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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  April 19, 2021 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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and good evening. a little let than a year since americans watched george floyd killed before their eyes. the country is now waiting, uneasily, to some extent, on edge for a jury to decide former-minneapolis police officer derek chauvin's fate. some aren't waiting. a black lives matter protest
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march is now underway not far from the hennepin county courthouse, where jurors are deliberating tonight. cities across the country which saw millions take to the streets after floyd's death are preparing for the verdict. especially, an acquittal or a hung jury. the white house is monitoring the trial. the army, just before airtime. approved the call up of 250 d.c. national guard members. lawmakers have weighed in. none of which is surprising. this trial has always been about more than just one police officer's actions. or one man's tragic death. which means, for many, the verdict will be, too. there's, certainly, a lot to get to tonight. but first, let's go to cnn's omar jimenez, in minneapolis. so, how is the community reacting tonight as the jury is now deliberating? >> yeah, anderson, you just showed some of those pictures. we are already seeing marches and protests calling for the verdict, in this trial, to be guilty. against derek chauvin. but, of course, the jury is deliberating about whether they even get to that point in this process has been close to a year in the making right now.
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those protestors, marching through the streets of parts of minneapolis. and when you talk about the preparations in place prior to that, law-enforcement presence has been stepped up. added fortifications outside police precincts. the governor, even calling for more law enforcement resources from other states. and, of course, all of this is in anticipation of a verdict. and as people on both sides, in this trial, made their fainal pitches to jurors, today. >> his name was george perry floyd jr. >> the first words in closing arguments for the prosecution were not of the man on trial, but of the man they want jurors to remember. >> this case is exactly what you thought, when you saw it first. when you saw that video. it is exactly that. you can believe your eyes. >> reporter: the prosecution arguing, it was derek chauvin's knee to the neck that eventually killed floyd. and the prosecution took jurors back through witness testimony, with diagrams and charts.
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reminding them of why they say chauvin is guilty of it all, and why he had every opportunity to stop what happened that day. >> he knew better. he didn't do better. >> reporter: making clear, this trial was not about the minneapolis-police department, but about one-former minneapolis police officer. >> this is not an anti-police prosecution. it's a pro-police prosecution. >> reporter: the defense began, on the topic of what a reasonable officer would have done, considering the totality of the circumstances, including the violence of the initial struggles. >> the 9 minutes and 29 seconds ignores the previous, 16 minutes and 59 seconds. it completely disregards it. it says, in that moment, at that point, nothing else that happened before should be taken into consideration by a reasonable police officer. >> reporter: then, largely, sticking to their themes, that george floyd died from drug use and his medical history.
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that chauvin did exactly what he was trained to do. and the perceived threat of a growing crowd distracted chauvin. >> in the precise moment the force was used, demonstrates that this was an authorized use of force. as unattractive as it may be. >> reporter: prosecutors, pushing back in their opportunity for rebuttal. >> when mr. floyd is saying, please, please, i can't breathe, 27 times, in just a few minutes. you saw it when mr. chauvin did not let it up and didn't get up. when he knows he doesn't have a pulse. he doesn't let up or get up. even when the ambulance comes, he doesn't let up or get up, even then. >> reporter: each side hoping to leave a dozen jurors with the final impression before they deliberate on one of the most consequential cases in minnesota history. as the world watches. >> there is absolutely no evidence that officer chauvin,
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intentionally, purposefully, applied un -- unlawful force. t >> this wasn't policing. this was murder. >> reporter: and at this point -- >> sorry, go ahead. motion brought forward by the defense team was denied. what did the judge have to say about that? >> that's right, andersonment part of the frustration was comments congresswoman maxine waters made in nearby brooklyn center that she felt protestors needed to stay in the streets, and get more confrontational if the verdict, in this trial, is anything but guilty. and the judge was frustrated, saying that elected officials need to stay out of this, especially when he feels their comments go against, and are disrespectful to, the rule of law. he even told the defense, as part of a motions hearing, after the jury had gone to their deliberations, that he feels her comments may have even given them something on appeal, that could overturn the results of
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this trial. but then, he brought it back to this case, saying he doesn't think it matters, here, because he trusts the jurors have been staying away from the news, as they have been instructed to do so. but, of course, that jury-deliberation process continues. we are going to get a notification, once they're done for tonight. and another notification, when they begin in the morning, as all of us, we have plans for the anticipation of the verdict. but at this point, all we can do is wait. anderson. >> omar jimenez, appreciate it. thanks so much, omar. want to go next to cnn's miguel marquez, who is with the marchers. miguel, talk about where you are and what you have been seeing. >> reporter: so, we are downtown minneapolis. since that verdict was handed over, the -- or the -- the jurors got the opportunity to start debating that verdict, this crowd has started to gather. it's now several hundred, if not a thousand, strong. so i want to give you a sense of what it looks like and sounds like right now.
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they have been not only chanting but lots of speeches, and sort of a rallying cry by many people who have been affected by police violence, all afternoon. calling for equal justice. i was going to point out right here. i mean, check this out. we are right next to a government center, here, and the fence is -- this is all razor wire. they have put barricades in here. and this is what many of the government buildings look like down here. many of the private buildings are boarded up, as though they're expecting a hurricane to come to town. and lot of the protestors, we speak to, say that, look. this is a situation, where, um, if they don't get a guilty verdict, on all of those counts that, that is going to be a concern for many of them. they -- they want to see all-three counts. if they don't see all-three counts a guilty verdict, they will -- they believe that's a problem for the justice system. that, that inequality that they are concerned with -- it's not
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just george floyd. it's not just daunte wright. but it's the justice system, across the board. it's those everyday transactions, with people of color, that they are concerned with. that is very, very frustrating to them. and they are hoping that the verdict that they expect, in the next couple of days. they're -- i don't know if they are going to be out here all night. i know that they're planning another gathering, tomorrow morning, down here at the courthouse. so, it looks like, there's going to be almost-a-24-hour-like vigil in minneapolis, to await this verdict. anderson. >> miguel marquez, appreciate it. we will check in with you throughout the hour. joining us now also from minneapolis, attorney benjamin crump who is representing the floyd family. mr. crump, i am wondering what you made of the closing arguments and how much impact you think they did have on the jury? >> well, aroundnderson, i thoug they were very persuasive. i thought that both the prosecutors who presented in closing, presented evidence, objective evidence, that officer derek chauvin's use of force was
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not reasonable. it was not proportional. it was excessive. it violated their policies. and most importantly, anderson cooper, it violated the law. >> as you know, you know, better than most, there is a history, in this country, of police officers being very difficult to convict. jurors, usually, give them the benefit of the doubt. in your mind, is there something that makes the case against derek chauvin different? >> well, i think, i understand, completely, the history of the difficulty of prosecuting and convicting a police officer for killing a black person, unjustly, in america. and so, i get that, i've been black all my life. and we've lived this experience. this isn't something that we watch on television. this is something that we've lived, our entire lives. but, i do believe, this is
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unique. this chauvin trial. because, never in my professional career have i seen a police chief, and the police leadership in a department, come and testify against their police officer in their department. and say that, what he did was not our policy. we cannot condone this. we will not, in any way, try to justify this unjustifiable action of this officer. that's completely different than what we've ever seen. because normally, they will hide behind the blue wall of silence. but i pray, with this jury's verdict, that there will be a precedent set. that, no longer, will officers not tell the truth. they will tell the truth, just like they want everybody in our community to do so when they say we see something.
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well, this is your opportunity, our police in america, to show us how it's done. >> a few weeks ago, you were recorded, mr. crump, as saying if people, quote, don't believe the process was fair and transparent, what we saw in may and june with the protests will be child's play to what we will see in the aftermath of the verdict. do you believe the process has been fair and transparent? >> i think it has been fair and transparent. i think that the judge has tried to do everything appropriate, to make sure that their case is not only fair and transparent but everyone is extended due process of the law. that's something, often, that marginalized minorities, especially black people, who are killed in these police, excessive-use-of-force cases, that we rarely see. and that's why george floyd's killing and the trial of derek chauvin is such a important
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referendum on how far we have come in america. in our quest to live up to the promise of equal justice under the law. because, understand, anderson cooper, if george floyd was a white-american citizen, nobody would be saying this is a hard case. this is a challenging case. they would have said, from day one when they saw that video, bloody murder. and they will expect the justice to be swift. that, because he was a black man, face down, in handcuffs, everybody is questioning whether we can get justice. >> hmm. you know, the -- the floyd family is not only going through a personal tragedy. and -- and have been since george floyd's death. but -- but -- but it's on a global scale. it's a very public tragedy, as well. and people look to them for -- for messages. and i'm wondering what the floyd's family message is to
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demonstrators, tonight, to others, tonight, waiting and watching? >> well, you know, george floyd's family has been so dignified and graceful through this entire ordeal. they've always asked for people to protest peacefully. but they've always thanked them for exercising their first-amendment rights. and saying that george floyd's life matters. and now, they are even going above and beyond, and trying to be of comfort and counsel to the family of daunte wright. and who you know was killed within-ten miles of the very courtroom, where derek chauvin is being tried for killing george floyd. so, i think, through not what they say but, their actions, both these families. they are teaching the protestors how to call for justice, but in an effective way and in a nonviolent way.
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>> benjamin crump. i appreciate your time tonight. thank you. >> thank you. next, what the white house is doing ahead of a verdict. plus, our legal and law enforcement team on that and how well they think each side made its case. we'll be right back. i think the sketchy website i bought this turtle from stole all of my info. ooh, have you looked on the bright side? discover never holds you responsible for unauthorized purchases on your card. (giggling) that's my turtle. fraud protection. discover. something brighter.
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with marchers in the streets and jurors deliberating tonight in minneapolis, we want to take a look at what could happen next there and across the country. that, and the efforts now under way to prepare for any possibilities. cnn's kaitlan collins is at the white house, for us, tonight. so, how closely is the white house monitoring the trial? and have they been involved in -- in -- in preparing for any-potential verdicts? >> yes. they say they are prepared for whichever way this verdict goes. and so, they have been pretty involved in watching what's been going on. white house officials have been keepin keeping an eye on it.
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of course, there are tvs lining the halls in the president's study, right off the oval office. and so, they have been watching this pretty closely. president biden, himself, has, as well. and one thing he's also been doing, anderson, is preparing for what the response to the verdict is going to be. and part of that has been a heightened concern about potential unrest, not just in minnesota but, also, in the nation. over what this could look like. something that we've seen play out, time and time again. of course, we are already seeing cr cr crowds gather there on the ground in minneapolis. and one group that he did consult about this, anderson, was the congressional black caucus last week. talking to himthem about concer about what the unrest could look like. to really gage where they are, where they need help. and what they are expecting to come out of this. >> and do we know if the president has any plans to address the country once a verdict comes in? >> yes, he will. of course, they are not weighing in, until that verdict has actually been reached. but jen psaki did tell us today in the briefing room that we will hear from president biden, regardless of what the verdict is.
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and one thing we taked about with her today were things like those comments from maxine waters, and the what the white house response to that is. jen psaki said while the president does understand at anguish and how emotional they can become, she says that president biden sticks by his past calls for peaceful protests, and they believe that's the response, and that's the way that people should make their opinions heard. >> kaitlan collins, appreciate it. before we bring our legal and law enforcement team, a quick look at who is doing the deliberating. 12 jurors taking part, with two alternates who also watched the trial standing by. three of the 14 are in their 20s. three, each, in their 30s and 40s. four, in their 50s. one is in her 60s. nine women, five men. eight are white. four, black. and two, described themselves of mixed race. joining us now, cnn senior legal analyst and former federal pros pros prosecutor laura coates. cnn law enforcement analyst, charles ramsey, former police chief in philadelphia. also, katherine flynn, who
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represented one of the baltimore police officers cleared in the death of freddy gray. laura, just closing arguments. what you heard, i am wondering what you made of what both sides did of their cases? >> it's no-easy lift to try to bring together three weeks of testimony. to try to thread these needles to make sure you, also, remind jurors about what exactly they heard. to remind them about the poniance of the different testimony. which key elements are important. it's a little bit dull to go through the actual elements thachlt he's where the trials get convictions or acquittals. it is the job of the prosecution, because the burden remains with them, to walk the jury through. element by element, for each of the charges that are contemplated. if they don't do that, they're going to have juries going back out, and essentially saying, look. wait. what did that mean, again? which witness was that? how did they prove their case? they have got to do that heavy lifting in proving it. for the defense side, you know, their job, of course, is to poke holes and try to take away a piece from the jigsaw puzzle
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that's already been created. but, they remain ineffective, in a sense, because this is a very, very bad case for the defense. why? because it's not just about the interpretation or perspective, of sorts. it's about a 9 minute and 29 second star witness, the video. it is about the words of george floyd and it is also, although told not to take into consideration, the silence of the officer. the only impression they still have is the one about the sinister arrogance promoted by the prosecution, with no one to support or rebut that presumption, that is lingering in the jury's mind. >> katherine, i want to play a clip from the judge, today. talking about the defense's motion for a mistrial based on the comments from congresswoman waters. let's play that. >> i am aware of the media reports. i am aware that congresswoman waters was talking specifically about this trial. and about the unacceptability of anything-less than a murder conviction. i wish, elected officials would
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stop talking about this case. especially, in a manner that is disrespectful to the rule of law, and to the judicial branch and our function. >> he went on to say that on appeal, they may be able to use that, quite effectively, actually, to even overturn whatever verdict takes place. from your experience as a defense attorney, i am wondering what you made of that. i mean, was the defense really arguing for a mistrial, in your view? or was it about getting it -- getting the issue in the trial record, in case of a possible appeal? >> i think, obviously, they are trying to get it into the appellate record. the judge didn't -- from what i understand, the judge didn't make any effort to voir dire the jurors to see if they had heard those comments. and the only way that it potentially could have impacted the jury is if one of the jurors had raised the issue that they had heard it. or if -- if the court had voir dired them about that. but, i think it was smart of them to raise it. i think that's one of the things they have to do, is try and protect that appellate record in case of a conviction. so, i thought it was a good idea
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to raise it. >> chief ramsey, i mean, obviously, we don't know what the outcome's going to be. nor does law enforcement but they have to prepare for, really, any eventuality. what are they doing now that things have gone to deliberations? >> well, the preparation actually started a few weeks ago, when this trial first kicked off. i know that, friday, the u.s. conference of mayors and major city chiefs had a conference call to talk about preparation, along with the police-executive research forum that had a separate call with about-a-thousand police chiefs from across the country to talk about past demonstrations. things that went well. th things that didn't go so well so we can all learn because there's going to be demonstrations, there is no question about that. the question is how intense will they be? i mean, if there is an acquittal, i can only imagine what it will look like. but i, also, think that, you know, even if there is a conviction, the possibility of having some unrest is always there. it won't be anything, like the scale you'll see if there's an
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acquittal or two-out-of-the-three charges, he is acquitted on. but it could still be there, because you will always have that small group of folks that just want to get out and do something illegal, quite frankly. >> laura, do you think the com comments by congresswoman waters actually would be, possibly, basis for a successful appeal? >> no, i don't think it has any legs. and here's why. remember, this is something that had a visceral-emotional reaction across the entire nation. ever since last may. the former president weighed in on this particular case. a number of members of congress have weighed in on this issue, over the course of time. and the idea of trying to, truly, meaningfully, sequester a jury, for such a high-profile case, can really be an exercise in futility. now, the goal here, of course, is having suggest that the prosecution did not meet their burden. that they are -- these jurors are only going to be moved and persuaded by the threat of violence in their towns. and that, frankly, under mines
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and belies what we have seen over the course of three weeks. they have methodically went through a very compelling case, with over-30 witnesses. they have proven different elements of the crime. to suggest that the jurors are impartial, except when it doesn't benefit the defense, is an aoddity. and so, instead, the way to look at this comprehensively, is did the judge do all he could to try to meaningfully ensure that they were instructed to be impartial? and remember, anderson, with the voir dire, they actually were asked questions about what they thought of the unrest and violence. and it wasn't, of course, over the course of a weekend with the killing of daunte wright. it was for months and months. the goal was to have people who could be impartial, not ignorant, to the case. >> katherine, at this stage, i'm wondering, for attorneys, how much sense do they have of -- of what the jurors may be inclined to vote? i mean, i know you experienced,
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firsthand, a hung jury in the officers charged in the death of freddy gray. do you have a sense if it's headed in that direction? >> well, i think, if any lawyers say they -- they know what they think the jurors are thinking, they're wrong. they have absolutely no idea what those 12 people are thinking. and remember, that these 12 people have never talked to anybody about the evidence that they've seen. they were instructed, every time they went out into a recess, not to talk to each other. and so, each of those people is bringing their own perspective. as it's a brand-new conversation that they're all having. and the lawyers. we, all, think we have a lot of control over exactly what's going to happen in that jury room. we all think our words make a difference. but, for the sake of argument, most jurors probably, actually, pay attention to the facts. they're instructed that what the jurors have to say is not the law. that is not evidence. and they pay attention to the
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facts. so, we all spend a lot of time guessing on what we think is happening inside the jury room. and usually, we're wrong. >> interesting. >> you know, the -- how the jury reaches a verdict is always quite interesting, and usually not what the lawyers are predicting. >> fascinating. katherine flynn, appreciate it. laura coates, charles ramsey as well. when we return, two incidents occurring at this incredibly tense moment involving race relations in this country. each involving a separate congresswoman. one, marjorie taylor greene. the other, maxine waters. their responses and reaction from a colleague when we return. 'cause i do things a bit differently. wet teddy bears! wet teddy bears here! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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we are watching protestors, as they gather, and like all of us, waiting for a verdict in the trial of former-police officer derek chauvin. by all accounts, the jury is still deliberating, at this late hour. also, a curfew has just been called for 11:00 p.m. local time for brooklyn center, minnesota. earlier, we referred to the judge in the chauvin case, mentioning congresswoman maxine waters, specifically, comments she made to protestors in minnesota saturday night. that he said could be grounds for an appeal. here is exactly what the congresswoman said. >> got to stay on the street, and we have got to get more active. we've got to get more confrontational. we've got to make sure that they -- they know that we mean business. >> smhort time ago, congresswomn waters told cnn her reference
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was made to the civil rights movement nonviolent history. impressed on the judge, stating that her remarks could be grounds for appeal, she replied, oh, no, no, they didn't. despite the judge saying so, in the courtroom. house speaker nancy pelosi has said that waters has nothing to apologize for. however, republican leader, kevin mccarthy has introduced a censure resolution in the house. i am joined by congresswoman plaskett. i am wondering what your reaction is to those comments from congresswoman waters? >> listen. i think that this is a red herring. that the defense counsel is trying to bring. he doesn't have a case, as we saw from the supposed-expert witnesses that he brought forward. defense counsel will pull at anything that they can, to try and remove and castigate anyone else, as we saw him even doing with george floyd. making the victim, the individual who was killed by the
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police officer, in some way, being the person who caused his own death. so, i'm not moved by what maxine waters says, and neither should all of us. kevin mccarthy should be concerned with what's happening, within his own caucus. when we had a -- an insurrection. when we've had issues here, with the american people, kevin mccarthy was reading "dr. seuss" books. when he had individuals in his own caucus, you know, taylor greene, gosar, matt gaetz, doing the most abominable things. saying outrageous, not just dog whistles, but outright-racist comments. he hasn't made any move to remove them, to censure them, or to even reprimand them. so, how dare he, at this point, have a discussion about maxine waters? he needs to look at his own caucus, and clean up his own house. >> just in terms of what she said, though, is it helpful, at a time like this? i mean, i -- you know, if a conservative republican had said
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that about, you know, a rally of pro-trump protestors, a lot of democrats would, no doubt, say, wait a minute. they are telling people to be confrontational with police when they're on the streets. is that really helpful? >> i think, what maxine waters says was that we should confront the system that's created the individuals have to being out there to protest. >> she didn't actually say that. >> that's what we need to -- that's what we need to confront, on a regular basis. that, you know, police officers are killing our children. i have four sons, that i worry about all the time. a black husband, black children, a black father. and my own, black father, a police officer, wants very much, who have been on the new york city police force for 30 years wants more than anything to remove bad cops. because the worst thing a good cop can have is bad police officers on the force. so those are the things that i am interested in confronting. i believe that we need to continue to have protests to
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raise awareness. and there can, of course, be peaceful protests. we're making the assumption that all protest is violent and leads to looting and rioting. there's been so many peaceful protests, anderson, in the last year, that have led to the discussions that we're having now. that have led to the george floyd justice in policing act. to issues, relating to voting rights. kevin mccarthy is not interested in talking about voting rights, creating of jobs bill, will continue to lift this country out of the issues that it has. and why are we continuing to point the finger on individuals that are trying to raise awareness? rather than, putting the glare on those who continue to hold up systemic racism and the system that holds so many americans back. >> let me ask you about marjorie taylor greene, who you just referenced. the congresswoman. she was just, last week, according to her own spokesperson, getting ready to launch a so-called america-first caucus. the promotional flyer for the
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group, which was obtained by reporters, referred to respecting quote anglo-saxon political traditions which, obviously, sparked, you know, outrage, disbelief, from some members of her own party. and greene's office backtracked saying she has nothing to do with that language, and was never going to launch such a caucus. do you buy that? >> no. i think what she said was, is that what she -- that -- that the proposal that was put out by people was something that an outside group had presented to her. and that, they were going through the issues. she was continually backtracking on something that we all know that she's been interested in, because if you read the outlines of what the plan was, the seven-page manifesto, by this group. it speaks, exactly, to the things that she has spoken about not just in her time in congress, but even before that. the anti-semitic, racist, xenophobic language that she continually spouts, and on her
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bully pulpit here, now, in congress. along, with other individuals, who have said that they're interested and willing to be a part of this caucus. i would note, also, anderson, that we need to be careful about this group and others like it, because although this is a phrase that the former-president trump likes to use, america first. many of his former individuals who worked in his administration, are forming super pacs and thinktanks with that same name. you know, a neo-nazi group, a white-supremacist group, by any-other name is still the same thing. >> delegate stacy plaskett, i appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you. a live shot of protestors gathering, waiting for the decision in the derek shechauvi trial. we are going to go to minneapolis, next, for a check-in on this -- the demonstrations that we have been seeing, when we continue. how great is it that we get to tell everybody how liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need? i mean it... uh-oh, sorry... oh... what? i'm an emu! no, buddy!
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tension, obviously, high in and around minneapolis as well as across the country, as expectations grow about what the jury may decide, and how protestors may react after the decision's announced. want to go back to miguel marquez, who is covering protest
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in minneapolis. what is the latest where you are, miguel? >> yeah. incredibly -- incredibly, high tensions here. this is downtown minneapolis. the crowd that has gathered. several-hundred strong. the reverend jesse jackson actually came down, and is speaking to them right now. i want to let you listen to a little bit of that. >> god with us. >> and so, they have been out here for several hours and they have stopped, at this particular location because of this. you can see, this complex with the razor wire and the fences up. this is, now, a police precinct that took the place of the 3rd precinct, which burned to the ground when demonstrators took it over last year. that was the precinct in south minneapolis, where derek chauvin worked. and where that call went out of, where george floyd ended up losing his life. the protestors here say that they will gather, again, tomorrow. they have, certainly, brought in thousands of national guardsmen. they have brought in thousands
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of law-enforcement officers even from other states into minneapolis, and into minnesota, to protect different-government centers and -- and different sensitive areas. protestors say they will be out, again, tomorrow, 8:30 a.m., here, in downtown minneapolis at the courthouse to wait for that verdict. going to be, basically, a vigil of protests and of demonstration outside that courthouse. schools will go on a virtual basis, on wednesday, in anticipation of that -- of that verdict. and remember, the funeral for daunte wright is scheduled for thursday. so, there's a lot happening in minneapolis, this week. protestors that i have spoken to so far say, look, if he is not convicted on all-three counts, it will be at least a sign that we have a lot farther to go and there will be great concerns for that security here, in minneapolis, and -- and quite possibly, other cities around the country. >> hey, miguel. just quickly, will the jurors
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see the crowds when they leave for the hotel tonight? >> it is unclear. they have the area blocked off. i mean, this is basically as loud as they get. it is not clear. they may be able to hear them. i doubt they will be able to see them because they have the area, around the courthouse, sort of, cordoned off with material. green material. it's also a very big complex. they -- they have blocked off a street right in the middle that goes right through the -- the court complex. so, they may be able to get them out, to wherever they're going, without them having any, sort of, indication of the crowd. anderson. >> yeah. miguel marquez, appreciate it. everybody's grief is different, for everybody. but our next guest certainly knows something of what the family of george floyd is going through right now. reverend wanda johnson is the mother of oscar grant, who was shot and killed by a police officer, in 2009, in oakland. a story that was told to great acclaim several years later in the film "fruitville station." thank you so much for -- for
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being with us. in the trial of the officer, who killed your son, the -- the jury deliberated for just six-and-a-half hours before they convicted him of involuntary manslaughter. you were upset with that verdict, given they could have convicted him of second-degree murder. the chauvin jury also has the counts to choose from. did you talk a little about what it was like for you and your family waiting for that jury's decision? >> first, i want to thank you for having me on your show, this evening. when we waited for the jury to deliberate, it was a lot of anxious. a lot of praying, you know, crying. just waiting and hoping that the jury would give the right verdict. and find the officer guilty. of not involuntary manslaughter, but guilty of second-degree murder. and that did not happen, as you know.
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he was only found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. and part of that -- the reason why he was sentenced so light was because the judge said that he gave the jury the wrong instructions. and so, the jury, who had, at first, convicted him of a gun-enhancement charge, that was threw out. so, the charge of involuntary manslaughter was the only charge that was given to the officer. and he served 11 months in county jail. >> hmm. you know, i think, a lot of the country have heard -- has heard of your son 's death and how he was killed. i'm not sure a lot of people have heard from you or a family member, a loved one, about who your son was. about who oscar was. can you just tell us a little bit about him? >> yes. oscar was a young man who loved to help people. he loved to be a leader.
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he would stand up for what was right. on the night that he was killed, he actually was telling his friends to follow the directions that were going home. just listen to what they say, and do what they say. and when he saw his friend being handled roughly. and he stood up, and he wanted to talk to someone in charge. and that's when he ended up losing his life, for standing for what was right. oscar was the type of person, where, when a young lady who walked into the store where he worked at didn't know how to cook fish. he called us at home and asked how do you cook the fish? what do you need to do? we spoke to the young lady, and my mother was able to share, with her, what type of fish to buy. and how to cook it. oscar loved his daughter so, very much. you know, one of the funny stories was when he found out
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that his fiancee was having a girl, he hung two flags on the outside of his car that was pink, which said, it's a girl. and he would drive down the street with her. >> aw. >> you know, i remember times him calling and saying, you know, combing her hair. and telling her, the night before he was killed, that they were going to go to chuckie cheese, the next day. and unfortunately, his life was taken, and he didn't have that opportunity. >> when you heard about another killing, in minnesota. and an officer, who, you know, said that she didn't mean to -- to use a taser. or actually, was the -- the police chief in brooklyn center, minnesota, said he believed the officer meant to deploy her taser instead of fatally shooting daunte wright. similar way, your son was killed. i'm wondering, what you thought? >> oh, you know, my heart bled for the family. and my condolences to that family. to the wright family.
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you know, there was three-important ways that daunte's story relates to my son's story. one of the ways, and the similarity, is that both cases involved video capturing of unarmed african-american, young men. the second way was both cases reveal that there is a national consensus of whether the officer was justified in using deadly force. we can see that the story has been reported by the chief of police and in the same with oscar's case, it was reported that way, as well, and in both of their cases, the chief of police at that time, they both resigned, and the third thing that we can see is that there is still a deep seeded fear in many
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police officers. not all but some police officers, have that deep-seated fear oftentimes because they do not live in the communities where they serve, and then the stereo types of african-american have cost them to fear african-americans, and instead of doing their job without being fearful, they do their job fearfully, and it oftentimes causes african-american and brown young men to lose their lives. >> yeah. >> so this is a national thing that must be looked at and trained, must go forth, when it comes to dealing with african-american and brown young men. >> yeah. well, sadly, another thing that both your son and daunte wright have in common is they have families that love them dearly and miss them terribly. i appreciate you being with us, representing your son tonight. thank you. >> thank you.
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>> coming up, i'll talk with a key senator pressing ahead with gun control in congress in the wake of more gun violence across the country this weekend.
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there was more violence across the country. at least nine more people killed in several cities including austin, texas,er what former sheriff's office detective is accused have killing three people. police in indianapolis said in that mass shooting, they purchased two weapons. earlier police did take away a shotgun from the suspect but he never appeared before a judge a requirement under the indiana red flag laws designed to temporarily remove weapons from people considered unstable to have them. they said there were short comings in the law. since atlanta spa killings on march 15, there have been 50 mass shootings in the united states according to analysis according to the gun violence, a kif, local media and police reports. you've long pushed for gun control legislation. we spoke in mid-march. you said because you've failed
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in the past, that doesn't mean one should not continue and try to if it for change. do you still have optimism tonight? >> i do. listen, the voters did their part. they put in charge of congress majorities that support universal background checks. they put a president in the white house who wants to sign that bill. now it's up to us to deliver. 2013 now, eight years ago, we lost a vote on background checks. and since then, we've been building up political power in the anti-gun violence movement. today we are stronger than the gun lobby. and i think that's part of the reason why i am having, i think, real substantive discussions with several republicans about how we can bring a bill to the senate floor in the next month or two that will dramatically expand the number of gun sales that have to be submitted to background checks. so many of the guns used are
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illegal gun, guns sold to criminals, people with serious mental illness. my hope is we can break the log jam and get something passed in the near future that will save lives of the i think that's possible. >> do you think there are enough republican votes only? >> you need republican vote right now to pass this in the senate. this is not something you can do through this process of reconciliation. occasionally you get a chance to pass something with 50 votes. under the current rules, you need 60 votes and ten republicans. i spent the last couple weeks on the phone with almost half the republican caucus asking them to keep an open mind. and i really think that there is a think that be the able to get 60. maybe that's not on universal background checks on every single sale but i think there's a good chance that we can dramatically expand the number of background checks done in
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this country. maybe have a series of natural incentives for state to pass these red flag laws to take guns away from dangerous people. there are some really that are really important improvements we can make. i don't want to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. i'm sick of this being used as a political cudgel. i would rather make some progress. >> indiana has the so-called red flag laws on the books. it worked in the sense that they did take, i believe, it was a shotgun away from him. the gunman bought other weapon that's he used to kill eight people in the fedex facility. they said they need enforce the laws they already have. do you think that has some validity in this case in. >> well, in this case, from what we know, it doesn't appear that they fully utilized indiana's red flag law. they didn't put him on the prohibited list, or the list of
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people prohibited from buying guns. even had they done that, in indiana, that wouldn't have stopped him from buying a gun because they don't have unit versal background checks. so red flag laws dome work unless you have universal background checks meaning the person is prohibited from buying a gun. whether they go to a gun store or they go online to buy a gun. so i think you need both. even in this case. had he been only list, yes, he would have walked into a gun store and not be able to buy a gun. then he could have gone to a gun show or gone online. so you have to do both. >> i appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you. the news continues now. i hand it over to chris for prime time. >> thank you. i appreciate it. i will chris cuomo. welcome to prime time. what will the verdict be? that's the question hanging over this country. the jury, george floyd has the job to stay truthful twh