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RNC to Announce RNC Host City Soon; Loyal Trump Base Stand Behind President Trump in Trump Country; WSJ: Trump Came Close to Firing Defense Secretary Esper Over Protest Dispute. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired June 10, 2020 - 07:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CO-ANCHOR, NEW DAY: Members of the Minneapolis City Council have announced their intentions to dismantle their police department. Now, to some people, it might sound like a radical idea, but it wouldn't be the first city in the country to do it. The city of Camden, New Jersey, did it in 2012. Joining us now is Louis Cappelli Jr.; Freeholder, Director and County Executive of Camden County, New Jersey. Sir, thanks so much for being with us. In 2012, Camden disbanded its police department, dissolved it. Why?

LOUIS CAPPELLI JR., FREEHOLDER DIRECTOR & COUNTY EXECUTIVE, CAMDEN COUNTY, NEW JERSEY: We dissolved it because there was a fiscal crisis, and there was a public safety crisis. The recession destroyed the finances of the state of New Jersey and the city of Camden, and at the same time, you had a crime rate that was ranked number one in the nation. You had 67 murders in 2012. So a change was needed.

BERMAN: And just so people know, when we say, you dissolved the police department. People are saying, oh, if you dismantle or defund police, it's going to mean anarchy. It's going to mean there's no law enforcement. The next day that people wake up and where there are no law enforcement or public safety officers on the street?

CAPPELLI: Not the case at all. For two years, we worked together with Governor Christie, our Senate President Steve Sweeney, our Senator Donald Norcross and our Mayor Dana Redd, to come up with a plan to develop a county police department that took the place of the city police department. And we were told all along, this will never work, it will never happen. The unions will fight you.

But with the support from the governor on down, we were able to accomplish the absolute dissolution of the city department, which was not doing its job, which was failing miserably, and replace it with a county department that was focused on community policing.

BERMAN: And I do know that about a hundred of the officers who were part of the city department became part of a county police force for about 400 people. So, there was some overlap there. And you were talking about the homicide rate in 2012, just so people can see the change over the last seven or eight years, it's a 62 percent decline in the homicide rate in Camden, New Jersey, since this change was made. That's a positive move. Now, it all looks good and sounds good when you put that number up on

the screen. But we should note that Minneapolis is four times, five times the size of Camden, New Jersey. What are the risks?

CAPPELLI: Right --

BERMAN: What does Minneapolis need to know about the challenges of doing this?

CAPPELLI: Listen, the challenges will come because change never comes easy. But if your philosophy in community policing is to engage the residents of your city in the development of a new force or in the reform of a new force, and you put that philosophy into practice, whereby the residents give you input on how you police, what kind of officers you hire, and you start building that trust with your residents and you have a relationship with your residents, you will see crime drop.

A big part of why crime has dropped so drastically in Camden City is the fact that our residents are now our partners. They trust our police. They see our police as guardians, not as a career(ph). Our police officers have top black bodies. They go into the schools to read to schoolchildren. And each day, when there's a new officer hitting the street, he goes door-to-door in the neighborhood he is serving, hands out his card to residents and says, call me.


If you need anything, give me a call. Don't just call me in times --

BERMAN: Yes --

CAPPELLI: Of trouble. So we're getting a lot of information from our residents, working out very well. There are still challenges, but we need those challenges.

BERMAN: Can that be done? Or why is it easier, should I say or why is it different to do that, build it from the ground up by dissolving and rebuilding it from scratch than it would be just to say to a department, we're going to implement these changes. We're going to say, you have to go knock on doors and introduce yourself.

CAPPELLI: Well, for us, it was easier because the rules and regulations of the city department and the city contracts were unsustainable. They were too expensive. Our superior officers had very little discretion on how to even deploy officers. So at any given time, the most -- the highest number of police officers on the street in Camden city were like 8 to 12 officers, which simply was a horrific situation and led to a high crime rate.

So by wiping the slate clean, we were able to start with new union contracts, new rules and regulations, and we took all the savings that we were able to garner and put them into hiring more officers. So we have tripled the number of officers on the street, literally walking and biking the street every day. BERMAN: Now, one thing I do want to note is that the statistics I've

seen, it hasn't led to a more diverse police force in Camden County at this point, has it?

CAPPELLI: Well, yes, there's a bit more diverse. We have about 52 percent minorities make up our force. That number would be higher, but the current New Jersey civil service rules and regulations prevent us from getting to the numbers we want to have. They employ these tests to hire police officers, to promote officers, and those tests, frankly, are racially biased, outdated, and really need to go away or re-modified significantly. So we are doing our absolute best to make the force as diverse as possible.

BERMAN: As people hear the debate about dismantling or defunding police forces around the country, what do they need to know? Because it really does, when you say the sentence, people go, are you serious? That sounds scary. But what do people need to know?

CAPPELLI: People need to know, first of all, we did not defund, we're actually investing more in our police department, we're doing it smartly. We're investing in technology and in training. De-escalation training, community policing training, that's where funds need to be invested. So, listen, it's not one model fits all. You have to customize this model to your situation and facts.

But if you start with the premise that people want to be treated with respect, and people want to have input into their law enforcement service that's provided to them, I think you'll do well.

BERMAN: All right, Louis Cappelli, great discussion. Thanks so much for being with us. It provides much more context into some of the discussions going on around the country.

CAPPELLI: Thank you.

BERMAN: All right, we have breaking news on the future of the Republican National Convention. When will we hear an announcement about the new location? That's next.



ALISYN CAMEROTA, CO-ANCHOR, NEW DAY: We have some breaking political news. President Donald Trump is ready to announce the new city where he will accept the Republican nomination. CNN's Jeff Zeleny is live in Jacksonville, Florida, with the breaking details. What have you learned?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Alisyn, good morning. We are told that President Trump is poised to announce the city where he will accept the nomination for his second term by the Republican Party. I'm told he will announce it as early as tomorrow, perhaps Friday. He, of course, is doing this after saying he did not want the convention to be in Charlotte, North Carolina, after a bit of a dispute there with the Democratic governor. And one reason that Jacksonville is a leading contender, I'm told, not

a final choice, but a leading contender is because this is Trump country. There's a Republican mayor here, of course, a Republican City Council, as well as a Republican governor of the state of Florida. But we have spent the last several days here talking to Trump voters, his base supporters about how they view his re-election.


ZELENY (voice-over): From front yards to a store-front campaign office, science of the president's re-election are blossoming in Trump country, which more than ever these days feels like a world away from Washington.

COURTNEY FERNANDEZ, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Sometimes, you look at him and you go, OK, that may have been crossing a line, but he means well. He loves our country.

ZELENY: Here in Jacksonville and northern Florida, the Trump army is mobilizing for November, promoting the president's record, and not dwelling on his rhetoric.

STEVE ADAMS, RETIRED NAVAL AVIATOR: For me, specifically, it's the judiciary.

ZELENY: Steve Adams, a retired Naval aviator, believes Trump's most important legacy is building a conservative federal bench. That, alone, he says, warrants a second term. It's not that Trump supporters aren't watching events unfold across the country. They simply view them through a different lens than many Americans. From the photo-op outside St. John's Church last week.

BEVERLY SLOUGH, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I thought he was displaying support for the Christian Church and this -- that historic church, but I thought he was very brave to walk there.

ZELENY: To the blistering criticism from decorated military leaders, like former Defense Secretary James Mattis and Colin Powell.

BOB DICKSON, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Mattis has his opinion. Powell has his. But there are so many Republican leaders who are solidly behind the president.

ZELENY: Right --

DICKSON: That he's going to continue to have a large base of support.

ZELENY: The question is whether that base is enough to win. With one poll after another, showing an erosion for Trump among independents and women. Dean Black, the local Republican chairman said he doesn't believe those polls.


DEAN BLACK, CHAIRMAN, DUVAL COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY: I don't think independent voters are going to be turned off in a way that's damaging to President Trump and the Republican Party.

ZELENY: In 2016, Trump carried Duval County, which includes all of Jacksonville by slightly more than 1 point and neighboring St. Johns County by more than 30 points. It's that combination he'll need to win Florida again.


ZELENY: Jacksonville is now being considered by the Trump campaign for the party's August convention, which prompted cries of outrage today.


Mayor Lenny Curry, a Republican removed the Confederate statue early Tuesday morning, and hours later marched alongside peaceful protesters.

(on camera): One of the issues facing your city is President Trump's re-election. Does his rhetoric make it more difficult for you to do your job?

MAYOR LENNY CURRY, JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA: I have no problem with doing my job. I signed up for this.

ZELENY (voice-over): The Trump campaign's TV ads here address the president's style head-on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump is not always polite. mister nice guy won't cut it.

ZELENY: And that sentiment is echoed in conversations with one Trump voter after another here.

KAREN DEETER, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I have issues with his approach to things, but I don't feel the Democratic candidate right now is very strong or would be able to talk the nation further. So, come November, I probably will support him again unless there's just a total collapse.


ZELENY: So talking to so many Trump voters, it is clear that they, indeed, are excited. The question is, has the president -- will he be able to expand beyond his base? It is those voters in the middle, of course, and those who voted for him four years ago, are they excited or exhausted at the prospect of a second term for the president? But it is one of the reasons that Jacksonville is being considered, I'm told, the top contender for the Republican Convention.

The president wants to accept it in a place he's welcome. That means Republican leadership and Jacksonville certainly fits that bill. But John, I am told that the president again is likely to make that announcement as early as tomorrow, perhaps on Friday in a presidential tweet. BERMAN: Yes, no doubt, presidential tweet. I bet you, Republican

senators will react to that tweet. They'll see that one. Jeff Zeleny, great to have you in Jacksonville --

ZELENY: You're right --

BERMAN: Your terrific reporting. Thanks for being with us.


BERMAN: Now, we have a developing story this morning. President Trump reportedly wanted to fire Defense Secretary Mark Esper because he didn't back the president's threat to use active duty troops to put down nationwide protests. The "Wall Street Journal" says advisors talked him out of it, Esper broke with the president last week, saying active duty troops should be used in a law enforcement role only as a last resort.

The report says Esper, aware of the president's anger, had actually started to prepare a letter of resignation.

CAMEROTA: That's very interesting, John. Thank you. All right, let's talk about how coronavirus spreads. Do asymptomatic people spread it or not? The W.H.O caused a lot of confusion this week. Professor Erin Bromage helps us get the answers to so many COVID questions, next.



CAMEROTA: The World Health Organization tried to clarify the confusing comments yesterday about whether asymptomatic people can spread coronavirus.


MARIA VAN KERKHOVE, HEAD OF EMERGING DISEASES, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: We do know that some people who are asymptomatic or some people who don't have symptoms can transmit the virus on. And so, what we need to better understand is how many of the people in the population don't have symptoms? And separately, how many of those individuals go on to transmit to others.

And so what I was referring to yesterday in the press conference were a very few studies.


CAMEROTA: OK, joining us now is our new CNN contributor Erin Bromage; he's a biology professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Professor, it's great to have you in the CNN family because you're a fount of knowledge on this stuff, and we're really glad to be able to rely on you. And so, what is the answer? How often are asymptomatic people spreading coronavirus?

ERIN BROMAGE, BIOLOGY PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS DARTMOUTH: Well, the problem with this, with World Health Authority communicating uncertainty is really difficult. And that's what they were trying to get across yesterday with their message. We really don't have good data on asymptomatic people, and it may be better not to say asymptomatic, these are never symptomatic people. They never progress to developing any signs of disease.

The estimates are around about 16 percent to 25 percent, but the problem is at the start of this pandemic, we focused all our effort on the people that were sick or around people that were sick. And so our testing and tracing effort focused on them. We haven't put the effort into contact-tracing those people that get near an infected person and -- but never develop disease, and look at what their role is in the change of transmission of this virus through our community.

CAMEROTA: OK, so it sounds like we just need to wait until we get more information on that. In the meantime, let's just go through some back to normal activities that everybody is wondering if we can do, now that so many states are reopening. In fact, all states are in some level of reopening. So, number one, handshakes. Are we ever going to shake hands again?

BROMAGE: I think so. I mean, I miss handshakes. They are risky to do now because we are so trained to shake hands, but then eventually rub our eyes or touch our mouth. It's going to take a while to get back. I remember watching a movie just recently and two people shook hands, and I cringed, I'm like, don't you know the rules, and then I realize, oh, it was a movie and it was filmed five years ago.

I do think we will get back there eventually, it's just going to take some time and we need to understand the virus better. We need to have a better treatment before normality with that type of thing comes back again.

CAMEROTA: You know, one thing that I miss more than shaking hands is hugging people. My children have not hugged my mom for months. When -- are we allowed to hug people now or not?

BROMAGE: So the infection control person in me says no. But there are ways to do it if you're in a community where the current prevalence of the virus is quite low, where you can -- you know, a child hugging a grandparent can hug them around the waist.


Their faces never come anywhere near each other. They disinfect their hands after that. We do it outdoors. There are creative ways to be able to do it and do it responsibly and reducing the risk.

CAMEROTA: I've also heard that you can hug if you have a mask on and you turn your head away from the other person.

BROMAGE: Yes, I mean, if you do a proper hug where your faces go past each other and head-on shoulders, as long as you don't turn your head towards the person that you're hugging, and you're wearing masks. We're getting rid of the problem of those respiratory droplets going in someone's face. So now we're just dealing with contact. It's the skin-to-skin, it's the hand-to-hand. You just make sure that you wash your hands, you make sure that you sanitize your hands after the hug.

CAMEROTA: I'm starting that this afternoon. Airplanes. Are we allowed to go on airplanes now?

BROMAGE: Yes, so airplanes seem like they're just that perfect mix of lots of people in an enclosed space for the virus to run through. But inside an airplane, they have incredible filtration and air exchange. They've had to do that for 15, 20 years because they know that potentially pathogens can move through that population very quickly. So they've had to put those things in place and they have been there for a long time.

I think flying if you are at high risk, if you have high blood pressure, if you are overweight, it's probably not worth it under almost any circumstance. But if you have a good reason for flying, there's a necessity that you need to fly, there's a risk involved, but I think that you can take that risk if your own personal risk is lower because of your health and age.

CAMEROTA: And you just keep your mask on throughout the whole flight?

BROMAGE: Yes, that's something that we really need though to work out is all the airlines are requiring mask usage, but I'm seeing some pretty variable enforcement on it, on planes. It really comes down to "I protect you, you protect me". And if we're only getting a few percentage of the people -- actually, it's really more 90 percent of the people are buying in.

But if a few people don't, they're ruining it for everybody. So we have to work out how if we're going to lower our anxiety to get on a plane, we'll get on a plane with anxiety, that what we're expecting to see is what we see, which is everyone wearing masks and they're on while you're flying.

CAMEROTA: I'm asking this next question on behalf of John Berman. Haircuts, is it safe now to go into a hair salon and get your hair cut?

BROMAGE: So I had a haircut two weeks ago. I could no longer continue cutting my own hair. We did it a little differently. We went and visited our hairdresser. She had set up a chair out on her driveway, and my entire family just went through, and all had haircuts with her outside and it was great.

It was low risk. We had one single pod unit coming in there. So she wasn't getting the chance of multiple exposures because we're considered just one single pod.

CAMEROTA: Right, but I mean going into the hair salon.

BROMAGE: Yes, so into the hair salon is definitely going to be a little bit more risky. But again, it can be managed if you think about how to do it from the employer's point of view, that we keep the number of people down, we don't wait, we don't have long haircuts. We wear masks all the way through the procedure -- through the haircut. It can be done. You just -- you are assuming a high level of risk, but you can mitigate that risk by just some simple steps.

BERMAN: You do know I'm sitting right here and actually --

BROMAGE: Yes, I do --

BERMAN: Have a TV monitor in my studio here. You also know that entire careers were built off of helmets like this. I mean, this is not anything --

CAMEROTA: I like it --

BERMAN: To fear, it's something to respect.

CAMEROTA: Agreed. I agree. I don't want you to change it, but I know that you were wondering when you could get a haircut.

BERMAN: Well, it wasn't so much me as many viewers who seem to be concerned.


Deeply concerned that something was wrong.

CAMEROTA: Professor, thank you, thank you very much for all of the information and congratulations on your haircut.

BROMAGE: Thank you. Have a great day.

CAMEROTA: You too. NEW DAY continues right now.


CAMEROTA: A new report that former officer Derek Chauvin was in talks to take a plea deal before he was arrested.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we come out and march in the streets at the risk of our health, you ought to take your knee off his neck.

BERMAN: The brother of George Floyd will testify before the House Judiciary Committee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thank God for giving me my own personal superman.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This virus is still out there, it's in every state across the U.S., it's across the world, it's very infectious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nationwide, we are still averaging over 20,000 new cases every day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, we have something that indeed turned out to be my worst nightmare.


BERMAN: Good morning everyone, welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY.