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New Day Saturday
U.S. Reels From String of Mass Shootings, Deadly Police Encounters; Protests in Chicago Over Fatal Police Shooting of 13-Year- Old; Police Across the U.S. Prepare for Potential Unrest Anticipating Jury Verdict in Chauvin's Murder Trial; White House Backtracks on Refugees Decision After Criticism; Prince Philip's Funeral to Take Place Today. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired April 17, 2021 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN. More people get their news from CNN than any other news source.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): He just appeared to randomly start shooting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I immediately ducked down and got scared.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): He was known to federal and local officials after a family member reached out to them warning of a potential for violence.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a national embarrassment and must come to an end.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): The officer gave him a directive. The officer told him show me your hands. He lifted his hands, they were empty and the child was shot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): They've made their message clear. The anger against the police is obvious.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Britain's Prince Philip will be buried at St. George's Chapel tomorrow at Windsor Castle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): We're going see some very powerful imagery. You're going to see the Queen sitting on her own in a church remembering her husband of 73 years.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Today is about Prince Philip, it is about mourning his loss.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good morning to you on this Saturday, Mr. Boris Sanchez.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Christi Paul. Great to see you, as always. It is Saturday, April 17th.
PAUL: It is indeed, and we want to start this morning with what we're seeing across the country overnight, frustration. We're talking about frustration with the cycle of mass shootings, frustration with the cycle of police violence against black and brown people and frustration with the cycle of politicians promising action on both issues, but so far failing.
SANCHEZ: Yes. In a moment, we'll have the latest on the mass shooting in Indianapolis as we learn more about the eight victims who were there, but first we want to look at the tense and sixth (ph) night of protests in Brooklyn Center Minnesota over the killing of Duante Wright. Police forcefully clearing out the crowd when protesters began shaking a fence and throwing objects at officers.
It's not only Minnesota. Police in Portland, Oregon declaring a riot amid protests after the police killed a man in that city. And in Oakland, California, police condemning assaults and vandalism they say happened during a protest march downtown.
PAUL: Let's take you to Chicago as well. The killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo, again, brought out -- look at this huge crowd. They were protesting, calling for justice there. CNN's Martin Savidge was there. He's with us live from Chicago this morning. Martin, so good to see you. Talk us through what you saw last night and where the investigation is at this moment.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Sure. Yes. Motions continue to run very high this morning here in Chicago, Christi, and it's clear that these particular police shooting has touched a nerve, has really stretched emotions for many in this city. It's not the first controversial police shooting, but it's quite clear and quite evident, especially as you point out by the protest last night, it began with a few hundred, it grew into thousands, that people are truly paying attention.
I'll warn you, what you are about to see is deeply disturbing and troubling and probably not suitable for all.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
SAVIDGE (voice-over): This is the moment when police killed 13-year- old Adam Toledo. Newly released body cam video showing the officer, identified as Eric Stillman, firing one shot as Toledo raised his hands in the air. Police say this image shows Toledo was holding a gun before Stillman shot him and they say that gun was found nearby after the shooting.
But look closer. When Toledo raised his hands, he did not appear to be holding anything. Police say that Toledo was holding the gun less than a second before he raised his hands. The family's attorney says they won't know if what Toledo had in his hands was a gun until she has the video forensically analyzed but says it doesn't change what happened. ADEENA WEISS-ORTIZ, LAWYER FOR FAMILY OF ADAM TOLEDO: That child complied. Adam complied with the officer's request, dropped the gun, turned around. The officer saw his hands were up and pulled the trigger.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Officer Stillman's lawyer says the officer was left with no other option and that he feels horrible about the outcome, but he was well within his justification of using deadly force.
JOHN CATANZARA, CHICAGO FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE PRESIDENT: That officer had 8/10ths of a second to determine if that weapon was still in his hand or not. The officer does not have to wait to be shot at or shot in order to respond and defend himself.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Police say that they were responding to alerts of shots fired in the early morning hours of March 29th. Surveillance video appears to show someone shooting toward a car. The new body cam video shows the chase that ensued moments after officers arrived on the scene. Prosecutors are now charging a 21-year-old man with Toledo with the beginning of the encounter.
They say the gun recovered at the scene of Toledo's killing matched the shell casings found at the first location where the car was fired on and that Toledo's hands and gloves dropped by the older suspect tested positive for gunshot residue. The White House called the new video chilling.
JENNIFER PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Too often in this country, law enforcement uses unnecessary force too often resulting in the death of black and brown Americans. The president again has repeatedly said that he believes we need police reform.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
SAVIDGE: The officer involved in that shooting has been assigned to administrative work, in other words taken off the street while the investigation continues into whether or not this shooting was justifiable. In the many -- in the minds of many who protested last night, it is not. Boris and Christi.
SANCHEZ: Martin Savidge, thank you for that. We're going to have a former police chief break down that video for us in just a few moments, but first, here in Washington and across the country, flags are back at half-staff yet again for the fifth time at the White House this year after yet another mass shooting. The same order has already followed shootings in Atlanta and Boulder, Colorado. President Biden calling gun violence an epidemic that the country must address now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: This has to end. It's a national embarrassment. It is a national embarrassment what's going on and it's not only these mass shootings that are occurring. Every single day, every single day there's a mass shooting in this -- in the United States if you count all those who are killed out in the streets of our cities and our rural areas. It's a national embarrassment and must come to an end.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: The President is calling for the Senate to take up legislation like universal background checks, but despite a promise by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for votes on gun bills, the chances of anything passing the 50/50 split in the Senate remains slim.
Meantime, on Thursday, at least eight people were killed during America's latest mass shooting and in the last few hours, police have released the names of the victims.
PAUL: Yes. They range in age from 19 to 74. Several of them were members of the Sikh community. Now, officials say the investigation, quote, "is still very much in its infancy." CNN's Miguel Marquez has more on what we know this morning.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, we are learning more about the victims, all eight of them, including two 19-year-olds and the oldest was 74 year olds. We're also learning more about the shooter. He had worked at this facility up until sometime last year. He was also known to police last year as well. His mother had called police in March of 2020 to say that her son, she believed, was trying to commit suicide by cop.
Police here in Indianapolis went by the home, they checked it out, they saw something in the home that alerted them to call the FBI. They also took a shotgun from the home and from that man at that time. It prompted the FBI to return to that home to conduct an interview and an investigation to see if there was anything more to it. Whatever it was they saw in the -- in that home tipped the FBI off to check this out.
They interviewed him, they found no indication of extremism, religious or cultural of any sort and they dropped the investigation, but they also did not give that shotgun back, so it raises the question of where this 19-year-old got the gun that killed eight people here in America's latest mass shooting. Back to you.
PAUL: And our thanks there to Miguel Marquez.
SANCHEZ: I want to bring in CNN law enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey to talk about all of this. He's a former police chief in Washington D.C. and police commissioner in Philadelphia. Mr. Ramsey, thank you so much for joining us this morning.
I want to start with the situation in Chicago, the police shooting of Adam Toledo. You've seen the body camera footage, you've gone on the record saying that you believe that, given what you've seen, the shooting was justified. So help us understand. What details that you're looking at in the video are informing your perspective?
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I said reasonable, is how I referred to it, and when you look at all the video, and there's quite a bit of it. If you go to the civilian office of police accountability website, they have several videos and what I watched, not only the officer's body camera video, but also the second officer, but more importantly, there's video from across the lot that is there. It's from a bit of a distance, but you can enlarge it a bit and I'm sure forensically, they'll do even more.
But from the time the chase started to the time the young man actually stopped by the fence where there's a gap there, I mean, he had a gun in his hand, at least it looked like a gun in his hand. He's right by the fence and when he stops, with one motion almost, you can see something get tossed from that camera across the way behind the fence.
There's no way the officer could see it from where he's standing when he tells him show me your hands.
In one motion, he drops, and he comes up with his hands, at the same time spinning around. The officer had less than a second in order to make a decision, shoot or don't shoot. Unfortunately, he shot, but the issue becomes what would a reasonable person do in a situation like that? He literally had less than a second. I think it was 832 milliseconds from the time the gun was in his hand to the time he actually fired and that's what you have to look at.
This is a tough one. This is not George Floyd or the -- or the Potter situation in Brooklyn, Minnesota where you had negligence. This is -- when people talk about split second decisions, this is what they're talking about. It's unfortunate, it's tragic, but remember, too, this is 2:40, 2:50 in the morning A.M. ...
RAMSEY: ... a 13-year-old out with a 21-year-old suspected gang member. I mean, this is tragic all the way around.
SANCHEZ: No question and I'm curious, looking at the big picture of the case, is there something that police could have done differently in the way that they responded?
RAMSEY: You know, you always have to tear it apart and take a look and see is there something, you know? I mean, he engaged in a foot pursuit and some would say, well, they need a foot pursuit policy. I don't disagree with that. We had one in Philadelphia that we had to, but do you really want to come up with something and say under no circumstances should police ever chase a suspect that's armed with a handgun that's running away from a scene?
At the time, the officers, they knew they had shots fired. They don't even know if they had anybody shot or not and he could have been pursuing an individual wanted for an aggravated battery. So, you know, it's complicated and it's hard to really take a look at that and say, well, you know, we need to stop doing this or stop doing that.
I mean, that's part of police work and believe me, it is tragic. I'm sure that officer right now is going through an awful lot, but now the pressure's going to be on the superintendent and also on the state's attorney because there's going to be a lot of public pressure. I just hope that they can make an objective review of this and whatever decision they make not based on pressure but based on what they -- what is the right thing to do based on the facts and circumstances of this case.
And again, personally, I think from the perspective of reasonableness with the use of force, I think this is going to be a tough call. I can understand how it happened. I really can. I wish it hadn't happened, but I can understand how.
SANCHEZ: I'm glad you mentioned public pressure because, you know, there's what can happen in court and then there's the court of public opinion. I'm curious how you think the police department should handle this. If you were leading the department, what would you tell the family of this 13-year-old and a public that is, frankly, sick of seeing police officers get into situations like this, specifically with people of color?
RAMSEY: Well, first of all, let me say this. There does need to be police reform. There's no question about that. There are systemic issues. There are all kinds of issues that need to be addressed, but you can't -- because of that, you still have to look at individual cases. Now, in Chicago, this case will be investigated by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, COPA they call it, that will be conducting the investigation.
So that's a separate part of the government. It's not part of the police department and so that's going to be taking place, but there's not a whole lot you can actually say to the family. You have to conduct a thorough, complete investigation and certainly, you know, listen, I have sympathy for the family as well. No one should have to lose a child, but you have to judge this thing. Was it a criminal act on the part of the officer? Was this a failure of training or policy or something like that?
I don't know. I don't think it's a training or a policy issue other than perhaps including a foot pursuit policy, but I don't see this as being criminal. I really see it as being different from some of the other videos that we have seen of police use of force, which was totally inappropriate and actually criminal in the two instances most recently we've been looking at up in Minnesota.
SANCHEZ: Yes. I want to take a step back and reflect on something you said outside of questions regarding the relationship between police and people of color because there's an underlying issue here, why a 13-year-old is apparently out late at night with someone who's allegedly shooting a weapon at vehicles. It seems like every day in every corner of this country there's gun violence and there's a shooting and there are families grieving the loss of loved ones.
In fact, in the past month alone, there have been more than 40 shootings, by CNN's count. From your perspective, what needs to be done to end this?
RAMSEY: Well, you know, there's a -- there's a series of things that I think can be done. [06:15:01]
I mean, people keep talking about gun control and so forth and there needs to be some elements of that to try to keep guns out of the hands of people that don't need it, but quite frankly, we have so many guns in our society right now. Before any difference at all could be made, it would actually take decades probably before you actually saw any real change, but that doesn't mean don't do anything.
Guns are far too accessible. The Chicago police department -- and just so you know, I spent 30 years in the Chicago police department. That's where I'm from. I actually broke in in the district where the Toledo shooting took place, the 10th district in that city. So, you know, gun violence has been part of Chicago for as long as I can certainly remember. It's unfortunate, but it's true.
You know, how do we -- you know, everybody has to step up and take some accountability. Thirteen-year-olds should not be out at 3:00 A.M. and especially in the company of a 21-year-old, someone who's not even related to them. You know, where's the accountability there?
Where is the accountability in terms of our elected officials that, time after time, do nothing more than send thoughts and prayers to family and victims of mass shootings and other types of violence, yet they don't get off their butts and do anything meaningful in terms of passing any kind of legislation, even universal background checks?
We couldn't get legislation in Pennsylvania passed that would require a person to report a gun lost or stolen, lost or stolen. I mean, come on. I mean, you know, you can't lose a gun, or have it stolen if you didn't have it to begin with. So where is the Second Amendment issue with that? Now you know the gun is probably in the hands of someone who doesn't need to have it.
There needs to be something done and these extreme positions, I think, we need to find something that's reasonable in order to be able to start at least the process of trying to bring an end to this violence. We talk about mass shootings. Look what happens every single day on the streets of our city with people being shot and killed every single day and they're primarily people of color.
I mean, you would believe, from listening to news reports, that the only way a young black or brown individual dies is at the hands of police and we all know that's not true. We have to deal with the police part of it, but we have to deal with the violence that occurs on the street. We got to deal with all of it. We can't afford to keep losing people because of gun violence. We just can't.
SANCHEZ: We cannot. We appreciate your perspective and experience. Charles Ramsey, thanks so much for the time.
RAMSEY: Thank you.
PAUL: So we're seeing some new disturbing numbers more than one year into this pandemic. More than 20 states are reporting increases in COVID cases this morning. What's being done to slow down the spike at this point? Also, how soon we could have a decision regarding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
PAUL: Twenty-one minutes past the hour. Welcome back. An influential forecasting team says the U.S. is making little progress this week in preventing future deaths from COVID-19. Now, here's the thing. According to the CDC, more than 30 percent of all adults in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated.
SANCHEZ: Yes. But the often-cited model from the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation forecast that 58,000 more people will die of the virus by August 1st. CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro takes a look at the reasons why.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The CDC says more than 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have now been administered in the United States, but the number of infections continues to climb. At least 21 states have recorded at least a 10 percent rise in daily average positive cases of COVID-19. That's according to Johns Hopkins University data released on Thursday.
In Michigan, hospitals are increasingly overwhelmed and reaching full capacities, in part due to the influx of new coronavirus cases. State and local officials across the country are attempting to avoid a similar situation and are pushing to increase vaccination levels among adults.
DR. LEANA WEN, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: I want people to get vaccinated and once they're fully vaccinated to know that we are that much closer to pre-pandemic normal.
MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): Researchers have begun testing the Pfizer vaccine on kids as young as 2 and the U.S. is making plans in case a vaccine booster shot is required after Pfizer said a third dose is likely needed.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT: Ongoing already are clinical trials looking at a boost of the original wild type virus vaccine as well as a boost with a variant specific. In this case, the variant is 351, the problematic one from South Africa. Looking at both the safety of it obviously, but as well as whether or not a boost of wild type versus a boost of variant specific increases the ability of the antisera to ultimately neutralize both the wild type and the variant.
MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): CDC advisers will meet next Friday to review the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause after failing to vote this week. A severe form of blood clot in the brain may be linked to the vaccine. So far, only six cases have been reported in the U.S. out of the approximately 7 million doses administered here to-date. One person died and another is in critical condition. An FDA official said this week ...
DR. VIVEK MURTHY, SURGEON GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: You've heard a lot from us about the pause with administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. These decisions are never simple and this one was taken after a very careful assessment of the risks and benefits of calling for such a pause. The actions taken by CDC and the FDA this week should give Americans confidence that our safety system is working for them.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
MCMORRIS-SANTORO: So Boris and Christi, you hear there that difficulty that's going on right now, the idea of making sure people understand these vaccines are safe, also trying to get people to take the vaccines that they need them to take to get the -- to get the virus under control.
And I'm actually standing outside the Javits Center, the largest vaccine site in New York City, where we've seen that play out this week. We've seen a lot of appointments become available, not all of them fill up and there's some debate within the city about what that means. Some people saying maybe that means that hesitation is becoming a part of this conversation here in New York City. Others saying, oh, it's good we have a lot of appointments.
But on either case, people saying you have to go out and get these vaccines. It's the best thing that we can do and doctors also saying, look, we're trying to make them as safe as possible and that's really what's driving the conversation right now, Boris and Christi.
PAUL: All right. Evan McMorris-Santoro, great report. Thank you so much.
So closing arguments begin on Monday in the Derek Chauvin murder trial. Still ahead, his decision not to take the stand and the judge's warning to the prosecution.
PAUL: So good to have you with us this morning. You know, we've seen protests overnight in California, Minnesota, Chicago and police across the country are preparing for the possibility of more ahead of a potential verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial.
SANCHEZ: Yes, closing arguments are expected to begin on Monday with jury deliberations right after that. CNN's Omar Jimenez has more on what has been a gripping trial so far.
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the beginning --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you need a minute?
CHARLES MCMILLIAN, PROSECUTION WITNESS: I do, I'm helpless.
JIIMENEZ: Emotions and expertise.
MARTIN TOBIN, PULMONOLOGIST & PROSECUTION WITNESS: All of my research is related basically to breathing.
JIMENEZ: Have defined the trial for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin after a week's long jury selection process, the beginning of witness testimony took jurors and the country back to May 25th, 2020. Some witnesses who were steps away from what happened say they still feel the weight of the decisions they made that day, all these months later.
DARNELIA FRAZIER, TEEN WHO SHOT CELLPHONE VIDEO OF GEORGE FLOYD: It's been nights, I stayed up apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting.
JIMENEZ: The defense for Chauvin has been hoping to paint jurors a picture of an officer distracted by the perceived threat of a crowd, but doing exactly what he was trained to do.
DEREK CHAUVIN, FORMER MINNEAPOLIS POLICE OFFICER: Had to hold the guy down, and he was -- he was -- he was going crazy -- I'm not -- wouldn't go in the back of the --
JIMENEZ: As testimony shifted from what happened to the use of force involved when it did.
STEVE SCHLEICHER, PROSECUTOR: Is this a trained Minneapolis Police Department defensive tactics technique?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is not.
JIMENEZ: A witness later called by the defense disagreed and felt it was the right thing to do.
BARRY BRODD, DEFENSE USE OF FORCE EXPERT & FORMER POLICE OFFICER: I felt that Derek Chauvin was justified, was acting with objective reasonableness.
JIMENEZ: But maybe the most crucial set of testimony came from medical experts on George Floyd's cause of death, including from a chief medical examiner for Hennepin County.
ERIC NELSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR DEREK CHAUVIN: Have you certified deaths as an overdose where the level of fentanyl was similar to the level of fentanyl in Mr. Floyd?
ANDREW BAKER, MEDICAL EXAMINER: Yes.
JIMENEZ: The defense claims drug use and George Floyd's medical history are what killed him. Prosecutors argue it was because of Chauvin's knee on Floyd's neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. LINDSEY THOMAS, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST & PROSECUTION WITNESS: There's no
evidence to suggest he would have died that night except for the interactions with law enforcement.
TOBIN: A healthy person subjected to what Mr. Floyd was subjected to would have died as a result of what he was subjected to.
JIMENEZ: But there was one witness jurors never heard from.
CHAUVIN: I will invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege today.
JIMENEZ: Which means closing arguments for each side are left to tie together the emotions and expertise of the trial for the instinct and interpretation of the jury.
PETER CAHILL, JUDGE, HENNEPIN COUNTY DISTRICT: If I were you, I would plan for long and hope for short.
JIMENEZ: Now, in preparation, businesses have been boarding up, the law enforcement presence is up. Schools have moved everyone to remote learning midway through the week. There's a lot of tension in the Minneapolis area. Now, once we get past closing arguments on Monday, the jury will be sequestered or isolated. And it could take a day, it could take a week, it could take more. But bottom line, they won't come back to the real world until they've made one of the most important decisions in Minneapolis history. Christi and Boris?
PAUL: Omar Jimenez, great report, thank you so much. Criminal defense attorney and CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson with us now. Joey, we saw at the end of that story where Derek Chauvin was deciding not to take the stand. Based on conversations I've had with you in the past, I'm assuming you believe that to be the right choice?
JOEY JACKSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, there's no question. Good morning to you, Christi. Listen , n the event that he took the stand, I know people obviously want to hear from the defendant, you know, I think there's really analysis out there that would suggest that, oh, the jury is going to be confused and the jury wants to hear an absent jury hearing from him, there's going to be problems. The jury is instructed accordingly, and the instructions the jury gets tells them that you are not to consider that.
Now, here's why he can't testify? In the event he testifies, Christi, he would have to account for his conduct. And he would be savaged on cross-examination. Sir, you -- there came a time where Mr. Floyd was unresponsive, is that right? Right. You have an opportunity to reassess, correct? Yes. He was under control, right? Yes. He was in handcuffs, wasn't he? Yes. He in fact was no longer speaking to you, right? No. People in the crowd were telling you, check his pulse, weren't they? Yes. You didn't do it? In addition to being savaged, with respect to his conduct or misconduct, he can open the door to other prior acts, other instances that he's engaged in that would be problematic, things that have happened in his past would have been too troubling.
So, I think it's the right call for the defense. I'll say this in summary of that, Christi, whether he testifies or not, just too much to overcome, too much explaining to do, too much conduct really to justify. I think there are problems for the defense in any event.
PAUL: OK, so, let me ask you this, because something that stood out is when we look at the witnesses. There were seven witnesses called for the defense. There were 38 called for the prosecution. If you were on this defense team, Joey, what would you be feeling right now?
JACKSON: So, I'd be feeling very much concerned. And it's not so much, Christi, the number of witnesses, it's the nature and quality of their testimony. And when you look at the pillars of this case which are really centered around two real specific items. One is use of force. Was it objectively reasonable? That's what you have to establish, right, if you're the defense, right? Now, I get it. You don't have a burden of proof. All the burden is on the prosecution, but the jury is looking to determine whether the force used was objectively reasonable. And I think the prosecution really laid out the case that it was not. When you have law enforcement, when you have the chief talking about the sanctity of life.
When you have other people there, right, as we look at the charges he's facing, who are law enforcement officials of long-standing, saying this is not how we do things, that -- it crumbles. And the expert that the defense called with respect to justifying the use of force, talking about how George Floyd was lying comfortably doesn't do you any favors, it's a loss of credibility. Final point, Christi, and that's this. On the issue of cause of deaths, second pillar that's very important. The defense is laying out this theory of it's a toxic brew, he had all these things in his system, that is George Floyd, hypertension, high blood pressure, methamphetamine, fentanyl, carbon monoxide, that was on the side walk.
It's just too much out there that they're suggesting. And remember, final point, if you're the prosecution, all you have to establish is that the knee to the neck was the substantial cause of death, not that it was the sole cause. And I just think that they did too much to do that, the prosecution did. And I really think -- you showed the charges before, the question to me, Christi, is not will there be a conviction, the question to me is which of those three counts he will be convicted on.
PAUL: OK, I only have a couple of seconds. What do you think is going to be the most debated question in that jury room when they get the case?
JACKSON: I think there will be -- there will be one debated question, and that is whether the actual cause of death stems from the actual kneeling of the knee on neck. I think it's pretty clear the use of force was not justified, they'll be looking at this whole issue of what was in his system, did it matter? And if you heard the lead-in coming in, the doctor very clearly said one thing, George Floyd would be alive today, essentially, but not for the interactions of law enforcement. And that's the critical question. PAUL: Joey Jackson, we are so grateful for your expertise. Thank you
for getting up early for us.
JACKSON: Always, thanks, Christi.
PAUL: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: We have new details about an abrupt decision from the White House seemingly from one day to the next, changing course on the number of refugees admitted to the country. We'll tell you about the intense blow-back that sparked that reversal, next.
PAUL: Forty three minutes past the hour right now, and the White House is saying President Biden will announce a new increased cap on refugee admissions next month. The reversal came just hours after saying he wouldn't raise the refugee camp.
SANCHEZ: Yes, look, the administration has faced growing backlash for flip-flopping on this issue. After all, the president campaigned on raising the historically low refugee ceiling installed by the Trump administration. CNN's Kevin Liptak joins us now live, he's traveling with the president in Delaware. Kevin, take us behind the scenes, what led to this reversal?
KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, this is really kind of a tortured back and forth that the White House says today, and it really kind of shows the struggle this administration is having finding its bearing on immigration policy amid the surge of migrants on the southern border. Now, these two issues are not related directly, they're kind of distinct issues, but I'm told that it did factor into the decision-making here. President Biden -- concerns they're raising the refugee cap could lead to a flood of migrants at a moment when the system is strained. But it also factor in politically, some of his advisors concerned that at a moment when his rhetoric is coming under scrutiny, that this could cost him more trouble.
And just to go through some of the back story here, the refugee cap, that's the number of refugees who were allowed into the United States every year, President Trump slashed that to historic lows, 15,000. He also put limits on the countries where refugees could come from.
As a candidate, President Biden promised to raise the cap -- promised to bring in a more humane immigration policy. He told Congress in February that he would raise the cap to more than 60,000, but he never actually signed the declaration that would do that. Weeks went by, months went by, refugees who had already been cleared to enter the United States had their flights canceled, some of them sitting in refugee camps around the world waiting to come to the United States. Finally, on Friday, the White House said that the president would sign the declaration, he would lift some of the restrictions on where these migrants could come from. But he would keep the cap at that 15,000 person level.
Now, the White House did cite the migrant crisis at the border in all of this. They said that it was straining resources, even though the systems that process these two types of migrants are different. And they also essentially blamed the previous administration for creating a system that wasn't prepared. Listen to what Jen Psaki said yesterday.
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JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It took us some time to see and evaluate how ineffective or how trashed in some ways the refugee processing system had become. And so, we had to rebuild some of those muscles and put it back in place.
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LIPTAK: Now, a few hours later, Jen Psaki said that the president would raise the cap. She didn't say by how much, she said he would do it by May 15th. But she said it was unlikely that it would reach that level of more than 60,000 that he promised in February. Boris and Christi?
PAUL: All right, Kevin Liptak, thank you so much, really appreciate it. Listen, it's going to be a tough day across the United Kingdom. The royal family is preparing right now for the funeral of Prince Philip. He died April 9th, he was 99 years old. Can you imagine the queen now formally having to say good-bye to her husband of 73 years. We're going live with you to Windsor, England, next.
SANCHEZ: In just a few hours, Prince Philip; the Duke of Edinburgh and the late husband of Queen Elizabeth will be laid to rest. The funeral service will be an intimate affair, limited to 30 people inside Saint George's Chapel on the grounds of Windsor castle. CNN's royal commentator and historian Kate Williams joins us now live to discuss. Kate, we would normally see about 800 people or more at this kind of funeral, but this is going to be different. And in reading the details, what really stands out is just how much input Prince Philip is actually having on these proceedings.
KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, exactly, this would have normally been a huge funeral, 800-people plus in Westminster Abbey in the center of London, 2002, hundreds came to the queen mother's funeral, the mother of the queen. This is very different, due to COVID restrictions, it's a ceremonial funeral still, but a small one, just 30 people excluding those who are clergy. And as you say, Prince Philip has shaped this. He really has been thinking about his funeral. It reflects his unique personality, there are many touches that reflect his interests, particular, above all, his devotion to the Navy.
He was a Naval man, he served in World War II, he served right into -- up until having to -- the queen becoming queen and him becoming the consort. He was always devoted to the services, and there are hymns about the Navy readings and there's also great commemoration of his service and his work for the monarchy and everything that he has done for the queen. So, it's going to be a very moving day, but a commemoration of a life well lived.
SANCHEZ: Yes, more than 700 British military personnel expected to be on hand. I also have to ask you about this public rift between Harry and the royal family. A lot of speculation after news emerged that Harry and his brother wouldn't be walking side by side during the procession. Is there something to read into that?
WILLIAMS: Well, you're right, this has been the commentary on all the front pages this week, all about Harry and William and the rift, the ongoing discussions after the Oprah interview when it became very clear that although Harry was talking a lot to Prince Philip on Zoom and the queen, not so much to Charles and William. But certainly, in the procession today, it's going to be a procession many of the male members of the royal family apart from Princess Anne walking behind the coffin, but actually we don't always see the brothers standing shoulder to shoulder in royal processions. They didn't behind the coffin of Princess Diana and they didn't so much behind the coffin of the queen mother in 2002.
So, at this point, they're separated by Prince Philip. And I don't think it's indicative of anything. The palace has said it's not about the drama, actually I think what we see there, all the children at the front, the four children, Charles, Anne, Edward, Andrew, and then behind them, the three male adult grandchildren, William, Harry and Peter Phillips in the middle because he is actually the eldest grandchild, the son of Princess Anne. So, although we do believe that the brothers are not as close as they were, and we do hope that this funeral will be a time for, you know, reconciliation, talk and recognizing that life is too short, perhaps, to bear long grudges. Certainly, I don't think we can read anything into the procession.
SANCHEZ: Yes, an important thing to think about as we honor the life of Prince Philip. Kate Williams reporting from outside of Windsor Castle, thanks so much. A quick programming note for you. You can catch "SMERCONISH" one hour early this morning, he's going to be on at 8 O'clock and it will be followed by CNN's special coverage of the royal funeral of Prince Philip starting at 9:00.
PAUL: This week's CNN Hero is one of the survivors of the Boston marathon bombing. Here's how Heather Abbott turned that tragedy into triumph.
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HEATHER ABBOTT, BOSTON MARATHON SURVIVOR: I heard the first explosion just ahead in front of me. The next thing I knew, a second explosion occurred just to my right. And that was the last thing I knew before I landed within the restaurant on the back.
I was in the hospital for several days while doctors were deciding whether or not to amputate. It was hard to come to terms with the fact that I am an amputee, at first. And had my injury not happened in such a public way where there was so much assistance available, I never would have been able to afford multiple prosthesis.
Some of our recent beneficiaries. So, I decided to just do what I could to help people get those devices that simply couldn't get them because they were out of reach.