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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

Exclusive: CNN On Campus Of Columbia University; NYPD On Columbia Campus, Dozens Arrested & Loaded Onto Buses; Columbia University: Decision To Call In NYPD To "Restore Safety And Order To Our Community". Aired 9-10p ET

Aired April 30, 2024 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: The gate we're seeing on the -- Shimon, on the left-hand side of your screen is at 114th and Broadway.

What you're seeing, on the right-hand side of your screen, that's another entrance to Columbia, a gate that's been closed. Protesters cannot get into, I assume, because they're not students. Identities are being checked. That gate is at 116th in Amsterdam Avenue. So that's at a different side of Columbia.

Go ahead, Shimon. Continue to tell us what you're seeing.

VOICE OF: SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right. So, the significance here, being the strategic response officers. We're seeing more arrive now, and get in formation.

The question now, obviously is when do they have the green light to go in? We don't know. We are expecting it at any moment. And we keep seeing the officers move around. But it's not entirely clear where they're going, so.

COOPER: OK. Let me just--

VOICE OF: PROKUPECZ: Anderson, we're just going to walk this way again.

COOPER: All right. We're going to check in.

PROKUPECZ: Because we don't want to get thrown out by officers (ph).

COOPER: Shimon, keep us informed.

We're going to check in with Julia Vargas Jones, who is on campus outside Hamilton Hall.


COOPER: Julia, I'm just wondering if any -- how are you -- what have the last few minutes been like, anything you've been seeing?

JULIA VARGAS JONES, CNN REPORTER: We saw a large movement, Anderson, of students all the way to the 114 gate. That's the one that Shimon was mentioning. There is police presence over there.

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: On that side, you see people just walking, trying to see if this -- trying to figure out where police will come in from, and where they will be the safest, honestly. A lot of the -- a lot of the students that went that way, that kind of like dispersing a little bit now.

VARGAS JONES: I think it was maybe a bit of a false alarm.

Obviously, students are hearing inside, what we're reporting, what other outlets are reporting. Everyone is kind of just trying to figure out what happens next. And as they're scrambling, there's movement. There's a lot of running and stopping, and people asking, where's the police?

This is why I was trying to figure out where Shimon is exactly. I believe we're just quite exactly in the -- in our diagonal here.

COOPER: So, Julia?

VARGAS JONES: So that's 114th--


VARGAS JONES: --on that side.

COOPER: Yes, that's actually helpful.

VARGAS JONES: That's Amsterdam.

COOPER: OK. That's helpful. So, if you could tell us, so to your right, is the 114th gate on Broadway. Is that correct?

VARGAS JONES: Yes, that's 114th. That -- I can't see that far.

COOPER: Right.

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: But there is -- there was a crowd of, a rush of, people that ran that way.



COOPER: And then the 116--

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: When we heard that NYPD were moving in.

COOPER: And then Amsterdam is which direction from you?

VARGAS JONES: Amsterdam is, is right here. So, this is the corner, where this building -- and I'm sorry for the turnaround here. I'll have my colleague, Kareem (ph) help me to show you.

So, this is Hamilton Hall, right? So, Amsterdam is right on the other side. Shimon and others, our colleagues that have been live, from the outside of campus, they've been able to see the banners and all the color from Hamilton Hall, on the Amsterdam side.

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: That's what they're seeing.

Just over here, there's a wall. So, we can't really see what's going on right outside -- right outside the gates. I have -- I'm a little blinded in here. And honestly, all of these students will be in a corner, once police comes in. There's nowhere for them to go. It's a wall. It's a barricaded building.

And then, I showed you before, that up here we see -- we see residences, students on the windows, just waiting to see what happens.

And I want to pivot a little bit more, to the other side, just so you have an idea of the layout here, Anderson, is that these are tents that showed up this afternoon, moved from the south lawn, where all of this began, really a couple weeks ago.

And this is where the rush has been going on. People were just kind of running out towards 114th, which is a gate -- all gates are closed, except for one actually. I don't know. Probably our colleagues on the outside will have a better sense of what it's like out there. But there's with only one gate open, everything else is closed. This is residences. I don't know where people will go, once police comes in.

COOPER: Right. Julia, standby, appreciate what you are doing.

I want to go to Miguel Marquez, where his location is the right-hand side of your screen.

Miguel, I think you're around 114th and Broadway. Talk about what you've been seeing. Last we saw you, police were moving into what we believe was a dorm building that's slightly off campus.


COOPER: What's going on?


Turn the camera around here, Ken (ph).


This is what we are seeing right now, just massive numbers of NYPD going in with helmets, many of them with batons and Flexi-cuffs. They are streaming in off Broadway. We're on 114th, just east of Broadway, so between Broadway and Amsterdam.

The closest access to where the encampment is, is on just off 114th here. Around the corner from us, on Amsterdam, is where Hamilton Hall is, and where protesters have remained at that gate, the main gate at 116th and Broadway. We were there earlier, and there was nobody there. It doesn't seem that there's any activity there, right now. They blocked off that entire area. Broadway, this major road, in New York City, is blocked off for several blocks between 113th or so, and 120th, in both directions right now. And police clearly getting ready to go in.

I've covered lots of this sort of stuff, around the world. And I've never seen this many police moving into one area.

COOPER: OK. Let's talk about this shot we're now--

VOICE OF: MARQUEZ: It is not clear how many--

COOPER: Hey, Miguel, this shot we're seeing now was--


COOPER: --where is this?

Control Room, where is this?

VOICE OF: MARQUEZ: This is 100 -- 114th Street, east of Broadway. So, they are as close to campus as you can get. There is an entrance to campus, just--

COOPER: OK. Miguel what we are seeing? We're seeing students--

VOICE OF: MARQUEZ: --200 feet (ph) from where we are.

COOPER: We're seeing students trying to move metal barricades, around one of the entrances. That's that entrance on Amsterdam, and 116th, I believe. So that's?


COOPER: Go ahead.

VOICE OF: MARQUEZ: That sounds right. There was a -- there was -- there's been a protest there all day today. Dozens, when I got there. By the time we left to go chase other protesters, there were several dozen protesters outside Amsterdam Avenue.

They had barricades set up there. There are very tall fences. Those gates are -- the barricades are short. But the gates around Columbia are about 10, 12 feet high. So it'd be very hard for them to get over that.

Police are now going in. They are now going in to the Columbia campus on -- I can see them going into the campus on the 114th Street side. Even more, more police are even pouring into this area.


COOPER: Shimon. I want to go there, Shimon Prokupecz.

Shimon, what are you seeing?

PROKUPECZ: Anderson, we are right with them right now. They are moving in. They are walking.

VOICE OF: PROKUPECZ: These are the search teams that we were with earlier.

PROKUPECZ: They are now making their way towards the campus. We are just behind them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys, just stay, stay.

PROKUPECZ: OK. They are walking in to the campus. They have now made a left here, Anderson.

Evelio (ph), come over here, if you can get that shot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys, you have to stand on the side.

VOICE OF: PROKUPECZ: No, no, no. We're fine. We're getting on the side. We're good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand beside the tape.

VOICE OF: PROKUPECZ: But that's the -- that right there--

COOPER: Julia Vargas Jones.

VOICE OF: PROKUPECZ: --Anderson, you could see.

COOPER: Go ahead, Shimon.

VOICE OF: PROKUPECZ: They're making a left. That is them making their way.

COOPER: OK. I want to go to Julia Vargas Jones, who's on campus, outside Hamilton Hall.

VOICE OF: PROKUPECZ: That is them making their way into campus.

COOPER: Julia, what are you seeing?

VARGAS JONES: Anderson. Yes, we're good. We are hearing a lot of metal clanking. Some people are saying there might -- they're hearing ladders. I'm not sure. I can't see. Like I told you, I can't see anything.

COOPER: There were gates being moved around.

VARGAS JONES: Past that wall. 114th is this way.

COOPER: Are you pointing to the 116th?

VARGAS JONES: Right here, we're looking at 114th.


VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: This is the 114th entrance. There they are. There they are. This is -- this is the library. This is the main library at Columbia. Butler.

COOPER: So that's the police--

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: And they've giving orders to disperse.

COOPER: --on campus?

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: Police is on campus. The New York Police Department is on campus.

COOPER: So where are they -- they're coming in. Now that they're in campus--

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: They are walking.

COOPER: --they're from 114th.

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: Yes. They came from another gate on 114th. And they're coming -- they're coming in our direction. So, I'm going to step to the side. Make sure that we are OK.

But there's an order to disperse. Lots of -- lots of student media here, Anderson, you can see. But this is what we thought would happen. This is what we've been waiting to happen, really, all day.

COOPER: And in terms of where Hamilton Hall is, can you just point in that direction?


COOPER: Is that where they are headed now?

VARGAS JONES: Yes. So, police is here. They're turning towards me. They're coming -- this is Hamilton Hall.



COOPER: So, Julia, you obviously need to get wherever you need to get to not--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clear now. Let's go.

COOPER: --getting.

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: I just -- I just -- OK. We're moving. We're moving. We're moving. We're moving. OK. So, here they are.

VARGAS JONES: We're going to see. Come this way Kareem (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Move into Columbia, and are heading towards--

VARGAS JONES: Show them. Show them. I got -- yes, OK. So, this is happening. They're going up the lawn.

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: Actually they're going to come where we are. We got to get out of the way.

COOPER: So, Julia, about how many--

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: They're staging just across the lawn.

COOPER: --about how many police do you see?





VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: I see a few dozen, only a few dozen for now.


VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: It seems like they're -- maybe they're staging.

Stay wide.

That I believe they're staging over here. And just around that -- in that corridor, in between.



VARGAS JONES: And it seems like they're getting ready to come this way down.

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: Can you show this, Kareem (ph)? Just going down here and into Hamilton Hall, that's right there.


Julia, stay with us, as long as you can.

VARGAS JONES: They're still chanting.

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: They're still.

COOPER: So, that's -- there is Hamilton hall that you're showing us with. So the students are still outside.

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: Protesters are still chanting. They're outside.

COOPER: So Julia--

VARGAS JONES: The protesters are still forming that human chain, Anderson. I showed you earlier.

COOPER: So, it looks like, right now, the police are essentially staging.

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: And police are just getting closer slowly.

COOPER: Are staging outside kind of regrouping, at a slight distance from Hamilton Hall outside. Is that correct?

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: Yes. But it seems like there's still -- there's still different groups of police that are coming. I see another few dozen coming in. I don't know if our colleagues outside are seeing more people coming in, more officers come in.

COOPER: OK. Let me quickly check in with Shimon Prokupecz.

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: But that's what it looks like.

COOPER: OK. Shimon, tell us where you are and what you're seeing.

VOICE OF: PROKUPECZ: So, Anderson, the buses have just moved in. This is where they will likely take the -- once they start making arrests and start bringing people out. Those buses have now arrived.

We're seeing additional Technical Assistance Response Unit is here. They're going to help with video and other things that perhaps the police will be looking to seize. So, they're now heading in to the campus.

But its significance here, obviously, these buses now arriving. This is where they will bring the people that they arrested, eventually. They will bring them on the buses.

And that's it, it seems, at this point. They have not moved in any extra officers into the campus. Out here, it's interesting enough, there's, you know, people just out here watching what's going on. And you're seeing some of the officers by standing around the buildings, keeping an eye on things.

But at this point out here, what -- things are fairly under control for the police. And then, look, so much planning, Anderson, went into this. It's very obvious that the NYPD spent some time planning for this today.

Certainly, the escalation when the -- when the group broke into the buildings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys walk (ph).

VOICE OF: PROKUPECZ: OK. They're asking us, I think, to walk.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't push them behind (ph).

VOICE OF: PROKUPECZ: OK. Come on. We're going to walk. Come on.

PROKUPECZ: Come on, Evelio (ph) let's walk.

OK. We're going to walk.

OK. We're going to walk, Anderson. It looks like they're going to bring us closer.




PROKUPECZ: They're going to bring us closer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go together (ph).

COOPER: All right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys, you can get moving out.

COOPER: Shimon, we'll come back to you. Let me quickly check in.

VOICE OF: PROKUPECZ: Anderson, they're going to bring us closer.

COOPER: All right. As soon as you get there, let us know.

We're going to check with Miguel Marquez.

Miguel, what are you seeing?

VOICE OF: MARQUEZ: Yes, we are basically in the same place. But 114th Street.


VOICE OF: MARQUEZ: Hundreds of New York police officers, who are -- who had helmets and batons, entered the grounds of Columbia University. There are now buses parked outside on 114th Street--

COOPER: All right. Miguel, I want to go back to Julia.

VOICE OF: MARQUEZ: --to make any arrests. They're moving media now.

COOPER: Miguel, I'm going to go back to Julia on campus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Julia, can you hear?

COOPER: Julia, what are you seeing?

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: Can you hear me?


COOPER: Yes. Julia, you're on the air. What are you seeing? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

VARGAS JONES: Can you hear me?

COOPER: Julia, you're on the air. Can you hear me?

VARGAS JONES: Guys, so police is moving right now. Police -- we're getting as close as we can to be safe, Anderson. But this is -- police are coming in, to where we just were, our last live shot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're going in with them right now.

VARGAS JONES: Live position.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're going in with them right now.

VARGAS JONES: That was our live position.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And there are they are.

VARGAS JONES: Hamilton Hall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: NYPD officers making their way in front of Hamilton Hall.

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: And they're telling people to disperse. I think you can see that.


VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: They're moving -- they're moving protesters out of their way. They're moving students out of their way.

Sorry, we're trying to get this.

Just closer, over here, over here. We'll bring here.

They're just pushing people out. And they're placing themselves between all the media and the protesters and that human chain.



COOPER: So, Julia, there's still there's students there, linked arms, in front of the doors.


COOPER: And then, there are protesters inside the building as well. Do you see protesters in the windows of that building at all? Or had they shut the windows?



VARGAS JONES: I see them -- I see -- up there.

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: Clean up there, move -- behind that Palestinian flag, there's someone there.


VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: That's observing everything that's going on. That's where--


VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: There they are. There they are up -- up there.


VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: I mean, this is what you guys--


COOPER: And they're chanting NYPD KKK, comparing the New York police to the Ku Klux Klan. Is that right?



VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: I believe that's what they're saying to NYPD. I believe that's what they're saying.


COOPER: Bring in Chief Ramsey.

Chief Ramsey, just in terms of tactics, they're clearly just trying to secure the area as much as they can, move off people, anybody who's not protesting, just trying to get a kind of an area of calm, correct?

VOICE OF: CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes, you're correct. I mean, you can see that the police are organized. They have a plan. They're trying to clear away as many people as possible. They'll be making entry (inaudible) people that are inside, and also with the encampment, start to dismantle that encampment. But they're trying to get some semblance of control in that immediate area.

So, they're doing exactly what I would expect them to do, at this point in time. This is going to be a long drawn-out process. It's not going to end anytime soon. This is probably going to take most of the night.


VOICE OF: RAMSEY: Before they get it lately locked down.

COOPER: We've seen--

VOICE OF: RAMSEY: And everyone inside that building.

COOPER: Chief, on the right-hand side of your screen outside, we saw somebody being led away with their hands, zip ties.

John Miller, former NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism is also monitoring this with us.

John, what stands out to you at this point?

JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF AND LAE ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, I think what you're seeing is the end of a process, which is going to be the beginning of another much more tactical process, which is the NYPD has been putting this plan into place, over the last couple of days, particularly last 24 hours, when students took over Hamilton Hall, by going inside, barricading the doors, smashing the security cameras inside, to limit the view of the school, and their security people, to what was going on.

The discussions between the NYPD and Columbia have been what are the tactics that are going to be used? What is the plan? Will it be in the daytime or the nighttime? But the NYPD wanted Columbia to agree to be the complainant, to be the one that called the police, to be the one that asked for this action.

So, what we're going to see now is they will set their police perimeter, around the perimeter that the students had set, outside Hamilton Hall. They will issue the verbal warnings that you are to disperse, to the people outside.

Those people will have a choice, which is they can stay in place, and face arrest for criminal trespass, or disorderly conduct. Or they can disperse. And they'll get that chance, when those warnings are given.

Then they've got to make entry. And that's going to require the Emergency Service Unit, whatever cutting tools they need to use, to get past barricades that have been put in place.

And then, those people, who are inside the building, will be arrested, charged with criminal trespass, suspended by the school, where they contemplate further action, including expulsion.

But as Chuck Ramsey said, a moment ago, this isn't going to happen over five minutes. The warnings have to be given. They have to be given a chance to disperse. The entries have to be made. The building has to be searched, quite a large building, top to bottom, to look for people in place, people who may be hiding. Then the building has to be cleared.

All of those people, who are charged, or arrested, are going to be taken to the Mass Arrest Processing Center, or MAPC, as they call it downtown. They have buses set up, where they'll begin to process them even before they're brought down there. And some will be issued summonses. Some may be held over for court.

But this is an operation that as we look at it at 9:18 PM, is going to go on for the next several hours at least.

COOPER: John, I want to bring in Judge Shira Scheindlin, former federal judge, not only for a legal perspective.

But you actually were a student at Columbia in 1968, on campus, when students took over a building on campus in '68. Is that correct?

VOICE OF: SHIRA SCHEINDLIN, FORMER U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: Yes, indeed. They occupied Kent Hall, which was where the East Asian Institute was.

SCHEINDLIN: And I was a student studying Chinese and Japanese history of all things.

And so, having occupied the building, we were expelled from the building. We had classes in the park. And it was a dangerous situation, I remember it well.


COOPER: What is it like for you, to witness this, both from a former student there, who--


COOPER: --lived through in '68, which I think is the last time police were called in to the campus.


COOPER: Other than recent days. And also just from the legal standpoint, as a judge.

VOICE OF: SCHEINDLIN: Well, from a legal standpoint, to take your second question first, it's one thing to have peaceful protests. But there are time, place and manner restrictions. And that's the beginning. And then there's civil disobedience. And if you do that, you can expect to be arrested.

But at the third stage, there's simple lawlessness. And what troubles me about this is when you have people breaking and entering, property damage, trespass, and potential violence, that's a line that's been crossed. And I think the action being taken now is absolutely correct. This cannot be tolerated.

And I'll tell you the real story is graduation. Columbia's graduation is May 15th. And it's always right where these tents are. And they're prepared. There are students, who have spent collectively, a billion dollars in tuition, who are graduating. And their families deserve to see those kids graduate. Those kids want to graduate.

This timing is this was time for graduation. There's no question in my mind. If this protest was November, it could have been handled. But it's graduation time. So, there's lots -- there's lots going on here that doesn't immediately meet the eye.

COOPER: I want to go back to Julia Vargas Jones, who's on campus.

Julia, what's going on?



VARGAS JONES: Look, Anderson, police has pushed all student press and all other students into -- is this Jay -- Jay -- John Jay Hall?


VARGAS JONES: Yes. So, we are kind of pushed against -- this is where the cafeteria is. I'll show you there's, you know, this is where -- sorry, we're trying to figure out.

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: They're going in to this huge -- this is also a student residence. I mean, you can see some faculty here as well. They've just cleared this entire area, where we walked past earlier. So, they just cleared all that and secured all that. And my understanding is that there's more police coming towards them (inaudible) they shut it.

Are they -- are they closing those doors? I believe they're closing those doors, and keeping to that inside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Folks, clear now.

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: Barricading them inside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're in the wrong place. You got to go.

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: OK. Which way should we go? Which way should we go?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All out the door (ph).

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: We entered through those doors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please go and clear. Thank you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys, please exit from here.

VARGAS JONES: We'll leave.

So, we're being told, Anderson, to leave. We have to leave towards--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you have to run.

VARGAS JONES: I've been told that we should be able to go back into the Journalism school. That's what I was told to, to return to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys, thank you.

VARGAS JONES: But the gates are now closed. The only way is through where -- where NYPD is taking us.

COOPER: And Julia, so are other students--

VARGAS JONES: Inside the cafeteria.

COOPER: --who have been told to shelter in place, are they staying inside their dorms? Are they allowed to come out now? Or they -- they all -- everybody's staying inside?

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: I mean, no they're not allowed to come out. Everyone is supposed to be inside. They are--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody here, we're going to walk you outside this way.

VARGAS JONES: Everyone is supposed to be inside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Thank you. Thank you guys.

VARGAS JONES: OK. Going to be walked out towards, I believe, this is 114th that we're heading towards.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go. This way. We're moving this way.

VARGAS JONES: It's very confusing, Anderson. I'm not sure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right ahead. Let's go. Right ahead. Go. Let's go, please.

VARGAS JONES: I'm not sure that there is a united message here. I'm so--

COOPER: So, you're heading out now to -- Julia, you're heading out to 114th and Broadway. Is that right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Frankly no one here is left to document whatever might be--

VARGAS JONES: I'm heading towards those gates. They're opening the gates now, for us all, to leave.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone's barricaded inside of the--

VARGAS JONES: I'm not sure it's, you know, if they escort us out. We obviously will not be able to get back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's sort of where they're going to head us. But I don't--

COOPER: OK. And as far as you can see, Julia, at Hamilton Hall? I don't know if you can still see Hamilton Hall. Is there any movement over there? Or you can't see anymore?

VARGAS JONES: I'll show you what's happening from Hamilton Hall.

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: Now you see those officers coming out on the left side of the screen. They're coming from the direction of Hamilton Hall.


VARGAS JONES: Right behind these -- these bleachers here, that's where Hamilton Hall is. Right there, that building up there, that's Hamilton Hall. We can't -- we don't have--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we can see that.

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: We can't see it anymore.

COOPER: Got it.

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: And police is just pushing us out.

COOPER: OK. Julia, remarkable work. I really appreciate it. We'll check in with you momentarily, as soon as you get situated.

Shimon Prokupecz.

Shimon, where are you? And what are you seeing?


VOICE OF: PROKUPECZ: So I'm -- we're on 114th Street. We're just the -- NYPD has put us all in an area here, in expectation that we will see some people leaving. We're here on 114th Street, out -- just outside the gates, here in the front. And we're just waiting to see if anyone comes out.

We have seen some very -- we have seen heavily-armed officers, and some big trucks arriving here, which is pretty significant. And right now, much of the law enforcement is just standing around. And as some of the students, who live in the dorms here--

COOPER: Shimon, let--

VOICE OF: PROKUPECZ: --are just standing around.

COOPER: Shimon, let me -- Shimon, let me ask you.

VOICE OF: PROKUPECZ: They're not doing anything -- go ahead, Anderson.

COOPER: We're looking at a shot, from Spectrum News New York 1, of officers, it looks like, gaining entrance to a building, on some sort of a crane, or looking into a window with a -- also riot shield, held up to the window.

Are you seeing that? And do you know what that is?

VOICE OF: PROKUPECZ: Not on my side. I can't see. I know what that is. I have a shot of it from the feed.


VOICE OF: PROKUPECZ: That is the Emergency Services Unit. I think John had been just talking about them. I believe that's who that is. They are the specially-trained heavily-armed, who go into these types of situations, barricaded situations, situations where people are inside homes, inside buildings, and are refusing to leave.

And they are trained, specifically trained. You see there, one of them is holding a ballistic shield. You see several other officers there standing. I'm not sure about what those officers are doing.

But this here now, this shot that I'm seeing from Spectrum News, you're seeing one of the officers, with a ballistic shield, the other officers are looking in to see -- to see what's in there. But these are the officers that are going in to this building, where several of the protesters broke in early this morning, and trying to arrest them. Remember this--

COOPER: So, is that the Hamilton Hall building?

VOICE OF: PROKUPECZ: That's what it appears to be, from--


VOICE OF: PROKUPECZ: --from what I can tell, Anderson.

COOPER: Let me -- Shimon, let me bring in John Miller.

John, with your experience with the NYPD, I mean, they're on a rather large armored vehicle that has sort of a crane-like arm that's brought them up to that window. And now, it looks like they're gaining entrance into that window.

VOICE OF: MILLER: Yes. So, that's a BearCat. Normally, that's a bulletproof rescue vehicle that they use when people are pinned down by gunfire. Not the purpose here. The purpose is to use that feature of the vehicle, where it has this basically, cherry-picker type device that can reach up to a second or third floor window and allow entrance.

They are anticipating, based on the information and the observations they've had, that the -- that the doors on the bottom level are heavily barricaded. So, they'll be entering from -- I think I lost the mic here. Hang on.

They'll be entering from the bottom. But they will also be entering from above. And that shield is basically just because if they confront somebody, and something is thrown at them, sprayed at them, tossed at them, then they want to be prepared.

COOPER: The -- it seems like John, they would be entering this. I mean, it looks -- do you -- I would imagine they're going to be entering this building from multiple locations, I mean.


COOPER: One of the concerns that law enforcement has expressed is, how many of these people, inside this building, are actually students? And if they're not students, who are they? VOICE OF: MILLER: Yes. So, they're going to have to sort people out. And they're going to have to sort people from who is a Columbia student, who is an outsider, will they be charged the same or differently, depending on, if they were a student or not.

But their first thing is to collect those people, put them into custody, get them to a central location, and then start to move them out. Because it's going to take a while, to clear that building, because they're going to take everybody into custody that they can see, who doesn't belong there.

But then they're going to have to search the building to find out who may be hiding in some closet, some basement, some room, under a bed, either because they're frightened, or because they're trying to avoid the police.

COOPER: John, as we continue to watch this, Tim Naftali, a Columbia University professor, and CNN Presidential Historian, also is joining us.

Tim, I mean, you know Columbia well. I'm wondering what you make of what has been going on there, and what you're seeing right now?

VOICE OF: TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, I'm terribly concerned. And I'm pretty -- I'm very sad. I understand why the University saw the takeover of Hamilton Hall as an escalation.

NAFTALI: I look forward to learning why they decided to move now. The building was taken over earlier today.

Let's make clear to everybody.


VOICE OF: NAFTALI: Freedom of speech does not include vandalism. It does not protect you, if you take a building, or occupy a building. So, this is not -- what the students engaged in, the demonstrators, was not the exercise of their First Amendment rights, today. They escalated the situation.

My concern, however, is that when you bring the police in, there are unintended consequences, I'm sure. And I worry about students getting hurt, not deliberately by the police. But things can happen. And it's very difficult to control a situation like this.

John Miller will know better than me.

But I worry about the health of my students.

And I worry about the health of students, who've made mistakes. I am saddened, was saddened by the escalation that the student demonstrators engaged in today. It really was unjustified. Regardless of the moral outrage, one should have, about the effect on civilians in Gaza? That is not a justification, for engaging in violent acts, here in New York City. So, what has happened today is terribly worrying. And what we're watching now, because of the unexpected, and the role of accident could turn out very badly. So, I worry about the health and safety of the students, and of the police too.

COOPER: Judge Scheindlin, when you were on campus, as a student back then, I mean, and there were -- there were the -- it was anti-war demonstrations. Was there this pitting of students against each other, which is what we have been seeing, this animosity of how Jewish students have been treated and others?

VOICE OF: SCHEINDLIN: No, I don't think there was. I think there were activists and less activists. And the less activists simply stayed away from the protesters. But I don't think there was that internal dissent that you're seeing now, which is so pronounced.

COOPER: Was there widespread support on campus in '68--

VOICE OF: SCHEINDLIN: I think there--

COOPER: --for the protests?

VOICE OF: SCHEINDLIN: I think there was more widespread support than there is now. Now, it's a very different situation. It's very polarizing, as you can imagine, given the context of these protests.

COOPER: Mayor, as you look at this?

VOICE OF: STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE, (D) FORMER BALTIMORE MAYOR: As I look at this, it's a hard balancing act, to gain control. But then, you just don't want to over-militarize your response.

So, when I see this number of police officers, you just want to make -- you're praying that they get it right, that there're just enough officers, that they're able to control the situation, and not too many officers that it causes another escalation, where you see people responding to the response of the police.

And that's what I thought we were seeing a little bit of that when you saw the barricades being thrown around, because that's what -- that's what happens. We've seen it in other jurisdictions, where the response, by the police, causes an escalation.

VOICE OF: SCHEINDLIN: But do you think that Columbia administration really had any choice at this point? There has been breaking into property, occupying a building. I mean, do you think they had any choice but to call on the police at this point?

VOICE OF: RAWLINGS-BLAKE: I think calling the police was appropriate.


VOICE OF: RAWLINGS-BLAKE: I think restoring order is appropriate.


VOICE OF: RAWLINGS-BLAKE: I think that the challenge is once it rises to that level, making sure that you get it right.


VOICE OF: RAWLINGS-BLAKE: And protecting life at all costs.


COOPER: Miguel Marquez.

Miguel, what are you seeing outside? It's interesting, Miguel, watching the officers, as they're gaining entry from that BearCat. They are not in full-padded riot gear or anything like that. They are relatively, it seems, I mean, they're wearing riot helmets and they have zip ties, but it doesn't look like they are, you know, there -- it seems like they're going in, in a very particular way.

VOICE OF: MARQUEZ: Right. We're not -- we are not seeing any officers in full tactical gear. We're seeing all officers in helmets and batons and the cuffs.

The BearCat that you're seeing, Hamilton Hall backs on to Amsterdam Avenue, which is sort of open to the city. That has windows there that they can get up to, and get into Hamilton Hall.

They have -- the video that we've seen from inside Hamilton Hall, they were barricading doors down at the -- at the ground level. That's why they were pulling food up, all day long and drinks up to students all day long at Hamilton Hall.

So, they are trying to make entry there. There are other ways into Hamilton Hall as well that police can probably make -- take advantage of.

And right now, Ken (ph), look at this. There's -- there's yet another bus. This is the fourth large bus we've seen coming down 114th. The gate we are next to is the main gate that police officers entered in. Since we last spoke, dozens and dozens more police officers have gone -- gone in.


And Ken (ph), if you can just look down 14th, so these are all residents dorms, along 114th Street, police have taken up positions in front of the doors of every single domicile on the 114 Street, to keep students and residents in. You can hear some chanting, sometimes. We can hear a little bit right now.

But we haven't seen any of the arrestees, anybody arrested coming out of 114th.

There is -- oh, now we are seeing them actually. We are seeing people arrested coming up, down the streets, coming down. Another -- was another entrance down 114th, and they're starting to bring people out of the Columbia grounds, down 114th Street, and putting them on these buses that they've brought in to here. I saw -- I kind of, three or four. It is not clear how many people are participating in this. The assumption was there was about several hundred, maybe 300 or so in both the encampment, and in Hamilton Hall.

I will tell you. This all kicked off two weeks ago, when there was one encampment. Police came and made arrests. They arrested 108 people. 70, 7-0 of those people were not Columbia students. So, I think police are going to be, and Columbia is going to be looking for that today.

Clearly, police now control everything inside the campus. They have moved us, the media, down to this main gate, where they made entry into the campus. And they are arresting people inside, and then bringing them out another gate, just down the way.

I see another one, perhaps two more people, who are in cuffs, being led to buses, right now, coming out of Columbia. So, we have a handful of arrests so far, less than a dozen so far, from this side anyway.

It sounds like there were some arrests. But those were, it sounded like, those were protesters, who were outside the gates, on the Amsterdam side, who were arrested a little earlier tonight.


COOPER: John -- John Miller, as you watch this.

And we're watching this split-screen, both on the left, of police, on the left side of the screen, in case you're just joining us, entering via a BearCat, through a window into Hamilton Hall, from Amsterdam Avenue.

On the right, we're seeing another vantage point by the gate, one of the many gates into the Columbia campus.

We no longer have a camera with eyes on the front entrance to Hamilton Hall, where there had been, John, a line of protesters, who had not gone into the building, who were sort of forming a human barricade. Those were likely, if they chose to stay there, were likely the first arrest.

So, we can show the video from earlier, of what the scene was like outside Hamilton Hall, from our reporter, who was on the scene, Julia Vargas Jones, and her camera-person.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, they came from a--

COOPER: So John, the -- what's not clear is if the -- if they've also now breached the entrance of Hamilton Hall, the front entrance.

This is from moments ago, when the police were first approaching Hamilton Hall. Whether the people are being led out right now, are just being some of those who may have been arrested, who were out, sort of forming that human barricade on the front steps of Hamilton Hall.

It's not clear to me whether police have actually entered Hamilton Hall through the front. We know -- we see them going in through a window, on what I guess is the second floor. But we don't know about the front, do we.

VOICE OF: MILLER: No, because our vision is limited, because they have taken the media out and basically taken them off campus.

But we do know that, they have the cooperation of the Columbia campus administration and security. So, when it comes to Hamilton Hall, they're able to enter from multiple sides. They'll have the keys. They'll have the access cards that will get them in.

And what you want to do is, you want to come in from above, the demonstrators, if you can, at the same level they're at, and from multiple sides.


VOICE OF: MILLER: So, wherever people attempt to flee or hide, they should be running into police, who were there, who are going to try to control that ground.

But to get to the core of your question. Their plan was to form their perimeter, and then give people a chance to walk away, so that -- the group of students that were ringing the building, front with their arms locked, they'd be told, here's your warning, those who want to walk away can walk away now. Those who want to remain will be arrested. So, they get that choice.

So, what we're likely seeing is people, who walked away, who are not charged, and then people who you're going to see in those Flex-cuffs that look like zip ties, those will be people who were taken into custody, because they remained after the warning.

And then, police will remove whatever barricades are at those front doors, with ESU, the Emergency Service Unit, and go in through the front, as part of their kind of multi-entrance entry into this building.

It's interesting about--

COOPER: Miguel Marquez.

VOICE OF: MILLER: --how history repeats itself.

COOPER: Hey, John, I want to check in with Miguel.

Because Miguel, I understand you're seeing a lot more people being arrested now.


VOICE OF: MARQUEZ: Yes, we are. And police are moving us again to the area, where they are coming out. I'm actually looking (inaudible) a bit of a squeeze here, it's going to get interesting.

Police are now moving us down to where the people being arrested are coming out. If you look at these buses, you can see the number of people inside the buses there, many of them with Columbia sweaters, a lot of them wearing keffiyehs.

I see at least -- watch your step. Watch your step.

I see at least a dozen people in that bus. This bus has lots of police officers, who are with arrestees on this bus. It must be in the dozens, at this point. And here are more people, who are coming out of Columbia, right now.

They are still moving us down. We're just going to keep moving, as quickly as possible.


VOICE OF: MARQUEZ: Here comes -- somebody else who has been arrested, two more. Two more arrestees. Police are still moving this down farther.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's two people in front (ph).


And this -- this is where they seem to be bringing out most of the arrestees, right through here, and they want to put us -- it sounds like they want to put us in these pens, right across here. We're going to stand right here for now, and see what happens.

Watch your back there Ken (ph), move over to your -- they're going to move us, I think, in a second here. But we will stay here for now.

But yes, so this -- this gate is as close as you can get to Hamilton Hall on 114th. They move -- moved us closer, basically, to Amsterdam Avenue.

Look down this way, Ken (ph). If you'd look down, down 114th to Amsterdam, you can see. I can't tell if those are protesters or people just onlookers. But there is a massive number of people, down on Amsterdam as well.

And I'm looking to see, because folks are running in the direction. It looks like it's just media coming down here, right now.

This gate is the one that's going to see most of the protesters coming out, those who have been arrested will be coming through this gate.

COOPER: And where are the--

VOICE OF: MARQUEZ: There are three or four buses here. And we've already seen, probably two to three dozen people arrested at this point.

COOPER: Also watching this is Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, former Mayor of Baltimore.

You worked, Mayor -- they're moving reporters, it looks like, to a location, to actually see people being brought out.

VOICE OF: RAWLINGS-BLAKE: So, in the Command Center, what is happening is they're trying to figure out what are the flashpoints, what are the potential flashpoints? And we saw those students--

RAWLINGS-BLAKE: --and protesters arm-in-arm. That is a potential flashpoint. That means if the reporters were there, with the cameras on that, that's an opportunity for people to react--

VOICE OF: RAWLINGS-BLAKE: --to what you know is going to be an ugly scene, with the police probably having to drag the protesters, if they did not move on their own.

What we will see probably later, because I'm sure they're all wearing body cameras, is exactly what that looked like.

But by moving the press back, taking care of that situation, and only showing them when they are coming out, they removed a potential flashpoint, a potential opportunity for chaos in that area.

COOPER: John Miller, it's interesting to see so many people hiding their faces, on campus, and now in the streets. I assume, some of these people in the streets are not students, because they weren't on campus, and weren't able to gain access to the campus.

But I mean, is that an issue for police when, or even school administrators when protesters are not allowing themselves to be identified?

VOICE OF: MILLER: Well, it's been interesting, because I was up at Columbia, last week, I was up at City College last week. And a lot of the demonstrators, even when the press who is there, our own cameras, which are there, to cover the demonstration that they are putting on, to bring attention to this, attempt to shoot them, they pushed the cameras back, they covered their faces, they're wearing masks.

I think that they -- they have some belief that if there is something going on, like this, right now, and they're caught on video, that video will later be used as evidence in court. So, you've seen a lot of hoodies, a lot of masks, a lot of concealing.

But at this point, as we learned, going by those buses, there's people on the buses, and there's police officers with them. Each one of those police officers may have two or three of those arrests, and they're going to have to articulate what they saw, and what they did that caused that arrests, so that they can testify to that. And that will be on their body cameras, and those people will be identified.

COOPER: Hey, John. Columbia University just released a statement that reads in part, I'm going to read it to you right now.

"A little after 9 PM this evening, the NYPD arrived on campus at the University's request. This decision was made to restore safety and order to our community.

[21:45:00] We regret that protesters have chosen to escalate the situation through their actions. After the University learned overnight that Hamilton Hall had been occupied, vandalized, and blockaded, we were left with no choice. Columbia public safety personnel were forced out of the building, and a member of our facilities team was threatened. We will not risk the safety of our community or the potential for further escalation."

The statement goes on to say, "We believe that the group that broke into and occupied the building is led by individuals who are not affiliated with the University. Sadly, this dangerous decision followed more than a week of what" has been -- "what had been productive discussions with representatives of the West Lawn encampment."

The statement continues, "The decision to reach out to the NYPD was in response to the actions of the protesters, not the cause they are championing. We have made it clear that the life of campus cannot be endlessly interrupted by protesters who violate the rules and the law."

And John, certainly that is what has occurred on campus, people drumming all hours of the day, chanting. There are for -- hundreds of protesters, there are thousands of students at Columbia, trying to study for exams heading toward graduation.

VOICE OF: MILLER: Well, it's really interesting, because if you compare this to 1968, as Shira Scheindlin was talking about, the 1968 disorders at Columbia University, which some people call the Columbia Riots, started with the takeover of Hamilton Hall, by Black students protesting a segregated gym that was being built in a park, a public park, White students that were protesting the Vietnam, then in support of that took over three other buildings.

The college administration was very hesitant to call in the police.

COOPER: John, I think you lost your mic.

VOICE OF: MILLER: Yes. And I -- second time, sorry.

The college administration was very hesitant to call in police. And looking back on it, a lot of people felt they waited too long. And when police did come in, it was brutal. It was the Tactical Patrol Force. That's when they worked with helmets and wooden Nightsticks and dealt with resistance, in very different ways than they do today.

And I think, they are looking back at history, and saying, what are the red lines? What are the points where we engage?

And that statement from Columbia tells us a lot, which is we were negotiating with the students on the quad. We were in talks that had been going on for days. And we had held off on calling the police in for a second time.

COOPER: Getting some of the protesters, I believe, the shot is. This is our -- this is not on the campus itself. This is just outside the campus, protesters still lighting flares.

Julia Vargas Jones is joining us. Julia was on campus, when police moved in. She and her camera-person were then moved off, off-scene. She's now outside the campus.

Julia, explain where you are and what you're seeing.

VARGAS JONES: Yes. Anderson, I am -- I'm at 114th. This is 114th and Amsterdam Avenue.

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: Police just forcefully removed the protesters. They were sitting down on 114th, refusing to leave. Instead of arresting them though, they are just pushing them out. I think you can see that. I hope you can see what's going on.

They were students that were making a human chain, outside of Hamilton Hall. They were pushed, just like we were, out to 114th Street. And now, they are being forcibly removed.

COOPER: So that's interesting, Julia. So, these were the protesters, who had the human chain, who you were showing us earlier, on the steps of Hamilton Hall.

VARGAS JONES: Yes, exactly. Exactly.

COOPER: You're saying they weren't actually arrested immediately. They were actually just kind of herded off campus. And that's who these people are?

VARGAS JONES: Yes. That's -- that's who these people are. And they also -- they stopped on 114th, on their way of -- from being forcibly removed. They stopped here. They were on the street on the ground, Anderson, locking arms again, trying to show them that they will not leave.

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: But there's only so much that you can do against the NYPD.

COOPER: So they've now been pushed off the street.


COOPER: You're at 114th and Amsterdam, I can see. So, they were pushed off. Interesting that they were not -- they were not arrested, and still haven't been arrested.

VARGAS JONES: No, they were not arrested. They were just pushed out. They're out here, with everyone else. So, myself, hundreds of other students that were pushed out off campus. We're here on 114th and Amsterdam.

I can't go back inside. A lot of people can't go back. 114th is completely closed off to traffic and (inaudible) traffic. We just saw a father, with his toddler daughter, trying to get home. Eventually, police let him go through.


But it's a nightmare, for everyone, anyone who lives here on the Upper West Side. There're lots of people trying to get from one side to the other, absolutely impossible.

Now, we've been, like I said, we've been pushed on to Amsterdam. (inaudible) will eventually get back into campus.

I'm at the -- at the Graduate School of Journalism. And we were told that we would have access back to campus. I'm out here, Anderson, with just my phone, AirPods, and a battery pack. So, I don't know how long we'll actually last.

All of our things are inside. All of our belongings are inside. We didn't plan to be kicked out. We were told that we would have guaranteed entry, especially media. Students of this school would be able to go back and forth from campus and out. NYPD, saying absolutely not, there's no way that could happen.

Just to understand why, I want to show you a little bit more of the action here.

Can you get up here, Kareem (ph) a bit, and just show a little bit?

VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: There's everything is stopped. And now, the protest has basically moved all to outside.


VOICE OF: VARGAS JONES: Everyone that was inside is now outside, the chants are the same. It's the same people, it's the same keffiyehs. Now we're just on 114th and Amsterdam.

COOPER: Julia, you may only have an AirPod and a cell phone and a battery pack. I mean, you and your camera-person are doing a great job. We're going to continue to check in with you. Julia.

Juliette Kayyem, CNN National Security Analyst is joining us as well.

Juliette, I mean, it's kind of, the left side of on your screen, I mean, it's kind of a remarkable shot, a gate to Columbia.


COOPER: You see some protesters. I don't know if they're students or not, who are on the outside. Well I'm not sure actually what side of the gate they are on. I assume -- our camera's on the outside. So, I assume maybe -- I don't know where they are. But with a flare--


COOPER: --on one of the front entrances to Columbia.

VOICE OF: KAYYEM: Right. This is -- so I've been on the phone with people at Columbia, and gotten family ties to it. I know people that are working for the University. This is -- this is, in an odd way, it's an odd way to describe it.

This is a bit of a de-escalation, given the escalation that happened, which is to tell the students, to disperse first. This is the difference than what we saw two weeks ago.

What the police need to do in all these situations, if they are used, which I have been saying, for the last two weeks, as a last resort, which is the case here, is you got to give these students an off-ramp.

And it looks like that is actually what happened. They are off the campus. And now they are in public property, in which this kind of -- this kind of behavior, if it's disruptive, will be arrested.

And you get the pool of people that the police are going to arrest on campus to be relatively small. And I think that's what you -- at least from the pictures, and what our reporters are saying, that is what you have that -- none of this is good or bad.


VOICE OF: KAYYEM: But just in the pool of bad things that could happen--

COOPER: Hey, Juliette. Juliette, sorry.


COOPER: Let me just jump in. I just got a clarification that the shot on the left is actually at City College. That's not a Columbia gate.


COOPER: So, that's where the confusion has been.

VOICE OF: KAYYEM: Yes, I didn't recognize it. Yes.

COOPER: Yes. So, that is at City College which is about--

VOICE OF: KAYYEM: Yes. I've been on the campus.

COOPER: --20 blocks north--

VOICE OF: KAYYEM: Right. And so this is--

COOPER: --from the Columbia gate.

VOICE OF: KAYYEM: This is the dynamics of what we're experiencing now. Which is of course, all these schools are feeding off of each other, or the students are. So, of course, especially in New York, students or -- other campuses are going to have to pay notice.

I want to do some good news here.

Because this is stressful. And you do worry about, whatever you think about these kids, or these students, no one wants them dead, or violence to happen. And that is, as a parent, I'm saying that, as a parent of college students, I'm saying that.

This protest, however, became a trespass and a criminal trespass. That is not appropriate. The college gave many off-ramps, and now is resorting to this.

In the good news phase, I just have to say we are seeing, as I've been reporting for the last week, on sort of what's happening at these colleges and universities. There actually is tremendous de-escalation going on throughout the nation. So Columbia remains an outlier. The people -- and so hopefully, they can de-escalate this.

But we do know that when colleges and universities are giving students off-ramps and engaging, they de-escalated it. And you look at the Wesleyans, the Browns, the Northwesterns, others. And so, as a national phenomenon, we are -- we are looking at it as sort of the attempt to isolate the problem at Columbia.


And then for the non-students, which it seems to me, schools have got to get better about access control. It's ridiculous that you have so many non-students able to penetrate these colleges and universities that they're under this threat environment, and to arrest those.

But I don't -- I don't love any of this. But in terms of what I like what I'm seeing, they started with de-escalation -- de-escalation, dispersion. You saw students dispersing. They did not want to get arrested. And now, you've limited the pool of people, or students, or non-students that the police have to interact with.

It's in my world, you're just looking for better news over bad news. And so far, the dispersal of this is going, as we would anticipate, which is, sort of a do not escalate too soon. This is what the police did a couple weeks ago. And we're seeing sort of lessons learned.

Now, we can figure out how everyone got themselves into this position, another time. But nobody needs to get hurt tonight. That's the most important thing. I say that as a Security Analyst and as a mother. And so hopefully, we will continue to see this.

COOPER: It is remarkable, just the reports of the number of non- students, who have been--


COOPER: --arrested, and who have been involved in these demonstrations.

VOICE OF: KAYYEM: It is -- it is so inexplicable to me, knowing what all of these colleges and universities have known that they were, you know, access control became sort of not -- not the first option.

Police are not the first option. Your first option is control the perimeter and protect all the students. And in particular, with students who aren't engaged with this at all, right? We're in finals. We have graduations coming up. And so, the basic security and safety protocols that we owe the students, and in particular, students that may feel intimidated by some of these protests, was not afforded. And I should also say protections for the protester.

I have been on air. Lawful protest is OK. It's what we expect in at colleges and universities. We shouldn't lose our head about it. We also have to protect those students, who are lawful. This, overnight, got escalated. And the goal is to de-escalate it. And it's the responsibility of everyone--


VOICE OF: KAYYEM: --that that's the primary goal.

COOPER: Let's check in with Miguel Marquez, who has been outside monitoring police activity.

Miguel, what are you seeing? Where are you in? And what are you seeing?

VOICE OF: MARQUEZ: We are on 114th, just near Amsterdam Avenue. Police have moved us down here. This is the gate, where most of the people being arrested so far have been coming out. We haven't seen any in the last 20 minutes or so. But if you look down Amsterdam Avenue -- sorry, guys, it will be a little -- little bit of a trick. There are protesters all the way down there.

One of the buses -- there was one bus filled with arrestees that tried to get out. That's where Julia was, where they sat down and tried to block that bus from getting out. They cleared them out, and moved them on another bus, then went up Amsterdam Avenue.

And that's where the gate on Amsterdam Avenue is. And Hamilton Hall is just, it's just up -- I'm going to step in front of the camera.

MARQUEZ: It's just up that way on Amsterdam Avenue. And that's where most of the activity on that side of campus is.

VOICE OF: MARQUEZ: Down here, we still see buses that are waiting for more people, who have been arrested to be picked up.

This comes at the worst time for Columbia. It was very clear they wanted to move this out. They had just finished their last day of classes. They're in the middle of finals. And commencement is in a couple of weeks.

And as you know, that entire area where the encampment was, and the entire central lawn of Columbia University is set up for a massive commencement. Many of the people graduating this year, the administration has pointed out didn't have their high school graduations because of the Pandemic. So, they just really did not want to allow this to happen.

And tonight, so far, while we hear chanting, up and down the streets. And if you could look at -- Ken (ph), if you -- if you move across to the -- to the buildings over here, you can see the number of police officers, who are still remain at the doors of every single one of the buildings, along 114th, because people are chanting, people are upset, along this corridor. Lots of students in these buildings. And they are chanting their displeasure to what's happening here.

Hold on one second.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: NYPD does not use tear gas, OK?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And give distraction to--



VOICE OF: MARQUEZ: --NYPD is coming around to say that no tear gas has been used. Apparently, there's some reporting on social media that somebody may have used tear gas.

They do say that they used flash -- flashbang grenades, or other sort of means, to deflect or to surprise anybody that they may encounter. But they do not use tear gas. They said they used -- they're using flashbang grenades in there.

So, that gives you a sense of what is happening in Hamilton Hall, as they -- as they make their way in, and try to make arrests, and bring order back to Columbia University.


COOPER: Miguel, we are staying on this story, as it develops, throughout the night.

Right now, I want to hand things over to my colleague, John Berman.