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JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Cops Body-Slam Woman to Ground During Arrest

Aired September 4, 2012 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL starts now.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, a female driver, pulled over for allegedly using her cell phone, gets slammed to the ground by cops while she`s handcuffed. The officers then appear to celebrate with a fist bump. We`re going to tell you what`s happening to these officers now that this shocking video has gone viral. And could this happen to you?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over); Tonight, shock and outrage tear through a California community after just-released surveillance video shows two cops body-slamming an unarmed woman to the ground two times and then apparently fist bumping each other. Now this 34-year-old nurse plans to slam cops with a lawsuit.

How did this go from routine traffic stop to violent encounter? And what should happen to these officers? I`m taking your calls.

Then, why is a male substitute teacher pushing, wrestling and threatening to sit on one young middle-school student in a classroom? We`ll show you the whole outrageous cell-phone video and why this boy`s parents think this school let this teacher off the hook.

Plus, the murder trial of former cop Drew Peterson reaches its stunning climax. Prosecutors beg the jurors to use their common sense in the case of this former police sergeant accused of murdering his third wife. But do they have all the facts that we do? We`ll bring you the very latest from inside court.

And from pint-size beauty queen to pop culture super star, Honey Boo- Boo`s become a natural obsession with her go-go juice and over-the-top personality. But could there be a dark side to her newfound fame?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Officers slam a handcuffed woman to the ground, then exchange a fist bump.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Officers were caught on camera tackling a handcuffed woman and then celebrating it with a fist bump.

CHARLIE BECK, LAPD CHIEF OF POLICE: Proper steps were not taken.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pulled over on August 21 for allegedly talking on her cell phone while driving.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Capping off the arrest with a fist bump. Tonight he is shelling out punishment.

BECK: Removed the involved officers from the field.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Both men slam the 5`4" tall woman to the ground, cuff her, then with her hands behind her back, slam her to the ground again.

BECK: Every Los Angeles police officer, regardless of rank, will be held accountable for their actions.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good evening. Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live. Stunning, and I mean stunning, new video of an arrest has Los Angeles police investigating two of their own tonight.

This surveillance footage shows two officers twice slamming a 34-year- old female nurse, and mom, to the ground. Once after she`s already handcuffed.

After Michelle Jordan was tackled the second time, the officers appear to commend each other, celebrate a little bit with a fist bump. What is that about?

This arrest happened two weeks ago after police pulled Michelle over for allegedly using her cell phone while driving. She was left with these -- look at these injuries to her face, head and chest. And she was also charged with resisting arrest.

Michelle`s attorney acknowledges she swore at the cops but insists she did nothing to warrant being tackled to the ground, face first, mind you.

The two officers have not been publicly identified. So far they`ve still got their jobs. They`re on office duty while Internal Affairs conducts a criminal investigation. But their commanding officer was punished with a demotion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: Proper steps were not taken, including appropriate notifications and the removal of the involved officers from the field.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: As for Michelle, she now plans to slam cops back with a lawsuit.

Should these officers on this videotape be fired? Should they be charged with a crime? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.

I am joined now by AVO.com legal analyst Lisa Bloom; also the author of the fabulous book, "Swagger," which is in part about male aggression.

Now, we are looking at that video. What`s your take? Because this is a woman who was on a cell phone. She`s not an armed robber being sought for a violent crime.

LISA BLOOM, AVO.COM LEGAL ANALYST: I take this personally. This is my hometown, L.A. And we see too many instances of police brutality and rough treatment here.

What is her crime? Talking on a cell phone and cursing? If that`s the case, the entire population of L.A. is guilty.

This is a little petite woman. You mean to tell me it took two armed uniformed police officers to do this? They had to slam her to the ground to contain her? I mean, this is absolutely outrageous.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: To me it seems like, wow, thank God for videotape.

BLOOM: That`s right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s what I say.

BLOOM: Yes. From Del Taco. In this case. But not the police video. That`s my point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The body slamming was not caught on the police car dash cam, OK? The video is actually from a nearby fast food restaurant, namely Del Taco.

By the way, one cop is a rookie with less than a year on the job, but the other has been a cop for more than two decades. So here`s my question. And I`ll throw it to T.J. Ward. You are a former police officer; you`re a private investigator.

Did the officers naively assume that they were in the clear, because they were standing on the side of their police car, as you can see on this video, that`s not where the dash cam looks out? Wouldn`t cops realize, well, a fast food joint right across the street will have a video camera?

T.J. WARD, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Jane, these officers know better. The one was a veteran officer. And obviously, cameras now get police officers in a lot of trouble.

When they first put cameras in police cars, they thought it was the greatest thing. But it`s been their enemy also. These officers were way out of line. I`m an expert in internal affairs. And these officers need to be disciplined properly, because there`s going to be serious lawsuits out of this. It`s going to cost the city money because of their shenanigans.

And this -- throwing this lady to the ground does not fit the crime of talking on a cell phone, as your other guest just mentioned. This does not fit the crime at all. And these officers need to be disciplined accordingly.

Much less, if they lie about the incident what transpired, what they see on the video, through internal affairs, they`ll probably be terminated. And they need to be. Because they obviously don`t understand the use of force or have gone beyond the fact of trying to use what use of force.

Well, let`s go to the phone lines. Andrea, Connecticut, your question or thought. Andrea, Connecticut.

CALLER: Yes, hi, Jane. Nice to talk to you. I love your show.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You too. Thank you.

CALLER: Thanks for helping, Jane, animals and people.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you. Thank you.

CALLER: Listen, the cops should be arrested. Forget termination. I have -- I have goose bumps. I am appalled that they would have the audacity to put their hands on anyone in that manner, especially a woman. Women are not built to take that kind of treatment. And there`s no excuse for it. They should be terminated and then arrested.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, there`s a similar story. An officer in Florida was actually fired and then charged with battery after slamming a woman into her car during an arrest. Watch this video.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put your hands...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What am I -- ow. You ain`t got to hit me. I`m not fighting you. Why are you hitting me? Dude, you hit me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So the woman is a hit-and-run suspect, a much more serious offense than the one we`re talking about tonight. When the officer ordered her to stay in the car, she argued with him and continued to talk on her cell phone. That`s when he walked over to arrest her, slammed her into her car and grabbed the back of her head and slammed her again.

The Pensacola Police Department didn`t hesitate. They fired the eight-year veteran. They arrested him for battery.

Joey Jackson, criminal defense attorney, should the officers in the case that we`re talking about in Los Angeles face criminal charges?

JOEY JACKSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, you know what, Jane? There will be a full investigation here. And if it`s warranted, then of course they should.

You know, the problem is as police we respect them. We know they serve and they protect us. But when they cross the line, they need to be held accountable.

Whenever you`re using force, any force that you use has to be proportionate to any threat that`s posed. The problem we have here, Jane, is there`s not a threat. She`s a 5`4" woman. We have a person talking on the cell phone. Did she act appropriately in cursing them out? Of course not. But were their actions in pulling her down to the ground, were they necessary? Were they appropriate under the circumstances? The question is no.

We know, Jane, that they will certainly be disciplined. Right? That`s going to happen, and it has happened. As to whether criminal charges, whether they`ll face them or not, that`s going to be a question certainly a prosecutor is going to have to look at and see if it rises to the level of a crime.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Once again, they`re not chasing an armed robbery suspect, a suspected rapist, a suspected murderer. They are stopping a woman that they believe was talking on her cell phone. Something that none of us should do. It is dangerous. AAA says it quadruples the chance of having a crash. But nonetheless, she is not a violent criminal. She is a registered nurse and a mom. And 5`4", by the way.

Now, the woman`s husband admits that she cursed at the cops. Not a good thing to do. Don`t advise it. You shouldn`t do it. The cops also reportedly claim that the nurse defied orders to stay in the car and that began -- she began challenging the officers.

But I got to go back to this videotape and look at it one more time. Lisa Bloom, look at it with me, because they say that she resisted staying in the car. But to me it kind of looks like -- that`s the second time around. But the first time around it looks like they`re pulling her out of her car to me.

BLOOM: But this is routine, Jane. A lot of people resist. A lot of people curse at the cops. As you say, it`s a dumb idea, but it`s very common. They could cuff her. They can restrain her without causing her these injuries.

And you know, the smoking gun in this case is that fist bump at the end. They`re not saying, "Oh, my gosh, I`m so sorry. We didn`t mean to hurt you, ma`am." It`s, "Yes, bro, all right. Look what we did." I think that`s going to be devastating to them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and on the other side of the break, we`re going to talk about whether or not there was some kind of a cover-up in this case. The chief -- the chief of police at LAPD is very unhappy. He`s furious, saying he found out about this when a reporter called him.

BLOOM: Oh, boy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that is really making him angry. More on the other side.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: Every Los Angeles police officer, regardless of rank, will be held accountable for their actions. I`ve also mandated that the video be played in all roll calls and that commanding officers attend and discuss use of force issues throughout the department.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I personally am thrilled that the chief of police, LAPD chief of police, is furious over this incident. You just heard him right there.

He first saw the video a week after the incident. Now, he has since demoted the commanding officer, Captain Joe Hiltner, for allegedly not taking the officers off patrol immediately and for not reporting the incident up the chain of command.

And here`s how it went down. Apparently, the commanding officer did a little digging on his own, found the video. That`s good. He did good there. But then he did not report it. And the first the police chief heard of it was when a news reporter called. Never a good thing, T.J. Ward, former police officer.

WARD: Yes, ma`am. This incident here after the -- after the lady was arrested -- the worst incident here in this -- in this arrest is she was already handcuffed, the threat was over, and they threw her to the ground again. That is a serious allegation. And there may be criminal charges going to be brought against these officers just for that.

This lady was already subdued. There was no threat to the officers. And they threw her to the ground again. And then they clapped hands together, cheering on that they did something, throwing this lady to the ground. I mean, this is just absurd.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Michelle`s attorney is saying, "We`re pleased the chief is taking this incident seriously, but it falls short of a resolution for our client." And she`s bringing in Rodney King, saying 20 years have passed since the Rodney King beating. And there are officers in the LAPD who still need to see a video that explains to them they should not body slam a handcuffed, defenseless woman to the ground and then celebrate with a high-five or a fist bump.

Now, if there is a lawsuit, Lisa Bloom, how damaging is that fist bump?

BLOOM: It`s very damaging. Because it makes this whole incident look like revenge. This wasn`t done to restrain her, she will argue. She was already restrained. It was done to get back at her. Probably because she cursed at them.

And they got mad and they had to get her. So they got her down, and then they high-fived to show how good they felt about this act of revenge. That`s clearly outside anything that they would be allowed to do under LAPD policy.

I do like what our chief, Charlie Beck, said. Good for him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He is handling this brilliantly.

BLOOM: He`s taking charge, taking responsibility. That`s good.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s important to send a message to all the officers, the vast majority of whom are wonderful, wonderful men and women whom I certainly love. I love to be safe; I love to be free from crime.

But we`ve got to -- when something like this happens, the most important point is don`t keep it under wraps. Show it. Get it out there. And use it as a training video, which the police is going to do right now.

BLOOM: And there`s transparency now, because they`re all watching this at their roll calls every morning.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

BLOOM: Can you imagine? It`s basically saying, look, we don`t want this to happen. This was wrong. You may not do this. This is a negative example. I think it`s terrific that they`re all watching this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I do. Absolutely. I applaud the chief for taking the actions that he has done.

I want to go out to the phone lines again. Sharon, Nevada, your question or thought. Sharon, Nevada.

CALLER: My question is, would this be happening if this was a minority? Because it happens every day to them. I`ve been born and raised in California my whole life. And that is my question.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Joey Jackson, criminal defense attorney, I think she raises a very good point. Is it possible that this has created such an uproar because -- I hesitate to say that, because I hope that we`re not in that place any more as a culture, but because she`s a registered nurse, a middle-class woman; she`s a mother, married and white?

JACKSON: Well, you know what, Jane? Certainly, you want equality for all. And you want to ensure that everyone is treated equally. In this instance, I think it resonates even more, because you`re dealing with a 5- foot, you know, petite registered nurse, of course.

But I would like to think -- maybe I`m naive -- that whenever you have an instance where police are just throwing someone to the ground who poses no threat, who`s doing nothing at all, I mean, yes, it`s bad judgment to curse the police out, maybe to say things that are inappropriate. But I certainly would like to think that anyone who`s an officer would be taken to task by their chief or anyone else who does something improper.

So let`s hope that that`s the reason that this is on full public display. Not simply because she doesn`t happen to be a person of color.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let me say this, I had a personal incident this past week where a young relative of mine went missing for a while. And the sheriff`s department where she went missing found her. And so I want to say that I love law enforcement. I believe they saved my relative`s life by finding her very quickly.

And so I do not in any way throw stones at law enforcement. The vast majority, as I said before, of the men and women in blue put their lives on the line every day for us. And we respect and love them. But when this happens, we do have to look at it.

Now, I want to tell you about a story we`re going to talk to you about tomorrow. An officer on administrative leave after this cell-phone footage surfaced, showing him kicking a suspect square in the face. The man was on the ground when it happened. So what led up to this? We`re going to have the whole story for you tomorrow.

Now, on the other side of the break, some more astounding cell-phone video, this time involving an adult teacher who is accused of badly bullying a student, a 13-year-old boy. Stay there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is cell-phone video shot by students during a class at Kopachuck Middle School last February. We got a copy from an attorney but agreed not to show the kids` faces. She is representing the 13-year-old boy on the floor covered up by chairs.

JOAN MELL, ATTORNEY: It was a teacher-led bullying incident of epic proportion. He had a pillow placed on his face where he couldn`t breathe for several seconds. He had his own socks shoved into his mouth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And acted quickly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was horrified by what I saw.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We immediately placed the teacher on leave.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They put the guy back in the school, what`s going to happen? I mean, parents like me, other parents I know, we`re going to protest; we`re going to pull our kids out. It`s just not acceptable.

MELL: It wasn`t horseplay, because there was no play going on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, outraged parents are calling for the firing of a Seattle-area teacher after he`s allegedly seen in a cell-phone video bullying a 13-year-old boy who is one of his own students. Parents are upset and furious because the teacher was only given a ten-day suspension.

The cell-phone video was shot by a student and given to KIRO-TV by the attorney for the bullied student. The video allegedly shows about a dozen students dragging this eighth grader around the classroom, burying him under chairs, stuffing socks in his mouth. That`s when the teacher, John Rosi, allegedly joins in. Here`s what happens then.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MELL: The teacher poked him in the belly. The teacher turned around and put his bottom in his face and said he felt gassy.

JOHN ROSI, TEACHER: And by the way, I`m feeling kind of gassy.

MELL: He had a pillow placed on his face where he couldn`t breathe for several seconds. He had his own socks shoved into his mouth. It wasn`t horseplay, because there was no play going on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was the teacher that you heard there, making that comment about having gas.

This incident actually happened back in February. But only after the teacher was suspended for ten days without pay, given new classroom training, and then moved to a different middle school that the parents of the young boy wanted everyone to see what happened to their precious son.

Straight out to teacher and anti-bullying coach Lorraine Connor. The teacher has been placed on leave a second time. How about that old- fashioned word, "fired"? What should happen to this teacher?

LORRAINE CONNOR, TEACHER/ANTI-BULLYING COACH: Well, yes, Jane, I am absolutely shocked that this teacher still has a job. And I`d be very surprised that, if going forward now, that it`s gotten this much media attention, I wouldn`t be surprised if the district doesn`t reconsider their decision and go ahead and fire him.

I`ve never heard of anything this severe being responded to with something like a ten-day suspension. I don`t -- I`m speechless. When it comes to that, I just don`t even know what to say about that. It`s unprecedented.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The teacher, John Rosi, was moved to another middle school. Well, move him to another school. The parents there don`t want anything to do with him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She has instructions from me that, if she walks in and sees him, that she`s to leave the room immediately and call me, and I will come get her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You will take her out of school?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, ma`am.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. We reached out. We reached out to the teacher, John Rosi. We didn`t get a call back. He`s invited on our show any time. We always like all sides of the story.

He did in a letter apologize for his actions, saying he didn`t view the incident as anything more than harmless horseplay.

Horseplay, Lisa Bloom.

BLOOM: People always say that word, "horseplay," when they`re accused of abusing someone. I`ve never seen horses or any animals play like this.

Here`s what the teacher did wrong. He demeaned a child. He humiliated a child. He physically assaulted a child. He potentially made that child fear for his life by putting a pillow over his face until he couldn`t breathe.

And worst of all, he led the entire class in participating in this. It`s like he`s turning his class into a bullying gang. This guy has to go. This is like the Catholic church taking an abusive priest and moving him to another parish to abuse someone else. He`s got to go from teaching completely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Lorraine Connor, you are an anti-bullying coach. We usually think of the victims of bullying as children and the perpetrators as other children. How common is this for a teacher to be an alleged perpetrator of bullying?

CONNOR: It`s not common, Jane. It really is not common, I promise you. If -- these are the kind of stories that make teachers cringe, because most teachers are very good at their job. And they`re in that job because they care about children.

However, just like every profession, you have people who don`t belong there. And when you have an adult who, after 18 years, has made this kind of judgment and this poor judgment and made this kind of error, he needs to be fired.

What parent wants their child to be put in his class going forward? What school would want this teacher going forward?

A hundred and sixty-thousand kids stay home from school every single day because of bullying. And that`s typically child-on-child bullying. The last thing they need to deal with is this kind of -- this kind of behavior led by the adult in the room who`s supposed to be the parent -- in place of the parent during the school day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. He`s supposed to be the adult.

Lorraine, thank you so much. Come back soon.

And we`re going to talk Drew Peterson. Closing arguments in that murder trial, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tuesday it will all come to climax.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have never in over a hundred murder cases ever seen a case where there was so much doubt as to how somebody died.

LARRY KING, FORMER CNN HOST: The third wife.

DREW PETERSON, ON TRIAL FOR THIRD WIFE`S MURDER: Ok.

KING: What happened?

PETERSON: Don`t know. I don`t know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Charged with murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

PETERSON: We got information that she drowned in the bathtub.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It all points to accident.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prosecutors say Peterson broke into Savio`s home and murdered her. Stacy Peterson, Drew Peterson`s fourth wife, went missing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How it became a homicide, I don`t know. It`s a freaking accident.

PETERSON: The news in the media had done their best to keep me sinister. Sinister sells better.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s a bit anxious. He`s prepared emotionally for whatever happens.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In closing argument we put the whole picture together, you`ll see that the state is so far away from proving this case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: The Drew Peterson trial headed for a verdict as closing arguments go down in court. We have waited for this moment for years. The prosecution asked the jurors to use common sense and convict the former cop of murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Then the defense hammers home their theory that her death was nothing more than an accident. That was what it was initially ruled after her body was found in her bathtub back in 2004. But investigators, of course, as we all know now reopened the case back in 2007 when Drew`s fourth wife, Stacy, seen here, went missing and has never since turned up.

After investigators exhumed and re-examined Kathleen`s body, medical examiners came to a different conclusion, calling her death a homicide. Prosecution ended their closing argument today by telling the jury exactly what they think happened to Kathleen Savio saying Drew, the guy you`re looking at right there smiling, pushed her under water and held her down. "Because of that we are asking you to find him guilty," said prosecutors.

That`s something many people following this case agreed with right outside court.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guilty, not guilty?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you think? Give me a call, 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. I want to hear from you on this very, very sensational case.

Straight out to Beth Karas, correspondent for "In Session" TruTV; you are there on the ground. You were in court today, what were the key points both sides made during their closings?

BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION" TRUTV: Well, you know, the defense focused on the fact that this was an accident only, they say. And that is the first issue for the jury to decide if it was indeed a homicide. And then if they say yes to that, did Drew Peterson do it?

And the defense attorney, Joe Lopez, spent a lot of time talking about the medical evidence supporting that it`s an accident. He did deal with some of the other evidence he couldn`t ignore. A lot of the hearsay evidence that points to Drew Peterson having a motive to kill his ex-wife because he was about to divide the marital assets within a month of her death.

The prosecution, on the other hand, focused on the mountain of circumstantial evidence. This is a circumstantial evidence case. And put together is a very strong case they say. And they focus on the bathtub and the injuries on Kathleen Savio. She had 14 injuries on her body between the front and back. And some of them were very serious contusions including a big laceration to her head.

And they say you cannot get those injuries which were fresh and consistent with a struggle from one fall in a bathtub. This was not a person who was knocked out and drowned in a little tub that was only 40 inches in length at the bottom.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That makes perfect sense to me. You slip in a tub, you get one injury. You don`t get 14 injuries. You don`t get injuries that would be made with some kind of rough object when a tub is smooth. So in closing arguments today prosecutors begged jurors, please use your common sense.

This of course, is not the first time we`ve heard the common sense plea because there was a lack of forensic evidence tying the accused to the murder. Remember this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LINDA DRANE BURDICK, ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY, FLORIDA: My biggest fear is that common sense will be lost in all of the rhetoric of the case. That won`t step back and take a look at the evidence as a whole.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course that was the Casey Anthony prosecutor, Linda Drane Burdick. She was asking they use common sense to convict -- oh wait, they didn`t convict Casey Anthony despite that plea.

Jean Casarez, correspondent, "In Session", you`re also on the ground there. At court, when you urge jurors to use common sense, we`re kind of thinking we know all about this case, we know what a crazy guy he is running around with a TV camera videotaping news reporters. We know about all the circumstances surrounding his fourth wife`s disappearance.

But what do the jurors know? Aren`t their parameters a lot more narrow in terms of the information they have to use their so-called common sense?

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": You better believe it. I mean, for instance -- let me give you an example, how did he get in the house? I mean we can say that by omission because Stacy Peterson told the pastor all of a sudden in the middle of the night he wasn`t home and then appears in black and he`s got clothes and putting them in the washing machine and they`re women`s clothes. That`s by omission he wasn`t home.

But how did he get in the home? That`s what the defense is saying by using your common sense. But the defense started out today talking about the constitution and the rights of Americans. That`s exactly what they did in Casey Anthony in the defense. Of course it was the fourth of July. We know how that case ended, it was an acquittal.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me understand this correctly, Jean. How much do the jurors know about the other wife who disappeared after Kathleen Savio turned up dead?

CASAREZ: You`re talking about Stacy Peterson. And they know about Stacy Peterson because her comments have come into this courtroom, her picture was put before the jury and they identified it. They`ve never heard that she went missing. But how many people said, oh, I came forward in 2007. So it is the elephant in the room. Common sense will dictate what happened in 2007 because Stacy`s nowhere to be found in that courtroom.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In closing arguments Kathleen Savio may have spoken from the grave. 2002, Kathleen says Drew threatened her saying, quote, "I`m going to kill you."

Prosecutors also said Drew Peterson he told a fellow cop, quote, "My life would be easier if she was just dead or died." Both these statements allegedly made shortly before Kathleen`s body was found. So of course, Drew denies any of this.

But Lisa Bloom, again, common sense; but it`s the forensics, the CSI forensics aren`t there. Are the jurors really allowed to use their common sense?

LISA BLOOM, ATTORNEY: Well, common sense to one person is different to another person. But you know, I covered this case a couple years ago back when I was working at Court TV. And I spoke to both family members for Kathleen Savio and family members for Stacy Peterson. And they both told me that their missing loved one told them if anything happens to me, Drew Peterson did it.

It`s just like Nicole Brown Simpson in the O.J. Simpson case. You know, to me there`s no question he`s responsible for the death of number three and the disappearance of number four. And I think the common sense conclusion is that he is good for this murder.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s see what the jurors decide. They`re going to get the case tomorrow after jury instructions.

Let`s go to the phone lines. Thomas, North Carolina; Thomas, your question or thought, Tom? All right, Thomas, you there?

THOMAS, NORTH CAROLINA (via telephone): Hello. Yes, ma`am.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, your question or thought? We just have a couple seconds.

THOMAS: I just want to start off by laying out, I love your guys on the show.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.

THOMAS: Hello?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I hear you. If you could ask your question, that would be great.

THOMAS: Caller: I just wanted to say, how are people getting away with murder like this? I don`t understand like with the Casey Anthony case and now the Drew Peterson, I mean, who do we have to hold accountable for their actions, you know?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think you`re raising a very good point. And this is a key. When a defendant becomes a celebrity like O.J. Simpson, like Robert Blake, it becomes monumentally more difficult to convict them. Look at Casey Anthony. She became a star. Is the same, briefly, Lisa --

BLOOM: He`s a police officer, right? He`s a police officer. If he was going to plan a crime like a murder, who would know better how to do it and not leave behind a trail of evidence than Drew Peterson?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, these open and shut cases, I`ve said it again and again, when you assume, the jury will come back, never assume. We`ll have to see what the jury does.

We have another story that is absolutely wild -- new video of a horrific plane crash during an air show in Iowa. Take a look at this. It`s wild. A truck driver and his girlfriend took this video from their car.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Michael, oh, my God.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: "Oh, my gosh" is right. The small plane exploded in a fireball after it went down Saturday. The pilot was killed on impact tragically -- our condolences to his family. No one else was hurt. Investigators still looking for the cause of that crash. Wow. Wild.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Your "Viral Video of the Day" -- a nail-biter. Watch as this family of ducks, mama duck is leading her ducklings across a five- lane highway -- these poor babies. The trucks and the cars are flying by, but they make it. The wind is knocking them over. Look at this. Look at these -- nobody stops. I know. But they make it, look, run, run, come on, guys run across the busy highway. Get into the grass. You can do it. They make it. They make it.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know Honey Boo-Boo, she`s the star of the reality show everyone was watching this week.

ALANA THOMPSON, REALITY TV STAR: I`m 6 and I`m a beauty queen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s a normal everyday kid.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With Honey Boo-Boo, we get fun. It`s like I said like it`s like comfort food.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s actually back where she`s actually screaming to Honey Boo-Boo, "Child, don`t make me holler. Please don`t make me holler."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are we so fascinated with this little girl, Honey Boo-Boo?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight with politicians from both parties desperately trying to capture the nation`s attention, there`s a 7-year-old reality TV star who has no problem finding a massive audience. Here comes Honey Boo-Boo to accept your nomination.

Former "Toddlers and Tiaras" scene stealer, Alana Thompson, and her family are the stars of the new TLC show, "Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo". Watch this from TLC.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THOMPSON: This is my crazy family.

I have three sisters. Pumpkin is the craziest. Anna is the pragmatist and Chubbs is my favorite, like my BFF.

The boss in the family is Mama.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mama.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The ratings for her show has skyrocketed. It`s even beat out some of the political coverage for the conventions. This show is highly controversial, hotly debated. Some people are calling it child abuse. Others say it`s a little girl and her family having a good old time.

Joining me now Dylan Howard, editor-in-chief for Celebuzz. How do we explain? This is a national obsession. 65 million Google hits.

DYLAN HOWARD, CELEBUZZ: I think it`s because when you`re driving down the road, you see a car crash, you look at it and you don`t take your eyes off. Some people stop and watch. That`s what we see with Honey Boo-Boo. She doesn`t realize the joke is on her. She`s not in on the joke.

We`re not watching this because we`re learning something. We`re watching this because it`s a train wreck.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes, I would agree. Some people think, well, no. Come on. She`s just a little girl having fun. It`s fun with her family. This is not abuse.

But let`s look at Exhibit A, go-go juice. Watch this from TLC.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of pageant moms and people know what the special juice is. Everybody has their different concoctions. Special juice is just to help energize her. A lot of moms say you`re doping up your child. Hey, no I`m not. I`m not hurting her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My special juice is going to help me --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is go-go juice -- Red Bull and Mountain Dew. You could argue with junk food and fast food that there`s worst stuff to give a kid than this.

BLOOM: Well, you`re giving a 7-year-old sugar and caffeine and then dressing her up and making her over-sexualized and teaching her that what`s the most important thing about her is what she looks like and then making a joke about her whole family and making that into a demeaning TV show.

The entire premise of this show is offensive. I don`t think anyone should watch it. I don`t watch it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, people love it. I think in the sense that it`s campy. It`s campy and --

BLOOM: But this is a real child. It`s a human being.

HOWARD: They`re laughing at that family.

BLOOM: That`s right.

HOWARD: That mother is 303 pounds. And we are watching it because she`s a basket case. Not because she`s done something well or we should congratulate her.

BLOOM: Right.

HOWARD: Or she`s an icon of society. We`re not. We`re watching at them and laughing at them. And that`s wrong.

BLOOM: It`s like "Jersey Shore" but at least there they`re adults and they sign up for it. To subject your child to this is child abuse.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Your calls on the other side on Honey Boo-Boo.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my favorite, your "Pet of the Day". Oh, Chloe -- Kiwi, you are just stunning, stunning. Absolutely stunning. Pagan and Violet are just, they`re heading downstream and Roscoe is heading upstream. Send us your pics, Roxie, you rock.

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUNE SHANNON, MOTHER OF HONEY BOO-BOO: There`s a lot of (inaudible) pageants until she`s 18 years old. That`s fine, if she wants to quit tomorrow, that`s fine. Right now she`s enjoying being out there. She`s enjoying, you know, being a kid. Outside of the pageant, outside of the makeup, she is a normal, everyday kid.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mama June says lighten up people as you watch the TLC show, Melanie Snare, "Atlanta Mom" -- what say you, lighten up or it`s child abuse?

MELANIE SNARE, "ATLANTA MOM": Child Abuse. I think it`s a complete and total train wreck. It`s total trash and all of us as a society that are watching this, we are glorifying all of this. Everybody has got to draw the line and stop watching this crap that`s on TV because they`re going to keep putting it out there if we keep watching. And I just think it`s so sad for this child and everybody else that thinks this is good entertainment. It`s not.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Shirley Temple ended up being a high official at the UN.

BLOOM: Shirley Temple was a talented singer, dancer and (inaudible)

HOWARD: You didn`t have to put the subtitles up when Shirley Temple spoke. With this particular show, when Honey Boo-Boo and June speaks, TLC subtitles it because we can`t decipher and she`s from Georgia.

(CROSSTALK)

BLOOM: Shame on TLC. TLC is the one that`s really responsible.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m sure. I have a New York accent sometimes and people don`t understand what I say. Listen, I just want to say, we got Honey Boo-Boo names for all of you, and mine is Jinxy Vroom. Dylan, you`re Daisy Duke Hooligan --

HOWARD: Daisy Duke Hooligan?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Melanie, you`re Mama Snickerdoodle; and Lisa, you`re Love Bug Booty Boo. There you go guys.

SNARE: I just love it.

HOWARD: Where did you come up with that? I don`t understand.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s a name generator. It`s a Honey Boo-Boo name generator. And so we can all have a little fun.

SNARE: Just what we have always wanted.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Never at a child`s expense.

BLOOM: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We hope that this little girl turns out ok.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All day I have been seeing headlines that Stanford University scientists have concluded organic food is no more nutritious than conventional food. Here`s my opinion. What a horrible message to send at a time when we need organic food more than ever.

Left in the dust is the study`s other conclusion that conventional non-organic fruits and vegetables have significantly more pesticide residue. But they`re quick to say, pesticide levels found in regular food are under the allowed safety limits. According to whom?

The powers that be have been dead wrong about the safety of chemicals in the past. When it comes to chemicals, it can take a long time for the full effects to be revealed. Also we know that we`re simply pounding nature with too many pesticides. If we push people to eat pesticide- covered food as opposed to low or no pesticide organic, we`re simply compounding the amount of pesticides being dumped into the land and water.

Already we`re seeing the world`s bee population plummeting with catastrophic implications. They`re threatening entire ecosystems. The migratory bird population is also dropping significantly around the world.

When are highly educated people like Stanford scientists going to be connect the dots and acknowledge that every action has an equal and opposite reaction? We are destroying our world for the future generations with all these pesticides.

And that`s why I`m going to continue to eating the organic fruits and vegetables I get at my local co-op and health food store like this one. It tastes better. It`s not covered with poison.

Nancy`s next.

END