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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Speaks to Congress Tomorrow; Los Angeles Police Shooting Caught on Camera; Remembering Boris Nemtsov; Sky Diver Passes Out Mid-Jump
Aired March 2, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, good evening. Thanks for joining us.
Was he going for an officer's gun or did police kill a defenseless man? That's the question tonight. New video came by CNN, what it shows and what the eyewitness says about the shooting on Skid Row in Los Angeles that left a homeless man dead, all that caught on camera. We will show it to you shortly. That's just ahead.
We begin, though, with Israel, Iran, nuclear talks and a radioactive relationship. The breaking news, late word from President Obama tonight on the nuclear talks on Iran have divided the administration from the Israeli government Benjamin Netanyahu. The prime minister speaks to Congress tomorrow, as you probably know, the president spoke out tonight telling Reuters television that Iran should commit to a ten-year verifiable nuclear freeze and while downplaying any personal differences with Mr. Netanyahu.
He also said he had been wrong before with his opposition to 2013 interim unclear deal with Iran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is not a personal issue. I think that it is important for every country in its relationship with the United States to recognize that the U.S. has a process of making policy. Prime Minister Netanyahu made all sorts of claims. This was going to be terrible deal. This was going to result in Iran getting $50 billion worth of relief. Iran would not abide by the agreement. None of that has come true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: For his part, Prime Minister Netanyahu today tried to smooth over some of the tension coming from his beef which you will recall came at House speaker John Boehner's invitation. He did not, however, back away from his bottom line.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Iran vows to annihilate Israel. If it develops nuclear weapons, it would have the means to achieve that goal. We must not let that happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That's Prime Minister Netanyahu speaking today to the American-Israeli Political action committee, APAC. More now on the U.S.-Israeli relationship and some new comments from secretary of state, John Kerry that just caught everyone by surprise.
Michelle Kosinski is at the White House.
So, the comments from the secretary, from secretary of state Kerry, saying he's concerned the prime minister may disclose sensitive information about Iran negotiations during his speech tomorrow. Where does that come from?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. We're hearing everybody talk about this now. It's apparently coming from the Israelis, from members of that delegation who have kind of put out these teasers that we're going to be hearing something tomorrow that we haven't heard before. And people in Congress are concerned about this. We know that the White House is worried about this.
But there's good reason to think that this could happen. Because remember, over the past couple of days, leading up to this Netanyahu speech tomorrow, they have revealed certain details. And the Israelis put it out there that the U.S. and allies are negotiating with Iran. We are looking for like ten year time frame at the time when the White House was asked about this specifically, the White House said, no, no. That's inaccurate. It seems like the Israelis are cherry-picking information. It is distorting the negations.
But today we heard from President Obama in an interview and it seems like that information was correct. So possibly we'll be hearing more of this tomorrow. But the White House issued a kind of warning to the Israelis saying that if they reveal sensitive information, that would be a betrayal of trust between allies, Anderson.
COOPER: The more the president, President Obama, and the prime minister say this is nothing personal and they respect each other, how believable is that right now? I mean, is there some kind of back channel communication that keeps this relationship on the rails?
KOSINSKI: Well, if you listen to analysts discussing that personal relationship, they will full-on say that the two men despise each other. And there is this awkward and uncomfortable incident in the past. And it's got to the point where the administrations have put out digs to the others' actions in certain incidents. But when you look at the entirety and the length of the relationship, and we heard from all sides today, that this is ironclad, unshakable, unbreakable, and the cooperation in intelligence and military really does seem unprecedented as the White House has framed it.
So you have to look at the broader relationships. And analysts do say that's much stronger. And there are the shared values and shared goals there that go way beyond the relationship between these two leaders.
COOPER: I assume the president is not going to be sitting and watching this speech at the White House tomorrow, is he?
KOSINSKI: We kind of thought he would. But when asked about it today, I mean, first of all, we heard from the White House that the president was not going to watch Netanyahu's speech to AIPAC today and ask for the one tomorrow. They said, well, they doubt that he will spend all of his time watching that, whatever that means. But the White House is, you know, kind of sort of saying that, well, there's nothing to see here. We already know what's being said.
But it seems like everyone is curious right now to see not just what he said, but is he going to give away some sensitive information that could change things for the negotiations with Iran.
COOPER: All right, Michelle Kosinski, as always, thank you from the White House.
Joining us now are two very different perspectives. We always like to have different viewpoints on the show. Mike Doran, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and CNN political analyst and veteran political journalist and author, Carl Bernstein.
How unprecedented, Carl, is this whole situation that the prime minister is talking to the Congress, at the invitation of the speaker?
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's unprecedented. What's really unprecedented is the level to which this has ascended. And at the same time, Israel and the United States are going to go on being allies. They have common goals.
What's really so interesting here is, though, the BB Netanyahu has finally revealed himself. He is not king David. He's not king of the Jews. He doesn't speak, as he said last week, for all the Jews in the world. And I think there's a real silver lining in all this awkwardness, and that is that finally American Jews, members of the U.S. Congress, people in the United States are aware that Israel itself is divided on the question of the government about BB Netanyahu.
It's a divided country. He's a minority leader of a coalition government. He doesn't speak for all of Israel and all of its people.
COOPER: And you think this situation puts that in the --
BERNSTEIN: Finally, I think a fig leaf has been removed about this relationship. And finally we can look at Israel as the great democracy that it is, in which 170 military officers, former intelligence and military officers, six generals, come out against Netanyahu and what he's saying about Iran. And saying that he's endangering the relationship between the United States and --
COOPER: They are saying -- some of them are saying, and there is a piece in the "Wall Street Journal" about it just right now saying that by speaking to Congress, he's actually making it worse and bolstering Iran.
BERNSTEIN: This is what we call a mitzvah. That finally Netanyahu has allowed all of the world to see he does not speak for all of Israel. So, it has been a myth created about --
COOPER: Mike, as someone who used to work in the defense department, what do you make of this concern, that the prime minister could divulge something sensitive tomorrow and what do you think about what Carl is saying?
MIKE DORAN, SENIOR FELLOW, THE HUDSON INSTITUTE: Well, I think the Obama administration wants to make this all about BB Netanyahu. That's the more that they can make this into a question about his behavior, his judgment, his popularity in Israel and so on, the better because they want to hide behind the personality issue, the big strategic difference that there is between Israel and the United States.
Israel and the United States now see the Middle East in very different terms. The United States is effectively aligning with Iran and Iraq and in Syria. The United States went from saying it was going to eliminate, or roll back the Iranian nuclear program. And now it's negotiating about how that program is going to come into existence.
So there's been a huge change toward Iran. Not just on the nuclear program, but on its place in the region. And the Israelis across the board, the Israeli National Security Elite does not like the U.S. national security policy with effect to Iran. And that's the silver ling here, is that we're going to have a real debate about the strategic issue about Obama's Iran policy.
COOPER: Carl, doesn't Netanyahu deserve a bit of a doubt? I mean, Iran has talked about wiping, you know, Iranian leaders talking about wiping Israel off the map.
BERNSTEIN: Look. Iran is an awful place. It is an awful state. And both President Obama and Netanyahu have said that they are opposed and will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. The question becomes, whom do you trust in terms of the safety of the world?
American presidents, not just Obama, this is a ten-year thing we're talking about. Incidentally, I don't know the final line about who is going to be exactly right. But I take both at their word that there should not be a nuclear Iran. And I think in terms of the safety of the world, I would go with an American president and his successors over the next ten years, rather than representative of what even in Israel is considered by many of his contemporaries and generals and intelligence officers to be an extreme policy.
We have the same intelligence as the Israelis. We work together to blow up through a cyber weapon, part of its nuclear capability next worm is it called. I expect that we're going to work together to keep them from being nuclear. And at the same time in a sensible way, and perhaps the United States has interests that go beyond Israel's here.
COOPER: Mike, I want to play something that President Obama told Reuters and was just released.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What I've said consistently is, we should let these negotiations play out. If in fact Iran has agreed, willing to agree to double-digit years of, you know, keeping their program where it is right now, and in fact rolling back elements of it that currently exist, double-digit years, and we have a way of verifying that, there's no other steps we can take that would give us such assurance that they don't have a nuclear weapon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So Mike, I mean, in your opinion, to deal with Iran for ten years or more, is a bad idea, is a bad deal, then what's a good idea?
DORAN: Well, the problem with the ten-year thing is the sunset clause. And it says if Iran has agrees to some restrictions on its program, for ten years, then after that, it will have absolutely no restrictions. And we will treat it no differently than we treat Belgium or France or Germany. So in other words, Iran gets a bomb in ten years. Why does that make sense?
BERNSTEIN: Wait, wait --
COOPER: But Iran is saying they're not developing nuclear weapons and the U.S. is saying they would verify that.
DORAN: We would verify -- first of all, the head of the IAEA said that he doesn't have the ability to verify what Iran has and doesn't have. What Iran is going to give us is the ability to verify what they're doing in certain -- very circumscribed areas. And we won't see anything beyond that.
BERNSTEIN: Mr. Doran, can I ask a question and that is as follows? Do you really believe that nine years from now, if we find and Israelis find that Iran is on the verge of having a bomb, that we're not going to take action? Or I went back and read a piece you did in 2003 about the need to topple Saddam Hussein and to have Pax Americana (ph) in that region. That somehow, seeing so far ahead, aren't we a little ahead of ourselves here like we were with Saddam Hussein and a Pax Americana?
DORAN: I'd love to argue with you, I have a whole show arguing with you about things I wrote ten years ago. I want to talk about the nuclear program now.
BERNSTEIN: I'm trying to draw a parallel, but go ahead.
DORAN: But I don't see the parallel. The issue is that once we make a deal with Iran, the sanctions will already start to be lifted, and they'll be lifted gradually over time. And within a few years their program will shoot ahead. So we're really not talking about a ten- year program, we're talking about where are they going to be in two or three years. They are going to have a fantastic platform from which to develop a nuclear weapon. COOPER: And Carl's point is clearly, you know, can we project ten
years ahead with accuracy. And I think that's why he brought up the past. And we got to leave it there.
Mike Doran, appreciate it. Carl Bernstein, as well.
As always, quick reminder, set your DVR. You can watch 360 whenever you want.
Coming up next, the latest police shooting is caught on camera, this time Los Angeles. The chief said the victim was going for an officer's gun. A witness, though, described it in two words, cold blooded. Well, actually, decide for yourself and what to make of it.
Later, you almost do not want to watch. You can't look away. There was a skydiver has a seizure before he can pull the rip cord on his parachute. He has a seizure in midair as he's hurtling toward earth. Also, perform the most amazing rescue you may ever see. All of it caught on camera. I will show it to you ahead.
COOPER: Welcome back.
You're about to see the struggle that ended with Los Angeles police officers opening fire and killing a homeless man. It is chaotic. It is violent obviously. It is, in some ways, familiar by now, especially in how different people see different things in it.
L.A. police officials say the man was grabbing an officer's gun and there's evidence to proof it, they say. Others including witnesses say they didn't see that and no one had to die.
Stephanie Elam tonight sets the scene.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the middle of the day. Los Angeles police officers respond to a robbery call on L.A. skid row. It's an impoverished section of downtown with a staggering homeless population.
This video taken by a witness on the street shows the man throwing punches at police officers. The altercation escalates quickly into a chaotic scuffle on the ground. An officer loses his baton. A woman picks it up. She is quickly tackled by two officers and detained. Behind them four officers continue to wrestle with the robbery suspect, one officer yelling about a gun. Listen closely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
ELAM: There's the buzzing of a taser being used. Police officers say it didn't stop the struggle. And then five shots rang out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God! CHIEF CHARLIE BECK, LOS ANGELES POLICE: Had the individual not
grabbed the officer's pistol, certainly we would not be having this discussion.
ELAM: LAPD police Chief Charlie Beck says the officers in this part of town are trained to deal with the homeless population.
BECK: But the reality is, this is much more than a problem that the police alone can solve. I reviewed the other videos. It appears the officers acted compassionately up until the force was required.
ELAM: Two of the officers were wearing body cameras. Those video haven't been released yet. But a surveillance video obtained by CNN from a nearby mission does give more context. It shows the men involved in alleged drug deals before pushing and kicking the tent of man next to him.
All this before he's confronted by the police. They talk for a few minutes before the encounter turns deadly. The department released these pictures to try to prove the suspect was trying to get the officer's gun. They say the man yanked so hard it caused the gun to malfunction, harshly ejecting a round and dislodging the magazine.
COOPER: Stephanie joins us no from Los Angeles. How is the community there reacting?
ELAM: Well, this video taken by a bystander really went viral very quickly. And in the days since Ferguson, where we've seen people outraged about police over involvement, and over response, we've seen people asking that same question, how four police officers could not subdue a man who was unarmed, and homeless, even after he was already tased, Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Stephanie, appreciate it.
More now on what the video we've been watching actually reveals, not just to expert eyes, but also expert ears. The audio angle now from our Jason Carroll.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Key to the investigation in the LAPD shooting will not just be what the officers did, but what they said.
Paul Ginsburg is a recorded evidence specialist. He's been in the listening business for 40 years. Think of him as an audio archaeologist, a man who digs for sound.
PAUL GINSBERG, FORENSIC AUDIO/VIDEO EXPERT: It's a puzzle. Each of my cases is a puzzle.
CARROLL: First, listen to a portion of that amateur video captured by a bystander in its original form. That's a lot of noise.
GINSBERG: Yes, it is.
CARROLL: But it sounds to me like to me you can hear someone saying drop the gun in that.
GINSBERG: Yes. And it will be much more prominent after we subtract all of the background sounds.
CARROLL: Now listen again, this time to the enhanced version. Some of the ambient sound has been suppressed, background sounds minimized.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the gun! Drop the gun!
CARROLL: Listen again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the gun! Drop the gun!
CARROLL: And again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the gun! Drop the gun!
CARROLL: The enhanced version was run through a sophisticated computer program which shows five distinct so-called markers, the sound of gunshots.
GINSBERG: So there you can very clearly hear --
CARROLL: What, five shots?
GINSBERG: I hear five shots. I hear them and I see them.
CARROLL: Each one of these spikes here, that's one of the gunshots?
GINSBERG: Right. One shot, two, three, four, and five.
CARROLL: That's what the spikes are there?
GINSBERG: These are markers.
CARROLL: But is there even more here? Police say the officer shot the suspect during a struggle, after the man reached for an officer's gun.
BECK: You can hear the young officer who is primarily engaged in the confrontation, saying that he has my gun. He has my gun.
CARROLL: The Los Angeles police department made it very clear that it appeared to them, they definitely heard one of their officers saying, he has my gun, he has my gun.
GINSBERG: It might very well be here.
CARROLL: Listen to the enhanced audio again.
GINSBERG: OK. I've heard the word gun four times.
CARROLL: Yes. You can hear the word gun four times.
GINSBERG: It comes out.
CARROLL: When we listen to it there a little more closely, you can actually hear the word gun four times. Someone is using the word gun two more times.
GINSBERG: That's right.
CARROLL: The use of the word gun barely audible. But who says it, the police or the man on the ground? Even with the audio enhanced, it's unclear, like so much of the case.
COOPER: And Jason joins us.
Now, with further analysis, can they narrow it down even more.
CARROLL: Well, the audio expert that we talked to believes that with further analysis he can in fact probably be able to extract a little bit more sound out of there, possibly being able to decide who says gun those two extra times. But also, you heard in the early report there, that there are two body cameras there as well. And so conceivably, police have heard this. And perhaps that's where they're getting that extra bit of audio as well.
COOPER: fascinating to hear that. Jason, thanks very much.
Up next, what the man who took that video says about what unfolded in front of him. Our legal panel also weighs in as well.
And in our next hour a "360 Special Report," we are focusing on the threat from ISIS.
COOPER: We're talking tonight about the killing caught on video of a homeless man on skid row in Los Angeles. LAPD officers struggling with the man using a taser on him then ultimately firing five shots and killing him. It happened in front of witnesses, one of them who took that video and spoke in length with CNN Sara Sidner.
ANTHONY BLACKBURN, WITNESS: It's really truly devastating. Why is that? Because I was like really close. I could even feel the impact, the vibration from the gunshots.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What happened when he was standing in front of his tent?
BLACKBURN: When he really was standing in front of his tent, the officers was giving him order, you need to get up against the wall, let us pat you down. And -- but --
SIDNER: But he refused?
BLACKBURN: He refused, you know. He refused and once he refused, they said, OK, well, we're going to tase you. One officer took out his taser, and said we're going to tase you. He said, what are you going to tase me for? After that they hit him with a taser.
SIDNER: Did you see him reach for an officer's gun?
BLACKBURN: I didn't see it. While he was on the ground seeing tased, I didn't see him reach for an officer's gun.
SIDNER: Why do you blame the officers?
BLACKBURN: Well, I blame the officers because it was just like two obsessive. It was too many officers right there to -- for not to come up with a positive solution to the situation. Be investigative, you know what I'm saying, go through a court case, trial, you know. They come up with a decision, because that's wrong right there.
COOPER: That's Anthony Blackburn who took the video that millions have now been seeing, including CNN legal analysts Mark O'Mara and Sunny Hostin who is a criminal defense attorney. She is a former federal prosecutor. Also with us, retired NYPD detective Harry Houck.
Sunny, still, obviously, a lot we don't know. The video, one angle on it. There are video cameras on two of the officers. We haven't seen those yet. But what do you make of this?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. At first blush, my reaction was very similar to the eyewitness, my goodness, it takes six officers to take someone down to arrest someone and why does it have to end in a death? Why does it have to end in the police shooting?
But then when I reviewed it over and over again, I mean, this man is what we call in law enforcement an EDP, an emotionally disturbed person, with a history of mental illness. He clearly does fight back. He is resisting arrest. And when you have that sort of thing, if indeed he grabbed someone's gun, then that is how that altercation was going to end. This is going to be found as a justifiable use of four.
I am, though, Anderson, questioning how this started. If you know that this is skid row, if you know these are people that are homeless and possibly mentally ill, then why is your approach six police people, police officers, and why does it escalate rather than de- escalate?
COOPER: Although I will say, and Harry, I mean, two of the police officers, at one point, end up having to deal with another woman who grabbed a night stick and seemed to be threatening the officers. And so then you have four officers. And if you have somebody who is out of control, who is fighting back, fighters her chaotic, kinetic thing --? HARRY HOUCK, RETIRED NYPD DETECTIVE: Exactly. You know, it is very -
Anderson, it is very interesting, the fact that, you know, because two officers had to come off of that gentleman while they were wrestling, to deal with her, all right, now those other officers that are on top of the perpetrator, there's less officers on top. So she might have contributed in a way to this man's death by attacking the officers, and two officers coming off. He could be alive today if those other two officers were on top of him and maybe they would be able to gain control of that perpetrator.
CABRERA: But the idea of four or six officers having trouble subduing somebody, that doesn't surprise you?
HOUCK: No, it happened to me all the time. I mean I'm ...
HOSTIN: Six officers?
HOUCK: Listen. First of all, six officers weren't on him. There were two officers standing in the background that I could see. I think two officers responded initially, all right? And it's not when he was first approached. All right, so, if you have six officers, first of all, there's no room for six officers to be on one guy. I've been in fights like this many, many times. I'm 6'4", 220 back then, it used to take three, sometimes four, sometimes five of us to handcuff even a little guy. Because it's not as easy as you see it on CSI and television.
CABRERA: Mark, you know, if it turns out that the suspect didn't have the officer's gun, or if he was simply reaching for that gun, had his hand on it, is the use of deadly force still justified in terms of the law?
MARK O'MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S FORMER ATTORNEY: Well, the problem is, with a gun grab, if this is what it was, if he truly had his hand on the gun, even though it's supposed to be protected by a couple of different safety mechanisms, I would tell you that that is a situation that escalates into the use of deadly force, because once that gun is released, it is, in fact, deadly force. But if there's a saving grace here, in the death of a mentally ill person, it is a perfect example of why we have to have more and more body cameras. Because those body cameras when we finally get to see them, may well exonerate the officers. But they at least are going to give us some insight into what happened. More of those, there's less questions than when we have - person is no longer around to tell us their side of the story, maybe the cameras can tell it for them.
CABRERA: Well, you know, I talked before, and we are going to put online to gentleman who runs the shelter down there, and he was pointing out, look, this is an untenable situation for everybody involved in skid row, for the homeless people, for the police officers who are expected to actually police them. I mean, there's no place in America that I've ever seen that's like skid row.
HOSTIN: Yeah, and I've seen it as well. And I think the real issue here is, what is the City of Los Angeles prepared to do with this issue? This is clearly a problem. And why is someone who is mentally ill, who apparently was just released from the hospital, living in a tent and not receiving the appropriate medical help. The way we treat people that have mental illness in this country has to change. And I also think the way we train our officers in how to deal with people with mental illness has to change. This should have been a situation of de-escalation, rather than a justifiable use of force.
HOUCK: When the call came through as a robbery, so when a call comes through as a robbery, when you are a police officer you're thinking weapon. OK?
CABRERA: That's in your mind when you arrive.
HOUCK: Right. That's in your mind automatically.
O'MARA: It's not necessarily true.
HOUCK: Well, it is for me, and I was in robbery for four years.
CABRERA: Mark ...
O'MARA: You know that most robberies are, when they're called robberies, they're not weapon robberies. Or they would be called an armed robbery.
O'MARA: They got a weapon.
CABRERA: But harry, in terms of, you know, often we say, well, people say, why didn't the police use a taser? In this case ...
HOUCK: They did.
CABRERA: A taser was used. It's not a -- it doesn't -- what, does it not work? It is difficult to ...
HOUCK: It affects people, all people differently. Especially and mostly disturbed persons. And people on drugs. Sometimes I didn't use the taser when I was on the job, but other officers have. I've investigated cases like that when I was in internal affairs. And the fact that they have -- it doesn't work on everyone. So, if you are going to have to take somebody down now, you can't keep on zapping the guy, because if I grab you and you start zapping him, I'm going to get zapped, too. From touching that person.
CABRERA: Mark, an investigation like this, how long does it actually go on for? I mean obviously, the police would come forward and say, look, we've looked at the tapes so far, everything we're seeing, you hear they put out photographic evidence. How long does it last? HOUCK: Well, the quick answer is, it really should take as long as it
should take. And they should not allow the evidence to come out piecemeal. Because we know from Ferguson and many other cases that when this information comes out piecemeal, it aggravates the situation. This should take a couple of three weeks maximum, because what they're really going to be looking at is taking all of the officers' testimony, all of the lay witnesses' testimonies, reviewing all of the audio and video, enhance it to the extent they have to and can, and then trying to get it to us, the public, who are going to look at it and say, we go with the cops, it's a justified shooting or these cops need more training than mentally ill intervention.
CABRERA: I got to say anybody, though, a police officer who's stationed down on skid row has a lot of experience dealing with people with mental illness. Because they're doing it all day long. But again, we've got to find out more about this situation. Mark O'Mara, thank you, Sunny Hostin, Harry Houck as well.
Just ahead, a Russian murder mystery deepens as police question Boris Nemtsov's girlfriend. The couple was walking on a bridge very close to Kremlin when he was gunned down. We have new details about the last hours of his life, also a surveillance video.
Plus, a terrifying moment caught midair. Skydiving is scary enough. A skydiver has a seizure moments after jumping out of a plane, hurtling toward the earth. How his instructor saved his life when he was just a couple thousand feet from hitting the ground.
CABRERA: Tonight new details in the murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. One of President Putin's most vocal critics, he was gunned down, as you probably know Friday, on a Moscow Bridge near the Kremlin. A city-owned television station has released a surveillance video, this is it, reportedly capturing the killing. And we cannot confirm its authenticity. A reporter who narrates it, says the video shows Nemtsov and his girlfriend walking on the bridge. At one point you see a snowplow truck blocks them from the camera's view. The video then shows one person left at the scene, and another person ostensibly the killer getting to a car that speeds off. Again, we can't confirm the video's authenticity. What's certain is that Nemtsov's girlfriend, a Ukrainian model, who was on that bridge with him is a key witness. She's been questioned extensively by police. She has now returned to Ukraine. We'll have more on that in a moment. But first, Ivan Watson walks us through exactly what we know happened on Friday.
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The staff here at the liberal Russian radio station "Echo Moskvy" is in mourning for Boris Nemtsov. He gave thousands and thousands of media interviews throughout his long political career. His final interview to place in this studio. Hours later, he was murdered on Friday night. The focus of his conversation was the war in neighboring Ukraine. After his "Echo Moskvy" interview, Nemtsov came here to Moscow's
iconic Red Square. It was after 9:30 p.m. He met his Ukrainian girlfriend, Anna Duritskaya, and they came to this upscale restaurant, Bosco, to have dinner.
After 11:00 at night, Nemtsov and Duritskaya came out of the restaurant, and they walked through Red Square. And you've got Lenin's tomb down over there. Of course, you have the magnificent St. Basil's Cathedral. And presumably they would have walked past the Kremlin, right over here, which houses the offices of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
This area is quite literally bristling with security cameras. Red Square is arguably one of the most closely monitored, heavily guarded places in all of Russia. And it's here on this bridge, that's just meters away from the red brick walls of the Kremlin that Nemtsov took his final steps around 11:30 p.m. on Friday. He was walking here with his girlfriend when at least one unknown attacker fired a series of shots through his back, killing him almost instantly. And leaving the world with this burning question, who killed Boris Nemtsov.
CABRERA: Ivan joins us now. There are obviously a lot of theories circulating. Some of them put out by the Kremlin themselves. What exactly do we know?
WATSON: Well, so far, we know that nobody has been arrested. Which is striking, again, when you consider how closely monitored this area is, how closely guarded it is. Kremlin investigators, Russian investigators have put out a number of possible motives behind the murder, suggesting it could be linked to the war in neighboring Ukraine. It could be linked to Islamist extremists, to perhaps business associates of Nemtsov, or even domestic disputes. The one theory that they have not suggested is that maybe he was a target because of his outspoken, long-standing criticism of Russian government policy, and corruption, and the war in neighboring Ukraine. And that's part of why many supporters of Boris Nemtsov have come out and basically questioned the sincerity of the Russian government when it promises, and pledges to try to bring Nemtsov's killers to justice.
CABRERA: Ivan, thank you very much. We want to bring in Russian pro- democracy activist Garry Kasparov who considered Nemtsov a friend. He's chairman of the International Committee of the Human Rights Foundation, of course, a former world chess champion.
First of all, I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. These theories that have been put forward by investigators, do you find them completely insulting?
GARRY KASPAROV, RUSSIAN PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST: Yes, I find them insulting. Because in any crime, if you investigate it seriously, you ask about the motive and capabilities. And the first suspect must be Kremlin. Whether it's Putin or his cronies from inner circle, but they had every opportunity and every reason to kill Boris Nemtsov. But the place where Nemtsov was murdered, as was explained in this report, is the most guarded place in Russia. Probably in the world.
CABRERA: Right. To be killed in that place, do you think that was intentional to send a message?
KASPAROV: Look, I can't imagine a professional killer selecting the place where the chances of escape are almost zero.
CABRERA: Because he could have waited until he was in a dark alley.
KASPAROV: Absolutely. I know where Boris lived. You know, and this is from this bridge, he would move into quite a dark street, you know, and then, you know, in his own yard. So many places where a professional killer could do his heinous crime. Now, that's a place where you must build a record. And also to approach the bridge, the car had to come from the south on part of the Red Square. There are more video cameras than in the Fort Knox.
CABRERA: Also, if you are an opposition figure who opposes the Kremlin and has spoken out against Vladimir Putin, you are under observation, no doubt. And so, the idea that someone could be following him and not be observed by whoever else was following him.
KASPAROV: It's not just - It's not just an ordinary moment. I know from my own experience, two, three days before a major rally, and this rally was scheduled for Sunday, you are on the 24/7 surveillance. Also, if you follow Nemtsov and you want to pick him up at this very moment of the bridge, you have to know exactly which route he would take. Because there were at least two routes from this restaurant to the bridge. So, it means somebody was tapping his phone. Now, who could tap his phone to actually know exactly where he's heading for and also to make sure that only one camera, you show one blurry image from Moscow City TV channel. There're so many other cameras. And we - we don't have access. At least one camera from the Kremlin shoot - spot exactly the place where Boris was killed.
And also, the truck, the truck so conveniently covered the spot. And then the killer, one or more, he runs away, and it means that somebody, one person or two, they make six shots in two seconds. That - the moment when Boris was covered, that tells you something about the professionalism. And the very fact, not the car, not the killers have been found, despite the fact that they committed their crime in a very central of Moscow inside of Kremlin.
CABRERA: His girlfriend for a while was saying that she wasn't being allowed to leave by Russian authorities. She's now been able to go home.
KASPAROV: Yes. I think it's as good, so she denied that she could see anybody, and probably she didn't because it happened so quickly. But again, it's not about her, it's about all this video equipment that, you know, had to provide --
CABRERA: Do you believe a killer will actually be caught?
KASPAROV: No. Of course not. They may catch up someone. Now, the latest versions speculated by - by Kremlin press is that there were Chechens fighting on the Ukrainian side.
CABRERA: Chechens are often blamed for many things.
KASPAROV: Yes, but now - not just Chechens from Chechnya, now Chechens fighting in Ukraine against Russians. So, I'm sure they will come up with a little - very exotic versions. But let's not forget, Boris' body was still - on the bridge. And Vladimir Putin immediately said it's a provocation. So, what do you expect from the investigators, when the president, actually, the dictator rules out any other option, that might bring suspicion to Kremlin?
CABRERA: He's saying it's the provocation. Essentially, to make him look bad.
KASPAROV: Absolutely. But also, then, you know, within an hour or so, you could see it as that some local workers, they were washing away all the traces. The powerful hose, you know. This - that doesn't happen in a normal investigation. And the first thing police did, they rushed in to Boris' apartment and they seized his computer. Because everybody knew he was preparing a new report. After so many reports he did on Putin and corruption and Putin and Sochi Olympics. This report was about war in Ukraine to prove the presence of Russian troops in eastern Ukraine.
CABRERA: All right, Garry Kasparov, again, thank you for talking with us.
KASPAROV: Thank you.
CABRERA: Just ahead tonight, a skydiver's dream goes terribly wrong moments after he jumps. The medical emergency that nearly cost him his life, and how his instructor saved him while he was falling.
CABRERA: Tonight, the story behind a heart stopping video that millions of people including several on our staff cannot stop watching. I've watched a bunch today. I mean jumping out of a plane at 12,000 feet, that is scary enough for most of us. But compared to what happened next to Christopher Jones, jumping out of the plane was the least of it. He never imagined he would suffer a seizure before he could even open his parachute high above Australia. Ana Cabrera has more.
ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is not Christopher Jones' first sky dive. He is halfway through his accelerated free-fall training, meaning he can jump alone, and not in tandem, but only at the same time as a highly qualified instructor. That instructor, Sheldon McFarlane, with a camera strapped to his helmet, the two take the plunge. At first it all seems normal at around 9,000 feet. McFarlane instructs Jones to make a left-hand turn. Suddenly, he turns over onto his back and begins to spin. Something is wrong. Jones who reportedly has epilepsy is having a seizure. He told local media he had been seizure-free for years. He spends the next 30 seconds in free-fall at speeds over 100 miles per hour and completely unconscious.
SHELDON MCFARLANE: I tried to figure out what to do. And I thought he might be trying some new way of trying to do a turn or something.
CABRERA: When sky diving, a parachute is typically deployed at around 5,000 feet. Running out of time, McFarlane rockets through the high winds to his student and pulls the rip cord. At 3,000 feet, Jones regains consciousness, just in time to make a safe landing.
MCFARLANE: Just doing my job. Just doing what we, you know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What were you trying to do?
MCFARLANE: Trying to do.
CHRISTOPHER JONES: Thank you for saving my life. It was -- yeah, he couldn't have done a better job. Just amazing.
CABRERA: Although this dramatic rescue took place in November, Jones just shared it with the world via YouTube on Sunday. And in just 24 hours, the video has received more than 4 million views. Jones describing it as possibly the scariest moment of my life. Ana Cabrera, CNN, New York.
CABRERA: Possibly the scariest moment of his life. It's hard to imagine what could top that. Christopher Jones joins me now. First of all, I'm so glad you're OK. Walk us through what happened? I mean do you know how long after you jumped that you actually started to have the seizure?
JONES: It was about 15, 20 seconds after I jumped. Yes, I jumped out of the airplane at 12,000 feet. I remember checking my altimeter at around 9,000 feet. And then Sheldon signals to me - left hand turn in, that's probably the last thing I remember, and I spent the next 30 odd seconds in free fall, unconscious. And thankfully, Sheldon dives down, pulls my rip cord, and I wake up at 3,000 feet under a perfectly inflated parachute.
COOPER: Can you tell that a seizure is coming on before it happens?
JONES: No, unfortunately in my case, I can't. So I had no idea what was happening. Actually after I wake up, I kind of didn't know whether it was a seizure. I thought I may have just blacked out, sensory overload or something else.
COOPER: So you don't remember anything, you're completely unconscious during the seizure.
JONES: Yes. Completely unconscious. But I can remember everything up to the point and everything after I wake up.
COOPER: I'm amazed that your instructor had the presence of mind, I mean, he rockets toward you, as Anna said, he's able to grab you, deploy your parachute. It's incredible. He saved your life, no doubt about it.
JONES: Yes, yes, he did. But having said that, as (inaudible), there are automatically deployment parachutes on the outer chutes in case he didn't get to me in time. And one deploys about at about 2,500 feet. And then the other is the reserve parachute that automatically inflates at 750 feet.
COOPER: So the idea, though, when you come out of being unconscious, did you know what had happened? Was it like you suddenly woke up and you're at 3,000 feet hurtling toward the ground?
JONES: Obviously I knew something had happened. I woke up and I just put that to the back of my mind and had to follow the steps that I had been taught. Check the altimeter, that's (inaudible), at 3,000 feet, and check the parachute is fully inflated, make sure there are no line twists, and that the slider is all the way down. And then follow the ground (inaudible) instructions that I received via radio.
COOPER: When you first saw the video, what was -- I mean, was it more stressful watching the video than actually going through the experience, since you were unconscious for the whole thing?
JONES: Yeah, obviously it was a bit more stressful. My first reaction was a bit of shock at what actually happened. And then (inaudible) I could have potentially died that day, I guess. But thankfully Sheldon was there to rescue me.
COOPER: I guess there is the obvious question, I think I probably know the answer, are you going to sky dive again?
JONES: I wish I could. But unfortunately I can't do these types of sky dives anymore. But it if there's an opportunity to attend them in the future, I would definitely be doing that.
COOPER: You would still go as long as it's a tandem, but the idea of doing a solo, because you had a seizure, not able to do that?
JONES: Yeah. Probably not be allowed to do that. (inaudible) skydiving, it's a bit of a big risk. I wouldn't be able to do solo anymore. But definitely would be able to do tandem jumps.
COOPER: Christopher, it's an extraordinary video and I appreciate you sharing it with the public. Thank you so much for talking with us.
JONES: You're very welcome. Thank you.
COOPER: Just amazing.
Up next, a 360 special report. Up next, we're going to look at the ISIS threat. We'll take an in-depth look at the terror group all throughout the next hour, who are they, what do they want, and how can they be stopped.