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THE SITUATION ROOM
Chicago Police Shooting Video Released. Aired 18-19:00p ET
Aired November 24, 2015 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RAHM EMANUEL (D), MAYOR OF CHICAGO: And I call on all of us to look within, inside ourselves and see this moment as a potential to do something that we have talked about and discussed, but, for reasons, have not actually endeavored to journey on.
I want to work together as a city to be the city that we can be. There will be moments of challenge. There will be moments of question.
But I ask you to believe in the character of the people that make up this city. And now we must work together to bring the peace and understanding of the bridges of understanding together.
And with that, obviously, we will take some questions.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington. We're following the breaking new.
Chicago officials, they say they're about to release the dash-cam video of a white police officer in Chicago shooting and killing an African-American teenager.
Let's go back to the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel.
EMANUEL: There is a gulf that exists and we have to continue to work with that.
EMANUEL: You want to speak to some things and then I will speak to it?
GARRY MCCARTHY, CHICAGO POLICE SUPERINTENDENT: So, at the end of the day, we're obviously always planning for the worst-case scenario and expecting the best.
And, in this case, we're in that same position. This is an incident that happened in October of 2014. You know, I could spout statistics that are meaningless at this point about how much better we're doing with police shootings regarding policies and supervision and discipline.
But at the end of the day, we knew this day was coming, and, you know, honestly, it would have, in my book, been better if it happened after whatever happens with the prosecution. But, you know, I'm not the attorney. So it is what it is.
So we have been prepared for this day to come for quite some time. I'm incredibly confident in the professionalism of my department and I'm incredibly confident in our community.
And, you know, just -- I will tell you, as I stood here and listened to the mayor, I couldn't help but be struck by my first comment, which is anytime I stand at this podium with this many people, there's credit to go around. But that's not why we're here today. We're here, united, together, and I just can't give enough credit to the individuals who are standing up here, these men and women who are willing to stand up here right now in this time of potential crisis for the city of Chicago.
So I think we're in a totally different place than a lot of people are trying to put us into, quite frankly. We're proposed. We have been laying this groundwork for a long time in the things that we're doing in this department, and I think the community sees that and I'm really pleased about that.
EMANUEL: I don't know. I know I think I'm hearing what you said the state's attorney said.
Look, my point -- my statement today speaks to where I want to see us go as a city and what I think, that there is a moment here, and moments like this are judgments. And that's what I mean. They're not just judgments -- Jason Van Dyke is going to go to court. There will be a judgment, and he will be held accountable for his actions.
There's also a judgment for all of us. This is not just -- at one level, this is all about him individually, but we as a city must also do certain things. Now, as it relates to public safety, it is also -- is it a role of police officers? Yes. Is it a role of the religious and community leaders? Yes.
Is it a role for the mayor and all elected officials? Yes, all of us who are stakeholders who have positions that have responsibility to the public. So, do I think that the police are going to do their job? I'm absolutely confident that that's going to happen.
But my point is, as it relates to safety, there's this moment in time, but there's also after this. And I want us to think about that future and start building that future that I think we have today.
MCCARTHY: Yes, it's absolutely not true. And I think the state's attorney addressed that today.
There were apparently technical difficulties, but in no way, shape, or form is there any evidence that anything was tampered with. And I think she covered that. [18:05:05]
QUESTION: Was there video from other scene -- other video than the police car?
MCCARTHY: I think so, Mike, but I want you to realize something, that the Chicago Police Department is no longer investigating this incident, because we have independent civilian oversight.
So it went from Chicago P.D. to IPRA, from IPRA to the state's attorney, FBI, and the U.S. attorney. So I don't have access to some of the details that you're asking me, quite frankly. I had a preliminary briefing when the incident first happened, as I have on every police-related shooting. And that's pretty much the limit of my knowledge of the investigation.
MCCARTHY: That's a great question, Craig, and if somebody could tell me, I will take it in.
But the way that we have been handling it is through policy, supervision, and training, right? Those seem to be the three biggies in policing where we have success. And through policy, change in policy, as far as when we can shoot and when we can't shoot, through training, we added a training cycle for all of our officers more than four years ago when I got here, and supervision and ensuring that those policies are being followed through on, we have been able to have significant success in reducing our shootings.
It doesn't fix what happened here today. And at the end of the day, it's always going to be the judgment in the eyes of that officer, which is why I said that the officer in this case is going to have to account for his actions. I can't do it. And nobody else can. Only he can.
So that's at the end of the day where we are.
EMANUEL: We're going to put it out. The staff will put it out, OK.
QUESTION: Have you seen the video yourself?
EMANUEL: I'm going to see it when becomes public like everybody else.
EMANUEL: Do you want to...
MCCARTHY: You know, that's a great question, Mark.
What I can address is the changes that we have made to our investigatory process, particularly in the world of internal affairs. As you know, force complaints go to an outside civilian oversight
department. But here in the Chicago Police Department, we have expanded the size of our Internal Affairs Division. We have given them geographical accountability, which is a word that you keep hearing over and over again.
And I'm really proud of some of the personnel changes, putting Eddie Welch in charge of Internal Affairs, who is a detective background investigator. And we took the best investigator, one of the best -- I should not say the best, because I'm not giving other people credit -- one of the best investigators in the Chicago Police Department and put him as a commander in the Internal Affairs Division.
All of those are going to help us -- and let me...
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) I understand.
MCCARTHY: OK. But I can give you the details on it and he can follow up.
The other thing is that with the release of the data regarding our complaints, with the release of the data regarding our complaints, Mark, we have work to do. There's no two ways about it. But some of those issues with the union contract are the things that people don't understand. We don't have at-will employees, and we can't just fire them the way that people expect.
QUESTION: The police department always says that (OFF-MIKE) there's an ongoing investigation. There's an ongoing investigation in this case (OFF-MIKE) when it comes to a misconduct case (OFF-MIKE) you found guilty, (OFF-MIKE) not found guilty (OFF-MIKE)
EMANUEL: All right.
Let me just -- let me speak to two to three things just in general, OK?
There's always work to improve in the sense, because trust is a two-way street. And people having a sense that nobody's being protected just because of their title or their position and nobody's being prosecuted because they don't have a title or position.
For a long time -- and this was -- in fact, the former attorney general came in to actually look at what Chicago's doing, because we have two civilian oversight board. In fact, Lori Lightfoot is here, one of them on the Police Board. We have IPRA. Scott's also here -- that are different than any other city.
We also have the internal review that goes on here. Do we need to make it constantly hard questions? In fact, two years ago, we started that process of making -- asking some hard questions. Do we have all the safeguards in place to constantly be out reviewing and demanding professionalism and doing it in a way that gives also the public confidence of what happens in the police department.
Is it perfect? Nothing's ever perfect. Do we have the spirit and the desire to constantly to find ways to improve it and make it transparent so people believe that people will be held accountable for their actions? That is what exists.
MCCARTHY: No, there was no audio with the tape that I saw -- tape -- with the video that I saw. And I don't think that audio does exist.
QUESTION: So, it's not standard (OFF-MIKE)
MCCARTHY: There's supposed to be. And it's supposed to happen in a couple of different instances. And this is one of the things we're working on. Sometimes, we have technical difficulties. Sometimes, officers need to be disciplined if they don't turn it on at the right circumstance, which is why we're working out all the details on our body cam project as we speak, and we will be expanding that shortly.
MCCARTHY: No, no, no, there was no audio, to my knowledge, with any of the video that was taken.
QUESTION: Was it turned off?
MCCARTHY: No, it didn't exist.
EMANUEL: You're going to get the video.
MCCARTHY: You know what? I will talk about a culture thing in the Chicago Police Department.
Since I got here, I have been talking about changing the culture of the Chicago Police Department in a positive fashion. There are some very good things about the Chicago Police Department that I found when I got here. We're building on those, and we're trying to revamp anything that's negative.
And, quite frankly, you're almost forcing me to give you the data on our police shootings over the last four years that we have been here. They're down almost 70 percent. That's really significant. And we did it through policy, training, and supervision.
So that's a work in progress. And we're going to continue to pursue excellence in the Chicago Police Department in all aspects, whether it's in internal investigations, whether it's in the way that we treat people on the street, or whether it's in reducing crime.
EMANUEL: Let me just -- let me add -- let me add -- let me just add one word to what the superintendent just said.
It's especially true given today. Anybody who is there to uphold the law cannot act like they're above the law. And that is both a principle that is used to make sure it reflects the culture in the police department. And I want to say one thing. There are men and women both in leadership positions and rank and file who follow and live by that principle every day.
Jason Van Dyke does not represent the police department, because I can give you chapter and verse of people who are doing things beyond what their -- quote, unquote -- "only" their job description is, who every day go out, not just to protect, but also to serve.
And so, when it comes to a culture, I actually believe also work in progress and you're never at just a point. There are officers every day, I have seen it in little league teams. I have seen it in mentoring programs. Officers don't just wear the -- are not just officers when they're wearing the uniform. They're there to serve a community and part of a community and act like that every day.
Do we have to make changes? Absolutely. It's always working towards a culture that understands that you're accountable. It's an honor to serve the public. And because you serve the public, you're not above the law, but you actually are there and you will be held accountable like everybody else, and accountable not just like everybody else, but to a higher standard.
EMANUEL: Yes. Just like others who saw it described to them, they have a reaction, and I was reacting to what I saw as described, and that's why I have said there's a moral judgment described with this.
EMANUEL: Well, I think what -- the most important thing they talked about also is stakeholders.
And I think what I would say is I addressed that in the meeting and I addressed a series of questions. Mr. Van Dyke does not speak to the police department. We have a leadership that is doing a hard job every day and a lot of people, throughout the department, doing it very well.
And the judgment will be about Mr. Van Dyke's action. But I appreciate what they have asked. They made their point, and I have also expressed my view on that.
Hold on, Bill. I want to give people all a chance.
OK. Go ahead.
MCCARTHY: No, actually, we're not.
We're going to be addressing moving forward with the resources that we have, until such time that we think that we don't have that capability. So, we are not predicting doom and gloom. We are predicting protests, which is something that we do two or three times a day in the city of Chicago, quite frankly.
So, until such time as we need to ramp up some resources, we're not doing it.
QUESTION: Has the system failed Laquan McDonald by (OFF-MIKE)
BLITZER: All right, so there you have the mayor of Chicago, Mayor Emanuel, the police superintendent of Chicago, Garry McCarthy, urging calm on the streets of Chicago once this video is released, the video, the dash-cam video, showing this police officer, Jason Van Dyke, 37 years old, on the police force since 2001, shooting and killing a teenager, Laquan McDonald, 17 years old, a very graphic video, we're told.
Once this video is released, clearly, officials in Chicago, the mayor, the police chief, they're really concerned that there could be some violence on the streets of Chicago. They were urging calm, as you heard throughout all of the things that they said.
The Cook County state's attorney, Anita Alvarez, in charging Jason Van Dyke, the police officer, with first-degree murder today, she said this. She said: "It is my determination that this defendant's actions, of shooting Laquan McDonald when he didn't pose an immediate threat of great bodily harm or death, and his subsequent actions of shooting Laquan McDonald while he lay on the ground after previously being struck by gunfire, were not justified, and they were not a proper use of deadly force by this police officer."
And they're about to release the video. We're standing by for that. We're told by the attorney representing the police officer, Van Dyke, that the video, the attorney says, is graphic, disturbing and difficult to watch.
So let's get some analysis on what is going on as we await the release of the video.
Our CNN anchor Don Lemon is with us. The criminal defense attorney, our legal analyst Joey Jackson is with us. The former FBI assistant director, our CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes is here, and the president and CEO of the NAACP, Cornell Brooks, is here as well. We also have our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, and former federal prosecutor and legal analyst Sunny Hostin. They're on the phone with us as well.
But let me get to Cornell William Brooks, the president and CEO of the NAACP. You're an attorney. You went to Yale Law School. You have now
read the criminal charge, first-degree murder in this case. People in Chicago are nervous once the video comes out, which is very disturbing, the folks in Chicago will react very angrily. Here is a white police officer shooting this black teenager. You want everyone to remain calm.
CORNELL WILLIAM BROOKS, PRESIDENT, NAACP: Yes, we definitely want everyone to remain calm and to pursue nonviolent means of protests and demonstration.
But this charge of first-degree murder occurs against a backdrop of a lack of accountability. So where you have 10,000 complaints filed in analyzing the study, 19 of which were responded to with disciplinary action, 85 percent of these complaints were investigated without talking to the officer.
The point being here is this charge comes against a backdrop, a long, sordid history. And so I think the authorities have a reason to be concerned in Chicago. However, we have spoken with our NAACP branches in the city, our state conference, people on the ground, and we're encouraging people, yes, to be nonviolent, to express their righteous indignation and their anger in constructive ways.
But be clear we need both nonviolence and a certain forcefulness, if you will, in our protest, because this is unconscionable. This a 17-year-old young man who lost his life, as many as 14 bullets fired into his body as he lay on the ground.
A witness asserting that he did not -- he had a knife that was folded, did not appear like he was throwing the knife or in any way holding a threat to the officers. This is a tragedy, and it's a tragedy occurring in a city that has experienced no small number of tragedies. So this is a difficult moment.
BLITZER: All right, we are going to just begin the analysis of what we have just heard.
We will take a quick break. Much more with all of our reporters, our analysts. We're watching the breaking news out of Chicago.
We're standing by for the release of that video, which is very, very disturbing -- much more right after this.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington.
We're following breaking news. Chicago officials, they are about to release dash-cam video of a white police officer shooting and killing an African-American teenager. That officer has now been charged with first-degree murder.
We're back with our experts to discuss what is going on.
Tom Fuentes, you're a former FBI assistant director. Clearly, the mayor of Chicago, the police superintendent of Chicago, they're very worried that once people see this video of this white police officer shooting and killing that 17-year-old teenager as that teenager lay on the ground, people will react potentially violently. They're calling for calm.
TOM FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Right.
People familiar with the investigation have told me that the video is really bad against this officer, that it shows that Laquan McDonald goes to the ground after having been shot, no longer poses a threat of any kind. There is a pause in the shooting. Then the officer resumes shooting and basically empties a magazine into his body.
And they're just saying that it was clear to the officers involved in this investigation that he was going to be charged, the officer would be charged with something. And this is what they expected. But now they feel that the video is going to be so difficult to watch and so against the officer that they are expecting disturbance, if not protest, if not violence.
BLITZER: Mayor Emanuel called on city leaders. The police superintendent, Garry McCarthy, called on city leaders for calm.
Don Lemon, your thoughts on what is going and potentially what is going to happen in Chicago?
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Wolf, as someone who worked there -- I lived in Chicago for three years.
I can tell you stories, my own stories about the Chicago Police Department, but I won't. But what I will tell our audience and the world who is watching is that this problem in Chicago with police officers is much bigger than most people know. And this is awful that it happened to this young man.
It should not have happened, but all you have to do is go on the Internet and look up Chicago beating and you will see video after video of Chicago police who were involved in such instances, even a former police officer who tried to cover up beating a 125-year-old (sic) female bartender a few years ago.
When I worked there, Jon Burge was a big story, who is a former Chicago police detective who tried to -- who beat up at least 200 men or more trying to coerce confessions out of them, most of those men black and Latino young men.
So this is a problem that is systemic. The Chicago Police Department, the mayor, they have known about this forever. Rahm Emanuel is no stranger to what happens in Chicago. He is a native of Chicago. He was there. He was a lawmaker when I was there. And I knew him very well.
Everyone knows the problem in Chicago when it comes to the police department. Look, this is -- I just got a note from a very well- respected member of the community who lives in Hyde Park, who knows Barack Obama and who is his neighbor and says: "Don, in Chicago, we're close to having a race war." OK?
She says: "Lack of jobs make young men go into drug-selling business. With that comes guns and turf battles. Street war is what we have. And a dysfunctional law enforcement system that historically allowed officers to get away with murder contributes greatly to the problem. The Chicago police brag about being the baddest gang on the street. What does that say about the rule of law?"
She has a very good point. And, again, having worked there for a number of years, I witnessed that, and the outrageousness of the Chicago Police Department, how such things went unfettered and there was no accountability for such a long time. Even the officer that I mentioned, Jon Burge, started beating people in the 1970s, did not go to prison for it until 2011, and then is now out of prison, only got four-and-a-half years.
So it is a huge problem in Chicago. We all pray for peace, but Cornell Brooks is right. This is a situation that needs to be addressed and the world needs to know about it.
BLITZER: Sunny Hostin, in charging the officer, Van Dyke, with first-degree murder, did the prosecutor evaluate the potential for violence on the streets, if you will?
In other words, if it would have been a second-degree murder charge or negligent homicide, something along those lines, potentially, the anger could have been much more intense, given the graphic nature of the dash-cam video.
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, prosecutors aren't supposed to take that into consideration, Wolf. Prosecutors are seeking justice, they're seeking the truth, they're seeking to really find out what happened. So you don't really consider that when you're filing charges.
What I do find very disconcerting and disheartening is that this investigation took over 10 months. You know, this incident happened October 20, 2014. And this officer was still on the payroll up until a few days ago.
And so I think when you're talking about the lack of transparency with the police department and, quite frankly, with the state's attorney's office as well, that is very problematic, I'm certain, for the community. I have spoken to many people in the community today. And that seems to be an overriding concern.
Why did it take so long, one, for any action to be taken, two, for the video to be released? And, three, why are we covering this incident?
So, I think that is very problematic. You know, we're hearing so much from the mayor and police commissioner, but where were they months and months ago. Quite frankly, in my experience as a prosecutor, if this video is as graphic as they are saying it is, if it shows that this officer killed a teenager in a premeditated non- justified way, I don't understand with that kind of evidence why it would take this long to bring charges.
BLITZER: Joey Jackson, Laquan McDonald's family did not actually want the video to be released because it is so graphic and disturbing. A freelance journalist filed a Freedom of Information Act request in order to get the video released. That's why authorities are about to release this video. Normally it would be released during the actual court case, is that right?
JOEY JACKSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It would be.
But here is going to be a very big issue because the videotape will speak for itself. And let just get down to the legalities of what I think the prosecutors are going to move forward with.
Number one, they're going to look for the immediacy of the threat. It will be shown on the video. Was there an immediate threat? In the event that there was, the officer has every right to discharge the firearm.
The problem is those who have viewed it said there does not appear to be any immediacy of a threat. In fact, the suspect appears to be moving away. That's a problem.
Number two, when analyzing the videotape, it's going to show, was the force used by the officer, was it proportionate to any threat posed. That is significant because it goes to the issue of number three, which is reasonableness.
And remember, it's not the officer himself and whether he acted reasonably, it's what a reasonable officer in his position. We can answer that question because we know that there are eight other officers that are there or eight in total and he's the only one firing.
And then briefly, Wolf, on the issue of what it will show in terms of timing, it's the understanding that this officer fired within 30 seconds of arriving at the scene, within since seconds of exiting his car, fired for 15 seconds and 13 of those seconds, it's believed that the video will show, that 13 of those seconds, you know, the deceased is on the ground.
And so, now, you have to say, well, what was the immediacy of the threat? Was there any justification? And obviously the prosecutor say no, hence the first-degree murder charge and hence the potential for that officer to spend the rest of his life in jail.
BLITZER: All right, guy, stand by. Because we're told that video is about to be released. Let's take another quick break. We'll take a look at the video when we come back.
[18:37:34] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: We're following the breaking news. Chicago officials, they have now just released the actual video of a police officer, a white police officer, shooting and killing an African-American teenager. The police officer today has been charged with first-degree murder. Officials in Chicago, the mayor, the police superintendent, they were just at a news conference urging calm on the streets of Chicago as a result of this video which we're with to show you, which our viewers here in the United States indeed around the world will see.
Cornell William Brooks is with us, the president and CEO of the NAACP.
Clearly, Cornell, you believe as images suggested, this is a big problem in Chicago, not just an isolated incident. It's part of a bigger problem in Chicago. But is it part of a bigger problem in other cities around the United States as well?
CORNELL WILLIAM BROOKS, NAACP CEO: Absolutely. So, the challenge in Chicago, this horrific tragedy n Chicago is emblematic of a larger issue. That is to say when a young African-American is 20 more times likely to lose his life at the hands of the police than his white counterpart. That's true across the country.
When we think about as that we as a country have downloaded in to our collective memory the video if you will of Walter Scott, Tamir Rice and Mr. McDonald, and so, we had literally playing in our consciousness as a country unarmed African-American men and in the case of Tamir Rice, a child, killed on videotape. And so, we have an empirical basis for apprehension about the conduct of police departments all across the country.
I just came back from Minneapolis where we saw Jamar Clark lose his life, responding to that tragedy. The point being here is this warrior style of policing as opposed to a guardian mode of policing is the challenge. And the fact of the matter is we cannot isolate this to one city. We can't blame it on one police department. We have to respond with a sense of urgency.
Think about this way -- most of the police department in Chicago has been called up and put out on the street, if you will. We see this as being on the precipice of a city-wide emergency. What if we were to treat the instances of police misconduct as an ongoing emergency and respond with that sense of urgency?
[18:40:06] Well, the city of Chicago in ten years has spent half a billion dollars in legal settlements. This is a problem.
But Chicago is not the only city. New York has these challenges, Los Angeles has these challenges. Cities in the Midwest and the Deep South. The point is we have to respond as a country to a criminal justice crisis.
BLITZER: So, it's maybe a crisis, the fear in Chicago, you heard it from the mayor and you heard from the police superintendent, that when people see the video, and they have just released the video, they will be angry, they will be not only demonstrations, but there could be violence. How do you stop that, what do the mayor -- the leaders in Chicago need to do?
BROOKS: We can't treat this as a public relations problem to be managed, but a criminal justice challenge to be addressed. The point being is, if we can marshal and mobilize the entire police force to prevent potential violence, what about marshaling the entire police force prior to this calamity, prior to this tragedy by getting them to reform systemically from top to bottom?
The superintendent has talked about this. But we certainly need a civilian review board with teeth in Chicago. We need them elsewhere. Certainly, these body cameras are helpful.
But fundamentally, fundamentally, we get back to this again and again. We got to change the culture of policing.
BLITZER: Stand by, guys. We're told by the way by a spokesman for the Chicago police that their Web site has crashed because so many people are now trying to download that video. Stand by. Much more on the breaking news right after this.
[18:46:26] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: We're following the breaking news out of Chicago, disturbing information coming in.
That video, these are live pictures by the way coming in from Chicago, aerial pictures. But the video of the white police officer shooting and killing a 17-year-old black teenager, that video has been released, but the Web site in which it's been released has basically stopped operating because so many people are trying to download that video.
We're going to get that video. We're going to review the video. It is extremely disturbing. It shows the white police officer 37- year-old Jason Van Dyke shooting and killing the 17-year-old Laquan McDonald as McDonald lay on the ground, it's been described in this criminal complaint against McDonald that was filed today, first-degree murder charges against him. He's in prison right new.
Let's talk about what is going on as we a wait the release of the video.
Jeff Toobin, you're on the phone. You're watching the legal part of all of this.
Were you surprised at the actual charge was first-degree murder against the police officer, even though the 17-year-old did have a 3- inch switch blade or whatever, some sort of small knife that he was holding?
JEFF TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it is certainly the maximum that a prosecutor could have charged the officer with.
I think some people sometimes have a misimpression of what first- degree murder means. It doesn't messily mean that a hit man planned overnight to kill someone in advance. It really -- it can take place in a moment. A premeditated murder only means that this was an intentional killing unjustified under any circumstance. It is certainly an aggressive charge on the part of the prosecutor.
And I think the key fact will be whether Mr. McDonald was on the ground as the complaint suggests for 13 of the 14 seconds when the guns were being fired. If that is the case, and if there is no potential justification, then I could see a first-degree murder charge being justified. But it's certainly a very aggressive charge by this prosecutor.
BLITZER: Yes, prosecutor defends that charge obviously very strongly.
Cornell William Brooks, you're president and CEO of the NAACP. What advice do you give the people in Chicago right now? They're going to -- eventually the Web site has crashed. You can't download the video right now. But presumably, they're going to fix that, they're going to get some other opportunities to release the video under the Freedom of Information Act as a request from a freelance journalist.
They got to release that video, even though the family didn't want -- the family of the 17-year-old boy who was killed, they didn't want that video released.
BROOKS: We don't honor this young man with violence. We don't honor the grief of the community with violence.
And what we know is this -- we're dealing with a system being problem which this is the latest, sad, tragic, disturbing, horrific chapter in a long running narrative. And the only way for us to address this is to be disciplined, to express our grief through civil disobedience and nonviolence, and protests and demonstrations and prayer and commitment to make the situation better.
So, when people call for peace, we're not calling for quiet.
[18:50:02] There is a difference. We're not asking for people to be quiet. We are asking for people to raise their voices and to assert this sense of justice with volume and with power, but nonviolently. Trashing, tearing up or destroying your neighborhood contributes nothing toward a solution here.
But the fact of the matter is we have to hold this officer accountable. We have to hold this police department accountable. We have to hold the city of Chicago accountable. And at the end of the day, we also have to hold ourselves accountable as citizens for making this situation better. We have to do that. BLITZER: Don Lemon, it comes at a time when we see protests
gaining some momentum here in the United State, the Black Lives Matters protests. They obviously are pretty well known right now, presumably once this video is shown. That will further inspire these kinds of protests.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Well, this is what Black Lives Matter was born out of, police brutality. If it's indeed what's on this video, what everyone says it is, then we will see that.
And this is exactly what Black Lives Matter has been fighting for, for accountability for police officers who are accused of doing things like this.
You know, during the previous segment, what Cornell Brooks said was, I thought it was the most amazing and the smartest thing that anyone has said. That this isn't an opportunity for a PR move.
That's why I said regarding the Chicago police department. I think I misspoke. I said 125-year-old bartender, 125-pound female bartender. That went to court, it was an off-duty police officer.
It's not a PR move. Listen, I hear the mayor. I hear Gary McCarthy, the police superintendent. No one wants violence.
As Mr. Brooks said, you don't solve anything, you don't solve a violent situation through violence. Everyone wants peace.
But again, this has been something talked about and has been discussed and has been raised with the Chicago police department for decades, for decades. And they say they are doing something about it now, but as someone who was eyewitness to it, when I lived in Chicago, it is long overdue that police are held accountable in the city of Chicago.
BLITZER: Tom Fuentes, you were a police officer outside of Chicago, the suburb of Chicago before you became an FBI agent. But you know Chicago. You served there, you live there. You know that community well.
How big of a problem do they have there?
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, they have a number of problems there. One of the other problems that's not being spoken of, is if you want accountability you have it. This officer has been charged with first degree murder. So, he could go to prison the rest of his life for what he did. So, he's being held accountable.
But what -- the other part of this narrative is, these police departments and superintendent McCarthy has been on television, he was on over the Fourth of July weekend talking about the slaughter of people in his communities. That's going on in Washington and Baltimore and New York and other places.
And at midnight, at 2:00 in the morning, the only people out there trying to deal with that slaughter of young black men being gunned down are the police. The clergy, the politicians, the community leaders, when they're home in bed, it's the cops that are out there dealing with this on their own. And, yes, they are trying to put a stop to this because there is a bloodbath going on in those cities, and they just can't control it.
So, some officers are going to go off the edge like this guy did, you know, yes, prosecute him.
BLITZER: It's a problem. There had been so many shootings in Chicago. "The Chicago Tribune" says over 2,007 people have been shot so far in Chicago, not necessarily killed but shot in Chicago so far. Those are unbelievable statistics.
BROOKS: They are unbelievable statistics. I want to draw a distinction here. The bloodbath that has been described so well taking place in many cities far too often.
BLITZER: All right. Cornell, hold on for a moment. We have downloaded the video. It's very disturbing. I want to just warn our viewers what you are about to see is disturbing video of this police officer shooting and killing this 17-year-old teenager.
We'll show you the video right now, but if you don't want to see it, this is a good time to turn your head away.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
BLITZER: All right. There you see 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. He was jaywalking there on the street. This is dash cam video from the police vehicle. He is lying there on the street right there. And the police officer Jason Van Dyke, 37 years old, shoots him.
We stopped that video at that -- there is no audio on the video.
[18:55:03] We stopped it at that point. You get the point, once he's down on the ground, the video shows that he goes over there and shoots him some more.
Actually, watch this. We are going to continue showing the video.
There you -- you see other police officers arriving on the scene.
Don Lemon, you've now seen the video. We've all seen the video. Your reaction?
LEMON: It's -- I hate to say it. You're seeing someone die, you know, on television. Every time we show a video like that, I hate to see it. I thought it would be more graphic because of what we see. I don't know if we paused it. We see him shoot but you don't see the officer in the frame.
So, I was hoping to see the officer in the frame to see exactly what happened, how many times he shot. There is no audio on it, so we do need audio. But again, it is very disturbing. The guy has a knife, you know?
You can hurt someone with a knife but he has a knife. He didn't have a gun, and I didn't see any police officer in close proximity.
This is just me looking as a lay person -- close enough proximity to look like they were in danger of this person.
BLITZER: We are going to watch it one more time, Don. You can see Laquan McDonald on the street there sort of running, jogging. And then, let's watch it one more time.
BLITZER: You saw the officers of the left part of the screen.
LEMON: Yes, he wasn't even approaching the officer.
BLITZER: Yes, he was walking the other way when he was shot then he was killed.
Sunny Hostin, your reaction?
HOSTIN (via telephone): I'm devastated as the mother of a young black male teenager. I mean, I'm devastated for all the mothers that have lost their sons in this way. I mean, I just two weeks ago interviewed Sybrina Fulton, and I can tell you that she lives with that pain every single day. I interviewed Tamir Rice's mother. She lives with this pain every single day.
I mean, the fact that our children, our black boys are 21 percent more likely to be killed by a police officer than their white friends is devastating to me. It's heartbreaking to me. I mean, we are seeing the death of a teenager at the hands of a police officer on videotape, something that happens in our country far too often. The question now is, what do we do about this? What do we do?
BLITZER: Good question. We've got to do something about it.
Joey Jackson, your reaction?
JACKSON: You know, Wolf, it's been 35 years in Chicago since a police officer has been charged with murder. Let that sink in for just one minute.
And so, what does that say about the officer's actions? What does it say about the fact the superintendent of police is vehement in saying we have great officers out there, but this is not one? What does it say about the mayor's reaction?
You know, there is a use of force continuum. And that use of force continuum means that you escalate the use of force. What about speaking to people? Now, clearly, there is no audio there, but the sheer time frame in which officers arrive and he's shot dead, should there not be some opportunity for dialogue? Should there not be some opportunity to disarm him in some way that is humane? But to shoot him, and that officer within 30 seconds of arriving and within six seconds out of the car and shot dead, I think certainly it goes to the issue of reasonableness. Certainly goes to when the jurors evaluate whether the officer's conduct was appropriate will go to whether it was. I think not.
And, finally, when Don talked about, I can't see the officer in the frame, that is problematic. If you don't see the officer in the frame, was he close enough to the officer such that he posed a real threat?
All these things are problems. All these things relate to a broader discussion about this particular issue and about policing if general.
BLITZER: Tom Fuentes, the Chicago TV affiliates, they are showing this video now. You see the officers on the left part of the screen, they'll probably do slow motion showing of it. But officials in Chicago are deeply concerned there could be a violent reaction.
FUENTES: Well, I think they should be.
To Joey's point, I agree completely. You don't see where McDonald goes towards the officer. He continues walking. So, he may not be complying. But it's why the officers can't say that he posed a threat because he didn't go towards him and he shoots him. He goes to the ground. He can't do much with that knife once he's on the ground. Basically the officer comes and shoots more bullets into the body while he's on the ground.
So, I think he's been charged with murder and I think it's clear why he was charged.
BLITZER: That's why the Cook County State Attorney Anita Alvarez charged that police officer with first degree murder today. We'll have much more on this, much more on all the day's breaking news.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.