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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  April 27, 2021 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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reported one. leyla santiago, cnn, miami. >> that is unbelievable. affecting menstrual cycles, wow. i can't even -- don't know where to start with this. thank you for joining us. don't forget. you can watch the show any time at cnn go. time to hand it off to anderson. simmering pot meet lid. john berman in for anderson. after days of failing to deliver transparency in the killing of brown, local officials decided the best course of action is a curfew as we speak is being broken by the looks of it. last night our senior law enforcement analyst and top fbi official said this about some of the frankly baffling responses he has seen so far from certain officials most notably the county sheriff. it really defies logic, he said.
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the way they've handled this situation locally. this comes as another new video comes to light. last night we saw a clip of the immediate aftermath tonight's footage according to our source shows county deputies arriving to serve an arrest warrant on brown. what the two videos have in common is neither come from the body cam of any deputy involved despite repeated promise of transparency and accountability, officials have shown precisely none of that footage to the public. it only asks for a court order to do so yesteteteteay. somethour legal analysts tell us they could have easily done on an expedited basis days ago. brown's family and members of the legal team did get to see a 20-second snippet yet which was enough for a lawyer to call the shooting quote an execution which might explain why for the officials saying the complete footage really, truly, totally ought to be released and soon. it hasn't been. we'll talk about that tonight and other key developments today including the fbi opening a
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civil rights probe into the matter. first, though, that new video. it was captured by two cameras at an intersection on the first you'll see a sheriff's department pickup truck roll past, then at the second, the upper right hand corner, you'll see it pull up and kiaccording our souse, confront andrew brown junior .
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so there's that. there's the body cam video still being with held and of course, the people out on the streets in elizabeth city. brian todd is there. brian, as we noted at the top, the curfew went into effect moments ago. what are protesters telling you about their plans for the night? >> reporter: john, they say they're going to stay out here. they have been briefing some of the protest leaders and others have been briefing members of the crowd what number to call if you get arrested, to say your name loudly and your birthday so they can track you if you get put in jail. briefing them on what course of action to take and a lot of people participated and melted away from the crowd. only a couple dozen people are here. here is kirk rivers. he's been leading the protests every night since we've been out
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here. are you going to defy the curfew and stay out longer? >> we're here to talk to different ones and make sure we get different -- we, as people that have come together, we kind of said listen, everyone go home. we're not putting no pressure on nobody to stay together because we want to meet with the city tomorrow to show them our track record, to sit down to the table, talk civilized and then see why they institute this curfew. >> reporter: you don't agree with the curfew? >> no. >> reporter: why? >> we have been peaceful and not had problems and we've been here and ended around 9:00 every night. so why has this been instituted when there is no burning of buildings, no fights, no cars, nothing is disrupted except for traffic to be able to show that we just want to get things established and get our protest going. that's why i'm here because if somebody decides they arrest, i'll be with them. we're really just thinking about we want to meet with the city tomorrow to see what their reasons are. they might have good reasons and if they do, we're open minded.
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we're not going in closed minded. >> reporter: the judge may rule about releasing body cam footage. what do you hope for? >> the best. they said they'll give transparency and release the video and they -- and also, we're even asking for outside representation from the attorney general, independent. we don't want people from this area doing anything. we need outside because the good ol' boy system is in effect in this northeastern, north carolina. >> reporter: thank you very much, kirk and good night. hopefully they don't come for you. so john, the curfew is passed. they haven't come for these folks yet. they have been briefed. police are warning people in a gentle way the curfew is coming and you may be subject to arrest or other police action if you stay out here but so far they haven't moved on them, john. >> brian todd, please keep us posted. thank you for being there for us.
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appreciate it. >> brown family attorney mr. kendall. we showed the newly released video about a minute long. you have seen it, what is your reaction? >> john, first of all, thank you for having me. we discovered that video a couple of days ago. we discovered the cameras, rather, a couple days ago and were able to learn that those cameras are operated by elizabeth city. we were this morning provided with a copy of those videos from those cameras and we provided them to cnn and what we learned is that there was a squad of sheriff's deputies approximately seven persons fully dressed in tactical gear. they rolled up on mr. brown's home and we were able to track the time from boots on the ground to shots fired as being no more than four seconds. there was some yelling, some screaming about put your hands
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up, put your hands up and right after that, shots were fired. four seconds at most. that indicates to us what we've always thought was that this was in fact, more or less, extra judicial killing, an execution, if you will. mr. brown's car never moved toward those deputies. in fact, it moved away from these deputies. it moved backwards and on the site, you can see the tracks where he went backwards in an effort to get away and then he cut across a grassy lot and was shot in the back of the head. so everything that we've seen indicates this was an unjustified killing. >> to be clear in this new video we're showing what we see clearly is the police arriving in the tactical gear on the back of that vehicle. it's a little hard to discern
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exactly what is happening there or hard to make out the audio. you said you heard shots fired. it's difficult to make out. it's hard to make out. the significance of that time you say is four seconds, the significance of that is? >> well, a suspect who is there being arrested or being searched, police would normally give a command. that person would be given an opportunity to compile with the command. if the person compiles with the command, there is no need to use force of any type and from what we know, what we have seen in the video that was shown to our colleague was that mr. brown had his hands on the steering wheel and what we know from our preliminary autopsy is that he was shot in his right arm four times. and then there was a fifth shot to the back of his head, which is consistent with him backing up and then rolling out toward
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the street and then shot in the back of the head losing control of his vehicle, crashing into the tree in the neighbor's yard. >> this, of course, could be cleared up with the release of the body camera footage. do you have any faith this will be released at this point? >> that's correct. it could be all cleared up, all they have to do is show us the body cam footage and we would know exactly what happened. we wouldn't have to speak culatr guess. it's within their power to do so. >> do you think you'll see it? >> i'm hopeful we'll see it. we'll get an order tomorrow that will allow us and the public and media and everyone involved to have an opportunity to see exactly what happened. we don't know why it taken so long. >> you and your colleagues on the legal team released a statement earlier saying in part quote the longer law enforcement waits to release the body camera
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footage to the brown family, the more our suspicions are raised. what do you believe is happening right now on the part of authorities? specifically are you suspicious about? >> well, in today's environment with body cams beiing among law enforce thcement agencies, typi they want to get it out to the public to build trust between the law enforcement and community. there is simply no reason in this day in time to hide anything, to delay, there is no reason. the brown family can deal with an adverse situation if it is in fact, an adverse situation but having them to wait to guesstimate what happened is cruel and unusual punishment to an extent. >> wayne kendall, appreciate you joining us. thank you so much for your
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insight. >> thank you for having me. we'll get perspective from cnn legal and national security analyst. she's also a former fbi special agent joining us, as well, joe a former nypd officer and author of the book "police brutality matters." there is a lot going on here. let's just start, we only know so much based on the limited i have video we've seen and verbal accounts of people that have only seen parts of the video. let's take for a second the idea if, a big if based on what we know this is a justified use of force by officers, why the delay in releasing body camera footage? >> yes, i don't know what this department is doing. i think the previous guest just mentioned that building trust should be a priority right now and if the use of force was reasonable, then it would behoove them to release the video so that that can be seen
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or at least some kind of defense articulated. this is why actually the body cam video is actually really important. the standard for the use of deadly force is a reasonable standard and a reasonableness standard based on the point of view of the officer using the force. did they believe that they or others were in danger or that there was going to be, you know, imminent harm and so, you know, even a far away video won't tell the story. what will tell the story from a point of view of the officers will be the body cameras and it just feels to me and by simply working with a family and being transparent here. >> officials in court deal with things on an expedited basis all the time. do you see a reason why the body camera footage isn't released with this public interest? >> i don't.
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i can see it not being released to the public until family has a chance to see it, perhaps, for privacy reasons, courtesy. you know, when a police department, any law enforcement is given authority to use deadly force, they are entrusted with the power of the state. that comes with it a responsibility to be transparent and accountable. that's a part of the, you know, the trust and responsibility that the people for whom they work is being given to them. i don't see any reason. i have not heard one articulated as of yet and i assume that in this case a judge at some point will demand that this be released. >> joe is with us, also. joe, if you look at the question of deadly force and whether or not mr. brown showed an imminent threat to him or others, can you explain how that works? if he was as his attorney say trying to escape in his car, does that mean that deadly force
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could be used? >> no, john, not at all. you have to understand, when we talk about deadly force, look at the components. you got to have the danger, the imminent danger of life for yourself, the officer or someone else. so what has to happen is the officer makes a decision to use deadly force to save a life. if nobody's life is at risk and mr. brown was just trying to get away. this is not a justified use of force. >> we mentioned earlier the fbi opened up a civil rights investigation. can you walk us through what that might look like? >> yes, john. this is -- >> so -- >> that was to osha, sorry, joe. >> yes, this would be a criminal investigation from the civil rights program of the fbi. this is also the program that investigates things like hate crimes. in this case what they are looking at, john, is a color of law violation. this is based on a federal statute which makes it a crime
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to use the authority of the color of law to willfully deprive someone of civil rights it means any authority given to you by a local state or federal government. the important piece here is that the use of force, the excessive force in this case be willful. so we've already mentioned that there is a reasonable standard that's actually a pretty wide -- there is a lot of latitude given to law enforcement officers and so what the fbi would be investigating is, you know, whether basically these officers may have intentional use of force they knew was not justified at the time. i'll just add also that this comes with other, all of the rules of normal investigations so any attempt to have the investigation lie would be potential crimes, as well. >> a presence itself. does this fuel distrust? the longer it takes for the release of the footage, by the
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time they do release it, the public won't believe that it's the complete or full story? >> absolutely, john. you got to understand something. the transparency is the key factor when building trust with the community. i see major red flags with this incident. we have an officer retire and several officers resign and we have officers put on administrative leave and now we have a sheriff who is being real candid, not even candid but real limited on providing information. him giving the information to the family's attorney and only giving very small seconds of a video, that's not transparency. that tells me that we have a major problem and this might be as bad as the george floyd incident. >> thank you both tonight. thank you very much. >> thanks, john. next, we'll be joined by the city manager of elizabeth city
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and the promises they made about the investigation and covid, new cdc guidelines when and where people have been vaccinated can show their faces in public. the thing is their answers seem to have prompted a lot of new questions so we have our medical team standing by to help. tonight...i'll be eating crab cakes with spicy aioli. (doorbell rings) thank you. can we be besties, simone biles? i guess? yessss! should we dismount now?
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the number of people still on the streets tonight in elizabeth city, north carolina despite a curfew that took effect at the top of the hour, a moment ago one of the leaders of the protest told us he sees no reason for this curfew. he says the demonstrations have been peaceful and that he wants to meet with local leaders. joining us the city manager of elizabeth city. thank you for being with us. the curfew is in effect in elizabeth city. can you explain why you think they need that and what are law enforcement authorities prepared to do if they don't go home. >> i have a twin brother m
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montrey. the curfew went into effect as what we saw last night. the protest ended last night around 9:00, at least that's what we were told and there was a second group that went out after that. that group was throwing rocks, egging police cars, things of that nature. the other piece to institute a curfew is to clear the streets sooner, we have more cars in the streets and more people here and a lot more traffic and we want to protect protesters. my initial initiative is to protect protesters and silcitiz of elizabeth city. with so many more people in the city, protecting the protesters went to another level so in my effort to protect them, i instituted the curfew. >> montre williams, i'm the
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father of identical twins so i feel like i have to pay a fine for getting your name wrong. >> that's okay. >> if the protesters and public continues not to get answers, continues not to see the video that they're calling for and they've been told they will see, are you concerned that the tension will boil over? >> i'm extremely concerned. it has been my concern since about day two in this process. i gentleman that spoke earlier is spot on in terms of transparency. in types of crisis intervention training, the training is transparency, accuracy and accountability and you want to move to some peace and the root of all of this is the family deserves that. it's an honor to be on your show but not a pleasure. i'm here because someone lost their life. their family lost a family member. his children lost their father so the root of all of this is his family and for no other
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reason, that family deserves it and then this community deserves it. >> so earlier we aired new video obtained by cnn that a source says shows sheriff's deputies arriving to serve the warrant to mr. brown. i want to play the video again and get your reaction so watch it again .
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>> so what do you believe the video shows and does it answer any of your questions? >> it does show, you know, those deputies in the back of that pickup truck, and you see them when they come up to our city camera and then they make that left and then they kind of at the end of that it goes out of view. it doesn't really show me, you know, the end result and as you said earlier, it's hard to determine what happens at the end because it's out of the camera's view but i still have a million questions and if i have a million questions, i can only imagine what the family is experiencing. those are our city cameras, we
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have cameras we'll download what we have. we don't know if it caught anything but we want to turn it over because we don't want to be a holdup and as an attorney, we want to be clear about that evidence if it is evidence we're not even sure. but we wanted to be tranls spar. >> you have a million questions, the family has a million questions, the public has a million questions. answers have to be coming soon. montre freeman, appreciate it. >> take care. the cdc says fully vaccinated people don't need a mask outdoors in most settings but does the guidance go far enough and how does the slowing pace of vaccinations affect safety outdoors? that discussion up next.
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it's the biggest week in television. watchathon week is your chance to finally watch shows you missed for free. now you get to talk about them with your friends, no matter what time it is. say "watchathon" into your voice remote and watch for free >> a new cdc mask guidance for fully vaccinated people is eat aerobig step or not big enough. masks don't need to be worn at small outdoor gatherings but recommended at crowded vents indoors and out. the cdc director said the change was due in part to the fall in cases and rise in vaccinations. today president biden called the guidance quote another great reason to go get vaccinated. however, the pace of vaccinations now does appear to be slowing and vaccine he sitany
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is real. dr. sanjay gupta and peter hotez and the author of "preventing the next pandemic, vaccine diplomacy at a time of anti science." sanjay, the rate of vaccinations in the u.s. is at the low point since march. the high still but dropping consistently. do you think the new guidelines will give people an incentive to get vaccinated or still too conservative? >> i think therey're still a bi conservative and being cautious, which is the tone they've taken throughout this administration and understandably. it would be hard to loosen guidelines when the numbers were particularly high. still cautious guidelines and a lot of people are people that may need to be incentivize to get the vaccine may have been
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the people doing the things the recommendations are allowing them to do. i don't know how big a difference that makes. we have 61% of the country that says they are either already have received a vaccine or willing to do it but 17% who say they are in the wait and see mode. this movable middle. and the 20% or so that says pretty much they're not planning on getting this vaccine. it's that 17%. part of it is they want to wait and see. look at the u.k. and israel. this is something that might help inspire people a little bit when they look at what is happening in countries around the world with robust vaccination programs, you can look like that. maybe that will inspire people because when you get to that position, then you're sort of more in containment mode and you really start to achieve sort of a sense of normalcy. we're start of stutter stepping towards that and it's good, john, don't get me wrong. i like the idea of not having to wear a mask in some of these situations but, you know, i
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don't know if it will be enough to incentivize. >> dr. hotez, the c didc is giv the green light to do things. texas doesn't have mask mandates anymore at all. what do you see in terms of people wearing or not wearing masks there and do you think these guidelines will make a difference if part of the goal is to incentivize people to get vaccinated, what do you think the changes will do in terms of that? >> we're pretty much doing all of these things here in texas and depending where you are, we're even probably more liberal than that in terms of if you want to use that word for not wearing masks. here is what the cdc didn't do, they're not constructing a road map of where we're headed and by that i mean we've only got about 40% of the u.s. population that's received a single dose, 29% has received two doses. that's still early on. we're not going to see declines in transmission at that level. when we start to hit 60%, what we saw in israel was the numbers
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started to go down and the best vaccinated state in the continental u.s. is new hampshire. we're at 60% single dose and the numbers are starting to come down. so i think it would have been morefective if they said look, right now we're doing some increa incremental things. we have good news. we think when we get to a 60% threshold level, we'll come back and liberal iizes mask recommendations and when we come to summer, we could look like the year 2019. that would be very exciting and very stimulating and it's accurate. it's real and then people know where we're headed. they see the path. they see the road map and i think that is what i would have probably focused on. >> professor, what would you like to see administration do with disinformation campaigns about vaccines? we'll show some of the ridiculous ones later in the show. >> well, you know, first of all,
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i think there needs to be better understanding of where it's coming from and i have a paper out in "nature magazine" today that identifies three sources of what i'm calling anti vaccine, anti science aggression because that's really what it is. it's deliberate disinformation. so a big part of it is coming from home grown anti vaccine groups, which are well funded, well organized that are dominating the internet, the center for countering a digital 58 million followers from these organizations is how extraordinary it is. then and we've seen this now unfortunately, this expanding anti vaccine, anti science sentiment among the political right it was a few years ago down in texas that's when they started going after me and i was up going up against them was it came out of the fringe republican party and then it expanded akrolcross the republi
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party and seen this play out on the conservative cable news networks and now as if that wasn't complicated enough, the russian government and what the russians are doing. >> sanjay, dr. peter hotez, thank you both very much. we just mentioned the problems with vaccine he is tan see. a report from mayiami where the policy with one individual that promoted anti-vaxxer school conspiracy theories we'll have that when 360 continues. my garden is my therapy. find more ways to grow at
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before the break we mentioned the declining case of vaccinations and one reason is vaccine hesitancy fueled by senator ron johnson who downplayed the need for young people to get vaccines and says quote, i see no reason to be pushing vaccines on people. also by the far right echo chamber with one popular cable news host who specializes in pouty hot takes. last night suggesting people should call the police on parents who make their children wear masks. it would be laughable if this kind of misinformation wasn't having a real impact but it is. as our randi kaye discovered at would be private school in high -- miami where the found's
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anti-vaxxer is policy for staff. >> potentially unvaccinated people are being impacted by being around vaccinated people. >> reporter: fact is, there is absolutely no proof that vaccinated people have any sort of adverse effect on those who are unvaccinated. but that didn't stop layla, co-founder and ce o from tellin teachers if you're vaccinated, don't come anywhere near our students. >> here we have one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal to protect ourselves and get out of this problem and they are discouraging the use of it. it's tragic. >> reporter: in a let seter seno employees of this school she says it was a difficult decision with a heavy heart but vaccinated teachers must keep away from the children. >> it is an experiment right now. we are all part of the research. >> reporter: in her letter, the
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school's ceo makes numerous false claims. covid-19 vaccines are still in an experimental stage. they are not yet fda approved, rather have emergency use author authorization. the truth is, the vaccines are fda approved for emergency use after extensive testing showed they are both safe and effective. clinical trials in adults have been completed for all three vaccines to satisfy the fda emergency use. some parents like this couple with three children thinks the ban on vaccinated teachers will keep their kids safer. >> there are thousands of reports of adverse reactions in those who have not received the jab from being around those who have. >> reporter: those reports are false. there is no evidence, none to support the claim. >> my number one responsibility is to protect our children. >> reporter: that may be true
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but her claims aren't based in fact and the school's new policy could be making things more dangerous for the community. because the actual science tells us the more people who get vaccinated, the more quickly we can put this pandemic behind us. this man's children don't attend this school, but he says he might be okay with the policy. would you send your kids to a school that told their teachers they could not be vaccinated? >> maybe. maybe. yeah. >> reporter: all of this should come as in surprise since the school's ceo has frequently shared anti vaccine conspiracy theories on social media. in one instagram post, she claims they, she doesn't say who they are, can decrease the population by 15% through vaccines. earlier this month, she appeared with a 9/11 truther on youtube questioning mask wearing for children. >> i would say 80% of our kids don't wear masks. >> reporter: and her letter to the school staff also promotes a conspiracy theory suggesting because of vaccines, there have
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been thousands of reports of menstrual cycles being impacted and a 366% increase in miscarriages. >> the type of immunity that they induce in no way affects anything to do with anyone's fertility. >> madness. randi kaye joins us. how many students and teachers does this affect? >> reporter: john, it impacts about 300 students and about 70 teachers and i should note that the tuition here can run as high as $30,000 a year and that's the real tragedy. it because this administrator is buying into these consconspirac theories and denying students access to the teachers that want vaccines and that education. on the school's website, they promote medical freedom from mandated vaccines. she says the children, the students are her first priority but if you look at the science and listen to the cdc, john, as you know, i don't have to tell
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you this, they say any students would be a lot safer around teacher whose have vaccinated than teachers who are not vaccinated but the woman here, the ceo, the adde minute stray tore doesn't want to believe that. >> of course they would be safer. randi kaye, thank you for that report. appreciate it. up next, with another law enforcement shooting of a person of color, i'm going to ask a leading democratic member of congress about her take on the events in north carolina about police reform in general as president biden prepares to address a joint session of congress. magenta? magenta! (crying) magenta! (announcer) the epson ecotank. no more cartridges. just lots of ink. print whatever makes you happy. the epson ecotank. just fill and chill.
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and they're number one in customer satisfaction. his number... delete it. i'm deleting it. so, break free from the big three. xfinity internet customers, switch to xfinity mobile and get unlimited with 5g included for $30 on the nations fastest, most reliable network. more on our breaking news from elizabeth city, north carolina tonight. a small group of protesters still defying a city-wide curfew there, outraged over the death of andrew brown jr. at the hands of sheriff's deputies last week. as we recorded, a 20-second snippet of the body cam footage has been seen by members of the family and its legal team but not released publicly. these events underscore the national conversation going on about policing and reform efforts.
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california congresswoman karen bass is author of the george floyd policing act passed by the house and for now stalled in the senate. i spoke with her just before airtime about that as well as what she wants to hear from president biden when he addresses a joint session of congress tomorrow night. congresswoman bass, what does it say that just after a week after the conviction of derek chauvin for the murder of george floyd, there are serious questions about how and why police killed another black man? >> well, i think it just shows you the extent of the problem. remember, there are three cases that we're dealing with that happened within hours of the verdict. and there was also a girl, a 16-year-old who was killed as well, and a 13-year-old boy. so actually that's four cases. on average, about three people die a day at the hands of police. so i think we're just really becoming aware of a problem that
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has been there for more years than i can count. >> so investigations are obviously important. and there are things that police can sometimes justify in not releasing to the public while an investigation is ongoing. but in the specific case in north carolina, do you think there's any justification for the police to withhold the video of andrew brown jr. being killed? >> i mean, i am shocked at the way they have mishandled the situation and i don't have a doubt in my mind that this is a complete coverup. they literally invited the family to come in and see the videotape and then when they got there, they decided they needed to redact it or edit it. how could that possibly result in any trust, not just from the family but from the entire community? and then just to show them the last 20 seconds of their relative's life was cruel. >> so you obviously sponsored the george floyd act, which passed the house twice, i
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believe. but you're now in negotiations on what could be a bipartisan bill with republican senator tim scott. what's the status of those negotiations and what are the specific holdups at this point? >> well, let me just say that actually conversations started right after march 3 in the house with the problem solvers caucus under the leadership of josh gottheimer, pete stauber, and other members. so they started off bipartisan. and we do have certain issues that are difficult such as qualified immunity and reducing the requirement to prosecute an officer. so right now, we see case after case where an officer is involved in a shooting or something else that resulted in great bodily injury or death, and then we will see a d.a. not even prosecute, not even bring charges. that's because the bar to bring
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charges is so high, officers are rarely prosecuted. and then they don't have to worry about having any civil liability, which is why you saw derek chauvin look at the camera while he was murdering george floyd. so that's what we need to address. that's a difficult area that we're trying to grapple with right now. >> any progress? >> yes, i think there's significant progress. as a matter of fact, i feel very confident that we're going to get a bill, a bipartisan bill on president biden's desk within the next few weeks. >> that would be something, the nation would certainly like to see that. >> yes. >> as you know, president biden will address a joint session of congress tomorrow night. you won the lottery, you will be one of the -- not few but several dozen or hundreds of members who will actually be in the crowd there. he is expected to speak about police reform. what do you hope to hear from him? >> i am really honored that speaker pelosi did invite me to attend. i want to hear president biden
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really tell the congress that he wants a bill on his desk in short order. i want to hear the push and the pressure from him. and we know that he has called for this, and if he elevates it to the point of being a key part of his address, i think it will give us the momentum we need to get across the finish line. >> congresswoman karen bass, we appreciate your time. thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. coming up, a very special birthday to celebrate. anderson's son wyatt turned 1 today. what a year this has been. look at that picture. more when we return. through the dirt. i feel something in me, like a fire, that's just growing. i feel kinder, when nature is so kind to me. find more ways to grow at (vo) jamaica. (woman) best decision ever.
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a special day here for the "360" family and for one guy in particular. two, actually. anderson and his son wyatt. it's wyatt's first birthday.
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that's not anderson's not here. they're celebrating tonight, father and son. that has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? it was nearly a week ago that anderson announced the big news. >> it's been a difficult time in all of our lives and there are certainly many hard days ahead. it is especially important in these times of trouble to try to hold on to moments of joy, moments of happiness, even as we mourn the loss of loved ones. we're also blessed with new life and new love. so i just wanted to take a moment to share with you some joyful news of my own. on monday i became a father. i never actually said that before out loud, and it still kind of astonishes me. i'm a dad, i have a son, and i want you to meet him. this is wyatt cooper. he's 3 days old. he's named after my dad who died when i was 10 years old. i hope i can be as good a dad as he was. my son's middle name is morgan, a family name on my mom's side. i know my mom and dad liked the
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name morgan because i found a list they made 52 years ago when they were trying to find names for me. morgan was on the list. that's wyatt morgan cooper. my son. he was 7.2 pounds at birth. and he is sweet and soft and healthy. and i am beyond happy. as a gay kid i never thought it would be possible to have a child. and i'm so grateful for all those who paved the way and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son's birth. most of all, i am eternally grateful to a remarkable surrogate who carried wyatt, watched over him lovingly, tenderly, and gave birth to him. it's an extraordinary blessing, what she and all surrogates give to families who can't have children. my surrogate has a beautiful family of her own and amazingly supportive husband. i'm thankful for all the support they have given wyatt and me. she has kids of her own and i appreciate her support as well. my family is blessed to have
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this family in our lives. i do wish my mom, my dad, and my brother carter were alive to meet wyatt. i would like to believe they can see him. he imagine them all together, arms around each other, smiling and laughing, and watching, looking down on us, happy to know that their love is alive in me and in wyatt and that our family continues. new life and new love. >> and there is the birthday boy himself today. oh, look at that. happy birthday, wyatt, and congratulations, anderson. we could not be happier for both of you. the news continues. let's hand it over to chris for "cuomo prime time." >> beautiful. beautiful. beautiful, healthy babies, birthdays. we want to get back to all of this. i'm happy for anderson, i'm happy for the little boy, and i'm happy for you, jb, you enjoyed that. i'm chris cuomo, welcome to "prime time." we all want to get back to normal. today we were going to hear the