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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
California Gas Explosion, 14 Injured; Reserve Deputy: "I Regret" Killing Unarmed Black Man; Slain Suspect's Brother On Apology; Jurors In Aaron Hernandez Trial Discuss Their Decision; Dr. Oz Under Fire Again; Preview Of WEED 3. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired April 17, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: This week, more of our exclusive reporting from South Korea. Thanks for watching. Anderson starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening, thanks for joining us. We begin tonight with breaking news, a huge gas line explosion with multiple serious casualties.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My God, this is so freaking hot, my God.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It happened in Fresno, California. As you can see by the towering flames, this was a damaging blast. So far 14 people have been hurt, at least three of them seriously.
Joining us now by phone is the Fresno Fire Chief Kerri Donis. I understand there were evacuations in the area of the explosion. Do we know exactly how this occurred?
CHIEF KERRI DONIS, FRESNO FIRE DEPARTMENT (via telephone): Yes, we have reports that there was a backhoe or a tractor of some type that was around the area of a 12-inch gas main that made contact with that main and created this large explosion.
So the problem was this gas main ran right underneath our train railway and adjacent to some of our major freeways. So we have all of those railway and freeways blocked off for traffic until we can make an assessment.
COOPER: And in terms of the injured, there were reports, earlier reports at least 14 people injured and at least one critically. Do you have an update on that?
DONIS: That is still what we are aware of at this time. We had one of those three criticals and one of the criticals was medevac to our burn unit, regional medical center.
COOPER: How do you go about fighting a gas fire like this?
DONIS: Well, this is in an area that was pretty secluded. Fortunately, it was not surrounded by homes, which was a blessing. We surrounded this with a very defensive attack, a lot of grass, a grass fire occurred.
Not too many -- they were very small structured adjacent to it that were damaged, but the significant damage is going to be obviously -- the victims and then the railway and possible freeway damage by this 12-inch gas main.
COOPER: And does -- when you are battling a blaze like this from a gas line, I assume gas continues to come out of the line. So I mean, does that present a particular difficulty?
DONIS: Yes, at this time, the gas has dissipated somewhat. There is still gas flowing but not at the rate of speed that the main was caused such the explosion. That was a significant blast.
So you do have some residual flame. Right now, we are surrounding and protecting exposures until Pacific Gas and Electric Company can shut down that main, which should be done probably in about an hour to an hour and a half.
COOPER: All right, Chief Donis, appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. Thank you very much.
Coming up now, the man we've been wanting to hear from ever since we heard his voice out of breath caught on video after that chase and apparent mistake that left the suspect dead.
"I shot him. I'm sorry." That was Robert Bates, a Tulsa County volunteer deputy, a close friend also of the sheriff, and a big donor to the sheriff's department.
He says he mistook his gun for a taser. He's now charged with second degree manslaughter. He spoke this morning with NBC's Matt Lauer.
MATT LAUER, NBC ANCHOR: I want you to take me back to April 2nd, the day this all happened.
ROBERT BATES, FACES SECOND DEGREE MANSLAUGHTER CHARGE: I was actually parked down the street at the Saint Claire station, several blocks away from where the activity took place. In other words, the drug buy and dope and the gun purchased.
He decided to bolt from the undercover's truck and run and he came to me, and two other cars that were in front. I was the last car, as I always am. I've been involved in several hundred of these. I do clean-up when they are done. I take notes. I take photographs and that is my job.
LAUER: And when you got involved in this struggle, Mr. Bates, did any of the other deputies or officers say, help us taze him, use your taser?
BATES: No. Matt, I yelled taser, taser, as required in training. The deputy below me ducked, he pulled away from it so that I could -- now, I've never, you know -- first and foremost, let me apologize to the family of Eric Harris.
You know, this is the second worst thing that has ever happened to me or first, after happened to me in my life. I rate this as number one on my list of things in my life that I regret.
LAUER: Mr. Bates, would you stand up for me for one second and show me where on your body in your uniform, you keep your taser and where you keep your weapon, your revolver. Can you stand up and show me?
BATES: Sure. You bet. My taser is right here in my front, tucked in a protective vest. My gun itself is on my said, normally to the rear.
[20:05:10] LAUER: And people are going to look at that, Mr. Bates, and say, how could you make this mistake? How could you think you were going for your taser on your chest, tucked into the vest, and accidentally pull your weapon?
BATES: Well, let me say this has happened a number of times around the country. I have read about it in the past. I thought to myself, after reading several cases, I don't understand how this can happen. You must believe me. It can happen to anyone.
LAUER: You yelled taser, taser, you mentioned the other deputy ducked and cleared so you could use your taser and then you heard that gunshot. What were you thinking when you heard the shot?
BATES: My God, what has happened? The laser light is the same on each weapon. I saw the light and I squeezed the trigger and then realized that I dropped the gun. This was not an intentional thing. I had no desire to ever take anyone's life.
LAUER: You can be heard on that tape saying, I shot him, I'm sorry and there is a lot of emotion in your voice. What was the emotion? Was it sorrow, was it shock, was it fear for the repercussions of what you had just done?
BATES: Matt, I never considered the repercussions of what I had just done. It was shock. I can tell you, it stayed with me for a number of days. I'm not at all sure it is not still with me today, lack of sleep, inability to concentrate, you know, all of those thing plus more. I still can't believe it happened.
LAUER: Mr. Bates, in the wake of this incident, you have portrayed as a wealthy and generous supporter of the sheriff's department and a close friend of the sheriff who has been rewarded for your financial support with the opportunity -- and this is what is out there -- to play cop and carry a gun. Is that a fair characterization?
BATES: That is unbelievably unfair. I have donated equipment, as I saw fit, when the need -- happened to arise, to allow the task force and other areas of the sheriff's office to better do their jobs on the street of Tulsa.
LAUER: You've been charged with second-degree manslaughter and face up to four years in prison. Have you allowed yourself to think about that possibility? BATES: Certainly. How can I not?
COOPER: Joining us now CNN legal analysts, Mark Geragos and Danny Cevallos, both criminal defense attorneys, and also David Klinger, a former member of the Los Angeles Police Department and currently professor of criminal justice at the University of Missouri in St. Louis.
So David, Bates said accidentally pulling his gun out instead of his taser could happen to anyone. Do you buy that? Because I think there are trained police officers around the country who might beg to differ.
DAVID KLINGER, UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI ST. LOUIS: I don't know that it could happen to anyone, but I do know that it has happened at least ten times where officers have discharged their firearms when they thought they had a taser in their hand. It is very rare, but it has happened.
And there was a gap, there was a bunch of these that happened in the first half of the decade of 2000 and then a gap until 2005 and then until 2013 and then 2014 and then this one. So it does happen rarely, but it does happen.
COOPER: But Mark, you've said that Bates should not have done this interview because the prosecution could use his words against him in court. Do you hear anything potentially incriminating?
MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, the whole thing. He's basically admitted to all of the elements of the manslaughter. He can say it is not intentionally. They are charging him with murder. They are charging him with second degree manslaughter. He just gave the prosecution with every element of it, number one.
Number two, a couple of those things he says and look, I don't want to diminish the fact that I'm sure he feels bad about it, but there is going to be some prosecutor that will say, really, you feel bad about it?
You start off as the second worst thing that has happened to you since you had cancer and then corrects himself and said the first and then he said this has stayed with me for a couple of days and still may be with me today.
I guarantee you the family of the deceased will stay with them it is sticking with them a lot longer than that. So I don't think this did him any favors whatsoever.
COOPER: We're going to talk to the brother of the man who was killed in just a moment. Danny, the "Tulsa World" reported that Bates' supervisors were ordered to falsify his training records after the shooting. He and his attorney vehemently denied today during that interview, but if that does turn out to be true, how important is that for the sheriff's department? [20:10:04] DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: If that is true, then this case goes from the one bad judgment of one individual in an isolated incident to some sort of epidemic or some sort of force-wide problem in the police department, in law enforcement.
And if that ends up being the case and records were falsified deliberately and falsified because he couldn't otherwise pass the training, then that will open up a Pandora's Box of both civil and criminal potential liability for the police department.
Especially if they were doing it to help out their buddy and even worse so if there is quid pro quo shown and by that I mean, if for some reason down range it is shown that Bates somehow gave something to the police department so that they would just jimmy up his records so he could keep going out there and doing things.
If this ends up being true and we don't know yet, but if it is, it will turn this from an isolated incident into a massive problem.
COOPER: David, I want to play a bit of video of Robert Bates during the incident from right before the shooting. Now in this, you see him running and you see the taser high up in the middle of his chest. You can't see his gun.
But he said today during the interview that it was holstered on his right hip pretty far away from each other to make a mistake like that. I don't understand why if this happened a number of times before, which you said, are there not different procedures for taking the taser out of the taser holster than there are for taking a gun out of a gun holster.
To take a police officer's weapon from a holster, there is usually a special mechanism in that and you have to take it out in a particular way. Is it the same mechanism for the taser?
KLINGER: It depends on the type of holster that the firearm is in. It depends on the type of holster that the taser is in. You are correct. There are many officers that carry holsters that do require a certain type of movement in order to get it out to try to defeat individuals trying to disarm an officer.
And it depends on the way the taser is located in a holster and he indicated it was in a cross draw configuration on his chest. All I can tell you is at least three or perhaps four of the previous ones that was also a cross draw configuration.
And when tasers first came into law enforcement, the more modern tasers, they would carry them in a drop holster on their thigh, the same thigh as their firearm.
And we moved away from that because we thought that putting it into a cross draw configuration would preclude that mistake, but it continues to happen. And it is one of those things that human factors and researchers have looked at.
I'm still scratching my head trying to understand how it happened, but we do know unless people are lying, these officers make this mistake and we have to figure out a way to prevent that, to stop that.
And one thing I want to talk about, way before this, there are some issues that people need to look at in terms of how the entire operation happened and why in the world the suspect was able to escape the parking lot and start the foot pursuit in the first place.
COOPER: David, also what about the way the reserve officers are used? I mean, should he even have been on this, even if he was several cars back?
KLINGER: I do not know because I don't know his training. I have a friend out on the west coast who is a reserve police officer for a Los Angeles metropolitan suburb and he is 71 and I would ride with him in a heartbeat as would anyone that knows anything about law enforcement.
Because he spent 30 years with the Los Angeles Police Department and worked for the S.W.A.T. team, and was a canine supervisor for years and years, someone like that, the age is not an issue because this individual is a squared away as they come.
The question is, was this individual in Oklahoma, did he have the same type of training? I doubt it. Did he have the same type of experience? I doubt it. And we need to good back into these training records to figure out whether that particular individual was qualified to do the job.
COOPER: David Klinger, good to have you on. Mark Geragos and Danny Cevallos as well. Quick reminder, make sure you set your DVR, you can watch 360 anytime you want.
Coming up next, the dead man's brother weighing in tonight on Robert Bates' apology and the rest of what he had to say today about how he came to, in his words, mistake his revolver for the taser.
And also tonight, 20 years after the Oklahoma City bombing, this might shock you, the friend who knew what Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh were up to and could have stopped them. He is a freeman today, a man who knew about the plot, knew about the bomb, who even cased the (inaudible) building. The question is why isn't he behind bars.
COOPER: We're talking tonight about the killing of Eric Harris by volunteer Tulsa Deputy Robert Bates. In our last segment, you've heard Mr. Bates say that anyone could make the mistake he did. He spoke this morning to NBC's Matt Lauer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BATES: First and foremost, let me apologize to the family of Eric Harris. You know, this is the second worst thing that has ever happened to me or first, that has ever happened to me in my life.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Joining us now is Eric Harris' brother, Andre. Andre, I appreciate you being with us. I'm sorry it's under these circumstances.
You heard Mr. Bates there apologizing to your family, saying it was the second worst thing that's ever happened to him and then saying it's probably the first worst thing that has happened to him. Do you accept his apology?
ANDRE HARRIS, ERIC HARRIS' BROTHER: Well, first I would like to thank you guys for covering this story and giving my brother his story and an opportunity to spread this case across the nation and giving this case the attention that it needs.
COOPER: What about what Mr. Bates said, the apology, when you heard that, what did you think?
HARRIS: What I would like to say that we accept Mr. Bates' apology. I've been forgiven of my sins and things that I've done in the past and absolutely I forgive Mr. Bates. However we still have to shine the light on the darkness. We still have to unveil this evil.
Mr. Bates shouldn't have had to use a taser on my brother. Mr. Bates shouldn't have shot Eric with a .357 magnum. Mr. Bates has a price to pay.
COOPER: When you say --
HARRIS: But I do forgive him.
COOPER: When you say that Mr. Bates shouldn't have used a taser on your brother, some people will say, look, your brother had a long record, was involved in attempting to sell a gun to an undercover officer and then was running from police, and was down on the ground. Are you saying because he was down on the ground, there was an officer on top of him, that he was already under control?
[20:20:00] HARRIS: Yes, sir. There were numerous officers on top of him. As we can see in the video, one has him by the neck, knee in the head. One is pulling his arm out and then Mr. Bates takes two steps and shoots my brothers with his .357.
COOPER: Mr. Bates has said it was accidental. His exact words were, it was not intentional, do you believe that?
HARRIS: I think the facts will come out to prove if it was accidental or not. One of my questions to Mr. Bates is, did he do his research on how many times the slip and capture happened before he shot my brother, or did he do his research after he shot my brother?
COOPER: You're asking that question essentially perhaps saying that after shooting your brother, he or his attorney did research and came up with this reasoning of why this would happen as opposed to something that he actually knew as a potential problem?
HARRIS: You know, I once read in the book it said keep my commandments and you are my disciple. You know the truth and the truth will make you free. See, this is about truth. This is about unveiling the evil, shining light on the darkness.
See, we will get the truth out and we'll know if Mr. Bates intended to do it or not. I'm saying, in the video that we've seen, you can see Mr. Bates taser on his chest, it is bright yellow, and if he had all of the training that he says he had, bring forth the information that everyone is asking for.
And also, after you bring forth that information, let the jury decide if he's innocent or guilty -- but yes, I do forgive him.
COOPER: Do you have confidence in the justice system and confidence that a jury will decide?
HARRIS: I have all of the confidence in the world. That my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will make sure justice is served.
COOPER: Andre --
HARRIS: Eric's blood -- Eric's blood is crying from the streets wanting justice in this case. Eric's blood is crying out from the streets for every individual that was shot by an officer or reserve deputy while they were laying on the ground, for a man running 20 feet away and getting shot in the back. Eric's blood is crying out for justice and will get the justice in Jesus' name.
COOPER: Andre, I appreciate you being with us under these circumstances. Thank you very much, Andre Harris.
Coming up next, my conversation with the Aaron Hernandez jury, jurors talking about their bases for convicting him and what they think of some of the other evidence they did not actually get to see and only learned about from the judge once their verdict had been read out in court. Part two of my conversations with the jurors and we played part one last night.
Later, why a group of doctors say they are fed up with Dr. Oz and want him dropped from their prestigious medical school where he teaches when he is not on TV.
COOPER: Aaron Hernandez will have the rest of his life to think about the murder that a jury convicted him of this week. He's serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole in the killing of his one-time friend, Odin Lloyd, and faces two additional murder charges on top of that.
Now the jurors in his trial meantime have been speaking out and talking to us about the legal basis for their decision. We spoke yesterday morning and here is more of that conversation.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: The joint venture theory is that it doesn't matter whether he was the one who pulled the trigger and was there and could have done something. How crucial was that in your decision-making?
JEN ROGERS, HERNANDEZ TRIAL JUROR: That was very crucial for me.
COOPER: Whether he pulled the trigger or not didn't matter?
ROGERS: Right or not, it didn't matter, he was there and he had seen how the situation arose and how it ended. He was part of it. And I even, for myself, I sat there and said, take him out of the equation. What would have happened? Would we be sitting here today?
COOPER: I saw you shake your head when she said take him out of the equation and would have happened and you were shaking your head no.
LESA STRACHAN, HERNANDEZ TRIAL JUROR: He didn't know Odin Lloyd. Why would those two people go there to pick him up to kill him when they didn't even know where he was? Aaron was the only one who knew where he lived and drove the car, who drove home. They got out of the car. We saw the video, like nothing happened. Four of them were in the car. Three of them came back to the house. It's horrible.
COOPER: And you actually had to read the verdict? What was that like, to stand in front of him and read the verdict?
STRACHAN: It's incredibly overwhelming, incredibly emotional.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was not one of us, after we came out of there. There was not one of us, including the men, who didn't have a tear in our eye who didn't cry. We hugged each other. The alternates came in and hugged us. It was very emotional.
COOPER: There was evidence that you didn't know about that you subsequently learned about, the text messages from Odin Lloyd. When you heard that Odin Lloyd had texted and she said who are you with and he texted NFL and he texted, just so you know.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, there must have been something he needed to tell his sister. Why he would text her. Did you see who I'm with? Hello? Because I saw it on TV last night and it said NFL, just so you know. Why would you say that to your sister unless you knew something was going to happen?
COOPER: So had those text messages been admissible, which they weren't, had those been admissible, that would have had a big impact on you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know when I walked in there I made the right decision. It was more relief. There was more stuff, this is more information, it made me feel better, but not more confident in my decision.
COOPER: When the judge also told you, after the verdict was already in, after all was said and done, that Aaron Hernandez is facing other murder charges, were you surprised?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was shocked.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was shocked.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was surprised.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand and I appreciate that that information wasn't related to us during this trial because you can run the risk of it corrupting your perception of Aaron, and that shouldn't have been done. It wouldn't be a fair trial.
COOPER: It is interesting that the human side of this -- as much as you talk about facts, as much as you're there to examine evidence and clearly, you bent over backwards to stick to the evidence that was presented. You also do register the human side of things, the family dynamic. The family break-up, the humanness of it all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the end of the day, a young man lost his life. And there were countless people affected by that. And you consider all of that. It is impossible not to think about that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And his family was affected every day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every day.
COOPER: Odin Lloyd's?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
COOPER: And you noticed that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's hope she has some peace.
COOPER: It is fascinating to discuss the details with that jury.
More insight now jury consultant Richard Gabriel, whose body of work includes the O.J. Simpson, Heidi Fleiss, Phil Spector, and Casey Anthony trials.
Richard, good to have you on the program. The jurors didn't know about obviously those text messages that Odin Lloyd sent his sister. And they also didn't know about the two other murder charges Hernandez is facing. They said that learning that made them relieved that they made the right decision in the verdict, but they were glad they didn't know about it during deliberations. What do you make of that?
RICHARD GABRIEL, JURY CONSULTANT: Well, it is pretty extraordinary. In a high-profile trial like this where there's lots of pretrial publicity, that these jurors really took their job quite seriously. They didn't pay attention, they didn't do their own independent research, they didn't know about those things. So they really were diligent in just following the thing.
So it's a hard thing. I mean, here is a guy who played for the Patriots, their home team, and is sort of an icon. And they knew they have his life in their hands. So it is a very difficult decision. So this after-the-fact information, you could see it causes great relief in them to see this reinforces their verdict and made it, I think, a little easier to swallow afterwards.
COOPER: Yes. And they made a point of telling me it is not that they in any way doubted the verdict, but it was just kind of a reinforcement that they had made the right decision.
It was also really interesting to learn from the jurors that when the defense essentially did a 180 in their closing statement and admitted that Aaron Hernandez was at the scene of the killing that - whereas previously they hadn't said that, and there have been a number of data points of evidence that had been admitted to show he, in fact, was. So it kind of confirmed all that evidence that was admitted by the prosecution -- for some jurors that was incredibly significant and it had shocked them. And it also made them kind of doubt the credibility of the defense team, which I found very interesting.
GABRIEL: Right. The defense is in a tough spot because they either have to choose one of two paths. One path is to just question and poke holes as much as they can in the prosecution's case and say they haven't met their burden. On the other hand, they have to sit there and say, well, here's what really happened. Obviously defense in this case said there's enough circumstantial evidence that really puts him there. We have to provide some explanation.
The problem is that all of a sudden that explanation was internally consistent with everything else, including some of that nonverbal behavior. If he was shocked that these two guys had killed his friend afterwards, he's seen on tape laughing and joking and seeming cavalier about it. And they've used the word indifference in talking about his demeanor. So the nonverbal behavior sometimes becomes almost as important as the actual evidence in the case.
COOPER: Yeah. And I found that interesting because they made a big distinction between the nonverbal behavior in those surveillance tapes and the security camera's video that they watched as opposed to what they saw in court, which a lot of commentators were saying oh, he has this swagger in court, he seems arrogant in court. The jury nearly all of them were saying, we didn't pay any attention to him when he was in court. Sometimes when we made eye contact it was awkward, but you can't -- that is all speculation. You can't judge somebody based on their body language.
But they did look at those security tapes and say, he's walking around the house with a gun, he seems relaxed. He's drinking smoothies. He's having his girlfriend make smoothies the next day. And I found it interesting, the distinction they made between what they saw in the tapes and judging him in court.
Richard, I appreciate you being on. It's fascinating stuff. Richard Gabriel.
Twenty years after the Okalahoma City bombing, would it surprise you to know that the person who knew about the plot and could have stopped it is now actually a free man? His story next.
[20:38:52] COOPER: This Sunday marks 20 years since the Oklahoma City bombing. Twenty years since 168 lives met a violent end when a truck bomb exploded outside of Alfred P. Murrah federal building. Twenty years that the parents of 19 children have been deprived of watching them grow up. A memorial now stands at the site of those honoring those who lost their lives in the attack, and those who survived it. The hundred who were injured and the people whose lives were affected forever. The loss that day is often described as senseless.
And it's also difficult to make sense of a part of the story you may not be aware of: that the man who could have stopped it is today a free man. Gary Tuchman reports.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is an amazing sight. It's a six-story building, and one half of the building is sheered away.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One week after the Oklahoma City bombing and after Timothy McVeigh's arrest, McVeigh's friend, Michael Fortier, talked to CNN in his hometown of Kingman, Arizona.
MICHAEL FORTIER, TIMOTHY MCVEIGH'S FRIEND: I do not believe that Tim blew up any building in Oklahoma. There is nothing to look back upon and say, oh, yeah, that might have been. I should have seen it back. There was nothing like that.
[20:40:00] one of those words a complete lie. Michael McGuire would soon become Fortier's attorney. They first met shortly after that CNN interview.
MICHAEL MCGUIRE, MICHAEL FORTIER'S ATTORNEY: I'll never forget what he said next. "Mr. McGuire, I know about the whole plan to blow up the building.
TUCHMAN: Timothy McVeigh, executed in 2001. Accomplice Terry Nichols in prison for life. And Michael Fortier, neither of those things. In fact, it is a secret where he is. How is that possible? That a man who admitted to not only knowing about the plan, but admitted casing the Murrah Federal Building site with McVeigh, who knew how the bomb was built and where the explosive material was purchased. How is it he is not now in prison?
It is to say at the least controversial and complicated. His lawyer illustrated these charts back in 1995 as Fortier told him what he knew.
MCGUIRE: This is the diagram here is the actual diagram that Tim drew out on a piece of paper what he called a "shape charge."
TUCHMAN (on camera): These are the barrels of explosives?
MCGUIRE: This is how they would be set inside of the truck.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (on the phone): We've seen a number of small children being carried, bleeding heavily from the face.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): The bombing remains the deadliest homegrown terrorist attack in U.S. history: 168 people killed, including 19 children. Today, the site of the Murrah building is a memorial and museum.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Michael Fortier could have taken the information he learned from McVeigh and told authorities and stopped the bombing plot in its tracks. But he chose not to do so, and 168 people were murdered.
So what is he doing today? Michael Fortior is a free man.
(voice-over): Fortier claimed he didn't think McVeigh would actually carry out the bombing plan. He agreed to a plea bargain, testifying against McVeigh and Nichols. He served about 10-and-a-half years in prison and was released almost a decade ago. Fortier now has a new identity and new hometown because is in the federal witness protection program. Fortier still occasionally calls his lawyer.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Can you tell us where he is living, what his name is?
TUCHMAN: But he's still married?
TUCHMAN: To the same woman?
TUCHMAN: And he has children.
TUCHMAN: And how many children does he have?
TUCHMAN: And does he live a normal live? MCGUIRE: No. He'll never be able to live a normal life.
TUCHMAN: I mean, in the witness protection program you're given a new identity. I mean, presumably, his neighbors don't know anything about his background, correct? That is the way it is supposed to work.
MCGUIRE: I probably can't comment on that.
TUCHMAN: And when you say he's not living a normal life, what do you mean by that? Because of the traumas of the past or because of things that happen in the present?
MCGUIRE: The trauma of the past and the risk to him.
TUCHMAN: Brothers Aaron and Elijah Coverdale were two of the children killed in the Murrah Building's day care center. Their grandmother is Jeannie Coverdale.
JEANNIE COVERDALE, VICTIMS' GRANDMOTHER: It makes me angry to know that he's enjoying life, and all those people are dead and we are still suffering.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had broken ribs, a punctured lung, and I looked like I'd been beaten with a baseball bat.
TUCHMAN: Priscilla Salliers was in the Murrah Building, trapped under the rubble for hours. She too has deep anger toward Fortier, but thinks his testimony was important.
SALLIERS: Yeah, his life is going on, but I feel like in the end he'll have to face judgment. That is my faith.
TUCHMAN: Fortier was dishonest and self-righteous when he talked to us.
FORTIER: Judge not, for you shall be judged.
TUCHMAN: And 20 years later -
(on camera): Does he feel guilt that 168 people are dead? I mean, he could have stopped it if he's said something. And yet he is living this semi-normal life with his family and his children and freedom.
MCGUIRE: I think carrying guilt is an understatement.
COOPER: Gary joins us now from Oklahoma City. So the lawyer said he feels guilt about his role, but has he ever publicly apologized?
TUCHMAN: The answer is yes, Anderson. During a sentencing hearing, he cried and he asked forgiveness. And some of the family members were satisfied. But manyothers thought it was a cynical attempt to influence the judge who hadn't yet pronounced his sentence. And while the other Fortier, Lori Fortier, the wife who we talked about, she was also involved in this plot to a lesser extent, and she also cut a deal. She was alleged, Anderson, to have laminated a fake driver's license I.D. for Timothy McVeigh that he used. So she ended up testifying against McVeigh. In exchange, she did not serve even one day in jail.
COOPER: Hmm. Interesting. Gary, appreciate it.
Just ahead tonight, Dr. Oz under attack once again tonight. This time, it's not members of Congress calling him on the carpet, it's a group of fellow doctors who say he's endangering the public with the claims that he makes on his television show.
COOPER; Tonight, something you couldn't hear often: a group of doctors calling for one of their own to be fired from his prestigious faculty position at an Ivy League medical school. The fellow physician they're targeting is Dr. Mehmet Oz, popular television host and vice chair of the department of surgery at Columbia University's medical school. Dr. Oz has been criticized in the past over claims he's made and products he's promoted on his show. But this time, members of his own profession are leading the charge. Here is senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: There is nothing ambiguous in the letter 10 doctors wrote about Dr. Mehmet Oz to the dean of the Columbia University's medical school.
"We are surprised and displayed that Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons would permit Dr. Mehmet Oz to occupy a faculty appointment. He has repeatedly shown disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine. He has manifested an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain."
Dr. Joel Tepper signed the letter.
DR. JOEL TEPPER, UNIC SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: He has touted many drugs as miracle drugs for weight loss, which causes people to spend huge amounts of money for treatments that have no benefit whatsoever.
COHEN: He said at most universities if someone did this --
TEPPER: That is grounds for dismissal.
COHEN: Columbia University responded, telling CNN they won't stop faculty members from speaking their minds. In a statement today, Oz said, "We provide multiple points of view, including mine, which is offered without conflict of interest. That still doesn't sit well with certain agendas which distort the facts." Oz rose to fame on Oprah as her go-to doctor and soon spun off his own
successful TV show. It wasn't long before his flowery language and product promotion attracted controversy.
DR. MEHMET OZ, "DR. OZ" HOST: Now, I've got the number one miracle in a vial to burn your fat.
COHEN: Last June, Oz was brought before a Senate subcommittee about his promotions for weight loss cures and called to the carpet.
SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSOURI: I don't get why do you need to say this stuff
[20:50:00] because you know it is not true! So why, when you have this amazing megaphone and this amazing ability to communicate, why would you cheapen your show by saying things like that?
OZ: I actually do personally believe in the items that I talk about in the show. I passionately study them. I would give my audience the advice I give my family all of the time, and I have given my family these products.
(on show): This little bean has scientists saying they found a magic weight loss cure for every body cut.
COHEN: The makers of one weight loss product touted on his show was sued by the Federal Trade Commission for false advertising and settled for $3.5 million. All fodder for the doctors who asking Columbia University to rethink Oz's position.
COOPER: Elizabeth Cohen joins me now. Have we reached out to Dr. Oz? Have they made a statement?
COHEN: We have, Anderson. They made a statement and then they sent us an e-mail. The e-mail said that it list the names of five of the 10 people who complained about Dr. Oz. And then the e-mail -- the spokesperson for Dr. Oz questioned the integrity and even the qualifications of these people who are pointing the finger at Dr. Oz.
No, we just received this e-mail, so we haven't had a chance to verify any of it. But again, what Dr. Oz's spokesperson is doing is he's pointing fingers at these doctors and saying they have problems of their own.
COOPER: All right, we'll continue to follow this. Elizabeth Cohen, thanks very much.
Lot to dig into. Joining me tonight is Dr. Margaret Moon, a pediatrician and professor at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.
Dr. Moon you say that Dr. Ox is right on the edge of the boundaries for a physician. How so? DR. MARGARET MOON, PEDIATRICIAN & PROFESSOR, JOHNS HOPKINS BERMAN
INSTITUTE OF BIOETHICS: Well, I think that Dr. Oz has played several different roles. When he's on his television show, he is part entertainer, part motivational speaker, and also in part someone who is wearing the uniform of a physician and promoting himself as a highly trained physician.
But what he does there is use information in a way that I think touches the boundaries of what it is to be a physician. I think when Dr. Oz presenting himself as Dr. Oz and not just Mr. Oz, uses information in a way that is not adherent to the integrity of the scientific knowledge. I think he really does sort of bump up against the edges of what is acceptable behavior for a physician.
COOPER: Do you think he crosses the line? He talks about revolutionary cures and miracle cures. There was one graphic I think that was behind him, they were talking about some miracle dietary supplement or dietary formula. And the graphic behind them said "no exercise, no diet." I mean, does that cross the line to you?
MOON: Well, I think that did cross the line because it turned out that was completely false. And I think to his credit, he took that down and admitted that was a mistake. So, science is always full of mistakes, and even sometimes I have to go back to my patients and say, yep, I was wrong about this one. We're going to take a different approach.
And I think it is probably fair to say that about half of what he says in terms of the advice he gives has some grounding in scientific evidence. Another quarter has probably no grounding whatsoever. And another quarter is sort of neither here nor there.
COOPER: Are those good percentages, though? I mean, 50 percent grounded in scientific evidence -- do you think the people that are watching - I mean, he is a respected doctor or has been, and is affiliated with a respected hospital. Is 50 percent good enough?
MOON: No. Not for somebody who is being a physician. But remember, in that television show, I think it is fair to say that he's not actually being a physician, he's being an entertainer and maybe being a motivational speaker. The problem is he's advertising himself as a physician. So I think he should either be more clear about which hat he's wearing at a specific time in the show, or he should stop calling himself a doctor when he is presenting this information that is not grounded in evidence.
COOPER: Dr. Moon, I appreciate you being on. Thank you so much.
MOON: Appreciate it.
COOPER: Just ahead tonight, Dr. Sanjay Gupta investigates the medical marijuana revolution. We'll have a preview of WEED 3, debuting on CNN this weekend. That is next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [20:58:33]
COOPER: A new installment of the documentary series WEED 3 premiers this weekend on CNN. For the last three years, our Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been reporting on medical marijuana. This time, he shows just how far the science has come to learn exactly what this drug does to your brain. Studies that once looked at harm are now looking is the benefits. Here is the preview.
DR. STACY GRUBER, HARVARD UNIVERSITY RESEARCHER: Can you push button number one for me?
It is the most exciting time I can think really of for marijuana research. This is high times in marijuana research. It really is.
What I need you to do is identify the number that is different, okay.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Harvard University's Dr. Stacy Gruber has been researching marijuana since the early 1990s. They call her "the pot doc." We first met her two years ago when she was researching the possible damage of recreational marijuana to the brain.
Now she's also set her sites on the possible benefits of medical marijuana. Massachusetts, as it turns out, is the perfect sort of place for this study because they just legalized medical marijuana. Gruber's goal is to study new patients who have never used cannabis.
GRUBER: Our goal was to use at the folks before they started using medical marijuana, and then three months in, six months in and a year. Primarily to look at frontal executive functions because that really is the big question.
GUPTA: That question, how does medical marijuana impact brain function longer term?
GRUBER: And all I want you to do is name the blocks of color for me as quickly as you can --
GUPTA: Before and after they start medicating, patients will take cognitive tests. And here is what is revolutionary. They are going to have their brains scanned to chart the change. For the first time, we will see what your brain looks like on weed.
COOPER: Fascinating. Sanjay's documentary, WEED 3: The Marijuana Revolution, Sunday 9:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. Followed at 10:00 p.m. by the premiere of the CNN original series, High Profits. In the meantime, check out the op-ed that Sanjay wrote at CNN.com describing the medical marijuana revolution that he now sees everywhere. It's a great read at CNN.com