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Don Lemon Tonight

GOP Primary Races In Nebraska And West Virginia; Russia Continues To Attack Ukraine; New Audio Tapes Surfaced Of Senator Lindsey Graham; Biden Calls Inflation His Top Domestic Priority; Passenger With No Flying Experience Lands Plane After Pilot Becomes Incapacitated; CDC: U.S. Has Highest Rate Of Gun-Related Deaths In 25 Years; Three Years On, Ronald Greene's Family Still Waiting For Justice. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired May 10, 2022 - 23:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. It's primary election night in West Virginia and Nebraska. John King is at the magic wall with the very latest for us.

Also ahead, counteroffensive, Ukrainian forces moving to retake positions around Kharkiv occupied by Russian troops.

Fighting inflation, the worst in 40 years, along with record gas prices, President Biden on the defensive.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Look, I know you've got to be frustrated. I know. I can taste it. Frustrated by high prices by gridlocking Congress.


LEMON: I want to get right to CNN's John King at the magic wall for tonight's election results. John, hello once again to you. What can you tell us about the race for West Virginia's second congressional district?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A win for Alex Mooney and that's a win for Donald Trump, Don. Two Republican incumbents running against each other because West Virginia lost the seat after the census. So, these two districts drawn together right across here, the northern part of West Virginia.

Alex Mooney had the Trump endorsement. You can see he's getting more than 54% of the vote. David McKinley had the endorsement of the Republican governor. He had the backing of Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, much of the state's republican establishment. He getting 36% of the vote.

If you round that up right now, what does this mean? It means in this state, Donald Trump obviously carried West Virginia by a huge margin over Joe Biden. His endorsement mattering much more than the republican establishment or the democratic establishment. So, win for Trump here.

And you might say, Don, a defeat for bipartisanship in the sense that assume Republicans take the House come November, David McKinley is a Republican, he is a conservative, but he voted for the Biden bipartisan infrastructure bill. He said it was good politics because it was good policy for the people back home. Trump disagreed. Alex Mooney disagreed. David McKinley will be a former congressman come January.

LEMON: The last we saw you there was possibly some movement to be had in Nebraska. What about Nebraska? Where does the race for governor stand?

KING: Let me pull out here and get you to Nebraska because, Don, this is where Trump's streak of endorsing candidates and getting victories in the primaries so far this year may well come to an end.

This is Donald Trump's candidate. He is Charles Herbster. He is at 28% when you round that up. Only 70% in. So, we are still counting votes here. But if you look at it right now, when we talked earlier, Brett Lindstrom was in the lead. He is a state senator from this part -- over here, by Omaha. All of the counties he's winning are in the eastern part of the state. The 60% of the state population lives right here.

But Jim Pillen is running it up in these other counties out here. He is a businessman. He is a farmer. He is the endorsed candidate of the current Republican governor. Governor Ricketts has endorsed him. So, he has the backing of the republican establishment of the state. He is up to 33% to 29% and 28% if you round that up. But Pillen has been running it up here in these other smaller counties.

It's really fascinating to look at it if you just do the math. Douglas County, almost 30% of the population lives here. Omaha, Douglas County, you see Lindstrom was running it up big here. But then when you move away, we've seen this so many times in these republican primaries, Trump usually benefits from this. In this case, it is Pillen winning.

You move out to the smaller rural counties, not a ton of votes, but he wins the county here and gets a few votes back, wins the county here with even fewer people here. So, in the smaller, rural counties, it is Pillen, not Herbster, right now winning more of those as you go through.

Again, we are still counting votes but the establishment candidate ahead, 6,600 votes at the moment. Don, if this holds up, that would be the first Trump-endorsed candidate to lose in a major primary this season.


We should note, nine women have come forward to accuse Mr. Herbster of touching them inappropriately. He denies the allegations. He calls them fake news. Trump has dismissed them. But nine women have said that and that could be a factor in his running third at the moment as we continue to count votes in Nebraska.

LEMON: All right. John King at the magic wall. John, thank you very much.

KING: Thank you.

LEMON: Let's turn now to Vladimir Putin' war in Ukraine. Russian forces bombarding the key port city of Odesa with hypersonic missiles.

CNN's Sara Sidner is following the story from Kyiv tonight. Hello, Sara. What are you learning about these attacks in Odesa?

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Don, there are three hypersonic missiles that hit Odesa. It didn't have anything to do with anything that was a military installation. These were all soft targets. Two of them hotels, one of them a large shopping mall. The destruction really terrible there as the city tries to clean up from that and tries to stay safe.

This has been a place that has gone from being bombarded to having a lull and people coming out trying to do regular folk stuff and then having to go back into their homes as more missiles have fallen.

These are three hypersonic missiles. They travel five times faster than the speed of sound. They are extremely dangerous. And people have been trying to figure out just when this is all going to stop.

But right now, this is part of Putin's plan, it appears, to try to push further in to Ukraine. This is a very important city. It is strategically important economically for Ukraine because it is a port city, a city in which they rely on getting goods to and from Europe.

It is particularly important for Ukraine but also for Russia to try and stop Ukraine from being able to use the strategic city. And so, you are seeing it bombarded again and again. Just a few days ago, it was hit with missiles, six missiles to be exact. And so, the city is seeing war happen on and off since the beginning of this war.

In the eastern part of the country, this is where Russia is really trying to clamp down and put a lot of its troops in play. But make no mistake, Russia is also hoping to be able to recapture some of the areas that Ukraine has been able to fight and hold on to, Don.

LEMON: Right on, Sara. So, Listen, it's amazing to me that 70 some odd days into this, that President Zelenskyy comes out with a new message every night. So, he is out with a new message tonight saying that Ukrainian forces are making major gains in Kharkiv. Can you tell us?

SIDNER: Yeah. Kharkiv has been a place that has been bombarded. At night, it is eerie, it is dark. There are no lights but there are people patrolling. And this is one of those places in the eastern part of the country that Ukrainian forces have fought extremely hard to hold on to.

It is an important city. It is the second largest city in Ukraine. It is an important city not only strategically but also because of the size of the city and the way in which where it is located.

We should also mention, though, that because it is important and another push for Russia, they are sending about 500 some odd more troops to that area that Ukraine is going to have to deal with. But at the moment, Ukraine is very proud of the fight, it's resilience there. They have been able to hold on to that key city at this time in the eastern part of the country, Don.

LEMON: Sara Sidner reporting from Kyiv. Sara, thank you so much.

Up next, more new sound from Lindsey Graham criticizing the then president on January 6. Plus, the most incredible story you are going to hear all night. Okay? The passenger with absolutely no flying experience who landed a plane when the pilot was incapacitated. We are going to bring in the audio from air traffic control now so that you can hear it. that is coming up.




LEMON: So, new audio tonight from Senator Lindsey Graham on January 6 right after the Capitol was attacked comes from "The New York Times" reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns. Listen.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC) (voice-over): We'll actually come out of this thing stronger. Moments like this reset. People will calm down. People will say, I don't want to be associated with that. This is a group within a group. What this does, there will be a rallying effect a while, the country says, we're better than this.


GRAHAM (voice-over): Totally, he'll be maybe the best person to have, right. I mean, how mad can you get at Joe Biden?


LEMON: Hmm, how mad can you get at Joe Biden? Let's discuss now with CNN's senior political analyst Kirsten Powers and CNN's political commentator Alice Stewart. Hello to both of you. Thanks so much.

So, Kirsten, in the aftermath of January 6, Senator Lindsey Graham is saying that Joe Biden is going to be -- quote -- "the best person to have for this country." I mean, that's coming from a Republican and Lindsey Graham, no doubt. Why weren't we hearing that message publicly?

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, that seems to be the million-dollar question that we have to keep asking ourselves, why there was -- were so many conversations that were being had and views that were being expressed not on camera per se but sort of behind the scenes.

And then, you know -- I just want to back up and also just one thing that I noted about that is to say that what he said, what Lindsey Graham said, actually was what anybody would have thought in history basically up to that point in time, right, until the Trump era.


That would be the natural reaction, to think that this would have a sort of -- you know, it would backfire, the people would rally together, and Joe Biden would be good at it.

And so, I think he was sort of still in that mode, and then obviously got in touch with Trump or somebody else and realized, oh, we don't think that way anymore. So that -- I'm going to have to override my conscience and my common sense, and I'm going to have now to completely change my story and act like the Democrats are insane for thinking that something horrible happened on January 6.

LEMON: Alice, here's more now from Senator Graham talking about Donald Trump at that rally on January 6.


GRAHAM (voice-over): He's misjudged the passion, he plays the TV game, and he went too far here. That rally didn't help, talking about primarying Liz. He created a sense of revenge.


LEMON: That sense of revenge Lindsey Graham is talking about, isn't that still a big part of the GOP playbook with Trump at the helm and who he's endorsing?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR SENATOR TED CRUZ: Some people. Don, clearly what we're seeing with each new audiotape of Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns are sort of the congressional confessional with members. They say what they truly feel with them. Yet when they come out in public, there's a different slant to it.

And I tend to really agree with a lot of what Lindsey Graham said privately at the very beginning. He should not have wanted to be associated with this. This is not reflective of the GOP. Donald Trump misread the people. And this was not a good thing for the Republican Party. It's not a good thing for our country.

I wish that his statements that he made in private at that time were the ones he has said since then because what it has done, as he said, it has created division within the party and a type of revenge by people that have spoken up. And unfortunately, the former president decided to not listen to the advice of those who told him to stop this insurrection and instead take revenge on those who criticized it. That's really -- that's unfortunate.

LEMON: Alice, the people who criticized it then, though, have all come back around to Trump, though. I mean --

STEWART: Exactly. And that's unfortunate. I disagree with that, Don. I've said on this show a million times, I believe we had a free and fair election, I don't think that Donald Trump was the duly elected president, and I have criticized the insurrection from the very beginning.

I wish more Republicans would have seen that, the problem within on January 6 and every day since then, but for some reason, they want to continue to support what they see as language that will curry favor with Donald Trump.

LEMON: You know, Kirsten, this is all significant because Trump could be running again in 2024. I mean, that's what it looks like he's setting himself up for, right? I want you to take a listen to what CNN's David Gergen on that set about that potential race between Trump and Biden. Here it is.


DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER TO NIXON, FORD, REAGAN AND CLINTON: The very idea that in 2024 we may have two men running against each other, Biden and Trump, who would both be in their 80s if elected, that, too, is enough to say, well, what are we doing here? You shouldn't be 80 years old running a country.


LEMON: Does he have a point?

POWERS: You know, I don't really agree with him. I know -- you know, David is 80 and I think he's very smart and very on top of things despite the fact that he claims he's slowing down. I've yet to really notice that.

So, you know, I think that the people chose, you know, the people that they chose, and Joe Biden ran against a lot of other people who were younger and that's not who the voters wanted. The voters wanted somebody who had his experience.

And so -- and I do think actually he has been a good president for this time in a lot of ways in terms of a person who has, you know, I think, the right temperament and the right ability, I think, to the extent that anything bipartisan ever got done, you know, he was able to do something like that.

So, you know, it's just a terrible time to be president. But I would never will somebody out just for their age. So, you know, like I said, people have the opportunity to vote for younger people in the primaries on both sides. You know, my objections to Donald Trump really don't have anything to do with his age.

LEMON: Yeah. I mean, Alice, I know you want to weigh in but it doesn't look like either party is going to ban on the standard bearer. Go on.

STEWART: Yeah, David Gergen is brilliant when it comes to presidential politics. I take his word as a gospel on many things. But in this instance, age is not the issue. Agenda is the issue.


And when we're talking about President Biden, I tend to look at the agenda that he has set forth for this country, which has led us to record inflation, high crime, crisis at the border, and failed foreign policy. The agenda of Joe Biden is more of an issue than his age. And with regard to Donald Trump, I have said before, it is just temperament that is more of an issue with me than his age.

LEMON: I wish more people, especially on the right, would be talking policy the way you're talking about it, agenda. That's the normal way that we usually talk politics in this country.


LEMON: Thank you both. Appreciate it.

STEWART: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Thank you.

POWERS: Thank you.

LEMON: This is an amazing story. A pilot in Florida incapacitated while flying a private plane. Get this, one of the passengers with no flying experience takes over, lands the plane safely. You've got to hear this. Watch this.


UNKNOWN (voice-over): You just witnessed a couple of passengers land that plane.





LEMON: President Joe Biden is making his own feelings clear over the worst inflation the U.S. has seen in nearly 40 years. Biden says getting a handle on it is his top domestic priority. But what can be done? Joining me now is CNN economic commentator Catherine Rampell. Hi, Catherine. Good to see you.


LEMON: So, let's talk here. President Biden says his priority is to take on inflation, but he also admitted that Congress needs to help him. So, what's the answer? What can be done?

RAMPELL: There's not a ton that the executive branch or even Congress can do to get inflation down. This is primarily the fed's job. The fed's main tool for doing this, it is already exercising, that's raising interest rates.

There are some things, however, that Biden should have been doing. I would argue a long ago that would have been helpful at least a little bit. Things like repealing some of the Trump era tariffs.

There was the study that came out of the Peterson Institute not that long ago that found that, again, it wouldn't reduce all of the run-up of inflation that we've seen, but it would knock one or two percentage points off of that enormous spike in inflation that we've seen recently.

Things like getting our backlogged terrible bureaucracy within the U.S. legal immigration system functional again because we're short about two million immigrants relative to the number who would have normally arrived had we not had the pandemic and a bunch of Trump policies as well. And labor shortages are among the reasons why there are these sharp inflationary pressures.

So, there are some things that the administration could be doing. It's sort of belatedly realizing some of this, I think. Biden even talked today about how the administration is considering, for example, repealing some of the Trump China tariffs.

But to be honest, I think for too long, they were sort of in denial about the problem and we are doing some window dressing kind of actions that were not terribly effective at doing what they could have done, again, which is limited to get price pressures under control.

LEMON: All right. Let's talk about what everyone is talking about. You know what that is. That is gas prices, jumped to record highs.


LEMON: Biden called it the Putin price hike. I mean, is the pain in the pump all because of the war in Ukraine. Not really, right??

RAMPELL: It's not entirely. That has made things worse. Absolutely, that has made things worse because it means that demand was already high. A large supply of global oil was effectively taken off the market, that's Russian oil, either because of the sanctions or because of voluntary decisions by companies and governments to no longer purchase that oil. That's driving prices up.

But if you look at the longer-term trend in gas prices, it was obviously rising. Many of us remember there were lots of stories back in, you know, earlier in the winter, late fall, about rising gas prices. And that's a function of a bunch of complicated factors, including that demand is really strong, the world is reopening, economies are reopening.

Supply was constrained both by OPEC as well as a lot of U.S. producers who were -- had kind of like lost their shirts, basically, in 2020, when oil briefly went negative. They're much more risk averse about ramping up production today.

So, there were a lot of complicated factors that are not bad Biden policies, to be clear, that were pushing up prices. Again, there were things that he could have been doing on the margin to make things better even if he wasn't responsible for the initial run-up in gas prices.

LEMON: Catherine, let me ask you this. There was something -- someone tweeted, so gas prices, yes, they are seriously high here in Sweden. We don't blame our prime minister or Biden. Get a grip on reality. Is there -- is that -- is there some truth to that, or no?

RAMPELL: Well, it's a global market. So, yes, it is the case that energy prices around the world are high. They're definitely higher than they were at the deepest, darkest depths of the pandemic recession here and around the world. Again, that's partly because we've gotten really unlucky with a series of supply shocks, including this war, which obviously has other more important tragic consequences.

But here in the United States, you know, again, demand is strong. There are some things that Biden could be doing on the margin, like, you know, maybe he could encourage a little bit more entry right now from suppliers or they could ramp up their production by leasing more rigs or whatever, if he suggests, look, going forward, we're going to guarantee some minimum price.


Those kinds of policy actions would have a lot of political risks because nobody wants to say -- no politician wants to say that we are guaranteeing a minimum amount of demand or price or profits or whatever for the energy industry.

But yeah, these are global factors that have been driving up prices. Here in the United States, we choose to blame the president incorrectly, I think, for those global factors. Maybe it's different elsewhere in the world but there's a long tradition in the United States of blaming or crediting the U.S. president for things that are beyond his control.

LEMON: The buck stops here, right, with the leader. Look -- and gas prices, they hurt. If you're stopping at a gas station and you're paying for the gas, you're hurting. And if you're driving by, everybody's head cranes to see the price of the gas at that particular gas station. So, it's bad. Thank you very much, Catherine. I appreciate it.

RAMPELL: Thank you.

LEMON: Okay, everyone, so this is a pretty incredible story. A passenger with no flying experience at all safely landing a plane today at Palm Beach International Airport. That's after the pilot became incapacitated. I want you to listen to what the passenger told air traffic control.


UNKNOWN (voice-over): I've got a serious situation here. My pilot has gone incoherent, and I have no idea how to fly the airplane but maintain at 9100.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Caravan 333LD, roger. What's your position?

UNKNOWN (voice-over): I have no idea. I see the coast of Florida in front of me and I have no idea.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): What was the situation with the pilot?

UNKNOWN (voice-over): He is incoherent. He is out.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): 3LD, roger. Try to hold the wings level and see if you can start descending for me, push forward on the controls and descend at a very slow rate.



LEMON: Can you imagine, seriously? Okay, yeah, I'll do that. Check out this video. It is obtained by W -- there it is right there -- WPBF. That is a plane landing. The FAA is investigating the incident. The condition of the pilot is unknown.

So, let's bring in now CNN safety analyst and former FAA safety inspector David Soucie. David, hi. David, this is --


LEMON: This is incredible. I mean, zero flying experience, successfully landing a plane?

SOUCIE: And listen how calm he is. He is like, yeah, I've got a serious situation. My pilot is incapacitated. I have no idea where I'm at. It's incredible.

LEMON: I want to look at it. This is again the video obtained by WPBF. What do you think of the landing?

SOUCIE: It's actually pretty darn good. You know, this is the kind of thing you see in a movie, Don, and I don't -- I honestly don't have any personal experience with this ever happening before that I'm aware of, where someone with completely no experience figures out how to land an airplane. How does that happen?

LEMON: Joysticks, video games. I have no idea. I mean, maybe --

SOUCIE: You know, it's funny you mention that because when I first started teaching my son how to fly, he was 15, he took off perfectly, he made and executed a perfect 60-second turn, came all the way around and came out the other end, and I'm, like, have you done this before? He said, yeah, it's like flight simulator, dad. It's no big deal.

LEMON: Yeah. So, who knows? But --

SOUCIE: That's it.

LEMON: Maybe they'll step forward and we'll get an interview and we can talk to them. Some reporter down in Florida will get it, hopefully. So, CNN obtained --

SOUCIE: I would love to pat that guy on the back.

SOUCIE: Yeah. I'm going to play some of the audio from air traffic control talking to other planes about what happened. Watch.


UNKNOWN (voice-over): You just witnessed a couple of passengers land that plane. Man, they did a great job.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Did you say the passengers landed the airplane?

UNKNOWN (voice-over): That's correct.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Oh, my God. Great job.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): No flying experience. We got a controller that worked them down that's a flight instructor.


LEMON: So, that man couldn't even turn on the navigation screen. Are you surprised that this didn't go terribly wrong? Maybe --

SOUCIE: Oh, it sure --

LEMON: Maybe it's because he wasn't looking at the instruments and he was listening to them, and so he could actually pay attention to what he was -- what was in front of him instead of looking at all those instruments.

SOUCIE: Oh, yeah. You could tell the guy who was coaching him was a flight instructor at some time because he just said, look, all you've got to do is keep your wings level, just look at the horizon, keep your wings level and start a slow decent, which you know, first thing he did was push too hard and he's trying to get out of the sky, so he's going to have to figure that out.

That's the hardest thing with teaching people to fly is that in between and learning how to not overreact to things. But, you know, I don't know -- did they find out if the pilot is okay? I didn't know what happened to him.

LEMON: I don't know. It's just coming in. But I want to know, though, why wasn't there another pilot on board? Why wasn't there a co-pilot?

SOUCIE: Well, that's pretty common. I mean, it's a private plane. He wasn't under charter or anything like that. That aircraft is a turboprop airplane, which is considered a sophisticated airplane, but it is not a twin engine.


It's not --

LEMON: Single-engine Cessna 208 when the pilot had a possible --

SOUCIE: 208, okay.

LEMON: -- medical emergency.


LEMON: The condition of the pilot is unknown when last CNN checked. Yeah.

SOUCIE: Yeah. We'll have to follow up on that. That was -- that's incredible. I'd like to meet that guy. That was incredible, to be able to do that.

LEMON: I've got to tell you, that is my worst nightmare on an airplane. Thank you.

SOUCIE: Oh, yeah.

LEMON: Thank you, David. We'll listen to it as we go to break. Thank you. We appreciate it. We'll see you soon.


LEMON: All right.

SOUCIE: Thanks, Don.



UNKNOWN (voice-over): I've got a serious situation here. My pilot has gone incoherent, and I have no idea how to fly the airplane but maintain at 9100.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Caravan 333LD, roger. What's your position?

UNKNOWN (voice-over): I have no idea. I see the coast of Florida in front of me and I have no idea. UNKNOWN (voice-over): What was the situation with the pilot?

UNKNOWN (voice-over): He is incoherent. He is out.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): 3LD, roger. Try to hold the wings level and see if you can start descending for me, push forward on the controls and descend at a very slow rate.





LEMON: So, this is a disturbing story. The CDC saying the United States has recorded the highest rate of gun-related deaths in a quarter century and the pandemic likely is a big factor in pushing up the number of murders and suicides where guns were used.

So, let's discuss now. Darrin Porcher is here. He is a former New York City police officer. And Roseanna Ander. She is the executive director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab and Education Lab.

Thank you both for joining us. Rosanna, I'm going to start with you. This is terrible news. A record number of gun deaths in 2020, 35% increase in homicides from 2019 to 2020. I mean, this was the first year of the pandemic. What happened to cause this surge?

ROSEANNA ANDER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO CRIME LAB AND EDUCATION LAB: Well, you know, unfortunately, even before the pandemic, the United States really had an unconscionably high rate of gun violence if you compare us to any other so-called, you know, industrialized or developed countries.

So, we were not starting in a good place. And then you take a once in a century pandemic. And then combined with a lot of crisis or legitimacy of government following the murder of George Floyd. And it really sort of contributed to really pulling the rug out from underneath many, many communities.

And unfortunately, in a country with 400 million guns in circulation, that sort of fuel to the fire. So, it's unfortunate and very tragic and preventable.

LEMON: Darrin, I want to hear what you have to say about this. What are the big factors, you think, caused this?

DARRIN PORCHER, FORMER NYPD OFFICER: Well, the pandemic was huge. Whenever we have issues such as a pandemic, the socioeconomically impoverished communities suffer the most, because they have the least amounts of services.

But I also believe the police need to change the trajectory and how they interject gun violence in the communities of color. Oftentimes, we look at it from a statistical perspective. But we need a more qualitative perspective. We need to look at, what is the cause, what is the police and community relationship that's driving that neighborhood in connection with this gun violence?

A battle that's won is a war that's never fought. And so, if we can (INAUDIBLE) it early, we won't have the gun violence. I'm a huge proponent in not locking people up with in possession of guns if we can get to it begore the crime is committed.

LEMON: I think people are wondering, how do you link the pandemic with gun violence? That's what the study is doing. Can either of you answer that?

PORCHER: Yeah. A lot of it has to do with essential services had a moratorium placed on them based on the pandemic. So, when you have the socioeconomically impoverished communities, they just didn't have certain things.

In addition to that, police were stretched super thin dealing with other things. I'm a firm proponent in we can't arrest our way out of a situation, but when we look at all of these different components, that's what exacerbated and caused this manifestation in gun violence.

LEMON: Roseanna, I want you to weigh in on this, on that question. We've already been through so much as a country. So much anger and outrage when you talk about the road rage and all the people fighting on airplanes. Is our ability to have a civilized, considerate interactions with each other in public spaces permanently damaged? Is that part of the problem here?

ANDER: Well, certainly one would hope not. It certainly doesn't have to be that way. I do want to sort of acknowledge that the whole world went through the pandemic. Only the United States is suffering this rate of gun violence.

So, I think the pandemic certainly added a lot of stress into communities. And the mental health impacts that it had, the CDC has been putting out a number of different reports that are just each and every one of them heartbreaking and really need to galvanize around how we can change this trajectory.

The increase in gun violence that we experienced in the United States, I think the pandemic really did stress out the under-resourced communities. At the same time, we pulled the rug out from underneath these very same communities.

It's not as though we had a robust social safety net to begin with before the pandemic, but what little was there got really torn away at the same time that we really saw this crisis of legitimacy in policing and the little trust that communities did have got torn away all together.


So, when you add all of those things together, you really, you see the unfortunate outcomes that we're experiencing now. And, you know, there are things that can be done. It doesn't have to be this way. I think there's tremendous promise in investing in those very same communities but in ways that are very targeted and data-driven so that we are focusing the resources where they can do the most both in terms of community responses to prevent and reduce the violence, but also to improving the quality, fairness, and effectiveness of policing.

It's both and not an either/or. You sort of pointed to this sort of level of discourse that we're having right now, and I think unfortunately we're sort of pitting one against the other. It's an either/or. Really, these communities and our country needed to be both and. I think that there are -- I think if people have hope, if people see opportunities and a future, I think that they, you know, can engage much more constructively in their communities.

LEMON: She raised up a very good point, Darrin. I mean, other countries have -- the whole world went through this pandemic. The United States seemed to be the one that suffered the most especially when it comes to gun-related deaths. Is that because of, as she mentioned, the proliferation of guns in America and on our streets?

PORCHER: That's a huge part of it. We have more guns in America than human beings. We have 360 million human beings in the United States but we have over 400 million guns in this country. That's a problem.

But in addition to that, the real issue is the distrust between police and the communities of color. Somehow, we need to mend the fences. That's where the qualitative piece comes in, which is essential. When you have cooperation between the police and the community, then you'll be able to effectively interdict a lot of the gun violence that occurs in these communities.

If the members in the community can join and provide law enforcement with that necessary intelligence, then we'll be more willing and able to eradicate the gun violence that's plaguing these communities of color.

LEMON: Darrin, thank you. Roseanna, thank you. I appreciate it.

A vigil held tonight for Ronald Green, whose family is still waiting for justice three years after his death in Louisiana State Police custody. That story is next.




LEMON: The family of Ronald Greene still waiting for justice and answers three years after he died in police custody. If it wasn't for video, would they ever know why he died?

CNN's Josh Campbell is covering this tragic story. I must warn you, the video you are about to see is incredibly disturbing.


JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This rural road in Northern Louisiana is where Ronald Greene took his last breath three years ago today. You can still see some of the damage left behind by his car as he was chased down this road by Louisiana State troopers.

Witnesses said he took out one of these mailboxes before his car went airborne, eventually landing just beyond that speed limit sign in front of that driveway.

The official report from officers, Greene died in that car crash. For two years, it was the official public record and what the family believed.

UNKNOWN: We were told Ronald died as a result of a car crash.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): In May of last, police bodycam footage from that night was leaked, laying bare the truth.

UNKNOWN: How it unfolded has been just gut-wrenching.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): The video shows Greene repeatedly tased, kicked, and finally dragged while he is in handcuffs. He died while in police custody. Since then, the case has been shrouded in secrecy, finger-pointing, and fallout. More than a year went by since the incident before Louisiana State Police superintendent, Colonel Kevin Reeves, opened an internal investigation, when officer involved in Greene's arrest that night, Chris Hollingsworth, died in a mysterious single vehicle crash just after learning he was going to be fired. Days after his death, audio of him from the night of the arrest leaked, where he can be heard telling another officer what he did to Greene the night they pulled him over.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): And I beat the ever living (bleep) out of him, choked him and everything else trying to get him under control.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): Of the remaining officers, one was fired in an unrelated case for use of force. Another was handed a 50-hour suspension. The senior officer who pulled up on the scene faced no disciplinary charges after he initially was accused of hiding bodycam footage that turned up months later. Three years from the day Ronald Greene died, no one has been arrested. Amid criticism, Reeves retired from his position as head of the state police.

In February, a select committee of the state's House of Representatives was created to probe a possible cover-up in Greene's death after news broke that Reeves had informed the governor, John Bel Edwards, of the events of that night just hours after his death.

Edwards has said that initially after he was briefed by Reeves in 2019 that Greene died after a chase and a violent, lengthy struggle with state police, he stayed quiet on the case because of the pending investigation, but has since called the incident criminal and racist.

In March, Reeves testified in front of the special committee. He denied all claims of a cover-up. UNKNOWN: Despite a vehicle chase, where Mr. Greene did not yield to sirens and lights, he continued until he lost control of his vehicle and crashed.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): But on Thursday, pages released from his police journal that were subpoenaed by the committee show otherwise. He wrote about video issues involving the in-custody death just 12 days after Greene's death. Realize there was a problem, must address immediately.


The whistleblower in the case, Carl Cavalier, a former Louisiana State trooper, was fired after he accused colleagues involved in Greene's death of murder and an alleged internal cover-up.

CARL CAVALIER, LOUISIANA STATE POLICE WHISTLEBLOWER: A man life was taken away from his family by troopers in uniform, by troopers in uniform that are just like me, and just so happened is a man who looks like me and looks like my family members.

I can't go home at the end of the day and sleep well knowing the details of this case, knowing that state police in my eyes have taken in a step further, you know, further from the normal retaliation and normal discrimination. We're dealing with murder.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): Louisiana District Attorney John Belton says he's waiting for the full file from federal authorities before he can hand down any indictments.

JOHN BELTON, LOUISIANA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: I promised the family that I would suggest this. I have never wavered from that, and I will not.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): Ronald Greene's mother says that time can't come soon enough.

UNKNOWN: We want justice. We need arrest.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): Josh Campbell, CNN.


LEMON: Josh Campbell, thanks so much.

I have some breaking election news to tell you about right now. CNN can project that Jim Pillen will win the Nebraska GOP gubernatorial primary, defeating Trump-endorsed candidate Charles Herbster. Pillen had been endorsed by current governor, Pete Ricketts, who is term- limited.

We will continue to update. Stay tune to CNN. Thanks for watching. Our coverage continues.