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Thirteenth Day of Protest Across the U.S. for the Death of George Floyd; House Democrats to Introduce a New Police Reform Bill; Tropical Storm Cristobal Expected to Make Landfall in Louisiana; Trump Hits Back at Colin Powell After CNN Interview; Trump Reportedly Wanted 10,000 Active Duty Troops in D.C.; Gregg Popovich Delivers Emotional Message on Racism; Minneapolis City Council Announces Intent to Disband Police Department; Caravan of Protesters Heads to LAPD Headquarters. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired June 7, 2020 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: We are seeing a movement gaining steam. From Minneapolis to Madrid, Seattle to Seoul. Tens of thousands are taking to the streets calling for an end to systemic racism and police violence.
In America, we are seeing 13 days of protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, the unarmed black man who died after a now former Minneapolis police officer restrained him with a knee to the neck for nearly nine minutes.
Tomorrow, a pivotal day for this movement. Congressional Democrats will introduce a sweeping police reform bill as President Trump hosts a round table with law enforcement.
Also Monday, the man charged with killing Floyd, Derek Chauvin, will make his first court appearance on upgraded second-degree murder charges. The very same day that Floyd's family will meet privately with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Let's go to Brooklyn, New York now and CNN's Bill Weir is joining us. You're on the move with a lot larger crowd there, Bill.
BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are, Ana, several thousand moving down Atlantic Avenue probably towards the Brooklyn Bridge if yesterday was any indication. The first sort of passionate, focused, very serious about it. NYPD letting it happen as it was the last couple days.
And this morning, early this morning, Mayor de Blasio announced he was lifting the curfew a day early because last night things went so well. (Inaudible) of this, I was with a crowd that marched fast and determined for three hours after curfew.
They were led by a young protester named Paris Howard who just around 11:00, one of the inspectors in charge of that precinct came over and said, "Can I march with you?" They ended up shaking hands, putting arms around each other. And at the end said, everybody can disperse peacefully.
The organizer said we want to be careful that this isn't used as some sort of propaganda. This is the first step at reform. There are still a lot of things to work out, but wow! What a marked contrast to the early days, 10, 11 days ago when it was batons and tear gas and really violent clashes, which when those got caught on video, went viral and brought even more people out into the streets.
So, the good news is that has simmered down. People seemed focused now. Tomorrow is the first day, 100 days after the first coronavirus death. We are lifting the restrictions in New York City. So, nonessential businesses, manufacturing, construction can go back to work. About 400,000 people are expected to go back to work tomorrow.
And so it will be interesting to see how long this goes on. There are movements as we're seeing in terms of policy. Mayor de Blasio says he will defund NYPD, announced that for the first time. They get $6 billion of his $90 billion budget. He is promising to take some of that money and give it to social programs as many police reformers have been calling for.
A couple of officers suspended without pay for pushing protesters, spraying them in the face and all of that seems to be having a calming effect all the way around, but here we are. And this energy shows no signs of slacking, Ana.
CABRERA: No doubt. Of course, calming effect but like you said, people are still so passionate and they are not letting up in terms of the protesting. Thank you, Bill Weir.
Now let's look at the protests in the nation's capital. Another massive crowd gathering in Washington again today and CNN's Pete Muntean is there for us. Set the scene for us, Pete.
PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ana, we are right next to the White House. This is Black Lives Matter plaza. I want to show you how close we are to the lawn of the White House. This group may be 10,000 strong, plenty walked down from Dupont Circle down 16th Street right here.
And I have to tell you it is every shade, every gender, every age - that group laid down for eight minutes in the pavement here in honor of George Floyd. And I have to tell you that during that moment, I made contact with a boy maybe five-years-old and he was wearing a Golden State Warriors shirt.
I also talked as we were marching down here to an 18-year-old. His name is Daniel. He's from Leesburg, Virginia. He is just of voting age. He says that his generation will be the one to leave lasting significant change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIEL BESS, PROTESTER: It's going to go on until there's change in America. I will see that happen. Nothing I'll be out in November to vote. That's when change is really going to happen. MUNTEAN: How important is it that more young people get involved?
You're 18 years old. How crucial is that?
BESS: It's crucial that young people get involved because young people are the next generation who are going to be able to change structural racism, environmental racism and pushing informs or reforms in the government. So, it's really important that young people get out here to protest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MUNTEAN: This is the 10th day of protests in Washington and I want to show you just how much a difference a week makes. This is St. John's Episcopal Church. We know the side of that a little bit more tense clash on Monday night for the president's photo opportunity there.
We knew that there was a small fire inside. Also, a small fire inside the ACLU on Sunday night, but look at what is changed here. Black Lives Matter painted on the ground on 16th Street here, now Black Lives Matter Plaza. We know from our crew at the White House that you can clearly hear the chants from here on the White House lawn and President Trump is home, Ana.
CABRERA: Okay. And he was tweeting about crowd size again last night after a day's worth of protests there. Thank you very much, Pete Muntean in Washington for us. We'll check back.
Joining us now is the former D.C. police chief and former Philadelphia police commissioner, Charles Ramsey. And back in 2014, President Obama tapped him to lead a task force on 21st Century policing.
Commissioner Ramsey, you've been such a voice of reason and a guide for so many of us over the past week, plus now, and we're grateful for your expertise and insights here. Tomorrow, Democrats in the House are going to introduce a sweeping police reform bill.
CNN has learned it will include reforms that make it easier to sue cops for bad behavior. It will establish a national police misconduct registry so that fired officers can't just get a job elsewhere. It will ban chokeholds and of course there's much more as you can see on the screen. How big of a deal would this be?
CHARLES RAMSEY, FORMER WASHINGTON, D.C. POLICE CHIEF: It would be a big deal. I mean, I need to see more detail for an example. I did see one draft and I don't know how accurate it is with the national database, which I do agree with.
But one thing that I read, it had, you know, just allegations as opposed to sustained or investigated complaints. But that's, you know, listen, you can work through those kinds of things. It's needed.
Right now we have a lot of issues facing us in policing. I hope they also include something dealing with police unions. They've become far too powerful. They form political action committees. They donate to district
attorneys' race or state attorneys' race, state senators and representatives and so forth. And then we wonder why you can't get anything done or you get, you know, a D.A. that won't charge a police officer who may be guilty of criminal actions.
I mean, you've got to stop and think and about, you know, and I'm not anti-union, but they've gotten way too powerful. I have fired people only to see him come back. They have no reason being on the police force.
The individual who killed George Floyd, you know, 17 prior complaints. Why is that? I've had people that I've actually -- literally fired twice, you know, to get them off the force.
CABRERA: It's unclear right now if this reform plan will win any Republican support. In fact, I want to read what you the Republican majority whip, Senator Roy Blunt, said about this.
He said, "I don't think you can come up with a national enforceable response on conduct or practice, nor do I think you can come up with a national manual that really makes sense for departments." So, as a veteran of law enforcement, what do you say to that? Does a federal policy make sense when policing is so localized?
RAMSEY: Sure. It can happen. I mean, number one you can set standards for accreditation. You can set standards for certain types of training. And you know what you do, you attach federal funding to it.
You may not be able to order it, but you can attach federal funding. And believe me, you put money on something, you get a whole different reaction when it comes to implementation.
There needs to be thoughtful discussion and I hope this bill has in it the things that are really necessary for true reform and not try to water it down just so they can get a few votes from other politicians that may be opposed to it. That's our problem now.
And so, I would like to see it. I think it shouldn't go too far because I'm hearing all this stuff about defunding police, abolishing police, that sort of thing. I don't even know what that means, you know.
Are you going to defund? Does that mean an abolition of police or does that mean you're taking, you know, $10,000 out of the budget? I have no idea and I argue that most people who say it have no idea what it means.
So, we can't let the emotions of the day drive what we do that we're going to have long term consequences. We need thoughtful discussion. We need people to sit down and figure out what we need to do that's going to actually make a difference.
CABRERA: In the city of Minneapolis where George Floyd died, I want to show you what happened to the mayor after he refused to promise that he would defund and abolish the police. (VIDEO PLAYING)
CABRERA: In case you can't hear it, they were saying, "Go Home, Jacob. Go home -- the mayor's name. If you're a police officer in Minneapolis especially, how do you restore that trust with the community again?
RAMSEY: Well, it's a long road, but you know again, it's not so much restoring trust. In some neighborhoods, you never had it to begin with. And so you have to really begin at the beginning and just start to build.
And that takes time, and is usually individual to individual, you know, not an entire organization necessarily because we've all got baggage and we've all got a long history especially policing in America. We've all got a lot of baggage that we have got to overcome.
Part of our problem which should be part of a national strategy for training, understanding history of policing in the United States. The people we're hiring now have no clue as to what happened in the 1960s, '50s, '40s or the previous century when it came to police enforcing laws that we look at today and say how could police ever be a part of that? How could they ever do it?
We're looking through a 21st century lens. And police have not always stood on the right side of justice as we define justice today. That doesn't make them all bad, but you need to understand that history if you want to move forward. That's why people view you differently in one neighborhood versus another neighbor.
I mean, I grew up in a tough part of Chicago, south side, a community called Englewood. I mean, you've probably have reported on Englewood before. I saw my first homicide when I was 14 years old. I mean, so, you know, we all have different experiences, but I didn't have a bad experience with policemen. And so we're all different.
CABRERA: Yes. Well, former Philadelphia police commissioner, former police chief of D.C., Charles Ramsey, thank you. Thank you so much.
RAMSEY: Thank you.
CABRERA: Much more on the calls for justice, racial equality and reform. But first, we have an update on tropical storm Cristobal -- 12 million Americans under a flood watch right now. We'll be right back. You're live in the "CNN Newsroom."
CABRERA: A reminder, hurricane season is upon us and right now, millions of people along the gulf coast are under tropical storm warnings as Cristobal approaches Louisiana. Forecasters say it will make landfall within the next couple of hours.
Already we are seeing floodings, some people are being advised to evacuate their homes. Let's go live to CNN's Derek Van Dam in New Orleans for us. What are you seeing, Derek?
DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, Anan, this is Jackson Square behind me. We're just outside of the French Quarter in New Orleans, a city that knows tropical storms and hurricanes very well. But this one feels a little bit different here.
Because of course, we have got this upon the backdrop of other national emergencies that are taking place, of course, across the country, namely COVID pandemic.
One thing I want our viewers to understand about the city of New Orleans, is that most of the metropolitan area is actually below sea level, putting this area prone to flooding.
The sewage and drainage system is over 100 years old so it doesn't take long for some of the rain bands from tropical storm Cristobal to move in and overtake and overpower the ability of the drainage system that's taking place.
Now, a lot of times we've been seeing some people just getting a little bit relaxed because this is indeed just a tropical storm, it's not a hurricane. Maybe they're letting their guard down.
Probably not the best idea because we're looking on social media, seeing reports of storm surge that is taking place in the St. Bernard Parish, which is about 45 minutes to my east. We're actually at the banks of the Mississippi River here directly behind me.
And you can see just how tumultuous it is, but it's really along the southeast coast of Louisiana as we have just approached and surpassed the high tide and we have the onshore push from the tropical storm that has allowed for major flooding to take place.
Grand Island, just outside New Orleans, is one of the only inhabited barrier islands along the coast of Louisiana and one of the most susceptible places to storm surge. And I've seen visuals and images of homes that are completely inundated.
So, just because this is a tropical storm doesn't mean that we want to let our guard down because storm surge is a major threat and it's the number one killer in tropical storms like this.
Now, the threats, immediate threats for New Orleans which by the way has a voluntary evacuation order in place, the flash flooding is a possibility. We talked about the potential of heavy rain bands overtaking the ability of the drainage system to pump out that water.
According to the sewer and drainage board from New Orleans, 99 pumps actively working and they have doubled their working capacity there with social distancing in place taking the pandemic into consideration. Ana? CABRERA: Okay. Dere Van Dam for us, thank you and stay safe. We also have meteorologist Tom Sater with us. Tom, what is the storm doing right now?
TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, right now Ana, it's about between 60 to 65 miles south of New Orleans so, landfall is just a little while away. But I think this is going to surprise a lot of people because of the inundation.
It's not just water on the beach line over the dunes. It is in communities right now, and already seeing the storm surge exceeding the forecast of five feet.
Look at the satellite image of this. Let's break this down. Those darker colors really show the magnitude of the storms, convective activity to the north well to the east into Florida. Yesterday, we had about a dozen storms that were tornado warned, even damage in the Orlando area.
Flood watches in effect, not just coastal areas in northern Florida where three-hour rain totals were six and seven inches. We've already surpassed 10 inches in many locations. Drought, yes, sure. And this are for some is going to exacerbate (ph) the flooding.
But many areas in southeastern U.S. have had their wettest May on record including South Florida. Some areas, nine, ten inches of rain, already have fallen. That's east of where Derek was in New Orleasns.
But now we're watching east facing coastlines. Plaquemines Parish, all those areas, Bay St. Louis, overall toward Panama, we're seeing not just the significant storm surge but tornadoes. Numerous water spouts have been already making their way across areas of the water over toward land.
Numerous storms have been tornado warned so, that still an issue. June is not known for major hurricanes. We typically do not have Categories 3, 4 or 5. What June is known for, however, are smaller storms like tropical depressions, tropical storms that unleash torrents of rainfall.
You can see where the storm surge threat is and as mentioned, it already surpassed five feet in many areas, from Plaquemine Parish northward. Water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico are running a fever.
They are well warmer than they should be. The month of May, globally, was the warmest May on record. So, all of that heat allows the system to continue to hold moisture. There will be more rainfall, the tornado threat, but really it's about the rain and the storm surge.
One more thing, this is going to move toward Little Rock, Central Missouri, make its way up believe it or not to the Great Lakes. We're even in Ontario, Canada. They're going to be talking about tropical rains, unheard of. So, again, surprising many people -- 20,000 without power. That number
will most likely go up as flooding continues to be a big threat. It's going to take 24 hours for the winds to move the system inland. We'll see a little bit of a better relief scenario tomorrow around noon for the gulf coastal states.
CABRERA: Okay, Tom. We know you'll be watching it for us. Thank you. Coming up, we'll head back out to the streets. A 13th day of protests all across America following the death of George Floyd, and live images right now from Washington, D.C.
CABRERA: President Trump going on a twitter tear today and calling the former Republican Secretary of State and retired four-star General Colin Powell, a real stiff. His tweet coming after Powell appeared on CNN's State of the Union joining the growing chorus of former military leaders openly criticizing President Trump's handling of protests. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
COLIN POWELL, FORMER JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: We have a Constitution and we have to follow that Constitution. And the president has drifted away from it. I am so proud of what these generals and admirals have done and others have done.
But you know, I didn't write a letter because I made my point with respect to Trump's performance some four years ago when he was running for office. And when I heard some of the things he was saying, it made it clear that I could not possibly vote for this individual.
The first thing that troubled me is the whole birther's movement. And birther's movement had to do with the fact that the president of the United States or President Obama, was a black man. That was part of it.
And then I was deeply troubled by the way in which he was going around insulting everybody, insulting Gold Star mothers, insulting John McCain, insulting immigrants, and I'm the son of immigrants. -- insulting anybody who dared to speak against him.
And that is dangerous for our democracy, it's dangerous for our country and I think what we're seeing now, those massive protest movements I have ever seen in my life, I think this suggests the country is getting wise to this and were not going to put up with it anymore.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: And former defense secretary General Mattis said, "Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people, does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us." It sounds like you agree with that.
POWELL: You have to agree with it. I mean, look at what he has done to divide us. Forget immigrants, let's put up a fence in Mexico. Forget this, let's do this. He is insulting us throughout the world. He is being offensive to our allies. He is not taking into account what our foreign policy is and how it's being affected by his actions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: I want to bring in retired Army Major General Dana Pittard. He served in the military for more than three decades with tours in Iraq and Kosovo. He's a West Point grad and the recipient of four Bronze Stars.
He is also one of the few African-Americans to reach the level of two- star major general or higher. General Pitard, thank you very much for joining us. I want to begin with your reaction to what we just heard from Colin Powell.
DANA PITTARD, U.S. ARMY: Hi Ana. It's good to be on your show. I listened to General Powell earlier and I agree with much of what he said as far as that we need unifying leadership throughout our country.
CABRERA: What does that leadership look like in your eye?
PITTARD: Well, we have a historic opportunity right now with what's going on with the protest throughout our country and actually throughout the world. And that's an opportunity to finally deal with and ideally end systemic racism in this country.
We've been dealing with some form of discrimination with African- Americans since 1619 when the first slaves were brought over in Virginia, so for 401 years. But we have an opportunity and this can infect the inflection point and we can do this.
CABRERA: You've said that now infamous moment when the president and military leaders, Esper and Milley and others marched over to St. John's for the photo op, made the military look like a political tool. What message does that send, something like that sent to the rank and file?
PITTARD: Oh, yes, that was definitely regrettable, but I have confidence that General Mark Milley, who I know well, the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, will make the right decisions. He will not allow himself in the future to be used as a political tool.
In fact, there is an understanding that he has pushed back on a number of things lately, a number of important things. Also, I have faith in our chief of staff of the army. He is my friend and classmate, General Jim McConville. They will do the right thing.
They will not be breaking the law and they will do what's right in keeping our military apolitical.
CABRERA: But if the American public sees the military as a political arm of the administration, what's the impact of that?
PITTARD: Oh, yes, that would be deterring this wonderful relationship that we've had since the outset of the republic well over 200 years ago, this relationship with the American people. The U.S. Military serves the American people.
But this is bigger. This is bigger than a Constitutional issue. What's going on right now through our society is the possibility of helping to end systemic racism. We've got to take that opportunity.
CABRERA: What is your reaction to our new reporting this weekend that the president had wanted 10,000 active duty troops on the streets of Washington and other cities early last week to quell unrest?
PITTARD: That was a bad idea because the first thing is law enforcement followed by the National Guard, and me and the American people don't know the difference between the National Guard and active duty troops. The National Guard called up by state governors, we're called in.
There's still more National Guard to be called in if necessary. And then if the state governors feel like it's still not enough for stability, then they can talk to the president and request active duty troops.
But we hadn't reached that point last week at all. So, I'm glad that Secretary Esper, Defense Secretary Esper, has walked that back, has talked to the president and they've moved the active duty troops out of Washington, D.C. That's the right thing to do.
CABRERA: Let me move to the bigger picture. You know, as an African- American leader in the military, you've broken ground. There haven't been very many people who have, you know, led to -- gotten to the level that you got.
So I'm curious about racism in the military because just this weekend out of Jacksonville, Florida, we learned of a retired Navy captain who resigned from the Naval Academy Alumni Association board of trustees after a Facebook live video showed him and his wife making racist comments and using racial slurs including the N word while watching news coverage. Does this surprise you? What has been your personal experience regarding racism in the military?
PITTARD: Yes, sure. In fact, I heard the Facebook video on that. Racism in the military, I'm not surprised. I mean, there's racism in the military. The military itself, just like law enforcement, just like America's corporations, just like all segments of American society, have issued with racism.
The U.S. military is merely a reflection of the American society that it serves. So, it's no worse and it's no better.
CABRERA: And you personally have experienced it? Can you give us an example?
PITTARD: Well, absolutely. There's many examples that I could give really from between being a young second lieutenant all the way to the rank of general officer, there's different forms.
But I'm not here to sound like I'm a victim. There are obstacles out there and you meet those challenges. But what we can do right now, and this is a challenge that we as America can actually meet. And that is to do something about systemic racism.
Whether its legislation, whether it's through more investment in underserved communities, whether it's strictly enforcing red lining laws, there's many things we can do, from a community, from a government standpoint.
There are things that we can also do socially and economically within the black community. We have 75 percent of all black children are raised in single family households. We can do something about that. Black lives matters and it's the value that America places on people of color. We've got to do something about that.
But within the African-American community, we've go to also value ourselves because over 90 percent of people like me are killed by other black people. So we got to do something about that.
One thing we cannot do, the black community cannot do, is end systemic racism alone. We need Caucasians, we need white people. We need white Americans to do that, to help with that.
And so that will take some time. But what I would ask for everybody is you can change the world where you are right now. You can make a difference right where you are right now through relationships.
And I would ask anybody who is watching right now, who is at your table? Who is at your dinner table? Is there someone of color that you can have at your dinner table, at lunch, so that you can at least establish relationship.
Because it is through that relationship that we'll all understand that what really binds America together and the strength of America is our diversity and our inclusion.
CABRERA: General Dana Pittard, it's a pleasure talking with you. Thank you for being here. Thank you for your service as well.
PITTARD: Thank you.
CABRERA: A fired police officer charged with murdering George Floyd will appear in court tomorrow as protesters take to the streets for this 13th day as we look at a live picture right now from Atlanta. We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.
CABRERA: I want you to see this new video from an NBA coach on the death of George Floyd. Gregg Popovich is head coach for the San Antonio Spurs. He was emotional. He almost broke down a couple of times as he said the country is in trouble and it is white Americans who bear the burden of fixing what's broken. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GREGG POPOVICH, SAN ANTONIO SPURS COACH: I think I'm just embarrassed as a white person to know that that can happen, to actually watch a lynching. You know, we've all seen books and you look in the books and you see black people hanging up on trees. And you are amazed. And we just saw it again.
I never thought I would see that with my own eyes. Nothing is going to happen. We have to do it. Black people have been shouldering this burden for 400 years. The only reason this nation has made the progress it has is because the persistence and patience and effort of the black people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Joining us now is ESPN host and sports and culture columnist for the "L.A. Times" LZ Granderson. Good to have you here. What was your reaction when you heard that from Popovich?
LZ GRANDERSON, ESPN HOST: Well, anyone who has paid attention to the NBA over the last two decades knows that this kind of par for the course comes with this particular coach.
He's never been afraid to speak out outside of the realm of basketball, outside the realm of sports for that, have you. And, you know, I was obviously moved by it because he was moved by it, but also just knowing who he is, I know it comes from a genuine place.
CABRERA: We are seeing more and more athletes and teams take a stand right now. The Denver Broncos, for example, led thousands of protesters through downtown Denver yesterday. That's my hometown. More than 70 players, coaches and staff were all involved.
But Vic Fangio, the head coach, he was among them and of course, he made those controversial remarks earlier in the week saying he didn't see racism in the NFL. He has apologized since then. The NFL has also admitted it was wrong not to listen to players about these protests. What changes do you think we'll see?
GRANDERSON: Well, first of all, I just want to say that, you know, Vic Fangio didn't make a controversial statement. He made a false statement. It was not accurate. And we know it was not accurate because the NFL has documented how what he said was not accurate.
And I think that's important to note that, you know, we need to move away from saying racially insensitive to just racist. We need to start calling things out. And so you ask for changes I would like to see, that's what I would like to see.
No more soft shoeing our wrongs. We point it out and we call it out as we see fit. And so the NFL specifically, since that's where we jumped off from. I thought Roger Goodell's personalized post, his video post, saying that the NFL was wrong was about 90 percent of what you wanted.
The other 10 percent, he didn't mention Colin Kaepernick and because of that I think that rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, but it's a good first step.
CABRERA: On that issue, the issue of players kneeling during the national anthem, I want to play you what HUD Secretary Ben Carson said to Jake Tapper this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN CARSON, HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT SECRETARY: There are some people who are talking about the flag, who are talking about our veterans, who are talking about people who sacrificed their lives, who are talking about police officers, and there are others who are talking about injustice in the system and they're arguing past each other. That's the problem.
My personal feeling is if those players were to come out and say, we love our nation. We are patriots. We love our flag. We honor the memory of those who died to give us our freedom, but we are protesting some of the brutality that has occurred, and that's why we are doing this, I think it would solve the problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Solve the problem? Do you think he's actually been listening to the players or have they just not been clear enough about what the issue is?
GRANDERSON: It's such bull (BLEEP). You know, forgive my language, but it's just - it's so disingenuous to sit here and pretend as if the players haven't been saying this, exactly that. Not by the way that it is required.
It's not required that you actually say those things to exercise your First Amendment rights. And so it really angers me to see Ben Carson, someone who we used to admire within the black community during Black History month having his face on a poster board on my classroom all those years, see him spew this kind of ridiculous rhetoric.
Our (inaudible) he just shut the hell up, they continue to perpetuate this ridiculous rhetoric that if the players just did this, then everything would be all right. Man, stop it! Get out of the way. You're in the way now.
CABRERA: LZ Granderson, I think a lot of people appreciate your passion and your candidness and your reaction. Thank you for taking the time to talk with us. You always have such interesting, thoughtful things to say and I appreciate it.
GRANDERSON: Thank you and I apologize for my language. I'm just really angry to hear him say that.
CABRERA: Understood. We understand why. Thank you.
We're following news out of Minneapolis. Some breaking news right now, this is the city of course where George Floyd was killed and Josh Campbell is there for us. Josh, what's happening there? JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good afternoon. We're
here obviously at the epicenter of some of the protest we've seen around the country here in Minneapolis.
Obviously, the location where George Floyd died after that police encounter, and we know that there have been calls across the country to defund the police. I want to bring in here Lisa Bender. She's the president of the Minneapolis City Council. Ms. Bender, we heard today the same calls to defund police. What does that mean to you?
LISA BENDER, PRESIDENT, MINNEAPOLIS CITY COUNCIL: Yes, I just stood with a total of nine members of the Minneapolis City Council and we committed to dismantling policing as we know it in the city of Minneapolis and to rebuild with our community a new model of public safety that actually keeps our community safe.
And we're hearing loud and clear from thousands of voices in our streets in the park today, phone calls, e-mails, that right now our police department is not making our community feel safe.
And so our commitment is that every single member of our community have that safety and security that they need. You know, have that housing, that health care, that education, all of it together that helps keep our community safe and to really work with our community over the next year, to imagine what that looks like, to build that system including everyone.
CAMPBELL: And can you clarify something? So, when people say defund the police or dismantle the police, there seems a bit of a confusion in some parts of the country. Does that mean you abolish the police? Do you get rid of it all together? Do you rebuild?
We had on our air this morning on "State of the Union" Representative Karen Bass, the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, who was saying that she herself isn't in favor of getting rid of police but refocusing on funding on areas where it is needed.
What does that mean to you? Are you talking about just getting police together or getting rid of them together or starting something new? What does that mean here in Minneapolis?
BENDER: Yes, I mea, we're a relatively small city with about a $1 billion annual budget and we're about to cut, you know, our departments across the board because of the economic crisis and the COVID crisis.
In the past, I've supported and attempted to and sometimes successfully moved funding out of the police department into community-based safety strategies. So that is what I think about when I think about that us, is that instead of investing in more policing, that we invest in those alternatives, those community-based strategies.
We did a big analysis of 911. Why are people in Minneapolis calling for help and what do they need? And we found that people need mental health services, they need health services, EMT and fire. So, we've already started to shift those responses away from an armed police officer to these other community resources. And that's what I think about when I imagine where we're going forward in Minneapolis.
CAMPBELL: Okay. So just to be clear, so you're not talking about getting rid of all law enforcement. There would still be some type of law enforcement mechanism. How would that work?
BENDER: You know, I think that's what we really need to hear from our community over the next weeks, months, year to come. You know, I think the idea of having no police department is certainly not in the short term that, you know, and one of colleagues said we need our police officers to keep showing up and to speak out against what they see happening to people like George Floyd.
We need people like our former police chief who spoke out and said these are the barriers that we've been running up against for years. We tried reform. And so I think we're ready to try something new in Minneapolis and we need our whole community behind us to do that.
CAMPBELL: And what kind of support do you have with the city council? I know that the mayor has purview over the police department, but the city council, especially in this time where you have the department of human rights that's also investigating. You have greater latitude and reform right now. We heard something about a veto proof majority on the city council, can you talk about kind of what support you're getting there.
BENDER: Sir, I mean, nine members of the Minneapolis City Council is a veto-proof majority for any decisions we would make, any ordinance we would pass, any budget decisions we would hold on to.
In Minneapolis, the police and the civil rights department report to the mayor. All the other departments of the city report directly to the city council, but the city council has authority over adopting the budget.
And I think especially with the human rights investigation of our department, has even more latitude than we have perhaps in the future to really help drive the conversation and really make the short term changes that are needed, like in the temporary restraining order we adopted on Friday, as well as these deeper conversations that our community is calling out for.
CAMPBELL: Ans so you're confident right now that you have a veto proof majority to start dismantling and rebuilding the police department?
BENDER: You know, what I heard from my colleague today was a commitment to -- an acknowledgement that the system is not working and a real commitment to move forward together with our community at the center, to listen, especially to our black leaders, to our communities of color, for whom policing is not working and to really let the solutions lie in our community. CAMPBELL: Councilwoman Bender, thank you so much for talking to us.
We appreciate it. And, Ana, of course, the focus of the nation continues to be here on Minneapolis again, the epicenter of where this happened. We've seen so many of those protests around the country.
We've also seen calls for policing reform, not only here but certainly coast to coast. And we'll have to see whether additional cities are going to be taking steps like Minneapolis to really start looking for the type of reform that we just heard, Ana.
CABRERA: Okay. Josh Campbell in Minneapolis, thank you. Quick break. We're back after this.
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Paul Vercammen live here in Los Angeles. Here at Los Angeles police department headquarters, you can hear off in the distance, you can see the officers getting ready.
We've got a car caravan protest. It started in Compton, California, and there are some of the honking horns. The first of the protest participants coming through here.
They made a point to tell us the people participating that they really wanted to allow people who maybe couldn't march seven miles to get in their car and show their support for the African-American community.
Particularly speak out against police brutality and show their love for George Floyd. So, as this protest will come together in the next hour here, we're going to see hundreds and hundreds of cars go by police headquarters.
You can sort of hear them honking in the distance. I'm Paul Vercammen, in Los Angeles and I'll go ahead and we'll catch up with you in just a few moments.