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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
McCarthy's Bid To Quash January 6 Commission Underscores Split On Trump; Interview With Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO); Protests In North Carolina After DA Decides Not To Charge Deputies In Shooting Death Of Black Man; Source: WH Believes Signals From Israelis Indicate Campaign In Gaza Could Wind Down In Coming Days; Israeli War Planes Pound Gaza As Hamas Rocket Fire Resumes; Retired Navy Commander Says She Witnessed Something "Unsettling" Off Coast Of San Diego; House Passes Anti-Asian Hate Crime Bill. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired May 18, 2021 - 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: So again, we asked, why would anyone vote against a bill that would protect Americans? Protect people who live in the United States?
Well, 62 of them did. The bill goes to President Biden's desk this week.
Thanks so much for joining us. Anderson starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
A man who was justifiably frightened by what he saw at the Capitol on the 6th of January, but had a moment of courage which allowed him to stand up to the President of the United States has now completed his metamorphosis. There will be no more moments of courage from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
And as you'll see his defense of that transformation, it is striking in its cynicism and intellectual dishonesty.
Last night, along with breaking news on the election lie, we touched on reporting from CNN's Jamie Gangel on McCarthy's motive for opposing a bipartisan commission on the Capitol attack. Our sources telling her that he was concerned about being called to testify about his conversation with the defeated President that day, but also about what happened between Election Day and the attack.
So that's where we left it last night, with the expectation that a vote approving the commission would come Wednesday, tomorrow.
Well, today pretty much right on cue, Leader McCarthy came out against the deal. Surprisingly, no one, but still shocking, some. This is Representative Jim McGovern from Massachusetts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JIM MCGOVERN (D-MA): We have some Members of Congress who are basically saying that what happened, what we all experienced, what we saw didn't really happen. I mean, enough. And I've had it.
I mean, I talked earlier about talking to staff members, talking to people, kept telling the Capitol Police, talking to people who work in the cafeteria who are traumatized by the attack on this Chamber.
I mean, this was -- the Vice President of the United States was a target.
It is pathetic. And I -- you know, I'm sorry for the -- for venting. But you know, I'm worried about this institution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Leader McCarthy has not commented on camera. However, he did put out a statement outlining his objections. Chief among them that the focus of a bipartisan commission investigating the attack on January 6th won't be on lots of other things, like people who were not marauding through the Capitol during the attack on January 6th.
Quoting now, "The renewed focus by Democrats to now stand up an additional commission ignores the political violence that has struck American cities, a Republican Congressional baseball practice, and most recently, the deadly attack on Capitol Police on April 2, 2021."
So McCarthy is trying to lump together two admittedly heinous attacks by individuals and a campaign of largely, though not exclusively, peaceful demonstrations declaring that Black Lives Matter with a singular event, unique in this country's history, and it is not only us calling it that or Democrats or never Trump Republicans.
As it was happening, that's precisely how McCarthy described it, too.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I have been in this Capitol for more than 10 years, I've never seen anything like this. What is happening right now is unacceptable.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: "I have never seen anything like this." "Unacceptable." He said on that day. And he was right.
He and we were witnessing what the distinguished political scholar, Larry Sabato today called, quote: "America's first real attempted coup." Now, whether or not Leader McCarthy saw it that way, at the time, he clearly knew it was unique, unacceptable, he said. He knew what was wrong and his own actions suggest he knew exactly who had lit the fuse.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCARTHY: As the Capitol was being overrun, I called the President and I talked to the President. I explained to him what was going on right now, and I asked him to go and speak to the American public, speak to these individuals and tell them to stop. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Which eventually the President did, he said that he loved them. They were very special people, to go home with love.
Today, that man who had some backbone in the moment to call the President of the United States when he himself was under threat, Leader McCarthy that is, and even days later criticized the President for his role now says the worst attack in American democracy by Americans since the Civil War is just one in a string of unrelated incidents.
Whatever courage and leadership McCarthy showed that day now appears gone, overtaken by kind of cynical political calculation he has never even really tried to hide very much. Or if he has, he's not pretty good at hiding it.
Here he is five years ago when he was focused like a laser on investigating only one thing over and over and over again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCARTHY: Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she is un-trustable.
But no one would have known any of that had happened, had we not fought --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So he supported every single one of the many Benghazi investigations, none of which produced any major bombshells, all of which served a larger political aim, which you just heard him acknowledge there. It was, he admitted, right there what you might call an act of political misdirection.
COOPER: And the funny thing about words and hypocrisy and projection, that is just what he is now accusing Democrats of today, quoting again from his statement, "Given the political misdirections that have marred this process, given the now do duplicative and potentially counterproductive nature of this effort and given the Speaker's shortsighted scope that does not examine inter-related forms of political violence in America, I cannot support this legislation."
"Given the political misdirections," he says, as he argues that existing House panels can handle the investigating. So listen to some of his party's lawmakers, other fellow congressional Republicans on those existing panels and see if you can pick out the political misdirections.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JODY HICE (R-GA): It was Trump supporters who lost their lives that day, not Trump supporters who were taking the lives of others.
REP. PAUL GOSAR (R-AZ): Outright propaganda and lies are being used to unleash the national security state against law-abiding U.S. citizens, especially Trump voters.
As a result, the D.O.J. is harassing -- harassing peaceful patriots across the country.
REP. ANDREW CLYDE (R-GA): There was no insurrection, and to call it an insurrection, in my opinion, is a bold-faced lie. Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol and walked through Statuary Hall showed people in an orderly fashion staying between the stanchions and ropes, taking videos and pictures.
You know, if you didn't know the TV footage was a video from January the 6th, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: You know, I've seen that guy say that like five times now and I still just find it sickening. I mean, painting a violent assault as a Washington school field trip, and in that guy's case, Congressman Clyde's case, knowing misdirection.
Take a look at this image, "The Washington Post" tonight published several photos of the congressman, this one from "Roll Call" Magazine shows him second from the top left, helping barricade the House Chamber door.
By the way, I give him props for actually helping law enforcement try to barricade the door. Notice he wasn't out there. He didn't say, no, no, we don't need to barricade the door. These people are just like tourists. In fact, I'm going to go out and talk to them because they're just here like tourists, just -- they're just wandering through Statuary Hall taking pictures standing between the ropes.
No, he was barricading the door, afraid of those people and he was right to be afraid. Members of Congress in that room were being told to take off their pins that identify them as Members of Congress for their own protection.
Just another day at the Capitol. That's now what he is claiming. The guy has no shame.
He is not alone in downplaying what even for him was at the time, potentially life and death moment. Certainly, thought it was. He is barricading the door. He is not the only one asking us all now to look the other way, nonexistent ballot fraud or asking us all to pretend that what was said that day wasn't really for real, even though the mob clearly thought it was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PERSONAL ATTORNEY: Over the next 10 days, we get to see the machines that are crooked, the ballots that are fraudulent, and if we are wrong, we will be made fools of. But if we are right, a lot of them will go to jail. So let's have
trial by combat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Yesterday, in response to a lawsuit by Congressman Eric Swalwell, lawyers for Rudy Giuliani argued that he wasn't literally advocating for an insurrection over the 2020 election results at a rally whose entire theme was advocating for the overturning of the election.
Congressman Mo Brooks is also named in the lawsuit. He is the one who told the crowd, "It's time for patriots to start taking names and kicking ass up on Capitol Hill."
Tomorrow, Congressman Brooks will vote on the bipartisan commission. So will Liz Cheney who wants Leader McCarthy to testify before, so will Leader McCarthy for that matter. They're all -- they'll all be on record.
As for what happens in the Senate, Republican Leader McConnell was noncommittal and says his members are undecided. Given what the country went through that day, given what each and every lawmaker went through that day and knows what happened, given how deeply this assault on democracy is likely to echo through history -- what a strange thing it is to be noncommittal about investigating.
In the meantime, CNN's special correspondent Jamie Gangel's new reporting on the state of play. She joins us now along with CNN's chief political analyst, Gloria Borger.
Jamie walk us through, if you will, of your reporting. What's behind Kevin McCarthy's opposition to this commission? And why is he so afraid to testify?
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: So Kevin McCarthy sent his colleague, New York Congressman John Katko in to negotiate a deal that Kevin McCarthy never wanted. He just never told John Katko that, and the Democrats made concession after concession and John Katko thought he had made a great fair, to use his words, "bipartisan deal."
GANGEL: I am told by many Republicans in the conference, do not underestimate how badly Kevin McCarthy wants this commission to go away. One said to me, quote, "Kevin got too scared. He can't let it go anyplace." And it's very simple. He is scared of Donald Trump. He does not want to testify about that phone call on January 6th. He does not want to testify on what happened in the weeks leading up to it, the conversations he had with Trump, the meetings.
And he also, I'm told, could be asked about conversations he's had with Donald Trump since January 6th, that famous picture at Mar-a- Lago. What did they talk about at lunch? All the phone calls they've been having now. Did Donald Trump along the way ever say to Kevin McCarthy, maybe you
can clean up that phone call? We don't know. But knowing Donald Trump, it's within the realm of possibility.
COOPER: So, Gloria, what do you make of the fact that McCarthy's decision, ultimately -- I mean, it ultimately comes down to fear, fear that if there is a commission, he'll be called as a witness and fear of you know, of daddy in Mar-a-Lago, you know, sending out a mean tweet if he ever gets back on Twitter?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, exactly. As Jamie was saying, he is afraid of Donald Trump. I was talking to a Republican strategist today who said to me, Trump is going to say Kevin was weak and Kevin is afraid of that. He doesn't want that to happen.
It's happened to him too many times before and it has hurt him, and all he is thinking about, of course, is the potential for him to become Speaker of the House, but there is a chance and I was talking to one House Republican about this, who is for a commission, who said to me, look, this could boomerang.
Kevin McCarthy has played this so badly. One day, he's backing off. He has got Katko negotiating; the next day, he says, I'm not going to, you know, I'm not going to be for it, but I'm not going to whip it. I'm not going to make you vote one way, then he changes his mind.
And then he puts Mitch McConnell in a tight spot in the Senate, where now McConnell has to figure out how he can play his Senate Republicans, so they don't get caught, vulnerable ones in states where House guys vote against the commission, and are with Donald Trump, and a senator might be for it and then Donald Trump goes after that senator, so he is -- they're not thrilled with him.
COOPER: And Jamie, what are you hearing from people you talk to, your source about how other House Republicans feel about all this? Because I mean, obviously, McCarthy's hypocrisy is on full display. He's hardly alone though.
GANGEL: Right. I'm hearing that more and more members of the Republican Conference are, as Gloria just said, not happy with Kevin McCarthy. He is alienating the very people who he needs if they take back the House in 2022 to vote for him. And I'm hearing that he is alienating moderate Republicans.
The Freedom Caucus could betray him just on a whim, that's what they do. One Republican source said to me, quote, "There's a lot of drama right now and Kevin is in a perilous position." I'm not talking about right now, I'm talking about the long game as Gloria pointed out.
COOPER: Gloria, as we just mentioned, though, Mitch McConnell was noncommittal on a January 6th Commission. He said today, the Senate G.O.P. is undecided about the way forward. I mean, is there any chance there's enough Senate Republicans to actually vote for it in the Senate? I mean 10 Senate Republicans?
BORGER: There is. Yes, you know, there is a chance. I mean, you had -- you know, you had seven Republicans who voted for impeachment. But now, this makes life a lot more difficult. And of course, the irony here is, we know what Mitch McConnell thinks of Donald Trump's role in the insurrection.
He went to the floor of the Senate and he said that Donald Trump provoked the insurrection. I guarantee you that Mitch McConnell wouldn't mind some kind of a commission that would come out officially for history for the accountability of the Republican Party and the country to come out and say that, but his job number one, and as always, is to protect his flock.
And now, Kevin McCarthy has made such a mess of it, he is trying to figure out what he can do. You know, I don't know -- I don't know where he is going to wind up, but today he was clearly backing off and backing away from outright support for any kind of commission saying, well, we have to make sure the staff will be bipartisan. We have to make sure that it's limited in scope, et cetera, et cetera.
So I don't know how this is going to wind up.
COOPER: Gloria Borger, Jamie Gangel, thank you. Appreciate it.
And for more on this, perspective now from Colorado Democratic Congressman and former Army Ranger, Jason Crow. You'll recall, he is one of a number of combat veterans called upon during the siege to lend their expertise and provide whatever comfort they could to people who have never faced this kind of danger before. We spoke just before airtime.
COOPER: Congressman Crow, you see this change in strategy from House Republicans tonight. They are now actively whipping their members to vote against the January 6th Commission plus all these indications that Kevin McCarthy isn't just opposed to the commission, he is frankly worried about the commission and how it might impact him. Do you think he should be worried?
REP. JASON CROW (D-CO): Well, you know, if you're Kevin McCarthy and your only interest is becoming the Speaker of the House and you're not afraid of what you need to burn down in order to get that. Then, yes, he should be afraid of it because he has made the determination that it's not good to talk about January 6th, that he needs Donald Trump support regardless of Donald Trump's behavior and incitement of insurrection, and then he wants to sweep this under the rug.
Now he, you know, appointed one of his members to negotiate with Democrats in the House to come up with the compromise here. They did that. They came up with a bipartisan compromise. And now he is backing off of it.
So if I were him, yes, this is not in his political interest, but it is in the interest of the country. COOPER: There's also, of course, the question of, you know, and you
have talked about this in the past with me about were some members complicit in some way in what occurred before, you know, during or after, and that also needs to be investigated and this is the only way to really do that.
CROW: Well, in normal circumstances, if somebody has a conflict of interest, or if they were complicit in something, there would be recusal. That doesn't exist in the House.
So here you have Kevin McCarthy, I'm sure he's thinking to himself, I really don't want to be subpoenaed by this commission, and I really don't want to have to talk about under subpoena, under oath, my conversation with Donald Trump the night of January 6th. He doesn't want to talk about that and I understand why, of course, his reasoning is wrong, but there are other people who I do believe may have been complicit.
And I've always avoided jumping to conclusions here, but there needs to be an investigation that is impartial, hire experts to find the truth. And there, I think there are some folks that don't want us to get to that truth.
COOPER: Yes. I mean, I was really kind of stunned at, not really Kevin McCarthy, but just at the idea that we cannot even have a bipartisan commission to investigate the worst attack against America's democracy, probably since the Civil War; that we can't mount that is really incredible to me. I mean, that everybody would not want to know exactly what happened and how this happened.
CROW: Yes, you and me both, Anderson. It is incredible and here is the difference. I think we need to make a distinction between what America wants and knows that needs to happen because what America knows is that January 6th happened, it was a terrible day. This needs to happen.
There's a big difference between that and what's happening with Republicans in the House of Representatives and Kevin McCarthy, specifically.
COOPER: Also, on top of it, there are a number of Republicans in the House who are actively lying about what occurred on that day and portraying it while they were, you know, like everybody else, afraid for their lives, and understandably so, and barricading themselves, you know, barricaded behind closed doors during the attack.
They are now pretending like it wasn't an attack at all. That it was just like a bunch of tourists walking through taking pictures.
CROW: Well, let's take Kevin McCarthy, for example again. Here you have a man who hours after the January 6th attack, after we retook the Capitol and re-secured the seat of our democracy, we were all sitting on the floor of the House of Representatives and Kevin McCarthy himself, got up and gave a speech and called me out personally by name as one of the members that helped hold the breach and hold back the mob from taking the House floor. But now, you fast forward a couple of months and it didn't happen or
it didn't happen the way that we all remembered it happen or our eyes deceived us with a video footage showing something different.
You know, what we are seeing is just a really unprecedented attempt to try to change history here because they have determined it's in their political self-interest to do so.
I'm not going to allow them to do it. My colleagues are not going to let him do it, but we are going to preserve history and not just for the sake of integrity of history, but because we have a domestic violent extremist movement that has to be dealt with.
COOPER: The number two Republican in the Senate john Thune said say that McCarthy's opposition to the commission has made passage in the Senate a little more "uncertain," in his words. Democrats will need 10 Republican votes for it to pass. Are you confident those votes actually exist? Assuming -- that's assuming it passes in the House.
CROW: I don't know. I haven't done a whip count in the Senate. But I will say this underscores once again, the need to end the filibuster in the Senate because if we can't do something like have a commission about an insurrection that our country faced just a couple of months ago, if we can't pass commonsense gun violence prevention, voting rights bills, it's time for this arcane Senate procedure to come to an end because our democracy, frankly, at this point depends on it.
COOPER: Congressman Crow, I really appreciate your time. Thank you so much.
CROW: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: There's a lot more ahead tonight, including protesters on the streets right now after North Carolina authorities concluded that no laws were broken when Sheriff's Deputies shot and killed Andrew Brown Jr. in his car during an arrest. That and new video of the moment is next.
Later my conversation with a former F-18 fighter pilot about what she saw during one flight more than a decade and a half ago that she and other pilots still cannot explain to this day.
COOPER: Protesters have gathered tonight in North Carolina after a District Attorney decided not to bring charges against Deputies in the shooting death of a black man last month.
The DA explained his decision saying Andrew Brown, Jr., quote: "Ignored commands" and quote, "drove directly at a Police Deputy."
Attorneys for the family disagrees saying that portions of body cam footage released today do not indicate that Brown was using his car as a weapon.
So far, all the videos have not been released.
Today, the family petitioned the court for the full release. The Sheriff has also asked a court to release the video. He says the DA concluded that no criminal law was violated by the Deputies, however, quote, "This was a terrible and tragic outcome and we could do better."
Now because there's such an intense mix of opinion about what the tape shows, we want to show it to you now and we want to warn you this tape shows the end of a man's life and is disturbing.
[VIDEO CLIP PLAYS]
COOPER: I'm joined now by one of the attorneys for Andrew Brown, Jr.'s family, Benjamin Crump. Mr. Crump, I appreciate you joining us. I want to play the video again, as we talk to you. What is your reaction -- this is the first time I'm seeing it. What is your reaction to what it shows and to the District Attorney calling the shooting justified?
BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR ANDREW BROWN JR.'S FAMILY: Well, it's outrageous, Anderson that this District Attorney will attempt to whitewash this unjustified killing of a black man moving away from him, where they will shoot him in the back of his brain when he posed no threat of violence or harm to them, clearly based on their out of any harm's way, as he is moving away from them.
And this follows a pattern, Anderson, where black men in America who are unarmed are repeatedly shot in the back by the police all over America.
COOPER: I mean, there's no -- there's no suggestion that Mr. Brown was armed, and I guess the district attorney had said that by driving his vehicle in the direction of where an officer was, he was a danger to that officer. You reject that categorically.
CRUMP: We reject it categorically and we would ask that they release all the videos and the family would demand that they release the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations report, because transparency is the primary objective here.
If you are confident that this was justified, then why do you continue to refuse to release the video? The fact that you violated your own policies of shooting into a moving car is enough for those officers to have been charged with negligent homicide.
But when you tell us it's justified, and we see on the video that none of these officers were in harm's way. And we see this man shot to the back of his head, it tells us simply that this was a whitewash and that the local district attorney who is housed in the same building with the local Sheriff's Department seems to have made their mind up from the beginning that they were not going to charge these officers for killing this unarmed black man in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. COOPER: The District Attorney said he did not give the Brown family a
heads up before his announcement today because of what he called dysfunction in the relationship between the family and the prosecutor's office.
He also accused the family's legal team of misrepresenting the facts. What do you say to that?
CRUMP: I say the video is so clear that it doesn't need to be interpreted. Mr. DA Womble, why don't you release the video? We don't need you to interpret it for us. We can see with our own eyes what happened.
But the reason he wants to interpret it is because he wants to try to whitewash it, Anderson. He wants to try to justify the unjustified killing of this unarmed black man and that's why we are calling for the Federal Department of Justice to intervene immediately because his press conference did nothing to calm this situation and we refuse to let it be swept under the rug.
COOPER: Benjamin Crump, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.
CRUMP: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: Next, our own legal analyst weigh in on today's decision. What she sees in the video along with a former top police officer as we continue.
COOPER: Continuing with our breaking news out of North Carolina where protesters gathered tonight after a district attorney decided not to bring charges against deputies involved in the shooting death of black man. The D.A. cited a portion of the body cam video that's been released so far arguing it showed Andrew Brown Jr. Speeding his car away in the direction of an officer.
Moments ago, an attorney for Brown's family Benjamin Crump joined us, he called the D.A.s decision of quote whitewash of an unjustified killing and said that the police were not in harm's way.
Let's get perspective out from Laura Coates, a former federal prosecutor and CNN senior legal analyst and Terrance Gainer, former chief of the U.S. Capitol Police. He was also previously director of Illinois State Police and a former Chicago police officer.
Laura, first of all, what do you make of the video that the district attorney showed today that's just one of a number of body cam videos. This is the one that was released. Do you believe this was a justified shooting as he contend?
LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I mean, we don't have all of the videos here. And we should have that full transparency. And just to juxtapose this to what happened in the Brooklyn Center case in Minneapolis, the idea of releasing the video footage right away to instill increased trust in the system here you had the withholding of information, not preparing the family, the absence of transparency, talking about these issues.
And so, you have here this idea where they're trying to base it on and I have to decode this when I look at these, whenever I hear a prosecutor or a police officer talk about words like justifiable or reasonable or fleeing felons, et cetera. I'm reminded the 1985 Supreme Court case where the Supreme Court has already said in Tennessee versus Garner, you don't get to essentially substitute pursuit with just deadly force unless you are aware that the person poses a threat to the officers or the people in the community.
And what the D.A. was trying to suggest today was the use of a vehicle, the presence in the vehicle and its direction towards an officer was enough. And without all of the video to give that holistic perspective and vantage point, we are really at the mercy of the D.A.s interpretation of what has happened.
COOPER: Chief Gainer, I'm wondering what you make of what you see in the video because the D.A. says the video clearly illustrates the officers use deadly force quote reasonably and only after Mr. Brown used a deadly weapon in this case his car. Do you think he showed an imminent threat in your view?
TERRANCE GAINER, FMR CHIEF, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: No. The tape as Laura just said the film is not definitive, a lot more information is needed. And trust is so important in the system and I don't think the prosecutor helped build trust at all.
He made a statement that said something like a car is always dangerous, whether it's going forward, going back, going sideways or even, not even moving. That's a silly comment. And I don't think he had done anything of empathy to talk about what this may have been. The tactics look bad, the crossfire looks dangerous. So, there's so many things to unravel here.
COOPER: Chief, just in terms of police what is proper protocol. I mean, if somebody is fleeing the scene of an arrest of not wanting to be arrested, and they are leaving, in this case, he is driving off. And he clearly seems to be dry -- trying to drive away. You know, and he's been accused of the officer said that they had purchased narcotics from him previously. Is it OK to shoot at somebody who's not wanting to be arrested?
GAINER: Not in this circumstance, and not even how you lay it out, Anderson, there has to be a lot more to go into it. They knew who this person was, you can always come and get them again. And it goes back to the original tactics that they used, that allowed him to get away. But just flee in this set of circumstance does not seem to warn the use of deadly force, there's no reason to do that. There are other ways to do this.
And the other thing, the prosecutor said, when you listen to him, he said, if the first shot is legal, the second shot is legal, and the third shot is legal. And the fourth shot is legal. I don't agree with that at all, there's an obligation to de-escalate and to only use as much force is necessary. So he just can't prattle on like that, that a car sitting still is a danger to the officers, or as many shots as you want to make you feel better about it.
COOPER: Laura, is that -- I mean, does that I saw you shaking your head, the idea that you know, if one shot has been fired then multiple shots is fine.
COATES: Or remember, you have to reassess continuously that continuum of use of force, the idea of whether the use of force you're using is necessary and proportional. But at some point, it can become excessive. We've all become, in many respects, in that court of public opinion, those armchair lawyers who learn this in the Derek Chauvin trial if you didn't already know it before, but this idea here of being able to pursue, remember the context the Chief has actually right.
This was a warrant squad, essentially, they knew where he lived, they knew who he was, they knew the nature of the crime that he was alleged to have committed. They knew that it was not of a violent nature, they had no indication whatsoever that he was armed.
And so, all of that combined says the use of force continuum should it be at the lower benign end or at least pursue him. And again, the Supreme Court Anderson says, you don't get to substitute deadly force for pursuit. If that was the case, every time a car was pulled over who wanted to engage in a high speed chase or otherwise would be able to use lethal force, even if they did not present a threat to the greater community or the officers
COOPER: Laura Coates -- I'm sorry go ahead Chief.
GAINER: Anderson, I was going to say at least the sheriff based on what we've heard, indicates that there was either operational missteps here or tactical missteps, and he's going to discipline those officers. So, the obligation in a press conference like this is to be transparent, be empathetic, let the family know and lay out some of the facts that even if you could make an argument that it's legal there was so much wrong with this.
COOPER: Chief Gainer, appreciate it. Laura Coates as well, thank you.
(voice-over): Just ahead airstrikes in Gaza, casualties mounting. Israel thing it's expanding its attacks on Hamas' tunnel network. Source telling CNN tonight the White House believes an end may come soon.
Also, an interview with a Navy pilot who has seen what can only be called a UFO. Her story, up close personal account. When we continue.
[20:41:33] COOPER: As Israeli strikes continue in Gaza, at least one person familiar with the discussions between the White House in Israel believes their signals coming from the Israelis that their campaign in Gaza may wind down in the coming days. No timeline was given, however, people familiar with the matter say President Biden has warned Israeli -- Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu that pressure to call for an end to hostilities is growing.
Interestingly, this comes as Israel today said its mission to destroy Hamas' tunnel network and Gaza will be expanded in the coming days. According to figures released by Hamas, at least 217 Palestinians have been killed including 63 children buy airstrikes. Israeli officials say at least a dozen in Israel have been killed by fire from Palestinian militants.
More now from our Ben Wedeman who's in Jerusalem.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Explosions like the sky above Gaza as a brief overnight low breaks with fresh airstrikes from Israel. Gaza militants returned fire according to Israeli officials, and so began another day of violence.
Thousands of Palestinians protesting in solidarity with Gaza, taken to the streets in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Some clashed with Israeli police just north of the Old City, where several Palestinian families face forced eviction from homes claimed by Jewish settlers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're striking for our dignity. We have endured 73 years of occupation and humiliation and we've had enough.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Hamas, Fatah and Palestinian civil society groups calling for the demonstrations.
On the ninth day of cross border fire, the ninth day of devastation, the Israeli military says, we're playing struck nine rocket launch sites in Gaza, Tuesday, and targeted a tunnel system homes of Hamas commanders and an anti-tank squad in Gaza City. The strikes on militants catching civilians in the crossfire.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): A bereaved father in Gaza clutches his wounded baby, his only surviving family after airstrikes killed his wife and four sons. There are among more than 200 Palestinians killed so far in the conflict. Israel's Prime Minister says they're offensive will press on.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER, ISRAEL (through translation): We've taken Hamas years back. We'll continue as long as necessary to bring the quiet back to the citizens of Israel.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): In Israel, two Thai migrant workers were killed and seven people injured after a rocket strike on an Israeli farm just over the Gaza fence. Hamas and Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility as the death toll in Israel rises to 12.
Further north rockets also landed on the Israeli cities of Ashdod and Be'er Sheva. Some Israelis living in range of the rocket fire have fled to shelters for safety. Afraid more violence will come.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): My children are suffering from anxiety. They're so scared to sleep at home.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): A life of fear becoming the norm as civilians pay the price in a conflict raging on.
COOPER: And Ben Wedeman joins us now from Jerusalem. What's been happening overnight, Ben?
WEDEMAN: Well Anderson, this day of the generals strike has ended with four people dead. More than 200 wounded on the West Bank and Gaza itself within the last hour. An Israeli strike has left two more people dead. Anderson.
COOPER: Ben Wedeman, appreciate you being there. Thank you.
(voice-over): Up next, did a U.S. Navy pilot actually see an unidentified flying objects zipping across the skies off the coast of San Diego. I talked to her about what she saw along with other pilots who were flying with her. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Retired Navy Lieutenant Commander Alex Dietrich is a veteran combat pilot having flown F/18 fighter jets over both Iraq and Afghanistan. She up light up the internet in a "60 Minutes" interview this past weekend, not with her stories about combat missions, but instead by going public with what she and a fellow pilot saw off the coast of San Diego back in 2004. Something she says was unsettling.
The question is was it a UFO? There's still no official explanation. But now there is a unit devoted to unexplained phenomenon at the Department of Defense. Retired Commander Dietrich joins me tonight.
So Alex, first of all, walk us through what it is you saw.
ALEX DIETRICH, FMR U.S. NAVY F/A-18F PILOT: I want to be careful because it's been 16 years since that event --
COOPER: This was 2004?
DIETRICH: November 14th, 2004. And I just want to be careful, because we know right that the science of the mind and the science of the memory is we shouldn't rely too much on my technical account at this point.
But I will point out that we fit together our crew and I made thorough debrief on that day within minutes of landing, and that I made a written account with as many arrows and details and including columns and variants and altitudes and all of that, that I could within, I would say hours of landing. And then within a few years gave for thorough, almost interrogation style details to members of the Office of Naval Intelligence and a tip.
But, but I'll tell you, I'll tell you overall, what happened, it was that we were on a routine training mission off the coast of Southern California, off the USS Nimitz which is an aircraft carrier. That was with VFA-41, which is a Strike Fighter Squadron as a new pilot.
We were heading off to do air intercepts, we were heading off to do like a scrimmage, a practice area errand (ph) and we were redirected -- we were given vectors to go and intercept to see if we could intercept and identify a real world contact.
So, we are scanning where we would expect to see something that we're merging with, and we don't see it. But instead, we do see something in the water below us. And so, my heart sank, I went from being excited that we might go get those bad guys to, oh, no, those, those bad guys have crashed in our thinking. And now we're on scene commanders for search and rescue effort.
And then almost as soon as that happened, you know, enter stage left the Tic Tac. And that's what we affectionately refer to it as, because that's what it looked like, I get a lot of questions. What does it look like?
And I say, have you ever had a Tic Tac it looked like a little oblong, you know, little from, from our perspective at our altitude, but about the size of our normal aircraft fuselage. And it was white, it was sort of a matte finish, just like a Tic Tac. And it behaved in a way that we were surprised unnerved. It accelerated, almost didn't accelerate, right. It's sort of jumped from spot to spot and tumbled around in a way that was unpredictable.
And so, again, my commanding officer, Dave Fravor, Commander Fravor at the time, he took an aggressive maneuver to engage with it. Maybe the weak men and also uncomfortable and inexperienced, I said, OK, I've got high cover, which basically means I'm going to hang out over here, I got your back, but I'm not going to get involved too closely.
And so, he turned with it, and then it just disappeared. It zoomed out a picture so fast that we all then we're scrambling on the radio, and the whole time we're on the radio with each other just sort of losing our minds.
COOPER: I'm sure you've certainly given us a lot of thought, and I'm sure you've been asked a gazillion times, but do you believe? What do you think of it?
COOPER: What do you think it was? DIETRICH: Yes, every time I asked about this morning, what was it? I'm not qualified to make that analysis and part of the reason I agreed to speak with you and I agreed to speak on "60 Minutes" the other night was that you know, I'm trying to reduce the stigma for other aircrew.
So that if they see something or when they see something, they'll say something and then they will not feel embarrassed or ashamed to make the reports and that they'll know how to make the reports and where to make the reports and that they'll contribute to this data pool of information that we have.
So that those who are professional intelligence analysts and scientists can look at that information that is collected and consolidated and that they can make some really sound, you know, reasonable rational conclusions. Because no matter what size you are of the UFO or sometimes I'm actually just learning about now and shout out to my new friends on hashtag UFO Twitter that it's fascinated. I'm fascinated with their fascination.
And so, there they are hardcore enthusiasts or conspiracy theorists or hardcore debunkers. Or even there's, there's like this tribe of religious fanatics who are just I don't quite understand them yet. But they're all these different camps. And at the core, no matter how much they're attacking each other. What I see is that they all want answers.
They all want to know what it was. And we can't do that if we're just attacking each other or if we're shaming each other or sensationalized that we really have to cooperate and again, get more information, get more evidence so that we can come to some, some conclusions.
COOPER: Retired Commander Alex Dietrich, thank you so much. It's really fascinating. I wish you the best.
DIETRICH: Yes. Awesome. Thank you.
(voice-over): More news coming up, how the House voted today on legislation aimed at curbing rising hate crimes against Asian- Americans in the midst of pandemic? Details when we come back.
COOPER: The House has approved legislation aimed at curbing the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes happening during the coronavirus pandemic. The vote was 364 to 62, only Republicans voting against it. The bill passed the Senate last month by a vote of 94 to one so it'll now go to President Biden for his signature.
Among other things, the bill will create a new position the Department of Justice to oversee and expedite review of potential COVID related hate crimes because of incidents throughout the country. And if to emphasize the seriousness of the problem, police in New York City tonight say they're investigating an attack against a 48-year-old Asian man who was told quote, go back to your country, after an alleged assault in Midtown. The victim was punched in the face. Plice said and was bitten on the left hand.
That's it for us. The news continues. Want to hand over Chris for "CUOMO PRIMETIME." Chris.
CHRIS CUOMO: All right Anderson, thank you very much. I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to "PRIME TIME."
You got to put your eyes on Elizabeth City, North Carolina tonight. Demonstrators were on the streets. And it is because of today's decision by the district attorney the deputies were justified in the deadly shooting of Andrew Brown Jr.
Meaning officers had a reasonable fear that Brown was trying to seriously hurt or even kill them or somebody near them.