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Woman Shot In Face By Police With Rubber Bullet Considers Lawsuit; CDC Monitoring Protests For Potential Spike In Coronavirus; Goodell Admits NFL Was Wrong For Not Listening To Players. Aired 7:30- 8a ET

Aired June 8, 2020 - 07:30   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: A protester in Florida was shot in the face with a foam rubber bullet by police -- by Ft. Lauderdale police. She says she's now considering a civil rights lawsuit. LaToya Ratlieff suffered skull and right eye injuries.

And we want to warn you the video that we're about to show you of the moments right afterward is graphic.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the eye -- got her in the eye. We need a paramedic -- we need a paramedic.


CAMEROTA: That woman, LaToya Ratlieff, joins us now.

LaToya, oh my gosh, that video is so upsetting. How are you today?

LATOYA RATLIEFF, PROTESTER SHOT BY POLICE WITH FOAM BULLET: Hearing it gives me chills. I am still working through this process and each day I am getting better, but it's going to be a journey.

CAMEROTA: Do you have vision in your right eye?

RATLIEFF: No. At this time, my eye actually started to open earlier this week or probably around this week -- I'm sorry -- but it's still very -- I can't focus. If I try to use -- utilize my right eye, I can't see anything. The vision is very blurry.

CAMEROTA: Do doctors think you will regain the vision in your right eye?

RATLIEFF: I'm not sure. This week I'll actually be going to see more doctors. I'll do a follow-up in regards to my actual wounds and then I'll see a doctor to review the damage to my eye and see if there's any permanent damage.

CAMEROTA: Oh my gosh.

LaToya, what were you imagining that day? When you went out to protest did you have any sense that things were escalating so much with the police and that they would shoot rubber bullets?

RATLIEFF: Not at all. I went to the protest on Saturday in Miami and it was an amazing event. There were so many people there from every race and ethnicity and it was a wonderful time. And that's why I wanted to be a part of it on Sunday. And even for the first 3 1/2 hours at the event, there were no issues.


CAMEROTA: And so, then what happened? I mean, when it turned -- I understand that for a while after you were shot, you hadn't even completely understood or realized what happened.

RATLIEFF: I think that at the turn of the event, I think it had something to do with an officer that shoved a girl that was kneeling on the ground. And that took the crowd from a very peaceful event that had taken place for most of the day to a bit of an agitation.

And when we -- when I was walking to go home and I saw that the crowd -- there was some commotion. You know, people were very visibly frustrated.

That's when there was an individual that was walking around and getting everyone to relax. So I joined in with him because you have this one person and how many hundreds of people, and we wanted to make sure that the message of this event is not overshadowed by anything else. So we were able to get everyone to relax and everyone to calm down.

But even after that, the cop -- there were still bullets -- random foam bullets being shot out into the crowd. We were being tear-gassed. And eventually, it was too much and that's when the crowd started to disperse and that's when I went in the corner.

And there was a moment where a woman, she came over to help me and to provide aid. And within a second, I was shot by a Fort Lauderdale police officer.

CAMEROTA: Oh my gosh. And what do you want now? I mean, I understand that you're considering some sort of action against the police. What do you want them to do?

RATLIEFF: I want the Fort Lauderdale Police Department to be held accountable. I think it's important that there are some reforms that are put into place so something like this can never happen again. I think that I would like to understand what happened and understand what message or what direction was provided to the officers before they arrived to the event.

And why did -- not only for me, there's another image of an individual that was shot in the head and there are also other accounts of potentially other people that were injured at the event. So I would like to understand what guidance they received that day that caused several people to be injured at a protest that was about police brutality.

CAMEROTA: Here's what the police statement about your case says. They'd like us to read it in full.

"The Fort Lauderdale Police Department has made every effort to speak with Ms. Ratlieff, to include reaching out via phone and social media for the last week. We are aware she has retained counsel, however she and her counsel have yet to contact the city to set up an interview.

Other than being notified she has retained counsel, we have not heard from Ms. Ratlieff's attorneys. It would appear Ms. Ratlieff and her counsel are speaking to the media on a regular basis instead of us. All of the information about Ms. Ratlieff's incident has been provided to the media rather than to our city or to our investigators.

We look forward to speaking with Ms. Ratlieff so that she (sic) may follow our formal investigative process of finding the truth about what happened."

Will you speak to them?

RATLIEFF: I look forward to speaking with them. I look forward to speaking with them and understanding why after I was shot and laying on the ground not a single officer rendered aid. I would like to understand why there wasn't a warning before they started to tear gas and continue to shoot rubber bullets out into the crowd.

I've been contacted from the Internal Affairs Department but at the time, I was still recovering. At that time, I was still dealing with the pain and the trauma from what took place. So hopefully, in the next week or the next few weeks we will be able to sit down.

CAMEROTA: And I know that you say that you will participate with their investigation and I'm sure that will be helpful for all of them to understand that you're actually not trying to fight the, other than to get these answers.

LaToya, thank you very much for being here with us and explaining what happened. We're really thinking of you and hoping for the speediest recovery.

RATLIEFF: No problem. Thank you so much for having me and allowing me to spread my message.

CAMEROTA: Thank you.

The number of new coronavirus cases is surging across America since the Memorial Day holiday, so Dr. Sanjay Gupta is going to join us to explain what he's seeing.


[07:43:33] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: New this morning, some troubling new trends of the coronavirus pandemic, even as the CDC has expressed concern about possible spread in the demonstrations we've seen across the country.

Twenty-two states, you can now see in the red and dark red, seeing an increase in new cases. The beige states are where it's steady. And if you're thinking about timing, it is worth noting it has been two weeks since the Memorial Day holiday where we saw scenes like this.

CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us now with more.

Sanjay, let's start with the demonstrations. How likely is it that coronavirus has been spreading among these protesters? And if it has, when we will see the effects?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, I think it's quite concerning -- I mean, there's no question about it.

You're seeing these large groups of people. They're obviously closely clustered together. It's all the things that we've been talking about for months now, so this is going to be a concern.

Typically, as we now know -- I mean, the lag period, if you will, between the time that people are exposed to the time that they may actually get tested and come back as having been confirmed with the infection can be a couple or three weeks.

There are many places around the country where they're starting to try and get people who were in protests, who were in these close gatherings tested more quickly. So if that happens maybe we'll see that more quickly. But I think there's no question we're going to see the numbers go up.

I think the larger question now -- you think about Memorial Day two weeks ago. You think about the fact that states are reopening. You see these protests here.


I think the larger question really, going forward, is what are we going to be comfortable with, which is a strange question to ask, I realize. But just over the last 24 hours, 30,000 more people have been confirmed to have the infection; 700 people have died. If I'd told you those numbers three months ago it would have -- it would have boggled your mind.

That is sort of -- you know, sort of a baseline state right now. The question is is it going to go into exponential growth? We hope not but that's the concern. That's what all these states are trying to prevent.

CAMEROTA: But, Sanjay, what about that map that we just put up where 22 states are seeing a significant spike? So what's that about? GUPTA: Well, I mean, I think you're seeing again, a couple of weeks ago was the unofficial reopening of summer. You did have people starting to get out and about for the first time. You do have many of these states that you see that are in red now having reopened a few weeks ago. So I think this is very predictable, Alisyn, in terms of the numbers going up.

I really think now we're sort of as a collective, trying to come to this idea of what are we -- what are we comfortable with in terms of numbers? We have better evidence in terms of what works.

And aside from the protests, people have been pretty diligent in many places about trying to maintain some distance. If you maintain a distance of over one to two meters you decrease the chance of transmission six-fold. If you wear a mask you probably decrease the transmission about six-fold as well. We know these things work.

If people reopen but they're also diligent, we hope these numbers won't go into all of the sudden, a significant upward slope. But they're going to go up, Alisyn, and I think that's what we're seeing there with those numbers. They're going to go up.

Are we comfortable as a nation with between 1,000 to 2,000 people potentially dying every day of this? It is possible.

You go -- you look at countries like New Zealand now where they say they've essentially eliminated coronavirus. Other countries where they have had a few hundred deaths total over the last several months.

What are we going to be comfortable with as a nation? I think that's going to be the question, especially as we start to reopen. You get past Memorial Day, you get past these protests, as a country, what are we going to be comfortable with?

BERMAN: That's a really interesting way of talking about in, Sanjay. In New Zealand, they're comfortable with zero cases in the country. In the United States --

GUPTA: That's right.

BERMAN: -- we may be settling into something where our comfort level is 20,000 new cases a day.

We'll talk to you again, Sanjay. Very interesting.


BERMAN: It's time now for CNN Business. Reasonably, the unemployment is actually much higher than the government reported on Friday.

CNN anchor Julia Chatterley here to explain -- Julia.


The lesson here is always read the small print. The key takeaway remains that 2 1/2 million jobs were created in May and that's good news. But to your point, the unemployment rate is consistently underestimating the damage that we're seeing in terms of jobs.

And it comes down to how people are answering the surveys. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that if people had been honest about being unemployed rather than just noting themselves as absent from the workplace, then the unemployment rate would be at least three percentage points higher than was stated in those numbers on Friday. So we're talking over 16 percent.

It's also not a new issue. We saw this for April as well. The effective unemployment rate in April was actually above 19 percent.

Now the big question has been this week, can we trust this data? Was there political interference? The answer is yes, you can trust this data. No, I don't think there was political interference, it's just the challenge of dealing with the sheer volumes of data and operating in a pandemic.

So going forward I think it's trust, but verify and always read the small print. It was there -- it was just at the backend of the report.

BERMAN: Yes. Look, three things can be true at once.


BERMAN: Number one, there can be jobs that have begun to come back. Number two, the data can be very hard to interpret. And number three, there have been a large number of permanent job losses as well that we're just coming to terms with here.


BERMAN: Julia, as always, you help us understand this in real time and then after the fact. We appreciate it.

So, several college sports programs now reporting outbreaks of coronavirus among athletes that have returned to practice. How will this affect college sports actually happening and the games taking place? That's next.



BERMAN: Several universities now reporting an increase in new coronavirus cases in their athletic programs. Arkansas State says it has seven athletes who have tested positive. Three football players from Auburn have tested positive. And, Oklahoma State and Marshall University each reporting several new cases as well.

Joining us now, CNN sports analyst Christine Brennan. She's a sports columnist for "USA Today."

You know, Christine, it was inevitable. The coronavirus will continue and it will appear across society so it was inevitable that athletes would get it. The question is what's the right way for these colleges to handle it? CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST, SPORTS COLUMNIST, USA TODAY: That's -- that is the question, John.

And I think another question is how many Covid cases will we accept to have our college football this fall, right? Because it's all about getting these kids back and getting the love to college football back, especially in, of course, places like the southeast and Southeastern Conference.

Nick Saban, the coach of Alabama -- of course, you mentioned there are cases there now -- he did a public service announcement early on during the pandemic talking about stay safe, stay distanced, stay in your home. We want to have football this fall.


And so now, here we are. They're coming back, they're starting, and I think they are going to try to play a football season -- college football and, of course, the NFL as well.

But what this looks like is anyone's guess. And if you can think of a worse word in terms of Covid-19 I can't think of one worse than football. And yet, it is our most beloved sport and people are going to want to -- are clamoring for it. And universities, of course, desperately want it because of the economics of the issue.

CAMEROTA: Why don't people just play badminton, you know? You know what I'm saying? I mean, that would be safer.

Christine, let's talk about the NFL's response to all -- in the wake of George Floyd's death.

So, Roger Goodell, as you know, on Friday put out a statement. For people who didn't see it, let's just play a moment.


ROGER GOODELL, COMMISSIONER, NFL: We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.


CAMEROTA: So, President Trump responded late last night, at almost midnight, to this. I'll read the tweet for you. "Could it be even remotely possible that in Roger Goodell's rather interesting statement of peace and reconciliation he was intimating that it would now be OK for the players to kneel or not to stand for the National Anthem, thereby disrespecting our country and our flag?"

Tell us the significance to this.

BRENNAN: Absolutely -- that's exactly what Roger Goodell was saying. I heard that statement, wrote a column, and said that I think that's exactly what it means -- that Roger Goodell is basically saying I will protest with you. I don't know exactly what that looks like, again, if we have football in the fall but I believe that's what Roger Goodell is saying.

He is understanding the will of his players, Alisyn. He has listened to them. It was a great video that was put out right before -- the day before Goodell came and -- to the players, including Patrick Mahomes and others saying we need to hear the NFL say these things -- and then, Goodell did it. So he's listening to his players.

And, Donald Trump, I guess, is listening to his base. I don't know.

But keep in mind also that as this has been playing out so has another little story that hasn't actually been so little. Drew Brees, of course, a quarterback who -- from New Orleans -- the New Orleans Saints -- who was talking about a few days earlier standing -- the pride of standing for the National Anthem -- met with -- met with criticism. And he changed his position and did a complete 180, and even then put a message out to the president saying this is not about the National Anthem.

So it seems right now that the president is the odd man out as the League is coalescing behind its players and even Drew Brees is coming into the fold in terms of the Roger Goodell players saying hey, we want to protest and we believe that black lives matter.

BERMAN: There is a growing chasm between the president's position. The position has always been different than most of the black athletes in the NFL.

But now, the chasm is growing between the league, itself, and among the white athletes like Drew Brees, who at one point were saying that no one should kneel before the flag. Brees is literally doubling down, saying no, I was wrong and the president is now wrong.

And I just want to remind people of the president's position on this. Listen to his statement from November of 2017 -- September of 2017.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Wouldn't you love to see one of the NFL owners when somebody disrespects our flag to say get that son of a bitch off the field right now -- out -- he's fired -- he's fired.


BERMAN: The league and the players, Christine, have never been further away from the president than they are today.

BRENNAN: That is right, John, absolutely. Now it was, of course, at a political rally in the Alabama Senate race and Donald Trump had some success with that early on. His base loved that.

And obviously, the kneeling eventually stopped and kind of went away. Also, the NFL started to work on a project with communities and with their players and started throwing some money into it. That definitely happened. What's happening now is entirely different.

And I think they all had a signal that they missed in 2018. Nike -- you may remember the campaign the -- had the Colin Kaepernick campaign t-shirts and other things with Nike -- a big, big campaign. It was a great success.

You know who loved it? Young people. They were buying it -- it sold out everything. Kaepernick now was a hero to them.

And while the older people may not -- you know, there might be some who obviously do not like this topic at all, I think the key fact is that there are so many young people. And that's your future fan base for the next 50 years who are obviously out in the streets in our cities and are doing the black box on their Instagram, and they are the future fan base of the NFL.

So even if it's not about doing the right thing because it's the right thing, they're starting to look at it because it's the right thing to do economically.

CAMEROTA: Christine Brennan, thank you very much.

BRENNAN: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: NEW DAY continues right now.


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

REP. KAREN BASS (D-CA): We need to look at how we are spending the resources and invest more in our communities.

LISA BENDER, PRESIDENT, MINNEAPOLIS CITY COUNCIL: We committed to dismantling policing as we know it in the city of Minneapolis and to rebuild.