tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN April 14, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
for the same medications as the vet, but for less with fast free shipping. visit petmeds.com today. all right, people are on the streets of brooklyn center, minnesota. but so far there's nothing approaching anything like violence. thank you for watching the coverage. we'll pick up with "cnn tonight" and its star d. lemon. the question once again in another community is are we going to see justice or is this about what happens to just us? >> that's a good question. and the question is what is going to happen later tonight? hopefully nothing. protests, that they're peaceful, no rioting and nothing that is -- that can harm the community. i'm going to get to it, though, chris. i'm going to get to our developing news that's happening. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. and let's look live. this is the fourth straight
night of protesters in the streets of brooklyn center, minnesota. and we're watching at this hour because there's a curfew going to take effect in one hour. and usually around this time things will start to happen because it gets close to the curfew and people are confused what time had curfew had been. they'd been moving it up and moving it back. here's what the protesters are demanding. they're demanding justice for daunte wright. he's the latest black man to die in an encounter with police. i want to get right to sarah snyder. good evening to you. you've been out there covering this since the beginning. what are you seeing tonight? >> reporter: we have seen early on the crowd being a bit more angry earlier. and you're seeing sort of the exchange that happened. somebody there firing less than lethal rubber bullets. we've seen several people hit with those bullets and also seeing people you can see there
they're spraying pepper spray just over the fence. there's a lot of folks at the very front closer than normal right up closer to the fence who have umbrellas and you can see bottles being thrown. and now they're firing again the rubber bullets. they're quite large, leave a big mark and they hurt but meant to push people back. and you're seeing bottles being thrown, every now and then a rock being thrown. this is a much smaller crowd frankly than yesterday and the day before. but if i can get around here i can show you what some of the protesters have done to try and get close enough to yell at police but not get hit with the rubber bullets. if you look just there you will see they have put up makeshift barrier, barricades to try and hide behind them to keep themselves from getting hit because this is really, really,
really close and if you get hit with a rubber bullet right here it is probably going to do more than hurt. they really leave large bruises and sometimes if they're close enough they can break a bone. so the bottom line is folks are planning on being out here after curfew. you're seeing a bit of that back and forth going on now, a lot of pepper spray. and now you've seen a flash bang. so this is what is starting to happen. you'll see the crowd move back. you'll see the crowd move back. that is a message. hold on one second. it's a message from brooklyn center saying the curfew is at 10:00 p.m., which is in just a bit here. >> and so they are warning people now that it's 9:00 local time in less than an hour and you'll see the line move. you know how this works, don. >> we're going to stick with you for just a moment here. obviously stay there as long as you can, but if you're in
jeopardy of your safety or your body being harmed or anything get out of the way. let me ask, you said there are fewer people than -- as we watch -- was that a flash bang or was that fireworks? >> reporter: that was a flash bang. you can see the smoke coming off from some of the -- the pepper spray and looks like some gas as well. >> you said it's fewer people but they're closer than they were last night. >> reporter: yeah, yeah. so what happens is it's almost a cat and mouse. they'll get very close to the fence and then pull back. but this time there's a lot more people up onto the fence. and you are seeing on the other side, it's a little harder to see. but the first line of officers are in riot gear. the second line of officers in riot gear is the national guard. and at some point as curfew gets closer and closer we will probably see hundreds just like we did last night of officers who flanked this area and start pushing people to a certain part
trying to get them out and away from the precinct. you're hearing people scream "don't shoot, hands up, don't shoot." you've heard many of these protest lines before across the country. i know this is one we all heard in ferguson a long time ago it seems in 2014. >> when it started. >> reporter: but you are seeing the crowd -- yeah, that's right. you're seeing the crowd get agitated and there's another rubber bullet and this is sort of the normal flow of things. as it gets later and closer to the curfew you get more and more back and forth between police and the protesters. >> so that alert you got, sarah, are they sending it out to cellphones in the area? is everybody getting those, the protesters getting those as well? you can see behind you they're moving some of those barricades. have been moving around with those makeshift barricades all
day or all evening? >> reporter: they've moved them up a little bit but those have kind of been there. you'll see they're moving them a little closer and a little closer depending on how comfortable they are. now you're going to see a firework going right into the police. you're also seeing -- you see those lights, the green lights? i'm not sure if you can see that but there is another flash bang. but this is -- you know, this is what's been happening every night. and you're going to see more and more of this as we get closer and closer to the curfew. just a firework. that's all that is. those are being fired from over there. you can see them. and okay now we're hearing from the police who are saying you are here by ordered to leave the area because this is an unlawful assembly. everybody has heard this before. but a lot of folks are saying they're staying put and they're
going to fight. another flash bang. so this is -- this is the norm to be honest. >> sarah -- >> reporter: every night we've seen some semblance of this. >> sarah just mentioned there's a curfew that happens at the top of the hour which is 10:00 p.m. central time, 11:00 p.m. eastern. chris and i had a very quick exchange and i wanted to get right to sarah because this is when it usually becomes not so peaceful, right? because as it gets closer to the curfew -- and i heard you earlier saying during the day most of the day, most of the time it's peaceful. and then in the cover of darkness or as it gets closer to this curfew that's when the unrest starts. >> reporter: yeah. and usually there are more people that end upcoming out because people have dogs in the daytime, and more people will come out in the evening.
but tonight it is a smaller crowd than it was last night and the night before that. but they're committed, let's put it that way. they're committed to being out here and over and over again have said they're not leaving when the curfew happen. we know that's also been the sentiment the last couple of nights. but when the police come out with hundreds of officers to push them forward they do move. and they've been doing this night after night after night. but there's a lot of folks here still filled with anger. even though the officer has been booked -- she used to work right here at this precinct and about 8 miles away -- >> what's been the reaction? >> reporter: booked for second degree manslaughter. look, people feel like it's a good step in the right direction in their view for some justice. they do not feel like she made a mistake. in their minds this was a negligent act, an act of murder in their minds. but that isn't how the law reads, and that's why the d.a. went forward with second degree
manslaughter. i will mention also second degree manslaughter happens to be one of the charges derek chauvin is facing along with second degree murder and third degree murder. so this is convergence, though. it's not just about one case. it's a convergence of a lot of cases and a lot of frustration here in brooklyn center, in minneapolis, in several other areas around this metro plex. >> sarah before i let you go do some reporting i want to ask you, listen this is very diverse crowd out there. i've been watching the people around you and i'm seeing white kids, black kids, some younger than others. i mean, this is not just black folks out there. and i'm wondering do you know if they're coming in from other communities, yeah? >> reporter: no, not necessarily. yes, there are folks from surrounding areas, but there are folks from right here at these apartment complexes that are literally looking directly at the police department. i don't know if you can see in our camera now but if you pan
over just a bit you will see the apartment complexes and there are several of them big apartment complec. and we've been talking to people who have come out of there to protest. and we're talking about black people, white people, people of asian descent. we're seeing a lot of different people. and a lot of people are from in and around here, but there are certainly folks who have come in from outside. some of them here to protest george floyd and some of them here to protest as well for daunte wright. >> so, sarah, we saw last night and for the past couple of nights. really i mean sunday was obviously a huge crowd. monday was a pretty big crowd. but we saw last night as sort of this cat and mouse, right? where they would stand -- police would stand their guard and maybe retreat a little bit and then they'd push further in and they'd stop and pause for a while -- i should say push further out depending on where you are. and that's how they would move
the crowd out. has there been an indication of that happening now? is it the same routine tonight? >> reporter: it's the same routine tonight except for so far i haven't seen the line of officers. we saw a line of officers about this time last night that came from this direction, a huge number of officers, state police and several other departments coming together in riot gear and making the announcement over and over again there was an unlawful assembly. and so you're still hearing that noise, that pop you hear is rubber bullets coming from the police side into the crowd after they throw water bottles and/or rocks or both. but the bottom line is we saw this a little bit earlier. well, here's a firework it looks like. bottom line is this is a similar scene. it's just happening with the police aren't out here as early as they were last night starting to push the crowd. and the crowd is smaller. >> i'm sure.
and you were listening last night we had police officer catherine ron johnson from the missouri state highway patrol, remember working with him we both did in ferguson. and he talked about there should be more interaction he believed at this point between the protesters and officers or police stationed out there. have you seen that at all or is it just the police in these lines not really intermingling with the protesters to try to talk with them or develop some sort of relationship with them? >> reporter: no, that's not happening. it's just not happening. and, you know, from the police's perspective they feel like all they're going to get back to them is anger and, you know, who knows what else. and from the protesters perspective the time for talking was before they shot and killed another black man. you know, i think what's happened here it's very difficult to have that conversation when everyone is
ginned up and feels so emotional. it's very difficult to have a conversation. and, you know, one of the issues obviously is always going to be community policing, who you know, how you've been treated. there's a lot of frustration here, and that frustration explodes partly because when someone is detained or arrested by police they have no control over what happens to them. and they feel helpless, and so this is a response in some ways seeing what happened to daunte wright, seeing what happened to george floyd, their response to that frustration that's been pent-up, that helplessness they feel when they are themselves out in the streets and may come into contact with police officers themselves. >> all right, sarah snyder, i want you to standby. we're going to get back to sarah. let her do some reporting and also just to watch her back for a little bit. is there something happening now? >> reporter: yeah, they just made another announcement that this is unlawful assembly and to move back.
so you're hearing the reaction to that. >> all right, sarah. >> reporter: clearly folks do not want to leave. >> standby. we're going to get back to sarah snyder out there. we also have other correspondents. miguel marquez is out in the crowd as well and we have our correspondents, our producers and camera crews out in brooklyn center, minnesota, tonight. there's a lot going on. just 10 miles, a mere 10 miles away from derek chauvin is on trial for the killing of george floyd almost a year ago. memorial day 2020. a curfew is expected to go into effect within the hour in brooklyn center, minnesota. a crowd of protesters still out in the streets and very active. our crews, reporters are there now. we've got much more on this breaking news right after this. what do we want for dinner? burger... i want a sugar cookie... wait...
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all it takes is the slightest push in just the right place and that will be the tipping point that changes everything. ♪ ♪ as we come back out now live now in brooklyn center, minnesota, there's a curfew about to take effect within an hour at the top of the hour as a matter of fact. protesters are out in the streets in brooklyn center for a fourth consecutive night. they're angry at the fatal police shooting of 20-year-old daunte wright during a traffic stop that happened on sunday. former police officer kim potter arrested today charged with second degree manslaughter and tonight posting bail, getting released from custody. she's scheduled to make her first court experience that will happen tomorrow afternoon. i want to bring in now lauri
swanson, the former attorney general of the state of minnesota and we're so happy she's here this evening. good evening to you. second degree manslaughter, what's your view of the charge? >> you know, don, as a former attorney general and when i was attorney general i always had a policy of not commenting on charges until all of the facts are known. in this case although the county attorneys looked at some of the evidence we as members of the public have not seen all the evidence. we saw the police released a 60-second recording of a portion of the video, but each of the officers had body cameras they were wearing. we don't have access yet as members of the public to the body cameras nor do we have evidence to all of the statements of the witnesses who were on the scene. second degree manslaughter, i would note, is one of the charges that was brought in the case against derek chauvin. it essentially involves culpable negligence, in other words the defendant cautiously took a chance at causing death or great
bodily harm to another person. >> so talk to me about that because again as you said in the chauvin trial he also faces second degree manslaughter but some murder charges, too. how do prosecutors decide which charge to go with? and what are the maximum sentences here? >> yeah, great question, don. what they look at are are the facts in the case? and then what can i prove in trial in a court of law? a prosecutor runs the risk if nay overcharge a case and bring charges they ultimately can't prove they won't be able to get a conviction. in the case of derek chauvin you're right there were two other charges brought, second degree murder and third degree murder. and the biggest difference in terms of sentencing is the length of time. second degree manslaughter has a presumptive sentence in minnesota of four years whereas the murder charges have a presumptive sentence about 11 or 12 years. a judge can always do what's
called an upward departure meaning for based upon the facts in theicacy they sentence someone to a longer or shorter period of time as well if they document their reasons for that decision. >> lori, this has happened, quickly some of the things we've seen. we saw the officer resigning and then being charged, also the body cam footage being released. it happened quicker than i've seen it happen in most of these cases. the police chief has resigned as well. but when he initially came out to say it was an accidental charge, there was some criticism of that. do you think that played any role in either the charge or the speed of which this is unfolding? >> you know, i can't stand in the mind of the prosecutor in terms of why they charged it when they did or why they brought the charges that they did. i will say, though, in these types of incidents we've seen it around the country, certainly saw it in the chauvin case, you know, the more facts can change, facts can develop, evidence can
come in a case. and i think whenever you have an officer involved shooting it's probably a good idea for those who are involved in the process not to be making a lot of public commentary about what the evidence shows or doesn't show until all of the facts are in such as, you know, what do all the body cameras show, what do all the witnesses say? you know, there was a passenger in car in this case. what does she say? what do people who might have observed it in the community have to say? i think that's a lesson that can be drawn not just in minnesota but states around the country who are facing similar things in the future. >> lori, i have so much to ask you but we're watching the unrest happen, the protests in brooklyn center right now. we want to get back to our sarah snider, but let me thank you. a former minnesota attorney general. we appreciate your time. we'll have you back to help you get us through all of this. thank you so much. >> thank you, don. >> really appreciate it. sarah snyder is joining us now again from the scene in brooklyn
center, minnesota. sarah, i understand you've got some reporting for us. what do you have? >> reporter: yeah, the police line remember how i talked about the police line coming from that direction? well, they're coming. it is 30 minutes until curfew, and if i can get you to lift up the camera to show you see the lights down there, that is the police line on its way. and, you know, everyone can see it coming. they can see where it's coming from and they know where they're going to be pushed to which is straight down the street as officers try to get the crowd away from the precinct. i do want to have a conversation with the young lady who was here as we watch that line coming. her name is marika from minneapolis. you're out here tonight. tell me what it feels like to be outright now? and are you afraid for your own safety as the police line comes and they're fighting back and forth with the folks in the front line there? >> it's definitely overwhelming to be out here.
there's a lot of emotions. i didn't really intend to be out here, but i felt a call, i felt a pull to be out here as a mixed race indigenous person. i have the backing of my community with me. >> reporter: what is it making you feel uncomfortable, what are those mixed feelings you're having at this point where you're standing? >> i guess the use of military force right now being implemented, the flash bang wheres, the tactics coming out on a lot of people like myself are just peacefully protesting and doing mutual aid work. so to be helping our community and unnecessary things happening to us, it's not great. >> reporter: it's hard. and from the police's perspective i mean they are taking some rocks and some bottles as well. are you concerned about that as well as sort of like this back
and forth reaction that happens all night long? >> yes. it's -- preferably if we could protest here peacefully so it wouldn't be a unlawful gathering or assembly or whatever they're calling it, that would be nice. but to get our voices heard without any disruption would be preferable so -- >> thank you very much marika for speaking to me. there are lot of folks that feel this way. other people who say we're not going to tell people how to protest. and the sorry and rage and all of those things become too much and they decide they're going to take a different tact. that does not bode well, though, for those who are here peacefully because they end up oftentimes getting hit with projectiles or tear gas or pepper spray. but the police line is coming because there's a curfew and the
curfew is in less than half an hour. and they do intend to move people out of here like they have every single night. there were some 60 arrests last night and you can almost guarantee there will be some tonight if folks do not go -- go sort of beyond and leave the area as police are coming. and i want to give you one more look, don, of the crowd. and you can see the officers. they are getting closer. the lights are getting closer. and beyond those lights closer to the crowd there are, you know, officers that are slowly making their way up. and that's how they do it, methodically and slowly pushing the protests further and further away. year hearing now a rubber bullet that sounds like it was fired, and you're stilling hearing the crowd yelling toward police every now and then throwing a water bottle into the police line that is on the other side of the fence. it does look like there are quite a few people sort of pushing against the barricade
there and the fence where the national guard has its apparatus and its vehicle. but that's the scene right now, don. >> and sarah as you said that curfew is about 30 minutes away. and as you can see, sarah, the fence behind you. but then as the night goes on as we've seen that fence gets further and further away. the crosswalks come into the picture and then they go away as police start pushing those folks out and then we get a better picture of the apartment complex and the neighborhood as we see the police officers moving them away from the police station. so i want you to standby. i need to get to a quick break. we're going to take a quick break. our breaking news is going to continue in a moment. but i just want to tell everybody. just a few miles from brooklyn center the defense is presenting their case in the derek chauvin murder trial, the murder of george floyd. and they're doing whatever they can to draw attention away from the 9 1/2 minutes chauvin had his knee on george floyd's neck. we'll be right back.
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night in a row after the shooting death of daunte wright during a traffic stop on sunday. she's a former police officer. her name is kim potter. she's charged today with second degree manslaughter. she's going to make her first court appearance tomorrow. and just 10 miles away from where daunte wright was shot and killed the defense for derek chauvin is beginning to wrap up its case. the curfew is going to happen in about 28 minutes, 27 minutes or so. so we'll watch to see what happens there. but everyone has been ordered to move i'm told there in brooklyn center, minnesota. so joining me now is criminal defense attorney joey jackson and forensic scientist larry koeb lensky. good evening to you. let's see, larry let's talk about what happened today. the defense called a retired medical examiner who testified heart disease, drugs, even
carbon monoxide poisoning from the police car. they're all to blame for floyd's death. chauvin's knee on floyd's neck for 9 1/2 minutes not a cause of death. does that make any sense to you? >> to me it does not. there are a couple of crazy things that i've heard. one is the manner of death was considered undetermined. every other expert declared this a homicide. it's death at the hands of another. so that was the first piece of information i thought was a little wacky. then the primary cause of death as you pointed out was a sudden arrythmia and cardiac arrest, but that was george floyd's fault. because he had an enlarged heart. he had a history of high blood pressure, and he had narrowing of his coronary arteries, the arteries that feed the heart itself. one of the arteries was 90% occluded. but the drugs onboard, the
fentanyl and methamphetamine we heard so much about, carbon monoxide which was a red herring all together, paraganglioma, which is tumor that secretes adrenaline, another red herring and the adrenaline flowing from the stress of the struggle. so all of this makes not a lot of sense to me. but what's even worse is what dr. fowler said was that putting george floyd down on the ground prone with handcuffs in the back, even if you put weight on his back that that would not have caused any injury whatsoever. it would not have even affected his respiration. and also the pressure on the neck did not compress the airway, so none of this really fits together making any sense. what did make sense is that the defense actually admitted -- dr. fowler admitted once the breathing stopped, once the pulse stopped he had -- derek chauvin had an obligation to
roll him over into a recovery position and administer cpr. because every minute there's more likelihood he's going to die. >> larry, let me play what you just said. listen. >> do you feel that mr. floyd should have been given immediate emergency attention to try to reverse the cardiac arrest? >> as a physician i would agree. >> are you critical of the fact he wasn't given immediate emergency care when he went into cardiac arrest? >> as a physician i would agree. >> well, i mean it sounds to me like he's making the prosecution's case. >> it's even worse than that because he didn't get up. he kept his knee is on the back no movement. >> joey, let me bring you in here because, listen, as a lay person you're the expert here. you're the attorney, criminal defense attorney so you know this.
but looks like they're just -- looks like the defense strategy obviously they need to create reasonable doubt in at least one juror's mind, all of them but one or few. i think that's driving a strategy but seems like their overall strategy is spaghetti, just throw things against the wall and hope they'll stick with some one of those jurors. >> appears to be, don. good to be with you. here's the bottom line. the bottom line is you can say anything if you're an export, but it has to comport with reality, comport with common sense and comport with the evidence, right? and so he's making that this doctor he's making all types of justifications, hypertension, blood pressure, covid, enlarged heart, artery blockage, everything. and even the carbon monoxide but he did because i think it was dripping something from the back but the bottom line is you just can't say anything that you want and expect it to fly. and here's the point, don, on
cross-examination he was asked because remember the defense's contention is that this was a toxic brew. there were so many things going on in george floyd's body that he had a sudden death and it was too late, over and everything else. but they have a major legal problem because if that's the case, right, and he just happened to die and george floyd at that particular time, chauvin was the one who setup right the series of circumstances and the causal link for that happening. that may be overly legalistic but at the end of the day, don, the jury is going to be instructed by the judge and they're going to say the judge will if you find the knee on the neck was the substantial cause you find him guilty. even if there are these other contributing factors the doctors conceding and saying george floyd had in his body, if chauvin is the basis for setting the circumstances in the state for his death, then it's over. last point and that's this. they talk about the sudden death, right? however on cross-examination he
was asked you heard him yelling 27 times for, you know, he couldn't breathe. you heard him making other statements. you heard his voice becoming less vocal. does that sound sudden to you? i ask you, don, and anyone listening does it? so say what you want, do what you want? but at the end of the day if it doesn't comport with reality it doesn't make sense. reasonable doubt but i don't know they raised enough credible reasonable doubt for the jury to say i get it, he's not guilty. >> we have sudden breaking news to get back to. but how is the defense doing and the prosecution doing? >> i think the prosecution has laid out a compelling case. and if i could say with this particular witness the concession -- the fact is if you don't render medical aid that is negligence. at a minimum that gets you manslaughter. i think they made a significant case for the top count, but,
listen, i think that's a major concession. it helps out the prosecution and i think they're on their way to a conviction. >> i agree. i think the proscaution put together an extraordinary group of people as witnesses, experts that will highly qualify. i don't think eric nelson is meeting that same level, that standard. and i have a feeling that it's not going to be a successful defense argument. >> gentlemen, thank you. i really appreciate it. we're going to get back to our breaking news. you're looking at the live pictures there, brooklyn center, minnesota, where there's a fourth night of protests going on there for the shooting death of daunte wright, a 20-year-old after a traffic stop. a curfew is going to take effect in just a short time here. and we're going to be live for you to see what happens this evening when that curfew goes into effect. we've got a lot more to cover. we've got a quick break we want to get in.
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chase. make more of what's yours. protesters taking to the streets of brooklyn center, minnesota, for a fourth straight night angry over the fatal police shooting of 20-year-old daunte wright. let's check back in now. cnn's sarah sidner joins us now from the scene. we've got the curfew starting in a matter of min. what are you seeing? >> reporter: we're about 15 minutes away and we're seeing the police line pushing closer and closer. there are hundreds of officers. you cannot see them because they're in the dark but you can see the lights flashing. i want to quickly get to this gentleman here named tiger. he approached us, wanted to talk to us a little bit. and i wanted to ask you one question. why was it important for you to come out tonight? what was it about what happened in this community that made it so important for you to be out
here in the cold? >> well, the problem is people care more about a profession than the people that profession hurts. so we're not here seeking revenge. we're simply seeking justice. that's why we've shown up and we've been peaceful. now the cops are shooting chemical ammunition which actually isn't even allowed in foreign countries. you're not allowed to shoot people with this type of gas. >> reporter: have you been out here the last couple of days? >> i've been here all four nights. i'm standing here today and we're watching all this unfold. >> reporter: you're not planning on using that are you at the police? >> like i said it's for my family. >> reporter: i know you're out here and i know some of this oborne of sorrow and pain and frustration. what do you hope you see? are you heartened by it fact the
officer has been arrested very quickly and charged? >> well, she was released today actually. they posted $100,000 bond for her, and so, you know, what i've done personally is i've tried to stay it's very tough for people of color in this country, it's tough to all americans. shout out to bruce springstein i've been listening to your podcast. highly recommend folks listen to that. and former president obama please say something and also president biden say something on what's happening here. >> reporter: tiger speaking directly to our politicians, both the current and former presidents, president obama and president biden. >> yeah, they want something done. thank you very much. thank you tiger, and thank you, sarah. we'll get back to you out there. be safe. listen, tiger talked about the human element of this. black families across the country joining daunte wright's family and one of those is the family of emmitt till, still
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the harry's razor is not the same. our razors have five german engineered blades designed to stay sharp, so your eighth shave is as smooth as your first. and we never upcharge you for high quality. harry's. available in store and at harrys.com. crowds are gathering in brooklyn center, minnesota, for the fourth night of protests. the wright family sharing their grief with george floyd's loved ones and so many others in the black community who understand that their -- understand their pain all too well. debra watt ss a cousin of emmett till, the black 14-year-old who was lynched and killed in 1955 in mississippi. >> the past is not past until justice is served. i would only say to the families, the wright family and
all the other families that's represented, we continue to stand up, we're going to continue to speak up, and we're going to continue to fight for justice. emmett till, we're still fighting for justice after 66 years y'all. >> amen. >> 66 years. >> so debra watts joins me now. she cofounded the emmett till legacy foundation in memory of her cousin. thank you so much for joining us. we really appreciate it. good evening to you. >> thank you. thank you. it's an honor and a privilege to be here with you. >> you know, we can see it in the protests tonight, people are angry. they're frustrated. we've seen it all week, and quite frankly we have been seeing it happen over and over again in america, especially the unrest of the summer of 2020 and then now. what is it like for you to live there and see what's happening? >> it is very disheartening, actually, just the murders that
have occurred. the protests that are occurring. you know, this is an outburst and an outgrowth of all the terrorism that has occurred in minnesota. you knows there's 470 or so stolen lives by police violence in this state, and so that is an outcry that is necessary. it should be peaceful, and i think the authorities should be listening, you know, to that outcry. it is necessary right now, and it is long overdue because of the pain and the grief that is occurring right here in minnesota. >> and you're saying they should be listening to that outcry. listen, there are many people who want to and purposefully on purpose conflate the protesters who -- uh-oh, do we still have debra? debra, can you hear me? >> yeah. i can. can you hear me? >> okay. so debra, we can't see you, but let's continue to have this
conversation. who will conflate the protesters with the folks out there who are, you know, throwing bottles and who are causing unrest. two different things. so i just wonder what your response is to that because you said that the authorities should be listening to these people. >> yes, i think that what has happened is that this has been long overdue in terms of understanding what violence against citizens in minnesota and across this country have meant. we have died. we have been beaten. we have been lynched over the years, so the past is not past until justice is served, so we have to connect the past to the present and the future, and right now, we need to listen. we need to have reforms. we need to take a look at what changes need to be made. we need to no longer die at the
hands of police or anyone else that doesn't like the presence of our black and brown bodies. we need not to be -- any longer as well. we've been fighting this fight for 66 years. that is too long, and the outcry that i have and the feelings that i have are evidence of injustice long -- and it's long overdue that we have any justice. so i want everyone to be safe. i want there to be peaceful protests, but i do understand the anger. i do understand the anguish, and i do understand that things need to change for sure. >> yeah. debra watts, we really appreciate you joining us. sorry about the technical difficulties. we heard every single word, though. we weren't able to see you the entire time, but we got the message. thank you for doing what you do, and thank you for appearing on this program. >> thank you so much. so we are, as you can see, the police are moving folks out there. we're minutes away from a curfew taking effect in brooklyn center now, we're back in a moment.
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