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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Experts Analyze Video of Choking Eric Garner; Protesters Blocking Traffic on New York Westside Highway; Eric Garner's Daughters Remember Their Father; Zachary Carter Talks about Further Legal Steps for Garner's Family
Aired December 4, 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 ANCHOR: Good evening, thanks very much for joining us.
If you thought last night was a big night for protests in New York, tonight even larger. Protests of the killing of Eric Garner are coming right of the New York police department, on the front doorstep and spreading all across lower Manhattan on the Brooklyn bridge toward the Holland tunnel. And the same thing is happening in other cities around the country right now.
People today and this evening first packing into the police square in lower Manhattan which is just steps away from one police plaza, police headquarters then marching toward some of the city's busiest highways in river crossings. Demonstrations are also happening elsewhere in the city and in Washington, Chicago, Oakland, California, Atlanta, and elsewhere.
We are going to show you the scene right now of lower Manhattan outside of the Holland tunnel what appears to be hundreds if not thousands of people on the move. We've got correspondents down in the crowds. I want to show you the scene from the Brooklyn bridge which had thousands of people crossing over on to the bridge itself. The crowd holding signs, chanting, some carrying candles. There is anger, there is frustration. They are overwhelmingly peaceful, the demonstrators wanting to make their voices heard.
And we have correspondents, as I said, down in the crowd down there by the Brooklyn bridge, by the Holland tunnel. But first, go to Chris Cuomo who is with protesters.
Chris, exactly where are you and what's the scene like?
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We were on the way, Anderson, to the Holland tunnel. When we got there, there was police so the crowds -- and I'm telling you, it is so much bigger than last night. It was hundreds last night. It is many thousands. It is hard to calculate, but I would tell you certainly 10,000 at least. And they are now walking down Hudson back towards into the Tribeca area of Manhattan. And what they are doing is what you are seeing. They are stopping traffic. They are saying these are our street. And is a metaphor for the message of shutting down the system. They're shutting down traffic. Very eclectic crowd, Anderson, important. So much different than
Ferguson. A lot of young people. It's not unusual to see groups of white kids walking saying "end white supremacy." When you ask them about why they are saying that? they say you don't have to be a minority to believe injustice for minorities.
And there are other organizers here, Anderson, are making another interesting point. They are saying you need these young white people. You need people from an eclectic background to make change. It can't just be about minorities fighting for change.
So what is their plan tonight? They're going to keep moving. They believe that that is their key to staying a step ahead of the police. The police have been mostly hospitable, although, they have been surrounding squad cars tonight. These people are honking in support. When you walk by, there'll be smiling faces. Like you see this gentleman, the cab right here, he is smiling.
Hey, how you doing? He'd be even more happy if you had a fare with him right now. But he is happy. So he is probably worried about that. But there has been no violence and no real hostility.
COOPER: And Chris, I mean, it is hard, I know, to get the sense of the size of the crowd. But you're saying, I mean, you were out there last night, you are saying many thousands -- they maybe as many as 10,000 people right now?
CUOMO: Yes, they are definitely could be. I mean, Anderson, you and I know the city very well. This crowd that we're in right now stretches about 12 blocks.
CUOMO: And it's thick, as you can see. Rick, show how thick it is here. So, you know, it's hard to do the numbers. I know you do it from the aerial and you will get some type of estimate from somebody per bloc based on the density.
But I'm more moved by the eclecticism of the crowd. It is the -- some people are saying, this is the same group from Occupy Wall Street. I covered that. This is a much more diverse crowd. They are components of those groups here. they are carrying banners tonight, also.
The Diocese of New York, the Catholics, the Protestants, different religious organizations, different social activist organizations have joined this. And so, this is not just a group of rabble rousers. This is not a bunch of people who are just outraged and looking for vengeance like we often saw in Ferguson. This is like a moving convention of desire for change and we just hope it stays this way, Anderson, and we'll follow it throughout the night.
COOPER: And Chris, it is extraordinary to see. I mean, you and I both lifelong New Yorkers to see these kinds of roving demonstrators in the city is just, for someone who is not from here, it may not look like anything all that unusual. It is highly, highly unusual. Can you explain how the police are trying to respond to this and kind of keep up or keep ahead of it?
CUOMO: Right. Now, they have task forces in the city. It's unusual even in big metropolitan areas to deal with exclusively crowd control. They usually corral, they permit. And if you break it, they make mass arrests very quickly.
However, one, they have huge numbers here. So if they were to make a move and arrest, they could destabilize the situation. Several of the officers in the command structure that I've talked to say that's the last thing they want to do is destabilize. So their main tactics tonight are to walk step for step with these protesters. There are a lot of plain clothes people in the crowd who are obviously officers and they're communicating with other components of the police to make sure that they know where they're headed and why.
And then you have plain clothes, I haven't seen any riot cops tonight. I heard some were by the Brooklyn bridge, but there's squad cars and everything that are part of this mix and that the melee passes. They get completely overwhelmed by the crowd and they hold caution tape up in front of them, wave their signs. Some of them smack on the car and keep on walking.
So the best word from the police is they are going to stop at the first sign of any vandalism, Anderson. It is -- the first point of this tone in tactic changes from what it is right now, they will start asserting different strategies. But for now, it's people exercising their rights. And as we well know, no matter how you feel about the decision, there's certainly justification for the desire for discussion on the issues that were presented here.
So we're going to keep up with them, Anderson, and we'll let you know throughout the night of changes.
COOPER: And Chris Cuomo is also tweeting. I've been following him on twitter now tonight. So you can follow him on twitter as well. He's tweeting during the demonstrations when he's not on air. How he's doing that, I'm not exactly sure. But he is multitasking to say the least.
Chris, we will check in with you. We're on for two hours tonight.
Also in the crowds at the Brooklyn bridge, we have Brooke Baldwin. Deborah Feyerick is also out there in the crowds.
Deborah, where are you?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Anderson, we're at the west side highway at 14th street. We are basically at a staging area. What you're looking at right now, you're looking at these police vehicles. Then you're looking at police officers as well. They're wearing the riot helmets as you can see. They're trying to get whatever traffic is on the west side highway off. You can see all of these cars just in front of us.
They're stuck right now because police effectively set up a barricade. If you look up, just in this direction, you can see all of those police cars. This is something that happened yesterday. And that is, as the protesters come in this direction, the police effectively set up their own barricade, their own perimeter and then they try to push the protesters off in the other direction. So that's what we're seeing now.
We see a couple of helicopters, obviously, that are flying overhead. Some of us here are news choppers. There is one that appears to be the same helicopter we saw last night which is the police helicopter and it's the one that has the beam directly on the area that we believe the protesters are located. It's probably about half a mile from where we are now.
But again, what they're doing, they're setting up a barricade in order to make sure that the protesters get off of the highway.
COOPER: So Deborah --
FEYERICK: As you can see, they have the plastic handcuffs.
COOPER: So Deborah, on the right-hand of the screen.
FEYERICK: If you look over here, they're setting up the police sign.
COOPER: Deborah, on the right side of the screen, we are showing our viewers thousands of people, I believe, walking up the west side highway where Chris Cuomo had just been reporting from. So is it your understanding that that crowd is walking towards your location? So if that's the case, they're going to come to the police, basically human barricade, correct?
FEYERICK: That's exactly right. That's exactly right. And that's, you know, that's the police commissioner today, we were at a press conference with him and he said, you know, this is a very agile response, the way they're doing it. It's very organic, effectively, the police know where the protesters are and then they get ahead of the protesters to try to form these barricades, to try to make sure they can push the protesters because they don't want the repeat of they saw last night which is shutting down the west side highway. So they're being preemptive by effectively making sure that their cars are in position. So when the protesters get here, the protesters are not directly confronting the officers. That's not what they're doing.
Ken, if you can see -- see, Anderson, how they're setting up the barricade, it's almost a movable barricade. They are orange. Again, it's all about crowd control. It's about making sure they get the people off and away from the areas that they don't want them in. But we're hearing the helicopter that's coming much closer now. So, yes, Anderson. They're walking in our direction.
COOPER: All right, we will continue to cover them when we see them coming up to your area.
I also just want to quickly check in with our Brooke Baldwin who is down with the crowds at the Brooklyn bridge.
Brooke, where are you? Are you on the bridge itself? Are the crowds on the bridge?
BROOK BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We have now officially, Anderson, crossed entirely across the Brooklyn bridge. And I'm joining you now from Dumbo, which is one part of Brooklyn, just at the other end of the Brooklyn bridge. So, just if you're just joining us, we started massive, massive peaceful protesters in police square which is really the heart of downtown Manhattan right around where the police headquarters are, right there at city hall. And as each of your different correspondents have been explaining, each of these groups have been splintering off. But it's entirely organic. It is very organized. There have been, you know, people with headphones and microphones communicating within the crowds, telling one another, walk with me so we can show them as I'm talking to you, you know, telling where to go and how.
In walking across the entire Brooklyn bridge, which by the way, we were walking on and I'm actually sort of still am on the roads, police ahead of time, had shut it down anticipating that the protesters would want to walk across the bridge. I will say just a few minutes ago because the road was not shut on the Manhattan bound side of the bridge, there were a couple of protesters who incredibly dangerously cross across the middle, risk their lives to do so and were disrupting traffic on the other side.
BALDWIN: Another thing we noticed, one of the cars were passing along had their cell phones. They saw all of these protesters, the hundreds of people crossing across into Brooklyn, grab their own cell phones and were shooting everyone walking along.
COOPER: Brooke, I'm going to jump in here. We are going to come back to you because I also want to show on the right-hand side of the screen, there is an extraordinary aerial vantage point. You just get a sense of the sheer size of this one demonstration itself. This is from WABC. This on the west side highway from what it looks like, I'm assuming, that I'm assuming is the crowd Chris Cuomo has been with.
Thousands of people, as Chris was saying, maybe as many as 10,000, we don't have an exact number. But thousands of people moving up, not on the sidewalks, moving up on the street amidst traffic heading toward that line of police officers which is where our Deborah Feyerick has been.
Again, this is, as experiences of New York city police department is, in crowd control. There are a lot of big events in New York. This city has not seen anything like this. Certainly as far back as I can remember and I've lived here my entire life. It's an extraordinary scene to see a city like this. The major arteries of the city, the Brooklyn bridge. The west side highway and other spots down by the Holland tunnel essentially coming to a standstill.
We're going to take a short break. We have legal analysts ahead. We are also going to talk to two of Eric Garner's daughters who are going to be joining us about their thoughts about the protest and about what we learned -- we learned some today about what was said to the grand jury. We learned this from the attorney for the police officer. He is accused in the killing of Mr. Eric Garner. We'll talk about what the attorney said was told to the grand jury and whether that actually holds up to the video.
And we're going to also show you an extraordinary video you may not have seen already. It's a different vantage point on what happened to Mr. Garner. It's once he's already on the ground and also once EMT actually arrives and the question is, did EMT do enough? Did they really do anything to try to assist him in his distress? We'll be right back.
COOPER: Hey, welcome back. We are continuing coverage of the demonstrations and reaction of killing Eric Garner in New York this summer. Looking at Manhattan's west side highway, a line basically, a barricade of police bands made up put across the west side highway in anticipation of the thousands of people who are on their way to that location heading up toward the police are now waiting for them.
We've already seen some remarkable pictures around New York tonight. Protesters from one end of lower Manhattan and over the bridge into Brooklyn. That said, this is not just news in New York. Protests in big cities around the country right now as well as in Washington, D.C. where Athena Jones is standing by for us.
How -- what's the scene there? What has been like, Athena?
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via phone): Hi, Anderson. This has been a huge crowd that's only grown in the last couple of hours. It is already covered a large part of downtown D.C. They have gone from department of justice over to the White House to the left where the Christmas tree was lit couple of hours ago. Then they headed over to 14th street bridge.
They blocked that bridge, a major artery heading into and out of the city over to Virginia. Police came out. Police have been out all along but they have been mostly standing by, standing on the sidelines. But when this large crowd, much larger now than it was several hours ago, when they blocked that 14th street bridge, the police gave a warning. At least two warnings I heard. The second warning said you are putting the residents of D.C. in danger, endangering the lives other residents of D.C. by blocking such a major artery.
However, this has been a mostly peaceful crowd. Periodically, they will stop and block an intersection. People will lie down in front of cars and putting police cars a couple of hours ago (INAUDIBLE). But it's a huge crowd where about 500 people I would say. Mostly peaceful.
And I've got to tell you, there is a real positive vibe here. You have people here who feel like they're really making a difference by coming out to protest. Several people have talked about the 1960s. One protester said look, the Eric Garner case was caught on video and still nothing happened, I feel like our society is moving backwards. So if we have to march like the 1960s, we're going to march like the 1960s.
Another person said it warms his heart to see people coming out and actually doing something. And if you look in the history book, you back to the 1960s, this is what it took. Marches is what it took.
So there's a real positive vibe even though they are angry about the Eric Garner case, angry about the Tamir Rice case, angry about the Michael Brown case and many other issues, racial profiling in general.
So, at that interesting point right now. There is one more thing I want to tell you, Anderson, this is a very a diverse crowd. I talked to people of all races here. I talked to a young white woman, a college student. She's out here to support her friends who are minorities who were racially profiled.
So that is the energy here. The pact where we are right now, we're heading towards the White House. But it is hard to say (INAUDIBLE).
COOPER: Athena Jones, I appreciate that. Because there were many developments today surrounding the case itself, I want to bring our CNN legal analysts and former federal prosecutors Jeffrey Toobin and Sunny Hostin. Also as we continue to watch the images out of New York and Washington and Atlanta and elsewhere.
I mean, Jeff, as a New Yorker, it's extraordinary to see this number of people. Where do think these protests go from here?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, that's a really hard question, I think mostly for the protesters. Because, you know, it reminds me a little bit of the occupy protests a couple of years ago.
COOPER: Occupy Wall Street.
TOOBIN: Occupy Wall Street which there was a lot of indignation but it kind of petered out because there was not a clear attention. For a couple of days, there is no question, just outrage alone is a fully appropriate reason to protest. But without an agenda of, you know, we want the following, we're marching to get x, it's hard to imagine how it will continue. And obviously, it's not my place to say what the agenda is or should be but I think that's something to keep an eye on as the days pass.
COOPER: It's also interesting, Sunny, to see the responsibility of the New York City police department. How they're handling. And I'm wondering if, you know, the prior administration, the Bloomberg administration, it would have been handled in the same way as the new mayor de Blasio. They are certainly seems to be kind of let the protesters blow off steam, give them some space, give them some room and don't try to confront directly.
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think that's right. I mean, we are seeing restraint from the officers. We are seeing, I think, the officers not ratcheting things up. We are not seeing the sort of that militarization, I think, that we both saw in Ferguson. And I think that's appropriate because it is your constitutional right to do what peaceful to do it which is peacefully protesting. But to Jeff's point, for me, I think that we have heard from many of sort of the organizers and the participants of these peaceful protests. What the agenda is, what the change is that they are seeking. We've heard about body cameras on police officers. We heard about sensitivity training. We heard about escalation of force training. So I think that there are real objectives to these protests. Yes, people are frustrated. Yes, people are outraged, but I think it's different than Occupy Wall Street protesters because they really does seem to be a sort of a laundry list of changes people are seeking.
TOOBIN: Mayor de Blasio had a press conference today saying precisely that he was going to have the entire police force of New York City, which when you are talking about 40,000 cops retrained for exactly the kind of things that Sunny was talking about. Obviously, that's not going to change the protest today, but it's just going to be interesting to see whether that is, you know, whether they perceive that mayor de Blasio was on their side or not.
COOPER: And there's still plenty of questions being ask about what occurred inside the grand jury. We learned some new details today. We're going to look at that shortly coming up.
It is also important to point out that in addition to kind of a new look or reanalysis of the actual killing of Mr. Garner with the multiple videos that we're going to show in just a little bit, there's also a number of investigations, Jeff. If you could just kind of go over, there's the federal investigation as well as internal New York city police department investigation.
TOOBIN: Right. The big investigation now is the one being led by the U.S. attorney's office for the eastern district of New York led by Loretta Lynch, who has been nominated to be attorney general. That investigation will determine whether any of the police officers involved will be charged with federal criminal offenses.
COOPER: So, is that just civil rights violations or other criminal offenses?
TOOBIN: Well, it would be the most apt parallel I think is the Rodney King case. The Rodney King case, the officers were acquitted for exactly the same conduct. They were charged federally with violating Rodney King's civil rights.
So the question will be, is there a federal criminal case to be made against the officers for violating Eric Garner's civil rights? What makes those cases difficult is the government has to prove some kind of racial or civil rights motivation. You have to prove more than a simply abuse of an individual. You have to prove a level of intent.
HOSTIN: And you know, and the government, I agree. The federal government has been very successful in investigating and prosecuting crimes that haven't been unsuccessful in the state. And I also wonder whether or not the investigation is going to proceed rather quickly. We've been learning and hearing that this investigation was sort of already up and running on the back burner waiting to see what happened in Staten Island, waiting to see what New York state was going to do. So I suspect given the outrage, given the protest, this case is on a fast track. I actually think we're going to hear from the federal government rather quickly.
TOOBIN: And just to finish the answer, there's also an internal NYPD investigation of the officers and certainly there will be a civil lawsuit for money.
COOPER: And I'll talk about that with the attorney for the Garner family as well as Mr. Garner's daughters.
Again, we're seeing the scene here, one of many, several demonstrations happening in New York City at this very moment in Manhattan. A large crowd. Thousands and thousands of demonstrators moving in different spots throughout the city.
A hands up, don't shoot, obviously. Obviously, the refrain we heard so much from Ferguson, that now echoing through the canyon in the streets of New York city.
Does what officer Daniel Pantaleo told the grand jury actually match up with what is on the video? We are going to take a closer look at what he said and the video itself next.
COOPER: Welcome back as we continue to watch these demonstrations throughout New York. It is difficult, and around the country, frankly, it's difficult to watch the video of Eric Garner being tackled by police because we know that what we are seeing is someone in the last moments of their life. Hearing his heartbreaking words, I can't breathe, I can't breathe, I can't breathe.
But we feel it's important to take a closer look at the video itself now that a grand jury has decided not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo, especially see if what he told the grand jury matches up with what's on the video.
Now, we only know a little bit about what he told the grand jury as revealed by his attorney today. Randi Kaye takes a look.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): During his two-hour testimony to the grand jury, Officer Daniel Pantaleo made this bold admission. Yes, he told the jurors, he heard Eric Garner's please saying I can't breathe, I can't breathe. This was the moment captured on video.
Pantaleo wasn't talking, but his lawyer, Stuart London, confirmed to "the New York Times" some of what his client told the grand jury. He was the jury's last witness.
According to his lawyer, once he heard Garner struggling to breathe, Pantaleo testified he tried to disentangle himself from the suspect as quickly as he could. But it is not that clear caught on the video. It appears the officer keeps his arms for around Garner's neck for at least eight seconds after Garner's first muffled gasp for air. That's Officer Pantaleo in the green t-shirt with number 99 on it. Watch, he removes his arm, but then uses both hands to press Eric Garner's face into the pavement. The officer keeps pressing long enough for Garner to repeat at least five times, I can't breathe. The officer reportedly testified that since Garner could speak, it suggested to him he could also breathe and there's more. Officer Pantaleo's lawyer said his client told the jury that he attempted to get off Garner as quick as he could. Again, look at the video. At least 16 seconds passed between the time Eric Garner hits the pavement and when the officer removes both his choke hold and his hold on Garner's head. Does that square with his testimony about getting off as quick as he could, or does Officer Pantaleo seem to be keeping that firm grasp on Garner?
And what about this, officer Pantaleo reportedly testified that he was using a maneuver from the police academy hooking one arm under the suspect's arm and another around his torso, a move meant to tip the person so they lose their balance and go to the ground. His lawyer says only as the struggle went on did one of Officer Pantaleo's arms move around Garner's neck.
Again, the videotape seems to tell a different story. The officer's arm was around Garner's neck by our account about two seconds after he first touched him. Watch again, one arm hooks underneath as the officer said, but see the other arm, does it appear to go around the torso or immediately around Garner's neck? The officer's attorney told "The New York Times" his client testified that he was trying to stop Eric Garner from possibly biting one of the officers. The attorney summed it up this way. He wanted to get across to the grand jury that it was never his intention to injure or harm anyone. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Joining me now, CNN legal analyst and former George Zimmerman attorney, Mark O'Mara, back with also, CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Sunny Hostin. I also welcome retired NYPD detective Harry Houck. Detective, when you see that video, I mean I've heard from a lot of supporters of the officer, saying that's not a chokehold. That's just wrestling take down move. It does seem, as Randi said, that his arm is around his neck within two seconds.
HARRY HOUCK, RETIRED NYPD DETECTIVE: Yeah, but that's still a takedown. That's - I've down that a hundred times and I never killed anybody. Never hurt anybody.
COOPER: So, you don't believe that's a chokehold?
HOUCK: No, it's not a chokehold. As per what a chokehold is really supposed to do. They're supposed to like knock you out in a couple of seconds.
COOPER: But isn't according to New York Police Department any constriction of the throat of the windpipe a chokehold?
HOUCK: The throat and the windpipe. That's what the patrol guide says, all right? Which is not against the law, but it's against police procedure. But if you put your arm around the guy's neck, both these areas here, OK, when he came across like this, this part of the elbow really isn't hitting this part of the neck. Of my attention, when you are doing the takedown, OK, and then you take him down. The only way you are going to take down a guy like this who is six something 350 pounds, is a takedown like that.
COOPER: Now, for the officer then to also say, well, I tried to get him off - get off him as quickly as possible.
HOUCK: I believe it.
COOPER: We do see the officer with his knee in the guy's back and he's pushing his face down to the ground for a long time.
HOUCK: Right. Well, until he was handcuffed. The whole thing is that if he had allowed himself to be handcuffed, he would have came off a lot faster. That's what I did. OK? You would - as soon as you got the guy cuffed, then you can come off him and it's done.
COOPER: Sunny, what do you see in the video?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I mean I'm just not going to allow other people to dictate what I see. I mean, I think it's very clear that this was excessive force. I think it's very clear that this was a chokehold. We can call it any other name. You know, you want to call it a takedown, you want to call it an arm around the neck. Bottom line is the ME made it very clear in his findings that Eric Garner's death was a homicide by constriction of the neck, pressure on the neck, chokehold.
COOPER: Constriction of the neck, and also constriction on the chest.
HOSTIN: Exactly. So, you know, I don't want to play semantics with words. I think we can all see for ourselves, Anderson, this was excessive force and he died from it.
HOUCK: Well, we haven't seen the full medical examiner's report. It hasn't been released yet.
COOPER: But the medical examiner did say ...
HOUCK: He did say something ...
COOPER: Constriction of the neck, constriction on the chest.
HOUCK: But I want to see that whole report because that whole report will shed light on a lot more things in this. OK? And I know we did say that and tried - I've been trying to get it for the last four days. And I can't get a hold of it. All right? But it's very hard to be a police officer. A lot of people are saying that the cop should have like stepped away when he said, listen, don't bother me anymore. You can't do that as a police officer. You know, if you don't want cops ...
COOPER: But really for a quality of life, I mean, I know this is against the law ...
HOUCK: I don't know - I understand that.
COOPER: The guy is selling loosey cigarettes.
HOUCK: Right, no, I understand that.
COOPER: Couldn't a summons have been given out? I mean this is a summonsable offense.
HOSTIN: Of course.
HOUCK: Of course, it could have been given out, right? But apparently, they're probably getting some kind of direction there because all the store owners over there and I talked to some people in Staten Island who are around that area, the store owners always calling the police on him because they sell cigarettes in their stores.
COOPER: They don't want to lose business. Mark, I want to bring you in here. I mean A, what do you make, first of all, what Detective Houck, and some even saying, this officer is saying, he wasn't even trying to do a chokehold. That was not his intent and under the law, the intent actually matters. So, whether he knew to say this wasn't my intent or not, he said that he did not intend to strangle or do anything that was strangle. Because I think the 2010 New York law about strangulation says that what has to be proven is the intent to impede breathing or circulation.
MARK O'MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That's true. That's statute you are right, there's another statute that applies, it was the criminally negligent manslaughter that may well have applied, and I know that the grand jury wasn't instructed on that. For whatever reason, they decided not to. I know that they know more than we do. It's frustrating to watch this happened. I think what happened in this case is escalated. The use of force escalated way too quickly under these circumstances. They had six officers there. They had control over him, even though it wasn't full complete control. They knew he wasn't unarmed. They knew it wasn't the (INAUDIBLE) to begin with. It was just - it escalated way too quickly. Sensitivity training may help, but this is a concern when someone dies when they just did not need to.
COOPER: Detective, I also want to ask you. "The New York Daily News" got a copy of the NYPD internal report from back in July. It doesn't even mention a chokehold and it says that Mr. Garner was not in any great distress. Does that surprise you?
HOUCK: Well, first of all, I haven't seen that.
COOPER: I mean you want to actually see it?
COOPER: But, I mean - but I'll go along with that. But was he in some kind of distress? Every time you are wrestling somebody down to the ground, to try and handcuff, they get in some kind of distress. All right? That happens. And I've had a lot of people telling I can't breathe, I can't breathe, trying to get you - to, you know, get off them so that they can fight you even more. All right, so, you take the man down. And you handcuff him. He was saying he couldn't breathe. I don't think you can say I can't breathe if you're not breathing. You know what I mean?
HOSTIN: You know, I think the bottom line is we can try to sort of, you know, play semantics with what happened. I think that we should all rely on our eyes. I think we should all rely on what we have seen and rely on our common sense. It is clear to me and I think everyone else that has seen this, like Mark said, this escalation of force was so unnecessary and I might add that what we're hearing now is that he wasn't even selling loosies that day. That h didn't even have cigarettes on him that day. So, you take all of those circumstances together.
COOPER: And what ...
HOSTIN: But you take all those circumstances, Detective, and you also look at the video, which we can go by thankfully because it exists.
HOUCK: But you know what the forensics ...
HOSTIN: It's crystal clear.
HOUCK: That even sometime the video was misleading. Down on the ground.
HOSTIN: My eyes aren't lying to me.
HOUCK: Nobody ...
HOSTIN: Are your eyes lying to your?
HOUCK: My eyes aren't lying to me.
COOPER: So, what you were going to say?
HOUCK: You can see when he's down on the ground and people are complaining about how EMS came over and they weren't - they weren't none of frenzy to take care of him. When he was down on the ground, he was breathing, and his heart was - she bent over him and she checked him. But his heart was beating.
COOPER: We'll show this video shortly because we have a segment on it. But I mean it's not a question of her - she should have been in the frenzy, but all she did is she checked his pulse and she talked to him as if he was conscious.
COOPER: It didn't seem like he was conscious.
HOUCK: No, it didn't' seem.
HOSTIN: Police officers - police officers are trained in CPR. And not one of those police officers checked his pulse. Not one. COOPER: Shouldn't they put like a breathing on him, at least to give him some oxygen?
HOUCK: He was breathing.
HOSTIN: Not one officer.
HOUCK: He was breathing.
HOSTIN: Rendered any kind of aid or even checked whether or not he was breathing.
HOUCK: You just said CPR. He was - you don't do CPR on somebody when they're breathing.
COOPER: We are going to take a closer look at that video in particular when we come back. We are going to take a break now. Detective Houck, thank you very much. Mark O'Mara, Sunny Hostin. Live pictures, Westside Highway again, just extraordinary scenes here in New York. Blocking traffic southbound on the Westside highway. One of the major roads on the island of Manhattan. As we look at some of the marchers in Manhattan tonight, we talk with New York City's top lawyer who may have to defend the city against lawsuits in this case next.
COOPER: Welcome back. You're looking at some of the massive marches here in New York City across lower Manhattan, across the Brooklyn Bridge and cities across the country also happening now. I want to go to our Chris Cuomo. Chris, explain where you are now. Last, we saw you on the Westside highway.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. We are now down on the southern tip of Manhattan, OK? This is where the Staten Island ferry is. It's called the South Ferry Terminal. This was a very big location affected during 9/11 right down by where the Towers were, the last hurricane that came through, Sandy. This was very badly damaged. So what happened was everybody organized here? There was then this reverberating chant that went out from one organizer that was repeated through the crowds. Everyone you know, come meet us here and then we'll decide where to go and then just moments ago, they started moving out in one direction and now they are forking into two different streets in southern Manhattan and we don't know where they're going to wind up. But that's what's happening right now.
COOPER: And about how many people are there now? Is this the same crowd that you'd estimated in the thousands before?
CUOMO: Yes. They organized down here and then now they're starting to leave. But it's a very big crowd. I mean, it's definitely in the many thousands. It's hard to know how many. Again, Anderson, I can't give you the count. But it's so much bigger than yesterday. So much bigger than anything we saw in Ferguson and, you know, many are talking about the Occupy movement, that all these are the same people. They are components of that, but it's a much broader coalition. COOPER: Chris Cuomo, I appreciate you reporting. We'll check in with
you a little bit later. The death of Eric Garner and the Grand Jury's decision, obviously, the prime motivators for what we are seeing with more general complaints about police misconduct. The backdrop to it all. Now, every year the city of New York writes checks for tens of millions of dollars to settle lawsuits against the NYPD, just like many other cities do. According to New York's comptroller, in 2011, the city paid out $185.6 million in settlements and claims against the department. The Garner family has already signaled that it intends to file suit and we'll talk to two of Mr. Garner's children, two of his daughter and their attorney tonight.
Joining us right now is the city of New York's top attorney corporation counsel Zachary Carter. And in earlier job, U.S. attorney for the eastern district of New York. Mr. Carter prosecuted police officers in the Abner Louima case. Thank you so much for being with us. Is the position of New York City right now, that justice was served in this grand jury proceeding?
ZACHARY CARTER, CORPORATION COUNSEL, CITY OF NEW YORK: Now, I don't believe - now, the city hasn't taken a position as to whether or not justice was served in this grand jury proceeding. There are processes yet to be resolved as you know the federal government has, the Department of Justice had announced that they had an ongoing review, and now have a parallel an independent investigation that's ongoing to determine whether or not there are federal civil rights surcharges that can be brought on the basis of the available evidence.
COOPER: As I said, you were involved in the Abner Louima case from the larger perspective. What did you learn from that? That you take to this case?
CARTER: I mean those - those are very, very different cases. I think that were with the actions of the officers, where the motivations are going to be - to be quite different. I mean here, as you recall, the police commissioner said at the very outset that he believed that there was a prohibited chokehold that was applied and certain consequences appeared to have flown from that. And we can see that as evidence by the videotape. And so that's - this is a very different circumstance in terms of the- the quality of proof that's available.
COOPER: In terms of for the federal government to make a case, just from a legal standpoint, is the bar much higher? Is it much more difficult? Because in many other cases, people have said, look, the best chance for an indictment if an indictment is in fact what you want is at the state level, at the city level, not necessarily the federal level. Do you think that's the case here?
CARTER: Unfortunately, it is. That's the reality. Is that under state law, because among the culpable mental states are negligence and recklessness, which are less culpable states than acting intentionally, there are more option, charging options at the state then there will be available under federal civil rights laws that requires at list an intention, delivered intent to deprive someone of their civil rights. COOPER: I want to play something that we've heard from the head of
the Policemen's Benevolent Association about the mayor and about how the city has handled this. I want to play that for our viewers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICK LYNCH, PRESIDENT, PATROLMEN'S BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION: What police officers felt yesterday after that press conference is that they were thrown under the bus? That they were out there doing a difficult job in the middle of the night protecting the rights of those to protest, protecting our sons and daughters and the mayor was behind microphones like this, throwing them under the bus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Being critical of comments that the mayor made yesterday. I - You're a former prosecutor. You have a great appreciation, obviously, for what the police do. Is the city being supportive of the police?
CARTER: The city is being absolutely supportive of the police. What I heard the mayor saying was that he was being extraordinarily complimentary of how the police was handling these entirely peaceful demonstrations. He was suggesting that he understood the frustration of those protesters and that - and admired the fact that in situations that would have torn other cities apart, that we had an extraordinarily diverse crowds last evening, and it seems to be replicated this evening of New Yorkers who seem to be united by this tragedy, not divided by it and determined to protest peacefully. And you have a New York City Police Department that is respecting their rights to protest. That's not being unnecessarily confrontational and acting in the best tradition of professionalism. And I think it's a tribute to the leadership of both the mayor and the police commissioner Bratton that it's being handled this way.
COOPER: Exactly, Carter. I appreciate you being on. Thanks very much. A lot ahead, obviously. Up more, more protests here in New York City and around the country. Also, Eric Garner's daughters as I said, on watching their father on that video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERICA GARNER, ERIC GARNER'S DAUGHTER: I wanted to see everybody on the tape. What they had to do, what did they did ...
EMERALD GARNER, ERIC GARNER'S DAUGHTER: What part did they ..
ERICA GARNER: Yeah, what part did they do? What did they didn't' do?
COOPER: Welcome back. We've been watching protests grow throughout the night in New York City. Washington, Chicago, Oakland, California. Bigger, certainly than last night. Diverse, overwhelmingly peaceful so far. All in the wake of the grand jury's decision in the death of man who may right now be the inspiration for all this, but who for his kids, forever will be just a father. Earlier tonight, I spoke with the daughters of Mr. Garner, Emerald and Erica Garner, along with Garner family attorney Jonathan Moore.
Seeing the protests that have taken place last night, tonight - I mean the protesters out on the streets in New York in large numbers, Chicago and other cities, I'm wondering what you see when you see these protesters. What do you think?
EMERALD GARNER: I see love.
EMERALD GARNER: I see love and support.
ERICA GARNER: And so much support.
COOPER: People out tonight, the people out not just in New York and Chicago and elsewhere, that's to you a sign of love?
EMERALD GARNER, DAUGHTER OF ERIC GARNER: That's a sign - like anybody that wants to go there and, you know, like to get our voices heard because we're not just rallying in protest and just to stand outside and, you know, just yelling and screaming. We want to rally until you enforce these policies. That you put in play. We want to enforce things. We see that you have them but they're not being enforced. Like there's not a penalty. Like you do something wrong, like if I do something wrong, I go to jail or I get in trouble with my mother. But when it's like a double standard, when it comes to you in uniform.
COOPER: So, what's your message to the protesters?
EMERALD GARNER: Keep - I'm proud that everybody has been peaceful for the most part. I just want to keep it peaceful. We did the lying on 42 Street, I wasn't able to go, but, you know, people were like, you know, I'll here for you. I'll here for you. So, just keep it peaceful. Like, you know we don't want to destroy a city that we live in. We live here, so you burn down that store, you can't shop there. So, it's not affecting - it's not only affecting everybody else, it's affecting you too. You burn a grocery store, you get no food. So, you know, we're not trying to burn down New York City. We just want to get our voices heard and get these policies enforced.
COOPER: Have you watched that video? Have you watched ...
ERICA GARNER, DAUGHTER OF Eric GARNER: Over and over again.
EMERALD GARNER: I've watched it.
COOPER: You have?
EMERALD GARNER: I watched at the initial night but I didn't watch it over and over again. I just see like the clip on the TV, I just like turn the channel. But the night that I have it, I watched the video. I shouldn't have watched it, but I watched it. I felt like I shouldn't watch it.
COOPER: Erica, it was important to you to watch it a lot.
ERICA GARNER: It was important to me to watch it. I mean it was hard the first couple of times seeing it, but after watching it over and over again, it was like, all right, this person was standing here. Well, this person (INAUDIBLE) there, well, this person, you know, the same person who choked him, smooched (ph) his head into the ground. It's like - I wanted to see everybody on the tape, what they had to do, what did they did - what ...
EMERALD GARNER: What part ...
ERICA GARNER: Yeah, what part did they do, what did they didn't do.
COOPER: I know you've also raised questions about the emergency response, the EMT that ...
EMERALD GARNER: You see like when the people call for not breathing, or whatever the case is, they go to immediate action, the defibrillator, the mask with the air pump. They have the, they didn't even check with the stethoscope. They didn't do anything for them to take seven or eight people to pick him up and put him on a stretcher, there's no way.
COOPER: Yeah, I mean.
EMERALD GARNER: He was a big man.
COOPER: He was laying there on his side with his hands cuffed behind his back.
EMERALD GARNER: Exactly.
COOPER: And I don't know if she was an EMT or paramedic. She came, she felt his pulse. But she talked to him as if he was conscious.
EMERALD GARNER: And she said, oh, you need to get up, because we're trying to help you.
ERICA GARNER: Yes.
EMERALD GARNER: And he wasn't conscious. He was already gone. After - at that moment, he was already gone. She touched his stomach, or checked his pulse ...
ERICA GARNER: It didn't move.
EMERALD GARNER: And didn't move.
ERICA GARNER: Didn't move at all. His stomach wasn't moving.
EMERALD GARNER: Where was your partner?
When he was talking, his stomach was moving, but when he (INAUDIBLE), his stomach wasn't moving. COOPER: The final cause of death was homicide as the result of neck compression and chest compression.
ERICA GARNER: Yes.
EMERALD GARNER: Chest compression. And how did he get that? Because somebody applied pressure.
COOPER: Jonathan, in terms of where this goes now, I mean, obviously, the federal government is now investigating. Is that where you focus is? I assume there will be also a civil case as well.
JONATHAN MOORE, GARNER FAMILY ATTORNEY: Yeah, there will be both of those. We're hoping that there's a quick and thorough federal investigation, I think, Attorney General Holder has promised that. And we'll hold him to his word on that.
COOPER: Is that case a lot harder? I mean during the Michael Brown Case, a lot of people were saying look, a federal case is going to be a lot harder than - than the state case, but in New York we have seen in the past several cases.
MOORE: Several cases in the past where they - where there's been a negative outcome where the state hasn't brought a criminal case, the federal government has stepped in and brought cases. In one case, a particularly in the Eastern district where this case will be brought.
COOPER: Oh the public going - (INAUDIBLE) to get is start videoing and a little e- can your just tell us from your perspective, what do you want people to know about your dad? What kind of guy was he?
ERICA GARNER: He was happy. Always smiling. This is going to be my first year without him. My birthday is on the 28TH. So, it's like, he always joked about my birthday being around Christmas. And, you know, birthday gifts are Christmas gifts. So, that was all - that's something I'm going to miss.
EMERALD GARNER: And also, I want to add that he's just a family man. He loved his family. I mean whatever he can do, with his like, whether it's family gatherings, Christmas to play Santa Claus ...
ERICA GARNER: Barbecues.
EMERALD GARNER: Barbecues.
COOPER: He played Santa Claus on Christmas?
ERICA GARNER: Yes.
EMERALD GARNER: Very much.
ERICA GARNER: Very much.
EMERALD GARNER: We were some spoiled children. COOPER: Did he actually wear a suit?
EMERALD GARNER: He didn't go as far as wearing ...
COOPER: OK. All right.
EMERALD GARNER: But he would wear the hat.
COOPER: Wear the hat.
ERICA GARNER: We will have a whole bunch of gifts. I mean it's not a Christmas that went by there, we were the happy with what we got for Christmas.
COOPER: Emerald and Erica, thank you so much, and Jonathan as well.
MOORE: Thank you ...
ERICA GARNER: For having us.
COOPER: Two of the, daughters of Mr. Eric Garner who died at the hands of a police officer. Our live coverage continues at the top of the hour. We've got much more ahead on the protests across the country. Tonight, we'll also take a close look, and exactly what happened and what did not happen in those critical moments after Eric Garner collapsed, went down on the ground being held down by police. Did police and particularly emergency medic workers who showed up after several minutes, did they do enough to actually help him?