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Author, Matthew Horace, Discusses The Senate & House Clash Over Police Reform Amid Unrest; Joe Biden Blasts Trump, Pence In Speech In Philadelphia; Passenger Aboard American Airlines Flight Forced To Deplane After Refusing To Wear Mask; Possible Charges Soon Against Fired Officer In Brooks Killing. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired June 17, 2020 - 14:30   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Is there anything in either of the proposals you think would have prevented the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor or Rayshard Brooks?

MATTHEW HORACE, FORMER LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER & AUTHOR: No, because we're dealing with systematic racism. And it starts with failed systems, that not only involve police officers, but also governments that don't enact laws to stop officers from committing certain acts, mental health, education, housing.

The inequities in the system create an intersection for police failure.

KEILAR: Matthew, thank you so much. Matthew Horace, we appreciate your perspective on this.

And just in, an Americans Airlines passenger had to deplane after he refused to wear a mask for the flight. We'll explain what happened there.

Plus, as we wait to hear whether the police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks will be charged, the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, who has helped lead marches there, will joins me live.



JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES & DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Notwithstanding the fact we're in the middle of a pandemic. That's how critical they think it is.

On Monday, Donald Trump said, quote, "If we stopped testing right now for COVID-19, we'd have very few cases, if any."

"If we stop testing now, we'd have very few cases, if any." The statement is not only absurd, it's absolutely tragic.

Yesterday, the head of the White House task force on coronavirus, the vice president, claimed success in the fight because deaths are, quote, "down to fewer than 750 a day."

So 750 fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, uncles, aunts, husbands, wives, children dying every day. More than 20,000 a month. That's greater than World War II-level of casualties each month. That's more than five 9/11s each month. And this administration is engaging in self-congratulations.

It may be good enough for Donald Trump, but it will never, ever be acceptable if I'm you president.

Researchers have shown that tens of thousands of Americans have died needlessly because Donald Trump was slow to respond to the crisis. And then when he did, he bungled the response.

For weeks, in January and February, I was raising my concern said about how we need to take this virus seriously, all while Trump was ignoring the reporting from his own Intelligence Community in his daily briefings and the warnings of his closest advisors.

All the while praising the Chinese government for being transparent in handling this virus, instead of demanding access for the CDC that Beijing was refusing to give in Wuhan.

The American people have sacrificed so much to fight this virus. We've lost lives. We've lost businesses. We've lost paychecks. Now, thanks to Donald Trump's bungling, we may lose some of the progress we've begun to make, all because he's lost interest.

He's once again ignoring the facts. The public health response is still woefully, woefully lacking from this administration. More than 117,000 people have died in the United States of America, with an average daily number of cases still climbing in 21 states.

We still don't have what we need when it comes to rapid results testing. Contract -- contact tracing capacity. Widely available personnel, protective equipment for them or cleared nationwide guidance.

Instead, President Trump pushes dangerous disproven drug, stands in the way of the CDC issuing guidelines on reopening. They had them, wanted to issue them, he wouldn't let them. He refuses to wear a mask. Failing the most basic tests for leadership.

He scaled back meetings of the COVID-19 task force. I guess there's not much to do. In spite of experts saying testing and tracing is necessary for reopening, he sent his testing czar home.

The money provided to the Pentagon for essential medical supplies, only 15 percent, only 15 percent has made it out the door.

Donald Trump wants to style himself as wartime president against this invisible enemy, the coronavirus. Like any other war, he takes no responsibility. He exercises no leadership. And now he just is flat- out surrendering the fight.

Instead of leading the charge to defeat the virus, he just basically waved the white flag and is retreating.


He's going to get back to his campaign rallies that he'll put everyone at risk, as everyone has pointed out, in violation of the CDC guidelines. And still warned against long gatherings, as long as - he's going to allow this to happen. But he's ready to do it as long as, notwithstanding CDC guidance, as long as the people showing up sign a waiver promising they'll not hold the campaign liable.

Donald Trump's failure to fight the coronavirus with the same energy and focus he used to troll his enemies on Twitter has cost us lives and is putting hope for an economic recovery at risk.

Job numbers and retail sales were better than expected in May and that's great news for the country. But now Donald Trump's desire to declare victory and be done with it is only going to imperil the continued progress we have to make.

Our economy is still sputtering, with more than 20 million people unemployed. And no clear guidance from the federal government for what businesses need to do to reopen safely, efficiently, and generate a strong recovery.

This isn't a debate about whether to reopen. It's about how we make reopening work for everyone.

The employees at the White House, they get daily COVID-19 tests. They know they're safe before they go to work. And they know their coworkers are safe. They can resume their lives.

But workers across the country, aren't asking for daily testing. They're just asking for regular, reliable access to tests. Don't they deserve that?

It's not that Donald Trump doesn't recognize the importance of testing. It's that he's not up to the task or doesn't care. And now he's seemingly decided he doesn't even want to try.

Just like he couldn't wish COVID-19 away in March, just like he couldn't tweet it away in April, he can't ignore it away in June.

So, I ask basic questions for President Donald Trump. What are you going to do to make sure every worker has access to regular testing so that they have the same confidence to go into a store or go back to work that White House staffers have?

Childcare centers can navigate uncertainty all on their own without guidance and resources to protect the kids and their communities?

Why don't you enforce the OSHA standards for worker protection during this global pandemic?

Why is it that mainstream lending program created more than two months ago by the Congress to help struggling small businesses only open for registration to lenders two days ago? And still hasn't distributed a single penny?

Why don't you just disclose the name, Mr. President, of the businesses that received a total of $500 billion in tax-payers funding. Why are they being hidden? How many cronies got bailouts? How many donors? How many big businesses that didn't need it?

What business had to shut down because they were denied funding in April? What businesses didn't get special approval that others got by a nod from the top?

Why did you get rid of the watch dog, Mr. President? Why did you get rid of the watchdog appointed to oversee every dollar distributed, the inspector general? Why did you get rid of that person that Congress passed? What are you trying to hide?


It's a bad management, on top of bad planning, on top of neglect. It's totally unacceptable for a great nation like ours.

Folks, here's the truth. The pandemic is still here. It's going to be here for the foreseeable future until we get it under control or until we have a safe-and-proven, widely available vaccine. COVID-19 is a fact of nature.

We have to deal with this virus and everything that comes with it. We have to deal with it head on, honestly. Tell the people the truth. To paraphrase Franklin Roosevelt in the depression, the American people can handle anything, just tell them the truth.

We can't deal with the way you're doing it. The only way to deal with it, Mr. President, is we put in the work investing and building a dynamic, resilient economy and health system, capable of getting and then staying ahead of new outbreaks. We're at capacity and resources to do that.

I've laid out baseline steps of what needed to be done. From make-it- work checklists for a successful accountable and recovery that I put out back in early April, to the steps for a strong reopening that I released last week. It's not rocket science.

Granted, I have incredible scientists advising me on almost a daily basis on how to proceed. But it's not rocket science. It's common sense, straight forward.

And that's why this is perhaps the greatest indictment of Donald Trump's complete compelling lack of leadership. He wasted months and months passing the buck, blaming everyone else. Refusing to act when he should have been preparing our country for a long-term response and building up our resiliency to respond to future flair ups.

Yet, we still don't have a comprehensive system for collecting COVID- 19 case data. This is the basics. He should have been preparing us to weather the valleys and peeks of the virus.

And he should have been working to shore up the vulnerabilities in our health care system that have been laid bare in the crisis and that he's trying to eliminate in court.

He should have been working to bridge inequities and strengthen the cracks in the foundation of our economic systems exposed for everyone to see.

He hasn't done any of it.

Because of the depths of Donald Trump's failure, this pandemic will continue to be worse for all Americans. And much worse for black and brown Americans who have been hit the hardest. For folks in communities like Darby, Yeadon.

Donald Trump thinks if he puts his head in the stand, the American people will to. But it doesn't work that way. Not with when hundreds are still dying every day and millions are unemployed, wondering how in god's name they're going to keep the lights on and food on the table. Not when workers are weighed down with worries about their safety or what happens if they get sick.

There are the steps we need be taking now to steer in the right direction, see us through this time, to make a more resilient future for all.

First, we have to do everything we can to avoid deadly spikes in infection as people start to go back out in the world. We're not that much better prepared today with the run of cases that overfills our intensive care units than we were three months ago.

Second, we have to help give people the assurance and precautions that are necessary to restart the economy with confidence. If Americans lose what little faith they have left in the government's ability to manage this pandemic, we'll see much deeper and longer-lasting economic impacts than we even -- and even greater repercussions to peoples' wellbeing.

Mr. President, don't leave the American people to face this threat on their own, with no guidance, resources, or leadership from the federal government. Don't let support from the CARES Act expire next month while people are still hurting. Don't leave our frontline workers exposed without the resources. And don't waste any more of our time, Mr. President.


The American people need confidence and clear guidance, grounded in science, that's going to allow them to resume their daily lives. American businesses need the support of the federal government to continue to backstop them through this phase of reopening. And workers need assurances that your health is their first concern.

Americans need a president who will put the American people first, not his or her own ego. America needs a president who will do the work.

I'm ready on day one. After more than three years in office, why isn't Donald Trump ready?

Mr. President, wake up. Get to work. There's so much more to be done.

Thank you.

KEILAR: Joe Biden there speaking in Pennsylvania and blasting the Trump administration's response to coronavirus. He said, essentially, it has surrendered the fight against it.

He took on Vice President Mike Pence trying to declare victory over coronavirus. He said that this administration is engaging in self- congratulations.

And Jessica Dean is joining me now from the event.

And he, at the end, signed off there, Jessica, he said, wake up, which I thought was an interesting jab at President Trump considering the moniker that President Trump has for him. He's accusing President Trump of being asleep on the job when it comes to coronavirus.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. We saw him go right after President Trump and his response to the coronavirus as you just saw there. This was all about lack of leadership that Joe Biden believes is being displayed by President Trump.

To your point, he said, "Wake up, get to work." There's so much to be done. And said that the president has waived the white flag and is retreating when it comes to the fight with the virus.

Former Vice President Joe Biden spending the day just outside of Philadelphia in the suburbs here talking to small business owners about how to safely reopen the economy and giving remarks behind us.

And he's trying to make the point that Donald Trump is wrong when it comes to coronavirus in so many ways.

But the biggest point is that Joe Biden believes that you could both reopen the economy and take care of public health. But it is not one choice or the other.

But the stark words, we heard him go directly at the sitting president, at President Trump, Brianna, and telling him that he is just asleep at the wheel, that Americans are worse off because of his lack of leadership.

So really direct words today from former Vice President Joe Biden.

KEILAR: Jessica Dean, thank you so much. Out on the trail with Joe Biden.

And this just into CNN. A passenger aboard an American Airlines flight from New York to Dallas was forced to deplane after refusing to wear a mask.

I want to go to CNN aviation correspondent, Pete Muntean.

Pete, this is something we're just learning about. Tell us what happened here. PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, this is the

first such incident we've heard like this. And it will unlikely be the last.

Let me just sort of walk you through this. There was a tweet that went viral. At 12:30, American Airlines flight from LaGuardia to Dallas- Fort Worth, you could hear a conversation between flight attendants and a passenger who refused to wear a mask.

We know from American Airlines that the flight did depart but the passenger was booted from the flight and is now being rebooked onto another flight.

American Airlines notes that several times throughout the procedures of boarding the plane, once on board the plane, they reminded passengers to wear a mask.

This comes at a critical time to the airlines when they've added teeth to their policies. United, American and Delta saying they will ban a passenger who refuses to wear a mask from flying on this carrier again.

So we do not know in this case if the passenger was banned. That passenger was rebooked.

This is during a time when there was a void of federal regulations on commercial airlines when it comes to wearing a mask.


The FAA administrator on the Hill today said he supports CDC guidelines but stopped short of any new regulations.

The industry, the airline industry is trying to enforce the policy on their own and there's a bit of patch work of policies. No federal rule about this yet, though -- Brianna?

KEILAR: And it doesn't seem like we'll get one any time soon, Pete.

Thank you so much, Pete Muntean.

And our special coverage continues now with Brooke Baldwin.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Hi, there. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me.

We wanted to take it a few minutes early because, any moment, we'll learn if there will be charges for the police officers involved in that fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta. The district attorney will make the announcement any minute and we'll take you there live when it begins.

The D.A.'s decision is expected to address both of those officers involved. Former Atlanta police officer, Garrett Rolfe, the man who shot and killed Brooks, was fired one day after the fatal shooting. And the second police officer on the scene has been placed on administrative duty. His name is Devon Brosnan.

The incident was caught on multiple cameras.

And before we roll the tape, I want to warn you that both videos may be disturbing.


UNIDENTIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: Hey, stop fighting. Stop fighting.


BALDWIN: So in the police body cam video, Brooks is seen resisting arrest after failing a sobriety test and scuffling with one of the officers as he got ahold of a taser.

Let me show you this. This is the second angle. This is from an eyewitness. It begins with the struggle Brooks had with the officers there on the ground. One officer appears to fire his stun gun. And then later in the video, three gunshots are heard out of frame.

This whole thing has sparked outrage and anger as protesters took to the streets over the weekend and now into this week demanding justice.

And as we wait to hear from the Fulton County district attorney, let's begin the hour with CNN National Correspondent, Ryan Young, who there's at the courthouse in Atlanta, and CNN Correspondent Dianne Gallagher, standing by at the Wendy's where Brooks was killed.

Ryan, I want to begin with you.

The D.A., Paul Howard, what are we expecting to see here in a few minutes?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that is the big question. Obviously, we've been chasing after Paul Howard after the last few days to see what he would announce.

But I could tell you the pain in this community is something that so many people have been talking about when you watch that body camera footage, so many people talked about how calm it was for some 30 minutes and then what happened afterwards is what people have been talking about.

There are people who were obviously in this community to believe charges should come down on those officers. They want to know why it ended up the way it did.

We're now in this courtroom, where they're going to do the news conference. People are filing in as we speak. They're trying to set things up to talk about what possibly could happen.

I could tell you I've talked to some insiders who do believe there where charges coming for the officers. But this is set a line in this community. People wanting action. Of course, you have all of the things that happened across the country.

Now here in Atlanta, this is a place known for the civil rights movement. And you heard the mayor talk about how she felt when she watched the video. That she was rooting for Rayshard Brooks and wanted him to get home.

And that is the big question: Why did it end this way. The taser, whether or not it was considered a deadly weapon. The investigators have been working on this since after the shooting.

So it is interesting to see how they move forward especially in the community filled with so much pain.

BALDWIN: Let me stay with you quickly, Ryan, because it is my understanding we've heard that they want the officers in jail, right, period, full stop. But you have some intel on the moral at APD. What are you hearing?

YOUNG: Yes, I've talked to 12 officers over the last 24 hours or so, black, white, male, female, long-time veterans of the police department. They have mixed messages about how they should act when the shooting occurs and when someone grabs a taser. That is happening throughout the community. We so see the line of people having arguments about what should happen next.

What I can I tell you go out to that site, that Wendy's, and listen to the pain. The fact there's a steady flow of people going every hour to that Wendy's. And you know people in the community that want answers and they are demanding it -- Brooke?


BALDWIN: Let's go to the Wendy's to Dianne.

Dianne, what are folks telling you? What re the emotions they're sharing?

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, it's kind of what Ryan was describing there. There's this collective breath holding happening in Atlanta over the past few days.