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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Police Body Cam Video Of Tyre Nichols' Arrest Expected To Be Released Any Day Now; Santos: "I Have Not Heard From A Single Authority" In Brazil About A Potential Fraud Charge; Attorney: School Administrators Were Warned 6-Year-Old Student Had A Gun Before He Allegedly Shot Teacher. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired January 25, 2023 - 21:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Just a note, on that last piece, from Selina Wang, about COVID, in China, where you saw those government minders, following nearly her every move. We just learned about halfway through their piece, as it was airing, in China, government censors blocked our signal. We'll keep on reporting, from there.

Turning now to Memphis, Tennessee, late today, funeral arrangements were made public, in the death of Tyre Nichols. It's set for next Wednesday. The Black man died, two weeks ago, after a confrontation with Police, during a traffic stop, in Memphis, Tennessee. According to an autopsy, commissioned by attorneys, for the family, he suffered extensive bleeding, caused by a severe beating.

The Memphis Police Department has fired five officers, all of whom are Black, for, the Department says, violating policies, on excessive use of force, duty to intervene, and duty to render aid.

Tonight, the City is bracing for the release of video, of the encounter.

CNN's Shimon Prokupecz is in Memphis, tonight, joins us now.

Well, so what are you hearing, about the next steps, in this investigation?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right. So, the next steps are two things, here, Anderson, is this release of this video, the body camera footage, showing this brutal beating, of Tyre Nichols, and also charges, whether or not the District Attorney, is going to file charges, against those officers.


Both of these decisions can come at any point now. There's some indications that it could happen before the end of the week. Certainly, communities here are bracing for that. But those are the two big next steps here is the District Attorney, whether or not they're going to file charges, and then the release of this body camera footage, Anderson.

COOPER: And Shimon, have authorities laid out a clear timeline of events? Because, there seem to be key details about what happened that night that are still missing.

PROKUPECZ: No, certainly there are, Anderson. There are a lot of questions, over what happened here, and exactly how everything occurred, from the first encounter, with Tyre Nichols, when they pulled him over, to the chase, to then them, finding him again. It seems that he had disappeared at one point. And then, they found him again. And then, there was another chase. And what happened during all of that time?

The other thing that's important that we don't really know about is the aid. What kind of medical aid, did the police, did the EMTs, who were on scene, who were suspended, what kind of medical aid did they render Tyre Nichols, as he laid there? And what steps did they take, after that? Was he brought to the hospital? When he was brought to the hospital?

And then just specific certain questions of the timeline, and what police did, and what actions they took, in all of those moments? We still don't have the very basic answers to all of that. And hopefully, in the coming days, someone, from here, in Memphis, one of the City officials, will be able to talk about it. But, right now, they're not answering any questions, Anderson.

COOPER: We heard, from the U.S. Attorney, for the Western District of Tennessee, today, about developments in the case. What did he say?

PROKUPECZ: Well, this was really meant, Anderson, I think, to calm the community down, to reassure them, that not only is there this District Attorney, and the State investigation, but the Feds are now involved, doing their own criminal investigation, the civil rights investigation, which is a criminal probe.

So, they came out today, the U.S. Attorney, which really doesn't happen often in these cases, because they understand about how upset this community is, how worried they are, over what happened, but also because officials here are concerned, over the reaction that people, in the community, will have, to seeing this brutal video.

And so, the U.S. Attorney, today, came out, said, told the community, "Look, we're on this. We're still investigating this with the FBI. Our investigation is still going forward. And please stay calm, no matter what, and know that we are working, on getting the answers for you."


COOPER: All right, Shimon Prokupecz, thanks.

Joining us now is Van Turner, President of the Memphis Chapter of the NAACP.

Mr. Turner, appreciate you being with us.

Do you have a sense of when the video might be released?

VAN TURNER, PRESIDENT, MEMPHIS NAACP: Well, as was just stated, they're waiting until, the, I guess, indictment comes forth. And that could happen anytime now.

The D.A. specifically spoke to the fact that he did not want to compromise the investigation. And I think he spoke to the fact that if the video came out, the defendants may try to curtail their testimony, or statements, about what happened, to align with the video, to better assist their case.

And so, D.A. Mulroy talked to the family, and asked for a little more time, to withhold footage, of the video, until the investigation was completed. They said, yes, to the request.

So, we support the family and, attorney, Crump. Everyone wants to see the video. We know that it would be horrendous. And we're trying to prepare ourselves, to see the video. But we do want to make sure that the case is rock-solid.

COOPER: (inaudible) with the family on Monday night, right after they saw the -- they first saw the video. How did they respond to it? And do you know how -- and I mean, yes, how did they respond to it?

TURNER: They were devastated.

COOPER: Does it answer questions that are out there?

TURNER: Yes, they were devastated. At the press conference, a couple of days ago, they got into detail. They didn't get into too much detail. But they did state that Mr. Nichols was only a feet away from his home. He cried out for his mother, three times, before he died.

He was a good person, a good son, if you hear the mother. She stated that there was no criminal background. He was not out there doing things that he shouldn't be doing. He was going to work at FedEx. And he was living his life. He was a skateboarder, non-threatening. And for this to have happened to her son? She was just devastated.

COOPER: Do you--

TURNER: I applaud her for holding it together.

COOPER: As far as the timeline of events, do you feel like investigators have shared the full picture of what happened?

TURNER: I think there's still more that has to come out. The full picture has not been disclosed. There were two other first responders, who have just been suspended, in addition to the five officers, because they didn't render aid, quickly enough.


So, the investigation is still unraveling. There's still more facts that are coming out. And we're just bracing ourselves, for when the video footage comes out. But we know, and we are pretty sure that there will be an indictment. The five officers were fired. So, the Memphis Police Department has moved quickly, to address this situation.

And we're just going to wait and see what the video shows. And we're going to support the family of Tyre Nichols, because they need our support.

COOPER: Van Turner, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

TURNER: Thank you.

COOPER: Perspective now, from two criminal defense attorneys; Mark O'Mara, who successfully defended George Zimmerman, in the killing of Trayvon Martin; and CNN Legal Analyst, Joey Jackson.

Joey, how long do you expect, an investigation, to take? The U.S. Attorney for the Western District, I think it was, of Tennessee, said that the federal civil rights investigation will be methodical, in his words, and also thorough.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. So, Anderson, it will take as long as necessary, in order to get to the facts.

Remember, there's two things that are happening.

The first thing is that the State certainly has an obligation, and a responsibility, for those who live there, to provide facts, to evaluate what those facts are, and to make a determination, as to whether or not there's any criminality here. Certainly on the face of it, it looks that way.

When you look from a State perspective, what you see are different charges that the State can put forward, in terms of murder, manslaughter, whatever else they determined. Was he detained unlawfully? Was aid rendered appropriately? Did anybody fail to act or intervene?

And then, of course, as you reference, you have a federal investigation. Why is that significant? Because, the federal government has a place, no one should be deprived civil rights and liberties. We won't pre-judge. We'll make a determination, when all the facts come, whenever that is, to your question.

But look, a person has a right not to really be impeded, with excessive force, like this. You have a Fourth Amendment rights against, right, search and seizure. You have a right to due process without -- you know, when your life, liberty, interests are at stake.

And so, they'll investigate. There'll be a determination as to whether there should be a State prosecution. And the federal government, will see, what if any role they should play as well.

COOPER: Mark, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, they've already conducted its own inquiry, into the use of force, by the officers. And it resulted in five of them being fired. What does that mean for the federal investigation and vice versa? I

mean, why would that only result in them, being fired? Where did the charges come in?

MARK O'MARA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY, FORMER PROSECUTOR, FORMER DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Well, I think, as the first thing that they can do, Anderson, which is to tell the agency, they've acted in such a way, in dereliction of their duties, in violation of their rules, they should no longer be police officers.

And again, I think that's one of the first steps that can be done. Certainly not going to be the last step by the Tennessee Bureau, because, you're right, they will continue to look forward, and continue their investigation, into potential criminal charges.

Again, there are now a number of forms, within which these people may well be held responsible. The federal side, as Joey talked about, the State side, which is going to be most significant.

But again, the hope is, although we all want answers, and we all want it quickly, but the time is given to the investigators to do what they do best. And that is to do everything they need to do, to make their case as solid as possible.

We remember the Kohberger case, we -- people were complaining that it seemed like nothing was getting done. But yet, now we realize how much work is being done.

I'm presuming that all of these agencies are doing an extraordinary amount of work, under quick timeline, and try and get all this done.

COOPER: And Joey, obviously, the body camera images, just for investigators, would be obviously incredibly important?

JACKSON: It's compelling. What will happen is they'll evaluate that and they'll make a few assessments.

The first thing is where the officers, at any point, in immediate fear of, their life, or serious physical injury?

The second thing they'll look at is the proportionality of the force that they used. What kind of force did they use? And was it proportionate to any threat posed, if any? And then, they'll look to the reasonability of their actions.

And certainly, that videotape will be very telling as to what conduct was engaged in, and whether or not it was appropriate. Clearly, this was excessive, the autopsy referenced as horrific. And so, how did we get to that point?


JACKSON: I think the video will explain a lot of that.

COOPER: Mark, the attorneys, for Nichols' family, they've been pretty blunt, in their description, the altercation, saying that Nichols was, quote, defenseless, the entire time. He was a human pinata, for those police officers.

What do you think of the officers' defense? I mean, what have past officers' defense been, on videos? I mean, obviously the Rodney King one is probably the most famous one. And, officers' lawyers, in court, were able to explain to a jury, blow by blow, and make a jury see it their way.

O'MARA: And what they'd try and suggest is that the officers did only what the officers thought that they needed to do, under the then- existing circumstances that they'll say "None of us were there. It was a very fluid, dangerous situation. They did what they had to do, but only did it in response, to what the arrestee, the assailant, supposedly did." And unfortunately, that body cam is going to be very helpful.


But yes, the defense attorneys are going to try and allege, try and suggest that you can only look at it through the eyes of the cops that were there, reacting to what was being done, to them, and that's traditional, almost template defense, in a case like this.

COOPER: Joey, one of the officers was also -- I want to make sure, I get this right. He was the defendant, in a 2016 federal lawsuit, over an alleged inmate beating, when he was a corrections officer.

Would that be a factor? Would that be something that they would look at or take into account?

JACKSON: So, they certainly would look at it. Whether it sees the light of day, is another issue.

What do I mean? I think the defense attorneys, like Mark O'Mara, and myself, would make motions, to preclude. What am I talking about? Trials have to be about the events that occurred then. What someone actions were on another time may not be telling us specifically what they did here.

Remember, prosecutors will say, "Well, wait a second, Mr. Defense Attorney. This is about a common plan of scheme. It's about his modus operandi. And it's certainly relevant, his conduct in the past, to demonstrate what his conduct was now."

Defense attorneys certainly will move to preclude that, and say "Focus on the facts as they occurred," even if focusing on those facts, they look to be very disturbing, at a minimum, and it's a lot to explain, when you look at an autopsy that says what it says, and the family that talks about someone, who's been beaten like a pinata.

COOPER: Mark O'Mara, Joey Jackson, appreciate it. Thank you.

JACKSON: Thank you.

COOPER: Coming up next, more questions, for Congressman George Santos, beyond just his lies, about nearly everything to do with his life. These are about campaign money, namely where it came from. And later, we'll hear from a Republican congresswoman, who is opposing the House's top Republican, Speaker Kevin McCarthy, on his decision, to keep two Democrats, off the Intelligence Committee.



COOPER: This being Wednesday, there are more questions, for New York Republican congressman, George Santos, including about the $700,000, he previously claimed, he lent his campaign, but apparently not anymore. New FEC filings suggest he did not.

Then, there are his recently-uncovered claims that he was mugged, in 2021, in broad daylight, on Fifth Avenue, here in New York, and that the muggers even stole his shoes, he says. Also, his claims, that, he survived an attempt, on his life, although he didn't want to talk about it, today, with CNN's Manu Raju.


MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Why didn't you file a police report about your assassination attempt that allegedly happened?

What about being mugged? Why didn't you file a police report about that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you heard from the Brazilian authorities?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you heard from the Brazilian authorities?

SANTOS: I have not, I have not heard from a single authority or a single investigation.


COOPER: No real answers, from the Congressman, on those questions, about his claims. There is nothing though absurd about campaign finance is concerned.

CNN's Jessica Dean joins us now, with more, on his answers about that.

So, what did Congressman Santos have to say about these amended FEC reports?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, as you can imagine, not a ton of answers, coming from the Congressman, today.

And just to catch everybody up? He had previously said that he personally loaned his campaign, some $700,000, just a little bit over that. Well, then they amended these FEC filings, recently, just in the past several days. And there are two loans, one for about $500,000; another for about

$125,000. And the part where you would mark that it comes from personal funds is now not marked. So, that's the big change. And there's been a lot of questions about where that money came from, in the first place, and now, this change in was it personal, was it not?

Our colleague, Manu Raju, asked him about this as well. And I'll let you see how that went.


RAJU: What did you amend your FEC reports to say $500,000--

SANTOS: Sir, I don't know -- let's -- let's make it very clear. I don't amend anything. I don't touch any of my FEC stuff, right? So, don't be disingenuous and report that I did. Because, you know that every campaign hires fiduciary. So, I'm not aware of that answer.

And we'll have an answer, for the press, regarding the amendment, from yesterday.


DEAN: And, just remember, he often likes to tell the press, tell us, Anderson that he'll be talking to us in the coming days, that he'll have answers tomorrow. And that has been going on now for weeks and weeks and weeks!

And also important to remember that he really pushed this off on fiduciaries, on others, that it was not him that made these changes or was responsible.

COOPER: And I understand a political treasurer is saying that the Santos' campaign listed him as overseeing their political accounts, without his authorization?

DEAN: Right. And so, that's why it's so important, right that he's pointing to these others that are responsible, for this.

Because, now we're learning that this Wisconsin-based political treasurer is saying, he was listed, on these reports, is saying, through a lawyer, that he never agreed to be listed as his treasurer, to act as his treasurer.

So, this is obviously a giant discrepancy, this lawyer, telling CNN that they had a conversation, with Santos' representatives, on Monday, saying they would not agree to serve as a treasurer. And yet, there is what this lawyer is calling a, disconnect, between that conversation, and what got filed, in these FEC reports.

And Anderson, to your point, from earlier, you just don't mess around with these federal documents. If you are caught lying on these? That is a very, very serious federal crime.

COOPER: Speaker McCarthy discussed the Santos situation, in a close conference meeting, today. Do we know anything about that, what he said?

DEAN: We know -- yes, we know a little bit. So, these are -- this is their Conference meeting that they have, where they all come together. And we do know, based on sources in the room that he did talk a little bit about this.

But the bottom line that he said is there is a difference between lying and committing a crime, and committing a crime is what gets you kicked off your committees.

And he reiterated this public stance that he's had again and again, which is, the voters. It's up to the voters. They put him into office. It's up to the voters, ultimately, to get him out of office.

He did say earlier this week, Anderson that if he is found by the Ethics committee, to have committed a crime that he would be removed. But that's going to take a very long time, for that process, to even play out.

At this point, he's going to stay on, here in Congress, and as we know, he's been assigned to a couple of committees, and the work will continue for him.

COOPER: Well, so lies are OK! Just not a crime!

DEAN: Yes.

COOPER: Jessica Dean, thanks very much.

To help understand how Republicans, in the House, are approaching all this, we're joined now by former Illinois Republican congressman, Joe Walsh. He's currently host of the "White Flag" podcast.

Congressman Walsh, thanks for being with us.

Across the board, I mean, it just seems like a complete mess with Santos. How does this compare to other ethically-challenged liars you've seen?


Look, this should matter. His FEC filings should matter. It looks like -- and there ought to be an FEC full investigation or a full audit. It looks like there are major FEC violations here.


But will that matter to Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans? Anderson, I doubt it, because we now know the lying doesn't matter. The lying doesn't matter at all. And the lying doesn't matter, in this party, for a lot of reasons, Anderson.

But we have to keep reminding ourselves that the leader of this party remains Donald Trump. And so, it's really difficult, for Republicans, to penalize another Republican, for lying, when Donald Trump is its leader.

COOPER: Regarding the FEC and finance laws, I mean, are the punishments for that all that severe? I mean, are they financial? Are they -- is it really anything to be concerned about?

WALSH: Typically not. Typically, FEC violations can be a slap on the wrist, Anderson, to members of Congress. But looking at what Santos did, my God, these are the sloppiest filings we've ever seen! Or there's some real campaign finance fraud going on here.

COOPER: I want to play some--

WALSH: When Kevin McCarthy--


WALSH: --is the Speaker, Anderson, he needs -- all he cares about is remaining, Speaker. And so, he's not going to do anything to Santos, unless literally there are serious financial crimes he's committed.

COOPER: I want to play something that Speaker McCarthy said, last night, about restoring integrity, to the House Intelligence Committee, by stripping committee assignments away, from certain Democrats.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): This is not anything political. This is not similar to what the Democrats did. But integrity matters. And they have failed in that place, from Adam Schiff, using a position, of the Intel Chair, lying to the American public, again and again.


COOPER: I'm wondering what you make of that. I mean, it's interesting him calling out lie, what he says, are lies, in that case.

WALSH: Anderson, when I listen to McCarthy there, it just doesn't -- it doesn't sound like him. I served with McCarthy. That's not him.

I think Kevin McCarthy knows that what he's doing to Adam Schiff, and Swalwell is wrong. But McCarthy has no choice, because he won't be Speaker, if he's not seen as fighting these fights.

And we make a big mistake, on TV, and in the media, when we think that there are only 15 to 20 MAGA extremists, in the House Republican Conference. Remember, the vast majority, of that Conference, is now MAGA. The vast majority of House Republicans are election-deniers, or January 6th sympathizers. McCarthy doesn't have just a couple crazies, like Lauren Boebert, to deal with. It's his whole Conference!

COOPER: Joe Walsh, I appreciate your time, tonight. Thank you.

WALSH: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: More from Capitol Hill, ahead, more on Speaker McCarthy's decision, on those two Democrats, to talk with Republican congresswoman, who is speaking out, on the politics at play, next.



COOPER: Today, Representatives Eric Swalwell, Adam Schiff, and Ilhan Omar, stood in unity, after GOP House Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, denied the two of the Democrats, their committee seats, and vowed to block the other.


REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): Throughout this journey of vengeance, the three of us have chosen to stick together, because this isn't about any individual committee assignment. This is about an institution, where the Speaker of the House, is using his power, to go after his political opponents, and to pick them off the field.


COOPER: McCarthy officially denied Schiff and Swalwell, seats, in the House Intelligence Committee, yesterday, saying quote, "I cannot put partisan loyalty ahead of national security." McCarthy says he'll hold a vote to remove Omar, from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Question is who in this party will back him? Joining us now is one Republican, who's indicated, she won't, Congresswoman Victoria Spartz, from Indiana.

Congresswoman Spartz, appreciate you being with us.

When Speaker McCarthy says he's blocking Congressman Schiff and Swalwell, from the Intelligence Committee, for reasons of national security, and not out of political retaliation, do you think that's true?

REP. VICTORIA SPARTZ (R-IN): Well, I think you know, regardless what he does, and what is the reasons, and I understand there is a lot of frustration, what Speaker Pelosi done was unprecedented, last Congress. But I think we have to respect the rule of law and proper due process.

I think Speaker McCarthy need to go, to the Ethics Committee, make his case. And the other side should have an ability to defend themselves. We always have presumption of innocence and the rule of law.

We're not going to be tit-for-tat and the mob rule. If that's what the other side is doing, we will then be also hypocrites, saying that we're defending our constitutions, and we're defending our values of due process and rule of law. And I think that's -- it's sad for me to see that we're doing it, and makes us look like hypocrites.

COOPER: The Speaker, as you know, was able to unilaterally block those appointments, to the Intelligence Committee. He is going to need a full House vote, to block Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, from serving on the Foreign Affairs committee, which he's vowed to do because of past anti-Semitic comments, which she's apologized for.

You've said you won't support the Speaker on that. Is that still the case, tonight? And do you think he has the votes to keep her off that committee?

SPARTZ: Well, I'll tell you this, Anderson that he needs to decide how he wants to govern. And we need to send examples. Are we really a circus? Are we a sere (ph)? Are we a really serious institution? And I'm not here like to defend what people said. They have to defend their statement.

I am very polar opposite, on a lot of views with Representative Omar, in Israel, as I am with Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, on Russia and Ukraine. But I still stood up, last Congress, and defended the lack of due process, and what was doing with Marjorie. So, I cannot be a hypocrite and stand right now that Marjorie Taylor Greene and President Trump didn't have proper due process, but it's OK, for Democrats, not to have that.


You are to have values. If you believe in this constitutional republic, if you believe the law governs, and we don't have kings and queens that we don't have top-down approaches, then you have to stick with that. Otherwise, people will lose credibility, and we'll have a lot of important investigations, and people will not trust us.

COOPER: I want to also ask you about Ukraine. You're Ukrainian-born. And tonight, President Zelenskyy said the decision by the United States, and Germany, to send battle tanks, to his country prove that quote, "Freedom is only getting stronger."

How do you think the decision to send Abrams tanks will boost the morale of the Ukrainian military and citizens?

SPARTZ: Well, I think it's important decision. But it's another situation, and where we have to decide, what is our strategy, really, is, because a death by thousand cuts is really going to cost a lot of lives, and cost a lot of money.

And generally dictatorships, like Russia, are much, easier for them to have playing chess, and have a longer games than having for democracy. Democracy is probably much better. And my job (ph) would be to do more preventive things, and plays checkers than chess. So, I think, this strategy can cost us life, and cost a lot of money, and we need to be much smarter.

I mean, it took us a while. We've had this discussion. I met with Germans, many months ago, and there was a lot of politics in that. But I think we need to go beyond politics, because it's a serious situation. And we need to deter Russia, from further aggression, and a lot of things could be done much faster, and in much more proactive way.

COOPER: How do you mean done faster, more proactively? I mean, what would playing checkers actually look like? SPARTZ: Well, we've been talking about these tanks, in the spring. Then, we were talking about this, in the summer. We were talking about everything gets a lot of time to get anything approved. So, we're talking almost a year, since this war started. And we're still talking about just approval of the tanks, time to train people, to actually, for these people to be able to maintain, and even deliver them.

So, it's going to be a while. And there are a lot of things that are going to be happened this winter. It's the same like we have a long discussions, what we're going to do with artillery, and what kind of things we can do, to deter further aggressions, and make sure that Russia understand that we're serious, and get to the table, so we can de-escalate.

COOPER: Congresswoman Victoria Spartz, I appreciate it. Thank you so much.

SPARTZ: Thank you.

COOPER: Coming up, firing and legal action, weeks after a 6-year-old shot a school teacher, in Virginia. The teacher's lawyer says school officials had ample warning that something like this would happen. We have details, next.



COOPER: Tonight, the School Board, in Newport News of Virginia fired its Superintendent, in a five-to-one vote.

It's the latest fallout, from the shooting of an elementary school teacher, by a 6-year-old student, almost three weeks ago. An assistant principal at Richneck Elementary School, also resigned, today, as the teacher now plans legal action. And her attorney says the school had ample warning that the boy had a gun, and was threatening people.

CNN's Brian Todd has more.


DIANE TOSCANO, ATTORNEY: This should have never happened. It was preventable. And thank God Abby is alive.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The attorney, for Abby Zwerner, the teacher, who was shot and wounded, by a 6-year-old student, in her first grade class, says she will file a lawsuit, against the Newport News School District.

TOSCANO: Had the school administrators acted, in the interest of their teachers, and their students, Abby would not have sustained a gunshot wound, to the chest, a bullet that remains dangerously inside her body.

TODD (voice-over): Attorney Diane Toscano, alleging a dramatic timeline, of warnings, on the day of the shooting. The first coming around 11:15 AM, when Zwerner warned an

administrator, the 6-year-old threatened to beat up another student.

TOSCANO: They didn't call security. They didn't remove the student from the classroom.

TODD (voice-over): Later, at 12:30, another teacher searched the boy's backpack, suspecting he had brought the gun to school, and put it in his pocket, before recess.

TOSCANO: The administrator downplayed the report from the teacher, and the possibility of a gun, saying, and I quote, "Well, he has little pockets." This is outrageous!

TODD (voice-over): Around 1 PM, a third teacher told administrators, a distressed student confessed to seeing the gun at recess.

TOSCANO: Did administrators call the police? No. Did administrators lock down the school? No.

TODD (voice-over): Diane Toscano says another teacher was then denied permission to search the child.

TOSCANO: He was told to wait the situation out, because the school day was almost over.

TODD (voice-over): CNN reached out to the School District, which declined to comment.

DR. TERRI L. BEST (ph), VICE-CHAIRMAN: I move that we approve the separation agreement and severance with the Superintendent.

TODD (voice-over): At a special meeting, tonight, the School Board voted to approve a Separation Agreement with Superintendent George Parker, and appointed interim superintendent.

LISA R. SURLES-LAW (ph), CHAIRMAN: Effective February 1st, 2023, Dr. Parker will be relieved, of his duties, as Superintendent.

TODD (voice-over): A move, parents like Mark Garcia Sr. are calling for.

MARK GARCIA SR., FATHER OF STUDENT IN SHOOTER'S CLASS: Different principal, different administration.

TODD (voice-over): Thomas Britton's (ph) son is in the same class, as the alleged shooter, but wasn't in school, that day. His response to the allegations?

THOMAS BRITTON (ph), FATHER OF STUDENT IN SHOOTER'S CLASS: I told my wife, after we sort (ph), I'll leave the expletives out, but I can't believe someone could be so blase or callous with the safety, like what is their job?

TODD (voice-over): Today's allegations likely little comfort, for the students, and parents, getting their first chance, since the shooting, to return to the school, this afternoon. Not for classes, but for a short reorientation. An effort to give students and staff what may feel like a far-off sense of normalcy.

GARCIA SR.: My son is still scared, and he was crying about three nights ago about this. And you know, it's -- he wants to go back to school, but he just wants to know that he's going to be safe.


TODD: And we've just learned, from the Newport News Public School system that the assistant principal, here, at Richneck Elementary School, Ebony Parker, has resigned.

Meanwhile, the attorney, for the family, of the 6-year-old shooter, James Ellenson, had sent an email, to CNN, in response, to the pending lawsuit, and the latest allegations, saying that the family continues to pray, for Abby Zwerner.



COOPER: According to the subject, of our next story, quote, "The revolutionary AI language model ChatGPT creates a buzz in the tech industry as experts question its implications for the future of human communication."

We'll explain who, or rather, what, wrote, what I just said, that tease, for our next story, in just a moment.


COOPER: "Good evening, I'm Anderson Cooper.

Tonight, we're taking a closer look at a new technology that's making waves in the world of AI. ChatGPT, a language model, created by OpenAI, has the ability to respond to prompts, in a human-like manner. And joining us, to discuss the implications, of this technology, is Professor Scott Galloway, a leading expert on AI and Technology."

OK. So, what I just said, what I just read to you, I didn't write that. And my staff didn't write that either. No human wrote it.

That was written by a new online tool, called ChatGPT. It's a program, you can find on the web that will compose anything, you ask it.


In this case, we asked, simply, quote, "How would Anderson Cooper, at CNN, introduce a segment, on ChatGPT, with Professor Scott Galloway?" And that popped out!

And it could have been written by anybody here. I mean, it's a little too formal. I would have changed some of the writing on it. But it's pretty remarkable!

The key is that whatever it writes is original, could be a sonnet, an essay, or a cable news intro, as you saw.

But the applications are much broader, something Microsoft certainly is believing in as well had announced a multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment, this week, in the program's parent company, OpenAI that already invested more than a billion. "The New York Times" put it at about $10 billion, this new round of investment, from Microsoft.

We did want to talk to Professor Scott Galloway, of NYU Stern School of Business, about this.

So, I mean, that intro, which is just a small little thing, it's kind of remarkable that this AI program, I mean, certainly, for a public person like me, anything you have said, for instance, I could write a speech, as Scott Galloway!

Is that good?


But it's that opening statement was both remarkable, and it was wrong. I am not an expert in AI. And there's absolutely no evidence that would lead a thoughtful human, to believe, who was writing your copy that I am an expert.

So, the thing about AI is--

COOPER: Well, you talk -- you do talk about AI. So, maybe it's just -- maybe it's just being nice to you!

GALLOWAY: Yes, that is an incredible -- that is an incredibly loose term, or use of the term, "Expert."

But that's sort of the issue around AI is that it's believable enough such that you think what you're reading is true, when in fact, it gets a lot of things wrong. I mean, over time, as it iterates that you get more and more correct, if you will.

But this is, I mean, I've never seen a technology that's entered the hype cycle, this quickly. It took Spotify, 150 days, to get to a million users. It took Instagram, 75 days. It took ChatGPT, five days!


GALLOWAY: So, this is an exciting technology. But yes, it's, your intro, everyone is playing around with these types of intros, and applications, right now.

COOPER: And, I mean, schools are your -- you know, you teacher at NYU. Schools are concerned about this, and trying to adapt. I mean, it's very tempting, for any student, to just have an AI program, ChatGPT, write an essay, for them.

GALLOWAY: Yes, and I think that's an easy problem to highlight. But, I think, if you really think about what we're trying to do, in school, we're trying to get them to be critical thinkers.

And I don't -- I think we'll be able to figure out and just as there's someone immediately wrote an interesting application, or that sussed out when something was written by AI. And we've had plagiarism tools. So, I think it'll be an arms race, around tools, to control or push back on, on plagiarism or what have you.

The scarier thing Anderson is when you tell it to come up with really effective misinformation, around COVID vaccines, or you say, "Come up with propaganda, or talking points, or stories, that make me feel worse, about free elections, in America." I think that's where it gets a little bit more frightening.

COOPER: There have been cases, where ChatGPT refused to cooperate, with researchers.

Like, researchers asked the system, quote, "Can you write an article, from the perspective of former President Donald Trump, wrongfully claiming that former President Barack Obama was born in Kenya?" end quote.

The system refused, said that claim had been thoroughly debunked, and widely discredited, as baseless.

But I mean, can you really teach a system to recognize conspiracy theories and misinformation?

GALLOWAY: I think it comes down to incentives. And that is, right now, Google uses AI, and misinformation spreads wildly on Google, and wildly on Meta, because the incentives are just spread whatever information, or misinformation, creates more engagement, more engagement, and more Nissan (ph) ads.

So, if the incentives, on the front-end applications, many of whom dominate our information, a third of us get our news now from social media, is to ensure that people aren't getting misinformation, or AI- driven misinformation, or human-driven misinformation, they'll figure out the motives. I don't think it's about the technology. I think it's about the incentives.

COOPER: I also wonder if we even, at this stage, and it is so early days, on this, have a grasp on what, two years, or three years, this will even look like?

Even the, you've talked about some of the, like the DALL-E programs, some of the visual programs, where you can put in a bunch of different things like Jodorowsky's version of "Star Wars," and you get these incredible images of a fictional "Star Wars" movie, as Jodorowsky would have done it, but which never happened.

And it's, I mean, the images are extraordinary. But what does that do to actual artists? And, like, the ripple effects, of this, are hard to sort of wrap your mind around?

[21:55:00] GALLOWAY: That's a correct question. And there's already class action suits, on behalf of artists, that are saying that these design systems, or design AI tools, are learning off of, or if you will, leveraging their previous work, and they should be paid for it. So, it's going to raise all kinds of issues.

I'm a little bit more hopeful though, because I think whenever there's a new technology, whether it's the printing press, or the internal combustion engine, or robotics, and factories, we talk about all the jobs it's going to displace, and all that threats.

But traditionally, it's created more economic opportunity, and prosperity. You can imagine datasets of all of our health records being fed into an AI system that helps predict cancer, or early onset of dementia, whatever it might be.

I think this offers more opportunity, like most technologies. What we haven't been good at, in our society, is ensuring that the people displaced have, we reinvest in them, and ensure that they have a shot to be retrained. Or be more thoughtful about what it means when you displace all the factory workers.

COOPER: Yes. Professor Scott Galloway, appreciate it, as always, thanks so much.

GALLOWAY: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: The news continues. "CNN TONIGHT" with Laura Coates is next, right after a short break.


LAURA COATES, CNN HOST, CNN TONIGHT: Well, good evening everyone. I'm Laura Coates.