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Episcopal Bishop Outraged over Trump Church Photo Op; Mayor Muriel Bowser is Interviewed about Trump's Photo Op; Competing Autopsies on George Floyd. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired June 2, 2020 - 08:30   ET



BISHOP MARIANN EDGAR BUDDE, EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF WASHINGTON: All of us. People like me in leadership who lead prayers, to anyone with privilege and authority, anyone who would dare to substitute the trappings of religion for the actual practice of it. And so that is what I believe Jesus is speaking to. And I think it applies for all of us whenever we attempt to hide behind our words when our deeds do not follow what we pray.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I should also note, as far as we can tell, the president didn't pray there at all. So he didn't even --

BUDDE: No, he did not -- he didn't. Let me be clear about it, he did not come to pray. He did not come to express remorse or consolation. He did not come to share the grief or to provide hope to the thousands of young people who are gathered in the park that day. He did nothing to say to them that your future is before you and I will protect you and do all that we can to make this country worthy of you. All the things that we need and deserve from anyone who is in leadership, spiritual or political, at this time.

BERMAN: Now, a church rector who was there had said that the church yesterday, the patio of St. John's, had been holy ground over the previous 24 hours.

BUDDE: Right.

BERMAN: A place of respite and laughter and granola bars and fruit snacks, which is such a vivid description.

BUDDE: Yes. Yes.

BERMAN: But that the president turned it into a battleground. That's what the rector who was there said.

How are your people doing today? Have you heard from them? Were they hurt?

BUDDE: Well, I heard from several people who were there and who witnessed it and who experienced some of the, you know, the effects of the tear gas and the -- and the -- just the chaos of that moment.

I can tell you that today we will be back. We'll be back with those granola bars and those prayers and the water bottles and the presence to say that we stand with you and for you. We are committed to a non- violent expression of our deepest aspirations for justice and mutual respect and love among all of God's people and the people of this land.

BERMAN: Now, St. --

BUDDE: We will not -- we will not let our eyes be taken off the true issues. We need to get off of this story and back to the real one as soon as possible. But I couldn't let the moment pass.

BERMAN: St. John's was burned. There was damage to that church.

BUDDE: Yes, there was. There was.

BERMAN: How's it doing? What's the status of the building?

BUDDE: It -- it's fine. I mean it -- it -- I don't -- I'm not -- I'm sorry that it happened. I grieve the violence that will set back people's lives for unfold amounts of time. But the church sustained a fire in one room in the basement. Thanks to our first responders, it was quickly extinguished. We will rebuild. Buildings can be rebuilt, lives cannot be brought back from the dead.

BERMAN: Now, I don't know what the situation is in Lafayette Park this morning. Our reporter on the ground there says there's a big fence being put up, a barrier. I don't know if people are going to be allowed back on the streets to demonstrate and protest.

Do you hope they will? Will you help make St. John's available for protesters if they are allowed to be in the area?

BUDDE: Well, you know, I mean St. John's is not federal property, so they can't -- I mean they can close off the streets, but if people want to gather, then, yes, of course they can gather. I mean you see -- I mean young -- young people especially, idealistic people of any age, they can't -- they will rise to this and they will respond from the emotion and idealism of their hearts. And we -- and we need to meet them there. We need to meet them there and to say that the -- the God who put those aspirations in your heart is with you and we are with you.

And that we need to step down the intensity of the emotions that can lead to violence. We need to put a boundary around opportunists who would use this moment for personal gain or to insight further agitation. We need to stop all of those things.

We need to -- we need to walk alongside those who have dedicated their lives to public service in any uniform. And I just -- we'll do whatever it takes. But there is no substitute on the part of the citizenry when our elected leaders fail us. And we have to find and elect the leaders who will stand for the best of what our nation is and can be.

BERMAN: And I should note this is no abstraction for you. Obviously you were in Minneapolis, you were in Minnesota for, I guess, 18 years of your career. You -- you (INAUDIBLE) that city --

BUDDE: Eighteen -- yes, this is -- yes -- oh, yes, I know the street like I -- I know the street better than -- yes, I love Minneapolis. And I -- and I -- and my heart breaks. And I also understand some of the deep, embedded tensions and racial divides that have marked that city for all of its history. I -- I -- and we're all on a tinder box right now.


I mean this has been such an intense spring. Everyone's emotions are running high.

The killing of George Floyd was just such a travesty and it was the event that triggered and unleashed all of the pent up emotion that we are all experiencing, witnessing. And it's -- it's both -- it's both inspiring and devastating at the same time. And those who have our wits about us have to -- have to show up and do what we can. Do what we can.

BERMAN: Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde, we appreciate your time this morning. Thanks so much for being with us. Thank you for leading at this moment.

BUDDE: Thank you. Thank you.

BERMAN: Washington, D.C.'s mayor also has something to say about federal police dispersing peaceful protesters with tear gas so that President Trump could pose for a picture. She joins us live, next.


CAMEROTA: Washington, D.C.'s mayor imposed the 7:00 p.m. curfew last night, but about 25 minutes before that deadline, a crowd of peaceful protesters were dispersed, as you can see, with tear gas, flash bangs, and even batons by police.


President Trump and some of his family and his advisers then walked by the protesters to pose for this photo-op in front of a church.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser joins us now.

Mayor Bowser, thank you very much for your time.

What did you think of what unfolded there last night?

MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER (D), DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: We were very shocked and quite frankly outraged that people who were not violating the curfew, and who did not seem to have provoked attack, were attacked in a move out by the federal law enforcement officials who were directed to clear the way for the president.

CAMEROTA: Why do you think police did that? BOWSER: I think that's the direction that they were given. And

certainly we imposed a 7:00 p.m. curfew last night. We wanted to make sure that our metropolitan police department could ensure that people could exercise their First Amendment rights, but also protect our city from damage and destruction that we had seen the night before. But at no time do we think it was appropriate that people who had not violated the curfew or anything else receive that treatment.

CAMEROTA: So were those D.C. police doing that?

BOWSER: No, the federal government was -- is responsible and was responsible throughout the last days of protecting Lafayette Square and the White House.

CAMEROTA: Why do you think President Trump felt the need to go such extreme measures of clearing that path and having federal police officers use batons and tear gas on protesters so that he could go in front of a church that he then did not go inside, he stood in front of? Why do you think those measures were necessary?

BOWSER: I can't really comment on that and what made the federal authorities think it was appropriate to clear the way for that purpose. Certainly we want our demonstrations in Washington, D.C., and every part of Washington, D.C., to be safe for the demonstrators, but also safe for D.C. residents and D.C. businesses.

And I think it just shows, and it shines a light for a lot of Americans who are asking questions about Washington, D.C., that Washington, D.C., is not a state, and that's why we have been fighting for statehood for Washington, D.C., and we will continue to do so.

A lot of people don't know that there are federal police here each and every day. And largely our metropolitan police department works hand in hand with U.S. park police and the FBI and the Secret Service to make sure that federal properties are safe and secure. And so that is a largely cooperative experience. And, sadly, yesterday, we saw what could go wrong in that case.

CAMEROTA: I do want to ask about those hand in hand agreements between D.C. police helping out federal authorities and federal police because yesterday the Arlington County Police chief, who said that he also has an agreement, an arrangement like that with federal authorities, chose to pull his police officers out and bring them back across the bridge to Arlington County and says that today they are rethinking those agreements because they felt that they were being used in a compromised position, that they weren't comfortable with, with having to hurt those protesters.

Would the same be -- hold true of D.C. police rethinking that arrangement?

BOWSER: We didn't request any assistance. D.C. police did not request any assistance from our neighbors. And we do have, throughout the national capital region, arrangements to assist each other if we -- if there's ever a mass event that requires additional policing. We haven't taken the step of requesting that assistance from around our region. And we haven't requested assistance from other states.

And so what we -- what we know is there are legitimate reasons for D.C. police to request assistance from our neighbors, but we haven't done so in this case.

CAMEROTA: The president is threatening to use active military troops to quell the violent protests. And so do you need that help in D.C.? I mean last night, after curfew, there are still some reports of some looting.


I know some officers were hurt. Do you need some assistance?

BOWSER: We don't think that the active duty military should be used on American streets against Americans.


BOWSER: It's an inappropriate use of our military. And we have police in Washington, D.C. We have federal police in Washington, D.C., to focus on the federal properties. And that is an appropriate use. Police have policing power. And bringing in the military to do police work is inappropriate in any state, in the United States of America, without the consent of the governor and it would be inappropriate in Washington, D.C.

CAMEROTA: D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, we really appreciate you taking time. We know it's a busy morning. Thank you very much.

New details about two competing autopsies in the death investigation of George Floyd. Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us with his thoughts, next.


BERMAN: So, new information this morning on the two autopsies of George Floyd. Experts hired by Floyd's family and the county medical examiner, they both conclude the death was homicide, but they differ on what caused it.

CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us now.


Sanjay, what do we know about the differences here?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there is some key differences here. Let me show you the specific language, first from the Hennepin County. And you remember there was just sort of a couple of lines that were released initially on Friday. This is still a summary, so it's not the complete report.

Manner of death, which is in the middle of your screen there, it says homicide. That's going to be the thing that's in common between this official report and the independent one. But the top line, cause of death, says cardiopulmonary arrest

complicating law enforcement subdural restraint and neck compression. So they're saying essentially Mr. Floyd had a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained. They do list these other significant conditions, including arterial sclerosis, hypertensive heart disease, fentanyl intoxication and recent meth use. They don't say those are contributing causes, they just say they're significant conditions.

Let me now show you the independent report. This came out yesterday as well. Dr. Michael Baden (ph), who does a lot of these types of examinations, along with Dr. Alicea Wilson (ph) from the University of Michigan, who runs autopsy there, did this independent one.

And, again, middle of the screen, manner of death, homicide. So that's the common thing there.

Cause of death though they say here is due to mechanical asphyxiation due to compression of the neck and the back, in other significant underlying problems here, including underlying disease of the heart.

So there are some distinctions here.

I will say, I listened to the entire briefing by Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Wilson and it was quite detailed and it was not equivocal. They say there were two points of compression on Mr. Floyd, one was on his neck, one was on his back. And they say they both contributed to his death. They say that Mr. Floyd became unresponsive three minutes and 50 seconds into that compression as well and they say that there was physical evidence that this caused a problem given that he had significant abrasions on his face, things like that.

And, again, they also say there was no other underlying cause here. They say that he did not receive CPR at the scene, but when he got in the ambulance, CPR was attempted. I guess one shock was delivered to his heart. But after three minutes and 50 seconds they say there was no evidence that Mr. Floyd was responsive or regained a pulse at that point.

So it was quite detailed. There are some points of distinction here, but homicide is the common denominator.

CAMEROTA: And, Sanjay, what about that fentanyl, the evidence of fentanyl? That's obviously a powerful drug. Do we think that it will be revealed that that somehow contributed?

GUPTA: Yes, it's interesting. I asked about that as well, Alisyn. You know, in -- so the independent one they said there was no other contributing cause here, including any kind of intoxicants or whether or not the heart disease actually played a role.

Obviously you're seeing something different here, but it's just saying significant factors, it's not saying contributing factors. It's not saying causes. So I don't think so.

And I can tell you as well that the initial results that come back from these labs usually are just, do you have it or do you not have it? It takes a while to actually validate those lab tests and to determine the quantity of the substance someone had in their body. So I don't think they even know that part of it yet, Alisyn. So we will see. There may be more information still forthcoming.

BERMAN: Sanjay, you know, you can't help but watch these protests and think, we are still in a pandemic right now. There are a lot of people out awfully close to each other at length.


BERMAN: When might we or how might we see some of the impact of that?

GUPTA: Yes, I mean, this was the topic of conversation yesterday, certainly among a lot of public health officials. I mean recognizing, obviously, these protests and the need for them in some way, but also the public health concern.

A few things, you know, that sort of came out. One is that we -- we talked with the distance that people are between each other. You know, we talked about six feet. We talked about the environment. Being outside is going to be helpful. The duration that people are next to each other, 15 minutes counts as a close contact. So, you know, we don't know. There's lots of different environments. People may not have been spending that much time in close proximity, even though they were clustered together.

It will take a few weeks, John, as you know, between time of exposure to the time that people may get tested, time that if they're going to get sick, that they will get sick. So we may not see the impact of this for, you know, three, four weeks still in terms of overall infection rates and hospitalizations if people do need hospitalization.

We're keeping an eye on it. But I think it's also -- it's like one of these weird things because we're going to learn a lot from this as well. Masks may make a bigger difference than we realize here. And a lot of people were wearing masks.

CAMEROTA: Sanjay, thank you very much for all of the information, as always.

GUPTA: You got it.


CAMEROTA: We want to take a moment to remember some of the more than 105,000 Americans who have died to coronavirus.

Father Rich Colgan (ph) felt a calling to become a priest at an early age. As a polist (ph) priest for more than 40 years, he spent a decade training others it take on the priesthood. Father Colgan was known for his jolly spirit, his love for people, and deep faith.

James Means Jr. (ph) loved to eat. His son Craig (ph) said that he and his father would work out just so they could eat. Fried pork chops, fried ribs were James' favorites. James was married for 53 years. And despite also being a workaholic, he always saved Friday night for a date with his wife Minda (ph).

Bernice Green (ph), loved her family, giving back and gardening. Her family says that she loved to see plants grow, just like she loved to see people grow. Bernie's daughter Lindsey (ph) says her mom was always looking for good in people and always saw their potential. Her husband says Bernice was his best friend and that her passing has left a hole in the heart of the family.

We'll be right back.