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Pope Blesses Faithful Publicly for First Time Since March; Floyd Killing Jolts U.S. with Peaceful Protest and Overnight Riots; Minneapolis PD Chief Sued in 2007 Claiming Department Tolerated Racism; NYC Protests Turn Violent, After Largely Peaceful Sunday; Trucks Deployed to Limit Access to Chicago Business District; Evictions Loom as State Rend Freezes Expire; Message of Change Resonating Globally After Floyd Killing; Michigan Shariff Puts Down His Weapon, Marches with Protesters. Aired 4:30-5a ET
Aired June 1, 2020 - 04:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Brazil is now second only to the United States in reported coronavirus cases. The United States will be sending 1,000 ventilators to Brazil despite the concern that the U.S. might need them in the event of a second wave.
LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Pope Francis returning to an iconic tradition blessing the faithful at St. Peter's Square. On Sunday for the first time in nearly 3 months his audience was only a few hundred compared with the thousands who would typically here Francis's message before the lockdown began in Italy. He asked for prayers for all of those devoted to fighting the coronavirus pandemic and concerning recovery? He said people are more important than the economy.
EARLY START continues right now.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
JARRETT: Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.
ROMANS: Good morning, I'm Christine Romans. It's 30 minutes past the hour here in New York on this first day of June. The sun will rise this morning on a dark reality. After video of George Floyd dying with a knee on his neck touched off nights of demonstrations in Minneapolis. Video footage over the weekend showed aggressive police tactics, inflaming tensions, rubber bullets, tear gas, batons used on protesters highlighting the very complaints over police behavior that ignited protests in almost every major American city. More than 40 cities now under curfew. Many of these protests were peaceful but there were pockets of violence especially in Washington and Philadelphia. Shots were fired overnight at Oakland police days after a federal officer guarding an Oakland courthouse was shot and killed in Oakland.
JARRETT: And a truly stunning scene. Look at this. It's on a Minneapolis freeway as a tractor-trailer sped towards a group of protesters there. The driver finally stopped. Protesters dragged him out shortly before police arrived. He was taken to the hospital and later arrested. The Minneapolis chief of police calling George Floyd's killing, quote, a violation of humanity. Live on CNN last night the Floyd family had its first chance to communicate directly with Chief Arradondo through our Sara Sidner.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to know if he's going to get justice for my brother and arrest all the officers.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They want to know if the other officers should be arrested in your mind and if you see that they should all four be convicted in this case?
CHIEF MEDARIA ARRADONDO, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE DEPARTMENT: And this is the Floyd family right now?
SIDNER: This is the Floyd family.
ARRADONDO: To the Floyd family, being silent or not intervening to me you're complicit. So I don't see a level of distinction any different. So obviously the charging and those decisions will have to come through our county attorney's office, certainly the FBI is investigating that. But to the Floyd family I want you to know that my decision to fire all four officers was not based on some sort of hierarchy. Mr. Floyd died in our hands and so I see that as being complicit.
ROMANS: All of this is happening in the middle of a global pandemic. 104,000 people have died due to coronavirus. So many Americans out of work. 40 million job losses over the past three months. Millions of people cooped up at home for months and public health experts have tried to warn about spikes of coronavirus cases if we aren't careful here. But it's nearly impossible to follow social distancing in the middle of a protest. Our coverage starts this morning with CNN's Josh Campbell live in Minneapolis -- Josh.
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning. I'll get you up to speed on the latest in this investigation. It was a busy weekend here with new developments. We heard from the governor that the state's Attorney General, Keith Ellison, will now be taking over the prosecution in this case involving one of the officers in the investigation into the others that were associated with the death of George Floyd. Now the Attorney General Keith Ellison saying they're going to be pursuing justice. They're going to be pursuing it relentlessly.
W now we e also got some new pieces of evidence over the weekend. Particularly this one video that appears to be from a business showing a police officer and a police car where we believe George Floyd was in the back of. And you can see on this video as officers surround this vehicle that there appears to be some kind of struggle going on in the back seat. Now we can't see George Floyd but we're hearing from folks that are familiar with this that this was the moment they were trying to seat belt him in. Now what this shows for police officers, law enforcement experts say is that there was apparently some type of resisting that was taking place.
Other experts are telling us that has nothing to do with the key part of this case, which is the moment the officer's knee was on George Floyd's neck. So this is one of many pieces of evidence that we're seeing that are being considered in this case. And like so much of this investigation, new details tend to cause more questions for us about what was transpiring on that day, guys.
ROMANS: You know, Josh, a lot of this is very raw but law enforcement and federal officials are saying there are outside elements from both far right and far left groups that are helping fuel these violent confrontations. There are protesters and then there are opportunist vandals. Tell us about the outside influences here and what we know for sure about that.
CAMPBELL: Yes, absolutely. And this is such an important point. And what we've been hearing from community leaders here, those who were peacefully protesting what they see as police abuse, the excessive use of force, is that they're concerned that their righteous cause is being hijacked by violent elements that are coming out, possibly people from outside of this area that are just intent on causing damage and causing destruction.
Now we heard from federal officials, the U.S. Attorney General over the weekend, saying that his department believes there are radical leftists that are behind this. The state officials here just in the past few days have told us they've also seen remnants of white supremacists that may be trying to inflame and insight violence. Just last night we heard from a corrections leader here in the area who says they're seeing remnants of both. So that remains a key part of this investigation, trying to determine who these outside elements, who they consist of, who these people are and trying to bring to justice anyone who may be causing this widespread damage.
Still unclear how long this looting will be taking place. We know that there's been a robust uptick in presence by the National Guard as well as the police really taking on these looters. But again, they continue to move throughout different parts of the city. We don't know how long this is going to go.
ROMANS: Yes, the looting takes away the focus from George Floyd and that is what started all of this, and inequality, and police behavior. All right, thank you so much for your great reporting the last few nights, Josh. Thanks.
JARRETT: Well, CNN has also learned the Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo sued his own department back in 2007 when he was a lieutenant. Why? Well, he and five other officers claimed city leadership tolerated discrimination against people of color. The attorney who represented the officers says they claimed black officers were disciplined more harshly and more frequently than white officers for comparable misconduct. The case was dismissed in May 2009 after it was settled out of court for over $800,000.
In Atlanta, two police officers have been fired after video showed them using excessive force against two college students. Take a look at this video. They're doing protests in the city Saturday night. The officers are seen tasing the students as they sat in their car and forcefully dragging them out of the vehicle. The two officers say they tased the couple over concerns they were armed.
ROMANS: Tensions also running high in Charlotte as protesters marched through the streets in response to the death of George Floyd. One Charlotte police officer Jasmine Nivens meeting the protestors with dialogue instead of violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASMINE NIVENS, CHARLOTTE POLICE OFFICER: As I was mentioning, I can't speak for those officers and that officer in Minneapolis. I can only do what I can do and what I say and how I feel. I'm hurt the same way you hurt, like you hurt, like everybody out here is hurting . We all feel the same thing. Obviously, some of our pain is deeper. Deeper rooted just because of the color of our skin. I understand that. I understand your pain. I do my best to hold my brothers and sisters in blue accountable and I can speak for myself and the situations that I've been in where I've had to say, hey, ease up, where somebody's had to tell me, hey, ease up. I'm confused as to why that didn't happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: Also speaking out from Charlotte, Michael Jordan. In the past the NBA legend and owner of the Charlotte Hornets has shied away from weighing in on the politics of race, but now he says in part, I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry. I see and feel everyone's pain, outrage and frustration. I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence towards people of color in our country. We have had enough.
JARRETT: Yes, and you don't usually hear from him at such an important time.
All right, still ahead, the anger over the death of George Floyd extending well beyond the U.S. stay with for a report from London.
JARRETT: All right, welcome back. Protests flaring up overnight in New York City where there is no curfew. In the SoHo neighborhood people were captured ransacking a watch store. There were several arrests at protests across the city including the daughter of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. She has since been released. We get more now from CNN's Shimon Prokupecz.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Laura, it's been a mostly peaceful day here in New York City as protesters in the thousands took to the streets, marched from Times Square to Union Square, down to lower Manhattan and Foley Square and have been mostly peaceful. It's in the thousands. Probably the largest group that we have seen here since demonstrations began a couple of days ago.
And then of course in the evening unfortunately things got a little violent. There was a fire set. Police having confrontations with many of the protesters who came from Brooklyn. There were a couple of arrests. A little different than what we saw Saturday night. Here on Sunday not as many breakouts, not as many confrontations with police but there were still some.
The other thing I want to point out is that along Fifth Avenue we walked through the Flat Iron section -- a lot of stores, a lot of stores vandalized, glass broken. We have seen some looting. The police are continuing to be out here and protests are expected for the next several days -- Christine, Laura.
ROMANS: All right, Shimon, thank you for that.
Violence moments ago on the West Coast. Demonstrators broke windows at a federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon. Officers responded with riot control measures. There were also hundreds of arrests and pockets of violence alongside peaceful protests overnight in parts of California. CNN's Kyung Lah has more from Long Beach.
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Laura, what we are still seeing in especially the beach communities in California and Southern California are the police departments still trying to clear the protestors off the street. What you're seeing here is the Long Beach Police Department. They have their batons out. We have seen them firing rubber bullets into protesters who are marching in the streets after the curfew.
I should point out, these protesters have been largely peaceful from what we have seen here in Long Beach, but there have been reports of looting and we saw it in Santa Monica. We saw confrontations with the police where some people were throwing bottles at the police. It was tense standoffs and then when it came to the looting, people were breaking into windows, walking out of stores with their arms full of stolen merchandise and it was just a surreal scene. Here in Long Beach though as the night fell and curfew passed, protesters peacefully still marched the streets. Listen to this woman about why she wanted to keep marching.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because I'm matter. My family matter. My friends matter. I got nephews. I got nieces. I got sisters. I got a mama. I got a daddy. I got friends. I got peers. I got all these people standing right here that (BLEEP) matter. Their lives matter. Nobody gives a (BLEEP) about us, OK. Unless we get violent. LAH: Shortly after we did that interview police did stop those
marchers. They took some into custody. A lot of others went home -- Christine, Laura.
JARRETT: All right, Kyung. Thank you so much.
Only business owners and residents will be allowed to enter Chicago's central business district this morning. And commuter rail service is being suspended all day. Ryan Young is on the ground in the windy city.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Laura and Christine, it was definitely a different tactic here in Chicago, especially on Sunday. They decided to bring in heavy trucks like this one to block the way into the downtown district. They did this because the night before was so difficult in the city of Chicago. More than 130 businesses were damaged in the business district. Six people were shot. One person was actually killed. It was a completely different story the next night here in the city because not only was the National Guard here but they brought in heavy equipment to block off the district. That's one of the things they're doing. They're hoping they were able to quell some of the issues they did have throughout the city. We did see more looting on the south and west side. Christine and Laura, back to you.
ROMANS: All right, Ryan in Chicago. Thank you for that.
You know, an army of volunteers from around Minnesota pitching in to help with the cleanup in Twin Cities neighborhoods this weekend after the mass protest and violence that followed the death of George Floyd. Hundreds of volunteers were out sweeping the streets, cleaning up debris, and broken glass with brooms, garbage bags, and buckets wherever they needed to help. We'll be right back.
ROMANS: All right, another first of the month during the pandemic has come. That means rent is due. Tenants are now facing the end of rent freezes on rent payments and evictions. Even as one in four workers have filed for unemployment benefits since mid-March. Now rent freezes didn't cancel your monthly payments, which means many people could owe three months rent.
Texas ended statewide protections in mid-May. Data shows almost 1,000 evictions have been filed in Harris county. In Milwaukee landlords filed up to file eviction actions hours before the statewide band expired there. Some states have decided to offer more aid. Last week the New York state legislature passed an emergency relief act creating a $100 million rental assistance fund to help tenants pay back rent from April 1st to July 1st. The bill now heads to Governor Andrew Cuomo's desk for his signature.
All right, the death toll in the U.S. from coronavirus has now topped 104,000. But investors are increasingly confident the worst of the economic shock is over. Look at this. Look at stocks in May. The Nasdaq up 10 percent last month. The Dow up 6 percent. It's a giant contrast to the grim picture of the damage done on main street. Goldman Sachs estimates the unemployment rate likely hit 21.5 percent in May. We'll get the official number on Friday.
JARRETT: Christine, why do you think we see stocks ticking up in the midst of all of this?
ROMANS: They are looking strongly ahead to next year when corporate profits they think will bounce back. I think right now for real people we are in the depths of this crisis. We haven't hit bottom yet. And the stock market is looking way ahead. And maybe it's wrong.
JARRETT: Yes, I think it's just so confounding for the average viewer who might be thinking about the fact that they're not getting a paycheck right now.
ROMANS: They're trying to pay rent and the Nasdaq is up 10 percent last month.
JARRETT: Yes. Well, the demands for change in the wake of George Floyd's killing are not just resonating in every corner of America, they're being heard all over the world. Let's go live to London and bring in CNN's Nic Robertson. Hi, Nic.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, hey, good morning. There was a demonstration yesterday afternoon in London, Trafalgar Square is where it began. A thousand or so protesters marched towards the U.S. embassy. Police arrested 23 people. Some of them were arrested for lockdown regulations. Of course, in the U.K. you can't meet with more than six people outside at any one time.
We've also seen protests in Germany, in Berlin around the former path of the Berlin Wall. A couple of huge murals went up there of George Floyd with the words I can't breathe on it. Other protesters in Germany carrying placards saying I can't breathe.
We saw as well, you know, behind closed doors soccer match in Germany, no crowd there. One of the footballing stars, Zinedine Zidane, a French player, when he scored a goal raised his shirt so you could see underneath. It said written on his undershirt, justice for George Floyd.
So this is resonating not just in Europe as well as the Australian Prime Minister speak out about this saying it's disturbing what people are seeing in the United States at the moment. And as well today we understand there's a protest in New Zealand. So this is touching around the world. And people are coming out in support of what they see happening in the United States in support of George Floyd and the anger and frustration may not be as violent as we're seeing in the United States but it's certainly being put on the streets passionately here. JARRETT: Calls for justice do not have borders. All right, Nic, thanks
ROMANS: A sheriff in Flint township, Michigan, is being praised for his action when police in riot gear met a crowd of angry protesters over the weekend. Chris Swanson put down his weapon and listened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS SWANSON, GENESEE COUNTY SHERIFF: We want to be with y'all for real. So I took the helmet off and laid the batons down. I want to make this a parade, not a protest. You tell us what you need to do.
CROWD CHANTS: Lock them up. Lock them up. Lock them up. Lock them up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: Wow, Sheriff Swanson is one of a number of law enforcement officials who have engaged with protesters and shown solidarity by marching, kneeling, or publicly denouncing the death of George Floyd. It also raises questions, Laura, about how militarized some of these local police departments have looked --
ROMANS: -- when it's dark and you're meeting a line of police officers who are geared for war, did that de-escalate or escalate the situation?
JARRETT: Yes. You can't miss the imagery there. But it's nice to see some officers hearing the protesters because that's what they want first and foremost is to be heard.
ROMANS: It is. All right, thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.
JARRETT: I'm Laura Jarrett. "NEW DAY" is next.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to a special edition of "NEW DAY." It's Monday, June 1st. 5:00 in the East. And we're on early because even at this hour there are people on the streets. Major developments from all over the country as we continue to see the pain, frustration, and anger over the death of George Floyd. Over not just who killed him but what killed him.
At least 40 cities have imposed curfews. The National Guard has now been activated in 15 states and Washington, D.C. overnight we did see peaceful.