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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Protest Around the Country; Protesters arrested in Ferguson; Police to N.Y. Protesters: Unlawful Assembly; Officer Wilson Breaks His Silence; Wilson: Brown was a "Powerful" Man
Aired November 25, 2014 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, AC360 HOST: You have no doubt about it.
LEE: No doubt about it, no doubt about it.
COOPER: But you have...
LEE: We have been knockout.
COOPER: But it's a hard thing you get everything invested on this.
LEE: I had everything invested. I put on everything that I had. I opened up my (inaudible) savings account and to do this, to do the church and, you know, to see in flame last night. I can't do anything but cry. And today it just been a very emotional day, so like I've been hit with several different blows with (inaudible). I'm sorry non-indictment. The way that we were told, to look my members face and see the brokenness on their face, then to come out to the community, to see the community set of fire. Then to get a call late last night that the church was on fire. It's been a strong testament of faith.
COOPER: Yeah, well Pastor Lee, I appreciate you being with us and I wish you the best of bringing your congregation.
LEE: Thank you so much. I greatly appreciate it.
COOPER: Thanks a lot. It is just about 8:00 p.m. here in Ferguson and we just had a number of incidents here. Protesters confronting authorities around the police headquarter. We saw two people being arrested. However, so far at least no large scale, violence certainly not what we saw last night, in that respect a lot has change in the 24 hours as the grand jury decision came down in the death of Michael Brown. And parts of Ferguson erupt in violence.
Tonight, a massive bigger National Guard presence 2,200 troops, that's up from 700 last night. Missouri's Governor ordered them into action. There out enforcing including around the police department in Ferguson. Again some have been confronting protesters. However, it seems different in tone and tanner than last night to out pouring of rage.
There are protesters out in force around the country as well student in Boston marching on police headquarters and toward the city's rock (inaudible) their neighborhood and marchers gathering around the local police station. Marches as well in Los Angeles, in New York, Atlanta, we have seen more than 100 locations in all, in Canada as well.
I want to begin with Chris Cuomo who's at police headquarters in Ferguson where we saw so much of the violence begin last night. Chris, explain what's you're seeing, what's happening there now.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CO-ANCHOR, NEW DAY: Right now we're on protesters side of the street, South Florissant has been shutdown where we are right now. Down one way their police cruisers about three blocks deep. Down the other side their just holding traffic because of what you're seeing now. Now this was we're suppose to see last night in terms of defensive set up by authorities.
You have the National Guard there in the traditional looking BDU's the basic dress uniforms of the military. There are supposed to be protecting the structures. In front you have (inaudible) lines of officers. They've come out in more force to deal with the restriction of assembling not in the street.
However, the street is now been shutdown and they have move back, they're differently giving some porter (ph) to protesters. People are here mostly young and angry. Their chanting and obviously their talking about what they see as miscarriage of justice in the grand jury.
COOPER: And Chris, that has been decided protest really over the last 100 days or so. And it's usually been allow to take place except when people actually get into the street and block the street. That's in the past when we've seen arrest being made.
CUOMO: And that's exactly what's happening right now is that, you know, the question is going to be how much do the authorities allow here outside the norm which was to have business as usual with traffic moving. You're seeing a couple of cars get through here now but their basically coming from this area, it's not through traffic. But you have several, hundred the crowd is growing here.
And they're upset as you can see from the sign and things they have here. And you've heard a lot of these Anderson, people were still obviously very angry.
COOPER: All right, Chris Cuomo. I appreciate we're going to continue checking with you. As we said we saw at least two arrest being made there just several minutes ago. And as I said there are protesters across the country including in New York. Miguel Marques has been with the protesters there. Miguel, last we saw you protesters around the FDR drive which a major - a highway around the east side of Manhattan. Where are you now and what seen because we saw a police also warning protesters that they were assembling unlawfully?
MIGUEL MARQUES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're further up FDR and both lanes are now -- are shutdown. Protesters are taking over both the south side lane and the northbound lane. We're probably somewhere around East 20th street right now. Headed up toward -- we don't really know. Last night we walk all the way to Harlem and there was a stand off of police when try to save a bridge. We know there are several, simultaneous protest going on across the city tonight, part of the protesters plan to try to take back the streets and show authorities who is boss essentially
People -- These crowds that we're with growing inside. If you see that light shining over us as we go that's the police helicopter over head that's been giving track of these. Police I will say run an elevated part of the FDR right now. Police in large numbers are along the bottom. Here on the south side you can see that police vehicles are gathered here. At a certain points police did from a barricade or blockage and try to slow the crowd down. It is not clear if this going to come to some sort of confrontation, but at the moment police being respectful, giving them their distance and along these protest to protest, Anderson.
COOPER: Miguel, how was these organized? It seem like kind of organizer over social media or is it planned well and advance and I assumed usually New York, you have to permit for protest. I assumed something like this there's not a permit for, they just march on to the FDR drive. Is that right?
MARQUES: Yeah. Look, they saw what happen last night. The protesters took to the street, they started going up against traffic, they've marched all the way to Harlem, they kind of take several bridges last night and that inspired a lot of groups here in the city that they then got together today and clearly there was a coordinated effort for different groups to head off at different times in a different parts of the city to try to take back those streets and to prove their point of who is in charge of society and what they want authorities to do and also just, you know, frustrate the police and their ability to handle all these protest.
At the moment police are here in very big numbers, but they're not in riot gear, they're as near by but not making their presence very well known. There are few walking along aside us here, the elevated highway. But they're staying a very respectful distance back. This protest clearly a spark in Ferguson has just cause a fire here in New York, Anderson.
COOPER: Miguel Marques, thanks very much for that. Let's go next to Paul Vercammen at CNN. He's in Los Angeles. Paul we're seeing what looks like a very different situation there, a lot more police vehicles, than what we've seen at least in New York where Miguel Marques is, what's the scene where you at?
PUAL VERCAMMEN CNN CORESPONDENT: Well I'm right here at Tower Street, right here USD, and there's Metro Train Track running through here. So police (inaudible) that they would take a stand here. As the protester started go down this way they fill them up. So all the sudden there's crowd about three or 400 and went down the other way and (inaudible) go ahead and pan over here. You can see that the protester now move back up (inaudible) I think it was a little bit a surprise that protesters get toward a train track.
There was a little bit of heated confrontation with some shouting, some people surrounding a police car. There were punches thrown and there was no pounding on the car anything like that. There's largely been a peaceful demonstration with protesters chanting everything from hands up, don't shoot and many are expressing other support for Ferguson here in Los Angeles. But they've been -- I think for quite sometime at least I would say two and a half miles in there. As I said there's was not been any violent that we have seen.
COOPER: I want to bring in -- As we look at this images from Los Angeles, I want to bring a retired Lieutenant General Russel Honore again. General Honore, I mean as you see this pictures. It is interesting how a protest which has begin here in Ferguson how we're now seeing protesting popping up in a number of cities across the United States. We saw a little bit last night. Certainly now it's seems to be someone even larger at least more widespread.
How difficult is it for law enforcement to deal with the situation like this because again these are not permitted protest which is usually what a city requires for protest like this. Police don't want to -- I guess be too aggressive at the same time they do want to maintain law in order.
RUSSEL HONORE: Absolute Anderson. And it take a lot of patience on the police part to understand that civil disobedient by itself is to force the police to take actions. So, after people stand in the street and if can be done in the safe way. Sometimes it best to observe that as long as it didn't go violet. More often than not many times the police will want to move them of the street because I said so. And that is when the pushing and shoving starting and that's when they go violent, and that's when they put people in jail. All people actually do criminal acts like throw things at the police.
You saw (inaudible) to police you might go to jail. But I think police in the cities, unlike Ferguson in Saint Louis that have mobilize National Guard and back up troops their dealing this with shift officers who're probably working overtime, they have to going to change their game unless they came to a political conclusion here that said "Hey, we're going to this in terms of a federal review, a procedure across the country at heart of this issue or we're going to have a blue ribbon panel that's going to appoint it, that's got 90 days to make recommendations to the federal government as well to every state on how we deal with these issues in the future?"
But I'm telling you this Anderson if Saint Louis can't control this, you know what the next step is and it's called the Interaction Act the same thing that did out in Los Angeles.
Now we're nowhere near that now. But people might want to look at that because that is a statute that's design if local's authorities cannot control and provide civil law inside their cities, over.
COOPER: You know, it's interesting General to -- when we heard earlier today from the Mayor of Ferguson who have himself came under a lot of criticism in the course during the summer for saying there was no racial divide the city, I think walk back to the statement now. But he came out today and said he basically has no relationship with the Governor of the state and in fact hasn't talk to the Governor of the State of Missouri since the last protest in the summer in terms of an organization of trying to affect change in the community here, which clearly needs to take place on some level. The fact there is no communication between the Mayor and the Governor. It's kind of extraordinary.
HONORE: Yeah, I'm surprise too, you know, and when you go back and you look at the history of crisis in the country. That's the kind of the problem we had during Katrina command and control between government and the state, we had the same thing up in New Jersey with the Governor of New Jersey and the Mayor. We even have to relook at this as to say with a blue ribbon panels to determine what is broken in our governance that we can't handle simple operation. You know, people like in the U.K. the London police must be shaking their head in amazement in how respond to simple civil disobedient in United States.
COOPER: General Russel Honore. I appreciate to talk to you. We're going to continue to talk to you throughout this hour.
Up next, Officer Wilson attorneys speaking out for the first time tonight. I talk to two of them just before we went on air. We'll hear their perception of what is happening in the street here. Also their perception of the case that Officer Wilson made to the grand jury and a whole lot more with my conversation with them ahead. As protest continue to take place across the country more on that tonight, stay tuned.
COOPER: And welcome back. We're seeing protest taking place across the country at this hour in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta as well as protesters clashing with authorities in Ferguson. Nothing certainly like last night thanks goodness. Tonight the man who is used a deadly force against Michael Brown touch these all off, spoke out part in ABC's George Stephanopoulos, here some of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Is there anything you could have done differently that would have prevented that killing from taking place?
DARREN WILSON: No.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And you're absolutely convinced when you look through your heart and your mind that if Michael Brown were white this would have gone down in exactly the same way?
STEPHANOPOULOS: No question?
WILSON: No question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Officer Wilson status remains unchanged he's on pay administrative leave pending the outcome of the internal investigation. Now, earlier right before we're on air I spoke to his attorney Neil Bruntrager and Jim Towey.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Let me start asking, as you saw the images last night of what happened after the announcement. What went through you mind having been so closely involve with this.
NEIL BRUNTRAGER, DARREN WILSON'S ATTORNEY: It was profound sadness. As I watch this what should have been a happy day for Darren and for the outcome of the case, the announcement of grand jury was all lost. I couldn't watch and not just fell that I been -- I felted so deeply, I wanted to cry. It was awful to watch.
COOPER: How was Darren Wilson doing?
BRUNTRAGER: We're with him today for several hours. He's relieved, so there's been this huge weight that's been lifted off with his shoulders. But again he's watching the same images that I'm watching and you're standing in and I think he has the same effect upon him as it has upon me.
COOPER: He's been watching on television?
BRUNTRAGER: He has.
JIM TOWEY, DARREN WILSON'S ATTORNEY: And what his express to us is that it such a diverse community and his pattern statement Ferguson loves Ferguson and it's tearing him apart watching what's going on to that city.
COOPER: Do you know what happens to him now. I mean does he want to remain a police officer somewhere?
TOWEY: I don't think that's it ever going to be possible and it think he understand that and he'll be looking for a different career going forward.
BRUNTRAGER: And I will tell you that again his whole life was build around being a police officer. It was about service that he wanted to do. And again there's -- there are two tragedies in this. The first tragedy is the lost of Michael Brown's life and that is, and I don't care how you stand, I don't care who you're, you can't ignore the fact that a young man died. But the flipside of this is that here's a man who was going to dedicate his life to the service of the community and the community at large and we've lost that too.
COOPER: There are a number of people who've been looking at the witness testimony today, and said look. Even as the prosecutor himself last night was talking about all the contradictory eye witness testimony that some people see that and said, "Well look, this could have very easily gone to a trial and been left up to a jury to decide."
BRUNTRAGER: If you look at everything and again I've heard lot's of people complaining about the process that McCulloch is engaged in. His vision on this from the beginning was put as much in front of the grand jury as can. Who can complain about that, how can we complain that there's been...
TOWEY: Too much information.
BRUNTRAGER: ... too much. And here we know that there has been. He's giving him everything. So let's start with that.
COOPER: But there-- as you know there have been complains, people have said "Well, it was an attempt to overwhelmed the grand jury...
BRUNTRAGER: This was.
COOPER: ... some of the evidence might have not been admissible in a court of law."
BRUNTRAGER: But that's not -- that's doesn't matter in a grand jury, there are no rules of evidence in the grand jury. We don't say, "Is this admissible?" "Yes, it is so let's give it to grand jury". You can put anything in front of the grand jury, it can be here say...
COOPER: But it is highly unusual the way this was presented to the grand jury. Normally a prosecutor would kind of pick and chose what was presented, because the whole idea is just about a probably cost.
BRUNTRAGER: Here's what I disagree with you. In most cases they go to the grand jury, there's a reason you go, secrecy is always the key. You go to a grand jury with evidence because you want to keep the names of witnesses private.
And in this instance with all of the threats that have been made, all of these people who needed to come forward, you can't look at what's going on in Ferguson right now and think that the people and can't feel for witness would feel comfortable with their names being out of public.
So you go to a grand jury, you have that secrecy so that people can come in and can be confident that their testimony isn't that going to be secret. To me it made perfect sense Anderson, that they did this way. And again, unusual, yes, and as a former prosecutor who had term in the grand jury, I run a grand jury, I know how it works. Again, I've never done it this way. But then we've never had a case quite like this.
COOPER: How critical do you think it was for Darren Wilson to be on the stand in front of that grand jury?
TOWEY: Absolutely, critical.
COOPER: I mean, not just in terms of getting the information across but just his demeanor at letting...
TOWEY: Correct. COOPER: ... grand jurors actually see him.
BRUNTRAGER: All those things. They had to listen to him. They had to see him testify. They had to look into his eyes. They had to way (ph) those words. It was absolutely essential that he testified.
COOPER: Do you believe if publicly people had heard from him early on, the perception of this incident may have been different?
BRUNTRAGER: And I agree with that. But we couldn't. There as a criminal investigation. And Bob McCulloch last night said that the reason -- part of the big issue in his case was protecting the integrity of the investigation.
Part of where we were was to do just that as well. We didn't want to put a statement out there. We didn't want people to try and disproved it by having other witnesses come forward just to say it wasn't true. And we knew that there were lots of witnesses who were making things up. I mean, McCulloch said it's much, OK?
So the integrity of this investigation map (ph) that we couldn't say this publicly.
COOPER: The biggest threat to Darren Wilson's freedom essentially was this case as supposed to the federal case. The standard for a federal case is much different much higher really, much more difficult.
BRUNTRAGER: I think so.
BRUNTRAGER: Again, the other part that you have to keep in mind is that to go after him on a civil rights violation. You actually have to show that he intended to violate your civil rights.
Well, if you don't even have probable cause in this instance, intentional acts are going to be really hard to prove.
COOPER: What happens to Darren Wilson now? I mean, where does he go? I mean, his ...
TOWEY: Start his life over. The life he had as Darren Wilson, a police officer is over. So they will have to find a new way to...
COOPER: How concerned are you about his security?
BRUNTRAGER: Very concern. Very concern.
And again, that's been part of the reason too we've had to keep such a low profile for Darren because there are death threats. There are constant death threats. There are bounties put around his head.
So we think about that every time we met. Every time we met and we walk out of a building, he looks every way. And you know what? I do that not too and so does Jim. I mean, again, we just have to be concerned about those things.
COOPER: Guys, thank you very much.
TOWEY: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Two of Darren Wilson's attorney who I talked to right before the broadcast.
Joining us now is CNN Legal Analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, Paul Callan and Sunny Hostin.
Jeff, let's talk about what happen here last night and in terms the leadership that we have seen from the governor of the state and from others. What do you make of a -- how the announcement was handled by the prosecutor, by McCulloch and also by the decisions by McCulloch to announce this late at night? And it seems like the governor not weighing in on that at all, leaving it up to the prosecutor?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I mean, think about this. Jay Nixon will have been governor of Missouri for eight years. The single most important night of his governorship was last night. And he was asked at the press conference yesterday afternoon. Did you agree with the decision to announce the grand jury decision at night after dark? And he said, "No, no, that was up to McCulloch."
And I thought that set the tone for the clueless and incompetent leadership that all of these Missouri officials shown.
I mean, the fact that looters were allowed with impunity criminals to throw bottles, to throw rocks, to shoot guns, to loot, to set fires without being arrested and then the number of arrest last night was tiny compared to the number of crimes committed. And it was just a deep, deep disgrace for the State of Missouri and Jay Nixon should be hanging his head in shame.
Fortunately tonight, they did what they should have last night which is to bring the appropriate amount of security.
COOPER: You know, Jeff, though, it's -- I mean, it is a tough situation. And let me just play and doubles that because there were those would say, "Well look, you know, during the summer when the police had a very aggressive stands, they came under, you know, huge criticism for that. And now, they're being criticized for not doing enough last night.
TOOBIN: That's right. And if there had been too much force last night, there would have been no fires, no looting, and maybe some uncomfortable photographs in the newspaper and on the web of soldiers waiting around with nothing to do. That would have been a heck of a lot better than the disgraceful activity and rampant criminality of last night. COOPER: Paul, you know, I was thinking about, you know, police officers last night seem to be in a precarious spot because they were in essentially standing by in many cases as people, you know, because some cases people are throwing bottles and stuff at them. It seems like they were under orders where as tonight we've already seen police kind of going -- trying to isolate one or two individuals who seems to be causing trouble, allowing peaceful protest to continue but going in arresting one or two people and then pulling them out.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, they're in the top spot. I mean, obviously, you have demonstrators here and the essence of demonstration is that the police are brutal and that they don't treat the African-American community in particular with respect. And at the same time you have those very same police officers guarding the demonstrators.
So the police are caught in the middle on this. And I think as a result, public officials had been tentative. And I have agreed with Jeff that it's just been a public disaster in terms of how security has been handled. It's a tense situation. And you need thoughtful people governing this situation in order to get through it and we simply haven't seen too much of that in Missouri.
COOPER: And Sunny, I mean, the fact that -- I mean, there were months of planning that allegedly were done, that could have been done training as well...
SUNNY HOSTIN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Yes.
COOPER: ... and yet it seems half hazard last night.
HOSTIN: That was what was remarkable to me Anderson because we know that the grand jury like we reach their decision around noon.
And then the government had what? Eight hours to plan this out and the only response that we get from the governor is that he let the prosecutor make the decision. My goodness, this prosecutor has more power than it seems like the Attorney General of the United States. I mean he doesn't have to step aside and have special prosecutor point at the Governor who things that he's OK to do this job.
He releases grand jury testimony without the approval of the judge, without the review of a judge which I never heard of. And he decides that the announcement is going to be made eight hours in the evening which was a negligent at very best, you know, timing of the announcement because you can't control crowds in the dark.
So it just seems to me like this prosecutor sure does have a lot of power. I mean, we're talking about a state prosecutor. It's remarkable to me.
COOPER: Sunny, since we're talking to you of full count -- yeah, go ahead Jeff.
TOOBIN: I just want you to know that the pictures we're seeing tonight, Los Angeles, New York, Boston, this is how you do crow control. You let people express their views but if they start throwing rocks and bottles, you arrest them.
There is -- These are very appropriate behavior by the police and there is no violence as a result.
COOPER: Jeff, I appreciate it, Paul Callan as well. As always, you find it more in the story and others at cnn.com. We have a lot of coverage throughout this next hour.
We're looking the scenes from around the country as Jeff just mentioned, we're seeing protesters taking over New York City highway. Police have warned them. There -- the picture, a large crowd.
This is a highly unusual site as resident in New York to have protesters moving up the FDR drive. And here in nearer -- that looks like Union Square, near Union Square in New York, I'm told. Although -- yeah, that's what I'm told it is, in the Union Square.
To have protester wondering the streets like this is high unusual without a permit. The police clearly allowing it as long as there was not violence as this point.
We'll continue to show various protesters out the country. Also I want to show some protesters at a fence in Los Angeles.
COOPER: It seems like they had just been trying to rip the fence down, I'm untold. Now it seems like others have told them to move away.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cut it over.
COOPER: Police had been watching this protest continue.
COOPER: They look possibly like they maybe trying to get to the interstate so that they can actually block the interstate. I don't know of that for sure but that certainly what it seems like that they're maybe trying to rip down this fence so that they can actually move in greater numbers on to the highway and try to block the highway which is something we have seen. Obviously, we saw that in New York as well.
We also even saw that a little bit earlier in Downtown at St. Louis earlier today. We saw some protesters blocking one of the highways in St. Louis very close at the Downtown. That didn't seem to last for too long.
There you see a protester trying to move over.
Now, this is the scene in Atlanta. A crowd of, it looks like -- certainly several or hundred perhaps, certainly more than a hundred people moving in the area of 200 to 300 people at least in that picture. Moving across in intersection, you see a relatively heavy police presence. We're not -- I'm not sure how long that protests has been going on. But now, it looks again, protesters continue to work on this fence. I'm pretty sure it looks like they are hoping to block off the highway. And you can actually see a fair amount of traffic already on the road.
This being at 6:30 in Los Angeles time, rush hour obviously. So that would obviously would be a big concern for the law enforcement if the highways are going to start or started to get block.
We'll continue to follow this. I think we'll take a short break, the coverage are going to continue in just a moment.
COOPER: And welcome back. As we've been reporting, there have been a number of clashes between protesters and authorities in Ferguson tonight.
Certainly a much different than what we saw last night so far, a big human presence meantime on the streets of Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston, New York where protesters march near Manhattan, to some part of the Borough's main east (inaudible) Highway, the STR (ph) drive.
Back in Ferguson tonight, there are 2,200 National Guard troops on the streets more than three times as many as last night.
I want to go Chris Cuomo who's at police headquarters in Ferguson.
Chris, about 30 or so minutes ago we saw that two people being arrested. I'm wondering the scene there now.
CUOMO: No more arrest. But what we're seeing is there's a little bit of a change in strategy by the officers across the street. Again, it's the officers, the locals who are doing this. The National Guard is still staying back, protecting the fire department and police department.
At one point, one group of the protesters moved a little bit too far into the street. One of the officers came over. They had a discussion and then all of the officers moved across the street, push the protesters back under the sidewalk. That seems to be their main concern here, is about the street but the street is effectively closed off.
Now they've spread out all the way along here. It's hard to see over the backs of the protesters. But they're now spread all the way down in front of line of protesting, they are very close. So you have the protesters and the police, now eye to eye.
COOPER: And the mood there is -- how was it?
CRUMBO: Look, I've been listening to conversation you've been having on this show tonight. And it really does go a lot of what's being experience on the street here right now. They're obviously angry about what happen with the grand jury. There's no surprise there. But there's also a feeling of powerlessness that this is all that they can do right now, that the system has failed them, that the grand jury that was supposed to give them a measure of justice that didn't. And that this is their resort.
And one thing that you don't see here in this protest is leadership. I'm not saying the community doesn't come out, they don't organized, there's not leadership among their own ranks but you don't see the elected officials. You don't see people who recognize, heads of the community coming out. There are members of clergy who are spread out but they're not here. They're not talking to the people in this community and I think that's a very relevant factor, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Chris Cuomo, we'll check back in with you throughout this hour.
Joining me now is Pastor Robert White of the Peace of Mind Church of Happiness which is one of my favorite name of any church anywhere. The St. Louis Alderman and Community Organization, Antonio French. It's great to have you both on with me again.
First of all, you just told me, your church was vandalized last night.
PASTOR ROBERT WHITE, PEACE OF MIND CHURCH OF HAPPINESS: Well mine was done between the last time (inaudible) we met each other, a few months ago.
COOPER: But it was. OK.
COOPER: So it wasn't just last night.
WHITE: No, wasn't just last night.
WHITE: We were just kind of joking around, we had (inaudible) he's was burned last night.
COOPER: That's right.
WHITE: Antonio's is certainly was burned and I was vandalized since the last time we saw each other.
COOPER: And yours was attacked last night.
ANTONIO FRENCH, ST LOUIS ALDERMAN: Yeah. So, (inaudible) office was one of the buildings that caught on fire. The fire actually started at the -- one of the beauty town places that I have been in a few times. The fire spread through the building. And really destroyed the entire building about five businesses.
COOPER: What did you make of what you have seen out here tonight and what you saw out here last night? I mean, what surprised you about last night if anything? FRENCH: Well, it's still early at night. So hopefully we have a better response tonight. But I was really struck by how off guard the government seemed to be caught.
Yeah. We're out on (inaudible) where the (inaudible) office was and there were no police, no National Guard. When the looting start, fires were starting. There was just no one out there. And so I was, you know, it seems like we got all of the negative sides of the state of emergency being comprehensively but none of the benefit.
COOPER: You (inaudible).
FRENCH: Well that's because of the cops were on the south region where I was. And I'm even hearing now that the Governor has called in the National Guard to go back on South Florissant.
And so when they talked about this plan, they talked about how they were going to be ready. As a community leader, as a community member, my question is, is this what you plan for? Did you actually plan to leave his business expose so that those who had (inaudible) can come and set it on fire, because with all the forces that they show, they easily could have prevented it.
Look at this surround of counties, Hazelwood Police Department, no fires. St. Louis City, they had allowed us to protest today without any problems. So what plan did the Governor did? Captain Johnson and his team come up with that allow 15 buildings burned?
COOPER: I'm wondering what communication has been like with the Governor, with local authorities here, because we heard from the mayor of Ferguson today, saying, he has no relationship with the Governor, hasn't talk to the governor since the protest this summer. I would have thought for all of the talk this summer of, you know, things needing to change and people's voices needed to be heard, the fact that the mayor and the governor are not even communicating. That really surprised me.
FRENCH: Well there wasn't a lot of coordination, especially last night. So I think the kind of prosecutor kind of unilaterally decide to release that information at night which is...
COOPER: But I don't even just mean in terms of this. I just mean in terms of progress and change unless there is communication between, you know, high of officials and staff. It didn't seem like anything is really good in chance.
FRENCH: We haven't seen that yet.
WHITE: When you create a commission that said this commission is going to talk about the city of Ferguson and you leave out a large portion of the voices that are crying out from the city.
You had all these municipalities that are not a part of that. This small municipalities, small town, governors, and the chiefs of police, everybody need to be brought to the table to have that dialogue because as we see it's not just Ferguson residents that are over here on what's Florissant and South Florissant avenue. This consist of metropolitan in St. Louis, so they have to talk to everyone involved and that process cannot be done just for showing (inaudible).
FRENCH: A lot of work to be done.
COOPER: A lot of be done. And a lot of businesses to be rebuilt and I talk to the number of business leaders today. Some of them had their places destroyed.
I mean, all of them talk about rebuilding, about wanting to rebuild. Is that -- are you confident, you know, the areas in Ferguson that we saw a burning are all going to rebuild.
WHITE: I hope so. What I do know is that the violence last night is really gotten us distracted and off track. You know, we should be talking about how to repair the systemic racism and the incidence that led to this unrest. And so, you know, the message to this folks who causes violence is they aren't doing anybody any favors. They actually have taken away from the message and they're hurting the mission (ph).
WHITE: And we need to talk about accountability as well because someone has to be accountable for what happened and we just can't blame the looters or the writers, because they've been pushed into these corners. They've been push and they've (inaudible) and treated and mistreated.
We had elderly woman coming to me last night and she said, watch how they strategically moving. I've heard you talked early how they're going on strategically but they were moving. It almost like we were all on the action block (ph). They were grabbing the strong, tall voiceful man pulling them out in the crowd and arresting them for no reason other than what seemed like to be a physical threat.
COOPER: But you would agree that there were opportunities out last night. I mean there were people taking advantage of the situation. I mean I think Reverend Sharpton talked earlier today about some of the people who were burning down buildings. They weren't for Mike Brown, they were there for themselves.
WHITE: So you've got...
COOPER: You've tweeted out I saw a tweet for you, I think it was yesterday saying like there were protesters but there were also looters and there were arsonists and people should understand the difference.
FRENCH: The people who would be not been out here for the last 100 days and showed up last night and weren't hearing silence and we're (inaudible) messages but only showed up to you breaking the buildings, those aren't protesters. Those are opportunistic criminals and they should not be included in the group and they should not be able to define the entire group.
WHITE: And that's what's they plan and then their communication can come in... COOPER: Right.
WHITE: ... when they are planning for that because we've had here some of the ground, we've tried to communicate with those persons that we can identify who had that opportunistic idea. And so if they have communicated with the right folks who've been out on the ground and maybe that would have gone (inaudible).
COOPER: Pastor, appreciate you're being with us. Thank you very much. Alderman, as well.
FRENCH: Thank you.
COOPER: Good to talk to you as well. Coming up next, we're going to give the protest on both coast, New York and Los Angeles. More ahead stay with us.
COOPER: Welcome back. So we've been reporting there are protesters across the country the moment including New York, where Miguel Marquez joins us now. He's outside the United Nations where protesters stop for a moment of silence. Miguel, how many people are we seeing because the pictures I'm seeing it looks really very large indeed?
MARQUEZ: It is. It looks to be five, maybe 600 people here. They have marched now for many, many blocks around Manhattan. I'm going to show you the picture here. Rick, you guys move in here and show all this crowd and extraordinary thing just a moment ago, Anderson, where they stop for four and a half minutes of all of the voice you've heard tonight there was absolute silence, stone silence, four and a half minute for Michael Brown.
There was now an organizer on the top of the bus stop addressing the crowd and look that they're starting to move north again along the east side here. It's not clear where they are going and whether or not they're headed Time Square or up into Harlem. This crowd now energized after this little stop. They are chanting, "Hands up. Don't shot." You can see that they are walk along with their hands up in the air. The signs -- this is the first time this evening as well that we have seen the entire contingent of people together and it does look to be 500 or 600 here.
This is one of many, many protest across the city tonight though. There was a coordinated effort to get protesters out to various parts of New York City and literally take back the streets. They want to prove to officials here and across the county that it is the people themselves that are in charge and they want this senseless deaths to stop, Anderson.
COOPER: Miguel, is it clear where the protesters are actually heading or is it -- I mean, is it kind of known in advance?
MARQUEZ: Well we even have been trying to figure that out all night and it is a mystery but we have some breaking news on our direction here. We're not headed west on 44th streets. So my guess, my educated guess and it's not very educated, is that we are probably headed over to Time Square where they did go last night but they stop there for a little while and then move down up to Harlem, another -- what was it? Another 50, 60 blocks or so and then over the (inaudible) bridge where they try to take that bridge and that's when it turned it to a bit of confrontation with police.
It is extraordinary to see the restraint with which NYPD has reacted today. Actually - Rick, if you just turn around this way, so you can see the police far every, every close by. They are only uniformed and they are just keeping an eye on things. They have not tried to force sees protesters to go at any place they didn't. The protesters broken up in different directions. They led police all over the city. And now it seems that they're headed west on 44th and probably over the Time Square. We'll see what happens there.
I know they had some issues there last night. They had some issues there earlier today but so far this protest has been completely peaceful with people really exercising their voices tonight, Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Miguel Marquez, I appreciate that. Let's go and check it with our Paul Vercammen. He's in Los Angeles where the police have been making arrest. Paul, last time we have seen CNN in Los Angeles, it look like people are trying to get through or ripped down a shambling thing, fence perhaps again on the highway.
What's been going on now?
VERCAMMEN: Well I had to say to you that some of the organizers, now the protests walked over to those individuals who were trying to rip down or jump over, some of them did, the fence that led a very busy 110 freeway in downtown Los Angeles and they prevailed upon the sort of splinter group of demonstrator to stop and come back over the fence and now everybody is walking right back up.
This is Figueroa Street right in front of the Los Angeles Convention Center. They're chanting "Hands up. Don't shot." And they seemed to be headed toward City Hall. So they defuse that situation rather than calmly, Anderson. A coupe of tense moments there because you can imagine if those folks has got on to the other side or even the 110 freeway, that could have been disastrous. But so far, right now, they're just back to marching.
COOPER: And I understand there have been some rests. How close are police?
VERCAMMEN: Well police have done is sort of -- ringed this area and given the protesters a lot of latitude. I mean whenever they'd gone and this has been miles long walk now. So there is a couple of standoffs (ph), one is you alluded to when you came or when they came to me earlier, it was near the train trucks and they were able to defuse that situation. I'm sure they were concern about someone getting hurt by the train.
So I would say we do see police presence in some areas that they are very concerned about but you're not seeing it -- for example there is not -- well I say a couple of officers right over there, Anderson, and that's about it, going to show Chris (ph). But it's not as if they are trailing or tilling or nothing motorcycle cops go along with the parade.
I think part of their strategy has been to go ahead and give these demonstrators a fair amount of elbowroom just along as they won't do anything that could be dangerous.
COOPER: And there on the left hand side of you screen, you're also seeing this scene in New York where large numbers, hundreds of protesters are moving, Miguel Marquez believes toward Time Square. They're not absolutely surely. Looks like some of the protesters are moving at a pretty high rate of speed, walking pretty fast there.
We'll continue to follow those protesters. We're going to take a short break and when we come back I'm going to talk a local businessman who rebuilt his restaurant after it was burned down during of the August protest, last night it was targeted again.
COOPER: We've been showing you protest from the around the country. I just want to show you Atlanta. George Howell is with protesters there. Georgia, what you've been seeing so far.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, right now Anderson, we are seeing huge protesters on each (inaudible) Street, that is the main street through the heart of Atlanta. It has been peaceful for the most part I can say. This started around 4:00 and really saw protesters start coming form the university center (inaudible) at Atlanta walking through the CNN headquarters building. They say to protest there.
I spoke with people there ask to comment but people refuse to comment, but again it was peaceful. Then they went on through these capitol buildings. We understand that there were a few kind of confrontation with police and then they left on through the highway that's where we ended and some people may have been detained. What you're seeing right now is the live pictures again on (inaudible) Street.
We've seen police riot gear, we've seeing police with their helmets but using a great deal of restraint. And also a couple were of arrest (inaudible) tension rather because we're not sure of exactly why the people were taking to jail but at least five people detained at this point. Again here in Downtown Atlanta, keep in mind the heart of the civil rights movement. We're seeing this protest continue. They started at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon and they are continuing through the hour, Anderson.
COOPER: All right, George, thanks very much. We'll continue checking with you as well through out evening.
I want to introduce your local business owner Varun Madaksira who's business The Original Red's Barbeque, was destroyed last night. How bad is the damage?
VARUN MADAKSIRA, OWNER THE ORIGINAL RED'S BBQ: It's bad. COOPER: It's bad.
MADAKSIRA: It's not - we can't operate for awhile to until we fix the place up. So...
COOPER: And I mean, the -- what's horrible about this, I mean many things, but in August there was destruction as well. You guys reopened, I remember I was out there, you were cooking barbeque in the parking lot.
MADAKSIRA: Yes. The sitting area was still bad so we decided to go that extra mile and we thought that we need to put something positive out in the community. And as you know as this -- when, you know, summer time, barbeque, just cook outside. That's what we did and hopefully it help. I think it did help. People starting to coming out after that initial struggle of three or four days and that was exactly the agenda. So...
COOPER: And now to have this -- I mean, what -- do you feel like it was outsiders? Do you feel like it was people who maybe, you know, from the community? What does it feel like?
MADAKSIRA: So again, I'm still affirmed deliver (ph) in the fabric of strong neighborhood and I would hate to believe it. I don't know. You know what? I don't know the answer to that question. But I don't think people in the neighborhood would do that but again it's still convening. Destruction is destruction. It has happened and it is affecting not just me, this time it's at a like a much larger scale than what we had overseen before. So...
COOPER: And you -- when you bought this business, you brought it back. I understand to this community.
MADAKSIRA: Yes, Red's barbeque was native to Ferguson community for quite a sometime -- quite sometime. And Red was the fixture around couple of places in Ferguson and he moved out. In 2012 we brought it back. We opened on 12/12/12. It was a pretty good business. We got, you know, we got by fine and people love this.
Just open the doors and customers are showing up, that shows that people want us to be here, you know, so that...
COOPER: Do you think, you know, will you reopen?
MADAKSIRA: I want too. I want to but it's -- I'm not as confident as I was last time because, you know, the first time it happened we thought it'd step out (inaudible) we move on. This time the damages are much more extensive than what it was last time. Also, I don't know if my customers would want to come back or -- it's a lot of things we have to think it through and I'm not sure if this is going to stop, that's -- I guess that's what I'm -- I don't know what's going to happen.
COOPER: Do you think you could go on and could you...
MADAKSIRA: I hope not, but from what the way we have seen things progress and unravel so far I don't know who is to be held accountable. There's no accountability. I'm the collateral damage just does just as any other business are collateral damage, so I don't know what...
COOPER: Well, yeah, I wish you the best I hope (inaudible).
MADAKSIRA: Thank you.
MADAKSIRA: Yes, thank you.
COOPER: There was a lot more obviously in our coverage and are looking at protest in New York. Retired Lieutenant General Russel Honore is joins us. Again, General Honore, when you look at this protest and we're seeing the scenes right now in New York, it is amazing to see this in such large cities, New York, Los Angeles, protesters in large numbers particularly in New York just moving through the city without really a plan that been announced without permits or anything, obviously for a law enforcement, this is a very delicate balance.
HONORE: Absolutely Anderson. And the best thing they could do in a peaceful protest like this, this could easy go to disobedience if the police walking in front and tell them to stop right now. You know, we close our roads everyday in America because of (inaudible). Let this people walk. Let them talk as long as they are nonviolent because if the police tell them to stop now because they want them off the road, because the police said so, then you got to go disobedience because they are disobeying a civil order from the police.
So I think what you're seeing on television right now, let it work itself out. Let people demonstrate, because as soon as the police tell them to stop and the demonstrators want to continue to move, it goes a civil disobedience.
COOPER: Lieutenant General Honore, I appreciate you being with us over t his last two hours. That's it for this program
Our coverage continues though with CNN tonight and Don Lemon.