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South Carolina Releases Dash Cam Video of Police Shooting. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired April 9, 2015 - 17:00   ET


[17:00:13] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news. New witness. A woman comes forward saying she saw the traffic stop and scuffle that led to the deadly police shooting of Walter Scott. She talks exclusively to CNN this hour.

Dash cam video. Authorities are releasing previously unseen recordings that captured key moments of the incident. We're expecting to get it any moment now. Will it shed new light on the shooting?

Deal doomed? Iran's supreme leader now calling the U.S. version of the nuclear agreement lies and vows to never open military sites in Iran to inspections. Will the man who chants "death to America" scuttle the historic deal?

And runway break-ins. From climbing fences to cars on the runway, a disturbing new investigation reveals how many times people have made it past security and into sensitive areas of U.S. airports.

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: We're following breaking news. A new witness account to that shocking police shooting in South Carolina. A woman who saw the moments leading up to it now speaking out for the first time, revealing what happened exclusively to CNN.

And state authorities have just announced they're releasing dash cam video that recorded key moments of the confrontation between Walter Scott and former police officer Michael Slager. We' re expecting it in THE SITUATION ROOM any time now. We're going to show it to you as soon as we get it. Stand by for that.

We're covering all angles of the breaking news this hour with our correspondents and our guests, including the president of the National Urban League, Marc Morial.

Let's begin with CNN's Brian Todd. He's joining us from North Charleston, South Carolina. What's the latest you're learning over there?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, tonight we just got word from authorities here in South Carolina that the dash cam video from Officer Michael Slager's squad car is being released; it is being brought to us. We should have it very shortly.

Our Jason Carroll has been told by officials of the South Carolina law enforcement division that the video shows basically the entire traffic stop, including the moment when Walter Scott exited his vehicle, and it ends with Walter Scott running away. That is an account we have gotten from officials at the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. We hope to get more details later.

Also tonight, we have an exclusive new account from another witness who saw part of this confrontation.


TODD (voice-over): As the investigation into just why Officer Michael Slager shot at Walter Scott eight times continues, witnesses who saw the confrontation are now coming forward.

GWEN NICHOLS, EYEWITNESS: I don't know if it was a fight, but it was a tussle. When I came to the corner of the Advanced Auto Parts lot and saw them, it was a tussle.

TODD: Gwen Nichols tells CNN in an exclusive interview she saw Scott and Officer Slager shortly after Scott was stopped in this parking lot for a broken taillight.

NICHOLS: The one thing that I didn't hear is Mr. Slager saying "stop" or "halt."

TODD: Nichols says she didn't see the actual shooting but heard the shots that were fired after the men turned this corner. Officer Slager, seen here being debriefed moments after the incident, told police dispatchers Scott grabbed for his Taser.

MICHAEL SLAGER, FORMER POLICE OFFICER (via radio): He grabbed my Taser.

TODD: But Feidin Santana, the man who filmed the shooting with his cell phone, says NBC News did not.

FEIDIN SANTANA, EYEWITNESS: He never grabbed the Taser off the police. Never got close (ph).

TODD: That is one of several discrepancies between the police report account and what eyewitnesses say they saw and the video shows.

Community leaders are saying what happened to Scott highlights a broader pattern.

DOT SCOTT, NAACP CHARLESTON BRANCH: In the past five years, 209 police officers in our state have fired at suspects, but only a handful have been accused of doing so illegally, and none have been convicted. It's time for a change.

TODD: Officer Michael Slager has himself been the subject of a prior complaint over his use of a Taser in 2013. He was exonerated, but Mario Givens, who filed the complaint, now plans to file a lawsuit. MARIO GIVENS, ALLEGES POLICE MISCONDUCT: It hurt. I fell (ph). My

arm got messed up. I had a couple of bruises.


TODD: And again, we're expecting the dash cam video from Officer Michael Slager's vehicle to be -- to arrive here very shortly. The details on it, we are told from South Carolina law enforcement officials, that it shows the entire traffic stop. It shows Walter Scott exiting his vehicle. And at some point it may show him running away, at least briefly there.

There was also a passenger in Walter Scott's car, according to police records. We have not yet heard his account -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And Brian, stand by. Because as soon as you get that video, the dash cam video, we're going to want to show it to our videos here in United States and indeed, around the world. Brian Todd reporting for us. Good work.

[17:05:03] Federal investigators are on the ground in North Charleston, as well. Let's bring in our justice reporter, Evan Perez.

What are you hearing about a federal probe? The Justice Department, the FBI getting involved now in what happened there.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, now the FBI is now on the ground and has begun doing its work. It's going to want to look at -- going to want to talk to witnesses, witnesses like the woman there, who says she hasn't talked to local police. That's exactly why the FBI and the Justice Department say they're doing a separate independent investigation, because it's important for them to check to see that everything is done properly. Not because they don't trust the local authorities, but just to give reassurance to the local community that everything is being done properly.

BLITZER: Because the local authorities have basically punted and given the investigation to the state authorities, the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division or what they call SLED.

But now there's a federal investigation under way, a separate one?

PEREZ: Correct. That's right, Wolf. And, you know, one of the things that you can see is developing here is this pattern, at least, of complaints from local community officials that there's a series of incidents that have happened in this community. We, in just a few hours of searching, found some really disturbing incidents.

For instance, in 2011 an Army sergeant was stopped by local police and was Tased three times. He was on his way to go see his daughter. According to him, he did nothing to resist, and yet he suffered three Tases by a police officer down there in this -- in this community.

So it looks like something that the Justice Department and the FBI are going to want to get to know more about, which is, is there a bigger problem with this police department like we saw in Ferguson, that could lead to a longer -- a more deep investigation?

BLITZER: As you noted, Brian Todd reported the woman who's an eyewitness, she says she hasn't even been questioned by local authorities, police, as far as this -- what she saw on that critical day.

PEREZ: Right. And that's shocking, frankly, because if this officer is already facing murder charges, you'd think that they would have talked to as many witnesses as they could find. Perhaps she just hasn't come forward. And again, that's someone the FBI is going to want to talk to.

BLITZER: Thanks very much, Evan Perez, reporting for us. Appreciate it very much.

Joining us now to discuss all of this and more, the president of the National Urban League, Marc Morial.

Marc, once again, thank you very much for joining us. You just heard Evan Perez report that the Department of Justice is now weighing whether to open a real serious formal investigation into what's going on in North Charleston. Do you think their involvement, federal involvement right now would be appropriate? Potentially, it could underscore. Maybe they don't have total confidence in local or state authorities.

MARC MORIAL, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE: Well, I think it's important that the Department of Justice do its job and enforce the nation's civil rights laws. And I think in Ferguson, in New York, they need to be there at the very beginning. It's the best way to ensure that all evidence is preserved, that they have an opportunity to review evidence at its inception and conduct a thorough investigation.

I would also hope that the Department of Justice, and would encourage them to look at whether or not this incident is an isolated incident or maybe part of a pattern.

There's a lot of information out there about a large number of federal lawsuits, a lot of information out there about prior excessive use of force complaints, maybe, for which there was not a prosecution or any action taken against the officer. I think the federal government has to do this.

What's at stake is people's confidence in law enforcement, because we yet see another incident.

Also, Wolf, I would make this point. There needs to be a close examination of the actions of the other officers who, in fact, responded and wrote reports. I looked at these reports, and they seem to deviate from the truth, where these officers state in a police report that somehow, quote, "they saw one of the officers administering aid to the fallen person." Certainly, the video demonstrates that there was no first aid administered to Mr. -- the gentleman who unfortunately lost his life.

So what you have again is not only one, but a very, very heinous crime that's taken place, but this seeming systematic cover-up, Wolf.

BLITZER: I want you to stand by, Marc Morial, because we have more breaking news.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: All right. We've now received the dash cam video from this incident. This is what happened leading up to the killing of Walter Scott. Let's watch it.


[17:10:09] SLAGER: Your license and insurance card? What's that?


SLAGER: OK. Let's start with your license. Sir, your brake light's out.




SLAGER: You have insurance on the car?

SCOTT: No, I don't have insurance.

SLAGER: You don't have insurance on your car, you've got to have insurance.

SCOTT: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) my car's down.

SLAGER: You don't have any paperwork in the glove box? No registration in there, no insurance?


SLAGER: Are you buying the car?


SLAGER: Did you already buy it?


SLAGER: You told me you already bought it.

SCOTT: Sorry about that. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

SLAGER: All right. I'll be right back with you.


SLAGER: Get on the ground now! Get on the ground now! Get on the ground!



BLITZER: All right. So there you see it now for the first time. We all just saw it for the first time. That's the raw dash cam video from the police officer's vehicle, Michael Slager.

You saw him stop Walter Scott, asked for his license, registration. They discussed. The music you were hearing was coming from the police officer's vehicle.

And then all of a sudden, he went back to his vehicle, the police officer, Michael Slager, and then you saw Walter Scott get out of that vehicle, out of that Mercedes, and simply start running. The dash cam video only showing the car.

The other video then later picking up, we're showing you the beginning of this dash cam video.

Marc Morial is still with us, the president of the National Urban League. Tom Fuentes is with us, our law enforcement analyst, former assistant director of the FBI.

Tom, your analysis first of what we just saw. Because we didn't see this before the other video that was shot by that private citizen.

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: What we see here, Wolf, is that Officer Slager was completely professional. He walks up to the car. He courteously asks for the paperwork for the car, a driver's license. He's having a discussion with Scott about who owns the car and is he buying the car and trying to get information about it.

He then goes back to the police car, and you would think at that point he is running a record check on Mr. Scott, checking if he's got a valid driver's license, information about whether there are outstanding warrants for him.

And at a certain point, Scott just decides he's not going to wait around for Slager to return to that car. He just takes off on his own.

So at no time do you see Slager trying to provoke him or threaten him or act unprofessionally toward him. Everything up til this point is a completely professional traffic stop.

[17:15:15] BLITZER: Let me get Marc Morial to react. Marc Morial, we do know that Walter Scott was apparently wanted because of child support payments. He hadn't made some child support. I don't know if that's why he decided to flee, to run away from that car in the midst of this stop by the police officer. But what's your analysis, Marc?

MORIAL: Well, nothing in this video demonstrates that the officer's life or the life of another was threatened. And the question here is whether the use of force was excessive. And

maybe this doesn't shed any light on the earlier video we saw, which certainly shows Mr. Scott being shot in the back after a chase. And that's the point.

The point is, and the only question is whether there was an appropriate use of force. And force is appropriate only if the officer or another person's life is threatened. And this video raises a question as to why Mr. Scott may have run, but that is not -- I repeat, not -- a justification to shoot a man in the back.

BLITZER: You know what I want to do -- and Don Lemon is joining us as well. So Don, be with me -- bear with me for a moment. What I'd like to do is replay critical moments from this tape. Let's see if we can hear what the officer is saying directly to Walter Scott, who's still inside this vehicle.

Remember, he was pulled over because of a broken taillight. And obviously the police officer then wanted to see his license, registration. Watch this.


SLAGER: Your license and insurance card? What's that?


SLAGER: OK. Let's start with your license. Sir, your brake light's out.




SLAGER: You have insurance on the car?

SCOTT: No, I don't have insurance.

SLAGER: You don't have insurance on your car, you've got to have insurance.

SCOTT: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) my car's down.

SLAGER: You don't have any paperwork in the glove box? No registration in there, no insurance?


SLAGER: Are you buying the car?


SLAGER: Did you already buy it?

SCOTT: No. Not yet.

SLAGER: You told me you already bought it.

SCOTT: Sorry about that. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

SLAGER: All right. I'll be right back with you.


BLITZER: All right. So there we heard some of the conversation. Clearly, Walter Scott saying he has no driver's license with him, no registration. He says he's purchasing this car, hasn't purchased it yet, but wants to buy it.

And then all of a sudden, the police officer goes back to his vehicle and then, as you'll see momentarily, we cued it back up to the top, he then runs away from the vehicle.

Don Lemon, let me get your analysis of what we just saw.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Wolf, it's interesting that the night after the officer was charged, I asked the brother and the attorney for the family whose car was it. They told me that it was Mr. Scott's car.

And so in the video with the officer, in this dash cam, you hear him saying, "It's not my car yet. I'm buying the car. I'm in the process. My car is gone. I don't have any paperwork," what have you.

Needless to say, I mean, he didn't have any of the paperwork, but is that a reason to run? I don't think so. What this does, it shows what happened before the first video we saw, but it doesn't really tell the story of why he ran. I don't know why someone would run if they're in the process of buying a car, unless the car is stolen. Who knows? According to the family the car is not stolen. He was in the process, he says, of buying the car. But still, is that a reason to run? I don't know.

Definitely not a reason to lose your life, because it doesn't show what happens in the interim after he leaves the car, between the car and what happens in that field, and then when Mr. Santana's video starts to roll. That's the part that we don't know at this point. We could hear some of it. We could hear it. We see the officer come back to the car after the altercation, but we don't really see it on videotape.

[17:20:16] BLITZER: So we have video of the initial stop, then we have later the video from the private individual, from his cell phone taking the video that all of us have been so, so, so horrified by, but there's obviously a chunk there that we don't see what happened after he ran away. The police officer starts running after him. We don't know exactly what happened in between.

Joey Jackson is with us, as well, our HLN legal analyst. What's your analysis of what we've just learned, Joey? JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Wolf, what you're looking for

is you're trying to examine the state of mind. What led the officer from this point -- you heard Mr. Fuentes talk about -- Fuentes, excuse me -- talk about the issue of it was professional at this point. And thereafter, it was something that was very unprofessional and then was criminal thereafter. So what led to that? What was the state of mind of the officer that so altered it from this stop to the fact that there were eight shots fired?

And now if you look initially, it's a stop. Everything is OK and he runs. Now, why did he run? There's indication that there was apparently child support warrants out for him, and as a result of that, he didn't want to go back to jail.

But the issue then becomes this is not instructive on why there was the leading to eight shots that were fired thereafter. That is what the concern is.

If you look at the interaction, Wolf, there's not disrespect, at least initially there, that we could see from Mr. Scott, where he talks back to the officer or lets the officer know that the officer should be fearful. Is he swearing at him? Is he belligerent? Is he in any way rude that would lead the officer to say, "You know what? I must do something here. There's something amiss"?

And so the running in and of itself certainly would not justify shots that were fired, and it certainly wouldn't justify taking a life. And that becomes problematic.

BLITZER: Well, let me ask Tom Fuentes, and I'm going to bring Marc Morial in.

The fact that he ran away. The police officer says, "Stay in your car. I'm going to go check some stuff, going to get on the radio and talk to some folks back at headquarters." The fact that he runs away like that, what does that say to you?

FUENTES: What I'm saying, Wolf, is the fact that he runs away is not justification to go after him, wrestle with him and later shoot him in the back. I didn't say that at all.

What I said was up to this point, we see no evidence of hostility in either direction. We don't see any disrespect on the part of Mr. Scott. We don't see any disrespect on the part of the officer. It's a completely routine traffic stop, all the way up to the point where he jumps out of the car and runs.

BLITZER: What does a cop do if you stop someone for whatever reason, for violation of failed or broken taillight or speeding, whatever, you go back to your vehicle to call, check some information, and all of a sudden the driver starts running away? What is the police officer in a situation like this supposed to do?

FUENTES: Well, what -- he hasn't verified ownership of the car yet and he hasn't verified that warrants are outstanding for Mr. Scott. So the first thing the officer's going to do in that situation is run after him and try to find out why he ran. Did he steal that car? Are there other warrants? Did he just commit a bank robbery? You don't know those things when you make a traffic stop.

So he wasn't gunned down because he ran. He wasn't gunned down for a taillight. But he ran away, justified then for the cop to run after him and chase him, which ends up in the wrestling match and the Tasing and later the shooting. None of that part I see as being justified in any way.


FUENTES: But at this point...

BLITZER: All right.

FUENTES: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) are raised by the running.

BLITZER: Marc, go ahead.

MORIAL: To the question of what the officer should have done, I would suggest that what the officer should have done is gotten on his radio, given a description of Mr. Scott. And also, he could have impounded the vehicle while the vehicle's status was determined, could have spent his time talking to the other gentleman who was in the car, who seems to know something; and no one is talking.

In other words, there were other appropriate steps to be taken. Not to go on a foot chase after a man who obviously had a block lead on you when you had no evidence, right, that he had committed any offense.

So the smart thing to do is always you have the option to call for backup, to indicate that a man has fled, to offer a description of him, to state the man is not, to the best of my knowledge, armed. Nor is he dangerous, and I don't know why he's fled.

So there are other steps that I think would have been appropriate, other than to give a foot chase. It's not as though this officer witnessed this particular man committing an offense or was trying to execute an arrest warrant or had seen contraband in the vehicle or illegal narcotics or weapons or something of that sort.

So judgment is the rule. Common sense is the rule. And I think that -- I doubt if this was the best thing to do or the appropriate thing to do, which was to give a foot chase based on the information.

BLITZER: Let me have Tom Fuentes respond to that. Go ahead, Tom.

FUENTES: I think it is acceptable. And I think that, you know, 100 percent of police officers, if somebody runs away in that situation, are going to run after them. Why is he running from that car? There have been situations where officers later learned, yes, the car was stolen, could be a body in the trunk. He could have just committed a bank robbery.

The person just doesn't jump out of a car and run away at full speed without reason. A police officer is going to want to know that reason and verify that he's not a threat.

BLITZER: Hold on for a second. There you see him. I want to cue this up, because at one point, Walter Scott opens the door after the police officer, Michael Slager, goes back to his police vehicle. There you see he's opening the door. The police officer cries out, "Get back in your car." He gets back in the car. The police officer's doing what he's doing in his vehicle. The police vehicle.

Then all of a sudden, the door is going to open again, and all of a sudden, we will see Walter Scott start running away. That's within a matter of seconds.

Now, there is another passenger in that Mercedes with the broken taillight. There is another person inside there. You see him running away right there. And then Michael Slager, the police officer gives chase, starts running right after him. We don't know what happened in between. There's no video.

But then of course, we do have the video, the horrible video of the actual shooting. So that's that.

LEMON: Wolf.

BLITZER: Don Lemon, go ahead. What do we know about the passenger in that vehicle, Don? What do you know about him?

LEMON: We don't know much about him. But what I want to say is -- I want to say this. It is important what happened, what -- or mindset as Joey Jackson said.

But as we have learned in many different cases, in the Garner case, in the Trayvon Martin case, what's important is what happens in the moments that the officer is in contact with the person, what led to the death in those moments. And in the moments that we see now, that we see from Mr. Santana's video, that's what's important.

We're going to analyze this, overanalyze it. Everybody is going to talk about it. Who knows why he ran? Maybe he had something in the car, I don't know. I don't know what happened.

But from every law enforcement person that I am hearing from, from Tom Fuentes -- I'm sure Tom will agree with this -- what is important here is what happened in the videotape in the moments that led to Mr. Scott's death, in those very moments.

BLITZER: Yes. That's a fair point.

LEMON: So this is all very interesting and to find out exactly as to mindset, but the important part is what we saw on videotape.

BLITZER: Let me let Joey Jackson weigh in. Joey, go ahead.

JACKSON: No, I absolutely agree with that for the following reason, Wolf. Obviously, we want to know what happened from start to finish. And so you want to assess the state of mind initially. But then when you get to the actual incident to which Don Lemon is

referring, which is absolutely right, you're looking at three things. You're looking at, No. 1, was there an imminent fear that the officer had at the time before he shot and killed him? That's No. 1.

And so, if you look at that portion, the videotape here we're looking at. But the other tape we've seen before, it appears as though the threat, alleged threat, Mr. Scott is running away. So where's the imminence of that threat?

No. 2, Wolf, the second thing you're looking for is how proportionate is your response to that threat. Are you going to fire eight shots because you're in danger?

And again, if you have someone, Mr. Scott, running away, 10, 15, 20 feet, then the proportionality of the threat to your shots, it seems grossly disproportionate.

Then the final thing, the third thing, is the reasonableness of the overall conduct. And if it's unreasonable, then you have a problem. And so therefore, we can, in fact, look at this video, and we can analyze it to assess what happened initially and what was the officer's state of mind, based upon him running.

But what is critical, absolutely, as Don Lemon refers to, is what happened, why were those shots discharged and, by all indications, when you look at that video, those three elements, imminence of the threat, the disproportionality being the eight shots fired and the unreasonableness of the conduct, is where this case is going to ultimately be prosecuted on for murder.

BLITZER: And Marc Morial, the fact that the police officer, Michael Slager, decided to pull over Walter Scott to begin with because of a broken taillight, if you will, that's appropriate, right? You have any problem with that?

MORIAL: You have probable cause in those instances to do that. But I think, based on this conversation from all of us, this tape, this dashboard cam, does not shed any light on the question as to whether force was excessive or appropriate and whether Mr. Scott should have been shot in the back.

And I still believe very strongly that this was an inappropriate shooting, a criminal act, an unnecessary and excessive use of force under the circumstances.

And perhaps all this tells us is that Mr. Scott ran. It also tells us that maybe he didn't have appropriate papers in the car. But none of that is a justification for what, in fact, happened.

[17:30:02] So this may not be a piece of evidence that has a large bearing or a lot of weight.

LEMON: I also want to hear the enhanced microphone, the recording from this dashboard camera. I think that would make a difference, if you could enhance the audio, if we could hear it better, what happened from the time we see him running and then pick from -- and then pick up from where Mr. Santana shot his video.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that other witness. I mean, we need -- someone's got to speak to the other gentleman who is in the car.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Right. That's one of the mysteries, Tom Fuentes, right now. Who is the passenger, what did the passenger see, what did the passenger know. Presumably the police have questioned that passenger.

FUENTES: We would think so, Wolf. If that person didn't run away before the backup officers got there, we don't know. But two other things. If -- you know, yes, we're talking on the other videos about the shooting and whether it's justified. No one has said, and none of my police colleagues have said the shooting appeared to be justified. But if you want this particular stop in this video analyzed, that's what we're analyzing. So don't say it doesn't matter. If it doesn't matter, don't show it and don't talk about it.

And second thing, I disagree where we constantly bring up Trayvon Martin. He was not shot by a police officer. So why don't we stop bringing him up into these police conversations.

LEMON: Well, Tom, the reason I brought it up is not because Trayvon Martin was -- everyone knows he wasn't shot by a police officer. That's commonsense.

FUENTES: I don't know that everyone knows that, Don.


FUENTES: I think that's -- I think that narrative --


BLITZER: Hold on. One at a time.

LEMON: The reason -- the reason I brought it up is because in the trial that I covered a lot from the very beginning, the entire story, is that it didn't matter what happened before the confrontation. The crux of the case, and Mark O'Mara can tell you this, and Joey Jackson, I'm sure, the crux of the case, it boiled down to what happened in those moments before Trayvon Martin was killed that we did not see. And so I'm just using that comparison to this.

What this will boil down to, as Joey has said, are the moments of the confrontation and just before this man is shot to death.

BLITZER: John Gaskin is with us as well. The community activist is here with me in Washington.

You've had a chance, John, to take a look at what led up to the incident. This is the dash cam video for viewers who may just be tuning in for the first time. The dash cam video of the police officer's vehicle, Walter Scott. He pulls over -- excuse me, Michael Slager. He pulls over Walter Scott for a broken taillight. Apparently there were three broken taillights in that vehicle. He questions him, there's no driver's license, no registration. He

goes back to the vehicle, the third light was out as I - as we hear him saying. He goes back to his vehicle, then all of a sudden the -- Walter Scott, who is now dead, of course, he gets out of the vehicle. The police officer screams out, get back in the vehicle. He gets back in the vehicle but a few seconds later, gets out and starts running away. And the police officer Michael Slager starts running after him.

That's what led up to the horrible videotape that all of us have seen now taken by that private citizen.

JOHN GASKIN, COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: Right. You know, here's what is greatly concerning to me when I saw the video.

BLITZER: Which video?

GASKIN: Saw the dash camera footage.

BLITZER: What, the video that we're showing now for the first time?

GASKIN: Yes, what you're showing right now on your coverage. What's greatly concerning to me deals with the greater issue of African- Americans, especially African-American males, in fear for their lives whenever they are around law enforcement because the statistics of what it is we see within our communities, oftentimes when African- Americans get pulled over, I have been pulled over, there have been a number of times where I have feared for my life because to be quite honest with you, you don't know what is going to happen.

BLITZER: In this particular case, what we heard from the police officer was totally appropriate. Pulls over, looks like the taillights are broken, asks for the driver's license, asks for the registration, he goes back to his vehicle. It's not as if he was threatening, saying anything, using bad words or anything like that.

GASKIN: Right. Yes. And he did run and that probably was not the best action to take.

BLITZER: The police officer stops you, you don't run away.

GASKIN: Exactly. Exactly.

BLITZER: You know. You stay in your car. The cop says stay in your vehicle, you stay in the vehicle.

GASKIN: Exactly. But here's what my issue is. The fact that he was shot that many times in the back --

BLITZER: That was -- yes, that was later.

GASKIN: While he was fleeing. That's my concern.

BLITZER: Of course. That's outrageous.

GASKIN: Absolutely. BLITZER: That's horrendous. And as I say, even if the guy did run

away, even if he wasn't paying child support, even if he didn't have a driver's license, and even if he didn't have his car registration, that's no justification for being dead, for someone -- a police officer shooting and killing you. Right, Tom?

FUENTES: Right. But another issue here, don't forget there's a civil rights investigation going on. So it's important whether this officer from the beginning of the incident is showing racial hostility towards Mr. Scott.

BLITZER: But you --

FUENTES: So what I --

BLITZER: You see no evidence of that.

FUENTES: And that would matter. No. If he did, it would matter.


FUENTES: But what I'm saying is up to this point he's been completely professional. Yes, he guns him down later and we're all in agreement that it does not appear to be a justified shooting.

BLITZER: Of course.

FUENTES: No kidding.


FUENTES: But at this point --

BLITZER: Well, let me ask Marc Morial.

Do you see any evidence of -- racial profiling or anything untoward that the police officer did to Walter Scott, at least in the initial decision to pull him over, Marc?

[17:35:08] MORIAL: You know, I -- I don't immediately see anything, Wolf. I mean, I think the issue really is, we -- and this is the question, right? I don't know if we can see on the dash cam whether the taillight, quote, is out. Right? I mean, there is still an issue, right, as to whether if the taillight was out, the stop was appropriate. If the taillight was not out, then it could be a pattern of profiling.

I'd like to know more about the North Charleston Police Department and its history and its record on stops, on arrests, on all of the issues here. And I mean, if we are going to have a discussion, I would say based on what I see, I don't see it but I want to know more. And I think the public deserves to know more.

BLITZER: I think that's a fair point.

LEMON: I think -- I also think, Wolf, that -- BLITZER: Go ahead, Don.

LEMON: It's important the conversation that they were having about running, listen, no one wants to blame this gentleman for -- this man for his death. But I think you are both right. You don't run. And I'm saying this just so people's lives can be saved. It never works out when you run from a police officer. It never works out when you run from a police officer.

And again, I feel horrible for this family but this should be an example to everyone out there, white, black, chartreuse, yellow, pink, no matter the race, if a police officer stops you, you should probably comply even if you don't like it, even if you think it's -- you were falsely stopped or stopped for unnecessary reasons. But again, that doesn't justify what happened to this man but I think that conversation that you and John Gaskin were having a moment ago, Wolf, I think that is a very important conversation to have.


LEMON: In the current climate.

BLITZER: Well, let me ask Joey. Joey Jackson, based on what we've seen and heard now from the dash cam video, assuming that the taillight was broken, and that was the excuse, the reason the cop gave for pulling over Walter Scott's -- the vehicle Walter Scott was driving. Do you see anything wrong with the way the police -- the police officer behaved at least according to this dash cam video before Walter Scott got out and as you see him right there running away?

JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: Not based upon what we're seeing. Now obviously police officers have a job to do. If there are taillights out, if there are brake lights out, if you're not in compliance with the vehicle and traffic law, that certainly gives the officer a basis to stop and pull over. And so therefore, you know what, based upon that, you could say the officer's doing their job.

But I think, Wolf, it's important to point out that the federal government investigating this, they are going to do two things. Number one, they are going to investigate the specifics of Walter Scott's death. Was there -- in their investigation, they are going to look to determine, was there a willful deprivation of a civil right here? Was it intentional, was it malicious?

Now this doesn't show, the video we're evaluating does not show that, but certainly you can make the argument that the video we're not seeing that we talked about plenty of times does. The second thing, Wolf, that the federal government is going to look to is the issue of pattern and practice. They are going to look at this police department as a whole. Who do they stop. Why do they stop them. What's the basis. How many tickets have been issued. Who are those tickets being issued to. And so that will factor into their analysis.

And finally, Wolf, they are going to look at Mr. Slager in particular. Who is he stopping, why is he stopping them, who is he summoning, how many summons has he issued in the past and who are they going to. And all that will form the basis of the information we need to assess further what his state of mind was.

BLITZER: All right.

JACKSON: Because this video in and of itself does not show that.

BLITZER: Tom Fuentes, you used to be a street cop. Go ahead.

FUENTES: Rewind this videotape. You'll see as Scott applies the brakes a bright white light on the left rear taillight which would indicate that the red lens is cracked or out. That white light should only be on -- you should only see white when a car is backing up in reverse. So the fact that -- here, watch this here. When he stops, you're going to see a bright white light in the left -- right there. You see that light? The left taillight? That means that lens is cracked and out.

BLITZER: But is that normally --

FUENTES: And that's a -- that's a violation.

BLITZER: Tom Fuentes, is that normally enough cause for a police officer to stop a vehicle, because their rear taillight is broken?

FUENTES: Well, maybe not now. But he's saying on both sides he's got problems. I'll tell you what, I made hundreds of these stops when I was a cop as a courtesy to tell the person you may not know this, you know when your headlights aren't working right because you can't see in the dark but you may not know it, sir, but your taillight is out, you should get it fixed as a courtesy. Now nowadays you shouldn't be doing courtesy stops anymore because they might turn ugly.

BLITZER: Well, the other reason sometimes that we've heard this in other communities, I don't know about North Charleston, but, John Gaskin, we heard that sometimes the police are under orders, they need the revenue for the community and they do these kinds of incidents to give somebody a ticket, give somebody a fine, to collect some additional revenue.

GASKIN: That's why it's critical that the DOJ take a look into their patterns and practices. Because this reminds me so much of so many everyday citizens right in the city of Ferguson that are stopped for little petty things. Taillights out, seatbelts, et cetera, et cetera, and it turns into an opportunity to harass people within the community and take things to an entire new level.

[17:40:06] BLITZER: And Marc Morial, go ahead and react to all of that.

MORIAL: I mean, look, I think what I'm curious about at this point is the status of the vehicle. Certainly who owned the vehicle, what the status of the vehicle was at the time. And also, who that additional person was in the vehicle. I think that this ought to be a complete effort to get all of the facts and all of the circumstances and to continue to look for witnesses. Because look, in the last 24 hours, another woman has come forward and indicated she saw part of what occurred, not all of what occurred, so we can still piece this together.

But none of this bears on the essence of what happened when Mr. Scott was shot. So we've got to keep that in mind as this matter continues and we continue to discuss this matter. But you know, I'm always torn, do the officers have a right to stop when a taillight is out? Certainly. But as your other guests indicated, a lot of times it's a pretext for writing tickets, for meeting quotas, for harassing people about other things.

And so you've got to keep that in mind that there's a, quote, what you can do and there's, quote, what really happens when it gets done.

BLITZER: Tom Fuentes?

FUENTES: That's true. It could be a pretext. You could have that. So it's going to be important to see what Officer Slager's record is in terms of that, what the department's record. I agree with all of that. But in this case, all I've said is up until this point we don't see hostility, particularly racial hostility on the part of the officer. Now that comes later, he guns down Mr. Scott. We know that. But I'm just saying up until now we don't see the evidence of that.

BLITZER: And you agree, John Gaskin, you're a community activist, you've watched these situations unfold, that it was inappropriate for him to simply start running away, the cop says stay in your car, he should have stayed in the car.

GASKIN: I agree. And as we learned with Ferguson, we have so many people within the community that have not been taught how to interact with law enforcement, especially when you are in black and brown communities. There is an entire new level of scrutiny that you take on when you are of color. But yes, there does need to be more education within our communities on how you deal -- how you interact with law enforcement.

What is common, what is practical, when you're pulled over on the side of the street, what you should be doing.

BLITZER: Clearly he didn't have the registration for the vehicle, I don't know if he had insurance for the vehicle, I don't know if he even had a driver's license at that point. But let me bring in Don Lemon into this conversation.

You know what, it's really -- I don't know what adjective to put it, but these two men here at the center of all of this, Don, I know you are familiar with this, Walter Scott, the 50-year-old individual who was shot and killed by Michael Slager, the 33-year-old cop, they are both veterans of the United States Coast Guard.


BLITZER: We have pictures of both of them when they served in the United States Coast Guard. They are living there in a small area of North Charleston, South Carolina. I don't know if they knew each other. I don't know if they had any Coast Guard conversations. If there -- doesn't sound like that based on the conversation they have when Michael Slager, the cop, pulls him over but it's -- you know, it's ironic or maybe just purely coincidental, Don, that both of these men served in the U.S. Coast Guard.

LEMON: Yes. You know, it's -- both of them are American heroes when it comes to that -- in that respect, serving this country. But, Wolf, this is -- it's two worlds colliding.


LEMON: It's -- some are people who, you know, may have come from the same town but they live in totally separate worlds. And that is the issue, one of the main issues that we are dealing with. It has often been said that the third rail of politics is -- of political discussion, is race. I think the third rail of American culture is race. And I think that it electrifies our society. And I think that many people go to their own corners, they go to work every single day, they hang out with the people who look like them, the people who come from their own community, and they never get to know any other people.

And every single day, I see those worlds colliding here in New York City on the subway which is a great equalizer. You don't have that throughout American culture. And I think that's what you're seeing playing out partially in this entire story right here.

BLITZER: All right.

LEMON: And John Gaskin, I applaud you for what you're saying. Many people -- many people of color and in certain communities don't know how to interact with police, aren't taught how to interact with police. Yes, there is a way to interact with police. And someone like John Gaskin or someone like me or whoever is on this panel, you can be called a sell-out or you can be called a whatever, because if a police officer stops you, if you've done nothing wrong, if you've done everything wrong, don't fight back. Don't run away.

There are things that you need to do in this particular climate to stay alive. It doesn't mean -- that doesn't guarantee your chances 100 percent that you're going to stay alive but your chances are better to fight it on the other side instead of fighting it right there with someone who is armed with a gun and has all the power in the world.

[17:45:18] But once again, let's remember, this is a veteran, Walter Scott, a United States Coast Guard so he dealt with people who are in authority, he had to obey orders. He's got an experience there serving for several years in the U.S. Coast Guard. It wasn't just some young kid who has never dealt with police, never dealt with authority. This is a guy who actually served in the Coast Guard.

BLITZER: But let me ask Marc Morial to weigh in on that last point that Don Lemon just made. Stay in the car, don't run away. Go ahead. You're a former mayor of New Orleans.

MORIAL: You know, let me say. BLITZER: You ran a --

MORIAL: This is why --

BLITZER: You ran a police department in New Orleans.

MORIAL: The things that we used to see, street law classes in high schools, efforts to help young people understand not only their rights but their responsibilities in terms of interaction with law enforcement, building law enforcement -- building relationships with communities so that one's fear doesn't arise when they have an interaction with an officer. Some people report to me that the minute they see the police, they hyperventilate, they get nervous, they get self-conscious.

I mean, that is a reality also. So this is a larger issue and I think you're right, why he ran, he should not obviously have run. But let's find out from this other witness what was going on, what may have happened, what were -- were there any other circumstances that we need to be absolutely sure of before we make final judgments on that point.

BLITZER: All right. So a lot of viewers are just tuning in right now. I want everybody to stand by. This is what I want to do. I want to queue up the video. This is the dash cam video released now by the South Carolina law enforcement division, SLED, as it's called there. This is the dash cam video from the police officer's vehicle, Michael Slager, as he pulled over Walter Scott, ostensibly for a broken taillight.

You will hear the conversation between these two individuals. Then you will see Walter Scott run away. And at the very end, I want you to listen very closely because all of a sudden there's additional sound we will hear from scanner audio. I want to listen carefully to what is being said at the end of this dash cam video. Let's play it from the top.


MICHAEL SLAGER, FORMER NORTH CHARLESTON POLICE: You have your license, registration and insurance card?


SLAGER: What's that?


SLAGER: OK. Let's start with your license. The reason for the stop is your brake light's out.




SLAGER: How did it happen?


SLAGER: You have insurance on your car?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I don't have insurance.

SLAGER: You don't have insurance on your car, and you bought it, you have to have insurance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I haven't bought it yet.

SLAGER: I thought you bought it.



SLAGER: You don't have any paperwork in the glove box? No registration in there, no insurance?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has all that.

SLAGER: OK. But you're buying this car?


SLAGER: Did you already buy it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Not yet. Glad to buy it.

SLAGER: Just a minute ago you told me that you bought it.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry about that. (INAUDIBLE).

SLAGER: All right. I'll be right back with you. Stay in the car.

[17:50:22] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Taser, taser, taser.

SLAGER: Get on the ground. Get on the ground.


BLITZER: All right. So there it is, there's the entire video released by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the dash cam video from the police officer Michael Slager's vehicle as he pulled over Walter Scott for a broken taillight as you see it in the back there. Went over and started asking for his driver's license, registration, insurance. They went through that whole exchange. Then he eventually runs away from the vehicle and the police officer, Michael Slager, runs after him. We heard briefly him say, put your hands up, stop running. The

passenger -- that entire time, Tom Fuentes, the passenger remains in the front seat, the passenger seat, and doesn't move during the course of that entire dash cam video.

FUENTES: No, we don't think so. We can't quite see inside the car.

BLITZER: I would see the head moving throughout that video.

FUENTES: OK. All right. So he's not going anywhere. But once Mr. Scott runs and the officer runs after him, from that point on we don't know whether he did leave at that point or just waited in that car for other police officers to arrive and just thought, I don't want to get in trouble, I'm not going anywhere. And just remained there. That part we don't know once the foot chase started.

BLITZER: Yes. And Marc Morial, it sounded at the very end -- when Walter Scott was running, Michael Slager was running after him, the police officer. We heard him say something like taser, taser. Obviously, the stun gun, if you will. Taser, taser. Did you make that out, Marc Morial?

MORIAL: I couldn't make it out. It seemed as though there were some other statements being made, but I could not make out. I think we need to get this video enhanced, get the audio enhanced, slow it down so that we can better hear the entire colloquy, the entire conversation.

One thing I notice, though, it looks like he may have given the officer his license, number one. And the first time I saw the video, I didn't catch that. And the second thing is, it's the taillight being out or is it the brake light not working? Remember, this is daytime. So there would never have been any headlights on or any taillights on. And the only time the brake light would come on is if you press the brake or if you turn on the turn indicator.

And I only just make that out since we're discussing all of these nuances in terms of whether the stop was appropriate.

BLITZER: All right.

MORIAL: There are still remaining questions.


FUENTES: If you have that lens out and when the -- or when the driver applies brakes and it show a white light, a car following is going to think the car in front of them is in reverse. It's one thing if the light, the brake out doesn't on. It's another thing to have a white light because you don't have the red lens cover. And that's dangerous. A car is able (INAUDIBLE) their brakes and lose control --

BLITZER: What you're saying, Tom, is the police officer was justified of pulling him over?

FUENTES: He is justified of pulling him over. BLITZER: All right. Very quickly because I want to take a quick

break. But we have a lot more to discuss.

Joey Jackson, anything in this video, this dash cam video that could help a legal defense case for the police officer? As you know, he is being charged with murder.

JACKSON: The simple answer is no. And what I'm also concerned about are the limitations of this video. Now going towards the end of the video, I was listening closely to hear if I heard the shots. And I did not hear any shots go off or any popping in that video. So that's a limitation I was looking for in terms of the proximity to the shooting to when he was actually stopped. That was important.

The second thing is, I was looking for any physical interaction. We don't see, absent the interaction in terms of your license, your registration, the insurance, whether there was any scuffle. Didn't see it here. Potentially it happened at some later time. Maybe some other video will surface.

The third thing, Wolf, was the command that you were talking about, and that was taser, taser, now there would seem to be some indication of some command then. But I was curious -- it's curious to me because there was no indication in the other video before he was shot in terms of stop, stop, don't go anywhere. And so that was of concern, too.

[17:55:10] But nothing in this video as of now that I see as a defense attorney that I would say, oh, boy, this is what we need. This assists us. It's not there.


BLITZER: OK. Everyone, stand by. Hold on. Hold on. Everyone stand by. I want to take a quick commercial break. We're going to resume our special coverage right after this.


[18:00:03] BLITZER: Happening now, breaking news. Dash cam evidence. Just released video shows the traffic stop that led to a deadly shooting by a police officer in South Carolina. Why did the suspect run from his car?