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Police Officers Injured Across The U.S. As Protests Continue; Moments Of Healing And Unity Amid Conflict And Chaos; While Tensions Between Police And Protesters Boil Over, Other Officers Joined The Movement. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired June 2, 2020 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, the breaking news. We're getting new information this morning about attacks against police overnight.
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Gunshots heard during protests in St. Louis.
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BERMAN: That's in St. Louis. Four police officers were shot downtown. Their injuries are not considered life-threatening at this hour.
An officer was shot near a Las Vegas casino. We are told that officer is in extremely critical condition at this moment and on life support.
And in New York City, police say an officer intentionally was run over at an intersection in the Bronx.
Joining us now is Deval Patrick. He is the former governor of Massachusetts and the co-chair of American Bridge, one of the largest Democratic super PACs working on the 2020 election. Governor, it's always a pleasure to speak with you.
DEVAL PATRICK (D), FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR, CO-CHAIR, AMERICAN BRIDGE (via Cisco Webex): Good morning, John.
BERMAN: I just want to talk about some of the news we're getting this morning -- the troubling news officers who have been -- who are under attack and hurt, in some cases. As a chief executive, as someone who has run a state, what's it like to get that call "officer down"?
PATRICK: It's chilling. These are -- these are public officials, public servants when they are at their best. And I condone that kind of violence no more than I do the violence of the errant and isolated protesters.
Having said that, I do think it is really important at this moment, John, to stay focused on the reasons behind the broadly peaceful protests that are underway. And we've been talking about this in your show and in others this morning.
You know, we have generational pain that George Floyd's killing has surfaced. And as much as it is key to get at the issues around reforming police behavior and police relationship with all communities, including black communities, understand that the issues go beyond policing.
So I think it's so sad for all of us that we are cursed with the worst possible leadership at a moment like this. That instead of calling for calm and calling us to come together to face up to these generational issues -- this institutional racism and the carelessness with which the lives of black people are treated not just in police incidents but in our health care system, housing, education systems, and so forth -- we have someone who just dials --
BERMAN: Gov. Patrick's shot froze for a second here. I hope we can get it back. I'm going to vamp for a second here in hopes we can get it back.
But what the governor there was saying is absolutely, he doesn't condone the violence against police officers. But what he hopes is that the discussion remains on how this latest incident of pain started, which is the death of George Floyd, another black man who was killed at the hands of police officers.
Here's what we're going to do. We're going to take a quick break and we're going to try to get the governor back. Our coverage continues after this.
BERMAN: We're back with former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick -- hopefully, loud and clear. Sorry for the technical problems.
Among other things, we were talking about the --
PATRICK: Where'd you leave me -- where'd you leave me, John? I was just speaking into the void there.
BERMAN: You'd just finished your most perfect statement. No -- look, among other things, we were talking about the need not to be distracted by things like walks across the streets --
BERMAN: -- and whatnot, and the fundamental situation at hand, which is injustice.
Now, you ran the civil rights decision for a while --
PATRICK: Right. BERMAN: -- in the Justice Department and all I want is one concrete thing. Give me one concrete thing that you think the government could to today to make the situation better.
PATRICK: Its job. The Civil Rights Division had and used its authority to oversee and to intervene where there were patterns of abuse or excessive force in local police departments. And that is an -- that is a control valve. It's a -- it's an imposition of responsibility and order that is given to the department by Congress and was used in the Clinton administration and it has been used from time to time since. All of that apparatus has been shut down and overlooked in this administration.
As I was saying earlier, we are cursed with the worst possible leadership at this moment because the leader we have is so self- involved, every single decision is about him and no decisions are about us. And what America needs is healing.
We need, yes, to deal with excessive police force. We need to deal with the lack of accountability of police officers. And by the way, responsible police leadership agree with this. But we also need to deal with all of the ways in which our systems devalue the lives of black citizens and so much of that has been on display in the wake of the pandemic, as you know.
BERMAN: As I was saying, you were a Democratic governor. Your Republican successor feels, I think, largely the same way that you do. So let's hear from Gov. Charlie Baker.
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GOV. CHARLIE BAKER (R), MASSACHUSETTS: I know I should be surprised when I hear incendiary words like this from him, but I'm not. And so many times during these past several weeks when the country needed compassion and leadership the most, it was simply nowhere to be found. Instead, we got bitterness, combativeness, and self-interest.
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BERMAN: You know, Charlie Baker doesn't love having to answer for President Trump. It's not an area he loves to wade into but he will if pressed because he does feel strongly about that.
BERMAN: What's the line, Governor, between the pain that we are feeling as a country right now -- the pain that different communities are feeling in even greater intensity -- what's the line between that free speech and the need for public safety?
PATRICK: Well, you know, this is a balance that the Constitution and that our tradition envisions in that we've been able to strike much of the time. You know, there's been an awful lot of reporting on CNN and elsewhere
about how broadly peaceful the demonstrations have been and that after dark, a few -- and really, relatively tiny number of incendiary characters decide to get out and create chaos. And I understand that that is both shocking and sensational.
But the loss of property compared to the loss of life that we saw in that videotape of George Floyd and that we have seen over and over again is something to bear in mind. They do not equate.
And so, it's incumbent on all of us, I think, to do a little bit of compartmentalizing here. The police have a job to do. Law enforcement has a job to do in maintaining order.
But, you know, the president has a job to do in being lawful, himself. And what did he do yesterday? He announced a curfew and said he was respecting peaceful protests, and then ordered the disruption by police of that peaceful protest so that he could have a photo op.
Again and again, we've seen the lawlessness of this president. And so, for him to stand up and say he's a law and order president is just a -- it's just spitting in all of our faces, frankly.
BERMAN: He has yet to invoke the Insurrection Act but it is something he has threatened to do -- to send in the military -- active military into states if he chooses.
If you were still governor of Massachusetts and he did that there, how would you respond?
PATRICK: Well, I'd have to say no, thank you, Mr. President.
You know, the -- it's important to get information that is as close to the ground as possible. It's important to build relationships with all of the parties who are engaged. He has shown absolutely no interest in that. He hasn't shown any interest in engaging around the issues that people are protesting, whether they involve the police or anything else.
For him, this is just about seeming strong and it's what bullies often do. They put up a screen around themselves to make it look like they're strong when, in fact, they are -- they are not.
What we need is healing. What we need is for him to call for calm. What we need for him to do is to express some empathy for the issues at stake and a plan for how we engage on solving those issues. But we're not going to get any of that from this president.
BERMAN: Former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, we thank you for your patience and your perspective. Thanks for bearing with us today.
PATRICK: Thanks, John.
BERMAN: We really appreciate it. PATRICK: Take care.
BERMAN: So, we have seen so many different pictures over the last seven days of clashes between police and protesters in several cities, but the police chief in one New Jersey City taking a very different approach. We'll talk to him, next.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Most of the protests are peaceful but, of course, we have seen some mayhem and destruction. But we've also seen some uplifting moments of healing and redemption and unity.
CNN's Tom Foreman has a few of those.
PROTESTERS: No justice, no peace.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just minutes after the president promised a crackdown, Denver's chief of police was on the move with protesters in body and spirit.
CHIEF PAUL PAZEN, DENVER POLICE DEPARTMENT: Working together is the only way we can get through this.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Police in Minnesota are stopping traffic for protesters. Cops in Oregon kneeling with them -- in Georgia, too. And in Indiana, this was the scene outside the governor's mansion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we're here to serve the community.
FOREMAN (voice-over): It goes both ways. That is a Target store in New York and those are not police, but protesters protecting it, standing up to potential looters and vandals, telling them to go away. And that is happening in communities all across the land.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People work too hard -- too hard. You ain't going to do it in front of me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop pushing the gate. Don't push the gate. Stop, stop.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Amid the images of destruction, these moments of people incongruously fighting to keep the peace are captivating.
In D.C., a hooded man is breaking up pavement -- what some have thrown. Protesters rush him. In moments, they strip away his mask and drag him to the police, yelling "Take him, he's yours."
SHERIFF CHRIS SWANSON, FLINT, MICHIGAN: I want to make this a parade, not a protest. FOREMAN (voice-over): And on it goes. In one community after another, many police and protesters are finding ways to lower their guard, occupy common ground, and embrace the moment.
CHIEF DANA WINTER, DES MOINES, IOWA POLICE: What we had tonight was a peaceful protest. And us joining them in a symbolic way to kind of recognize what had happened, that's the least we can do.
FOREMAN (voice-over): In some cases, even comforting each other.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm hurt the same way you hurt. Like you hurt. Like everybody out here's hurt.
FOREMAN (voice-over): These quiet little acts of kindness and pleas for peace are easily lost amid all the noise, but they are occurring everywhere giving hope to those looking for someone to lean on amid the fear and fury.
PROTESTERS: Singing "Lean on Me."
FOREMAN (voice-over): Tom Foreman, CNN, Bethesda, Maryland.
CAMEROTA: One more example of that different approach with protesters. Watch the police chief in Camden County, New Jersey. He took part in his city's demonstration on Saturday, carrying a sign that read "Standing in Solidarity."
And joining us now is Joseph Wysocki, the police chief of Camden County, New Jersey. Chief, thanks so much for being here.
So let me make sure I have this right. You heard there was going to be a march and you decided to call the organizer of the march -- one of the demonstrators -- and ask if you could be involved and join in.
CHIEF JOSEPH WYSOCKI, CAMDEN COUNTY, NEW JERSEY POLICE, MARCHED IN PEACEFUL PROTEST OF GEORGE FLOYD KILLING (via Skype): I had my executive officer and some clergy contact the organizer and ask what their intentions were. We were trying to see if it was going to be violent or peaceful and what their intent was, and the intent was to be peaceful.
So we set up the -- we told them that we'd be -- like, they were going to walk on the sidewalk and I was like, you can walk in the street. We would permit that.
So the next --
CAMEROTA: I mean --
WYSOCKI: -- day --
CAMEROTA: Yes, go ahead. WYSOCKI: So the next day, the -- I decided right then and there that I was going to go and march with them. And I went out and we went there the next day and we pulled up. I got out and I went up to the organizer, Yolanda, and I asked her for permission -- if it was OK that I walked with her and I was welcomed with open arms.
CAMEROTA: That's incredible. And these pictures -- this video is incredible of all of you doing that together.
But, you know, sometimes protests don't start out as violent. I mean, sometimes the organizers don't know that it's going to get violent. And obviously, in some other cities, there have been outside agitators who have sown chaos and violence.
And so, were you and any of your officers at all nervous that you were going to be in a vulnerable position?
WYSOCKI: I knew I was vulnerable. I had no idea how it was going to go because I know the outside agitators are -- it's a real threat to every city in the country. But I went out there.
I ask my officers every day in escalating situations -- you know, (INAUDIBLE). And I had to go and try to deescalate the tension in the city.
What happened in Minnesota was absolutely horrific and it bothers every good cop in the country. Like, when you see that poor Mr. Floyd die the way he did, there's a knot in everyone's stomach -- like, every cop in the country.
And so, we had to do this but the -- I just wanted to bring the tensions down and it was all I was trying to do.
CAMEROTA: And, I mean, I think you achieved it.
Do you think that there is systemic racism in police departments around the country?
WYSOCKI: Everybody has bias. Like, there's training that you could do about bias -- implicit bias training where you could -- if you have bias, recognize it and then not let it affect your decision.
Flat-out racism, there's no place in it for police in America or anywhere. It's not acceptable.
CAMEROTA: You've done something right in Camden. I mean, Camden is a real kind of beacon for what to do.
I mean, at one point -- I grew up in New Jersey and in the 70s and 80s, Camden was considered this kind of irredeemable, burned-out city.
And I understand that since 2012 -- in 2013, you made major -- Camden made major -- a major overhaul of the police department and since then crime has dropped 42 percent in Camden. And so, what's the secret sauce? WYSOCKI: I think working with the community is the secret sauce. You have to build relationships with the community. They have to get to know you when it's not an emergency situation. They need to get to know our officers.
But at the same time, if you look at the economic development that's occurring here in Camden, the unemployment rate has dropped before the virus struck. There's so many positive things that are going on in Camden -- like, and so many groups doing so many positive things. It's almost like we have a secret sauce here in what's going on. I'm very proud of our officers.
And the community is key. The community chose not to have a violent protest and the community wants a safer place and that's the key ingredient is what the community wants.
CAMEROTA: Wow. Whatever your formula is you should bottle it and sell it because obviously, right now, people are so looking for role models. And Camden is, at the moment, really leading the way in that way.
So, Chief Wysocki, thank you very much for sharing your experience and for sharing all that video of the police and the community coming together. Great to talk to you.
WYSOCKI: Yes, thank you so much.
CAMEROTA: Violence on the streets of America. Police officers coming under attack. NEW DAY has it all covered, now.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BERMAN: All right, welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY.
And breaking overnight, America in crisis, Americans attacked, Americans suffering on so many fronts, and President Trump keeps fanning the flames.
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Gunshots heard during protests in St. Louis.
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BERMAN: That video from St. Louis where four police officers were shot during protests. None of their injuries are thought to be life- threatening.
This next video, I want to warn you, is difficult to watch. OK, not what I thought it was going to be. Here we go.
This is New York City in the Bronx overnight where you can see a police officer there hit by a car. He is in critical condition, we're told.
We're also told that a police officer in Las Vegas is in critical condition.