Return to Transcripts main page
Manhunt For Christopher Dorner Continues; Continuing Blizzard Coverage; Interview With Parents Whose Son Died From Synthetic Pot Usage; Wal-Mart Saves Lives During Blizzard; How Drones Are Being Used Now
Aired February 9, 2013 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: A blizzard the northeast. Brings just about everything to a standstill and one family's attempt to dig out takes a terrible turn.
The latest on the man hunt for a suspected cop killer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every officer in this department is a little bit paranoid.
KEILAR: And he vows to keep on killing until his demands are met.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a very sick individual. I give no credence what so turnover anything this man says.
KEILAR: Plus the spies in the sky. Drones overseas and over your neighborhood.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Good evening, I'm Brianna Keilar, in for Don Lemon. More on the big story we have been following all day, the blizzard in the northeast. But first, a major development tonight in the manhunt for renegade ex-cop Chris Dorner.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW SMITH, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT COMMANDER: The chief back has directed that the Los Angeles police department are re- opening investigation in to the allegations that officer Dorner made while in the department, those allegations that resulted in him being terminated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Dorner has been the object of an intense man hunt after allegedly killing three people this week. The killing spree began last Sunday south of Los Angeles. People say he shot and killed two people sitting in a car, one the daughter of a former LAPD police officer. Dorner apparently then went to San Diego a couple days where he was able to get on the naval base there. His wallet was later found at the San Diego airport.
Early Thursday about 1:00 in the morning, he allegedly shot a police officer in Corona. About 30 minutes later two more cops were shot in river-side and one later died.
Some twelve hours later, Dorner's burning truck was found in big Bear Lake near the San Bernardino mountains. From there, the trail went cold early with fresh snow in the mountains.
Casey Wian joining us from Los Angeles.
Casey, re-opening the investigation about Dorner's firing, this is a major development. So why are they doing it?
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, there's a couple of significant developments that happened tonight. And I first want to talk about this investigation going on. The formation of a joint task force among several law enforcement agencies in southern California to try to catch Dorner. Up until now individual law enforcement agencies have been investigating the crimes he committed in their jurisdiction. And now joining forces to investigate this case together. Here's what the assistant chief of the Riverside police department had to say about that strategy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS VICINO, ASSISTANT CHIEF, RIVERSIDE POLICE DEPARTMENT: We're coming together today to catch Mr. Dorner. What that means is we will look under every rock, we will look around every corner and we will search mountaintops for him. The Riverside police department is pledging all its resource to this effort.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIAN: Now, back to that question you ask, Brianna, about re- opening the case that led to the firing of Christopher Dorner back in 2007 from the Los Angeles police department, here's what a Charlie Beck, the chief of the LAPD had to say about that.
He says I do this not to apiece a murder. I do it to reassure the public their police department is fair and transparent in all things that we do. Now, I asked an LAPD commander if he believes this may lead Dorner to turn himself in. Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: Well, we are all hoping that Dorner will turn himself in. And the chief to re-open this case and he made a plea to Dorner to turn himself in. And to be honest with you, that would lead to the best resolution for this whole thing right now. No one else has to be shot. No one else gas to be injured. No one else has to die. He can turn himself in anywhere and really taken into custody and he will be hold to get his side of the story out.
(END VIDEO CLIP) WIAN: Bottom line Brianna, law enforcement authorities throughout southern California are searching hard. They don't know where Dorner is right now.
KEILAR: And that is the question everyone wants and answer to.
Casey Wian in Los Angeles. Thanks for that.
Now, the snow blast in northeastern United States. Yes, we know it's supposed to be cold in February, but this blizzard earned the respect of even life-long residents of Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York state. Folks used to cold weather.
Right now, across the storm on about half million homes have no power. And we are talking about New England in the dead of winter. More cars are stranded on Long Island than there are tow trucks and emergency crews to rescue them. And across the blizzard zone, at least eight people died in traffic accidents even though every governor demanded the people to stay off the road.
So much snow piling up so fast presents danger off the road too. In Boston tonight, a family is mourning the death of their 14-year-old son after a tragically common winter accident.
CNN's Jason Carroll has details for us.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Brianna, when I think about this story I think about how many people that I saw today in this particular neighborhood who came out to dig out their cars. That's exactly what a father and son did. They came out to dig out their car buried that was in snow. The father was able to get the passenger side free of snow and his son got cold, just like so many children do when the weather is like this, got inside the car, shut the door in there about 10, 15 minutes. And unbeknownst to the father, the tape pipe of the car was clogged with snow. And the young boy, because the car was running, was poisoned by carbon monoxide.
At one point, Octavius Roe, who is a firefighter who lives in the neighborhood heard screams. He came to see what was going on. He saw that the father was overcome - he was trying to give him some aid and then looked over and saw that a 25-year-old woman who is a nurse who happened to live in the neighborhood was giving the young boy CPR. Roe then describes what he saw next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OCTAVIUS ROE, NEIGHBOR, FIREFIGHTER: EMS and fire were coming out with the boy at this point. And around this point, I got a good look at his face. Eyes were rolled back in his head. I've seen that look before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL: Paramedics were able to get to the young boy almost immediately but unfortunately they were not able to revive him. The boy was declared dead at the hospital short time later. The governor weighing in on this issue. Also Boston's mayor weighing in saying the news of this tragic accident is a sad reminder the danger of the storm is not over. Our hearts go out to that family and their friends learning of this tremendously sad accident.
And Brianna, once again, it's just another reminder as you heard the mayor say just because the storm has passed there are hidden dangers that still exist -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Jason Carroll for us there in Boston.
And I want to bring general Russel Honore in here now.
General, as you know, you're our expert when it comes to disaster response and aftermath. So, before we talk these people who are without power tonight, what about this tragic carbon monoxide accident in Boston? It seemed to me when I heard about it that could have happened to almost anyone.
RUSSEL HONORE, RETIRED LIEUTENANT GENERAL, U.S. ARMY: You know Brianna, in the army we have a word for this carbon monoxide, we call it the silent killer. And for years we unfortunately lost soldiers throughout the history of our army to this silent killer. It's unfortunate this happened to this child. But, hopefully it will be the last one because people will pay attention and make sure to take all precautions to make sure when they're warming, particularly with open flames or with heaters, that there is a fresh air coming into the room. So, hopefully this is the last one and hopefully we all learn from this tragic death.
KEILAR: So, can you talk a little specifically about that? Because we have about a half million people without electricity tonight in New England. What are those specific precaution that they need to take?
HONORE: Well, normally, it happens when people get cold and people start getting symptoms of another killer, called hypothermia, where the body temperature cools it cannot replace the heat it is losing. This is where people want to pay attention. If you start to shiver or someone in your group or family group , that's why in the army we train people to stay together when you're trying to survive a cold event like this, if you see someone shivering, see they become mentally confused, you must immediately seek medical help for them and try to get them as warm as you can because they're about to go into what we call hypothermia where the bodily temperature can't replace the heat and that is as deadly as carbon monoxide poisoning.
Again, the blizzard people can survive. It's the after continuous cold, particularly when you lose power or lose your source of heat. Solution, stay together, look for any that is having signs of shivering or mental confusion. That means they're going into hypothermia. And whenever there's a heat source, make sure it's well ventilated and stay in buddies together, nobody should be alone.
KEILAR: Sure. And definitely, in really sort of realize that it can happen to you, I think that's also part of the key there. I want to ask you, do you think the cities and small towns here that prepared properly for this blizzard, even though there's been some accidents and fatality, certainly, the number seems very low compared to 1978 where we saw a death toll of about 100.
HONORE: Absolutely. It is obvious, many lessons were learned and technology has been applied. You know, government throughout the, well, particularly the northeast is very sensitive with these large populations. But still come up to people doing the right thing and staying informed and listen to what the government is saying. But, I think based on the conditions they've done a good job keeping the public informed.
Now, we need to look out for one another. Neighbors check on neighbors. If you know somebody in the region, call them and make sure they're OK. Because as in the case in Katrina and many other disasters, most people we found that lost their lives, they died alone.
So, this is most unfortunate. Now is the time to check on your neighbors, check on the elderly people, check on people you know with disabilities and make sure they're OK.
KEILAR: That's right. Maybe that neighbor you don't know down the street, maybe you should check on him or her just to be sure.
General Russel Honore, great words of wisdom there. Thank you.
HONORE: And help the Red Cross.
KEILAR: That's right. Thank you, general.
Well, he's the most wanted man in America. But do police now have a new way to draw Christopher Dorner out of hiding? That's next.
KEILAR: As we've been telling you, Los Angeles police announced tonight they're re-opening the case that got Chris Dorner fired as a police officer. This is an event that apparently triggered this week's killing spree. Three people have already died and Dorner whereabouts are unknown.
Former FBI director Tom Fuentes is joining us now from Vancouver.
So Tom, this announcement came this evening that they're re- opening this investigation, which is years old. And this is something that Dorner has said is the reason why he's on this rampage. So, I'm wondering what's really the reason behind the LAPD doing this? Is this to maybe draw him out and how much is to do with the transparency, they said, they have with a perhaps, you know, somewhat troubled police department, I think, historically and making sure people believe they have a leg to stand on here?
THOMAS FUENTES, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Hi, Brianna.
I think that's exactly right. They want to give him a chance to maybe go ahead and come out of hiding and come out from being a fugitive and get his time to expose the wrongs that LAPD did to him in his mind.
In his manifesto, he made it clear he's seeking revenge because of the corruption and injustice that he believes has been rained down on him from L.A. police department. And so, by doing this and saying they'll re-open the case, obviously he's still wanted for the murders he's committed and all the other actions that occurred, but it would give him an opportunity to have his hearing covered by worldwide media and give it the exposure he's trying to get in this case, committing all these murders?
KEILAR: You think the LAPD would really see this review through to try to be sure that they said -- that he lied about something, several years back. You think they would see this review through to be sure that they got it right or to check if maybe they got it wrong?
FUENTES: I think they would. I think when a promise is made by a government agency or in this case, Los Angeles police department, you know, they don't want to break their word with him if he surrenders because of all the future cases where they'll need to have people take their word.
So, I think if he was to surrender and end this siege right now, I think they would be more than willing to go through with it and have a new hearing and probably have the media coverage that he has been wanting in that hearing. But that is not going to exonerate him for the murders that he has committed and the attempted murders. But, at least that would be, at least in his mind, what they're hoping is, it is a step in the right direction to expose the wrong that he feels has been done to him.
KEILAR: Very interesting. We will have to see if this affects things and also if we find out where Chris Dorner is.
Tom Fuentes, former FBI director, thanks for taking the time.
FUENTES: You are welcome. Thank you, Brianna.
KEILAR: Synthetic marijuana, it is cheap, it is easy to find and it is often advertised as a legal alternative to pot. Its side effects may be lethal.
Next, you will meet a family who lost their son this dangerous drug.
KEILAR: It's often called fake pot and often advertised as being legal and sold in stores as spice and K2 but actually not marijuana. It is actually a handful of herbs sprayed with chemicals and teenagers consider it a cheap way to get high without going in search of real marijuana. But it can also be deadly. Chase Burnett was an honors - an honorable student and a high school soccer player in suburban Atlanta, not far from where we are now, He was found dead in his family's hot tub almost a year ago. A package of synthetic pot found nearby. Chase was just 16-years-old and his parents, David and Yvette Burnett join me now.
First off, thank you so much for coming to share the story. I know this is a difficult one and the reason you are here is to that this not happen to other kids. But first off, can you just tell me a little bit about chase. What was he like?
YVETTE BURNETT, SON DIED AFTER USING SYNTHETIC DRUGS: Chase was a joy to be around. He would walk in a room and make everybody feel like you have always known him. He made everybody feel comfortable. He had walked and just have an inner light about him and wanted people to know who he was. He was interested in people. HE loved people. He lived life with a zest. He lived everyday like it would be his last. And he had an inner light about him. People were attracted to that, older, peers and younger children. And we know that he had an inner light just because of how he lived and love he shared with family and friends and had because he had just inner light from God within him.
KEILAR: And I know he was beloved by friends and people he went to school with and teachers and it was something that really devastated people when he pass wade last March. Did you have any sense, David? Did you know he was trying this out, this fake pot? Did you even know what it was?
DAVID BURNETT, SON DIED AFTER USING SYNTHETIC DRUGS: I was not aware he was trying it out. I was aware what it was. I had no idea he had experimented with it a handful of times. We found out the day he passed away that he had experimented with it just a handful of times.
KEILAR: And that was from his friends?
DAVID BURNETT: Yes. I found that out at morning from some friends that came over that morning and well as we had 10 or so friends over a week after he passed away and I had them all sit down on our couch at our home and ask them to really come clean with what was going on in the community and who was doing it so we could nurture them and explain to them that obviously, bad choices have deadly consequences.
KEILAR: And what did you find out? That a lot of kids were doing it? That it wasn't just Chase?
DAVID BURNETT: There were several doing it in the community. I can say that. I has sense curtailed, the activity within the community, within the children, it has stopped. However, there is a little bit of misnomer chase drowned in a hot tub.
DAVID BURNETT: Obviously, we found him in a hot tub. That was part of on the autopsy report, his death certificate. But, what killed chase was the synthetic cannaboid (ph) poisoning, the marijuana, the chemicals sprayed onto the leaves shut his lungs down. He suffered a violent death, he asphyxiated and suffocated and obviously became unconscious and I found him in the hot tub that Sunday morning March 4th.
Something that was legal allegedly that he had purchased. Did you have a sense of it after talking to some of his friends he had a sense of some of the dangers of this.
YVETTE BURNETT: No. And none of the kids did, especially Chase, he loved life too much. He would never ever did anything that would harmed himself knowing the grief it put his family through and friends through, never.
KEILAR: They were just being experimental as some teens are, that's the impression you got?
YVETTE BURNETT: Yes.
KEILAR: You're here because this has become a mission, a mission for you, right, to try to make sure other kids don't follow in Chase's footsteps. Why is this so important to you?
YVETTE BURNETT: Well, for us, just the heartache, your heart is ripped in two. We don't want this pain to affect other families. It's a senseless death. A child, teenagers walk into a store thinking it is legal, thinking it's not going to hurt them. They purchase something that shouldn't be sold. And we just don't want the pain of what we've gone through to affect other family. We have peace and strength from God and we have that peace in our hearts and have the joy because we do know where our son is, where he will live forever. But it is just, everyday it's with us the rest of our lives that we don't get him back.
KEILAR: What can you say to other parents so they aren't in your shoes, so they don't lose a child with so much promise?
DAVID BURNETT: That this is reason we're here. And it is the reason from the moment that our son, we knew he passed away that morning when the paramedics came and covered him up and told us that he had passed away. We had a sense of peace about us, both of us did, because we know where his soul was as well as Yvette and I, we know we will see him again. We have that heavenly hope.
But, when they said he was passed, I instinctively told myself, this is wrong, wrong, wrong. You cannot walk into a convenience store in this country as a teenager or young adult or adult, purchase a product, obviously to get high, and then your lungs shut down and you suffocate. It is wrong in a pure form.
It's very frustrating as a parent to know this is being sold throughout the country. It is not only sold in convenience stores, sold in head shops, adult novelty shops and various other avenues to sell the product. But, it is a deadly product. KEILAR: Part of the problem is there is a loophole where it's sold legally. So, knowing that until you can get to the point where it's not sold, what can you tell parents to -- part of it is awareness, I'm sure. Also, what do they need to talk to their kids about so they understand the risks. You said Chase didn't.
YVETTE BURNETT: Well, it's talking to your children, your grandchildren, talking to them and saying, have you heard about this stuff? Do you understand and think about the choices. Get online with them. You know, as parents, as adults, we can understand. But the kids have to understand in their hearts that this is wrong. It can kill you, yes. Children think they're invincible. Teenagers think, yes, they are right. It can't happen us to. It can happen to you.
Look at us, we are normal family who loved our boy dearly. We talked to him about stuff like this. Our son made a mistake. He made a bad choice, never ever knowing this would take his life. So, I just parents and grandparents, talk about this stuff, don't shovel it under the rug, talk to the kids, make sure the kids talk to each other, do what's right.
KEILAR: Communicate and have an open line of communication.
DAVID BURNETT: You took the words out of my mouth. You have to take your head out of the sand. It would be easy to ignore it and just to go away, but, we choose not to. We have gone from the first day after our son passed away, we went on the local affiliates in Atlanta and came out and told people what happened.
E told them that our son bought it, assumed he bought it, found out he did, he smoked it and he passed away. And we feel that what we're trying to do with the education and awareness aspect of our mission, we're doing as much as we possibly can to help other families around the country not have to endure the pain and lose somebody that love dearly.
KEILAR: And let's hope they don't.
David and Yvette, thank you so much for sharing the story. We will be talking more about this, of course. And obviously, if this can happen to someone like Chase, it can happen to other young people.
So, we appreciate your being here to talk about it.
Now, despite its sometimes deadly effects, here in Georgia, the use of the drug has jumped 3,000 percent. Yes, 3,000 percent. So next, we talk about what law enforcement is doing to keep these synthetic drugs off the streets.
KEILAR: We just heard from two parents who saw synthetic pot destroy their son's life. And I'm joined by two people on the front lines of the fight against synthetic drugs. Ken Howard and Nelly Miles, you both work for the bureau of investigation. Nelly is the forensic chemistry manager for the GBI. Ken is the GBI agent and he investigates the distribution and sale of synthetic drugs.
Good to see you both. Thank you for being here to educate us more about this.
This is -- I actually had not heard of this. But it sounds like, is this right, ken, that it's an epidemic?
KEN HOWARD, GEORGIA BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: It really is. It really has blown up on us in the metro Atlanta area and around the nation in the past four or five years.
KEILAR: We're talking a growth of thousands of percent. I mean, this is something that is kind of being thrust to the forefront, particularly here in Atlanta but this is maybe something a lot of parents haven't even heard about?
HOWARD: Yes. Surprisingly enough, it has flown under the radar, some of the wholesale manufacturers and distributors have actually done a god job of using smoke and mirrors to conceal their activities and exactly what they're doing. So, it took a while for us to catch on and I think that is probably the reason it's take a while for parents.
KEILAR: Well, let's -- explain this, Nelly. How is it even legal? I mean, and first off, what is it? I saw, I Google pictures of it. Some looked like potpourri, some of it leaves. What is it and why is it even legal? It doesn't seem like it should be.
NELLY MILES, GEORGIA BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: Well, what happened is they take these man-made chemicals and then. They spray it on the plants. And then these plants get laced with these chemicals, that's what's smoked. Typically traditionally with drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine. We outlaw those drugs and then from a legislative standpoint, you're done.
But with these drugs, you can take one drug, and reformulate it and change it and it's legal and skirts around the law. So, it is science meets the law and unfortunately the law seems to be one step behind.
KEILAR: And it might not even be something that advertised to smoke, right?
MILES: Well, the way it's marketed --
KEILAR: If I'm a teenager, I'm going into a convenience store from my friends and maybe I can get it there?
MILES: Exactly. It's marketed as potpourri in sense, but if you go to the store to get it, you know what you are going into. You want to experiment that don't really want to go to jail because you are trying to skirt around the law there. KEILAR: So, the DEA describes the It produces an effect similar to marijuana and high similar but side effects hallucinations, seizures and addiction not normally seen in marijuana users. So, this is more dangerous than marijuana and is this what makes it so dangerous, these side effects?
MILES: Absolutely. We have seen reports of hallucination, commas, seizures, increasing your heart rate, kidney failure and stated earlier, even the GBI's chief medical examiner have confirmed two deaths in Georgia smoking synthetic marijuana.
KEILAR: Ken, if the law can't keep up with this, as Nelly discussed, if the law can't keep up with this, then, where do you go from there? Or is it just a matter of time until the law catches up. Can it?
HOWARD: I don't know because we have identified more than 400 synthetic marijuana compound that are out there. What we have seen in our investigations is that the majority of the chemicals are purchased from China and the research chemical supply companies in China keep up with the law changes in the states. So, as soon as a couple are banded or outlawed, more are being shipped to wholesale distributors here in the states that have been tweaked to skirt those laws.
KEILAR: So, nothing can really be done to shut it down?
HOWARD: Well, it's frustrating. And I wouldn't say nothing can be done. We are doing things. We are going after manufacturers and wholesalers for violations of laws such as mislabeling and misbranding products and enforcing the laws that are in place when they do slip up and distribute those that have been banned.
KEILAR: KEILAR: And finally, what can parents do knowing there aren't necessarily a lot of resources when it comes to the law at this point? What can parents do to make sure that kids aren't getting a hold of this?
MILES: Parents need to be educated about the harmful effects. When I talked to students and go to career days and start talking about forensic science, I notice that the students know far more about these drugs than the adults. They are telling me things I have not yet even seen in the lab.
What I tell them is, don't be fooled by the pretty packaging, the labeling and it appeals to the youth, graphic arts. I also tell them easy access doesn't mean it's good for you and just because they can get it easily and say, it must be safe or wouldn't be sold in a convenience store if it was fake. Don't be fooled by that. These manufacturers and distributors are trying to get rich at your expense. So, if you're looking to a way to have fun and experiment and, you know, even maybe fill some sort of void, this is not it. And parents need to know that it is serious. It is not a game.
KEILAR: Nelly Miles and Ken Howard with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, thank you so much for being here. Really appreciate it. HOWARD: Thanks.
MILES: Thank you.
KEILAR: Well, it is just past the bottom of the hour now. Let's get you up to speed on the day's headlines.
Los Angeles police are re-opening the investigation that got officer Chris Dorner fired in 2008. Dorner has been on the run since allegedly killing three people over the past week as part of vendetta against the LAPD. The search areas stretches from San Diego to Las Vegas prompting the creation of a joint task force to coordinate those search efforts.
First the storm, now you know what comes out, that's right, the dig-out. Some parts in the northeast got off light, other parts got slammed with more than three feet of snow. The blizzard is pretty much over. But tonight, more than 500,000 homes are without electricity and New Englanders have a few days of work ahead before life is normal for them.
Ahead, spending the night in Wal-Mart in snow covered New York.
KEILAR: We are beginning our yearlong campaign honoring everyday people. And what you can do in order to recognize some of the life changing work being done around the world, you can go to CNNheroes.com. Once you're there, hit the nominate button. You hit the tab, you fill out the required information. It is that easy. So, go ahead and do it now.
KEILAR: And then it's gone. The blizzard has passed and the snow is tapering across the New England states. But, the big storm did more than just knock out power and shut down highways. Some people were taken by such surprise they were stranded in the middle of shopping. And our Mary Snow has one unlikely storm shelter tonight. This is a Wal-Mart on Long Island.
And, I know Mary, you've been talking to people there. How many of them are camping out there tonight?
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, about a dozen or so tonight so far in here. You know, technically, this Wal-Mart is closed. It closed about 6:00 p.m. yesterday. But, the manager opened the doors because so many people up here in Suffolk County are stranded. And we have one group in electronics. They are watching a movie. This group over here is calling this the Wal-Mart pileup. They have gotten their supplies and over here is Diana Borger.
You have your puzzle over here, you have your chair, your blanket. This is your second night in this Wal-Mart and you only live a couple miles away?
DIANA BORGER, TAKING SHELTER AT WAL-MART: That's right.
SNOW: How long were you stranded in your car?
BORGER: About three hours I was traveling.
SNOW: And you tried to get out today, the roads were still blocked?
BORGER: Impassable. Yes. There was a lot of prep that I was doing to get my car out. People help me dig out the car but the entrance is blocked with a lot of cars.
SNOW: Do you hope you get out tomorrow?
BORGER: Hope so.
SNOW: In the meantime, you just keeping yourself busy?
SNOW: What was it like stay hearing last night.
BORGER: A little surreal, but, you know, all our needs are met and warm and comfortable and safe.
SNOW: And thank you very much for your time.
Now, Brianna, there were about 30 people here last night. And the county is saying hundreds of cars were stranded last night. These roads have just been a mess all day today. And the National Guard was out helping on snowmobiles. We talked to several people who have been stayed in their cars all night long last night just waiting for help. And plows were coming in, trying to clear out these roadways. This area in Suffolk County got more than two feet of snow.
KEILAR: So, where, Mary, I'm wondering where are they actually sleeping and what food are they eating? Is this stuff that's been provided by the store?
SNOW: Yes. And some of it, they're buying, buying some supplies. But yes, there's plenty of supplies here. And you know, people have just kind of hanging out here, camped out. Today, a number of people were out trying to dig out their cars. And in the meantime, they're watching movies, just kind of passing the time because they can't get out. And as Diana said, you know, she is only a couple miles away from here but she can't get home.
KEILAR: So, we know she is spending her second night there.
Mary Snow will be spending her first night there in that Wal-Mart on Long Island. Update us in the morning, will you, Mary?
SNOW: Sure. I will. It should be an experience.
KEILAR: All right. We will check in with you tomorrow.
All right. Thanks, Mary.
Well, an action hero and sometimes villain is recruiting volunteers for his gun posse.
Plus, the spies in the sky. Drones, overseas and over your neighborhood.
KEILAR: Drones are the newest weapons of choice to track and kill suspected terrorists. And this guy, John Brennan is the man who oversees the White House kill list. He is also the president picked to head the CIA. Brennan was grilled on Capitol Hill this week about the drone programs specifically when it targets terrorists who are also Americans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BRENNAN, WHITE HOUSE COUNTERTERRORISM ADVISER: I think there is a misimpression on the part of some American people who believe that we take strikes to punish terrorists for past transgressions. Nothing could be further from the truth. We only take such actions as last resort to save lives when there's no other alternative to taking an action that is going to mitigate that threat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: But, drones aren't just for government or even military anymore. They're now being used by police across the country to nab bad guys, even by realtors to help showcase their properties, by farmers to water and monitor their crops and almost any can buy one.
Don Lemon spoke with William Robinson from Adaptive Flight UAV, a company that makes drones. He brought a drone to our studio and explained how the increase in these drones, may affect you.
WILLIAM ROBINSON, ADAPTIVE FLIGHT UAV: This vehicle here is called the horn of mine crow. It's the smallest vehicle. It basically uses a GPS guidance and all (INAUDIBLE) computers and it can navigate through the airspace providing realtime video. And it's a really nice compact platform easily packed in the trunk of a police car. And if say, the police wants to mitigate or the police agents want to mitigate danger, they can use it.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: You're looking at that video coming from this drone. And so, the concern is that because police departments are using it around the country cops or authorities, big brother will be able to peer into your home and all that. And maybe even your neighbor if you want too checkup on your husband and wife. I mean, but how -- can anybody get this thing? Can I just go on a Web site, on your Web site and get one of these?
ROBINSON: Well, not just anyone can get one. It does require approvals, of course, through the state department and multiple levels. And there are laws in place that prevent people from spying on one another. This vehicle itself is a useful tool for law enforcement and putting the serving warrants. It is a safety tool, not for spying and over individual's private property.
LEMON: I have to tell you that this is really cool. Don't freak out, I'm stepping out of the light. But are the -- oh, my gosh. So, what are the limitations here? Like when you can't just go in and say, I want to get one of these and I want to go and my wife, I'm worried, my wife may be cheating on me. You can't do that, right?
ROBINSON: No. Currently there are laws in place around the United States, specific areas that you can fly them like Mesa County and Colorado, they have.
LEMON: But the concerns - go ahead. Tell me about mesa. It is a so loud I can barely hear you.
ROBINSON: So, in Mesa County and Colorado, they have a little consolation density area and the appropriate aero space, the unman air vehicle. So, they can purchase them and they are using them for crime scene investigations and space surveying.
LEMON: But you said that anyone who is a U.S. citizen can buy one of these, correct?
ROBINSON: That's correct.
LEMON: So then, of course, the concern is going to be about abuse. I mean, just because you're not supposed to use it for that, it doesn't mean that people won't use it. And that you're selling it but you have no use on that.
ROBINSON: No. there is also a lot difference. If someone parking a van at the corner of a street and videotaping out the window. This is another tool or another camera platform.
KEILAR: Interesting technology.
After the Newtown tragedy, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio says he wants to send a, quote "armed posse" to protect local schools. Action stars, Steven Seagal, you see him there on the left, he may be one of them. I will explain why next.
KEILAR: We've got to tell you about a simulated school shooting today, part of a training exercise in Arizona. It included actor Steven Seagal. Maybe you haven't seen him for a while. Well, that's where he was. He was brought in by sheriff Joe Arpaio.
And also does weight really matter? And we'll look at whether too much attention is paid to New Jersey governor Chris Christie's weight. So, let's talk about both of these stories with political comedian and commentator Dean Obeidallah who is joining us from New York.
DEAN OBEIDALLAH, POLITICAL COMEDIAN: Hey. How are you?
KEILAR: So first off, I want to talk to you about this Steven Seagal thing. He led sheriff Joe Arpaio's volunteer posse in a training today. This included about two dozen high school students. They were playing roles in what's called a simulated school shooting. That's interesting. You could see how maybe it would help. But with this country in the grip of a gun debate, what do you make of this? It's kind of weird that Steven Seagal is part of this, no?
OBEIDALLAH: I think it's great to get all the former wash-up action stars back to work. Let's gets Chuck Norris in there, (INAUDIBLE), maybe Jean-Claude Van Damme into expandable three. I think, on some level that it seems makes no sense whatsoever. But if someone-if I had a child in a school and having an armed security guard on a serious point, it might make me feel a little bit better. But that person should be a full-time trained professional not a posse of people who manage at Applebee's sort in the day and carry a gun in the afternoon walking around because, as police have just talked about, it is very tough in the moment of shooting not to hurt bystanders. And that is really important.
KEILAR: And also, Dean, can we look at the video again of Steven Seagal talking because I'm looking at this -- the sound isn't even up. And I have to tell you, he's kind of scaring the hell out of me. I mean, he is a pretty scary dude right here, the way he's talking, just so intensely to these kids, right?
OBEIDALLAH: He looks like kind of scary. He looks like he's maybe in a "Zero Dark Thirty" extra mode. It looks like his father getting ready for "Zero Dark Thirty" two perhaps. I think, you know, they should do a reality show about him training the people. It could be a fun thing for people. But, you know --
KEILAR: OK. I have to get to this because I really want to hear what you have to say about this. The New Jersey governor appeared on the Letterman show, set off a chain reaction.
Listen to what he said on "Letterman."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, THE LATE SHOW: I've made jokes about you -- not just one or two, not just on going here and there, intermittent, but --
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I didn't know this was going to be this long.
(LAUGHTER) (END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: So, Dean, you actually said, why are well-known journalists talking about him being, quote "too fat to be president? Is he too overweight, suggesting that no one seems to be talking about his record and the issues?"
Tell me more about that. You think they should be talking about the issues because we talked to a doctor who said the weight's a foundational issue if you're going to be, say, vice president or president.
OBEIDALLAH: Two things, first of all, the way Chris Christie dealt with the issue about people making jokes about his weight was great. He laughed it off. He ate a doughnut. Donald Trump, if you are watching, that's what you do. You don't sue comedians like suing Bill Maher.
Secondly, yes. You know what, his weight is one issue. But his record as governor is much more important such as unemployment at 9.6 percent in New Jersey, fourth highest in the country. No one's talked about that. Maybe that has bearing if you would be a good president or not. Not just his weight.
So, in the weight discussion, journalists and not you, Brianna, but maybe people you know, talk about his record as well. It's a component of why we're going to vote for him or not vote for him, not just if he's too fat or not.
KEILAR: No. That's an interesting point.
Dean Obeidallah, thank you, always a pleasure to be with you.
KEILAR: Next, a gesture, a jail and jail time, it's our moment of the week.
KEILAR: Time now for our moment of the week. And while we're at it, some free legal advice, like if you're standing in front of a judge, don't do this --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JORGE RODRIGUEZ-CHOMAT, JUDGE, MIAMI-DALE CIRCUIT COURT: Come back. Count one will be $10,000.
PENELOPE SOTO, PRISONER: Are you serious?
RODRIGUEZ-CHOMAT: I am serious. Adios.
RODRIGUEZ-CHOMAT: Come back again. Come back again. (END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: That was 18-year-old Penelope Soto serving up plenty of sassy replies for the judge this week. She was in court on drug possession charges when she learned hard-lesson in court etiquette.