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New Day Saturday
Memorial Day Weekend Tests Relaxed Restrictions in U.S.; America on the Move: AAA Expects 37 Million Travelers This Holiday Weekend; Black Families Grapple with Loss 100-Plus Years After Racist Attacks; Fourteen-Year-Old Accused of Stabbing Girl 114 Times Charged As an Adult; NBA Stars Address Racism After Incidents Involving Fans. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired May 29, 2021 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Boris Sanchez.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christi Paul. With vaccinations up and COVID cases down, there are millions of people on the move this Memorial Day weekend. You may be one of them. What that says about the state of the coronavirus and the U.S. economy.
SANCHEZ: Plus, blocked. Despite bipartisan support, a bill creating a January 6th commission that would investigate the deadly attempted insurrection fails in the Senate. Now Democrats plotting their next move.
PAUL: And off the table, why California prosecutors say they will not seek the death penalty in a re-trial for convicted murderer Scott Peterson.
SANCHEZ: And forced out. One of Georgia's wealthiest counties has a dark past and some are still suffering because of it generations later. We'll take you there.
We're so glad that you are spending the start of your Memorial Day weekend with us. It's Saturday, May 29th. Good morning, Christi.
PAUL: Good morning to you, Boris. We are always happy to be waking up with you here. So let's talk about the unofficial start to summer because we're in the middle of it at this point. Americans, people on the move here. This is the first holiday weekend that fully vaccinated people can take advantage of CDC guidelines that say, listen, it is safe to celebrate at beaches, at barbecues without the fear of getting yourself or other people sick.
SANCHEZ: Beaches and barbecues, the way to my heart, especially considering where we were last year, right? I mean, that summer surge that followed Memorial Day with a lot of folks traveling. A lot of folks got sick this year, though. Fortunately, the pace of vaccinations expected to prevent a repeat. More than 133 million people in the United States fully vaccinated. Another 166 million plus have had at least one dose.
President Biden says the so-called light at the end of the tunnel is not a fluke and we're closer than ever to post-pandemic life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Americans of every party, every race, creed have come together, rolled up their sleeves literally and done their part and look at what that means. We're not just saving lives. We're getting our lives back.
(END VIDE CLIP)
PAUL: Now, millions of people are taking advantage. They're traveling in pretty large numbers that we haven't seen in quite some time. CNN's Polo Sandoval is at LaGuardia Airport in New York.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Americans are back on the move. Just over 40 percent of the country is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is great to be out and about.
SANDOVAL (voice-over): That traveler in Atlanta has plenty of company this Memorial Day weekend. AAA estimates more than 37 million others are hitting the road for the holiday. That's a 60 percent increase from what we saw during a pandemic-ravaged 2020. Robert Sinclair from AAA expects what we're seeing this weekend is a promising sign of what's to come this summer.
ROBERT SINCLAIR, AAA: A lot of pent-up demand, people locked up at home for more than a year. We're seeing that people really want to get out and travel, the so-called revenge travel where people were able to save a lot of money because they weren't traveling to work last year and so they're going to places, they're staying longer and doing more things and spending more money.
SANDOVAL (voice-over): And more of that money may be going to airfare with Sinclair estimating tickets increased about 19 percent in April compared to last year. And if you're driving to your destination, it may not have been that much cheaper. The average cost of gas is hovering at about $3 a gallon. That's a seven-year high. On Friday, the White House said that's not unusual given increased demand. But whatever the price to fly or drive, Americans seem to be happy to pay it if it means getting back to normal.
MARSHA CROSSON, TRAVELER: I did not travel for the last year and so I'm very grateful to be traveling this year.
SHAVAR REYNOLDS, TRAVELER: It's good to just kind of get some normalcy back. You know what I mean? People get to traveling. I know people was going crazy being inside.
SANDOVAL (voice-over): It may be a return to a pre-pandemic norm for many Americans, but it will also be a big test with more than half of the nation still unvaccinated. Health officials will be looking to see if we'll avoid a post-holiday COVID-19 surge now that mask and social distancing restrictions have been eased.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
SANDOVAL: And here in New York's LaGuardia, quick reminder of at least more of those statistics that have been shared by the federal government, painting a clearer picture of what travelers are in for. Remember, the TSA reported that about 1.9 million travelers through some of the nation's airport security checkpoints last weekend, and it wasn't even a holiday weekend, Christi. So as you can imagine, the forecast calling for higher numbers this weekend.
And of course, another reminder from authorities, those masks still need to be worn if you're going to be flying. Christi?
PAUL: Polo Sandoval, I have the feeling that sometime soon, we may see you without a mask. I'm just saying.
SANDOVAL: I know.
PAUL: Take good care. Yes. Thank you. Dr. Saju Mathew with us now. He's a public health specialist and a primary care physician in Atlanta. Dr. Mathew, always so good to see you. I want to show you a picture of where we were last year at this time because everyone was -- I shouldn't say everyone, but a lot of people were very alarmed by what we saw happening in the Ozarks as we saw people, you know, unmasked, partying, close together. If you were to see a picture like this now, what would your reaction be?
SAJU MATHEW, PUBLIC HEALTH SPECIALIST: Good morning, Christi. Great question. Listen, last year at the same time, I was so worried about these surges, as you and Boris just mentioned, and this year, I am not as worried. I mean, what a difference these vaccines have made, Christi. About 50 percent of all U.S. adults have been fully vaccinated. We're probably the only country in the world that is racing to get to that 60 or 70 percent of fully vaccinated people.
But the pandemic is not over. If you're vaccinated, your Memorial Day weekend will be pretty much a pre-pandemic Memorial Day weekend. Beaches are safe, the sun is safe, you can actually hang out with other people that are fully vaccinated without a mask, you can actually hug people, you can see people's expressions. That's incredible, but for the unvaccinated, not to be a Debbie Downer, nothing has really changed. If you're unvaccinated, you still need to be very careful.
PAUL: Do you think people who are unvaccinated feel a sense of security because so many others have been?
MATHEW: You know, I've thought about that a lot and that would really not be the right approach. Just because people around you have formed, if you will, a wall doesn't mean that the virus is not going to bounce between a maskless, unvaccinated person to another unvaccinated people. So all of a sudden, what we've done right now is the unvaccinated people have become more of a threat to each other and that's what concerns me the most. So all the more reason I hope the unvaccinated crowd will get that incentive to get vaccinated because of that.
PAUL: So Kaiser Family Foundation is giving us some new statistics here. First of all, that younger adults, that black adults are likely to say they're going to wait and see before they get the vaccine. Republicans, people living in rural areas, white evangelical Christians likely to say they will not get the vaccine at all. That equates to about 27 percent of the people who say, listen, I'm not going to get this thing.
When you look at those numbers, can the U.S. hit herd immunity and what happens if we don't?
MATHEW: You know, I'm going to be optimistic, Christi, because, you know, six, seven months ago, we weren't even sure we could get 20 percent of Americans or people living in the U.S. vaccinated. What I'm finding out in my practice is that a lot of people are not necessarily vaccine hesitant, they're just so worried about the potential dangers of the vaccine. Why was this vaccine developed at lightning speed, Dr. Mathew? Am I going to get any long-term side effects?
And I find out that if you just sit down, listen to your patients, listen to people are concerned and answer their questions, I think a lot of people that are fence-sitters will change their mind and I also think that by getting kids into the mix, we are going to get to that magical number of 70 to 75 percent of fully vaccinated people.
PAUL: Are you seeing -- we had reports at one point that the vaccine was actually helping people who were long haulers, people with long- term symptoms. Is there any more clarity on that at this point?
MATHEW: There are few studies that show that people that have had, say, shortness of breath or elevation of heart rates are seeing some benefits after getting vaccinated. I spoke to two patients last week that I saw actually in the office. One young lady, 29-years-old who was in really good shape said that she actually felt a lot better. She doesn't know if it's a placebo effect, she's a runner, but she definitely feels like her heart rate doesn't go up as high as it did after she was recovering from COVID.
So, I think that we still need more studies, but ultimately we'll find out that the benefit of getting the vaccine really is going to outweigh any of the side effects that people are worried about regarding the vaccine.
PAUL: Saju Mathew, we know that you have some pretty odd hours. We appreciate you having some pretty odd hours with us as well, getting up this early on a Saturday morning. Thank you so much.
MATHEW: Thanks, Christi.
[06:10:01] SANCHEZ: Christi, I hate to admit this, but I may have been a bit premature in my excitement about beaches and barbecues. We may have to curb our enthusiasm a little bit because this Memorial Day weekend, showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast for the northeast and mid-Atlantic.
PAUL: Yes. Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is in the CNN weather center. Not really the sunny weather obviously we'd hope to see, but how sever might it be, Allison?
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right. It's a good question, Christi. Now, I will say it's not everybody. Not all locations will be dealing with a washout, but we are going to have some locations where any of your outdoor plans may have to be accompanied by an umbrella and that's mainly across portions of the northeast and even the mid- Atlantic and it's because we have not one, but two different systems, two different low-pressure systems that will be making their way through this weekend.
So, you've got the rain. It's already raining across portions of the northeast, but, again, here's those two systems that we're talking about that will be making their way through the eastern half of the U.S. We also have another system. That's bringing severe storms across portions of the central U.S. and that's going to detail some more damaging winds and we'll get to that in just a second.
But here's a look at what we're talking about for the eastern U.S. Here you can see that first wave, then the second wave as we go into tonight and into early Sunday. So do keep in mind while it's not going to be a washout per se for both of these regions entirely, especially along the coast, that's where you're going to see the heaviest rain that could be upwards of, say, one to two inches total.
We also have the potential for some strong thunderstorms across the coastal Carolinas and then especially out west, eastern Colorado, eastern New Mexico, damaging winds, large hail the could be larger than golf ball size as well as some isolated tornadoes. The main threat for that target point, Boris and Christi, is going to be this afternoon and especially as we head into the evening hours.
That's where we're really anticipating some of the strongest thunderstorms to develop and push further off to -- farther off to the east as we go through the rest of the day.
SANCHEZ: That barbecue may have to wait after all. Allison Chinchar, thank you so much.
The big news out of D.C. this week and a bipartisan commission is not going to investigate the riot on Capitol Hill on January 6th. In fact, 11 senators didn't even show up for the vote. So where do things go from here?
PAUL: Also, a 14-year-old is facing a first-degree murder charge after he allegedly stabbed another teenager 114 times. He told police -- or he actually told people, rather, that he was going to do this. The question is should he be charged as an adult? We're talking to Joey Jackson.
SANCHEZ: President Biden is going big, $6 trillion big, on his budget proposal, but of course the bigger the price tag, the bigger the hurdles, with Republicans already pushing back.
PAUL: Jasmine Wright is live in Wilmington, Delaware this morning. The president is spending his holiday weekend there. Jasmine, good to see you this morning, as always. Lay out for us what he's proposing.
JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Christi, Boris, President Biden is no doubt laying out an ambitious plan that, if passed how proposed, would reshape the economy, something that the president and White House officials talk about constantly, but as we know going through politics, what is proposed in a budget proposal is likely not to get passed in the same form.
It's really a negotiating offer, but what it does is it offers a blueprint to what the White House wants to accomplish and hits on that recurring theme that they hope to establish that President Biden wants to lift people out of poverty and solidify the middle class.
And by doing that with this proposal, they want to make large scale investments in education, public health, infrastructure, research, climate change, all things that, at least some of which, have already been proposed in the American Jobs Plan, American Families Plans, but is solidified in this budget proposal.
Now, on Friday, White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre really defended the plan and laid out the White House's thinking. Take a listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: The budget does exactly what the president told the country that he would do: grow the economy, create jobs, advance his jobs plan and his families plan and do so responsibly by requiring the wealthiest Americans and big corporations to pay their fair share.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
WRIGHT: But all that of course comes with a cost, and it is not cheap, Christi and Boris. So, spending would climb over $8 trillion in the next 10 years by 2031. Deficits would also grow higher than $1.3 trillion over the next decade and like everything President Biden has proposed up to this point, Republicans have really started to push back on that price tag, specifically on deficits.
Now, I would be remiss if I did not mention that over the four years that President Trump was in office, Republicans were nearly silent about deficits, but here, now President Biden is here and we hear about them, but still in theory is that President Biden needs those votes, needs at least some Republican votes to make this bipartisan. So, this is really a opening bid, Christi, Boris.
SANCHEZ: Jasmine Wright from a rainy Wilmington, Delaware. Thank you so much. From hurdles for Biden's budget and broader agenda, we turn to Republicans blocking a bill that would have created a 9/11 style bipartisan commission to investigate the deadly attempted insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th.
PAUL: Ten Republicans were needed, only six voted for it. CNN's Daniella Diaz is live on Capitol Hill. Are we going to get any more clarity this morning as to what happened here and what Democrats are going to do next about it?
DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Christi, Boris, that's exactly right. Look, this panel to -- this bill to create a panel to investigate the Capitol 6th -- Capitol attack failed and, you know, it failed -- Democrats failed to get the 60 votes needed to break the filibuster to advance this legislation to a vote.
In the end, the vote was 54 to 35 with six Republicans voting with Democrats. You know, then nine Republicans didn't even vote yesterday as well as two Democratic senators didn't even vote yesterday, but the usual names are the ones we expected who supported this legislation. That includes Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Rob Portman of Ohio and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Ben Sasse of Nebraska were the six Republican senators who supported this legislation.
Now, I really want to emphasize how this bill really underscores the deep, deep divide between Democrats and Republicans surrounding the fallout of what happened during the insurrection on January 6th, and it really shows the stronghold that former President Donald Trump has over the Republican Party.
And it's no surprise, but Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed his disappointment after the vote, saying he was, you know, disappointed and angry at Republicans for failing to support this, which he thought this panel would be very important to support -- or to investigate what happened on January 6th. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) MAJORITY LEADER: This vote has made it official. Donald Trump's big lie has now fully enveloped the Republican Party. Shame on the Republican Party for trying to sweep the horrors of that day under the rug because they're afraid of Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DIAZ: You know, even Brian Sicknick's mother could not get Republicans to support this legislation. Brian Sicknick of course was one of the police officers who died as a result of the January 6th Capitol attack. His mother visited the Capitol on Thursday to lobby Republican senators to support this. She personally met with a handful of Republican senators and even she wasn't able to get enough to support this legislation.
But look, looking toward the future, Democrats are now trying to figure out whether they will create a select committee to investigate this Capitol attack. Of course, Republicans will be very critical of this because Democrats can move forward on this alone. They can pass this with the Democratic-led House and it's unclear right now whether that's going to happen, but that's where they're looking toward the future, Boris, Christi.
SANCHEZ: Important to point out in the context of all of this, Daniella, is that negotiations over this commission took months and Democrats gave Republicans everything that they asked for and Republicans still shut it down. Daniella Diaz reporting from Capitol Hill. Thank you so much as always.
With us now to discuss is Errol Louis, CNN political commentator and political anchor for "Spectrum News." Errol, always a pleasure to see you on Saturday mornings. Let's start with something that Daniella had mentioned. Before the vote, the mom and longtime partner of fallen Capitol Hill police officer Brian Sicknick, they went office to office meeting with Republican senators. Here's what they told our colleague, Jake Tapper, about that experience yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLADYS SICKNICK, BRIAN SICKNICK'S MOTHER: They went through their motions, but you can tell that, you know, underneath, they were being nice to us.
SANDRA GARZA, BRIAN SICKNICK'S GIRLFRIEND: I think, you know, it's all talk and no action. Clearly, they're not backing the blue. I mean, it's just unbelievable to me that they could do nothing about this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: They went through the motions. All talk and no action. I want to put up an image of the 11 senators that didn't even show up to vote. Many of them have told CNN that they had prior commitments. Of course, it doesn't say anything for actually having to show up and do your job and serve the people who elected you. But, Errol, do you get any sense from Republicans that this might backfire on them, that enough Americans will see this as a transparent power play, an effort to avoid responsibility?
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No. Unfortunately, the Republican Party is moving in a radical direction and they're choosing lies over leadership, they're choosing Trump over the truth and it's not just members of Congress that you want to look at.
These are people who are responding to what their base wants and a big chunk of the Republican base wants to go in the direction of fantasy land, of pretending that Donald Trump won the election, of pretending that the January 6th insurrection was no big deal, pretending that everything we know about basic decency, such as honoring the people who gave their lives to try and protect our democracy, really meant something.
You know, if you want to throw all of that overboard just so you can win the next primary, not even the election, but the primary, just so you can be in good graces and maybe raise some money with Donald Trump in the next election cycle, well, you know, there's nothing any of us on the outside can do to stop that.
But as we watch it and we chronicle it, there are going to have to be some hard decisions made by Democrats about how much they want to put up with a political party that is going in a radically dangerous direction that could, in fact, be destructive to democracy, Boris.
SANCHEZ: I do want to ask you about that, but first, I want to look at the six Senate Republicans that went against Mitch McConnell's wishes on this January 6th vote. Many Republicans are speaking out against the direction of the party that you're talking about, including former house speaker Paul Ryan.
Of course, these voices still the minority in the party. The loudest voices, Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Trump with his blog, they remain fixated on this lie. Doesn't this move to kill this attempt at a bipartisan commission embolden Trump to potentially run again seeing as how his party, as you put it, is continuing to embrace the big lie?
LOUIS: Oh, absolutely. And I don't know that he necessarily will run. I mean, of course that's a conversation for another day. I think he's going to have a lot of legal problems that might literally just get in the way of him being able to put together a committee. You know, you can't fight for your life and your freedom and your wealth at the same time as you're trying to sort of put together a national campaign.
But, look, this breaking point, this turning point around the January 6th insurrection I think is going to stick with a lot of people for a long time. There's so much footage of it. There are so many eyewitnesses. There are hundreds of people who are being prosecuted for it. The story's not going to go away. The shame of those who didn't even want to look into it will, I think, remain with them. Some will pay a political cost, most, unfortunately, will not.
The important thing is that the truth come out and whether or not it's academics who do it, whether it's the Democrats acting alone that do it, the most important thing I think is to find out what exactly happened and put out a record that the American people can rely upon. What it will mean politically, I do not know. It's entirely possible that some of these Republicans who are supporting this radical attack on democracy are actually going to prevail and hang around. That's their only goal and they seem fixated on it at all costs.
SANCHEZ: Yes. Broadly expected that House Speaker Pelosi's going to create a select committee to investigate January 6th. Republicans likely to just dismiss any findings as partisan. Errol Louis, we got to leave it there. Thank you so much, as always.
LOUIS: Thanks, Boris.
PAUL: Now, more than 100 years ago, all the black families in one Georgia county were violently forced out and the consequences are still being felt today.
PAUL: Forsyth County in North Georgia, one of the wealthiest counties in the state. That wealth is built on a pretty dark past though. More than a 100 years ago, all the black families in the county were violently forced out, losing their land and some losing their lives.
SANCHEZ: Yes, it was a loss of generational wealth and the start of generational trauma. As Ryan Young reports, their descendants are proof that the injustices of the past have consequences today.
ELON OSBY, BAGLEY FAMILY DESCENDANT: My father always talked about owning land. It made you a man.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Elon Osby is a descendant of the Bagley family. Her family owned 60 acres in Forsyth County, Georgia, northeast of Atlanta. Though, it was a mostly white farming community, the Bagleys were one of hundreds of black families thriving in the area, that is until a tragic event in 1912. In September of that year, an 18-year-old white woman named Mae Crow was beaten and raped. She later died from her injuries.
The backlash from the white community was severe. Three black men and a young black woman were accused of the crime and thrown in jail. One of them was a 24-year-old named Rob Edwards.
GEORGE PIRKLE, HISTORIAN, HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF CUMMING & FORSYTH COUNTY: The crowd went straight to Rob Edwards who was cowering on the floor of the jail cell and crying, and they beat him to death with a crowbar and then they shot him several times and dragged him out. And then they hanged his body somewhere near the courthouse square.
YOUNG: A historical marker remembering the lynching was erected with help from the Equal Justice Initiative. The group says they've worked with nearly 50 other communities who put up similar markers around the country, but the sign here has become the spark for a much deeper conversation about what else was really lost in 1912.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was only the beginning of the violence. Groups of night riders terrorized black families threatening them to leave.
OSBY: They were forced to leave. Their property were burned. Homes burned. Everything that they weren't able to gather on a wagon and save was lost. YOUNG: Denise Boyd's great-grandfather Joseph owned 200 acres. The
family tried to hang on but sold up and left after a few years.
DENISE BOYD, KELLOGG FAMILY DESCENDANT: He had the only working sawmill in Forsythe County. Eventually, it got to Joseph and that's when he just packed up my mother and then they left.
YOUNG: Forsyth County was not an anomaly. Hundreds of counties expelled their black communities following similar patterns, white rioters lynched three black men and banished dozens in Pierce City, Missouri, over the murder of a white woman in 1901. In 1909, white residents in Anna, Illinois, drove out nearly an entire black community after a black man was accused of raping a white woman. And the 1921 massacre in the race of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma began, after a black man was accused of assaulting a white woman.
(on camera): These banishment had a ripple effect, denying the abilities of these families a parcel of land, creating a wealth gap where the families weren't able to build on the success of their ancestors.
KIRSTEN MULLEN, AUTHOR: This ability to transfer resources across generations makes a huge difference in whether one is able to acquire wealth or not.
YOUNG (voice-over): The loss of these communities was only the beginning. Black farmers peaked in 1910 owning nearly 19 million acres of land. In 2017, it was less than 5 million. Today, Forsyth is considered one of the richest counties in Georgia according to recent population estimates, black families make up about 4 percent of the population. Descendant Elon Osby says she's thankful for the marker but wants more discussion about what families here lost not so long ago.
OSBY: I think that there should be reparations. I -- there was a time when I didn't. I just wanted somebody to say, we're sorry, but I think that people deserve more than that now. That's just not quite enough.
YOUNG: Ryan Young, CNN, Atlanta, Georgia.
SANCHEZ: Excellent reporting from Ryan as always. A new CNN film uncovers the hidden story of when the richest black neighborhood in America was ripped apart by a violent white mob in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Here's a preview of "DREAMLAND".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR GEORGE THERON BYNUM, TULSA, OKLAHOMA: My name is G.T. Bynum, I'm the mayor of Tulsa. I grew up here in Tulsa, my family has been here since the 1870s. My great, great-grandfather was the second mayor of Tulsa. I heard about the massacre in 2001 or '02, and I was 24 years old at this point. You know, every high school student in Oklahoma has to go through an Oklahoma history course. It never came up. My dad had been president of Tulsa's historical society, never came up. Hearing about that, it was shocking to me because I loved Tulsa. I couldn't believe that Tulsa would be the kind of city where something like that could happen.
We have Tulsans of an undetermined number who were murdered in this event, and so we have a responsibility, I think, as a city to try and find out where their remains are and what happened to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: A moment in American history that should never be forgotten. You can watch "DREAMLAND" Monday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN. Stay with us.
PAUL: Forty-one minutes past the hour right now, listen to this. A 14-year-old, Aiden Fucci is going to be tried as an adult with an upgraded charge of first-degree premeditated murder. He is accused in a vicious stabbing of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey in Florida. She was found dead with 114 stabbed wounds. And she was -- she was reported missing and found on Mother's Day no less. Prosecutors say witnesses told authorities Fucci had made statements about killing someone by taking them into the woods and stabbing them. CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson with us now. Joey, I want to play some of what the state attorney is saying, particularly when he's making this announcement that there's going to be a charge as an adult here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a sad decision and a sad state of affairs, but it was clear to us after we looked at what happened that it was not only appropriate to charge the defendant as an adult, but it was really the only choice that we could make.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: So, if he's charged as an adult, Joey, does that mean he will be sentenced as one as well?
JOEY JACKSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, Christi, good morning to you. You know, every jurisdiction throughout the country has different laws as it relates to juveniles and how to treat juveniles who commit horrific offenses. Of course, Florida has a law wherein the prosecutor has the discretion to make that decision if he was young as 14. And here we see an instance of a brutal crime, you know, unimaginable when you look and you read and you hear about the 114 stab wounds, the fact that the tip of the knife apparently was stuck in the cheerleaders' scalp, you know, her body left in a ditch.
Just, you know, can't even begin to go on with respect to the gruesome types of details that came about and her defensive wounds and what happened here. I think the critical issue though is whether it's appropriate notwithstanding the horrific nature of this to charge any juvenile as an adult. I mean, we can have that debate obviously. Different people feel differently. But there's something qualitatively different obviously about the mind as it relates to a juvenile and as it relates to adult. How we process information, how we think about information, what we do with information, how we act, how we respond.
You know, we have of course in this case, him taking a selfie in the back of the police car, saying have you seen naming the person who he killed. Just so many circumstances which of course are damning evidentiary, and I think that the prosecution made this decision, not a big fan myself of charging juveniles that way. I think if you look at juvenile, they're predicated upon rehabilitation. Hard though to rehabilitate from this.
But I think we have to ask ourselves as a society, you know, is this the right thing to be doing to end this and to really answer your question, to sentence him to life without parole at the age of 14 in the event of a conviction. Wow, that's pretty powerful.
PAUL: All right. We want to talk about more about that next time, Joey, because there's so much to get into there. But I do want to ask you about something else that has happened overnight. Now, this infamous murder case in California, I call it the Casey Anthony before there was a Casey Anthony. And we're talking about Scott Peterson. He was convicted in 2005 of killing his pregnant wife, Laci. A California district attorney has announced she will not seek a new death sentence against Peterson. The DA said this decision was made in consultation with Laci Peterson's family. His defense team, Peterson's defense team wants his conviction thrown out altogether. And there is a potential, as I understand it, that there could be a new trial for him. Is that likely and on what grounds, Joey?
JACKSON: So there's a few things happening here. First of all, as to the death penalty issue, you know, when you look at the moratorium on death penalty, you know, sentences in California, it really would not make sense from a practical perspective. And I know that, you know, certainly, prosecutors -- many prosecutors in various jurisdictions seek the death penalty. Again, that's a debate we can have as to whether or not it's appropriate, whether it serves as any deterrent value, all of those issues. But there's a moratorium there. So, the practical effect is even if that were sought and even if he were found by a jury right to be sentenced to death, would it even apply.
And so, I think it's appropriate that the prosecutor really conferred with the family and determine whether we should do this, then saying no. As to the actual conviction and how or why it could be overturned, yes, there hasn't been an appeal filed, that's being debated. There's apparently a juror who they think was a stealth juror who shouldn't have been on the jury, who had some issues she did not reveal. There's indications that she lied to get on the jury. There's indications she said she was never really involved in any lawsuits. She was. She apparently had some issues of her own. Long story, having involved, you know, a child of her own when she was
pregnant or at least she was harassed, but the bottom line, excuse me, Christi, is the fact of the matter is that, that one thing based upon how we value jury systems and how we value fairness could upset the jury and could upset the verdict. I think at the end of the day though, the conviction stands. But it is an issue and it's something we're all watching to see what the court does.
PAUL: Cannot imagine if this goes back to trial. Joey Jackson, your expertise is always really valued here. Thank you so much, sir.
JACKSON: Thank you, Christi. Always.
PAUL: Of course.
SANCHEZ: So, they've been spit on, hit with popcorn, generally harassed. NBA players say they are fed up about what fans are doing going too far. But they say the actions of a few are only distracting from what they believe are larger issues at hand. We'll discuss in sports, next.
PAUL: So, NBA players have a lot to say right now about several incidents involving some fans at their games as we head into playoffs.
SANCHEZ: Yes, Coy Wire joins us now. Good morning, Coy. Those fans involved in these incidents have been indefinitely banned from games. But players say that it's important to look at what's going on beyond the arena, that there are larger underlying problems here.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the context. Good to see you, Boris and Christi. The thing about this, if someone spit on you at work or put popcorn on your head, at your desk or yelled racist chants about your parents while you stood at the water cooler, it would not be OK, but fans did these things during games, these playoffs to Wizards star Russell Westbrook, Atlanta's Trae Young and Memphis' Ja Morant. Now, Utah and Memphis play again tonight. Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell says the insults about Morant's parents echo far beyond that one incident.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONOVAN MITCHELL, GUARD, UTAH JAZZ: You know, it's happened here before, it's happened here a few times, it's happened here, you know, it's something I'm really passionate about because, again, we play for the Jazz. So, what you're saying to -- about Jazz's mother or mother and father, you're saying to my mother and father, friends' mother and father. You know, it's not like you're speaking to the Grizzlies. Basketball is what it is, but that's first, and that's what we are, we are African American men and women first. And when you go out there and say something like that, that's terrible and ridiculous.
(END VIDEO CLIP) WIRE: Nets star Kyrie Irving returned to Boston last night, having to
play in front of his former team's fans in game three.
WIRE: Now, before the game, Irving said he was preparing for the, quote, "subtle racism" he noticed during his two seasons in Boston. Current Celtics guard Jaylen Brown addressed the three incidents which caused the NBA to remove and ban several fans, saying it's important for athletes to remember their privilege and the bigger picture.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAYLEN BROWN, GUARD, BOSTON CELTICS: And I'm pissed to be honest. I don't think we should have to put up with that, and I don't think that's not OK. But when I look in the media, and I see those incidents attached to like we find racism. Yes, I think it's important to address those situations. But if the topic is racism, I think that those incidents don't compare or those belligerent comments don't compare to what, you know, systemic racism is currently doing in our community and has done in the past. So, that's important to frame it in that context.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIRE: In the context of this series, the Celtics were down 0-2 to star-studded Brooklyn, but Boston superstar Jayson Tatum wills his team to victory, scoring 50 points against the Nets. It's his fourth 50 spot in the last 22 games. The Celtics overcome Brooklyn's big three who scored 96, winning 125-119.
Boston making it to series now, 2 games to 1. Knicks and Hawks, game three in Atlanta. Hawks star Trae Young choosing not to press charges against the fan who spit on him at Madison Square Garden, instead responding on the basketball court, dropping 21 points, 14 assists, the crowd nearly 16,000 erupting. He let everyone know, we're in the A now. Knicks super fan Spike Lee could do nothing but hang his head as the Hawks win 105-94, taking it to the -- the Knicks kind of combined 31,000 fans in games one and two. And if they advanced to the next round, Christi, Boris, the team says they're going to go full capacity, but will only sell tickets to people who are fully vaccinated.
PAUL: All right, hey, Coy, thank you so much, good to see you today.
SANCHEZ: Thanks, Coy. So this is the first major holiday the CDC says we can safely celebrate outside our bubble if vaccinated. Of course, people are taking advantage of it. We'll take you live to LaGuardia Airport, what is expected to be a busy travel weekend as well. Stay with us. We're back after a quick break.