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Protests Grow in Atlanta after Deadly Officer-Involved Shooting; New COVID-19 Cases Rising in 12+ States; Questions Surround Atlanta Police Actions before Fatal Shooting; Trump Addresses West Point; Rio de Janeiro Health Workers Hit Hard by Outbreak. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired June 14, 2020 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm John Vause.
Well, after three weeks of nationwide protests, three weeks of tears, anger and outrage. Three weeks of national soul searching over race relations in this country and, in particular, police brutality.
Once again, protesters are back in the streets because police, this time, in Atlanta, have shot and killed another African American man, as he was trying to run away. Demonstrations began Saturday, continued into the early hours of Sunday morning. At first, they were blocking an interstate highway. It appears they are back now doing that.
This all took a violent turn a few hours ago at the fast food restaurant Wendy's where the initial shooting took place. The building was looted and then set on fire. Police responded to a call there, complaining that a man was asleep in his car at the drive through at the Wendy's.
Authorities say 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks failed a field sobriety test and then scuffled with officers. CNN has attained eyewitness video of that struggle and a warning to viewers, the video is disturbing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE (voice-over): Here, you see police, apparently, grappling with Brooks. During that scuffle, Brooks grabbed one of the officers' Tasers and in the video, you can see police chasing him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Georgia officials released surveillance footage of the incident as well and again the video is disturbing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE (voice-over): You can see Brooks running from police. He is to discharge the Taser in the direction of the officers, before he was fatally shot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: There's already been fallout from all of this. The police chief in Atlanta resigned Saturday. The officer who shot Brooks, Garrett Rolfe, has been fired. The other officer has been placed on administrative duty.
CNN's Dianne Gallagher, live, in Atlanta to begin our coverage this hour.
It's, what, just after 2:00 am, here, in Atlanta.
Where do they stand?
Are they done for the night?
Or looking to stay out in the streets a while longer yet?
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The protests are still ongoing. Although, it is a much smaller number of people who are out. They are by that Wendy's that you were showing and -- and stores that are nearby it.
A larger number of police forces have shown up to try and disperse. And, according to our local affiliates here, just deployed some sort of irritant to try and get the crowds to go home. Those reporters who work for the local affiliate complain of burning eyes and throats and having to cough as well, John.
So they're still working, at this point, to get the protesters to go home. Those protesters, though, are very determined. There is a lot of anger and pain and frustration that was lashed out onto the streets of Atlanta tonight.
And, for many of them, they've been out protesting for the past two weeks, anyway, after the death of George Floyd. When Rayshard Brooks was killed, it reignited that anger and that's what we're seeing in the streets right now.
VAUSE: What we saw was sort of a slow build throughout the day. Word came out the shooting happened, protests began almost piecemeal. But then really gained mass as the evening went on.
I'm wondering as more details spread about what happened, is there an expectation to bigger and larger demonstrations on Sunday and then moving forward?
GALLAGHER: There have been discussions, amongst protesters, that they do plan to continue this, that they're not ready to just let this go. Now the original demands of the protesters were for the officers to be fired. At least, one of them has at this point, as you just reported there. The other placed on that administrative duty.
The police chief has stepped aside, saying the city needs to move forward and work on healing and coming back together. The NAACP called for her resignation just before she stepped aside. So we're seeing some action but now, they want to see more. They want to see officers arrested. They want to see charges.
And really, John, when you talk to these protesters, they just want to see this stop. Time and time again, each protester that we have spoken to, for the past, almost three weeks now, have said that they want to see legitimate systemic change, in the way that the police department works with the community.
And they want to see this happen, whether or not these shootings are caught on camera. Or whether they are just having to investigate something that is going off witnesses.
VAUSE: Even when they are caught on camera, it seems nothing changes. Dianne Gallagher. Thank you so much.
Steve Moore is a CNN law enforcement contributor, retired FBI special agent. And he is with us this hour from Los Angeles.
Steve, the last time we spoke, it was in the context of the killing of George Floyd. You made the point that one moment, law enforcement officers can be involved in a shootout. The next, they could be trying to save the life of the suspect they just shot.
So with that in mind, listen to what the lawyer representing the family of Rayshard Brooks had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
L. CHRIS STEWART, BROOKS FAMILY ATTORNEY: There were multiple witnesses out there. We talked to some witnesses today, who said that the officers went and put on plastic gloves and picked up their shell casings after they killed him before rendering aid. We counted two minutes and 16 seconds before they even checked his pulse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Just to emphasize, there is an investigation underway. But let's start between the gap of the shooting and when the police officers took the pulse of the victim.
STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: The first thing you have to do after a shooting is determine that the person is no longer a threat to you, assuming that he was a threat in the beginning. You have to determine that he or she is no longer a threat.
You can handcuff the person, who was not dead at the time. And then, you must render medical aid to that person because they are no longer a threat. And you are, essentially, the first responder, at that point, to their wound.
VAUSE: Would it take two minutes and 16 seconds to determine if someone is still a threat, if they're lying on the ground not moving?
MOORE: (INAUDIBLE) I wasn't there. But I -- I don't -- it doesn't sound reasonable. And if you do anything else besides that, I don't know why they were picking up brass, if that was true.
But you do need to, immediately, see what you can do for that person.
VAUSE: I was going to ask you about that because, when you were in the field, you saw the suspect and you told me you've done that.
How many times did you stop, put on gloves and pick up the shell casings?
MOORE: I never -- I don't think I would have even thought about picking up shell casings. I have been -- the FBI trains, very specifically, that, once the threat is removed -- and I don't mean the person is killed -- but once the person is no longer a threat, your job is to render aid to them.
You can take seconds to make sure that the person is no longer a threat to you. But it's not like he was wearing a bomb vest. I mean, you can come up and check that fairly quickly.
VAUSE: As far as the investigation goes, what doesn't seem clear is how did this go from a conversation between the officers and the suspect and a confrontation?
Again, I want you to listen to lawyer representing the family. He is talking about, again, what he was told by multiple witnesses. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEWART: They thought that the conversation appeared civil or decent. They didn't, you know, see him screaming at the cops or doing anything. And then, out the blue, they said they just tried to arrest him. And of course, he got upset and pulled away like, why?
What are y'all doing?
Then it went from there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Got to think about this in context, right?
The number of incidents involving black men and police. And suddenly, Mr. Brooks is being confronted by the police.
Is there anything, though, which could have happened in that conversation, between conversation and confrontation, that would justify the deadly actions of the police?
MOORE: Well, I mean, there -- when a person wrestles with you and takes away one of your weapons, yes. Deadly force is, at least, on the table. And frequently, people who you are talking to, civilly, are believing that you may or may not arrest them.
When you decide to arrest them, their behavior changes, almost always and it doesn't mean that they're going to become violent. But just because violence ensued, after a person was told they were going to be arrested doesn't mean that the officers necessarily provoked that.
And I am not making a determination right now because I don't think there's enough complete evidence to make a determination. Certainly, it can look pretty suspicious. But once you wrestle with an officer and take away a weapon, you have, by your resistance, ramped up the -- the situation.
That does not, necessarily, mean that they have -- that does not mean, based on just that, that they have the right to -- to use deadly force against you. But you have certainly moved the continuum.
VAUSE: The question, though, that's being asked is why was this an option on the table of shooting the guy, as he was fleeing the scene?
They had his car. They had his license.
What was to be gained by actually trying to neutralize him and stopping him from leaving the scene?
Why couldn't they have easily, you know, let him go and followed up at a later time?
MOORE: Well, John, you're absolutely right. If all he did was run away from them, I don't see any reason to use deadly force. I just don't see it. If, however -- and I am speaking hypothetically because I've heard different things from different people -- if he turned and aimed a weapon at them, even if it was a Taser, if he got the nearest officer and was able to Tase him and take his weapon, that is -- in the training, as it exists today, that is a reason to utilize deadly force.
VAUSE: Very quickly. Even if that Taser is considered a nonlethal weapon, which it is, here, in Georgia?
MOORE: If the weapon allows you to incapacitate an officer, who has a deadly weapon, the question would be, why are you -- what are you -- what's your end goal there?
And so, the officers have the right to use deadly force to protect somebody from taking their weapon. That's the way the rules are.
VAUSE: OK. This is a complicated one, as they often all are. But you know, obviously there's a lot to get to. But Steve, appreciate you being with us, retired FBI, Steve Moore. As always, good to see you.
This has been the 19th straight day of protests in the United States over racial injustice and police brutality. While it has been tense in Atlanta, many other demonstrations across the country have been mostly peaceful. Thousands marching in New York City. Some city council members there
proposing $1 billion in cuts from the NYPD. The mayor, though, against that plan. Demonstrators in Chicago used music and dance to help drive home their message. This was called the House Music Peace March to fight injustice and bring the city together.
Several thousand people attended a protest on the campus of Clemson University in South Carolina. Members of the school's football team were among the speakers and that's a big deal.
In Seattle, protesters continued to peacefully meet and rally in the streets around a precinct that was evacuated just days earlier. They are calling for an area an autonomous zone. As CNN's Dan Simon shows us, the gatherings have become quite the social.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are in the heart of CHAZ, the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, which protesters are calling it CHAZ, is basically an area that is free of police. It is a 24/7 occupation of about six blocks in Seattle.
Behind me is the police department, which has effectively been taken over by protesters. It was abandoned by Seattle police, as a way to deescalate the tension that had been ongoing between protesters and police officers.
Today, it feels like a street festival, Saturday afternoon, with people out and about. There are barbecues. There are people walking around with their six packs of beer. And over here, you see some protesters listening to speakers.
It has been an entirely peaceful situation, despite the rhetoric that you might be seeing in conservative media, as well as from President Trump. This is how one protester responded to the president's tweets. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All I got to say to Trump is, Trump, you got all the Secret Service in the world.
Come down here and see for yourself. Get in that plane and come see for yourself. Come look at what's going on down here. Come talk to us. I can't understand a person who's never been in my situation and -- and vice versa. He's never been poor.
So how could he understand what it's like to not have?
I don't want my kids to have to be here talking to CNN or whoever about this one day, when they get older. That's why I'm out here. That's why we're here.
(END VIDEO CLIP) SIMON: Now among the protesters' demands, they want to see the police department defunded, which is, of course, what you are hearing all across the country. They also want to see that police station turned into a community center -- Dan Simon, CNN, Seattle.
VAUSE: Protesters across Europe are also continuing to call for racial justice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE (voice-over): Thousands gathered in central Paris on Saturday protesting police brutality. Also, marking the 2016 death of a young black man who died in police custody. His sister spoke to the crowd just before the march, calling for justice for her brother.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: In response, far-right protesters scaled a nearby building with a banner reading justice for the victims of anti-white racism.
And in London, fights broke out between demonstrators at the subway station. The far-right activists vowing to protect historic monuments targeted by Black Lives Matter protesters.
British prime minister Boris Johnson chimed in, calling them racist thuggery.
"The protests have been subverted by violence and that racism has no place in the U.K."
Salma Abdelaziz is live this hour for us, good to see you.
Everywhere else across the country it seems they held these Black Lives Matter protests.
But in London, it was the far-right protesters, what, specifically looking for some kind of confrontation?
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN PRODUCER: That's basically right, John. I'm just going to start by explaining to you, though, where I am here today. Parliament Square. And just behind me, that big, gray box, that is actually Winston Churchill's statue that's been boarded up.
And this was the scene of these right-wing demonstrations yesterday. I was here and we saw hundreds of people, at its height, acting aggressively toward police, using nationalistic chants, drinking in the middle of the day.
This devolved into sort of a game of cat and mouse as the day progressed. We saw police trying to clear these streets. There was a 5:00 pm curfew on protests. We saw, again, that clash that you mentioned earlier in front of Waterloo Station, some injuries there, 100 people arrested in total.
But it is important to remember, here, that Black Lives Matter. The umbrella movement and all its suborganizations had cancelled demonstrations for yesterday, specifically because they did not want to get involved in this. Yes, there was a small group of people who came out, in defiance of that call to stay home.
But by and large, the Black Lives Matter movement did not come out yesterday because they did not want their image tarnished. That's what they have said. They said we were concerned that this would become clashes and that this would make this largely peaceful movement, potentially, be blamed for it.
And they have been sharing image images of what happened here yesterday. And the thing you are going to hear over and over again from these activists is they feel this is a distraction from the true issues, which is the antiracist movement in this country and tackling systemic racism.
VAUSE: So to that point of not wanting to be tagged as part of the violence, there was one black protester, who basically reached down, picked up one of the far right protesters who had been injured by a mob, carried him off to safety. So a bit of a symbol of the whole protest movement.
ABDELAZIZ: And there was a lot of symbolism. I did spend some time yesterday with the people who came out, despite Black Lives Matter staying home. And they felt very strongly, John, that what was important to them was to show that they were not afraid.
I spoke to one of the protesters and she said to me, what they do is reflective on them. What I do is reflective on me.
And so, very much, that moment you just mentioned embodies that. That idea that those who did decide to come out, they were a very small group but they had a statement to make. And that statement was we will be peaceful, John.
VAUSE: It's interesting they're targeting Churchill. They know who the other guy was in World War II, I guess. Salma, thank you, appreciate you being with us.
Ten coronavirus vaccines are in human trial phases around the world right now. Some experts, though, are worried President Trump will push for a vaccine to hit the market long before it's ready.
We'll also head to London for an update on the pandemic there. What the reopening looks like, as well as travel, the economy. Whole bunch of stuff still to come. You're watching CNN.
VAUSE: Welcome back.
Well, Brazil is reporting the world's second highest death toll when it comes to COVID-19. The curve there showing no signs of flattening. In Chile, the health minister has been sacked over handling the pandemic.
The U.S. is reporting, by far, most cases of deaths worldwide but Dr. Anthony Fauci has some good news. The leading expert on the pandemic says a second wave of infections is not inevitable, so long as people continue to follow safety guidelines. Those include wearing face masks and social distancing.
Also he supports the NBA's plans to restart its basketball season. It's hoping to have 22 teams in a bubble at Disney World in Florida. He even calls it quite creative.
The World Health Organization says there are about 200 potential vaccines in development around the world. Ten of them have advanced to human trials. Some experts are worried the president will pressure the FDA to put a vaccine on the market, long before it's ready. CNN medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen explains.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Some news on the vaccine front: The University of Oxford in England saying they're already in phase three clinical trials.
Those are the large-scale clinical trials, where you really find out if the vaccine works. The University of Oxford saying that, along with the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, they will be doing a trial with 42,000 participants.
Another company, Moderna, they say they are going to do a trial with 30,000 people. And that will begin next month. Now this is what the National Institutes of Health wants to hear. They want large trials, with around 30,000 people, so they can make sure that the vaccine is truly safe and truly effective.
But the issue is that it's the Food and Drug Administration that gives permission to vaccines to go on the market. And the FDA has not committed. They have not said we will require that there be trials in, at least, 30,000 people.
That has some scientists worried that President Trump is going to put pressure on the FDA to put a vaccine on the market, before it's been tested out on the full 30,000, just to have a vaccine and get votes in November.
VAUSE: Thanks to Elizabeth Cohen for that report.
So how close is too close? In the U.S., social distance is recommended at six feet or 1.8 meters. In the U.K., it's an even 2 meters. Calls suggest, lighten up a little. CNN's Milena Veselinovic is live in London.
So Milena, this all comes down to, what, some general, all-around unhappiness within the tourism and hospitality industries about these restrictions?
MILENA VESELINOVIC, CNN PRODUCER: That's right. Good morning, John. Pubs and bars and restaurants say they simply won't be able to cooperate under the current social distancing rules of two meters.
They're asking for that to be reduced because even if they reopen as planned next month, they will only be able to fill about a quarter of the capacity, which is not enough for many to keep afloat.
Now some government ministers are lobbying for that law to be reduced from two meters to one meter, we have learned through CNN sources.
This will be a political decision for prime minister Boris Johnson, who will take advice from his scientists but will ultimately have to decide what's best for the economy and actually balance that with the public health requirements.
VESELINOVIC: But hospitality's not the only industry that wants change. Travel firms are furious about the newly introduced quarantine measures that require all international arrivals to the U.K. to self- isolate for two weeks. British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair have actually launched a legal challenge to this, saying that these measures were flawed and would absolutely crush the economy.
VAUSE: There's also this struggling hospitality industry is part of a really grim picture for the U.K. economy, which they're saying it's been especially hard hit by this pandemic, compared to many others in Europe.
VESELINOVIC: Yes. The picture is really grim, John. The U.K.'s heading for its worst crash, worst economic crash in more than 300 years. Just picture this. Nearly a third of the entire workforce is relying on the government, the state, to pay their wages, either in full or partially.
We already know 75,000 job cuts have been announced by major companies. That hundreds of thousands more on the way, as partial lockdown continues.
And, in general, this is all happening as this all-important Brexit deadline is looming at the end of the year. The U.K. and E.U. are currently trying to virtually negotiate some sort of a trade deal.
The talks are not going very well. And British businesses are increasingly worried at the risk of a no-deal Brexit, which they say, would be really catastrophic, on top of the coronavirus crisis, which has already battered the economy. VAUSE: Brexit, that was like 8,000 years ago. Compared to everything
that's happened. But it's still happening. Good point to finish.
VESELINOVIC: It's coming back.
VAUSE: God help us. Thank you, Milena.
We'll take a break here on CNN NEWSROOM. When we come back, the head of the NAACP is weighing in on what exactly needs to change.
Also, turmoil over racism and police brutality. President Donald Trump skirting the issue, as he speaks to a new graduating class of military officers. What he is saying but more importantly, what he is not saying. That's ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.
VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Here, in Atlanta, a police officer has been fired less than 24 hours after he fatally shot an African American man.
He is Garrett Rolfe, a seven year veteran of the force. I should say. He is shown here on the left. The other officer on the scene, Devin Brosnan, has been placed on administrative duty.
The Atlanta police chief resigned. Latest in the string of killings that sparked protests around the world. In Atlanta at the Wendy's store, where 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was shot, you can see it was set ablaze.
Protesters then had a confrontation with the CNN crew, breaking the camera that was covering the protests. Let's take a look back, now, at how all this started.
On Friday night, police responded to calls about a man, Brooks, asleep in his car outside that Wendy's. Authorities say Brooks failed a field sobriety test.
Then, there was a struggle. CNN attained eyewitness video of that struggle and a warning, this video is disturbing for some.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE (voice-over): Now the video shows the police grappling with Brooks. State officials say during that scuffle, Brooks grabbed one of the officers' Tasers before breaking free. In the video, you can see the police officer was chasing him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Officials, again, released surveillance footage of the incident as well. Same warning. The video is disturbing to some.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE (voice-over): You see Brooks running from police. He appears to discharge the Taser towards the officer, before he is shot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Well, the president of the NAACP spoke to CNN's Wolf Blitzer a little earlier. Derrick Johnson says the culture of policing in the United States needs to change. That needs to happen now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DERRICK JOHNSON, NAACP PRESIDENT: It's unfortunate that we are repeating this now. Over the last six weeks, this is the fifth incident dealing with some sort of videotaped, racialized activity.
If in fact he had been drinking, we would have preferred him to stop at the Wendy's drive through, take a nap, then drive, than drunk driving and kill someone else.
Police need training. This is not acceptable. I commend the mayor of Atlanta for taking decisive actions to ensure the safety of her citizens. I commend all of the protesters who are continuing to raise the question.
And that question is central. We need to change the culture of policing. We need to evaluate how we train police. We need to make sure police not only support the communities that they have a duty to protect and serve but they need to be in the community.
We have far too many officers who live outside the jurisdictions in which they work, therefore they have little to no regard for the city. This is another indication that we must change the culture of policing in our communities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Segun Oduolowu is a social commentator and host of the Emmy- winning news magazine show, "The List." He joins me now from Los Angeles.
So I guess that didn't take long, did it?
What does it say about the mindset of these police officers in Atlanta that, what, after three weeks of national and international outrage over the murder of George Floyd, when there is a conversation about refunding police departments, reinventing the way policing is done, just, for one moment, they didn't stop and think, maybe I shouldn't shoot this guy in the back as he's running away.
SEGUN ODUOLOWU, HOST, "THE LIST": Well, John, you know, it's like a very bad Groundhog Day, except that, for many of us, we're not waking up from it. It's another police brutality. It's another police shooting. And it's not lost on black people that he was asleep at a Wendy's parking lot and wound up dying.
Yet, when Dylann Roof shot nine black people in Charleston, South Carolina, they took him to Burger King. So if you murder nine black people, you get to go to Burger King but if you fall asleep at a Wendy's and you're black, you wind up dead.
I can't fathom how the police, with everything going on, with cameras everywhere, shoot a man running away from them in the back. And even if they feared for their life because he was holding the Taser, they weren't in imminent danger or immediate danger.
ODUOLOWU: Which is, I understand, are the rules of engagement when it comes to a police shooting. So this one is going to be hard for the people of Atlanta and the country to stomach.
And as you can see the protests in Atlanta, they're not stomaching it anymore. The police chief resigned and the cop has been fired and hopefully will be prosecuted.
VAUSE: The lawyer for the family of Brooks asked the questions, I guess, you're asking, I'm asking. A lot of people are asking. Here he is. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
L. CHRIS STEWART, BROOKS FAMILY ATTORNEY: How many more examples will we need?
The cameras aren't doing it. Y'all filming it isn't doing it. Covering it isn't doing it. People protesting isn't doing it.
What is it going to take?
How many more examples are we going to get?
I actually thought that we were going to get over all this. I thought this was finally going to start ending with all these changes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: We've seen some incredible progress over the last couple weeks. It was moving at a speed we've never seen before.
Has that come to a screeching halt?
ODUOLOWU: I think it has come to a screeching halt. It doesn't mean that it can't progress. But right now, as you can see with what's going on in Atlanta, we are at a deadlock right now because you cannot keep seeing this, over and over again, videotape after videotape, Philando Castile being shot by police. You know, Mike Brown in Ferguson, I can keep naming names and it will
just get more and more disgusting and more and more aggravating to the point that you want to look away.
But we can't. It's not stopping. So until the police start to see the people they are policing as human beings, then, this is what's going to continue. And it's not lost, again, on black people, that they do not see this, that man running away, Rayshard Brooks does not look like that guy's brother or uncle or son or friend or anything.
So he's not -- he's not even recognizing or registering that that's a human being, whose life he is taking. And I know all cops aren't bad. But please, if you don't want people to think that you are, we are desperately asking you to do better.
VAUSE: The mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, has received a lot of praise, shown strong leadership during the weeks of protest in Atlanta. But I want you to listen to what she said earlier about this police shooting. Here she is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D-GA), ATLANTA: What has become abundantly clear over the last couple weeks in Atlanta is that, while we have a police force full of men and women who work alongside our communities with honor, respect and dignity, there has been a disconnect with what our expectations are and should be as it relates to interactions with our officers and the communities in which they are entrusted to protect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: At least she's moving away from that asinine few bad apples excuse. But there's a lot more going on in Atlanta and around the country than just a disconnect between community expectations and police behavior.
ODUOLOWU: Absolutely. Again, it's systematic racism, it's not a disconnect. OK?
We didn't just, oh, my gosh, the phone is off the hook. It's a disconnect. No. This has been going on for far too long.
This is Rodney King in '92. This is all the way back to Emmett Till and his mom leaving an open casket so the world can see what they did to her son. This is what we have been preaching and talking and marched for and are continuing to March.
It's not a disconnect. It's the inability for the people with badges and guns to see the people, that they are supposed to protect and serve, as one of them. And if they are not part of the community, then, they are part of the calamity.
And what you are seeing is calamity, after calamity, after calamity. And, until it offends enough people, I don't think there is going to be change. VAUSE: Well, here's something that may be offensive to some. Just to
broaden this out. As Minneapolis is looking to rebuild its entire police force, here is an example of just how the system bends towards police.
"The New York Times," reporting even if the former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, is found guilty of murdering George Floyd, he will qualify to receive what could amount to around $50,000 a year in state pension payments.
Now the family could get access to that money as part of a legal settlement but the fact they would have to go to court and fight for that pension. Regardless, the killer could keep it anyway. It seems to say a lot.
ODUOLOWU: Yes. It says that maybe the going rate on killing a black person is you still get to keep your pension, even though you lose your job. Or that you may get prosecuted and go to jail. But that your family might enjoy your pension.
I mean, this is part of what makes people so aggravated and so frustrated, John. This is what keeps them in the street for 19 days protesting because, even when you take a police officer to court, they still have operational immunity where they can say I was operating under the auspices of my job and that is a hard thing for a civilian to prove.
Shouldn't that offend you?
ODUOLOWU: Shouldn't that, as Americans, shouldn't it offend us that American citizens are dying in the street, for no other reason than the color of their skin?
I mean, it's -- it would be -- it's a sick joke that keeps getting told, over and over again. And, like I said, I'm a solutions-oriented guy, John. But even I am running out of ways that we can bridge this gap unless you're going to go Camden, New Jersey, and defund the police department and then rehire the police but make them have to pass tests and really look at their record because that is a program that seems to be working.
It seems as if the system is irrevocably broken. And it can't be repaired. It feels like it needs to be completely built up, all over again. And I am here for that. I will lend whatever support is needed. I'm here for solutions because it seems like we're running out.
VAUSE: We are. We're also running out of time but that is a good point to end on. Because right now, when you can't reform it -- because you have tried to reform it -- you've got to rebuild it. Good to see you.
ODUOLOWU: Thank you, John, always a pleasure.
VAUSE: Well, in the midst of a national conversation about race, police brutality, white privilege, the U.S. president, it seems, has very little to say. Saturday, he addressed graduates from West Point at a socially-distanced ceremony. CNN's Kristen Holmes tells us what he said.
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump delivered the commencement address at West Point on Saturday. And while he did say that America was facing a turbulent moment, he really sidestepped those flashpoint issues we're seeing across the country; namely, coronavirus and these massive protests after the killing of George Floyd.
When he talked about coronavirus, just thanked the military for all their work to help fight what he called the invisible enemy. But when it came to those protests, a moment where he could have used it to talk about racial injustice, he did not. He sidestepped that and, instead, seemed to focus on just the National Guard's role. Take a listen here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I also want to thank the men and women of our National Guard, who respond with precision to so many recent challenges, from hurricanes and natural disasters, to ensuring peace, safety and the constitutional rule of law on our streets.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: So you hear it, there, just a vague reference to those protests that have been massive, that have taken up night after night after night in his back yard or front yard at the White House there.
But this is coming at a time where the president has really not offered remarks on unity or bringing the country together. And it is a time of deep unrest and a real reckoning on race in America.
And while he has, of course, condemned the death of George Floyd, he has not offered a more unifying message.
And that has really led to a lot of his top current and former military advisers distancing themselves from his response. But again, he did not use this opportunity to address that, to take this conversation one step further -- traveling with the president in New Jersey, Kristen Holmes, CNN.
VAUSE: In Lebanon, the currency is collapsing, the economy has tanked and many are struggling to feed their families. So after the break, we will take you to the streets of Beirut, where protesters are lashing out in anger.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [02:45:00]
VAUSE: In Beirut, they're not calling for racial justice. They are not calling for easing up of coronavirus restrictions. But instead, many are just blaming the government for an economic crisis, which is causing a level of nationwide pain and hardship which many have never seen before. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh has our report.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A dangerous game of cat-and-mouse plays out on the streets of Lebanon. Demonstrators advance on police lines, hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails only to retreat, when security forces push back with batons and tear gas.
Protesters shield themselves with Dumpsters, as they rage against government inaction and a deepening economic crisis. They're angry, broke and many are unemployed.
One protester says this is the only way his voice can be heard. He says, "The solution is in the street. Whomever wants a solution should come to the street." He says, "We have nothing to lose. We have lost already. The only way is to come to the streets and fight." Antigovernment protests began last October, forcing the resignation of then prime minister Saad Hariri. But those demonstrations simmered down in March, when the country went on lockdown over the coronavirus.
That fury erupted in force again on Thursday, when Lebanon's currency sunk to a new low, losing roughly 70 percent of its worth since October.
People already hit hard by the loss of income from the coronavirus saw what little money they had left plummet in value.
One protester says, "People don't have money to eat. There is no money and no work. There is nothing."
He says he's been unemployed for eight months. There's nothing left.
The Lebanese prime minister addressed the nation Saturday, urging people to be patient and accused certain factions of the government of undermining his efforts to fix the economy, saying, "We must protect and defend the state so that it can be a guarantee for all its citizens, their properties, their moneys and their future."
The government says it will take steps to shore up its currency by pumping more money into the market on Monday. It's also in talks with the International Monetary Fund for a relief package, worth billions of dollars, measures, some protesters say, are too far off to help with the immediate needs of just trying to survive -- Jomana Karadsheh, CNN.
VAUSE: Eleven minutes now before the top of the hour. We will take a short break. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
Still to come, when we look back at 2020, from some point in the future, what will we see?
How will the museums of the world mark this tragic moment in human history?
VAUSE: It's difficult to believe right now but there will come a time when this pandemic will end, the economy will recover and life will return to a new normalcy. So museums around the world are looking to that moment, looking to preserve this future history and not just to remember but to learn. Here's Cyril Vanier.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Once-bustling city streets sitting deserted. The conversation between generations forced to stay apart. Grocery shopping dressed in a makeshift hazmat. The health care worker clearly exhausted on the front lines.
These are some of the images that capture a pivotal time in history, as museums and cultural institutions around the globe work to document the coronavirus pandemic.
ELLEN HARRISON, HISTORIC ENGLAND (voice-over): It's really important for future generations to be able to look back and see what had to happen in order for us all to be safe. And I think it's a useful way of processing some of the really difficult feelings and frustrations that we all experience.
VANIER (voice-over): In late April, Historic England asked people for photos of life on lockdown, in their first call for public submissions since World War II. In one week, they received nearly 3,000 entries from around the country, illustrating a diverse, collective experience.
HARRISON (voice-over): We've seen a lot of rainbows. That's become a real symbol in the U.K. of a kind of solidarity within this time. We've seen a lot of examples of people coming out to clap for carers. We've had some really lovely images of people communicating to their elderly relatives.
HARRISON (voice-over): And really pleasingly, we've seen a real example of the British sense of humor. One couple recreated the John Lennon and Yoko Ono bed-in with the stay at home messages behind it. So it's really good to see that people are still keeping their sense of humor.
VANIER (voice-over): Elsewhere, curators focus not only on visual display but physical objects iconic of an unprecedented time.
MARGI HOFER, NEW YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY (voice-over): Certainly, a recurring object is face masks. They have become the most powerful, visual symbol of the crisis. They've also become a political statement as well. Whether you decide to wear one or not can signal how you feel about the government's efforts to reopen.
And another category that is growing is objects that are made by businesses who have pivoted their production in order to serve need during the crisis.
VANIER (voice-over): The New York Historical Society launched their coronavirus collection in March, starting with a single bottle of hand sanitizer. Their focus is physical artifacts of the pandemic, evidence defining a painful time that may become instructive in the future.
HOFER (voice-over): Look at how we are going back to the flu pandemic of 1918 for lessons learned from that experience. You know, we look at the public health measures that were taken and the government interventions that were taken or not taken for guidance on what might be the right thing to do now.
VANIER (voice-over): Signage offering gloves to those who can't afford it. A playground cordoned off to keep children from gathering. Computer screens used to socialize in the age of social distancing. These are the items and images that will tell the story of our unprecedented time, shaping how the world remembers the coronavirus pandemic -- Cyril Vanier, CNN.
VAUSE: I'm John Vause, I'll be back with another hour of CNN NEWSROOM right after a quick break. Stay with us.