Return to Transcripts main page


Protests Underway In Atlanta Over Deadly Police Shooting; Seattle Protesters Declare Autonomous Zone Free From Police; Trump Returns To White House As D.C. Protests Continue; Nationwide Protests Against Police Brutality Enter 20th Day; How Camden, New Jersey, Disbanded Its Police Force And Lowered Crime; Calls For End Of Hollywood's Glamorization Of Police Amid Protests. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired June 14, 2020 - 18:00   ET




ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

And we begin with another evening of protests and outrage across the country over police brutality and racism. You're looking at live pictures of a demonstration happening right now in Atlanta, Georgia, a city that is reeling from a new police-involved shooting of a black man.

27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was shot dead at a Wendy's drive-through after police were called because he was reportedly asleep in his car. News of this killing spread swiftly. Hundreds of protesters filled the streets of Atlanta, human chains blocking a major interstate. That Wendy's restaurant was set on fire and police deployed tear gas to control demonstrators there last night.

In the less than two days since this shooting, the officer who shot Brooks was fired. His partner was put on administrative duty and the Atlanta police chief has stepped down. That all happened this weekend.

Today, the district attorney telling CNN he should have a decision on possible charges against the officers involved by Wednesday.

CNN's Boris Sanchez is live at that Wendy's, where that shooting took place. Boris what are you are you hearing from protesters there today?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Ana. Yes, we've seen crowds come and go from outside this Wendy's where this incident took took place on Friday night. Many people actually just left a few moments ago, marching toward downtown Atlanta.

Before that, we were hearing speeches, there was music, there was food being cooked for demonstrators that were here. I'm going to get out of the way, so you can take a closer look at the memorial that's actually being set up for Rayshard Brooks just outside the Wendy's. There is someone painting a portrait of him here earlier. That actually had to be taken inside because of rain. I spoke to one protester, a young man who was here last night when it was set on fire. He was holding a sign that said, I'm here on a mission not for a show. Listen to more of what he told me.


JOSETH JETT, ATLANTA PROTESTER: Our mission is to get as many people out here and as many people speaking on this situation as of right now that is going on, and that has caused this Wendy's right here to be burnt down in the first place.

So, yes, I do feel bad about people that lost their jobs, but at the same time, we burnt this building and not any other building around here, we burnt this one specifically because of what happened here. See what I'm saying? This goes back to what our mission is, making sure that there is justice served for the person that died over here at this Wendy's.

At the end of the day, the man ran. The man tried to escape. There was absolutely no reason why a gun needs to be pulled when a man trying to run.


SANCHEZ: So, a young man told me that things are mostly peaceful until a few of the protesters got out of hand. And now, Atlanta Fire and Atlanta Police want to find those protesters. Crime stoppers of greater Atlanta actually put out a $10,000 reward along with some images of people who they believe are arson suspects at this point. They want to find whoever was behind this fire.

In the meantime we're still experiencing some of the anger and rage in this community. Police officers have closes off these roads. We're anticipating that that crowd that walked away may come back and we may see more people here into the night. Ana?

CABRERA: Okay, 6:00 Eastern Time right now. Thank you, Boris Sanchez.

Let's take a closer look at some of the new body cam video released today in this case. Now, in this first part you'll see officers approach Rayshard Brooks' car at that Wendy's drive-through because he had apparently fallen asleep in line.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't go back to sleep. Just pull over there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Okay, all right. Can you step out for me, please?

BROOKS: Yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just walk back here. Do you have any weapons on you or anything like that?

BROOKS: I don't have anything on me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it okay if I pat you down to make sure?

BROOKS: Some knives.


CABRERA: One officer then says he thinks he's had too much to drink to be driving and goes to arrest him when suddenly a struggle breaks out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, hey, stop fighting. Stop fighting. You're going to get tased. You're going to get tased.

BROOKS: What's wrong?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop, stop! Hands off the taser. Hands off the taser.


CABRERA: Now, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Brooks grab one of the officer taser during that scuffle and then started to run.

Let's take a look at another angle, this has been slowed down. You see the officers chasing Brooks.


Brooks appears to turn around and point the taser at the officer. You see a flash and a moment later he's shot by the officer.

Joining us with reaction, the former President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executive, Cedric Alexander, and CNN Legal Analyst and Criminal Defense Attorney, Joey Jackson.

Cedric, when you watch the footage and how this event unfolded, and there's a lot more that we've seen today, and what we have seen yesterday when you and I spoke, do you believe the police acted inappropriately?

CEDRIC ALEXANDER, FMR. PRESIDENT NATIONAL ORG. OF BLACK LAW ENFORCEMENT EXECUTIVES: Well, here is what I can tell you and here is what I do believe because the officer who fired the shot is going to have to justify his reasoning why he felt threatened.

But I myself probably like many other people in this country felt maybe there could have been some other alternative measures that could have been taken. One, to let him run, we know who he is, we got his car, probably got is driver's license. He's been I.D.'d, he's probably been checked.

And to get yourself in to that type of altercation certainly can lead to something as drastic as this. And what did is start being? Something very minor, something that we've seen too many times before that end up in such deadly -- a very deadly type of situation.

But that officer is going to have to articulate to that investigative body there and to that D.A. the reasoning why he felt threatened. But the American people who look at that and many Americans who look at it, for something such a minor violation, was it worth someone losing their life over?

And even sometimes when things are lawful, they're still very awful, and that is where we are, and we have American people saying that something very different have to happen in American policing as in terms of what we're seeing today.

CABRERA: Joey, what's your reaction and legal perspective on the video?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Ana, good to be with you and Dr. Alexander. The legal prospective, ultimately, is why someone had to die. And so to Dr. Alexander's point, I think you look and you examine whether there would be reasonable alternatives.

I think the critical question certainly is, will there be criminal charges. To do that, Ana, you have go through an analysis. That analysis is, number one, was the officer who fired the shot in immediate fear of death or serious physical injury? Prosecutors will analyze that question very closely. And, of course, they will look and see how much time the officer had to react. Number two, the force the officer used, was it proportionate to the threat that Rayshard posed at that particular time? And number three, whether or not he acted reasonably, that is the officer under the circumstances.

And so, we're left with the question, and I think there could be reasonable minds who agree or disagree on the analysis I put forth with respect to the way it will be analyzed. But the question remains whether or not you had to elevate to that next step which is deadly force.

What, if anything else, could you have done to preserve and protect a life? And I think that's the question. I think force has to be the final, the last resort. And when someone's running away it's highly problematic, even when firing a taser, that you felt you were going to die. And that, I think, is what prosecutors will analyze and come forth with, when render a decision on Wednesday.

CABRERA: Cedric, according to investigators, and as it appears in the video, Brooks grabs the officer's taser. A taser is not a lethal weapon yet the officers used lethal force. You touched on this a little bit. But talk about, you know, in training, de-escalation what non-lethal tactics these officers could have employed instead?

ALEXANDER: Well, they do it everything that they could. They did wrestle, they did try to regain control of the taser that got lost in that scuffle, but the victim jumped up, he ran. They chased behind him. And, unfortunately, a decision was made during that time to fire rounds that caused his death.

And here, again, what I would say, and I think this has to be part of what we look for in the future around police reform is going back to address some of the training protocols that we have some come -- have become so accustomed to, and make some determination if there's alternative type measures that we can take.

Look, we all understand the difficulties that police officers face and I certainly don't want to minimize that by any stretch. But at the same time, you have the American people calling out today to these horrors and tragedies that were seen being acted out in front of them on television. And it creates as great deal of pulse and discomfort and continued fear and anger, which we continue to see acted out every night across America's streets.

So there's going to have to be some real reform measures that have to be addressed in terms of, one, types of calls for service police officers to go to, and, really, we have to begin to train and think about how far do we want to go in a situation before it escalates into something like this over someone sleeping in a car. Certainly, without question should not have ended in a death. This just should not have happened. It should not have gotten to that point.


CABRERA: Joey, let's talk about the officer's possible legal argument here. If their lawyers can prove Brooks resisted arrest, fought back, then ran and fired the taser at officers, will they be able to justify the lethal force used?

JACKSON: So that's the open question. And to be clear, defense attorneys will fight this vigorously. They will indicate they knocked down the window. They will indicate they asked him to step out of the car and they will indicate that they asked him to put his hands behind his back and there was compliance. Thereafter, apparently, there was some struggle and they will then say that they did all that they could do under those circumstances.

I think where it gets murky, however, Ana, is him running. After he runs, right, do you believe at that point he's representing a danger to you? Do you believe that danger deadly?

Do you believe you could have suffered serious physical injury with him running away, pointing the taser and then continuing to run? Could you have not let him run away and therefore, you know, lived to fight another day, so to speak? Could you have called back-up? There are number of things.

However, the Supreme Court ruling on these issues is stated that officers have a split second decision to make. So this is a close question. I want to be clear about that. And as a result, maybe they will be and maybe they won't be pardoned. That's the point. But I think people, in general, are looking for more, looking for better and looking for things that restrain officers and tap down the amount of aggression as supposed to escalating it.

And so I say, whenever the legal conclusion as it relate to charges doesn't address the ultimate issue with regard to whether or not there had to be a death here and whether reasonable measure could have been take to preserve his life and save us from having this conversation and having yet another African-American of 27-years-old being shot and killed under these circumstances.

CABRERA: Let me ask this to both of you and quick answers, if you will. The district attorney says that there could be charges coming as soon as Wednesday if they believe that charged are warranted. And he mentioned the three possible charges being murder, felony murder or voluntary manslaughter. Based on what we know what do you expect? Cedric, you first?

ALEXANDER: Well, I'd be perfectly honest with you, that is certainly beyond the scope of myself when it comes to what the legal findings might be in this case. But here, again, very quickly, I will say, and I want make perfectly clear, this is a shooting that we all seriously question and it certainly should not under what we've seen with him running away, should it have ever occurred. And that's what people are very angry about.

So I look forward to what the D.A. there, Paul Howard, which is a very good D.A. very competent, and someone I've worked with in the past. So it's going to be very interesting to see how this case goes forth.

CABRERA: Joey, what do you think?

JACKSON: I think if there are charges at all, they may be predicated upon negligence or recklessness. Those are terms, what do I mean? I mean, I don't think the D.A. will be looking to charge with the intentional murder, planning, premeditation or anything of the sort. I think they'll be looking to determine whether the officer acted reasonably. Did he act carelessly? Did he act irresponsibly? Did he consciously disregard the risk that he was causing a death from someone who is running away?

So if there are charges at all, I would expect them to be in the criminal negligence variety. And they have a very different decision to make because, again, officers come back to that Supreme Court case which talks about a split-second decision.

That's still being the case did he have to die? I think we can all look at this and say, he did not. You know what? Run away. Get him a later time. Call for backup and let the person live. And that didn't happen here and that's a problem.

CABRERA: Joey Jackson and Cedric Alexander, I really appreciate your expertise. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. Thank you for what you do.

ALEXANDER: Thank you.

JACKSON: Thank you, Ana.

CABRERA: These are some live pictures again from Los Angeles. Our team is walking among the protesters marching through Hollywood on this 20th day of protest across the country against police brutality and systemic racism.

Our coverage continues right after this. Stay with us. You're live on CNN.



CABRERA: There are, again, protests across the country today. It is the 20th consecutive day of these protests following the killing of George Floyd. But in Seattle, some protesters have occupied a part of the city for days now, and have declared it an autonomous zone.

CNN's Dan Simon, is there for us. Dan?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, Ana. It is a beautiful, sunny day in Seattle and that has pushed the crowds to a level that I don't think we have seen throughout this occupation. You can see the group behind me, hundreds of people kind of in a circle here. They're listening to various speakers. We've seen a lot of families today. Of course, the vibe continues to be sort of like a street festival with barbecues and live music.

Behind me, Ana, this is a side view of the police precinct which is really at the heart of this occupation. As we know late, or early last week, we did see officers vacate the police station as a way to de- escalate the tension that was ongoing between some of the protesters and the police, and it really did have its desired effect because things have been peaceful since then.

But the question remains, when might officers get back into the station and when might this occupation end. The police chief was asked about that earlier today. Take a look.


CARMEN BEST, SEATTLE POLICE CHIEF: I wish I had the answer to how long it might last. I can tell you that we want to move it forward as quickly and efficiently as possible. But my concern as police chief besides that I want to be back in our precinct doing our work is that we don't -- you don't want anyone there to be harmed. We don't want this to be something that devolves into a forced situation. So we're really trying to take a methodical, practical approach to reach a resolution where everyone gets out of here safely.


SIMON: Of course, Ana, the chief wants her officers back in that station as quickly as possible because she does have a very valid concern.


She says that as a result of the officers not in there, it is now taking triple the amount of time for officers to respond to 911 calls in the area.

Now, Ana, in terms of what protesters want, of course, they want to see the Seattle Police Department defunded, which, of course, is what you are hearing all over the country, but they also want to see that police station station turned into a community center.

And when you listen to the mayor, she is saying that, that's not completely off the table. There are negotiations taking place between some of the leaders of this movement and city leadership and she is open to the idea that perhaps that officers won't return to that police station. But we'll have to see how things unfold. Ana?

CABRERA: OK. We'll see where that conclusion ends up. Thank you, Dan Simon, in Seattle.

So, as these protests continue in cities across the country, one top cabinet member in the Trump administration has a message for America, grow up and stop getting offended about everything related to race. Those words from HUD Secretary and the sole African-American member of the president's cabinet, Ben Carson, who also addressed the president's decision to move his up-coming rally in Tulsa, which was originally schedule for Juneteenth, a day that symbolizes the emancipation of the remaining African-Americans enslaved in this country.


BEN CARSON, SECRETARY, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: I did talk to the president about the Juneteenth event. I was pleasantly surprised how much he knew about it already and knew about the black Wall Street there and the whole history of it, and just thinking about making some remarks to acknowledge what it happened there and why we don't want that kind of situation to ever occur in this country again. But, you know it is what it is, and it's probably good to have moved it.


CABRERA: Yet as we watch these protests, not letting up across the nation, President Trump has offered few words of solidarity or unity, even at times opting for a divisive tone.

CNN's White House Correspondent, John Harwood, is with us now.

And, John, Secretary Carson also declined to back Trump's claim that he's the best president for African-Americans since Abraham Lincoln. Tell us more.

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think Secretary Carson was pretty diplomatic in how he did that. He said that, well, it's important to look at positive things but, you know, the comparison isn't useful. Obviously, it is a silly claim. Nobody takes it seriously, even though the president has said it over and over and over again.

But I think the bite you played at the top, or the reference you made at the top to the grow up line from Carson is really what's indicative about the attitude within the administration and the Republican Party. This is a party that views political correctness as a problem equal to or greater than racism.

The Republican Party is quite racially conservative. They think America has done enough or even gone too far to provide equal rights, and that's what we're hearing from the administration and it is what has isolated the administration from the breadths of these protests which we see all around the country.

CABRERA: And so last night, as the City of Atlanta was literally up in flames in some parts, the president was tweeting about a video that suggested he was struggling to walk down a ramp. Take us inside his mindset right now.

HARWOOD: Well, we know, Ana, that President Trump is very concerned with how he is viewed by other people. He does not like to be mocked. He is very concerned with appearing to be in control and dominating and winning.

And there was so much mockery of him after this shaky-looking walk down the ramp and the struggle that he had using two hands to get a sip of water, led to a lot of online memes and a lot of criticism from Democrats. The Biden campaign sent out a video of Joe Biden and Barack Obama running through the White House.

So President Trump didn't like that at all, and he is responding on that tweet last night. As I've reached out to a couple of White House officials today. Haven't gotten any response back in terms of whether there is something to all the speculation, but this is a case where we know that the president is concerned why about how he is perceived by others.

CABRERA: We're looking at images right now at Air Force One. The president returns from his weekend at his Bedminster property in New Jersey, he's returning to the White House and, again, these images from Joint Base Andrews. We'll keep looking there.

But, John, I have to ask you, because the coronavirus pandemic continues, obviously. Now, the president would like to put that behind him, he has got his big rally coming up this week. I thought it was interesting today to see a tweet from the U.S. surgeon general essentially pushing back on the idea face coverings infringes on your freedom, emphasizing their importance in slowing down the spread of COVID-19. He and the president don't appear to be on the same page here.


HARWOOD: That's right. And it's a rare, in recent days, appearance, or outreach by the administration to emphasize the importance of mask wearing, which all public health authorities believe if everyone did it or if it very high percentage of Americans did it, it would slow the spread.

But the president, and this ties back to your earlier point at the top of the hit, about the president, his divisive rhetoric, he sent out a tweet a little while ago ripping the Antifa protests. And, again, he's trying to categorize many of the peaceful protests as -- lumped that in with Antifa and violence and that sort of thing. He talked about how weak Democratic mayors were in not cracking down, but then he cast a comparison and said, yes, but they're quick to lock down and shut down businesses that appear to be a reference to coronavirus.

So, one, he is not taking seriously anymore the coronavirus fight. He doesn't wear a mask himself. He doesn't encourage other people to do so. And he is speaking negatively about these protests. But it was notable that it surgeon general had a different message.

CABRERA: John Harwood, as always thank you.

And right outside the White House this hour, protesters have been gathering at the newly named Black Lives Matter Plaza. We will take you there live, next.



CABRERA: Welcome back. We have this image of the president just moments ago stepping off Air Force One as he gets ready to head back to the White House following his weekend in New Jersey at his Bedminster property. He didn't take any questions from reporters before he headed on to the helicopter, to Marine One, and he'll be greeted at the White House by protesters.

Again, today, protesters who are there specifically on his 74th birthday to let them know they do not like what they see, and his response most recently to the protests that are happening, and the police violence that so many of them are trying to call attention to.

So let's head to Washington, D.C. right now, and that scene where the protesters are gathering at the newly named Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House. Our Brian Todd is with those protesters.

Brian, tell us what's happening there this hour?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, you've got two protests that have kind of coalesced into one at this point here at Black Lives Matter Plaza. This is the group you were just referring to. This is called Reject Fascism. They have used the occasion of Donald Trump's birthday to come here and call for his ouster and the ouster of Vice President Mike Pence. They're giving speeches now. They've done a little bit of marching but have stayed mostly in this area.

But we've also caught up with the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. The African-American fraternity. They got several members together in Washington today. They marched all around the memorials. They ended up here. Some of their members are still back here, joining this protest.

I did speak to two of their leaders, (INAUDIBLE) and Raymond Hawkins, Jr. a short time ago. I asked them about the killing of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta on Friday night at that Wendy's. Their frustration levels over that event and also their ideas about whether the police can ever reform at this point after the George Floyd killing and the Brooks killing on Friday night. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have family that live blocks away from where that -- where that incident occurred at the Wendy's. Like I've been to that Wendy's in Atlanta so I felt it in my spirit that that could have been me.

RAYMOND HAWKINS JR., ALPHA PHI ALPHA LEADER, PROTEST LEADER: We're working towards change. I do not think that is going to happen overnight. But I'm confident and I believe in God that it will happen soon. The police department is starting to realize that things need to change. America is finally starting to realize that things need to change and we're going to capitalize on that enthusiasm and that energy to ensure that change is invoked across this country.


TODD: So part of that call for police reform is a call that's been seen here. We've heard it here today and we've heard it all week to defund the police. And that is the subject of this mural. Now the Black Lives Matter mural that we're just walking away from, that was painted on the orders of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. That is her brainchild. This was painted by activists last week and the mayor has been kind of non-committal about whether she wants this particular mural to stay here or not.

She says it is part of the movement, she acknowledges that, but she says it was not intended as part of the original mural and she's been a bit non-committal about the whole idea to defund the police. So we're going to see, Ana, if this mural stays here and for how long. But right now very peaceful, spirited protest here right in front of the White House on the president's birthday as he's about to arrive from Andrews Air Force Base.

CABRERA: OK. Brian Todd in Washington for us.

And I should remind everybody that Mayor Bowser will be joining Laura Coates this evening at 9:00 for the townhall along with three other mayors in this important moment.

And again as we look at these images of Marine One now heading to the White House with the president on board, we'll continue to monitor that as well as the protests across country this hour. In Los Angeles we know protesters are marching specifically for black trans lives and against systemic racism. We're going to head there next on the West Coast when we come back.

But first, here's Christine Romans with your "Before the Bell" report -- Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. The run- up in stocks since March could be hitting some resistance. Last week Fed chair Jerome Powell offered a cautious outlook on the economy.


JEROME POWELL, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: We all want to get back to normal. But a full recovery is unlikely to occur until people are confident that it is safe to reengage in a broad range of activities.


ROMANS: Wall Street is also worried about a possible second wave of coronavirus. Those jitters combined with the Fed's sober outlook caused some selling last week.


Of course it came after the market hit a new milestone. The Nasdaq topped 10,000 for the very first time.

This week we'll get a sense of whether Americans are opening their wallets again. May retail sales are likely to rebound from April's record decline but they're still expected well below pre-COVID levels.

In New York, I'm Christine Romans.


CABRERA: Welcome back. We are keeping track of protests against police brutality and racial inequality around the country. Right now in Los Angeles, thousands are taking to the streets and CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is joining us from L.A.

Suzanne, who do you have there with you?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, it really is an incredible scene here.


It's been thousands of thousands of people that have gathered along Santa Monica Boulevard. It is really about all Black Lives Matter and it is as much a celebration as it is a rally against police brutality here. A lot of people celebrating great sense of pride, black leaders of the LGBT community coming together. Really with these two ideas and these two movements in mind.

I want to introduce you to somebody who I met out here and I think we've become fast friends, Andrei Marsh.

Just tell us why this is so important, and really you've got a number of communities out here who are all saying the same thing.

ANDREI MARSH, PROTESTER: Yes. You know, I think right now, you know, with everyone at home and being quarantined and having to see everything on television, I think it's just really, you know, in front of people's faces right now. A lot of, you know, problems with the system right now especially with, you know, black trans lives.

It's disproportionately, you know, over indexing in the community when it comes to the entire LGBTQ community. And I think what's happened with the way -- the injustice that's going on, no one paying attention to it, how it's really a spike and it's an epidemic, you know, amongst people of color. I think we need everyone to pay attention. It's a group effort. It's a

lot of support that needs to come from the top down and I think it's a systemic issue. I think, you know, now that people are paying attention to it, hopefully there could be a lot more dialogue. I think that now it's cognizant in a lot of people's minds and it's a current issue that we just have to face.

MALVEAUX: I've seen a lot of signs. A lot people don't know of Tony McDade, and how he was a black trans man who was shot last week by Tallahassee Police, and that his name is on posters as well as those of George Floyd and many others.

MARSH: I think, you know, what happens a lot, you know, when these things happen is very transient and so it's very out of sight, out of mind when it happens. But for us who are actually in community and experience a lot of it, it's always in the back of my head, it's always in the forefront especially now.

You know, I can't wake up, you know, one week without having a death in the LGBTQ community. Especially if people of color, no one paying attention but us, right? So I think row with everyone seeing it and hopefully there can be some change but, you know, I kind of would have to like just have hope.

MALVEAUX: Yes. Well, it did. So very hopeful atmosphere out here. It's a very colorful atmosphere. We see a lot of folks out here who have been having a celebration, a good time as well.

Andrei, thank you for joining us. I really --

MARSH: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

MALVEAUX: -- appreciate it.

And, Ana, as you know, there have been some changes that have happened already in Los Angeles dealing with the police department as well as some reallocation of funds. And I think that that really is part of what the crowd is celebrating as well is that being out here has made a difference and now they're able to get many different groups together to push this forward in the weeks ahead, Ana.

CABRERA: Progress. Progress. Suzanne Malveaux, thank you.

As these protests continue you're hearing calls to defund the police. What does that actually mean? Can it be done?

Coming up, CNN's Gary Tuchman looks at how one city made it happen.



CABRERA: One of the big questions about reforming police departments is how far can you go? If you've already tried reforms and if they don't work, can you simply do away with the police force? Now that is essentially what Camden, New Jersey, did more than seven years ago. Once a byword for violent crime, Camden scrapped its force, started from scratch, and saw a dramatic drop in crime as a result.

Gary Tuchman takes a look at whether this approach is one other cities could replicate.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Did you disband the Camden Police Department?

SCOTT THOMSON, RETIRED CAMDEN COUNTY, NEW JERSEY POLICE CHIEF: Yes. And so in at the end of 2012, in the early 2013, every member of the Camden City Police Department was fired, including myself. And a new police force called the Camden County Police Force was created and it was staffed.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Scott Thomson is the recently retired police chief. His disbanded city police force met no more police union and the ability to make new work directives. The union is now back, but the work directives and new traditions remain innovative like this.

Serving barbecue or ice cream is a regular feature of the community oriented policing that is done here in Camden.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jeremiah, can you high five me?

TUCHMAN: With the nearly 400 cops in the city of roughly 77,000 are expected to walk the streets and personally get to know those they are policing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's our future recruit right there.

TUCHMAN: Crime is still a problem here, but violent crime is way down since a high point in 2012 when the city police department was disbanded. Homicides down by about 63 percent as of last year. And the department says excessive force complaints against police are down 95 percent. All amid this directive.

THOMSON: You will use force as an absolute last resort and you will deescalate. There must be an attempt to deescalate a situation prior to using force.

TUCHMAN: This video from a few years back shows an example of that policy. A man flailing a knife inside a store. He continued doing so outside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the knife.

TUCHMAN: It's a dangerous situation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the knife.

TUCHMAN: But police stayed calm and let it play out on the downtown streets. It looks like a bizarre parade.

THOMSON: They enveloped the individual and they walked five city blocks without using deadly force. TUCHMAN: The suspect was safely apprehended.

(On camera): There's another very notable principle to abide by if you're a Camden County police officer. And that is you're mandated to notify a supervisor if a fellow cop violates any of these directives.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to intervene. If that officer is doing something wrong at that moment, it is your job, because if not, you're as wrong as that officer that's doing it.

TUCHMAN (on camera): So if one of these two guys, and I know you guys wouldn't do this, but heard someone and they were being peaceful, he would report them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would probably take the badge right off his chest at that moment because it says service to yourself. And he's not carrying (INAUDIBLE).

TUCHMAN: And you do the same thing to him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes sir, absolutely, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I expect nothing less.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): This reimagine police force gets a lot of attention here.

(On-camera): You've heard what's going on in the country right now with cops?


TUCHMAN: Do you think your cops here in Camden are different?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, they are very different. They treat us nice, polite, and they're very cool with us.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): There is criticism, though, that the Camden County police force doesn't have enough minority officers, isn't transparent enough and may not be responsible for the crime drop.

Kevin Barfield is the President of the local NAACP.

KEVIN BARFIELD, PRESIDENT, CAMDEN COUNTY, NJ NAACP: The crime statistics have been going down throughout the state of New Jersey and has been going down within the nation. So I would not credit that with the policing programs that have or supposed to be taking place right now.

TUCHMAN: The former police chief says the department can improve while keeping its principles.

THOMSON: I think that most of the police officers here get it. Every once in a while, we get one that doesn't and we move swiftly and with certainty to remove them from the force.

TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN, Camden, New Jersey.


CABRERA: Seeing those officers wearing their masks is a reminder we are still in the middle of a pandemic. Could bats hold the secret to COVID-19? A new CNN Special Report introduces you to the scientists investigating these fascinating animals.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: In the last 20 years, some of the deadliest virus outbreaks have come from bats. SARS, Marburg, Ebola. So what is it about these creatures and the way they spread pathogens that can be so dangerous?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact that bats are carrying viruses is not in and of itself extraordinary. Every animal has its normal suite of viruses and bacteria that it normally carries. I mean, people do as well. We carry viruses, we carry bacteria. The majority of which are benign or beneficial. Some of which cause disease. It's the fact that bats do tend to carry a higher proportion of viruses that have the ability to infect people.

The question is really, you know, why do we see some of these incredibly bad viruses coming out of bats?


CABRERA: The CNN Special Report "BATS: THE MYSTERY BEHIND COVID-19" airs tonight at 10:00 Eastern right here on CNN. We'll be right back.



CABRERA: After weeks of protests against police brutality, backlash is growing against Hollywood's glamorization of police. Hit shows "Cops" and "Live PD" were cancelled this week. And as CNN's Tom Foreman reports, calls are even growing for the popular children's show "Paw Patrol" to be taken off the air.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the "Law and Order" franchise to "NCIS," to "Blue Bloods," police dramas are iconic, hugely popular, and now under intense fire from activists who say these shows far too readily portray cops as good and trustworthy while undermining real-life claims of systemic racism and abuse.

RASHAD ROBINSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COLOR OF CHANGE: These shows for years have normalized injustice.

FOREMAN: Rashad Robinson is the executive director of Color of Change, an activist group which is leading the charge. And he points out that TV dramas routinely buy into the trope of the bad apple cop but almost never go further.

ROBINSON: They oftentimes show a world where black and brown people exist but racism, and particularly structural racism, doesn't exist at all.

FOREMAN: Reality shows have so far been the easiest targets. "Cops" has been canceled after three decades of wild success. And furious complaints about glorification of police violence. Now "Live PD" has also been pulled off the air to the surprise and dismay of the host.

DAN ABRAMS, FORMER HOST, "LIVE PD": I'm disappointed and frustrated. I fought very hard to try to keep the show on the air. I thought there was a way to have a national discussion on the show about policing.

FOREMAN: Not likely, according to Color of Change, which says prime television encourages the public to accept the norms of over policing and excessive force and reject reform while supporting the exact behavior that destroys the lives of black people. And in the highly popular and lucrative world of police shows, he suggests that goes all the way down to kids' programs, like "Paw Patrol."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't trust you right now.

FOREMAN: But do these made-up stories really make a difference? Consider this, a 2015 study found viewers of crime dramas are more likely to believe that police are successful at lowering crime, use force only when necessary, and that misconduct does not typically lead to false confessions.


CABRERA: Our thanks to Tom Foreman for that. And that does it for me today. Thank you for being with me. I'm Ana Cabrera. A special edition of "THE SITUATION ROOM" with Wolf Blitzer starts right now.