can be very tough on older seniors. Fortunately, the 91-year-old widow who lived here got out with her life. Her son lived below her. He was saying one of the things about his mom is she's just very resilient and so happy to get out alive.

We talked to another homeowner that lost his house. He had just paid off his mortgage.


JERRY DERRICK, HOMEOWNER: Devastated. I don't know what to tell. I made a last payment, I was happy the House was paid off, I didn't have to worry about the payment anymore, and this happened.


VERCAMMEN: As you look at the home destroyed behind me. They say containment is now 19 percent. Firefighters have a tendency to sometimes sort of low ball the number. They can't always update it because they're busy fighting the fire. We expect that containment number to jump dramatically.

Let's give you a sense, Fred, of how sometimes fires can be whimsical. This house completely destroyed. And then one over, standing. Relief. The people that own this just so thrilled to see it was here but feeling bad about what happened to their neighbors.


And coming up next hour, we'll talk to a homeowner right in this cul- de-sac who had an extremely close call. But we saw this. Firefighters made some heroic stands.

Yes, they lost some homes, but it's almost impossible to calculate how many they saved with just great structure protection, putting out trees that were on fire so they couldn't spark and catch other homes. We'll give you a sense of that next hour.

Back to you -- Fred?

WHITFIELD: Extraordinary. Yes, extraordinary work that those firefighters are doing.

Paul Vercammen, thank you so much.

I'm quoting now, "You're leaving us to be slaughtered," end quote. Hear a U.S. ally's desperate plea as they can see they have no choice but turn to Russia now after feeling abandoned by the U.S. in Syria. CNN's exclusive reporting, next.



WHITFIELD: For the first time ever, someone has broken the two-hour mark in a marathon. And 34-year-old Eliud Kipchoge, from Kenya, crossing the finish line in Vienna at one hour, 59 minutes, 40 seconds, an average pace of 4:34 mile for 26.2 miles. Now this wasn't a sanctioned event, so not technically the world record, which Kipchoge also holds.

But look at the reaction.