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Attorney for Family of Rayshard Brooks Interviewed on His Killing by Police; North Korea Blows Up Joint Liaison Office Shared with South Korea; Pete Buttigieg is Interviewed About the Landmark Supreme Court Ruling on LGBTQ Rights and the Transgender Ban in the U.S. Military. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired June 16, 2020 - 08:00   ET



ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Are there new rules?

MARY JORDAN, AUTHOR, "THE ART OF HER DEAL": Ivana Trump, the first wife, famously said don't get mad, get everything. And it turns out according to three different people who are aware of the prenup that it is Melania who negotiated the far better deal than either of the first two wives.

CAMEROTA: Mary Jordan, the book, again, is "The Art of Her Deal." It is out today. Thank you so much for previewing it with us.

JORDAN: Thanks, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: NEW DAY continues right now.

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

CAMEROTA: And we want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. John Berman is off. Jim Sciutto joins me. So we begin with calls for justice at a candlelight vigil from the family of Rayshard Brooks.


GYMACO BROOKS, RAYSHARD BROOKS' COUSIN: Everybody right here is saying enough is enough. Everybody right here has brought their children, their brothers, their sisters, everybody right here has a need, a desire, a want to be standing right next to somebody else. I don't have enough words for everybody, but I can speak to my heart -- from my heart to everybody. My little cousin was a good person. My little cousin was a happy person. My little cousin was a "I don't give a -- I'm going to have me some fun" person.


CAMEROTA: Overnight, Atlanta police revealed that the former officer who killed Brooks was previously reprimanded for use of force. The Fulton County district attorney says he will announce his decision on charge against the officers involved tomorrow.

And later today, President Trump is expected to roll out an executive order with some police reforms.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: We're also, of course, following the latest on the coronavirus. A key model used by the White House is now projecting a second wave of the outbreak earlier than anticipated and more than 200,000 Americans dying just by October. That is 30,000 more fatalities than last week's projection. All of this because of premature relaxation of social distancing. Right now, cases are on the rise in 18 states. Eight of those are experiencing increases of more than 50 percent, and that includes Oklahoma. And that is where President Trump, despite all this, will hold a rally on Saturday in a packed indoor arena, just the condition where the virus spreads.

First, however, let's go to the unrest in Atlanta. Joining Alisyn now is Justin Miller.

CAMEROTA: Jim, thank you very much. I will take it, thank you. Justin Miller, he's the attorney for the family of Rayshard Brooks. Mr. Miller, thank you very much for being here.


CAMEROTA: We saw in the rally the just raw pain and emotion of Rayshard Brooks' family. The notion of his eight-year-old daughter in her birthday dress waiting for him Saturday morning is of course heartbreaking. It sounds like they are really struggling. How is the family this morning?

MILLER: They're not doing well. This is a very, very bad situation for anybody. For someone who doesn't have anything, it makes it that much worse. So they are not doing well. I think you saw that with the clip you played a moment ago. They're just trying to get to the point where they understand what's going on. They're not even to the healing stage yet.

CAMEROTA: Yes. What does the family want to see happen specifically this week?

MILLER: They want to see the officers charged. That's a start. They have all said that. Then they want to bury their loved one and try to start the healing process. So those are the two things that I have heard from them the most regarding this week coming up.

CAMEROTA: The first, the officer who fired the shot, do you expect the district attorney to charge that officer with first-degree murder, second-degree murder? What do you expect?

MILLER: I can't tell you. I have done so many of these at this point, between myself and my partner Chris. We can't tell you what to expect. So we try not to anyway. We wait and we see, hopefully the district attorney does the right thing, and we'll see what happens when those charges -- when those charges are announced. CAMEROTA: How about that second officer, the officer who was the

first responding officer, the first responding officer who we see and hear on the transcript for the better part of 21, 25 minutes, who is treating Mr. Brooks with, I think, respect and sort of a cordial tone, and it's reciprocated from Mr. Brooks. They're having a conversation and negotiating about, can you please pull over, how much have you had to drink, where does your family live, do you remember what you were doing earlier today? And they are going back and forth, and at some point, he is given a sobriety test. But this first officer who greets him, do you expect some charges against this officer?


MILLER: Again, I don't know. I think that officer was on the path to doing the right thing in that situation. The other officer came and inflamed the situation. So I don't know really. I can't get into what that officer should have done versus what the other officer should have done. That's really more a question for the D.A.'s out of.

CAMEROTA: Let me play the sound that we have from the prosecutor.


PAUL HOWARD, FULTON COUNTY D.A.: Under Georgia law, unless Mr. Brooks posed an imminent threat of bodily harm, as I sometimes say it, colloquially just to say, was the police officer, was it necessary for him to shoot Mr. Brooks to save his life or to save someone else's life, because if Mr. Brooks was shot for some other reason, then it is not justified.


CAMEROTA: Mr. Miller, do you think that in a court of law it will be -- I don't know, it will come up that the imminent threat of bodily harm, that standard, THAT because Mr. Brooks had taken the police officer's taser gun, and it appears in the video had turned and was shooting it, do you think that that falls under the imminent threat of bodily harm to an officer?

MILLER: Not in this situation. If you look at the tape closely, you can see that that officer was already going for his gun before Mr. Brooks turned around. He had dropped his taser, and he was reaching for his gun with his right hand before Mr. Brooks even turned and shot wildly over his shoulder. So, no, I don't think in this situation that's going to come up.

CAMEROTA: What do you think went wrong here? What happened, because as I've said, the first 21 minutes, or something to that effect, looks like a lot of being -- well, being approached for a DWI. There's a sobriety test given. Again, there are sort of calm words exchanged. Mr. Brooks is accommodating. The police at that point, that first responding officer appears to be trying to work with him. And then within milliseconds it goes south and turns violent. What happened?

MILLER: It has a lot -- there are a lot of factors in that. There are community contacts for the police officers that the fear that the police officers sometimes have with people that they don't know and around people that they're not familiar with. Training, because the police officers are trained not to de-escalate. They are trained to come in and crack heads, and certain situations like this one do not require any type of head-cracking. They require more calm and empathy.

Alisyn, the July 4th holiday is coming up and everybody is getting ready to celebrate. And this is a point that I really wanted to stress to you. And it's important to know that there are Americans out there who are getting ready to celebrate, and then there are other Americans who are not going to feel like they can celebrate because of something like this and these things going on and how they feel about the general climate of the country.

And so America is not America for all Americans, and I think the country at large is seeing that. And so situations like this where there's fear and bias and different kind of things that we think about but we don't always talk about are coming to the forefront, and I think that that's great.

CAMEROTA: It sounds like this is personal for you.

MILLER: It's very much personal. I'm Rayshard Brooks. I'm George Floyd. It's happened to me. It's happened to my friends. It's happened to my father, and every other black person I know. So we're all the same. So when we fight these battles we're fighting them from a place of knowledge and really from the heart.

CAMEROTA: Justin Miller, thank you, we appreciate you coming on and sharing the family's perspective and yours. We'll speak again.

MILLER: Thank you.


SCIUTTO: Breaking news this morning. North Korea has blown up -- you heard that right, blown up a joint liaison office it shared with South Korea. The purpose of that office, diplomacy. It is just the latest sign of sharply escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula and, well, the failure of diplomacy with North Korea. CNN's Will Ripley joins us now live with breaking details. How significant is this step?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's significant. It can get a whole lot more significant, though, because this office that North Korea chose to blow up, yes, it was shared by North and South Korean officials when it was in operation. It's been closed during the coronavirus pandemic.


But it is an office that's located on North Korean soil. So technically they're blowing up a building on their own territory. They're not firing shots across the border. They're not escalating the situation by sending armed troops to the demilitarized zone areas where troops had been for the last couple of years without weaponry. So there are certainly more ways that North Korea can really turn up the tension here, and they might do that, Jim. They have been very unhappy. The latest, I guess provocation was that North Korean defectors living in South Korea working with a nonprofit group sent these huge balloons up over North Korean border villages dropping down leaflets with propaganda against the Kim regime. That was, I guess, what sparked this latest round of confrontations.

What's interesting is that Kim Jong-un has not been the one visibly tied with this. It's his younger sister Kim Yo-jong who has been making these proclamations and who has been ramping up the tensions. It does raise the question, where is Kim Jong-un? We have only seen him in public a few times in the last three months, mostly in controlled environments with the exception of that ribbon cutting, which certainly does raise questions about his health, what his role is, and are they trying to put his younger sister into a position of greater power, Jim.

SCIUTTO: So you and I covered three high profile summits between President Trump and Kim Jong-un. The president delayed, canceled significant military exercises with South Korea as a concession to the North. After all that, where does the relationship stand between Kim and Trump?

RIPLEY: It's pretty much in the state of the building that North Korea blew up. It's a pile of ashes at this point. North Koreans are so frustrated that diplomacy with the United States didn't get them the sanctions relief they wanted. Of course, the U.S. very frustrated that North Korea hasn't given up a single nuclear weapon. So Kim Jong- un, he got a lot of attention in the global spotlight during those three meetings with President Trump, but the end result is we're right back to where we were a few years ago with tensions escalating yet again on the Korean peninsula. History does seem to repeat itself, and this is a familiar story, albeit, you know, a new cast of characters, so to speak.

SCIUTTO: And a nuclear armed North Korea now. Will Ripley in Hong Kong, thanks very much.

A historic Supreme Court decision for LGBT rights here in America, banning discrimination in the workplace nationwide. Where does the fight for equality go from here? I'm going to speak with former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg joins us next.



JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: A landmark ruling at the U.S. Supreme Court led notably by two conservative justices, ruling that LGBTQ workers are now protected from discrimination under federal law nationally.

Joining me now to discuss is former Democratic presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg, of course, the first openly gay presidential candidate in this country's history.

Mayor Peter, great to have you on this morning, and let me congratulate you and your husband Chasten on your second wedding anniversary. PETE BUTTIGIEG, FORMER DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thanks very

much. Thanks for having me on.

SCIUTTO: Well, it's a good day to have you on personally, but also in light of events yesterday.

And a remarkable Supreme Court decision on a number of levels, including the fact that it was written by a conservative justice here. I just want to ask you what it means to you personally, as a first openly gay presidential candidate to see rights codified nationally now protected for LGBTQ Americans.

BUTTIGIEG: Well, it's an enormous step forward. Any time you see your rights coming up for debate, you wonder what's going to happen next and this represents a major step and reminds us of the possibility of progress in this country at a time when there's so much anguish and so much expectation and we see just how far we have to go as a country.

But at a personal level, you know, it was 11 years ago this summer that I took an oath and a commission and joined the military in a job that I could have lost if my chain of command learned that I was gay. In other words, firing me wasn't just permitted, it was the official policy. And the other job that meant so much to me over the course of the last decade, serving as mayor of my hometown, I often wondered if I would lose that job as a consequence of coming out.

And in the end, I didn't. But so many Americans have faced employment discrimination, had other forms of discrimination because of who they are, because of whom they love, and this makes that a plain, common sense, conservative even reading of the Civil Rights Act just doesn't allow for that. Now, it doesn't mean that the struggle is over, but it is a big, big step.

SCIUTTO: It is, and as you know, the progress in a short period of time, but still progress to be made, and I want to get to a couple of issues here. One, in the military, of course, as you mentioned, you served in the military. The president, of course, has banned new enlistments from transgender Americans. Actually, a position that was not pushed for even supported by senior military leaders here.

Should the president in light of this ruling rescind that ban for new enlistees?

BUTTIGIEG: Absolutely. He should have rescinded it anyway, but this makes clear that it also flies in the face of the Civil Rights Act.

Look, the ban on transgender service members serves no military purpose. It simply attacks some Americans for the benefit of the president's political agenda. And I will tell you as somebody who served, you know, whether somebody is going to make a good service member or good officer has to do with their military bearing, it has to do with their training, it has to do with their commitment. It has absolutely nothing to do with sexual orientation or gender identity.

SCIUTTO: Uh-huh, and I heard exactly that point from many senior military members as this decision for the Trump administration decision came down.

I want to ask you about another area where progress still needs to happen, and that relates to adoption, adoption rights. You and your husband, you've been public about this, interested in discussing starting a family yourselves.


Tell us about the need for that change today.

BUTTIGIEG: That's right. You know, we're thinking about family and as we do that, we know that we can't count on being treated equally by various agencies and organizations. Just this very month, the Trump administration filed a brief in court to try to make sure that religious excuses for discrimination could continue.

Look, this is a time when we need to ask ourselves as a country what -- what it means to believe and act on LGBTQ equality. And, you know, there's such a long way to go when it comes to access to adoption and again, you know, a lot of excuses have been made suggesting that there's some rationale behind this that have been shot down over the years.

But look, this is one of many areas where there's a long way to go. There continues to be an epidemic of violence against black trans women. There continues to be conversion therapy which shouldn't be called therapy because it harms children.

We clearly have a long way to go, and yet, I think this affirms what many Americans already thought of as common sense. As a matter of fact, one of the challenges in getting to equality was that a lot of Americans would have assumed you can't be fired because of who you are, who you love. But unfortunately until -- when the sun came up yesterday, that wasn't yet true.

SCIUTTO: No. There -- in many states, there were no such protections.

I want to move on to the issue of race relations in this country, particularly as it relates to police filings. As a presidential candidate, you tried to address it as mayor of South Bend, you had challenges there in terms of responding to this.

And, you know, as I look at the national proposals now, whether they be from Democrats or Republicans or even an executive order today from the president, there are many elements in there that you tried in South Bend, you know, increased focus on de-escalation, for instance. Other efforts including requiring that those cameras be on, that the police body cameras be on throughout -- throughout any interaction.

So, you look at those changes you proposed and you see that even when communities make changes like that, it doesn't necessarily solve the problem.

I wonder what -- from your perspective, what are you learning as you watch what's happening across the country? BUTTIGIEG: I think what we're learning is that none of those steps

are enough. I was humbled repeatedly before these challenges as mayor. Today is also a very painful anniversary here in our city because it was one year ago that Eric Logan, a black man was shot and killed by a white police officer. And it unleashed a wave of anguish and calls for reform and a number of steps here in the city.

But, look, even departments that had been held up as model departments have gone on to see horrific police violence. So I think what we have learned is that it's got to be this and much more. Of course, we should be doing steps like body cameras and greater police accountability and ensuring that there's not immunity where an officer does the wrong thing and more diverse police departments. Of course, we should do that.

But this is bigger than that, this is about culture and it's even bigger than policing. Until black Americans have the full economic, political and social empowerment and equality, that means that you are an equally empowered citizen, there will continue to be these instances and expressions on a daily basis in the life of black Americans from small things, all the way to these horrific cases of violence.

And this is a time when white Americans, especially white Americans with good intentions who get up in the morning, believing ourselves to be anti-racist to ask what that actually requires of us. What it actually means. And that's where I think there's a lot of hope in this moment, in the diversity of those who are responding to things that so many black voices so that they have been screaming at the top of their lungs for years and for decades.

SCIUTTO: There's a presidential election in November, you might be aware of that. You, of course, publicly supported Joe Biden for the nomination.

He has said he will choose a woman as vice president, a step that you called positive. Given the deep division in this country, and as you describe it there, should he choose a woman of color?

BUTTIGIEG: I think that would have tremendous, positive effects.

Now I'm going to be careful about giving advice to a man who knows more about the vice presidency than probably anyone alive. But what I do know is that there is a gap in leadership, in representation, in government, as well as in the private sector.


And there are so many extraordinary women of color in our party, in our country, who can and are right now providing extraordinary leadership.

SCIUTTO: Mayor Pete, happy anniversary to you and Chasten. We appreciate having you on the program this morning.

BUTTIGIEG: Thanks. It's great to be with you. SCIUTTO: Well, new concerns about a second wave of coronavirus

coinciding with the fall flu season. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is going to join us next.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: A key coronavirus model now predicts the death toll in the United States could surpass 200,000 people by October. The second wave of the virus will coincide with the seasonal flu this fall.

Joining us now is CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Sanjay, great to see you.

So, what has changed that allowed this University of Washington model to up its forecast so much?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think -- I think there were two things and we have been following this closely. First of all, we're only modeling up until recently, until August 4th.