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Erin Burnett Outfront

Curfew In Effect Tonight Amid Unrest Over Police Shooting; Officer Who Killed Daunte Wright Charged With Manslaughter; Defense Expert: Floyd's Death Should Be "Undetermined," Not "Homicide," Contends Multiple Factors Contributed To His Death; CNN: Women Detail Drug Use, Sex At Late-Night Parties With Rep. Gaetz; Sources: Biden's Troop Withdrawal Went Against Top Advisers' Advice. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired April 14, 2021 - 19:00   ET




WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: I'm Wolf Blitzer. Thanks for watching. You can always follow me on Twitter and Instagram @WOLFBLITZER. Tweet the show @CNNSITROOM.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Right next, the city bracing for a fourth night of unrest as the officer in the shooting death of Daunte Wright is charged. Her first court appearance announced for tomorrow. The Wright family attorney is OUTFRONT.

Plus, a trial of the officer accused of killing George Floyd takes a turn with the defense calling a witness raised a range of possibilities except a knee on Floyd's neck as the real cause of death.

And vaccine hesitancy among evangelicals and it's serious. We're going to talk to one pastor who is telling his congregation not to get the vaccine. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, a city bracing for a fourth night of unrest as a now former police officer is arrested and charged. Protesters in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota taking to the streets tonight after the shooting death of Daunte Wright. Now former Police Officer Kim Potter was arrested and charged today with second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Wright.

Potter's first court appearance will be tomorrow at 1:30 pm Central Time. She's being held on $100,000 bail and could face a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine if convicted. And tonight, fencing and barricades are in place around Potter's home, two police officers, two police vehicles seen in her driveway today as well.

Potter, of course, is a 26-year police veteran. She's charged with shooting and killing 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop Sunday. Now, of course, it's a horrible tragedy. Potter mistook her gun for her Taser, according to the Police Chief who just resigned in the wake of the shooting.

According to the criminal complaint, Potter shot Wright with a Glock holstered on her right side. I want to play that pivotal moment during the encounter between Wright and police. When you see what former Officer Potter - what happens here, this video is hard to watch.


KIM POTTER, FORMER BROOKLYN CENTER POLICE OFFICER: I'll Tase you. I'll Tase you. Taser. Taser. Taser. Holy (inaudible). I just shot him.


BURNETT: Daunte Wright's family's lawyer noted Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump saying today that potter 'executed' Wright for what amounts to no more than a minor traffic infraction.


BEN CRUMP, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: It boggles the mind why she will pull him over in the first place or is it the rules are set aside when you really been targeted for driving while black. She's the training officer. She's training the young officers, Rachel, of what to do in these situations. Was that a lesson in de-escalation or a lesson to escalation?


BURNETT: Ben Crump will be my guest in just a moment. And at this hour, all eyes are on the City of Brooklyn Center. The Mayor urging calm tonight as he puts the city under a curfew for the third night running.


MAYOR MIKE ELLIOT, BROOKLYN CENTER, MN: I share our community's anger, and sadness and shock. And my message to all who are demanding justice for him and for his family is this, your voices have been heard. Now the eyes of the world are watching Brooklyn Center and I urge you to protest peacefully and without violence.


BURNETT: Well, right now more than 3,000 Minnesota National Guard members have been activated in the Twin Cities to handle these protests and the nearby Derek Chauvin trial and other officer, of course, charged with killing a black man, George Floyd.

So three nights now we have seen looting and unrest amid the protests. More than 100 rioters have been arrested so far. Adrienne Broaddus is OUTFRONT in Brooklyn Center tonight. And Adrienne, what is the latest on the ground where you are? Obviously, I see people again gathered protesters. ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Those protesters are still here,

Erin, demanding justice. They say the second manslaughter charge is not enough. They want to see a murder charge. It's rained today, it snowed today, but that is not enough to silence the folks behind me and they say they will be here. That curfew here in Brooklyn Center extended from 10 pm to 6 am and they're protesting right outside of the police station where that former Officer Kim Potter built her career. Tonight, she's eight miles away in the Hennepin County Jail.


BROADDUS (voice over): Tonight, roles reverse for former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter. She was arrested and booked into jail, charged with second-degree manslaughter in connection with the case of Daunte Wright.


Police body cam video shows the moment Potter shot Wright during a traffic stop Sunday. Police official said it was accidental and Potter thought she was using her Taser.


POTTER: I'll Tase you. I'll Tase you. Taser. Taser. Taser. Holy sh**. I just shot him.


BROADDUS (voice over): Potter could face up to 10 years in prison or a $20,000 fine. CNN has reached out to her attorney. The charges come a day after Potter submitted her resignation. But Mayor Mike Elliot said Tuesday he has not accepted it.


CRUMP: Breaking news, God sits high and looks low, they just charged the policewoman and ...


CRUMP: ... for second-degree manslaughter. We continue to fight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's great news.

CRUMP: We continue to fight.


BROADDUS (voice over): Ben Crump, one of the Wright family attorneys reacting to hearing news of the charge but still believes more needs to be done to protect black communities.


CRUMP: And so it boggles the mind why she will pull him over in the first place or is it the rules are set aside when you're really been targeted for driving while black?


BROADDUS (voice over): Police said the initial stop was for expired tags and then possibly for hanging air fresheners.


CRUMP: Because when you get down to the crux of the matter, when you look at what this officer did, she over policed from every point.


BROADDUS (voice over): For the third straight night, protests turned violent.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were those that decided to come out and throw bricks, a light here, alcohol bottles, cans and other items at law enforcement officers.


BROADDUS (voice over): Police use pepper spray and flash bombs to disperse the crowds. More than 60 people were arrested.


BROADDUS (on camera): Meanwhile, we heard from the Washington County prosecutor. He said Potter pulled her nine-millimeter handgun with her right hand and pointed it at Wright firing one round. Immediately after, Wright is heard on the video saying, ah, he shot me, before driving off and crashing into another vehicle.

Meanwhile, a BCA (ph) investigator examined the duty belt that held Potter's handgun and her Taser. Now, the handgun was holstered on the right side of her belt. The Taser on the left. And that yellow Taser with the black grip is in a straight down position, requiring Potter to pull it from its holster with her left hand. On that day, Potter was assigned to a rookie officer.

Meanwhile, folks are still here demanding justice tonight. And I can tell you, Erin, this crowd is different from any crowd we've seen out here over the past three days, much younger and less diverse.

BURNETT: Very interesting. Very, very interesting, especially when you consider here we're coming into the fourth night. Thank you very much, Adrienne. And we're going to stay in touch with Adrienne as we see what happens here as she's talking about the change that she's seeing in the crowd.

And as I said in just a moment, we're going to be joined by Ben Crump, the attorney representing Daunte Wright's family and, of course, also involved in the Derek Chauvin case, which this site, of course, is only 10 miles away from where the Derek Chauvin case is coming close to wrapping.

Today, a retired medical examiner testifying that George Floyd died from heart disease and drug use and not from Chauvin's knee on his neck.


DR. DAVID FOWLER, FMR. CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER OF MARYLAND: You've got the drugs on board, in most circumstances, in most jurisdictions, a drug intoxication would be considered to be an accident. He's got significant natural disease, certainly the heart.

When you put all of those together, it's very difficult to say which of those is the most accurate. So I would fall back to undetermined.


BURNETT: Of course, that does go against what we've heard from many other experts in the case, but the goal for the defense is to create reasonable doubt in just one juror's mind and that's what they tried to do with that testimony today.

Sara Sidner, you see her here, has been covering this case in Minneapolis the entire time. And Sara, this retired medical examiner did disagree with what five other medical witnesses said for the prosecution, but the defense is just trying to get - they just need one person to make a strong case to one juror.

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And then if that one juror, if it's only one juror or two or three or four, it will be a hung jury if that does happen.


But the prosecution put on an extremely strong case. As you know, there were 38 witnesses that they brought forward. Each one of them, some of the medical experts, some of them use of force experts, all of them going against what you're hearing now from the defense, which is the natural course of things.

We should also talk a little bit about this former Chief Medical Examiner from Maryland. Dr. David Fowler talked a lot about many different things. And basically, he blamed everything but Chauvin's knee on George Floyd's neck for George Floyd's death. He talked about him having a slightly enlarged heart. He talked about a Floyd's heart disease. He talked about the methamphetamine, the small amount of methamphetamine and the average amount of fentanyl that was in George Floyd's system.

And he also talked about something that raised a lot of eyebrows, the potential that the exhaust from the tailpipe of the squad car in which Floyd was down on his stomach in the prone position was breathing in that exhaust, that carbon monoxide. But when cross examined, he said he could not prove that there was any literature or anything, medically speaking, that they could find that there was any CO2 in - sorry, carbon monoxide in George Floyd's system, so that backfired a bit.

But he was also asked by the prosecution that if indeed he died of a cardiac arrest, that he was having a medical issue, he was questioned as to whether or not the officers on the scene and those around should have given him immediate medical care. Here's his answer.


JERRY BLACKWELL, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: Are you suggesting that though Mr. Floyd may have been in cardiac arrest, there was a time when he may have been revived because he wasn't dead yet?

FOWLER: Immediate medical attention for a person who has gone into cardiac arrest may well reverse that process, yes.

BLACKWELL: Do you feel that Mr. Floyd should have been given immediate emergency attention to try to reverse the cardiac arrest?

FOWLER: As a physician, I would agree.


SIDNER: So he agreed with the prosecution that he should have been given immediate medical attention and those who around him were the officers at the time before EMF showed up. I do want to say one more thing and that is that the defense also before the jury came in asked the judge to hear a motion to acquit, the judge denied that motion and, of course, the case is going forward, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Sara, thank you.

And I want to go now, as promised, to Benjamin Crump, attorney for the families of George Floyd and Daunte Wright.

And Ben, it's good to talk to you again. But things have changed so dramatically here in the past week. I want to start with the Daunte Wright case. We didn't even have this a week ago. Officer Potter charged today with second-degree manslaughter in his death. Are you and the family satisfied with that charge?

CRUMP: Well, that's a very difficult question, because what the family really wants is Daunte back.


CRUMP: So they will never get justice. All they can pray for now is accountability and they want her to be held to the full extent of the law. When you compare the case of a white woman (inaudible) who was killed by an office of African descent, Ethiopia, he was charged with third degree murder and convicted of third degree murder and what many believe less convincing circumstances then deeds here in a dark alley at night.

So Erin, what we really strive for is equal justice under the law no matter (inaudible) and that's what his family wants. They want him to be given for justice. BURNETT: So let me play again what you've seen many times and I know

has colored how you see this, but this is the moment the shooting occurred. I will remind everyone the video is disturbing but it is, of course, so important to understand what happened and what accountability means. Here is that moment again.


POTTER: I'll Tase you. I'll Tase you. Taser. Taser. Taser. Holy (inaudible). I just shot him.


BURNETT: You said in a statement today, Ben, that a 26-year veteran of the force knows the difference between a Taser and a firearm. Nonetheless, when you watch that video and you hear her reaction, screaming that it is a Taser and then the expletive and the OMG, I shot him. How are you or are you a hundred percent sure that this wasn't a tragic mistake?


CRUMP: Well, what I do know, Erin, is there was an intent to overuse what I believe is excessive force in this situation. Why even pull your Taser if that was your intent, it is over policing at a time where we need de-escalation.

I mean, for God's sakes, you got the Derek Chauvin trial going on regarding the killing of George Floyd where literally if there was ever a time in America for police to use restraint in moderation and de-escalation, she's a training officer, she's hopefully will be training those officers to use de-escalation and not the most force that they can use.

But that follows a pattern in America, Erin, especially when you consider what happened to the lieutenant in Virginia where that was over policing with him. This pattern of black people being over policed and police doing the most in every situation.

When you think about George Floyd, this allegation of a counterfeit $20 bill, that could have been given a ticket. There was no need to arrest George Floyd. Yet, again, you see the over policing, doing the most and we think Daunte Wright is yet another example of deadly consequences of how police over police black people in America.

BURNETT: I want to ask you something about Derek Chauvin trial, but first I just want to give you a chance to react to something that I don't think you know, at least I didn't until while you were answering that last question. And that is that the former Officer Potter has posted bail and is no longer listed on the roster for Hennepin County Jail. So she is, obviously, now out on bail. The bail had been listed at $100,000. What's your reaction to that?

CRUMP: Well, as any citizen she has a right to every constitutional protection and that is she is innocent until proven guilty. And the fact that we want people to be able to have reasonable bail and today half a day in court because we want to look at everything in the logic context.

There are many people from our community who we also want to have rights to reasonable bail and to be given the presumption of innocent until proven guilty and Officer Potter deserves every right to that constitutional protection.

BURNETT: And I do want to ask you about the George Floyd case today. I don't know if, Ben, while you were getting mic'd up, you were hearing the sound that we played a moment ago. But we played the retired medical examiner who testified at the Chauvin trial today and he said that George Floyd died from a sudden heart problem while police were restraining him. He said drugs were among the contributing factors that it was not of the knee on the neck. What do you say to that?

CRUMP: Erin Burnett, I'll say that he has been brought into that courtroom for a specific purpose hired by the defense to be able to distract us, to make us look away, to not focus in on the evidence. But we won't be swayed and I pray the jury won't be swayed. The video is very clear. The only thing that George Floyd died from was an overdose of excessive force. Overdose as his brother, Philonise, says of a knee on the neck.

BURNETT: Yes. That is exactly how Philonise says it. Ben Crump, thank you very much. I appreciate your time as always.

CRUMP: Thank you very much, Erin.

BURNETT: And now Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, former Defense Attorney and Mayor of Baltimore along with Dr. Cyril Wecht, forensic pathologist and attorney.

So Mayor Rawlings-Blake, as a former defense attorney, you just heard the Floyd family attorney Ben Crump reacting to the retired medical examiner's testimony today, where the testimony was Floyd's cause of death had so many factors that it should have been listed as 'undetermined'. Do you think the defense has done enough to raise reasonable doubt with just one juror? Ultimately, that's all they need to do. Did this do that or not?

STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE, FORMER MAYOR OF BALTIMORE: Well, it's true. They only need to raise that reasonable doubt with one juror. But I think that it'd be hard pressed to do it with the witness that they put on the stand today. (Inaudible) prosecutor that put on such strong medical experts and then we have the defense that put on someone who was really shaky and couldn't even answer straight when asked if Chauvin should have given George Floyd medical attention. The best (inaudible), I agree.


So he did not measure up when it comes to credibility, so I think they have a long way to go to reach that one juror.

BURNETT: So Dr. Wecht, for the first time in the trial today, we heard something - we've heard a lot of things come up, where was the knee, when did the knee moved, cause of death, all of these things. But one thing we did not hear until today was a witness suggesting that carbon monoxide poisoning from the police car may have contributed to Floyd's death. So the defense spent more than 25 minutes questioning that retired medical examiner, Dr. Fowler, on this theory, 25 minutes but it boils down to this.


FOWLER: His face was facing towards the vehicle, towards the rear of the vehicle and directly towards the area where you would expect the tailpipe.

ERIC NELSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Is carbon monoxide toxic?

FOWLER: It is an extremely toxic gas.


BURNETT: Doctor, on cross-examination though, Dr. Fowler admitted that Floyd's blood was not tested for carbon monoxide poisoning. So it's kind of hard to imagine where this came from when no one ever took any evidence that would show that it made sense or didn't. I mean, given that doctor, is this something that should be considered or not in your opinion?

DR. CYRIL WECHT, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST AND ATTORNEY: I find that completely ludicrous. Carbon monoxide is produced by something that is burning smoke. To my knowledge, the car was not running. Where he comes up with CO, I don't know. And the fact that the medical examiner certainly never thought about ordering carboxyhemoglobin level, the fact that there was no discoloration of the body described where you get that pinkish red coloration from CO. That is absolutely unbelievable.

And his testimony about the fentanyl and heart disease, obviously, is also quite incomprehensible. George Floyd had a slightly enlarged heart, some degree of arteriosclerosis, nothing at all, highly atypical for a person of his age. He did not have a heart attack. There's no evidence of his complaining of classical type of chest. No findings at autopsy. They did studies microscopically, nothing to indicate evidence of that kind of myocardial ischemia.

With regard to fentanyl, fentanyl is a powerful central nervous system depressant. It does not lead to somebody behaving in an aggressive mobile fashion, verbally. And in terms of motor activity, fentanyl leads to a state of quiescence, of calmness, of tranquility. That's why people take morphine and heroin and fentanyl.

BURNETT: Yes, right.

WECHT: And third, for him to say that fentanyl was involved here, not at all, because the behavioral pattern, the overall scenario is completely in contrast to that which will be expected from someone dying from a drug overdose like fentanyl.

BURNETT: So let me ask you, Mayor Rawlings-Blake about one other - I want to just get asked you a question about the other case, the charges that we now have against the former Officer Kim Potter in the death of Daunte Wright. OK.

So these charges are second-degree manslaughter. Obviously, they could have gone with third degree murder or secondary degree, they could have gone with something more. You heard Ben Crump making the case for why he thought that they should have. They went for second-degree manslaughter. It could still carry a sentence of a decade in prison. But explain for us why you think they went for this charge instead of something more severe.

RAWLINGS-BLAKE: I think we have to remember that they're not precluded from bringing additional charges. I think what they wanted to do today was to make sure that the community knew, that they were not sweeping this under the rug, that they were going to make sure that they addressed what we all saw with our own eyes and that charges would be brought against this officer.

I think it means a lot to the family and the community and I think that the work that needs to be done to bring real reform to this community can start when they know that there will be accountability.

BURNETT: All right. Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Dr. Wecht, thank you both very much.

You're looking, of course, at live pictures of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota right outside the Police Department. You see protesters gathering.

OUTFRONT next, drug and sex field parties attended by Matt Gaetz according to people who were there, women who were there. The big question tonight is did the Congressman do something that involves sex trafficking or sex with a minor?

And some of the biggest vaccine skeptics in the United States are evangelicals. And one Louisiana pastor telling his congregation to avoid the vaccine.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not only I do not encourage it, I discourage it.




BURNETT: Tonight, ecstasy, cocaine, money in exchange for sex. No cell phones allowed. That is just some of what allegedly took place at house parties attended by Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz and his associate Joel Greenberg, according to people who were there, women who were there. Gaetz today also skipping House GOP meeting as he continues to deny any allegations of wrongdoing, including alleged sex trafficking or having sex with an underage girl.

Paula Reid is OUTFRONT.


PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Congressman Matt Gaetz avoided questions from reporters as he was spotted back on the Hill for the first time since news of a federal investigation first broke. CNN is learning more about drug use, sex and payments to women involved in late night parties with Gaetz. CNN spoke directly with two women who attended these parties with the lawmaker and others.

The women told CNN, these parties were held at a house in a gated community in suburban Orlando. The first thing some women were asked to do was put away their cell phones as the high profile men in attendance, often including Congressman Gaetz and other state Republicans did not want the night documented.

CNN has learned that people mingled and shared drugs, including cocaine and ecstasy. One of the women said she saw Congressman Gaetz take a pill she believed was a recreational drug and that he behaved like a frat type of party boy. Some of the people at these parties also had sex.

The Justice Department is investigating whether Congressman Gaetz violated federal sex trafficking and prostitution laws as part of the probe.

CNN has learned money was exchanged after some of these parties.


This comes as a source familiar with the matter tell CNN that Gaetz's his friend Joel Greenberg has been providing law enforcement with information about the congressman's activities since last year.

Greenberg is seeking a plea deal. The former Seminole County, Florida tax collector faces 33 federal charges.

His lawyer Fritz Scheller offered a signal last week his client may be sharing information about the congressman.

FRITZ SCHELLER, ATTORNEY FOR JOEL GREENBERG: I'm sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today.

REID: A source familiar with the case confirms Greenberg told investigators details about he and Gaetz would pay women for sex with cash and gifts, in possible violation of prostitution and sex trafficking laws.

REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): I'm built for the battle and I'm not going anywhere.

REID: Gates is trying to deflect and has previously denied the allegations.

GAETZ: They aren't really coming for me. They are coming for you. I am just in the way.

REID: According to receipts reviewed by CNN, Gaetz and Greenberg use digital payment apps, including Venmo, to send hundreds of dollars to at least one woman who attended these parties. Not the receipts reviewed by CNN report payments that took place between 2018 and 2019, and include at least one indicated in its label, that it was to compensate for travel.

Another woman said she received money from Greenberg, after some of the parties. But she never received a payment directly from Gaetz. Both women we spoke with say they never saw anyone at the parties who appeared to be underage.


REID (on camera): A spokesman for Gaetz declined to comment on the actual substance of our reporting. Matt Gaetz has previously denied ever paying for sex and over the past two weeks, he's tried to frame this investigation which began during the Trump administration as a result of political bias -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Paula, thank you very much.

So let's go to Dave Aronberg, a state attorney for Palm Beach County, former Democratic state senator.

So, let me just ask you day because of him talking to you, you know, throughout this. You've got women now, these parties talking. And we should be clear, a party where money is exchanged for sex in any way, with ecstasy and cocaine. There's a lot of illegal things going on. The question is specifically what Matt Gaetz may be held accountable for.

So, one woman tells CNN she received money after some of these parties, from Greenberg including money for sex. Now, she won't say who she slept with, and she said she didn't receive money directly from Gaetz.

So let me ask you about that, right? If Gaetz made points of always doing -- sending money through someone else like Greenberg, what does that mean? How bad could that ultimately be for Gaetz?


A lot of these allegations are salacious. The drug-fueled parties, the trip to the Bahamas, but for federal prosecutors I don't think it's going to move the needle unless it involves an underage girl, because the big whopper here is child sex trafficking punishable by up to life in prison.

If there is not an underage girl there, to get into the adult sex trafficking, you would need force, fraud or coercion. And there's no allegation that any of those elements are present, it's just a prosecution case the statute of limitations for that is two years in Florida and it's a misdemeanor prosecuted at the local level not by the feds. If someone is transported across the lines for prosecution, then it can be charged under what's called the Mann Act, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. But the problem there, first, you have to be the one to be involved in

the transportation and also, you have to show a direct quid pro quo to something of value change for sex. When you talk about sugar daddy relationships which is alleged here, that's a lot harder to prove a direct quid pro quo. It's a gray area and prosecutors hate gray areas because they lead to --

BURNETT: Yeah. Well, we all remember, of course, the Eliot Spitzer prostitution case, right? There were state lines involving -- back to some of these issues. Of course the most disturbing allegation here against Gaetz is that he may have had sex with a 17-year-old girl.

Now, the two women who spoke to CNN about the parties they were at didn't see anyone who appear to be underage from what they're saying. Gaetz, of course, denies this. He denies paying for sex or having sex with an underage girl. Now whether that's true or not, we'll see if we find out.

But you say even if those two claims are true, he still could be in major league trouble, explain why?

ARONBERG: Sure. Erin, the statute for child sex traffic is so broad that even if he did not have sex with underage girl, even if you didn't pay for sex, you can still be charged and convicted of child sex trafficking, if you are part of the venture with Joel Greenberg. So, if you gave an underage girl drugs to encourage her to have sex with Greenberg, if you picked her up at the airport, drove her to the airport and you paid for the hotel, if you recruited or enticed or in any way to have sex with Joel Greenberg, that's enough under federal law.


BURNETT: Wow, and again, you're saying so that's why it gives you a possible life in prison. But in many of these lesser charges, it will get you at least a decade, I believe, right?

ARONBERG: Well, the Mann Act or transportation of someone for prostitution purposes gets you up to 10 years. This shows you how tough the child sex trafficking statue is. The maximum under the Mann Act is the minimum under the Child Sex Trafficking Act. That's why they call the big whopper, that's why federal prosecutors are focusing on that.

BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much for explaining all of this, on the heels of these new developments.

Next, we're going to go back live to Minnesota. You heard our Adrienne Broaddus on the ground there saying, here on this fourth night of protests, you know, we are early in the night here. She's seeing a different type of crowd gathering, so we're going to see what she sees now. The police officer charged with manslaughter has posted bail, and is out of jail at this moment.

And a quarter of all Americans are evangelicals, okay? Twenty-five percent of Americans are evangelicals and now we are learning, they are among the most likely to refuse a COVID vaccine.


REPORTER: Are you going to get the vaccine?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it starts going into conspiracy type stuff but I believe it's Bill Gates and them trying to kill us.




BURNETT: Breaking news: protesters are gathering in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, for a fourth night after the shooting death of Daunte Wright by a police officer. That now former officer, Kim Potter, has just been released from jail, after posting bail.

Potter was arrested and charged today with second-degree manslaughter, her first court appearance is scheduled for tomorrow.

Adrienne Broaddus is on the ground in Brooklyn Center.

And, Adrienne, you broke the news about Kim Potter being released from jail. Protesters are gathering behind you right now, the mayor has called for calm. I know you've been there obviously these past few nights, it has started calm and, of course, there has been violence and looting as the night has progressed.

You said today that the crowd seems a bit different to you right now. Tell me what you are seeing in who's there?

BROADDUS: Yeah, Erin, the crowd even feels different. This crowd behind me is much younger, and less diverse. I spoke with some of the protesters here, just a short time ago.

I asked the young lady that was in the crowd, why are you here, are you planning to stay here past the curfew? Remember, the curfew was extended from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. She told me she's here because she wants to hear from the officers, that young woman a 24-year-old, she identified herself as a 24-year-old from Brooklyn Center. She's a white, woman but she's right at the front of the line.

And earlier, about 15 minutes ago she was leading this group of protesters in a chant, saying no justice, no peace. They were saying Daunte Wright's name. She broke out in a chant that said "make it make sense".

She started that chant after asked her why she is here in the snow and rain. Meanwhile, I can tell you after living in the city, the Twin Cities, for seven years, I have not seen any of the community that I know the communities leader tonight, the community leaders to have been in conversation with the mayor, they haven't been here, they aren't here right now. We heard from the mayor earlier who pleaded with protesters, saying to them, your voice has been heard, you demanded justice and today charges were filed against the officer who spent a great deal of time building her career here at this police department. The mayor also noted that members of law enforcement are working to identify what he calls, agitators.

And we all know those agitators are saw with my own eyes here in the Twin Cities following the death of George Floyd -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Adrienne, thank you very much.

As you can see, Adrienne speaking. You see our aerials here of the police arrayed in front of the police station. Protesters gathering, of course, right nearby where Adrienne is standing, reporting to you.

So, we'll continue to watch this night given her reporting, that it is differ than what she had seen the past few nights. We'll see what that means.

OUTFRONT next, COVID vaccine resistance coming from some evangelical churches across America. So, why? Specifically why are they refusing the vaccine? Wait until you see this incredible report.

And senior military officials telling the president not to get out of Afghanistan. But Biden is going his own way, why?



BURNETT: Tonight, a CDC advisory committee holding an emergency meeting on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause. The meeting that ended without a final decision on went to recommend lifting it. This is concerns going whether the pause could fuel more vaccine hesitancy.

All right, so this is the context, right, around the new poll, which actually was conducted even before the J&J announcement. It shows one in five Americans, translation 20 percent, say they will never get vaccinated.

That could put you right at that line of herd immunity. You are already there. That is a big slice of that group who are skeptics.

They happen to be evangelicals.

Our Elle Reeve is OUTFRONT with one pastor's mission against the vaccine. You've got to see this.


TONY SPELL, PASTOR, LIFE TARBERNACLE CHURCH: The anti-mask and anti- vaccine. This anti-government, then I'm proud to be anti-government.

ELLE REEVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As more and more Americans are getting vaccinated, resistance remains strong within one group in particular, white evangelicals.

SPELL: Hallelujah to Jesus.

REEVE: This has and it is driven by a distrust in government, misinformation and political identity. This is not a fringe group. A quarter of Americans are evangelical.

SPELL: You do not give me my rights, sir.

I would rather die free than I had lived on my knees.

REEVE: How is it living on your knees to take a vaccine?

SPELL: Because you're bowing against your convictions.

REEVE: Pentecostal pastor Tony Spell has made a national name for himself, resisting COVID-19 rules in Baton Rouge. He live-streamed himself going under house arrest last week, for refusing to close his church during lockdown.

Well, a survey of evangelical leaders finds most would be open to getting the vaccine, Spell is adamantly against it.

If you broke your arm or something, would you go to the doctor?

SPELL: Sure, I'd go to the doctor, and get it set and wear cast.

REEVE: So, like at some level, you trust some doctors?

SPELL: Yes, we do.

REEVE: So, can you just explain where the line is?

SPELL: The line is in this vaccine. Number one, the virus has been a scam from the beginning. It has always been politically motivated from mail-in ballots and voter ID. That's what has got a new administration in the White House today.

REEVE: White evangelical Christians are more likely than other religious groups, to believe in certain conspiracy theories. Like that Trump won the 2020 election or the QAnon theories.

According to a study by the conservative American Enterprise Institute, the conspiracies about the COVID-19 vaccine can affect everyone else, because public health experts have told us around 70 percent of the population needs to get the vaccine to reach herd immunity. And 28 percent of white evangelical Christians, say they definitely won't get, with another 6 percent saying that they'll only get it if forced.

SPELL: You had 99.6 survival rate, why do you want somebody to contaminate your bloodstream with something that may or may not hurt you?

SAMUEL PERRY, SOCIOLOGIST OF RELIGION, UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA: There is a tendency within white Christian nationalism, to want to believe these kinds of conspiracies. I think it reinforces this idea of an "us versus them".

The problem is the people who are feeding that fear have an incentive to keep stoking that fear, because people keep clicking and people keep listening.

REEVE: Is the appeal of your sermon that the pandemic is scary, the virus is scary and so you are telling scared people that you don't have to worry about any of that stuff?


Like come to my church and God will make sure that you don't get this virus?

SPELL: Yes, I promoted that.

REEVE: Why are you giving them false hope?

SPELL: That's not false hope.

REEVE: Why not?

SPELL: What's false is our lying politicians.

REEVE: Several people told us that they started coming here after they saw Spell on the news for keeping his church open and liked his message.

JEFF JACKSON, LIFE TABERNACLE CHURCH PARISHIONER: I was worried about not going to church and going back down the whole of drugs.

The aim for this whole shut down was the church, because we are the radical right. We don't believe in game marriage, we don't believe in abortion, all of that.

REEVE: Are you going to get the vaccine?


REEVE: It's detrimental to your health. It starts going into conspiracy. But I do, I believe that it is Bill Gates and them trying to kill us.

JACOB MCMORRIS, LIFE TABERNACLE CHURCH PARISHIONER: I feel like, I know that it works medically but when you put something in you to help you stop from getting it, you know, that just -- that just doesn't work for me. I've never liked the idea of that.

PATRICIA SEAL, LIFE TABERNACLE CHURCH PARISHIONER: Donald Trump, I love him to death. I would vote for him again. But when he was talking about getting the shot, I said, you can have it all you want, I don't want it.

REEVE: Are you going to get the vaccine?


WILLIAMS: This is my first one, I have to go back and do the second one. Yeah, I've got the vaccine.

REEVE: OK, good.

WILLIAMS: That's right.

SPELL: There is a group today that will apologize for being Americans.

REEVE: Spell preaches conservative politics, but his congregation isn't usually diverse compared to typical Christian churches, in part, because he buses in people from all over town.

One reason why I think it's interesting, these two positions you have, the importance of desegregation and your opposition to the vaccine is that many of the people you minister to, which is admirable, are poor people of color.


REEVE: Well, those people tend to be most at risk for COVID. So, why not encourage them to take the medicine that will protect them?

SPELL: I not only don't encouraged, I discouraged. I don't know anybody in my church black, brown, El Salvadoran, Honduran, Mexican who had the virus, and with thousands and thousand and thousands --

REEVE: Your father said he had the virus. Your father and mother told me they had the virus.

SPELL: Yes, and that's all right. Maybe we had it and maybe we got.

REEVE: They also said your very grandfather got a vaccine.

SPELL: And I'm opposed to that, I did not promote that. I think he was foolish for taking the vaccine.

PERRY: Christian leaders on the right, people like Tony Spell, have really bought into this idea that if I continue to sow this narrative, where people feel victimized and fearful and angry, then I can continue to build my audience. I've built my own credibility, in this group of people that says, yeah, everybody else is untrustworthy but you.

REEVE: I just don't understand why you can't say like, the church was essential. It is so important for so many people.

SPELL: The church, the church is essential.

REEVE: But, what a miracle that we have these vaccines that would allow people to celebrate more safely.

SPELL: Never will say that. There is no backing up.

REEVE: It just feels like you're taking a political position.

SPELL: It's not political at all. I'm not a politician, I'm a prophet.


BURNETT: Elle, just an incredible report. Just right there, you know, it's not political at all, I'm not a politician I'm profit.

You know, Elle, just a conversation that you had with him is just incredible to watch. And you were able to have a conversation, right? And we saw clips of it, you are trying to reason with him. I'm sure that you felt that you even wanted to hear what he had to say but obviously you are trying to breakthrough.

And, obviously, he met with him credible resistance. What we're all of those conversations like being in that room with pastor spell?

REEVE: Well, he was very nice to me, and so were the members of his church. And the more I talk to them, the more I realized that it is not about reason, logic, statistics. It's about asking them to trust an authority. They haven't trusted that authority, the government, for decades. So, we're up against decades and decades of culture.

The kids -- the members of the church were very afraid that we would say that they were stupid. They're not stupid, they just have bad information and the leader they do trust is not doing anything to change that.

BURNETT: So, what was your feeling about him? Right? I mean, what was your feeling about him?

REEVE: Well, to be honest, it was mixed. We watched him drive in buses and buses of people who obviously were down on their luck. They didn't have a lot of money. People talked to us about hitchhiking from Houston to go to this church.

So, it was very clear that it provides a real service to people who really need it. But at the same time, he is putting them at a huge amount of risk.

BURNETT: Yeah, well, Elle, it's an incredible report. Thank you very much and thank you for enabling all of us to see that and experience that with you.


Thank you.

REEVE: Thanks.

BURNETT: And next, the president pulling troops out of Afghanistan, but he's going against the advice of some of his most senior military leaders. So, what's behind Biden's decision?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BURNETT: Tonight, President Biden going against advice of some of his most senior Pentagon and State Department officials, announcing the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11th, ending America's longest running war. Biden saying he will not leave this matter to another president.


JOSEPH R. BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm now the fourth United States president to preside over American troop presidents in Afghanistan, two Republicans, two Democrats. I will not pass this responsibility on to a fifth. It's time for American troops to come home.


BURNETT: Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT.

And, Kaitlan, Biden going ahead with this controversial decision against the advice of national security officials and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, right? They just don't think that this is the right thing to do. He's doing it anyway.

What more are you learning about why?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think it's also the way he's doing it, with some of that pushback that you saw happening. We heard that was happening behind the scenes in recent months, as President Biden was trying to decide what to do because of course, he is facing that May 1 deadline that was set by former President Trump. He talked about it today, he didn't like how that deal was negotiated.

But he also did not want to walk away from an agreement, that the U.S. had put its name on he said. So, as these discussions were going on, we are told that they have a few members of his national security team that were voicing concerns about a full drawdown of troops by September 11th, which, of course, is what he committed to it today, some of that was from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley. Another is a leader of CentCom, Central Command, General Frank McKenzie.

They were not in favor, we are told in addition to a few others in a full drawdown, which, of course, does not have any strings attached to it. The political conditions on the ground are something that you have seen kind of trip up some other past presidents. And that is something that President Biden talked about today. Saying, he did not want to pass it on to a fifth, as you just heard him say there.

But he felt like every president wanted to get out of Afghanistan. None wanted to stay there forever, but they also made the decision that now is to have the right time.

And we should note that he did say today, he called former President Bush yesterday to let him know if his decision, and we've also found out that he also called on President Obama as well, Erin. All right. Thank you very much, Kaitlan.

And thanks very much all of you.

Anderson starts now.