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Minneapolis Police Chief Pulls Out Of Police Union Negotiations; Democrats And Republicans Craft Legislation To Reform Police; Black Man Says, I Can't Breathe, During Fatal Arrest In Texas. Aired 1-1:30p ET

Aired June 10, 2020 - 13:00   ET

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


ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Because many, many voters, as we can see from those lines, still want to be able to vote in person.

[13:00:05]

Kate?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. I'm so tired of calls for investigations after the fact. It's their jobs to get it right beforehand -- on the way end, I mean. Abby, thank you so much for being on top of it.

And thank you all so much for joining. I'm Kate Bolduan. Brianna Keilar picks up our coverage right now.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN RIGHT NOW: I'm Brianna Keilar and I want to welcome viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. This is CNN's special live coverage of two crises in America.

The first after weeks of nationwide protests against police brutality and racism and growing calls to defund law enforcement, the police department at the center of George Floyd's death is announcing some big changes. Last hour Minneapolis Police Chief Arradondo announced that he will immediately withdraw the department's contract negotiations with its police union. And he will implement an early warning system to identify signs of officer misconduct.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHIEF MEDARIA ARRADONDO, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE: So, for the first time in the history of policing, we here in Minneapolis will have an opportunity to use real-time data and automation to intervene with officers who are engaged in problematic behavior.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: Our Lucy Kafanov was there at the news conference. Let's head to her in Minneapolis.

And, Lucy, the chief was passionate at times as he spoke about growing up in the city and how race and policing are very much intertwined. Give us some more about why these changes are happening now.

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, he's the 53rd chief of police here in Minneapolis, but the first black person to serve in that position. There's obviously been a lot of pressure within the city and also nationwide. He's found himself in this harsh spotlight over a mostly white police department that's killed a black person. There's been so much pressure for him to act.

He did speak passionately. He refused to even mention the name of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who has been charged in the killing of George Floyd, and he talked about the deep- seeded issue of racism within the police force. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARRADONDO: Race is inextricably a part of the American policing system. We will never evolve in this profession if we do not address it head on. Communities of color have paid the heaviest of costs, and that is with their lives. And our children must be safeguarded from ever having to contribute to the horrific and shameful chapter of this country's history.

My plan will focus on imperative and respected community collaboration with an emphasis on the science of justice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAFANOV: Now, he said that he will release more details about how they're actually going to try to deal with these systemic changes. It's not going to be easy. But on the point of the first reform that he brought up, this idea of effective today, ceasing to negotiate with the police union on contracts, he said this wasn't about money or wages or salaries.

This is about trying to address things like the role that supervisors play in responding to calls, the difficulty he has, for example, in dismissing an officer when there's due cause to dismiss an officer, because they then have to negotiate with a third party and often that officer ends up being back on the streets or with the police department.

And so he's trying to do what he can to shift the system, so to speak, but in terms of how effective this will be, only time will tell. Brianna?

KEILAR: Yes. And so many of those issues are exactly what other police departments are dealing with as well. Lucy, thank you for that important story from Minneapolis.

George Floyd's six-year-old daughter said that her daddy changed the world. Well, he certainly changed the country, and the world, as you've been looking. It's just 16 days since George Floyd's death, and police reform proposals are being unveiled around the U.S.

Three states and at least 11 cities have banned police chokeholds or are in the process of writing laws to end them. Plus, Republicans and Democrats in Congress are working on federal legislation of their own to fix policing. It is a testament to the power of these nationwide protests.

Last week, Republicans dismissed the idea of a legislative response at all. Now, they have the broad outlines of their own proposal.

George Floyd's brother was up on Capitol Hill earlier today pleading that lawmakers not fail his family and the tens of thousands of Americans who are demanding an end to the police killings of unarmed African-Americans. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PHILONISE FLOYD, GEORGE FLOYD'S YOUNGER BROTHER: The man who took his life, who suffocated him for eight minutes and 46 seconds, he still called him sir as he begged for his life.

I can't tell you the kind of pain you feel when you watch something like that.

[13:05:01]

When you watch your big brother, who you looked up to your whole entire life die, die begging for his mom?

I'm tired. I'm tired of pain, the pain you feel when you watch something like that. When you watch your big brother, who you looked up to for your whole life die, die begging for his mom?

I'm here to ask you to make it stop. Stop the pain. Stop us from being tired. George called for help, and he was ignored. Please, listen to the calls I'm making to you now, to the calls of our family and the calls ringing out across the streets across the world, people of all backgrounds.

Genders and races have come together to demand change. Honor them. Honor George, and make the necessary changes that make law enforcement the solution and not the problem. Hold them accountable when they do something wrong. Teach them what it means to treat people with empathy and respect. Teach them what necessary force is. Teach them that deadly force should be used rarely and only when life is at risk.

George wasn't hurting anyone that day. He didn't deserve to die over $20.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: CNN's Senior Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju is joining us live now from Capitol Hill. Manu, tell us what happened in this House Judiciary hearing where we saw there George Floyd's brother testifying?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that was an emotional moment that kicked off this hearing. We've heard opening statements from witnesses across the board representing different aspects of this debate, from civil rights activists to people representing federal law enforcement, to people who have suffered injustice from the hands of police, raising concerns about and making calls for action by Congress. Now, the next round, we'll see Democrats and Republicans ask questions of these witnesses.

Now, this is going to set the stage for a pretty fast-moving debate in the House. Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on the Democratic proposal next week, the full House, the week after. And this comes as Republicans in the Senate are moving on their own bill. It's different markedly from the Democratic bill, but they initially had thought that it's mostly a local issue, not a federal issue.

But in light of the unrest that we've seen in this country and the aftermath of George Floyd's death, Republicans have changed their approach and now are floating this discussion draft. And their planned is mostly aimed in incentivizing states to take actions, including to push states to outlaw things like chokeholds.

That is something that Democrats wanted to ban on a federal level. That's one flashpoint, and the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, Lindsey Graham, just explained to me that they don't believe that they need to do that on a federal level, incentivize states to take that action.

So those are the types of disagreements that they're going to have to iron out and it remains to be seen what the president gets behind. And we're getting word here, Brianna, that the president may get behind some sort of executive action on police reform. So we'll see what that says and we'll see what he ultimately embraces here up on Capitol Hill. Brianna?

KEILAR: Let's talk about how these protests and the pandemic could be impacting the November election. You're actually hearing worries from Republicans that the president is losing ground to Joe Biden.

RAJU: Yes, that's right. There are concerns from Republicans who are seeing the same polls that we are. Poll after poll has shown the president's political standing is slipping and falling behind Joe Biden. The so-called generic ballot, which tests whether voters prefer Democrats or Republicans to control Congress, it's favoring Democrats by a healthy margin.

And talking to Republicans on Capitol Hill, they believe things the president needs to right the ship. But they're disagreeing on how he should do exactly that. One prevailing sentiment, Brianna, is concerns about the president's tweets, consistently putting them in difficult spots, like we saw his tweet from about the Buffalo protester yesterday, the baseless charge about that protester, who was injured by police.

One Republican, Lindsey Graham, said just moments ago that was not helpful because does not advance the cause of this president. But the concerns are real from Republicans who hope that the economy rebounds, that they believe could help their chances. But at the moment, they're looking at the down ticket impacts by alarm (ph).

And I should note also, Brianna, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of the Senate met with the president today to discuss Senate races, according to a source. Brianna?

KEILAR: All right. Manu Raju, thank you, live from Capitol Hill.

KEILAR: With me now is Marq Claxton. He is the Director of the Black Law Enforcement Alliance, and he is retired NYPD detective. Mark, thanks again for being with us.

We know that part of the defense strategy for two of the officers charged with aiding and abetting in Floyd's murder is that they were very new to the job. Let's listen to what Chief Arradondo of Minneapolis P.D. said about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARRADONDO: The policies that I put out for our department, those policies are not guided in years of service.

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I don't put policies out to say that you should only react or respond if you're a two-year member or five-year member or a ten-year member. And if policies where subculture get in the way, then I expect and I demand one's humanity to rise above that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: Marq what did you think about that?

MARQ CLAXTON, RETIRED NYPD DETECTIVE: Very impactful, and very clear and concise. And it's a valid explanation of the succession of police management. And what the chief, Chief Arradondo, clearly indicated is that once you take that oath, once you assume the responsibilities and the burdens of a law enforcement professional in his agency and should be the same in other agencies, that everything comes with it.

All of the understanding that you should have, you've been exposed to certain rules and regulations, you know what you have to do. And even beyond that, there's an obligation to really show some humanity and compassion and empathy.

But he made it quite clear. Day one or year 22, you have the same obligation as a professional police officer.

KEILAR: There're a number of reasons that experts point to difficulty in holding police accountable in situations where it seems just reasonably they should be and one of those has to do with police unions. And the chief said that he's immediately withdrawing from contract negotiations with the Minneapolis Police Federation. That's the police union there. What does that mean? What's the impact going to be, Marq?

CLAXTON: It's a potential to setting a very widespread, nationwide precedent. Listen, quite clearly, Chief Arradondo and Minneapolis city government has determined that they want to remove the police union from issues involving operational control and management control. They don't necessarily want to remove the union from advocating on behalf of their membership with regards to health and benefit issues.

But quite clearly, they said, they would no longer accept the unions setting the standards, establishing protocol to how to deal with issues and concerns that may impact the operation of the department.

Additionally, what Chief Arradondo indicated is that he's going to be really using analytics to determine and make some management operational decisions. He's going to also be able to use the same analytics, the same internal management system, to identify earlier individuals who may be operating under the color of law in your agency who present some challenges and some issues moving forward.

There's been conversation about the pride history of one or more officers involved in the death of Mr. Floyd. And I think Chief Arradondo has quite clearly indicated that he's going to use whatever is necessary in this particular case, analytics to be able to identify earlier and address those potential issues with particular individuals in the police agency early, so to prevent tragedies from occurring.

KEILAR: Can I ask you about those analytics? Are you surprised that they haven't been used sooner? Because I think of other behaviors, whether it's law that is written in order to put in place protections, say, for domestic violence. There is a knowledge about patterns of behavior that need to be stopped at an early stage so that it doesn't get farther.

Why is it only now that that information isn't being used to have a good prediction of, you know, which police officers might be especially at risk for these terrible situations?

CLAXTON: Well, there are agencies across the country. Usually, the large agencies, who have been using the analytics to determine, or be predictive about the possibility of issues with particular officers. And they've been using it for a long time.

I think the advent of cops that has really encouraged departments to use computer and data analytics as a way of providing the best possible operations and management of your department. I think in the case Of Minneapolis, perhaps the resources wasn't there. Perhaps the commitment wasn't there. Perhaps they've been exposed to this idea of concept now and had decided that it would be very useful in the case of managing the officers in their department.

[13:15:00]

But it's been the analytics and predictive policing using data has been a phenomenon many years, and like I said, primarily focused in larger departments. And that's one of those things where you can look at and hope that any police reform movement incorporates on a national level, on a universal level, the use of data and analytics to engage not only in predicting crime patterns but predicting some human resources issues that that you may have in your very department.

KEILAR: Marq, thank you so much, Marq Claxton with the Black Law Enforcement Alliance. Thanks for coming on.

CLAXTON: Thank you.

KEILAR: More CEOs under fire for their comments about race, including the head of CrossFit who just made a dramatic move.

Plus, it's one of the longest running shows on television, but COPS is suddenly canceled amid new scrutiny on police. And I will speak with someone who researched the show extensively on how it depicted race.

Also, HBO pulls Gone With the Wind for its racial depiction, sparking a debate and questions about what entertainment is next and what Hollywood's role is here.

This is CNN's special live coverage.

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KEILAR: The killing of George Floyd is shining a light on deaths of other black men at the hands of police. Javier Ambler died in March 2019 in the custody of Texas sheriff's deputies and police body camera footage released just this week. Ambler can be heard repeatedly saying, quote, I can't breathe.

Sheriff's deputies began to chasing Ambler after he failed to dim his headlights to oncoming traffic. And then a pursuit lasted 22 minutes and ended when Ambler crashed his car.

In an interview with CNN, his parents say they are just learning the details now of his death, almost 15 months after it happened.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARITZA AMBLER, MOTHER OF JAVIER AMBLER II: This is the first time that we have some kind of information as to how the incident happened, because every time they wouldn't even allow us to go identify the body in the morgue. I saw my son the day of the funeral. That's when I was able to see my son's body.

My sister was showing me what had happened with Floyd's video, And when I saw that video, I didn't even finish watching it, because right away, as soon as I saw that, I just pictured my son in that situation. And I asked her, I said, please, turn it off. Shut it off. Because I, at the time, I didn't even know what the video, whatever, it was like. But I just assumed his was similar to this situation.

And just the way they were saying that, you know, he was saying, I can't breathe. I just assumed that was my son, you know? He was overweight. And I knew he had heart problem. And I just knew and I just assumed that's exactly, you know, something like that is what he experienced.

REPORTER: So when you saw the George Floyd video --

AMBLER: When I saw it, I saw my son. I saw it. I just said, that's exactly -- you know, most likely what my son went through. REPORTER: And because of that --

AMBLER: And because of that, I can't bring myself to watch, because I couldn't even watch that video. So I just know definitely that person was nothing to me, and I know I can't watch my son's.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: Javier's mother described her only son a funny, loving mama's boy.

The police reality show, Live P.D., was filming when the sheriff's deputies began pursuing Javier Ambler. Williamson County, Texas District Attorney Shawn Dick says that when a case involves Live P.D., it feels like prosecution is stonewalled by the sheriff's department and the show. And I spoke about Ambler's case and why we're hearing about it only now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHAWN DICK, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TEXAS: Well, there certainly needs to be major reforms in the way that the police departments operate, the way prosecution operates.

I think one of the problems is I don't think prosecutors call out prosecutors enough and police officers don't call out their own enough. And I think, hopefully, what you're seeing here is a movement that will get the criminal justice system to critically look at itself and allow people to come forward.

I think one of the things that strikes me so much is you're watching all of these stories unfold and they're all so similar all over the United States, and Javier Ambler is one of those stories, and it's tragic, because it took a year and several months just for it to come to the public's attention.

I think just the fact that we have to ask the question is troubling. You know, did Live P.D. play a role in this chase? It's very troubling that an entertainment television show is involved in this at all. And despite them being involved, there's no video evidence at all from Live P.D. or the sheriff's department that I know of in the prosecutors hands right now.

And so, certainly, one of the concerns we've had with Live P.D. all along is the impact it has on policing that it causes officers to act in a way they wouldn't otherwise act.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: Now, A&E says it was never asked for the footage and that it has been deleted as part of the show's retention policy.

Nationwide attention on police brutality is bringing police reality T.V. shows writ large under scrutiny. After more than 30 years on the air the show, COPS, has been canceled. A spokesperson for the Paramount saying that there are no current or future plans for it to return.

Host and producer of the podcast called Running from COPS, Dan Taberski, is joining me now to discuss this. Pardon me, Dan. And, Dan, you heard the district attorney there from the same county as the cops who arrested Javier Ambler that there are concerns that Live P.D. and other shows like it negatively influence how officers act.

[13:25:10]

What is your experience in studying it?

DAN TABERSKI, HOST AND PRODUCER, RUNNING FROM COPS PODCAST: You know, we watched 847 episodes of the show, COPS. We watched countless hours of Live P.D. The question people need to ask is what sort of incentives does becoming -- does entertainment give to people who should be focused on good policing, not good entertainment.

A similar case happened in Pascoe County, Florida where Live P.D. was shooting in 2018, where a high-speed chase happened and there was Live P.D. filming. And the question, would they have done that live chase if Live P.D. weren't there to begin with.

KEILAR: And you, as you mentioned, 147 episodes, right, that you looked at, your podcast investigated the reality show for 18 months. You looked at 68 now data points. You found that the show leads with crimes committed by African-Americans at a disproportionate rate. Tell me about that.

TABERSKI: Yes. What we found basically on the whole that they show the proportional number of people of color committing crimes as compared to real-life, compared to FBI data. But what we did see is that they front load the crimes by people of color.

So 46 percent of violent crimes committed by people are color on that show happen in the first seven minutes. It's the same with drug crimes. Whereas for white people, it's 24 percent, 29 percent.

And as a television producer, I can tell you that when you're making a show, whether you realize it or not, you want to put the stuff that you think is going to hook viewers in at the very beginning. And that asked the question, why is it set up that way?

KEILAR: You're obviously right? Every show, that's how they produce it, to really draw viewers in. And, I mean, that says something about why they think maybe who is watching, who they're targeting, when they think that is drawing people in.

COPS has been canceled. Live P.D. has been pulled from the air. Do you think that these kinds of shows entirely need to go?

TABERSKI: I mean, these kinds of -- I don't think policing should be entertainment. I just don't. There are different things going on. I mean, COPS started in 1989, and it helped really sell the war on drugs in America to the America people because of violence committed by police and, you know, drug busts of low-level offenders, that made good television and it made people scared. Those shows are built to scare people and make people believe that the only thing between them and the violence they're seeing on that show is the thin blue line.

And I don't think it necessarily serves police officers either. I think it serves a policing system that I think people in the streets are telling people loud and clear that they think need to radically change.

KEILAR: Dan, thank you for joining us after looking and studying so many of these data points in the show, COPS. We really appreciate it.

TABERSKI: My pleasure.

KEILAR: Just ahead, Ludacris will join me live on what he noticed during the protests and what he told the Floyd family when he spoke to them.

Plus, Dr. Anthony Fauci calls out the World Health Organization after its confusing remark that asymptomatic spread of coronavirus is rare.

And just in, an alarming rise of coronavirus hospitalizations in at least a dozen states following Memorial Day.

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