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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Eyewitness: Scott Was Trying To Get Away From The Taser; South Carolina Shooting: Officer Michael Slager Fired; Eyewitness: "Scott Was Trying to Get Away from the Taser"; Tsarnaev Found Guilty, May Face Death Penalty; Defense Secy: Al Qaeda "Making Gains" in Yemen. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired April 8, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:10] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN GUEST HOST: OUTFRONT tonight. Breaking news, the police officer in the fatal South Carolina shooting caught on tape fired today. And we now know the victim, Walter Scott was shot five times. Four times in his back. OUTFRONT tonight, Walter Scott's brother.
Plus, who captured that crucial video of the shooting. Until tonight that man was unknown. He speaks out though for the first time.
And the Boston bomber guilty, will he get the death penalty? Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Jim Sciutto in tonight for Erin Burnett who is on assignment. OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, on the shooting death of an unarmed black man in South Carolina by a white police officer. Moments ago, the man who filmed the crucial video of the shooting who until now was unknown, spoke for the first time to NBC News adding new details about what happened in the moments just before he started recording.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FEIDIN SANTANA, FILMED SOUTH CAROLINA SHOOTING: They were down on the floor. They were down on the floor before I started recording. They were down on the floor. I remember the police had control of the situation. He had control of Scott. And Scott was trying just to get away from the Taser.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: That of course contradicts the officer's version of events that Scott was trying to take away his weapon. Also tonight, the police Officer Michael Slager was fired today. And a family attorney just revealing to CNN that Walter Scott was hit by five bullets. Four of those bullets in his back and another in his ear. And that was as he was running away from Officer Michael Slager. Angry protesters confronted the town's mayor and police chief at a press conference earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: No justice! (Crowd): No peace!
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: No justice!
(Crowd): No peace!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: That familiar chant of no justice, no peace. The mayor revealing that there is at least one more video. Police dashcam video that is not yet been released. That video could be crucial to answering what happened in the minutes leading up to the deadly shooting.
Jason Carroll is OUTFRONT tonight. He is in North Charleston, South Carolina. Jason, now we just heard from man who shot this video. Without it you can pretty much assume that most of America would not even know about this case. What more can you tell us about him and how he ended up getting this on tape.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he is Faidin Santana. And as you heard there, he told NBC News that he was on his way to work when he saw Officer Slager and Walter Scott together. He saw them argue. He saw them fall to the ground. He saw the chase. He saw it all. Scott's family telling us earlier that they are very grateful that he decided to come forward. And they're not the only ones who are grateful. The city's mayor also speaking out today saying he too is grateful this young man stood up and brought the video forward.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: No justice!
(Crowd): No peace!
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: No justice!
(Crowd): No peace!
CARROLL (voice-over): North Charleston's mayor and police chief interrupted by vocal and angry protesters demanding answers after seeing the video that shows Officer Michael Slager repeatedly shooting Walter Scott in the back. Slager in jail tonight charged with murder. But questions remains. The video has ignited calls for reforms from African-Americans who say police are too quick to use excessive force. How did the incident unfold?
(on camera): According to police Officer Slager pulled over Scott right up the street there for a broken taillight. This is the empty lot where the shooting took place. Right next to it is the alley where that man was standing who recorded it all. The video starts as Slager and Scott appeared to wrestle over an object, possibly a Taser. The video shows an object falling to the ground as Scott turns and runs. The key portion of the video picks up just about where I'm standing. This is where the unidentified man was standing just about 20 yards or so away from the Officer Slager. He then records as the Officer Slater shoots Scott several times. You can see there where Scott fell where a memorial has been set up for him.
(voice-over): The video is clear. It shows Officer Slager as he pulls his gun and fires eight shots. According to Scott's family four strike him in the back. At no point Slager heard yelling a warning or stop. He just shoots. The video then shows Slager calling for back up.
UNIDENTIFIED OFFICER: 223 to dispatch, shots fired. Subject is down. He grabbed my Taser.
CARROLL: Then he's seen walking over to Scott and once Scott is on the ground Slager does shout a command.
UNIDENTIFIED OFFICER: Put your hands behind your back.
CARROLL: Slager puts Scott in handcuffs and then he turns to retrieve an item on the ground, then appears to drop it next to Scott's body. Scott's body believed the video shows Slager's attempt to plant that Taser next to Scott's body. The mayor expressing his gratitude to the man who shot the video for coming forward.
[19:05:10] MAYOR KEITH SUMMEY, NORTH CHARLESTON, CAROLINA: The video is very demonstrative of the exactly what happened. Without the video and that was the only witness there was actually was the gentleman that was making the video, it would be difficult to ascertain exactly what did occur. We want to thank the young person that came forward with the video.
CARROLL: The family wanting to thank him as well. In terms of how the video actually got into the family's hands, Scott's brother tells me that on Sunday, they went back to the scene of where it all happened. They were doing a special tribute for Walter Scott there. At that point Faidin Santana apparently came up to one of the family members and said there was something very important that I have to show you. That is the first time that they then saw and heard about that video.
SCIUTTO: Extremely important for sure the scene behind this whole story. Thanks very much, Jason Carroll. He's down there in South Carolina.
I want to go now to Walter Scott's brother, Anthony Scott joining us tonight along with the Scott family attorney, Chris Stewart. Anthony, first, I want to say how sorry we are for all that your family is going through certainly the loss of your brother but also seeing it playing out again and again. And I just want to say, we're thinking of you as you go through this. And I want to ask you if I can about that encounter with Faidin Santana.
As you went down to the scene of the shooting, and he told you he had this video. I wonder, we just heard from him for the first time tonight. Describing the moments before the shooting where him saying the police officer in this case had control. That he didn't appear to be under threat from your brother. I wonder if he told you the same thing when you spoke with him and what was your reaction to that?
ANTHONY SCOTT, BROTHER OF WALTER SCOTT: He said you have to look at this video. And he said that your brother showed no resistance at all.
SCIUTTO: No resistance. You can certainly see that in the video there. It's good as well to have you there Chris Stewart. Because I wonder, this video has played such an important part in this case. The police saying that there is another video of the shooting, dash cam video from the police car of the officer. Have you or any of the family members been able to see this video, and to your knowledge are there other videos out there that might show us for instance the moments leading up to the shooting that the witness Faidin Santana was describing when he spoke with the family?
CHRIS STEWART, LAWYER FOR FAMILY OF WALTER SCOTT: We're not aware of any other videos of the incident. There probably is dashboard cam video of the initial stop. But where the shooting took place was nowhere near where the cars would have been. So, I don't know if they're referring it to the reason he was pulled over or the stop. But I don't see how it could have caught the incident because the cars were in a different area from where the shooting took place.
SCIUTTO: And to your knowledge, no other witnesses that might have recorded any of the moments leading up to the shooting as well?
STEWART: No, we haven't heard of any other witnesses in that area other than Faidin, who is now that people can see him, hear how amazing his testimony is and how it backs up the video.
SCIUTTO: No question. I also want to talk about the Police Department's changing story here. Because initially, based on its public comments, believed the Officer Slager version of events. Back on April 4th, The Post and Courier reported the following, a statement released by North Charleston police saying that a man ran on foot from the traffic stop and the officer deployed his department issued Taser in an attempt to stop him. That did not work. An altercation ensued. And as the man struggled over this device, that's what they said initially during the struggle, the man gained control of the Taser and attempted to use it against the officer. The officer only then resorted to his service weapon and shot him. Now, the police chief was asked today at the news conference when he realized that there was something wrong with that initial account of the officer's story. Listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUMMEY: (audio gap) The videotape yesterday for the first time.
SUMMEY: I had no reason to rely on anything but the evidence that we have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: So, Anthony Scott, I have to ask you, if it weren't for this video shot by Faidin Santana, do you believe the police would have investigated your brother's death any further?
SCOTT: I do believe they would have.
SCIUTTO: You do. You do. Okay. So, that's an expression of confidence. I wonder, Chris if you agree as well?
[19:10:12] SCIUTTO: And Chris, do you believe in your experience --
STEWART: They would have had to investigate it. They would have had to investigate it further, would anything have been done, would we be here today? Absolutely not. They would have investigated further and this would have just went the way of the officer's word because there's nothing to contradict it even though his brother has five bullet wounds in his back. That still somehow would have just went along as everyday business because the cop's word have trumped it. That's just what happens typically in these cases.
SCIUTTO: Right. Well, Anthony, I wonder if I can ask you as well, we saw protesters disrupting the mayor and the police chief today with that familiar chant first becoming familiar during the Ferguson protest, "no justice, no peace." Are you concerned, is your family concerned that these protests could happen in South Carolina as well? Are you worried about that and what would you think if that would happen? Because I know your family had said that you want there to be a peaceful response. You want to let justice run its course.
SCOTT: That is correct. We would like for justice to have its course. And we don't want any rioting or anything of that sort. We want peace. And we would like for just the answers and the truth to come out and a change to be made. That's the only thing that we're looking for here for everybody involved.
STEWART: You know, I can comment on it. No justice, no peace. The problem with that is, if we don't have peace, we can't get to justice in this case. Because this thing is going perfectly. We're fighting hard for the family. The man has been arrested. We're going to fight to make sure that he's prosecuted. We're going to file the civil claim so his children are taking care for the rest of their lives. His family is starting to heal. No peace would just wreck everything that this family stood for, that the man who died stood for. It makes no sense. It gives other officers reasons to be trigger happy just like this guy was. So, we're going to sit down, we're going to calm down and we don't expect any kind of violence whatsoever because people understand how things can positively be resolved by stepping up like this witness did.
SCIUTTO: No peace, no justice, a valuable thought. Thanks very much. Very good to have you on. Anthony Scott, again our thoughts go out to you and your family. And Chris Stewart, thanks for joining us well.
SCOTT: Thank you.
SCIUTTO: And coming up. OUTFRONT next, new details about Officer Michael Slager's past record. Has he been accused of using excessive force before?
Plus, new data showing South Carolina police reportedly shot at more than 200 suspects during five years and not a single officer was convicted. Why is that?
And cell phone video capturing critical evidence of what really happens during violent arrests. Our special report coming up.
[19:16:50] SCIUTTO: Breaking news. The white police officer who shot and killed a black man has been fired. He's now facing murder charges after this graphic video surfaced. It shows the victim Walter Scott apparently unarmed, running away while the Officer Michael Slager fires eight shots. And tonight there's new questions about the officer's past. This is not the first time that he's accused of using excessive force against a black man.
Our Brian Todd is OUTFRONT from North Charleston, South Carolina. Brian, I know you've been looking into his past, his history. What do we know tonight about the officer who shot and killed Walter Scott?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jim, we have obtained police records about Officer Michael Slager indicating that on at least two occasions he had complaints filed against him. In the most serious of those complaints, this came in September 2013 after he responded to a burglary report. Officer Slager approached a residence. There was a man inside the front door who said he was not the suspect and a local witness very close by yelled at the officer that the man inside the front door was not the suspect. Still Officer Slager, according to this report, pulled that man out. The man's name is Mario Givens, shoved him down, dragged him and tased him.
And that incident, the complaint was filed against Officer Slater but he was exonerated in that case, Jim. So, he's been known to at least use his Taser in an improper way before. But again, I want to point out, he was exonerated in that case, Jim.
SCIUTTO: Now, in the North Charleston area, this is also not the first time a white officer has been accused of using excessive force against a black person. What did you learn about other cases like this?
TODD: It's astonishing Jim when you dig into this a little bit further. You come up with some jarring numbers. First of all, I'll tell you about a state newspaper analysis that we found saying that police in South Carolina have fired weapons at about 209 suspects over the past five years. In some of those cases, the officer was accused of pulling the trigger illegally. But according to "The State" newspaper analysis, none of those
officers were ever convicted. We have a couple of cases to site for you where throughout the state of South Carolina, police officers have at least been accused of improper use of force. March 2014, a North Charleston police officer right here on this town sued for excessive force against a black teenager. In February of last year, a white police officer was charged with misconduct. Also charged with discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle after fatally shooting a black man in his driveway. In September of 2014, a state trooper allegedly shot and wounded an unarmed black man during a traffic stop. Those just three examples of cases here in South Carolina in a little over a year where police have been accused of excessive or improper use of force -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: All right. Brian Todd on the case in South Carolina tonight. OUTFRONT tonight, we also have retired NYPD detective Harry Houck. CNN legal analyst Paul Callan. And in a second, we'll going to be joined by Elder James Johnson. He's the president of the Charleston Chapter of the National Action Network. He was on the scene of the shooting on Saturday morning days before that video was released. I want to start, if I can, with you Harry.
And as we do this, I want to focus on some specific parts of this video in the aftermath and before the shooting. So, we'll going to show this up on the screen here. Michael Slager had said that Walter Scott tried to take his Taser from him and he felt threatened. So, here we see a highlighted dark object that could be that Taser on the ground as Scott is running away and you can see the officer there in firing position, firing those eight shots, five of which hit him. So, after Walter Scott was shot we then see the officer leave where Scott was down on the ground, run back to pick up what appears to be that same object. Possibly the Taser. Again, we don't know that for sure. But based on the circumstances it appears to be possible.
Next frame then. It looks like he then goes back to the scene and drops, again here, we're going to focus in on it, something close to that body. Does this piece of video show the Taser being dropped there? Is he planting evidence? That's a question. You're a police officer, you served 26 years in New York in Newark. When you look at that evidence, I'm not asking you to be judge, jury here, but what does that look like to you?
HARRY HOUCK, RETIRED NYPD DETECTIVE: Well, something looks funny about that. The fact that the way he even dropped it, it was just like he was walking by and just -- like he wasn't even dropping it.
SCIUTTO: Like he wanted to hide what he was doing.
HOUCK: Right. Like he wanted to hide from doing it. The assumptions are that it might be the Taser. But we can't tell. We have to get this video enhanced. We have to actually read the real police reports. What the other officers on the scenes that they saw. And also what eyewitness said, even though he was videotaping, he was probably a lot closer there to see more clearly, what was going on.
SCIUTTO: Very briefly, you did internal affairs when you were at the New York Police Department, did you ever catch a cop for planting evidence, honestly?
SCIUTTO: So it happens.
HOUCK: It does happen. Yes.
[19:21:40] SCIUTTO: Okay. But that certainly doesn't prejudice this case just to be clear. Paul, I want to talk to you about just the legal requirements for making the use of deadly force acceptable here. You know, clearly the police first account in this case was false, you know, based on what we have seen in the video. But what do you need to justify deadly force? Can I threaten you, run away and then can you shoot at me or do I have to be threatening you at the time for you to shoot me?
PAUL CALLAN, FORMER PROSECUTOR: That's a great question, Jim. And the law has changed tremendously. You know, traditionally, back in the old days, you watch the old detective movies, if a felon was running away, you could shoot them down if you're a cop. But that law has changed. The Supreme Court has essentially ruled that a police officer can use deadly physical force only if being threatened himself or if pursuing a felon who has endangered the public. Now, in looking at that video I don't see any member of the public being endangered by Mr. Scott running away. So, I think it's a clear cut case based on that video of not being able to use deadly physical force.
SCIUTTO: Every time you see it, it's just so shocking. I want to go now to Elder James Johnson. He is again the president of the Charleston Chapter of the National Action Network. Elder James, thank you for joining us tonight. As you see that video, and I know you've seen it a number of times. Do you believe you're witnessing murder in that video?
ELDER JAMES JOHNSON, PRESIDENT, CHARLESTON CHAPTER OF THE NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: It's a clear cut of murder. And I applaud the Police Department for coming out quickly and arresting him and charging him with murder.
SCIUTTO: Paul, I want to ask you as well, you've tried a lot of cases like this. There's another detail to this video. After Scott is shot, the first thing the police do when they come up to him was not apply medical care, emergency medical care, CPR, put pressure on his wounds, they handcuff him.
CALLAN: Well, yes, and I found it to be extremely disturbing. You know, I'm a former homicide prosecutor. You're asking Harry earlier about people dropping or cops dropping guns. Well, there are a lot of stories about cops carrying a second gun to set up a scene to make it look like self-defense. As an internal affairs officer I'm sure you saw some situations where that maybe happened. Here, this looks like a classic example of that. It's followed then though by you have this man on the ground who's been shot in the back five times. Can you imagine the pain that Mr. Scott was suffering and yet at that point, his arms are dragged behind him and he's handcuffed?
SCIUTTO: Inflicting pain.
CALLAN: Absolutely. And maybe causing his death even sooner because of that. Now, you can say, well, police officers are supposed to handcuff suspects, but not in that situation, not when a man has been shot in the back and he's bleeding to death.
SCIUTTO: Elder James, I wonder if I can ask you, we heard those familiar chants during the press conference today, no justice, no peace. What do you believe the response will be if this officer is not convicted?
JOHNSON: Well, you know, that's in the hands of the solicitor right now. And I do believe if he's not convicted and sentenced to either life in prison or the death penalty, they will be much more uproar here in Charleston, South Carolina. You know, it's a clear cut. You know, we see it. Everybody see with their own eyes that this man were murdered. So, no justice, no peace. There will not be peace if this man is not convicted and sentenced to prison.
SCIUTTO: What's interesting, we did hear from the family earlier saying that they want peace so that justice can be done. Thanks very much to Elder James Johnson, Paul Callan, Harry Houck, great to have you on as always.
OUTFRONT next, police caught on camera using excessive force. Without the video, would these cases ever be investigated?
Plus, video captured the moments leading up to Walter Scott's death. But what do we know about the life of the coast guard veteran and father of four who was the victim of this shooting.
[19:29:30] SCIUTTO: Welcome back. I'm Jim Sciutto in New York. And breaking news in our top story tonight. The man who captured that crucial video of a white police officer shooting and killing an unarmed black man is speaking out for the first time. And he's contradicting the officer's version of events.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANTANA: They were down on the floor. They were down on the floor before I started recording. They were down on the floor. I remember the police had control of the situation. He had control of Scott. And Scott was trying just to get away from Taser.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: To be clear, the officer, Michael Slager, had said that Scott was trying to take his weapon. Many say that without this video, Slager would not be facing murder charges.
Atika Shubert is OUTFRONT.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The video is shaky, taken on a cell phone, but it clearly shows Walter Scott running, his back turned to Officer Michael Slager who fires eight shots in a few yards away.
Scott's family lawyer says he was hit five times, four in the back, one in the ear.
This video is the crucial peace of evidence. Without it, Officer Slager may never have been charged with murder.
(on camera): Camera phones are everywhere these days, and just by recording an event that you're witnessing, any citizen could potentially be gathering evidence. But do you hand this over without a warrant?
ANDREW CELLI, FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS ATTORNEY: It's absolutely a choice. But police do not have the right randomly to take people's cell phones away.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll need your information and I'm going to take your phone.
SHUBERT: Yet, just last week, this officer in Vineland, New Jersey, demanded a witness hand over his video of an arrest. Authorities turned down our request for comment and it's unclear how the video was released.
It shows an officer who appears to sit and punched an unarmed man Phillip White before police dog clearly bites his arm. Shortly after this video, White died in police custody after officers reported he was in respiratory distress. White's death in police custody is now under investigation.
CELLI: They're going to be subject to scrutiny. That's part of the job.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get your phone out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm already doing it.
SHUBERT: This video is evidenced in an Indiana family's excessive force lawsuit. A seatbelt violation last fall led to this.
SHUBERT: The FBI investigation into the incident concluded that no criminal or civil rights violations occurred and the two officers involved returned to duty late last year.
Still, the Hammond, Indiana Police Department says it will purchase body cameras.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My gosh. Why? SHUBERT: This cell phone video led to a $1.5 million settlement from Marlene Pinnock, beaten on the highway last summer by a California patrol officer. He resigned. This video made all the difference.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you for the footage for the video.
SHUBERT: Pinnock survived. Eric Garner did not.
In his case, the video shows the unarmed man being placed in chokehold by New York City police officer. The grand jury decided not to indict the officer in Garner's death.
In so many cases of alleged police abuse of power, videos like this are proving to be key pieces of evidence.
SHUBERT: It's kind of a gray area exactly when police can seize your phone. There are some exceptional circumstances like traffic violations like texting while driving where they maybe able to take it. But generally, if you witnessed an event and you recorded on your phone, it's your choice whether or not to hand it over to police. But police can also file for a search warrant to eventually gather evidence from your phone.
SCIUTTO: We're joined now by a Harry Houck. He's a retired NYPD detective, and Marc Lamont Hill. He's CNN political commentator.
Harry, I wonder if I could start with you, because as Atika said, you know, these cell phone cameras, I got one in my pocket right now, they're ubiquitous. Everybody is in fact a cameraman.
HARRY HOUCK, RETIRED NYPD DETECTIVE: Sure.
SCIUTTO: Is it changing the way police officers do their jobs?
HOUCK: Oh, without a doubt. I'm hoping it's changing it. You know, I'm actually for these cams that police officers wear.
This will change the way investigations are conducted and what police officers involved in incidents with civilians. I think it will stop some bad police officers from doing some bad things. I'm for it 100 percent.
Nobody can take somebody's cam away. If you're out there and you're videotaping a police officer doing some kind of action on the street and if you're not interfering and you're staying clear away from it, the police officer really can't come and tell you he got to take the camera away from you.
Marc, the number of these videos, they shed light on something there's very little data about, and that's police shootings. You were amazed just looking into this, that there's no law that requires police departments, 18,000 police departments around the country, to submit this kind of data.
Do you think these videos will, in effect, take the place of that data in some degree and make law enforcement more accountable for their actions?
MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I hope they don't take the place of the data. I hope they force the police departments to be more transparent and to offer that data. We need to mandate it's accessible to the people. That's what we want to see.
These videotapes, these video cameras, these camera phone cameras basically give us a window into the experiences that many people have all the time with law enforcement, not always being killed, but being harassed, seeing excessive force, and all the things that we're often told that are myths, are urban legends, or overstated by black and brown people.
[19:35:01] This opens up a whole new conversation.
SCIUTTO: Harry, I wonder if I can ask you. From a police perspective, would they want to have body cameras? Because it would then corroborate their own stories, right?
SCIUTTO: If they're accused of something that they didn't do.
HOUCK: Listen, I know a lot of police officers are against it and they don't like it.
But people got to understand that the police department is evolving, right? We need to change with the times, right? Like I tell everybody police officer, young police officer that I know today, go listen, when you wake up in the morning and you go to work, I want you to pretend you're being videotaped and you might see are what you did on YouTube the next day, all right?
And the police officers think of that all the time then we shouldn't get into -- these officers who want to do something bad, it will keep them from doing something like that.
SCIUTTO: All right. That would only add to the credibility of the police force.
SCIUTTO: All of us should think of that when we think of that in the morning.
HOUCK: I'd love to get video on a lot of cases I have. I wasn't afforded the opportunity to get that kind of video.
SCIUTTO: Let's look at the numbers, because we tried to crunch the numbers as best we could. According to the FBI's latest national crime report, there were 461 justifiable homicides by law enforcement in 2014. Now, the group ProPublica tried to analyze some of that data on police
related shootings. They're citing FBI data here, which has a lot of flaws but it's incomplete. Keep that in mind. But they took a narrow cope and looking at teens shot by law enforcements just for two years, 2010 to 2012. The rate for black males, 31.2 per million. The rate for white males, 1.5 per million, 25 some odd times.
I wonder, Marc -- and I'll ask you as well, Harry -- Marc, what do you make of that data? Does that -- and again, I want to make it clear to our viewers, this is not complete. It's a very small sample, a particular kind of case, particular time frame. Does that prove anything to you, Marc?
HILL: I don't -- I don't want -- as a social scientist, I'm reluctant to say such a small sample size proves something. But it certainly corroborates the narratives that we have been saying and articulating for decades in this nation. In fact, a wider sample size might yield even more egregious numbers with regard to how black people are overrepresented when it comes to homicide by police or shootings by police. Not necessarily -- oh, yes, homicides by police, not necessarily murders.
But to the bigger point for me here is, why does this happen? I don't think that all police officers walk out on the street and say, I'm going to go around killing black people.
This officer on this tape seemed to have a different kind of pattern than most police officers have. I think many people believe they're using reasonable force. I think they think the threat is justified. The problem is our collective understanding who and what black people demand a more intensified response to black people than white people in the same situation and that's where retraining comes in. And that's what body cameras for me aren't enough.
Body cameras suggest that police can be reformed. We need a radical change in the way we think about law enforcement in this nation. Not a reform measure.
SCIUTTO: Harry, I want to give you a chance to comment. I want to show our viewers new video that had just come in. And this is of the officer involved in the shooting, Slager, being debriefed just after the shooting at the scene by other officers. Perhaps you can see in the video him describing what happened and what led him to shoot. That is the officer on the right hand side making the hand motions. This taking place just after the shooting took place. We just had this video come in now.
It looks like he's telling his story, in effect. And what we now know is that the story he told initially based on the police's -- the local police initial comments was not true. He described being under threat. He described how Scott tried to take his Taser away from him. But we're seeing that play out here right now. That's first time we have seen this video.
Harry, as we take a look at that. I want to ask you to respond to Marc. Twenty-six years on the force, 22 of them here in New York, also in Newark, racially mixed areas.
In your experience -- you investigated police as well.
SCIUTTO: In your experience did police approach black suspects and deal with and handle black suspects differently than white suspects?
HOUCK: Not that I could see. I mean, when you approach a suspect, you're not looking at the color of skin. You're looking at his hands. You're looking to protect yourself. It depends on what you're approaching that person for, what the crime is.
So, it's got nothing to do with skin color. It's got to do with me being able to go home at night and not being shot.
You've seen many instances in videos where police officers just approach somebody and there was another video on TV just the other day where a guy was sitting with his hands in his pockets and took a gun out and shot the police officer six times.
HOUCK: Right? And that was a white man and a white police officer. So, it doesn't matter who you're approach. It's got nothing to do with skin color. It's got to do about what the crime is you're investigating.
SCIUTTO: Listen, we're scratching is surface here. A very difficult, challenging issue.
But I want to thank you, Harry Houck, and Marc Lamont Hill, for beginning the conversation. We're certainly going to continue.
Coming up on OUTFRONT next, will Officer Michael Slager be found guilty of murder? Why some experts think despite that video, he may not be convicted.
[19:40:03] And Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, guilty on all counts on the Boston bombing. Next, will he get life in prison or be put to death?
[19:44:07] SCIUTTO: Breaking news on the black man shot and killed by a white police officer. Tonight, the man who captured this crucial video showing the victim Walter Scott running away as the officer fires is speaking out for the first time. He tells NBC News that the officer did not need to shoot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANTANA: Mr. Scott didn't deserve this. There were other ways, you know, that can be used to get him arrested and that wasn't the proper way.
(END VIDEO CLIP) SCIUTTO: Also tonight, we're learning new information about man killed in that graphic video.
Our Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Walter Scott now lives in our minds for the way he died. For his family, the 50-year-old struggled in an imperfect world and his place in it. He came from a large extended family. He was one of three sons.
ANTHONY SCOTT, WALTER SCOTT'S BROTHER: I have two brothers. I had two brothers, but now, I have one brother.
[19:45:10] But out of my brothers, he was the most out going out of all of us. He knew everybody.
LAH: That outgoing personality brought him to the U.S. Coast Guard at age 19. He served for two years until a drug related offense led to an involuntary separation. Scott received a general discharge under honorable conditions when he left in 1986.
His family says the years that followed brought ups and downs. Scott's first wife and mother of his two older children died. Scott remarried, had two more children but that marriage ended in divorce. Unpaid child support piled up and according to South Carolina authorities, a warrant was issued for his arrest. That may be why, says the Scott family attorney, he ran from the Officer Michael Slager.
His brother says he was a huge Dallas Cowboys fan and was happy the last time the family was together. Scott's parents just celebrated their 50th anniversary where he danced with the family he loved.
SCOTT: He was kind. He loved his children. He was a great father. He was a great father. He was a good friend. He was a good brother. And he was also a great son.
LAH: (AUDIO GAP) a court record, we did take a look it. Everything we found was traffic related or related to child custody issues. You have to go back almost 30 years to find the only instance of violence on his record when he was 21 years old and assault and battery charge -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: Kyung Lah in Los Angeles.
OUTFRONT tonight, CNN legal analyst Mark O'Mara. He was George Zimmerman's attorney during the Trayvon Martin trial.
Great to have you on, Mark.
Officer Slager charged with murder in this case. Do you believe he'll be convicted? Because that would require premeditation. MARK O'MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the first-degree murder charge
does require premeditation. Now, of course, that premeditation can be momentary. And it's a nuance, I know, but, you know, premeditation can come after you have an opportunity to reflect. So, if he had one or two shots that may not be premeditation, and otherwise would be a second-degree murder charge. Second-degree is when you're acting in the heat of passion, a sudden fight, a sudden provocation. That's traditional second degree.
But here's the problem -- you look at that videotape and you see him drawing down on him and shooting eight times with a slight change between or break between the 7th and 8th. And someone's going to say on a jury that was an opportunity to reflect and then when you keep shooting it turns it into premeditated murder even though the first shot or two may not have been.
SCIUTTO: Good point, because several degrees of murder to contemplate for the jury as well.
Thanks very much to Mark O'Mara.
OUTFRONT next, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, guilty on all 30 counts in the Boston marathon bombing. Will jurors also vote for the death penalty?
[19:51:55] SCIUTTO: Tonight, the Boston bomber found guilty on all charges. The jury deliberated for 11 1/2 hours before announcing their verdict today. Seventeen of the 30 charges against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev carry a possible death sentence. Four people were killed as a result of his actions. Now, lawyers and those same jurors will prepare themselves for the sentencing phase.
Jon Sheldon is a criminal defense attorney. He represented the D.C. sniper John Allen Muhammad.
So, looking at this, Jon -- guilty on all 30 charges, 17 of them potentially carry the death penalty. But interestingly, you don't believe this necessarily means he will get the death penalty.
JONATHAN SHELDON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It doesn't mean he will get the death penalty.
There's really two more stages before the jurors can impose a death sentence. In a federal capital trial, it can be a little bit confusing but really are three stages. First, guilt/innocence. And second, during sentencing, there are two steps the jurors will have to take.
The first is going to have to decide whether Tsarnaev is eligible for the death penalty. And to do that, they're going to be given aggravating factors, such as significant planning? Or was the crime committed in the course of other crimes? Was the killing committed in the course of other crimes or -- and then the jurors are going to have to find one of those factors. And there's many non-statutory factors that the government can present. If they don't find any of those factors, then they cannot select death.
So, first, they're going to be asked to find an aggravating factor. Now, if they do, which it seems likely in this case, an aggravating factor exists, then they're going to be given other aggravating factors by the government. They're going to be given mitigating factors and evidence from the defense and they're going to be asked to select between death and life.
SCIUTTO: Let's talk about the defense for a moment because Judy Clarke is his lawyer and she's got a very good record of keeping some very big names off of death row. The Unabomber, Jared Lee Loughner, he was the man who shot Gabrielle Giffords, killed six others.
What makes you believe she's so good? I know she takes this as really a war with the state to some degree. She called death penalty legalized homicide. That's what she's battling.
How had she so much success?
SHELDON: Well, I really look at her as a mentor for me and for many other lawyers who do this work. She's had a lot of success because she's smart, she's flexible, she's compassionate, and juries trust her.
So, I think what you saw during the guilt/innocence phase is a lot of the media surprised that she conceded guilt, virtually conceded guilt during the guilt phase. And she built I think a lot of credibility with the jury during the guilt phase by conceding what she had to concede, because she will be going back to the jury and asking to make a tough decision and impose life instead of death, and the only way she's going to do that, I think, is if she has credibility and trustworthiness with those jurors.
SCIUTTO: That's right. The same jury that considers guilt and that sentence as well.
Jon Sheldon, thanks very much.
Coming up on OUTFRONT next, the new secretary of defense in a very candid statement today, warning about the new and dangerous terror threat emerging from the chaos in Yemen.
[19:55:06] That's right after this.
SCIUTTO: Tonight, a new warning in the U.S. war on terror and it's coming straight from the new U.S. secretary of defense. Ashton Carter warning now that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula known as AQAP is exploiting the chaos in Yemen to expand its terror network and threat.
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ASHTON CARTER, DEFENSE SECRETARY: You see them making great gains on the ground there as they try to take territories, seize territory. And, of course, AQAP is a group that we're very concerned with. We all know that AQAP has the ambition to strike Western targets including the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: U.S. is now increasing its aid to the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen as well.
And Friday, a special edition of OUTFRONT. Erin will be live in South Korea with an in-depth interview with Defense Secretary Carter. That is this Friday, live from South Korea.
Thank you for joining us tonight. I'm Jim Sciutto.
"AC360" now with much more breaking coverage of the South Carolina shooting.