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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
New Protests In Streets Of Ferguson; State Patrol Takes Over Security In Ferguson
Aired August 14, 2014 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. I'm Wolf Blitzer sitting in for Anderson.
All eyes tonight on two spots in Missouri. The gateway arch in St. Louis, a symbol of America's promise and the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, which has become for many the exact opposite.
Five days after police in Ferguson shot and killed Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed African-American, his family and thousands more are at a vigil there right now. And in Ferguson where Brown fell, where protesters and county police have clashed, where stun grenades and Molotov cocktails flew last night, and tear gas filled the air, the protesters remain but the combat equipped county police have been replaced by state troopers.
Two pictures tonight, what it looks like tonight and what it's been and threatens to become.
It comes after a day that saw Missouri's governor bring in the state police and President Obama put Ferguson on his own agenda.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We lost a young man, Michael Brown, in a heartbreaking and tragic circumstances. He was 18 years old.
There is never an excuse for violence against police or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting. There is also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: And tonight, how his words and the governor's actions are being received. First, Jason Carroll is in Ferguson where it's been quite a week. He's got the very latest -- Jason.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, there are several hundred demonstrators who have gathered out here today. You can see they're out here on the sidewalk, cars driving by, honking in support of the demonstrators who were out here. And what you're seeing here right now, Wolf, is really a stark
contrast to what we've seen out here in nights past. Even last night, for example, you would not have had all these protesters out on the street. In fact the police were out here at this location. They had already pushed people back, but we're seeing a difference out here tonight, this after the governor has promised a change in police tactics.
There it goes there. They're firing onto the crowd. Ouch.
CARROLL (voice-over): Rubber bullets, tear gas, flash grenades, all used by an increasingly aggressive police force against angry protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Violence has erupted in the city of Ferguson. They are firing -- they are firing rubber bullets and smoke grenades.
CARROLL: More violence last night, the fifth night of protest, after unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was gunned down by police on Saturday.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Disperse immediately. This is no longer a peaceful protest.
CARROLL: Tensions were high on both sides. This picture shows demonstrators lighting Molotov cocktails presumably to use against the authorities. Empty bottles were also thrown at police during the night. Two officers injured during the clashes, 12 people arrested including two journalists who are working inside this McDonald's when police attempted to clear them out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop videotaping. Let's grab our stuff and go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) the right to videotape you, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hurry up, let's go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please don't wave your gun at me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see me working. Please do not tell me not to use my cell phone --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's time to go. Let's go.
CARROLL: The harassment of the media didn't end there. Some news crews were told to stop filming during the night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've just been told by the St. Louis Police Department to turn off all our cameras. We will not be turning off our cameras. We will continue to broadcast, even if it is at our own peril. CARROLL: This news crew had to abandon their live position when a
tear gas canister landed directly in front of them. Riot police took their equipment down after they ran off. It is unclear whether they were targeted or not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Turn around. Go the other way.
CARROLL: The number of protesters on the streets last night, relatively small compared to previous nights. But the intensity high and now going into the sixth night. Both sides remained watchful for what could be another night of violence.
BLITZER: Jason, you've been there every evening this week. Do you see a pattern of when the unrest begins on the streets?
CARROLL: Normally after sun down. I mean, that is when you normally start to see a change in things. We've seen peaceful protests throughout the week and then when it is nighttime, that's when things start to change.
But perhaps, Wolf, tonight may be different. Captain Ronald Johnson from the Missouri Highway Patrol who is now heading up security. He was actually out here in the crowd a little earlier and he was talking to some people, some people in the past who looked agitators, you know, the ones with the bandannas on their faces. And he walked up to some of them and said, look, I don't want any trouble out here tonight. And so there's already been a dialogue with law enforcement and some of the people out here tonight. We'll see if it makes a difference -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Let's hope it does.
All right. Jason Carroll, thanks very much.
I want to bring in two people who experienced the turmoil there last night and were arrested in that turmoil. St. Louis Alderman Antonio French and Carissa McGraw who confronted Ferguson's mayor about it. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARISSA MCGRAW, ARRESTED LAST NIGHT: I am a single mother working on my masters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
MCGRAW: I do nothing but work, go to school, make sure that I can maintain my family and I was treated like a hardened criminal. Those men would not -- they would not --
MCGRAW: Let me -- they would not tear gas me, but they would arrest me in daylight but at night, they turn these guns on me. They turned these guns on me in daylight but never shot but arrested me. But in the evening, oh, it's tear gas, it's wooden pelts but you guys have nothing --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell them to stand down.
MCGRAW: Out there, during the night it turns into a war zone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Carissa McGraw, Alderman French join us now.
Alderman, you've been extensively documenting the situation in Ferguson. Explain the circumstances under which you were arrested last night and actually held in jail.
ANTONIO FRENCH, ARRESTED LAST NIGHT: Yes, so I was out last night as I've been at the QT, which has really become kind of ground zero and a rallying point for a lot of discussions. We had a crowd of about 200 or 300 people out there. I got information from some guys who lived behind the QT but they were told by police they wanted the area cleared at 9:00.
I tweeted that about 25 minutes before 9:00 and sure enough, right around 9:00, the police on the bull horn said that this is no longer a peaceful demonstration, you must break up. They gave a few more warnings, and then they shot smoke grenades into the crowd. The crowd dispersed. When they realized that it wasn't tear gas and just smoke, a few of them came back. The police started to advance and then they shot tear gas.
Around that point, I went to my car, which is located close by but still within view of the area, having experienced the tear gas the other night, I knew in the car was much safer. You roll up the windows and close the vents. And that's what I did, and I continued to record. The line of police came closer and closer and in fact my car was in between the line of police and some of the protesters still behind me.
Cars -- officers surrounded my car and then eventually an officer opened my door and pulled me out and arrested me. I asked them what I was being arrested for and he said because I didn't listen.
BLITZER: Carissa, you were also arrested last night. What was the reason you were given why you were taken to jail?
MCGRAW: Well, I was actually arrested about 5:30 in the evening, sun light still out. I was standing at the west Florissant and (INAUDIBLE), the east side, which the police had already blocked off. I wasn't blocking traffic. I was like just standing on the line, not jaywalking, not doing anything out of my rights. And the officers -- you know, proceeded saying if you are not moved from the streets, you are arrested. I didn't move. I wasn't committing anything illegal and they had the trucks and they had the tanks and they had the officers pointing their guns at me.
People were afraid that I was going to get tear gassed, that I was going to get hit with a wooden pellet that has often been shot out here, and I said they wouldn't do it because it was daylight. And they didn't. They arrested me. I wasn't told why and I was put in a patty wagon with an elderly woman and a reverend and two handicapped men. And they were told that they didn't move fast enough.
As I continued, you know, being there in a cell, and we sat there for 13 hours. They never said why we were arrested. They never identified themselves. I asked for I.D. badges -- I mean, badge numbers and they don't have them. They don't have name badges to identify themselves because they are told that they were wearing the badges they were given.
BLITZER: Well, let me ask both of you, Alderman French, first to you. Are you encouraged by the governor's decision to turn over security in Ferguson to the state highway patrol and effectively remove the St. Louis County Police?
FRENCH: I am. It's already a noticeable difference in tone. Really it has been the police presence, the heavy-handed presence which has escalated the situation and I think led to the violence each night. And so it's good to see this new approach already. There's been a different attitude and a different interaction between the crowd and police, and I am very hopeful for a peaceful night.
BLITZER: Are you also encouraged, Carissa?
MCGRAW: Yes, very much so. I mean, I know that the smoke that they were putting out there and the pellets, it looked as if at night this area turned into a war zone. They were controlling an uncontrollable crowd and these people, just as myself, were peaceful doing nothing that considered us a threat.
BLITZER: Very quickly to both of you, are either of you facing any real charges, or is all that dropped? Carissa, first to you.
MCGRAW: Well, for 13 hours I sat there and basically told me in so many ways I'm not charged but I realized that 13 hours was there for me to just think and I thought long and hard, thank you.
BLITZER: All right. And Alderman?
FRENCH: The same. They arrested us and told us that we were going to be charged with unlawful demonstration, but after nine hours in jail, they just let us out.
BLITZER: All right. Alderman French, Carissa McGraw, let's hope this is a quiet, peaceful night as these protests continue. Thanks very much for joining us.
We're going to be joined by members of Michael Brown's family. That's next.
Also coming up, the head of Missouri State Highway Patrol as this hour of 360, our special coverage continues.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: The protest in Ferguson, Missouri, still very much underway. We'll show you some live pictures. There's also a vigil for Michael Brown at the Gateway Arch. That has just wrapped up. His family was there and joining us now is Michael Brown's cousin, Eric Davis. Michael's mother, Lesley McSpadden. She was at the vigil to honor her son. Also Michael Brown's sister Daja.
First of all, our deepest, deepest condolences to all of you.
Eric, I know you're going to do the talking -- that Mrs. McSpadden doesn't want to speak, Daja doesn't want to speak. But please convey to them our deepest, deepest condolences.
First of all, Eric, how is the family doing?
ERIC DAVIS, COUSIN OF MICHAEL BROWN: It's really been a tough time for the family right now. We really have had a lot going on and we're still trying to prepare for a funeral. We really have had a deep -- we haven't had time really to grieve much and it's really tough for right now, Lesley to really talk. It's been a very long stressful time. We don't really have many answers to what occurred on that day and she can't rest as a result of not knowing everything that occurred on the evening.
BLITZER: Are they providing you with a little bit more information now, local authorities, or are you still pretty much groping for answers?
DAVIS: We're still looking for answers. They have not been transparent in any shape, form or fashion. They have not disclosed the officer's name. They have not allowed us any information on the investigation. So we're in the dark and that's hard thing to do when you've lost a child, especially your first born and your oldest son.
BLITZER: And he was about to start college this week, as well. I know he had worked really hard getting through high school, about to start college. It's such a sad, sad story.
What did the family think of what President Obama said today? Because I know that he was reaching out through his attorney general, Eric Holder. I understand the attorney general spoke with the family, is that right?
DAVIS: That is true. We spoke with Mr. Holder. Mr. Holder, as well as President Obama expressed our condolences through Eric Holder and we had the conversation. They let us know that the federal department was going to be coming in and watching and having an eye on everything that was going on in the investigation. It did give us some solace because at the present time we have no trust in the Ferguson Police Department because there was no transparency.
They have not reached out to us. Actually today was the first time they did reach out to us, but we did not feel like we needed to sit down with someone when they took five days before they would even come out and reach out to the family to say we express our sympathies and we still did not want to talk with them at this time because of the delay.
BLITZER: When you spoke to the attorney general of the United States, Eric Holder, did he ask what he could do to help? Did you say there is something specific, attorney general, you can do for our family?
DAVIS: Well, I would like to keep the conversation between Eric Holder and the family as a private matter because it was a private conversation and I would like to keep that that way.
BLITZER: Well, that's certainly understandable. So when is the funeral? Have you been able to make the arrangements?
DAVIS: No, we have not made the arrangements yet. There are some other things that need to be done in the investigation before we can finally make the arrangements, but that's why we're having a long grieving process. My cousin is really having a hard time right now and that's why we wanted to come out to a very peaceful demonstration today. We didn't go to the Ferguson area because we didn't want to get tear gassed or shot with rubber bullets or anything like that.
So we wanted to come to the heart of the city down St. Louis at the arch and be in front of a peaceful demonstration so that we can show Michael was a very peaceful guy, and we want to remain peaceful.
BLITZER: So tell us what that vigil at the Gateway -- at the Gateway Arch was like.
DAVIS: It was a very, very peaceful demonstration, Wolf. A very diverse crowd. It was a representation of St. Louis, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, everybody came together in a peaceful demonstration.
BLITZER: Tell us about your cousin, Michael Brown, 18 years old. Was just getting ready to start college. He was a big guy. But tell us what he was like. Share some thoughts about him.
DAVIS: Michael was a funny gentle soul. He always made you laugh or smile, always had a joke for you. He was a big guy in stature, but when he opened his mouth, he had a very, very quiet soft spoken voice.
BLITZER: What did he want to study in college?
DAVIS: He was going to study heating and cooling. And he was going to be a heating and cooling engineer. Michael could take anything apart and fix it with his hands and that's what he liked to do.
BLITZER: It must be so painful for you and the entire family to be going through this, and I know that we can offer our deepest, deepest condolences, but I just look at Michael's mother and sister there, they seem so understandably distraught. Is there anything folks who are watching, do you think that we can do anything to help the family, anything you want to share with our viewers out there?
DAVIS: The main thing, the main message that we would like to share with the viewers that are out there in America, we want justice to be served for Michael Brown. We appreciate all of the support from the community. We appreciate all of the supporters who have gone out marching and standing alongside.
We do not want to have any looting or violence going on at all. The demonstrations peacefully, we love that. Please keep showing us your support with peaceful demonstrations and please continue to pray for us because this has been a long, tough journey for my family and we just ask that you guys continue to pray and bless us with your prayers.
BLITZER: Eric Davis, thanks so much for joining us. Once again, our deepest condolences to you, to Mrs. McSpadden, Daja and the entire, entire family. We share in your loss.
We'll continue our coverage right after this.
BLITZER: In Ferguson tonight, as you've been seeing, they came by the hundreds on foot. To Eric Davis' point a moment ago, they arrived to face a different police presence led now by state troopers.
Joining us on the phone is Colonel Ronald Replogle, the superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Colonel, thanks for joining us. We just watched this protest growing by the hour. You and your fellow Highway Patrol officers have been there since Saturday but now you'll be in charge. So how will this change the police response?
COL. RONALD REPLOGLE, MISSOURI STATE HIGHWAY PATROL: Well, I think you've already probably seen a different tone to the police response there tonight, more interaction with those protesters. Certainly we respect their right to assemble and protest and you know, we just want it to be done in a peaceful manner and that's all we're asking for, and as long as it's done in a peaceful manner, you're not going to see the response that we've had to take in the previous evenings there in Ferguson.
So that's all we ask of the folks that are there. Just do this respectfully, peacefully, and you won't see the issues that came out the last several nights there in Ferguson.
BLITZER: And so far, so good, right, tonight?
REPLOGLE: So far so good. And again we just ask for their corporation. We're there to protect them also. I think you've seen Captain Johnson interacting with the protesters there already this evening and, you know, he lives not too far from this community, so this is his community. He feels, you know, that he wants to be a part of this. He wants to make sure that it's peaceful and that everybody is protected and property is protected there.
BLITZER: I know you don't want to second guess your colleagues but looking back last night where it got brutal out there, look like a war zone, what could have been differently?
REPLOGLE: You know, I'm not going to go back. We're looking forward. It's not my place to sit and scrutinize past evening's response. You know, I wasn't there. Captain Johnson was. We've been there since Sunday evening. We actually were there since Sunday afternoon helping secure the scene during the investigation. So I think it's important for us to look forward and not look back.
Tonight is a new evening and we just want it to be peaceful and calm and I don't think it benefits any of us for me to go back and second guess responses in the previous evenings.
BLITZER: There'll be a lot of second guessing. There's no doubt about that.
Colonel Replogle, good luck to you and good luck to all the members of the State Highway Patrol. Let's hope it stays quiet.
Let's get some more perspective right now from CNN political commentator Marc Lamont Hill who's with the "Huffington Post" TV, also starting this fall he's a professor of African-American Studies at Morehouse College in Atlanta. He's going to be a busy guy. Also law enforcement analyst, the former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes and our senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
And Marc, we've watched these protests grow larger tonight. You heard the police chief earlier call it a powder keg. The governor said it looked like a war zone yesterday. What runs through your mind as you see what's going on?
MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The first thing that comes to my mind is the word enough. People around the country, particularly in Ferguson, have had enough of these incidents. They've had enough of these really convoluted investigations, the lack of transparency as the family just said a few minutes ago. All this is frustrating to people.
Young black men are being gunned down around this country and I think people are frustrated. And when we saw law enforcement's response to that over the last few days, we see -- it's a microcosm of the complications and the antagonisms that exist between communities and police all around the country. It's really a sign that we need to do more and do better.
BLITZER: Jeff, we heard from a number of people in Ferguson that there's just a general lack of trust between the citizens there and the police force that's supposed to protect them.
How much do you think that lack of trust is playing into all of this?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's a huge fact and you have this weird situation in Ferguson where it's about 65 percent African-American and -- in terms of the population and the leadership of the city is almost all white and the police force is almost all white. That is a toxic combination for starters. Diversity has a very -- is often very successful in these sittings. When you combine that background with the shootings that at least on the surface look so terrible and so unjustified, you can see why people responded the way they did. BLITZER: Tom, the attempt by the governor, Jay Nixon, of Missouri to
lower the tensions to put the State Highway Patrol in charge of policing, what do you make of that?
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I think that last night's media coverage was the final straw. Watching what happened with those two reporters in McDonald's, having the flex handcuffs put on them, having them paraded out of that location without a clear understanding of why, I think that was just maybe finally the final straw and I think that what should have been done five days ago finally was done today.
In terms of explanations of who is investigating this matter, what is going on with the case, who is in charge, you know, we've had the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office in charge for four days and we've yet to hear from their chief or sheriff as to what they were doing and how. And I think now that there is some effort to try to bring tranquillity to a very difficult and, you know, problematic situation.
BLITZER: Mark, what is the most important lesson you want people to emerge with at this early stage in the aftermath of what happened Saturday?
HILL: That an organized response brings results. As awful as the rioting was and terrible as the looting was, the fact people were able to organize and respond and put a spotlight on something ugly and might have slipped under the radar had we not seen resistance. It brings change and we need a great deal of change.
BLITZER: Jeff, I assume you think the Department of Justice investigation in corporation with the FBI, we will learn exactly as we can what happened.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely. This was a terrible crime, but it was not -- or a terrible event. We don't know whether it was a crime, but it was not that complicated. There is a limited universal of witnesses.
There is a limited universal of scientific tests, ballistics, toxicology, that can be done. All of that will be done by the FBI and Department of Justice working together and we'll know what those facts show, and I'm confident that the Justice Department will make an appropriate decision about whether to prosecute a crime here.
And all, at least most of the mysteries about how this event could have taken place will be solved and I hope we can all learn something.
BLITZER: Tom --
TOOBIN: When we go forward.
BLITZER: Tom, very quickly because you're a former FBI assistant director. Should they release the name of the police officer, who shot and killed this 18-year-old young man?
FUENTES: Yes, there is enough time to provide security if they need to move him out of the area or into some kind of seclusion. They can't keep it a secret forever. They might as well go ahead and release that information.
I think to go back to what Mark said, it's sad and very, very true. It should not have taken five days of rioting to bring about the necessary changes and the attention to the overall problem and demographic situation and lack of training situation that's going on and has been going on in Ferguson. That's a sad state of affairs.
BLITZER: Tom Fuentes, Marc Lamont Hill, Jeff Toobin, guys, thanks very much.
Just ahead, more on the contrast in tone between tonight and the military-style response we've seen up to this point. We're taking a closer look at the Pentagon's role in this with police forces across the country.
BLITZER: As we've said, state troopers are taking over security in Ferguson, Missouri where the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown has sparked days of clashes between local police and protesters. Today Ferguson's police chief, Thomas Jackson, described the situation as a powder keg.
The police department's refusal to identify the officer, who shot the unarmed teenager has only intensified outrage in the community. Here is what the chief told me last night about why he is not releasing the officer's name.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF THOMAS JACKSON, FERGUSON POLICE: There is a very serious safety concern because of this social media aspect of the threats and some of the phone in threats. We're not going to release any information about him personally, you know, until we've determined that its safe and that the prosecuting attorney determines that it's OK to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Joining us now, CNN legal analyst and Criminal Defense Attorney Mark Geragos, and also Neil Bruntrager, he is general counsel for the St. Louis Police Officer's Association.
Neil, you think there are important reasons not to release the police officer's name at this point. I know you think that, what are those reasons?
NEIL BRUNTRAGER, ST. LOUIS POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION: I do, Wolf. There are several. Let's start with officer safety. First and foremost, you have to make sure this officer is safe. That's the bottom line. That's true for everybody, and that's a blanket rule.
The second part of this is that this piece of information like any other piece of information should be kept until the investigation is done. That's to protect the integrity of the investigation itself. Now in terms of the name and in terms of the disclosure of the name, you've seen and I know you're aware of the fact that there has been a great deal of information that has been hacked.
There's been a lot of social media information out there. There have been all sorts of things that have been floated out there, but the moment you put a police officer's name out there, that police officer becomes a target, and that is the primary reason why you would simply never release the name yet.
Now there is a time for everything, Wolf, and that time has not yet come. There will come a time when that name will be public, not yet.
BLITZER: So you agree with that, Mark?
MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I couldn't agree less with Neil. I understand that the rational. I get it, officer safety. The fact that remains that anybody who is potentially accused of any crime and I represented quite a few people in the past, who had a great deal of problem for.
The police have no problem saying they are a person of interest and inviting the public to come forward. If the police can't secure this person in one day, two days, three days, let alone five days, then the police have a bigger problem than any of us thought.
And secondarily, what if the public has information about this officer and prior incidents of excessive force, of him jostling around people on the streets and things like that? Wouldn't that be something valuable to the investigation?
This is the reason, I think, when they don't release this information, this is exactly why people suspect this is anything but a transparent investigation and looks like a coverup.
BLITZER: All right, Neil, what do you say to that?
BRUNTRAGER: Well, many things. Let me start with this, I couldn't again disagree with Mark more either. I think we agree on the fact that we disagree. But there are several aspects to what happens when there is a police officer involved in the shooting.
The first thing is what we call a credible threat assessment. The department when a police officer is involved in a shooting is they look to see what sort of threat is involved with the officer, why? Because there are people who want revenge. What would be served right now to release that name? Well --
GERAGOS: Can I ask --
BRUNTRAGER: Means --
GERAGOS: Neil, let me just ask you one thing.
BRUNTRAGER: Sure. GERAGOS: What was served when somebody has not been arrested, yet is a supposed person of interest or subject of investigation? Why is it police routinely every day announce who that person is and ask if the public has information.
In fact, I was saying last night, CNN has a program here called "THE HUNT" on Sunday nights where they spent a whole hour talking about that and that's one of law enforcement's great techniques. Why is it different when it's a cop versus civilian?
BRUNTRAGER: It shouldn't be. I represent officers charged with crimes in state and federal court and these are situations where names shouldn't be released until people are charged. I've been consistent always throughout my career in that no one's name should be out there until there is a charge.
So for officers who are involved in these sort of situations, I do think there are some more compelling circumstances because it's not just this situation. It's all situations. If in this case, you release this name, you have to do that in every case.
And while there are many questions about this case, there are many other instances that are officer-involved shooting situations where there is no question the officer acted appropriately.
Do we put our name out there and say, there is their name? If you pay attention, they put the St. Louis County police chief's name. His name was in social media. People hacked into his computers and got into his personal information and posted pictures of himself and his wife.
That's the tip of the iceberg in terms of what people can do. This idea they should be able to within four or five days figure what the threat level is, no, what you do in these situations when you find out there are these threats is you track them down.
You figure out whether these threats are real, and so if it's social media, you're looking at this information and when there is hundreds of thousands and maybe there is not hundreds of thousands but when there is tens of thousands like in this case, how long does that take?
GERAGOS: The problem is, Neil -- the problem is the public doesn't buy it. The public sees the double standard. You and I do agree there shouldn't be a double standard but clearly here there is a double standard and it should not --
BRUNTRAGER: They are not the decision --
GERAGOS: Well, except they are. They are the public.
BLITZER: Mark, mark -- Neil and Mark --
BRUNTRAGER: They are not decision makers. The decision makers are the prosecutors. Putting the name out to the public means nothing, other than to expose the officer to needless risk. BLITZER: We'll continue this discussion, I'm sure, a lot of people will be continuing this discussion. Mark and Neil, thanks very much for joining us. We'll go back to the streets of Ferguson for the latest on the scene situation when 360 continues.
BLITZER: An update from Ferguson where the highway patrol took over security from the county police. Just a little while ago, our own Jake Tapper spoke with the man who is now in-charge of the security operation in Ferguson. Jake is joining us now. Jake, what did he say?
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, "THE LEAD": When the governor of Missouri announced no confidence in the Ferguson Police and the St. Louis County Police and that he was putting in charge the Missouri State Highway Patrol, it came as something as a relief to members of the community because the person being put in charge specifically was Captain Ron Johnson.
So he came here and the atmosphere this evening has been very different when it comes to interactions between the police and the protesters. It's been much more friendly. In fact, Captain Johnson even walked among the people and talked to them. Take a listen to our conversation.
TAPPER: As someone whose both African-American and in law enforcement, does that put you in a position to understand each side more better or does it make it more difficult in a way when police and the African-American community are at such logger heads?
CAPTAIN RON JOHNSON, MISSOURI STATE HIGHWAY PATROL: Well, I think because this is my community, I don't -- the thing I am first is a man. The black man and who I am is down to chain but I'm a man first, so I take the approach from a man's standpoint and a young man lost his life.
So I grieve for that family because I have a son, and so we're going to look at this from a personal standpoint and if that was my son or that was my friend, how would I feel, what my emotions would be.
And whatever my voice was, I want to have the right to say what that voice is and that's what we're going to do here today and every day forward.
TAPPER: All the militarized images, what was your reaction when you saw those images on television?
JOHNSON: You know, last night I did not get a chance to look at the news and that's honest. I did look at it today and stepped back and, you know, when you step back and you can look at something in a different environment and we decided we do need to do something different and we're doing that. And we are going to do that and it's -- sometimes you just have to not just let people speak, but you have to listen and so like I used to tell my kids when they were small, open up your listening ears. And so now I have mine on.
TAPPER: So far, Wolf, Captain Johnson kept true to that. We haven't seen any examples yet of the kind of show of force that the Ferguson police and St. Louis County Police have shown in previous nights. The protesters still are rather rowdy, completely law-abiding but rowdy. People are still very much upset about what happened to Mike Johnson and about the fact there's been so few answers as to what happened exactly.
BLITZER: Jake, thanks very much. Let's hope it stays rowdy, but very non-violent. Let's hope for that, thanks very much, Jake Tapper.
We got some video of the scene in the immediate aftermath of Michael Brown's killing and it comes from the Facebook page of the individual that took the video, a man named Ace Johnson and it's tough to watch.
We're going to be judicious in how long we show this, but we do think it's significant to the overall story. You're going to see Michael Brown's uncle at the body. There he is. He was pulled away. There is a crowd surrounding the incident, demanding answers saying he didn't do anything.
That's one reason we're showing it. The other is this, it runs about 10 minutes, the whole video and we don't know how much else there was before Mr. Johnson started filming for the entire 10 minutes the body is out there.
The body is uncovered with people's anger clearly building. Joining us once again our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin and Josh Weinberg. Josh, you say you don't like the term militarization. Explain what is going on here.
JOSH WEINBERG, TRUMAN PROJECT DEFENSE COUNCIL: Wolf, the reason I have a disagreement, it mischaracterizes the way the military acted in the last ten years in Iraq and Afghanistan. We put it as a priority to protect the population and while, sure, a lot of weapons are the same, the vehicles are the same, some of the tactics you see are similar to those that could be employed by the military.
We never employed those when dealing with a crowd control situation. I was in Kandahar in 2011, 2012, and we had a variety of flashpoints that could have turned very violent including the destruction incidents.
Our relationship with Afghan local populations and civic leaders and also our force posture made it so those possible conflicts, there were protests. There was a small amount of violence was able to deescalate.
And that was always the key is de-escalation and I think you can see from what happened in Ferguson, de-escalation was not the priority.
BLITZER: Jeff, let me get back to that video. We showed a little bit of it to our viewers. The body is there. The uncle comes running out. The body is uncovered for a long time. The police officer who shot Michael Brown, we don't see that police officer and it's very, very disturbing to see the aftermath of that shooting.
TOOBIN: Wolf, I think this is deeply significant, this video. For two main reasons, one, look, 10 minutes of an exposed dead 18-year-old with no one covering the body? I mean, they treat deer who get hit by cars better than that.
I mean, it helps explain at least a measure of the anger about this circumstance and the second point is, look at how many people are in the background in these videos, in that video. These are witnesses.
These are people who may have seen relevant conduct to determine whether a crime took place here. I just think there is going to be an abundance of evidence for the FBI to look at when all these videos are collected so that they really can get a very good sense of what happened here.
And when you combine that with the witness statements and the scientific tests that are going to be done, I mean, the FBI is really going to have a good chance to make a fair judgment here.
BLITZER: Josh, your basic point as far as militarization of local police forces, you don't think the local police are trained to deal with these weapons, armored vehicles or whatever. Is that what you're saying?
WEINBERG: The up armored vehicles and heavy weapons serve a purpose in local police departments. There are terrorists and gang threats that deserve to be addressed by devices because obviously, the police need to get into these denied areas.
But I think it's the deployment of these weapon systems or vehicles and also those that are obviously trained only in those tactics into a crowd control situation that's different.
For example, the military we're trained on escalation of force, which basically means the only time you point a weapon directly at someone is when you're ready to pull the trigger and instead of that, we've seen in Ferguson, that police are just wondering around with their weapons up at all times.
Pointing them at people that obviously didn't pose a threat. So unless the threat matches what your response is, you are just going to endanger more reaction and actually increase and escalate the situation.
BLITZER: All right.
WEINBERG: Rather than deescalate.
BLITZER: Hold on, Jeffrey, unfortunately, you can't but we'll have many more opportunities down the road. Guys, thanks very much and we'll take a quick break and be right back.
BLITZER: Let's get the very latest from the scene in Ferguson. Don Lemon is right there. What are you seeing, Don?
DON LEMON, CN CORRESPONDENT: We're seeing people gathers out here. They are super -- it is super peaceful out here. Wolf, it's really sort of a family atmosphere in many ways. We've seen children out dancing.
We've seen these kids, rest in peace, big might, don't shoot. Don't shoot, holding up their hands. They are voicing their opinions and saying for the first time, they are feeling like they are not in an occupied situation and their voices are being heard.
They are able to express themselves creatively and I think it's in large part to deal with the local police not being in control and for the captain who is in control now.
He happens to be African-American, but also allowing people to express themselves to protest and not allowing it to get out of hand. Let's hope it's not a repeat of last night and we'll have more at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.
BLITZER: We know you got a special two-hour edition of CNN tonight, don, we'll be watching 10:00 p.m. Eastern. That does it for me. Thanks for watching. The CNN original series "THE SIXTIES" starts right now.