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"Trayvon Martin Could Have Been Me"; Detroit's Dire Straits; Asiana 214 Passenger Killed By Vehicle; Aurora Survivors Mark One Year Anniversary; Bulger Witness Found Dead

Aired July 19, 2013 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, Joe Biden said he's not sure if the federal government can help Detroit. So what does that mean about the future at the motor city?

Plus a new development tonight in the Asiana Airline investigation, one of the victims that died was actually killed by an emergency responder.

And President Obama breaks his silence on the George Zimmerman verdict. What did he say? Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good Friday evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, we're following two big stories, first, the president, President Obama finally speaks out about Trayvon Martin and race. He did so in a 17-minute speech and he did it without a teleprompter. He made it personal.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: There are very few African-American men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping at a department store. That includes me. There are very few African-American men who haven't had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me at least before I was a senator. There are very few African-Americans who haven't had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often.


BURNETT: All right, it was very personal. But it did take the president six days to speak following the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. When he finally did speak, he did it on a summer Friday, without any warning. As in he knew not a lot of people would be tuning in. But this still may have been one of the most important speeches of his presidency and he got a lot of accolades for it.

With many echoing what National Urban League President Mark Morial said, he said it had the, quote, "perfect tone." Earlier I spoke exclusively with NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley and asked him how he views racism in America. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARLES BARKLEY, FORMER NBA PLAYER: When people talk about race, they always want to act like it is only white people who are racist. Listen, there are black people who are racist also.


BURNETT: Barkley said a lot of things that might surprise you and we're going to have my full interview with Charles Barkley later on in the show. But first, our other top story tonight, Motown is no town as the nation's biggest investor said yesterday. Can Washington step in and save Detroit?

So today Michigan's governor said the motor city's abysmal financial condition left him no choice, but to approve the nation's biggest public sector bankruptcy in history. But Vice President Joe Biden actually seemed to open the door to the federal government getting involved.


JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Can we help Detroit? We are now going through exactly in detail what -- we had a meeting yesterday, just getting a brief on the status, the question is we don't know at this point


BURNETT: But White House Press Secretary Jay Carney tried to distance the administration and I think he pretty clearly tried to do this but listen for yourself.


JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: You have heard leaders in Michigan say and we believe they're correct that this is an issue that has to be resolved between Michigan and Detroit and the creditors.


BURNETT: So is bankruptcy the right way to go and the only way to go or is this a case of the nation standing back while the birth place of muscle cars and Motown crumbles? OUTFRONT tonight, best- selling author, journalist, screenwriter and playwright and 30-year Detroit resident, Mitch Albom.

Mitch, good to talk to you again. I know this is a personal issue for you and emotional one. Four years ago, the Obama administration put $80 billion into General Motors and Chrysler to help them. Obviously we're not going to ever see a lot of that money again, but the government decided it was worth it.

And of course, back in the 1970s, you know, Gerald Ford actually saved New York City two months after the infamous front page of the daily news that said Ford to New York City, drop dead. So does Washington need to help rescue Detroit now?

MITCH ALBOM, AUTHOR, "TUESDAY'S WITH MORRIE": Well, we are the largest bankruptcy ever filed in municipal form and I don't think it is a good precedent for the country to have one of its major cities go under. But I don't think anybody here is necessarily counting on that. This has been coming for a long time. It didn't just happen. It has been, as they're saying around here, 60 years in the making. And I -- right now we're not hearing anybody saying, good, Washington will bail us out. Bankruptcy is a very serious thing and we're taking it very seriously around here.

BURNETT: And, you know, I want to go through some of the numbers. I know, Mitch, you know them, some viewers may know them, but they take my breath away. The city's population plunged 62 percent since those great days right back in 1950. So obviously the tax base has gone away. And as a result, the city is in dire straits.

When I read through the bankruptcy filing, I had to read about 58 minute wait for the police to show up, versus an 11-minute wait across this country, 40 percent of the streetlights don't work, 78,000 of the properties in Detroit are abandoned, and it has the highest homicide rate in 40 years. And there were a lot of other bad things in there, right, like only a third of the emergency vehicles actually are even operational.

ALBOM: Right.

BURNETT: It is just --

ALBOM: This is the problem. This is the problem --

BURNETT: It is unbelievable.

ALBOM: Well, this is the problem, basic city services, police, electricity, having your water run, things like that. They need to be provided for anyone to live here. Who is going to live in a city if you don't provide those basic services? But the city is so burdened with past debt, pension debt, and things that it hasn't paid off for decades and decades that it is basically having to hold on one hand the people who are owed money, some of whom live here and are people with pensions that have been promised or promised for the future, versus the people who are living here now, the 700,000 citizens, and their future, because we can't provide the basic things that you just said.

Who is going to live in the city? We shrunk from 2 million plus city to 700,000, but we're still built for 2 million. Like somebody with an oversized coat on all the time and having to pay for all the services for a city that doesn't support it with the number of people. So we need to sort of clear the table and start over again. This is going to happen sooner or later, but the people of Detroit are very resilient people, we don't break easily, we have been told we're going to die before and we haven't.

We're still here. I'm pretty confident no matter what happens, the people of Detroit, maybe not the people who left the city of Detroit in the past, but the people of Detroit will be around for a long time.

BURNETT: That optimism that you have, you know, you've had this for a while. In 2009, you wrote, I thought it was very -- it evokes the situation, you said we're downtrodden perhaps, but the most downtrodden optimists you'll ever meet. We cling to our ways no matter how provincial they seem on the coasts. We get excited about the auto show. We celebrate sweetest day.

We eat Coney dogs all year and cruise classic cars down Woodward Avenue every August and we bake Punchki doughnuts. We don't talk about whether Detroit will be fixed but when Detroit will be fixed. Sometimes, I guess you look and say, you know, things change. What industries are in vogue and matter change like Atlantis, some cities die. What if Detroit can't be fixed?

ALBOM: Well, we're not Atlantis, and cities do change and this city can change too. And the biggest currency of the city is not its factories and not what it happens to make at any given time in history. It is the people and I'm concerned you're dealing --

BURNETT: And obviously it looks like we just lost the signal there for Mitch. We'll see if we can get that back, but just a pretty amazing thing. And I think just worthwhile to mention that you have people like Mitch Albom who live in Detroit, who lived there for three decades, and believe so passionately in the future and have a view of this city that is optimistic and bright in some ways. So different than what you read in the bankruptcy filings or what so many of us read around the country and worth just to think about that and remember that when you have conversations over the weekend about whether Detroit should be saved.

Still to come, the 16-year-old who was run over by emergency vehicles following the crash of the 777 in San Francisco. So, you've been wondering, was she alive when she was struck? It's a crucial question and we have an answer for you tonight.

Plus, Panama at the center of two huge international incidents this week, why is Panama suddenly so relevant?

And then it has been a year since the Aurora movie theatre shooting. There is a death penalty still on table.

A former NASA astronaut tells us asteroids are a huge threat to earth, as in it could end completely. So why is the government now refusing to fund a possible solution?


BURNETT: Our second story OUTFRONT, killed by a first responder. Tonight, officials have confirmed that 16-year-old Asiana Airlines passenger Ye Meng Yuan was alive when she was hit by at least one vehicle as responders rushed to the scene of the Asiana 214 plane crash. Until now, authorities had yet to confirm how the Chinese student died. Emily Schmidt is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) EMILY SCHMIDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They rushed there hoping to save lives. Now confirmation they accidentally took one.

ROBERT FOUCRAULT, SAN MATEO COUNTY CORONER: The cause of death of Asiana Flight passenger, Ye Meng Yuan is listed as multiple blunt injuries that are consistent with being run over by a motor vehicle. Those injuries she received, she was alive at the time.

SCHMIDT: The 16-year-old from Eastern China was among 35 middle school students and teachers traveling to a California summer camp, when Asiana Flight 214 crash landed in San Francisco earlier this month. The Boeing 777 caught fire and it is believed fire suppressing foam sprayed on the burning plane may have also blanketed the teenager when she was struck by one or perhaps two emergency vehicles.

JOANNA HAYS WHITE, SAN FRANCISCO FIRE CHIEF: Obviously this is very difficult news for us. We're heartbroken. We're in the business of saving lives and many lives were saved that day.

SCHMIDT: Police are investigating exactly how the accident occurred. They have interviewed many of the 140 to 150 firefighters who responded and are reconstructing the accident. Officials say they still don't know how Ye came off the plane whether she walked or was ejected.

WHITE: My understanding is that she was not standing up. She was on the ground when our rigs made contact with her, a rig or possibly two.

SCHMIDT: Of 307 people on board, 304 survived. Coroner Foucrault says he has met with the families of all three girls killed in the crash. The fire chief says firefighters are willing to do the same and will study the event to prevent it from ever happening again. Emily Schmidt, CNN, Washington.


BURNETT: Well, tonight, a vigil in honor of the horrific slaughter at the Colorado movie theatre one year ago. Twelve people were murdered and nearly 60 wounded in that shooting. The vigil will carry through the night until 12:38 a.m. local time, the moment the attack began exactly one year ago. Ted Rowlands is there tonight. Ted, what are you seeing?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, as you can imagine, very somber mood here as all of the victims, not only from the Aurora shooting, but other victims from around the country are being remembered. They're reading them behind me. They'll do that until 12:28 when the shooting began. Also today, there were many people that came, not only from Aurora, but people from Columbine and some from Newtown.

We talked to one young man who was in the theatre at the time, a gentleman by the name of Steve Barton. One year later, he still vividly remembers what happened.


STEVE BARTON, AURORA SHOOTING VICTIM: I remember a canister of gas flying through the theatre, landing kind of in the center, and as that detonated, there was this flash of light from the front right emergency exit and this huge booming noise echoing off the walls. And, you know, it looked and smelled and seemed like fireworks, and I thought someone was playing a prank or, you know, I couldn't really see the figure behind the gun.

But, you know, suddenly I kind of felt this immense pressure against my body and against my neck in particular and I knew in that instance I had been shot. And I knew exactly what was going on. There was someone in the auditorium is trying to kill me and trying to kill my friends.


SCHMIDT: And Steve was shot in the neck and the chest with a shotgun blast, one of first people to be shot. He's made a full recovery physically. Today he says he's remembering the people that died -- Erin.

BURNETT: And, Ted, you know, the last time we heard from the accused shooter, he had pled not guilty by reason of insanity. Where does the case right now against James Holmes stand?

ROWLANDS: Well, it is moving slowly through the Colorado judicial system. He has pled insanity. Now the wheels of justice are slowly moving because of that plea. The state of Colorado still wants to see him receive the death penalty at least at this point.

BURNETT: All right, Ted, thank you very much from Aurora tonight.

Still to come, Panamania, how did a country once run by a drug lord and now an amazingly crazy tax haven for the super shady rich get tangled up in two international disputes with the United States in one week?

And later, an art heist and perhaps the greatest crime in the history of priceless art that followed it.

What does Charles Barkley think about the Zimmerman verdict and what should happen now?


BARKLEY: I don't think the Justice Department should get involved in this.



BURNETT: Our third story out front, Panamania, so tonight, Panama is at the center of another major story. This time involving one of Italy's most wanted, a former American CIA station chief. Robert Lady is wanted in Italy for his role in the abduction of a terror suspect in Milan. Lady had been hiding in Panama where he was arrested this week and just today, Panama put him on a plane, back to the U.S. So how did Panama, a country once run by a drug lord and a tax haven for the super rich, plenty of shady things go on there, how is Panama tangled up in two international disputes in one week. Barbara Starr is OUTFRONT.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When you think of Panama, you think of the Panama Canal, but suddenly this week Panama is at the center of two international intrigues. Panamanian security forces stand guard as Cuban weapons are unloaded from a North Korean freighter, weapons hidden under bags of Cuban sugar.

PRESIDENT RICARDO MARTINELLI, PANAMA (through translator): Honestly, this kind of military equipment can't go through the country while declaring it is something else.

STARR: Then, an international manhunt lands in Panama's lap. A former CIA operative wanted by Italian authorities is arrested, Robert Seldon Lady faced a prison term in an Italian jail for CIA kidnapping of a Muslim cleric. Just as suddenly, he was hassled out of Panama.

MARIE HARF, DEPUTY STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: It is my understanding that he is in fact either en route or back in the United States.

STARR: They appear unrelated, but it highlights Panama's role as a key U.S. ally. For Panama, nothing is more important than the canal, 14,000 ships a year carry more than $100 billion in cargo, 60 percent comes through U.S. ports. Steve Atkiss consults for Panama security services.

STEVE ATKISS, COMMAND CONSULTING GROUP: They have been very protective of getting into the same situation that other governments in Central America have been in, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador where they have become much more dangerous.

STARR: U.S. and Panamanian troops train on keeping the canal open if it is attacked by terrorists, always a nightmare concern.

ATKISS: The canal itself is certainly -- would be high on that list.

STARR: Journalist May Lee in Panama says the ship incident shows how much Panama needs the U.S.

MAY LEE, JOURNALIST: They want everyone to know that there is no tolerance for illegal activity through the Panama Canal. But they also admit that they do not have the expertise to deal with weapons on a ship, that's why they're asking the U.N. for help.

(END VIDEOTAPE) STARR: Panama is finishing a major expansion of the canal. Bigger cargo ships and more of them are going to start coming through there making it certain that this small nation will be a vital player on the world economic stage for decades to come -- Erin.

BURNETT: Barbara, thank you very much.

Still OUTFRONT, Charles Barkley says the jury in the Zimmerman trial came to the right verdict and he's not surprised by the aftermath.


BARKLEY: We never discuss race until something bad happens and then what happens is everybody protects their own tribe.


BURNETT: Then, he's a witness about to testify in the trial of accused mob boss. Whitey Bulger, but then he turned up dead this week. What authorities are saying about what really happened today?

And later, "Rolling Stone" publishes an issue of its magazine with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover. A Boston cop says it is glamorizing terror and releases his own pic. Should he lose his job?


BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT on a Friday. We start with stories where we are we focus on our reporting from the front lines and I want to begin with what we're learning tonight about the unexplained death for Steven Rakes, a man who was prepared to testify at the trial of accused mob boss, Whitey Bulger.

A source familiar to the investigation tells CNN today that federal law enforcement authorities were shocked to learn about the unexplained death. The source added that officials consider the death suspicious. Authorities say rakes' autopsy revealed no obvious trauma to his body. Toxicology test results could take weeks to come in. As we said, he was found along the side of a road.

Filmmaker Michael Moore has filed for divorce from his wife of 21 years, Kathleen Glyn. He actually filed back on June 17th, but according to, the complaint stated the two no longer live together and there was no reasonable likelihood the marriage can be preserved. puts Moore's net worth at $50 million. We reached out to his lawyer for comment, but have not heard back.

Tomorrow is the 44th anniversary of the moon landing. It was a major achievement in American history, which is why two congresswomen introduced legislation to make the Apollo lunar landing sites a national historical park. But who besides astronauts could go visit it? I guess, billionaires. The Golden Spike Company is trying to launch commercial space travel to the moon. They say the estimated cost is $1.4 billion to $1.5 billion to send two people to the moon surface. So if you're trying to get all the national parks and check all the boxes, you probably are out of luck.

Another space news and this one is real, the House Science Committee rejected funding for planned mission -- for a planned manned mission to an asteroid. This was really important because the plan was essentially to lasso an asteroid and send astronauts to investigate it. Representative Steven Palazzo called the plan poorly defined, but it was to see what asteroids could do to destroy the planet and asteroids could be a major problem.

Former Astronaut Ed Lu told us there is a one in three chance of an asteroid hitting earth that could literally destroy life sometime in the next century.

It has been 19 days since the press began camping out in front of St. Mary's Hospital, Lindo Wing, waiting for the arrival of the duke and duchess of Cambridge's baby. What are we doing to get it out?

Our fourth story OUTFRONT, President Obama breaks his silence. The president made a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room today. He spoke off the cuff for nearly 20 minutes about Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.


BURNETT: The president's remarks were personal and reflective on his own experiences as an African-American male. But is he opening a dialogue to a conversation that needs to be had or is he taking it too far?

OUTFRONT tonight, former NBA player and Turner Sports analyst Charles Barkley.

And, Charles, good to see you. Appreciate you taking the time.

And, you know, I know you just heard the president say, look, I could have been Trayvon. And I wanted to play just a little bit more for you of how personal he made the race issue today.


OBAMA: There are very few African-American men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. There are very few African-American men who haven't had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars.

That happens to me, at least before I was a senator. There are very few African-Americans who haven't had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often.


BURNETT: Charles, what do you think of the president's personal statements about what he said there on the Trayvon Martin case?

CHARLES BARKLEY, FORMER NBA PLAYER: Well, I think that all of us as black men have been put in awkward situations. We have all been followed through stores. Some women do grab their purses a little tighter when you walk up in the elevator next to them. And that's unfortunate. That's unfortunate.

And this whole Trayvon Martin thing, I feel bad for his mom and dad, but I hope what will come out of this is open dialogue. One of the problems with race, Erin, is we never discuss race until something bad happens. And then what happens is everybody protects their own tribe. You know, everybody says, I'm going to defend my tribe whether they're white, black, Jewish, Hispanic, it doesn't matter if you're right or wrong, we have this mentality we all want to protect our tribe.

But, listen, we got to start talking about race when everything is calm. We can't go into a dialogue when everybody is mad, because like I say, everybody protect their own tribe, but also there is anger. We need to sit back and say, let's have an open and frank conversation about race. That's what we really need to do.

BURNETT: And, you know --

BARKLEY: Let me make this other point, I want to make this one point, you know, when people talk about race, they always want to act like it is only white people who are racist. Listen, there are black people who are racist also. Don't ever get that -- that's one thing I always want to talk about.

And I consider racism the greatest cancer of my lifetime. Unfortunately, to some people, I'm always going to be black. But the one thing I learned growing up in Alabama was my grandmother, who is the greatest person who ever lived in my life, said to me, you judge everybody by their own individual merits, because there are just as many black idiots as white idiots.

BURNETT: Words of wisdom and so clear.

But let me just ask you, because as you say, a lot of people are angry, right, and you're talking about the need for a conversation about race. And you're saying that in a very thoughtful way. But you also agree with the verdict, right? The verdict in the Zimmerman trial.

BARKLEY: Yes, I think that George Zimmerman -- Mr. Zimmerman was racial profiling Trayvon Martin. He was wrong in that. I think he was overaggressive.

But I think at some point they switch places, and Mr. Martin became aggressive. But, look, I watch CNN every day. I pay close attention to the trial. I don't go by sound bites and all this other stuff that you hear on the side. I paid very close attention to the trial.

But just on the evidence alone, I think the verdict was fair. Just on the evidence. Not he was wrong for racial profiling Trayvon Martin, he was wrong for following Trayvon Martin. But let me tell you something, just on the evidence alone, I thought that the verdict was fair.

BURNETT: And let me ask you about that, the juror, you know, you saw her on CNN, sorry. She said race never came up in the jury's deliberations.

Now, you know, I got to emphasize, that's one juror. The other jurors have distanced themselves from her more generally. That's what she's saying happened in that sequestered jury. But as you know, people like Al Sharpton are saying the verdict was an atrocity, using words like that.

Do you think race played a role in the decision? There are those who say, well, look, this was a six-person jury, five of them were white, one of them was black, and Hispanic, and they're now saying that race played a role in the verdict.

But you're sitting here on the show as a black man saying, I think it was the right verdict.

BARKLEY: Well, I think race played a factor in Mr. Zimmerman's mind. But as far as just the evidence, I agree with the verdict on just the evidence alone.

At some point Trayvon Martin started punching on Mr. Zimmerman. And sadly, he shot him. But just on the evidence alone I can't disagree with the verdict.

BURNETT: And let me ask you about -- one of the guests earlier this week, she came on the show and she said something that, well, really got me thinking and given what you're talking about profiling, I wanted to ask you about it. You know, she said subconscious profiling, which I think if we can be honest, we all do, right, in some way, shape or form, whether it's racial or gender, I mean, you know, human beings profile human beings.

But she was talking about this case and saying, well, look, if there was subconscious profiling going on, which she believed there was, that was essentially an act of hate crime, which, of course, would hit then the federal level, right, the Department of Justice level for a prosecution. But do you agree with that -- that concept, that subconscious profiling is an act of hate crime?

BARKLEY: I don't think the Justice Department should get involved in this. Listen, just because you don't agree with a verdict, you can't change the rules. You can't change the rules because you disagree with a verdict.

You know, Erin, one of the biggest problems we have in this country is we're still segregated.


BARKLEY: Black people live on one side of town, white people live on one side of town, the rich people live on a whole other area, the suburbs. So our racial interaction doesn't happen as much as we need it to happen. You might see somebody at work, but you go back to your neighborhood during the day -- you know, listen, I live in a rich neighborhood. I'm probably the only black guy there. That's sad, but that's part of it.

That's just the way -- we all have psychological warts as I like to call it.


BARKLEY: You know. We do. We all have psychological warts because my -- most people impressions of -- they see black men on television committing crimes, so those people who live in the suburbs, or they live on the whites side of town, that does cloud their judgment.

BURNETT: So you said yesterday in an interview something that I have to ask you before you go. You said the media doesn't have clean hands. Those were your words. You've been watching it closely.


BURNETT: And, please, don't mince words, you're on CNN, but criticize CNN if that's what you want to do. What did you mean when you said that?

BARKLEY: Well, race to me is the perfect storm for the media. They get to get -- they love racial animosity. The media loves -- first of all, they love anything that's controversial. But race is the perfect storm for them.

To get a white guy and a black guy on television yelling at each other every night, one for the defense, one for the prosecution, television, they're riding this Trayvon Martin thing and it is sad because a kid lost his life, but the media, they love a controversy. And the greatest controversy in this country is racism, sadly.

BURNETT: Well, I think it is a fair criticism and one, you know, everyone is sitting where I'm sitting and really needs to think about. So, it is a fair point.

All right. Good to talk to you. Charles Barkley there.

BARKLEY: Thank you very much for having me.

BURNETT: And please let us know what you think about that conversation. Some of you already are.

Still OUTFRONT, the police officer who released the photo of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the night he was captured. He's been suspended. So, should he be fired?

And then, paintings by Picasso, Matisse, and Monet have been stolen. Why some officials think, and this is unbelievable, they may have been burned.

And you might literally tonight be worth your weight in gold. But this story, and this headline does not quite add up.


BURNETT: And we're back with tonight's outer circle, where we reach out it our sources around the world. And begin on this Friday in India where more children have gotten sick after eating school lunches.

I asked Sumnima Udas about the latest case.


SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, for the second time in less than a week, children in India have been poisoned from their school lunches. This latest incident happened in the southwestern state of Gola (ph) where more than 23 students fell ill. But they have all recovered and released from the hospital.

Meanwhile, here in the state of Bihar where the initial mass food poisoning took place, two dozen children are still inside that hospital recovering. What caused the food poisoning, who is responsible still unclear. The head mistress and her husband are on the run. And the authorities are still waiting for the toxicology report which they hope will provide some answers -- Erin.


BURNETT: All right. Thanks to Sumnima.

And now we got to Romania where experts are analyzing ash, ash from a stove. And I'm not kidding here, they have found traces of stolen art work from artists they say including Picasso, Matisse and Monet in a stove. Six people were arrested in connection with the theft.

But why do they expect that these paintings were burned? It's impossible to imagine.

Atika Shubert reports.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, the suspect's mother claims she first buried all seven paintings and then when her son was arrested, decided to get rid of the evidence and toss them into her wood burning stove and burn them all. Now, Romanian investigators are with the help of art historians combing through all the ash and cinder in her stove to try and match and see whether or not the chemical composition matches those of the paintings. But they say it may be impossible to tell whether or not all the paintings were burned -- Erin.


BURNETT: Thanks to Atika.

And now our fifth story OUTFRONT, a police photographer, his job could be in jeopardy. So, just hours after Massachusetts State Police Sergeant Sean Murphy released these images, these are the images as you know with the sniper rifle on the forehead of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and the bloodied arm as he was hanging outside that boat on April 19th, the sergeant released these to "Boston Magazine", and then right after that, he was relieved of his duties, at least temporarily. His gun, badge and camera are all seized, until a disciplinary hearing next week.

But does Sergeant Murphy's punishment add up?

OUTFRONT tonight, Stephanie Miller, Dean Obeidallah and Michael Medved.

OK. Great to have all of you with us.

So, Stephanie, let me start with you, because as we reported last night, Sergeant Murphy decided to release the pictures on his own, so upset by the cover of "Rolling Stone," he said, this man is evil and I want people to see the real face of terror and put out the pictures.

You praised "Boston Magazine" yesterday for putting these pictures up. Should Murphy be punished for doing something without the approval of the police department, of federal authorities or is he a hero?

STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO HOST: Well, you know, Erin, sometimes more than one thing can be true at a time. And I think he's a hero, particularly if you're the parents of the 8-year-old boy that got blown up or one of the other people that died or one of the people that were horribly maimed and felt the same way I did when I saw "Rolling Stone," like, oh my God, am I back in the '70s trying to choose between Donny Osmond and, you know, Greg Brady or Leif Garrett.

I mean, the photo glamorized him and that's why there was a reaction to it. So, I can imagine if you're Boston PD, you'd have a pretty emotional reaction to it and go, no, this is what the face of terror looks like. This is not some cute teeny bopper.

BURNETT: Dean, does the state have a case for letting Murphy go? I mean, whatever you think of the pictures, he is -- he does work for federal -- for state law enforcement officials. This is a federal case. And he just decided to do whatever he wanted with the pictures.

OBEIDALLAH: I agree with that. Also, I feel good -- I agree with Stephanie tonight. Usually I don't agree with Stephanie. So, I'm feeling pretty good about that. Hopefully, Medved agrees to and the apocalypse is gong to be close if all three agree.

Honestly, this is not a "Police Academy" movie. You cannot do whatever you want as a police officer. You're state trooper. There is rules and regulations for a reason. You know why? It can jeopardize the state's case. There is an ongoing prosecution.

And I understand, the trooper was well-intentioned but it would be so much worse if he released any information or other evidence, either him or other officers, that hurt the state's case and somehow let the defendant go free because of their mistakes. So, that's the problem.

You know, fire him, I'm not sure about that. Let's see what the investigation go its way, but you cannot -- you just have to make a policy. You can't allow police to make choices on their own. The U.S. attorney's office and the U.S. superior should have been consulted.

BURNETT: You know, Michael, a lot of people have been tweeting about the story and praising Sergeant Murphy. One of them, "I think, Officer Murphy, is a hero. Sometimes doing the right thing is not easy." Another, "Sergeant Sean Murphy is my kind of officer and a true hero, he went against, quote, 'admins' wishes."

It's sort of evocative of another case out there where there is a lot of debate about whether someone is a traitor or hero.

MICHAEL MEDVED, RADIO HOST: Right. It is obviously very reminiscent about Edward Snowden. And the point about Edward Snowden is when you are working for a government agency, when you have taken an oath basically to serve your country and, yes, to follow orders, you can't make decisions on your own. I mean, Snowden says he hated what the NSA was doing.

OK. Then you either resign or -- but you don't take matters into your own hands.

And that's the problem here. I am very sympathetic to Sergeant Murphy. I also thought the magazine cover was disgusting, though the article is more interesting and more nuanced.

The point about what he did was he made the decision entirely on his own. He should have cleared it with the superiors, he could have gone to the press perhaps, or if he feels that strongly about it, then resign. I don't think he ought to be fired by disciplinary action is certainly appropriate. And if you're going to make an act of civil disobedience and conscience, you have to be willing the take the consequences, which are going to be bad for your career.


MILLER: Dear God, Dean is right.

OBEIDALLAH: I agree with Michael Medved. I don't like that at all on any level. But --

MILLER: I agree, too. The apocalypse is complete.

OBEIDALLAH: No, but let's be honest. There is a bigger picture and I want people who feel like in their heart strings, always doing a great job. I'm sorry, you can hurt the state's case. We want to see justice on this case. I think we all agree on that. And lashing out, having the police officer on their own release evidence would be horrible.


MEDVED: By the way --

BURNETT: More pictures, apparently Sergeant Murphy has given to "Boston Magazine". Who knows what they are. I look at these pictures, how does that hurt the state's case?

OBEIDALLAH: You don't know what they are releasing. Evidence we haven't seen yet. Things the public hasn't seen that's going to be used to prosecute him, but only the state knows right now.

BURNETT: How does that hurt the case?


OBEIDALLAH: It doesn't matter. Any evidence because the policy here you can't allow people to release evidence of their own. Who knows what's next when evidence gets moved --

BURNETT: Sorry, Michael.

MEDVED: I go beyond that. It's not a question whether it's evidence or not. The fact is he did this in his official capacity. He was working as a uniformed officer or as a member of the police department. He was working for the police department. That's -- the pictures belong to the police department. They don't belong to him.

BURNETT: By the way --

MEDVED: To say I'm going to control them because I feel strongly about it, feelings are nice but they can't trump your duty to your badge.

BURNETT: Stephanie?

MILLER: Yes, can I just say that Erin, because I may never say again Michael Medved raises a good point.

BURNETT: I'm rolling the tape.


MILLER: The same as Edward Snowden and you can't say leaking classified information is okay and there is no penalty. So, whether we agree or disagree, Michael is right he has to be punished, but I don't think fired.

BURNETT: You agree, not fired --

OBEIDALLAH: Not fired, unless the U.S. attorney's office comes out and says he released evidence that could hurt our prosecution of the case --

BURNETT: But if you don't fire -- OK, let me play the devil's advocate because you people are all in like, you know, honky-dory land here agreement, so let me just try and play devil's advocate.

If he's done something he shouldn't do and he's not fired, doesn't that leave the door open for other people to say, well, if the punishment isn't that bad, I'll take it further and do what I feel is morally right --


MEDVED: I he gets some kind on suspension. It's enough.

Apparently, he's an exemplary officer, Sergeant Murphy. He's been on the force for what, 25 years. And to throw that away and cancel the good he's done in serving the people on Boston because of this incident, that seems excessive. However, it really is up to whatever their standards are in the department and he had to know this would get him in a world of trouble.

OBEIDALLAH: Absolutely. I agree with that 100 percent. He had to know.

BURNETT: Thanks to all three of you and ending the week on such a nice note.

Well, every night, as you know, we like to take a look outside the day's top stories for what we call the OUTFRONT Outtake. And, you know, we've actually been watching this story for a couple days and, frankly, I think there has been inaccurate coverage. So, we want to set the record straight.

Today was actually the last day for the residents of the UAE city of Dubai to register to lose weight. If you register today and, you know, they are eight, nine hours ahead of us, so you had to already done it. But if you register and lose weight, you get gold.

Dubai's municipal officials are offering a gram of gold for every kilogram of weight you lose. Now, there are some catches. You have to lose at least 4 pounds for it to count and you only have 30 days. But still, it works out to $22 a point and that's why headline after headline has been celebrating Dubai's brilliant strategy, their incredible wealth and, you know, the things you hear about.

But there is a problem, it's not going to work. First of all, $22 is actually not a lot of money in Dubai. You don't have to pay taxes. There's education healthcare subsidies, lucrative housing programs -- $22 a pound, I'm sorry, that's not a motivator.

The wealth is simply amazing. I mean, even the police cars in Dubai now are Lamborghinis and Ashton Martins. I saw one there just two weeks ago. Not all of them are like that, but I actually did see one. So, I know it's true.

That is why $22 a pound is kind of a joke and the headlines oohing and aahing over it are a little bit off.

But here is the thing, even if Dubai offered a whole lot more money, which frankly it might be able to do, it wouldn't matter because incentive programs don't work two. Two years ago, Dubai launched a similar program and way more aggressive. They offered TVs and cars to people that could prove they were using the exercise tracks which actually are everywhere around the city. Thousands of people were rewarded for walking and running and the promotion ended and everybody parked themselves in front of those televisions and stopped walking because they had new cars.

So, Dubai, it seems like one option left, to take advice of this guy -- yes, and we don't mean Mayor Bloomberg's city bikes. We're talking about banning stuff like the American fast food places and candy conventions that Dubai adores. It's a first-place idea even if it won't take the gold.

Still to come, one of the most famous historical documents on the entire planet is actually up for auction. I couldn't believe when I saw it, it's on eBay and it's up for auction tonight, a very small window. We're going to tell you about it, next.


BURNETT: In 1993 Steven Spielberg released a film called "Schindler's List" which told a story of a German businessman named Oscar Schindler who saved over a thousand lives by sending Jewish refugees to work in his factory. That movie is true. And now, "Schindler's List" of Jewish workers is up for sell on eBay tonight. It's 14-page list of 801 Jewish men which dates back to April 18th, 1945 and the bidding begins at $3 million. Many expect it to sell for as many as $5 million.

Now, Schindler reportedly compiled seven of these lists during the war but only four exists today. The other three are in Holocaust Museums.

And you might think it's strange. They are using eBay to auction off something so important some people are criticizing the sale, saying the document belongs in museum only.

But our take is this auction is a good thing, because it keeps the story and the truth of the Holocaust in the news and the headlines where everyone can hear about it and never forget.

"A.C. 360" starts right now.