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New Questions After Chinese Tennis Star Appears In Video Call; New Pressure On Leagues, Players To Take Tougher China Stance; Interview With Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) About China And Passing Social Spending Bill; Aid Group Claims Two Kidnapped Missionaries In Haiti Freed; Car Runs Through Holiday Parade In Wisconsin. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired November 21, 2021 - 18:00   ET




PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST (voice-over): Missing Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai reportedly appearing on a video with the head of the IOC.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This suggests to me that Peng made the call to Thomas Bach not because she picked him on her own but because Beijing was freaking out that they might lose the Winter Games.

BROWN: Outspoken NBA star Enes Kanter slams other athletes for putting, quote, "money over morals" in their deals with China.

ENES KANTER, BOSTON CELTICS PLAYER: They care too much about endorsement deals.

BROWN: Closing arguments start tomorrow in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. The three men who chased and shot Arbery claiming self- defense. Arbery's family wants justice.

WANDA COOPER-JONES, AHMAUD ARBERY'S MOTHER: I'm very confident that we will get a guilty verdict. Very confident.

BROWN: Police still searching for a convicted felon who accidentally fired a gun at a security checkpoint causing chaos at the Atlanta Airport.

MAJ. REGINALD MOORMAN, ATLANTA POLICE DEPARTMENT: We are actively pursuing this individual.

BROWN: America's top doctor now telling all adults to get a booster shot.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: If you are 18 or older and you've been vaccinated, fully vaccinated, just go out and get boosted.


BROWN: I'm Pamela Brown in Washington. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM on this Sunday.

It has been nearly three weeks since Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai disappeared from public view after she claimed a high-ranking Beijing official sexually assaulted her. But now she's back, sort of. The International Olympic Committee says its president had a video call today with her, but that call is raising even more questions.

CNN's Will Ripley joins me from Taipei. So, Will, what do we make of the video call? Can we assume Peng is really OK?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we can assume that Peng is alive. Peng Shuai is speaking. The -- what we don't know is that if she's speaking freely. Who's running that camera? Who was out there filming her at this tennis tournament, at dinner with her friends, and why did these supposed impromptu casual videos deliberately showed the date and time and have people talking on the video about the date and time?

It is clear, Pamela, that she is being stage managed right now, and based on what we know about the Chinese government and the way that they silence and censor and disappear people, she is being stage managed by the government itself, by the Communist Party, after she made these explosive Me Too allegations against Zhang Gaoli, the former vice premiere, 75 years old. She said on Webo, her social media platform with half a million followers, that he coerced her, forced her to have sex with him at his house three years ago.

Within 30 minutes, that post was deleted. Her entire social media presence in China has been erased. None of this is being reported inside China on Chinese state media. All of these videos and these tweets are being put out on social media platforms that are blocked in China. They are being tweeted or shared on, you know, platforms that are not allowed inside the mainland, which means that the vast majority of China's 1.5 billion citizens, even if they're fans of Peng Shuai, because she is a household name there, they have no idea this is happening.

This is deliberately a propaganda blitz aimed at the Western media to try to shut the media up. But it's not good enough for the Women's Tennis Association. Steve Simon is demanding that he can speak directly with Peng Shuai by teleconference, without anybody else present, with proof that there's nobody else present, proof that she can speak freely. He says either that or she should be allowed to leave the country.

He also says there needs to be a full open and transparent investigation into these sexual allegations. Allegations that frankly we don't know what's happening behind the scenes and the inner workings of China. Maybe this former vice premiere is also being questioned, maybe he is being disciplined. How would we know? There is zero transparency about this.

I want to read you a portion of the quote from the Women's Tennis Association. It says, "It was good to see Peng Shuai in these videos but they don't alleviate or address the WTA's concern about her well- being and ability to communicate without censorship or coercion. This video does not change our call for a full, fair and transparent investigation without censorship, into her allegation of sexual assault which the issue that gave rise to our initial concern."

Pamela, China is a country that has long been ruled by powerful men. And when people speak about against the Communist Party apparatus, for decades, it is known that they are often disappear, they are silenced. In the case of Peng Shuai, she is too big, too important, too famous, and of course that 10-year $1 billion tennis contract that the WTA is also too important to just erase her away.


But a lot of people fear, Pamela, that she's not being allowed to speak her truth right now, that she is being forced to put on a happy face after she bravely spoke out on social media and told her story of what she claims is sexual abuse at the hands of a very powerful man who used to have a lot of power when he was in his role of vice premiere of China -- Pamela.

BROWN: So much courage, it's worth pointing out and emphasizing the difference between that strongly worded statement from WTA and the statement that we have received from IOC.

OK, thank you so much, Will Ripley.

RIPLEY: Absolutely. Yes.

BROWN: Thank you. We're going to be talking more about that actually coming up in the show.

And these controversies over Peng Shuai's disappearance and the assault claim that came before it all raising new concerns over the upcoming Winter Olympics. The Beijing games are less than three months away and China has a great deal at stake. But so far no country has declared a boycott. And it's estimated that China will make millions of dollars over the course of the competition.

But Beijing isn't the only one with big money to lose here. U.S. companies look to China for a big chunk of their revenue. The USC's Sports Business Institute told CNN back in 2019 that the Chinese market makes up at least 10 percent of the NBA's profits. That number is expected to rise to 20 percent by the year 2030.

And athletic brands depend on China for big money as well. In 2018, Nike made some $6.2 billion in China. That number rose 21 percent from the previous year, and it's much higher than in North America. Nike saw just a 7 percent increase in sales here over that same period.

All of this just scratches the surface of money to be made in China. We haven't even gotten into streaming and endorsement deals.

So what makes China so valuable? Bottom line, its population. 1.4 billion people. That is a huge opportunity to grow any sport or industry, and that market with the money at stake makes the stance from the CEO of the Women's Tennis Association so notable and different from his peers. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE SIMON, CEO, WOMEN'S TENNIS ASSOCIATION: We're at a crossroads with our relationship obviously with our -- with China. There's too many times in our world today when we get into issues like this that we let business, politics, money, dictate what's right and what's wrong. We have to start as a world making decisions that are based upon right and wrong, period. And we can't compromise that, and we're definitely willing to pull our business and deal with all the complications that come with it, because this is certainly -- this is bigger than the business.


BROWN: The WTA says this is bigger than business, as you heard, but my next guest argues it's money over morals in his sport.

Enes Kanter of the Boston Celtics is getting a lot of attention for calling out human rights abuses in places like Taiwan, Tibet and China. Even using his sneakers to criticize brands like Nike and his fellow NBA players including LeBron James.

Enes Kanter joins us now. Hi, Enes. Thank you for coming back on the show.

KANTER: Thank you for inviting me, Pamela. I appreciate it.

BROWN: So what is your reaction to this new development with Chinese athlete Peng Shuai and how it's being handles by both Beijing and the IOC which has argued quiet diplomacy is the right way to go?

KANTER: Let me just tell you this first. Obviously she disappeared after she publicly accused a Chinese government official of sexual assault, right, and she recently reappeared via Chinese state media. While we know that she's free, but we don't know if she is, you know, free to speak, free to travel. And I believe everything is staged by the Chinese government to keep her under control and to control the narrative about her.

And I believe, and people need to know this, this is a very common tactic used by the Chinese government, and it is alarming that the International Olympic Committee is part of it, too, and shame on them. But what made me so happy is, you know, WTA went out there and said, we don't care about any of it but we care about our players. So I feel like many of the organizations in America and all over the world should take care, look at the NBA example, and take an example of it.

They don't care about if they, you know, lose hundreds of millions of dollars, but they care about their players. So they care about human rights, morals and principles over money. So I feel like, you know, NBA, NFL and many other organizations should take a look at it and take an example for what WTA -- they're doing.


BROWN: So let's talk a little bit more about the IOC. Those are some strong words you used there against them and you wrote this op-ed yesterday for the "Wall Street Journal" calling on the IOC to relocate the upcoming Winter Games out of Beijing. What do you think that will achieve?

KANTER: I mean, first of all, shame on all these athletes, and all these countries who are not already boycotting the Olympics. And to all these athletes, my message is, all the medals you can win in the world is not more important than, you know, your values, morals and principles. You know, all the gold medals in the world you can win is not important than your morals. Please understand this.

And, you know, if you look at what's happening in China right now, there are so many human rights violations happening. There is a genocide happening right now in China. And so I feel like all these, you know, countries, all these, you know, athletes need to speak up, and it's time to speak up because there less than 100 days until the Olympics. But I feel like that has to be done because we need to, you know, hold Chinese government accountable.

BROWN: OK, really quickly, I want to get to the IOC statement. They had released this before the new development today. They said, "We support the quiet diplomacy approach that has been taken and hope it will lead to the release of information about the whereabouts of Peng Shuai and the confirmation of her safety and well-being." But it is worth noting that they have not taken a strong stance like what you see from the WTA about the claims, the sexual assault claims that Shuai made, that then were taken down and then she disappeared for several weeks and now she is resurfacing in this video.

But still, there are so many questions. I want to point out, because you had mentioned this. You have slammed Nike for profiting off what you call concentration camps. But earlier this year, Nike said it did not sourced products from the region where the Uighur camps are located and that it has confirmed that its contract suppliers do not use textile or yarn from that region.

For its part, China denies any allegation of human rights abuses at Uighur camps and says they are centers aimed at stopping religious extremism and terrorism. So why do you continue to condemn Nike when they say they are committed to ethical and responsible manufacturing?

KANTER: I mean, do we believe that? I do not believe that. I believe that, you know, let me just tell you this, Nike is the biggest sponsor of the NBA, right? And in America Nike stands with Black Lives Matter. Nike stands with Latino community. Nike stands with "No Asian Hate" and LGBTQ community. But when it comes to China, Nike remains silent.

And I feel like what they are doing over there is a modern-day slavery and people need to understand this. Nike is the biggest hypocrite company to meet in the world. And people needs to understand this. Every time you put that shoes on, you put that T-shirt on your back, there are so much blood and sweat and oppression on those items, so please, think twice before you buy any of their stuff.

BROWN: OK. Let me quickly ask you, you have called out LeBron James for putting money over morals. Here's how he responded after his Lakers played your Celtics Friday night.


LEBRON JAMES, LOS ANGELES LAKERS PLAYER: I think if you know me I don't really give too many people my energy, you know, and he's definitely not someone I would give my energy to, you know, try to use my name to create an opportunity for himself. He's always, you know, kind of have, you know, a word or two to say, you know, in my direction. You know, as a man, if you had an issue with somebody, you really come up to him. He had his opportunity tonight. I see him in the hallway while I was by myself.


BROWN: So then I got to ask you, Enes, why haven't you gone up to LeBron, spoken to him face to face about your concerns?

KANTER: You know, first of all, you know, even my assistant coach knows that story. When, first of all, he was behind me in the tunnel, and I stopped to take a picture with one of the kids, and he -- I wasn't the one passing. He was the one literally walked right by me and did not say anything. But the other thing is I feel like we need to call out these, you know, hypocrite players who care about, you know, money over morals and principles.

And I think one thing, someone had to do it. Someone had to do it. Because I have so many -- I just don't want to give you guys the whole thing, but like I had so many conversations with LeBron's ex- teammates, and even they are the ones who told me that LeBron, all he's doing is just his own PR. And everything he's doing, trying to stand up for things, is not that he really feels about it but he cares about his PR more than anything.


But I feel like, you know, LeBron James is one of them, but not many people are talking about Michael Jordan. You know, Michael Jordan hasn't done anything, nothing, for the black community in America besides just, you know, giving them money. I feel like we need to call out these athletes. At least LeBron James is going out there and, you know, being the voice of all those people who are oppressed in America.

But Michael Jordan has not done anything for the black community because he cares too much about his shoe sales all over the world and America, so I feel like we need to call out these athletes and not be scared of who they are.

BROWN: I know -- I imagine a lot of people in the black community would disagree with that, and we'll have to put those allegations, strong allegations that you just made to Michael Jordan and to LeBron James. And we did play that sound from LeBron in response to some of what you've said.

Enes Kanter, thank you so much for joining us on the show. We appreciate it. KANTER: Yes. Thank you.

BROWN: Well, today, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer insisted Democrats are in very good shape to pass their $1.9 trillion bill to expand the social safety net and combat climate change.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Everyone knows the House did a very strong bill. Everyone knows that Manchin and Sinema have their concerns, but we're going to try to negotiate with them and get a very strong bold bill out of the Senate which we'll then go back to the House and pass.


BROWN: Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia is here to discuss.

Hi, Senator. Nice to see you. Welcome to the show finally.

SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA): Hey, Pamela. Thank you. And I want to get --

BROWN: So let me ask you this.

WARNER: Can I just -- I know we want to get to Build Back Better, but I think it's really important as the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee that I weigh in not on the specific allegations that have been made in your earlier stories. But for too long, too many American companies have turned a blind eye to the Chinese Communist Party's actions, to their almost Orwellian state, the way they have used data from their Chinese tech companies, the fact that they literally steal $300 billion to $500 billion of intellectual property every year, and they have created a surveillance state.

And too many American and Western and Japanese companies turn a blind eye because they don't want to miss the Chinese market. Let me be clear, when I mentioned this, I'm not calling out the Chinese people. The Chinese people are great people. It is the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping's leadership. It is not about Chinese Americans and the Chinse diaspora anywhere, but it is, you know, there's never been an economic threat the way China poses not only to America, but the development of technology and democracies around the world.

And it's time that companies, I think, not just in sports but across the board are going to have to choose which side they're on.

BROWN: So then what is your message to the companies like Nike? I was just talking about Nike with Enes Kanter there as you well heard. What is your message to these companies?

WARNER: My message is, for too long, companies have said, well, we know we may be having an intellectual property stolen. We may know we're being forced into joint ventures, but we just can't miss the Chinese market. And unfortunately, as we see in the 21st century, the challenge is I believe going to be less about military but about who is going to make the great next technology breakthrough. There's 5g technology where Huawei, a Chinese company, is frankly

running the whole marketplace with enormous security concerns. Artificial intelligence, quantum computing, hyper sonics. The United States of America needs to invest with our allies, and one thing the American government should and must do right away is we've already had a bipartisan bill come out of the Senate that would invest $52 billion in making sure that semiconductors, some of those are actually built right here in America.

You wonder why we've got great inflation, while we've got cars that can't be sold because they are missing semiconductors, that's because we ceded our American leadership. Now this is not us against China, this means us with democracies, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the E.U. working together. But just this first story was so powerful, I don't think it could go unanswered about too many companies who frankly turn a blind eye.

BROWN: Thank you for sharing that, Senator Warner. I'm really glad that you did. It's an important conversation to have. I do want to ask you about Build Back Better before we let you to go. Leader Schumer has said he wants it to get passed by Christmas. There's a lot of sticking point as you well know for certain senators like Manchin, Sinema and Sanders.

Given how much negotiating needs to be done, is that timeline realistic? And I'm going to add -- throw one more in there in the essence of time. Do you think Manchin can get on board with paid family leave?


WARNER: Well, Pamela, I'm not going to weigh in on what Joe is going to do or not going to do. But the great thing about, and as somebody who was part of the infrastructure bill that was broadly bipartisan, widely popular, we should have passed it three months ago, but now with the Democrats can get past talking about tough lines, and talking about what this next bill does, yes, we need to get more people back in the work force.

Well, the best way to do that is provide child care, do universal pre- K and try to make sure that folks who got aging parents have got somebody to take care of them. We've got a lot of families, Pamela, you know my family. I've got a daughter with type 1 diabetic. The price of insulin has quadrupled. This bill will make sure that no family pays more than $35 a month for insulin.

And it will also finally take on the kind of major needs we need to deal with in terms of climate change. We talk about the specifics of what this will affect people's lives and bring down their costs. We're going to be successful and we will get it done by Christmas.

BROWN: All right. Democratic Senator Mark Warner, thank you so much for coming on the show. Senator, I hope you'll come back soon.

WARNER: Thank you, Pamela. BROWN: Breaking news this hour. Christian aid groups says at least two

of the hostages kidnapped in Haiti last month are now free. We're getting more information coming in right now and we'll update you in a moment.

Also tonight, Judge Glenda Hatchet on what to expect from closing arguments in the case against three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery.

Meantime, America's top doctor setting the record straight on who needs to get a booster shot.


FAUCI: I don't think we should get hung up on should may, just go out and get boosted.


BROWN: And a brazen and shocking smash and grab as thieves swarmed an upscale store in broad daylight.

You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.



BROWN: We are following breaking news out of Haiti. Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministry says hostage takers have released two of its 17 missionaries who were taken captive last month. We were scrambling to gather the latest details. Minutes ago the group released this statement, quote, "We cannot provide or confirm the names of those released, the reasons for their release, where they're from or their current location. We ask that those who have more specific information about the release and the individuals involved would safeguard that information," end quote.

Joining me now is Garry Pierre-Pierre, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the founder and publisher of the "Haitian Times."

Thanks for coming on. What have you been able to learn?

GARRY PIERRE-PIERRE, FOUNDER AND EDITOR, THE HAITIAN TIMES: Thanks, Pamela, for having me. Right now we're trying to like if you're the reporter on the beat trying to confirm this through independent sources, and we are just waiting. I was hoping that by the time I get on air with you, I'll have more to share with you, but unfortunately we don't. But I just want to say this is really good news if this turned out to be true.

This has cast a shadow over the country for the last month, and it's really good for us to move forward and get this issue out of the way so we can move forward.

BROWN: Well, when the aid group first reported the release of these two captives, U.S. government sources said they were unaware. Does that surprise you?

PIERRE-PIERRE: Well, yes. I mean, I'm talking to some people in Washington as well, and that's what we're getting, they are not. And so that's why I'm hedging a bit so that -- we need to confirm it more than one source. Right now we are going with the Christian Aid Ministry. I mean, it's a very credible source but we want to get many other folks on the ground to confirm that decision.

But I think they're being really shy because this has been an ordeal in the organization and they don't want to jeopardize the lives of their members on the ground in Haiti right now. So it's a very delicate moment right now and I can understand their situation.

BROWN: Yes, and I think that that's really important to point out, that we are looking for more, you know, confirmation of this. Other aid workers in Haiti have publicly pleaded that a ransom not be paid because it would put a price on the head of every relief worker there. Is that a legitimate concern?

PIERRE-PIERRE: Well, it is, because that's the dilemma that Haitians in Haiti face when they're kidnapped. And what I think if the American government can put its weight behind this policy, yes, I think it's something to really use and get -- let the kidnappers know this is not lucrative, it's not going to happen. But this is the first time they've gone after that many Americans in one fell swoop. And so I think this is why the negotiations have been really long and delayed, because -- protracted because, you know, there is no ransom being offered because absolutely, the more you pay, the more they'll kidnap Americans and Haitians as well.

BROWN: Right, and the group initially demanded a million dollars per person. That is a staggering amount in an impoverished country reeling from an earthquake and political turmoil. How much are other gangs, criminal gangs watching this?

PIERRE-PIERRE: Well, everybody is because this is going to be the litmus test to what happens. Can you excuse the expression, you know, pump the Americans, if you will? And if the American government or the ministry don't hold tight, it opens up a floodgate. I mean, it's been more dangerous than it actually is now.

BROWN: All right, Garry Pierre-Pierre, thank you. I'm just getting word we have some breaking news now. This breaking news out of Waukesha.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

BROWN: This breaking news out of Waukesha, Wisconsin. A car has plowed into a crowd gathered for holiday parade.


We are now getting our first accounts from witnesses. Joining me on the phone is Kaylee Staral. She is a business reporting intern at the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel."

Kailey, thanks for joining us. You were at the parade. What did you see?

KAYLEE STARAL, BUSINESS REPORTING INTERN, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL: We were at the parade and there were a lot of families with small children there. Probably around 20 to 30 minutes into the parade, a red SUV came running down the middle of the street. So there were a lot of screams and we almost thought maybe it was Santa, but it was a red SUV and it hit a lot of people.

After the SUV left, there were multiple people on the ground and the police came through a little bit later saying at least 30 on the ground and police said that shots were fired. I cannot confirm that for you, but that is what the police said.

BROWN: So was anything said as this was happening from the driver of this vehicle, of this red SUV, as you described? Did you hear anything? Are there any other details or color you can provide?

STARAL: No, nothing. It happened really quick. The car was going very fast. But I don't believe the driver said anything, it was a lot of screaming.

BROWN: And was it clear to you that this driver was trying to run over people?

STARAL: I couldn't tell you for sure or not, but it was going very fast. And, you know, it was in the middle of the parade. It's not like they somehow missed that there was a parade happening.

BROWN: Right. That's what I'm trying to create, this picture of. So basically you have this parade going on in Waukesha. Then suddenly this red SUV comes and again describe to us the circumstances of the parade, where the car was and so forth.

STARAL: It has been the Annual Holiday Waukesha Parade and I believe that it was on hiatus because of COVID. This is its first back. And around 20 to 30 minutes in the downtown part of the city, there were lots of family, lots of children there, and a red SUV came running down the street, hitting, you know, a lot of the people in the parade. It probably went 30 miles per hour.

BROWN: Wow. And what did you witness when that happened in terms of it hitting people? You said that there were families there, there's children there. What did you see?

STARAL: A lot of family members with small children were running into the stores trying to get off that main street. You also saw a lot of people running up to help those that were hit. You know, right, just right in front of me in the little spot where I was sitting, probably four people were down so there were a lot of people that ran to go check on them. And I believe that the four people in front of me were still breathing but they were down, they were not moving.

BROWN: And so from what you saw, there were a lot of injured people. You don't know if any have been killed because this is still --

STARAL: I don't know. BROWN: OK. It sounds like it was just pure mayhem.

STARAL: A lot of people in shock, a lot of people were just there for a good time to get back into the holiday season, and I think a lot of people are just in shock right now.

BROWN: Understandably. Is there anything else you want to add about what you're thinking right now, what you're feeling after going through such a horrifying experience?

STARAL: I just hope that everyone is OK. I think, you know, it is a tough generation and my heart goes out to everyone that was hit, that got inspected. And there were a lot of children there, too, who witnessed that, so I just really hope that everyone there is, you know, safe and feeling with this in the best way that they can.

BROWN: OK. Kaylee, thank you for coming on and sharing your firsthand experience. This is just awful. We're hoping to get some more details as this unfolds. Thanks so much.

STARAL: Thank you.

BROWN: We'll be right back.



BROWN: We are following breaking news out of Waukesha, Wisconsin. A car has plowed into a crowd gathered for a holiday parade. Minutes ago we heard from a newspaper intern and she told us that she could hear the thud of people being struck and that police from the scene told her as many as 30 people were injured.

We are still gathering details. We will have continuing coverage of this breaking news. But let's bring in CNN national security analyst and former assistant secretary of Homeland Security, Juliette Kayyem. Also with me is former acting Baltimore Police commissioner Anthony Barksdale.

There are still a lot we're trying to piece together here. But this intern I just spoke with for the local newspaper said that this was a Christmas parade that started about an hour ago. Not long after this red SUV, and she said was going fast down the parade route and that she heard the thud of people being hit by the car. She said she didn't hear anything from the driver, it all happened superfast, but obviously she saw people on the ground and all of this is very traumatic clearly.

Anthony Barksdale, what do you make of this?

ANTHONY BARKSDALE, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: It's -- right now we have, we need to know much more about the situation, but if there are people down, they may need medical treatment. At the same time the police are going to have to get a description out of that vehicle, put it out everywhere, get roadblocks set up. But most important is get treatment to those that have been injured and we'll have to get the bad guys later, but the people come first.

And then at the same time you're working on, working with other agencies, other departments because this is 30 people from what we're getting right now.


So this is a big deal. You need mutual aid, you need other police departments to come in and help, but there is a lot of work to do because also, this is, it's not only the victims, you now have a crime scene. So there is a lot to this, and we need to know more.

BROWN: And, again, so often, as you well know, the initial information you get turns out to be wrong because everyone is just trying to piece it together. So, you know, we're told 30 but that number could change. It could all fluctuate. We know this woman I spoke to saw people on the ground, Juliette Kayyem, in the wake of this. What jumps out at you as we await more details to come in?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So what we know officially because I always like to go via official sources first is that at least 12 fire department and 12 police department have been deployed. That's a big number, at least at the start. It's only been the last 30 minutes. So they are seeing something. There's evidence of some sort of what we would call mass casualty. That sounds -- that's a big number.

I mean, mass casualty can represent anything from five up, essentially, so it could be five, it could be 30. So we are, as Tony was saying, we are, you know, you're going to triage the people there. The good news is that the areas around the Milwaukee area, there are great hospitals in the area, they know how to do this in terms of triage and surge capacity, getting the most injured people to the hospitals first, less injured to areas that may be further away.

And then everyone just needs to do this. Obviously all eyes are on everything that can go bad right now, now that we're out and about from a shooting in Atlanta, which is why I was here last night, to this and we just don't know right now, you know, whether it was, in fact, a gun or whether it was a car. Was this a purposeful event or was it someone trying to evade police and, therefore, ran into a parade?

We just don't know right now and that's why we have to actually, you know, wait a little bit in terms of looking at the motive issue and just focus on victims and the incident command that's in place now to protect people.

BROWN: OK, we're going to have more on this breaking news right after this break, stay with us. We'll talk on the other end.



BROWN: We are following breaking news out of Waukesha, Wisconsin. A car has plowed into a crowd gathered for a holiday parade. Minutes ago we heard from a newspaper intern. She told us that she could hear the thud of people being struck and that police on the scene told her as many as 30 people were injured. We are awaiting for more information from police there on the ground as we gather more details, and we will, of course, have continuing coverage.

And right now you're actually looking at the first live pictures that we have coming from the scene, the aftermath there. This is from CNN affiliate WISN. You see the fire trucks there, the police cars.

I mean, Juliette Kayyem, Anthony Barksdale, this is all very fresh. This just happened within the last hour. As you see this play out, Anthony Barksdale, what are police doing on the scene right now?

BARKSDALE: Well, first it's kind of tough because now you have victims down. At the same time the scene is still hot. You don't know who was in this vehicle, where they are as far as we know, so at the same time you're assisting the victims, but you also have to protect not only your fellow officers to citizens but fire also. So there is a lot of stress on police when something like this happens.

But the incident command system, which was referred to earlier, is really vital here for all resources to be properly coordinated and ensured that everything moves smoothly for victims and the officers and medics.

BROWN: So as we see this, Juliette, where they are presumably caring for those who were injured, who are on the ground, they are preserving the crime scene, we don't know if that driver who plowed through the holiday parade and hit people, if that driver is still running loose. I mean, we have not heard from police yet about that. How big of a concern is that for you?

KAYYEM: Well, it would be a concern. Sometimes silence actually means that the pursuit is ongoing or that they have him or her in a corner, and that basically the capture is ongoing. And so one way to read the delay in the police press conference, which I anticipate would happen relatively soon, is because of that news. And to make -- you know, to make clear here, the most important thing in these mass -- we're saying mass, we don't know yet but in these high casualty events in terms of when it looks like there are a lot of bodies, the most important thing in particular to Christmas parade is family unification.

So while you're administering to people who are injured and you're using your mutual aid and incident command to get them to areas, especially in the Milwaukee area, what you're also doing is trying to get families back together. They more likely than not have now been dispersed or they were separated during this.


So also in a lot of the tabletops and planning we do for mass casualty or what we call mega event planning, you are planning through a family reunification scenario. It's the most important thing in any incident like this, especially with children. And if you have teenagers, maybe you left them on the other street. And so that's a key factor right now. Get families back together so they can go home and get out of harm's way.

BROWN: And, again, we're waiting for more details. What was behind this? Why did the car plow through this holiday parade? But obviously this is a big undertaking, Anthony Barksdale, from just, you know, investigating what's going on at the scene. helping all of the people in need, the reunification, and then tracking down the driver of that SUV. What is going on in terms of the resources, you think, behind finding the driver of that SUV?

This red SUV, we're told, that plowed through -- and I know people are starting to post videos and so forth on social media to give -- that could provide some clues, what is going on behind the scenes right now, you think?

BARKSDALE: All hands on deck. Everybody, suit up, get in. If you're off, you're now working. The whole team must get together and go after whoever did this. So all the command staff has to be in, all the officers. And neighboring jurisdictions are probably sending their troops, too, for this to all fall under an incident command system, where there is a unifying commander top -- at the top and he delegates the orders down to the team. And they disperse to try to apprehend this individual. So there is a lot going on.

BROWN: And of course, as we're watching this, Juliette, look, the holidays are right around the corner. Thanksgiving is, of course, coming up.

KAYYEM: Right.

BROWN: Then you have the other holidays after that. I am planning on going to a parade with my family where I live. And, you know, this just -- this makes you kind of rethink that. Again, we don't know the circumstances behind this. But a holiday parade could be a soft target for someone wanting to cause harm.

KAYYEM: Yes, any event like this has always been a soft target. What I remind people is you are sort of, you know, don't dream of a world that never existed, right? A risk-free world. We've always had risk in this society. We try to minimize them. There are threats out there that we -- that we have to be aware of and cognizant of and hope that they don't happen, or at least try to prevent.

We have gone through a pandemic. People are still anxious to be together or they're very excited to be together and not acting as smart as they should be. But I will say, I am a big fan that, you know, there is no point of being safe if you can't have fun, as well. And I think, you know, we really have to focus too much on -- as much on the threats or always on the threats and we have to figure out a way in which we can minimize them. But also, remember what's so great about the holidays and about being with family and about being able to travel again and be together again.

You know, we're coming out of a pandemic and it should be worth it, right? I mean, in other words, so I don't mean to minimize this but we're not going to get the risk down to zero. We're going to minimize it as much as possible in this society, that is a more dangerous one than not, often. But also remember that there is also reasons to also want to enjoy each other and the company that we are able to be with now.

BROWN: OK. Juliette, Anthony, stand by. A lot more to cover on this unfolding breaking news story out of Waukesha, Wisconsin. We'll be right back.



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BROWN: I'm Pamela Brown in Washington. We're following breaking news this hour. An extremely distressing story unfolding in Wisconsin tonight. In Waukesha, a car has plowed into a crowd gathered for a holiday parade. We are getting new video from CNN's Milwaukee affiliate WISN and minutes ago, I spoke to a newspaper intern who was there and she told us she could hear the thud of people being struck, and that police on the scene told her as many as 30 people were injured.

So I'm waiting for confirmation from officials there on the ground about what exactly the situation is. But here is what the intern told me.


STARAL: We were at the parade and there were a lot of families with small children there. Probably around 20 or 30 minutes into the parade, a red SUV came running down the middle of the street. So there were a lot of screams and we almost thought maybe it was Santa but it was a red SUV and it hit a lot of people. After the SUV left, there were multiple people on the ground and the police came through a little bit later saying at least 30 on the ground. And the police said that shots were fired. I cannot confirm that for you. But that is what the police said.

BROWN: So was anything said as this was happening from the driver of this vehicle, of this red SUV as you described? Did you hear anything? Are there any other details or color you can provide?

STARAL: No. Nothing. It happened really quick. Again, the car was going very fast but I don't believe the driver said anything. It was -- it was a lot of screaming.

BROWN: And was it clear to you that this driver was trying to run over people?

STARAL: I can't tell you for sure or not but it was going very fast.