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Cuomo Prime Time

Officer Who Shot Daunte Wright & Police Chief Resign; Defense Begins Case In Derek Chauvin Murder Trial; Unlawful Assembly Declared In Brooklyn Center, MN. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired April 13, 2021 - 21:00   ET




JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Because as long as you have them, you've got Billy.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: President also said that his prayer for the family of Officer Evans' family is that the memory of him makes them smile before it brings a tear to their eyes. "I promise you, it's going to come," he said, "just takes a while."

That's it for us. The news continues. Want to hand it over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME." Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right. Thank you, Anderson.

I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

A charging decision could be imminent in the Daunte Wright police- killing. The prosecutor, in Washington County, Minnesota tells CNN, he hopes to reach a decision by tomorrow.

The big question, was the shooting a mistake? Will that influence the charge or charges? Might it even influence if there is a charge? It shouldn't.

Does time here matter? Yes. Why? Because there is anger in the streets of a state that has communities in pain, and the cries of that pain finds its echo all over this country.

The officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright, Kimberly Potter resigned today, along with Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon, who said yesterday, he believed the deadly shooting of Wright was an accident. Was that judgment why he resigned?

In her resignation letter, Potter said she thought it was in the best interest of the community, her department, and her fellow officers, if she left immediately. Does resigning affect her potential of being charged? No. Might she have added in that letter more about how a 20- plus year veteran could make a mistake like that? Protesters are back on the streets tonight. There's another curfew, goes into effect in Brooklyn Center, and the Twin Cities, in less than two hours.

We have people all over the situation. And we will be watching.

The need for answers is why they're there. But really, it is the need for change that makes for less situation to demand answers. That is the deep, painful need. And it grows worse with every case, whether you like it or not.

Every jump to blame non-compliance in some misguided sense of how the civilian must be perfect, but an officer like Mitchell (ph) is granted a measure of forgiveness, for her response, "Maybe it was a mistake. Maybe it was an accident," aren't they the ones trained to do the job for handling non-compliance to not make mistakes?

Are you one of those people? Think about that? Do you have a measure of forgiveness, of leniency, for Kim Potter that you do not have for Daunte Wright, or George Floyd, or any of the others?

As a result of this latest case, we have new additions to an ever- expanding club of families affected by policing.

We saw the Wright family meet the Floyd family, today, for the first time, outside court, providing comfort to one another. Just think of that, in a situation that makes no sense to them, this small solace of understanding that somebody else understands their pain.

The Floyd murder trial entered a new phase today. The defense has decided to make a case. And that case is going right at George Floyd. We're going to take you through the big points.

But I want to start tonight, on the streets of Brooklyn Center, with Sara Sidner.

Sara, set the scene for us please.


This is as peaceful of a protest as you can possibly get. You can hear people. There are Native Americans. There are people that are jumping up and down.

There has been singing, soulful singing, there has been foot tapping, in the streets, where people are both showing their frustration, but also showing their love for Daunte Wright, for George Floyd, and for numerous other people in this community, who have died, at the hands of the police.

But this is also the scene, last night, where we saw tear gas, rain down, on folks, and we saw fireworks being shot, towards the police.

And the Police Department is right here. This is where the precinct is that people have been coming after, here in Brooklyn Center. And you can see that there is a whole line of folks from the National

Guard, so the National Guard has been deployed. You can see some of their apparatus here. There are dozens of them. We know there are a bunch more that are inside of the trucks.

But I want to take you back over to the scene here because we are standing very close to where we were standing, yesterday. You see those two buildings there. That's where we were standing, in between, when much of the tear gas was coming over and dispersing folks.

Now, we're literally standing right in front of the Police Department with the protesters here. They have been chanting "Black Lives Matter!" They have been chanting the names of the people who they are mourning, who their families are mourning.


We have heard from many, many different people, because there is two things going on here, at the same time, simultaneously.

They recognize that George Floyd, and that trial, against the former officer accused of murdering him is going on, as we speak. And in the middle of that, you had this police shooting that the officer said was a "Mistake."

Not a single person here believes the word "Mistake." They said she was trained on the Force for 26 years. And they just don't buy it. And you'll hear that over and over again. To them, justice means that she should be fired, her pension taken away, that she should be jailed.

Those are all the things that you're hearing over and over and over again, in this crowd, Chris.

CUOMO: So, there is an expectation of charges. We'll see if the prosecutor follows through on his estimation that he may bring charges, or not, tomorrow.

Curfew, what does that mean, for the crowd behind you tonight? It's supposed to start in a little under an hour.

SIDNER: Yes, so there is an 8 P.M. curfew. But there's also been a 10 P.M curfew set, as well.

What it means to some of these folks is some folks will leave and others will not. That's exactly what happened last night. That's exactly what's happened in every protest I've ever been in, in any city.

So the bottom line is - how you're doing? You're right.

The bottom line is that there are folks who are going to say "These are our streets. We have the right to protest. And we're not going anywhere."

What you will see, as a response to that, if there starts to be things thrown over the fence, if there starts to be water bottles, thrown at the officers, or at the National Guard, you're going to see a response, just like we saw last night, with a line of officers, standing and pushing people back, slowly, methodically, pushing people out of the way, to try to get them away from this large building here that houses--

CUOMO: Right.

SIDNER: --the precinct and pushing them, usually, all the way back, out of the neighborhood and, kind of, into the streets and beyond. Chris?

CUOMO: Just quickly, and then I'll let you go. And you know the deal. You come back to me whenever you want. You tell me what the situation is. I take your guidance.

The idea of the Chief, resigning, and being replaced by someone, who said, "Look, I didn't even know I was going to get this job. I don't have any plan," that idea, and the Mayor's office had led us to believe that they were worried about what was going to happen tonight, have you heard anything there about any different plan for tonight, or any planned aggravation of circumstances?

SIDNER: No. Nobody has said anything about a plan going forward. What they have said is what they expect to see from this Department, and what they expect from the Mayor as well.

They are very, very concerned about this resignation, which by the way, we should mention the Mayor has said he has not accepted the resignation of the Officer Kim Potter. And that is still an issue that is pending.

But they're watching and listening. And I do want to mention this. They definitely are listening to the Derek Chauvin trial as well. They brought up what the defense did today.

And I know you're going to talk about that in a bit, so I won't get into all the details.

But they were, and I can't think of a better word, pissed, about listening to the use-of-force expert that took the stand in the defense of Derek Chauvin's actions against George Floyd. And you will hear that repeated as well.

Everyone here is paying attention to every detail that you can possibly imagine with both of these cases now.

This couldn't have happened at a worse time in the sense that people were already concerned, already aggravated, already ready to blow, and this was sort of the cork that has been taken off, of a bottle that's been shaken. Chris?

CUOMO: Look, it's all understandable. But I have to tell you, I know - you know this already, the defense has no burden in a criminal trial. For them to make a decision--

SIDNER: That's right. CUOMO: --to put on what they call an affirmative case means they felt they had to.


CUOMO: And it was probably the right judgment. Will he take the stand? Derek Chauvin? Probably not.

As circumstances there change, feel free to come to me. I wish you safety. And thank you for doing the job for us, Sara Sidner.

SIDNER: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: All right.

Let's bring in former Baltimore Deputy Police Commissioner, Anthony Barksdale.

It's good to see you, sir.


CUOMO: And thank you for being with me on the fly last night and, once again, tonight.


CUOMO: We'll see what happens. Hopefully, there's less cause for our conversation about what's happening on the streets.

The idea of the authorities not accepting the resignation of Kimberly Potter, what does that mean?

BARKSDALE: I think I'm not sure of their contract there with the Union. Accepting the resignation would, in a sense, set her free, collect the pension, and start on her way, in retirement.


I think that the Mayor, his legal advisers are looking at issues with her employment. Maybe they want to charge her with the shooting, well actually the homicide. It's a homicide.

CUOMO: Right.

BARKSDALE: Of the victim. So, I think that's a - I think that's a solid step. I think that's a message from the Mayor that he's not going to just let things slide, let it go.

CUOMO: The idea of officer, former officer, whatever she is, Kim Potter, making a mistake?

The protocol within this Police Department is like that of many, all over the country, which is that the Taser is on the opposite side, the non-dominant side, of that officer's holster. So, if she were right- handed, it would be on the left-hand side, which was the case.

How difficult is it to make the mistake that she claims to have made?

BARKSDALE: Chris, I just find it so difficult to accept this.

Before you get your gun, before you hit the street, you are drilled, over and over again, in training, at the range, "Gun, Taser, Gun, Taser," and it's completely different motion to get your service weapon out versus getting a Taser.

And it's just - I can't - I can't buy it, Chris. It makes no sense.

CUOMO: But then that would mean, Bark--

BARKSDALE: And let's say--

CUOMO: --that would mean that she always planned to use her gun, but said, "Taser! Taser! Taser!" in a moment, where the facts before her, circumstances before her, while she was training another officer, by the way, because she was the veteran, was that a kid, trying to make a run, from a traffic stop, made her somehow want to shoot and kill him while saying "Taser?"

BARKSDALE: Chris, what was her training? That's where I want to go, because, Chris, when you're constantly reaching for your gun, at practice, "Down, up, down, up" or "Taser, across the body, across the body," what's her muscle memory?

Right now, that Mayor needs to stop everything in that Department, and seize, I'm talking, seize, take all of the documents of training in that Department, and see how many times was she at the range, how much training did she go through with that Taser, because he's got problems in that Department with training.

And if she wants to say that, "Oh, well, it was a mistake," look at the count from when she's got that gun in her hand, and she doesn't recognize that she doesn't have a Taser? If that's true, she fell completely apart. And she shouldn't be a cop in the first place.

I don't know why we're dancing with this. It just makes no sense to me, Chris. And accountability has to enter into this picture immediately.

CUOMO: Two quick points. One is legal. Doesn't matter if it was an accident or a mistake, officer doesn't get a free pass. There's going to be a charge of either criminally negligent homicide or involuntary manslaughter. Agreed?

BARKSDALE: Yes, sir. I agree. I hope it happens, just like I hope Chauvin is found guilty.

CUOMO: Right.

And the other point is I want to just say to people out there, if you were one of the people, who were saying, "If he had just complied, this wouldn't have happened," I want you to think about something. The Commissioner, Anthony Barksdale, is going to be with me throughout the show tonight, because I need him, because he understands this, better than I.

But I understand this, and I learned it from him years ago. You are willing to hold that citizen, that boy, to a standard of perfection at that stop. "He should have done everything right. And when he did something wrong, he got what he deserved."

Do you feel that way about the Officer? She did something that she says was by mistake, but was absolutely wrong. Why are so many saying "Hear that, factor that in. She didn't mean it. I thought it was a mistake." Do you give that same forgiveness to a boy, who made a decision to run, when he was scared?

Anthony Barksdale will stay with me. We're going to take a break.

When we come back, I want to look at the body camera video, again. We started an analysis last night, we didn't end it, because there are points about what they were supposed to do and not.

I get that many of you have seen it. Some of you haven't. I get that it is bothersome. I'm not about police porn of where these shootings somehow become something that people want to see. That's not me. I want us to get it right.

And I want to show you what video was shown at the Floyd murder trial today, including one from a Floyd arrest in 2019. Why? There's a strategy. Did it work? We'll see.









CUOMO: All right, we have Breaking News Tonight. We're watching what's happening on the streets of Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis.

The latest news is that the Officer involved in the shooting of Daunte Wright has resigned, so has the Police Chief. We are expecting there may be charges as soon as tomorrow, in that matter. They are waiting tonight.

We will monitor the situation there. We're also going to talk about what everybody on that street,

according to our Reporter, Sara Sidner, is paying attention to. What's happening in the George Floyd trial?

Today was a big day. The defense has decided to make an affirmative case. Remember, defense has no burden in a criminal trial, but they have decided they needed to make a case. That case was going right at George Floyd.

The biggest swing they took at him today was "Hey, we've got tape of him from an earlier stop. This is what he does. He doesn't comply. And, in fact, even when he was on the ground, even when they had the knee on his neck, and all the guys holding him down, he was still being non-compliant."

That was their big swing. And the prosecution was ready.


Let's bring in former federal prosecutor, Elliot Williams and, of course, former Baltimore Police Commissioner, Anthony Barksdale.

Here is the exchange that came, in response to that argument that George Floyd was non-compliant, even when he was on the ground, when prosecutors got the chance, to cross-examine the use-of-force expert.

Here's a critical point.


STEVE SCHLEICHER, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: What part of this is not compliant?

BARRY BRODD, USE OF FORCE EXPERT/DEFENSE EXPERT WITNESS: So, I see his arm position in the picture that's posted.


BRODD: That, you know, a compliant person would have both their hands in a small of their back and just be resting comfortably versus, like, he's still moving around.

SCHLEICHER: Did you say "Resting comfortably?"

BRODD: Or laying comfortably.

SCHLEICHER: Resting comfortably on the pavement?


SCHLEICHER: At this point in time when he's attempting to breathe by shoving his shoulder into the pavement?

BRODD: I was describing what the signs of a perfectly compliant person would be.

SCHLEICHER: So, attempting to breathe while restrained is being slightly non-compliant?



CUOMO: He gave that look at the Judge because he thought, Elliot Williams, he was going to get an objection, but he did not. What did you make of that suggestion by the defense's use-of-force expert, and how it was parried by the prosecutor?

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Look, they're throwing a lot of things up there, and hoping something will stick. It wasn't effective, particularly effective testimony.

The most successful thing that testimony does, let's be clear is dirty up George Floyd. The Judge will instruct the jury and, frankly already has, that they can't use that evidence to sort of think of Floyd as a bad person, or that he has a pattern of committing crimes or whatever.

But whenever you put any sort of prior bad act evidence on, in front of a jury, it gets in people's minds, "You know, why was that guy arrested before?" and so on.

So that's where the - that's the one thing the defense did today. On substance, they got blown out of the water because, number one, as is clear, in both instances, Floyd ultimately complies.

Number two, what the prosecution also does in cross-examination is pull out that "Look, you know, he didn't have a heart attack then, and didn't have a heart attack this time." So, they call into question this cardiac incident theory that the defense is putting on.

And most importantly, what that prior arrest does is point to the fact that Floyd ends up dead this time.

CUOMO: Right.

WILLIAMS: It calls greater attention to Chauvin's unreasonable behavior.

So again, every time you put a piece of evidence on, in front of a jury, it's a blessing and a curse. It's subject to being criticized and with holes poked in it. And that's kind of what happened today when the - when the defense tried to put it on.

CUOMO: I had a litigation strategy professor, who would call that "Trading upon by putting your queen in check."


CUOMO: You showed that George Floyd maybe he wasn't that compliant, maybe this is how he was the last time. But in doing that you gave the prosecutor an opportunity to have your own witness admit, "Well, no, he didn't have a heart attack. But he did have a heart attack this time."

So is it apples-to-apples? That is what this case is probably decided on, not whether or not the jury likes George Floyd.

Now, Commissioner?

WILLIAMS: And Chris? One more thing?

CUOMO: Hold on, Elliot.

WILLIAMS: One more quick?

CUOMO: Go ahead, go ahead.

WILLIAMS: One more quick thing.

CUOMO: Go ahead. Go ahead.

WILLIAMS: These police encounters are a Rorschach test, when you put them in front of the jury.

And there are jurors who are going to see that, and there are people who are going to see that, in a world that is inclined to believe the testimony of police officers, and think that that action and the officers' actions were entirely reasonable. So it's - reasonableness is in the eye of the beholder.

CUOMO: Absolutely.

WILLIAMS: Yes, so, yes.

CUOMO: Absolutely. But look, if they're banking on having one juror think that everything that happened in that tape is reasonable, this case was over before it started, it's going to be hung.


CUOMO: But Commissioner, I want you to see the 2019 case that they brought up that Elliott was referring to. The defense was making the point that "Here's Floyd. This is what he does, every time he's arrested."

Watch this, shot three (ph).


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go ahead, go ahead and undo your seatbelt.

GEORGE FLOYD, AMERICAN HIP-HOP ARTIST: Don't shoot me man please I don't want to be shot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't - I don't plan on shooting you. I'm just saying, just take your - take your time.

FLOYD: I never (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, relax, just undo your seatbelt. Let her take care of her guy. Just keep your hands out where I can see them.



FLOYD: I'm complying though, I'm complying (ph).


FLOYD: I'm complying (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep your hands where I could (BLEEP) see them. OK. Put them up on the dash.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wouldn't jerk away from me.


FLOYD: Oh my Gosh. I was only complying you all people (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Put your hands behind your back.

FLOYD: I was only complying you all people (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, now slowly come on out.

FLOYD: Oh, man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hand on your head.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now put your hand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hand on your head.

FLOYD: Oh, man, please. I'm not - I'm not (inaudible) I did everything what was asked of me.


FLOYD: I did everything (inaudible) man. I did everything you told me (ph) man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not - you're not going to get beat up or nothing, if you just follow what we're asking you to do.

FLOYD: I apologize for it man. I apologize man. I Apologize.


CUOMO: Now first, it should be lost on nobody that exactly what George Floyd was saying he was afraid of, in 2019, would happen to him, some years thereafter, in the case that we're now all following.


Commissioner, what do you think of the tactic of showing, the defense showing, "Look, this is how he behaves. You see the officer have to do things," you think that works?

BARKSDALE: No, no, not in my opinion.

You want to know what Chris? Resisting arrest, non-compliance? That happens in policing. That's why you're trained. That's why you go through drills. You go through scenarios, to deal with those issues. And if you can't deal with it, maybe you shouldn't be a police officer.

What you can do is de-escalate, fall back, and get on that radio, and get other units there. Get them there to help you out.

CUOMO: Right.

BARKSDALE: I am so tired of non-compliance being justification for lethal use of force. We are trained. Either you're trained or not, either you have the heart to do the job or not, but this is - ooh! Chris, I have a problem with it.


BARKSDALE: So, it's part of the job, either you can do it or not.

CUOMO: I understand Bark. I understand. It's absolutely everything you were against, when you were in charge of having men and women do the job.

I need both of your attention now. We have to go to the streets of Brooklyn Center. There's an exchange now. Miguel Marquez is on the street.

You have snow falling on the ground. You have the police now using the pepper spray dispersant, which again, in this type of temperature, and this type of moisture, is not going to be as effective, and the crowd is starting to come at them.

There was an 8 o'clock curfew local time, and there's a 10 o'clock curfew local times. We're closing in on the half hour mark of the next curfew, and this is the scene.

Miguel Marquez, how did we get here?

VOICE OF MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this 10 o'clock, for Brooklyn Center, and that's where we are right now, this is the Police Department right in front of us.

The crowd sort of moved into this area here, was pushing on the fence.

I believe that most of the officers that you see there are with the Sheriff's Department. This is the very front gate of the Brooklyn Center Police Department. And yes, those are all Sheriff's Department in there.

And the crowd started to push on this fence. There was a little bit of pepper spray used. There were some flashbangs here as well. But the one thing that we saw here today was a very, very heavy National Guard contingent show up in the afternoon.

And - hold on a second. They're making an announcement.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --has declared this assembly unlawful, under the laws of the State of Minnesota, State Statute 609.

MARQUEZ: So, they've declared this an unlawful assembly at this point.

We are still a little ways off from the curfew for Brooklyn Center. Many parts of the City of Minneapolis, we're in the northwest corner, Minneapolis, does have an 8 P.M. curfew. But here in Brooklyn Center, it is at 10 o'clock, which is coming up not too far from now.

And you can see that there's a lot more people are now starting to come into this area here. This area seems to be a weak spot that the police and officials are concerned about. So, they are protecting it now.

Something's been thrown at the police, I mean, like a water bottle has been thrown at officers there. You can - and another water bottle goes at the officers. They are - they are in - they are in their riot shields, and helmets.

And it looks like at least, on this side, of the police station, it is going to start to - they're going to start to mix it up again with the police officers. But I can tell you that there were - the crowd is--


MARQUEZ: That was a flashbang fired now.


MARQUEZ: The crowd is thinning here. But it was a very long afternoon, of people, saying prayers, singing, talking about the experiences they've had, with the police.

And now, it is turned to this, the frustration, the anger, the sadness all coming to a head, here, at Brooklyn Center, in Minneapolis. Chris?

CUOMO: I haven't seen the lasers before. Did you see that green laser light that was there? Have you been seeing those used--

MARQUEZ: Right. That's - those are protesters--

CUOMO: Right.

MARQUEZ: --who are shining either flashlights or lasers at the police. A lot of the protesters have umbrellas. They have masks. They have - they've come prepared. Many of them have come prepared--

CUOMO: Right.

MARQUEZ: --to mix it up with police tonight. Police are now announcing that this is an unlawful assembly again, and many of them--

CUOMO: All right.

MARQUEZ: --they're angry. They are incredibly angry.

CUOMO: It's an--

MARQUEZ: And tired of it, Chris.

CUOMO: It's an angry mixed crowd, like what we saw, last night.

I only point out the laser because if it's red, not green, that can create a fear and apprehension among the officers that could change the situation very dramatically and for the worse.


Let's do this. Miguel, keep your team safe. Get in position. Let us know when to come back to you.

I'm going to take a quick break. When I do, we will cover, hopefully what is not a very long or tortured battle, between people, who are angry on the streets, and the officers, who are supposed to be there, to keep them safe.

We'll continue our coverage. Please stay with CNN.








CUOMO: There's more to report on the streets of Brooklyn Center. Let's go back to Miguel Marquez, who's in the middle of the action.

What have you seen?

MARQUEZ: Yes, I want to show you where we are. This is the front gates, sort of the Brooklyn Center Police Department's.

These are all Sheriff's Department. There's a bottle being thrown at the Sheriff's Department officers, riot shields and helmets. They've been using a lot of flashbangs, a little bit of gas to move the crowd back.

This area here, this is where the protesters were up against this fence, pushing on it very hard. And they pushed them all back into this area here. There's a lot of media here. But along this area, it's fairly big complex, about a block long, and there are protesters all the way along it.

Many of them have left. There were several hundred here, through much of the afternoon. They marched down to the Federal Building. Many of them left, when they concluded one part of the protests.


But as the night wore on, and as the curfew gets closer, some of the more hardcore protesters have stayed. Many of them have masks. I mean, you can look at these individuals right here, there Shawn (ph).

These individuals here, with their hands up in the air, "Don't Shoot" masks on, prepared for whatever the police will bring.

And they announced, "If you are here, to get arrested, make sure that you have numbers for lawyers, make sure that you are prepared to do that. And if you don't want to get arrested, go home, before the curfew."

There is another announcement here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --Sheriff's Office. Sheriff's Office has declared this assembly unlawful, under the laws of the State of Minnesota, State Statute 609.

MARQUEZ: So, same - same as we heard before. They've declared this an unlawful assembly. There are water bottles being thrown at police, lasers, green lasers being shown at them, flashlights being shown at them as well.

They're much more organized tonight, it seems, than they were last night, in some ways, they have water, milk, to run through their eyes, if the gas starts to go again, as it did last night. There's food that they are supplying for people and everything else.

But this is the sort of anger that you are seeing in Minneapolis, after the death of George Floyd, now with the death of Daunte Wright. People are unbowed. They are angry. They are upset.

And this is what police are concerned with here. This is sort of the front entrance and that gate. You can see they're now moving in, with spray, and more flashbangs at the moment.


MARQUEZ: That's - that's pepper spray, which is tough (ph).


MARQUEZ: And more flashbangs, as you can hear. And that's what they've been doing.

Because they have all of this food that they brought in, and water, they are now, the crowd, the protesters are now using those as projectiles to throw back at police. So, we are starting to see that same frustrating, sad, angry cycle, where it is just a standoff between the police and the protesters.

It is a very heavy police presence in there. There must have been three, four, five National Guard troop trucks that came in earlier today.

And they are now parked at one - at the entrance on the far end of this. Another one is over at this entrance as well. And then you have National Guard along the backside of the Sheriff's Department that you see here, and then you have individual officers on the roof as well.

So, it is very well protected. They want to certainly avoid what happened at the 3rd Precinct, in Minneapolis, when protesters took it over and set it on fire.

You can see another officer walking up and spraying pepper spray.

But this is what they want. They want to push this crowd back, and keep them away, from this police station, because they certainly don't want to have - happened here, what happened at the 3rd Precinct, over this summer. Chris?

CUOMO: Right. Miguel, is there any indication of how the National Guard is going to be used? I mean, the uniforms I see, up front, those are Sheriff's Office uniforms? You said the National Guard was on the other side.

MARQUEZ: Yes, those are Sheriff's Office.

CUOMO: Right. Does it seem like they're going to use the--

MARQUEZ: Those are Sheriff's Office. They do look very similar.

CUOMO: --National Guard?

MARQUEZ: I doubt it's, in this situation. But the National Guard is certainly there. They are in another line behind the Sheriff's Office, also with much not all riot gear, but with at least helmets on, and weapons, and they are ready to protect the building, if anything were to happen.

But it looks to me like they are the last line of defense, if you will. They don't want to engage. They don't want to be the face of this. They don't want to be the ones, out in front, dealing with protesters.

And, right now, it appears to be Sheriff's Office, at least on this side of the building. It is a pretty big complex. So, they are trying to protect a very long--

CUOMO: All right.

MARQUEZ: --area of this building. Chris?

CUOMO: All right, Miguel, I know you're sucking up all of that gas right now, so take care of yourself and your crew. I'm going to take a break, and you let me know when to come back, OK? Miguel Marquez, thank you very much.

MARQUEZ: Anytime, Chris.

CUOMO: We're going to take a break here. When I come back, I'm going to bring in Van Jones, to monitor the situation with me, and to talk about where this is leading, OK?

There is going to be a flashpoint here. When you have charges or not, tomorrow, or soon thereafter, what happens in the Chauvin trial, the murder trial of George Floyd, we'll discuss right after this.









CUOMO: There's once again conflict in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, the site of where Daunte Wright was shot.

The local prosecutor says he is anticipating bringing charges, or having an announcement about a decision, one way or the other, as soon as tomorrow.

We've been monitoring the situation. The police keep issuing addresses to the crowd, that there is a curfew in effect, and that the gathering has been understood as an unlawful gathering, given the curfew. And we'll see what happens next.

Right now, let's bring in Van Jones.

The reporting from Sara Sidner, early on, was that this crowd, everyone she talks to, is paying very acute attention, not to just what happens in the Daunte Wright case, but in the George Floyd case, and that people were very upset to hear that the defense was putting on a case today.

But of course, that has to be the expectation, if they feel they're going to lose, after what the--


CUOMO: --prosecution did, right?

JONES: Well, absolutely. Look, tomorrow morning matters a lot. Charges matter.

If you remember, we were on an escalating global curve of protest, not just there, but around the world, until Keith Ellison stepped in as Attorney General, and charged Chauvin. That's when we got back towards some level of normalcy.

Tomorrow night, you're going to see that crowd times 100, if there are not charges, because it's going to be a signal that you can just say, "Oh, I somehow couldn't tell the difference between a baseball, and a football, in my hand, a gun versus a Taser, and I can shoot somebody, and just resign and go on with my life." That's not going to work.

So number one, I want to say the reason those young people are out there, and they're still throughout there tonight, is because people are just losing faith in this system.

And the reason that that young man, people keep saying, "Well, why didn't the young man just do what he was told? Why didn't Daunte Wright just do what he was told?" please understand, there are two different Americas here.

If when you see a police officer, you see the badge, and not all those weapons, you're in one part of America.

If when you are - when you see a police officer, you see all those weapons, and don't even see the badge, it's because your experience has been they don't come at you with respect, they don't come at you with trust, they come at you with force.

And when people see somebody coming at them armed, who's never treated you with respect, you can panic.


The reason you don't panic, if you're saying "I don't understand it," it's because, when you're given respect, you're given trust, you're shown respect, you're shown trust, so you, all you see is the badge. "How are you doing, sir?"

But if you've been treated the whole time, with no respect, and no trust, when you see that person coming in, you're looking at the weapons.

And in this case, you've got somebody who is panicking, and then the, as you've been saying all night, the trained professional, 26 years on the Force, had been on the Force, six years, when the young man was born, somehow panics and does the wrong thing.

And people want to give the officer the benefit of the doubt, but these young folks out there, that are protesting, are never given that same benefit. And that's what's playing out there tonight.

CUOMO: Well, look, I mean, the last thing that you say, has to be true, because you do hear people, in the Twittersphere, and all the other little toxic crucibles, that we have on social media now, saying, "Hey, I think it was an accident. You know, I don't think she meant it. I heard it, I saw that, you know, she made a mistake, and you got to weigh that in."

None that I've seen, have said, "Hey look, the kid panicked. He wanted to run, you know, he didn't want to get this bust going. He must have been scared. He must have been worried about what's going to happen with his parents, what's going to happen with everything. This is it. So he decided to run, and it happens."


CUOMO: Why not?


CUOMO: Because on one side of the equation, she was trained, and the other cops, there, the one who actually lost control of Daunte Wright--

JONES: The arrest.

CUOMO: --they are trained to deal with non-compliance. And very few, I'm sure you know this Van, too, from your studies, and your work, around the country, you are not trained to take someone out, when they try to flee a stop, unless you think they are armed--


CUOMO: --and it is imminent that they're going to hurt somebody else.

JONES: Right, right. And that's--

CUOMO: Especially when you know where the kid is.


CUOMO: And you know where the car is from.


CUOMO: So, why are people in this society, this is my question, why can you be open to being mitigating in the analysis of the officer, based on what she says, and what is seen in her, and not for the kid?

JONES: Well, I just think that people have a completely unfair standard on both sides.

Police are considered to be superhuman and saints, and as opposed to just city employees that some do bad stuff, and some do good stuff, "No, they're saints, they're superheroes. We have to believe everything they say."

And then a young Black kid is presumptively a subhuman. And anything that he does is dangerous. Anything that he or she says is talking back, if it's not just "Yes, ma'am. Yes, ma'am," and so, you have this completely unfair, double standard.

But there's a deeper problem, which is that the policing methodologies that we have in the country right now is both dumb, and dangerous, and discriminatory.

It is dumb to have all these cops out here, with all these weapons, Tasers and pepper spray, and batons, and guns, and dogs, and drones, pulling people over for like little, what do you call it that, "Your taillight's out?" You got to throw that much firepower against communities on stuff like that? Send them something in the mail!

I mean, why do we - so it's just dumb to direct this much firepower. No other country does this. This much armed personnel, against such petty offenses, that's dumb. And it's dangerous for both sides, because why are you pulling all these people over doing this stuff?

Everybody's terrified, everybody's afraid, and it's discriminatory, because, first of all, they pull people of color over, all the time. The numbers are completely clear on this. And then the interaction is completely different.

I have a White female friend, who says she was pulled over, recently, for a similar infraction. And all she got was a - was a talking to, and "Have a nice day, ma'am." There's something going on.

The first thing you've got to do is you've got to say we need to completely, as Obama said, reimagine policing. We don't need this much firepower going after little petty stuff. It's dangerous for everybody. And it's discriminatory. And everybody knows it.

But you've got - if you want to understand, you don't have to agree with me, but imagine there was a group of people, in your neighborhood, that had guns, and were always disrespectful, and aggressive, and shows you, and there was no trust, when they came at you, how easily would it be for you to panic?

That's what's going on with these young African Americans, these young Latinos and Latinas. They don't have the same interaction that you do. Your interaction is going to - you will - you wouldn't run from a cop, because you feel like you could talk your way through whatever it was.

These young people have never experienced it. They've never seen it. And if you don't believe it, look at their reaction. Look at how panic they get. It's the same way that you would get, if you saw somebody armed.

You don't see the badge, you see the gun, you don't see the authority, you see the pattern of disrespect, and you react to that. That's what's going on with this young generation.


CUOMO: I hear you. And I appreciate you telling it to the audience.

On the split screen, you see exactly the reaction that Van is trying to help people understand, a little bit better. Those umbrellas are not for the precipitation there to watch when the pepper spray and the flashbangs come.

We're going to take a break. We'll come back. That's exactly what just happened, hitting the umbrellas.

We'll get you right back right after this break.








CUOMO: In Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, as the curfew draws to be just a few minutes away, this situation is heating up, as the officers are trying to send the signal, "It's time to go home."

Omar Jimenez is in the middle of it, on the street.

Omar, the situation?

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Chris, right now, as you can see, they're trying to disperse this crowd, outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department.

These umbrellas have really, been at the front line of this, and represents sort of this group that's been here, after the officials here, have gotten on the loudspeaker and declared it an unlawful assembly.

They've got some pepper spray out that they've been getting people off of the fence with, but they've also been firing these flashbang-type projectiles, into this crowd, trying to get them to disperse.

The numbers are a lot smaller than they were earlier in the day. But, of course, this is a third night in a row of demonstrations that we've seen here, in Brooklyn Center, just miles from Minneapolis, where the trial of Derek Chauvin is happening.

And these tensions have boiled over for a third night in a row, as you see now, officers putting more tear gas into this crowd, also more projectiles, as people have been really coming in at this for all - on all different directions.


And I should mention, this comes in very large contrast to what we saw, just hours ago, as they marched from this police precinct, to the FBI building, and then back, when as you can see, the tensions and the emotions, in this part of the country, in this Minneapolis area, are as high as maybe they have ever been. And there was something the Mayor of this town said that this could not have happened at a worse time. And I think we're seeing some of those manifestations play on.

CUOMO: Omar, what indications are you getting that, as the curfew draws to be just a few minutes from now, that people are taking that message to leave, or do you see that there's a consolidation of effort in the crowd?

JIMENEZ: It seems that there have been some that have left, but also with those that are left, more have come in and consolidated.

And look, this is where the one set of crowd is.

But I actually want to spin you around a little bit to show you that officers are now coming in from the opposite side of the street. And they're seeming to push, at least some people, we can't tell by silhouette if those are officers or people, and so, they are trying to funnel people out of this area one way or another.

We saw some of these tactics during the protests in the aftermath of George Floyd's death, back in May of 2020. And then, here we are, at the pace of the trial, and some of those same emotions, some of those same tactics, from law enforcement, are coming back into the frame.

And this seems to be, as you hear on the loudspeaker, you may be able to hear that a little bit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Officers will be--

JIMENEZ: They're walking through the loudspeaker telling people to disperse, saying by "You will be arrested, if not." So, we're going to move out of the way here, as these officers come down the street.


JIMENEZ: Well when you talk about what we are seeing right now, this was not expected to be seen, these, prior to this, until the verdict time of the Derek Chauvin trial. And, of course, here we are, at least over a week before then.

And so, people here, across the Minneapolis area, are on the highest level alert - of alert that they had prepared for, with previously, they were not prepared to use until the verdict.

And that Minnesota Operation Safety Net is the coalition of law enforcement agencies, working on the security agency of this, and they are the ones, trying to coordinate a response, across this region, knowing that this is likely what we are going to see, as these high emotions continue, and as the trial of Derek Chauvin continues ahead on.


JIMENEZ: And you see this right now.


JIMENEZ: These officers are pushing these protesters, out of the streets here.


JIMENEZ: This was that line of law enforcement we saw coming from the distance. You saw how much they've advanced--


JIMENEZ: --in just the past minute or so, from a block away, to now methodically--


JIMENEZ: --coming over the last weekend (ph), putting these crowd dispersal tactics into use.

And where we were standing, just a few moments ago, it's now almost clear, they're free. People are firing fireworks off in the background almost as in - almost as if in response to the law enforcement tactics, that are being used.

The people here are angry, and you can see that. And they want to face law enforcement, and they are facing the music, so to speak, in the name of Daunte Wright, and so many others that have been killed at the hands of police, Chris.

CUOMO: Omar, the police that are coming up in the line that you're showing us right now, are those police? Are they Sheriff? Are they National Guard?


JIMENEZ: It appears it's a combination of all of them.

I'm going to walk over to the side, so you can get your better view here.

CUOMO: Because their tactics would be different as you've--

JIMENEZ: The main people that have been coming over--

CUOMO: --as you've learned.

JIMENEZ: Yes, yes, I have.

Of course, in the - as you see, the crowd running towards us right here, the primary people that have been coming over the loudspeakers, have been the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office.

But those that have been standing in these lines here, we've seen a combination of National Guard, of State Patrol, and what appears to be local law enforcement as well. And so, this line of officers, it's tough to tell them, the silhouette. But what we can tell is that they do have those crowd dispersal techniques, at the ready, and they've secured that block.

Even though there are only silhouettes, you can see that that block is completely done, of any protesters. Now, it is filled, almost shoulder-to-shoulder, with law enforcement, backed up by those vehicles with their flashing lights, again, that move through that block methodically.

And if you back up a little here, Dino (ph), my photographer, you see the line of vehicles of flashing lights here.

So, this isn't just two or three that walked into the intersection, and moved people out at the last minute.

They really brought in the Calvary, minutes after the Hennepin County Sheriff's officials came on the loudspeaker, and told people here, "You have 10 minutes to get out of this block. Otherwise, we are going to disperse you."


And we are seeing that happen firsthand here.

You see the amount of law enforcement, as they are walking through, just a little bit closer here, off to the side, as they push through the street, literally shoulder-to-shoulder, and continuing to stream in, as you see on the back right, of that crowd.

And so, whatever they saw over the past two nights, they've responded even more force with this third night and trying to show any of the emotions that are clearly very strong before it's closing to a potential force.

CUOMO: And we've been seeing here with Omar Jimenez as the officers move down the block past the local police station to clear the street, as people sit in submission to get arrested, the phalanx moves past them and then officers behind are taking those people into custody.

It is now time to turn over our coverage. It's another flash bang. They are supposed to do exactly what they did. They make noise and they send spoke. It's to disorient you when you're in their proximity. Let's hand over the coverage to "CNN TONIGHT" and Don Lemon.