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Mourners Honor Floyd, Demand Racial Justice At Memorial; Bail Set For 3 Officers Charged In Floyd's Death; Abrams: Response To Racism Is Multi-Generational; Day 10 Of Protests Remains Largely Peaceful; Two Coronavirus Studies Retracted Over Data Questions; Economists: U.S. Unemployment Could Approach 20 Percen; Mourners Honor Floyd, Demand Racial Justice at Memorial; Investigator: Evidence of "Racist Attitude" Towards Arbery; Trump Meets Campaign Aides as Reelection Fears Rise; NFL's Drew Brees Apologizes for "Insensitive" Comments. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired June 5, 2020 - 01:00   ET




ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

NICK WATT, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from around the world. I'm Nick Watt. 10th day of protests across the U.S., largely peaceful, but still plenty of plane as family and friends of George Floyd held their first memorial service in Minneapolis. Demonstrators out in force again in New York City. And when the curfew hit at 8:00 p.m. local time, police moved in to make arrests. In Atlanta, Georgia, officers pushed back protesters refusing to obey that city's curfew. The mayor there telling demonstrators there is something better on the other side of this. In Washington DC, crowds gathered near the White House and the U.S. Capitol. A huge downpour a few hours ago sent people running for cover.

Earlier, workers that erected tall metal fencing and other barricades around the White House complex. And here in Los Angeles, a huge crowd was on the march. They've gathered outside City Hall earlier in the day. The American Civil Liberties Union, by the way, has now filed a lawsuit on behalf of Black Lives Matter over curfews in L.A. and nearby San Bernardino. CNN's Kyung Lah has been with the protesters in L.A. throughout the day. I spoke with her a short time ago and asked her first, whether the fact that there is no curfew in L.A. tonight has made any difference.


KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR U.S. CORRESPONDENT: So, what you're seeing is that picture you're talking about of protesters outside City Hall, they are still here, but I want you to quickly look this one on the steps of City Hall, when I'm talking about the tension being released, we're seeing the police with a bit of a different posture. Take a look at the law enforcement here. By this time last night, we were seeing police as we were approaching curfew, putting on more armor, wearing helmets. That is not the case tonight. There is no posture for the police to move in and make any arrests. So, that certainly has changed the mood of the crowd. So, they are still here. You can see how packed it is still here in City Hall.

There are a number of people who have decided to stay, that the chanting is continued. It's almost a friendly atmosphere. But yet a passionate one, as this crowd continues to say the chants that we've heard throughout the week. But there's no pressure tonight, Nick, of them having to pack up, have any sort of confrontation with police. Also, those skirmishes with police, while there have been some verbal confrontations, we haven't seen any direct confrontation with the police like you just showed in Atlanta, Nick.


WATT: And George Floyd's memorial service in Minneapolis, the city where he was killed, was filled with memories of the man and calls for justice and change. Family, friends and community leaders stood in silence for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the exact length of time an officer knelt on Floyd's neck, ending his life. CNN's Sara Sidner reports.


SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: At the memorial in Minneapolis, George Floyd's family took time to mourn.

PHILONISE FLOYD, GEORGE FLOYD'S BROTHER: That's amazing, to me, that he touched so many people hearts, you know, because he's been touching our hearts, you know? Everybody wants justice. We want justice for George. He's going to get it. He's going to get it.

SIDNER: Historic national demonstrations in Floyd's name are now well into their 10th day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happened to Floyd happens every day in this country and in every area of American life. It's time for us to stand up in George's name and say, get your knee off our necks.

SIDNER: Less than a mile from the family Memorial, National Guard troops stood watch as three former police officers charged with aiding and abetting in Floyd's death made their first court appearance. All three were granted $1 million bail or $750,000 with conditions. A potential key witness, the passenger in Floyd's car that fatal afternoon, says his friend did not resist arrest, telling the New York Times, Floyd was from the beginning trying in his humblest form to show he was not resisting. I could hear him pleading, please, officer. What's it all for?


Minneapolis police have released 235 pages of highly-redacted personnel records for the four officers involved in Floyd's arrest. They showed Derek Chauvin, the officer now charged with second degree murder had at least 17 previous misconduct complaints with the department. He was given a notice of suspension and was also reprimanded for removing a woman from her car in 2007. Alexander Kueng had been an officer less than six months at the time of Floyd's death. Prior to joining law enforcement, the four men held a variety of jobs including working at McDonald's, Target, Home Depot, and service in the United States Army. They now face between 10 and 40 years in prison if convicted in Floyd's killing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Psalms 27: The Lord is my light and my salvation.

SIDNER: Following the memorial service, Reverend Jesse Jackson paid a visit to the site where Floyd died.


SIDNER: What do you think about how President Trump has handled this situation?

JACKSON: We need reconciliation, not polarization. We need a healing.

SIDNER: Reverend Jackson made very clear that protesting is a good way to start. But to get real change, it has to be policy change. And he says voting will help that happen. Sara Sidner, CNN, Minneapolis.


WATT: One of the leading voices of African-American politics in the U.S. today is former candidate for Governor of Georgia, Stacey Abrams. She spoke earlier with CNN's Don Lemon about race and justice in this country.


STACEY ABRAMS, FOUNDER, FAIR FIGHT ACTION: These murders, while they are not new, the time the visual of George Floyd being murdered coming in the context of the murder of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, the murder of a Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. And all of that is wrapped into the ravages of COVID-19, which are also putting black and brown families, especially black families at the highest risk. Disproportionate likelihood of contracting the disease is proportionate likelihood of losing jobs is proportionate likelihood of dying. And I think what we've seen happen in 2020 has been a confluence of all of those moments that highlight the systemic inequities, and the systemic injustices that dehumanize the lives of blacks. And that is what we're seeing in the streets.

But what is so encouraging is that we are seeing a multiracial, multi- generational response that understands that while black families, black people are at the center of this crisis of conscience. But this is happening to Latino families, that Native Americans are dying at disproportionate rates, that there are communities across this country that are linked together by the failure of our government in this moment, and we can come together to fix, at least in some measure, what has been broken and start to build something new.

(END VIDEOTAPE) WATT: And here to talk about all of this is Van Jones. He is a former

Obama administration official and a CNN political commentator. Van, I was reading the complaint and I just want to start with something that struck me as I'm a white man who lives in America. I grew up in a country where cops don't generally carry guns. And in this complaint, they're talking about officer Lane so they're not even talking about the man who killed George Floyd. Let me just read it. As officer Lane began speaking with Mr. Floyd, he pulled his gun out and pointed it at Mr. Floyd's open window and directed Mr. Floyd to show his hands. I'm assuming you're not as shocked as I am by that reality.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm not shocked at all, unfortunately. That kind of behavior, that kind of escalation, needless provocation is just standard practice. And I think what's very, very hard for people to understand is that there really are two Americas. If you're -- if you have white skin, you see a police officer, you probably aren't nervous unless you're doing something wrong. And you probably expect to be spoken to in a respectful manner, and given the benefit of the doubt. That is not the case if you have dark skin. We are guilty until proven guilty in the eyes of too many officers. And the officers who don't feel that way don't speak up enough.

And so, it's not surprising at all, that you start off at the -- at the top in terms of escalation against an African-American, and then you come down from there. Whereas with white folks, you start off low and you go up high, so it's not surprising at all. And frankly, the most surprising thing about where we are now is that it was videotaped, and therefore the world got chance to see it.

WATT: And, Van, the other question is going around in my mind is, you know, we've been here before. Rodney King beating also on tape was, what, nearly 30 years ago. This happened so frequently. There's a lot of hand wringing. There's a lot of protests. And then, it seems to me that almost nothing changed. I mean, specifically, what do you think needs to change now? And are we at the point now where that is actually going to happen?


JONES: Well, listen, there are three things that have to happen. First of all, there has to be justice in this case. We cannot set a precedent where a police officer can literally just strangle a man to death in front of everybody with body cams and his partners around, and nothing happened to that officer. You're basically saying that it's open season on black folks, even if you're not resisting, so there has to be justice. All these officers have to go to jail.

But number two, from a reform standpoint, bipartisan legislation is possible this year for the first time probably in 20 years, maybe 30 years. You could ban choke holds this year. You can insist on de- escalation training this year. You could make it easier to sue police departments and remove qualified immunity and make it easier to sue police in certain circumstances this year. You could begin to restore some checks and balances. Any human system without adequate checks and balances and oversight

will tend toward corruption and abuse. You don't have to hate cops. That's why you have meat inspectors, not because they hate butchers, because you know if nobody is watching, somebody's going to give you bad meat. That's why you have building inspectors, not because you hate architects and construction workers. If nobody's watching, you're going to have buildings falling down all over the place. And that's what's happened to law enforcement. So, we need the checks and balances restored so that good cops can arrest bad cops and citizens can sue, and we can get back to normal. That can happen this year.

The third thing is we also need economic investment in some of these communities that been hurt by all these disturbances. But if you have justice in this case, if you have a bipartisan legislation and economic renewal, we can actually end the summer stronger as a country than we went in.

WATT: One other thing I wanted to ask you about. I'm not sure if you saw on our air the other day, the owner of the nightclub where Derek Chauvin, this cop used to work on the door. You know, she said that he was always more on edge. He was tense on urban night when there was a lot of -- when the crowd was largely black in that nightclub. I mean, he seemed, to me and I do see this in people in this country, he seemed as a white person, to be innately -- unjustifiably, but innately fearful of black people. And I mean, do you agree with that?

JONES: Yes. Well, absolutely.

WATT: And how does that change?

JONES: Well, listen, you're always going to have some people who are stupid and hateful. That's not the problem. The problem is if a stupid, hateful person becomes a city bus driver and starts driving over people, that stupid, hateful person goes to jail. If a stupid, hateful person becomes a teacher and start shooting our students, that stupid, hateful person goes to jail. But if you're a stupid, hateful person and you become a police officer, you're protected by layer upon layer upon layer of bureaucratic and other obstacles to any kind of justice. I don't mind having stupid, hateful people, they just need to be punished like everybody else. And if somebody happens to have on a blue uniform, as opposed to a brown bus driver's uniform, they shouldn't be treated any differently when they break the law.

And so, we're not -- we're not -- I don't imagine a world where we somehow have all perfect people, but you can begin to perfect the systems that take away the ability for people to hurt people with impunity. That's the problem. It's the impunity in the system, not what's wrong in people's hearts. You always going to have mean people.

WATT: And this may be an awkward segue, but what about the man in the White House right now? Is he the right person in the right job at this crucial time?

JONES: Well, listen, I will shock you by saying that from a technical point of view, the Trump administration has actually done a good job. From a technical point of view, the Department of Justice went in early, the FBI went in early, the President said very clearly, he was opposed to what happened, he was disturbed by it, et cetera. So, from a technical point of view, they've done a good job.

At the same time, there have been some inflammatory statements and tweets and other activity with regard to the demonstrations that I can't support on first amendment -- first amendment grounds. So, the reality is this, under Democratic Presidents and Republican Presidents, and Democratic Governors and Republican Governors and Democratic Mayors and Republican Mayors, we have had the same thing for 40 years, which is an unrelenting tide of police abuse against African-Americans.


And so, this is the time for people to come together. I think Republicans are appalled by what they saw happened to that man on the ground there for seven minutes. He was not fighting back for seven minutes, and he was basically lynched in plain sight. I think Democrats are as well. I think African-Americans, white folks, and every color, we are united in our disgust about what happened. And so, this is the opportunity to not try and score political points on either side, but to get something done.

WATT: Van Jones, thank you very much for joining us.

JONES: Thank you.

WATT: Now, some experts are warning that these protests sparked by George Floyd's killing might lead to many more Coronavirus cases. And the U.S. already has the most cases and deaths worldwide. We'll also look in a second at some controversial Coronavirus studies that have now been retracted. Plus, the economic pain of the pandemic. How bad is it in the U.S.? Find out what economists are expecting from the latest jobs report, just ahead.


WATT: These videos have crowded protests across the U.S. have health officials worried. They're warning that it might make the Coronavirus pandemic even worse. CDC Director Robert Redfield says, protesters should be tested for Coronavirus within three to seven days. He also says the use of tear gas by police could help the virus spread. Worldwide, more than 390,000 lives have been lost in this pandemic so far. With Brazil and Mexico setting new devastating records.

Also, two medical journals have just retracted studies they published on Coronavirus treatments. One of the studies published in The Lancet found that COVID-19 patients treated with the anti-malarial drug were more likely to die. Both studies relied on data from the analytics company, Surgisphere. Now, the author has requested the studies be retracted after auditors couldn't verify the data on their own.

Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips is the chief clinical officer for Providence Health System. She joins me now from Renton, Washington. I mean, what I just read there, I think, gives us a glimpse of part of the problem we have with this virus is that we're still learning about it as we're trying to fight it. That makes this very, very difficult.


DR. AMY COMPTON-PHILLIPS, CHIEF CLINICAL OFFICER, PROVIDENCE HEALTH SYSTEM: It is absolutely difficult because we're working very hard to learn fast. But when you learn fast, you know, you're in a rush and you cobble together data, and then you look back at the data and go, Oh, no, that data wasn't right. And so, it -- the whole time we've been dealing with this virus, it's felt like two steps forward, one step back. The good news is, though, I do think we are making forward progress. It's just messy, and it's slower than everybody wants it to be. But it's because we're trying to aggregate information so quickly.

WATT: And the vaccine also is something that we're racing to get. I mean, I just read now, Novavax, which is one of the companies, hasn't even gone into human trials yet. They just signed a deal, $60 million deal with the Department of Defense here. I mean, we're throwing a lot of money around. A lot of scientists are working on this, but there's absolutely no guarantee we're going to get a vaccine.

PHILLIPS: There's no guarantee we're going to get a vaccine. But one of the really great things from some of the early vaccine trials is we know that some of the early ones, and I'm thinking the Moderna one, in particular, has been able to generate something called neutralizing antibodies. And that's a really hopeful sign, and that's a hopeful sign because a neutralizing antibody prevents the virus from -- the business end of the virus from joining up to a cell, from joining the receptor of a cell, so it blocks the virus from getting inside a cell. Because we know that's possible now, we do think that a vaccine will work. Well, one of these that are far -- you know, it's over 100 that are in development. Will it be one of the first hundred that's going to be the one that is the be all, end all answer? I sure hope so. And that's what these dollars are going towards. So, they're going towards these high promising likely vaccines, but no guarantees.

WATT: And bear with me on this, OK? I'm not a doctor. I'm also a very bad mathematician. But if we don't get a vaccine, OK, we would need to get to -- in the U.S., let's say 60 percent of people who have been exposed, so we get to that herd immunity. Now, I did some bad math. And I reckon that if we carried on at our current rate of infection, 20,000 a day is roughly what we're seeing in the U.S., it would take us 26 years to reach that threshold where we had herd immunity. So, without a vaccine, what would we do?

PHILLIPS: I think that is a hypothetical we're not going to have to find out. Because I do think we will find a vaccine. I really do think we'll find a vaccine. And because the -- we don't even have to get into that hypothetical. So, we will get to a vaccine.

WATT: Really? You're being that -- OK. I threw at --

PHILLIPS: I'm confident.

WATT: I thought a pretty good hypothetical and you're not even biting. You are that confident. PHILLIPS: I am confident we are going to get to a vaccine because we

know that people can generate neutralizing antibodies. This is a disease that we can get a vaccine for. Now, that is the problem with HIV, for example, HIV, we've never been able to find anybody who can generate or a vaccine that can generate neutralizing antibodies. And so, that's one that is not the case for, right? But flu and measles, rubella, all these other ones that we can generate neutralizing antibodies for, vaccines are possible. And that falls in COVID, Coronavirus, SARS CoV-2 falls into that latter category. So, we're going to get to a vaccine, and the question is just how long will it take?

WATT: Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips, thanks for joining us. And thanks for filling me with a little bit more hope than I had five minutes ago.

PHILLIPS: Thank you so much.

WATT: Now, the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic is still sinking in. Economists believe the U.S. economy lost another 8 million jobs in May. We'll know for sure when the jobs report is released in just a few hours. Here to discuss more is John Defterios, joining us from Abu Dhabi. John, we're into record-setting horrific historical spheres here, right?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: We are, Nick, and good to see you. We're going to have a terrible number this time around, but the silver lining is, it could be the worst of it. So, an hour before the opening bell on Wall Street, we're going to look back at the month of May. And there's kind of three big numbers we should focus on here. The last jobs for the month could be totaling around 8 million. That would take the total loss in jobs since the start of the pandemic to over 28 million, and the unemployment rate getting very close to 20 percent, if not 20 percent for the month. We haven't been at that level since the Great Depression in 1933, and they measured those figures in annualized basis back then. And it was just a shade under 25 percent.


With all the protests, of course, Nick, on the streets, because of the racial inequalities in the United States will be much more attention on the black unemployment rate. We saw great progress, actually through February, near a record low, but it spiked up to above 16 percent in the month of April. So, we'll take another look at that, despite all the blacks on the front lines. This is extraordinary that they take the blow the hardest. And also, right across the economy right now, many are making this big assumption that as the economy opens up, the hiring will happen right away. That could be a big mistake. And in fact, the best-case scenario, according to Oxford economics, is that we could go to a 20 percent unemployment rate, perhaps even higher in the month of June, depending on how the layoffs play out here. And then, cut that in half. But 10 percent, historically, is very high for the United States.

WATT: And so, that's the United States, John. What about Europe, is it as bad there? DEFTERIOS: Well, it's a good juxtaposition. Let's put it that way, because a deep recession is expected, nearly eight percent this year. Horrendous for Europe as a matter of fact. But Big Brother has a role here. And this is the state, and this is what I'm talking about. So, even though you have unemployment rising in Europe right now, nowhere near the level we see in the state, because there's two key factors behind it. Number one, by mandate of law, big companies cannot lay off workers, they put them on a part-time basis, even if they're not needed (INAUDIBLE)

And then, that gap is filled by the state, two-thirds of the lost income will be paid by the state. That's at normal time. So, what does it mean here? You don't have the major gyrations you have in America. So, you don't grow as fast during the good times, but you don't collapse during the bad times. I call it social democratic sensibility, if you will. And that means those on the lower rungs of society don't suffer terribly. And what do I mean? 6.6 percent was the unemployment rate last month. And in the United States, we're knocking on the door of 20 percent. So, that makes a huge difference. It's expensive to the state. But with the United States spending $3 trillion during this pandemic, one would say that model is a better one for those on the lower rungs of society.

WATT: John Defterios in Abu Dhabi, great to see you. Thanks for joining us.

DEFTERIOS: Thank you.

WATT: Now, German media have identified the new suspect in Madeleine McCann's disappearance as Christian B. The 43-year-old is already in prison on unrelated charges. 3-year-old Madeleine disappeared from her family's vacation apartment in Portugal in 2007. German prosecutors say they assume she's dead. British police are looking for information about two vehicles linked to the suspect at the time of McCann's disappearance, an early 80s V.W. camper van, and a 1993 Jaguar.

It was the video of George Floyd's arrest that sparked global outrage. Coming up, we'll hear from the man who was in Floyd's car at the time he was killed. Also new and horrifying details from the Ahmaud Arbery case, another young African-American man whose brutal death has sparked outrage.



NICK WATT, CNN ANCHOR: Let's get you up to speed in our breaking news with peaceful protests underway in cities across the U.S. In Brooklyn, New York police stopped and talked with demonstrators out in the streets despite an 8:00 p.m. curfew. Others in Manhattan were arrested without incident.

Tense at times sure, but there was also dialog in Atlanta, Georgia. That city's mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, told protesters that there is something better on the other side of all this. In Washington crowds gathered near the White House and the U.S. Capitol but a sudden rainstorm late Thursday cleared out a lot of the protesters. Earlier in the day, workers erected new barricades and fencing around the White House.

Hundreds gathered in Minneapolis to honor George Floyd. This is the first of several memorial services for the man whose death convulsed a country.

Friends and family called Floyd a gentle giant. Mourners stood for nearly nine minutes in silence -- the same amount of time that now- former police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck, killing him. Throughout the service activists and community leaders called out racial injustice and pled for change in the criminal justice system.


REV. AL SHARPTON, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: George Floyd's story has been the story of black folks because ever since 401 years ago, the reason we could never be who we wanted and dreamed of being is you kept your knee on our neck.

It is time for us to stand up in Georgia's name, and say get your knee off our necks.


WATT: We are also hearing for the first time from a friend of George Floyd, who was a passenger in his SUV when Floyd got into that fatal confrontation with police. Maurice Lester Hall spoke with our Chris Cuomo.


MAURICE LESTER HALL, GEORGE FLOYD'S FRIEND: May 25th, Memorial Day, Mr. Floyd and I was approached by two officers. One had taken the side of my car door and asked for my ID which later, I heard a loud distraction of sound coming from Mr. Floyd's direction of another officer, sounding like he was trying to break the window of Floyd's side, of the driver's side of this SUV truck.

And at that moment, it's startled Mr. Floyd, myself, and maybe even the partner of the officer because he then ran for my side, to the other side of the vehicle after his partner was on my brother's side, I believe using a use of force.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Well Mo -- Help me understand the situation. So the officers came up to both sides of the vehicle, asking for ID. What happened on George's side of the vehicle that made the officers run after there? Over there? Do you remember?

HALL: I do. I remember hearing a loud, like the object of a blunt force -- some large object, whatever the officer had in his hand. Again, I'm turned because I'm taking care the officer on my side. I can only hear this. And once I hear this loud distraction of this officer trying to break George's window then he is demanding things, and I can hear George asking him, what do -- you know, what do you want him to do?

CUOMO: So he's asking him -- so George wasn't saying get away from the car, leave me alone, I'm not going to get out -- nothing like that?


HALL: No. No. Not at all. No. In fact he was only asking -- he said what do you want me to do? The officer startled George, first of all by bluntly banging on the window. Once he'd done that, then I can see Mr. George putting his hands above the steering wheel of the vehicle. And once he did that, then I witnessed the officer reaching in and grabbing Mr. Floyd's hands.

CUOMO: Now when they grabbed Floyd's --

HALL: Then I hear George --


CUOMO: -- when they grabbed George's hands and put them behind his back, in the videotape, it seemed like it took a long time to get him out of the car. What was happening during that time?

HALL: He was asking them questions. They asked him, let me see your hands. George showed them his hands over the steering wheel. And when he did that, the officer reached in and grabbed his hands. Now, keep in mind, he did startle him by -- like he was trying to break the window.

Open the door, he demanded. What I believe, the energy was set wrong by the police when they approached him because they approached with like an energy where it startled Mr. Floyd. That's what I believe. And he was just trying to defuse the situation as best, as humbly that he could.

The man asked him what do you want him to do. Mr. George did. The cops said put your hands up, show me your hands. Floyd showed them hands, put his hands in the air as a sign of here go my hands, I'm not moving in the vehicle. I'm not trying -- I'm not trying to flee or no sir.

CUOMO: George was saying things like that. George was saying things like I'm good, I'm not going to do anything. Here it is. He was speaking that way?

HALL: By actions -- by showing his -- here is my hands over the steering wheel. When he showed his hands, and put them over the steering wheel, the cops reached in and grabbed his arms.

CUOMO: Got it.

HALL: When he grabbed his arms, George asked the cop, why you grabbing me with abusive force? What are you doing this? You asked to see my hands. Here go my hands. He's a big fellow. As a cop -- one officer is tussling with George's hands while George is still sitting in a peaceful form. He's in his vehicle. And the cop is it's like -- it seems as if he was trying to pull him out or something. I can't really, you know --


CUOMO: Did you hear them telling George to get out of the car?

HALL: No. I just -- I witnessed and remember, the officer then from my side taking off to his partner's side.

CUOMO: Right.

HALL: Now, there's two cops on George's side.


WATT: And a Minnesota judge has set bail for the three former police officers charged with aiding and abetting in George Floyd's death. Their bail is set at $1 million each or $750,000 under the condition that they don't work in law enforcement and don't have any contact with Floyd's family.

The fired officers appeared in court on Thursday one day after they were arrested. Two of them helped restrain Floyd, while the other stood nearby.

Derek Chauvin, the officer, who pinned Floyd to the ground with his knee for almost nine minutes, faces a second degree murder charge.

The death of African American men at the hands of American police is not a new phenomenon. There are sad parallels between the killing of George Floyd and the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore five years ago.

Maryland state attorney Marilyn Mosby prosecuted the Gray case, and she joins me now.

I suppose the first and most obvious question is how hard is it for somebody like you and prosecutors in this case to do their job in the face of so much protest and so much scrutiny?

MARILYN MOSBY, MARYLAND ATTORNEY FOR BALTIMORE: So -- I mean first and foremost, I think that you can draw parallels in that five years ago I was in the same position in that an innocent 25-year-old black man by the name of Freddie Carlos Gray, Jr. made eye contact with police. He was placed in a metal wagon, headfirst.

First he was unconstitutionally arrested. then placed in a metal wagon headfirst, feet shackled and handcuffed. And his pleas for medical attention were ignored.

I did my job, which was to follow the facts with the law, and I charged those officers accordingly. And I think what I have learned which is what we all see right now is that you can't underestimate the power of a prosecutor. To do your job, to apply one standard of justice in a system that has disproportionately impacted black people, the anguish, the anger, the protests that you see, is a direct result of a lack of faith in a system that has not been fair, and has not held police officers accountable.


MOSBY: And so, I think when I say, don't underestimate the power of the prosecutor, what comes with having courage is that you get intimidated, when it comes to applying one standard of justice to those regardless of their occupation. I received hate mail. I received death threats, you know.

There were all sorts of intimidation -- my family, my children's pictures were published online, my family's personnel records were subpoenaed.

So you get a lot of political and personal sort of backlash. I was actually sued. But your job as a prosecutor is to pursue justice over convictions. And that's what people are looking for right now.

WATT: And I mean -- it is a hard job. I mean as I understand it, in the Freddie Gray case, all of those officers were acquitted in the end. I mean it is hard in the United States to actually hold a police officer to account in a case like this.

MOSBY: Well, I mean it's definitely harder to hold police officers accountable. And that, you know, just the dynamic of the working relationship between a prosecutor and police, you typically work with the police. You don't -- you know, there is a working relationship and that prosecutors are not the enforcers of holding accountability for police.

What happened in the Freddie Gray case is that I learned a number of lessons. One of which should be one in which no profession should investigate themselves, right. There should be independent investigations into police officers.

So, you know, one of the problems that we had in the Freddie Gray case was the, you know, search and seizure warrants weren't executed. You had witnesses to the case that were assigned to lead the investigation. You had all sorts of questions that were being asked, but not the most pertinent questions because these were their colleagues.

You need an independent sort of agency that are investigating police accountability cases, not the same agency in which their colleagues are being required to investigate themselves.

WATT: What do you think is going to happen? Will this officer be convicted?

MOSBY: I think he will be convicted. And you know, what is most compelling about this case is that you have the murder on camera, you know. And at the end of the day, there is not a way for you to be able to refute it. There is not a way for you to impose that doubt, that reasonable doubt in the minds of any jury and/or any judge.

And in this moment, people are aware, consciously aware -- the onion has been peeled back, the rose-colored glasses have been taken off and you have to recognize the point at which we are when it comes to community and police relations in America in this country and in this moment.

WATT: Maryland state's attorney Marilyn Mosby -- thank you very much for joining us.

MOSBY: Thank you.

WATT: And demonstrators right now are also calling for justice in the Ahmaud Arbery murder case. Among them these protesters in Brunswick, Georgia. That's where Arbery's killing was videotaped in February. He was 25 years old, out for a jog, and he was chased, and fatally shot. Three white men are now charged in the case. And in the Georgia courtroom, investigators shared details.

CNN's Martin Savidge was in the courthouse -- and a warning, some of this footage is very hard to watch.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: 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 23rd of 2020, the 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 thought Arbery was a burglary suspect. The prosecution says Arbery had done nothing wrong.

EVANS: The fact of the matter is that there is no evidence that these defendants saw a burglary, saw any crime, had any subjective belief 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 is what he loved to do. Prosecutors detailed the events leading up to Arbery's death, saying all three men, using two pick up trucks, became a neighborhood hunting party -- blocking and re-directing 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 with the case said 34- year-old Travis McMichael admitted to the 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 McMichael 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, he heard Travis McMichael make the statement (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

SAVIDGE: Defense attorney for Travis McMichael maintained he never said that racial slur. And overall, the defense attorneys say all three men were only trying to have a conversation with Ahmaud Arbery that day when they were trying to stop him, even though two of the men were armed. They maintain it all went wrong when Ahmaud Arbery turned on them and Travis McMichael had to fire in self-defense. The prosecution says that is not what happened.

And lastly, I will point out that horrific alleged racial slur that Travis McMichael made. It may not be used against him in a trial because Georgia is one of only a handful of states that does not have a state hate crimes law. That could change by the end of this month, but even if it does, it would not apply to the trial of Ahmaud Arbery's death.

Martin Savidge, CNN -- Glynn County, Georgia.


WATT: Ahmaud Arbery's mother says she was devastated to hear the testimony about her son's last moments.


WANDA COOPER, AHMAUD ARBERY'S MOTHER: At this point, I am really speechless because -- I mean it's hard knowing that he had to go through that. After he ran -- he actually ran for his life. And then when he couldn't run anymore, he had to fight. And then after he fought, he was killed.

It's very hard to know that he endured that. I am hoping that the death of my son and also of Mr. Floyd, that their deaths will implement change. We need change. So no other African American male will lose their life in this manner.


WATT: An attorney for some of Arbery's family members say that the U.S. Justice Department has launched a hate crime investigation.

New polling shows trouble ahead for Donald Trump's reelection bid. We will tell you what he and his campaign are doing about it, next on CNN NEWSROOM.



WATT: In case you have forgotten, we are in the heat of the 2020 U.S. presidential campaign. The political conventions are right around the corner, debates after that, and new polling shows trouble for the incumbent. Ryan Nobles reports.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump huddling with top campaign lieutenants at the White House today, now less than five months until Election Day. The combination of crises playing out across the country and a string of new polls painting a tough path to reelection -- the tumult of 2020.

More than 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus in the U.S., more than 42 million Americans filing unemployment claims in the wake of the pandemic, merged with the unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police have reshaped the political landscape for the fall campaign.

A new round of polls show Trump falling behind presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden not just nationally but in key battleground states that Trump carried in 2016.

In Wisconsin, a state Trump won by a razor-thin margin, a new Fox News poll shows him trailing Biden by nine points. Biden also holds a four- point lead in Arizona, which Trump carried by more than three points in 2016.

Another warning sign in Ohio, which Trump won by more than eight points, a Fox News poll showing him in a tight race there with Biden.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump's not always polite.

NOBLES: Looking to shore up his electoral footing, the Trump campaign has spent nearly $2 million on television ads in Ohio, Arizona and Iowa since mid-May.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Nice Guy won't cut it. He does it his way, not the Washington way.

NOBLES: In public, the President is projecting confidence, shrugging off the polling numbers, showing him lagging.

Donald Trump, President of the United States: Just like last, time I was losing to Hillary in every state and I won every state -- ok?

NOBLES: And suggesting the view from inside his campaign is much different.

TRUMP: Other than two or three polls, which I do use, which I am doing very well with. but I saw another poll where I am winning every swing state substantially. And why wouldn't I?

NOBLES: And of course, campaigning is so different in this era of the coronavirus pandemic. But the Trump campaign is attempting to ramp things back up.

RNC officials telling me that next week, they will restart their in- person campaign effort. That means going door to door, holding in- person training, something they haven't been able to do since March. Ryan Nobles, CNN at the White House.


WATT: A U.S. Navy veteran detained for more than a year in Iran has been freed. 48-year-old Michael White traveled to Iran in 2018 to visit a woman he said was his girlfriend. He was arrested and sentenced to 13 years in prison for insulting Iran's Supreme Leader and posting private information online. White was diagnosed with coronavirus in March. As part of the deal, the U.S. released an Iranian American doctor accused of violating sanctions against Iran.

One of the biggest stars in the NFL is apologizing for what he now calls the insensitive remarks he made as people protest racism in the United States. We will look at what Drew Brees said and how his teammates are reacting.


WATT: Britain's Duchess of Sussex is speaking out against racism in America. She recorded a message for students graduating from her old Los Angeles high school saying they will effect real change in a broken nation.



MEGHAN MARKLE, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: We are going to rebuild and rebuild and rebuild until it is rebuilt. Because when the foundation is broken, so are we.

You are going to lead with love. You are going to lead with compassion. You are going to use your voice. You are going to use your voice and a stronger way than you have ever been able to because most of you are 18 or you're going to turn 18 so you're going to vote.

You are going to have empathy. For those who don't see the world through the same lens that you do because of this diverse and vibrant and open-minded as I know the teachings in Immaculate Heart are -- I know you know that black lives matter.


WATT: The Duchess says she agonized over saying the right thing about the issue before realizing the only wrong thing to say would be quote, "nothing".

One of the biggest stars in American football has now apologized for controversial comments he made about demonstrations against racism in the U.S. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees said on Monday it is disrespectful for players to kneel during the national anthem.

Our Patrick Snell has more on Brees' apology and how his teammates are reacting.


PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Drew Brees is a very popular figure in American sport but his comments during an interview with Yahoo Finance on Wednesday had fans, fellow athletes and even his own teammates in an uproar.

Early Thursday morning, Brees taking to Instagram to apologize. He said, "In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country. They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy."

Brees added that he needed to do less talking and more listening.

Meantime, wide receiver Michael Thomas is one of the first Saints players to criticize Brees' comments. After the apology, Thomas tweeted, "He apologized and I accepted it because that's what we were taught to do as Christian's. Now, back to the movement. #George Floyd."

Fellow teammate, Demario Davis said the apology showed true leadership.

DEMARIO DAVIS, NEW ORLEANS SAINTS LINEBACKER: He admitted that he missed the mark. For him to come out and say, you know I missed the mark, I have been insensitive, but what I'm going to start doing is listening and learning from the black community and finding ways that I can help them, I think that is a model for all of America. Because historically, in general, most of America has missed the mark.

SNELL: And the question now is how many players will feel empowered to defy a league ban and kneel during the anthem when the NFL season starts this fall?

Patrick Snell, CNN -- Atlanta.


WATT: Thanks for watching.

I am Nick Watt.

John Vause is next.