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White Police Officer Kills Black Man in Atlanta, Georgia; Interview with George Floyd's Brother Philonise Floyd on Continuing Protests in Wake of Brother's Death at Hands of Police; White Police Officers Caught on Tape Arresting Black Teenager for Jaywalking. Aired 8-8:30a ET
Aired June 15, 2020 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: White police officer, this on in Atlanta. An autopsy shows Rayshard Brooks was shot twice in the back after a struggle with the police officer during which Brooks grabbed the officer's taser. The police officer was quickly fired by the department. The district attorney is now considering murder charges. He tells CNN the officer's first remarks after shooting brooks were, quote, "I got him."
Just moments from now, we will be speaking with George Floyd's brother, we'll get his reaction to this latest incident as well as everything over the past three weeks.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Also this morning, sadly, the outbreak's still here, and there is growing concern about new cases of coronavirus, cases rising in 18 states. Florida reporting a record high number of new cases for the third day in a row. New York just reported its lowest daily death toll, but the governor is threatening to roll back the state's reopening after complaints about people not socially distancing, not wearing masks in public. Have a look at this scene there in New York.
CAMEROTA: Back to our top story now. So joining us is Philonise Floyd, he's the brother of George Floyd, as well as Benjamin Crump, the Floyd family attorney. Nice to see both of you this morning. Philonise, I just want to start with how you're doing, how your family is doing since your brother's funeral. I know that sometimes things can get actually even harder for the family after the funeral. So how are you?
PHILONISE FLOYD, BROTHER OF GEORGE FLOYD: As of now, we are all just sticking together, just loving on each other, and just trying to stay a family and intact, because everybody's having hard times right now because you constantly see that video everywhere, and people talk about it so much, and you think about your brother, or your cousin, or your uncle constantly.
CAMEROTA: Yes, I can understand that. Are you surprised by what has happened in this country over the past three weeks? this weekend, there were still active, big protests in many cities about your brother. FLOYD: Well, he was a loved person by a lot of people, but everything
that's going on, people are just tired. Enough is enough. You constantly see people dying every day, black people dying. We just want equal justice. We want the same justice as white America and black America. We all need to come together and be united as one.
CAMEROTA: I think that your words have really resonated with so many people. I know when you spoke in front of the House Judiciary Committee you sent a message so many people felt was really passionate and poignant.
And so when you see what happened this weekend, the case of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, do you see that in the same vain as what happened to your brother, or do you see that in a different category?
FLOYD: To me, it's basically they just two different cases. My prayers go out to the family, because I know how hard it is to lose someone close. But it's just two different cases, like apples and oranges.
CAMEROTA: Mr. Crump, what about you? Legally speaking, as a lawyer, do you see this in the same vein? Should we see this all in the same vein as what happened to George Floyd?
BENJAMIN CRUMP, FLOYD FAMILY ATTORNEY: I think each case is different, Alisyn. Breonna Taylor is different. Rayshard Brooks is different from George Floyd. But each of them involved an unnecessary death of a black person in America. And I feel terrible, because when we testified before the United States Congress, I said to them, if we don't have a change in culture and behavior in policing in America, I predict -- and this was last Wednesday -- that there will be another killing of a black person in America and another hashtag, but that was on Wednesday. It was only two days later, and then you have Rayshard Brooks killed in Atlanta.
CAMEROTA: And Mr. Crump, from your vast experience, unfortunately, with so many of these cases, do you think that both of those police officers, from what you've seen in the body cam video, do you think they'll be charged with crimes?
CRUMP: It's hard to predict because we haven't heard the audio of what was said by police officers. We only heard different accounts. What I will say is this -- we in black America have seen white suspects of DUI handled much differently. Normally these minor interactions with police with white people end up as just that, a minor interaction. But with black people in America, somehow they end up being fatal.
And that is what's troubling to us, because, as Philonise said, we can't have two justice systems in America, one for black America and one for white America. We do have to have equal justice for the United States of America, and this means policing, too, because for many black Americans, that's when the justice system first presents itself to our community. CAMEROTA: Philonise, as I said, so many people watched your testimony
in front of the House Judiciary Committee. Did you feel -- tell us what happened sort of behind the scenes. Did you feel that lawmakers were really listening? Did they tell you that they were going to take some specific action?
FLOYD: Well, I think the world was listening. When I was in there, I just was speaking from the heart, and just letting them know how I felt about everything when it comes to policing, and they need to get their jobs right. It hurt me to lose my brother, but I don't want to see that happen to anybody else around the world. If they get their jobs right the first time, they'll never have to worry about it the second time.
CAMEROTA: You have been such a strong advocate and voice for unity. That's the one thing that you keep, even in your pain and your family's grief, you have talked about just wanting people to be able to come together and work together and live together. But is there one thing on the policing front, say, that you think could make a big difference, Philonise? Is there one thing you'd like to see them take up next week?
FLOYD: Just make sure they wear their bodycams all the time. Everybody needs to know what's going on. I don't want to see nothing hidden, no hidden agendas, you pop up and see different things. Everybody needs to know what's going on at all times, because if you don't have it on, obviously you must be doing something wrong.
CAMEROTA: You want transparency, and I think that that is an urgent call that a lot of people want.
Mr. Crump, seven Minneapolis police officers have resigned since George Floyd's death, and the latest reporting that we have is that more than half a dozen are in the process of leaving, according to department officials. Do you know what that's about?
CRUMP: Well, what we understand, Alisyn, is people understand that it wasn't just the knee of Derek Chauvin, the officer that killed George Floyd. It was the knee of the entire Minneapolis Police Department that killed George Floyd. It was systemic in that police department, and maybe these officers are responding that they feel there should be better policies and procedures not only to protect the public, but also to protect them.
CAMEROTA: So you think it's a protest vote of some kind? It's just hard to know if, who they're angry at, why they're resigning?
CRUMP: Well, when you look at the history of that department, you see officers may have been trained improperly. Obviously, there were four officers on the scene, but eight minutes and 46 seconds that watched George Floyd say "I can't breathe" 16 times and beg for breath, and none of them did anything. And so maybe they're protesting saying we need better training in Minneapolis police department, because you all are jeopardizing us to prison and jeopardizing innocent citizens to death, and so we have to have better, Minneapolis. CAMEROTA: Philonise, I don't know if you've seen a preview of the
upcoming cover of the "New Yorker" magazine. But if not, let me describe it to you. It's on our screen right now. It is the full cover basically of your brother. It's your brother, George's face and head, and then there's kind of a collage of different faces, black faces, people who have been killed after police interactions that make up his body. And I'm just -- it's really a stirring image. And I'm wondering what you think of that, and what you think your brother would think of it.
FLOYD: If my brother knew that he could change the world with passion like this, I think he would have did it. But it's just, it's difficult to just look at him and also see all those people who passed away before him and people after him, too. It's just, it's devastating just thinking about it. Right now, I just want right now justice for my brother, and after that, I feel we'll be one step closer to the world being together all over again, because everybody wants justice right now.
CAMEROTA: And I know I've asked you this before, but today, what does justice mean for you?
FLOYD: Just as of today is all those officers being convicted, and that's one step closer, because justice lasts forever when in any state, at any time everybody, needs to be on point. We need all police to do their job the right way, and that's justice for me. I don't want to see innocent people dying, none of that.
CAMEROTA: Philonise Floyd, Benjamin Crump, we really appreciate having your voices on NEW DAY. Thank you very much.
CRUMP: Thank you, Alisyn.
SCIUTTO: Developing this morning, there is new video of a violent arrest of two black teenagers in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Officers say those teenagers were jaywalking, though the road had no sidewalks. CNN's Abby Philip live in Tulsa with more. Tell us the circumstances leading up to this. And also, you got to show the video of how these teenagers were treated by police.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. We spent some time yesterday in that north Tulsa neighborhood to see for ourselves where this incident happened that has roiled the city again. It is a residential neighborhood, and the attorney for these two boys say they were walking from a bus stop nearby on a main road into neighborhood. And as they were walking, they began being followed by police. And then this bystander video captures some of what happened next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, don't tell me. He ain't doing nothing. (END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: Now, we spoke to that witness, Donna Corbitt, who said that she lives in that neighborhood. She saw this all unfolding in her neighborhood. And she was shocked by what she saw. She said she routinely walks in that very same place because there is no sidewalk, and often the grass is high and hard to walk through. The Tulsa Police Department says that they are still investigating this, but this unit that stopped these boys are part of some -- part of a police unit that proactively stops folks. We also spoke to one of the parents of the boys, the mom of one of the boys, 13-year-old who you can see being kicked in that video. And here is what she had to say in reaction to all of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAWANNA ADKINS, MOTHER OF 13-YEAR-OLD ARRESTED FOR JAYWALKING: It could have turned a lot worse. He could have been dead, or worse. That was the first thing that went through my mind that they could have killed my son.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: We also have received police dashcam video of this incident in which you can see the police officer struggling to get that 13- year-old into the car, trying to search his pockets, but it is a struggle. But as you can see, there was quite a bit of force used, so much so that many bystanders were really stunned by what they saw there, and this video is creating some huge tensions here in Tulsa just a few days ahead of the president's visit here.
SCIUTTO: Yes. You see his head, the teenager's head hit the pavement there, just remarkable to watch. Abby Phillip, good to have you on the story.
President Trump still plans to have his rally in Tulsa this weekend, this despite concerns about spreading coronavirus in a packed indoor arena. More on the one change he did make and the one he might want to consider, that's next.
SCIUTTO: Welcome back. President Trump's first campaign rally after the pandemic was supposed to take place in Tulsa, Oklahoma this Friday, it has now been moved one day to Saturday after widespread criticism that it fell on what's known as Juneteenth. That's a holiday marking the emancipation of slaves.
The President's rally is raising concerns as well from health officials over this: packing thousands of people in an indoor arena as the outbreak continues.
Abby Phillip is back with us. Also joining us is David Frum, he is staff writer at "The Atlantic," also author of a book "Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy."
David Frum, if I could begin with you.
DAVID FRUM, STAFF WRITER, "THE ATLANTIC": Yes.
SCIUTTO: Tell us your view, and you had a great analysis of this in a thread on Twitter. Explain your view of the President's rally here, changing it one day, but also, frankly, continuing it, despite the fact that there will be a genuine health risk to everybody who walks into that arena.
FRUM: Well, the rally as originally scheduled was another provocation by the President, and there's part of him that wants to respond to the wave of protests sweeping the country by provoking, by calling for law and order, by denouncing peaceful protesters, by launching teargas and then lying about it.
But there's also a part of the President that is recognizing the reality of his ebbing political strength and personal strength as well. We all saw signs of physical decline at West Point.
So, he is taking a step forward and a step back. And since the first of June, we've seen a series of these of these retreats under pressure by a President who hates to show any kind of concession to others because he regards that as weakness.
The Mayor of Tulsa has warned that he is not sure the city can handle the wave of protests that are expected. Now, some Tulsa health officials are issuing warnings, and the President has backed away. And that's a sign of more things to come probably.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Abby, do we have reporting on if the President realized it was Juneteenth? I mean, that doesn't -- I'm not sure that that's something that is necessarily his specialty.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I do think that there are some conflicting reports here, especially over the weekend when we heard from a couple of Republican senators. We heard from Tim Scott of South Carolina. We heard from James Lankford from here in Oklahoma, and we heard from Ben Carson, a member of the President's Cabinet, and some of those officials seem to indicate that the President had to be told about the significance of Juneteenth. About the significance of bringing the rally here to Tulsa, where in 1921, a white mob killed hundreds of black residents in a bloody massacre.
PHILLIP: But, you know, James Lankford said that once the President was aware of the significance, he decided to move the rally. We heard Ben Carson say that he was surprised to learn how much the President knew about this instance.
So, we don't quite know where this is all heading. I think it's clear, though, that they were unprepared for the blowback and it has been significant. We are expecting at the end of this week, that there will be significant counter protests here in Tulsa. Some residents here particularly black residents are incensed by the President deciding to come here.
They are not -- it is not being alleviated by the fact that he has moved it a day, and now just this morning to Tulsa, the newspaper here has an editorial. I'm going to hold it up. It's right here. It says, "Wrong place wrong time," basically arguing to the President don't bring this rally here for all of the reasons we just discussed, but also because it is viewed as incredibly divisive for the city that has had a long, long history, decades of these kinds of tensions that are now coming back to the surface.
SCIUTTO: David Frum --
FRUM: To build on Abby's point -- to build on Abby's point. There's something remarkable about this. If you had a generic American President right now, just pick a name out of a hat, it might make a lot of sense at the end of two weeks of these -- or three weeks now -- these civil commotions and disturbances and protests to say, you know, the time has come for the President to make a statement when better than on the 19th of June? Where better than Tulsa, the center of one of the most terrible pogroms, anti-black in American history?
Donald Trump by stepping back is acknowledging, you know, all of those critics who say that what I intend to do is to go and provoke, not heal, they are right. That actually is what I intend to provoke. That is what I intend to do.
SCIUTTO: Yes, in fact, CNN is reporting that its advice -- it is his political thinking that he believes this is in his to his political advantage.
David Frum, I want to get to the electoral politics of this because you mentioned this weekend that this time quoting you here, "Trump's own people must be telling him that his divide and win tactics have bumped into hostile electoral math."
I mean, we've seen this in a number of CNN polling and elsewhere. We've seen it in some of Trumps blow ups at his own staff, seeking to blame his campaign manager or Jared Kushner for failing political fortunes here. How serious is that?
Because we've seen other points in Trump's presidency when his popularity has flagged, but then returned. Do you believe this is different?
FRUM: Well, let us say that when the President's popularity has flagged and returned, it has always remained but in a minority status. When the President speaks of silent majority, the silent majority of this country except for a couple of days, the very beginning of his presidency, the silent majority of his country has been firmly and determinately and unchanging, the anti-Trump.
President Trump speaks for a noisy and aggrieved minority, never a silent majority, and that has become more intense over the past few days because the striking thing about these protests is at the beginning, there was violence, at the beginning there was looting.
As they have proceeded, and I've witnessed this. I've watched -- I've watched the marches here in Washington, as they proceeded, they've become bigger. They've become more peaceful. They've become more orderly. They've become happier, and they've become both more multiracial and more multigenerational.
And what you're seeing is a kind of national change of consciousness. We had this I think, earlier in the Trump presidency with the #MeToo Movement and now the Black Lives Matter Movement -- it's not a black movement anymore. It is a truly national one that has enlisted the sympathies of the great majority of Americans.
CAMEROTA: David Frum, Abby Phillip, thank you.
PHILLIP: Can I just say --
CAMEROTA: Yes, 10 seconds, Abby.
PHILLIP: The President this weekend made a really interesting retweet. He retweeted Michael Moore, a liberal saying that the anger of white man is what he -- what President Trump is speaking to. The President retweeted and seemed to endorse that and I think it's telling considering the diversity of the protests that the President believes his base are those -- are angry white men who are dissatisfied with the changing norms and cultural changes happening in this country right now.
CAMEROTA: That was worth 10 seconds, Abby. Thank you very much. David Frum, thank you as well.
So, new questions about President Trump's health because of this video that we saw over the weekend. What's going on there? That's next.
CAMEROTA: There are some questions this morning about President Trump's health, and it's because of this video of the President where you see him walking very haltingly, one leg at a time -- it starts happening here -- down a ramp, and this is after he gave a commencement speech at West Point.
So joining us now with what he sees is CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and with what she knows CNN political analysts Maggie Haberman, she's a White House correspondent at "The New York Times." Great to see both of you.
Sanjay, President Trump is not known for being athletic. So, maybe he just has a hard time going down a gently sloping ramp. But do you see something, possibly neurological that could be throwing off his balance? DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT It's just -- it's so hard to say by looking at a video and I think that's the bottom line answer. I talked to a bunch of neurologists over the weekend. Other people talking about this. People will always have something to say and weigh in on this.
But I'll start with the end which is that there's a lot of clues in there, but no conclusions. Is it balance problems? Is there some weakness there? Is there numbness in the feet, perhaps a type of neuropathy?
Is it just a slippery ramp as the President said or slippery shoes? We don't know.