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tv   Smerconish  CNN  April 3, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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blue on blue. i'm michael smerconish in philadelphia. we are one week into the trial of former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin charged for killing george floyd. 19 witnesses were called at the trial and eyewitnesses at the scene. we watched testimony from george floyd's girlfriend. bystanders and witnesses describe the even that unfolded in fronted of them. we heard from a paramedic who thought floyd was dead when he arrived at the scene. we heard from derek chauvin's supervisor to whom chauvin didn't initially report he knelt on george floyd's neck and the
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longest serving minneapolis police department officer who testified that chauvin's force was unnecessary. chauvin has plead the not guilty to second-degree unintentional murder and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges. with the first week down what are the takeaways? joining me to discuss is joey jackson, criminal defense attorney and form er new york state prosecutor and james gillian a special agent who, by the way, is in the dissertation phase at st. john's university with a doctoral focus on police force. writing an essay for new york post you acknowledged that chauvin's conduct was repugnant and criminal. you predicted a guilty on
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manslaughter. now that you've heard a week of testimony, do you stand by that? >> west michael, firstly, no doubt, this was a devastating week of testimony in the presentation of evidence for the prosecution. after watching almost every second gavel-to-gavel of the testimony this week, i came away with a couple of takeaways. first of all trials ebb and flow. i've had 25 years experience in the fbi. the prosecution will have good moments, the defense will have good moments. here is where i think the prosecution made a huge, huge leap towards getting conviction in this case possibly on the top count. they used objective ive reasonableness that supreme court decided this case that the use of excessive force in the course of making arrests is judged by objective reasonableness. was the action reasonable? and in this situation, watching
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those just devastating 9 minutes and 29 seconds of officer chauvin kneeling on george floyd's neck after he was unresponsive and after he was no longer a threat, he wasn't struggling, he wasn't resisting arrest, he wasn't noncompliant. michael, that may be the thing that sticks in the jury's mind the most, especially when two police officers testified that it was excessive force. >> sounds to me like now you're thinking it could be a stronger conviction than manslaughter. joey, your thoughts one week in. >> my thoughts are that the prosecution, good morning, michael, good morning james. the prosecution presented a compelling case and i really would not be surprised -- in fact, i suspect -- a long way to go, i understand -- you can have conviction on all counts. if you examine the evidence you had presented, you had a person testified yesterday, lieutenant zimmerman, he is the most senior officer on that force. he gave the indication that he
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had never -- you're never trained on this, right? you're never supposed to do this. it violates protocol and it violates everything we stand for as a department, and, as a result of that, he is dead and it was unreasonable and unnecessary. wow! usually, you're in a situation where blue is protecting blue. not today. you have someone with the knowledge and understanding saying it was wrong. why is that significance? it's significant because the you have demonstrate the assault that led to death. if you are not trained to do this, kneeling on the knee, if it's against protocols, kneeling with your knee on the neck, excuse me, then guess what. that is an assault. if that assault leads to death, that is second-degree murder. one other second, okay? t in the event a jury is not convinced that, they say perhaps it's not. he also testified that zimmerman if you place someone in the prone position, that is face down, chest down, you restrict
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them of that air. that ricketestricts them of air. he laid there for an unreasonable amount of time. zimmerman testified everyone is trained annually as to what to do and not to do. chauvin has been there 19 years. count it. that is 19 times you were taught not to do that. you left him there. what is count two? it's hard murder. it means you lack humanity in doing what you did. final point. that gets you a conviction on the second count. manslaughter relates to negligence. in the event you know the protocols, you know the regulations, you know the directives what to do and not to do you're on notice. aren't you at least grossly careless? if you're grossly careless and you kill someone that is manslaughter and count three. i think a compelling case for the prosecution, no doubt about it. >> james, my first words today were blue on blue because like
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the two of you, i think what was most significant in a sea of very emotional testimony was that you had two high ranking cops both say that this was excessive force. i'm cutting to the chase here. if those two officers are believed, does it leave only a cause defense available to chauvin and could that be enough? >> you're speaking to the correlation equate to causality. as joey i think was trying to make a point there. there is a but cause part of the law which basically says an injury or death that is caused by an incident or event, but for the action, the result would not have occurred. here is where the defense is going to make hay. remember, trials are ebbs and flows. where i think the defense is going to make hay and why i disagree with my good friend and colleague joey jackson here, that this is the top charges here are -- it's going to result
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in a conviction. i believe this was manslaughter and here is why. knowingly or consciously taking a risk that would result in the death of a person. that is what i believe this is going to end up with. why is that? the hennepin county medical examiner made the determination in his autopsy report that it was a combination of three things that resulted in the death. subdural restraint, a toxicology mix of amphetamines and fentanyl that george floyd was on and, thirdly, underlying medical conditions. the defense will make that argument. they will say officer chauvin had no idea by doing that it would result in the death. we may all disagree and we may find his conduct repugnant. i found it repugnant and reprehensible when a person stops resisting you don't immediately ratchet back the level of force you use. that didn't happen here. i have a feeling that this is
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going to be a complicated case and i think a conviction on the manslaughter and i do not believe a conviction on second or third-degree murder. >> joey, respond to that. >> i would love to. listen. i think james is usual, right? he makes an outstanding point in that regard. but let's focus on the prize. let's focus on the actual law. the law indicates that you don't have to be the sole cause. you have to be the substance cause. you look at the tape of george floyd in that cup food you see he is milling about and he is not aggressive. he looks fine. he is speaking. he is dancing at times. does that look like a person that due to drug use was going to die an hour later? does that look like a person who appeared he was going to have a heart' tack or does he look healthy and fit and strong and engaged and energized? take you now out of the cup foods back to the scene with the knee on the neck.
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now if you're arguing as a defense, you can argue about his covid, you can argue about his predisposition and fentanyl and meth amphetamines. they could be factors in the death. i'll take that. is that the substantial cause? or is the substantial cause the knee on neck? if you look at how he appeared after chauvin dealt to him how he appeared an hour before? no question in my mind the substantial cause was the conduct of chauvin and from a legal perspective that is all the jury needs to conclude. the judge will instruct them as such and, therefore, i say the top count is viable and i look for a conviction if things stand as they are on that count. >> i'm already over. james, you get only ten seconds. quick! >> i got to agree with joy here. i think, again, there is a chance that there could be a murder convict here. i'm holding out for man slates. i think it's appropriate but joey's points are all spot on, michael. >> what excellent analysis. joey, thank you.
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james, really appreciate it. thank you, men. >> thanks. >> thank you. >> what are your thoughts? tweet me and go to my facebook page. i will read responses throughout the course of the program. i think this comes from twitter. what do we have? kyle, here is my response to you and everybody else. as an attorney, as a close observer of this trial, i think the case went in, as we say, very well. week one for the prosecution. but there is more to come. and the expectation of so many legal observers that i heard this week is such that it's going to be certainly be a conviction. let's wait for the defense. be open-minded. i just don't want people so believing it's a slam dunk case that it creates a reaction
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ther thereafter if it doesn't go that way. still haven't heard the defense case is all i'm saying. when this man was 13 he shot a woman in the face. she survived. he was sentenced to life without parole and spent 18 straight years in solitary kveconfinemen. how he survived will surprise you. new york state is the first to use a technology allowing people to certify they have tested covid negative or have been vaccinated. republicans are attacking such so-called vaccine passports as an infringement on their freedom. i want to know what you think. go to my website right now and answer this question -- should private businesses be permitted to require vaccine passports from customers to prove vaccination? >> it's completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon
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saving is easy when you're in good hands. allstate click or call to switch today. are so-called vaccine passports the key to reopening post-pandemic america or unwelcome intrusion by big brother? unfortunately another partisan battle. new york was the first state to formally launch a health credential to enable businesses to more easily grant access to people tested negative or inoculated. a pass created by ibm provides a scannable code that gives proof of vaccination or covid-free
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status. the biden administration has so far remained out of the fray. but there is still been a lot of pushback. on friday, florida governor ron desantis signed an executive order banning the use of covid-19 passports in his state. his order says, in part, quote, individual covid-19 vaccination records are private health information and should not be shared by a mandate. so-called covid-19 vaccine passports reduce individual freedom and will harm patient privacy. and kristi noom wrote this.
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should private businesses be permitted to require called vaccine passports? joining me now, is jason e. kelly, general manager for ibm where he is working on health care pass technology. jason, explain briefly how does excelsior work? >> great to be with you, michael. first, we lieke to think about this in three parts. there is the issuer, the individual, you, michael. then the verifverifier. when new york tested this technology weeks back, i'll give you an example in that context. we had some of our team in ibm went straight to new york and were tested for the covid-19 virus and with a negative test, that testing agency became the
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issuer. and then that individual became the individual that received a qr code, no private data, just a qr code on their cell phone. when they entered the event, in this case, barclays center or madison square garden, that entity was then the verifier. think of those three areas. the issuer, the individual and that verifier the trust angle is how it works. >> if i go to yankees stadium in new york and let's imagine there is a requirement of people having to prove that they have been inoculated and i flash my phone and i gain admittance. am i giving up my medical records to anybody, to ibm, to the yankees, to anyone concerned? >> what you're doing in that situation is just giving up a qr code. none of that data about you personally is on your phone. so think privacy as a priority.
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>> so it's being cast, though, in some quarters, you heard my intro, as this abridgement of individual freedom, as big brother now being able to tap into this data harvesting. when you hear that, with your knowledge of the program that you folks at ibm have designed, what is your reaction? >> when i think about what we have provided in this work with the new york state and around the world, this is a global solution that has open and it's letting all different types of health credential be used so that is for both as you said, vaccine and for the negative test. when think about that, i think of a tool that helps people use what they want to use with their options. so it's optional and accessible and it could be on a phone or in print and i think what i think about. >> jason, what industries come top of mind when you think of
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where this technology most would -- would be most beneficial? for example, hearing what you've said to me, i'm immediately thinking of the cruise industry, right? they have been flat on their back, they are eager to get back into the game. they want to make sure they are providing a safe environment. am i on the wrong path? what other industries do you think might this be attractive to? >> well, i think of industries, as a whole, i think of it from your perspective, michael, as a consumer. what is it that is going to be important for us to get back into what we do in daily life? it could be transacting with those small businesses that have been impacted so greatly by this pandemic. or it could be a cruise ship. it could ab tbe a theater. it's those things we come to value in public life. this tool is important, as an option, whether in print or on that phone, to help those activities happen again. >> what i want to get a piece of
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pizza or an ice cream cone on the ocean city boardwalk in the summer in new jersey, i'm used to seeing that sign that says no shoes, no shirt, no service. maybe this is the extension of it, right? if a private employer, a private business seeks to take it in that direction, it might be no shoes, no shirt, no vaccine passport, no service. >> michael, i tell you, those tough decisions, as you've mentioned, often get caught in politics and arguments and we will leave that to the policymakers. here at ibm, our job and one of our values is bringing innovation to us and the world and making sure that that matters. we will continue to do that. >> jason, thank you. i appreciate the insight, the education on this program. >> thank you, michael. have a great day. >> you too. let's see what you're seeing via my social media platforms twitter and facebook.
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well, church of the flying spaghetti monster? okay. my answer is hell yes! by the way, you know, this might be 30 days premature if i buy into the biden administration time line because in my area, southeastern pennsylvania, nobody can get a vaccine yet unless they are 1a. so it presupposes widespread access to vaccines. but when everybody has got a shot to get a shot? my vote is hell yes! i think it makes sense and putting pressure on those among us who have the opportunity to get inoculated and for whatever reason, choose not to. everybody ought to. the sooner we get to herd immunity the sooner we get to regain the control of our lives. this is today's survey question and go to my website and answer the question. i can't wait to see how it goes.
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this is not the federal government, ladies and gentlemen. should private businesses be permitted to vir vaccine passports from customers to prove vaccination? ron desantis says no. michael smerconish says yes! up ahead, major league baseball announced friday that georgia will no longer host this year's all-star game or amateur draft just as the latest corporate protests of the state's new voting law. is this an overreaction? this is the mug shot of a then 13-year-old ian manuel before being sentenced to life without parole for shooting a face a woman he was robbing. beginning when he was 15 years old he spent 18 years in solitairy confinement. here is now a free man. here to tell us the secret of how he survived. the #1 hyaluronic acid moisturizer delivers 2x the hydration
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is long-term solitary confinement for prisoners on its way out? on wednesday, new york became the latest state to put new limitations on the practice. the bill restricts prisons and jails to put solitary on 15 days and forbidding the practice with minors and disabilities among others. had such a law been in place in florida in 1992 it would have altered the life of my next guest dramatically. when ian manuel was 13 he participated in a robbery with some older kids and shot a woman in the face. he was charged as an adult with armed robbery and attempted murder. he was told to plead guilty to get a lesser sentence of 15 years. instead, he was convicted and sentenced to life in imprisonment without the possibility of parole. when he was 15 he was punished for behavior and sent to solitary confinement. he remained alone in that small
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windowless cell for 18 conservative years. he is a free man today because the supreme court ruled in 2020 in a case in florida juveniles could no longer be sentenced to life without nonhomicide. after he was resentenced the woman he shot petitioned for his release. he was finally released in 2016 he writes how he survived in this book. ian manuel joins me right now. thank you for being here. we know why you present to prison. why were you sent to solitary and for so long? >> thank you for having me, michael. i was sent to solitary initially on my first day in prison for being 14 years old to be specific. afterwards, an confined for
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three weeks i was placed in the general prison population and given the responsibilities of an adult while i was still a child. i rebelled. i walked in the grass and i was unauthorized areas and officers curse at me i cursed back and teenage behavior. instead of being grounded an hour or two in my room i was placed in long-term solitary confinement from age 15 during the george h.w. bush administration until obama took office for 18 consecutive years. >> take me in that cell. paint the picture. is there a window? what were your surroundings for 18 years? >> for 18 years, my surroundings were four corners of a wall and a door. i spent most of my time in my cell just imagining i had to use my imagination to survive. imagining myself being free. imagining myself getting out and being with family. all of my family died during my
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incar radiation, my mother and grandmother and both grandparents and my brother. everyone died. it took me tapping into my imagination and writing poetry. that kept me alive and going. it was excruciating watching people gassed with high-powered chemical agents and prisoners being beaten by staff and the nurses falsifying reports. it was one of the most horrendous experience and no human being should live what i went through. i told you during a radio interview if what happened to george floyd happened in broad daylight, imagine what is going on behind the closed prison walls when no one is watching and there is no camera. >> ian, clear your head. give everybody a taste of the
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poetry that this led to you writing. >> thank you, michael. i wrote a poem called "uncried tears," that captures the emotion of me pushing my pain down when i was in solitary. my lawyer brian stephenson featured this poe em in his best selling memoir. imagine tear drops left uncried for pain trapped inside. waiting to escape through the windows of your eyes. why won't you let us out? the tears question the conscience. relinquish your fears and doubts and the conscience told the tears i know he you really want me to cry, but in releasing you from bondage and gaining your
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freedom, you die! the tears gave me some thought, before giving the conscience and answer, if crying brings you to trial, then dying is not such a disaster. uncry tears. >> that is pretty impressive, ian! >> thank you. >> we should say you would not have gotten this new lease on life but for your victim debbie beggary being so acceptance of your overture while you were still in prison. speak to that before we have to part company. >> yeah. debbie, definitely, played a role in the way of the system view me. but had it not been for the evil justice initiative and brian stephenson and my lawyer ben schaefer and u.s. supreme court agreeing my sins of cruel and unusual punishment i would have
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died in prison. there not have been an ian on the michael smerconish show. debbie is my heart and angle and my special friend for life and we have a special relationship. but make no mistake about it. ian manuel would have died in prison had not the evil justice initiative got the supreme court to overturn my life sentences. i'm so forever thankful for the opportunity to have my life be free as a free man in society. after 26 years, age 13 to age 39, spent in prison and 18 of those years in solitary confinement the size of a walk-in elevator. >> ian manuel, thank you. good luck. >> thank you, sir. thank you for having me. still to come, things aren't looking too peachy king in the peach state as corporations in georgia and across the u.s. were pressured to take a stance against the state's new election law. i want to zero in on one
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provision that has many up in arms. limiting access to food and water as those are waiting in line to vote. i'll do it with the chief operating officer of the georgia secretary of state's office next. and, please, make sure you're answering this week's survey question at go there right now. should private businesses be permitted to require so-called vaccine passports from customers to prove vaccination? what's the #1 retinol brand used most by dermatologists?
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and finally reducing corporate money in our politics. to restore our faith in government. because it's time. for the people to win. among my patients i often see them because it's time. have teeth sensitivity as well as gum issues. does it worry me? absolutely. sensodyne sensitivity and gum gives us a dual action effect that really takes care of both our teeth sensitivity as well as our gum issues. there's no question it's something that i would recommend.
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facing legal challenges and intense scrutiny, georgia's new voting law has the nation fired up. is the debate over some provisions practical or purely partisan in corporate america and sports franchises have been asked to speak out against the new voting law. the mlb relocating this season' all-star game and mlb draft out of the atlanta without confirming its new host city.
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the announcement came after president biden said he would strongly support the mlb making the move as a result of georgia passing the law. are the changes in the law deserving of their demonization? take this one for instance. limiting how voters can be provided food or water while waiting in line to vote. i'm sure you've heard about it. critics view this provision as a clear example of voter suppression and especially for communities of color who experience hour long lines and advocates view it as protecting voters from political organizations or advocacy groups trying to subtly influence their vote. georgia already had a law on its books covering election at polling place. here is what it said, in part. quote.
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in december of 2020, meaning after the presidential election, georgia secretary of state brad raffensperger warned he has taken action to crack down on political organizations and advocacy groups that use line warming as a loophole to conduct political activity in violation of state law. political organizations or advocacy groups will use the give-ways or gifts known as line warming to inappropriately influence voters in the crucial final moments before they cast their ballots. such efforts violate the protections georgia law has placed on campaigning near a polling location or voting line. that rational explains the change in the law which then added this line -- nor shall any person give, offer to give, or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited, to food and drink
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to an elector. adding this code section should not be construed to prohibit a poll officer from making available self-service water from an unattended reaccept tackle to an elector waiting in line. new york and montana have same laws in their election codes. so is the heat that this particular provision getting warranted? joining me now, chief operating officer of the georgia secretary of state's office, that would be gabriel sterling. mr. sterling, thanks so much for being here. first, react to the news of mlb not coming to atlanta. >> he is frozen. all right. what a shame. then i'll just have to waste a little time until we get him back. i may as well tell you what i think about this. what i find -- put up the ed
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bastian, jeff, if you could put up the full screen we had from the delta chief executive. here is what the delta chief executive says. that strikes me as accurate, insofar as, i think the brennan center, i'm doing this from memory, have said there are like 24 different states that are cracking down on widespread election fraud based on the presidential race. there was no documentation of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. so i've said in the past, is this all a solution in search of a problem? having said that, when i scrutinize the georgia law and brake it down by its component parts, i do think that the
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demonization of it is being inflated. and, you know, the sound bite, you saw that i just had to go through the reading of the law, what it used to be and what it is now. it's complicated stuff to wade through and it's far more effective as a sound bite so say, my god, have you heard in georgia you can't take water to somebody who is sitting out in that hot sun for three or four hours? that is a good sound bite. the truth is a little different. those are my two cents. gabriel sterling, you're back. you know how i view this. i do view the georgia macro as a solution in search of a problem. when i look at the provisions, i, frankly, don't find them so objectionable. your response is what? >> michael, you sound way too rational to be in the news media or in politics alone. you're like related the bill and
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understand what the rational and walk through it. the sound bite is easy, you're right. the problem in this state, stacey abrams and warnock and others of the world is a great sound bite. they can raise more money and you tell people they are trying to take your vote away, the normal human, the normal american response is the heck they are? i'm going to vote even harder. it's one of those things where no matter what we pass, i wouldn't have written the bill this way and the secretary wouldn't have written the bill this way, but lots of good -- election administration stuff in this bill. i was so violently pissed off yesterday. new york where they are has excuse-based absentee and fewer days of early voting where we have expansive early voting and no absentee voting is protected.
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>> reporter: let me drill down on line warming in particular. my understanding that memo from secretary raffensperger came out in december. what, if anything, happened in the presidential election on the subject of line warming that necessitated, in your view, strengthening the law? >> really had to make a bright line, because we were all trying to be common sense about it saying, you know, if there are lines, which there weren't really in november and january, there have been some in june, obviously. people were using the line warming to get around the prohibition of the lex year. we all knew that. put yourself in the position of a poll manager. how do you enforce that rule unless you're standsing in ther with the persons talking and giving them food or water. you can't. we have situations poll managers not knowing what to do in these situations and didn't have a way to police it, he would call a sheriff. this brakes it easy for the poll
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manager to enforce and, if need be for a sheriff to enforce basically say, stay 1506 feet away. you know the rules. don't try to make -- about this and what is happening. people were trying to be cute around it and make it happen. new york law is specific. you can't give away tobacco, meat, refreshment or alcohol. i think very specific on there. >> so the idea is that you -- i've got some experience in a prior life working the polls from 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. you can't approach someone one x-feet of the poling location. what you're saying in gamplt i guess is not only can you not hand a sample ballot or the leaflet might be but you can't take a bottle of water while you're wearing nra t-shirt or black lives matter t-shirt or whatever the case may be. we want distance as people are going in to perform that solemn responsibility? >> absolutely. you described it exactly as
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intended under this law now. trying to make this a great sound bite. my secondary question if they are in line to vote they are obviously voting. how does this turn into voter suppression? it doesn't. another good sound bite to talk about. >> i get it. i do have to say because your screen froze you might not have heard the criticism i offered. i am saying when i scrutinize the law it doesn't match what i'm hearing in the national india. is it a solution in search of the problem? there wasn't widespread fraud in georgia or of this was about boring election administration stuff, about a ballot deadline so people have an opportunity to vote. if you request a ballot too close, you're not going to get to vote. this is about expanding mandatory early voting days. this bill literally expands the franchise and does the opposite
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of what the critics are saying it does. >> thank you for being here. i appreciate your time. >> thank you, michael. have a great day and keep being responsible. >> thank you. i don't know that it's in such demand these days, but hopefully it will come back. still to come, your best and worst tweets and facebook comments. we'll give you the answer to the survey question. should private businesses be required to require vaccine pos ports from customers to prove vaccination? ♪ life... doesn't stop for diabetes.
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let's see the results. the survey question at this hour, should
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private businesses be permitted to require vaccine pass ports from customers to prove vaccination? survey says, 87%, i would say, have the correct answer. 87% say yes. wow, 30,000 who voted. quickly, catherine, hit me with social media. i've got time for just one. what do we have? not to point out the obvious, but i'm for the vaccination, how is it okay but i.d. to vote isn't? can someone rationally explain that? shawn brooks tying together all the subject matter of today's program. it's okay to ask for an i.d. to vote, as long as it's the time of i.d. that people in all communities possess. happy easter. see you next week. only tylenol rapid release gels have laser-drilled holes. they release medicine fast for fast pain relief. tylenol rapid release gels. i always dreamed of having kids of my own. ♪ ♪
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good morning. it's saturday, april 3rd. i'm victor blackwell. >> good morning, everyone. i'm amara walker. you are in the "cnn newsroom." >> this morning there are new questions about the security at the capitol. a man rammed his vehicle into a barricade at the u.s. capitol. one capitol police officer was killed, another was injured. >> u.s. capitol police officer william evans was killed in that attack friday. he was an 18-year veteran on the force. and some of those who knew him well said he died doing what he loved and that he loved serving his country. >> officer evans is the second