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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Case Building Against Jackson Doctor?; Tanning Beds and Cancer
Aired July 29, 2009 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, there's breaking news in the Michael Jackson case, the first inside account of what happened in the Jackson home when it became clear that something was terribly wrong.
Also tonight, a money battle in the making over the Jackson estate, money trouble for Michael Jackson's doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray, revelations about Dr. Murray's past, and, more importantly, new information about what could be his immediate legal future, at least one major arm of the investigation, the feds, tightening their focus.
As always, Randi Kaye has got that angle first.
Randi, what's the latest in a case that appears to be building against Dr. Murray?
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There has been -- has been some movement here, Anderson.
First, let me tell you right away that a federal law enforcement official is telling us -- quote -- Dr. Murray is the "only one" they are looking at. Once again, that's from a federal source, saying they're only looking at Dr. Conrad Murray.
It's important to point out that we know other doctors' records have been subpoenaed, but now, with three warrants served on Dr. Murray, clearly, he is the central focus. Remember, his lawyer told us they were searching his property, looking for evidence in the offense of manslaughter.
Also, Monday, a source told CNN that Murray gave Jackson the powerful sedative propofol, which authorities believe killed him within 24 hours of his death.
Dr. Murray's lawyer's office said told me today they do not think an arrest is imminent, because they haven't seen any proof or even an autopsy report.
Also, that third meeting between Dr. Murray and investigators has yet to be scheduled. I'm told his lawyer is ready to talk, but, Anderson, nothing is on the books.
COOPER: So, Randi, detectives searched Dr. Murray's Vegas house yesterday. Today, you have learned that he may lose that house to foreclosure. Why?
KAYE: Well, we have the documents, actually, as proof of this. Murray's loan from the bank for his country club home in Las Vegas was $1.65 million.
Turns out he failed to make his payment of just over $15,000 last January, and has been racking up debt ever since. I called his attorney about this to see what's up. And a spokeswoman confirmed he is facing a threat of foreclosure and told me -- quote -- "He was to be paid $150,000 a month by Michael Jackson. He was not paid by AEG, the tour promoter, or Jackson for the two months he worked for them. So he's low on money," she said.
Meanwhile, if Dr. Murray fails to pay up by mid-August, he could lose his house. And you may recall this is not the first time he's been in financial trouble. We reported last week he had more than $400,000 in judgments for debts against him.
COOPER: You also have new details about what happened the morning Jackson died.
KAYE: Right. This is our really first inside look as to what happened in the house that day.
His chef, Kai Chase, told CNN that Dr. Murray usually came down to the kitchen around, say, 10:00 a.m. or so to get Mr. Jackson something to eat or drink. But, on June 25, the day he died, the doctor did not come downstairs, according to the chef, until noon. The chef said that, at that point, Dr. Murray came running halfway down the stairs that led to the kitchen, screaming -- these are the chef's words -- "Hurry. Get Prince. Get security."
She said the house became chaotic, security guards rushing around, housekeepers crying, and that Paris, Michael Jackson's daughter, was screaming, "Daddy, daddy." The chef said everyone gathered in a circle, and they all prayed.
COOPER: You also have some new information tonight about another run-in with the law Dr. Murray had a couple years ago. What happened there?
KAYE: This was actually, Anderson, a case of domestic abuse. It happened in Arizona back in 1994. Deputies responded to a domestic abuse call. We have had confirmed Dr. Murray was arrested for domestic violence, disorderly conduct.
We're told by Tucson police and the county attorney there that his girlfriend had accused him of having an affair, and that she threw something at him. He had allegedly pushed her down. He was acquitted about five months later.
COOPER: And we're just now a couple days away from what could be a significant hearing to determine who controls Jackson's estate. Do we know, Randi, what the estate is really worth at this point?
KAYE: I asked that question today, and a source with knowledge of the estate dealings told me late today -- quote -- "It's at least worth $200 million," could be worth a lot more since with all of his record sales and all that since his death, actually. Katherine Jackson's lawyer tonight coming out saying the will is not notarized, but my source told me -- -- quote -- "It's not a requirement or custom in California to notarize a will."
So, here's the question. Is Mrs. Jackson's lawyer suggesting the will doesn't hold up because it isn't notarized? Because he's the same guy who has said he's not challenging the will. So we seem to be getting some mixed signals here from the same person. And from what my sources say, Mrs. Jackson really wants just a seat at the table. She wants some control and some money.
But the way it breaks down already, Anderson, Jackson's kids will get 40 percent of the estate, and Katherine Jackson's, his mother, will get another 40 percent. Another 20 percent will then go to charity. So, this has some people asking, what more does Katherine Jackson want?
COOPER: All right, Randi Kaye, thanks very much.
A quick reminder: Chef Chase will give her full account tomorrow night on "LARRY KING LIVE."
We're also hearing tonight from Joe Jackson, interviewed on NewsOne channel. He has said quite a few controversial things since his son's death, in terms -- in addition to promoting his new record venture, but this surely is one of them.
As such, we ought to mention that CNN has not been able to confirm a word of what Mr. Jackson says. Not a surprise.
With that in mind, listen to what he's saying about the long- rumored Michael Jackson love child.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael may have had another child. I guess Omar is his name? And then there was -- oh, he was sitting right there next to Rebbie, and everyone's trying to go connect some doubts. Do you know that as Michael's other son?
JOE JACKSON, FATHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: Yes, I knew he had another son. Yes, I did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he looks like a Jackson?
JACKSON: Oh, yes, he looks like a Jackson. He acts like a Jackson. He can dance like a Jackson.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Joe Jackson's view, even though the man he's talking about is on record denying it.
Let's dig deeper now Jami Floyd, anchor of "In Session"'s "Best Defense," also, senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin on the idea of another son. It doesn't really influence again, although I guess, potentially, could be an issue in the will?
JAMI FLOYD, "IN SESSION" ANCHOR: Sure. Sure. It could certainly influence challenges going forward with regard to the estate, which, on that last point, the 40/40 and charity split, the real question I think for Katherine is how much is the estate worth. I think that is her question on challenging that.
But Joe Jackson, very cagey there. He doesn't say this boy is that other son. He just says, yes, sure, I knew there was a son, and, yes, this boy kind of looks like a Jackson, and, yes, he can dance. But he never says, this is that boy I knew to be the other son.
COOPER: Joe Jackson does not make sense when he talks.
COOPER: Joe Jackson -- I'm serious -- I have never heard someone who makes less sense when they talk.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: I was just about to say...
FLOYD: Yes, sort of like a politician.
TOOBIN: If that's what you picked out of what he said, you're -- you're -- you're -- you're better...
COOPER: It's like a Rorschach test.
COOPER: You can pick out anything you want from what Joe Jackson says.
TOOBIN: I have no idea what he's talking about.
COOPER: Let's talk about more important matters on this subject.
COOPER: The fact that Dr. Conrad Murray had these financial problems and is in foreclosure, does that in any way, Jeff, change the picture?
TOOBIN: I feel like I'm here most nights defending Dr. Murray. I don't think this has much to do with anything. He declared bankruptcy in 1992. So what? He had a domestic violence issue, which he was cleared.
TOOBIN: So what? I just -- he took this job, which theoretically paid $150,000 a month, because he wanted the money. Well, most of us get jobs because we want the money. So, I just don't think...
COOPER: You mean you're not here for the love of talking about it?
TOOBIN: I do love talking about this, but it's also nice to get a check.
And I think that's true for most people at their jobs. So, I don't think the fact that he had financial problems is terrifically important.
COOPER: Although, if somebody is so beholden to -- if their house is now in foreclosure, after not getting paid for two months, I guess, it does -- I wouldn't want my doctor to be on the verge of bankruptcy and more liable to do stuff -- I mean, perhaps it would make someone more liable to do things.
TOOBIN: To keep the patient happy.
COOPER: Yes, to do whatever this person wants.
FLOYD: The domestic violence thing is entirely irrelevant to me. This isn't a domestic violence case.
FLOYD: So, I think it's irrelevant.
But I think the state of his financial affairs is highly relevant. And it does reflect, I think, on the quality of his medical care that he could provide to Michael Jackson. I mean, this is Michael Jackson. Why does he have this doctor? That's the question I have.
And we should say that this doctor's patients have come out in fierce defense of the man in the wake of all of this. But I think there are going to be real questions about the quality of care, already are real questions about the quality of care that he provided for Michael Jackson, whether it's accident, negligence, nothing at all. But I don't think it's irrelevant that the man, from almost the very beginning of his career as a practicing physician, could not manage his financial affairs, as a doctor and just as a citizen in Nevada and in the other places where he practiced. COOPER: I want to talk about the legal battle and also the financial battle that seems to be brewing. We're going to -- stay with us for a moment.
More on the criminal and the state angles next.
Later, how tough is it to do what Michael Jackson apparently did, get doctor after doctor to write prescription after prescription for drugs that are supposed to warrant the tightest regulation? Well, 360 M.D. Dr. Sanjay Gupta got the answers, both undercover and on the record.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: When a patient comes in for these types of pills, how do you -- how do you know that they're not doctor-shopping or getting pills from all sorts of different sources?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only way is to -- if we don't know the patient, we actually try to verify the -- you know, the prescription.
GUPTA: You verify the prescription.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
GUPTA: But -- so, is there anything else you can do?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Also tonight, in her own words, the woman whose 911 call landed Harvard's Henry Louis Gates in handcuffs. She says it targeted her for allegations of racism. And that is not all -- her emotional public statement ahead on 360.
COOPER: It's plenty hot in Las Vegas, even hotter, safe to say, for Michael Jackson's personal physician, Conrad Murray. Randi Kaye tonight reporting he's facing foreclosure on his home there. As for the legal case, Randi cites a federal official telling her that Dr. Murray is -- quote -- "the only one they're looking at in connection with Jackson's death."
And there seems to be a battle in the making over Jackson's estate and who runs it.
Back now "Digging Deeper," our legal panel, "In Session's" Jami Floyd and CNN's Jeffrey Toobin.
So, I mean, let's talk about this financial battle. Does this seem, Jeff, like a case of a mom just, you know, protecting her brood and -- and -- and wanting -- I mean, if she was not named a executor in the will, what right does she have to try to become a co-executor? TOOBIN: I don't think she has any rights.
I think this is sort of a general shot across the bow: Don't neglect me. Don't cut me out of the action.
But, look, if Michael Jackson had wanted her to be his executor, he could have named her. He didn't. He named two professional people. And she's on the outside. And this, I think, is not a legally defensible action she's taking.
COOPER: There is a no-contest, though, clause in the will, so that, if somebody contests the will, then they no longer become a beneficiary of it.
TOOBIN: Right. And, very carefully, she's not yet contesting. She's asking for documents. She's asking to be...
TOOBIN: ... to certain information, but she's no dummy. She's not risking her financial...
COOPER: So, are -- are executors of his will under any legal obligation to give her documents?
FLOYD: Yes, they are. I mean, they have to act in good faith and with the court, and they will.
And one of the things that's nice about estates and trusts, although, in law school, perhaps it's not the most interesting of subjects, but one of the things that's great about it is, you look at the document, and it's pretty clear what the now deceased person wanted to have happen. And I think that will happen here.
TOOBIN: And this will is pretty clear.
FLOYD: It's pretty clear. And as long as...
COOPER: Right. Every paragraph is initialed.
FLOYD: Every paragraph is initialed. And as long as these folks act in good faith, and she doesn't officially contest the will, I think it will all shake itself out pretty quickly.
COOPER: In terms of the case against Dr. Murray, I mean, where do you see this going? What happens next? TOOBIN: Well, the prosecutors...
COOPER: If it's true -- I mean, Randi -- Randi had one source, federal source, saying that they are zeroing in on Dr. Murray. But there are apparently more than a dozen doctors out there...
FLOYD: That's the feds. That's the feds.
COOPER: Right. There are more than a dozen doctors out there who prescribed drugs to him.
TOOBIN: There are two real issues with this case. One is, did he act unlawfully? Did he do something wrong in the last days of Michael Jackson's life?
That's an important question to answer. The larger question that I think a responsible investigation will do is, what is the context here? How much access did Michael Jackson have to drugs?
FLOYD: Right. Right.
TOOBIN: What other doctors were giving him drugs? What is Michael Jackson's history of taking drugs himself? What names did he use? All of that, you will need to know, because, if you prosecute Murray, he's going to say, why are you looking at me? There's this long history out there of other people who -- who were involved as well.
FLOYD: I think, when that report comes out, that toxicology, that's the watershed here.
The cause of death, I don't think, is going to be as entirely clear as we think. I don't think it's necessarily going to be that moment in time with Murray standing over Michael Jackson and some untoward intentional act happens, which is sort of the speculative thinking that's going on now. I don't think that's what happened at all.
And when that report comes out, it may well be that the feds, and certainly local law enforcement, start looking at some other doctors that had interactions with Michael Jackson, plastic surgeons and others who perhaps were involved in procuring medications for him that maybe he shouldn't have had access to, using aliases and the like.
And we know that prescription drug medications, and overdose, and overuse, and abuse is a growing problem in this country, and this may be a big case that helps blows that wide open.
COOPER: All right, Jami Floyd, appreciate it.
Jeffrey Toobin, as always, thanks.
As always, there's a lot more online at AC360.com, including Elvis Presley's former doctor, the notorious Dr. Nick, now 82 years old and speaking out about accusations that he overprescribed drugs to his famous patient. Up next: How easy is it these days, with all the latest and tightest rules and regulations, to get massive quantities of prescription drugs? Dr. Sanjay Gupta went looking for answers. And what he found is pretty surprising.
Later, Dr. Gupta sheds new light on the cancer risk of tanning beds. That glow you're getting could be anything but healthy.
COOPER: So, we now know investigators have identified 19 doctors so far -- 19 -- who wrote prescriptions for Michael Jackson. Even more stunning, to get those prescriptions, investigators say Jackson apparently used 12 different aliases.
Using a fake name is one way to game the system of checks and balances that is supposed to keep patients safe. So is doctor- shopping, which is pretty much what it sounds like, finding friendly doctors who are willing to prescribe you the drugs that you crave. You don't even have to use a fake name.
Of course, once you have a prescription in hand, you have to get it filled at a pharmacy. So, we wondered how easy it would be to get past that final obstacle.
We asked 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta to take us "Up Close" -- Sanjay.
GUPTA (voice-over): Well, Anderson, I can tell you, I write prescriptions for narcotics all the time, as a neurosurgeon. But I do worry and wonder about my patients. Are they getting narcotics elsewhere? Are they out doctor-shopping?
How easy is it to get your hands on lots of narcotics? So, I decided to put it to the test with the help of my producer, Matt Sloane, who is going to be wearing a hidden camera and walking with me into pharmacies. I'm going to walk in and see if I try and can get prescriptions for narcotics filled at a couple different places within the same day.
Let's take a look.
UNIDENTIFIED PHARMACIST: Is there a contact number for you?
GUPTA: Four-zero-four, eight-two-seven...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Patient Gupta, please return to the pharmacy.
GUPTA: So, that took about 15 minutes. I was able to walk in with my prescription and about $20 on my charge card. They asked me for my address, and I walked out with 40 pills of narcotics.
The pharmacist -- the pharmacist in here has done nothing illegal at all. But the real question I have is, how much more narcotics could I possibly obtain today? Take a look.
So, we have made our way to another pharmacy to try and figure out -- I got another prescription here. Can I get my hands on some more narcotics? Come on in.
UNIDENTIFIED PHARMACIST: Hi.
GUPTA: Hey there.
UNIDENTIFIED PHARMACIST: How are you?
GUPTA: Doing well.
UNIDENTIFIED PHARMACIST: OK. Can I see your I.D.?
And the key words here are "as needed," OK? There's more information about the medicine. Just -- again, just be careful.
When I -- when a patients comes in for these types of pills, how do you -- how do you know that they're not doctor-shopping or getting pills from all sorts of different sources?
UNIDENTIFIED PHARMACIST: The only way is to -- if we don't know the patient, we actually try to verify the -- you know, the prescription.
GUPTA: You verify the prescription.
UNIDENTIFIED PHARMACIST: Right.
GUPTA: But -- so, is there anything else you can do? So -- but, if I walked in with cash or a credit card, having just gotten some narcotics at another pharmacy, I could get some from you really no problem?
UNIDENTIFIED PHARMACIST: Again, I would not know. Nobody would know.
GUPTA: I wasn't try to go do any kind of gotcha journalism, but are you surprised by what I was just able to do today over the last hour?
UNIDENTIFIED PHARMACIST: You know, you're a -- a clean-cut, well-dressed man, OK, educated man. Not unusual. I verified the prescription. I -- OK.
UNIDENTIFIED PHARMACIST: I -- I usually -- the second the person crosses that threshold, I can tell if something is not right. And if I don't feel right, I don't fill it.
GUPTA: A lot is based on you and your sort of gestalt...
UNIDENTIFIED PHARMACIST: Correct.
GUPTA: ... instinct?
UNIDENTIFIED PHARMACIST: That's exactly right.
GUPTA: Thanks (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED PHARMACIST: OK.
GUPTA: Appreciate it.
UNIDENTIFIED PHARMACIST: OK.
GUPTA: You know, it was -- it was fascinating for me, Anderson, I have to tell you. I had really seen that -- that part of it before.
Georgia, where I was -- where I am today, does not have a drug- monitoring system, which makes it a particularly attractive place for people to -- to go doctor-shopping to do exactly what I was able to demonstrate for you today.
COOPER: And -- and, as you said, I mean, that guy did nothing wrong.
COOPER: He went through all the checks and balances that you're supposed to.
I know you're an advocate of having some sort of centralized database, which would basically take the onus off the pharmacists' gut instinct.
Doesn't one already exist? I mean, doesn't the DEA track this stuff?
GUPTA: Well, you know, there's a couple of things.
First of all, it's not at the federal level. Some states do have some sort of monitoring, tracking system, about 38 states. There was a proposal by President Bush four years ago to create a national monitoring system, but it didn't get funded up until this year. So, there's nothing at the national level.
What I think is more interesting, Anderson, is that it's not like one of those things, let's say I got narcotics filled at one pharmacy, it would automatically show up at the next pharmacy. Someone would still have to have some degree of suspicion and go in and query my record. There's still a degree of patient confidentiality. So, they can only do it if there's some sort of suspicion. There's nothing that flags it for people.
COOPER: So, how can law enforcement catch people abusing the system? Is that something that can only be done, you know, in retrospect?
GUPTA: Well, a lot of it is -- as you heard there, some of it is the gut instinct. The first line of defense are going to be doctors, pharmacists, nurses who sort of get an idea about patients, and -- and call the DEA or tell the DEA.
After that, the DEA can go back and start -- and start tracking prescriptions for an individual patient or an individual doctor. But, again, a lot of that, as you say, is in retrospect. So, there's nothing sort of prospective, sort of trying to prevent these things from happening in the first place.
COOPER: All right, Sanjay, stick around. I want to get your thoughts on this new study, right, about -- getting a lot of attention, a lot of people talking about it today, about tanning beds and cancer -- some international researchers putting tanning beds in the same risk category as cigarettes and arsenic. We will talk to Sanjay about that.
Also ahead, you heard the 911 call that led to Harvard Professor Henry Gates' arrest. Tonight, for the first time, hear from the woman on the other end of the phone in her own words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUCIA WHALEN, MADE 911 CALL: I was called racist, and I was a target of scorn and ridicule, because of the things I never said.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Still ahead, a disturbing new study about tanning beds and skin cancer -- why they may be as dangerous as smoking.
First, Erica Hill joins us with a 360 news and business bulletin -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, an al Qaeda group now claiming responsibility for the deadly terror attacks in Indonesia earlier this month. The July 17 blast at two luxury hotels in Jakarta killed nine people, including at least two presumed suicide bombers, and wounded 50 -- more than 50, rather.
CNN has identified, meantime, an eighth suspect accused of plotting a violent jihad overseas. Jude Kenan Mohammad and seven others who were already under arrest were allegedly part of that North Carolina group. They face charges of supporting terrorism and conspiracy to commit murder abroad.
Bernard Madoff is revealing new details about his billion-dollar Ponzi scheme. In a candid jailhouse interview with a lawyer representing some of his victims, Madoff said he expected authorities to catch him years ago. Madoff met with the SEC in 2005, and says, if his scheme had been discovered then, billions of dollars would have been recovered.
And a Chicago woman being sued for libel after complaining about her apartment on Twitter. She tweeted -- quote -- "Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon Realty thinks it's OK."
Yes, Horizon Realty didn't think that tweet was OK, so now it's suing for $50,000 in damages. But what I found interesting, Anderson, apparently, they didn't contact her to take the tweet do down. They said -- and I believe the quote was -- "Sue first; ask questions later."
COOPER: Wow. There you go. Watch out.
Still ahead: a small Texas town where long-running racial tensions are now exploding -- the latest on the unsolved murder that has pushed the town to the breaking point.
And breaking news on health care reform -- a deadline missed, a deal cut. What does it mean for the fight still ahead? We will have "Raw Politics" coming up.
COOPER: Tomorrow night, at a picnic table on the White House lawn, President Obama will have a beer with Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and the officer who arrested him.
Tonight, Attorney General Eric Holder is weighing in on the controversy, telling ABC News he knows what it feels like to be a victim of racial profiling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, ABC NEWS)
ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I was a young college student driving from New York to Washington, stopped on a highway, and told to open the trunk of my car, because a police officer told me he wanted to search it for weapons.
And I remember, as I got back in the car and continued on my journey, how humiliated I felt, how angry I got.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, Professor Gates' arrest of course sparked anger and debate across the country. Tonight, the woman who made the 911 call that landed him in handcuffs says she would do it again.
In her first public comments since the arrest, Lucia -- Lucia Whalen also says she only made the call after an older woman without a cell phone told her she was worried someone was breaking into the house. Now she's worried people think that she's a racist.
Here's Lucia Whalen, in her own words, today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUCIA WHALEN, CALLED 911 ABOUT HENRY LOUIS GATES: As people around the country were saying and thinking the worst things of me, my family knew the truth, and their support made all the difference.
I am proud to have been raised by two loving parents, who instilled in me values including love one another, be kind to strangers, and do not judge people based on race, ethnicity or any other feature other than their character.
Cambridge is a wonderful place, and when I was called racist, and I was a target of scorn and ridicule because of the things I never said, the criticism hurt me as a person, but it also hurt the community of Cambridge. Now that the tapes are out, I hope people can see that I tried to be careful and honest with my words.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And it bears repeating, she did not mention race in the 911 call, and she says she didn't mention it to Officer Crowley. He in the police report said that that is where he heard it, so clearly there's a discrepancy in that police report.
In a city in Texas, race relations reached a boiling point. Fueling the fire, two groups: white supremacists and members of the New Black Panthers Party. The fascists have been violent, involving hundreds of people at times, and there may be more to come.
At the center of the battle, a brutal and unsolved death. Gary Tuchman has tonight's "Crime & Punishment report."
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The sights and sounds, like something out of a dark chapter in America history.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You get justice. We will give them exactly what they came across the street for.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you understand?
TUCHMAN: The story is about justice and deep-seeded racial suspicions. The question is what really happened in this highway outside Paris, Texas. This man, Brandon McClellan, was hit and dragged by a vehicle and left dead on the road. These two men, who knew the victim, were arrested, charged with murder and sat in jail for eight months.
This man, who did not want his face shown on video, is one of them.
(on camera) You're saying you guys didn't hit him? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's what everything says.
TUCHMAN: You mean the evidence. What do you say?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I say we didn't hit him.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Eventually they were released. Investigators say they had a lack of evidence. But some say the decision was a cover-up.
CRYSTAL MUHAMMAD, NEW BLACK PANTHER PARTY: I believe without a fact -- without a doubt, without -- beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the cover-up is based on racism.
TUCHMAN: City officials say Paris is roughly 70 percent white, 20 percent black. Jacqueline McClellan has lived here her whole life. Her son was the victim.
JACQUELINE MCCLELLAN, MOTHER OF VICTIM: To me, it seems like everybody that I have -- that's white that I put my faith and trust in, I ended up getting the shaft.
TUCHMAN: The case has proven to be a magnet for both white and black supremacist groups. The New Black Panther Party was drawn here.
OLINKA GREEN, NEW BLACK PANTHER PARTY: We're going to liberate our people wherever we see oppression to the Nazis and to the Ku Klux Klan. We're not backing down. We're not angry. We're just about our people.
TUCHMAN: Many of the Panthers carry guns. They say they have concealed weapons permits.
(on camera) So the weapons that you say you have with you, you'd be prepared to use if you had to?
DERICK X, NEW BLACK PANTHER PARTY: Of course we will, to defend our lives by any means necessary.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): And if that sounds extreme, you need to understand the history here.
(on camera) Racial disturbances are important stories to tell, but in a place like Paris, Texas, it's particularly important. That's because of what has happened where I'm walking right now. This is the Paris fairgrounds, home of annual fun and festivity.
But in the late 19th and 20th centuries, white people would gather here at some occasions to watch black people get lynched.
(voice-over) The past is painful to most people in this town, of any color.
(on camera) You saw the almost rioting in the streets. How did it make you feel?
JEFF FABER, PARIS, TEXAS, RESIDENT: I was saddened. I don't think it reflects the community or the town that we have correctly.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): While the two men are no longer accused of murder, the facts are still anything but clear. In a court document, the authorities say the bottom of the truck had been washed after the accident and driven through tall grass in an attempt to remove possible evidence.
But then months later another trucker called to say he could have hit McClellan on the road that night. He has not been charged.
(on camera) So, all in all, when people say that the system is racist because you weren't charged, what's your reaction?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the system might be racist, but it has nothing to do with my charge.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): So in the death of Brandon McClellan, everything is right about one thing. Justice has yet to be served.
COOPER: So are these two men in the clear?
TUCHMAN: As of now they're in the clear, but there's a special prosecutor in this town. And he tells us if he finds out about relevant evidence, he could reinstate the charges against these men.
I think it's important to point out, though, the critics don't accuse these two men of being racist and running this man down. They say that everyone was drunk and that's why it happened. But they do say, the critics, that the system is racist. But the people in the system say they're following the law.
COOPER: And the folks who are protesting, those skinheads and the -- the New Black Panther Party, they don't live in that town. They just descended on this town.
TUCHMAN: And Ku Klux Klan members, by the way. Some of them from each of these groups, we believe, live in the town. But most of the members in the New Black Panther Party came from Dallas, two hours away.
COOPER: Wow. Gary Tuchman, appreciate it. Thanks.
Up next, a late new development in the health-care fight. New word of an impasse on the Senate side, but a compromise among Democrats in the House. Candy Crowley has the "Raw Politics." And if you want to ask Candy a question, just text it to AC360. That's 22360.
And let's hope this guy has some good health insurance. A German man -- do we have that? There it is. A German man rides a roller coaster on roller skates. Is he crazy? That's our Shot tonight. We'll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Breaking news tonight on Capitol Hill. We are just hearing this from congressional producer Ted Barrett (ph). He has learned that two of three Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee who were negotiating a bipartisan deal on health-care reform now say they consider an agreement out of reach before the Senate goes on its August recess.
That is certainly unwelcome news for President Obama, who earlier today took his health-care sales pitch on the road.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Right now we have a system that works well for the insurance industry, but it doesn't always work for its customers. What we need and what we will have when we pass these reforms are health insurance consumer protections to make sure that those who have insurance are treated fairly and insurance companies are held accountable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, meanwhile, back in Washington, the White House Democratic leaders and four fiscally-conservative house lawmakers, the blue dogs, were hammering out a deal to move ahead on the legislation.
Now, as part of the deal they agreed to delay a house vote on health-care reform until September. Tom Foreman has more in "Raw Politics."
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, this is just more and more complex. The deal with these conservative Democrats, the so- called blue dogs, is promising, because resistance from conservatives have really been coming close to hanging this whole thing up in the arms of defeat.
They got these blue dogs on board -- the promise of it here -- by promising to cut the overall cost by $100 billion and getting a break for small businesses. If your payroll is under a half million, you won't have to provide health care.
The problem: this does not in any way guarantee that these conservative Democrats will support the final version of the bill on the House floor. And oh, by the way, support still looks very shaky for all of this in the Senate, Anderson, as you noted at the beginning.
COOPER: Yes, so opponents of the measure insist that a government health-care option is going to unfairly undercut private insurance, and pretty soon everyone is going to be stuck with government care. What's happening on that front?
FOREMAN: You know, Anderson, Democrats are very excited, because they're waving around a new report from the Congressional Budget Office, which analyzes such things. And they're saying the critics are wrong. A government option will not get rid of everyone's choices. That's been one of the president's promises. They're thrilled the CBO -- to hear the CBO say that that's not really going to be a problem.
But here is the problem. It's that other CBO report, which says the reform plan is so expensive it will balloon the deficit. That report came out a couple weeks ago, and it's still hanging like a dark cloud over this whole business, Anderson.
COOPER: Considering how much opposition this measure faces, Democrats have got to be happy at least that at this point it's still alive?
FOREMAN: Sure. They have made progress. They brought some people along, and that gives them time to rally some more support, and they're promising to do so.
So the good thing is they made more time. The bad thing is they made more time, because that's giving the opposition time to strike, too. And look at what's going to happen over the August recess. All over this country, members of Congress are going to be hit with ads like this that will be happening everywhere, going for or against this. They will be just pounding away on this, and there will be a lot of them against it, trying to force these people to make up their mind.
They're also going to meet with thousands and thousands of constituents, and the public tide has been turning slowly against this.
What it comes down to, Anderson, is these guys are going out into the buzz saw of public opinion out there, and the promise from Democrats in the beginning is that they were going to have a brand-new Mercedes of a health-care plan. And now even Democrats are saying it looks a little bit more like they might wind up with a used Hyundai. And they'll say it's still a car; it's still a win; it's still reform, but not really what they were starting out after, Anderson. At least, that's the best bet right now in Washington.
COOPER: All right. Tom Foreman, thanks.
Let's dig deeper with Candy Crowley.
Candy, President Obama obviously had wanted this to happen before the August recess. Obviously, that's not going to be the case now. What kind of political risk comes with this timetable?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Any time a piece of legislation that deals with huge issues and is necessarily controversial hangs out there day after day after day, it really becomes a pinata.
One of the reasons that the president wanted this done quickly is because he understands that principle, that the longer things are out there -- from the White House point of view, the longer things are out there, the more critics have time to make up things, they believe, to say things that are incorrect and drive down public opinion.
The critics will tell you that the more Americans learn about what's in this bill, the more likely they are to be against it. So time is not on the side of controversial legislation.
COOPER: I want to give you a question from a "text 360" viewer, a viewer in Illinois wants to know, if health-care reform is passed, what type of timeline exists? Do we know?
CROWLEY: We don't know exactly, but I will tell you it will not come soon enough for some people. And first of all, we don't know exactly what elements are going to be in the bill once it does get -- if it does get to the president's desk.
But if you, for instance, if this bill calls for a -- the so- called public option -- that is, a government insurance pool that businesses or individuals can buy into -- that is going to take a huge infrastructure. I read somewhere that it might be -- in order to put all of these things into place, it might take 100,000 new federal employees. That sounds really high to me, but it could be -- it's a huge plan.
I mean, you're talking about government putting together a health-insurance plan that already does Medicare and Medicaid and that infrastructure. But it's just going to take a while. And you cannot overnight have health insurance companies going, "Sure, we'll get rid of preexisting conditions clauses." All of that has to be phased in. So it will not be quickly.
COOPER: All right. There are also two new polls out tonight, both showing less than 50 percent of the American people approve the way the president is handling health-care reform. "New York Times"/CBS poll has a number of 46. "The Wall Street Journal"/NBC have 41 percent. Obviously, not good numbers for the president, and for that matter, for his critics.
CROWLEY: Well, what's going to have to happen here is more, I think, of what you saw today, which is the president out there pounding away. And what the White House now is looking at, so much of this discussion has been about bringing in new people that do not have health insurance, somehow getting them insured. It has also been about being deficit-neutral.
In fact, what you find when you look inside those poll numbers is that the people who are increasingly getting to be against this plan are the people who already have insurance.
So what did you see today? You saw the president out there going, "Listen, this is going to bring down your premiums. You're going to do the preexisting conditions, get rid of them." It was all aimed at people who have health insurance to convince them that this bill is in their best interests. Because we also see in those polls if you say to people, "Well, what do you think will happen if this bill and it's -- roughly in its current form is passed inside?"
They say, "Well, I think it will get more expensive. I think it will be really more confusing than it already is. And I don't think I'll be able to pick my own doctor." So that's a high hill, but that's where the president, who is his own best salesman, really needs to get out there and push, and I think they know that. And as for opponents, they're going to take advantage of this time now, and they're going to hit home and say, "Listen, you get a bit government-funded plan, you're not going to get to keep your doctor. You're not going to, you know, have a preexisting clause." So there's lots of things in there for everyone, lots of things in polls for everyone to go out and pound home.
COOPER: All right. New strategies. Candy, thanks. Appreciate it.
As President Obama tries to sell his plan to Americans, he's been getting personal at times. You can go to AC360.com to read the president's interview about his own mother and grandmother's health- care experiences.
Coming up next, tanning beds cause cancer. That's what a new report -- well, it puts them in the same category as cigarettes and arsenic. Should you be concerned? How accurate is the report? Sanjay Gupta is going to bring us the facts.
And a 360 follow: the dangers of testing while driving. It's going to be banned nationwide. We have details on that.
COOPER: A new warning about tanning beds is raising all kids of questions tonight. An international cancer research group has moved tanning beds and ultraviolet radiation into its top cancer risk category, right up there with cigarettes and arsenic. Researchers say they're now certain tanning beds and UV radiation definitely cause cancer.
For years, scientists have described them as probable carcinogens. So this new ranking is a step up the risk pyramid. What exactly does it mean? Three-sixty M.D., Dr. Sanjay Gupta, is here again to put it all in perspective.
It sounds incredibly serious. What's the significance of it, Sanjay?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, exactly as you said, the mantra from the tanning industry was, like if we're just using UVA rays, they may be a probable carcinogen, but it's not a definite carcinogen.
Now they're saying specifically that, with what we know about tanning beds, they're moving it up from that probable carcinogen level to the highest level, the class 1 level, which says there is a definite possibility of developing cancer. It doesn't mean anyone who's used a tanning bed is going to get cancer, but it is a possibility.
You have a 75 percent higher risk of developing cancer if you used a tanning bed consistently before the age of 38, as compared to if you didn't. So this is, in part, a numbers thing and in part a classification thing. Really, this idea that for a long time it was probable, people didn't know for sure and now it's a more definitive thing I think is sort of the meat of all this, Anderson.
COOPER: I want to read this statement from the Indoor Tanning Association. They obviously take issue with this report. They say, quote, "It is completely responsible to compare indoor tanning with mustard gas or arsenic." They say that, instead, it's comparable to exposure to the sun.
I mean, is that accurate?
GUPTA: Well, I mean, in some ways they're right. I t does seem absurd in some ways to compare somebody who's lying in a tanning bad to being exposed to mustard gas.
But this really isn't about the magnitude of the risk. Obviously, some things are going to be a much riskier thing than other things. But with regard to tanning beds, they're saying, "Look, there is really a definite sort of cause-and-effect sort of relationship here now." As opposed to probable there is more definitive evidence now about this.
So you can't say this is like arsenic, but you can say in isolation, tanning beds alone could potentially be cancer.
COOPER: Would you want a family member of yours to go out to -- hang out in a tanning bed?
GUPTA: No. I mean, I certainly wouldn't recommend it, but you know, being out in the sun, even outside the tanning bed, I recommend not being out in the sun for too long, because there are risks of that, as well.
But I've never big fans of tanning beds. I thought they've been a little -- it's a little strange, just as a general thing. But I wouldn't recommend it on a medical level, either.
COOPER: All right. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, appreciate it. Thank you very much. Obviously, I'm not a big tanning bed person myself, as I am the palest person on the planet.
Let's check in on some of tonight's other stories. Erica Hill joins us again with a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, the other person who clearly doesn't tan very often on this show.
Anderson, there is a new battle plan for swine flu this fall. Government health officials now recommending the first vaccinations go to children 6 months or older, their parents, pregnant women, health- care workers, and anyone with high-risk medical conditions. They expect about 120 million vaccine doses to be available by late October.
A "360 Follow" for you: four Democratic senators want a nationwide ban on texting while driving a car, a truck, even buses and trains. As we reported this week, a new study suggests those who text behind the wheel are 23 times more likely to get in an accident. Fourteen states already have a ban on texting while driving.
And could it be the next big thing in golf? Say hello to the llama caddy.
COOPER: Oh, no!
HILL: I mean, why not? Unless it's cruel. They seem OK. Every Tuesday at this North Carolina golf course, you can rent a llama to carry your clubs. Just don't count on any golf tips. I don't think.
COOPER: Do you have to then also rent the little kid who walks the llama, like in that picture? Apparently not.
HILL: No, those probably come free of charge. Yes.
COOPER: I wonder what the llamas have to say about all that.
HILL: Don't forget to tip your llama.
COOPER: Yes, I guess. I don't know. I have no comment.
HILL: It's a tough act to follow.
COOPER: It is. Where do you go with that?
HILL: How about "Beat 360"?
COOPER: OK. Time for a "Beat 360" winners, our daily challenge to viewers and llamas, a chance to show up our staffers by coming up with a better caption for the picture we post on our blog every day.
HILL: They like...
HILL: They like the music, the llamas.
COOPER: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano riding the subway with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. My next-door neighbor has llamas.
Our staff winner tonight is...
HILL: It's getting better by the minute.
COOPER: Our staff winner tonight is summer intern Suvro. His caption: "Erica Hill made a great point last night. I say let's scatter blue M&M's for the rats on the subway."
(SOUND EFFECT: LAUGHTER)
HILL: I think we should get Suvro a job.
COOPER: I think so, too.
HILL: I'm just saying. COOPER: He's still in school, though. Who needs an education?
The viewer winner is Nan from Wenatchee.
HILL: Kind of fun to say, even if you're saying it incorrectly.
COOPER: I love it, I love it. Wenatchee, Washington. The caption: "I believe the delay is due to that traffic-stopping little number you're wearing there, Janet."
(SOUND EFFECT: DRUM BEAT)
HILL: I love it.
COOPER: I think I put the wrong emphasis on that sentence. Anyway, Nan, your "Beat 360" T-shirt is on the way.
Coming up next, our "Shot of the Day." Taking a roller-coaster ride to a whole new level. Do not try this at home or at your local roller-coaster park. You won't believe this guy. I mean, basically you will. We'll show you what he did. We'll be right back.
COOPER: All right. Time for "The Shot." If roller-coaster blading -- roller blading, excuse me, in Central Park, Erica, isn't exciting enough for you -- and I know that's what you do pretty much every weekend...
COOPER: ... with your entire family. You should give this a try. This is Dirk Auer. Or "Or."
HILL: How about "ow"?
COOPER: He's skating down a roller coaster. He covered 3,000 feet in just 60 seconds. That's about 60 miles an hour, and I'm told a world record. I'm not sure how many other people have attempted this. There's an actual record, of course.
HILL: I don't think we should advise anybody to do this.
COOPER: Yes. Dirk is considered to be the most extreme in-line skater of the world, according to himself. He already holds the world record for reaching speeds of 190 miles an hour as he was dragged along behind a Porsche.
HILL: I'm not sure about that. He apparently designed his own skates for this feat.
COOPER: Really? HILL: Gary Tuchman is an avid roller blader.
HILL: He brings his roller blades everywhere he goes.
COOPER: I know he does. He told me about it.
HILL: I hope Gary doesn't try this on a roller coaster.
COOPER: I think I -- have you roller bladed?
HILL: No. I had them once, and I wasn't very good at it. To stop I would literally throw myself onto a grassy knoll. I'm not the most coordinated gal in the world.
COOPER: Yes, all right. I just -- I think I would -- I think they look goofy.
HILL: It's a great workout. True.
COOPER: All right. And plus you've got to wear the helmet and the thing and the knee pads.
HILL: You ride a bike, though, right?
HILL: You should wear a helmet when you ride a bike. I wear one with my bike.
All right. Coming up at the top of the hour, the latest on the Michael Jackson investigation. We'll be right back.