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National Guard troop are now in charge in Ferguson, Missouri security; Result of autopsy performed by Michael Baden to Michael Brown's body was released; A Woman told officer Darren Wilson's side of the story on the incident;
Aired August 18, 2014 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Join us at 10:00 Eastern and tonight at 10:00 Eastern, as well.
That is it for me. For our viewers on CNN international, stay with us for "NEWS CENTER." And for viewers on CNN in the United States, NEWSROOM with Brooke Baldwin starts right now.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
And we begin with Ferguson, Missouri. Tonight, when the sun goes down there, there will not be a curfew, but there will be National Guard troops geared up to deal with any trouble. And speaking of trouble, there was plenty of it overnight.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
BALDWIN: Teargas, Molotov cocktails. Skies lit up again, despite the curfew last night. These protesters' message was marred by the bad behavior of just a few. This is according to witnesses there in Ferguson. Two people were shot, not by police. And tonight it may be even rougher as more and more people are learning just exactly how many times Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot unarmed teenager, Michael Brown nine days ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN CRUMP, BROWN FAMILY ATTORNEY: We now know, from talking about it and professor Parcels very preliminary autopsy, is at least six, at least six shots, could be more. But at least six.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: The attorneys for Michael Brown's family enlisted renown forensic pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, to perform a second autopsy on this 18-year-old man. Here he was talking at the news conference early this morning. Local authorities, St. Louis county authorities, performed the first autopsy. The justice department will perform a third.
On top of that, you have President Obama meeting with attorney general Eric Holder in this past hour, just to get briefed on the situation in Ferguson. The Brown family's attorneys say the forensics from this autopsy backs up what the family says is long overdue. That the authorities arresting the officer who police say shot Michael Brown in a struggle for the lawman's gun. Brown's mother talked to ABC's Robin Roberts this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBIN ROBERT, ABC NEWS: And what is justice to you?
LESLEY MCSPADDEN, MICHAEL BROWN'S MOTHER: Being fair. Arresting this man and making him accountable for his actions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: We will analyze all the new details out on that. That independent autopsy in just a moment. But first, Don Lemon, my colleague, is standing by in Ferguson with some breaking news, because for the very first time, we are hearing the other side of the story -- Don.
DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Over the weekend, it came to my and my producer's knowledge that there was a radio interview out there. Apparently -- allegedly with a friend of the officer, Darren Wilson. Apparently she spoke to Darren Wilson before all of this became the big deal that it is. And she gave -- he gave her his account.
She went on a local radio station and gave her account of exactly what he told her. Again, allegedly. And here's what it says. It says, a source with detailed knowledge of the investigation -- this is what we have learned -- into the Ferguson, Missouri, shooting of Michael Brown says that the account of a caller to St. Louis radio station, KTFK, matches the account of officer Darren Wilson as to what happened at the time of the shooting, Brooke.
The caller to the radio station identified only as "Josi" told listeners she knew officer Wilson's side of the story in detail. She said she laid out Wilson's account, and I'm going to summarize it below. We'll get the audio for you just a little bit later on at CNN, so be patient.
Here's what she says. She says he says the boys were walking in the street. He rolled the window down and told them to get out of the street. He may have called for backup when he pulled over. He heard the call for the strong-arm robbery and saw the teens carrying something that might have been cigars. He pulled over and when he tried to get out of the car twice he was pushed back into the car by Michael. Michael then punched him in the face, and Darren reached for his gun. Michael grabbed the gun, and at one point, had the gun pushed again -- Darren's -- pushed against Darren's hip so Darren pushed the gun away and the gun went off.
Michael and his friend ran and Darren got out of the car and pursued as is protocol. He told them to freeze and Michael and his friend turned around. Michael started to taunt him and said he wouldn't shoot him and said he wouldn't shoot him, meaning he wouldn't shoot Michael. Michael then bum rushed him and started coming at him full- speed, so Darren started shooting. She said that Darren really thinks he was on something. He said the final shot was in the forehead and he fell two or three feet in front of the officer.
Now, the source with detailed knowledge of the investigation into the shooting told CNN that this account is accurate. The source declined to add any more detail. And again, we're going to have the audio of this radio interview coming up here on CNN.
But here is the bottom line. I want to read this again. The caller into the radio station, into KTFK, says that Michael -- that the officer here, Darren Wilson, gave her the account, she gave the radio station the account. A source with detailed knowledge of the investigation, into the Ferguson, Missouri shooting of Michael Brown says that the account of a caller to St. Louis radio station, KTFK, matches the account of officer Darren Wilson, as to what happened at the time of the shooting.
The caller to the radio station identified, Brooke, only as Josi, told listeners she knew officer Wilson's side of the story in detail. She laid out Wilson's account, which I have just summarized for you. There you have it, Brooke.
BALDWIN: This is what makes stories like these, Don Lemon, as you know, you've been in journalism for years, as have I. And as you know, there are so many sides of a story. And I think hearing this account, hearing multiple different eyewitness accounts, right, from Dorian Johnson, the friend in the streets, to the woman who Michaela spoke with this morning who took the cell phone video. Everyone has their opinion. And it will be interesting, taking that account and talking to a forensic pathologist, you know, after we've heard the x, y and z from Dr. Michael Baden this morning, who is that, you know, very famous pathologist.
If what you said or what this source says jives with what they found as far as bullet wounds. But, you know -- and let's just also -- let's also make the point, though, quickly, if they're also alleging they bring up that he could be on something, which brings up toxicology reports. Can I ask quickly -- and, again, we don't know if that's pertinent or not. But that has been performed, but the results, they're not public, correct?
LEMON: They're not in. Right. They're not in. And it won't say anything about what happened during the shooting and the bullets or any of that. It may go to something else, what may have preceded this.
But here's the interesting thing. Because as I said, my producer and I got knowledge of this interview. Someone emailed it to him, someone emailed it to me. And we had been wanting to get it on the air and people were saying, why haven't you gotten that account on the air?
The reason is, because this is second removed. The witnesses that we have been getting on the air for the ones that have been corroborating what the witnesses have been saying about Michael Brown, those have been firsthand accounts of people where we can ask them in their own opinion.
This is a secondhand account. This is a witness removed, right? So we're not getting it from the officer. She is saying that the officer who is a friend of hers told her this account, and then she went on to another program, and gave that account. And then once we got corroboration from sources and from individuals that were close knowledge to the investigation saying that is the account that we have gotten, sources that we think are credible enough to put it on the air, that is why it is on the air now. We wanted to make sure to vet it properly, and so, again, this is according to a source who is close to the investigation.
BALDWIN: I'm glad you point out that. Because as we all know, things get lost in translation. But we will work on getting the audio because I think it will be important to hearing the audio in to this radio station, to hear this person's account through, you know, this officer in just a bit.
So Don Lemon, stand by as we work to turn that around. But since we're talking about this officer, officer Darren Wilson, Brian Todd, let me just leave Don for a moment and bring you in, Brian Todd. Because I mean, we haven't known much about this person. We heard from the chief of Ferguson police saying he's been a police officer for six years, four of which have been spent on the Ferguson force. What else do we know?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brooke, we're getting some information in bits and pieces about officer Wilson. As you mentioned, he's 28 years old, he's been a police officer for six years, four of them on the Ferguson police. I spoke to a friend of his who didn't want to be identified by name, a couple hours ago. This friend said he himself has been getting death threats. So that tells you how sensitive this situation is.
This friend told me that officer Wilson got divorced last year, that he has a small child. When I asked if officer Wilson has any racist tendencies at all, this friend said, quote, "absolutely not." He gave no indications of having any racist tendencies in public or in private with friends.
When I asked him, you know, have you spoken to officer Wilson since the incident, he said he had, briefly. And that officer Wilson is, quote, "struggling, but he is safe and he is in a secure location."
Now, again, we do know he's been placed on some kind of modified assignment since the incident happened. Not clear, though, as far as how this disciplinary proceeding is going as far as his particular disposition with the police department. We know there's an investigation going, and, of course, you can assume he's cooperating with that, Brooke. But that is what we know right now about officer Darren Wilson.
BALDWIN: OK, Brian Todd, thank you so much. Keep digging as we're trying to get more information on him and on that side of the story. Brian Todd for me in Washington.
Coming up, a lot of breaking developments on this story in particular as we're hearing from the second source as far as what happened according to the officer in this shooting and killing of an unarmed 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri. We will bring in our senior legal analyst, Jeff Toobin, on the other side of the break. We will talk about what we heard from multiple lawyers from Michael Brown's family this morning. They say based upon this independent autopsy, that officer should be arrested. Is that fair? What does it take for an officer to get arrested in a case like this? And we'll break down what we learned from this autopsy, what we know, what we don't know.
You're watching special breaking coverage of the story out of Ferguson, Missouri, live, here on CNN.
BALDWIN: We got some breaking news for you on this Monday afternoon here at CNN, as we are getting new information as far as what happened nine days ago in Ferguson, Missouri. We have had almost radio silence from the officer here, the officer who shot and killed this unarmed teenager, 28-year-old Darren Wilson. So now for the first time we are hearing from someone who knows the officer called into a radio show. And so let me be just precise and read for you what this person with knowledge of what happened in the street has said.
He, being the officer, pulled over, and when he tried to get out of the car, twice he was pushed back into the car by Michael Brown. Michael then punched him in the face and Darren reached for his gun. Darren is the officer. Michael grabbed the gun and at one point had the gun punish pushed against Darren's hip. So Darren pushed the gun away and the gun went off.
Michael and his friend and Darren got out of the car and pursued as is protocol. He told them to freeze and Michael and his friend turned around. And at one point in the description describes Michael Brown bum rushing this police officer.
So, again, this is one verifying version of a story that has many different facets. That's from a friend of the officer. Let's talk now about the autopsy. With me now, senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen and chief forensic pathologist for the coroner in Indianapolis, Dr. Joye Carter, who used to be the chief medical examiner in Washington, D.C. and in Houston.
So welcome to both of you, first of all. We've got a lot going on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
BALDWIN: Dr. Carter, let me just begin with you. Here's what we know as of today. Six bullets, two of them entered Michael Brown's head. Let me play some sound from this news conference this morning. This is Dr. Baden. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOCTOR MICHAEL BADEN, PATHOLOGIST: All of these gunshot wounds were survivable, except for the one in the top of the head that went through the brain.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BALDWIN: So Dr. Carter, number of gunshot wounds, entry, and this is what I'm hearing conflicting, depending if you talk to one of these lawyers or Dr. Baden, whether they were all from the back to the front or some from the front to the back. What did you hear today?
DOCTOR JOYE CARTER, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, what I heard was all of the gunshot wounds were from the front and the diagram doesn't show any gunshot wounds to the back of the body.
BALDWIN: What else?
CATER: Well, that the -- certainly the fatal injury is to the head. There is destruction of the right eye. And that one gunshot wound from the head probably exited the head and reentered the shoulder area. And then four flesh wounds to the right arm. So I do agree with him that the fatal injuries are to the head.
BALDWIN: And to the point, they were specific on the right arm, the wound you could see from the front of the body drawing in also to the back right about here. I'm just pointing just to show the viewers. They made the point that it could have been that Brown was walking away. The gun went off and he jerked around. So he could have been walking away, but as other eye-witnesses have said, Dr. Carter, it could have been he had been holding his hands up and that would be consistent with the sort of surrender motion, as well.
CATER: Yes. And this is where the autopsy is not completed. Dr. Baden was not able to look at witness statements or the x-rays. So a lot of work still needs to be done, particularly looking at the vehicle, seeing if there is any DNA from Mr. Brown inside of that vehicle, on the window sill, on the outside of the car.
There's a lot of work that needs to be done for the investigation. This is nowhere at the conclusion. It does ease a little bit to say that there are I know entrance wounds to the back of Mr. Brown's body.
BALDWIN: What about this new twist of an account from someone who has been in contact, friend, associate, to this police officer that we just learned that according to this account, Michael Brown was to quote him, bum rushing the police officer, heading straight to the police officer. Would the autopsy and the bullet trajectory be -- would that jive with what we saw in the autopsy with that account?
CATER: Well, it's going to be really important now to look at the original autopsy, the original photographs, the clothing. Because the second autopsy is not as good as the original one. And you don't have all of the information. The autopsy by itself doesn't give all of the facts. You need the circumstances, you need the witness statements, a thorough examination of that vehicle will support or decline the information about this new witness now. This is what the people are asking for answers to, all of these questions that are not going to be answered just by the autopsy itself.
BALDWIN: So Elizabeth, to Dr. Carter's point, you know, you need that first autopsy. Can you just explain to the viewer, because we're talking three autopsies. We're talking St. Louis county, we're talking about this independent autopsy, in which Dr. Baden was involved in and flown into Missouri on Sunday. And then we have this third DOJ federal government autopsy. Why three?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, when people have reason to doubt, when they think they have reason to doubt, the first autopsy sometimes family members will ask for a second one. And if there is more reason to have questions, then you go for that third autopsy. Two autopsies is unusual. Not rare, but unusual. Three autopsies is rare.
And as Dr. Carter mentioned, you know, there is a difference between a first autopsy and second -- or third autopsies. There is limitations when the body isn't as fresh. It's decomposed to some extent. The body gets washed in the first autopsy. Organs have been examined and put back, so you're not getting it sort of in its original form.
But, Brooke, having said that, it's important to note, second or third autopsies can be really, really helpful. There was a famous case back in the '70s when a black panther was killed and information from the second and third autopsy was very helpful, and really influenced the outcome of the case.
BALDWIN: OK. We wait for more information, but they aren't conclusive. I think that is the overreaching point here of all of this.
Dr. Joy Carter, thank you very much. And Elizabeth Cohen, I appreciate you, as well.
Coming up next here on CNN, the only non-media question this morning is that autopsy news conference was asked by a woman who lives in Ferguson, Missouri.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question is, the fourth shot that entered the body, I'm assuming that he could have survived. Am I correct?
BADEN: Yes, he could have survived -- that's good. I should have mentioned something. All of these gunshot wounds were survivable, except for the one in the top of the head, that went through the brain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: I'll speak live with that woman who is a peaceful protester. She is a mother, she is a grandmother, who has been forced to have a talk with her young grandson about interacting with police. Don't miss it.
BALDWIN: Cries for transparency. A lot of community members in Ferguson want answers about how Michael Brown was shot and killed nine days ago. And one of those peaceful protesters who lives there attended today's press conference with the pathologist who conducted that independent autopsy for the Brown family, and so she was there. She says they she wanted to know if 18-year-old Michael Brown would have survived, had he not been shot in his head.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question is, the fourth shot that entered the body first, I'm assuming that he could have survived. Am I correct?
BADEN: Yes, he could have survived all -- that's good. I should have mentioned something. All of these gunshot wounds were survivable, except for the one in the top of the head that went through the brain.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And all of us here know what happened to Michael. Why hasn't Mr. -- officer Wilson been arrested?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: You heard her voice. And now here she is. She is Shirley Davis. She joins me now live from Ferguson. Shirley, welcome.
SHIRLEY DAVIS, FERGUSON RESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you for having me.
BALDWIN: You got it. You were the only non-press person at that news conference. You asked those two questions. Do you feel like you got your questions answered?
DAVIS: I did. I have -- like most African-Americans in this community, we have bits and pieces of answers. But having heard the news on yesterday first that mike he was -- Michael Brown was shot in the arm area, even if it was the side, I felt he would have been able to live. And so, when the pathologist today said what he did, that became to me blatant murder. That's to me. It was un -- it was unethical for him to just go up and, you know, shoot him in the head.
So, again, a lot of people are outraged, because of the brutality and the audacity of this officer to still be able to just walk around, as if nothing has happened. And the prosecutor has not done anything to arrest him. That's why there is so much unrest.
BALDWIN: I understand. I know this is from a lot of the attorneys, you know, representing this family. They want the arrest, as well. But I have to tell you, I don't know if you've heard this, but just in the last few minutes, we have been getting an account from someone who knows this officer, who it tells a much different story about seeing Michael Brown and his friend walking in the middle of the street, talks about how he tried to talk to them. He shoved into his car. His word was bum-rushed. So just to be clear, there are different versions emerging from what happened nine days ago.
But Shirley, I just want to talk about Ferguson, Missouri because this is your home. You have a son, you have a 13-year-old grandson. And when it comes to interacting with the police, what have you taught them?
DAVIS: Yes. I do have a 13-year-old grandson and I have two adult sons. From the time my sons began to drive, I taught them how to not answer any questions unless they're asked when approached by the police, except the ticket. Do not even go -- attempt to get your license. Keep your hands visible at all times.
This, unfortunately, especially here in Missouri, blacks have been killed without provocation and nothing has been done. So I wanted to say that -- also, if I may, I want to say to America, the people that are protesting, 90 percent -- 95, are good people. It's only a few that are destroying the property. And unfortunately, that is what has been reached.
BALDWIN: Back to your initial point. Listen, I'm from the south and I'm not African-American, but I have several friends who are, and they have told me through the years that they have had to do the exact same thing when it comes to interactions with police. And I think a lot of people -- a lot of people absolutely agree with you.
But let me ask you, back to your point about how you and many in the community feel this officer should be arrested. Let's flash forward hypothetically. What if it is determined that use of force is justified, what if this officer is not disciplined? What if this officer is not charged? What then, Shirley?
DAVIS: I would only -- I cannot speculate. Because you can see the unrest with just the officer not being arrested. So imagine what would happen if he is set free. However, I cannot believe that America, that anyone would sit by and let this officer walk free having shot this young man in the head twice.