Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Seoul Reports North Korea Blew Up Kaesong Liaison Office; Prosecutor Ways Charges Four Officers and Rayshard Brooks Case; Trump to Sign an Executive Order on Policing in the Coming Hours; Third Day of Protests Over Killing of Rayshard Brooks; Dispatcher Was Concerned over Use of Force and Floyd's Death; Protesters Call for Reforms Following Police Violence; U.S. Airlines Could Ban Passengers If They Don't Wear Masks; At Least 18 U.S. States Report Rise in Coronavirus Infections; China Says New Cluster Has Spread beyond Beijing Market. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired June 16, 2020 - 04:00   ET

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


[04:00:00]

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Natalie Allen live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.

And we begin this hour with the breaking news from the Korean peninsula. Where South Korea now says North Korea has blown up the inter-Korean liaison office in the Kaesong industrial zone in North Korea. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout joins me now live from Hong Kong to tell us what we know about this developing story. Hello -- Kristie.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Natalie, it appears that North Korea has carried out what it has threatened to do. According to South Korea Ministry of Unification, North Korea has blown up the inter- Korean liaison office in Kaesong in North Korea. The incident took place about 2:49 p.m. local time. We have also learned according to the Unification Ministry in South Korea that there were no South Korea employees inside the building at the time of this incident. We learned that this building had been closed down since late January due to the coronavirus.

Now the inter-Korean Liaison Office it was set up in 2018 as a result of that historic landmark meeting. The inter-Korean summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President. North Korea has threatened to shut it down and in the last hour and a half we have learned again according to the Unification Ministry of South Korea that it has been blown up by the North Koreans.

And this comes during a time of rising tension between North and South Korea over the actions of North Korean defectors. And we have that warning over the weekend from the sister of Kim Jong-un who called South Korea the enemy. She also pledged a decisively next action would be taken at the time when she made that warning. She didn't specify what the action could be. It turns out that action was to not just shut down the liaison office but destroy it. Again, according to the Ministry of Unification that's what they're telling us this building in Kaesong, North Korea has been blown up by the North Koreans.

Now South Korea, they had taken legal action against the actions of North Korean defectors inside their own country. The North Korean defectors, this is what they've been doing. They have been using balloons to send anti-North Korean leaflets and propaganda and SD cards across the border into North Korea much to the chagrin of the leadership in North Korea. They also been using bottles to send over food and rice by sea. But despite the legal action taken by South Korea, North Korea is and has remained furious. It has already cut all inter-Korean channels of communication. It threatened to shut down the Inter-Korean Liaison Office. That Inter-Korean Liaison Office we're now reporting, according to the Ministry of Unification, once again, has been destroyed, blown up by the North Koreans.

And all this coming during a time of a very significant anniversary. It was 20 years ago this week when the first inter-Korean summit took place. And when that inter-Korean summit took place, they pledged dialogue and cooperation. And yet 20 years on we have this situation of rising tension between North and South. North Korea not picking up phone calls from the South. No inter-Korean communication lines established at all and now the destruction of the inter-Korean Liaison Office in Kaesong, North Korea -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Well yes, this takes the rising tension to a whole new level, doesn't it? Kristie Lu Stout for us there monitoring this story in Hong Kong. Kristie, thank you.

It's been three weeks now of nationwide protests and calls for justice over police violence and racism against black Americans. And that anger and grief especially being felt here now in Atlanta. Protestors filling the streets again Monday calling for an end to systemic racism. It is the third straight day of demonstrations after a police officer killed Rayshard Brooks. Shooting him twice in the back as he was running away from officers on Friday. The county prosecutor is weighing charges for both officers involved and his decision expected around Wednesday.

In the midst of the national crisis about racism and police violence, President Donald Trump says he'll sign an executive order on policing in the coming hours. On Monday, the President commented on the Rayshard Brooks story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I thought it was a terrible -- I'm not comparing things. But I thought it was a terrible situation. And I studied it closely. I'm going to get some reports done today. A very strong reports and we'll have a little more to say about it tomorrow. But certainly, it was -- to me it was very disturbing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[04:05:00] ALLEN: We'll have more on the White House reaction in just a moment. But first, CNN Martin Savage reports on the demonstrations here in Atlanta and the message for protestors from Rayshard Brooks widow. And a warning. Martin's report contains graphic video.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The wife of Rayshard Brooks is calling for those protesting her husband's death to remain peaceful.

TOMIKA MILLER, WIFE OF RAYSHARD BROOKS: He was a sacrifice for people to see that black lives matter and I hate that it was my husband whose life will sacrifice. But we have to stand up for our people.

SAVIDGE: For a third straight days, crowds take to the streets of Atlanta. This demonstration called a march for justice ended up at the state capitol.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) somebody.

SAVIDGE: Friday night, two white Atlanta police officers are called to reports of a car blocking a drive-thru at a Wendy's restaurant. They find Brooks, a 27-year-old father of four seemingly asleep. This is police body camera video of the incident that for 20 minutes seems normal.

Officers suspect Brooks has been drinking. As a solution, Brooks offers to leave his car behind and walk to his sister's home.

RAYSHARD BROOKS, AFRICAN-AMERICAN SHOT DEAD WHILE RUNNING FROM POLICE: I can just go home. I have my daughters there right now. My daughter's birthday was yesterday.

OFFICER GARRETT ROLFE: All right. Hold up, Mr. Brooks. Will you take a preliminary breath test for me? It's a yes or no.

BROOKS: I don't want to refuse anything.

ROLFE: It's yes or no. It's completely up to you.

BROOKS: Yes, I will.

ROLFE: OK.

SAVIDGE: Brooks fails the test and as police attempt to arrest him, a struggle begins. Brooks manages to get a hold of one of the officer's tasers and runs. What happens next is seen by a surveillance video. Officer Garrett Rolfe gives chase transfers his taser to his left-hand and reaches for his gun. Brooks turns back towards the officer pointing the taser, firing it. Officer Rolfe drops his taser, draws his gun and fired three shots.

An autopsy report reveals Brooks is shot two times in the back and rules his death a homicide. In an interview with CNN, Tomika Miller said their daughter will always associate her birthday with her father's death.

MILLER: And she'll forever remembered this birthday as the day that my daddy was killed. The day that my daddy was murdered, not just the day that my daddy died or passed away, because he didn't just die of natural cause and passed away. This is the day that he was murdered.

CROWD: Rayshard Brooks (INAUDIBLE) --

SAVIDGE: Protesters took to the streets, Saturday they blocked the main highway through downtown shutting off traffic. Police in riot gear moved in to make arrests. Then, the Wendy's where the shooting occurred, demonstrators began breaking windows. Fires broke out on the property before someone torched the inside. Police are searching for a suspect.

Speaking on CNN Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard says he's considering criminal charges against the two officers but is waiting on more evidence.

PAUL HOWARD, FULTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: One of the things that we must attempt to finalize before we make a decision is to confirm the ballistics. We try to make sure that the projectiles in the body of Mr. Brooks that we can expertly trace them to a firearm.

SAVIDGE: Meanwhile, Tomika Miller wonders what the two officers may be thinking now.

MILLER: Do they sympathize with my family? Do they feel sorry for what they've taken away? That's what I want to know. You know. If they had the chance to do it again, would they do it the same way or whether they'd do it totally different.

SAVIDGE (on camera): Atlanta chief of police resigned within 24 hours after the shooting. As for the two officers, the one that is believed to have fired the fatal shot, that's Garrett Rolfe. He's been fired from the police force. The other officer assigned to desk duty. Meanwhile, Brooks family and a city waits to hear if those officers will be brought up on charges.

Martin Savidge, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: New records are raising more questions about the death of George Floyd in the hands of Minneapolis police officers. A police dispatcher watching the incident on surveillance camera was so alarmed she felt it necessary to alert a supervisor. Minneapolis police released that recording Monday. Here it is. A portion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CALLER: I didn't know, you can call me a snitch if you want to but we have the cameras up for a 320 call. Oh, did the already put them in the 320's call. Oh did they already put them in the (INAUDIBLE). And 320 over at Cup Foods.

SUPERVISOR: OK.

CALLER: I don't know if they have use force or not. They got something out of the back of the squad, and all of them sat on this man. So I don't know if they needed you or not, but they haven't said anything to me yet.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[04:10:02]

ALLEN: George Floyd was buried one week ago today. Since his death, Minneapolis City Council has committed to restructuring the police department.

Dozens of police officers have walked off the job since the protests began especially in some of the flash point cities, here in Atlanta. Officials say eight officers have now resigned just this month. And the New York City the police commissioner says he is reassigning roughly 600 plain clothes police officers and ending the era of a controversial police model called stop and frisk. Critics say it overwhelmingly targeted blacks and Latinos. The policy began in the 1990s under former Mayor Rudy Giuliani in effort to disarm criminals in some of the city's most violent areas.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DERMOT SHEA, NEW YORK POLICE COMMISSIONER: Make no mistake, this is a seismic shift in the culture of how the NYPD polices this great city. It will be felt immediately throughout the five district attorneys' offices. It will be felt immediately in the communities that we protect.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: The President of the New York Police Benevolent Association, Patrick Lynch, opposes the police commissioner's decision. He says shootings and murders are climbing steadily upward and says -- here's a quote -- our city leaders have clearly decided that proactive policing isn't a priority anymore.

Let's talk more now on the protest and calls for change with my guest Isaac Bryan. He is the director of public policy at UCLA's Ralph J. Bunche Center for African-American Studies and joins me now from Los Angeles. Isaac, thanks so much for coming on.

ISAAC BRYAN, UCLA RALPH J. BUNCHE CENTER FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDIES: Thank you so much for having me. It's good to be here.

ALLEN: You gave an impassioned Ted talk two years ago about growing up in the foster care system, have siblings in juvenile detention even prison. And your message is clear. That the criminal justice system is a nightmare. You saw a broken system before the rest of the country realized it. So let's start there with what's at the root.

BRYAN: I mean the root cause of this is the creation of the system. Our policing systems in the country are relics of slavery. The first law enforcement officers in this country were also slave catchers. And from that you had the 13th amendment which abolished slavery but also allowed for persons who are incarcerated to then still be used at slaves. You had many slaves. You had many instances where former slaves were then leased back to their own plantations.

Law enforcement was then used to enforce the black codes in the south that prevented black folks from expressing their first, second and third amendment rights. From there you had the war on drugs, the enforcement of Jim Crow, segregation. And go to today where unarmed black people seem to be dying daily. These are not new things. These are things that have been going on for over 400 years. Now for black folks in this country and it's definitely something that I have been paying close attention to. I'd love to see change.

ALLEN: Right, and the reason that we're kind of awakened to it is thanks to videos. Right? On our phones. So I want to ask you what to do you think about the response from black and white citizens together on the streets here and around the world demanding change following the death of George Floyd and now Rayshard Brooks.

BRYAN: I think it is a powerful global exclamation that we won't take this anymore. That folks are tired and folks are hurting and we demand better, right. We demand accountability for our civic institutions to treat people like they matter. Lives shouldn't be able to go the way Rayshard Brooks and George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless others have gone. People deserve to live full lives. Black folks deserve to live full lives and I'm glad that everyday citizens and others are concerned when they see interactions with law enforcement officers. Concerned enough to record them and to share them because without these stories I don't think we've would have the movement that we have right now.

ALLEN: Right. You know, we can talk about these problems all the time. I've done it for decades in this business. But unless you've got something for people that's tangible that they can see, you don't usually get a reaction. I want to talk about some changes we are seeing within policing. The New York police department underwent what is calling a seismic shift in its culture. Roughly 600 anticrime unit plain clothes officers were reassigned to new roles which including community policing. What is are your thoughts of police reform people are calling for and we are beginning to see.

BRYAN: You know, we've been around long enough to see countless reforms and countless commissions and countless studies. And it seems like no matter what we try to implement two things remain constant. One is that law enforcement budgets continue to grow and the unarmed deaths, the unjust deaths of black peoples at the hands of state sanctioned officers is continuing. And so, I question a lot of these reforms. They feel superficial. They don't seem to address the systemic and root causes that we need to be talking about.

[04:15:00]

And I think those are better tied to the defunding police movement right now and the cause to move resources out of punitive law enforcement, mass incarceration and criminalization of communities of color. And instead into systems that we know provide opportunity for thriving communities.

ALLEN: Isaac Bryan, we really appreciate you joining us with your expertise. Thank you.

BRYAN: Natalie, thank you.

ALLEN: Three New York City police officers have now been released from the hospital after getting sick when they drank milkshakes from the popular restaurant Shake Shack Monday night. The NYPD is investigating the incident with cooperation from the restaurant. A major police union claims the milkshakes may have been poisoned with bleach. The New York City Police Benevolent Association said in a quote, when police officers cannot even take a meal without coming under attack, it is clear that environment in which we work has deteriorated to a critical level.

Well wearing masks on U.S. planes is not going to be an option anymore. We'll tell you what U.S. airlines are planning to make sure passengers keep their face coverings on.

[04:20:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ALLEN: We return now to the breaking news out of the Korean Peninsula. You're looking at new pictures out of Kaesong in North Korea where smoke is coming out of what was once the inter-Korean Liaison Office. South Korea says Pyongyang blew up the office and North Korean state media published an article today stating, quote, our intensive retaliatory campaign has started.

To the pandemic now. Mask up or you could be banned from flying. That is the message U.S. airlines are sending to potential passengers. The new rules state that passengers who refuse to wear face coverings because of the coronavirus could have their flying privileges taken away. United Airlines went one step further. From Wednesday flight attendants will inform flyers of the mandatory mask requirements and those who aren't wearing masks will be offered one. If they still refused to wear a mask, flight attendants will file a report and it could result in the person being placed on a restricted travel list. Well there you have it.

The number of cases has continued to rise in the U.S. and now tops 2 million. CNN's Nick Watt takes a look at what could be behind it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's a lot of unmasked merriment in St. Mark's Place in Manhattan over the weekend. The governor retweeted this video with a warning, don't make me come down there.

ANDREW CUOMO, NEW YORK GOVERNOR: If they don't enforce compliance, you will see the numbers start to go up. And if the numbers start to go up, you're going to have to see that area take a step back.

WATT: Mayors down in the sunshine state also worried about scuff laws in our new-fangled normal.

FRANCIS SUAREZ, MIAMI MAYOR: That could mean our potential restriction that could be reverse and some of the things that we've done.

WATT: May 4th, the day Florida began to reopen, they reported 819 new cases. This past Saturday a new record high, 2,581.

CUOMO: You are seeing all across the nation the virus actually increasing.

WATT: New cases counts climbing in 18 states across much of the West, California seeing more than 3,000 new infections a day. Also, the South. Multiple Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans players have now tested positive according to the NFL network. And a record number of COVID-19 patients are now hospitalized across Texas.

LINDA HIDALGO, HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS JUDGE: Right now, we're seeing that the spread is just too much for us to get a grip on.

DR. UMAIR SHAH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS PUBLIC HEALTH: You have reopening that's occurred starting with the state May 1st. In addition today you had events like graduations, and obviously people getting together and all sorts of other activities. And so, each of those layer on top of another, Mother's Day, Memorial Day weekend.

WATT: And Saturday night thousands will gather in neighboring Oklahoma to listen to the famous non-mask wearer in the country, President Donald Trump. COVID is here in Tulsa, it's transmitting very efficiently, says the director of the local health department, I wish we could postpone this. Confirmed cases in the country just climbed 30 percent in a week blamed by the health department on large indoor gatherings.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: People should be wearing masks to the Trump rally in Tulsa this Saturday.

LARRY KUDLOW, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISOR: Well OK, probably so.

WATT: And will probably be wearing them for a while. I would hope to get back to some degree of real normality within a year or so. Dr. Anthony Fauci just told a British newspaper, but I don't think it's this winter or fall.

(on camera): Remember hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug much-hyped by the President? In fact the drug he said he was taking for a couple of weeks to fend off the virus. Well the FDA has now just removed the emergency authorization. Doctors can no longer use it to treat COVID-19 patients. The FDA says that studies suggested that it probably wasn't going to do any good. In fact, some studies suggest it might even cause some serious side effects.

Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ALLEN: Dr. Darragh O'Carroll is an emergency room physician. And he joins me now from Hawaii to talk about these developments. Dr. O'Carroll, thanks so much for coming on.

DR. DARRAGH O'CARROLL, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: Thank you for having me.

ALLEN: First up, for the U.S. and any country to think they are out of the woods, let's look at what we're seeing in Beijing. A new cluster months after their very strict lockdown. What does that say about the challenges brought by this virus for communities and countries that continue to open up?

O'CARROLL: Yes, it's a testament to how sneaky this virus is. And we've known that for quite a while now.

[04:25:00]

And it's different than the previous human pathologic coronavirus I would call them, SARS and MERS. And that we were quickly able to quarantine those patients simply because they were not transmitting this disease prior to having symptoms. And so your segment said it completely correctly. In that what was the origin of this? We don't know how it got into Beijing. They have one of the strictest protocols, screening protocols around and so where did it come in? Is it a local community transmission? When they haven't had cases for around 50 days, which is much longer than any double in time or any incubation time in the community. It came in from somewhere.

And so they're doing their due diligence it sounds like in finding where it is. And the numbers are concerning in the short amount of time the new cases, but also the amount of people that have come through. They said 200,000 come through that market where it originated. So it's a --

ALLEN: Right.

O'CARROLL: -- testament to how tricky all of this is.

ALLEN: They have a lot of contact tracing to do for these past two weeks. While we have seen spikes in new cases in some 18 or 19 states in the U.S. The administration will say that it is mainly due to more testing that is occurring. President Trump said Monday, if we stop testing right now, we'd have very few cases. Is that how you see it?

O'CARROLL: I don't think that's the right approach in that we need to test more if that's possible. You could hear the testing number that China was doing, tens of thousands in a few days. We need to test as much as possible because the patients that we need to catch are those pre-symptomatic patients. So the patients that have yet to develop symptoms have the highest viral loads that will transmit this disease. And so the more that we test, the more we're going to catch those, the more we'll be able to stay open longer.

In concurrence when we use our masks, when we continue to social distance, it's going to keep us from sliding back into, you know, many say this is just a continuation of the first wave. Some say it's now going to be a second wave. A lot of estimates are saying that the Washington epidemiologic studies and models are showing we're going to have 100,000 more deaths by September if we continue on this trajectory. So I encourage everybody to continue to use the advice that we've been saying, wear masks and stay six feet away from people.

ALLEN: Yes, we just heard the governor there of New York angry at people that didn't seem to be doing that over the weekend. It seems like people are kind of letting their guard down now after weeks of this and just quite frankly some people think that it's over. And somehow, you know, we've got to convince folks that it's not and if you don't get the health back, you don't get the health of the economy back.

O'CARROLL: Correct. You know, the more that we -- the more that we don't social distance and use those methods that we know can combat this virus. And quite simply if you use the Arnots or the basic reproduction numbers, the average number of people if somebody was to be infected, they'll transfer it too. It's a very complex mathematical equation but you can simplify it into four different variables. And that's duration, opportunity, transmissibility and susceptibility. And I'm just going to focus on two of them right now.

The first one is opportunity. And the opportunity variable is basically the more that we come in contact with people, the more opportunity we're going to have to spread it. The more that we're around people, then you bring in the variable transmissibility. And so if you're not wearing a mask, you are projecting those respiratory droplets all around you. And so the more that we up those two variables, they're all multiplied together, the more that that basic reproduction number is going to increase.

And to the point of where if we have an indoor event, like the Diamond Princess was a perfect example of this. The basic reproduction number was 14 or so before they started doing any sort of quarantine and isolation. And so for me, I think the Tulsa public health official who says that they'd rather push this event back that President Donald Trump is holding is very good advice. I'd also say if you do need to have it and you do need to exercise your First Amendment right and public speaking and public speech, is have it outdoors. We know that indoor events are really going to transmit this virus fast.

ALLEN: Unfortunately, it is indoors and they may even be growing it at this point making it larger. So that's something to watch carefully. We really appreciate your expertise. Thanks so much, Dr. Darragh O'Carroll for us. Thank you.

O'CARROLL: You're welcome.

ALLEN: After a quick break we're going to return to our breaking news from the Korean Peninsula where South Korea say North Korea has blown up the Inter-Korean Liaison Office in the Kaesong industrial zone. I'll talk to a guest about it right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END