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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Manhunt Intensifies After Possible Sighting of Killers; Source: Prison Worker's Phone Linked To Escaped Killers; Texas Officer Resigns After Pulling Gun on Teens at Pool Party. Aired 7-8:00p ET
Aired June 9, 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. In the manhunt for two convicted killers, authorities zeroing in on one town at this hour. This as CNN learns a prison employee's cell phone was used to call people connected to one of the killers.
Plus more breaking news, the officer who pulled his gun on unarmed teens at a Texas pool party resigning just moments ago. We have that breaking news and the teen who hosted the pool party is OUTFRONT.
And also breaking at this hour, word the President may send as many as 1,000 more American troops to fight ISIS. Does he have a strategy? Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett and OUTFRONT tonight, we begin with breaking news, police swarming a town in Upstate, New York tonight after a possible sighting of two convicted killers on the run. As night falls, there are fears that the two could be trying to make a move, authorities are scouring farms, they're scouring fields. I mean, look at this rural area. You can see that line of officers. They have right now focused around a small town called Willsboro in New York. It's a very small town. It's about 40 miles south of the maximum security prison where Richard Matt and David Sweat used power tools to cut through brick and steel. They crawled through pipes and had this dramatic breakout.
As you can see, just 35, 40 miles away, police had received more than 300 tips since the escape but their focus tonight on a prison employee and whether she may have helped the two. Investigators are questioning Joyce Mitchell. She works in the prison's Taylor shop, she worked closely with Matt and Sweat, she said to know both men well just moments ago. Source telling CNN Mitchell's cell phone was used to call several people connected to Richard Matt. Obviously, that could be crucial and authorities are saying, could she have helped them get those power tools? We're going to have much more on that breaking news.
In just one moment, we begin though in Willsboro, New York with Jason Carroll who is OUTFRONT at the center of the search for these two men. And Jason, I mean, it's a rural area, but they are, we just saw those lines of police in the field.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
BURNETT: I mean, how confident are they they could be zeroing in on the men?
CARROLL: Well, this was serious enough, Erin, that early on there were a number of law enforcement on the ground and not just on the ground but in the air, as well, but after an exhaustive search that lasted for several hours, still no sign of those escaped inmates.
CARROLL (voice-over): Heavily-armed police many in body armors scouring farms and fields as they search the small town of Willsboro, New York. Someone spotted two suspicious men walking down the street in the middle of a storm overnight. As a car approached, the two took off. Willsboro is about 35 miles southeast of Dannemora, that's where Richard Matt and David Sweat staged their daring prison break almost four days ago. A law enforcement source tells CNN, it appears the two did not have a get away car waiting for them and may have been traveling on foot. But investigators do believe they had help, and they have questioned Joyce Mitchell, an employee, she worked with the men in the prison's Taylor shop.
NBC News reports a day after the escape, Mitchell checked herself into a hospital complaining of a case of nerves. Mitchell's son defending her telling the network his mother is not going to risk her life or other people's lives to help these guys escape. The two convicted killers may have also been spotted just a short time after crawling out of a manhole a block from the prison wall. ABC News spoke to one couple who says, they think they ran into Matt and Sweat about a half hour after midnight early Saturday morning.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The one guy that had a buzz cut, he had a guitar case on his back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A guitar case?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A black guitar case.
CARROLL: They even challenged the strangers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, I go look at them and ask them, what the hell are you doing in my yard? Get the hell out of here. And he was like sorry, I didn't know where I was. I'm on the wrong street.
CARROLL: A former prison worker talked about how hard it would be to navigate inside the 170-year-old prison.
RICH PLUMADORE, RETIRED PRISON MAINTENANCE SUPERVISOR: So many tunnels and all the attics, all the cat walks, it's a big maze.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They used that maze.
PLUMADORE: They used the maze. They know exactly where to go. They had help.
CARROLL: Law enforcement will also be checking security cameras of some of the local residents here and the local businesses, as well, Erin, but it seems as if it's going to be another restless night for so many people who live here in these rural parts -- Erin.
BURNETT: I would imagine, so concerned if they come up just pop into their house, whether they could hurt someone else.
All right. Jason Carroll, thank you very much and as I mentioned right, they are zooming in on a female prison employee that may have provided assistance. Her name is Joyce Mitchell. A source close to the investigation says, her cell phone directly links her to one of the convicted killers.
Deborah Feyerick just broke this news. She's OUTFRONT. I mean, and Deb, this is a pretty significant what they found on her cell phone that you just learned.
[19:05:23] DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's interesting. According to law enforcement source, the phone was used to call several people, friends and associates that were known to Richard Matt, but it is not known when those calls were made or who actually made those calls. Now, her son, Toby Mitchell was interviewed by NBC, and he told the reporter, quote, "When threatened or at risk, you do a lot of things to protect your family." However, Toby Mitchell would not say and did not know whether in fact his mother had been threatened because he said it was out of character that she would do something like this. We do know that these two men had a very elaborate escape plan, but think about it, no one was waiting for them when they got out, and that's why law enforcement sources say that they are on foot. They believe they are on foot. It is raining, and this may not be the way they thought it would going to work out once they did make this breakout -- Erin.
BURNETT: You know, I mean, it's incredible Deb when you think about they could have planned this for months at the least to not have a plan when you get on the outside. But it sort of looks like that might be the case right now. If they are, you know, if we see this go down in the next few hours.
FEYERICK: Right. And if those calls were made, you know, during in the weeks or months before that they did make their escape, perhaps they expected somebody to be waiting there. And so, that is all part of this and that's all part of the investigation, as well. Who was there or who did not show up?
BURNETT: All right. Deborah Feyerick, thank you very much. A crucial detail.
OUTFRONT now, two men with a lot of experience when it comes to manhunts, Arthur Roderick, a retired U.S. marshal and Joe Giacalone, a retired NYPD detective sergeant.
Joe, let me just start with you, this, the point that Deb is making, right? That there were these calls. They don't know who made them, but that something so meticulously planned, which this clearly was, okay? There is no question about it to get the tools to cut through and know how to cut through, to climb through and know where the manhole all of it. At the same time they don't appear at this point to have had a plan on the other end.
JOSEPH GIACALONE, RETIRED NYPD DETECTIVE SERGEANT: Yes, which is pretty amazing. I mean, this is an intricate plan that you have, all you have to get all these toys in, and all these other stuff.
GIACALONE: And then to say, okay, we're just going to go out and out of a manhole and run for our lives at that point? It doesn't make sense. I think something severely went wrong with their plan.
BURNETT: Something went wrong with the plan but you do think, you know, we just saw Jason Carroll in Willsboro, very rural area but you have police right now lining the fields. They are zeroing in, those men may be in that place. You may see just go down in the next hours, if they are there. You think they are?
GIACALONE: Yes. I think they are. I mean, let's put it this way, you know, a little note that they left them, I mean, that was like kind of like taunting them.
BURNETT: Have a nice day.
GIACALONE: Yes. Have a nice day, kind of taunting the cops, you know, and they probably figured that the cops will think we went to Canada, so let's start heading towards Vermont. And I said, I had picked Vermont because as the water, you get the scent off, you know, the dogs are coming after them. So they can get across the river or get a boat in the river and take it down as far as they can go. So, I mean, this is something where they probably figured hey, we had a map before, this is water, let's start making our way that way.
BURNETT: Arthur, what do you think about this idea that they didn't seem, if they did have a plan as Deb's points out, someone may not have shown up, right? So that would mean they could be on foot. That would mean this location, Willsboro where we're seeing this intent focus tonight, may indeed be where they are. What do you think?
ARTHUR RODERICK, RETIRED U.S. MARSHAL: You know, I think that's exactly correct. I mean, to plan something like that and then not do the actual plan to get away from the facility seems kind of short- sided on their part, obviously. But they're very well could have happened that they did have a plan and that the individual backed out at the last minute. This happens in several escapes, either an inmate won't go along, he's done all the planning, he's helped them get out. But the other thing I see here is this is entering the, kind of a third phase of the investigation, the first part being the manhunt, which we see right now on TV as all those officers are lined up and they're out there going through the woods almost hand to hand.
RODERICK: And the second part of the investigation obviously is more of the long-term investigation, and I hear now with the phone calls, they are tracking communications, they're looking at the family.
RODERICK: They are looking for the long-term investigation if it goes beyond another couple of days and obviously, the third phase is how did they get out?
BURNETT: Right. And Arthur, what do you think in terms of, if they are in this town, Willsboro tonight, if they are able to find them, then how does this go down from there? I mean, you heard that couple, they had a guitar case, who knows what was in it. I mean, are they armed? Is the goal to take these guys alive and put them back in jail? How does it play out tonight if you have some sort of a, you know, if there is an altercation, there's a shootout?
GIACALONE: Well, I mean, if there is an altercation obviously, law enforcement are going to defend themselves and defend others. We don't know what they have inside that guitar case.
GIACALONE: So, obviously, with a heinous crimes these individuals committed to get where they were in the first place, they are, we have to consider them armed and dangerous. Now you got to the also remember they have been out for four days. And if they have been walking through the woods, I mean, psychologically and mentally, they have to be completely drained at this point. So, they are either going to act like sort of a cornered animal, and in this case, I think it probably with this background or they are just going to give up and say hey, I'm tired, I'm whipped, that's it, I'm done.
[19:10:28] BURNETT: How do you think this is going to go down? And now as he points out almost four days, might not have money, might not have had food, may not have had water, as well as being psychologically in distress.
RODERICK: Right, it's probably not going to go down peacefully. I mean, these guys have a very bad background. I mean, between torture and dismemberment and one killed a sheriff's deputy, like shot him 15 times or so. And if you notice, there is not a lot of convenience stores around to get something to eat. So, this is a very rural area in the middle of the forest so they are probably hungry, they probably lack water, let's put it this way, they have a very short supply chain that's left, if anything.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you both very much as we are watching this town of Willsboro where right now police are focused to see whether there is a major break in this manhunt tonight.
OUTFRONT next, how could the convicted killers have done it slicing through steel pipes with loud power tools and not have been heard? Well, we went today and actually reenacted the whole thing so we could show you, and that's next.
Plus, breaking news, just moments ago, the officers at the center of this controversial video has resigned. Resigned, not been fired, is that enough? We'll going to ask the teen who hosted the pool party and the Baltimore Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby asking police to target the very streets where Freddie Gray was arrested. She said go there and stop the drugs. They did this happened. Should she be removed from this case?
[19:15:06] BURNETT: Breaking news, zeroing in a massive manhunt underway at this moment in a small town, they are hunting down the two convicted killers who escaped from that maximum security prison. This comes as we're learning that the phone belonging to a female prison employee was used to call people connected to one of the killers. The two men were discovered missing from the maximum security prison in Upstate, New York on Saturday morning. They are still on the loose. Right now investigators are desperately searching in one town, Willsboro in Northern New York. They think they could be in this world town and they're trying to figure out how they could have used these power tools to actually cut their way to freedom. It is a stunning story.
And Stephanie Elam is going to show you how it was done.
ERNESTO "ERNIE" PENUELAS, VETERAN IRONWORKER: It has some knowledge of, you know, how to use tools.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ernie Penuelas has been an iron worker for nearly 30 years, and says there is no doubt that Richard Matt and David Sweat used power tools to break through the walls of their prison cells.
PENUELAS: First of all, it's made of steel. So, you have to have some sort of, you know, a tool to be able to cut it.
ELAM (on camera): When you look at that picture, what tool do you think that they used to cut through that wall?
PENUELAS: To me it looks like a cut off wheel, basically a grinder with a thinner wheel on it made to cut through steel.
ELAM: Go ahead and show us what that would look like and sound like.
(voice-over): Using this grinder, it took Penuelas about a minute to cut this straight line through this steel plate.
(on camera): But A, I took my ear plug out to listen, it's really loud.
PENUELAS: Extremely loud.
ELAM (on camera): B, it smells, like it really has a very distinct odor.
PENUELAS: Yes. ELAM: So, do you think that this is something they could get
away with under those circumstances?
PENUELAS: Somebody would really have to be trying to ignore them from happening because the smell gets on your clothes, it gets on your skin, so you have two actually wash it off.
ELAM (voice-over): After cutting holes in their cell walls, authorities say, the inmates managed to breakthrough a brick wall two- feet thick. And then cut into a pipe that led outside the prison.
(voice-over): Is there any way you could buffer the sound of any of these tools if you were operating them?
PENUELAS: Perhaps maybe by laying blankets around the object and just working the tool very slowly.
ELAM: But it would be tedious?
PENUELAS: Yes, it would take a long time.
ELAM: Investigators believe Matt and Sweat then crawled 400 feet through a pipe that was 24 inches in diameter.
PENUELAS: Cuts are pretty clean.
ELAM: So in the time it took you to just create that one line with the grinder, you did a circle around with the torch?
PENUELAS: With the torch.
ELAM: And it's so much quieter.
ELAM: And not as much of a smell.
PENUELAS: Not as much. Yes.
ELAM: But there is one problem, the equipment.
(voice-over): A torch requires a tank of mixed gases.
(on camera): If you break out of jail, you would rather have a torch?
ELAM: And when you take a look at those images, Erin, you can see that there is a power cord there, but one thing that Ernie was able to tell me, he says, when you take a look at this tools, you can have them with battery packs. But of course then, you still have to plug those battery packs in and those tools are more expensive. So, even if they did use them, the question is still, how did they get their hands on them and were able to sneak around and get this done? These guys tell me they believe that they were doing it over a lot of time, maybe even months.
BURNETT: Wow, maybe even months. It's just pretty incredible. As you said, the key question, how did they get their hands on the tools?
Well, let me bring in OUTFRONT now, some people with some ideas. Michael Alig served time at the Clinton Correctional Facility for manslaughter, he was released last May. Also joining us the New York State Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell with the extensive knowledge of the Clinton Correctional Facility.
So, Michael, let me start with you. You served time here in the maximum security side, you know this as few do. So, when you're in there, how do you pull this off? How do you pull off talking to the guy next door, getting the tools, cutting out?
MICHAEL ALIG, FORMER INMATE, CLINTON CORRECTIONAL FACILITY: Well, the easy part is pulling it off. The hard part is getting the tools. I mean, the only way they could get the tools, there is no way in or out of that facility that doesn't go through an officer or somebody from the Department of Corrections. So it had to have gone through somebody in the Department of Corrections. An inmate isn't going to have access to --
BURNETT: So you believe someone on the inside helped them?
ALIG: Well, there's no other way to get anything into the facility even if you mail something in, they drop it off in the mail room and it gets picked up, you know, prison staff picks that up. So there is no other way.
BURNETT: All right. So you just saw Stephanie showing how loud it is to slice through the metal. So, you've spent a lot of nights in that prison.
ALIG: Uh-mm. It's very loud in there, I could see --
BURNETT: So, at night you think they could do it and people won't hear.
ALIG: Oh, yes. Totally.
ALIG: It's really louder there, it's louder than a nightclub. I mean, this is booming music they play music all night long until 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning and it's so loud that you have headphones on that --
BURNETT: They play music?
ALIG: The inmates do. They have something called a super boost, power boost something that they attached to their radios and make it like an '80s boom box and it's so loud the place literally vibrates. BURNETT: Wow. Because the ones with privileges can play it.
So, you think they would be able to have done this over time.
BURNETT: And not have been heard.
[19:20:08] BURNETT: All right. Assemblyman, you know, if it's possible they couldn't hear as Michael is saying from spending the night in there, it's pretty incredible what he's saying about, how they would play the music so loudly, you would think the inmates might have smelled something, figured something was going on, right, and narc?
DANIEL O'DONNELL, NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLYMAN: Well, that's a possibility but one other thing that we have not spoken about is that there are extensive renovations going on currently at the Clinton Correctional Facility and that creates a lot of noise. And that has also brought in a lot of people from the outside who are not usually there, and so the question is whether or not rather than someone shipping in an object to be used like this, whether or not they stole those objects from a worker's bag or were they smuggled in for them by somebody else.
O'DONNELL: And so if they were limiting their time to when they were doing this work to when the loud sounding of the renovations were being done, it's entirely possible that no one would be able to say we heard this in contrast to hearing the other legitimate renovations that are ongoing.
BURNETT: And now Michael, let me ask you, the woman here we're hearing her cell phone was used and we don't know if that was with her knowledge or approval or not, but you were familiar with her, right? I believe --
ALIG: No, I don't know her personally.
BURNETT: You don't know her personally. Okay. But do you -- what do you think about her role? Do you think it's possible that they could have co-opted her into --
ALIG: Not only it's possible. I've seen it happen time and time again. I mean, it happened so many times that you just have to roll your eyes if it ever happens again because it's so obvious what they're doing and it happened, it's such --
BURNETT: This is inmate's using women.
ALIG: They do and they pray upon them and, you know, they pray upon women that they think are unattractive or who they think the women think that they are unattractive, they have low self-esteem or whatever, they really look for those things and read, you know, they are 38 laws of power and all those books and it teaches you step by step how to pray upon people like that and these books are just evil, evil books.
BURNETT: And those are the kind of books you read.
BURNETT: You're also talking about the guards themselves, and we're talking about that gap in the night, you're saying, a lot of guards did not walk around.
ALIG: No, and about mistaking the noise for the construction, I mean, unless they have construction going on in the middle of the night, I don't know, they might. But I don't see how you would mistake the two, but it's so loud that you wouldn't need to say that oh, this is construction or whatever.
BURNETT: Well, Assemblyman, how concerned are you about this, what you just heard Michael saying? That he says it's incredibly common, that inmates purposely try to build relationships with women who may look or feel unattractive who work in the prison ton get things they want, that this is common?
O'DONNELL: Well, it's certainly a concern. I mean, I've been through the Clinton Correctional Facility, I visited 25 prisons in the last two years in the state of New York as my role as the chair of the committee and I've seen a variety of circumstances. Clinton is the most dangerous of them for the inmates and has been for a long time, almost no one gets paroled out of Clinton. And when you look at places like Great Meadow and Clinton and Attica and Sing Sing, these are very, very old physical plans where there's a greater opportunity for things to happen because they are not state of the art as in some other prisons.
O'DONNELL: And obviously, when you have desperate people, they will do desperate things. Clearly, this is a very dangerous situation and I certainly hope that the two men are captured quickly.
BURNETT: All right. We'll see if this does indeed happen, if they are in the right place tonight it could go down any moment but of course they could be in the wrong place. Michael, Daniel, thanks very much to both of you.
And next, breaking news, just days after this video at a Texas pool party went viral, nearly 10 million views to give you the number. The officer at the center of it just quit. So does that mean he gets to keep all of the pension and benefit? Could he be charged with a crime or not?
And an OUTFRONT exclusive, a Baltimore police officer speaks out about the Freddie Gray case to OUTFRONT. And tonight, new calls for the Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby to step aside.
And the premiere of the CNN series, "The Seventies" this week. Here's a sneak peek.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "The Seventies" awakened us and polarized us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 1970s saw the development of terrorism.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With bombshell after bombshell after bombshell.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Watergate scandal broke wide open today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think in the 1970s, I think more hair, more naked people, more misbehavior.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The world is getting crazy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The cultural evolution just kind of exploded.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And kind of fascinating camps emerged.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because of what was going on, people came home and they wanted to laugh.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One picture taken with Archie Bunker and me, one, two, three.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was a period of discovery for a lot of people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My only defense was, it was "The Seventies."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:29:20] BURNETT: Breaking news, the Texas police officer, the one caught on camera throwing the 14-year-old girl to the ground, right here, as you can see, this video seen almost 10 million times has resigned. That's Officer Eric Casebolt shoveling and wrestling that girl down. He then pulled his gun on other unarmed teens you saw at a pool party. Moments ago the police chief called Casebolt's actions indefensible.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF GREG CONLEY, MCKINNEY POLICE DEPARTMENT: He came into the call out of control. And as the video shows was out of control during the incident. I had 12 officers on the scene and 11 of them performed according to their training.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Also tonight, we are learning that this is not the first time the officer is been accused of excessive force or racial profiling. Nick Valencia begins our coverage OUTFRONT. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's like, I don't care, sit the (bleep) down. You know what I'm saying? So, we're just so frightened and then he just pushed my head down out of nowhere and I was already about to sit down.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sixteen-year-old Zack Twa (ph) says he's never more afraid than when McKinney Police Officer Eric Casebolt pulled out a gun during a pool party. Now, that incident has led to Casebolt's resignation after public protest and outrage.
CHIEF GREG CONLEY, MCKINNEY POLICE DEPARTMENT: Eric Casebolt has resigned from the McKinney Police Department. As chief, 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.
VALENCIA: Twa (ph) says it all started when a pool party got out of control, and a white resident began yelling racial comments.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody told us that like she was saying stuff like, go back to your plantation, go back to your section eight housing. And then after that, the white girl just slapped the girl. So, the fight broke out.
VALENCIA: When officers responded, the chaotic scene was recorded on video. Casebolt can be seen throwing a teenage girl in a bikini to the ground, pinning her with his knees, on her back. He even pulls his gun and points it at several teens.
(on camera): What did his eyes look like when he looked at you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were so frightened because after he came out the car, he was screaming at us and cursing at us.
VALENCIA: We learned that Casebolt was an instructor trainee at a self-defense at fitness club. In his more than ten years in law enforcement, he received in-depth training in armed and unarmed self- defense. At the fitness club where he instructed, he's also said to be a certified advance peace officer.
(voice-over): 2008, the same year he received the Officer of the Year Award, he was sued for allegedly performing an illegal body cavity search, accused of using excessive force, racial profiling and sexual assault. But the civil lawsuit was dismissed.
VALENCIA: This case is far from over. I just spoke to one outspoken resident who said today that he launched a change.org position to seek charges against Officer Eric Casebolt. As far as the young teenage girl who you saw wrestled to the ground in the video, family friends tell us, Erin, that she's still traumatized and the family is considering legal action -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Nick, thank you very much.
And now, I want to go OUTFRONT to Tatyana Rhodes. She hosted the pool party. Also with her OUTFRONT is her attorney, Emmanuel Obi.
And I appreciate both of you taking the time to be with us tonight.
Tatyana, the breaking news, Corporal Eric Casebolt, we see him pinning your friend down, he is resigning. What's your reaction?
TATYANA RHODES, ORGANIZED POOL PARTY IN MCKINNEY, TEXAS: I'm happy that he's resigning. I feel that everyone in McKinney will feel better that he's resigning, and that I feel sorry for my friend, and I hope that she can get through this and that I want her to know that we're here for her.
BURNETT: Emmanuel, I have to ask you, you know, the word resigning means by free will. You know, when you resign from your job, you usually get to keep your benefits and we just asked the police chief at that press conference, he said he believes Casebolt will be able to keep his pension and benefits. He's not being fired. This is not for cause. He is resigning.
Is that fair?
EMMANUEL OBI, ATTORNEY FOR ORGANIZER OF TEXAS POOL PARTY: You know, the story is just breaking so I'm not really familiar with all the details. But just based on what you said, it's interesting because the chief definitely recognizes his culpability. He recognizes that he acted wholly inappropriate that night. And so, you know, I'm curious as to why, you know, upon that recognition that his exit from the force would be by free will. I would think it would be, that these actions would be of a fair basis for termination and forfeit of benefits but it's still pretty fresh.
BURNETT: Yes, it is fresh. And as we said, I mean, he's saying he believes he's going to keep it.
But, I mean, Tatyana, when you hear that, that the police officer may be resigning, but get to keep benefits that he's earned over his ten-year career, does that make you angry?
RHODES: I don't feel angry. I see as it's first step. It's -- I know things take time and that he -- things will take course. That's how I feel about it.
BURNETT: Now, Tatyana, people are trying to understand. This video at your party, 10 million people have watched it. It's a pretty incredible number. You said that party turned violent before Officer Casebolt even got there. What happened?
RHODES: Well, basically, the two women were saying racist things and I came in and let them know that it was wrong, that's not right, you shouldn't do that. You shouldn't be saying racist things. You shouldn't be telling children to go back to their section eight homes and cursing at them and swearing -- BURNETT: And these were white women saying this to your friends
who were black, right?
[19:35:01] RHODES: Yes, two Caucasian women saying that to my friends, my African-American friends.
BURNETT: And I guess some people are trying to understand because when the video starts filming, obviously -- you know, it looks terrible what the officer did. You know, I talked to some people who were there. They say, well, if you saw before this, all these kids climbing the gate, getting into the pool, doing what they shouldn't have, this fight going on, you might see it differently. They say the officer's actions were justified.
Do you see anyway that what he did was justified?
RHODES: No, I don't feel as acting that way is being justified. I feel as he should have worked as the same way as his peers worked, the same way they acted, I believe he could have acted the same way. He didn't have to use aggression.
BURNETT: And, Emmanuel, what happens from here? I know you're being patient and saying let's see, this is the first step. But if it turns out this was indeed a resignation, that he does keep benefits, what are you going to do about that?
OBI: Well, you know, I'm happy to be a member of a very active bar association here in Dallas, the JL Turner Legal Association. I'm the current president-elect and our current president, Ebony Rivon, we've got our national bar president, Pamela Meanes, who is touching down tomorrow.
This is an issue that we're keenly focused on because, you know, these types of things have to stop.
And so, you're right, this is the first step but we will be working actively to make sure that the other action is taken, including pursuing criminal charges.
BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate both of your time tonight. Thank you, Emmanuel and Tatyana. Thank you for being with us, as we cover that breaking news.
RHODES: Thank you.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, a Baltimore police officer talks exclusively to OUTFRONT about the Freddie Gray case.
And the breaking news tonight, CNN learning President Obama may raise the number of American troops fighting ISIS by a lot, like more than 30 percent.
We'll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:41:06] BURNETT: Breaking news, a Baltimore police officer
speaking exclusively to CNN about the Freddie Gay case. And lawyers for the six officers facing charges in the 25-year-old's death are fighting back tonight. They are pushing for the prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, to drop charges or take herself out of the case. They say her office -- her office directed them to crack down on drugs
in the very place where Freddie Gray was taken into custody.
Miguel Marquez is following story for us. He's in Baltimore tonight.
And, Miguel, you're at the intersection, the very intersection where Freddie Gray was first cited, significant because of the news tonight, and that officer speaking out willingly to you, that is pretty incredible.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's pretty incredible turn of events. This is North and Mount Avenue. This becomes so significant here. And Freddie Gray coming out of this store some weeks ago, being spotted by police officers. He was arrested just a couple blocks away there.
I spoke to a lieutenant with the Baltimore police today. He's also the head of one of the unions here, Vanguard Union, and he runs about 18, 19, 20 police officers in the southern district here in Baltimore and told me what his officers tell him about their worries.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Am I going to receive backup from this administration, this police commissioner if someone makes a complaint and it's controversial, it may look bad on television? Am I going to receive backup from this administration? That's the biggest concern.
MARQUEZ: It's not a good place for a police force to be.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely not.
MARQUEZ: Do you think you can get past it with this commissioner?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. I really don't know. A lot of guys, like I said before many, they feel betrayed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUEZ: Now, I was pretty surprised at his last answer. I really expected him to say they would figure it out and get beyond it but to say openly and publicly like that for the first time we heard that, that the commissioner, that he feels betrayed by them, tough to take -- Erin.
BURNETT: I mean, it is pretty incredible.
Now, the officers, right, their lawyers are saying that it was Marilyn Mosby, right? She said, police the area where you're standing right now, Miguel, don't let these drug deals go down, I want more action there. How damning is that?
MARQUEZ: Yes. Look, in their motion today, they cited a March 17th memo. This particular corner, what they said was an open aired drug market happening here. They offered up pictures, pictures they say were taken by community groups of that activity in this particular area. They also offered up in this motion to both dismiss if not dismiss then recuse her from this case, an e-mail sent from her office to the officers in the western district and eventually sent to officers who were patrolling this area.
One of those officers that e-mail went to was Brian Rice. He was one of the officers who saw Freddie Gray here that day, chased him down the way there, arrested him, and now is charged with his death -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Miguel Marquez, thank you very much, live from that intersection, with that major breaking news out of Baltimore.
And next, this breaking news, we have learned that President Obama may send another 1,000 Americans to fight ISIS, that's more than 30 percent increase boom, overnight is that a strategy.
And Jeanne Moos with one measure of respects for this 6-year-old talent, 29 million views online and wait until you hear her interview.
[19:49:08] BURNETT: Breaking news, 1,000 more American troops may be heading to Iraq. A senior U.S. official telling CNN, President Obama may increase the troop level to fight ISIS by more than 30 percent.
Jim Sciutto is OUTFRONT.
Jim, that is one big increase.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: It is, to be up from the current 3,000. Keep in mind, it was zero about a year ago when ISIS first came onto the stages and swept through Iraq, and, of course, keep in mind as well that this is a president who ran in effect on ending the U.S. military occupation of Iraq.
Now, the key here though is, do they get the Sunnis involved out in the west? That's one of the questions because this is the high-end of the range being recommended to the president right now. It could be lower than that.
BURNETT: It could be lower than that. OK. Now, just yesterday, the president one of the problems in Iraq is we've got training capacity, we don't have recruits. What is the point of having another 1,000 people when he makes the point in saying, well, they're not going to fight, they're only going to train -- when there is no one who's even bothering to be trained?
[19:50:02] SCIUTTO: Well, that's the question. They need to get the Sunnis involved in the west. At this point, the Sunnis don't want to get involved in the numbers they want because the government is dominated by Shiites. And this is in effect an acknowledgement that the Iraqi armed forces aren't doing that job. So, you would be taking the training of the Sunni tribes out of their hands and putting them into American hands.
But again, that's still the question. Do they have the numbers throughout who want to do this? If they do, they'll open up new training bases out in the west, and that will get you to that new higher figure of a thousand new troops on the ground there.
BURNETT: All right. Jim Sciutto, thank you.
SCIUTTO: Thank you.
BURNETT: And now, OUTFRONT, the former CIA operative Bob Baer. He spent a lot of time in Iraq.
Bob, President Obama said yesterday, we don't have a complete strategy yet in Iraq. A thousand more American troops, increase of 40 percent. Is that it? That's t strategy?
BOB BAER, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: That's it. And it's not going to work. We failed in Iraq. This is starting to look like mission creep to me. You know, you throw troops at it at a point like this.
We don't have a clue how to fix ISIS. We can't get to the tribes in the west and Baghdad is not coming through with a good army, a coherent army. It's just -- it's not happening.
BURNETT: So, you used the word mission creep. You say, to you, this is mission creep. It sounds like, you know, you think they don't know what they're doing.
BAER: Well, the administration is desperate. They don't want to get into 2016 without countering the Islamic State in some way, and the best they can do at this point is send in trainers and hope recruits come. I don't -- it doesn't sound like much of a strategy to me.
BURNETT: And what do you make of this issue? The president himself has admitted, the recruits aren't there. No one is showing up to be trained.
BAER: Well, the Sunnis are not rallying around Baghdad, the Shia government, as Jim just said. They won't do it. They're staying in Anbar province, so we're left with the possibility of a handful of people we can train or the Shia militias and, of course, that's -- we don't want to do that.
So, we're pretty much stuck without any obvious strategy in that part of the world. And the Islamic State is just getting stronger by the day. They were attacking around Baghdad today.
BURNETT: So, what's the answer though? I mean, you know, some people say, and people have come on this show, former head of the CIA, Michael Hayden, you know, that said, look, we need a lot more troops. Some people have sent 15,000 to 20,000 troops. I mean, a lot of people. Others say, look, if you can't even get Iraqis to show up to be trained, why would you put American lives at risk if they're not willing to die for their own country?
I mean, what's the solution? I mean, it's either a lot of troops or no troops, isn't it? Sort of?
BAER: Well, Erin, I think we have to face the reality that Iraq is no longer a state and trying to prop it up with a couple thousand American troops isn't going to make any difference at all.
BAER: So we should start moving to the end game on this and let it split up as it will.
BURNETT: All right. Bob Baer, thank you very much.
And OUTFRONT next, a sassy 6-year-old steals the show. Jeanne Moos is next.
[19:57:30] BURNETT: A 6-year-old channels Aretha Franklin and you don't want to miss what happens next. Jeanne Moos is OUTFRONT.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If these diva moves don't move you, you probably can't even spell R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
She's been getting a more than a little bit. Six-year-old Johanna Colon from Raleigh, North Carolina, has audiences cheering, blogs bowing, and hosts paying homage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's good feet, but the magic is up top.
MOOS: Finally, we get to meet the magic, seated next to her dance teacher, Johanna speaks.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Johanna, you stopped the show at your dance recital. That was amazing.
MOOS: OK. She didn't speak much. What she said was memorable.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What were you thinking when you were doing that routine?
JOHANNA COLON, DANCER: I thought I was really spicy.
MOOS: That's her dad saluting her spiciness. She seems unfazed by sudden fame. Her mom says Johanna was more excited about the end of the school
year and the ice cream she got as a reward for her excellent report card.
Johanna started dancing when she was 2. Definitely one of a kind says her dance teacher.
HEATHER FITTS, JOHANNA'S DANCE TEACHER: She is so humble and always so caring.
MOOS: Taking special care of her 3-year-old brother CJ who was born with an intestinal disorder that has required more than 30 hospitalizations and surgeries. At times, Johanna out-Arethas Aretha.
MOOS: Even when it was time to take a bow, what Johanna wants, Johanna gets. She means it with all due respect. Encore!
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: You just got to wonder what she's going to be when she grows up with all that attitude and personality. Good for her -- already inspiring those little girls left and right.
Thanks so much for joining us. Be sure to set your DVR to record the show so you can watch us any time. We'll be back here same place, same time tomorrow.
"AC360" starts right now.