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Brooks Family Attorney: Cops Can't Be "Judge, Jury And Executioner"; Brooks Family: "How Many More Protests Will It Take?"; Supreme Court: Employers Can't Fire Workers For Being Gay, Transgender; Gorsuch, Roberts Side With Supreme Court's Liberal Justices; FDA Ends Emergency Use Of Drugs Trump Called "Game Changers". Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired June 15, 2020 - 12:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[12:00:00]

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: We hope that we can do better as a society but him being there with the family experiencing the pain. What we saw is the human side of the other side of excessive force that leads to death that's the human side.

The person dying being a brother, a person dying being a nephew, a person dying being an uncle, being a father, being a brother of the community that really has value. And until we see life having is value, as seeing life as so much more than a hurt before you, than a stuff that's before you but a human being who demands to be respected and who certainly could and should be alive, we're going to be at this place.

And I think that now if ever is a time for moment and is a time for change. We are seeing that throughout cities in America where people are saying enough. And those people are a diverse bunch of people who are leading and charging and adding to the cause, the cause of reform whether that reform John comes in the form of defunding police.

Whether that means the reevaluation from top to bottom, the redistribution of resources, whether that means having a conversation about police in communities who look like those communities, who value those, who respect those communities and who can police those communities appropriately without death, we need to have more than a conversation, but the time for change is now.

Now final point, my State in New York passed massive reforms a as it related to police reform signed by the Governor. I spoke to our speaker last week who was very concerned about transparency as it relates to disciplinary records to police so the world can see. About choke holds and the value they're having.

About prosecutions being done by our State Attorney General Ms. James who has a long history for the cause of justice we need to do more than speak. We need to reform and I am hopeful that other states throughout this country will do what New York has done in passing meaningful reforms a at the Federal Government John will do so as well. JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Joey Jackson and Chief Ramsey stand by for just second if you could just for our viewers joining us at the top of the hour. We were just watching, if you weren't with us, a very emotional press conference by the family of Rayshard Brooks. He, of course, a 27-year-old black man shot twice in the back by an Atlanta police officer Friday night after an incident at a Wendy's.

They were trying to bring him into custody. He started to flee. They shot him in the back. His family quite an emotional news conference just moments ago his widow saying she will never get her husband back.

Her father will never be able to take his children skating or dancing. Other family members speaking as well one of the repeating themes, the fear of being a black man and encountering a police officer in America today.

To that point, Chief Ramsey, you do see the reform effort, reform calls around the country in Minneapolis because of George Floyd in Atlanta now because of Rayshard Brooks. The Mayor appointed task force three days before this shooting and around the country. Joey was touching on this earlier. The question is will it get done or will it just get talked about until something else happens and our attention moves on to something else and then it gets dropped.

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well that's been exactly the problem. You know we tend to not stay with it. You know it's one thing to say you need reform and I certainly agree. The question is what's it going to look like? It's not going to happen overnight. It's going to require a great deal of effort and it is going to be requiring a funding.

I mean, again I hear people say defund the police. I hear a variety of things. How are we going to do this long-term? We need to really sit down and think this through. This is pretty complex you know it's one thing that say you know let's get rid of the police or they don't need to do this or that or the other but then what takes its place?

You've got a stamp on social services. You've got to be able to fund it long-term all these kinds of things. It needs to happen. We do need to re-imagine public safety but we also need to think about what it is we want it to look like and how are we going to be able to support it?

Again you can change policy. Governors can sign billing. If it doesn't translate into behavior changes on the street at the operational level, we're going to continue to have these moments over and over again and it's got to stop. It's got to stop but it's going to take a concerted effort in order to make sure it not only happens in the shot-term but it happens in the long-term.

KING: One of the things Joey, you have at the moment, are the people. You see the demonstrations all around the country and so there is a moment of opportunity. The question is how do you take advantage of that opportunity? And again, even those words can sound crass. Another man was just killed. Shot twice in the back by police, but if you have this public attention to the Chief's point getting to the finish line. What do you see is number one building blocks trust is the big issue here. Trust is the fundamental issue here. But what are the building blocks to get to a position where we're going to A, B and C and then we're going to have conversations because there will be more can be done and a lot of that more will be quite difficult.

JACKSON: John, it's an excellent question and it doesn't have an easy answer but let me give you mine. I think number one, it starts with cultural of policing in general and how do you shake that culture and how do you get to that culture so it's more humane?

And again let me be clear. There are police that are out here every day who were working hard, who are giving their lives for the cause of people's safety in communities. And I don't mean to castigate them at all.

[12:05:00]

JACKSON: They are working hard every day and twice on Sunday. I get it. But there's a larger problem here by those who are not affording the courtesies that are happening and that's the problem. And so my answer number one is accountability.

If you're going to have policing in the culture change, there has to be one of police missteps suspensions, there has to be terminations. There has to be charges and those charges have to result in not only you know prosecutions, but convictions. What do we know and what have we seen historically?

In my State of New York, Eric Garner, six years ago, I can't breathe. It took five years for the Department of Justice to render the conclusion that they're not moving forward the officer staying on the force for five years before being fired. That's not accountability. The fact is it has to happen soon and now. Then you'll see the sea change.

Number two transparency, we have to get to a place where we know is the public that we can trust and understand who the police are that are policing us and what are they doing? What do their disciplinary records look like? Shouldn't we have a right to know since they know everything about us upon a stop?

And so let's get to that point. On the issue of transparency, we have to have and come from a place John, where you don't have one autopsy going back to George Floyd that says no asphyxiation until an independent autopsy identifies it was. Are you kidding? And so let's level and reason with the American people. Let's be honest about them.

And number three, we have to get to the critical issue of reform so that as Charles Ramsey said and I agree, you can have legislation from everywhere. But if you don't get to the cultural change, if you don't make movements, right, from top to bottom, it means nothing.

But we have to make these lives meaningful and if there's going to be a legacy with the lives that have been lost and if we're going to push this wall forward, we have to act and we have to do so dramatically from state to state and the Federal Government has to follow suit as well.

KING: Joey Jackson and Chief Ramsey appreciate your insights. Thank you very much. Sure please Chief, go ahead.

RAMSEY: Just very quickly. We can talk about culture change all we want. Until good cops stand up against the bad cops, it's not going to happen and that's what has to take place. That's how you change the culture? The good cops have to stand up against the bad cops. Stop keeping their mouth shut. Step in, take action and say no. That doesn't belong here. You need to find somebody else to do.

KING: Amen to that. Chief Ramsey, I appreciate it Joey Jackson as well. We're going to continue the conversation now. Joining me is Andrea Young the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia. Thank you so much for your time today. I want to start by just listening for viewers who were not with us in the last hour to some of the emotional words we heard from Rayshard Brooks' family. This is Tiara Brooks his cousin.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIARA BROOKS, COUSIN OF RAYSHARD BROOKS: How many more protests will it take to ensure that the next victim isn't your cousin, your brother, your uncle, your nephew, your friend or your companion so that we can finally end the suffering of police excessive force? We are tired. Guy, we're tired.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Ms. Young in that last part, the last part. Just to hear the emotion of we are tired. Are you convinced that in the sadness and pain of the moment in Atlanta, the reforms will actually come?

ANDREA YOUNG, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ACLU OF GEORGIA: Well, we're all grieving with the family. And it is I'm still a little bit emotional from watching the press conference and you know, the point that was made is if there was absolutely no reason for this to have ended with the death of this father of this family man, of this beloved member of our community.

I do believe that we will see change. Things are happening just this morning. We had thousands of people march to the Capitol calling for changes and stand your ground laws, citizen arrest laws, in police brutality. There are meetings going on this very day in Atlanta, City Hall where members of the City Council are looking to make changes.

Chief Shields stepped down. The Mayor I think is very concerned and leadership in the police are concerned and I believe, but most important, the young people of Atlanta will not stop until serious reforms, in fact, transformation begins to happen in public safety in our communities because this is beyond policing.

[12:10:00]

YOUNG: You know the people in that Wendy's parking lot were endangered not by Rayshard Brooks. They were endangered by police officers who shotguns, shot guns crowded parking lot with families getting their dinner on a Friday night. That is not public safety.

KING: No, it is not. As you know you mentioned the young people in the street, many of those young people are skeptical of all legacy institutions and institutions if you will. Whether it is the police department or ACLU for that matter because they believe if you've been around for a long time, why haven't you fixed the problem?

So I'm asking this genuinely. Do you see a moment of opportunity to break down some of those trust barriers in the sense that most police departments, you mentioned the term ACLU, they're going to say well no, those are those liberal people who don't want us to have police powers. Is there a moment to have the necessary conversation where everybody gets to respect and understand each other and therefore build?

YOUNG: Well you know, that's our legacy in Atlanta in the worst days of the Civil Rights Movement, Atlanta was a place where people from all parts of the community came together to solve problems and I believe we will do that.

And I believe that one of the ways those of us who have been around longer are earning the trust of our young people is that we are standing with them. We are listening to their voices. We are not going to accept resolutions that they are not supportive of. We are standing with them and fighting for them because it breaks our hearts that they still have to do this.

It is heart breaking for those of us who have been fighting for black lives to matter for generations. And so we are going to stand with them, we are going to do everything we can to protect them and protect their right to protest. And we are going to help them you know get the demands that they need to feel like they matter and that they are safe in their own communities.

KING: Andrea Young grateful for your insights and expertise today. Wish you the best of luck in these difficult days.

YOUNG: Thank you so much.

KING: Thank you. Up next for us, the Supreme Court makes landmark ruling on one of the federal law that protects LGBTQ workers from discrimination. And the FDA has just made a major move against the anti-malaria drug President Trump had been pushing as a game breaking Coronavirus treatment.

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[12:15:00]

KING: big breaking news from the Supreme Court to say a decision with major consequences in the American work place. In a land mark ruling the High Court now says employers cannot fire a worker because he or she is gay or transgender. The 6-3 decision particularly stunning because the Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberals as did President Trump's first appointee to the Supreme Court Neil Gorsuch who wrote the majority opinion. The Presumptive 2020 Democratic Nominee Joe Biden hailing the decision as a big victory last hour saying the Supreme Court has confirmed the simple but profoundly American idea that every human being should be treated with respect and dignity.

Let's discuss now with CNN's Joan Biskupic and CNN Legal Contributor Steve Vladeck. Joan, to you first number one, 6-3 rare and you have two - two of the "Conservatives" of siding in the majority here. But number two this is a landmark civil rights ruling.

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN SUPREME COURT: Yes, you know, John, I'm often reluctant to throw around the world landmark, but this truly is, here it comes, five years after the court declared a right to same-sex marriage, it breaks new ground into the workplace and says again by that 6-3 vote that a major civil rights law, title 7 of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that bars discrimination because of sex, race and national origin covers people who are gay and lesbian and transgender.

This is a milestone in America covering about 8 million people who identify as LGBTQ and really breaking ground here. It was a Textualist rule reading of that statute, but it was very generous to people who face discrimination and as you mentioned, joined by two conservatives.

We had been wondering where this court would be going since the resignation of Justice Kennedy who had written all the gay rights landmarks before? But here you have two conservatives, including Chief Justice John Roberts who bitterly dissented five years ago when the justices broke ground and said that there's a fundamental right to same-sex marriage.

KING: Steve, let me read a little bit. Textualist is Joan calls it from Neil Gorsuch. He writes in title 7, Congress adopted broad language making it illegal for an employer to rely on an employee's sex when deciding to fire that employee. We do not hesitate to recognize today unnecessary consequence of that legislative choice.

An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law. So Justice Gorsuch here trying to say I'm not plowing any new ground and yet he and the court are.

STEVE VLADECK, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I mean, John I think the key here is that the words of the statute have not changed in the - you know 56 years since enacted but our understanding has. So for the majority in today's decision, I think a big part of this is that when an employer fires someone because of their sexual orientation, because they're transgender, the employer is making the exact decision that Congress, even way back in 1964, did not want the employer to make.

John, the big question is where does this go from here? Is this just about title 7 or are we're going to see similar angel is about discrimination based on sex extending to sexual orientation and transgender status.

[12:20:00]

VLADECK: In other major civil rights states entitled 9 in pay equity and housing perhaps even in the constitution itself, that's the door that this majority opinion has opened up today.

KING: It's a door that's opened up and it is a door that Justice Alito Joan, disagreed with. He writes - even if discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity could be squeezed into somewhat - understating of sex discrimination the context in which title 7 was enacted would tells us that this is not what the statues termed for understood to me at that time.

So that gets us to Steve's point Joan. He says we have evolved in our understanding, Justice Alito says the words aren't in the law therefore you can't say what you say.

BISKUPIC: Well, you know actually, Justice Gorsuch writing for the majority says just the opposite. He says those words are precisely what's in the law and when you have to look at the words as they're right there in black and white in a statute versus the potential understanding in 1964, which of course the majority Justice Gorsuch and all others acknowledged in 1964, Congress wouldn't have been thinking of sexual orientation of transgender.

But what Neil Gorsuch is saying is that the plain text wins here. There's no contexts between the sort of extra textual understanding of what Congress wanted to do in 1964, the fact that they wrote, the fact that lawmakers wrote because of sex, you cannot discriminate, because of sex, it naturally covers people based on their sexual orientation and their gender identity.

KING: And Steve as you know we're going to wait and see whether there's a ripple effect if you will expand into other parts of the federal law, other titles under the law. But what is the impact today as Joan noted, we all stopped in our tracks because the Supreme Court was a major civil rights moment when the Supreme Court said same-sex marriage is the law of the land in America?

Now you cannot discriminate is the law of the land in America, you cannot discriminate against somebody in the work place if they're gay or transgender. What is the practical today and tomorrow?

VLADECK: I mean John if anything, I think we might see as larger practical impact as the gay marriage rule in 2015 because it's not just that now you can see more law suits going forward. Is that John, every single employer, at least every single large employer in the country is now going to have to revise their policies.

Is now going to have the make sure that when they're taking adverse employment actions they're not doing so for these new prohibitive reasons and I think that's going to have John a profound effect not just in the workplace, but a spill over into other areas where we are increasingly seeing this kind of evolution of understandings of anti- discrimination jump from the workplace to you know, the grocery store, to the you know, to the neighborhood out into our schools.

And so I think the real significance to today's decision is not just for all of the employees who tomorrow will be protected by one of the most important civil rights statutes we have, but for the millions of Americans who identify as gay, lesbian, transgender, who now can actually start to make other claims that they're entitled to equal protection of the laws just the same way as men and women are protected against discrimination based on their sex.

KING: Steve Vladeck and Joan Biskupic very much appreciate your insights on this very important day for the court. Thanks so much. Up next for us, a major announcement from the FDA on that controversial Coronavirus treatment the President likes to promote, Hydroxychloroquine.

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[12:25:00]

KING: This breaking news just in the FDA now ending the emergency use authorization of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. Those are the drugs of course that President Trump repeatedly called game changers in the treatment of Coronavirus. CNN's Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is with us now. Elizabeth why the big about face?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, because they realized what other people realized from the very beginning, which is that this drug does not work against COVID-19. Everybody else it seems knew that before the FDA did.

Let's take a look at the calendar of what happened here. Back in March, the FDA gave this emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine for COVID. In April, just one month later, the NIH and FDA itself said we're going to warn against using this. In May, there were two major studies published in very prestigious journal saying that it was ineffective, it didn't work and in fact one of those studies found that it increased the risk of cardiac arrest by more than twice.

And then in June, today, that authorization was revoked. Now the FDA has come out since and said hey, when we authorized it, it was based on the evidence that was available at the time. But I will tell you, John I have spoke to the leading researchers on hydroxychloroquine in COVID and they said back then, and now, there's no evidence that it ever worked. This was just something that Trump wanted to tout. There was never really any evidence that this worked. John.

KING: Never really any evidence that this worked. But it was a game changer. Elizabeth Cohen, thank you so much for your insights there. Up next for us, the Harris County Director of Public Health joins us as the county starts a new threat level system.

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