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tv   At This Hour With Kate Bolduan  CNN  April 21, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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hello. i'm kate bolduan. thank you for joining us at this hour. i want to show you a photograph, the new booking photo just released by the minnesota department of corrections of derek chauvin, the former police officer, now a convicted murderer. the jury handing down that verdict yesterday for the murder of george floyd. chauvin now faces decades in prison. he'll find out his sentence eight weeks from now as the judge read the verdict and chauvin was removed from the courtroom in handcuffs. celebrations erupted on the
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streets of minneapolis and across the country. a collective sigh of relief, albeit potentially momentary. for millions of americans there is new-found optimism this morning that change is coming to the country's criminal justice system. another sign of that just this morning. the attorney general of the united states, merrick garland, announced last hour the department of justice is launching a sweeping investigation into the policing practices of the minneapolis police department. listen >> the investigation i am announcing today will assess whether the minneapolis police department engages in a pattern or practice of using excessive force including during protests. the investigation will also assess whether the mpd engages in discriminatory conduct and whether its treatment of those with behavioral health disabilities is unlawful. it will include a comprehensive review of the minneapolis police department's policies, training,
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supervision and use of force investigations. >> we'll see what comes of that. but less than 24 hours after the jury delivered its historic verdict, george floyd's brother, philonise talked to cnn about what this moment means. >> the moment i heard guilty, guilty, guilty, i was excited and felt like i had just won a championship. it felt like the world had won a championship, because african-americans, we feel like we never get justice. it's not about black. it's not about white. it's not about asian. it is only one race, and that's the human race. the world let it be known that we all can breathe again because justice for george means freedom
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for all. >> members of the floyd family will be joining us shortly. first, let's start with a real sign of the ripple effects of the chauvin verdict. the department of justice announcing it is going to be investigating -- it is now investigating the minneapolis police department. cnn's evan perez is joining us now. he's live at the justice department with more. evan, what is this investigation going to look like that merrick garland just announced? what are they going to do? >> it's going to be a month' long, very invasive physical, essentially, of this department. they're going to look at everything from the training these officers get to the practice, the policies that are put into place and whether there's a pattern, kate, in the way policing is carried out, whether there is excessive force used too often, whether there's discriminatory conduct that's essentially either aided or abetted or welcomed by the overall structure of this police department, and also how they
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interact with people who have behavioral issues. this is going to be a month' long thing that community members will be able to talk to investigators from the justice department. and once this happens, the courts then would become involved. and here is what the attorney general had to say about that. >> if the department believes there's a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing, we will issue a public report of our conclusions. the justice department has the ability to bring a civil lawsuit ordering the mpd to change its policies and practices to avoid further violations. >> kate, the key here is for there to be changes with this police department. look, there are examples of successful pattern and practice,
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consent decrees. you have the los angeles police department which went through one of these years ago. in the last four years, however, the trump administration didn't like these things. they said these were essentially demoralizing to police officers, and they believe they led to a rise in crime. merrick garland rescinded those orders from jeff sessions and bill barr, and this is the first of what i expect to be many of these types of investigations with police around the country. >> evan, thank you very much. let's go now to minneapolis. cnn's josh campbell is standing by for us. josh, first it was the verdict and now it's this federal investigation evan was just talking about into the whole minneapolis police department. from your past experience with the fbi, what does this mean? >> reporter: kate, there's no national police force in the united states. police departments are under state and local control. the federal government has the ability to step in and launch
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investigations if there's indication that a particular police department is violating civil rights. that's what we're seeing today. the biden administration saying they will assert federal jurisdiction here to launch this pattern and practice investigation. i can tell you i talk to police officers all the time. no one likes someone looking over their shoulder, but good police officers know that oftentimes corruption and illegality can't be changed from within. you need the outside influence. that appears to be what the justice department is doing. to quote the prosecutor in this case, as we heard him in the closing argument, the worst thing for good police is bad police. it sounds like the biden administration is taking that seriously. by my count, this is now the fourth investigation associated with the death of george floyd that's been launched. there was a state investigation, there's an ongoing fbi investigation. the state hewitt an rights commission launched an investigation, and now the u.s. department of justice, kate. >> josh, you were also one of the few people in the courtroom when the verdict was read
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yesterday. what was it like? >> reporter: the tension in the room was simply palpable. that's the best way to describe it. going in, the room was quiet. derek chauvin versailles lent, very quiet, daysing off to the seat where the jurors would soon enter the room. i think the most anxiety i saw in that courtroom came from the prosecution, one of the o prosecutors in particular, eyes darting around. no doubt that anxiety building and the run-up to that verdict. the most emotional moment came from the brother of george floyd who was seated off to my right. he spent nearly the entire trial in prayer. i asked him after the verdict was read what he was praying for. he said he was praying for a guilty verdict. he said, in his words, as an african-american we usually don't see justice. so very powerful moment there. for his part, derek chauvin, who
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obviously was found guilty on those three counts, he's currently in a confinement. he's being held by himself in a jail cell. we're told by the prison that is for his own safety. the judge said his sentencing could come in about eight weeks. that's when we will learn what the ultimate penalty will be here. of course, this is not the only trial that we are watching that this community is watching. the three other officers charged with aiding and abetting the actions of derek chauvin, their trial set to begin in august. >> josh, thank you. great to have you on the ground. as josh was pointing out, the focus now shifts in part to how long derek chauvin is going to spend behind bars. many folks saying that the sentence is just as important as the conviction in terms of what signal it sends to the country. joining me is cnn legal analyst and civil rights attorney areva martin. we'll get to the sentencing. i want to get your take on what
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you think of this doj investigation that was just announced into the practices of the police department. >> i'm elated to see the federal department of justice is intervening, is going to go into that police department and do a thorough investigation of its policies, practice, supervision, how it interacts with citizens involved in every day arrests that they make, how it involves -- how it interacts with citizens involving protests. we've heard a lot of complaints coming from citizens on the gro ground, from activists who say they've been pepper-sprayed, shot with rubber bullets, harassed with respect to protests that have erupted in that city. also, i'm so happy to see this investigation is going to focus on how people treat individuals with disabilities, behavioral health issues. we know in this city there have been allegations about the miss treatment of individuals with mental health and other
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disabilities. i think this is a significant step forward as we try to address systemic racism. >> let's talk about the sentencing it will likely be eight weeks before we hear from the judge on this. the you talk me through what you think will happen? >> a couple of things will happen, kate. first of all, we know with respect to the most serious charge, the second degree murder charge, it carries up to 40 years in prison. we know third degree has a 25-year maximum sentence and the second degree manslaughter has a ten-year maximum sentence. in the state of minnesota, like many states, there are sentencing guidelines to make sure across the state individuals are treated consistently. the sentencing guidelines in the state of minnesota suggest that with respect to that second and third degree murder charge, that the presumptive sentencing, the guideline sentencing is about 12.5 years. with respect to second degree manslaughter, it's approximately four years.
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we know the prosecution made two filings with respect to this case asking that the sentencing guidelines be enhanced, that there be a departure from those guidelines and the sentencing be higher, particularly closer to the maximum based on five aggregating factors identified by the prosecution, factors such as that the crime was committed in front of a child. we heard the 9-year-old that she was mad and even sad with respect to what she witnessed. the fact that this crime involved particularly cruelty, and that goes to placing george floyd in those handcuffs, putting him in a prone position. those handcuffs being dug into his hands as he laid in that prone position. another aggravating factor, the crime was committed with respect to three or more people involved. there are five aggravating
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factors. the prosecution is asking the judge to look at those and determine, that the sentencing guidelines, there should be a departure and the maximum sentence in this case should be applied. >> the three other officers that were at the scene, think eve been charged also in connection with floyd's death. they're still set to face trial in a couple months, later this summer. what do you think, if anything, areva, what do you think this trial, this verdict means for their trial? >> they're in big trouble, kate. these three guilty verdicts for derek chauvin, the jurors have spoken. they have said this conduct that these officers engaged in on may 25th is illegal, it was excessive force and this excessive force caused george floyd's death. we saw the defense put on by derek chauvin. the jurors rejected that defense. these other defendants are likely to have been planning to rely on a similar defense. that defense now, as we know, dead on arrival.
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one thing that we should expect to see, particularly with former officer lane, we know he had just been on the job about four days. i think his lawyer did an interview with cnn last year where he said lane was the only officer that tried to render some kind of aid to mr. floyd, he said let's turn him over on his side. apparently he got into the ambulance with him, tried to provide cpr. his lawyer should ask he be severed, not tried with the other officers. we should expect there to be motions for change of venue, motions for continuance given all the media attention, given the response from the community around the convictions -- the conviction as it relates to derek chauvin. i think we're going to see motions being made by these lawyers and probably thao, too. he was the former officer standing in front of the bystanders. his position i expect to be that he didn't actually put hands on george floyd. he wasn't involved in putting
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him in the prone position and he wasn't seen in any of that video actually kneeling on george floyd's body. we should expect those lawyers to engage in legal filings to try to distinguish their clients from the ones that were involved in putting mr. floyd in that prone position and kneeling on his body. >> areva, thank you very much. at almost the exact moment millions of people were feeling relief as the judge read the chauvin verdict, another american city was struck with another tragedy. the death of a black teenage girl killed by police. this deadly shooting yesterday happened in columbus, ohio. according to police, officers were called to the scene of a fight and someone trying to stab people. shots were fired and what appears to be mere moments after police arrived. body camera video has been released. it appears to show her holding a knife as she was shot.
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as we learned, there is much more that needs to be known. nick valencia is live for us now. nick, weave heard from police. we've heard from a neighbor. there is this chaotic body camera. can you walk us through what is known right now, what isn't. >> reporter: good morning. we should start by addressing how uncharacteristic it is for a police department in this country to release footage of a fatal police shooting less than 4 h 24 hours after this shooting happened. police say they felt compelled to get ahead of the narrative and the rumors to show what they believe was a justified police shooting. in it, the video you're about to see, is body cam footage from the perspective of the police officer who fired the fatal shots. you'll hear four shots in this video. it shows what appears to be a fight in progress that only continues toesqu escalate as
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officers arrive. [ shouting ]. >> what's going on? hey, hey, hey. get down. get down. get down. get down. [ gunshots ]. >> reporter: before you see ma'khia bryant fall to the ground. police released a slowed-down version of what happened. in this, you see just before ma'khia is shot and killed, she's pulling back a knife as she's about to use it. the mayor of columbus gave an emotional address to the city last night saying the officer involved in this shooting took action to protect another young girl in the community. police say this video you're seeing here, the slowed-down version shows the officer only had a split second to react. ma'khia's mom came out to say she's a peaceful girl.
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this is complicated, not only, as you mentioned, this happening 30 minutes prior to the verdict of derek chauvin being read, at a time when this country is grappling with tension here. it's particularly important to address just what it means to be black in america, policing in america. all of that is happening as this happened here in columbus, ohio, and also what complicates things here, kate, there are local reports that ma'khia bryant was the one who called police for safety. all of that will be part of the investigation and we'll see how all that plays out throughout the day. >> also extremely important to remember, as we learn from what happened to george floyd, first reports, first press releases out, they are not the full story. we know that from the george floyd story. there's much more to come. thank you so much. >> good to see you, kate. after a year of pain and suffering, up next we'll speak with george floyd's aunt and cousin. also the focus shifting from
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minneapolis to washington. with this verdict and -- will this verdict and this moment break through the bitter partisanship on capitol hill? a gut check on that is ahead. uh-oh, sorry... oh... what? i'm an emu! no, buddy! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty. ♪
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no added hormones either. it's the only protein i've really melted with. land o' frost premium. fresh look. same great taste. and i believe because of prayer, we got the verdict we wanted. >> amen. >> we got on our knees. some of us stood up, but we asked the right person -- asked the right one. we said, god, we need justice. we need it now, and he answered.
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>> that is terrence floyd, george floyd's brother after the verdict was announced. since george floyd's death last year, his family has been pushing and calling and praying for justice. that is really what last summer's historic protests were all about, of course. what does today mean for the floyd family and their quest for douglas. joining me is george floyd's aunt angela harrelson and his cousin, paris stephens what an amazing 24 hours it has been since we last spoke. angela, my first question to you yesterday before all of this was how are you feeling. you said overwhelmed. how are you feeling now today? >> i just feel like there's this pressure off. the anxiety has dropped, you know, quite a bit from yesterday because we just didn't know. we just didn't know. it put a smile on my face-and
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just watching my family in the conference room, because we ar all in there, pins and needles, and just seeing them with tears and the emotions and the hugs, it was wonderful. it was like, my god, this was so hard. lord knows this was so hard. we were just so relieved because historically we don't get justice, we just don't. so to me, i was so relieved, and i was happy, happy. it was good to see my family that had been with us, to see them happy, too, happy with tears. >> were you able to get -- paris, what was last night like? were you able to get sleep? i've been wondering if you want to sleep or there's no way you can sleep after this long journey, and no, it's not over,
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but you have this moment to breathe. >> it was difficult to sleep. we were basically up most of the night. >> talking. >> talking and thinking about from the beginning to the end of this trial what has happened, what we've been feeling all through out and taking phone calls from family and friends. it's just been a whirlwind, and i'm just glad this part of the journey is over. but, as you said, we will continue on. there's more work to do. >> paris, you've said -- something you've said over and over, and it stuck with me again yesterday, you said you have to keep walking the walk, the journey isn't over. what does that mean today? >> it still means the same.
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yes, this set a precedent for the future, and we have a little bit more hope now. we have a little bit more hope now. so, as you know, there was another shooting. so we don't know the dynamics with that, but we have to be in support of each other. i just wonder, is there another way? does this always have to end in a death? we want police to do their job and to serve and protect, but are we using the excessive force or can we deescalate another way? we don't want it to always end in death.
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and all police officers do not have ill intentions. we know that. but correction has to be made. and with this guilty verdict, it's a step in the right direction that those who act ill-advised will be sentenced. >> and held accountable. >> and held accountable. >> angela, the sentencing is coming in eight weeks. but one thing i'm wondering today, is about forgiveness, forgiving derek chauvin. is that something that you have even begun to be able to work through? can you? >> you know, coming from a woman of faith, especially in our culture. most black people, we have been through a lot of hard times, and forgiving is something that
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we -- you know, that's something with our faith that we really work towards, and that's something with each family member is different. for me, that's something i had to start working on. i had to start working on. even though derek chauvin is going to prison, i don't want all that pain and anger to imprison me as a human being, as a person, because, like i said, like i told someone, even though this was a place of darkness that it happened, there was hatred, there was anger, the world showed us so much love, showed us so much love they poured out to us. like i told many, i've never seen that, so much love in my lifetime. i don't even know if i will see it again in my lifetime, but that love overshadowed the hate. it will always overshadow hate,
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and the process of forgiving needs to start. you can't solve anything on hate. you can't hate someone forever. we all have to move on. we all have to move on. i pray for my family, and i send prayers to everyone, even to his family that is dealing with this, because even though this is justice for us, and it is, but for his family, the ones that have anything to do -- i don't know if the man have parents, if chauvin has parents -- i don't know much about him. but they have a loss as well. they do. and the floyd family, we're not mean people. we come from a praying family. >> that's one thing that has been evident throughout, is that your family is a beautiful family and your capacity to love and forgive is amazing and truly
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awe-inspiring. angela, paris, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> thanks for having us. coming up for us, how does the country harness this emotion -- harness this passion to bring about real and enduring change when it comes to race and policing in america. does it begin and end on capitol does it begin and end on capitol hill? oh, man. carvana lets people buy a car-- get this-- from their couch. oh, how disruptive. no salesman there to help me pick out the car i need. how does anyone find a car on this site without someone like us checking in? she's a beauty, huh? oh, golly! (laughter) i can help you find the color you want. that sounds nice. let me talk to my manager. (vo) buy your next car 100% online. with carvana.
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in the wake of the verdict, the focus on some level now shifts from minneapolis to washington, president biden last night using the moment to renew the push and call for federal action, specifically for the senate to pass a sweeping police reform bill that bears george floyd's name. here is biden last night. >> we're going to continue to fight for the passage of the george floyd justice in policing act so i can sign the law as quickly as possible. i can't breathe. i can't breathe. those are george floyd's last words. we can't let those words die with him. we have to keep hearing those
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words. we must not turn away. we can't turn away. we have a chance to begin to change the trajectory in this country. >> one of the driving forces behind this bill has been the floyd family. his brother went to capitol hill and testified, you'll remember, before congress the day after george floyd's funeral last year. >> enough is enough. the people marching in the streets are telling you enough is enough. by the leaders, our country, the world needs the right thing. the people elected you to speak for them to make positive change. george's name means something. you have the opportunity here today to make your names mean something, too. >> that's still amazing to see this many months later. let's go to cnn's manu raju. this bill hasn't moved in the senate does the verdict yesterday
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change that? >> reporter: it remains to be seen. there have been informal discussions that have been happening between the two sides over the last several weeks. i talked to some of the key sponsors and negotiators, they still anticipate those talks will move into more substantive phase. the house approved a bill it passed last year the george floyd police reform act that joe biden is pushing. that bill did not go anywhere in the senate last year. republicans opposed it. republicans had their own alternative offered by senator tim scott. democrats blocked that bill. no action happened from then on out. the democrats rely on more federal rules and stringent requirements coming from the federal government. the republican alternative pushes to incentivize states to take action, such as banning chokeholds and the like.
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one key difference remains which is how to deal with the issue of qualified immunity, protection that police officers have in civil court. republicans have called that in the past a poison pill. in talking to key members, they believe they could reach a consensus on the key sticking point including senator tim scott, the leader on the republican side on this issue, and karen bass, kate, who led the house effort told me last night she wants a deal reached by may 25th. that's is, of course, george floyd's death anniversary. >> manu, thank you so much. coming up for us, the story of george floyd that we'll be telling our children for generations. what is that story? that conversation is next.
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i can't say i expected it, but i know the team, myself and the team that was around, the witnesses. we all went out there and told the truth, we told what we seen. if the world didn't see what we seen, then it was blinders still on. i believe the blinders are off now because the verdict that was made today. >> that is donald williams, one of the bystanders who was there that day and had to witness george floyd's death, and also one of the people who became a key witness in the trial for the prosecution against derek chauvin. williams sees hope for real and enduring change here. he says the blinders are now off. but for how long? the country is and remains at a crossroads and where is it headed? joining me is bakari sellers, the author of a book very important in this moment "my vanishing country."
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i really recommend it to everyone right now. bakari, you heard him. what does this verdict mean for you? >> it's a relief first. i don't know any black person that's excited. this is something that we're just glad the system finally got right. it's a weight off your shoulders, a weight off your chest, but yesterday was just the beginning. i want people to understand that. there's nobody who i talked to who feels as if that was justice, but that was accountability fleeting in this criminal justice system for so long. today the real work begins. we want to see action. we want to see change. we don't want anymore george floyds. people are tired of living through this perpetual state of grieving where we have black bodies in the street, blood that flows and then we we have protests and then we have trials. we may or may not get to trials.
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it's exhausting. hopefully action will be taken. >> accountability in justice, they're two distinct things and two things you people -- it's important people do not confusion here. can you explain? >> thank you for that question. accountability means that there is a level of deterrence. that means when an officer goes out and commits a bad act, something we've been telling folk has been happening for a long period of time. it's why when law enforcement pulls behind me, my heart beats faster, or the conversation i have with kai, my 16-year-old daughter when she goes out and drives her car. this is anxiety we feel in our chest. we want to have that accountability when something goes wrong. justice means that george floyd is alive. justice means that everybody gets the benefit of their humanity. justice means we no longer have to have a community or culture -- think about this, kate. do you know any other culture or
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community that has pa group of mothers whose kmcommon bind is their children were gunned down by law enforcement. we call them mothers of the movement. i always say, the bar is in hell. the bar is so low. we saw someone commit a murder on cam raera and people were st holding their breath. one justice has to be a verb in everything we do. the bar is higher than people want to give us credit for. >> you mentioned kai. what is the story of george floyd that you think that you're going to tell your three kids. kai obviously most immediately as she's 16. but for stoeckly and sadie, too. >> i've been spending a lot of time with stoeckly recently. my wife is used to it.
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even when i'm not around, how is my son doing. she's like, you have daughters, too. i know, i know. there's just something about me wanting to wrap my arms around my son. you see him in george floyd. who big fears black men have, either you become george floyd or your son becomes george floyd. we've been wrapping our arms around our sons. yesterday there was a young black girl gunned down, 15 years old. the facts are still coming out. but still, it's a life lost. so for kai, this may sound strange to you, kate, and i think i've said it before, i want kai to be able to be like baron trump, to go out and be a teenager and do crazy tiktok dances that i can't keep up be and love songs by lil baby. i sound old right now. >> you do, and you're, like, 12. >> but instead she has to wear a sign that says your life
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matters. instead she has to protest in the streets. understand when daddy is down it's because he sees himself in george floyd. we have a long way to go with our children. hopefully i'll leave a better world for them than the one i inherited. >> you are, you will. yeah, thank you, buddy. so good to have this conversation with you. it's the beginning, middle and definitely not the end of it. so thank you. >> thank you so much. coming up, in many respects, athletes have led the way in demanding social justice. so how are those athletes reacting now to this verdict and this moment? that's next. [sfx: psst psst]
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a guilty verdict in the derek chauvin trial rocking the sports world. >> i was just saying to myself, i hope they do the right thing, because if they don't, they're going to tear this mother up, because we're tired, we demanded justice and we got it. >> nba players who have been on the frontline of the racial justice movement, and lebron james summed up his feelings in one one, accountability. san antonio spurs tweeted black lives matter for nine minutes and 29 seconds. >> i was sitting in front of the tv watching the verdict come down, and my hands started sweating and my body stahiverin.
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>> russell wilson tweeting, simply, love wins. and in new york people gathered outside barclay center to voice their support. >> george floyd! >> i keep seeing how powerful it was to see people from all over the world, literally all over the world to come together and take a stand for something, and you know, that's -- that's huge. >> we just want to continue to galvanize each other and be there for one another as human beings and continue to support, you know, justice being served. >> and then the timberwolves and lynx issued a joint statement. there's still much work to be done. many athletes agreeing, tennis
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star tweeted, the fact that so many injustices occurred to make us hold our breath for this outcome is really telling. >> and the las vegas raiders coming under fire for this tweet right here that says, i can breathe, but the date 4.20.21, and they told espn he meant no disrespect and he was pai parap paraphrasing floyd's brother said, and many questioning whether the tweet was real. >> andy, thank you so much. we'll be right back.
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it is scary?
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hello to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i am john king in washington and thank you for sharing a very busy and important news day for us. the justice department will investigate minneapolis police practices to determine if the department has a pattern or practice of employing excessive force and discriminating against

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