May 20th, 2009
10:26 PM ET

Undue force – or necessary dirty work?

Video of the car chase and police striking the suspect.
Video of the car chase and police striking the suspect.

Gene O'Donnell
John Jay College

The soundless video shows several police cars trying to pull over Anthony Shannon Warren's van. It shows him putting innocent people at risk–including police.

Was Mr. Warren trying to run down the officer he swerved toward and struck while the officer was placing spike strips on the road? As a former police officer and prosecutor, I believe the evidence shows he was. The pursuing officers were close and had a clear view of him apparently trying to kill a uniformed colleague.

It would be interesting to hear the police radio transmissions to understand the limits of what the cops knew and what was in their minds. Whether captured on audio tape or not, the cops are probably wondering why this man seems so desperate to avoid capture. Is he wanted? Armed?

The driver's utter disregard for the safety of innocent motorists and pedestrians suggests that if they catch up with him, he will not acquiesce. How much force will they need to use on him? At significant risk to themselves, the cops manage to bump him off the road causing his vehicle to overturn and Mr. Warren to be ejected.

At that moment, Mr. Warren appears almost lifeless. Is he? Are there any other situations the cops deal with in which a seemingly lifeless person ends up killing or injuring someone? Absolutely.


May 20th, 2009
09:49 PM ET

Guns, parks and votes

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Joe Johns | BIO
CNN Correspondent

Today the Democrats, who used to be tattooed as the party of gun control, started making it look like they're not so willing to wear that tattoo anymore.

So when Senator Tom Coburn attached a provision to allow guns in national parks, a bunch of Democrats went along with it. Ok, some were holding their noses.

But the truth is some Democrats have finally decided that politically at least there is a real risk when you dismiss the concerns of guys in parts of the country like West Virginia and Oklahoma. In those states, people go to gun shows for recreation. It's part of the culture.

So ok, it might sound strange to people living in big cities worried about criminals with guns when they hear about this thing.

After all, national parks are places where you take your kids. But they are also places where you go camping and if a bear or wolf or coyote comes calling, you are gonna wish you had a gun around. That's part of the logic.

Plus there is the idea that depending on what state you are in it could be perfectly legal to carry a weapon. But when you go into the park and you still have your gun and you can be arrested.

Gun rights supporters have been trying to change this for years.


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Joe Johns • Raw Politics
May 20th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 05/20/09

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Tonight on 360°, a police chase caught on tape. Five officers in Birmingham, Alabama have been fired for what happened in the incident. CLICK HERE to watch the video. And, text your questions on the case to 94553. Please make sure you put the letters AC, along with your name and location in the text.

Don't miss Erica Hill's webcast on the police chase and tonight's other headlines during the commercials. Watch our WEBCAST

Want to know what else we're covering tonight? Read EVENING BUZZ

Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

And take a look at our live web camera from the 360° studio. Watch the WEBCAM

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
May 20th, 2009
09:15 PM ET

Video: Billy's trip

In 1994, Billy Joe Best, then 16, ran away to avoid having chemotherapy. This report was filed by CNN's Gary Tuchman. Authorities believe a Best could be traveling with 13-year-old Daniel Hauser and his mother. The Hausers fled New Ulm, Minn., after a court-ordered medical exam showed his Hodgkin's lymphoma had worsened.

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Gary Tuchman
May 20th, 2009
09:10 PM ET

Video: Larry King dishes on his interviews

Larry King tells Anderson about the people he's interviewed over the years, from Frank Sinatra to Richard Nixon.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Anderson Cooper • Larry King
May 20th, 2009
09:00 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Gitmo Detainee Coming to the U.S.

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Tonight, we've learned that one of the 240 Gitmo detainees is coming to New York to face trial.  Ahmed Ghailani is accused of taking part in the 1998 al Qaeda plot to bomb two American embassies in Africa that killed more than 200 people.

He was finally captured five years ago in Pakistan and was transported to Guantanamo in 2006.

President Obama will address the future of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, tomorrow morning in a speech at Georgetown University.

Earlier today, Pres. Obama was dealt a blow when the U.S. Senate approved a measure  prevent detainees at Guantanamo Bay from being transferred to the United States for now. The measure passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in a 90-6 vote.  Then tonight, just hours after that vote, we learn of plans to bring this one detainee to the U.S. to face trial.  What does this all mean?  We'll talk it over with our legal and political experts.

Do you agree Ghailani should face trial here in the U.S.? And, did the Senate make the right call? Should all Gitmo detainees stay off U.S. soil?

We'll have this and more tonight on AC360° starting at 10pm ET.
See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
May 20th, 2009
08:06 PM ET

Video: FBI defends marijuana laws

FBI director Robert Mueller says marijuana should not be legalized while admitting no adult has been killed by the drug.

May 20th, 2009
07:10 PM ET

Guns, Plastic and Guantanamo Detainees

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more from Jeffrey Toobin tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

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Jeffrey Toobin
CNN Senior Legal Analyst

Today the House gave Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) his way when it passed the gun measure he attached to the credit card bill. (The Senate passed it Tuesday.) The provision allows visitors to national parks to carry loaded weapons if the weapons would be legal in the rest of the state. Bottom line: Both plastic-carrying and pistol-packing Americans get new protections under the legislation headed to President Obama’s desk.

In a written statement, Sen. Coburn said he wanted park visitors to be able to defend themselves against crime. We’ll have to take him at his word, but we can’t help noting that National Parks have some of the lowest crime rates in the United States.

Supporters of the gun provision also argued the amendment eliminates confusion about where gun owners can carry their weapons. Here’s what they’re talking about: Starting in the 80s, park visitors were allowed to bring guns inside parks only if they were dismantled or unloaded and stored in a car trunk. That federal rule applied even in states where people could carry a loaded gun in other public places. In January, just before leaving office, President Bush overturned the ban on loaded weapons in national parks. But in March, a district judge struck down his move, pending a required environmental impact study. Today, the tables turned again, producing a high-five moment for President Bush and gun lobbyists.

So does this open the door for the gun lobby to push for even greater gains? Will hospitals and schools remain off-limits to loaded guns? It’s an open question. In a well-known case from 1994, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal law barring guns within a certain distance of schools. The conservative majority said these kinds of laws were a state issue, not a federal issue.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Guantanomo Bay • Gun Control • Jeffrey Toobin • Raw Politics
May 20th, 2009
07:02 PM ET

100,000 Social Security numbers – missing!

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Mike M. Ahlers and Elaine Quijano
CNN Washington

The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution are still safe. But the National Archives is missing something else that is causing it anguish.

The archives, repository of important government documents, has lost a computer hard drive containing large volumes of Clinton administration records, include the names, phone numbers and Social Security numbers of White House staff members and visitors.

The Archives says it does not know how many confidential records are on the hard drive. But congressional aides briefed on the matter say it contains "more then 100,000" Social Security numbers, including one belonging to a daughter of then-Vice President Al Gore. It also contains Secret Service and White House operating procedures, the staffers said they were told.

The hard drive was last seen in the National Archive's complex in College Park, Md., sometime between October of last year and the first week of February. It was discovered missing in late March, prompting a thorough search for the small, 2.5 pound device, the Archives said.

When it could not be located, the Inspector General's office opened a criminal investigation. And on Wednesday the Archives announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to its return.

The Archives said that no national security information is on the hard drive, nor any original documents. But they said it does contain "personally identifiable information" or PPI, and they take the loss "very seriously."


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
May 20th, 2009
06:58 PM ET

Video: Car chase and rollover

Police in Alabama are accused of beating a suspect after a minivan chase. The officers have been fired.

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Crime & Punishment
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