Return to Transcripts main page
Jury Finds Kyle Rittenhouse Not Guilty On All Charges; Family Of Man Killed By Rittenhouse "Heartbroken And Angry"; Closing Arguments Set For Monday In Arbery Murder Trial; Former Chinese Olympian Disappears After Assault Accusation; Build Back Better Plan Clears The House, Heads For The Senate; Police Fatally Shoot Man In Crisis, Parents Call For Investigation; U.S. Regulators Approve Booster Shots For All Adults. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired November 20, 2021 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me this Saturday.
I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
We begin this hour with the nation reacting to the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. On Friday, a jury acquitting the teenager on all charges for killing two people and shooting another during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin last year.
For the first time since taking the stand in his own defense, we're hearing from Rittenhouse himself. He reacted to the verdict for a taped interview with Fox News soon after leaving the courtroom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KYLE RITTENHOUSE, ACQUITTED IN KENOSHA SHOOTINGS TRIAL: I believe they came to the correct verdict and I'm glad that everything went well. It's been a rough journey, but we made it through it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: But the verdict is also sparking unrest. Protesters gathering in several cities across the country overnight.
In Portland, Oregon police declared a riot after they said demonstrators forced open the gate to the county's downtown jail and threw bottles and other objects at police. Authorities say demonstrators also caused damage to some city buildings there.
And then in New York, protestors marched through the streets and briefly shut down traffic lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge.
CNN's Natasha Chen is in Kenosha, Wisconsin today. So there were some worries about some protests that may take place throughout the city of Kenosha. What did happen? NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well Fred, not much happened
in the form of protests. We did see a crowd gathered on the court steps behind us when the verdict was read. A very emotional moment for supporters of Rittenhouse as well as the families of the victims of the people he killed as well as the family of Jacob Blake.
Remember Blake is the black man who was shot by Kenosha police, paralyzed from the waist down. That is the incident that spurred these protests to begin with in August 2020 when Rittenhouse clashed with these protestors.
But besides those moments with those emotional families there, there wasn't much in the sense of marches or even riots throughout this community that has already seen so much violence and tension over the past 15 months.
We did see some signs here held by people calling for unity and healing here so a very different tone than what you possibly saw in Brooklyn or in Portland.
You even had the district attorney here all the way through to the president of the United States asking for people to express their views peacefully.
Now, we did ask the defense attorney what his client said to him after the verdict was read. He said his client said "thank you" and was still taking it all in. You did play a clip there where a camera seemed to be following Rittenhouse right after the verdict, getting his reaction.
Our Chris Cuomo on the air last night asked his attorney how he felt about a camera following Rittenhouse during this process.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK RICHARDS, LEAD ATTORNEY FOR KYLE RITTENHOUSE: I did not approve of that. I threw them out of the room several times. They were -- and I'm not suggesting that Fox or some other network. I don't think a film crew is appropriate for something like this.
But the people who were raising the money to pay for the experts and to pay for the attorneys were trying to raise money and that was part of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHEN: When Mark Richards there was talking to us during a press conference yesterday afternoon, he made it pretty clear that he was here working on behalf of his client, not for any particular cause. He said that one of the pivotal points of success for their case was actually getting rid of the initial attorneys who he felt were working toward a greater cause and he had told his client if you wanted someone to go on a particular crusade, that was not going to be him.
So he was clear with us that he was really here to defend his clients on the issue of self-defense, Fred. WHITFIELD: All right. Natasha Chen, thanks so much for that.
All right. This has been a very emotional time for many, but especially for the families of those who were killed or seriously injured by Kyle Rittenhouse.
I want to bring in now John Huber, he is the father of Anthony Huber. Anthony Huber was one of the victims killed that night along with Joseph Rosenbaum, and Gaige Grosskreutz was shot and injured and you saw his testimony.
John, so glad you could be with us. Thank you so much.
WHITFIELD: I know this has been an extremely difficult time for you and your family. So what is your thought this morning, a day after this acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse?
JOHN HUBER, FATHER OF ANTHONY HUBER: Well, we're still in shock that this is the outcome. We still can't believe it.
WHITFIELD: What were your expectations?
HUBER: He should have got about 40 years in prison. That was our expectation.
WHITFIELD: You were not then -- I guess, you didn't see the defense's point of view of self-defense. At what point did you perhaps lose hope that there would be a guilty verdict? Was there something in the testimonies or the process of the trial that changed that allowed you to see that you were not going to get the verdict you were looking for?
HUBER: Well, you could tell by the biased judge that it was going to go that way.
WHITFIELD: Was there a moment in particular that stands out for you?
HUBER: I knew something was wrong when they threw out the minor carrying a gun. You know, why throw that out in the middle of the trial? They should have let the jury decide. But he needed that --
WHITFIELD: Yes, so that -- that was a turning point.
HUBER: -- he needed that so he could walk out.
WHITFIELD: And then you heard the remarks coming from Kyle Rittenhouse after the verdict. He said you know, that it was self-defense and that the law was on his side. I mean I'm paraphrasing for you.
What's your sentiment to how he expressed himself after the verdict? HUBER: He thought he was above the law, anyways. You know, that's how
it's always been. He got out on bail. Had he been a black man, he wouldn't have got out.
WHITFIELD: And so now what is the message in your view? What's the message being sent as a result of this verdict, that it was self- defense? Kyle Rittenhouse felt justified and the jurors felt that he was justified in the killing of your son.
HUBER: Yes. We can't say what the jurors were thinking, but they were given specific instructions and parameters by that judge. And they were following his instructions I'm sure. And so they probably couldn't come up with a conviction.
WHITFIELD: And you just said that you know, had this -- had race been more prominent in that there were either black victims or a black young man who was holding the gun, the outcome would have been different.
WHITFIELD: What are the parallels or the contrasts that you see in how this case was decided? Had it been more blatant that there were either black victims or a black gunman involved?
HUBER: Well, that's kind of a complicated question for me right now. I'm just, we're still in shock here. You know? You know, that guy gets to run free and he's now, he's now a hero.
And this is my son right here. This is Anthony. You know? We lost our son. And there's no justice right now for our family and there's no closure. And there wasn't going to be justice in that Kenosha court with that judge.
WHITFIELD: So you're most -- you're most frustrated about the judge and his composure or behavior in his courtroom.
HUBER: He's an embarrassment to all of Kenosha. They are not proud of that judge. I guarantee you.
WHITFIELD: And do you have any strong sentiments about how the defense handled this knowing and learning now about the funding that went toward Kyle Rittenhouse and the fact that this defense team was able to study with detail the jurors and how to appeal to them?
HUBER: Well, the best money could buy, you know? He had a lot of people giving him money. For what? Were they afraid they were going to take their guns? No one's going to take their guns. Why blame the guns, you know?
HUBER: The kid shouldn't have had a gun. The kid shouldn't have bought him a gun. They shouldn't have sold him the gun in Lady Smith, Wisconsin at the Ace Hardware. You know, I hold all those people responsible. Dominic Black, his father, the city of Kenosha, the police weren't doing their jobs. So then average citizens had to patrol the streets?
That's ridiculous. These people need to be held responsible.
WHITFIELD: How do you suppose that can happen at this juncture? Do you see or entertain any kind of civil suits?
HUBER: Well, we're in one now.
WHITFIELD: Can you give me more detail on that?
HUBER: I really can't speak on that.
WHITFIELD: Do you feel like the prosecutors, the prosecuting team could have done more? Do you feel like they failed you? Or are you satisfied with the way they handled this case? Even though it was a loss for you and your family?
HUBER: I think Mr. Binger did a great job. And I think he -- it was rigged against him from the beginning.
WHITFIELD: What do you mean?
HUBER: And the judge made a fool of him and the jurors saw that. And that the ambulance chaser, what's his name -- Richards? He knew he had free reign of the courtroom because of that judge. He got everything he wanted. Anytime he cried, the judge did what he said. It was rigged.
WHITFIELD: John Huber, is there anything you want to reveal about what your next step is to see if you can get justice for your son, Anthony?
HUBER: All I'm saying is the fight's not over. The fight's not over. There's big issues here at hand that people have been sweeping under the rug for years, like racism in the police in Kenosha.
And they've been sweeping it under the rug for years and the people are tired of it. People are tired of this stuff. You know? And we're going to fight until there's justice.
WHITFIELD: And I think so many can feel your frustration.
John Huber, thank you so much for your time and for really pouring out your heart at what is continuing to be a very difficult time for you and your family.
HUBER: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right. Coming up, attorneys in the Ahmaud Arbery murder trial begin closing arguments on Monday as one defense attorney denies he tried to get his client a plea deal. More on that straight ahead.
And later this hour, the CDC gives the official initial sign off for Pfizer and Moderna COVID boosters for all adults just as cases rise in many areas across the country straight ahead of the holidays.
WHITFIELD: As a divided nation reacts to the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict, similar issues of vigilantism and claims of self-defense are playing out in another courtroom. Closing arguments are set to begin on Monday for the trial of three white men charged with chasing town and killing unarmed 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery while he was jogging. This after ten days of court proceedings and testimony from more than 20 witnesses and investigators.
And one of the defendants, Travis McMichael, took the stand in his own defense and admitted Arbery did not pose a threat during the encounter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He never yelled at you guys.
TRAVIS MCMICHAEL, ON TRIAL FOR AHMAUD ARBERY'S MURDER: No, ma'am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Never threatened you at all.
MCMICHAEL: No, ma'am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Didn't brandish any weapons?
MCMICHAEL: No, ma'am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Didn't pull out any guns?
MCMICHAEL: No, ma'am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Didn't pull out any knife.
MCMICHAEL: No, ma'am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Never reached for anything, did he?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just ran.
MCMICHAEL: Yes, he was just running.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Arbery's family expressing outrage over comments yesterday by defense attorney for one of the defendants who compared a prayer rally led by a group of black pastors outside the courthouse to a public lynching of his client. He made those comments in a motion for mistrial which was denied.
Joining me right now, Tim Alexander, a civil rights attorney, a former 27-year police detective who is also running for Congress as a Democrat in New Jersey. Tim, always good to see you.
So, one of the defense attorneys reportedly approaching the prosecution Thursday wanting to make a plea deal. Is that an indicator of the defense feeling the heat that its self-defense strategy is in trouble?
TIM ALEXANDER, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: It certainly is an indicator that his client did not perform well during cross-examination. And it gave them pause or concern for the outcome of the trial for his client.
And so he approached or allegedly he approached the prosecutors for a deal, which makes perfect sense.
WHITFIELD: And Tim, you know, putting a defendant on the stand can go either way, you know. In this case, defendant Travis McMichael told the court Ahmaud Arbery was no threat during the chase. This worked well for the prosecution.
Did the defense misjudge any benefit that it might have thought it had, you know, to put him on the stand?
ALEXANDER: It is a bit of a head scratcher because when we make those considerations at my firm, we go through mock cross-examination and it goes for hours. And you know, a case like this where there's so much evidence and there so much information, I can't see putting him through a session and then coming out with the same decision that we should put him on to testify.
Now the client is in charge and maybe he insists upon testifying, but I would definitely say that would have to be against counsel's advice given the outcome of this decision that he made.
WHITFIELD: I mean it certainly backfired for the defense because he eliminated the whole issue of self-defense, saying that Ahmaud Arbery was no threat at all. Didn't point a gun. Didn't point, you know, a weapon. Didn't even say anything verbally that would have been threatening.
So you know, in this trial, the defense attorney is also in the spotlight, Kevin Goff. I mean he keeps putting himself there. You know, first he said out loud that he doesn't want anymore black pastors sitting with Arbery's family. Now he's calling it a public lynching.
What are the smoke signals that perhaps -- I mean this has to be intentional for him, right -- what are the smoke signals he's trying to send and to whom?
ALEXANDER: I can't even imagine as an officer of the court, as an attorney that you would stand up and compare pastors peacefully standing with the victims of, the victim of an atrocious crime, make some comparison to a lynching when we can look at the events that occurred where Mr. Arbery lost his life and see a lynching. There's no ifs, ands, or buts about it. It baffles my -- all his actions are blowing my mind. They're not furthering his cause. They're not -- the court is certainly annoyed. And if he's building a record for an appeal, I don't see it.
It's just absolutely ludicrous that he would make these comparisons when there's nothing on the record that will suggest these pastors, whether in the courtroom or outside, are doing anything to interfere with the process going on in the proceedings.
WHITFIELD: Right. I mean it's insensitive, it's ignorant and no one believes that he didn't know the power of his words and what he was saying. And you know, just the historical implications as well, you know, in the Deep South like this.
So I'm wondering, you know, are you seeing any parallels here? While the case of Kyle Rittenhouse is very different and while race wasn't blatantly an issue, obviously there are many who see race is an issue because this was a young, white man, boy, you know, with a gun.
You heard from you know, the father of Anthony Huber earlier who said you know, race does indeed play a role here. And now you've got race blatantly playing a role here in this Brunswick, Georgia case of these three white men hunting down this young black man and they, too, are saying self-defense.
What are the parallels that you see here in this case and the potential outcomes and if there's a real concern about the outcomes mirroring one another?
ALEXANDER: The only distinctions I draw with respect to the two matters is that you have vigilante justice gone wrong. And you have these men, whether it's Kyle Rittenhouse or these three in Georgia, going out, trying to protect property with deadly force.
The difference, the distinction though, particularly with Mr. Arbery's case, is that this is more akin to pre-law enforcement when this country had slave patrols and that men went out armed looking for fugitive slaves and people who ran away from plantations.
I see the action of the three in Georgia more akin to that that they went out looking to interact with Mr. Arbery in the most vile, negative way because otherwise why would you arm yourself with a shotgun and a .357?
Not knowing or having any information that he has a weapon, but more importantly, he didn't commit a crime. Jogging in America is not a crime, period. And they didn't see him commit a crime, which again, bucks against the vigilante statute in the state.
So in this situation, I see a strong distinction more to Trayvon Martin than I do with Wisconsin because it's just that egregious.
WHITFIELD: All right. Tim Alexander, always good to see you. Thank you so much for being with us.
ALEXANDER: Likewise. Bye-bye.
WHITFIELD: All right.
Chinese state media claims to show new videos of missing tennis star, Peng Shuai, after pictures released earlier didn't quite quiet down the outage over her disappearance.
Hear what else they're saying to address the growing controversy, next.
WHITFIELD: All right. Just in to CNN, Chinese state media has just released what it says is new video of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai having dinner with her coach and friends on Saturday.
CNN cannot independently verify the video clip or when these images were filmed. The Women's Tennis Organization however, is still threatening to pull out of China in terms of its tournaments entirely unless they are reassured that Peng Shuai is ok. She hasn't been seen for nearly three weeks now after accusing one of China's most powerful former leaders of sexual assault.
Here now is CNN's Will Ripley.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tennis in China -- a billion dollar business for the WTA. Ten tournaments reportedly a third of their revenue, highly lucrative and for the Chinese government, highly prestigious.
Now, it's all on the line. The WTA is demanding answers. Where is tennis icon, Peng Shuai? Shuai? Is she ok? A household name in China, Peng has not been seen in public since November 2nd.
RIPLEY: The 35-year-old doubles grand slam champion accusing China's 75-year-old former vice premier of coercing her into having sex about three years ago at his home.
Chinese state media on propaganda overdrive, seemingly trying to silence the growing global outcry. A Chinese journalist tweeting these pictures of Peng claiming they're from her WeChat with the caption, "Happy weekend".
No time stamp on the photos. No actual direct communication with Peng herself.
On Wednesday, a suspicious e-mail released by a state-owned broadcaster only adding to fears for her well-being. The e-mail retracts her allegations saying, "I'm not missing nor am I unsafe. I've just been resting at home. And everything's fine." The WTA not convinced. Demanding proof Peng is safe, a probe into her allegations. The organization's CEO telling out front he is prepared to pull out of the China, potentially losing a lucrative ten-year deal.
STEVE SIMON, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, WOMEN'S TENNIS ASSOCIATION: We have to start as a world making decisions that are based upon right and wrong, period. And we can't compromise that. And we're definitely willing to pull our business and deal with all the complications that come with it because this is certainly, this is bigger than the business.
RIPLEY: China is a nation ruled by powerful men, long accused of suppressing the rights of women and minorities including silencing leaders of China's MeToo Movement, now the apparent silencing of Peng Shuai.
China appears to be going to great lengths, using the government's immense power to protect the reputation of a retired communist party leader.
So far, Beijing's blatant censorship is doing just the opposite. China's ministry of foreign affairs refusing to comment or even acknowledge the growing controversy.
The WTA taking a stand, a huge financial gamble. Its regional headquarters is in Beijing. The tennis organization willing to walk away from the massive Chinese market to stand up for one of its stars.
Olympics organizers are staying out of it just weeks before the Beijing Winter Games. Peng is a three-time Olympian. U.S. Joe Biden considering a diplomatic boycott, but the IOC says "Experience shows that quiet diplomacy offers the best opportunity to find a solution".
CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: IOC buckles under just the thought of losing business in China. The NBA buckled under the pressure. And here's the WTA saying enough is enough. Standing up, doing what's right.
When in the world do we see that anymore in sports? A major pro sports league or entity doing the right thing.
RIPLEY: The WTA's bold stance against China, winning praise from around the world.
PAM SHRIVER, FORMER PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: We're at a cross roads and it's time now to make the tough decision that you can't do business when the safety of your players are at risk.
RIPLEY: For the international tennis community, some things are more important than money.
Will Ripley, CNN -- Taipei.
WHITFIELD: Still to come, President Biden's nearly $2 trillion social safety net package cleared the house, but it's fate is now in the U.S. Senate. And that's still very unclear. That story straight ahead.
WHITFIELD: All right. A key part of President Biden's agenda is now on its way to the U.S. Senate where it faces an uncertain future. For now, the president and Democrats are celebrating a major win after the House passed Biden's landmark $1.9 trillion spending plan. A milestone victory, the president called a giant step forward for his agenda.
The winning vote comes months of Democratic division stalled the legislation and if it becomes law, the sweeping plan would transform the nation's social safety net and provide billions to fight the climate crisis.
Joining me now to talk about this is David Swerdlick. He's a CNN political commentator and a senior staff editor for "The New York Times" opinion.
David so good to see you.
DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hey, Fred. Good to see you, too.
WHITFIELD: All right. So how big of a win -- again it's a partial win -- how big of a partial win is this for the president to finally get this bill through the House?
SWERDLICK: Fred, partial is the right word. This is a big step for President Biden's agenda and for Democrats getting their version of the Build Back Better plan passed through the House. But whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, whether you're talking about elections or whether you're talking about pushing major legislation, it's incumbent among politicians to remember that you've got to run all the way through the tape.
I know you know exactly what I'm talking about. Your dad was an Olympic gold medalist in track and field. But for people who don't like sports analogies, you have to see these things all the way through to the end.
And I expect that Democrats will get the Build Back Better plan passed which will be in addition to that hard infrastructure bill that has already been passed by both houses. But they can't take anything for granted here.
WHITFIELD: Right. Oh, I love those sports analogies, too. And they're not even in that final lap, so there you go.
WHITFIELD: So how difficult will it be for the Democrats to get this bill passed in the senate? Especially with Democratic Senator Joe Manchin expressing a lot of concerns and questions about the bill yet again? [11:39:53]
SWERDLICK: Sure, Fred. So I think you can point the finger at almost everybody in this situation. Republicans sat on their hands and basically did nothing to go along with the normal legislative process. In the case of progressives, they probably could have accepted and sort of moved toward a realization much earlier on, weeks, even months ago that nothing would become law that Senator Joe Manchin would not vote for and just sort of deal with that reality whether they wanted to or not.
When you're taking about Senator Manchin, he's been somewhat disingenuous, right. His state gets $2 from the federal government for every dollar that it gives and yet his primary top line concern throughout this process has been that the bill is too big, it's too expensive.
Well, he knows full well that whether the bill passes at $2 trillion or $1 trillion, whether there's 12 weeks of parental leave or four weeks of parental leave, people in West Virginia are going to avail themselves of the benefits of this bill and even though he has at least been willing to negotiate this out, I don't think he's been completely forthcoming.
WHITFIELD: Yes. And even though there are still many phases and there was a little bit of a victory lap, you know, the Democrats really had to wait a day, right, before they could even hold that vote after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy held an all-night record long speech, a railing about the bill.
I mean take a listen to some of what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): What the Democrats are proposing is out of touch in the extreme. What we have before us isn't a social spending bill, it's a pathway to socialism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So I wonder is that sort of a preview, you know, of how the Republicans are going to frame this, you know, upcoming vote, any upcoming vote in a likely GOP strategy even for the 2022 midterms?
SWERDLICK: Fred, it probably is. I actually watched about four or five hours of that eight-hour speech and it was basically a one-hour speech given eight times.
It was basically socialism, shining city on a hill, competing with China, rinse, repeat. I think that Congressman McCarthy wants to be speaker so he wanted to sort of get himself out there in advance of the midterm election year.
I think he was testing out some Republican messages. He wanted to blunt the victory of Democrats in the House on getting their bill passed on the House side. There was so much focus in that speech on our competition, our sort of superpower competition, economic and military with China that if I were a reporter on Capitol Hill now, anytime I saw Congressman McCarthy, I would ask him what he thinks about tennis player Peng Shuai. I would ask him whether he, as speaker, if he becomes speaker, would support U.S. military intervention on behalf of Taiwan, if it was militarily attacked by China.
And I would ask him a year or two out, what does he think of President Trump's tariff war with China. Does he think that Americans benefitted from that or not.
I mean it's one thing to get up there and posture, but it's another thing to actually say something that's more, you know, more, you know, not just smoke, but actual, you know, fire and actual talking about what Republicans might do if they get the majority back.
WHITFIELD: All right. Well David Swerdlick, we'll leave it there for now. Always good to see you. Thank you so much.
SWERDLICK: You too, Fred. Thanks.
WHITFIELD: And have a great, happy Thanksgiving holiday.
SWERDLICK: You, too. Happy Thanksgiving.
WHITFIELD: All right. Thank you.
We're back in a moment.
WHITFIELD: All right. Parents of a 19-year-old man fatally shot by police want an independent investigation into his death. Christian Hall was in a mental health crisis when Pennsylvania state police shot and killed him last December. The nearly two-hour standoff was caught on camera, during which police claim Hall appeared to point a firearm in their direction.
A CNN review of the unedited footage found he did not point a weapon at police as indicated in the statement.
CNN's Polo Sandoval joining me now with the very latest on this, which is a very disturbing story. So Polo, what are the attorneys saying about the video and everybody else?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fred, well, let's start with Christian Hall's parents. They say that this video that they just obtained, or at least not too long ago here, what it does, it basically just further demonstrates that their son's arms were up in the air when those officers opened fire, shooting and killing the 19- year-old.
And that is why they want not only the Pennsylvania state attorney general to look into this case but also for the FBI and even the Department of Justice to launch a civil rights investigation.
Now, at this point, we don't have any indication as to whether or not that actually is going to happen here.
But let's walk viewers through this video -- we can just put it up whole here. So you can actually see what took place on December 30th. Officers there -- troopers initially called out to reports of a suicidal man on a bridge, distraught.
We later found out as you point out that he was experiencing what's being described as a mental health emergency.
It shows state troopers negotiating with Hall for nearly two hours. He initially complies, but at one point, becomes uncooperative and picks up that weapon that was later determined after the shooting to be a pellet gun that was manufactured to look like a semiautomatic pistol. Hall ignores those repeated orders for him to drop the weapon and that is when he's shot by troopers.
SANDOVAL: Now, right after this shooting, law enforcement said that he pointed the gun at police. And then it was three months later that the local district attorney released a blurred version of the video and the report that said that they determined that the use of force was justified given Hall's continued possession of the gun and his advancement towards troopers who left them no choice but to open fire.
But again, his parents maintain that at no point did he actually point that weapon at them. That in fact his hands were up in the air, and he was in the process of actually surrendering to authorities. And that again, is why they want an investigation at the state and federal level.
Monroe County prosecutors at this point they have not responded to our request for comment yet at this point, but we did hear from the state police that say they are not in a position right now to comment further until this is out of active litigation.
But they did tell CNN that their troopers do undergo extensive training for a variety of mental health topics. But at the same time, when you hear from the family of this 19-year-old, they want much more training of law enforcement given the outcome of the shooting that took place about eleven months ago.
WHITFIELD: Wow, it's so sad, and then especially seeing the photographs as well.
All right. Polo Sandoval, thank you so much!
SANDOVAL: Thank you, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Still to come, water cannons fired in cars torched during protests in the Netherlands over tightening COVID restrictions. And they're not the only European country facing that kind of intense backlash. Also, is there life on another planet. Humanity is closer than ever
before to getting that answer.
Tonight at 9:00 p.m., the new CNN film, "THE HUNT FOR PLANET B" follows the team of female-led scientists who are leading the quest to find another earth.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anyone wants to know why there's life out there? I guess because we're kind of a lonely species.
When we started, we didn't even know if there were any planets beyond our solar system.
In our own Milky Way galaxy, we have hundreds of billions of stars. Another earth is undoubtedly out there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the huge eye in the sky.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to see deeper into space than any other telescope in history.
We have enough sensitivity to detect a child's night light on the moon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Part of the point of looking out there for life is to realize just how valuable the life is that we have here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're betting on the fact that life can originate and evolve anywhere.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Though what do we expect to see?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a lot more searching to do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The quest for another earth begins.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think there's life out there. Can we find them in my lifetime? God, I hope so.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "THE HUNT FOR PLANET B" premieres tonight at 9:00.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. In Europe, new government lockdowns over rising COVID cases are setting off violent protests.
In Rotterdam, in the Netherlands people torched cars and smashed police vehicles last night. And today, more than 10,000 people gathered in Vienna to protest similar measures.
Here in the U.S., experts are hoping the full approval of booster shots will keep cases at bay in the months to come.
Dr. Megan Ranney joining me now. Dr. Ranney, good to see you. So are you expecting a so called winter wave, and I don't mean like we're seeing in some parts of Europe where people are getting violent. But we're talking about whether there are more cases of COVID to expect.
DR. MEGAN RANNEY, EMERGENCY CARE PHYSICIAN: I am absolutely expecting a surge, particularly among those who remain unvaccinated. We're already seeing case numbers and hospitalizations start to rise again across the United States as predicted, as the weather gets colder, as people go indoors, as we start traveling for holidays.
But here is the really important part about that. The folks that are getting hospitalized and unfortunately dying are almost entirely the unvaccinated. So boosters will help with the case numbers, but what's going to make a difference for those hospitalizations and deaths is those first series of shots.
WHITFIELD: Since most of those cases are among those who are unvaccinated, talk to me about what kind of difference you do expect in the overall picture with more people being urged to get those boosters.
DR. RANNEY: You know, Fred, I'm getting asked this almost on a daily basis by friends and family. Should we be worried? Is this going to be the same as last winter?
It is not the same as last winter. Whether or not you are vaccinated, the hospitals are not going to have as many COVID patients as they did last year because so many of us have gotten our shots.
And if you are fully vaccinated, and if you have gotten your booster, your risk is so much lower than it was last year. You can do out and about and do things with a lot less nervousness and worry about your health and that of the family then you had last year.
You know, I still recommend that you take basic precautions like wear a mask when you are in a public place. Do a rapid test before you get together on Thanksgiving with folks, particularly if there are going to be unvaccinated people there. But it's a really different feeling than we had last year.
WHITFIELD: So then how should people be preparing for their Thanksgiving gatherings because, I mean, we already know that lots of families, there are strained relations because of the whole, you know, divide over getting vaccinated, not getting vaccinated, that's still happening.
But when people do say I'm going to be with family or friends, et cetera, whether you're vaccinated or not, what should be the approach?