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CNN This Morning

Russian Missile Strike Kills 23 People, Including Five Children; American Teacher Escapes Sudan As Violence Intensifies; Montana Becomes Latest State To Ban Gender-Affirming Care For Transgender Minors; COVID-Sniffing Dogs Can Help Detect Infections In K-12 Schools; Police Department Tap New Technology To Analyze Bodycam. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired April 29, 2023 - 08:00   ET



VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. It's Saturday, April 29. I'm Victor Blackwell. Welcome to CNN This Morning.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome everyone. I'm Amara Walker. Thank you so much for spending part of your Saturday morning with us. I hope your coffee is hot or your tea is nice and hot and it's very fragrant. How do you take your -- how do you do take your tea, with milk?

BLACKWELL: Occasionally, yes. I do like an iced chai. Yes.

WALKER: That's sounds good. I have to try. You know, I can do Chai.


WALKER: But other teas just --

BLACKWELL: I don't drink coffee, though.

WALKER: I know you don't.

BLACKWELL: Taste like a puddle. I can't do it.

WALKER: It's because you're not drinking it correctly.

BLACKWELL: Okay. Well, teach me.

WALKER: Yeah, you have to get it prepared a certain way. And with some creamers and I think --

BLACKWELL: Oh, no way, I know all that stuff. It's not coffee anymore.

WALKER: No. You got to dress it up.

BLACKWELL: All right, good.

WALKER: We agree to disagree. All right, here's where we're watching this morning. At least 23 people are dead after Russia unleashed a deadly attack on Ukrainian civilians Friday. Our CNN team is live at the scene where rescue efforts are continuing this morning. BLACKWELL: More than 50,000 people have left Sudan after fighting broke out there, just a couple of weeks ago, including hundreds of Americans out. One of them, a teacher who tells us the shooting was now was nonstop even if she tried to get out. She'll share her harrowing story with us.

WALKER: And more than 20 million people are facing the threat of severe storms again today after parts of the South were pelted with baseball sized hail this week, where we could see those storms fire up today and the main threats we are watching out for.

And we begin in Ukraine where the death toll from a Russian strike on an apartment building is expected to rise. The attack killed almost two dozen people including five children, and is believed to be the deadliest strike on civilians since January.

BLACKWELL: Ukraine says the strike damage more than 10 apartment buildings and other civilian targets. But he says that his force is shot down 21 of 23 missiles fired in the attack, that's of course, President Zelenskyy.

CNN's Nic Robertson has been on the scene since shortly after the strike. He's been following this painstaking search and rescue operation that is now as I understand it, recovery. Get us up to -- up to speed?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It's painstaking. And one of the reasons they have to be careful is because they go in for different departments that they don't restart a fire in there by opening up a new air pocket. And I'll just step out of the way. There we can get you a better shot there of the firefighters. I mean, look, they're just strong right out there on that balcony going through those last bits of rubble.

We've met the man who was in that apartment there. And he survived because he was just behind the wall in bed when the -- when that missile hit. And that's the only reason he survived. But you know what? He and his daughter, we talked to them, they are so broken up about all their friends in the apartments there, who are gone, who are dead. But this effort now, this recovery has been going on for over 30 hours.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): Residents asleep as a Russian missile ripped through their apartments. Rescuers in this small central Ukrainian city, Uman, on the scene fast. Serhyi, was one of the first.

SERHYI ALEKSEEV, UMAN RESIDENT (through translator): There were terrible screams of children. The explosion was very powerful. The houses started to shake in a nearby areas. The first one we pulled out was a living woman who was put in the ambulance but she died in hospital.

ROBERTSON: The death toll climbing through the day. This lady telling us she heard the missile, put her kids in the bathtub and pillows over their heads and hope they live, fighting back tears, she said so many children live here. A gaping concrete and rubble wound where those innocent lives shattered. Families and friends desperately awaiting news of loved ones.

This lady telling us her friend on the eighth floor survived. But the friend's two daughters, one, 13 years old and the other just 7, are still missing. A firefighter takes us up to see those top floors onto the roof, nine floors above the recovery teams.

(On camera): You see how the building has literally collapsed down here. There should be building right out here. And the floors pancaked down with the roof tipping over down there.

(Voice-over): From here the damage even more devastating than below. More than half the buildings 46 apartments destroyed.


(On camera): So the firefighters will come up here and as they've been doing all day in this dangerous mission here literally putting themselves in danger to try to recover, to clear out the site, to bring solid.

(Voice-over): Ukrainian officials believe all this devastation caused by a single Russian Kh-101 stealth cruise missile. It is the single deadliest strike on civilians since January, 109 people registered living here, as night fell, many of them still unaccounted for.

(On camera): I talked to people around here and you get a sense of the humanity, this outpouring of support for those that have lost everything here. There are school rooms full of clothes, young school girls sorting through it to hand it out. There are police officers counseling, helping people through grief, taking account of everything. That's everything that's been lost.

That, I think is the message that comes from here. And when you ask people this is getting so close to you. The wars come so close to you. How do you feel about it? They just sound so bitter, not surprisingly, so bitter about Russia. Russia's trying to bomb them into submission. It's having the reverse effect.

BLACKWELL: Nic Robertson for us there at the site as this recovery mission continues at that apartment building. Thank you, Nic.

Let's go to Sudan now. The situation there is growing more desperate. Fighting between Sudan's armed forces and the Paramilitary Rapid Support forces that's continuing. And now food and water in short supply across the country.

WALKER: More than 50,000 people have escaped to neighboring Chad, Egypt, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. Stephanie Busari, CNN, Senior Editor for Africa joining us now.

Hi there, Stephanie. What can you tell us what -- what's happening right now? STEPHANIE BUSARI, CNN SENIOR EDITOR, AFRICA: Hello, Amara. So what's we're hearing is that the ceasefire has not held. And this heavy fighting heard earlier today in the capital Khartoum, and this is as countries scramble to get their citizens out, and the U.S. has actually said that it has got some citizens out via land, sea and aircraft means.

Previously, we had reported that some American citizens had felt abandoned and stranded. But the U.S. reporting that some of them have now been evacuated safely.

And Saudi Arabia also leading the evacuation efforts, some 1800 people arrived in Jeddah into Saudi Arabia early in the last hour, making over 4000 people who have been evacuated into Saudi Arabia.

Nigeria also says it has evacuated its citizens. About 6 -- some 600 people have arrived at -- in Egypt, the border of Egypt to fly on to Nigeria. But this is as Sudanese people themselves are stranded. They -- some of them don't even have passports because consulates when they left, left their passport, their travel documents in those consulates when the personnel were evacuated.

But we spoke to one woman who made a very, very perilous journey to the Egyptian border. Take a listen to what she had to say.

OK, so she talked about how this journey was very, very dangerous in boiling hot conditions, and for over several days in some instances. But what many Sudanese are saying and this looming humanitarian crisis is that they're worried that once foreign nationals have all been evacuated, that the world will forget about them, and they will be left to fend effectively for themselves. There's lack of water, food shortages, hospitals are not functioning at full capacity in many cases, and the Sudanese are asking where is the aid and then when we can assistants come to us? Amara.

WALKER: Desperate situation no doubt. Stephanie Busari, thank you for your reporting.

So there may be thousands of American citizens still in Sudan and the State Department says that as many as 5000 citizens and their families in Sudan have asked, reached out for information and that a fraction of those are looking for assistance to leave the country.

Our next guest is one of several 100 Americans who have already left Sudan. She is an American teacher who was teaching at an international school in Khartoum and she recorded this video from her apartment before leaving.


OK, do we have the video with the audio because that's some harrowing stuff to take a look at, do we have that? OK, let's watch that video.

Deana Welker, first of all, welcome to the program. It is terrifying to listen to what you were going through. This was April 15, Saturday morning. Can you take us back to that day? I mean, did you have any idea what was going on?

DEANA WELKER, ESCAPED SUDAN: Well, um, you know, we had -- we had the coup a couple of, you know, two year and a half ago. And certain things were going on for the last year and a half, but nothing like this. I mean, we, for the last year and a half, there have been protests, the military's been using tear gas and possibly rubber bullets. We don't know but this -- this was not that. We knew that immediately. I mean, you've heard what was going on, right outside my doors.

We saw military people outside our building. But that wasn't totally uncommon. We were sort of used to that thinking, OK, is there going to be a protest? But yeah, then that started. And everybody knew this was not the same. We immediately had contact from our administration at the school saying stay away from windows, get down low, stay where you are, you know, and they were constantly in touch, which was a help to just keep everybody informed, because we had teachers at two different buildings in two locations.

But yeah, I spent the whole day literally right there on the floor, listening to that all day, all night, didn't sleep. Next day, same thing. And by the next night, I was so tired, that actually was asleep, when I got woken up by a call saying, pack one bag and get out now it's not going to be saved, we have to leave the building. So we --

WALKER: Yeah, tell me about that, Deana. I'm sorry to cut you off there. But if you don't mind talking about the moment, because I know that you lived in the same apartment building as 24 other teachers from this International School. And there was a point at which you and all of your colleagues decided to walk out of your building, to walk out of your building in the middle of the night. What triggered that move?

WELKER: Well, that was really just about the seven of us who were in our building, we had other staff in a different building, and they stayed there longer. So we had the call from our administration. And it was due to the fact that soldiers, we didn't know, soldiers had actually entered our building earlier that day, and held our security staff at gunpoint.

And somehow, the guards were amazing. They kind of I guess, modified them and gave them a water and gave them some of the food that they had downstairs. So they never came all the way upstairs where apartments were. So they left but basically admin said they will be back, you know, I mean, we're right on the main road, they want to get onto our roof, because that's a great vantage point.

So we literally just packed up a bag, went out the back door. I mean, they weren't there at the time, thank God, that we went out the back door and walked through dark streets, because basically the power is off. And went to a small hotel, like a couple of blocks over. And that's where we stayed for a couple of nights. But yeah, that was, you know, you're doing it. You're still half asleep, and you're looking and hoping no soldiers are going to come around the corner and think up. People shoot, you know? I mean. WALKER: Yeah, it sounds terrifying. So you went from that hotel, which eventually ran out of food and water, you had to go to a second hotel, and that is when you ran into staffers from the U.S. Embassy. And you had a little bit of hope when you were talking with them, correct?

WELKER: Yeah, they were at the first hotel, that was a place where some of them stayed. And we actually transported them with us to the second hotel. And we were -- there a couple of days and then again, got woken up in the middle of the night about three in the morning on -- I forget which night that was and kind of thought OK, and we were told, get dressed, get packed, just wait, you know, we hear that they're evacuating some of the embassy so we thought they would take us with them. But they didn't. And --

WALKER: What did they say? Did they tell you why?

WELKER: Well, we didn't meet -- we, as in the teachers, I mean, we were all there at the time. This is when we had all 24 of us, you know, everything came through my superintendent. So she was the one who was constantly in touch with, you know, embassy and multiple other, I don't know who, but basically trying to figure out what to do next and trying to keep up with what was going on and what they were doing.


So I only know what she then told us. So, you know, she would call and say, you know, packed up, we packed up. She even told it downstairs, when we get downstairs. So --

WALKER: So, you eventually --


WELKER: French.

WALKER: Yeah. So you eventually got out with the help of the French Embassy, correct? How does that make you feel this whole experience knowing that there are thousands of Americans still in Sudan, many may consider themselves stranded and want to come out and get out of there. What is your message to the U.S. government?

WELKER: I mean, I can't even express how disappointing it was that, you know, it was another country's military and embassy who got us out. And we were just lucky enough to be part of that group. So I've heard about it and gone there in time. I mean, if we hadn't, who knows?

It's just -- it bothers me because they say, oh, it's too dangerous. We can't get there. But all these other countries are getting there and getting their people out. So I don't understand that. They say, oh, well, we've sent -- you know, we've told you it's a level four, do not go to Sudan.

Well, you know, it's been a level four in Sudan, pretty much the three years I've been here, so sort of like, oh boy who cried wolf, you know. It doesn't really ring with urgency when you've been sending that same message to us for years. And we're there thinking, yeah, I mean, it's not a tourist destination, but we're fine. You know, so we never got anything out of the ordinary that we haven't been getting through emails for the last, I mean, I've only been there for three years.

But, you know, I mean, people are not there on holiday. They're not on vacation. It's not like you're saying, oh, OK, I want to take a holiday on. Oh, let's go to Sudan. No, people are they're working. They're working for humanitarian purposes, for educational purpose, trying to help the people there, just like the embassy people. You know, they were they're doing a job too. We're not going to run. I mean, had we known it was going to be something like this. Well, you know, if we knew for sure, of course, yes, I would have liked to get out before this started. But --


WELKER: You know, we didn't know.

WALKER: Well, Deana Welker, really grateful that you've made it out. And we do wish everyone else the best, especially those -- I know you're concerned about your students and your colleagues who are still there. Deana Welker, thank you so much for your time.

BLACKWELL: Coming up, possible tornadoes, damaging winds and flooding, more than 20 million people, could be hit with dangerous weather this weekend.

WALKER: Plus, a new tool to help prevent unnecessary force by police. How some departments are turning to artificial intelligence to prevent bad behavior before it even happens.



WALKER: Now to a new development on the infamous leak of the Supreme Court opinion that overturned Roe v. Wade last summer. Justice Samuel Alito says he has a pretty good idea of who did it.

BLACKWELL: In an interview with the Wall Street Journal's opinion pages Alito dismissed the notion that one of the courts conservative justices was responsible but suggested he knows the leaker's motive. CNN's Jessica Schneider has more.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Amara, Justice Alito speaking out to the Wall Street Journal and pointing fingers when it comes to that leak of the draft opinion last spring overturning Roe v. Wade. Alito now saying he has a, "pretty good idea" who did it. But he acknowledges that he just doesn't have enough proof. And he's implying now that he believes that the leaker was likely someone who did not want Roe v. Wade overturned as it ultimately was when the Court issued its five, four decision at the end of June. Justice Alito also seeming to be throwing cold water on this theory

that's been floated that a conservative justice or someone linked to the conservative side leaked that draft to lock in the votes to overturn Roe.

Justice Alito is telling the Wall Street Journal this about that theory saying that's infuriating to me. Look, this made us targets of assassination. Would I do that to myself with the five of us have done that to ourselves? It's quite implausible.

So this was really an extensive interview from Justice Alito, to the Wall Street Journal that was conducted just a few weeks ago in mid- April.

Justice Alito also talks about how the leak itself really created this atmosphere of suspicion and distrust within the court. And even talked about how each justice now has 24/7 protection because of the threats they've been facing.

Justice Alito talking about how he's basically driven around in what he calls a tank for security reasons. Justice Alito, also lamenting about the attacks on the court's legitimacy saying that this type of concerted attack on the court, and on individual justices is new during my lifetime. We were being hammered daily, and I think quite unfairly in a lot of instances. And nobody, practically nobody is defending us.

Justice Alito, also talking about the barrage of criticism and how it's really undermining confidence in government as a whole, not just at the Supreme Court. This really is the first time Justice Alito has spoken out so extensively about the league and it comes as the court is just a few weeks away from issuing even more consequential decisions on issues like affirmative action and gay rights. Guys.

WALKER: Jessica Schneider, thank you.

Now to the severe weather threat taking aim at the South East this weekend. The biggest concern, large hail, strong gusting winds and even the possibility of tornadoes for people across Georgia and the Gulf Coast of Florida.

BLACKWELL: The South has already been hit by several rounds of strong storms this week. Last night people in Texas saw golf ball sized hail and hurricane enforced winds.


In Florida, look at this video of waterspout. This is just north of Miami. It lingered there for a few minutes but good news is it never came ashore.

To the Midwest and California the threat today is the continued flooding after all the snow melted the rivers are and will soon crest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BLACKWELL: Flood watches across parts of California Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Park Service has closed Yosemite National Park until at least Wednesday. They feel the Merced River could rise to flood stage this weekend and potentially submerged some roads and critical infrastructure. Beyond tourism, heavy flooding could put billions of dollars of California's crops at risk. State representatives are already pushing for disaster relief package to combat those potential losses.

Today, the southeast is bracing for more severe weather. Areas of Alabama to Central Florida could see damaging winds along with possible hail and maybe isolated tornadoes. Strong winds and golf ball sized hail pelted the central part of Texas Friday before the storms moved east.

And in the Midwest, the river gauges along the Mississippi are in major flood stage. The river is expected to crest in Iowa from Dubuque to Davenport by Monday. And water levels there are already high. Local businesses are trying to get ahead of the expected floods. But the rising waters have already taken a toll on that community.

CLAUDIA ANDER, BUSINESS OWNER: We're looking at with lost revenue, lost wages, clean up, you're looking at what $50,000, you know, $75,000 losing, you know, and money and, you know, having to retrain people if somebody laughed, I mean, it's just, it's catastrophe.


WALKER: That's a tough situation. Well, the danger is far from over for the southeast. More than 20 million people are in the path of even more severe weather today.

BLACKWELL: Meteorologist Allison Chinchar with us now. So take us through the biggest threats?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right, so let's start with what it's done in the last 24 hours, because a lot of the bulk of what you've seen really took place across portions of Texas yesterday, that's now starting to slide eastward. And we even had some strong thunderstorms across Florida in all looking at almost 80 total storm reports yesterday.

Today, we've got a couple of different areas of concern. You've obviously got that cluster down along the Gulf Coast region. But we also have some areas of the Northeast in the Midwest that we'll also be looking at the chance for some rain.

But the best potential for severe thunderstorms exists into the southeast, especially right here along the Gulf Coast portion. And then even the Atlantic side of states like Georgia and Florida. Damaging winds, large hail and the potential for a few tornadoes and even some waterspouts right there along the coastal regions are still going to be a possibility.

It's two separate waves. We've got that first wave that you saw that cluster of storms over the Gulf of Mexico, those are going to slide across Florida first, then you have a secondary way that such a push in late this evening and continue into the overnight hours before finally exiting the area by the middle of the day on Sunday.

To the north, this is where we also have rain in some pretty heavy rain across areas of the Northeast, specifically New York as well as portions of Pennsylvania where we could pick up several inches of rain. We're talking three to five inches across the southeast. That's why we have the potential for some flooding in this area today. The main focus tomorrow, that's when we start to see that shift into the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast.

BLACKWELL: All right, Allison, thank you.

Still to come, gender affirming care has become a hot button issue for conservatives and many GOP led lawmakers are now that lawmakers in the states really are working to pass restrictions.

Ahead, the facts and the context you need to understand this trend.



BLACKWELL: Montana is now the latest state to ban gender affirming care for trans-minors. Debate over the bill drew national attention this week after Republican leaders exiled transgender lawmakers Zooey Zephyr from House -- the House floor there. They said her remarks against the bill violated rules of decorum.

In Montana joins more than a dozen Republican led states that have banned such care, despite protests from the families of transgender youth that argue that care is essential.

Joining me now is Elana Redfield with the Williams Institute. This is a think tank based at UCLA School of Law that focuses on gender and sexual orientation Issues in Law and Policy and informs these conversations with facts and not rhetoric. So that is why we have Elana on. Elana, good to have you.

And let's start here with when we talk about gender affirming care, especially for trans-minors. People immediately think surgery. They think it's pharmaceutical. Is that the right context in which we should be having this conversation?

ELANA REDFIELD, FEDERAL POLICY DIRECTOR, UCLA LAW SCHOOL'S WILLIAMS INSTITUTE: Oh, thank you, Victor. That's a great question. Because actually, there's a lot of misinformation about what kinds of care trans-youth might receive. And for very young kids, it's often really just affirmation of their gender. And as they get older, it's talk therapy. For some kids that involves puberty blocking medication, which would delay the onset of puberty. And then in some cases, it's cross sex hormone therapy, in very rare cases, is it surgery.

BLACKWELL: So at the top, I said that these are states that are now banning gender affirming care for trans minors, because many of these laws do not address gender-affirming care for cisgender teenagers, if a parent wants to allow their 16 year old to get breast implants, a cisgendered girl or they want their boy to get growth hormones, cisgendered boy. Those things are not dealt with in legislation. Am I right here that they've -- this is focusing exclusively on or primarily, I should say, on trans teens?

REDFIELD: That's exactly right. I mean, the language of the bills for the most part, all of them include exceptions. So they're saying you can't get this care if you're trans, but you could get it if you for example, have a diagnosis around precocious puberty or early onset of puberty or if you have an intersex condition or a diagnosis of physical or anatomical traits that might not typically conform to our ideas of male or female.


So there are these exceptions in the rules that really point to the fact that this is very ideological. They're really trying to target trans kids.

BLACKWELL: Most of the narrative, the foundational narrative behind these laws are the efforts are, they're trying to protect children, they're trying to protect minors, actually, the Montana bill, it has the word protection or protective in the name. But Missouri is now going a step further. I think it's the first day to do so to extend some of these restrictions to adults.

So explain to us what the justification is here? And are you finding a trend that if this moves to adults, that the conservative support would carry over would that be a step too far for some conservative lawmakers?

REDFIELD: Well, I'd like to believe that some would see it as a step too far. But at the same time, this is actually based on false information. The framing of the bills, as you pointed out, a lot of them have titles like save our children or protecting youth. The framing of these bills is really misleading. It's a red herring, because this care is best practice medical care. It's endorsed by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, it's widely accepted care. There are decades of research and science behind this care showing how important and effective it is.

So it's really misleading when they categorize it as protecting young people, it's actually causing them great harm. And with the case of Missouri, and Missouri is kind of leading this, but there are other states where this is at risk as well. They are using that same kind of argument to say that adults shouldn't have access to the care or that it should be extremely limited or restricted. So that is equally inconsistent with the medicine, the medicine actually strongly supports access to the care.

BLACKWELL: Let me ask you about the White House, the proposals on changes to Title IX protections. And I should say that the Williams Institute offered some research that went into making a decision to the White House. The -- a group of trans and non-binary legislators sent a letter to the President that say that the administration may have been attempting to provide legal protections and clarity and actuality these proposed rule changes will simply provide those who seek to deny us our right a roadmap for how to do so.

Essentially, the White House is eliminating categorical bans on trans athletes. These lawmakers say that it now just shows people how to pick out a few individual trans athletes to that criticism and concern you say what?

REDFIELD: Well, what the federal government here is trying to do is really capture the spirit of Title IX, which protects against discrimination in educational programs on the basis of sex. So the rule, the proposed rule was really trying to show how that does protect transgender people.

And so we would say, you know, we want to make sure that we understand that this does protect transgender people in any level of athletics, whether it's K through 12, or whether it's at the highest levels. And so it's important, and that's why they've had -- they have a public comment period that to accept our suggestions for how to clarify the language to make sure they're best protecting trans people.

BLACKWELL: Do you think it needs to go further that the White House needs to alter or change this proposed change to Title IX?

REDFIELD: I think that we're still working on our comment here. But I'd say that really the Title IX itself does is very broad and very protective and would include trans people at all levels of athletics. And so we want to make sure that's reflected in a lot.

BLACKWELL: Elana Redfield, thanks for your time.

WALKER: Coming up, sniffing for signs of COVID. How to yellow labs could be key to stopping the spread of infections.



BLACKWELL: New Research released this week highlights how a statewide pilot program in California use dogs to sniff for signs of COVID-19 in K through 12 school.

WALKER: How cool is that. Now, officials say they want to expand beyond schools. CNN health reporter Jacqueline Howard spoke with the team behind this new study.


JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER (on camera): It was just last year in April and May when California public health officials included detection dogs in their COVID-19 screening programs for some schools. Two yellow labs, Scarlett and Rizzo were trained to detect volatile organic compounds that are associated with COVID-19 infections.

And then they were sent to 27 schools where kids lined up as the dog smelled their ankles and feet. The dogs were trained to sit when they detected what could be those volatile organic compounds that are associated with COVID. Then the person the dog sat next to would need to complete a nasal swab antigen COVID test.

Now as part of this pilot program, the dogs accurately detected 85 infections ruled out more than 3,400 resulting in an overall accuracy of 90 percent. The dogs missed 18 infections, and the researchers say that the dogs do not necessarily replace nasal swab testing. Instead, they can help indicate which person might need a test and which person doesn't.

And that could help save on time and resources. The researchers think the dogs could be trained to detect other types of diseases too. Here's Carol Edwards, executive director of the nonprofit Early Alert Canines she works with the dogs. Have a listen.


CAROL EDWARDS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, EARLY ALERT CANINES: We've talked about TV, we've talked about flu, A and B, possibly for this next flu season, seeing if we can get the dogs to alert on that. It's just a matter of being able to figure out how to collect samples, how to train the dogs, and then to be safe and effective around those diseases too.

HOWARD: And the researchers say they're already exploring how the dogs could be used in nursing homes too, especially if there's an outbreak of COVID or the flu. Back to you.


BLACKWELL: All right, Jacqueline, thank you very much. Still ahead. A small number of police departments are now turning to artificial intelligence. We'll show you how it's being used to strengthen the force and prevent bad behavior.



BLACKWELL: They write essays, they drive our cars, they even take Rihanna's voice then put it over Beyonce track.


Artificial Intelligence is everywhere. But can it also improve policing? That's what departments across the country are trying to find out.

WALKER: Yes, they're using AI technology to evaluate officers in the field and they're hoping it will help stop a deadly incident before it happens. CNN Vanessa Yurkevich with more.


VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Officer Dan Janita (ph) is on patrol. He has all his tools for the day including his body worn camera, which automatically captures videos of his encounters with civilians. YURKEVICH (on camera): Safety first.


YURKEVICH (voiceover): 20 videos a day, over 100 hours a week. His final invisible piece of equipment artificial intelligence, a program called Truleo, which analyzes what he records.

YURKEVICH (on camera): Did you have fears about what it meant to have artificial intelligence tracking your day to day?

JANEDA: I did have apprehensions it is technology can sometimes have drawbacks. It's not perfect, but at the same time, I've seen things play out enough where technology has helped us.

YURKEVICH (voiceover): And that is what Truleo's co-founder and CEO Anthony Tassone is aiming for.

ANTHONY TASSONE, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, TRULEO: I started truly Oh after George Floyd was murdered in May of 2020. How do we prevent this from happening again?

YURKEVICH (on camera): What percentage of body camera footage gets reviewed now?

TASSONE: A fraction of 1 percent.

YURKEVICH: And Truleo could look at what percentage of body cam video.

TASSONE: 100 percent.

YURKEVICH (voiceover): The AI was trained by humans to detect 5 million key terms from profanity, non-compliance, as well as professional language or explanations. The goal is detecting early problematic police behavior before it turns deadly.

KEN TRUVER, CHIEF OF POLICE, CASTLE SHANNON PD: I get an email alert every day at 6:00.

YURKEVICH: Dan Janeda's Chief Kenneth Truver Chief of Castle Shannon PD in Pennsylvania has been using Truleo for a year. He's also an advisor.

YURKEVICH (on camera): Is the keywords that you put?

TRUVER: They are. So stop resisting custody, arrest, anything to do with a pursuit. I'm looking for high risk things.

YURKEVICH: Truleo transcribes entire encounters from body cameras, but pinpoints the exact moments that need review.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop resistance. Just relax. Just relax.

TRUVER: Not a whole lot of resistance, but it was giving me exactly what I was looking for.

YURKEVICH: And so for you this is a good interaction with one of your officers in a civilian?

TRUVER: It is.

YURKEVICH (voiceover): The Alameda Police Department in California has been using Truleo for a little over a year. It's seen a 36 percent drop in use of force by officers to Tassone says the AI pointed out risky interactions with civilians, giving officers the chance to review and change their behaviors.

YURKEVICH (on camera): What would Truleo's involvement have been in a situation like Tyre Nichols?

TASSONE: I feel very strongly that Truleo, not only would have recognized obviously the event of the murder of Tyre Nichols, but the hundreds of events that took place prior to that, I believe Truleo would have prevented the death of Tyre because it would have detected the deterioration in the officers behavior years prior.

YURKEVICH (voiceover): There are 18,000 police departments in the U.S. just 20 are using Truleo with 20 More signing on this year, including Aurora PD in Colorado.

ART ACEVEDO, CHIEF OF POLICE, AURORA PD: It will be an early warning system that will help save careers and ultimately maybe even save lives.

YURKEVICH: In 2019, three Aurora police officers were charged with the death of Elijah McClain using excessive force during his arrest.

ACEVEDO: If we see just a little change in the officers' performance, we'll be able to actually intervene early on, get them help, get them counseling, get them training, do whatever it takes to get back on the right track.

YURKEVICH: Back in Castle Shannon, Chief Truver says the technology has only proven what he already suspected about his officers. What has this changed anything?

TRUVER: No. And I don't think that's bad thing. I want to catch something before it happens. I don't want to be reactionary. We want to be looking ahead to make sure that we stay ahead of the game ahead of any issues, and I don't think that's a bad thing.


WALKER: And that was Vanessa Yurkevich reporting. And be sure to tune in tomorrow for an all new episode of Eva Longoria Searching for Mexico.

BLACKWELL: This week, Eva explores Veracruz the birthplace of Mexico's key ingredients.


EVA LONGARIA, AMERICAN ACRTESS: This blend of African indigenous and Spanish influences extends from Veracruz's cooking to the music of the fandango, which originally was a form of protest. And I find the passion and rebellion it conveys contagious.


Well, let's face it, I'm not one to stand by and watch. This seductively feisty culture shouts resistance, the Veracruz way.


BLACKWELL: "Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico" airs tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. on CNN. Thanks for spending some time with us this morning. Smerconish is next.

WALKER: We'll see you back here at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.