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Protests Growing Across U.S. as Trump Questions Protesters; Trump Says Police Chokeholds Sound "So Innocent and so Perfect" and Needed in Some Cases, But Open to Banning Them; Newly-Released Video Shows Black Man Screaming "I Can't Breathe" During Arrest; Officer Said "I Don't Care"; CDC Projects 16,000 Virus Deaths in the Next Three Weeks; Doubts About Trump Emerge in Republican Stronghold in Arizona; Seattle Standoff: Trump Threatens to "Take Back" City After Protesters Create "Autonomous Zone". Aired 7-8p ET

Aired June 12, 2020 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Thanks very much for watching. I'll be back tomorrow night 7 pm Eastern for a special SITUATION ROOM.

Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Thank you, Wolf.

OUTFRONT next, protests across the country growing at this hour as the President gives mixed messages about chokeholds and suggest that Abraham Lincoln's legacy is questionable.

Plus, he was just 14 when he was beaten up by police because of the color of his skin. And tonight, former Police Chief of Detroit is telling his story.

And Dr. Anthony Fauci with a new warning for Americans tonight.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, protests across the country growing at this hour for the 18th night in a row as the President of the United States is missing the moment and the opportunity. Instead, dismissing the protesters who have been out there night after night after night.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You had protesting also because they just didn't know. I've watched. I watch it very closely. Why are you here and they really weren't able to say.


BURNETT: Their passion for change, of course, is evident and plenty of them are able to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CROWD: Black lives matter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Black lives matter.

CROWD: Black lives matter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Black lives matter.


BURNETT: Instead of responding to this, Trump sending mixed messages about a brutal police tactic that protesters across the country have been calling to end. First saying generally speaking chokehold should be banned, but then sort of going on and on and adding this.


TRUMP: You get somebody in a chokehold, and what are you going to do now? Let go and say let's start all over again, I'm not allowed to have you in a chokehold. It's a tough situation.


BURNETT: But it's not a tough call for at least 12 cities and municipalities including Los Angeles, Miami and New York. They have all moved to ban chokeholds over the past few days, perhaps because they know what law enforcement knows as well.

According to a policy paper from 11 law enforcers leadership and labor organizations, including the Fraternal Order of Police quote, "These are extremely dangerous maneuvers that can easily result in serious bodily injury or death."

So the President not listening to protesters or police or his advisors. White House aides, his friends in business, members of Congress, all I've been trying to tell him that he needs to change his tone, that he needs to rise to meet the moment. But he seems to trust himself and no one else.

His instincts, he knows got him where he is and he thinks they will help him when again. He believes and he said here, you'll hear him, that he has done more for the black community than any other president in American history.


TRUMP: I think I've done more for the black community than any other president and let's take a pass on Abraham Lincoln because he did good, although it's always questionable. In other words, the end result.

HARRIS FAULKNER, FOX NEWS: Well, we are free, Mr. President. So, he did pretty well.

TRUMP: But we are free. You understand what I mean.

FAULKNER: Yes, I know. I can ...

TRUMP: So I'm going to take a pass on Honest Abe, as we call him.


BURNETT: Pass on Honest Abe, wow. I want to get straight to Shimon Prokupecz. He's in New York among the protesters on this Friday. So Shimon, what's happening where you are tonight?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: So we're in Brooklyn tonight, Erin. In the last few nights, we've been on the show and we've been from Manhattan. We're in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, several hundred marchers.

We started at the Barclays Center which has, two weeks ago, was the center of a lot of the protests and some of the tension with police. We're here now walking through the streets of Fort Greene and this idea that any of these protesters are going to let up anytime soon, I think we're seeing a lot of different signs here that that's just not going to happen.

They gathered here around five o'clock and they've been marching and now they plan to, perhaps, head to Manhattan where there are other protesters marching as well. Of course, one of the things that happened at the Barclays Center, Erin, just quickly is that Jon Batiste, the musician and the band leader for the Colbert Show came out, played music. They were dancing and singing.

But then he urged them to go out and to keep fighting. And then most importantly, he said, you got to vote for change. And so that is what's been going on here in Brooklyn, Erin, and really no sign that at any time, do these protesters indicate that they're going to let up at any point, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Shimon, thank you very much.

As we said, this is the 18th night and I want to go now to Kaitlan Collins. She's at the White House. Kaitlan, it is clear that there are many around the President who recognize that his tone here isn't helping that he could be acting very differently, but he is not budging.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: No, he's not and he's someone who has always believed that his instincts are better than the advice that he gets from his political advisors and that's something he's relying on once again. The question here is, is this time different, because you see the rest of the nation really moving in this other direction.


NASCAR banning the confederate flag as the President is saying he won't rename those military bases that are named for confederate leaders. The NFL is apologizing. Republicans even are saying we've got to do something on policing reform and they are rushing to put some kind of legislation together. And the President just has seemed resistant to a lot of that and it's

not for a lack of trying on his advisors' part, because we've spoken with several sources who've said they have had to try to have moments where they try to get the President to meet the moment here, because they are very aware of the political calculus here and their concern is that the President is going to lose what inroads he had made with black voters and with suburban women voters. And, of course, they are looking at they are just five months away from the election.

And then you see the President stoking these wars, these cultural wars that he did in 2016 because he believes in part, that's a winning strategy. And you saw it even today in that interview with Fox News where the anchor tried to talk to him about the meaning of that phrase when the looting starts, the shooting starts. And the President tried to say that it had a dual meaning, that he got it from somewhere else other than, of course, the racist police chief in Miami in the 1960s.

It's things like that that his political advisors are worried are not going to work out for him this time. So the question, of course, time will tell, but we should note that when it comes to that legislation, the White House still has not said which police reforms it is that they'll back.

BURNETT: All right. Kaitlan, thank you. And I want to go now to Cedric Alexander, former Chief of Police for DeKalb County, Georgia and the former President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, Gloria Borger, our Chief Political Analyst and Bakari Sellers, democratic former member of South Carolina House of Representatives, author of My Vanishing Country. Thanks to all.

Bakari, the President, you heard, said he's done more for African Americans than any other president, perhaps, including Lincoln. He then continued to say, call what Lincoln did 'questionable' because of the 'end result'. OK. So what do you hear there?

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I mean, first of all, I have to call it asinine and ignorant. We stand here today (INAUDIBLE) been years the assassination of Medgar Evers, who was the first field Secretary of the NAACP, who was assassinated. And I say that only to say that the President usually has no frame of historical reference and today is no different.

I find it intellectually dishonest and we're in the position that this President of the United States, talks about that he's the best (INAUDIBLE) since Lincoln even this time he'll give Lincoln a pass when in the same breadth, he will (INAUDIBLE) confederate generals and those people who lost, but he's still probably (INAUDIBLE) aggression and so I find myself having to chuckle.

And let me just say this, Erin, so viewers understand where my position is on this because I want to be extremely clear. I do feel like this is a different point in our history and I feel (INAUDIBLE) moment in spite of our president not because (INAUDIBLE) and that's very important. The President staying on the sidelines and saying a bunch of nothing is actually better for this country than him (INAUDIBLE) himself or injecting himself in a dialogue which is (INAUDIBLE) to handle.

BURNETT: Gloria, the President does seem to be missing the moment again and again throughout this.


BURNETT: We know a number of his close advisors though, these are people on team Trump, his aides, members of Congress, business leaders, they have spoken out, encouraging him to change his tone. He's refused to listen to them, why?

BORGER: Well, I think he may be unable and he clearly is unwilling. This is a man, as we know, who's kind of living in a time warp and he can't get out of it. And it's not only the '50s and the '60s, but it's also going back to 2016, when he thought the culture wars were the most important thing to him and that's what sort of helped get him over the finish line.

He doesn't know how to turn around from that. He also is somebody who is most comfortable when he can punch, when he can find an enemy. And who is his enemy here? He tried Antifa. Well, the reports have shown this wasn't - the looters weren't Antifa.

And can he make the protesters his enemy at this point when a majority of the American public says we agree with you, we're concerned about racism in this country. So he doesn't have anyone to really punch at on this overall and I think that's put him back on his heels.

BURNETT: So he punches Abe Lincoln, I mean, in a bizarre moment. I mean, Chief Alexander, I ...

BORGER: Abe Lincoln or Joe Biden or who - right.

BURNETT: Right. So chief Alexander, you heard the President on this chokehold, it was a very Trumpian answer, right? It ended with, though, in generally he supports the ban but then he went on and on in sort of detail saying and I quote him, "Well, you've got someone in a chokehold, what are you going to do? Let go and say let's start over. I'm not allowed to have you in a chokehold. It's a tough situation."


I'm quoting the President. You have major cities across this country now moving to ban them. Should they be banned?

CEDRIC ALEXANDER, FORMER PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF BLACK LAW ENFORCEMENT EXECUTIVES: Yes, chokeholds should be banned and there's no question about that, if you ask any chief or sheriff across this country. Everybody is moving away from it and many departments have already moved away from it.

But let me say this in regards to that. There are always going to be extenuating circumstances. But regardless of what those extenuating circumstances are, you better be able to articulate them to an investigative body and to a district attorney. But the most important thing here to keep in mind is that chokeholds

need to be banned. We need to divert from that to the right or to the left. They need to be bended, period. So you can't take a middle of a road approach on this. We have to say if we're going to ban them, we're going to ban them.

If there's an extenuating circumstance, then you got to be able, that officer got to be able to articulate that the same way he would if he was using deadly force using his or her weapon. But the whole point is here to keep in mind is that we must move towards not having chokeholds part of any policies in policing across this country at a local, state, federal or tribal level.

It's time out for the many other techniques that we can train our police officers to do and make sure that they're protected, because we do want them to be able to protect us and protect them.

BURNETT: Yes. Which I think is a really important point. You're not saying that that officers are going to be put in more harm's way. This is something that would prevent people from getting seriously injured or killed and also therefore officers. They have other ways to accomplish restraining someone.

ALEXANDER: Absolutely. Absolutely, (INAUDIBLE) ...

BURNETT: Bakari, you heard the President talk about all of the protesters don't know why they're there. He then said and I quote him, "A lot of them are really there because they are following the crowd." Are people are really out marching right now just because other people are out marching?

SELLERS: I mean, Erin, I try not to get into - my father has a saying that you don't argue with fools because people watching can't tell the difference. It's an age old southern saying and I try not to get in these back and forths with the President of the United States because it's very clear that he doesn't understand the pain and the trauma that's associated with this experience, the one they were highlighting being black in America.

If I was allowed to speak to the President, I'm blocked on Twitter by the President of the United States. I would just simply tell him that what he's seeing is not because of George Floyd, because of Ahmaud Arbery, it's not because of Breonna Taylor, it's not because of David McAtee, it's because of all of these things and the 401 years of systemic injustice and racism that black folk have faced in this country.

No one is out there marching to follow somebody else. We're out there marching literally for our lives and my daughter was 15 years old, Mr. President. I don't know if you're watching Erin Burnett show right now, but she was marching this past weekend and she had to have a sign that says Black Lives Matter. And I wish my daughter would be able to be like Barren (ph) and just grow up and not have to reaffirm his identity or her identity at a march.

Here we are, black kids having Black Lives Matter. That's why people are marching, Mr. President.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you all so very much.

And next, a man who pleaded for his life saying he couldn't breathe.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't breathe.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get your hands behind your back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get your hand out of your pocket.


BURNETT: The woman who won the fight to get that video released is OUTFRONT next.

Plus, the CDC projects another 16,000 Coronavirus deaths in the United States in the next three weeks. This as Dr. Fauci has a new warning for all of us tonight.

And we're live on the ground in Minneapolis protest, as you can see growing up pretty dramatically at this time.



BURNETT: All right. Breaking news, this is live pictures out of Minnesota tonight a large protest taking place in Minneapolis nearly three weeks after the death of George Floyd.

Lucy Kafanov is OUTFRONT from Minneapolis tonight. And Lucy, obviously, the crowds are gathering where you are. What are you seeing right now?

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, there's a couple hundred people. They've been marching around the streets, but have now converged on the Minneapolis Police and Fire Union Headquarters. A lot of anger towards Bob Kroll. He's the president of the police union here.

A lot of anger frankly at the system. The protesters here do not feel like justice has been served in the case of George Floyd. There are a lot of signs that we saw on the streets calling to defund and disband the police. On that note today, the City Council of Minneapolis unanimously passed a resolution declaring their intent to create an alternate policing model to effectively move forward with defunding the police but this is going to be a first step in what's going to be a very, very long process. We also do not have the Mayor stepping out in support of this, neither

the police chief. They are calling for reforms but they want reforms within the existing system. Also today, there's a special session of the local legislature or the state legislature. They are now going to be considering a slew of proposals by the Governor to effectively reform the way that policing is done to put a ban on things like chokeholds controversial war style tactics and to empower social services representatives to sort of work in tandem with police in order to respond to issues on the street, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Lucy, thank you very much. As we said, Lucy is in Minneapolis live tonight. As another disturbing police incident caught on tape by is coming out, this is out of Oklahoma City where a video shows another African American man who died shortly after screaming I can't breathe in the moments that police were pinning him to the ground.

An officer can be heard on the video responding I don't care. The police department releasing this body cam video of the arrest of Derrick Scott from more than one year ago. It is important that you see it for this conversation, but it is disturbing.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, get on the ground.


He's running east.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't breathe.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get your hands behind your back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get your hand out of your pocket.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to tase you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ouch, bro. Oh, please you're hurting me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Give me your hand.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Give me your hand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give your hand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. OK. I can't breathe.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Give me your hand.


BURNETT: Scott was dead just an hour later. Martin Savidge is OUTFRONT. And Martin, we said this happened about a year ago. Why are we first seeing this video now and what is the status of the officers that we see in the video?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All right. I'll get you the answers in just a second. But I want to point out a couple of things. This actually occurred on May 20th of 2019. So as you say over a year ago, it's 140 broad daylight. Police received a report of a man with a gun in the parking lot, Derrick Scott is the man who they confront and you saw that chase.

You heard him several times say, "I can't breathe. I can't breathe." There's another moment where it appears that he just goes into unconsciousness and a police officer recognizes at that moment, but then says he's acting like he's unconscious.

One of the officers does remove a gun from Derrick's pocket there. More than eight minutes after the struggle begins, though, officers continue to check on a very silent Scott. At one point they roll them over into what they call the recovery position. They're worried about him. Nine minutes later paramedics arrived on the scene.

Scott appears to revive and struggles again. They get him in an ambulance, but as you point out, he is dead at a hospital less than an hour later. The medical examiner, this is important, determines that there was no fatal trauma and the cause of death was listed as undetermined.

However, physical restraint was considered a contributing factor as well as the fact that Scott had asthma and apparently had used methamphetamine recently. And lastly to your question here, the Oklahoma County District Attorney investigated this case and essentially through a statement through the Oklahoma City Police Department said, "According to DA David Prater there was nothing inappropriate on the part of the officers, nor was there evidence of any misconduct by the officers. Therefore, he cleared all individual officers of any criminal wrongdoing."

The reason it comes out now Black Lives Matter protested and demanded that this video be made public, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Martin, thank you very much. As Martin says the reason this is out is because the founder of Black Lives Matter in Oklahoma fought for it tirelessly and that founder of Black Lives Matter Oklahoma City Chapter Rev. Sheri Dickerson is with me now.

Reverend, I appreciate your time. So you worked in getting this video released for more than a year. So tell me about why and what is your reaction now that - when you first saw it?

REV. T. SHERI DICKERSON, FOUNDER, BLACK LIVES MATTER OKLAHOMA CITY: Actually, I had been privy to some of the footage prior to it being released to the public and especially prior being released to the family. And that was my primary goal was to be in service of the Scott family, because I knew they had a right to be able to understand and be aware of what happened to Mr. Scott.

BURNETT: So it wasn't easy for you to get this out for everyone to see, which is now put this in the national conversation. We see how that the conclusion was obviously in the police there was that nothing wrong happened. We hear Scott plead multiple times that he can't breathe in the video here. Here again, Reverend, is one of those exchanges.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get your hands behind your back.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't breathe.



BURNETT: And even after Scott is silent and appears to be unconscious, we hear him being accused of faking it on multiple occasions like this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, Jerry (ph), he's acting like he's unconscious.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: About the time we got the handcuffs on, we found the gun and he decided he was unconscious. I mean, he may not be faking but ...


BURNETT: The officers as I said were cleared of any wrongdoing. I mean, what's your reaction to that?

DICKERSON: The officers were cleared of any wrongdoing apparently based on the protocol and policy of the Oklahoma City Police Department. And that is one of the reasons why we know that the policies and the procedures have to be changed because what we saw was total disrespect and disregard for the humanity of Mr. Scott. And I don't know how you train that, I don't know what is in a

curricula and I don't know what comes with de-escalation, what we witnessed was a murder.

BURNETT: Now, unlike George Floyd, in this situation Mr. Scott did have a gun.


The video does show them trying to run away from police at one point, but obviously when they have him and restrain him and he can't breathe, it's clear he's not able to reach

for that weapon. But do any of these facts change anything from your point of view?

DICKERSON: The facts are is that Black Lives Matter and that Mr. Scott lives matter. And the officers on the scene or some of them forgot that or as they said they did not care. And so, they are trained to be able to respond. Their job is to protect and serve.

They did not protect the life of Mr. Scott even in that incident. They are supposed to be able to respond and act appropriately, use appropriate force if necessary. But too many times, especially here in Oklahoma, the results ends up the same and I have to look in the family's eyes and say, I'm sorry, I don't understand.

BURNETT: All right. Reverend, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

DICKERSON: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, mixed messages, the CDC urging Americans again to wear masks. It projects another 16,000 people will die in this country of coronavirus by July 4th. So why was this the scene in Pennsylvania today?

Plus, warning signs for the President from a key swing states tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) as the people and we need a leader, a world leader, a national world leader that's going to help us do that, not poke the bear.


BURNETT: She's a Republican. She voted for Trump in 2016.



BURNETT: Breaking news, Dr. Anthony Fauci moments ago with a new warning for Americans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: If you leapfrog over different phases, you increase the risk that you're going to have the kind of resurgences that we're seeing in certain of the states.

BLITZER: Has the United States stalled in the fight against coronavirus?

FAUCI: Well, I'm not so sure we can say it's stalled, but what we're seeing right now is something obviously that's disturbing.


BURNETT: Something obviously that is disturbing.

And Fauci's warning as the CDC is projecting another 16,000 deaths in the next three weeks alone.

Erica Hill is OUTFRONT.


ERICA HILL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Reopening on pause as new cases mount.

DR. AILEEN MARTY, FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY: As long as we give the virus an opportunity to jump from one host to another, that's what it's going to do.

HILL: The governor of Texas looking to July 4th for a full reopening of his state as Harris County which includes Houston, records some of its highest numbers to date for new cases and hospitalizations.

JUDGE LINA HIDALGO, HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS: We've got to take action now so that we avoid a shutdown in the future.

HILL: Houston's Energy Stadium being prepped as a field hospital just in case. Nineteen states are trending up in the past week. Texas, Florida, and South Carolina posting single-day records as the CDC predicts 130,000 virus-related deaths by July 4th.

DR. RICHARD BESSER, FORMER CDC ACTING DIRECTOR: If we're in the early days of the pandemic and if only 5 or 10 percent of the population has had the infection, we have a really long way to go.

HILL: The agency recommending the best way to stay safe -- keep your distance, avoid travel, and wear a mask.

DR. WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, PROFESSOR OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY: I know it's become politicized. Put that aside. The virus knows no politics.

HILL: Face coverings required in L.A. County which moved into phase three today after recording its highest single-day increase this week. Gyms, day camps, and TV and field production among the businesses reopening. Missouri will fully reopen next week. Concerts and conventions can

resume in Georgia July 1st.

Meantime, anyone attending the president's campaign rally next week in Tulsa must sign a waiver promising not to sue if they contract the virus.

DR. LEANA WEN, FORMER BALTIMORE CITY HEALTH COMMISSIONER: We know that the types of conditions that lead to the highest rate of covid-19 transmission are crowded indoor spaces with a lot of people who are shouting and screaming, and I think it's almost certain that we will see super spreader events come from these rallies.


HILL: In terms of those rallies, the CDC did put out these guidelines again on Friday. And they were asked about the guidelines for high risk large gatherings which include ones where you can't socially distance, where people may come from out of state, whether there was specific guidance for political rallies. And they were told, reporters were told on the call that this was guidance for all gatherings, basically, anything, Erin, bigger than a backyard barbecue.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you, Erica.

I want to bring in Dr. Jonathan Reiner, who advised the George W. Bush White House for eight years and he's also a member of the OUTFRONT medical team.

So, Dr. Reiner, you know, the CDC coming out, another 16,000 deaths in the next three weeks, case counts rising in 19 states. So, is this the original wave and more testing or is this the beginning of a resurgence?

DR. JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: No, this is the first wave. We haven't been -- we're not out of the first wave. If you look at the data for the last month, the moving seven-day average of new cases has been basically pegged at 20,000. Every single day, there are 20,000 new cases in the United States, and deaths for at least the last week have been plateaued at 900.

So, if you move forward three weeks and you do the math, 900 cases a day is about another 18,000 cases. And that takes us to about 132,000 deaths by July 1st. We are very much still in the first wave.


BURNETT: So, OK. So, then, in other words anything that is coming as a result of reopening we have not yet seen is what you're basically saying, right? So, if there is going to be an impact from that, that's not yet there.

REINER: Look, in a state like Arizona which had relatively few cases at the outset, we've seen a steady increase in cases over the last month, so we're not seeing a resurgence in Arizona, we're seeing Arizona not yet peak, right? In other places, we're starting to see perhaps small hints of resurgence. It's different from place to place in this country.

BURNETT: So, you know, this comes as you heard Dr. Fauci say what he's saying is disturbing in that interview with Wolf. A new study from Texas A&M now says the most effective way to stop person to person spread is what we already know and, you know, the experts and the White House team have told us is by wearing a mask, right? They've called it a vaccine. It could be almost as effective as a vaccine in terms of providing herd immunity.

And yet, obviously, the president doesn't wear one. The vice president today visited a diner in Pennsylvania today. Let me show you. Hardly any masks, no social distancing.

I mean -- and obviously plenty of these people that you can see are older. The secret service I think is the only guy wearing a mask.


BURNETT: What is going on here, Dr. Reiner?

REINER: The White House has really an irreconcilable conflict of interest. The president is running for re-election and they have to pretend that we're moving back to normal. And if the president or vice president is seen wearing a mask in public, that looks decidedly abnormal. It's a conflict of interest.

How dare the president or the vice president go into a crowd and not promote the use of masks.

We saw a photo from the vice president at Trump/Pence headquarters with dozens of people crowded shoulder to shoulder, no one wearing a mask. That's how you kill people in this country.

All right. A mask is like a vaccine. Why would you not promote the use of masks?

BURNETT: It makes no sense. Even if Vice President Pence had been tested, even if everyone walked in that room was tested, you're clearly trying to send a message that you don't wear a mask, and that there's no problem. And, by the way, I don't have any indication they were.

REINER: Right.

BURNETT: I'm just saying, even if it's not the point. Plus, the tests themselves are inaccurate.

So, the president's planned to hold campaign rallies in five states that have rising case counts, CDC obviously warning and we all know large gatherings are exactly how these things spread. So, you know, what do you say about the campaign rallies? You have to sign a waiver, so if you get coronavirus from a Trump campaign and God forbid something happens to you, you can't sue Donald J. Trump. That's what it says.

REINER: Yes. I think if the risk is low and if it's safe to gather in large numbers at a political rally I would just challenge the president to drop that disclaimer, drop that proviso to the attendees. Assume risk.

Why is the president asking attendees to assume a risk? Look, the CDC today issued guidance on large gatherings, and they warned about it. Tulsa is a place which actually today had a record number of cases. So, the president is holding a rally in a hot zone.

BURNETT: It's amazing --


REINER: That's how you propagate the pandemic.

BURNETT: Yes, if he says it's not a problem and not a risk, he doesn't wear a mask, he -- then he should be fine with people coming.

REINER: Drop the disclaimer. Drop the disclaimer.


BURNETT: Drop the disclaimer.

All right. Dr. Reiner, thank you very much.

REINER: My pleasure.

BURNETT: And next, independent voters in the critical red state of Arizona say the past few weeks could mark a turning point.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We'll support Biden not because we agree with him on issues but he's a decent, kind, sane man.


BURNETT: Plus, he was beaten up by police when he was 14, pulled over in his own car because he was suspected of stealing it due to the color of his skin. The former police chief of Detroit is OUTFRONT next.



BURNETT: We are not at home in our party, those words from a Republican couple from Arizona.

After two weeks from widespread protests across the country after the death of George Floyd and racial inequality, it's a warning sign from what is a crucial swing state.

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT in Arizona tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the Republican stronghold of the North Phoenix suburbs, signs of a party split.

LINDA RAWLES, REGISTERED REPUBLICAN: We're not at home in our party. We're not Democrats. We don't have anywhere to go.

LAH: So self-proclaimed independents Linda and Tom Rawles went to a street corner to hold their own small protest. That hasn't exactly been welcomed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every life matters.

L. RAWLES: Yes, have a good night.

LAH: There are frequent obscene gestures.

L. RAWLES: That was a finger there.

LAH: But some supportive ones.

L. RAWLES: Thank you, guys. Have a great night.

TOM RAWLES, REGISTERED REPUBLICAN: I think the last three to six weeks have been a turning point.

LAH: The coronavirus pandemic, historic unemployment, and the sustained nationwide protests after the death of George Floyd.

L. RAWLES: All of these things together are allowing a few people to have the moral courage to speak up. We'll support Biden not because we agree with him on issues, most issues I don't agree with him on. I'm not a Democrat philosophically.

But he's a decent, kind, sane man.

LAH: The shift among independents is a warning sign for the president. In 2016, Donald Trump narrowly won independents. A recent series of national polls show him trailing Democrat Joe Biden among that group -- a trend that's mirrored here in Arizona.

These suburbs are the battlefield in the fight for those votes.


Hunter Henderson protesting nightly in Tempe sees an opportunity with independents. He works with Vets Forward, a group that hopes to convince moderates to vote Democratic.

HUNTER HENDERSON, CO-FOUNDER, VETS FORWARD: The problems of our society are right in front of them now. And now is the time to, you know, really capitalize and have those conversations.

CHERYL COONS, REGISTERED REPUBLICAN: Yes, I voted for Trump in 2016. But many Republicans who did vote for Trump don't feel comfortable even saying that because of this polarization. LAH: Cheryl Coons is a self-described moderate and a nurse working the

front line of Phoenix's COVID crisis. But it's not her job that's making her think about voting Democratic. It's the protests.

COONS: We have to come together as a people, and we need a leader, a world leader, a national world leader that's going to help us do that, not poke the bear, if you will.

LAH: As far as voting Republican in November?

(on camera): What are you going to do?

COONS: I honestly don't know yet.

LAH: Would you say it's too late for you?

COONS: No, no, I wouldn't.


LAH: So, how can President Trump then assure that he will get Cheryl Coons' vote? She would like to see less tweeting, more empathy, more unity from the president. But, Erin, is it too late to reverse course from where the president is at? There's 144 days before the election -- Erin.

BURNETT: Well, it's incredible to put it in those terms, how close we are.

All right. Kyung, thank you.

And next he vowed to become a police officer when he was 14 years old after officers beat him up because of the color of his skin. The former police chief is OUTFRONT next on why he says he could have been George Floyd.

Plus , Trump calls them anarchists. Protesters in Seattle taking over a section of the city abandoned by police. It is a stand-off and we're going to take you inside tonight.



BURNETT: Breaking news, you're looking a the live pictures out of New York and Miami, protests going across the country nearly three weeks after George Floyd's death. And it comes as a former police chief shares his own experience with systemic racism.

Former Detroit Police Chief Isaiah McKinnon says when he was 14 years old, he was walking home from school when four white police officers jumped out of their car and threw him against that car and beat him. And he says, quote: The more I screamed, the more they beat me. That day I promise myself that I would become a Detroit police officer and change the Detroit police force from the inside. And that he did just that, becoming a police office eight years later. Chief McKinnon is OUTFRONT.

And, Chief, it's a pretty incredible story here. You know, when you look at your past and then you see this video of George Floyd's arrest and death, what do you think? Does it make you feel that little has changed since you had that encounter with police?

ISAIAH MCKINNON, FORMER DETROIT CHIEF OF POLICE: Well, Erin, when I saw the video, the first thing I thought about in reality is that could have been me because this was 50-some years ago and I was this young boy who was rudely beat up by the police. Certainly there were no cameras. I wish there had been.

And I said, my God, you know, this is 50-some years later and this happened to me and this is happening to him. Thank God I'm still alive, but certainly there are some great people who are not like those people. But it's still there in some areas.

And the systemic racism that we see and we hear about throughout the police department, throughout this country are still there.

BURNETT: So you write about the racism that you experienced from your own fellow officers after you joined the police force. Tell me about that.

MCKINNON: Erin, I joined the Detroit Police Department August 2nd, 1965. My first day as a Detroit police officer I walked into the squad room and as they had roll call, I was the only person of color there. But as they had roll call and they announced my assignment was a white officer, he said, I'm working with the -- and he said the "N" word.

And that was my indoctrination with the Detroit Police Department. This man rode with me for eight hours and I rode with him and he did not say a word. That appeared to be the norm. There were some great people. In fact, an officer I met I'm still friends with, Frank Mitchell. He's a white officer. But that was the norm with me and other officers of color.

BURNETT: So let me ask you, when you have that experience as a 14- year-old, there's something incredible about you, I suppose, I mean, your reaction is I'm going to join them and I'm going to change it. Your first day on the force you go in and someone calls you the "N" word and yet you persevered and you became the police chief.

How -- how did you do that? How did that happen to you?

MCKINNON: I had to persevere because I had lived through the time of Emmett Till, I lived through Rosa Parks, Dr. King. And I listened to what people had said, in particular my father and strong people who had given me the drive to do better.

And I said, I cannot let this happen to me. I can't leave because it's important for me to do the best that I can with all that I can to make a difference with not on this department but certainly the city. And it was a drive for me to do this. I think if you talk to my sons, I have two sons, Jeff and Jason, and they will tell you the same thing, that dad's got this drive and he's passed it on to them.

And that's why I couldn't believe. In spite of -- you could not believe the things that were said. It was almost every day that someone would use the "N" word as they described people. It was so disrespectful not only to me but also the people they stopped on the street.


Again, it was not every police officer.

BURNETT: So, you know, it happened to you when you were police chief. You were pulled over by one of your officers because he thought your car was stolen.

MCKINNON: Yes, yes.

BURNETT: What was that interaction like with that officer? Did you have a conversation with him? Did you ever put this on the table, this -- or was it unsaid?

MCKINNON: Well, I was driving my unmarked police car and everybody knows that I'm the unmarked police car in Detroit. I was driving and this officer pulled me over. One of the things that's most important as you stop someone on the street is you look them in the face.

This officer came up to the car, did not look me in the face. He said, do you have your driver's license and registration? I said, yes, officer, I do.

What's more crazy is that I took my wallet out and I had my badge hanging there. So I handed him my driver's license and registration and he walked back to his car. I'm waiting. I'm look into the rear view mirror. As he recognized and realized that this is -- this is different and he realized who I was, he came back to the car and he said, oh, and he said, s and he said, oh, sir, I'm so sorry, I didn't know it was you.

And, Erin, I said -- I chastised him in terms of what he had done in terms of not looking at me, but why did you stop me? And he said I thought it was a stolen car. It was a Detroit police unmarked vehicle. So it was still there, you know.

But I chastised him. I gave him a reprimand and told him these are things that you just don't do because you're here to serve and protect the people of the city of Detroit and not pick on people.

BURNETT: Yeah. Well, I sure hope you made a difference with him and by speaking out now that you can make a difference for many others. I appreciate your time, Chief. Thank you so much.

MCKINNON: Thank you so much, Erin. It's a pleasure.

BURNETT: Also tonight, President Trump is lambasting (ph) Seattle's response to the protest there. He calls it an anarchist takeover. They, of course, have declared an autonomous zone, free from police, taken over part of the city.

So, what really is going on inside the Capitol Hill autonomous zone as it now called?

Dan Simon is inside.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is Seattle's so-called Capitol Hill autonomous zone, CHAZ for short. Several blocks of the city now taken over by protesters.

After several days of violent clashes between police and the protesters, officers retreated from the area to deescalate the tension, effectively abandoning their station.

On Thursday, President Trump threatened to intervene, tweeting to Washington Governor Jay Inslee and the Seattle Governor Jenny Durkan to take back the city now or he would.

And the mayor is pushing back.

MAYOR JENNY DURKAN (D), SEATTLE: It's more like a block party atmosphere. It's not an armed takeover. It's not a military junta.

CARMEN BEST, SEATTLE'S POLICE CHIEF: You should know, leaving the precinct was not my decision.

SIMON: Seattle's police chief publicly at odds with the decision to flee, although not calling the mayor out by name, it's clear the two are not on the same page.

BEST: Ultimately, the city had other plans for the building and relented to severe public pressure. I'm angry about how this all came about.

SIMON: Protesters say they won't be intimidated by threats and say they plan to stay as long as it takes to bring about change.

MARK HENRY JR., BLACK LIVES MATTER LEADER: I'm not scared of Donald Trump, no, and I'm not scared with these police officers either. We're going to stay outside this building whether they come here or not. We're going to take this building over whether they're outside threatening us or not. We're not afraid of them.

SIMON: Among the protesters' demands, that the department be defunded and the station be turned into a community center.

One Seattle police officer candidly saying the department has made mistakes.

LT. TAMMY FLOYD, SEATTLE POLICE: We want to dialogue. We want to communicate, right? But the public is so angry at us, how do we start that? How do we do better?

People expect better. We need to be better. SIMON: As for when the standoff might end, the mayor hasn't indicated,

saying the city could have what she calls the summer of love, prompting another fiery tweet from the president.

These liberal Dems don't have a clue. The terrorist burn and pillage our cities, and they think this is just wonderful, even the death. Must end this Seattle takeover now!

HENRY: The occupation will last indefinitely but I do see them getting back into their building. They're going to get back into their building to get their stuff out. I don't see them getting back in after that.


SIMON: While city leaders acknowledge that everything has been peaceful and you continue to have this street festival-like situation. But there appears to be no strategy in place in terms of how or when officers will seek to retake that station -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Dan, thank you very much. Amazing stuff there, including that police officer want to do better.

All right. Chris Cuomo is taking it over now -- Chris.