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Don Lemon Tonight
Vladimir Putin Warns The World Not To Mess With Russia; Trevor Reed Released For A Prison Swap; Three Blasts In Russia Not Done By Ukrainians; Many People Work To Get Trevor Reed; Crisis Now Is Just A Taste Of Coming Recession; Minneapolis Practice Race-Based Policing; Dr. Anthony Fauci On Cleanup Mode. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired April 27, 2022 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: We will have more from Kyiv tomorrow. The news continues right now. I want to hand it over to Don and DON LEMON TONIGHT. Don?
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Hi, Anderson. How do you describe the actions of the man that captured those horrific images in Bucha, I mean, he risks his life just by taking the photos?
COOPER: Yes, it's really extraordinary. I mean, the -- this is just one block in Bucha, some 300 people were killed in that city overall. But at least seven people were shot to death on that street over the course of several days in early and mid-March. Had he gone outside, had soldiers seen him videotaping on his cell phone camera, he would have been killed, there is really no question about it.
They were incredibly brutal to other residents on that street. And he knew the risk he was taking, but he felt it was important one day those photos could be important. And he wanted to document what was happening.
LEMON: Anderson, by the way, we're going to have your full report from Bucha a little bit later on in the show. But, I mean, the inhumanity, you know, I know that you have been in many war zones, but to watch what is happening there to the people, each one is unique, but this is, I mean, it's indescribable what people, what they are enduring and what our folks are on the ground, including you, are witnessing.
COOPER: Yes. I mean, the behavior of Russian forces in a number of places has been, and really across the board, pretty awful. And not only obviously there is the shelling of civilians but individual acts of terror of, I mean, especially in Bucha, you know, documented incidents of individuals shooting civilians.
A man bringing potatoes home to his family to get something to eat, a man riding his bicycle to go to work, shot to death for no reason at all, other than to terrorize the population.
COOPER: Simply they killed them because they could.
LEMON: And such beautiful, fantastic people. And a beautiful place. I mean, look at the sun coming up behind you, behind Anderson. It's just, it's really odd to see that with such horrific events happening. Anderson, thank you, we will see you tomorrow. Get some rest. I appreciate it.
So, this is DON LEMON TONIGHT.
The evidence of what happened in Bucha was shocking, right? And we have more breaking news to tell you about. The U.S. has credible information that a Russian military unit executed Ukrainians who were attempting to surrender near Donetsk, that according to the American ambassador-at-large for global criminal justice at the U.N. today. More on that in just a moment.
Meanwhile, Russia flexing its muscle inside and outside Ukraine tonight, while the west toughens up its rhetoric and actions, and says that it won't be blackmailed. Vladimir Putin's forces making gains in the east and south after the humiliation on the outskirts of Kyiv.
Ukraine acknowledging losing several towns and villages in the east amid heavy fighting on multiple fronts. This is what is left of a hospital hit by a Russian military strike, rubble nearly burying patient's beds. CNN has geolocated and verified the authenticity of this video.
That, as Putin is flexing, his muscle flexing extending beyond Ukraine's borders now, cutting off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria after both countries refused to pay in rubles. The European Union called it blackmail and promising to stand united.
And as the west bluntly says its endgame is to weaken Russia, Vladimir Putin vows a lightning-fast response to any outside interference in Ukraine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): If someone intends to intervene on what is happening from the outside and creates unacceptable strategic threats for us, then they should know that our response to oncoming strikes would be swift, lightning-fast.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Outside interference? You mean like attacking an independent sovereign nation, killing civilians, bombing neighborhood into rubble, that kind of foreign interference? And as Putin's forces batter the east and the south, Ukraine is apparently fighting back.
Overnight, blast reported in three major Russian regions, including an ammunition depot in the Belgorod region. Ukraine not acknowledging its forces were responsible. But an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy cryptically, or maybe not so critically saying, quote, "karma is a cruel thing."
In the midst of Russia's war on Ukraine, a huge win for the Biden administration. This seems like something like out of a spy movie. American Trevor Reed, a former marine detained in Russia since 2019, freed today in a prisoner swap for Russian citizen Konstantin Yaroshenko. The swap taking place on a tarmac in Turkey.
The State Department says it won't impact the war in Ukraine. But there are new calls tonight for Russia to free two more detained Americans, Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan. We got a lot more to come on this story, so make sure you stay toned -- tuned.
But I want to go straight to CNN's Sam Kiley, live for us in Kramatorsk, Ukraine. Good evening to you, evening here, Sam. Ukraine is acknowledging some eastern towns have been lost to Russia. You have been reporting for the front lines, what are you seeing?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you can probably hear, Don, the sirens are continuing here at dawn in Kramatorsk, the center, really, the prized that the Russian forces in the east are pursuing it. And they are pursuing it, Don, by quiet -- not quietly, by very noisily but steadily advancing, particularly north of the river here, north of the Donetsk River. They've captured the town of Rubizhne. They are closing in on Severodonetsk. And this is what that city looks like today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KILEY: Severodonetsk on the front line with Russia, it's an artillery frontline.
KILEY: Let's go into the basement --
Local police are delivering aid to civilians unable to leave. There is no time to wait out the bombardment. There is no likely end to the shelling either, supplies need delivering and fast.
She tells me there are three people next door, including a granny of 92. Upstairs, a bedridden woman. She says that normally they stay in their flat and only use the basement when it's bad.
"Thank you for not forgetting us," she adds.
The urgency of these sorts of deliveries cannot be exaggerated. Just in this block, there's mostly old people. One gentleman is dying of cancer in front of his wife. She is saying she's living in double hell. Since we've been here, there have been, I don't know, five, six, eight impacts very, very close. And almost every tree, every corner, very bit of this local neighborhood has got the signs of recent impact. The Russians are just a kilometer or maybe three away.
Russian guns are so close, you can hear the whole arc of their shells. From Kyiv to Mariupol, from Kharkiv to here, this is the Russian way
of war, pound civilians, flatten cities and maybe occupy the ashes.
Olexander (Ph) says, "we are in danger now, they are shelling us, so it could come in a moment and shrapnel can hurt us. We tried to hide there in the bomb shelter."
Two months of war has driven these people underground. And there is no end in sight. The fear, Olexander (Ph) confesses, he tries to keep inside, but it creeps out.
There is one more delivery that the police have got to make. But every time we try to get out the front door of this building, there is another impact. There is another one now. They are saying that the hospital which is nearby is under heavy shelling. We were planning to go there, we can't get through, nor indeed at the moment can we even get out of this bunker.
The hospital was hit. Images of the damage done that morning posted online by the local administration. Officials said that one civilian was killed, others injured and several floors were badly damaged.
The humanitarian effort goes on. This woman asked only for the basics of existence, water and candles for light.
Hey. Joe, you do this every day?
KILEY: Bogdan (Ph) tells me that most people left here now had nowhere else to go. They've lived here all their lives and don't want to abandon their homes.
Do you think the Russians are going to take Severodonetsk?
"Never," he says, "we will stand our ground to the last man. No one will leave here."
That may be a dangerous claim. It's likely that Ukrainians will destroy this bridge to hold up the invasion. Anyone still here will then be trapped in Russian hands.
KILEY: Don, it's probably worth remembering that we are living in 2022, not 1942. But the tactics of the Russians are very much the sort of tactics that they employed at some of the more violent aspects of the Second World War, namely deliberately and systematically targeting civilian areas, Don.
LEMON: All right. Sam Kiley, thank you very much. I want to bring in now the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, John Herbst. Ambassador, I appreciate you joining us. Putin today warning that any country interfering in Ukraine would be
met with a lightning-fast response. How should the United States and NATO hear that? Is that another escalation?
JOHN HERBST, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: It's another bluff. Putin has had some success from deterring things that we should have been doing by threatening the possibility of nuclear war. And this is a way to get us to step down on the increase arms shipments we are making.
For the first time we've seen the Biden administration sort of laugh these threats off, which is a very good, a very healthy response.
LEMON: Do you think, Ambassador, that the threat is in response to the change in rhetoric from the U.S. officials saying that they want to see a weakened Russia?
HERBST: I think they pay much more attention to our actions. So the fact that the White House is now sending long-range artillery and multiple rocket launchers to Ukraine. That we're working with our allies and our partners so that they send more. And they understand this will make it much harder for them to make advances in their offensive in the east of Ukraine.
LEMON: I'm not sure you saw, so we're going to play for you again. But Anderson just spoke with the U.S. Secretary General, Antonio Guterres. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO GUTERRES, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS: I mean, the war will not end with meetings. The war will end -- will end when the Russian Federation decides to end it and when there is a after a ceasefire a possibility of a serious political agreement. We can have all meetings, but that is not what will end the war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, if that is the case, it sounds like this war may go on for quite some time. A long time.
HERBST: It may well. I think Ukrainian determination to prevent Russian domination has only grown as a result of the massive Russian war crimes. And I think Putin still doesn't understand that he's not going to win. So, I think this is going on for months, and maybe even more than months.
LEMON: Ambassador, the European Union is accusing Russia of trying to blackmail them after the Russia halted the gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria. I mean, this comes after President Zelenskyy accuse Russia of using the nuclear threat to blackmail the world. We keep hearing this word, blackmail, is that -- is that really the tactic that Russia is using, blackmail?
HERBST: Well, Russia is trying to demonstrate that it can impose economic cost on Europe for the sanctions that the United States and Europe has placed on Russia. So, it's an effort to try and coerce them but it's going to fail. It's actually rather stupid.
Poland of course is already been making plans for a long time to be free of Russian gas and oil. So, this will just spur Poland to do that. And for that matter, even the weaker nations in Europe willing to give Putin the benefit of doubt, see Putin as an aggressor here.
And for him to go after Bulgaria which has been kind of soft in opposing his aggression, is quite odd because it makes those who have been -- Putin first stayers in Bulgaria politically vulnerable. So, Putin gets some economic benefit politically at home from showing he can be tough, but it actually hurts his position in Europe, it's a big mistake.
LEMON: The British foreign secretary Liz Truss urging allies to supply Ukraine with warplanes and other heavy weapons as well. Is this a necessary step when we keep hearing that the security of Europe, and really the whole world is at stake.
HERBST: I think it's exactly the right course. And the Brits are kind of the leaders among western nations arguing in sending stuff to Ukraine that it needs. But just given this massive Russian offensive in the east in open terrain, Ukraine needs those war plans, which we have been reluctant to help them receive, but I think that will change. I think this is coming, this change, but it hasn't come yet.
LEMON: Yes. You have been saying that from the very beginning, exactly what you are saying now.
LEMON: And so, you know, in that vein, Ukraine is acknowledging the gains made by Russia, some of which you just mentioned. They have taken towns in eastern Ukraine. But they also -- they are also repelling Russians in the Donbas. How critical is this phase of the war right now?
HERBST: Well, if Putin makes major gain, he will tout this is a victory and gives him reason to go on. If the Ukrainians manage to prevent them from making major gain he's got another defeat on his hands and this will hasten the end of the war, as the Russians recognize they cannot win.
For Russians to advance a few kilometers and take a few small towns is nothing. But if they can take a major city or two, Severodonetsk is a small city, but that would still be a victory for Putin, if he can get it.
HERBST: But I'm not certain that he can. And again, if we can get those weapons that have been promised, the long-range artillery, the multiple rocket launchers to Ukraine fast and they get into this battle, the chances of this happening go down.
LEMON: Ambassador Herbst, always a pleasure, thank you so much.
HERBST: Thank you. My pleasure.
LEMON: He was detained in Russia for 985 days. So, what did it take to free Trevor Reed in the middle of Vladimir Putin's war on Ukraine? I'm going to talk to a man who went to Moscow in the hours before the war broke out working to get Reed released. And that is the former Ambassador and New Mexico Governor, Bill Richardson. He is here. That's next.
LEMON: Tonight, American citizen and former marine Trevor Reed is finally on his way home after close to 1,000 days in Russian detention. Reed was released as part of a prisoner swap authorized by President Joe Biden.
Russian state TV releasing this video that they say shows Reed being escorted to a plane at an airport outside of Moscow, concerns about his deteriorating health following about of COVID, added, critical urgency to securing his freedom. His parents speaking out tonight. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAULA REED, TREVOR REED'S MOTHER: He still looks terrible, but he sounded better, he sounded more like himself, he was cracking jokes and talking, you know, for a few minutes, so he is more like Trevor. We have been speaking with everyone, asking them please, bring Trevor home before the war in Ukraine breaks out, please, please, please.
And that didn't happen. So, when -- I have to say, in the first few days after it happened and we were told that the communications were cut for a little bit, we are a little bit down. But then they said the next week, OK, we're speaking again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, joining me now is the former U.N. Ambassador and New Mexico Governor, Bill Richardson. Trevor Reed's family thank him for traveling to Moscow in the hours before the war broke out, in an effort to win Reed's release. And we're so happy to have you here. Thank you for joining us, sir. I appreciate it.
FMR. GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D-NM): Thank you very much, Don.
LEMON: So, let's discuss, a senior administration officials says that Reed's release took months and months of work, you went to Moscow as I said just before the war in Ukraine just to try to help secure his release. More about what went on to get Trevor Reed free.
RICHARDSON: Well, what was decisive was the parents. The Reeds talking to the president. I think it was two weeks ago, they had a meeting in the Oval Office, and they convince the president, who is very empathetic that Trevor Reed was -- had tuberculosis, his health was deteriorating, he was wrongfully detained.
And to proceed with this swap, that I've been working on this for two years, so has the trump administration and this administration. In other words, an exchange. Yaroshenko for Reed and Paul Whelan also who is another marine who was detained there that we need to get out along with Brittney Griner, the basketball player.
But it took the president to decide that, you know, the U.S. generally is against prisoner swaps. But this, you don't get these exchanges for free, Don. So, the Russians wanted Yaroshenko, and I think we got the better deal. An American marine coming home, wrongfully detained. The Russian drug dealer served 13 years, a drug pilot.
So, this is a day to celebrate amidst all this terrible news that is happening in the Ukraine. An American comes home, and now we need to get Brittney back and Paul Whelan, the other marine, we've got two more to go.
LEMON: Yes. Let me read the statement from Paul Whelan tonight, saying in a statement through his parents. And I quote here, "why was I left behind? The world knows this charge was fabricated. Why hasn't more been done to secure my release?"
He has been in detention for more than 40 months, Ambassador. Do you -- do you say that, you know, this could help, do you think that this could help pave the way for other releases? But I mean, how long could all those take?
RICHARDSON: Well look, this took, as you said, three years. And Paul Whelan several years. So, these are very complicated, Don. And what happens is countries like Iran, like North Korea, Venezuela that are ISIS, that are hostile to us, Syria. They take Americans, hostages, and use them as bargaining chips.
RICHARDSON: And so, we have to develop, I think, a hostage policy where we try to prevent all this. Put sanctions out there. I think the president deserves credit for the step he took, because this was a humanitarian release. At the same time that we are battling the Russians, the worst time in our relationship over Ukraine, over nuclear weapons, over human rights. Yet this exchange happened.
And so maybe the Russians are, you know, maybe sending a little signal that we need to start talking more. I'm not sure. I don't think so. But I am so happy with this release --
RICHARDSON: -- that it happened, for the family, for Trevor Reed, for America. This was an American marine who is wrongfully detained, who was sick. Now he's coming home, so we should be a little positive. I know that things are not good --
(CROSSTALK) LEMON: You are optimistic, it's good to be -- it's good to be
positive and optimistic, but as you said, we got to be realistic as well. We're not sure, but hopefully, you know, maybe there's some good news for Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan.
But listen, the Biden administration says that Reed's release will have no impact on the approach to Russia's war in Ukraine. But clearly, there are diplomatic back channels going on with Moscow. So, how important is having that line of contact when tensions are at the highest that they really have ever been in decades?
RICHARDSON: Well, it's good. I mean, I'm a private humanitarian foundation. And I know the Russians. So, I don't work for the administration, they don't tell me what to do. And they, you know, they'll get a little exasperated when I try to do things on my own. But I do it, I coordinate with them, I work with them. I think the embassy in Moscow did a good job, the consular people there.
So, you keep official channels going, and the Russians have an embassy in Washington. So, I'm sure there are discussions going on. But there are also private discussions that others can have, like humanitarian agencies, like the U.N., like the pope, like individuals that know Russia, that know Ukraine.
So that's what we did, and we helped. I was just there right before the war. I mean, I got out a day before the war started, but I planted a seed. Yaroshenko for Reed. And let's think about it, the Russians were thinking about it. So, this has been in the making for a while.
And as you mentioned, yes, it's been years, two, three years we've tried to get this American out along with Paul. We cannot forget Paul Whelan.
RICHARDSON: He is a marine who is unjustly detained, and Brittney Griner, we've got to work to do that, and perhaps separate it from the geopolitical differences that we have with Russia, which are so intense.
LEMON: It is -- it is been several months for Brittney Griner, it was been 40 months for Paul Whelan and almost 1,000 days for Trevor Reed. So, there you go, it's been a while. We appreciate you joining us, and thank you for doing what you do. OK? Governor --
RICHARDSON: Thank you.
LEMON: -- Ambassador, you are a man of many hats.
RICHARDSON: I just want to tell you, there is an Armenian named R.R. Amyan (Ph) that really help in this, an Armenian. And also, who flew me there, the head of FedEx, Fred Smith, and I want to at thank him.
LEMON: Well, it's good to thank them. RICHARDSON: A marine.
LEMON: And also, you were energy secretary under Clinton. So, again, a man of many --
RICHARDSON: Well, I couldn't keep a job, so I was doing all kinds of things.
LEMON: Thank you, Bill Richardson, we appreciate it. Be well.
RICHARDSON: All right.
LEMON: Alarming inflation numbers, fears of huge disruptions to the food supply, now Russia is a shutting off gas supplies for two important European countries, what does it mean for the global economy, which we are all a part of?
CNN's Richard Quest is here with me to talk about -- wait, there is -- there you are. It's good to see you, my friend. We're going to talk to Richard right after the break.
LEMON: Russian cutting off natural gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria today, its retaliation for their refusal to meet Moscow's demand to pay for the gas in rubles instead of dollars or euros. The European Commission president calling it another attempt by Russia to blackmail the E.U.
Let's discuss now with our economic, that shockwaves that's running of the war in Ukraine. Richard Quest, CNN bossiness-at-large editor and the anchor of Quest Means Business. I'm so happy to have you here.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR AT LARGE: And I did.
LEMON: Yes. So, I got to watch you, you know, a lot when I was over on the ground in Ukraine and really good stuff. I learned a lot. Let's talk about the shut off, that was a really bold move for Russia to do today. That's quite simply what's going on. Because we haven't seen what gas prices this bad since 1973.
QUEST: It is a warning shot.
QUEST: Basically, Russia was saying, you want to play hardball on this? We will cut the oil and gas to Poland and Bulgaria. And we already know that Hungry is paying the money. It's buying in rubles. We believe that Germany, Austria, and Italy are also doing it. We don't know why Poland and Bulgaria wouldn't, but the warning is clear, Russia has said, you pay for your oil and gas in rubles or we'll cut it off! LEMON: You are saying you don't know why, but might you have some
idea? Like do you have some --
QUEST: Why they wouldn't pay?
LEMON: Why they wouldn't pay?
QUEST: Well, because a workaround has been found. I mean, Poland and Hungary -- the Bulgarian foreign minister said today that they weren't going to play this game, they didn't understand, it's all too complicated. Nobody really knew what the Russians really wanted.
QUEST: But the truth is, the Germans have found a way around it.
LEMON: That's all I want to talk about. Let's talk about Germany. Because Germany is one of the most dependent countries on Russia -- Russian energy.
QUEST: Forty-five percent of gas.
LEMON: OK. So, then what is going on here? Why won't Germany do it? Because it's 45 percent?
LEMON: Of their gas. They can't.
QUEST: They can't. And the Hungarian foreign minister told me today that we have no choice. Seven -- more than 70 percent of our gas comes from Russia. So, you want a recession. The Bundesbank, the central bank in Germany said that if you were to stop overnight, Russian oil and gas to Germany, the economy will contract by 5 percent.
Now if you contract Germany by 5 percent, you're putting the whole of Europe into a deep recession. There are those who say that that's a price that should be paid, there are those who say that you'll find it elsewhere and it won't be nearly that bad.
QUEST: But when you look at Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, you can arguably say that they should have seen this coming after the c=Crimea in 2014, the Latvia, the Baltic countries state.
LEMON: Yes. So, there is no workaround for Germany?
QUEST: Not at the moment. How much pain do you want to inflict on yourself?
QUEST: And the argument is do you inflict more pain on Russia or more pain on myself.
LEMON: Is this incentive for them not to be so dependent, obviously, on Russian energy?
QUEST: Completely. They say that they'll be out of Russian oil.
LEMON: But it's too late.
QUEST: No, it's never too late. They say they will be out of it by the end of the year.
LEMON: Yes. I want to talk about food supply.
LEMON: Ukraine one of the biggest exporters of grain in the world.
LEMON: Hala Gorani did a big report when I was over there on the grain supply and what would happen. Our reporters on the ground have seen this heavy fighting in these critical farming areas.
This war will have implications for the global food supply chain for some time.
QUEST: Absolutely, and you are going to the highest rise in prices that you have seen for basic core commodities in a long time. Luckily, thank God, we are hearing that the farmers in Ukraine are planting which means that there will be a crop this year and later into next year. How you get that out is another matter.
Bear that in mind in Mariupol in the port city in the south have gone. So you're going out the west to get the crop out. But add in Russia, Russia is also a huge agricultural exporter. And that's not hit by sanctions. So, yes, here in the United States and Europe, elsewhere, it will be higher prices. But it's those countries the poorest countries that rely on these things, they are the ones who had the real concerns.
LEMON: They are really going to affected. The World Food Bank is warning global food and energy prices will remain high through 2024. It expects energy prices to jump by more than 50 percent. And this year the food prices to soar by nearly 23 percent. The most likely to be hurt by these rising prices as you said are --
QUEST: Win or pay more. Those will be hurt the most will be the poor countries, Africa, parts of Southeast Asia, those countries that can ill afford it are now going to see commodity prices. We already have inflation roaring up in United States.
LEMON: That's where I want to go from this.
LEMON: Which is happening here in United States because we already have a 40-year high.
QUEST: And the Fed -- the Fed is in impossible situation because it's got to get rid of inflation, because that is the cancer that will --
LEMON: My question is recession, is that what you see coming? Because that's what I'm hearing in every -- all of our -- all of our financial folks, all of our economists, you and others on CNN international, are we looking at a recession, and it is a global one?
QUEST: Yes. No, yes. The U.S. could scare a recession, but let's not get, let's play --
LEMON: Deutsche Bank is really the one who started it.
QUEST: Well, Deutsche Bank started off for the mild recession now saying it's going to be a major recession.
QUEST: More people are piling in. But for the average worker, you know, the average worker, the average person, there is not a huge difference between growing that much, and going down that much, it will feel bad. So, the United States over the next 12 to 18 months is going to have this sluggish growth that will feel like a recession whatever the formal numbers show.
If there is going to be a formal recession, it will be mid to late next year, unlikely to be before say, the middle of next year.
LEMON: Real quick, the rising interest rates, right thing do you think? The Federal Reserve raising the interest rates?
QUEST: You are asking me to comment on Fed policy.
LEMON: Yes, I am.
QUEST: Whether it's the right thing or not --
LEMON: Is that the right move?
QUEST: Well, the question, the real question is, why did they let it get so out of control?
LEMON: OK. Let's go with that.
QUEST: Why did they let it get out of control? Because they thought they were doing the right thing by leaving cheap money around for longer. Because they were worried about Omicron. Easy to second guess them. Will -- should they raise rates by half a percentage point at the next this meeting. Should there be three or four half a percentage point where it says over the next six to seven months? The answer to that is, do you want to get rid of inflation? I'm old enough to remember the Volcker years of inflation.
LEMON: Yes, it is you.
QUEST: No, you don't.
LEMON: Yes, I am. We are the same age. Thank you. It's a pleasure. I haven't seen you, what, almost three years, right? We haven't -- or two years.
QUEST: You're looking better off than I am.
LEMON: Richard Quest, thank you, sir. I really appreciate it.
A pattern of discriminatory race-based policing going back a decade, that's how and investigation is describing practices at the Minneapolis Police Department, a report so upsetting that the mayor says it made him sick to his stomach. That's coming up.
LEMON: You have to listen to this story. A bombshell investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department launch after the killing of George Floyd revealing a pattern of, quote, "discriminatory race-based policing by officers going back a decade."
The Minneapolis Department of Human Rights releasing a report today based on interviews of hundreds of hours of body cam footage, and almost 5,000 pages of documents detailing racist behavior from officers and horrific encounters that black people had with police.
CNN senior legal analyst is Laura Coates is here along with former NYPD officer, Darrin Porcher.
I'm so glad to have both of you on. It's -- I mean, you know, I can't believe it, but then yet again, I can believe it.
Darrin, I'm going to start with you. This report detail some horrific encounters between black people and the police, including teenagers. Listen to this. In one case from 2017, a supervisor approved the use of force of an MPD officer who came into a bedroom to find an unarmed black teenager sitting on the floor, using his phone.
When the 14-year-old did not immediately stand up when instructed to do so, the officer quickly hit the 14-year-old with the flashlight, splitting his ear open and then I grabbed him by the neck and place him in an unconscious neck restraint. By deeming this officer use of appropriate the supervisor effectively authorize the officer to continue using such egregious force in the future. How on earth was that allowed?
DARRIN PORCHER, FORMER NYPD OFFICER: I think this is problematic. And it goes back to the chief of police that sets the tone. I believe that the chief of police during the Derek Chauvin case should've been fired, and it didn't happen. You should be the average professional as a police officer.
I work in the internal affairs bureau in the NYPD. And I truly understand a lot of these horrific allegations that are being lodged in this particular case, and I hate to say, but I'm not surprised. But we need to do more about it. And I think this has been a glacial process moving forward.
LEMON: And how -- but how often -- I mean, I've been sitting here doing these stories for CNN for what, 15 years now. And we always say, I'm not surprised, I'm not surprised. We should be surprised, you know, that it continues to happen.
Laura, I want you to weigh in here. And I want to talk about, a little bit more about what we said about the culture and the department the investigation found this. And I'm quoting from the report again. "Some MPD officers and supervisors used racial slurs. They called black individuals n words and monkeys and called black women black b words. One MPD supervisor refer to Somalia men as orangutans.
Community members reported examples of of MPD officers calling Latino individuals beaners. MPD officers reported that their colleagues called fellow, a fellow black MPD officers nappy head and cattle.
Laura, officers slurring their own colleagues, why should the community believe that they will be treated with respect when this is happening inside of their very own police department?
LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, therein lies part of the problem. And this feels very personal. I mean, I'm from Minnesota. To read what they have said in this report about human rights and the abuses and this culture, a paramilitary force and presence that's been condoned and sustained even though there's been knowledge overtime.
My colleague talked about a glacial pace in terms of thinking about these measures overall. But the glacial pace in fact, the paralysis, at even dealing with these issues. And remember, this began only because of the Death of George Floyd. They did not go into an individual case by case scenario to determine whether there was guilt or innocence, or probable cause about particular crimes.
It was part of a pattern and practice. Meaning, they were looking at thematically overall the connective tissue. And what they found, Don, instances such as MPD using covert social media accounts to try to dig into the affairs or lure people in some way, who are black officials or members of the community, with no safety public correlation.
The idea of using excessive force, more force upon a population that constitutes about 42 percent of the overall population in Minnesota, but 93 percent, I think it said, of the people who have been killed by officers, or the better part of the decade.
LEMON: Right. COATES: I mean, these are extraordinary figures. And to the idea of trust, fundamentally, this is the same community that was calling for the defunding of the police based in part on a lack of transparency, fundamental distrust and now this report, frankly, you know, actually confirms a lot of what people had relegated as anecdotal evidence, and now it's data that will lead to a consent decree.
LEMON: Yes. I mean, look at the report, this is, you know, the huge report that we were talking about here. I just, Laura, you were a prosecutor. So let's talk about this finding. And I'm going to quote from the report again.
It says, "city and county prosecutors noted that it can be difficult to rely on MPD officers body worn camera video in court because of how disrespectful and offensive that MPD officers are to criminal suspects, witnesses and bystanders." So, investigators make the case that the behavior of officers is so bad that it undermines the criminal justice system.
COATES: Now, imagine that. One of the first things you ask of a juror in of (Inaudible) process is about whether they would give more weight and assign more credibility to a police officer's testimony by virtue of them being police officers. And overwhelmingly, Don, you'd be surprised how many people would say, yes, I'm going to trust the officer, because there's an older frame, no one puts on a uniform to break the law.
And then you have here, something that seems very counterintuitive and yet substantiated by the evidence they found, that it's having the opposite effect. That because it's a police officer, because somebody in the uniform, based on what's been observed and the behavior and the perception among the community, that you are not going to believe what they said.
So, imagine a case where it doesn't involve an officer who is the defendant, an officer whose own conduct is under the microscope. But instead, an officer who is supposed to be the person to relay information about two civilians or about other criminal activity that might be particularly violent in nature.
You're talking to them because of what they have done to the community they can't be trusted there. The prosecutor's cases are now undermined and maybe fatally so, even in cases where they are not the defendant. And that speaks volumes about the efficiency and the efficacy of prosecutors.
And frankly, it's why it's so impactful to have instances like this, reports like this, that really go in-depth to talk about the pattern and what corrective action needs to be taken to give prosecutors and frankly, the communities they represent a fighting chance at justice.
LEMON: Yes. So then, what's the fix here, Darrin?
PORCHER: Well, this has been a systemic problem for years on end. I think we need greater oversight. And I think a lot of the misconduct that you see in a lot of these police departments are becoming more surreptitious and upfront and as overt as we see with this body cam video.
I think that we need more facets within policing to ensure that we have quintessential policing within these communities. Because ultimately, it's the policing community relationships that has been fractured based on these messages that are being amplified to the public. And we deserve better, because ultimately, police are public servants.
LEMON: It's a fixable problem?
PORCHER: I think it is fixable. However, we need the appropriate, elected officials in place to pull the charge and handle to ensure that this happens.
LEMON: Thank you both, I appreciate it.
PORCHER: Thank you.
LEMON: Dr. Anthony Fauci trying to clarify what he meant by saying the U.S. is out of the pandemic phase. Are we, or aren't we?
LEMON: Dr. Anthony Fauci having to do some cleanup today on confusion that he created about where the United States stands right now with the COVID-19 pandemic. This is what he said last night on PBS NewsHour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We are certainly right now in this country out of the pandemic phase, namely, we don't have 900,000 new infections a day and tens and tens and tens of tens of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths. We are at a low level right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK, so by saying that this country is out of the pandemic phase, a lot of people took that to mean that the pandemic is over. Dr. Fauci responding immediately and clearly, saying, and I quote here, "we're not over the pandemic, don't let anybody get the mis -- misinterpretation that the pandemic is over. But what we are in is a different phase of the pandemic, a phase that's a transition phase hopefully headed towards more of a control where you can actually get back to some form normality without total disruption of society, economically, socially, school wise, et cetera."
To hammer home his point, Fauci noting that COVID cases are trending upward again, but nothing like the Omicron wave over the winter. Russia escalating the rhetoric over Ukraine to alarming new levels.
Putin now vowing a lightning-fast response to anyone who interferes in his war.