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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Will Dueling Investigations Put Case In Jeopardy?; NFL Report: Brady "Aware" Of Deflated Footballs; LAPD Shoots And Kills Unarmed Homeless Man; Brits Flock to Polls To Elect New Government. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired May 7, 2015 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION AND GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): -- on Freddie Gray.
MARILYN MOSBY, BALTIMORE STATE ATTORNEY: The knife was not a switchblade and is lawful under Maryland law.
MARSH: Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby says under state law, the knife is legal, making Freddie Gray's arrest illegal. But the police investigation contradicts that saying based on city code, the knife is illegal.
ANDREW ALPERSTEIN, BALTIMORE DEFENSE ATTORNEY: What is the knife? If the knife is a spring-assisted knife, case over for the officers. This case shouldn't even exist.
MARSH: Lawyers for Officers Garrett Miller and Edward Nero have filed motions asking to inspect evidence, specifically the knife. Charges against the officers, another point of contention, officials familiar with the probe say at most, the police investigation contemplated manslaughter as the most serious charge.
Not second degree murder as Officer Caesar Goodson, the driver of the police van was charged with.
MARSH: Well, aside from being criticized for moving and being too hasty as well as being motivated to essentially restore calm here in Baltimore, there is another issue that could haunt Mosby as well as members of her investigative team.
CNN has learned that one of her top investigators by the name of Avon Makell (ph) was a high-ranking city of Baltimore police officer in 2009. He was demoted for failing to follow through on a robbery investigation in which two of his officers mishandled that case.
So again, he was demoted. Then in a separate incident four months later, this same Baltimore city police officer we are told S.W.A.T. teams had to come to his home. When they arrived according to a police report that CNN obtained, he was drunk. He was holding a gun. At one point barricaded himself inside of a bedroom. Police were forced to use a Taser, according to that report. So we did reach out to him for a comment, but have not heard anything back.
The question now is, perhaps his past experience with Baltimore City Police could that at all play a role in his decision making here in this investigation -- Jake.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Rene, Baltimore's mayor formerly asked the Department of Justice to investigate the city's police. She made that request yesterday. We heard from the attorney general of the United States, Loretta Lynch, on that issue today. What did she have to say?
MARSH: Yes. She was on Capitol Hill testifying on a separate issue, but she says that she is actively considering this request. She will have a decision in the coming days. She also recognized that Baltimore has made quite an effort to improve their community policing.
That being said, Lynch said on Capitol Hill today she has not ruled out and I'm quoting, "that more does not need to be done." So perhaps in her eyes she may determine that there is room for improvement -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Rene Marsh in Baltimore. Thank you so much.
In our Sports Lead today, Tom Brady fighting back after an NFL report suggests he likely knew footballs had been intentionally deflated. His agents today accusing investigators of leaving out key information and making a decision before knowing the facts. The question of course now, will Brady be punished at all? That's next.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. The Sports Lead now, with his team's next season and potentially his legacy on the line, quarterback, Tom Brady, could be just hours away from addressing a damning new investigative report that seems to suggests he played a role in the New England Patriots deflate-gate scandal.
Brady is set to appear at a speaking engagement at Salem State tonight. It's his first public appearance since the NFL's report was released.
Earlier today, his agent released a rather strongly worded statement bashing the NFL investigation stating that the report, quote, "With all due respect, is a significant and terrible disappointment. It's omission of key facts and lines of inquiry suggest the investigators reached a conclusion first and then determined so-called facts later," unquote.
All along Brady, of course, has denied having anything to do with under inflated footballs being used in the AFC championship game versus the Indianapolis Colts earlier this year.
But the 243-page investigative report includes text messages exchanged between a Patriots locker room attendant and an equipment assistant for the team, which seemed to suggest otherwise.
I'm joined now by Donte Stallworth. He is a former with the New England Patriots. He played with Tom Brady. Donte, thanks for joining us as always. Good to see you. So do you think these findings are enough for the league to punish Tom Brady? And if so, how severely?
DONTE STALLWORTH, FORMER PATRIOTS PLAYER: I think it's enough for the NFL, if they want to only look at the Wells report and not some of the stuff that Tom Brady's agent had brought up about some of the context of those text messages.
There are a lot of issues with the Wells report. The report itself I think has probably enough to -- from public opinion to maybe suspend Tom Brady. But I think the NFL, they may move on that. But like I say, I personally have issues and there are some holes in that Wells report as well.
TAPPER: What are your issues? What are your problems with the report?
STALLWORTH: Well, the number one thing, when I first looked at it, I saw that since people are really -- you are looking at text messages. There was a text message between the two at halftime about the balls being a little over inflated and Brady was not happy about it. He was upset.
The next day, we call him, JJ, he had checked some of the balls. He said there were a few that were very close to 16, which is 2-1/2 psi over the maximum allowed to measurements. Yes, if those balls had 16 or even over 13.5, over the 12.5 that Brady is mostly -- that's his significant number.
[16:40:11] Every quarterback has their own number. Roger beforehand said that he like his footballs inflated more. So I think the protocol is an issue. If there were rules broken, if you can find concrete evidence of that, then yes, anyone should be disciplined. Whether it's Tom Brady or it's the third-string guy on the team.
TAPPER: So I understand you have issues with it and you don't necessarily think that he should be punished. But do you think based on your experience with the NFL that Goodell has enough to punish Brady? And what do you think it would be like a game or two suspension? What would your guess be based on your experience in the NFL?
STALLWORTH: You look in the past, even this year, look at what some of the suspensions or some of the discipline that's been handed out to the Atlanta Falcons for crowd noise, the Cleveland Browns for things that they had done.
So in the past, even the Saints with their head coach, Tom Payton, saying that ignorance is not acceptable so I think from that standpoint, he has enough to discipline him.
Me personally, I just don't see that there's enough concrete evidence that Tom Brady was directly involved in saying, get these balls done illegally, to actually circumvent the rules. There's protocol issues that come into place as well.
TAPPER: Donte, you know Tom Brady so help me out here. His agent is claiming the league is trying to make Brady the fall guy for this. What does the NFL have to stand by making Tom Brady the fall guy for this? He is a poster boy for the NFL.
He is the Super Bowl winning quarterback. He has a beautiful wife. He is beloved in Boston, if nowhere else. Why would they want him to be a fall guy? It doesn't make any sense to me.
STALLWORTH: Well, I think one of the things that he brought up, which is very important issue is that some of the things that were happening before the report had come out actually right after there was an initial investigation that was started was some leaks that had happened.
Those leaks were not in Brady's favor. It was some calls that he said that were probably trying to manipulate public opinion. There are a lot of issues with the Wells report.
There are some damning text messages in there, but also at the same time, it's kind of, you know, do you like at it as on its face or is there some other context that we're not hearing that? Tom Brady's agent has brought to light.
TAPPER: All right, Donte, thank you so much. Appreciate it as always. Nothing gets the crowd pumped up for NBA playoffs like an offhand reference to domestic violence. The Cleveland Cavaliers are getting hammered on social media today for a promo that aired last night during the team's playoff game versus the Chicago Bulls.
It was supposed to be a spoof of an insurance commercial where a woman falls while re-enacting the classic lift scene from "Dirty Dancing." The Cavs, of course, decided to take things one slightly disturbing step further.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bulls fan? I didn't know you were a Bulls fan. I can't believe she's a Bulls fan.
ANNOUNCER: When it's playoff basketball time, you have to be all in. Don't make the same mistake she made.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought you were --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: That's just stupid. After the promo aired, social media blew up with tweets like this one. "I can't believe the Cavs played that video during the game. Which marketing guy thought that was a good idea?" That's a good question.
The Cavs have since issued an apology saying, quote, "While the video was not intended to be offensive, it was a mistake that include content that made light of domestic violence. You think?
Coming up, another police killing caught on video. Now the Los Angeles police chief is questioning whether his cops had the right to shoot. What's on the video? That's next.
Plus think just because it's thousands of miles away, the U.K. election means nothing to us back here in the U.S.? Well, think again. The stakes as the polls close in just minutes.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Growing outrage in our National Lead over another unarmed man shot dead by police. This incident happened Tuesday night in Venice Beach, California, when two LAPD officers encountered 29-year-old Brendan Glen, a local homeless man.
The confrontation was caught on videotape, but the video has yet to be released publically. His death is drawing public condemnation, but Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck openly questioning the use of force in the case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF CHARLIE BECK, LOS ANGELES POLICE: Any time an unarmed person is shot by a Los Angeles police officer, it takes extraordinary circumstances to justify that. I have not seen those extraordinary circumstances at this point.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: I have not seen those extraordinary circumstances at this point. Let's get right to CNN's Stephanie Elam. She is live in Venice with the latest. Stephanie, what do we know about the incident that led to the shooting Tuesday night?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, this happened, Jake, it was Cinco de Mayo, Tuesday night and it was shortly before midnight, and from what we understand, there was a citizen call into police saying that there was someone out here disturbing the peace.
Two police officers showed up. They saw the man who they believed was the suspect, had a conversation with him. He continued off that direction towards the boardwalk. Then soon after, they saw him in some sort of struggle with someone here on the street.
That's when they intervened, police say, to try to bring the man into custody to talk to him. That is when the officer involved shooting happened. What we know now is that those police officers are on desk duty at the time as this investigation continues. But there's a lot of outrage on two sides here. You have people who are out here protesting, angry about what has been going on. You can see there's this chalk writing here. People saying that homeless lives matter, black lives matter.
We also see that there's a makeshift memorial here for the man that we know at Brendan Glen, the 29-year-old here as well. There's also his dog. He was known to have a dog and known to be very peaceful, according to people that we talked to out here on street.
[16:50:11] That right there would be his dog, Dozer, as we have been told here. The other thing that is upsetting to many at this point, Jake, is it's upsetting to people on the police department side from the Los Angeles Police Protective League, they put out a statement in response to Chief Beck's statement saying that he was rushing to judgment.
Saying in part is, "Completely irresponsible for anyone, much less the chief of police, to render a judgment on an incident that's in the early stages of the investigation. They are saying that this will influence how people feel about the investigation as well as officers" -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Stephanie Elam live for us in Venice, California. Thank you so much. We will keep tabs on that story, of course.
Wolf Blitzer is here right now with a preview of "THE SITUATION ROOM." Wolf, you are following this breaking news that the FBI sent warnings about the shooter in this ISIS-inspired if not directed attack in Texas just hours before it happened.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": And clearly they didn't stop it from happening. They knew there was something going to happen, but they didn't exactly succeed in preventing these two guys from actually getting to the scene.
Although, when they got there, they were shot and killed by this off- duty traffic cop with a handgun. It was pretty lucky that that succeeded the way it did. We will find out exactly what happened, lessons learned.
When ISIS says you ain't seen nothing yet, their words from yesterday. Unfortunately, a lot of U.S. officials in the intelligence community, Homeland Security, they believe that's probably true. They will continue to try to go after a specific target here in the United States.
TAPPER: All right, Wolf Blitzer, "THE SITUATION ROOM" coming up in about 8 minutes. Thanks so much.
Coming up next, an election with major consequences that could affect us here in the United States, polls are just about to close in the U.K. What is at stake in this closely watched election?
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. In our Money Lead today, there's been another breakup on the TV show, "The Mindy Project" except this time it doesn't involve anyone on screen. Rather, sadly, it's the show itself that is being dumped by Fox.
The critically acclaimed series, which stars the office veteran, Mindy Keyling, has been canceled after three seasons on the network. Rumors are swirling that it may have found a rebound.
Sources tell the "Hollywood Reporter," the talks are in the works for two more seasons of the series exclusively on Hulu, the web site, which already owns the streaming rights to the show.
You might recall this is how "Community" found new life on Yahoo! Keyling hinted that the new deal on Instagram writing, anything happening in L.A. as she winks to the camera? As for Hulu and Universal Television, their lips are sealed for now.
Across the pond, we are just minutes away from the polls closing in on the British elections, a vote that could change the relationship between the United States and one of its oldest allies.
There are many differences between our two countries being of course, not just our systems of government. They have the pound. We have the dollar. They drive on the left side of the road. We drive on right side of the road. Their meal of choice is fish and chips. We like the hamburger.
They have the queen. We have Kim Kardashian. We love our neighbors across the pond. Although you may be unfamiliar with the candidates, today's outcome could have a huge impact here at home.
For that we turn to CNN's Tom Foreman. This is a very tight race.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's incredibly tight. For a society where people are known for their stiff upper lip and propriety, this has turned into what they call a brawl over the leadership of the country in which America could be the bystander who gets a black eye.
FOREMAN (voice-over): The famous British manners have been elbowed aside by political big races and pointed attacks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are frankly lying.
FOREMAN: In one of the tightest elections in memory with politicians and their proxies under furious fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tony Blair can go to hell, all right?
FOREMAN: So why do Americans care? Start with Prime Minister David Cameron.
DAVID CAMERON: Pray for conservatives. That's the way to keep moving forward.
FOREMAN: He has been a reliable partner here, but his conservative party is under pressure there over austerity programs. He has agreed to a vote on leaving the European Union. That could hurt U.S. trade, destabilize markets and weaken the worldwide economic recovery. Ed Miliband prides himself on standing up to U.S. influence.
ED MILIBAND: The power to make Britain work for working people once again.
FOREMAN: Miliband has vowed a government under his Labor Party would keep fighting ISIS, but he has shown little interest in supporting U.S. pressure on Russia, Syria or other places. Since neither of those parties is expected to win a clear majority, the situation could get even messier.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A legitimate government is one that can command the majority.
FOREMAN: Nicholas Jergen, who leads a Scottish party or Nick Clegg, who heads the liberal Democrats.
NICK CLEGG, BRITISH DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: The liberal Democrats will add a heart to a conservative government and a brain to a labor one.
FOREMAN: Or someone else could get big concessions from whichever party wins the final vote in exchange for helping form a coalition government, concessions that might not match U.S. interests at all.
FOREMAN: Many analysts say there's no solidly good outcome possible for the United States. Politicians here will be scrutinizing the exit polls as they are released to see what they might mean to U.S. economic, military and diplomatic interests. By the time it's all sorted out, which could take days or even weeks, I imagine some of them could use an evening at the pub.
TAPPER: Indeed, they vote in pubs there and it's legal to be drunk when you vote. It's interesting. I'm serious. Tom Foreman, thank you so much.
That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. There's the Big Ben coming. I turn you over to Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM."