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Floyd Family Visits Site Of George Floyd's Death. Aired 12:30- 1p ET
Aired June 3, 2020 - 12:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Then do something unethical. And so when he says see it through all the way the right way, I imagine what he means is, you know, he knows he's got the one officer he's got a charge. He wants make sure you charge that when the right way. And then the rest of the process is, does he turn these other ones into witnesses or dependence. That's a question he's got to decide as a prosecutor.
And he's going to -- I guarantee, and you'll drive everybody nuts. I guarantee you, there's not a single person, you're not banging their head against the wall, because he's going to ask every single question everything, and he's going to hold it against the law and ethics.
So I'm very interested in he has to say, because I'm sure -- it will probably not satisfy everybody. I have no idea what he's going to do. But I know the way he's going to do it. And I've known this guy since he was, you know, a grassroots organizer. You know, Prince was a very close friend of mine, and that brought us into a lot of contact together in Minnesota.
I'm telling you, there's -- without -- I can guarantee, there's not a single person in his office not banging their head against the wall, trying to deal with Keith Ellison's ethical standards.
JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Well, we're waiting for that announcement. As we wait, we're also waiting for the family of George Floyd to come to that, what has become a shrine in Minneapolis. Right there you see the live pictures. We're waiting for the family and their attorney to come as well.
One of their key demands has been that the other officers be charged. I want to bring Greg Brower in our conversation, former senior official at the FBI very familiar with how to build a case. As we do so Greg, I want you to listen here. This is the other day, our Sara Sidner caught up with the Minneapolis police chief who came to that site to pay tribute to Mr. Floyd.
And often, when you have a police prosecution, there is a brotherhood, if you will, and the blue wall of silence. The officers don't want to talk about the conduct of others, but listen to the chief here talking about the conduct of his own men.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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 MADARIA ARRANDONDO, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE DEPT.: Mr. Floyd died in our hands. And so I see that as being complicit. So that is about as much. 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Greg, I'm going to ask you to stand by and go straight to the scene first, Omar Jimenez, because we're getting indications the family either is about to arrive or has arrived on the scene. So I want to check in with Omar to tell us what the latest is.
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now, as we understand, the family seems to be on the scene as well. My guess is as you're watching a crush of cameras moved through there at eye level, so I can't see who's in the middle of the camera, or in the middle of that circle. But based on the timing that I had gotten a few moments ago as to the arrival of the family along with the family attorney, Ben Crump, it seems to be that they are making their way over to the scene to this intersection, where George Floyd's final moments played out on the camera.
Now, a little bit more than a week ago at this point. As we have seen throughout this Minneapolis area and throughout the state, it has been a very painful time for not just this part of the country but for the country overall. It's been emblematic of it seems relations, relationship struggles between police and community that we have seen play out in cities throughout the country in this.
And we have seen that manifests itself in protests, protests that have at times grown violent, and have resulted in fires, again, in with huge clashes between police and the community and protesters as well. They are making their way over to the exact site where George Floyd laid on the curb here in southern Minneapolis right now, right outside the cup foods, which of course, is where all of this originated.
The 911 call from inside for an alleged $20 counterfeit bill, that was what brought the police to the scene. And then a few moments after that, a few minutes after they got to the scene was what preceded what we saw unfold on that now infamous cell phone video with the Officer Derek Chauvin's knee on the neck of George Floyd four minutes as people on -- in the background and on the curb, pleaded with him to let up and pleaded with that officer to at least have that pulse checked.
And this, of course, comes on what could be a very historic and momentous day for this case, a day that protesters and the family may have been waiting for. Whereas we understand from the Minnesota attorney general who has taken over this case here that a decision has been made in regards to whether we will or won't see charges against the other three officers in this case, that's reporting from my colleague, Josh Campbell.
We've already seen charges against one officer, Officer Derek Chauvin. I mentioned his role in this. And those charges as they stand right now, third degree murder and manslaughter. The family is stepping up to the podium right now to give some words, let's listen in.
BEN CRUMP, FLOYD FAMILY ATTORNEY: You're going to stay behind this. OK.
I'm attorney Ben Crump, the lead Attorney for the family of George Floyd.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Quiet please.
CRUMP: I'm attorney Ben Crump, the lead Attorney for the family of George Floyd. And recently arriving in Minneapolis is his son, Quincy Mason, he's going to make a few remarks to you, understand this is a young man who has broken hearted and this is very emotional for him.
Now, we come here today to this spot to remember George Floyd, who was tortured, who was tortured to death. And so we thank the Minnesota governor for breaking human rights charges against the Minneapolis Police Department because we absolutely believe that he was tortured in the last eight minutes and 46 seconds of his life.
Witness Donna Williams yesterday who was the person in the video, saying, you all are going to kill him, likened it to suffocation like a fish out of water, gasping for air. The independent autopsy performed by the family concluded that George Floyd was starving for air. He needed a breath.
And the ambulance that came here to pick him up from this very spot was the hearse for George Floyd. And so we are demanding justice based on the autopsy findings but more importantly, what the entire world has seen now with their eyes that they cannot unsee. The autopsy, the medical reasons cause of death was mechanical affixation based on the knee to his neck and the two knees to his back that was compressing his lungs, not allowing them to circulate air and bled to his brain.
He died because he was starving for air. He needed a breath. And so we are demanding justice. We expect all of the police officers to be arrested before we have the memorial here in Minneapolis, Minnesota tomorrow.
CROWD: Yes, yes.
CRUMP: Because we cannot have two justice systems in America, one for black America and one for white America. We must have equal justice for the United States of America.
CROWD: Yes, yes, that's what we want.
CRUMP: And change is going to come in the tragic killing of George Floyd. And I proclaim with his son as my witness, that change starts today.
CROWD: Yes, yes.
CRUMP: We are confident that attorney general Keith Ellison is working feverishly to do the right thing. And what is the right thing? To make sure that George Floyd family is afforded justice by holding these officers accountable to the full extent of the law each and every one of those four officers.
CROWD: Yes, yes, we want that.
CRUMP: Attorney General Ellison has a track record and champion civil rights for those who are marginalized, for people like George Floyd, because black lives matter, and George Floyd life matters, too.
Quincy is going to make a few remarks. I'll try to take a few questions. And then we're going to let him go receive the rest of his family at the airport. And then we will keep you updated. We fully expect there to be an announcement with these officers being arrested and we will give you the family reaction when that happened.
But right now, I introduce to the world, Mr. Quincy Mason, George Floyd son to say a few remarks on behalf of him and his family. Talk about as you can.
QUINCY MASON FLOYD, GEORGE FLOYD'S SON: Every night with my family trying (INAUDIBLE) my father. And no man wants to shoot (ph) without their fathers. And we want justice for what's going on right now.
I appreciate everyone showing him some support and love. I thank you all for that. This is so --
FLOYD: So, so emotional.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Quincy. We think so many protests around the world, including Australia about what's happening to your father, a lot of people were protesting about what's happening to indigenous people of color in custody in Australia. D o you have any message to them about what is happening?
FLOYD: I just want to thank them for supporting my family and see justice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- because a pivotal moment in our country because of what happen with your father. How important --
FLOYD: We need a chance this isn't happening to anybody else.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Quincy did you see and do learn about the death of your father on T.V. like everybody else is not the first time you --
CRUMP: His family, notify them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey Quincy, we love you man.
CRUMP: Thank you all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love you Quincy.
CRUMP: Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What charges are you expecting today? What do you expect the officers to be charged with?
CRUMP: We are expecting these officers to be charged as accomplices for the killing of George Floyd. Hold on, I make sure everybody --
CRUMP: OK, all right. All right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- about what we saw in that we video, those three other officers and why we believe they are complicit.
CRUMP: Obviously, as the police chief said, these officers are complicit by their silence. But we now know based on the audio from their body cam video that they also are accomplices because their failure to act when they knew that they did not have a post.
Remember one officer said he doesn't have a post. Maybe we should turn him over on his side. However, Officer Chauvin said, no, we're going to keep him in that position. To us that his intent and that's why the family is calling for first degree murder charges against Officer Chauvin for having his knee in his neck.
And I equally important is the fact that those two knees in his back for not one minute, not two minutes, not three minutes, not four minutes. not five minutes, not six minutes, not seven minutes, not eight minute, almost nine minutes, eight minutes and 46 seconds, George Floyd beg for air. He called out for Quincy's grandmother.
He called out to anybody who would listen and seem like the lay people on the street were listening. The people who refuse to listen were the people who were supposed to listen. It was supposed to be the police who were meant to protect and serve George Floyd, because George Floyd was an American citizen and George Floyd was a human being. George Floyd, deserved humanity.
And also, the system needed to be listening to George Floyd, not just the police, but the prosecutors, the criminal justice system, the judges, the legislators, the President, America, needed to be listening. When George Floyd said, I can't breathe, because when he can breathe, none of us could breathe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right.
CRUMP: And so, we, this is a tipping point. This is a tipping point. This moment is a tipping point, to change America and see if America truly believes in the words of Thomas Jefferson, that we hold these truce to be self evident, that all men are created equally, that they're endowed by their creator were certain inalienable rights, that amongst them are life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, well, America, that means black people too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right.
CRUMP: Did that answer your question, George (ph)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you say --
CRUMP: Two quick questions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you say to the other three officers who did not do anything? What do you say to them?
CRUMP: You know, the family of George Floyd watched the video in agony. You've seen Philonise. You've seen Rodney. You've seen Bridgett. You've seen Terrence. You've seen his children. They are horrified at what they witnessed on this video. I think every human being who has any humanity in them are horrified what they see on this video.
The only question is why weren't those police officers horrified? And so the family statement to those police officers are, they are just as guilty for the death of George Floyd as Officer Chauvin, they all participated. And when people tried to help, the other Officer took out mace with Donna Williams and the EMT, the lay witness who were there, they threatened them that we won't let you give humanity, even though we're not going to give humanity, we won't let you give George Floyd any humanity.
And so the message is clear. Do your job to the people who are responsible for doing justice because all the world is watching, all the world is watching, all the world is watching, all the world is watching, all the world is watching, all the world is watching, all the world is watching, all the world is watching.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- what do you think of the way the world has responded -- what do you think of the way the world has responded and also how America has responded?
CRUMP: The response of the world has been heartening to this family. Their entire family have been very heartening. They receive it as a blessing that George Floyd life mattered to more than just them. It is very important to know who George was.
There are videos on social media that George believed in peaceful protests, Brandon Williams, who was George's nephew, who was like a father to Brandon said that they talk to almost every day and doing the Ferguson protests, doing the Baltimore protests, and just recently doing the Sacramento protests.
You had George Floyd praying for peaceful protests. You know, the forensic scientists, Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Allecia Wilson, who did the family's autopsy said that George died because he needed a breath. And so I am employing, along with George Floyd's family, for all of us to take a breath for peace. Let's take a breath for justice. Let's take a breath to heal our country. And most importantly, let's take a breath for George Floyd as we get ready to memorialize him this week and let him to his final rest on next Tuesday.
Let's take a breath this week to heal the country. And to remember George, let's follow George as example. He would have wanted peaceful protest. He wants everybody to use their voice, but he wants them to do it in a constructive way. So as we get ready to memorialize him on tomorrow at North Central University with all his family.
I also want us to remember that Breonna Taylor, the young lady who was executed in the sanctity of her own home in Louisville, Kentucky, birthday would be on Friday. So let's take a breath for Breonna, as well. Let's take a breath for Ahmaud Arbery as well. Let's take A breath for Terence Crutcher as well. Let's take a breath for Pamela Turner who was killed in Houston.
Let's take a breath for Alton Sterling, who was killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Let's take a breath for Philando Castile, who was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Let's take a breath for Laquan McDonald, who was killed in Chicago, Illinois. Let's take a breath for Sandra Bland, who was killed in Texas. Let's take a breath for Natasha McKenna, who was killed by police in Virginia.
Let's take a breath for Stephon Clark, who was killed in Sacramento, California. Let's take a breath for Corey Jones, who was killed in Palm Beach, Florida. Let's take a breath for Botham Jean, who was killed in his own apartment in Dallas, Texas. Let's take a breath for Eric Garner who was killed in Staten Island, New York. Let's take for Freddie Gray, who was killed in Baltimore, Maryland. Let's take a breath for Walter Scott, who was killed in South Carolina. Let's take a breath for Jamar Clark, who was killed here in Minneapolis. Let's take a breath for --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tyson Nelson (ph) North side Minneapolis.
CRUMP: Let's take a breath for Michael Brown, who was killed in Ferguson. Let's take a breath for 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was killed in Cleveland, Ohio by the police. Let's take a breath for Trayvon Benjamin Martin, who was killed to Sanford, Florida. Let's take a breath for Emmett Till who was killed in Mississippi.
Let's take a breath collectively for all of the marginalized and disenfranchised and dehumanized people were the black, brown, white, or red who were killed and justifiably who were killed unnecessarily and who was killed senselessly because they are American citizens, one. They are human beings two. And finally, we should all remember, they are children of God.
Thank you so much. We will respond to you when we get the announcement.
KING: Benjamin Crump the family attorney for George Floyd's family, the gentleman in the red shirt there, the maroon shirt to the left of Benjamin Crump, Quincy Mason Floyd, George Floyd son who delivered brief remarks here in Minneapolis as well.
In passing case by Mr. Crump not only for justice in the case of George Floyd but reciting a long list, too long of a list, sadly, of other African-Americans who have died at the hands of police in other cases. As you watch the family here in Minneapolis, I want to go straight to our Omar Jimenez who is nearby watching this incredibly emotional scene play out.
And Omar we know the Attorney General will make an announcement shortly after he has reviewed the evidence against all four officers, one has been charged. Three have not that could change a bit later today. You're right there in this remarkably emotional scene. Describe it for us.
JIMENEZ: Well, John, all this is playing out in the exact spot where George Floyd took his final breaths a little bit over a week ago today where Benjamin Crump the family attorney was speaking alongside Quincy Mason Floyd, George Floyd's son, as well.
You heard the emotion and the words. But in their faces again, you're reminded of the humanity in this story, the people that are truly affected by the loss of a father, the loss of a sibling, and so forth.
Now, in regards to what we are going to see moving forward, you mentioned the charges or decision on charges that we expecting to hear later this afternoon, that was something Benjamin Crump, the family attorney spoke on a little bit saying that he has full confidence and the Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, that these officers, that Floyd, I should say, will be afforded justice to the full extent of the law.
And that seems to be what they are pushing for in this. But even to go even further and get specific, even though we haven't heard which way these other three officers will go, whether they will face charges, or not. Attorney Crump seems confident that we will know that these officers are charged before we have the Minneapolis Memorial here for George Floyd in this city.
As you see people here, as you see Floyd and the family making their exit from this site here again over a week after those final moments played out in this -- at this intersection. And what you may have heard over the course of some of those words was the reaction from the audience as well.
There were chance at one point in support of George Floyd. And there was one line in particular, that got everyone very excited because it landed just so significantly saying that, we're America that means black people, too. And that seems to be the message that places not just here in Minneapolis, but in places across the country are using as a rallying cry for protests.
Because let's remember, the protests that we have seen is not just about the George Floyd case, you just go down the laundry list of cases that that Crump mentioned at the end of that press conference from Breonna Taylor to Freddie Gray to Trayvon Martin. This is about generations of relations between community and police. John?
KING: Omar Jimenez on the scene for us. And Van Jones, let's pick up right there where Omar left off, you can mention Michael Brown, you can mention Philando Castile, you could mention many more, Mr. Crump going through the list there. It is a sad list. It is a stain, a legacy stain on this country. So that brings me to the question Mr. Crump says, this is a tipping point. And what we've seen across the country and around the world even could lead you to believe that it could well be a tipping point, but when he goes through that history. And you know the history, the outcomes of many of the investigations in those cases, those were not tipping points, sadly, do you believe this is?
JONES: I believe it can be. First of all, it's very emotional to see the sun for people. Because all of us have this fear that maybe someday that'll be my son. That'll be my nephew. Or that'll be my cousin standing there and having to, no, we do this for a living, John.
We can talk in front of cameras, we can we can read freaking freestyle. It just brings it home. This is what the fear is in our community. You know, and black people get killed by all kinds of stuff. OK, let's just be honest, you know, we, you know, gang members, high blood pressure, you know, we go to a lot of funerals in the black community.
But there's something that's a historical trauma when an unarmed African-American man or woman is killed by law enforcement because everybody else wants to law enforcement for safety. You just know that at the end of the day, you can put up that bat signal. You can dial 911 and help us there.
And so you spend your life with a little bit of a security blanket that we just don't have in the same way and so often people regret calling 911 because they show up and they traumatize everybody, because they don't treat us with the same respect all too often. I'm not talking about every officer. I'm from a law enforcement family. But all too often, that's what it is. And so to see that young man, there was so heartbreaking. And then please understand, every one of those names that Attorney Crump went through is a household name in the black community, because we suffered with those families.
We have hope that, you know, in those cases, that something would change. And so that was that long recitation, you know, was a reminder of how long this journey has been, but I do think it can be different now, because he was not running. He was not armed. There was no excuse. You couldn't say well it was --