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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Tension on the High Seas; University of Alabama Dropout Attempts to Join ISIS; Protests in Baltimore. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired April 21, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:16] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Thanks for joining us.
Take a look. The sun going down in Baltimore, police and protesters out in force. The breaking news tonight, less than a day after the police chief and mayor tried to get in front of the protests, protests offer a man's death in police custody seems to have grown.
Marches who were driven away last evening by rainy weather came out today in force demanding answers to how Freddie Gray ended up with fatal spinal cord injuries after being arrested on the morning of the 12th.
Mr. Gray's mother overcome with emotion collapsed during the march and could not go on. Her grief matched by a lot of others. Strong emotions tonight on the streets, including disbelief and mistrust, and obviously, a lot of anger.
We are going to speak in a moment with Baltimore's mayor and our panel of experts about all the unanswered questions surrounding Freddie Gray's death.
But first let's go to Miguel Marquez with the protesters in the city of Baltimore.
What's the latest? What is happening?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is unclear of what is happening. They were just here at the west district police officer where Mr. Gray was meant to be brought. The protesters have now moved to the -- actually, they are moving to the intersection here. And it is not clear why. There is several hundred protesters out here at this point. Throughout the afternoon, though, the numbers were as big as 2,000 people out here in these protests. They have been mainly peaceful but moments of great, great anger as we saw earlier, not directed at us. I mean, I think they are happy that the press is out here covering this, something they say we have neglected too long. But they are extraordinarily unhappy with the police and the mayor and the city government here.
What they want is all those six officers arrested on first-degree murder charges. They say they are going to take over the area around the city hall starting on Thursday and they will stay there until there is justice -- Anderson. COOPER: Miguel, Gray's patients were there earlier. We said that his
mom collapsed. How did the crowd react when they showed up?
MARQUEZ: It was chaotic. But it was extraordinarily moving as soon as they showed up. His parents that we have not seen so far. They came out, they came out and they were -- and they were unable to talk for the most part because his mother was so overwhelmed with grief. They marched from here to the police station where she didn't want her -- her face shown. When they got to the point where her son was arrested, though. They embraced, they cried and they let out the longest and hardest wail I've heard. It was extraordinarily hard to hear as everybody was quite around them, their hands in the air. It was very, very (INAUDIBLE) -- Anderson.
COOPER: Miguel Marquez, thanks. We will continue to check in with you throughout this hour.
Now, Baltimore's mayor says that she is fighting to bring back trust between the police and the community. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joins us now.
Madam Mayor, thanks very much for being with us.
I know you are asking the same questions a lot of people are namely, when and how was Freddie Gray fatally injured? At this point have you gotten any answers?
MAYOR STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE, BALTIMORE: Well I want to thank the members of the public who have come forward to give us video evidence as well as testimony. Because I'm determined to get to the bottom of it. We still have a lot of unanswered questions. What we know is that when the police first encountered Mr. Gray, he was able to talk, he was responsive, we saw him run, we saw him walk, we knew that his -- he did not look like he had any physical injuries. What we also know is that very shortly thereafter, when he was removed from the van, he was unresponsive. We know that requested medical attention and that attention wasn't immediately requested for him.
COOPER: When did he request medical attention? I'm sorry, when did he request medical attention? When he was being put in the van?
RAWLINGS-BLAKE: There were several points. There was at least one -- between one and three times that we have documented that he's requested medical attention. There is one that we caught on the video, where he's asking for an inhaler. And there was another request for medical attention as documented in the time line that we published yesterday. So we know that there was at least one -- or more times where he requested medical attention.
And that is concerning. Any human being that requests medical attention in a city as -- that is known around the world for their, you know, their medical expertise, that we should be able to do better than that. So that is a concern of mine and the concern of the police commissioner who has made it very clear in re-issued policy and procedures in the department, what they are to do when they have an individual in custody that requested medical attention, that person will get medical attention immediately.
[20:05:20] COOPER: When he was in the back of the police vehicle, was he there by himself? Do you know was there an officer present with him?
RAWLINGS-BLAKE: No officer present. But there was -- there were two stops made and by the second stop or the third there was an additional suspect placed in the van. But -- had no ability to contact. There are two separate sections of the van so the person was not in the same section as Mr. Gray.
COOPER: Yesterday or several days ago, I believe, there was a statement not sure from you or somebody else in city hall saying that it seemed whatever happened to Mr. Gray happened after he was placed in custody, once he was in the van. But in the video it certainly seems like his legs are -- I don't know if you can say -- I don't want to use the world paralyzed, but he didn't seem to be using his legs. He's being dragged. Do you now believe that whatever happened to him occurred before he was put into the van?
RAWLINGS-BLAKE: I -- I said yesterday that I believe something happened while they were in the van. That is based on what I can see and I'm piecing together. I wasn't there. The police commissioner wasn't there and nor were the deputy commissioner there and what is most important, not necessarily what my conjecture is but what is most important is we get to the bottom of what happened. And that is why it is so important as we started off by saying that we have more people come forward with any information. If we had any eyewitnesses that are out there, we want to hear from them.
I don't know at what point Mr. Gray suffered the traumatic and fatal injuries, I don't know. But I'm determined to get to the bottom of it.
COOPER: What have the police actually told you? Because my understanding is there is actually a cooling-off period, so-called, where authorities are not actually even allowed to interview the police officers on the scene? Is that true? And if so, why is that? Because I think and people would think, look, it has been more than eight or nine or ten days, why isn't there a clear timeline or a clear, you know, blow by blow for lack of a better term in terms of what happened? Haven't they been interviewed?
RAWLINGS-BLAKE: There is a time line that we put out and we are trying to use police testimony as well as testimony from the public to support the timeline that is already been published by the police department.
COOPER: But you are saying you don't know what happened, I mean, we are going now past a week, how can at this point, you the mayor of the town, not know exactly what happened or have all of the police officers have given their full accounts?
RAWLINGS-BLAKE: So I was getting to that, right. The officers who were at -- who were directly involved, because of our law enforcement officers' bill of rights, we have yet to fully engage those officers. And we will get to the bottom of it.
I'm determined to make sure we have a full investigation and we follow all of the rules and procedures. So if there was a -- there is a finding of wrongdoing, that we have done everything possible to protect policies and procedures so we can hold those individuals accountable. I know that there is an interest and a frustration about the amount of information but can you imagine the frustration if we screw this up. I want to make sure that we get -- and we are pushing out as much information as we have as soon are we are able to confirm it. And if there is still some unanswered question --
COOPER: And there is no doubt. You have been very forth right with the information you have. But again, I think a lot of people certainly who are on the streets tonight, you know, when they hear about the officers' bill of rights, they are going to wonder why those officers get so long before they actually have to account for had a happened. How long, according to this bill of rights in Baltimore, do offers have before they actually have to give an accounting?
RAWLINGS-BLAKE: There are two time periods. A time period to which they have an attorney and there is a time period after that. And I'll say that, you know, I was in our state capitol fighting for stronger laws when it comes to -- stronger reforms when it comes to the law enforcement officers' bill of rights. I was down there, one of a handful of elected officials that were fighting to give our police commissioner more tools to hold officers accused of wrongdoing accountable.
You know, the fact that there is a perception of an uneven playing field between the police and the community is not lost on me and that is why I was fighting so hard and I'm looking forward to have more supporters down there fighting along with me next session so we get more -- better reforms and better tools in place so we can hold those officers accountable.
Now, we've made a lot of progress in Baltimore. Lawsuits against the city, against the police department under my administration have gone down, just courtesy complaints, excessive use of force complaints are going down but we have a lot of progress to do and it significantly hampers our ability to -- to bridge or to repair the relationship with the community and the police when something this tragic happens. That is why I'm determined to get it right. That's why I'm determined to work with anyone. I know the department of justice is going to be here, investigating. I want them to take a look at this. I want to get it right for the community. Mr. Gray's family deserves justice and our community deserves an opportunity to heal to get better and to make sure that something like this doesn't happen again.
[20:10:48] COOPER: I have two more questions for you. One, I want to ask you about the protesters outside and your concerns and your hopes of what you are going to see for tonight. But first, I want to ask you, how concerns are you -- I mean, the initial reports say that the police basically made eye contact with Mr. Gray and that he turned around and started running away and that the police pursued him and tackled him. Is that appropriate? There is an account I believe from a police officer saying somebody
saw a knife clipped to his -- the front of one of his pockets, some people have raised questions about whether that is the case. But is simply not wanting to interact with the police cause for being stopped in Baltimore?
RAWLINGS-BLAKE: So I'm an attorney by trade and I spent a significant amount of time while I was serving as member of the city council as a defender, as an attorney with the public defender's office. I know what probable cause is. I haven't heard probable cause in this case yet. That is one of the questions that I want answered. I know that having a knife is not necessarily probable cause for a stop or an arrest. That is why I have significant questions about what happened and that is why I'm determined to get to the bottom of it.
You know, we are working very hard, I've spoken to the governor today that controls the medical examiner's office. And ask that, you know, police, as soon as you can release concrete information about what you are seeing with the autopsy, please release it to the family and to the public so we can continue to put out as much information as possible while we are conducting this investigation.
I want to make sure that we get this right, that we continue to put out as much information as possible. And that, again, I'm determined that something like this not happen again in our city.
COOPER: And to the protesters tonight, what do you want them to know?
RAWLINGS-BLAKE: That I hear them. That I share their frustration. I haven't heard what the probable cause was. I haven't heard the cause of this fatal, very serious fatal injury. I share your concerns. I grew up in Baltimore. I know our history and that is why I've worked so hard in my career and time in public service trying to make things better in Baltimore.
It is clear that we have more work to do. We also -- we also have a history, however, of peaceful protests and respectful protests and I will work and the police department is committed and I've instructed them to work to make sure that the voices of the community are heard. They deserve to be heard. They have a right to be heard. And we'll make sure we protect that right.
COOPER: Madam Mayor, thank you very much for your time. We appreciate it. Thank you.
RAWLINGS-BLAKE: Thank you.
COOPER: When we come back, we'll tackle the answered questions that we just been talking about and the unanswered one.
As always, make sure you set your DVR. You can watch "360" whenever you want.
Coming up later tonight in this hour, some major new development also with the showdown with Iran in the waters off Yemen. President Obama weighing in. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[20:16:04] COOPER: Protesters and police facing off tonight in the streets of Baltimore. Several hundred people hitting the streets this evening demanding answers in the death of Freddie Gray who sustained fatal injuries in police custody. Now, whether you agree or disagree with their view of the Baltimore police enforcement, (INAUDIBLE).
At this point, though, there are Mr. Questions surrounding what happened and not many answers. You've just heard that from the mayor herself. Once again Miguel Marquez joins us tonight from the protest-- Miguel.
MARQUEZ: A lot of anger here in the streets of Baltimore, west Baltimore. So now, it's protesters on the move again. They are now moving from the western district police station, back, I believe, to where Mr. Gray was arrested.
There are so many questions though about the timeline. The police released the timeline early on but then said that Mr. -- Mr. Gray was -- the van he was in stopped once and it turns out they stopped twice. People here want answers to those very serious questions --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we want them now.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Baltimore police say the Freddie Gray transport from arrest to ambulance took not one stop but three, a long route and a long time before officers apparently realized that Gray was seriously injured.
His family coming out publicly for the first time today.
This map shows where Gray was arrested. Where he was initially placed in a police van screaming in pain, his legs apparently not fully functional.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His legs are broke. Look at his legs.
MARQUEZ: At 8:45 a.m., police make their first stop at baker and mount streets, just around the corner from where Gray was arrest that he shackled his legs then two more stops. Police drive Gray to 1100 Druid Avenue, they say to check on his condition. Then they drive them back to where they first saw Gray on that day on North Avenue to pick up another prisoner. Only then do they drive Gray to the western district police station where an ambulance is called. Police say that time is 9:24 a.m. A lawyer for the Gray family disputes the police timeline.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don't know when he was injured.
MARQUEZ: The 25-year-old died Sunday, one week after falling into a coma following arrest by Baltimore police. The witness who shot this video of the arrest and does not want to be identified said before he started recording, police were being physically tough with Gray. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They had Freddie Gray bent up into what I would
like to call a pretzel type of move where the heels of his feet to his back and a knee in the back of his neck.
COOPER: We are going to check in with Miguel Marquez throughout this hour as the protest continue. Joining us now CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin, she is a federal prosecutor, she has worked in the Baltimore area and we should also mention is friends with Baltimore's mayor, also forensic expert Lawrence Kobilinsky of New York's John Jay College of criminal justice and retired New York police detective Harry Houck.
Sunny, I mean, it has been ten days and still not a lot of answers. Does that surprise you?
[20:19:57] SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It does surprise me quite frankly. Because you have the spotlight on Baltimore. And you now have six officers that have been suspended and I feel at this point we have very little information. We're talking about a man who was fine before police custody and then suffered a tragic, fatal injury. How is it possible that we don't know more. That just doesn't make sense to me. And I think it is giving everyone the sense of opaqueness, of a lack of transparency in this investigation. And while I understand that everyone wants to get it right, I think it is time that we provide answers.
COOPER: Professor Kobilinsky, three fracture vertebrae says the family attorney and a crushed voice box, what does that tell you about what went on?
LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, PROFESSOR, JOHN JAY COLLEGE: It is a little difficult to understand. I don't see how he could have yelled and spoken if the larynx had actually been crushed. I will say this, though.
COOPER: This is a dumb question. Are we talking about the Adams apple?
KOBILINSKY: Yes, the vocal chords. But, you know, the issue for me is that the damage to the cord, the spinal cord could have occurred either in a one-step or a two-step situation. If the vertebrae had been fractured, and displaced, that could have severed the cord in one shot.
On the other hand, had the fractures taken place, and then subsequent to that, that Freddie Gray had been transported, and his head perhaps underwent rotation or lateral movement or something else, the fractured vertebrae could have severed the cord. So it could have happened in two stages. But it does appear that the initial trauma occurred before he entered the van.
COOPER: Harry, you know, I talked to the mayor about the initial interaction that led to the police running after Mr. Gray. She said she doesn't see evidence of probable cause. There had been report of possibly seeing the clip of a switchblade in his pocket or of a knife. Exactly what is required for probable cause?
HARRY HOUCK, FORMER NEW YORK POLICE DETECTIVE: You don't need probable cause to make a stop. You need what is called reasonable suspicion. And the officers' reasonable suspicion based on what I read is they saw a clip for the knife in his front pocket. That is their story. OK. So based on that, they made a stop. He ran and the officers engaged him.
COOPER: Sunny, do you buy that? There are a lot of people, you know, with Mark Geragos on this program last night saying look, you know, come on. Maybe they found the knife afterward and said OK, we saw the clip of the knife.
HOSTIN: You know, I rarely agree with Mark Geragos, but I agree with him on that. I mean, you would have to have x-ray vision, right, to see a knife in someone's front pocket. I do, however, think that if someone is running in a high crime area that would give police officers reasonable suspicion perhaps to pursue, perhaps to stop, perhaps to frisk. But I still don't understand after that, if, in fact, the knife was legal, I don't understand how it ends up in an arrest. And even if there is an arrest, and if the knife was illegal which some knives in Maryland are -- because I'm a Maryland lawyer as well.
HOUCK: Some are illegal. And allegedly what he had was a switchblade.
HOSTIN: We don't know for sure. If that is the case, I still don't understand how the police report indicates that the arrest was without incident and force and you have a dead man. So regardless of why he was stopped, I don't understand why he's dead.
COOPER: Harry, explain -- I mean, you used to worked in internal affairs and you worked in many other assignments. You know, I talked to the mayor about the police officer's bill of rights which allow, you know, which gives them a period of time to make a statement and you and I were talking during the break, you were saying look, they have the right just as everybody else to even not make a statement.
HOUCK: Exactly. You know, I don't know what the bill of rights are and what the union does, and here in New York, if an officer is involved in something where there might be some kind of criminal charges against him, all right, he doesn't say anything. That is where you have detectives to conduct the investigation.
Now, attorneys will come right in there, for those police officers, and they'll tell them to keep their mouth shut and they will talk to them.
COOPER: Does a police officer -- let's talk about New York since actually, and where you are, does a police officer in New York have to immediately though, fill out a report detailing step by step what happened in this arrest or --
COOPER: They don't?
HOUCK: No. I mean, if he feels that this report could somehow harm him, all right, there is other officers on the scene, there is other parts of the investigation, detectives coming on the scene to conduct the investigation. The lawyers are going to tell them, keep your mouth shut just like anybody else, police officers are afforded the same rights as anyone else.
COOPER: All right, that is one of the reasons perhaps why -- I mean, the mayor doesn't have the full facts of what has happened, because as she said in the interview, they haven't been able to get statements from all of the officers.
[20:24:57] HOSTIN: They haven't been able to get statements. And I think, you know, when you talk about legislation and the law enforcement officer's bill of rights, people have been trying to reform those rights because of this very reason. I do believe --
HOUCK: You still can't stop that.
HOSTIN: But I do believe that you should, that an officer who arrests someone should be able to fill out the police incident report. As a matter of course, Harry, you know that the police incidents reports are always filled out after an arrest. Why do these officers don't have to fill out a police incident report especially after someone has died in their custody.
HOUCK: Because of the possibility of them being prosecuted just like anybody else.
HOSTIN: And that is why this is -- this is an appearance of opaqueness.
HOUCK: This bill of rights is not going to take away the rights of the police officer. They can change those rights away all they want, he still has the right to remain silent. He has the basic rights that every American does in this country has.
COOPER: We are going to take a short break and we'll come back with Harry, Sunny and Lawrence Kobilinsky. Stay with us. We will check also back with you a little bit later in the hour as we continue to follow developments in Baltimore with Miguel Marquez on the ground.
Now, just ahead, a potentially major development tonight in the looming standoff with Iran and the sea off of Yemen. A lot more ahead.
[20:24:34] COOPER: Well, there is breaking news in the naval showdown with Iran in the sea off of Yemen. Just one of several potentially significant developments in the story today. Now, barely a day after U.S. warships including the super carrier Theodore Roosevelt began to steam there to head off any possible Iranian arm ship to end Houthi forces, a key player made a big announcement. Saudi Arabia which backs the Yemeni governments and has been bombing the Iranian back rebels said it was ending the airstrikes declaring them successful.
Iran's government called the announcement a positive development. The White House today welcomed it as well. And the same time, talk with MSNBC's Chris Matthews' President Obama also has a warning, a warning to anyone seeking to de-stabilize that part of the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We want -- when it comes to the seas, we are obviously the dominant force and we're coordinating closely with all of our allies in the region sending a message that rather than another conflict in the region, we need to settle this now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Clearly things are happening and chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto is here with all the late developments. So, what is the latest that we know about where the U.S. ships are and how this could all play out.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the ships now are distributed along here. You have them in the southern Red Sea, along the straits here, in the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea. You also have Saudi ships, Egyptian ships, ships from the UAE and the United Arab Emirates as well. And the Iranians down here as well, and still in international waters, the idea being that they are close enough that they can keep watch over them, but they are not in a position right now, Anderson, where there are plans to board them or blockade them. As the president said this is about sending a message not just to the Iranians, but also to the Gulf allies that the U.S. will continue to have their back as it were even as it is in the midst of these very sensitive negotiations with the Iranians over the nuclear program.
A lot of this is about message sending because everybody involves in this knows that if a U.S. ship were to block or board an Iranian ship that would really raise the tensions here to almost to an act of war, so they are trying to send that message without taking that step.
COOPER: And these manned U.S. reconnaissance flights off Yemen, what are they looking for, exactly?
SCIUTTO: Well, this is part of it. I'm just going to show you a video here. This is the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which was moved down from the Arabian Sea, up here, part of the operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, down because of the events in Yemen, not just the deterioration of the situation there, but the Iranian convoy. So, you have aircraft off this ship including FAA hornets that you could see right here flying reconnaissance keeping an eye on the Iranian convoy. Again, part of this sending a message that we are watching you and we know you are there. We are aware that you may very well have weapons on board. We don't know that, but just to give that message, as the president said in his comments to NBC tonight, to say that, you know, the intention here is to ratchet down the tension rather than ratchet it up and it's a U.S. position that they are communicating in part with all these military assets, that you send more arms to Yemen, you are going to make the situation worse, not better.
SCIUTTO: Well, Saudi Arabia ending the bombing saying it was successful and do we know if that is true? Do we know what actually it did?
SCIUTTO: I'll just take you back to the map here just to show you Saudi Arabia right across the border there.
Listen, you know, I was with the Saudi ambassador last week who was talking about how, you know, they are fully committed to this operation, we are going to be there for the long haul until all goals are accomplished. So, six days later they say all their military goals are accomplished in Yemen. It seems a very abrupt end. But I'm just speaking to people in the Pentagon. They say, they don't see this as the Saudi ceasefire in Yemen, yes, the first stage is over. They have gotten the major military assets, ballistic missiles, that kind of thing, that they see as a threat to Saudi Arabia and their neighbors in the regions doesn't mean it is the end to military action, all military action by Saudi Arabia in Yemen. But it is a significant step here. Because remember, keep in mind all the folks who are very uncomfortable with this Saudi campaign, Iran among them, called it a genocide, not that Saudi Arabia is obeying Iran here, but, you know, this was a sensitive military operation there. There were a lot of civilian deaths from this. So, you see the Saudi stepping back, ratcheting down that military action. But Anderson, I'm told from the U.S. perspective, it doesn't look like a complete end to Saudi military action there going forward.
COOPER: All right, Jim Scuitto, I appreciate the update.
I want to talk more about what is happening on the ground and on the high seas. There is, obviously, a lot of tension and a lot of potential for tension in this conflict. Joining us now if Fareed Zakaria, host of GPS weekends here on CNN, also Retired U.S. Navy commander Kirk Lippold. He was commanding officer of the USS Cole when it was bombed by al Qaeda in the Yemeni Port of Aden a year before the 911 attacks.
Fareed, how big of a potential flash point is this right now? U.S. warships in close proximity to Iranian vessels.
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, it could be a real flash point because Yemen is frankly, unimportant. What Yemen has become is a cockpit for the regional ambitions and the regional designs of the two great powers in the region, Iran and Saudi Arabia. And that is really what is playing itself out. There are no larger issues involved. To just understand for a second the absurdity of what is going on. The Saudis are bombing the Houthis. The Houthis are these rebels who have been rebelling against the Yemeni government. Who is leading the Houthis right now? It is Mr. Saleh, the guy who was the dictator of Yemen for 30 years, who was backed for 30 years by Saudi Arabia.
ZAKARIA: So Saudi Arabia is bombing the very dictator it supported for 30 years.
ZAKARIA: So it is really just a power play. And it is important to understand the Saudi airstrikes largely failed because really what you have to have is a power sharing deal. And Yemen has been in a state of civil war since 1962 and these guys are just playing some kind of local power play over here. The United States might have been - who would be very well advised not to get involved much more deeply than it is. It is trying to calm the waters down, but we have no dog in this fight and we should make sure that we don't -- the interests of Saudi Arabia are not identical to those of the United States.
COOPER: I mean really the only interest the U.S. has in Yemen is one of Yemen being used by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula used as a location for terrorism.
ZAKARIA: Precisely. Our only concern is that the power - they don't develop so deeply that al Qaeda or ISIS could get there. Frankly, from a real politic perspective for the United States, any order is fine in Yemen, we just need order.
COOPER: Commander Lippold, U.S. is casting this deployment as a show of force, but any time a U.S. aircraft carrier and the ships that travel with it or in those waters, I mean there is a danger here inherent to it. No?
CMDR. KIRK LIPPOLD, U.S. NAVY (RET.): There always will be, Anderson. The key is going to be that when the aircraft carrier comes into the region, they'll get airplanes in the air that will be able to build that picture out. So that we know who is where and what ships are operating, how close they are, where the Iranians are, how many days or hours it will be until they get into any kind of Yemeni territorial waters so that we can understand where the ships are and aid or provide intelligence to the Saudis and others so that if they choose to interdict them they can. I think Fareed is absolutely correct.
While we many not have direct dog in this fight, clearly what you are seeing is Yemen being used as a fulcrum between the two large players in Saudi Arabia and Iran. With the Navy being there, it's very important, obviously we are sending a very strong signal that we do have a dog in this fight in that we consider it vitally important to maintain the sea lanes of communication open. Open to the Strait of Hormuz, open through the Strait of Bab el Mandeb, at the south end of the Arabian Sea to ensure that the flow of commerce, oil and goods is not interfered with should this develop into a larger conflict.
COOPER: Commander could you see a situation where U.S. personnel board Iranian vessels or would that be left up to Saudis or others?
LIPPOLD: I would think at this point, Anderson, we would want to leave it to the Saudis and to remain disengaged, I don't believe we should be doing it. The only circumstance where I could see it actually even happening would be should those Iranian ships enter Yemeni waters, then being in their territorial waters if the government in exile were to make a request to the United States government we would need to review that and determine should we let a boarding party from the U.S. board.
But a lot of these other countries have the capability. They know how to board other ships. They are practiced at it, they have seen us doing it for years. They know what they are doing and they'd be more than capable. It would be up to us to help them provide the intelligence to get to the right ships and do it.
COOPER: Commander Lippold, good to have you on. Fareed Zakaria as well.
Up next, a surprising decision from the judge in the case against a volunteer deputy captured on video shooting and killing a suspect instead of tazing him.
And also tonight, a major ice cream recall, while Blue Bell is putting all of its frozen treats from stores. Next.
COOPER: The family of a young woman who was once a college student in Alabama says she used her tuition money to leave on a trip to join ISIS in Syria. It's the kind of story that makes you wonder how it ever happened. Her postings online since she left have been disturbing. Her communication with her family distressing. Pamela Brown reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Intelligence officials say this 20- year-old University of Alabama Birmingham dropout once considered the quiet and shy by her classmates is now a potential national security threat. A family spokesperson says Hoda Muthana fled to Syria in November. After communicating with members of ISIS online.
HASSAN SHIBLY, FAMILY SPOKESMAN: She had withdrawn from the Muslim community over a year before she left to join ISIS because she knew that the community was not sympathetic to those extremist idea - groups.
BROWN: According to Buzzfeed, she later posted on social media this picture of four Western passports with the caption "Bon fire soon," no need for these anymore." In March she tweeted under the name "Umm Jihad", go on drive bys and spill all of their blood or rent a big truck and drive all over them." Parades in the U.S. She also tweeted about the need for more American ISIS recruit saying "so many Aussies and Brits here, but where are the Americans? Wake up you cowards." Law enforcement official says women let Muthana play a powerful role influencing others.
DAVEED GARTENSTEIN-ROSS, FOUNDATION FOR THE DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES: They are very good at both drawing in other women and also egging men on. Basically saying I'm over here in Syria, why are you still waiting at home?
BROWN: In an interview from Syria Muthana told Buzzfeed, quote, "I felt like my life was so bland. Life has so much more meaning when you know why you're here." But her family believes Muthana may have been speaking under duress. The spokesperson says her messages to her family have been conflicting. In one she asks for $2,500 to escape ISIS and complained the group was pressuring her to marry against her will, but when the family offered to help, she went dark and later messaged that she was happily married to an ISIS fighter.
SHIBLY: She will have to answer to God for the pain and suffering she's putting her parents through.
BROWN: The family says Muthana told them that she is now a widow after her husband was killed on the battlefield.
Meantime, law enforcement officials I've been speaking with say, now that Muthana has made her identity known, and put herself squarely on their radar, it is highly unlikely she'll ever be able to board a plane and make it back into the U.S. because of screening measures. Anderson.
COOPER: Pamela Brown, thanks very much. Incredible story. Let's get the latest on our stories we are following. Amara Walker is here with the "360 Bulletin." Amara.
AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the volunteer Tulsa, Oklahoma, deputy charged in the shooting death of an unarmed black man pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter today. At the hearing the judge also granted Robert Bates permission to go to the Bahamas on a family vacation. The family of Eric Harris, the man that he killed said the fact that he's allowed to go on vacation shows apathy for Harris' life.
On the first day of the sentencing phase for the convicted Boston marathon bomber, a federal prosecutor called him unrepentant and uncaring. The prosecutor is trying to convince the jury to sentence him to death.
And Blue Bell is pulling all of its products off shells after tests showed some containers of its chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream contains listeria. Three people have died from bacteria that may have come from Blue Bell products. Anderson.
COOPER: Scary. Amara, thanks very much.
Just ahead tonight, we are going to head back to Baltimore for the latest in the protest. We'll also speak - with one of the attorneys for Freddie Gray's family.
COOPER: Protests winding down tonight in Baltimore after hundreds of people hit the streets demanding answers in what - justice in the death of Freddie Gray. Billy Murphy is one of the attorneys representing Mr. Gray's family. He joins me know. Mr. Murphy, thanks for being with us. I know you had hoped to get both the autopsy report and Mr. Gray's body returned to the family by now. Do you have any indication of when police will share the report with you and release his body?
WILLIAM MURPHY JR. ATTORNEY FOR FREDDIE GRAY'S FAMILY: None whatsoever. And an expedited autopsy under these circumstances is fairly rare.
COOPER: For the officers' involved in Mr. Gray's arrest, what do you want to see happen with them, with respect to them?
MURPHY: Well, it is too early to do anything expect speculate about the degree to which any one of them in particular is involved in this case. What we want is justice. We don't want to rush to justice. And we're willing to be patient to let these investigations play out. So that we can get everything exactly right.
COOPER: I talked to the mayor at the top of this broadcast and she said she, a., doesn't see evidence of probable cause in the initial apprehension of Mr. Gray. And she also clearly does not have all of the information that she would like to have. What do you make of the fact that ten days after the arrest and death of Mr. Gray, there is still -- isn't a complete set of facts here?
MURPHY: Well, I applaud the mayor for admitting that there is no probable cause here. There isn't. Running while black is not a crime. And there is no such thing as felony running. And a good argument can be made that the only thing this kid did that was wrong was he didn't run fast enough. If there was ever a case to justify in the future why black people in inner city should run from the police, this is the case. And number two, the mayor is at the mercy of the police. And all of us are skeptical about whether the police can accurately and honestly investigate themselves, especially given the long history of them not doing that and covering up these kinds of brutality incidents. And thank God for video cell phones because that makes this a new date and this points to the urgent need for police cameras. Because you can argue that this would not have happened had this police been wired up with cameras that recorded their movements in these situations.
COOPER: The Department of Justice announce today they are officially looking into Mr. Gray's death, looking for any civil rights violations. Have you been able to talk with the family about that investigation what the Department of Justice might be able to accomplish?
MURPHY: The family welcomes a new set of eyes and they especially trust Eric Holder in light of his past performance on these kinds of issues. And so, they welcome these investigations with open arms.
COOPER: Billy Murphy, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you. Back with our panel, Sunny Hostin, Lawrence Kobilinsky and Harry Houk. Sunny, in terms of this investigation where does it go from here?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN ANALYST: You know, I think Billy Murphy makes a very important point. I'm uncomfortable with Baltimore police department investigating its own. We've seen that is not the right way to do it. You should have a separate investigative team investigating this. It has been ten days and we haven't heard from the police. And they do have the same rights that everyone else has, but they have lawyered up and haven't spoken, and now how do you expect the Baltimore City police commissioner to investigate his own? And you have to have someone come in with a fresh set of eyes, a disinterested pair of eyes, to look at this case.
COOPER: And Harry, traditionally, there is great resistance among police forces around the country to that sort of independent civilian review?
HOUCK: Right, typically, I don't even know why. I have got no problem with the -- the attorney general coming in and taking a look at it. They did a good job in the Eric Holder case - good job in the other case in Ferguson. I have no problem with Eric Holder, U.S. attorneys coming in and investigating this case, and I don't think the police department should have any problem with that either.
COOPER: How much can the family at this point learn from an autopsy, Professor?
KOBILINSKY: Well, you know, we haven't seen X-rays, we haven't seen the autopsy report. Hopefully, the autopsy has been done by a board- certified forensic examiner rather than a hospital pathologist, because those autopsies are quite different.
KOBILINSKY: Oh, absolutely. Board certified forensic examines are trained first of all to be cynical and to examine the exact damage to the vertebrae and see what possible mechanisms might explain the break.
COOPER: And that is critical, to find what mechanism would have caused the damage to the vertebrae, whether it was a instrument like a baton or something, or a fall or what?
KOBILINSKY: I would totally agree with that, yes. So there is a lot we can learn from the autopsy. But I think what we also need is to establish a better timeline. And also to keep an open mind. Because strange things can happen. The police could have, for example, tackled Mr. Gray, and he could have dropped in such a way where there was a great deal of force. His body weight, plus the pressure of the tackle that brought him down, creating tremendous forces on the cervical vertebrae. So how the vertebrae were broken is a critical piece of this. It could have not been a baton, could have been a baton, could have been an accident. But certainly we won't know the answer to this until we have a real clear time line of what happened.
And again, I say that the cord could have been partially severed or it could have happened in two stages. Things could very well have happened in the van, and the van could have jolted for example, and that would have triggered the break of the spinal cord.
COOPER: A lot of coulds and not a lot of answers at this point. Professor, good to have you on, Sunny Hostin, Harry Houk. As well. A quick programming note, at the top of the next hour, Drew Griffin investigates the dangers of a kind of drug you might not be too familiar with. Stay tuned for "Deadly High," how synthetic drugs are killing kids. 9:00 p.m. here on CNN. We'll be right back.
COOPER: More questions than answers tonight in the fatal injury of a Baltimore man in police custody. More protests expected as well throughout the week. Want to check back in with our Miguel Marquez in Baltimore, where tonight's demonstrations are winding down. Miguel.
MARQUEZ: It looks like things are just about winding down, but a very, very intense day here in West Baltimore with the parents of Freddie Gray making their first public appearance, a very emotional public appearance, and protesters numbering at one point about 2,000 people here in front of the police station, promising to be back here tomorrow in numbers just as big if not bigger. They've been doing this almost every night. Tonight was the biggest we have seen. Tomorrow they are promising more, and on Thursday night, they are promising to go to the city hall here in Baltimore, and take over that until they see what they want. And that is the arrests of those six officers who they say are culpable of first-degree murder of Mr. Freddie Gray, who was taken and arrested just several blocks from here. The people here tonight saying they will not rest until they see justice. It is the most impressive showing we've seen so far, and we expect in the days ahead this is going to grow. Clearly the death of Freddie Gray has woken up people in this neighborhood. Anderson.
COOPER: Miguel Marquez. Thank you. That does it for us. We'll see you again at 11:00 pm. Eastern for another edition of "360." CNN special report, "DEADLY HIGH," starts now.