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Arrest in Tyshawn Lee Shooting; Russia to Join U.S.-Led Coalition to Fight ISIS; Chicago Police Press Conference; France Honors Paris Lost, Hollande Renews Vow Against ISIS. Aired 11-11:30a ET

Aired November 27, 2015 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:16] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm John Berman with you with breaking news, new information on an arrest that shocked and appalled the nation, a crime that police officers in Chicago called "unspeakable, abhorrent and unfathomable." We're talking about the murder of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee. Police believe he was lured into an alley, fatally shot because of his family's relationship with a gang member.

We are waiting on a police news conference due to start any second. You're looking at live pictures from inside that news conference.

CNN's Rosa Flores is in the room right now on a phone from detective headquarters in Chicago.

Rosa, what do we expect to hear?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hi, John. We're expecting police to announce the arrest of Corey Morgan for first- degree murder charges in relation to Tyshawn Lee, the 9-year-old you described moments ago. Authorities tell us he was lured into an alley, shot and killed. We have learned a few more details. They say this man, Corey Morgan, was the same man that was questioned after Lee's killing and then released and later arrested on unrelated gun charges. Again, we're expecting to learn more information in moments. Now, I can tell you, I was on the scene covering this story from the get go and it was just so eerie, John, to be in that alley. Authorities telling us this boy was simply going to play basketball, that he was just walking through an alley and that in a gang-related targeted killing, that boy was lured into that alley and shot and killed. Again, arresting a man by the name of Corey Morgan, arrested on first-degree murder charges in relation to the killing of Tyshawn Lee.

BERMAN: We say Tyshawn Lee was 9 years old. If that's not enough, this kid was 83 pounds. He was truly just a little boy, targeted in some kind of gang activity.

Rose, any sense of the possible relationship between this man now under arrest, Corey Morgan, and Tyshawn Lee's family?

FLORES: The other thing we've heard from authorities, and we're expecting to hear more, but they tell us this was a gang-related targeted killing, a gang-on-gang type killing. Instead of going for the family member, they actually lured this little boy into the alley and shot and killed him. It's very disturbing. From the get-go, from talking to investigators, they told me, "Rosa, this is one of a series we're following. We really hope this is not true because it's so gory." And, indeed, that's what they found.

Now, you know, this man is arrested on first-degree murder charges in relation to this killing. We don't know if this man was the man who lured this boy into that alley. Again, we'll learn more in the next few moments.

BERMAN: Stand by. We'll bring you that news conference the second it happens in Chicago.

I'm joined by CNN legal analyst, Danny Cevallos.

Danny, it's interesting, in this case, Corey Morgan was brought in for questioning virtually right away. He was then -- you get the sense police have had their eye on this guy for a while.

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You definitely do. When it comes to gang violence, there are entire units of police departments and other law enforcement agencies that are devoted to not only knowing about them, knowing them personally, cultivating informants. I have no doubt -- I would expect, I should say, they had someone on the inside giving them information that led them relatively quickly to this defendant.

BERMAN: If they knew then or thought they knew then, why the month? Why the four weeks from the killing to make the formal arrest?

CEVALLOS: There are several different reasons that could happen. On the one hand, if there's someone currently and presently dangerous, police can, should and would go out and arrest that person. At the same time, they want to make sure they have enough to amount of probable cause to hold him for trial. So, it's a delicate balancing the prosecution has to engage in. It's difficult and it's a judgment call. A month is not completely surprising, especially with the intel they had on the front end was not reliable.

BERMAN: What about the bigger significance of this? We're waiting for a news conference. You're looking at a live view of the detective headquarters in Chicago where a news conference will begin. An arrest, apparently, made in the 9-year-old boy Tyshawn Lee, the 9- year-old boy lured into an alley and apparently killed, assassinated in some type of gang-related activity.

Danny, bigger picture. We talked about Chicago, what is going on in the streets of Chicago, so much gang activity. What do you think authorities to want do with this arrest today? What message do they want to send by doing this in such a high-profile way?

[11:05:17] CEVALLOS: It's interesting because studies show gangland killings are less likely to receive the death penalty -- even though Illinois is not a death penalty state -- than, say, rape murders or other kind of killings. It's an interesting phenomenon. But law enforcement has been wanting to send the message gang killings are unacceptable. In the recent decade, we have added gang killings to the list of aggravating factors that would qualify someone for the death penalty. Again, Illinois is not a death penalty state anymore. But, without question, it is a growing concern for law enforcement and legislatures who have added enhancements over time for killings in the course of gang activity.

BERMAN: Danny Cevallos, stand by.

Again, we're awaiting this new conference in Chicago in announcing an arrest made in the awful, awful murder of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee at the beginning of November. We'll bring you that news conference the minute it happens.

In the meantime, major new developments in the battle against ISIS. Russian President Vladimir Putin says he's ready to cooperate with the U.S.-led coalition to defeat the terror group, but he warns another attack like the shoot-down of the Russian plane could destroy the cooperation. That attack left a pilot dead and the Russian and Turkish presidents in a war of words. The Turkish leader says he wants to meet with President Putin on Monday on the sidelines of the climate change conference in Paris, but the Kremlin says no plans are in the works for such a discussion.

CNN's former Moscow bureau chief, Jill Dougherty, joins us from the Russian capital. She's currently a researcher for the International Center for Defense and Security.

At this point, Jill, do you think -- the Kremlin say there's no plans for this meeting to take place in Paris, but do you think it's possible that Presidents Erdogan and Putin meet in Paris?

JILL DOUGHERTY, RESEARCHER, INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR DEFENSE AND SECURITY & FORMER CNN MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF: It's possible, maybe not likely. They're not saying no meeting. They're just saying no meeting is planned. That leaves the door open. Really the relationship, I can feel it on the streets in Moscow. Average Russians are very angry, they're angry about what happened when their pilots were shot down and one killed. And Russia has to show that anger. The way they're doing it is a lot of economic action, sanctions, retribution against Turkey. Today they ended for the time being visa-free travel. That's a very big deal. There are like 3.3 million tourists who come from Russia to Turkey. And the overall trade is enormous. You know, $44 billion. They're using economic leavers to show their anger.

BERMAN: It's interesting, too, you have some personal politics at play here as well. President Putin and President Erdogan of Turkey, both used to being the toughest kid on the playground, neither willing to give up much ground in terms of the P.R. here. Let me ask you about what's going on in Syria right now. President Putin, some suggest he opened the door to cooperation in Syria. Is that how you read it?

DOUGHERTY: I do not read it that way. What they're saying is we are willing to cooperate, but they already in a sense are cooperating because Russia -- Russia and the United States as the head of the U.S.-led coalition already signed a military agreement to avert accidents in the air. That's cooperation. Would they actually get to the point they would share intelligence? I don't think so, especially when, in the same breath, President Putin is extremely critical of that coalition. Essentially, he's saying, the United States knew that our plane was going to be there. Why didn't they pass that information on? Now, the U.S. is not necessarily saying that's correct. But he's criticizing the United States and criticizing the coalition for being, let's say, at worst malevolent --

BERMAN: Jill Dougherty --

DOUGHERTY: -- at best incompetent.

BERMAN: Jill, thank you so much for being with us from Moscow.

I want to go back to Chicago, a news conference at detective headquarters on an arrest made in the killing of Tyshawn Lee. This is the police superintendent, Gary McCarthy.


Good morning, everybody. It's great to stand here in front of you with good news. I'm happy to be joined by first deputy superintendent, John Escalati (ph); our chief of Detective Dean Andrews; deputy chief from detectives, Gene Roy; and Commander Joe Salimi (ph), who led the great team bringing this case to fruition. And a couple of the investigators and team, as I said, a lot are upstairs. They would much rather be doing their work than standing here, quite frankly.

This is a crime that shook our city. As I talked about it, it was an act of barbarism. The assassination of a 9-year-old child as a gang retaliation to get back at his father. Tyshawn Lee was failed on many, many levels. At the end of the day, our detectives were unrelentless in pursuit of justice. I can't tell you how hard they worked. After conducting a thorough investigation into this unfathomable crime, as I've described it, that was both targeted and calculated, they are bringing this case to conclusion. There's still an awful lot of work to do. Again, Corey Morgan, 27-year-old from Lansing. Mr. Morgan was charged with first-degree murder as a result of an arrest warrant based on two things, community assistance and intelligence, and incredibly hard work by our detectives to develop evidence that supports the charges that we're able to bring forward. Morgan was in violation of a bail bond at the time he was taken into custody. Obviously, you're going to have a lot of questions about the investigation but there's still a lot of work to do.

I want to highlight the background of this individual, as I told you. When we solve this case, we're going to find an individual with an extensive, violent criminal history who likely should not have been on the streets. That's the way it happens almost every single time. Corey Morgan is a documented gang member, a convicted felon. As you know, we picked him up just a couple weeks ago with yet another firearm. So, he has a pending gun arrest along with a history of violence. And I just can't tell you how hard and how involved these -- I've been down here a couple of times with them and their spirit never wavered, the confidence to solve this case. There's an awful lot of work yet to do.

I will tell you that we know there are three individuals involved in this. At least three individuals, let's put it that way. One is in custody right now on an unrelated charge. And we're confident he's not getting out any time soon. And there is a third person we're going to reveal to you now. A male named Kevin Edwards is a third person wanted in connection with this heinous crime. We've been looking for him for quite some time. We have photographs we'll distribute to you.

I'm going to turn it over to the chief of detectives, Dean Andrews, and then we're going to hear from the sergeant who supervised the investigation, and then I'll come back and take your questions, OK?

DEAN ANDREWS, CHIEF OF DETECTIVES, CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT: One of the things we're going to do and provide for you today is a recap and timeline of the investigation and what got us here today. Before we do that, I want to thank the detectives, the supervisors involved for their service, their professionalism, and their integrity was just exemplary. They worked literally 24 hours, seven days a week. Never wavered. All of our cases are important, extremely important to us. This one was a little different. It's truly an act of barbarism. It's a 9-year-old boy targeted and executed. Police officers have families as well. They have feelings as well. This one was a little different. And I truly want to highlight their professionalism, their integrity, their dedication. I mean, they went days and days and days without sleep. So with that, actually,

I'm going to introduce Sergeant Will Svilar, and he's going to provide a timeline and recap of the investigation, as I said, that got us here today -- Will?





SVILAR: Will, William.

I don't think anybody wants to be here talking about the murder of a 9-year-old. Unfortunately, we were tasked to take care of this investigation. The people standing behind me, the people upstairs and conscientious members of the community came forward. People understand that when you have a bad element in your neighborhood, you don't run from the neighborhood. You get rid of that element. And because of that, we were able to clear this case.

[11:15:00] It started in the alley in the afternoon of November 2nd. Basically, from that day on, we developed leads through interviews, through people coming in. Both here and the suburbs, we developed leads that led to the vehicle and eventually led to the individuals we identified. One is charged today. That's a good start. We have a warrant on Kevin Edwards and we have a third person we're hoping we can develop more on and charge them as well.

MCCARTHY: One of the things I think you should know is we got an awful lot of intelligence from the community. This was very clearly not a case of no snitching. But there was a lot of fear, which is completely understandable. If you have a monster who's willing to assassinate a 9-year-old, who is that person likely to do if they know somebody is cooperating with the case, detectives working on that particular murder? So that's something, if there is a positive in this, maybe that the community was very helpful in there. Unfortunately, over time, by putting together some incredible work, our detectives have been able to make this case.



MCCARTHY: I'll get to you.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you talk a little bit about any of the retribution factor between this person's family and Tyshawn's family.

MCCARTHY: There's a number of events that precipitated this particular murder. A couple of them are murders. A couple of them are nonfatal shootings. And I really don't want to reveal too much on that because we're getting close to solving a number of those and we don't want to jeopardize it right you now. I apologize for that.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What role did they play in this, and what about Mr. Edwards?

MCCARTHY: Well, it's a little bit -- I don't to want say unclear but it depends on who's speaking who did what. At this moment, I don't think we want to reveal any of that, right, chief? There were three people, we're pretty certain, acting in concert. Let's put it that way. Who pulled the trigger is all being worked on to delineate it. We do know, in fact, these are the individuals who were involved in this.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did one lead the victim from the apartment into the alley and the other two were involved?


MCCARTHY: He was definitely lured from the park where he was playing basketball with some friends. I guess that's the best way to describe it.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you describe the background? What was it between the families?

MCCARTHY: This goes back to a number of violent episodes, including a murder. At least -- no, actually, two murders, two murders that we know of. This was the third murder we know of that we're able to identify in a series of events.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The gentleman, the second one who's in custody but not yet charged, what is he being held on and what is his name?

MCCARTHY: He was arrested for a gun charge, surprisingly, right? There are gun charges in each one of these individual's backgrounds, which is why you hear me spooking about this all the time. Until such time as gun offenses in the state of Illinois, we're not going to get sentencing to keep them in custody and dissuade --

BERMAN: That's Chicago police superintendant, Gary McCarthy, announcing first-degree murder charges in an arrest made against 27- year-old Corey Morgan. This in what he calls the "unfathomable" targeted execution of a 9-year-old boy, Tyshawn Lee, who was killed at the beginning of November, lured into an alley, the police superintendent says, killed as part of gang retaliation to get back on that boy's father. 9 years old, 83 pounds, lured into an alley and executed as part of some gang retaliation to get back at that child's father. An arrest now made. Another person apparently in custody today. A third person police are putting out for a guy named Kevin Edwards. Chicago police will put up his picture in a little bit. They are searching for him, a third suspect in connection with in killing, a killing that the police superintendent of Chicago calls "unfathomable."

Next up for us, ISIS launching a new terror attack. This is the seventh major attack in just three weeks. The target this time a mosque.

Plus, shortly, two different protests in two different cities against police actions in the death of an African-American teenager. They're targeting shoppers and people out to buy on this Friday.

[11:20:05] And moments ago at the White House -- well, I'll do a mime for you. Behind that black, the annual Christmas tree just arrived at the White House. There it is. Michelle Obama greeting the White House Christmas tree. It's now there safely, you'll be thrilled to know. We'll break it down for you next.


BERMAN: New this morning, ISIS is claiming responsibility for an attack on a mosque that left at least one person dead. This happened during evening prayers in northern Bangladesh. Gunmen stormed inside, opened fire on worshippers before fleeing the scene. This is just the latest in a string of ISIS claims of responsibility in the last few weeks.

Today marks two weeks since the terror attacks in Paris. This morning, France honored the 130 people who lost their lives that day.




[11:25:14] BERMAN: The names of the dead were read. President Francois Hollande led the ceremony and reiterated his vow to destroy ISIS.


FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translation): I want to say quite simply these words. France will be alongside you. We will unite our forces to calm the pain. And after burying the dead, we have to repair. To all of you, I promise you solemnly that France will do everything to destroy the army of the fanatics who carried out these crimes.


BERMAN: Let's get the very latest. I'm joined by Paris-based journalist, Stefan de Vries.

Stefan, thank you for being with us.

The external battle and internal battle against ISIS, French officials today have said, and I believe somewhat for the first time, that they're OK with the notion of Syrian regime forces. That means the guys working for Bashar al Assad fighting ISIS inside Syria. This seems to be a significant statement by the French that they're willing to have the Syrian regime in this broader coalition against ISIS.

STEFAN DE VRIES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR & FRENCH JOURNALIST: Yeah, it is, indeed, interesting because, until now, the stance of France was Assad has to go. Last night, President Hollande visited the Russian President Putin. During that conversation, probably the two agreed upon some kind of mutual understanding that a solution without Assad is maybe not feasible at this very moment. Russia also announced they won't bomb any rebels any more that are fighting against ISIS as well in Syria. That was one of the demands of France. So, Francois Hollande has a diplomatic world tour this week, it looks like it has more result than we thought yesterday. And there was France and especially Russia -- are getting their noses into the same direction.

BERMAN: Internally, another development. CNN has been reporting for a few days about concerns of radicalization inside major transportation hubs. People working at major French airports, including Charles de Gaulle. We heard a French official saying 57 people have lost their jobs or been taking off their jobs at French airports because of fears of radicalization. That seems like a very high number.

DE VRIES: Well, yes. 57 sounds like a lot of people but you should know at the two major international airports in Paris, over 130,000 people are employed. It's not that much. And the people working on these airports and also at the transportation companies like the metro or the railways, it's basically -- it reflects society. So if there's radicalization in society, it's logical that it also takes place inside large companies. This shows, however, the government is working to find radical elements and get rid of them, simply.

BERMAN: Stefan de Vries, in Paris for us. Thank you so much.

In just a few minutes, we're expecting protests in both New York and Chicago. Protests over the video just released of a white police officer killing a black teenager. The protests today are different, though. The idea, to disrupt holiday shopping.

Plus, a new admission from Vladimir Putin. He claims he's ready to work with the United States, but is he really ready to do anything beyond what he's been doing all along? We'll discuss.