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Tens Of Thousands March Across America For Black Lives; D.C. Mayor Requests All Out-Of-City National Guard Leave; Protesters In NYC Street Despite Curfew. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired June 6, 2020 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN HOST: This is CNN's special live coverage of the nationwide protests over the death of George Ford. I'm glad you're with us tonight. I'm Poppy Harlow. From New York to Los Angeles, a mass of humanity tonight, voicing the minds of so many people in what appeared to be some of the largest crowd scene in some cities since Floyd lost his life with his hands cuffed behind his back, 12 days ago.
Tens of thousands took to the streets today to call for an end to police abuse and for true reform in this country. Protests still happening like here in New York City despite curfews although, there are a number of cities like Washington DC, Dallas and Los Angeles that have lifted their curfews.
The protests have been for the most part peaceful and most of all powerful as people remembered Floyd and other African-American men unarmed, whose lives were cut far too short by police.
In North Carolina today, the town where Floyd was born, supporters held a memorial for him. In Kentucky, balloons were released for Breonna Taylor, an ENT shot eight times in her own home by police executing a warrant in search of another person and in the nation's capital, the words Black Lives Matter.
Look at this. This is just remarkable. Black Lives Matter emblazoned on the road that leads straight to the White House, the letters so large they can be seen from space. That's what you're looking at. Across the way on Capitol Hill, there is a new development in the Floyd case tonight.
His brother will testify before Congress this week. In Washington protesters have been making their voices heard outside the White House, the capital and in front of the Lincoln Memorial so that's where we begin our coverage tonight.
Our Alex Marquardt has been with the crowds, all night and joins me now. Good evening. What is it been like? ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well Poppy, just an
astonishing number of people came out today. Certainly the biggest here in Washington DC. Since they began more than a week ago, since the death of George - George Floyd, the protests have been centered here right near the White House and I'm going to show you the White House in just a second but you were talking about that mural that has appeared on 16th street that the Mayor of DC Muriel Bowser had painted in huge letters that can be seen from space.
This crowd back here, in fact some of them have just added an addendum, an additional message that says 'Defund the police.' We don't exactly know who's behind it but there were a lot of people who didn't think that that Black Lives Matter message from the Mayor just went far enough.
Poppy, it has been an entirely peaceful crowd as it has been throughout the course of the entire week. This has now been named Black Lives Matter Plaza by the Mayor. People have been climbing up sign posts to take pictures with that new street signs and as you can see, this is where the white - this is the White House, this is the edge of Lafayette Park where people have been gathering all day long, all week long in a very peaceful way.
And from the looks of it, they will continue to throughout the evening because as you mentioned, there is no curfew. It has been peaceful so they lifted the curfew several days ago and there haven't been any arrests. Poppy.
HARLOW: Well, that's great to hear. Obviously, you know making news of the mayor joined in today in the protest. I wonder have you seen the National Guard out at all today?
MARQUARDT: We have seen a bit of the National Guard. I got to say it is far less than we have seen throughout the course of the week. There is no one that we have seen lately tonight or throughout the day behind that huge fence that is lining the edge of that park.
The - That is a reflection of the people protest but it's also likely a reflecting of the fact that Muriel Browser has really been butting heads with the Trump administration that called in those massive reinforcements from federal agencies from 11 different state's National Guard.
And she has been demanding in a letter to the President and online on Twitter that those federal officers, those extraordinary forces as she called them including the National Guard be removed from DC and our Ryan Brown spoke with the commanding general of the DC National Guard earlier and he was saying possibly as early as Monday, some of those 4000 National Guard from out of state could leave Washington DC.
That would of course leave more than thousands of DC's own National Guard because DC is not a state, they do not fall under the Mayor's control. Poppy.
HARLOW: Right. Alex, we appreciate the reporting tonight. Thank you very much for being there. Let's go now to the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety in the nation's capital Kevin Donahue. Good to have you, Sir.
Obviously you know - you just said that reporting from Alex and we know that Mayor Bowser wants to see those - those forces taken out of Washington DC, any additional law enforcement that's been brought in.
Do you agree with that request from a public safety perspective?
KEVIN DONAHUE, DEPUTY MAYOR FOR PUBLIC SAFETY AND JUSTICE, WASHINGTON, D.C.: You know we have a great DC National Guard. We asked for them, live and work in DC. What we did not one of National Guard from outside of our area twe got some. They hat don't know our city and don't know our policies.
We are very proud in DC for being able to handle large demonstrations well and our DC National Guard is enough to do that.
HARLOW: The Commander of the DC National Guard told us that some of those nearly 4000 National Guard forces that have been brought into DC from other states could be leaving as soon as Monday. Has this - I mean is that the case still and has the city been - been made aware of this?
DONAHUE: That is my understanding and even as you're reporting, even today it's a much lighter presence and the guard you see are DC National Guard, by and large and law enforcement that work in DC and live in the area.
HARLOW: Thank you very much, Kevin. Appreciate you being with us tonight and for those updates. So let's go now to the streets of New York City. Huge crowds gathered throughout the city, despite the curfew still being in place here. Let's go to my colleague Bill Weir.
You've been walking alongside, reporting all evening with them, defying the curfew but police are letting them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. We're two past curfew, Poppy. Take a look around. We're hearing from the organizer, this particular.
CROWDS: We need to stay together.
WEIR: This young man in the beret has been leading these chants of do not engage, stay together. He's been keeping morale up with chants and this has been a very deliberate march.
Very deliberate, fast march. Over here, they say don't stop. They want us to stop.
CROWDS: Do not engage. We are united. We are peaceful.
WEIR: I'm going to try to talk to this gentleman. Excuse me. Hey we're live on CNN right now. Can I talk to you? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want everybody here in silence. I want everybody
to take a look, research the orange revolution, OK?
WEIR: What's your name?
PARIS HOWARD, DEMONSTRATOR: Paris Howard.
WEIR: Paris. You seem to be the leader of this particular march, is there an object.
HOWARD: I'm definitely helping this. We're bringing awareness. The injustices of the criminal system. Breonna Taylor's murderers walk into her room. Knocked on her apartment and kicked the door down. They killed her in cold blood.
No justice is served. Those cops have not been arrested yet.
WEIR: We can move and talk and walk and talk.
HOWARD: Mic check. Stay .
HOWARD: I need you guys to leave this rodeo OK? United the people will never be defeated. Let's go.
CROWD: United the people will never be defeated.
HOWARD: Let's go.
CROWD: United the people will never be defeated.
WEIR: In defying curfew, are you afraid of more arrests, the way we've seen in recent days?
HOWARD: Listen. We're a peaceful protest. There's no reason that we should be arrested for being outside peacefully. You see no looting, you see no lighting. We are OK to be out here.
The fact that they would be give us a curfew at 8:00 PM, they're trying to control us. They don't have that right to control us. If we want to speak, if we want to march, we don't have to silent, we don't have to listen to what they're saying. But if you're listening, if you're watching right now, I want you to
realize wherever you are right now, you have a voice, you can speak up. Black Lives Matter. Do not have to let white supremacy rule anymore.
WEIR: Let me ask you this. The four commanding officers who were reassigned as punishment for pushing protesters, frank protesters, the two buffalo cops who were charged with second degree assault for pushing that 75-year old, the governor calling for police reform.
HOWARD: That's only happening because of us.
WEIR: You taking credit for that.
HOWARD: That's only happening because of us. If there was this type of disturbance, that would not happen at all. The people are the ones that are going into the system right now. The system - listen - the system is not going to win. The people are the voice now. The people have a voice now and they are listening to us. They're listening to us because we are united.
They are listening to us because stuff like this happens in the middle of Manhattan where thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people don't have to stand for injustice anymore.
We don't have to let that happen anymore. We don't have to let that happen anymore.
WEIR: Here you go Poppy. A taste of the passion and the discipline at least in this one tonight and we've really seen an evolution of the NYPD response. I'm listening to scanner traffic in one ear and hearing Commanders say as long as they stay in walkways, they don't try to take over the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, as long as they stay on pedestrian walkways, they weren't going to be arrested.
Different commanders in different parts of the city are quicker to pull the trigger in terms of rounding people up. And as we saw in the early days with the protests, NYPD was using this kettling manoeuvre, kettle like a tea kettle which is they box in a group like this and then begin to round them up.
But the district attorneys of both, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan have said they're not going to prosecute anybody who gets arrested here tonight. So it looks like at least for thus far, they're going to let them march.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Bill, that was - I'm so glad you spoke to Paris and we heard from him directly there. One thing that I think has been so striking Bill, is that there is not one single leader of this movement. There are multiple Parises out there leading this and as you've seen and as I've seen in my neighborhood in Brooklyn, so many white people marching right next to their black neighbors and this is one of the things that makes it so different this time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEIR: Absolutely and you see at one point, I was marching today with John Batiste, bandleader of Stephen Colbert's The Late Show. He was leading like a musical march. We ended up in gridlock from another protest coming in a different direction and I think what is striking and what's very different about 1968, is everybody's got a camera and everybody's got an uplink.
And so when somebody pushed and shoved and scenes just brutal, that brings on people who probably would never protest otherwise and so maybe that is what led to this tonight that let them wear themselves out and there's no need for conflict.
HARLOW: Yes, 100 percent Bill, thank you so much for those messages, those images and the overall message that has been peaceful tonight across the country. Bill Weir, thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Los Angeles' Mayor has lifted the city's curfew there. This hour, there are people there as well on the street. Let's go to our Lucy Kafanov. She joins me from Los Angeles. What have you seen?
LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey Poppy. Well you and Phil talked about the diversity of the crowd in New York and that's something that really struck me as notable here in Los Angeles.
We've seen people from all walks of life, members of the Asian community, Latino community, white people, black people, LGBTQ, everyone coming to the streets day after day to protest the handling the death of George Floyd and the death of many Americans of color at the hands of police.
These have been peaceful protests. The community vibe is really notable. There's a lot of folks walking around, handing out snacks, masks, hand sanitizer, food for the demonstrators.
In contrast, in stark contrast I should say to what we saw last weekend, there has not been a heavy visible police force. The National Guard is stationed at certain buildings but we don't - no longer see the you know the police in full riot gear. They've been largely absent from these protests and that's part of testament to just how peaceful they have been. Now we've been marching for about an hour, I would say.
There is at least 1000 demonstrators here. The choreography has been that they gather at City hall. They listen to speakers, they chant and they go on the march and one of the sort of beautiful things on the human levels that we've seen is as they go past various apartment buildings, people come out to their balconies, they start banging pots and hands in solidarity in support of these protests.
And you really do get a sense that the whole community of Los Angeles is really coming out, standing firmly behind this issue. Again, it's been largely peaceful. The curfew as you mentioned, has been lifted. Not a lot of people here. A lot of people though, out here to show their dedication to this cause, to demand a change not just in the way that policing is done in this country but also demanding a broader conversation about the value of life in America. Poppy.
HARLOW: You know as George Floyd's six year old daughter, I think said it best this week, Lucy, "My Daddy changed the world" and that's what we're seeing tonight again. Thank you very much Lucy Kafanov in Los Angeles.
Thanks to all of our reporters on the street tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Up next, felony charges have now been filed, following the shocking video which shows two Buffalo police officers. Look at this. Every time I see it, it is so hard to watch. They pushover that 75- year old protester, blood comes out of his ear. Hear what the Buffalo Mayor is now saying about what led up to that moment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: In Buffalo, New York, two officers who were filmed forcefully shoving an elderly protester to the ground, pleaded not guilty today to felony assault and walked outside of the courthouse to applause.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: It isn't clear who's cheering. What we do know is that 57 of the city's emergency response team officers quit the unit after the force suspended those two officers. The officer's names that now have those felony charges against him are Aaron Torgalski on the left and Robert McCabe on the right.
A warning before we show you this video of what happened Thursday, it is very hard to watch. You see the man there. His last name Gugino, hit the cement, blood pools by his head, right out of his ear there and yet police continue to walk past him.
Gugino is now alert. He is still in critical condition at the hospital. Buffalo's Mayor has not called for the firing of the defendants. He also said this about Gugino.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR BYRON BROWN, (D) BUFFALO, NEW YORK: He was asked to leave numerous times, last night. He was in that area after the curfew, one of the things that happened before that incident is there were conflicts between protesters. There was a danger of fights breaking out between protesters.
[22:20:00] And the police felt it was very important to clear that scene for the safety of protesters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Let's go to my colleague Vanessa Yurkevich. She joins me tonight from Buffalo. Vanessa, good evening. I just want to make it clear for one, the officers quit that unit but they - those 57 officers did not completely quit the police force.
What is the Mayor saying about that move by those fellow officers?
VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there Poppy. Well, tonight we are in downtown Buffalo in Niagara Square. Just across the street from where that gentleman Martin Gugino was pushed by those two officers. There's still a couple of stragglers, a couple of protesters here, out after curfew.
But you know this really came on a day where those two officers were charged. They pled not guilty but the district attorney saying that after he saw that video, he saw the two officers push Martin Gugino to the ground. He was bleeding and continue to walk by. He said that the entire department needs to be retrained. Here's what he said earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN FLYNN, ERIE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: They're not trained to shove a 75-year old man with a baton and knock them to the ground. They're not trained to do that, OK? Yes, they're trained to push back, they're trained to clear an area. Absolutely.
But there's - there's elements to that, there's aspects of that that are proper, OK? But when you cross the line all right, that's when it becomes out of training aspect and it comes now in my world.
YURKEVICH: And that gentleman, Martin Gugino. He is in serious but stable condition, still at the hospital and Poppy, you mentioned the Mayor. He seemed to indicate that he believes some of those resignations from those 57 officers were pressure from the Police Union. We also saw earlier today, members of that union standing outside of the district attorney's office and they cheered when they found out that the two officers entered the not guilty plea.
That is in contrast really to what we saw earlier this evening, when we saw protesters standing in front of the Police Department in the same exact spot where those law enforcement officials were standing and they were speaking out against police brutality. They were chanting black lives matters. I spoke to some protesters here who said that they think that the step of the charging of the officers was a good first step.
But I spoke to some who said that it does not go far enough. They believe that those officers should be fired but Poppy, tonight really peaceful protests here in the city of Buffalo. A few people out past curfew, not a lot of police presence but there is another curfew again, tomorrow night, Poppy, here in Buffalo.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Vanessa, we appreciate all that reporting. Thank you very much live from Buffalo for us. Let's talk about that and - and what we've seen play out of the last 12 days. CNN law enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey is here. Of course Sir, you led police forces in Philadelphia and Washington DC.
I'm glad you're here with us tonight. Let's begin in Buffalo. You've got the felony assault charges against those two officers now and you've got 57 of their peers obviously disagreeing without leaving the unit. What does the Police Commissioner now have the power to do? What - what should he do?
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, first of all, you're in a middle of a crisis and now you've got people who want to leave the unit. As far as I'm concerned, I'd let him go. I wish they had resigned from the department. I wouldn't let him back on. I mean you don't need people like that in a police department.
That's why people are taking the streets right now, doing what they're doing and so when you hear police officers standing out there, cheering and all - and things like that, it just reinforces everything that people are saying and it's unfortunate because that's not a reflection of what I know to be policing but there are elements within the profession that are absolutely like that. There's a problem.
HARLOW: You are still a believer that reform can happen and that reform can be a solution about it, you wrote about it in your important Op-Ed in The New York Times this week and - and I bring that up because I'd like to know what your response is to those who are seeing all of this play out.
You know whether it's in my hometown of Minneapolis, whether it's here in New York, Eric Garner, whether it's what we just on Buffalo. It's enough. It's time to defund the police. Some like my next guest on the program who say lead towards abolishing the police. What do you say to them?
RAMSEY: Well, I mean abolishing the place and I respect everybody's opinion but replace it with what? I mean, you still have crime taking place out - out in the streets. you have homicide, shootings, robberies, rapes. Who's going to deal with that if you get rid of the police entirely?
What's going to take its place? When you talk about defunding police and I don't have any objections to money going to staff schools with counselors as opposed to police school, psychologists doing more around mental health and having health care workers available to actually work the street.
I mean there are a lot of social services that we need in cities across America and if that means few less dollars for police, that's fine. I don't have a problem with that but I think that going too far in the opposite direction is going to be detrimental to the safety of people that live in many of these challenged neighborhoods every single day.
If you just look at police, if you 'fix' the police today, you still have inequities in housing, economic development, education, I mean, it doesn't just end with the police and you need to look at the entire criminal justice system.
There is a need for reform .Don't get me wrong. There's a serious need for reform but we need to be thoughtful about how we go about doing it.
HARLOW: Commissioner, there is an ABC news poll that is really striking because it compares a few years ago with now so it looks at 2014 right after the death of Michael Brown, you had 43 percent of Americans saw his killing as a - as a as a symbol of broader problems with policing in America and how police treat African-Americans.
Now fast forward to after the killing of George Floyd, 74 percent think that. I wonder why you think it was this moment that that changed so dramatically?
RAMSEY: Well, you know video has made a difference now. People are seeing a lot of this on the air and so those people that were on the fence that thought well, maybe, you know it didn't really happen that way or what have you. They're seeing it right now in their living rooms and they know that it's a problem.
Reform can happen - reform has to happen, I agree with that young man Paris that Bill was interviewing, if it hadn't been for people taking to the streets though we wouldn't be having this conversation right now. We've had years and decades to begin the reform process.
I had the honor of being co-chair for President Obama's task force on 21st century policing. The road map is there but people have to do it. People have to do it.
HARLOW: Let's talk about the case against the officers in Minneapolis because my colleague Wolf Blitzer did a fascinating interview with Minnesota's Attorney General Keith Ellison who said it's going to be really hard to convict these officers and we know history has shown that but do you agree with him on what he sees as a very uphill battle here despite the video?
RAMSEY: Well, you don't take anything for granted. You never know what juries will - will do. I've been to a lot of trials in my life, Cases that I thought were a 'slam dunk,' we didn't necessarily win. Cases that I thought were fairly you know weak, we did win so you don't know what's going to happen.
But I tell you that video is so powerful and the fact that one of the officers actually checked for a pulse and it was another 2 minutes and 53 seconds before pressure was relieved from his neck, I mean is that - that was intent. I'm sorry that is murder, no question about it in my mind. And hopefully a jury finds it too because they need to be an example,
all four of them. They need to be an example, this stuff cannot be tolerated.
HARLOW: Commissioner Charles Ramsey, I'm so glad you're with us tonight. Thank you very much.
RAMSEY: Thank you.
HARLOW: Of course. Up next, what can be done, what can really be done to enact the reform that you just heard the commissioner talk about? We'll be with DeRay McKesson next on that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: You are looking at live pictures of a Black Lives Matter banner. This is on the fence that is now been made in that perimeter around the White House. The killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police has sparked widespread outrage and action.
Across the country, more shocking police confrontations are being filmed and shared. In Philadelphia, a police inspector is now facing charges after this video was shown, releasing - release showing him striking a student protester on the head with a metal baton.
Civil rights activists DeRay Mckesson joins me now. He's also the author of 'On the other side of freedom: The case for hope.' And the Co-founder of Campaign Zero. It is so nice to have you tonight. Thank you for being here. You have been voicing this and leading action for so long.
Fergusson for more than 400 days and I could go on and on. Baltimore. Why is this time different and why is - why are so many different people on the streets again for a 12th night?
DERAY MCKESSON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Yes, I'll remind you Poppy, remember that the protests of 2014 were a flash point in this country and the police have killed more people since 2014, not less. You even think about March and April 2020, the police killed as many people in March and April of 2020 as they did in March and April of 2019.
So Covid, quarantine, lockdown did nothing. A third of all the people killed by a stranger in this country is actually killed a by police officer. In 2019, was the first year ever, where black people were more afraid of being killed by a police officer than being killed by community that. So we think about how this moment is different.
You have to remember that Minneapolis, a black person is 13 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than a white person. It's the highest racial disparity in the country so people are fed up. People want the change that we were promised in 2014 and didn't get.
People are pressing because you know Poppy, we actually know a lot of the solutions and we just haven't had courageous local leaders or governors who are willing to do anything about it and I think people just last time are saying, let's go.
HARLOW: You know what, the fact you bring up courage reminds you of Mitch Landrieu wrote in his Op-Ed and sent it to me yesterday on this show. You know, this is - this is not for a lack of knowing what to do. We've known what to do since the - since the Colonel Commission 52 years ago.
It's about the lack of courage to do it. You are calling to defund the police and eventually to abolish the police. I just asked former Philadelphia and Washington DC Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey about that and he said, I respect all opinions, you heard him but he said and replace it with what.
So I put that question to you.
MCKESSON: Yes, so let's just say there are a lot of strategies to get us to the end of police killing, right? Some revolve around use of force policies and immediately reducing the power of the police so we should be banning chokeholds all over the place. We should be saying you can't shoot into moving vehicles.
We should say that up in officer sees something wrong with another - with another officer engaging in misconduct, they have to intervene. Those are simple but not small. Simple because we understand them but not small because they have a big impact on police behavior.
You think about Minneapolis, chokeholds were not banned. You think about in New York City, De Blasio lifted the ban on chokeholds in 2016. Only 28 of the 100 largest cities even ban chokeholds today. And then we think about defund Poppy, you know people sensationalize this idea but you already agree with it actually.
Is that it's just fitting that experts should do what experts do. So who's should respond to a mental health crisis? Probably a mental health expert. Not a police officer. Who should respond to somebody dealing with drug addiction? Probably Addiction Specialist, not a police officer.
The police are the first people to tell us that they are not social workers and we agree. We should take all of those responsibilities and permanently remove them from police departments and all the resources that go with them and put them in other places.
So what would it look like that whole teams of people who all they do was respond to mental health crises and they weren't armed. Why should somebody with a gun come if there's a call about somebody dealing with suicidal ideation. That doesn't make sense and I don't think that's like a wild idea to offer. I think people sensationalize the idea of defund but really it's about moving the money and the responsibility where the police aren't experts.
HARLOW: So you're saying for example an armed robbery should be responded to by the police but not many of the things that police respond to?
MCKESSON: Yes so let me zoom out too as you know, I heard Charles Ramsey say that. Remember Poppy, that of all the arrests that happen in the country, do you know what percent happen for a violent crime?
HARLOW: You've said 5. You've said 5.
MCKESSON: It's 5, yes. Of all the arrests, it's 5 percent, right? So when we think about that, we arrest more people for weed than all violent crimes combined. So this idea that like violence is happening at such a scale, remember that 5 percent number is actually an FBI number and it's almost you know, it's been that way for 20 years or so.
But we staff from police department is that its 50 - 60 - 70 percent so we might need to have an intervention that you know, we might need an intense intervention around that 5 percent but that's not the vast majority of what the police are dealing with.
And the data shows that, our lives show that and I don't think that the wild idea. The fact that we arrest more people for weed than violent crime is sort of interesting.
HARLOW: DeRay, listen. I just wanted to get - when I heard this, I wanted to get your reaction to this. This is from Jeff Maddrey. He's an NYPD chief. I'd like to hear what you think on the other side.
We don't have it in there. So sorry. Let me read it to you. OK. "I'm a black man but I love being a police officer. I'm not resigning and I want to continue to make sure everybody is safe." What do you say to him?
MCKESSON: Yes, I would say that the conversation about the police is never about the individual officer and we individualize it. What we do is we lose the focus that there's a system that produces these results. It's a system that said that in 2019, there were only 27 days out of the whole year where a police officer didn't kill somebody.
That's system at play so I'm sure there are a whole lot of police departments with good people. This isn't about a person. This is about what happens when there's a set of rules, policies and practices that almost like clockwork produced the same results.
You think about what does it mean in California. There's a law that says that any investigation of an officer that lasts more than a year can never resolve discipline. Let me go to Minneapolis. 50 percent of officers, that get fired in Minneapolis get rehired, right?
Like this is actually about a system, it's not about an individual. So I - I'm not about an individual.
HARLOW: I was struck reading your medium post today and you wrote this, "Don't call this a war. It provides cover for a militarized response from the state."
MCKESSON: Yes it's true. This isn't a war. Don't call it a marathon or race either, right? This isn't sport. We can just name this what it is. They are police officers choosing to kill because they know they'll get away with it.
That 99 percent of officers who kill somebody are never convicted. It's like one in 500 murders by officers are a conviction and we don't need - we don't need to glam it up. You've seen like I've seen in these past couple of days.
We've seen the police arrest - we've seen the police shoot people with rubber bullets. I have a friend who lost her eye permanently. You know we've actually seen the violence of police on display so that you don't even have to take my word for. Your own eyes show you that that is true and also that that's - you brought up the NYPD, Poppy.
The NYPD settles an average of $200 million because of police actions every single year. That money can be used in community.
HARLOW: Look, it's such an important question. I've looked at you know in my home city of Minneapolis, how much that police department is paid out in the settlements after you know, in just the last few years. Let me just end on that because this goes even as you know and you've written about so far beyond the police brutality and the disproportional impact of that on black Americans.
You know, when you look at the disparity in Minneapolis when it comes to income for blacks there, when it comes to housing etcetera, there are so many deep roots of this, that I think are being voiced on the street now in a way that haven't been as pronounced before and I wonder if you think it is in part the moment, look black unemployment by the way did not go down last month as the President is touting the unemployment rate going down, black unemployment went up.
MCKESSON: Yes, I think the people are tired, right? And you know people also sensationalize the idea of abolition so remember that there's a precedent for abolition in this country and it's probably one of the only impressive things we've done. Like we think about the abolitionists who ended enslavement. They were told that it was too aggressive, too wild.
We couldn't have a society without it and look where we are so we think about like we need to transform public safety that isn't rooted to making sure somebody with a gun shows up but we know that experts who deal with what experts deals with.
Mental health, addiction, social services and I don't think that's a wild idea. I think it's a simple idea. HARLOW: I appreciate your time tonight. Thanks for staying up late.
DeRay Mckesson, we'll talk soon. We have much more live coverage still to come. But first, you're going to want to watch this from my friend and colleague Fredricka Whitfield. Tomorrow night 10:00 eastern, Unconscious Bias: Facing the realities of racism. Her special, tomorrow night 10:00 eastern right here on CNN.
Ahead, it was George Floyd's death that sparked these protests after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds while three fellow officers stood by so is the Minneapolis police department making changes in the wake of this? That's next.
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HARLOW: It was an emotional day as friends and family members of George Floyd gathered in his home state of North Carolina to honor a life cut far too short. This was the second of three memorial services scheduled. Today is filled with just hauntingly beautiful music and this incredibly powerful emotional plea from the county's Sheriff Hubert Peterkin.
SHERIFF HUBERT PETERKIN, HOKE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA: Enough. Don't let the life of George Floyd be in vain. It has become a sacrifice. We are part of the problem.
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HARLOW: In Minneapolis where Floyd was killed, the City Council has now banned the use of chokeholds. There are new questions tonight about whether the third precinct where those officers worked after being burned down, whether it should even be rebuilt. Let's go to my colleague Josh Campbell. He joins us on the ground. Josh it is pouring rain there obviously as we can see so that must have dampened protests. What can you just tell us about what today has been like in this evening?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Poppy. This rainstorm just appeared here about an hour ago and before then, there were a lot of protests today here in Minneapolis, over in Saint Paul and as we talked to a lot of the protesters, they seem to welcome this new policy by the city.
Now we know that there were three investigations under way into the actions of those officers as it related to that incident that resulted in the death of George Floyd. There's a state criminal investigation. There is a FBI investigation and there's also a Human Rights investigation by the state commission here. But the city was wasting no time. They didn't want to wait till the
end of those investigations to start reforming the police departments so just yesterday the Mayor called an emergency session. They voted and agreed upon this new policy that will ban the use of the chokeholds.
Now we know that that's important because in that video we saw officer Derek Chauvin with his knees on George Ford connect causing a lot of questions about these police tactics. That tactic will now be banned but also they were taking it a step farther. Officers, it'll now be incumbent upon them if they see a colleague using one of these tactics, they must intervene and not just verbally, they must physically go and try to stop a colleague from using this type of technique.
If they don't Poppy, they will be disciplined to the same level of severity as the person who actually used it so a lot of reforms here, a lot of protesters we talked to welcoming these moves, Poppy.
HARLOW: Before you go, quickly, the third precinct that was burned down by protesters, are they going to rebuild it?
CAMPBELL: It's a good question. You know, we heard from a City Council member here who says that she wants that building to be turned into some type of memorial or symbol for the community. We talked to a resident today who lived in the Minneapolis area his whole life and he said he wants to leave the building standing just as it is with the burn marks and all to serve as a symbol about what they believe there is police brutality.
And what that will mean for the community, yet to be determined from city officials whether that's going to be a police station again but that is a matter of debate right now. What do you do with that building? Do you turn it into a memorial? Do you get it back into law enforcement building? Yet to be determined, Poppy.
HARLOW: Yes, yes. We'll see what happens. Josh, appreciate it. Thank you very much. We want to take you to Seattle because the situation is growing more tense there tonight, police appear to be using flash bangs in the streets. These protests are not just happening here in America. The calls for racial justice spreading around the world. We'll bring you that report, next.
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HARLOW: We are keeping a very close eye on these images out of Seattle tonight. Protests are gaining momentum. Across the United States it is of course gaining attention worldwide, these protests. From Sydney to northern France, from London to Tokyo, tens of thousands are turning out to protest racial injustice. Our Nic Robertson takes a look at the truly global call for change. NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The calls are getting louder. The
voices more numerous. London is leaning into America's pain and demanding an end to its own.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel that what happened in the U.S. was just - it was the spark that sparked everywhere. And it happens here like I have experienced it.
ROBERTSON: Racism, yes?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, definitely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you see that happening across the world, you feel a part of yourself die and everyone out here has felt that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I personally, I know more about the U. S. and issues there and but it's definitely an issue here and I think we all need to be here together for it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a worldwide issue, no matter where you are. It's an issue everywhere. We all need to rise up.
ROBERTSON: What is clear by the day, these protests are gathering global momentum, spreading so far around the world. The sun never sets on someone demanding justice for George Floyd, asking us to understand Black Lives Matter and pulling the change.
Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, right across Australia Saturday, the ripples of anger at George Floyd's killing have turned to waves of protests demanding better rights for aboriginals.
In northern France, crowds join the global outrage. Indeed points to a place on the planet and they've had protests. Japan. South Korea. Kenya, South Africa, Lebanon, Canada where PM Justin Trudeau took a knee, all of these just in the past 48 hours. Everywhere there is hope.
The swell of support will amount to change finally.
PATRICK BAYELE, LONDON PROTEST ORGANIZER: I have woken a part of me which has been begging to be released for years and years and this year 2020, there's something in the year about 2020. I think it's a combination of many different variables, anxiety, coronavirus, George Floyd, Belly Nujinga and so to be here, it feels like I should have been here, feels like I should've been here from day one.
ROBERTSON: Every indication here, still plenty more protests to come. Nic Robertson, CNN, London.
HARLOW: Nic Robertson, thank you for that reporting. We have much more of our special coverage tonight ahead. Meanwhile, on what has been a day of peaceful and powerful protests across America, we are now getting these images in from Seattle. Police are clearing protesters with flash bangs. We'll have a live update, ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)