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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Protests After No Officers Directly Charged In Breonna Taylor Death; One Of Three Police Officers Indicted In Breonna Taylor Shooting, But Not For Her Death; Trump Won't Commit To Transfer Of Power If He Loses; Louisville Curfew Takes Effect Soon: One Police Officer Shot During Protest. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired September 23, 2020 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right, thank you very much, Alex. I appreciate it, as we watch this across the country tonight. Thank you for joining us. Anderson starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. We are seeing calls for justice in relatively peaceful demonstrations at this moment in Louisville where a curfew goes into effect about one hour from now, as authorities there and elsewhere across the country prepare for the possibility of fallout after a grand jury's decision today to charge no one directly for the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT killed by police in March.
The one officer who was charged for wanton endangerment has already posted bond and had been released from jail. As we look at these pictures of a protest through the streets, we are going to keep them up. I'm going to Jason Carroll in Louisville for a closer look at the case -- Jason
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson. We've just now left Jefferson Square Park. You can see behind me here a fire has been set. Fire was set, two small fires in Jefferson Square Park and then another fire now being set as you can see right here. Some of these demonstrators setting fire to this bush and a tree up the road just a little bit. They smashed a bus stop.
A small group of protesters now have broken off from the square and are continuing to march at this point. They say they're going to march right through the curfew, which is now less than an hour away.
CARROLL (voice over): Former detective Brett Hankison faces three charges of wanton endangerment in the first degree. Two other officers who responded that night with gunfire, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove were investigated, but do not face any criminal charges.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIEL CAMERON, KENTUCKY STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL: According to Kentucky law, the use of force by Mattingly and Cosgrove was justified to protect themselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL (voice over): The charges against Hankison are in relation to shots he fired that ripped through a neighboring apartment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAMERON: Based on the evidence, there is nothing conclusive to say that Detective Hankison, any of his bullets hit Miss Taylor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL (voice over): In the months following Taylor's death, there has been much speculation surrounding the details of what happened the night on March 13th when police showed up serving a no-knock warrant.
The Attorney General says evidence shows Officers Mattingly and Cosgrove knocked and identified themselves before breaching Taylor's door and he says, there is an independent witness to corroborate their account.
But Taylor's boyfriend Kenneth Walker disputes that claim. Walker says he didn't hear police announce themselves and thought someone was trying to break in, so he fired a shot.
Police have said that shot hit Mattingly in the leg.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENNETH WALKER, BREONNA TAYLOR'S BOYFRIEND: All of a sudden someone started beating on the door. They refused to answer when we yelled, "Who is it?" Fifteen minutes later, Breonna was dead from a hail of police gunfire.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL (voice over): The Attorney General says an F.B.I. analysis determined the shot that killed Taylor came from Cosgrove.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAMERON: The fatal shot was fired by Detective Cosgrove.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL (voice over): Mattingly's attorney says the justice system worked, "The death of Breonna Taylor is a tragedy, but these officers did not act in a reckless or unprofessional manner. They did their duty, perform their roles as law enforcement officers and above all, did not break the law."
In the months since Taylor's death, her mother has wanted just one thing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAMIKA PALMER, MOTHER OF BREONNA TAYLOR: Criminal charges. They all willingly committed a crime. So I don't think it's enough that one person should have to pay for it. It was a group effort so ...
CARROLL (on camera): And Anderson, Taylor's mother and Taylor's family has repeatedly called for peaceful demonstrators to come out not to damage property in Breonna Taylor's name tonight.
While we saw some peaceful protesters and demonstrations earlier, that's not what we're seeing at this point. Again, some fires set down the street here. We heard this building being damaged right behind me as protesters continue marching down the street, marching throughout the streets of downtown Louisville.
Again, the curfew is now less than an hour from now. That's going to be at nine o'clock. The mayor calling for calm. Police asking people at this point to disperse and go home or they will be arrested -- Anderson.
COOPER: So how long have, Jason, the protests been going on for? And we saw -- I mean, it was -- you know, we saw people lighting what looks like a bush on fire. There was, I think, you said another area on fire behind you when you first started.
Was that the first fires you've actually seen or had that been happening earlier as well?
CARROLL: The fires started almost immediately after the grand jury made its decision. The Attorney General came out with his announcement and the word started to spread through the crowd in downtown Louisville.
At that point some of those in the crowd became agitated and in fact, Anderson, just even a few hours ago, my crew and myself got caught in a scuffle between some of the demonstrators and police. At that point, police using pepper guns and pepper spray to disperse the crowd.
CARROLL: So it spread through the crowd very quickly and personally, there's a reason for that because a lot of people out here in Louisville who support Breonna Taylor's family expected a result like this. Many of them were hoping for, at the very least, second degree manslaughter charges.
But many people out here were expecting this type of result and in fact, Breonna Taylor's mother told me in an interview with her that she had very little faith in the system and that she was hoping the system would do right by her, but she said that she had seen this system fail so many others, so many times, she herself did not have faith in this system.
And so, it didn't take much for, once word had spread, for the anger to start among a lot of people who were down here in support of Breonna Taylor -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, so Jason, we will continue to check in with you throughout the night. Shimon Prokupecz is in Louisville. Shimon, explain where you are and what you're seeing.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: So we're just -- this is a large group, several hundred that left Jefferson Square Park, we are now marching along this road here, Anderson, but something just happened.
A car just tried to come through this intersection. A lot of the protesters have, since they got to this intersection have tried to stop the traffic and it looks like a car came through, and then many of them chased the car. So a lot of -- so there was some excitement here over that. But that seems to be calming down now.
I just want to show you -- so I just want to show you, Anderson, this way. The crowd is continuing to march.
Earlier, some of the folks in this group, some of the protesters did clash with police. We were marching earlier, just after the announcement came from the grand jury and they were marching through other areas of Louisville and police had moved in pretty aggressively, shooting those pepper balls at them, trying to disperse the crowd.
And the police have been given indication that there are going to be more -- that they are going to be aggressive here. But they're not going to wait and sit back as we would see them in some protests.
But certainly here tonight, they have given indication that they're going to move in quickly.
Curfew is at nine o'clock and the police have indicated that they're going to strictly enforce that curfew. So we'll see. We have some time to go.
The National Guard is here. Their State Police here and the Louisville Police dressed in riot gear are driving around actually, Anderson, in pickup trucks. Something I've never seen before and they are driving around and they are responding to flare ups.
So we probably will see them up ahead here as they try to intercept this group. Some of the people in this group that had set small fires, and now they're just marching through the street. So at what point do the police move in here to try and prevent them from further marching here -- Anderson.
COOPER: Shimon, I was just talking to Jason and we actually saw on his shot two small fires that had been set. Is that something you have been seeing as well?
PROKUPECZ: Now, the fires are relatively new for this protest. I have not seen any fires earlier. They started setting fires at Jefferson Square where Jason was. I was there as well.
And what happened was, after they started lighting the fires, the police told them they needed to clear out, that it was an illegal assembly, and that they needed to clear out. But that wasn't until the fires started being set. And then the police came out in riot gear to extinguish the fire. They used a fire extinguisher and the people moved back.
But what was happening was the protesters were throwing water bottles at the police, but the police retreated and they went back into the building.
So the fires, I have not seen -- I did not see any fires set earlier during some of the marches, but it looked like they were trying to burn a lot of the objects over at Jefferson Square Park where a lot of the protesters have been staying for weeks in anticipation of this hearing to hear what's going to happen with this investigation. They are now setting parts of that area on fire.
So after the police told them they had to clear out, they started marching. They anticipate -- I have heard many of them, they anticipate the police moving in at some point, so they're trying to disperse, but they're continuing to march here. We see some police up ahead here, Anderson.
So the question is when do the police -- what they've been doing, Anderson, is they will make an announcement and they will say you have to disperse. You have to get out of the street, or you'll get arrested.
COOPER: Yes. Shimon, I appreciate it. Be careful. We're going to continue to keep the pictures up as we talk more about the case.
I want to go to Drew Griffin for more. One of the more controversial aspects of the events that led to the killing of Breonna Taylor, the warrant that the police received to enter her apartment, Drew, your investigation, the origin of the warrant found a slew of issues. Talk to me about that.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: And really, Anderson, this was not addressed by today's news conference at all. It's still pretty much under investigation, but is the question of why exactly the officers were even at Breonna Taylor's apartment that night at 12:40 in the morning with a battering ram.
This was part of a broader kind of take down of five different places, search warrants issued in no-knock search warrants issued for each location. Most of them were drug houses, and then there was Breonna Taylor's apartment. This apartment of a 26-year-old girl.
She had been dating in the past, one of the targeted, I would say petty drug dealers that was a target of one of these raids. But the evidence we found in the search warrants was very, very thin. The only connection that we could see to Breonna Taylor's apartment was that in January, one of the suspects came to her apartment, they say in the middle of the day picked up a USPS package and left.
That is pretty much it. It is months old. They do believe that in February, one of the drug dealers may have been getting some other mail, but there is no evidence of that. And then when the actual search warrant was executed after the
shooting, Anderson, they found no drugs, no money, nothing to connect Breonna Taylor. That's despite the fact that the detective who got these arrest warrants issued said in advance that it is his belief through training and evidence and experience that she may be keeping narcotics and the proceeds from the sale of narcotics at Breonna Taylor's address.
So the information was very sketchy to begin with. That is the crux of the case that Breonna Taylor's family brought against the Louisville Police. They don't believe it for any reason she should have been targeted in the first place.
COOPER: And Drew, police maintain that despite being issued a no-knock warrant, they did indeed knock. Breonna Taylor's boyfriend who was inside her apartment at the time says that they did knock. What's in dispute is did the police identify themselves? The boyfriend says no, as do all, but one neighbor of Breonna Taylor, is that correct?
GRIFFIN: That's right. Breonna Taylor's current boyfriend, Kenneth Walker believed it was the old drug dealer come a knocking in the middle of the night and that scared him. He did not hear the words "police."
We talked to several other of the neighbors -- immediate neighbors. This is a very tight little cluster. Nobody that I talked to heard the words "police." Most of them were woken up by gunfire.
There was a person upstairs who poked his head out and was told to get back in, that may be the person they are referring to. But Anderson, we could find nobody who said they heard them say, "This is the police. Open up."
COOPER: Drew Griffin, hang on a second. I want to talk now about these charges and what happened that night on March 13th with Steven Romines, the attorney for Breonna Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who you saw earlier tonight.
Mr. Romines, your reaction today to the charges and what's your client's reaction?
STEVEN ROMINES, ATTORNEY TO KENNETH WALKER: My client is very disappointed, but I'm not surprised. It's just -- it's more of a cover up. You know, as Drew indicated, there were a dozen witnesses who said they did not identify themselves as police.
The Attorney General said, well, the evidence that they identify themselves was both officers said they did. They're the targets of the investigation. You don't take their word at face value.
The story was corroborated by --
COOPER: Sorry, go ahead.
ROMINES: Another witness. That witness initially told the police that the day after nobody identified themselves as police. They had to interview him two more times before they could get him to say that yes, I heard them say "police." It is a recorded interview that is transcribed by LAPD in which he says no one identified themselves as police. That is his first interview.
And yet, they go in front of the grand jury and rely on the statement. You know, two months later in which he said yes, they identified themselves.
It is incompetence and corruption at the highest order.
COOPER: The Attorney General today said that the investigation found the officers were justified in their use of force after having been fired upon by your client, Kenneth Walker. What's your response to that?
ROMINES: Okay, well, they may very well have been. That's a question to present to a jury. It is not for prosecutorial fiat to declare a suspect is innocent. I've been defending criminal cases for 30 years, Anderson.
When my clients are charged with murder, they take it in front of a jury and a jury decides. The prosecutor doesn't just say, oh, yes, you're justified. Go home now.
And that is the problem is that -- and that is what people are really upset about is if a jury acquits them, fine, present -- you say you have a warrant. That's a good defense. You say you acted in self- defense. Let's see what a jury says.
But the prosecutor just summarily exonerating him is not how the system works. It does not ever work that way for individual citizens and it shouldn't work that way for police either and it shouldn't work that way in this case.
Let a jury hear the case and determine if they've got a defense, and it rises to the level of a reasonable doubt. However, Daniel Cameron, just saying they're justified that's not how it works.
The other thing about it is this. You are never, in Kentucky, justified for killing a third party when you're acting in self- defense. If you act recklessly and kill a third party, self-defense does not apply. That is not available to you under Kentucky law.
And yet, again, he just -- they summarily claim, we're not going to go forward. I'm deciding as you know, the ruler on high that they were justified, and I will guarantee you the grand jury never had an opportunity to charge them with a homicide. It was never presented to them.
COOPER: The Attorney General also said your client, Kenneth Walker fired the shot that hit Officer Mattingly and that there is no evidence to support that Mattingly was hit by friendly fire from the other officers. ROMINES: Yes. And here's what I'll say about that. Their ballistics
investigation that is in the PIU file indicates that the shot that hit Mattingly it's inconclusive as to whether it came from Kenny Walker's gun.
So when he says we're not going to charge Officer Hankison with the murder of Breonna Taylor because it was inconclusive whether or not his shots hit her, that's exonerating Hankison. It's inculpating Kenny Walker.
It is the exact same inconclusive conclusion, and it is in the documents that they have in front of them. And what I've said Anderson, a lot of things that contradict what Attorney General Daniel Cameron said today released the report and the evidence in it and we'll see who is telling the truth. I've read it, I know what it says.
COOPER: The Kentucky Governor called on the Attorney General to publicly release information relating to his office's investigation into Breonna Taylor's death. The Louisville Mayor also said that the A.G. should make publicly available any information that doesn't jeopardize the Attorney General, F.B.I. cases for the public to be informed, is that going to actually happen?
ROMINES: If it happens, it will show that everything he said today was not supported by the evidence. And again, the question is, why won't they release it? There's no justifiable reason not to be transparent and release the evidence.
But if it is done, it will show what I'm telling you now is accurate and what he said today is not accurate.
COOPER: So you've seen all the information that's in it.
COOPER: And you've seen that in the capacity is Kenneth Walker's attorney, you're allowed to see that.
ROMINES: Right. Yes.
COOPER: Just last week, where does Kenneth Walker's lawsuit against the City of Louisville Metro Police stand right now? What are the next steps here?
ROMINES: We have filed our complaint. We have sent subpoenas for them to publicly release all the evidence in the case. That's what we're asking for and we are waiting for them to file a response to pleading and answer the case.
And we'll go forward. I'm ready to start taking depositions of these people now. Let's get them under oath and see what they have to say.
COOPER: Steven Romines, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
We get some perspective now, CNN law enforcement analyst, Charles Ramsey, Philadelphia's former Police Commissioner and Washington D.C.'s former police chief, also Gloria Browne-Marshall, a constitutional law professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is also the author of "She Took Justice: The Black Woman Law and Power 1619 to 1969." Back with us as well is Drew Griffin.
Drew, what do you just heard from Kenneth Walker's attorney. He is saying he has seen what's in the full report, the evidence and that it doesn't back up what the Attorney General is saying.
GRIFFIN: Anderson, I just don't know that that is true. I, of course would love to see what was presented to the grand jury. I don't believe that attorney was in the grand jury and saw what was presented. So I would like to learn more from him what exactly he is referring to other than what the police have already released in this case.
But I do agree with him. There are a lot of questions that still remain unanswered and it would have been good to have this go to a jury or a trial so that all that evidence could be presented. But what we have here is a truncated form of justice with a grand jury that has been able to decide based on just the evidence presented to them by the Attorney General what the case would eventually be.
COOPER: Professor Browne-Marshall, I'm wondering what your initial reaction is to this decision?
GLORIA BROWNE-MARSHALL, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR, JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Well, my initial reaction was outrage, of course, sadness. It was of American history repeating itself. African- Americans in particular, African-American women have been brutalized throughout the history of this country, and the prosecutorial system needs reform.
We focus so much on the Criminal Justice System from a police angle, but we don't look at the prosecutorial system and it is not too late to indict these officers. Just because they weren't indicted with this impanel grand jury, it doesn't mean they cannot be indicted in the future.
We need to understand it. Kenneth Walker acted in self-defense, but it seems self-defense only matters if you're white, and if you're black, reckless endangerment and any other type of reckless behavior, or even downright murder is all right if the officer is in any way in danger, and it doesn't matter how that officer might have been dangerous.
Those people in that room, so black people aren't safe in their beds. They're not safe driving. They're not safe walking. As an African- American and a woman, this is historically what America has done, it is to destabilize the black community and make us feel we're unsafe anywhere without protection by police or the prosecutor's office.
COOPER: Chief Ramsey, do you agree?
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Not entirely, I don't. Let me first start by saying that the death of Breonna Taylor is indeed a tragedy. There's no question about that.
And I do agree with Drew. I mean, there needs to be more information made public so that people can actually see the evidence as long as it doesn't jeopardize the pending trial of the one officer who by the way, I clearly believe should have been charged in this case. I don't know Kentucky law, but he definitely should have been charged and he was charged.
The other two officers, however, Mattingly and Cosgrove, they were executing a warrant, a valid search warrant. It is alleged that they knocked in and announced their office, a witness did hear that, whether or not others heard it, I don't know.
But if it was a no-knock warrant, they didn't have to do that. They did make a forced entry. The officer, one officer, Mattingly was shot by one of the individuals in the apartment, Mr. Walker, and they returned fire. They were fired upon and they returned fire. That is a justified use of force.
Now you can debate and it is unfortunate, obviously tragic that Breonna Taylor was struck and killed, it would have been equally tragic if Mr. Walker had been shot and killed. Any death is a tragedy.
But when you start talking about criminal charges, that's entirely different in my opinion. Again, I can only go based on what the Attorney General said in his statement. I don't have access to any other information.
But I do believe and Drew raised this issue, which I think is probably a key issue here. And that is why we're there to begin with? What was in the complaint for search warrant? What led them to that location, and even to believe that Breonna Taylor was involved in criminal activity? Or that they would locate or they would find any kind of criminal evidence once they executed the search warrant?
This has to be fresh information. This can't be something based on what you saw two months ago. You need to have --
COOPER: All right, and Drew, you're saying that's exactly what it was that this was something that was shaky to begin with.
RAMSEY: Yes, and that needs to be scrutinized very carefully. People who executed the warrant were not the ones who applied for the warrant.
COOPER: Drew, quickly on the timing.
GRIFFIN: Yes, just I would just ask Chief Ramsey, I mean, the only physical evidence that you can see in this warrant was they saw this drug dealer at that apartment on January 16th. That's it.
And so we have a shooting in March. It really just shows, I think, a lack of good police work.
COOPER: Professor Browne-Marshall -- RAMSEY: And I am not arguing and saying that the warrant was good. I
don't know. I didn't read the warrant. I don't know what they had. All I'm saying is the shooting itself and the officers who executed the warrant weren't part of that investigation at all.
COOPER: Professor Browne-Marshall, you're shaking your head.
BROWNE-MARSHALL: I'm shaking my head because this is a carry state and this is what happens when here's someone who has the right to have a weapon who is after midnight, someone burst through the door and they shot at the person after asking who is it and not hearing anything.
The right of self-defense for black people is almost non-existent when it comes to a white person who is the victim. If this had been the other way around, we just had a case in which people are killing black folks in their own apartment, and in this instance, they had a right to defend themselves.
Kenneth Walker had a right to defend himself, and so to say that the officer was justified in firing back when the officer shouldn't have been there in the first place, Kenneth was justified in firing that shot.
So I think we're in the wrong position here when it comes to what police officers are doing with a white person who is a victim and what they would have done with a black person. And that's what history bears out and that's what we have today.
COOPER: Gloria Browne-Marshall, Charles Ramsey, and Drew Griffin, thank you very much. Appreciate it. Good discussion.
Just ahead. More on the protests on the grand jury decision just ahead, including what political leaders angry at the decision say they want to do as a result.
We'll also have President Trump's reaction, and later the President was asked today if he would commit to a peaceful transferal of power if he loses the November election. It seemed to be a pretty easy answer. Well, we'll tell you his stunning answer coming up.
COOPER: As we watch the marchers there in Louisville, Kentucky and the countdown to the city's curfew which is in less than an hour now, which our reporters on the ground say police there intend to enforce.
We also want to focus on the protests against the grand jury verdict in the killing of Breonna Taylor that are happening in the rest of the country.
You're seeing some -- you're seeing what you're seeing, that's the scene in Louisville, Kentucky. We've been showing you protests in Philadelphia, also in New York City. I want to go to Alex Marquardt, who is in Washington, D.C. Alex, what do you been seeing so far? ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, this March here for Breonna Taylor, for Black Lives Matter has just arrived at the White House at Lafayette Park, which of course has been ground zero for so many of the protests that we've seen over the course of the summer. This protest started at the Department of Justice.
As the sun was setting they came down H Street which has now been closed in front of Lafayette Park, chanting Bre-way (ph) which has a chant that we heard that we've heard in Louisville, of course it take on Breonna Taylor's name.
And Anderson, what you're seeing here is part Memorial Park protest. We've heard tributes to Breonna Taylor, we've heard testimonials like the words from her own mother. We've also heard speeches about police reform, about the black experience in America, about political reform and even political revolution.
You can see people holding the portrait of Breonna Taylor over their heads. This was of course the scene of the site of a number of protests earlier this summer in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. You can still see these fences (INAUDIBLE) --
COOPER: Alex, I'm sorry. I just -- Alex, we got to come back to you. I want to go to Shimon Prokupecz who is in Louisville, Louisville. Shimon, can you explain what's going on? What we're seeing in our shot.
PROKUPECZ: So we are with that same group. And what happened was there was a shot of fireworks what sounded like fireworks, maybe even gunshots. And then police started moving in. And you can see here to my left, police pointing my fencer moving people back. I'm part of it. What happened, Anderson is what sounded like gunfire and the police started moving. Police started moving. And you can see them here pushing our David Albritton (ph) one of our photography -- my photographer. David, come this way.
So what happened is Anderson if you're with me, here, let me just come. What happened was, this crowd was marching, they get they come to this area, and the police block them off. The police block them off. They then started right running.
And what sounded like gunfire quite honestly, there was fireworks but then something sounded like gunfire. And we saw heavily armed police in the armored cars here. You'll see going by me moving quickly. And that's what's happening here now, they're trying to move everyone out of the way. And then you can see I just want to show you quickly Anderson.
COOPER: Shimon, I just got to go over to Jason Carroll. Jason Carroll, I'm not sure where you are in relation to Shimon. But explain what you're seeing.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Shimon is at the at the top end of the demonstrators. We're at the tail end. And just to hold on, we've got some officers coming this way. Yes. But just as Shimon was saying, what we heard was it was initially it sounded like fireworks. And we had heard some fireworks earlier where we're -- at we were at Jefferson Square.
And then just a few minutes ago, we heard from one of the undercover officers out here that it wasn't fact gunfire. And so, at that point, Anderson, everyone started running in a lot of different directions. We came to cover underneath this overpass right here.
Right now we have police, instructing us telling us what we need to do at this point moving forward. But a number of police in riot gear moved in, did what they could to disperse the crowd and they had been asking the crowd to disperse for the last hour.
So, as soon as your show started, when we came to you, we started showing you the fires that had been started and various places. And what some of the protesters were doing about a couple hundred of them, they started marching throughout the city of Louisville, setting fires as they were going on their way, then that stopped, then we got to this point where this overpass is right here.
And that you had a bottleneck of a couple hundred of these protesters. That's when someone lit off a firework shortly after that. That's when we heard the gunfire. And at this point, police now moving in.
So, we're going to assess the situation. See if we get some more information for you. And we'll get back to you. Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Jason Carroll. Thank you. We'll continue to monitor that.
And now we're back in touch Shimon Prokupecz as Jason was saying Shimon is sort of at the front end of the demonstration. Shimon if you can hear us, so you're at sort of the front end of the same group of people that that Jason is at the rear end of correct?
PROKUPECZ: Right. And I think Jason is now at a distance I think under that underpass. Remember Anderson, one of the first shots we saw was the police coming out of their cars and just pointing their large guns at the people who were sitting along the grass to the entrance to the highway here, and they were telling them to put their hands up, but everyone started running, one because the police block the street off and they were trying to block them in from the back and the front, but then the gunshots and that's when really people started running.
And so, now it's all cleared up. There's some police still standing around.
PROKUPECZ: It's the second time I think that's for tonight that we've heard gunshots, Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Shimon Prokupecz, be careful, please you and your crew as we continue to look at the demonstrations that are happening tonight. Protesting the fact that the three charges the grand jury delivered in connection with the killing of Breonna Taylor none were actually really for her death. I want to play you what President Trump said a short time ago, here he is quoting the republican Attorney General Kentucky who discussed the charges with reporters shortly after they were announced.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: Well, I thought it was really brilliant Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is doing a fantastic job. I think he's a star. And he made a statement that I'll just read, just as not -- the justice is not often easy. It does not fit the mold of public opinion and it does not conform to shifting standards. Answers only to the facts and to the law.
If we simply act on emotion or outrage, there is no justice. Mob justice is not justice. Justice owed by violence is not justice. It just becomes revenge. I mean, I heard that, I said write that down from a police because I think it was a terrific statement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Joining us now is Congresswoman Karen Bass, who chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Congresswoman Bass, you heard the announcement obviously today from the Kentucky Attorney General. When you heard that I wonder what your reaction was?
REP. KAREN BASS (D-CA): Well, I mean, I just thought that it was tragic. It was tragic. And it was also insulting the idea that the charge they indicted him for is the bullet went through a building, not her life, losing her life was not indigestible. I think that they should have allowed this case to go to trial so that there could have been true justice. But it just reinforces the need for passing legislation. Because part of the reason why these incidents happening is because it's impossible to hold officers accountable until the law is changed.
COOPER: The Kentucky Attorney General said that there was not enough evidence to file homicide charges against the officers, Charles Ramsey, the former head of the Philadelphia Washington D.C. Police Department said he largely agrees with what was announced today if it is true that what happened to Breonna Taylor does not warrant homicide charges under current law. What does it say about how the law is written to you?
BASS: And that's exactly the point. And that's exactly why we need to change the law. So for example, the idea that police officers receive immunity, if they know they have immunity, then it's easy for them to act with impunity. If these -- if the bar to charge or to prosecute an officer is so high that you can never prosecute them. And that is the way the law is currently. They should be prosecuted for recklessness. But right now, the only way you can prosecute an officer is for willful intent, meaning if they deliberately meant to kill somebody.
And as your other guests said, you know, the Second Amendment clearly does not apply to everyone and open carry and that her boyfriend's right to defend himself obviously didn't apply. But you do remember that those officers tried to cover it up. Remember, they arrested her boyfriend. And then they also try to force her (INAUDIBLE) into implicating her in drug dealing so that they could cover up and act like they had a reason to knock that door down. That's why there should be no no-knock warrants. We should not allow those just like we should ban chokeholds.
So, there are structural reasons why these things keep occurring. And we need to change the law in order to prevent this. This is why the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act needs to be passed. It needs to be voted on in the Senate. It's sitting on McConnell's desk.
COOPER: Is -- does the fault. Is it possible the fault lies with -- I guess Charles Ramsey was sort of putting the onus on, you know, questions about the warrant in the first place. If it was in fact based on old information about somebody who used to live there or who had once received mail there allegedly months before, whether or not that should have been issued.
But a no-knock warrant was issued and they did apparently knock and the boyfriend fired the first shot thinking he said that it was the former person who live there and didn't realize it was police. Is it possible that the police were legitimate in firing back, you know, thinking they were being what they were being fired upon? And it's the question of the warn is the problem?
BASS: Well, Anderson, due diligence was also part of the problem too. You do know that the man they were looking for was in their custody. How about checking to see where the person might be before you go, but again, the Justice and Policing Act eliminates no-knock warrants for drug cases.
You know, in a six year period from 2010 to 2016, 94 civilians were killed with no-knock warrants. 13 police officers were killed. It's dangerous for both sides. They shouldn't occur.
COOPER: As we look at what's taking place now. Louisville, Kentucky, we've seen demonstrations in New York, Philadelphia this evening. What is your message to folks who are angry and frustrated and disgusted and are out in the streets?
BASS: Forty-one days, that's my message. We have an election in 41 days. But I think the protests are very, very helpful, as long as they are peaceful, because it was the momentum for those protests that allowed us to develop the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act allowed us to pass it out of the House. So, the protests are important, but I'm deeply worried about them becoming violent. And I'm also very worried about agent provocateurs. If you are, you know.
I know a few months ago the Boogaloo boys were hanging around Louisville, I worry about the infiltration of protests from white supremacy organizations, and also from people who are opportunists, because there's a lot of people out there, maybe I can loot. The worst thing in the world would be for violence.
COOPER: Congresswoman Karen Bass, I appreciate your time. Thank you. BASS: Thank you.
COOPER: Want to go to CNN's Athena Jones, who is here in New York. Athena, talk about where you are and what you've been seeing.
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we are crossing the Manhattan Bridge. This is a group of several hundred demonstrators who met at the Berkeley Center in downtown Brooklyn, we've been walking for about a mile and a half. As you can see, it's a huge crowd, they have covered all the lanes all three sections here of this bridge.
There are people on a lower level, there are actually people across the way who are marching in traffic. This has been a peaceful protest. But talking to people, they are frustrated, they are angry. They're angry, because there's no fairness there's no sense of justice, no accountability, or for the loss of black lives.
And so, this is what we're what we're hearing them talk about. As we've heard before, they want to see accountability, they want to see change, and they want to see the lives of Breonna Taylor, and all the other people who have been killed at the hands of police, they want those police held accountable.
So this is a group it's I've been told that a crowd it's been growing not just by the hundreds, which is what it was when we arrived at first. But it goes back almost a mile or half a mile. You can see the crowd chanting say her name.
COOPER: And Athena, is there one particular group that has organized this or I'm obviously there's a lot of different groups involved in protest movements and often they, you know, it's done on social media and tell people where they want to, you know, meet up and where they're going to go?
JONES: This is on social media. Right. This is one (INAUDIBLE) on social media. It doesn't -- it's not very clear how organized it was in the sense of where their ultimate destination. But there's an Instagram site, does Instagram laid handle called Justice for George Floyd and that's one of the ways they're getting out the word to bring on all the people to come. It's been at least an hour at Berkeley Center, chanting and talking when we can make it half an hour ago.
COOPER: All right, Athena Jones --
JONES: So several groups, but it's loosely organized.
COOPER: -- I appreciate it. Be careful. We'll continue checking with you throughout the night.
This just in from police in Louisville, one officer has been shot. They aren't with their providing any additional details as our reporters have been indicating with Jason Carroll, Shimon Prokupecz. They had heard at least a shot, perhaps more shots also some fireworks. And we saw police moving in just in the last few minutes in some areas particularly around in a highway and an overpass. The police say we will update when we can. Another statement from the police.
We'll be right back with more from Louisville and New York and Washington D.C. We'll be right back.
COOPER: We're following breaking news in Louisville and around the country. Protests in the wake of a grand jury decision involving the killing and Breonna Taylor. Now Louisville police reporting that one officer has been shot during these demonstrations. No details given. Let's go to Shimon Prokupecz in Louisville. Shimon, what do you know?
PROKUPECZ: Yes. So, this is the area we believe Anderson where that officer were shot. Remember, we were walking with that group when we heard the gunshots, several gunshots that were fired, along with fireworks. And it looks like according to one of the officers here on the scene that this -- this happened behind here.
We don't know much more than what the police have already put out, which is that this one officer was shot. And that's about all the details we have at this point. This is something obviously that many of the officers here and the city has fear that there would be some protests with turned violent. And certainly if this officer as the police are saying was shot. This is definitely going to be an escalation here and we're going to see how police respond.
But what they're doing now Anderson is they're trying to just block off all the -- all of the intersections here and trying to keep people away. A lot of the protesters have left. And so, right now it's just police and they're obviously investigating the shooting.
COOPER: And no details -- have been given Shimon the -- does is the protest continuing. Obviously, that area is now roped off.
PROKUPECZ: That's right. This area's roped off. There are still a lot of people on the street, right? We're worried about maybe 10 minutes or so away from curfew. So, that's going to bring us some confrontation with police. So, the group that was here, there was a lot of them. Most of them have dispersed. We don't know where they went. But they're still on the street here. As we approach the curfew, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Shimon, thank you very much. Be careful, we're going to continue to monitor the situation there in Louisville and other cities.
Now, the White House for President Trump this evening talked again about his thinking as to what he'll do after the election even for him, it was pretty remarkable.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, real quickly, when loser draw in this election? Will you commit here today for a peaceful transfer of power after the election? And there is been writing (INAUDIBLE), there's been writing in many cities across this country read and your so-called red and blue states. Will you commit to making sure that there is a peaceful trance for all of power after the election?
TRUMP: Well, we're going to have to see what happens. You know, that I've been complaining very strongly about the ballots and the ballots are a disaster.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's been that, but people are rioting. Do you commit to making sure that there's an peaceful transfer (INAUDIBLE) --
TRUMP: You want to have get rid of the ballots and you'll have a very transfer -- we'll have a very peaceful, there won't be a transfer, frankly, there'll be a continuation. The ballots are out of control, you know it. And you know, who knows it better than anybody else. The Democrats know it better than everybody else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: President not saying he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he lost. Let's talk about that with CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, David Axelrod, former senior adviser to President Obama and a CNN senior political commentator.
Jeff, twice, the President was asked about committing to a peaceful transfer of power. I mean, it's a pretty, I mean, any president would say, of course, they would commit to a peaceful transfer of power. Not this president.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: You know, not only has no president ever said anything like that, as far as I'm aware, no president has ever thought anything like that. You know, one of the touchstones of American democracy is when the two presidents the incoming and outgoing president, take the limousine together from the White House, to the Capitol for the swearing in, including, you know, the defeated President Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush, and Bill Clinton.
They sit there together in the limousine as a symbol of the peaceful transition of power. I don't see any scenario where Donald Trump agrees to participate in that sort of ceremony, even if he loses this election. And I think it's tragic, but revealing about his character and his presence.
COOPER: And, David, before you answer, I just want to tell our viewers, we were keeping pictures up from Louisville, Kentucky. The police have said one officer has been shot. We don't know that officers condition. But we're just trying to monitor events as best we can. We have several cameras in different locations. So that's why those images are up.
David, I mean, your thoughts on his comments? DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, I can live with him not participating in the ceremony of the transfer of power, but he's basically giving license to people to take to the streets if they don't like the result of the election. And what he said was we want to get rid of the ballots, and you'll have a very peaceful and then he had pause, he said there won't be a transfer, frankly, there will be a continuation. He's saying let's just discount all these right in balance.
Well, there was a poll over the week, over the weekend that said 74 percent of the people who say they're going to take write in ballots are say they're going to vote for Joe Biden, he knows this too. And this is a way of disqualifying or trying to disqualify votes and giving license to people to believe that it's not valid if Donald Trump doesn't get elected.
So, now the president likes to throw the word treason around, you see it in his tweets all the time, it strikes me that this comes very close to that. And it's really, really alarming and something not just Democrats, but Republicans should be appalled by and should speak out about.
COOPER: And, Jeff, it's not just as David said, taking to the streets, it's taking the streets in a demonstrably not peaceful way. I mean, it's one thing to, you know, take to the streets and protest but, you know, violent protests where we've seen an officer shot here, that's not acceptable.
TOOBIN: And he's in he's talked about militias in his tweets. And this is related to the Supreme Court too, remember he has said that the reason he wants a nomination jammed through on this totally expedited schedule is because he wants to challenge the -- those mail-in votes and the Supreme Court and he wants his justice on the court at the time. I mean --
COOPER: He said that out loud. That's incredible.
TOOBIN: Everything was what he's doing is trying to deal legitimize the traditional elections that we hold and create this structure that allows him to stay in power.
COOPER: David, what do you expect? I mean, what do you expect to happen now? You know, after election night, I mean, at this point, do you see any way to avoid some sort of, you know, political conflict, at the very least in the days and weeks after election?
AXELROD: Look, the President could not be clearer. He is going to do better on election night that he ultimately will because 60% or 62% of his voters say they're going to vote on Election Day, their votes will be counted on Election Day. But the write in votes, many of them will be counted after Election Day, so long as they're postmarked before Election Day.
And he will claim when those votes come in, that he had won and the votes were taken from him. I think he's setting up that scenario. There are only two outcomes in his mind. Either he wins or the election was rigged. There's no third option. And it's very dangerous because he is sending a signal to people that they can take to the streets with guns if they don't like the outcome of this election. It is really a horrifying thing.
COOPER: Yes. David Axelrod, Jeffrey Toobin. Appreciate you being here with us. Thank you very much.
We're getting close to the top of the hour when Louisville's curfew takes effect. Again, one police officer we're told has been shot. We don't know much more than that. We don't know anything more than that about the officer's condition. We'll go back to one of our reporters there when we continue.
COOPER: Back to Louisville where curfew takes effect in just about a minute and a half. Police say one of their officers has been shot during tonight's protest over grand juries decision on the killing Breonna Taylor. Jason Carroll is back with us. Jason, what's going on where you are?
CARROLL: Well, Anderson, first of all, we're trying to get more information about that officer that has been shot. We are awaiting more information to look behind me you can see that the police tape has been set up here. And most of the protesters who are out here have disperse just a quick recap of what happened. It was just about 20 minutes or so ago we were walking where that overpasses not far from what that is.
It was a large group of demonstrators, I'd say about a couple hundred. We heard what sounded like fireworks and then seconds after that we heard the gunfire. Immediately everyone started running. Police moved in almost just as quickly. Most of the crowd at that point dispersed and at this point, as you say, we're just minutes away from the curfew.
Now, I heard one of the organizers out here with some of those demonstrators who were, you know, who are out here and who were left. He simply said look, curfew is now coming underway. We want you to move to a church that's nearby. It's private property. We want you to get off the streets. But certainly a tragic ending to a night that where we've seen small fires being lit. We saw some damage being made to a building as these protesters made their way from Jefferson Square Park to about a half mile away to where we are now. Anderson.
COOPER: Jason Carroll. Thanks very much. Our coverage continues now with Chris in "CUOMO PRIMETIME". Chris?
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right, thank you Anderson. We're monitoring the situation right now. I appreciate your coverage. I am Chris Cuomo.