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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  March 31, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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in the battle against covid-19, pfizer reporting clinical trials showing the vaccine is 100% effective in adolescents 12 to 15 years old. right now no covid vaccine is authorized for americans you said 16. i want to get to that dramatic testimony in the trial of derek chauvin. now from minneapolis. >> reporter: 61-year-old eyewitness charles mcmillan took the stand, breaking down in sobs after prosecutors played this body camera video of george floyd interacting with police. >> i can't breathe. not moving. mama! mama! >> i don't have a mama either.
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i understand him. >> mcmilan is the man you hear on the video begging to give into police before dying. >> an officer myself and i understand once you get in, you can't win. >> he told the jury he regularly walks his neighborhood. in fact he bunched into officer derek chauvin there five days before floyd's arrest. >> five days ago, i told you, say the next person going to make mistake. he looked at you as a maggot. >> watching from inside the cup foods store. the 19-year-old former cashier christopher martin took stand to explain what was going on leading up to police arriving. >> do you recall what it was that you sold? >> a pack of cigarettes. he seemed very friendly,
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approachable, he was talkative. he seemed to be just living his life. >> reporter: a scene from every day life. the jury knows they're watching dead man walking. in less than an hour, floyd will be struggling for his death under then officer derek chauvin's knee. he said floyd seemed high. >> i asked him if he played baseball, he went on to respond to that but it kind of took him a little long. so it would appear that he was high. >> reporter: and paid for cigarettes with an odd looking $20 bill. >> i assumed it was fake. >> reporter: he said if the cashier accepts the counterfeit money, it comes out of their paycheck. >> i took it anyway. i was planning to put on it my tab until i second-guessed myself. and as you can see in the video, i kept examining it and i eventually told my manager. >> reporter: the manager of the store asked another person to
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call police after the teenage employees confront floyd at his car twice. when police eventually detained floyd, martin went outside and saw a commotion. >> george was motionless, limp, and chauvin seemed very, he was in a -- resting state. >> what was going through your mind during that time period? >> disbelief. and guilt. >> why guilt? >> if i would have just not tooken the bill, it could have been avoided. >> for the first time we hear chauvin explaining on his body camera why he detained freud. >> he's a sizable guy. probably on something. >> reporter: the jury then saw the excruciatingly close video from several angles, all of it from officers' body cameras. >> mama, i love you. >> reporter: it takes several
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minutes before you hear an officer, just one, question chauvin's tactics. >> roll him on the side? i just worry about -- whatever. >> boy, oh, boy, sarah. good evening to you. these videos are so disturbing and difficult to watchful what was the reaction in the courtroom? >> reporter: there was visceral reaction by one juror. a juror in her 50s. we know she's a whoit woman who said she was in health care. a nonprofit executive and single mom. she was feeling shaky, she said, and having trouble sleeping. as she's been listening to the testimony over the last if you days and you can really understand why. and i want to mention this particularly to you. the man who spoke from his heart
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with so much passion and so much sorrow and so much honesty, charles mcmillian that you saw there talking about how this affected him. we all know a guy like this, don't we? in the neighborhood? the guy that goes and gives you good advice because he's an he told here has been through some stuff. a guy that breaks up fights among young people. he is always getting into people's business. hey, mrs. so and so, you know what? your boy is down there and he is about to get in trouble. you should go get him. it is significant because this is a person that you can identify. with any neighborhood, any color or background. you know this guy. he took the stand with such honesty. actually in the very beginning, actually saying, look, i was just being nosey. he was climkind of funny. and then he breaks down, a grown man, 61 years old. when he breaks down sobbing and
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talks about his mother and talks about george floyd screaming for his mom. it was a punch in the gut to any human being watching this trial. the most, bar none, extremely emotional and powerful testimony that we have yet heard yet in this trial against former officer derek chauvin and kelly and george floyd. >> what it shows is that he was not threatened by george floyd or what was going on. it was his neighborhood. these are people that he knew. so they weren't foreign to him. these were the neighbors that he knew. he knows the stories. we should all get to know stories of people like that so we can see their humanity. that's what we saw. i'm glad you pointed that out. thank you and i'll be watching tomorrow. thank you so much. >> thank you. i want to bring in laura
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coates and vice president of the city council, her district includes the street where george floyd was killed last year. thank you both for joining us. you joined us when this was all going on and i appreciate you joining us again. this is your community. today was another incredibly emotional day in court. body camera footage is hard to watchful george floyd calling for his mother. we saw constituent. how is this trying weighing on them, the folks who are so close to it? >> i've seen charles walking around the neighborhood. you know, and the correspondent was correct. we all know someone like charles. this community, this neighborhood, it's breaking my heart, watching the video like everybody else over the last three days.
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but to see my constituents on this stage in so much pain and dealing with so much trauma. it just really breaks my heart. i want to send my condolences out to them. but also to thank them for the strength they are exhibiting to be able to be up on that stand and be vulnerable and share their truth. so it is really bitter sweet. they're doing the right thing. >> laura, i want to bring you in because this is where you made your bones in the courtroom. being a former federal prosecutor and an attorney. it is striking to hear this witness so overcome with guilt for not being able to do more to save george floyd just feet away. he had the power to do something and didn't, right? what kind of impact will that
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have on a jury? >> it's extraordinary impact. imagine if all. these people from the 9-year-old to the now 18-year-old, to somebody who is more than a half century older than the younger witness to testify and during the trial breaking down on the stand, you can imagine what the jurors are thinking. does this defendant feel the same level of guilt, someone who was powerless to do anything when someone in position of power, had the agency to act, had the badge to protect him, chose not to act? that will be lingering on the minds of the jurors. a couple of them said they never even watch the 8:46 video. come to find out it was and pandemiced by more than 40 seconds and now they're hearing it and seeing it again. some of these witnesses are particularly, you call creditably pure in the sense that they have no angle, no
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agenda to push. they're disinterested. how do you undermine the credibility of all these people, even what broke my heart, this now 19-year-old employ yes who thought, just put it on my tab and let the situation. so to see all this to maplay as david and goliath story, when he is not breathing, not moving, to suggest that he somehow had to be subdued in some meaningful way with lethal threat and lethal force is disheartening and disingenuous. >> this is a body camera footage showing when police first approached george floyd, the former officer thomas lane pointed a gun. the officer felt safe enough,
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the officers felt safe enough to put their guns away for the rest of the encounter so they didn't feel threatened, why was it necessary to kneel on someone's neck for 9:29? >> exactly. if they had guns available, which they did, and there were four officers on that scene, they felt comfortable enough in the interaction with george floyd to put the guns away. why would you then need to use and apply what is deadly force and known to be able to cause at the very least, grave bodily harm by putting one's knee on the neck and toward the head area of a human being? why would you need to do that? that's the question going into the minds of the jurors right now. the one the prosecution will not do any favors to answer on behalf of derek chauvin. this moves the needle in favor of him being implored and compelled to answer that question. if he thinks his statements. in body cam footage that
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suggest, hey, this was a business guy. when they saw it, they knew it. he will have to answer form. >> you know, councilwoman, the defense keeps trying to portray bystanders. you remember how laura said they were trying to that are tray george floyd as hostile. but the bystanders are portraying him as hostile, a hostile angry crowd. what are your constituents saying to characterize this as angry? >> i think people are offended and rightfully so. we're looking at the crowds that were there. supposed crowds. five or six people. people walking by. it was a beautiful day. it was memorial day. people were out and about.
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the crowds were disturbed because of the, you know, very traumatic situation that they were witnessing. so yeah. the community doesn't really give credibility to that characterization of being, you know, angry, or, and if they were, rightfully so. we were watching -- >> a very good point. that's a very good point. let me ask you another thing. what has this done to the relationship between police and the community. >> well, it has always been challenged between the black community and the community seeking social justice, we've had a number of other high
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profile nationally attention grabbing, you know, deaths by police force. so the relationship has always been fragile. it has been almost completely torn asunder now. it is really challenging to have constructive dialogue between community and the minneapolis police department. >> listen, i think there's something very important -- >> to rebuild that trust. >> there's something very important that i think you want to convey to our viewers before we let you go. that will be the last word. what did you want to say, councilwoman? >> oh, i really wanted to just highlight and lift up the fact that today is a day of disability and a moment in time where so many state legislators
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around the country are attacking trans and nonconforming youth, i want them to know that we see you, we love you and we are fighting for you. we will pass the equality act in the united states congress so that we can bring full equality to lgbtq americans all across the country. >> councilwoman, thank you. laura, thank you as well. i appreciate it. >> thank you, don. it is hard to hear the testimony about the last moments of george floyd's life, second by second. if you're having trouble dealing with it, speak up. you can find it on social media. we have some resources on the screen. don't hesitate to get help. so our other big story,
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president joe biden going big with a $2 trillion infrastructure plan. what is in it for you? >> react now, in 50 years, people will look back and say this was the moment that america won the future. and we have. spacemen. jojo. uncle murray's medals. 17 antique keys. man with peach. the unofficial wedding photos. portrait of an artist. the top of kilimanjaro. a million custom framed pieces and counting. you can framebridge just about anything. framebridge. live life, frame more.
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president biden introducing his $2.2 trillion infrastructure proposal that he is selling as a plan to transform america's economy. >> it's not a plan that tinkers around the edges. it is a once in a lifetime investment in america like the space highway race did he go aids ago. i'm convinced. if we act now, in 50 years, people will look back and say, this was the moment that america won the future.
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>> called the american jobs plan. it's the first of a two-part proposal. it goes way beyond modernizing roads and bridges. it also invests nearly 600 billion in research and development in areas like climate, science and job training. $400 billion would help care giving for aging and disabled americans. it also invests in housing and schools and water and digital infrastructure. joining me, james clyburn. thank you. i appreciate you joining. let's talk about the plan the president laid out today. it is massive and only the first part. it would reshape the economy. would it help workers. it would combat the climate crisis. what does this mean for every day americans? they don't care about the politics. they just care about what it is for them. >> thank you so much for having me. what joe biden is doing here is exactly what i envisioned way back during the campaign.
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he kept talking about bringing america back better. building back better. that's what we're doing here. he is offered a plan if implemented, if his plan is implemented. i think we will see a resurgence in our economy. we will see a renewal among our people. and we will see a better america for each and every one of us. and so i am ecstatic about this plan and talking to him about the future. i just believe that this is the american job plan. i think we're getting ready in a few weeks to see america's family plan. it is going to be what we need. it will be what he promised, and we are going to be a much better
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country than we have been in the past. >> it's interesting. i'm sure you remember not so long ago. it seems like every week under a previous administration was an infrastructure week. now there's actually something being proposed. this affect all lead i'm thats across the country, something that has affected disproportionately people of color. it would provide broad band access. how far does this go helping communities of color? >> it will do the kinds of things that are necessary to make these communities compatible for all who live in it and will also make it palatable for all who wished to improve it. this plan is the kind of plan that i've dreamed about for a long time. i represent a lot of rural america and i can tell you, this
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$100 billion broad band plan will deliver health care in communities that have not had it before. it is going to have online learning for our children. it is going to be what businesses need in rural communities. we do not, we should not have to go to urban centers in order for businesses to flourish. we ought to allow the environment to be created so businesses can flourish wherever they may wish to go and rural america is as good a place as any. >> listen, no pun intended but i wonder about the possible road blocks here. biden plans to pay for it by higing corporate taxes. that won't go with republicans. democrats need every single vote. are you worried? >> i'm not worried. i'm talking to a lot of corporate people. and they're telling me, they
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didn't ask for the corporate rate to go down to 21. they didn't want anything under 25. they knew to drop corporate down to 21, that we would get to some unintended consequences and that's what happened. that's how we lost the affordable housing market, because there's no tax incentive for people to invest in affordable housing. if he moves it up to 28, they do not mind. that's what they've said to me and i believe them. they think that if this economy gets back where it should be, they will benefit. if it stays where it is, they are going to lose. so all business people want a flourishing, growing economy and getting this rate back up to 28 so he can invest in the families of america, invest in
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communities. it will make everybody happier. >> you know, at the same time this is going on, republicans are pushing hundreds of voter suppression bills. one became law in georgia last being. does president biden need to put more energy into fighting that? >> well, i think he is watching this fight very closely. those of us who are legislators are carrying the fight. we've already passed hr 1 to do what is necessary, take money out of the politics, to take partisan politics out of re, to do what is necessary to get voters back in touch with their communities, and to choose their representatives rather than their representatives choosing them. i believe we'll pass that bill and i believe that the president
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will sign it and i think that is exactly what the public would like to see done. >> you have talked about creating rules that would get rid of the filibusters filibuster for issues of civil rights and voting rights so they could get around the 60-vote threshold. how do you get moderates on board like joe manchin? >> i think he understands that there is no way under the sun that we are going to sacrifice voting rights for democrats or all americans, civil rights for all americans, on the filibuster. the filibuster was designed to extend debate on issues of a legislative nature. it was never to determine whether or not people get the right to vote or whether or not their constitutional rights will be there for them. so i believe that it will be a way to work around the filibuster. keep it for legislation but not
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for people's constitutional rights. >> congressman clyburn, always a pleasure. thank you so much. >> thank you. so for having me. >> one of the biggest company in georgia speaking out against their new restrictive voting laws. and they're not alone. that and a look at jim crow then and now. that's next.
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restrictive legislation in georgia and other states saying this. at this very moment the fundamental tenets of our democracy are under assault by forces that seek to take this country backwards. the new law and others like rid both undemocratic and unamerican and they are wrong. when it comes to protecting the rights of all americans to vote, there can be no middle ground. also today, the ceo of coca-cola, one of the largest companies based in georgia, speaking out. >> let me be crystal clear and unequivocal. this legislation is unacceptable. it is a step backwards and it does not promote principles we have stood for in georgia. >> and major league baseball now open to discussing moving the all-star game out of atlanta. president biden addressing that just moments ago. >> i would strongly support them doing that. this is jim crow on steroids, what they're doing in georgia
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and 40 other states. >> there are more than 250 proposed bills and at least 43 states that are aimed at restricting access to the ballot. it is being called the new jim crow. here's cnn's joe johns. >> jim crow is making a comeback. the fictional black faced character from shows that dime symbolize second class citizenship for millions of america. ♪ >> jim crow is also the name used to describe unequal racial segregation rules that banned black people from eating at white owned restaurants, staying in white owned hotels, and fully participating in the election process. now as hundreds of new proposals to scale back voter participation, the parallels with the past are inescapable.
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elizabeth johnson writes, in jail 61 years ago as a college student at virginia union university. she and 33 other students were locked up for a sit-in at a local department store. the alleged crime, trespassing at a whites only lunch counter in richmond. >> if you wanted a meal, you had to go into the alley, to the door, and let them serve it to you through the door in the alley. >> virginia like many states had strict voting rules with poll taxes and literacy. at a. while others had an eight box rule requiring separate boxes and separate ballots. slight variations could cause them to be thrown out. >> every time you vote for a person, it has to be the right box and the right size paper. because so many were illiterate. >> but with voting with the jim crow laws of the past can only go so far. >> what is happening now is
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worse than anything i would think cover happen to a democracy. living in america. >> how could it be worse? because johnson wright says the new proposals, more than 250 in 45 states and counting, according to data from the progressive leaning for justice, are inspired by donald trump's big lie claiming the last presidential election was stolen due to massive voter fraud. >> i mean, it is really upsetting for people to take a lie, take an untruth, and spin it and spin it and spin it and then blatantly in front of you let you know, this is what we're going to do for you. we are going to keep you from voting. >> and some of those proposals have already become law like the one in georgia making it a misdemeanor to deliver food or water to people standing in line to vote. proponents of the measure claim it is not racist.
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it's just to keep people from trying to influence voters on election day. but the brennan central for justice says, jim crow election laws were also presented as neutral at the time. >> they look neutral on their face. so did so many of the jim crow laws. but in their impact they really hit voters of color and young voters and poor voters, much harder than other people. these proposed laws are carefully tailored to make it harder to vote for some people but not for others. >> elizabeth johnson writes this trespassing conviction was eventually vacated by the u.s. supreme court. the expectation is the courts will have to intervene against the flood of current legislation. given the current composition of the high court and its conservative majority, she's not sure they will have the final say this time around. >> i think it will be the voice of the people so loud in a nonviolent way.
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>> now it's the constitution that gives essentially the state legislatures the power to control the time, place and manner of elections. the united states congress has the power to make its own rules or alter any rules made by the state. so in theory at least, anything the states do, the congress can undo if there is only enough political will. that of course is a big question mark right now. >> such a great report. thank you for doing that for us. history really shows us why it is so important for congress to be involved here, right? >> absolutely. a real question of congressional neglect. back in 2013 the united states supreme court essentially eviscerated parts of the voting rights act. they did tell congress that it needed to pass some new measures along with the voting rights act which has not happened now in eight years. of course, that's the reason why we see such a big push on capitol hill to change voting rights.
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once and for all. >> a really important story. we also put it on social media. great reporting. and listen, we talk about my new book. how i think it will help heal america. i really do believe this. so all these issues that we talk about on the air here, the conversation that i had with mitch landrieu. it is called "this is the fire." check it out. so pfizer is out with new data about how effective their vaccine is on young teens and it's good news. those details after this. now, simparica trio simplifies protection. ticks and fleas? see ya! heartworm disease? no way! simparica trio is the first chewable that delivers all this protection. and simparica trio is demonstrated safe for puppies.
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so there's big news in our fight against covid today. pfizer reporting that phase three clinical trials show its vaccine has 100% efficacy among children ages 12-15. think about that. 100% effective. the results could pave the way for kids to be vaccinated before the school year begins next fall. joining me to discuss, dr. jonathan reiner. some good news! yes! happy about that. good to see you. they'll submit their results to the fda and they hope they can begin vaccinating kids for school next year. the numbers are really impressive. >> yeah. they really are. the bigger news about this is,
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the prospect of vaccinating kids because we can't get herd immune without vaccinating children. 23% of the population in the united states is composed of kids under the age of 18. so we can't get to herd immune without being able to vaccinate kids. this study which looked at over 2,000 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 showed that the vaccine produced really robust immune response and 100% efficacy at preventing symptomatic disease. so it works really well in this age group. we know they can certainly contract the virus and we know this age group spreads the virus very effectively so this is super good news. mind you, this vaccine, the pfizer vaccine, is already approved for teenagers 16 and older. so this will move it even lower. and the manufacturer already announced that they've begun
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enrolling very young children from six months to 15 -- six months to 12 in a new trial which will probably take the balance of the summer. >> all right. so good news. not so great news, right? another day of over 60,000 new cases. the cdc director rochelle welinski giving a warning. >> i think this is a critical moment in our fight against the pandemic as we see increases in cases, we can't afford to let our guard down. we are so close. so very close to getting back to the everyday activities we all miss so much. we're not quite there yet. >> so speaking of getting ahead of ourselves, the governors lifting mask mandates, can this spin out of control again? >> i don't think it will spin out of control because just about 100 million americans
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sometime in the next two days, the 100 millionth american will be vaccinated. there is a lot of vaccine in the community. so i don't think we'll see the dramatic spike we saw at christmas and new years. but it can get worse and it will get worse if states don't act wisely. which mean in places where we're seeing spikes, we may need to reinstitute a restriction on indoor gatherings, and i think every state should have a mask mandate until this is under control and it is nowhere near fully contained. >> doctor, love the house calls. thank you so much. we appreciate it. >> my pleasure, don. thank you. so they trump blamed, incited the insurrection. now two capitol police officers are suing him. stay with us.
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tonight, two u.s. capitol police officers, who say that they were injured during the january insurrection, are going after the former president donald trump. suing him for allegedly inflaming, encouraging, inciting, and directing the mob. here's cnn's brian todd. >> reporter: one officer says he was crushed against doors, and sprayed with chemicals. the other claims he was slammed against a stone column. tonight, james and sydney of the u.s. capitol police become the first law-enforcement officers to sue former-president trump. saying, they suffered physical and emotional damage because
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trump, they claim, inflamed, encouraged, incited, and directed the mob, on january 6th. >> we're going to the capitol. >> former-president trump brought them there, encouraged them, and so on, but wasn't the one actually throwing the punches. so, their challenge is going to be convincing a jury that, in fact, what he did led, directly, to their injuries. >> reporter: representatives for trump have not, immediately, responded to the lawsuit. but the former president has previously denied inciting the rioters. and new information, tonight, on the pure hate that was mixed with the violence on january 6th. prosecutors allege rioter, garret miller, in the days after the capitol attack, identified a black police officer and posted messages online threatening to lynch him. saying, in court filings, miller threatened to hug his neck with a nice rope. he will swing. could that officer, still, be in danger? >> it puts them, certainly, in a target of someone who could be so hateful and bigoted. that they could, potentially, do
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them harm. >> reporter: prosecutors say, garret miller posted those threats, believing the officer in question, shot and killed rioter ashli babbitt. though, there is no indication that miller correctly identified the officer who shot her. miller's lawyer has said his messages were quote, misguided political hyperbole and miller regrets what he did. this comes as two leaders of the far-right pro-trump group, the proud boys, are making new claims to try avoid being jailed before their trials. now saying in court filings that the proud boys were disorganized on january 6th. and that he, himself, was only planning to stage a private concert at an airbnb that day. nordeen is charged with multiple counts, including conspiracy, along with fellow-proud-boys leader, joseph biggs, who is now claiming the fbi checked in on him several times, in recent years. and that he regularly spoke to local and federal-law enforcement about protests he knew of or was planning. >> it does not actually mean
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that the government did not view him as a threat in any, other way. sometimes, law enforcement checks in on individuals who are subjects of their investigation, for the purpose of just, kind of, keeping in touch with them. >> reporter: joseph biggs and his lawyers claim that, last year, biggs met with fbi agents, who they say, were interested in his knowledge of the left-wing group, antifa. and wanted to know what biggs was seeing on the ground. the justice department and the fbi have not responded to joseph biggs's assertions. don. >> brian todd, thank you so much. >> and thank you, everyone, for watching. our coverage continues.
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he told george floyd he could not win, as police tried to get floyd into a squad car. today, on the witness stand, charles macmillan's memories of that day, and the video of it, brought him to tears. jim sciutto, here, in again, for anderson, tonight. day three of the derek chauvin trial saw witnesses haunted by their helplessness, as man was slowly killed, right in front of their eyes. we watched a juror experience what, she later called, a stress-related reaction to those proceedings. we saw, for the first time, body-cam video of george floyd's confrontation with police. cnn senior national correspondent, sara sidner, has our report. and we must give you this warning. some of this video's just tough to watch. >> reporter: 61-year-old eyewitness, charles macmillan, took the stand breaking down in sobs, after prosecutors played this body-camera video of george floyd interacting with police. >>


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