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Tenth Night Of Protests Across U.S. Over George Floyd's Death; U.S. Gains 2.5 Million Jobs, Unemployment Rate Drops To 13.3 Percent; Investigator Says, Suspect Used Racial Slur After Fatally Shooting Arbery. Aired 10-10:30a ET
Aired June 5, 2020 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN NEWSROOM: A very good Friday morning to you. I'm Jim Sciutto.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN NEWSROOM: And I'm Poppy Harlow.
Breaking news this morning on the economy. New jobs numbers show that the U.S. added 2.5 million jobs in May added. That's a big surprise. The unemployment rate actually fell. Still, a devastating 13.3 percent. This is so much better than any economists was predicting. We'll have more on that in a moment.
But hours from now, the Minneapolis City Council is holding an emergency meeting to vote on some initial changes to the police department. This follows ten straight nights of protests there after the death of George Floyd.
SCIUTTO: we're learning more about the four former, now former officers charged in Floyd's death, and a possible preview of how at least how two of them are planning to defend themselves, some division within ranks there. We're going to be on the ground live.
And we are following stories across the country of clashes between police and protesters. Some of them just stunning videos, although the protests, we should note, have been largely peaceful in recent days.
We are following this story from every angle. Let's begin with CNN's Josh Campbell in Minneapolis. What more are we hearing regarding the city council meeting today? They are attempting to act very quickly to prevent this from happening again.
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Jim. We know there are three investigations into what happened with George Floyd. There is a state criminal investigation, there is an FBI civil rights investigation and there is a Minnesota Department of Human rights investigation.
But the city wants to act now. They don't want to wait for lengthy investigations. There will be an emergency city council meeting today at 12:30 P.M. Local Time, where they're going to hear about possibly setting forth a temporary restraining order that would increase accountability for police, in their words. We're awaiting for the specifics.
But the city council president tweeting that they are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and create a new more accountable public safety force. We'll have to wait and see how that goes.
Now, where I am right now behind me, we are here at city court. Just yesterday, three of the officers that are charged with aiding and abetting second degree murder in the death of George Floyd had their first appearance. We were there in court. The defendants came in. They were in their orange jumpsuits. There were family members in the audience. And we really started to get a sense of what the defense strategy will be for at least two of the officers.
Now, after the state prosecutor explained how serious the charges were and asked for a high bail, the defense counsel for two of the officers pointed out that their clients were very junior in nature. Indeed, one of the officers, this was his third shift.
Now, the attorney for former Officer Keung said that at the time that the encounter happened with George Floyd, his client actually looked at Derek Chauvin, the senior officer, and said, we can't do this. So this is going to be their strategy, to try and distance themselves and their experience from the senior officer. We know he will be in court on Monday. Jim and Poppy?
SCIUTTO: I wonder if that comment, we can't do this, was on tape. That obviously material. I know we'll follow up. Josh Campbell, thanks very much.
HARLOW: That's a really good point.
Okay. Let's go to our colleague, Omar Jimenez. He is also in Minneapolis this morning. We are hearing more from George Floyd's friend who was in the car the day of his death. And I think it's important and it goes on to your point you made yesterday, Omar, which is that like we're finally learning more about the man, George Floyd, not just to define him by the way he died.
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, Poppy. Well, even after we saw those moments pop up on cell phone video close to two weeks ago at this point, we are still learning about the moments that led up to that video as it played out. So we are hearing from someone who was in the car with George Floyd. His name is Maurice Hall, and he talked specifically the account, at least the initial account from police that we had gotten, saying Floyd was resisting arrest, and this is what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAURICE LESTER HALL, GEORGE FLOYD'S FRIEND AND PASSENGER IN SUV: Those two -- they -- I don't know. They was intimidated, maybe, I don't know what they were thinking at the time.
But George, he was in peaceful form. He retreated to his knees, saying, hey, man, in so many words, I've been hurt. I've been hurt, officer. Please, officer. In other words, like why are you all detaining or using such force right now?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JIMENEZ: And that interview was just hours after George Floyd's memorial service played out here in Minneapolis where we did hear from those who loved George and, of course, learned more about the legacy he is now leaving behind, the first of what is said to be a series of goodbyes culminating in a funeral early next week. Poppy, Jim?
SCIUTTO: Omar Jimenez in Minneapolis, thank you.
More now on another city. Two buffalo police officers have been suspended without pay after shoving a 75-year-old man to the ground. CNN's Alexandra Field, she's been following this story.
Alex, notable here, police initially said he tripped. The video, of course, contradicts that. Walk us through it.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, shocking because the video does show exactly what happened. But a spokesman for the city is saying that, initially, they saw just one video, now other videos have come to light. The mayor came forward. He made a statement saying that the video was deeply disturbing and that the police commissioner has suspended without pay, these two officers, and launched an investigation.
But you've got to watch this video. It is clear to your eyes and to mine what we are seeing, a 75-year-old man walks up to a crowd of officers, he is then knocked to the ground by two of those officers. Blood comes gushing from his ear and no one gets down to help him.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo also reacting with this tweet saying, the incident is wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful. I've spoken with Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, and we agree that the officers involved should be immediately suspended pending a formal investigation. Police officers must enforce, not abuse the law.
Again, that investigation is now under way. The 75-year-old man who we saw knocked to the street there, he was in the hospital, said to be in serious but stable condition. Jim?
HARLOW: Wow. It's so hard to watch, and I've seen it so many times this morning. Alex, thank you very much.
Now, to Tacoma, Washington, the mayor there calling for the firing and the prosecution of four police officers after the death of a man in custody.
SCIUTTO: 33-year-old Manuel Ellis died on March 3rd at the hands of police. His death is now been ruled a homicide. CNN's Dan Simon joins us now.
Dan, a case perhaps many of our viewers not familiar with. The mayor reacting to new video that surfaced in this case. What is it telling us?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Poppy, Jim. Here, you have a new name on the list of African-Americans who died while in police custody. And as you said, his name is Manuel Elis, 33 years old.
And according to a medical examiner's report, he died due to physical restraint. In short, he died due to a lack of oxygen, which, of course, echoes what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Now, in the wake of all this, a new video has emerged that CNN is aware of. We're trying to get more details about it. But it purportedly shows at least one officer aggressively dealing with Ellis. We are told that Ellis was trying to break into some cars while people were in those vehicles. And when police caught up with him, he was aggressive, according to police, and they had to physically restrain him.
Now, this video, again, purportedly shows at least one officer aggressively punching Ellis. And in the wake of all this, the mayor is saying that all four officers involved should be fired. This is what the mayor had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR VICTORIA WOODARDS, TACOMA, WA: The officers' actions we saw on this video tonight only confirmed that Manuel Ellis' death was a homicide.
The officers who committed this crime should be fired and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIMON: Yes. We should point out that of the four officers involved, two of them are white, one is black, and a fourth is Asian.
The mayor of Tacoma again saying that all four should be fired. Washington Governor Jay Inslee says that there should be a complete and full investigation here. But the bottom line, Poppy, is that you have yet another case, another name on that list of African-Americans who died just after being taken into custody by police. Poppy?
HARLOW: Dan, thank you for bringing that to more national attention.
Joining me now to discuss is Marilyn Mosby, States Attorney for the City of Baltimore. It is very, very good to have you on all of this.
I was going to start out asking you something else, but having seen all of this reporting just now and what Dan Simon just brought, it just reminds me of what Will Smith said, right? And I'm paraphrasing here, but racism isn't new, it's just getting filmed, right?
It's not happening more, it's just getting filmed more.
MARILYN MOSBY, STATE'S ATTORNEY FOR BALTIMORE CITY: You're absolutely right. I mean, when you think about these types of encounters, this has been happening since the inception of slavery. Police have been the enforcers of a criminal justice system that has desperately impacted black people in this country, from the slave codes to the civil rights movement to Jim Crow to the war on drugs. I mean, and what we are seeing is a frustration, a manifestation, a frustration and an anguish and anger and just, quite candidly, people are fed up.
HARLOW: You write eloquently about -- obviously, for people who aren't aware, you brought charges against the six officers in the death of Freddie Gray, and they were not convicted. But you wrote something to try to remind people that there is hope. Those who see so many officers being charged but not convicted, and that is that your office convicted 21 police officers since the death of Freddie Gray.
MOSBY: Yes. I mean, when you look at what happened in 2015, that accountability ultimately led to exposure. A week after I charged those officers, the Department of Justice came in and exposed discriminatory policing practices of the eight police department in the country. That exposure ultimately led to reform. We have tangible reforms, use of force de-escalation policies in the City of Baltimore, where the officers, even an affirmative responsibility where if somebody steps out of line, they must intervene. They are tangible reforms.
But there are also systems that are set up that go outside the courtroom that start with police accountability, and that we really have to discuss, the fact that we don't have independent investigations when it comes to these types of offenses. I can tell you that in the Freddie Gray case, the police department were working against us. Search and seizure warrants weren't executed. The witnesses were -- the most pertinent questions weren't asked. There were witnesses to the case where they were actually then assigned to investigate the case, right. So you need that independence.
When we talk about police departments circumventing the communities in which they serve because they feel that they're going to get more deferential treatment from judges. The police officers in the Freddie Gray case, the first officer we tried was in front of a jury. They were hung. Then it was tried in front of a judge and three of them were acquitted.
So there are a lot of --
HARLOW: A bench trial -- just on that point -- sorry. Sorry to step on you. Go ahead.
MOSBY: No. Just there are a lot of systematic sort of changes that we have to put into place. As you all were just discussing, the law enforcement bill of rights and these contractual employment contracts that tied the police department's hands when you have problematic officers. This particular officer had 18 internal affairs complaints, which is foreseeable that he would be a problem. This are the systems (ph).
HARLOW: You know, our colleague, Jeffrey Toobin, has brought up the -- did we lose her? Okay. That's too bad. We'll try to get her back. If we can't, we'll have her back soon. That was Marilyn Mosby, State Attorney for Baltimore City. We thank her. Jim?
SCIUTTO: An important conversation, no question.
Well, what will Washington, what will Congress do to stop police brutality and the excessive use of force by some officers? One lawmaker is leading an effort right now to get started. We're going to speak to him ahead.
Plus, stunning testimony in the shooting death of a Georgia jogger. What an investigator says the shooter said just moments before firing -- after, rather, firing his gun.
HARLOW: And really surprising news about the state of the economy as this pandemic continues. The U.S. added 2.5 million jobs last month, unemployment is falling. We are nowhere near out of the woods yet, but we'll tell you all you need to know about that, ahead.
SCIUTTO: This is a relief this morning, some good economic news amid, of course, the coronavirus pandemic. Jobs are coming back. The national unemployment rate is down. We should note, there is a lot of these numbers to continuing disparities for black workers, those still glaring.
Let's break this all down. With me now, Christine Romans, Chief Business Correspondent.
So, listen, I mean, remarkable here, not just because jobs went up but the predictions were far at the other side of the spectrum. So what led to this? What led to this surprise growth?
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It's a reminder that there is no playbook for this, right? I mean, economists got this really wrong. They thought it was be a 20 percent unemployment rate and 8 million jobs lost. Instead, essentially, this shows, Jim, the freefall in the jobs market has stopped.
It stopped suddenly in May, and those partial re-openings, the government points out, the partial re-openings led to some hiring. That hiring was in bars and restaurants, it was in leisure and hospitality, in doctors' offices and in construction sites. So you can see exactly where you're starting to reopen the economy carefully. You had jobs coming back there in those areas.
Still a lot of jobs lost though in local government and state government. Those are mostly related to school closures. That's going to be a problem down the line for Congress and the White House to argue about, because still huge job losses for government jobs. And that racial disparity, I'm glad you brought that up, because the unemployment rate for black Americans actually rose a little bit to a real devastating 16.8 percent. So even as the overall rate fell, you see that rate rose again.
SCIUTTO: So I've been asking you repeatedly for weeks how many of these jobs that were lost will come back.
And you see some positive signs here and that many workers who were furloughed have come back, whether it's in a hotel, or a restaurant or a doctor's office.
The question, of course, is this sustainable? Do we know?
ROMANS: We just don't know. And I think the fact that economists got it so wrong shows you that each one of these numbers is ripe for a big surprise. We know that about 15 million people in these numbers consider their job loss temporary, that they're away from work, right? So they think they're going back. And the hope is a quick reopening of the economy means most of them will be able to do that.
What you're hearing today and one of the reasons the stock market is up so much is because all of a sudden people are talking again about that V-shaped recovery, that you're going to start to reopen and things are just going to go back.
But, still, I mean, the congressional budget office sees ten years before things get 100 percent back to normal. A lot of economists still have a 10 percent unemployment rate by the end of the year.
And I point out, at 13.8 percent, I'm really glad it wasn't 20 percent, that is still far worse than the heights of the great recession. There is still a lot of pain out there.
So we're still in a deep hole, we're just not digging any deeper, essentially.
SCIUTTO: Yes. 30 million, I believe, lost jobs since the start of this, 2.5 million back, a significant long way to go fill that gap. Christine Romans, great to have you on break it down.
HARLOW: Well, the attorney for the family of Ahmaud Arbery is now accusing officials, they're now accusing officials in Georgia of also engaging in a cover-up. This as prosecutors say that Arbery was chased, hunted and gunned down. And wait until you hear what was allegedly have been said right after he was killed. We'll have that update, next.
SCIUTTO: Welcome back. Prosecutors say the man who fatally shot Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia made just about the ugliest, racist remark you could imagine after pulling the trigger.
HARLOW: Let's go to our Martin Savidge, who joins us from Brunswick, Georgia. Martin, what have we learned was said?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Poppy.
Yes. This was a preliminary hearing, so they're usually routine and they're fairly simple and we did not see this coming. And it was -- and I hate to use this cliche, but it was a bombshell because it is so horrific. And it's clear that the prosecution was intentionally suggesting here that racism, overt racism, may have played the role in the death of this 25-year-old African-American man. Here is what we found.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: It was a hearing that sounded like a trial. Georgia prosecutors summed up their case against three white men accused of killing a 25-year-old black man running through their neighborhood.
JESSE EVANS, COBB COUNTY CHIEF ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: On February the 23rd of 2020, victim, Ahmaud Arbery, was chased, hunted down and ultimately Executed at the hands of these men.
SAVIDGE: The three defendants, Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis, and William Roddie Bryan Jr. appeared via video link from the county jail. The McMichaels initially told authorities they though Arbery was a burglary suspect. The prosecution says Arbery had done nothing wrong.
EVANS: The fact of the matter is there is no evidence that these defendants saw a burglary, saw any crime, had any subject of belief (ph) or even a hunch by these civilians that would authorize their choices that they made to chase after and ultimately gun down this unarmed victim in the middle of the street.
SAVIDGE: In fact, Arbery was out jogging the day he died. Friends say it's what he loved to do.
Prosecutors detailed the events leading up to Arbery's death, saying all three men using two pickup trucks became a neighborhood hunting party, blocking and redirecting Arbery as he tried to flee before they finally cornered him, one of the suspects captured Arbery's final moments on cell phone video.
On the witness stand, the lead investigator in the case said 34-year- old Travis McMichael admitted to first officers on the scene he deliberately shot Arbery three times with a shotgun. Then Agent Richard Dial shocked the courtroom recounting what alleged co- conspirator, William Bryan, says, Travis McMichaels said, next.
RICHARD DIAL, GBI ASSISTANT SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: Mr. Bryan said that after the shooting took place before police arrival while Mr. Arbery was on the ground that he heard Travis McMichael make the statement (BLEEP).
SAVIDGE: Arbery's mother and father were both in the courtroom. Defense attorneys denied Travis McMichael ever made such a slur and say aid the men, two of whom were armed, merely wanted to talk to Arbery that day, when Arbery suddenly turned and confronted them, forcing Travis McMichael to fire in self-defense.
For two months, the investigation of Arbery's death by local authorities went nowhere. But when cell phone footage was leaked publicly, showing Arbery's death, state investigators took over the case and arrests soon followed.
Thursday, it was revealed there is even more video on the cell phone of William Roddie Bryan, one of the accused showing the deadly pursuit.