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Erin Burnett Outfront

Justice Department Launches Sweeping Probe Into Minneapolis Policing After Chauvin Convicted On All Counts In Floyd's Death; Derek Chauvin In Isolated Prison Unit As He Awaits Sentencing, Faces Up To 40 Years In Prison; Interview With Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY); Police Chief: Fatal Police Shooting Of Black Teen "A Tragedy"; Georgia Faith Leaders Urge Home Depot Boycott Over Voting Law. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired April 21, 2021 - 19:00   ET



WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: I'm Wolf Blitzer. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, Derek Chauvin in isolation tonight as the Department of Justice investigates the Minneapolis Police Department. Will Floyd's death and Chauvin's guilty verdict lead to change?

And disturbing new video tonight of an officer fatally shooting a black 16-year-old girl in Ohio. The teen appearing to brandish a knife, lunging at another young woman just moments before she was shot.

Plus, President Biden touting 200 million COVID shots since he took office. That's more than a third of U.S. adults, but the hard work is just beginning. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, behind bars and isolated. Former Officer Derek Chauvin is now being kept away from other inmates at Minnesota's only maximum-security prison. According to officials, this is being done for Chauvin's safety after he was found guilty of murdering George Floyd.

This is an example of the cell that Chauvin is in. It's got nothing more than a bench with a mattress pad, a toilet and a sink. There's also reportedly a camera monitoring his movements and corrections officer said to be checking on him every half hour.

Chauvin is facing between 12 and a half to 40 years behind bars when he's sentenced. And now the nation's attention turns to these three men. These are the officers who responded to the call with Chauvin. All three have been charged with aiding and abetting him on the day Floyd died.

Now, their actions are in part why there is now a federal investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department. Attorney General Merrick Garland announcing today the DOJ will investigate whether the city's officers are violating civil rights. And this is the fourth investigation into this police agency as the White House says President Biden is now preparing to use his joint session of Congress to pressure Congress to act and prevent such deaths in the future.

And this push comes to the top Republicans says there may be room for compromise in the Senate after the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act did pass the House. More on that in a moment. But I want to go first to Sara Sidner. She's OUTFRONT live in Minneapolis. Obviously, you know she has been covering this story from the beginning.

And Sara, you have more on what Chauvin is facing tonight as well as the next legal steps from here?

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So Derek Chauvin is being held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, that other hour he is allowed out to exercise. That is partly because of the high profile nature of this case and because he's a former police officer and everyone in the prison system in this only maximum-security prison in the state, they know his story.

And so for his safety, they are keeping him separate from the general population. He's 45 years old. He is, again, going to be about an hour from here, 45 minutes from here in a suburb of St. Paul that is where this maximum-security prison is.

We do also know that the Judge has said that sentencing will be in the next eight weeks, so we expect to hear something from the courts as to whether or not he will be given the maximum sentence or not. We will all have to wait and see about that.

But certainly, Chauvin now is in a position where he has to reflect on what he has now been charged with and found guilty of second degree murder, third degree murder and manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd, Erin.

BURNETT: So, Sara, let me just ask you and we're going to be joined by a Floyd family lawyer later this hour. But obviously, the range on sentencing here is very broad, 12 and a half years to 40 years. And the prosecution has alleged that there are aggravating factors, that they said George Floyd was vulnerable, that the violence here was excessive. That should that should push the judge towards the higher end of that.

But the judge has to decide this, so is there any more information that will go into the judge at this point or is this just sort of a - he has to mull it over until we find out in eight weeks?

SIDNER: If I remember this correctly, during court, the judge talked about the Blakely rule. And he said that basically, look, you submit what you will to the court both the attorney for prosecution and the defense attorney, and they were going to submit items to the court, letters to the court as to what they think the court should do in this case.

This could also by the way, Chauvin could have had a jury for this particular part of the case, looking at aggravating or mitigating factors and he declines to have a jury and wanted if he was going to be guilty. This is before the verdict was read and wanted the judge to be the decider of this. And so he will get information from the attorneys and he will mow it over.


He has obviously been there throughout this whole case. The Judge has been very stoic. He has been very clear with the jury and with everyone in the court. He doesn't let anyone get away with anything that he thinks is inappropriate. He obviously taking this extremely seriously.

And so he will look over what is submitted to him by both sides of this case and make his decision. One that, like you said, could be 12 or 40 years depending on what he thinks is appropriate, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Sara. Sara Sidner there in Minneapolis tonight.

And OUTFRONT now Democratic Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. He's Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and a member of the House Judiciary Committee and I appreciate you're being with me, Chair. So let me just ask you where we go from here. Chauvin is convicted. We don't know the sentence. We, obviously, don't know what happens to the other officers. What needs to happen now from where you sit in order for there to be real change going forward?

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY): Well, people all throughout America stood up, spoke up, showed up in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd throughout the streets of this country. Young people of every race in a way that was multicultural, multi-generational actually as it emerged and was just a phenomenal thing to see.

There were two things that folks were demanding, appropriately. One; accountability for the death of George Floyd. And the verdict, I think, delivers a significant measure of accountability. Now, we've got to see what happens with three other officers who should have intervened and did not.

But they also demanded that we change policing in a fundamental way, so that there is a respectful, dignified, humane relationship between law enforcement and communities of color. And that's really what we have to work on right now and that is what the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is all about.

BURNETT: So let me ask you about the bill that your colleagues, Republican Senator Tim Scott has been working on with the Democratic Senator Cory Booker. It's a police reform bill. One major sticking point has been this issue of qualified immunity for police, which makes it harder for victims to file lawsuits against officers.

And Democrats wanted to get rid of that, Republicans say that if you get rid of it, it's going to prevent people from serving as police officers, because people will want to say, well, I'm scared to do my job because I'm going to get sued. So today, Sen. Scott said he's proposing shifting the burden of

responsibility from individual police officers to police departments, so it's a compromise of sorts. Is it enough? Do you think that this will work that this will solve both sides and get this bill through?

JEFFRIES: I have not seen the particular language yet that Sen. Scott is floating or talk to Congresswoman Karen Bass or members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congresswoman Bass has done a phenomenal job of leading the effort here in the House of Representatives.


JEFFRIES: We are committed to getting something done, but it has to ensure that there will be accountability for rogue police officers who crossed the line moving forward, both on the criminal side and on the civil side. And perhaps most importantly is that we stop these tragedies from happening to begin with.

Now, that's going to be an important part of the legislation that we ultimately hopefully agree upon and send to President Biden's desk. And so there are certain things that need to be in that. We have to criminalize the chokehold and other types of tactics such as the knee to the neck. I think we're going to do that.

We have to change the standard for use of force and make one that is put into place nationally, so that the use of deadly force as a matter of last resort and de-escalation tactics are required in the first instance. That's something that I think we can do.

We need a national database so that rogue police officers who've been brutal, who've been violent, who've engaged in the excessive use of force can't just jump from one police department to another police department without any visibility into that officers prior behavior.

That's what happened in Tamir Rice case where you had an officer who was fired for bad actions, but hired without any visibility by that Cleveland PD.

BURNETT: Yes. It may surprise people. I think they don't realize in so many places chokeholds already are against the rules. But as you point out, it's a checkerboard across this country.

So yesterday, Democrats in the House voted down an effort by the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to censure Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters over her comments about the Chauvin trial right. She said that this was first-degree murder, which, of course, was not even a charge.


And she said that if there wasn't a guilty verdict that 'we've got to get more confrontational when she was asked what people should do on the streets'.

So just putting aside the politics for a moment, if I can, Congressman, the Judge in the Chauvin trial said that Waters' words could be used as grounds to appeal and overturn the Chauvin verdict. So you're the Judiciary Committee, you're a lawyer. How upsetting is it to you that a member of your party could theoretically be responsible for something like that?

JEFFRIES: That was an incredibly inappropriate statement by the Judge. And I was actually shocked that he said it, because there was nothing that Congresswoman Waters said that was out of bounds or inappropriate. In fact, she was leaning in to language that had been used by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he talked about the importance of confrontation and it was men non-violent direct action to confront bigotry, hatred and injustice.

And that was the spirit of what Chairwoman Waters was saying. And she, in fact, clarified and made that clear thereafter. And so I was a little surprised that the Judge saw fit to both deny appropriately the motion for a mistrial, but then characterized her remarks.

BURNETT: So I think it's interesting what you're saying, the context is really important. Just one point, you do think it's appropriate that she came out and said not as a member of the jury, but as an elected person that she thinks it's first-degree murder?

JEFFRIES: Well, I didn't hear that comment being made. I think that the jury found that murder took place and that when you have a knee to someone's neck in that fashion, when the individual was handcuffs not resisting, the people who had gathered are basically saying you're going to kill this individual, George Floyd, and the officer continued in such a cold-blooded fashion. Yes, that's murder.

Now, the jury found it's second-degree murder and third-degree murder, and those were the charges. But I don't think that's inconsistent with the spirit of what Chairwoman Waters was trying to say. And again, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle really have no moral standing to criticize anything that any of us have to say when we err on the side of trying to elevate and lift up the principles of equal protection under the law, liberty and justice for all.

While at the same time, they are fanning the flames of hatred continuing to perpetrate the big lie, which is what fueled the violent insurrection and attack on the Capitol.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Chairman Jeffries. I appreciate your time.

JEFFRIES: Thank you so much, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. And OUTFRONT now, Kamau Bell, Host of CNN's "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA." Kamau, I'm glad to talk to you. So you heard Congressman Jeffries who says they're committed to getting something done in Congress. Obviously, they tried last summer after George Floyd was killed. It didn't happen. Now, obviously, you have this verdict. You have momentum, but we'll see.

Do you see real change coming from Congress? I mean, real specific change coming from Congress anytime soon? W. KAMAU BELL, CNN HOST, UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA: I mean, it's not

breaking news that Congress is a mess and that Congress still hasn't confronted its members about what happened on January 6th and how members excuse that and continue to excuse that.

So I don't think we have to - we look to Congress for change. I think we have to look to each other for change. I think we all have to - the reason why Derek Chauvin ended up serving trial was because the people came together and said this was wrong, because the young woman recorded Derek Chauvin killing George Floyd.

It is not about looking to Congress. I think we have to put pressure on them so they will do the right thing, but we can't sit back and hope they do the right thing.

BURNETT: All right. So I thought last night, obviously, what the President and Vice President said was very powerful, both of them. And I wanted to play something specifically that Vice President Harris said to you, Kamau. Here she is.


KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Black Americans - and Black men, in particular - have been treated, throughout the course of our history, as less than human.

Black men are fathers and brothers and sons and uncles and grandfathers and friends and neighbors. Their lives must be valued in our education system, in our healthcare system, in our housing system, in our economic system, in our criminal justice system, in our nation. Full stop.


BURNETT: So she listed their lives must be valued, education, health care, housing, economic, criminal justice.


Obviously, she chose her words very carefully. She put criminal justice as one part. In fact, she listed it last. I think to make a point of all the other important things that have to be addressed here that right now on the narrow conversation, frankly, aren't. And again, I'd make the point, the narrow conversation. But to you, Kamau, are our elected leaders focused enough on these other issues?

BELL: Well, I appreciate what she said. I don't know if she realized it, but she basically made the defund the police argument right there. The fact is, is that police take up too much of city's budgets and if you take some of the money away from police, you can spread it out to the education system, to the foster care system, to all of the other systems and social services in the cities that would do a better job of protecting people and not pushing people towards criminality than the criminal justice system is doing.

So I think that's what we have to talk about. If either what we're saying in this country right now is that this is how we want policing to work or we're saying the system is broken. If the system is broken, then it means we have to tear it down and rebuild it completely.

And we have to admit the fact that policing in this country came from slave catching. It came from policing black bodies, black men and black women. And that's what the whole thing is built on and it is still doing that to this day.

BURNETT: So do you see the Chauvin trial as a turning point or are you concerned that it's a one off because it was so egregious and so clear to anyone who saw?

BELL: Well, I guess I'm getting old because I'm old enough to remember when we thought we had seen things change before. I lived through Rodney King. I lived through O.J. Simpson. We thought things were going to change last summer when George Floyd was just killed, forget the trial, just the murder and many black people been killed since then, several in the last 24 hours. So we cannot look at that as being some sort of like sea change until the sea actually changes.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Kamau, thank you very much.

And I want everyone to know, Kamau's amazing docu series, again, this new season premiere of "UNITED STATES SHADES OF AMERICA" on May 2nd and Kamau focusing on this very, very topic, policing in America. You can't miss a single one of his things and certainly you can't miss that one.

And next, graphic new body cam video of the deadly police shooting of a teenage girl, Kamau referencing this. She appears to be holding a knife and lunging at another girl.

Plus, the three other officers at the scene of George Floyd's arrest will have their day in court next. So will they be held accountable or not?

And faith leaders in Georgia calling for a boycott of Home Depot. One of the State's largest employers, because the company has not spoken out against Georgia's new voting law. Atlanta's Mayor responds.



BURNETT: Tonight, new video of the fatal police shooting of a black teen in Columbus, Ohio. Police say 16-year-old, Ma'Khia Bryant, was shot and killed by an officer after she apparently armed with a knife lunges at another girl after attempting to attack another one. So attempt to attack one and then was turning to lunge at the other.

The new footage includes video from the body cameras of other responding officers, so you can see multiple angles over time. So you're going to get all of this, I do want to warn you though that the video that you will see is of course very disturbing. Jason Carroll is OUTFRONT.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, what's going on? Hey, what's going on? Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey. Get down. Get down. Get down. Get down.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It all happened in seconds. A police officer opens fire shooting and killing 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant as police say she lunged at someone with a knife. The chaotic moments before the shooting captured by the officer's body camera. Tonight, the city of Columbus releasing two 911 calls that prompted their response Tuesday afternoon.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ma'am, you need to talk to me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We got - it's these grown girls over here trying to fight us. Trying to stab us. Trying to put her hands on our grandma. Get here now.


CARROLL (voice over): City officials also released extended body camera footage from the officer who shot Bryant, Columbus Police identified as Nicholas Reardon. As seen on his body cam video when Reardon arrives, he quickly gets out of his patrol car and runs toward a group in the driveway of a home. That's when Ma'Khia Bryant moves toward another person appearing to push her to the ground.

Reardon can be heard shouting to get down and that's when the girl appears to lunge at another female in pink. The officer shouts to get down several times and fires his gun, four shots can be heard on the tape.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You shot my baby.



CARROLL (voice over): Police released this slowed down version of the body camera footage as well. It shows what appears to be a knife in Bryant's hand as she raises it above her head toward the person wearing pink. After the shooting, the female in pink who Bryant appears to lunge towards spoke to officers.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's why the police did it. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That lady on the floor?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because she came after me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With the knife?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. So she - so he got her.

MAYOR ANDREW GINTHER, (D) COLUMBUS, OHIO: Bottom line, did Ma'Khia Bryant need to die yesterday? How did we get here? This is a failure on part of our community. Some are guilty, but all of us are responsible.


CARROLL (voice over): Franklin County Children's services says Bryant was in foster care in the county. Her mother, Paula Bryant, spoke to TV station, WBNS.


PAULA BRYANT, MA'KHIA BRYANT'S MOTHER: She was a very loving, peaceful little girl. She promoted peace.


CROWD: Bryant. Bryant.


CROWD: Bryant. Bryant.


CROWD: Bryant. Bryant.


CARROLL (voice over): Protesters took to the streets in Columbus Tuesday night to voice their outrage.

The city's Interim Police Chief promising a thorough investigation is being conducted.


MICHAEL WOODS, INTERIM POLICE CHIEF, CITY OF COLUMBUS: Regardless of the circumstances associated with this, a 16-year-old girl lost her life yesterday. I sure as hell wish it hadn't happened.



CARROLL (on camera): And Erin, tonight there have been a lot of questions about whether or not that officer should have used a taser rather than his gun. In fact, police were asked about that late today. They say according to their policy, an officer is allowed to use 'deadly force' to stop an assault from taking place.


Of course, this will all be part of the investigation and independent investigation is now underway. That Officer in question has been taken off street duty pending the outcome of that investigation. Meanwhile, there's going to be a vigil for the Bryant family. That's going to be taking place any minute from now, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Jason, thank you very much on the ground in Columbus. I want to go now to the former Detroit Police Chief, Isaiah McKinnon. Chief McKinnon, thank you for being back with me. I'm sorry it is under the circumstances here we are looking at another death of a human being on tape. And I do want to show you to understand, I think as the Mayor was saying, everyone is accountable, some are guilty.

Let me show a slowed down version of the video and just give you a chance, I know you've had a chance to watch it. What's your reaction to it?

ISAIAH MCKINNON, FORMER DETROIT POLICE CHIEF: Oh, Erin, police officers are sworn to protect all lives, in particularly when they see an extremely dangerous or possible imminent threat to themselves, their partners or someone else. And this is one of those situations where you're damned if you do, you're damned if you don't.

Now, I would have handled it this way and I say this in terms of judgment, good judgment, because the officer who shot, he could have shot the other person too, there were four shots that have been fired. And they're also taught to use extreme caution when you are firing.

Again, we don't know what was in that officer's mind in terms of why he took the shots. Obviously, when I mentioned to you about the extreme danger, the imminent threat, maybe that's what he thought. But the reality is that when situation like that occurs, you have to consider all of the possibilities, what happens if both women or girls are shot. They both are dead.


MCKINNON: It's a very difficult situation.

BURNETT: Yes, very difficult. And, of course, as you point out, we don't know what he was thinking and I think one thing we do know from this, it all transpired in seconds. But obviously, perhaps he saw she had - someone was pushed, being kicked that potentially he thought had been stabbed. The next person was going to be stabbed, that he was saving somebody, right? I mean, I understand that as well.

Let me just ask you one thing, because you do point out, obviously, the four shots. It appears the officer had a taser as well. So what do you think about that? Is there any reason why he should have reached for the taser? I know you said that you're authorized to use deadly force if you

think someone's life is in danger, which indeed, it's very clear that it seems he thought. However, would you have used the taser instead?

MCKINNON: Well, again, I wouldn't have shot. What I would have done is I would have tried to tackle the young woman or something even though she had the knife in her hand. Because once you make that decision to shoot, you can't pull that that bullet back.

The taser, if you hit that person and you stop them, yes. But you have that split second situation in which the officer made that decision to shoot and in essence there are multiple people that were in danger.

Think about what would happened, Erin, if the other young lady had been killed also. So this is the common sense to get judgment. Again, I'm not there. I mean, I feel sorry for everyone that's involved in this. But the reality is that this is a very, very difficult situation.

BURNETT: Right. Right. And I think one thing I'm hearing from your chief is that as we talk about all of these reforms and things that need to happen, you do have to realize that people are making split decisions in instantaneous moments and trying to do the right thing. They're trying to do the right thing.

Now, let me let me just ask you about then what basketball superstar LeBron James said. He addressed the shooting and I want to point out he has now deleted this tweet. He felt that that was appropriate. But he originally wrote, "Your next accountability." And he put that with an image of an officer at the scene of Ma'Khia Bryant's shooting.

Now, we are not showing that officer because we haven't confirmed the identity, but that was the tweet. We've reached out to James for comment. In the environment we're in, Chief, do these sorts of tweets and comments from people with great authority, in the case of LeBron James or elected officials or whomever it may be, do they concern you?

MCKINNON: Well, it always concerns me when someone makes something that might lead to even more turmoil. Look, I'm assuming that LeBron James probably is thinking of what happened yesterday in terms of the trial and being found guilty and saying the same thing might happen to this officer. However, we have to look at everything in its entirety.


We look at what this officer was doing, probably assuming that he was saving or protecting the life of one person but he took a life of another person.

So, when we making those kinds of statements of judgments, let's consider everything that's involved. As I said to you before, I would not have done that, but again that's me. Maybe I could have saved the one, maybe what -- maybe I would -- I got -- I've been shot eight times in my career, I was stabbed twice. And I chose to use a different approach and these kinds of situations that some people who shots. But so much, Erin, has to go with the kind of people that we recruit

into law enforcement, and what's in the back of their minds.

BURNETT: Yes. So well said, thank you very much, Chief. I appreciate it as always.

MCKINNON: Thank you so much, Erin.

BURNETT: And, next, Derek Chauvin facing up to 40 years in prison, the sidelines for first offenders could mean a lot less. So, realistically, what is Chauvin looking?

And Atlanta's mayor, she's the DNC vice chair in charge of voting protection. So, what's her reaction to a proposed boycott of Atlanta- based Home Depot? Because Home Depot has not opposed Georgia's new voting law.



BURNETT: New tonight, the max. George Floyd's brother Philonise just telling our own Wolf Blitzer that that is the only sentence he wants to see for Derek Chauvin after Chauvin was convicted of all three charges in Floyd's death.


PHILONISE FLOYD, BROTHER OF GEORGE FLOYD: Totally, the max. You know, I think the max is, he did the maximum killing to my brother when you put his knee on my neck -- his neck, for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. I love my brother, I can never get him back. And my brother is doing his time in the ground now. So, he need to do his time in a cell.


BURNETT: This as all eyes turn to the three former police officers who were with Chauvin the day Floyd was killed, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Keung and Tou Thao will go on trial together in August.

OUTFRONT now, Tony Romanucci. He is an attorney for George Floyd's family, as well as the family of Daunte Wright.

I appreciate you being back with me, Tony.

So any sentence for Chauvin as I understand, the three charges will be served concurrently. So at the same time, so that would mean that you're looking at the range here of the most serious charge which was second-degree unintentional murder. The maximum sentence for that is 40 years, but the presumptive sentence in Minnesota actually is only twelve and a half years. Philonise Floyd as you heard, of course, says the only appropriate sentence is the max.

What do you think is realistic?

ANTHONY ROMANUCCI, ATTORNEY FOR THE FAMILIES OF GEORGE FLOYD AND DAUNTE WRIGHT: Well, certainly we know this, if you notice sort of the end of the trial that the judge went through something with Derek Chauvin, or Derek Chauvin waived his Blakely right. That's because there's aggravated circumstances here, and Derek Chauvin told the judge that he wants him to listen to the aggravated circumstances.

So, certainly, we know that he committed a crime in front of children. That is an aggravated circumstance. So, it's to be determined what the maximum amount will be for Derek Chauvin.

And hopefully, it is the max. He committed a murder. We can call it that now. He didn't think it was going to commit a murder before he arrived on the scene, but once he was on the scene, it was intentional. He knew he was killing George.

So, certainly we want to see the maximum sentence.

BURNETT: So, I mentioned to you, Tony, that the other three officers, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Keung and Tou Thao will all go on trial together in August. They faced two charges of aiding and abetting, one for second-degree and one for second degree manslaughter.

So what do you think Chauvin's verdict means for them?

ROMANUCCI: Well, it can't look good for them, because we know that they played as much as a role in this murder as Derek Chauvin, they're being charged with the murder also. And that failing to intervene, that's a serious charge, you know? They knew that Derek Chauvin was killing George, and they didn't do anything to stop it.

So, I mean, if I were those dependants, I'd be concerned. I certainly, you know, going to leave it up to the defense attorneys to do what's best, but I would have serious concerns about a trial on this case.

BURNETT: All right. So, let me ask you about Daunte Wright, the 20- year-old black man who was shot and killed after being pulled over by police in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. And I know tomorrow is his funeral. And, obviously, you're representing his family.

But, now, former Officer Kim Potter has been charged with second degree manslaughter, right, says that she mistook her gun for a Taser. And indeed, you hear her screaming for a Taser, then distressed after when she realizes the horror that has just occurred.

So do you see these cases as the same? What I'm getting at, Tony, is should people be thinking that Chauvin's verdict means something specifically for the Daunte Wright case?

ROMANUCCI: What the Floyd verdict means for Daunte Wright is this, Erin, that there is now accountability for police officers actions. They cannot act with impunity, any longer. Whether it being that Minnesota or California, New York or Florida, or my home state of Illinois, nowhere should police officers feel they can act with impunity, they will be held accountable.

So that's where the cases are similar. Police officers should be held accountable, for their actions whether they're intentional or whether they're criminally negligent actions, such as the involuntary manslaughter. That's where they're the same.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Tony, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

ROMANUCCI: Thank you, Erin. Goodnight.

BURNETT: All right. Goodnight.

And next, Home Depot, one of the largest employers in the state of Georgia.


And now, a major call for a boycott against Home Depot for the company's silence on the state's new voting law. Is this the right move?

Atlanta mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, responds next.

Plus, the DOJ is investigating the Minneapolis Police Department, and one thing they could look at is why the initial police report said George Floyd died of a medical emergency. That's what it said. That was put out there, that he died of a medical emergency. We'd know otherwise if there weren't that video, thanks to that brave bystander.


BURNETT: Tonight, faith leaders in Georgia calling for a boycott of Home Depot, which is based in the state, because the company hasn't spoken out against a new Georgia law that restricts voting access. It comes as progressive activists demand that major companies like Ford, Target, Google cut ties with the U.S. Chamber of Congress over its opposition to a congressional Democrats tipping voting legislation.

OUTFRONT now, the Democratic mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms.

And, Mayor, I really appreciate your time.

So, Home Depot, you know, this is -- this is not -- this is not small fish, one of the largest employers in Atlanta, 16,000 people in your metro area, 30,000 Georgians statewide, according to the numbers we got from the Chamber of Commerce and "The Atlanta Journal Constitution".

So, a boycott of Home Depot could impact a lot of Georgians. What is your reaction to the boycott?

MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D), ATLANTA: So, in full disclosure, Erin, my family would be one of those families impacted, as my husband works at Home Depot.


So, I have some very personal feelings about not just a boycott of Home Depot, but any number of companies that are headquartered in the state. We have almost 30 Fortune 500 companies in Georgia. And what I've have said is when you are impacting families, and specifically the metropolitan Atlanta area which is a third or tenth --


BURNETT: OK. It's not just, me sorry, everyone. Give me a second. I'm not sure if that was me not hearing her. Give us a second. What do we think? Do we think we will hear the mayor?

All right, bear with me, everyone. This is live television in the time of COVID. We are working on it.

And I do want to say as we wait here, so you know, Mayor Lance Bottoms is saying her husband is a longtime employee at Home Depot's corporate headquarters. Her point of view on this has been very consistent, though, since the beginning.

OK. We're going to -- we're going to take a break, because I don't want to waste the time. Yes, Sean? Okay. Okay.

So, we will take a brief break, we will come back on the other side because I don't want to waste the time. We will come right back with the mayor.


BURNETT: OK. Here we are. I'm back. Mayor Lance Bottoms is back. We have -- we have worked out.

And, Mayor, you were just talking -- obviously, we're talking about 30,000 people in the state of Georgia employed at Home Depot, right? They've been silent on the voting bill. But you were saying that your husband is a longtime employee of Home Depot. Your family is one of those that would be impacted by a potential boycott.

BOTTOMS: Yes. And that's -- that's absolutely right. And the larger picture is this, Erin, the metropolitan Atlanta area is the 10th largest economy in the country. And my concern with a boycott, not just at Home Depot, but in any of the almost 30 Fortune 500 companies that are headquartered in Atlanta is that you will impact families like ours.

And I do think that there is a more effective way for us to get the necessary change that's needed in the state. For one, we can show up and vote next year, for all of the statewide offices that will be on the ballot. But also, we can give our support and companies can give their support to the legislation that's pending before Congress. It may not solve all of our issues, but it certainly will address many of them.

BURNETT: So, you know, you know a lot about what's happening at the federal level, not just in your state level.


But also across the country because, Mayor, you are the DNC vice chair in charge of voter protection, right? So, you know what's going on across this nation. And it's not just in Georgia, right? I understand there's 361 bills

that have been introduced in 47 states. Now, this is according to the left leaning Brennan Center of Justice but this is just -- they are tracking bills on the docket.

Just this week, Montana passed a bill that had some restrictions in it. Bills are moving forward as well in Florida and Arizona.

So, when you say in Georgia, look, don't boycott, but, you know, vote, of course, but also, you need to push forward here at the federal level. How significant will that federal voting rights bill be when you've got 47 states doing their own thing the other direction?

BOTTOMS: Well, any help that we can get goes a very long way, Erin. And I think that anytime you have the federal government speaking with a unified voice on whether very basic standards for voting should be, at least it relates to federal elections, then that addresses many of the challenges that we will have in Georgia.

And, you know, I was with Ambassador Young earlier today. We -- I was at a ribbon cutting. We're at an apartment complex on the outside of Atlanta that was redeveloped. Many of these corporations contributed to that redevelopment. So, they have a real impact in our communities in addition to the thousands of people who work for them.

So, I think that our best chance right now is federal legislation. But, certainly, still pressing forward and making changes come election year in states across this country.

BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate your time as always, Mayor Bottoms. Thank you.

BOTTOMS: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, to the DOJ investigating the Minneapolis Police Department. One thing specifically they may be looking at is why the discrepancy between the initial police press release on George Floyd's death and what we all then saw on video.



BURNETT: Tonight, the Justice Department investigating the Minneapolis Police Department. The probe coming less than 24 hours after Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd.

Sara Sidner is OUTFRONT.



SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A day after jury found former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd, the Department of Justice announces it set its sights on the Minneapolis Police Department.

MERRICK GARLAND, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Today, I am announcing that the Justice Department has opened a civil investigation to determine whether the Minneapolis police department engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing.

SIDNER: No detail is too small. Officials familiar with the investigation tells CNN one of the items that they may look into is a discrepancy between the initial MPD press release, saying Floyd had a medical emergency, and what really happened.

The head of the Minnesota Justice Coalition, Johnathon McClellan, says they've been asking federal officials for a federal patterns and practices investigation for years. While he and several other rights groups welcome it, he says it is terrible unfortunate that it took a slow motion murder of Floyd to propel it forward.

JOHNATHON MCCLELLAN, MINNESOTA JUSTICE COALITION: This case is significant in the sense that it brought the reality of what black and brown people face into the living rooms of America. This is the same thing that happened when the march happened over the Edmund Pettus Bridge, when the reality of what black people were facing was brought into the living rooms of America and that spawned a litany of legislation, and the same thing needs to happen with this as well.

SIDNER: In a CNN analysis of Minneapolis Police Department data after Floyd's death, the department reported using force on far fewer people, but then the use of force spiked late last year, and black people are still subject to the use of force by Minneapolis officers at a highly disproportionate rate.

The analysis found between 2008 and May 25th, 2020, when Chauvin murdered Floyd, 64.6 percent of people who police used force on where black. Since Floyd's death, 62.6 percent were black. In a city that's 19 percent black, according to U.S. Census records.

That comes as no surprise to Toshira Garraway Allen. Allen is the founder of Family Supporting Families Against Police Violence.

TOSHIRA GARRAWAY ALLEN, FAMILIES SUPPORTING FAMILIES AGAINST POLICE VIOLENCE: And for every high profile case that you hear about, there's hundreds, there is 100 bodies behind that high profile case.

SIDNER: There are few other cases that made national headlines here. In 2015, MPD officers fatally shot 24-year-old Jamar Clark in the head while he was handcuffed. In 2018, Thurman Blevins was killed by police during a foot chase as he begged please don't shoot me, leave me alone.

Allen and McClellan say their issue with this kind of federal investigation is they wanted to cover more police departments across Minnesota, not just Minneapolis.

ALLEN: The highest, the biggest profile cases in history have come from the state of Minnesota. Philando Castile, Jamar Clark, George Floyd, Daunte Wright, the biggest ones in history have come from this state. So, it is clear that it is a problem here in the state of Minnesota.


BURNETT: So, Sara, obviously there is the investigation, but I understand that's not the only one right now into the police department?

SIDNER: Yeah, that's right. The new civil federal investigation is one thing. But it's a part in part of the federal, criminal investigation, into the death of George Floyd. And at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer who had been fired and is now being convicted of murder in his death -- Erin.

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

And thanks very much to all of you for joining us, of course you can always watch out front anytime, anywhere, you just need to go to CNN Go.

In the meantime, Anderson and "AC360" begin, right now.