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NEW DAY SATURDAY

Police Tactics Face Scrutiny As Demonstrators Demand Justice During Protests Over The Killing Of George Floyd; Small Towns And Cities Across U.S. Take To Streets To Protest; Trump Touts Jobs Report As Protests, Unrest Sweep The Country; NFL Commissioner Says He Was "Wrong" About Player Protests; U.S. Police Under Fire For Excessive Force And Accountability; Law Enforcement Seizes Masks Designed To Protect Protesters. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired June 6, 2020 - 06:00   ET

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


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ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ed Lavandera in Houston, Texas. This is CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's his name?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Floyd.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's his name?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Floyd.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're tired over here. We are tired and we want to see change.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Peaceful protests across the country have health experts worried.

ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR OF CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: There is a potential unfortunately for this to be a seeding event.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to keep reminding people it is dangerous to be close together.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Another shocker on the economy, only this time a good one.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today is probably, if you think of it, the greatest comeback in American history.

JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I was disturbed, however, to see the president basically hanging a mission accomplished banner when there's so much more work to be done.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Beautiful look at Atlanta there. Good morning and thank you for being with us. Brand new hour, a new day of protests across this country. After the 11th straight night, thousands of people out. You see a few of the shots here in Minneapolis, Miami, Atlanta, there in West St. Louis County in Missouri. This is now a global moment.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. A lot of the focus is on police brutality, law enforcement here in America. Elements of the law enforcement culture are what are in question here. Over the last several days, we've seen police fire tear gas and rubber bullets at nonviolent protesters. So there's an investigation right now, in fact, after a 75-year-old man was allegedly shoved to the ground.

BLACKWELL: We'll show you some of those protests around the world, but in a few hours, thousands of people are expected at Memorial for George Floyd in North Carolina. His death is what sparked this renewed focus on racial injustice.

PAUL: And this afternoon, there's a large demonstration scheduled in Washington. Walls of fencing and barricades have gone up outside the White House. You see it here. Earlier this week, the president retweeted a letter which referred to Americans who are peacefully protesting as, quote, "terrorists."

BLACKWELL: Let's start in New York this morning. CNN's Polo Sandoval joins us with the latest. Polo, we're seeing a lot of the protests, but also during these protests, examples of the type of treatment that many of those demonstrators say need to stop.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, guys. You mentioned the issue of police brutality, police culture. That's certainly front and center right now and what we're hearing from activists is that there is this growing concern that heavy-handed police tactics or at least what appear to be that seems to be a response to that growing call for police reform.

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SANDOVAL: The end to an emotional and difficult week across the country marked by an 11th consecutive night of demonstrations in cities large and small. The call for justice expanded on Friday to include incidents of suspected police brutality from Buffalo, New York to Washington State for a video emerged of a March incident. Manuel Ellis died after being physically restrained by Tacoma police.

His attorney says Ellis can be heard yelling, "I can't breathe," on Tacoma police dispatcher audio from the night of his encounter with police and death on March the 3rd. Ellis' family calling for the firing of the officers involved. It's the same demand being made by activists in Atlanta where video shot on May 29th appears to show an officer body-slam a young woman, breaking her collarbone.

AMBER JACKSON: I removed the barricade and I get back in the car and all of a sudden I just see hands out my window trying to snatch me out, snatches me out and pretty much slams me down. We weren't a part of any of the looting or anything. We were peacefully protesting and once that didn't, you know -- wasn't there, we pretty much, you know, was headed home.

SANDOVAL: The officer involved in that incident has been placed on administrative assignment while Atlanta PD conducts an investigation. The Minneapolis City Council on Friday, pending the final OK from a judge, approved an agreement barring police from using neck restraints and choke holds. Four former police officers charged in George Floyd's killing are in jail. A large crowd of protesters headed for Lafayette Park in Washington D.C. last night.

The words "Black Lives Matter" now emblazoned in yellow paint, this message on a street leading straight to the White House. Curfews were lifted or allowed to expire in many cities, but in New York, that restriction remains in place through the weekend.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): The curfews are designed to let the police be in A position where they can stop the looting and that has been a serious problem in many cities.

[06:05:05]

SANDOVAL: With demonstrations likely to carry on through the weekend, Manhattan's district attorney vowing to not prosecute protesters arrested for so-called lesser offenses, including unlawful assembly or disorderly conduct. The policy won't apply to suspected vandals or looters.

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SANDOVAL: And here in New York, we're learning about the unpaid suspension of two NYPD officers in connection to two separate incidents that we -- they were actually caught on camera about a week ago, the first showing an officer pushing a woman to the ground and another one, a protester's mask is removed before he's pepper sprayed, Victor and Christi. Back to you now.

PAUL: All right. Polo Sandoval, thanks for the update. Appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: So the pictures you've seen of the protests in the big cities across the country, you've watched them for more than a week now, but protests are also happening in smaller towns and cities across the country.

PAUL: Yes. CNN's Tom Foreman puts a spotlight on some of those communities.

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TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are raising a ruckus on the quiet streets of Biloxi, Mississippi. A couple dozen protestors with handmade signs crying out for change.

GWENDOLYN BRADLEY, BILOXI, MISSISSIPPI PROTESTER: I've lived with racism our whole lives coming from a very small town and it's just -- it's got to stop.

FOREMAN: They are battling for rights in Boise, Idaho, they are taking a stand in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Indeed, beyond the roar of the big city protests which have drawn enough people to be towns of their own, the map is steadily filling in with smaller communities making themselves heard coast-to-coast come what may. In Huntsville, Alabama, tear gas flew after police say some people refused to leave when their protest was done. To be sure, they did not leave their passions.

HUNTSVILLE ALABAMA PROTESTER: I don't want grandchildren brought into this.

HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA PROTESTER: For sure.

HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA PROTESTER: If that means I never have a grandkid, I'm OK with that.

FOREMAN: The sentiment was the same across the state in Auburn and in Tuscaloosa.

DESTINY, TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA PROTESTER: I hope that it sends a message that police need to stop racism.

PASTOR HOLLIS THOMAS, TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA PROTESTER: You cannot leave here today and be quiet about what is happening to black and brown people across this country.

FOREMAN: In Brockton, Massachusetts where more than 40 percent of the population is black, the call went up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All lives can't matter until black lives matter. You understand that?

FOREMAN: But it happened in Missoula, Montana too which is more than 90 percent white.

NONSO MAXWELL OBIEYISI, MISSOULA, MONTANA PROTEST ORGANIZER: Actually I'm very emotional about this because you can see everyone standing together in Montana in Missoula.

FOREMAN: And on it goes from Georgia to Maine to Nebraska to Texas to Michigan. Sure, they know the big cities will get most of the attention, but smaller towns on this issue at this moment are having their say.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Seeing the injustice happen over and over again, I've been watching it since I was a kid. At some point, it just kind of gets hard and it's time to finally speak up and do something.

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BLACKWELL: It is remarkable to watch the solidarity around this country. For that man that says that he gets emotional in Missoula ...

PAUL: Yes. BLACKWELL: ... which is more than 90 percent white, to hear them chant, "Black lives matter," this is a moment. The question is what will this moment change? Will there be policy changes ...

PAUL: Yes.

BLACKWELL: ... and we'll of course continue to follow it. Listen, it's not just here in the U.S.. This is happening around the world. More rallies expected today in France. Outrage there has been reignited over a 2016 police killing and there are some parallels with what happened or to what happened with George Floyd.

PAUL: So you hear cheers there. That was the reaction from protesters in Sydney when they found out that a ban on their protest was overturned. Now, these rallies there and in other Australian cities, in fact, are in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and they're demanding an end to deaths of Aboriginal people in custody.

Now, this is the German city of Hamburg. I want to take you here now. Thousands were in the streets. You see them carrying the signs with messages of, "I can't breathe," and, "Black lives matter." And Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, was in a protest in Ottawa and look at this. At one point he stopped and he took a knee.

BLACKWELL: In London, dozens gathered in Trafalgar Square. Demonstrators followed social distancing guidelines and wore masks. Mexico City, you see the protesters here kicking barricades. These are barriers outside the U.S. Embassy.

PAUL: CNN's Sarah Westwood is at the White House for us this morning. Sarah, talk to us -- good morning to you first of all, but talk to us about the president declaring victory on both jobs and unrest that we are watching still this morning play out.

[06:10:05]

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Good morning, Christi and Victor. Yes, President Trump yesterday taking a victory lap not just on the economy after a surprisingly upbeat jobs report yesterday, but also declaring victory over coronavirus it seems, touting the fact that several states had reopened without seeing, so far, a significant spike in cases.

The president's aides and advisors were relieved that that jobs report came back, more than 2 million jobs were added, but the unemployment rate remains around 13 percent, so still many Americans out of work and there has been scrutiny of the fact that the president did declare victory on the economy when millions of Americans are still unemployed.

And also there's been scrutiny of the fact that President Trump decided to invoke George Floyd's name in celebrating the economy and coronavirus, the president saying that George Floyd was hopefully looking down from heaven on all the progress that the U.S. has made and so far the president has done very little to address police brutality this week. He has remained behind an expanded security perimeter here at the

White House. A trip to New Jersey this weekend, Victor and Christi, was scrapped after aides advised the president that the optics of him traveling to his resort right now would not look good.

BLACKWELL: Sarah Westwood for us there. Sarah, thanks so much. Big development in the 2020 presidential race. CNN projects that former Vice President Joe Biden now has the number of delegates that he needs to secure the Democratic presidential nomination.

PAUL: Yes, results from recent primaries allowed him to secure that necessary 1,991 delegate count to claim the nomination at the party's convention. That happens in August. The former vice president released a statement.

It reads in part, quote, "It was an honor to compete alongside one of the most talented groups of candidates the Democratic Party has ever fielded and I'm proud to say that we are going into this general election a united party. I'm going to spend every day between now and November 3rd fighting to earn the votes of Americans all across the country so that together we can win the battle for the soul of this nation and make sure that as we rebuild our economy, everyone comes along."

Well, the NFL is changing its stance on taking a knee now, the league apologizing to players and saying it wants to be part of the solution. Some people say the NFL still missed the mark, though, on one key element in particular.

BLACKWELL: Also remembering a woman in Kentucky killed in her hometown by police. How people remembered Breonna Taylor on what would have been her 27th birthday.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What will it take ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... for one of us to be murdered by police brutality?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What if I was George Floyd?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I was George Floyd.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What if I was George Floyd?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I was George Floyd.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I was George Floyd.

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PAUL: You see more than a dozen football stars calling out the NFL, releasing that powerful video. That came out on Thursday. They said they wanted the league to stand with them, starting with the words, "Black Lives Matter."

BLACKWELL: So yesterday, 24 hours after that message, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, he had a message of his own. Let's bring in Carolyn Manno. Carolyn, four years since Colin Kapernick first kneeled during the game -- before the game during the anthem and never got a response like this.

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you both. That's right. This is certainly the most direct apology that we have seen from the league up to this point, but what's been made abundantly clear right now is that the statements that have been released all throughout this week are not going to be enough to quiet the voices of some of these star players who released that video and feel like their voices, quite frankly, have been stifled since 2016. Roger Goodell saying now he should have been listening much sooner.

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ROGER GOODELL, NFL COMMISSIONER: We at 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 at the National Football League believe black lives matter.

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MANNO: What's notable here, Christi and Victor, is that Colin Kaepernick's name was not mentioned by Goodell in the video. The quarterback started the movement, as you mentioned, to kneel during the anthem back in 2016. He has not played in the league since. Lions' safety Tracy Walker who's the cousin of Ahmaud Arbery, both he and former NFL wide receiver Donte Stallworth shared their reaction to Goodell with CNN.

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DONTE STALLWORTH, FORMER Newfoundland 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.

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MANNO: Goodell's statement runs counter to the latest tweets on this from President Trump after a tweet aimed at the apology from Saints quarterback Drew Brees for his widely criticized comments about disrespecting the American flag, Brees issuing a second apology directed at the president saying in part, "We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality and judicial and prison reform."

To that end, Michael Jordan and his iconic Jordan sneaker brand are committing $100 million over the next 10 years to organizations dedicated to ensuring racial equality. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan pledging half a million dollars to a fundraiser aimed at improving lives in Atlanta's black community. So the takeaway here, Christi and Victor, is that action is going to be required. That is what NFL players are asking for moving forward if they want this issue to be resolved.

[06:20:00] PAUL: All right. Carolyn, we appreciate you walking us through it. Thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: The New York Police Department is holding two police officers accountable for violently confronting protesters in Brooklyn. We'll tell you about this one.

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BLACKWELL: New York's police commissioner says that two officers will be suspended without pay and a supervisor will be transferred after three incidents during these protests.

PAUL: Yes. Take a look at this video here, one officer seen violently pushing a woman to the ground. You're going to see that here and then another officer is seen pulling down a protester's face mask and spraying pepper spray at him. Each of the three incidents have also been referred for disciplinary action.

BLACKWELL: The commissioner added, "While the investigations have to play out, based on the severity of what we saw, it is appropriate and necessary to assure the public that there will be transparency during the disciplinary process."

[06:25:06]

PAUL: There are new questions this morning as well about police officer training after several incidents were caught on video and show alleged excessive use of force.

BLACKWELL: CNN correspondent Ryan Young takes a look at the most recent cases across the country that are being re-examined now.

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RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Police tactics across the country are now under a microscope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got your knee on my man's neck, man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On his neck.

YOUNG: This video from Sarasota, Florida shows the moment officers attempt to arrest a man during a domestic disturbance call.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got you on his neck. I got you on my man's neck.

YOUNG: One of the officers kneels on the back of the man's neck just days before George Floyd's death. One of the officers said in the incident report the defendant tried to get away and that police used minor force. Kneeling on someone's neck, Sarasota police say, is not something they train their officers to do. The department has now launched an internal investigation.

It's one of several recent incidents protesters say highlight a pattern of troubling police techniques. Another example, police in Vallejo, California shot and killed 22-year-old Sean Monterrosa while responding to a suspected looting call. Officers say he ran toward them while reaching for what appeared to be a gun, but later confirmed it was a hammer.

CHIEF SHAWNY WILLIAMS, VALLEJO, CALIFORNIA POLICE: The district attorney is going to look at this and our internal affairs unit is going to look at it.

YOUNG: As calls for justice spread on the streets, a similar investigation is now underway in Tacoma, Washington. In March, Manuel Ellis was heard saying, "I can't breathe," when he died in police custody according to a sheriff's department spokesman, the case in the wake of Floyd's death now getting added attention.

JAY INSLEE, (D) GOVERNOR OF WASHINGTON: It's a top priority for her and it is a top priority for me and we will be pushing to make sure there is a full and complete investigation of that incident.

YOUNG: And in Chicago, another investigation launched looking into the actions of these officers during an aggressive arrest last weekend. The family said they had not done anything wrong. Cook County says it's conducting a thorough independent investigation of the matter including the conduct of the police officers involved.

TNIKA TATE, WOMAN PULLED FROM CAR BY POLICE: Twelve or 14 cops that just started bamming on my -- they just swarmed in and just started bamming at my windows, bamming at my car. They had their weapons drawn.

YOUNG: Cedric Alexander, a former president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, believes that tactics, kneeling on individual's necks, are troubling and not part of police training.

CEDRIC ALEXANDER, FORMER PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF BLACK LAW ENFORCEMENT EXECS.: There's no question about that and training is so -- is so important in our police organizations today. This technique is not being taught. It's just not acceptable.

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PAUL: So I want to bring your attention to a story of a former police officer who talked a man out of suicide by police. This man is Officer Joe Ested. He was faced with a situation where he could have taken a shot or he could have tried to save the man's life. He chose the latter, but here's what happened afterwards.

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JOSEPH ESTED, FORMER RICHMOND, VIRGINIA POLICE OFFICER: Then I have two sergeants who was there on the scene that was SWAT members. They walk up to me, right? And they says what are you doing? And I said what are you talking about? He says that's textbook style green light. He had a gun, you told him to drop it, he wouldn't drop it. I said, man, what happened to saving life? I just saved this dude's life. He says come on, man, this is -- I mean, when you got a green light like that, you take it.

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PAUL: And joining me now is that former Richmond, Virginia police officer and author of "Police Brutality Matters," Joe Ested. Joe, thank you so much, officer. We appreciate you being here. So I wanted to ask you regarding what you just said there about what the sergeant said to you, how prolific is that mentality amongst police to see a green light and take it rather than to try to de-escalate?

ESTED: That's very often. That's been the culture of policing for quite some time. I come from a police family, so, you know, we have these conversations and that's pretty standard when it comes down to using force ...

PAUL: Is it ...

ESTED: ... especially deadly force.

PAUL: ... is it because they fear for themselves? Is it because they think, well, I just have a right to do it because I can? I mean, where does that mentality come from?

ESTED: I think it's just the culture of law enforcement. I mean, the mindset was if you have the green light, then you take it.

PAUL: OK. I want to show you a couple of new pieces of video that we've gotten in this morning. One is of a woman in Atlanta who was at a protest, she was protesting peacefully, she wasn't part of the looting she said or the rioting they saw, but she had moved a barrier and a police officer pulled her from the car, she said, as she was trying to get back into her car.

[06:30:00]

PAUL: Take a look here what happened. We know that her collar-bone was broken during this arrest, and you can hear somebody who was watching have a reaction to the way that he kind of body-slammed her there. And then also, another new piece of video this morning, Philly, this police officer with a metal baton just hitting protesters there.

And obviously, there were scuffles. What do you make of what we're seeing play out here? Is this true -- this is excessive use of force to most people that look at it.

JOE ESTED, FORMER RICHMOND, VIRGINIA POLICE OFFICER: Yes, it's excessive use of force to me looking at it. As a tactical police instructor, you know, we train officers in reference to how to apply force. Your force is supposed to be the bare minimum, the most reasonable. Depending on your resistance or the fight that you're encountering depends on how the officer is supposed to apply force. Now, what you see is so excessive and it's unacceptable and officers are not trained to actually respond that way.

PAUL: They are not trained to respond that way?

ESTED: No, they are not trained to respond that way. Our officers respond -- because as a tactical instructor, I'm very familiar with the use of force continue. Also to respond to apply force depending on the resistance or the amount of fight the subject is putting up. And what you see here is just excessive. They're not trained to respond that way.

PAUL: So, why do they?

ESTED: I guess the mentality -- and this is one of the problems that when I've had these conversations -- one of the problems that we see here is that the training doesn't roll over to what was going on in the street. When I had these conversations -- because when I first entered the street after the academy, veteran officers will tell me, OK, everything you learned in the academy, you go ahead and forget about that, now your training starts now.

So, it makes so much sense why the taxpayers have paid out over $8 billion in police excessive force, police misconduct because it's not rolling over to the guys on the street because the guys on the street have no accountability. As far as we can go back, the actions of officers are not consistent with what officers are trained in the academy. From officer Pantaleo with Eric Gardner -- we have policies that says we don't choke.

We have officer Loehmann with Tamir Rice, the training, that approach is inaccurate. Officer Salamoni with Alton Sterling, no accountability for any of these officers, but the taxpayers will pay because they are not following policy. They're not following procedures. They're not following protocol.

PAUL: So, who is to blame for that then? If -- I mean, because --

ESTED: No --

PAUL: They're doing it out in the field, but surely somebody higher up is allowing it. And how do we --

ESTED: Oh, yes --

PAUL: Change it?

ESTED: The police --

PAUL: How do we change it?

ESTED: Yes, we change it with accountability. The police administration, they know these police officers. Officers know these police officers. I was just having this conversation the other day that mostly the officers on the street, they know who is the excessive officer, the rotten apples. Because these officers hate when these type of officers show up on the scene. They hate when they're around.

They normally ones that escalate in a situation. And the police department knows. If the officers, yes, that I just named, they have a history of bad policing. A history. This is not their first rodeo. And many at times that the taxpayers have paid up. Officer Pantaleo who choked and killed Eric Gardner, he's had a history of civil pay-outs already --

PAUL: So let me ask you this because we're running out of time, I'm sorry, but just real quickly, I know that you were VP of a police union. Do unions push back on some of these tactics that a lot of people are saying, you know, exhausting all alternatives before shooting, requiring all force should be reported. Some of these things that are being proposed, do unions push back on that, and that's part of the problem?

ESTED: Yes, part of the problem is the union exactly. Union don't want accountability. You're trained as a union, as myself, as the Vice President of a union, you're trained to protect officers by any means. They took the position as a defense attorney, and that's one of the major problems when it comes down to policing. Every bad incident, you have a union official come out and gives an explanation about why it's just fine and it's not.

PAUL: Joe Ested, we appreciate so much you taking time to talk with us today. Thank you so much for your candor. It's really -- we're really grateful for it.

ESTED: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: A group affiliated with Black Lives Matter wants to know why law enforcement agencies seized hundreds of face masks that were intended to be sent to protesters to protect them from the coronavirus. That story is next.

[06:35:00]

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PAUL: Thirty-nine minutes past the hour right now, and law enforcement is now in position of hundreds of cloth masks that were designed to protect protesters from coronavirus.

BLACKWELL: Yes, agents seized the mask that read stop killing black people and defund police. This organization, the movement for black lives, they tell CNN that they tried to send them from Oakland to cities across the country, but they never made it out of California, these packages.

[06:40:00]

It's not clear what law enforcement agency seized them nor why they were seized.

PAUL: I want to stay on this story and bring in CNN medical analyst Dr. Saju Matthew, he's a primary care physician and a public health specialist. Good to see you doctor.

SAJU MATTHEW, PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN: Good to see you too, Christi.

BLACKWELL: Good morning to you. Let's start here with the masks, a broader question about it. You know, obviously, health experts are advising that people wear the masks in these big crowds of the protests, but considering that there's a lot of shouting and chanting and maybe tear gas, where there's a lot of coughing, are the masks enough to mitigate the additional causes or threats related to coronavirus?

MATTHEW: Yes, it's a good question, Victor. You know, ultimately, the masks for sure will definitely help. It's that barrier. We know now which we didn't know a few weeks ago, a few months ago when there was that whole question about should we wear a mask? We know for sure that by wearing a mask, you're protecting others from a potential infection that you might have.

But, you know, in a situation where people are protesting, and with the tear gas, yes, there are additional factors to consider, but again, ultimately, the masks would definitely help.

PAUL: So, Dr. Matthew, I wanted to ask you about the CDC study that came out this week that found a third of Americans have used risky cleaning behaviors to try to stop COVID spread. They are -- according to these people, putting bleach on their food. They've washed their bodies with household cleaners and disinfectant products.

They have inhaled or gobbled with bleach or disinfectants. Now, the majority of the people did know to wash their hands and do the basics. But please, just give some clarification here to people who think that this is a good idea. Talk to us about the dangers of this.

MATTHEW: Yes, so, Christie, you know, let me put it out there, and I've said this before. Disinfectants should not be ingested. They are not meant for us to swallow, to snort, to apply on our face, on our skin. It can cause not only skin irritation, but it can actually damage the inside of our bodies, the lining of our throats and stomachs.

There have been burn injuries that I have seen when I worked at the emergency room from people unknowingly or by mistakenly ingesting these disinfectants. Disinfectants really are to disinfect surfaces. So follow the instructions that are on there. But, yes, I want to make it absolutely clear. I know that we are desperate to make sure that we don't get COVID-19. But, not only are you putting yourself at risk potentially by ingesting these disinfectants, it's dangerous.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about some trends across the country state-to- state. The seven-day averages of new cases are increasing in more than a dozen states dramatically in some, Arkansas, Arizona, North and South Carolina, Utah. Are these -- is there a direct correlation to the relaxing of rules here, Saju, or is there something else going on here?

MATTHEW: You know, I think, Victor, you know, any time you see a surge, a whole bunch of cases exponentially rise in a community, in a city, you have to look at that specific city and say listen, did these infections rise because of measures that were relaxed? Could it be from certain types of events? I mean, obviously now, Victor, we're definitely concerned about protests which by the way, we should fight for our rights.

But a lot of times, these events are called seeding events. And it can definitely cause a surge -- and remember, there's always a little bit of a lag period of three weeks after an event has occurred. So, to answer your question, yes, I definitely think that a lot of these exponential rise in numbers are most likely from relaxation of measures.

PAUL: You know, there was a belief, Dr. Matthew, that as the weather warmed up that things would get better when it came to COVID because the virus cannot survive as we understood in really warm weather. But Florida just had the biggest rise in their cases on Thursday, and they're entering phase two. They had 1,400-plus cases on Thursday. What is your level of comfort with re-opening say, Orlando Universal is opening this weekend.

Because some will argue, look, we have to get back to some level of normalcy for our mental and emotional economic health of this country, but what is your level of concern at this point?

MATTHEW: You know, so Christi, the way I look at it is the signs of the virus has not changed. We know for sure that as people accumulate in office spaces, in stadiums during protests, going to church, that we potentially are causing a risk of transmission of the virus.

[06:45:00]

Now, we all can't stay at home. Yes, the economy will take a toll. We need to slowly go back there. But if I were the public health specialist of a certain city, the first thing that I would do is to look at the number of cases in that particular city or where the universities are, and then decide exactly how aggressive or how much we should pull back.

So we should really let science lead our decision-making, and I think ultimately as Dr. Fauci mentioned, we should treat every single city and county separately in the U.S.

PAUL: Dr. Saju Matthew, always so grateful to have your expertise with us. Thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: Thanks doctor.

MATTHEW: Thank you Christi, thank you, Victor. PAUL: Of course. So across the U.S., people in smaller cities and towns are also calling for an end to police brutality and they're getting in their own streets to do this. How the movement is spreading across the country, maybe to smaller places you wouldn't have thought.

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[06:50:00]

BLACKWELL: It's almost unbelievable that someone built this graphic and put it on television. But "Fox News" is now being scrutinized after airing a graphic and a segment that compared stock market rallies after events related to the beating or killing of black men.

PAUL: Yes, the graph showed the market's latest rise despite the nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd. It compared the stock market performance following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the beating of Rodney King and the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

BLACKWELL: CNN Chief Media Correspondent, Brian Stelter is with us now. When I saw it this morning, I couldn't believe it, then I --

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes --

BLACKWELL: Watched the video. I can't imagine who thought this was a great idea?

STELTER: I share your shock about this. You know, this was a segment broadcast on one of "Fox's News" programs, not its opinion programs, and it absolutely landed with a thud. Here's Michael Steele; the former RNC Chairman, saying, "this is how they mourn the loss of black men at "Fox News" by how much the stock market goes up. What the hell?"

That's Michael Steele commenting. Now, we've also heard from Congressman Bobby Rush on Twitter saying that this is absolutely outrageous and disgusting. This graphic tells every single "Fox News" viewer that black lives can be exchanged for market gain. A couple other reactions to this ill-suited graphic. Look, this was based on a "Wall Street Journal" story that pointed out that the markets don't seem to care a lot about civil unrest or for that matter the unemployment rate.

You know, we all saw the markets been on a tear lately in spite of all the troubling news on multiple front. Those are true statements. Those are interesting facts. But to try to graph it and bring up the MLK assassination and other terrible incidents in modern times and show how the stock market reacted, it just seemed beyond the pale, and there's been a widespread critique and condemnation of that "Fox" segment.

PAUL: And yes, you do wonder if there will be some sort of consequence for somebody at some point. Brian, I did want to ask you as we watch --

STELTER: Right --

PAUL: All of these protests in big cities, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Atlanta, some small towns are really getting into the spirit of demonstrations here because we have to remember this is not just something that happens in urban areas.

STELTER: Yes, I think the big story is actually the small scale, meaning, you know, this is happening not just from coast-to-coast, but every where in-between. And I understand, you know, there's an instinct to focus on New York and L.A. and the big cities in-between. But look at these smaller towns. Sometimes the populations are just a few thousand people where we're seeing sustained protests in the past few days.

I think that is what really proves this is a unique moment in history, and that this is more than a moment. This is a movement. You know, when you've got folks protesting in Lynchburg, Virginia and Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, Casper, Wyoming, Williston, North Dakota, Emporia, Kansas, those are just a few of the hundreds of smaller towns and cities that have seen action in recent days.

You know, what you've got are people on the side of the road, on sidewalks with signs and messages trying to show that they support the Black Lives Matter movement, that they support the I Can't Breathe movement, and that we are all in this together. We're not just talking about -- you know, and in some cases, yes, it's blue towns and blue cities.

In other cases, pretty red states and pretty red communities. My point being, this is bigger than, you know, a typical, you know, liberal or conservative thing. It is remarkable to see how many of these marches have popped up in places where you wouldn't always expect. "BuzzFeed's" Anne Helen Petersen has been keeping a list on Twitter of hundreds of these protests.

And it is an inspiring thing to see. Look, I mean, there's obviously concerns about social distance, but try to think of the last time there were protests in these small towns and it's very hard to come up with a parallel to this moment.

BLACKWELL: And sustained protests now for 11 nights and another one planned for today --

STELTER: Cover a week, yes --

BLACKWELL: Yes! Stelter, thanks so much --

STELTER: Yes.

BLACKWELL: And be sure to --

STELTER: Thank you --

BLACKWELL: Watch the show his "RELIABLE SOURCES" Sundays at 11:00 Eastern right here on CNN. Right, the power of solidarity, why a nurse was brought to tears by the show of support from her co-workers. [06:55:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: This was a really emotional moment for a nurse in Miami. Now on the front lines of a different crisis. Her name is Rochelle Bradley. She was protesting at Jackson Memorial Hospital and moved to see her co-workers show up to rally by her side. I want you to listen here to her explain why this act of solidarity was so important to her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROCHELLE BRADLEY, NURSE: I'm one of the only black females that is actually in my clinic. So to have all of my co-workers out here that are of totally different races backing me was very moving for me, and it just makes me understand that we all stand together in times of need, and it's very moving for me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)