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Racial Tensions Again After Police Killing Of Rayshard Brooks; South Korea Responds To North Korea Military Retaliation Threat; Crippled Post Office Could Throw Wrench Into November Election. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 15, 2020 - 05:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And this morning, more outrage across the country after a white police officer killed a black man in Atlanta. The shooting of Rayshard Brooks prompting more calls now for rethinking how police use deadly force now three weeks after a police officer in Minneapolis killed George Floyd.

Now, an autopsy reveals Brooks was shot twice in the back moments after a struggle over a Taser. Brooks' cause of death listed as a homicide.

His wife speaking out for the first time.


TOMIKA MILLER, WHITE OF RAYSHARD BROOKS: I want them to go to jail. I want them to deal with the same thing as if it was my husband who killed someone else.

If it was my husband who shot them, he would be in jail. He would be doing a life sentence. They need to be put away.


LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Now, the situation all started calmly enough -- one officer walking up to Brooks' car where he was sleeping at a Wendy's drive-thru.


POLICE OFFICER: Hey -- hey, man, you're parked in the middle of the drive-thru line here.


JARRETT: Now, Brooks eventually wakes up and moves his car, but when the second officer arrives things take a turn. Garrett Rolfe eventually administers a breathalyzer to Brooks. Minutes later, the officer tell Brooks -- tells Brooks he had too much to drink. He tries to handcuff him, Brooks resists and tries to turn and run.


POLICE OFFICER 1: Stop fighting, stop fighting. You're going to get tased. You're going to get tased.

POLICE OFFICER 2: Stop, stop.

POLICE OFFICER 1: You're going to get tased.


POLICE OFFICER 1: Hands off the (bleep) Taser. Hands off the Taser. Hands off the Taser.


ROMANS: This was captured by a driver nearby. You can see Brooks pulling the Taser away from the first officer who arrived. This ends with Officer Rolfe chasing Brooks on foot. Brooks then appears to point the Taser back at the officer who fires three times, killing Brooks.

Let's go live to Atlanta and bring in CNN's Dianne Gallagher -- Dianne.

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and look, the officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks here at this Wendy's right behind me was fired about 24 hours after the incident itself. The other officer you saw on the video there has been placed on administrative duty. And the chief of police in Atlanta has stepped aside from her position, saying that she wants the city to be able to move forward and bridge that gap and trust that exists here.

Now, the district attorney is also looking at potentially what charges could be brought against those officers right now. His office says there's still information that they need but we could be looking at them as soon as Wednesday. Take a listen.


PAUL HOWARD (D), DISTRICT ATTORNEY, FULTON COUNTY GEORIGA: Sometime around Wednesday, we will be making a decision in this case. What we are trying to determine is at that time whether or not the officers felt their lives were in danger -- and specifically, Officer Rolfe. If that shot was fired for some reason other than to save that officer's life or to prevent injury to him or others, then that shooting is not justified under the law.


GALLAGHER: Now, the district attorney told CNN on Sunday that the fact that that incident we saw on video there would escalate to Rayshard Brooks' death seemed unreasonable. But again, there's still information, including witness interviews and ballistics information that needs to come back.

Protests have continued in Atlanta but they were much different last night, especially over here by this Wendy's, then they were on Saturday night when the restaurant was burned down and protesters went across the interstate, shutting it down.

There are additional protests that are planned today, Christine and Laura, including peaceful protests with the NAACP and several churches around Atlanta that are demanding change in the police and in just structural racism here in this city.

ROMANS: All right, Dianne, thank you so much. Bring us any new information when you get it. Thank you, Dianne Gallagher, in Atlanta -- Laura.

JARRETT: All right. Protests against racial injustice continued this weekend around the world. There was some violence, including in London where one powerful image has gone viral.

CNN's Salma Abdelaziz spoke with a black man who carried a white man to safety.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Is this you in the photograph?


ABDELAZIZ: Can you describe to me what's happening in this picture?

HUTCHINSON: My friends and I sort of put a cordon around this man. He was on the -- on the stairs lying in the fetal position with -- you know, anything was about to happen to him. The first time I saw him was when I sort of climbed underneath him to go and pick him up.

ABDELAZIZ: And you could have looked at this man and thought he is my enemy. Why did you choose to help him?


HUTCHINSON: There was a particular thought that I had that you have to show some sort of love for your fellow man, OK, regardless. Because I will say that if the other three officers that were present when George Floyd was unfortunately murdered -- if they -- just one of them had stepped in and stopped their fellow officer from doing what he did he'd be alive today.

ABDELAZIZ: And you put him on your shoulder, you carried him over to the police. Then what happens?

HUTCHINSON: I'm carrying him. My friends are surrounding me, protecting myself and the man on my shoulder. He was still sort of getting -- receiving blows. You could still feel people trying to hit him.

I carried him over to the police and I said here you are. And one of the police officers said thank you, you did a good thing -- good thing there, man. ABDELAZIZ: What do you want people to take away when they look at that picture?

HUTCHINSON: I think hopefully, they'll take away breaking down the race barriers and realize and see that we're all one people, that we're all one race.


ROMANS: Wow, that's a great story.

All right. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow says those enhance unemployment benefits need to end soon, calling the extra $600 a week a disincentive.


LARRY KUDLOW, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER: We're paying people not to work. It's better than their salaries would get. And that might have worked for the first couple of months. It'll end in late July.


ROMANS: Congress gave that boost to unemployment checks in April, a response to the U.S. shutting jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic. Democrats want to extend that funding but Kudlow wants to give Americans a bonus, instead, for returning to work.

Kudlow also backs the Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin's decision not to name companies benefitting from the Paycheck Protection Program, a $600 billion lending program for small businesses.


KUDLOW: Insofar as naming each and every company, I don't think that promise was ever made and I don't think it's necessary.


ROMANS: There's a lot of concern that there's just no transparency there. Mnuchin told Congress names of the businesses are propriety information. The program has been criticized for awarding loans to big, publicly traded companies.

No transparency at all. That will be a black box -- the $600 billion there.

JARRETT: Yes, that's a big issue there.

Well, still ahead, voting by mail could be the only way for millions to cast a ballot in November. But what if the post office doesn't have the resources to deliver the ballots?


[05:42:04] JARRETT: South Korea's president responding overnight after the sister of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un threatened military action. The cause of all the drama, leaflets.

CNN's Kristi Lu Stout is live in Hong Kong. Kristi, it seems like tensions are really running high on the Korean Peninsula.

KRISTI LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, tensions are growing between North and South Korea over the actions of North Korean defectors. And we heard this new warning delivered by North Korea over the weekend targeting South Korea with the sister of Kim Jong Un calling South Korea, quote, "the enemy" and saying decisively new action could be taken, but she didn't specify what action that could be.

Now, this comes even after South Korea took legal action against these North Korean defectors who have been sending anti-North Korean propaganda, anti-North Korean leaflets by balloon across the border. They've also been sending food and rice via bottle, by sea, across the border.

This is infuriating North Korea and they have retaliated. They have cut off all the inter-Korean communication lines. They're also threatening to shut down the liaison office in Kaesong, North Korea.

Now, today is a momentous anniversary. Today is the 20th anniversary of the first inter-Korean summit, which pledged dialogue and cooperation. And yet, 20 years on, North and South are not talking to each other.

We did hear from the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, earlier today. You could tell he's trying to calm the situation down. He is emphasizing a message of peace.

He said this. Quote, "On this anniversary, the promise of peace cannot be reversed." But when you have North Korea calling South Korea the enemy, it appears that Pyongyang is spoiling for a fight.

Back to you, Laura.

JARRETT: Kristi Lu Stout, thank you so much.

ROMANS: All right.

Back here, the success of November's election could hinge on voting by mail. But what if the postal service doesn't have the funding to make it work?

CNN's Jessica Dean has more for us.


JESSICA DEAN, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As our nation faces historic crises, another potential one looms. The United States Postal Service recently told Congress it will be out of money by September if it does not receive $75 billion in emergency funding. This, as millions of Americans are expected to use mail-in ballots to

cast their votes in November's elections.

MARK DIMONDSTEIN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN POSTAL WORKERS UNION: If the funding doesn't come through, everything we do, including vote-by- mail, will be much harder --

DEAN (voice-over): Mark Dimondstein is the president of the American Postal Workers Union. He says underfunding the U.S. Postal Service could affect access to vote-by-mail.

Democratic voting rights attorney Marc Elias says that could significantly impact elections.

MARC ELIAS, DEMOCRATIC VOTING RIGHTS ATTORNEY: There are a lot of alarm bells right now but this is a -- but this is a critical one because the fact is if we can't have reliable mail service then we're not going to have reliable democracy in the fall.


DEAN (voice-over): But it's not just Democrats who are concerned about USPS funding. Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, a Republican, runs the state's elections, which are entirely vote-by- mail.

KIM WYMAN, SECRETARY OF STATE (R-WASHINGTON STATE): The postal service is the lynchpin to all of this working in November. We have states that see two percent of their ballots cast by absentee ballot in a regular election and they're going to see an increase anywhere from 25 -- to 25 percent to 60 or 70 percent of their ballots returned by mail. It is essential that the post office is able to deal with that increased volume.

DEAN (voice-over): Elias agrees an underfunded postal service could become a chokehold on the ability to process mail-in ballots.

ELIAS: We're on a collision course in the fall because the president is forcing us into a collision course. So it's important to keep in mind that the postal service should be funded and it should not be politicized.

DEAN (voice-over): President Trump, who has himself voted by mail during his time in the White House, has taken aim at the practice, citing a number of unsupported conspiracy theories in recent months -- including tweeting, without evidence, mail-in voting has, quote, "tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn't work out well for Republicans."

Trump has often chastised the postal service. His administration blocked additional funding for the postal service in the Cares Act, instead offering $10 billion in loans -- but demanded reforms as a condition. The president threatened to withhold any necessary funding if the USPS does not meet his demands to increase its prices.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If they don't raise the price, I'm not signing anything.

DEAN (voice-over): Meantime, as the USPS faces a dire financial future, its Board of Governors is now filled entirely with Trump allies. All of its members are Trump appointees.

Today, Louis DeJoy, a former Republican fundraiser and Trump supporter, will become the new Postmaster General.

DIMONDSTEIN: The Postal Board of Governors has tremendous influence in terms of the speed of the mail, the service, keeping post offices open.

DEAN (voice-over): Dimondstein says the union is hopeful the new leadership will strengthen the postal service and not try to hamper or privatize it -- but says ultimately, time will tell.

DIMONDSTEIN: For the people of this country it's not a political partisan issue and we should not allow Washington to allow it to become one.


ROMANS: All right, Jessica Dean. Thank you so much for that.

We'll be right back.



JARRETT: The Tulsa arena where President Trump will hold his first campaign rally in months has canceled or postponed all of their events through July because of coronavirus concerns. Some have been pushed back more than a year.

Tulsa's health director says he wishes the rally would be postponed because of a significant spike in Covid-19 cases -- a more than 50 percent jump over the previous week.

Eight hundred thousand people are now trying to secure one of about 20,000 seats there. The rally, originally scheduled for June 19th, has now been moved a day later after strong pushback over holding the rally on Juneteenth, the day marking the end of slavery in the U.S.

And more than 40,000 pounds of ground beef products are now being recalled because of possible E. coli contamination. The items were produced on June first and sold under the names Marketside Butcher and Thomas Farms at locations nationwide, including Walmart. No reports, so far, of any illness.

ROMANS: All right, to markets now.

U.S. stock index futures and global stock markets are falling overnight on fears of a surge in coronavirus cases. The Dow was off its lows there but still looking like a two percent decline if this mood holds. Wall Street has seemed disconnected from the struggling U.S. economy

but last week stocks finally had their worst drop since March, following warnings about a second wave of the virus. A new surge could be devastating for the U.S. economy and likely require more economic stimulus. The U.S. government has already injected $3 trillion in aid.

For now, America, though, is still reopening and that means gas prices are rising from historic lows. The national average is up for the sixth week in a row -- $2.10 a gallon. That's 36 cents higher than the low in April.

The pandemic hit oil prices as the -- as the pandemic hit, oil prices dropped. And stay-at-home orders kept Americans off the road, but that appears to be reversing here.

"The Wall Street Journal" reports two states are investigating Amazon's business practices. California and Washington are looking into how Amazon treats its online sellers. The probe includes how Amazon sells its own products in competition with third-party sellers.

The company already faces antitrust scrutiny around the world. Amazon declined to comment on these possible investigations.

CVS and Walgreens will no longer keep black beauty products in security cases in their stores.

This follows a similar decision by Walmart last week. The nation's largest retailer announced its new policy after a video from a black woman in Colorado went viral. The video showed only multicultural hair products locked up in plastic cases.

JARRETT: Well, a Kentucky tattoo parlor is offering free services to anyone who wants to cover up symbols of hate. The artists at the Gallery X Art Collection in Murray, Kentucky say it's their way of showing solidarity and support for the Black Lives Matter movement during protests against police brutality and racial injustice. The shop has already had more than two dozen requests for free cover-ups.

It's interesting when you listen to their story -- CNN did some interviews --


JARRETT: -- it's just fascinating. Some saying they wanted to cover up because they didn't want their kids to see what they had tattooed.

ROMANS: Wow, what a -- what a stroke of generosity for that tattoo parlor, no question.

All right, 54 minutes past the hour. Thanks for joining us this Monday morning. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: I'm Laura Jarrett. "NEW DAY" is next.




MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D), ATLANTA: This was a guy that you were rooting for. Watching it, you're going just let him go. Let him call somebody to pick him up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was shot twice in the back, which is very problematic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see a police officer that's still being so insensitive to the life of a young African-American man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They burnt this one specifically because of what happened here. Making sure that there is justice served for the person that died over here at this Wendy's.

STACEY ABRAMS (D), FORMER MEMBER, GEORGIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: There's a legitimacy to this anger. There's a legitimacy to this outrage. A man was murdered because he was asleep in a drive-thru.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Monday, June 15th, 6:00.