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Riots Erupt Again in Missouri; Independent Autopsy Results on Teenager Killed by Police Released; Interview with Missouri State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, U.S. Air Strikes to Retake Mosul Dam
Aired August 18, 2014 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Kate, you get a real sense from that interview just the difficult balance that law enforcement has on the ground there, you know, letting people demonstrate, express themselves, but obviously keeping the violence under control.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, exactly right. And we've seen how difficult that balance is because we've been seeing it playing out every night. Jim, thank you so much.
We're got a lot of news we're following on the ground in Ferguson and beyond. So let's get right to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is unacceptable. Until we get justice, we will not stop!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are trying to use the least amount of force while also protecting the property of the people of Ferguson.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Missouri governor is now deploying the National Guard.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had no alternative but to elevate the level of our response.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The U.S. launching more than a dozen air strikes against ISIS militants.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Peshmerga are engaged in a ground battle with ISIS fighters for full control.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is supporting the Iraqi military on the ground in a combat operation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Good morning, and welcome again to NEW DAY. Chris is on route to Ferguson, Missouri, right now. Jim Sciutto is with us this morning. We're following the breaking news.
Missouri's governor has deployed the National Guard after Ferguson erupts in clashes once again between riot police and protesters. The anger really boiling over as a private autopsy requested by Michael Brown's family, the preliminary results reveal the unarmed teenager was shot at least six times.
SCIUTTO: Bullets hit the front of Brown's body, this is key, twice in the head, four times in the right arm. Results suggest the shots were fired from a distance since no gunpowder was found. Two autopsies have been performed on Brown. The Department of Justice is now set to perform a third. We want to go now to CNN's Don Lemon. He's been in Ferguson. He saw much of what happened last night. He is our eyewitness on the ground. Don, tell us what you saw.
DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Unbelievable, Jim and Kate. Good morning, by the way. What started off as a peaceful protest on Sunday and church services had really degenerated into chaos hours later. I witnessed a lot of it. A lot of police presence. Police in riot gear taking on protesters with teargas and rubber bullets hours before a curfew was to begin. And it lasted well after the curfew really went into effect.
Police say protesters threw Molotov cocktails at them and that some of them opened fire in their direction. Now, two civilians were shot in this chaos, but authorities say the shots were fired by demonstrators. President Barack Obama, of course, being briefed on all of this today at the White House. And we're going to talk with the attorney for the Brown's family in just moments here.
But if you're talking about what we're witnessing, we're witnessing a whole lot of police presence, journalists even having guns turned on them until they identified themselves as journalists. Another journalist who is out here is our very own George HHowell, and he joins us with his account. Good morning, George.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don, good morning to you. Given what you experienced, given what I remember from last week, when this all went down on Monday night, remember you hear the gunshots in front of you, behind you, you have to take cover.
This is an example of the gas that was used overnight. Police used rubber bullets. They used teargas and smoke canisters to clear the crowds. Now they're stepping it up, the National Guard now basically coming in to take control of these streets. How that plays out is anyone's guess.
But here is the thing. You've got three different groups, people who come out to protest peacefully. Then there are those who come in to cause trouble, and police who are criticized for being too heavy- handed but in many ways feel they're damned if they do and damned if they don't.
HOWELL: Peaceful protests turned into chaos overnight leaving two people wounded by civilian gunfire according to police. Officers in riot gear firing smoke and teargas canisters into crowds ahead of the midnight curfew after police say some protesters turned violent. Children and families were seen among the crowd, at times protesters were turning teargas canisters toward police and others trying to recover from the gas fired into the crowds.
CAPT. RON JOHNSON, MISSOURI STATE HIGHWAY PATROL: The situation first started to deteriorate with a shooting of a civilian. We quickly responded with additional officers to reach the victim and got them to a safe position. That was followed by shots being fired on officers, a number of Molotov cocktails being hurled, and then the looting.
HOWELL: But protesters say otherwise.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were peaceful. This is unacceptable and this is not the law.
HOWELL: Violence erupting as a preliminary autopsy report done by the family's own pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden reveals Brown was shot six times, twice in the head, and four times in the arm, Baden adding that all of the bullets entered from the front, contradicting some eyewitness accounts that Brown was shot in the back. Also in the report, no trace of gunpowder residue found on the 18-year-old clothing, which suggests Brown was shot from a distance, not up close. Dr. Baden says until he can examine the clothing himself, we won't know for sure.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: God bless his soul. Police shot this boy outside my apartment.
HOWELL: This exclusive video obtained by CNN shows an up-close look at the aftermath from that day. Officer Darren Wilson accused of shutting the teen appears to be to the right. Earlier on Sunday, his parents grieving before a crowded church at the Justice for Michael Brown rally.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Brown was not just some young black boy. He was a human being. He was not an animal, but that's how he was killed.
HOWELL: The service was meant to honor their son and to demand justice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want to know that they will have their day in court, that the killer of their child will be held accountable to the full extent of the law.
HOWELL: So to bring you up to speed on the latest facts of what happened overnight after several nights of unrest, last night we know at least two people were shot, not by police. These were shots that happened within the crowd according to police.
And now, here is the question. With the release of that autopsy and with the National Guard soon to step in, it is unclear how people in this community will react. We know some protesters are already out here. At this hour, Don, the protests, mostly peaceful. It's just that element of people who come in to cause problems. Unclear how that will play out in the next several hours. LEMON: The people who should not be out here are the one whose are
causing most of the problems and it's a handful of them. Thank you very much. We appreciate that, George Howell.
Let's talk about that with Daryl Parks, the attorney for Michael Brown's family. Thank you for joining us. Let's first before we get to the autopsy, the National Guard is being brought in. What effect do you think it will have?
DARYL PARKS, ATTORNEY, MICHAEL BROWN'S FAMILY: Hopefully it will bring calm, that's my prayer and that's the family's prayer, that it will bring calm to the situation, that the community can go back to normal and we can have law and order again.
LEMON: Now to the autopsy. What is this independent autopsy, and again, these are just initial results, correct?
LEMON: Shot, and you want to be clear, at least six times. Not six times, but at least six times. What does this show you?
PARKS: Number one, it shows you that Michael was hit several times by the bullets from the officer. The only part that it doesn't shed great light on is that, of the diagram, you don't see the kill shot to the top of the head, the execution style that you hear us talking about so often. That shot is important because Michael's head would have to be down for where the shot is positioned, which is at the apex of his head. So that's an important part of this here because it corroborates what the witnesses have told you, that he was down and that the officer shot him despite him trying to surrender.
LEMON: The number of shots, does that tell you anything? Does that seem excessive to you?
PARKS: Obviously that seems excessive.
LEMON: And to the independent forensic examiner?
PARKS: I don't think he solves that, and, remember, it's preliminary. A lot of things they don't know that they'll learn about, things that the original autopsy showed, they'll incorporate that.
LEMON: So the witnesses that we have been hearing on television saying his hands are up and he was in the surrender position. But there appear to be no gunshot wounds that entered through the back or side of the arm, is that correct?
PARKS: You have to be careful there. Where the entries and exit wounds are and how they correlate with each of the interaction with the body is something that's going to be more detailed. So you won't get that level of detail right now. Remember, we're preliminary. So that level of detail of exit and reentrance are things you learn a little more.
We thought it, though, important that we now put it to the public that in some transparency there are at least six gunshot wounds -- at least six gunshots, excuse me, and the fact that how when this kid was surrendering that this officer was do a single shot to the apex of the head of this young man to take him down, without question. One thing clear about this autopsy, that shot took him down.
PARKS: OK, from the very beginning, the Ferguson police have said there was a struggle in the car. There was some sort of struggle in the car and maybe possibly outside the car. Is there anything in the autopsy that shows that either on his hands or anywhere where there may be a struggle or he tried to get ahold of the gun?
PARKS: There's a real possibility that there may be some evidence that there was a serious struggle in the car.
LEMON: A serious struggle in the car. Any evidence that there was a struggle for the gun?
PARKS: I can't comment to that. I will leave that to the pathology professionals to comment in terms of whether or not when and how gunshot interaction with the body, wherever it may be, when and where that may have taken place.
LEMON: There are reports of a witness out there corroborating the officer's side of the story, saying that Mike Brown or "Big Mike" as they call him, was charging the officer, his hands were not up, that he was charging the officer and he got ahold of the gun and that's why the officer did what he did.
PARKS: Is this the officer's account?
LEMON: No, an eyewitness account.
PARKS: All the witnesses that I've heard from --
LEMON: An alleged eyewitness account. This is someone who is telling their story, an unconfirmed eyewitness to CNN telling their story, has been on radio stations and telling their story to other media that he was charged and that he tried to get ahold of the gun and in fact did get ahold of the gun, and the officer was trying to fend him off.
PARKS: That version I think doesn't have great credibility. I think there was interaction with the gun and Michael in the car. Where it may have hit him I won't comment on right now but there's a possibility it could have. I think we'll have to wait and let the forensic pathology play its course out for that level of specificity.
LEMON: Ron Johnson is the man in charge of trying to keep the calm. The Missouri highway patrol last night sounded exhausted and frustrated, and said that the looters and the rioters, not the peaceful protesters, the majority of people, that it was embarrassing and that it was not only disrespectful to the family but it also was deflecting from the real actions that need to be taken for justice and deflecting away from the family. What has the family said about that, and what is your assessment?
PARKS: I think any group of people out there who want to be helpful to the Brown family in any type of way, they would stop immediately any type of violence, anything that's unlawful. This family doesn't want to see that. It hurts them to see this type of thing going on when Mike Brown is about to be buried as we know in the next week or so. So we would hope that people please stop that, please stop it. It's a distraction we don't need. This family doesn't need this distraction right now.
LEMON: You're holding a press conference today. Is there anything in that press conference that we need to know beforehand that you are willing to tell us?
PARKS: We'll have the great Michael Baden there. And he'll go into detail in his own way as relates to the forensic pathology.
LEMON: Thank you very much, Daryl Parks. I appreciate you coming on and being so transparent and so candid.
PARKS: Thank you.
LEMON: You know, Kate and Jim, it's going to be interesting. He's having a press conference today. As you know, the head of the Missouri highway patrol, the person heading up this part, trying to keep the community safe, is saying he's going to have a press conference as well every single morning. So there's lots to be heard, lots of new information to come out today and beyond. Kate, Jim?
BOLDUAN: Don, thanks so much. We'll get back to you shortly. We're going to have much more on this story coming up. We're going to be going over that preliminary autopsy report with a forensic expert to piece through what we know, what we don't know, what other big questions remain. But first let's get back over to Michaela for a look at some of other big stories we're watching.
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, I want to give you a quick look at your headlines, and of course we'll get back to our top story. Kate, thanks so much.
In Iraq Kurdish fighters are gaining ground on ISIS in the battle for a strategic dam. The U.S. launched more than a dozen air strikes against ISIS militants helping Kurdish fighters retake part of the Mosul dam. The air strikes included bomber jets for the first time. President Obama is defending the air strike saying the dam is critical to the security of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
Indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians are ongoing in Cairo. The sides are up against the clock now. A five-day ceasefire is set to expire at midnight local time or 5:00 p.m. eastern. Both sides are seeking common ground toward a lasting peace. Reports say Egyptian mediators are proposing a ceasefire extension to allow both sides more times to talk at a later date.
Julian Assange says he will live the Ecuadorian in London embassy soon. WikiLeaks, their spokesman says his departure isn't imminent, however. The WikiLeaks founder says he's suffering from health problems after being holed up in the embassy for two years. Assange blames obstructions created by the U.K. for the health issues. He faces arrest if and when he leaves for alleged sex offenses in Sweden and of course the highly publicized leaks of secret U.S. documents.
Doctors Without Borders now seeing Ebola patients at a brand new treatment center in Liberia. That complex will eventually hold up to 400 patients. It's the organization's largest Ebola facility. On Saturday about a dozen patients fled from a quarantined area in Monrovia when it was attacked by looters. Liberian police say the looters didn't hurt anyone. They were merely protesting the fact that the patients were being quarantined there and they were pushing to have those patients quarantined elsewhere. The concern is now you have got patients that have fled. You don't know where they are and if they're going to infect other people subsequently.
SCIUTTO: There was a great tweet from Doctors Without Borders the other days, saying "We're doctors without borders, not doctors without limits," just acknowledging how hard --
BOLDUAN: They're running out of rubber gloves in some of these facilities, some of the most basic medical necessities needed to take care of these patients. I was just reading that in the "Wall Street Journal." It's really amazing.
Coming up next on NEW DAY, the results of a private autopsy on Michael Brown are released as more chaos plays out on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri. We're going to take a much closer look at those autopsy results with a forensic pathologist ahead.
SCIUTTO: Plus, Missouri state senator harshly criticized Governor Jay Nixon on Twitter and on our show last week. Now, she's back to tell us her thoughts on new orders to bring in the National Guard.
LEMON: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. I'm Don Lemon live in Ferguson, Missouri, with more on our breaking news coverage. National Guard being deployed right here to Ferguson following another night of chaos. Demonstrations in support of Michael Brown getting out of hand again, forcing Governor Jay Nixon's hand with a National Guard order.
Nixon was harshly criticized last week by Missouri state senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal. She really cursed out the governor on Twitter. Sow hat does she think of Nixon's decision to bring in extra law enforcement?
Let's ask her. State Senator Chappelle-Nadal joins us now. What do you make of the National Guard coming in?
STATE SEN. MARIA CHAPPELLE-NADAL (D), MISSOURI: Well, I find it very interesting because the National Guard will be coming to ground zero, one and two, before Governor Nixon has come to ground zero. He's been in Florissant, he's been in Normandy, he's been at the command control that is in Ferguson, but he has yet to come to ground zero and talk to the people who are really affected by the death of Michael Brown.
LEMON: How do you think his presence will help here?
CHAPPELLE-NADAL: People want to know you care. Every other elected official that has come down has talked to all of the people who are from this community who are angered by all the intimidation. Unfortunately, we have some negative influences that are coming into this community and a lot of people who are -- a few people who are in this community, who are just making it a just a worse problem.
LEMON: Yes, let's talk about all of that. Because there are people who are very critical who are saying, you know, those people should be allowed to express themselves, making excuses for the looting, for the violence. There is no excuse.
CHAPPELLE-NADAL: It's intolerable actually. And what happened the other night, we had protesters, peaceful protesters, who were protecting businesses so they would not be looted. That narrative has not been expressed so much in the media. And so I'm very proud of that, but that same night, Ferguson police officers just stood by and didn't even encounter any of those looters at some of these businesses that protesters were trying to protect.
LEMON: I think that's a very good point. Because there were protesters standing in front of businesses telling the looters you're not going to come in here. And those were the peaceful protesters. And that's a narrative really, you're right, that has not been talked about a lot.
But you were also involved in a situation, right, that got out of control that were by some people who were outside forces and some people who were from here. Tell us about it.
CHAPPELLE-NADAL: Yes, so last night we were on our way out, we were going to take the shortcut out through Canfield to get to the main roads, Jennings Station Road, instead of going up West Florissant. All of a sudden, as we're trying to go out the opposite way, there were five to six gunshots that we saw. Prior to that, there were kids who were running towards our vehicle. And then we were a little bit nervous. We ducked down in the car and we decided, instead of going towards Jennings Station Road through Canfield, we were going to go south on West Florissant.
What I noticed was about two minutes in time that none of the police officers that had been there all day long during the daylight were there. And it was kind of interesting because there were at least 200 police officers from the highway patrol, St. Louis City, St. Louis County and otherwise. And so when we left, it took about ten minutes to get to our location. And then that's when we saw everything on the news.
LEMON: What's your message then, if you have a message for the -- again, we keep prefacing it. I'm not going to preface it every time. I think people should be smart enough to know -- it's a small number of people. The majority are peaceful. But what do you say to those people because it's a distraction to the real issues here? And to -- it's really a dis -- it pays a disservice to Michael Brown's legacy.
CHAPPELLE-NADAL: You're exactly right. What I would say to those negative influences, both in the community and those folks coming into the community, is they're a disgrace. LEMON: You said they're fools.
CHAPPELLE-NADAL: They're fools. They are a disgrace to this entire movement. What we are trying to address is the intimidation and harassment of police officers onto young people.
LEMON: And you can't turn around and then intimidate and harass the people who are out here, the people who are the law abiding citizens and the good citizens of Ferguson.
CHAPPELLE-NADAL: It completely changes the narrative. Yesterday was a fantastic day. We had Tibetan monks who came straight from India and they wanted to be part of this movement. We had steppers, it was beautiful, who came out and really riled up the crowd in a positive way.
LEMON: Before I left on Saturday -- I went away just for one day to go and do something else -- and I came back, there were young girls, dance troops out, drum circles, what have you, and it was very peaceful. And then all of a sudden, within a matter of hours, it devolved and it's just because of some people.
Thank you very much. We appreciate you joining us here on CNN. I'm sure we'll have you back on.
Kate, back to you in New York.
BOLDUAN: All right, Don, thank you very much. It's good to get that perspective on the ground, over and over again, getting different people's take on what happened last night and what's going to change today.
SCIUTTO: And with each story in this story you have conflict, right, just about the most basic details, not just of the shooting, but also the response to the shootings.
BOLDUAN: That's a great point. That's a great point, Jim.
Let's take another break. Coming up next on NEW DAY, the private autopsy results on Michael Brown raise the tensions again in Ferguson, Missouri. We're going to break down the findings with a forensic pathology. That's coming up.
SCIUTTO: And U.S. air strikes help Kurdish forces retake part of a key dam in northern Iraq. Why is it so important in the fight against ISIS terrorists? That's just ahead.
BOLDUAN: Welcome back. The battle to retake a crucial dam from ISIS terrorists in Iraq is intensifying. The U.S. is launching more than -- has launched more than a dozen air strikes against the terrorists, helping Kurdish forces on the ground retake back part of the Mosul dam which supplies power to millions there. President Obama is defending those air strikes, saying that the dam is critical to the security of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. Let's turn to Barbara Starr, live at the Pentagon with much more.
What are we learning more, Barbra, this morning about the fight to retake the dam?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Kate, good morning. At this hour, Kurdish forces appear to possibly be controlling part of the facility but not all of it. U.S. air strikes continuing, as you saw in that video, against ISIS positions around the dam.
The president is defending this on the basis that the U.S. rules of engagement, if you will, in Iraq were humanitarian operations and anything that need to be done, air strikes, to protect U.S. facilities in Baghdad, the U.S. embassy. The case being made is that Mosul Dam in Northern Iraq is so vital that if it were to be breached, if ISIS was to blow it up, it would flood so significantly. It would flood all the way to Baghdad and it would impact the U.S. embassy, U.S. personnel, and U.S. operations.
Many people, however, are likely to see this as an expansion of the U.S. air strikes and the U.S. mission in Iraq. The concern about the dam, could ISIS blow it up, but also the dam is so fragile that it is not properly being maintained, officials say, and unless they can get back in control of it, there's a good deal of worry it could break anyhow. Kate?
BOLDUAN: And it could put millions of lives at risk. Barbara, thank you very much for that update, coming live to us from the Pentagon.
Let's get over to Michaela again, take a look at more of our headlines.
PEREIRA: Yes, it's a busy day today. Here's a quick look.
Talks aimed at ending the fighting in Eastern Ukraine taking place in Berlin, Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers sitting down with their counterparts from Germany and France. All of this follows a weekend of heavy fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists. Ukraine's military reportedly made big gains in the rebel-held city of Luhansk.