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Interview with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares; Interview with Domestic Abuse Survivor and Advocate Lejla Dauti; Interview with Survivor and Advocate for Intimate Partner Violence April Hernandez- Castillo; Interview with Women's Right Attorney Gloria Allred; Interview with "Excited Delirium" Author and Center on Transnational Policing at Princeton University Co-Founder Aisha Beliso-De Jesus. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired May 22, 2024 - 13:00:00   ET



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.


SIMON HARRIS, IRISH PRIME MINISTER: Our decision to recognize Palestine should not have to wait indefinitely, especially when it is the right thing

to do.


AMANPOUR: Three European nations lead the move to recognize the State of Palestine. I speak to Spain's foreign minister about why his country

decided now is the time.

Plus, we focus on the women. In the aftermath of the video showing Sean Diddy Combs assault on his girlfriend, I'm joined by two survivors of

domestic violence and famed victims' rights lawyer Gloria Allred.

Then --



of under the radar for so many years because in many ways it's kind of -- it can be seen as a sort of perfect cover up for police violence.


AMANPOUR: -- what is excited delirium? Professor Aisha Beliso-De Jesus talks to Michel Martin about race, police violence and the invention of a


Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.

Three European leaders today made a major diplomatic move to recognize Palestinian Statehood. Spain, Norway, and Ireland say the decision is an

important step towards peace.


PEDRO SANCHEZ, SPANISH PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Next Tuesday, on the 28th of May, Spain will approve its Council of Ministers the

recognition of the State of Palestine.

JONAS GAHR STOERE, NORWEGIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): This is an investment in the only solution that can bring lasting peace in the

Middle East. It is a strong call to other countries to do the same as we are doing today.

SIMON HARRIS, IRISH PRIME MINISTER: In the lead up to today's announcement, I've spoken with a number of other leaders and counterparts,

and I'm confident that further countries will join us in taking this important step in the coming weeks.


AMANPOUR: Now, this official recognition is not meant to take effect until next week. While more than 140 countries have recognized the Palestinian

State, the United States and most of its allies have not. And Israel reacted right away, recalling its ambassadors from all three countries.

Here with me now is Spain's foreign minister, Jose Manuel Albares. Welcome to the program from Madrid. Can I just start asking you the obvious? Why

did you decide to do this, and what made now the right time?

JOSE MANUEL ALBARES, SPANISH FOREIGN MINISTER: For three reasons. First of all, because of this. Because we know that the only solution that will

bring definitive peace to the Middle East, to the Palestinian people and to the Israeli people is a two-state solution. And the best way to protect it

and to foster it is recognizing Palestine.

Secondly, because of justice. Because the Palestinian people must not be condemned forever to be the people of refugees. They have a right to have

their own land. And thirdly, because of pure humanity, 1,200 Israelis killed in October the 7th. More than 35,000 Palestinian civilians are more

than enough.

We must bring peace and stability to the Palestinian people, to the Israeli people, and to the whole Middle East. And that's why we have decided to

take that action next Tuesday in the Spanish Council of Ministers.

AMANPOUR: So, as I said, and you all said that this won't officially, as you said just now, take effect until next week. How much consultation did

you have, let's say, with the United States? Did you, you know, tell Israel, did you give them a heads up with other European nations? What was

the diplomatic process by which you three made this joint announcement?

ALBARES: The decision was announced a long time ago. Firstly, it was in the manifesto, the program, which we went to elections, the political

parties that are in the coalition last July. It's also part of the coalition program of government, the recognition of the State of Palestine.

So, there was no doubt that that was something that the government was going to do.


And I attended a couple of weeks ago, the Security Council in which I announced that we will recognize very solely the State of Palestine. That's

why we voted in the General Assembly of the United Nations in favor of the accession of Palestine to the U.N. and we co-sponsor the resolution.

And of course, we discussed this with all our friends, partners, and allies. Very -- and especially within the European Union. We have extensive

change with different countries that were in the same position at us to move forward to do it jointly. And the president signed a document with the

prime minister of Malta, IrelAnd Slovenia to move forward in that sense. And that's why we are doing it jointly with Ireland and other countries,

like Norway, express their interest and we have changed with them.

And not that long ago, I was in Washington and I had a meeting with Tony Blinken in which when we were discussing the Middle East, I explained our

position and within that position, I explained that recognition for us was the right tool to protect the two-state solution and also to try to

guarantee peace, to make sure that this time will be the last time we see this type of war between Israel and Palestinians.

AMANPOUR: Foreign Minister Albares, so did Tony Blinken, secretary of state, agree with you? After all, the United States has been the main

backer of a two-state solution historically. And also, Norway, with the Oslo peace process you know, one of your co-recognizers today. What did the

-- what did Blinken say when you alerted him that you were going to do this?

ALBARES: I'm not going to go into the details of this conversation, diplomatic conversation, but he expressed the U.S. position, which is very

well known, and he stated it very clearly, as I state my position.

We are two good friends, two allies, Spain and the United States, and we exchange friendly about it. I made clear our position and he made clear the

position of the United States. And I really commend the work that Tony Blinken is doing jointly with Qatar and Egypt to try to get peace back to

the Middle East.

AMANPOUR: So, the Palestinians, certainly some members of the Palestinian Authority have praised and thanked your three nations for what they call

the courageous decision. I just want to play a little bit about one of your -- you know, one of the other nations, the prime minister, the Taoiseach of

Ireland, what he said Simon Harris, about why now?


SIMON HARRIS, IRISH PRIME MINISTER: Our decision to recognize Palestine should not have to wait indefinitely, especially when it is the right thing

to do. It is a decision being taken on its merits. But we cannot ignore the fact that we are taking it as Palestinians in Gaza are enduring the most

appalling suffering, hardship and starvation.

A humanitarian catastrophe unimaginable to most and unconscionable to all is unfolding in real-time. How can anyone justify children going to sleep

at night, not knowing if they will wake up?


AMANPOUR: As you know, the Israeli prime minister and other ministers have reacted very angrily. They have basically said that you are rewarding

terror, you're rewarding Hamas. Who exactly are you recognizing?

ALBARES: It's very clear. We are recognizing the State of Palestine with the Palestinian National Authority. It's our partner. It's a long time ago.

It's a partner for peace. And they accept the two-state solution. Therefore, we will not ever accept any partner that is not a partner for

peace and that doesn't recognize the existence of the State of Israel, as is the case of Hamas.

Actually, this recognition strengthens the Palestinian Authority, that it's a partner for peace. And will reduce the public space for those that don't

want the existence of a State of Israel out of this.

When we have taken this decision, we have also taken into consideration the legitimate claims of security of the people of Israel. The people of Israel

are friends of the people of Spain, and we take very seriously their legitimate claims of security.

The best way to do it is by recognition. Because at the end, the hope of the Palestinian people to have their own state, it's completely linked to

the legitimate guarantees of security of the State of Israel, and doing this implemented the two-state solution, we expect also that all the Arab

countries will normalize relationship with Israel.


So, not only this reduces the space of those that want war, but at the same time, it also will bring peace and security for everyone in the Middle East

if we implement what we know is the solution for the oldest problem of the table of U.N., it is the implementation of the two-state solution.

AMANPOUR: But how are you going to convince Israel and the Israeli people who you speak about now that this is the case? Because not only did the

prime minister reiterate his view, and let me get it correct, his view that the establishment of Palestinian State is an existential danger to Israel.

Also, as you know, in the last several years, the majority of the Israeli people have moved very far away from this notion of peace and a two-state

solution. And you know, how are you going to convince Israel because it presumably has a veto over this? Tell me how it works.

ALBARES: Many times in history Israelis and Palestinians have agreed on the two-state solution that has the consensus of the International

Community. There are already 143 countries that recognize Palestine, and the three, including Spain, that are adding up, will make 146.

In the General Assembly, when we were talking about the accession of Palestine as a full member, a full state in the United Nations, the vote

was overwhelmingly in favor of that. So, we all know that that's the solution.

I think that as soon as peace goes back into the Middle East, we all have to make a great effort to put this peace conference that Spain has been

calling for in which we will all be able to implement the two-state solution. And of course, everyone has to be around the table. We think that

by the step that we are doing today, we are pushing for peace in the Middle East.

AMANPOUR: And how do you think the ICC action earlier this week in which they are requesting arrest warrants for Benjamin Netanyahu, his defense

minister, as well as the military and political leaders of Hamas, how do you think that affects this and what do you make of that? Because it's

drawn a very furious reaction from the United States, from Europeans, from Israel, of course.

ALBARES: We support the court, of course, as we support the International Court of Justice as well. Actually, we give funding to the court to be able

to take and carry out their duties.

So, the prosecutor has put that on the table. Now, the court has to decide, and Spain will back any decision that the court is taking, as we would --

are doing the same with the decisions that the International Court of Justice is issuing. We will back whatever they decide.

AMANPOUR: And finally, members of Netanyahu's coalition, the governing coalition, who keeps him as prime minister, people like, you know, Itamar

Ben-Gvir and Smotrich and the others. They have issued very, very tough words today. Essentially, Smotrich threatening to, you know, do all sorts

of things. Build new settlements in the occupied West Bank. You know, stop sending funding. You know, Palestinian tax dues and et cetera. Do all sorts

of things against the Palestinian people in the occupied West Bank, as well as, they call, for a resettlement of Gaza.

Do you -- are you concerned that what you've done could backlash and backfire against the people you are trying to recognize and trying to push

towards peace?

ALBARES: Palestinian people were asking us for recognition. It's important for them. That's their hope, that one day they will have their own state.

It's what the majority of the International Community have done. It's what we have voted for in the General Assembly in an overwhelmingly way.

The settlements of Israel in the occupied territories are completely legal and the international law have been condemned by the E.U., the United

Nation, and almost the majority -- almost the totality of the International Community.

The fact of not giving the money of the taxes to the Palestinian National Authority, it's a way of undermining the partner that we all have for

peace, and letting the space completely free for those that believe in violence and in war to take the lead in this situation. Therefore, we are

opposed to that type of action. That will not bring peace, only opposite.


AMANPOUR: Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares, thank you so much for joining us from Madrid.

And now, we want to turn to the persistent and pernicious violence against women and the troubling shortfall in action and accountability to protect

them all over the world.

In New York, a former model has filed a new complaint against Sean Diddy Coombs saying that he drugged and sexually assaulted her back in 2003. This

after CNN accessed the sickening video of the musician abusing his then girlfriend, Cassie Ventura. He had denied it for years. And we will not

show that video of her being attacked, but you can see him, Combs, here in this short clip, chasing her with a towel wrapped around his waist.

Now, we've been scouring the press reaction to the assault and to this video ever since it was released last week, and very little of it has been

focused on the actual women at the center of this, the victims. Instead, it's been on the business and the career and the future of Sean Combs.

Worldwide, one in three women have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence, and women of color suffer the most. Intimate partner

violence, as it's called, is the key contributor to the higher rate of deaths compared to white women.

And I want to discuss all of this with my distinguished panel tonight. There's Gloria Allred, she is the renowned women's rights attorney, and

she's joining us from Los Angeles. Survivor and advocate Lejla Dauti here right with me in London. And April Hernandez-Castillo joining me from New


Lejla, I mangled your last name. Please correct it for me.


AMANPOUR: Exactly. So, can I just ask you first?

DAUTI: Sure.

AMANPOUR: Because there is also an issue of playing this video. Have you seen it? And what do you think about the fact that it was aired?

DAUTI: I haven't watched the video. And I'll be really honest, this whole -- everything that's been come at -- come to the media about Sean Combs has

been very triggering, because I might be an advocate and a campaigner, but actually I'm also a survivor.

And to watch his video -- I can't even call it an apology video. To watch the video is actually very triggering because I think a lot of us as

survivors will recognize our perpetrators in him and for that reason, I have not watched it.

AMANPOUR: So, we're talking about the actual assault video and then he came out and posted an apology.


AMANPOUR: And I wonder whether you think, and I'll ask Gloria Allred also and our other guest, April, whether you think there would have been an

apology even. As it was. Even if -- you know, if that video hadn't come to light?

DAUTI: No, I don't believe that there would have been an apology. Perpetrators are not sorry for what they did. If they had been sorry in the

beginning, those actions would have never actually come to fruition. So, I don't believe that he would have ever apologized for it.

ALLRED: And, April Hernandez-Castillo, to you. I want to turn to you because you're also a survivor and an advocate and an activist. Did you see

the video? I'm interested because some have said people should see it because that shows exactly what happened. And you've just heard from Lejla

saying is triggering. So, people have different views. I'm interested in yours.

APRIL HERNANDEZ-CASTILLO, SURVIVOR AND ADVOCATE FOR INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE: I did watch it. I watched it and immediately -- my body felt all

of the trauma come back up. And as hard as it was to watch, honestly, I was finally happy that the world can see what domestic violence looks like.

AMANPOUR: I'm going to get to --

HERNANDEZ-CASTILLO: It's terrifying.

AMANPOUR: I'm going to get to your experiences in a moment after I bring in Gloria Allred, as I said, the renowned women's rights defender and

attorney. Gloria, again, this is a week later, a week since CNN actually was able to get this video and show the world what actually had happened.

What is your reaction to that and to the whole legal process that simply doesn't seem to put women at the center, those women who are clearly

victims, as this video shows?

GLORIA ALLRED, WOMEN'S RIGHT ATTORNEY: You're so right, Christiane, because we live in a celebrity culture. So, it becomes all about the

celebrity. But what about the victims as you point out?

It was interesting because when Cassie Ventura filed her lawsuit and then, of course, there were denials by Sean Diddy Combs and, you know,

suggestions that this was all about a payday and he denied that. And also, a number -- the allegations and a number of other civil lawsuits that were


He did that knowing that there was a video, but it hadn't become public. And the reason he knew there was a video was because many years ago,

reportedly, he bought that video from the now closed Intercontinental Hotel in Century City. So, he knew it was there. Now, you know, he had to admit

it and stop the denial and he said he was sorry and he was getting therapy and so forth.


But, you know, there need to be consequences for violence against women. That's what we saw in the video. We saw him dragging, kicking, and

otherwise treating Cassie Ventura as though she's an object, that he owns a piece of property rather than a human being.

And now, there continue to be lawsuits against him, and it may very well be that they're going to be federal charges as well filed at some point, even

though the L.A. County district attorney says it's too late to file a lawsuit in Los Angeles on account of the violence we see in that video.

AMANPOUR: So, just to be clear, you don't believe that Cassie Ventura has any -- you don't think there'll be a lawsuit that she could file or claim

or any other claims against him for this particular -- now that this evidence has come up?

ALLRED: Well, she did file a lawsuit.


ALLRED: And the next day, he settled that lawsuit. Unfortunately for him, the usual statements which are in confidential settlements don't allow

either the attorney or the victim to speak about it unless, of course, it is child sexual abuse, which this was not. And yet, the attorney for the

victim continues to speak about it.

And that video, which ordinarily would not be made public, has been made public. The source of it, we don't know. But look, I'm more concerned about

her. I'm glad she was able to settle her lawsuit. And we'll see whether that video becomes part of a federal prosecution or not. That would be


The federal prosecution might be based on sex trafficking, if in fact there were facts that would support it, might be the Mann Act, which bans taking

women from one state to another for the purpose of commercial sex. It might be RICO, which is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

In other words, if the business enterprise, his recordings, for example was involved in enabling other crimes. So, we'll have to wait and see.

AMANPOUR: OK. And in the meantime, I would like to ask you, Lejla, if you don't mind, to maybe tell us what your experience was, what led you to

become an advocate? Did you get any, you know, sufficient help from either the law enforcement or, you know, therapy or the like.

DAUTI: So, actually what led me to doing my work, because very much, like Gloria says, a lot of times we focus on the perpetrator. We become obsessed

with the pathology of why they perpetrate, why do they do this? And we stop focusing on the victims and survivors themselves. So, we become statistics

and our identities are completely lost and we're anonymous.

What I found was after fleeing my perpetrator was once it was all said and done and the dust had settled, so to speak, and I was physically safe and I

wasn't at risk of the violence -- the immediate violence, I kind of looked around and I thought, well, what do I do now? Where do I go now? Who do I

turn to now? And there was just nothing.

And it wasn't even that the support was lacking in quality, it just didn't exist at all. And it was very much a moment where I thought I was desperate

to find women somewhere who were just like me, who had experience without experience, which is why I turned to social media and started sharing

stories on behalf of the women in the community.

And pretty much overnight, a community of survivors formed. And it was really indicative of that desperate need to have that safe space where

women could come forward and share their stories.

AMANPOUR: And as we call it -- I mean, it is called intimate -- what's it called? Intimate?

DAUTI: Intimate partner violence, yes.

AMANPOUR: Partner violence, right. What happened to you, if you don't mind saying?

DAUTI: So, what I experienced was non-fatal strangulation. It was -- I mean, it was a diverse amount of violence. It was from pushes and shoves,

to black eyes, to non-fatal strangulation, to being thrown through a glass door, which I still have scars on my arm today.

And then, on top of that, we've actually got the stuff that really enables the abuse even more, which is the emotional and the mental abuse, which is

the economical abuse, which is the gaslighting, the trauma bonding. So, there was a big, big array of abuse that I suffered.

AMANPOUR: Let me talk to you -- let me turn to you, Isabella -- April. What happened to you? And most specifically, the statistics as we've shown

in the United States show that women of color, black women and women of color, suffer disproportionately across the board, from the violence, from

death, and from even being believed and being able to prosecute cases and prosecute the alleged perpetrators?

HERNANDEZ-CASTILLO: I was abused from the age of 16 to about 19 and a half. I was physically and emotionally abused to the point where my abuser

nearly took my life. And then I began to have and suffer from suicidal ideations.


And it wasn't until that moment where I didn't want to wake up anymore because of the shame and pain that I felt where I realized at that moment,

I have to leave. And I found the courage to finally say I'm done. It's enough. And so, I made a decision to leave and also to live my life and

make the choice that I would use it.

I was also in the movie "Freedom Riders" with Hilary Swank. And it really showed me the power of our stories. And that is when I began to understand

the power of a story of a survivor. So, for someone who is able to leave and be successful and find love, I've been married to my husband for 23

years. And truly that has been so powerful because as a victim not only do you struggle with loving yourself, but you ever -- you wonder am I able to

love, am I ever able to trust? And so, I've been on this journey of working and advocating, especially working with teenagers.

AMANPOUR: That's a really important point to make actually, because you don't want to -- I assume, want to think that the only story is the story

of a victim. Were you believed, April, when you started to try to get accountability?

HERNANDEZ-CASTILLO: Well, when I was being abused, I was a teenager. And so, I didn't dare share my story. No one knew about my abuse. Absolutely no

one, not even my parents. And so, it took me about 10 years to find the courage to finally share my story.

And once I started doing that, I was able to receive so much help really in understanding how I was able to fall into that kind of situation. So, the

support, I was able to become educated. Now, I'm a facilitator and I give workshops, and really working with powerful and amazing organizations in

New York City, because education was key. And education and awareness is -- and prevention, it really is a way to do our best to prevent from DV to

continue happening.

AMANPOUR: Gloria Allred, from the legal perspective, you know, it was making the legitimate point that it's an education awareness. You know,

take the victim seriously. We thought maybe that since MeToo, since Harvey Weinstein was convicted and, you know, sent to jail, since so many -- so

much accountability was had after MeToo, that somehow this playing field, if you like, had been leveled, at least starting to be leveled. Do you see

that in the court system in your practice?

ALLRED: Well, I'm still dealing with many, many victims of violence against women. And one of the key questions is, why don't women do

something about it? Why do they continue to be victimized? Well, often they don't know their rights, Christiane.

And what they need to do is not be isolated, which is what almost every batterer wants, separate the victim from her family and friends, support

groups, and isolate them and make them dependent on the batterer. But, you know, reach out, for example, to an attorney in your area who helps victims

of violence and learn your rights. Because your rights are not just in the criminal justice system. There's a lot of fear that victims have. Fear of

going to the police. Fear of law enforcement. Fear that the batterer will retaliate against them if they do something.

But the criminal justice system is not the only system that can help. The civil justice system, going to a civil attorney, you know, doing, for

example, what Cassie Ventura did, which was file a lawsuit, and then get a result, sometimes right away, sometimes it takes a lot longer. Or to do a

confidential settlement with the batterer without a lawsuit. We do them all the time. I did one yesterday.

So, the point is, there are many options that victims are not aware of. And this can be a teaching moment for the batterer, that he literally has to

pay the consequences of his wrongdoing, of his criminal acts, and sometimes it's civil and criminal, sometimes it's just civil, sometimes it's just

criminal. But reach out, find out what you can do and become empowered in that journey.

And as some of your guests said, when they finally get support groups, that is a moment where they start to be empowered, to be stronger, and to want

to do something about it and to move on with their lives.


And I'm very proud of these victims that they are sharing their stories and reaching out and helping others who have been victimized as well.

AMANPOUR: And, Lejla, you've talked about, you know, going from victim to advocate, but you did find, what Gloria is saying, this community on social

media. But you also -- I believe you came here as a refugee from Kosovo in the midst of war and ethnic cleansing and all the -- I mean, I, you know,

was there, studied it, covered it, et cetera.

My question though is, here in the U.K., as a refugee, did you find it more difficult or was it the same as for any other woman? Did you find yourself

even more isolated from the legal system from civil society here?

DAUTI: I absolutely. I really did. And I think a lot of that has to do with growing up as a teenager, not feeling like you really fit in, knowing

that you're different to your friends. I mean, I came to the U.K. in the mid-'90s where there really wasn't that much awareness and education around

ethnic cleansing and genocide and what was happening in the Balkans at the time.

So, there wasn't a lot of understanding of why we were even here as asylum seekers. So, I kind of grew up with not feeling like I fitted in anywhere.

And it was to the point where actually then when I was in a relationship with a perpetrator, I didn't quite know where to -- when I identified

myself as a victim, because for a long time, just like the other guests have said, I didn't know that I was a victim. And I did identify as a

victim. I didn't really know where to turn to for help because I didn't know who could help me in my circumstances.

AMANPOUR: I just want to read, you know, a couple of stats, which -- you know, I mean, they're really awful. April, each year, over 12 million women

and men are victims of intimate partner violence. This is the National Domestic Violence Hotline. 35 percent of women worldwide, as we said, have

experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non- partner sexual violence, according to the U.N.

I know that you're not necessarily in these industries that I'm about to talk about, but in this sort of industries, whether it's in movies, in

music, in certain places where potentially some men feel that they're entitled to do whatever, you know, the old adage, sex, drugs, and rock and

roll it is -- is it more difficult, do you think, in this sort of cases than in others, or is it all equally troublesome?

HERNANDEZ-CASTILLO: I would say it's equally troublesome, whether you -- abuse is not racist, it is not prejudice. It doesn't care about your

status, your financial status. It just wants to destroy you. And really, it doesn't matter who you are, it can affect anyone.

And, you know, I grew up with a mother and a father who loved on me, who set the foundation for me. My mother told me that my voice was powerful. My

father was saying, you know, a man should love you and uplift you. And yet, I found myself in a situation where I was fighting for my life in silence.

And I'm so happy that I made it out. And my father is my hero. And I never forgot my father's voice and it really gave me the strength. And I said a

promise when I, you know, survived and I left. I said, I will speak to whomever. I will use my voice because that is what abuse does, it silences

your voice.

And there are so many women, men and children who are watching this, and I just want them -- I want them to know that they are not alone. And your

voice matters and you matter.

AMANPOUR: And you very bravely, you know, are talking publicly and you have been. Tell me, for other people's awareness and for our awareness,

what did your father do for you? What did he say? You say you hear his voice when you told him and how did he support you?

HERNANDEZ-CASTILLO: Oh, it was a beautiful moment. It was obviously 10 years later. And I said, well, before I share my story with the world, I

think I should share it with my father. And we had this beautiful daughter- father moment. And we cried together and he felt broken. He felt so sad because he couldn't believe that this was happening all around him and he

had no clue.

And I never blamed him. Honestly, as a teenager, as a young daughter who was a daddy's girl, I just wanted to protect my father because I

instinctively knew if my father would have reacted, he would have ended up probably in jail because he's trying to protect me. But it was such a

tender moment.

And once again, if it wasn't for him and his support now, I don't know if I would have been here. And without my husband once again. And also, just all

of the people who are doing the work.


AMANPOUR: I just want to turn finally to you, Lejla, because the prime minister announced a new election. And there's a lot of complaints that in

this country, you know, the institutions, the structures are not there for the kind of issues that we're talking about. Do you think an election might

even make a difference? I mean, do you -- your women, the groups, I mean, are there particular people running for election that you think could help

or could empower --

DAUTI: In my personal opinion, no. Violence is systemic. It's institutional. It's happened for hundreds of years. It's enabled by the

patriarchy. There is so many things that uphold violence towards women and girls and I don't believe that this election will make much of a

difference. Sadly and unfortunately.

AMANPOUR: Very quickly to you, Laura -- sorry, Gloria, because we are at the end. I just wondered if you had a different view, whether some -- you

know, some kind of voting can help.

ALLRED: Absolutely. By the way, one thing that is common to all of these situations is a power imbalance where the victim does not feel that she has

the power, whether it's in the workplace, whether it's in sports, business, entertainment, religion, that she doesn't have the power that the batterer

does. So, we have to empower her. And that's important.

But we also have to make sure that we have enough women in office to make sure that this becomes a priority, eliminating, preventing, and imposing

consequences for the batterers who commit and inflict these injustices against women.

AMANPOUR: Thank you.

ALLRED: So, we have to have also more women judges and more women and boards, commissions, agencies. Until we have an equal structure involving

women and men and those who are also diverse in many ways, we are not going to end violence against women. We're not going to be able to enjoy true

equal partnerships between women and men.

AMANPOUR: And I can see our wonderful panel nodding at that. So, Lejla Dauti, Gloria Allred, and April Castillo, thank you so much indeed for

being with us. Really important conversation. I appreciate it.

And as we just heard, black victims in the United States are less likely to be believed when reporting cases of sexual violence, and sadly, this racism

prevails across the law enforcement system. So, Aisha Beliso-De Jesus is the co-founder of Princeton's Center on Transnational Policing, and her new

book, "Excited Delirium," explores the medical term that has long been used as a scapegoat for police misconduct. Like in the George Floyd case, whose

murder by police four years ago this weekend sparked outrage.

The author and academic speaks to Michel Martin about how legislators are now dealing with this invented disease.


MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Professor Aisha Beliso-De Jesus, thank you so much for joining us.


MARTIN: You've written a new book about excited delirium. I would say that I think most of us, you know, who follow the news only heard about this

term in connection with the death of George Floyd. So, what is excited delirium and who coined this term?

BELISO-DE JESUS: I think it was -- you know, it actually quite startling to me to have been doing research on policing with police officers since

2013 and, you know, had never heard of the term excited delirium syndrome until after George Floyd's death.

So, excited delirium is what many would consider now to be a misappropriated diagnosis. The man named Charles Wetli coined the term

excited delirium syndrome while he was studying cocaine and Afro-Cubans who were in Miami in the 1980s and '90s.

And the term actually started off as cocaine agitated delirium and it switched to excited delirium syndrome in the '90s when they've tried to

open up the term and make it more applicable to be on cocaine usage.

But basically, what the term argues is that with just a small amount of cocaine usage people become aggressive, excited, sweaty, agitated, and are

described as suddenly dying. And in this case, police officers who are called to the scene are seen as sort of innocent bystanders or just happen

to witness excited delirium.

It's been described as similar to SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome in the sense that you can't actually autopsy. There's no way to diagnose

excited delirium except by what is told to -- what people did on the scene. And so, in many cases, this is the police who describe how people are



And you know, of course, excited delirium syndrome has sort of gone under the radar in many ways because it's been used by medical examiners. And so,

Charles Wetli, he actually used it as a racial argument, he made the argument that black people in particular had a special genetic flaw to

spontaneously die on small doses of cocaine.

MARTIN: OK. So, again, I think that's where a lot of those of us who live in the general public heard about this term, because it was in fact cited

in Derek Chauvin's legal defense. This, of course, is, you know, one of the four officers. He was the one most heavily implicated in the death of

George Floyd.

During his trial a Minneapolis police officer who trains others in medical care testified that recognizing signs of excited delirium is part of the

training for new officers. But your reporting indicates that this is made up. This is -- this stuff doesn't even exist. So, tell me how you came to

that conclusion.

BELISO-DE JESUS: I think it's important to note that, similar to George Floyd, the majority and almost all of the people who are considered or

labeled excited delirium syndrome are actually killed during police interactions, right? They almost always involve some type of police use of

force such as hog tying people, applying carotid chokeholds, kneeling on people's bodies, as we saw with George Floyd, tasing people injecting them

with sedatives, as we saw with Elijah McClain, right?

And so, forceful restraint is actually key to excited delirium syndrome. However, the syndrome has been used -- and what I argue in the book, and

also, I think, what many people have come to realize is that it is an excuse or a cover-up or a medicalized -- medicalization of police violence.

So, it's really crucial to think about the relationship between the use of forceful restraints, right, and the ways that these deaths are then labeled

after the fact.

MARTIN: Excited delirium has been listed as a factor in autopsy reports, court records, or other sources, and at least 276 deaths that followed

taser use since the year 2000. This is from a report in Reuters in 2017.

So, when tasers got introduced, this became one of the -- sort of the arguments. And so, let's start -- so let's go back to Charles Wetli. It

started with him. What did you find out about his background and why you feel like this is relevant to our understanding of this?

BELISO-DE JESUS: So, when I started delving into the history of excited delirium syndrome, I became extremely engrossed in how Charles Wetli came

to define the syndrome. The first precedent that he used was the idea that somehow black people have a special sort of genetic flaw that creates them

to go crazy, right? And that's like the term that's being used.

And he cites literature actually from Jim Crow segregation doctors who were arguing for the criminalization of cocaine in the early 1900s to justify

the abuse and the lynching of black men in the south. So, the first sort of precedent that he uses is this medical doctor, this "New York Times"

article by Dr. Edward Williams, who describes and warns that so-called negro cocaine fiends are running amok in the south and that we must arm the


He first starts this in the late 1980s when 12 black women are found to be brutally raped and strangled to death in Miami. And Wetli says that he

notices a pattern of these black women's death which he argues is a -- not due to murder, actually, but he claims due to "sex and cocaine deaths." So,

he calls them a spontaneous reaction to small amounts of cocaine. And he actually describes black people as the black species in his medical

writings. And he labels these 12 women's deaths as sex and cocaine deaths as accidents.

And what happens is a black girl by the name of Antoinette Burns, a 14- year-old black girl was actually found raped and murdered without cocaine in her system. And this causes police and the medical examiner's office,

actually Charles Wetli's boss at the time, Joseph Davis, to reinvestigate. And it finds that the women who had all been labeled by Wetli's sex and

cocaine deaths were actually murdered and asphyxiated.


And so, this causes a stir in Miami because they realized that they likely had a serial killer that was murdering and targeting black women.

MARTIN: But somehow this did not terminate this idea of excited delirium. Why do you think that it has taken so long to for people to question this


BELISO-DE JESUS: When we think of medicalization of police violence, we think about how something gets labeled a medical term in the first place,

right? So, medical examiners were using the term and were labeling these deaths accidents or unclassified.

And so, for many years, a lot of the excited delirium deaths of people who have died excited delirium or labeled excited delirium were actually not

given any answers. And because their deaths were labeled accidents, because these deaths were unclassified, not only was no one held accountable, but

it just looked like a medical incident, right?

And we saw that with George Floyd's death, when initially the police placed on their website a notice saying that a man dies in medical distress,

right? And had it not been for 17-year-old Darnella Frazier, who actually posted the bystander video that showed Derek Chauvin, you know, kneeling on

George Floyd's neck, the world would not have known that this was not just another case of a so-called medical distress.

And I think because it's gone, you know, sort of under the radar for so many years, because in many ways, it's kind of -- it can be seen as a sort

of perfect cover-up for police violence. And what it also reveals to us is how medical examiners and also, you know, paramedics, right, participate in

police violence in ways that that we really can't uncover until we start to really understand how these structures work.

MARTIN: A 2021 study published in the Virginia Law Review found that of 166 reported deaths in police custody from possible excited delirium, black

people made up 43.3 percent of cases. And black -- and Latino people together made up at least 56 percent. And for people who, you know, aren't

aware, that is far beyond, you know, the presence of black and Latino people in the population on the whole. So, what do you make of those

numbers? What do you think that says?

BELISO-DE JESUS: Well, I think the other sort of reason why excited delirium has sort of operated under the radar for a lot of people is

because it does allow us to sort of justify and blame the victims for police violence.

There's already a long history of racializing, right, and medicalizing black and brown people in the United States and utilizing this sort of

terms, these fears, right, of dangerous black and Latino men that are going to sort of, you know, cause havoc and be threatening as an easy sort of

scapegoat to then cover-up this kind of violence. And I think that what excited delirium shows us is how these ideas are then entrenched in medical


and this actually goes back to a longer history, even from slavery, right? So, for instance, in slavery, there was, you know, a host of medical terms

that similarly racialized, right, black people as dangerous or threatening or violent, right?

We saw it -- you know Dr. Samuel Cartwright in arguing for drapetomania, right? The idea that runaway slaves have a mental illness, that we're sort

of crazy and unhinged, a kind of mania, and he advocated for amputating toes.

And I think it is crucial to recognize that when Wetli's precedent is the lynching narratives from the south that argued that black men needed to be

subdued by more heavily arming police officers, that there's a sort of long history connecting these links between medical doctors and police violence.

MARTIN: So, this -- the data that we just cited, this study was included in a Physicians for Human Rights report that concluded that the term

excited delirium can't be disentangled from its racist and unscientific origins. I'm quoting here. And it proved excited delirium is not a valid

medical or psychiatric diagnosis.

BELISO-DE JESUS: That's right.

MARTIN: And so now that through your work, the work of other researchers, this kind of history has been sort of surfaced, where are we now? Is there

a willingness -- is there a will to look at this in a new light?


BELISO-DE JESUS: So, I think there is. You know, across the country, especially since George Floyd's murder, we see the, you know, re-

examination of the term. And recently, there has been increased pressure to not only acknowledge that excited delirium is not an actual medical

diagnosis, but also to eliminate the use of the term and also ban its use in training documents.

And so. just recently in October, 2023, California became the first state to ban its use of the cause of death. And then, we also see, you know,

Colorado recently, I think just last month, struck down excited delirium from all law enforcement training documents. And then we have other

movements going on Florida, in New York, and so on.

And so, I think there is a recognition, right, that the diagnosis itself is fabricated. And, you know, it's important to remember that this diagnosis

was actually never truly recognized. So, it was not classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders or even in the

International Classification of Diseases. It was not recognized by the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, or even

the World Health Organization.

And it's really -- up until just last year, it was only recognized by the National Association of Medical Examiners, which allowed for it to be used

as a cause of death. And so, it's really important to understand that even that association finally rejected excited delirium syndrome.

And so, in the wake of George Floyd's death, and the -- you know, the protests that, I think, you know, really called to attention a kind of

historic reckoning in the world, we see these important things happening. But there's still a lot of work to be done, especially the medicalization

of police violence does continue, even without the use of a term.

MARTIN: And why do you say that?

BELISO-DE JESUS: So, in 2023, you might recall the death of Keenan Anderson, who was tased multiple times, right? And actually, while the

police detained him, he yelled to people and said, they're going to George Floyd me. And -- however, Anderson's death was described by the coroner as

heart failure and cocaine, which, in essence, is an excited delirium without the term, right?

And then, just this past April, we can see Frank Tyson was also asphyxiated, similar, actually, to George Floyd's death. And Tyson's family

members and attorneys have described him as a sort of George Floyd 2.0. He was subdued, handcuffed, and complaining of being able to breathe.

And so, I think it's really important that we have ongoing awareness around not just the term, which I think is appalling and points to the racist

history, but also the ongoing ways in which this happens.

MARTIN: Is there anything that gives you hope that this kind of cycle of misinformation, made up junk science and kind of racialized, you know,

violence and policing can be intervened in? Is there anything that gives you hope that this can change?

BELISO-DE JESUS: I do have hope. And I think, you know, after George Floyd's death, we saw people come from across the world, really, I mean, in

the United States, especially, but millions of people took to the streets to really acknowledge the violence that our society has engendered, right?

There has been a significant shift, right?

Before George Floyd's death, people couldn't even imagine the possibility of, you know, redistributing resources from the police towards, you know,

other kinds of programs, educational programs, mental health programs, right? And that happened, right?

We saw a movement of people really demanding -- calling towards a shift in our society. And we saw resources being diverted. And I think we have to

remember George Floyd's death and remember what it -- what that call to change our society really did. It's not going to happen in one swift move,

but I think slowly bringing these to our attention and creating new institutions or shifting our institutions towards healing and caring and

health care and training can actually do a lot of work, and it has done a lot of work.

And so, I am hopeful, even as I know that there's ongoing research that needs to happen.

MARTIN: Professor Aisha Beliso-De Jesus, thank you so much for talking with us.

BELISO-DE JESUS: Thank you so much for having me.


AMANPOUR: And finally, tonight, imagining greatness for America. 60 years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered his historic Great Society

speech, laying out the biggest expansion of the welfare state since Roosevelt's New Deal.

The primary goals were eliminating racial inequality and ending poverty.


LYNDON B. JOHNSON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: We have the opportunity to move not only toward the rich society and the powerful society, but upward to

the great society. The great society rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice, to which we're

totally committed in our time.



AMANPOUR: Sixty years later, though many strides have been made, many Americans may still be asking, do we or do we not have a great society?

And speaking of all things great, how about some of the greatest of all time? Mattel has announced that its latest range of Barbies, all honoring

some of the greatest female athletes of our time. Among those being immortalized in eleven and a half inches are tennis champion Venus

Williams, and eight others across gymnastics, soccer, boxing, swimming, track and field and Paralympics. And I can't think of a greater way to end

this show.

And that's it for now. Thank you for watching, and goodbye from London.