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Mayhem Overshadows Peaceful Protests Across U.S.; Hundreds Arrested in New York Looting Stores in Soho; State of Emergency, Curfew Declared in Los Angeles County; Atlanta Police Officers Fired for Excessive Force Against Protestors; Trump Taken to Underground Bunker at White House on Friday. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired June 1, 2020 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Monday, June 1, 6 a.m. now in New York and at this hour, there are still protesters on the streets. Fifty percent of states have activated the National Guard to enforce curfews and maintain order.
Overnight, we saw new outbreaks of violence and looting. And at least 40 states -- sorry, 40 cities have now imposed curfews.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: In a country starved for compassion and leadership, President Trump is providing silence. No public statements yesterday.
The conservative commentator, Ann Coulter wrote just a few hours ago, "Is it possible Trump has resigned, and they just haven't gotten around to the press release?"
We're told this morning there is debate inside the White House about whether the president should speak out at all beyond his tweets, which some of his own advisers worry are inflaming passions.
This morning, protestors are demanding the arrest of the other three officers who did nothing to stop Floyd's death. The Minneapolis police chief tells CNN that, in his view, they are complicit.
Let's begin our coverage with CNN's Omar Jimenez, live in Minneapolis this morning. Give us a sense of the night there, Omar.
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, John. The night that passed was a lot more peaceful than nights we have seen over the course of the past week. And it's been a week since George Floyd's death, and the city has seen a lot in the time since.
Boarded-up businesses like what you see here and burned-out structures became a lot more commonplace as we saw largely peaceful protests during the days, and then at times literal nights in a row of anarchy, as described by Governor Tim Walz at times. That seemed to hit a turning point this weekend, where Saturday we saw
maybe the largest law enforcement presence and pushback that we had seen to date. And then Sunday seemed to be a manifestation of that, making a trend towards peaceful protests where we saw them again. People come out in large numbers and honor the memory of Floyd and also try to push for a better future.
Now, one scary moment came during protests that were happening on the interstate here, and a tanker truck came barreling towards the crowd. But no one was hurt, and the driver was then arrested and charged with assault, and those peaceful protests continued. But people did scatter. And again, there was fear that that could potentially lead to some violence.
And also within that, we saw protests, peaceful, again, at the site where Floyd was pinned to the curb. And among those that attended was Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, who specifically spoke, basically, to the family of Floyd, saying that it's not just about the former officer, Derek Chauvin, who's seen on that video with his knee on Floyd's neck. He believes the other officers that were not and chose not to do anything are just as complicit. And he says Floyd's death is on the police department's hands, and he feels they are complicit in this.
And this next image is important for that very reason. Chief Arradondo chose to kneel in respect of Floyd at that site, saying that there is an absolute truth in life that it was wrong. And he said he did not need to think hard about firing the officers involved. It was wrong being what happened to Floyd.
But, again, part of peaceful protests that we saw here in the city, in stark contrast to what we saw in the initial few days after Floyd's death. And these protests are likely to continue until we see what happens with the other officers here, John.
BERMAN: All right. Omar Jimenez in Minneapolis. Again, that was a striking moment, when we heard the family speak with the police chief right here on CNN. We'll play that for everyone so they can see that in a little bit.
In the meantime, we do have a developing story this morning. The former police officer facing murder charges over the death of George Floyd. He was supposed to appear in court today. Derek Chauvin's hearing was postponed, though. And it's not clear why.
It comes as CNN has obtained new surveillance video of the moments before Floyd was pinned to the ground. CNN's Josh Campbell, live in Minneapolis.
Josh, what's the latest on the investigation?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, as you mentioned, that court appearance was supposed to be today here in Government Plaza. That's been pushed back a week.
We are next to the city jail, where Derek Chauvin was taken here briefly this weekend. He's now been moved to another facility some 25 miles away.
And this is so interesting. The reason that we're hearing from officers, it's in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic but also because officers are wanting to ensure that they have enough jail space in the event there are additional arrests made from violent protests, should they occur here in this area.
So the officer himself being moved to make way for more potential prisoners, due to protests surrounding this event.
Now, another development in the investigation over the weekend, we're now told that the state's attorney general is now taking over the case. It was originally done by county prosecutors. The state's A.G., Ellison saying that he will be seeking justice and will be seeking it relentlessly.
Now, as you mentioned, we did obtain new CCTV footage from the day of that incursion with George Floyd and those four officers. Now, in this video, you can't see Floyd in the back seat, but you do see what appears to be some kind of struggle there.
Now I talked to law enforcement experts who say this appears to be some type of possible resistance by Floyd as he's being seat-belted into the car. Again, we can't see inside the vehicle. But experts also tell us that, regardless of what happened inside that vehicle, the critical moment is actually when he's later outside the car. And of course, that dramatic cell phone footage that we saw with the officer's knee on his neck.
Now, as has been mentioned, there are three additional officers. That investigation into them continues. The state's attorney general saying that they're taking their investigation methodically and reviewing all the evidence. Still yet to be seen whether they will be charged, Alisyn.
BERMAN: All right, Josh. Josh Campbell in Minneapolis. Thanks very much. Keep us posted with the developments.
CAMEROTA: OK. Also breaking overnight, looters smashed windows of high-end retail stores. In New York, hundreds are in police custody. CNN's Brynn Gingras is live in the Soho neighborhood with the breaking details.
So it sounds like it was a very active night for law enforcement.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was. I mean, it's still active, Alisyn. We actually saw someone being arrested just a few minutes ago. So arrests are still happening, even at this hour as there's daylight.
But as there's daylight, we're also seeing so much damage caused by these looters.
This is the Diesel store in the Soho section of New York City, which is a very high-end shopping area. And I can tell you that these looters really didn't discriminate which store that they were going to. You saw in there that it was completely ransacked.
If we just go further down, you can see this store, like Chanel, they actually prepared for this. They put up wood. And we've seen this all over. But it didn't matter. The looters actually tore down the wood, smashed through the windows.
We're going to go around the corner, because there's actually a screen there they were able to penetrate. But if you look around this, I mean, this is incredible.
All the wood taken off if the Chanel store. Further down the glass was broken. Around the corner, there are just bags littered all over the sidewalk, which once carried high-end jewelry.
I mean, there's shoes on the ground. It's just incredible. You can hear the helicopter above me. There's a police command post a few blocks away, still working this scene. There are officers going into these stores, checking to make sure that there's still no one inside conducting this criminal activity.
Now, we should mention, of course, that not everything looks like this. There were peaceful protests in New York City overnight. And last night, we saw a really striking moment, when the protesters were chanting at police, take a knee, take a knee. And there were a number of NYPD officers, among high-ranking officials taking a knee with them. And there were cheers in celebration over that.
But then again, as the night fell, it just turned into chaos. There are burnt vehicles. We're told by police that there's about a dozen NYPD vehicles burned. There are about seven officers that were injured and more than 200 arrests, Alisyn. One of those is actually the mayor's daughter. We haven't gotten any comment from City Hall, but we expect that later today.
CAMEROTA: OK, Brynn. Thank you very much for that update.
There were also large protests outside the White House. New details about the extreme measures that were taken to protect the president, next.
BERMAN: Welcome back. We're monitoring new developments this morning.
The governor of California has declared a state of emergency for all of Los Angeles County. That means 10 million residents are now under curfew there.
CNN's Stephanie Elam is live in Los Angeles with the very latest -- Stephanie.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John.
Yes, I can tell you that on Saturday the call for the curfew came in at 8 p.m. All of the phones went off. You got that alert on our phones, saying 8 p.m.
Same thing happened for Sunday, except for they moved it up to 6. So we got another alert after that, because they were securing this area.
I just want to show you where we are. We're on Melrose Boulevard here in the heart of a trendy shopping area here in Los Angeles. And it is shut down.
And just to make the point very clear of how much they wanted to make sure that the protests that we saw over the weekend, where we saw some nearly 500 people being arrested on Friday downtown and then some 500 people or so arrested, again, on Saturday. They wanted to make sure it shut it down.
The National Guard is out here. The police presence is strong to the point that my team, we got all pulled over en masse, because they wanted to make sure that we were not looters out here on the street.
But as you can see out there, there's a couple of buildings -- I walked by them yesterday -- that caught on fire. They're still smoldering a bit. So the fire department is down there. You can see here, this is an Urban Outfitters where the looting went through. When I went by here yesterday morning, you could see inside that there was graffiti inside. It's all broken up, all ransacked here.
So you can see that up and down the street.
So all of this is part of the huge concern that they want to make sure that they have these areas secured. Santa Monica last night also seeing some protests there and some damage and some destruction. So they've been working to secure that with the National Guard there, as well.
But it is not just here in Los Angeles. You see it in San Diego. There are protests in Santa Ana, Huntington Beach, Sacramento having them, Oakland. All throughout the area, we have seen protests.
But going up to Portland, Oregon, which I do feel like we need to take a look at that, too. Because there was some very aggressive protesting there, as well, where we saw protesters breaking out windows in the federal courthouse.
But the police were able to actually secure that building. But still, it did get tense there for -- for a while. You can see that by the reports coming out of Portland.
But all in all, you can see the West Coast very much engaged in protesting here.
Most of the time what we saw here in L.A. and across the country where it started peaceful and, in some places, as it got later at night, that's when you started to see more of the damage and more of the destruction, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Yes. That does seems to be the pattern. Stephanie, thank you very much for reporting from L.A. CNN has obtained body cam video of an incident that led to two Atlanta
police officers being fired for using excessive force against two college students during these weekend protests. It shows the couple being tased. We want to show you this video, but we want to warn you that it is disturbing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get your hands out of your pockets. Get your hand out of your pockets. Get your hands out of your pockets.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let go!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Now the officers say they thought this couple was armed. But they were not. CNN's Dianne Gallagher is live in Atlanta with more.
What do we know, Dianne?
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And Alisyn, that is a really tough video to watch there. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called it disturbing and said that, after she and the police chief watched it, they determined that the two officers who used the tasers needed to be terminated immediately. They have been fired.
The other three officers that you see on that video have been put on desk duty pending an investigation.
Now, the two individuals you see there, they're college students. The man goes to Morehouse. The woman goes to Spellman. They -- the charges against them have been dropped. They are no longer being charged. The mayor says that she hopes to be able to talk to them to apologize.
The police chief has said that she was shocked when she saw how they were manhandled in their car. And look, they were out here on the streets that we're on now during those protests, right around the time that curfew was in place. There was a lot of damage that was out here. They appeared to be exiting.
And the police chief said that, look, she needed to address the fact that "how they behaved as an agency, as individuals, was unacceptable. I know that we caused further fear to you in this space that is already so fearful for so many African-Americans, and I am genuinely sorry."
John, this is something that has caught a lot of attention here in Atlanta. Things were pretty peaceful last night. But seeing that video has sparked a lot of anger, again, in people who saw it.
BERMAN: Anger, though swift action from the mayor.
BERMAN: Dianne Gallagher, thanks for being there for us. Appreciate it.
This morning, the entire Washington, D.C., National Guard has been activated to help police deal with the protests in the nation's capital.
CNN's Jeremy Diamond is there for us to get a sense of the aftermath -- wow -- this morning. And Jeremy, we're also getting some new information about what the president himself did over the weekend.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, John. We've had three consecutive nights of protests here in Washington, D.C., just outside of the White House.
And we have now learned, according to a White House official and a law enforcement source, that on Friday night, as the protesters came close to the White House's North Lawn fence, the president was actually taken to an underground bunker for nearly an hour, John.
The president tweeted Saturday morning that he felt safe the entire time that these protests were going on. And now we know, perhaps, one part of the reason.
But I do want to talk about where we are right now, John, as well. We're at the headquarters of the AFL-CIO, which is the largest -- largest federation of unions in the United States. And this is just one of the sites of the destruction that happened after those peaceful protests yesterday turned violent later into the night. And we saw a lot of looting and destruction of property.
You can see this building has been entirely tagged out. And also, John, if you walk with me over here, you can see the building, the windows here have been entirely broken in. There was actually a fire that was set in the lobby of this building. You can still see some of the smoldering wreckage here in the lobby of the billing.
AFL-CIO officials are here now, assessing the damage that has happened.
What we also know, John, is in this area, around the White House, we saw several burnt-out cars. There were several fires that were set, including at St. John's Episcopal Church, which is just up the block from us, a block from the White House. In the basement of that building, there was, indeed, a fire. And John, that is a historic church where every president since James Madison has attended at least one church service. So the destruction here hitting a lot of different parts of downtown D.C. -- John.
BERMAN: All right. That image behind you, Jeremy, just one of the images we are seeing from all around the country this morning. Thank you very much.
This morning, the police chief of Minneapolis saying that all of the officers at the scene of George Floyd's death are complicit. And this unfolded during a remarkable moment on CNN overnight. That's next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [06:23:12]
BERMAN: This morning, new comments from the police chief of Minneapolis that are important, not just because of what he said. He did make news about what he thinks of the officers on the scene during the death of George Floyd, but also remarkable for how it played out.
CNN's Sara Sidner was interviewing the Minneapolis Police Chief, Medaria Arradondo, and she got a chance to relay a question to him from the brother of George Floyd. Watch.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Floyd family actually has a question for you. They just talked to me in my ear. I'm sorry. The Floyd family is asking me a question. I apologize. I'm sorry.
The Floyd family has asked if you are going to get justice for George Floyd by making sure that the other officers are arrested and that -- eventually convicted. They want -- and I know that there are things that you cannot control. But 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: And this is the Floyd family right now?
SIDNER: This is the Floyd family.
ARRADONDO: To the Floyd family -- being silent, for 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. So that is about as much as -- and I apologize to the Floyd family if I am not more clear. But I don't see a difference in terms of the ultimate outcome is he is not here with us. And that's the tragedy
SIDNER: You don't see a difference between what Officer Chauvin did and the three other officers who -- some of whom kneeled down, as well, but some of whom just watched? You see that all as the same act?
ARRADONDO: Silence and inaction, you're complicit. You're complicit. If there were one solitary voice that would have intervened and act, that -- that's what I would have hoped for. Unfortunately --
SIDNER: That's what you would have expected from your officers, yes?
ARRADONDO: Absolutely. And that did not occur. So to the Floyd family, I hope that -- that's my -- that's my response. SIDNER: Thank you so much.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: And Philonise, do you have another question? What's your response? What's your response to -- Philonise?
PHILONISE FLOYD, BROTHER OF GEORGE FLOYD: They arrest guys every day. They had enough evidence to fire them. So they have enough evidence to arrest them. I don't know who he's talking to. But I need him to do it, because we all are listening. Black lives matter.
LEMON: Sara, that was an incredible interview that you did. And it was the first time -- you know, I don't -- have you -- hang on, Sara. You haven't spoken to anyone at the police department, I'm not sure, Philonise? Correct me if I'm wrong. Have you spoken to them directly?
So that was really the first interaction that you've had with the police department since your brother's death?
So Sara, in the course of this -- this broadcast, we have been able to connect the family with the police department through your interview.
SIDNER: Right. For the first time.
SIDNER: I can't tell you, Don, what that's doing to me to hear them have this conversation through me to the -- to the chief. Sorry. To hear the pain in the Floyd family's voice and to have to convey that. I hope that I did the right thing for them, because I know that they are hurting so, so badly.
But I do want to recognize that when the police chief, every time I said that the Floyd family has a question for you --
LEMON: He took off his hat.
SIDNER: -- he took his hat off.
SIDNER: So he wanted to make sure to be respectful. And I know that they are angry. I know you are angry, and I know you are hurting, and I know it's not enough. You cannot bring George Floyd back. But you heard what he said. That each and every officer who did not speak up against what was happening is complicit. This is the police chief saying that. This is the police chief.
Don, have you ever heard that before in your life? I have not. In all of the 12 years I have covered so many protests across the world and I have never seen a police chief say this.
But I know it doesn't cure the ills that the Floyd family is dealing with and that all the people in this neighborhood are dealing with right now. So I hope, I hope and pray that I was able to convey what they wanted to the chief in this first time, being able to hear from the chief directly their questions, their concerns. (END VIDEOTAPE)
CAMEROTA: Wow. Joining us now, CNN political commentators Bakari Sellers and Angela Rye, and CNN legal analyst Laura Coates.
That was really powerful. I mean, being as Sara was able to be a conduit for that emotion between the chief and Philonise Floyd there. And -- and Laura, this is your hometown that we're talking about. And you're on the streets of your hometown. And so give us your thoughts as you hear that.
LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: You know what? It was a conduit, phrase (ph) is so important here. Because you're seeing so many people out here who are being a conduit for the message.
I know that many people are seeing the violent protests, and they're seeing the looting, and they're all across the country. But here the focus has really been on literally saying his name and reorienting the focus to George Floyd and his family. He represents a great deal to this nation, in a way, the globe now. But they are trying to make sure it's refocused.
And you see, unlike many other jurisdictions, Alisyn, all across the country where you have officer-involved shootings or killings, you don't have the confidence in the police chief. You don't have the confidence in the department. And he -- this particular chief has got a lot of confidence of the people here.
But the Hennepin County prosecutor recently has now handed over the case, so to speak, to Keith Ellison, another person who has a great deal of confidence here, the current attorney general, a former congressman here in Minneapolis, somebody who was the first African- American elected statewide here.
The focus is now being on who is going to be the person to be the proper conduit in this capacity to try to ensure that there is a fair criminal prosecution that will alert people that they have been heard, understood and that there will be justice realized. And that's going to be the task ahead.
But here, people are continuing to reel. They can't believe this is our hometown.