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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  January 26, 2023 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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shooter. he says his son just wants to get back to normal. >> i think he had some nightmares the first few days, but those seem to have stopped. we've been able to kind of assuage fears, and so he's having a great time reconnecting with friends. >> reporter: thomas britton did confirm to us after attending that event at the school yesterday there is indeed at least one metal detector now placed inside that school. school officials telling cnn the school will resume classes full time starting this coming monday. >> brian todd just back from the scene, thank you very, very much. and to our viewers thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. erin burnett out front starts right now. out front next, five former members of the memphis police
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department charged tonight in the murder of 29-year-old tiry nickels as cities across the nation brace for the video of the police encounter, the video described as the vicious and heinous beating of nickels at the hands of police. plus massive missile attacks, putin launching at least 55 missiles cross ukraine today as the kremlin accuses the u.s. of, quote, direct involvement in the war, warning of consequences. an oun front exclusive tonight. let's go out front. good evening, i'm erin burnett. out front tonight a nation on edge. cities across the country prasing for the release of video that is said to show the vicious and prolonged beating of 29-year-old tyre nichols by
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police. now, that video according to the district attorney who i'll be speaking with in just a moment shows the entire incident from beginning to end and could be released by this time tomorrow night. nichols family right now is getting ready to attend a vigil as the five officers who authorities say were directly involved with the 29-year-old's arrest have now been charged, charges which include second degree murder, aggravated assault, and aggravated kidnapping. when officers caught up to him it sparked a quote confrontation. the family's lawyers say the video of this shows a brutal nonstop beating that lasted for three full minutes. nichols was taken to the hospital and he died three days later. the memphis police chief says the video shows a failing of basic humanity towards another individual. >> this is a failing of basic humanity toward another individual. this incident was heinous, reckless, and inhumane. >> president biden today
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releasing a statement condemning the violent arrest but pleading for peace. the statement reads in part "i joined tyre's family calling for peaceful protest. outrage is understandable but violence is never acceptable. i want to begin our coverage with shimon prokupecz. what is the latest you're learning in this investigation tonight? >> reporter: erin, no doubt the district attorney here moving quickly. it's been about 20 days since this horrific incident occurred. now all five officers indicted facing murder charges. we also learned some new details of the initial encounter today. the district attorney for the first time revealing some new information. >> we continue to pursue every lead. justice demands it. and our agency exists so that guilt shall not escape nor innocence suffer.
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>> reporter: the law enforcement official in charge of the investigation says he was sickened to what he saw the police officers do to the 29-year-old. >> we all want the same thing. we want justice for tyre nichols. >> reporter: shelby county charged them with second degree murder, agevaluated assault and kidnapping among several other charges. the lawyers for two of the former officers who were all fired last week say they still don't have the details about what happened. >> we do not have discovery. we've not seen the video, so we're kind of in the blind right now. and this process is just starting. >> reporter: memphis police say nichols was pulled over on january 7th for reckless driving. >> you have one running on foot. >> reporter: police say a confrontation occurred and after using pepper spray nichols fled
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the scene on foot. >> there was another altercation at a nearby location at which the -- the serious injuries were experienced by mr. nichols. after some period of time of waiting around afterwards he was taken away by an ambulance. >> reporter: nichols died of his injuries three days later. >> this incident was heinous, reckless, and inhumane. >> reporter: the five officers involved in the beating were fired after an interm investigation found they violated multiple department policies including the use of excessive force and failing to render aid. two ents with the memphis fire department were also put on leave and additional officers are under investigation. >> no father, mother should have to witness what i saw today. >> reporter: the nichols family has viewed video of the incident, which has been described as brutal and heinous, and prosecutors plan to release it publicly friday night with the hopes of easing tensions.
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>> we are here to pursue truth and justice, realizing that we should not be here. simply put, this shouldn't have happened. i've been policing for more than 30 years. i've devoted my life to this profession. and i'm grieved. frankly, i'm shocked. >> reporter: and so there are still many questions that i think authorities here are hoping this video, this horrific video will answer for many of the people who are wondering exactly how everything unfolded because we still don't have that time line of every event that transpired in this horrific encounter between the officers and tyre nichols. >> shimon, thank you very much from memphis. and i want to go now to the district attorney for shelby county, tennessee. and i appreciate your time. obviously everyone saw a bit of your press conference there in
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shimon's reporting. let me ask you. from what we know right now all five officers are facing the same charges, second degree murder as the top count. attorneys representing two of them say they will plead not guilty. how confident are you tonight that you have the evidence to secure a conviction? >> erin, we're very confident that we can secure a conviction. we have a very strong case, and we're ready to let the process go forward. >> so during the press conference today you said that there was an initial altercation, pepper spray was deployed at that time. so just on the very fundamental level here, district attorney, do you know what caused this to escalate? >> i wish i could give a definitive answer to that. i don't think i do know. from the video that we have the officers were already highly charged up from the very beginning of the video in the
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first incident, the first altercation. and then it just escalated further from there. >> to that point when you're saying they were highly charged up from the beginning i understand these officers were part of a so-called scorpion unit that tackles organized crime. do you have any evidence at this point to suggest that when they pulled him over or perhaps the reason they pulled him over or when they pulled him over they found out -- i don't know which it could be if either -- that they knew who he was? >> we don't have any evidence to that effect right now. >> no evidence to that effect. but you're saying they appeared this way from the very beginning of the video. one other question to you on the time line then, i know you talked about the injuries being sustained were in the second altercation. how much time passed generally, or do you know the specifics between when the encounter started and that second altercation? >> it was only a few minutes. mr. nichols fled on foot, and then there was a 10 to 20 minute -- i forget the exact
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amount of time -- chase before they eventually found him and tackled him. and then the second incident occurred. and i should just clarify that the video we have doesn't start from the very beginning of the altercation. it kind of cuts in as the first encounter is in progress, so that's what i mean when i say they were already highly charged. i think when anyone watches the video tomorrow night when it's released everyone will see what we mean. >> soc, so i understand what you mean. you're saying highly charged but not when they actually pulled them aside. it's unclear whether there's something that happened in that time at least from the videoory what you know now. >> correct. yes. >> and just to be clear you're saying 10 to 20 minutes past between when it started and the second altercation where the horrific beating occurred? >> can't recall the exact time frame right now, but it was a short period of time before they were able to locate him, again, at the second location. >> so the memphis police chief
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district attorney says there are other officers under investigation in addition to the five you charged today. we're also aware two employees of the memphis fire department were fired. and unclear their involvement in this this. do you anticipate more people being charged? >> so i can't state anything definitively about that right now, but i do want to make clear that the fact we charged certain officers today doesn't in any way preclude us from adding later charges further on down the road. and the investigation is still ongoing. we are still gathering information. we believe that the information we have right now more than supports the charges that we talked about today, but there might be other charges later. we just can't say it. and as to the discussion about the other officers, you know, i hope that this incident can lead to a broader conversation about police reform generally even beyond this incident. >> absolutelych and i know you've met with the family to go
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through these charges. i've also watched this video. tyre's mother had said she wanted to see first degree murder as a charge. obviously second degree is the top charge here as of now. what was their reaction when they heard the charges? >> well, we met with the family of tyre nichols prior to announcing the charges today. and we told them what charges we were getting ready to submit to the grand jury, and it was a very grand reading. they did not express any displeasure during the meeting itself. i can say at this point first degree murder requires we be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to the jury that the murder was intentional and premeditated, that there was an intentional and premeditated killing. and if we don't believe in good faith that the evidence at this point would sustain such a charge, then it's not appropriate for us to charge it. but we are comfortable chargesing second degree murder, which under tennessee law
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requires evidence of a knowing killing. >> understood. and there are just some local reports, district attorney, crossing as you and i are speaking
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santos dodging questions specifically refusing to say why among many other lies he falsely claimed to be a member of the berea college volleyball team. >> why did you lie about being on that -- so you answered you were on a volleyball team, is that right? is that true? >> this is santos ex-boyfriend speaking out, pedro shared this photo with us of him celebrating christmas with santos and other loved one in 2017. they lived together for about a year, and he repeatedly turned down his proposals to get engaged. pedro joins me from brazil. i very much appreciate your
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time and i know that you are deciding to speak out and it was a very careful decision. does this george santos, the one that we are now all seeing, sound like the man that you dated and lived with? >> not at all. completely different person. >> how so? >> it's just, at the beginning of the relationship, he was fine. he was so sweet, caring, he actually showed that he cared. but, later on when i started finding out the lies, i thought that was it, that it was my phone that he stole, i believe. and the jewelry as well, from a friend that used to live with us, and the tickets to hawaii that he had purchased for us to go when he was planning the
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proposing for the third time as well. the engagement never happened. nothing like that. >> i know you say santos repeatedly asked you to get engaged before you broke up and he appears to reference you in an instagram post that you shared with us from 2015, he writes, this is my family that i managed to screw up. i will not give up. i will fight to the end, i love you, i miss you. pedro, you were 18 and santos was 26 when you met him. when did you know that you couldn't trust him? >> toward the end of the relationship, i started finding out about the lies in december and then it went on to february . then, that is when i broke up with him and i went on my way. but then later on, we still had contact with each other because i found out about the lies, and
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we still kept in contact with each other. just saying how are you, how is your mom and stuff, because when i found out she was sick i still cared about her. i went to visit her a couple times later on, but when i found out about the other stuff, i thought what a psycho. >> i want to share a picture of you and his mother, you say you were close. besides you said she was a survivor of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, also claiming she was a part of the executive citigroup. this was the picture you shared with us. did she ever discussed these lies with you? did she know any of this? >> never. no 9/11, no citigroup, nothing like that. when i was with him, i never saw her going to work at citigroup or anything, and never mentioned anything about 9/11. even because i was born on 911,
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and if they knew that i was born then, they were going to reference that and say something about it but i never heard anything about it. >> i want to play george santos , what we have all heard, explaining who he is in his own words over the years. >> my grandparents survived the holocaust. my mom was a 9/11 survivor. >> i went to prep school in the bronx. >> i actually went to school on a volleyball scholarship, we were the number one volleyball team. i put myself through college and got an mba. i also not -- found my own nonprofit organization, prior to closing, it was an animal rescue, we had a great organization, we were able to save dogs, cats, horses. >> i have never been accused of
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by doing. >> i want to note, he was charged with embezzlement, so he has obviously been charged of bad doing. pedro, the point is some of these lies were so minor and yet so specific. the volleyball one, he had a scholarship, and he was the smallest player on the team and he needed two knee replacements. he went deep with the lies. why did he do this? >> i don't know. i think he is just out of his mind and one live led to another , and then everybody found out. they are finding out the little stuff as well. i just think he should not be in congress. it was so many things that i thought of afterwards as well, things that i did not know, because i still believe that he went to that college like he used to say. i already knew about the citigroup, and the investments,
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i already knew those were lies. because i never saw him working actually. but, then the other stuff, the stuff about the pets , he actually did used to say about the organization that he used to do, like there was another person that also had a pet organization so they used to have little fights with each other, but also i never saw anything going towards it. like charity stuff. when we were together, he never used to do anything like that. >> so, are you surprised he is now a member of congress, was that an ambition that he had? >> yeah, well he always looked for fame and power.
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that's all he cared about. and he got it, he got the same thing in congress, but he should not be there. >> the story has gotten so big, everybody is paying attention to it, he is being spoofed by late-night shows and other comedians. here is a clip from this weekend's saturday night live. i will play it for you, pedro. >> you lied about your mom dying in 9/11. >> i think i said 711. >> people need to know who you are. >> okay, i am george santos, i graduated on a volleyball scholarship. >> i see you laughing, people are laughing, but obviously this is serious stuff. do you think he will ever
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resign? >> i don't think so. he goes too big and too high, he is not going to resign. if they don't find something to get him off, he is not going to, that is for sure. >> i appreciate your time, thank you very much. >> i appreciate your time as well, thank you so much. new reporting on merrick garland, does he appoint another special counsel for mike pence's handling of classified documents? plus, ron desantis making a bold push for new blood in his party, that includes the my pillow ceo. dvil. advil, dual action bites, pain, two ways. advil targets pain at the source. acetaminophen blocks, pain signals, advil, dual action.
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new tonight, merrick garland now considering appointing yet another special counsel to investigate the mishandling of classified documents, in this case, the ones that were found in former vice president mike pence's home. the dozen documents found in his indiana home were found last week and sources say they include memos about his foreign trips while he was vice president. the fbi is investigating how those documents ended up in his home and the decision on a special counsel is only likely when that is completed. in the case of here we go again, people are trying to
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understand what is going on here. what more can you tell us about merrick garland's thinking on this? >> what the department right now is looking at, is the circumstances of this case, which is mike pence's documents , these are classified documents found at his home and they view him in a different place from the former president trump and of course joe biden. and in this case, mike pence has not declared that he is running for president so it doesn't necessarily present the immediate conflict of interest issues that the former president trumps case presented to the attorney general. that's one of the reasons why he said he had to appoint a special counsel, it happened just a couple days after trump publicly announced he was running for office again, against merrick garland's own boss. and of course once you do that, and of course these documents were found in the home and in the private office of joe biden
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, they felt they had to do a special counsel in that case as well. so, right now, as you pointed out, this is being handled inside the justice department. they feel obviously that the circumstances could change if the facts change as this review continues. >> so of course those have differences in these situations, but you did have a bipartisan call from some republican and democratic lawmakers for a special counsel, given the broader context with trump and biden. take a listen. >> i don't know if this will extend beyond the president and the former president, i don't see any reason why they would include mike pence. >> you treat one like you treat the other, that is why joe biden has a special counsel and i think we are going to have another one here for mike pence. >> did they feel this need though?
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i guess you have to see where the facts go but on the face of it, it does appear to be quite a different situation. >> exactly, and i think you can here already from those soundbites, you see where the criticism is coming from, no matter what he decides. because, certainly, if you speak to people or supporters of president biden, they say the circumstances are similar to his, so mike pence should also be examined by a special counsel. of course again, from the justice department standpoint, merrick garland doesn't like special councils, he didn't want to do the first one and he certainly did not want to do the second one. there is a real reluctance to do a third one while this is still being reviewed. so, i think what you are going to see is they are going to let this review continue, and they will make a decision whether they have to do yet another one. >> evan perez, thank you very much. next, the my pillow ceo, mike
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tonight, new blood. florida governor ron desantis weighing in on the bitter battle dividing the republican party. who will be the next chair of the rnc. it's a race that now includes a former trump lawyer and even the mypillow ceo. desantis arguing there needs to be changes after the party's poor midterm election results. >> huge majorities y s oof the think the country is going in the wrong direction. the senate and state houses all across the country, and yet that didn't happen. and in fact, we even lost ground in the u.s. senate. so i think we need a change. i think we need to get some new blood in the rnc. >> jeff zeleny is "outfront"
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with more on the fierce infighting within the gop. >> reporter: they're all loyal supporters of donald trump. but for six years, ronna mcdaniel has been the former president's hand-picked leader of the republican national committee. >> done such an incredible job at the rnc. ronna! >> yet tonight a fresh family feud is boiling inside the republican party as mcdaniel seeks reelection friday to a rare fourth term, she is locked in an unusually tough fight in yet another identity test for the gop. >> let's stop bashing each other and let's remember we only are going to win as a united party in 2024. >> reporter: she is not facing an anti-trump challenger, but rather two true believers, in a particularly heated clash with a member of the former president's own legal team who believes it's time for new blood in the top republican ranks. >> harmeet dhillon. >> she represented donald trump before the congressional investigation of the january 6th attack on the capitol and placed
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blame for gop losses in the last cycle not on trump, but on mcdaniel and the rnc. >> they're really, really eager for some change. and i provide that change and a vision of how we're going win in 2024. >> reporter: it's far from the classic establishment-anti-establishment divide that royaled the party in the early days of the trump era. now trump loyalists are fighting one another, even as others call for a new direction. while trump is at the center of it all, he has taken a back seat to the fight. >> i get along with both of them. i haven't taken a stance. let them fight it out. >> reporter: not florida governor ron desantis, a potential 2024 rival, who says the rnc is overdue for change. >> i think we need to get some new blood in the rnc. i like what harmeet dhillon has said about getting the rnc out of d.c. >> reporter: mypillow ceo mike lindel, a trump election denier and peddler of election con
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spirits is a candidate. >> i am 100% running for the rnc chairman. >> reporter: in a battle that's creating strange bedfellows among the party faithful. >> as an east coaster -- >> reporter: bill paltucci believes it's time to move trump and is supporting dhillon. >> that's how you move forward, by embracing people like me who have been skeptics and critics of the former president to build a party that's broader than just the trump base. >> reporter: but rnc member levy of connecticut believes mcdaniel stands the best chance of uniting the fractured party. >> in election there's are disagreements. but that doesn't mean that at the core we don't know that we are a family and that we are united by our principles and our policies. >> reporter: now gone are the days when party bosses can actually control their political parties. the more pressing challenge is
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trying to unify the party going forward here. erin, this all culminates tomorrow in a secret ballot among the 16 members of the rnc who gathered from all 50 states around the country here in sunny southern california. the question is if mcdaniel wins, can she bring all factions together? if she doesn't, what does the rnc look like going into the next presidential race. >> unbelievable just to see the turmoil and uncertainty. jeff zeleny, thank you so much for your reports. and next, president biden thanking the man who risked his life to tackle the monterey park gunman. >> thank you for taking such an incredible action in the face of danger. here's a little number you'll never forget. ♪customize and save♪ only pay for what you need. ♪liberty liberty liberty♪ ♪liberty♪ when you stay at a vrbo you always get the whole home not part of it but the wholupstairs the whole downstairs
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and finally tonight, thanking a hero. president biden calling 26-year-old brandon tsay, who tackled and ultimately stopped the suspect in the monterey
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park, california mass shooting, a shooting that left 11 people dead. >> president biden. >> i wanted to call to see how you're doing, and thank you for taking such incredible action in the face of danger. i don't think you understand just how much you've done for so many people who are never going to know you. but i want them to know more about you. >> i'm still practicing, you know, what i did and what i experienced. for you to call, that's just so comforting for me. >> well, you have my respect. you are america, pal. you are who we are. >> tsay's actions likely led authorities to the gunman, and a law enforcement official tells cnn they were able to trace the weapon to the suspect, giving his name and description. thank you so much for joining us. "ac 360" begins right now. five men who once took a solemn oath to uphold the law are now five aeg