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Vigilante Group Suspected Of Instigating Violence At Protest; More U.S. Police Officers Resigning Over Lack Of Support, Morale; Rapper, Jeezy, Discusses Police Killings Of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd & Top Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow Saying Systemic Racism Doesn't Exist, Blaming Obama. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired June 16, 2020 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: What, Josh, is permissible when you're talking about vigilante group members, not only being kitted out like they are SWAT or military, but then really physically inserting themselves in the middle of what we saw going on in Albuquerque?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: We have seen across the country different incidents where protests and people would show up in tactical gear.
Certain states that allow open carry. Think about the images we saw at the Michigan state capital where you had people openly carrying weapons at the capitol with fully tactical uniform. That wasn't against the law.
But for the question is for law enforcement, when these people then make that leap and actually start trying to take the law into their own hands, certainly try to instigate violence, that is then a crime. And it's incumbent upon police officers to try to stop that.
But you see a lot of incidents where you do have people that want to show up, and it's important to state that this is also their First Amendment right to counter-protest. Regardless of what they are wearing, as long as they are acting within the bounds of the law, that is not illegal.
What makes the incident in New Mexico so critical for law enforcement is that you saw that act of violence. A shot rang out in that crowd.
And now investigators continue to work to try to determine was this some type of vigilante group that, again, was trying to take the law in their own hands to try to stop this protest, which is also illegal.
A lot of important work for the police there in New Mexico -- Brianna?
KEILAR: Then just, real quick, when you watch the video, the vigilantes surround this man. He is dressed in civilian clothes. And it appears from the video that he had like a handgun tucked into his stretchy shorts basically, right?
CAMPBELL: That is right. The videos are so key. And we have seen this in the violent riots since the death of George Floyd that have happened across the country, these violent incidents.
What we have learned in talking with our law enforcement sources, is it was their goal to go back and try to gather as much video as they could to look on Facebook.
We know that, here in Minneapolis, there was a suspect that was arrested because authorities were able to look at social media and videos that were posted in order to try to connect the dots and try to put people in certain locations.
A lot of video from that incident and law enforcement officers are going through that.
Again, this request coming from elected officials for a further investigation from the U.S. Justice Department. We expect, if the FBI and other entities look at it, that will be a key piece of evidence.
Also important to point out that there's no so-called domestic terrorism law in the United States. So there has to be some other violation of the law for the federal government to get involved. Were these people coming in from out of state? That would be a federal violation if they were engaged in violence.
Right now, this looks -- appears to be located there in New Mexico --
CAMPBELL: -- not an indication that this would be a role for the federal government. But that is something, obviously, that they are being called upon by state officials to look into -- Brianna?
KEILAR: Josh, thank you so much.
Hear why more officers are resigning from police departments across America.
Plus, quote, "You can call me, a snitch." We are now hearing what the dispatcher said in the George Floyd case before he died. A dispatcher who could see what officers were doing on video.
And as the vice president tells governors to use a misleading claim about the pandemic, we are learning when the president last spoke with Dr. Anthony Fauci.
KEILAR: The killings of George Floyd and now Rayshard Brooks have prompted intense scrutiny of policing. And now we are seeing a growing number of resignations in police departments across the country.
In Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed, seven police officers have now quit the force. Authorities say more than half a dozen other officers are in the process of leaving for unknown reasons. In Buffalo, New York, two policemen were suspended after shoving an
elderly protester and walking past him, 57 officers have resigned from the emergency response team. That man ended up in the hospital for some time, we should mention.
In south Florida, after the police chief and other officials took a knee with protesters, the entire Hollandale Beach SWAT team quit the unit, 10 officers in all, saying they felt minimally equipped, under trained and restrained by politics. Also because their chief kneeled with protesters.
And now, in Atlanta, the epicenter of protests after 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was shot in the back and killed Friday night after he fired a taser at police in what started as -- appeared to be a sobriety check.
The city's police chief has stepped down. The officer who killed Brooks was fired and the second officer was put on administrative duty. Atlanta P.D. says eight officers have resigned from that department this month.
I'm joined by rapper, Jeezy, who helped lead a rally for criminal justice reform yesterday in Atlanta.
Thank you so much for being with us.
JEEZY, RAPPER: Thank you for having me.
KEILAR: So what do you think -- you've, obviously, been talking to so many people as you've been organizing. What do you think? What have you heard what should happen to the officers involved in the killing of Rayshard Brooks?
JEEZY: I think the fact that they have been fired is a clear sign that our mayor won't tolerate that.
I think them stepping down is a clear sign that some line has been crossed when it comes to the community. You have to have the trust of the community that you protect and serve. And I think those lines are being blurred. I really do.
I think we, as civilians, you know, we are concerned. You know? We are fearful and we shouldn't be.
KEILAR: What is your reaction you hear all of these resignations from police departments across the country. What is your reaction to that?
JEEZY: I think it's a few things. I think one, foremost, is, you know, most of them don't think that they are cold is being honored, meaning they took a job and took an oath to protect and serve. And that is not happening. And they are having problems with the people that protect and serve.
You know, a few might just feel like therapist being represented well by their brothers and officers by committing these crimes and getting away with it.
And, you know, you might have some that just feel like, you know, that they are not being able to do their jobs the way they want to do their jobs, how they have been doing their jobs since the beginning, you know, by excessive force.
You know, stereotyping people and pulling people over because of the color their skin or the way their hair is or what neighborhood that they find them in. There's a number of things.
You know, we can't just single out one thing for the reason. But I definitely think that movement is happening. We are all starting to realize that.
KEILAR: Jeezy, there's an African-American sheriff from Burke County, who is going to be joining us later in the program. And he says that, based on the video that he has seen of the shooting of Rayshard Brooks, the fatal shooting in Atlanta, he says that it was justified. And he says this is different from George Floyd.
He says -- and Ahmaud Arbery -- that Brooks stole a weapon from the police officer and fired it at police and making it, quote, "completely justified." What is your response to that opinion?
JEEZY: I never been tased before because I haven't been in that position. But I'm assuming that those taser guns only fire once, I would assume. I could be wrong. So there would be no threat there.
As far as the resistance part, you know, I totally can see. But nobody should be killed -- I don't know that -- that that goes hand in hand.
If you're pulled over, maybe a say in the county, a night? A morning? You wake up and you going home and you get your ticket and have to deal with some things. I can't put those two things together. I just cannot.
KEILAR: Do you think this would have been different if Rayshard Brooks, the person they found in the drive-thru line at Wendy's, would be different if he was a white man?
JEEZY: I do. I absolutely do. I feel -- I wasn't there. So I just feel that there's tension between black men and white officers of the law.
Don't get me wrong. We don't have a problem with the police. We have a problem with the racist police, the racist judge, the racist D.A.
I just feel that that situation could have been handled -- I've seen videos online where that happened in the case with a white male and they give them several chances. Some of these people, they drive them home and give them rides home and make sure they are OK.
So I don't understand how a DUI can get somebody murdered cold blooded.
KEILAR: President Trump's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, is saying that systemic racism does not exist. He says that it's because of President Obama. Let's listen to some of what Larry Kudlow said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KUDLOW, TOP ECONOMIC ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Here is the thought. President Obama, the first black president, was elected twice. And he got 79 million white votes, 79 million in two elections. Now, therefore, I find it hard to understand something called systemic racism. Now, can changes be made? Absolutely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR; Jeezy, what do you say to that?
JEEZY: Clearly, he has been under a rock somewhere. I mean that with all respect.
Listen, when it comes to our housing, our health care, our criminal justice, our employment, all of these things, it's clear to see. You can have, you know, a person of color go to college and can't even get the same jobs.
You can have a person of color -- I've been to the bank several times and tried to get a loan for real estate ventures and had to have so many extra conversations about something that I know I'm good for.
It's been times when --
KEILAR: But tell us about that. When you go and you have to have conversations, what do you feel like someone is sort of coming with an impression of you? What conversation?
JEEZY: It's a stereotype. I've had loans and properties that I tried to buy and I had to go actually buy them through shell companies because they couldn't sell them to me personally.
I've had situations when I went into banks and I wanted to do business and I had to team up with other people to get it done because they clearly didn't want to do it with me, which is why I started dealing with Citizens Bank here in Atlanta, which is a black-owned back. They made it that much easier.
You have to understand, I mean, college and school, all those things are about relationships. When these people graduate, they have great relationships. They know people. Their parents are in better positions and how it works.
If you will look at the Walmart family, if you will look at all of these billion-dollar corporations, they started with family -- they started with family wealth. You know, we don't have that at our fingertips. And we are not crying victim. It's clearly set up that way. And we understand that we work even harder but it's harder to build our neighborhoods, build our community when the economic is all off for us.
KEILAR: As you bring up that, I've been thinking a lot lately about dignity. I watch the video of those two boys, 13 and 15, who were stopped by the police for jaywalking on a street that didn't have sidewalks. And one of them was clearly upset.
You can hear, you know, some people make an argument that this young man shouldn't have been kicking his feet at the police officer. On the other hand, someone would make an argument that this is someone who doesn't understand why they have been pulled over. They feel that it's ridiculous.
What does it do to the dignity of, say, a boy like this, 13 years old, for that to happen?
JEEZY: Well, clearly, the history of it. I've been harassed and treated unfairly because of the color of my skin, but I continue to go the route that I've been on and with success.
For somebody that young who doesn't understand what is going on, they clearly could be scared. They could be frustrated with the fact that they are not doing anything wrong from where they stand.
And it can clearly be a thing of what is going on in the world today. If you just turn it on to the Internet or to the news station, such as yourself, all you see is bad things and the police and men of color have been clashing. It's like, why not be upset.
If you're jaywalking -- I mean, just think about it. Rayshard Brooks lost his life to DUI. So what could jaywalking get you at this point?
Jeezy, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.
JEEZY: Thank you for having me.
KEILAR: We really appreciate the conversation.
We have breaking news now. We are learning about the arrest of a suspected member of an anti-government extremist group accused of murdering two police officers. The FBI says he was trying to hide among Black Lives Matter protesters. And that what's called a ghost gun was used.
KEILAR: We have some breaking news. A man already charged with the murder of a sheriff's deputy in Santa Cruz, California, has also been charged with the murder of another police officer. Steven Carrillo was initially arrested after a shootout with the
sheriff's department on June 6th. Authorities also believed he also killed Kilpatrick Underwood in a drive-by shooting outside of a federal courthouse in Oakland on May 29th.
We have CNN senior national correspondent, Kyung Lah, on this story.
Kyung, I know you got a lot of information from the attorney general about Carrillo's suspected ties to an anti-government extremist group. Tell us more about this.
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, first, Brianna, let's first explain what we're talking about here. Two separate shootings that law enforcement have now connected to Steven Carrillo as a gunman and an associate, someone who was working with Robert Justice.
These two men under custody for what the FBI said was to, quote, "kill cops." They are tied to this extremist group, per the complaint that was just unsealed by federal authorities.
The way they laid this out is, on May 29th, as the Black Lives Matter protests were taking place and law enforcement were trying to keep people safe during these protests, these two men were in communication, that they were not connected to these protests at all, but they were going to use it as a cover to scope out and kill law enforcement.
So on May 29th, they drove to the Oakland federal courthouse, the federal building. They staked out two law enforcement officers, who were outside the federal building. One of them was Pat Underwood. And then, in the drive-by shooting, murdered Underwood.
Then there was a call from the public -- asking for help from law enforcement to the public to look for the getaway vehicle. The vehicle that was used in the drive-by shooting, a van. The public then responded.
And law enforcement on June 6th was brought to Carrillo's house. It was there that also, then, attacked the sheriff's deputies who were responding, killing Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller.
How is this all connected and how are they connected to this extremist group? Here is what the U.S. attorney's office just said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID ANDERSON, U.S. ATTORNEY, NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA: On the ballistic vest was a patch. The patch could be described as follows. It had an American-style flag with stripes like an American flag. But with some notable differences.
One difference was that in the area where the stars appear on an American flag there was, instead, the picture of an igloo. One of the stripes on the American-style flag on the patch recovered from the vehicle associated with Carrillo was a Hawaiian-style motif replacing one of the stripes on that patch.
In addition, Carrillo appears to have used his own blood to write phrases on one of the cars he carjacked.
The complaint alleges that the patch and phrases written by Carrillo are associated with the so-called Boogaloo movement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: One other thing, Brianna, on this that the ATF said is that the rifle that was used in these shootings is known as a ghost gun. It's where you can order parts and assemble them privately. It's something that the ATF has long been frustrated by because there's simply no way to track them -- Brianna?
KEILAR: Kyung, thank you so much, live from Los Angeles.
Ahead, I'll be speaking live with an African-American sheriff from Georgia, who says Atlanta officers acted properly in the death of Rayshard Brooks.
Plus, college football players standing up to their coach who is seen wearing an OAN T-shirt. See how he responded.
KEILAR: It's the top of the hour. I'm Brianna Keilar.
After weeks of protest against systemic racism and excessive force within America's police departments, President Trump just signed an executive order to reform law enforcement, laying out measuring to incentivize good behavior rather than guidelines to mitigate bad behavior.
This was a speech very much in step with the president's law-and-order messaging.