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CDC Raises Alarm About Social Distancing In Protests; Mayors Want To Transform Minneapolis Police Department, Not Abolish It; President Donald Trump Hosts Law Enforcement Roundtable At White House; Cities Grapple With How To Reform, Regulate Police; Trump Administration Officials Deny Systemic Racism In Law Enforcement. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired June 8, 2020 - 12:00   ET



DR. LAMAR HASBROUCK, FORMER MEDICAL EPIDEMIOLOGIST WITH CDC: But still all those cases yet to be identified under that curve. So it is going to be a very prolonged curve although by flattening it we ensure that we don't overwhelm our health system and the capacity that health system has.

But I think this is going to be a flattened curve that's going to go right into the fall, right into flu season, there's going to be an overlap of the seasonal flu with this flu, and we're probably going to see an uptick at that point in time.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: And that's why there's so much focus and honest fear of what the fall and the winter season can bring with the combination of those two things? Doctor thank you so much for being here I really appreciate it. Good to see you.

DR. HASBROUCK: Thank you, Bolduan.

BOLDUAN: Right, as we can see its 12'0 clock top of the hour. Hello everyone, I'm Kate Bolduan. Thank you so much for sticking with us and sharing some time with us today. Family and friends will be gathering soon in Houston, Texas, to say a final good-bye to George Floyd.

In about an hour for now a memorial and public viewing is set to begin with thousands expected to pay the respects for seeing caners there the public beginning to gather. This is of course the man killed by Minneapolis police.

There was a memorial in Minneapolis just last week, over the weekend a memorial in George Floyd's birthplace in North Carolina. Floyd's funeral will be tomorrow private funeral in Houston.

But also this afternoon, we will see the former police officer now charged with killing George Floyd, you will see him in court. Fired officer Derek Chauvin faces second-degree murder and manslaughter charges. He is going to be facing a judge for the first time.

Let's start in Houston though and that is where our Sara Sidner has been standing by, that is where that memorial that public viewing is set to begin in short time. Sara, what are you seeing there now?

SARA SIDNER, CNN REPORTER: Already dozens of people, some who know George Floyd, many who don't have started lining up outside of this church where they're going to be doing the eulogy, that will be Al Sharpton.

Because of Coronavirus, it's a different scenario, a harder scenario if you will to say good-bye. They're letting about 15 people in at a time. Once they are ready to have people enter the sanctuary. I want to give you a look inside the sanctuary.

We have cameras posted inside and above the sanctuary. It is a place that seats 3,000 people. But of course, because of the situation that we all find ourselves in with this dangerous virus, they were only being letting a few people in at a time. They will walk up close to the casket, not able to touch it.

Distanced a bit, they will be able to say their good-byes one by one and then they will be led out of the sanctuary. And this can go on for hours and hours, because already we are seeing long lines here, the heat of the day. People are out here. You'll see lots of people have lots of different colors.

I do want to show you a wide, big shot from our truck that is showing the outside of this church and showing the lines of folks that have already started to gather here. Many of them have shirts on that say "I Can't Breathe", those last words that we've heard George Floyd utter before he lost his life.

We are told by the PR Company that he will indeed be buried next to his mother who had died years before, but he called out her name in his last moments of desperation. So a poignant place for him to be laid to rest, but he is back home.

And the sorrow that this has caused so many and lots of families out here, too, trying to teach their children about what this means and what that should mean. And this should mean a change in the way that we are dealing with African-Americans in this country and that relationship with police and African-Americans.

Lots of folks here ready to say their final good-byes, and then the family will have their private memorial on Tuesday.

BOLDUAN: And we are just seeing some of those children that you were talking about, some of the children waiting in line with their families just as you were saying that in the video. Sara thank you so much for being there.

Today we will also see the fired Minneapolis Police Officers, Derek Chauvin appear in court as I mentioned. He faces upgraded charges. Those original third-degree murder charge now, second-degree murder.

That change was announced last week along with the charges against the three other officers involved. CNN's Josh Campbell, he is in Minneapolis. He is following this aspect of it as the first appearance is set to get under way. Josh, take us through what's expected, what's going to be happening today in court, what you are hearing there?

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So this is going to be our first look at former officer, Derek Chauvin. He has his first appearance. He will be appearing by video linked to a courtroom behind us facing the judge.

Now this will be a bail hearing, so we expect that this will be very brief. But what we're looking for is any indication from his attorney signaling what their defense strategy might be. Now, just last week we were inside this courtroom when the three other officers involved in that incident.

They had their first appearance. And lawyers for two of those officers in attacking the government's case actually pointed the finger at Chauvin saying, look, this was the senior officer on the scene. He is largely responsible for what happened to George Floyd.

Now again we'll wait to see what Chauvin's attorney say today if anything. Legal experts tell us that one possible defense might be the notion that George Floyd was possibly resisting during that encounter.


BOLDUAN: We know that at the time that policy of the Minneapolis Police Department was that officers could use neck restraints if they were facing a resisting subject. Of course people look at that and say, you were possibly using deadly force, which wouldn't be warranted in that type of situation.

So again we're waiting to hear from the attorney what direction that defense will go, we'll have the latest, we'll be in court, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Also, Josh, the Minneapolis City Council reacting, City Council President talking to you and also talking about they are - they believe they have the votes to move forward to defund the police department, dismantle the police department in Minneapolis.

What kind of timeline are they talking about here? What more you're learning about this because from this conversation have been a lot more questions?

CAMPBELL: That's right. And I think the more questions we ask the more we realize that this idea of dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department is really an idea right now and not a plan. Now I talk to the President of the City Council who said that at this point, she has a nine-person veto-proof majority on the Council to move forward with voting to dismantle this police department. But the question comes down to what happens next?

Now I asked her if she's favor of abolishing law enforcement altogether. She said no, that's not the case. But what they want to do, because they believe that this police department is so plagued by misbehavior that they want to dismantle it and create what they're calling a new model for public safety.

As you mentioned a lot of questions about what that will be, but we're waiting to hear from them and put some actual plan about what comes next Kate.

BOLDUAN: Yes, as I guess - so this is a conversation, a long conversation that needs to go on amongst communities from the Federal Government on down to local communities now on what policing looks like in America going forward and what public safety means? Thanks, Josh.

For more on this I want to bring in Leslie Redmond who is the President of the Minneapolis, NAACP. Leslie, thank you so much for joining me today. I really appreciate it.

LESLIE REDMOND, PRESIDENT, MINNEAPOLIS NAACP: Of course thank you for having me.

BOLDUAN: Of course. We're just talking at there with Josh Campbell. What happens now in Minneapolis, there's a huge question, right? The City Council President saying, they're poised to defund and dismantle the police department. What is your reaction to this?

REDMOND: Well first, I think we have to acknowledge the root of policing in America which is slave catching, right? And that is how the police has been operating over the past 400 years where they've been terrorizing, brutalizing over police and murdering black bodies without accountability.

I'm very thankful for our current Chief of Police, Chief Arradondo, who is actually the first African-American police Chief here and the first one to hold officers accountable. So I'm very thankful for that.

I think that we would have to see a reconstruction and a transformation, because at this point people are sick and tired of being sick and tired, right? We know that police officers cannot go on and continue to murder and brutalize the black community.

What I believe has to happen be alternatives has to be created. We need community policing where community at the forefront where we are hiring young black men and women to police their own community, and then when necessary call upon the police for a very specific utilizations of them.

BOLDUAN: And that is something that you - I actually want do get to in a second, because that's something that you are very much involved in Minneapolis right now. Before that, I wanted to ask you the Mayor, he spoke out this morning on this very question of defunding, dismantling the police department. And let me play for you and our viewers what he said?


MAYOR JACOB FREY, (D) MINNEAPOLIS: Let me be clear, I am for massive structural and transformational reform to an entire system that has not for generations worked for black and brown people. We have failed them, and we need to entirely reshape the system.

We need a full-on cultural shift in how our Minneapolis Police Department and departments throughout the country function. Am I for entirely abolishing the police department? No, I'm not.


BOLDUAN: Is that where you are, as well?

REDMOND: I definitely think the Mayor's headed in a right direction. We also have to realize that the Minneapolis Police Department is not the only form of policing right. We have metro transit, we have the sheriff office. We have the state troopers. There is going to be - need to be systemic reform and change.

We cannot just throw the system completely away, because there is going to are a number of other systems that will think that they can continue to brutalize black bodies. And so, I think we have to take the difficult, more the road less traveled in the shorter time, making sure that we are getting this done right.

And one of the reasons why I say this is because we know that - amendment theoretically abolish slavery yet, black people are still enslaved on American soil, right? And so, I don't want to just take the quick rush, let's get it done and then it is not done correctly.


REDMOND: I think we need to plan this out and make sure of creating systems that are going to be sustainable.

BOLDUAN: And one thing that you are involved with, I've been reading about is, you are already trying as you mentioned already of creating a community alternative to policing with even armed citizen patrols.


BOLDUAN: Talk to me about this. Do you think that is the solution?

REDMOND: 100 percent. And to be honest with you, I didn't know what I was creating when I created it. I just knew that I was getting calls from the community about the community being threatened. A lot of people are seeing what people are calling looting.

But it was a lot of uprising and in the midst of uprising, there were a lot of professionals who are coming in our community burning it to the ground. White supremacists and different groups of people who did not want to see the black community thrive.

And so, we say, well why don't we patrol and police and protect our own community? And it's really taken on a life of its own. A lot of the people who have been disenfranchised thrown away from society, those are the very people who are willing to put their lives on the line and stand on the front lines to make sure the community doesn't burn to the ground.

I think that this solves a number of problems, right? We know that now they will have jobs and opportunities. They have a sense of purpose. And the community is protected. We do everything from giving - there was an odorless night we needed in our home because his tire went out. And there are people who need - security. And then in addition to that, we are armed and we are protecting the community, but it's a holistic form. And I think that's what we need. We need people on the ground who knows the community, who are from the community.

We need mental health specialists, we have an EMT person, we have a number of community members, and it's a real community. And I think that's what we need to see in America. So yes, I think that we call ourselves the Minnesota freedom riders. And I think that we are on the right track.

BOLDUAN: And there's a deep history with the freedom fighters there as you guys, you well name it.

REDMOND: Exactly.

BOLDUAN: You alerted the Police Chief I read that you alerted the Police Chief of your efforts. But do you envision, you mentioned your respect for the Police Chief. Do you envision working with the Police Department or in place of a Police Department with something like this?

REDMOND: 100 percent. So we've been working very well with the Police Department. Again, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Chief Arrodondo. He is the reason why we're able to do what we can do right now.

And we needed to block off the street for safety reasons, we were allowed to do that even when a curfew what's going on we were allowed to be out. I think one of the things that this will have to evolve into is not just - and ask there from the beginning.

I wasn't really asking permission. I was more so giving awareness and a courtesy call. I think we will have to be equal, right. I don't think it could be the police are given the community permission or police themselves.

I think there would actually have to be a reverse, right of where their community is actually taking the lead and calling the police when we need them. And I work really great with Chief Arrodondo, his police have been pretty well - even honesty when the National Guard will, they would compass us and wave. We have some issues with them. I think as more defunding efforts are coming, there may be some police officers who are upset.

But overall as a system they've been cooperating with us for the most part. But I would like to see that go to the next level of where we are creating something that is sustainable where we can actually hire these black brothers and sisters to police their own community and where the police have a shared respect.

And I think that it is there, because a lot of the times the police have been saying it is great that all are protecting our community. And so, we can get them out of the community a little bit more and we can be the first responders I think that would be phenomenal.

BOLDUAN: Leslie, thank you for your time.

REDMOND: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, President Trump. He is expected to meet with members of law enforcement today at the White House and talk with one Police Chief of a major American city, what he'd like to hear from the president today.

Plus the President also is facing a dropping poll numbers and a stinging attack from Colin Powell. How he is responding this morning, that's coming up.



BOLDUAN: President Trump will be holding a roundtable of law enforcement at the White House a little later this afternoon. It's a chance for him to push his law and order message. But it also comes as Police Chiefs across the country are grappling with how to rebuild trust in their communities right now?

Joining me right now is a Police Chief of Sacramento, California, Daniel Hahn. Chief thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.


BOLDUAN: What do you think can come from the conversation between the President and members of law enforcement today? Is there something you would want to tell him, something you would want to put on the table if you were in the room?

HAHN: Yes. I think what we're dealing with and what we've been dealing with for a long time is not limited to a particular department or particular part of the country. This is nationwide. This is something that's ailed us since the inception of the country.

And law enforcement is really a manifestation of what the issue is in our country, the illness in our country. And so, incidents like George Floyd is tragic as they were, and as hard as it is for us to watch something horrific like that is really the match that's lit on to the kindling. And the kindling is our every day interactions.

And what ails our country are differences and race, and those sorts of things that play a part in our every day interactions between law enforcement and community.

BOLDUAN: You have any unique perspective on the protests and what is happening in the country now? You've been Police Chief there for about three years. And in that time, an unarmed black man Stephan Clark was shot multiple times in his grandmother's backyard. This was in 2018.

But police you confused a cell phone for a handgun. Those officers were cleared of wrongdoing. What did you learn from that as law enforcement across the country is now facing demands for change? HAHN: Yes. Not only have I been Chief for three years, but I have come

up in this department, I lived in this city my entire life. I was arrested for assault on an officer when I was 16.


HAHN: So there is many different ways that I have a little bit of a unique perspective on our city. But they're both similar in one way and dissimilar in others. But the similar way is there are examples of what ails us in our country in terms of people's belief that the Police Department treats everybody fairly and that it's equitable.

And we see what happens when these incidents occur that we have protests, we have at times they get violent, and it's because people are so frustrated and so angry, and they don't feel like anything is changing. And so, then we see this unrest in our cities.

BOLDUAN: And look, some of the changes being called for now in response to this is defunding, dismantling police departments. I was just speaking with the Head of the NAACP in Minneapolis who is very, very focused on this.

For most people, that conversation means reshaping and redirecting funds. Yes, for some it means completely dismantling police departments. But when you hear that, calls for dismantling, defunding police departments, what does it mean to you?

HAHN: That's a good question, because I don't know what it means. I will say what defunding means, cutting budgets, but I don't know what completely eliminating a police department means. We are personal respond to over 175,000 calls a year, which is 400-some calls a day.

Those are community members calling for our assistance. We respond to over 12,000 mental health calls a day. And so, we do a lot of stuff around relationships, implicit bias. We have a ton of training in how we integrate community into the police department and the police department into the community one at a time before they even get their uniform on.

I would say the thing that I think would absolutely help is there's a lot of calls and a lot of issues in our community that the police department handles that quite frankly we shouldn't. There's a lot of mental health calls that we go to that police officers don't need to be there. There's a lot of homeless type calls that we go to that police officers don't need to be there.

But nobody knows who to call other than us. There are no other resources that can come and deal with the situation. So the fallback is police officers. But I think one of the ways we can get a lot better is that, we get the people that are best suited to respond to some of these things to go there as opposed to police officers.

And so, in the meantime we hire a social worker, we create a mental health team.

BOLDUAN: Right. HAHN: For example, a lot of our officer-involved shooting the good portion of them involved people in mental health crisis. So I think there's a lot of ways we can improve by getting people that are more equipped, better equipped to provide the help that people need and have them respond as opposed to a police officer.

BOLDUAN: And Chief, I also want to get you - you kind of pointed to this in something you said just a moment ago about the ills of society and part of where this conversation is right now because this is a big question now confronting the country systemic racism in the country, systemic racism in law enforcement.

Several administration officials just this weekend were asked about this. And over and over from the Attorney General to the Acting Homeland Security Secretary, Chad Wolf says, they do not think that we have a systemic racism problem with law enforcement officers across the country. That is specifically what the DHS Secretary said.

I want to ask you, do you think there is a systemic problem of racism, systemic racism and problem in law enforcement today?

HAHN: Well, I'd answer that this way, because I don't know to what extent. But we have racism, we have implicit bias, we have biases in society. And whatever we have in society, we are going to have in our law enforcement ranks. And so, we do extensive backgrounds, but there's absolutely no reason to believe that whatever in society is at least in some proportion in law enforcement.

And that's why in Sacramento, we spend so much time on implicit bias training and integrating our community into the police department. We bring a group called brother-to-brother and to teach at the academy and all of them have been in prison.

So they can humanize folks and hear real stories and build relationships. And they actually do respond to calls. We might have somebody detained that we think would be better suited for them to help.

And so, we don't take them to jail, we call groups like brother-to- brother to come get them. So we've been working on things like that. And - but I would not ever be naive enough to believe that if there's biases and racism in the larger society that there's no way it can't be in law enforcement.

BOLDUAN: The first way to begin rooting something out is to call what it is, and that's for sure. Chief thank you very much for coming on I appreciate your time.

HAHN: Thanks for having me.

BOLDUAN: Coming on next, New York City is officially in phase one of reopening. What does that mean for what has the original epicenter of the nationwide outbreak? We'll be back.



BOLDUAN: New York City begins its first phase of reopening today, a huge step for the city that was the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the country. Here is what Mayor Bill de Blasio said about this today.


MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: This is a triumphant moment for New Yorkers who fought back.