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Search for Brian Laundrie is Still Underway; W.H.O. Panel Advises Additional Dose for Immunocompromised; Delta Variant Wreaking Havoc in War-Torn Syria; Officers Drag Black Paraplegic Man Out of Car; Boston Sox Reach AKCS with Another Walk-Off Win. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired October 12, 2021 - 04:30   ET



TIM CLEMENTE, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: He could certainly blend in almost anywhere. He could change his attire completely. Change his look, grow a mustache, put sunglasses on, grow a little bit of hair, put a hat on, put a wig on.

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His parents reported him missing September 17th.

JOSH TAYLOR, NORTH PORT PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER: Their attorney was on the phone with us. And you know, was giving them counsel as we spoke and all of the conversation was only about the whereabouts of Brian. They believe that he came out here on Tuesday.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): Laundrie has been indicted for using a debit card without permission just before he returned home from his cross- country road trip alone. He has not been named a suspect in Gabby's death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's the key to the puzzle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happened out there? You know? Until they find him, we won't -- we won't know.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): Gabby's family continues to demand answers and justice. The ruling of Gabby Petito's autopsy expected soon.

SANTIAGO: And what we are hoping to get this afternoon when it comes to the autopsy is more details on the cause of Gabby Petito's death. Remember, just about three weeks ago, the Teton County coroner found that the initial determination of the manner of death for Gabby Petito was homicide. The hope is that we'll get more details to get a better understanding of what happened to Gabby.

Leyla Santiago, CNN, North Port, Florida.


ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: Now, in California, authorities found unidentified remains during their search for Lauren Cho. The 30-year- old New Jersey native was reported missing in June after she left a rental home where she had been staying near Joshua Tree National Park. Authorities say it would be weeks before they can identify the remains and determine the cause of death.

Still ahead right here on CNN, the difference between booster shots and a third dose of the COVID vaccine, and why is the W.H.O. advisers are backing one, but not the other. We'll explain.

And body camera video shows police dragging a paralyzed black man out of his car. Now he's fighting back and he's taking them to court. That's next.


SOARES: Welcome to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Isa Soares. If you're just joining us, let me bring you up to date with the top stories this hour.

In the NFL, Raider's head coach Jon Gruden has resigned following an email scandal exposing his racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments. We'll have much more had on "EARLY START" in roughly about 30 minutes or so.

And President Biden playing the balancing act with his national agenda and foreign policy including rising tensions between mainland China and Taiwan.

Now, vaccines advisers with the World Health Organization are now recommending an additional COVID vaccine dose for people with compromised systems. They say a third dose is needed to ensure those people are fully protected. The advisors looked carefully to distinguish their recommendation as an extra dose, not a booster shot. The W.H.O. has opposed offering boosters until more of the world can be vaccinated.

Let's get more on the story. Were joined by CNN's David McKenzie from Johannesburg. And David, I know you're going to break for us what the W.H.O. is advising here. But you know, did they explain at all how less wealthy nations will do this? Because I mean, they don't even have enough for a first dose let alone a third.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. I mean, less than 5 percent of people are vaccinated in low-income countries currently. In fact, most a lot less, Isa. So, they didn't really explain that. And the basic news is that those countries will not be able to do this additional dose at this point. And the additional dose versus a booster shot, it might seem like semantics. You know, the extra dose does the same job in both cases, but it's who's getting that dose that matters here.

Now this independent advisory group saying that they are going to give this additional dose where possible to severe or moderately immunocompromised people. So, that would be people with diabetes type 1, lupus or HIV/aids. It would help boost the natural immune system to develop when given the vaccine, where otherwise it might not be sufficient with the two-dose regime of the W.H.O. recommended vaccines.

Still there is that irony there that people could be getting this extra dose as part of their primary regime as the W.H.O. suggests. It's in already several places giving booster shots. Here is senior W.H.O. official.


DR. KATE O'BRIEN, W.H.O. IMMUNIZATION DIRECTOR: This time and as the director general has called for, a moratorium on booster doses for the general population because giving those booster doses to individuals who already have had the benefit of a primary response is -- has been explained before like putting two life jackets on somebody and leaving other people without any life jacket.


MCKENZIE: Now, the big challenge right now, of course, is not additional shots or booster shots. It's getting those very first doses, Isa, to those countries that need it --Isa.

SOARES: Very quickly, David, do we know how soon they can get a third dose?

MCKENZIE: Well, I think it could be rolled out almost immediately in countries that have access to the vaccines. This was the kind of regulatory step. It's an independent panel that works with the W.H.O. to say that now this is medically and scientifically acceptable for primary doses. Already the U.S., parts of the EU and Israel are giving booster shots to millions of people -- Isa.

SOARES: David McKenzie there for us. Thanks very much, David. Good to see you.

Now Syria is still consumed by the civil war that's lasted more than a decade. Now the country is fighting COVID-19. Jomana Karadsheh takes us to one of the last opposition strongholds, Idlib Province. It's relative isolation is no longer protecting it from the virus. Take a look.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Grief is no stranger to this part of Syria. But this time it's not bombs and bullets, it's COVID 19 that claiming more and more lives. The White Helmets, known for their heroic rescues, pulling countless bodies from underneath the rubble of bombed out buildings, now bury Idlib's dead.

No one really knows how many lives COVID-19 has claimed but every day since August they have been digging new graves. When they are not ferrying the dead, the White Helmets are still trying to save lives, transporting hundreds of patients to the few hospitals left standing after years of Russian and regime airstrikes.

[04:40:00] Hospitals treating COVID-19 are overwhelmed. Oxygen is in short supply, and so are doctors. Officials here say there are only 200 doctors treating COVID-19 patients in Northwestern Syria. Years of war have left this last major opposition stronghold, home to more than four million people with only 900 doctors.

This nearly isolated part of the world was spared the worst of the pandemic. But health workers say the Delta variant is wreaking havoc with limited testing capabilities, it's hard to know the real extent of the spread. Medical NGOs say the situation is catastrophic with the positivity rate of more than 50 percent.

DR. IBRAHIM ABOUD, DIRECTOR GENERAL, AL-ZIRA'A HOSPITAL (through translator): Over the past six weeks, the curve started increasing slightly with the Delta variant. We felt the danger and prepared ourselves at the hospital, and the logistics and schedules. We prepared the workforce but didn't expect that this wave was to be this strong and this severe.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): It's not just the Delta variant, vaccines have been slow to arrive here. Less than 1 percent of Northwestern Syria's population is fully vaccinated. It's hard to believe that these are the streets of a city facing it's second and worst wave of the pandemic. But this is a population that has lived through hell. People here have been craving the normalcy this past years, relative calm has brought.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): People have suffered a lot from airstrikes, from chemical attacks, and we had lived through many wars. So, we have developed immunity, emotional immunity and permanent immunity.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): While many parts of the world prepare for a post pandemic life, Syria's latest nightmare maybe just beginning.

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.


SOARES: And in Afghanistan, the Taliban are trying to strike a balance between legitimacy on the world stage and their version of sharia law at home. Their latest chance comes in the day ahead as government officials will meet with the U.S., as well as European diplomats in Qatar. Italy's Prime Minister will also chair a virtual summit seeking badly needed humanitarian aid for the country.

Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's political block has won the most seats in Iraq's Parliamentary election, while Iran's favorite candidates came up short. In a speech Monday al-Sadr reminded the world that his powerful political movement opposes foreign interference and that, quote, Iraq is only for Iraqis.

Up next right here on CNN, the paraplegic man who was dragged by police from his car, tells CNN he feared for his life. We'll have more from our conversation with Clifford Owensby after the break.



SOARES: Now, a black paraplegic man who was forcibly dragged out of his car by police in the U.S. state of Ohio is filing a civil lawsuit against the department. Clifford Owensby was pulled out of his car as you can see there after traffic stop last month. The police say they stopped Owensby because he was seen leaving a suspected drug house.

CNN's Amara Walker has more on the report here. Her report contains the stunning video.


AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The nearly 12-minute police body cam video of the September 30th police encounter begins with a traffic stop.

CLIFFORD OWENSBY, PARAPLEGIC: I cannot step out, I'm a paraplegic.

WALKER (voice-over): And ends with 39-year-old Clifford Owensby, screaming, showing officers dragging him out of the car by his arm and hair before putting him in their cruiser.

OWENSBY: I am a paraplegic. I'm a paraplegic.

WALKER (voice-over): In the body cam video released by the Dayton Police Department on Friday, police say Owensby was leaving a suspected drug house when they pulled him over. After running a background check and learning a past felony drug and weapon possession charges, the responding officers requested a narcotics detection canine to sniff the vehicle according to Dayton Police Major Brian Johns.

That's when Owensby is asked to step out of the car. He explains he is paralyzed from the waist down and repeatedly refuses to allow the officer to help him get out of the car.

OFFICER: I will help you step out of the car, sir.

OWENSBY: I cannot step out of the car, sir, I'm a paraplegic.

OFFICER: How'd you get in?

OWENSBY: I got help getting in.

OFFICER: I will help you getting out, get out.

OWENSBY: No, I don't think that's going to happen, sir.

WALKER (voice-over): The exchange continues as the officer insists on helping him and explained to Owensby, he needs to get out of the car for the department's policy.

OWENSBY: I can't get out of the van.

OFFICER: Sir, I'm going have someone assist you out of the vehicle.

OWENSBY: No, you're not. No, you're not.

WALKER (voice-over): Then things begin to escalate as Owensby appears to make a phone call.

OWENSBY: Can you come down the street, come bring cameras and bring -- just bring somebody, so they can witness what's going on.

OWENSBY: I'm not getting out. I just told you, I'm a paraplegic. I cannot get out.

Can you call your white shirt, please?

WALKER (voice-over): As Owensby insists that police call the supervisor, you can hear the officer getting more assertive.

OFFICER: You are getting out of this car, so you can cooperate and get out of the car or I drag you out of the car, do you see your two options here?

OWENSBY: I know I got rights. I would like for you to call your white shirt. I'm trying to tell you that I got help getting in this car. You can f**ucking hurt me.

OFFICER: Get out of the car.

OWENSBY: Ow, ow, ow, ow ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you can cooperate and get out of the car, or we're going to drag you out of the car?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see your two options here? Which would you like to do sir?

OWENSBY: Somebody help, somebody help, somebody help, somebody help.

WALKER (voice-over): Owensby spoke at an NAACP news conference Sunday about the encounter.

OWENSBY: They dragged me to their vehicle like a dog, like trash.

WALKER (voice-over): Owensby also says the $22,000 in cash, found in his car was his savings. He says no weapons or drugs were found in the search.

The "Dayton Daily News" has reported the Dayton Fraternal Order of Police is defending the officers' actions saying in a statement that reads in part: The officers follow the law, their training and departmental policies and procedure. Sometimes, the arrest of noncompliant individuals is not pretty but is a necessary part of law enforcement to maintain public safety which is one of the fundamental ideologies of our society.

Owensby's attorney tells CNN the arrest was illegal and unnecessarily brutal given the fact they were aware fully that he can't get out of the car on his own.

WALKER: Now, as a result, Owensby he received two traffic citations. According to official records although he pleaded not guilty to them. He was taken to a local hospital, examined and then released, according to police.

The Dalton mayor has released a statement, calling this incident very concerning, saying, everyone is owed a thorough investigation. In fact, a police reform process is currently, underway. It's being led by the community in Dayton.


Now we reached out to the Dayton Police Department to get clarification on its policy, in dealing with people with disabilities but they referred us back to a statement that made no mention of it.

Those two responding police officers will remain on duty while an investigation is underway.

In Atlanta, Amara Walker, CNN.


SOARES: Of course, we'll continue to update you on that story. We'll have much more ahead on NEWSROOM right here.


SOARES: Now, today's top shot is this oil splattered statue of Britain's Boris Johnson. Activists are calling the Prime Minister to block the development of a massive new oil field off the Scottish coast. Greenpeace says the Cambo oil field would be devastating. The government is expected to approve the project despite opposition from those environmentalists there.

Well, everyone needs a hero, right. And on Monday, national coming out day in the United States, the new superman from D.C. comics came out as bisexual. John Kent is the son of Clark Kent, and reporter Lois Lane, that much you know. Well DC revealed in an upcoming issue he'll begin a same-sex relationship. Just like you saw, young John is falling for a journalist named Jay Nakamura. DC says the new Superman is keeping with the values the characters have always represented like hope, truth and tolerance. Very nice indeed.

Well, some dramatic finishes in Monday night football and Major League Baseball playoffs. Patrick Snell with our minute in sports -- Patrick.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Well thanks, Isa. It was last week we told you about the Boston Red Sox won and done 6-2 victory over their huge major league baseball rivals New York Yankees. Well on Monday night Boston looking to clinch In the American League division series, best of five showdown with the Tampa Bay Rays. The thrilling contest decided when Enrique Hernandez suddenly went way deep and the Red Sox get the job done in game four, 6-5. The host punching their ticket to the American League championship series. Look at those scenes of elation there for the home fans.

Now meantime the Atlanta Braves now leading the National League division series 2-1. This after overcoming the Milwaukee Brewers.

Monday night football action the Ravens hosting the Colts. This one going into overtime. Wide receiver Marquise Brown for the touchdown to cap a furious comeback an give the Ravens victory 31 points to 25.

And four-time world football champions Germany become the first team to join host Qatar at next year's FIFA world cup. Inspired by a team one the go. Germany found no winners and north Macedonia. And with that, it's right back to you.

SOARES: Thank you very much, Patrick.

Now, we'll have much more on our top story this hour. The news rocking the NFL, Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden resigned amid an email scandal showing a pattern of racist, sexist as well as homophobic comments.

"NEW DAY" will have a live interview with Ken Belson, one of the "New York Times" reporters who's work expose those emails. Do stay right here with CNN for that.

And that does it for me. Thanks very much for joining. I'm Isa Soares. "EARLY START" with Christine Romans and Laura Jarrett is up next. Have a wonderful day, bye-bye.