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Don Lemon Tonight
Eighteen People Killed in FedEx Facility; American Flag Half- Mast Becomes a Regular View; Shootings in America a National Embarrassment; Adam Toledo's Death Shown in Public; Parents in Unison Grieving; Protesters' Anger Palpable in the Streets; Congressman Greene Form a New Caucus. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired April 16, 2021 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: First of all, I'll tell you what I do like, let's be positive. I like seeing black and white together. I like seeing old and young. I like seeing constituencies of a community coming together even if they don't share a common experience.
And when they get loud, and they yell about the police and how angry they are, nobody ever said that everything you're supposed to say is supposed to be polite and pleasant. And anybody who felt that way lost that leverage after January 6th, when they didn't speak up about what happened there.
So, they are taking a knee, they are polite. When they start yelling about this was a 13-year-old kid and he turned and there was no gun in his and, how is that right? They have every right to yell and be angry about it, and I would argue if you're not angry, if you're not outraged, it doesn't have the energy that catches the ear of those in power.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: You know what would be great? Yes, look, I like to see diversity too, and people together, black and white and whatever it this. Wouldn't it be great if it was like all middle-aged white guys out there saying this has to stop?
LEMON: That would be.
CUOMO: And look --
LEMON: Can you imagine?
CUOMO: -- I don't even -- my home phone is hardly. I'm sure it's how I'm getting killed on social media. But I know --
LEMON: For what?
CUOMO: -- I know I'm right. If it were people like me whose kids were getting shot by cops, this would have ended a long time ago.
LEMON: Or never started. So, or never started because people had just -- look, I know people say, well, why people get killed by cops. Well, yes, if it's wrong, it's wrong, it doesn't matter what color they are.
But if you look at what happens in the country, and it's not that, you know, people take videos, you've seen the videos of white people getting stopped by cops, running over them, dragging them down the streets --
LEMON: -- and keeping and still living.
CUOMO: Yesterday, a 60-year-old white guy in Minnesota --
CUOMO: -- they wanted to take him into custody, he looks fine.
CUOMO: It's not like they beat him up, they drag the guy by his arm and beat him with his own safety hammer.
LEMON: And it's not a perfect world so not every time single, you know, it's going to be a Black guy or whatever.
LEMON: But when you look at most of the time and you look at the treatment between the way -- the way police officers can and do treat people of color, especially Black men, it's different. I have been with white people in the car and they've gotten pulled over and they tell me, the police have never talked to me that way.
And I said, well, that's because you're white. And they never even thought of it, has never happened to them, until they're with me, and they see the way a police officer treats me. Not all of them, but there have been a number of them who do it.
And what does it take? What does it take for you to treat anyone -- and I'm talking to police officers here -- anyone of any ethnicity with respect? You are a public servant. I know it's a tough job. But you are a public servant.
Listen, after our talk last night, I had someone from Chicago who is a former member of the Chicago Police Department, a former detective. And the way we talked about what happened in Chicago, he feels completely opposite, the way we talked about it at the top of the show. He thinks it was not justified at all. He thinks the kid was complying.
He thinks if you can't stand the heat, basically you should get out of the kitchen, and that Chicago police had some of the best training in the world and there was no justification for what happened. So that's the world we are living in right now. So, I wouldn't worry about social media, because some people are going
to agree with you, and then the haters are going to hate, and so I don't even, I wouldn't even bother with it.
CUOMO: No, I'm not bothered with it. I'm using it just as one of many metrics. Look, here's the problem. Chicago, they really don't even need to training, they get it on the job, that's one of the most violent places in the world in terms of being a police officer. They call it Chiraq for a reason what's going on in there. And people are right to point it out.
LEMON: That's an old thing, they don't do that now, that's old.
CUOMO: Well, they do it because they are looking for something new. Not because the numbers have improved.
CUOMO: You know, I mean, look, they have real invested -- I don't have to tell you, you live there.
CUOMO: But you know, getting rid of Cardi B or Green (Ph) only did so much. You have an invested gang culture. The states around it makes it very easy as a state of opportunity to deliver guns even though the laws within that state are tough. And there are real problems.
But at the end of the day it all goes back to the same thing. If you don't identify with the person on the other side of the situation -
CUOMO: -- there is always going to be trouble.
LEMON: Well, two things what you said. Yes, they have some of the strictest gun laws. But the places around them --
CUOMO: Yes, don't.
LEMON: And so there are major metropolitan city. And so, when you -- look, crime is going to be -- you're going to have more crime just because there are more people. Just like you have more crime in New York City then you'd have in one of the suburbs.
This is, that's just how it is for sheer numbers. But listen, the gun laws are laxed. There's a lot of -- a lot of -- there are a lot of things and systems that failed in Chicago. And so, it's easy to, you know, I think for people, I'm not saying that you, are to blame it on one thing, it's a gang, it's a gun, this is a lot.
Society failed Chicago a long time ago, putting people into housing projects just kind of storing them and then treating them like crap, not treating them as humans.
So, there's a history of the impropriety, if you will, or of wrongdoing in Chicago. As there are in many other cities. But Chicago, I have to tell you, I was surprised when I moved to Chicago. I thought Chicago, Midwest, it was, you know, it would be Hunky Dory, the heartland.
Chicago was one of the most racist cities I've ever lived in, probably the most racist. And I've lift in Birmingham, Alabama, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, St. Louis, Missouri, New York City, and by far the most racist city I've ever lived in is Chicago, Illinois.
CUOMO: How so?
LEMON: Because it is, it is one of the most segregated cities. I lived on the north side. The north, pretty much. I mean, again, this is a generalization. In polarized cities in the country. And listen, I think Dr. King said something very similar. Civil rights folks said something very similar about Chicago. Because they house people, number one, in housing projects, and in certain neighborhoods.
I lived on the north side of Chicago, I had no idea, I was moving from New York City, you know, which is New York City, I live in Chelsea, and it's like everybody is everybody. And so, I moved into the north side into this, you know, kind of fun little Mies van der Rohe camp building or whatever, high rise, twin towers. It's great.
I was the only Black person in my building besides the door man. I had no idea because I've never lived in Chicago. But Chicago is, look, the police there, it's an issue. The white flight there was an issue. The civil rights movement never hit there as they did in the south, and people came up the northern corridor.
It was just, it is, Chicago is not what you're thinking of now. Now, is it a beautiful city? Absolutely. Are there amazing people there? Absolutely. Architecturally, one of the most beautiful places and cities in the country, and a lot of that's because of the fire and it's new and it's all mid-century, you know Mies van der Rohe and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
So, it's really -- and the lake. It's stunning to look at. And to live in the middle of winter I wouldn't want to do it again.
CUOMO: Like a (Inaudible).
LEMON: So cold. But it is, it is one of the most racist cities I've ever lived in. And first, one of first nights I was there I got pulled over by a police officer, threw me up against the car, and he said, for what? Do you have an out of state license? I said I just moved here. He said, welcome to Chicago. First night. So. There you go.
CUOMO: That experience isn't going to help your perception of what it is. The only thing I think that is simple, all the problems are complicated --
CUOMO: -- which is a big reason they've lasted so long. But another reason they've lasted so long and they will endure is because there is one simple aspect of this.
CUOMO: If the majority comes to a point where they say, this has to change. If that becomes the demand by the majority, then things change.
LEMON: Yes. It's got to be white folks.
CUOMO: That's the majority.
LEMON: That's it. And it's got to be white folks and it can't be the people -- we cannot have what happened during George Floyd continue to happen. Where you have a lot of people saying, my God, there is no excuse for that, look, he called that guy. And then almost a year later, half of them have gone and said, well, no, something must of have happened. No. He was this. And the same piece of video.
CUOMO: He's not the who told us he was.
LEMON: The same information, it doesn't -- none of that matters. That's a justification in your head to try to -- to try to explain away --
CUOMO: You know, Van was on and he says that there were many awesome people than there are bad people in this country, agreed. But you know the old expression it only takes for evil to flourish for good man to stand by and do nothing.
And you look at what's happening on the right side of the aisle, and you tell me that we are moving toward the majority starting to recognize the needs of the minority. I don't see it. They have the worst kind of people gaining power on that side of the aisle. Their new America first caucus it's, getting scary over there.
LEMON: Well, let's just put it this way. In order for it to take root in the party that has to be something about the party and the people who are in it and even the people who are running it, and the people who are part of it to allow that.
Because I don't think -- and again -- as you and your social media, don't give me this Democrat liberal thing, because I'm not. And I'm not, and I'm not neither I'm a conservative. But that doesn't happen on with Democrats. It happens with Republicans. And you don't see racists and insurrectionists and white supremacists and Jews will not replace us and blood and soil, you don't see that flourishing in the Democratic Party.
CUOMO: That's because you guys are trying to replace the white people.
CUOMO: That's what they're selling.
LEMON: Well, I'm going to replace you right now. Goodbye.
CUOMO: Don't talk to me, talk to your buddy with the four names. The flop over on Fox. He's the one selling it. I'm going to pay the price for it. I love you, D. Lemon.
LEMON: I mean, I've got to get my show, you've got to get rid of you. Thank you. I'll see you. I'll see you this weekend as a matter of fact. Have a good one. I'll see you. I love you as well.
This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
So, you heard all that. I spoke the truth and everything. I love this country, love this country. But what the hell is wrong with America? What is wrong with America? Is this really the land of the free? Seriously, you tell me. Are you free from fear of gun violence tonight?
I went for a walk the other day and I kept thinking about it. If I was in a mall. I said, if I was how do I escape this if someone comes in? I mean, what's why my escape route? Why would we have to think about that in America?
Are you free to live your life, drive your car without ending up dead before the day is through? Let me give you some numbers, because if you think I'm exaggerating here. There have been 147 mass shootings in this country this year and that's counting last night.
Another eight people dead at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, shot to death by a 19-year-old ex-employee whose mother warned authorities a year that she feared he would attempt suicide by cop.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: We heard three more shots and then my buddy Levi saw someone running out of the building, and then more shots went off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: More numbers for you. Forty-five mass shootings in America in just the past month. We can't even fit them all on this map. We can't fit all of them on this map either. Right?
We don't even have a map that can fit all 45 shootings in the past month, that's how bad this all is. Flags lowered again. The country mourning. Again. How many times is this going to happen? What -- what are we doing? America, land of the free, home of the brave, OK? What are we doing? One tragedy after another. Mass shootings across the country, deadly police encounters. The
graphic videos playing in a loop in our heads. And all of it coming after a year of COVID. It seems like no sooner do we raised the flags and we just have to lower them again for another national tragedy.
Think about what we've all seen. America has been under assault for the past 100 days. The flags lowered at the capitol after the insurrection when pro-Trump rioters battled police and stormed the halls of Congress hunting for lawmakers, hunting, yes, that's what I said for lawmakers because that's what's happening.
The flag lowered to mark the deaths of Americans lost to COVID. More than 566,000 of them as of tonight. The president and the vice president paying tribute to them the night before their inauguration. The flags lowered again and again and again and again and again over the gun violence that is taking the lives of Americans all across this country, three times in just the past month.
Eight people dead, six of them Asian women in the Atlanta area spas treating. Ten people including a police officer killed at a supermarket in Boulder. And now eight people dead at that FedEx facility in Indianapolis.
(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)
UNKNOWN: They have an actor active shooter currently at FedEx. They're reporting at least five people shot.
UNKNOWN: Multiple people shot at FedEx at 8951 Mirabel Road, information only at this time.
UNKNOWN: Attention all units, there is only one shooter. Gunshot wound to the head. He is down.
(END VOICE CLIP)
LEMON: Eight people dead in Atlanta, 10 in Boulder. Eight more in Indianapolis, 26 people dead. Twenty-six American families mourning loved ones who went to work, to the supermarket, never came back.
President Joe Biden frustrated, angry, calling gun violence in America a national embarrassment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: This has to end. It's a national embarrassment. It is a national embarrassment what's going on and it's not only these mass shootings that are occurring every single day. Every single day there's a mass shooting in the United States if you count all those who were killed out on the streets of our cities and our rural areas.
It's a national embarrassment and must come to an end. And one last thing, the folks who own weapons, the folks who own guns, they support universal background checks. The majority of them think we should not be selling assault weapons. [22:14:59]
Who in God's name needs a weapon that can hold 100 rounds? Or 40 rounds? Or 20 rounds? It's just wrong, and I'm not going to give up until it's done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well that is happening as tensions are rising over deadly police encounters one after another, one after another, caught on camera. Protesters out in the streets of Brooklyn Center tonight for the sixth straight night after the fatal police shooting of 20-year- old Daunte Wright. Another video I have to warn you is disturbing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: I'll tase you. I'll tase you. Taser! Taser! Taser! (muted) I just shot him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: How many times will we see videos like that, how many times will we hear a mother who got the phone call that she dreaded? A phone call that would change her life forever? Mourning her son, demanding justice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATIE WRIGHT, DAUNTE WRIGHT'S MOTHER: Second-degree manslaughter is not OK. I'm not OK with that. That's not right. She murdered my son. My son is never going to come home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: And as the Wright family mourns, as protests continue, the case that shocked America's conscience is about to go to the jury, just starting next week. The murder trial of Derek Chauvin who kneeled on George Floyd's neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds while he cried out, I can't breathe, and cold for his mother.
The closing arguments set for Monday. That as Chicago is bracing for more protests tonight over the police shooting of a 13- year-old last month. Now there's a lot we don't know about what happened, but the police body cam video is disturbing. It shows the officer who fired the shot repeatedly shouting at Adam Toledo to stop.
And shows him with something in his right hand as the officer yells again for him to stop, before less than a second later firing his weapon once and hitting Adam Toledo in the chest. Police say what was in his hand is a gun that was later recovered from behind the fence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: Stop! Stop (muted) now! Hey! Show your (muted) hands. Stop! Stop!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: An attorney for his family insists the boy didn't have a gun in his hand at the time he was shot. We are going to have much more life from Chicago in just a moment.
LEMON: Busy news night. Brooklyn Center, Minnesota now live pictures protesters taking to the streets for the sixth night in a row after the deadly shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright by a police officer and they are demanding answers now.
Meanwhile, these are pictures of Chicago, live pictures of Chicago right now. You see people are marching in the streets, hundreds turning out really to protest deadly police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo who police say was holding a gun. The boy's family insisting there was no gun in his hand.
And tonight, Indianapolis is the latest American city to experience the horror of a deadly mass shooting. A gunman killing eight people at a FedEx facility. Police identifying the shooter as a 19-year-old former employee. Now they're trying to determine why he opened fire.
Miguel Marquez is in Indianapolis right now for us. Miguel, good evening to you. You were just covering, you know, Brooklyn Center, and now you're here at this thing in a matter of a minute or two. Eight people killed, others wounded, now we have the identity of the gunman. What do you know?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Look, we know a few things about him. Brandon Hole, 19 years old, as you said, we know that he worked at this facility sometime until last year, may have not left there on the best of terms. We also know he was on police radar.
In March of 2020, just last year, his mother called police here in Indianapolis, because she was afraid he was trying to commit suicide by cop. The police went over, they checked it all out, they took a shotgun from him, and then something they saw in the house or in his bedroom led them to call the FBI to come check it out and see if there was any sort of extremist behavior.
FBI interviewed him the next month, April of 2020, said that there was no indication of extremist behavior, or religious or any sort of terrorism. So, they closed the case. But it does -- they did not give that shotgun back though. It does raise the question of how this individual got the gun, it's a rifle as far as we know, that killed the eight people here in very, very quick order. And how all this happened. Why? Why did he do it? So those big questions we're still waiting for, Don.
LEMON: What do we know about the victims, Miguel? MARQUEZ: I mean, you know, these are people who worked here for many
years, some of them not so long, eight people altogether dead. So far, several others went to the hospital, some critically injured. The oldest was 74. There were two 19-year-olds among the victims.
So, sons, daughters, fathers, mothers. It is so much wiped away, so much promise, so much life wiped away in one moment. And it just seems to keep happening over and over, and it is, it's frustrating to cover, it's frustrating to see, and it's sad that here we are again.
LEMON: Right on, Miguel Marquez, thank you very much.
I'm want to check out the protests in Chicago now. I want to bring in CNN's Martin Savidge. Martin, good evening to you. More protests tonight in Chicago. I see you're there marching along with some of the folks there. What are you learning?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we are learning that people are very emotionally upset over the video that has been released over Adam Toledo's death. This was released of course yesterday. There was a smaller protest that took place then. This one, today, is huge.
It began initially people thought maybe a couple of hundred would show up. Instead, it has been thousands of people that have shown up.
This has been going on, Don, for hours. It is continuing to go through the streets. We are on Fullerton right now, and we are headed back to where this all the began. The reason this crowd is said to be dispersing is because it proved to be so large, they felt they didn't have enough off their own marshals to control and keep everybody safe.
It's been completely peaceful. Everyone has been loud. They've made their message clear. The anger against the police is obvious. But they want to keep it orderly. And now the crowd has grown so large they said, we have to disperse for your own safety. This is not a request by authorities, but by those who have organized this event so, we're now heading back to where it all started. Back to you.
LEMON: All right, Martin Savidge in Chicago. Martin, we'll get back to you. Thank you very much. We'll continue to follow all of these stories. America is struggling to get through one tragedy after another. President Biden says gun violence is a national embarrassment and what point -- at what point do we say enough is enough?
LEMON: Tonight, the nation experiencing the horror of another mass shooting. Eight killed in Indianapolis. And in just this past month alone CNN is reporting, it shows that at least 45 deadly mass shootings. President Biden calling gun violence in America an epidemic. But are we numb to it? Because deadly shootings are now a regular part of American life. And we are still in the grip of a deadly pandemic.
There is lot to discuss with Matthew Dowd, a former chief strategist for President George W. Bush. Thank you so much for joining us, Matthew. I appreciate it. Let me -- I just --
MATTHEW DOWD, FORMER CHIEF STRATEGIST FOR PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: -- something you tweeted, you said one of the greatest threats to our democracy and humanity is willful ignorance, about American history and it's good and bad, about health concerns and data. About gun violence, above systemic racism and sexism, about voting, and the myth of widespread voter fraud.
So, the common denominator, and you know I talk about this, I actually just wrote about this in my book about the ignorance that we don't know our history and we don't know facts. The common denominator is willful ignorance. Talk to us about what it's doing to us.
DOWD: Well, thanks, Don. I mean, the right combination is willful ignorance because there is ignorance of people that may not be aware of stuff, but at where we're at today, especially among many of our GOP leadership, is they are willfully ignorant.
Which means, they know the truth, and they know the access to the truth, whether it's your whole lead in about guns, which is such an awful thing that I don't think the American public is numb to, but I do think there's an element of leadership that's numb to it.
But it's about the pandemic and whether or not we should wear masks, and the need for vaccines. And about which goes to police actions about our history of racism and sexism and police brutality. And there is all the facts and all the data and all the knowledge is there to point us in the right direction on policy decisions on where we ought to go as a country on all of that.
But in order to preserve a certain attachment, there is a willful ignorance to that data. And there is a search out for bias, confirmation bias to confirm a prejudice, or otherwise an inclination that you have. And to me, at the basis of all of it is that willful ignorance.
LEMON: Yes. As we are watching these pictures happen in Brooklyn Center tonight, it's happening there, it's happening in Chicago, there are protests, and I'm sure there will be some in Minneapolis, you know, depending on the outcome of the trial.
Listen, I was watching Chris and Michael Smerconish was on, and he made a point that I thought was pretty -- was pretty profound. He said, eight people died today from the FedEx shooting, six people got blood clots from the J&J vaccine and we shut it down in the middle of a pandemic.
I mean, it's crazy when you think about it, when you think about it that way. You know, we have eight people who died, no one wants to do anything about gun violence. We have eight people died, 10 people, 12 people died, no one does anything. We had six people died from a vaccine, and they were like, you have to halt it. What gives here?
DOWD: Well, you know, and speaking of being aware of history, Don, today is the 58th anniversary of Martin Luther King letter from Birmingham Jail. Right? It's his anniversary today of that letter he penned. And one of the things he said was, injustice anywhere, an injustice any place is a justice every -- injustice every place.
And one the other things that's not often quoted that he said, which goes I think to this point of why we're not getting anything done, which he said, using immoral means to obtain moral ends as wrong. But as wrong or even more wrong is using moral means to preserve immoral ends.
He said that in a letter he wrote 58 years ago today. And what's happening today the use -- and I would have to say again, it's the GOP, I'm not going to cast any blame on all. It's the GOP who continues to use a tradition of the filibuster, our tradition of the way things have acted in order to preserve an immoral end.
And the immoral end is the allowance of continued gun violence in the country. The vast majority of the country supports gun common sense gun reform more than 70, 80 percent. The vast majority of Democrats, independents, and Republicans, the majority of gun owners, and I'm a gun owner as I've told you before, I have five rifles.
The majority of gun owners support common sense gun reform. And why isn't it happening? Because the Republican Party is or a small minority of the Republican Party which dominates them continues to press forward on pushing forward this fiction that the second amendment somehow preserves all rights to own all weapons at all times in any manner that you want.
And I think that's the problem. It is frustrating because we have a majority of the country, a vast majority that wants this, and it's not happening. So, in my view, this is a primary example of a broken democracy. And the only way out of it, Don, as Martin Luther King wrote, is for all of us to understand that we share this. We are in a single garment of destiny, you know, an interconnection a mutuality, that he wrote about.
That's what people have to realize. And until we do that and push our leaders to do what the country wants, we're going to be stuck here. So, all of the fights over democracy, the fights over voter suppression, the fights over all of that, are directly linked to our ability to get done what the country wants.
LEMON: Yes. Listen, I misspoke, I said six people died, six people got blood clots didn't even die. But listen, I want to know what is the impact of careening from crisis to crisis the way that we had been doing. What is -- what's the damage here?
Because it's really, we careen from crisis to crisis, and I feel, Matthew, that we are living in a post-truth, post-reality, society where one side can't even agree on what reality is, and what facts are. So, what is the impact from careening from crisis to crisis like this?
DOWD: Well, you know, to have a democracy, we all have to agree to the idea that we are supposed to presume policies that affect the common good. And in order to get the common good, we have to have a common set of facts. And as you say, when we don't have a common set of facts, we can't get to the common good, and we can't preserve democracy.
But to me, what is the -- what's the biggest problem with this as we don't do anything about this as gun violence happens day to day, week to week, week to week, I actually suggested today that I thought the president ought to leave the flag at half-mast over the White House until the Senate passes a gun bill. He should just leave it at half- mast.
Because all this is going to be doing is raising it up and down. But fundamentally, I think the problem when we don't deal with this crisis and move from one to one, is that people lose complete faith and trust of the government's ability to get done what they want to get done.
And so, when all of these people, rural, urban, suburban, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, every one of these groups wants that to happen, and it affects all of us. Whether you go to a nightclub, a bar, a church, a synagogue, a temple, a convenience store, it happens in every one of these locations. When that doesn't happen, people begin to get a very cynical and very distrustful, and they lose faith in our democracy.
And that to me is the most shattering of things that can happen because we need people to participate and be active in order for this to happen. And when they don't see it happen, they become less likely to participate overtime.
LEMON: Matthew, thank you. I always appreciate your perspective. Thank you so much.
DOWD: My pleasure don.
LEMON: So other families who have lost loved in police-involved shootings joining Daunte Wright's family and calling for justice, including the mother of Philando Castile. She joins me, next.
LEMON: There are protests in the streets of Brooklyn Center again tonight for the sixth night in a row. And, OK, let's see. It looks like they are pepper spraying someone in the crowd. OK, hang on, let's listen to what's happening here.
So, apparently, they threw some bottles over the fence and we're told that some of the protesters got pepper sprayed. You can see to the right of your screen someone, a woman there and someone else is trying to help her with some water, to help her get the pepper spray out of her eyes. But there is a curfew that takes effect at the top of the hour in Brooklyn Center. I think there is one again tonight. Last night they didn't force it as much as they had the night before, but tonight, maybe different. Again, it is a Friday night so it's not a school night, so to speak.
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
LEMON: So, we are going to work to get our Sara Sidner up who is on the scene.
SIDNER: I am here.
LEMON: Sara Sidner joins me now live. Sara, it's Don Lemon. What's going on?
SIDNER: Hey there, Don. I'll jump in front of the camera real quick. It has been one of the most heart wrenching. We saw many, many mothers who lost children to police violence. That was earlier in the day, and for hours it's been a peaceful protest until about five minutes ago.
Five minutes ago, there was someone that threw a bottle of water and someone that threw something else over the fence and breached the second. There is a couple of different places that you can get closer to the officers. And so, once people breached that sort of second barrier, then pretty much all hell broke loose.
I'll let you get a look. There are officers who have come up to the fence, you'll see every time you see a large bit of smoke, what looks like smoke coming over the fence, it's actually pepper spray. And then you will hear flash bangs and that happened just a few moments ago where two flash-bangs, one that went over our head, and one that was right in front of the gate there that is sort of cordoning off the protesters and the police separating them.
But it is, you know, there is a lot of protesters here who have been saying, do not throw things. There are a number of protesters, even those who are on the microphone, they are saying, do not cause a problem for us. We are out here to say all of the victims' names and not to get into it with police.
And yet, it happens. That you know, you can't always control a crowd, and even if the folks that are here that want things to be peaceful, it can be, you know, it can be difficult. I'm seeing more pepper spray being sprayed, you can see it there, but that the situation here, it was peaceful literally up until about five minutes ago.
LEMON: OK, Sara, thank you very much. Sara, we're going to get back to you. We'll keep an eye -- one eye on that and if you hear anything you need to jump back in front of the camera, we'll get you. So, thank you so much.
So, listen, we've been talking about all the families who have been dealing with this, the Wright family sharing their grief with other Black families who have lost loved ones in police- involved shootings. And that includes Valerie Castile, the mother of Philando Castile who was fatally shot by a police officer during a traffic stop outside of Minneapolis -- excuse me, in 2016.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VALERIE CASTILE, PHILANDO CASTILE'S MOTHER: How do you keep having murder after murder? We don't have time to recover. I'm mad as hell again, and again, and again, and again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Valerie Castile joins me now. Valerie, thank you so much. I appreciate you joining.
CASTILE: Thank you for having me, Don. It's always a pleasure --
LEMON: We --
CASTILE: -- to speak with you.
LEMON: Absolutely. We have seen it in the protests this week, people are feeling your anger, they're feeling your frustration. Why does this keep happening in your community?
CASTILE: I don't know why it keeps happening, but it is a simple solution. If their officers weren't as trigger-happy as they are, and if they were trained to engage with the community with respect and dignity instead of teaching these cadets how to get away with murder, maybe we wouldn't have to be out protesting.
It's so simple. If you stop giving us things to protest for, we wouldn't be out there. We wouldn't have these problems if you would correct some of the problems within your training or the way that you do your hiring process, or the lack of cultural towards people other than being a white police officer.
LEMON: I want to hear from another mother now, Daunte Wright's mother. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WRIGHT: Everybody asks what we want it. And justice, yes, justice is definitely what we want, but I'm never going to get justice. Justice would be bringing my son home to me. Justice would have been my son driving to driving to the car wash and coming home after that. I'm not going to get that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Let's talk about justice, because the officer who shot Daunte Wright has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, but Wright's mother is demanding a murder charge. The officer that shot Philando was found not guilty of the same charge. So, what does justice mean to you? CASTILE: Like she said, there is no real justice. But I feel like if
the police had something to lose as well as I lost, I would be satisfied. You know, these guys keep doing what they're doing because they are not losing anything. They lose absolutely nothing, because the bottom line is taxpayers pay those cells and those settlements. You know, the police are not paying those settlements.
The community, the public is paying those settlements and they get their pension, you know what I'm saying? They are not losing anything, and up until they get their own insurance and be liable for their own behavior and what comes out of shooting someone with intent to kill, then maybe we will see a shift in the way that they communicate in the aggressiveness that they show when they approach people of color.
I would like to see them have their own insurance. If I knew that man was penniless and his children didn't have a future, his wife divorced him, I would be a happy camper, just knowing that he lost something just as much as I lost something. I adored my son, nothing can bring him back, but if I knew that man was penniless and out there homeless, I would be okay with that.
CASTILE: Thank you very much. We'll be right back.
LEMON: So here we go. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene's office confirming today she's launching an America first caucus, bringing together a group of far-right lawmakers. Punchbowl News obtained a flyer meant to promote the new caucus. And it reads like a manifesto of conspiracy and white supremacy.
Here are some of the low lights and I quote. "America is a nation with a border and a culture strengthened by a common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions." I guess she forgot about the Native Americans?
"History is shown that societal trust and political unity are threatened when foreign citizens are imported en masse into a country." Is she talking about Europeans being imported into the country of Native Americans? No, because she doesn't really know history, or she doesn't care.
Or maybe attacks on immigrants and -- immigrants the document promises that will, quote, "work towards an infrastructure that reflects the architectural engineering and aesthetic value that fits the progeny of European architecture."
This is so dumb. I can't believe I'm reading it. But it's dangerous so I guess I have to. They aren't saying the quiet part out loud. This is. There is no quiet part anymore. This is what it is. The nativism and bigotry is that's the message. A spokesperson for Greene complained about the initial draft to the flyer being leaked but confirmed to CNN that plans were in the works to form the group.
And of course, moments after the new caucus was confirmed none other than embattled Congressman Matt Gaetz tweeting, I'm proud to join M.T. Greene in the America first caucus, other Republicans speaking out tonight. Congressman Adam Kinzinger, the lone one usually tweeting, just when I was hoping to take a long weekend away from crazy, I see the completely disgusted. I see this, completely disgusted.
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy saying the Republican Party is the party of Lincoln, and the part of more opportunity for all of Americans not nativist dog whistles. What about that suppression votes, Mr. Party of Lincoln? Really. More like the party of Trump, or the party of racists, one and the same.
At least 45 mass shootings in a month, anger over police killings of people of people of color. America is hurting right now. What will it take to get change?