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Dash Cam Video Of Chicago Police Officer Shooting Teen Released; Turkey Shoots Down Russian Warplane; Ted Cruz Nipping at Trump's Heels in Iowa. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired November 24, 2015 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:06] JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Good evening. John Berman here in for Anderson.

We are going to look at the protesters right now on the sheet streets of Chicago. They are not far from Roosevelt and South Canal there in the south loop. America's third largest city is on edge tonight reacting to dash cam video of a Chicago police officer, Jason Van Dyke, who is now charged with murder for shooting a young man, 17- year-old Laquan McDonald dead in the street.

Tension has been growing there for a long time. This happened in October of last year. Officer Van Dyke was charged today. A judge ordered the video released and we are going to show it to you momentarily. A warning here, though, it is very troubling to watch. You see a person shot dead. We are going to show it to you so you can see what people in Chicago are seeing tonight and reacting to right now and what a jury will almost certainly see at the officer's trial.

Again, he has been charged with murder. According to prosecutors, the shooting began shortly after Laquan McDonald, you see him right there, walking down the street, a knife in his right hand. Less than 30 seconds after arriving on the scene, we are told Officer Van Dyke pulled his gun and fired.

You see Laquan McDonald fall to the ground there after he is shot. You also see more shots fired while he is on the ground. Some debris there flying about. There is no audio here. This went on for about 30 seconds. We are told 16 shots were fired by Officer Van Dyke. Many of them -- most of them while Laquan McDonald was on the ground not moving. There is the body right there.

Shortly after this, you do see a car arrive on the scene. That is the car right there. More officers do get out but there is no more movement from that 17-year-old young man.

A lot to talk about with our law enforcement experts tonight as well as our correspondents on the ground in Chicago starting with CNN's Rosa Flores.

Rosa, the shooting, walk us through exactly what happened before and during.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, the prosecutor put it like this. She said that investigators, both federal and state, went through this video second by second dissecting exactly what had transpired. Now, they also talked to witnesses to corroborate what they were seeing and also what they were hearing from people on the street. And she put it like this. She took us through it. She said, if you look at this video, you will see Laquan McDonald walking on the street. Six seconds after arriving on scene, the police officer was charged with first-degree murder is seen with his weapon pointing at Laquan McDonald and he starts shooting. If you take a look at that video close as you see it, you see him on the last-hand side of the screen, John.

Now, after that, the angle of this video changes. We asked the prosecutor why, what happened. And she said that the cruiser that had this dash cam moved. That's why the angle of that camera moved and you don't see the police officer firing his weapon. You only see Laquan McDonald on the ground.

Now, like you mentioned, all of this happened in about 30 seconds. The officer discharging his weapon 16 times. Now, the autopsy report shows that Laquan McDonald was hit 16 times.

Now, of course, you mentioned this community has been asking for this video to be released for a year now. We finally get to see the video and now that this officer is being charged with first-degree murder, his defense attorney saying that this officer has -- that this case must be tried in the courts and not in the media.

BERMAN: There is a lot of questions, Rosa, about the timing of the charges. Why was it that the charges were only announced right before this video was released, the video that was released only because of a judge's orders?

FLORES: You know, we got to kind of have to take you back and give you the background. Community leaders here have been asking forth release of this video for a very, very long time. State and federal investigators got involved and they were doing a simultaneous investigation.

Now, the U.S. attorney released a statement today saying that they continue to investigate. Their investigation is active and ongoing. Today, the prosecutor said -- he told the media today, she said that the only reason she released these charges early, even though she had decided to file these charges weeks ago, is because of the release of this video.

Now, the release of this video is because a journalist filed a (INAUDIBLE) request and asked for the video to be released. A judge in civil court ordered for this video to be released at the very latest tomorrow, Wednesday. And so because of leaks, we are told, this video was released early. And, of course, we saw the police superintendent and the mayor here making this announcement, asking for calm, asking for people, yes, to exercise their rights but to keep calm and to protect property here in the city of Chicago.

[20:05:23] BERMAN: All right. Rosa Flores for us in Chicago explaining the situation. We are looking at live pictures right now of what appears to be a

relatively small march or protest. The streets of Chicago, maybe 100 people there. They have been moving through the south loop or near there fairly slowly. Apparently very peacefully, at least so far walking through. There has been some concern of what might happen when this video came out. We had been told for some time that it was bad. And seeing it, it is disturbing to see.

With me here tonight, CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Sunny Hostin also CNN law enforcement analyst and retired NYPD detective Harry Houck.

Sunny, you see in the video right now. We haven't told for some time. This is a very disturbing video. Your reaction?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I'm heartbroken by it. I'm disturbed. And I'm disturbed not only as a lawyer, of course, as a former prosecutor, because of the length of them it took to bring these charges given the fact that there is this extremely graphic video.

But I'm confused and concerned and hurt as a mother of a teenage black boy. We know the statics, John. We know that my son is 21 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than his white friends. There is something fundamentally wrong with our society if that still holds true today, not only in Chicago but all over our country. So when I'm looking at this video over and over and over again, I see the death of not only this young man but also teenager but also of just so many young boys and teens that have come before. And my question that goes over and over again in my mind is what do we do about this? When does it stop?

BERMAN: Again, just a moment ago, you were looking at live pictures of some protests in Chicago. About 100 people moving through the streets fairly peacefully right now reacting to the video just released today of Laquan McDonald, 17 years old, being killed by officer James Van Dyke about one year ago.

Harry Houck, NYPD detective, retired, you have seen the video. We have all seen the video right now. Laquan McDonald does has a knife in his hand. He does appear to have the knife in his hand, but he does not appear at any moment to be moving toward that officer or making any kind of threatening gestures towards that officer.

HARRY HOUCK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, John, let me tell you something. Now that all of the video is out and the evidence is out here in this case, I cannot condone any of that officer's actions at all. I watched this video very closely. We slowed it down back and forth several times, alright. The fact is, when that officer got out of the car, I thought the first shots were going to be OK based on reports before. But at the scene, just getting out of the car, you see there's a fence to the right where the perpetrator was moving to, Mr. McDonald, right? Nobody's lives were in danger at that time. That fence was there. There was nobody on the street. There was no reason that officer should have fired the shots that fast. He at least had more time to try and get this guy to drop the knife. BERMAN: He had other options?


FLORES: Is what you're saying?


BERMAN: Harry, I don't know - I mean, for people that don't watch us every night -- you should watch us every night but Harry, you are often extremely defensive of law enforcement. I've never heard you, I don't think, come out and condemn an officer's actions as strongly as this.

HOUCK: And I have. I call them like I see them. And I'm very big on evidence. And I've been on and I defended some of these officer's actions on earlier show based on what we were seeing in the news. Now that the evidence is out and I can take a close look at this and I can see what was going on, I could see here's an officer that I think has 16 years experience. He should have known a lot better at that time when he got out of that vehicle. And, like you said, is he walking away. And where is he walking away to? He's not walking away to where some civilians are hanging out where he can do any damage. He pretty much surrounded here and he's got a small knife. We know a lot of things now and now I can definitely condone all of the actions of the police officer.

BERMAN: You can condemn all of the officers. Not condone.

HOUCK: That's right. I condemn all of the actions of the police officer.

HOSTIN: And can I add to this? Because, you know, I think it's important for people to know this is an officer that had a 14-year career. This happened in a year ago, almost a year ago. There are 18 citizen complaints against him that have been filed. He has never been disciplined. Eight of those complaints alleged excessive force and two involved the shooting of a firearm, in addition to this one. Now, if that is true, I know so many police officers that are proud to have never had to shoot their weapon. I think you are one of them.

HOUCK: Right.

HOSTIN: And so the fact that you have an officer for 14 years with 18 citizen complaints, two -- now the third -- involving a police shooting that is still on the force and was paid for the past year tells me that there's a real transparency problem with the Chicago police department.

[20100:14] HOUCK: Let me tell you, a shooting investigation like this should not take a year.

BERMAN: Well, that's right.

HOSTIN: Of course not. HOUCK: I have investigated many shooting incidents with police

officers when I was in the detective squad and we had it cleaned up within two weeks. The fact here is that the reason why the people in Chicago maybe are not trusting, I don't know who, maybe the district attorney's office and not so much the police department here, is because this investigation should have been done within two or three weeks, alright. They have been probably 20 detectives working on this case, have the answers and then they should have come out and said, listen, we are going to charge this officer with a crime. The video was very clear here.

BERMAN: All right. Harry, stand by. Sunny, stand by.

In a moment, we are going to go back to Rosa Flores in Chicago and ask her why prosecutor say it did take so long to bring charges. We are also going to keep our eye on these live protest you are looking at right now in the streets of Chicago. People are marching and upset by the release of this video, a video showing a young man, 17 years old, Laquan McDonald, being shot on the street by an officer. The officer is now charged with first-degree murder.

Later, we have some breaking news on the Paris attacks. The growing manhunt and new suspect and chilling new details of what the alleged ringleader did just hours after the attack. Police could have caught him. He was truly close enough to grab.


[20:15:13] BERMAN: All right. We are back tonight with protesters making their way through the streets of Chicago right now. You are looking at live pictures. They are reacting peacefully so far to the video just released within the last hour or two of the police shooting, a shooting that happened last year of a 17-year-old African- American young man by a white police officer.

Today, the officer was charged with first-degree murder. The judge ordered dash cam video of the shooting made public and we're seeing it for the first time. This is a segment of the video. That is 17-year- old Laquan McDonald walking down the street. He does have a knife in his hand. And just after this he is shot by Officer Jason Van Dyke and he falls to the ground. At no point does it appear that Laquan McDonald made any kind of threatening gesture towards the cops or anyone else with that knife. For the next 13 second, prosecutors say the officer fired another 15 shots while McDonald was on the ground. He is the only officer to have fired his weapon.

I want to go back to Rosa Flores who is in Chicago. Here in the studio with me is Sunny Hostin and Harry Houck.

And Rosa, the question has been, how come it took a year? You know, Harry Houck who is often very defensive of police officers in situations like this. This is very clear when you see the video, this officer could have been charged much more quickly. Why so long? And is the prosecutor now saying that she is concerned that the officer can't get a fair trial with this video out there? FLORES: You know, the prosecutor said that a simultaneous

investigation between state and federal authorities has been going on for months and that the intent was to release all of their findings of the investigation, to release all of the charges at the same time. Now, the U.S. attorney releasing a statement saying that their investigation is still ongoing. It is active. They are still actively investigating.

BERMAN: Hang on, Rosa. Hang on one second. I just want to -- we're looking again at these protests, these live pictures of protests in Chicago right now. There have been 100 people, maybe more, marching through the streets very calmly and very peacefully. Hard to make out exactly what is happening but it does appear that there are some people may be stop pulling a little bit, maybe just pushing up towards police officers there who are walking near them.

Ryan Young, our correspondent, joins me now by phone. Ryan, what can you tell us?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on the phone): Well, look, they are moving towards that site no and we can see that obviously traffic is pact up parts of the city. We've seen officers through intersections, throughout Michigan Avenue in the numbers of 20 to 30 group together and intersections on bikes in their police patrol cars with flashing lights and obviously moving through parts of the city.

We are trying to get to the back part of the protesters as obviously they have been moving. We've been told it's a group of about 200. We know that some dispersed a little earlier. But we were told by protesters earlier this afternoon that they were intent on getting out there in the street once they knew that they would be -- once this video was released. I mean, they told us that last week. Most of them told us that they wanted to make sure that they were peaceful, but obviously there were others who were concerned about what the message would be once they hit the street. So we are right now working our way towards the last place where the protesters have moved. And that's what we are doing right now.

BERMAN: And we should not that the mayor, Rahm Emanuel, and the superintendent of police Gary McCarthy said earlier when they released this video said that they welcomed protest. They expected protests, although they did say that the police force would make sure that they are peaceful protests. And up until now, they have been peaceful on the streets.

Again, we are looking at live pictures, these aerials of what is going on there. Hard to make out exactly what is happening but it does look like some people there with police surrounding them.

We will get a better sense, Ryan, as you get closer to that scene. Let us know when you are there so you can tell us exactly what is happening on the ground.

In the meantime, I want to go back to Rosa Flores, if we still have Rosa. Rosa, you were explaining to me the prosecutor's concerns, if there

are any, about the idea of getting a fair trial now that this video, this pretty shocking video, has been released.

FLORES: You know, I asked her that question. I said, you know, how can you be sure that now that this video is going to be released, that this man is going to get a fair trial? And I asked her, do you plan to ask for a motion to delay the release of this trial so that the officer can get a fair trial? And she said, you know, just to be transparent, she said, she wanted to make sure the video was released. She knows that the community has been asking for this video to be released for a very long time.

And other journalists asked her about the impact nationally about the release of this video. And she said absolutely. They know that people around the nation are looking at this case and wanting to see transparency -- and just in case you heard that, it looks like there was some sort of traffic incentive. It wasn't anything related to the protests going on.

But I should mention about the protests, John. I'm on Michigan Avenue. I've talked to a lot of protesters. There is a lot of smaller groups that are coming together to protest, to demonstrate around the release of this video. And what they told me is that they want to march on Michigan Avenue because they want to send a statement. They want to send a message that there will be an economic impact because of this, because of their march. And of course, this is the magnificent mile here in Chicago. There are shops, thousands of people converge on this avenue to shop on black Friday. And so the protesters are looking at that and trying to make an economic impact.

[20:21:10] BERMAN: All right, Rosa Flores for us in Chicago right now. Again, we are looking at live pictures of some protests in Chicago tonight where video has been released of an incident one year ago where a 17-year-old, African-American boy, Laquan McDonald, was shot and killed by a white officer, Jason Van Dyke. That video just released tonight. It is shocking.

I'm joined now by CNN political commentator and "New York Times" columnist Charles Blow by phone. Charles, just your reaction tonight?

CHARLES BLOW, OP-ED COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES (on the phone): Well, the video is shocking. You know, my reaction is slightly different than the people you've talked to so far. I mean, I think we are getting to a point of trying to analyze individual videos of individual cases. And by so doing, we are losing sight of the larger sociological and historical moment that we are witnessing as a country, right.

This would not be happening if America did not allow it to happen either subconsciously or consciously. You know, individual criminals on the street who are beholden to no one. These are officers who are -- officers of the law, servants of the public. And if more of the public were to say, this is unacceptable to us rather than look at individual cases and say, you know, this is a political issue, this is an ideological issue, that this is an issue where it is only black people fighting for black people's lives but rather they just say, this is about human beings and how we want our fellow citizens to be treated in our country. And until we as a society say that is not how we want our police officers to operate, we are kind of undermining our own rights.

Democracy depends on faith of institutions. And when you have institutions where people begin or certain groups of people begin to lose faith in those institutions, that those institutions will treat them fairly, that the power that they vest into those institutions will be equally exercised over all citizens, then that is a danger to democracy itself. We have to stop (INAUDIBLE).

Looking at these individual cases, arguing about, you know, in this moment in the video, I see this and at this moment I see that and I'm on the cop's side. No. This is about human beings. This is a boy who is 17 years old. He is dead. He cannot be considered to be collateral damage in a political debate. You cannot look at that and say, this is OK with me because I understand that both of the officers are trying to do their job and that this officer did not express in any overt way any sort of prejudice of any sort whatsoever. Because what we do as society, we draw our officers if we our officers society at large and any kind of bias that we as a society have, they have. And they are not necessarily conscious of what we are thinking. I'm not always thinking in the back of my head (INAUDIBLE). No one ever is. You have to (INAUDIBLE). And so you will never know on an individual basis whether or not any individual who pulls a trigger has a bias unless you (INAUDIBLE). We can't keep having that kind of argument.

BERMAN: All right, Charles, hang on one second. I'm here with Sunny Hostin and Harry Houck.

Sunny, you hear what Charles said. Do you not think that these questions are being ask, these bigger picture questions because there has been a different discussion, I think, in this country for the last year than beforehand.

[20:25:17] HOSTIN: I think the discussion is starting. I don't think that it is complete. I don't think that it is an intensive discussion and I don't think that it's a collective, joint discussion about the collective hurt that is being felt in communities of color.

I mean, I can tell you after one of my segments earlier today with Wolf Blitzer, I got an email on my Web site that said, you know, why are you so unhappy? He has been charged with first-degree murder. Your people need to just be happy with that.

And so that is just one viewer watching, giving voice to, I think, this real divide, quite frankly, that we are seeing in our country. And I think to Charles' point, which is a really poignant one, which is, this is a human issue. This should be a collective issue. This is not just an issue for people of color, for black people. This should be a collective human issue.

And I just have to say this, and I just have to call BS on the prosecutor here, quite frankly, because she said today that the reason it took her so long to file charges, this is Cook County's state attorney Anita Alvarez, that police shootings are highly complex matters that carry with them unique legal issues.

Well, that may be true, but it does not take over a year to bring charges. I think the timing of these charges are really, really curious. And I think the fact that a judge just recently said, you better release this video on Wednesday, that on Tuesday we now have first-degree murder problems. And I'm not happy about that. I'm unhappy about the lack of transparency we're seeing over and over again, not just in Chicago but all over the country.

BERMAN: Harry, quickly last word to you. You said you believe that this officer should be charged with first-degree murder. Do you agree or what do you make of the comments hear from Charles that there is a systemic issue here that we are barely addressing, barely scratching the surface?

HOUCK: Well, you know, I don't want to change the way I've been saying things here but now that Charles Blow has come into the conversation. The thing it that I don't see this happening in epidemic proportions, as he's making it out to be. There are millions and millions of interactions with police officers every day out here on the street. All right. Now, are things like this going to happen? Yes, you know. Hold on. You know why?

HOSTIN: That's not true, Harry.

HOUCK: Will you let me finish? I let you finish.

HOSTIN: What you are saying is -- that's not true.

HOUCK: It's not.

HOSTIN: Why are black men, 21 percent more likely to be killed by police officers?

HOUCK: Whites are killed by police officers every year than blacks. Do you know that? Do you know the real numbers -- there are more whites killed by police officers.

BERMAN: One at a time.

HOUCK: She's not going to let me talk to you.

HOSTIN: Those are the facts.

BERMAN: Harry, go ahead.

HOUCK: You've got to let me talk here.

HOSTIN: You can't just talk nonsense on national television.

HOUCK: You do.

BERMAN: Hey, guys. Hey. Harry, speak. HOUCK: I don't think this is epidemic proportions like I said. You

know, there are police departments out there. Are there some problems with officers? Yes. We have millions of police officers out there, alright. What the police department is trying to do is trying to evolve and change things, alright. This what happened in Chicago should not happen. But the problem is, it's going to happen from time to time. Why? Because we're --

BERMAN: Time to time?

HOUCK: Because we're human beings and there are some bad cops are going to get, you know, get through the wall of an investigation when they come on to the police department, alright. You've got police officers who make bad decisions out there. You have lawyers who make bad decisions out there. You have people making bad decisions out there, alright. Something very bad decision this man is dead. OK? This man is dead and this officer should not have reacted the way he did.

BERMAN: All right, Harry Houck, Sunny Hostin, Charles Blow, I do appreciate your time and your energy.

We are going to watch this throughout the evening. Again, these are live pictures of the protests on the streets of Chicago right now. These protests are very calm but people are obviously very concerned and upset with the video just released today. Laquan McDonald killed more than a year ago by a police officer.

Just ahead, more breaking news out of Paris, the manhunt has expanded. Authorities are looking for a new suspect in the terror attacks.

Also, new details about the ringleader. Where he went almost immediately after these acts of terror were carried out.



COOPER: More breaking news tonight out of France about the ring leader of the Paris terror attacks. New and disturbing details about where Abdelhamid Abaaoud was shortly after the attacks. Plus, new information about another attack a Paris official says Abaaoud was on the verge of launching when he was killed in that raid last week. Tonight, the manhunt is growing as well. Authorities released a photo of another suspect they are looking for. Mohamed Abrini is believed to have dropped off one of the bombers who attack the Stade de France. CNN international correspondent Clarissa Ward joins us now from Paris with the very latest. Clarissa, I also understand, you're getting new information about possible radicalization among employees of the main Paris airport and also some of the transportation centers.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Well, security sources here in France have told CNN that there is an investigation underway into the main Paris airports Orly and Charles de Gaulle. Also, the railway service and the bus services. Now, we know that one of the bombers, Sami Amimour was a bus driver until late 2012, and we've now learnt that just around that time ground and air transportation unions launched a complaint about what they believed was radicalization among some of their employees. We've heard accounts of some employees who refused to greet female passengers, other employees who were actually praying inside buses and we do know, John, that just last week French police conducted a series of searches at Paris' airports, focusing on three main cargo companies.


Among them, FedEx, Air France Cargo and Service Air. Investigations are still ongoing. All of those companies saying that none of their employees have been terminated. But as I said, this is still an ongoing investigation into possible radicalization among France's airports and the public transportation sector. John?

BERMAN: Also, Clarissa, investigators trying to narrow down the whereabouts of the ring leader Abdelhamid Abaaoud just after the attack using some cell phone signals that he was - you know, his phone he was carrying. What are you learning about that?

WARD: Well, this is really pretty extraordinary stuff, John. We learned earlier from French officials that in fact they had traced Abaaoud's cell phone to three scenes, three places where the Paris attacks took place very shortly after those attacks. The idea being that he actually went back to the scene of the crime as, in fact, French law enforcement officials were still mounting efforts to investigate the scenes of those crimes. We also know that he was in virtually constant contact throughout the night with Bilal Hadfi. He was a 19 or 20-year-old suicide bomber who blew himself up outside the stadium. So we're getting a picture here of an architect or ringleader who was very much involved in returning to the scenes of the attacks that he coordinated.

BERMAN: All right, Clarissa, stand by. I want to bring in Paul Cruickshank, CNN's terrorism analyst. And Paul, I want to talk about the fact that Abaaoud went to three, apparently, of the sites of these attacks. What is the working theory on what he was doing, why he went there?

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, one possible explanation that he would go back would be to film the aftermath of this massacre for propaganda purposes. ISIS has really been drilling down on its operatives the need to film attacks, almost as important to film attacks as carry out those attacks in the first place. And there was a plot which was thwarted in Belgium in January where Abdelhamid Abaaoud was the ringleader. When the police went in, they found go-pro cameras at that safe house in Vervieux (ph) in Eastern Belgium. They were planning to film those attacks back in January. So it's quite possible that he was trying to do the same here again for an ISIS propaganda video which they would put out to electrify their support base.

BERMAN: All right, Paul, there's also this new suspect on the loose being searched for right now. What do we know about him?

CRUICKSHANK: Well, this is Mohamed Abrini who is believed to have driven with Salah Abdeslam two days before the attacks to Paris and rented clear the same car, which was used to drop off some of these attackers at the stadium. So they are looking at him very, very carefully indeed, could he have had some role in the attack. But also, another key arrest on Sunday night in Brussels, somebody -- when Abdeslam came back to Brussels on the Saturday morning, picked him up, and then drove off with him somewhere. They have now arrested that person, they've just announced, and that could provide absolute key lead to finding Salah Abdeslam. A huge breakthrough, I think, in the investigation.

BERMAN: And Clarissa, are they pulling on the threads of all the people they can find that were involved with this all be-known suspects, and now they are matching DNA with an unknown person who blew himself up in the Saint Denis - in the stadium, or no, sorry, in the apartment. And a gun found near a restaurant that was attacked. But they still don't know the identity of this guy. They have the DNA, they have two places he might have been, but they don't have the identity?

WARD: That's right, John. Well, first there were seven attackers, then there were eight attackers. Now, we're talking about nine possible attackers. This ninth attacker is the third man who was in the apartment, the Saint Denis apartment with Abaaoud and his 26-year old female cousin who detonated his explosive vest when police barged in during the scene of that raid, and police have identified through his DNA and through his fingerprints that he also was in that car, that abandoned black Seat, and his fingerprints were on, an AK-47 found in that black Seat, possibly indicating that he may have been involved in the attacks on restaurants nearby, but so far they say they have not been able to match his fingerprints and his DNA with an actual identity.

BERMAN: All right, Clarissa Ward, Paul Cruickshank, thank you so much.

Now, for anyone to look to the cold war, this will bring a chill. A NATO alley - no, a NATO member shooting down a Russian warplane in the skies over Syria and Turkey, the border there. The global repercussions from all of this, that's next.



BERMAN: Breaking news tonight in a crisis that violently brings together one Cold War adversary, Russia, one Cold War ally, Turkey in part of the world Syria that has become a tinderbox waiting for a spark. Today in the skies overhead, a deadly spark.

A Russian fighter-bomber shot down by a pair of Turkish F-16s after allegedly violating Turkey's air space. The Russian crew ejected safely, but coming down over hostile territory and coming under small arms fire from the ground. The breaking news, President Obama speaking tonight with Turkey's president looking for ways to lower the tension even as the Russian President Vladimir Putin is warning of serious consequences. More now on all of this from Barbara Starr at the Pentagon.


BARBARA STARR: Turkey says it warned the Russian jet ten times it was violating Turkish air space before ordering its F-16s to shoot down the Russian aircraft. President Obama putting his full support behind the NATO ally.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Turkey, like every country, has a right to defend its territory and its air space.

STARR: The U.S. calculates the Russians may have been inside Turkey for less than 30 seconds. Less clear is exactly where the border may be.

COL. STEVE WARREN, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: The incident happened, you know, at the border. That much I can tell you. But beyond that, we're still trying to collect and sift through all of the data.

STARR: The Russian plane took off from the Syrian air field at Latakia heading north, the U.S. monitoring the entire time, using radars and radios.

WARREN: We were able to hear everything that was going on. Obviously, you know, these are on open channels.


STARR: As the plane went down, video posted on social media shows Turkish-supported rebels shooting at the two Russian pilots. Heavy fire from the ground, rebels calling for the pilots' capture. A Russian helicopter searching for the second pilot also apparently under attack and crashing. A Russian marine killed on the failed rescue mission. CNN could not independently confirm the video. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the shoot down a stab in the back.

PRES. VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIA (THROUGHOUT TRANSLATION): In any case, neither our pilots, nor our jet posed any threat to the Turkish republic.

STARR: Putin says his planes were targeting ISIS, but the U.S. says the Russians only started flying in this area in the last few days and were targeting rebels that Turkey supports. Turkey defending its actions.

AHMET DAVUTOGLU, TURKISH PRIME MINISTER: Everyone should know that Turkey has the right to respond if its air space is violated despite repeated warnings.

STARR: The question now, is Putin really angry or does he have a more immediate goal?

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: He believes that if he maintains his cool, that countries like France, Great Britain and he hopes also the United States will allow him at the big table and that he will then get in de-facto sphere of influence over Syria.


BERMAN: Barbara, do we know exactly what happened to the pilots?

STARR: Well, what we know at this hour, John, is one of the pilots is dead. He was shot by ground fire as he was parachuting down from the crashed plane. The other pilot we do not know the state of yet, there was a failed rescue mission, apparently, a Russian helicopter, again, attacked, crashing to the ground and one Russian marine dead in that failed rescue attempt. John?

BERMAN: Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, thank you so much.

Just ahead, what some of Donald Trump's die-hard supporters think about what he says he saw on September 11th.



BERMAN: Tonight, a new Quinnipiac poll shows Ted Cruz nipping at Donald Trump's heels in Iowa. Donald Trump, the frontrunner with 25 percent followed very closely by Cruz, then by Ben Carson and Marco Rubio. Everyone else down in single digits. Tonight, Donald Trump campaigning in South Carolina at a rally in Myrtle Beach, this in the wake of the backlash over what he says he saw on September 11th. As reported last night, Trump's remarks about seeing thousands of people cheering at the Twin Towers or cheering as the Twin Towers fell, simply no evidence to support that. But does that matter to his die- hard supporters? We sent our Gary Tuchman to find out.


CROWD: Trump, Trump, Trump! Trump, Trump, Trump!

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: To most of the people waiting in line to see Donald Trump, his word is gold.

(on camera): Do you trust him?

CARLENE CARMEN, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: Yes, I do. Explicitly. I read his book. "Crippled America." You've got to read the book.

TUCHMAN (voice over): Terry Seleman (ph) is so enamored, he bought a Trump hairdo at Hobby Lobby.

(on camera): Do you think Donald Trump ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe yes. 100 percent.

TUCHMAN (voice over): So what do these fervent Trump supporters feel about his supposed recollections of the aftermath of 9/11?

DONALD TRUMP, (R ) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hey, I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down and I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down.

TUCHMAN: Marie Parrett drove several hours to attend the South Carolina rally.

(on camera): Do you think that Donald Trump tends to exaggerate a little bit?


TUCHMAN: Not at all?


TUCHMAN (voice over): Like many here, she believes what Trump says about that horrible day, despite there being no evidence of his claims 14 years later.

PARRETT: I remember seeing something on TV with all these people. I don't know where they were, screaming and yelling. And I don't know if they were Arabs or Muslims or some ...

TUCHMAN: There was - there was video of that that came from the Middle East, but not from New Jersey.

PARRETT: Okay. Well, I don't know where it came from.

TUCHMAN: But neither does Donald Trump, though, it sounds like.

PARRETT: I'm not really sure about that. He just posted something in "The Washington Post."

TUCHMAN: Indeed, Trump has cited an article in "The Washington Post" a week after the terrorist attacks, which reads, in part, "In Jersey City within hours of two jetliners plowing into the World Trade Center, law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks." But in all the time that has followed, there's never been any evidence that such celebrations in New Jersey actually happened.

It doesn't matter, says, Carlene Carmen.

(on camera): So you believe Donald Trump when he said this?

CARMEN: Yes, I do.

TUCHMAN: So, when people - when ...

CARMEN: Don't try and screw this up. Don't try - screw this. You're not going to convince me otherwise.

TUCHMAN (voice over): And then there's Trump's most recent comment about seeing people jumping from the World Trade Center with his own eyes from over four miles away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anything beyond the scope of reality that he was watching them. TUCHMAN: Former U.S. senator and U.N. ambassador Daniel Patrick

Moynihan once said, everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts. Even here, there are people who believe Donald Trump has come up with his some of his own facts, but for many of them, that's okay.

AUSTIN WEST, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: People mess up. I mean, you know, he's - I mean he's an older guy, you know. I feel like he has an excuse. So if something happens, you know - you must ...

TUCHMAN: You're still supporting this older guy?

WEST: Yeah, yeah, definitely. I feel like he's the best one out there.

TUCHMAN: Here in this Convention Center in Myrtle Beach, Donald Trump is preaching to the converted.


BERMAN: Gary Tuchman with us tonight. As Donald Trump - referenced to this controversial September 11 comments.

TUCHMAN: Well, John, he did during the speech he talked about the alleged celebration in New Jersey 14 years ago. He said that if he would misspeak, he would apologize, but he didn't misspeak, and therefore he's not apologizing. He said he's taking heat, but he described it very correctly, he's not making it up and he said, quote, the liberal media does not want it out. I should tell you that Donald Trump criticizes and teases the news media at every rally he has. He points to the stage where I'm standing right now and laughs it up and says the media are terrible people except for a few people, but today there was a special level of vitriol that he signed toward the news media. So much so that some of the people behind me were raising their fists towards us. I'll tell you, John, and this is the tenth presidential campaign I've covered since 1980 in that kind of situation we have people showing their feasts with news media is not a healthy one.

BERMAN: Gary Tuchman, Happy Thanksgiving.

Next, we're going to go back to Chicago for a late update on the protests there. Stay with us.



BERMAN: I want to update you now on the protesters making their way through the streets of Chicago. People reacting to the release of the dash cam video showing a white police officer shooting and killing an African-American teenager last year. I want to go to the streets right now. Ryan Young marching with the protesters. Ryan, what's the latest?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, we've been walking down Michigan. Now, we're walking down State Street. If you look behind me, you can see the protesters. They have just stopped here in the middle of the intersection. We've been walking for about a mile and a half with these protesters, as they keep chanting, "16 shots." They also have some other chants that we can't obviously say on TV because of profanity. But they are cording their efforts together. There is a couple of groups that have come together for these protests. But they are walking down the street, they are locking arms, and they are blocking intersections. So far, everything has remained peaceful at this point.

BERMAN: Ryan Young amid the marchers there in Chicago, people protesting the release of this video from last year showing the shooting and killing of a 17-year-old teenager. Much more on that later.