Return to Transcripts main page


Louisville Police Chief Fired After Fatal Shooting During Protests; National Guard Sweeps Through Streets Of Atlanta; Who Are The Extremists Sparking Protests In America? Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 2, 2020 - 05:30   ET




JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, the governor of Kentucky is promising a swift and transparent investigation after the fatal shooting of a protester in Louisville. That shooting led to the city's police chief being fired.

CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro is live in Louisville with the latest there. Evan, what have you learned?

EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hey, guys. Let's talk about -- a little bit about what didn't happen yesterday before we talk about what did happen.

Authorities and local officials -- local advocates -- were worried that yesterday was going to be a bad day here in Louisville because overnight, on Sunday night, there was another incident where police and protesters interacted and there was a shooting and a local barbecue purveyor -- a sort of pillar of the community -- was killed in the western part of this city.

Folks were afraid that that would rekindle some of the conversations that's been -- and some of the incidents that have been happening here in this city, but actually, we ended up having a pretty quiet day overall. An emotional day of peaceful protests all across the city.

Marchers gathered here in Jefferson Square where I am -- where they have been gathering for a while protesting the death of Breonna Taylor as well as George Floyd -- marching from here to where the site of that shooting of that barbecue purveyor happened on the west side of town, and then all marching back here.

So it was all pretty peaceful -- angry, but peaceful protests until about 10:00, which is an hour into curfew when police showed up here in Jefferson Square, gave a bunch of warnings, and then began disbursing the crowd, which happened pretty quickly. But they did disburse the crowd with pepper balls and tear gas, and some of the scenes we've seen all over the country.

BERMAN: Lexington, nearby, Evan, I understand there was a scene of community and togetherness, yes? MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Yes. I mean, according to reports, what we saw is some of those images we've seen from around the country where police and protesters got together and hugged each other and I think tried to have some community moments.

But, you know, that's the thing that, again, authorities here in Lexington told -- I mean, in Louisville told me that yesterday was a day where police and protesters also interacted. They were able to walk around, you know, together. They weren't necessarily hugging or interacting in that way but it was a scene where it wasn't the kind of standoff that we've seen between protesters and police on other nights.

And otherwise, here in Louisville as well, we didn't see looting. We haven't seen reports of that or any of the sort of other violence that has punctuated the -- that has -- other days of these protests.

But here, it was -- it was a relatively quiet night last night despite the fact that another incident leading to another round of investigations of the police here began on Sunday night.

BERMAN: All right, Evan McMorris-Santoro in Louisville. Keep us posted throughout the morning, Evan -- Alisyn.


The National Guard and local police sweeping through downtown Atlanta as a 9:00 p.m. curfew went into effect for the third-straight night. There were tense moments and dozens of arrests.

CNN's Dianne Gallagher is live in Atlanta with the latest. So what happened, Dianne?

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Alisyn, and most of those arrests were actually for curfew violations -- 95 of them last night. You might be able to there we're still under curfew here in Atlanta and we will be through sunrise.

According to the police, it was because the protesters, after curfew ended, would not leave Centennial Olympic Park inside here. They began throwing rocks and other projectiles at them and that's when those arrests began.

Now look, this is the fourth night of protesting. There have been just over 350 people arrested in Atlanta. And last night was by far the most people -- the most peaceful of those four nights.

There were some intense moments in between the protesters, law enforcement, and National Guard, who were all out here, but there were also moments where you saw some of that reconciliation as well where officers took a knee with the protesters in solidarity.


Unfortunately, we then saw, moments later, things being thrown again and tear gas being deployed. So, you know, in some cases, we're starting to see small steps here and then many steps back.

We were with marchers in Atlanta for four hours going through the city and they said that all they really want is justice and change. They are asking for things like hate crime bills to be passed here in the state of Georgia and for better policing tactics. And they say that they don't plan to stop until they get some kind of response, not just from state officials but they see something at the national and federal level.

CAMEROTA: Yes. I think that they speak for protesters everywhere. I mean, that's just one microcosm of what's happening across the country.

Dianne, thank you very much.

Across the country it was night seven of protests, most peaceful -- most of the demonstrators expressing their outrage peacefully -- but some did resort to lawlessness and violence. So we have reports from around the country for you, next.



BERMAN: In Dallas, protesters facing off with police in the middle of a bridge. In Los Angeles, a largely peaceful day followed by some looting on Sunset Boulevard. The latest from our reporters across the country.



Several hundred protesters were detained on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge just west of downtown Dallas Monday night after what started off as a protest on the steps of the county courthouse turned into a march and a confrontation with law enforcement here on this bridge.

Several hundred of these protesters showing up here on this bridge essentially shutting it down, and a wall of hundreds of law enforcement showing up as well. Smoke canisters were fired into the crowd, rubber bullets were also fired into the crowd, and that's when the protesters laid down on the ground and they were taken into custody.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Brian Todd in Philadelphia where police are rounding up protesters who have violated curfew. They tell us there's one man being put in zip ties and being put in a bus over there.

Police engaged in two very tense standoffs on Monday that we were caught up in the middle of when they fired tear gas canisters at protesters who had marched onto a highway, then engaged in a very tense standoff with protesters right in front of police headquarters in downtown Philadelphia. Police had taken a knee in deference to the protesters -- that's what

appears (ph) -- then police moved in in force, in tactical gear, and forced the protesters out right in front of police headquarters.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ryan Young in the city of Chicago.

And Monday saw protesters take a different tactic in that we saw large gatherings that remained peaceful. At one point, they even took over Lake Shore Drive. But there was some looting in the early Monday morning hours but that was pretty much stopped throughout the day.

Police used a different tactic. They blocked off the downtown district using heavy machinery. One thing that we were also told is on Sunday alone, police arrested 699 people. The city of Chicago hopes that the new tactics help them calm down the protests that some said got out of control.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Kyung Lah in Los Angeles where this city is enforcing its curfew.

And what we are seeing here on Sunset Boulevard, the Los Angeles Police Department taking people into custody who are in violation of the curfew. You can see dozens of people with their faces against the plywood, their hands in zip ties because they are out past the curfew. The people you are looking at are now subject to arrest.


CAMEROTA: Our thanks to our correspondents around the country.

President Trump is threatening to deploy active-duty military to America's streets. He says they will target anti-fascist extremists who he alleges are organizing the riots. But the administration has not presented evidence to back up that claim. So who exactly are the rioters and the looters?

CNN's Drew Griffin investigates.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cherry-pick the videos like we did here and it's easy to find young, white men throwing rocks, breaking glass, and making it appear the protests over George Floyd's death have turned into an Antifa riot. It's not, according to elected officials.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't have evidence as to where they're from or what their ideology may be.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Though Minnesota's governor said outsiders share the blame for the destruction, CNN's review shows 80 percent of those booked into the jail in Minneapolis are local. CNN found no overt evidence any of them were linked to extremist groups.

Historian Mark Bray wrote the Antifa handbook and sees a protest that is neither Antifa nor anarchist.

MARK BRAY, AUTHOR, "ANTIFA: THE ANTI-FASCIST HANDBOOK": If you look at the images, some groups may be organized. But there's plenty of individuals or groups of friends who are simply frustrated about the continual police murder of black people and have given up hope, it seems, on the ability of the system to reform itself.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Federal officials say they've seen indications that extremists on both the left and the right may be taking part in the mayhem but, so far, have not produced evidence. What you can find is people who don't seem to fit in any category in Minneapolis today.


GRIFFIN (voice-over): Ryan Tedder goes to protest as part of the Boogaloo's movement. He drove from North Carolina to Minnesota after seeing a post on the Internet about police using tear gas at the George Floyd marches.

TEDDER: We're just a group that believes in ultimate personal freedom, as long as you're not hurting anybody else.


GRIFFIN (voice-over): The movement, he says, is anti-police, anti- government. Members carry loaded guns to protest. The ADL calls them right-wing and says white supremacists have also taken up the cause.

Tedder says he sides with the black protesters and is a left-anarchist who carries his assault-style weapons into protests not to use them, he says, but to protect protesters from police.

TEDDER: The protesters have done nothing wrong. They've been attacked and they are responding with violence to violence, which is completely reasonable.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Levi Hicks says he is also Boogaloo from Earle, Indiana.

LEVI HICKS, BOOGALOO MOVEMENT: What we stand for is the peaceful (INAUDIBLE) at every level. It's from federal, law enforcement, and anything in between.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): He has carried weapons to protest in Indianapolis and Louisville, and recently posted on Facebook a cartoon showing a police officer getting shot in the face.

HICKS: That post, that was never meant to be taken literally seriously anyway.

GRIFFIN (on camera): So the -- just to be clear, the post of a cop getting his head blown off was not to be taken literally?

HICKS: Absolutely not. I've never endorsed violence against another person. I would never in any concept recommend that anybody murder a police officer. GRIFFIN (voice-over): Radical political theorist and author George Ciccariello-Maher says he the protests from a movement begun a decade ago.

GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER, POLITICAL THEORIST AND AUTHOR: What we're seeing, as I said, is the end of a trajectory that's gone more than 10 years of growing consciousness, growing resistance, and a growing willingness to honestly confront the powers that continue to oppress certain communities.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.


CAMEROTA: Well, you've seen the violence between police and protesters but there are also acts of kindness in this crisis, and Jeanne Moos is going to show us that, next.



BERMAN: This morning, new examples of police and protesters coming together. Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They're not just on opposite sides of the barricades, barricades are being thrown. While interactions between police and protesters are just causing the kind of tears that sting, there are moving moments as well, particularly when officers kneel with protesters from Coral Gables to Oklahoma City to Portland, Oregon. Even chiefs of police and sheriffs are kneeling to honor the loss of George Floyd.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And us joining them in a symbolic way, that's the least we can do.

MOOS (voice-over): Some are even marching with protesters --

SHERIFF CHRIS SWANSON, FLINT, MICHIGAN: I took my helmet off and laid the batons down.

MOOS (voice-over): -- like Sheriff Chris Swanson in Flint, Michigan.

SWANSON: Where do you want to walk? We'll walk all night.

MOOS (voice-over): Green Bay's police chief walked --

PROTESTERS: Black lives matter!

MOOS (voice-over): -- united in dismay over how George Floyd died.


MOOS (voice-over): Even a gesture like removing a hat helps.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To the Floyd family.

MOOS (voice-over): Instead of grappling, there were even hugs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People hugging a police officer? I'm like, what?

MOOS (voice-over): When Orlando's police chief and a sheriff knelt they were naysayers. "Ignore this propaganda. At the exact time Orlando P.D. posted this tweet, I was rinsing out the eyes of peaceful protesters."

And yet, protesters formed a ring to protect this police officer in Louisville from the crowd. And in New York City, an officer shared his hand sanitizer. One hand literally washes the other.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


CAMEROTA: I'm really glad that Jeanne is showing us that. I mean, maybe these small acts of kindness can lead to the bigger fundamental changes that they're calling for.

BERMAN: You know, it's going to take more of that. And I will say, I don't think it's small. I think if one of the fundamental goals is de- escalation, we see what works. We see what works. So --

CAMEROTA: Absolutely. I mean, humanity tends to work. You know, reaching across the barricade and showing somebody that you hear them and that you understand them. And I'm so happy that we're seeing examples of that amidst the violence.

BERMAN: Amidst the violence -- and there is that as well because this morning, America is in crisis. New developments into the newsroom over just the last few hours. Reports of attacks against police officers. And also, the aftermath of the crackdown on peaceful protesters in front of the White House so the president could take a picture. We have the latest for you.



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BERMAN: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Tuesday, June second. It's 6:00 here in New York.

And breaking overnight, America in crisis, Americans attacked, Americans suffering, and President Trump keeps fanning the flames.

We have major new developments over just the last few hours.

In St. Louis, four police officers have been shot. None of their injuries are thought to be life-threatening. In New York City, a police officer is in serious condition after apparently being intentionally run over in the Bronx. We're also following reports of two police-involved shootings in Las Vegas with one officer shot.

This violent night follows a day of mostly peaceful protests. In Minneapolis, George Floyd's brother begged for peace at the intersection where his brother was killed.

CAMEROTA: And, John, there was also an unbelievable scene that unfolded outside of the White House. First, in a Rose Garden address, President Trump claimed to be, quote, "an ally" of peaceful protesters. Minutes later, he had police use tear gas, flash grenades, and rubber bullets against those peaceful protesters, clearing a space so he could have a photo op in front of a church.

That drew the outrage of the bishop of the diocese. She calls the president's message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus. We'll get to that.

But our coverage begins with Brynn Gingras. She is live in New York with what's happened while you have been sleeping. Brynn, what's the situation?


Listen, curfew here in New York City was 11:00 p.m. last night but the violence was being reported in even before that -- even before really it got dark.

I want to show you video here from the Bronx, an incident that happened with a police sergeant there. It's pretty disturbing, I want to warn you.

Essentially, at 12:45 in the morning in the Bronx, police responding to a looting incident, we're told, and one of the sergeants responding was hit by a vehicle. That driver of the car got away.