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Source: Prison Worker Planned To Pick Up Inmates After Escape; Source: Prison Worker's Phone Linked To Escaped Killer; Manhunt Widens After Possible Sighting Of Fugitives; Texas Officer Who Tackled Teenage Girl Resigns; Activist Ask For Arrests In Tamir Rice Shooting.

Aired June 9, 2015 - 21:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: We've got a lot of breaking news in the hour ahead, breaking news in the search for escaped killers David Sweat and Richard Matt.

Now, ever since they've made their break, investigators have suspected they had inside help. Almost every - ever since investigators have been focusing on a prison tailor, a woman who was hospitalized with chest pains this weekend, apparently shortly after Sweat and Matt broke out of the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora in far northeastern New York.

We learned that earlier today that calls made on her cellphone to associates of Matt. And late tonight, we learned so much more. A lot to tell you about, a lot to get to Jason Carroll who was where the two may have been spotted earlier today, also Randi Kaye in the search zone and Deborah Feyerick as well on the investigation in our breaking news tonight.

Deb, you were talking to your sources about this prison tailor, what more have you learned?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, according to law enforcement source, this woman was supposed to be the getaway driver. She had arraign with these ruthless killers to be waiting on the other side of that manhole when they popped up, and she was supposed to help them disappear, vanish. It was all part of this elaborate plot in which they have borrow the way out of their prison cell.

At the last minute, our source says, she changed her mind and shortly thereafter, check herself into a hospital and it makes sense, more sense now. We had spoken on authorities earlier who said that there was an indication that no one was waiting there to pick them up as they thought and that's why they are now on foot. Anderson.

COOPER: And you also have information about this woman's cellphone?

FEYERICK: Yeah. Absolutely. We were told by law enforcement source that in fact that cellphone, her cellphone, Joyce Mitchell's cellphone was used to make several calls to people that were known to Richard Matt, whether their friends or associates.

Again, it's not clear what the content of the calls were, whether she is the one who made them, whether they are the ones who made them somehow. And so, again, all of this is sort of the details that we're getting, the context of which law enforcement is now trying to sort through.

COOPER: That's fascinating. Jason, there's been a lot of activity where you are today, what's the latest?

JASON CAROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, great deal of activity a little earlier, Anderson, especially where we are right now, in Greg Frigolow's (ph) property here in this rural section of Willsboro. Lots of members of law enforcement showed up here at about 10:30 this morning.

From what we're hearing, they walked through this particular area property shoulder to shoulder as they conducted their search.

This particular area where we are, very rural, a boarded on one side by train tracks, a river on the other side.

As they completed this exhaustive search that lasted for several hours not only on the ground but by air as well, there were helicopters flying by as well. But after several hours of this exhausted search, still no sign of these inmates. Anderson.

COOPER: And Randi, you were at the Canadian border today which is obviously not that far from this facility. And there are parts of it as many people know that are relatively easy to cross.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. I mean, there are the official checkpoints that are much harder to get through but then, there were these other spots called open areas where you can actually just walk across the border, Anderson. You don't have to show any documents, you don't have to provide a passport to border security.

At one point today, I had one foot in the U.S. and then, one foot in Canada and then, I just simply walk across. No questions ask. Now, they are helping to monitor those with -- by using K9 units which can help you to sniff out a bad guy who might be hiding in a car trunk that's driving around that area.

There are also have cameras and videos surveillance watching that. In fact, Anderson, the border patrols call me today that they just picked up three Iraqi men, he said, who were trying to get from upstate New York across the border into Canada by using one of those open area.

So they do say, it's working but it's a very, very big area to trying monitor.

COOPER: And Jason, I mean, do authorities have any idea how far these two could have gotten? Because I mean, now it's been, you know, since Friday, so it's a relatively long period of time if they had access to transportation.

CAROLL: Right. And that's what still unclear at this point. I mean, if you look at where we are, our particular location, where we are versus where the prison is, some 40 miles away but it's been what, about four days or so. So even if they were on foot, theoretically, they could get to a location this far south.

[21:05:02] So basically, investigators have to operate on all sorts of tips. And when a tip comes through, they have to move on that, now, whether or not it pens (ph) out that remains to be seen but in terms of, could they make it this far in foot, yes. At this point, are they on foot or they're in mobile that is something investigators is still trying to determine.

COOPER: And Randi, we should point out in terms of the boarder even if relatively open crossings, there are surveillance cameras that are monitored.

KAYE: Absolutely. And those are -- a lot of them are -- those are at the higher security areas. And also, we should point that at those high security boarder checkpoints, were there are the official checkpoints, not the open areas. They have pictures of these guys, they have their photos tape up in the booth there, so they know who they're looking for. And even though, there's about 300 miles or so, a border that they're trying to keep an eye on for New York to Canada, they do believe that they have a pretty good handle on it even though it certainly take a lot of manpower in that area.

COOPER: And Deb, from everything you're hearing, this woman who worked in the tailor shop, is she cooperating?

FEYERICK: Well, she is. It appears that she is working closely with investigators. And one thing you have to keep in mind, Anderson, and this is something that both Jason and Randy alluded to.

Look, this woman was supposed to be waiting for these two killers, when they got out of that prison. She was not there it's unclear whether they had made alternate arrangements. And what I mean by that is, they may had expected to go north, towards Canada, instead of perhaps eastwards Vermont. We don't know what direction they were heading in.

But with uncertain, even that the two men are from that area, it's to clearly a very large state. And so, they may have lost their bearings. They're trying to figure out where it is that they are going. And so, the whole plan to get out, to get to a certain location. Some of those calls, that you reference earlier, those calls were made to people that they knew, so whether they were going to reach out to get help from other people, unclear.

But right now, if you talk to authorities, these men, they have no idea situationally where they are, where they're located right now, what direction they're heading in, unclear whether in fact they've got food, or provisions, or anything like that, that could extend the duration of this escape. And so, ultimately, they maybe forced to make the kind of mistake that leads investigators to find out where they are, where they're trying to get food, whether they're trying to car jack a car or, you know, car, all of those things, Anderson.

COOPER: Yeah. Well, let's hope investigators find them quickly. Randi, thank you, Jason Carroll, Deb Feyerick as well.

Joining us now is former FBI Special Agent in charge Michael Tabman.

Michael, this prison worker, if what's being reported is true, that she plan to pick up these guys and that her phone was used. It's not just a matter of how much he was involved but what else she might know if she would have known what direction they'd hope to go to.


If she was going to help them and she's cooperating. She is a tremendous source of information now. And the information that she gives to the investigators to be corroborated against the phone records and other information that they can now cleave from her.

COOPER: And also, this phone calls that were barely made from her phone, they'd obviously help create a much clear picture of who these guys were talking to and if they had other plans with other people.

TABMAN: Exactly. I think those calls are going to be critical. If these calls did come after the break and we don't know who have the phone, by the way, they were made to associates. Then, we could at least consider the fact that someone else may have picked them up when -- if the woman did make it. She may have made other arrangements for them or they may have done themselves.

In which case, then we have all other leads that we have to be pursuing and again, we go back to the idea that they could be anywhere not just necessarily with them walking distance.

COOPER: Yeah. I mean the possibility they expected to get picked up after they escaped, and now we're out there really without a plan as far as we know although they may have a plan B or plan C. What does it tell you? How much does that changed how they may approach, the approaching things now if, you know, if they're kind of just grasping at straws figuring out things moment to moment?

TABMAN: Right. If they will caught off guard and it ride and show up. Then, I'll be little surprise by now, we haven't seeing some of the crimes that we'd expect to see such as the car jacking that was mentioned, breaking it to a home to steal cash and food, robbing somebody, stealing from a store. We would expect to see that by now.

So if they will caught off guard and we're going to see that soon and as, you know, the speaker have said, that's when they make a mistakes, that's when they'll be track.

But if we don't see that and if they scour (ph) this field, and they don't find them there. Then, we might have to go back to the assumption that somebody else picked them up and a much further way than we thought.

COOPER: Right. Because we're not telling that Eric Rudolph who has survivalist training or experiencing, can spend a lot of time with preposition supplies as far as we know, you know, in remote force regions. This man who claims he saw the fugitives in his backyard, you're suspicions of that, why?

[21:10:00] TABMAN: I'm a little suspicious that it doesn't mean it didn't happen. But we've seen this often in this high profile cases. First of all, when you have a public in the height, state of awareness, often they see things that we're not have otherwise look suspicious and they mean well and they'll call it in, but something that wouldn't otherwise notice.

Other times, we have people who just sometimes want to sounds a little bravado, you know, appeared to be helping in a way that didn't really exist. So it may have happened but I think the investigators and I look at that with a jaundiced eye.

COOPER: Michael Tabman, I appreciate your expertise. Michael, thank you.

Coming up next, the man who knows better than anyone, just how brutal Richard Matt can be, better that is than anyone who steal a lot, a man who actually was an accomplice in the -- and witness to the torture and murder that Matt committed against his former boss. Also the woman who lost her finance, a sheriff deputy at the hands of David Sweat, that and more as our coverage continues.


COOPER: The breaking news tonight, as authorities in Northern New York, Canada around the countries search for fugitive killers Richard Matt and David Sweat.

Investigators believe the prison teller Joyce Mitchell was their intended escape driver. She said, she changed her mind in a last minute and check him to a hospital instead reportedly with the case of the nurse. She is not been charge with anything at this point and instead to be cooperating with police.

[21:14:59] We're now in one of the two men that he allegedly helped either wittingly or unwittingly inside from someone who knows, as Richard Matt accomplice in 1997 Lee Bates watched him kidnapped, brutalized, tortured and murder a human being. A man he later just dismembered and dumped Niagara River.

17 years ago, Mr. Bates told the jury what he saw. He testified against Matt. Tonight he tells us.

In the last hour, we played you the first part of our conversation. Here is more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Where you scared of him?

LEE BATES, FUGITIVE'S FORMER ACCOMPLICE: Yeah. Yeah. I was very scared of him and like anybody else in the world especially with him loose, I -- yeah, I'm scared. I'm scared of a lot of people. I was scared then...

COOPER: Because you testified against him. You were charged with the crime as well but you testified against him. You served your time. You are now out. Do you worry the fact that you did testify, that you presented evidence against him that he may wanted to do you harm?

BATES: I certainly have to consider that. Once I did hear of the news and stuff, it was more shock and that the nightmare begins again. And it was a chapter -- a bunch of chapters in my life that I hope it would never -- I'd never have to read again or enter into my life, seeing him, hearing about him, anything.

And I can't say that I'm necessarily 100 percent safe or that I'm scared but the truth had to come out and his trial, I represented the truth. And without me, it would never come out.

COOPER: This woman now, the center of the investigation who apparently worked with him tailoring closed in the prison, what do you think when you hear about that? Do you know, I mean, is he capable of having relationships with other people? Is there something that he can turn on charm because it seems like he has had, you know, he has a friendship with this guy he escaped with? If there are some sort of relationship with this woman, we don't know what the nature of it is. I mean, is there something about him that's appealing to people?

BATES: I don't know if it's appealing but it's the way that he is. He can make fronts easy. He is a master manipulator. This is a 48- year-old man that knows a prison system, that knows the streets, streets marks and he is a very cunning and dangerous individual. With the lady that they are talking about, it's possible. And I think it's more possible because of just the way he is.

If he has a goal set in mind, he is going to go and do everything he can to achieve it.

COOPER: Do you think he is already trying to leave the area. I mean, obviously, you not (inaudible) to his plans, to his thinking now. But, do you think this is something, this escape is something he has tried to plan out as much as possible? Obviously, the escape on the prison is but what happen outside once he was free.

BATES: My own point of view on that is, I believe he planned it. He thought it out and certainly with how was executed. It was thought out. It was thorough. It was planned. After which, I don't know where -- what he could possibly have, maybe somebody in the outside waiting for him, inside that I have no doubt and that was certainly he planned that just as well as he did back nine years ago when he escaped from a prison up here near Buffalo.

COOPER: And, Lee, given all the time that you have served because of your role as an accomplice. I mean, is -- do you have a lot of regrets? Are you sorry for what you did?

BATES: I'm certainly sorry for being involved even meeting and being a kindhearted individual when I would give him just rights. I can't say regret. I -- it was a nightmare. I wish it never happened. There's a lot of families that were destroyed. There's a lot of pain. I...

COOPER: I mean, a lost his life.

BATES: Yes, he did.

[21:20:00] And it's difficult. I didn't do it and now I think the world can see that I couldn't stop it either. And if there's a regret, I -- that's where I would certainly be. It hurts. And you can see this vicious individual. Thus, there is nothing that can stop him.

COOPER: Lee Bates, I do appreciate you telling us what you know about this man. I appreciate you're talking to us. Thank you.

BATES: You're welcome. Thank you, sir.


COOPER: We've focused a lot on Richard Matt tonight for obvious reasons but it's worth remembering just what David Sweat did as well. They're both killers.

13 years ago Sweat shot and killed Kevin Tarsia, the Sheriff Tarsia, a Sheriff Deputy in New York Bronx County. His fiancee at that time, Christi-Ann Ciccone-Storman has been living with the memories ever since. She joins us tonight.

Christi-Ann, what went through your mind when you found out that David Sweat had actually escaped from prison?

CHRISTI-ANN CICCONE-STORMAN, KEVIN TARSIA'S FORMER FINACEE: I was pretty shocked and amazed. I could not believe that he had escaped in maximum state prison.

COOPER: Kevin's brother has said that this is like living the nightmare over again. Is it like that for you as well?

CICCONE-STORMAN: Well, it definitely brings back all of the memories of what has, you know, what had transpired when this horrific murder took place the first time. You do -- it brings back all those memories.

COOPER: Is there any part of you that's fearful he might return seeking some sort of revenge?

CICCONE-STORMAN: I did feel that way when he -- when I first learned that he had escaped, I was very fearful. It may not be a realistic fear because I'm sure that he is probably trying to get us far away from here as possible. But I think that your mind plays tricks with you and I did fear it. I feared anytime, you know, anybody was around the house or coming around the driveway or anything like that. I was, you know, on high alert.

COOPER: I know you were -- as what's trial everyday, what do you remember about his demeanor? What kind of a person did he seem to be?

CICCONE-STORMAN: David Sweat was a very cold individual. He really didn't show any emotion during the trial or anything else. He was kind of blank-looking. He didn't really show any emotion at all.

COOPER: And Kevin, I mean, he killed Kevin in 2002, what do you remember about Kevin? What was he like? What kind of guy was he?

CICCONE-STORMAN: Kevin was a great man. He had a great sense of humor and he was always smiling. He smiled the world would smile with him. He was funny and he was just very, very well-rounded.

COOPER: And he loved being a police officer?

CICCONE-STORMAN: Yes. He did. There was of course ups and downs but I think that's what every job. But he generally loved being a police officer.

COOPER: Well, Christi-Ann, I appreciate you're taking the time to talk to us. Thank you so much.

CICCONE-STORMAN: You're certainly welcome. Thank you so much for having me.

COOPER: Just ahead, a series new development tonight when it comes to American involvement in Iraq where that it might once again be deepening. Also, part of the White House evacuated security teams called in bomb-sniffing dogs with that late details.


[21:25:00] COOPER: Right now they're just more than 3,000 American troops in Iraq. You know, that number may soon rise by a third.

A senior US official says the Obama administration is thinking about sending up to a thousand more troops, mostly focusing on training Iraqi forces.

CNN Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto joins me now from Washington with more.

So what are you learning about this plan?

JIM SCIUTTO, CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: So Anderson, we're learned that the President may ask Congress to authorize up to a thousand additional troops to Iraq, in addition to 3,000 that already there. But it's more likely, they would only ask for several hundred perhaps 400 to 500 largely military trainers to boost the training of Iraqi forces. Frankly, in many cases, outmatched by ISIS particularly in the fall of Rahmadi, that was recently. The real question is, do they have the recruits necessary to make those trainers useful and that's going to be a real question and (inaudible) in the Sunni area, if they have to get those Sunnis involve in the fight. But it's not clear at this point that the Sunnis are going to come out in numbers to join the Iraqi government in fighting ISIS.

COOPER: And do they have the kind of Iraqi leadership long-term that's going to make all of this viable and useful. I mean, it does seem like try to get the Iraqi army to a place where can be effective and effective fighting force. It's just requiring increasing amounts from resources from the United States and we've seen a lot of those resources, material resources falling to the hands of ISIS.

SCIUTTO: Yeah, no question. The armored vehicles that are now being used as suicide bombs by ISIS. And as you say, 10 years, billions of dollars, tens of billions of dollars and a lot of American blood as well shed to get the Iraqi army up to snuff (ph) and it see -- we've seen last year how it is not up to snuff (ph).

Now, the Obama administration clearly is not going to send a large numbers of U.S. forces on the ground there, so they're still dependent on getting those Iraqi forces to do better.

You do hear from U.S. military officials that, you know, the best train units are performing better on the battle field those trained by the U.S., so they want to, you know, expand that U.S. training mission.

But, listen, you watch situation on the ground as military commander say, it's going to be a war that lasted years. It's going to be longtime before we see results from this.

COOPER: Jim Sciutto, I appreciate it. Thanks.

A security scare at the White House today to tell you about. A bomb threat forced everyone out of the White House daily press briefing in north lawn of the White House was also cleared.

Earlier today, another threat called evacuation for Congressional hearing, the White House threat was specifically through the briefing room. But here's the thing, President Obama himself was at the White House the time in the oval office and he stayed there.

[21:30:01] He was not evacuated, same goes for the First Lady, Michelle Obama and daughters Sophie and Malia, they stayed put in the residence as well.

Joining me on the phone is Former Secret Service Agent Jonathan Wackrow who is served on President Obama's security detail.

Jonathan take us through what does the secret servers would have done in a case like this where it was apparently specific threat to the press briefing room to protect the President today. Why not evacuate them from the White House? JONATHAN WACKROW, FMR. SECRET SERVICE AGENT: Well, when the President was in the oval office, he is very secure. They had to take the totality of the circumstances into consideration. They had to look at, you know, how does threat came into the White House and exactly what the fidelity of that threat was.

I mean, I believe that the secret service acted appropriately in keeping the President where he was. He was safe. The first lady was safe and the daughters were safe in the residence. The threat was very specific to the press briefing room. So, that was the area that they wanted to focus in on and that's the area that they need to be clear.

COPPER: I mentioned the White House gets, I mean 100,000 of threats a year and the secret service certainly doesn't take action like they did today, was it the specificity of this threat?

WACKROW: Absolutely. You know, the secret service had to respond with the appropriate level of tension to this threat. You know, as you just mentioned, yes we do get, you know, hundreds and thousands of threats, you know, against the President and against the White House complex every year.

But, you know, again, when you get into, you know, the details and start becoming specific towards the threat, that actually raises more concern and that's why the secret service reacted in this manner today.

COOPER: It's also a trouble anything about reporting on this because you don't want to report on it if it's just going to encourage other people to make this kind of threats and then again not reporting on it, you know, I mean sort of it's a catch 22?

WACKROW: Absolutely Anderson. You can look at this and say, "Hey, if someone testing our system", you know, are we utilizing the press to -- as an excuse to draw them out, you know, for some other, you know, type of attacks. That is constantly in the back of, you know, every agent's mind when the White House goes through a situation like that.

But the secret service is very, very good at, you know, responding to threat and, you know, responding at different tiered levels.

You know, this was not an incident where we had to evacuate the entire complex and remove the President and First Lady. This was done very methodically. They took the threat and based upon the totality of the circumstances and responded in time.

I think they did a great job today.

COOPER: And as you said, I mean the First Lady was not evacuated with daughters Malia and Sasha Obama, they were nearby in the White House residence when all this was going on. You said, in security scares that you were involved with President Obama's first question always was where is my wife? Where is my daughters? Understandably, would they have a similar security protocol to the President? WACKROW: Absolutely. So, you know, during any type of event like this at the White House, the close protection details of both the President and the First Lady and the daughters, they are all talking to each other. So they are letting everyone know where the protectees (ph) are on complex in the event that, you know, we do have to elevate to evacuate the White House complex. We can do that in a very coordinated fashion.

This is something that the secret service does very well. The President and First Lady, you know, come to rely on our information directly. You know, as to the nature of where their spouse is, where their family is, first and foremost, the President is a husband and a father. So he is concern with, you know, the people that he loves.

So, you know, they definitely communicate back and forth.

COOPER: I'm glad it was a false alarm. Jonathan Wackrow, I appreciate that you've been on tonight. Thank you.

Up next, Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert coming out a hiding to face the cameras and a judge and entering the plea in his hush-money case.

Also we had tonight breaking news, the officer who attacked of the teenage girl outside of pool party in Texas. He has resigned meanwhile a new video merges of another altercation that same day between a teenager and an older woman, is this the altercation that is the reason the police were called to begin with?



COPPER: This is what greeted Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert when he showed up at the court. He arrived at the federal courthouse in Chicago today for his arraignment. It was his first public appearance since he indicted on charges of lying to federal investigators making illegal bank withdraws.

Hush-money he allegedly paid to cover a past misconduct dating back to his days as a high school teacher and wrestling coach. And since those charges were announced he's hired a high-profile white color crime attorney. CNN Jeff Zeleny has the latest.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After 12 days in hiding, Dennis Hastert arrived at federal court in Chicago to a spectacle.

He fought his way through the biggest crash of cameras since his time is the longest serving Republican speaker of the House.

He's accused of paying millions of dollars in hush-money to keep secret allegations of sexual misconduct from his time as a high school wrestling coach. Inside court today, he pleaded not guilty. He was ordered to surrender his passport, all fire arms and give a DNA sample.

He was released on $4,500 bond and left the courthouse alone. Not accompanied by his wife, children or other family members.

Former Federal Prosecutor Paul Butler says he expect Hastert will ultimately plead guilty to avoid a messy trial.

PAUL BUTLER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTER: This is like going after Al Capone for tax evasion. The reason the department is bringing charges against a 73-year-old politician who's out of office has everything to do with the underlying allegations.

ZELENY: The allegations are from four decades ago when he was a teacher in Yorkville High School in Illinois. The name of the person receiving hush-money, a former student has not been disclosed. CNN has learned the FBI has identified at least three potential victims.


ZELENY: Hastert is not charged with sexual misconduct.

[21:40:00] The statute of limitations on any such allegations would have long expired. He faces these two counts. Illegally structuring bank withdrawals to hide more than $1.7 million in payments made to a person, the indictment refers to as individual A and lying to FBI about it.

Hastert allegedly said he was setting aside cash because he didn't trust the banking system, each charge carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and $250,000 fine.


COOPER: So Jeff, judge in this case give money to Dennis Hastert's campaign back in the early 2000. Is there any chance he's going to have recuse himself?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, I think there could be a fairly decent chance to that. I mean this is one of those only in Chicago moments perhaps. The judge was actually appointed by President Obama, but his brother is the top Republican in Illinois House, from a very well connected family. And the judge actually said in the preceding this afternoon that if either side believes that you think I can't be impartial please say so. So, they're supposed to put those request in by Thursday.

Anderson, I think it's pretty likely the lawyers that we spoken to has said that he'll likely be recused, and probably a good idea given appeals and other thing. Chicago is a small town politically speaking and he's at the middle of Republican politics.

COOPER: Interesting. Jeff, appreciate your reporting. Thank you, Jeff Zeleny.

There's Breaking News out of Texas, tonight the police officer who force a 14-year-old girl to the ground, pulled his gun on other teenagers outside that pool party. He has quit his job. Earlier tonight the McKinney police chief announce the resignation of Officer Eric Casebolt.


CHIEF GREG CONLEY, MCKINNEY, TEXAS POLICE: I want to say to our community that the actions of Casebolt as seen on the video of the disturbance at the community pool are indefensible. Our policies, our training, our practice, do not support his actions. He came into the call out of control and as the video shows was out of control during the incident.


COOPER: Well, there still various account on what set the whole incident off to begin with. A new cellphone video has come out showing a fight between a young woman and an older woman. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, hey. Get him right off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get him Kacy (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop that, in doing that.


COOPER: CNN Nick Valencia joins me again from McKinney, Texas. So do we have any clear of the picture of how or why this whole altercation started?

VALENCIA: Well, Anderson you talk about how the community is divided here and it really depends on who you ask as who started that fight and why.

We were told by one of the witnesses that we interviewed earlier, a young 16-year-old black male that was there at the pool party. He said that he wasn't within ear shot but others were and they told him that it began when that adult woman was hurling racial slurs at some the teenagers at the party.

This is interesting because yesterday we spoke to resident saying "You know, what happen here?" Those that were there before the cellphone video started recording. One man I spoke to said that it was really the place that blame belongs on the teenagers and that the situation really didn't get chaotic until some of the teenagers starting hopping the fence into a pool where they apparently didn't belong, Anderson.

COOPER: Now, that the officer has resigned for the department. Does that mean the internal affair investigation to what happen is also closed?

VALENCIA: Well, not entirely and that question was asked to the police chief earlier today the McKinney Police Department chief saying that he still considering going down that road perhaps leading the conversation open for criminal charges against that officer in question.

You know, we spoke to community resident here one in particular who's been a very vocal advocate, he's been on CNN throughout the day saying that he signed -- started and created a petition to try to seek charges. But pressure on this police department to level charges against the officer who resigned today and we should mention the update about that young girl, that teenage girl who was seen wrestler to the ground by the officer.

We spoke to a family friend earlier Anderson and we ask how she was doing. And evidently she still very traumatize about what happen to her on Friday night. And according to her family friends the attorney for the family is considering pursuing legal action against the officer, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Nick Valencia, I appreciate your reporting.

Coming up, it has been more than six months since police fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland and prosecutor still haven't said whether the officers will be charge.

Now a group of civil rights and religious activist is tired of waiting and they're talking the matter into their own hands. What they're doing try to get justice as they see it next.



COOPER: Some community leaders in Cleveland aren't waiting anymore for prosecutors to take action in the Tamir Rice case. You'll remember he's the 12-year-old who was playing with the pellet gun in a park when police shot and killed him. That was almost seven months ago. And prosecutors have yet to decide whether to bring charges against the officers involved.

So now a group of activist and civil rights and religious leaders are using a rarely used Ohio law. They filed affidavit themselves and asked a judge to issue arrest warrant for the officers. In a moment I'll speak with the two clergy members who were part of that effort. But first Martin Savidge has the background on the case.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: More than six months have past since 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by Cleveland police. Yet, no charges have been filed.

Frustrated community activist have decided to take the law into their own hands. And it's perfectly legal.

Ohio is one of a few states that allow resident to make a direct appeal to a judge for an arrest. The little known legal power has been on the book for over a half century, but hardly ever used. PASTOR R.A. VERNON, THE WORD CHURCH: I'm not happy about having to do this as an American citizen. I wish that I could depend on our criminal justice system to do what was right.

SAVIDGE: Activist presented sworn affidavit to a municipal judge outlining what they say is the unlawful killing or Rice. They're asking for the arrest of two Cleveland police officers on murder and other charges.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're here today because we waited more than six months and yet still there is no accountability.



SAVIDGE: But is it citizen justice or just legal theatrics?

[21:50:00] The case is already headed for a grand jury to decide whether or not to charge the officers. Timothy Loehmann, the fatal shot, his partner Frank Garmback was driving the police car as they rolled (ph) up on the playground responding a priority one call of a man threatening with a gun, the man turned out to be a child and the gun turned out to be a toy.

This is the playground where Tamir Rice was the day he was shot and despite all of the passage of time there were two things here that are still striking, the memorial, mainly of stuffed animals, and then what appeared to be tire tracks.

After grand juries in other states decided not to indict other police officers accused of controversial killings of minority victims, Rice supports are skeptical they will get what they want from Cuyahoga County grand jury and what they want is clear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are asking for an arrest. That's what the statute calls for.

SAVIDGE: The head of the Cleveland Police Patrolman's Association blast the move calling it mob rule. The statement says in court, "It is very sad how miserable the lives of these self-appointed activists, civil rights leaders, and clergy must be. I can't imagine being so very consumed with anger and hatred."

Even if the judge sides with the activists and orders the arrest of the two officers the case will still go back to the very place where it is now, the Cuyahoga Country Prosecutor's Office to be reviewed by a grand jury.

Martin Savidge, CNN, Atlanta.


COOPER: Joining me now are reverends, Jawanza Colvin of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, Walter Madison, Attorney for the Rice's family and Reverend R.A. Vernon of the World Church. Reverend Colvin, I want to start with you. Why did you think it was important to go directly to the judge now to request a murder charges rather than waiting for decision by the prosecutor?

REV. JAWANZA COLVIN, OLIVET INSTITUTIONAL BAPTIST CHURCH: Well, we have seen across the country Anderson is a concern about the grand jury process. And here in the state of Ohio, we have a provision that allows citizens to take action even while investigations and even while prosecutors are looking into the matter.

And so for us, we were utilizing the Ohio revised code as a democratic tool to engage as citizens and work that we have already been doing in terms of calling for justice for this family. And so for us we did not see it as usurping any attorney but in fact we were exercising our rights that's given to us as residents of the state and the citizens of this country.

COOPER: And Reverend Vernon, I know you say that you're not happy having to do this. Why do you feel you can't depend on the criminal justice system to do what's right?

VERNON: Well, in light of what we've seen in Ferguson with Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin here in Cleveland where the judge called it heroic for police to shoot and then reload and shoot again two unarmed people. I think our criminal justice system sadly, right now we can afford to wait and hope for justice when there is a way for us to pursuit our own.

And Anderson I have three boys and they look something like Tamir. So I don't just stand here as a pastor, as a prophet. I stand here as a dad and if he was my son, I would want someone in the community to stand up for my baby.

COOPER: Walter, this law has been around for more than 60 years I understand. To your knowledge, has it ever resulted in arrest?

WALTER MADISON, RICE FAMILY ATTORNEY: Certainly, it's been resulted in arrest throughout the state and in 60 years of its existence, however I think it brings attention or so much attention in this instances, the high profile nature in the way in which we have chosen to use it. We all know the victims have rights and I think in one instance we challenge the whole concept of the victimizer being another private citizen. In this instance the victimizer is the government.

COOPER: Walter, the county prosecutor though, he was recently in brought a case against the Cleveland police officer. So, does that have any impacts on you, I mean, you know, clearly many of the community doubt that he is going to bring charges in this case I guess or feel that it simply not happening fast enough.

MADISON: Well, Anderson the crops (ph) of all of these is trust. And you have a prosecutor who has the soul discretion. Many feel that the inputs that went into the grand jury proceeding rendered an output that was just inadequate. And when the citizens can't participate and they're not engaged and you have the secrecy and we don't have to look to New York. We don't have to look to Missouri. We can look right here in that case and have great reason to pause and consider whether justice is being served.

COOPER: I want to -- Reverend Colvin, the president of the Cleveland Police Patrolman's Association he released a statement. I do want to read you part of it and how do you respond. He writes, "It is very sad how miserable the lives of these self-appointed activists, civil rights leaders and clergy must be," going to say, "Civilized society cannot permit the rule of law to be subverted by mob rule."

[21:55:07] To that you say what?

COLVIN: I don't anyone who has seen our press conference early today or the action that we took in the justice center would view that as mob rule. In fact I think it was the exercise of civility and the exercise of civil that reckoned by an action which is in the best of our Democratic traditions here in our country.

The people have a right to make sure that those actions are investigated. They are scrutinized and if in fact they come to a point in which they can maybe considered as improbable cause as criminal in nature. The people have a responsibility to make sure that their voice is heard. And so while I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Lummis, Mr. Lummis is a onion leaders and he has to protect the interest of those of whom he has been elected to serve but we also have interest and we are not here to serve the interest of any particular constituency other than the people of Ohio and the residents of the City of Cleveland and the County of Cuyahoga.

COOPER: Reverend Vernon, Reverend Colvin, I appreciate your time, Walter Madison as well. Thank you. We'll be watching.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you Anderson. Thank you.


COOPER: Short break. More ahead, we'll be right back.


COOPER: Just a reminder, it's been a full evening of breaking news in the Man hunt of two escaped killers as investigators learn more about how they broke out, as out coverage of that continuous throughout the night and again at 11:00 Eastern. I hope you join us again. However that does it for this hour. CNN Tonight" starts now.