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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  April 22, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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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 analysis of department data shows police still using force against black people at a disproportionate rate. no curfew tonight in nearby
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brooklyn center in minnesota on the eve of daunte wright's funeral. he was shot to death by a police officer. and tension on the rise in columbus, ohio as police release body cam video of an officer shooting a 16-year-old girl who threatened two young women with a knife. officials urging the community to await the facts. i want to start, though, with cnn's sara sidner live for us in minneapolis as she has been our lead story so many evenings this entire year, really for an entire year. sarah, good evening to you. thank you for joining us for another evening. thank you for joining us. the justice department is launching an investigation into the minneapolis police department. what are you hearing about this? >> look, they can look into many, many different things, but we did hear from the justice department. there was an announcement. this comes one day, by the way, as you know, a jury found the officer, the former officer derek chauvin guilty of second-degree murder and third degree murder and manslaughter in the killing of george floyd.
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and now you have the doj saying, we're going to look at the minneapolis police department. we're going to look to see if they have patterns and practices that are unconstitutional, or that are unlawful policing. and they're going to do a thorough investigation. according to the doj. and we should mention, there is already an investigation going on. the federal criminal investigation of the killing of george floyd is still outstanding. now the doj is looking at something that is even bigger than what just happened with george floyd. looking at the department itself, to see if its pattern and practices have been unconstitutional beyond that. and this tends to be a very big investigation. you will remember, don, back when michael brown was killed by a police officer in ferguson, missouri, that caused unrest there for more than six months of protests. and in that case, the doj looked at the patterns and practices and saw a lot of things that
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they thought were illegal. and so we are going to be in the weeks and months ahead, we're going to be waiting to see exactly what that looks like. i should mention, the brass of the police department has said that they are going to cooperate fully with this investigation. the city council in minneapolis said they welcome this investigation into the police department's patterns and practices. and so you do have cooperation from the places that are going to have to be giving information to the doj, they will talk to many, many, many people as they did in ferguson, which is the last time we really had a case where everyone heard this idea of the doj coming in and looking at patterns and practices. so it is a big deal. it is something that could have an impact on the police department and frankly the community.
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but we will have to wait and see what the doj finds in this extensive investigation here. >> let's talk about what has essentially become your second home there in minneapolis. and you have been speaking to people there in the area. i know that many people are feeling relief after this verdict. but do you think it will be short-lived because daunte wright's funeral is tomorrow? >> look, his wake was today. a lot of people were out in the streets for the george floyd, were at the wake, saying, celebrating daunte wright's life. tomorrow, they're going to be saying their final good-byes. any time you have a scenario like this, which is, i mean, think about what this city has gone through, and just ten miles away in brooklyn center, this happens while we're waiting for a decision by the jury and for this trial to come to its
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conclusion in another case involving an officer killing a black person in this country. it couldn't have been worse timing in some ways. because there was already an extreme amount of tension here. and now they're laying to rest a young man, 20 years old, who had a young child. was in the car with his girlfriend. he got out of the car, he, police, you know, made a move to try and detain him. he got out of that, jumped in the car, and an officer screamed taser, taser, but she was holding her gun. someone that has been in the department for 26 years. a lot of people say that if she's the person that is the veteran on the scene, and she is the person that trains other officers and was training another officer, then there's something very wrong with policing. and we're already going through this trial. now that they have a guilty verdict, they're looking to this case. and i'll tell you something, i talked to jesse jackson yesterday. he was in george floyd square, people were clapping for him,
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as he walked in and said his piece. and he went and prayed at the site where george floyd died. and i asked him, you know, what do you think about what's happened here and how people are reacting? because people were in a celebratory mood. and he said, you know what? they're celebrating too early. there is a lot of work to do. and i think that is the sentiment here. that, yes, we need to let ourselves have some relief and reprieve and take a deep breath and say, okay, this is justice in our eyes. justice happened. and we need to be thankful for that. but really, there's a lot of sorrow and so much more work to be done. the relationship between police and black folks in this country has to be dealt with. and use of force has to be dealt with. >> yeah. this is the beginning. thank you so much, sara. i appreciate it. thanks. joining me now, minnesota state representative john thompson, a friend of philando castille who was fatally shot by a police officer during a traffic stop. this is outside minneapolis in
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2016. john, good to see you again. how you doing? >> i'm doing fine. thanks for having me. >> give me your reaction to the verdict. so few police officers have been convicted in the past, including the officer who killed your friend philando. so what do you think? turning point? >> as soon as we were celebrating guilty, guilty, guilty, then someone runs up and says, they did it again in ohio. we were celebrating the life of justin, who was murdered by st. paul police, and while we're celebrating his birthday, someone runs up to me two sundays ago, john, they just just did it in brooklyn center. they just killed somebody. so these victories are short-lived. it's going to happen again, and again in this state, unless we get some reform and put it into legislation and accountability pieces. >> justice may have been served in the legal system.
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but of course, real justice would be gianna floyd growing up with her father alive, right? how does one reconcile that? >> don, i'm so tired of ingesting this in my body. i don't know if people know that. but it's traumatic for an african-american male and mom to keep ingesting, even though these aren't our children. but they are, these are our kids, future doctors, lawyers, future barack obamas, and they're dying at the hands of people who are supposed to protect us. i heard somebody say that we're making law enforcement's job hard, but law enforcement is making it hard to be black in america. >> this is what you said after daunte wright was killed last week at a press conference. >> you fit the description. you fit the description.
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i fit the description. you fit the description of pretty much 90% of the calls coming across the radio. i'm saying, i don't want to fail another young man. we failed george floyd, we failed daunte, we failed philando. i don't want to fail anybody else this summer. >> so why does that keep happening in your community? >> because we keep having our law enforcement and also the chiefs' association, the minnesota peace officers' association, they run these organizations like criminally organized gangs, almost. you look at the -- just pull up some of the complaints of some of these officers. you look at officer chauvin's list of service complaints, he was involved in four other police-involved killings. these lawsuits, these complaints, nothing happens. i think if 56 people complain about a peace officer, at least
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six of them should be looked into. but out of 56 complaint, nothing happens. not even an oral reprimand or smack on the wrist. there's no fear of this progressive ladder of discipline that should be happening to these peace officers. also, we have the ppp here in minnesota, politicians being punked by these police unions. a lot of these, i'm sitting here looking at the screen, this guy is defending qualified immunity. nobody should have qualified immunity. that's just too much power to have. and the world is saying we have a police problem. not just the city of minneapolis. the world, the entire world is saying that we have had enough police involved shootings. >> i want to go back to something you said earlier, where you're tired of feeling this in your body and what black men feel around these things and the stress that takes place.
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for those that don't know, the police killing of your friend philando castile, that's what inspired you to get involved in politics. what kinds of reforms are needed to keep people from dealing with the kind of grief that you've experienced? >> don, at some point, you know how you go to the dentist, you have a rotten tooth, they dig the decay out and then they fill it with some filling. and we have to look at the root problems, the underinvestments in our african-american community contribute to a lot of the crime that we see in our communities. thus the need for policing. in some instance, our communities are overpoliced. don, can i give you an example? you catch a young lady stealing a coat out of a store and you take her to jail, you haven't solved the problem because when she gets out, she is still cold. i watch the homeless being evicted in this state. i want to make sure you understand we have a root problem. we talk about state
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appropriations in the african american immigrant community throughout this state. afraid to make solid investments in things that make sense for our communities. yo, and our state have -- if you look at the disparities in the state of minnesota, we're like the worst when it comes to everything here in this state. and i know that legislation helped create a lot of the disparities that we see here in this state. and legislation can help fix them. but we keep getting met by our republican colleagues who don't believe that this stuff is existing because it doesn't exist in their neighborhood. >> yeah. >> and i want to say one more thing. just because my reality is not your reality, it doesn't necessarily eliminate my reality as false. just rhetoric. >> it doesn't make it not a thing. because your reality doesn't match mine. thank you, john. i appreciate it. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. now i want to bring in democratic senator cory booker. he is a co-author of the george floyd justice in policing act.
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really important stuff. senator, thank you for joining us. good evening to you. >> good evening to you. thanks for having me on. >> i want to start with the verdict. what was your reaction when you heard the news? i don't know why i felt relief and then sadness. it is the right verdict, but george floyd's dead. so my heart still broke for the family. for his daughter. so i -- the right thing happened in the verdict. it was absolutely the right thing. but we still have to confront that we have a society in which that can happen in the first place. so -- we all have to take responsibility for ending the culture that creates the possibility for that kind of heinous acts to happen with such unfortunately chilling regularity. >> pardon me. i thought you were finished with your thought and we have a delay. so my apologies. so the president is pushing the senate to pass your policing act.
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do you think the chauvin verdict will help galvanize to get this passed by the anniversary of george floyd's death next month? >> the president and his team have been amazing. they haven't been pushing as much as partnering. they're really in the weeds. and i appreciate the extraordinary leadership. kamala harris was my co-author in the senate. this is going to come down to a negotiation and a discovery. i'm deep in conversations with somebody who is a legitimate friend and an honest broker. we have very differing opinions about a lot of things, but tim scott and i have passed a number of bills together, and we're going to try to work something out that is substantive enough for me to get behind, and i hope any senate colleagues get behind as well. we've seen all kinds of reforms over the decades from racial sensitivity training to community policing, but it hasn't directly gotten at the deaths of tamir rice, the deaths
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of eric garner, breonna taylor. the names you and i both know. so what i'm hoping is we can get a bill done that creates real accountability, transparency, so more americans can see what is going on down to the racial breakdown of traffic stops and more. this kind of accountability will help people hold their departments accountable. and i want to see certain practices banned like what killed eric garner, the chokeholds, and what killed breonna taylor, the senseless no-knock warrant. a no-knock warrant that had them entering breonna taylor's house in the first place. so these bills are worth fighting for, and i'm negotiating now in good faith. and i'm hoping we can get it to a point where it is a step to make progress. because americans deserve for their federal government to own up to the crisis we're in and do something real to make a difference. >> the republican senator tim scott is proposing a compromise to get this passed.
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he's asked for the burden of responsibility in court to be would you accept that? >> i'm not going to negotiate this publicly. i'm going to negotiate with him and there are so many different components to this. i will say that qualified immunity is astonishing to me. that you can violate someone's civil rights, and they have no claim in civil court against you. so for me, i think we should get rid of qualified immunity. we've seen conservative organizations like the cato institute call for getting rid of qualified immunity. we've seen republican senators like braun. he put up a bill to severely limit qualified immunity. again, i don't want to negotiate this through tv interviews. i want to sit down with somebody that i trust, and we may have different perspectives, but i'm hoping we can land at a place that in some way changes
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qualified immunity in a substantive enough manner. >> listen, i completely understand that. if you can get the work done, do the work. if you want to negotiate on television, fair enough. over and over again, senator, we see black people ending up dead after being stopped by police for small things like an expired plate, or allegedly selling loose cigarettes. how do we stop this cycle and figure out a better way the handle these small infractions? >> so i just want to be blunt with you. i don't know if there's a black man in america that doesn't have painful stories with the police, myself included. tim scott gave a moving speech on the senate floor about his experiences with police officers. i've had guns drawn on me, been accused of stealing the car i was driving. so you ask, how do we end this? it's a nightmare that we have to teach our children, my elders,
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as early as the seventh or eighth gray, i had grown over 6'3" tall, and i grew up in a predominantly white community. but my black elders had to teach me lessons that which peers were not being taught. told me that i could not do thing that other folks were doing for fear of my life. so we all have to take responsibility for changing a system in which generations of black people are teaching young black boys survival instincts because of fear of these kind of interactions. >> senator, always a pleasure. thank you so much. good luck with the bill. >> thank you. thank you very much. george floyd's family finally getting accountability with the chauvin verdict. but you might not know that if you were watching the fox propaganda network. one fox host's incredible verdict meltdown. that's next. our new scented oils give you our best smelling scents.
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george floyd's brother philonise tells cnn that derek chauvin's conviction is historic. attorney ben crump calls it a victory for equal justice. buts that not what fox viewers heard from tucker carlson.
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he had a meltdown afraid riots would break out if aacquitted chauvin. here's brian stelter. >> please don't hurt us. >> reporter: tucker carlson inviting new outrage with his assumptions about what motivated the jury. >> the jurors spoke for many in this country. everyone understood perfectly well the consequences of an acquittal in this case. >> reporter: carlson invoking mobs that, quote destroy our cities and claiming politicians intimidated jurors in the derek chauvin case. stoking fear while suggesting the jury was fearing rioting. >> i'm kind of more worried about the rest of the country which thanks to police inaction, in case you haven't noticed, is boarded up. so that's more my concern. >> reporter: carlson cutting off his guest. >> nope, done. >> reporter: social media commenters said carlson was melting down. it even stirred debates on sports tv. >> these are the kinds of things that make people shake and make
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people shiver. >> it's indefensible. >> reporter: carlson was leading a right wing media narrative saying that fox news is fixating on post-chauvin violence that never happened, including by running footage of last year's fires and looting in minneapolis. this is sometimes denounced as riot porn. >> can i be very brutally honest about this. >> reporter: in d.c., marjorie taylor greene getting what she wanted, attention with this lie that d.c. was, quote, completely dead tuesday night, people scared to good out fearing riots. hundreds of residents corrected her, laughed at her with "the washington post" saying her imaginary d.c. sounds like a scary place, which was the point. >> brian stelter joins me now. brian, you just showed us how tucker carlson reacted to the chauvin verdict. i mean, it's really a total
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alternate reality over there, alternative universe over there. what is going on? >> yes, and fear is the common denominator, whether we're talking about marjorie taylor greene or tucker carlson or other commentators on fox. whether it's gop lawmakers or fox stars, fear is the common theme. fear is the common thread. fear of a changing, diversifying america. >> we have been following a guy called tucker carlson for a while, watching him stoke division and spread white supremacy ideas to millions of people for some time now. do you think that he is filling a void now that trump sought of office? >> i think that's exactly the right way to view this. donald trump is mostly off-stage, only appearing occasionally if right wing media. tucker carlson is on every single night, speaking to an audience of millions, and sharing the kind of radical, fringe ideas that were not heard on television up until now.
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we're seeing a form of radicalization in the gop, and he's leading the way. you know, democratic strategists and cnn regular paul begala said something provocative to "the new york times" today that i thought was very interesting in this regard. he said as white power diminishes, white supremacy intensifies. meaning the attempt of certain types of white americans to hold on to power is getting more and more intense in this multicultural diversifying country. i know carlson denies any interest in white supremacy, and he rejects all the claims against him. but it's interesting to think about his show as a broadcast version of the white lash. >> do you think we're overthinking this, that this is just a ratings grift that he knows trump is not on the scene so therefore someone has to fill that void? and whether he has a political, you know, he wants to be in political or office or not?
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if that's his intention, maybe it's a ratings grift that he's filling the void, and he knows he is going to get people to watch him. >> carlson 2024. however, his friends say he feels like he is more powerful today than he would be in office. >> i don't buy the political aspirations. i think it's about wanting more ratings and more power in television. but i could be wrong. i just think it's a ratings grift. that's it. >> i see what you're saying. i look at the numbers every day. carlson has become the number one show on fox. it used to be hannity and others. but carlson is building an audience with these white replacement theory type ideas. it is something that is finding a -- it's like a magnet. it's bringing in an audience. >> yeah. brian stelter, much appreciated, sir, as always. thank you very much. there are raw emotions across the country after the guilty verdict in the derek chauvin trial. and several police involved shootings of people of color.
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is this a moment to bring the country together?
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the conviction of ex-minneapolis police officer derek chauvin for george floyd's murder emerging as a complicated moment in america's long history of racial injustice. how as a nation do we move forward from here? and how do we do it together? i'm so happy about this. joining me now, bishop t.d. jakes. the author of "don't drop the mic: the power of your words can change the world." bishop, it's good to see you. because of you, i feel girded even with all the chaos going on. i feel girded. >> it's a pleasure to be with you. >> you know this is one of your recent sermons. i listen to you. i take my hour walk every morning, and you are my inspiration. so thank you for that. >> thank you. thank you very much.
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>> so as a faith leader, a man of god, give me your thoughts when you listen to that verdict. do you think justice was served, bishop? >> i think that justice was served. and more importantly, i think that the whole trial teaches us a very powerful message. that 12 jurors, 6 of which were white, 4 were african-american, and two were bi-racial. that in spite of the differences and the different backgrounds and histories, that when we are exposed to the same truth and information in the same way and don't have it diluted and polluted, whether it's by social media or picking the news that you would most like to hear, that we come up with the same conclusions. and i think that is a point of optimism, that it is possible
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for diverse people to come up with one truth and not the truth that you want to hear. and so i am encouraged by that, and i'm encouraged by the fact that what was obvious, an atrocity and a misappropriation of justice, not to exonerate george floyd for anything he may have done wrong, but to try him on the sidewalk and execute a fatal sentence against him just because you choose to is not the way justice works in america. >> you know, it feels like a lot of elements had to come together to make this verdict possible. the horrifying video, the protests, the fact that so many were home to follow the trial because of the pandemic. but will it mean -- you know, you talk about this sort of post truth, post reality world that we're living in. do you think this is going to mean real change in how black people are treated by police in
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the justice system moving forward? >> incrementally. we're seeing changes when you look at certain areas like certain cities like camden and newark have already begun to introduce different ways of policing, and we've seen a drop in crime in places where they've re-allocated resources. so that when it's a mental health issue, you don't have a person out there with a gun. the old adage says, when the only tool a carpenter has is a hammer, everything he sees is a nail. when you send people out with guns, and all they see is a criminal, we have a lot of people who have emotional, mental problems, substance abuse problems, things like that. the solution is not always a gun. growing up in west virginia, i've seen people resist the police, drunk in bars and clubs and everywhere else, and they
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didn't choke them to death on the sidewalk. there are alternative ways to responding to inappropriate behavior without choking the life out of people. and i think the whole world thought it was obnoxious, they responded. it's a shame it took the whole world to get what other people get without having to protest all over the world. but it is a start. and i'm hopeful that we can have a more perfect union as we go along the way. and i think it's also notable that there were many police who testified against chauvin. so the notion that if you are against bad police, you're against good police, is eradicated by the police themselves, who saw no favor in allowing this to go unjudged. so the police, black and white, all came together in concert. fired him from his job.
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renounced his behavior, and they all stood in agreement. so those outliers who are still in disagreement do it against the advice of the police and against the advice of the judicial system with all of its flaws and against the will of america and countries everywhere who saw it as outrageous. the final thing i want to say that i think is very important, we can't continue to be the police of the world and talk about inhumane treatment of citizens if we allow inhumane treatment of our own citizens. the integrity of our message is polluted by the behavior of our own criminal justice system. >> listen, just a moment ago you mentioned newark. i just interviewed razz barack. we have a lot to learn from what raz barack has done with the
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police department in newark, new jersey and the changes he has put into place. you're right about that. you mentioned the police department here. but i also, the police officers who testified against derek chauvin. can we talk about what i call the angels out there, the people who played this remarkable role, from the community, people from the community, witnesses the george floyd's murder, come together, tell the truth about what they saw. the prosecutor jerry blackwell called them a bouquet of humanity. what did you think of them, and the power of their words, their witness, their testimony? >> i think it's a powerful message. and it's the catalyst for which i wrote the book. don't drop the mic suggests it's all of our responsibilities to continue the legacy of john lewis and others to fight the good fight of justice. and not only as it relates to justice, but to move into a quote, position of leadership. you're never too young. you're never too unknown.
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some of the biggest changes in the world have come from people who weren't famous at all. but decided to take the mic and take the responsibility and take charge. just a moment ago, we were talking about how easy it would have been for the young lady to cut her camera off and give way to the pressure of the police that were chiding her for filming. but she held on, she didn't drop it. she persisted in it. if it had not been for her efforts and of others, we would not have reached the point that we reached now. everybody doesn't have the luxury of having that surrounding, this kind of coverage, that kind of photography to aid them in getting justice. and so therefore for every george floyd that finally is acknowledged with some level of justice, real justice would be for him to still be alive,
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there's a thousand more that are slipping off of our radar that never get the attention, the footage or the press that is necessary to generate the kind of inspection that forces us to live up to our highest ideals as a just and civil society. >> well, you mentioned -- i was going to mention your book, but you mentioned it. and your book, "don't drop the mic," by t.d. jakes. go out and buy it. this is the man that's in -- well, when i'm making decisions about life, you're always in my head. but you're in my head every single morning, my inspiration after my hot cup of water, i head out and i listen to td jakes. it's so weird to have you on this show, and have that relationship with you. bishop, it's always a pleasure. god bless you. thank you so much. i really appreciate it. >> thank you. god bless you. keep on doing what you're doing. >> thank you. bishop t.d. jakes, everyone. "don't drop the mic."
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so much of the push for justice for george floyd coming down to the critical cell phone video shot by that teenage girl. we're going to talk about that, next. - i'm sure you've heard how grammarly improves your writing, but let me tell you how grammarly business helped my sales team. look at simon. since simon's team started using grammarly business, we've closed more deals. with suggestions to sharpen his writing clarity and overall confidence, simon's pitches always stick the landing,
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when a teenager named darnella frazier hit record on her cell phone camera nearly a year ago last may as george floyd was gasping for breath outside cup foods in minneapolis, little did she know the impact her actions and the video would ultimately have. randi kaye has more, but just a warning, some of the video is difficult to watch. >> i heard george floyd saying,
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"i can't breathe. please get off of me. i can't breathe." he cried for his mom. he was in pain. >> reporter: that's the voice of darnella frazier. testifying in the murder trial of former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin. the cell phone video she took at the scene and posted online was seen by millions around the globe. the world needed to see what i was seeing, she told the star tribune newspaper in minneapolis at the time. darnella kept recording for ten minutes. derek chauvin with his knee to george floyd's neck. darnella kept recording. george floyd pleading for help, taking his final breath. darnella kept recording. remarkable composure for a high school student who was just 17. yet there she stood on the corner of 38th street and chicago avenue south in her blue pant, hoodie and flip-flops. she hit record because as she told the star tribune, stuff
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like this happens in silence too many times. at the trial, darnella would not be silenced as she and her video became star witnesses. >> did you observe mr. floyd do anything you felt was threatening to any of the police officers? >> no. >> reporter: unlike the officers she had videotaped, this teenager moo the difference between right and wrong. >> it wasn't right. >> reporter: her video changed the narrative, and torpedoed the minneapolis police department's initial and misleading statement about george floyd's death being the result of a medical incident during police interaction. after derek chauvin was found guilty of murder, darnella took to facebook, overcome with emotion. i just cried so hard, she wrote. adding, george floyd, we did it. justice has been served. her bravery inspired pen america
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a nonprofit focused on freedom of expression to give her an award for her courage. anita hill who took on then supreme court justice nominee clarence thomas praised her. >> your quick thinking and bravery under immense pressure has made the world safer and more just. >> i never would imagine out of my whole 17 years of living that this would be me. >> reporter: the naacp in north carolina where george floyd was born released a statement, saying darnella frazier's video will go down in history. comparing it to the zapruder film, which captured the assassination of president john f. kennedy. despite all the attention and praise, for darnella frazier, hitting the record button wasn't just for george floyd. in him she saw those she loved. >> i have a black father, a black brother, i have black friends. and i look at that and i look at how that could have been one of
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them. >> reporter: randi kaye, cnn, palm beach county, florida. >> randi, thank you so much. a huge milestone in the fight against covid. president joe biden saying the number of vaccines in arms is now double his initial promise.
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before we leave you tonight, i want to take a moment to give you some good news. there hasn't been a whole lot of that, lately. but this is really good. america's hitting a huge milestone in the battle against
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covid-19. president joe biden touting 200 million doses of vaccine in arms seasons he took office. >> tomorrow's vaccine and vaccination numbers come out, it will show that, today, we did it. today, we hit 200-million shots, in the 92nd day in office. 200-million shots, in a hundred days. a under a hundred days, actually. >> so, that's double the number the president, initially, promised would be administered in the first-100 days, incredibly, in just a couple of weeks. vaccine supply may outstrip demand, in this country. the president saying that we're on track to celebrate the fourth of july, in a way that's at least closer to normal. as long as we keep masking up, and staying vigilant. thanks, everybody, for watching. our coverage continues.
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rely on the experts at 1800petmeds for the same medications as the vet, but for less with fast free shipping. visit today. ♪ 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 justice department launches a probe into policing practices in minneapolis following the conviction of an ex-officer in george floyd's death. president biden touts 200 million vaccine doses given out since he took office. and in other parts of the world, condion


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