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Mostly Peaceful Protests In Some Cities After Release Of Beating Video; Video Shows Initial Confrontation, Traffic Stop With MPD And Tyre Nichols; Five Former Memphis Police Officers Involved In Arrest Charged With Second Degree Murder And Kidnapping; Gunman Wounds Two In Jerusalem Attack Today; Protesters Demand Justice After Officials Release Graphic Video; Controversy Around New "ChatGPT" Al Technology; Trump Holds Events In New Hampshire And South Carolina Today As He Looks To Reinvigorate 2024 Campaign. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired January 28, 2023 - 12:00   ET




JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: HI, everyone. Thanks so much for joining me. I'm Jessica Dean in Washington, D.C., in for Fredricka Whitfield today.

Horrifying, incomprehensible inhumane. Just some of the words used to describe videos of the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols at the hands of Memphis police.

The shocking images were released last night. And we want to warn you, some of what you're about to see is extremely graphic.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, I didn't hurt you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. All right.

DEAN: (voice over): Body camera footage of the January 7th traffic stop, shows officers approaching with their firearms, yanking Nichols out of the car.

He then breaks free from the officers and runs toward his parent's home. A struggle ensues after a chase. Police, then, using pepper spray, batons, their fists, and feet to beat Nichols. At one point, he cries out for his mother.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, watch out -- watch out.


NICHOLS: Mom! Mom!


NICHOLS: Mom! Mom!


DEAN: Video from a pole camera showing the full extent. You see Nichols there who is unarmed, kicked in the face, struck at least nine times in just several minutes.

Bloodied, then, propped up onto a squad car.

Officers are then seen just standing around, not providing Nichols with any potentially life-saving aid.

Five former Memphis police officers now facing several charges, including second degree murder, and kidnapping.

And after the release of this video, two Shelby County deputies who were also there on the scene have now been put on leave pending an investigation into their conduct.

CNN Sara Sidner is there in Memphis? She's been there for the last several days. Sarah, these videos are incredibly difficult to watch, to listen to, to process.

What is the reaction been there in Memphis, both last night, and then, also this morning?

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): It's been peaceful. There have been protests. There were protesters on the I-55 bridge that goes north and south through Memphis.

But they stopped traffic and they did so because they wanted people to stop and think about what has been going on here. Not just when it comes to Tyre Nichols, who were they were calling for justice for, but what has happened in the past between the police and members of the community, specifically, black members of the community here in Memphis.

The protesters, unlike the family were actually unhappy with how the police chief has responded. While the family has been saying that they are pleased that this was such a swift response, the police chief who's been here over a year now. She fired these officers immediately upon understanding that something was wrong.

She, herself, thought that the report back to the police department did not match the fact that Tyre Nichols was suddenly in the hospital and was unresponsive.

And she, herself, came and looked at videos to try to see why there was a discrepancy and fire the officers after what she saw. And the DEA also acted swiftly, sending it to a grand jury who indicted, and then he put forth charges -- very severe charges: second degree murder charges, kidnapping charges, aggravated assault charges in this.

But the protesters say this should never have happened. And it could have been prevented if they would be doing this, in prior cases, where people have complained to internal investigations and to the police department about the behavior of officers as a whole.

They feel like a lot of things have been sweep swept under the rug. And that is why they are calling for major reforms and they want them now. I want to let you listen to one of the protesters we spoke with last night who was a Memphian born and raised, who had this to say about what she thought about the response by officials to the death of Tyree Nichols?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you satisfied with what has happened so far?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely not. How many more families have to hurt before something legitimate is done? Heads need to roll about this. And that starts with the top. That's our city mayor. That she, Davis, who was hired by the city mayor.


SIDNER: That was Theron Bond (PH), who has been, you know, in this community her whole life.

I will say the family has not asking for the same, they believe that what happened and the way that officials responded was swift enough and they did do some of the right things. Jessica?


DEAN: And Sara, really in the last 24-plus hours, we have really seen just Tyre Nichols in this one particular moment in his life.

But he obviously led a very full life, had a family that he loved and loved him.

Tell us more about what you're learning about him as a person.

SIDNER: So, there is some wonderful video of Tyre Nichols doing what he loves to do. One of his passions, and that was skateboarding.

He was so into skateboarding. His mother called him a free spirit. One of his friends, who we knew in Sacramento said that when he was on his skateboard, that's when he was the most free.

And he loves to skate. It was one of the things that he did not just for enjoyment, but, you know, to make himself feel free.

And so, you see him, that was about 12 years ago, him skating there. Video taken by a friend.

We also learned that he has a web site -- a photography web site. And that was his passion. While he worked at FedEx, his passion was going out on a nightly basis and taking photographs of the sunsets.

His web site talks about the fact that -- and it's really haunting when we read his own words where he talked about, you know, instead of just talking to people, instead of just getting people's stories through voice, I like to get them through pictures. And as it turned out, it was video, which captured some of the last moments of his life, and also, some of the worst moments of his life.

Not somebody talking because it is silent video for some of that. When you see it from the pole cam, from the sky cop cam, as they call it. But he was a guy that his mom said was a free spirit. And he -- and his friends that he didn't conform to what society sees as a black man should be.

He did not conform to any sort of stereotype, but he was his own man. And as one person put it, he was a gentleman. Jessica?

DEAN: Right. Thank you so much for really explaining who he was as a person. Sara Sidner there for us in Memphis. We appreciate it.

Some of the Memphis police officers accused in Tyre Nichols' killing were part of a specialized unit called, SCORPION. Officials telling CNN, that unit has now been inactivated as the city conducts a review of all of its specialized units.

An attorney for the Nichols family says the city should immediately disbanded the group.

CNN correspondent Brian Todd has more.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A dramatic call from an attorney for Tyree Nichols family to dissolve the special unit of the Memphis Police that at least some of the officers accused and Nichols's death belong to.

ANTONIO ROMANUCCI, ATTORNEY FOR TYRE NICHOLS' FAMILY: We are asking Chief Davis to disband the SCORPION Unit, effective immediately.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Immediately. Immediately.

ROMANUCCI: The intent of the SCORPION Unit has now been corrupted.

TODD: SCORPION, standing for, Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in our Neighborhoods is a specialized unit of the Memphis Police, created by the current chief, Cerelyn C.J. Davis in the fall of 2021, with a promo video, accompanying its launch.

Chief Davis told our Don Lemon, they needed a unit to address a surge of violent crimes in Memphis.

CERELYN J. DAVIS, CHIEF, MEMPHIS POLICE DEPARTMENT: This is one of three teams whose primary responsibility is to reduce gun violence, to be visible in communities, and to also impact the rise in the crime.

Basically out of -- out of an outcry from the community. We had record numbers in 2021. 346 homicides.

TODD: Chief Davis says the SCORPION Unit, at least, initially had great success.

DAVIS: Last year was the first year in a long time that we have reductions.


TODD: The Mayor's Office also touted SCORPION's early success. Saying, that between its inception in the fall of 2021 through January of 2022, the unit made 566 arrests, seized more than 250 weapons, 270 vehicles, and over $100,000 in cash.

But in its brief lifetime, there's already a history of tension between SCORPION officers and the community. Attorneys for Tyre Nichols family say the unit goes around in unmarked cars and is sometimes unnecessarily aggressive.

Family attorney Ben Crump relayed one account that a local man had also described to media outlets of his encounter with SCORPION.

BEN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR TYRE NICHOL'S FAMILY: There's a brother who say four or five days before this happened to Tyre that same SCORPION unit confronted him while he was in his car going to get pizza.

And he said that they used all kind of profanity against him, they threw him on the ground, talking about where the drugs and where the weapons?


TODD: And Crump, said the officers pointed a gun at the man's head.

CNN has reached out to the Memphis police for response to that account. We haven't heard back.

One law enforcement veteran described issues that often crump up with specialized units in city police departments.

DARRIN PORCHER, FORMER LIEUTENANT, NEW YORK POLICE DISTRICT: Generally speaking, we have an enforcement driven unit. These units have a greater propensity to rack up complaints against them based on excessive force. But the terminal piece in this is overall supervision.

So, I believe that we had a failure in supervision and there was no appropriate oversight to ensure that these officers were doing what they were supposed to do. (END VIDEOTAPE)

TODD (on camera): Again, the Memphis Police Department has not responded to specific allegations of previous use of excessive force by the SCORPION Unit.

Memphis police tell CNN that unit and all other specialized units of the departments will undergo a review, and that the SCORPION Unit is quote "inactivated" during the review process.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

DEAN: All right. Brian, thank you so much. And let's talk a little bit more about all of this. Joining me now is former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis.

Ed, great to have you. I want to start there with Memphis police pausing the SCORPION Unit while they do this review process.

We know that the family and their attorney has called for it to be disbanded completely. What's your take here?

Well, thank you for having me, Jessi (PH). This is a complicated problem that happens in police departments across the country. I ran into a similar situation in Boston, with something called Operation Rolling Thunder that I disbanded as soon as I came in.

ED DAVIS, FORMER BOSTON POLICE COMMISSIONER: It was named after a military operation. I think Chief Davis has done an admirable job in responding to this incident, and holding people accountable and bringing charges against the people who committed these crimes.

However, I know Memphis, it is a violent city, there's a lot of shooting activity there. Something needs to be done. But calling it the SCORPION Unit is probably not a good idea. It sends a message. And like your last -- your last person to commented, this is an abject failure in supervision.

You have to stay on top of these units as the police chief, you have to be very, very careful that they are operating within legal limits, and that they the message that you are sending to the community is one of cooperation, not of, you know, just going out and arresting everybody, everything that moves or stopping everything that moves out there.

DEAN: Right. I think that was former police commissioner of Philly and in D.C., Charles Ramsey was saying that. And it's about supervision, like you're saying, you really have to have a lot of oversight on these groups.

The tactics used by those five former officers, the punching, the kicking, when his hands are restrained, and they're hitting him in the face. What is your reaction to seeing that?

DAVIS: That's, it's a terrible thing to watch. And there is no call for it. Your responsibility is to take the person into custody. If you're affecting arrest, and someone is resisting, you're supposed to use force -- on a continuum of force that is equal to the force that is being used against you so that you can overcome it and get the handcuffs on the people.

So, what usually happens is it's more like a wrestling match or a grappling kind of encounter. What I saw here was punishment, I saw fists being thrown, weapons being used, just a constant spraying of pepper spray in the kid's face when he was lying on the ground.

I just -- I cannot fathom what brought these officers to act the way that they did.

DEAN: Right. And it seems like that really -- they just -- they started as Ramsey was telling us, at a 10. And it's like how do you possibly -- it's really hard to deescalate from there.

Is it typical -- this just seems like such a typically -- they were just so violent from the get go.

DAVIS: They were angry when they came up on the car. As to why that happened, I don't know. And even if they were angry, there is no excuse for it.

In the first encounter with the victim, he's actually the logical measured person. He's saying you're overdoing this. What do you, you know, I mean, it's not often that you see this happen, where a suspect is more logical and normal than the officers who are encounting (PH) him -- encountering him.

DEAN: Right. Right, right, right. And worth pointing out too that at this point, there is no even evidence that he was driving recklessly at the time.

We do know, as you mentioned, these officers fired very, pretty quickly. Those -- are all things considered the charges brought within some 20 days of the incident.

And the attorney for his family is calling it a blueprint for how to handle police misconduct in the future.

Do you agree with that? It just it from that kind of slim perspective that the -- how quickly they moved in charging these officers?

DAVIS: Right. It was -- it was a textbook, the way that they move forward. The visibility with the family.


It probably would have been better to indict them before that video was released to the -- to the family. But that requires communication with the district attorney's office and I don't know what that's like.

But by and large, Chief Davis did a -- did a really good job in holding these officers accountable. It was the street supervision. The last 30 minutes went by, I didn't see one sergeant on the scene there.

That is just, it's just completely against -- that's why the sergeants are out there, to go to things like this. I don't know how this could happen.

DEAN: And you are the third person that we've talked to this morning that has said that exact thing. Where was the sergeant? Where was the supervision in the moment? It is a big pressing question that hopefully we will get some answers to.

Ed Davis, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

DAVIS: Thank you, appreciate it.

DEAN: (voice over): Protesters call for justice after the video of Nichols' brutal beating was released. And ahead, we'll tell you how the sports world is reacting to it.

Plus, tensions are flaring in Israel after two shootings in Jerusalem just one day apart. We'll go there live with the latest. That's next.



DEAN: Two people were wounded in a shooting attack in Jerusalem earlier today. Police say the gunman was a 13-year-old, who was "neutralized and injured" by passersby.

That shooting coming just one day after a gunman killed at least seven people near a synagogue in the city.

CNN's Hadas Gold is in Jerusalem. Hadas, what's the latest there tonight?

HADAS GOLD, CNN POLITICS, MEDIA AND BUSINESS REPORTER (on camera): Yes, Jessica. It's really been three days of bloodshed hear for both Israelis and Palestinians.

You mentioned the shooting this morning of 13-year-old boy, injuring two, but no casualties from that.

And then, last night, in what's being described as one of the worst terror attacks that Israel has seen in recent years, seven people were killed outside of a synagogue, it was Friday night.

Shabbat service says synagogues usually are very busy around that time, an attacker shooting and killing seven, injuring at least three more.

We're getting some information about the victims. Among one of the injuries in hospital is a 15-year-old. The shooter then tried to flee, but he was then encountered by police a few minutes later. After a brief shootout, he himself was shot and killed. He was identified as a 21-year-old Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem. And Israeli police believed that he was acting on his own, but these events were not happening in a vacuum. Because just the day before on Thursday, was the deadliest day for Palestinians in the West Bank in well over a year.

That happened during both an Israeli military raid in Jenin that was targeting, Israel says, Islamic Jihad militants. But we know of, at least, one civilian, a woman in her 60s, who was killed during that firefight.

And then, another Palestinian -- a 10th Palestinian was killed in clashes later in the day. So, the deadliest day for Palestinians, that, by itself, those events on Thursday that led to rockets being fired from Gaza into Israel, and Israel responding with airstrikes.

There were no injuries in that situation. But it was already a very tense moment leading into Friday. And then, that attack happened.

Israeli police are calling both the shooting on Friday night and Saturday morning as terror attacks.

And this is a big test for this new right-wing government in Israel that just took over about a month ago. And already there are calls from some of the more far-right wing members to take some drastic steps.

Among them, they want to bring the death penalty they say to terrorists, some of them are even saying that there should be way more guns on the street for civilians to be armed as they go around.

Meanwhile, on the diplomatic side, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is actually scheduled to be arriving here on Monday and Tuesday for meetings with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

This was a pre-planned trip. But obviously, the events of the last few days are bringing a new sense of urgency to those talks. Jessica.

DEAN: Absolutely. Hadas Gold, live for us in Jerusalem. Thank you so much for that update.

I want to bring in Aaron David Miller. He spent more than two decades at the state department, including as a Middle East negotiator.

It's great to have you with us. Thanks so much.

Let's start first with what you think it would take kind of number, one, give us some context about what we're seeing right now. Put this into perspective for us in terms of this violence. And what do you think it would take to stop this escalation of violence right now?

AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST (on camera): Yes. Great question, Jessica. I'm happy to be here with you.

Look, a perfect storm has been building for some time now.

You have a 56-year-old Israeli military occupation of the West Bank. You have a Palestinian authority that lost credibility on the streets and lost control.

You have armed groups, independent also attached to Hamas in Palestine Islamic Jihad operated in the West Bank, planning terror attacks.

And you have a new government most right wing in Israel's history. All of these things suggest that we haven't seen the end of this.

Violence and terror is a constant companion since the inception of the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

I think Israelis and Palestinians though having watched this for decades, are really now in a strategic cul-de-sac. And frankly, it's very difficult to imagine a quick or easy way out.

DEAN: Right. And after Israel's deadly raid in the West Bank, Thursday, Palestinian authority said they were ceasing security coordination with Israel.

Is that concerning? What does that mean?

MILLER: It is. Won't be the -- it wasn't the first time Mahmoud Abbas has done this. And it probably won't be the last. I think security cooperation is incredibly important.

And one of the objectives I suspect, of Secretary of State Blinken's trip. I think he arrives in Israel on Monday, will be to press of us, to try to resume that cooperation.

The problem for Abbas, Jessica, is that he's perceived without credibility, canceled elections last year. He's perceived to be Israel's policeman in the West Bank, even though security cooperation actually serves the interests of the Palestinian authority because it helps check the rise and influence of groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which you're trying to erode. Abbas's authority.


DEAN: And you mentioned President Netanyahu coming to power, coming back to power with this right-wing governing coalition.

Is this the first big national security test for him and this more right-wing government? And also, you mentioned it as part of this perfect storm? How does that particular government play in to this whole situation?

MILLER: You know, the reality is that -- and it's quite a paradox. Benjamin Netanyahu is now the most dovish element in his own coalition.

And he is not, by any strip of the imagination a dove. He is risk- averse, though. If you watch his actually -- his actual behavior. Very risk-averse with respect to protecting Israeli military strikes and reentry into Gaza and very risk-averse when it comes to Lebanon. I think this crisis is a difficult one for him. And the real question is whether or not he can manage the two ministers to whom he's granted extraordinary authority with very large budgets.

One, indicted and convicted on incitement too radical for the Israeli army. And the other one, visa allows small Trish (PH), now in charge of day to day life.

Construction, permits, building for areas see in the West Bank, which is 60 percent. So, he's got to figure out a way to manage this coalition and not be pushed in a -- in a moment of high tension, and understandable anger in response to what happened in Jerusalem and those deadly strike in 15 years there to manage the situation. So, he doesn't make an already tense situation worse.

And, I think, Secretary Blinken will be there, it will be understandably an extended sort of condolence call, you'll be very empathetic and sympathetic to the situation, which the Israelis find themselves.

But I'm hoping you'll also press the prime minister and understand that counterterrorism is very important and essential and effective.

But it has to be accompanied, also, by measures that would enhance the support of the Palestinian authority. So, in fact, security cooperation can be resumed.

DEAN: Can be resume. Well, we will see when the secretary of state gets there. Thank you so much, Aaron David Miller. Great to see you.

Reaction is pouring in after video of the horrific beating of Tyre Nichols was released. These are live pictures now from Atlanta, where you see a small group of protesters holding a Justice for Tyre Nichols gathering.

We'll have more on that story. Stay with us.



DEAN: The sports world is reacting to the release of the shocking video of the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols. The coach for the Memphis Grizzlies basketball team called his death senseless and says the ordeal has hit his team hard.


TAYLOR JENKINS, MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES COACH: I know there's not enough time in the day to share what's on my heart and my mind right now, you know, our team understands that our city is hurting. The Nichols and Wells family is hurting right now. The senseless loss of life for Tyre Nichols has really hit us hard and it's been tough being on the road, not being home. And I wish I could extend my arms through this camera right now, you know, to the family. They're going through a lot. I watched the interview with the family today and hearing Mrs. Wells talk with so much strength and positivity and love was powerful. It invoked a lot of emotions. I cried, you know, I knew this opportunity was going to come here to speak. And I just want to say --


DEAN: The Memphis Grizzly is played in Minneapolis last night, where the teams held a moment of silence for Nichols before the game began.

And as the nation processes the reality of those horrific videos of police brutality, a question so many are asking and thinking, how could something like this happen? My next guest has spent years studying racial inequalities and police civilian relations. I want to bring in University of Maryland's sociologist and Brookings Institute senior fellow Rashawn Ray for his perspective. Professor, great to see you. Thanks for being with us this morning. I know everyone is reacting to these videos in a different way. How are you processing all of this?

RASHAWN RAY, UNIV. OF MARYLAND, COLLEGE PARK, PROF. OF SOCIOLOGY: Well thanks as always for having me on. You know, it's deeply personal for me. I'm a native Tennesseean. I attended the University of Memphis. I vividly remember being in college riding down the union poplar going to the Lorraine Motel to honor MLK's legacy that was start at an auction block. And when I think about this particular incident and the city of Memphis with the leadership that is currently set up, I mean it's just disheartening.

But I will tell you, I think Memphis is becoming a blueprint and a litmus test and putting other cities on watch for how you actually roll this out. They addressed this incident very quickly. They had an internal investigation in the police department, fired the officers, there were paramedics put on leave. There are also sheriff deputies that are now under investigation and then of course they show the family the video and brought forth criminal charges.

And I think when we look at that rollout that speaks to the reason why these protests have been peaceful. And I'm happy to see that in a city that I call home and that is because we are seeing transparency and accountability and that's all that people have been asking for.

DEAN: Yes, I think Attorney Ben Crump called it a blueprint for how to do this, that it was well done in that way. You tweeted last night five police officers are charged with the murder of Tyree Nichols. What about all of the other officers involved who did not intervene to stop Tyree from being killed? What does their inaction tell you?

RAY: Well, look, I think when people saw those videos, they saw several people standing around having a series of emotions, joking, cussing, not acting professional. I mean, literally, I was disappointed and also embarrassed for what was happening again in a city that means so much to me. I think what it also speaks, though, from my expertise in policing is the lack of duty to intervene. That is one big thing that we've seen, from George Floyd to Freddie Gray to other incidents where officers who are supposed to uphold the law and protect people did not intervene.


And I understand the consequences of the blue wall of silence. People talk about the blue wall of silence as if people are standing behind it because they want to be loyal. That's part of it. There are real consequences for speaking up and speaking out. I've seen so many officers get demoted, get suspended for actually intervening.

I've seen officers not be backed up for doing that thing. And what this speaks to is a structural problem, a leaky pipeline where we need to have additional oversight, particularly at the state level, to have independent investigation so that officers who speak up and speak out are not reprimanded and not stigmatized, because that probably would have saved Tyre Nichols life.

DEAN: And you've spent years studying the actions of police officers. What does your research show when it comes to the race of people police are policing?

RAY: So at the University of Maryland, where I direct the lab for applied social science research, for years we have worked with police departments. We have interviewed hundreds of police officers. We have an innovative virtual reality training program that puts officers in the encounters they have every single day suspicious persons, traffic stops, domestic violence incidents. And we find something that's very, very important for people. We find that there are very few differences between whites and black officers in terms of their attitudes and behaviors, particularly when it comes to how they treat black people.

So in other words, the broader narrative that we've heard and the broader kind of incidents that we've seen where it's typically a white officer on a black victim, that's not necessarily what we find in our research. I think that is important and important to hold up. Now, there is definitely some research that shows a place effect.

In other words, if officers are from the place that they're policing or they live in that place, they are much more likely to treat people in an equitable way. We know that officers are much less likely to live in predominantly black neighborhood. So you put all this together. Our research suggests that there are some real policy solutions here to actually provide incentives for officers to live where they work and to also provide more training and accountability to ensure that these particular incidents don't happen.

DEAN: That's fascinating. It's very, very interesting. And obviously you mentioned in this case though, these were black officers attacking a black man. What do you make of this particular circumstance as it pertains to race?

RAY: Well, I think the first thing is that it's a selection effect to become a police officer. I have several police officers in my family. They are doing amazing work, like several of my friends who are police officers. But they'll tell you and then of course, in all the interviews we've done, they are socialized the same way. They are embedded in a culture that I'm unsure as much as systemic change we might make in terms of policy and structural changes. I'm unsure if culture is reformable.

So we have to remember that the legacy of policing in the United States comes out of slave patrols, which was even before the United States was founded, there were black people fleeing plantations where individuals were trying to track them. And, of course, law enforcement outlasted that through the founding of our country, through Jim Crow, through the civil rights movement, through mass incarceration. So this is deeply embedded in the sediment.

It's really what I call the way that bad apples come from rotten trees. These five cops, well, these ex cops are bad apples, but they come from somewhere, and they come from a rotten tree that we have never, never truly dealt with in the United States.

DEAN: All right, Rashawn Ray, we're going to have to leave it there. Thank you so much for your insight. We appreciate you being with us.

RAY: Thank you for having me.


DEAN: We'll be right back.


DEAN: Microsoft is making a multibillion dollar investment in the company behind the viral new chatbot tool, ChatGPT. When put to the test, the chatbot has answered questions with responses that appear as though a human wrote it. The program can even write an entire school paper in minutes, sparking New York City public schools to ban it to cut down on cheating. CNN's Vanessa Yerkovich reports.


VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: ChatGPT, short for Chat Generative Pre-training Transformer, is a machine learning model that can generate human-like text. It's been trained on a massive amount of data, allowing it to understand and respond to a wide range of questions and prompts.

(on camera): What you just heard me reading wasn't written by me. It was written by artificial intelligence, ChatGPT.

(voice-over): I simply typed in a prompt, write a T.V. news script written by a reporter about ChatGPT. And in just seconds, the AI spit out the copy you just heard. ChatGPT has exploded in popularity in recent months. CEOs are now using it to write e-mails. It even passed a Wharton School of Business exam.

(on camera): Should people be more excited about ChatGPT or more fearful of it?


YURKEVICH (voice-over): OpenAI, which owns ChatGPT, says the technology is still in its research phase and can produce inaccurate information.

(on camera): You like artificial intelligence, but are you here to issue a warning about it?

MARCUS: Absolutely. Artificial intelligence is sort of like a teenager right now. It's exciting to see a teenager, like, get its footing, but it's also not there yet and we can't trust it.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): But Microsoft thinks it's a good bet, even with some risks. They're investing billions of dollars in OpenAI.

Jack Po, CEO of Ansibele Health, had ChatGPT take three versions of the U.S. medical licensing test and it passed all three.


JACK PO, CEO, ANSIBELE HEALTH: Not only can it answer very complex questions, it can also modulate its answer.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Po and his team of 30 doctors started using the platform to help with treatment for their patients who have COPD, a pulmonary disease.

PO: What this technology could really enable, it has already started enabling us is to suddenly suggest things that we might not be thinking of at all. It will absolutely save lives.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Jake Heller is a lawyer and founder of Casetext, which helps its clients comb through documents using AI like ChatGPT.

JAKE HELLER, FOUNDER, CASETEXT: You can have it read police reports. You can have it see if witnesses gave contradictory testimony. You can almost certainly help find information that is pertinent to, you know, guilt or innocence.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): But Po and Heller both say that human oversight of ChatGPT is still necessary. OpenAI says the platform can produce harmful instructions.

HELLER: In law, there absolutely is right and wrong answers, and that's why, you know, ChatGPT alone is not going to be enough to handle some of the most important questions in fields like law.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): And then, there's the question of plagiarism. New York City Public Schools banned ChatGPT on school network devices due to concerns about negative impacts on student learning and concerns regarding the safety and accuracy of content.

EDWARD TIAN, FOUNDER, GPTZERO: It's incredible innovation. But at the same time, it's like opening a Pandora's box.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Which is why Edward Tian, a 22-year-old Princeton student himself, spent his winter break building GPTZero, which he says can detect whether something is likely written by a human or ChatGPT. He says teachers use it to check their students' papers.

(on camera): Is this like one AI cross-checking another AI?

TIAN: In a sense, yes.

YURKEVICH: But can it spot misinformation?

TIAN: Oh, OK, yes. So, as opposed to misinformation, it's more of like it can only spot if something is AI-generated or human-generated.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): And that's the greatest fear of all -- spreading misinformation. ChatGPT, a tool designed to help humanity, could ultimately hurt it.

MARCUS: People who want to manipulate elections and things like that. Instead of like writing one thing at a time you'd be able to write thousands of things to give, for example, vaccine denialism more oxygen than it deserves.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Vanessa Yurkevich, CNN, New York.


DEAN: Absolutely wild. All right, Vanessa, thanks so much. In just a few hours, former President Donald Trump will hit the trail, looking to energize his 2024 campaign. Up next, what to expect from his back to back appearances today.



DEAN: The January 6th rioter who assaulted Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick with pepper spray has been sentenced to more than six years in jail. Dozens of Capitol police packed the courtroom for the proceeding where Julian Cater pleaded guilty to attacking Sicknick. Sicknick died the day following the riot after suffering several strokes. Authorities ruled he died of natural causes, but determined everything that happened during the riot played a role in his death.

Donald Trump is hitting the campaign trail today with visits to two early voting states as he looks to put a spark into his 2024 presidential campaign. Right now he's speaking at the New Hampshire Republican Party's annual meeting in Salem. Later today, he'll head to South Carolina for a campaign event at the State House there. And for more, let's bring in CNN's Gabby Orr, who's in Columbia, South Carolina. And Gabby, it's been a while since the former president held any campaign events. What are we expecting today?

GABBY ORR, CNN REPORTER: Well, that's right, Jessica. This is the first time that Donald Trump is hitting the campaign trail in nearly two and a half months since he launched his presidential campaign in November. As you mentioned, he's up in New Hampshire right now. Later today, he'll be here in Columbia, South Carolina. The first event that he's doing in New Hampshire, he's going to be speaking to a number of Republican officials, local donors, activists. We're also told that he will be announcing during this event in New Hampshire that he is adding outgoing New Hampshire Republican Party chairman Steven Stepanek as a senior adviser to his campaign, so really gearing up his field operation in the Granite State. He's then going to be coming here to South Carolina, where he'll similarly unfold, unveil a leadership team for his South Carolina campaign and roll out some key endorsements. Now two of those are going to be incumbent Republican Governor Henry McMaster, as well as South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.

And we're also told that there will be a number of state Republican officials and local lawmakers on hand to show their support for the former president. What's interesting is that both of these campaign events are very traditional, unlike what we've seen from the former President's previous two presidential campaigns and really meant to show that he is gearing towards earning the trust of voters and Republican officials who are skeptical of the third presidential campaign and skeptical of nominating him again to take on President Joe Biden.

Now, when he's here in South Carolina, he will be meeting with donors. We're told he's also going to be, again, unveiling that leadership team, really showing that he is focused on winning this state. This is a state that he won the second primary that happens, and he won it in 2016, and it really helped him eventually become the nominee.


So he's hoping to replicate that again this time around. But there are a number officials here, Republican voters, who are still waiting to see how this field takes shape. They're not sure if they want to back Donald Trump or if another Republican might be more appealing to them. One of those former South Carolina Governor herself, Nikki Haley, might soon be jumping into the race to challenge her former boss, Donald Trump, Jessica?

DEAN: That's all revving up. All right, Gabby Orr for us in South Carolina. Thanks so much.

The city of Memphis and the nation reeling after the video, the video of the brutal and fatal police beating of Tyre Nichols was released. And today, more questions about the police response and inaction seen in that video. We'll discuss that's ahead.