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Michael Brown Shooting Discussed; Police Report Examined
Aired August 15, 2014 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANTHONY GRAY, BROWN FAMILY ATTORNEY: But at the end of the day, when people are focused, reasonable-minded people, those who that do not have an agenda, who's looking at this for what it is, they're going to say, "Bump all that. Why did you shoot this unarmed teenager who has his hands in the air? Period"
DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right.
GRAY: You can talk about all that stuff ...
LEMON: Hang on, hang on, hang on. Why not a little bit, so don't go anywhere
So guys, I just want to -- show of hands, how many of you believe that this is relevant in what happen at the convenience store, if it indeed happened? Do you buy -- show of hands, do you think ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody does.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not just about it at all. They should have not shot him.
LEMON: How many ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They should have stun gunned him, why would you shoot him with his hands (ph) high? And then they got the police on leave with pay? They should have suspended him without pay.
LEMON: How many people think that the timing is suspicious and the release of this video by show of hands?
LEMON: How many people thing that they're trying to discredit his reputation?
LEMON: All right. How many of you trust the police in this area?
LEMON: How many of you trust Ron -- how many of you -- hang on, hang on in. How many of you trust Ron Johnson, the new guy who is in charge?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was a good move on Jay's part. That was the best thing that got us all together right now, Jay Nixon got us all -- right. Got us all together. And I can say a solution real quick? I got a solution real quick, OK. I got a solution right here.
It ought to be ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... Obama, Jay Nixon. OK. Obama, Jay Nixon, OK. Now, OK -- a solution is one, we -- it ought to be mandatory, world wide, that every police officer has a GoPro camera above his goggle or name tag.
LEMON: That is been a big debate. There should be -- hang on. There should be more transparency when it comes ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now second -- I got two of them, three of them. Second ...
LEMON: You got to go quickly. We don't have all day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Second is, OK, it ought to be mandatory for federal monitoring in every department in case something is cooped up underneath the carpet, the feds come in and ...
LEMON: There should be oversight. And number three, quickly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And number three is when they hire a police officer, OK? Before they hire him, they need to do a profile check from when he was in high school -- a background when he was in high school, if he was a racist, was bullied or whatever so it doesn't go to the precinct and then go to the street.
LEMON: Hold on, all right. If I let him talk, I'll be onto Anderson Cooper Show tonight at 8:00.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would just like to say that in America, we have the right to vote, we have the right to march 24/7 and the sad thing about all of this is the child was executed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So as inaudible people fed up the truth, he was executed here in this city.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And so we need to stop it all the way across America. No more execution with our children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And if we had inaudible, you'll see it. LEMON: So, listen, everyone here, this is what I was saying. I'm
going to let you talk, I'm going to let you talk. This is what I was saying with people here -- people here want to be heard. And they want to feel like they are -- their feelings are validated. And that's all they want, it's to be able to speak.
What did you want to say?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I was just saying to the attorney of the family, did he realize that last night on Chris Hayes, it showed that the prosecuting attorney for this case, McCulloch, was pretty critical of the change in leadership with the demilitarization of the police.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that's something is very ...
LEMON: That is something that's been in the St. Louis post-dispatch or something that's been in the New York Times and something that we have covered here on CNN. There is an issue they believe here with McCulloch, why -- what is that issue with him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His father was a cop. I think his father -- his issue is his father was a cop and may have been died -- and may have gotten killed in line of service. But he's been an officer quite -- pretty -- a lot of years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it's just unfortunate that here we have another weak prosecution set up ready to roll.
LEMON: Yeah. Yes, ma'am?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just wanted to say that we're calling for a silent protest tomorrow at 12 noon at the Ferguson Police Department in honor of fallen Michael Brown. It will happen at 12 noon. There will be no yelling and no signs. We want our hands to be up, don't shoot and our heads down praying, and also remembering the mother and father that are still grieving over their son.
LEMON: OK. So here's my question because everyone watching around their country and around the world, like it's -- they're thinking, it's going to be violence here that ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
LEMON: ... people are going to ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. You know what ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know what, a lot of stories that happened here have not been told. There has been peaceful demonstrations here that has not even been aired. And I'm saying from the youth ... LEMON: The cameras are drawn to the violence ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, yes. Anytime you decide to make it -- appear to be a standoff, and it's not a standoff here. We have more issues than a standoff and I am from a police family and it was not done right. And that's what the problem arise the way it is.
LEMON: You said that you don't think the people write ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police write it. I saw it, I'm from Atlanta, I flew in today. I'm from here. The police write it.
LEMON: So I'm going to play doubles ph out of you. We're standing here in front of this QT that's burned out. They're going to say the police didn't burn that QT down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They did not do it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police did not burn the QT and these are the dead Brown's family or the supporters of Brown's. These are opportunists. Opportunists and you have opportunists everywhere.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But, you know what? Inaudible get rid of all these small municipalities, you know, that's -- each one has their different rules like we can leave out of Ferguson and we're going to cross five municipalities and each one of them is going to have different sets of rules. Until the get on accord, all of these stuffs is going to keep happening. Like Florissant, no black officers, St. Ann, no black officers.
LEMON: Hang on. I think you bring up a very good point because there are -- I was talking to some people earlier who talked about they believe that the system is rigged. Come in here. Do you believe that you're targeted by police officers when you're driving or different roles? It's even worse in other towns here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, absolutely. You can go three feet to the left and three feet to the right and you're in a different municipality. But I tell you what, on every corner -- they all flooded ph down the street with black people. Black people lead ph all the way out to the street and that's Pace, Dale, Pine Hills Dale ph, Ferguson, traffic courts ph which makes up most on a budget. Most of their budget come from traffic tickets which is the black folks.
LEMON: And so let me just explain because I reported and people say, "Well, there are more African-Americans here," but not -- it's not the sheer number percentage-wise. Percentage wise and by Ron numbers as well, more people of color are stopped, not only for traffic citations but also for general violations more than whites in this community.
Does this - how does this make you feel to hear what these people are saying? GRAY: Well, what they're saying I've heard it numerous times before. They have very legitimate concerns. They're interest is very legitimate. It's rooted and grounded in history. The facts are there. I mean, you know, they say people lie but figures don't lie. And so the figures are there for them to have, the kind of frustration that they have. But it all comes down to one thing in this particular case, this sets the example of all of the other.
What happened on this day? And what was the mindset of this officer when he fired the shots on this young man as he had -- according to these witnesses, his hands up in the air. And I don't want to get off into side bar conversations, rabbit-trail issues, or anything else that would distract from that question, because from that question, you're going to deal with all the rest of this stuff. But I'm here to deal with only that issue and that issue alone.
LEMON: ... Michael Brown and his family. So I spoke to the ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have encounter with him ...
LEMON: Hang on, hang on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was maced. She was maced, had an encounter with Mike -- with Darren Wilson right here at this QuickTrip and she can tell you what happened while she was trying to get mace out of her eye.
LEMON: And again, we're going to -- I'm going to let her talk but again, this is -- these are your allegations. We have not reported this. But according to -- this is Daren Wilson, the police officer, what happened?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was maced and I had came up in QuickTrip because they said I can use their sink. So I was trying to clean up my eyes with some water and one of the employees she told me to go get some milk because that would help. So as I was pouring milk in my eyes, the officers had came up in and they told me to get out.
LEMON: Was this after -- when was this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is like a month ago.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I came outside and I was trying to put milk in my eyes and he told me if I pour milk -- Wilson told me if pour milk in my eyes, I was going to be arrested. And I was trying to tell him that my eyes were burning and I need to pour it in because I was maced, but he told me to shut the F up. So another man told me to get in my car and turn inaudible and put my face in front of the van ph. So that's why I did.
LEMON: So what happen -- what was -- anything, we're you arrested? Or what happened?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I wasn't arrested. When I got in my car and tucked ph around, and put my face in front of the van ph. Wilson made me get out the car and sit on a concrete and he took all my information and ran my name. And I was still trying to put a milk in my eye because I couldn't see and he said -- he's telling me to the shut the F up and sit the F down. And I looked at his nametag and I was telling myself that I will never forget he was and what he did to me or whatever.
And I prayed about -- and I inaudible to give a grudge ph on him. And I'm sorry that this what happened but what's done in the dark, always comes to the light. So now -- when I saw the news ...
LEMON: But you're OK? Everything is OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I'm OK now. And I saw the news this morning, when they released his name, I knew exactly who he was and I know who he is right now.
LEMON: All right. Thank you for sharing your story. But here's the thing that people here say that they are suspicious of the police department and when I spoke to the Ferguson Police chief this morning, he said, "He had no idea that the animosity and disconnect between the African-American community, and police." And I said he has been -- what 4.5 years, or 4.5 or 6.5 years here that he work for the county for many years before that and he had no idea then.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, all I could tell you is that -- is the reason why you see that kind of outrage that you're witnessing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The people and his community, they know that, in their heart to be absolute mistruth. Now, there are have been complaints that have been followed against officer at the officer at the Ferguson Police Department. And I've heard about to ...
LEMON: All right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sure. And I've heard about these various complaints over the years. So, to suggest that, you have no idea that there's a contingent of people in your community that distrust your police department. I think it's very disturbing.
LEMON: What is you want to say young man? Are you all right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. Remember the video surveillance that we had?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, just came out the photo.
LEMON: Oh yeah, we got it. We got it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) check this out, we got this. (inaudible)
LEMON: Yes, all right, great. Thank you, we got it brother, we got it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope that you got it.
LEMON: Well, did you want to share your story?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I don't have a story. I was just saying that if the police chief is saying that he did not know of the animosity within the community, then he needs to be fired. He is not in touch with this community. So therefore, how can he properly serve this community, if he so out of touch. And so it's important for us to understand that there are in competencies here that calls this situation we have.
LEMON: And inconsistencies. And this is--can I speak with you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
LEMON: OK. So listen, this isn't just about African-American in this community?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it's not. It's not African-American. It's for everybody. It's just that -- justice ...
LEMON: Yeah. Do you believe that there -- do you have a distrust of police in this community?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
LEMON: Why so?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because what I see it, what I hear it, you know?
LEMON: What do you see?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I see is that the guy shot him ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody said anything from police department.
LEMON: Stand by everyone. Don't go anywhere. I want to tell our viewers, update our viewers we're standing here live at Ferguson, Missouri at the QT that was burned out. Beside them for those protest have been happening most of them since as a couple of days ago have been peaceful, of course, there were some very ruckus video, ruckus, protest early.
This is a video that you're looking at, the surveillance video from inside of the convenience store, and this is supposedly, and I'm just getting this information that comes in. Dorian Johnson who was with Michael Brown when he was shot by Officer Darren Wilson will not face any criminal charges. Hang on, and I'm going to get to that in one second. I'm just getting in that information to my producers. But the video that you're looking at now is a video that was released from Tom Jackson just a short time ago that happened inside the convenience store where they're saying that Michael Brown supposedly stoles some cigars, some swisher sweets cigars, and then to had an altercation witnessed to our clerk, at first they released some still pictures and now the video that you should be looking at on your screen right now.
And from this video, if we look at it, if the videos (inaudible) clear, I can't see it. It will be, whoever is looking at it, and whoever is determining whether it is Michael Brown, it will be given a clear picture of exactly what went down and what may have precipitated that.
The other information that we are getting that I said just moments ago, and talk about that Dorian Johnson who was with Michael Brown and he is been a witnessed. Wolf Blitzer interviewed him as well.
Its Dorian Johnson who with Michael Brown when he was shot by Officer Darren Wilson will not face any criminal charges in regard to the robbery where Brown is seen in the video and stills released today. We have determined he committed no crime and that is according to Chief Tom Jackson of the Ferguson Police Department.
Wolf, there you have it, a lot of people here need to gets their feelings out, the video is out as well from inside the convenience store and then new information now from the police department regarding the man, the young man who was with Mike Brown, Dorian Johnson.
BLITZER: OK, Don, terrific reporting over there and we're showing the viewers the video. I know you can't see it but we do see the man who was suspected to be Michael Brown, there he is pushing the clerk there, walking out allegedly after in his hands are a bunch of cigars that he supposedly allegedly stole from the convenient store leaving, you see the clerk following him.
And that supposedly is Michael Brown the 18-year-old teenager who shot and killed moments later by a police officer. Don, do we know that the police officer in question was now been identified as Darren Wilson? Do we know that he was looking for this suspect in this strong arm robbery as it called is this convenience store and that's why he stopped Michael Brown to begin with? Is that clear to you?
LEMON: Why he stop Michael Brown by the officer you said?
LEMON: Why he stopped them? Did he think he was (inaudible)? Yes. So if you look at the incident report, it shows and there's a timestamp on it. It shows that inside of a store what happened? The clerk called 911, moments later, it says, the officer was on a call, I think it was an emergency call but involving an ambulance or what have you.
And so he gets a call, he comes over to the convenience store. Well, he gets to the convenience store, whoever did the robbery had left.
He gave a description of them, what they were wearing, he said, it was too young men, tell them what they were wearing, and then the officer said, he went to canvass the neighborhood and upon canvassing the neighborhood, he run across two people who fit the description of what the store clerk gave him, and that is how the whole altercation happened after he canvass the neighborhood and came across someone who was wearing the same clothes and fit the description of the two men who the clerks that where in the store.
BLITZER: Yeah, I'm sure he got the police officer. Well, used that as the lawyer for the Brown family told you as some sort of contacts that why he initially stopped Michael Brown and his friend Dorian. All right, stand by, Don Lemon is there on the scene, we're going to have more of our special coverage right after this.
BLITZER: Welcome back. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington. We're going to get back to Don Lemon momentarily is on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri getting reaction to the major developments that have occurred in the past few hours including the police releasing information about what they call a strong armed robbery at a convenience store, the allegation they make that Michael Brown, the 18-year-old, was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson was involved in that alleged strong armed robbery.
We just got a statement in from Michael Brown's family and attorneys. Let me read some of it to our viewers, "Michael Brown's family is beyond outrage at the devious way the police chief has chosen to disseminate (inaudible) information in a manner intended to assassinate the character of their son following such a brutal assassination of this person in broad daylight."
Statement adds, "There is nothing based on the facts that have been placed before us that can justify the execution-style murder of their child by this police officer as he held his hands up which is the universal sign of surrender. The prolonged release of the officer's name and then the subsequent alleged information regarding a robbery is the reason why the family and the local community have such distrust for the local law enforcement agency. It is no way transparent to release these ill photographs, alleged to be Michael Brown, and refuse to release the photographs of the officer that executed him."
And the statement adds, "The police strategy of attempting to blame the victim will not divert our attention from being focused on the autopsy, ballistics report, and the trajectory of the bullets that caused Michael's death. And we'll demonstrate to the world this brutal execution of an unarmed teenager." Don Lemon, stand by for a minute. Tom Fuentes, our law enforcement analyst, the former FBI Assistant Director, is here.
So, the police have released the video of this alleged strong armed robbery that Michael Brown supposedly did in this convenience store, moments before that police officer shot and killed him on the streets of Ferguson. What else do they need to release?
TOM FUENTES, LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, the family has a point about it being (inaudible) and about it taking six days to put out. What they should've released the day of the event or the day after the event was what did Officer Wilson know or what did he think he know and when did he know it? If he went to that convenience store, was given a description, then he would've gone to his squad car and put out a dispatch through all the other officers, providing a description we have two male suspects, here's what they're wearing, last seen walking down the streets, such and such direction.
Then, later, when he encounters them, does he treat them as felons? Does he make a felony stop, which all police officers are trained to do, radio in for backup immediately, I have the two suspects from the robbery at the store, they're walking down the street, please send backup, and then you try to stop and detain the individuals.
So, procedurally, all of that is very important because it corroborates that Officer Wilson thought he had robbers. Now, they should've put out the recordings of the dispatch where Officer Wilson alerts the other police cars, and whether or not, he alerts the dispatch that he has suspects located on the street and therefore would request backup.
BLITZER: And so far, Don Lemon, they have not released any of those audio tapes, right, of any dispatch between the officer who -- Darren Wilson, the 28-year-old officer who shot and killed Michael Brown. As far as you know, Don, you're there in Ferguson, none of those audio tapes have been released, right?
LEMON: Not that I know of. And again, Wolf, I'm not sitting, you know, at a computer or in the office. I'm out here in the field doing live shots. So as far as I know, to the best of my knowledge, they have not released that. Wolf, can I walk you guys around a little bit and show you what's happening here since it's been released? Let me walk you around.
OK. So, look, this is -- let me show you. This is the QT, right, that they thought might have been the scene of, you know, where there was supposedly something had happened earlier. That's why I've been saying so much that it's not a bombshell that something may have precipitated this because of a robbery or what have you, because many people had said that there was, you know, Michael Brown may have had taken something from a convenient store. That was this conjecture, that was rumor, and then that it was this place. It turns out it was not this place. That's not the place that you see in the video.
But let's walk over here. This quick trip now has become the scene of where people have been gathering and some of the protests here earlier obviously were violent because -- excuse me -- because you see the QT is burned out. But then, as of last night, everybody gathered here and then back again today after the information came out about the videotape and about being the suspect in the robbery.
And so, again, here we go with the people who are starting to gather here. As it gets closer to evening, they start to gather up and down the street. As I have been reporting, Jake Tapper has been reporting -- Jake was out in the crowd last night. And now, they're starting to ramp up again, Wolf. And usually, about this time, a little bit later, maybe 4:00, 5:00 Eastern time, that's when usually the police officers and the (inaudible) shows up.
Last night, no one in combat arrived here. It was just people, officers mingling with the crowd and even marching with the crowd. And again, I need to report, Wolf, that Dorian Johnson according to Ferguson Police Department's Chief, Tom Jackson, will not face any charges, will not face any charges even with the -- in light of that alleged robbery at the convenient store, Wolf?
BLITZER: Yes. Dorian Johnson, the friend of Michael Brown, I spoke with him the other night and he gave a pretty vivid description of what he eyewitnessed, what he saw. He did not tell me in that interview we did on AC360, Don, you remember it. He did not say that they had been in a convenient store, only moments earlier, and had this alleged encounter with the clerk. The report -- the police report from Ferguson Police Department said that Brown grabbed the clerk by the shirt, forcibly pushed him back into a display rack, we now have that videotape. That -- those are the allegations.
And there, you see the clerk trying to stop Brown. He pushes him allegedly right there and then he goes back as if he is threatening him. And you see in the hands, there are the cigars, worth about $40 basically. That's what we're talking about. But I'm sure, Don, I suspect if in fact any allegations, charges are leveled against the police officer, Darren Wilson, the 28-year-old police officer, his argument will be and his defense lawyers will be that he tried to stop him and that Brown -- Michael Brown resisted and went for his weapon that's why he shot and killed him. I assume that will be the argument the police officer will make.
LEMON: Yes. And, you know, they've already said that initially. The Ferguson Police Chief said -- you can remember, Wolf, that there was a struggle for the weapon inside of the police car. The officer was concerned that he was going to take his weapon. That was the initial response from the police department. And then after a while of not hearing nothing, not hearing anything, but -- except there was a struggle and they wanted the investigation to play out.
And so, yes, any -- you know, at speaking to Michael Brown's family attorney, he said someone will try to show that the -- what happened in the convenient store precipitated what happened over here in the apartment complex. And it's right around the corner, if we can come out here. I can show you. If you look here, straight through there and you look at the red barbecue sign, so it's just on that corner if you turn left and down that street. Really, not even half a mile (inaudible) that's the street where Michael Brown lost his life and that's where -- when I was on the air with you, Wolf, yesterday in the middle of that crowd, in the middle of the protest, that's the street we were marching on.
BLITZER: Yes. All right, Don, we're going to come back to you obviously throughout the day into the evening. Don Lemon is doing an amazing job for our viewers there on the streets of Ferguson. Tom Fuentes, the former FBI Assistant Director and law enforcement analyst, so you could already see the case that this police officer and his attorneys will make in justifying the decision to go ahead, shoot and kill this 18-year-old Michael Brown.
FUENTES: Well, taking it step by step, it's going to be difficult to explain the additional shots. If there was an altercation, if Brown was trying to take his gun away, then maybe it's because Brown didn't have a weapon and was trying to get it. That's there story for why there was a wrestling match. But once the officer shoots and the Chief of Police said that next day that the first shot occurred at the car or at the driver's door of the car, then explaining Brown going down the street and the additional shots later ...
BLITZER: Especially if the eyewitnesses' accounts are accurate that Brown put his hands up in the air, which the lawyers for Brown are absolutely right. That is the universal sign of surrender.
FUENTES: Exactly. And the police may not have wanted to release dispatch tapes from Wilson telling everyone who's the suspects or what they look like because that would've identified him by voice from the first day. But today, now that you have identified him, those recordings can be released to say this occurred and this was being conveyed to the other police officers. And then what you'd want to hear is Wilson saying I have the suspects in sight, send backup. I'm going to execute a felony stop and not try to have an altercation but just try to keep them until the backups arrive and you can safely execute a felony arrest which all street cops are trained to do. I did personally myself as a street cop.
BLITZER: Absolutely. So, we now have the documents that the Ferguson Police Department have released describing series of events they say occurred in that convenient store and then what subsequently happened on the streets. We have the videotape of what happened inside. We don't have any videotape from any car video or anything like that, but we are waiting for the audio of the dispatch, what this police officer was saying. That will be the next critical piece of evidence as we continue to go forward. Tom, thanks very much.
Don Lemon is going to be -- as I say, is going to be with us throughout the day here on CNN, later into the evening as well. That's it for me. Thanks very much for watching. I'll be back 5:00 p.m. Eastern, special two-hour edition of this situation (inaudible) special coverage continues right now with Brooke Baldwin and Jake Tapper.