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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Official: United States Military Sent Live Anthrax via FedEx; Pregnant Woman in Shocking Arrest Video Talks To CNN; Former House Speaker Indicted on Hush-Money Charges. Aired 7-8:00p ET
Aired May 28, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:08] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT tonight, we begin with breaking news. Dozens of Americans being treated for possible exposure to deadly anthrax. Why were the highly lethal spores FedEx?
Plus, a black woman eight months pregnant wrestled to the ground, handcuffed on her stomach by a police officer. We have the video.
And Dennis Hastert the former speaker of the House indicted. Why did he agree to pay someone millions of dollars in cover-up money? As this story sorted. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, we begin with breaking news, the anthrax scare. Tonight at this hour, 22 people at a U.S. base in South Korea, four more in the United States undergoing treatment for exposure to lethal anthrax spores. Twenty two Air Force personnel are undergoing treatment at Osan Air Force Base, that's about an hour south of Seoul going through what's being called post exposure prophylaxis. We'll going to have more on that in a moment. But these Air Force personnel received a shipment, it contained live specimens of anthrax. Now, the anthrax pores are a potent biological weapon that can result in painful death. This shipment, though, came from the United States military itself.
The anthrax was shipped according to one defense official via FedEx from an army lab in Utah to the base. And commercial laboratories in nine other American states also received the deadly bio agent. They were supposed to contain what's called a dead agent of anthrax. It was a lab in Maryland that was the first to report that this anthrax was not dead. It was alive and deadly.
Kathy Novak begins our coverage on this breaking story in Seoul, South Korea. Kathy, 22 people possibly exposed where you are. What treatment are they getting tonight?
KATHY NOVAK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, they're on antibiotics. Some of them have been given vaccinations. We're told that thankfully currently none are showing signs of having been exposed and that there is no threat to the public here. But this was a very serious situation as you can imagine. When it was discovered, they were handling live anthrax. Emergency services personnel moved in at the Air Force base in Osan. They destroyed that sample of anthrax. Hazmat teams came in to cordoned off the area and decontaminate the facility where this training was taking place -- Erin. BURNETT: So Kathy, you know, I was actually just at this base a
few weeks ago. And I'm trying to understand why was the Defense Department sending anthrax of any sort to a base in South Korea. And I know you've got some answers to that.
NOVAK: Well, Erin, the military says that it's routine training. It's part of a bigger effort to better understand, better detect any threat from anthrax precisely because it is so deadly when it's airborne, it can be used as a biological weapon. We saw five people die in 2001 when it was sent through the U.S. mail. So the military says this is all about being prepared for any kind of attack. We know that war and terrorism do not just involve conventional weapons. But it seen in this case, in an effort to be prepared, the military actually ended up sending live anthrax to its own base and making a serious and potentially fatal mistake -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Kathy, thank you very much. Live in Korea today. And how did the U.S. military accidentally, the U.S. military accidentally ship live anthrax via FedEx i.e. with commercial packages.
Barbara Starr is OUTFRONT.
BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nearly two dozen shipments all potentially live anthrax and worse, for over a year, nobody knew it. The military now scrambling to explain how it could have happened.
COL. RONALD FIZER, U.S. ARMY DUGWAY PROVING GROUND: It's a great question. That's exactly why we brought in the Center for Disease Control and their investigators.
STARR: The army contracted with FedEx for the shipment. The company says it's working with the federal government. The anthrax was to be shipped as dead agent. Supposedly a less dangerous form.
LEONARD COLE, BIOTERRORISM EXPERT: That doesn't have much meaning to me. Anthrax can exist for decades, centuries underground in a spore form, this hard, crusted inanimate form that eventually can change into an active poisonous type form.
STARR: A history of anthrax fierce. Weeks after the 9/11 attacks, letters laced with anthrax were sent killing five Americans in what the FBI calls the worst biological attack in U.S. history. This time, no indication of a deliberate act and the Pentagon says no one is sick. A growing investigation is spreading across nine states and overseas to Osan Air Base in South Korea where 22 people are receiving precaution anywhere antibiotics and vaccinations after a potential exposure during a training exercise.
They began medical care May 27th, five days after the Pentagon first received the word from a lab it got live anthrax from the shipments, not dead agent for research. The Pentagon says it's looking into why the late notification. The anthrax was in South Korea for over a year, no one knowing it was live. It all began last year on March 18th, 2014, at Dugway Proving Ground, an army base in Utah. A load of anthrax was irradiated. The intent, to kill the live agent before shipment. Over the next year, the material was divided into a number of lots, and it was shipped 22 times until last Friday when a Maryland lab discovered it had live anthrax.
[19:05:56] STARR: And tonight, no estimate from the CDC when their investigation will be done -- Erin.
BURNETT: Barbara Starr, thank you very much. I want to go straight to Colonel Randall Larsen who headed the Congressional commission on the prevention of WMD proliferation. Also OUTFRONT, Tim Clemente, former FBI counterterror agent whose squad led the response to that terrifying 2001 anthrax attack.
Tim, 22 times, you just heard Barbara, 22 times they shipped this stuff across the United States, across the world. Nine different states. They did it via FedEx. Which means live anthrax could have been next to tens of thousands of commercial packages handled by innocent civilians, how does this compound the risk?
TIM CLEMENTE, RETIRED FBI COUNTERTERRORISM AGENT: Compounds it greatly. If we look back at the 2001 case, we saw that some of those were affected, and again, there were 22 victims in that case. Eleven from cutaneous exposure to anthrax and 11 were inhalation victims. But those 22 victims not all were in direct contact with the mail. Some were in contact with other packages from the mail and were repeat exposures, meaning that they weren't directly exposed. Someone else or something else exposed them. And the threat was so great, that if you recall the postal stations in Washington, D.C. and other places in New Jersey were completely shutdown to be contaminated. So the threat was tremendous. There was no knowledge initially as to how far this thing had gone and luckily it was fairly contained.
BURNETT: I mean, Col. Larsen, you know, this is -- it's shocking in the sense of, you know, first of all, they're shipping live anthrax and they didn't know it and no one knew it. And took them a really long time to figure it out. And it's next to commercial packages. This is the Department of Defense, which is charged with defending America from bioterror attacks from terrorists. But this isn't the first time the U.S. government has made a horrible error. Last year in December, a worker at the CDC sent a live sample of Ebola to a lab that wasn't able to handle it. Eighty six workers last summer at the CDC exposed a live anthrax. Last spring, the CDC again accidentally sent highly contagious bird flu to another lab. I mean, this is scary.
COLONEL RANDALL LARSEN (RET.), NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER, UPMC CENTER FOR BIOSECURITY: That is correct. And this is a scary issue. But most of those were civilian mistakes. I think the military has a better record. But this is a terrible mistake. And we need an investigation to find out who is responsible. We know how to inactivate anthrax. Okay. You use cobalt 60, same kind of radiation that's used to treat cancer. And you irradiated. And then it is dead. They call it inactivated, the scientist, but it's not a threat. Somebody didn't follow the procedures and we need to find out and correct that.
BURNETT: So, Tim, to this issue of terror attacks, are terror groups currently actively pursuing anthrax as a weapon?
CLEMENTE: Well, Erin, they're pursuing every possible avenue they can for terrorism and this would be the easiest avenue. Obviously we saw recently where ISIS was talking about acquiring nuclear weapons because they have the financial means now. That set the highest point at the scale. That takes the most technical expertise and feasibility. It would be very hard for them to do. Biological terrorism is the simplest. If they could find a biology student, somebody with any knowledge of working with these types of, you know, ricin anthrax or any of the other biological terrorism weapons, it's very simple to produce. Can be done in a kitchen. They don't need an extensive laboratory to do it. So, it is a big threat. And I don't know that we have any direct threats from ISIS about that yet, but I would imagine it's something they're pursuing greatly.
BURNETT: Which is very terrifying that it can be done. As opposed to small pox which we all know is a holy grail for them but a little bit harder. Colonel Larsen, you sent two years investigating weapons of mass destruction for Congress, you concluded anthrax poses the greatest threat to the United States. Why?
LARSEN: Well, it's a very likely threat and it's a very persistent threat. If you spread it around New York City, we don't know how to clean it up, frankly. And we know that we capture a computer from ISIS last year that had information on it about using plague as a weapon which is in some regards more dangerous than anthrax because it's contagious, I can give it to you if I'm infected. So the key is, we have to do the training that the military is doing right now. But we got to make sure we're doing it safely. But let's don't throw out the baby with the bath water here and over react to this incident. We got to find out where the mistake was made, but we need our military and civilian first responders trained. Because ISIS wants to do this and they have the technical capability and the money to make this happen.
[19:10:20] BURNETT: Certainly the will. Thank you very much Colonel and Tim Clemente, thanks to both. Pretty sobering.
Next, we have breaking news and shocking new video tonight. Body cam footage of a black woman eight months pregnant wrestled to the ground on her stomach by police. They say she resisted arrest. She says, it's race. You're going to hear directly from her. That breaking story is next.
Plus, more breaking news. The former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert indicted for lying to the FBI. They're saying perhaps he paid someone off for millions of dollars in hush money. Why?
And more breaking news, the head of Baltimore's Police Union tonight saying criminals have been empowered in Baltimore. His officers fear going to jail more than getting shot. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[19:14:18] BURNETT: Breaking news, the woman at the center of a shocking new video speaking out to CNN tonight. Michelle Cooks who was eight months pregnant was arrested, toppled to the ground on her stomach after she refused to give officers her full name. The incident was caught on the officer's body camera. I'll show you a little bit of it here. This is as she's being arrested. Now, this came after a minor altercation between a black woman you see there and a white woman, they were in an elementary school parking lot. Watch what happened to Michelle, the black woman after both women had had a chance to tell officers their versions of the story.
UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: What is your name, ma'am?
CHARLENA MICHELLE COOKS, ARREST CAUGHT ON POLICE BODY CAM VIDEO: I'm not giving you my name.
UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: I actually do have the right to ask you for your name.
COOKS: Okay, let me make sure. Let me make sure.
UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Well, how long is it going to be for you to make sure, okay?
COOKS: Let me make sure, because I'm not about to get harassed by a police today.
UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Well, you know, one, ma'am, I have every right to ask you for your name. Okay?
Ma'am, ma'am -- no, no, no. Michelle, what? Okay, all right. Ma'am, just give me your name, please.
UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Okay, ma'am, just give me your name, please. Give me your name, please.
COOKS: I just told you, my name is Michelle.
UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Okay, it's not good enough.
COOKS: Okay. Well, I don't feel comfortable right here.
UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Let's go 15th.
COOKS: No, no, they trying to touch me! Don't touch me! Don't touch me!
UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Ma'am, please.
COOKS: Do not touch me! I'm pregnant, do not touch me! Do not touch me! What the (bleep) is going on! Do not touch me! Do not touch me!
Do not touch me! Do not touch me! Do not touch me, sir! Do not touch me! Do not touch me! I'm pregnant! Stop it!
UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: You are resisting.
COOKS: This is ridiculous! What are you doing?! What are you doing?! Please, I'm pregnant!
UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: So why are you resisting, ma'am? Why are you resisting?
COOKS: Please, I'm pregnant! Please! Please! Please stop! Please stop! Stop!
UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Do you have your cuffs?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT tonight. And Kyung, you just spoke to Michelle Cooks, the woman we see there in the video. What did she tell you?
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you can hear the terror in her voice. And she says that's exactly how she was feeling. She says she was incredible pain fearing for her daughter. And all of this escalated so quickly, a minor dispute in the parking lot at the elementary school. Here's what she says to the police officers who she says used too much force.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: What do you want to tell those police officers?
COOKS: You broke me. For what? You just -- you just looked at me and said, oh she must be this way and I'm not that way. You make me feel that I'm a way that I'm not. And I work so hard to provide for my family. This is not an issue that I wanted. I was just dropping my daughter off at school that day. That's all I was doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: She says in her opinion the difference in treatment between hers and the woman preceding her in the body cam incident Erin, is simply race. She is planning on filing a lawsuit -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. And I know she says it's race. We're going to show that woman. That woman I want to emphasize for our viewers. That woman was white. Michelle Cook of course is black. Kyung, what are police saying, though, tonight when it comes to this issue of Michelle cook saying this is about race?
LAH: What police are saying is that they are opening an internal investigation. We did get a fuller statement, though, from the city of Barstow. And here's the statement, the city of Barstow saying that it is apparent that Ms. Cook actively resisted arrest. The Barstow Police Department continues to be proactive in training its officers to asses and handle interactions with emotionally charged individuals. This incident is in no way racially motivated -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Kyung Lah, thank you very much. Police saying, this is a no way racially motivated. Obviously Michelle Cook now filing a lawsuit saying this was all about race.
I want to bring in now OUTFRONT the former NYPD Officer Bill Stanton along with our commentator Van Jones. Bill, let me start with you. You've seen this video now. We showed there, you know, a solid about a minute and a half of it. It is core to it. It is longer than that. Did police do anything wrong?
BILL STANTON, FORMER NYPD OFFICER: From the 11 minutes that I saw and I watched it several times, absolutely not. What you -- what I saw was the police officers, they responded to a 911 call by one female, the one opposite Michelle. If we're going to put labels, she's being labeled as the white woman. And then they spoke to her, they heard her side of the story and they went over to Michelle to hear her side. And what I saw was someone being very aggressive, not properly respecting the police officers, and when they asked for her ID and she said, well, I don't know if I have to do that, let me check. They gave her two minutes.
BURNETT: But they gave her two minutes, but within 20 seconds they had her on the ground.
[19:19:04] STANTON: But she walked away. It's when she started walking away, I don't feel safe, I'm walking away. When she did that, that's when the cop put his hand out and that's when everything exploded. And it looks a lot more dramatic than it actually was because it was on the body and the camera shaking around and she's screaming. If she just gave her ID, we wouldn't even be witnessing this now.
BURNETT: Now, we should be clear in the state of California, she doesn't have to give her ID which is part of the issue here. I mean, Van, do you think there's any way the police officer's actions could be justified?
VAN JONES, CNN COMMENTATOR: Well, no. First of all, if you want to understand why there's so much hostility and frustration from the black community, all you have to do is watch that entire 11-minute video. First of all, it's a classic case of an unlawful arrest because she does not have to in the state of California show her ID. And she knows her rights. But the most important thing is he never asked the white woman for her ID. He never asked her for anything. He takes her version of events, he goes over, he holds the black woman to a completely different standard. Then he -- that's racial.
And then the level of excessive force. In our society, when someone says I'm pregnant, there's usually a humane response, hold on a second. In this case, there was literally no consideration for the life of that black baby, nor the unrespect for that woman. One thing I want to say, because you said absolutely nothing was done wrong. It is in fact unlawful to arrest someone falsely which is what happened. So there was a crime committed. The crime was committed by the police officer. Not by that young woman.
BURNETT: So, Bill, let's talk about this issue of race. Okay? Because race does come up in the video. And by the way, we want to say on this issue of asking the name, we assume, but we do not know that the white woman gave her name when she called the police. But we don't know that. She's never asked for her name on this actual video which is important because obviously Michelle Cook, the black woman is asked her name. We see the first woman who is white telling her side of the story about this parking lot fight. Then we see Michelle Cook, the black woman reference race. She is the first person to bring up race. And here's what she says.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOKS: Exactly. She called the police for whatever reason, I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Well, you know, some people just feel like sometimes they're, you know --
COOKS: Well, because she's white?
UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: What's that?
COOKS: She's white and she's making threats to me?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STANTON: So Erin, you see it right there. Pun not intended. In black and white, she is the first one to say because she's white. By the way, that woman, she was the one who called 911. So, let's flipped it Erin, if that what someone said because she's black, would we be saying that's racial? I got news for you, either way it doesn't work for me. So, that in a sense is racist. What happened here was really much to do about nothing. The way I was raised, a cop talks to you and respectfully asks for your ID, you give the ID and you go on with your day.
JONES: But you're not lawfully required.
BURNETT: So, Van, Van, what about this issue of race, though specifically?
JONES: No, no, this is wrong.
BURNETT: What about the issue of race specifically though, Van? I mean, the town says this has nothing to do with race. The only person to bring up race was the black woman. She says she's afraid of the woman because she's white. I mean, she is the only one mentioning race.
JONES: Well, okay --
BURNETT: And she's now suing by the way based on race. Now, go ahead. Sorry. JONES: As well she should. Because if you look at the entire
video, the white woman says the black woman's at fault. Then the black woman says the white woman's at fault. When the officer then tells a superior what happened, he completely gives an account only referencing the point of view of the white woman. He never tells the superior a single thing about what the black woman said. In other words, this is an officer who on the -- literally if you're talking about black and white, it's right there. He has a completely different attitude and interaction and assessment of those two women based strictly on -- the only difference at that point is the color of their skin. And so, I'm very, very concerned, we have a police officer on the air right now saying that people should not exercise their right, that the people actually should submit to an unlawful request and demand from a police officer, that's in fact the problem we have right now in this country.
STANTON: Van, Van, I appreciate you're putting words in my mouth but I can speak for myself.
BURNETT: All right. Quick final word, Bill.
JONES: That's not true.
STANTON: You know what, if we're going to constantly make this about race, what's the alternative, cops will no longer do their job. They'll just take reports on what happens as we're seeing in Baltimore and New York, crimes going up.
BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate both of you taking the time. And by the way, that's what the Baltimore police are saying tonight. They're saying that their cops are now afraid to do their jobs because of this issue.
OUTFRONT, we have breaking news next. Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert indicted on major federal charges. Did he pay someone millions to keep quite?
And the Baltimore story. Record number of murders this month. And now the officers charged in Freddie Gray's death want their trial moved out of town. Could there be more violence?
[19:27:58] BURNETT: Breaking news. Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has just been indicted for lying to the FBI. The republican who at one time was the most powerful or one of the most powerful men in Washington, second in-line with the presidency now accused of trying to hide transactions of millions of dollars. They're saying that he paid an unnamed individual. Listen carefully to this. To, quote, "compensate for and conceal prior misconduct." And they're referencing his time as a high school teacher and coach, during that time.
Joe Johns is OUTFRONT. Joe, what more are you learning about these charges against Hastert?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Erin. Well, he's accused of making false statements to the FBI as well as trying to hide large financial transactions that the government alleges was hush money according to the indictment. Dennis Hastert agreed to pay $3.5 million to someone identified only as individual A after meetings between the two. The payments were meant to compensate for and conceal Hastert's, quote, "prior misconduct." That indictment doesn't say what the misconduct was. It does say the individual knew Hastert most of his life. And was a resident of the Illinois town where the former speaker was a high school coach. And a teacher for years.
In December of last year, FBI launched an investigation on the payments and whether Hastert was trying to avoid currency transaction reporting requirements as well as using the cash to cover up past misconduct. And in December last year, Hastert told the FBI that the withdrawals were because he did not trust the bank system. The government alleges that was the false statement. It's just a stunning turn for this former republican leader who was house speaker from 1999 until he stepped down in 2007 -- Erin.
It is a stunning turn. And a lot of stunning things about these charges coming out. All right. Thank you very much, Joe Johns.
I want to bring in our legal analyst Paul Callan, our chief political analyst Gloria Borger is also with me who covered Hastert for a long time and knows him personally.
Paul, let me start though with what Joe is reporting. The Feds say he was paying off a subject to compensate for and conceal past misconduct and they're citing this time, they're saying this happened, you know, during the time he was a high school teacher and a coach in Yorkville, Illinois. They say that that time was quote-unquote, "material to the case." What does all this suggest, then?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It's all a very, very strangely worded indictment. Usually, prosecutors are very specific in these indictments. But here, they're saying -- well, he was a coach in high school when it happened.
Well, he was a wrestling coach in high school when it happened. And hush money is being paid to somebody, I'm reading, that may be involved with his background as a wrestling coach. So, you follow those dots and you're going to come to a place where I think there's going to be somewhat of a scandal down the road here beyond this.
BURNETT: You come to a very ugly place. Let me ask you why they wouldn't go ahead and be direct about it if that is the case? Why did they mention this person as individual A? Or they're trying to conceal this person's identity. Or what could be the reason?
CALLAN: Well, I think that's very interesting wording to say individual A, not to specify the specifics. They may be protecting the identity of this person, individual A. And this may just be the start of something more than may develop as time goes on. He's charged with two things -- currency transaction violations,
which is withdrawing $10,000 or close to from the bank repeatedly in a way that it doesn't get recorded by the bank properly. That's used to fight drug dealers and terrorists, not former speakers of the House.
And the second thing is lying to the FBI, which is always a crime. It's a big problem that lawyers tell their clients about.
BURNETT: All right. So, Gloria, when you put all this together, I mean, this is one of the most powerful men in Washington. As I said, a man you know, you covered. He was second in line to the presidency. Does this shock you?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. It's very surprising. Look, when he was speaker of the House, he was kind of an accidental speaker of the House. He was a man they called the coach. But he was an accidental speaker because he became speaker after Newt Gingrich resigned after a contentious election. This was during the time of Monica Lewinsky.
And the man Republicans chose to replace Newt Gingrich had to then admit that he had had an adulterous affair. And so, the next person House Republicans chose was Denny Hastert, because they considered him a conciliatory, a good guy, and so, he kind of sort of fell into that job.
And then when he had that job, House Republicans were plagued by scandal. There was the Jack Abramoff influence peddling scandal. And if you remember, Erin, back in 2006, there was the page scandal in the House where Congressman Mark Foley had made inappropriate comments to teenage male pages and ended up having to resign. And then Hastert lost control of the House, and he ended up leaving the Congress when he was no longer speaker.
BURNETT: You know, and Paul, what's interesting about that point that Gloria's raising, at the time a conservative newspaper say -- "The Washington Times", called for the resignation of Dennis Hastert because he wasn't doing a good job of investigating, that page scandal with Mr. Foley.
George W. Bush came to his defense at that time, saying Dennis Hastert was a high school coach. He's a good guy.
CALLAN: Yes, this is a great irony if it turns out that these lines lead back to what he was doing as a wrestling coach at that particular high school. I mean, only time will tell on this. But, you know, these money laundering charges have tripped up a number of politicians in the past. It's one of those strange charges that's used against drug dealers, terrorists and politicians as well.
BURNETT: And, Gloria, do you think we will get to the bottom of this, given -- as Paul referenced, sort of oblique wording of this actual set of charges?
BORGER: You know, I think at some point, you always get to the bottom of everything like this. Dennis Hastert is no longer a public official. He's a successful lobbyist in Washington. But I can't imagine that this story won't unwind itself at some point and people will end up knowing what this is truly about.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you both very much.
BURNETT: As we said, a lot more to discover here and possibly ugly conclusions. We just don't know all of the details at this hour, though.
OUTFRONT next, breaking news: new video capturing Baltimore police officers charged in Freddie Gray's death getting hugs when they were supposed to be handcuffed at their booking. This as the police union says its officers are under siege. They say they're afraid of being arrested just for doing their job.
And OUTFRONT exclusive tonight, inside a secret Chinese military base. You will only see this here.
[19:38:37] BURNETT: Breaking news: we have new video at this hour of the officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray.
All right. This video is incredible. It's raising serious questions about whether the officers involved are getting special treatment from police. So, let me show it to you. In the video, you see three of the officers arriving at the jail's booking facility. Now this was on May 1st. This is as they arrive, OK?
The officers include the man you see in close up on your screen, Cesar Goodson, that's the one facing a murder charge. None of the officers are handcuffed. In fact, Goodson actually gets a hug from somebody receiving them. This as police say they're under attack with criminals taking advantage of the situation in Baltimore.
Miguel Marquez is OUTFRONT.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Another grizzly record for Baltimore. A 7-year-old boy and his 31-year-old mother the latest murders in a city under fire, numbers 110 and 111 for the year and a record 38 murders this month. And it's not even over yet.
KINJI SCOTT, BALTIMORE COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: What is happening in Baltimore right now is just tragic beyond belief.
MARQUEZ: And now, another possible flash point. A request for a change of venue for the six police officers charged in connection to the death of Freddie Gray, arguing they can't get a fair trial in Baltimore City.
The argument: the riot so horrible, the entire city terrified, an emergency city wide curfew, the National Guard called in, public officials like the mayor, police chief and state's attorney making prejudicial comments, there's no way an impartial jury can be sat.
[19:40:12] A fair trial, out of the question. A change of venue would not sit well in the neighborhood where Freddie Gray was arrested and the worst of the rioting occurred.
SCOTT: If we have a change of venue from a predominantly African-American city of Baltimore, Maryland, to a lighter neighboring counties where it's predominantly white, where they may seeking to get a lot of pro-police support, if that were to happen this time, we will have an uprising beyond belief.
MARQUEZ: Baltimore police under the microscope like never before. One officer telling CNN anonymously, a coordinated work slowdown is in effect. And now, "The Baltimore Sun"| reporting arrests for the first half of May down more than 50 percent from last year. Even the police commissioner who recently apologized to cops for the city's response to the protests and riot says Baltimore police are questioning their own work.
ANTHONY BATTS, BALTIMORE POLICE COMMISSIONER: They've said this to me, so repeating them, as if I get out of my car and I make a stop for reasonable suspicion, articulable reasonable suspicion that leads to probable cause, but I make a mistake on it, will I be arrested for it?
MARQUEZ: The police union adding in with its own statement, saying, in part, "Criminals feel empowered now. There's no respect. Police are under siege in every corridor."
The neighborhood where Freddie Gray was arrested still a tinder box.
(on camera): What is the relations with police right now? Where are things right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very edgy. Very edgy. They're being very careful how to deal with the people right now. They're on pins and needles.
MARQUEZ: This is a nearly impossible situation for Baltimore at the moment if the venue changes and the people in that neighborhood and across many neighborhoods in Baltimore will be livid and upset that the venue has been changed. If it stays in Baltimore, it will be difficult to see how police officers get the motivation to get back to work in a fully productive way -- Erin.
BURNETT: Which, of course, is terrifying in its own given a record month for murders.
Thank you very much, Miguel.
I want to bring in now, Marc Lamont Hill.
Marc, so "The Baltimore Sun" has this video. And I want to start with this breaking video. It's pretty incredible. The officers, three of them are being brought into the booking, usually would be handcuffed. They're not handcuffed. Right there, this is the hug.
Caesar Goodson who's being charged with murder, the only one being charged with full murder here, actually getting a hug from an officer as he's being booked. You see this video, what do you think?
MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm stunned by it. I wish I could say I was surprised by it, but I'm nonetheless sickened by this.
Now, let me be clear, I don't want those police officers to be treated like animals, I don't want them to be mistreated. And if law enforcement feels they are not a threat and therefore don't need to be handcuffed, I'm not particularly upset about that.
The problem is, that doesn't happen for everyday people. There was a young man who was caught on videotape during the riots, he turned himself in and they gave him a higher bail than the police officers. And they certainly brought him in handcuffs to the jail. So, for me --
BURNETT: And the handcuffs, to your point, there's discretion, but there's also the hug.
HILL: Right. And you take it up a notch, when you talk about the hugs, you're not just saying these people aren't a threat, you are sending a signal to those officers and to the world that we do not respect the code of law, we do not respect the code of conduct of law enforcement, and as a result we are going to thumb our nose at the people who demanded justice.
BURNETT: So, Marc, what about though with the police union late today came out with a statement. They say -- the police union, they say there's a problem. They say there's no respect. Police are under siege in every corner.
I'm reading it to you now. They're more afraid of going to jail for doing their jobs properly than they are of getting shot on duty. Now, that, Marc, is a really big problem.
HILL: It's a really big problem that they're framing. I'm not sure that it's accurate. I'm not even sure if they believe it.
Police unions all around the country say this. Whenever a police officer is brought in for misconduct, they always say, oh, my God, if you charge us, the world is going to fall, the sky is going to fall. Police are going to be afraid to do their jobs.
It's a way of intimidating the public from going after officers that break the law and it's a way of making the entire system bow down to unjust laws and unjust circumstances. So, for me, I don't want police to be afraid to do their job, but I don't think that's what happens when we bring in six officers for Freddie Gray, when we bring an officer for Mike Brown or for Jordan Davis, or whomever. I think it's a very different circumstance there. I think to scream the sky is falling to scare us.
BURNETT: All right. Marc Lamont Hill, thank you.
And OUTFRONT next, our exclusive look inside China's most secret high-tech military base. This is a story you'll see only here OUTFRONT.
[19:45:01] And Jeanne Moos with the young woman who interrupts her dad's press conference to take her star turn.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPH CURRY, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: It's going to happen --
RILEY: Be quiet, daddy. Quiet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Tonight, for the first time, an exclusive look inside of a top secret Chinese military program. We are the first foreign news agency to interview members of the Chinese army who are training for a mission they say is about science but the United States says is a major national security threat to America.
David McKenzie is OUTFRONT.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We are heading inside a secret military installation the Chinese call Space City, a space where foreign journalists are usually forbidden. It is the heart of China's most expensive and ambitious project ever, the manned space program, home to China's elite astronauts.
[19:50:00] NIE HAISHENG, CHINESE ASTRONAUT (through translator): It is very difficult to dock the two spacecraft together.
MCKENZIE (on camera): And how many hours did you have to practice?
HAISHENG: We trained for the docking for two years.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): CNN has obtained this exclusive footage of their rigorous training. All of the Chinese astronauts are military pilots, all community party members. They spend countless of hours doing simulations.
(on camera): Astronauts can train in this room for a decade before they even get a chance to go into space. It's part of a Chinese space program that takes the long view and has big ambitions.
(voice-over): China launched its manned space program decades after the U.S. and Russia. But they are making swift gains and experts say could eventually take the lead.
HAISHENG: The United States and Russia started their space programs early. They are the pioneers.
MCKENZIE (on camera): Presumably you wanted to be the best?
HAISHENG: Of course. I hope our space program will be better and better.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): The Chinese program works with the E.U. and others, but it is locked out of the International Space Station and NASA because of national security fears in Congress.
MILES O'BRIEN, SCIENCE CORRESPONDENT, PBS "NEWSHOUR": There is tremendous skepticism about China. It is viewed as a foe. It is viewed as a government that seeks to take our intellectual property, our national secrets and treasure.
MCKENZIE: China says its program is for peaceful means, and wants to be part of the international space community. But a report said the race into space has made some consequences for U.S. military security. It's developing multiple military intelligence in space, including a rival system to GPS and satellite distraction capabilities.
MAJ. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: There are no protocols they are doing in space. We have to presume the very, very worse.
China's access to space could be limitless in terms of capabilities. So, it could be dangerous not just to the United States, but to all our friends and allies.
BURNETT: I mean, David, it's incredible access you had.
What does China say to American charges that this program is really about attacking America and specifically, you know, things like the GPS and in your car and on your computer?
MCKENZIE: Erin, they said that it is a peaceful program, but China has admitted they have tested satellite destruction capabilities. In fact, they created a huge amount of debris in space by destroying an old satellite some years ago. But they do say the manned program in particular is peaceful. And they are calling for cooperation.
Some say that it's important to look at two aspects, that the military section and the manned space program section are separate, and cooperation might be useful to the United States. But without transparency, you never know -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. David McKenzie, thank you very much, live from Beijing tonight.
And OUTFRONT next, entering stage by stealing the show, basketball start Stephen Curry's daughter. Jeanne Moos has the story.
MOOS: The daughter of an NBA MVP taking over his press conference. A rising star, a 2-year-old toddler.
Here is Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Steph Curry may be one of the best shooters in basketball, but when his 2-year-old got her shot at the spotlight, Riley Curry dominated the post-game presser and she was on a tear. She didn't just take a curtain call. She wrapped herself up in, not once but three times.
STEPH CURRY: Everybody has to be, you know, determined to -- whatever comes our way.
MOOS: Sometimes he tried to shush her.
REPORTER: Steph, you've always been a very competent person --
STEPH CURRY: Shush.
MOOS: Sometimes she tries to shush him.
STEPH CURRY: And it's going to happen, but --
RILEY CURRY: Be quiet, daddy. Quiet.
MOOS: Riley wasn't quiet about quoting the rapper, Drake.
RILEY CURRY: Way up, I feel blessed.
STEPH CURRY: You don't want to say that.
MOOS: Whatever she said, the Internet swooned.
Some of the press would have been happy to help her. Help her right off the stage. This was actually Riley's second post-game presser. After the first one, some journalists braved popular opinion to say it makes asking tough questions difficult.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was counter productive.
COLIN COWHERD, ESPN HOST: It was cute and last night was a little less cute. Do that about 38 more times.
SKIP BAYLESS, ESPN HOST: Riley is adorable, but I've seen enough because I'm trying to listen to what Steph is saying, and I can't even follow it.
CHARLES BARKLEY, FORMER NBA STAR: But I would prefer it personally if they wouldn't bring their kids.
MOOS: It has become a thing for players immortalized online.
But at least not immortalized the way young Andrew Giuliani was as he acted up as Rudy was sworn in. It became fodder for "SNL".
Sometimes, it's fine line between cute and annoying, but when Riley gave her wad of gum to attendant waiting in the wings, that is an image that stuck.
STEPH CURRY: A pretty special moment today.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: All right. Well, you know, it's kind of an interesting question, but she was adorable. She was cute. If you were at the press conference, you probably would have been pretty annoyed, though. Thanks so much for joining us.
Be sure to set your DVR to record OUTFRONT so you can watch our show at any time. We'll be back here same time same place tomorrow night.
In the meantime, "AC360" with Anderson Cooper starts right now.