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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Michael Brown's Stepfather Embroiled In Incitement Controversy; One of Al-Baghdad's Wives In Custody In Lebanon; Former Wife of Abu Bark al-Baghdadi Captured by Countries of anti-ISIS Coalition; Nick Walsh Reporting from Kobani's Frontline in Syria; Synthetic Drugs Claimed Two Young Lives in North Dakota
Aired December 2, 2014 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening everyone. We got a lot to bring you tonight from Ferguson to the front line of the war against ISIS to the fight back home to stop new kinds of street drugs that may resemble the old ones who can be a whole lot deadlier.
We begin, though, in Ferguson in the moments right after the news came down that Darren Wilson will not face charges on the death of Michael Brown. Specifically with the words that Brown's stepfather, Louis Head, shouted to the crowd.
Tonight, a number of authorities are looking to whether he should face charges in connection with the rioting that followed. Now, before we begin with that debate, I want to show you not only what he said and how he said it, but also the context. The anguish of his wife, Michael Brown's mother, leading up to it. Here's the complete moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LESLEY MCSPADDEN, MICHAEL BROWN'S MOTHER: I have been here my whole life. I never had to go through nothing like this. So none of you all know me but I don't do nothing to nobody. Anybody say so they're liar. They're damn liar.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, those are the words at issue in the context surrounding them. Now, here's what Missouri's lieutenant governor had to say to conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham about Mr. Head and later by implication, the rest of the rioters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: You hear that sound from the stepfather of Michael Brown, what's your reaction?
LT. GOV, PETER KINDER, MISSOURI: That he should be arrested and charged with inciting to riot.
INGRAHAM: I mean, why hasn't that already happened? I mean, there should be mass arrests. Nothing quite said civil rights outrage like a fifth of jack Daniels. I mean, that really speaks to the great legacy --
KINDER: Or a new plasma.
INGRAHAM: Of you know, Rosa Parks. I mean, Martin Luther King.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So the question is, did one man's words trigger some of the rioting that followed? Jason Carroll has unique view on this. He was actually there standing about 20 feet from Mr. Heads.
So Jason, you were there. Walk us through how everything played out.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, my photographer, my producer and I, as you said, not far from where all of this was happening. You know, the moments, it was tense before it all started. You can see from our camera position as we were watching it as it unfolded. I mean, the crowd, I have to tell you, Anderson, was split before this. There were people even before he stepped up there who were taunting the police, who were throwing bottles, things like that. But there are also people there who were saying this is the right way. This is not the right way.
Then you saw Michael Brown's mother as she got up there and became overcome with emotion and then you saw Louis Head and his outburst. I can tell you immediately after that, after he said burn it down, there were people there who agreed with what he said. He said let's do it. Let's do it. But there were also people there who said let's not. And in those few moments as you see right there in the video, they got him off the top of there and pushed him through the crowd and got him out of there.
Shortly thereafter, Anderson, things, really, took a turn for the worst. A small portion of the crowd then broke off, more people gathered, they marched a little bit down south Florissant and began setting cars on fire.
COOPER: So the cars -- I mean, I remember you very vividly standing in front of a car on fire.
COOPER: That was very close to the police station where he made these statements, right?
CARROLL: Very close to it. But we should also draw a distinction. That was right in front of the Ferguson police department on south Florissant there. At the same time that we heard about the grand jury's decision, we also got word there on west Florissant, which is a few miles away, we already started hearing about looting started to take place, buildings starting to be set on fire. That was independent of what happened there in front of the Ferguson police department. So I think there might be a tough argument to say that what he did
there and what he said there incited people to do what they did over in west Florissant. They may have an argument for what happened eventually in front of the Ferguson police department.
COOPER: So the largest fires, the buildings that were burned, the storage facility and the other buildings, the barbecue joint, all of that was farther away. But for those -- the people who were there, when some of those fires at least were lit, would not have heard what the stepfather said but perhaps people who burn the cars or decided to throw things to the police more than have already been done may have hurt this.
CARROLL: Right. And that's what they're going to decide. And you know, you look at this statement from Brian Shelman (ph) from the St. Louis county police department. He released a statement saying our department is currently looking into this as part of the entire investigation that includes the arsons, looting, destruction of property. Once it is complete, the whole investigation will be presented to the prosecuting attorney's office.
You know, one of the points I wanted to make about this that, you know, I wanted to make before, but I think is getting lost. I found out when I was there on the ground, Anderson, you know, everyone is still looking to demonize someone. You got some people who are looking to demonize officer Darren Wilson, some people who were looking to demonize Michael Brown and now people who are looking to demonize Louis head, maybe for a good reason.
But I think also what I heard on the ground, people who are looking for some common ground. People looking for a way to move forward. And what they're looking for is leadership to help them get them there. And right now, I think those people who are looking for common ground aren't finding it.
COOPER: Jason Carroll, thank you for being with us and again. Thanks for reporting that night.
I want to bring legal analyst Sunny Hostin, Danny Cevallos, she is a former federal prosecutor. He is a criminal defense attorney, also former secret service agent and New York police officer, Dan Bongino who is joined us before. Dan, good to have you on.
Dan, let me start with you. Do you believe that Michael Brown's stepfather should be charged and if so, explain why.
DAN BONGINO, NEW YORK POLICE OFFICER: I do, it gives me no joy in saying that. I think the father -- the stepfather was in obvious pain. I think the mother was in obvious pain. But that doesn't absolve them from the responsibility to act in a manner not completely overtaken by emotion that could potentially cause violence.
And we are talking about context. Keep in mind, working in their favor, I think, is obviously the fact that his stepson had been killed. I don't think we can argue with that. But in context, working against them is, there have already been a history of violence, there are already history of rioting, there have already been a history of fires being set. And Anderson, he says about seven to ten times and asked for a microphone. The context isn't good. Not for him.
COOPER: Sunny, what do you think of that?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, I don't think anyone condones what he said, right? I mean, I interviewed both of his parents, Michael Brown's parents, not his stepfather. And neither of them are condoning what he said. I know Lesley, Michael Brown's mother, basically said look I was hurting, I was emotional. He was emotional. He acted in anger. So I think that's the first part. The second part --
COOPER: The sad thing, let's just be honest, they had a long time to prepare for this moment. I mean, it's not as if they just were stunned by the decision. I mean, they suspected this decision.
HOSTIN: You know, thought the same thing. But when I spoke to Michael Brown's mother, she found out about the decision five minutes before and she said up until that point, she really thought there was going to be an indictment.
The other thing I think, though, coming from the legal perspective is, this would be a difficult case to prove. Because you've got to prove not only that he intended to cause this riot but that caused the riot based on his words. And I think if you listen to Jason's reporting, the cause and effect piece would be difficult for a prosecuting.
The other thing, Anderson, is prosecutors have prosecutorial discretion. Given what's going on in Ferguson, given what has been going on in Ferguson, what prosecutor would charge a case like this? Most prosecutors quite frankly would run the other way.
COOPER: Danny Cevallos, Should that be taken into account? Just because it would upset people in the community, perhaps, to have this man charged. Should that affect the prosecutor?
DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, that part is a political question. We look beyond my pay grade. But listen. If you can be charged, you can be convicted. And his highlights how disorderly come to type statutes are so broadly written that it gives prosecutors exactly that kind of discretion in a case like this where no one is really going to be happy.
Consider this. In Missouri, you only need to show six or more people get together and agree to do some kind of violence or destruction of property. They don't even actually have to do it. And anyone who practices criminal law will tell you that when we use the word "agree," when a prosecutor asked to prove an agreement, it's not a written agreement. It doesn't have to be verbal agreement. The world of conspiracy is full of agreements that are attached it better just to imply from the circumstance.
But from a defense perspective, I think a good defense would be can you show a nexus between burn this down and the actual burning down? Because as we pointed out, it may not have been that close to the actual destruction of property.
HOSTIN: That's the problem.
COOPER: If it was just a few people who were motivated by what he said and I don't know if there were a few people motivated by what he said or they just sort of said that's a guy suffering and moved on. But if there were and provably a few people who were motivated by what he said, does it have to be a certain number of people to bring a charge or could it be one or two people deciding, OK, I'm going to throw a Molotov cocktail (INAUDIBLE)?
CEVALLOS: In Missouri, the answer is six. In other states, it varies. But six or more people agreeing or actually doing it. They actually do something, that is it's called rioting. If they just agree to do some kind of violence, that falls into unlawful assembly.
But remember, you still have a disorderly conduct-type statute which covers a broad range of activity, anything from shouting threats, obscenities, things like that can get him charged. So there are a number of different charges which the prosecutor's ultimate decision completely discretionary.
COOPER: Let me -- Dan, as you know, should the prosecutor be influenced by, given what has happened in the community, given the anger that exists by some people in the community and the resentment that might exist if, you know, Michael Brown's stepfather ends up getting charged and officer Darren Wilson doesn't, should that be taken into account or some people say well, that's kind of listening to a mob mentality and that's not what justice is about?
BONGINO: Well, I think we have to clear here. Just because he's charged doesn't mean he's convicted or anything else. Darren Wilson was put in to the legal system through a grand jury proceeding where probable cause wasn't found. The grand jury have been sitting way before that. It wasn't selected for Darren Wilson specifically. We either believe in the justice system, Anderson, or we don't. The grand jurors in that case did not believe there was probable cause.
Now, you can disagree with and that is fine. But in this case, whether, you know, the property owners have right, Anderson. I have to ask that question that don't they have rights? I mean, there are people there whose business have been burned down twice. There's a guy asking for a microphone seven or eight times. I understand --
HOSTIN: Well, where was the National Guard and the police department then for the property owners? I mean, I think that's another issue.
But Anderson, I think one thing that we need to think about is, you know, we have a police department, the Ferguson police chief who sort of is behind all of this, right? He is making all of these incendiary statements, accusations. He released this tape. I just wonder -- I mean, it is just tone deaf.
COOPER: He released this. This was in |"New York Times" recording?
HOSTIN: No, at this tape, I'm sorry. He released the tape. He released the surveillance video. And so I wonder, you know, how tone deaf can you be? The justice department is now investigating the Ferguson police department, the St. Louis county police department for police practices. And now, instead of sort of cleaning house and looking inside at what is really going on which is from the community members that I spoke to when I was in Ferguson, sort of the systemic distrust, this problem within the police department and communities of color, my goodness. This is what you decide to spend your investigative time on? It's so tone deaf. And I think prosecutors are looking at what will and not be tolerated, but this is not the time for this.
COOPER: I want to continue this conversation on twitter. Tweet me what you think whether or not some charges should be brought.
Sunny Hostin, thanks very much. Dan Bongino and Danny Cevallos, thanks a lot.
As always, make sure you set your DVR, so you watch 360 whenever you'd like.
Coming up next, try to learn exactly what go through a police officer's mind at moments like this. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, back up. Back up. Put your hands up. Put your hands up. Drop the knife, right now. Drop it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: When police officers make the decision to shoot or not to shoot and how they learn when to make that decision. That's coming up.
And later, he is one of the most wanted killers on earth right now, the leader of ISIS tonight, one of the closest people to him is in custody. How that came to be and whether it makes it any easier to actually get to him when we continue.
COOPER: Welcome back. We've now experienced one degree or another, nearly three-and-a-half months of tension and turmoil from an encounter in Ferguson that lasted about a minute and a half. A shoot or don't shoot decision that took split seconds. Yet, so much more may have gone into those seconds or split seconds than you might have first imagined.
In outlining plans to equipped more officers with body cameras and curb racial profiling, President Obama yesterday identified two factors in many deadly force encounters. Namely racial tension between the communities and law enforcement and the legitimate concern about keeping police officers safe. Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think Ferguson laid there a problem that is not unique to St. Louis or that area and is not unique to our time. And that is a simmering distrust that exists between too many police departments and too many communities of color. Whether you're in a big city or in a small community, as Eric Holder put it, police officers have the right to come home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Those are two powerful notions. Because whether it's the suspect or the officer, they play into hard wired parts of human nature like the survival instinct which leads straight into efforts to identify just what happens, exactly what happens inside the mind and the body when split second decisions mean the difference between life and death.
More on that right now from our Gary Tuchman.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE) and Washington police officer is getting wired so his brain and body functions can be monitored a he gets ready to make life or death decisions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police department, hey, talk to me. Let go of her.
TUCHMAN: Decisions in a most unique laboratory.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you doing? Hey, let me see.
TUCHMAN: Corporal Jordan Ferguson is one many police officers, military members and civilians who volunteered time in this violence confrontation lab, complete with frightening with realistic actors on a huge virtual reality screen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You received a call on a person says a convenience is being robber. Do you understand?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand by.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, hey. Back up. Back up. Put your hands up. Put your hands up. Drop the knife. Drop it.
TUCHMAN: While the volunteers make split second decisions, brain waves and hard rates checked. It is part of an ambitious research project at Washington State University partly funded by the defense department with the goal of improving justice in America.
Professor Bryan Vila is the man in-charge.
BRYAN VILA, PROFESSOR, WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY: We don't know yet still 100 some years since Teddy Roosevelt had the first police firearms training in New York, we still don't know whether there's a connection between the training we give police officers and their performance in a combat situation.
TUCHMAN: Sergeant Terry (INAUDIBLE) told he has pulled over a stolen car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your proof of insurance and registration.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want my driver's license?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My God.
TUCHMAN: The researchers say these volunteer's hearts are generally racing because it's also realistic. Many findings from the study will be released by the end of the year but some have already been published. The research is declaring that volunteers of all races often view African-American suspects as more threatening than white suspects. But that they may have subconsciously overcompensated because of the bias.
VILA: The surprise was that there were more restrained in shooting African-Americans than there were whites.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police officer. Let me see your hands. Raise your hand. Don't move. Stop.
TUCHMAN: The officer never knew if the man had a gun but did not shoot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes, we don't know if we made the right decision or the wrong decision. We made a decision and live with it the rest of our lives.
TUCHMAN: Now, this is -- they are also use this as volunteers. So with the cops guiding me, I pull over a suspicious car with a broken taillight.
Hello there, sir. Your taillight is broken. Do you know that? Sir, take your hands out of your pocket. Sir, sir. Take your hands out of your pockets. Sir, put your hands on the steering wheel. Sit, you're not listening. OK. Thank you.
That guy looked like he was getting a gun out, so I took it out and pointed at him. Proper way to deal with it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, stop! Stop!
TUCHMAN: There is a lot more to learn as this research is try to make life a life safer for citizens and for the cops who serve.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Spokane, Washington.
COOPER: Let's get some perspective now from Baltimore police commissioner Anthony Batts. Commissioner Batts was at the White House yesterday. He was the newly chosen member of President Obama's task force in the 21st century policing.
Commissioner, thanks for being with us. Bias against African-American suspects by white police officers. How big of an obstacle is it to effective policing in your opinion?
ANTHONY BATTS, COMMISSIONER, BALTIMORE POLICE: I think you potentially have bias from any employee. It's not the race that counts. Some of the things we're doing here in the city of Baltimore is doing new training on bias based policing emotional, intelligence and fair and impartial policing, trying to get to the root of those exact things that you are talking about.
COOPER: And can training really be effective in reducing the impact of bias?
BATTS: Absolutely. Baltimore is my third police department that I've been in charge of. And I've taken on some tough cities -- Long Beach, Oakland and now Baltimore. And when I come in, I used to build a foundation of tactical proficiency. And that's a just a technical word in the same thing that you practice. You give the officer the skills so they slow down. They don't overreact to actions and that they practice, and practice, and practice. When they come across those situations, they handle them in a totally different way.
COOPER: But -- I mean, doesn't everybody have some sort of inherent or implicit bias in how they view other people and often, those place out, I mean, based on studies in split-second decisions.
BATTS: I think every human being has bias and it come with bias, including myself and including you. What we have to work through is moving to what move beyond those biases and enforcing police work based on standards and based on putting you on scenarios. And sometimes even teaching you to back away from situations.
In Baltimore, what I'm really trying to get across to the officers is to use other techniques. Like just don't chase the guy in the alley. Call for back-up, slow the scene down and put officers around when you can identify them. So there are practices that you can use to take bias out of the situations.
COOPER: When thing like having a diverse police force -- I mean, there has been a lot attention to the Ferguson police department and kind of the lack of diversity on that police department, it's a relatively small police department. How important is it that the police force sort of resembles the community that they're policing?
BATTS: I think that's a two-fold question. I think you need diversity not just in race but also in gender and also into concepts and thought patterns. I think it goes beyond just race and ethnicity also. I think the officers who wore that uniform have to understand what
it's like to be in the community. And although we may have officers that may look different in our community, the city of Baltimore, our police force is about 52 percent minority and our city is about 64 percent African-American. What we try to do is get the officers out of the academy, away from the theory and get into the community to get to know people. And once you get to know people, you understand the culture, the norms and the issues that are going on inside the community. I think that is even more critical than the diversity.
COOPER: Commissioner Batts, I appreciate you taking the time to talk us. Thanks very much.
BATTS: Thank you.
COOPER: As always, you can find a whole lot more on this story and others on CNN.com.
Just ahead tonight, word that someone very close to the leader of ISIS is now in custody. The question now is could this woman who is in custody be the key to his capture?
COOPER: Well, tonight, there is potentially major break in the hunt for ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. The state department has offered $10 million dollar for an information leading to his capture that is helping a target is it. And now, someone close to him has been arrested. One of al-Baghdadi's wives is in custody tonight in Lebanon.
A source told CNN she was arrested as she tried to enter the country with the child. Chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto joins me with the late details.
Jim, who exactly is this woman and do we know what kind of information she may have, if any?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: This is what I'm told. That she was a former wife of the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi and also the mother of his child. And if they've had contacted Baghdadi had reached out to get into contact of access to his sons. So, there's that personal connection there, but in addition to that, we are told by Lebanese intelligence officials that she's believed to have had a role, some significant role in the terrorist organization. So, the combination of those two things, personal connection to the leader, but also a role in the organization gave her intelligence value enough to make her the target of this operation. She wasn't picked up by accident as they were trying to find someone else. She was the target and considered to have intelligence value because of those connections.
COOPER: And multiple countries were involved. The U.S. as well?
SCIUTTO: Well, what Lebanese officials are saying is that multiple countries involved, those include Lebanon, Syria interestingly and Iraq, and they say that the U.S. provided additional assistance to this. Now, I spoke to the CIA, the CIA would not comment. We do know that the CIA has a working relationship with Lebanese intelligence here. So that combination just shows you this very complicated war going on. Just imagine that Syria, that means the regime of Bashar al Assad cooperating with a U.S. partner, intelligence partner there, Lebanon, certainly Iraq with the possible assistance of the U.S., it shows one of those very complicated, you know, you don't want to call it alliance or cooperation, but at least a sharing of resources here among all those different parties to carry out this --
COOPER: Strange bedfellows. Jim Sciutto. Thanks very much.
SCIUTTO: Thank you.
COOPER: I want to bring in Philip Mudd who served as former senior official of - in both CIA and the FBI. How significant do you think this potentially could be, and whether she's a current wife or former wife, how valuable is she?
PHILIP MUDD, FORMER SENIOR OFFICIAL, FBI AND CIA: I think incredibly valuable, not because she's going to give you the one piece of information that takes you to the location. It's because the intelligence business is a slog, Anderson. It's about a thousand pieces of information. This guy has been under a microscope forever. You want to know where he is and who he talks to. That is people like couriers who are carrying messages. If she just knows one sliver of that, sort of like the sliver that eventually led us to bin Laden. Wasn't a light bulb moment, but it was one - one sliver that eventually allowed us to pick up on the courier network. That's the kind of tiny piece that she might be able to provide.
COOPER: There're also, obviously, ethical issues at play here. I mean, I remember reading about Egyptian intelligence back, you know, under Mubarak used to use family members against people they didn't like. They would arrest them, they would do things to them, they would threaten them. Does Lebanese intelligence do that sort of thing?
MUDD: Boy, in my business at the agency, we talked about these issues. It's interesting when I was watching the media on this, Anderson, they jumped quickly to the question of what she knew. My first question was, what Jim Sciutto talked about earlier, was she a member or affiliated with ISIS? If she's simply an ex-wife, the first thing you've got to deal with this, she's an innocent person potentially who was married to a bad guy with a child. You cannot pert that kind of person into an interrogation. You can question them, see if she'll cooperate, but the first hurdle we've got to get over with, before we deal with what she knows is, how closely was she affiliated and hard can you press her, based on that affiliation? That's an ethical question.
COOPER: The fact that there was this coordinator, operation, according to Jim. I mean Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, the U.S. helping the Iraqis in some ways and perhaps in other ways we don't know about. How much access will the U.S. have to any intelligence that's gained from her? MUDD: Boy, this is a handle with care situation because you don't know
how other security services are going to handle her. You want to be careful about affiliating with people who might mistreat her. There's a second question, too, and that is - If you're not in the room for a questioning operation at the same time, not just looking through a mirror, but in the room with them, you're dealing with having to pass questions through an intermediary. My experience, that's really inefficient and you can't cut to the chase as quickly as you want to. This is a matter of time here, Anderson. It's chasing somebody down. Yeah, go ahead.
COOPER: In some cases though, I mean U.S. intelligence has used foreign intelligence services to do dirty work that they don't want to do themselves. I mean hasn't -- doesn't the CIA or in the past, the CIA has used, whether or not it's Jordanian intelligence or Iraqi intelligence or others to use methods that, frankly, they might not want to?
MUDD: That's not what I witnessed. Look, you can give a detainee to a foreign security service that's ugly and tell them, we require confirmation you won't touch him, but you can't give a detainee to someone knowing that they are going to hurt him. That sounds (INAUDIBLE), that's the world I live in. We didn't do it, believe it or not.
COOPER: All right, Phil Mudd, thanks very much. I appreciate it.
Up next, breaking news, two school buses collide. Three people are killed, including children. Details on that ahead.
COOPER: Breaking news tonight from the frontlines of the fight against ISIS in Syria, a view of the battle that you have not seen. CNN's senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh and his crew made the dangerous trip across the border into Syria to report firsthand on the battle to save the city of Kobani from ISIS forces. Now, we are just getting some of his reporting. Here's a first look.
NICK WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We've been taken down this street towards the eastern frontline behind those curtains they put up, see, to protect them from snipers by Barfi (ph) and Media (ph) two of the female YPG fighters escorting us down there and this is near the eastern front where there's been much more intense fighting in the past three or four days. We get (INAUDIBLE) figures from who have you speak to hear about quite how much of the city is controlled and you see here, quite remarkable devastation caused by the explosives used.
What's quite clear is that ISIS are far from giving up on this fight. In fact, trying to take ground every day. The move towards the official border crossing, three or four days ago, that was a substantial advance. They tried, they were beaten back by each night, particularly last night, we had very intense clashes further down this street towards the eastern front here. You can hear the - you can see the absolute devastation here as we get closer towards ISIS' positions here to the northeast of the city. Some of this caused by a strife - some two, from daily constant sometimes every five minutes, a thump of mortar, some homemade by ISIS have been pounding into Kobani for months now. We can see Turkey, literally, just behind us. But there they're edging through this wreckage closer and closer to the places where ISIS are trying to push forward.
COOPER: It's pretty dangerous assignment. Nick Paton Walsh and his crew are now safely out of Syria. The battle for Kobani is just one piece of the larger civil war that's about to enter its fourth year. The Syrian observatory for human rights said, by its count, more than 200,000 people have been killed so far in that war.
Let's get latest on some of the other stories we are following. Susan Hendricks has the "360 News and Business (INAUDIBLE)" Susan?
SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we start with this. Two children and one adult have died after two school buses collide at the top- in Knoxville, Tennessee. 23 others were injured. There's no word yet on what caused that horrific accident.
The defined captain of the doomed Costa Concordia cruise ship took the stand at his manslaughter trial in Italy. He blamed the others for the chaotic evacuation after the ship hit rocks off the cost of Italy in 2012. 32 people went down with the ship.
And so far this year, the TSA has confiscated 2,000 guns from check bags at America's airport. That's a new record and the TSA spokesman says majority, Anderson, just forgot they had the firearm in their carry on.
COOPER: All right. Susan, thanks very much.
Synthetic drugs, designed to obey the law and the dealer sure cash in, while some kids are paying the price with their lives. That's ahead.
COOPER: Coming up at the top of the hour, there is a CNN investigative documentary that you really shouldn't miss, especially if you have a teenager in your life. It's called deadly high. And it takes an in-depth look at synthetic drugs, and the tall they are taking and the dealers who are cashing in. Some of these drugs are designed to avoid (ph) the law while mimicking illegal drugs like LSD. Our Drew Griffin is producer have been digging into the death of two teenagers who took a type of synthetic LSD. 18-year old Christian Bjerk and 17-year old Elijah Stai just died days apart. Drew's investigation led them to Charles Carlton, a dealer who is now facing a long prison sentence. Here's a preview.
CHARLES CARLTON, MOTION RESOURCES FOUNDER: I started ordering, you know, what people would call designer drugs off the Internet and just experimenting with those. And just realized that there's money to be made in distributing them in small quantities. DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Carlton had an idea to turn his
passion for synthetic hallucinogens into a business. He would limit his customers to those like him, knowledgeable and interested in experimenting with synthetic highs. His company Motion Resources with its Web site called Motion Research would be a boutique drug dealership for enthusiasts.
CARLTON: We could put in people's hands things that they wouldn't be able to get otherwise, but it was turning into a real business that --
GRIFFIN (on camera): It was?
CARLTON: We could at least make a go of it.
(voice over): Though the company's product mimicked the illegal drug, LSD, Carlton says that chemicals he was selling weren't yet scheduled or banned in the United States. He set up shop in this office building, even registered with the secretary of state and went to work.
CARLTON: I was an employee of my own company getting a W2. We have full payroll services. It was as legitimate as it could be. We knew we were walking a very fine line as far as the law was concerned, but at the time we thought we were on the right side of it.
GRIFFIN: Without so much as leaving his computer, Carlton says he and his two colleagues were repackaging chemicals they bought in bulk filling 30 to 40 orders a day.
CARLTON: It's fairly easy to find chemical suppliers. The product sells itself generally as much of it as you can get, you can get rid of it pretty quickly.
GRIFFIN: Motion Resources had customers in all 50 states and profits were rolling in.
CHRIS MYERS, FIRST ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY, DISTRICT OF NORTH DAKOTA: Carlton was not unlike any other drug trafficker. He's looking for the best product at the lowest price, and so he would obtain this product from the best suppliers he could find.
GRIFFIN (on camera): What is a little different is that he was able to do all of this in the comfort of his own study in his house.
GRIFFIN: Basically, he set up this business from a computer that was hooked up to the Internet.
MYERS: Right. He set up a large scale drug trafficking organization by using his computer.
GRIFFIN: That, to me, is scary. MYERS: It is scary because of the ability to mass market their
product to an enormous customer base under the guise of a legitimate business.
GRIFFIN (voice over): Carlton felt that guise of a legitimate business would hold up in court, as long as his customers agree to de- phrase stamp on every package he sent out, that none of what he was selling would actually be consumed.
(on camera): So, what was the phrase?
CARLTON: For analytical and research purposes only.
GRIFFIN: What would - purpose then to consume and to experience the high?
CARLTON: Well, that's a good question. I mean I make no mistake, we knew people were consuming it. I honestly don't know how it grew so fast, but it got to the point where we processed, you know, $40,000 to $50,000 a month in credit card payments.
GRIFFIN: I mean at that point you thought, hey, I got a legitimate shop running here?
CARLTON: I did.
GRIFFIN (voice over): It was all going so well, Motion Resources was up and running for eight months --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Grand Forks police were called to 415 --
GRIFFIN: Until one day Carlton saw a story on the news about drug overdoses in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
CARLTON: I saw a news story where there was an overdose death in North Dakota, and then pretty quickly there was a TV news report. And they showed a baggy that said 25-NBO Me (ph). And we used very specific bags. And we had a very special label maker that printed on clear labels. And it was blatantly obvious that it was ours.
COOPER: It's really fascinating. I mean it's not what you think of as a drug dealer. Why did he agree to talk?
GRIFFIN: He has what I would call an acquired remorse. And the more he talked with us in this interview, the more remorseful he got, not just for his situation. This is a father of two. He's living in suburban Houston, he's got a wife, he's got the whole world in front of him. Suddenly he sees this package on the news and realize, hey, this great smart - I'm ahead of the law idea just killed two kids. It has crushed him. I think this was the one thing he could do he thought to do something positive in his life before his life basically became a jail term.
COOPER: Drew Griffin is going to have a lot more on this coming up right at the top of the hour. You can see the rest of Drew's reporting, CNN documentary "Deadly High: How Synthetic Drugs are Killing Kids" 9 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
Up next, a familiar face. Back on the "Ridiculist," but first, I want to remind you to tune in this Sunday, December 7 at 8 pm. for CNN heroes, an all-star tribute I'll be hosting, there'll also be an appearance by someone who has made no secret of the fact she wants to be part of it. Take a look.
COOPER: You've been trying to get involved with heroes for a long time now.
KATHY GRIFFIN: First of all, you have a lot of nerve even bringing up heroes to me.
KATHY GRIFFIN: OK, talk about a wounded warrior. OK? I've been wanting to present heroes forever because I think it's a truly amazing award show and I believe I confronted you New Year's Eve about it.
COOPER: All right.
KATHY GRIFFIN: Let's talk about heroes. Let's talk about heroes. CNN Heroes was an amazing show.
COOPER: And amazing night.
KATHY GRIFFIN: Exactly. Number one, not only was I not even invited --
COOPER: Not invited?
KATHY GRIFFIN: Oh, they told me that they didn't trust me.
COOPER: Did people not know you were going overseas to Afghanistan and Iraq? That would seem to be --
KATHY GRIFFIN: No, I guess apparently over at CNN, you guys are so worried of my potty mouth that they actually said you can't come to the show or present. However, what if we showed you mopping up at a soup kitchen?
COOPER: To make up for past wrongs, I would very much like you to present at CNN Heroes. Is that something you're willing to do?
KATHY GRIFFIN: Do you trust me?
COOPER: I absolutely trust you.
KATHY GRIFFIN: I'm excited to go.
COOPER: Well, thank you. I'm glad you'll be there.
KATHY GRIFFIN: Do I have to mop the floors?
KATHY GRIFFIN: Just tell me now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: CNN Heroes, an all-star tribute. Sunday night, December 7 p.m., on 8 eastern.
COOPER: I'm now for "The Ridiculist." And tonight, our favorite drunk on call. The godfather of the Ridiculist, if you will, is back. I'm speaking of course, about Gerard Depardieu, (INAUDIBLE) statesman international man of mystery. Recently, he was invited to do a solemn poetry reading at a World War I commemoration in Belgium, only didn't quite get to the poem and many in the audience say, he was visibly drunk. Take a look now. It's in French with the translation subtitle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GERARD DEPARDIEU (SPEAKING FRENCH)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Hmm, drunk or just French? You make the call. Some audience members laughed as Depardieu reportedly waived his hands in the air, screamed curse words, asked for a chair, asked what page he was on and told everyone to piss off.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEPARDIEU (SPEAKING FRENCH) (EXPLETIVE DELETED) SPEAKING FRENCH) (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Seemed to go really well. We love Gerard Depardieu around here. He makes no apologies for his love of (INAUDIBLE). Just a few months ago, in fact, he claimed that he can drink 12 to 14 bottles of wine a day. Not glasses, bottles. In the same interview, he also reportedly said he killed two lions but it's of course what happened in 2011 that will go down in Ridulist history. Gerard Depardieu was on the plane, was told he could not use the bathroom and promptly peed on the floor. And then happened. So, after Gerard took his little solo flight to urination, the plane had to turn around and go back to the gate, and some unlucky cleaning crew had to deal with the golden globe when it tinkle.
Now, all I can say is, they should thank their lucky stars it wasn't Depar-two. Sorry, made me giggle every time I read it. He hasn't commented on this incident.
(LAUGHTER) COOPER: Departu. I know you got it, but.
COOPER: All right, sorry.
COOPER: Sorry, this has actually never happened to me.
All right, sorry. All right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Oh, that was three years ago and yet it seemed like yesterday. We are rooting for you, Gerard Depardieu forever in our hearts and on the Ridiculist. A quick note, it's time to vote for your favorite Ridiculist of 2014. Vote on our blog at "AC-360.com or on the AC-360 Facebook and Twitter pages. We'll count down your top five on the air at the end of the year.
That does it for us tonight. See you again at 11 p.m. Eastern. Now the edition of "360" "Deadly High" starts now.