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New Day Saturday
Capitol Officer Killed, Another Injured After Suspect Rams Car into Police Barrier Outside Building; Top Homicide Detective: Chauvin's Use Of Force Totally Unnecessary; Anti-Asian American Hate Crime On The Rise. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired April 03, 2021 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A second deadly attack on the Capitol grounds in less than three months.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of our officers has succumbed to his injuries.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is clear that the Capitol is under some threat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Putting your knee on the neck for that amount of time. It's just uncalled for.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The week filling in gaps of what happened on May 25, 2020.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got to control this guy because he's a sizeable guy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are helpless.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fully vaccinated Americans can now celebrate indoors without a mask and get back to traveling.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NSAID: We need to hold out just a bit longer and get vaccines a chance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The doomsday scenario could be the rise of a variant that is completely insensitive to the vaccines.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to your New Day. I'm Victor Blackwood.
AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Amara Walker in today for Christi Paul. BLACKWELL: So, this morning there are new questions about security at
the U.S. Capitol. A man rammed his vehicle into a barricade killed one Capitol Police Officer, injured another.
WALKER: U.S. Capitol Police Officer William Evans was killed in that attack Friday. He was an 18-year veteran on the force and a member of the Capitol divisions first responders unit and we're now hearing from some of those who knew him well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON LAFOREST, CHILDHOOD FRIEND OF SLAIN OFFICER EVANS: It is, you know, incredibly sad and just surreal. You know, to know that Billy died, you know, serving our country, doing something that he loved so much. Above all, he just, he loved life, he loved being a dad and he loved - he loved being a part of the U.S. Capitol Police.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Now police say the driver was Noah Green, 25 years old. He was shot and killed by police. They say he exited his car and ran toward officers with a knife.
WALKER: Officer Evans is the second U.S. Capitol Police officer to be killed in the line of duty this year. Officer Brian Sicknick died one day after he was injured in the January 6, Capitol riot.
BLACKWELL: CNN's Joe Johns is following all of this from the Capitol. Joe, what does security look like there this morning?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Very tight. As a matter of fact, when I was coming in, I saw just the huge numbers of DC National Guard who have been here since the riot on January 6, coming in from the buses into the offices where they stage now.
I have to say this attack yesterday afternoon here at the United States Capitol is the type of attack the authorities say is hardest to defend against, a lone attacker in a car, whatever determining the means the manner the method, the place, the time of the attack.
And authorities of course have a very hard time figuring out through intelligence when something like that is going to happen. If you talk to the authorities this morning, they will tell you they believe that the system worked, at least to the extent that it was designed to protect the United States Capitol.
But what a terrible price. An 18-year veteran of the United States Capitol Police Force Billy Evans died there. Another officer was injured apparently in stable condition at the hospital. Again, what happened was very simple, very tragic. This individual, the attacker in a sedan pulling up to one of the checkpoints here at the United States Capitol, trying to rush the checkpoint, the barricade there. The officers tried to stop him. When he emerged from the car with a knife, they shot and killed him. But also, the officers, one injured one killed as well. What we know about this suspect is very little, but I can tell you, as
you said his name is Noah Green. He's about 25 years old, apparently very troubled individual, a lot of delusional social media posts. Apparently, a follower of the Nation of Islam. Also apparently went to college in the Newport News, Virginia area where he played football.
The motivation of course, a huge question and that is something that will be a subject of the investigation going forward, back to you.
WALKER: All right, Joe Jones, thank you very much.
BLACKWELL: All right. Let's bring in now to talk about all this, CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd, former CIA counterterrorism official and former FBI senior intelligence advisor. Phil, good morning to you.
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Good morning.
BLACKWELL: So, let's start here with you know, John - Joe just talked about the social media discoveries. He posted in the weeks before the attack that he had lost his job, suffered medical ailments, said he believed the federal government was targeting him with mind control. When you hear that, is this something that you think, you know, investigators should have seen this and flagged it?
Or people post bizarre things on social media all the time? How is anyone supposed to know that this was going to become what we saw yesterday?
MUDD: A couple things. First, I would agree with what Joe was saying about the conversation down and down on the Capitol, looks like the system works. In this case, despite the loss of someone, at least the individual did not get out of the compound. But let me take you inside looking at people like this.
It's a numbers game in two ways. The first number is 330 million Americans, you are not going to be looking at social media postings of every single person who might have delusions, you're talking about millions of people, it's simply not possible. Nor is it completely appropriate.
The question in the coming days that I've been watching the news media, as you have would be whether there's an indication that the individual was going to conduct an act of violence. I haven't seen that yet. So, the question would be, even if you could look at millions of people, what would you look at in this case, that would have been a trigger may be a trigger for a family member or friend to refer the individual for treatment, but not a trigger for law enforcement.
I don't see any indication of violence.
BLACKWELL: You know, I had a conversation with Julia Kiam earlier about how, you know, we've talked about hardening soft targets, but would a higher fence, more guardsmen, a wider barrier prevented something like this, and could it prevent something like this in the future? I mean, there's going to be an exterior at some point.
MUDD: Correct. I don't think so. I mean, there's going to be a balance for both social reasons. I mean, you want the people to have access to the Congress, but also for realistic reasons. Look, there, there are things you have to think about in defending that perimeter.
Number one, looking at people coming in with things like backpacks. Do you want metal detectors? Do you want to prohibit backpacks? Obviously, for any building of this significance, you want to prevent vehicles from coming in. That's relatively easy. You see those concrete barriers around locations around the country.
But let me give you one quick perspective, if you want to try to prevent this by setting up barriers around the country, you could think of every school, every federal building, every military recruitment site. I don't think even if you wanted to do it, and I wouldn't even if you wanted to do it, I don't think it's possible.
BLACKWELL: We've seen attacks like this, unfortunately, not ending even with the death of a member of Capitol Police. Before the insurrection, we've seen people breach the barrier at the White House as well. Do you believe that there's any correlation between what we saw on the sixth and the Capitol becoming a greater target for people than it was before the insurrection?
MUDD: Well, I'm a little conflicted on this. So, let me give you a little bit of a fuzzy answer. We've got two data points, two big data points. The big data point, obviously, of January 6, and the data point from yesterday. So as a career analyst, two data points don't make a trend.
That said, if you look at the history of attacks over time, for example, attacks against aircraft, you remember, or you may not remember, you're not old enough. I am, I remember the rise in hijackings in the 70s. Once people realize that something that looks like a location, they can't breach is actually breachable, that has a trigger effect, an avalanche effect.
That is people seeing that the Capitol isn't as invulnerable as they might have thought. So, I'm looking at this, if I were an analyst on the inside saying two data points aren't a lot, but still, there are people out there saying, Wow, you can do this at a target of this prominence. Let me give it a try.
BLACKWELL: You know, I want to talk about this taskforce report after the insurrection on the 6. They returned the report on March 5. One of the things they said about the intelligence gathering apparatus within the U.S. Capitol Police, and let's put it up on the screen is that the understaffed intelligence and interagency coordination division, the IICD lacks the experience, knowledge, processes to provide intelligence support against emerging domestic threats.
Is that a deficit that can be rectified, overcome quickly or what's the structural changes needed to overcome what's now been identified? MUDD: Look, I'm not sure I agree with the report. That's a different
question. But let's take the question you're asking. You cannot rectify that quickly for a couple reasons. One is simply numbers. How do you get people trained to look for that stuff over the course of weeks or months? You can't train a seasoned analyst. That takes years. The second question is really hard to get at and we are not there even close in this country. What are the criteria that you want to use for the Capitol Police or the FBI or state and local police? What are the criteria that you want people to use to look at political protesters?
Let me make this tougher. On January 5, if the FBI or the Capitol Police or the Metropolitan Police and police in DC had told the Senate, we are conducting intelligence investigations against people attending the President's rally, someone would said - would have said, not only is that wrong, we're going to bring you down for congressional hearings and flay you.
So, within the past couple of months, a conversation has changed, and people said maybe we should look at individuals like this. I want to say I want to see what the standards are before we start looking at political protests.
BLACKWELL: All right, Phil Mudd, always appreciate your time and expertise, sir. Thanks so much.
WALKER: In the Derek Chauvin murder trial, a top Minneapolis detective testified against his former colleagues saying he used too much force when trying to restrain George Floyd. Why his opinion matters?
BLACKWELL: Plus, the CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated people covering travel and family gatherings. Obviously important ahead of this Easter weekend. What this means for you?
WALKER: Welcome back everyone. The first week of the Derek Chauvin murder trial ended with potentially damaging testimony from Minneapolis' most senior police officer.
BLACKWELL: He is a 35-year veteran and he called Chauvin's use of force, pinning George Floyd with his knee for so long, totally unnecessary. CNNs Josh Campbell reports on what has been an emotional week of testimony.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The family of George Floyd kneeling in protest Monday, just hours before testimony would begin in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer accused of murdering their loved one.
Prosecutors opened with a video that sparked a worldwide movement, capturing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck, which they say killed him.
JERRY BLACKWELL, SPECIAL ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: You can believe your eyes that it's homicide, it's murder.
CAMPBELL (voice over): Chauvin's attorney argued the video doesn't tell the whole story that Floyd died of an underlying heart condition and.
ERIC NELSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR DEREK CHAUVIN: The ingestion of methamphetamine and fentanyl and the adrenaline throwing - flowing through his body.
CAMPBELL (voice over): New video from the scene, an emotional testimony seemed to drive the prosecution's case right from Charles McMillan, the man heard on body camera video pleading with Floyd to give in to police.
CHARLES MCMILLAN, EYEWITNESS: I feel helpless I don't have a moment (inaudible)
CAMPBELL (voice over): Also heard for the first time since the beginning of the trial, Chauvin himself on police body camera footage as he defends his treatment of Floyd to McMillan.
DEREK CHAUVIN, GEORGE FLOYD MURDER ACCUSED: Got to control this guy because he's a sizable guy.
MCMILLAN: Yes. I got it. Get in the car.
CAMPBELL (voice over): Arguably the strongest testimony for the prosecution came from members of the Minneapolis police department. Sergeant David Ploeger now retired was the supervising officer on duty. He was asked if Chauvin followed police protocol.
STEVE SCHLEICHER, PROSECUTOR: Do you have an opinion as to when the restraint of Mr. Floyd should have ended in this encounter?
SGT. DAVID PLOEGER (RET), CHUAVIN'S FORMER SUPERVISOR: Yes.
SCHLEICHER: What is it?
PLOEGER: When Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended the restraint.
SCHLEICHER: And that was after he was handcuffed and, on the ground, and no longer resistant?
CAMPBELL (voice over): The jury also heard from 35-year police veteran Richard Zimmerman, who testified it was totally unnecessary for Chauvin to kneel on Floyd's neck after he'd been handcuffed, calling it deadly use of force.
SCHLEICHER: Once you handcuff somebody, does that affect the amount of force that you should consider using? LT. RICHARD ZIMMERMAN, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE HOMICIDE CENTER: Absolutely.
SCHLEICHER: How so?
ZIMMERMAN: Once a person has coughed, the threat level goes down.
CAMPBELL (voice over): Chauvin's attorney attempted to undermine Zimmerman's credibility, arguing that Zimmerman is a detective, not a patrol officer.
NELSON: And it would not be within your normal role or your job duties to do such a use of force analysis, right?
ZIMMERMAN: That's correct.
CAMPBELL (voice over): During the week of testimony, a common emotion emerged from some of the eyewitnesses. Remorse. Christopher Martin was a cashier who suspected Floyd handed him a fake $20 bill, an interaction that initiated the police response. The teenager was asked what he now feels about the encounter.
CHRISTOPHER MARTIN, WITNESS: Disbelief and guilt.
SCHLEICHER: OK. Why guilt?
MARTIN: If I would have just not taken the bill, this could have been avoided.
CAMPBELL (voice over): Josh Campbell, CNN, Minneapolis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Now the killing of George Floyd inspired protests across the country around the world and crowds invoke the names of other black men and women who have died in police custody, including Freddie Gray. Now Gray was arrested in Baltimore in 2015. He was shackled in a police van but not given a seat belt at the end of what was later termed a rough ride.
Gray was unconscious his neck was broken. He died a week later. Like in the Floyd case, there was video of Gray's arrest six police officers were charged, three were acquitted in trials, charges were dropped against the remaining three. And like Floyd's death, Gray's sparked days of protest and calls for police accountability.
Joining us now is the prosecutor who charged those Baltimore police officers Marilyn Mosby, State's Attorney for the city of Baltimore, Madam State's Attorney, thanks so much for your time this morning.
MARILYN MOSBY, MARYLAND STATE'S ATTORNEY, BALTIMORE CITY: Thank you for having me, Victor.
BLACKWELL: Let me start here pretty broadly and then we'll - we'll taper in. What's your - your assessment thus far of the government's case against Derek Chauvin? MOSBY: So I think it's incredibly compelling. I mean, what you have
that we didn't have in Freddie Gray is actually video footage of the killing and the egregiousness of Chauvin's actions that appears to be what we didn't have in Freddie Gray, this blue wall of silence doesn't exist.
What you have is actual police that appear to be distancing themselves from the unjustifiable murder captured on camera. And so the other thing that you don't have, that - that you have in this case that we have in Freddie Gray, is that this has been tried in front of a jury. You know, when we tried the first officer of Freddie Gray, those - there was a hung jury.
But then the officers were able to circumvent the communities that they represent, and the judge acquitted them, time and time again. But what is more compelling in this particular case, it's because of the iPhones and cameras that the world is able to see for themselves, the indifference to black humanity, which has been perpetuated by a culture of white supremacy and policing that stigmatizes and dehumanizes black people, because the police consider us criminals.
BLACKWELL: You hold up that video first is like the primary element of this prosecution. You've called it a smoking gun. So I want your reaction to how Derek Chauvin's attorney is describing what is seen on the video, and then we'll talk about it, let's play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NELSON: Pursuant to Minneapolis Police Department training, when a suspect is arrested, and in the process of being handcuffed or being restrained, it would be consistent with the Minneapolis Police Department training you've received to place your knee across the shoulder to the base of the neck.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Across the shoulder to the base of the neck. Now we have all watched that video more times than we would care to. Do you think it's effective, and people can go back and watch it. I really don't want to see it again, to now say that his knee was on his shoulder and not on the man's neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds.
Will the jury buy that?
MOSBY: I don't believe that they will. I mean, the camera doesn't lie. And at the end of the day, Derek Chauvin exhibited this indifference to George Floyd's life, because in his mind, Floyd was a criminal, which is why Chauvin was able to exert his power and his authority and dominance by nailing on the neck of a black man as he pleads for his life and calls for his mother for nine minutes and 30 seconds.
That indifference to black humanity where the police criminalized the victim, is why we watch the defense attempting to use George Floyd's drug use in order to rationalize Chauvin's supremacy and authority over Floyd's life. Chauvin is merely laying the foundation to blame Floyd's, "criminality" for his own death. And this is not new.
This is what we saw, not just from the context of the latest, sort of criminalizing black people, has been a tactic and mindset of police in the deaths of Freddie Gray and Filando Castille and Mike Brown, Ahmed Arbery, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice. And so, you know, that is one of the reasons why it's so incredibly important to be able right this sort of mentality and this wrong. BLACKWELL: You have invoked race several times in our conversation this morning. What we have not heard is that same invocation from the prosecutors from the state, they're arguing a more technical case. Do you think that they should include the element of race here, and that it will be effective in getting a guilty verdict from the jury?
MOSBY: I absolutely do. I think that, you know, the reality of the situation is that when it comes to the criminalization of black people in this country, we can look at the egregious and inhumane exercise of authority by police that is invoked time and time again, on black people in this country.
And not just in recent times but historically, where it's always been the case that there's been violent enforcement by police of black people from slave codes, to imposing dogs and hoses, and on children during the civil rights movement to the imposition of mass incarceration during the war on drugs, which was later professed to be a war on black people.
This is the reason why, you know, I came up this week and basically said that, you know, we as prosecutors have to recognize and acknowledge our authority and power to shape the criminal justice system. And we have - we have to acknowledge that when we criminalize these minor offenses that have nothing to do with public safety, we expose people to needless interaction that for black people in this country can lead to a death sentence.
Freddie Gray merely made eye contact with police in a high crime neighborhood and decided to run. Sandra Bland failed to put on a turn signal. Eric Garner was allegedly selling loose cigarettes. George Floyd is alleged to have passed a counterfeit bill during a global pandemic for groceries, he is now dead.
So we have to use our discretion and redefine public safety. And that's what we attempted to do in the city of Baltimore when I came out and said to this week, that last week, excuse me that we're not prosecuting drugs and possession and prostitution.
BLACKWELL: Let me ask you. Control Room, I hear you giving me the rant but I'm going to take another minute. And you started this a year ago as initially to try to thin the population in jails and prisons in COVID.
And you said that you would no longer prosecute drug possession, attempt to distribute prostitution, trespassing, minor traffic offenses, a host of other low level crimes. And a year later, violent crime is down 20 percent, property crime is down 36 percent. You're making these changes per minute.
I am on borrowed time here, but how can you be sure that there's a causal relationship between your decision not to prosecute those crimes, and the drop in violent and property crimes.
MOSBY: So I'm not attributing the drop in crime to my policies. What I am attributing is that the data suggests that these crimes where we've been criminalizing black people for decades, have absolutely nothing to do with public safety. Right?
I'm attributing the decline in crime to the stability within the police department. I've worked with five police commissioners and four mayors in the past five years. But what we can see from the data is that we should be able to utilize the resources, the limited resources that we have in law enforcement and focus on homicides and non-fatal shootings, not these low-level crimes that for black people in this country lead to a death sentence.
BLACKWELL: All right, Marilyn Mosby, State's Attorney for the city of Baltimore, thank you so much for your time this morning. All right, for more information about how you can protect your mental health because I know watching this is a lot. Go to cnn.com/impact. We'll be right back.
BLACKWELL: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says that travel is a low risk for people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
WALKER: That's as long as the usual precautions are taken such as wearing masks. CNN's Jacqueline Howard has more on this. Jacqueline, what can you tell us?
JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Victor and Amra, there's a lot of interest in what this CDC guidance says for vaccinated people. And just to clarify, you're considered fully vaccinated two weeks after completing a COVID-19 vaccine regimen.
So that's either two weeks after getting a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, or two weeks after getting your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. And here's what that CDC guidance says for fully vaccinated people.
Now, if you're traveling within the U.S., there's no need to get tested or self-quarantine. But of course, you still want to wear a mask and take other precautions. If you're traveling internationally, there's no need to quarantine but you still have to have a negative COVID-19 test result before entering the U.S. and it's still recommended to get a follow up test three to five days after you return. Now CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, she says that this new
guidance does not mean the CDC recommends travel. Keep in mind only about 18 percent of the U.S. population is vaccinated. COVID-19 cases continue to rise. And Dr. Walensky says that she's still worried, have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, DIRECTOR, CDC: I still continue to worry that with 80 percent of the population are unvaccinated that we have a lot of work to do to control this pandemic, which remains my concern.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD: So you see her message there is that there's still more work to do. Back to you.
WALKER: All right, Jacqueline Howard. Thank you for that. Now Michigan is seeing an alarming spike in new COVID cases, especially among young people and experts say new variants like the UK strain may be in part to blame. Joining us now is Dr. Rob Davidson. He's an emergency room physician and executive director for the Committee to Protect Medicare.
Doctor, good morning to you. Let's talk about what what's happening there in your state. The cases of COVID-19 are exploding, even as I think the last number I saw was about 2.8 million people or doses being given out in terms of vaccinations every day. What are you seeing on the ground? What's the impact been so far?
DR. ROB DAVIDSON, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: Yes, we're seeing more and more patients with COVID. Now our test positive rate in our hospital system's over 15 percent. Our hospitalization rate has more than tripled in just over a week now. And so as we've seen in previous surges, we see cases then we see hospitalizations, and unfortunately two to three weeks later we see more deaths.
We are hopeful that because it is seems to be younger people who are coming into the hospital and now we have a significant number of folks over 65 who are vaccinated, we're hoping that death number stays down. But you know, frankly, I don't want to find out I would rather people follow the public health measures, like we've been saying for over a year, and try to keep these cases down. So we don't have to, you know, keep worrying about how many people might die from this.
WALKER: Yes, I mean, and I guess how do you reach the young people then especially, you know, if there might be this mindset amongst some of them that you know, that they may not get so sick.
DAVIDSON: Listen, frankly, myself, my fellow physicians, we're tired of the politicization of this, but unfortunately, that has been the case for the past year and in Michigan, and I know in Wisconsin just across the lake, they just struck down a mask mandate from Governor Evers.
In Michigan, we've had, you know, Republican leaders in the legislature fighting our governor at every step, trying to take away measures people trying to take away testing measures for high school sports. Now they're suing the governor.
We know high school sports have been significant sorts of outbreaks in this last wave, and they're trying to get rid of the head and it just makes no sense. So I think we need to all be rowing in the same direction. And we can - we can do this. It's just a matter of will on both sides.
WALKER: And Dr. Davidson, Michigan also confirmed its first case of the Brazil variant just this week, but I know the big, bigger concern right now is the UK variant because it's known to be 50 percent more transmissible possibly causes more severe disease.
Can you talk a little bit about what you believe is behind the surge and how much the variance right now are playing a factor?
DAVIDSON: Yes, we don't get real time data on our patients, you know, at the bedside, but we do know from the, you know, kind of the public health testing that those variants are significant. I think we're number two as far as percent of variants of any state. And with this surge, you know, people are suggesting it has to be part of it.
So it's, of course, that race getting enough people vaccinated before the variants dominate and really have this take off even more than it has. So again, it's getting both sides involved in convincing people to get vaccinated, having doctors' offices are now in the next few weeks going to start getting vaccines in their offices.
So when they talk to their patients and convince them that this makes sense that you need to get vaccinated, they can hopefully get that done in real time and we can get more people protected.
WALKER: Yes, this is exactly what health officials have been raising alarm bells about, right? I mean, these variants are concerning, they could start a surge as we are seeing in Michigan. Dr. Rob Davidson, appreciate you joining us. Thank you very much.
WALKER: And be sure to tune in this afternoon when Dr. Anthony Fauci joins Newsroom with Jim Acosta. They'll talk more about these new guidelines and what they mean for you and your family in the weeks and months ahead. That's at 5pm Eastern right here on CNN.
BLACKWELL: Attacks against Asian Americans are on the rise. After the break, we'll be joined by a couple who say they were the victims of a hate crime. And they have a video to prove it.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WALKER: I want to warn you about the video I'm about to show you. It
is violent and you may find it disturbing but I do think it's important for you to see. The video shows an apparent attack on an Asian couple in Tacoma - Tacoma, Washington. This happened last November and you can see and hear the couple as they're being hit and cry out.
The couple say they did not - couple says they did not know the attacker. Tacoma police say they have now arrested a 15 year old. He has been charged with second degree assault. Police say again that attack happened in November but was only recently able to connect the video to these victims.
The man you see being attacked in the video says he forgives those who attacked him, but he wants them to do better. So attacks on Asian Americans, both physical and verbal have been occurring at an alarming rate since the pandemic began. Now an Asian American couple is revealing details of what happened to them on the streets of New York after a woman yells at them to go back to Communist China. Watch and listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that Communist China?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, isn't that where you're from?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it's not where I'm from.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where are you from?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm from the U.S.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, look. I don't want to talk about this anymore. OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, no, you're on camera.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Leave me alone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, you want to even cover your face now. You're ashamed. You're ashamed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: Wow. The woman in the cab is Maura Moynahan. She released a statement saying this. "It had nothing whatsoever to do with any bias or racism or anti-Asian American prejudice as has been wrongly suggested. I have devoted most of my life to working with and for Asian people, most particularly in the cause of securing basic human rights for the Tibetan people in their continuing struggle against Communist China."
the couple of Maria ha and her husband, Daniel Lee joining me now with more. I definitely want to get your reaction to her statement. But first, good on you both for having the clarity of mind to record this attack on video. Secondly, I'm just so sorry that you have faced this kind of hatefulness.
Maria, first to you. Can you walk us through this encounter the way this woman looked at you and the way she talked to you because it's important, I think, for people to know that these kinds of things could happen to any of us as long as they look like you or me.
And by the way, this woman was a complete stranger.
MARIA HA, ATTACKED BY DANIEL PATRICK MOYNAHAN'S DAUGHTER: Yes, she was a complete stranger. I've never seen her in my life. I was just minding my own business and walking to a photoshoot that I have today or that day.
And I realized someone was staring to me or towards me, so I looked back to see if there's anything in the back. There was nothing and she kept staring so I was just trying to be on my phone or you know, not care about her and she started walking towards me and said, You're not from here. You're from China. Go back to China.
WALKER: Wow, I'm sorry. I just when I first saw this video, I was enraged and then speechless. Daniel, can you tell me what was going through your mind as you were confronting this woman, that was your voice in the video? And how did she make you feel.
DANIEL LEE, VIDEOTAPED INCIDENT: I mean enraged is the word that kind of comes to mind there, just having been born here and having both of us lived here most of our lives like and being told to go to a country that we're not even from. And even if you've were from that country, it's still not right to say that ever.
Now I was behind all types of, you know, like anger, trying to make sure like she's protected and, and all those things because this can happen to any - any one of us, like you said. And it was just like, all these alarm bells were going off. And I personally for me, I just wanted to make sure that she was held accountable for actions here, no matter who she is, this person.
WALKER: And I just want to point this out. And I've had many times, you know, on TV that comments like, go back to China or go back to where you came from, that is part of the Asian American experience, right? But what's new, what we're seeing lately is just how blatant, how these things are happening in broad daylight and the audacity of the way people, strangers are coming out of the woodwork. Is that correct?
LEE: That's correct. Just being a bit more aggressive.
WALKER: And Maria. Yes, I'm sorry. And Maria, tell me about Moynahan's. this woman's statement. It doesn't sound like an apology at all really, especially saying that it was wrongly suggested that she had some kind of racism against Asian Americans. What are your thoughts on her comments?
HA: Whatever she did, worked on the past doesn't matter like, because what she said was racist and her work, her past work doesn't testify what she's doing.
WALKER: How are you guys doing now? I mean, you guys are a married couple. You live in New York, you walk down the street. You're hearing and seeing, you know, more and more attacks happen against Asians? Are you more aware, more concerned?
LEE: Yes, just a bit more hyper alert every time we step out the door. This literally happened when I you know, I was a little - running a little late and trying to catch up to her. And this happened within like, two minutes that we were separated. So we're always sticking together, kind of making sure we have our backs when we leave the door.
A bit disappointing that we have to do that here in New York with the diversity, and we have to worry about these types of types of attacks. So we're definitely on alert a lot more.
WALKER: And Maria, I mean, so the reality is these attacks, verbal or violent you know, they keep happening, as I was saying, and a lot of them have been aimed at the elderly Asian population. I think the most recent one that got a really visceral reaction from so many people. Here's a still image of it.
It was the case of the 65 year old Filipino woman. She was savagely kicked, punched, stomped in the head. This happened in your community last week as she was walking, I believe to church. And the attacker allegedly yelling, F you, you don't belong here, you Asian. This is happening. This happened just in your backyard. But you know, you also had an incident happen to you.
What's it like for the both of you? And Maria, you can start by answering this question to watch these anti-Asian incidents continue?
HA: It's very concerning. And I really worry about our family friends who are out there, because not only we experienced it, but they also experienced it as well. So we are really worried about that.
LEE: Yes. Yes, especially with that case of 65 year old lady, I, first off, I hope she's doing better. And wish the family safe and well. But second, I just wish that just like in our case, there were a lot of bystanders that didn't really do much. And I completely understand, it's New York, you don't know the full story of what's going on, it's hard to step in.
But in that case, in particular, it would have been very helpful if someone kind of just stepped in even to distract the perpetrator or, you know, show that there was support and that this person was not alone. And I think that's the biggest thing here is that the perpetrators of these attacks have to feel that they are alone in this, and that the victims are supported in every way.
And that goes a very long way for us.
WALKER: Yes, absolutely. It's just so sad that you have to be hyper vigilant on the busy streets of where you live, or really any part of the country right now, because this could happen at any time in broad daylight. Maria Ha, Daniel Lee, we appreciate you telling us your story and raising awareness about what continues to happen against Asians. Thank you so much and we'll be right back.
BLACKWELL: All right, we are following these top stories for you now. Three people are dead, four others injured they will all shot in North Carolina.
WALKER: Wilmington Police say the call came in around midnight. When officers arrived they found seven people shot they say there was a house party at that location at the time. So far, no one's been arrested but police say there is no danger to the community.
BLACKWELL: Major League Baseball is moving its all-star game out of Georgia because of the state's new law that critics say suppresses voting, and the game was said to happen at the Atlanta Braves Stadium in July.
WALKER: But Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia did not back down, saying baseball caved to fear, political opportunism and liberal lies. The MLB has not yet decided where they will hold the game.
BLACKWELL: We expect to hear from Governor Kemp in just a couple of hours around noon, it will bring you those comments as we receive them. Thank you for joining us this morning.
WALKER: Smerconish is up next. We'll see you again in one hour right here.