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Houston Police Chief Met With Travis Scott Before Concert; NFL Star Aaron Rodgers Facing Fierce Criticism For His Handling Of COVID Protocols While Blaming Others; Former Officer Testifies Man Accused In Killing Of Ahmaud Arbery Didn't Mention Citizen's Arrest At Scene. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired November 08, 2021 - 21:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Right now, to breaking news. It continues.

Let's hand it over to Chris for CUOMO PRIME TIME. Chris?

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

I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

How could no one see, and stop, the horror, unfolding at the Astroworld Music Festival, in Houston, Friday? It's where rapper Travis Scott was performing.

Now look, you're going to hear that "Well, accidents happen." That's right. That's why you have people, and systems, in place, to handle them. Or not, as may be the case!

This sound, I'm about to play, from the NRG Park concert, look, for some of you, it'll be uncomfortable to watch. But I would suggest you watch it, so you understand the situation.

And don't focus on what you see. It's going to be what you don't see, and don't hear that's truly disturbing.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is someone dead. There is someone dead.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is someone (BLEEP) dead in there.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is someone dying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop the show! Stop the show! Stop the show! Stop the show!



CUOMO: The woman that you saw there, screaming, says she was yelling to a security guard, off-camera.

Eight people died, a 14-year-old boy, a 16-year-old girl, among them. They've all been identified now. Hundreds more were hurt, massive crowd of 50,000. Even some of the EMS crews, trying to respond, appear to be surrounded and all but paralyzed.

And look at this, someone even dancing on top of an emergency vehicle.

Look, Travis Scott himself seems confused. Take a listen.




CUOMO: Now, unfortunately, he wasn't the only one, who didn't get what was happening.

We know the concert went on, for up to 40 minutes, after the first report of injuries in the crowd. Yet, in the middle of that 40-minute window, a mass casualty event was declared.

Now, watch this moment, from Apple Music's video, of the concert. It's about four minutes, after the mass casualty event, is officially unfolding. Scott, the performer, sees at least some sign, of trouble, for an audience, member. Watch.



SCOTT: Just play it slowly.

We need somebody to help. Somebody passed out right here.

Somebody passed out right here.

No, no, no, don't touch them. Don't touch them. Everybody, just back up.

Security, somebody help, jump in real quick. Keep going. Just keep the music going.


CUOMO: Keep the music going?

A few seconds later, Scott goes on with the concert. And it keeps going on, for nearly half an hour. The real concern, is going to be, what was "Foreseeable?" Get used to that word. It's part of a legal analysis. But it means what it sounds like. What was a red flag? What should they have prepared for? What should they have known might happen and that they had to be ready, before Scott even took the stage?

If you go back to a documentary, about Travis Scott, you look behind the scenes, at this moment, from the security team, getting ready, for one of his shows.

According to what appears to be a security briefing, before this particular concert, in Rogers, Arkansas, 2017 is the year, a man identified, by the subtitles, as a manager, warns other staff, that the crowd, ready, will be pushing at the front barricade. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kids push up against the front and spread all the way across that and fill in the whole front floor. So the pressure becomes very great up against the barricade.

You will see a lot of crowd surfers in general, but also you see a lot of kids that are just trying to get out, get to safety, because they can't breathe, is it's so compact, like you won't know how bad it could be with our crowd until we turn on.


CUOMO: "You won't know how bad it could be until we turn on." But obviously, he had an idea.

So, was the planning, for what they knew, had happened in the past, there, this time? And if so, was it adequate? Because they clearly not only knew the risks, they knew the reality.


Scott himself pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, for encouraging people, to rush the stage, in Arkansas. Now, two years earlier, he encouraged fans, at Lollapalooza, to jump into the barricades, or to jump over the barricades.

So, should security, at NRG Park, have prepared better, for fans running, to get inside the venue, the first moment they could?

CNN, this afternoon, obtained a detailed operations plan, for the festival. It goes through every scenario, active shooter, severe weather, riot. Crowd surge? No. No specific contingency for crowd surge.

Yet, in 2019, three people went to the hospital, after being trampled, at a Houston Music Festival. The headliner, then? "Travis Scott." The history was there. The signs were there. And, this time, those signs were early.

Look at this isolated event, I want to show you here of - they're tripping. They're running over others. Authorities are now asking whether the nightmare should have been prevented. This is early on, from this one.

Now look, people trip. People fall. But this is part of the culture of these events, with this particular performer, and probably others, but this is the one we're focused on, today.

Even the Police Chief was nervous, OK?

The Chief tweeted today, quote, "I met with Travis Scott and his Head of Security for a few moments last Friday prior to the main event.

I expressed my concerns regarding public safety and that in my 31 years of law enforcement experience I have never seen a time with more challenges facing citizens of all ages, to include a global pandemic and social tension throughout the nation."

Now look, to me, that sounds a little bit like a CYA there. But is the Police Chief directly responsible for a private venue event? No.

"The New York Times" reports the Chief does know Scott personally, and thought he was doing good, for his hometown, but conveyed concerns, about the energy in the crowd.

Now, keep in mind, Scott isn't just a performer. He's the Festival's organizer as well. Another thing to know is this is now a criminal investigation.

So, let's get after it. And we're going to start with people, who were in the middle of the chaos. I want you to meet Billy Nasser. He worked to pull people to safety. And Andrew Medina, he was a fan, who started to fear for his own safety.

Thank God, you're both well. I appreciate missing you both.

Billy, let me start with you. When did you realize that this situation was far more than typical pushing, and shoving, at a concert?

BILLY NASSER, ATTENDED ASTROWORLD FESTIVAL: It started before Travis even came out. Basically, there was, not even a centimeter, you could fit, between the person next to you. As soon as he came out, I saw the first dead body, about 10 minutes in.

CUOMO: And dead from what, as far as you can tell? What happened?

NASSER: They passed out. And they were on the ground, and basically getting trampled. And no one would pick them up. And there was just too many people there. And it was overcrowded. The way the barricades were set up had people trapped in, and it was a deathtrap.

CUOMO: How are you doing, young man? You all right?

NASSER: I'm not all right.

ANDREW MEDINA, ATTENDED ASTROWORLD FESTIVAL: I'm doing OK. I'm doing OK. CUOMO: Well, hold on a second. No, no - Andrew, I'll be with you, in one second.


CUOMO: And I'm sorry.

MEDINA: Yes, I'm sorry.

CUOMO: But the question goes to you too, pal. You're both young. And I want you to be well.

But Billy, this has got to be a tough thing, to be talking about, and thinking about. How are you handling it so far?

NASSER: It's all right. I've never - I've never seen a dead person before. So, to see kids on the ground, with their eyes rolling back to their head, and for the media to be under-reporting the deaths, it's kind of really frustrating.

CUOMO: Well, look, you're not supposed to see things like that. It's not natural, certainly not at a concert.

NASSER: Yes, sir.

CUOMO: And just, you know, just make sure you're talking with your friends, you're talking with family, and then you take care of yourself, all right? That's what matters the most.

NASSER: Right. Right.

CUOMO: Now, listen to me talk to Andrew, and then I'm going to come back to you.

Andrew, thank you.

NASSER: Go ahead.

CUOMO: How are you handling it? You're doing well?

MEDINA: Yes, sir. Yes. I am.

I was at the front of the barricade. And that crowd was just so intense, and just, I was just up against the barricade, the whole - the whole time. And it was just crushing my, like, my body, as the night went on.

And it started - it started, in the beginning, actually. I could already tell by, when I entered the Festival, just how it was going to be, just the atmosphere, of the fans, and how they were--

CUOMO: Was it different than other shows you've been to?

MEDINA: I've gone to - I've gone to raves. And I've gone to other festivals. And this was by far, the craziest event that I've been to.


CUOMO: Billy, you agree with that?

NASSER: I agree. I've never seen anything like - I've been to like dozens of Travis' shows, and I've never seen anything like it.

CUOMO: So, you don't think it's about Travis Scott, or the way they put on his shows, in particular. You think it was just this night, this city?

NASSER: It was the organizers of the festivals, the way they set up the barricade, when I first got there, I knew, we'd not be able to fit that many people.

CUOMO: And what did you see, Billy, in terms of staff? Were they present? Could you see that there were a lot of people around? I mean, obviously, you're not going to be able to do anything, like matching the number of people, 50,000 strong.


CUOMO: But did you see a presence there, Billy?

NASSER: The paramedics couldn't even reach us. They didn't have enough EMTs. They didn't have enough security guards, for the people, who were there.

And people were just getting trampled, falling over. And then, people were just falling, on top of them, creating a pile of bodies. And I was checking pulses. And that's when I realized people were done.

It was about 15 minutes - 10 minutes to 15 minutes, into the show. And they kept going on, for another hour, after that. And the show didn't stop, even though they saw ambulances in the crowd.

CUOMO: How old are you, Billy?

NASSER: I'm 24.

CUOMO: Now, when you say that you think the media was under-reporting, the number of dead, they're telling us that eight people, died at the concert, and that there are a lot of other people, obviously injured, do you not agree with that number?

NASSER: A lot of the people that were there with me saw more than eight people. They actually reported 11, at one point, and they keep changing the numbers. So, it's really inaccurate.

CUOMO: Well, look, I mean, there's always a possibility that you saw people, who are on the ground, and hurt, or even unconscious--

NASSER: Right, right.

CUOMO: --but they wound up not, dying from it. But you're right, we got to - we got to make it accurate. Now, Andrew, help me understand, what did you make of the fact that the concert kept going, after there were obviously really messed-up things going on, at the concert that you were aware of, and that even Travis Scott may have been aware of, but certainly, the people throwing the show, should have been aware?

MEDINA: Yes, there were - there was tons of people behind me, as I was at the barricade.

And every, every, let's say, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, there was a - there was a body getting, you know, like a body that wasn't moving that was, going on over my head, and, they were getting tossed to the security or, the police.

And, at that time, I didn't know, if they were, just passed out, or if they had passed away. I mean, I didn't know. I wasn't thinking about that, at that time. And I would just see those bodies get taken away, to, I don't know, where.

And that happened, throughout the whole concert, until finally I had to get out, because, I just couldn't take it anymore.

CUOMO: How did you get out from the barricade, if you were being crushed?

MEDINA: There were multiple police, and security, in the front. And the people in the front were asking to get taken out, because, they just couldn't take it anymore.

CUOMO: Right.

MEDINA: And when I had just, my ribs were getting crushed, by the steel barricade, and I just I - I had to ask to get taken out.

CUOMO: Hey, Billy, if people were looking at you?


CUOMO: You've got hospital scrubs on. And you wear them because--

NASSER: Yes, right.

CUOMO: --that is part of your persona, as a DJ. And you had scrubs on--

NASSER: Right.

CUOMO: --at the show, right?

NASSER: Right. My dad's a doctor. And I wear his scrubs is like, in honor of him, because he's a famous heart doctor, so was my grandpa. And they always wanted me to be a doctor.

And Travis actually posted a picture of me, on his Instagram, wearing the scrubs. That's why I kept wearing them.

And people were asking for a medic and doctor, and they were looking at me for help.

CUOMO: Well, look, you were trying to help, the best way you could. And that's all you could do, in that situation.

Billy, does it matter to you that Travis Scott is one of the organizers of the event as well? Do you think this is about him at all?

NASSER: I mean I wouldn't put the blame entirely on Travis. I think it's on the organizers of the festival.

But Travis did see the ambulance in the crowd, and kept going. And he saw the unconscious bodies being crowd-surfed, and they kept going. So, I'm one of the biggest Travis fans, you'll find. And I can't support Travis anymore, after this.

CUOMO: Well, let's let all the facts come out, and see where the responsibility lies.

But here's what we know, tonight, among the three of us. You guys, thank God, are OK. And you made it out of the show, and you live to go to another one. And not everybody can say that.

So Billy, God bless, and good luck, going forward.

And Andrew, thank you very much. And I'm glad you made it out of there. And I hope you're OK.

Gentlemen, thank you. I'm sorry to meet you this way.

MEDINA: Thank you.

NASSER: Thank you.

CUOMO: But I'm happy to meet you, all right?

NASSER: It's OK. Thank you.

MEDINA: And thank you.

CUOMO: All right.


Look, let's take a beat on this, because it's got to be about how we do these things, especially now coming out of COVID. Everybody's so anxious to get back to life. But we have to do things the right way.

And you have your possible warning signs. But you also have a look at why this happened, this way, this time, OK? Travis Scott's shows, are they any different?

Now, there is actually someone, who investigates, exactly these kinds of events, in the music world. What do we know about what matters? What are the questions to ask, and how this, sizes up, to other situations, this man has seen? Answers, next. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)







CUOMO: The race, to assign blame, started almost immediately. That means lawsuits. But against whom and for what? We're talking about the Travis Scott show, in Houston.


Now, the Houston Fire Chief says Even Scott had a role in stopping this.


FIRE CHIEF SAMUEL PENA, HOUSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT: I truly believe, you know, that at some point, if the - if the lights would have been turned on, the promoter, or the artist, called for that, it would have - it would have chilled the crowd. And who knows? Who knows what the outcome would have been?


CUOMO: Now, would that be a first, if Travis Scott were held liable, or responsible, as a performer?

Now, the problem for Scott is that he's also an organizer of this, a producer. So, to the extent that there is exposure, on the side of those, who put this together, Scott will be listed there as well.

Is what happened at Astroworld, the Scott concert, in Houston, different from other tragedies, in music history?

You had "The Who," in Cincinnati, in 1979, "Pearl Jam," in 2000, nine people died there. The Indiana State Fair, in 2011, you remember that, when the stage collapsed, during the Sugarland show?

My next guest has investigated them all, Paul Wertheimer.

It's good to have you, on PRIME TIME, sir.


CUOMO: What's your take on this, from what we understand thus far? WERTHEIMER: Well, it was a preventable tragedy. It followed the path of some of the very incidents, you just mentioned. And others too, I might add.

1991, "AC/DC" concert, at Salt Lake City, three dead, crushed in front of the stage, two 14-year-olds, and a 19-year-old. And, of course, you mentioned "Pearl Jam," in Denmark, in 2000. Nine fans, crushed to death, in front of Eddie Vedder. The same kind of situation, you mentioned "The Who" concert.

And let's not forget, "Woodstock '99," rapes, and thousands of injuries, in front of the main stage. And I, at that time, I publicly said, prior to the festival, that this is where the problem was, not on the perimeter, but in front of the stage in the mosh pit festival seating.

You see, one thing they all have in common is festival seating, the same seating configuration used at this festival. It's the most dangerous, and deadly, crowd configuration, in the history of concerts and festivals. It can't be--

CUOMO: Why do they keep doing it the same way?

WERTHEIMER: Well, you can ask that to the promoters. But my assessment is because it makes so much money. It's so lucrative.

Every seat, you sell, every ticket, you sell, in festival seating, is a ticket, in front of the stage, where the - where the lead - the singer is. Everybody thinks that's their spot. There's not a bad festival seating ticket, because they're sold off for the same spot.

And I'd tell you, this is a problem, in festival - with festival seating. People are forced to compete, against each other, for that special area, special location, whatever. In crowd safety, that's the last thing you want to happen. You want people, working together, for the common good of the crowd.

CUOMO: How instructive is it that in the documentary, you hear Travis Scott's team, talking about exactly the issues that wound up happening in this show? How important or instructive, do you believe in the investigation is going to be, what they knew from other shows?

WERTHEIMER: Well, that shows notice, doesn't it? That's the canary in the coal mine. That means that they knew they were having - they were running reckless crowd environments. And they put up with it. I mean, when did it become OK, for fans to get squished, crushed, at a concert, and that was business as usual?

See, that concert, and all the concerts they were talking about, like that, were dangerous. Just because nothing happens does not mean an event is safe. It just means nothing happened. And they were playing Russian roulette, every time they did this kind of reckless event, or any other promoter, or act. Friday, everything went wrong.

CUOMO: Does Travis Scott, as a producer, he's going to have some exposure, to whatever the civil suits are. And if they do find any criminal liability, on the part of the promotion, he would be listed with that.

But do you believe performers have a responsibility, to take action, during a show?


WERTHEIMER: Of course, they do. They've got a great responsibility, moral and, I argue, as others will, legal responsibility, for the safety of the crowd. After all, that's why the crowd's there.


WERTHEIMER: He's the - in some ways, he's the most important crowd manager, at the event, or he certainly has a role. And he's the one, who whips up the crowd, until it spins out of control. He - artists like him, and this is not a criticism, they feed off the energy of the crowd.

CUOMO: Right.

WERTHEIMER: They want to see the crowd mosh. They want to see it go crazy. They want to see it stage dive. They want to see the crowd surge. That means the music is reaching the fans.

I've spent, almost two decades, in these very, very crowded environments. And when I go to festivals and concerts, I go to the center, in front of the stage, because that's the first and most dangerous area, in festival seating.

CUOMO: Well, Paul, I appreciate your perspective, on this. Don't spend too much time in those areas, because you don't want to take any more risks than you have to. But I understand why you do it.

And I appreciate your insight into this. And I'd love to bring you back, when we get more of an understanding of where this is headed, and you can tell us what makes sense and what doesn't.

Paul Wertheimer, thank you very much.

WERTHEIMER: My pleasure. Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: All right, the January 6 investigations are going to be about getting people to talk. I mean, that's going to be the problem.

It always is, especially here because, again, opposition has become a position, not just in politics, but in the practicalities of our law enforcement. They don't want to - they don't want to comply.

So, there's some big names that have just been called to the carpet. What will they mean? We have a member of the Select Committee here. What's the goal? Is this going to help or hurt the Democrats in the midterms, by the way? It's not what it's about. But it will affect it! Next.









CUOMO: All right, so there is a new round of subpoenas, issued today, by the January 6 Select Committee, targeting six top Trump campaign advisers, who pushed the "Big lie."

Trump Campaign Manager, Bill Stepien. John Eastman, now, that name has gotten attention, the attorney who devised a scheme, for Pence, to overturn the election, Michael Flynn, the ex-National Security Advisor, who was pardoned by Trump. Also, Senior Adviser, Jason Miller.

And Bernie Kerik, you remember him? He used to be Police Commissioner, New York City, after 9/11, during 9/11. Two associates, they both met with Giuliani and Bannon, on January 5, as well as Angela McCallum, an Executive Assistant.

Will they comply? And what fruit could they yield?

Steve Bannon, here's the context. He was held in contempt of Congress, over two weeks ago. DOJ? No decision on whether to prosecute yet.

Let's bring in a key member of the committee, Congressman Adam Schiff.

Good to see you, as always, sir. Let's start with that.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): It's good to see you.

CUOMO: Two weeks, no word from the DOJ. Is that too long?

SCHIFF: I don't think it's too long. They do need to study the precedent, the facts of the case.

I think it's a pretty straightforward case, though. And I hope that they move with expedition. If the Justice Department doesn't hold Steve Bannon accountable, it only lends credence to the idea that some people are above the law. And that cannot be true, in this country.

Also, what's at stake, is the Congress' ability, to enforce lawful process. The Congress can't be any more successful, as a Congress, than a court could be, if a court suddenly lost the power, to subpoena witnesses, to testify.

So, it's going to be really important to whether Congress continues to be a co-equal branch of government, and a check and balance on the Executive.

CUOMO: Who do you see as a particularly significant, in this new batch of subpoenas, and why?

SCHIFF: Several are very significant. Obviously, Eastman was deeply involved, in the legal strategy, to overturn the election, with this bogus theory that the Vice President could simply disregard the electors, from States that didn't go Trump's way.

But also, Mike Flynn was apparently at a December Oval Office meeting, where they talked about using emergency powers, declaring a national emergency, or seizing voting machines.

He gave an interview, in which he even, I think, talked about Martial law. As you point out, this was someone, albeit for a short period of time, who was the National Security Advisor, to the President.

But the other witnesses are also very important. Some participated in the so-called "War Room" at the Willard Hotel, on January 5. And we want to hear what they have to say.

CUOMO: Do you think that these most recent elections, and this idea that the Electorate is telling you guys, in the Democratic Party, "Get things done. Make things better for me. Don't fight your own fights. Fight my fights," do you worry at all that the January 6 commission is something that's past its expiration date, with the American voter, that they don't care anymore? They don't want you to spend your time on this?

SCHIFF: No, I think the public understands how serious an attack on the Capitol is. And I think they share the concern about the fate of our democracy.

I would be worried, if it were the only thing we were doing, if we haven't passed a Rescue Plan, if we hadn't passed an infrastructure bill, if we were not about to pass another huge investment, in the American people, in the Build Back Better Act.

But we are doing so much, really New Deal-level investment, in the American people, that we have a powerful case to make, in terms of our legislative agenda. But it's also important to our constituents that we defend democracy. And part of that is making sure we never have another January 6.

CUOMO: Do you think that the spending bill, the Build Back Better bill, is going to get a real serious vote, anytime soon, in terms of being passed?

SCHIFF: I do. We have an agreement, to take this up, by November 15. And we need to make sure that it can get through both House and Senate. But we'll get there. We'll get it done.


And when we do, it's going to be of enormous importance to the country, in helping reduce the cost of prescription drugs, and helping seniors, with hearing issues, and helping parents, with universal preschool education, and helping attack the problem of a climate, with the most significant investment, in attacking climate change, in our nation's history. So, lots of the public strongly supports. And we'll get it done.

CUOMO: I know that - you've already - we've talked about how you agree with what I'm about to say.

But your party not making securing the democracy, its absolute focus, and because, you have the same problem, with Manchin and Sinema, about the filibuster, on the spending bill, and having to go reconciliation, as you do on the voting rights protection? And do you think that has to get done, for Democrats, to be able to

make the case, to the American voter, that you honored the mandate they gave you, by putting their interests first? I mean, what matters more than securing the democracy?

SCHIFF: Well, I think that's paramount. And I would say that protecting the right to vote is paramount, to protecting the democracy. If the foundation isn't solid, and the right to vote is the foundation, then the whole edifice crumbles to the ground.

The economic bills, the Build Back Better legislation, the infrastructure, Rescue Plan, those, are also part of a democracy agenda, because you need to show that democracy can produce for its people. And for many millions of people, our economy has not been working for them. So, that's a key part of the democracy agenda.

But the most important part is voting rights. And so, yes, I think the Congress, as well as the President, very personally, needs to be as deeply and daily engaged on that, as anything we're doing on the economy.

CUOMO: Congressman Adam Schiff, thank you very much. Good luck doing the work of the people.

SCHIFF: Thank you.

CUOMO: Hey, I don't know if you heard, but Joe Madison, very famous guy, on radio, goes by "The Black Eagle," he just started a hunger strike, because of the inaction on voting rights.

And I'm going to make a call to him, after the show, see if we can get him on, to talk about that.

Hunger strike is a very serious thing. It's very extreme. It'd be very, very dangerous. Why? What, it means, the urgency?

I'm telling you, it's an issue I can't believe how much, it's been slept on, by the Democrats. And yes, that's how I see it. I think they've slept on it. They didn't make it their priority, and they didn't stay with it, and find a way through it, until they could get it done. And I think they're going to regret it.

Now, Aaron Rodgers, listen, he needed to own his actions. And it seems like he's got happy feet, in the pocket, right now. He's dancing. Only this isn't a game. What he is saying deserves attention, but so does this silence, from the team, and the league.

So, what do you say? Let's get after it.









CUOMO: Green Bay Packers' star quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, says he's under attack, from the Woke mob.

No, you just need to wake up brother. You're no victim, of anything, but your own bad choices.

The NFL MVP quarterback said he was immunized, when first asked about the jab. He, in fact, was not vaccinated, against COVID-19.

Listen to him break down his reasoning.


AARON RODGERS, GREEN BAY PACKERS QUARTERBACK: I realize I'm in the crosshairs of the Woke mob right now. So, before my final nail gets put in my cancel culture casket, I think I'd like to set the record straight, on so many of the blatant lies that are out there about myself right now.

I am not, you know, some sort of anti-vax flat-Earther. I am somebody, who's a critical thinker.

I have an allergy to an ingredient that's in mRNA vaccines.

The organization knew exactly what my status was. My teammates knew exactly what my status was. There was nothing that was hidden.


CUOMO: So, two questions. One, if there was nothing that was hidden, then why did they allow you not to follow the protocols, for unvaccinated people? And two, if you have an immunity issue or an allergy issue, to one of the ingredients, why didn't you go to a doctor, and try to get a medical exemption?

Let's bring in sports journalist, and Host of "The Right Time with Bomani Jones," Bomani Jones. What's your take?

BOMANI JONES, SPORTS JOURNALIST, HOST, "THE RIGHT TIME WITH BOMANI JONES": I mean, I think he's done a fantastic end-around, so far, by trying to pose this as being some sort of cultural issue, and ignoring that the real problem that people have is you lied to people's faces, like that's what it came down to.

And it shouldn't have been so easy for him to lie, because when he was asked, if he was vaccinated, he said, "Yes, I'm immunized," somebody was supposed to be like, "Hey, wait a minute, man. That's not what I asked you." Nobody did that. And he carried the lie over. That's the problem that people have.

Everything else that he's tried to turn this into some macro issue ignores the fact that the problem that people had was, you seem to be lying to people, and you seem to be carrying on, as a vaccinated person, when you, in fact, were not.

CUOMO: It's one of those end-arounds. But to play with the metaphor, it's one of those ones, where you keep running deeper and deeper, into your own field territory, you know? And they're chasing you, and you're getting away, but you're going backwards, not forwards, towards what we call the gain line, when it comes, so.

And then you get the silence. Where's the team on this? You know what I mean? He just said, there, in that interview, you knew everything. If you knew everything, why did you let him do nothing, when you have protocols in place?

Where's the League, going after him about this, Bomani?

JONES: Well, I think they're going to be looking into this. And it's going to be tricky for some other teams, because I'm sure--

CUOMO: How long does it take to look into it?

JONES: Oh, no it does--

CUOMO: It's all obvious.

JONES: I agree. It would be very obvious here. But for the Packers, well the question to come, from me, is, "Why exactly did you go along with it?"

Because if you believe what Aaron Rodgers says, and in this case, I'm inclined to believe him, he says he's adhered, to the protocols, everywhere, basically, except for this media availability. And with the media availability, if he wore a mask, he would disclose that he was not vaccinated. It would be the, tell for everybody.


The team seemed to be going along with that, almost like they're embarrassed by the idea that he wasn't vaccinated. And all the things he went through to try to not have to be treated like an unvaccinated person, I could see why they might find it to be embarrassing.

Or maybe they were afraid, if somebody asked about it, in a press conference that cockamamie interview, he gave to Pat McAfee, would be one that he gave with their logos behind him. Maybe that's it.

But the team? Absolutely. They knew that he was not a vaccinated party, and they let him present as such. And I think it's because both the team and Aaron Rodgers didn't want to be embarrassed.

So, I wonder where all this courage came from him, to talk about it now, because he always could have said the things that he's saying, right now. It only came up, when he tested positive. But I'm curious as to why, given the resolve that he seems to have.

CUOMO: You think he should be allowed to play this week?

JONES: If he tests negative, then I am inclined to say, yes. Because I really think that the Packers are the real guilty party, for him being able to flout these rules, as such. It's their responsibility to enforce them. They allowed him to get away with it. So, if he is healthy enough to play, then yes, I think he should play.

I just want him to be able to answer for himself, why did he feel the need to lie to people about it in the first place? Because that's the one thing he didn't seem to want to answer, right?

Like, he wanted to give all praises to Joe Rogan, whom apparently, while he says he talks to Harvard M.D.s about stuff, it was Joe Rogan that really guided him. He took stuff that is for horses, all of those things.

Why did you lie to us in the first place, if you were willing to embarrass yourself later?

CUOMO: Well, the embarrassment was going to begin, as soon as he pointed out Joe Rogan, as one of his touchstones, of his critical- thinking.

Bomani Jones, thank you very much. Appreciate you.

JONES: Thank you, sir.

CUOMO: All right. Let's turn to the murder trial, of Ahmaud Arbery's accused killers, OK? His mother is going to join us.

She went into that courtroom, which, we see from time to time, but she also wanted to watch this awful video that I remember her saying, you know, that they wanted to not look at, for obvious reasons.

Why look at it now? What did it mean to her? And what does she hope that video means to the jury? Next.









CUOMO: All right, so the Ahmaud Arbery trial is going to be a very interesting battle, between the prosecutors, and a really tired defense.

The crux of it, for the three White men on trial, is that they killed the 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, as a modified form of self-defense. Now, you'll remember Arbery was out on a jog. And they are going to use a now-defunct citizen's arrest law.

Today was just day two of testimony in this trial. Already, the State worked, to poke holes, in the defense argument, calling up several witnesses, including the first officer, who arrived at the scene of the shooting.

Listen, as he recounted, what William "Roddie" Bryan Jr., the man, who recorded the video, of Arbery being chased, told him.


VOICE OF LARISSA OLLIVIERRE, PROSECUTOR: How many times did Mr. Bryan say that he either blocked Ahmaud, or cornered him, during this chase?

RICKY MINSHEW, FORMER GLYNN COUNTY POLICE OFFICER: After going back and reviewing the transcribed body camera, it appeared to be approximately five times.

OLLIVIERRE: Did Bryan ever say he saw Ahmaud commit any crime, at the point, where Bryan decided to leave his house?

MINSHEW: No, ma'am. He did not report in the ground to me.

OLLIVIERRE: OK. Did Bryan ever say he was trying to make a citizen's arrest of Ahmaud?

MINSHEW: No, ma'am.


CUOMO: Now, when citizen's arrest fails, or is found, like it's going to be an unsatisfying way to go? Because remember, the defense doesn't have to make a case.

But if it does decide to make what they call an affirmative case, in the law, which is to plead self-defense, and to make that articulated argument, if they see that going away, they're going to have to just fall back, on traditional self-defense, which would be that Ahmaud Arbery came at them, and presented a threat, of serious or deadly injury.

So, let's take a break, and then come back, and talk to Ahmaud Arbery's mother, and counsel, next.









CUOMO: Joining us now is Wanda Cooper-Jones, who of course is Ahmaud Arbery's mother, and the Arbery family attorney, Mark Maguire.

It's good to see you, Counselor.

Ma'am, nice to see you.

WANDA COOPER-JONES, AHMAUD ARBERY'S MOTHER: Hi, nice to meet you as well.

CUOMO: Ms. Cooper-Jones, what did it mean to you, and why did you decide, to want to watch the video, in the courtroom, of what happened to your son?

COOPER-JONES: Often, I avoided the video, simply because I didn't think I had the mental capacity to take it. But I also wondered what happened to Ahmaud, in the last minutes of this life.

I avoided the video, because I didn't think I can take it. But then, the trial started. I knew it was time for me to try to get familiar with it, because I was going to see it over and over again.

CUOMO: What - when you did see it, and to the extent that you could process what you were seeing, emotionally, what did it mean to you?

COOPER-JONES: It was very disturbing. It was very heartbreaking, knowing that Ahmaud had, like I said, from the very beginning that he ran. I didn't realize that he had ran so long. But hearing the testimonies, from the last couple of days, it's just - it's reassuring that Ahmaud actually ran for his life.

CUOMO: And what do you hope the jury sees in that video?

COOPER-JONES: I'm hoping that the jury see what the world see, is that Ahmaud hadn't committed a crime. He was simply out for a jog. He did stop by that unoccupied home. But again, Ahmaud didn't commit a crime. And Ahmaud was chased, and eventually killed.

CUOMO: Counselor, do you believe that the prosecution is going at this, the right way, thus far?

MARK V. MAGUIRE, ATTORNEY FOR AHMAUD ARBERY'S FAMILY: I think what the prosecution has, on its side, is the evidence. They need to show the video. They need to show the body cam video.

They need to show the words and actions of these defendants. And they need to do that consistently. And the more that they do that, the worse that it gets for these defendants. So, so long as they continue to put these images, in front of these jurors, I think that's adequate, for finding of guilt, on the charges they're facing.

CUOMO: Ms. Cooper-Jones, we told the audience early on that we were going to stay on the Ahmaud Arbery case, all the way through, because too often, these efforts move out of the media spotlight.

And we'll follow the trial. We'll follow the verdict. And we'll cover the ramifications. That's our job. And I promise you, we'll do that.

And I wish you strength, during that process. I'm sorry for your loss.

COOPER-JONES: Thank you. Thank you so much.

CUOMO: All right, God bless.

Counselor, thank you.

Thank you for watching.