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Erin Burnett Outfront
DOJ Releases Disturbing New Bodycam Video Of Jan. 6 Riot; Multiple Shootings In Arizona Tonight Amid Surge In Gun Violence Across U.S.; Biden Signs Law Making Juneteenth A Federal Holiday; Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) Is Interviewed About The Signing Of The Bill To Make Juneteenth A Federal Holiday; Interview With New York City Mayoral Candidate Kathryn Garcia (D). Aired 7-8p ET
Aired June 17, 2021 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Josh Campbell, thanks so much for joining us.
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"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news, the Justice Department releasing harrowing bodycam footage from the January 6th attack, a former police officer among the rioters wielding a flagpole, attacking the Capitol Police. How can Trump allies whitewash what happened that day?
Plus more breaking news, multiple shootings in Arizona tonight amid a surge in gun violence across the United States. One Georgia woman, a grocery store cashier was shot and killed for telling a customer to wear a mask. Her sister is OUTFRONT.
And the CEO of Morgan Stanley, the financial firm says to his employees, "If you can go to a restaurant, you can come into the office." Why that's hitting such a nerve? Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news. Horrifying new video of the January 6th assault on the Capitol. An officer attacked with a metal pole, rioters screaming profanities at officers before rushing them and engaging in hand to hand combat.
So this video was just released by the Department of Justice. It was actually taken by a police officer's bodycam. And I want to play it for you, because people are denying what happened that day happened and it's important to show again and again the truth. I'll warn you, the video is disturbing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) ...
THOMAS WEBSTER, FORMER MARINE AND NEW YORK CITY POLICE OFFICER: You fucking piece of shit. You fucking Commie motherfuckers. (Inaudible) attack America, fuck that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) ...
WEBSTER: (Inaudible) you fucking Commie motherfuckers. Come on, take your shit off. Take your shit off. (Inaudible) ...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Prosecutors say the man who saw in the red jacket is Thomas Webster, a former Marine and a former New York City police officer. The DOJ also released this photo of Webster straddling the officer. You see them struggling over that metal pole. And then this photo, showing Webster attacking the officer who is on the ground.
Now Webster has been charged with seven federal crimes, as the Justice Department is now charging another Capitol rioter tonight with bringing a semi-automatic handgun on Capitol grounds, a semi- automatic. Just two days after Republican congressman made this claim.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ANDY BIGGS (R-AZ): The propagandists claimed that this was an armed insurrection, but no guns were found.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Well, they're charging someone with bringing semi-automatic. Guns were found, lives were in danger. In fact, five lives were lost and people are permanently injured, police officers. And now some of Trumps acolytes in Congress are trying to blame the officers who protected them for actually perpetrating the violence that day. Let me just pause and let that sink in for a moment to even imagine such a twist. Well, here's Republican Congressman Paul Gosar.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL GOSAR (R-AZ): The Capitol Police officer that did the shooting actually appeared to be hiding lying in wait and they gave no warning before killing her. Question again, why hasn't that officer that executed Ashli Babbitt been named when police officers around the country are routinely identified after a shooting?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: It's a pretty stunning thing to say. Republican Congressman Liz Cheney, obviously, feels that way she reminded Gosar, "On January 6, as the violent mob advanced on the House chamber, I was standing near Rep. Gosar and helped him open his gas mask. The Capitol Police led us to safety. It is disgusting and despicable to see Gosar lie about that day and smear the men and women who defended us."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: But yet Gosar is doing it and some of his Republican colleagues are as well. They have forgotten all of that. They simply remember their fealty to Donald Trump. Maybe they have not seen the new video that I just showed you. I want to show part of it to you again.
An officer, police officer getting attacked by rioters with a metal pole. It's shocking and horrifying, but you know what?
There's no way that Gosar and others haven't seen horrifying videos like this already because we have been playing them over and over for months, officers getting assaulted, some gravely wounded that day, people dying and yet to people like Gosar, these officers are now the enemy?
Some Republicans seem to be looking high and low, very low for any theory to shift blame from Trump and his supporters to just about anyone else. And I mean, just hold on here a second, when I say shift blame to just about anyone else, listen to this. This new conspiracy theory that Fox News host Tucker Carlson put out there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Strangely some of the key people who participated on January 6th have not been charged. Look at the document. The government calls those people unindicted co- conspirators. What does that mean? Well, it means that in potentially every single case they were FBI operatives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Tucker Carlson is now saying the FBI was part of the riot, guilty of assaulting America's capitol. This is an incredible thing to say. It is incredibly irresponsible. Of course, members of Congress who refuse to admit their actions and Trump actions leading up to January 6th were the real cause of the insurrection that day and they have picked up on this new baseless theory, rushing to it. I mean, the usual suspects here I give you Congressman Marjorie Taylor Greene.
She tweets, "We need names and answers about the FBI operatives who were involved in organizing and carrying out the January 6th Capitol riot."
And Congressman Matt Gaetz who is under FBI investigation over sex trafficking allegations involving a minor even sent a letter to FBI Director Chris Wray. He sent him a letter asking how many FBI agents were at the Capitol during the siege.
This is sort of like just making something completely up and then telling people they have to prove that you're wrong, as opposed to just being told you're crazy. No. The FBI did not organize the January 6th insurrection. Officers did not lie in wait, planning to execute innocent bystanders.
There was violence. It was perpetrated by the people there, the rioters, some of whom had weapons, including metal pipes. They were the violent ones, not the officers trying to defend those in Congress and the Capitol itself. Marshall Cohen is OUTFRONT in Washington. And Marshall, what more are you learning about this new video, this horrible video involving that metal pole and the charges against the rioter in it?
MARSHALL COHEN, CNN REPORTER: Yes, Erin. Good evening. So this video came out today because CNN and other news outlets were pushing in court for the DOJ to release videos like these from the Capitol riot. You're seeing it right now.
The guy who's going to come on your screen in the red jacket, prosecutors say that he is Thomas Webster. He's a former Marine. He's a former NYPD cop and this footage shows him attacking other cops on the other side of that line, who were defending the Capitol.
As you said, he was shown here wielding a pipe. That pipe was eventually wrestled away by the officer, but not before Webster in the red here, you can see him throwing that cop to the ground. There are pictures of him grabbing at the officer's face. This is just one of the many brutal scenes from January 6th and we're finally, even all these months later, starting to get a glimpse at the frontlines, this brutal hand to hand combat from that really terrible day, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Marshall, thank you very much. Just as awful as it is, it's important to see that because as Marshall says, there are people out there, Gaetz, Taylor Greene, who are denying it.
OUTFRONT now John Avlon, our Senior Political Analyst and Barbara Comstock. She is a former Republican Congresswoman. And I appreciate both of you.
Congresswoman Comstock, let me start with you. As a Republican, what do you think when you see, and hear and read the lengths that some of your former colleagues are willing to go to in order to whitewash what happened on January 6lth, now saying that the FBI was who orchestrated and led this attack?
BARBARA COMSTOCK (R), FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Well, I share the views of Liz Cheney who has been a great leader on this along with Adam Kinzinger and others. This is disgusting, and it's baseless and every Republican should denounce this.
There's just no basis in fact and as many prosecutors today have pointed out, an unindicted co-conspirator cannot, by definition, be an FBI agent. So I would hope that Director Wray would respond and just tell people this is baseless.
I know he has to wait and he can't comment on a lot of cases, but given how dangerous this is and that's one of my big concerns, these continued lies. And this is orchestrated, because this is coming from a number of right wing sources and then they go out and echo each other. This is very dangerous. It's what's being called the November 3rd movement. You have to believe in the election lie and you have to keep coming up with more absurd arguments to try and bolster this and it's dangerous.
And when we've had 107 percent increase in threats against members of Congress, I fear that it is going to get worse before it gets better if we don't have more Republicans standing up like Liz is and Adam and others and calling BS on this.
And nobody could be more eloquent than Michael Fanone, an officer who was beaten in medieval-like battles that you showed in that video. When he has said, he is going to call BS and lies on this and he should, and anyone who calls them liars needs to be called out and they don't back the blue and they can't say they do until they denounce this.
BURNETT: John, I think Congresswoman speaks so well when she describes it as medieval, because it was in so many ways. The video that we got today, the yelling profanities, the rushing officers, the metal pole being used as a weapon, it's awful to look at these things but I guess I'm really grateful we have them. Because you have people out there saying that it didn't happen and then somehow you're forced every single day to show people that it does.
It's like going out looking at the sky and someone says it's pink and every day you're forced to try to explain to them that it is indeed blue, and you spend your whole damn life doing that and say what am I doing. And that's what we're doing here. You have Republicans who day in and day out are saying that something that happened did not happen and if it did, now, it's been perpetrated by the FBI. How is this possible, John?
JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It's possible because they bought into the big lie and they're compromised politically through fear or short-term self interest, if not absolute belief themselves. But that's precisely why this video is so important. Why watching it is so important. Making people confront reality.
Because this video in particular knocks down all the little lies that buttress the big lie that we've heard these congressmen in particular shamefully trot out. This was a tour. It was a mostly peaceful protest. It wasn't armed. Maybe it was antifa. It wasn't Trump supporters.
All of those lies fail and fall in the face of this incontrovertible evidence and that's why we've got to keep showing it until those lies wear down and they have bought into this for their own reasons. These are January 6th truth that's in effect. But they're in positions of power and so that's why we need to keep confronting them with these facts, because this mob mentality almost took down our democracy.
BURNETT: And Congresswoman Comstock, you mentioned Officer Fanone and I know you've been helping his family as well as the family have fallen Officer Brian Sicknick, other officers who were injured on January 6th to navigate meeting with Republicans, to have conversations with the Republicans who they were defending that day as well as the Democrats.
Officer Sicknick's family, along with other officers injured that day are deeply, deeply hurt by these attempts to shift blame, to whitewash January 6 by some on the GOP. Here's Officer Fanone and others who have spoken.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OFC. MICHAEL FANONE, DC METROPOLITAN POLICE: DEPENDED CAPITOL ON
JANUARY 6: And I think a lot of times, these lawmakers on Capitol Hill, they feel like they could say whatever they want and they're never going to be held accountable for those words. Well, your words have consequences, Congressman. You're lying about what happened on January 6th and I'm going to be there to confront anyone who lies about January 6th.
SGT. AQUILLINO GONELL, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: We held the line. And that to me we sacrificed so much for them to not only put everything on the line, but they're not doing what they're supposed to, they're not fulfill their oath for office to put the country before the party. And for me for them to continue this lies and turn and twist, this happened, this and that, it's uncalled for. It's a betrayal to us, the officers.
SANDRA GARZA, PARTNER OF FALLEN CAPITOL POLICE OFFICER BRIAN SICKNICK: I was absolutely broken, devastated. I mean, it's just absolutely atrocious and it makes me even angrier. And they're doing this to protect Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Congresswoman, how do Republicans not hear, not listen to these voices?
COMSTOCK: I don't know. That's why I am so proud of these officers for standing up. It's not easy. They've gotten threats themselves by being out into Talking about this. That's one of the reasons.
When they go out, oftentimes these right-wing sites will then attack them and then they'll get kind of the hate mail, there's sort of this ecosystem that creates that. So that is why I think it's so important that we have a thorough investigation.
And here's the irony, these members who were saying making up these crazy ideas, they're the ones who didn't want a thorough investigation. If they actually believe this nonsense ...
BURNETT: Great point.
COMSTOCK: ... they should be the first to want to have an investigation. But, of course, they know it's - well, maybe some of these nuts don't know it's not true, but I know the leadership has to know this is not true and I they need to stand there. I mean, I would like to see this video and other videos shown in the Republican caucus meetings. I'd like for them to hear from Officer Fanone.
Because I remember when I was a member, we brought in sort of the guys who took down Osama bin Laden and they told us exactly what went on, on the front lines there. Well, if we could hear from those people, let's hear from Officer Fanone who was - he was there that day as a volunteer.
COMSTOCK: He could have gotten home.
COMSTOCK: He rushed, he self-deployed before anybody told him to go up there to save his fellow officers as well as the members of Congress, who were running for safety while he was running into battle. They owe him - to listen to him and to the other officers, they owe him a thorough investigation and they owe him and others and the American people to stop lying about this and for members of Congress to call out these Republican members to call out ...
BURNETT: Well, it is amazing.
COMSTOCK: ... these lying members of Congress.
BURNETT: To your point and John, it is amazing the point you just raised. The people now who are saying the FBI started this whole thing and were involved in it, which is not just - I mean, of course, it's patently absurd. But if you're going to allege such an incredibly stupefying thing and then to vote against a bipartisan commission that Republicans McCarthy got every single thing he wanted to investigate it, I mean, that is an inconsistency. That is a circle that cannot be squared.
AVLON: Of course, but so saying you're a patriot while trying to defend and attempt to overturn an election. It's all a fundamental contradiction to our deepest valleys. And let's be honest what's motivating it, fear, right? In some cases they've bought into the big lie and so they're afraid of losing face. In other cases, they're afraid of Donald Trump. In other cases, they're afraid of the base. They're afraid of threats.
So the congressmen need to rediscover something called courage and actually stand up for what is true. And those who insist on defending the lie and creating these increasingly sort of pathological fantasies around what happened need to be condemned in the clearest terms perpetually.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much. And since Congress has failed to pass an investigation, a bipartisan investigation into what happened and why on January 6th, don't miss our Special Report Assault on Democracy The Roots of Trump's Insurrection. Our Drew Griffin with new details on what happened that day. That is Sunday night at 9.
And next, more than 150 years after slaves in Texas were the last to learn that they've been emancipated, Juneteenth is now a federal holiday, 14 Republicans objected, calling the move divisive and a celebration of identity politics.
Plus, gun violence surging across the country this year. One of those crimes, the murder of a store clerk who asked a customer to follow store policy to just put your mask on. Her sister is my guest.
And they went from supporting Trump on the day of the insurrection to now running for elected office.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People were on the Capitol steps. We just walked right up when I went up there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: New tonight, one of the greatest honors of his presidency, those are the words from President Biden as he signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law, making June 19th a federal holiday to mark the day in 1865 when union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved black people in Galveston, Texas.
Biden and Vice President Harris, of course, the nation's first black Vice President saying today is a huge step forward for equality, but that the fight is not over.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have come far and we have far to go, but today is a day of celebration. It is not only a day of pride. It is also a day for us to reaffirm and rededicate ourselves to action.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We can't rest, so the promise of equality is fulfilled for every one of us in every corner of this nation. That to me is the meaning of Juneteenth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And before Biden signed the bill into law, Harris as President of the Senate signed it beside the bust of Frederick Douglass. It is the first new federal holiday in the United States since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established in 1983. Despite a unanimous vote in the Senate, these 14 House Republicans oppose the bill.
Congressman Matt Rosendale saying he voted no because in part, "This is an effort by the Left to create a day out of whole cloth to celebrate identity politics."
Congressman Chip Roy saying in part, "This name needlessly divides our nation on a matter that should instead bring us together by creating a separate Independence Day based on the color of one's skin."
OUTFRONT now Democratic Congresswoman from Texas, Sheila Jackson Lee, who sponsored the bill. And, of course, Congresswoman, you were with President Biden at the White House today for the ceremony and had the honor of holding the gavel when the House passed the bill yesterday. I appreciate your time. And as I emphasize, of course, you had a unanimous vote in the Senate.
That is significant. This is bipartisan in a way that absolutely nothing has been in a very long time, so that's very, very important to note.
But I want to - and I'll ask you about those Republicans in Congress in a moment because they are important. But you've supported this for a long time you first introduced a bill to make this a holiday a year ago, but you say it's been a journey of decades in the making. How does it feel to be there to finally see President Biden sign it?
REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): There's history behind this bill and my work on it is 12 years consecutively and continuing, lonely sometimes but then drawing in a wide breadth of support.
Can you actually believe that President of the United States was in the White House built by slaves and signing legislation that affirmed their freedom? It was an amazing experience.
So being in the White House and having the President even say that in all that he might do in his four years as president, his first four years, that this might be his greatest honor. That was how we felt about it. That's how I felt about it. But I also felt that I was standing on the shores of the very place where Gen. Granger might have come to speak to those slaves in Galveston.
Remember, at that time, they were still property. They were not even counted as human beings. When he made that announcement became employer and employees, that was the kind of experience that we were having in the White House. We've come this far on this journey to get this national holiday.
BURNETT: So I mentioned, of course, the anonymity in the Senate but not in the House. And I just quoted from two of your colleagues who voted against your bill, your fellow Texan, Chip Roy, said this, quote, "Needlessly divides our nation based on the color of one's skin." What do you say to that?
LEE: What I'll say is that that small, minute opinion was just that. It was isolated. It was small. I'm sure they expected to have a much larger presidents have no votes. I made sure that Republicans knew that they were as much a part of the freedom of slaves as anyone else. We had 415 votes.
So those were minority opinions inside of minority opinions. Sad that they had to interpret it that way. It's even more sad that they can't see unity and grab hold to it when it smacks them in the face. We did a great thing and what we did was we opened the door. We open the door for discussion to bring us to a final conclusion on the George Floyd justice in policing bill.
We open the door for the President's agenda on racial equity, social equity, because we got Republican votes. We have some that we won't get on these other bills like fixing the voting rights or H.R. 40, the commission to study reparation.
But what they expected was what they did not get and that 415 is the largest vote we've seen in a good number of months or years, if you will. So I really think what we did is we show the American people that we can be unified as members of the House and Senate and we gave them a holiday where they could be unified, celebrating freedom.
BURNETT: So Biden also said today that the fight now means protecting the right to vote. Democrats are pushing sweeping voting rights legislation, of course. Now, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin opposes the current bill. He has unveiled a compromise which includes at least 15 consecutive days of early voting, he drops no excuse absentee voting, though and adds a voter ID requirement and he allows a utility bill to count for that.
Here's what Stacey Abrams had to say about Manchin's changes to the bill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STACEY ABRAMS, (D) STRONG ADVOCATE FOR VOTING RIGHTS: What Sen. Manchin is putting forward are some basic building blocks that we need to ensure that democracy is accessible no matter your geography. And those provisions that he is setting forth are strong ones that will create a level playing field.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So she sounds pretty clear, basic provisions, strong ones, level playing field. I mean, she is not knocking Manchin's changes, which are significant to some of the tenants of the bill. Do you agree with her?
LEE: Erin, I've served on the Judiciary Committee now for two decades. I had the pleasure of helping to write the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act under George W. Bush, where the Senate voted 98 to zero for that bill and over 400 members of the United States House voted for that bill.
I'm open to Sen. Manchin. I think knowing this H.R. 1 very extensively, having known the language, the provisions, it is far more extensive than what Sen. Manchin has put forward. But it's a start and I applaud him for it. I'm looking forward to our discussions going forward, looking, if you will, into the weeds of what he's offered, looking at what is in H.R. 1.
I frankly believe we can come to a real good place with his support, adding some additional provisions that I think we should not be against it and reenfranchising those who have served their time who have previously been felons. I think we need to look more about how we do the mail ballots appropriately, because it is sad that you have to have a defense to disable person for why you want to, if you will, why you want to vote by mail in some of the states, (inaudible) the laws that they put forward.
So where Sen. Manchin is, is welcomed and that means we are all at the table to get this done along with many other social justice bills.
Erin, I think we're moving in the right direction and today in the Juneteenth bill, it says we opened the door. We can work together and we can be unified, and voting is about freedom, as well.
BURNETT: All right. Congresswoman, I appreciate your time as always. Thank you.
LEE: Thank you for having me.
BURNETT: And next, breaking news, multiple shootings in Arizona tonight. We have the very latest as the United States grapples with the spike in gun violence. I want to talk to a woman whose sister, a grocery store cashier, was killed after she asked a customer to follow store policy and put the mask up.
And using the Capitol riot to boost the political campaign. One man who was arrested and charged is now running for elected office.
BURNETT: Breaking news, one person is dead and 12 others injured, three with gunshot wounds. A suspect is in custody following multiple shootings northwest of Phoenix. The police are describing as, quote, random acts.
The shooting spree has unfolded over 90 minutes, eight separate shooting incidents in what the Peoria, Arizona Police Department say was like a drive-by shooting.
It's horrific. It's terrifying, and it comes as cities across the United States are struggling to get a handle on an alarming surge of gun violence and murder with cities seeing historic murder rates.
Natasha Chen is OUTFRONT.
NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From coast to coast, a plague of gun violence has cities on high alert. In the last week alone, there have been about 19 mass shootings according to the gun violence archive where at least four people were shot.
In West Baltimore, Wednesday afternoon, police described a, quote, brazen shooting when gunmen fired indiscriminately and hit six people killing one of them.
In Chicago Tuesday morning, four people were killed in a shooting at a home. One of the victims was set to graduate this week.
In Austin, police now say an argument between two groups of teens escalated to a shooting that left one person dead and injured 14 others over the weekend.
According to the Gun Violence archive, gun deaths in the U.S. not including suicides are about 19 percent higher than at this point in 2020, and about 38 percent higher than this point in 2019.
Brian Lemek from the Brady PAC says this is an imperfect storm.
BRIAN LEMEK, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE BRADY PAC: The rise in background checks that we saw and the rise of new firearms flooding the market exacerbates all of those -- those challenges that we once faced before. We know that the loopholes that exist at gun shows and the loopholes that exist with online sales and the introduction of ghost guns and 3D printed guns are a real problem for us.
CHEN: Three weeks after a disgruntled employee shot and killed nine colleagues at a San Jose rail yard, San Jose has become the latest city to mandate filming of all retail gun purchases beginning in September, with footage to be kept for at least 30 days.
MAYOR SAM LICCARDO (D), SAN JOSE, CA: These measures are primarily focused on ensuring that those with prior criminal records, those the subject of restraining orders and domestic violence are not able to get guns.
CHEN: On the other end of the gun policy spectrum, in September, Texas, will allow people 21 and older who can legally possess firearms in the state to carry handguns in public without permits.
Meanwhile on Monday in Decatur, Georgia, a supermarket cashier, 41- year-old Laquitta Willis was shot and killed by a customer. Witnesses say Willis asked a man to pull up his mask but he refused. Police say he left the store, but returned later, walked up to Willis and shot her.
In nearby Atlanta where police say there have been 60 percent more murders this year compared to the same period in 2020, city council members pressed police for answers at a public safety meeting this week.
CLETA WINSLOW, ATLANTA COUNCILWOMAN: I think we're all just seeing something different that's a little more frightening, where these people are trying to take over our city and send a message.
CHEN (on camera): Well, Erin, the people committing these crimes may be sending a message, but so are the communities that have been shaken by every one of these deaths, including this community right here in Decatur, Georgia. This group has been praying for Laquitta Willis, the cashier who was shot and killed here. There's been supporting each other.
There's quite a memorial growing outside and there's one side as well, at the cashier lane where she worked. Her coworker said the light is on in that lane for her because she was a bright light -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Natasha.
I want to bring in Alexis Breland now. She is Laquitta Willis' sister.
And, Alexis, I am so sorry for your loss.
Three days ago, you were with your sister and this horrific and incomprehensible thing has happened, and an outpouring of grief in the community. People there celebrating you sister and what emotion are you feeling if you're each capable of feeling right now.
ALEXIS BRELAND, SISTER OF LAQUITTA WILLIS, GROCERY CLERK SHOT AND KILLED: Well, definitely shock and disbelief are definitely at the forefront. It's still incomprehensible to even think about what is being reported that happened to my sister on Monday. But as you said, the outreach of the community has -- has given me and my family so much love and strength as we try to make sense of what happened.
BURNETT: Tell me about your sister. What was she like?
BRELAND: Well, I definitely appreciate this opportunity to do that. I -- I see in the newspaper and on other channels, she's referred to as a cashier, but I just want everybody to know that she was more than a cashier. She was actually a servant leader of her community.
And this is prevalent, as you can see with all of the people that's coming out to support her, and you can see the many lives that she touched. She was more than just a cashier.
She was a front-end manager there and she basically -- she was so committed to that organization that wherever they needed her there, they could easily just plug and play her, you know, and -- and the organization continued to be a success because of that.
BURNETT: I mean, she had worked at Big Bear for more than a decade. As you say, this was central to the organization and she was doing her job. There's a mask wearing policy in the store. I'm sure there were countless times a day she had to ask someone just doing her job, hey, can you put your mask on and that's what she did, and someone killed her.
I mean, it is -- it is -- it is senseless. It's unspeakable. I mean, Alexis, I know you want to come on and talk about her and who she was, but I have to ask you, can you even process what has happened here?
BRELAND: If I'm being honest, I haven't yet. I've just been focusing on being there for my family as well as they're being there for me because it is unspeakable. Senseless. I just can't imagine why it happened.
BURNETT: So you're talking about how important she was in the community, a servant leader, you said.
BRELAND: Yes, ma'am. BURNETT: And I know there was an off-duty sheriff's deputy who was
working security in the store who tried to intervene. He got injured himself during the shootout with the suspect and two days later, he was at Laquitta's memorial, and our affiliate WSB spoke with him and another customer who, you know, your sister worked there for a decade, right? They remember her. They worked with her all of the time and here's what they had to say about her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A sweet, sweet woman.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was a beautiful person.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was quiet. She was -- she was the light of Big Bear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: There's a part of you that has to be just amazed to hear those things about your sister.
BERLAND: Absolutely. I knew she was this for our family, but learning, like, how much she meant to the community, that she was the face that everybody expected to see when they came in the store, how truck drivers and other members of the community as they passed through Atlanta, they would stop there, and they'd get lunch or dinner for their families and it was her that, you know, they expected to see when they came through and it was her kindness and her professionalism that they all admired.
BURNETT: So I know you're just a few years younger than Laquitta and you talked about her being like a mother to you. I know you were incredibly close.
How do you want people to remember her? I mean, in the horror, the unspeakable nature in which she died in this, people know her name, and how do you want them to remember her?
BRELAND: Absolutely like they've already deemed her. The light, you know, that shined bright there, and especially a servant leader of that community.
BURNETT: Alexis, thank you. Thank you so much for having the courage to speak out. I am so sorry. I am so sorry for your unspeakable loss.
BRELAND: Thank you.
And if I can have one more opportunity to thank the community. There have been so many people, such outpouring from donations, prayers, condolences that they've sent our family, that's helped empower our family right now get through this situation. I just want to take this opportunity to thank so many people across the world that's reaching out to help us in our time of need.
BURNETT: Thank you. And next, a man arrested and charged with crimes allegedly committed
at the Capitol on January 6th now says he's running for elected office and he is actually campaigning on the insurrection which may give his candidacy traction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It tells I show up and I'm going to actually keep my promises and make some changes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And the CEO of the financials firm Morgan Stanley tells his workers if you can eat at a restaurant, you can go back to work. Does mayoral candidate Kathryn Garcia agree? She's OUTFRONT.
BURNETT: Tonight, as many Republican lawmakers try to whitewash the events of January 6th, some of the people at the U.S. capitol are running for political office and gaining ground.
Sara Murray is OUTFRONT.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the Capitol riot.
JOEY GILBERT (R), NEVADA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I was in Washington, D.C.
MURRAY: To the campaign trail.
GILBERT: If election integrity is not the number one issue of these guys, then they're either lost, confused, or too stupid to be running.
MURRAY: Republican Joey Gilbert, a former boxer turned lawyer, says he's launching a bid for Nevada governor.
GILBERT: I'm not a politician, I never wanted to be a politician, all right? But let me tell you something, I am probably going to be doing here shortly and that's called running for governor.
MURRAY: The announcement coming just months after Gilbert says he was in Washington and scaled the Capitol steps January 6th.
GILBERT: One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. People were on the Capitol steps. We just walked right up when I went up there.
MURRAY: But insists he never went inside.
GILBERT: Yes, some people did go into the Capitol. I don't condone that. I have nothing to do with that.
MURRAY: Gilbert who is doubling down on the lie the presidential election was stolen.
GILBERT: In my opinion, Trump is still our president.
MURRAY: It's one of nearly a dozen aspiring politicos spotted near the U.S. Capitol on January 6th by CNN and other news outlets.
In Michigan, Ryan Kelley is running for governor and ducking questions about his whereabouts during the Capitol insurrection.
RYAN KELLEY (R), MICHIGAN GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I never went inside the Capitol building, never had the intention to and did not go inside, nor did I have any altercation with police officers.
MURRAY: While he denied going inside, Kelley wouldn't respond to CNN or a local news reporter's question about images showing him deep in the fray of rioters outside the Capitol.
REPORTER: That's you, correct? Right here?
KELLEY: You got my statement on the capitol, brother.
MURRAY: Gilbert and Kelley could face crowded primaries and it's too early to say if they have a shot at victory.
While neither of them have been accused of a crime, that's not the case for Jason Riddle.
The New Hampshire resident arrested after sharing photos of himself inside the Capitol holding a bottle of wine he stole with a local news station. Riddle faces five counts including unlawful entry and theft of government property and has pleaded not guilty.
Now he says breaking into the Capitol could be a boost to his campaign.
JASON RIDDLE, NEW HAMPSHIRE RESIDENT: It tells them I show up, I'll keep my promises and make some changes.
MURRAY: First he has to clarify what if anything he is actually running for
RIDDLE: I thought Ann was a state representative.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. A state rep is in the state house in Concord.
RIDDLE: Yeah. That's what Ann is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no. She is in Washington.
RIDDLE: Oh, I guess I got to run against that, then.
BURNETT: I mean, incredible. I mean, Sara, these men are not only getting attention for being near the Capitol that day. They are obviously clearly using it to advance their political careers.
MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, that is certainly the case of Jason Riddle although he seems to have no idea what he is running for. So, obviously, we should take his candidacy with a grain of salt. I mean, a another hitch for him is the conditions of his release, say he is not allowed to set foot in D.C. You know, we should note that lawyers from Riddle didn't respond to CNN's request for comment. We also sent detailed requests for comment to Kelly and Gilbert. They did not respond either, Erin.
BURNETT: Yeah. All right. Sara, thank you very much for that report.
And next, free child care, affordable housing, New York City Mayoral Candidate Kathryn Garcia is all for it. Well, who will pay for that? When the city faces a $12 billion deficit. I'll ask Garcia.
BURNETT: Tonight, the CEO of Morgan Stanley sending a blunt message to New York City employees who haven't returned to the office.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES GORMAN, CEO, MORGAN STANLEY: If you can go to a restaurant in New York City, you can come to the office and we want you in the office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. The question about whether people return to the office is one of the biggest road blocks as the nation's largest city recovers from the pandemic.
And it will largely fall on the city's next mayor to address with just five days until the primary election.
So, we've spoken to three candidates, Eric Adams, Andrew Yang, and Maya Wiley over the past week, interviewing all the top contenders in the incredibly close rank choice election.
So, OUTFRONT now and tonight's "Inside Look" is New York City mayoral candidate Kathryn Garcia. She's been endorsed by "The New York Times" and "The New York Daily News". She also served as sanitation commissioner under Mayor de Blasio.
So, Commissioner Garcia, I really appreciate your time.
I wanted to start with this -- that comment there from the Morgan Stanley CEO that is getting an incredible amount of attention, saying if you can go to a restaurant you can go into an office and you better be there. It's becoming a flash point.
Do you support companies forcing people in New York City to come back into the office five days a week?
KATHRYN GARCIA (D), NEW YORK CITY MAYORAL CANDIDATE: I want New Yorkers to come back into their offices as soon as possible, but I don't think it's COVID that's keeping them from coming back. It's the fact that schools are not open, and it's the fact that people don't feel safe on our subways in particular.
BURNETT: So -- all right. Let's talk about people not coming back into the offices. We know they're not coming back like they used to and you're pointing to some other possible reasons. But all in, it comes down to the fact that it's a major threat to the city's economy, right?
If companies start to downsize how much office space they need and people move away. You've got commercial real estate tax, it's about half the budget of New York looking at a $12 billion deficit over the next few years. I mean, it could be a major crisis.
How big of a problem is it?
GARCIA: If we -- if no one came back, it would be a huge problem, but I know that employers, because I've been talking to them all through this election cycle, want their employees back at work. They know that you don't get perfect productivity over Zoom, that you are losing something. And I am hearing loud and clear that they're going to bring their employees back.
BURNETT: Do you really think they will, though? Because, you know, during the middle of this they were the first to admit people were just as productive as they'd been before, you know, not being in the office. And we're seeing all of these companies that maybe compete to hiring people on the West Coast, tech companies, they're letting people work three days a week.
What gives you the confidence?
GARCIA: It is -- it is listening to the employers and what they're saying to me. There are going to be changes and I'm sure that different businesses will follow different protocols. Because they want to see New York thrive and they want to see their businesses thrive. And they know when their people are together, you just are able to brain storm so much faster.
BURNETT: So let me ask you about your plans because this is -- this returning to the office, as I pointed out, is crucial because they pay the -- so much of the taxes in the city.
On your plans, you've got free child care for families making less than $70,000 a year. Fifty thousand new units of affordable housing. Expanding benefits for undocumented New Yorkers, and freelance workers.
How much will these plans cost you? And -- I guess that's the first thing. Do you have a sense of how much this is going to cost?
GARCIA: Oh, certainly. So the child care plan will cost a little bit north of $600 million. The undocumented plan is also priced out. The 50,000 units of deeply affordable housing actually comes off a slightly different budget.
It comes off of our capital budget, which is to give you the sort of the scale of it, our capital budget is $118 billion. And we are talking about in the single digit billions. So, it's not -- this is not going to break the bank.
The city of New York needs to make strategic investments so that we do grow and that our economy comes back to life. If you can't go to work because you don't have child care, we are losing out on so much productivity.
BURNETT: I understand all those points but I just -- I feel it's important to point out, single digit billions, it -- I understand you're talking relative to bigger budgets, but the city is looking at a $12 billion deficit. So, none of this money exists.
How are you going to pay for it?
GARCIA: So, the $118 billion actually is the current city capital budget and you are able to find the money for housing in that budget already that exists. That's really separate from our expense budget.
We are getting $22 billion, though, in both federal and state money that needs to last until our economy does come back. So, when we are talking about $600 million for child care, that is the right place to be.
But I want to see this economy grow. We cannot be solely dependent on cutting. But as you will see in my plans, I have worked very well with labor to get productivity savings. When I was at a former agency, Environmental Protection, I got a hundred million dollars out of a billion dollars budget without a lay-off.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Kathryn Garcia, I appreciate your time, commissioner, and voting is just in a few days. Thank you very much
GARCIA: Yes, I encourage everyone to be voting on Tuesday.
BURNETT: All right.
And thanks very much to all of you for joining us and being part of the show.
"AC360" with Anderson begins right now.