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Atlanta Mayor Calls for Police Reform; Cities Across U.S. Announce Major Police Reforms; Trump to Present Executive Order on Police Reform; North Korea Blows Up Liaison Office Shared with South Korea; Key Model Projects Over 200,000 Americans Will Die by October. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired June 16, 2020 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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 Tuesday, June 16, 6 a.m. here in New York. Jim Sciutto joins me.
The Brooks family pleading for justice this morning after the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks at the hands of Atlanta police. Brooks was honored at a vigil last night. Overnight, Atlanta police revealed that the former officer who killed Brooks was previously reprimanded for use of force.
Atlanta's mayor calls Brooks's death a murder. She is tightening the rules on what is acceptable use of force for an officer.
And today, President Trump is expected to issue an executive order on policing in America.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT/ANCHOR: A key model used by the White House is now projecting a second wave of coronavirus earlier than anticipated and now, more than 200,000 Americans dying by October. That is 30,000 more fatalities than just a projection last week.
It is being attributed to premature relaxation of social distancing in states around the country. Right now, cases are on the rise in 18 states. Eight are experiencing increases of more than 50 percent, including Oklahoma. And of course, that's where President Trump is planning to hold his rally on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the president is offering up a mind-boggling defense of his rally, insisting that, if we stopped testing right now, we'd have very few cases, if any.
Let's begin our coverage with CNN's Dianne Gallagher. She is live in Atlanta with our top story.
Dianne, tell us what you're seeing on the ground. DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and Jim, Atlanta
police revealed on Monday that the officer who killed Rayshard Brooks had been reprimanded previously for use of force.
Now, this comes as his family is continuing to mourn, demand justice and substantive change. And we're also learning more about what happened that Friday night that he was killed here at this Wendy's.
GALLAGHER (voice-over): Outside this Wendy's in Atlanta, a candlelight vigil filled with frustration and a new call for justice for another life cut short at the hands of police.
Here, the community gathered in the same place where Rayshard Brooks lived his final moments.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody right here is saying enough is enough.
GALLAGHER: The over 40-minute-long interaction between Brooks and police, after he was found sleeping in a Wendy's drive-through, caught on camera, showing since-fired Officer Garrett Rolfe shooting Brooks twice in the back after he appeared to shoot a Taser at Rolfe while running away from him, following a scuffle between Brooks, Rolfe, and Officer Devin Brosnan, as they tried to handcuff him.
And now a 911 call revealing what happened before authorities arrived on scene.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a car. I think he's intoxicated. He's in the middle of my drive-through. I tried to wake him up, but he's parked there dead in the middle of the drive-through.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So I don't know what's wrong with him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is he breathing, ma'am, do you know?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, he woke up, looked at me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does he appear to have any weapons from where -- where you can see him?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no. I think he's intoxicated.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No justice --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No peace!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No peace!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No peace!
GALLAGHER: And as protesters march, demanding a change in Brooks's name. His family, still reeling from his loss, asking for the same. TOMIKA MILLER, WIDOW OF RAYSHARD BROOKS: They feel sorry for what they
took away. That's what I want to know. You know? If they had a chance to do it again, would they do it the same way or would they do it totally different?
GALLAGHER: Meantime, the Fulton County district attorney says there will be an announcement of possible charges against the two officers tomorrow.
PAUL HOWARD JR., FULTON COUNTY D.A.: There's really no reason for Mr. Brooks to end up dead because he fell asleep in the drive-through or that he was intoxicated. Whatever those incidents might have added up to, it certainly didn't merit the final outcome in this case.
GALLAGHER: And after Brooks's death, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed executive orders, including major changes in police use of force.
MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D), ATLANTA: On Friday evening, we saw the murder of Rayshard Brooks. It is clear that we do not have another day, another minute, another hour to waste.
GALLAGHER: Now, CNN has reached out to the officers and their union. We have not received a response just yet.
And you know, here on the ground, the calls are for police reform. They want to see real changes. Well, President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order later today that includes some of the changes that the people are asking for.
I want to talk about a little bit of that. It's expected to have a nationwide database to track excessive force complaints, national officer certification system, encourage departments to involve mental health professionals. That's a little bit of what it is there.
Now, for some of the people, Jim, that we've spoken to here in Atlanta, and really, across the country, this isn't going to go far enough. They want different change. They want bigger change. They want to see an overhaul of the way that police interact with people, especially with black people in America.
SCIUTTO: Dianne Gallagher in Atlanta. Thanks very much.
Another story breaking overnight. One person has been shot in New Mexico, this after a right-wing militia confronted protesters who were trying to take down the statue of a conquistador. A local reporter posted this video of the moments the shot rang out. It is alarming to watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tear it down! Tear it down!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's tear it down! (GUNFIRE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get on the floor!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: That's right, that is gunfire. Shots fired not by police but by a self-appointed militia. Albuquerque police detained several heavily-armed members of that militia, known as the New Mexico Civil Guard. Keep in mind, those are not soldiers or police officers there. Those are militiamen.
Authorities say the shooting victim is now in critical condition.
New Mexico's governor says she is horrified and disgusted by the violence, tweeting, "There is absolutely no space in New Mexico for any violent, would-be militia seeking to terrify -- terrorize New Mexicans."
Albuquerque's mayor says the statue will be speedily removed as an urgent matter of public safety.
CAMEROTA: Meanwhile, cities across the U.S. are announcing major police reforms, including here in New York City, where the police department is reassigning hundreds of undercover officers.
CNN's Brynn Gingras joins us now with the details. What have you learned, Brynn?
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Alisyn. This is a significant change in one of the biggest -- the biggest police department in the entire country.
Essentially, what this means, 600 plain-clothed officers are now going to be transferred to other units within the department. The detectives unit, neighborhood policing. Let me break this down even more.
These are the anticrime units, so these are the plain-clothes officers that don't respond to 911 calls. They basically go out and look for violent criminals and try to disarm them.
But you can imagine, their aggressive policing tactics has created a lot of discourses in the communities that they serve. And that's the point here, according to the police commissioner, is to try to build back that trust between these communities.
In fact, some of these officers have been involved in some of the most notorious shootings, police-involved shootings here in New York City. So, that is the point here.
The question, though, is it -- is it going to spread now nationwide? But I want you to listen to the police commissioner explain why he did this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) COMMISSIONER DERMOT SHEA, NEW YORK CITY POLICE: 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)
GINGRAS: Commissioner Shea basically saying now officers need to use technology, intelligence-gathering, instead of brute force.
Now, the police union, of course, having a fiery response to this. I want to read part of it to you, referencing that president of the police union, the uptick in gun violence that we are seeing in New York City.
He said, "Shootings and murders are both climbing steadily upward, but our city leaders have clearly decided that proactive policing isn't a priority anymore. They chose this strategy. They will have to reckon with the consequences."
And Commissioner Shea has said that there is a risk to making this call, but he says he wears that risk on his shoulders.
So again, we're seeing this reform, these calls for the reform, and then some changes in police departments all across this country. We know that the California attorney general called for no chokehold, intervening when colleagues are doing aggressive force, in their opinion.
So, the reform that people are calling for. But now you're seeing the police department, NYPD, the biggest one in the country, making a major change. Again, will that be copied across police departments across the country? We'll have to see, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: It does feel like a seismic shift --
CAMEROTA: -- that we're seeing here and elsewhere. Brynn, thank you very much.
Up next, we have new 911 calls from the day that George Floyd was killed. What multiple witnesses told police as they watched Floyd under the knee of an officer.
CAMEROTA: Developing overnight, Atlanta police revealing that the fired officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks was previously reprimanded for use of force with a firearm in 2017. This comes as Republican Senator Tim Scott tells CNN that he expects to introduce his policing reform bill tomorrow. Joining us now, CNN political commentator Nina Turner. She was the co-
chair of Bernie Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign. And Richard Rose. He is the president of the NAACP in Atlanta.
Great to have both of you.
Nina, what do you think as you watch these cities all, you know, obviously from New York to Atlanta to Seattle, grappling with this? What -- what the police commissioner in New York described, as we just heard in Brynn's piece, is a seismic shift that is underway. Do you see it that way?
NINA TURNER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's about time. I mean, for some people, it's a seismic shift. For others, especially the black community, it's late. It's late coming.
African-Americans have been crying out for a very long time about a system that is unjust, a system that sees black people, especially black men, as somehow more criminal than anybody else and less deserving of mercy, less deserving of the opportunity to be able to have real justice.
So, while I am glad to see these changes happening, they are very late. There have been generations of African-Americans lost to a system that does not see them as true human beings in the United States of America.
SCIUTTO: Richard Rose, you have multiple efforts now to introduce new police standards. You have Democratic proposals, which go the furthest. You have Republican proposals led by Senator Tim Scott, which are short of that. Now you have the president today with an executive order.
I just want to start with the president's, because that will come first. He's talking about a way of accrediting police departments around the country, in effect, incentivizing good behavior on de- escalation, use of chokeholds, et cetera, and as well as a national database to track excessive force. Does that, in your view, go far enough?
RICHARD ROSE, PRESIDENT, NAACP IN ATLANTA: Absolutely not. As Citizen Turner said, these changes are long overdue. And I don't think fixing -- fixing around them will do. I think we have to do a complete restructure and shift from policing to public safety as a mission.
You know, 911 is a great system. You call 911; if your -- if your house is on fire, they don't send police. They send a fire department.
I think that many of these instances, the police should send trained mental health professionals, psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, whatever it takes. But definitely, you shouldn't send the police when there's a report of a naked man having a psychotic episode. So from the ground up, there needs to be a restructuring. CAMEROTA: Well, it sounds like that's underway. I mean, you know,
correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like even the president's executive order does talk about sending mental health experts, addiction experts, social workers to some of these 911 calls that police used to do.
And I was also struck by what the police commissioner in New York is going to do. If they're disbanding that group of 600 plain-clothed policemen that were responsible and behind a lot of the stop-and-frisk aggressive policies, what it sounds like they're doing is moving from policing on the street -- you know, how do I describe this? Proactively going out on the streets looking for trouble, basically, which you will find, into any neighborhood, if you go looking for it; to more reactive, going out when there's a call and maybe going out with more of those support services. Do you think that that is a great start?
ROSE: I think it's a great start.
TURNER: It's a start.
CAMEROTA: Sorry. Hold -- Go ahead, Nina.
TURNER: No, it's definitely a start, but there's no time for patting each other on the back and slapping hands.
What we fail to realize is that this is a system, that the police are really just a microcosm of a racist system, an antiblack system whereby generations of black folks have lost their lives.
And when they were not physically killed, the spiritual death, the mental death, political, economic, social death, that is the thing. So, yes, it is a start, but we are a long way from atonement. And the United States of America as a whole must atone for its sins against the African-American community.
So what I don't want folks is to get slap happy about this. This is a start, but a long way from where we need to go.
Ask Breonna Taylor's family, George Floyd's family, Tamir Rice's family. Emmett Till didn't have a smartphone to verify whether or not he was entitled to some humanity in the United States of America.
So, this is no time for celebration. This is a time to continue working. We need not only a total restructuring, but we need wholesale, tear down the system and start and reimagine policing in a different way.
SCIUTTO: Richard Rose, I wonder if you agree with that, because all the proposals, even the Democratic proposals that go the furthest, they talk about reform. They talk about changes. Not about tearing down and starting over, in effect.
I mean, right now, that's largely isolated to the Minneapolis community, right, which has talked about disbanding its police department. Do you believe disbanding is the way, dismantling and rebuilding,
following the example, for instance, of Camden, New Jersey? Or do you believe that existing police departments can be reformed through legislation and other means to make them fair to the African-American members of their community?
ROSE: So, I would answer it like this way. We had the Voting Rights Act of 1965, but yet today, there remains voter suppression in all forms in all states.
So, yes, there has to be a tearing down and a restructuring. Because if you take the same people with a little fixing up on the side, they will revert back to where they were.
This, the individual that killed Rayshard -- Rayshard Brooks, as was reported, had prior incidents. And we have had those discussions with Chief Erika Shields in Atlanta before. There must be a no-tolerance policy for abusive reaction and abusive action towards citizens. And that is not the structure right now. It has to be restructured.
CAMEROTA: I want to read one of the 911 call transcripts from the moments that George Floyd was under the knee of a police officer. And they are so striking, because these are people, witnesses watching what the police are doing. And they're calling the police for help, because they recognize that what this officer is doing is so out of line, according to them.
Here is what it says, quote, "I literally watched police officers not take a pulse and not do anything to save a man, and I am a first responder myself. And I literally have it on video camera. I just happened to be on a walk. So this dude, they blanking killed him."
You know, it was so obvious, Nina, to people -- all of the people who were around, begging those officers for mercy. I mean, the 911 calls just, you know, drive it home, of who do you call when a police officer is the person responsible for the brutality?
TURNER: That's right. And that is another reason why we need total, a reimagining, or imagining, if you will, because we know that there's a blue code of silence.
The fact that so many officers stood by while this -- while this other officer -- and I use that term lightly, because police have never holistically protected and served the African-American communities, but occupy and treat as criminals.
But to have your full force and weight on Mr. Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds with your hands in your pockets and didn't even flinch!
So, that outcry is so true. Why was he able to do that? Because he did not see him as a human being deserving of not just mercy, just not to be treated that way! Arrest him and take him to jail! How about that? He would still be alive. That's what should happen. And you know, I'm saying this as a wife of a retired police officer
and a mother of a law enforcement officer right now. My son is a millennial black man in America who wears a badge and a gun, but then when he doesn't have his badge and his gun, his life is in jeopardy on all sides. So, I get this.
So, I'm saying this with all the street credibility that is necessary to say to this nation that we must do a new thing. The African- American community deserves it. This country deserves it.
CAMEROTA: Nina Turner, your life experience is really helpful for us to hear. Richard Rose, as well. Thank you both very much.
ROSE: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: Now to international news. There's tensions rising overnight on the Korean Peninsula after a major provocation by North Korea. We have all the breaking details for you next.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
SCIUTTO: Breaking overnight, South Korean officials say that North Korea has blown up -- that is, literally blown up -- the liaison office it shared with them. It is the latest sign of sharply rising tensions on the Korean peninsula, and of course, the apparent failure of three years of U.S. diplomacy with North Korea, President Trump and Chairman Kim.
CNN's Will Ripley, he is live in Hong Kong.
First, Will, tell us the significance of this truly alarming step, blowing up the office meant to allow for diplomacy between the two countries.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: North Korea's certainly trying to send a message, Jim, and they're sending it pretty strongly, blowing up their liaison office, which isn't that far from where President Trump and Kim Jong-un shook hands at Panmunjom along the Demilitarized Zone, when President Trump made that impromptu visit at a time that, you know, there was still hope that diplomacy could be salvaged.
North Korea now very strongly saying that diplomacy has all but ended. And in fact, they believe it has ended so much that they decided to blow up the building that they shared up until January with South Korean government officials.
The liaison office was a place where the North and South could work in separate offices but get together and meet, if they needed to. But there hasn't been a whole lot to discuss lately.
And North Korea's been very upset in recent days, Jim, after defectors sent balloons into North Korea that dropped down leaflets that they view as, you know, extremely provocative in terms of its language against Kim Jong-un's regime.
Of course, we don't know where Kim is in all of this, because it's his younger sister, Kim Yo-Jong, who's been calling all the shots. We've barely seen Kim in public over the last few months, aside from that ribbon cutting at a fertilizer factory after our reporting, Jim, that he might have had a health scare.
SCIUTTO: Will, where does this leave U.S. diplomacy with North Korea? The president invested enormously in this. Three face-to-face summits, discussion -- discussion of his love letters, suspension of U.S./South Korean military exercises. North Korea says it's no longer interested in speaking to the U.S.
RIPLEY: Diplomacy's pretty much dead at this point, Jim. And I think that we can expect to see North Korea starting to push these pressure points as they try to get attention.
They're frustrated that sanctions are still in place. Their economy is still, you know, struggling in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. And you know, a lack of communication with the rest of the world.
So, this is North Korea starting to deliberately ramp up the situation on the peninsula to get the attention of South Korea, but also to get the attention of the U.S.
The question is how far will they go? They blew up a building on their own soil, because this was in North Korean territory where this explosion took place. What happens if they start attacking locations that are in South Korea?
RIPLEY: For example, where those balloons were launched from? That's what we have to watch for very closely.
SCIUTTO: And they've done that before. Will Ripley in Hong Kong, thanks very much.
CAMEROTA: Now to coronavirus. That University of Washington model used by the White House now projects more than 200,000 Americans will die by October.
This morning, 18 states are seeing an increase in cases. Eight of those states, which you see in the bright red there, have spikes of more than 50 percent. That includes Florida and Oklahoma, where President Trump is scheduled to hold a rally this weekend.
CNN's Rosa Flores is live in Miami with more for us -- Rosa.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alisyn, good morning.
As you mentioned, coronavirus cases here in the state of Florida continue to trend up. And even though Governor Ron DeSantis' office issued a statement late yesterday about the uptick in cases, that statement did not mention and did not address how the state was going to change its response due to the uptick. Instead, it focused on contact tracing and testing, as well.
Here locally in Miami-Dade County, the mayor said it bluntly. He says that, even though there is an uptick, he is not going to close the economy. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR CARLOS GIMENEZ (R), MIAMI-DADE: We're not going back to closing our economy because numbers inch up over a couple.
(END VIDEO CLIP)