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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

New Protests Against Police Shootings; Dallas Vigil Underway For Fallen Officers; Trump: "I'm The Law And Order Candidate"; Trump's Veepstakes: Voters Weigh In; How A Robot Killed Dallas Shooter. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired July 11, 2016 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:00:54] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Thanks very much for joining us. Two main threads of the hour. Tonight, remembering the fallen police officers in Dallas. You see a very vigil just beginning outside the city hall. And protesters back on the streets again and major cities across the country just as they were in Dallas, raising voices against the killings of African- Americans had counteract with police.

Demonstrations tonight in Chicago, Sacramento, California, as well as Atlanta. Joining us by phone is Charlie De Mar of our Chicago Affiliate WBBM. Charlie, what's the scene in Chicago? Charlie, can you hear? It's Anderson. You're on the air. What's the scene in Chicago?

CHARLIE DE MAR, WBBM REPORTER: Hi Anderson, good evening. Yes. About 8:00 local time here and these marchers are going on about their 5th hour marching the streets of Chicago. Shortly after I checked in with you last hour that the marchers regrouped, they took a little break, came up with a game plan. It was a couple thousand marchers at that point.

Now the crowd has dwindled down to about a couple hundred and they mostly stayed on the sidewalk, but it's still a very busy part of Chicago. We just saw the crowd actually move from the sidewalk rushing the street and I saw a woman get detained. It's the first person to be put in handcuffs today. I saw the tail end of it. All I saw was this woman pushed a cop, but again, I didn't see what led up to that. But this crowd is much smaller, but much more rambunctious than we saw in the earlier hours.

COOPER: All right, Charlie De Mar, thanks very much.

These pictures are from a short time ago, not live images. Now to Atlanta, CNN'S Polo Sandoval is there. Polo, it looks like from the advantage point, the overhead shot we're seeing right now, not as large a protest as it was in Chicago earlier. Do you have a sense of numbers overall in Atlanta?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Anderson, we've seen hundreds of people. Just to bring things into perspective or add some context here, we did hear from Atlanta's mayor earlier this morning saying that today would be day five of demonstrations and they have seen an estimated 15,000 people over those last five days take to the streets and only 25 arrests until today, Anderson. I have to tell you, we've been walking with these demonstrators and really speaking to them and today was the first day that I actually witnessed some of these officers eventually go into the crowd and begin to pluck out certain individuals.

We've seen at least 12 arrests or so. However, the crowd here continues on the sidewalk because we have heard from authorities here in Atlanta over and over again saying people are free to protest and to hold these demonstrations and marches, as long as they stay off public roads because that is now a public safety issue. So as a result here now we're now seeing people on the sidewalk here making their way through this to the Buckhead region which is essentially. If you're familiar with the Atlanta area, it's basically an upscale shopping, dining area here in Atlanta.

And that's one of the reasons why the mayor has increased security. And one of several reasons why they are now on the streets and we're seeing police here on the ground as they continue to make sure that at least people stay off the sidewalk. But you talk to people here and ask them if they know where they're going and at this point, many of them, Anderson, will tell you that they're just following that drumbeat, following that very familiar cry for justice, Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Polo Sandoval. Polo thanks.

President Obama, Vice President Biden, Former President George W. Bush and hundreds of members of local law enforcement will gather tomorrow afternoon at a concert hall in Dallas to remember the five fallen officers and help the city heal. Right now as you saw briefly at the top of the hour in city hall plaza, people are gathered for a Dallas strong candlelight vigil.

Martin Savidge is there for us now. Martin, what's been going on?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, I have been trying to gauge the mood of the people here, watching them for a long time. Certainly there's sadness. It's very somber. There are also people coming together.

You see a lot of officers in uniform hugging, hugging the public. This is a chance for, again, the community to come together and grieve, but also to share in the pain that they're going through and that's happening right now. There are family members that are here of the officers. There is also a huge representation of the public and it's a very wide representation of people from all walks of life and it's only just now getting under way, Anderson.

[21:05:05] COOPER: Martin, let's just take a look at this. They're obviously showing the images of the five fallen. Let's just watch and listen. And Martin, how long is this vigil tonight and what do we expect to happen over the course of it?

SAVIDGE: Well, there's going to be a number of speakers and each person that speaks will represent one of the fallen officers. So in some ways, you could say it's almost like eulogies that will be delivered. And then on top of that we also expect to hear from the chief of police, David Brown. You know, he's a man who you would have to say today has got to be running almost on empty when it comes to both his level of energy and his emotions.

And he has an incredibly difficult week ahead. The funerals of five officers would tear out the heart of just about any police chief. And yet, that's what he has to go through. Of course, the whole community has to go through that, but he's the man in charge. Again, it will be very, very hard.

COOPER: Let's listen in again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The heroes weren't just outstanding police officers. They were fathers, sons and, husbands. They were neighbors, coaches, and church members. Officer Brent Thompson was described as super nice and a friend to everyone. He was a person you would ask for help and he would have your back. He was married two weeks ago to D.A.R.T. Officer Emily and was the father of six children.

Officer Patricio Zamarripa was a navy veteran and served three tours in Iraq. He was an avid sports fan. He loved the cowboys and the Texas rangers and WWE wrestling. He was a proud son and a loving father of two children.

Officer Michael Krol was from Michigan, who loved and talked a lot about his mom. He enjoyed fishing with his father. He never caring if he caught anything, as long as he was spending time with him. He was described as a loving guy with a big heart who liked country music, the Detroit lions and the Detroit tigers.

Senior Corporal Lorne Ahrens was a former college football player and was described as a lovable giant who was always laughing. He was also known for always being there to have your back. Lorne was married to DPD Detective Katrina and had two children.

Sergeant Michael Smith was a good person who was always trying to help others. He was nearing retirement, but continued to serve the citizens of Dallas like it was his first day on the job. He was married to his loving wife Heidi for 17 years and had two children.

To our country, I pray we can pause and take a step back. When everything is negative and full of hate and anger, there can be no solutions. We must listen to each other rather than simply talking at one another. We will not let the cowardly hate-filled acts of one man divide our city and our country. I believe in our police department and I believe in our country and its citizens.

I also believe we can rise and face these challenges together. If we are to hope for a better life, for our cities and communities, our nation must unite behind law enforcement.

To my fellow officers, I ask that you honor the legacy of our fallen brothers by continuing in their footsteps and protecting and serving the citizens of Dallas with the same honor and integrity exhibited by these five heroes.

To the families, we want you to know you will always be there for you. You will always be part of the family in blue. Your loved ones will never be forgotten and their sacrifice will long be remembered.

[21:10:11] I would now like to introduce Dallas Police Chief David Brown, who has done an outstanding job in this crisis.

DAVID BROWN, DALLAS CHIEF POLICE: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look, it's a train. It's a plane. No, it's superman.

As a young child I ran home from school to hear that, so that I could see the reruns of the television series "Superman". I love super heroes because they're now like what I aspired to be when I grew up. They're like cops. They're like police officers.

Super heroes and cops are mission-focused. Give us a job to do we'll focus on accomplishing the mission. So what's our mission today? It's helping these families understand how to conquer this tragedy. What do we tell you all? Well, being a person of faith, I always refer back to the good book, the Bible. And we have an example of how to conquer this tragedy.

When the good Lord was crucified and rose on the third day, alive, he say it, oh death, where is your sting? Oh, grave, where is your victory? Families, we love you. We love you with everything we have. We are now your surrogate family members.

We're your brothers and your sisters. When you need us, you call because we'll not only be loving you today, we'll be loving you always, always until the end of time. We'll be loving you until you are me and I am you, always. Always faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Look, it's a train. It's a plane. No, it's Patricio Zamarripa. Look, it's Brent Thompson. Look, it's Michael Krol. Look, its Lorne Ahrens. Look, it's Michael Smith. God speed. God bless you. God bless the Dallas police department. Thank you.

COOPER: That was Dallas Police Chief David Brown. Just ahead, two men remember one of those officers who Chief Brown just named. He was their brother, the first officer in the history of the Dallas transit police force to be killed in the line of duty.

Later, new developments in one of the police shootings that ignited such protests. Protest still going on tonight. Details ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:17:55] COOPER: Two different reactions to the news of the last seven days, the unfinished business of decades, a unity vigil for fallen police officers in Dallas which we just saw, and protesters on the city streets across the country marching against police violence. There is certainly no shortage of hurt anywhere tonight in Dallas, Sacramento, Atlanta, and the Texas town of Corsicana where Dallas transit police officer Brent Thompson is being mourned by old friends and neighbors and of course by his family.

Joining us tonight, his brothers Darrell and Lowell. Darrell and Lowell, first of all, I just want to say I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm so sorry for what your family is going through. Darrell, what do you want people to know about your brother?

DARRELL THOMPSON, BROTHER KILLED IN DALLAS: You know, he was a hero and everyone knows that now. The show of support we've had is outstanding and I mean, he was just a very loving, Christian man. He worked hard for his family and he worked hard to do the best he could to provide for them and he died. He laid his life down working to protect these people of the community of Dallas and, you know, he's just a great guy. Big heart.

COOPER: Lowell, I heard a friend last night speak at a vigil who talked about how kind Brent was when her husband had a stroke. He looked after her. He made sure she had everything she needed as she was going through a very tough time. I mean your brother sounded like an incredibly caring guy, not only in the line of duty, but in his personal time.

LOWELL THOMPSON, BROTHER KILLED IN DALLAS: He really was. He was a very caring guy. That was Shawna. I actually graduated high school with her. And he did when her husband had the stroke, it really hurt him and he really went out of his way. it really wasn't out of his way because that was the way he was to help out and, you know, many people have come up and said he's the type of guy that would give you shirt off his back and that's the kind of guy he was. He really was.

COOPER: And Darrell, I mean he had incredible career, he spent time. He served as a civilian in Iraq, training police officers. He also served in south, in Afghanistan. I understand while he was in Iraq, he actually called to check in on your newborn daughter who had just had surgery.

[21:20:09] D. THOMPSON: Yes sir. We instant messaged a lot when he was overseas and then when my daughter was born yet, unfortunately she had to have some heart surgeries and he called in the middle while we were waiting to hear news and I was, you know, I was trying to be the tough guy of the family and keep it together, and as about halfway through talking to him, I had -- he broke me down. I'm sorry, crying a little bit but he reassured me and, you know, that's the type of guy he was.

He was sitting in Iraq where everyday someone was trying to kill him, and he was calling and trying to comfort me, you know, sitting safe in Houston, Texas, because of, you know, the situation my daughter was in. That was him. He always looked out for everybody before himself. He was really unselfish and loving.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: His fellow officers talked about how Brent was like a brother of their own, saying he was always willing to do anything for anyone. Did he always want to be a police officer? Did he always want to work in law enforcement?

L. THOMPSON: I believe he did, you know and he went from the Marine Corps, even in the Marine Corps he became an M.P. in the Marine Corps and he got into law enforcement.

He fell in love with service. If it wasn't going to be in law enforcement he would have been in some others kind of service to the community or to our, you know, to our community and to our country, because he was all about service.

And then I think he always wanted to do law enforcement. Coming from the law enforcement background, all of the guys that I have dealt with and that knew Brent, they love him.

He was a cop's cop as they're saying all over the place now. But he was also the kind of officer that our country would want on the streets dealing with the public, because he never met a stranger and he never met someone he really didn't like. And that's the way Brent was.

Even with individuals that he was dealing with professionally, he went out of his way to make sure that -- you know, he knew that the contact with law enforcement was important contact and for folks and he went out of his way to make that at least painful for everybody possible. And that's the way he performed his duties.

COOPER: And Darrell, I mean the risks he took obviously in Iraq, also in Afghanistan and he was out, you know, work in mentoring Iraqi, mentoring Afghan police officers.

It's incredibly dangerous position to be in, really out on the front- lines and I mean, I read also, Brent just got married a couple of weeks ago. I mean, I cannot imagine what this is like for all of you, I mean for his wife, for everybody.

D. THOMPSON: And, you know, it's always hard losing someone but under the, you know, the circumstances where it was so sudden and unfortunately, it was very public.

You know, it was on, you know, they were broadcasting live on television in the DFW area and, you know, we just wasn't a good situation so everybody was in shock and everybody still is kind of in shock and the reality's starting to set in. You know, it's a very tough situation.

COOPER: Yeah, well, I know Brent also, I mean he was a father of seven kids. He was also a grandfather. Our thoughts and our prayers are certainly with all of them and all of you tonight.

So Darrell and Lowell Thompson, thank you so much for talking to us and letting us know a little bit about what Brent was like.

L. THOMPSON: I did want to mention that his wife Emily wanted to thank everyone for their support and their love, and his kids. They wanted to make sure that everyone knew that they really appreciated all the support and love that they're getting.

He loved his kids more than anything else. He was a great dad and he really, really loved his kids. And he loved his nieces and nephews. He was a really, really a family man.

D. THOMPSON: Very much so.

L. THOMPSON: He was a great loss to our country and our state.

COOPER: Yeah. It certainly sounds like it. Again, I appreciate that in your time of grief, you are willing to let the world know a little bit about the brother that you lost. Thank you so much.

L. THOMPSON: Thank you.

D. THOMPSON: Thank you.

COOPER: All right. We hope to learn more about the other officers who lost their lives in the days ahead. Much more ahead tonight, including the latest on the protests taking place across the country tonight.

Plus, new details about Philando Castile who was fatally shot during a traffic stop outside Minneapolis. The video that his fiancee lived streamed helped sparked the protests and continued tonight. What court records reveal about his previous interactions with police and does it suggest he was racially profiled? More on that ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:28:31] COOPER: Well, the breaking news tonight, protesters out again across the country from Sacramento to Chicago to Atlanta. We've been showing you the protests over the last hour and a half.

In Dallas, a vigil under way for the five police officers killed at a protest last week focused on the fatal shootings by police of two African-American men. Parts of all these incidents of course were captured on video. Philando Castile's fiancee live streamed the aftermath of his fatal shooting. Authorities have not yet released any dash cam video of the incident.

However, we have learned that before his fatal traffic stop, he had been pulled over 52 other times since 2002 for offenses such as driving on a suspended license or having no proof of insurance.

Joining us is CNN law enforcement analyst, retired NYPD Detective Harry Houck. Also Georgetown University Sociology Professor Michael Eric Dyson, who's also a contributing writer for "The New York Times" and author of "The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America".

So Harry, if there is this dash cam video, why not release it? I feel like we've seen dash cam videos released early on in investigations in other cases.

HARRY HOUCK, RETIRED NYPD DETECTIVE: You know, this police department isn't releasing too much about this case here. I'm for that. And the reason why I'm for that is if you release something like that video and you don't release the other information about the investigation, somehow it will be misinterpreted somewhere and then it gives talking points for people who are anti-police.

So as far as I'm concerned, the best way to go is to wait until the investigation is completely concluded all right, and then release the information.

COOPER: Michael, do you buy that?

[21:29:58] MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY SOCIOLOGY PROFESSOR: No, I think brother Houck is giving the benefit of the doubt. And I understand that. But I think that most police departments would not be reticent in the face of such overwhelming public attention. And if they have something, I think they would release it.

Think about Michael Brown's case when he was seen snatching some cigarillos from a store, they released that in a way that shaped public perception. So even though I certainly hold the Dallas Police Department from what we have seen of them and what I know of them in high regard, the reality is, is that there may be something more there and it's more complicated therefore ...

(CROSSTALK)

HOUCK: It wasn't that on YouTube though. I think the first time I saw that was on YouTube.

COOPER: Yeah, it was released by the police, though.

HOUCK: Oh, OK.

COOPER: You know but Harry, I mean it is interesting, this came out today that Mr. Castile was pulled over 52 times since 2002.

HOUCK: Right.

COOPER: I mean people see this through the lens that of their own personal beliefs. Some people see that and say well look, he's got a police record. Others see that and say wait a minute, pulled over 52 times since 2002 and I think about half of those cases were tossed out. That's racial profiling.

HOUCK: Well, it does seem like even a lot to me, Anderson. 52 times in that amount of years.

COOPER: Meaning that it serve (ph) a lot ...

HOUCK: I don't think I -- I pay, I worked in Harlem for probably four years and another black neighborhood for about four years. I don't think I ever pulled the same person over, maybe twice. That's it.

COOPER: So this, what, raises questions to you about the police or about this (inaudible). HOUCK: You know, I don't know how to look at it. I mean, it's definitely looks suspicious, maybe the police knew him and they knew him as somebody who always drives without a license and they were looking to, you know, get their quota at the end of the month and figured, well listen, I see him, let's pull him over because , you know, I know his license is suspended.

I don't know but 52 times sounds a little excessive to me. And you know, I don't know if this was a black neighborhood we get stopped him or always in a white neighborhood he get stopped in. I'm not so sure of that but it does seem like to be a little excessive or a lot excessive to me.

COOPER: Michael, what do you think?

DYSON: Absolutely and I congratulate brother Houck for acknowledging that it does seem excessive, it does play into a pattern that other young people of color, especially black men, have been subjected to where their experiences are that they are constantly being racially profiled. They pulled over for one thing or another. Something that might not arouse suspicion in somebody else and it's brother's Houck said, it could be in a neighborhood, especially in a suburban neighborhood where black men in late model cars or driving while black is a phenomenon that doesn't exist in merely in mythology. It exists in reality.

There's empirical proof to substantiate the claim that black people are subjected to this time and time again. And it seems in this case that the excessive numbers of stops certainly would indicate the presence of racial profiling.

HOUCK: See, I agree in the case, there might be some officers that actually do that, you know, I don't think the majority of police officers racially profile found some I mean. Nobody who I worked with, and I worked in Harlem back in the early '80s when it was really, really bad, and I never knew anybody to say well let's just pull that guy over because he's a black guy. I mean although that most of the people were, driving. I tell you most the people I give tickets who were white. You know, worth to be (ph) home.

DYSON: What, you know what, you don't, you don't have to have an intention. That's the ugly beauty of racial profiling. You don't have to say hey, let's do it. It's an instinct. It's a hunch. It's an unconscious reflex that gets concretized in some very a noticeable behavior, let's pull this person and ...

HOUCK: Yeah, well and noticeable behavior, yeah.

DYSON: ... this person looks -- this person it looks more suspicious than that person ...

HOUCK: No.

DYSON: ... all of that accumulates to end in racial profiling.

COOPER: Michael in the last hour, you raised a point that I wanted to pursue with Harry here as well. You were saying that when you look at a lot of these instances, it's white male police officers with an African-American suspect as opposed to a ...

DYSON: In police involved shootings, and so.

COOPER: Yeah in police involved shootings, as supposed to a female police officer, Latino police officer. Is that ...

DYSON: Or black police officer.

COOPER: Or black police officer. You believe what, that shows something?

DYSON: I'm saying that there are other alternatives than shooting a person. I'm saying why is it that these people, black police officers, a Latino police officers and predominantly female officers, don't end up involved in most police involved shootings? That means that they know how to deescalate, they know how to use alternative strategies to keep this person in check and as a result of that, there is far less death.

HOUCK: I will disagree with you on this, right because you know, you're not facing a man with a gun. You're not facing ...

DYSON: I'm sorry.

HOUCK: ... a man with a knife. I have to disagree with you because you're not facing a man with a knife, you're not facing a man with a gun. Deescalation is a great word and it's great if you can do it. But I can tell you from my perspective and police officers that I know, there are some people you cannot deescalate.

DYSON: Oh, I don't doubt that. I'm just saying that the statistics show ...

HOUCK: You know, exactly so I mean, I think that is something with the officers.

(CROSSTALK)

DYSON: ... that overwhelmingly, white men are the ones involved in police involved shootings of black men.

HOUCK: Well, because there are so many white police officers. That's basically the problem.

DYSON: But I'm saying there are so many women, there are so many Latinos, there's so many black and they don't do that.

(CROSSTALK)

HOUCK: We've got a really diverse police department.

DYSON: No, no ,no, I am saying what I'm saying to you is that there are great numbers of women and African-American and Latino police people who are involved in conflagrations with black people and poor people and brown people and they don't end up this.

COOPER: All right.

[21:35:09] HOUCK: And they do highlight that.

(CROSSTALK)

DYSON: They more often end up that with the hands of white police people.

HOUCK: You have no idea, what situation they were in. If we would take a look at every se -- let's ...

DYSON: I'm looking at the (inaudible) sir.

HOUCK: ... to what's in 1,000 different situations, the last situations.

DYSON: Right.

HOUCK: Then you'll be able to say that. But, you haven't done that.

DYSON: No, no, no. What I'm saying to you is that you're missing the point and you're distracting us.

I'm saying the point is this. Is that if those women and those African-American and Latino police people are engaging with these people, why is it that the overwhelming majority of people who end up killing these people are white men and not the other police people who engage in the shooter?

COOPER: Yeah. We got to leave it there. Interesting report out of Harvard today that will probably going to try to do something on tomorrow about other forms of interactions between police and African- Americans.

And it's probably the most comprehensive study we've seen so far. There's not a lot of data in a lot of these cases. So, we'll look at that tomorrow.

Michael Eric Dyson always good to have you on. Harry Houck as well.

HOUCK: Thank you.

COOPER: Up next, Donald Trump returns to the campaign trail for the first time since the Dallas shootings. A lot of attention on who is going to be his running mate. He said he's likely to announce it probably this week before the convention. We'll talk about that, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:40:07] COOPER: Hey, welcome back. Our breaking news continues to be two-fold tonight. As you see on the screen, street protests in Atlanta, Chicago, Sacramento against police shootings and vigils in Dallas and elsewhere for the five police officers killed at a protest.

Today in Virginia Beach, Donald Trump called himself "The Law and Order Candidate", had his first rally since the Dallas killings and speculation grew about his choice of a running mate.

Gary Tuchman asked Trump supporters about it today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: About 250 people, mostly veterans and family members of veterans, the audience for another Republican Vice-Presidential Audition, this one in Virginia, a Chris Christie audition.

CHRIS CHRISTIE, NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: It's going to be, we did it, we fought for it, we stood up and we took our country back.

TUCHMAN: John Presto is a Navy Veteran.

TUCHMAN: Who would you like to see Trump pick as his running mate?

JOHN PRESTO, NAVY VETERAN: Well, Chris Christie is one. Rudy Giuliani is number two.

TUCHMAN: A wide variety of thoughts in this room. Cheryl Hargrove served in the coast guard.

TUCHMAN: If he asked you, "Cheryl, I want you to pick my running mate," and you have to do it right now, who would you pick?

CHERYL HARGROVE, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I wanted Condoleezza Rice, but she's not -- she doesn't want to do it.

TUCHMAN: But among people believed to be on the short list, this Marine Corps Vet spoke for quite a few here.

MICHAEL GREE, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I can give that a little bit of thought and I -- my vote would be going towards Gingrich, Newt Gingrich.

PAT SWOOPE, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I'd kind of like Newt. I think he has the knowledge, he is good with media and ...

TUCHMAN: Chris Christie was here today ...

SWOOPE: Chris Christie.

TUCHMAN: ... speaking. He's good with media, too, right?

SWOOPE: He's good with media. And I think Chris Christie would be an excellent choice, but I would also like to see him as Attorney General.

TUCHMAN: When Christie was finished speaking, Trump took the stage talking about veterans' issues. But has this comment from last week worked against him with this crowd? DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, right? He was a bad guy, really bad guy. But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn't read him the rights -- they didn't talk, they were a terrorist, it was over.

TUCHMAN: Ronnie Grimstead comes from a military family.

Because of Saddam Hussein there are more than 6,300 Africans who died in two wars in the '90s and after 2003. And for Trump to say anything positive in any way about Saddam Hussein offends a lot of people. Are you offended by it?

RONNIE GRIMSTEAD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: No, no. Because he's just referring to support from the war's vision that we haven't have been in to begin with.

TUCHMAN: Does it bother you in the memory of colleagues who were killed that Donald Trump is saying anything at all complimentary about Saddam Hussein?

PRESTO: No. It's not bothering me. What bothers me is some of the things Hillary Clinton says, OK? And what she has to say about Benghazi.

TUCHMAN: But what about the time Donald Trump said Senator John McCain was not a war hero?

TRUMP: I like people that weren't captured, OK? I hate to tell you.

TUCHMAN: Jack McWaters is the former Virginia State Senator.

TUCHMAN: Does that quote about McCain bother you? What was other by Trump?

JEFF MCWATERS, FORMER VIRGINIA STATE SENATOR: Yeah, probably did a little bit.

TUCHMAN: So, you think he should apologize for it? If he wants to think about ...

(CROSSTALK)

MCWATERS: I think we should get on. The primary's over. Get on with life. We got a big election. I think the Republican Party is going to get together. I think all politicians bump each other. I'm sure Senator McCain said thank and he wish he had him said, all politicians do that, have done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Gary joins us from Virginia Beach. Christie was U.S. Attorney obviously prior to becoming governor. So, not a big surprise to hear one of the women you talked, who say she'd like to see him as Attorney General. Did other Trump supporters say they prefer him as Attorney General as well? TUCHMAN: Anderson, the answer is yes. This wasn't a huge mega-rally. It was an invited guest list. So we were able to talk to a large percentage of the 250 people who were there afterwards and people who like Chris Christie who were there today, but most of the people who talked to us like him better in the role of Attorney General than vice president of the United States.

What was so unusual, Anderson, about this event today is that, Christie and Trump were never onstage at the same time. They weren't together. But it's dangerous to read political tea leaves when it comes to picking a vice presidential candidate. Presidential candidates like surprise us a lot. We saw that in 2008 with Sarah Palin. We saw that in 1988 with Dan Quayle. And If John McCain and George H.W. Bush can surprise us, a guy like Donald Trump could surprise us too.

(OFF-MIC)

COOPER: Well, since we have (ph) really all this entire election so far, it surprise a lot of people. Gary, thanks.

Back to our political panel. Joining the conversation CNN Political Analyst and "New York Times" Political Correspondent, Patrick Healey.

You know, Donald Trump all along has said in terms of a vice president pick, I remember asking him in this months and months ago, he wants to go for somebody political, not necessarily military because he feels pretty confident on the military side or the economic side as a businessman. He wants to go with somebody who can help him out with Capitol Hill. Who do you think it's going to be?

PATRICK HEALEY, NEW YORK TIMES POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. That plays a lot to Gingrich's strengths. My reporting has found that Chris Christie's star has sort of faded in the V.P. side, that Trump would like to give him -- Mr. Trump would like to give him, you know, a senior role in the administration but he's looking less at Christie and more at Gingrich and Pence.

[21:45:00] And I think the question is, "Does he go conventional which would be more like a Mike Pence?" Or does he go with someone who is like him, kind of an unconventional choice, someone who's, let's say, temperament in background, maybe a little rocky with parts of the party, but who would give him -- Newt Gingrich knows Washington, he knows how Congress works.

COOPER: Sure.

HEALEY: He knows he has some of those relationships. He will be very good on the debate stage in the fall, which is what they want against Hillary Clinton's running mate.

And the reality is that if you look back at V.P, picks, when George W. Bush picked Dick Cheney, there was real -- there was chemistry there, there was likeability there. Barack Obama picking Joe Biden, Bill Clinton picking Al Gore, there was a connection there like what Donald Trump has with Newt Gingrich, for instance. He doesn't know Pence as well.

When you have people like John McCain picking Sarah Palin, John Kerry sort of picking John Edwards, which is a little bit more of a superficial choice, those haven't worked out as well.

COOPER: Right. Corey, I'm not going to put you on the spot. Well, actually, I will put you up. Who do you think it should be?

COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: What I think is a lot to what Patrick alluded to, it's getting Mr. Trump's, let's say, agenda done in Washington. That's the most important thing. For an outsize candidate.

HEALEY: Someone who knows Capitol Hill?

LEWANDOWSKI: Well, or someone who has the relationships in place. But before you get to Washington, obviously you have to win the election. What you have to look at is, can Chris Christie go on and help Donald Trump raise money? Will Chris Christie be that person who will support Donald Trump when the attacks come, much more so than Mike Pence would be?

And I think what you have seen in this election cycle is Chris Christie was an early endorser of Donald Trump when he get out of this race. He has been a steadfast supporter of Donald Trump, and I think when push came to shove at the end of the election, 17 weeks from tomorrow, Chris Christie would be the person standing next to Donald Trump making sure that his philosophy, his process, his desire to go directly at Hillary Clinton would be put forth by Chris Christie much more, so I think than Mike Pence would do it.

COOPER: Really. So you think Christie has a better shot than Mike Pence?

LEWANDOWSKI: I think I would not say that Chris Christie's star has fallen. I think he's someone who's good -- been very loyal to Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump rewards loyalty. And they have had a long-term relationship. You know, they have been friends for 10 or 11 years, much more so than Governor Pence.

COOPER: And Newt Gingrich.

LEWANDOWSKI: Well, and Newt Gingrich. But, you know, Trump has a personal relationship with Chris Christie and his wife Mary Pat that extends long the outside of the political world. So don't discount Chris Christie just yet.

HEALEY: One of the red flags that seemed to be the Chris Christie is, you know, even less popular in New Jersey than Mr. Trump is. In terms of where does Chris Christie help you, you could say he would help you as, you know, as Attorney General or maybe as Chief of Staff more than V.P.

COOPER: Well, also, I mean, Tara, I mean, there was some concern about -- I think Trump told the "Washington Post" that he's leaning towards picking somebody who helps unite the Republican Party. TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right. That's not Chris Christie. And I'm from New Jersey. And you're right. Chris Christie's popularity there is at a historic low for him.

He doesn't really bring much to the ticket because Trump was already an attack dog, so you don't really need another one like that, where the two of them can kind of go over the top. You need a little balance. At least Newt Gingrich he can -- he's an attack dog also but he does it in a way that's very academic.

And so for people who like Newt Gingrich and his style and the fact he was Speaker of the House, that would fit the bill of someone where -- that conservatives would find him acceptable, he knows Washington, and he's obviously been lobbying for the job very loyally for a long time for Donald Trump. And there is chemistry there.

So, out of this group, I have always been of the thought process that he should bring in a general on board and when I saw the reports of Michael Flynn, I thought maybe I was right.

COOPER: But, of course, I mean, obviously he's ...

(CROSSTALK)

SETMAYER: Right. It's problematic now.

COOPER: But, Christine, just in terms of somebody who has experienced debating at a presidential level, I mean, both Newt Gingrich and Christie fit that bill as opposed to a Mike Pence.

CHRISTINE QUINN, CLINTON SUPPORTER: Yeah, very true. And obviously, these debates, I believe, are going to be critical and really show off the excellence of the Democratic ticket of Senator Clinton -- Secretary Clinton and whoever she picks to be V.P.

But to talk about Chris Christie for one more second, I think, you know, if Donald Trump picks Chris Christie, it really makes clear that the idea of somebody who says they're one thing and then becomes another thing is front and center for Donald Trump. Because Chris Christie ran for governor of New Jersey as a really moderate Republican with a lot of views that a lot of us in the Democratic Party might have supported.

Then he came into office and as things got more political, as he started ridiculously thinking about running for president of the United States while Bridgegate was hanging over his head, he became much more conservative. So it's just an example like Donald Trump, this, that, the other, flip-flop, you know.

COOPER: I think Corey's point about loyalty is really interesting one. And people or somebody actually has relationship with him.

SETMAYER: And Trump doesn't need conservatives. He needs to crossover. He already said that he doesn't care about unity. So.

(CROSSTALK) COOPER: We got to leave there. I want to go back to Dallas, an aspect of it that caught so much attention. How a robot armed with a bomb ended the standoff with the sniper. More ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:53:30] COOPER: Welcome back. A candlelight vigil is under way in Dallas for the five police officers murdered by a sniper during a protest Thursday night.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown had spoke short time ago. We brought to you live, his defended his decision to blow up the shooter with a remote control robot, a choice that surprised a lot of people, didn't know that was even an option. Our Sara Sidner tonight shows us how it went down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A robot and a pound of C4. This is what Dallas police use in an unprecedented move to save officers' lives.

In the heat of battle, the Dallas police used the extraordinary tactic likely a first in America, a robot with a bomb to kill a cop-killing sniper.

BROWN: We knew through negotiation, this was a suspect because he was asking us how many did he get. And he was telling us how many more he wanted to kill.

SIDNER: He had already killed five officers, wounded seven and two civilians during a 45-minute gun battle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Slow down! He's in the damn building right there. Don't know where he's at? He's in that building. We're hearing some shots from that building!

SIDNER: Chief Brown made the final call after a two-hour negotiation.

He told a SWAT team to come up with a creative plan that would keep officers out of the line of fire and take out the suspect.

BROWN: They improvised this whole idea in about 15, 20 minutes extraordinary.

SIDNER: That plan involved this kind of robot secured with C4 explosive.

So that right there is a pound of C4?

MATT BARNETT, EXPLOSIVES EXPERT: Yeah, this is 454 grams of C4.

[21:55:01] SIDNER: We asked Explosives Expert Matt Barnett to show us how this might have worked in a scenario detailed by the chief.

First, officers had to maneuver the robot to the second floor, this is a similar model. Notice the arm extension, that would have held the C4 explosive in place. Police then had to get it close without the suspect knowing it was there. It was positioned behind a brick wall.

BARNETT: This 2 x 4 right here is going to simulate the arm of a robot. This C4 will be attached to this arm directly against the wall right here, right here.

SIDNER: We set up strategically placed cameras and built a brick wall with rebar inside to demonstrate the blast range.

To give you some idea of just how powerful a pound of C4 can be, we're standing more than a football field away from that wall. And when it explodes, those fragments could be dangerous to the human body, even here. That is outside. Inside a building, Barnett says, the damage to the human body would be exponentially worse.

BARNETT: In a closed environment, yes, a pound of C4 is a lot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire in the hole. In three, two, one.

SIDNER: So it wouldn't necessarily be the blast that killed the person, but the fragments that killed the person.

BARNETT: That's right, yeah. The wall becomes the lethal aspect of it.

SIDNER: Would go right through you basically.

BARNETT: Oh Absolutely, like butter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: That's our Sara Sidner reporting. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[22:00:09] COOPER: Well, that's it for us. Thanks for watching. Time now for "CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon.