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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  April 21, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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apologies for keeping you from the big show and the big star. d. lemon starts right now. >> ohio is tough. it's really, really tough. damn. >> you know, we were -- you were really actually, to be honest, let's let the audience in. we heard about this story on social media while we were covering the chauvin verdict last night. the initial reports didn't seem right. it was so interesting for me, as emotional and personal for these are for you, you were cautious about it. you were saying, huh. i want to see this one. i want to see this. because there was a lot of emotion and understandably so. you have a 16-year-old kid that is gone. >> yeah. >> it's a hard one. i do not know how to explain this to someone in a way that doesn't make somebody very
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angry. >> we're dealing with a lot of emotion right now. i'm going to talk about that in a moment. it's real. and you have to take that -- that part has to be taken into account. there's a lot of anguish, but we have to be fair about what happens when police arrive at scenes. it is tragic that it's a 16-year-old girl. just as it is tragic that it's a 13-year-old in chicago. when police are chasing people, they don't know how old they are, they don't say, how old are you? i'm 13. they don't know that. or i'm 16. they roll up on the scene, they see people tussling around. someone has a knife. and their job is to protect and serve. every life on that scene. if they see someone who is in the process of taking a life, what is that decision, what decision do they have to make? tasers don't work the way guns work. >> not at that distance, and not
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with that amount of time. >> tasers don't always connect. you have to get two prongs, and it has to connect. but i see it, if the woman in the pink was my sister, nicece, wife, whatever, you have to make a decision. is one life on that scene more valuable than another. if someone is trying to take a life, do you protect the life of the person trying to take the life, or do you protect the life of the person who is in imminent danger at that point. i'm not a police officer, but when i look at that, as i said, it is tough. because one is a 16-year-old, i don't know how old the other person is. but the other person's life was in imminent danger. as you know, from the hostile environment training that we got on this job, that at a certain distance, a stabbing, a knife, can be much more lethal than a bullet.
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and especially if you get stabbed in the artery in the temple, somewhere that you're going to bleed out. >> look, i feel for -- you always feel for everybody involved. >> everybody. >> sometimes i don't feel for certain parties as much as others. but i feel for the office, you can hear it in his voice. when the man on the side was saying, you shot my baby. he said, she had a knife. she went right at her. this is something he's going to have to live with also. >> yeah. >> one person made a good point that i hope doesn't come across offensive. it's not the way i mean it. >> this is what people are saying. we weren't on the scene. before you say that, chris, even in the slowed down version, the slow mo version, the slowed version was a second. imagine in realtime, how fast this is happening. someone call the police, and you see someone with a knife, and they're trying to stab the other
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person. they're like, what do i do? the taser doesn't work that fast. what you see, a life is in imminent jeopardy. that man is right, you shot my baby. and the other person could have been bleeding out on the sidewalk as well. i think someone's life probably would have ended, it could have been the other woman in the pink, or it could have been the 16-year-old who sadly ended up dying. go on, sorry. >> no, it's just that, listen. everything you're saying is instructive. and brave. because people don't want to hear you say that this was a justified shooting. >> and we don't know. >> we don't know. but i don't know that this sets up like it did when we first saw george floyd. >> no. >> the moment you saw that, you knew it was wrong, the whole country knew it was wrong. white, black, whatever. you knew.
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but here, somebody said something that gave me a little bit of clarity. an older woman of color said to me, i was like, man, this is really hard. the piece of tape where the guy says what he says, you shot my baby. she goes, shame on him. i said, why? he just lost a family member, i don't know if it's his kid or whatever it was. the response was, he came running out of that house. why didn't he stop it? what were they doing? why didn't he stop it? why did the police have to come and control that situation? why didn't he? and, you know, i do see that perspective as well. the guy comes out of the house, tries to kick one person in the head, he's an active part of the fight. the adults have to be adults, too. >> and i've got to get to this, but in that part, it's like what people said before the 9 minutes and 29 seconds. he was resisting, he was doing all that.
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we all know what it came down to is what happened in that 9 minutes and 29 seconds. >> sure. >> regardless of what he said, where was he, i get it. where was he before, why didn't he de-escalate it, i don't know. but what it will come down to is whether the police shooting in that moment, in those seconds, were justified. and police, was him saving a third party's life on that scene justified. >> he has a duty. >> he has a duty to do that. >> to use force to protect his own life or the life of another. >> when he rolls up, they're tussling, rolling around. he sees someone with a knife, boom. that is the part that will be whether it's justified or not. >> i'm saying, if you want to have this contextual conversation about what else we can do, do we need cops? the answer is no, learn how to
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control your kids, don't be so violent, you won't need cops. but that's not the reality. >> the reality, i got to go. thank you. >> i love the conversations. >> again, we need a lot of grace. people are in their feelings right now, as well they should be. this is "cnn tonight," i'm don lemon. this country is at a crossroads. a white ex-police officer held accountable for killing george floyd. held accountable for the 9 minute and 29 seconds video. derek chauvin will be in prison for years for what he did. that's accountability, it hasn't come nearly often enough in this country. but the question is, what happens now? what will america do now? what do we do now? george floyd's brother philonus
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writing, this verdict is historic. but it shouldn't be historic to punish people who do bad things, even if they wear a police uniform. >> accountability is exactly what we've gotten. but it won't -- it sends a message. but we need to have the laws change as well. >> the family got accountability. and we should celebrate that for them, because it was far from a sure thing. but a man they loved, a brother, cousin, father, is dead. george floyd didn't live to see justice because that officer took away his life. his murder opened the eyes of a lot of white people that the violence that a lot of black people face and fear every day. people watched that video of a black man being murdered and thought, of course, the officer will be found guilty.
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nothing could be more egregious. but black people know, there have be so many egregious cases before. we know the roll call of death. daunte wright, whose funeral is tomorrow. he was shot to death by a police officer shouting taser, taser, just a few miles away from where george floyd died. so many more names as well. all the way back to emmitt till and beyond. we shouldn't need an extraordinary set of circumstances. we can't expect black people to be constantly filling police violence every time it happens. >> for so many people, it seems like it took a unique and extraordinary convergence of factors, a brave young woman with a smartphone camera, a crowd that was traumatized, traumatized witnesses. a murder that lasted almost ten
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minutes in broad daylight. for everyone in the whole world to see. for so many, it feels like it took all of that for the judicial system to deliver a just, just basic accountability. >> meanwhile, there's more death every day. every case is different. and we don't know all the facts about this one. but we do know that a black 16-year-old girl was shot to death by a police officer in columbus, ohio. questions about the use of force here are very different since in a series of clips from body cam video, the girl is seen holding a knife during a tussle with another young woman. an officer arrived, and the girl appeared to be set to stab a second woman. i wish this were the last time i have to warn you, it is graphic.
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>> hey. what's going on? what's going on? hey, hey, hey. get down! get down! get down! >> no, you shot my baby! are you [ bleep ] kidding me! >> i didn't do anything. >> this man is not supposed to be here. >> [ bleep ]. >> back up. >> is she shot? >> she had a knife. she just went at her. >> she's just a kid, man. damn, are you stupid? [ bleep ]. [ bleep ]. >> code 1.
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code 1. >> the city's public safety director saying this. >> we don't yet have those answers. but these are some of the questions that are asked and addressed in disciplinary hearings that come before me. as chief woods has indicated, a fully independent investigation is being conducted by bci. the results will be public. i plead with the community, let us not rush to judgment. as i said last night, fast facts should not come at the cost of complete and accurate facts. the loved ones of ms. bryant have my sympathies, and we
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should wrap them in love, and we should allow the process to play out. thank you. >> people are anguished watching another video like this. and i get it. but even in our anguish, we can't abandon the responsibility to be fair. and we need to judge each incident based on what we see and the facts we know. i see police responding to a dangerous incident, where someone is armed with a knife. police have walked up on a situation they need to figure out what is happening. other lives are in danger. if we're going to discuss this case, we need to be honest and use our common sense. we can't have a double standard. we have to acknowledge that police have jobs to do. but with people dying every day, we've got to find a pathway to justice. a road map to take this country to where we need to be. to liberty and justice for all.
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and we may be taking the first steps on that pathway right now. the attorney general, merrick garland, announcing a sweeping investigation to investigate the minneapolis police department itself, where derek chauvin worked. >> today, i am announcing that the justice department has opened a civil investigation to determine whether the minneapolis police department engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing. >> the investigation will dig into whether the minneapolis police department uses excessive force. including during protests, or discriminatory conduct. it's up to officials in washington to rise to the task, too. it's been almost a year since george floyd died. and congress has yet to pass a single police reform bill.
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they've yet to strike a deal on the george floyd justice in policing act, which would ban choke holds and no-knock warrants. mandate deadly force be used only as a last resort. and ban racial and religious profiling. and president biden, in a joint session to congress a week from tonight. yes, let's honor george floyd's memory by opening our eyes to systemic injustice in this country. the verdict in that courtroom is not the end. it's just the beginning. i'm going to talk to george floyd's cousin, as his family tries to figure out where they go from here. how long should derek chauvin be behind bars?
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>> totally the max. you know, i think the max because he did the maximum killing to my brother when he put his knee on his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. i love my brother, i'll never get him back. and my brother is doing his time in the ground now. so he needs to do his time in the cell.
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. . tonight, george floyd's
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brother philonise telling us he feels great because so many people are behind derek chauvin's historic conviction. he also wants chauvin to be given the maximum sentence because his brother is never coming back. joining me now, charita tate, george floyd's cousin, and the president of the george floyd foundation. thank you so much for being here. you doing okay? >> i'm doing wonderful. thank you. >> it's been so emotional since the verdict, it's been really an emotional year with all that is going on. now that you have had time to have this sink in, did you get any sleep last night? how is the family doing? what is going through your head? >> well, i didn't get any sleep last night. surprisingly. i think it was just, you know, the adrenaline, the rush from
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finally getting the convictions. i tried several times to go to sleep, and i just couldn't. but i'll take that any day, over what we've had to contend with for almost the last year. >> justice or accountability. how do you see this conviction? >> accountability is huge. and i think it's a measure of justice at the same time. i think there's still more that needs to be done for sure. but i think having him finally whether he wants to acknowledge that he's accountable or the jurors deliberated and came to the decision that he is guilty of all the charges. so he's being held accountable whether he wants to or not. >> everyone is hoping this is,
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you know, this is the moment that will propel the country forward to some sort of reform. do you think that's true. >> i am hopeful. i think all of us are hopeful that the momentum will continue to move in the right direction. you think obviously getting the conviction and having the policing acts being at the forefront right now, having so many people in support of trying to make sure that we have a situation where all of the officers who have sworn to take an oath to protect and serve are held accountable to do just that. and i feel like we have the best environment or climate for that to take place right now. >> the grace and the strength, i said this to philonise last night, the grace and the strength your family has shown is truly commendable. where do you go from here?
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>> i think we continue, all of us continue to work as hard as we can to make sure that we do everything to see that the true change that we want to see takes place. each of us committed way back in may, right after all of this occurred, one of the things that we said we cowould do, we would work towards change taking place. i think we've demonstrated our commitment to do so. >> thank you, and be well. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. police in columbus, ohio, releasing more body cam video, showing a policeman shooting a black teen who appears to be holding a knife and charging at two others. we're going to break this down. that's next.
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cnn's athena jones has the latest. and i have to warn you, the video is very disturbing. >> reporter: new videos released in the case of ma'khia bryant, a 16-year-old black girl shot by police after they say she attempted to stab two people with a knife. >> trying to fight us, trying to stab us. >> reporter: upon receiving that chaotic 911 call, officers were dispatched to the scene. body cam footage shows the police officer approaching individuals in the driveway of a home. >> what's going on? hey, hey, get down! get down! >> reporter: the video shows bryant appearing to push one person to the ground, and lunging at another person in pink, with what appears to be a knife in her hand. the officer fires four shots,
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killing bryant. she is said to have been a foster child. tonight, newly released body cam videos show the moments after the shooting as well. officers can be seen performing life-saving measures on bryant and sealing off the scene. the officer who fired is on paid administrative leave while an independent investigation takes place. the columbus mayor said the killing was a failure of the community. >> the fact that we had a 16-year-old girl armed and involved with physical violence, that's something for us to look in the mirror and say, what are we doing or not doing? >> reporter: the shooting happened about 30 minutes before the guilty verdict was delivered in the murder case of george
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floyd. >> it's critically important for us, for the public, to have the information that we have. so we can be transparent as possible. >> reporter: cnn has reached out to the officer and the police union, but has not heard back. and one more thing, both the mayor and interim police chief are stressing transparency. the police department worked swiftly to release the initial body camera footage last night. the chief saying his goal is to share as much information with the public as possible, as quickly as possible. this was especially important last night, because you had videos shot by bystanders that were already circulating on social media, sparking outrage. >> athena, thank you so much. i want to bring in ron johnson, who was tasked with restoring peace in ferguson after michael brown's death. here we are, discussing another
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death. captain, what did the police officer have to consider in that moment? >> he had to consider if the other young girl was going to inflict serious injury or death on another. in that moment, he had to decide to take action based on that. and that is a part of the training, that's what the public expects officers to do, to protect and serve. >> so in that moment, do you think he was doing what his training showed him? i know we don't have all the evidence. but when you look at that video, what do you make of it? >> on the surface, it appears so. but i've said we need to let the investigation go through and look at everything and every vantage point. but on the surface, it would seem he look the action he felt he needed to take.
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it's a matter of seconds or less. when you play that video in realtime. he has to analyze that in a sharp moment of time. >> in realtime. yeah. and in a chaotic time. the city acting quickly to release the body cam videos. but you say they don't tell the full story. can you please explain that? >> i think we just saw that in the george floyd trial. there were many videos, and you had to analyze it from many angles, and what happened before when the officer got out of the car. we know there's probably video taken before maybe by someone's phone camera. let's look at it all. but right now, there's such distrust with african-americans and police that they want a full investigation of everything. even when something appears to be justified, it will be questioned until we bridge this gap and there's a sense of
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acc accountability within the profession. >> my question is, people are saying, let's go through one. why did he, why not use a taser? >> well, tasers don't have the same impact. tasers, both of the prongs have to hit. and the distance that you're from, you're from the person, and will that actually stop that act from going? you know, when someone is wielding a knife, there's a chance for serious injury or death. so the officer has to take all of that into account in a matter of moments. >> why not shoot to injure? >> you know, we hear that about shoot to injure. you know, but officers are trained to shoot at a certain point in the target. and so you have to make sure, if you're going to stop that transaction. so let's say you shoot someone in the leg. is that going to stop them from
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wielding a knife? so you have to stop that, and i think if you shoot someone in the leg and they continue on and they stab the person, they're going to be in another conversation. but it's something we can look at in some situations. practices of how we use our weapons. so that may be something we need to look at in our training. and a lot of people are asking that same question. >> why four shots and not just one? >> right now, i think we need to let the investigation pan out. because i can't answer that question. >> yeah. captain ron johnson, i appreciate your time and expertise. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> thank you. lebron james and dwyane wade saying justice for george floyd is a win for accountability. yesterday's verdict really is a big step in that process. how do athletes use their platform to keep the momentum going? that's a question for jalen rose. jalen rose is next.
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look, this is where really where the conversation is going. i couldn't take my eyes off the sports folks today, as they were discussing this. major sports stars, teams, leagues, speaking out after the verdict. lebron james tweeting out accountability, all caps. but even with the guilty verdict, the fight is far from over. how will athletes keep fighting for social justice? joining me now, jalen rose, it was fascinating to see your take on it. versus the cnn take on it.
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even the business channel's take on it, how it affects the markets. it all intersects. jalen, great to have you on. thank you. first of all, what was it like for you waiting on the verdict, and then hearing guilty, guilty, guilty. >> thank you for having me on, don. i'm a huge fan of the show. it's a little unnerving that i can watch a video with my own two eyes of 9 minutes and 29 seconds of an officer with his knee to the neck of george floyd, while he's handcuffed, and i'm looking at the court proceedings, and there are some people that get up there and say maybe he could have died because of the exhaust? >> mm-hmm. >> and then people talked about his health concerns. and so as a black person in america, i felt exactly how you felt. as a matter of fact, exactly how we felt on january 6th when we
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looked at the capitol being stormed, and we said, what would happen if that was a different race doing that? and so therefore, i didn't necessarily believe that there were going to be three guilty pleas. you know why? because they're barely guilty pleas when this situation took place. >> i said the same thing yesterday. sorry, go on. >> but i want to highlight one thing that seems to get lost. and i would love any law enforcement to answer this for me as well. in the george floyd case, they falsified the police report. >> right. >> in the breonna taylor case, they falsified the police report. what happens in those situations? >> mm-hmm. >> what kind of discipline happens from within on those? that should be an automatic punishment, discipline, firing, lose your pension. something very strong. but since those types of measures aren't in place, we get to the scenarios that we're in
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now. but i'm really happy for george floyd, rest in peace, and his family, that they got a sense of justice for their loved one. but as you know, there are going to be more. what's next? >> so, it sounds like, i think in this moment, you're talking about these things, well, let's put it this way. everything that you just mentioned, sort of exposes, when you look at the initial reporting from the police department in minneapolis, right? they were exposed because we got to see the real report, and we know what happened when it played out in court. are you optimistic? >> i'm not optimistic until i see some actual reform happening. >> are you hopeful? >> i'm hopeful, but here's an analogy i'll leave for you. here's how i feel. when the justice for george
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floyd happens, i'll equate it to a sporting event, in football, when you talk about field position. the game starts, don, we look at the score, it's 400 years of slavery to 0. we just got a score with george floyd. but we still need to continue to play the game. to get field position, we know we're not going to win the game. it's not happening in our lifetime. however, we owe society, our community, and each other to continue to fight for this field position. and that's what we're doing. but a couple of things have really only changed the dynamics. number one, smartphones. they've unlocked the violence that has been perpetrated by police for so very long against people of color. the other thing is protest. there's a reason why, even if you look over my shoulder, that's one of the most iconic pictures in sports. it had nothing to do with the score of the game.
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because people know, the power of an athlete and entertainer, that's why they're told to shut up and dribble. >> and when you think about ali, when you think about shut up and dribble, and about colin kaepernick, all of these efforts, how critical are they to the movement? >> they're extremely important. that's why people are telling you to stick to sports. because they know that, don. they know the power and the influence and the voice of athletes and entertainers in their community. and how important it is for us to invest our time, energy, and money back into our community. when we do that, we see change. today, i was just doing a recording for more than a vote about voter suppression laws. voter suppression laws. 250 laws in atlanta have been changed since the election. it's happening in michigan, in
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texas. it continues to happen. so smartphones, protests, and the ability to vote. those three things have been game-changers. let's continue to do each. >> jalen, i mean it, you're welcome back here any time. i love watching you, i love -- >> thank you. >> what you're contributing, and your perspective. please come back. thank you for your time, okay? >> my pleasure. >> and i want those glasses. >> i got your back. >> jalen rose, thank you. americans don't just want action in the courtroom, they want action in congress. but is any legislative reform possible when republicans have become the party of obstruction? ride a horse on the moon.
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for republicans who don't think there is anything wrong with the current state of the party, they may want to listen to former president george w. bush. is it time for some big changes in the party's positions? let's discuss. john kasich is here, the former republican governor of ohio. i think i know what he's going to say about this. john, good evening. we just witnessed a former police officer being convicted of murdering a black man. it's rare, if you look back in history. now people are demanding systemic change. but republicans have been a wall of opposition in policing and voting rights legislation, gun legislation. are they on the wrong side of history? >> well, they're on the wrong side of those issues, don. we talked about this briefly. and i will be brief here, when we had our terrible situations
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here and we have one now we're having to deal with in columbus, we created a task force on community and police to take a look at the use of force, the use of deadly force. people have to be trained to it. you have to collect data to see if there's inherent bias, all these things are critical. it doesn't mean you're taking one side or the other. as you point out, police have to do their job, the community wants them there, but they don't want abuse. a lot of communities are just hoping this will go away. but without adequate training to what the standards are, you're always going to have problems. that doesn't mean it's going to take care of all of your problems. but that is what you have to do. that's a question of humanity, it's a question of justice, it's a question of fairness for everyone involved. the community, the police officer. get them around a table, hash it out. the same thing with guns.
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we have too many problems with guns. nobody wants to take the second amendment away, but it's time to get on top of that. and bush represents the more hopeful section of the party. we need to open ourselves up. >> i want to spend time, you heard what george bush had to say. he was disappointed in the party, they were becoming more nativist. john boehner saying the same thing. what do you think? you have two former gop leaders who don't recognize their current party right now. is this party becoming more isolationist, more nativist? >> a tug of war is going on, don. i think bush and boehner are emerging. i wish they had been out sooner and speaking out earlier. but the fact is, they're starting to emerge and talk. and i welcome it. i think it's critically important. again, they're hopeful, they're
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not the eeyore branch of the party, everything is dark, bad, and people are out to get people. this is the more hopeful wing of the party, of which i'm a member. >> okay, here we go. do you think that, listen, i know that is what you're like, what the former president george bush is like, and what john boehner is saying that he's like. many people are calling john boehner with his book and what he's saying revisionist history, because he ushered in the tea party, which ushered in the whole trump era. do you think that what you want for the party, those days are gone, and this is just the new republican party we have right now? >> no, i don't think so. don, it may mean there's going to have to be another crushing on the part of republicans for them to wake up and realize those negative approaches simply don't work. >> people like you don't have the numbers. i don't want to be insulting. but the number of people who think like you guys -- >> it can change. >> okay, go on.
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>> it can change, don. the other thing is, i don't buy this business that if you don't kowtow to donald trump, you can't be elected. i believe you can if you have great ideas and you're a great presenter. i won elections because of ideas, energy, saying what it is i was going to do. and that's how -- that's what leaders do. that's how you get elected. you can't give up on the fact that the wing of the party is now tied to trump. there's a lot of them, state party officials. but local officials are tired of this thing with trump. that doesn't mean there aren't people in the party that are not still there, that there's not a significant number. i haven't given up. if i thought the republican party would continue to be negative and dark, i would leave. >> yeah. >> i don't want to be associated with something that will be negative and get people more depressed and play the blame game and scapegoats for a party
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that doesn't recognize the fact that we need to deal with guns and race. i wouldn't stay in it. of course i think you can win it. >> and i appreciate that you were candid. thank you, john. >> thank you. >> thank you, sir, i appreciate it. one day after the guilty verdict in the derek chauvin case, people in minneapolis putting daunte wright to rest. truly mixed emotions. they want to be set free. to make the world more responsible, and even more incredible. ideas start the future, just like that. today let's paint with behr ultra scuff defense... so that you can live that scuff-free life. honey, i'm home from my really important job!
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one day after derek chauvin's conviction in the murder of george floyd, the justice department launching a federal investigation into the minneapolis police department's policies, training, supervision, and use of force. cnn anale


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