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Tonight, Memphis Expected To Release Tyre Nichols Arrest Video; Biden Says, Very Concerned About Potential Violence After Release Of Tyre Nichols Beating Footage; Court Releases Video Of Brutal Attack On Paul Pelosi; At Least Seven Dead, Three Injured After Jerusalem Synagogue Shooting. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired January 27, 2023 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, we are waiting the release of body camera video showing the arrest of Tyre Nichols in Memphis. Official and family members who have already viewed the footage tell CNN it is extremely disturbing to watch. An attorney for the Nichols family, Ben Crump, joins me for an interview in just a few minutes.
Also this hour, we'll get reaction from the district attorney there in Memphis prosecuting the case against the former police officers involved in the beating.
Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
We begin our coverage this hour with the expected release of the Tyre Nichols arrest video. CNN is on the ground in Memphis covering this developing story from every angle. Our Don Lemon has been speaking to local officials, family members, including the chief of police there.
But, first, our Senior National Correspondent Sara Sidner is joining us with the very latest developments. What should we anticipate today, Sara?
SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know that there is going to be a prayer vigil tonight and gathering. Beyond that, it has been prayerful and peace this whole time throughout these announcements from police, throughout the firings and throughout the charges that we now know five officers charged with second-degree murder among other very serious charges.
But there is a concern. There is always a concern that once this video comes out, video that has been described as appalling, extremely disturbing and inhumane, there is concern that people will react very emotionally to that.
ROWVAUGHN WELLS, TYRE NICHOLS' MOTHER: No mother, no mother should go through what I'm going through right now. SIDNER (voice over): The mother of Tyre Nichols full of sorrow but also filled with concern, knowing the release of the police video showing her son being brutally beaten by police after a traffic stop is about to be shown to the world.
ROWVAUGHN WELLS: I've never seen the video. But what I've heard is very horrific, very horrific. And any of you who have children, please don't let them see it.
CHIEF CERELYN DAVIS, MEMPHIS POLICE: You're going to see acts that defy humanity. You're going to see a disregard for life.
SIDNER: All five of these fired officers are out on bond after being charged with the murder of Tyre Nichols stemming from a reckless driving stop that the police chief says her department still can't substantiate.
DAVIS: It doesn't mean that something didn't happen, but there is no proof.
SIDNER: Nichols mother and stepfather called for calm but spoke of the horror that unfolded on the video during an exclusive interview with CNN's Don Lemon.
ROWVAUGHN WELLS: It is still like a nightmare right now. They beat my son to death.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: He cried out for his mom?
ROWVAUGHN WELLS: Yes. Yes, he cried out for me because I'm his mother. And that is what he was trying to get home to safety.
RODNEY WELLS, TYRE NICHOLS' STEPFATHER: I saw officers kicking him. One officer kicked him like he was kicking a football a couple of times. And it was maybe ten officers on the scene and nobody tried to stop it.
SIDNER: Soon, the public will be able to judge it for themselves.
STEVE MULROY, SHELBY COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Once you see the video, tomorrow -- or tonight, I guess, I think people could draw their own conclusions but I don't imagine there will be a lot of perceived ambiguity.
SIDNER: Are you saying in plain English that Tyre Nichols was beaten to death by these officers?
MULROY: Yes. I don't want to get into characterizing the video, but, clearly, the charges do say that the officers beat him and caused his death and are responsible for his death.
SIDNER: A defense attorney for Desmond Mills Jr., one of the five former officers charged with murder, says his client has regrets.
BLAKE BALLIN, ATTORNEY FOR DESMOND MILLS JR.: He is remorseful that he is attached to anything like this, that he is involved or connected to the death of somebody.
I caution everyone to look at this with an open mind and to treat each of these officers as individuals.
ROWVAUGHN WELLS: I don't care what color of police officer, but by them being black, it hurt the black community. They have brought shame to their own families. They brought shame to the black community.
SIDNER (on camera): And we know that Tyre Nichols's mother says that at the end of the video, there she hasn't seen it, her husband has, his father has, you hear over and over again Tyre screaming, mom.
And she believes that he was screaming that because he was about 80 yards from the house hoping that she could hear him to help him. She says she cannot get over the idea that she wasn't there in her son's greatest need.
Now, I will also mention that there is a huge consternation on the part of the family and their attorneys about this SCORPION unit that we have heard a lot about. They were involved in this incident. Several of the officers have now, among the five, been charged in this case with second-degree murder, among other charges. And there is a call now from the family and their attorneys to disband this unit immediately. Wolf?
BLITZER: Sara Sidner reporting for us on the scene, Sara, thank you very much.
Let's get more on what is going on. Joining us now, the attorney, Ben Crump, he's representing Tyre Nichols' family. Ben, thank you so much for joining us.
So, you say that the murder charges stem from analyzing this video that we're all about to see, in your words, blow by blow, kick by kick, strike by strike. What are we about to see and hear tonight?
BEN CRUMP, TYRE NICHOLS' FAMILY ATTORNEY: Wolf Blitzer, what we're about to see is something that is deplorable. It is excessive use of force by the police like we haven't witnessed since the likes of Rodney King video. That is what I liken it to. And tragically, Wolf, unlike Rodney King, who lived, Tyre Nichols did not survive.
And the video is very, very telling. We have the city pole video, then you have the police body cam video, so you have different angles and you have audio. And every part of it is simply tragic.
BLITZER: What can we expect in terms of the audio that we're about to hear, what that says about the former police officers' intent?
CRUMP: Not only was it excessive use of force, it was excessive profanity. I mean, from the first moment, Wolf Blitzer, that they engaged Tyre Nichols, this 29-year-old unarmed black motorist, they start swearing at him, MF this, MF that. Son of a B. Get on the ground, all the stuff. And even doing all of that, you still see the humanity in Tyre Nichols who never used profanity back at the officers.
He says, what -- what did I do? And that is his response to all of this escalation from the first moment as the police chief said, they were on ten, I think they were on ten-plus the whole video. And you're going to see it for yourself, even when they got him, putting his head to the ground and stuff, he said do you all really have to do all of this? And they shut the F up and all of this stuff. And it is just so unnecessary, so uncalled for, that they continue to escalate the matter and you were hoping and praying as you watch this video that just one officer would say, hey, everybody, this kid isn't a criminal. He's calm, let us be calm. Let's just de-escalate. Let's just everybody calm down, but that never happen the entire video.
BLITZER: Will the video shed light on others at the scene, beyond the police officers? I'm talking about the paramedics who failed to provide proper care. Anyone else who could potentially face charges?
CRUMP: Yes. Wolf, regrettably, you know, after they brutalized Tyre and he's handcuff and they set him up against a police car and his body fall to the right and then they pick him up after a minute and then his body falls to the left. And then they pick him up another time and his body falls again and he's moaning. And it is clear that he's in distress.
You have two fire department officials who come on the scene, and for about five or six minutes, they're just walking around talking too, and nobody is trying to render aid to help this young man who is clearly in distress.
And I must say this, Wolf Blitzer, you know, we look at these officers being terminated and charges brought less than 20 days because that video clearly shows that these five black police officers committed a crime on that video.
Now, this is the blueprint going forward for America, whether the officers are black or white, that they can't tell us it is going to take six months to a year to investigate before they could take action. When you have Laquan McDonald killed by white officers, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Terrence Courtney, they took all these exorbitant amounts of time even though they have video. Now, we have a blueprint to say, like the chief said, the community needed to see swift action and swift justice, where when black people are killed by white police officers, we need to see the same kind of swift action, same kind of swift justice that we saw here in Memphis, Tennessee.
BLITZER: Tyre Nichols' mother, as you know, Ben, says she still hasn't had time to grieve the loss of her son. All of us saw that really wonderful, emotional interview that Don Lemon did with her earlier today here on CNN. How are his loved ones feeling tonight with the world about to see this video? CRUMP: Obviously, it is very emotional. Ms. Wells and Mr. Wells are the epitome of grace. I mean, when you heard her say she's asking for prayer and she's praying for everybody, even praying for the police officers' family because she know that they're going through an awful time as well. But she said that she just don't understand why they had to kill her son, her baby and that she is focused on justice. And even though she hasn't had time to grieve, she thinks getting justice for her son, her youngest child, is more important than her even resting or grieving right now.
BLITZER: I know, Ben, you're calling for this so-called SCORPION unit in the Memphis Police Department to be disbanded. Is a pattern of abuse emerging and do you have any indication yet whether the police department there will shut that unit down?
CRUMP: Well, we certainly hope so if they want to prevent another tragic killing by police like Tyre Nichols, because we have two citizens now who has contacted my office. One said that he was attacked by the SCORPION police unit in Memphis, Tennessee just four or five days ago while he was driving just to pick up a pizza that they attacked him, used profanity, grabbed him out of the car, put a gun to his head.
Now, this young man actually called the Memphis Police Department to make a complaint. He called twice and they never responded back to him, he said. And had they responded back, Wolf Blitzer, maybe how Tyre Nichols was killed, that we're about to see on this video, never would have happened.
BLITZER: Ben Crump, thank you so much for joining us, and please pass along our love to the family members. Our hearts are grieving obviously, such an awful situation. Thank you so much for joining us.
CRUMP: You're welcome. Thank you.
BLITZER: Our panel of experts is standing by with more analysis coming up on the late breaking developments. We'll get their insight right after a quick break.
BLITZER: This just into CNN. President Biden is now making his first public remarks on the death of Tyre Nichols. The president says, and I'm quoting now, he's very concerned about the potential for violence after police released video of five police officers severely beating Tyre and he wound up being dead. Listen to this.
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: I spoke to Tyre's mother and expressed my condolences and told her that I was going to be making a case to the Congress and to pass the George Floyd Act. We should get this under control. I can only do so much in the executive order at a federal level. And the prayer -- I was really pleased that she called for no peaceful protests, no violence, no movement at all. And so I spoke with her about, I don't know, 10, 15 minutes and --
REPORTER: How concerned are you, sir, on the (INAUDIBLE) violence and the potential for violence?
BIDEN: Well, I am. I'm obviously very concerned about it. But I think she has made a very strong plea. She's obviously in enormous pain. She talked about, as you heard her, when she spoke publicly, but she also talked about how -- she didn't know what she was going to do.
And I told her that -- I told her I had some idea of what that lost is like. And that although it's impossible to believe now but time will come when (INAUDIBLE) a smile before a tear and she says she already is thinking about what he would want her to do, which is very positive.
REPORTER: What is the stake tonight, sir, with the nation watching this videotape and what could happen? What is at stake?
BIDEN: What is at stake is, first of all, innocent people's lives, number one. Number two, it has a lot to say and do with the image of America. It has a lot to do with whether or not we are the country we say we are, that we're a country of law and order and means by which we could peacefully protest but the courts make their judgment. Thank you very much.
BLITZER: All right. Let's bring in our panel right now. And, Don Lemon, I'll start with you. You spoke with Tyre Nichols' family earlier this morning. It was such a powerful and gut-wrenching conversation that we all watched. What did you take away from your time with that family?
LEMON: Some of -- Wolf, good evening, some of what the president just said.
She was doing she believes or she is doing what her son would have wanted her to do. And I thought it was striking that she said that she felt sorry for the officers and that she believed that her son was put on this Earth for a mission. And perhaps what happened to him was somewhat of an accomplishment of that mission and that she was going to carry it on.
I was surprised that when she walked into the interview, she said to me, I'm not very good at this, Don. And I said, I got you. Just talk to me. And she ended up -- I think she's very good at what she's doing. I can't imagine what she's going through and the strength, Wolf, that it takes to be able to sit down or stand in front of cameras and really pour your heart out. It was gut-wrenching. She was very candid. She's very honest.
The thing that stood out to me most is that she doesn't want to see that video. I know it is going to be released very shortly. She didn't want to see it, even when her husband was sitting there, describing it next to her, she was looking away from him and flinching and crying. She does -- no one wants to see their loved one beaten in the manner that he was beaten, to death.
BLITZER: Yes. I saw the tears in her eyes and I saw in your eyes as well, Don.
Let me bring Derrick Johnson into this. He's the President and CEO of NAACP. Derrick, Nichols' family attorney, Ben Crump, just told me that when he watch the video of this beating, he was hoping and praying that just one officer would call for calm and that never happened. How are you steeling yourself right now for this release of this video and what advice do you have for anyone who's feeling pain, and a lot of us are, as a result of this killing?
DERRICK JOHNSON, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NAACP: Well, you know, Wolf, I see this in three levels, right? We have the personal family agony of losing a loved one and watched it on tape. You have the community response, yet again another American being killed is going to be on public display and the trauma of that we have to brace for and hope that the community response would not be something that is in the street. But we recognize the third part of this, the importance of public policy reform.
President Biden said it best, we must pass a George Floyd Police Reform Act. It is sickening for us to go through this roller coaster every so many months because another individual is being killed on public display.
NAACP, we were created as a result of race riots. And the founders said, in 1909, we could never have the democracy that is promised if we allow for this type of violent behavior to continue to take place, and in 2023, we're still saying this type of violent act taking place but now on -- captured on camera. It is a sad moment for America.
BLITZER: Such a sad moment indeed. And it happens way, way too often.
Chief Ramsey, you're the former police chief here in Washington, the police commissioner in Philadelphia, let me get your take on that description that multiple officers on the scene did not deescalate or immediately render medical aid. Does that go against their training? CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, certainly,
it goes against the training. It goes against policy. It goes against everything a police officer should stand for.
I mean, you know, using excessive force is just unacceptable under any circumstances. And the whole point of this duty to intervene, which police departments are across the country are starting to adopt into policy and train on is that if an officer does lose it and does go too far, that someone stops it before more harm can be committed.
One of the things I want to look for tonight, I know those five were involved in beating Tyre, but were there other officers there? Were they just standing around watching? I mean, what was going on? I mean, those are the kinds of things that you have to look for. It is just unacceptable. We'll know in about an hour or so exactly what it looks like because we'll have seen the video. But this is way outside of policy. And there is no training, or anything else that will correct these. These guys are just conducting a criminal act, period.
BLITZER: Period indeed. Joey Jackson, our legal analyst, Ben Crump, the family attorney, also just told me the murder charges for these five fired police officers of Memphis were the result of analyzing the video that we're all about to see. What did you take away from what he just described during the interview with me?
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Wolf. I mean, I took away a number of things, right, looking at this of course as a father, as an individual who thinks we could do better in society and then as a lawyer. But in the event that the prosecutor charges second-degree, it means that it was a knowing killing. What does that mean? It means that these officers had to appreciate that what they were doing could lead to the consequence of death. And that in and of itself, Wolf, is very chilling.
BLITZER: Don --
LEMON: Wolf, they described --
BLITZER: Go ahead Don.
LEMON: The dad described what was happening and he saw the video. The police chief talked about what she saw in the video. The police chief said, according to her, there were members of the fire department, two members who we don't know who they are. One of them is a woman because she said, she, in the interview. She said that they didn't give care for a long time.
The dad said that you can see the fire engine or the ambulance pull up and no one did anything. He said that his son, and this is according to him, was sitting there, slumped over, in handcuffs and they would simply prop him back up, use expletives and say, sit it F up. That is what we're going to see on the video. They described in detail what we're going to see. So, not only do they just stand by or sit by and do nothing, they taunted this young man, according to the father and according to the police chief.
And they said that officers were standing around smoking cigarettes and not doing anything. That is what you're going to see tonight. And I think we have to be -- we must be honest about. It's not that they just weren't giving care to him, they were taunting this young man, according to the people saw the video.
BLITZER: It's so heartbreaking indeed. All right, everybody standby.
Coming up, the Shelby County district attorney, Steven Mulroy, says he's very confident to secure convictions against the five police officers, former police officers, now charged in the killing of Tyre Nichols. He'll join us next.
Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [18:30:00]
BLITZER: The city of Memphis is bracing for the release of video showing brutal beating which led to the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols. Joining us now is the Shelby County district attorney, Steven Mulroy. Steven, thank you so much for joining us, thanks for all your doing.
Could you walk us through the different angles of the video that will be released shortly and, broadly, what we could expect to see and hear tonight?
MULROY: Certainly. You know, there are certain details about the ongoing investigation that I wouldn't be able to go into and I want to be -- I want to stray from going too much into characterizing the video when there is a pending prosecution.
But I could tell you this, you will see the same thing that the family was shown. It is a body cam from the first encounter, and then two body cams and a pole cam, a sky cop cam from the second encounter. Everything altogether is a little bit over an hour. And although you won't see, you know, the initial traffic stop, you will see almost all of the first encounter, as far as we know, and then enough of the second encounter until the victim, and until Tyre Nichols is taken away by ambulance.
BLITZER: These five ex-police officers there in Memphis all face the same charges, as you well know. And you say you're very confident in securing a conviction. Will we see this video why you're holding each of them equally responsible?
MULROY: I think that is fair to say. I mean, that is not the sum total of all of the evidence in the case and I don't want to go into too much detail, but I suspect that the average viewer after watching the video will not have too much trouble understanding why all five officers are being held responsible for the death of Tyre Nichols. And we are, in fact, confident that we have a strong case.
BLITZER: Yes, second-degree murder charges, very significant.
The Memphis police chief says, paramedics failed to render proper care. That is a direct quote. And we know others are under investigation as well. You're not ruling out more charges down the road. Can you give us a sense of a timeline and scope of potential additional charges?
MULROY: I can say that nothing that we did yesterday in terms of the indictments precludes us from adding additional charges, including to other persons later on down the road. As for timing, it's a little bit difficult to say. A typical case like this could take months before charges are rendered. This obviously was a case that was expedited but we may see that timeline or something similar as the case continues to unfold.
BLITZER: The Memphis Police Chief Davis says she doesn't believe the actions of these ex-police officers lined up with their training. So, what explains this? Is it a wider problem within the department culture?
MULROY: I think that might be fair to say. I think that this suggests that there is an issue of culture. And, you know, I don't know whether Memphis is really unique in that respect. And I think maybe it should call for a broader discussion about police reform not only in Memphis and Shelby County but around the country.
BLITZER: Yes, important point. Shelby County District Attorney Steven Mulroy, let's continue this conversation down the road. Thanks so much for joining us.
MULROY: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Coming up, we'll have more on the body camera video showing the arrest of Tyre Nichols in Memphis. We'll get the latest reaction and outrage among those who have already seen it.
BLITZER: Let's get back to our coverage of the latest developments in Memphis. Charles Ramsey is back with us. We're also joined by our Senior Legal Analyst Laura Coates.
Laura, the Tennessee district attorney just told me anyone who views the video, and we're all going to see it fairly soon, will not have trouble understanding why all five of these former police officers are being charged. What stood out to you from that conversation?
LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the idea of what we're about to see is creating a lot of anxiety for so many, about just how bad this is. But I think back to yesterday and the decision not to charge first-degree murder. I'll be looking extremely closely at the why, but knowing, of course, that prosecutors have a very difficult time trying to prove that premeditated state, that decision to kill especially for officers with the bias often in favor of police officers in this country.
So, I'll be looking to see particularly who chose not to act. Who chose not to intervene, given that Memphis in 2020, about a month after George Floyd was killed, like many other jurisdictions, changed their rules to ensure that officers would intervene and not just see something, say something, but do something. Wolf?
BLITZER: Good point. Chief Ramsey, the officers involved in this killing were fired and quickly charged within a matter of a few weeks of the incident.
This is far quicker than we've seen in other police involved killings over the years. Do you see that as a sign of progress?
RAMSEY: Well, it is a sign of progress but it is also a sign that she had the ability to do it. There are some jurisdictions where because of civil service regulations or union contracts, you cannot immediately fire an individual. They have a due process clause in these contracts. You can suspend them with pay for a period of time with intent to dismiss and so forth but it won't be immediate.
So, she was fortunate that she had the ability to do that. I think swift action is more than appropriate in this case and other cases that I have seen. So, one of the things that has to change are the restrictions that police chiefs face across the country. It is not easy to fire a police officer.
BLITZER: Good point. Laura, all five of these officers involved in this beating are charged with second-degree murder. Do you expect we'll see additional federal charges as this investigation continues?
COATES: Well, if past is prologue from Derek Chauvin trial and the other officers who were on the scene, it is very likely that there might be a civil rights violation known as under the color of law, the idea of an officer using think their badge, the color of blue and the uniform essentially, to justify the exploitation of that power and to use excessive force.
If that is what happened here in the video seeming to indicate from all accounts what we will see, then the civil rights division is already looking at this issue from the U.S. attorney's perspective would serve as the obvious backstop. But the state level charges will be important to have it chronologically come first to build that evidence as well.
BLITZER: Laura Coates, Chief Ramsey, guys thank you very much.
Coming up, newly released video of the brutal hammer attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
BLITZER: Other news we're following tonight, disturbing new body -- police body cam video showing the brutal attack on the husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, inside their San Francisco home.
CNN's Veronica Miracle has this report which contains graphic images.
POLICE OFFICER: Drop the hammer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nope.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Hey.
POLICE OFFICER: What is going on right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa.
(EXPLETIVE DELETED) VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Body camera video shows police struggling with Paul Pelosi's assailant after witnessing the assault.
POLICE OFFICER: Give your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) hands. Give me your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) hands.
MIRACLE: Police responding to the Pelosi home around 2:30 a.m. on October 28th after Paul Pelosi called 911 reporting an attacker had broken into their San Francisco home.
PAUL PELOSI, HUSBAND OF SPEAKER PELOSI: There's a gentleman here just waiting for my wife to come back, Nancy Pelosi. He's just waiting for her to come back. She's not going to be here for a day. We'll have to wait.
MIRACLE: The 82-year-old husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appears to try to signal the 911 dispatcher that he needs help without upsetting the intruder.
PELOSI: Is the Capitol police around?
DISPATCHER: No, this is --
PELOSI: They're usually here at the house protecting my wife. He told me to put the phone down and do what he says.
MIRACLE: Then, before he hangs up the phone, the intruder interrupts.
DAVID DEPAPE, INTRUDER: I'm a friend of theirs.
MIRACLE: The intruder David DePape has been charged with assault and attempted homicide, among other charges, and has pleaded not guilty on all counts.
After his arrest, DePape told police he was out to get then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and, quote, other targets and repeated baseless conspiracy theories about Pelosi and Democrats spying on the Trump campaign..
DEPAPE: It's just like an endless (EXPLETIVE DELETED) crime spree. Like the whole (EXPLETIVE DELETED) four years until they were finally able to steal the election.
MIRACLE: He said he woke Paul Pelosi and was looking for his wife.
DEPAPE: I was going to hold her hostage and to talk to her, and tell her what I would do. If she told the truth I would let her go scot- free. If she (EXPLETIVE DELETED) lied, I was going to break her kneecaps.
MIRACLE: DePape had previously posted conspiracy theories about the January 6th attack at the U.S. Capitol on his Facebook account. He told police --
DEPAPE: When I left my house, I left to fight tyranny. I did not leave to go surrender.
MIRACLE: Nancy Pelosi spoke with CNN's Chris Wallace about the attack one week ago.
CHRIS WALLACE, CNN HOST: How is your husband Paul doing?
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): He's doing okay. It's going to take a little while for him to be back to normal. I feel very sad about it because the person was searching for me, and my dear husband, who is not even that political, actually, paid the price.
MIRACLE: Paul Pelosi underwent surgery for a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands, and he has been seen wearing a hat at events with his wife in recent months. She said she would not watch the video showing the attack.
PELOSI: I have absolutely no intention of seeing the deadly assault on my husband's life.
MIRACLE (on camera): Wolf, the audio and video was made public because a group of news organizations including CNN pushed for its release citing transparency reasons. DePape's lawyer argued against it, saying it would irreparably damage his right to a fair trial but the court sided with the news organizations allowing for its release -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Veronica Miracle, reporting for us, thank you, Veronica.
Up next, heightened tension right now in Israel after a deadly synagogue attack that officials are calling terrorism.
BLITZER: Tonight at least seven people are dead and three injured when a gunman opened fire at a Jerusalem synagogue in what Israeli authorities are calling a terrorist attack.
CNN's Hadas Gold is live at the scene for us in Jerusalem.
Hadas, so what more are you learning about this attack?
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, Israeli police are calling it one of the worst attacks in recent years taking place in this northeastern neighborhood of Jerusalem, Neve Yaakov. The attack began around 8:15 just outside the synagogue. It's Friday night, it's Shabbat. There would have been a lot of worshippers there.
As you noted, seven people were killed, three were injured, including a 15-year-old boy who was still in hospital. The attacker got into his car, started driving down this street behind me, and just beyond this intersection is where he was encountered by police where he was ultimately shot and killed. Israeli police have identified him as a 21-year-old Palestinian from east Jerusalem, although they believe he was acting alone.
Now, this is coming during a very tense and violent two days here. Yesterday was the most deadly day for Palestinians in the West Bank in over a year after Israeli military raid there in Jenin targeting what they say were Islamic jihad militants. But we know that at least one bystander civilian, a woman in her 60s, was killed as well.
And then later in that evening, rockets fired from Gaza into Israel. Israel responding with air strikes.
There were concerns this would spiral even further, and now we have this attack tonight -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Hadas Gold in Jerusalem for us, thank you very much.
And to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Our special coverage continues with "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT tonight, the video of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols' arrest. The city of Memphis is expected to release that video at any moment. And when the city posts it, CNN will air it in its entirety.
Just moments ago, President Biden who says he just spoke to Nichols' mother is urging calm as this video, we are told, is both graphic and excruciating to watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I was really pleased that she called for no -- peaceful protests, no violence, no movement at all. And so I -- you know, I spoke with her about, I don't know, 10, 15 minutes. And --
REPORTER: How concerned are you, sir, about the violence and the potential violence?
BIDEN: Well, I am. I'm obviously very concerned about it, but I think she has made a very strong plea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: President Biden, you hear, saying he's very concerned about potential violence, and cities across the United States are prepared for protests tonight.
As for the officers involved in Nichols' arrest, all five have been released on bond after being charged with second degree murder. Police initially said officers pulled Nichols over on January 7th for
reckless driving. Police claimed he fled. And when officers caught up to him, it sparked a, quote, confrontation.
Well, we do know the fact is, Nichols was taken to the hospital and he died three days later. According to a private autopsy, he suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating.
Now, again, we're going to bring you this video when it is released. We are all going to watch this together.
First, I want to go to the ground. Don Lemon is there joining me from Memphis.
And, Don, of course, you have been here these days, and you have some new reporting about the Scorpion Unit, which these officers involved here were a part of.
DON LEMON, CNN CO-ANCHOR, CNN THIS MORNING: I do, Erin. And I do want to say that the video has been embargoed -- embargoed before we go to that.
Some members of the media have seen some excerpts of the video. We were able to get that, and we've been able to view it, and it is horrific. It starts off with the body-worn camera video. But yes, we have been able to see some of it.
Regarding the Scorpion Unit, I'm getting information now as we're speaking from the police department that had -- that is just coming in, and they've been talking about what's happening here. What they're saying is there's been -- you know these calls from the family and from others about disbanding this unit, the police department is saying there will be a review over all specialized units.
Currently, the Scorpion Unit is inactivated during this review process, but it has not disbanded. You have to remember that we have about 10 specialized units that work similar to the Scorpion Unit.
If not the unit, they are necessary -- it is not the unit, they are necessary. Meaning the unit is necessary. The officers who -- and their training, that may be the problem. In this case, it's the officers who by chance were assigned to the Scorpion Unit. So, that's that information that I'm getting about that.
But again, we've had a chance to see some of the video, but it is embargoed until the top of the hour, and it does start off with the body-worn camera video, and then it will go to the aerial video, the skycam video, which is silent. The body-worn camera video, you'll get to hear the full audio of that and see the takedown from police officers of this young man, the language and everything.
I have to -- it is riddled with expletives, Erin, which you're going to see. So, it's going to be very disturbing and it should be coming in at any moment.
But it will go back and forth, four different videos, we are told. The skycams -- according to our Sara Sidner's reporting -- those skycams are constantly on. There's no sound on some of them. The body-worn cameras have to be turned on when officers are on a stop and when they're actively engaged or involved with citizens.
BURNETT: Right, right, and, of course, as Don says, some of this will be -- will be silent. Some of this will -- we will hear the talking, so people are going to have to bear with us as they put this together as Don, you're saying, right, there's going to be multiple clips.
LEMON: Uh-huh. Yeah.
BURNETT: So there will be different -- you know, some will have sound. Some will not, as we hear -- as we hear and watch this all together.
The breaking news, of course, now is that the city of Memphis is releasing the video of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols' arrest.
Now, we are going to watch it together with you. We're going to air in its entirety. This will not be easy for anyone. As we've said, it is graphic and brutal and you should know that if you choose to watch it.