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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo About To Sign Police Reform Bills; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo: Local Governments and Police Department Must Enact Reform Plan By April 1st, 2021 To Qualify For State Funding; Growing Concerns Over Coronavirus Resurgence In America; 90-Year-Old Grandma Tries To Shield Grandson In Viral Arrest; Congressman Finds 13 Chicago Officers Lounging In His Office As Violence, Looting Continued Around Them. Aired 12-12:30p ET
Aired June 12, 2020 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL HEASTIE (D), SPEAKER, NEW YORK ASSEMBLY: And so, this is just a very, you know, it's an emotional day but I was also asked in one of the interviews you know how emotional was I when we actually passed the bill?
I said I was actually more emotional when my house and Andrea's house agreed on those bills because that's when we knew that we were going to be to be able to get it done. At that point it was just the mechanical process of getting the bills passed.
But when we agreed on the package of legislation that the Governor has said that he is going to sign, that's when I was emotional because growing up as a young, black man there are times that I had not so positive interactions with the police.
I've had not so positive interactions with the police even as the Speaker of the Assembly. They didn't know I was a Speaker of the Assembly. I never mentioned anything. So when growing up when you heard the stories of Anthony Bias and Shawn Bell and Eric Garner, as a black man I felt that could be me.
I think that that is a reason why this is really started to really hit at the hearts of people that like I said enough is enough is enough is enough. So I'm happy that we are here where we are today but we still have so much more work to do.
And again my heart just goes out to all of the families, all of the mothers, who had to suffer through this and, you know, Constance Graham, Constance Malcolm said to me that every time this happens and I'm sure Miss Carr and Miss Bell will say every time one of these stories happens you relive what happened with your son again.
So we're hoping that what we have done will not have other families have to go through what these families have gone through. So I'm just happy that the assembly was able to be part of the solution. Thank you, Governor.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Thank you. HEASTIE: But also I just wanted to mention, too, Reverend Sharpton who's a leader on this, ridiculed for this. You know? Sometimes it's difficult standing alone but, you know what? Rev, after 30-something years of you leading this, you know, you are not alone.
Leaders sometimes have to be alone. Jesus was alone. So I just want to thank you for your leadership throughout all of these years.
CUOMO: Well said. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Can you put up the list again on the list? The Speaker said and the Senate leader why now? What happened now? Why not 1999? That is the question. To me I hear why did it take so long?
I think it wasn't just about Mr. Floyd's death. I think it was the cumulative impact. I think all the names on that list did not die in vain. I think it took that repeated articulation to get the country to this point.
Reverend Sharpton on every one of those situations was out there making this point all over the country, all over the country. And finally, finally the country heard. But the reason we're here today, make no mistake, is because Reverend Sharpton and good people across this country were out there making the point every time over and over and over again.
So Eric Garner did not die in vain. Sean Bell did not die in vain. It took, it took a number of lives unfortunately, a number of injustices unfortunately but each one was a part in getting to today. And it was Reverend Sharpton standing up and making sure that people of this nation heard every time, every injustice happened.
And that, that, Reverend is a special ability, a special contribution. And you have been there year after year after year and we all respect your effort. We thank you for what you have done. We thank you for your voice which the nation has heard. This state had heard. And not only--
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: We are listening right now in to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who was there with as he's talking about right now Al Sharpton, the leaders of the state legislature.
And what he is announcing is moves toward police reform saying he is going to be signing Executive Order that requires local governments in the state to develop and reinvent their police - a plan to reinvent their police programs requiring that all local governments pass those, enact those plans by April 1 or they will not be eligible for any additional state funding.
Let me bring in CNN's Brynn Gingras she has been following developments in these moves and calls, demands for change in New York and what this moment means?
BOLDUAN: Brynn, what is the significance of what we heard from the Governors and the state legislative leaders? BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes Kate, I mean, this is one of those moments. You know we've seen it with our colleagues in the streets tacking about those moments where the tide has turned.
Well in the State of New York, this is one of those moments because these bills that are going to get the Governor's signature shortly, think' not new bills. As you've heard them describe they've been brought up for several years, significantly also when in 2014 when Eric Garner died at the hands of a police chokehold.
Bills were trying to get passed and now they're getting passed and they're done quickly, only a few weeks after the murder of George Floyd. So I want to tick through this ten-bill reform package that the Governor is going to sign and just highlight a few of those as you see on your screen.
One of them is going to be named or is named after Eric Garner, and that is not only banning the chokehold like we've seen all across the country but actually criminalizing it. That means if a police officer in the State of New York uses the chokehold and causes an injury or a death then they are - it is possible they will be charged and face 15 years in prison with a felony charge. So that's very significant.
Another one is a big one that was called for after the death of Eric Garner, and that's the reversal of statute 58 that protects police's disciplinary records. That is something that now will put them on the same level as other state employees just like teachers.
Another one criminalizing false race-based 911 calls this one of course getting a lot of attention recently because of that incident that happened in Central Park where a white woman called 911 saying she was being threatened by a black man who was bird watching and he had just simply asked her to put her dog on a leash, so that one is another one that's getting a lot of attention here in New York.
And then you heard the Governor there saying a special investigator within the State's Attorney General's Office is going to be the one who now investigates any police related deaths. So someone that is independent, no local prosecutors taking over those cases. And again there are ten bills in all and these were just a few of them.
But he is about to sign all of those and such a significant move. And then of course going on top of that, Kate, like you just described with that executive action really telling all local police departments in the State of New York, about 500 of them including the NYPD which is the biggest one in the entire country saying they need to have significant modernization, reform.
They needed to do it quickly and not only they need to have a plan but they need to actually make it into local law or else they lose possibly state funding. Kate?
BOLDUAN: Yes. You will effectively be seeing less funding, defunding, eliminating funding. However you want to put it but that's how to make things work when it comes to this type of thing. Brynn thank you so much. Really appreciate it. All right, so now to the other major story today that we're following, the Coronavirus pandemic and a stark reality check of where the country stands? State leaders are pushing across the country or pushing ahead with reopening plans, plans aimed at getting the economy back.
And as we have seen, though, since Memorial Day, the weather is better and people are ready to get out and about but this is what reality actually looks like? These three states looking at right here, Texas, Arizona and Florida they were among the first and more aggressive with their reopening plans with regard to getting their economies back.
All three of them are seeing a steady rise in cases since Memorial Day and it is not just cases, a handful of states across the country are also seeing a jump in a particularly troubling data point, hospitalizations. It's a trend in the wrong direction and it has top, expert concerned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, PROFESSOR, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: COVID is not taking a summer vacation it's actually having new opportunities to spread.
DR. ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUE: It is really stunning to me that we have this much suffering and death and we're just not doing enough about it.
DR. TOM FRIEDMAN, FORMER CDC DIRECTOR: Today the United States isn't focusing on the most important trends and we are giving too much weight to numbers that have little meaning and less use. We have to change our focus to tracking indicators that will help us understand where the pandemic is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Joining me right now is Dr. Jonathan Reiner, and he is a Professor at George Washington University School of Medicine and of course a CNN Medical analyst. Dr, Reiner it is great to have you. Thank you for being here - you could also offer me legal advice, as well.
I was highlighting there some - a few of the states where they're seeing troubling trends right now. They're sparking these warnings from experts and colleagues of yours in Texas, Arizona and Florida. What is your warning right now? Do you have a warning? What are you concerned about in this moment?
Because it seems that all these smart people we've been leaning on they're not happy with the trends that they're seeing across the country right now?
DR. JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Right. A lot of people are worrying that there's a second spike in the pandemic coming. But what I'm here to say is that the first wave has never gone away.
DR. REINER: We're not done with the first wave. Our attention might have turned to other things in the last several weeks and the administration may be trying to pivot away from this but the pandemic continues to kill Americans at a rate of a little less than 1,000 people a day and leveled off there for last several days.
114,000 Americans have died, over 2 million infections and the virus isn't going away. We are seeing it now rise in places where it was low to begin with places like Arizona and places like Texas a very steady rise record number of cases.
It was thought that maybe some of these increased cases were just an art fact of increased the testing but we know from what you said increased hospitalizations, that that's not the case. There is also an indicator called test positivity rate which is basically the percent of patients who we test who turn out to be positive.
You want that to continue to decline. It's been rising in those states. So we know that the increased cases reflect an increased spread of the virus and this comes at a time where people have been trying to get out and there have been a lot of mixed messages sent in the United States about masks.
BOLDUAN: That in particular but honestly, mixed messages on everything from social distancing to masks and - for between. Here is case in point as you were talking about I'm very interested to get your take, White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow he weighed in on kind of where we are as a country? The idea of a second wave where as you put it not even being past the first wave let me plays you what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: I'm not the health expert. But I'm the so-called spike I spoke to our health experts at some length last evening. They're saying there is no second spike. Let me repeat that. There is no second spike and as Secretary Mnuchin said yesterday in testimony and I totally agree we are not going to shut down the economy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: What do you say to that?
DR. REINER: Yes. Mr. Kudlow famously said that the virus was contained three months ago. So he has a habit of being wrong about matters that involve medical pandemics. Let's just say that the virus continues to spread across the country. It is spreading at a rate of about 20,000 new cases per day.
And it's done that because we haven't taken the very simple precautions of reminding people that if you go out into public you need to have a mask on. Thousands and thousands of lives could have been saved if people like Mr. Kudlow had simply embraced that instead of pretending that the virus was going to go away. We're going to have to face the harsh reality in some states though we may need to shut down again. In the ICU we spend a lot of time picking the right time to take a patient off of a ventilator because what we have learned is that if you take a patient off the ventilator too soon and then have to re-intubate them a day or two later it's an enormous step back.
And I use that metaphor because we're going to have to face that in places like Arizona where they're running out of the hospital beds, running out of ICU beds. If we're not careful about how we reopen and we don't continue to test and test and contact trace we're going to have to face the harsh reality of going back to shut down and there is no political will to do that.
BOLDUAN: And that's what I was going to say. On one hand it is I think a sad tragedy of what is happening with this pandemic that masks have become a political statement if you will. But do you think - do you see - I have a - I really have a hard time seeing if there's desperate need for it that states will shut back down again after they started to reopen. But you really think that it might come to that because of the trajectory things are heading.
DR. REINER: If you run out of hospital beds and you run out of ICU beds what choice would a state like Arizona have? They have to shut down. In Japan, on the Island of Hokkaido, they did a shutdown which was effective in putting down the virus and then they opened but they opened too quickly. And what they chose to do is they shut down again.
And that's how they extinguished the virus. These are the hard choice that we have to make but we have to have unified leadership that prioritizes extinguishing the pandemic. When we pretend that we're going back to normal we do a great disservice to the public health of this country.
BOLDUAN: Yes. Public messaging consistent public messaging is paramount all the time when it comes to any major national crisis but especially something like this. Good to have your message, Dr. Reiner thank you.
DR. REINER: My pleasure.
BOLDUAN: The national moment on race that the country's experiencing right now is prompting major shifts in corporate America and Main Street America but the President as we've seen is sticking with what he thinks works. I mean, he won in 2016 running largely on division. He today continues to do that.
Now the President is going against the advice of some of his own aides and advisers to shift his tone adapt his tone in order to respond to the coast to coast protests and outcry over racial injustice. Still, the President refuses.
CNN's Kaitlan Collins, she has got reporting on this. She is at the White House and she is joining us now. Kaitlan, what are you hearing about this? Where the discussions are - not that everyone knows that the President is the President is the President? Donald Trump has been Donald Trump through and through. But what you're the discussions are behind the scenes to try to react appropriately to this moment?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. But Donald Trump is also five months away from re-election and so aides are trying to help the President make his way through this in a way that they don't hemorrhage black support or those suburban women voters that they have been trying to really corner the market on probably for the last several months before he goes up against Joe Biden in the election.
That's why this moment is so notable but also just how culturally the country seems to be shifting, public opinion on this. You are seeing the outcries for police reform, from people across the nation. And you know what you have seen with all of that and the changes that you are seeing happen, you know, not only with corporations but other institutions.
You are seeing it in sports play out, the President has been an outlier in a lot of this. I mean, NASCAR is banning the confederate flag from its events. The NFL is apologizing to these players who were kneeling as a form of protest.
And the President himself though is digging in on these same cultural fights which is something he's been doing, Kate, but the question is does it still continue to work for him with his base this time? And does it alienate him from the voters that he is going to need?
Those are the considerations that the President's political advisers have in mind right now and that's why they have been trying to craft an executive order that they're working on though it's still really not clear what exactly that executive order is going to look like when it comes to police reform?
But also, you know, they haven't said what they'll support on Capitol Hill? And that's critical because Republicans are not going to get behind something unless they know it's got the President's support, as well.
So those questions are the ones that remain as the President is continuing to dig in on these cultural battles that are he has like not renaming military bases that are named after confederate leaders.
And the question just really ultimately is does it work for him this time? Some of his advisers believe may be it could and some are still saying that they do not know really what the outcome of this is going to look like?
BOLDUAN: Good to see you Kaitlan. Thank you. Coming up for us, caught on camera, stunning video showing Chicago police officers inside a Congressman's office eating, drinking, napping and chatting while protests are raging outside. We're going to talk to the Congressman next.
BOLDUAN: Now to Midland, Texas, where police have released body camera footage showing the arrest of 21-year-old Ty Anders, the young black man was detained after police say he ran a stop sign. In the now viral video you can see police with their guns drawn and at one point Anders' 90-year-old grandmother steps in and tries to intervene. CNN's Ed Lavandera has more.
ED LAVENDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: When Ty Anders stepped out of the car in Midland, Texas, the 21-year-old was surrounded by police officers, some with guns drawn. The situation quickly intensified as witnesses gathered around.
On May 16th, Midland police say Anders ran through a stop sign and then made extreme attempts to elude police before pulling into the drive way of his grandmother's home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exit the vehicle now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAVADERA: Almost six minutes after Anders parks the car the young man emerges holding his hands up in the air and visibly emotional. The officers try to get Anders to move toward them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not going to shoot you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just need you to listen to us. We need you to stand up and walk back toward our vehicle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAVANDERA: A bystander recorded the scene. You can see at least six officers have now arrived as the witnesses try to tell police Andres is terrified by what's happening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's scared! You all have guns on him. You are seeing how many black people getting shot?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAVANDERA: A few minutes later Anders' elderly grandmother walking with a cane comes out of the house and stands next to her grandson as the commotion escalates.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --bro!
(END VIDEO CLIP) LAVANDERA: A few officers move in to handcuff Anders who remains on the ground and that's when the 90-year-old woman falls over her grandson. It's unclear why the elderly woman fell but she falls as one officer is swinging his leg over Anders to finish handcuffing him but it doesn't appear that his leg touches the woman. The young man's attorney says the grandmother was forced to the ground by offers. Midland police say she appears to lose her balance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Leave my child alone!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAVANDERA: Ty Anders was arrested and placed into a police car. He has been charged with evading in a motor vehicle while police attempted to detain him. Ed Lavandera, CNN, Dallas.
BOLDUAN: All right, Ed, thank you for that. Turning to Chicago now where Chicago police are investigating 13 of their own at the moment over an incident in the office of U.S. Congressman after a Congressman Bobby Rush's Chicago Office was broken in during a protest over George Floyd's death.
When the Congressman went back to look at security camera footage, this is what he saw. We'll show you. 13 Chicago police officers in his office some of them sleeping some talking on the phone even eating his popcorn as looting and violent protests happened nearby.
BOLDUAN: Chicago's Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaking out about this has called their actions that the actions of those officers disgraceful. Democratic Congressman Bobby Rush, he joins me now. Congressman, thank you for coming in. What did you think when you saw this video?
REP. BOBBY RUSH (D-IL): Well, first of all, I am just delighted to be on your program this morning. I am tremendously emotionally moved by the video of the grandmother out putting herself, her life on the line in order to save her grandson.
That is a very riveting videotape and I am moved by that. Again, once again, the Chicago Police Department has revealed its true nature, its true character. They entered into my office without being invited.
They in the midst of looting and rioting in the midst of their fellow officers being pummeled and roughed and violence thrown at them, all across the city, during those tumultuous days and here they are these 13 officers decided that they were going to abandon their posts and they were going to relax in my office in the midst of this chaos and confusion.
They decided that they were going to use my coffee drink and make coffee for themselves and decided to eat my popcorn and eat my popcorn. So these popcorn police completely abandoned their fellow workers, abandoned their call, their sworn oath to serve and protect and they came into my office, some fell asleep.
Some were on the telephone. Some had their feet up on my desk. And someone had their head down on my desk as their supervisors came to and fro in and out of my office. So it was totally reprehensible video and it really broke my heart and broke the heart the Mayor. And everyone was proud of my Mayor - condemned the actions of these police officers. And I really salute her.
BOLDUAN: Congressman, what do you want to see happen to these officers? The Mayor says that there should be consequences. The police superintendent has suggested that they are definitely obviously are looking into it. Would an apology be enough to you?
RUSH: Well, an apology would first of all they should apologize to the citizens of this city. For in the heat of battle, in the heat of where in this city actually expressing some of its extreme trauma, where looting was going on, where business people were having their properties totally destroyed, these individuals need to apologize to the City of Chicago for their cowardice, inaction, for their withdrawal from the front line, for their retreat in the midst of these assaults.
Apologizing to the city, apologizing to their fellow officers, they owe their fellow officers an apology and they need to apologize. And then of course I will be open to minimally accept an apology toward them but I'm going to - I have turned this matter over to the police superintendent.
I think that he is an honorable man and we'll see what he comes up with? We'll see what kind of punishment he will mete out to these cowards on the police force? I don't really think - I don't - I tell you. I don't feel safe when the level of - abandon their post.
They deserted their responsibilities, their duties to America and the City of Chicago. They deserted the responsibility and I don't really feel comfortable with them being on the force.
BOLDUAN: We'll see what happens with this investigation and then very interested to hear what - what your reaction will be when whatever disciplinary action if any comes of it? This is all part of a conversation that you have been part of, a fight that you have been part of for decades.