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Ex-Judge: Justice Department's Push to Dismiss Flynn's Case is "Gross Abuse of Power"; Starbucks to Close as Many as 400 Stores Across the U.S. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired June 11, 2020 - 07:30   ET



GREGORY MCGEE, PRESIDENT, ALBANY POLICE UNION: To go back on our policy. There was an actual training bulletin that was already issued in 2014 by then Chief Cox. He issued the bulletin September 1st, 2014, it was training bulletin 14-07 where we specifically outlined that choke-hold and that restraint are prohibited.


MCGEE: Even going back before that, we've never used those, those tactics are not taught. So, the members, you know, they reached out, you know, we thought that why not, you know, put Albany on the map and say, hey, through this executive order, we're going to re-emphasize that we're going to expand on those trainings, we're going to expand on the good that --


MCGEE: We've already done here in Albany. So, that's what we're looking for. That's why --

CAMEROTA: I understand, but running just --

MCGEE: The men and women of the department here, we've built such great relationships --


MCGEE: With our community --

CAMEROTA: I think you make a great point. But just to be clear, you're saying that since 2014, and even before, none of your officers have used choke-holds. None have done the knee to the neck. That hasn't existed in Albany.

MCGEE: No, I mean, what -- those moves aren't even trained, they aren't even taught to us. We just went through a defensive tactics refresher, and they're not even taught through our -- New York State certified defensive tactics instructors.

CAMEROTA: OK, and so Mr. Anane, what of that. I mean, basically, what I hear Mr. McGee saying is that the mayor is painting with too broad of a brush stroke, and using what happened in Minneapolis to kind of, I guess, you know, castigate --

MCGEE: Yes --

CAMEROTA: The Albany officers, but they don't deserve that?

OWUSU ANANE, CITY COUNCILMAN, ALBANY, NEW YORK: Look, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Albany like other cities has demanded our local police department be reformed in the wake of George Floyd's murder. In Albany, our mayor and the common council have responded to those changes appropriately, and more than reasonably.

Despite this, the president of the Albany Police Union has decided to put out a letter that undermines those efforts to produce reforms in the city of Albany. It delegitimize the efforts of our elected officials trying to act reforms and need to be called out. And that's why I felt like calling out the police union for him to try again with his letter.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, and we have to make sure and make it crystal clear that this type of behavior is unacceptable, and if a police officer engage in it, they're going to be held accountable. I've looked at the police manual --


ANANE: Extensively --


ANANE: And it does not state that choke-holds or neck-holds are banned. So, we wanted to make sure that if a police officer in the city of Albany engage in this type of behavior, they will be held accountable.

CAMEROTA: OK, Mr. McGee, should you change your police manual?

MCGEE: Alisyn, I actually have the actual photo of the actual training bulletin if the councilman wants me to send it to him, that actually outlines where the neck -- our neck restraints and choke- holds are forbidden.

CAMEROTA: I mean, Mr. Anane, what about that? What about the fact that you hear Mr. McGee saying that his officers haven't been doing that, they haven't been doing it for years. There are no cases of doing that, and that basically the mayor has gone overboard and made the police officers feel as though she doesn't support them?

ANANE: Look, the reforms are not disrespectful to our police officers. These reforms are designed to make it crystal clear that if a police officer engages in this type of behavior, they will held accountable. If the police officer is already abiding by these reforms, then the fact that they are being codified should not be -- should be supported and not be problematic.

The people of Albany do deserve -- do not serve the police department. The police department is supposed to protect and serve we the people. And I felt like it was unnecessary to make that -- it was necessary to make that clear. That's how our democracy works. And if it hasn't happened, we want to make sure that all the riots and the protesting that's happening in our city, we send a clear message that, that type of behavior that happened in Minneapolis or even in New York City as it relates to Eric Garner will not be tolerated here in the city of Albany.


ANANE: There are so much anxiety in history as it relates to the disconnect between police officers and the community as a whole, particularly in a black and brown communities. Many people in those communities believe that the police department has not given them a fair shake, as relates to -- there's been numerous incidents where a gentlemen was -- an unarmed African-American was tased to death by Albany Police Department.

There was another instance where African-American young man was running away from police and he was shot in his back. So these histories, these incidents indicate that we have a long way to go --


ANANE: As a police department. And that is why it's important that in these times when things happen outside of the city of Albany, we want to reaffirm our commitment to fairness, our commitment to making sure that everyone feels protected under the law and treated equally.

CAMEROTA: Mr. McGee, what about that, what's your response?

MCGEE: My response to that is that, that's typical from our common council from the city of Albany here. They continually fail to show support for our officers and the good things that we do. You know, like I said, they don't ever mention the 21st century policing model that we've embraced. They don't never mention the Obama principles that we've embraced here in Albany.

It's -- you know, this goes from the -- you know, all the way back to the fact that we haven't had a raise in years. We are severely understaffed by 60 officers, the very least.


We're the lowest paid in the area with the highest call volume in the area. You know, these officers on average, over 85,000 calls for service a year in the city of Albany. And we have an overwhelming response of positivity from the community. You know, we have our community events, our pop-up barbecues --


MCGEE: We have our movie nights, I mean, we have our ice cream socials, our bike rodeos.

CAMEROTA: Yes -- MCGEE: We do all these wonderful things, and I firmly believe that if

our mayor and our common council simply pointed out these great things we do -- I mean, these could be used to model other agencies --


MCGEE: Throughout the country of what actually works.

CAMEROTA: Well, gentleman, we have to leave it there, but I think --

ANANE: Alisyn, I just want to say --

CAMEROTA: Yes, I mean I only have five seconds --

ANANE: I just want to respond this --

CAMEROTA: Go ahead, Mr. Anane --


CAMEROTA: Five seconds.

ANANE: As a councilman, we have worked with police departments on many initiatives, and I admire the officers who serve and protect our city. However, when you see someone in a position of influence trying to undermine us, we will not sit silent. We will enact policies that benefit everyone.


ANANE: I appreciate -- we donate food to the police department, I --

CAMEROTA: Understood.

ANANE: On numerous occasions, advocate for reform, union increases --


ANANE: Salary increases. We work with the police department --


ANANE: We support the police department. But there are sometimes that we are going to disagree and we have to move forward on that issue --

CAMEROTA: And yes, and you have -- you have made it clear, I mean, I hear both of your sides right now, you both want to be recognized obviously for the things that have gone wrong and the things that are going right. I think that you have both stated your case really effectively. Councilman Anane and Mr. McGee, thank you very much. NEW DAY will be right back.

ANANE: Thank you very much --

MCGEE: Thank you so much.



JOHN BERMAN, CO-ANCHOR, NEW DAY: A new twist in the case against former National Security adviser Michael Flynn who pleaded guilty to lying to investigators during the Russia investigation. A former judge appointed to review the prosecution calls the Justice Department's attempt to drop its own case corrupt and politically-motivated.

The analysis requested by the judge in the case accuses the department of gross abuse of power to benefit President Trump. Flynn's lawyers have asked an appeals court to order the judge to dismiss the case.

CAMEROTA: Also developing this morning, German police say they now know who killed British toddler Madeleine McCann 13 years ago, but they do not have enough evidence yet to charge or name him. CNN's Frederik Pleitgen just interviewed the prosecutor in the case and Fred joins us live from Berlin. What did they tell you?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Alisyn. Well, they said that they didn't come out lightly and say that they have this new case, that they have this new suspect. And also, they didn't take it lightly to then go to the public and ask the public once again here in Europe, this is not the first time, to help them with further clues.

But they do say that they're very confident in the case that they're building, even though they still have quite a ways to go. Here's what they told us.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): The disappearance of Madeleine McCann, one of the biggest crime mysteries of the past decades is blown wide open, as German authorities say they have a new suspect, the investigating state prosecutor now telling CNN they're confident they have the right guy, but don't yet have enough evidence to prove it in a court of law.

HANS CHRISTIAN WOLTERS, BRAUNSCHWEIG STATE PROSECUTOR (through translator): We actually have findings that suggest that it is Madeleine McCann's murder, he says. But to make that clear again at the moment, there is insufficient evidence to convict.

PLEITGEN: German authorities have not put out a picture, but are saying the suspect is a 43-year-old German citizen, but CNN has confirmed his name to be Christian B. Prosecutors say the suspect lived in this house in Praia da Luz, Portugal, at the time that then 3-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared from this tourist resort in 2007. They also say a cellphone listed under his name has been located to have been in the area at the time of Maddy's disappearance.

Authorities also released pictures of these two vehicles he used at the time. Another clue, British police say he tried to re-register one of them after Maddy vanished.

MARK CRANWELL, DETECTIVE CHIEF INSPECTOR: Most intriguing is he re- registered the car on May the 4th. This is the day after Madeleine went missing. He asked a friend to register the car in his friend's name.

PLEITGEN: For years, law enforcement in Portugal, the U.K. and other nations tried to find Maddy, but there has been virtually no trace. Portuguese police even investigated her parents, Kate and Jerry McCann as prime suspects for some time, both have been formerly cleared. While British police are still treating the case as a missing person inquiry, German authorities say they are sure Maddy is dead. The state prosecutor telling us, there are hints he may have killed the girl shortly after she was abducted.

WOLTERS: We have no clues which indicate that the girl would have actually been held wherever for a long time, he says, which suggests that the deed itself most likely happened rather close to the disappearance.

PLEITGEN: Christian B. is currently serving a jail sentence in Germany for an unrelated crime. Law enforcement are asking the public for any information that could help find out what happened to Maddy. But also because they believe Christian B. has harmed more people, the prosecutor tells me.

WOLTERS: According to the information available to us, it is almost certain that there will be further victims, he says, especially victims of sexual offenses. We do not know in detail whether it is a matter of British victims or German or possible other nationalities, but we are very sure there are more victims.

German authorities say they have already received hundreds of tips in their effort to finally find out what really happened to Madeleine McCann more than 13 years after she disappeared.


PLEITGEN: So as you guys can see, this potentially could be a very big case here in Europe. The prosecutor is also, by the way, saying that of course, they're aware that this new information that they're putting out is also very painful of course for Maddy's parents.


They say they talked to them before going public in this case, and guys, this morning, I was actually also in contact with the suspect's lawyer as well. He says so far, his client is choosing to remain silent.

BERMAN: Yes, and he says it's got to be so painful for the family, even after all these years. Frederik Pleitgen, thanks so much for being with us. So Starbucks is planning to close up to 400 stores across the United States. The move reflects a shift in strategy for the coffee giant during the coronavirus pandemic. CNN's Cristina Alesci joins us now with the details. Cristina?

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN POLITICS & BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: The company announcing yesterday that it's going to close 400 locations in U.S. cities over the next 18 months, and in their place, the company said that it will eventually, with no firm timeline, open up to go locations. Remember, this is a company that prided itself in becoming the third place outside of the home and office where people could hang out.

Well, these to-go locations will look very different. They're not going to have tables, chairs, probably half the size of a typical Starbucks. The company executives yesterday really taken the time to explain that this was a plan that they had in place and they were going to execute it over the next three to five years, but the coronavirus pandemic accelerated those plans.

Listen up, because this is going to be something that we hear from many companies across the board, really taking this opportunity to drive costs down and save money here. Look, at the end of the day, Starbucks is a barometer for the U.S. consumer and perhaps a real admission from the company executives that the economy may not come back in the same exact way very quickly as the president has said so very often.

So, we'll continue to monitor these developments and other ones that are corporate bellwethers on the U.S. consumer. John?

BERMAN: Yes, a sign of the times to be sure. Cristina Alesci, thanks very much. So former NFL linebacker is having uncomfortable conversations to tackle the issue of racism. That's next.



CAMEROTA: Former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho is tackling tough talk about race. In his new YouTube series, "Uncomfortable Conversations With a Blackman". He recently sat down with actor Matthew McConaughey to discuss racism and white privilege. Here is some of that conversation.


MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY, ACTOR: How can I do better as a white man?

EMMANUEL ACHO, FORMER NFL LINEBACKER: You have to acknowledge that there's a problem.


ACHO: So that you can take more ownership for the problem. Individually, you have to acknowledge implicit bias. You have to acknowledge that you'll see a black man and for whatever reason, you will view them more of a threat than you will a white man, probably because society told you.


CAMEROTA: Joining us now is Emmanuel Acho. Great! I always look forward, Emmanuel, to having you on so we can have an uncomfortable conversation. I really look forward to be, yes. So tell me, how did it -- why did you sit down with Matthew McConaughey, why start with him?

ACHO: So, first, let me honor him. It was last Saturday morning, I'm sitting in my house and I get a call, my phone rings, it said no caller ID number. Well, I'll tell you this. When a no caller ID number calls you, it's either really good or is really bad. And for me, thankfully, it was Matthew McConaughey, and he simply said, hey, Acho, this is McConaughey speaking, I love what you're doing, I'd love to have a conversation with you.

I told him, well, look, bro, I'm going to take a few days or I'm going to go live in a few days, I'd love to have you. He said, no, let's tape tomorrow. I said, I'd be honored. So we met in a studio, met in a location, brought our Lysol disinfectant wipes, brought our COVID masks for the team and we shot it right there in about an hour. And the world received it so well, 2 million views in over 12 hours. It was -- it was phenomenal.

CAMEROTA: And did he get it? I mean, did you change Matthew McConaughey's mindset somehow? Did he come in with something that you found objectionable and then changed somehow?

ACHO: Look, the most -- the most -- the thing that stuck out with me most, rather, is when I asked him a question about, well, have your eyes been opened from my previous video? And he says, you know, Acho, it was as if maybe I was just looking at one side of the coin before. But now I see that there are two sides to the coin. He was like, you know, I grew up in a very diverse environment, in a very diverse life.

But what he says on tape is that, now I truly understand that there's more than just one side to this thing, and that's been my goal for the entire world, for the entire community, for our nation, is to understand it's more than just your life that you -- that you live. Because the life that you live actually impacts everyone's life around you. And I think he just continued to grow in his knowledge of that.

CAMEROTA: One of the things that came up was the question that I think a lot of white people have, which is what are you supposed to call black people now?

ACHO: Yes --

CAMEROTA: So here's how you addressed it. Listen to this.


ACHO: So many have asked, do I say black people or African-American? And the simple and shortest answer is black, because it's not only most accurate, it's also least offensive.


CAMEROTA: OK, that makes it easy.


ACHO: Let me -- let me elaborate. Let me elaborate. So, there are not all black people who are African-American. It's very simple. In America, we have Jamaicans, we have Cubans, they're not African- American. Furthermore, there are several black people that don't identify with their African heritage because it got stripped from them during the course of slavery.

Black people simply is a color, most nearly identifying our skin, very similar to the term white. But what's so interesting and intriguing is, I never realize white people have these questions until starting uncomfortable conversations with a black man and opening up a safe space where everybody can simply ask questions.


Because in order to solve our world's greatest issue which is our racial barrier, we have to educate and expose ourselves, and that's all I'm trying to do.

CAMEROTA: That's really helpful. I mean, and I really appreciative how sensitive and understanding you are that, you know, white people often feel dumb asking these questions, and you're just addressing them head-on. I want to just read for you something that just crossed Twitter, and this is from rapper and actor Ice Cube. He just tweeted his thoughts. So here he says, and he addresses it to black family.

"We don't have to be mean or aggressive to anyone who's not mean and aggressive to you. Stand your ground always, but don't cause unnecessary friction. Most of the nation is willing to change. We cannot take personal advantage of this worthy cause." What do you think about him feeling the need to say that right now?

ACHO: I agree with that whole-heartedly. You know, in the same manner that white people grow up, under some premonition that African- Americans, black people are dangerous or maybe thugs or violent. Black people, we are also now conditioned based on society that all white people might be racist, right? Several black people, we're conditioned that all white people might be the oppressor, and I actually think it's a little closer to the middle, right?

Several black people are just black and white people are just white. We just have ignorance and we just have different racial divides. I wholeheartedly agree with him. I whole-heartedly agree with the fact that we must all release our aggressions if we want to find the common ground so that as a society, we can move forward together.

CAMEROTA: Do you fear that there is going to be some overreach right now? Because this is the moment and because black people have waited hundreds of years for this moment. Do you fear that -- I mean, it sounded like what he was saying was, let's not take advantage of this moment which would perhaps cause a backlash. Do you fear that?

ACHO: No, not at all. What I truly heard was now that hearts are open, now that hearts are contrite, now that ears are not only open, they're listening, but they're more importantly hearing -- what I heard is, well, now, black people -- now is the time to truly get the message across. Unfortunately, very unfortunately, ears haven't been listening for the last 100, 200 years. But now, my white friends, they are listening.

I'll tell you this quick anecdotal story. There's a sweet woman, 73 years old named Linda, and she e-mailed me after my first video, she simply said, Emmanuel, I grew up in rural Alabama, I didn't go to school with any negroes, she said. However, after watching your video, my heart has been changed about black people. Please don't give up on me yet. I love you, my son and my brother. And now I realize, it's not too late for people to change because hearts are willing to receive.

CAMEROTA: That's so heart-warming. I mean, it is so heart-warming for -- that we are seeing people change. And frankly, I mean, you're being so understanding of people and their -- you know, questions, regardless of if they're uncomfortable or not. Are you surprised by how your series has taken off?

ACHO: No. I'm not surprised because I had hope for this world. I had hope for our world. I had hope for you and I. As a black man, I understood that my white brothers and sisters, there's a chance that they can change if they just hear and if they just listen. Now, am I surprised that my first video got 24 million views? Yes, I just never thought that it would be that well received. But I'm so hopeful, and I encourage anybody who is watching this understand that although our world has faced years and years of turmoil racially, times are turning. The tide is turning.

Hearts are changing. And look no further than my video to truly understand there's a real connection and bonds being broken between black people and white people.

CAMEROTA: It does feel that way, and we really appreciate talking to you. Emmanuel Acho, come back again soon.

ACHO: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Great to talk to you, and NEW DAY continues right now.

And good morning everyone, welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This morning, many new signs that America is at an inflection point with racism. But while people are delivering one message, President Trump is sending quite another. Overnight, a statue of a Confederacy President Jefferson Davis was torn down by protesters in Richmond, Virginia.

And NASCAR has banned confederate flags from all of its races and venues. But the president says he will not even talk about -- not even consider renaming army bases that are named after Confederate commanders. Sources tell CNN, the White House is working on an executive order for the president to somehow address racism.

BERMAN: Well, also new this morning, The United States has just passed 2 million confirmed cases of coronavirus. One prominent expert who will join us shortly predicts there will be 100,000 more deaths in this country by September. Another key model is showing a spike that will.