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Two Buffalo Officers To Be Arraigned Today On Assault Charges; Memorial Services For George Floyd In North Carolina; Protests Against Excessive Police Force & Racism Spread Worldwide; Misclassification Error Makes Unemployment Rate Look Better; Trump Touts Jobs Report As Protests, Unrest Sweep The Country; NFL Commissioner Condemns Racism And Systematic Oppression; Moments Of Unity In Nationwide Protests Bring Hope For Change; Race To Find COVID-19 Vaccine Intensifies. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired June 6, 2020 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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[10:59:41]

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield in Atlanta.

A big thanks to "Sesame Street" for that amazing hour. And now we want parents to know that we are going to return to our normal grown-up news broadcast right now in case you need to move the little ones to another room.

All right. Right now around the world, people are taking to the streets to protest racial injustice and the death of George Floyd. From London to Mexico City to Sydney, Australia to our nation's capitol -- we'll take you live as these protests enter now their 12th day.

And moments ago, CNN has learned that the two Buffalo, New York police officers seen in this shocking video pushing a 75-year-old protester to the ground are being charged.

CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich is following this story for us from Buffalo. Vanessa -- what are you learning?

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning -- Fredericka.

Those two officers seen on camera pushing Martin Gugino to the ground are being arraigned here this morning at city court. According to our affiliate they're being charged with second degree assault.

We're also learning from our affiliate that the police union sent text messages to members asking them to come out this morning and support those two officers. Right behind me you can see a large group of people. You see police officers in their dress uniforms, but you also see people in plain clothes. We've also seen some members in union t- shirts. They are here largely to support those two officers.

We also learned last night, Fredricka, that 57 members of the emergency response team, that is the team that those two officers are on, they have resigned from those positions. They're still with the police department but they resigned from that team in protest.

Also last night, there were protests here around Buffalo. People were out here protesting police discrimination, what happened with George Floyd but also came out to protest against what happened to that 75- year-old man, Martin Gugino.

Last night the protests were peaceful. We didn't see a lot of law enforcement presence. But after 8:00 p.m., which was the curfew yesterday evening, some people dispersed but there was still a group that was staying out in protest and the police really sort of hanging back and letting them continue to protest.

Tonight here in Buffalo we're expecting that 8:00 p.m. curfew as well. And we are expecting -- Fredricka, more protests here in the city of Buffalo. We know that organizers have asked for those protesters though to remain very peaceful -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: And Vanessa -- you know, this as an aside, I mean one has to wonder every time you look at the video of the 75-year-old, you know, protester. I mean his approach seemed very gentle, perhaps he had an inquiry. Does anyone know, you know, what he was asking or inquiring about before he was pushed right there?

YURKEVICH: We don't know. We know from the family attorney, though, however that Martin Gugino is sort of historically, he has been someone that has protested in the past. He calls himself a humanitarian. He was out there we know protesting against police brutality, against racial discrimination. His purpose there was in protest of what happened to George Floyd and so many other people.

And he was approaching those officers after curfew, it was after 8:00 p.m. We saw that he had something in his hand, it looked like it may have been a helmet, a police helmet perhaps. We don't know what he was saying. But as you described, it seemed like sort of a more calm approach, and that is why so much of the community is upset because they felt like he was an older man approaching police officers and he was pushed to the ground as a result of that -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: And he remains hospitalized?

YURKEVICH: He does. As of last check yesterday evening, he is in serious but stable condition.

WHITFIELD: All right. Vanessa Yurkevich -- thank you so much for that in Buffalo.

So as communities honor the life of George Floyd, a short time from now a second memorial will get under way for Floyd in his birth state of North Carolina.

CNN's Dianne Gallagher is live for us outside the memorial in Raeford, North Carolina.

Dianne -- I know the casket arrived not long ago. When are we expecting things to get under way and what is expected during the memorial services?

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So Fredricka -- this is something that's for the family. This is being described as an intimate memorial. A stark contrast from what we saw on Thursday in Minneapolis.

The 3:00 p.m. memorial service is just the Floyd family and close friends. Earlier, and what's happening right now behind me, is this public viewing. George Floyd's body is there in the building behind me actually sitting in that windowed area right there as members of the public can come and pay their respects in person.

Now this wasn't supposed to open up until just this moment, but it is hot outside right now and the sheriff went ahead because they had everything together and allowed people starting to come in early.

[11:04:58]

GALLAGHER: The lines wrapped around this parking lot down the street, through the block on either side. People who told me they just wanted to come and see him, to pay their respects.

Now, George Floyd was born about 20 minutes from here in Fayetteville, North Carolina. His family, many of them still live here -- his sister Bridgett, who described George as really a father figure to her. She still lives here. And she came to the sheriff and asked if he could help them put this together -- Frederica, try and make this as personal and as religious as possible.

The family told the sheriff they wanted this to be -- in their words, they wanted it to be "church". They wanted to feel like this was personal and about the life that George Floyd led and not the way that he died.

Now the people who I talked to, who've come to pay their respects, who did not know George Floyd, talked about how his death has seemingly become a catalyst for what could potentially be change in this country. And there's a lot of cautious optimism from the people I spoke with.

But the family, again, wants this to be about George today. They want to be about who he was as a man, a s a person. And Fred -- that's what we're expecting to see. The public is not allowed at that memorial. It's just the family.

It is going to be broadcast live because they say, they understand the world wants to grieve with them but they need something for themselves, too. The world has been able to share in their grief but they want some private time as well and that's what this afternoon hopefully is going to give them a chance to talk about George.

Two North Carolina congressmen -- a Republican and Democrat are going to speak at this service. But for the most part, it's pastors, family members, the mother is going to speak. Family members are going to sing and this is going to be a sendoff for George Floyd at his birthplace. WHITFIELD: All right. Dianne Gallagher -- thank you so much. Raeford, North Carolina. We'll check back with you throughout the day. Appreciate it.

All right. Now, to the nation's capital today. Thousands of demonstrators expected in Washington D.C. Officials there have added tall fencing and barricades outside the White House. A Secret Service spokesperson now says that the fencing will stay in place and some streets around the White House will remain closed until at least Wednesday of next week.

Suzanne Malveaux is at the Lincoln Memorial for us. So Suzanne -- it is expected to be quite a sizable turnout today.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning -- Fred.

Well, really when you think about it, the air is thick with anticipation because it is considered to be record numbers of protesters expected today. There are a number of hashtags on social media calling for up to a million people. But D.C. Fire and Police believe it may be anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000.

Fred -- I want to show you a little bit here at the Lincoln Memorial, just a beautiful and diverse crowd that has gathered. You see the presence of the National Guard, certainly a much less smaller footprint than what we have seen last week.

There's a sense of calm, of peace, of camaraderie as we've been talking to people throughout the morning with their various messages. There are groups from around the country but some of them making their way here and local Freedom Fighters of D.C., Black Lives Matter.

The protests will begin here in earnest about noon, we're told. Some will gather on Capitol Hill at the Dirksen Building. They'll make their way over here and then onto Freedom Plaza, which is across from the office of the D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. And that's where they'll be delivering their message.

I want to bring in some very special guest here -- Jessica Clark (ph). She is with a network of churches called Vessels. I'm going to put my mask on so you can take yours off.

DENISE (ph), VESSELS ACTION NETWORK: Sure.

MALVEAUX: And just tell us, it seems to be a very beautiful tone here. But what are you hoping for today in your gathering? And the message here -- what you hope to accomplish?

DENISE (ph): Sure. So my name is Denise (INAUDIBLE). And we are with the Vessels Action Network. It's a Christian nonprofit organization here in Washington D.C.

And today our message is very simple. We are believers in Jesus Christ and we're saying that as believers in Jesus we also stand for justice because Jesus Christ stood for justice. And so our message is to spread a message of love, of hope, of encouragement to just encourage our people, the black race, that God loves us and that we will not be oppressed by this systemic and vicious system. We will not be defined by it. We will not be limited by it.

And because we believe in Jesus Christ, we can do all things through Christ. So today our message is one of hope. We want to heal this nation. We're praying for the leaders of this country.

We're praying for this country and we want to bring everyone together and then just say that, you know, God is still on his throne and God still loves his people. He will definitely heal this nation.

And so we want to encourage everyone out there to just be hopeful, keep praying, keep protesting, keep marching but justice is definitely here.

[11:09:51]

MALVEAUX: And I noticed one of the things that attracted many people to your group was I mean, the songs -- the beautiful songs made me cry this morning. But there are people outside your congregation, outside your church, including members of the white community and Latinos and everyone who is here to share in that message.

DENISE (ph): Yes. And so, you know, we started off with songs of worship. You know, we want to praise God and worship God. No matter what we're going through -- the division, the hostility, the hate -- God is still awesome. He's still good.

This is Pastor Henry, who is our leader of the Vessels Network. He led us in a time of prayer as well. If you want to share a few things.

PASTOR HENRY, VESSELS ACTION NETWORK: So what we believe in is that we are not disqualified. That in this time there is a feeling that the black man will feel very disqualified, victimized. And we want to bring a voice of hope that no matter how we feel, we are not disqualified.

There's a place in us. We're still people who are resilient. We have gone through many things and we are still standing and we are very hopeful for the future.

MALVEAUX: I appreciate your hope. I'm sorry we've run out of time. But thank you so much. I really appreciate.

And Fred -- one of the things that they are really hoping that protesters heed to is this weather. It's going to be 90 degrees. A lot of people we've already seen out here, just volunteers giving away free water and snacks, making sure everybody takes really good care of themselves as they call for justice -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Suzanne Malveaux -- thank you so much. We'll check back with you again as things really get under way, around noontime -- about 50 minutes from now. Thanks so much.

All right. The Black Lives Matter Movement has a global voice. Thousands take to the streets in London demanding change. We'll take you there live to the center of the demonstration next.

[11:11:28]

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WHITFIELD: Welcome back.

Solidarity protests are taking place around the world today for George Floyd and racial injustice. In Melbourne, Australia demonstrators came out in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement and to address the treatment of aboriginal people in police custody.

In France thousands protested this week over a 2016 police killings with parallels to what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis.

And in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau knelt with Black Lives Matter protesters as they gathered in that country's capital.

CNN's Nic Robertson is in London where that city is seeing another day of protests. So Nic -- you know, what is happening there? What and who is driving the messages?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Black Lives Matter is what's driving the protesters here. They are supporting justice for George Floyd. They gathered outside parliament about three or four hours ago. It was a very big gathering, thousands and thousands of people. But now they've walked about a mile, a mile and a half. You can see the stars and stripes over my shoulder. That's the U.S. embassy. They've moved here to gather outside of the -- outside of the embassy to send their message directly because they feel there's a message here for the United States.

Tut they also feel there's a message here for British politicians. That is that there's racism here in the U.K. and they want that dealt with as well. So the very fact that you can see people walking away, walking past me here, away from the protest really gives you the idea that the majority of the protesters now are drifting away.

They came for that gathering in the center of London. They've sent the message. They marched to the U.S. embassy. They've demonstrated outside of the British parliament, outside of the U.S. embassy. They've sent their message and they're moving on home.

But what we have seen with other protests here earlier in the week is that sometimes in the evening you will find that there will be small confrontations with the police. But this has been, as far as we've seen, an absolutely peaceful demonstration. Thousands upon thousands of people coming out to say that black lives matter and that racism exists in the U.K. and other parts of the world as well.

WHITFIELD: All right. The pictures have been extraordinary just seeing the thousands of people descending through the many streets of London. Nic Robertson -- thank you so much.

All right. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment numbers have reached record levels. Is the newest jobless rate worse than what's being reported? Up next, how a misclassification error could have affected the numbers.

[11:18:10]

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WHITFIELD: A new jobs report brought some surprisingly good news, the U.S. gaining 2.5 million jobs in May. But it turns out a misclassification error could be making the unemployment numbers look better than they actually are. The unemployment rate is now 13.3 percent as businesses reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But the numbers come with an asterisk. The Bureau of Labor Statistics now says it misclassified some unemployed workers and that the unemployment rate could have been as high as 19.2 percent in April and 16.1 percent in May.

Seth Harris is the former acting U.S. Secretary of Labor under President Obama. Seth -- good to see you.

So can you explain how something like this could happen, and what it means for this latest jobs report?

SETH HARRIS, FORMER ACTING U.S. SECRETARY OF LABOR: Well, I think we have a very complicated situation right now. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics is trying to figure out how to count people and how to classify them.

What happened in this case is that they apparently misclassified workers who were working for businesses that had shutdown because of the pandemic and were counted as being absent from work because they were on leave rather than being counted as unemployed. So they were counted among the employed rather than among the unemployed. And that drove the unemployment rate down about 3 percent.

WHITFIELD: But how does a mistake like that happen? I mean it's so obvious while so many businesses shutdown. I mean that was public knowledge that people lost their jobs. How could you misclassify those people?

HARRIS: Well, I think what happened was that the guidance that was given by the bureau to the people who do the classification during the survey process just was not good enough, clear enough guidance.

You know, remember you have a large number of people working for BLS who are speaking with both workers and business establishments to try to figure out what's going on in the labor market. And then they are recording their answers.

And the question is, how does each individual who's taking the survey responses record the answers on the survey. And what they found was there was systematic error in the way that folks -- their employees were recording these results.

[11:24:58] HARRIS: You know, I fear that because this was a fairly serious

misclassification that people are going to hatch a bunch conspiracy theories around it. They shouldn't do that.

I don't think the folks at BLS trying to cook the books or make President Trump look good. They're career professionals. They take their craft very seriously. They're trying to do the best they possibly can in a very complicated situation.

So they were transparent about it. They told us about it, that's why you and I are talking about it. That's the right way to respond. Let us know what the real numbers are and where the confusion led.

WHITFIELD: So you do not believe any kind of intentional tinkering or, you know, bad act?

HARRIS: No, I don't. I'm not a conspiracy theorist generally, but also I got to know those folks at the Bureau of Labor Statistics extremely well.

WHITFIELD: All right.

HARRIS: They are professionals. They care about their craft. It didn't happen.

WHITFIELD: Ok. Well, as you dissect the numbers, you know, these new unemployment numbers also show a racial disparity. The unemployment rate for white Americans went down while the unemployment rate for black Americans went up. What do those numbers tell you, and how do they discern that?

HARRIS: They tell us that there's still a lot of systemic racism and systemic disparity in our society that African-Americans are overrepresented in low wage jobs that were hurt, that were hit very, very hard by this pandemic and the economic consequences of it.

And that we need to pay attention to ensuring that African-Americans have every opportunity in our society, both for education and for job opportunities to rise within career ladders. And that we don't really have that right now -- there has long been a disparity in the unemployment rate between African-Americans and white workers.

We need to fix it. We need to make sure that every worker is treated the same in labor markets and workplaces.

WHITFIELD: So the President has been taking a victory lap, you know, very impressed by the numbers but it wasn't that long ago that one of his advisers Kevin Hassett said don't be surprised if we see 20 percent unemployment. Do you still think that there's potential there for that?

HARRIS: I would be surprised if that happened, unless we have another big wave of the coronavirus pandemic and businesses have to be shutdown in large numbers again.

But I also wouldn't say that we're on a glide path to a full employment rate here either. You know, this was a recovery of 11 percent of the jobs that were lost. That is probably -- I don't think we know this -- but I think we can speculate that that was probably a consequence of the action by Congress to pass almost $3 trillion in stimulus in the economy.

So, for example, small businesses got the Paycheck Protection Program. They were urged -- they were required, essentially, if they wanted their loans forgiven to bring workers back and apparently that is what happened. It happened in mid size and large businesses, too.

WHITFIELD: Or at least pay them.

HARRIS: -- those that got support from the governor.

WHITFIELD: All right. Seth Harris -- thank you so much. Really appreciate your expertise. Thank you so much.

HARRIS: Thanks, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right. CNN's Sarah Westwood is at the White House.

So Sarah -- you know, President Trump yesterday called these numbers the greatest come back in America history. But a deeper look at the numbers show there are some, you know, real disparities and differences.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right -- Fred.

President Trump was yesterday taking a victory lap off of those numbers, touting the unemployment rate being as low as 13.3 percent. As we just covered though that could actually be as high as 16 percent.

We've asked the White House to respond to that apparent discrepancy, we have not heard anything back yet but in that Rose Garden appearance, we heard the President focusing intently on those economic numbers and on his law and order message. He had very little to say about the issues of systemic racism and about police brutality, you know, the issues that are animating the protests that we're seeing around the country.

And Trump has also come under fire for invoking George Floyd's name while touting those economic numbers in the protester fund. I want you to take a listen to that moment in the Rose Garden appearance yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing that's happening for our country. It's a great day for him. It's a great day for everybody.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WESTWOOD: not only has President Trump been largely silent on the issues underpinning the protests THAT we've seen around the country but he's also been elevating a conservative commentator who described George Floyd as a bad person, and that's Candace Owens.

This week the President retweeted comments from Owens saying that she was sickened by the fact that George Floyd has been held up as a martyr. And Owens was also invited by the White House to participate in a listening session with Vice President Mike Pence.

Now this weekend, the President will spend his time behind closed doors here at the White House behind an expanded security perimeter ahead of expected continuing protests here in the nation's capital.

He had been scheduled to go to his golf property in Bedminster, New Jersey -- Fred. But sources tell CNN that aides cautioned the President that the optics of him being absent from the nation's capital and golfing with ongoing protests would not be good for him politically.

[11:30:01]

WHITFIELD: All right. Sarah Westwood at the White House -- thanks so much.

The NFL commissioner makes a noteworthy announcement. Roger Goodell admits the league was wrong for not listening to past protests of its players. Up next, the one name not mentioned in Goodell's statement.

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WHITFIELD: An about-face. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell now apologizing for not listening to the players who have been protesting injustice in America for the last several years. Roger Goodell taking a strong stand after several players implored the league to condemn racism and support its black players.

[11:34:50]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROGER GOODELL, NFL COMMISSIONER: We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people. We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.

I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much needed change in this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: CNN Sports correspondent Carolyn Manno joins me now with more on this. So Carolyn -- what more can you tell us about Goodell's decision and commitment he's now making?

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good afternoon -- Fred. Well, the impetus for this decision, this apology was that video of NFL stars voicing their opinions, demanding action. I mean it became very clear this week that written statements from the league were not going to go far enough in satisfying players who felt like they haven't had a voice since 2016. I mean Fred -- the fact of the matter is that black athletes make up 70 percent of the National Football League.

And while everybody's opinions are different, there are players who remember vividly what happened to Colin Kaepernick back in 2016. They know how he was treated. He was exiled from the league for having this same exact stance that Roger Goodell is now saying he fully supports.

And that's one of the reasons why Donte Stallworth, former NFL wide receiver, joined Don Lemon to explain that while this apology is a step in the right direction, not mentioning Colin Kaepernick by name is likely not going to be good enough here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONTE STALLWORTH, FORMER NFL PLAYER: Roger Goodell should have mentioned Colin Kaepernick's name -- Colin Kaepernick by name. And they haven't done that. And I think that is the thing that a lot of people still don't trust the NFL's words because their actions have shown and proven otherwise.

It's a decent first step but those first steps now need to be followed through with action, with concrete action.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MANNO: And Fred -- listen, this is not a time to be further divisive here. Any apology, any step in the right direction to correct some of those missteps is a good thing on the part of the National Football League. But players will not forget the way that they have been treated.

There's a reason why you saw NBA athletes really lead the charge in the street, publicly expressing themselves in their opinion. That's largely because their commissioner has given them an indication in the past that that's something that's ok to do.

When you look at the history of what the NFL has done, players have been told to stand up and be quiet. And it's very clear now that lip service is not going to be an option and that the league is going to have to put their money where their mouth is, so to speak, to correct some of their past behavior.

WHITFIELD: And now you've got a commitment being spoken by players, former players from the NFL and to the NBA, from Drew Brees, you know, making his out-loud commitment, to Michael Jordan, you know, committing $100 million to programs to advocate for and support justice in America particularly for black Americans.

All right. Carolyn Manno -- thank you so much. All right. Joining me right now to discuss is Cornell Brooks, a civil rights attorney and former president and CEO of the NAACP, and Joey Jackson, a CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney. Good to see both of you gentlemen.

All right. Cornell -- you first. You know, what do you think of this -- shall we call it an evolution, you know, in the NFL commissioner's apology?

CORNELL BROOKS, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: First, I just begin with a note of condolence to the Floyd family (AUDIO GAP) and all those grappling with the death of George Floyd.

Listen -- the statement of Roger Goodell is a statement of sincerity and clarity. But the sincerity and clarity of the statement didn't obviate and eliminate the need for action. Meaning where you have a league where at least a thousand players are African-American and statistically speaking one out of a thousand black men will be killed at the hands of the police. They're mostly young.

Police homicide being the sixth leading cause of death among young black men. Action is necessary --

(CROSSTALK)

WHITFIELD: And what is that action? I mean what's the concrete action that Donte Stallworth talked about? The action that you're talking about that Roger Goodell should be challenged to take on?

BROOKS: Hire Colin Kaepernick. Colin Kaepernick, as a symbol of NFL players being able to speak freely, speak clearly, and speak to the moment is incredibly important. You can't say I apologize for failing to speak in the past, failing to protest in the past and not hire the person who led the protest in the past and is leading protests in the present.

This speaks to the future of the NFL, namely young NFL fans and future NFL fans stand with Colin Kaepernick and not Roger Goodell of old and the owners of old.

[11:39:48]

BROOKS: And so the point being here -- hire, support reform of policing from top to bottom, and allow your players to stand with much of America in the streets. The NFL, frankly looks morally anachronistic, old-fashioned, and out of date, and out of sync with much of the country.

If police chiefs can kneel in the street as Colin Kaepernick did on the field, why can't we allow NFL players to speak with and stand with much of America? NFL has got to really come into the 21st century.

WHITFIELD: Joey -- it is perplexing that you would have Goodell say ok, you know, we were wrong, we should have allowed that protest and there's the omission of Colin Kaepernick's name.

BROOKS: That's right.

WHITFIELD: I mean that is -- that was the starting point. I mean, you know, the NFL took its position. The White House took a position on Colin Kaepernick because he knelt. And now, Goodell is saying, ok, that's a mistake. We should acknowledge that and we should make allowances for that. But then not mention Colin Kaepernick's name? I mean it's very confusing.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Very well stated. Good morning to you. Good to be with you. Cornell -- you as well.

Listen, here's the point we're at. The fact is that there are a number of things at play. The first thing is certainly you want people to acknowledge the issue. That's important that there's an acknowledgement.

The second thing is you want people to understand the issue.

And then the third thing is you want people to act upon the issue who have a platform and an ability to do so.

I would agree with my friend Cornell as it relates to hiring Colin Kaepernick. I think it would be a symbolic and very important step forward. You cannot apologize about what you did and things that were wrong if you don't acknowledge how wrong that was.

Let me go one step further though than Cornell and say this. It would be even more significant if he were hired by the Minnesota Vikings at this time. Look at what occurred here. You have the symbolism of the picture that we're looking at where he's on one knee. What did we see and what did the country witness so horrifically? An officer having his knee on the neck of George Floyd to the extent it killed him.

WHITFIELD: Yes.

JACKSON: Who would have known years later that would have been the case? We have a long way to go. I think doing that would move it a long way forward. We're at the time and point -- a critical moment in history -- where we have an opportunity.

If we act within this window of opportunity -- Fredricka, we can move to a better place. That's where we need to move to at this time.

WHITFIELD: Cornell -- we always talk about timing. We always question timing when events -- when things happen, decisions made, et cetera.

And Roger Goodell that he would do this now, you know, people will be watching their clocks. Ok. What kind of action are you talking about? If it is Colin Kaepernick making sure that he's, you know, back playing again, you know, being a force with the NFL again, people will be looking, you know, how sincere are these words because, you know, later, you know, people are exhausted. Now is going to be the time.

BROOKS: That's right. So in many ways, our athletes are not only leaders with respect to athleticism, they're leaders with respect to our values and our hopes. So the NFL has an opportunity here to lead by pushing Colin Kaepernick out front. Allowing him to play. This suggests to the country that the NFL can move with the moral urgency that the moment requires and that the country should move with the moral urgency that is required.

In other words, when it comes to police brutality we've had people say we will solve the problem, we can solve the problem eventually. It will take generations.

The NFL can move in a matter of moments. That would energize and inspire the present moment. Because be clear, we're in the middle of a social justice/civil rights movement. The NFL needs to position itself within the mood of the country, the movement within the country so that it can lead on the field and lead in American culture.

WHITFIELD: Yes. Action now is a much more believable epiphany.

BROOKS: Correct.

WHITFIELD: Cornell Brooks, Joey Jackson -- thank you so much to both of you. Really appreciate it.

BROOKS: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right. You know, speaking of touching moments that people have seen. Here's one right here caught on camera. Amid the protest chaos, a police officer breaks from his line of fellow officers in a moment of compassion. How the single move changed a crowd.

[11:44:28]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right. Tension between protesters and police has been palpable and raw at times in these nationwide demonstrations but there have also been moments of compassion and understanding. Here's CNN's Rosa Flores.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As tensions erupted between protesters and police in cities around the country, and property went up in flames including here in Miami --

CAPT. ROGER REYES, FLORIDA HIGHWAY PATROL DISTRICT COMMANDER: I don't want nobody hurt. Don't hurt them no more.

FLORES: -- an emotional embrace between a Florida Highway Patrol district commander and a longtime Miami activist seemed to wash the tension with tears for a brief moment.

[11:49:58]

REYES: It was about humanity.

RENITA HOLMES, ACTIVIST: Yes, we love each other. We found a common ground.

FLORES: Common ground at a time when more than 9,800 people have been arrested nationwide amid protests while expressing pent-up anger from generations of inequality and police brutality.

HOLMES: (INAUDIBLE) I'm dealing with the pain from the pavement to the podium.

FLORES: Renita Holmes says she's been fighting for civil rights since she was a teenager and remembers the Miami riots of 1980 which erupted after the acquittal of police officers charged with beating a black man to death. The grievances and emotions then --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wanted to believe in the American system. No more. Never again.

FLORES: -- resonate now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mama, I can't breathe.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mama, I can't breathe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Floyd.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Floyd.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Floyd.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Floyd.

HOLMES: George Floyd was his last words were, Mama. Mama -- I can't breathe. That sounds like a call to action for me.

FLORES: Holmes, who says she has lost two sons to gun violence is determined to make change.

REYES: She mentioned something that touched me and touched all of us. She says they have mamas. We have mamas. And it was all about humanity. It was about a group of people, not just the protesters. It was about law enforcement. Everybody has a mama.

FLORES: What Holmes didn't know was that District Commander Reyes lost his mom a year and a half ago.

REYES: She was a great woman. And we miss her dearly.

FLORES: And hugging Holmes, a total stranger, warmed his heart.

REYES: I haven't been able to hug my mom for a year and a half, and it's very special.

HOLMES: I owe you -- Big Boo.

REYES: She gave me a funny nickname -- Big Boo. If that's what it's going to take to bring people together, I'll take it.

FLORES: Rosa Flores, CNN -- Miami.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right. Big Boo and a big hug.

All right. The race for a vaccine. Scientists are working faster than ever to find a coronavirus vaccine. Up next, where we stand.

[11:52:12]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Several University of Alabama football players have tested positive for coronavirus, according to multiple reports. This comes as the NCAA allowed schools to welcome athletes back on campuses for the first time since March. As the pandemic continues its spread, so does the race to find a vaccine.

Here's CNN's Elizabeth Cohen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: There's a race on to get a vaccine for COVID-19. And scientists are working faster than they ever have before. It's really quite unprecedented.

Let's take a look at some of the progress thus far. There are 133 teams worldwide that are developing a vaccine. Ten are in human clinical trials, meaning they are actually trying them out in humans. 123 are at preclinical stages meaning they are working with animals or they're working in the lab.

Let's take a look at where these ten teams are that are in clinical trials. There are three in the U.S.A. -- Moderna, Inovio and Novavax. There is one that's in the U.S. and German Pfizer and BioNTech. One in the United Kingdom and that's AstraZeneca which is teaming up with the University of Oxford. And there are five in China.

It's unclear which of these is going to finish first, and more importantly, it's unclear which of these are going to work. It's -- we know that some of them won't work. That's why we have so many shots on goal, so to speak.

Let's take a listen to what Dr. Anthony Fauci of the U.S. National Institutes of Health had to say about this.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: It means at risk for the investment. So we're going to start manufacturing doses of the vaccines way before we even know that the vaccine works. We may know whether it's effective, efficacious or not by maybe November, December. Which means that by that time, we hopefully would have close to 100 million doses.

COHEN: By manufacturing while they're doing research, what that means is that if a vaccine works then there should be a supply of doses ready to go immediately. It also means that if some vaccines don't work, that they'll have been produced basically for nothing.

But it's been decided that that is worth it in order to try to have enough vaccine for the entire world as soon as possible. Now this progress being made not just on vaccines but also in treatments of various kinds. There's some news out this week about Famotidine.

Many people know Famotidine, even if they don't know it by that name. In some places it's sold under the brand name Pepcid. It's a very common heartburn remedy. And there's been some thought that this might actually help against coronavirus.

What researchers found and what they published in a medical journal this week is that ten patients who took it when they were home sick with COVID did find some relief. Now that doesn't mean that the drug did it. It may have been that they just naturally were going to get better anyways, which of course, most COVID patients do especially if they are at home.

But it could be that the Famotidine played a role. So now, they're going to plan a large clinical trial where half of the patients will be getting Famotidine, half of the patients will be getting a placebo and they'll see who does better.

Back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[12:00:01]

WHITFIELD: Elizabeth Cohen -- thank you so much for that.

All right. The next hour of the NEWSROOM starts right now.