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CNN TONIGHT: Court Grants Injunction To Canadian City To Help End Blockade At Critical Bridge To U.S.; White House: Russia Could Invade Ukraine "Any Day Now"; CA Sues Tesla Citing Rampant Racism Against Black Workers. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired February 11, 2022 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: We're going to have one moment, tonight, that is not about crisis and chaos.
There is nothing more joyful than what Anderson announced, on the broadcast, last night, that he is a father, for the second time. This is the photo he posted this morning of him with his new son, Sebastian Luke Maisani-Cooper.
(GRAPHIC IS SHOWN OF ANDERSON COOPER, WITH HIS SON, SEBASTIAN LUKE MAISANI-COOPER)
BERMAN: It's from the day after young Sebastian's birth. And we hear everyone is doing great, at home. And that's how we'll leave you, this Friday, with joy and peace.
The news continues. So, let's hand it over to Laura Coates, and CNN TONIGHT.
LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: That's such a sweet picture! Aw! It's so nice to see him, so happy, and a second time around. It's very cute, John. Seriously!
BERMAN: Have a great weekend.
COATES: Thank you. You too.
I am Laura Coates. And this is CNN TONIGHT.
And we've got a big show for you tonight. You got the White House warning Americans, in Ukraine, to get out, right now, the warning that Russia could attack its neighbor with bombs and missiles, at any moment. The threat is now, quote, "Immediate."
So, what exactly is Putin up to? Is this provocation? Is this going to be backed up? We'll have fresh insight ahead from a former U.S. Ambassador, to Ukraine, Bill Taylor.
We also have veteran Olympic broadcaster, Bob Costas, with his take, on Russia's Olympic doping scandal, or shall I say the latest Russian Olympic doping scandal, after the positive drug tests of a breakout star, of the Beijing Games. So, the big question now is, will the figure skater be allowed to participate in the women's individual competition, next week?
And we're going to dig into that major lawsuit that you may not have heard about, but it's a big one. And it's against Tesla, complaints from hundreds, hundreds of workers, about open racism, at just one California plant.
You'll hear from someone, who worked there, who was awarded already, millions, in damages.
And the fight for justice, for the murder of George Floyd, it goes on. A spotlight, tonight, on the little talked-about trial, of the three officers, accused of aiding and abetting Floyd's murder, and who are charged with violating his civil rights. A lot to get to, on that case.
But first, less than 48 hours, from the Super Bowl, and the Homeland Security Department is now having to closely monitor, the possibility, of disruption, by protesters, who may be aligned with that trucker blockade movement, at our Canadian border. Now, that's threatening to further, by the way, harm our economy.
And if you haven't been following this standoff, like we should? Don't worry. We're going to lay out for you exactly why you need to care about this, tonight.
It's not just a Canada problem. It's a North America problem, by the way. And it's impacting American jobs. It's impacting American trade, and could actually worsen the already difficult U.S. inflation.
Access to three major border crossings have been cut off, by the truckers, and those who are, I guess you call them, the like-minded demonstrators. And they started out, they started out, protesting COVID mandates, and restrictions, in Canada.
But that list of the grievances, it's been growing and growing. And it's grown in the two weeks, since all of this started. And now, there are concerns that that list of grievances, and that convoy, could actually form here.
In fact, the DHS has warned now, in a bulletin that Super Bowl Sunday could be disrupted, along with transportation in major U.S. cities. It actually believes that the convoy will potentially begin, in California, as early as mid-February, and arrive in Washington D.C., as late as mid-March.
Translation? That could even impact President Biden's State of the Union address, on March 1. Another convoy to the Capitol area? I don't know that America is ready or prepared or wants that again.
And the Department had spotted some social media posts that gives instructions, on driving, from L.A., to Washington, not just the actual path, but, I mean, screenshots of that road, and the maps, and how you're going to navigate that convoy. But it also notes that there haven't been any upticks, in hotel reservations, in the Capitol region, assuming, of course, you're not talking about people in their trucks, as long haul truckers, but they are saying there's no indication of any planned violence. So, that is all very positive to hear.
And, of course, look, here in America, we know, peaceful protest is part of a healthy democracy. And I do emphasize peaceful protest. Because people have every right, to be upset, with their government, and redress grievances, and also be upset, by the decisions that have been made, by their leaders.
But they don't have the right to block and impede the movement of goods, let alone, be violent, in any way. And people and services, along that critical infrastructure, if that's impacted, as well? Well, we've got questions about how people view those protests, of course.
And it's exactly why Ontario's Premier lashed out about, after this, having to declare a state of emergency, just today. In fact, he called the demonstration, a siege, went on to call it an illegal occupation. And more than that, he's promising severe consequences, for those, who are participating.
And there are also big developments, tonight, because protesters have opened up one lane, on the Ambassador Bridge that connects Detroit to Canada, and the largest land border crossing in North America.
And a judge has now granted an injunction, to give the police, more power, to end the blockade, power to clear the bridge, and even tow vehicles, if needed, and of course, logistically able to do so. And, by the way, it went into effect, just a short while ago.
So, we're going to watch what happens there, and keep you posted about why this really matters.
And, by the way, around 10,000, around 10,000, commercial vehicles, across the bridge, are looking at each and every day, with about $325 million worth of goods. Some of the world's biggest car companies have been shutting down, or even reducing production lines, because of this, here, in the U.S.
I'm talking about Ford, and GM, and Chrysler, and other automakers. They're having to cut back production, which means that factory workers are losing their shifts, and losing their paychecks. And it's only further threatening our supply chain, if it's allowed to continue. That, according to the CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers.
Meanwhile, in spite of all that, I've just described, and the disruption that we're all seeing, right now, meanwhile, some on the right, and in the right-wing media have been fanning the flames.
Fox hosts have actually been cheering for this, if you can believe it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): The Canadian truckers are heroes. They are patriots. And they are marching for your freedom, and for my freedom.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We want those great Canadian truckers, to know that, we are with them, all the way.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST, HANNITY: The tide is officially turning. The freedom movement is growing. Farmers are now joining, this is an amazing scene, unfolding, with truckers, in Canada, and the U.S., demanding to end every, and all mandates.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST, TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT: The question is how long, before protests, like this, come here.
LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST, THE INGRAHAM ANGLE: Will we need our own trucker rally, to end all of this insanity once and for all?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: This is amazing? You see the way he did that, to suggest somehow this was a good thing to happen?
And note, that's also a correlation, assuming that this is not the amorphous body that it seems to be, where you've got the distinction of the list of grievances, all the way down the line, and challenges about figuring out, just how to end it, because there's going to be one single cause, and almost inviting it to come to the United States of America.
Now, why I find that particularly odd? And you probably have a short- term memory, of all these things. It only recently happened. And you might be starting to smell the whiff of hypocrisy, here.
Because when Black Lives Matters' activists blocked traffic, on bridges, and elsewhere, I remember hearing a very different sentiment, on that same network.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: And now, one of their favorite unlawful tactics, is to block federal interstates, or other major thoroughfares that are used by law-abiding motorists, in order to terrorize those people, and then post the video on social media.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: Interesting! I thought that was precisely the behavior that was just praised, just moments ago, in that sound badly played.
Because, if it was wrong, if it was wrong, and illegal, for BLM protesters, to block traffic, in the street, to them? Well, then why is it that you now can't get enough of this Canadian blockade?
And I hate to play the game of whataboutism. It bothers me to know, and oftentimes, it's never analogous, and people are just pulling out of thin air, to have something, to be polemic about.
But, in this case, I want you to imagine. Imagine, if it were the BLM protesters, mounting this kind of economic disruption? I want you to just to imagine, or maybe just recall what you just heard, being played, about what their reaction was then.
And this is not to mention all the COVID misinformation, and conspiracies that are coming, from the fringe-right that are actually helping fuel this border mess. And frankly, this is a real concern that there's - this movement might actually intensify, inside the United States.
And so, how will all of this get resolved, is the million-dollar or maybe billion-dollar industry question as well.
Let's go to the frontlines in Canada, for the very latest, to Glen McGregor, Senior Political Correspondent, with CTV National News, live from the capital of Ottawa.
I'm so glad, you're here, to talk about this. Because, I got to tell you, we're hearing about this, and watching it. People here, stateside, should know, and hopefully realize, this impacts the U.S., and it impacts all of North America.
What are you seeing there?
GLEN MCGREGOR, TV POLITICS REPORTER: Yes, the impact is enormous for that trade that flows back and forth between Canada and U.S., particularly at the border crossing, the Ambassador Bridge that, connects Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit, Michigan.
As you said, in your introduction, it's crucial to the auto industry. Canada and the U.S. auto industries are extremely integrated. And they're just-in-time delivery businesses. So, if parts don't arrive, right when they're supposed to, the assembly lines stop, and they have to, sometimes, shutdown shifts, auto workers lose work, and it's a bad situation.
And then, there's all the spin-off effects toward the other companies that are associated with the auto industry. So, it's enormous economic problem, in addition to being kind of a cultural problem, and dealing with this uprising that first started, here, in Ottawa.
The truckers have been here, for about two weeks, Laura. And the police haven't really figured out how to get them to leave. But the police responded much more quickly, in Windsor, and Detroit, because of the economic effects of it.
And, as you mentioned, the Premier of the Province, Doug Ford, went and declared an emergency today, got injunctions. And we're just waiting tonight, to see, exactly when police, are going to move in, because there was a 7 P.M. Eastern Time cut-off, for that injunction.
And those truckers are supposed to be off the bridge, opening it up to traffic, again. So far, that hasn't happened. And - but we're waiting to see, exactly when tonight, or tomorrow that police actually move in, and start making arrests, if necessary, and towing trucks away.
COATES: And here we are, two hours after that 7 P.M. Eastern, right, and thinking about what the consequences will be.
COATES: And obviously, the idea of trying to have a peaceful protest does not seem to be obviously at the heart of the issue. It's the mannerism. It's the fact that it's not this peaceful. It's disruptive, in so many ways.
Have they law - at some point in time, I understand, there was some level of empathy or some level of a sort of hurrah--
COATES: --that was happening locally. But that all turned. Where do people stand now, locally, on this issue? Are they in support of a more of a police presence, and ending this, more than ever before?
MCGREGOR: Yes, here in Ottawa, which, our city has been - been - all the streets are jammed. Horns were blowing late into the night, up until a young 21-year-old woman, who lived downtown, went and got an injunction, on her own, to stop the horns.
But it's still very disruptive. I mean, the scenes are kind of chaotic. There's diesel fumes everywhere. The truckers gun their engines, right in front of the parliament buildings, right?
This is our seat of government, kind of equivalent to your Capitol Hill. So, you imagine how that scene going on there. It's been likened to kind of, maybe a Buffalo Bills tailgate party meets Mad Max. It's a very strange, surreal scene, to see, in this city. The residents here are absolutely sick of it.
The police, though, are really apprehensive, about moving in, because a lot of the truckers, and about 25 percent, of the big rigs, police estimate, have children living in them. So, they have the - some of the protesters have set up bouncy castles, hay bales, for the kids, to play on. There's games.
And - but the concern, among police, is that some of the trucks might also have firearms in them. And they're very nervous, about moving in, to start making arrests, and towing vehicles away, if there is going to be a potential for violence. So, they are kind of stuck.
MCGREGOR: And they haven't quite figured out what they're going to do about this.
MCGREGOR: Even though it is right now a very small group. At one point, it was about 18,000 people, at its height, here in Ottawa, much smaller than some of the estimates, going around, in international media, as high as half a million. Never got that close.
MCGREGOR: But the group, in fact, is very - is very small and determined to stay parked.
COATES: I got it. I mean, Glen, to think about the idea of children, being there now, and the idea of what it would be like, if someone's not going to respect the piece of paper, of the injunction, or the presence of the police? Obviously, there is an aversion--
COATES: --to wanting to abide by what the government is saying, in the first instance. And so, I really hope that this remains peaceful, and that there can be a conclusion.
Glen McGregor, thank you so much. I appreciate it.
MCGREGOR: Thanks, Laura.
COATES: And, as I mentioned, there are concerns about this coming to the U.S. This is not just an issue happening in Canada. We cannot lose sight of the fact that obviously what happens, in one area of North America, obviously comes down here as well. And we're already seeing this.
And as soon as, even this weekend, where we have the Super Bowl, here in the States, we know that this might actually impact that as well.
I want to bring in former Deputy Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, on this issue.
Andrew McCabe, nice seeing you. Good to see you.
Every time I talk to you, though, it's always an issue that's happening, that's most security issues. So hopefully, one day, you and I can have a conversation that's far more lighthearted, my friend.
But, for now, here we are again.
ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST, FORMER DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE FBI: Good to be here, Laura (ph).
COATES: And we don't - we know, in the U.S., the impact of maybe a convoy of sorts, converging on a government structure, or even the Capitol, in the city. What are you hearing, right now, in terms of how this might be coming, and hitting very close to home?
MCCABE: Well, Laura, I think that the Department of Homeland Security did the right thing, about getting this bulletin out, to bring awareness, in the law enforcement community, to this issue, and particularly, for those places that are not, Washington D.C., or Los Angeles, or New York, but far-flung places that might also be targeted by this sort of activity.
Honestly, I'm less worried about the Super Bowl, in Los Angeles, this weekend, because you have a massive police presence there, a very well-developed law enforcement infrastructure, already engaged, to secure this high-profile event, the Super Bowl, that many, many people will attend, or at least, be in the area. So, they certainly have the resources, to handle it.
I think the concern is the further-out predictions of convoys, deep into March that may end up in places that aren't as well-prepared.
COATES: It's true. And again, there are - you have places like in Paris, they've already deployed areas, about this New Zealand, other people in London, who have taken time, to sort of try to counteract this. But you're right, going into March.
And again, we're talking about the ideas of having these bulletins come out. Is the chatter that people are hearing online, will it mean that we're better-prepared, perhaps, to address it than what happened in Canada? That's the concern here, in the States.
MCCABE: Well, I hope so, right? I mean, we've certainly had our own experiences, within the last year, speaking specifically, of January 6, of not taking those warnings that were readily-available, on social media, and in open source media, not taking those warnings seriously.
So, I would bet that the FBI, and DHS, and other entities, are listening to those threads, and trying to get a sense of where this sentiment is right now.
And certainly, if a convoy of thousands of trucks begins to assemble, across the United States, that's not going to be done, in secret. That'll be seen. And, hopefully, law enforcement will be able to prepare for the location, wherever that might be delivered.
But, I think, it's really important to notice that law enforcement is straddling a very delicate balance here, right? There is a - this country is founded upon the idea that we are all entitled to protest, to express our anger, with government.
But we're not entitled to do that, in an unlawful way that causes security concerns, for others, or disrupts the economy, prevents people from working. So, it's a very delicate situation that, I think, folks are probably planning for, as we speak.
COATES: And one that becomes evergreen, more and more, talking about all the controversies, about the First Amendment, and being able to redress grievances. But not like this.
Andy McCabe, Thank you.
COATES: Look, from one international crisis, to another, the U.S. says the threat of a Russian invasion, of Ukraine, is now immediate, and is warning Americans to get out right now. Is Putin really planning to attack?
We'll talk to former U.S. Ambassador, to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, next.
COATES: There are increasing fears now that Russian troops, amassed on the Ukrainian border, now appear actually ready to move. You see right there. I mean, sparking warnings from the White House, all the way to the Pentagon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE SULLIVAN, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: Yes, it is an urgent message, because we are in an urgent situation.
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We're in a window, when an invasion could begin, at any time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: "At any time." Well, the Pentagon announcing another 3,000 troops, are now heading, for Poland.
Now, we know the President held a call, with NATO, and world leaders, this morning. And the top U.S. General, held a series of calls, with his Russian counterpart, and also NATO allies.
And President Biden and French President Macron are scheduled to have separate calls, with Vladimir Putin, tomorrow.
Now, the White House is saying that Americans should leave Ukraine, in the next 48 hours, while they still can. And they're saying there will not be a military evacuation of U.S. citizens, in stark contrast, by the way, to what we saw, just a couple months ago, with the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Let's bring in the former U.S. Ambassador, to Ukraine, Bill Taylor.
Ambassador, thank you for being here tonight. There's just so much to get to.
And I want to start with that idea that they're saying that it could be an immediate invasion, telling Americans to get out. There's no way to get them out, from a military evacuation. Obviously, they are really sounding the alarm.
So, the question is, Putin has done something, like this, before. Is he being a provocateur? Or is there some meat on the bone, this time?
WILLIAM TAYLOR, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE, VICE PRESIDENT, RUSSIA AND EUROPE, USIP: Well, probably both, Laura. He's clearly being a provocateur. Mr. Putin is trying to bully, is trying to intimidate President Zelensky, of Ukraine, and probably President Biden, as well.
He wants - President Putin wants to try to rattle the saber, to bring all these forces, to the border, of Ukraine, and intimidate President Zelensky, into caving, into compromising, his own security, his own independence, his own sovereignty. And he's trying - and Putin is trying to bully the President, to do the same thing.
So, there is - he's clearly a provocateur. He can do it. This isn't - bluffing is when you have a pair of deuces. He's got aces. He can clearly move in. Putin can clearly attack. We hear that all the time. We know that's true. But he is so far has not decided to. So far, Laura, he has hesitated.
TAYLOR: And has been willing to negotiate, or at least have conversations, with people, as they have - as they have come through Moscow.
COATES: Well, to extend that analogy of poker, I mean, you got to know when to hold them, and when to fold them, sometimes. Is there off- ramp, for Putin, in this regard, right now? I mean, obviously, this is a lot of gamesmanship.
And although, we are learning that perhaps there is, as you mentioned, the idea, of the ability, to have a force, go in, with enough force and presence, that this is not a bluff? But is there a way out? Or are we on a track and a path that is irreversible?
TAYLOR: It's not irreversible. There is a way out. President Biden, President Zelensky, need to hold them, need to stare him down. President Putin may blink. And if he blinks, then he could tell - he can tell the Russian people that he never intended to invade, anyway. He's said that many times.
TAYLOR: He's said, "I've never intended to invade Ukraine."
And well he could also tell the Russian people that he finally got the Americans, to take his security demand seriously. He can say that.
He's been trying to make the Americans, listen to him, and take it seriously, about his concerns, about missiles, in Ukraine, or B-52 bombers, flying too close to the Russian border. He can say that, up until now, the Americans never took that seriously. But he can say, now they are.
He can say that, "Now, the Americans are going to sit down with me," with President Putin, and they're going to negotiate an agreement, or several agreements that mean that they'll never put missiles in Ukraine, or that they won't fly their B-52 bombers, close to - close to our borders. He can say that he has won.
TAYLOR: He has forced the Americans to the table, to negotiate something. That will be good. We know it'd be good for both sides. But he could say, "It'd be good for Russia."
COATES: Well, what a scheme, to just try to save face, and again, goes back to the notion of being a provocateur. The risk's alive, the risk to livelihoods, and all the international tension that accompanies it. It's a really astounding time.
Ambassador Bill Taylor, thank you so much.
TAYLOR: Thank you, Laura.
COATES: Coming up, California is suing Tesla. They're citing hundreds, hundreds of racism complaints, at one of the auto manufacturer's plants. So, what's Tesla's defense? Is there a culture of discrimination, at this plant?
We're going to bring in a former worker, who sued Tesla, and won, next.
COATES: Well, a California Civil Rights Agency is now suing Tesla. This, in the wake of hundreds, hundreds of racism complaints, from workers, at its Fremont Factory.
In addition to allegations that Black workers, face discrimination, in job assignments, and discipline, and pay, and promotion, the lawsuit states, quote, "Tesla production leads, supervisors, and managers constantly use the n-word and other racial slurs to refer to Black workers.
Swastikas, 'KKK,' the n-word, and other racist writing are etched onto walls of restrooms, restroom stalls, lunch tables, and even factory machinery.
Because the factory was racially segregated, [Tesla] workers referred to the areas where many Black and/or African Americans worked as the 'porch monkey station,' and referred to the Tesla factory as the 'slaveship' or 'the plantation,' where Tesla's production leads 'cracked the whip.' One Black worker heard these racial slurs as often as 50 to 100 times a day."
And this, by the way, as shocking and appalling, as the allegations are, this is just the latest, in a series of racial complaints, against Tesla.
Just last week, a Black woman, who worked at another plant, sued the company, alleging abuse, quote, "Reminiscent of the Jim Crow Era."
While, this past October, a jury awarded a former worker, at the Fremont Factory, more than $136 million, after finding that he was the subject of a racially-hostile workplace. Now, his name is Owen Diaz. And he joins me now.
Sir, I'm glad you're here. But I got to tell you, when I read about this, and I'm hearing about the experience, and your own trial, in this issue, it is really shocking, to think that this could happen once, let alone a series of things, going on.
What is your reaction now that you're learning about this new lawsuit, based on hundreds of different allegations, sir?
OWEN DIAZ, FORMER TESLA CONTRACTOR, AWARDED $137 MILLION IN DAMAGES IN RACIAL DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT AGAINST TESLA: Well, my reaction is, it's about time.
Unfortunately, it took, for me, to win this verdict, it took a man to be murdered, in the factory, or on the factory grounds. It took a lot of other African Americans to be discriminated against. And it took countless of women, to be sexually harassed, before the State even stepped in.
COATES: I'm not sure what you're referencing, in terms of the murder. And, if that's the case, I can't imagine how this has gone unchecked before now, if that allegation is true. I'm curious about what that case involved. And I want to look into that.
And I think about this, and the ideas of the ways in which Tesla has even reacted to this, because I hope you can shed some light, based on your experience, and I understand that of your son's experience, as well, working at that facility.
And what they said was that they called it misguided, this lawsuit was misguided, not yours, but the one that was more recent, saying, "Tesla has always disciplined and terminated employees who engage in misconduct, including those who use racial slurs or harass others in different ways. This [lawsuit] is both unfair and counterproductive, especially because the allegations focus on events from years ago."
But then, when I hear this, and read this, then I look back to an email, sent to workers, back in 2017, by, of course, the face of Tesla, Elon Musk, who is the CEO, and he warned against people, being, quote, "A huge jerk," to members of "A historically less represented group."
At the same time though, he wrote, "If someone is a jerk to you, but sincerely apologizes, it is important to be thick-skinned and accept that apology." This coming from "The New York Times" reporting.
Mr. Diaz, I hear that, and read that, and say if that's the position of the CEO that if someone can apologize? I don't know how you apologize for swastikas, racial epithets, having it ingrained, and imprinted in the factory.
What is your reaction to the overall culture that you've experienced?
DIAZ: Well, first of all, let's just look at that statement. That statement, right there said, I should be thick-skinned, to be in thick skin, right, if they're saying something racially, historically racial. So, they're taking leadership, from straight up at the top.
Even, my experience, I want to say, let it be less about my experience, and let it be more about the workers that's going through what they're going through right now. Because it's like, my experience is over with. I was able to move on. But we still have workers, there.
I've been saying, and I'm going to keep saying, you know, what, I'm not the only one, who said anything. It was - it was - DeWitt Lambert was the first one to sound the bell. DeWitt Lambert took this - took it to arbitration.
See, that's one of the things that these billion-dollar companies are doing. They're using arbitration, effectively, to take their employees, into a private judicial system. When you do that, it's effectively me, crying, to an employee of Tesla, because they're the ones that retains the arbitration.
COATES: So, you felt like you never had a fair chance to be able to have the Human Resource department help you. I would note, your case, I think, is pending appeal, because of the punitive damages that were awarded. But, of course, it sends a heck of a message to Tesla.
And here, this is the California Civil Rights Agency that is now suing Tesla, based on hundreds of complaints.
Owen Diaz, I'm so sorry, to hear about the experience that you have endured. Thank you for your time. We'll follow the story.
DIAZ: I really appreciate it. And I'll just say, I just hope that the State of California calls me as a witness.
DIAZ: Because I definitely want to continue this.
COATES: I have a funny feeling, you are top of mind, sir. Thank you so much.
DIAZ: Thank you.
COATES: I want to turn now to an Olympic-sized controversy ahead. A Russian teenage figure skater, who led her team to gold, this week, in Beijing, well, she's now at the center of a giant doping scandal. Should she be allowed to still compete and have this shadow overhead? And, by the way, who is at fault here?
Well, veteran Olympics broadcaster, Bob Costas, is going to weigh in, next.
COATES: New athlete, old issues, because, once again, an athlete, from Russia, is wrapped up, in a doping scandal.
A gold medal, won already, by the Russian Olympic Committee's figure skating team, is now in question, after a 15-year-old Kamila Valieva, tested positive, for a banned substance, prior to the Olympics.
The teen, who became the first female, to land a quad, at the Games, is now awaiting a decision, on whether she'll even be allowed, to participate, in the individual competition, next week, where by the way, she's been favored, obviously, to win the gold.
Here to talk about it, Bob Costas.
Bob, I'm so glad you're here. And, as I said, look, the idea of yet another Russian doping scandal? I mean, there are second chances. But what number are we on now? And what should they be on?
BOB COSTAS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Incalculable! And we should be at an end. But the IOC has enriched and indulged Russia, as they are enriching and indulging China, right now.
It should be said that today, the IOC came out, and said flatly, for once, flatly, the Russians are wrong, if in fact, they're involved in this, and we believe that Valieva should not be able to compete, on Tuesday.
This is a 15-year-old girl, remarkably talented. She's exploited, and a victim in this. The Court of Arbitration for Sport will make a final determination, prior to the beginning, of her individual competition, on Tuesday, Beijing time.
But it is reasonable to assume, given the long history, you've mentioned, Laura, going all the way, back to the Soviet Union, in the 60s and 70s, and maybe even before that, and now on to present-day Russia, state-sponsored doping, sophisticated state-sponsored doping, where the athletes have basically two choices, go along with it, and be able to compete, internationally, or you're gone.
I'm not necessarily saying that they're locked up or something that draconian, but you're not going to compete, from Mother Russia, under those circumstances.
And going back, recently, to 2014, in Sochi, here are the Russians, and Vladimir Putin, hosting the Winter Olympics. And right under the noses of the IOC, they switch drug samples.
It's sort of this spy versus spy thing, like in the old MAD Magazine, with a hole in the wall, and the sample goes out through one hole, and the clean sample comes back out through the other. And this is only discovered after the fact.
Now, Russian athletes are allowed to compete. You could say it was just a slap on the wrist. There's no Russian national anthem. There's no Russian flag. It's the ROC, the Russian Olympic Committee. So, Valieva, and other Russian athletes are competing under that banner. But we'll have to see whether Valieva is allowed to continue.
COATES: And, of course, what strikes me, this is a 15-year-old. You're talking about state-sponsored doping as the allegation.
COATES: The idea of the exploitation, I mean, how do you judge, who's at fault here? Because, of course, you're thinking about a competitive athlete, and that's the choice, and you already have the idea of the slaps on the wrist.
I mean, what do you think, if it's the fairness, in terms of letting her compete? Is it the message to send, look, even exploitation or not, it will only stop the state sponsorship, if there are actual consequences, even if it means somebody caught in the middle gets banned?
COSTAS: Yes. And that could be one of the consequences, if the IOC, and if the Court of Arbitration for Sport have enough backbone here, along with WADA, the World Anti-Doping association.
If collectively, and they have enough backbone to do it, then perhaps for the time being, this poor 15-year-old girl, or unfortunate 15- year-old girl, will be the victim, but she could continue her career, subsequently.
She tested positive, around Christmas time. And the Russians apparently didn't take note of it. They pushed her forward toward the Olympics.
What's curious, as a side note about this, as best we can understand, the drug in question, is generally for medicinal purposes, prescribed to older people, who have heart problems, like angina.
The only possibility? And there's even some dispute about this, among people, who are very expert, in sports medicine. The only possible advantage would be increased efficiency, in terms of oxygen intake, for endurance athletes, like long distance runners, cyclists, cross- country skiers, at the Olympics.
But the counter to that is, if you're taking, even a 15-year-old girl, and you're putting her through grueling training sessions, four hours or five hours at a time, then endurance would become a factor.
And perhaps you're looking for only the tiniest of edges, when it comes to competitions that are judged through a very, very minute lens, or other aspects of the Olympics come down to tenths or hundredths of a second, perhaps looking for any edge? I guess, it's plausible.
But this particular drug does not appear, on its face, to be a performance-enhancing drug.
COATES: And yet, it could cost not only her performance, but also the notion that--
COSTAS: It could. COATES: --yet again, the shadow overhanging all of the Olympics, this idea of doping.
And we've seen this movie before, Bob. You would think that they'd be able to figure out a way, to have enough of a deterrence, enough of a sanction, that it's not just a symbolic one. But we'll see what happens.
Bob Costas, as always, thank you so much.
COSTAS: OK. Thank you, Laura.
COATES: Former police officer, Derek Chauvin, remember him? You do. He's the one convicted of murdering George Floyd. And you might also remember that his trial got lots of coverage.
But now, the three other officers, accused of failing to stop that murder, they're also on trial, and it's under-covered. I think the outcome could have a bigger impact, frankly, on the future of policing, than even the Derek Chauvin trial.
And I'll explain why, next.
COATES: So, for those of you, who believe that justice was fully served, with Derek Chauvin's conviction? I'm here to tell you that it's not over yet.
Remember, there were three other officers, at the scene, the day, Chauvin, fatally knelt, on George Floyd's neck, for nine and a half minutes. Now, two of them helped Chauvin hold Mr. Floyd down, while another stood by, to keep the crowd at bay.
Well, over the past two weeks, these three former officers have been on trial, for violating his civil rights.
And I know it's hard to know what's happening, when there isn't wall- to-wall coverage, like there was, for the Derek Chauvin trial, especially because these proceedings, are not being televised, as, by the way, is the norm for a federal courtroom. And these are federal charges.
But it doesn't mean that this trial is any less important. And, in fact, well, the way I see it, it could be the most impactful thing, on the future of policing, maybe even more so than Chauvin's conviction.
Here's why. So, prosecutors say these officers knew, through their training, that George Floyd needed help, that they knew that as Floyd's cries for help, stopped, because he stopped breathing that they had a duty, to intervene, and render aid, regardless of the depraved actions, of their senior officer, Derek Chauvin. And standing by, on crowd control, does not excuse inaction either. So, the idea that the officers may be held accountable, for not reining in colleagues, when they do the wrong thing, is something frankly, we haven't seen much up before. And frankly, it could make all the difference, in future police incidents.
For more on this, I want to bring in Charles Ramsay, who led police departments, in Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.
Commissioner Ramsey, I'm so glad you're here, tonight, and we're covering this, because it's so important.
Obviously, so many officers could distinguish themselves, say, from Derek Chauvin, and say, "That's not who we are. It's not what we do."
But you have a number of officers, who might find themselves, in the position of watching what their fellow officers are doing, and wondering, if they will be held accountable.
Do you see it the same way about this being a really important impact, on how other officers may hold one another accountable?
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST, FORMER WASHINGTON D.C. POLICE CHIEF, FORMER PHILADELPHIA POLICE COMMISSIONER, CONSULTANT ON POLICING REFORM: There's no question. It's important. And it's going to have a tremendous impact on policing.
For the past several years, there's been more and more focus, on this duty to intervene, through various trainings.
One started in New Orleans, called EPIC, Ethical Policing is Courageous. And it's been modified, a bit. From Georgetown Law, ABLE, I think it stands for Active Bystander for Law Enforcement.
But there's more and more training now that if you see something like that taking place, you have an obligation, to intervene, to stop it. And I think the George Floyd situation is the perfect example of why that should take place.
Now, I know there'll be a lot of arguments that two of them were rookies, the third one was on crowd control. But there's no excuse for not intervening over a nine and a half minute period.
COATES: And, of course, we know from trial testimony that they actually did not inform the person, who was interviewing them, about the loss of consciousness, immediately, or the ideas of not knowing what the result of the CPR, being failed were.
But also, it speaks to this notion of the Blue Code of Silence, here, right? What you're articulating, in a way, Commissioner, is the idea of people seeing something, and saying something, right? What is expected of the average person, to see something, say something, report?
And that sort of no-snitch mentality that really undergirds that, seems to apply, sometimes, to officers. Is there a way to either incentivize the idea of saying something - seeing something, saying something, even among the ranks?
RAMSEY: Well, you definitely have to encourage it. And that happens not only at the police officer level, but all through the organization. There does need to be a culture shift. But, I think, it's also important to remember that this whole notion of not telling, on a colleague, is not limited to policing.
It happens in all professions, or at least a majority of professions. I mean, how many lawyers call the bar, and turning other lawyers, if they see something unethical? Or doctors, turning other doctors, if they don't think they're properly treating a patient?
I mean, so we got to get over that, and really, really do - and really focus, on doing the right thing. And if you see someone, who's not doing the right thing, you do have a duty, to intervene, and you should be applauded, and rewarded, for it.
COATES: And, of course, one way to change the culture, I mean, obviously in America, litigation, deterrence, having the actual precedent like this, perhaps.
Charles Ramsey, thank you so much.
RAMSEY: Thank you.
COATES: We'll be right back.
COATES: Well that's it for us, tonight. I'll be back, next week.
"DON LEMON TONIGHT" with Don Lemon starts right now.