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Police: Officer Drew Gun Instead Of Taser, Shot Daunte Wright; Black Army Officer Pepper-Sprayed After Traffic Stop In Virginia Sues Police; New Protests After Police Shooting Of Daunte Wright. Aired 9- 10p ET

Aired April 12, 2021 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: The government says that last year, the number of calls they received was 27 percent more, than the year before the Coronavirus pandemic began.

The news continues right now. Want to hand it over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME." Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Appreciate it, Anderson.

I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

We are following events in Minnesota tonight. It is a place of protests again, after another police shooting leaves a Black man dead.

You're looking live at the situation in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.

Now here is the situation. There's a curfew in effect. And the police have been in a standoff. They are out now. And the question is how do they disperse the crowd? And the crowd is an interesting mix.

We're going to go there on the ground with Shimon Prokupecz (ph) as soon as he is ready. We're going to come back to him, get him on there, and talk about who's in that crowd, what the police are doing, and let's discuss why.

The reason that the Twin Cities are bracing for more anger in the streets tonight is because of this most recent shooting on top of the tension created by the murder trial of George Floyd.

So, we're going to go there and show you what's happening. But we have to talk about why first, unless something happens.

Three separate policing cases have this country on edge. The latest, that is the cause of the latest protests, is about a young man, 20- years-old, Daunte Wright. He was killed, after being shot by police, during a traffic stop, just 10 miles from where George Floyd's accused murderer is on trial. How much can one community take?

Police say he was pulled over for an expired registration. That's a nothing situation. It's a traffic stop. In checking his ID, they noticed Wright had an outstanding misdemeanor warrant, not a felony warrant.

So now, what happens? It is all on tape. The facts are still emerging. But the key moment is captured on police body cam that was released today.

I'm told to warn you. That video may be disturbing. But if you want to understand what happened, here it is.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You got a warrant, didn't you?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I did nothing.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll Taser you. Taser! Taser! Taser!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my (BLEEP)! I just shot him.



CUOMO: It's about a minute of footage. There's a lot to unpack. You see Wright drives off, then crashes his car.

You hear the female officer, not the one who was in the window, originally, who was male, you hear - that's the hands. It's her body camera. You hear her shouting "Taser! Taser! Taser!" a few times after a struggle. There's a reason for that. Then the officer uses an expletive, and says "I shot him."

Now, the Chief of Police says he thinks this was a deadly weapon mix- up.


CHIEF TIM GANNON, BROOKLYN CENTER, MINNESOTA POLICE DEPARTMENT: It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet.

This appears to me, from what I've viewed, and the officer's reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: How easy is it to make that kind of mistake? We have insight for you on that tonight.

Now, a medical examiner just ruled it was a homicide, meaning it is the bullet fired by the police officer that is to blame for the 20- year-old dying, not the car crash.

So, did she grab the wrong weapon from the holster? We're going to go through each step, and what the video shows, what the police did, and whether it makes sense. Now, we don't know the name of the officer yet, but we do know she's a veteran, and now placed on administrative leave.

That's one case on top of George Floyd in the same community. Now, in another case that is roiling the country, out of Virginia, we do know the names of the officers involved, and one was just fired for what I'm about to show you.

Again, it may be disturbing to some but it is the reality.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of the car now.

NAZARIO: I don't even want to reach for my seatbelt. Can you--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take your seatbelt off and get out of the car.

You made this way more difficult than it had to be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get on the ground.

NAZARIO: Can you please talk to me about what's going on?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get on the ground now.


NAZARIO: Can you please talk to me about what's going on? Why am I being treated like this? Why?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because you're not cooperating. Get on the ground.

Lay down or you're going to get tased.


CUOMO: The backstory, the man on the ground, a uniformed Black Army Lieutenant, had a gun pointed at him, was pepper-sprayed, as you saw. That was the liquid. They pulled him over for a traffic stop. This happened back in December. The incident is just coming to light

because it was caught on tape, and the tape was released.

The man's name is Caron Nazario, and he's now suing Virginia Police. And one of the officers involved has been fired, as I told you.

Police argue that this was a high-risk stop. Why? Because when they recognize the vehicle for not having a plate, it was a new vehicle, there was a temporary plate on the window, the windows were dark, they say the Army Lieutenant disregarded the lights, and sirens, and did not pull over, and continued to drive for some distance.

There's a lot more to the story and the case ahead.

But first, let's go back to Minnesota, and get to the streets there. We have Shimon Prokupecz, is live in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. That's where protests were. There was a lot of anger. Now, there's a curfew effect. And the police had walked outside the station the last time we saw the shot.

Now, let's see it now.

VOICE OF SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so Chris, now, these officers, state troopers, as you can see, have surrounded the perimeter, the outside perimeter of the police station. This was an area that was a flashpoint last night, between the protesters and the police.

And you can see, for the most part right now, a lot of the protesters are pretty close to many of the officers, having conversations with them. But it's been relatively peaceful. But this entire area around the precinct here, the police station, is surrounded by protesters.

There's another group, all the way in the distance, where I was before, also standing around, closer to the fence. There, the difference is that the police are actually, as you can see, behind the fence. And so far, they have told them to disperse.

But again, we are about an hour after the curfew, and still the police have not made any arrests. Obviously, Chris, one of the biggest concerns here, for the police, is that the protesters and people will try to attack the police station.

And that is what they're trying to right now--

CUOMO: Right.

PROKUPECZ: --keep people back from and trying to sort of protect their own - their home, right? It's their property. They're trying to protect. And that is what we're seeing here now. And there are hundreds, if not thousands, of police officers out here at the moment, Chris.

CUOMO: Shimon? There are a lot more people. Who are you seeing in that crowd? It looks like a very mixed crowd to me. I see some Black men and women there. They look younger to me. And there are a lot of young White faces there as well.

Do we know if these are people coming in from out of town? Is this just a big combination of people from the community? What have you found out?

PROKUPECZ: So, it is a big combination of people from the community. It is a mixed crowd.

At the vigil, of where I was earlier, around 7 o'clock, there were - is a very mixed crowd. His family was there. A lot of the people who were at the vigil, I am seeing some of their faces here now. So, it would seem that many of the people who are here are local people.

But as you said, Chris, it is a very mixed crowd. And most of them right now, though they are in this faceoff with police, the police have been fairly restrained. There was a couple of moments where it would - it seemed that the police were going to make some arrests, or try to disperse the crowd, and people ran away.

But for the most part, as you can see, a lot of people are just standing around, there's music playing. And the police right here, at this location, for now, are allowing them to remain on the street. We'll see as this goes through the night, if this continues.

Last night, as we know, there was a very different scene here. But the police already, I mean, there are - I mean there are a lot of cops here. And, of course, last night, there was tear gas, and rubber bullets, and other things that a lot of the people who were here last night reported seeing and hearing.

I have seen police officers here with tear gas. So they're actually ready--

CUOMO: Right.

PROKUPECZ: --if it's necessary. But so far, Chris, it's been pretty peaceful, and just a lot of - a lot of talking--


PROKUPECZ: --and a lot of - a lot of them just standing around and talking to the people, Chris.

CUOMO: I mean looking at the people behind you, Shimon, it's not as tense as seeing - things we've seen in the past. Hopefully, it stays that way. People speak their piece.


CUOMO: They let their feelings be known, angry or otherwise, but it doesn't become anything violent.

Now, we're supposed to have the mayor, Mayor Mike Elliott, of Brooklyn Center, Shimon. Interestingly, we have heard that he had to report to some situation on the ground, which is why I went to Shimon first.

But I wanted to ask Shimon, we lost him, if we can get him back, we understand that the Mayor has fired the City Manager.


Now, the way that Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, is set up, the Mayor doesn't have direct authority over the Police Department. A City Manager does. This may be that way in your community as well, different municipalities set it up differently.

And the Mayor had been very upset after George Floyd, had criticized legislative efforts, on the state level, that they wouldn't make a difference, as he said, they would not have saved George Floyd, or kept George Floyd from being killed. He's arguing for more legislation and more control.

So today, he fired the City Manager, which is his way of getting direct control over the Police Department. This comes in the midst, where the Police Chief was very emotional, while talking about this latest shooting, but there are also calls for his ouster. What will the Mayor do on that?

Again, the Mayor is supposed to be on with us right now. But of course, the job comes first. And supposedly, he had to respond to a situation on the ground. If he can come through, on the phone or otherwise, we'll get him in, to explain why he did what he did, and what we can figure out.

Shimon, let me just get a quick take from you. The situation seems fairly stable for now, where you are. Are you aware of the Mayor firing the City Manager, and what the political dynamic is at play there, in terms of what to do after this shooting?

PROKUPECZ: Yes, I have not heard anything about that, Chris. But I could tell you that it did seem that the Mayor here wanted to take control of the Police Department, and have control over the next moves.

Specifically so, as you're seeing here, because if the Mayor is running this Police Department, now, he would have to give the order for these - for the protesters to disperse. In essence, he would have to tell the police to give the order. And that could be why perhaps we're not seeing that.

It's an interesting dynamic, when you have a Mayor, who seemingly has no law enforcement experience, is now running this Police Department. And that's going to be interesting to see how Chris, that plays out.

As you see, so I just want to show you this scene here, Chris. This is the other side from where we were earlier. And this is where there's a lot of this fencing, and a lot of the officers, over here, are behind the fencing.

And you can see in the distance, so there are officers that are standing back there, so that if there is an order to disperse given, they will move forward, and someone just threw a bottle at one of the officers. And that's what's sort of been happening here. We would see these officers come out from the back. They would come forward. Some of the protesters would then move away or run away.

But right now, we're still seeing the police stand back. And then, we're seeing these other officers here, also just standing around, at this point, and watching the crowd, and obviously the crowd watching them and chanting.

But it would seem to your point, Chris, that if the Mayor is now in charge of this, of this Police Department, that what we saw last night, when the Police Chief would have given the dispersal order, and declared this a riot, and then the officers were then using tear gas and other methods, to disperse the crowd, it would probably be at this point, up to the Mayor, to make that decision.

CUOMO: Right.

PROKUPECZ: Also, I just - there's a whole community here as well that I think it's important to point out. And people live over here.

And you can see all the people here, behind me here as well, Chris, a lot of people, there's just a lot of people out here. And most of them are just standing around, at this point, waiting to really see how much longer this can go, and at what point will the police disperse them. If at all--

CUOMO: Well, it's also interesting what instructions--

PROKUPECZ: --it doesn't appear to be the case.

CUOMO: As you indicated earlier, it's also important who's calling the shots. Clearly, the police, they're in a protect posture.

PROKUPECZ: That's right.

CUOMO: They have the chain-link fence up, the cyclone fence, and they want to protect the building. And that's what they're doing. They're not being as aggressive as they could. Again, the law's on their side. There's a curfew in effect.

And it makes you wonder is Mayor Mike Elliott telling the police to stand down? Has he asserted control, getting rid of the City Manager? Or is this the Police Chief making the call or somebody else?

Again, we were supposed to have the Mayor on the show. He had to report to a situation on the ground, we were told. His insight is needed. And hopefully, when he gets an opportunity, if it's not with us, it's somewhere else, because these calls make a big difference.

What are the police going to do tonight? There is a curfew in effect. If they come out, they're encountering a lot of people. Those calls make a difference.

We will stay with Shimon Prokupecz (ph) and on the streets of Brooklyn Center. As something happens, hopefully nothing does, but if something happens that is we need to show you, I'll get right back to it.


And again, Mr. Mayor, Mayor Elliott, if you or one of your staffers can call in, and explain the situation, you got to do your job, all respect and understand that, I'd like to get the word out, so that people can understand what's happening, in your community.

Now, when we come back, we'll take a quick break, we're going to go to the Daunte Wright shooting. Body cam footage is absolutely necessary. It is a must these days. And remember, it wasn't so long ago that we almost never had them in a case.

We can go through this step-by-step to figure out what happened, and how the police made their choices along the way. We're going to do that here, and in Virginia. Spraying pepper spray, was that right?

We're going to have a police veteran look at both tapes, give us what the training says, next.








CUOMO: Now, we just showed you the political and cultural implications of the shooting death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright. The question is what was right and wrong in this situation?


We have the benefit of body camera footage, from what happened in Minnesota, and in Virginia, the case involving the Army Lieutenant, a traffic stop. The police wound up pepper-spraying him. They wound up not even arresting him, giving him no tickets, but threatening him not to say anything about what happened.

All right, so we're going to go through both of them, with a former Baltimore Deputy Police Commissioner, Anthony Barksdale.

It's good to have you.


CUOMO: So, I want to do this, two ways. I want to show the incident, and stop it, right where the altercation begins, and let's take that as one piece, and you take us through the right thing to do in this situation, what you see, what you don't. And then we'll take it in a moment of crisis. OK?


CUOMO: So, here is the first piece of footage of the stop. Once they've checked the registration, they see he has an outstanding misdemeanor warrant. How do you feel about an arrest on expired registration and outstanding misdemeanor warrant?

BARKSDALE: It's, to me, it's no big deal. If the kid had left the scene, so be it. Him dying from this wasn't worth it.

CUOMO: But their decision to arrest him--


CUOMO: --for the outstanding misdemeanor warrant, is that the right thing to do?

BARKSDALE: Yes, a warrant is a live document until served.


BARKSDALE: So yes, the officers, with the warrant being live, unserved, yes, proceeding was right.

CUOMO: Even for the misdemeanor. OK, so now let's watch what happens.





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You got a warrant, didn't you?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I did nothing.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll Taser you. Taser! Taser! Taser!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my (BLEEP)! I just shot him.


CUOMO: You know, it's interesting there, Anthony, it's also fricking horrible. But you actually don't hear the gunshot. But you do hear the young man reacting to getting hit.

The medical examiner's ruled it a homicide. He would drive off and hit another car. There was an accident. He was trying - they tried to resuscitate him at the scene. But now, the finding is, is it's the bullet that killed him, not the car crash.

So, he tries to get back into the car. What are you supposed to do, when somebody in this situation is trying to get back into the car?

BARKSDALE: Measure the situation. Do you push - the situation? Could you just let him go? You already know who he is.

You know you got the warrants on him. So you've got an address, you got the license plate. You know the car that you stopped him in. So that means if you run that license plate, you got a house to go to. You got an owner that you can pull up, and say, "Hey, he was operating your vehicle."

So, if he did get away, it's really no big deal. You can find him again.


BARKSDALE: He's not unknown to the officers.

CUOMO: Totally understood. It's not an anonymous situation.

Now the question becomes, well, what if they were worried that him getting into the car was to get a weapon?


CUOMO: Now, you see on the video, we have a piece of video isolated, that shows his hands on the wheel, but it is he's obviously trying to drive, I mean, but maybe it wasn't obvious in that moment.

And if you think he maybe is trying to get a weapon, was going for a Taser, the right thing to do?

BARKSDALE: No way. It's you have to meet force with equal force. Pulling a Taser, if you thought he was going for a gun, doesn't work.

If he's going for a gun, and you want to try to pull that one, and say, "Oh, he was reaching for gun," then you better have your gun out. It's gun for gun. You don't use a Taser, if you think someone is going for weapon knowingly.

CUOMO: All right, so let me do this, Anthony. Let me jump right back onto the streets of Minnesota, Commissioner, then, I'll come back to you. Something's happening right now. And we'll continue the analysis.

BARKSDALE: Yes, sure.

CUOMO: I want to go back to Shimon Prokupecz. There's a change in the status on the streets.


PROKUPECZ: Yes, so Chris, I'm just staying at it. I'm here Chris, can you hear me?

CUOMO: I can. Shimon Prokupecz, what's going on?

PROKUPECZ: So, I'm just trying to stay out of the shot here, so you could see.

OK, so the police here have now fired several of those pepper balls to try and get the crowd to move back. They were moving towards the fence. They were throwing some objects towards the police.


And then you can see the police there. They're sort of setting up. But several of them had fired pepper balls at this crowd.

We can feel it. We can taste it. We can sort of feel it in our eyes.

And now, at this point, the police are just standing back, trying to figure out what they're going to do next. They also made an effort to - for the crowd to disperse that it's - there's a curfew in effect.

But so far, Chris, as you can see, nothing has changed here. They're all still here. Despite the fact that the police had fired those pepper balls at them, the crowd is still remaining here, in what is a standoff, at this point, with police, Chris.

CUOMO: Do you - did they seem to have the equipment or the manpower, Shimon, to go out there and push that crowd back?

PROKUPECZ: So, it's hard to tell because - so certainly they have - they brought in another vehicle, kind of like a Humvee, as you can see here. This was not here before. They brought that out. So, that is out here now.

There are many, many more officers, from what I can see, in the back, because we have seen some come towards the front here. They're kind of staying in the back, and then they'll be brought out closer to the fence here.

So, it would seem that if the police needed to move in, they can. Certainly they have the capability to use tear gas. They have those pepper balls. They have other methods that they could certainly try and use to get the crowd to move back.

I see officers holding cans of pepper spray. We haven't seen any of that being used. Right now, all that we have seen is the police using these pepper balls. They kind of look like almost like paintballs, and they're fired out of-- CUOMO: Right.

PROKUPECZ: --these kinds of weapons that look like paintball guns. And several of them, Chris, were firing those at the crowd. But the crowd, Chris, hasn't left. They're still here. So, I see a lot of the--

CUOMO: Well, you also have - you also have wetness there.

PROKUPECZ: --senior officers, captains, just having discussions here.

CUOMO: Yes, you have rain there also, and wetness--


CUOMO: --which is going to matter in terms of--

PROKUPECZ: It is raining. But I have to tell you, Chris.

CUOMO: Go ahead.

PROKUPECZ: But look at this crowd. I mean, none of them have left at this point.

CUOMO: I know. I'm saying that it's going to affect--

PROKUPECZ: And it was raining, at one point.

CUOMO: --it's going to affect the--

PROKUPECZ: Look at the crowd now.

CUOMO: Right. Shimon, it's not going to affect the crowd. It's going to affect the pepper pellets.


CUOMO: They're not going to disperse the same way.

In fact, let me bring in Commissioner Barksdale.


CUOMO: I remember you--

PROKUPECZ: That's true.

CUOMO: --when you were working in Baltimore, we were down there at the same time, watching you do the job.

This is an interesting setup for police in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, because they have one way in and out right now that they've set out for themselves, with that cyclone fence, which means they're going to have to come out, in one very thin column, into an entire phalanx of protesters. And I don't think that pepper spray is as helpful to them in the rain.

BARKSDALE: Chris, your observations are just amazing. But one of the biggest things that you've been pointing to is the chain of command.

Now that the Mayor has taken over, as the leader of the Police Department, that command staff is waiting for his directions. In a civilian mayor, I don't know if he has policing experience.

But now, you're in a situation which is hot, which isn't looking good right now, and I would say the Mayor needs to get there immediately, because now you're talking about needing to flank, you're talking about maneuvering your staff to address, closing off areas, trying to push.

What you want to do is push them into areas where they're unfamiliar, and just try to calm the situation. If it comes to that, if they stay under attack, if they're under, you know, if bottles are coming their way, if rocks are coming their way, they may have to make that decision.

But, like you said, now that the Mayor is in charge, his voice, his leadership is really needed.

CUOMO: Look, it's a good point. Commissioner, please do me a favor. Stay with me for a while here.

We're going to take a break.

We're going to try to reach the Mayor again, because who's calling the shots there?

This could be going one of two ways, which is they're waiting and they're just going to take it. It's too volatile situation. If they're safe, if the station is safe, let the bottles come, let the rocks come. They have their protective equipment on. They're far enough back. They can handle it. Or, you make a decision to disperse the crowd. This may be the Mayor's call.

We were waiting on him to interview him before. Totally understandable that the job comes first, but is that the job he's doing right now? Is the Mayor there? Is he going to say something to the crowd?

Let's take a break. We'll come right back. Stay with CNN.








(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: All right, let's go back to Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. The crowd is refusing to disperse. It's now gone to the next level. We have Shimon Prokupecz on the ground.

There's obviously been a change in the last few moments. What happened?


PROKUPECZ: So Chris, excuse me here, but so it's little hard to breathe because the police have been firing tear gas, and these percussion grenades, flashbangs, at the protesters, to move them back.

And, as you can see, the entire area now is filled with tear gas. I certainly can taste it. I certainly can feel it in my throat and my nose.

But that's where most of the - where it all took place, Chris. You could see there. We had to move back because there just became too much.

The police, all of a sudden, started firing the tear gas, and the flashbangs, to get the crowd to move back. And I say, were firing, just more tear gas kept coming, and then the crowd started running.

A lot of the tear gas has dissipated at this point, but you can certainly taste it.

CUOMO: Right.

PROKUPECZ: You can certainly feel it in your eyes, and in your throat. And most of the protesters did move back. But now, as you can see, a lot of them--

CUOMO: Are coming back.

PROKUPECZ: --have come back.

CUOMO: That's because that tear gas--

PROKUPECZ: And certainly Chris, things here have--


PROKUPECZ: --escalated, yes.

CUOMO: That tear gas is not going to last very long because of the--

PROKUPECZ: As you said, I mean--

CUOMO: --of the precipitation. I mean, we've both been in a lot of these situations. I'm feeling for you now right there.

PROKUPECZ: That's right.

CUOMO: Make sure you, and the team, stay safe. PROKUPECZ: Oh.

CUOMO: We can tell the story later. It's better that you're OK during it.


So, they're going to move right back in. The officers did not move out, and create a new line. They're still behind the fence, where the Department is, yes?

PROKUPECZ: That's right, Chris. They're staying still behind the fence. They have not left from that area.

The police are staying behind that fence. And they haven't come towards the crowd. They've just been using the tear gas now. And some of the other - see there's more now we can hear, some more of the flashbangs that--

CUOMO: Is it coming from the same direction, or did the police have a different set-up?

PROKUPECZ: No (inaudible) but I want (inaudible) something (inaudible) around. I don't know if you can see (inaudible) I was showing you earlier. They have now come out into the street.


PROKUPECZ: So now, what's happening is, is that the police are trying to surround this entire area.

Here's more Chris, as you can see.

CUOMO: Right.

PROKUPECZ: More of the flashbangs, and I just saw an officer throw, that's going to be tear gas. So, we're going to move back here.

As you can see, more - more tear gas (inaudible) and the protesters are still here. They're still standing around. But this is really starting to (inaudible) because I can hear some of them coughing now, their eyes burning.

But, as you said, you're exactly right, Chris. I mean, the rain is - it's not having its effect that it normally probably would, if it wasn't raining and the precipitation.

CUOMO: Right. So, let me bring in - Shimon?

PROKUPECZ: --seen out here now.

CUOMO: Shimon, monitor the situation, just start talking when something changes.

PROKUPECZ: I'm here. CUOMO: I want you to get to a safe space, with your - with your photographer. I want to bring in - but don't go anywhere. You just keep yourself safe.

Let me bring in Anthony Barksdale, former Acting Baltimore Police Commissioner.

So, they're doing a double pop and follow now. They're going to send out a couple of different lines of the pepper spray to get some density, Commissioner, and then they're following behind it. What are the calculations that have to be made for police, especially given the level of unrest?



BARKSDALE: Well, you're looking - you're looking at basically an incident command system that needs to be set up at that scene, right now.

We need to know who's in charge. Because the thing is, you don't want to get into a dance with a huge crowd. Either you're going to take that ground, and you're going to hold it, and disperse, or you're going to have cat and mouse games all night. And that could lead to more problems.

I don't know the Mayor, and I'm saying this with respect. I hope he's on the way to that scene, because he can be the stabilizer that's needed with that Police Department, and dealing with that crowd right now.

CUOMO: He is an active voice. He's been outspoken in his criticism that not enough was done with legislation that there needed to be more real change. He's been critical of the police. So, he may have some respect or credibility with this crowd. But you're making an interesting point, Commissioner.

They're firing now more pepper spray, and they're moving. But you actually have to do more than just pepper-spray to disperse. And what is the calculation you have to make, as the command chain here, in terms of where the risk is?

So, they're moving a police vehicle out into the street right now.


CUOMO: It's an equipped SUV with one of those sensory flashlights in front of it.

BARKSDALE: OK, so you're looking at maybe the need to form a skirmish line with the resources that--

PROKUPECZ: And there's the announcement now.

CUOMO: They're making an announcement to disperse. Go ahead, Commissioner.

BARKSDALE: OK, so now we are having the verbal warning, the verbal warning to disperse. Now, expect to see the skirmish lines formed, and the police, if led properly, to start dispersing the crowd, in an orderly fashion.

CUOMO: What is the argument, Commissioner for just staying in there?

"Yes, they're throwing bottles. Yes, they're supposed to have been gone already. It's a curfew. It's 9:30 at night, still relatively early. Give them a few hours. The police department is safe. You guys are all behind the fence. Let's see how it goes."

What's the argument against doing it that way?

BARKSDALE: Chris, I'm not there. But I'm kind of seeing this on your video. If the crowd is not following the curfew, what's the point of issuing a curfew? Don't even bother wasting your time.

If the cops want to hunker down, that's fine. But I don't expect that to continue, if they keep receiving rocks and bottles thrown at them.

CUOMO: They're putting out more of the dispersal agent. There's some - now, there's another vehicle on the scene that is not police.

Let's just hope that this guy drives safely, as he goes through this crowd.

Good. All right, he's proceeding at a very gentle pace. I don't know what he's doing there. His license plate's in full view, so hopefully.


BARKSDALE: Get the trucks that not have made it there, I don't know how - we need that truck out of there. We've seen protesters get run over before. The police really need to establish that this is a safe space, and they have control. And right now, I'm not seeing that.

CUOMO: You're right. So, the truck seems to be crawling that way. Well, that, god forbid, it becomes anything else.


CUOMO: We have another set of eyes on the ground, Commissioner. We have Sara Sidner there as well.

Sara, can you hear me?

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I got you, Chris, sorry about that, lots going on here.

You may notice that my eyes are very watery. That is because they have just like shot a huge amount of gas. And it's CS gas. It's really the strongest I have, ever had, stood in before, during a protest. And we were all consumed by it, so was everyone standing in the precinct. Let me give you a look at the precinct. Styke (ph) is going to come with me and show you. You can see people walking, because anything that you see, you see how hazy it is? That is all tear gas. And it is extremely strong.

If you look, just now, I'm going to try, and to sort of stand in the street a little bit, you look there, now you can see - now you can see--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As you can see, you've all been twisting up the story.

SIDNER: You want to talk to me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just take your time doing it.

SIDNER: Do you want to talk to me? OK. Cool.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I want to talk.

SIDNER: Now, don't take my mic. But we're cool, OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Go ahead.

SIDNER: What is your - what's your name?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's my name? My name is my name.

SIDNER: All right. So tell me what you think about what's going on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I think about this is all the press and all the extra (BLEEP) you all do makes this worse.

SIDNER: You think so?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When people want to protest--


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --they shouldn't do it in front of a (BLEEP) police this - yes, courthouse. (BLEEP) like that, you get what the (BLEEP) I'm saying?

SIDNER: Sir, I want you to be careful. I want you to be careful. I really do.


SIDNER: Of anything that can hit you.


SIDNER: Of anything that can hit you. Look at all the stuff coming.


SIDNER: Of this.


SIDNER: Of this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do I look like I'm scared?

SIDNER: No, you don't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do I look like I'm scared?

SIDNER: You don't. You don't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly. You all need to get up out of here with all that twisting up the media and (BLEEP).



SIDNER: You don't know me, but we're going to get--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know you?

SIDNER: We're going to get to know each other. That's what we're going to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to get to know each other, huh?

SIDNER: Yes, we are.


SIDNER: We are. We are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you going to know me?

SIDNER: I'm going to - we're going to talk. I'm going to share a number with you.


SIDNER: All right, let's do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Let's do it right here.

SIDNER: Let's do. All right, here's my - here's my phone.


SIDNER: Let's go ahead and share me your number.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got the camera out, talk about some news real.

SIDNER: Tell me what's real.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You all just going to edit out the (BLEEP) and shout on live.

SIDNER: We're live. We are live. Listen? Listen?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then you're all going to edit out some other (BLEEP).

SIDNER: We are live right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are not (BLEEP) live.

SIDNER: I'm live right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't care if you're live or not.

SIDNER: OK. But you can't edit it. This is live.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get away from here with all that media (BLEEP) that you're all doing.

SIDNER: This is live right now.


SIDNER: We're with CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then take that camera all the way to (BLEEP) up there then.

SIDNER: We are going up there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take it all the way the (BLEEP) up there.

SIDNER: That's where we were going when you stopped us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You all doing all the extra (BLEEP) for the backhand (BLEEP) to make people look--

SIDNER: Listen. We are going up there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --how crazy (BLEEP) they are.

SIDNER: All right, then you watch us, because--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take it all the way--

SIDNER: --which way we're going.

All right, so everybody's got a hot head right now, as you might imagine, because it is really, really hot right now.

The crowd was there. You can see the police all out. We are getting a huge amount of CS gas. You are hearing some of those flashbangs. But you were also seeing people throw fireworks towards the Police Department. And so, you're getting a lot of back-and-forth.

When you hear those pops, a lot of times that's fireworks. That's a firework, but you see it there. But then you will also hear these, very loud booms, that is usually a flashbang, and then you'll start seeing gas come flying over the fence there.

People have been trying to break through that fence. The police have been reacting by trying to do less-than-lethal rounds at the crowd.

But we're in a neighborhood, by the way, like, look to my right here. These are apartment complexes all the way around. This is one big apartment complex. And so, you've got folks that are living here. You can see people in the windows looking out.

But it is a really, really rough scene right now. And this is all we have to remember because of a police-involved shooting where a female officer shot and killed Daunte Wright. He was in the car.

Folks are running because the CS gas is strong.

But he was in the car. He was trying to get out of handcuffs, as they were trying to arrest him. He got in the car. The officer yelled "Taser! Taser!" and ended up using her firearm instead. And you'll hear her curse, and then say "I just shot him."

The Police Chief came out right away, and said here is the video of what happened, because there were a lot of rumors going on. And he showed that to the crowd. That didn't necessarily calm things down because people are so incensed that another young Black man has been killed by a police officer. Chris?

CUOMO: Sara, let's do this. It wasn't delivered the best way, but that advice wasn't bad. You guys should move into a different location. I've never seen anybody handle these situations as well as Sara Sidner does, by the way. She keeps her head and has a humanity--

SIDNER: Let me tell you something, Chris. Let me tell you something.

CUOMO: --in a way that you just don't see in those situations.

SIDNER: Can you hear me?

CUOMO: Sara, give me a button on it, and then I'm going to move to Shimon. Go ahead.


SIDNER: OK, the button is I'm not moving out of here. I'm a reporter. I have been in Minneapolis for years, covering stories. And I feel like this is also my community. So, I'm not going anywhere.

CUOMO: I'm hearing you. I'm saying move up into the situation. Find yourself a new vantage point.

SIDNER: Yes, we are.

CUOMO: I'll come right back to you. There's nobody I trust more--

SIDNER: Yes, we are.

CUOMO: --to do it than you.

SIDNER: All right.

CUOMO: Be safe. You know how to do the job.

I'm going to check in with Shimon Prokupecz, as Sara Sidner finds her way, back up into the mix, to tell us what's going on.

Shimon, what are you seeing where you are?

PROKUPECZ: So Chris, what's been happening is back here, through this street here, people have been fire - have been firing fireworks, at the officers here. And then, I actually saw officers, from behind the fence, launching what looked like flashbangs towards the crowd that was over here.

So what we have now is basically Chris a back-and-forth between the crowd here that has fireworks firing it, at the police, and then the police responding with flashbangs and tear gas.


PROKUPECZ: And certainly, the level of tear gas, it's strong. But yes, and so you could see more of this just keeps continuing here, with the flashbangs, and the tear gas, Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Shimon, get yourself to a safe vantage point.

I'm going to take a break right now, so that the people on the ground can get a chance to reposition. Remember, it's a balance, right? We want to show you what's going on, but I got to keep my people on the street safe, while they do it.

You couldn't ask for a better team than you have tonight, on the ground, in Minnesota. Sara Sidner does this job like no one else I've ever seen. Shimon Prokupecz is going to get as close to it as he can. But we got to be safe.

Let's take a break. Please stay with us.









CUOMO: All right, we're monitoring the situation in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. It has been changing.

The police have been using flashbangs, using pepper spray, to disperse the crowd, but they haven't really come out into the streets, and started a pursuit. And we know what kind of problems come along with that. We also don't know who's calling the shots.

Right now, we have Sara Sidner, on the ground, in Brooklyn Center.

We'd been reporting earlier, Sara, that the Mayor reportedly fired the City Manager so that he has direct control of the police. And it raises the question, is he going down to the Police Department right now? Is he on the way? Is he going to speak to the crowd? Is he telling them what to do?

But what are you seeing where you are?

SIDNER: Well, if he is, I don't see him. And if he comes down here, he's going to get hit with a bunch of CS gas. This is what we are all dealing with.

We've got Noah (ph), Dave (ph), and one more person.

Who else wanted to speak with me?


SIDNER: Jake (ph). Jake (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And his name is Devon (ph).


SIDNER: It's Devon (ph)?


SIDNER: Devon (ph), Jake (ph), Noah (ph), they were here, as the tear gas was just being sprayed, all over the place.

Tell me, first of all, you guys are from Minneapolis, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I'm from Minneapolis.

SIDNER: And from around here, yes?


SIDNER: Tell me what's your - what's your thoughts are? I'll start with you. What do you think about what happened, before this all started, with the police shooting and, of Daunte Wright, and then what has happened since?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, this is crazy, because, George Floyd just passed due to this - due to this police epidemic bull (BLEEP), you know?

And it's like, it's crazy, because it was - it hasn't even been a year ever since he passed. And it's already we lost another Black man to police in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This is not changing. We need a change. It's crazy out here. And we're too young to be seeing our other Black folk pass to police brutality. And I don't like it. And I'm here today to stand on it.

SIDNER: Thank you for speaking your heart.

That - that, by the way, I'm going to talk to these gentlemen. But I just want to give you an idea.

That, by the way - we are further back, from the Police Department, because of, how strong the tear gas is. But you can still, hear the fighting between them and the crowd. The officers have cleared out much of it.

There were hundreds and hundreds of people standing right up to the precinct here, in Brooklyn Center. Now, it is a little bit quiet, but you can still take in that gas. And you can certainly still hear some of the back-and-forth with the flashbangs and the fireworks as well.

We will get back to these gentlemen to talk to them a little bit later. But you heard why he's here. He says things have to change. He does not want to see another one of his friends or himself killed in a police - sorry, in a police shooting.

CUOMO: Look, we were looking at the crowd kind of with a discerning eye earlier. And sure, you saw lot of young Black men and women, but there are a lot of young and older White men and women there as well. And almost all of them seem to be coming from the community.

You know even better than I, Sara, these become opportunities for outsiders also. So, we're keeping an eye on all of it.

Let me get to Shimon because the police have moved out of the Department, Sara. They're advancing down the street, create a new line.

Shimon, we see it. Tell us what's going on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I started using chemical--

PROKUPECZ: Yes. So these are the state troopers, Chris. They are pushing through this street here, are telling people to move back. There really aren't many people directly here. Some of the officers were flashing, pointing their flashlights at us, trying to figure out who we are.

But what I will say to you is behind us here, behind these officers, Sara was just talking about hearing more, what sounded like flashbangs. More gas, more gas from the police, coming from this side now.

There is a group of protesters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Talk about the--

PROKUPECZ: And you can hear one of the protesters here.

There is a group, there is a crowd behind here that we can't see, that it seems that the police are trying to disperse. So, that's why we saw and heard some more of that gas. But this is the entire area now, Chris.

The police have been relatively successful after using the flashbangs, the tear gas, to push a lot of the crowd back. And a lot of them have, at this point, left. So, we're not seeing them. There have been some more flashbangs and some more tear gas, but certainly not at the level that we saw before.

CUOMO: Right.

PROKUPECZ: I mean it was a lot. And there, you could hear some more behind me here, Chris.

But certainly, now it just seems honestly that the police are just - were just given the permission to go ahead, and throw as much tear gas, as they want, and fire as many flashbangs as they want, because it's sort of it's been--



PROKUPECZ: --here. But certainly--

CUOMO: All right, there Shimon is back. Go ahead.

PROKUPECZ: --you see this line, here Chris, so they're out in the street.

CUOMO: All right, Shimon, we see it.


CUOMO: Let me bring Commissioner Barksdale real quick, for a final word here, on this step. We don't know who's giving the directions, and what's happening.

Is the Commissioner still with us?

BARKSDALE: Yes, go ahead.

CUOMO: But they're going to need more of that retardant agent, and that suppressive agent anyway, because of the conditions that they're dealing with. But what is the critical move between now and when they get to a better position of resolution?

BARKSDALE: Well, what we're seeing is we are seeing a skirmish line being formed, like I said, and they are starting to claim the area. This hasn't been a mess so far. So if the Mayor isn't there, whoever is there, in command, right now, is doing a great job.

The citizens that are involved in this protests, they may be dispersing or pulling back. And this looks good for me right now. But I know that that line that we're looking at, if they get the right order, they can--

CUOMO: Right.

BARKSDALE: --definitely start moving forward.

CUOMO: All right, Commissioner, thank you very much for being with me tonight. We'll pick up the analysis of these situations tomorrow. Now we have to deal with the urgency.

We're going to take a break. Sara Sidner is on the ground. Shimon Prokupecz is there. CNN has a lot of people covering this story. Please stay with CNN.



CUOMO (on camera): All right. We're monitoring the situation in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. The streets are active. There is anger there. There is police. There is a lot of flash-bangs, and there is a lot of tear gas in the air tonight. Coverage picks up with Don Lemon and "CNN TONIGHT" right now.