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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Massive Crowds Marching Through N.Y.; More Protests After Charges In Chokehold Case
Aired December 4, 2014 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, AC360 HOST: Welcome back. It's just little past 9:00 P.M. here in New York. Protesters out in force in New York and many places around the country, many more by the looks of it than certainly last night, big crowds diverse crowd we're told overwhelming peaceful, taking to the streets expanding out from rallying point near police headquarters earlier this evening. March onto highways across the Brooklyn Bridge down to the Staten Island Ferry onto the West Side Highway around the city and in cities around the countries as I mentioned.
The images, they are remarkable. The motivation for all of it, one man's death, one grand jury's decision and all the larger issues that go with it, we're going to look at all the angles tonight in the death of Eric Garner, legal, medical, societal again.
We begin though out on the streets. I want to go to our -- Deborah Feyerick who's standing by. Deb where are you, what are you seeing?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So Anderson we're walking at 7th Avenue now in the direction of Madison Square Garden. It's very interesting. It feels a lot different than it did last night because what police are doing is they're trying to really choke off the crowds, much more quickly than they did yesterday.
You can see here, everybody's sort of walking. This is what we experienced last night, the first night of the protest. But just before they're trying to choke off the demonstrators, they got them off the West Side Highway and then the protesters didn't...
... West Side Highway. And there was -- specially the urgency, all these police cruisers at top speed starting racing to try to cut them off. There is actually a car accident with one of the vehicles that's crashed into another car.
We can tell you a lot...
... they're staging in different areas. And again, they're trying to just route people away. This is much more indicative of what we saw last night. And they're walking up to 7th Avenue, not quite sure where the end point is, but they're walking and they're determined.
COOPER: Deborah in terms of -- of sort organization of this. Are there, you know, and a lot of times at demonstrations you'll see organizers, people in different colored T-shirt or people with microphone or with walkie-talkies kind of doing crowd controls, civilians. Do you see that or is it more kind of. I mean who's deciding where to go?
FEYERICK: Well, it's very interested there are a couple of leaders at the head of this demonstration. And they're the ones who sort of leading everybody, getting people queues, telling them to slow up, telling them to keep going, telling them to turn it off. But, also what's interesting is that, the people that seem to be in charge of this, when they want a communicative message, what they will say is mike check.
And what happens is if somebody will say slowdown at the head of the line and then it filters back, so there's that sense (ph) of organization that we're seeing.
Also, we know that there are legal experts out here. So when people do get arrested, at least they've got recourse and as matter of fact, we saw at least three people arrested just a little way at back. Police officers really linking arms, they're holding this line and there were trying to divide the crowd actually, trying to disperse it.
The crowd did separate and then came back together. And this is their goal it's to slow traffic and you can see Anderson, as we walk through Madison Square Garden, the cars simply wait, some of them honk in support, some will hold their hands out of their car windows. But they're patient and the crowd is mostly peaceful.
And so, while it's a little bit overwhelming to have this many people descending on various cars. For the most part, everybody is just waiting patiently as the protesters make their way of 7th Avenue.
COOPER: I mean it's extremely difficult for protest -- organizers to organize this and keep it going. Obviously difficult for police to try to move along in such a fluid situation, we'll check in with Deborah coming up a little bit.
Our Brooke Baldwin is in Brooklyn having crossed over the Brooklyn Bridge. Brooke where are you now? I understand you're near Barclay Center in Brooklyn? What's happening?
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I am Anderson. I'm just stepping out of the picture just because I want to make sure you see what's happening in front of me. We are in middle of Atlantic Avenue in the middle of Brooklyn. I am staring at the Barclay Center, but you are staring at dozen of people who have been carrying different coffins, different cardboard coffins that represents each of the boroughs and more here in New York.
There are 11 different names, 11 names representing people who have been killed by New York Police. They have now in the last few seconds, they're staging what they're calling a die in (ph), representing Eric Garner who died, who was taken down by police on that sidewalk in Staten Island which is just a bridge away -- you're fine, which is just a bridge way from where I am. But you can see the flashing lights in the distance, police have been with us all along the way.
But, I mean this entire crowd now has taken over Atlantic Avenue all of the traffic obviously has stopped. And something else I just want to point to you, we found out that there are three mothers. We finally caught up to the front of this march. There have been three mothers, each of whom have lost a son. Two police here in the New York and they have been leading this. And if you try to get in front of them you'll be stopped by a lot of the organizers. They just wanted to make sure the mothers lead this -- excuse us.
They just wanted to make sure that mother lead this and hundreds and hundreds of people, we have been marching for multiples miles tonight for multiple hours. And it's quite and they're going to stay this way for just a little while, Anderson back to you.
COOPER: Let just listen in here and just look tat the pictures for just a few seconds.
In the midst of a major thoroughfare in Borough Brooklyn silence on the streets as protesters lay in the streets. You see some makeshift coffins that they have been carrying with the names of some who have been killed by the police, killed in interactions with the police over the many years here in New York and elsewhere throughout the country. This is not just news in New York protests in cities around the country tonight.
Washington D.C., our Athena Jones is there standing by for us. Athena Where are you?
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson. We're right near the entrance, the Highway 395, it's an interstate, a major artery that these group are -- or a group of protesters I should say, shutdown last night. We are passing the entrance of the highway it's blocked by police cars tonight.
This protest has been going on for more than five hours. They covered more than five miles of the city, walking around hitting major areas of the city, the Justice Department, the city hall, they passed by the White House at one point. Here they are talking about whether or not they're going to shutdown 395. The protest I should tell you is diverse, there's people of all ages have been shoulder (ph). I've seen people with children, dog out here I even saw a blind man walking with aid of cane. And there's a large...
... feel like they are making a different. They feel like this is what they need to do to bright attention to the issues of racial injustice, racial profiling not just the Eric Garner, Michael brown and Tamir Rice case. So, that's what we're seeing out here tonight, we're waiting to see what happens or whether they try getting back on the street tonight, Anderson. COOPER: Athena Jones in Washington. Again, I want to go back to Brooklyn. Again, I just think a power of this silence is self- evident.
Let's again listen to the silent in the midst of Brooklyn, in the middle of the street with hundreds if not thousands of people. Let's listen.
COOPER: The power of protester's voices. The power of thousands of voices, tens of thousands of voices perhaps in the city tonight and elsewhere around the country and there you're witnessing the power of silence as well.
We're going to take a short break. We'll show you the scene in Chicago when we come back.
COOPER: A moment ago, if you're watching our coverage you saw one of the biggest avenues in Brooklyn fall completely silent except of the sounds of police radios, but silence among the protesters.
New, now in Chicago where there's sizable protest going on, Kyung Lah is there for us.
What are you seeing their Kyung?
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Anderson, it's quite of a different than New York protest. You can hear people are saying what you heard earlier in New York. Hands up, don't shoot.
And you can see that we are essentially walking through traffic. If you are familiar with the city of Chicago, you'll know how extraordinary this is as we waive among these vehicles.
This is Lake Shore Drive. It is a major, major road that is in between the lake and the city of Chicago. And you can see it's completely shutdown right now as there are hundreds of protesters up on the easement (ph) all the way in between cars. But one thing I will tell you Anderson is that lot of people here, the people who are in the cars...
Take a look at a few...
People aren't really upset.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Shut it down.
LAH: And you can hear what they are saying.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Shut it down.
LAH: It's also been a bit of cat and mouse with the police. There has been no plan. This is a group with no leader it appears and they're just winding to the city streets trying to stay ahead of the police and trying to let the city know Anderson that they are here and they are growing.
And if you look at their face -- I mean, look at these faces Anderson. It is a very, very diverse group. It is a lot people who I see are generally younger but then there are also older people in this crowd.
So, it is quite extraordinary to see it Anderson.
COOPER: All right. (Inaudible) Kyung Lah, I appreciate that.
After Eric Garner was taking down by a chokehold, he lay on the pavement hands cuffed behind his back unresponsive.
We know this because it was all caught on video. And the video is painful to watch. That video is being closely scrutinized because it shows minute by minute and the minutes tick by, what Officer Daniel Pantaleo and his fellow officers did as they waited for medical help to come. And then it shows what happened or perhaps I should what did not happen once the EMTs and the paramedics actually got there.
The short answer is, they didn't seem to do much. It's hard to watch but important we think for you to see.
So here is some of that video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Back off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you back up please, we're trying to get some air, get him in the ambulance, all right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, we got him on the floor. I've got him on the floor. (Inaudible).
And now they're trying to (inaudible) after they harassed him, slammed him down NYPD, do you understand?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) right here. NYPD harassing people for no reason, he didn't do anything at all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now they want to step back. They want to try to get (inaudible), where (inaudible) to the ground. (OFF-MIKE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He can't breathe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why is nobody doing CPR?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I did nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's breathing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So how does -- what we just saw on that video compare with standard practice in law enforcement and emergency medicine?
Joining now Lawrence Kobilinsky, a Forensic Scientist and Chair of the Science Department in John Jay College of Criminal of Justice, also Dr. Sampson Davis who's an emergency room physician.
Dr. Davis, what do you see in that video? Because it appears once the EMT arrives, she checks his pulse with her two fingers, she talks to him as if he's conscious but to me he certainly doesn't look conscious and it doesn't look like any other -- anything else is undertaken.
SAMPSON DAVIS, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: Right, I mean the whole situation wasn't truly evaluated. She doesn't have any history as to what happened, what unfolded, why was he unconscious? And when she checked his pulse, what I've noticed is that they didn't check to see if -- or she didn't check to see if he's really breathing, adequate his breathing was.
A simply way to do that is to put her ear to this mouth to see if there's breath sounds or if his adequately breathing or lift his shirt to see if his chest is rising or going down. What I'm noticing is that he wasn't really responsive at all. He was unconscious and if he did have a pulse was it a bounding pulse, was it a weak pulse. I mean all that goes into evaluating the scenario.
COOPER: So, if somebody is breathing, you don't do CPR then, but police keep saying to like passersby back off, we need to get this person air but couldn't the EMT actually have given him some oxygen or something or...
DAVIS: Yes I mean...
COOPER: ... what would they -- what should might she have done?
DAVIS: I see all this (ph) levels of EMTs, the most basic EMT they're trained to deliver oxygen. So at that point he shouldn't have been given oxygen. I mean your advancing EMTs can incubate or put a tube in the throat to help control the breathing. Given his history of asthma and in fact that he was constricted and taken breath sounds, he was, you know, totally had an -- starvation of oxygen to the brain and to the heart and to the lungs.
COOPER: So in that video he's already dyeing?
DAVIS: I think so, yes.
COOPER: I mean they were told he's got a cardiac arrest actually in the ambulance but he's done.
DAVIS: And a cardiac arrest is secondary to lack of oxygen...
DAVIS: So he was starved off of oxygen. So he is dying and from what I'm seeing on a video without being on stand it's something to say but...
DAVIS: ... he needed to have his airway controlled. And so assessing the airways something that we always do, he could have what we, with his history of asthma, he can have sound in the (ph) chest in which the asthma attack doesn't allow you to really hear breath sound.
So, even with a stethoscope, the instrument we use in the hospital, you can put on the chest wall and see if there clear breath sounds being taken.
COOPER: So they could have used the stethoscope on him just to hear whether or not he's breathing?
DAVIS: Stethoscope, they could have took his vital signs, his blood pressure, his heart rate although you do feel a pulse, is it a steady rhythm?
DAVIS: Or is it an abnormal rhythm? It is what we call the agonal rhythm, is if the person started to decompensate and the heart rate is not sustaining.
COOPER: And Dr. Kobilinsky, the cause of death according to the medical examiner, homicide as a result of compression of the neck, compression of the chest.
LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: That is correct. Well, as far as the chest is concerned, the way a person normally breathes is that the muscles of diaphragm and the intercostals muscles between the ribs help to elevate the chest and extend it, that causes a negative pressure in the chest cavity and the lungs expand taking in air.
If you compress the chest, that's called burking. You cannot breath. You will become asphyxiated. You can kill somebody by burking somebody. To get the chokehold just that alone will kill somebody. COOPER: And so having people sitting on your back pressing your head into ground.
KOBILINSKY: Very dangerous. As far as the chokeholds are concerned there are different kinds of chokehold this could be the kind of chokehold in which the airway was cut off. That would have been caused the asphyxia that we're talking, but whether or not it was really damage to the airway.
He said, I can't breath, that means if the airway was damaged and certainly wasn't completely obstructive. But it seems to me that the chokehold actually cut off the circulation in the jugular and carotid vein and artery, and that caused the brain ischemia which resulted ultimately in cardiac arrest.
COOPER: And Dr. Davis, there's video which is a new video, this angle that we're seeing on it, the one from we were just showing, his head doesn't seemed to be being supported. It seems to be sort of off to the side when his lifted in to the stretcher it doesn't seem it's supporting. Is that...
DAVIS: I mean, well his head was turned that way and that's another part of that compromised to his breathing. In fact that his head was turned and it was forced placed on his head, on his neck, on his chest, all that causes restrictive air -- prevent air from entering in a restrictive position. And so, when they turned him over he had no muscle control at all because he wasn't conscious.
And at time, you know, we (inaudible) save your brain, and your heart can go four minutes, maybe five minutes max without oxygen, after that irreversible states status (ph). So, even if you resuscitate a person at the four or five minutes, they're going to have some fundamental delay or they may have some form of heart challenge or heart issues resulting from salvation of oxygen.
COOPER: Were you surprised to see that the medical response here?
DAVIS: I mean I think given the situation it's hard to say. But at the same time I would have, you know, I don't know the EMT level of training but I would have asked what happened. That's the first question he asked, what happened. Someone with about to take place, no one took leadership.
No one took ownership at that given moment. Someone should have said, what happened. This is what happened and what we have here is an emergency. And (inaudible) individual (ph) didn't carried out accordingly, at the point of time they put him on a stretcher and take him to the hospital.
COOPER: Too late.
DAVIS: Too late.
COOPER: His already done.
DAVIS: Yes. COOPER: Dr. Davis, it's good to have you on, Dr. Kobilinsky as well. Thank you so much.
Coming up later, more on police tactics and the kind of holds that we've been talked about and you've been heard talking about. We're going to check also back on some of the remarkable protests around the city also in other cities this one in Washington D.C. We'll be right back
COOPER: Remarkable scene just moments ago tonight in Brooklyn -- silence on the street of Brooklyn among the protesters. Let just listen for now.
The makeshift coffins that they've been carrying through the streets of lower Manhattan as well as now in Brooklyn, Brooke Baldwin is with those protesters who now are on the move. Brooke, what's going on?
BALDWIN: Anderson, we have now after that incredible point you had see and I think fast where so many voices have spoken. But about 10 minutes ago it was this power of silence in the middle of Atlantic Avenue. So we have essentially turned around. I'm actually in the middle of police couple of dozen members of New York police department heading up the back end of this protest as these marches are continuing back it looks like toward Manhattan. We're still in the middle of Brooklyn and I really just want to echo where at lot of people have said tonight.
Lot of the correspondents and the other crowds that, it's been incredibly useful turnout. Although at the very front of this group that is hundreds of people deep -- there were three mothers actually just interviewed off camera. One of the moms who lost her son two and half years ago and she is still frustrated because the officer she says who shoot and killed her son was not indicted and she was helping lead this whole group. And I asked her, you know, what did she think of that moment seeing the cardboard coffins and what they call the dying, everyone lying on he grounds -- and she was so touched. She was incredibly emotional.
Just moving this way, Anderson, quickly it looks like you can see cars. So you have police mixing with marchers, mixing with traffic as this massive group is heading back toward Manhattan. Anderson.
COOPER: Just an amazing scene various groups of protesters throughout the city tonight. Let's go Chris Cuomo who is in Manhattan. Chris, last we saw you were down by the Staten Island a very -- tell me where are you now?
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, so now we're walking up the West Side Highway. This was a big gathering point last night. But this time the crowd is so big that -- take look we're shown how they have both side of this stretch of the road shutdown now. So traffic on both sides is shutdown by the crowding.
You're asking earlier how they organize. This is very well organized. They were using an echo system earlier once they were bundled up by South Ferry the Staten Island Ferry there.
And one person would say a couple of words and then it would echoed by people in cycles around them so that message translated about where to go and when they would move out. And then, it's just a large pack and they move. I think that one of the things that is remarkable here is you have solemnity of what was happening with the casket and that gesture. But you also have range of emotions that are here. There's a lot of diversities not just in the number it's in what brought people here.
And we've been walking, you know, you never walk next to people for a long time you get to know them. These are not people from out town. These are not college kids who just joined this. There New Yorkers who lived here, there from Brooklyn. And you say, you know, the Garner family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
CUOMO: So that's what brought you here tonight?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, that is. That is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eric was my friend so was Eric and a daughter so was the son.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah.
CUOMO: And what does this mean to you that this many people who showed up...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean I'm so happy that people of all cultures or at least came out to show their love and support. And basically we have to make a change because they coming with us. They're coming with us
CUOMO: What do you think Eric Garner would have thought of all of these people mobilizing with us was done now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He'd definitely been proud of this because black people add them and above making change. It time for change. And he's definitely good positive black man so he have been with the movement.
CUOMO: And, you know, what the big pushback is in the situation that when the cops came at Mr. Garner, he didn't comply right way and that's why they had to do what they did. What do you say about him as a man and how he was in his disposition toward police?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, as far I know he would comply. He doesn't want to cause any way -- he didn't want any trouble. He has a family to feed. He's out there trying to earn money to feed that family. So, him causing a problem is for him to go down to jail and doing like that is not his character. That's not his repertoire. So I don't see that, you know, as you can see on the film his not resistant. But, you know, it's just that hard to say that and raises resist but it's not. And, you know, we're not going for that we're not agreeing with that.
CUOMO: Growing up here in city now to see something like this. Have you ever seen anything like this before?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I haven't and I'm very glad that it is finally come to times when Sean Bell and Mateo and just all the black men who have got killed by NYPD -- like this is a strong movement and I'm so happy so many people came out.
CUOMO: Thanks for walking next to me, thanks for telling me and sharing your story. I appreciate it. Anderson, back to you. We'll tell you what happen as it happens.
COOPER: All right, Chris, thanks very much. Now Chicago when last we check with her. Kyung Lah was on the cities iconic lake front drive. Kyung, where are the demonstrators now?
LAH: We're still on Lake Shore Drive, Anderson. And you'll notice at the very different setting that it was at least a scene just even 15 minutes ago. These are I would say just, you know, looking with my eyes I would say couple hundred protesters have completely shutdown one of the major roads in downtown Chicago to the left stopping the protesters from moving north are Chicago police. What you see these officers have is they have restrains.
We don't know what's going to happen next. But this is standoff. I wouldn't describe it as tensed. It's very quiet. But the standoff has been happening now for just about three or four minutes.
This crowd has couple maybe 300, 400 people. If you look at the faces, they're predominantly young people appeared to be all local and very, very peaceful so far except for the fact that they have managed to shutdown much of traffic here in downtown Chicago.
If you think of this is being one of the main arteries on a night when the Chicago Bears are playing it has really cause some havoc as far as traffic at one point, these protesters who are on west side of Chicago. And we're trying to run on a free way the Dan Ryan Freeway if you're familiar with Chicago -- a east-west freeway here. And the police had to chase them off the freeway. Now I can hear them chanting.
COOPER: OK, let's listen in for second, Kyung.
COOPER: Kyung, is this the first time that police have actually stopped the forward movement of the protesters?
LAH: Not the first time tonight. They had stopped them when they've tried to cross Michigan Avenue, when they have tried to cross the freeway the highway here. They had managed to stop them. But then you'll hear in the crowd "Go left" and everyone will start heading left. This is the first time that I've seen where I've been here at the front of line where it has been a complete standoff if you will. So, we're really just watching to see what happens. But, you know, it just a very peaceful crowd. And, you know, at some point thought the city is going to want to move them off of this major road way because traffic is all around us. I mean at one point we're walking in between the cars.
LAH: People where honking their horns and, you know, and I could say that just by looking at the people were stuck in traffic they didn't appear to be that upset so.
COOPER: If you've notice the tactics...
LAH: Even though it cause them headaches.
COOPER: ... if you've notice the tactics use in New York which very well may happen in here even the police don't try to move this crowd along the crowd itself may just turn around move off in a different direction. We'll continue to follow this demonstration in Chicago.
Up next, we want to take you a closer look at chokehold that was used on Eric Garner. Tactic has been banned by the New York City Police Department. Martin Savidge found out first hand what it feels like to be in a chokehold. He'll show us how it works and why. Police in New York have banned the practice and banned it long ago.
COOPER: Looking at protesters live on the West Side Highway, part of a wave of protest around Manhattan in Brooklyn walking there against traffic on the West Side Highway, just an extraordinary scene in this city. Someone who's lived here my entire life, I have never seen a night like this. And this is the second night in a row of this kind of demonstrations. It's fluid, fast moving demonstrations in multiple groups. And they have only grown larger from last night. This crowd numbered perhaps in the thousands. It's hard to get an accurate read at this point. In Brooklyn we saw large crowds -- in Chicago, Washington, Oakland, California, the NYPD.
We want to talk about the use of chokeholds which the NYPD more than 20 years ago banned. But in spite of the ban, New York Civilian Complaint Review Board says it received 219 chokehold complaints between July 2013 and June of 2014 -- the month before Eric Garner died. His death obviously has refocused attention on the dangers of chokehold. And I just want to show you up close what happens in a chokehold. Here's Martin Savidge.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The first thing I discovered is police aren't the only ones to use a chokehold. It's also a martial arts move.
MATT SHIVE, BLACK BELT JUDO INSTRUCTOR: How are you? Good to see you.
SAVIDGE: Matt Shive is a black belt judo instructor. It turns out there's a lot of ways to choke someone but really only two styles. We cut off the oxygen supply to lungs or cut off the blood to the brain. Matt is good enough to demonstrate both on me starting with the air supply joke.
OK, well all right so that's the restricting the air flow by simply pressing up against the wind pipe. And it cuts off you r ability to talk as well as cuts off your ability to breath. All right, next step is the restrict the blood flow, OK?
SHIVE: OK, kind of the same thing. When you feel it just tap.
SAVIDGE: I'm ready. OK, that one created a sensation of light- headedness. You could definitely can sort of get that tunnel vision pain much quicker.
It is the last choke that blood supply choke experts say is the safer of the two techniques because it's easier to restore blood flow than it is to get someone breathing again. Phil Holloway is the next guy to wrap his arms around my neck. He's actually an attorney.
PHIL HOLLOWAY, ATTORNEY: Can you tell me what does that feel like?
SAVIDGE: It's very difficult to talk or get a strong breath. Yeah.
Holloway is also a former beat cop in Georgia and tell me something interesting. Different police departments use different chokes. There's no national standard. Georgia's chokehold goes for the oxygen supply but.
HOLLOWAY: Georgia emphasizes restraint that winds up with the person being face up as opposed to face down in order to prevent this positional asphyxiation.
SAVIDGE: That's the mistake the lawyer side of Holloway sees when he reviews the take down of Eric Garner. The victim is drag down falling forward increasing the danger.
HOLLOWAY: They dragging him forward while this guy's got him sort of pulling him backwards. And so it adds more pressure against that wind pipe.
SAVIDGE: There is another problem with chocking off oxygen. The victim's in ability to breathe triggers a built in human response.
HOLLOWAY: The adrenaline response kicks in and the body tries to do what it can to get air into the lungs. That can be misinterpreted by officers as continued resistance.
SAVIDGE: Causing the officers to apply even more force in a deadly escalation.
As I found chokeholds can be extremely effective. But experts say get it wrong for even a few seconds and the results can be tragic. Like a taser or pepper spray many police departments still see the chokehold as a valuable alternative when trying to restrain someone -- far safer they say than using a gun. Martin Savidge, CNN Atlanta. COOPER: With me again is retired New York Police Department Detective Harry Helk and CNN Legal Analyst and former Federal Prosecutor Jeffrey Toobin.
In determining Jeff -- the Grand Jury determining this use of the chokehold and stuff, does intent matter whether the officer intended to use a chokehold or intended to press the wind pipe?
JEFF TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, a chokehold is not illegal. A chokehold is against New York City Police Department policy. But it is not a crime to use a chokehold. The issue before the Grand Jury was the unreasonable use of force. Now that's also a difficult term to define. But chokeholds in of themselves were not really the issue with the Grand Jury.
COOPER: There is a law against strangulation though in the city which would begin as domestic violence law?
TOOBIN: That's right. I mean that's one of the many questions about this Grand Jury that we don't know the answer to is what possibilities were presented to the Grand Jury. I mean there are a lot of possible laws that were implicated here -- strangulation, assault, manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter. So it's not just a straight up or down decision that the Grand Jury had to make. They could have chosen a variety of criminal laws to charge any of the officers which - with as well all know they charge none of them with any.
COOPER: And Detective Helk to you, you don't see a chokehold there?
HARRY HELK, RETIRED NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT DETECTIVE: Not like what we just saw here. No. I don't see that. I see what I use it's called the takedown.
COOPER: But never the less at some point the Officer Pantaleo, his arm is across the wind...
COOOPER... is not only across the wind pipe...
HELK: Right, yeah.
COOPER: ... or cutting out the blood supply around Mr. Garner's neck.
HELK: Right, well that's what it looks like. Yeah.
COOPER: So that would be a chokehold whether it was intended or to be...
HELK: No. No, the chokehold you got to use both arms. Did you watch what he did?
COOPER: Right, but the New York Police Department considers any compression of the wind pipe...
HELK: On the throat. COOPER: Of the throat as a chokehold.
HELK: Correct. That's what they consider as a chokehold, right.
COOPER: Can I just ask...
HELK: Now, excuse for a second.
HELK: I would take somebody down by the neck like this, all right? If I had been taking that gentleman down, I would not come from behind. I would take him from the side and brought him down and then you come right down, OK?
TOOBIN: Well, just the differences between the -- approaching corroded artery, approaching the wind pipe, it seems awfully subtle and small given the fast moving chaotic situation of an arrest.
TOOBIN: I mean can police really make a distinction. I mean you're just grabbing someone around neck, aren't you really?
HELK: Well you basically are but you got to be careful too. Like, I was always very careful that I didn't break the guy's neck.
COOPER: But particularly in the case like this where a person is moving quickly...
HELK: Right and the person's also fighting you also. As you saw here how easy it was to put a chokehold on somebody who's not fighting and just laying there. Here you got a guy who's probably taller than you. This guy in the back had to jump up and bring him down, all right? And he brought him back. Now was there pressure going back like he had said? Looks like there was pressure on his throat all the time.
COOPER: And then obviously the homicide which the medical examiner said was based on compression of the neck and compression of the chest.
HELK: And I want to see the rest of the autopsy report too though.
COOPER: Detective Helk, good to have you on, Jeff Toobin, as well. Chicago pictures there on the right hand side of your screen. We're going to be right back with more protesters in New York and around the country.
We're not going to go to break. I just wanted to -- this is the scene from Chicago. This is the personal confrontation we have seen in Chicago between police and protesters here. A short time ago -- several minutes ago, we saw basically a silent stand off between police and protesters. Our Kyung Lah is there. Kyung, what happened here? What's going on?
LAH: OK. I hear you. Well, what happened was that the police are trying to push the protesters off of Lake Shore Drive. Some of them did not want to go. And you're seeing an officer really just trying to push us out of the way and push the protesters. We're going to step back over this way. And you could see they're trying to push the protesters back over this fence. This is a chain link fence.
And we're trying to show you what it looks like. We're standing behind the police officers on Lake Shore Drive and they are pushing the protesters off. And we're seeing...
COOPER: So Kyung is this the same crowd that a short time ago...
LAH: We're trying, sir We'll start going that way, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. So you have a spot right here.
LAH: Yeah, yeah.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right, the seal -- right over at the...
LAH: Yeah, sorry, Anderson...
LAH: ... we're trying to move as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right over the fence. Don't stand behind the police. Let them through. Let them through. Let them through.
LAH: I hear you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let them through.
LAH: Yes, I could still hear you, Anderson. This is that same crowd.
COOPER: Is this -- this is the same crowd. OK. There was a silent -- basically stand off several minutes ago but then you were saying the police moved in to try to push the crowd off the road.
LAH: Exactly. That stand off that you saw a short time ago was people turning around. That stand off you saw people started turning around and walking south on Lake Shore Drive. We got probably maybe 300, 400 yards. And then police officers -- we're met by another line and then that line tried to basically squeeze the protesters right off of Lake Shore Drive.
And the scuffle that we're showing -- we want to make sure that we keep it in context with the entire night here in Chicago. It's been overwhelmingly peaceful. This is the very first time that we have seen any sort of physical interaction between the police officers and the protesters who said that they simply did not want to move because of how basically how this is happening. I'm not really sure if there has been any people arrested. I haven't seen people being arrested and coming out of this crowd. There certainly aren't any police cars here.
This is interesting. They are using their police vehicle -- their police bikes as a barricade. Officers are improving as best as they can. So what are the police trying to so? They are trying to open up traffic to a major thorough fair. And these protesters keep saying that this our Lake Shore Drive. And they do not -- at least that's one small group we saw simply did not want to comply with the officers request.
COOPER: And Kyung as we continue to look at your pictures, I want to bring in Retired Detective Harry Helk of the New York Police Department. Detective Helk, I mean you and I were talking before the break -- I mean I'm a lifelong New Yorker. You've been in the police department since the late 70's. Have you ever seen demonstrations like this -- multiple crowds of people moving somewhat at will throughout the city? From a police standpoint, it's got to present huge challenges.
HELK: Well, it's definitely huge challenges but whether the police department that could handle challenge head on but I have never seen anything like this at all. It's just amazing to me how wide spread this is here in New York and countrywide also.
COOPER: And the fact that you have multiple groups sometimes in the thousands -- I mean one right now in the West Side Highway, one crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, one down, you know, elsewhere in the city -- it's extraordinary.
HELK: Yeah, it is. And, you know, I'm proud of my police department.
COOPER: For being able respond.
HELK: I'm looking at them. They're doing such a great job to responding to this and have virtually have had no violence. There's been a couple of arrests. But I'm really proud of these and the job that they're doing here. And, you know, these people have a right to do this. I'm not too happy about them blocking all the highways and the streets, but, you know, the mayor says it's "OK. Let them do it." I'm fine with it I guess.
COOPER: You say that to someone who's blocking traffic the other night.
HELK: Yes, I was. Last night...
COOPER: That's right.
HELK: ... but only for about 30, 40 minutes like that.
COOPER: Again, just extraordinary scenes. It looks like that crowd now in Chicago has turned -- has begun to turn -- Time Square there now -- I want to show you those pictures in full. The scene in Time Square -- and again, kind of a silent -- well, some protesters chanting there as well. Let's just listen in to the scene right now. Let's take that -- that's not Chicago. That's Time Square. So let's take that tense protesters sky rocket stream (ph) and just listen in to the sounds. I know. That's in Time Square. So let's listen in to the sound
COOPER: OK. So that's the scene in Time Square.
Joining me now, our Cultural Critic and Writer Michaela Angela Davis and CNN Political Commentator, Cornell Belcher.
As we watch some of these images -- I mean, Cornell you're just joining us. You just gone into the city, what do you make of all these protest?
CORNELL BELCHER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's really amazing. I just left D.C. and they were sort of springing us spontaneously.
You know, after the decision -- I mean, I think some of us were so, you know, fallen and -- but then when people -- if we see these diverse group of people sort of gathering together and saying this is fundamentally unfair and taking to the streets, it sort of reconfirms our sort of our faith in our society and our values and it also points to a way -- there's an ability to change.
If people will take to the streets and protest in this sort of diverse way, you know, I think we have a chance here to see some change.
COOPER: Michaela, what do you make -- what do you think?
MICHAELA ANGELA DAVIS, CULTURAL CRITIC AND WRITER: Yeah, I feel like we're seeing the American project at work. It is messy, it is difficult, it's full of diverse -- like we're seeing what this really is and be -- and I was out -- after I left here last night, I joined the crowd. And I happened to be in this little mix of what looked like students mostly white all chanting, "Black lives matter."
And I can say that was an extraordinary moment. I've never seen a movement move like this and it's definitely feels like a movement. They were talking about this is what democracy looks like. That was one of their chants.
And you're getting to see that this is what America is going to look like. It is diverse. It is not, you know, there's not a white, male, Christian, narrative that everyone conforms around. It is young, it is progressive and this is what it looks like. And I think...
BELCHER: And that system is -- and I got to catch up with it.
DAVIS: Yes. And it ended and -- though it seems organic, there was a lot of coordination. The "I matter" -- I mean, "Black lives matter" coordinators were actually talking to each other. So you're watching they're going to be very strategic while feeling organic at the same time and while, you know, I felt proud of the citizens.
You know, there's pride in them. You said you felt all kinds of (inaudible) I felt quite proud of these citizens really exercising who they -- who we are. And the world is watching. COOPER: Michaela Angela Davis, great to have you on, Cornell Belcher as well to take the (inaudible). I appreciate it. Thanks very much.
We're going to take a short break. We'll be right back.
COOPER: (inaudible) night. That does it for us. Thank you very much for watching.
Our coverage continues now with CNN Tonight and Don Lemon.