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CNN NEWSROOM

Caravan of Protesters Traveling to LAPD Headquarters; New York City Lifts Curfew Early Amid Peaceful Protests; Trump Clashes with Colin Powell Over Handling of Protests; AG William Barr Defends Forceful Clearing of Protesters; Tropical Storm Cristobal to Make Landfall in Louisiana; Protests Swell in U.S. Ahead of George Floyd Funeral. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired June 7, 2020 - 16:00   ET

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


[16:00:00]

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Shops as well. Fredricka, that's the latest from New Orleans.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Thank you so much, Derek Van Dam. Be careful and everyone there as well.

And thank you so much for joining me today this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Hope you'll join me tonight for a very special program. "UNCONSCIOUS BIAS: FACING THE REALITIES OF RACISM." That's tonight at 10:00 right here on CNN.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thanks for joining me, and across the United States and all around the world, we are witnessing a movement, a movement to end systemic racism.

Today is day 13 of the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, the unarmed black man who died after a now former Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground with a knee to the neck for nearly nine minutes.

This week a third memorial service for Floyd. This time in Houston, Texas, where a taped message from the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, will play. That's on Tuesday. Before that, we've learned Biden will also meet privately with the family tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, congressional Democrats are planning to introduce a sweeping police reform bill as the ex-officer charged with killing Floyd, Derek Chauvin, appears in court on an upgraded charge of second-degree murder.

Let's start on the West Coast and the protesting happening at this hour. CNN's Paul Vercammen is in Compton, where a caravan of protesters is leaving to head to the LAPD headquarters -- Paul.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right, Ana. They heard you say the word movement so they are in motion. And they will go 10 miles toward LAPD headquarters here in Compton. A predominantly Latino group had organized this but they're being joined by people throughout Los Angeles.

Here's one of my unscientific poll questions. Where did you come from? Where did you come from? What city? Los Angeles. We're hearing -- South L.A. We're hearing Long Beach, we're hearing North Hollywood, we're hearing Pacoima. They're coming from all over. And we have seen well over 250 cars. Someone else estimated 1,000 cars. So you can read the signs, "Get your knee off my neck."

What's interesting also in motion at this very same time, the Compton Cowboys. Compton has a rich equestrian history. Many people don't know that about its roots in ranching. And the Compton Cowboys were in action and they're leading another march over here. And we spoke with the leader of the Compton Cowboys and he said they really wanted to get on their horseback. Horses can calm people down and they wanted to drive home a point about police brutality.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RANDY SAVVY, LEADER, COMPTON COWBOYS: In our communities, we really do experience these hardships that everybody is out here protesting about. Even though we got these horses and all these different things, we very much have been victims of police brutality and all these types of things on our own. So I would just say, man, focus. Have that important conversations, calm down, talk to the people in the communities. Understand what the issues are and address them together. We can do it. It don't matter about race. We could cross those barriers and we can make it all happen. It's real easy, actually.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VERCAMMEN: So Randy Savvy of the Compton Cowboys is leading this march in another part of Compton and then again here right -- you can see, Ana, all of these cars, in solidarity, making their statement, and the person who organized this rally said, look, this is our way also of helping out people who can't march. They can make their voices heard in their car and it's also COVID-19 safe in many ways, because it's a form of social distancing and rally as they continue to honk in support behind me.

Back to you now, Ana.

CABRERA: OK, Paul, good to see people getting more creative and finding new ways to express themselves to keep this movement alive. We appreciate your reporting, Paul.

Let's go from the West Coast to the East Coast now, and New York with CNN's Bill Weir joining us from NYC.

Bill, what are you seeing there?

BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're in a very festive Haitian Drum Circle here at Grand Army Plaza here in Brooklyn. It's grown exponentially by the hour. You can see families, all demographics here.

How are you folks doing? How are you?

You can see those -- this is the kind of easy very peaceful, almost festive celebration. But very somber situation for folks as people bring families, kids. You see signs for Black Lives Matter to defund the police which is a new rallying cry as well.

How are you, ma'am? How are you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good.

WEIR: What's your name?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gwendolyn.

WEIR: I'm Bill from CNN. We're live right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, cool.

WEIR: What brought you out here today? And what brought your family out here today?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Yes. We teach our kids that all lives matter.

WEIR: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

WEIR: Are you the kind of family that would normally attend protests? Or what's the events of this week the inspiration (INAUDIBLE)?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We normally attend.

WEIR: You were.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Yes.

WEIR: Yes. You're active. That's good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

WEIR: You're raising good young citizens as well.

[16:05:03]

And do you think that -- how did you feel about the early protests and the NYPD response and how it's evolved over recent days?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, that was not right. That was the good answer. But look at this. This is beautiful. This is beautiful. That's what we need, love. Yes.

WEIR: Absolutely. Love is all you need. Thank you very much. Have a great rest of the day. Hydrate. Wear sunscreen. So the big news overnight was that Mayor de Blasio lifted the curfew

early this morning after several very peaceful protests. He hopes that they won't need it again. The COVID-19 lockdown is lifting stage one tomorrow. So nonessential businesses, construction sites will be open as well, and the curfew would have put a damper on that as well and then there is increasing talk about police reform.

Some of the officers you've seen pushing protesters, pepper-spraying a man in the face, suspended without pay. The mayor now pledging to defund, take some money away from the NYPD budget and give it to the more social programs. That's the latest political development here as well. But this is just one of dozens of protests scheduled today. It seems the momentum is not going away.

CABRERA: And I have to ask you, Bill, because you mentioned that the COVID-19 continues. We see everybody nearly in this shot with their masks on. And as you talk about New York City specifically reopening, which has been the epicenter of this crisis in the U.S., I wonder if these protests are more likely to continue because of that as people start, you know, being in the city more and more.

WEIR: Yes. That's a great question. I mean, you can see what's interesting about these gatherings is you've got just citizens, neighbors, handing out water and food and hand sanitizer and masks. There are people carrying around little codes for how to get COVID-19 testing done as well, even directions to the bathroom. So it's a sense that yes, there is no way to stay six feet apart for a gathering like this. But there's so much pent-up energy. People have been locked in their apartments in this very dense city for a long time. So perhaps it remains to be seen how long this can go on.

CABRERA: Yes. And we've heard health officials say that protesters should get tested for coronavirus. The governor of New York saying he's going to make that happen. Allowing all those protesters to get tested.

Bill Weir, we'll check back. Thanks.

Let's take a look at the nation's capital today. More large protests are under way in Washington right now. A day after the city saw its biggest demonstrations since George Floyd's death. Earlier today President Trump tweeted that he has now ordered the National Guard to start withdrawing from D.C. I know our crews on the ground are still seeing National Guard troops along the march route today.

Now the president didn't specify if he meant all guard forces or just the ones sent in from outside the district because we know more than 10 states or at least 10 states had sent in National Guard troops.

In the meantime, we have been watching an extraordinary war of words between the president and former Republican secretary of State, General Colin Powell. And for more on that, let's go to CNN's Kristen Holmes at the White House for us.

Kristen, fill us in. KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, you know, not

unsurprisingly, President Trump lashing out at General Colin Powell and saying that he is highly overrated. Something we've heard him say about numerous people who say something bad or negative, or something even President Trump perceives as negative about him.

Now this is all surrounding the fact that Republican Colin Powell in an interview today with CNN's Jake Tapper on "STATE OF THE UNION" said that he could not support President Trump in any way, and he announced that he would be voting for former vice president Joe Biden in the fall. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEN. COLIN POWELL (RET), FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: We have a Constitution. And we have to follow that Constitution. And the president has drifted away from it. The one word I have to use with respect to what he's been doing for the last several years is a word I would never have used before and never would have used with any of the four presidents I've worked for. He lies. He lies about things. And he gets away with it because people would not hold him accountable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: You can hear him sounding very heated there. And just to remind everyone, Powell is just the latest of these top military officials to slam President Trump. We heard from two former Trump administration officials, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, also a general, as well as the former chief of staff to President Trump, General John Kelly, all of them pushing back on the president saying that he doesn't unite the country and saying that they are concerned about this extreme partisanship that we're seeing here in the U.S.

CABRERA: Meantime, Kristen, Attorney General Bill Barr also addressed that incident in Lafayette Park last Monday when law enforcement used tear gas to clear peaceful protesters. What did he say?

HOLMES: Well, look, we've seen the attorney general really tap dancing around this event, as it continues to get more and more backlash, talking about that photo op in front of the church which required peaceful protesters to get removed forcibly by law enforcement.

[16:10:07]

Again all of this happening live on camera in order for that photo opportunity to happen. Now Barr says that this was a good idea, that it was appropriate because the police were facing some resistance. Take a listen here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL: This was not an operation to respond to that particular crowd. It was an operation to move the perimeter one block.

MARGARET BRENNAN, HOST, FACE THE NATION: And the methods they used you think were appropriate. Is that what you're saying?

BARR: When they met resistance, yes.

BRENNAN: There were chemical irritants the Park --

BARR: No. They were not chemical irritants. Pepper spray is not a chemical irritant.

BRENNAN: Did you know when you gave the green light for these actions to be taken, that the president was going to be going to that very same area for a photo op?

BARR: I gave the green light at 2:00. Obviously I didn't know that the president was going to be speaking later that day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: And you hear Barr there defending the actions of the police saying that it was not a chemical irritant. But we have to remind our viewers, Ana. We had colleagues who were out there in Lafayette Park who felt like they were having a hard time breathing, felt irritation in their eyes, so it seems to be really splitting hairs here on what procedures were actually used.

CABRERA: OK. Kristen Holmes, at the White House, thanks for all those updates.

We'll have much more on the calls for justice reverberating across the country. Plus we are keeping our eye on the Gulf Coast as tropical storm Cristobal is nearing. Take a look. You can see already, the waves plashing ashore. We've had reports of flooding.

Much more when we return live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:15:43]

CABRERA: Welcome back. I want to show you some images from Augusta, Maine, at this hour as protests continue all around the country. Day 13 of protests following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police. And you can see marchers again in Augusta, Maine, walking down the street and cars honking. We'll keep track of this and other protests.

In the meantime, more than eight million people are now understand tropical storm warnings. As Cristobal moves closer to the Gulf Coast, the city of New Orleans has issued voluntary evacuation orders for some areas, and CNN's Derek Van Dam is joining us now from New Orleans.

Derek, already we've heard reports of flooding. What's happening there?

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: One of the reasons that this city floods so much and so frequently, even on just average thunderstorms, is because the drainage and sewage system is over 100 years old and a lot of times when the rain sits over the city of New Orleans, it outpaces the ability of that drainage system and you can imagine the problems that are led with it.

We are on the banks of the Mississippi River in the French quarter. And you're looking at the Mississippi River behind me here. And we have had basically, you know, an average day here within terms of residents of New Orleans. They are used to this type of weather. Tropical storms and hurricanes. But this one just feels a little bit different because of course it's on the backdrop of the other national emergencies that are taking place. Namely, the COVID pandemic.

And of course, this is changing the way that we are recording for these storms as well. And the threats that have been posed for the city have certainly been localized flooding that we've already experienced, within some of the local wards within and in around the metropolitan. Lake Pontchartrain has been rather choppy today. But the winds have maintained that 30- to 40-mile-per-hour strength.

So just about tropical storm so we haven't seen this strengthen and it of course hasn't made landfall just yet as well. There is the threat of -- very likely threat of localized flash flooding today. The potential for spin-up tornadoes, we know that's an issue, and of course, there is the voluntary evacuation order for this particular location. So residents there have the option to get out while they can.

We have walked around some of the neighborhoods here, Ana, and we've seen some of them boarded up. Of course that could be because of the ongoing protests but there's also been signs that the residents and business owners have been taken the flood threat very seriously because they've lined their shops with sandbags, preventing the potential flooding there.

That's it from New Orleans. Back to you.

CABRERA: So, Derek, when is the storm expected to make landfall there? Do we know?

VAN DAM: Well, we've got another couple hours as this thing wobbles across the Gulf of Mexico. So it's a very lopsided storm. So when you look at the satellite imagery for tropical storm Cristobal, you can see just how expansive it is. And that's why it's important for residents along the Gulf Coast and even inland across the Southern Mississippi River Valley to take this storm seriously because it's not just where it makes landfall, Ana. It's going to be widely expansive area that will be feeling the effects of this tropical storm as it does make landfall within the next couple of hours.

Again, storm surge threat here right along that southeast coastline of Louisiana and then to Mississippi. That will be the greatest threat, of course. We're moving into low tide now so that threat is not as high as it was a couple of hours ago. But as the winds change directions, then we'll start to see that threat of storm surge once again as well as the threat of tornadoes and flash flooding.

CABRERA: OK. We know you will be on top of it for us. Do stay safe. Thank you very much, Derek Van Dam.

Up next, we turn back to the calls for equality, for police reform, for justice, in a conversation with Bernice King. She was just 5 years old when her father, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was killed. So just slightly younger than George Floyd's daughter. She'll join us next.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

[16:20:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: Welcome back. As we continue to follow protests all across the country, these are live images from Austin, Texas, at this hour. Huge, huge numbers of people marching down the streets, carrying signs, again protesting police brutality and racial injustice. We've headed out to Compton, California, New York, D.C., Augusta, Maine, this hour just to give you a sense of how broad all these protests and how big this movement is.

We will continue to show images like this. But I want to bring in a very important voice to this discussion. Joining us now is the Reverend Bernice King, the youngest child of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. She's also the CEO of the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change.

Reverend, it's an honor to talk with you. The images we've been seen of massive peaceful protests all across this country this weekend, and it's not just in the United States. It's all around the world.

[16:25:02]

We saw images today out of Rome, London, Spain, even South Korea. You yourself I know have been hosting online protests. What do you think it is about this case, this man, George Floyd, that is literally reverberating around the world?

REP. BERNICE KING, DAUGHTER OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: I think it's a collision of a lot of things. People are fed up. We've been experiencing these injustices for years now and there's just an accumulation. And I think with COVID-19 slowing people down, and now being brought into the reality of our world, and reexamining our world, you know, we have people now, you know, erupting in these protests.

And I'm happy about it. These are revolutionary times, like my father had seen in his time. Revolutionary times mean that systems and people will be changed, so I'm encouraged about what we're seeing all around the world.

CABRERA: Speaking of change, we saw this amazing view from space of the black lives mural, the Black Lives Matter mural, that's painted on the street in Washington, D.C. It covers several blocks in fact and it's a short distance from the White House. Today, and you know well, Congressman John Lewis visited that site. What do you see is the significance of having that mural there?

KING: It's our nation's capital. So it represents all of who we are as the United States of America. And it reminds this nation, you know, that it has to correct its original sin and start recognizing, not only that black lives matter, but that the conditions that have kept black lives from being able to properly prosper in this life, to properly participate, to have equity and justice, has to take place.

And so I'm encouraged by it. Of course, it's symbolic. So we have to do the necessary work to create a more just and humane society for African-American people.

CABRERA: What do you see as that work entailing?

KING: Well, I think there has to be a lot of anti-racism work amongst the white community, working through some of the things that -- in people's heart in terms of explicit biases, participating in helping to dismantle some of the systemic issues of -- in different corporations across America, different establishments, organizations, and just all across America.

We've got to change the equity, from the board room down to supply and diversity to the executive suites. In the churches, the same thing has to happen. It has to be (INAUDIBLE). We have to change the way we do law enforcement. I'm encouraged by what's happening in Minneapolis and the president of the city council calling for a transformative new model of public safety, instead of just policing.

And you know, we've got to organize, as my father said, our strength (INAUDIBLE). We've got to get rid of this chokehold all across the nation. And I'm encouraged by, you know, what's going on in terms of that. We're calling for that in our online protests to come in concert with what Representative Hakeem Jeffries introduced in 2019 as the Eric Garner Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act. So, you know, it's a lot of work to do.

CABRERA: Yes. Yes. No doubt about it.

KING: Systemic (INAUDIBLE) and white supremacy in our country.

CABRERA: And we do know that Congress plans to take up a bill addressing some of these reforms that you speak of starting tomorrow. In fact we've seen it in different state and local government already happening as well.

You know, it was about 57 years ago, your father, delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. And this week we saw an image from those steps broadcast around the world of National Guard troops standing on the steps of that memorial, keeping even peaceful Americans back. What was your takeaway from that image?

KING: I didn't get a chance to see the image but I think that's unfortunate. Those steps represent the voices of freedom and liberty, and the voices of justice and equity in our country. And we should never turn them into any other image in this nation. And so, you know, we've got to do away with our value system in this country where we value more militarism than you do human life and humanitarian concerns and issues.

It's time to really reorder our priorities so that we are investing in things like education and health, and the environment, and not investing more in militaristic pursuits. And that's the things that my father talked about. To chip away with the poverty, racism and militarism. And it's time for a major shift in this country.

CABRERA: I'm sure it was not lost on you that George Floyd's daughter is 6 years old. You were 5 years old when your dad was killed. If you could speak to this young girl, what would you say?

REV. KING: Well, the first thing is I would probably give her a big hug so she could feel my energy and feel my love for her, and feel my pain for her in this moment. And just let her know that whatever she's feeling, and whatever she's experiencing, it's ok to experience those things and feel those things.

And I would just encourage, like my mother encouraged us, to not allow any kind of feelings of hate to enter in. Because whenever you have a loss like this, there is a temptation to hate the person who killed your father, and just develop hate. And my mother tried to encourage us away from that.

And even though I went through a season where I did hate because she taught us so early, those seeds were so strong that I couldn't stay in that place of hate. And it's a journey. We're going to feel a lot of emotions of anger, confusion, you know, and -- but what's more important is that she is surrounded by love, by her family, by the guy who -- the NBA player that's like a twin to George. Them being there, being present, and filling in those voids and those gaps, those are important in this moment, and giving her space to process through these emotions, but letting her know the power of love because love conquers all of that in the end.

And love, it is not passive. Love sometimes has to stand in truth. Love has to correct everything that stands against it. That's what justice is about, standing against everything that represents love. And so, those are the things that I would say to her, let her know that we are with her, that we are fighting, that she will live in a nation that these things will never happen to other kids.

CABRERA: Yes. She already was saying, my daddy change the world. So, something is sinking in --

REV. KING: Yes.

CABRERA: -- I think in her in how she's coping with this.

REV. KING: Yes, definitely.

CABRERA: We're seeing how, you know, the country is -

REV. KING: Yes.

CABRERA: -- handling this. Thank you so much, Bernice King, for the conversation. It's a pleasure.

REV. KING: Yes. Can I mention one other thing real quick?

CABRERA: Yes, please.

REV. KING: Can I mention this online protester by people at 7:00 p.m. tonight and tomorrow night, which our last two days, through our online protest at the "The King Center" Facebook page. Chelsea Clinton is going to be on there tonight. Ellen Degeneres, Kim Fields, and Monique Coleman, Jacqueline Woodson. And tomorrow night, we're going to have Winter Masatselis (ph), Keedron Bryant, the young man who say, I just want to live, viral -- it went viral, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, and Will Downing, Will Packer.

CABRERA: Wow.

REV. KING: So, we ask the people to come on who cannot be on the streets, come to our online protest at "The King Center" Facebook page at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

CABRERA: OK. Thanks for that invitation as well. Thank you again, Bernice King.

REV. KING: Thank you.

CABRERA: We appreciate it. Much more right after this.

REV. KING: Thank you. Appreciate it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:37:16]

CABRERA: We have breaking news involving "The New York Times". Let's go straight to CNN chief media correspondent, Brian Stelter. Brian, what can you tell us?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Hey, the editorial page editor, James Bennet, has resigned from "The Times". This is something that seems like it was forced by the newspaper and this was in the wake of several days of controversy over an Op-Ed in "The New York Times" by GOP Senator Tom Cotton.

We've been talking about this on reliable sources earlier in the day. And this has been a big story, you know, right-wing media where Cotton has been criticizing "The New York Times". First, the paper published an Op-Ed he wrote several days ago that was titled, "Send In the Troops". He called for a muscular federal military response to the unrest in major cities.

Staffers at "The New York Times", in the newsroom, and the opinion section were outraged. They were horrified. They said it was inappropriate to publish an Op-Ed like that. Then, "The New York Times" eventually agreed. They basically said the published story should not have the Op-Ed - should not have been published at all, an extraordinary change for a newspaper to basically come out and say, hey, we are sorry. We shouldn't have printed that opinion piece.

Anyway, this calls Cotton to attack "The New York Times". The point now is that the editorial page editor, James Bennet, a towering figure in one of the most important jobs in journalism, the brother of former presidential candidate, Michael Bennet, has now resigned. The publisher of the paper says it was clear in recent days that, you know, they needed to make a change.

There's been a number of controversies involving Bennet and now, this is the most recent of them. So, he is stepping down, clearly under pressure. A woman named Kathleen Kingsbury is taking over in acting capacity, but this is after days of basically internal revolt at one of the country's biggest newspapers about what opinions, about what points of view should be given space in the newspaper.

CABRERA: So, what does this all say then about the state of affairs at "The New York Times"?

STELTER: Yes, I think this applies to "The Times" and other major newsrooms that are grappling with these questions about what is appropriate and what is worth amplifying in this era of incredible unrest, and political turmoil and polarization?

You know, there's an argument that all speech, of course, should just be treated equally and it should all just be printed. Clearly, a lot of staffers at "The New York Times", including journalists, newsroom staffers, say that is not the case. So, there are not always just two equal sides to arguments like this. They argue. They said that this opinion piece was actually dangerous. To say send in the troops was a ridiculous overreaction and was dangerous for African-Americans in this country.

So basically, the argument that you're seeing inside "The New York Times" and other newsrooms is about whether there are many more than two sides, whether one side is what's most important to amplify, and whether other side should not be given as much attention. That's the argument. That's the fight. But a lot of folks like Tom Cotton look at it and say it's a bunch of Liberals overacting and acting like woke children. That's what Tom Cotton's response to all of these.

It's a fight that will continue as we see these major questions about democracy versus a more authoritarian impulse play out in the United States.

[16:40:26]

CABRERA: No doubt. OK. Thank you very much for bringing us that breaking news, Brian Stelter. Much more still to come as Americans protest for a 13th straight day. Stay with us. You're live in the CNN "Newsroom".

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:45:20]

CABRERA: It has been double the trauma; first, the global pandemic and now, the traumatic death of George Floyd. People all over the world and in particular, many Americans are overwhelmed by pain, loss and grief.

2014 CNN "Hero" Annette March-Grier's nonprofit is helping thousands of families process their grief each year. Here's her insight on coping during this difficult time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNETTE MARCH-GRIER, 2014 CNN "HERO": Grief was already heightened with COVID-19. People lost jobs, family members, and then for the whole George Floyd incident to be witnessed nationally, this is now grief on top of grief.

PROTESTERS: No justice. No peace.

MARCH-GRIER: It is a very sad, scary, angry time, not just African- Americans, anyone who has a heart. The tears, the yelling, even the violent behavior, these are all grief reactions. Grief is messy. The grief of not having a safe community or to have your store looted, that's also grief. The way that we all can deal with grief constructively is to do something positive, to take action and protest peacefully, reaching out to help someone in need, act upon your grief to make positive meaning so that you can deal with this in a healthy way.

PROTESTERS: What's his name? George Floyd. What's his name? George Floyd.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: To hear more of our heroes, go to cnnheroes.com.

Meanwhile, we are following the 13th straight day of protests here in the U.S. sparked by the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police. And I want to take you back live to Washington, D.C., which has seen some of the largest protests yet. These protests have led to conversations about race. It's led to some policy reform now. And it's also led to unlikely friendships.

My next two guests forged a bond following protests in Richmond, Virginia. During a reason protest, he business owner, Marquise Rose, made his way downtown where several stores had been looted and damaged. While there, he met a white police officer striking up a conversation about policing and posting their exchange on Facebook live. Here they are reflecting on that exchange.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OFFICER CHRISTOPHER SHORE, RICHMOND, VIRGINIA POLICE DEPT.: We already don't do chokeholds. We already don't do a maneuver that puts our knee on somebody's neck. We already police each other, as in if we see an officer getting upset or getting emotional on scene, we remove them from that.

MARQUISE ROSE, BUSINESS OWNER: Every officer is not a bad officer. And I want people to know that whether they're black, white, Hispanic, whatever color. But at the same time, there are also bad officers out there, and those officers need to be identified, removed from the streets or as we say, retrained with people like Officer Shore who can hopefully train them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Joining us now, that Richmond business owner, Marquise Rose, and Richmond police officer, Christopher Shore. Great to have both of you here and I am hoping we can all learn from your situation.

Marquise, first, take me back to when you first approach Officer Shore. What kind of response were you expecting?

ROSE: I was expecting a different approach. When I first approached him, I was a little guarded to see a white officer. I said, maybe he's going to come off a little rude to me. But immediately, he just kind of joined the conversation and he felt very comfortable talking to me.

CABRERA: Officer Shore, what was your first reaction when you saw Marquise approaching?

OFFICER SHORE: You know, I thought it was great. I love to see the community out there after the violence we've seen over the past couple nights. Marquise helped clean up. And I saw the community start banding together and start having conversation. And I knew I just needed to be a part of that.

CABRERA: So, Marquise, I'm wondering, because we hear so often that people are not trusting police officers. Was that your experience where did you feel distrust there and did Officer Shore have to earn that trust from you? Or did you already give him the benefit of the doubt?

ROSE: When I first approached him, I did not trust him. As being an African-American male living in Richmond, Virginia, it was a different situation. But once I was able to have a conversation and he walked himself into my conversation, and he immediately decided with a black audience to engage myself and every individual, and he said, Marquise, you know, I'm here. I'm here for a reason. I've been a police officer for ten years working the black community and I'm honored to do so. So, I felt more comfortable.

[16:50:02]

CABRERA: Were you surprised by all the attention your Facebook live conversation with Officer Shore received?

ROSE: I was very surprised. Actually, as I begin -- I walked about 20 blocks from city hall all the way down to where the first -- the last building was on fire, detail R (ph), and I didn't see at first how many people were viewing it and it hit like 400. It hit 700. And by the end of the day, people said, you know, thousands of people viewed this video and I'm going really? What does that mean?

CABRERA: Wow! Officer Shore, what did you learn from this experience? OFFICER SHORE: You know, I really learned from Marquise and the others that were out there. There are individuals who want to open that dialogue. And that we do need to earn the trust of the community. You know, we made deposits to that trust account every day and small interactions we can have like this at the local level really help to bridge that gap and make people like Marquise and others see that we really are just human. We're trying to make a difference in the communities we serve and I'm just a small part of that.

CABRERA: Marquise, what would be your message to protesters across the nation right now trying to deal with their anger over the death of George Floyd at the hands of police?

ROSE: I want to say to each protester, understand what protesting is. Understand what looting is. Understanding what vandalizing is. But at the same time, there are some bad officers. At the same time, there are good officers.

What change has to happen? And I encourage everyone, your voice can be heard November 3rd. It starts there by voting and understanding that your power is in your vote. But change has got to happen by people understanding.

Back in the day, people burned down churches. Back in our history, they burned down communities to have their voice heard and that's what's happening now. People are burning down things to have their voice heard. And so, we have to understand that what happened then is an impact for today. Is it the same approach that we must take or must we take to action by first training, mentoring, leadership, development, and of course by voting?

CABRERA: Officer Shore then, let me flip the question to you and ask for your message to fellow officers, to police departments across the U.S. struggling to communicate with the African-American community, struggling to get that trust, to earn that trust as they are trying to protect and serve them?

OFFICER SHORE: You know, you have to look at where it works. And fortunately here in the city of Richmond, it really works. We have a great relationship with our community and that's built on mutual trust. We've been fostering that relationship for a long time. Our chief of police has always been very open with the dialogue. All of our documentations from our use of force to our inactions with the public are readily available online, made easy for the public to access.

And for individual officers out there, we have to take accountability of ourselves first and ensure that we're policing our own, ensure that we're putting the best foot and the best message and the pest individuals forward to serve the communities we work with.

CABRERA: What was your reaction just seeing that video of George Floyd with his death?

OFFICER SHORE: My reaction, heart broken. Unfortunately, through my service with the Marine Corps and my 10 years with the police department, I've seen way too much death for one life. But it was heart breaking. It was heart breaking because it was avoidable with better training, better knowledge, better experience by the officers. It was avoidable just by one of those officers taking a step and putting an end to it.

CABRERA: Final question to both of you, Marquise, you first. What is the biggest obstacle preventing more positive conversations like yours between African-American communities and white law enforcement officers?

ROSE: I think people are afraid, afraid to approach police officers because of the history for the past 50-plus years. I believe we have to understand that officers approach first is not to grab their weapon, is not to be defensive. But at the same time, civilians, community people like myself, we have to understand their approach by first obeying the laws. And if we decide to approach an officer, think twice before we make a decision.

CABRERA: Officer Shore, your response?

OFFICE SHORE: You know, the major thing is that we all just have to realize that we're each human beings. We're just trying to go our own way in the world and do what's best for each other. And it's important for officers to attempt to bridge that gap especially with the minority communities they serve. And, you know, what Marquise was saying, come with open arms and a positive message and you can get pretty far.

CABRERA: Officer Christopher Shore and Marquise Rose, thanks for the conversation. Thank you for sharing your story and being voice to many others who are in your shoes. Thank you.

OFFICE SHORE: Thank you.

CABRERA: Up next, we will head back to the streets as Americans across the country demand change. But first, "Unconscious Bias", what is it? How does it affect us? Join Fredricka Whitfield for a special conversation, "Unconscious Bias: Facing the Realities of Racism". That's live tonight at 10:00 Eastern here on CNN.

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[16:59:55]

CABRERA: Thank you very much for joining us. You are live in the CNN "Newsroom". I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

Across the United States and all around the world, we are seeing a movement gaining steam from Minneapolis to Madrid, Seattle to Seoul.