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Erin Burnett Outfront
One Officer Killed, One Wounded, Attacker Dead at U.S. Capitol; Defense Tries to Undermine Credibility of Senior Police Officer in Derek Chauvin Trial. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired April 02, 2021 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Welcome back to OUT FRONT. I'm Erin Burnett and tonight, breaking news.
For the second time in months, the nation witnessed another deadly attack on the United States Capitol. Officer William Evans, known as Billy, was killed this afternoon when a man rammed his car into a barrier hitting Williams; another officer was injured.
CNN has learned the 25-year-old suspect recently posted on social media that the Federal government was targeting him with what he called "mind control."
Tonight, flags at the U.S. Capitol and the White House again at half- staff. President Biden just releasing a statement reading in part, "Jill and I were heartbroken to learn of the violent attack at a security checkpoint on the U.S. Capitol grounds."
Evan Perez is OUTFRONT live in Washington. Evan, what have you learned about the state of mind of the suspect?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR U.S. JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, what we are learning is a disturbing portrait of this suspect. His name is Noah Green. And just in the hours and days before this attack, he was posting on social media, including Facebook and Instagram, talking about, as you said, about the government having some kind of mind control on him.
There's one that he posted just about two hours -- less than two hours before this -- before he was shot and killed there. He said that -- you know, he had posted pictures and videos of the Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan and he said: "The U.S. government is the number one enemy of black people." He talked about how he had afflictions that he had suffered, presumably from the C.I.A. and the F.B.I.
And one comment -- after one commenter made comments on his posting, he said, quote, "I have suffered multiple home break-ins, food poisonings, assaults, unauthorized operations in the hospital and mind control." Again, a portrait of someone who is deeply disturbed.
This is part of what now the F.B.I. and the Metropolitan Police here in Washington are investigating. The Metropolitan Police are in charge of this investigation. They're trying to see what is -- what was the motivation here?
He talks about how the U.S. government is his enemy. So, did that drive him to go to the seat of the U.S. government -- of the power of the Federal government today? Again, that's something that the investigators are talking to family members, people who knew him to try to get a little bit of a sense of his mindset in the last few days, and certainly in the last few hours before he carried out this attack.
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Evan; and it is deeply disturbing when you see this as more and more and all of these new details you're learning.
I want to go to Brian Todd now. He is outside the Capitol and Brian, you know, you hear Evan's reporting. A disturbing day, you know for your city. The city is still reeling from that deadly insurrection and now an attack right where that that wound is.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erin, the tension is still very, very high tonight. This is an attack that seemed to play out in a matter of just seconds. We have new information tonight on the suspect, on the officer who was killed and on the police account of how the attack unfolded.
TODD (voice-over): A suspect in a car rammed two Capitol Police officers at this security barrier at the Capitol Complex then got out of the vehicle wielding a knife, police say.
ACTING CHIEF YOGANANDA PITTMAN, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: He did not respond to verbal commands. The suspect did start lunging toward U.S. Capitol Police officers at which time, U.S. Capitol Police officers fired upon the suspect.
TODD (voice-over): At least one of the officers was stabbed, an official tells CNN. One officer died from his injuries. William Evans an, 18-year veteran of the force; a second officer was injured.
PITTMAN: I ask that you keep our U.S. Capitol Police family in your thoughts and prayers.
TODD (voice-over): The suspect identified by sources as Noah Green, age 25, is dead as well. He was not familiar to Capitol Police, authorities said. No initial indication of ties to terrorism, but the motive is unknown.
CHIEF ROBERT CONTEE, WASHINGTON, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE: Clearly, this was someone who was actively trying to just get at, whoever or whatever. We just don't know.
TODD (voice-over): A unit from the National Guard was immediately deployed to assist.
Members of Congress are mostly out of town during the break. Authorities say they're not aware of a particular lawmaker being targeted, but an emergency lockdown order was issued for the Complex.
The incident comes amid an increase in reported threats to lawmakers in recent months, and a debate over removing more of the fencing around the Capitol in place since the January 6th riot targeting lawmakers and reducing the National Guard deployment.
TODD (voice-over): Some members on both sides of the aisle had been chafing in recent weeks.
REP. SCOTT DESJARLAIS (R-TN): It's really discouraging to see the razor wire, the fencing, and the image that it sends to the world.
So, if that threat no longer exists, I would hope that we can return to normal.
TODD (voice-over): Today's incident could reverse that debate.
REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): I had thought once the barriers were removed that we were moving back to some sense of normalcy, but this just shows the level of risk that there still is.
TODD (voice-over): In today's case, praise for the response by the police.
LT. GEN. RUSSEL HONORE (RET): Unfortunately, we lost Officer Evans today, but by and large that system worked. The Capitol Police responded, they stopped him, the system worked.
TODD (on camera): And we have new information tonight on the second officer who was struck by that car and injured that officer, police say is in stable condition tonight with non-life-threatening injuries as investigators continue to try to piece together more specific information on the motive for this attack -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Brian, thank you very much. And I want to go now to Andrew McCabe, former F.B.I. Deputy Director now CNN senior law enforcement analyst and Andrew, I'm glad to have you with me.
So, Director, one social media post by the suspect included the caption, "The U.S. government is the number one enemy of black people." You heard Evan's reporting, right, about the break-ins and all of these things, and somehow, he thinks there's a mind control from the Federal government targeting him, that Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam saved him.
He specifically mentions terrible afflictions that he has suffered presumably by the C.I.A., and the F.B.I. It's important these next words, "government agencies of the United States of America," right in the context of where he attacked today. How important is all of this?
ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It's quite important, Erin. And you know, it's unfortunate, we're having the same conversation that we've had a few times over the last few weeks trying to sort through the very complicated history of maybe disturbed individual trying to figure out motive after an attack.
But it's important to this question of whether or not we think about this attack as an act of terrorism. I think, it seems pretty clear that it's not connected to any international terrorist group. We haven't heard any information about that.
But the question is: is it relative to -- can we think about it as an act of domestic terrorism? Of course, domestic terrorism is defined in statute as a violent crime that is committed for the purpose of coercing a population or impacting the conduct of government. That certainly could apply here, but we just don't know enough yet.
And even with what little we know about the sort of things that he did believe in, all that seems to be mitigated by these strong indicators of the possibility of mental illness or kind of extreme emotional distress.
So, it's a complicated picture, the investigators have to sort through. They're going to do a lot of work, talking to family members and executing search warrants and things like that. So, I think we'll learn much more as the days go on.
BURNETT: So, this aspect also wrote, again, I'm quoting, you know, his postings online, Director, "To be honest, these past few years have been tough, and these past few months have been tougher. I have been tried with some of the biggest unimaginable tests of my life." He then went on to say, he was unemployed, "After I left my job, partly due to afflictions, but ultimately in search of a spiritual journey."
I mean, there's clearly serious mental issues here.
MCCABE: No question and some deeply held grievances about the Federal government, about government agencies he believes are targeting him. And I think it raises an interesting point, I think what we are going to see in the aftermath of the attack on the Capitol on January 6th is an elevation of the nation's capital as a symbol worthy of attack by people who are disturbed or harbor these grievances towards the government or hate the government for one reason or another, maybe because of political beliefs, maybe because of mental illness.
But I think that we need to think about the Capitol as a much more high-profile target now, and that's something lawmakers should consider as they are trying to decide what to do about securing the grounds and enacting new procedures.
BURNETT: So yes, let me ask you about that because obviously, this came just two weeks, right, Director, after they had taken down those barriers and, you know, those barriers, they bothered me and a lot of Americans just for the message it sends, right? You used to be able to walk around, right? It's the People's Government.
But you know -- and I don't know whether what, you know, eventually as former D.C. Police Chief Ramsey said to me, eventually they would have come down. You couldn't prevent something like this happening forever. But how worried are you now? Because it's a big area to defend and I
feel weird even using that word. How do you stop this if this becomes such a high target?
MCCABE: Yes, it is really very tough, and I agree with Chief Ramsey that it's unlikely that we would turn the Capitol into a permanent you know, military installation and push the perimeter way out, blocking off streets, things of that nature to keep vehicles away. That's just not going to happen here in Washington, D.C.
But we will always have distinctive vulnerabilities. There will always have to be access points where vehicles can pull up, drivers can be checked to make sure they have the correct access, and then they're either allowed in or not and those provide opportunities for people to attack those vulnerable points with vehicles, with trucks, with explosive devices and what have you.
So, it's the age-old dilemma between security and freedom and our elected representatives need to sit down and really consider the severity and the seriousness of these threats because they are not going away and then how they want to try to mitigate those threats.
BURNETT: So, is what happened in January the insurrection, do you think that is what's responsible for whether it be this individual, for anyone seeing the Capitol as this now point of attack?
MCCABE: I think it absolutely had an inspirational impact on people who harbor these sorts of grievances and anger towards the government.
You know, watching that mob overrun the Capitol and basically achieve, you know, almost everything they wanted. They didn't get to stop the certification of the election, but nevertheless, they took over that property. That was an indelible moment that will ring in the hearts and the minds of people who are similarly affected with grievance and animosity towards the government.
And it raised it as a possibility, right? It's an attack that you could do and succeed in. So, I think it is dangerous.
BURNETT: Director, thank you very much.
MCCABE: Thanks, Erin.
BURNETT: And next, our breaking news coverage continues. We're going to look at the toll this attack in January's insurrection have taken on the Capitol Police force.
Plus, Major League Baseball pulling the all-star game out of Georgia because of the state's new restrictive voting law. The President of the NAACP is my guest.
And the C.D.C. releasing its highly anticipated guidance for people who are fully vaccinated and wants to travel.
BURNETT: Tonight, as U.S. Capitol Police mourn the loss of Officer William Evans, another officer is being treated for injuries. Capitol Police saying this officer is in stable in non-threatening condition, and just another reminder of how much these officers have endured so far this year.
Alex Marquardt is OUT FRONT.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): For the third time this year, the United States Capitol Police is laying to rest one of its own. A procession on Friday afternoon for officer William Evans, a member of the First Responders Unit who just last month had marked 18 years on the force.
PITTMAN: And it is with a very, very heavy heart that I announce one of our officers have succumbed to his injuries.
MARQUARDT (voice-over): The Acting Chief of the Capitol Police, Yogananda Pittman reminding America what her officers have endured this year starting in the first days of 2021 with the insurrection.
PITTMAN: I just ask that the public continue to keep U.S. Capitol Police and their families in your prayers. This has been an extremely difficult time for U.S. Capitol Police after the events of January 6th and now, the events that have occurred here today.
MARQUARDT (voice-over): After a dramatic ramping up of security following January 6th, things had just begun to ease with the perimeter moving back, fences coming down and the hope among Members of Congress and law enforcement for some return to normalcy.
That hope was shattered today with a second major act of violence on Capitol Hill in under three months. U.S. Capitol Police along with Washington, D.C. police were the first line of defense against the insurrectionists on January 6th.
They were screamed at, beaten and sprayed with chemicals by the rioters. Officer Brian Sicknick was hit with what is believed to have been bear spray. He died from his injuries a day later. Two officers later took their own lives. The wife of Capitol Police Officer Howie Liebengood said his suicide was in the line of duty, saying the insurrection and the days that followed took an incredible toll.
Officer Harry Dunn described the pain to CNN's Don Lemon calling it hell.
HARRY DUNN, CAPITOL POLICE OFFICER: You have good days, and you have bad days, but just thinking about it just takes you back to that -- that like you said, that hell day and it's tough. It was tough to live through, and it's also tough to relive talking about it. MARQUARDT (voice-over): Dunn told CNN that the Trump supporters who
were there that day used racial slurs against black officers. He talked about the depression that many officers felt afterwards.
DUNN: Officer Sicknick was killed. We had officers that took their life because of the distress that they endured from that day. That is what happened.
I don't know how you can word it any different than what exactly happened.
MARQUARDT (voice-over): In the examination of what happened on January 6th, it was called the worst of the worst in the two decades of service of Capitol Police Captain Carneysha Mendoza.
CAPTAIN CARNEYSHA MENDOZA, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: And an American and as an Army veteran, it is sad to see us attacked by our fellow citizens. I'm sad to see the unnecessary loss of life. I'm sad to see the impact this has had on Capitol Police officers and I'm sad to see the impact this has had on our agency and on our country.
BURNETT: I mean, Alex, even before today, you know the Department had -- they've gone through so much, right, such you know, horrible morale killers, right? This has got to make things even harder.
MARQUARDT: Almost certainly, Erin. CNN has spoken to a number of Capitol Police officers since January 6th. The morale frankly wasn't great before then and it has plummeted in the months since then.
MARQUARDT: A number of officers have told us that they are mismanaged. They're overworked. They're stretched thin. And now, they've had to deal with these two deeply traumatic events.
There was a vote of no confidence in their leadership, including Acting Chief Pittman, who we heard from today. Some of the rank and file have accused her of a lack of communication and visibility.
Now changes are likely coming. A review that was undertaken by General Russel Honore, after the insurrection has recommended 900 additional officers after his report found that the Capitol Police Force was understaffed, poorly equipped and inadequately trained -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Alex, thank you very much.
And next, the most senior officer on the Minneapolis Police Force with what might be the most consequential testimony we have heard so far in Derek Chauvin's trial.
Plus, a major move by Major League Baseball over Georgia's new law restricting voting. Atlanta will not host the all-star game as planned. So is this just the beginning of the backlash?
BURNETT: Tonight, critical testimony in the trial of the former officer charged with killing George Floyd, the most senior officer in the Minneapolis Police Department crushing the defense's argument that Derek Chauvin was just doing what he was trying to do. You'll hear why as Sara Sidner is OUT FRONT.
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The man who says he has been a Minneapolis police officer for longer than anyone in the department makes no bones about it, kneeling on someone's neck is deadly use of force.
MATTHEW FRANK, PROSECUTOR: Have you ever been trained to kneel on the neck of someone who is handcuffed behind their back in a prone position?
LT. RICHARD ZIMMERMAN, HOMICIDE OFFICER, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE: No, I haven't.
FRANK: Would that be considered force?
ZIMMERMAN: That would be the top tier of the deadly force.
ZIMMERMAN: Because of the fact that if your knee is on a person's neck that can kill him.
SIDNER (voice-over): And that is exactly what prosecutors say former officer Derek Chauvin did to George Floyd on May 25, 2020.
Lieutenant Richard Zimmerman who leads the department's homicide unit also testified. He was called to the scene to make sure it was preserved, and he was questioned about police procedure which he could recite without hesitation.
FRANK: As an officer, according to training, you handcuff somebody behind the back. What's your responsibility with regard to that person from that moment on?
ZIMMERMAN: That person is yours. His wellbeing is your responsibility.
SIDNER (voice-over): Floyd was handcuffed. He had a knee on his neck, and he was pinned down on his stomach in what is known as the prone position.
FRANK: What has your training been specific to the prone position?
ZIMMERMAN: Once you secure or handcuff a person, you need to get them out of the prone position as soon as possible because it restricts their breathing.
FRANK: What is your -- you know, your view of that use of force during that time period?
ZIMMERMAN: Totally unnecessary. Putting your knee on the neck for that amount of time is just uncalled for. I saw no reason why the officers felt they were in danger, if that's what they felt, and that's what they would have to feel to be able to use that kind of force.
SIDNER (voice-over): Chauvin's attorney then questioned Zimmerman's recent field experience, since he hasn't been on patrol in decades, arriving at crime scenes only after an incident occurs.
ERIC NELSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You're not out patrolling the streets, making arrests, things of that nature?
NELSON: All right. Your experience with the use of force of late has been primarily through training.
SIDNER (on camera): The prosecution's case so far, and we're now at the end of the first week, has been incredibly strong and impactful. But we have to remember in this country, in a court of law, you are innocent until proven guilty. And that is exactly what the prosecution is intending to do, but we have not yet heard the defense's case, let's keep that in mind -- Erin.
BURNETT: That's right. All right, Sara, thank you very much.
And I want to go to John Burris. He's a criminal defense and Civil Rights attorney who represented Rodney King; and Areva Martin, our legal analyst as part of our OUT FRONT legal team.
So, John, it's striking to hear yet another member of the Minneapolis Police Department testifying against Chauvin, right? He's one of their own, right, and testifying that he used excessive force. How powerful is this for the jury to hear again, and again, and again, and again? We had, you know, four images of members of the police force.
JOHN BURRIS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE AND CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Most powerful, and police really do not testify against each other. And when you have a situation like this when a number of police officers are testifying, this is something that jurors can very much focus in on and understand that officers would not be testifying against them unless there was something wrong, and that they had violated the policies and the training that took place.
So to me, this is the most critical piece of evidence that the prosecution had put on to at least show that this is not an imaginary position they have taken, that police within the department and the training -- and the training all understood that this was wrong.
So this is a powerful evidence for the jurors. BURNETT: Areva, Lieutenant Zimmerman also took on one point that the
defense has already been trying to make, right? They've been trying to say the crowd posed a threat. It was distracting. The officers felt threatened by the people who were standing around watching. Here's what Zimmerman said about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZIMMERMAN: No, it doesn't matter, the crowd, as long as they are not attacking you. The crowd really doesn't -- shouldn't have an effect on your actions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Areva, how big of a blow was his willingness to say that?
AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That's pretty critical, Erin. What we know from the defense pretty much with every witness that he has cross examined, he has tried to make this big deal about this unruly crowd basically wants to conjure up images of a mob really. Some people believe it is racist because of the way he went after Mr. Williams trying to get Mr. Williams to admit that he was quote-unquote "angry black man."
But the points aren't resonating, I don't think with jurors. A couple of reasons. One, if the crowd was so out of control, why wasn't there a call by one of those four officers for backup. We never heard any of the officers call their dispatch and ask for backup.
We never heard any of the officers call their dispatch and ask for backup. Two, when the ambulance does arrive, all the officers pretty much turn their backs on this so called unruly crowd to help the medics get Mr. Floyd into the ambulance. So the argument about the crowd, we heard Zimmerman say it doesn't matter about the crowd that the crowd was not attacking these officers. So I think that was a piece of dead we tested (inaudible).
JOHN BURRIS, REPRESENTED RODNEY KING: OK.
BURNETT: So John, Lieutenant Zimmerman said he has never been trained to kneel on the neck of someone who is handcuffed in the prone position, right, which was the situation for George Floyd. Now, what was interesting here and I want to play this in and have you analyze it because the defense responded to that point. They said that Chauvin actually was on Floyd shoulder, not his neck, listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It would be consistent with the Minneapolis Police Department training you've received to place your knee across the shoulder to the base of the neck.
RICHARD ZIMMERMAN, LIEUTENANT, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE: I don't know if I've part of your question was handcuffing, and we've certainly been trained to put the knee on the shoulder.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK, John, so in that possibly significant he's saying we have been trained to put the knee on the shoulder now, we asked from a Washington D.C. Police Chief Charles Ramsey, you know what he thought about that? Now, he agreed. But having a knee on the shoulder would not be problematic. But he says it's clear to him looking at the video that Chauvin did have knee on Floyd's neck itself. What do you make of this defense John, is this something that the defense will be able to make up?
BURRIS: Well, I think the defense needs to figure it out from a physical point of view, they got to get the knee as close to the back and off the neck as they can. And so if they put it on the back, that's an indication that well, he really wasn't on the knee wasn't on the neck, and therefore it was not a serious position. But I think that everyone concede, if you look at the video, and you look at what the other people talked about, too, he was clearly on the back of the neck.
Now, the defense counsel has to do what he can in order to try to create some doubt that he really wasn't on the neck, because that is a serious issue. And all the police, people will testify that that's not a proper procedure. And so, to the extent that's not a proper procedure, you have to neutralize that as best you can by shifting it away to another aspect of the body. I've seen the cases where we had it on your neck and on the back and I know the back is OK. But the neck is and you can't do either one of them very long.
BURNETT: Which is you know, it's interesting that the defensive way they phrased The question was, was they're trying to place your knee across the shoulder to the base of the neck that to your point, John, they're just -- trying to they're trying to put it down by millimeters to try to get rid of that problem.
All right, Areva, we are now going to hear we're expecting to hear next week testimony. We don't know for security reasons who on what day, et cetera yet, but we do expect to hear from one of the most high profile witnesses from the Minneapolis Police Chief Arradondo. Now, the Chief surprised a lot of people last summer, releasing a statement that read in part, Chauvin knew what he was doing. This was murder. It wasn't a lack of training.
So, what is the impact of this? I mean, does this mean we obviously know where the Chief's going to go? Does that help or does that kind of hurt credibility with the jury that this decision had been made in his mind so much earlier?
MARTIN: Well, I think it's going to be very powerful testimony for the jurors to hear that the highest ranking individual in this police department, that chief made a determination that this was murder.
And as John has said, it's very unusual for police officers to testify against other officers in particularly in this case, to come out even before the trial and state that the conduct of this officer was unreasonable. We can expect the defense to try to go after the chief to try to raise issues about credibility to raise issues about motive. We heard him do a little of that today with Lieutenant Zimmerman trying to go after this notion that he had made decisions without having the totality of the evidence. So we can expect him to take the same approach with the chief to say, well, if you came to this conclusion, but there hadn't been a full investigation at the time that this letter or your statement was made.
Again, though, if you're a juror and you see the chief of police who fired this officer come and testify to say that this was unreasonable for us, that's going to be a big blow to the defense's case.
BURNETT: Both thanks so much. I appreciate your time Areva and John.
MARTIN: Thanks Erin.
BURRIS: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next major league baseball playing hardball over Georgia's new and controversial voting lock. Plus the new jobs report crushes expectations which is great news. Could also be a sign that the economy could over (INAUDIBLE).
BURNETT: Tonight, Major League Baseball announcing its moving this season's All Star game and MLB draft out of Atlanta, Georgia. The reason is the state's new law on voting. The league saying in a statement quote, Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and imposes restrictions to the ballot box. Fair access to voting continues to have our games unwavering support.
Leaders from more than 100 companies including Target, Snapchat and Uber issued a public statement today opposing any measures that deny eligible voters the right to cast ballots.
OUTFRONT now, the president and CEO of the NAACP, Derrick Johnson. And President Johnson I appreciate your time.
You know, the PGA says they're going to stick with their plan just a moment ago, but the MLB coming out and saying this obviously caught everyone's attention. It's a significant headline. How consequential do you think this decision is by the MLB?
DERRICK JOHNSON, PRESIDENT & CEO, NAACP: Well, I commend the Commissioner of Major League Baseball and all the team owners for stepping up in this moment to protect our democracy. You know, Republicans have to understand particularly those in Georgia, you cannot steal your way through elections. You're not you cannot suppress votes. This is not 1930. In corporate America should not tolerate our undermining and subverting our democracy. So, I commend Major League Baseball and all of the corporate researchers who are stepping up in this moment.
BURNETT: So, let me ask you about, you know, sort of from two sides some questions here, one from Democratic Georgia State Representative Teri Anulewicz. And she tweeted, quote, I am intensely frustrated by the MLB decision today. I'm also intensely frustrated by our GOP leadership here in Georgia. I hope other major events don't leave Georgia. These only hurts working Georgians.
So, what do you think at this point? I mean, you know, there are, you know, people in Georgia who rely on jobs from something like these MLB events, who of course, now will lose that does you have a point.
JOHNSON: When you take the right to vote from working Georgians that's what hurt more than anything else, entertainment, business activity, is the outcome of our democracy and our democracy must be protected. And it only can be protected if we have a true representative democracy where people participate. So, at the end of the day, what hurts working class Georgians more than anything else, is a subverting of democracy, individuals trying to steal elections, control outcomes, and suppress votes. That's what hurts me more than anything else.
BURNETT: So, I wanted to read from you just an excerpt from the Georgia governor Brian Kemp statement. I know you've seen it, but just for our viewers, President here's the quote of part of, Georgians and all Americans should fully understand what the MLBs knee-jerk decision means. Cancel culture and woke political act -- political activists are coming for every aspect of your life sports included the attack on our state is the direct result of repeated lies from Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams, about a bill that expands access to the ballot box and ensures the integrity of our elections. What do you say to Governor Kemp?
JOHNSON: Governor Kemp participated in the attempted theft of the rights of Georgians to vote. You cannot have an inverted argument and blame those that are standing up for justice. And in fact, there was nothing that my close friend Stacey Abrams did, President Biden did. This was the activities of the legislative body in Georgia and signed by the governor. Honor our constitution to be true patriots play the process in a way which everyone should be able to participate. We fight wars to ensure democracy abroad. We should fight here to ensure democracy is afforded to citizens in this country and citizens of the state of Georgia.
BURNETT: So, Governor Kemp has over the past few days, given examples of things in the bill that he says are being purposefully ignored. So for example, yesterday, he said Biden should look at Georgia's voting laws side by side with Biden's home state of Delaware. And then Kemp want to compare the two he said Georgia has no excuse absentee voting. Delaware does not. Kemp noted Georgia allows drop boxes, limited, yes. But Delaware doesn't have them at all. They did have them in 2020 for the pandemic unclear if that will continue. There's nothing in their law.
What do you say to Kemp's points here, where he's saying, look, this is just deeply unfair? JOHNSON: This is about the state of Georgia that any of the other 49 states, he should have focus on being governor of Georgia, making sure the Constitution is out pale, to allow all students to fully participate without subverting suppressing votes. What was wrong with the November election other than it turned out differently than he wanted to? There is no evidence of fraud. There's no evidence of a problem. We had a system that was carried out in November, three counting of the ballots all came up the same, stop tampering with the outcome of the election by trying to fix the vote, or before the election takes place, stand up as a governor and represent all of the state, not some of the people.
BURNETT: All right. President Johnson, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.
JOHNSON: Thank you.
BURNETT: And tonight, a blowout jobs report in March employers at 916,000 jobs. It is a huge number. It's the biggest since August, and it is way more than economists had expected. Right? They only expected 647,000. So that is just an unbelievable trouncing of expectations and the unemployment rate also went down to 6 percent. It's a massive surge, it should be celebrated.
Context does matter though. The U.S. still has 8.4 million fewer jobs than it did pre-pandemic, right. So, there's still a hole to climb out of. Still economists at Oxford Economics say the report quote, marked the start of a hiring spree that with more people getting vaccinated more reopening and significant fiscal expansion, we could see booming economic activity in the spring and summer.
However, there's so many jobs being added so quickly and at least 2 trillion and additional stimulus on the way much of it in the form of direct payments. There are of course still concerns that the economy could overheat.
All right, OUTFRONT next, we take you inside the struggle to vaccinate the homeless. We're now at a greater risk of contracting coronavirus.
Plus, what it's like for many black Americans who are seeing George Floyd's graphic arrest again and again and again during the Derek Chauvin trial.
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JAMAL BRYANT, PASTOR, NEW BIRTH MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH: To have to relive this again, it was a high-tech lynching.
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BURNETT: Tonight, the CDC saying that fully vaccinated people can travel. Still, they say travel isn't advised at this time due to rising case numbers. More than 100 million Americans have received at least one COVID vaccine dose so far, which is nearly 31 percent of the U.S. population. But there's a large group of people that medical professionals are concerned are not getting access to vaccines, the homeless.
Dan Simon is OUTFRONT.
HESHIMU COURTNEY, LIVES IN OAKLAND ENCAMPMENT: Our home by here.
DAN SIMON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is squalor beyond imagination. Forty-nine-year-old Heshimu Courtney showing us the abandoned car he's been living in for the past five years on the streets of Oakland. Dead rats littering this encampment.
(on-camera): Does the car drive?
COURTNEY: No. (INAUDIBLE) it doesn't move. I wish it did because the (INAUDIBLE) want to find a home too. So, like that.
SIMON (on-camera): Where'd you find the car?
COURTNEY: It was here.
SIMON (voice-over): With the unsanitary conditions and sporadic mask, encampments like this have been ripe for the spread of COVID.
JASON REINKING, LIFELONG MEDICAL: We've really seen COVID infiltrate into this population that's so marginalized from society.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's it.
SIMON (voice-over): But the trend lines may be changing. Thanks to programs like this one bringing vaccine doses directly to the streets and those experiencing homelessness.
(on-camera): What's it like living over here?
TERRY CLICK, LIVES IN OAKLAND ENCAMPMENT: I hate it. You never get used to it.
SIMON (voice-over): Sixty-six-year-old Terry click jumped at the chance for a shot.
CLICK: I read two newspapers every day. I do keypads.
REINKING: We flip the medical paradigm on its head. We essentially bring care directly to people instead of waiting for people to come to care.
Audrey, go ahead and do some paperwork with you.
SIMON (voice-over): Dr. Jason Reinking is a street medicine doctor. His organization Lifelong Medical care has a health clinic on wheels to provide the lifesaving doses. Not everyone says yes.
REINKING: Is not going to happen?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
REINKING: Maybe next week.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe next week.
SIMON (voice-over): Hesitancy can be common.
REINKING: Made me marginalized from friends, family, due to severe mental illness or other things. People have great, great mistrust of systems in general and medical fits into that paradigm.
PORTIA JONES, LIVES IN OAKLAND ENCAMPMENT: First, I was against it. But I guess when I learned more about it, I guess I'm doing it right thing.
SIMON (voice-over): Forty-seven-year-old Portia Jones, a mother of two is getting the one dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's it.
SIMON (voice-over): It's now used exclusively in the mobile clinic.
REINKING: Us being able to find people a second time can be quite complicated or get the second dose on time can actually be really complicated.
SIMON (voice-over): Beginning March 15th, California included those experiencing homelessness as eligible to get the vaccine. Nationally, the picture is mixed. According to the National Academy for State Health Policy, at least 31 states and Washington D.C. are now vaccinating the unsheltered or all adults in general.
BOBBY WATTS, CEO, NAT'L HEALTHCARE FOR THE HOMELESS COUNCIL: Many states have discretion. And they have really pushed people experiencing homelessness pretty far down the chain. From a public health point of view, that is not good.
SIMON (voice-over): In many cases, though, cities and counties make their own decisions. Back in Oakland, Heshimu Courtney says he's grateful now to be fully vaccinated.
COURTNEY: You know, not worthless. A lot of people think we were worthless (INAUDIBLE) who is somewhere before we came here.
SIMON: Now there are no reliable statistics on how many people experiencing homelessness have died of COVID. But a recent UCLA study found that homeless people across the country who did contract COVID- 19 were 30 percent more likely to die than the general population. Another reason why advocates say it's so important to have programs like the one we profiled with medical staff meeting people where they are giving those shots right on the spot. Erin.
BURNETT: Right, Dan, thank you very much. It's incredible, incredible to see doctors like that out there doing that every day.
Next, the images and the final words of George Floyd. They have been played over and over again. But for some black Americans, they're taking a major toll.
BURNETT: Tonight, Americans across the country have been tuning into the Derek Chauvin trial. For black Americans who are hearing the testimony and seeing the video Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd though the trial is bringing back feelings of outrage and pain.
Ryan Young is OUTFRONT.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's been heartbreaking.
KHADIJAH ABDUR-RAHMAN, FULTON COUNTY COMMISSIONER: It's traumatic.
SANDRA WILLIAMS, ATLANTA-NORTH GEORGIA LABOR UNION: It is very painful.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the nation watches George Floyd's final moments play out once again. It's an emotional moment, especially for the black community.
BRYANT: All of black America is in post-traumatic stress. To have to relive this again it was a high-tech lynching.
RENITTA SHANNON, GEORGIA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: We all remember what it was like last year, when we saw when we saw George Floyd being killed by a police officer in the middle of the day in front of everybody.
YOUNG (voice-over): The video Floyd under the weight of Derek Chauvin's knee has replayed throughout the trial this week from multiple angles. Witnesses describe their sadness on the stand. Courtney Ross, the girlfriend of George Floyd cried through her testimony.
One of the most gripping testimony was 61-year-old Charles McMillan, it broke down after seeing the body cam footage. It was a moment that stuck with Sandra Williams.
WILLIAMS: To see him break down on the stand. I think all of us cried. When I watched it, I cried, I got a call from my young son. There's in medical school, he was upset, because we know what that means. Our lives have no value.
YOUNG (voice-over): Georgia State Representative Renitta Shannon says hearing the testimony has been heartbreaking.
SHANNON: We saw, you know, adults break down crying because they had to witness the murder. And now they're being re traumatized.
YOUNG (voice-over): The trial has been trending on social media with reaction from across the country. For some, watching the trial hasn't just elicited an emotional response but a physical response as well.
ABDUR-RAHMAN: It is so emotionally draining is almost I want to say a form of PTSD almost, because I find myself having heart palpitations. I find myself thinking about personal things that my family has went through.
YOUNG (voice-over): And there's a collective concern within the community for how this may all play out.
BRYANT: We never got justice for Trayvon Martin, for Michael Brown, for Freddie Gray, for Sandra Bland. So, we're praying that this will be the exception to the rule.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS: I can't breathe.
YOUNG (voice-over): But those in the black community hope that trial can be a moment of healing for all of us.
WILL THOMAS, PASTOR, NEW BETHEL AME CHURCH: All too often. Our Anglo- Saxon community, our white community is solid when it comes to situation like this. And we've got to build a better America. We've got to stand together on situations of injustice.
YOUNG: Erin, this continues to be a tough week for a lot of people when it comes to this trial. Online people actually started sort of support groups to make sure that people got the sort of the advice they needed to take a break from the intensity, the emotions that were kind of spilling all over the place. But there's a large group of people who feel like they have to watch every part of this because they want to make sure that they're documenting history and seeing how the justice system works. Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Ryan, thank you very much. A powerful report.
And thanks so much to all of you. Don't forget you can watch OUTFRONT, anytime, anywhere. You just have to Go to CNNgo for those who celebrate Easter. Please enjoy this weekend.
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