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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Finland And Sweden Edging Closer To Joining NATO; Zelenskyy Meets With Leaders Of Poland And 3 Baltic States In Kyiv; Police Release Video Of Officer Fatally Shooting Patrick Lyoya. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired April 14, 2022 - 05:30   ET




LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Finland and Sweden are inching closer to joining NATO this morning. The leaders of the historically neutral nations say their decisions on whether to apply for NATO membership will come sooner than later.

Russia has repeatedly warned both countries against joining the alliance, but with the invasion of Ukraine sharply raising security concerns in Europe, Finland and Sweden are both beginning to think they might need to.

CNN's Clare Sebastian is live in London with more on this. Clare, good morning. What would Finland and Sweden's NATO membership mean for Vladimir Putin?

CLARE SEBASTION, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Laura, it would be disastrous for Vladimir Putin. And NATO's expansion in Eastern Europe has been an intense source of frustration for the Russian president for basically the entire time -- the entire 22 years that he's been in office. This would add 830 miles of border along NATO's eastern territories with Finland. That would almost double the length of its eastern territories.

Russia's had an official response to this, this week. The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying that this will create more stability on the European continent, describing the alliance as more of a tool for confrontation.

But in terms of the timeline here, Sweden saying this week that it needs to make this decision after a clear consideration of what this would mean for them. Finland, perhaps, might be a little closer. They're saying that they will make a decision on an application within weeks, not months. They hope to have an application -- a potential application wrapped up, they say, by mid-summer.

It's clear that the invasion of Ukraine has fundamentally shifted the calculus when it comes to security in Europe. It seems that now public opinion in both Sweden and Finland has shifted to the point where the benefits of the sort of collective security enshrined in NATO's Article 5 outweigh the risks of upsetting Russia, and this is where we are now.

JARRETT: All right, Clare Sebastian. Thank you for laying all that out -- appreciate it.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, to Ukraine now.

The leaders of four countries on Russia's doorstep showing their strong support for Ukraine. The presidents of Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia traveling to Kyiv to meet with President Zelenskyy on Wednesday.

I want to bring in CNN's Salma Abdelaziz. She is in Poland for us. And Salma, Poland's president had strong words for Russia after the meeting. What did he say?

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Absolutely. This is a country that now is supporting more than 2 1/2 million refugees. It feels very much like it's on the front line of this conflict when we hear of areas hard-affected in the east of Ukraine. Many times, people who are forced out of their homes wind up here in Poland. And you can't forget that there have been strikes just right on NATO's doorstep just a few miles from Poland.

This is a country that feels its fate is tied to that of Ukraine's. That's why President Duda was meeting with President Zelenskyy yesterday. Take a look at what he said.


ANDRZEJ DUDA, PRESIDENT OF POLAND (through translator): This is not war, this is terrorism. If someone sends planes and soldiers to bomb residential areas and kill civilians, that is not war. It is cruelty, banditry, terrorism. That is the face of Russian aggression against Ukraine we must never come to terms with.


ABDELAZIZ: Now, of course, one of the main issues on the agenda for President Duda was how he can continue to support the humanitarian crisis that has poured into Poland and, of course, how to continue to bolster the eastern flank. There's a sense that Ukraine's war -- the outcome of that war will deeply impact security and stability right here in Poland.

ROMANS: All right, Salma Abdelaziz for us. Thank you so much for that.

[05:35:02] All right, two of former President Trump's White House lawyers meeting with members of the January 6 House Committee. We are live in Washington with those new details.

JARRETT: And protests in Grand Rapids, Michigan over the fatal police shooting of an unarmed Black man. The latest on that investigation next.


ROMANS: The Biden administration has cleared the way for the National Archives to turn over new documents to the January 6 House Select Committee. Former President Trump wanted these documents kept under wraps but President Biden has waived any claims of executive privilege, so bring on the docs. The committee will begin receiving all of this material in two weeks.

CNN's Annie Grayer joins us up in Washington with the details. Annie, what do we know? What's in this new tranche of documents?

ANNIE GRAYER, CNN REPORTER: Good morning, Christine.

We don't know what's in this specific subset of documents.

But what's important to note here is these new documents that the committee is going to get is part of thousands of pages that the committee initially requested that Donald Trump tried to block. Now, the Supreme Court prevented Trump from trying to block the committee from receiving those documents and as you mentioned, President Biden has waived executive privilege on these documents.


We know the committee has already received thousands of pages and those pages have proved to be really useful to the committee's investigation. These documents have included things like the presidential diary, White House call logs, visitor logs, drafts of speeches. This is a lot of information that's been key evidence for the committee and now we know that they're going to receive even more documents from National Archives.

ROMANS: Annie, two former Trump White House lawyers met with the committee -- just met with the committee with Trump's approval. What do we know about their testimony and, I guess, their level of cooperation?

GRAYER: So, we're still learning what came out of their meeting yesterday. But what is important about these two lawyers -- as you mentioned, that were in the Trump administration -- Trump's White House counsel Pat Cipollone, and his deputy Patrick Philbin -- is these were two lawyers who were with Trump in the days leading up to January 6 who were vocally against the pressure campaign that Trump was putting on former Vice President Mike Pence.

Now, you remember at the time, Trump was trying to get Pence to not certify the 2020 presidential election and these two lawyers were against that plan.

Now, these are just some of the high-profile people that the committee has spoken to recently. We know the committee has heard from Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump, and separately, her husband Jared. And this is on top of the committee having heard from over 860 witnesses, we're told, Christine.

ROMANS: All right, Annie Grayer. Thank you so much. Keep us posted -- Laura.

JARRETT: Protests and calls for justice in Grand Rapids, Michigan after the fatal police shooting of Patrick Lyoya. The 26-year-old unarmed Black man was shot in the head last week by an officer, following a traffic stop.


PROTESTERS: What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now. What do we want? Justice.


JARRETT: Multiple protests spilling out in Grand Rapids after police released footage of the incident. The officer involved in this deadly shooting has been placed on leave.

More now from CNN's Omar Jiminez.


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A struggle, a gunshot, a Black man dead on the streets of Grand Rapids, Michigan. A police officer now under investigation for shooting 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya in the head.

A frustrated community demanding answers.

POLICE OFFICER: Stay in the car.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): On April 4, police say Lyoya was pulled over for improper registration on the car he was driving, though did not elaborate on why they were looking in the first place. Just a few minutes into the stop Lyoya starts to run.

POLICE OFFICER: No, no, no, no, no, stop, stop. Put your hands up.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): The officer catches Lyoya. The two begin to wrestle, then the officer uses a taser.


JIMENEZ (voice-over): But it fails to make impact.

The officer's body camera turns off during the struggle. Police say it was unintentional. But the passenger in Lyoya's car was recording this cellphone video and captured what happens next. POLICE OFFICER: Drop! Taser! (Gunshot).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are determined to get this right.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Authorities now facing tough questions like whether the officer's life was in enough jeopardy to draw his gun.

CHIEF ERIC WINSTROM, GRAND RAPIDS POLICE DEPARTMENT: So, a taser is not per se a deadly weapon. A taser is what would be known as an intermediate weapon. Intermediate weapon would have the potential to cause death. It would have the potential to cause great bodily harm, but not necessarily.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Lyoya was a Congolese refugee. The chief saying a potential language barrier is part of the investigation. The family's lawyer, Ben Crump, contends Lyoya was confused by the encounter and terrified for his life.

The NAACP adding, "An unregistered license plate should not be a death sentence."

POLICE OFFICER: -- in the car.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): The still unidentified officer has been stripped of his police powers but remains on paid leave pending the official state investigation.

BRANDON DAVIS, DIRECTOR, OVERSIGHT AND PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY: And we will seek transparency. We will seek truth.

JIMENEZ (on camera): Now, the investigation into what happened and the officer is still with Michigan State Police and remains ongoing despite the video being released now in the name of transparency. Once those results are in they'll be sent to the police department for potential disciplinary action, but they'll also be sent to the county prosecutor for any potential criminal charges.

For now, though, this still unnamed officer is on paid leave, though stripped of his police powers. As later today we expect to hear from the family of Patrick Lyoya, as we also expect to see more protests -- Christine, Laura.


JARRETT: All right. Omar, thank you for that.


Let's bring in CNN legal analyst and a civil rights attorney, Areva Martin. Areva, so nice to see you this morning.

All right --


JARRETT: Good morning.

You saw the video for yourself. We've all now watched it. He's clearly running away from the officer. There's going to be some debate about whether he was going for the taser. But at first, he's clearly running away, trying to get away from the situation. I just -- I have -- I struggle to see how this can be a justified use of lethal force if the person is trying to get away.

MARTIN: Yes, Laura, we've seen this. It's almost like deja vu where we've had these situations where routine traffic stops end in these violent confrontations and ultimately, an African-American man, in most cases, left dead because of a police shooting.

You're right. In fact, there's a Supreme Court case out of Massachusetts that says given the history of racial profiling and trauma that Black men experience at the hands of police, that when a Black man runs in many cases he's justified because he is terrified about the prospect of being shot and, in this case, killed by the police.

So these situations that go from simple, routine stops and like in 10 seconds or less to these violent encounters. We keep seeing them over and over again and it's almost as if we've learned nothing from Daunte Wright, Philando Castile, Walter Scott -- all cases where they were routine traffic stops and someone lost their life as a result.

ROMANS: Areva, why release this bodycam before the investigation is finished? You heard Omar say that it was in the effort -- interest of transparency. What do you make of the release of the bodycam video?

MARTIN: I think that's a trend that we've seen in these cases over the last couple of years, at least, where the community is not willing to wait. There's such distrust, particularly in the African-American community, with respect to police departments. And police departments trying to get ahead of the narrative -- trying to demonstrate to the community that they are acting in good faith -- have been releasing videotape at this moment -- the day after -- several days after these encounters occur.

So I'm not surprised. In fact, again, as I said, this has become more of a trend. And you think back to Michael Brown's case several years back where it took days if not weeks, months to get that videotape out there. So I think this is a step in the right direction in terms of transparency.

JARRETT: Areva, I wonder -- have some police departments revised their policy to say if somebody is running away and no longer poses an immediate and imminent threat that even if it turns out that the license plate doesn't match the registration or whatever, you essentially can figure out and get to them later? You don't have to shoot them in the back of the head.

MARTIN: Absolutely, Laura. That was what we thought was happening as we were having this discussion after George Floyd about police reform that many police departments had implemented exactly the policy you identified, which is don't escalate a routine traffic stop into a violent altercation. You can take the license plate, run that plate, figure out where this person lives.


MARTIN: Send them a ticket, a violation. Even go to their home and arrest them.

But I don't know if in this moment where the crime-rising narrative has kind of taken over the reform narrative that if police departments are still engaged in the kinds of reforms that we heard a lot about following George Floyd's murder.

ROMANS: Yes, that's a very good point.

JARRETT: It's an interesting question.

ROMANS: All right, Areva, thank you. Areva Martin, nice to see you.

JARRETT: Thank you so much.

MARTIN: Thank you. Thank you, ladies.

ROMANS: All right, what goes up can go higher. Food prices are surging. What you'll be paying for those grocery store staples.



ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on CNN Business this Thursday morning.

Looking at markets around the world, Asian shares have closed and they've closed higher. Europe has opened narrowly mixed. And stock index futures here in the U.S. also barely moving this morning. Stocks rose Wednesday, ending a 3-day losing streak. The Dow, about 1%.

It is corporate earnings season and an upbeat report from Delta Airlines sparked a rally for travel stocks. Delta reported surging demand for travel. It lost less in the first quarter than expected in terms of profit. And it expects to become profitable again in the second quarter. How? By raising airfares and packing planes.

JPMorgan Chase shares fell. First-quarter profit there down 42% from last year. And CEO Jamie Dimon called the underlying economy strong. Consumer spending is up very good but said inflation and Ukraine are powerful forces that threaten the economy.

More bank earnings ahead of the opening bell this morning -- Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley.

Sticker shock at the grocery store -- higher prices in every aisle. Food prices rising nearly 9% over the past year. That's the largest 12-month increase since 1981. The price of flour jumped 14%; milk up 13%; eggs, 11%; fruits and vegetables up 8.5%. Oh, and bacon prices increased by 18% in this global inflation story. Amazon will start charging sellers a 5% fuel inflation surcharge starting April 28. The temporary surcharge applies only to sellers that use Amazon's own fulfillment services, which include storing, packaging, and shipping products. This new fee aimed at Amazon sellers but it's likely to eventually find its way into your wallet as businesses try to pass along their rising expenses to customers.

But as frustrated as American shoppers say they are by inflation -- by these rising prices -- they keep spending. Research by Bank of America shows consumer credit and debit card spending is up 15% for the first week of April compared to last year. And lower-income households are spending the most compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The bank found consumers' finances holding up well because of a booming job market and what Bank of America called elevated cash levels in checking and savings accounts.

I have a friend who's an economic editor over at Reuters who calls it the sourpuss economy.

JARRETT: Yes, feelings.

ROMANS: You know, people are complaining about everything but they're going to Disney, they're buying plane tickets, they're buying stuff. And they're really just angry that they can't get more stuff. Like, the demand is just unbelievable coming out of COVID.

JARRETT: Yes. They want to -- they want to know where their stuff is and why it's --


JARRETT: -- stuck on a boat somewhere --

ROMANS: The sourpuss economy.

JARRETT: -- and can't get through California --

ROMANS: Right.

JARRETT: -- or for Texas. So interesting -- a really good context there.

ROMANS: Keep spending.

JARRETT: All right.

Well, the Charlotte Hornets had a pretty rough night in Atlanta and that's even before the game against the Hawks.

Andy Scholes has more in this morning's Bleacher Report. Hey, Andy.


So last night -- you know, it was the biggest game of the season for Hornets. It was win or go home in the NBA's Play-in tournament. And it turned out it just wasn't Charlotte's night.

The team's bus got stuck behind a stalled train on the way to the arena so they had to get out and walk the rest of the way. It was about a quarter of a mile.


And things didn't get much better when the game started. The Hawks blowing this one open in the third quarter. They'd go on to win by 29.

The Hornets getting frustrated in the fourth quarter as well. Miles Bridges gets ejected after a fan yells at him on the way out. Watch it here. He's going to actually end up throwing his mouthguard. It hits a girl in the stands.

After the game, Bridges called his action unacceptable and he went on Twitter to see if he could contact that young lady to make up for what he did.

All right. And the other matchup last, the Pelicans hosting the Spurs. Zion Williamson remains out indefinitely for New Orleans but he was on the court during warm-ups, throwing down a casual 360 dunk.

Now, the Pelicans had control of this game before the Spurs rallied with a 16-1 run in the fourth to cut the lead to six. Brandon Ingram hit some big buckets for New Orleans down the stretch. They'd win 113- 103.

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich possibly walked off the court for the last time after 26 seasons in that one. He would not comment on his future after the game.

All right, the Pelicans will now face L.A. -- the Clippers in L.A. for the 8 seed in the west. Tip-off set for tomorrow night, 10:00 eastern on our sister channel TNT. That's right after the Cavs host the Hawks for that final spot in the east.

All right. And finally, Allyson Felix, the most decorated U.S. Track and Field athlete in Olympic history, will hang up her spikes at the end of the season. The 36-year-old announcing her retirement on Instagram, posting, "This season I'm running for women. I'm running for a better future for my daughter. I'm running for you."

A 5-time Olympian. Felix won 11 medals, seven of them gold. And I'll tell you what, Laura, we may never see another track and field athlete go to five different Olympic Games like Felix did. She's certainly a legend.

JARRETT: Just incredible. Yes, just incredible.

ROMANS: What a legend. She has so much to be proud of.


Andy, thank you for that -- appreciate it.

SCHOLES: All right.

JARRETT: All right, now to this. Officials confirming an EF3 tornado with 165-mile-per-hour winds tore through Bell County, Texas Tuesday leaving 23 people injured and more than 60 homes destroyed.

Overnight, a possible tornado also passing through Kentucky. The severe winds and rain left behind damage and thousands of people without power. The most significant threats have also been expected in parts of Tennessee, Indiana, and Arkansas.

CNN's Pedram Javaheri has the forecast for us. Pedram, it feels as though we are now heading into tornado season officially.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, the peak of it here over the next couple of weeks. And Laura, it's been an incredible run of severe weather every single week -- each of the past four weeks. You see the footage coming here out of areas across Louisville, Kentucky of a likely tornado.

And the landscape kind of dotted here with the severe weather that we've seen in the past 24 hours. And fortunately, only five of them were related to tornadoes.

Notice the vast majority stretching over 220-plus severe wind gust reports. Some of these as strong as hurricane-force wind gusts across areas as far as Mississippi, across Kentucky, and the state of Tennessee as well. Very strong wind gusts in place with these storms.

And look at the lightning data here. I was able to tabulate 106,000 lightning strikes across this region of the U.S. in a 12-hour span. It speaks to the intensity of these storms at the height of this feature. It's now, fortunately, beginning to weaken as it moves away and off towards the eastern third of the U.S. But notice quite a bit of rainfall observed here, so flooding widespread, whether it's Arkansas, across Wisconsin, as far north as there in Iowa, you could see as much as 5-plus inches come down.

And we've talked about these tornadoes -- an incredible amount. The preliminary number for the month of March puts us at 292. Eighty is what was normal for March. Look at where we are in the first 13 days of the month of April, almost matching what we expect in the entire month as we approach peak season here over the next month or so -- Laura.

JARRETT: Yikes. All right, Pedram. We know you are staying on top of it. Thank you, my friend -- appreciate it.

ROMANS: So terrifying seeing those big pictures of those --


ROMANS: -- tornadoes down in Texas.

When I was a little girl my house was hit by a tornado. I'm not kidding. And it was the most terrifying experience. And I remember --

JARRETT: That's a Midwest girl for you.

ROMANS: Yes. I remember that -- just how odd it was. Some things -- you know, the china cabinet -- everything still in the china cabinet. Yet, other things were completely -- we destroyed. All of the -- all of the pink insulation was sucked out of the attack --


ROMANS: -- and all over the neighborhood. You know, I was just really terrified.

JARRETT: How old were you?

ROMANS: I was like 10 or 11. It was really scary. And it sounds like a train. When they say it sounds like a train --


ROMANS: -- it sounds like a train.

JARRETT: The roar.

ROMANS: It's just really -- the power of that wind is just unbelievable.

JARRETT: All right. Stay safe out there, everyone. We are thinking about you.

Thanks for joining us. I'm Laura Jarrett.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. "NEW DAY" starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to viewers in the U.S. and around the world. It is Thursday, April 14. I'm Brianna Keilar in Lviv, Ukraine, with John Berman in New York.

Ukraine and the world are bracing for a bloody, largescale Russian attack on the Donbas region as this war is entering its 50th day. The Kremlin making it clear that the goal is to conquer. French military officials are expecting the offensive to begin within days.

And Kyiv could also be --