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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Sources: Hastert Paid To Cover Up Sex Abuse Claims; Anti-Islam Rally Organizer: Bring Guns Tonight; New Outraged Over Pregnant Woman Being Handcuffed. Aired 7-8:00p ET
Aired May 29, 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] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news. Sexual abuse. CNN learning the former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is accused of sexually abusing a student when he was a wrestling coach.
Plus, police on high alert at this hour as crowds gather outside a mosque for a Draw Muhammad contest. He organized a handing out F- Islam t-shirts urging protesters to bring guns. We're going to be there live.
And the death toll rising from unending flash floods across the southwest. More torrential rain is going to come tonight. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. And OUTFRONT tonight, we begin with the breaking news. A shocking sexual abuse scandal. Sources telling CNN that former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert at one time second in line from the presidency, allegedly sexually abused a student when Hastert was a boys high school wrestling coach. It's a stunning allegation. The Feds say Hastert paid nearly $2 million in recent years to keep this former student silent. Hastert coached boys wrestling in this high school in Yorkville, Illinois, from 1965 to 1981. He then went on to become one of the most powerful men in the United States. The longest serving republican speaker of the house. A man whose colleagues endearingly referred to him as coach.
Pamela Brown is OUTFRONT.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Federal sources tells CNN Dennis Hastert, the longest serving republican U.S. house speaker was paying hush money to a student at the Illinois High School where he once taught. More than a million dollars for the former student to keep allegations, Hastert had sexually abused him quiet. Hastert has not commented publicly but he abruptly resign from this Washington, D.C. lobbying firm as well as from a Chicago derivatives firm. The indictment does not discuss sexual abuse. Instead it focuses on how the 73-year-old former wrestling coach moved the money the allegedly was paying the former student. Prosecutors saying, he agreed to pay an unnamed individual, quote, "$3.5 million to cover up his past misconduct."
According to court records, the investigation started two years ago when the FBI started investigating mystery transactions made by Hastert. Bank withdrawals of more than $950,000. The FBI alleges several of the withdrawals were less than $10,000 so he could evade IRS detection. Prosecutors say when the FBI asked Hastert about the pattern of large withdrawals, he said he was keeping the cash for himself.
BROWN: And we are told by sources, federal authorities were looking at the extortion angle. Whether or not to pursue and it concluded ultimately that it wasn't something they wanted to pursue. Hastert has not returned our calls for comment. A friend of his who spoke with him this morning says that he perceives himself as being the one being wronged right now -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Pamela. Thank you very much. She's covering the story.
Joining me now on the phone, Tom Davis, former congressman from Virginia who served 13 years in Congress with Dennis Hastert. And congressman, I appreciate your time. Did you have any idea about this before today?
REP. TOM DAVIS, SERVED IN CONGRESS WITH DENNIS HASTERT (on the phone): Of course not. None of us did. These allegations are true, it goes against the grain of everything we knew him to be. He was basically chosen for speaker because he was above reproach after we had two previous leaders that had sexual scandals.
BURNETT: And Congressman Davis, according to the New York Times, the shocking news is about a specific boy, specific teenage boy. I mean, do you think that there could be others out there if these allegations are true? I mean, what are you thinking at this time?
DAVIS: You know, I just have no idea. I think we have, speculation at this point, you can give him a presumption of innocence.
DAVIS: The thing you have to ask is, if he was being black mailed, what about the blackmailer? Usually there's something to go there. I don't know enough about the specifics of this comments. All I can tell you as speaker, Danny was one of the most ethical guys. I was in leadership meetings with him where you some of these crazy ideas and Danny would never go near the line. He always conducted himself, you know, with the highest ethics.
BURNETT: And you just heard our reporter Pamela Brown saying that a longtime friend of Hastert spoke with the former speaker this morning. This is someone who has known him since the 1970s, of course, which would have been in the window when he was the boys' high school wrestling coach. And this friend said, quote, "he perceives himself as the one being wronged."
DAVIS: Yes. BURNETT: When you hear that, what do you think happened?
DAVIS: I think he probably thought he was being blackmailed and was paying this out and now he's being charged. Not the blackmailer. I just don't know enough about it to get into it. I can only speak to the Dennis Hastert that I've known and the members knew. And there's not a hint of scandal coming from his time when he's a leader. It was a time when Congress was productive. It was far more bipartisan than it is now. And I hope that isn't forgotten in all this other, you know (INAUDIBLE) as well.
[19:05:11] BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate your time, Congressman Davis.
And joining me now, OUTFRONT, our legal analyst Paul Callan in Washington. With me, our senior political analyst, David Gergen who knows Dennis Hastert well.
Paul, let me start with you. This is a man second in line from the presidency of the United States at one point. I mean, this is one of the most powerful people in the United States. We have to keep emphasizing the significance of this. How could someone like this if these allegations are true have covered up sexual abuse from when he was a boys high school wrestling coach years ago.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: If this is true, it's really staggering, the arrogance to think that he would become speaker of the house knowing that lurking in his back ground might be this allegation. But of course we've seen similar things in the past. Remember Spiro Agnew becoming vice president of the United States after having taking bribes in Maryland. So, this is not the first time a politician has accepted a promotion while potential criminal charges lurked in the wings.
BURNETT: I mean, Dennis Hastert has been married to the same woman for more than 40 years. They have two children. Did anyone, and you just heard Congressman Davis, right? He said, this is not the man I knew. This was not the man I worked with. Did anyone have any idea that this was someone who possibly molested, you know, a high schooler when he was a boys wrestling coach?
DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR: Certainly not to my knowledge, Erin. He was always seen as the soul of affability but integrity. And one of the reasons he was elected speaker by his own caucus was that he was seen as clean as opposed to some of the people they just had. So I must say, you know, he had this sort of uncle like quality. He was very friendly. I can understand how it might have happened and I can certainly understand why his marriage stuck together. What is hard to understand is two things. One, knowing that this was lurking, that it would go forward. It does remind you of John Edwards --
GERGEN: You know, whacking that campaign. And the second thing I think is really surprising to me is, that he lied to the FBI. That he's a pro. He knows that sends to you prison if you're not careful. And he must have been deeply into wanting to conceal this to pay that much money and to lie to the FBI and think he could get away with it.
BURNETT: So, let me get to that point Paul. Because as David raises, he had agreed to pay more than $3 million. That is a lot of money to this individual. Okay? And he ended up paying about $1.7 million. So the statute of limitations on sexual abuse that we presumed has expired. What the FBI did was find out that he was paying this money. Dennis Hastert, they have proof that he had withdrawn the money. They have proof of all this. He then lied to the FBI. He said he wasn't doing it. Is it possible that he was paying all this money because the allegations were false? He felt he was being black mailed, as his friends say, because he perceives himself as the one being wrong now? Is that a possibility? David points out, it is a lot of money.
CALLAN: All right. Let's start out by saying he is presumed innocent, all right, under our system.
BURNETT: Yes. Uh-mm.
CALLAN: And we see no proof. But is it a possibility? Absolutely a possibility. I mean, paying out $1.7 million is a huge amount of money for a false allegation.
BURNETT: Wouldn't you go to the Feds yourself and say this person is black mailing me.
CALLAN: Of course.
You're being blackmailed. You're speaker of the house. You know law enforcement is going to cooperate with you. You know, this is a false allegation. So certainly this looks very, very bad for Denny Hastert.
BURNETT: And David Gergen, you know, there was a time when Congressman Foley was being investigated for inappropriate advances to male pages. Dennis Hastert was in charge of that investigation. Many were critical of that. They're saying he didn't move quickly enough. You were one of those who were critical at the time. Do you see that all in a different light now?
GERGEN: That is a good question. You know, the issue then was that he was alleged that he had been told about this congressman who was approaching pages inappropriately and basically sat on it. He said he didn't remember the conversations when he was told but there was no question that the house republican leadership moved very slowly on top on Foley and, you know, I was among those who was critical. I thought it was inept. But it is also true that Dennis Hastert decided not to run again after that. We don't know if they're connected. But I have to say this. Two questions here. Paul was right. He is still presumed innocent. And secondly I do think you asked earlier to Tom Davis, what about this comment from the friend saying he perceives that he is the victim in all of this. BURNETT: Right.
GERGEN: I think we need to know more about that before we reach a final conclusion. But there is a lot out there now which obviously is very damaging.
BURNETT: It certainly is. All right. Thanks very much to both of you.
GERGEN: Thank you.
CALLAN: Thank you.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, police on guard as crowds gather for a rally outside a mosque in Phoenix. The organizer is saying true Islam is terrorism telling supporters to bring their guns for their lives.
Plus a pregnant mom suing over this brutal takedown. Did the police go too far in handcuffing a pregnant woman?
[19:10:12] And Houston could be inundated with another more than half a foot of rain this weekend. The deadly storms continuing. We'll be live in Texas. You'll going to be amazed when you see these pictures on the highway.
[19:13:52] BURNETT: Breaking news. Tensions are building. Protesters, armed and angry descending on a Phoenix mosque at this hour. More than 1,000 people say they're planning to attend a controversial event. They're calling it a freedom of speech rally. It is expected to include a quote/unquote, "Draw Muhammad cartoon" sort of contest. This of course as police on edge standing guard. Not only because the crowd is urged to bring weapons. But because if you'll remember it was earlier this month two gunmen was tied to this very same Phoenix mosque, they were known to worship there at times, ambushed to similar cartoon contest in Texas.
Sara Sidner begins our coverage OUTFONT live in Phoenix. And Sara, obviously they're on edge. What some of these organizers are asking people to do is pretty shocking. What are officials expecting?
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They are looking just like many of us on social media and keeping track of that. Looking to see just how many people may show up so far. It is about a thousand people who have signed up to come in protest here.
SIDNER (voice-over): Complete strangers Christian and Muslim greet one another in prayer in the middle of a community on edge, expecting hundreds to gather for a controversial cartoon contest depicting the Prophet Muhammad right outside this Phoenix mosque.
(on camera): I notice that you are armed. UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes, ma'am. It is a .9 millimeter Ruger and
it is loaded and there is a round in the chamber. I have another weapon in my pocket.
SIDNER: Why have you come out here armed like this and showing it off?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I am out here to show the United States has the First Amendment and the Second Amendment rights. And that these people are unnoticed. We're not afraid of them. If they are going to promote their terrorism, they can do it somewhere else. Not this state, not this country.
SIDNER (voice-over): Warren who doesn't want to give his last name heard about the rally like hundreds of others after this invitation went out on Facebook. The organizer Jon Ritzheimer says, this event is in response to what happened in Garland, Texas, three weeks ago when two men who prayed at this Phoenix mosque drove to Texas to shoot up a similar Draw the Prophet Muhammad contest. Police killed both men in a shoot-out. Protesters at tonight's rally are encouraged to bring their guns and exercise their Second Amendment rights. They say that's just in case their First Amendment rights come under attack. The FBI and police say they'll be watching the event closely with officers on the ground and through newly installed surveillance cameras. Some members of the mosque are coming to pray regardless.
(on camera): Do you feel like this group is trying to incite something? Trying to create a violent setting?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Of course. Misery loves company. It's been like this for ages. You know, there is always someone or something out there trying to stir up trouble. We're peaceful people. Or they need to do a little more research. You know, before passing judgment.
SIDNER (voice-over): At the center of this controversy, Jon Ritzheimer, who wears a vulgar anti-Islam t-shirt now says he has put his family in hiding because he has become a target. His home address has been posted online and there have been threats of violence with one person saying the protesters' guns can't compete with IEDs, improvised explosive devices.
SIDNER: Now, we also know from those who are in touch with the mosques here in Phoenix that they have also received threats. They say they've received a letter threat earlier this week. That was talking about attacking potentially the congregation. So, there is a lot of this back and forth. Some of it on social media. There is certainly a police presence here. They are here saying that they will allow people to take part in their rights in this country but they want to make sure it stays peaceful -- Erin.
BURNETT: That's pretty incredible. An incredible story that you found with that man with the loaded gun saying and I have another in my pocket. All right, Erin. Thank you so much. And OUTFRONT now, the Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. And Mayor
Stanton, I appreciate your time tonight. I know you believe this protest, this cartoon contest as they're calling it, are in your words, quote, "purposefully provocative." What do you mean when you say that?
MAYOR GREG STANTON, PHOENIX, ARIZONA: Well, look. The desire of this organization to come right in front of this mosque in the heart of the city of Phoenix, the Islamic community center to sell and wear t-shirts that say F-Islam. I mean, it doesn't take much to come to the conclusion that they are being purposely provocative. That being said, they are still asserting their First Amendment rights to protest and the city of Phoenix and our Police Department are going to be there and ensure that this protest happens as peacefully as possible in the heart of our city.
[19:18:30] BURNETT: So, you do believe these protesters though have a right, I know, in your city, to show up. Right? But they're armed. Right? They've put out notices telling people to bring weapons. They're telling people to hold signs and they have t-shirts made that say F-Islam. I mean, that has got to make you pretty angry.
STANTON: I'm not happy this is happening in my city. The honest truth is I think this is a really bad idea. Just because you have a constitutional right to do something doesn't make it a good idea. And I do believe the intent here is to be purposely provocative. Look, this is happening at a time of evening prayers at this mosque. So at the same time that we're going to be required to protect the First Amendment rights of these protesters, equally we have to ensure that the members of this mosque have the opportunity to come to evening prayers in an environment free of intimidation or violence. So we have a lot of work to do here tonight in the city of Phoenix to ensure that everyone can go about their business and as peacefully as possible. I do believe we are up to the task. But frankly yes, I'm not happy that this protest is occurring and I do believe that the people involved are trying to be purposely provocative.
BURNETT: Right. I mean, you know, purposely provocative. I mean, you're being nice with your words. I mean, frankly, wearing t- shirts that says F-Islam. I mean, that's hateful.
STANTON: Yes. In Phoenix, Arizona, we are a city that embraces our cultural diversity. Our religious diversity. We're an incredibly diverse city. In fact, that's one of our greatest strengths as a city. So, for me as mayor to get national media from great organizations like CNN and others to focus on this divisive behavior by just a few in our community, it's very very frustrated for me as mayor, because that's not our city, that's not our values, that's not who we are. We're going to do our best to make sure that this happens as peacefully as possible. But make no mistakes, the messages being sent are not messages that really represent the values of the vast, vast majority of people here in Phoenix.
BURNETT: All right. Mayor Stanton, we appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.
STANTON: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. And at this hour, police are ramping up their presence around Phoenix and around that mosque where the protests is set to take place.
OUTFRONT now, Sergeant Trent Crump with the Phoenix Police Department. Sergeant, I appreciate your time. You know, I don't know if you heard our reporter speaking to one of the people who was showing up early to this protest. And he was very proud to say he has a .9 millimeter Ruger, it's loaded. He has a round in the chamber. And he has another weapon in his pocket. When you hear that, you hear these organizers saying bring your guns, what do you think?
SGT. TRENT CRUMP, PHOENIX POLICE DEPARTMENT: Well, I think it makes our job a little bit more difficult as our mayor was saying. Our responsibility here is the safety of the public. And so, that's what we're concerned with. We know that we have the Second Amendment right here. We've dealt with this issue in Arizona several times with the gun laws that we have. And so understand that we will have a large police presence out here. Understand that we have a lot of intelligence with this group. We will have people in this crowd. We will be watching the group as it is out here. We'll be judging the mood and we have done a lot of preparation and planning for this in hopes that everything that occurs out here, the demonstrations that occurred go off safely. That is our primary goal in the Police Department.
BURNETT: And how do you feel on where to draw the line, right? You have got your, you know, First Amendment rights. They can come out and say what they want to say. But at the same time, to say bring weapons. To do in it front of the mosque where a couple, those two tutors who went to Garland, Texas, had worshipped at times, to be wearing t-shirts that say F-Islam. Is that hate? Is that a First Amendment right? What do you think?
CRUMP: Well, I think at least from the Police Department perspective, we don't have to try to make those decisions.
CRUMP: What we have to do is understand that once we decide that we have an amendment that were going to protect, and people are going to come out and demonstrate or protest for that cause, it is our responsibility to ensure it is safe. It's just like any other event that we have in Phoenix. And so, you know, I think as the Police Department, as a group that is trying to remain neutral and keep the peace, we'll let others decide some of those things. But our goal here out here would be the safety of everyone. There are several different, you know, fronts if you will that are being fought for and people are standing up out here from the freedom of religion to the freedom of speech to freedom of carrying or bearing arms. And so, a lot of different angles. A lot of emotion in those. And those are what makes part of -- what we're doing so difficult out here. It is a task that has taken a lot of planning between us and the FBI to ensure that this is safe. [19:23:00] BURNETT: All right. Sergeant Crump, I wish you the
best and I hope that it is safe. Obviously, I know you have your work cut out for you tonight.
CRUMP: Thank you.
BURNETT: Thank you.
We'll keep you posted on that. As we said, protesters going to start to gather at this hour for some major protests tonight, with more than 1,000 people.
OUTFRONT next, the woman in the shocking video. Eight months pregnant, she is suing police. She says that her arrest was racially motivated. They handcuffed her, putting her on the ground, lying on her stomach. Is there any defense for this?
And the death toll rising for record flooding? Twenty eight now confirmed dead in the United States. Flood warnings and watches in effect. We're live on the scene.
[19:27:32] BURNETT: Tonight new outrage over the shocking arrest of a woman who was eight months pregnant. The video caught on police body cam. Michelle Cooks is the woman. She was toppled to the ground and handcuffed while laying on her stomach.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLENA MICHELLE COOKS, ARREST CAUGHT ON POLICE BODY CAM VIDEO: Do not touch me! Do not touch me! Do not touch me!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: This came after Cooks was involve in a dispute with another woman in a school parking lot. Police demanded Cooks' full name. She refused. And that's when this arrest went down. Cooks says officers did it because of her race. So why did this happen? And did police put Cooks' baby at risk?
Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What Michelle Cooks screams is unmistakable.
COOKS: Please, I'm pregnant! Please!
LAH: Eight months pregnant, she still ends up on the pavement. The Barstow police officer cuffing her. Cooks was dropping off her second great daughter at school and had a parking lot confrontation with this blond woman. She had refused to give the responding officer her full name.
COOKS: Don't touch me! Don't touch me!
UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Ma'am, please.
COOKS: Do not touch me! I'm pregnant, do not touch me!
LAH: Cooks was charged with resisting arrest. Charges dismissed after a judge saw the body cam video.
COOKS: I couldn't even describe how much pain I was in. I thought they had killed my baby already.
LAH: Her baby girl was born healthy weeks later. This video is shocking. But not the only time police arresting a pregnant woman is caught on camera. Last September, NYPD officers arrested Sandra Amezquita, she intervened as police arrested her son for carrying a knife. She is visibly pregnant but still forced to the ground, belly first. The NYPD has launched an internal investigation.
SANDRA AMEZQUITA, PREGNANT WOMAN ARRESTED BY NYPD: I just look him in the eye and tried to say as calmly as I could. I am pregnant. Please don't hurt my stomach.
LAH: That's what Jessica Ben told this Denver police officer as he held a baton against her throat earlier this month. Ben had been protesting police brutality when police began arresting protesters. Denver police say their internal investigation is ongoing.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Hand behind your back.
LAH: Then there's this incident in Rochester from 2013. Police say Brenda Hardaway pointed pepper spray at officers responding to a disturbance call. To local media outlets, the Rochester police chief defended his officer's action saying his officer showed, quote, "tremendous restraint." ACLU Attorney Jessica Price disagrees and says video examples show a need for more protection of pregnant women as they're being arrested. She points to a 2012 ACLU study which found 18 states prohibit or restrict the cuffing of pregnant women. But this is limited to inmates in prison.
JESSICA PRICE, ACLU ATTORNEY: That means we're protecting people who are already in custody. We're protecting their pregnancy, more than we're protecting people who happen to be out on the street, going about their business.
LAH: But preventing cops from cuffing pregnant women may not be realistic.
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Now, you're asking a police officer to make a medical assessment of a woman on the street.
LAH: CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes says what would have prevented Cooks' incident, if she'd listened to the police officer.
FUENTES: Unless she pulls out a machine gun and starts World War III, there is no way that it's going to have an outcome that makes the officer look like a reasonable officer doing his duty.
LAH: Barstow police were wrong about one thing. That particular officer in the body cam video under California state law, she does not need to show her ID. Underscoring that, CNN obtained this training bulletin that was issued by the Barstow police department to his officers.
And look at this one line here. Under California law, a detained suspect cannot be forced to identify himself or be subject to arrest for refusing to do so -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Kyung. Thank you very much. And, obviously, at the core of this is that issue, because they asked for her name and she didn't provide it.
Joining me now, the former NYPD officer Bill Stanton, along with our commentator Van Jones.
All right. Let's start with this issue of the fact that she is eight months pregnant, Bill. They may not have known whether she was seven or eight. But she's clearly very pregnant. She does not appear to be a threat to officers, at least she's getting on her phone, right? I know you think it is crucial she turns to walk away. But she's not running away. She's not fleeing, she's not trying to hit them.
There are laws in 18 states that prevent police from handcuffing women in prison. This was an arrest, not actually in prison. But the question is the same: should officers have been more careful? Not put her on her stomach?
BILL STANTON, FORMER NYPD OFFICER: Well, listen, she is a pregnant woman and you always have to be deferential to a life inside that stomach. But there is culpability with the person, the woman there herself. If she would have remained calm -- now, granted, the law is the law. She doesn't have to give her ID. But shouldn't she have been cognizant that she is 8 months pregnant?
Give the ID and have your day in court afterwards. You know, that makes a lot -- that's common sense.
So, I'm not going on defend any cop that's hurting someone. But what happened here was an escalation that could have been prevented by that woman if she had just shown her ID.
BURNETT: Or even just said her name, Van. All they asked for was her last name.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's shameful. I had hoped after 24 hours of reflection and seeing the full video that this officer would have a different view.
There are three issues here. And they're all very clear. First of all, you do not have, in the state of California, you do not have to show ID an officer can tell you to pull your pants down. You don't have to do that either.
So, if somebody says, I don't want to pull my pants down, I don't want to show you my ID -- they cannot be arrested, period. So, we're talking about an unlawful arrest.
STANTON: So, Van, so you're driving. And you feel you stopped at a stop sign, and the car in back of you with lights and sirens. But you feel you stopped. Do you not stop? You just keep going?
JONES: No, you're required by law to stop if an officer tells you to stop.
STANTON: But you don't feel you -- you feel you stopped.
JONES: No, it's not about feeling. This is about the law. The law says you have to obey a lawful order from a police officer. Unfortunately, the law matters to me more than it does to you. The law also says you do not have to show ID.
STANTON: Van, there you go putting words in my mouth again, you know?
JONES: Let me just finish, let me finish. You jumped in on me.
The second piece of this that is important, besides the fact it's an unlawful arrest by law, secondly, there was a differential treatment between her and the white woman. And they both have the same complaint about the other. They were afraid of the other.
STANTON: There you go back to race again, Van.
JONES: Yes, absolutely.
STANTON: This just can't be a misunderstanding.
BURNETT: Let Van finish and then jump in, Bill.
JONES: The lawsuit alleges racial difference because the racial difference is obvious on the 11-minute tape.
But the last piece is the excessive force. The amount of force that was used to arrest this pregnant woman was horrific. And you do not have to have that much force and six officers to arrest an eight- month pregnant woman. The last thing I want to say is this -- had there been a miscarriage, had that baby died, I don't think we would be sitting here saying that the force was appropriate and I don't think we would be blaming the mother.
This was a situation where it was an unlawful arrest, racially motivated and dangerous to that fetus.
BURNETT: Go ahead, Bill.
STANTON: Well, Van, first I think you should count. Those were two officers by my metric.
JONES: Six on the scene.
STANTON: Six on the scene. I guess they all piled on two.
BURNETT: There were two officers.
[19:35:01] STANTON: Van, I saw two people. And I saw a woman --
JONES: Did you watch the whole video, sir, the whole --
STANTON: Yes. I saw all 11 minutes. And I saw two officers, not six, try and -- what she did was scream, yell, she crumbled to the ground, and by my eyes, trying to prevent her from hurting them and herself. Again, if she would have stayed calm, it was escalating. This did not have to happen.
And the issue of race, what you're doing and others like you, you're getting your wish. You're watching in all high crime areas, crime spikes up because if you're a police officer, specifically by what you're saying, white police officer, if you are going to be micromanaged and called a racist for just saying hello.
JONES: Shame on you.
STANTON: No, shame on you.
JONES: Shame on you.
First of all, you're saying in our country, that people should obey unlawful orders from police. If a police officer tells you to pull your pants down? Yes or no?
STANTON: You know what? Let's have the situation. Did he put drugs down his pants? Was he running away from the police with drugs? Did he have a gun? Did he have a gun in his pants, Van?
JONES: My point is this, there are lawful -- there are lawful orders and unlawful orders by the police. Let me say one more thing. When you put a woman on her stomach when she's eight months pregnant, your wife, your daughter, your sister, your mother -- you and I both know that puts that woman in that pregnancy in extreme risk. You have to make the assessment as a police officer.
STANTON: Van, you know what, I won't argue that point.
JONES: Is it worth a risk? Is it worth a risk? Do you think it is worth the risk?
STANTON: Van, that is an intelligent point that we can discuss with degrees of how much they did and didn't do. But when you automatically kneejerk say racism, that's where we part ways, my friend. We can discuss about the arrest.
JONES: We shouldn't part ways.
BURNETT: Final word, Van. Bill had it last night. So, final word, Van.
JONES: We shouldn't part ways. In this situation, there were two people who had a dispute. One was never asked for her ID and was not arrested. The other was asked for her ID and then forced to the ground. The only difference between the two was race.
BURNETT: All right. We'll leave it there. Thank you both very much for your time. As we continue to cover the story, of course, given that Michelle Cooks says -- she's told CNN she's going to file a lawsuit saying this was because of race.
OUTFRONT next, take a look at this traffic standstill in Texas today. It's monumental. Look what they hit. All those vehicles stuck behind surging floodwaters, at least another several inches of rain expected in Dallas just tonight. We're going to go there.
Plus, the jury hearing from alleged mass murderer James Holmes. They actually got to look at his personal journal detailing his killing spree plans.
We'll be back.
[19:41:37] BURNETT: Breaking news: death toll rising with the rivers. Another line of storms triggering life-threatening flash floods across Texas and Oklahoma. Twenty-eight people at least already dead in these tragic storms.
The state's governor requesting presidential disaster declarations as the swollen rivers have submerged everything, as far as the eye can see. As you see in those pictures we're showing you on your screen.
Outside Dallas, a major highway shut down. I mean, just look at this. You have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven lanes on that highway completely packed. Dozens of drivers tracked. Their cars and trucks unable to get through the river of water.
In a moment, we're going to speak live to the lieutenant governor of Texas. But, first, you have to see these images to believe them.
Ed Lavandera is OUTFRONT in Dallas.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This police officer was trying to protect drivers from a flooded roadway near Dallas. And in a matter of minutes, found himself caught in a flash flood. Hover craft rescue boats couldn't fight through currents. So, the officer had to be plucked from his patrol car by helicopter.
Overnight, a deluge of nearly seven inches of rain fell on some parts of north Texas in a few hours. The fast rising waters shut down a major highway and left hundreds of drivers stranded with nowhere to go.
In the Dallas suburb of Mesquite, a man was found dead. He drowned inside his pickup truck. But another woman had to be rescued after she drove past police barricades and right into raging floodwaters.
That's the fear that kept the Garland Fire Department water rescue team moving quickly.
(on camera): This is a low lying road here in the town of Garland, Texas. Floodwaters were rather high. As waters have started to recede, firefighters and police here in Garland discovered this car submerged in the water. Now they're trying to find out if there is anybody inside.
(voice-over): Rescue team didn't know this car was submerged until the flood waters started to recede, exposing the roof of the car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do not know if there's anybody in it or not. So, we will need to check it out.
LAVANDERA: The water rescue team waded into the fast moving waters, punched out the windows and quickly discovered the driver was able to make it out in time.
(on camera): How many of these rescues are because people are making incredibly dumb decisions or just caught off guard?
JOE HARN, GARLAND POLICE DEPARTMENT: You know, probably a combination. What we're telling people, we've been telling them, don't drown, turn around. We've got to get it in our heads. Right now the ground is saturated. Any small amount of rain is going to cause this flooding. We've got to pay attention.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): This video shows how much rain has fallen in the last few weeks. This is Trinity River which flows past downtown Dallas. This is what it looked like before the rains. And this is what it looks like now -- expected to crest at about 43 feet. The water hasn't been this high since 1989.
LAVANDERA: And, Erin, this is a common sight in many parts of north Texas. This is a lake in east Dallas of the overflow spillway. A roaring rapid, very uncommon to see in many of these lakes, considering that for several years, many lake levels have been extremely low. And the concern is even more rain in the forecast, and the threat of more flash flooding, which has been deadly and destructive -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Ed, thank you very much -- live from Dallas tonight.
I want to bring in OUTFRONT now, the Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.
[19:45:03] Lieutenant Governor, thank you so much for taking the time. You just heard Ed talk about the river there in Dallas. Going on crest at 43 feet. It's a stunning number.
You've spent most of your life in Texas. Have you ever seen anything like this?
DAN PATRICK, TEXAS LT. GOVERNOR (via telephone): No, Erin. I've been here 36 years, and we've had terrible flooding. My home is in the Houston area. Nothing at this level pretty much statewide.
We now have 70 of our 254 counties in disaster relief as declared by the governor. Houston has been hit hard. Dallas is being hit hard. I'm here in Austin at the capital. We're in session. We've been hit hard, areas flooded that never flooded.
But yesterday, I was in Wimberley which made the news this weekend.
PATRICK: And, Erin, if you can imagine a cliff that's 40 feet high. That's between three and a four-story building where the water would normally be just three feet high.
And so, there's your home on the ground. And a wave of -- a wall of water comes at you like a tsunami but it is a river, 48 feet high. That came down the river. It is kind of a flood alley. We've never seen anything like this.
We lost hundreds of homes, 12 lives. We found -- we found some of the bodies, sadly, as far as 35 miles down river. I was there yesterday meeting with residents.
And I'm always amazed, Erin. It's not just Texas. And we have great spirit and great pride and great spunk. You saw wherever there's tragedy, you find people who are ready to rebuild. The neighbors are helping each other.
It will be a long recovery for this wonderful little town in the hill country of Wimberley and San Marcos down river. And it's going to be a big recovery for Dallas and Houston and it is still not over as your last report indicated.
BURNETT: Well, we just showed those cars on the highway. I mean, those images were incredible. You're going to possibly get another half a foot of rain in Texas this weekend.
How much worse it's going to get?
PATRICK: It can get a lot worse. People -- I'm always amazed, people who try to drive in these storms. One of the real tragedies we had, Erin, last weekend, in the town
of Wimberley. A homecoming queen -- a homecoming queen driving home from the prom was swept away and lost. And it breaks your heart.
We had a family of eight, in fact, that family actually one of the governor's key staff people. It was her family. And they were on a house on stilts about 30 feet high and the water washed the stilts away and the house floated down the river and seven of the eight were lost. Including --
BURNETT: Oh my God.
PATRICK: We found the 6-year-old today. And there was another 6-year-old and 4-year-old that we had not found yet.
But the economic costs are going to be catastrophic all over the state, the property loss. People just lost their homes.
Trees are down like it was a tornado or a hurricane on this river. It stood 600 years. But the number one issue is the loss of life.
So, we will rebuild. Texas has a great spirit. We will rebound. We're going to need some financial help, the state, local and federal. And we're going to pray the rain stops and that no more lives are lost.
But for people watching right now on your broadcast who live in Texas, anywhere where it has been flooding in the 70 counties where we've been hit, please watch the weather forecast. Do not go out and think you can afford a small stream, because people think they can drive across a small, you know, two feet deep, it's only wheel well high. The water washes them off the street and suddenly they're in deep water and can't be rescued. So, be careful.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Lieutenant Governor, thank you so much. I appreciate your time tonight.
And next, the insanity plea of James Holmes.
[19:52:49] BURNETT: Today, a stunning video in court about a mass murderer talking about why he did it.
James Holmes is accused of committing one of the worse mass shootings in American history, firing inside of a crowded movie theater, killing 12 and injuring 70 more.
Ana Cabrera is OUTFRONT.
ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Appearing calm and speaking in a monotone voice, the words of accused theater shooter James Holmes have a chilling effect. UNIDENTFIED MALE: Do you remember the day you were arrested?
JAMES HOLMES, ACCUSED SHOOTER: Yep.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What day was it?
HOLMES: July 20th, 2012.
CABRERA: For the jury, the video is a brief look inside of the mind of the alleged killer, taking during a mental evaluation to determine whether Holmes was legally insane when he opened fire in a Colorado movie theater.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you take into consideration the fact that when you are talking to him, he knows that he's facing the death penalty?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
CABRERA: Ordered by the court, Dr. William Reid interviewed Holmes nine times for a total of 22 hours.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you drink quite a bit in college?
HOLMES: No, I wasn't a huge drinker.
CABRERA: The conversation turns dark when Holmes says he suffers from depression after breaking up with his girlfriend months before the shooting in 2012.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you think about hurting yourself or killing yourself?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about hurting or killing other people?
HOLMES: Yes, I kind of transferred it to the kind of homicidal thoughts.
CABRERA: Dr. Reid concluded Holmes knew right from wrong, that he was sane when he killed 12 and injured 70 others.
Prosecutors say he planned and detailed his actions in his journal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did he discuss having a desire to kill people?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he does.
CABRERA: Holmes sent the notebook to a psychiatrist at the University of Colorado before the shooting. But it was discovered too late.
In it, Holmes writes, "The obsession to kill since I was a kid with age became more and more realistic." And he details different ways to carry out an attack, from bombs to biological warfare, to serial murder. He settles on mass murder at the movies, writing, "maximum casualties, easily performed with firearms, being caught 99 percent certain."
[19:55:02] Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Insights into the mind of madness.
CABRERA: The defense points out the notebook also contains ramblings that don't make sense and Holmes also writes about his mental illness.
"So anyways, that's my mind. It is broken," he writes. Whether the jury believes that could determine the fate of a self-described shy but once promising PhD student.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What brings tears to your eyes sometimes?
HOLMES: Just regrets.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Regrets about?
HOLMES: About the shooting.
CABRERA: Now, just before court wrapped up today, we heard the Dr. Reid ask Holmes why he chose the "Batman" movie for his. Holmes answered because he knew it would be a blockbuster hit and there would be lots of people -- Erin.
BURETT: All right. Thank you, so much, Ana.
And next, we have an incredible video of a massive volcano eruption. We'll show you.
BURNETT: We have dramatic video tonight. This is a volcano violently erupting, as you see. I mean, it's incredible footage on a Japanese island. One man reportedly caught in a path of hot gas and rock suffered burns. Here is a wide shot of the eruption, ash spewing five miles high. Truly stunning to witness the power of Mother Nature.
Thanks for joining us. Be sure to set your DVR to record the show. You can watch us anytime.
"AC360" with Wolf starts now.