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At This Hour

Three Arkansas Officers Suspended After Arrest Beating Video; Dallas Gets Summer's Worth Of Rain In Less Than 24 Hours; Russia Accuses Ukraine Of Killing Daughter Of Major Putin Ally. Aired 11- 11:30a ET

Aired August 22, 2022 - 11:00   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. AT THIS HOUR, shocking video of three Arkansas officers beating a man during an arrest. Plus, Dallas underwater, torrential rain flooding one of America's biggest cities. And new questions and accusations about who is behind the car bomb that killed the daughter of one of Putin's close allies. This is what we're watching AT THIS HOUR.

Thank you so much for being here. I'm Kate Bolduan. It was a violent arrest in Arkansas. And part of that arrest was caught on video. A warning, it may be tough to watch. It shows two deputies and a police officer repeatedly beating a suspect in the face. It is tough to see kneeing him in the side and in the back as they're leaning all of them on top of him. This all happened outside a convenience store in Mulberry Arkansas.

The local sheriff now says the suspect who is now in jail was wanted for allegedly threatening a gas station clerk in a neighboring town. All three officers are suspended or on administrative leave. And an investigation into the arrest is now underway. CNN's Omar Jimenez is here with a closer look at all of this. So Omar, the man was taken to a hospital treated now as I mentioned, he's in jail. But what more are you learning about what happened here?

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, for starters, I mean the video, it's ugly. It's hard to watch as that plays out. And the central question that I think is at the top of everyone's minds when you watch that is was that amount of force necessary especially with those three law enforcement officers there and it's also the question at the center of a now state investigation into how an initial call for allegedly being spit on and threatened ended like this.


JIMENEZ (voice-over): Three Arkansas law enforcement officers have been removed from duty after this video showing them hitting a man outside a store in Mulberry Arkansas was posted to social media. The officers are seen punching and mean the suspect repeatedly and later arresting him. In the video a woman not seen can be heard screaming to stop beating him telling the officers he needs his medicine. And officer points and yells at her to back up.

The person who posted the video says her sister witnessed the altercation. The two Crawford County deputies were suspended and the Mulberry police officer placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated. Police say the man in the video is 27-year- old Randall Worcester of Goose Creek, South Carolina. They accused him of threatening and spitting on a gas station attendant in a nearby town.

The clerk then called the police. Worcester then rode a bike to the county express convenience store in Mulberry where he was arrested outside the store. One witness tells CNN affiliate KHBS it looks like the man got up to run away to avoid arrests, but the sheriff claims he got up to attack an officer. Worcester is being held to the county jail on multiple charges including first degree assault and second degree battery. It's unclear whether he has an attorney.

The Crawford County Sheriff's Office released a statement writing, I hold all my employees accountable for their actions and will take appropriate measures in this matter. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson tweeted the local arrest incident in Crawford County will be investigated pursuant to the video evidence and the request of the prosecuting attorney.


JIMENEZ: Now, we still don't know what exactly led up to when this video cut in but obviously very disturbing to see. The local sheriff says that the state has opened an investigation into this but that investigation will really just focus on the use of force aspect, just the physical aspect of that. From there, once that's over, it could be turned over to the county prosecutor and that's when any potential decision on charges would be made. But of course, just watching the video it's horrific to watch.

BOLDUAN: Yes, there's -- but -- as you're as you're making a very good point there could be a long road ahead before there's real answers here. It's good to see Omar. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Joining me now for more on this is CNN senior law enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey. He's a former Philadelphia Police Commissioner of course and former D.C. police chief, also here with us retired Los Angeles Police Sergeant Cheryl Dorsey. Thank you both for being here. Chief, we don't know what happened before this video. Omar laid out that very clearly. But what do you see?

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, certainly looking at the video it appears to forces that bested beyond what's needed. Now whether or not it was necessary to have any level of force, it depends on the situation. Officers have the right and the ability to use force to affect an arrest. The issue is whether it's too much force. And when you look at the one officer kneeing individual in the head, punching him in the face even lifting his head and pushing him into the pavement that is beyond what's necessary.

[11:05:08] And so that's a case that obviously has to be thoroughly investigated. I don't know if the officers wearing body cameras to see, you know, another angle or what was going on. But certainly it is very, very troubling to see that sort of thing going on, again, primarily, the attack of the face and head area of the individual.

BOLDUAN: Sergeant, this is underway -- under investigation now, as Omar laid out. The governor has put out a statement saying, really that the local arrest incident in Crawford County will be investigated pursuant to the video evidence and the request of the prosecuting attorney. What questions do you have for these officers?

CHERYL DORSEY, RETIRED LAPD POLICE SERGEANT: Well, you know, I'm not really sure I have a question for the officer. The video speaks for itself. But I mean, why, what sort of resistance noncompliance was this person putting forth that would warrant the kind of abuse. And listen, this was just punishment, Kate, this was not about taking this young man into custody. We don't see at any point one of those officers reach for handcuffs to try to get this man into custody, we don't see them do anything other than punish him. And listen, you have three officers from two different agencies who were unbothered by witnesses who are recording this excessive use of force.

They themselves assaulted and battered this young man. And they didn't even have impulse control enough. When one woman yelled, stop, he needs medication to do just that. Rather, they warned her and continued to smash his head into the ground, kick and punch him unnecessarily. This was over the top outrageous and egregious.

BOLDUAN: Chief, when we talk about violent police encounters, you have often said to me, at least two things come to question in mind, is it necessary? And is it proportional? How do you know if it's necessary and proportional when it comes to something like this?

RAMSEY: Well, we don't have the beginning of this to know whether or not it was necessary to even begin with taking him to the ground or whatever, but proportionality based on the amount of level of resistance to overcome that resistance. And as the sergeant mentioned, you know, he looks more like he's in a defensive posture, which any of us would be if you're being punched in the face and head and being kneed in the side as opposed to actual resisting.

And so when you look at it, you look at the totality of circumstances, it may be necessary to use some level of force. But here, was it proportional? I would say no. And was it objectively reasonable? And I would say no to that as well.

BOLDUAN: Sergeant, the fact that just -- the simple fact that there are three people on top of one person here, I mean, does that kind of change the calculation that you should have when you're thinking about the use of force?

DORSEY: Well, listen, I mean, we always want the numbers to be on our side when we encounter someone, particularly if you wind up grappling with an individual, and this is someone who was purported to be mentally ill. And sometimes they have the strength that someone said earlier of 10 man, and so I get it. But at the same time, one officer could have been responsible for cuffing this individual. And the other two could have been subduing him, not punishing him, not beating him.

These are officers who were drunk with power. And whatever went on before this video started certainly has nothing to do with the assault and battery that these officers inflicted on this on this gentleman.

BOLDUAN: I was actually going to ask you, then, Chief about that. Do you think there is an action or something that could have happened ahead of this video that would justify what's on this video from these officers?

RAMSEY: No, not what's on the video. Now, it may justify some level of force being necessary to take him into custody, but it escalated way beyond what it was needed at the time when you're looking at that video. That's my issue. We don't know what happened just prior that would cause them that use any level of force. And I'm not saying that he was going to just, you know, peaceably go get into custody. We don't know the answer to that.

But when you look at the video and you see the punches to the head, you see the lifting of the head and pushing it into the pavement, the meaning of the individual and so forth. That's where it becomes excessive. Again, an officer can use force to effect an arrest. The issue is how much is too much. And when you look at that video, clearly it goes beyond what was needed.

BOLDUAN: Chief thank you, Sergeant thank you so much for being here.

Let's go down to Dallas, where torrential rain over the last 24 hours has led to some dangerous flash floods just look at this video sweeping away dozens of cars, roads, highways, bridges underwater and clearly impassable in some regard. CNN's Ed Lavandera, he's live in Dallas, he's tracking all of this for us. Ed what do you see, I mean overnight, it was terrifying. What are you seeing now?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, it has been a brutal overnight hours. And this morning, authorities here in the Dallas are area urging people to stay off the roadways. This is the kind of thing -- this is an underpass of a bridge here just on the edge of southern downtown Dallas. You can see probably there in the distance, two cars submerged here, a third one had been washed out at some point.


And you can see the runoff, Kate, just from the amount of rainfall. This is the amount of rain that's coming off and washing off the roadways here down into this underpass here. And scenes like this are playing out all over the city, there have been hundreds of people stranded on roadways, roadways, turning into rivers this morning, as the amount of rainfall that is falling here has really simply been stunning.

In the last 24 hours, the amount of rainfall that has fallen here in the Dallas area has totally been surpassed the amount of rain that we would normally get in any summertime condition. So this is an area that has been plagued in devastated by droughts for months and months. And all of that, you know, has been kind of culminating with this, with this amount of rainfall essentially. That seems like washing all of that away. Kate.

BOLDUAN: Yes, I mean, we know that Texas needed rain, but not this much in this short period of time. It's really amazing. We can hear that rushing water on your microphone. I thought it was still raining, Ed, that's just that running water coming off over your shoulder. That's amazing.

LAVANDERA: Oh, it's still raining too. Don't worry about that.

BOLDUAN: That led up as well. It's good to see you Ed. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

Coming up for us, a car bomb kills the daughter of a major Putin ally. Russia now blaming Ukraine for her murder, details on what is known and what is not known in a live report next.



BOLDUAN: And what may prove to be a major escalation between Russia and Ukraine, Russia is now accusing Ukraine's intelligence officers of carrying out an assassination of the daughter of a prominent Putin ally. She was killed in a car bombing on Saturday night, near the Russian capitol. CNN's Fred Pleitgen is live in Moscow with details on this. Fred, what is the latest here?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Russian Intelligence Service, Kate, the FSB is blaming -- the Ukrainian Intelligence Services, they say that a Ukrainian woman working for Ukraine's Intelligence Service entered Russia then took up an apartment in the building that Daria Dugina, who's the woman who was killed, also lived in and then a couple of days later assassinated her and then managed to make an escape to Estonia. That's as far as the Russian side is concerned.

Now, Daria Dugina is the daughter of a very prominent Kremlin ideologue who said to be very close to Vladimir Putin. His name is Alexander Dugin also very much in favor of Russia's military operations in Ukraine. And he said the following he's obviously extremely angry. He said, quote, our hearts yearn for more than just revenge or retribution. It's too small, not the Russian way. We only need our victory. My daughter laid her maiden life on her altar. So win, please.

Obviously calling for an escalation in Russia's military operation in Ukraine, and he's not alone in that, there's other prominent Russians were calling for that as well. The Ukrainians for their part are absolutely shooting this down denying that they had any role in this. In fact, the senior adviser to Ukraine's presidential administration came out and said that the claims being made by Russia showed that Russia lives in a fictional world. Nevertheless, you're absolutely right, Kate, that this could lead to another serious escalation.

BOLDUAN: It's good to see you, Fred, thank you so much for that.

Joining me for more on this is CNN senior global affairs analyst, Bianna Golodryga, and CNN counterterrorism analyst, Phil Mudd, he's a former FBI senior intelligence adviser. So Bianna, Fred, lays out what is known, which also is so much that is not known still about this. Russia now accusing Ukraine of being behind this may not be surprising. I'm sure you were waiting for that statement to come out as well. But the fact that they are taking this step of making the Kremlin is making this public pronouncement now. It means what?

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN SENIOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, look, I think they didn't have a choice. This happened in the middle of Moscow, right, in live television. And so you see these images of this burning car, they had to respond and they can't deny it. And she is a well-known figure, not as well known internationally, I would say are within Kremlin walls, as her father was. But she's also a journalist who espouse similar ideological, ultra nationalist views.

I think, given the fact that this is now less than 48 hours, and we already have an open and shut case by the FSB is worth questioning, especially when you look back at all of the unanswered investigations of the murders of those Kremlin critics, which still remain unanswered. And quickly, we have a resolution here and all fingers are pointing from the FSBs direction to Ukraine. And listen, anything is possible. But the fact that this woman they're accusing of being a Intel agent from the Ukrainians traveling to Moscow with her 12-year- old daughter, somehow managing to get a car bomb underneath that car and detonating it and getting to Estonia. That is something that I think is worth raising a lot of questions about it in terms of how serious that allegation really is.

BOLDUAN: I mean, absolutely, I mean, just on its face, you absolutely have to question I mean, Phil, we don't know who's behind it, or even who the target really was. But what could be -- what could the possible motivation be here if the target was Daria or her father?

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: That's where I'm with Bianna. I'm skeptical of what the Russians are saying. That's where I'm stumbling, Kate, and that is trying to figure out why someone would do this. From the outside, the explanation might be simple. Someone wanted to attack an ultranationalist target in Russia. But if you are in the Ukrainian Security Services, there's some major questions that you'd have to ask.

Number one, why are you galvanizing public support for Putin? Why would you do that? What's the endgame here? And what did you actually gain? There is a second issue here and that is there are legal problems beyond the ethical legal problems we're dealing with a security service that commits an act of terrorism. This isn't just murder, it is technically an act of terrorism, it makes it much it would make it much more difficult for the Americans to work with the Ukrainian security services. If it turns out to be true that somebody in those services did this. I don't believe that. Obviously, I don't have a lot of detail. But I really question as to beyond whether the initial Russian explanation is true. It doesn't make sense, Kate?


BOLDUAN: Yes. Bianna, you talked about Daria. I mean, there's been a lot that's been said about her father, Alexander Dugin, and what he has meant in means to Putin, but who is he?

GOLODRYGA: He's a philosopher who goes back many decades, some work that he put together in a book that was picked up by the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin, obviously, in the last 10 years, that espouses this Russia of the past, Russia is an empire or Eurasian empire that that spans from Dublin, all the way through to Siberia, and that this is an empire that can't coexist with the West. And this empire includes a Russian speaking Ukraine that has no business of being an independent country.

So I wouldn't necessarily call him Putin's brain, or he himself that close to the Kremlin. But these views, this ideology is clearly something that Putin picked up on that he believes in and espouses himself and what ultimately led to the initial illegal 2014 annexation of Crimea.

KOTB: And Phil so Ukraine's President Zelenskyy, he spoke about this in one of his addresses to the Ukrainian people over the weekend. I want to play for you a portion of what he said in reference to this.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINE PRESIDENT (through translator): We should be aware that Russia may try to do something particularly disgusting and particularly violent next week, that's our enemy. But Russia was doing something disgusting and violent every week, during those six months, constantly.


BOLDUAN: He's anticipating something disgusting and particularly violent next week. What could that be?

MUDD: I assume this gives Russia the opportunity to go after targets that might otherwise be identified as civilian. Look that we just talked about what we don't know. I think the interesting thing here is what we do know and that is this clearly gives nationalists in Russia, President Putin and others an excuse to go after targets that have been described as war crimes or humanitarian disasters.

When you get this kind of incident, and this is one of the reasons I mentioned that I question, why anybody in Ukraine would have supported this. You give people an excuse, and cover to strike targets that include civilian. So I think that's what Zelenskyy is talking about. And I think he's right. And I think that points to why somebody like him, would never have supported a strike like this. I'm not saying ethically they wouldn't make this choice. I'm saying practically, it seems stupid.

BOLDUAN: It's good to see you, Phil, thank you. It's good to see you Bianna. Thank you so much.


Coming up for us, Dr. Anthony Fauci announcing plans to step down by the end of this year after decades of being one of the nation's top doctors. The news just in from the White House, that's next.


BOLDUAN: Developing right now, Dr. Anthony Fauci has just announced that he is stepping down at the end of the year leaving his post as both the President's chief medical adviser and also the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a role he has held for decades under seven U.S. presidents. CNN's Arlette Saenz is live with more on this. Arlette, what are you hearing from the White House on this?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, President Biden announced Dr. Anthony Fauci's departure in a statement of it earlier today as the nation's top infectious disease expert and top medical adviser to President Biden is planning to step down from his government posts in December. Now Dr. Anthony Fauci also released a statement in which he said quote, while I am moving on from my current positions, I am not retiring.

After more than 50 years of government service, I plan to pursue the next phase of my career while I still have so much energy and passion for my field, I want to use what I have learned as NIAID director to continue to advance science and public health and to inspire and mentor the next generation of scientific leaders as they help prepare the world to face future infectious disease threats.

Now, President Biden has known Dr. Anthony Fauci for decades of working closely with him back when he was vice president, as the Obama administration dealt with the Zika virus and the President in his state statement thanking Fauci for his work. He said, quote, his commitment to the work is unwavering. And he does it with an unparalleled spirit, energy, and scientific integrity, because of Dr. Fauci's many contributions to public health, lives here in the United States and around the world have been saved.


Now Dr. Anthony Fauci has served in government for decades now in this post as director of the National Institutes of allergies and infectious diseases for nearly 38 years starting under President Ronald Reagan. He has advised presidents throughout that tenure dealing with things like the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Zika virus, Ebola as well. But he really rose to the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic when he was publicly clashing at times with former President Donald Trump.