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CNN Larry King Live
Breaking News in Investigation Into Michael Jackson's Death; Al Sharpton, Ann Coulter Debate Politics, Race
Aired July 30, 2009 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, a prime time exclusive -- hear for the first time from someone who was in Michael Jackson's home the day he died. His personal chef reveals the harrowing second by second account of what happened before paramedics were called to the deathbed. Screaming, sadness, chaos -- an eyewitness account.
Plus, Ann Coulter versus Al Sharpton -- the war of words over Professor Gates and the cop who arrested him. See who's still standing after the smackdown.
And then, why is another police officer in big trouble over this whole mess?
We'll show you his shocking public remarks and get some explaining, too.
His exclusive response next on LARRY KING LIVE.
A busy night.
Our first guest tonight is Kai Chase. She was Michael Jackson's personal chef and in his home the day he died. We'll talk to Kai in just a moment.
Let's first go to CNN's Randi Kaye with breaking news on Dr. Conrad Murray and what investigators were looking for when they executed search warrants yesterday -- Randi, what happened?
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Larry, as you know, there were two search warrants executed in Las Vegas, one at Dr. Conrad Murray's home, the other in his clinic there. Well, those were filed today, so now the information on what they were looking for and what they found has been made public.
And I can tell you, according to the warrants, detectives were looking for evidence demonstrating crimes of excessive prescribing and prescribing to an addict; also, manslaughter -- evidence of manslaughter.
Now, the addict that they seem to be referring to in this case is Michael Jackson. But here's the key detail of the search warrant. It says that they were looking for any information related to Propofol or Diprivan. That is the very powerful sedative that authorities, as you know, believe killed Michael Jackson. It was found, reportedly, in his bedroom. I can tell you what the search warrant says. It says it's looking for records, shipping orders, distribution lists, anything relating to the purchase, transfer, receiving ordering, delivery and storage of Propofol or Diprivan.
KAYE: That is a really big deal.
I can tell what you they took. They took some hard drives. They took his iPhone. They took a couple of cell phone records. And they also were looking for any medical records or nursing notes related to the 19 aliases that are listed in this search warrant, that Michael Jackson was apparently using to obtain prescription drugs from various doctors -- Larry.
KING: Thanks, Randi.
Reporting right from the roof here in Los Angeles.
Kai Chase joins us, the personal chef to Michael Jackson during the final months of his life. She was working in the mansion where Michael and his children were residing the day he died.
Have you seen the kids since the death?
KAI CHASE, MICHAEL JACKSON'S PERSONAL CHEF: Yes, I have, Larry.
KING: How are they doing?
CHASE: They're doing great. And I saw them a couple of weeks ago. And they look great and they're playing with their cousins and having a good time.
KING: All right, you started as a chef when?
CHASE: Ooh, about 14 years ago, professionally.
KING: And they let you go and brought you back, right?
CHASE: No, no. I thought you meant all over.
CHASE: With Mr. Jackson, in March.
KING: In March.
CHASE: In March.
KING: And then they let you go and brought you back?
CHASE: They let me go and then Mr. Jackson and the kids requested me to come back in June.
KING: Now, take me to that -- that terrible day. CHASE: The morning I -- I got in to work around 8:00, 8:30. I fed the kids their breakfast and -- which is granola and almond milk -- and then proceeded to, you know, to start doing the lunch, you know, which was usually around 12:00, 12:30. So around 10:00, something like that, normally Dr. Murray usually comes down. And...
KING: He's living there?
CHASE: Dr. Murray would stay in the evening.
KING: He stayed overnight?
CHASE: He stayed overnight. And normally, he'd come around 10:00, 10:30, downstairs, to get Mr. Jackson's juices or some sort of breakfast for him for that morning.
So around that time, I noticed that I hadn't seen Dr. Murray. You know, so I'm just -- I'm thinking to myself, well, maybe Mr. Jackson is sleeping in late, you know, maybe because his rehearsal has been pushed back or something on that nature.
So I proceed, go to preparing the lunch and wrapped his lunch like Mr. Jackson likes -- you know, wrapped it in Saran Wrap and -- because he likes, you know, the -- his lunch like he is at a hotel, you know, kind of like room service.
KING: Room service.
CHASE: Yes, exactly. So around 12:00, 12:05, 12:10, Dr. Murray comes down the stairs. There was a stairwell that leads into the kitchen. And he's screaming, hurry. Go get Prince. Call security. Get Prince. So I...
KING: Prince is?
CHASE: Michael Jackson's eldest son. And he -- so I -- I drop everything that -- that I'm doing and I run into the den, which is very close to the kitchen. And I go get Prince. And Prince and I run back. And, you know, he meets Dr. Murray at the stairs. Prince stays with -- downstairs with us and Dr. Murray goes up the stairs with -- but within minutes, the paramedics are there. And the security is running upstairs, skipping stairs and all of a sudden we're all, you know, panicked -- you know, what's going on?
So the energy in the house had kind of just kind of changed from that happy kind of day that we were having and preparing lunch and having a good time to just kind of eerie.
KING: Well, what were the kids doing when this was going on?
What were they saying?
CHASE: The -- the daughter, she says -- Paris, she starts screaming, "Daddy. Daddy. Daddy."
We all started, you know, crying and...
KING: You knew something was wrong with Michael?
CHASE: So we knew something was wrong.
CHASE: Something was wrong. And -- and she's screaming, "Daddy," and starts crying. And then we started crying and we all come together in unity in a circle and we started holding hands. And we started praying, you know, God please let Mr. Jackson...
KING: You knew it was deadly bad?
CHASE: I didn't know what. I just had a feeling that something...
KING: You knew it was real serious?
CHASE: ...that something was very serious.
KING: The doctor first relayed that you by the way he came down the stairs?
CHASE: By the way he came down the stairs.
KING: You did not hear the 911 call, though?
CHASE: No. No.
KING: What didn't...
CHASE: I was never allowed up the stairs, you know.
KING: Oh, you never went up to his room?
CHASE: No. No, no. No. That was part of the rule of the house, you know. You had to...
KING: How did the food get up to him?
CHASE: Oh, Mr. Jackson would come downstairs and eat.
KING: He would come and eat this?
CHASE: With his children -- lunch and dinner with his children.
KING: You never went up to the upper quarters?
CHASE: No, never.
KING: Did he eat three meals a day, by the way?
CHASE: I prepared three meals a day. And, you know, sometimes he would take meals with him to rehearsal and some of the times he'd eat them here -- I mean at his home, you know.
KING: Did you see anybody remove the body?
CHASE: No. They asked us to leave -- go home around 1:30 -- 1:00, 1:30, something like that. Security had asked us to leave. And we asked if Mr. Jackson was OK. And they said we need to take him -- he's going to be going to the hospital.
KING: Did the rescue workers say anything to you?
CHASE: No. No one spoke.
KING: Did they act very worried?
CHASE: Everyone was very concerned. They were panicked, you know. No one knew. This -- it's just hurry, let's rush.
KING: Had you seen Michael the day before?
CHASE: Yes, I did. I saw him. I -- we did -- I fed him lunch, him and his children, the day before. And he ate lunch with his children at the dinner table. And then I packed his lunch -- his dinner for him to go to his rehearsal.
KING: How did he appear at lunch?
CHASE: He seemed like he was just, you know, tired. And I thought probably because of, where, you know, he's been rehearsing very -- he had been rehearsing a lot.
KING: Had he been eating well?
CHASE: When I was -- I had left in May. So in May, I don't know what was, you know, how his eating habits were.
When I came back in June, the third day in, he had asked me -- he had pulled me to the side and he said, you know, he told me, I need you. I know you know what you're doing. You do a very good job. I -- I want you here. I need you to be here. I need you to keep feeding me healthy.
Do you have my beet juice?
Do you have my organic juices, my -- my healthy food?
I need to stay healthy and strong.
He was excited about this tour.
KING: Did he eat a lot of solid foods?
CHASE: Oh, yes. On Saturdays, you know, gumbo, fried chicken, KFC, barbecue chicken, corn on the cob -- he and the children.
KING: Kai, by the way, has written a dramatic blog exclusive about what happened that day. Read it only on CNN.com/larryking. We'll be right back.
KING: We're back with Kai Chase.
You have not been to the house since, right?
CHASE: No, I haven't.
KING: You saw the kids at his mother -- Katherine's house?
CHASE: Yes. Yes.
KING: Why do you think the doctor called for Prince?
CHASE: Well, I think you know, at that point, he may have -- he may have panicked. And...
KING: The doctor panicked?
CHASE: It just seemed like he was in a panicked state. You know, he called for Prince. He called for the security -- just somebody, you know, that could go upstairs -- that was allowed to go upstairs.
KING: Had you seen much of Dr. Murray before that?
CHASE: I -- I saw Dr. Murray a lot in June, when I came back. And he was there on a regular.
KING: Did that question -- did you question that at all, what is a doctor doing here?
CHASE: No. No. No. Because I knew that Mr. Jackson was rehearsing, so I figured he was -- he -- that he was there, he was employed and he was there to take care of him.
KING: Would you say he was eating well?
CHASE: I fed him well.
KING: You fed him well and he ate well?
CHASE: And he ate well.
KING: Because there are all these stories he didn't eat.
CHASE: No, that's not -- no. He ate. He ate very well. He ate organic and fresh. He's -- you know, he's -- he is into the health foods and juices and things of that nature. But he ate very well.
KING: Was he a good employer?
CHASE: He was very nice to me. He's nice. You know, he -- you know, he liked people around him that were, you know -- and in his home -- that were, you know, genuine and -- and real. I thought he was a very nice man.
KING: Did you notice oxygen tanks, because if it was Diprivan and they have to measure blood -- they have to measure your blood pressure?
They also need oxygen tanks if you're giving that drug.
KING: Did you notice them?
CHASE: I saw the oxygen tanks, yes.
KING: Where were they?
CHASE: I would see Dr. Murray carrying the oxygen tanks down in the mornings.
KING: On that morning or other mornings?
CHASE: No. I didn't see him that morning. I saw him in the afternoon, but other mornings.
KING: He would carry them down?
CHASE: Carry them down.
KING: They were portable oxygen tanks?
KING: Let's listen to some of that 911 call that brought emergency personnel to the house.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) your emergency?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir. I need to -- I need an ambulance as soon as possible, sir.
We have a -- a gentleman here that needs help and he's not breathing. He had -- he's not breathing and we need to -- we're trying to pump him, but he's not -- he's not (INAUDIBLE)...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. OK.
How old is he?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's 50 years old, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fifty?
OK. But he's unconscious?
He's not breathing? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he's not breathing, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. And he's not conscious either?
He's not breathing...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, he's not conscious, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
All right. Do you have him -- what -- is he on the floor?
Where is he at right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's on the bed, sir. He's on the bed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, let's get him on the floor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Let's get him down to the floor. I'm going to help you with CPR right now, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need them to get -- we need just (INAUDIBLE)...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. We're on our way there.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
KING: Dr. Murray, his attorney has said that the delay in calling 911 was the phones in the house were disconnected.
Did you know that?
KING: Do you have any knowledge of that?
KING: Did you ever use the phone in the?
CHASE: No. No.
KING: OK. So you wouldn't know whether that was?
CHASE: No. No.
KING: The warrants to search the doctor's offices cited your name as a suspected alias for Michael Jackson.
What do you know about that?
CHASE: I was just made aware of that from my publicist, Michael Sans (ph) just recently. I think that is -- is appalling. I have no -- I have no clue what that is about.
KING: Has the police questioned you?
CHASE: The detectives came to my home right after the death because of the situation.
KING: But did they ask you anything about these prescriptions or your name or?
CHASE: No. That -- this is new.
KING: As an alias?
CHASE: No. This is all new, you know.
KING: So what do you make of this, Kai?
What's your read on this?
CHASE: As far as the prescription?
KING: The doctor, the -- the whole situation.
CHASE: I think -- you know, I don't know what to -- to make of it. I know that what, you know, the situation with, you know, the oxygen tanks and the doctor -- you know, the doctor, you know, was there, I thought, to do his job as his physician.
KING: Are you suspicious of the doctor?
CHASE: You know, I'm -- I -- I don't know what to make of it.
KING: Well, when you hear about drugs and things?
CHASE: Well, now. Now, you know (INAUDIBLE)...
KING: But you weren't then?
KING: We'll be back in 60 seconds.
KING: We're back with Kai Chase, Michael Jackson's personal -- by the way, did you know that he had a nutritionist?
CHASE: I was just made aware of that when I heard it on the news. I (INAUDIBLE)...
KING: Wouldn't a nutritionist talk to a chef?
CHASE: She wasn't working there when I was there. I've never met her, you know. KING: What is this box of happiness?
CHASE: Isn't this adorable?
KING: Let's see if we can get that on camera.
CHASE: It's so cute.
Isn't it cute?
This is -- Paris made this for me. The children made this for me when I came back. So it was kind of...
KING: After you had left work and now come back...
KING: ...they missed you.
CHASE: They missed me, yes. So it was a box of happiness that it contained really pretty notes and...
CHASE: ...and gifts and things. So, you know, just little letters, you know, from -- from Prince, you know, thanking me about -- thanking me for the gumbo and the gifts.
KING: "Dear Kai, thank you for the gifts and the gumbo. I hope you enjoy the gift. I think you'll like it. Love, Prince Jackson."
CHASE: Yes. And then this is really cute, from Paris.
KING: "Hey, Kai, thanks for getting me apricots. Daddy loves them."
KING: Let's look at this. You -- he loved apricots?
CHASE: Oh, yes. Organic. Yes. Exactly. He was -- he was getting ready for the tour. We were -- he was eating.
KING: Would you say, just from observation, that he looked in good health except for a little tired from rehearsing?
CHASE: You know, he looked very well to me in April. Yes, he did. He -- you know, I remember one -- one evening, he came downstairs, I mean, dressed nice. He had on his black jeans, straight leg and a black blazer, his black aviator glasses and his cell phone. And he comes downstairs and he says, to me, he goes: "Do you look like Dionne Warwick?"
And I said to him, I was like, "Oh, my goodness. Do I do love her? Yes. I have the same album you have at my house."
He gives me a thumbs up. Burt Bacharach all the way. So he was a charming man. I loved him.
KING: More with Kai Chase after this.
KING: We're back with Kai Chase.
A custody deal for Michael's children was announced today. Katherine gets full custody. Debbie Rowe will have visitation rights.
What's your read on that?
CHASE: I think that's wonderful. Katherine and the kids -- that's beautiful. I mean I saw the interaction with them when I went to the home. And they -- they love their grandma, you know. They've got this wonderful -- and I think Debbie Rowe should see and raise her children.
KING: Did the kids ever talk about Debbie?
CHASE: No. They never, never did.
KING: Did you meet Debbie?
CHASE: No, I have never met her.
KING: But being the biological mother, you feel it's OK for her to have visitation?
CHASE: Of course. Absolutely.
KING: This tie with Katherine, how strong?
CHASE: Well, you know, the -- their -- Michael loved his mother, you know. And the children obviously love their grandmother. He spoke very highly of his -- of his mother. And it's a beautiful -- it's a beautiful bond that they have together. You know, she's loving. They love her.
KING: Did he ever have any health complaints?
Did he ever say I'm not feeling well or I have some chest pains or something is not right?
CHASE: No. Never anything like that. I -- I remember one day -- the third day I was there, when I came back, he had told me, you know, they're killing me. They're killing me because I'm working too much. I'm rehearsing too much.
KING: Who was they?
CHASE: I'm assuming whoever, you know, (INAUDIBLE).
KING: The concert people?
CHASE: (INAUDIBLE) possibly. He was -- he was rehearsing a lot. You know, I need to eat healthy. I need to stay strong, you know. I'm tired, you know. So, you know, keeping...
KING: So he complained?
CHASE: Just that one day to me.
KING: Was he looking forward to England?
CHASE: Oh, yes. Oh, absolutely. We all were. He was looking forward...
KING: Were you going to go?
CHASE: Yes. He -- he had Prince -- you know, Prince, his son, came and told me one day, daddy wants me to tell you that he wants you to go to London. And I said, well, please tell your daddy I said thank you and I would be honored. And the kids started jumping up and down -- you know, yes, Kai is going to London.
And then we started talking about bringing, you know, video games and stuff to the private jet. And it was just, you know, he was very excited about going on this -- doing this tour. This is his comeback.
KING: Did you cook for Dr. Murray?
CHASE: I would prepare meals for Dr. Murray in the evening with Mr. Jackson's meals before I left the home.
KING: And what was he like?
CHASE: Dr. Murray was -- he seemed very nice. He seemed like a nice man. He'd come, we'd talk. He'd -- he would bring -- you know, in the mornings he would get Mike -- Mr. Jackson's juices -- maybe one or two, maybe a mango or papaya juice or a beet juice or both. And he'd take them upstairs and he'd make sure that he ate. He had dinner with the family. I served them, you know.
He seemed like a nice man.
KING: Was he a late riser, Michael?
CHASE: Mr. Jackson -- it just -- it depended, you know. But he -- he would -- he would make sure that he would have lunch with his children.
KING: With his children?
CHASE: With his children.
KING: And their interaction was good?
CHASE: Oh, absolutely. You know, I would bring the dinner -- the lunches and set them on the table and they'd all come in and sit, close the door and they'd dine privately. And you would just hear laughter and story telling and just beautiful things. He's -- those were his babies.
KING: Why are you come forward now, Kai?
CHASE: I don't know if I would call it coming forward. I just think that, you know, I just want to -- to tell the fact that Mr. Jackson, he ate. He loves -- he loved food. And he was excited about this tour. (INAUDIBLE).
KING: So that's a good thing to clear up, that he wasn't some kind of anorexic.
CHASE: I never saw that. I saw the man eating.
KING: When you saw the tape of the rehearsals, did that impress you?
CHASE: Oh, absolutely. You know, it was like a light switch went on and he's there. You know, he's -- he's amazing. He's an entertainer.
KING: So this, to you, is a double shock?
I mean it's a -- there's -- you can't even express it, can you?
KING: Seeing him like one second and the next second gone.
CHASE: Absolutely. It was very devastating, very devastating. You know, it was just unreal.
KING: Thank you, Kai.
CHASE: You're very welcome.
KING: Thanks for coming here.
CHASE: Thank you, Larry.
KING: Next, Al Sharpton and Ann Coulter.
Do I have to add anything?
KING: Joining us now from West Palm Beach, Florida, Ann Coulter, the syndicated columnist, conservative commentator, number one "New York Times" best-selling author. Her newest book is "Guilty: Liberal Victims and Their Assault on America."
And in New York, Reverend Al Sharpton, president and founder of the National Action Network, noted civil rights leader and a syndicated radio host.
All right, the statement was issued today from the White House concerning the meeting that took place earlier between the sergeant, the president and the professor: "I am thankful to Professor Gates and Sergeant Crowley for joining me at the White House this evening for a friendly, thoughtful conversation. Even before we sat down for the beer, I learned that the two gentlemen spent some time together listening to one another, which is a testament to them. I've always believed that what brings us together is stronger than what pulls us apart. I'm confident that what has happened here tonight. And I'm hopeful that all of us are able to draw this positive lesson from this episode."
Ann Coulter, do you think that will put it away?
ANN COULTER: I don't think it should. And, also, by the way, I think it was a little racial profiling with the president assuming the Irish cop would like to drink beer. No Chablis here. That's a little stereotyping.
But, no. I mean I think it is a teachable moment. But the -- but the teachable moment needs to go to Barack Obama and to Henry Lewis Gates.
We have one case after another of these, where -- where there is an assumption of racial profiling or racism by cops or by teachers and you have one hoax after another -- from Tawana Brawley to the Duke lacrosse case.
And if we're going to claim that there is this -- this rash of racial profiling in America, you know, eventually there's got to be one real case of it.
KING: All right.
Al, how do you counter?
REV. AL SHARPTON: Well, first of all, I think that you must deal with the fact that what the president did tonight was absolutely the right thing to do, to set a tone and a climate so we can go forward and deal with both what police are dealing with in terms of trying to fight crime in their field and what people have to deal with documented cases of racial profiling.
There are 23 states that have laws on racial profiling. There have been any number of states that have studied and documented it. To say that they are all hoaxes is Ann, you know, being Ann.
I think the fact is that when you see almost half the country dealing with this, the state law, even the Justice Department under President Bush documenting the differences in terms of arrests and in terms of stops and searches.
KING: But is the...
SHARPTON: I think now we have a climate to deal with it. KING: And the question is, was this racial profiling?
The other night on this show Colin Powell said, looking at both sides, he said that the professor was wrong for getting angry. It's a cop. You listen to the cop. The cop was wrong for arresting him.
Are you saying, Ann, that there is no racial profiling?
Are you saying that doesn't exist?
COULTER: I'm saying that probably everything under the sun exists at one point or another. Whether this is a crisis or an academic...
KING: No, that's not the question.
KING: Does racial profiling exist?
COULTER: But -- no, I do not think that there is an epidemic of racial profiling. I think there is an epidemic of -- of claims of racism that turn out to be a hoax.
I mean, like I say, you go back to Tawana Brawley. There was also the case of the Exeter kid, Edmund Perry, I think his name was...
KING: But because those were hoaxes...
COULTER: ...and that...
KING: ...are you saying that, therefore, there is no racial profiling, because they may not have been...
COULTER: Well, all of...
KING: ...been racial profiling?
COULTER: Well, all of the big...
KING: You can't.
COULTER: ...all of the big cases that were released to us and -- and Bill Clinton citing a racial incident that was known to be a fraud in his Democratic acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in 1992. There was the Kiko Garcia case in New York, allegedly racial profiling, shot a kid. It turns out he's holding a machete. He was turning.
KING: Yes, but do you think...
COULTER: (INAUDIBLE) a gun.
KING: I think the question -- before I come back to Al, Ann, do you think it's possible that a black man in America last night might have been stopped by someone -- by a policeman just because he was black?
COULTER: I think it's possible that a man bit a dog yesterday. But if I keep hearing about man biting dog stories, I want to see one real one. What we have is dog bites man stories. We're told every time the man bites a dog, it turns out to be false. What you hear is well, OK, this one wasn't true. But there are all the other ones.
KING: Sergeant Crowley spoke to the media after he had the beer with the president and the professor. Here's a little bit of what he said and then we'll have Al comment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERGEANT JAMES CROWLEY, CAMBRIDGE POLICE DEPT.: What you had today is two gentlemen that agreed to disagree on a particular issue. I don't think that we spent too much time dwelling on the past. We spent a lot of time discussing the future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What did you make of that, Al? Good idea?
SHARPTON: Well, I think it's a good idea, particularly of now, those in law enforcement and those that are involved in fighting for these cases can come together and sit with those in government and try, in this climate of trying to deal with what is fair and equal for all, do that. I remember when Janet Reno had began that. I would hope that Eric Holder and others picked that up.
And I think that the fact of the matter is there are clear cases that have to be dealt. I mean can you go from Rodney King to Abner Louima and on and on where people went to jail. I'm not going to get in this argument with Ann. Clearly, 23 states are not hallucinating racial profiling.
And Colin Powell said on this show the other night, talking about his own experiences going to account. So all of these people are not making this up. To go 23 years ago to Brawly -- I mean try to find something this century, Ann. We're talking about a problem --
COULTER: The Duke Lacrosse case.
SHARPTON: Well, the Duke Lacrosse case was not about profiling. That was about a report. You maybe need to find profiling -- but the racial profiling -- racial profiling is when there is an assumption made, based on race, when there is no one that is called in the report. And I think maybe if you understood the definition, you could not deny it.
KING: Al, do you think it's possible -- do you think Colin was right when he said the professor over-reacted?
SHARPTON: The question becomes -- that's why you need to have law enforcement and all these forces sit. The question is what is over-reaction in your own home? We need to define that. Is it possible? Sure. What we need to do now is deal with the law. If you're in your house, someone comes to your door; you think it's the repairman; it is not; they order you out of the house; However you respond, is that over-reaction?
The fact of the matter is what we do know is the prosecutors said we're not going forward with this case. This is interesting to me. The police unions, Larry, were mad at the president. They never questioned the prosecutors' decision, saying we're not going forward, which meant what undermined the arrest was not the president, not those that supported Dr. Gates, like me, but the prosecutors.
KING: Ann, on the other hand, if it's your house and -- forget racial. It's your house. They're questioning you about your own house. You would be ticked?
COULTER: In fact, I have been -- at least in the initial crankiness by Professor Gates, I've been somewhat of a defender of his, in as much as I'm someone who travels a lot. I get a lot of -- I get cranky, too, especially after a long trip from China.
What can't be defended, I think, is the next 48 hours, the next week, when he could calm down and think, oh boy, I over-reacted. Wish I hadn't done that. But I think that is a problem. Both aggrieved minorities and aggrieved females are told to take every slight, interpret everything as it's because your black. It's because you're a woman. I don't think that's good for blacks or females. I don't think it's good for the rest of the country.
And there is one thing I'd like to say about the studies on racial profiling, and even the Bush administration coming out with them. The Bush administration itself suppressed a study that disproved eight billion racial profiling studies about the New Jersey State Troopers. There was a scientific study setting up cameras of people speeding. It turns out New Jersey State Troopers, by scientific evidence that was -- the Bush administration kept rejecting and rejecting -- were stopping, if anything, not enough blacks.
SHARPTON: So you're saying, Ann --
KING: Hold it. Hold it.
KING: By the way, who you are more likely to agree with, Ann or Al? I think they disagree. Go to CNN.com/LarryKing and have your say.
And, by the way, the Boston police officer who is in hot water over all this, he'll be with us in a little while. Stay with us.
KING: We now have a statement just released by Professor Gates. He says, "having spent my academic career trying to bridge differences and promote understanding among Americans, I can report that it's far more comfortable being the commentator than being commented upon. At this point, I'm hopeful that we can all move on, and that experience will prove an occasion for education, not recrimination. I know that Sergeant Crowley shares this goal."
Do you agree with that, Ann?
COULTER: Yes, though I don't want to move on quite so fast. One other point that I mentioned in my column this week, up on my webpage, is what if Sergeant Crowley had not been the model policeman, who taught diversity classes, who had given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a famous black athlete? What if, at some point in his career or in his life, he had been accused, falsely or not, of racism? His life would be ruined right now. We know this wasn't a case of racism. We know that now. But we --
KING: What's the point?
COULTER: Only because he's a model policeman that case fell apart, and all of the usual race mongers are saying, let's move on. Let's move on. I don't want to move on so fast as long as long as they brought it up.
KING: Al, do you resent that statement?
SHARPTON: No. Because I -- you know, Ann is Ann. I think that the fact is that only case that fell apart was the case against Dr. Gates. Dr. Gates was the one arrested and charged. That's the case that fell apart. I don't know what case she's talking about against the officer. That's one.
Secondly, I think many of us said, on my web page, NationalActionNetwork.net, that if this is a question of police over- stepping their bounds and arresting him because there was no crime or racial profiling, we wanted an investigation. There's no race mongering to ask for an investigation on why a man was arrested in his own house, when there was apparently no crime.
But I think what the president has done -- and I think it's important that we don't go past this -- is to get the disagreeable parties to say, we can disagree. No one backed down from what I saw tonight. We could disagree without being disagreeable. He got that with -- he has the union sitting with Wal-Mart on that with health care. He had Newt Gingrich and I sitting in his office talking about education together.
The climate, Ann, in America is no longer to start arguing and screaming and saying, even the Bush administration is covering up. The climate is, let's sit down and say we disagree. Now let's solve the problems, even though we disagree. I hope you learn to do that, Ann.
KING: Ann, you couldn't possibly disagree with him sitting down, could you?.
COULTER: No. No. Not at all. Could I just say two things about the disorderly conduct charge? I will bet you more than any -- it's just a misdemeanor. I will bet you, more than any other arrest, those are dismissed or not brought to trial, because the idea is if somebody is ranting and raving and behaving irrationally, the cop can't just walk away. If the person behaving irrationally then goes off and hits his girlfriend or something, who is to blame for that? The cop.
So a lot of it is just to get the angry guy out of the situation. They go to jail. The charges are dismissed. and not brought to trial. If somebody is ranting and raving and behaving irrationally, the cop can't just walk away. If the person behaving irrationally then goes off and, you know, hits his girlfriend or something, well who's to blame for that? The cop.
A lot is to get the angry guy out of the situation. They go to jail, the charges are dismissed.
And moreover, in this case, Gates' own lawyer said it was dismissed because of connections. I wouldn't be waiving around the dismissal as proof that it's a bad arrest. Crowley is certainly backed by the entire police department and by the law in Massachusetts.
SHARPTON: If the police department thought it was connections, then I'm sure they would have in the press conference condemned everyone else, have condemned the prosecutor. And I'm sure that there are many disorderly conducts that go to trial. He was detained for hours and the charges weren't dropped for four days. I assume because they investigated the case.
But, beyond that, I think we've got an opportunity to really heal in this situation. Where now you have Crowley, who I disagreed with, but to his credit stood up to night. You have Professor Gates. And they said let the dialogue begin. The president has set a healthy climate. I think now we'll see if responsible people on both sides will sit down in that climate and make change happen.
KING: Let me get a break here. By the way, Ann and Al, we'll come back and discuss some other things. They're coming back. So are we in 60 seconds.
KING: It's time for tonight's this week CNN hero. His name is Brad Blauser and he's helping some of the most desperate children in Iraq. I asked him what made him take action. His answer was a little shocking. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRAD BLAUSER, FOUNDER, WHEELCHAIRS FOR IRAQI KIDS: Larry, I was working as a civilian contractor in a supply warehouse in Mosul. In my off hours, I was friends with a number of the soldiers. One of the soldiers asked me if I could help him locate some children's wheelchairs. He was Major David Brown. And he would go out in the city on medical missions, and he would see children either dragging themselves on the ground or, during his missions, he would see parents bring him children and ask them for medicine for the kids to help them. And there was obviously no way to help.
I saw him the next day, and I asked him if there was anything I could help him with. He asked me to help him find children's wheelchairs. At that time, we sent out a request on my email to friends and family back home. In 30 days, we had 31 children's wheelchairs on ground.
KING: It is true nearly 650 wheelchairs have been distributed to this point?
BLAUSER: That's right, 650 children's pediatric wheelchairs from Reach Out and Care Wheels have been provided. Also, 240 small adult wheelchairs and adult wheelchairs have been provided from Worldwind International in San Francisco.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Thank you, Brad, for improving the lives of children and making our world a better place. Our hero of the week. Next, the Boston police officer in big trouble after jumping into the dust over the Gates arrest. He's here right after the break.
KING: Joining us now in Boston is Officer Justin Barrett and his attorney, Peter Marano. Officer Barrett was placed on administrative leave from the Boston Police department after referring to Professor Henry Lewis Gates as a "jungle monkey" in a mass e-mail. He's also been suspended from his military duties as a captain in the National Guard. The e-mail was sent in reaction to a "Boston Globe" article about the Gates-Crowley incident. It went to friends in the National Guard.
We want to read a few excerpts. Warning, some might find this offensive. "If I was the officer he verbally assaulted like a banana eating jungle monkey, I would have sprayed him in the face with OC, deserving of his belligerent non-compliance. I'm not a racist. But I am prejudiced toward people who are stupid and pretend to stand up and preach for something they claim is freedom. Gates is a god damn fool and you, the article writer, simply a poor follower, and, maybe worse, a poor writer. Your article title should read, conduct unbecoming a jungle monkey, back to one's roots."
Officer Barrett, what were you thinking?
OFFICER JUSTIN BARRETT, SUSPENDED FROM BOSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: Yes, Larry, I'd like to take this opportunity to offer fellow police officers, soldiers and citizens my sincerest apology over the controversial e-mail I authored in response to Ivon Abraham's editorial in the "Boston Globe." My choice of words, Larry, was lacking.
I failed to think through the perception others may have based upon what I wrote. I failed to realize the potential, through the use of words, that others would see as offensive. I am not a racist. I did not intend any racial bigotry, harm, or prejudice in my words. I sincerely apologize that these words have been received as such. I truly apologize to all involved, Larry.
KING: Do you think, Justin, you deserve to be suspended based on it?
PETER MARANO, ATTORNEY: Larry, if I can answer --
KING: Go ahead, Peter.
MARANO: On behalf of Justin, there is -- suspension in this circumstances they needs to be addressed by an impartial body. Is Justin willing to accept a punishment commensurate with what has occurred in a proportional sense? Absolutely. There is a process that does need to be followed.
Listening to some of your other guests tonight, we're talking about how, as a whole, this country can move on and learn from this episode that's occurred. Justin is stepping into this event between Professor Gates and Sergeant Crowley and what occurred. It was a poor choice of words and not a well thought out sense of what he was doing when he did it.
And as long as, at the end of the day, the proportionality is what we need to look at, what the punishment will be.
KING: Officer, what upset you so much -- as you say, you're not a racist -- to be so vitriolic in the e-mail?
BARRETT: Right, Larry. I read the article. I read the editorial written by Ivon Abraham in the Globe. It seemed like it was biased. It did not show the roles and duties of a police officer and how dangerous it already is without having a debate about people getting in a police officer's face, which should never happen at any call.
Police officers have a dangerous job, and I just felt that the article was one-sided and really didn't show justice to what police officers face on a daily basis when they have a tough job to do. Then they have to go home to provide for their families. They work a lot of hours per week to provide for their families.
KING: What made you come up with that language, though?
BARRETT: Larry, I don't even know. I couldn't tell you. I have no idea. I can say there that was no intentional racial bigotry on prejudice by my words. I did not intend that. I treat people with dignity and respect.
I was in Iraq. I work on the streets of Dorchester. I work with people who are in positions that they're stressed out and need help. I have treated people with dignity and respect, on the job, off the job, in Iraq, in the city of Boston. That's what I've done. I continue to treat people with respect.
KING: Have you used those words before, officer?
BARRETT: No, I've never used those words before.
KING: So you were pretty angry?
MARANO: Larry, I --
KING: You want to say something? Go ahead.
MARANO: I do. I want to speak out a little more on Justin's behalf, that his angst and anger that was portrayed -- it wasn't portrayed. It was what he wrote in this e-mail. It was directed towards behavior, not well thought out, not placed well. He's recognized the severity of what's occurred because of this. This is a young man who's never had a disciplinary issue at all in his career, in 16 years in the Army National Guard, or in the last two and a half years with the Boston Police Department.
It was probably the biggest lapse of judgment that he had, and the poorest choice of words he could make. One e-mail is making a judgment on his entire life and all of what --
KING: I've got you, Peter. He's humbled himself tonight. He's come forward, formally apologized. I don't know what more he could do. Maybe we could all seek a little forgiveness. Thanks, Justin. We'll keep in touch on this. Peter Marano as well.
KING: Before we get into another political issue, let's go back to Ann Coulter and Reverend Al Sharpton. Start with Al this time. What did you make of Officer Barrett?
SHARPTON: I think it is outrageous for someone to say that calling someone a monkey-eating -- a banana-eating monkey is not racist. Absolutely it's a racist term. And to ask for forgiveness -- but then don't forgive me for saying something racist, because I didn't say anything racist -- forgive me if you took it that way is absurd.
I'm the most forgiving guy. I forgave a white male for stabbing me at a march. He said he was wrong. He is saying he's not racist. And the frightening thing, Larry, which is why we need laws, is that they're going to entertain putting him back in the streets, and we are supposed to trust someone with these feelings to protect the public?
COULTER: I think that's what all attorney-formulated apologies sounds like. I think you have two people, a white man, a black man, both of them lose their tempers, do something highly immature. One berates a cop. One berates a reporter. Which one is on TV abjectly apologizing and begging for mercy? SHARPTON: Are you comparing Dr. Gates saying something in his home about why are you bothering me with a man calling someone a banana-eating monkey? Is that what you're trying to do, Ann?
COULTER: There are differences that cut both ways, Reverend Sharpton. One -- by the way, it was more than what are you doing here? He's screaming at the cop, you're a racist.
SHARPTON: He did not call that man a racist term.
COULTER: And the black cop --
KING: One at a time, one at a time, guys. Ann.
COULTER: It was my turn there. He was screaming, berating the cop, calling him a racist, the I'll talk to your mama outside, walking out. The black cop and the Hispanic cop totally backed up Crowley. I wouldn't say it is worse. I do think the e-mail language is worse certainly.
SHARPTON: Can I say something?
COULTER: It's nothing like wasting a cop's time. Gates is wasting police resources.
SHARPTON: You know what is worse, Ann? This is what the argument's about. What's worse is this a policeman. No one is going to depend on Dr. Gates to protect their family. No one is going to depend on Dr. Gates to respond to a 911 call.
You're asking people to depend on this man, to respond to them when he, in a moment of anger, sees us as banana-eating monkeys. We wouldn't call on Gates to our house. We'd call on this man if we lived in Boston. That's the difference. That's a lot more serious, Ann.
COULTER: If a 911 call came in when Gates was wasting the time of half a dozen police involved.
SHARPTON: Come on, Ann, Ann --
SHARPTON: The difference in who they are more striking. This man is upheld by the state, given a gun to protect people. That's his feeling. Dr. Gates, right or wrong, is not in that position.
KING: We were going to discuss in this segment -- we're running out of time -- other political issues. I'm going to invite both of you back, hopefully next week, to discuss a lot of issues. One day I'd love to see a conservative say that he agreed with the professor and a liberal say he agreed with the police officer. That would be a historic night.
Anyway, thank you both very much.
I would now like to acknowledge a couple of special guests from Portsmith, Arkansas tonight. Lisa Kneehaus (ph) is the winner of our remarkable question contest. She and her seven-year-old son Alex are here in the house tonight. There they are .
We want to congratulate Lisa and Alex. Great having you here. Congratulations on a great entry, winning the contest, the trip here to Los Angeles, a chance to see this show. Could be one of the highlights of your week.
Anyway, here now is Anderson Cooper and "AC 360." Anderson?