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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Calls for Peace, Justice at Brown Funeral; Ferguson Remembers Michael Brown; What we know about Officer Darren Wilson; Obama Authorized Recon Flights Over Syria; U.S. Journalist Freed in Syria; Earthquakes Sparks Fire in Napa; Napa Wineries Clean up after Quake

Aired August 25, 2014 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Do you go around the house in the kitchen? Do you talk to Trayvon?

SYBRINA FULTON, MOTHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: Absolutely, yes. Absolutely.

LEMON: Do you?

VALERIE BELL, MOTHER OF SEAN BELL: Yes. If I know something has to be done, ma, I got this. Say the saying, ma, I got this.

LEMON: Do you do the same thing, Lesley?

LESLEY MCSPADDEN, MOTHER OF MICHAEL BROWN: Especially when it rains. Yes.

LEMON: When it rains, why?

MCSPADDEN: Something about the rain. There's something about it.

LEMON: That makes want to...

MCSPADDEN: I feel him. He's there. He's there. He's watching over you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON COOPER, AC360 HOST: Three mothers who know a special horrible kind of grief.

Victor Blackwell was at the funeral in St. Louis. He joins me now. So, tell us about the funeral. What was it like?

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESONDENT: Well, Anderson there was a moment similar to what you just heard from this Bell and from this Fulton. There was a moment of empathy from the member of clergy. He had lost his son to gun violence and he said something I'd never considered that she is likely mourning the grandchildren who will never be born. And that was a moment of punctuation for me.

Also, the cross section of people there, listen the church was build about thousands of people. Two or three overfill spaces were filled with people as well. And, you know, it's probably pretty aware that you get M.C. Hammer and Governor Jay Nixon in the same room. There are politicians and entertainers and local politicians and Senator Claire McCaskill was there.

We even saw some of the protesters who were on West Florissant, day after day, night after night who were there. There was one who sat in front of me in pretty what she was wearing outside of the stores that were looted and she was wearing those cargo pants and the dark glasses, a revolution t-shirt and military boots but she sat in the church respectfully and did not cause the scene. It was the collection of all of the politics which we heard, you know, call to turn this agitation into legislation but also a traditional Baptist home going.

That blend really stood out.

COOPER: There had been some groups that had announced plans to protest at the funeral. Did any of them actually do that?

BLACKWELL: No, we saw just one or two people who were there alone but they work really protesting anything that was involve with the shooting or Mike Brown. There was one man sitting there with a sheet that he printed out on 8.5 by 11, just regular white paper and he was protesting something that had to do with the resource is in the control of water around the world. And someone else protested something involving GMO.

So there was no major protest although those had been announced. So, at the ceremony, at the service today, peaceful from start to finish.

COOPER: And tonight what it's like in Ferguson.

BLACKWELL: Well, you can see right behind me, pretty much every vehicle you see here is a law enforcement vehicle so they are prepared if something happens but I just anecdotally, one of our photographers just drove down that stretch of West Florissant which has been the scene of the protest over the 16 nights. And he says that there are just a few people there selling t-shirts and just a table in that approves protest area which is sitting there.

So, nothing like what we've seen over the past two nights. And we hope -- the family hopes that that will continue.

COOPER: Al right. Victor Blackwell, thanks very much.

Joining me now in St. Louis, Alderman, Antonio French. Alderman, good to have you on again. You were there today along with thousands of others. Many who never even knew Michael Brown and his family, what was it like for you?

ANTONIO FRENCH, ST LOUIS ALDERMAN: Well, it was a beautiful ceremony. As I said, there was thousands of people there. A lot of people coming just to show their support for the family, to let them know that they're with them in this time of tragedy and mourning. But a lot of folks were there, you know, who you -- had been on different sides of issues over the last few weeks and years before even. And so, there a lot of people just coming together for this singular reason. And it was a great event I think.

COOPER: In that way, was it a healing moment?

FRENCH: I think so. I think it was, you know, part of the family's healing but also a part of the community's healing, to be able to come together. And, you know, over the course of this 12, 13 day period a lot of people brought a lot of different agendas to West Florissant to protest and I think along the ways a lot of people loss sight that this was ultimately about a young man that lost his life. An 18-year old boy who will never, you know, grow to be the man that he could have been.

And so, it was an opportunity to be reminded of that and to really see that it has also deeply affects two people, parents who just lost their boy. And so, it was sad but there was also joy as to see the community coming together.

COOPER: And what is the feeling in Ferguson now in those several blocks where Michael Brown was killed, where we saw the protest? Is there still anger? Is there still frustration? What -- how would you characterize things?

FRENCH: Well most people -- almost all people are observing the family's wishes and not protesting today.

And I think you may see some more people out there tomorrow but I don't think the smaller crowds are any indication that the anger had lessen or the frustration has lessened. I think people are fatigued of the violence, fatigued of the heavy police presence.

And people are kind to focusing now on the next stage which is organizing the community or registering folks to vote. We still keep on the pressure on the country prosecutor in his grand jury of this -- in session right now. And so people are looking at the next stage right now and try to turn this moment into a movement.

COOPER: Alderman Antonio French I appreciate that you've been on the program again. Thank you very much.

A quick reminder, make sure can switch your DVRs, so you can watch 360 whenever you want.

Coming up, new information we're learning about Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown. He is not been seen publicly but details of his life are coming to light. More on him ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: (inaudible) say it's very much today to focus in the life of Michael Brown, his family and friends that goodbye at his funeral. But tonight we're also learning new information the police officer who shot him.

We've heard nothing from officer Darren Wilson himself since this all started but he has supporters on the street of Ferguson and certainly online.

A fundraising effort on GoFundMe for Officer Wilson has raised more money than Michael Brown memorial fund on the same website. And there are demonstrators who have shown up with sign supporting him, Ted Rollins tonight reports.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As Darren Wilson remains in hiding, supporters for the 28-year old Ferguson police officer are getting more vocal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We wanted again declare that as steadfastly believe that officer Darren Wilson's on actions on August night were warranted and justified.

ROWLANDS: Over the weekend dozens of people showed up to two rallies outside Barney's Irish Sports Pub in St. Louis. Report online has been even bigger.

Financial contributions for Wilson's legal fees have reached around $400,000.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right or wrong or indifferent, he has to be afforded to due process. And they can't just throw him to the wolves.

ROWLANDS: Wilson served with the Ferguson Police Department for four years. He started his career in the City of Jennings, another St. Louis suburb that in 2011 disbanded its entire police force in part because of racial tensions between white officers and black residents.

Wilson was born in Texas but spend most of his life here in St. Louis and by all accounts he has a difficult childhood. His mother who was divorced twice was also convicted a forgery for stealing thousands of dollars when he was just a teenager and then she died of natural causes when Wilson was 16 years old.

Jake Shepherd is a friend of Darren Wilson.

JAKE SHEPHERD, FRIEND OF DARREN WILSON: It makes me sad, you know, I'm obviously sad for the family of Michael Brown but I'm sad for Darren and his family too. Every law enforcement officer dreads the time when they are forced to make that split second decision whether or not they have to take someone's life.

ROWLANDS: In February of this year, Wilson was commended for his work after managing to arrest a man allegedly in the midst of the drug deal. Now, as he faces the possibility of criminal charges for killing Michael Brown, supporters inside Barney's say they're worried that he may not get a fair shake.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Darren as far as his career is concerned and everybody's wondering why we're raising money for him because he has to live, he has to survive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Rollins joins me now live.

So the officer's supporters that you have been talking to, do they think he is innocent or they just want the case to be decided through the legal process that rather than, you know, in the public's affair?

ROWLANDS: Well, I think it's the combination of both Anderson. The once that seem to know him personally or his family personally, they have gotten the same story that we heard over the last few days. They absolutely believe every bit of that story. So they think he's innocent and he will be found innocent.

The vast majority of supporters that we talk to however, don't know him and what they are saying is if he is guilty of some wrong doing he deserves to pay for it but they feel like the media is been unfair and they think that he deserves every bit of the legal justice system to be non-combative towards him and he deserves a fair proceeding here. And that's what they're worried about. They say, it's so one sided of media, they're worried that it will carry over in the judicial process.

COOPER: Right. People I think makes a lot of treat to that of that but there is people saying there's a rush to judgment and I've been trying to repeat over and over again. We do not have any of the forensic evidence that prosecutors have, that officials have and we don't have the full range of eyewitnesses or allege eyewitnesses who have come forward to authorities, we only got several who have come forward to the media. So there's a lot we do not know.

Ted, I appreciate the reporting. Joining me now live is, you know, Bruntrager who is a General Counsel for St. Louis Police Officers Association.

Neil, the fact that voices in support of officer Wilson have been relatively quite, it definitely growing louder over the last several days. And at the same time more than $400,000 has been donated to him online, what do you make of that? Do you think people are intimidated about coming forward or what?

NEIL BRUNTRAGER, ST. LOUIS POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION: No, you have to know the police community in this area, particularly this area. And I think what you're saying is there are whole lot of people who are either related to police officers, are police officers. And one way (inaudible) perform have a connect in the policing community. And these are people who were trying to step forward because they trying and take care of their own.

I think that there is a large belief within the police community that they're not understood, that they're frustrated as well. And so I think this is their way of quietly showing that they are supporting Darren Wilson. And I think what they saying is that, "Look, it's about the process." And they recognize that the process unfortunately cost money and they want to make sure that he can get as fairer process as he can.

COOPER: Just as people have been looking at Michael Brown, his life, his actions, people have been looking and what they can find out about the life of this officer. It doesn't seem just from his record that there are any red flags that have popped up in his employment history with the two police departments he has worked for.

BRUNTRAGER: Right. And what you look for -- what I would look for in this situation is whether or not the person has sort of bounced around. So here you have a fairly study employment history. I mean, the reason that of course he left Jennings was because Jennings Police Department was disbanded.

So, he ends up in Ferguson and he's been there steadily for this -- now four years. And, you know, among the municipalities in St. Louis County, you do see some movement between this various municipalities because they have such limited resources. It's not at all unusual for people to move around. So the fact that he has stayed there, that he has been steadily employed there, I think may make a statement.

Now again, just how much? I don't know. And I think we have to be very careful to extrapolate too much for many of these but I think there's a lot to be said for the fact that he has stayed put.

COOPER: There is obviously, you know, a lot we don't know, we'll know a lot more about officer Wilson eventually. No matter what the -- the most important thing, do you believe is to look at the training, the police departments provide?

BRUNTRAGER: Yeah, I do and that's a huge issue on so many different levels. You know, we talk about what their trained to do and that's of course important. But unfortunately, there is so much more training that is available but these smaller departments just can't afford it. The larger departments can afford it.

You know, we have to look at ways to train an officer not just to get to a scene and to utilize his weapon. And we're careful to make sure that we try and balance those things. But, you know, again perhaps the good that didn't come out of this terrible situation is that we will rethink all of our processes. And I think that will happen and I think everyone will benefit by that rethinking.

COOPER: Well, I also think -- I mean, just in terms of rethinking and this is police commissioners around the country have commented on this about Ferguson. I mean, the fact that the police force they are so does not represent the community that they are policing. A police force seems to me to be most effective when it has a variety -- when it has diversity, whether it's diversity of backgrounds, of the ethnicity, of sexuality, whatever it maybe, it makes them a more effective police department.

BRUNTRAGER: But that's easy to say Anderson but its application that's really hard to accomplish. You know, there are not -- for good, better and differently, there are not a lot of black applicants in these departments. And really, the black applicants who decide that they want to become police officers, they will tend to go to the larger departments. There's more opportunity, there is better pay, there is better benefits, so that's where they're going to go.

So, again to reach out to the African-American community and say, look we want you to be part of the Ferguson department, that's a really very difficult thing to do. And we see that in the public sector all the way around not just policing.

So again, it's a problem because as much as we can say, yes that something we want to accomplish the reality is it's very difficult to do. And talking to chiefs around the area and being aware of what's going on this community. It's very, very difficult to reach out to the black community. They just don't have that tradition like say for instance, you find in the Irish community.

So again, good, better and differently it's really hard to accomplish that. And try as they might, they can't seem to make those numbers change.

COOPER: What impact do you think having dash cams will have on this local police department, on any police department?

BRUNTRAGER: I personally believe that cameras are police officers' best friend. You know, again there is dash cams, there is on-body cameras now that they can use and there is a lot of discussion within -- for instance, my own association about whether or not those are lies or not. But candidly, if Darren Wilson had a camera on, we wouldn't be having this conversation, one way or another.

COOPER: Because we would know precisely what had happened.

BRUNTRAGER: Yes, sir. And so again, telling police officers and I often will lecture to police officers in various organizations and I say, "Look, cameras are ubiquitous. They are everywhere. You have to assume that everything that you're doing is being seen on camera."

Well, you know, if we have these dash cams, if we have these body cams it will make a difference but then now we get to the question, how we can have pay for that. And that's a huge problem particularly with the small departments.

They just don't have the resources to do it. So, in the absence of the federal grant or something like that, I don't know how we'll ever get there but we should try.

COOPER: Interesting. Neil Bruntrager, I appreciate you've been on, as always. Thanks...

BRUNTRAGER: Thanks for having me.

COOPER: ... you can go up for more in the story to cnn.com.

Just ahead, after loosing a vital air based to ISIS, Syria, since they agree the U.S airstrikes against the Islamic Extremist group but they have conditions. Also warning tonight plus an American journalist is freed by different militant group in Syria. The latest in those developments ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: The breaking news tonight. President Obama has authorized reconnaissance flights over Syria according to U.S. official who says the first flight could happen at any point. This is word comes at Syria says, "It's ready to accept with certain conditions U.S. air strikes to help stop ISIS terrorist." Over the weekend the Islamic extremist groups seized control the key air base in northern Syria.

Both sides reportedly suffered heavy losses. Syria retaliated by bombing the city of Raqqa with the capture of the air base though ISIS is now and they said to essentially control adversely all of the province. The other major development in Syria is the released of Peter Theo Curtis. He's an American journalist. That's him. Who is held for nearly two years by the Nusra Front group that ties to Al- Qaeda.

Senior White House Correspondent Jim Sciutto joins me now. So what do we know about this new information regarding reconnaissance flights?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Just what we heard from Barbara Starr who were at the Pentagon that the president has authorized. This is according to U.S. official. President has authorized reconnaissance flights over Syria. That's inline with what I was hearing earlier today from the administration officials that the president has not made a decision to take military action against ISIS targets in Syria but they want to use what they're calling all the tools that there are disposal.

And Anderson, I think this underlines one key issue for the administration -- and frankly one key prompted the administration and that is that they need to identify targets before they start taking them out.

COOPER: I also need to identify correspondents better, Jim Acosta.

ACOSTA: Yeah. That's OK.

COOPER: I'm sorry if I call you Jim Sciutto. He was on our last hour. It's interesting though because Syrian's Foreign Minister signal the willingness to allow military intervention. A, Syria doesn't have a control over these areas that the U.S. will be attacking ISIS and the idea that -- I mean it sort of place into the narrative that Syria has been saying all along that they're battling terrorist, which in this case, they are. But the idea that the U.S. would be doing something that could prop up the Syrian regime...

ACOSTA: Right.

COOPER: ... that is such a bazaar turn of events.

ACOSTA: Yeah. This is the very definition of choosing between the lesser of two evils Anderson. But even though the Syrians Foreign Minister was out today saying that the United States has to go through Syria, has to get a green light from the Damascus before conducting air strikes against ISIS. The Senior Administration Officials are saying that that's not going to happen. Josh (inaudible) the briefing earlier today, said that, you know, "Look at the case of the killing of Osama bin Laden."

That operation happened without the authorization of the Pakistani government. And so they think there's a clear president here. At the same time, you know, we should point out that there was sort of a softening of the rhetoric over at the White House today. It was interesting to hear last week Chuck Hagel saying this is unlike a threat we've ever seen before and today, you know, the White House was saying that this is not exactly a 9/11 threat against the homeland that the homeland has not been threaten at this point. So a little bit of a dialing back at the rhetoric.

And also Anderson, one thing I wanted to point out, a very interesting picture that was posted on Pete Souza's Instagram account earlier this evening. Pete Souza being the official White House photographer of the president of the United States walking on the south lawn of the White House with the chief of staff Denis Mcdonough.

Anderson, it was almost exactly one year ago where these two man were taking almost the exact same walk around the south lawn of the White House about airstrikes against Syria and ultimately in that instance the president decided against those airstrikes.

It doesn't say, you know, that isn't a preview of what maybe coming in terms of the president's decision but clearly he has a lot on his mind.

COOPER: Also General Dempsey told reporters that allies in the region are going to join the U.S. to try to deal with ISIS is what's happening now. I mean is that what's happening now? Is that already underway?

ACOSTA: Well, and that is the key obstacle with the president when he decided to pull back and not conduct the air strikes against Syria a year ago. Remember Great Britain, decided not to go along and that was a problem for the president. That was a hesitation that he cited in his conversation with Denis Mcdonough when they took that walk around the White House.

And earlier today, Josh Earnest was saying during the White House briefing that forming an international coalition is something that they would like to do and so, you know, while there was a lot of tough talk last week about potential airstrikes against Syria. I think the fact that you're seeing reconnaissance flights starting to happen and the White talking about building some sort of international coalition as an indication, we're just not there yet, Anderson.

COOPER: Jim Acosta. Jim, thanks very much. I want to bring in our panel, CNN National Security analyst Fran Townsend, also Lieutenant General Mark Hertling who commanded U.S. forces in Iraq from 2007 to 2009. Fran, do you believe that ISIS is already a direct threat to United States?

FRAN TOWNSEND, DHS & CIA EXTERNAL ADVISORY BOARDS: Anderson, post 9/11, we'd stop waiting for them to actually attack us here. They've attacked the U.S. journalist. They got $425 million out of the bank in Mosul when they seized that. They've got territory. They've got U.S. made military equipment that they seized from the Iraqi army. They are better man trained equipped and finance than Al-Qaeda ever was before 9/11.

And I think the killing of Jim Foley, an American which is a direct indication of their intention and their capability and willingness to act against the United States makes clear that they most certainly are a direct threat today against the United States. I haven't even got in at foreign fighters yet, right? Thousands, we know thousands are westerners, which means they don't require a visa to get into the United States of which at least according to administration officials, at least a hundred are Americans.

COOPER: General Hertling, do you believe that they are currently a directed or is it more of -- in your opinion, a potential threat down the road?

MARK HERTLING, U.S. ARMY (RET.): In my opinion it's more of a potential threat Anderson. I think the Intelligence Community is watching this organization very quickly. They are trying to establish the caliphate that has them certainly very occupied right now and they also have their fights against both the Iraqi forces and the Syrian forces.

So right now I don't think they're looking to threaten United States or even western parts. They certainly have that potential and they probably will be attempting to do that in the future but the intelligence requirements as you pointed out earlier is what's key right now.

COOPER: Fran, I mean to what degree was the killing of Jim Foley -- I mean obviously it was a -- I mean, it was a murder. It was also propaganda tool the way it was done. Wasn't it partly a desire to kind of poke the United States into some sort of reaction?

TOWNSEND: Well, I actually think what they were trying -- it was indication that airstrikes against the ISIS in Iraq was having an effect, right? Because what they tried to do was pushed the U.S. back and suggest that they shouldn't continue with the airstrikes by holding the other...

COOPER: Do you think they really believe though that that would stop airstrike?

TOWNSEND: Oh, I do. I think more than anything was a propaganda tool, right? I mean I think it's a recruitment tool. It's also -- it was not an accident that you had the bad guy in the video with the mask on kind, he's got a British accent, it's a reminder of...

COOPER: The vulnerability...

TOWNSEND: ... the vulnerability and the foreign fighters. The orange jumpsuit is throwback to Gitmo. I mean there was a lot of sort of suggestions in there about the propaganda they were trying to promote.

COOPER: General Hertling, it is a rather bazaar circumstance now that the administration is thinking about, you know, attacking ISIS in Syria which I understand that the reasons to do that but how do you do that without propping up at the same time the Syrian regime, a regime which the administration has been opposing since for years now?

HERTLING: Yeah, you don't Anderson. And I think the words you mentioned earlier, that General Dempsey use that -- he's very precise in the way he uses his words. He's building an international coalition. We're taking a look at not only European allies to help us with this, in ways more than just dropping bombs and conducting strikes but other ways as well. And he's also looking as well as the secretary defend of state, looking at increasing the rhetoric in terms of moderate Islamic Imams to condemn this group.

So all of those categories as well as the threatening and the brunting as Fran just said of the ISIS threat is going to be critical in the next few weeks, months, and even years.

COOPER: General, do you believe that the Syrian regime kind of turn the blind eye to ISIS and it almost helped their purposes early on because ISIS spend a lot of time fighting other more moderate groups which oppose the Syrian regime?

HERTLING: I think in tracking the Syrian fight Anderson, they were fighting all comers. They were trying to maintain their power hold and in terms of government, of Assad government, and anyone that was coming at them whether it be moderate or the extremist as we saw over the last two years, they've taken on. So I think ISIS has been the stronger. They've been the one that's evolved into the strongest threat in Syria and now, unfortunately Syrian is having to deal with them as it is to the rest of the world.

COOPER: General Hertling, I appreciate you being on, Fran as well. Just ahead another story connected to Syria, the family of Peter Theo Curtis is speaking out about his surprise released after nearly two years in captivity. They're preparing for his home coming, nearly year. They had no idea where he was. How they found out awful truth about his capture and remarkable report about his release, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Welcome back. As we said earlier, American journalist Peter Theo Curtis has freed tonight after nearly two years being held captive in Syria by the Nusra Front, a group that ties to Al-Qaeda. He's families obviously overjoyed. They're also deeply thankful for the support they've gotten. This is what his mom said today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NANCY CURTIS, PETER'S MOTHER: Everybody has been so supportive and we really appreciate it. We'd have tremendous support from people that we know, people that we didn't know before but we now know and also to people behind the scenes that we may never know their names.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Curtis is released, was a surprised, came just days after the beheading of American journalist James Foley by ISIS terrorist. Miguel Marquez has more on herring ordeal that he has been through.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Peter Theo Curtis nearly two year held prisoner in Syria, today free. A mother's relief plain as the smile on her face.

So you're happy that he's out?

Captured late 2012 by Al Qaeda affiliated Al Nusra Front as Syria's civil war raged riding under name Theo Padnos, he covered the horrors of Syria often critical of the Assad regime, Al Nusra's enemy. It made little difference for nearly a year family, friends, has no idea where he was or what happened to him.

KIRK KARDASHIAN, PETER THEO CURTIS'S FRIEND: I don't remember exactly how I discovered that he was being held. I think at first, it was just the disappearance and then the information slowly came out that he was being held.

MARQUEZ: Others found out after Matthew Schrier, held captive with Curtis managed to escape in 2013, the story of their treatment terrifying to hear.

MATHEW SCHRIER, HELD CAPTIVE WITH CURTIS: All day long you're hearing people get tortured. All day long you'd just hear wak, wak, wak (ph), that he if he can't wak (ph) and they're screaming and yelling.

MARQUEZ: Curtis's family now gathering at his mother's Cambridge Massachusetts home. The news from Theo so far, positive.

VIVA HARDIGG, CURTIS'S COUSIN: We've heard that he's health appears good. So that was very encouraging.

MARQUEZ: But videos of Curtis in captivity released over the last few months showed him in an agitated state.

PETER THEO CURTIS, JOURNALIST: My name is Peter Theo Curtis. I'm a journalist in the city of Boston Massachusetts.

MARQUEZ: Then a week ago, everything changed. The shocking public killing of journalist James Foley by ISIS an Al Nusra Front rival may have pushed the government of Qatar to step up negotiations for Curtis's release. No word on whether a ransom was paid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After Foley, the Qataris probably moved very fast. They wanted to show a victory. They needed too, because if it goes really bad, Syria and Iraq that Qataris do not want to be blame for this.

MARQUEZ: Now, his family, his friends prepare for Curtis's return. One of his favorite things, road bicycling.

KARDASHIAN: I can't wait for us to go out on a bike ride in Vermont.

MARQUEZ: On a very long bike ride I take it. KARDASHIAN: Yeah, maybe...

MARQUEZ: He has already had a hell of a ride. Miguel Marquez, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Joining me now is David Rohde, an investigative reporter for Reuters who was kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan and held for seven months just after he escape. Also James Jeffery, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq.

Ambassador Jeffrey, Curtis's mom says no ransom was ever paid for her son's released. In your opinion why is that crucial?

JAMES JEFFREY, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: It's crucial because the United States policy is not to pay a ransom. It provides money to the worst inhumane elements in the world, it enhances its status and it can lead and usually does to more kidnappings, some of which do not turn out as well as one did. So as a general practice, we don't do it.

COOPER: But David, we don't really know the details on what Qatar promised to Al Nusra or if there were any promises at all.

DAVID ROHDE, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, REUTERS: Yeah.

COOPER: I mean they were essentially handed over by the U.S. to Qatar to deal with this.

ROHDE: Yeah and I think a lot of people -- maybe there wasn't a ransom paid but there's going to be perception among these groups, this kidnappers that a ransom was paid. When I was in captivity, the famous raid happened where Captain Phillips was saved by the Navy SEALs out to coast of Somalia. My Taliban captors said, "That whole raid is fake. The U.S. government actually secretly paid $15 million for some crazy sum that they came up with."

So I don't know what happened. I mean the question here is -- it's good Qatar has done this. There's been complaints in the past that Qatar was funding Nusra, this is pro-Al Qaeda Jihadist group? How are they suddenly able to, you know, get this captive free? Why did it take two years?

COOPER: It will if it's true that they were, you know, behind this group, that would be theoretically give them some leverage with these groups.

ROHDE: Yeah. And that's why -- so this is great news and I'm thrilled for the Curtis family. It may not help the Americans remain held by the Islamic state, the group that killed Jim Foley.

COOPER: Right, totally different group.

ROHDES: Yes. And but, you know, everyone I think is heartbroken by what happen to Jim and for the Foleys but, you know, as we said in the report, Jim Foley may have indirectly saved Peter Theo Curtis. By dying, he created lots of pressure on the Qataris to produce good outcome.

COOPER: Ambassador Jeffrey, do you think the death of Jim Foley maybe put pressure on Qatar?

JEFFREY: I think that all of the events over the last few weeks, the retaking of the Mosul Dam by forces linked with the United States, a reaction to it including the killing the Foley has pushed Qatar to rethink it's relationships with some of these groups including Al- Nusra.

COOPER: You know David it's really -- I mean, Ambassador Jeffrey alluded to this earlier that there is no -- I mean, you and I have talked about this, there is no standard and there really needs to be. I mean, you have Western European nations paying millions and millions of dollars, sometimes more than, you know, double digit millions of dollars for individual captives from their country and the U.S. essentially not paying, there -- do you believe there needs to be an open conversation about this, the very least?

ROHDE: There definitely has to be a conversation because again, the groups in the region that do this kidnapping are going to think there was a ransom paid even if there wasn't. There's only handful of people who know actually what happened here. And this is the problem, is there is still an incentive to do this. Europe has paid million of dollars, I mean...

COOPER: And it become a major source of income for a lot of these groups.

ROHDE: A very large one, particularly in North Africa and in Yemen, it's a big success for them. And then -- and this is really sad and perverse but in the sort of this terrible world that these guys inhabit, the killing of Jim Foley generated publicity for them.

COOPER: Right.

ROHDE: It's a growing problem, this is a growing group and then there is no strategy to deal with the spreading numbers of kidnappings between the U.S. and Europe.

COOPER: Ambassador Jeffrey, is that a conversation the U.S. continues to try to have with Western European nations about not paying for kidnapping?

JEFFREY: We sure should but we're not going to having been involved in these interact with friendly nations. We're not going to succeed Anderson. These countries are weak in the response to international terror and threats. They cave easily. But people expect that. What people don't expect is that the United States which does take this folks on will cave and that's one reason why we're very, very cautious about doing anything that looks like negotiating with a paying ransom to them.

COOPER: Don't -- I mean, Ambassador don't this Western European nations see that this just encourages more kidnappings down the road? I mean, I understand the immediate desire to, you know, stop the pressure and save their citizens but don't they see the long term on this?

JEFFREY: Well as we saw with Mr. Curtis's release and with many people that I was involved with in Iraq, there's a human element here that is really compelling and I have sympathy for anybody who tries to do anything to get people released but there's a higher political and also security aspect to this and I think the U.S. policy is right. We should try to work with other countries to follow our standard. I don't think they will. The most important thing is that we continue to maintain the line against caving into this people.

COOPER: Ambassador Jeffrey, I appreciate you with David Rohde, as always. Thanks.

Up next is the earth rattling, California's Napa Valley and homes go up in flames, some residence losing everything. Also the region's famed wine industry taking a hit barrels, bottles crashing the ground, could you be paying more for California wines in the coming months? We'll have that report ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Residents of the San Francisco Bay area are trying to clean up after the region was hit by its largest earthquake in 25 years. Magnitude 6.0 quakes struck Sunday morning before dawn, take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Earthquake. It's an earthquake.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, hey, hey, hey.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: This experience with family in Hercules, California. And in the Napa Valley the quake shatter bottles of the region's famed wines. No one was killed in the quake, more than 200 people though injured, one critically. Downtown Napa brick and concrete facade gave way, fell to the ground. Damage is far greater north, five miles north of downtown where all that's left to some homes are ashes. Gary Tuchman is there in Napa, what's the latest there tonight Gary?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well Anderson firstly, in the day and a half since the strong earthquake hit there had been 73 after shocks. That's an average of about two after shock every hour and an after shock is an earthquake, so you've had 73 earthquakes since the original earthquake but the good news is none of them have been strong. The strongest 3.6 about 22 hours ago, that's something you normally can't feel and that is encouraging news.

What isn't so encouraging is the heavy damage in this area. This town Napa has 76,000 people. It's obviously the heart of wine country here in the United States and it's also a very historic in Quaint downtown. Hundreds of buildings in this town including this office building behind me had been heavily damaged and it certainly changed the character of this town at least right now.

A few miles away from us is a mobile home community, a manufacture home community, where their 255 units. It's mostly seniors who live there, very nice people, they're very tight there and their units were heavily damaged during this earthquake and something else also happened there.

There was a gas leak after the earth started rumbling and three of the units caught fire, they were all inhabited, the people got of their homes quickly and escaped with their lives. We talked to one man who ran out of his house with his wife.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You look at stuff on TV, right, about how people lose stuff, you know, they lose their home, there's a hurricane, it's a earthquake, it's a fire, a lot of things. You look at that and you go on TV, if you look that on TV you go, "Gee what a bomber for them." But you don't get it. Nobody gets until it happens. Now it's happened to me.

TUCHMAN: That's Bill (ph), his wife is Teresa (ph). And they didn't want to use their last name on Television but they did want to tell us their sad story that they don't have any children but their child is a cat, cat name Coco (ph) and Coco is missing. After the fire broke out Bill says he went back in the house and the smoke and the fire to try to find Coco. It was too dangerous, he came out, he wasn't able to find his cat.

They do hope though and there's reason to believe that the cat was smart enough to get out of the house and is alive somewhere and that's when he came back today Anderson because he was looking for his cat Coco and that neighborhood is so tight in that they are all helping him look.

COOPER: And how concern our officials about the other buildings that were heavily damaged by the earthquake?

TUCHMAN: Right. Well we're talking about this building right here, we'll take another look at it. This building right now has been red tagged, and remember red tag means is it cannot inhabitant. No one is allowed to go inside of it because if possible danger of collapse. 70 buildings in the city of Napa have been red tagged.

Another 200 have been yellow tagged which means you could only go inside for essential reasons.

COOPER: All right, Gary, I appreciate the update. Now an up close look at the damage done to the Napa Valley's biggest tourist attraction, the wineries. Nearly 800 of them were there attracting some three million visitors every year. Much -- Most are still open for business, we should point out but at some gallons of vintage wine have to go down the drain. Kyung Lah reports.

KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Across Napa Valley, forklifts recover wine barrels and wine makers like Mike Drash are getting the first look at the damage. We're warned to move fast and get out.

JAY SCHUPPERT, CUVAISON WINERY: So (inaudible).

LAH: Yes. Here's why. Barrel after barrel, entire stocks of them precariously tilting.

SCHUPPERT: You know there's a big pile that's stacked up back there where they've fallen off of the back.

LAH: This is Drash's precious 2012 vintage.

MIKE DRASH, WINEMAKER: That's my brewery line (ph).

LAH: Each of these worth $10,000 to $24,000.

DRASH: These are full. These are all mine. That's really dangerous right there.

LAH: There's some white wine on the ground but until he can get all the barrels out and see them, Drash just won't know what he's lost. It took him two years to go from grape to wine. Now, in the balance after the short but powerful quake.

DRASH: It's unbelievable. Just in 10 seconds, right? 15 seconds?

(Off-Mike)

DRASH: Yes, yes. It's making me nervous in here too, yes.

LAH: Drash isn't just a winemaker at Napa Valley, this is the historic home he owns near downtown Napa dating back to the 1800s.

DRASH: But pretty much every -- where you look there's a crack -- sizable crack.

LAH: How Drash recovers from all this as well as everyone in his neighborhood and city...

DRASH: Wow, that's bad.

LAH: Like everything in Napa it comes down to the wine. There is spotty damage across the city to what's already been bottled like in Ahmet Coskun's wine storage room.

AHMET COSKUN, NAPKINS BAR AND GRILL: Just be careful, don't touch a thing.

LAH: How many bottles are we talking about here?

COSKUN: Hundreds and hundreds and I would say maybe 4,000 bottles.

LAH: Vineyards like Sebastiani Winery and Sonoma saw 19 of its wine tank damaged but in many vineyards like Cuvaison Winery, they're optimistic, they can absorb this earthquake damage and it won't have a lasting impact on California's wines. SCHUPPERT: It hurts but, you know, we're in agriculture, you know, we're dealing with these things vintage by vintage and we only have one shot at making wine every year and then we move on. You know, Mother Nature is sometimes plays a role...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Kyung joins me now. Do we know is this going to affect the price of wine from California?

LAH: Well let's give you some perspective Anderson, 90 percent of American wines are produced right in California but of that 90 percent only at a smaller percentage is made here in Napa but certainly a lot of excellent wine comes from here. What we're hearing is that some of the bigger wine producers, the bigger wine makers they're going to be able to absorb the cost. They lost probably a smaller percentage. It's the specialty wine makers, those independent ones that are really going to take the front.

They don't know yet though if they're going to have to pass along that cost to their customers, so that is unknown right now.

COOPER: Well we wish them the best. Kyung thanks a lot. Up next, a call for peace and a call for change as family, friends and even strangers say goodbye to slain Missouri teenager Michael Brown.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Welcome back we're now on the funeral for Michael Brown. Forty-five hundred people gathered at St. Louis church today to remember the unarmed teenager shot to death by a police officer just over two weeks ago. His death sparked protest and today his family call for change. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know that Michael would be smiling, that big gentle smile that he always gives whenever he greeted you. Because Michael was a big guy but he was a kind gentle soul.

MCSPADDEN: He wanted to go to college. He wanted to have a family. He wanted to be a good father but god choose differently and I made peace about that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He saw the best in me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will be laying if I see I'm still, you know, anger in my heart and I (inaudible) but I can't be no fool, (inaudible). We got to do it the right way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He saw the best in me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have had enough of all of this. And this change must come. And any time change has come in this country it has come through to you and the young generations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He saw the best in me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is imperative that we resist the temptation to retaliate by looting and riding in our own neighborhoods. Instead, we must prayerfully in full of faith, allow the St. Louis County Police Department and the FBI's investigations to begin completed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We cover this family in prayer. May they feel that you are our heart fixer. May they feel that you are their strength. May they feel that you are the source of peace and hope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you Jesus. Thank you Jesus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today is for peace, peace and quite. But we don't say goodbye. We say good journey until we meet again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: The sights and the sounds and the service for Michael Brown, remembered today in Missouri laid to rest. That does it for this edition of AC360, thanks very much for watching, we'll see you again tomorrow. CNN Tonight with Don Lemon starts now.