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11 Charges Against Officer And Former Officer In Rayshard Brooks' Death; Covid-19 Is Not Dying Out, It's Surging In 10 States; China Responds To Bolton Book's Trump Accusations. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired June 18, 2020 - 05:30   ET




MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D), ATLANTA: Had a great working relationship with our officers. And so, what I would say is in the same way our administration has made that commitment to our officers, we expect that our officers will keep their commitment to our communities


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Now, former officer Garrett Rolfe charged yesterday with 11 counts, including felony murder, for shooting Rayshard Brooks. He also faces five charges of aggravated assault.

Officer Devin Brosnan, who is now on desk duty, faces three charges. One count is aggravated assault for allegedly standing on Brooks' shoulder as he lay on the ground. Brosnan's attorney tells CNN his client was just trying to control the situation.


DON SAMUEL, OFFICER DEVIN BROSNAN'S ATTORNEY: He put his foot on the arm to make sure he didn't have access to a weapon. He still had, within reach, the Taser that he had taken from Devin. And, like, for six or seven seconds, he puts his -- he puts his foot on the arm so he can make sure that he doesn't grab a weapon, and then he takes his foot off.

And the -- and the D.A. says that that's an aggravated assault, which is -- it's ludicrous.


ROMANS: At Wednesday's news conference, the district attorney revealed a photo he said shows Rolfe kicking Brooks after he'd been shot. Rolfe's lawyer told Fox News that's not what happened.


LANCE LORUSSO, ATTORNEY FOR GARRETT ROLFE: My client never kicked Mr. Brooks. If there was a video of my client kicking Mr. Brooks you would have seen it. He shows a still and that one leg is planted and the other one's bent.

He could be leaning down to try to give him first aid. It could have been when he was trying to evaluate whether he needed handcuffs. And this officer gave him CPR, monitored his pulse prior to that, talked to him to try to keep him breathing, and called for EMS, and coordinated other efforts on the scene.


ROMANS: The prosecutor says videos show the officers were not behaving as if they were in any danger.


PAUL HOWARD, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA: We were able to conclude that based on the way that these officers conducted themselves while Mr. Brooks was lying there, that the demeanor of the officers immediately after the shooting did not reflect any fear or danger of Mr. Brooks, but their actions really reflected other kinds of emotions.


ROMANS: Both officers must turn themselves in to police by 6:00 p.m. tonight.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: New this morning, Covid-19 is surging in 10 states with daily new case totals spiking to their highest level since the pandemic began. Yet, President Trump says coronavirus is disappearing.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you look, the numbers are very minuscule compared to what it was. It's dying out.


JARRETT: But the truth is it's not just going away, and one new model suggests Florida could be the next big epicenter of the pandemic.

CNN's Athena Jones has the latest.


ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine and Laura.

Despite the message coming from the White House and its allies, the latest numbers show the Covid crisis in the U.S. has not abated.

In fact, new coronavirus cases are surging to record levels in several states that experts say reopened too soon or without the proper precautions. States like Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, West Virginia seeing huge increases in case numbers, and hospitalizations hitting new highs in Texas, North Carolina, and Arizona.

Meanwhile, as the debate over masks rages on, American Airlines asked a passenger to deplane from a flight from New York to Dallas after he refused to wear a mask.

And in yet another indication of the outsized toll that coronavirus is taking on minority communities, a new -- a new Brookings study shows blacks are dying at 3.6 times the rate of whites, while Spanish are dying 2.5 times more than whites, according to CDC data -- Christine, Laura.


JARRETT: All right, Athena, thank you.

A developing story now. China, just a short time, responding to the accusations made in a book by former national security adviser John Bolton. Bolton writes President Trump asked China's President Xi to help him in the upcoming 2020 election.

CNN's Anna Coren is live in Hong Kong. Anna, what are you hearing about this?

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Laura, a short time ago, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs came out and said very matter-of-factly that China does not interfere in America's internal affairs and elections. As you say, it's in response to those claims made by John Bolton that Trump asked President Xi Jinping for help in getting reelected.

It apparently happened at the G20 in Japan last year where Trump said to Xi that Midwestern farmers were key to his reelection campaign. He urged Xi to buy American agricultural products such as soybeans and wheat in exchange for waving some tariffs.

Now, this was in the middle of the trade war and trade negotiations where Trump said that he was holding China to account, trying to get the best deal for American farmers. But according to Bolton, it was all about his reelection bid.


Now, the other topic involving China is the Uighurs. They, as we know, are a persecuted Muslim minority in China where they are held in these camps -- up to two million of them held in these camps. And, once again, at the G20, Bolton claims that Xi -- I should say Donald Trump endorsed these camps. Now, human rights groups describe them as concentration camps.

This is just absolutely staggering. And the quote is that "You should continue building these camps because it is exactly the right thing to do."

Now, when a spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was asked about that, he was very curt. He said that America knows our position, which is this an internal matter and America should keep out -- Laura. JARRETT: Interesting, China not denying that he asked President Xi -- just saying that it doesn't interfere in our elections.

All right, Anna Coren, thank you so much.

ROMANS: All right, big changes are coming to Quaker Oats product line as the country combats racism. The Pepsi-owned company is retiring the 130-year-old Aunt Jemima brand and acknowledging its racist origins.

Quaker said Wednesday, "As we work to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives, we also must take a hard look at our portfolio brands and ensure they reflect our values and meet our consumers' expectations."

Quaker's Web site says the logo started in 1890 and was based on Nancy Green, a storyteller, cook, and missionary worker. The company fails to mention Green was born into slavery.

Now, major food companies have been criticized for years for preserving harmful racial stereotypes. After the announcement from Quaker, Mars, the owner of Uncle Ben's rice, says it's planning to change the rice product's brand identity. And Conagra, the maker of Mrs. Butterworth's syrup, says it would conduct a complete review of its brand and packaging.

Quaker said new packaging will debut in the fall. It will also donate $5 million over the next five years to create meaningful, ongoing support and engagement in the black community.

I mean, I think this is -- these are bold moves but also a long time coming for these companies.

And another really important point about corporate America. You know, they can give $5 million and give money but really, corporate America writes the paychecks, does the hiring, does the training, and does the promotion. Corporate America here has a very big role in fixing racism in America by who they hire, how they hire, how they promote, and how they train.

JARRETT: Yes, in some ways, much harder than just changing the brand --

ROMANS: That's right.

JARRETT: -- to erase a stereotype.

All right, coming up next, Rayshard Brooks speaks in a haunting interview recorded just months before he was shot to death.


RAYSHARD BROOKS, SHOT AND KILLED BY ATLANTA POLICE OFFICER: I have to have my guard up because the world is cruel.


JARRETT: More from him in his own words, coming up.



ROMAN: Forty-two minutes past the hour.

As a fired Atlanta police officer faces felony murder charges in the killing of Rayshard Brooks, we're also hearing from Brooks, himself. In a haunting interview recorded just months before his death, Brooks talks about life after incarceration.

We get more from CNN's Randi Kaye.


BROOKS: And I'm 27 years of age. You know, a full-time carpenter.

RANDY KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That was Rayshard Brooks in February of this year, just months before he was shot and killed by an Atlanta police officer.

BROOKS: I've always been the type of person to -- you know, if you do some things that's wrong, you pay your debts to society.

KAYE (voice-over): Brooks shared his story about navigating the criminal justice system with a group called Reconnect.

BROOKS: Well, I just feel like some of the system could look at us as individuals. We do have lives, you know, where -- it's just a mistake we made -- and not just do us as if we are animals. You know, lock us away.

When I did get arrested, it was for false imprisonment and financial credit card fraud. I got sentenced to do one year in prison.

KAYE (voice-over): When he got out, Brooks had no money, no car, and a mountain of debt.

BROOKS: For one individual to try to deal with all of these things at one point in time was just impossible. You have court costs, probation -- just a lot of -- a lot of -- you would have to have a lot of money. And I'm fresh out of jail.

KAYE (voice-over): Fresh out of jail and in need of a job.

BROOKS: You go to filling out your application and you get to this question have you ever been convicted of a crime or have you ever been arrested. And, you know, you're sitting there like oh my God. It just breaks your heart.

It's hurting us but it's hurting our family the most. So as we go through these trials and tribulations we made mistakes. And it just causes our kids to be angry inside and that's a hard feeling to stomach.

KAYE (voice-over): All of this, Brooks says, impacted his mental health.


BROOKS: It hardened me, at a point, to -- like, hey, you know, I have to have my guard up because the world is cruel. It took me through seeing different things in -- you know, in the system. You know, it just -- it just makes you harden to a point.

KAYE (voice-over): What Brooks said he needed most was help from the very system that locked him up.

BROOKS: Probation is not there with you every day, like a mentor or something. They're not taking you out to find a job. You have to do these things on your own. And I feel like it should be a way for you to have some kind of person like a mentor assigned to you to keep your track -- keep you in the direction you need to be going.

We can't get the time back but we can make up for it. So I'm trying. I'm not the type of person to give up and I'm going to keep going until I make it where I want to be.

KAYE (voice-over): Randi Kaye, CNN, West Palm Beach, Florida.


JARRETT: And our thanks to Randi Kaye for bringing us that.

We'll be right back.



JARRETT: Family members of the 84 victims who lost their lives in California's huge Camp Fire spoke out on Wednesday. They gave victim impact statements as Northern California's largest power company, PG&E, pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I lived with my father and I could never imagine losing so much in one day.


JARRETT: Some of the statements were filled with grief; other relatives were visibly angry.


PHILIP BINSTOCK, LOST HIS FATHER IN 2018 CAMP FIRE: As far as I'm concerned, PG&E is a murderous enterprise. It galls me that I'm going to be paying their salaries and bonuses.

(END VIDEO CLIP) JARRETT: PG&E has agreed to pay $3.8 million in criminal fines to the state for starting the 2018 Camp Fire. The utility company is also setting up a $13.5 billion victim compensation fund as part of its bankruptcy plan.

ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on CNN Business this Thursday morning. Looking at markets around the world, you can see -- there we go -- we've got European shares open basically mixed here. London up just slightly.

On Wall Street, stock index futures here are pointing slightly higher, but this is nearly directionless. And it really reflects what we saw yesterday -- a mixed finish on Wednesday as concern over the spike in coronavirus cases in some states grows.

The Dow fell 170 points. The S&P 500 also closed lower. But the Nasdaq managed a slight gain. The Nasdaq is up some 10 percent for the year.

Investors will be waiting for the latest jobless claims report. Economists expect another 1.3 million Americans filed for the very first time for unemployment benefits last week. Last week, the Fed chief, Jerome Powell, said the Fed doesn't expect the jobs market to return to normal until after 2022.

Soon, Facebook and Instagram users will be allowed to block political ads in their feeds. Facebook says the new block feature will roll out to U.S. users in the next few weeks and it will include ads from political action committees. Facebook has been heavily criticized for letting candidates buy ads that contain misleading claims.

Democratic candidate Joe Biden recently launched a campaign asking Facebook to implement rules that prohibit threatening behavior and lies about how to vote. Biden's campaign also proposes a two-week period before the election where all political ads must be fact- checked before they appear on Facebook.

AT&T the latest company to close stores and cut jobs in the wake of the pandemic. The Communications Workers of America says the company is closing 250 stores and letting go of 3,400 technicians and clerical staff.

AT&T, which owns CNN, would not confirm the numbers cited by the union but said it expects virtually all the technician jobs being cut to be done through voluntary buyouts. AT&T also said workers at stores that close will be offered other jobs with the company, most of which can be done from home.

Now, businesses are taking the lead on honoring Juneteenth. Uber and Lyft are both making June 19th a paid company holiday, joining big names like Nike, Target, and JCPenney.

Best Buy said it's making Juneteenth a paid volunteer day for employees. Its CEO said it will become a formal paid company holiday starting next year.

The Green Bay Packers will close its offices and businesses to observe the day.

And, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order Wednesday designating Juneteenth as a holiday for all state employees. Cuomo said he would propose legislation next year to make it an official state holiday.

JARRETT: Yes. You know, we say it all the time. It's nice for companies to give away a holiday but the real work is behind the scenes --

ROMANS: Absolutely.

JARRETT: -- what's happening on corporate boards, what's happening with pay equity.

ROMANS: Yes, look at the boards. That's a very, very good point.

All right, thanks for joining us, everybody. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: I'm Laura Jarrett. "NEW DAY" is next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Fulton County district attorney announced charges against the two police officers involved in the Rayshard Brooks shooting.

HOWARD: We've concluded at the time Mr. Brooks was shot that he did not pose an immediate threat of death.

L. CHRIS STEWART, ATTORNEY FOR RAYSHARD BROOKS' FAMILY: This isn't like a celebration because this never should have happened.

JONES: Despite the message coming from the White House and its allies, the Covid crisis in the U.S. has not abated.

TRUMP: If you look, the numbers are very minuscule compared to what it was. It's dying out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The administration wants to move beyond coronavirus, but the virus isn't going to cooperate.


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

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: And we want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Thursday, June 18th, 6:00 here in New York.

John Berman is off. Jim Sciutto joins me.

And we begin with the stiff charges from prosecutors in the killing of Rayshard Brooks. And in response, a potential revolt by Atlanta police. Sources tell CNN that some police officers are now not responding to calls.

This comes as the officer who shot Brooks faces 11 charges, including felony murder, which carries the possibility of the death penalty. One key factor appears to be this picture that prosecutors allege shows Garrett Rolfe kicking Brooks as he lay on the ground after being shot.

The other officer allegedly stood on Brooks' shoulders while Brooks was on the ground. Prosecutors had said that that officer would be a witness for the state.