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Graphic Images Shown in Arbery Trial; Glenda Hatchett and Robert Bianchi are Interviewed about the Arbery Trial; SpaceX Astronauts Return Home; Peter Shankman is Interviewed about State Farm and Aaron Rodgers; Capitol Rioter Flees America. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired November 09, 2021 - 06:30   ET



WANDA COOPER-JONES, AHMAUD ARBERY'S MOTHER: And Ahmaud actually ran for his life.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Inside the court, the defense team tried to show inconsistencies from the former officer's statement.

KEVIN GOUGH, ATTORNEY FOR WILLIAM BRYAN JR.: In your police report summarizing the conversation you've been testifying to today, how many times did you report that Mr. Bryan blocked Mr. Arbery?


YOUNG: Another witness taking the stand on Monday was Sergeant Sheila Ramos, a crime scene investigator with the county. Sergeant Ramos identified unsettling graphic images she took of Ahmaud Arbery's body at the crime scene after he was shot and killed.

SGT. SHEILA RAMOS, INVESTIGATOR, GLYNN COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT: This is the mid-range of the gunshot wound underneath his arm, kind of to his shoulder.

YOUNG: Ramos also testified that fingerprints were not recovered from the weapon on the scene because the shotgun was deemed a biohazard covered in blood. As the Arbery family left the court, their attorney, Mark Maguire, struck an optimistic tone.

MARK MAGUIRE, ARBERY'S FAMILY ATTORNEY: The evidence that went in today continues to give us confidence that these defendants will be held liable, will be found guilty, will be held accountable.


YOUNG: Yes, Brianna, one of the things that stuck out to us about watching this all day long was the reaction by Arbery's mother, especially after they talked about the first officer responding, not really doing anything to help him when he was on the ground. There's a lot of conversation about that, especially with the officer saying he feared for his life. And that he wanted to make sure the scene was secure first. But then there are questions about how long it took to render aid at that point.

Now, court begins today at 9:00. Another officer will testify. More body cam video will be admitted. So we'll be able to see some of the procedures that took place.

This is all about the background of the investigation in terms of how things got started, especially after those moments right after that shooting.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Ryan Young, thank you for that report.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Joining me now is Judge Glenda Hatchet, founder of The Hatchet Firm and the host of "The Verdict," and Robert Bianchi, former prosecutor and host of "The Law and Crime Network."

Judge, I want to start with you.

The prosecution got a lot of details into evidence yesterday, including that there were no reports that Ahmaud Arbery said anything as he was being chased. And he was chased and chased and chased. The defendants never reported seeing a crime committed by Arbery. They never reported making a citizen's arrest there.


BERMAN: Why is all this important?

HATCHETT: Very important. And the prosecution had a, in my opinion, a great day yesterday.

Very interestingly, just as a matter of background, Georgia actually repealed the citizen's right to make a citizen's arrest back in May of this year. But before that, the statute basically said that you can make an arrest if you have immediate knowledge that a crime was committed. None of that has happened in this case. And so the defense is hanging on the point of it being a citizen's arrest and them having acted in self-defense. Those defenses are very, very thin, in my opinion.

And so the fact that this -- they -- they were -- this truck blocked Arbery for five different times, that he literally was running for his life, I think is going to be very, very compelling. Coupled with the second -- Ramos' testimony and those very graphic, graphic pictures of literally his chest being blown apart by a shotgun.

BERMAN: Robert, if you were in the jury, what do you think landed hard hardest yesterday?

ROBERT BIANCHI, FORMER HEAD PROSECUTOR IN MORRIS COUNTY, NEW JERSEY: I think what's most important, as a former homicide prosecutor, is that it became very clear that there was not a crime being committed for which they had a right under the Georgia law as it existed at the time to even be pursuing him anyway. HATCHETT: Right.

BIANCHI: The second thing that I think is most compelling is as a person who's presented evidence in front of juries in homicide cases for many years is the video itself. It's literally hunting a man down. A guy who is running for his life. The visceral reaction of that demonstrable evidence to a jury is going to be very compelling, that he is just trying to flee. And there's three against one. And they come out with a shotgun at the end of it.

I mean, literally, to me, it looked as if a man is being hunted, literally for no reason, other than -- even if they have the argument that they thought maybe he suspiciously was involved in something, I don't think the jurors are going to buy it. And then when they see him lying in a puddle of blood on the ground, this is a prosecutor's dream in terms of demonstrative evidence.

And the beauty of it is, it was a self-inflicted wound, taking that video by the -- one of the defendants themselves. So, I -- this is -- to me, the impact of this is really extraordinary.

And then, lastly, as a prosecutor, I'm always thinking about, is the defense scoring points in any way, shape or form that I'm going to have to clean up? And when I was covering this case yesterday, I was saying to myself and to my guests, I don't even understand where the defense is even going with the cross-examination of these police officers.


So I think it was a great day for the prosecution in this case, on an emotional level and on a legal level.

HATCHETT: Right. I agree.

BERMAN: Judge, what about that? What about the defense case?

HATCHETT: Well, I think it's going to be very interesting. You note that one of the defendants, in fact the one who took the video, his attorney has reserved opening. And so the other -- the prosecution and the attorneys for the father and the son have done their opening argument. The strategy seems to me that he's waiting to see what the state evidence will be before he makes the argument.

And I don't know that that is a great strategy at all in this case because they have heard from the other side, they have not heard from him. But at the end of the day, I think that the defense of self- defense is just absolutely ludicrous, frankly. When you have three men there, they're really literally hunting him down. He is running for his life. And then you're going to say somehow that this was a citizen's arrest, but, yet, the first officer on the scene testified very clearly that they didn't talk about a citizen's arrest at the time. I think that that was -- that came up as part of the defense strategy afterwards.

I think the defense has a tough, tough situation. Although, obviously, we know that the burden of proof is on the state. But I am really -- I don't know where they're going to go when it's time for them to try to defend this case. I don't. I just don't understand that.

BERMAN: So, Judge, Robert, do me a favor. Don't go far. We want to talk to you again in just a few minutes about this trial, also deeply fascinating, that's happening in Kenosha, Wisconsin. So we'll see you again very shortly.

HATCHETT: I'll be right here. Thank you.


BERMAN: Excellent.

So, you can't tell by looking at these smiling faces, but these astronauts survived a SpaceX capsule with a broken toilet. It wasn't the capsule. They survived being in the Space Station with a broken toilet. I'm not sure what a face is supposed to look like when there's a broken toilet, but apparently they don't have the face that portrays a broken toilet. We're going to talk about their dramatic landing where a parachute, by the way, seemed not to open so quickly, very shortly.

KEILAR: Plus, incredible video showing a pastor disarming a gunman who stormed the altar during church service. Who needed a prayer after this tense moment?



KEILAR: Four astronauts splashing down off the coast of Florida, and their SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, after spending six months in space. Now, this wasn't the most comfortable ride because their capsule's broken toilet left them relying on diapers for the nine-hour trip home.

CNN's Kristin Fisher joining me now on this story.

Look, I will say, Kristin, I mean we're reporters. Nine hours, no problem.

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: No problem. You learn how to hold it, right?

KEILAR: Right.

FISHER: And to be very clear here, NASA would never call these diapers, right?

KEILAR: That's right.

FISHER: They're calling them undergarments. And the astronauts on board said that they described this situation as sub-optimal. Very NASA astronaut speak, right? But the bottom line is, the toilets on board the SpaceX Crew Dragon

capsule were out of order for this nine-hour trip back to earth because this is really done out of an abundance of caution, right? SpaceX realized that there had been an issue on one of these other capsules, so they decided to just say, hey, let's take it extra safe and cautious. And you guys put on these diapers for the trip back home.

And these are high grade, astronaut grade diapers, right?

KEILAR: Put on these undergarments.

FISHER: They're built into the space suit. So -- and this is also something that NASA astronauts train for. I mean they are trained to get comfortable with being very uncomfortable. And this crew really had to deal with quite a few challenges during their six-month stay in orbit. This is the crew that had to deal with that space station inadvertently being -- spinning slowly out of control due to those thrusters firing on a Nauka Russian module. That happened twice, actually, one with a Nauka module, another time with a Russian Soyuz rocket.

This is the crew that also had to deal with a very close call with some space debris. They had to jump into their space suits because they thought some space debris could potentially hit the Space Station while they were on board. That did not happen. It was a false alarm. But, still, they really had to deal with quite a few things.

And then, during splashdown, one of the capsule's four main parachutes did not deploy fully fast enough. Now, it still descended at a very slow rate of speed. Everything was OK. But you have to wonder if this could delay NASA's next launch, which is now set for Wednesday.


KEILAR: Well, no wonder they look so darn happy to be home, Kristin. I will say, that's a lot, right?

FISHER: (INAUDIBLE) you can feel it.

KEILAR: Thank you so much for taking us through that.

FISHER: You're welcome.

BERMAN: It's suboptimal when you have to wear a diaper for nine hours, I think, guys. Isn't it safe to say? That -- right? I mean suboptimal? Suboptimal?

KEILAR: I'm using that all the time.

BERMAN: It's suboptimal. That is now my new favorite thing.

Kristin, thank you.

And, again, it was on the capsule. I said incorrectly it was the Space Station. But the capsule had the busted toilet. Let's get the space plumber in there as soon as possible.

A Nashville pastor probably began his Sunday hoping to have -- to save some souls, but he may have saved a lot of lives. Video from the church service shows the tense moments you see a man get up, walk to the altar, and start waving a gun as the pastor is praying with several people kneeling on the floor. The pastor sneaks around the side without the gunman noticing, then tackles him from behind before any shots are fired. One of the church-goers said everyone stayed remarkably calm.


AKIMANA CHARITE, WITNESS: That's the thing, no one in church wasn't panicking, you know, and it was calm. Turned to see what was going on. And then that's when one of the pastors -- I would say it was God that used him, you know? He went around and tried -- like he was about to go outside, and he was -- and the guy with the gun, he was not paying attention to him. So he went around, and that's when he put a (INAUDIBLE) and he ran and jump on top of him and put him on the ground.


BERMAN: Several church members helped the pastor hold the man until officers arrived. Police say he is not a member of the church but sometimes attends. He's now in jail and charged with multiple counts of aggravated assault.

We're glad that everyone who was there is OK.

So, like a good neighbor, State Farm is there, sort of, but maybe not completely for Aaron Rodgers. Why the insurance company is cutting back on ads featuring the quarterback.

KEILAR: Plus, a Republican congressman tweeting out a clip showing him killing his colleague. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, how she is responding.



BERMAN: This morning, State Farm, the insurance giant, is publicly standing by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, calling him a great ambassador after he came under fire for seemingly misleading people that he'd been vaccinated against COVID. So, despite their backing of Rodgers, State Farm is cutting back on his television ads in a huge way. Look at this. Only 1.5 percent of their ads on Sunday featured Rodgers, compared to 20 percent two weekends ago. So, clearly, they're cutting way, way back.

Joining us now, marketing consultant Peter Shankman.

So, State Farm is saying one thing, which is, we're standing by Rodgers, but clearly doing another, which is kind of running away from him. PETER SHANKMAN, MARKETING CONSULTANT: Right. They have their executive

team in an office right now trying to play both angles. Trying to have their cake and eat it too. They, obviously, can't come out and say everything's fine because, let's face it, Rodgers lied, right? He went on TV and he said one thing, and it was entirely a different thing.

The problem is, though, he that he is still beloved by millions of people. And they have a huge contract with him. And he technically, if it went to -- ever went to court, he didn't violate any morality clause or anything like that, probably, right? So they're not about to dump him immediately. But, 1.5 percent from 22 percent is a huge number.

BERMAN: Yes, I mean, look, if you --

SHANKMAN: That's a huge number.

BERMAN: If you watch football on the weekends, which I do a lot of, you know, he's their main guy.


BERMAN: He's all over their commercials.

SHANKMAN: Yes. It is -- it is -- again, the problem is, is that he -- he could have come out and said, you know what, I don't -- I don't know about the vaccine yet and I'm going to take the protocols necessary mandated by the NFL, and there wouldn't have been a problem, right, because he was doing exactly that.

The fact that he came out and did it the way he did it and then doubled down on it by claiming that all of his scientific knowledge comes from Joe Rogan, right, he's hurting himself in that regard. And, in the end, State Farm may have to walk away. They're still hedging their bets right now, but I -- if I had to put money on it, I'd say they might walk away.

BERMAN: They said they think everyone should get vaccinated. They're supportive of vaccines.


BERMAN: But they also said personal choice.

SHANKMAN: Well, exactly. But you can't have it both ways. Right, you can't say, you know, if you look at other NFL superstars who have sort of fallen by the wayside or have come under cancel culture, right, they didn't put millions of people at potential risk, right? So there really is a question of, is this going to be OK? And I think that as the story continues to grow over the next 48 hours, State Farm might have to re-evaluate, as other sponsors that he currently has are doing. Other sponsors have left him already.

BERMAN: Is it possible you can just keep him at arm's length, not come out with another statement but just stop running the commercials? SHANKMAN: It is possible. We live in a very short attention span

theater world right now that has gotten shorter by the year. Every year it seems to get shorter and shorter. You know, this -- if you remember, Paula Dean, the Duck Dynasty, they all got canceled. You've never heard from them again, right? They were gone. Now it's a little harder to get cancelled in that regard. So we might forget about it, but I have a feeling, if the story does continue to have legs, people are starting to say -- there are memes starting to come out and people are starting to say they want to leave State Farm because of this. That is a huge, huge albatross to have around your neck.

BERMAN: I guess. I guess what I'm saying, though, is, if they stop running the commercials --


BERMAN: Is a public statement even required? Because then they're talking with their dollars.

SHANKMAN: Right. They are (INAUDIBLE). Again, it's going to be a question of, are people leaving. People are very click to us what's called clickdavism (ph), which is, they're going to tweet about how they're leaving and this and this, but are they actually going to do it? That remains to be seen. Again, though, this is a huge contract they have, and we're talking millions of dollars. They might not want to spend the rest of that money if it brings them that much trouble.

BERMAN: I'll tell you, if they're calling him the great ambassador, they clearly don't think he's a great ambassador last weekend.

SHANKMAN: Exactly. Exactly.

BERMAN: Because they didn't run the ads.

Peter Shankman, great to see you. Thank you very much.

This morning, why a man who took part in the January 6th riot and is wanted by the FBI is now seeking asylum in Belarus.

KEILAR: And we are learning more about the eight people who died during the Astroworld Festival tragedy.


We're going to speak to the family of one of the victims who died trying to save his fiance.


KEILAR: A Capitol rioter wanted by the FBI for allegedly attacking police during the January 6th insurrection has fled the country and is said to be seeking asylum in Belarus.

CNN's Whitney Wild is joining us live with details.

This is a bizarre twist. WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: In many bizarre twists of the last ten months or so. So this is just another one of the stranger cases we've seen.

Evan Neumann was charged earlier this year with six crimes related to his alleged participation in the January 6th Capitol Riot. One of those charges, as Brianna said, includes assault on law enforcement officers. Neumann allegedly punched two officers at the Capitol as he and other rioters wrestled with officers over a barricade.

Prosecutors say after officers lost control of that barricade, Neumann and others used it as a battering ram. In a recent interview, he told Belarus One that after the FBI began searching for him, he started hiding, traveling across America, from one place to another. Eventually he made his way to Europe. Then, by August, he arrived there by foot, where he was detained by the country's border guards. He told Belarus One that in his interview, he's the subject of political persecution.

Brianna, again, just another strange case in the very long list of odd cases -- excuse me -- odd cases we've seen of these January 6th riot defendants.

KEILAR: Yes. Of bizarre twists, though, this might be one of the more bizarre ones.

WILD: Walking -- walking to Belarus, definitely in the top ten of weird cases for sure.

KEILAR: Yes, it's really unbelievable.

Whitney, thank you so much for that report.

WILD: You bet.

KEILAR: NEW DAY continues right now.

BERMAN: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. It is Tuesday, November 9th. I'm John Berman, with Brianna Keilar.


And the House committee investigating the January 6th insurrection now targeting six top members of Trump's re-election campaign.