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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Awaiting Fate of Two Hostages; Terror Group Holding American Female Hostage; Thousands Say Farewell to Saudi King Abdullah; NFL- Patriots Used Under-Inflated Balls in First Half; Man Shot & Killed by Officer At Traffic Stop
Aired January 23, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT tonight, the fate of two ISIS hostages unknown tonight as the deadline for their execution has passed. ISIS remains silent. Could they still be alive?
And a black man shot and killed by a black police officer on a traffic stop and it's all on tape. The incident under investigation tonight. Was it justified?
Plus, the NFL finally breaks its silence on the allegations against the New England Patriots. Did Tom Brady cheat? Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett, OUTFRONT tonight, the ISIS deadline. Threatening to behead two hostages has passed. So far, no word from ISIS or from the hostages. We're awaiting news on their fate. The world hoping they're still alive at this hour.
This video demanded a $200 million ransom on Tuesday giving Japan's 72 hours to comply or both men will be executed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: To the prime minister of Japan, although you are more than 8,500 kilometers from the Islamic State, you willingly have volunteered to take part in this crusade.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Japanese officials say they desperately tried to save the hostages lives. Last night Japanese media reported the government had made contact with ISIS and had been told to wait for a statement. At this hour though there has not been a statement. There has not been a video. We have not heard from ISIS again. The mother of one of the hostages pleading for her son's life saying he's a good man who only wanted to save children in war zones.
Jim Sciutto is OUTFRONT and Jim, you know, the big question, they had put this deadline and were so specific. Many expected would hear, of course most people were not optimistic about what we would hear about they thought we would hear. We haven't. Is there hope tonight for a different outcome than we have seen with the other hostages?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, there will be some hope until there's proof otherwise. But it's strange that there has been no video yet. The sad fact is though that these hostage takings in past, there's no precedent in these hostage taking, it has for them to end well. That is the sad fact but, you know, that deadline pass some 17, 18 hours ago and there's still none of that typical proof that we see which would be another video.
BURNETT: Right. And as you say you hold out hope until there's proof that that's unjustified. Jim, I know you are also learning the Pentagon could be ready to put American troops on the front line as the fight against ISIS as the U.S. is getting more aggressive and feeling the threat is more imminent.
SCIUTTO: That's right. The U.S., the Pentagon reserving the right to ask to recommend that U.S. military advisors be deployed at the front lines with Iraqi troops. In particular with planned upcoming effort to retake the northern city of Mosul. That is ISIS' stronghold. It is now within months say, Iraqi officials. They say they're ready. U.S. commanders say they're not quite ready. But the Pentagon reserving the right to send those military advisors with them. Question would be would the President accept that recommendation. You know, there wouldn't be combat troops but they would be in combat and put them in danger that they haven't seen before.
BURNETT: Again, as we say rhetorical distinction when you're talking about that.
BURNETT: All right. Jim Sciutto, thank you very much. And we are learning more tonight about the two men held hostage by ISIS. Will Ripley is OUTFRONT.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): ISIS deadline to execute Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa has past. The hostages fate unknown. Since Tuesday, Japanese government officials have tried to reach ISIS through third parties. Japanese broadcaster NHK says, they have been exchanging e-mails with and ISIS spokesman and were awaiting a statement. Just hours before the deadline, Goto's mother made an emotional plea for her son's life.
JUNKO ISHIDO, MOTHER OF KENJI GOTO (through a translator): I would like to say to all the members of Islamic State, Kenji is not an enemy of Islamic State. I ask for his release.
RIPLEY: Goto's mother also noted her surprise that her son left his wife and then two week old child to search for his friend Yukawa in Syria.
ISHIDO: My son left this very, very young baby to go and leave his family. And I asked my son's wife why he made this decision. And the response that was my son felt he had to do everything in his power to help and rescue his friend. RIPLEY: Goto, a freelance journalist who frequently reported
from war zones and Yukawa made for unlikely friends. CNN has learned that over the past decade Yukawa attempted suicide then lost his wife to cancer and lost his home and business to bankruptcy. After changing his first name to its feminine form he believed he was the reincarnation of a Chinese princess who fight on the Japanese on World War II. In his blog, Yukawa once wrote, "I look normal outside but inside I'm mentally ill."
But his traveled to Syria appeared to be an attempt to rebuild his life. Yukawa met Goto last summer and try to learn from him how to survive in combat. He soon portrayed himself as a soldier of fortune and the head of the private military company. A security company that Reuters existed only online. Now, these two unlikely friends are in the hands of ISIS with the very real fear that like five western hostages before them, they will soon meet the same horrific end.
RIPLEY: Kenji Goto's mother said something that really struck me yesterday when she apologized profusely for the inconvenience caused by her son's trip to Syria. Now, part of that is Japanese culture but another part of it is indicative of a growing sentiment here in Japan. Many in the public who lack sympathy for these two men because they feel they brought this on themselves by ignoring warnings and crossing into ISIS territory. But nobody can dispute Erin the tragic situation here where Kenji Goto's wife is sitting at home right now caring for their newborn baby still not knowing the fate of her husband.
BURNETT: And I know hoping against -- that any minute she might get news when one of course it's hard to imagine. Thank you very much.
Well, on OUTFRONT tonight, Barak Barfi, he was a longtime friend of Steven Sotloff, you just saw his picture on the screen there with Will. He was executed by ISIS last fall. Barak has spoken to the families of Americans held hostage by ISIS. And Phil Mudd, a former CIA counterterrorism official. Barak, ISIS set a time limit which of course this is first time they have done so explicitly. Right? The 72 hour countdown. That time limit has run out. As Jim Sciutto was saying, we're now looking at almost 20 hours basically at this point. Why haven't we heard anything yet?
BARAK BARFI, RESEARCH FELLOW, NEW AMERICAN FOUNDATION: Well, most of this is psychological. They want to play the biggest affect they can. They know that they have the whole world on edge, and specifically Japan basically because they know that they can hold the whole public opinion in their hands. Also we see that in the past that they have wanted to magnify the media fact of these situations to get the maximum exposure they can. So, this is what we're looking at this point in time.
BURNETT: So, this is what they want. I mean, Phil, what could be going on right now that could explain the silence? PHIL MUDD, FORMER CIA COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICIAL: Well, I think
Barak is right but there are other options out there. I learned when we took our first al Qaeda detainee down in the spring of 2002 at the CIA and the years of debriefings. Never overestimate how much we understood what they think. What a couple of options that might at play. The first is the security situation that led them to have to move these guys. I think there's a possibility. There still a lot of fighting obviously in Syria. I think there's an outside chance, I think very unlikely, but an outside chance, there are differences of opinion among the ISIS leadership about what they do with them. I don't think so but a possibility. I also think that there's chance that there are negotiations under way that we don't know about. I mean, the Japanese have said, they haven't been able to make contact with ISIS. I don't know what the families are up to. But I think there's a small chance to that. I would go back to what Barack said. This is a huge opportunity for ISIS to do what it wants. Portray itself not as a terrorist group but as a player on the global stage.
BURNETT: To that point, Phil, they asked for $200 million. Obviously, it was a symbolic number. It's the amount of money Japan has contributed to the fight against ISIS. But was that really the beginning of a negotiation. Because to be clear ISIS has negotiated before. They have taken money in exchange for releasing hostages. Would they ever have done that in this case?
MUDD: They might have. But the $200 million figure is not a hostage negotiation figure. That is the figure that allows ISIS to take this above a random negotiation for one million, three million, five million, it allows them to take a step up like they did with the American hostages when they directly had videos with conversations from their perspective with the president of the United States. They're not talking to the families in this case. They're talking to the Japanese government as an ISIS government if you will about $200 million. It's not a hostage negotiation. These people are pawns in a political game.
BURNETT: And Barak, we know there's still a 26-year-old American woman in ISIS custody. I know you've been speaking with the family. You spoke with him today. Is there anything you can tell us?
BARFI: Well, basically we need to not forget that there's an American woman, 26-year-old humanitarian aid worker whom I'll call Debra has been in captivity for almost 18 months. And we have to understand that there's a lot more the government can do to help secure her release at this point in time. But to go back to what Phil said. ISIS is very strong. It knows that it controls all the cards. It knows that $200 million is never going to become on the table. They've used this figure because the Japanese government has offered $200 million to the country's fighting ISIS. And that's why it comes up with this number. There's no way that the Japanese government is not going to pay for that type of figure. And we also have to remember Japanese culture does not really look favorably upon the hostages as we should say like in a country like France. I was in the city of Barrier (ph) in November of 2013 and I was surprised to see the poster of the four French hostages asking for their release. We would never see something like that in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, I mean, you can't see something like that in Japan either.
BURNETT: Right. Thanks very much to both of you. And next, the woman Barak is talking about. ISIS holding at least one American hostage. The woman he was referring to, 26 years old. Should the United States attempt to rescue her? Navy Seal who says he killed Bin Laden joins me next.
And the NFL finally breaks its silence on the alleged cheating scandal that's rocking football.
All right. If he's guilty, should Tom Brady even be playing in the Super Bowl? It's a rhetorical question, right? And a black man shot and killed by a black police officer during a traffic stop. It's all caught on tape. Is it excessive violence and justified? That's next.
BURNETT: Tonight, the world waits for news on the fate of two hostages held by ISIS. The terror group vowed to murder the two men if it didn't receive $200 million today. Just after midnight for the past three days, Japan has been scrambling desperately for a way to secure the men's release. These discussions are also taking place tonight in United States. Where the parents of a young American aid worker are desperately trying to free their daughter held hostage by ISIS.
Barbara Starr is OUTFRONT and what more have you learned about this young woman.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Erin, this is something that is known but very little has been said about it at the request of her family. This American woman, 26 years old. She's been in captivity by ISIS for the last 17 months. She is an aid worker. She went to try to offer help. Now, you will remember James Foley, the American journalist that was killed. His boss recently spoke out. Very rare opportunity about this woman and what has been going on. I want you to have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHILIP BALBONI, SUPERVISOR TO JAMES FOLEY WHO WAS KILLED BY ISIS: I know the family of the young woman whose name has not been revealed and they wish to pay a ransom. But it's not easy to find three and five million dollars.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STARR: Finding the ransom money, paying the ransom, finding out who you pay it to, who exactly is holding their daughter. The agony of these families Erin, almost unbearable to contemplate.
BURNETT: Unbearable and I know as you talk about the man there, you know, they are desperately trying to raise the money. The kind of amounts that you're talking about. They are incredibly difficult. And the U.S. government of course has a policy of not paying ransom. I know it makes it so complicated. Barbara, the U.S. government though does try to help Americans. They have tried to rescue Americans before. We know that they were not successful. How hard would it be for U.S. Special Forces to try to rescue this young woman you're telling us about?
STARR: Well, you recalled U.S. military commandos did try to rescue some of the hostages several months ago, Foley, James Foley as well as others. They thought they had good intelligence about where they would be held in Northern Syria and stage a very dangerous high- risk rescue mission. It did not work. Because one of the biggest problems is having that perfect intelligence. Where are they being held? Where exactly will they be the minute your helicopter lands? What kind of security from the militants is around them? When the military got to the place where they thought Foley and others were being held, and they wanted to try and free them, they found that their intelligence was slightly off. That the hostages had been moved sometime earlier. This is one of the biggest reasons some of these missions don't work. Sometimes they do. But the risk is very high -- Erin.
BURNETT: The risk of course so very high. Barbara Starr, thank you so much.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT now, the man who says he shot and killed Osama bin Laden, the former Navy Seal Robert O'Neill. All right. Robert, you're an expert on hostage rescues. You've been through this many times including rescue of Captain Philips, of course, I mean, you've done this many many times, what are they doing right now do you think when it comes to this American woman that they believe or they know is in Syria as an ISIS hostage?
ROBERT O'NEILL, FORMER NAVY SEAL: What they're doing right now is they're trying to gather as much intelligence on where she is, the lines of communications. They are trying to listen to what's been said. Possible movements -- they're trying to gather human intelligence on the ground so they can potentially attempt to rescue.
BURNETT: How hard is it to get that information? I mean, I would imagine it's pretty hard. With cellphones all the time here in low communication areas --
O'NEILL: Right. It's going to be very difficult now especially with the lack of ground presence as far as the allied forces are. A lot of it is controlled by ISIS. We don't have a lot of friendlies in there. And people that even would be friendly (INAUDIBLE) potentially from ISIS. So, it's going to be very, very difficult. We do have very, very smart people there, they are trying different ways to find where she is but it is hard.
BURNETT: Right. Now, all right. Barbara was talking about, there have been a number of high profile raids. Obviously some of them haven't been successful in the end game which of course is to rescue the hostage, to save that person's life. The James Foley mission, you know, they went and then it turned out they went too late. They'd already moved him. Intelligence was old. Sort of what sounds like what you're talking about. And then in Yemen, there was that December raid, you know where they were going for two American, there were two hostages, one was an American, Luke Summers, he ended up dying.
BURNETT: They got all the way there. They landed. They went in. No one knows exactly what went wrong at the last minute but something happened. Why is it that these missions are so difficult? I mean, because you have a lot of people involved in each of them on the ground.
O'NEILL: There's lots of people involved and either people that are on on the ground. People that are gathering the intelligence and putting the package together on the stuff. And then there's everything from where you're going to stage, where you're going to launch and how you're going to get there. Who are the pilots? You know, what kind of aircraft? You're going to just, insert, and then into a difficult spot where there are bad guys possibly, early defenses. You need the deal with that and the noise of the dogs.
BURNETT: Right. Because everybody in that case sort of heard about the dogs.
BURNETT: I mean, the dogs started barking. And that's what gave them away. And then people say, how is that possible? You have the best Seal teams in the world. They didn't think about the dogs.
O'NEILL: Well, they did think about the dogs. And to be honest, I can't think, in over 400 combat missions, I can't think of one, well, one was at sea but the rest of there were dogs anywhere barking. So, it's almost a thing where it wouldn't really wake them up because I'm not convinced dogs aren't barking all the time.
BURNETT: And you're saying, you've done this again and again and that part of the world, yes, there are dogs --
O'NEILL: We were used to it, it seems like when we are closer to a target --
BURNETT: Yes. So, you're suspicious of that whole argument anyway about what might have happened. You know, but one thing -- when we're talking about the mother in Japan and how she's apologizing to the Japanese people and our reporter was saying there's some anger in Japan. You know, sort of, why did you guys go there? Why did do you this to our country? You know, the hostages in Syria so far, all of them have been there by choice.
O'NEILL: Yes, they have.
BURNETT: Right. The freelance journalist, their aid workers, their people who their friends all say, they knew the risk. They did this because they wanted to but knew the risk. O'NEILL: True.
BURNETT: Someone like you has thought, okay, now you're going to go risk your life to save somebody who may be trying to do good but knew what they were doing.
BURNETT: Did you ever have a resentment?
O'NEILL: It is upsetting. I've had a good friend that used to, he was in my team. He was killed trying to rescue an American doctor in Afghanistan. And part of our issue is, why are you going there? I mean, obviously it's Nobel and they want to do the right thing and they're good hearted people. Most of them are aid workers or journalists.
O'NEILL: But the problem is you need to have a realization that there are people that don't like you based on simply being a nonbeliever on apostate. They will kill you based on how you look.
BURNETT: Right. And it's naive I know for many to think otherwise. But I guess, the point is you know, you guys go and do this anyway.
BURNETT: You put your life on the line.
BURNETT: But even though, I mean, you know, you lost a friend who went in for someone who, yes, as you point out, trying to do good but knew the risks.
O'NEILL: They do no the risks. Yes. And they accept the risks, you know, I wish a lot of them would be smarter about that. It's a very dangerous place and I wouldn't recommend to anybody going to Syria right now, I mean, there are journalist to do it and they have guts and, you know, I commended for that. But it's not the best place to go right now.
BURNETT: Right. When you obviously were there with Osama bin Laden and that raid.
BURNETT: I know that you said you know, you almost didn't want to know too much about the house or, you know, when you were going up the stairs as you shot him, because what if you went in and a wall was in a different place or something. Right? You don't want to over train. You've been on missions that have not succeeded in terms of the end goal like that when did succeed. What's the most common thing that's gone wrong? O'NEILL: Nothing goes wrong. It's just things aren't what you
thought they would be. The wall was taller than you thought it would be or place where you wanted to land was swamp or something like that. That's like the whole thing you don't want and really know the layout of everything, you don't really want the blue prints, we just want to rely on the trainings and the tactics that we all came up with together. Rely on that, rely on each other and communicating with each other and giving the job on that one.
BURNETT: But it is, it's just something that small. The wall is a little bit different.
O'NEILL: Something, yes.
BURNETT: And then that could just mean the whole thing.
O'NEILL: Yes. You think it's the main houses of an animal, and they make noise and then I'll send you in the wrong places. So, you don't want to say this is definitely -- don't say this is definitely this or definitely that. It could be. They would always say. When we were going somewhere, hey, there's ten men and 30 women and some like children. Just tell me how many tall people, we'll figure out when we get there.
BURNETT: Right. Right. We know of a judgment ahead of time. All right. Well, thank you so much Robert O'Neill.
O'NEILL: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.
BURNETT: And a king is buried. Many thousands gathered to attend the funeral of key American ally Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Abdullah was believed to be 90-year-old. He died early today. He had been sick suffering from pneumonia. Today, King Abdullah's body was wrapped in a pale shroud and carried from a mosque in Riyadh to the king's burial site. As you can see there, it was a simple dirt and gravel. A ceremony pledging new allegiance to the new king followed, that is Abdullah's half-brother Salman who is believed to be nearly 80-years-old. He is now the king of Saudi Arabia. But as you can see, everybody is getting a chance there to touch that grave. Somewhat interesting to see that picture.
OUTFRONT next, as the NFL finally speaks out on the alleged cheating scandal. Many are saying that if the Patriots are guilty, then, well, here's the thing, then what do you mean you'd pay a fine. That means nothing. Right? If you are guilty, you really cheated then that means you're really penalized. That means you don't won the Super Bowl.
And dash cam video captures a black man being shot and killed by a black policeman. His hands were apparently in the air. So, was it justified?
BURNETT: The NFL finally breaking its silence acknowledging for the first time that the New England Patriots used under inflated footballs in the AFC Championships game against the Indianapolis Colts. Even though Super Bowl bound quarterback Tom Brady and Coach Bill Belichick claimed in separate press conferences that they have no idea what happened. Something did in fact happen. The NFL so far has concluded that, quote, "while the evidence as far supports the conclusion that footballs that were under inflated were used by the Patriots in the first half, the footballs were properly inflated for its second half. So, who let the air out of the balls?
Rachel Nichols is OUTFRONT.
RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR (voice-over): After five days of headlines and controversy over deflate gate the NFL finally broke its silence releasing a statement confirming the New England Patriots were in fact using under inflated footballs in their first half of their AFC championship win over the Indianapolis Colts. The NFL also confirmed officials inspected the footballs prior to the game and found them to be within the rules then. So, now the question becomes, how did the air escape those footballs and who, if anyone, is responsible? The NFL says it's been investigating that since Sunday speaking with more than 40 people both in and out of the Patriots organization. On Thursday, quarterback Tom Brady said he had not yet spoken to investigators but both he and head Coach Bill Belichick insisted they had nothing to do with the under inflated footballs.
TOM BRADY, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: I didn't alter the ball in anyway.
BILL BELICHICK, HEAD COACH, TOM BRADY, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: In my entire coaching career I have never talked to any player, staff member about football air pressure.
BRADY: I have no knowledge of anything. I have no knowledge of any wrong doing.
NICHOLS: But several former players have expressed skepticism.
MARK BRUNELL, FORMER QUARTERBACK: Those balls were deflated, somebody had to do it. And I don't believe that there's an equipment manager in the NFL that would on his own initiative deflate the ball without the starting quarterback's approval. I just didn't believe what Tom Brady had to say.
TROY AIKMAN, NFL HALL OF FAME QUARTERBACK: It's obvious that Tom Brady had something to do with this. For the balls to have been deflated, that doesn't happen unless the quarterback wants that to happen. I can assure you of that.
RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORTS (voice-over): Brady also has his defenders, including staunch support
VINCE WILFORK, DEFENSIVE LINEMAN, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Tom is a big boy. He knows how to handle all situations. He'll handle this with class. For him to be attacked the way he did, trust me, we've been attacked plenty of times around here as individuals, as an organization and as a team. So, it's not our first rodeo.
SCHOLES: Patriots owner Robert Kraft is pledging complete transparency and cooperation with investigators, which includes Ted Wells, the high profile criminal attorney who last season wrote the NFL's report on the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal. The Miami investigation took about three months and Wells' inclusion could be a signal that this, too, will be a prolonged affair.
That's key since being able to say there's an ongoing investigation will allow the Patriots and Commissioner Roger Goodell to sidestep questions about it in the week leading up to the Super Bowl. Of course, that doesn't mean the questions won't keep coming.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Rachel Nichols is here with me. Stay with me, because we also have Jermaine Wiggins, a former NFL player who played for the Patriots with Tom Brady under Coach Belichick.
OK. Rachel, let me just ask you because in your piece you say, of course, he has his defenders. But it seems like the people who know the most are saying nobody touches the footballs without the starting quarterback being involved. And that seems the kind of be the bottom line.
NICHOLS: Yes, but the kicker is that's not proof. The lack of motive doesn't mean that they have proof there was a motive, rights? So, until they find a person who they can say yes, this is the person that let the air out of the footballs, you can have all the things that point to, gee, someone on that sideline let out the footballs because, hey, we know the air didn't let itself out. But until you find a person that you can say, this is the person who did it and this is how they did it, you can't really penalize them for it, right?
BURNETT: Right. I mean, I guess do you have to have the proof.
I mean, Jermaine, the former ESPN executive Roxanne Jones has written an op-ed for CNN. She says at the minimum, the commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell should disqualify the Patriots from the Super Bowl, strip the AFC championship title from the team and issue a fine or suspend coach Belichick.
What do you think?
JERMAINE WIGGINS, FORMER NFL PLAYER: On what grounds? Where is the information that we got that says Tom Brady was altering the footballs after the allotted time that he's allowed to kind of manipulate those footballs. Where is this investigation? Where's the proof to show them to say, OK, this is why they should be -- they should not be able to play in the Super Bowl. They should be stripped.
You've got to show me proof. You've got to have proof before you can prove somebody to be guilty.
You can't base it off -- well, the Patriots were in trouble before with the spy-gate incident.
WIGGINS: So, we're going to be -- it's because of their past history, we're going to make -- we're going to say that they're guilty.
BURNETT: All right. Something I'm sure a lot of people in defense, in criminal court in this country wish people wouldn't look at their past, of course, they do. But let me ask you this, who else, Jermaine, you know him. You played with him.
BURNETT: So, tell us, would anyone touch Tom Brady's footballs? Would anyone have done this without his approval? Because it was clearly uniformed, it clearly happened to all the balls. So, give me another scenario just so people can maybe try to see your side of it.
WIGGINS: What if the referees never even checked the balls? We don't know that. We -- they could have said, we checked the footballs. We made sure everything was good, because in the report that they came out with, the footballs don't leave the officials office until 10 minutes before the game and they go on the field.
So, basically, whoever let the air out of the footballs had to do it in front of 75,000 people with all the cameras around, 10 minutes before the football game. You'd have to be pretty good to do that and you'd have to be pretty sneaky to getaway from it.
So, who's to say, we don't know -- and I'm not saying the officials did it but they could have went in there and felt the footballs and said, oh, the footballs are good. They're all at 12.5 without actually putting a gauge in there and get in the air in this. So, we don't know.
NICHOLS: That's not what the NFL has come out and said today, though. The NFL did release a statement today saying that the footballs were specifically measured and that those footballs did meet the qualifications.
And then, the footballs go into the custody of the team's ball boys. And so, the question is, what happened once they went into their custody so that during the first half of the game when they were measured again, they were under regulation? What happened there?
WIGGINS: Well, the NFL says a lot of things that it's done before in past and we've known it hasn't done some of those things. So, when I look at this, to me, it's about -- we know in the report they said is that those balls are in the officials' room until 10 minutes before the game. Then they go out on the football field.
So, what you're telling me and what everybody is speculating is that Tom Brady had to tell his ball boy, hey, ten minutes before the game, the balls will be out there. I want you to take a pin and let out the air. That sounds ridiculous to me. That absolutely sounds ridiculous.
BURNETT: What about Rachel the penalty issue here, though, which is what I don't understand. Because to me, it's either a big deal when you cheat or is isn't. And if it's a big deal, you know, your kids cheat, you lose the title, you don't win, you cheated to get there.
BURNETT: But in this case, it turns out that they cheated, if it is proven, they pay a fine. They still get their title, they still go to the Super Bowl. So, I'm like, well, clearly, no one give a hoot about cheating in the NFL.
NICHOLS: Well, the point you make about them going to the Super Bowl, Richard Sherman, who is the corner for the Seattle Seahawk, which the Patriots will be facing in the Super Bowl, he made that point the other day. He goes, risk reward, they got their reward even if they did take the risk by breaking the rules, they got their rewards, so who cares? So, he certainly agrees with you, Erin.
Now, I do think that if they are found to have done this and there is proof and someone knows that Tom Brady was involved and stood up in front of America and lied about it, I think the penalty will be pretty significant. I think it will be more than just a fine, although, by the way, it will a hefty fine. I think you could see draft picks taken away from the Patriots. I think you can possibly suspensions. So, I don't think it's going to be nothing, but they will also get to the Super Bowl.
BURNETT: Well, you know, here's how they can prove they're serious about it everybody. They can get their investigation done in next few days so they cannot have Tom Brady not play the Super Bowl if he did it. Not wait until after the Super Bowl. A thought.
NICHOLS: But that's just not going to happen.
BURNETT: A thought. We can act rationally in the NFL.
All right. Tanks to all of you -- both of you. I appreciate it.
And OUTFRONT next, how did this traffic stop go from how you doing, which is how it started, very casually and friendly, to a deadly shooting in 73 seconds? We have a development tonight.
And the real life hero from the blockbuster hit "American Sniper", serious questions now about whether he told a true story.
BURNETT: An update to a story we brought you last night. Dramatic dash cam video that captured the moment a routine traffic stop quickly escalates. Thirty-six-year-old suspect Jerame Reid was shot dead as he defied a police officers order. Tonight, the mayor of Bridgeton, New Jersey, and community leaders are speaking out. They are urging calm because they have prosecutors investigating the incident.
Alexandra Field is OUTFRONT.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A minute and 13 seconds of videotape enough to show a friendly exchange turn deadly.
It starts with a black Jaguar pulled over in Bridgeton, New Jersey. In the end, Jerame Reid is shot to death.
RICHARD SMITH, NAACP NEW JERSEY: We ultimately have the right, if we find a conflict with any of the facts presented, to have the investigations findings and conclusion reviewed by the attorney general's office.
FIELD: But for now, there are calls for peace and patience while local officials try to determine whether deadly force was justified.
SMITH: The NAACP is confident that your office and that of our county prosecutor will ensure a fair, thorough and transparent investigation.
FIELD: The shooting happened on December 30th. At first, the car is pulled over for running a stop sign. Twenty-two seconds later, the officer draws his gun.
OFFICER: Show me your hands. Show me your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) hands. Show me your hands. Don't (EXPLETIVE DELETED) move. Don't you (EXPLETIVE DELETED) move. Don't you (EXPLETIVE DELETED) move. Get him out the car, Rog. You got a gun in his glove compartment. FIELD: Forty-six seconds into the stop, Officer Days has told
the suspect seven times not to move, then it escalated.
OFFICER: I'm going to shoot you. You're going to be (EXPLETIVE DELETED) dead. I'm telling you. You reach for something, you're going to be (EXPLETIVE DELETED) dead. I'm telling you! I'm telling you! Keep your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) right there!
FIELD: Officer Braheme Days knows one of the men in the car. Police say Days was one of four officers who arrested Reid in August on drug charges and for resisting arrest.
OFFICER: Hey, Jerame, if you reach for something, you're going to be (EXPLETIVE DELETED) dead. He's reaching! He's reaching!
FIELD: In 1995, Reid was convicted of first degree murder and served about 13 years in prison for shooting at New Jersey state troopers.
OFFICER: Show me your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) hands. No, you're not. No, you're not. No, you're not. Don't (EXPLETIVE DELETED) move.
FIELD: The dash came video shows the officer pushing in the car door trying to keep it closed. The deadly shot is fired three seconds later when Jerame gets out of car. His hands in front of him.
FIELD: Alexandra Field, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: All right. CNN legal analyst and former prosecutor Paul Callan is OUTFRONT.
OK, he told him seven times he defied, he defied, he defied, he got out of the car. He did all those things wrong. And he gets out of car, though, and his hands are up in the air. When you look at this, was it justified?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think when prosecutors put this case together, there's one thing we have to be careful about, we should know this lesson from the Ferguson, Missouri, Michael Brown shooting.
CALLAN: We're seeing this from one angle, all right? And that's the angle you see him with his hands up just before he gets shot.
CALLAN: What we're not seeing is what the officer saw as he was looking into the car. We know the officer pulled a gun out, presumably of the glove compartment.
BURNETT: Out of the glove apartment, yes.
CALLAN: We also know that the suspect, Reid, had served 13 years for attempted murder of a police officer by firing a weapon and we know that the officer had arrested him so would have known of his history of prior violence against police officers.
So, now, you got a cop, with a guy with a gun, and he tells him seven times don't get out of the car and to me, the most important thing is the cop is holding the door closed and the suspect pushes the door open and comes out. I think most people would look at this and say the officer was justified.
BURNETT: So, you're saying there's no case. What you're assumption this wouldn't go to a grand jury. That's the investigation.
CALLAN: It may very well go to a grand jury. I can tell you in New York, they all go to the grand jury. And it's how the local prosecutor decided to handle it. It may go to a grand jury. But I think the officer will be vindicated.
BURNETT: All right. Paul Callan, thank you very much.
And next, "American Sniper", the film. A huge box office hit. But now, there are questions about the real life sniper and whether some of his stories were simply made up. Which ones? Our special report, next.
BURNETT: The story of an American sniper is expected to shatter box office sales again this weekend. The film had the largest January opening in history, taking $105 million. It follows Navy SEAL Chris Kyle who is considered the most lethal sniper in U.S. history.
But tonight, some of the stories Kyle has told are being questioned. Did he tell the whole truth?
Ed Lavandera is OUTFRONT with our report.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The legend of Chris Kyle has grown to Hollywood blockbuster levels. The man known as the American sniper is credited with at least 160 kills during four tours of duty in Iraq. His story has made him a U.S. military icon.
But the movie and the glorification of Chris Kyle's life ignore some troubling stories.
(on camera): Chris Kyle and his friends often told a legendary story. It involved an incident that happened to him along this stretch of highway southwest of Dallas. The story goes that Kyle was driving along, pulled into a gas station when two men attempted to carjack him while he sat in a pickup truck. He reached for a handgun and shot each man twice and they dropped dead.
But this is where Kyle's story takes a strange turn. When the police arrived and ran his driver's license, they didn't get a name or an address. What the officers got was a phone number for someone at the Department of Defense. After a short conversation, they let Kyle go. He simply drove away.
(voice-over): It's a story that Kyle told writer Michael Mooney. Mooney wrote a lengthy profile of Kyle for "D Magazine". He says Kyle claimed there was video of the shooting but Mooney could never verify the story. He says he went to every gas station on that stretch of road across three counties, asked local and state law enforcement officials, but nobody has ever verified the incident.
MICHAEL J. MOONEY, WRITER, D MAGAZINE: So, ultimately what it comes down to is he -- it was either a joke that he didn't say was a joke. He was lying for some reason that we don't know or it was evidence of an enormous conspiracy that no American is going to feel comfortable with. We don't know.
I mean, he fact is, he was killed and there's no possible way to get an answer from him now.
LAVANDERA: Kyle also bragged that after Hurricane Katrina, he and another sniper snuck into New Orleans and shot 30 armed looters from the rooftop of the Super Dome.
Lieutenant General Russel Honore famously spearheaded the federal response in those days.
LT. GEN. RUSSELL HONORE, U.S. ARMY (RET): If somebody was shooting people in and around the Super Dome, trust me, we would have known about it, and I can assure you, no federal forces or anybody from the Armed Forces was there doing any sniper work.
LAVANDERA: Chris Kyle also boasted of punching out former Minnesota governor and Navy veteran Jesse Ventura for allegedly making disparaging remarks about Navy SEALs fighting in Iraq. Kyle bragged about it on the "Opie and Anthony" radio show.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You slugged him good.
CHRIS KYLE: I punched him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good. Bravo.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where did you punch him?
KYLE: In the face.
LAVANDERA: Ventura said the incident never happened and sued Kyle for defamation. A jury sided with Ventura and awarded him nearly $2 million. The case is under appeal.
We asked a spokesperson for Chris Kyle's wife to help shed light on these stories, any details that might explain Kyle's frame of mind.
But the spokesperson simply said she was not available to speak with us.
But Taya Kyle spoke at funeral, alluding to the tough and emotional roller coaster of their lives.
TAYA KYLE, CHRIS KYLE'S WIDOW: I don't need to romanticize Chris because our reality is messy, passionate, full of every extreme emotion known to man, including fear, compassion, anger, pain.
BURNETT: I mean, it's a pretty incredible report. Is there any explanation as to why Chris Kyle may have made these stories up or exaggerated them?
LAVANDERA: You know, I think that's what left people confusing, kind of baffled by everything. You talk to someone like Michael Mooney, the writer that we spoke with, who spent a great deal of time with him, with Chris Kyle before he died, and said he was a fascinating figure.
General Honore, obviously some who comes from a military background, said, you know, Chris Kyle had nothing left to brag about. He had led an exemplary career in the military, had extraordinary life and I think that's why so many people have been kind of baffled by when they hear these stories and this aspect of his life which isn't covered in the movie, obviously.
BURNETT: Yes. All right. Thank you very much, Ed Lavandera.
And next, a 13-year-old with a brilliant idea, building a very special printer out of Legos.
BURNETT: It all started with a Google search, how do blind people read? And on the result page, a California eighth grader learned that Braille printers cost $2,000 or more. Stunned by the price, this 13-year-old set out to make a more affordable version using Legos.
Here's Dan Simon with more on what's a big idea.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Like most boys, 13- year-old Shubham Banerjee loves building Legos, but his creation is no toy. It's a printer for the blind. It doesn't print text, it prints Braille.
SHUBHAM BANERJEE, INVENTOR: Like 15 million people in this world today who are blind and 90 percent of those people live in undeveloped countries, a normal cost for a braille printer is $2,000 onwards.
SIMON: So, as part of a school science project, he set out to prove one could be made a lot cheaper.
(on camera): The printer was made with a Lego mind storm kit. You could buy for $350 and on the box, you can make robots and some other contraptions here, but Shubham clearly had something else in mind.
How long did it take to build this?
S. BANERJEE: It just took me about a month after, you know, trial and error, a lot of times.
SIMON (voice-over): So much trial and error, his mother told him to move on. He became obsessed. Sometimes staying up until 2:00 in the morning and she worried about him keeping up with school.
MALINI BANERJEE, SHUBHAM'S MOTHER: I think he was breaking his seventh model, I actually -- I was ferment. I said, Shubham, I think you're waiting your time because the science fair is coming up and then you're not even ready with it, so I think just don't do it.
SIMON: But after weeks of tinkering, the eighth grader made a breakthrough.
S. BANERJEE: I just tested some random code out and it just started printing one dot and that was the letter A. And I screamed to my mom. I said, mom, you thought wrong of me, I can do this. It works now.
M. BANERJEE: I was a little embarrassed that I was not supporting him that much, but at the end of the day, yes, I was very proud.
SIMON: Shubham, his parents and little sister live in Santa Clara, California, the heart of Silicon Valley.
It didn't take long for some folks here to take notice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have Shubham Banerjee, please come up on stage, please?
SIMON: Intel where Shubham's father works as an engineer has made an undisclosed investment into what's a real company called Brago. This here is the next prototype.
S. BANERJEE: Honestly, money doesn't matter to me at all. I just really want to help those people who are in need.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is absolutely fascinating.
SIMON: Dan Simon, CNN, Santa Clara, California.
BURNETT: An inspirational story. Thanks for joining us.
Be sure to DVR OUTFRONT, so you can watch us anytime. And have a wonderful weekend.
"AC360" begins now.