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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Police, Protesters Clash After Baltimore Suspect's Gun Fires; Mohammed Contest Shooter Tweeted Loyalty to ISIS; Feds Searching for Terror Links to Texas Gunmen; NYPD Officer Dies After Being Shot in the Face. Aired 7-8:00p ET
Aired May 4, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:10] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT tonight breaking news, protesters and police clash in Baltimore. The city on edge tonight after a gun goes off during an arrest. We're live on the scene.
Plus, two heavily armed gunmen try to launch an attack on a Prophet Mohammed cartoon contest. We now know their identities. Are they connected to a larger international terror network?
And on a much lighter note. The royal baby finally has a name. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Jim Sciutto in tonight for Erin Burnett. And OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news. Baltimore on edge. Confusion and anger on the streets after a gun goes off, spreading rumors of another police shooting of a black man. This was the scene near the burned out CVS in Baltimore just moments after that gunshot was heard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Police just shot someone. They shot this man in the back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Police now say a gun did go off, but that the suspect was not shot and was not injured. They say they stopped the man after seeing on surveillance video that he had a gun.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. COL. MELVIN RUSSELL, BALTIMORE POLICE DEPARTMENT: The sound of the weapon discharging. The police never discharge any weapons. He has no injuries on his body whatsoever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: But there are some in the crowd who told CNN reporters they had little reason to believe what they were told by police. All this going on at almost the same time as President Obama made a speech about inner city youth and young men who live there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Too many places in this
country, black boys and black men, Latino boys, Latino men, they experience being treated differently by law enforcement. In stops and in arrests and in charges and in incarcerations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: CNN's Brian Todd is OUTFRONT in Baltimore tonight. Brian, so you have some residents who from that very minute did not believe the Police Department's version of events. What are people there telling you happened? And are there any eyewitnesses who contradict the police story?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jim, no eyewitnesses who contradict the police report, there are people telling us that they don't necessarily believe the police version of events. One of the reasons this has gotten so tense is because of the location where it happened. This is the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and North Avenue, the scene in recent days of so much tension the, protests, clashes between police and protesters right here. Cordons of police lining the streets. This was also the scene of some looting and some burning of cars. Now the shooting, the gun incident we should stay was not a shooting, happened right over there where the police tape is. And the account that we're getting from Lieutenant Colonel Melvin Russell of the Baltimore Police Department is that they observed, the police observed a young man walking.
They observed this via closed circuit camera. They observed him walking, carrying a handgun. They approached him. At that point, a short chase ensued on foot. Now at some point according to police, the man's gun fell to the ground, and that's where it discharged. But the police say they never discharged their weapons. They also say when the gun discharged, nothing hit the suspect, that he was not injured. So, those are two important points to remember. This was technically not a shooting. It was a gun incident where the gun fell and discharged that is according to police. This man did not suffer any injuries, they say. He did not want to be treated by a medical officer who arrived, but they sent in an ambulance just in case. And Jim, he was arrested on a gun violation. But, again, the place that it happened, and the time of day was at about 3:00 in the afternoon where there were a lot of people on the street. That really served to kind of rile up the crowd and get people a little bit tense. There was a cordon of police officers across the street here, kind of harkening back to a week or so ago where that was an occurrence every night. So, that kind of ratcheted up the tension as well. But it did calm down fairly quickly Jim and it is very, very calm at the corner of Pennsylvania North Avenue at this hour.
SCIUTTO: Well, it's keen to say that those facts can be easily determined with certainty as to where a bullet came from, did it come from a police gun, did it come from the gun that was thrown to the ground. I want to ask you though, police in riot gear we saw dispatched immediately after that incident, and that was a change from what you had been seeing earlier in the day. You have the national guardsmen pulled out. How much of a change now and are you confident based on what you're seeing tonight that that anger is not going to boil over into more protests?
TODD: I'll answer your first question first, Jim. It was a real change. Because since yesterday, when city authorities lifted the curfew and the National Guard announce they were starting to withdraw from the city, things have been fairly calm. They have been calm for much of the day until this incident occurred. As for what may happen tonight, you know you just don't know going into the evening hours. I can tell you that right now things are very calm at this intersection. It's a functioning intersection. We're not sure how close police are to this intersection. I can tell you that after this incident happened this afternoon, police got here very quickly. So there may be a police staging area near here. And if things get -- if something somehow happens, I can't imagine that they would be far away.
[19:05:20] SCIUTTO: Brian Todd, great to have you on the ground there. Thanks for joining us tonight.
And OUTFRONT tonight we have former LAPD Police Officer David Klinger, CNN political commentator Marc Lamont Hill, he's here with me in New York. Also a professor at Morehouse College and host of BET News and HuffPost Live. We also have D. Watkins, he's a long-time Baltimore resident, a professor and author of "Cook Up" a memoir of his life of dealing drugs in Baltimore. Great to have you all on.
D., I want to start with you. Police lay this out this way. They say they saw a man on closed circuit camera carrying a handgun. They went to arrest him. That that gun went off, perhaps that he threw it away. The police did not fire any weapons. And that this man was not hit by any bullets before he was taken away. So very specific details there from the police. From your perspective do, you believe that story?
D. WATKINS, AUTHOR, "COOK UP": I think it's an unfair distraction from all of the positive things that have been going on in Baltimore. But one thing I think we should be paying attention to, this is probably the first time we see a black man with a gun that doesn't get shot a million times by police officers just for showing it. It's like the first time. So maybe someone is listening. Hopefully we can get back to business as usual and fight some of these big systemic issues that is the reason for everything that is going on right now anyway.
SCIUTTO: David, I have to get you to respond to that. I'm going to come to you, Marc, as well. It's a pretty remarkable statement. Really state of affairs in Baltimore, but also other cities where we have seen this kind of violence from police on black men. Some of them unarmed to say the first time you heard these words there that a black man wasn't shot in those circumstances, do you think that's a fair description of the way police have been handling these encounters?
DAVID KLINGER, FORMER LAPD OFFICER: It's an absurd statement. I personally have looked four black men in the eye as they pull guns out of their waistband or a coat pocket and throw them on the ground. And I didn't pull the trigger on any of them. You talk to any police officer who has worked a tough district for any extended period of time, and they will be able to account chapter and verse very similar stories. I wrote a book called "Into The Kill Zone." I would encourage the other gentleman to read the third chapter of my book where story after story after story of police officer, and many of them white, confronting all sorts of people, many of them black, pulling guns, pointing guns, shooting guns and not returning fire. That's absurd. And we need to stop that absurdity. Police officers show a great deal of restraint most of the time when they confront people who have weapons.
SCIUTTO: D., I want to give you a chance to respond. But Marc, I also want to ask you. We hear right there the state of affairs, don't we? This diametrically opposed view of the facts on the ground.
MARC LAMONT HILL, PROFESSORS, MOREHOUSE COLLEGE: Well, absolutely. One thing we know at least -- actually, let me speak to D.s' point first. Because I don't want to dismiss D.'s point simply because we may disagree or they may disagree or whether it happens every time or sometime or a little bit of the time. The bigger issue here is that the law enforcement infrastructure in Baltimore responded very differently to what we saw a week ago or two weeks ago to what we saw today. It took 32 minutes for someone to come to a man with a broken spine. This time the guy wasn't injured, a precautionary ambulance, the police had a precautionary ambulance. I mean, that's what should happen, but it's not typically what happens, at least in Baltimore. So, I agree. Every black man with a gun hasn't been shot. But too many black men with and without guns and women are shot. And I think that's the issue here. And with regards to the facts on the ground, I think one thing is people don't trust the facts on the ground as they come from law enforcement because of what is happening.
SCIUTTO: D., to be fair to your point, I don't think you were saying that every black man with a gun is shot. But you're making a point that too often I think as Marc was saying, that's the case, are you not?
WATKINS: Yes. I think it happens far too often. You know, like I said, this is one of the rare times where we see a black man with a gun and he isn't shot. So the other person's comment, I thank you for not shooting people. You know, we need more cops like you. Maybe you should tour and teach like a seminar. Maybe you should tour. You can't speak for most officers because we're talking about your own individual experience, we're talking about huge systemic problems within our police departments.
KLINGER: I've interviewed 300 police officers across the country who have been involved in shootings. And I asked them about situations where they could have shot and didn't and almost every single one of them had been in those.
HILL: David, that's kind of what you're supposed to do. Like not shooting people is kind of what you're supposed to do. I think I appreciate you as D. for not shooting people but I think the bigger question here is, why is the law enforcement infrastructure becomes so normalized with violence that when we're not surprised when police officers shoot people? I think that's the issue. And maybe, David, let's say for argument's say it is exaggerated. It doesn't negate the fact here that black men and women are overrepresented in people who are shot, overrepresented in people who are overcharged, overrepresented in people who get the wrong end of the law enforcement spectrum. And so, I think that's something we have to talk about.
[19:10:05] SCIUTTO: David, there is a fair question there. Because, you know, listen, it's not a fair argument, you know, on either side to say that I've seen a few cases that disprove the point or a few cases that prove the point. Because you know, you really have to look at a much bigger bit of data here. And the fact is, David, there are studies that show that if you're a black man you're far more likely to face that kind of violence from police. And again, as I say that, please be clear. Because I spent a lot of time with police in this city and New York, my hometown and others. I've seen them do great work. So, you know, I'm not tainting the entire force with a brush. But from your perspective, do you accept that when you look at the data, that there is unfair treatment in the data?
KLINGER: In the officer-involved shooting data, the data is so bad that we can't come up with any conclusions. The FBI has said as much and the Bureau of Justice Statistics have said as much. We have crowd sourcing operations out there trying to get better data. I've got a proposal into the National Institute of Justice, the Bureau of Justice Statistics is trying to extend up a study so we can get good numbers. But what I would say to what Marc is talking about is, there is this disproportionality. That is the lousy data that we have, whatever it is, it does show that blacks are more likely to be shot to a higher portion of blacks are shot than their proportion of the population. However, when you start looking at crime involvement in terms of murder rates in communities and so on and so forth, then that disproportionality disappears.
HILL: That's not true.
KLINGER: No, it is true.
HILL: But the larger point is the data is so bad that we have to wait until we get good data. Then we'll be able to answer this question. And it's a critical question. And we desperately need this data.
SCIUTTO: Well, we are waiting to issues that require much deeper conversation. But we've just begun to scratch the surface there. And I will say in my own reporting on the data, what has struck me is how little data there is on officer-involved shooting.
SCIUTTO: We've tried ourselves to get into it. It's hard to answer those questions with any certainty.
SCIUTTO: We're just beginning here. This is a conversation we're going to continue. I want to thank D. Watkins in Baltimore, Marc Lamont Hill with me here in New York and David Klinger joining us from St. Louis. OUTFRONT next. Six Baltimore officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray. But did the prosecutor rush to charge and how strong is her case? An exclusive interview with the prosecutor, next.
Plus, breaking news on the two men who tried to attack a Mohammad cartoon event in Texas. U.S. authority is now looking into their ties to international terrorists.
And a young New York City officer shot while working undercover. He died today from his wounds. Our report right after this.
[19:16:20] SCIUTTO: And breaking news. Baltimore on edge. Tensions high in the city tonight after a gun went off just as a man was getting arrested. The chaos spreading rumors of another police shooting. Police in riot gear were quickly dispatched. The Police Department says the suspect was not shot and was not injured. Meanwhile, more questions about the prosecutor who brought charges against the six officers in the death of Freddie Gray.
Our Sara Sidner is OUTFRONT from Baltimore with an exclusive joint interview with Mosby and her husband who is a Baltimore City councilman.
MARILYN MOSBY, BALTIMORE CITY STATE'S ATTORNEY: We have probable cause to file criminal charges.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes, yes!
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Baltimore's chief Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby's decision was swift, different from the other high profile cases across the country involving death at the hands of police. Instead of going first to a grand jury, Mosby charged not one, but six police officers with the death of Freddie Gray while he was in police custody. On the side of town where Gray lived --
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I love you.
SIDNER: People randomly come up to her to thank her for her decision. But she is not without critics. The police union, for one, demanding a special prosecutor, saying Mosby has two glaring conflicts of interest. One, because her husband is a councilman who represents the district where Freddie Gray lived.
MOSBY: He makes the laws. I enforce them.
SIDNER: And two, the Gray's family attorney is a friend and supporter of the Mosbys, even donating to Marilyn's campaign.
(on camera): Can you do this without a conflict of interest?
MOSBY: There is no conflict of interest. I mean, I'm going to prosecute. I'm the Baltimore City state's attorney. My jurisdiction covers every district in Baltimore City. I have -- there is a number of crimes that take place in Baltimore City. And unfortunately, in a district that we live. Where is the conflict? I have to take myself away from every case or crime that takes place in West Baltimore? That makes absolutely no sense.
SIDNER (voice-over): And then there is the question of experience. Mosby took the reins less than six months ago as America's youngest state attorney. Perhaps a bigger question, can she or her prosecutors convince a jury to agree to the most serious charges, second-degree murder for the officer driving the police van.
NICK PANTELEAKIS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think a jury may have a problem convicting someone of such a harsh penalty that carries 35 years in jail when he was driving the car. And though acted horribly and may be a bad guy for what he did. But no way should have been able to foresee that Mr. Gray's head would have hit a bolt.
SIDNER: It's still not clear exactly how Mr. Gray sustained those injuries. And there are more questions. The Baltimore Sun quotes the Grays' attorney telling protesters Mosby quote, "Doesn't trust police herself," siting that fact that her office conducted its own investigation while police investigated the case too.
(on camera): What has been your experience with police? Because now as an adult you have to work with the police as well.
MOSBY: Absolutely. I mean, I've always had positive relationships with the police. I come from four generations --
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Her family was the police.
MOSBY: -- of police officers, you know? So, I respect and have the utmost admiration for the sacrifice that police officers make day in and day out. But at the end of the day, my job is to seek justice and to apply justice fairly and equally to everybody. No matter what their color, their creed, their religion, their ethnicity. It's about applying justice fairly and equally to those with or without a badge.
SIDNER: They're answering their critics on every single point. I do want to point this out. We talked to a couple of attorneys here familiar with the criminal justice system here in Baltimore. And they said they cannot imagine that she herself is actually going to try this case. They believe that she will let one of her expert criminal attorneys, criminal prosecutors take on this case. And she will supervise it -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: Fair question, Sara Sidner in Baltimore, joining me now OUTFRONT CNN legal analyst Paul Callan. He is a former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. And Paul Martin, criminal defense attorney who is also a former prosecutor. Tough to be sitting across from you two guys. My work cut out for me Paul. First to this question, she has never tried a murder case. How significant is that in a case like this?
PAUL CALLAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: A lot of people have asked me that question. And it sounds like a legitimate question. How can somebody who is 35-years-old, never tried a murder case, be prosecuting the biggest murder case in America. And you know something, it's not all that unusual. And I'll give you an example. Chris Christie. Okay? Never tried a case probably in his life before he became the U.S. attorney of New Jersey. And of course tried mobsters and all kinds of organized crime cases. Not personally, but as the lead in the attorney. So, you don't always have to have the in courtroom experience to make the right decision about who to pick to try the case.
SCIUTTO: Okay. So that goes to the experience point. Paul Martin, on this question of the conflict of interest we saw her with her husband there, city councilman, plus the lack of murder case experience, is that make it more likely as Sara presented the possibility at the end there that she supervises, but gives it to another prosecutor in her office.
PAUL MARTIN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, that's not unusual. Most prosecutors, most prosecutors in every major metropolitan city, they do not try the cases. They give it to their senior D.A.'s to prosecute the cases. And I don't really see the conflict with the husband in light of the fact that she was elected while she was married to this councilman. So everyone knew the status of their situation when she was voted in.
[19:21:32] SCIUTTO: Okay, fair enough. So let's get to the charges involved here. And we have six different defendants and 28 different charges. But Paul, this particular one, Caesar Goodson, he was the driver of the police wagon facing six charges, including second-degree murder, depraved heart murder I believe they call that. Will Mosby be able to get a jury to agree to that charge? Is that a tall mountain to climb?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That's a very tall mountain to climb. And I'd also have to say it depends where this case is tried. If it gets moved out to a conservative jurisdiction in Maryland, she'll have a very hard time depending upon who she gets on the jury in Baltimore she may have an easier time. But even with a friendly jury, that's a hard one to prove. Because you have to prove that you had a malicious and almost intentional disregard --
SCIUTTO: That's where depraved heart comes in.
CALLAN: That's what it is. Your heart is so depraved that you're saying I could care less if you're going to die because I'm throwing you in the back of this van. And that's what she is trying to prove. But Goodson, of course, checked on the welfare of the guy a couple of times during the course of the ride. So the defense will have some things to argue that would counter that claim.
SCIUTTO: So let's talk, Paul Martin about what is happening right now. These six officers being talked to, I imagine, interrogated individually. We mentioned the possibility of someone going state's evidence here, right? Is that what the prosecutor is trying to work now, to get one of them to snitch on the others?
MARTIN: Well, right now I would assume that their attorneys are having real conversations with them, let them know what they're facing, what the charges are and what their options are. If you have six defendants, somebody is going to the prosecutor and saying listen, my client does not want to spend the rest of their life in jail. They don't want to spend one day in jail being police officers and they're working out some type of disposition. If that means flipping so, be it.
SCIUTTO: Paul, is that part of the reason why you put six officers in there? I mean, you increase the number, you increase your chances of getting that kind of result? Is that part of the strategy?
CALLAN: I think it's not an ethical approach. I mean, an ethical prosecutor is only supposed to bring charges if they're supported by the evidence. But from a strategy standpoint, if you can turn one of the cops to testify against the other, this whole case will turn around because right now it looks like it's going to be a very hard case for her. But you know, as Paul says, if one of those cops comes forward and says, you know what he was saying? He was saying, we're going to teach this guy a lesson. We're going to shackle his legs. We're going to throw him in the back of the van and give him what they call a nickel ride.
CALLAN: Now, if one cop says that about the others. This is a different case.
SCIUTTO: A lot of people will going to be watching that trial when it happens if it goes to trial. Paul Callan, Paul Martin, thanks very much.
CALLAN: Thank you.
MARTIN: Thank you.
SCIUTTO: Upfront next, new details about the two armed gunmen about to attack a Mohammed cartoon event in Texas this weekend. Who are they and were they linked to ISIS?
And Jeanne Moos with the world's most famous baby.
[19:28:14] SCIUTTO: Breaking news. U.S. authorities tonight are looking at whether two men who tried to attack a Prophet Mohammed cartoon contest in Texas have ties to international terrorists. Investigators tell me they're particularly interested in a tweet sent by one of the gunmen to a known ISIS propaganda. A sign that the attacks may have been inspired from abroad, if not orchestrated from abroad. Tonight we're also learning the names of those two suspects. They are Elton Simpson and his roommate Nadir Sufi. Both from Phoenix, Arizona. Simpson had been on the Feds radar since 2011, that's when he was convicted for lying about planning to travel to Somalia to wage violent Jihad.
Alina Machado is OUTFRONT live in Garland, Texas, just outside of Dallas. And Alina, what have investigators been learning about these two men's ties to terrorist organizations?
ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, federal investigators are still trying to determine if these two men were simply inspired by ISIS or if they were directed to act by the terror group. Here in Texas, you can see the shooting scene remains cordoned off. The car the two men were driving is still here. They're getting ready to tow it. And it's a reminder of a violent attack that was stopped, thanks in large part to a quick thinking officer.
JOE HARN, GARLAND POLICE SPOKESPERSON: There is no doubt that it saved lives.
MACHADO (voice-over): High praise tonight for the traffic cop turned hero who authorities say used his handgun to stop two gunmen wearing body armor and armed with assault weapons.
HARN: He did what he was trained to do. And under the fire that he was put under, he did a very good job.
MACHADO: Police say the men drove up to this community center northeast of Dallas and got it of this black Sedan.
HARN: Both of them had assault rifles, came around the back of the car and started shooting at the police car. The police officer in that car began returning fire and struck both men, taking them down. We think their strategy was to get to the event center, into the event center, and they were not able to get past that outer perimeter that we've set up.
MACHADO: The encounter lasted about 15 seconds, and ended with both men dead. An unarmed security guard was also shot in the ankle. *
JOE HARN, GARLAND POLICE SPOKESPERSON: -- the back of the car
and started shooting at the police car.
[19:30:06] The police officer in that car began returning fire and struck both men, taking them down.
We think their strategy was to get to the event center, into the event center, and they were not able to get past that outer perimeter that we've set up.
ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The encounter lasted about 15 seconds, and ended with both men dead. An unarmed security guard was also shot in the ankle. The shooting happened just as a controversial cartoon drawing contest of the Prophet Mohammed was wrapping up.
Some 200 people were at the event. None of them was hurt.
PAMELA GELLER, ORGANIZED "DRAW MOHAMMED" EVENT: And the police came in and put us all into lockdown. And so, of course, this terrible incident reflects the need for such conferences. It's illustrative of the violent assault on the freedom of speech. MACHADO: The Council on American Islamic Relations released a
statement condemning the attack, saying in part, "We also reiterate our view that violence in response to anti-Islam programs like the one in Garland is more insulting to our faith than any cartoon, however defamatory. Bigoted speech can never be an excuse for violence."
Meanwhile, authorities in Texas spent the day combing the scene for evidence, no explosives were found inside the vehicle, only luggage. One of the gunmen identified by a federal law enforcement source as Elton Simpson tweeted his allegiance to ISIS ahead of the attack. He also linked himself to a known British ISIS fighter.
Sources tell CNN, authorities believe Simpson shared an apartment in Phoenix, Arizona, with the second gunmen, Nadir Soofi.
MACHADO: Now, the organizers of the cartoon contest spent thousands of dollars ahead of the event in extra security because they knew that the event was controversial and that it would be offensive to some. Meanwhile, that security guard we mentioned who was wounded in the attack, he has since been treated and released from the hospital -- Jim.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Alina Machado, on the scene there.
And tonight, disbelief from those who knew and lived near the two suspects. Friends and fellow worshipers at their mosque tell CNN they could never have imagined the two roommates would have tried to carry out such a terror attack.
Kyung Lah travelled to Phoenix and is OUTFRONT live tonight.
Kyung, what else are they telling you about people who knew these men?
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're hearing from the people who were their neighbors is that they never saw anything outwardly alarming from these two roommates. They actually lived in that apartment right there. You can see the porch right over my right shoulder, and they kept to themselves. They were friendly to some people. One neighbor said he even saw one of the men, Nadir Soofi as a Good Samaritan because he helped him in a medical emergency.
And we are learning some new details about Nadir Soofi. He is the man we don't know as much about, because he doesn't have much of a record with the federal government. Source with knowledge of the family says that Soofi did live a few years in Pakistan in the 1990s after his parents divorced, that he went to a prestigious private school in Islamabad, and he spent many of his formative years in Pakistan.
As far as a man who does have a criminal record, Elton Simpson, he is of much more known to people here in the phoenix area. And we spoke to the head of the mosque where he has known him for some ten years, and he says still even knowing the 2011 arrest that he had for lying to the FBI, he says he never saw this coming. Here's what he told us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
USAMA SHAMI, PRESIDENT, ISLAMIC COMMUNITY CENTER OF PHOENIX: He was always jovial, nice to talk to. A lot of kids around the mosque liked him because he played basketball, and he used to help teach them basketball. I mean, overall, he was a nice person. I don't know what happened to him. It's a shock to the community that he would be involved in such an act.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: And we also did speak with Elton Simpson's attorney, and she says that she has had a number of contacts with him over the years, but even that, even by defending him in 2011, she wasn't all that alarmed. She was frankly surprised when all of this happened -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: This is one of the enormous difficulties with lone wolves is spotting them in effect before they act.
Kyung Lah, thanks very much for joining us from Phoenix.
And OUTFRONT tonight, we have former CIA counterterrorism official and analyst Phil Mudd.
Phil, great to have you.
I mean, this is exactly the issue with -- it's like we're in the pre-crime area going back to "Minority Report," the movie. How do you predict before that they're going to act?
And I think with Elton Simpson, you at least had a sign. He had the prior arrest five years ago. But in your view, would that have been enough to keep him under constant surveillance since then?
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Boy, that's a tough one. This is sort of emblematic of the problem we face in the ISIS age. You've got one issue when you're walking into a threat briefing with the FBI director today.
[19:35:02] And that is the several hundred kids and young men from typically young men, some young women from North America, Canada, Europe, who are traveling to Syria and Iraq to fight. Those are cases coming through the front door today. They require electronic surveillance. That's things like phone and e-mail. Some of them also require physical surveillance, watching them.
Here you have a case that is half a decade old, you have to make a decision every day. You cannot watch people like this all the time. He has already been convicted. You walk in, you talk to him. What are you thinking about? He says I gave that up.
At some point with all the ISIS cases walking through the front door every day, you've got to figure out which cases to push out the back door. And this is an example of the kind of case you might drop over time because you just don't have enough evidence to continue.
SCIUTTO: I got to tell you, it so reminds me of the Paris, the "Charlie Hebdo" attacks, because you have one of the suspect there's that was known to French authorities, you know, with even more severe signs than this one and they dropped it too. But I remember, the French authorities were saying you need ten people to monitor one case.
SCIUTTO: If you've got a few thousand or a few hundred, you very easily start to talk about thousands of agents following these guys. But the trouble, Phil, is, I understand that challenge, but we know, and when I speak to counterterror guys today, they say lone wolfs are a real concern, most likely to carry out an attack here.
So, what are they doing now to ratchet up their awareness of these guys -- knowing that you can't watch everybody all the time, but you got to watch them more. So how are they making those harder judgments now and being more vigilant than they were, say, a year ago? How can they imagine that?
MUDD: Well, I tell you, when you walk in the office tomorrow morning and figure out what to do, or this morning, you've got to ask a simple question. How do we scrub old cases to determine if there are people like this?
One contrast, so, I don't -- this doesn't look to me like "Charlie Hebdo." The target does, but the individuals in "Hebdo" had gone overseas. The training they received overseas in my mind led them to be more from their perspective operationally successful, operationally damaging than these guys.
MUDD: I think because these guys were so unsophisticated in what we did, we're going to learn I suspect that they were sort of driven by ideology from overseas, but the lack of sophistication here tells me that they did not have the overseas traveler training that we saw in the "Hebdo" attack.
SCIUTTO: Right, and we talk about that a lot. The real concern, they get the training on the ground in Iraq and Syria, they make it home, they're a real threat.
Phil Mudd, always great to have you on.
MUDD: Thank you.
OUTFRONT next, this is not the first time, of course, that a Prophet Muhammad cartoon has led to violence. OUTFRONT after this, a Muslim American who says it is important to encourage these cartoons.
And a New York City police officer dead after being shot in the face by a suspect. That story as well coming up.
[19:41:40] SCIUTTO: Back to our breaking story tonight. U.S. authorities tell me they are now looking at whether two men who tried to attack a Prophet Mohammed cartoon contest in Texas have ties to international terrorists. It is not the first time the depiction of the prophet in cartoons and political satire has led to violence.
SCIUTTO (voice-over): Cartoon images of the Prophet Mohammed have sparked violence, even murder around the world. This weekend's shooting in Texas was the first to strike the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shots fired.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shots fired?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shots fired.
SCIUTTO: A cartoon contest offering $10,000 to the winning Mohammed cartoon left two armed assailants dead, shot and killed by one of several police guarding the event.
SCIUTTO: In France in January, two armed men stormed the offices of the satirical magazine "Charlie Hebdo" in Paris, killing 12 employees, after it published several cartoons of Mohammed.
During the attack, the gunmen said "Allahu akbar," or God is great, and that they were avenging the Prophet Mohammed.
A month later in Denmark, a gunman attacked a forum featuring a controversial cartoonist known for his images of Mohammed
LARS VILKS: Bang, bang, bang, bang. And the -- what is going on here?
SCIUTTO: The attack ended with a shooting outside a synagogue.
SAJJAN GOHEL, TERRORISM EXPERT: The scope of terrorism has increased the intensity, and it's not being confined to one location.
SCIUTTO: The violence first erupted ten years ago when another Danish cartoonist' images sparked protests around the world. Embassies torched. One anonymous cartoonists on al Qaeda's hit list, and protests outside embassies from Syria to Lebanon to Iran to Malaysia.
In Kuala Lumpur, the then Malaysian prime minister claimed a huge chasm had opened between the West and Islam.
The images re-igniting a debate on whether the cartoons are free speech or religious baiting. To the organizer of this weekend's event in Texas, the answer is clear.
GELLER: It's illustrative of the violent assault on the freedom of speech.
SCIUTTO: Joining me OUTFRONT now, Dean Obeidallah. He's a contributor for "The Daily Beast" and Sirius XM radio host.
Dean, thanks for having on.
DEAN OBEIDALLAH, THE DAILY BEAST: Thanks for having me on.
SCIUTTO: You're Muslim American.
SCIUTTO: How concern ready you about all the attacks relating to the cartoons of Prophet Mohammed?
OBEIDALLAH: I mean, let's put it in perspective. The attacks of the cartoon, we have "Charlie Hebdo" and we have this one here. Any time a Muslim does anything bad, I'm concerned frankly whatever it might be. The American-Muslim community suffers a backlash from those actions.
I think, you know, the idea we can go through it ideologically saying there is nothing in the Koran, we've heard clerics say nothing in the Koran says you can depict the Prophet Mohammed, nothing says calls for the death of someone who does do that.
The people who do this have an agenda or they're told or manipulated to do certain actions. The two men in Texas, we don't know yet exactly what their motivation. Was it just happened to be the Prophet Mohammed drawing was going on and they were inspired by ISIS, and they thought this would get attention? We don't know the answer to that.
Certainly it concerns me any time we see someone do something in the name of Islam that's not sanctioned, not called for, and not based on the faith.
SCIUTTO: Let's listen for a moment to Pamela Geller. She is the woman who hosted this draw Mohammed contest where some said was intentionally incendiary.
[19:45:01] But let's have a look at what she had to say on "NEW DAY" this morning on CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GELLER: The jihad is raging. And all we can talk about is backlash-o-phobia. It's nonsense. We have to be able to discuss, and when you say it's anti-Muslim. Excuse me. I'm anti-jihad. And anyone that says I'm anti-Muslim is implying that all Muslims support jihad. (END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Listening to that, she makes the case she is not anti- Muslim. Fist of all do, you agree? And second of all do, you think she is religion baiting here?
OBEIDALLAH: She is about as anti-Muslim as you can get. That's not my words. The Southern Poverty Law Center has her as one of the leaders of anti-Muslim movement. The Anti-Defamation League has denounced her for vilifying Islam.
She is the queen of anti-Muslim rhetoric. She spent $100,000 on posters in the New York City subways just a few months ago. For her to say she is not anti-Muslim is completely disingenuous and dishonest.
But she is baiting. She is trying to do this. The Muslim American organizations and myself, we defend her right to be a bigot. This is America. You have it right.
And we counter it by words. We counter it by mocking her like some people in our community have done, not violence. There is no place for violence whatsoever.
SCIUTTO: You are very strong on the freedom of expression issues.
SCIUTTO: Saying even if this is offensive to some, that Americans in particular should have the right to do this.
OBEIDALLAH: Sure, of course.
SCIUTTO: Is there a line, though, when it becomes -- and I'm talking from both sides -- if a person were to set up conference like this as well as the folks who might draw the cartoons that are offensive to me?
OBEIDALLAH: Draw whatever cartoons you want. That's not just my words. I spoke to the head of the chapter of CAIR in Dallas who said, we defend her right to draw.
This is America. A cartoon should not inspire violence. That should never be the answer. What the response though should be, we mock her through words, writings, letters to the editor, do a civil protest, and the Muslim community in Dallas didn't even go to protest the event. Zero went because the local Muslim community said, ignore her.
We know her well for five years. She is literally a punch line in our community. We don't take her seriously. Unfortunately, these two guys in Arizona did for some reason.
SCIUTTO: If only people would draw a cartoon back.
OBEIDALLAH: That's the answer.
SCIUTTO: That's the commensurate response.
SCIUTTO: Dean Obeidallah, thanks for having you on. Appreciate your thoughts there.
OBEIDALLAH: Thanks for having me on.
SCIUTTO: OUTFRONT next, an NYPD officer shot in the face by a gunman. He never had chance to return fire. That officer died today. Our report is next.
And on a much lighter note, Britain's royal family has a new princess. Jeanne Moos with Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.
[19:51:16] SCIUTTO: An NYPD officer murdered: 25-year-old Officer Brian Moore was shot in the face Saturday while he and another officer stopped a suspect who was seen adjusting something in his waist band. Police say that's when the suspect pulled out a gun and opened fire, hitting Moore.
Jean Casarez is OUTFRONT live in New York.
And, Jean, what do we know about the circumstances of how this happened?
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it all happened Saturday at 6:15 in the evening. So, it was still very light out. Officer Brian Moore and his partner, they were part of the anti-theft and anti-crime division here with the NYPD. They were patrolling in the borough of Queens and they saw an African-American male that seemed to be adjusting something in his waistband so they watched him. He kept walking and kept adjusting. They pull up behind him and as Officer Moore from inside the car asked him, what are you doing with your waistband, what's happening there?
According to police he took out the gun, he fired three shots. One directly went into the head of Officer Moore.
Now, witnesses after that, police say, saw Demetrius Blackwell is his name, running with the gun. We do know now according to police that that gun was stolen out of Perry, Georgia, a gun shop in 2011, ended up here in New York. They recovered the gun this morning. It's a Taurus revolver. About the time they were recovering that gun, Officer Moore died.
And we do know that Officer Moore, his father, his uncle, his cousins were all police officers. And Bill Bratton, commissioner of New York City's police department, told us a little bit more about him today. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WILLIAM BRATTON, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: He had
already proved himself to be an exceptional young officer. In that career, he had made over 150 arrests, protecting and serving the citizens of the city. He had already received two exceptional police service medals, two meritorious service medals. We don't give them out easily.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CASAREZ: As far as Demetrius Blackwell, he served seven years in prison, getting out in 2008 for attempted murder. This case will go to a grand jury tomorrow, we are told, on charges of murdering a police officer. The funeral is set for, it is believed, on Friday.
And JetBlue, as they have done with other NYPD officers that have been fallen, they are offering free flights to law enforcement around the country to come to New York for the funeral of Officer Moore.
SCIUTTO: One small gesture, Jean, but a very sad story, particularly for his family. Thanks very much.
SCIUTTO: OUTFRONT next, Jeanne Moos with the most anticipated baby name since, well, the last time William and Kate named a baby. That's after this.
[19:57:34] SCIUTTO: Welcome back.
It was a blessed event for a royal family and now the world's youngest princess has a name. Here's our Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What says "hurray, it's a girl" better than artillery? Guns and landmarks lit up in pink, celebrated the baby formerly known as "princess what's-her-name."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a name.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everyone together now, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's perfect. That makes me cry. Wow!
MOOS: It made Whoopi adopt an English accent.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, TV HOST: Her name is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Windsor Johnson. OK, I just threw the Johnson in there.
MOOS: Will and Kate honored three royals with one baby's name. Charlotte is the feminine of Charles, as in Prince Charles. Elizabeth is Queen Elizabeth. And Diana is Princess Diana. As for Charlotte, that's what Chelsea Clinton and her husband
named their first baby, though this is probably the most famous Charlotte these days.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Charlotte.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you are the sexiest woman I ever met.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Harry!
MOOS: Not to be confused with this Harry.
Charlotte's older brother even managed to wave to the press as he came to meet his little sister. His mom looked so good, that a Russian paper quoted women questioning Kate's pregnancy, theorizing she must have had a surrogate.
Here's one of Charlotte's first portraits made by an artist out of 1,000 onesies. But you know who really blew it?
The corgis. About a month and a half ago, a British betting company staged a corgi race to predict the royal baby's name.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they're off.
MOOS: Oh, they were off, all right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alexandra the winner.
MOOS: Charlotte wasn't even in the running.
We just found out her name and already people are trying to guess what her nickname will be.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wonder if they'll call her Charlie.
MOOS: If it's good enough for Revlon, it's good enough for the house of Windsor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now the world belongs to Charlie.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
SCIUTTO: What's in a name?
Thanks for joining us tonight. I'm Jim Sciutto. Erin will be back tomorrow night and "AC360" starts right now.