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Community on Edge After Protests; H.S. Football Players on Trial for Rape; Humble Pope Holds First Mass; Stopping Sex Assaults in the U.S. Military; Benghazi Attack Suspect in Custody

Aired March 14, 2013 - 14:00   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Fury in Brooklyn. Crowds rising up against police after a teenager is shot and killed.

Blades onboard. Live during the show, the head of the TSA in the hot seat. Will John Pistole defend his decision?

Plus, the pope takes an unexpected turn on his first day.

And, move over Fox News and Glenn Beck. A new, right wing TV network coming soon to cable. My hot topics panel weighs in.

Hi, there. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Good to be with you here on this Thursday live from New York. Thanks for being with me.

I want to begin in Brooklyn, where police remain on guard after two straight days of violent protests. Bottles thrown at them. An officer getting a gash to his face. All-out retaliation from some within this community who claim that the NYPD shot and killed a teenager they believe wasn't armed Saturday night. Police say this teen pointed a gun at them and that was a loaded gun that was found at the scene.

This was the scene last night in Brooklyn. All told, 46 people arrested for disorderly conduct at a vigil. They include the victim's sister. This just after this group of young people learned how 16- year-old Kimani Gray died, according to our affiliate WPIX. We'll get to the autopsy results here in just a moment.

Meantime, these protesters, robbing stores. Look at this, smashing glass, hitting customers over the head with bottles. Stores told to lock down and now a community is on edge.

I want to go straight to Mary Snow, who is live in Brooklyn for us right now.

And, Mary, tell me just the chronology of these events. What happened that night?

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brooke, this shooting happened on Saturday night around 11:30. And this is the police account of what happened. The police say that there were two plain-clothed detectives on patrol that night. They came upon a group of teens. They say one broke off, was acting suspiciously, and had, according to the police, had aimed a gun, a .38-caliber pistol. And two officers opened fire. Shortly after that, Kimani Gray, 16 years old, was pronounced dead. Now the medical examiner's office is saying that Kamani Gray was shot seven times, including two shots to the back, but they don't know the order of those shots.

And as you can see behind me, there's been a makeshift memorial growing and many in this community are questioning the police account. There have been vigils several nights since Saturday. And as you just saw and pointed out, some of those vigils turned to protests and they turned violent.

The mayor of New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, talking about this earlier today, was asked about it, saying that it's a nightmare when any teen dies, but he's promising a full and fair investigation into Saturday night's shooting.


BALDWIN: I know you're saying, Mary, that there is still a lot of confusion as far as the shots, where the shots happened, how they happened. People are livid in the community. But what about New York Police? I mean what is Commissioner Ray Kelly saying about the police action that night?

SNOW: The police commissioner had been questioned about this at a city council meeting but hasn't really spoken publicly about this. But the police are saying that they recovered a gun, and that they have spoken to several witnesses and they have those witnesses on tape telling about what they heard and what they saw. So, you know, the police say they have recovered a gun from this site on Saturday night.

What people in this community are questioning is, was it Kimani Gray's gun? They're just -- Brooke, bottom line here is this taps into an underlying anger in this community. And you talk to leaders here and what they'll tell you is that there is just a lot of anger that had been simmering. And that was kind of a breaking point for them. And there's just a lot of distrust, they say, among a lot of the young people here in the community when it comes to the police.

One of the policies that has been talked about is stop and frisk. You've seen -- we've talked about this before.


SNOW: It has made a lot of headlines. It's a police tactic. That is one of the things that has come up in terms of some of their concerns overall.


BALDWIN: Clearly a lot of concerns and a lot of anger leading to those 46 arrests last night at a vigil of all places. Mary Snow for us in Brooklyn.

Mary, thank you.

To Steubenville, Ohio, now. Two of the town's star high school football players on trial in juvenile court for raping this teenage girl. Take a look with me because this is the photo -- this was the picture that was posted on social media. This playing a huge role in this case. It shows these football players, Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond, holding a -- by her hands and feet a seemingly unconscious girl during this night of partying. This was back last summer. This was August. Now, prosecutors told the court the girl was quote/unquote, "substantially impaired" at that moment and did not consent to sex. CNN's Poppy Harlow is in Steubenville, has the latest here from the court.



POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The prosecution, in its opening statement, saying that the alleged victim, a 16-year-old girl, was too drunk to make decisions, saying that she was degraded several times over. Also saying that she was, quote, "treated like a toy" by the two defendants, 17-year-old Trent Mays and 16-year-old Ma'lik Richmond.

The defense council for both of those boys maintains that they are indeed innocent. The state bears the burden of proof in this. They have to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that this girl was raped by those boys. Now, one of the witnesses testified saying that the alleged victim, quote, "got drunk extremely quickly" that night. That they shared about half a bottle of Smirnoff vodka over the course of the night. Another witness talking about that now infamous photo of Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond holding the girl who was seemingly unconscious. A witness did say that that girl was conscious at the time the photo was taken, but that she was drunk and could not lift her head.

Now, the defense has tried to poke holes in these witnesses' testimony, in multiple ways, but mainly by saying that the witnesses have reconstructed their memory of what happened because they've seen so much social media coverage and general media coverage of that night. Also, the defense saying that the alleged victim was not as incapacitated or as drunk as the prosecution is making her out to be.


BALDWIN: Poppy Harlow in Steubenville.

Now, this alleged victim here in this case has not yet taken the stand, but we're told she could as early as later this afternoon.

He is said to be a pope of the people, independent and humble. In fact, newly elected Pope Francis began his first day as leader of the catholic church by stopping by his hotel to pick up his luggage and pay the bill himself. He then made his way to mass with the cardinals who elected him.

Traveling to mass, he refused a security detail. Even turned down a private car. Hopping on a bus with the other cardinals. For more on what's being described as his monk-like existence, Shasta Darlington is in Buenos Aires, the birthplace of Pope Francis.

Hey, Shasta.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The announcement that Cardinal Bergoglio would be the next pope, the first from Latin America, took everyone by surprise. Even the parishioners right here in the cathedral in Buenos Aries, when he gave mass on Sundays.

Now, these were people who called him Padre Jorge (ph). People who said he was a simple man. When he was first designated archbishop here in Buenos Aries, he refused to go live in the official residence. Instead, he decided to stay in the third floor apartment right here next to the cathedral where he was living. He cooked his own meals. He used public transportation. Said he didn't want the limousine with driver. He even went and bought his newspaper every morning at 5:00 a.m. and chatted with the homeless people on the way. He's a champion of the poor, according to the parishioners here.

The first reaction to this announcement was surprise and genuine joy here in Buenos Aries. But there will be controversies. On social issues, as you can imagine, Cardinal Bergoglio, was conservative when it comes to women in the church, abortion and gay marriage. But there's also a very specific Argentine controversy, and that's because many people considered that he was too close to the Argentine dictatorship.

We're right here in the Plaza Demio (ph). Right in front of the cathedral. And this is where the grandmothers and mothers of many people who were killed and disappeared or tortured during the dictatorship come to march. They won't be pleased with this appointment because they feel that he actually enabled some of these things, or at least didn't stand up to stop them. Although, in the very short term, what we do expect is just a pure enthusiasm over this first Latin American pope.

Shasta Darlington, CNN, Buenos Aires.


BALDWIN: Shasta, thank you.

One high-profile Republican left off a big ballot for 2016. Jeb Bush's name not on the straw poll as folks were gathering there in Maryland for the annual CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Committee. Bush's spokesman tells our own Jake Tapper, Bush asked not to be included because, quote, "it's too early to think about running for president." By the way, there are 23 people on that ballot. We'll have much more from Maryland, from CPAC, coming up a little later in the show.

Don't forget, tune in right after this show, Jake Tapper's show. It's called "The Lead." It starts Monday, 4:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

And here we go again. Another Carnival Cruise ship has trouble. Find out why the Carnival Dream has turned into a nightmare. Plus, stopping sexual assaults in the military. Why are so many cases unreported and unpunished? We will hear from one of these victims here, next.


BALDWIN: CNN has just now learned Iran has targeted a U.S. predator drone as it flew over the Persian Gulf in international airspace. The incident earlier this week saw Iranian military aircraft shadow the drone until it left the area. Three administration officials have confirmed the incident and all saying no shots were fired. The confrontation is just the latest here in Iranian efforts to prevent the U.S. military's intelligence gathering operations in that region.

Meantime, witnesses speaking out about a contagion in the U.S. military. I'm talking about sexual assaults. An estimated 19,000 each and every year carried out with virtual impunity. Take a listen to this. It's pretty unbelievable.


BRIGETTE MCCOY, FORMER U.S. ARMY SPECIALIST: I was raped during military service and during my first assignment. That was 1988. I was 18 years old. That same year, I was raped again by another soldier in my unit. Another year, I was sexually harassed. Between 1990 and 1991, another NCO in my unit began to harass me through inappropriate touching, words, and behavior. This NCO then requested from my command that I be moved to work directly for him in a work environment where there was no access, closed and windowless key entry coded vault. I didn't know what was happening and at no time did anyone ever move forward with my formal complaint, nor was anyone willing to discuss the process with me. They did, however, remove me from his team and his formal apology consisted of him driving by me on base, rolling down his window and saying to me, "sorry."


BALDWIN: Sorry. That witness went on to say that because she complained, she was drummed out of the Army. Serious legal issues here to walk through. We're going to do that with Sunny Hostin who's here with me, CNN legal analyst.



BALDWIN: First, I want to introduce you to Anu Bhagwati. A former service member and co-founder of the Service Women's Action Network. She testified yesterday.

So, Anu, thank you for being with me.

Before we get to some of the issues that I want you to walk me through, just tell me, I mean I know this is personal for you. You say you were harassed. How so? ANU BHAGWATI, SERVICE WOMEN'S ACTION NETWORK: Well, I was a Marine officer. I was actually a company commander. So I had a bit of rank, more so than the average enlisted service member. But the Marine Corps is a place where very few women even serve. About 6 to 7 percent of the Marines are female. And so it's a very hostile work environment. I mean, I was exposed to rape jokes, pornography, you name it, also commercial sexual exploitation, which was really widespread of women both in the U.S. and overseas, where I was deployed at one point.

And, you know, that kind of hostile workplace affects everything that you do during the day and how you're respected, your sense of dignity. But my most significant experience was really as an officer getting reports of harassment and assault from my own troops and I did the right thing by reporting all of those up the chain of command to senior officers, who then swept many of those allegations of rape, assault, or harassment under the rug and that's really --

BALDWIN: That's the thing. That's the thing, right?

BHAGWATI: That's the thing.

BALDWIN: Because it sounds like it's a catch-22 for a lot of women in the service if they complain about harassment or that they're raped, it just ends up being ultimately, what, swept under the rug in some cases or that person ends up out of the military, is that correct?

BHAGWATI: Absolutely. I think there's a strong sense of careerism among senior and top-level officers, who also are so detached from the realities of the average service member that they really don't know what it's like to be a woman in the military. But also many of our victims are male. Over 50 percent of the 19,300 service members who are estimated to have been raped or assaulted in 2010 are male. So it's really -- that's not a women's issue. It's an issue of power, of domination, of intimidation. And because the military is so hierarchical, because your commander is effectively the one who determines whether or not a sex crimes case even goes to trial, and in the case of a --

BALDWIN: That's --

BHAGWATI: That's really where the bias exists.

BALDWIN: That's what I didn't realize with these commanders. Anu, let me bring in Sunny Hostin, because, I mean, obviously there are issues within the military justice systems. I did not realize that a commander, if you have a military court, they can -- he or she -- could overturn a verdict.

HOSTIN: That's right. And really, the military legal system is a system unto itself. It's very, very different from the court system that I work in and the court system that we're all used to in the United States. And what is interesting is, yes, if a commanding officer sort of convenes a court marshal, that person is considered the convening authority. And then, after a jury verdict, can just disregard that decision and overturn that decision. And it happens more often than people know. I think, though, what's interesting is that there is some legislation that's being introduced to change that. And I think the real problem is that there isn't that system of checks and balances that we have in our judicial system.

BALDWIN: Think that will change ever?

HOSTIN: I do think it will change. But I will say that in our system, in the civilian system, a judge can also overturn a jury's verdict, and so that is the same. But it's just -- it's so rarely done and it's an appellate process as opposed to what appears to be just one person being allowed to make that decision. And I do think, Brooke, that that's going to change.

BALDWIN: We'll watch for the changes. Sunny Hostin and Anu Bhagwati, thank you both. I appreciate it.

BHAGWATI: Thank you.

BALDWIN: We are just getting some breaking news. Let me get right to that. Breaking news here. After months and months after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and now arrests, new word that someone is in custody. More on that right after this break.


BALDWIN: Another nightmare for Carnival and its cruise ship passengers. One month after that crippled Triumph was towed into Mobile, Alabama, a different Carnival ship, this one called the Dream, is now stranded. Difference ship, similar problems, power outages, overflowing toilets. A Caribbean vacation turning into a bit more of a nightmare for thousands of passengers onboard this ship. Unlike the Triumph, though, this one isn't adrift in the Gulf of Mexico. It is docked in Philipsburg, St. Maarten.


GREGG STARK, CARNIVAL DREAM PASSENGER (voice-over): The bathrooms are not working. They're backing up. There's human waste all over the floor in some of the bathrooms. We spoke to somebody at the front desk and asked them if we could just disembark the ship and go stay at a hotel and then, you know, provide our own transportation back home. And they would not allow us to do that.


BALDWIN: Well, it seems Carnival now has made other arrangements. Take a listen here to what one passenger told CNN.


KRIS ANDERSON, CRUISE SHIP PASSENGER, WREG ANCHOR (voice-over): We just heard from our captain, Maximo Marino (ph). He just made the announcement literally a couple of moments ago and said they've made every attempt to repair the issue with the generators on the ship. Every attempt unsuccessful, unfortunately. So what they just told us now is their Miami-based crew is scrambling to make charter plane arrangements. They're going to chart a jet and have us flown back to Orlando, actually.


BALDWIN: Carnival says power malfunction occurred during the testing of the ship's emergency generator. This comes just days after Carnival announced a comprehensive review of its entire fleet.

Back to the breaking news I promised you before the break here. Getting some new information. For months and months, you remember the attack on -- our U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. That was back on 9/11 of last year. No arrests. Months have passed. Now Suzanne Candiotti is learning there is someone in custody. We're going to get to her right after this break.