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NYPD Commissioner Tells Officers to "Fight Crime Differently"; NYC Crime Stats Show Spike in Murders and Burglaries in 2020; Air Force Sergeant Charged in Killing of Officer. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired June 17, 2020 - 07:30   ET



JIM SCIUTTO, CO-ANCHOR, NEW DAY: Welcome back. In a new letter overnight, New York City's Police Commissioner told all of his officers, some 55,000, that they will need to quote "fight crime differently", given the current climate. This comes as the NYPD reassigns some 600 plainclothes officers, effectively ending its controversial stop-and-frisk policy. Joining me now is the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department, Dermot Shea. Commissioner, always good to have you on the program.

DERMOT SHEA, COMMISSIONER, NEW YOR CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT: Hey Jim, good morning, thanks for having me.

SCIUTTO: I want to quote a little bit more from your letter overnight to the officers. You say, "in the current climate, we have to fight crime differently. We will do it with less street stops, perhaps exposing you to less danger and liability, while better utilizing data, intelligence and all the technology at our disposal" here.

So you're going to fight crime differently. I suppose, first question is, can you? Can your officers do that effectively in light of the changes that you're imposing?

SHEA: Yes, well, we have to, Jim. I mean, ultimately, we come to work every day, what we worry about first and foremost is keeping New Yorkers safe. So we have to. We are an organization that adapts. We change. Attitudes, laws change. Law enforcement, in my opinion, is never static, it's always fluid, and this is one more change. We will adapt.

But Jim, I think the real question here, and I don't want to hijack the interview by any stretch, but people need to come to grips that we have a broken -- at the best of times, we have a broken criminal justice system. We have a lot of people calling for less people incarcerated. People are getting shot on a daily basis in inner cities across the country. And it's happening here in New York City.

And with the pandemic, a broken system is even more in a state of chaos. So --

SCIUTTO: Let me ask you -- SHEA: You know, the answer to the broken system, Jim, can't be, go

out and stop more people. It's hurting trust. We don't need more stops in my opinion, we need a thousand people that already have open gun cases, many of them indicted to be taken off the street. And when that happens, we can get to a place where less incarceration, safer for everyone.

But this system right now of less incarceration, driven by advocates, and terms such as, you know, increased supervision and supervised release is like a unicorn. That is a fact.


SHEA: It is fake, you know, and --

SCIUTTO: Let's look at the numbers --

SHEA: Yes, go ahead, Jim.

SCIUTTO: Let's look at the numbers if we can because you and I have talked about this. And this proceeds the current climate with the protests post-George Floyd issues of less incarceration. But murders are up, shootings are up, burglaries, car thefts, rapes, and robberies, grand larceny down. But violent crime up, and you attribute this you're saying to new criminal justice reform policies that for instance put people behind bars for shorter periods of time. Is that what you're saying is behind this rise in crime?

SHEA: That's exactly what I'm saying, Jim. And I said it in January and I was called out for it. There's a lot of different agendas by a lot of different people. But I have an agenda, too. My agenda is keeping people safe in New York City. And anyone doesn't have to go very far into looking at the numbers. We've cut our enforcement touch in New York City over 50 percent. We've cut every metric in the last 4 to 5-6 years.

But there is a tipping point Jim. And we are past --

SCIUTTO: Right --

SHEA: The tipping point in my professional opinion.

SCIUTTO: OK, so you have new changes that are coming in addition to those incarceration rates, et cetera, such as, as we mentioned disbanding this plainclothes unit.

SHEA: Yes --

SCIUTTO: I'm asking you then, are these changes that you're imposing in the wake of the George Floyd killing and other events around the country, are you saying that's impeding police officers' ability to do their jobs?


SHEA: No, and this is a complicated situation. A lot of people -- this takes a long conversation on specifically these anti-crime units. I can tell you that going back over a year, I've been looking at how we deploy these teams, should they be in plain clothes? I have had conversations that are documented with my executive staff. And this is some debate, to be honest.

This is not a unilateral agreement, but it's my decision and I make the decision, and I stand behind it. But I've been speaking about this internally for well over a year. I think it was needed. I think it was time for a change, for a lot of different reasons. I think it goes a long way to building trust in the community. I think it protects officers as well, quite frankly. And I think that we can do it. We can continue to fight crime by being more strategic.

SCIUTTO: Right. You say that the criminal justice system is broken. And I wonder, when you look at policing, do you believe that policing or parts of policing is broken, particularly when it comes to racism? You've heard, some contend that there is systemic racism in policing. You've heard the president and others and the attorney general contest that. You run the largest police department in the country. Is there systemic racism in policing?

SHEA: Listen, if I'm going to say that policing doesn't have problems and isn't at times broken, I think I would be lying. I also, though, point out -- and I'm talking general terms now. But I'll talk specifically about the New York City Police Department. When you look at law enforcement in general, of course, there's problems. But I also am in close contact with leaders in the law enforcement profession, Jim, across this country and we recognize this.

I think the key point here though is, when you have people holding press conferences and announcing reform, I think it's well intentioned. I don't think it's the way true reform has to come now. It can be a pardon. I think true reform, I think, comes from internal. And if you have laws imposed, but you have resistance internal, I don't think it's where we want to be.

I could speak to the police department out here. We have been reforming for the last six years. We recognize things that we had to change. We haven't always identified every problem. Some of it has been identified for us. And we've worked collaboratively with pardon. But whether it's training, whether it's de-escalation training, impartial bias training, whether it's our policies and practices, whether it's releasing --


SHEA: Body camera footage and being more transparent, this is a -- this is a reform agency and it has been already.

SCIUTTO: Yes, listen, Dermot Shea, you get it here. This is a complicated issue. There are no simple solutions, certainly a press conference is not going to do it. But so -- I hope we can keep up the conversation to talk about the depth of the changes necessary and who's got to do them. But we do appreciate you taking the time this morning given all you've got on your plate.

SHEA: Jim, thank you very much for having me, any time.

SCIUTTO: We wish you the best of luck. Well, two police officers were gunned down during protests in separate cities. We have chilling new details of what happened. And, this is crucial, the suspect's ties to a far-right white supremacist group. That's coming up.



SCIUTTO: Watch this story. An active duty Air Force sergeant has been charged now with murder and attempted murder in the shooting death of a federal security officer outside a courthouse in Oakland, California last month. The FBI says that Steven Carrillo used protests there as cover to attack law enforcement. And this is key. He is linked to the extremist anti-government Boogaloo movement.

This is a right-wing group, wants to start a civil war in this country. CNN's Drew Griffin joins us now with more. And Drew, as you've seen, the president, the Attorney General, have tried to place all blame for violence in the protests on left-wing groups, Antifa, et cetera. How do you describe the people behind this killing of law enforcement officers?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I can describe this person, Jim, and this is a disturbing on so many levels. As you say, this guy is in the Air Force. A staff sergeant. His job to protect Air Force planes in very dangerous places, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria. But they say on May 29th, while protests were going on in Oakland, Steve Carrillo, 32-year-old father of two drove into Oakland with an accomplice in a van, plotted, and then drove by and killed a security guard at the Oakland federal courthouse, wounded another one.

And then eight days later, shot and killed a Santa Cruz sheriff's deputy who was coming to arrest him. Jim, this was all done with a homemade ghost gun. This is a gun with no serial numbers, described as a machine gun. And when they finally did make the arrests according to the indictment, they found on his social postings messages that were connected to this Boogaloo movement.

He had a patch on his clothing that identified with the Boogaloo movement, which has a kind of a Hawaiian flare to it. And on the carjacked car that he had car-jacked, he wrote some Boogaloo messages in blood on the hood of that car.


This group, as you said, is preparing for civil unrest. It's more of a movement, not a group. Some of them are extremely liberal. Some of them are extremely conservative. What is disturbing is, they are showing up heavily-armed at protests all across the country, we've seen them in Minneapolis, Indianapolis, even Louisville, I've talked to some of these guys.

They're very hard to pin down on what their actual beliefs are, other than they very much believe in the power of their guns, their loaded firearms, and as you said -- Alisyn, as Jim said, they are calling for civil unrest, a civil war, or they're preparing for one, just unclear against whom. Alisyn?

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CO-ANCHOR, NEW DAY: And as you say, Drew, it's disturbing on so many levels. Thank you for your investigative reporting on this. Returning now to the coronavirus pandemic, 21 states seeing cases increase this week, 29 states holding steady or going down. Joining us now is CNN contributor, Erin Bromage; he's a biology professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Professor Bromage, great to have you on. You see the status report of this week as a good news-bad news story. So let's start with the good news. Where are you seeing good signs?

ERIN BROMAGE, BIOLOGY PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS DARTMOUTH: Yes, so we're down about 30 percent off our peak in regards to daily cases, so that's great news. Even better is the number of hospitalizations, the ICU bed use. Nationally, we're down quite significantly from where we were in the middle of April. So that's the really great news with this.

The bad news is we've plateaued out at about 20,000 cases a day. And we're seeing these flare-ups, these hot spots now popping up in a number of states, particularly Texas, Florida, Arizona really have my attention right now, because those case numbers are really going up fast, and more importantly, the number of hospitalizations in those states is increasing, now which usually lags a few weeks behind the number of new cases. So they have my attention right now.

CAMEROTA: And they have our attention as well. Particularly since some of their elected leaders -- I'm thinking of Governor Ron DeSantis has said -- says, we're not closing again. We're not going to be in shutdown mode. Life needs to go on. And so if you have spikes in hospitalizations and cases, what happens if you don't take any kind of shutdown measures?

BROMAGE: Yes, well, if you don't take any shutdown -- and it potentially doesn't even need to go to a shutdown. They just need clearer messaging to guide their population about what to do. I mean, through masks, you know, get masks on the population. We know that, that helps. Reinforce the physical distancing between people and slow down this race to reopen, because if you don't, we know that these spikes in cases, if they keep increasing the way they are, always proceed really large cases in hospitals.

And I know some states, Florida, has capacity to hold more people, not that we want it, more people in hospital, but when you look at Arizona, they're getting really close to their surge capacity right now. And that just spells trouble.

CAMEROTA: Professor, I know that you have looked at a study out of Japan that you find interesting. And it is how this virus clusters. What causes these kinds of cluster events. And here's a graphic of some of the things that we found. In Japan, they looked at I guess 3,000 cases, and they broke it into where it was clustering. They found that the largest majority of the clusters healthcare facilities.

Then 10 of the clusters linked to other care facilities like daycare centers. Ten clusters in restaurants or bars, eight in work places, seven of the clusters in live concerts or chorus group rehearsals, even karaoke parties, five of the clusters linked to gyms, two linked to ceremonial functions. And I think that what's just really interesting is that they found that those clusters were not spread through coughing, they were spread through other things. So what did you find interesting in that study?

BROMAGE: Yes, so, you know, that study was great. This shows you what happens when you have good data and you've got great contact-tracing. So they were able to see these clusters. This is where more than five people became infected. The interesting thing about this is more than half of those situations that you described appear to have started from a 20 to 40-year-old person.

People in that age group appear to have more contacts, they're more mobile, but they also show fewer symptoms if any at all, when they are infected. And so then will likely to be bringing it to new places and starting these new clusters when they don't know that they're sick.


We're seeing that same type of data in regards to who's being infected in the United States now. And I was looking at the data from Florida just last night. And we're seeing the largest number of cases are in that 20 to 40-year-old age group. That's part of the reason why we're not seeing the high mortality, but now we're seeing a virus with lots and lots of mobility because of the people that are infected.

CAMEROTA: That is very interesting. So 20 to 40-year-olds need to be careful because it's also the singing that they were doing at karaoke clubs, it's also the shouting that they were doing at clubs. And so these are things that we just all need to be mindful of. Because even when you don't feel sick, those things can be happening.

BROMAGE: Yes, and the heavy breathing with being in a gym, all of those things that make you expel air at a faster rate at harder rates. What protects the virus out into the air and can potentially infect lots more people.

CAMEROTA: Professor Erin Bromage, we really appreciate your expertise, thanks so much.

BROMAGE: Always a pleasure being on the show.

CAMEROTA: So there's a lot of talk about pro-sports returning to action. What about sports leagues for kids? We're going to look at what that looks like in the future ahead.



SCIUTTO: After months of being trapped at home, children are finally getting back on the playing field. This of course making parents and their kids very happy. CNN's Bianna Golodryga joins us now live with more. This is something a lot of families have been waiting for, so it's happening now.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN SENIOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: It's starting to happen, Jim, and let's face it, it's been a really tough few months for kids. They haven't been able to go to school, they haven't been able to see their friends, and of course, they haven't been able to play sports. And as excited as we parents are about kids returning to the field, a recent survey show that 50 percent of parents still fear their kids -- or they could get sick when their kids are playing sports.

Nonetheless, many states are finally beginning to play ball again.


GOLODRYGA (voice-over): As states begin to reopen, youth sports are coming off the sidelines. With baseball and softball resuming in Iowa. Youth football leagues in Indiana returning for on-field practices. In Texas and Florida, all the youth sports have been given the green light. But it won't look like it used to.

KEVIN MCCARTHY, DOWNTOWN UNITED SOCCER CLUB, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: This is their first time anybody from dusk is standing on this new resurfaced field.

GOLODRYGA: Kevin McCarthy oversees nearly 5,000 players and 50 coaches as the executive director of New York's co-ed Downtown United Soccer Club. The U.S. Soccer Federation is recommending a phased restart with individual and small group training.

MCCARTHY: We have virtual training scenarios which we're in the midst of.

GOLODRYGA: For months, kids have attempted to do everything from lacrosse, gymnastics, football, even soccer virtually. But those online zoom sessions are taking a toll on some players.

(on camera): What have been some of the most struggling parts?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want to be with their teammates, they want to score goals, they want to run around.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here we go, get low. Get low.

GOLODRYGA (voice-over): Bob Westbrook says he has been forced to cancel international and domestic tournaments for the 1,000 players registered at the A5 Volleyball Club in Atlanta. He says technology can't replace team building and bonding.

BOB WESTBROOK, DIRECTOR, A5 VOLLEYBALL: For athletes and people that play the game or this game or any game, it's like a black hole. It's a void in your life that you can't find an outlet from.

GOLODRYGA: Youth sports in the U.S. generates more than $19.2 billion each year. Billions more than the NFL and more than double the revenue of the NBA. Just three months into COVID-19 shutdowns, sports clubs nationwide have seen $8.5 billion wiped out.

MCCARTHY: I'm concerned that we will not have enough players to continue to employ all coaches. If this lasts longer and longer.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're getting ready to pass out several hundred thousand dollars in refunds. We think we're going to make it, right? But there will be a lot of clubs that will not.

GOLODRYGA: As games resume, gone are the days of high fives, replaced now by regular temperature checks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But then we only have four athletes and a coach at a time on the floor together.

GOLODRYGA: Little league baseball will likely have Xs painted 6 feet apart in the gravel. Each player issued their own bat and helmet, and dug outs likely closed for the season.

MCCARTHY: There's no hugs, there's hi-fives, not having players touch the cones, you know, washing balls, bibs, training at different distances.

GOLODRYGA: But it's still a highly anticipated goal that can't come soon enough.

MCCARTHY: When I walk here and see hundreds of players training together again, I think I might get down on my knees and be thankful.


GOLODRYGA: And that day is coming soon, even though as hard-hit states like New Jersey and New York announced that they will be reopening non-contact sports for New Jersey. Governor Murphy said that would be July 22nd -- June 22nd, I'm sorry, and then in New York, here in the hardest hit states so far, it's going to be July 6th. And Jim, full disclosure, that little cute boy playing soccer there that you saw in the piece, that's my son because he was actually inspiration for me wanting to do this story. Zoom Soccer is just not the same as being out with your friends.

SCIUTTO: I hear you. I've got a little boy equally eager to get out on the field. Bianna Golodryga, thanks very much. And NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Vice President Mike Pence is playing down any concerns over a second wave of the virus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make sure to continue to explain the magnitude of increase in testing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're seeing increased testing, but the increased case counts are outpacing that increased testing.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, I'm signing an executive order, encouraging police departments nationwide to adopt the highest professional standards to serve their communities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I appreciate the discussion happening, but that's not enough. That's not true reform.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's progress. It's the caboose, it's not the engine, but it's on the right track.