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Minneapolis Council Moving To Dismantle Police Department; Misclassification Error In May Unemployment Rate; NYC Starts Phase One Reopening Today. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 8, 2020 - 05:30   ET



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: The city where George Floyd was killed taking steps toward change in defunding the police.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Thousands of Americans are protesting across the country but top officials at the White House and this administration doubling down, claiming there is no systemic racism in law enforcement.

SANCHEZ: And a small but significant step in what had been the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. New York City begins reopening today.

Good morning, this is EARLY START. I'm Boris Sanchez in for Christine Romans.

JARRETT: Great to have you, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Thanks, Laura.

JARRETT: I'm Laura Jarrett at 30 minutes past the hour here in New York.

And this morning the city where George Floyd's killing reignited a movement could become the ground for major police reform. Over the weekend, Americans peacefully marched through the streets in scenes reminiscent of a civil rights movement from coast to coast and even beyond the U.S. Those protests now fueling a growing call the defund police departments.

SANCHEZ: Yes, activists want a sizable chunk of that money to be invested in communities, especially marginalized ones where often, a lot of policing is focused. Police reform is now in the spotlight on both the national and the local level.

Let's bring in CNN correspondent and former FBI agent Josh Campbell in Minneapolis.


JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Laura and Boris, with calls from some groups across the country for the defunding of police, the City Council here in Minneapolis -- of course, the epicenter of the latest controversy following the death of George Floyd after that police encounter -- City Council here signaling their intention to move ahead with reforms that would dismantle the police department and create a new model for public safety.

I spoke with the City Council president who told me that she now has a veto-proof majority to move forward with certain reforms. She told me that the police department in its current form is not effectively serving the public.

LISA BENDER, PRESIDENT, MINNEAPOLIS CITY COUNCIL: 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 ask is that instead of investing in more policing that we invest in those alternatives -- those community-based strategies.

CAMPBELL (on camera): And it's worth pointing out that the City Council president does not appear to be on the same page as the city's mayor.

Just over the weekend, Mayor Jacob Frey was at a rally here in Minneapolis and was asked point-blank by the crowd whether he would agree to defund the police. He told them that no, he would not agree to that. That leading to large boos from the crowd as he left that rally.

Now it's also worth noting that the mayor here is not alone. We talked to the head of the Congressional Black Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, Karen Bass, who said that she, too, is not in favor of disbanding the police but wants instead to move certain amounts of funding to ways that would better help the community.

REP. KAREN BASS (D-CA): Part of the movement around defunding is really about how we spend resources in our country. And I think far more resources need to be spent in communities to address a number of problems. Now, I don't believe that you should disband police departments, but I do think that in cities, in states we need to look at how we are spending the resources and invest more in our communities.

CAMPBELL (on camera): Now, as the debate continues about what to do with this city's police department, the former officer at the center of the latest controversy, Derek Chauvin, will have his first appearance by video link to a judge behind me here, downtown at the city's jail.

Now, we know that at least two of the officers that were involved in that incident, their attorneys are pointing to Chauvin and his seniority as the reason -- the person largely responsible for Floyd's death. We will wait to see whether Chauvin's attorney signals in court what his defense strategy will be -- Laura, Boris.


SANCHEZ: Josh Campbell reporting from Minneapolis. And as you just heard from Josh, the mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, says that he is going to work toward deep structural reform but that he does not support abolishing the police department.

Also pushing back on the idea, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He points to violence and theft last week as the prime reason.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: You have tension, you have anger, and you have extremes in our society. Our society is about extremes now. Now you have this night of looting that, I'm telling you, shook people in this city to the core.

You don't need police? You don't need police? That's what happens when you don't have effective policing.


SANCHEZ: Meantime, New York City plans to move some of its funding for the NYPD to youth and social service programs.

JARRETT: Well, as thousands of Americans hit the streets to protest for justice, several top Trump administration officials continue to claim that systemic racism is not an issue in law enforcement.


CHAD WOLF, ACTING SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: I do not think that we have a systemic racism problem with law enforcement officers across this country. Do I acknowledge that there are some law enforcement officers that abuse their job, yes?


WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I think there's racism in the United States still, but I don't think that the law enforcement system is systemically racist.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR, "THE SITUATION ROOM WITH WOLF BLITZER": If George Floyd had been white, would he be alive today?


What I heard in that 8 1/2-minute clip was someone who was a bully who was abusing his position of authority and power in the law. And I have a funny feeling -- I don't know anything about his professional history, but I have a feeling we're going to find that he wasn't necessarily that well thought of as a -- as a role model among law enforcement.


JARRETT: Those comments striking at the core argument behind the demonstrations throughout the country were swiftly criticized by Congressman Val Demings of Florida, a former law enforcement officer who said "We know that we have been fighting systemic racism in this country for 400 years."

SANCHEZ: We're tracking something that happened overnight -- a violent scene in Seattle. Police say a man in custody after driving into a crowd of protesters. One person was shot in the mayhem and was forced to the hospital. A gun was recovered at the scene.

JARRETT: Yes, we'll keep an eye on that one.

Local protests around the globe supporting Black Lives Matter over the weekend. CNN has reporters worldwide bringing you the very latest.



Thousands of people took to the streets across Brazil on Sunday as different social movements joined forces to protest against racism and against President Jair Bolsonaro -- the biggest marches in Rio, Brasilia, and Sao Paulo. They held up signs with the names of George Floyd and many black Brazilians killed by police. They also accused Bolsonaro of trying to undermine democratic institutions during the coronavirus outbreak.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ben Wedeman in Rome's Piazza del Popolo where thousands of people have come out to express their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States. This is the largest demonstration I've seen in Piazza del Popolo for quite some time.

Earlier, one of the people making a speech listed all of those victims of police brutality in the United States. And this is just one of several such demonstrations being held in Italy and, of course, across Europe as well where there's been a massive outpouring of solidarity with the black lives movement in the United States.

AL GOODMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A show of force in Madrid. These demonstrators in solidarity with American protesters demanding justice in the death of George Floyd. All of this outside the American Embassy in Madrid, normally heavily fortified -- this day, much more so.

Demonstrations called this day not only in Madrid but in Barcelona and several other cities. Signs here in favor of Black Lives Matter. These demonstrators also against racism in Spain. There have been several high-profile incidents in recent years, most of them involving African immigrants.


SANCHEZ: Back to the states now.

A Virginia police officer is facing 36 months in prison after using a stun gun on a disoriented black man who was crying "I can't breathe." We're about to show you video of the incident and we want to warn you it is disturbing.


TYLER TIMBERLAKE, POLICE OFFICER, FAIRFAX COUNTY, VIRGINIA: (Firing stun gun at black man, striking man with stun gun, getting on top of man.)


SANCHEZ: This bodycam footage shows Officer Tyler Timberlake using a stun gun for no apparent reason. The Fairfax County police chief says the footage erodes the public's trust of police officers. The other officers on the scene have been relieved of duty pending investigations.

JARRETT: All right. Still ahead, the latest jobs report left everyone stunned, but one complicating factor has some asking if the numbers reflect reality.



JARRETT: The May jobs report defied all expectations. The unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent, but a so-called misclassification error meant that number could have been a lot higher. In other words, the rate appeared better than it actually was in reality.

CNN anchor and correspondent Julia Chatterley joins us now. Julia, what happened here?

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: This is a definite case of the devil being in the detail. Laura, good morning.

The key point I think to remember is that 2 1/2 million jobs net were created and they were created more quickly than we expected, so that's good news. But the other big takeaway here is that the unemployment rate continues to dramatically underestimate the damage that's been done to the jobs market.

What happened here was that the Bureau of Labor Statistics said, and they said it in this release, that when people were filling in the survey talking about their job, they said that they were just absent from the workplace rather than being unemployed. And if all the people that did that had done what they were supposed to do, then the unemployment rate would have been three percentage points higher, almost. So we're talking a 16 percent unemployment rate.


Now, many of us were already looking for this because it's not the first time it's happened. If you go back to the April numbers there was a five percentage point misclassification error, so the unemployment rate at that point was more like 19 percent. So, yes, the job creation is good news but the devil is in the detail here and the catastrophe that's going on in the jobs market is worse than it looks when you look at these unemployment numbers.

JARRETT: Yes, hard to have confidence if you can't trust these numbers.

So are economists defending these calculations or -- of course, the numbers are not from political appointees but can people have faith in what the government is putting out?

CHATTERLEY: It's a great question. And a lot of people were saying -- particularly in light of the impromptu press conference that we got from the president on Friday -- hang on a second. Has there been interference with these numbers?

Plenty of economists have come out and said look, this is just the sheer challenge of dealing with the sheer numbers of data and a pandemic that we're dealing with. So, yes, you can trust the numbers.

Some criticism has been as well, though, that look, we know this is happening. We know these errors are happening. Why can't you fix it and stop it and make that headline rate correct? Perhaps they'll try and correct this for the next month's numbers. But you can trust the data, you just have to look at the fine print.

JARRETT: Yes, fine print really matters here.

All right, Julia, thanks so much. Good to see you.

CHATTERLEY: Good to see you.

JARRETT: So those U.S. jobs numbers we just talked about sent Asian stocks higher. On Wall Street, futures are pointing to a positive open to start the week.

Stocks rallied Friday after that surprising jobs report. The Dow finished 829 points. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also closed higher.

We know that black people make up nearly 15 percent of the population in the United States, and a new initiative wants to reflect that number better in retail. The 15 percent pledge calls on retailers to dedicate 15 percent of shelf space to black-owned businesses.

One major issue research has shown for years facing black business owners is a lack of representation at big-box retailers. So the Web site specifically calls on Sephora, Target, Whole Foods, and Shopbop to take this new pledge. Those companies have made plenty of statements and donations to organizations promoting justice and equality but have not commented on how much of their shelf space is dedicated to black-owned businesses.

SANCHEZ: After accepting responsibility for an op-ed "The New York Times" later admitted it should not have published, editorial page editor James Bennet has resigned. The opinion piece by Republican Sen. Tom Cotton argued in favor of

deploying the military to deal with the unrest sparked by the killing of George Floyd. That publication angered many "Times" staffers, many of them calling in sick in protest.

Bennet initially defended the op-ed but later said that it was wrong, and he blamed a breakdown in the editorial process.

Stay with EARLY START. We'll be right back.



SANCHEZ: Phase one reopening finally comes to New York City today exactly 100 days after the first confirmed coronavirus case there. Officials say as many as 400,000 people could return to jobs in construction, manufacturing, and retail. Curbside and in-store pick-up are now allowed but dining in restaurants will have to wait.

Reopening poses a big test for the city's mass transit system, which is now being disinfected system-wide very day.

The earliest date for phase two, including offices and hair salons, is at the end of June.

JARRETT: Well, Boris, even as states like New York relax coronavirus restrictions, the pandemic remains a very real threat. It took about three months to reach 100,000 deaths in the U.S. with another 10,000 added just in the last 10 days.

Here's the truth. The pandemic isn't really going away. The daily death toll still falling at a painfully slow rate.

SANCHEZ: That's right, coronavirus cases are trending down in 20 states. But in 22 states, they're headed in the wrong direction, more than half of them substantially. There's also a lot of deep red on that map in the south. Remember, Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, they were among the first states to reopen.

JARRETT: In Florida, more than 1,000 new infections have been reported daily since the middle of last week. That's the longest sustained increase since April. Florida just entered phase two of its reopening Friday, removing limits on how many people can be in stores or gyms.

Even California is steadily climbing, a state-worst -- 3,600 new cases on Friday.

SANCHEZ: And a very different story in New Zealand. They are declaring victory over coronavirus. The government says there are no known cases in the country for the first time since February 28th. Officials say that locking down early with some of the world's toughest measures was crucial to their success.

New Zealand's prime minister says they will move to the lowest Covid alert level, lifting some of their domestic restrictions, though border controls will remain in place.

JARRETT: All right.

A Buffalo teenager who spent 10 hours cleaning up garbage from his protests in his hometown is being rewarded. After hearing Antonio Gwynn Jr.'s story, one man decided to give his prized red Mustang convertible to him. And it gets better. Buffalo's Medaille College offered Gwynn a full scholarship.


ANTONIO GWYNN JR., MEDAILLE COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT: I literally stopped, pulled over, and I started crying, and so did my great aunt. And my little cousin did, also.


JARRETT: Gwynn had planned to go to trade school while saving for college. Now he plans to study business this fall.

You know, that car is pretty sweet, Boris, but that education will stay with him a lifetime.

SANCHEZ: That's absolutely right. Look, a good deed goes a really long way, especially in trying times like these.


Thank you so much for having me, Laura. Thank you for joining us. I'm Boris Sanchez.

JARRETT: Good to see you, Boris. I'm Laura Jarrett. "NEW DAY" is next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The peaceful fight for change is continuing across America.

BASS: We need to look at how we are spending the resources and invest more in our communities.

BENDER: We committed to dismantling policing as we know it in the city of Minneapolis and to rebuild a new model of public safety.

MAYOR JACOB FREY (D), MINNEAPOLIS: I'm not for abolishing the entire police department and I'll be honest about that.

CAMPBELL: The former officer at the center of the latest controversy, Derek Chauvin, will have his first appearance by video link to a judge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not only will Officer Chauvin's conduct be on display, what the others did during the course of this conduct will be on display. Did they hear George Floyd when he said I.