Return to Transcripts main page
Police Search San Bernadino Mountains For Dorner; Northeast Residents Start Digging Themselves Out From The Blizzard; Paterno's Family Releases Report Absolving Late Coach In Sandusky Affair; Rewards For Dorner's Capture Planned
Aired February 10, 2013 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: It is 2:00 p.m. in the East, 11:00 a.m. on the West Coast; I'm Martin Savidge in for Fredricka Whitfield. If you're just tuning in, thank you for joining us. And these are the top stories we're following right now in the CNN NEWSROOM.
Police are searching California's San Bernardino Mountains right now for ex-Los Angeles cop, Christopher Dorner. Dorner is a suspect in the killing of three people, including now police officer, L.A. County supervisors will request a $100,000 reward on Tuesday for information leading to Dorner's arrest.
That big blizzard that went through the Northeast has left behind a lot of snow. Folks in the area are busy now clearing the roads and shoveling snow off of cars today, trying to get back to normal after a day of being stuck inside. But about 370,000 people are still without heat and electricity.
Joe Paterno's family, they have released a report absolving the late coach of blame in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
It says Penn State's University's prior report from former FBI director Louis Freeh was, quote, "factually wrong," unquote, and that Paterno never attempted to hide any information about Sandusky's activities. Paterno's widow is speaking out now as well on how she felt when she first learned of the accusations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUE PATERNO, WIDOW OF JOE PATERNO: It is still hard to accept, but when I read the first presentment charge, I actually got physically ill and couldn't read any more for a couple of days.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): The university responded to the family in a written statement, saying, quote, "It is understandable and predictable -- or appreciated, rather -- that people will draw their own conclusions and opinions from the facts uncovered in the Freeh report," unquote.
Boeing, anxious to get its grounded fleet of Dreamliners back in the air, ran a test flight yesterday. The company called it uneventful. Persistent problems with the airliner's lithium ion batteries, including a fire on board a parked 787, forced Boeing to take all 50 planes out of service; that was nearly a month ago. And that is costing the company tens of millions of dollars.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Now back to the San Bernardino Mountains in California where SWAT teams are back at it again, right now, searching for ex-cop Christopher Dorner. He's accused of killing three people, including a police officer last week, and he has threatened more bloodshed for the LAPD and their families.
Now Casey Wian is among those following this investigation and, Casey, we just got details now about this reward that the city is planning to offer. Tell us about that.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we don't know the amount of the reward that the joint task force is going to announce in about two hours' time. That reward is -- that announcement will be from the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles city officials.
We do know that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, two members of that board of supervisors, are going to request a $100,000 reward. We're expecting the other reward to be much larger than that.
Also as you mentioned, that manhunt in San Bernardino is continuing, although it is in the San Bernardino Mountains, I should say. It is as much downsized from yesterday, about 60 different -- 60 investigators combing those mountains. That number was 125 yesterday.
And as that -- as that manhunt continues, investigators are continuing to pore through evidence; some of that evidence is exclusive surveillance video obtained by CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WIAN (voice-over): The surveillance video from the alley behind an auto accessory store near San Diego is time-stamped 9:08 Monday morning, 12 hours after the daughter of a retired LAPD officer and her fiance were reported killed 90 miles away in Irvine, California. It shows fugitive Christopher Dorner's truck and a man who appears to be Dorner throwing items in a dumpster.
MAJID YAHYAI, OWNER, PLATINUM AUTO SPORTS: Monday morning when I came in, opened the shop, and business as usual, one of the employees went to throw the trash; after he came back, he came back with a clip, like a magazine full of bullets, a belt, a military belt and a helmet.
And he brought it to me and I said, "Where did you find it?"
He said, "I found it in the back of the dumpster."
WIAN (voice-over): Reporting what he found was as simple as walking across the street to the National City police station.
YAHYAI: Yes, it's right across the street, believe it or not.
WIAN (voice-over): Yahyai says police told him the items were connected to a double homicide in Irvine. It's chilling that the ex- cop with a vendetta against police was so close to a police station so soon after the shootings police say started his killing spree.
Police would not confirm the video's authenticity. But it does match the still photo of Dorner's vehicle the Irvine Police Department released Thursday, the day Dorner is suspected of shooting at four officers, killing one.
Hours before those shootings, still photos captured Dorner paying for gasoline at a service station in Corona, California, authorities say. Separately, the Los Angeles police chief announced he would reopen the investigation into Dorner's firing in 2007.
COMMANDER ANDREW SMITH, LOS ANGELES POLICE: He's not opening it because of the accusations or because of the musings of someone who is a multiple murderer now. He's doing it because he wants to ensure that the public knows that the Los Angeles Police Department is fair and transparent.
WIAN (voice-over): Several Southern California law enforcement agencies announced the formation of a joint task force to find Dorner.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIAN: Now Chief Charlie Beck of the Los Angeles Police Department says that he hopes that this reward, that there is going to be announced today, and also the fact that they're reopening this investigation into the firing of Dorner, could help persuade Dorner to turn himself in, Martin.
SAVIDGE: Yes, we certainly hope that's the case, Casey Wian outside of the LAPD headquarters. Thanks very much.
And L.A. police and the FBI as well as the L.A. mayor will be holding a press conference. We expect that to be at 4:00 pm Eastern time from the headquarters there. We'll bring that to you live along with the very latest updates as soon as that becomes available to us.
SAVIDGE: Well, the Northeast, it is digging itself out after being buried in snow by that huge blizzard. The region is slowly limping back to normal. Airports in New York, Boston and Connecticut, they are now open, Amtrak restoring limited service between New York and Boston and it has modified or resumed service in some areas.
And there is the power situation. It has been out for a lot of folks. But there are still about 340,000 homes and businesses that are still in the dark. The Long Island Expressway is scheduled to open at around 5:00 p.m. this evening.
Susan Candiotti -- wasn't quite sure -- is standing by right now with the very latest from Boston.
And, Susan, the sun's out, so it certainly looks a little better than when you and I were talking yesterday.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It does; the temperatures are still below freezing, but I'm telling you, the sun feels great. But the snow is still piled high as tall as I am, and it's a lot higher in a lot of other spots.
But this -- one of the main streets in the suburb of Boston called Brookline, the streets are clear and a lot of the streets in downtown Boston as well. But those side streets are still a mess. People still trying to dig out.
And they're also digging out and testing what I'm crossing now and that's the rapid transit line, the transit system, to make sure that it's working properly. They expect that they will be getting at least partial service back and running tomorrow.
Schools, probably not so much. They are going to be closed. But today for people, who live in the suburbs, who have been inside their houses, unable to get out, it's great to be outside.
Alex, you're one of them. What's it been like for you inside, now finally getting out?
ALEX DEBLOIS, BROOKLINE, MASS., RESIDENT: It was a little stir crazy; we didn't get out for two days. But the sun's out and the stores are finally back open. So we're out.
CANDIOTTI: What are you going to do about getting to work tomorrow, being that you don't have a car and the rails probably are not going to be in normal service?
DEBLOIS: So we're just hoping that the green line is running as scheduled, but we have no idea yet. So...
CANDIOTTI: What are you going to do if you can't get there?
DEBLOIS: I'll work from home as best as I can.
CANDIOTTI: Exactly. Thank you very much. I sure appreciate it.
So there is still a lot of work to be done. They're making a lot of headway here. They started clearing the streets during the blizzard, after the blizzard, and now on this Sunday. So the hope is to get things back and running just as soon as possible before the next storm hits, possibly later in the week. Marty?
SAVIDGE: Susan Candiotti in Boston, where the big dig is underway. All right. Thanks very much for the update, Susan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE (voice-over): And while that snow is coming down in sheets outside, there was a baby in Massachusetts that just decided it couldn't wait for the blizzard to end before being born.
So the National Guard had to rush to the home with snowplows to clear the road so EMS crews could get to Mom. But all's well that ends well, and Mom and baby are doing just fine in the hospital right about now. Don't know the name of the child. We'll see.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Meanwhile, an expert marksman now the focus of a manhunt whose physical strength stood out at the LAPD training academy, we'll show you the very chilling video of accused killer Christopher Dorner and talk to a man who spent months with him at that academy.
Plus -- excuse me -- an emotional tribute to a woman allegedly gunned down by Dorner. All of that and more just ahead from the CNN NEWSROOM.
SAVIDGE: The manhunt is on right now for an ex-Los Angeles cop accused of killing three people and declaring war on the LAPD in a very disturbing manifesto. Kyung Lah has more on the man at the center of this search, including exclusive video of his training.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Christopher Dorner, LAPD cadet in 2005.
LAH: What do you think, watching this, considering what's happened?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, he's an expert with weapons, definitely. He's definitely dangerous.
LAH (voice-over): This man spent months with Dorner at the LAPD training academy. We are altering his voice and not showing his face because he fears Dorner will go after his police friends. But he wants the public to see this so people understand what the LAPD is facing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You look at Chris, you can see that he is a little bit of an expert, the way you watch he disarms. He'll shoot and almost no movement when he shoots the gun and then, pop, a big nothing.
LAH: So he stood out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he stood out. He knew what he was doing. The LAPD has -- they're going to be going after one of their own former, and he knows what he's -- like I said, he knows what he is doing. He knows how to use everything.
LAH: Being a cop, do you think that it was -- could you tell that it was important to him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I think it was very important to him. Yes. LAH: You could see it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
LAH: Even during the training?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. Yes. I think it is a 300-pound dummy and he does that easily.
LAH: Easily. This is 300 pounds.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I believe that's 300 pounds.
LAH: So this is a very strong man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
LAH (voice-over): But not everything was easy for Dorner, the aspiring police officer. This man says he witnessed drill instructors picking on him for his weight and slow running.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I hear about how angry he is about the LAPD, I think that fits to my experience with him. I could kind of -- you know, that matches up, when he says things about LAPD, it matches up to the way I think he had his experience through the LAPD, especially the academy.
LAH (voice-over): This man never spoke to Dorner, but he never forgot the cadet.
LAH: But your thought was, this man represents power (inaudible) --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, exactly. I wanted to show -- when I was going to use, I wanted to show and maybe put music and show that the LAPD is powerful and look at this powerful man, you know, handling this gun.
LAH: Is it frightening to think that the LAPD is now facing this man?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes. I mean, this guy is no joke.
LAH (voice-over): And one police are taking very seriously -- Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: There's no doubt that the ladies of Cal State Fullerton's basketball team will miss their assistant coach, Monica Quan. Quan and her fiance were gunned down last weekend. Police have reason to believe it was Christopher Dorner who pulled the trigger. Her team took a moment to remember her at their game last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our sympathies go out to their families, friends and those who have been affected by this tragedy.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Those ladies played with a lot of passion last night, according to our affiliate, KABC. The players and coaches loved her and they say they're going to be lost without Quan.
MARCIA FOSTER: I can't begin to tell you what it feels like to function without a part of your family here.
SAVIDGE: Quan is the daughter of retired LAPD police chief, Randy Quan.
And we're going to be taking you live to a press conference at 4:00 pm. That'll be Eastern time from the LAPD headquarters for the very latest details on that search ongoing for Dorner.
President Obama lays out his vision for the country. It is his fifth State of the Union address. What do you think he needs to say? We'll have a preview of Tuesday night's speech and hear what some are saying the president must talk about. Those details, right after this break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But while our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken, though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this: we will rebuild, we will recover and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Remember that? That was President Obama's promise to Americans during his first State of the Union address after he took office in 2009. Now we're up to State of the Union address number five, the first one after he was re-elected.
So what is he expected to say? Our Athena Jones has the details.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The State of the Union address --
OBAMA: Members of Congress, distinguished guests and fellow Americans.
JONES (voice-over): The commander-in-chief's best chance to lay out his priorities and influence millions of television viewers.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: It's the moment where he gets an uninterrupted, unchallenged opportunity to talk to the country and to define his agenda and what he thinks the debate in Washington should be about, which is one of the most important powers that a president has.
JONES (voice-over): President Obama gave House Democrats a preview of what he'll say.
OBAMA: I'm going to be talking about making sure that we're focused on job creation here in the United States of America. It means that we're focused on education and that every young person is equipped with the skills they need to compete in the 21st century.
JONES (voice-over): The White House says the speech will serve as a bookend to the inaugural address, a sign the president will touch on priorities like immigration reform and reducing gun violence.
We could see new policy prescriptions to deal with issues like clean energy, but White House officials say the main thrust of the speech will be on so-called pocketbook issues, highlighting a mix of old and new policies aimed at helping the middle class.
So how effective will the president's message be on persuading Republicans on Capitol Hill?
BROWNSTEIN: The speech is just one moment in a continuum. You had a president who wants to have a debate about immigration. He wants to have a debate about guns. He is clearly taking us toward a debate about climate and energy and a Republican Party that really wants to shift the focus as much as possible to the federal deficit and debt.
JONES (voice-over): Athena Jones, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: President Obama's expected to talk mainly jobs and the economy on Tuesday. He may have also especially selected the birthday of President Lincoln for the date of his address.
Margaret Hoover, CNN political contributor and Republican consultant working on behalf of individuals on policy issues, and CNN contributor and senior political columnist for "Newsweek" and the "Daily Beast" John Avlon join me now from New York.
Thank you both for being here. Let me start --
JOHN AVLON, "NEWSWEEK" AND "THE DAILY BEAST": Absolutely.
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks for having us.
SAVIDGE: Well, you're welcome.
Let's talk about the president, what do you think he will say that will be different, say, from addresses in the past?
And, Margaret, ladies first. HOOVER: Oh, kind of you, appreciate it. Look, I hope that he takes a page out of Lincoln's book.
If he truly picked Lincoln's birthday for this moment, this is a great opportunity to realize that, against the backdrop of his inaugural address, if he really wants a legacy, legacy legislative reform, the reality is that there's a divided government and he has an opportunity to not polarize the debate, but really reach out and broaden the debate and include Republicans.
There are great, really hopeful steps taken forward in the last few weeks with immigration reform. I hope he keeps going in that direction rather than polarizing or poisoning the well, continues to build on the growing support for immigration reform.
SAVIDGE: And, John, never too early to start burnishing that legacy? Is that it?
AVLON: Well, that is it. And this is a time of maximum political influence for President Obama, this sweet spot in administration is right after re-election. So the challenge is going to be to really apply some policy prescriptions that are ambitious but achievable, and that with the reality of divided government, that means reaching out.
Polls all show the top issues in the country, the economy and jobs and then the deficit. And the issue, I think, for Democrats is not to overreach, not to feel that they can ignore the issue of deficit.
They're going to have to find a way, and the president is going to have to put some real plans on the table behind the rhetoric of reducing the debt in addition to investment and immigration reform, which are all consistent with making America more competitive in the 21st century.
SAVIDGE: What about gun violence? This was an issue, of course, that was an extremely hot topic just only a few weeks ago. Now that seems to really be fading away.
Do you expect the president to make a major issue of that in his speech? John?
AVLON: Well, you know, I think the president will address gun violence. He barely noted it in his inaugural address. This is a time for policy prescriptions and following through. Newtown has created an urgency behind this issue that the president really does have an obligation to follow through on.
And so I do expect that immigration and guns will be core aspects of this speech, but all underneath the larger framework about making the economy work for the middle class. And that will be, I believe, the frame of this, of this State of the Union.
SAVIDGE: Margaret, do you think the fact that he hasn't been talking so much about guns is the fact that there was so much pushback?
HOOVER: You know, I actually think what's happened behind the scenes since the president mentioned it, John's right -- only barely in the inaugural address -- is they're actually behind the scenes have been a group of senators, Republicans and Democrats, Republican like Tom Coburn from Oklahoma, Democrats who are supporters of comprehensive background checks.
How do you make it work? What are policies that are actually going to make a difference in a quiet working group in the Senate, trying to figure out what can get passed? So I expect the president will say something tomorrow probably to stoke the flames and get it back in the public's conscience.
And my sense is that there actually is hope to potentially get something done on gun control. Probably not something as expansive as Dianne Feinstein's bill, but maybe universal background checks could move forward.
Let me, real quick -- we've only got about 30 seconds for both of you to respond.
An olive branch to Congress, do you expect that -- John, do you think the president is going to be waving that? Or is it not a Kumbaya moment?
AVLON: I think that it is an obligation to do that. Republicans have to respond in kind, not just rhetoric of bipartisanship but actually reaching out and backing policies that they've backed in the past, but have tried to obstruct under President Obama.
SAVIDGE: And Margaret?
HOOVER: Maybe if it's Lincoln's birthday, he did it for a reason. He'll take a page out of the playbook. We've all been seeing the movie, "Lincoln"; we know it's up for Academy Awards. He'll hopefully take a page out of how the 13th amendment got passed --
HOOVER: -- and bring us all together.
SAVIDGE: We could all be deeply inspired by that, yes.
AVLON: That's right.
SAVIDGE: Very appropriate, thank you both very much for joining us to talk about State of the Union.
And don't forget, you can tune in -- that'll be 7:00 pm Eastern time on Tuesday for our live coverage of the State of the Union speech.
(MUSIC PLAYING) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SAVIDGE: And I can't let you go without telling you what's trending on the Web right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE (voice-over): The Grammy Awards, considered the biggest night in music, happen tonight. But last night singer Clive Davis, that is, hosted the pre-Grammy party. Adele swept the Grammys last year, you'll remember. But according to insiders, tonight's winners seem far less predictable.
Singer Chris Brown, he may have to get a ride to the Grammys; police in Beverly Hills say he crashed his Porsche yesterday afternoon. Brown says he was trying to outrun the paparazzi. He's up for best adult contemporary album.
I'll be back at 4:00 Eastern. That's when the L.A. Police Department is holding a news conference on that hunt for the accused cop killer, Christopher Dorner. We'll bring that to you live.
But first, coming up on "THE NEXT LIST," synthetic biologist Jay Keasling, how he's reengineering sugars and simple baker's yeast to replace everything from plastics to the gas in your car. Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes us inside the Keasling lab on "THE NEXT LIST," starting now.