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Erin Burnett Outfront
Third Day of Demonstrations Following Chokehold Decision; Thousands of People Protesting Garner Decision in Major Cities Across The U.S.
Aired December 05, 2014 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Special edition of OUTFRONT live. Tonight breaking news, protests on the streets of New York and in cities across the United States. Blocking streets and stores. Protesters demanding justice for Eric Garner.
Plus CNN has obtained Eric Garner's autopsy. Its chilling conclusion, quote, "the manner of death, homicide." Given that and the video, why didn't the grand jury rule to indict?
And my guest tonight, Eric Garner's sister and daughter. On the man at the center of civil rights protests unlike any seen in this country.
Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. A special edition of OUTFRONT live tonight. The breaking news, not backing down.
Protesters out on the streets. Late on a Friday night across the United States. This is the third night of major demonstrations. The protests are very well organized tonight. Holding moments of silence. And staging die-ins where they lie down like Michael Brown in Ferguson. They're doing this in major intersections. And inside major locations like Macy's, Grand Central Station, and the Apple Store all in Manhattan.
We want to show you the scene right now in Washington, D.C. where the crowds are very vocal. Chanting now familiar slogans like I can't breathe. One protester in Washington telling CNN they were prepared to block D.C. streets every night until they see evidence of real change.
Now there are many large protests around the country tonight. Here are a few that we are looking. Demonstrators marching, blocking traffic in Boston, Miami, Washington, D.C., New York, and Chicago. This as the Garner family released Garner's autopsy report to CNN. And under the heading, "Final Diagnosis," it lists, quote, "the cause of death as chokehold." The manner of death, as, homicide.
Our reporters are on the streets across the country tonight. And Kyung Lah begins our coverage with protesters in Chicago. Athena Jones is in Washington. And I actually want to go to you, Athena. What is the scene there? I know there were threats as you have been reporting through the night that they were going to be blocking streets.
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Erin. And that's what they have been doing. We're actually blocking a major intersection, Connecticut Avenue. It's a major street that connects the White House to northwest -- northwest Washington. We're only about three blocks from the White House here. And you can see this giant circle behind me. Several hundred people are out tonight.
This crowd has been growing as this crowd has been marching around town. And I should tell you that the police presence has been a lot more evident tonight. We've seen a lot of policemen on bicycles following along with the crowds. Still no real interaction between the crowd and police. No arrests that we've seen. But there are a lot more police out here tonight.
I want to mention that the protest organizer has made a real point of saying that this should be a nonviolent protest, that anyone who wants to be violent should go home. He used much stronger language than that. But that is the message they've been trying to give all night. And one more point. You notice this is a diverse crowd. Just as it has been over the last several nights. We've seen, a black/white, all racist, young, old.
I just talked to two young white women holding black lives matter signs. I spoke with another young white college student, a young woman from Baltimore, who said she wants to see a change in the justice system, change in the way the grand jury proceedings are handled. She wants to see a third party get involved in the case of -- of a police shooting, to help investigate.
So a lot of voices out here. A lot of ideas of what they want to see changed. But the main point is they want to see the justice system and law enforcement treat everyone fairly -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Athena. Thank you very much. And now I want to go to downtown Chicago. There's been an energetic crowd on the move this evening. They have been chanting hands up, don't shoot, I can't breathe.
Kyung Lah is with the crowd tonight.
And Kyung, when I talked to you a few hours tonight. You were completely surrounded by protesters. How many more people do you have with you now?
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The crowd is actually about the same size surprisingly because this started at 1:00 local time. It has been going an all day. And, you said the words, on the move, Erin, that really does describe this crowd. In order to avoid arrests, what they have been trying to do is stay mobile and to stay on the sidewalks.
Now a couple of protesters have broken away at times and tried to separate from the group. Go across the street or stand in the street very, very briefly. And what we've seen are approximately 10 to a dozen people who have been detained. We don't know what they're being charged with. But we do know that we saw them get cuffed, those temporary plastic cuffs, and then put into some of the Chicago vans and taken away.
So what we are seeing is this effort to stay mobile. And it's all an effort to try to get the message across. One thing we've seen is that they've tried to stop at places like Nordstrom's, at the Apple Store. They are trying to get to the places where shoppers are because they want to get their message out to people who may not be socially engaged or necessarily activists.
So certainly what we are noticing, Erin, tonight is it is a slightly smaller crowd than last night. A crowd that is not intent on laying in the streets like yesterday. But certainly a very energized group.
BURNETT: All right, Kyung, thank you very much.
And as I mentioned at the top of the hour, we do have the official autopsy report for Eric Garner. It read about 16 pages but the bottom line came down to this official summary. The cause of death, and I'm going to read their exact words. Compression of neck, meaning chokehold, along with compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police, which means the way that Garner was lying was chest down on the ground.
Then it says contributory conditions, which were acute and chronic bronchial asthma, obesity, hypertensive cardiovascular disease, and the manner of death is homicide.
All right. The report clearly states this was a homicide. The grand jury, though, did not indict. Why?
Well our forensic scientist Lawrence Kobilinsky joins me now.
And let me just ask you this fundamental question. Based on the report and you've read all 16 pages. Obviously these were the key points in the summary. But do you think this officer should have been indicted or not?
LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Well, the report clearly presents evidence that there was a compression of the blood vessels on the side of the neck. This was not a blockage of the airway. The jugular veins are towards the surface of the person. In the neck. The carotid and the arteries are more internal.
When you compress the neck and you put pressure and close down blood flow in the veins. The arteries are still open. And so blood enters the brain but cannot leave it. And what that means is that blood pressure builds up in the head and in critical membranes, the lining, this fine tissue under the eyelids and the tissue that covers --
BURNETT: I think they noted that in there, correct?
KOBILINSKY: They noted that.
BURNETT: Yes. KOBILINSKY: The tissue that covers the whites of the eye. Tissue in
the gums. It shows these small pinpoint hemorrhages called petechiae. This is the hallmark for asphyxia due to a compression of those blood vessels. That's not the only thing, as you pointed out, there was a compression of the chest and there was positional asphyxia. This was a big man. His body mass index was more than twice the high level of normal. And so he was a big man.
KOBILINSKY: He was on his stomach. His chest was compressed. He couldn't breathe. He could say I can't breathe, but he had trouble breathing.
BURNETT: OK. So again it gets to the point of what was the precipitating factor which appears to be in this case had the chokehold not happened this whole chain of events wouldn't have happened. Then they, though -- they go ahead and say the contributing factors, they mentioned asthma, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.
OK. All those things may be the case. But again, my question to you is do you think the grand jury looked at those and said OK, well, maybe it was those, too. Because the problem is, again, those things wouldn't have mattered in this instance, had there not been that chokehold.
KOBILINSKY: I think in this particular instance, all of those factors you just mentioned played a role.
KOBILINSKY: However, the compression of the blood vessels, either that or the compression of the chest could kill a person, could kill a normal person, person that is not very large. And so this is not a good way for police to subdue somebody. Right from the outset there should have been a different way of handling the situation.
Certainly when they heard I cannot breathe, they should have backed off. They should have done first air and immediately called EMS. Especially because of his obvious condition. What they didn't know is he had a cardiomegaly, enlarged heart, he had hypertension, he had atherosclerosis, he had asthma.
BURNETT: All of which you could have assumed with someone is so significantly overweight.
KOBILINSKY: That's correct. If you're going to deal with a big guy, use special methods.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Dr. Kobilinsky.
And next, we're live -- we continue to be live in the streets of New York. A large protest in this fifth hour. Spreading to one of the major highways on the side of Manhattan Island.
Plus a white officer cleared in the death of Eric Garner. But many, even his daughter, say it's not about race. And she's our guest. And then two women who are very closer to Eric Garner. His sister and his daughter, are my special guests OUTFRONT tonight.
BURNETT: OUTFRONT tonight, criminal defense attorneys, Paul Martin and Mark O'Mara, along with CNN political commentator Marc Lamont Hill.
All right, so we were just talking about the autopsy which comes to the conclusion that the manner of death was homicide.
Mark O'Mara, let me start with you. How can a grand jury or anyone defend not charging someone with killing Eric Garner if the autopsy conclusion was homicide?
MARK O'MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, because homicide is causing of death by another person. It doesn't carry with it criminal liability. Now granted Eric Garner was alive. Cops got there. He was dead. So certainly the suggestion would be that they caused his death. And they did. The real question that the grand jury, as it was, led by the prosecutor was whether or not that death was caused by criminal responsibility. And seemingly they determined that it wasn't.
BURNETT: Which -- I understand the legalese, and I'm sure those listening carefully understand what you're saying, although it's hard to the lay person to really understand that. When you say homicide you think someone is responsible.
Paul, you successfully defended a police officer who killed an unarmed black man. In this case the autopsy says homicide. So how do you get around that? Says homicide but the men they were looking at indicting didn't get indicted. And all the other cops who were there were given immunity in exchange for testifying.
PAUL MARTIN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, as Mark O'Mara just stated, the medical determination by the medical examiner's office on the homicide does not transcend over to the grand jury process. It's a totally different consideration. And in looking at all the facts and circumstances in the grand jury, they found no reasonable cause to proceed.
BURNETT: All right, so, when -- some of the things that they looked at. And as you're referencing, there was more there than we're all aware of, everyone. I mean, you all watching this show and this network have seen two videos. One of that moment of the chokehold of Eric Garner and then one after that when he's lying on the ground and minutes go by as they're waiting for the EMT. And he gets loaded into the ambulance finally.
We now know that there are two more videos the grand jury saw that we, the public, have not seen.
Marc Lamont Hill, is it possible there was something in those two videos, something that would make it the right decision to not indict Officer Pantaleo in Eric Garner's death? MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I can't imagine anything
in those videos that would change the grand jury's decision. Now it seems to me that the grand jury made a decision based on what they saw and based on what we saw. The grand jury seemed to make a decision that what -- that the police tactics were appropriate or at least acceptable under those circumstances. Again, I grossly -- I think they were in gross error. But that was the decision that they made.
They also believed that they may have reasonably thought there were in some sort of danger that this was necessary. Again I disagree with the grand jury. But that was the decision that they made. And I have to agree with Mark O'Mara that the definition of homicide as such doesn't mean that the police were criminal. Just because you're responsible for the death doesn't mean that they did anything wrong.
The problem is when we look at the tape, we see that the police did something wrong. It was completely unnecessary.
BURNETT: Well, and that -- and, Paul, that brings me to the question. I know that you agree, right, that there shouldn't have been an indictment. You actually agree with the outcome.
BURNETT: OK. But you do think that if Eric Garner were white none of this would have happened.
MARTIN: No doubt. I think the same tape that acquits the officer convicts society. If Mr. Garner had been a middle-aged white man, I don't believe that he would have been arrested. I think a ticket would have taken place. I think the medical treatment that he received or did not receive was because of his race and his economic status. I don't think if he was in Midtown, or in Upper Eastside, the officers would have treated him in that same manner.
BURNETT: So -- and you're talking, I mean, specifically about the four, five, six minutes that go by when he's lying there.
MARTIN: Lying there breathing saying --
BURNETT: Arms are kind of completely dead when he gets on the gurney, lying off the side. I mean, the guy is clearly incapacitated.
MARTIN: Correct. And no one is moving, lending a hand, no one is doing any type of emergency and emergency type of technicians are doing anything. They just left him. And that's a problem.
HILL: Because this is what's confusing --
HILL: But this is what's confusing me. If you're saying that his race and his economic status were the predicate for these actions, that if he were not black and if he were not poor he would be alive, and that his race and gender were the animating force for a whole set of police actions then to me on some level if not at the state level, certainly the federal level with regards to civil rights there is a case to be made here because his race is the reason why he's dead.
MARTIN: What I said was this, and I do believe this. But for his race, I believe he would have gotten a ticket. But for his race, I believe he would have gotten the right treatment medically. But I don't believe it was because his race that they attacked him. I don't think it was a racism that led them to arrest him in the first place. I think it was because of his race that he was treated in the manner that he was. That's what I believe.
BURNETT: What about this issue of charges?
HILL: Right. So --
BURNETT: OK. Go ahead, Marc Lamont Hill.
HILL: I'm saying, that seems to be distinction without a difference. If you're saying the police have the ability to offer appropriate medical treatment and did not because of race then there's a level of negligence there. If you're saying that the police --
MARTIN: There's no doubt.
HILL -- could have given him a ticket and did not, that's a different issue.
BURNETT: So you're saying, Paul, then you would have indicted him on something.
HILL: I agree with you just because race --
MARTIN: Actually negligence is a civil term. And for as far as negligence of the officer not rendering correct medical treatment, I believe their family is definitely entitled to -- and the only thing they can do in civil court is pay money. So the way they treated him, as far as afterwards, after the takedown, definitely negligent. I don't think there is any doubt about that. And I think in the end, civil court will bear that out.
BURNETT: Mark O'Mara, they have a $75 million civil case?
O'MARA: Yes, they do. I think they definitely have as much as they want because there's no question that the way these officers acted caused a death that they didn't need to cause. Interesting, negligence can be criminal if it gets to the level of criminal negligence. Not to sound with the legalese but there is criminally negligent manslaughter in New York.
O'MARA: And had they -- had the grand jury said, you were not only negligent, you are negligent to a level where it reaches criminal liability if they would have held him.
But another point I do want to make real quickly, what Paul was talking about, what Marc was talking about is exactly where we need to spend our time. There are those subtle occurrences that happened. Not five racist cops going up to decide to kill a black guy. But subtleties that happened. The fact that we even just talked a moment ago saying that he may not have gotten the medical care he didn't get because of the color of his skin.
That's what we need to be real careful. That's where the training needs to come in. That's where we need to acknowledge that the difference in the way cops and African-Americans interact and the way cops and whites interact, that's where we need to focus. That's where the subtleties are happening which is why we're ending up with so many more African-Americans in the criminal justice system than should be there.
BURNETT: And just to the point, though, Paul, to try to get to the bottom of this. I think what's frustrating a lot of protesters is this definition of racism. There's overt racism where the cops say let's go get this guy because he's black. I don't think anyone is saying that's what happened here. There's no evidence at least that we've seen that's that what happened. But the choice to not give him the ticket, the choice to choose to arrest him, all the choices when you're saying it's based on -- and that is racism. Right?
MARTIN: The system in racist in what actually happens today. If you go to any criminal court system in the city of New York you would believe that black people are the only people that commit crimes. And we know that's just not the case. So to say that there is not selective prosecution, they don't do buy and bust operations on Wall Street, they don't do buy and bust operations on the Upper Eastside.
But we -- we all do know, and statistics have proven, that there are more white drug dealers and white individuals who do drugs than they do black. But you don't see them doing these operations. That is some underlying racism.
HILL: So that's why it's important -- that's why it's important not to let these officers off the hook. I agree with most of what Mark O'Mara said. But one part that I slightly disagree with is this idea is that we're saying the police aren't racist because of their intention or their lack of racist intention. I think it becomes problematic when we reduce race or racism to the level of intentionality.
If you see a black guy in the street and you are a law enforcement officer, and you see danger when there is none, you just think they're older than they are and more guilty than they are as the most recent APA study shows.
HILL: That's also a form of racism whether your intent is there, not isn't the point.
HILL: It's still racism. MARTIN: But that is the problem with the criminal justice system
because you have to prove intent to prove the crime.
MARTIN: And so that's --
HILL: And that's why --
MARTIN: It's a muddy issue.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks --
HILL: I agree and that's why I say, I'm not sure the legal system is equipped to handle issues of racism.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to all three of you.
And you can see some of the difficulties here. And I think they all do -- excellent job to all of you and thank you for explaining what the standard was for that grand jury. Not just -- not just the probable cause but when we're talking about criminal act.
I want to go to Jason Carroll now. He's near Union Square, which is sort of near downtown New York City.
Jason, you've been walking with the protesters all night. Earlier when you and I first spoke, when you were first out there, you were up in Columbus Circle, then you walk by the Empire State Building, now you're all the way down in Union Square, couple miles away.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Even further south than that. We've now made our way down to Avenue A, on the Lower Eastside. And the protesters have basically broken off. They've ended their night for the most part at least this particular group. But what a night it was. Starting off at Columbus Circle. Then moving to the Apple Store where they did their die-in. Then moving down. It was one die-in after another.
Stopping at Macy's. Walking right into the middle of the store. At least 200 at the point, walking and holding a die-in there. Then over to Bryant Park where you had the Christmas staging one there. And then over to Grand Central where they did one there as well. And then at one point, officers tried to get a handle on them as they marched down to the middle of the street like this one here. You can see the very tail end of the officers now down the street there as they break off in formation.
It's been a difficult night for them as the group was nimble, smaller number of people so much more difficult to get a handle on. You can't have helicopters in the sky with weather like this. And in terms of the police scooters that they started using in the beginning of the night, they had to back off on using some of those as the well due to the weather. So it was difficult for officers to get a handle on what was going on. But a much different scene in terms of how we saw the police response here versus to what I was listening to and what you saw in Chicago, where police were basically not allowing protesters to move about.
Here in New York, they allowed them to move through the city, move through some iconic spots. Into stores such as Macy's and then back out of them. But for now this particular part of the protest has ended for the evening -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Jason, thank you very much.
And I want to go to Don Lemon. Don actually was in Midtown, Manhattan, one of the main highways that runs right up along, the river, the East River where I know protesters are supposedly coming to where you are now -- Don.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR, CNN TONIGHT: Well, it's not clear. But we spoke to police officers here on the scene and they say, they're just here waiting because as we have been telling you all night, at least when I was on earlier, they're not exactly sure where they're going. They just kind of show up and walk around the city. But police are ready.
Look at this. This is all -- I want to take you this way and show you this is down 23rd Street right off the FDR. There is two very long blocks here, just filled with nothing but police cars. They blocked it off. And if you come this way, Erin, we can show you, these are just police officers that are just here waiting, waiting. And they're blocks and blocks, blocks of police officers under the FDR, under the upper platform of the FDR.
And they are just waiting for protesters whatever the protesters decide they're going to go that's what they're doing. So some of the routes are taking very circuitous routes to get around the city. Right now we're here waiting and we've sort of been just roaming around just looking for some of the protesters. But 150, 200 protesters as I said came through here just a short time ago.
BURNETT: Obviously the weather in Manhattan now having an impact on how late some of these folks are going to stay out. I know that there's supposed to be a mass protest again tomorrow. We'll see.
You know, Marc Lamont Hill, this, I guess, raises the question of, you know, I saw a tweet, one tweet that really stuck with me because the person wrote, violence isn't working. Nonviolence isn't working. What will? I mean, there is frustration on some protesters. You know, they're out there. They're being peaceful. But what's that going to get them? Ferguson didn't get you anything. But is being peaceful?
HILL: Well, peace certainly doesn't work. But again we have to be sure we're clear by what we mean by peace and what we mean by a lack of peace. Peace -- a lack of peace doesn't necessarily mean violence. When people are out in the streets shutting down highways and making a national spectacle of this --
HILL: -- they're drawing attention to an issue. We wouldn't be talking about Michael Brown or Eric Garner if not for this civil unrest.
HILL: So to that extent we're in the right place. But the question is after they do the protest, what kind of organized response do we want? And what kind of demand do we set? Otherwise we'll become like the occupy movement where we say we're going to stand in front of this building until capitalism ends.
Yes, good luck with that. We need concrete demands. We need police oversight. We need community control of police. We need citizen review board. We need voter registration. Those are the things that need to happen post-protest.
BURNETT: And can we count on any sort of federal charges, Paul? Because that's something that people are counting on.
MARTIN: I don't believe --
BURNETT: They have -- and you don't believe that.
MARTIN: -- there'll be federal charges in this case just because of the nature of the facts and circumstances. But we do welcome the fact that there will be an open discussion about the death of Michael Brown and what happened in Ferguson. And that will hopefully broaden the understanding from those who don't really believe that racism takes place in the criminal justice system.
BURNETT: Final word to you, Don Lemon. You were with those protesters in Ferguson. How disappointed will people be if there are no charges in the Trayvon Martin case, no charges in the Michael Brown case, and now no charges from the feds in the Eric Garner case?
LEMON: I'm sorry, Erin, repeat your question. It's a little bit tough to hear.
BURNETT: I was just saying how devastated will people be if there are no charges in any of three major possible civil rights cases from Trayvon Martin, to Michael Brown to Eric Garner?
LEMON: I think people are pretty devastated now. Listen, in the one way that you referenced just a short time ago that I spent a lot of time covering and that's Ferguson, some people thought that there was ambiguity about it because there was fighting in the car and what have you. And they tried to grab the officer's gun. But in this one, there is no ambiguity about it. It's on videotape and I think that's why people are so outraged.
So if you add all these three together and nothing happens, you know, I don't know what's going to happen but at some point you have to say, all right, enough is enough. And I think New York is making changes. You see the mayor and the police commissioner making changes here. But it's not just New York City. I mean, this is about police departments around the country.
BURNETT: Yes. It's much bigger than that. Well, thanks very much to you, Don. And of course to all of you.
And next, we're live on the streets of Chicago and across the U.S., the third day of protests in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.
And Eric Garner's sister and his daughter, OUTFRONT tonight on this case. They're my special guests, next.
BURNETT: Breaking news. We are monitoring thousands of people protesting in major cities across the U.S. are now familiar rallying cry at so many of them, "I can't breathe." That is what Eric Garner repeated many times after he was put in a chokehold by a white NYPD officer this summer. The 43-year-old father of six died after the incident and a grand jury this week cleared the police officer of any wrongdoing. We are going to hear more from Eric Garner's family in just a moment I will speak to them. But first, I want to get to Kyung Lah in Chicago and Kyung what are you seeing at this moment?
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well this is a protest that, just to put into context has been going on all day here in the streets of Chicago. It started around 1 o'clock local time, that's about eight hours, and it appears to have settled right now at Chicago police headquarters. I want you to look over this way, you can see that a lot of people are sitting down, it is a sit in and the doorstep that they are sitting in front of is the headquarters of the Chicago police department. If you look towards the entrance of this building, you can see that, blocking the entrance are -- a number of police officers who are on bicycles. And this is something we seen throughout the evening, they use their bicycles as barriers to try to prevent some of these protesters from going into any stores, going into any subways, crossing a major roads.
You may recall, Erin, yesterday there were a number of -- terrible traffic blockages here in the city of Chicago. Where at one point the highway, there are people who are running on the highway, Lakeshore drive was shut down. So, it became quite a bit of a traffic nightmare here in the city. We haven't seen any of that today. But we have seen though is a lot less patience on the part of the Chicago police department. They have certainly made a very clear line that they do not want any other traffic headaches. We've seen, Erin, about 10 people being cuffed and taken away. You know? And a lot of these protest situations, the police officers carry these plastic -- restraints. We've seen them. We don't know what happened to them so far, but about 10 people who have been taken away, Erin.
BURNETT: Alright Kyung, thank you. And now, Outfront now, one of Eric Garner's daughter, Emerald Snipes Garner and Eric sister, Ellisha Flagg Garner, and good to have both of you with us.
Ellisha, there has been an outpouring of support for your brother. I mean, something that you could only think what he would think if he knew this was happening. I know you're planning a protest tomorrow. Do you think that this is making a difference? ELLISHA FLAGG GARNER, SISTER OF ERIC GARNER: A big difference.
Especially from the past to now, it's a very big difference. Now, everybody is more, you know, unity. A lot of people don't look at racism you know, anymore. Even the people whose parents tried to, you know make them look towards racism. You know, a lot of them don't look toward it because they feel it is not right. And -- you know it's good that people go on with their own minds and not being brainwashed. You know into it, you know.
BURNETT: So, so, Emerald, Officer Pantaleo released an apology, right? And I just wanted to read it for our viewers -- this is after the grand jury cleared him. I read this to your grandmother last night, she was with us. "My family and I include him -- your father, and his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal condolences for their lost." Your grandmother told me she does not accept that apology, because he didn't say he's sorry for what he did.
EMERALD SNIPES GARNER, DAUGHTER OF ERIC GARNER: It's not like you -- you know, you spill a cup of milk. I spilled the milk, I'm sorry. It was just -- I send my condolences. So there was a disconnect, there was no genuine apology. It was just something that probably somebody wrote on the paper and said, put your name on it. That's basically -- like a general apology, like you would google.
BURNETT: Not, not something you feel sincere and genuine and heartfelt. You just gave us a photo that you shared with us of you and your dad.
E.S. GARNER: Yeah.
BURNETT: And this is, -- well, special of course because he is no longer here. But I know, special also, because -- this was the last.
E.S. GARNER: Last picture that we took together. The weekend before this happened, they were -- we had remembered his day in Coney Island. And, it was remembering you know, all of the -- all of the soldiers and stuff. So, my uncle -- two of my uncles were, we were doing it for them, they were on a banner. And it's just crazy to have next year, next to my uncle's is going to be my father. So, it's like, it's, it's gonna be hard and I look at that picture all the time, it's like the last picture we took together.
BURNETT: You were close to your dad, he was a good dad.
E.S. GARNER: Yet, I knew my father my whole life, I -- my whole life. My birthday is coming up so, I'm never gonna -- I'm never gonna laugh a joke about, my birthday being three days after Christmas and my Christmas gifts are my birthday gifts so, we never give -- we never gonna joke about that again, it's not gonna be the same.
BURNETT: Ellisha, when you saw the video of the brother, and I want (inaudible) you're comfortable with us on showing this video. You know you see his handcuffed behind his back and you see six minutes go by between when he started lying on the ground and when the actual EMT and the ambulance came. When you saw that video, this is your brother.
E.F. GARNER: Uh-huh.
BURNETT: How did you feel?
E.F. GARNER: Disturbed. I felt my brother was neglect. You know, they showed no compassion, no remorse. They didn't have no respect for a human life, you know. If that was one of their family members, they would want -- they would do their damndest to do everything to be donate chest and you know, to pump his stomach and do...
E.S. GARNER: Give some oxygen.
E.F. GARNER: You know, anything, you know, that's possible to help them, you know start breathing again. And -- you know, I don't know if they thought that he was playing a game. You know, that he was faking, but when you see that he wasn't responding, you know, it's your duty to make sure that he becomes responsive. You know to the best of your -- you know, to the best of your ability. So, you know they did nothing. They stood over him like a -- a piece of trash in the street. Like something that you would just step on and everything is OK. It wasn't OK for them to do that.
BURNETT: Well, I'm thankful to you so much for coming and talking to us and sharing your feelings with us.
E.S. GARNER: Thank you.
E.F. GARNER: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, you're looking at live pictures that are large protest in Dallas tonight. As we continue our coverage of nationwide protests over the chokehold death of Eric Garner. And stunning video of violent police confrontations, all this caught on body cameras. So, are cameras on police really the solution? And striking similarities between Eric Garner and Rodney King, so the chokehold case, end up in federal court?
BURNETT: Tonight hundreds of protesters taking to the streets of New York and across the U.S. Many demonstrators have staged with their calling die-ins. In New York's, Grand Central station, the flagship Macy's store in Herald Square in New York City as well as in Boston and Washington D.C. To protest what protesters believe is widespread police brutality. And all of them are lying down -- as Michael Brown was left for hours after he died before they moved his body.
Tonight, New York City is launching a program. Basically, they're testing this right now in about 27 or so officers. They're testing body cameras. With the hope that those body cameras are going to -- completely change the game here in terms of finding out when something wrong happens. But is it a panacea? Rene Marsh is out front.
RENE MARSH, CNN GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS CORRESPONDENT: This video from police in Laurel, Maryland captures a traffic stop turned foot chase. (ph)
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's wrong with (ph)
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MARSH: In Florida, an officer's body camera captures the moment he opens fire.
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MARSH: Former NFL player Jermaine Green shot at least four times. Police were initially criticized. That's until this video was released, showing Green holding his girlfriend hostage at knifepoint, and ignoring police commands.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's got a knife.
JAY STANLEY, SENIOR POLICY ANALYST, ACLU: Video really does provide justice for -- victims of abuse. And some studies have shown did it actually reduces, complaints against police.
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MARSH: Public outcry followed the shooting death of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer. With no video evidence, the facts of the case were disputed. But in New York City, there was video, captured on a cell phone. Unarmed, Eric Garner died after a confrontation with police.
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ERICA GARNER, DAUGHTER OF ERIC GARNER: My dad died on national TV, on a camera. He still didn't get justice. So what's justice gonna do with these body cameras.
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MARSH: New York, along with other major cities like Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia, has all signed on to having their officers equipped with body cameras. On Monday, President Obama called for increased funding for an additional 50,000 body cameras for law enforcement agencies. Some police departments have the numbers to back up that it works.
In Rialto, California, complaints against police fell 88 percent once the cameras were put into use in a yearlong palate program. In Mesa, Arizona there were 75 percent fewer use of force complaints. But even those who support the use of body cameras say the jury is still out on how effective they will be.
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STANLEY: The body cameras are not a silver bullet. They're not gonna make every problem our criminal justice system go away. But somehow is they can make you clear just how bad those problems are.
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MARSH: Well, Erin there is no official count for how many police departments across the country are using these cameras. But the two primary bedrooms (ph) for the technology say they sold devices to more than 5,000 police departments. But, what will also play into how effective these cameras are are the policies departments put in place. One of the ACLU's concerns, if officers are free to turn cameras on and off it couldn't able someone to edit the situation, recording only parts of the encounter. Erin?
BURNETT: Alright, thanks so much to you Rene. I want to bring our Legal Analyst Paul Callan. You know Paul -- it's interesting that his happened because, everybody said these cameras were gonna be a panacea. Oh gosh, once you have video, there's not gonna be a question of who hit whom, and how it went down. Well, you have -- of course the video in the Eric Garner case, and yet still you don't get an indictment, still there are questions. So, there is no panacea here.
PAUL CALLAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, there isn't. As matter of fact, you know, since the last time we talked about this, I was thinking about the case with a cop smashed the window of the family that had been stopped -- that they were stopped and they wouldn't get out of the car. And he smashed the window and tasered them, and it was just -- it was a horrific scene. But, the cop said, wow, we're taping this. I mean, they were taping that one as well. But, I think nonetheless, a couple of things and their good things about taping.
First of all, in a case like the Garner case -- I think if there had been other cameras on the other officers you would have seen -- and the grand jury would have seen what happened from different angles. And maybe, there would have been an indictment, I tell you why. Because, the officer who utilized the --
BURNETT: The Chokehold.
CALLAN: The chokehold.
CALLAN: Pantaleo. He -- said basically, it wasn't. It was a headlock. You know, but a camera hitting him from a different angle, might have demonstrated that it was or it was not -- you know, different angle show different things. The second thing...
CALLAN: I think it will cause less aggressive policing. You won't get that sort of, in-your-face tough guys stuff, because the cops will know it's being taped and I think maybe you'll have more civilized encounters with citizens. BURNETT: OK. So how do you get around the other issue that I've heard
with this, this is -- so let's just say -- I mean, first of all, Rene raises an interesting point. Which is, -- because there -- you can't have it running all day. They have certain rule, if they're gonna to put in place some when they have to be running which then creates discretion and possible editing. But then there's also the issue the fact that this all gets uploaded on the cloud, which creates hacking problems possibly. But you know, more simply than that, it creates hundreds of thousands of hours of mostly nothing. That the public would then have the right to demand to look at any time, does that slow the whole system down?
CALLAN: Well, I would worry about that, actually even for pricy purposes. I mean...
CALLAN: Some, some Delphi (ph) cop pulls you over and -- no, no offense for the cop, but this is hypothetical. And, maybe there is an encounter between you and the cop that you don't think should -- you know, appear on CNN as the interesting footage of the day. So, you know, there could be a privacy issues involved. I don't think everything would have to be up...
CALLAN: For public disclosure. I think it could be subject to subpoena. You could have privacy protection. So, I think there is a way to structure this so that -- so it will work effectively in the future. And I think in the end, particularly in minority communities, will probably -- you know, take down the temperature a little bit, and maybe have fewer Eric Garner incidents in the future.
BURNETT: So you think the NYPD should go ahead. Because they are also saying, "Well, it is a $100 a cop and we have 50,000 plus cops, and you know, we can only try it on 27 at a time right now. They -- you know look, they want to make sure they get it right. But this is also isn't something that they are eager to rush into.
CALLAN: Well no, they're not. And you know, it's a mixed bag for the cops. I mean, I guess it's gonna take a picture of them having donuts and coffee too, when they're supposed to be working if it is running all the time.
CALLAN: So, there -- you know, the unions gonna have issues with it. It's not, it's not an easy solution to, implement that.
BURNETT: Well, you know what the beauty of it is? People always don't realize it. Watch reality TV and how do people act like that. People act like that because once the camera's on you, as you know for being on TV alive. You forget it's there very quickly.
CALLAN: You do.
BURNETT: And --
CALLAN: And you do dumb things.
BURNETT: It's an amazing thing of the things that we might end up hearing and seeing that people think.
CALLAN: How about this. How about people even provoking cops so they can get on TV? I mean...
BURNETT: I'm sure, I'm sure those things will happen.
CALLAN: People are capable of that too.
BURNETT: Alright. Paul Callan, thank you very much. Let us know what you think about the issue of cops and cameras. We have seen this again and again, caught on tape, the encounter between police and Eric Garner. So, reminded -- many Americans of another, incredibly controversial police case also caught on tape a long time ago. The beating of Rodney King, a black man by white officers, Sara Sidner is out front.
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Eric Garner, cell phone video is perhaps, the most high profile caught on tape moment involving police since the Rodney King case back in 1991 in Los Angeles. The two cases share some striking similarities in both the Garner and King cases numerous officers responded. In King's case there were many officers, some involved in t he beating, others standing by watching.
In the Garner's case, one officer was involved choking him, other officers tried to subdue Garner in other ways. Both cases involved the black men and white police officers. Both sparked protests after a decision by jurors. In New York, it's been peaceful so far.
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CROWD: I can't breathe! I can't breathe!
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SIDNER: In Los Angeles, protests turned into days of rioting, 50 people died. And in both cases, the federal government promise to do more. President Obama in 2014, President Bush in 1992.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the American conscience, there is no room for bigotry and racism. I want everyone to know that the federal government will continue to pursue its legal responsibilities in this case.
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SIDNER: Bernard Parks is a former LAPD chief and was deputy chief at the time of the 1992 Los Angeles riots stemmed from the King beating. Similar to the Garner case, he says many in the public viewed the King case a proof of systemic police brutality across country.
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BERNARD PARKS, FORMER LAPD CHIEF: They looked at law enforcement collectively. They said, it may no difference if it was in Texas, New York, Los Angeles. The police have different view, they looked at everything singularly saying, it's a nicely (ph) incident. That's why there's a miscommunication between the public and the police.
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SIDNER: In Garner's case a grand jury chosen not to indict the officer. In the King case, a grand jury did indict four officers who were then charged by the L.A. Prosecuting Attorney's Office. The jury trial ended in acquittals for all four, sparking the riots. They were no black jurors. In 1993, the justice department tried the LAPD officers for civil rights violations. Two of the officers involved in King's beating were sentenced and served time in federal prison. Two were acquitted. Civil Rights Attorney Carrie Harper says police haven't changed much because there are rarely consequences.
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CARRIE HARPER, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: If they're not getting punished for it, what is their incentive? What's their motivation to stop kicking butt in the street and stop kil1ing people, they need motivation and motivation would be, fire them, take away their livelihood, take away their freedom and maybe they will finally stop killing black people.
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SIDNER: I spoke with both the prosecuting attorney and the defense attorney about the Garner case, and they said, unlike the Michael Brown case in Ferguson they do believe that the federal government does have a potential civil right case, against the officer involved in choking Garner. But, what the prosecutors have to be able to prove is that the officer willfully and purposely deprived Garner of his constitutional rights, back to you, Erin.
BURNETT: Alright. Thanks so much Sara.
And next, the stunning development of the Rolling Stone story, it was about a gang rape at the University of Virginia, and wow, was there a stunning development today.
BURNETT: Rolling Stone magazine today, apologized to a tweeter (ph) for a story a published last month about an alleged gang rape at fraternity party on the University of Virginia campus. So, the article told the story of a woman named Jackie who said, in graphic detail but just a few weeks into her freshman year she was gang raped to the frat house party, raped by man --or man after man, eventually rape to the bottle. The article also charged. The faculty and students at UVA routinely discouraged women like Jackie who had been sexually assaulted from pursuing charges. The article prompted an emergency meeting of the schools governing board, UVA also announce the appointment of an independent counsel. The story was talked about around the country and caused a lot of soul searching.
But, the article quickly came out on scrutiny. Critic's points out the man accused -- all of the man actually were never contacted for their side of the story. Even friends of the victim expressed doubts about her, account, and now the accused fraternity has apparently produced records and e-mails that proved that no party was actually held on the night of the alleged assault.
In light of all this late today, Rolling Stone is used to this statement saying, and I quote, "In the face of new information, they're now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie's account. And we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced." It is a stunning development and of course a horrible one, and that it may cause women who have endured rape, knock them forward or worst, cause others to refuse to believe when their stories are true.
Well people are doing extraordinary things to make a difference in this world, and you're gonna meet the CNN hero of the year on Sunday. Let's see something uplifting and here's a preview.
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ANNOUNCER: You have the power to do anything, to make a difference, inspire and change the world.
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ANNOUNCER: Welcome to CNN's heroes and all-star preview
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ANNOUNCER: See the stars come out to honor the top 10 CNN heroes of 2014. CNN heroes and all star tribute, Sunday on CNN
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: There's something you will be watching, something uplifting for this holiday season. Thanks so much for joining us. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, as you get ready for the holidays. Black in America: Black and Blue with Soledad O'Brien, begins right now.