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First of All with Victor Blackwell

4 Years Since George Floyd's Death; WA Family Sues Hospital, Others Over Daughter's Death; Honoring Black Veterans On Memorial Day; Volunteers Honor The Service Of Long Forgotten Black Veterans; Artificial Intelligence Disrupting The News Industry; Discrimination And Negligence At Seattle Children's Hospital Led To Teen's Death. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired May 25, 2024 - 08:00   ET



VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Ever since the murder of George Floyd and America still has not had a full rate of reckoning with race in this country and policing. So after the protests and the calls for change, we look into what has really changed. Plus, a family in Seattle says that negligence and discrimination led to their 16 year old daughter's death and now they're suing Seattle Children's Hospital and others. We're going to speak with them about their loss and the lawsuit they just filed.

Also Memorial Day weekend, a lot of people are going to honor military members who gave their lives and service. Going to see a group of volunteers is going to honor the sacrifice of black veterans whose service was nearly forgotten.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, I'm looking forward to it. Have a great show.

BLACKWELL: Thank you very much. Let's do it right now. Let's start the show.

Well, first of all, it is May 25. Four years ago today, George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis. He was 46 years old. And if I now you've seen the video, then Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his back and neck for more than nine minutes. As Floyd repeated, I can't breathe. Well, that video touched off something in this country and the big cities across the U.S. and around the world tens of thousands of people at a time demanded an end to police violence against black people.

Even in small towns where there really aren't many black people, people march with signs that affirm Black Lives Matter. And before I go any further, this narrative that these were rampages destroying American cities, yes, there was some arson, some looting and vandalism at some protests. But by the end of June 2020 96.3% of the 7,305 demonstrations involve no injuries, no property damage. That's according to a group that studies marches and protests. So we've now settled that.

But the summer after Floyd's death was branded as a racial reckoning in America. Was it? And we certainly saw a lot of performances. Remember these? This was blackout Tuesday. People posted black squares on social media. This was in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement record companies that they said, we're about to release any new music.

Aunt Jemima came off the pancake box. Uncle Ben became Ben's original. Eskimo Pie is now Edy's Pie. All long overdue, but that was not the point. Some Confederate statues they came down though not without a fight. Cities painted black lives matter down the middle of the street. That was not the point either.

The point of the movement was to end police violence and disproportionate use of force against black people. But it didn't. Four years since George Floyd's murder, use of lethal force still plagues American cities. According to the ACLU, police killed at least 1,247 people in 2023, more than any previous year on record.

And so far this year, there have been only nine days in which police did not kill someone. The movement called for a change in how police officers are trained and how they're held accountable. But the George Floyd justice and policing act is still not a reality. It was reintroduced in the House this week, where it will likely die again. So four years and where are we?

Joining me now is George Floyd's brother Terrence Floyd. Terrence, good to see you. I want to start though with your brother, you didn't lose an icon. You didn't lose a catalyst. You lost a loved one. You lost a brother. So on this day, what goes through your mind goes through your heart.

TERRENCE FLOYD, GEORGE FLOYD'S YOUNGER BROTHER: Of course, of course, I remember the May 25, 2020. But also I remember my brother as he was, you know, Gentle Giant is where we used to call them, you know, because he was a big guy, but he was loving. He was compassionate. He loved the community that he was in. He loved the community that he was from, which was Houston. I just miss him, you know, and that's basically what I'm feeling right now.

BLACKWELL: You have since started a nonprofit. And I wonder as you assess the changes since 2020, is there some substantive change that you see that maybe I left out that you see that there is progress that is measurable, and the last four years?

FLOYD: Well, like you said, I started my nonprofit organization called we are Floyd based out of Brooklyn, New York. I'm on street side, on a local stock, and a local side, I see change when it comes to the people with unity, with love and compassion for their neighbor. You know, I see that, as far as the police, I see some change, you know. I usually say slow motion is better than no motion.


I see slow movement on it. You know, where there are officers. There always been officers in the in the law enforcement that cared for the community. And it was always the rotten apples that made it bad for all of them. You know, but I see more coming out and really being compassionate with the community, especially where I'm where I'm from. You know I'm saying? When I'm out in Brooklyn, New York, I see that.

BLACKWELL: I saw that you were at the funeral service for Frank Tyson in Ohio.

FLOYD: Yes, sir.

BLACKWELL: We showed the body cam video earlier this month of were in Canton, Ohio police officers there, they knelt on his back. And afterward he said he couldn't breathe. The officer said that you're fine, shut the F up. When you see an officer kneeling on the back of a man he says he can't breathe. He then subsequently dies. What goes through your mind? What do you feel as you're there with another family?

FLOYD: I feel it's hatred towards us. For some reason, I see hatred towards us. And it has to stop. That's why my family along with other families and politicians and people in the community are fighting to get this just like policing the past. Don't, and what I want to let people know don't focus on the name, focus on the content that's in it, what it's going to do for future generations, how it's going to help future generations not have to deal with what we're dealing with right now.

BLACKWELL: The House passed the George Floyd justice and policing act twice it died in the Senate, the first time mostly held up on qualified immunity, which offers some civil protections for law enforcement. When you look at the movement that we saw in 2020 and this national consensus, really a global consensus, because as I mentioned, these protests were overseas as well. How do you reconcile what we saw as a national consensus that something has to change, and the inability for that to translate into some national legislation?

FLOYD: That's something I've been trying to figure out for the last four years. I basically say, I stand on my word when I say it's up to us as a community as a race, as a culture to stay united. You know, because there's always going to be a fight against us. You know, but we can't fight each other. We have to fight together against the air of everyday, the spirit of every day. And make sure that we stay prayerful and stay you stay in Unity.

BLACKWELL: Terrence Floyd, brother of George Floyd, I thank you for your time, especially on this day that that's so important. Terrence, thank you so much.

FLOYD: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Joining me now is Cynthia Roseberry. She's Director of Policy and Government Affairs at the ACL US Justice division. Cynthia, good morning to you. Let me start where Terrance left off, and that's the George Floyd justice and policing act.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee introduced it again, now on the fourth anniversary, or the fourth year, I should say of George Floyd's murder. Has the moment for national legislative change passed now that the crowds that tens of thousands of people have focused somewhere else? CYNTHIA ROSEBERRY, DIR. OF POLICY AND GOVT. AFFAIRS, ACLU JUSTICE DIVISION: Well, good morning. Thank you for having me. And I said my condolences to Mr. Floyd's family. You know, frankly, this is another part of the cyclical nature of a black man particularly being killed by police, and there being an uprising in response to it, but no action by our legislators, you know. Nobody else should die at the hands of police. Everybody deserves to be safe. And the truth is that there is an unbroken line between the slave patrol and today's police including white supremacy.

BLACKWELL: So on the effort to change the law, a National move because we didn't even talk as much about policing now in 2024 as we did in 2020. Obviously, there aren't the massive protests on the street. But we don't expect this piece of legislation to pass in a Republican controlled House. Is that moment over to pass something without the catalyst like what we saw with George Floyd?


ROSEBERRY: Well, you know, I would hope not. As Mr. Floyd said it, we have to continue to advocate for this change. And there is one glimmer of hope in that pleat. People who are outside of the communities that are significantly harmed by police violence, are beginning to hear what we've been saying for so long and to a lesser degree, lawmakers are beginning to hear we see that by virtue of the reintroduction of the George Floyd policing act, but a lot more needs to be done. A lot of bold action has to take place.

BLACKWELL: You follow criminal justice and policing for the ACLU. I wonder if you're seeing more success with changing some of these laws and banning chokeholds and stranglehold. On the local level, in cities, in states at the municipal level.

ROSEBERRY: In places where there are alternative responses to police, there is some progress. You know, we don't ask one profession to do everything. And that's what police have been asked to do to respond to every crisis. The truth is we need mental health professionals and other trained professionals to respond so that we don't end up with lethal contact with law enforcement. So in places that have begun to embrace alternatives to police responses, we are seeing some progress with respect to policing.

BLACKWELL: On the local level and state level, because I think that's more interesting. We've watched this kind of static standoff in Congress over this legislation as it relates to policing, frankly, before the murder of George Floyd. But certainly since lately, some of the issues that we talked about, especially on this show DEI, some of the controls over restrictions and curriculum, they fall along political lines. Does this locally at the state level, also fall on those lines are always seeing that some Republican led cities and Republican led legislators, legistures are making changes.

ROSEBERRY: You know, what we're really seeing is the need for a culture shift across the political spectrum in police departments. We can really, you know, get legislation from either side of the aisle. But unless and until there is a culture shift within police departments, you won't really see in a significant change. So while there are more people from a broad political spectrum, beginning to understand and hear what communities that are harmed are saying. It is the bowl culture shift. Its accountability, right?

You talked about qualified immunity earlier. We have to not allow police to act and to commit misconduct with impunity. They need to be held accountable for their misconduct. And there has to be a culture shift from this idea that civilians are combatants. You know, this military like language, to the idea of serving the communities that they're in.

BLACKWELL: Cynthia Roseberry with the ACLU. Thank you so much.

So a strategic meeting in a swing state starts up some political tension a Trump allies trying to appeal to Arab American voters. I'm going to speak with someone who says he's switching his vote in 2024. Plus, more legal trouble for Sean Diddy Combs his list of lawsuits grows again. New accusations, next.



BLACKWELL: Well, President Trump appears to be turning to an unlikely voting bloc as he's aiming for a second term. His former ambassador to Germany met with members of the Muslim and Arab community in Michigan this week. I've spoken with local leaders on this show who are disillusioned with President Biden because of his handling of Israel's war with Hamas. And Trump supporters see an opportunity here to win over those voters.

Now, President Biden's campaign, the National co-chair told reporters that "Trump will do everything in anything he can to undermine the President's efforts." Joining me now is Bishara Bahbah National Chairperson of Arab Americans for Trump.

Good to have you on sir. Let's start here because two or three weeks into the war, and this is the most recent poll we have is this specific Arab American support for President Biden dropped by 42 points from 59% down to 17%. This is just in the first three weeks of the war there between Israel and Hamas. So there's an opportunity here for President Trump. What is the pitch for those disaffected voters?

BISHARA BAHBAH, NATIONAL CHAIRMAN, ARAB AMERICANS FOR TRUMP: Well, it's very important that we as Arab Americans go in for President Trump and go in early that way we can own the moment. We are at the cusp of having Arab American power and Muslim American power in the United States being flexed to the point where presidential candidates are coming to us, whether it's in swing states, especially like Michigan, as well as Arizona. They're coming to us as to our -- for our support. And like you indicated, President Biden has absolutely enraged the Arab Muslim American communities. There is no way people are going in our communities. They are going to vote for President Biden period.


BLACKWELL: Okay. So those members of your community who are enraged, as you say, because of President Biden's handling of the war, between Israel and Hamas, what will President Trump offer? That will be an improvement based on their definition of what an improvement would be? How would he better help or protect the civilians in in Gaza?

BAHBAH: President Trump and through his emissaries have indicated to us very plainly and clearly that the President wants to see an end to the war period. He wants to see a period of reconstruction, a period of economic development and a path leading to a two state solution.

So with those kinds of promises coming from President Trump, whom we know very well, strikes fear in the heart of Benjamin Netanyahu, he is the only individual that can really affect Israeli policies, at the present time are several things that Biden has proven and proven to be particularly especially weak in his relationship with the Netanyahu.

BLACKWELL: Well President Trump, in his most recent interview with Time magazine would not commit to supporting a two state solution. But I also want to read for you what he did say also to Time Magazine in his assessment of Israel's handling of the war. I think that Israel has done one thing very badly, public relations. I don't think that Israel Defense Fund, I think he met forces there, or any of the groups should be sending out pictures every night of buildings falling down and being bombed with possibly people in those buildings every single night, which is what they do.

He suggests here that the only thing he wants to change is showing people what Israel does. He doesn't talk about in this interview any major policy changes.

BAHBAH: Well, this is not the message that we have heard in Troy, Michigan on Wednesday. The message to us was very clear. The president during his presidency, President Trump, during his presidency, did not engage in any wars overseas on behalf of the United States. He does not like wars. He does not want to spend our children and grandchildren's monies and future on sending armaments to two countries overseas. I'm talking here about Israel and Ukraine, for example.

BLACKWELL: Sure, he's also said that he wants to end the war between Ukraine and Russia. But the question is on which end of that war what he will he be willing to give up or to negotiate a way to end this war, which he says he could do in 24 hours? Let me play one more soundbite here. This is from the former president in Walkinshaw this month, and I want to get your reaction to it.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Under no circumstances shall we bring thousands of refugees from Hamas controlled terrorist epicenters like Gaza to America, we just can't do it.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BLACKWELL: No refugees from Hamas controlled terrorist areas like

Gaza. You're the son of Palestinian immigrants. You have chaired and been on boards of many organizations focused on support for Palestinian Americans and educating Americans about Palestinians. Do you support that commitment from the former president? No refugees from Gaza?

BAHBAH: You know what? I do not want to see a single Palestinian leaving the Palestine area. The moment we leave Palestine, the moment we lose control over the land. And that is exactly what Israel wants.

BLACKWELL: I'm asking you a different question. Do you support that if there are people who choose to come for safety for economic reasons for any other reason that they want to come to the U.S., do you support a ban on Gazans coming to the U.S.?

BAHBAH: No, I don't. I don't support a ban on people who seek refuge to the United States. They should be vetted like everybody else. And that would be the process. There is there is a legal system in the United States that defines what would qualify the qualifications for anyone coming to the United States. So they you know, no.


Obviously, I do not support any ban on Palestinians. But at the same time, I don't believe that Palestinians should be leaving the Gaza or the Palestine area period. Because the moment we do that, we empty it for the Israelis.

BLACKWELL: Last one, last thing here. You wrote an Op Ed during the 2016. Campaign, this was for the Arizona Republic. The headline was GOP is bigoted towards Muslims. And here are your words. "The leading Republican presidential candidate has gone mad. Donald Trump has called for surveillance of us mosques, the creation of a database of Syrian refugees, and would not rule out creating a registry for all American Muslims. Trump also called for deporting the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in America and building a large wall around along the border with Mexico."

I'm interested in how you became not only a Trump voter, but a Trump organizer, considering that's what you said about him in 2015.

BAHBAH: You know, the turning point for me, first of all, many of those things that I have said. The only thing that really transpired was the partial building of the Wall. Everything else has not transpired. So what he said and what in reality happened are two different things.

BLACKWELL: Which is why I'm really perplexed about why you believe any of the commitments that you got from his representatives, when he has not said those things in public about the war between Israel and Hamas.

BAHBAH: When the representatives came to us, you know, they came to us. They wanted to address the community. They are willing to go back to the community. They are willing to do work inside the community that are willing to assuage their concerns. And I believe that President Trump and his team are committed to actually having a better relationship with the Arab and Muslim American communities. There have been clear indications that effect. And honestly, anything, absolutely anything or anyone is better than President Biden at the present time.

BLACKWELL: Bishara Bahbah, thank you so much. I've enjoyed the conversation. Let's keep it going during the campaign. Thanks so much for your time this morning.

BAHBAH: Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Well, they are America's forgotten veterans. This Memorial Day weekend, how one group of volunteers, they're working to honor the legacy of black servicemen who gave their lives.



BLACKWELL: Well, this weekend, people across the country will visit cemeteries to pay tribute to fallen veterans and honor their sacrifice. But some veterans' service has long been overlooked especially in historically black cemeteries. When our volunteers are working to piece their stories together and recognize their sacrifice. Karin Caifa has the story.


KARIN CAIFA, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): On a blustery spring Saturday in North York, Pennsylvania, the civil war service of John Noble is finally memorialized.

Noble was born in Havana, Cuba around 1832. He fought for the Union Army from 1862 to 1863. And in 1902, he was buried in North York's Lebanon cemetery until the 1960s. One of the only burial sites in the area for African Americans.

SAMANTHA DORM, FRIENDS OF LEBANON CEMETERY: I didn't realize that this was a black cemetery. It was just a place where my relatives were buried. And so it's only been since 2019 when I started volunteering here that I knew and understood the gravity of what this site meant.

CAIFA (voice-over): Samantha Dorm is co-founder of a volunteer group called Friends of Lebanon Cemetery. When the group first came together in 2019 the primary mission was upkeep. Now the focus has expanded to research storytelling, education and remembrance.

DORM: The truth of the matter is many of those stories are not there to be found. If you don't have families who can tell you about their ancestors that can tell you about their history, their lineage, those stories are oftentimes lost.

CAIFA (voice-over): The more than 150-year old cemetery Dorm says is the final resting place of at least 300 U.S. military veterans. This spring, Noble and four other black veterans received the grave markers to which every eligible U.S. military veteran is entitled whether buried in a cemetery maintained by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs like this one in Alexandria, Virginia or a private cemetery like Lebanon.

MATTHEW QUINN, VETERANS AFFAIRS UNDER SECRETARY FOR MEMORIAL AFFAIRS: Every veteran has a story to be told and so without that marker, that story is lost and the legacy of that veteran is lost.

CAIFA (voice-over): Matthew Quinn is the VA's outgoing Undersecretary for Memorial Affairs. He says efforts like that by the friends of Lebanon cemetery and out other private sites is an extension of the recognition at the nation's VA operated cemeteries.

QUINN: This is reaching out beyond those boundaries to private cemeteries that maybe the graves haven't been maintained and the markers have been damaged or destroyed.

CAIFA (voice-over): The VA is National Cemetery Administration says they are working with private historically black cemeteries in South Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania and others and local veterans groups historians and volunteers like Samantha Dorm to verify service records and issue markers making sure every veteran service is honored. In Alexandria, Virginia. I'm Karin Caifa.


BLACKWELL: Artificial Intelligence is changing the way that newsrooms gather stories. Some jobs are at stake as well. Coming up you're going to hear from a writer who says some of those by lines with names from diverse writers don't be fooled.



BLACKWELL: Well, journalism, like a lot of industries is undergoing a revolution in part due to artificial intelligence. A growing number of news agencies they're turning now to AI to produce content but if course there is some controversy.


Last year Sports Illustrated deleted articles published under fake author names and AI generated profile photos. Well now Hoodline a news outlet dedicated to hyper local coverage uses AI to generate many of its headlines and the company admits stories produced with AI are published under pen names.

But our next guest says there's often the implication that these creative personas are people of color.

Joining me now is Nuala Bishari, a columnist and editorial writer at the San Francisco Chronicle. Naula, good morning to you. So, some of these AI bind lines, Leticia Ruiz, Nina Singh-Hudson, Tony Ng, not real people. These are by lines attached these stories written by AI.

Why do you believe that they are using these traditionally Hispanic, Indian, Chinese surnames?

NUALA BISHARI, OPINION COLUMNIST AND EDITORIAL WRITER, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Well, San Francisco is a very diverse city, and it may be an attempt to reach readers that don't see themselves reflected and other news sources. Newsroom diversity is an ongoing problem. And it couldn't be that readers may be identifying with people with names that reflect their communities.

BLACKWELL: You call it colonization, pull that thread for me. Why?

BISHARI: Well, I think it makes a mockery of diversity problems in in journalism. A research study from a few years ago, polled 12,000 journalists and more than half of them said that their newsrooms are not diverse and do not reflect the communities that they cover.

And I think it's really important for a diverse array of voices to exist in journalism. It's important that newsrooms reflect the diversity of the communities that they cover.

BLACKWELL: Sophia Vasquez, David Martinez, Ayesha Khan, Javier Gonzalez, Kim Tran, Isabella Rodriguez, these are just my going through the Hoodline page and scrolling through maybe the first dozen stories and those names come up. There are some Mark Washington, oh, that could be a black man, Mark Washington, Michael Taylor's in there too.

But if there is, and there is a small AI icon there, why does it matter that there is a name? I mean, why even include a name if it's created by a computer?

BISHARI: That's a good question. I think it is going back to building that trust it is people want to think that there is somebody covering their community who was on the ground, who was doing shoe leather reporting. And so it creates a false sense of that to have these names put up there.

I do think the little AI symbol, which was put on fairly recently is not something that most readers are going to identify with or understand. And until recently, along with those names, they were actually AI generated images of people as well that fit the racial identities of the names.

And so it really did kind of create a false persona. If these journalists that do not actually exist in San Francisco.

BLACKWELL: The publisher of Hoodline sent us a statement, let me read part of it and get your response. The AI personas were generated at random and not with the intention of misrepresentation. This AI- randomization was to ensure an unbiased approach. And we're continuously refining our approach to better serve our communities and uphold ethical standards of journalism.

I mean, we're all kind of dealing with what AI means for the industry. But I guess if we were on the other side of this, and all of the -- there's no diverse representation, would we be talking about a whitewash of AI and eliminating voices of color from newsrooms without the diverse names? What do you think?

BISHARI: We might be perhaps, but I think that if you read some of these articles, they don't read like they're written by people at all. Some of them are kind of scrambled syntax. Once you start diving into them, it doesn't actually seem like a human voice in there. And that's the most important part of journalism. It is just people talking to people at the end of the day, and so when not humanity is eliminated. I think there's a real problem with AI going too far.

BLACKWELL: We have a lot of questions to answer when it comes to AI and our profession. Nuala Bishari, thank you so much for being with me this morning.

A family in Washington State is suing a Seattle hospital and others how the family says negligence and discrimination led to the death of their 16-year old daughter.



BLACKWELL: A family in Washington State is suing Seattle Children's Hospital and others over the death of their daughter. They say her death was the result of negligence and discrimination. Sahana Ramesh was taken to the hospital in 2020 because she was suffering from recurring seizures. She was 16 years old.

But her parents say she had a severe allergic reaction to the anti- seizure medication she was prescribed. They say it caused rashes over her body and impacted her organs.

According to their lawsuit, the family tried to get Sahana medical treatment more than a dozen times over three months. The family says that their concerns were downplayed and their daughter died after months of suffering.

With me now are Sahana's parents, Nalini and Anapathur Ramesh and their attorney Steve Berman, thank you all for being with me. And of course our condolences on the loss of your daughter.

Anapathur, let me start with you. And you detail in this lawsuit just how much pain Sahana was in and you went to the hospital hoping she would be admitted they did not admit her What did they tell you why they wouldn't give her the care you believe she deserved?


ANAPATHUR RAMESH, SAHANA RAMESH FATHER: Well, I think originally went to the nearby hospital Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland. And we went once and then second time they saw that it was pretty serious. At least what we thought they center by ambulance to the Seattle Children's. They said I will take her there because it's that I -- to hospital for you guys. Because we can't read that -- we did this too -- looks complicated. So that's when we went to Seattle Children's ER first time, we went separately, and then the ambulance took her from one hospital to another. And in the Seattle Children's, when we went there, they we went there

-- the only the only examining her and we thought is going to be like that night that might be going to be staying. Even for the other hospital ER, folks, so then we at the end of that, ER, there's no, it's okay, here's some, you know, there's a skin rash. It's called DRESS, didn't say dress at the time, but they said it's due to allergy and say they gave some cream and medication to apply.

And said, I kept asking, is there any life threatening or not, but they didn't -- they should also carry on that Senator Sanders call.

BLACKWELL: I just want to let people know that DRESS is Drug Related Eosinophilia and Systemic Systems, what is known. And that can lead to myocarditis, which is the inflammation of the heart, which is eventually what killed Sahana.

Did they tell you that that was a potential risk, Nalini? Did they tell you that that could possibly happen?

NALINI RAMESH, SAHANA RAMESH MOTHER: No, they did not. And I kept asking them time and again. So the first time I went -- we went, there was this emergency physician. And I said, have you treated cases like this before? They said yes. I asked how many, said many. And I said everybody turned out OK, so yes. So I said, so will our daughter be OK? They said yes. So we trusted them.

And you know, time and again, my mother from India would ask is her life in danger many times. So each time we went almost we said is her likely asked, is her life in danger? They said no. But unbeknownst to us last year, during the deposition, we found out that they -- in their internal notes had written that this is a life threatening situation and she could die and there could be multi-organ impact.

Now, we didn't know that. If we had known that we would have requested. We would have asked them. We asked them even at one point if she needed to be admitted. But they said no. Because it wasn't serious.

I asked for help many times. We didn't know this was a life threatening situation. Otherwise, we would have either taken her elsewhere, or we would have, you know, pushed for more care. We didn't know at all.

BLACKWELL: Attorney Berman, institutional bias in medicine. We've reported on it and it's well known. But proving individual racism, individual discrimination is not easy. How do you prove that the reason that this young girl did not get the treatment she deserved was because of who she is because of her race.

STEVE BERMAN, ATTORNEY FOR THE RAMESH FAMILY: I think we'll have a multi-faceted order prove one, the parents, they kind of you kind of know discrimination when you're undergoing discrimination even if you're not explicitly called out because of your race.

Two, we have an unusual situation here, where the university -- where the hospital hired the ex-attorney general of the United States to study whether there was racism, and he found racism. And three, amazingly, one of the treating physicians wrote a paper finding that there was discrimination at the hospital and both admissions and treatment. So a treating physician finds that there's implicit racial bias in this hospital.

BLACKWELL: Steve Berman, Nalini Ramesh, Anapathur Ramesh, thank you for sharing your story with us. We'll continue to follow your lawsuit there. And again, our condolences for the loss of your daughter Sahana.

We reached out to Seattle Children's Hospital for a statement they say our hearts go out to any family mourning the loss of a child and we take our responsibility to provide equitable high quality care seriously but cannot come in on this specific case due to pending litigation. CNN also reached out to Children's University Medical Group. We'll be right back.



BLACKWELL: More than 60 years after he was chosen by President John F. Kennedy to become the country's first black astronaut, 90-year old Edward Dwight finally made it into space. He and five other people were on board the Blue Origin spaceflight of the New Shepard rocket. Now lifted off last Sunday for nearly 10 minute journey into space.

The 1961, he was handpicked to break the color barrier as America's first black astronaut but his dreams were ultimately derailed by racism and politics.


EDWARD DWIGHT, FIRST BLACK ASTRONAUT: I was going to be the first black astronaut. I've completed astronaut training everything that we did, I did and I did it well. Everybody as a stay angry I must have been a disappointed I must have been. As I look at it philosophically, my role in the whole process was to open up a conversation about blacks in the space.


And so I served a purpose and I was very proud of it.