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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Homeland Security on Holiday Alert; Frank Gifford's CTE Diagnosis Sparks Public Discussion about Football; Trump Mocking Reporter's Disability. Aired at 8-9p ET
Aired November 25, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:10] JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Good evening. John Berman in for Anderson tonight.
A lot happening from new concerns about security at home in the wake of killings in Paris to fresh questions about America's favorite thanksgiving sport, pro-football, on news one of the greats Frank Giffords suffered from the brain-wasting disease that many now associate with the game.
We begin, though, in Chicago in a new night of street protests over the killing of an African-American teenager by a white police officer. The protest peaceful again tonight by the looks of it right now yet intense all at the same time as we saw it late today in confrontations like this one.
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BERMAN: Just a few minutes ago, President Obama weighed in posting on Facebook like many Americans I was deeply disturbed by the footage of the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. The president goes on to say this thanksgiving I ask everyone to keep those who suffered tragic loss in our thoughts and prayers and to be thankful for the overwhelming majority of men and women in uniform who protect our communities with honor. And he asked I'm personally grateful to the people in my hometown for keeping protests peaceful.
This is coming more than a year after Officer Jason Van Dyke fired 16 shots into McDonald who was holding a small knife but appears to be making no threatening moves on the dash-cam video which came out yesterday just hours after officer Van Dyke was charged with first- degree murder.
In a moment, Officer Jason Van Dyke's attorney joins us to talk about what he says cannot be seen on the video that he says exonerates his client.
First off, CNN's Rosa Flores on what it shows and says about the 15 seconds it took to end a life.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The final moments of a Chicago teen's life down to 16 shots fired by police officer Jason Van Dyke, 16 shots in 15 seconds according to court records. It all unfolds on the night of October 20th of last year. It was all caught on the dash-cam video released by Chicago police.
At 9:57:25 Laquan McDonald is walking in the middle of the street after allegedly slashing the tire of a car. He is holding a knife in his right hand. Soon eight police officers roll on scene.
ANITA ALVAREZ, COOK COUNTY STATES ATTORNEY: Five seconds later officer Van Dyke and his partner park their vehicle and immediately draw their weapons.
FLORES: As we pause the video, you can clearly see the two officers on the left side of the screen with guns drawn.
According to the police union spokesperson, at the time of the shooting, McDonald lunged at the officers.
PAT CAMDEN, FOP SPOKESPERSON: Going at one of the officers that point the officer defends himself.
FLORES: But the Cook County state's attorney says the video captures quite the opposite.
ALVAREZ: This officer went overboard, you know and he abused his authority and I don't believe the force was necessary.
FLORES: At 9:57:33 McDonald is seen moving slightly away from the officers, but three seconds later.
ALVAREZ: Officer Van Dyke has taken at least one step toward McDonald with his weapon drawn.
FLORES: As we pause again, you can see McDonald is about ten feet from the officers still walking away when Van Dyke starts unloading his 0.9 pistol. McDonald's arm jerks, his body spins and then then falls to the ground. The camera angle changes taking the police officer out of frame. Two seconds after the first shot at 9:57:38 two puffs of smoke around McDonald's body.
ALVAREZ: These puffs of smoke later identified as clouds of debris caused by the fired bullets.
FLORES: The 16th shot is fired at 9:57:51 according to court documents, only 21 seconds after Van Dyke arrived on scene and 15 seconds after the first shot was fired.
ALVAREZ: Van Dyke's partner reported that there was a brief pause in the shots when he looked at Van Dyke and saw that he was preparing to reloads his weapon.
FLORES: The officer's attorney says he was acting in self-defense.
BERMAN: Rosa Flores joins us now live from Chicago.
Rosa, I believe you were among some of the protesters on the streets right now. Tell us what it looks like to you and what you're hearing from them.
FLORES: Let me set the scene for you. These protesters are marching through the loop in downtown Chicago. There is between 150 and about 200 protesters. And John, I got to tell you, people here say that this is more than just about Laquan McDonald. They are also protesting for other cases not only here in Chicago, but around the country.
And I have to share something I observed because this really speaks to how peaceful this protest has been. I have seen two teens walking alongside a Chicago police officer. They were chatting. They were laughing. They waved good-bye and said happy thanksgiving. And that's what people here are hoping that these protests end up being, just peaceful protests where people are allowed to demonstrate and police are there to serve and protect.
[20:05:44] BERMAN: Indeed, we heard from President Obama tonight, thanking the people of Chicago for keeping the protests peaceful in his home town.
Rosa Flores with the protesters tonight. Thank you so much, Rosa. We are going to keep an eye on that throughout the evening, Rosa. Let us know if anything develops.
In the meantime, joining us now Officer Van Dyke's attorney Dan Herbert.
Mr. Herbert, you say this video does not tell the whole story. What doesn't it show in your mind that exonerates your client?
DAN HERBERT, JASON VAN DYKE'S ATTORNEY: It doesn't show quite a bit. It's a limited video. It does not show what was happening before my client arrived. It does not show the incidents that occurred with Mr. McDonald that were not captured on video, namely the -- him harassing business owners, waving a knife for about 18 minutes on a busy street, him stabbing a squad car windshield that was manned with two police officers inside there, him stabbing a tire of a squad car that two police officers were also in.
And also critically, I think, the video, it's a video which is relatively clear, however, it is not taken from essentially the angle which would have been the eyes of my client and that is it's a critical issue in this case because my client's actions are going -- his split-second actions are going to be judged and really he is the only one that can tell what he was seeing at that point.
BERMAN: Well, we all now can see the video, so we at least have one view of it. What do you see on that video that indicates that Laquan McDonald was a threat to your client?
HERBERT: Everyone is looking for something on the video that would show Mr. McDonald charging at my client or raising his knife and moving in his direction. And it doesn't not necessarily show that, but that does not mean that my client's actions were criminal.
My client does not have to wait for that to happen. If he waited for something like that to happen, there is a very good chance that he would have been too late. The important factor here is that based upon everything that my client was perceiving, not only at the time in which the incident occurred, the deadly force occurred, but also everything that led up to that. That is critical to the mind set of my client and it's critical to the analysis of this case.
And I understand the public and the media has trouble with this video. I had trouble with this video when I first saw it. But after speaking with my client, after watching the video probably hundreds of times now and after speaking with people that are recognized national experts in the area of use of force, I am confident that my client not only acted lawfully but acted within department policy.
BERMAN: But not only does it not show Laquan McDonald lunging towards your client, not only does it not show him making a threatening gesture to your client, it seems to show him walking past or walking by your client. And officers here that we watched that video with say it indicates him moving past to an area where there was no threat to anybody, in an area completely surrounded by police officers.
HERBERT: Well, I think that statement alone speaks to him not being necessarily a threat to anybody. If the area is surrounded by police officers then it's inherent in that statement alone he would be a threat to other police officers and that was one of the fears of my client. It was not necessarily 100 percent because he was fearful for his safety, certainly he was.
BERMAN: If other officers, if he was a threat to other officers and their safety, why didn't they fire. Your client was the only one who fired his gun.
[20:10:01] HERBERT: True. There is many reasons why police officers choose to fire and choose not to fire. I don't know what was going through their mind at the time in which those officers decided not to fire. I do know from looking at the video speaking with my client that my client was without a doubt in the most vulnerable position compared to the other officers on the scene.
He was the closest. He was absent any shielding. He was in a situation where retreating was quite frankly not an option. And again, this happened in a split second. So all of those factors had been processed by my client at the time in which he made this decision.
BERMAN: Can you just tell us tonight the mind set of your client, Officer Van Dyke? What is he thinking? Does he regret now that this happened and say if he had to do it all over again he would do it differently?
HERBERT: I think if he had to do it all over again, he would have not responded to the call to be quite honest. And then he would be facing some type of discipline for failing to respond to a call, but I think he would accept that over what he is accepting now.
Yes, I've represented hundreds of police officers that have been involved in shootings. And every one of them grieves to a certain extent. They manifest it differently, but Jason Van Dyke felt horrible about taking the life of Mr. McDonald, but that does not mean that he felt horrible because he believed he did anything inappropriate, unlawful or against his training. He simply felt horrible as a human being that he was forced to take the life of somebody else and that was part of his job unfortunately.
BERMAN: Dan Herbert, thank you very much for being with us. Appreciate your insight on this, sir.
HERBERT: OK. Thank you.
BERMAN: Going to dig deeper with CNN legal analysts Sunny Hostin and Jeffrey Toobin, both former federal prosecutors, also David Klinger, he is a former member of the Los Angeles police department and currently teaches criminal justice at the University of Missouri in St. Louis.
Jeffrey, you heard, you know, Jason Van Dyke's attorney right there talk about a threat he perceived. Yet, we just don't seem to see that on the video.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I was waiting to hear what the threat was and you asked him two or three times and he didn't come up with one. In fact, all we see is Mr. McDonald walking at most parallel. But in fact, mostly away from these officers. So the idea that there was some threat here, I mean, you have to point to some fact in the world whether it's on the tape or not as a fact, as a threat and there is none that I can perceive.
BERMAN: Would his actions beforehand slashing tires, breaking windshields, would that be in and of itself enough of a threat?
TOOBIN: No. It is certainly not to shoot him. I mean, it's appropriate that he would be arrested for slashing tires, for behaving in a disorderly or perhaps even criminal way. But that's not what this case is about. This case is about a shooting and you can't shoot someone because they slashed a tire five minutes earlier.
BERMAN: So Sunny, what about the time frame here? It has been so long. It has been a year, more than a year since this happened. What do you think it says about the police department, about the city government that has taken this long?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, I think we have often talked about this crisis of confidence that the public has with the police department and with investigations. I think the fact that this took over a year to charge, to release this video shows this lack of transparency that is extremely troubling I think to so many people, especially people in Chicago but to people all around the world. We're talking about case in which the family was paid $5 million by the city council without even having filed a lawsuit. So enough evidence to pay $5 million but not enough evidence to charge.
You know, I am just shocked that the prosecutor here in Cook County somehow is excusing the officer's behavior and not charging. It's just unbelievable. And I just want to mention piggy backing off what you discussed with Jeff. Let's just assume there was a threat, an initial threat to this officer, Officer Van Dyke, former officer Van Dyke. Once this young man was disabled by the first two shots, he is disabled. He is no longer a threat.
BERMAN: He's got to explain every one of those 16 --
HOSTIN: The remaining 14 shots just can't possibly be justified. And I think that's an issue that so many people just aren't talking about.
BERMAN: And shots at someone who is prone on the ground.
HOSTIN: On the ground.
BERMAN: And not moving.
TOOBIN: So --
HOSTIN: Completely disabled.
TOOBIN: The number of shots but the condition that the -- that McDonald was in when he was shot.
[20:15:06] BERMAN: David, what is going on for the last year in this investigation? Explain what they could have been investigating that is not on this video? What are we not seeing here that plays some factor in this investigation?
DAVID KLINGER, CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI ST. LOUIS: Was that for me, sir?
KLINGER: Yes. I would imagine they want to get statements from all witness officers and any other witnesses to the shooting and any individual on the video who is pointing early on, whoever might have witnessed the previous crimes that the suspect allegedly committed. But that shouldn't take a year. And Sunny and I have gone back and forth on a number of issues over the last year or so. And I'm in her camp on this one without a doubt.
It doesn't make sense it would take a year. It might take a few months to pull everything together but certainly not a year. And I don't want to speculate about why it took so long.
But in terms of a couple other points that your other guests have made, we can break this down into really two distinct phases. And the first phase is the initial shots and the second phase when the suspect is down.
And my argument is that neither of those two phases would pass the smell test in what a reasonable officer would do. As your other guests have pointed out, the suspect is seen walking away from at an angle from the officers. The officer's lawyer says my client was the closest one. Well, the reason he was close is because he stepped towards the suspect which goes against every single police doctrine that has been taught for at least the last 35 years about dealing with suspects who have what we call edge weapons, knives, machetes, hatchets, so on and so forth. So he creates a situation where he is in close proximity. And then we don't see an attack on him and he starts to shoot. Then when he goes down, if the suspect had a gun and he is moving the gun around, OK. He's got a knife, he's on the ground. There is no way that a reasonable officer could believe that a prone suspect who has been shot holding merely a knife is a continued threat. It just doesn't make any sense.
BERMAN: So Jeffrey, the mayor and the police superintendent went out of their way to say about the improvements and change in tone in the police department of Chicago over the last year or more. They went out of their way to say this doesn't represent the efforts of the police department overall. Then why do they work so hard to keep this video secret?
TOOBIN: Well, that's a question that they didn't answer very well last night that they just -- they wanted to sort of follow normal procedures they said. But, you know, frankly, this is something that the public needed to see. And it's also important for people to remember, people who don't live in Chicago, which is of course, most people. There is a lot of history there of really terrible relations, mostly involving white police officers and African-Americans. You know, there are well-documented stories of extensive torture, not just deaths but torture of people to get convictions some of which got people on death row. So it's not just this case. There's a lot of history there.
BERMAN: Jeffrey Toobin, Sunny Hostin, David Klinger, thanks so much for being with us tonight.
KLINGER: Thank you for having me.
BERMAN: Just ahead, new details on the second fugitive in the Paris attacks and his travels before the mass killings.
And later the steps being taken to present scenes like this from playing out here especially with so many people gathering in landmark locations tomorrow and throughout the holidays.
[20:21:17] BERMAN: New developments tonight in the Paris terror investigation including one that could not help but raised concern. The possibility the people at one of the world's busiest airports, workers with access to planes and baggage and cargo and flight crews might be ISIS sympathizers or worse.
There is that tonight and there is this as well, another fresh detail in the search for the second named fugitive Mohammed Abrini. CNN's Martin Savidge has the latest on that and joins us now from Paris with more.
Martin, we have been getting information on this other suspect. What's the latest?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mohammed Abrini, it turns out was in Syria in 2014. There were a number of the Paris attackers that apparently made trips to Syria. You can understand what it is they may be receiving such as training there. But what is most disturbing and, of course, the French authorities, they are learning this more and more is that they were unaware that they have returned from Syria. They didn't know where they were. And apparently the recordkeeping or those who have been responsible for keeping track somehow had missed these Paris attackers. That's got to be greatly disturbing to the authorities tonight - John.
BERMAN: And Martin, there is investigations obviously going on all over France and Belgium, as well. I understand authorities there are looking for ten additional people who they say could be some kind of terrorist threat. What do we know about this search and is this just a different thing than the Paris attack?
SAVIDGE: It is believed to be different thing. Although, at least, they are not saying at that point that it is related. But goes a long way to explain why in Belgium they have been under this kind of lockdown especially in the capital of Brussels since last Friday. Now, that did begin to ease somewhat today. There were schools that reopen and some of the subway system did reopen with the exception of two lines.
But there are now reports coming from government officials there that there are ten members of a terrorist cell that are believed to be heavily armed, possibly with explosive vests that may be looking for targets in which to strike. They do not identify which group this may belong to. They certainly don't give any geographic locations as to where they may be. But they do hint that their targets could become commercial areas which is another area they have been warning the public to try to stay away from. But ten members of a cell armed with explosives, that is a fantastically frightening thought, John.
BERMAN: At large, too. Martin, stay with us a second. I want to bring in CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank.
Paul, this additional group in Belgium, these ten people, do we know if this is the reason why Brussels was essentially shut down? Are they the cause of the serious and imminent threat?
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: John, that's exactly the reason why they had this unprecedented security alert in Brussels. And it is believed that they are part of this broader ISIS network that was responsible for the Paris attacks.
But what we are seeing here, John, is the largest terrorist conspiracy in European history with almost a dozen people being involved now in the Paris attack and another ten now threatening Brussels and logistical support structure that might be three times greater than that. And this is reflective of the fact I think that so many of these extremists have now come back to Europe from Syria. More than 1500 are now back in Europe, John.
And it's quite stunning how quickly Isis has been able to put together such a complex attack, such a complex plot back in 2010 Al-Qaeda was planning a Mumbai style plot in various European countries while ISIS has just put one together successfully.
[20:25:06] BERMAN: And Paul, what about the reports now, the CNN reports, that there are radicalized workers in places like Charles de Gaulle airport?
CRUICKSHANK: Well, a lot of concern not only in France of Charles de Gaulle but also at (INAUDIBLE) Brussels international airport as well. We have just saw that Russian jet been bombed out of the skies of the Sinai. It's thought that an insider at Sham el-Sheikh airport managed to infiltrate a bomb on to that plane. So a great deal of concern that European airports may have airport workers who have become radicalized. It may be the target recruitment by terrorist groups. We saw back in 2010 in the U.K. a call center worker identifying a number of baggage handlers and security workers at Health Row airport that he felt would be willing help Al-Qaeda. (INAUDIBLE) group, this is the Holy Grail getting someone on the inside who can get a bomb on the plane.
BERMAN: Troubling reports to be sure. Paul Cruickshank, Martin Savidge, thank you so much.
French war planes continue to pound ISIS targets in Syria. There are new repercussions from the shoot down there of a Russian war plan. Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov saying today that Turkey's downing of the fighter bomber looked like a planned provocation. His counterpart Russia's defense ministry is signaling plans to move sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles to its base in Syria less than 30 miles from the Turkish borders.
In addition, officials in Turkey released a tape showing the Russian flight crew had ample warning before the two Turkish F-16s shot it down. The surviving crew member today said there was no warning. Whoever is right, these are very tense moments.
Matthew Chance is live in Moscow for us. He joins us now.
Matthew, what's the latest you're hearing tonight?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the state television here in Russia has been broadcasting those comments of the surviving navigator who was on board the plane that was shot down by Turkish missiles yesterday. Basically saying that look, we didn't get any warning. We didn't even know there was any Turkish planes in the vicinity. We certainly haven't crossed into Turkish air space. This is the navigator speaking.
He said the first time that they knew that they were being intercepted by these Turkish F-16s was when the tail their aircraft was blown off by a Turkish missile and they began hurtling down to earth spiraling in some kind of fire ball. There is images of that at which we seen all over the media and all over the Internet.
And so, you know, a very compelling testimony from this navigator who survived. The pilot of course was killed on his way down but rebels on the ground who shot at him as he was parachuting after he ejected from his seat. And so very compelling testimony in contradiction to what the Turks
say which is that they attempted on ten separate occasions to warn the Russian aircraft to turn back but got no response. The navigator saying they had no idea that the Turks were trying to contact them.
BERMAN: Two very different versions there.
Matthew, tonight, reports that this aircraft was only in Turkish air space for 17 seconds?
CHANCE: I know. It's astonishing, isn't it? And it opened up the accusation that Turkey that it acted too hastily in shooting down this Russian aircraft. And obviously, it is an immensely serious thing to shoot down any aircraft yet alone a Russian one where they got so many forces close by.
But the fact it was done when the Russian fighter jet had been in Turkish air space for just a few seconds makes it all the more, same all the more hasty and I expect behind closed doors, even though NATO are giving their support to Turkey saying that yes, it applied rules of engagement behind closed doors, I expect a lot of concern about implications of this and urging by NATO and others for there to be more calm and future.
BERMAN: All right, Matthew Chance in Moscow for us. Thank you very much.
Up next, heightened security. U.S. air force, law enforcement on alert across the country this holiday weekend. Should you be thinking about perhaps modifying your travel plans? The message from the White House when "360" continues.
BERMAN: On this one of the busiest travel days of the year, President Obama is encouraging anxious travelers to go ahead with their Thanksgiving plans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Right now we know of no specific and credible intelligence indicating a plot on the homeland. And that is based on the latest information I just received in the Situation Room. So as Americans travel this weekend to be with their loved ones, I want them to know about our counterterrorism, intelligence, homeland security and law enforcement professionals at every level are working overtime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Typically, homeland security is on alert this time of year. This year, though, there is greater urgency following the Paris attacks and with ISIS threatening to strike the U.S., our aviation correspondent Rene Marsh joins us now from Washington's Reagan National Airport with more. Rene, when folks show up today, tomorrow, the next day at the airport, will they notice any substantial difference in the amount of security there?
RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, we're here at Reagan National Airport. I want to set the scene. You can see behind me, the rush is more or less over for the day, but you still have folks going through the TSA lines. I can tell you that there were some 2.3 million people who traveled today and today won't even be the busiest day when all is said and done. That will be Sunday and to answer your question, will people notice anything different with a show up at these check points here? The short answer is, they will see some slight - subtle differences. They will definitely see a larger presence as it relates to bomb-sniffing dogs, the police presence and it will also take a lot longer.
MARSH: The TSA officers here, they will be doing very thorough checks that could include random hand swabbing to check passengers for explosive residue. That could also mean that even once you've passed through the security check point, you may get an additional random check at the gate even if you have TSA pre-check, which allows you to have expedited screening. You may also be asked to take off your shoes and take laptops out of your bag. The key here really is unpredictability. They don't want anyone knowing exactly what will happen. They want to keep people guessing.
BERMAN: Any reports of longer lines anywhere because of this, Rene?
MARSH: Well, both TSA and airlines are saying look, the process will take longer because of -- for a couple of reasons. Number one, they are allowing fewer people to get that expedited screening. We are seeing record numbers of travelers, a couple that with them being extremely thorough at these security check points. So yeah, you could see in some places that the lines are longer, the process to get through the security check point will take longer so what they want you to do, get there two hours ahead, John. Today was a busy day, but Sunday is going to be the very busy day at airports.
BERMAN: So we have that to look forward to, which is nice. Rene Marsh, thank you very much.
A lot happening tonight. Gary Tuchman has a "360" bulletin. Gary.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, the top commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan says human error was the primary cause of a deadly U.S. air strike on a hospital in the country. 30 people were killed when the Doctors without Borders hospital was bombed in October.
Eight members of a mysterious church in upstate New York have been indicted on 13 counts including murder and kidnapping. This includes the pastor and the father of the two teenage victims. One of the boys died and the other was severely injured. The suspects are accused of beating them in a counseling session after one of the brothers said he wanted to leave the church.
St. Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey is in critical, but stable condition after being shot in the head while sitting in a car in the Miami area. Police are still searching for suspects.
And quite a discovery inside a Queens New York church, a newborn baby with the umbilical cord still attached was found lying inside a manger of a church's nativity scene. A custodian heard the baby crying. Police are searching for a woman spotted on surveillance video carrying the baby boy at a nearby store just minutes before he was left in the church. And John, we are happy to tell you, that little infant bow is healthy.
BERMAN: That's good news. Thanks so much, Gary.
Just ahead, three months after Frank Gifford's death, Kathy and her family hope their loss can help others. They have revealed that the NFL legend had CTE. That is the brain disease that many people believe is linked to concussions.
BERMAN: Today, the family of Frank Gifford revealed that the Hall of Fame running back and legendary sportscaster suffered from CTE. A brain disease many people believe to be related to concussions. According to their statement, Gifford had symptoms before he died in August from natural causes. Their suspicions were confirmed when they had his brain studied after his death. I want to show you a brutal hit, a famous hit that Gifford took about 55 years ago, November, 1960, the New York Giants against the Philadelphia Eagles. Gifford was just levelled. You can see it right there. Chuck Bednarick, is a famous hit, Gifford ended up getting a concussion that ended the season for him. He took a year off and he returned to pro football playing for three more years. CNN sports analyst Christine Brennan joins us now, she is a columnist for "USA Today" and Christine, you know, there have been other athletes, other football players we found out that had CTE, but for some reason today when the news came out about Frank Gifford, it just seemed like a bigger deal.
CHRISTINE BRENNAN, USA TODAY COLUMNIST: It did, John. Absolutely, I agree. It's one of those moments where sports takes us to a national conversation and you need in many ways a national figure, someone who crosses over from sports into entertainment into our culture. Frank Gifford is that person. And I'm certainly not comparing concussions with HIV, but going back, thinking of Rock Hudson, and how Rock Hudson all of a sudden humanized HIV and AIDS back when no one was talking about it. Well, we're talking about concussions, again, different things. But a face and a name that everyone knows. It's not just sports fans, Frank Gifford, because of his TV work, because of his marriage to Kathy Lee Gifford, this man is known by almost every American and that's why this brings this home in such a big way tonight.
BERMAN: And CTE is interesting. You don't know you have it until after you die. It's through an autopsy to a study that you open it up and you see that's what it was. It does make you wonder with so many football players if after the fact we're going to find out that more and more and more people had it than we just never knew.
BRENNAN: John, they studied the brains, Boston University has and almost all of the brains, the football players that have been donated that they have been able to look at, almost all, I think only four have not out of 91, I believe it is, all but four had evidence of CTE. So it's, as you said, the big problem is you can't study it until the person has passed away and so that's the question, those are the doubts. The concussion movie is coming out. It will be a big deal this Christmas. We're going to be talking about that issue more and more and against that backdrop, I think this is a huge deal and I think it could well be a watershed moment in terms of the country looking at this. Having said that, what is this weekend? Right?
BRENNAN: We had our sports fans. It's nothing, but football and people won't stop watching the game because of that, but maybe they will think just a little bit more about it based on Frank Gifford.
BERMAN: Look, they may watch three games instead of four games. I think that's the extended - that will change the behavior. Obviously, you see Frank Gifford, you see what happened to him 55 years ago being levelled like he was and the NFL said they made all kinds of changes to the game, but just this past weekend, we saw Case Keenen, the St. Louis Rams have some kind of a clear, you know, head injury during the game and I don't think he missed a single play.
BRENNAN: No, he did not. And the NFL actually had a conference call yesterday where they were talking about this, John, and making the point that you have got to follow the protocol. They have just linked out the protocol out there now and in this case, the NFL and that game, they did not follow it.
BERMAN: All right, Christine Brennan, thank you so much. Happy Thanksgiving.
BRENNAN: You too, John, thanks.
BERMAN: All right, up next, Donald Trump facing new criticism tonight accused of mocking someone's physical disability. Also, his family joining him on the campaign trail and how his wife is making a new impact. That's when "360" continues.
BERMAN: Donald Trump facing new criticism for something he did on the campaign trail last night in South Carolina while defending his debunked claim that he saw thousands of Muslims celebrate the collapse of the Twin Towers here in New York. He appeared to mock a reporter with a disability. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Written by a nice reporter. And now the poor guy, you got to see this guy, I don't know what I said. I don't remember. He's going like I don't remember. Maybe that's what I said. This is 14 years ago. He's still -- they didn't do a retraction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: That reporter he is talking about is Serge Kovalevsky who now works for "The New York Times." As you can see right there, he suffers from a chronic condition that impairs movement of his arms. "The Times" spokesman says they find it outrageous that Trump would ridicule the man's appearance.
Now, before all that, Trump had a surprise for the crowd. For the first time his daughters, Tiffany, Ivanka, son Barron and his wife Melania, all joined him on the campaign trail and Mrs. Trump stepped up to the microphone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELANIA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S WIFE: Good evening. Isn't he the best?
[ cheers ]
MELANIA TRUMP: He will be the best president ever.
[ cheers ]
MELANIA TRUMP: We love you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Melania Trump no longer keeping such a low profile. The often private half of the power couple opening up. Here is Randi Kaye.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Super model turned super supporter to GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump suddenly fielding questions in the post-debate spin room.
MELANIA TRUMP: Great evening. Yes. Just the way it was handled was very fair and elegant and fair questions and all about the economy and business and he's master at that.
KAYE: After months of keeping his third wife out of the spotlight, Melania Trump is at his side on the campaign trail and she's talking more than we've ever heard her before. In September, she did talk to ""People Magazine"" though sharing how when she and Donald first met in 1998, she refused to give him her number even though she thought Donald did have quote "sparkle." When "People Magazine" interviewed Melania Trump, politics was off the table. "I'm not ready to go political yet. That's his job and I'm supporting him." She told Larry King years ago she considers herself her husband's equal.
MELANIA TRUMP: You know, you need to know who you are and you need to be very strong and smart. KAYE: Melania once graced the covers of "Glamour" magazines and sold her own line of jewelry on QVC. Her name is trademarked.
MELANIA TRUMP: To make them feel special, to make them feel elegant.
KAYE: She also appeared in this AFLAC commercial.
KAYE: She is a Slovenian immigrant. She became a naturalized citizen in 2006. When asked by "People" about becoming a citizen, her response was, it didn't even cross my mind to just stay here. I think people should follow the law. If they do reach the White House, Melania would be the first foreign born first lady since John Quincy Adams' wife who was born about 200 years before Melania Trump. Randi Kaye, CNN, Florida.
BERMAN: Just ahead, the breaking news, new protests tonight in Chicago after the release of a video showing a white officer shooting a black teen, plus Anderson talks to Spike Lee about the gang wars in Chicago that inspired his new film.
BERMAN: We begin tonight with breaking news for the second straight night, protesters taking to the streets of Chicago expressing their anger over the graphic dash cam video of a police officer shooting 17- year old Laquan McDonald who as we said earlier, just holding a small knife and did not appear to be making any threatening moves of any kind toward police, at least none that can be seen on the footage. The judge ordered the city to make the video public yesterday after the officer was charged with first-degree murder in the 2014 shooting. Many people in Chicago want to know why it took more than a year to charge him and to release the video. All of this is unfolding against a backdrop of distrust and an epidemic of violence in several Chicago communities where gangs are just out of control.
Recently, Anderson talked to Spike Lee about his new film about Chicago's deadly streets. Father Michael Pfleger was also part of the conversation. He has spent most of his career trying to make the city streets safer. The interview took place just days after 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee was executed in an ally. Police think he was killed because of his father's gang ties.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What do you think it is about here that makes it so bad?
FATHER MICHAEL PFLEGER, SAINT SABINE CATHOLIC CHURCH: All I can say is there is a growing hopelessness that I've seen over the last number of years and is a level that I've never seen before, and a sense that nothing is changing, nothing is getting better.
COOPER: How many years have you been here to St. Sabine?
PFLEGER: 40 years I've been living in this building.
COOPER: At St. Sabine?
PFLEGER: I've seen the ups and the downs over the years. When I asked a young sixth grade girl in my school, what do you want to be when you grow up? She says alive. Kids are dealing with that kind of a ...
COOPER: You've heard people say that to you?
PFLEGER: Oh, yeah, I had a third grader last week after this 9-year- old boy Tyshawn Lee got killed say walking over to the gym, I heard about the young boy that got murdered, got killed. Am I safe?
COOPER: I've heard you refer to this as a self-inflected genocide. Explain that.
SPIKE LEE, DIRECTOR, "CHIRAQ": Well, here is the thing, though. I -- and I know I've been criticized for this but I don't care. I'm all for Black Lives Matter." "I can't breathe," "Don't shoot." And I'm not speaking on behalf of 45 African Americans, this is my own belief, Anderson. I'm with that, but we can not be out there going yeah, yeah, there, and then when it comes to young brothers killing themselves, then mum is the word. No one is saying nothing.
COOPER: Both ends.
LEE: It's got to be both ends.
COOPER: It's not enough to focus on Black Lives Matter movement.
LEE: You can focus on it ...
COOPER: Police brutality.
LEE: But you can't ignore that we're killing ourselves, too, and that's what this film addresses. We can't ignore that.
COOPER: So how do you address that?
PFLEGER: We have to fight the killing of our children whether it is a racist cop, whether it is a George Zimmerman vigilante or whether it is black on black crime.
LEE: It doesn't matter.
PFLEGER: Murder is wrong. Killing is wrong no matter whose hand it is and the race of the hand it is. And so, we just try to fight that from that standpoint, that whenever -- so we fight against racial profiling and police brutality, but I also when a child is killed in the city and this police, they have no leads we put up rewards like we did with Tyshawn Lee.
(END VIDEOTAPE) [21:00:00]
BERMAN: That does it for this edition of "360." "The Long Road to Hell: America in Iraq" starts now.