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tv   Don Lemon Tonight  CNN  August 26, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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breaking news tonight, the security situation around kabul's airport deteriorating quickly. the u.s. embassy warning americans gathering at certain entry gates about security threats, advising them to leave the area immediately. and biden administration officials now saying there are approximately 1,500 americans still in afghanistan with now less than a week to go before the u.s. military withdraws. also tonight the house select committee investigating the january 6 attack seeking a massive trove of documents from multiple federal government agencies, signaling a wide-ranging investigation. let's go right to cnn's pentagon correspondent oren liebermann, oren, good evening to you. thanks for joining us. this is an ominous warning tonight, tell us about the security concerns at the airport.
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>> reporter: and it's not just the warning that's the problem here. it's the timeline in which the u.s. has to operate around these warnings and around the security threat. the u.s. embassy in kabul already operating out of hamid karzai international airport is warning u.s. citizens to stay away from three gates at the airport, three entry points to pretty much the only way in and out of the country. the abbey gate, the east gate, and the north gate, saying there are security threats around there. they also say the embassy will contact americans when it's safe and instructions to get to the airport for getting out of the country. they don't specify what that security threat is. but we know the pentagon has been watching isis-k and other terror groups in the area that may try to attack the crowds there and u.s. citizens. what sort of tactics do they use? suicide bombings as well as vehicle-born improvised explosive devices and those sorts of attacks. so perhaps that's what the pentagon is watching for and the state department that prompted this pretty much last-second
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warning as the u.s. is trying to get as many people out as quickly as possible including up to 1,500 u.s. citizens that remain in the country. >> we know, oren, the military has conducted these three operations by helicopter to extract americans from outside the airport in kabul. with the security situation deteriorating there, are we going to see more of these operations? >> reporter: it's certainly possible in the days left that the military commanders on the ground will decide they need to conduct more helicopter operations. but it's crucial to note these three operations were of short distance and of short duration, meaning the americans they pulled onto the airport for extraction were very close by and pretty much easy to get to. it will be incredibly difficult if not nearly impossible to not only go keeper into kabul but deeper into afghanistan if that's where u.s. citizens are. of course the u.s. may try to do that but that's not at the top of the list or something the u.s. wants to do in the secure situation they're looking at in afghanistan. don? >> oren liebermann, thank you very much. cnn political commentator charlie dent, former republican congressman, and max boot, a senior fellow at the council on foreign relations.
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gentlemen, good evening to you. charlie dent, the u.s. embassy in kabul tonight is warning americans that certain gates at the airport to leave immediately, noting security threats outside of the gates. you just heard oren's report there. earlier today the secretary, secretary blinken, warned about the threat of isis-k. does this explain just how the administration is sticking to this august 31st deadline? >> well, don, it may. there's no question that americans are very vulnerable and exposed to isis-k and other related terror networks in the country. so we don't have a lot of good options right now. there's only one airport, that's at kabul, to extract our citizens and our friends and allies. so we're in a very vulnerable situation. and i think we're all very concerned that there could be casualties here. there's no question that vehicular ieds and suicide bombers are a threat at the gates.
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right now it seems there are not great options. people have to get to the airport. the question is do they go to the gates themselves or are we going to have to pick them up at their residences throughout the kabul area. >> max, i've been talking about the initial pictures and the situation initially, horrible. but the number of evacuations is really remarkable right now. but there may still be 1,500 americans left. biden was briefed on contingency plans if he decides to keep troops on the ground longer. what do you expect? will every last u.s. boot on the ground be out of the country by next week? is that realistic? >> i think it's possible, don. it's hard to know exactly what to expect because the situation changes so rapidly. certainly i get the sense that president biden is reluctant to stay past august 31 because he set that as the deadline and now the taliban are expecting him to stick to it. and they're essentially threatening us that if we don't stick to it, who knows what could happen, they could wind up attacking us.
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and of course u.s. troops are in a very exposed position in kabul airport in the middle of a major city, very hard to defend that area. it would have been much easier if they had still held on to bagram air base, which is far outside of kabul, easier to defend, with more air strips to operate. but of course that was given up pretty early on in the evacuation process. so it's a pretty dicey situation. i think overall the fact that u.s. forces have managed to get out more than 80,000 people, mostly afghans but also some u.s. citizens, i think is certainly one small bit of good news in an otherwise very dismal story of the collapse of afghanistan and the triumph of this horrible terrorist movement, the taliban. we can at least take some small degree of pride in the evacuations of so many of our afghan allies. but we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking these evacuations
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somehow transform the situation because most of afghanistan will still be left languishing under horrible taliban rule. >> right. charlie, at the same time the president is doubling down on his domestic agenda, keeping up the fight against covid. talk about everything that's on his plate right now, this week at least. what is biden up against? >> well, certainly afghanistan is foremost in everybody's mind. but he's also trying to advance a domestic agenda. you know, he has his -- the bipartisan infrastructure bill was just dealt with yesterday in the congress. the budget resolution was passed by the house. so they need to get the infrastructure bill done. he also is trug to ying to advas reconciliation package, which i happen to think is too large. but nonetheless, that's what he's got going on. and he's got a debt ceiling to deal with too in september. so he's got a lot of issues on his plate that he must address over the next few weeks. and of course september 11th
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date, a very important date. so he's -- between the domestic agenda and afghanistan his plate's full and it's all converging right now before december 30th. >> max, we're learning this january 6 commission, they're demanding documents, communication records from a long list of agencies including the doj, the defense, fbi, and others, plus the national archives. they want to know what was going on inside the trump white house and all the conversations going on. does this tell you anything about the direction this committee is going? >> it shows me that this committee is trying to undertake a serious investigation. they're not going to sweep this under the rug. they're trying to get at the truth, and i think that's incredible important, given that this was arguably the worst attack on the capitol since the war of 1812. we need to find out what happened and we still don't have a complete picture. we have a pretty good picture, don, of what happened on january 6th itself. we have all the videos that have been pieced together. we've seen the insurrectionists
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storming the capitol. but we really don't know what happened behind the scenes with the trump administration, to what extent did they encourage these insurrectionists, to what extent did they plan this attack, to what extent did president trump even order u.s. troops to stand down and federal law enforcement to stand down and not intervene to protect the capitol. those are all things we don't know about but we need to find out about urgently. and i see the wide-ranging document requests that the committee has just sent out as being the first step in getting some of those answers. it's pretty appalling that republicans are trying to block this every which way they can aside from a handful of exceptions like liz cheney and adam kinzinger. these are republicans who spent 2 1/2 years probing what happened in benghazi, when four americans died, and they couldn't care less what happened on january 6th when our capitol was stormed. >> yeah. this is about -- charlie, this is about the insurrection. it's also about attempts to overturn the 2020 election.
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they want records from former chief of staff mark meadows, members of the trump family. chairman bennie thompson is saying records from several hundred people. will this committee be able to get everything they want, do you think? i'm sure they're going to fight it, but they're asking for a lot. are they going to be able to get all of this? >> don, i do think they'll be able to get much of the information they have requested from the various departments and agencies. that's true. to the extent -- i'm sure that donald trump will try to fight some of the testimony that's going to be solicited from his former staff. mark meadows, his family, and others. i'm sure they're going to try to fight that legally, any request they think would be privileged. so i would watch that. but this document dump is going to inform the entire investigation. i'll tell you what, i would be very nervous if i were some of the congressional -- or at least house republicans who may have had conversations with the president.
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they're going to want to know what happened prior to january 6 and what happened shortly thereafter. i mean, even the georgia issue could -- you know, the georgia election intervention could also become part of this conversation as well. i would be very nervous if i were anybody within trump's orbit who may have had conversations with him on or around that time. >> thank you, gentlemen, appreciate the conversation. thanks so much. as the security situation in afghanistan deteriorates, we're learning tonight that about 20 students from san diego and members of their families are stranded inside the country. but one family with five children, they were part of this group, has safely returned to the u.s. joining me now is tamara otero. she's the board president of the cajon valley union school district. i'm so happy that you're here. this story is fascinating, and i want to know what's going on and how everyone is doing in this situation. again, thank you for joining, good evening to you. >> thank you. >> tell us what you've learned. one family safely back, many
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more students and their families still stuck in afghanistan. is that right? >> yes, that's correct. so initially we had learned that we had about 24 students with their families stuck in afghanistan. they traveled there this summer to visit family and friends and had return plane tickets and then, as you would know, got stuck. the interesting part is that our family and community engagement office, we have 17 liaisons throughout our school district, and two of those liaisons have been in touch with those students. so we've had a great line of communication open. the students initially contacted their liaisons on or about august 16th and informed them please hold our spots in our classrooms, we don't think we're going to be back for the start of school but we don't want to lose our spaces. and so thankfully that communication has allowed us to reach out to congressman issa's office who has helped us with these students. >> now with this new security
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warning, it is increasingly dangerous. how worried are you about their safety? >> extremely. extremely worried. we want them back. they're our students. the plan, of course, was to visit family and then to return. and we understand currently that they're still in homes with families and friends. so we're hopeful. >> tamara, what can you tell us about the family that was able to get out, and why the others haven't been able to reach the airport? >> i don't know. i know that that family returned last evening. i'm told they spent the day resting. they were exhausted. but i do not know the circumstances around their return. i'm hopeful that however they were able to get out, that that same mechanism will help us get the rest of them out. >> when did you first realize or first know that you had students
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and families unable to get out? >> like i said, august 16th. so our liaisons, we have two liaisons who work directly with our afghanistani families who live here in the el cajon area and our liaisons throughout the school year have worked to build trust with their families so the families can be an advocate for their own students at school. thankfully those relationships is what alerted us to the fact that those kiddos were over there. those students reached out to the liaisons. initially likely through cellular-type method. but as the cell towers have come down, they've used lots of other methods. i'm told they're still in communication with their liaison, so that's helpful. but again, like i said, they were kids that said, hey, hold my place in second grade, i'm coming back, or whatever the grade was. >> as we've been speaking with people they've been telling us that sometimes documentation is a problem. and those are for afghan folks.
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do the rest of the students and their families have all the documentation they need to get out? >> yes. i'm told that they do. they were here legally in the united states. >> okay. the school district has been in contact with congressman darrell issa. you talked about that. i know a person for the representatives say they're in constant contact with the state department and the pentagon and others on the ground. >> yes. >> so that has to at least -- you mentioned it a moment ago, does it give you some hope at least you have some folks in washington who are particularly paying attention to this? >> yes, we're very grateful for the support. congressman issa, we've been able to share with him all the information that we have. and then he's fortunately been able to share it with the appropriate personnel in order to help us. so we feel hopeful. worried, yes, but hopeful. >> oh, boy.
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okay. well, we are going to be thinking about you, so can you please update us, and best of luck to everyone involved. thank you so much. >> absolutely, thank you so much. did the coronavirus leak from a wuhan lab or emerge naturally? an unclassified report is due out any day. could we get answers? >> you had a first class facility, high class virologists, and well-trained staff. you put all that together and you say, i can't exclude a lab accident. it doesn't seem likely.
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chinese lab or naturally jumped from animals to humans. as for what china has to say about it, beijing is pushing conspiracy theories and blaming the u.s. here is cnn's david culver. >> reporter: a 90-day deep dive into a trove of u.s. intelligence. the focus, to find the origins of covid-19. as that work came to a close, it seems no apparent smoking gun evidence surfaced to prove one side over another, according to one source. the intelligence community review focusing on two possible origins, either the virus started in and leaked from a wuhan lab, or that it emerged naturally. one thing that is certain? >> i don't think anyone would disagree that the major first amplification first occurred in wuhan. >> reporter: cnn was in wuhan just before the lockdown as the virus was rapidly spreading. initially the huanan seafood market was believed to be the epicenter. security told us to leave as soon as we stepped out to record. this past january, a year after the outbreak began, a w.h.o. field team was granted access to
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the market. this is video shot by the head of that international mission as he and the team walked through the now shuttered market. in a tv 2 danish documentary released this month they st stumbled on a space that suggested people were also living ips the market leading up to the outbreak. >> translator: if these rooms were used as living quarters, that would mean that people were in contact with what was at the market, including the virus and perhaps live animals more intensely. >> reporter: possibly supporting a natural origin theory that the virus went from animals to humans. but the intelligence team revealed to tv 2 tense negotiations with their chinese counterparts who, they say, at first resisted any mention of a lab leak in the w.h.o.'s findings and also say their chinese counterparts later insisted the lab leak theory was extremely unlikely. that conclusion has since been met with heavy skepticism among u.s. politicians who remain skeptical given the chinese
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government's lack of transparency. 25 miles from the market is the wuhan institute of virology and its biosafety level 4, or bsl 4 lab. the trump administration alleged for months that this is where the virus really started. but u.s. officials never provided evidence to the public. cnn spoke with a source directly involved with the construction of the bsl 4 using their insight along with information published by the chinese before the outbreak. here is what we know. planning and construction of the bsl 4 started in 2003. in 2018, it officially became operational. it's located on the sprawling fenced-in wuhan institute of virology campus. the building containing the lab sits separate. four levels make up the structure. at the top, a sophisticated air purification system. at the bottom and underneath the lab decontamination equipment that allows for safe sewage disposal. level 2, this is where the research takes place. there are separate entrances and
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exits along with dedicated dissection rooms, virus storage facilities, and multiple labs for distinct animal and cellular-level research. french engineers helped in the planning and construction. but one source tells us the chinese were initially resistant in adding some basic safety features due to the high cost of some equipment such as multiple chemical decontamination showers, but that they eventually relented, adding them. >> you had a first-class facility, high-class virologists, and well-trained staff. you put all of that together and you'd say, well, i can't exclude a lab accident. it doesn't seem likely. >> reporter: it also does not rule out the possibility of a leak from another lab in wuhan. we drove by it last year. there you can see right here, this is wuhan center for disease control. this is one of the labs within wuhan.
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and of course not too far from the market either. located just a couple of blocks from the wa huanan seafood market, in fact. inside, lower level biosafety labs that likewise involved the study of bats and coronaviruses. still, there is one thing lacking in the search for an origin. that is full transparency from and collaboration with the chinese. instead, china's launched a relentless propaganda campaign, a constant barrage of digital articles with sarcastic cartoons, tv reports, documentaries, even a rap song. it's aimed to sow doubt and deflect blame when it comes to the origins of covid-19. and we've seen a constant rehashing of old conspiracy theories, primarily that the virus started in this lab, ft. dietrich in the united states, home of the u.s. army's biological laboratory. though there is no evidence the virus originated here, that has not stopped the chinese from trying to push their version of a lab leak theory. china has essentially shut the door on future visits by the w.h.o. chinese officials believe the
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origins investigation has become politically manipulated by the u.s., crushing any potential of a bilateral source-tracing effort. >> the longer it takes, the more difficult it will be to get a complete picture of what happened. maybe never. it may be too late now. >> there you see him, david culver is here, he joins me from beijing. david, hello to you. fascinating reporting. not only is china pushing back on this investigation, it's also blaming america for everything from afghanistan to global cyber attacks. how serious are tensions with beijing right now? >> reporter: hey there, don, good to be with you. you're right, this is not just about the covid origins. this goes well beyond that. and what we're seeing play out is not just something between beijing and the trump administration. now we're in the biden administration. this is so much bigger. in that you're talking about two different countries that are at this collision course when it
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comes to battling for global influence. and that is really what's at play. so you look at the covid origins and you say, do we really need to know how this all started? you talk to experts from a scientific perspective, yeah, it could help in preventing another pandemic, a repeat of what we've been living through. beyond that, it's also about challenging this narrative that beijing is really getting the upper hand right now because this relentless propaganda campaign is starting to find a lot of success not only domestically but also regionally. they are starting to challenge the u.s. influence in many different ways, don. >> if these numbers are true, china on wednesday reported three new local covid cases in the entire country for the day. it has nearly a billion and a half people. their vaccines are less effective than ours. how are they keeping delta at bay? >> reporter: and you're right to point out, we attribute these numbers to the national health commission, the chinese government. but anecdotally what i can tell you is as soon as we start to see cases rise here, we saw it a month ago when the delta variant
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started to spread, life changes quickly. not only is it from government policy. it's from social attitude and acceptance, people right away start putting masks on and then we start to see targeted lockdowns. here in beijing you have one person in one community testing positive, don, tens of thousands of people around that person are then in a lockdown, a sealed-off scenario for at least two weeks' time and they test everyone multiple times. and that's how they're able to go forward with this. but it's a zero tolerance approach. and the question is can that sustain, can you really move forward with that if you're looking to open up this country, welcome people in for the beijing 2022 olympics? or are you going to have this bubble mentality for years to come? which actually may play well into what beijing wants. they want to keep out some of that external influence. so perhaps covid-19 is -- >> david culver in beijing, your signal broke up just as you were ending.
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we got all of it. thank you, sir. i appreciate it. and be safe. a black man repeatedly beaten by a state trooper at a traffic stop. and it's not the first time for this department. there's a federal investigation. stay with us. tony here from taking to the streets to talk about credit. can you repair your credit yourself? yes. -great. how? uhhh... how long does credit repair take? i don't know, like 10 years. what? are you insane? what's a good credit score? go. 600. maybe if you're trying to pay thousands extra in interest rates. cut the confusion, get started with a free credit evaluation at
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tonight we're learning about an incident where a louisiana state trooper struck a black driver multiple times with what appears to be a flashlight during a traffic stop more than two years ago. the driver sustained multiple injuries. the incident was captured by body camera video which is only being released now. cnn's ryan young has the story for us. but i have to warn everyone, it is disturbing and it is difficult to watch. >> reporter: another black man beaten during a traffic stop. this body camera footage from may 2019 appears to show now
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former louisiana state police officer jacob brown beating aaron larry bowen as other officers hold bowen down. >> i'm not resisting! >> reporter: trooper brown is seen swinging what appears to be a flashlight repeatedly striking bowman while he's nace down on the ground with his hands behind his head. bowman's attorney saying brown hit their client 18 times in just 24 seconds. >> i didn't do nothing, man. >> well, fighting us isn't going to help you, bud. >> i'm not fighting you. >> you are. >> reporter: bowman can be later heard moaning saying "it hurt me." >> you hit me in the head with a flashlight. >> reporter: bowman was left with multiple lacerations, a fractured arm and broken ribs according to court documents. [ moaning ] this video is from more than two years ago but was just recently turned over to bowman's attorneys. state police releasing a statement in december saying a detailed search of body camera video revealed the incident was
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intentionally mislabeled and brown was involved and detectives concluded that brown engaged in excessive and unjustifiable actions and failed to report the use of force to his supervisors. brown was charged with aggravated second-degree battery and malfeasance in office in december. but the incident is part of a bigger issue. the division of louisiana state police where brown worked, troop f is under federal investigation for potential abuses committed by troopers against black motorists. >> the troop that he belonged to, troop "f," is notorious. they've left a lot of victims and families in their wake. >> reporter: the troop f investigation started following the death of ronald green, a black man who died after he was beaten and tased during a traffic stop also in may of 2019. >> i'm your brother. i'm scared. >> reporter: green's family say they were told by louisiana state police that green died in a car crash following a chase.
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but nine body camera and dash camera videos tell a different story of what happened that night. >> now will the leadership of louisiana be stirred into action, to hold these officers accountable, to dismantle this troop, to address the policies that allowed this to go forward, to address the cover-up from the prosecutors on down? >> reporter: ryan young, cnn, atlanta, georgia. >> ryan young, thank you very much for that. and larry bowman is here now along with his attorney, donicia banks miley. i want to get their take on what happened that night and why it has taken two years for this to come out. we'll discuss right after this.
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hey, i just got a text from my sister. you remember rick, her neighbor? sure, he's the 76-year-old guy who still runs marathons, right? sadly, not anymore. wow. so sudden. um, we're not about to have the "we need life insurance" conversation again, are we? no, we're having the "we're getting coverage so we don't have to worry about it" conversation. so you're calling about the $9.95 a month plan -from colonial penn? -i am. we put it off long enough. we are getting that $9.95 plan, today. (jonathan) is it time for you to call about the $9.95 plan? i'm jonathan from colonial penn life insurance company. sometimes we just need a reminder not to take today for granted. if you're age 50 to 85, you can get guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance starting at just $9.95 a month.
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let's continue our focus on the police body cam video showing a louisiana state trooper beating a black driver with a flashlight. the incident happened more than
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two years ago but the video is only now being released. once again, a warning, it's tough to watch. >> i haven't did nothing. >> i'm not resisting. >> [ bleep ]. >> my goodness. joining me now is aaron larry bowman, the man beaten by police in that video. also with me is his attorney. donicia banks miley. thank you for joining us. aaron, that's emotional, it's hard for you to watch and hear that, right? >> yes, sir. >> take us through that. what was happening, what was going through your mind, what were you experiencing as this happened? >> i was so scared.
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all i could do was holler. i thought i was going to die. >> let's go through your injuries, aaron. your arm was fractured. your ribs were broken. you sustained multiple lacerations. an arrest warrant for the officer says he hit you at least 18 times within 24 seconds. how in the world did it get to this point? why did it escalate to this? >> i don't -- i don't know why it escalated to it myself. i did what he asked me. don't move, sit down, asked me where i came from, what did i have. he searched me down. i did exactly what he asked. the next few minutes, he snatched me out of the car and
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swung me to the ground and went to beating on me. while he was doing it, the rest of the cops, the police that were there, were just standing around watching. they wasn't trying to help me. i was asking for their help, they wasn't helping me. they just let him continue on hitting me with the flashlight. >> you didn't think you were going to make it, or survive that? >> no, sir. >> donicia, let me bring you in here. donicia, sorry. it took two years for us to see this video, over 500 days to get an investigation. why has it taken so long? what was the holdup? what's going on here? >> when aaron came to see me in september of 2020, we filed immediately. it was not until that point that an investigation ensued. at that point it had been over i would say a year and a half since the incident had occurred. and at that point jacob brown was arrested.
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and even until now, we have not been able to obtain the body cam footage until a month now. it's only being released now because his criminal defense attorney through discovery filed a motion to compel to get this footage simply for the fact that aaron is still being prosecuted for resisting arrest. and we needed this footage to come out so that he could be vindicated in this process. he's not the criminal here. he complied, he did what the officers asked. and if not for having the district judge to release that information, we would still be here in a stagnant place. this has been insidious and it's heartbreaking. we need change here. >> you say he's still being prosecuted. the police allege he fought with a sheriff's deputy before the state troopers arrived. they charged you with resisting arrest. but there is no footage of this. you're disputing it, aaron, right? >> yes, sir. >> did you resist arrest?
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>> no, sir. when they had me on the ground, he was hitting me with the flashlight, but i was already handcuffed. he was hitting me multiple times with the flashlight, telling me to stop resisting. how can i resist when you've got me handcuffed, face down? >> donecia, as ryan young stated in his report, this is the same division of the louisiana state police that's being investigated in the death of ronald green. ronald green was punched, stunned, dragged by police, then died in custody on a rural road. his family has told us that he died -- was told initially that he died in a car chase, right? >> yes, sir. >> what is going on with this department? >> well, don, i would just like to say it's been going on so long that these officers have formed a sense of entitlement. here in this area, northeast louisiana, i would like to say, is a hotspot for police
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brutality. it's not just the state troopers. it's the sheriff's deputies, some of the monroe police officers. they work together to cover each other's tracks. and -- >> hold on, donecia. aaron, what's up, what's going on? [ crying ] is this -- aaron, i would -- go on. sorry. >> it just bothers me when i talk about it. it's like i'm reliving the whole time. when i talk about it, i feel like i relive it. >> yeah. donecia, i'm sorry to interrupt. go on. >> yes, sir. i was saying that it's become patterns and practices here in this area.
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and what aaron is doing now -- thankfully, he is still here and alive. ronald green was not as fortunate. but he's here as a testament because he did live. we tell him all the time how brave he is for speaking out. because of this case, jacob brown was finally arrested. he has been involved in multiple other encounters before, where he was still allowed to patrol. until i filed this lawsuit in september and an investigation began, and he was finally arrested in december of last year. we are aware there is federal investigation going now. we're expecting a federal grand jury with indictments. >> listen, wow. aaron, i'm so sorry. i want you to keep us updated on this, aaron and donecia. there's nothing i can say in this situation. you take care of yourself, you guys be well, and i really appreciate you coming on.
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thank you. aaron, you're going to be all right, right? >> yes, sir. >> all right. >> thank you. >> thank you. we'll be right back. can you repair your credit yourself? yes. -great. how? uhhh... how long does credit repair take? i don't know, like 10 years. what? are you insane? what's a good credit score? go. 600. maybe if you're trying to pay thousands extra in interest rates. cut the confusion, get started with a free credit evaluation at look, this isn't my first rodeo and let me tell you something, i wouldn't be here if i thought reverse mortgages took advantage of any american senior, or worse, that it was some way to take your home. it's just a loan designed for older homeowners,
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the white house saying president biden will travel to california to campaign for democratic governor gavin newsom who is facing a recall election on september 14th. and it looks like newsom's going to need biden's help, as he appears to be facing an uphill battle with his own democratic base.
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voters upset with rising crime, the cost of living, out of control wildfires, and homelessness. here is cnn's kyung lah. >> reporter: how are you registered politically? >> democrat. >> registered democrat. >> lifelong democrat. >> yep. >> reporter: you'd think rejecting the recall of democratic governor gavin newsom would be a no-brainer for these three los angeles voters. but it's not. >> you know, i have to say i'm really leaning very heavily towards the recall. >> reporter: to recalling the governor? >> yeah. you know, i'm -- i'm disappointed in the democratic party in general. >> reporter: disappointed with the party in control with a supermajority of california state government. while problems grow. wildfires, drought, crime, cost of living. but the worst for them? homelessness. which has expanded through the pandemic now in neighborhoods across middle-class los angeles, including their own. >> it's like let me work. let me pay my taxes.
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but provide me with safety and not be accosted by two homeless people within the matter of 15 minutes. >> reporter: is this governor newsom's fault? >> i mean, technically, how can i even answer that? he's the leader. it's -- it's -- everything starts from the top and it goes down. >> god bless you and the best is yet to come. >> reporter: these women were part of the more than 60% of voters who resoundingly elected newsom in 2018. >> in my mind when he was running, there was nobody else in the world that would have been better. and instead, it's become politics. >> reporter: after an exhausting year of crisis after california crisis, the once-popular governor now fights for his job. his battle cry? >> vote no on this republican-backed recall. >> reporter: blaming republicans. >> everybody backing trump and the republican party sees an opportunity. >> and reminding democrats they outnumber republicans two to one in the state. >> we turn out our base, we are going to win unquestionably.
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it's not a persuasion campaign. people are locked in. >> reporter: but all politics is local says democratic strategist michael trujillo, who warns there are trouble signs for his party. do you think they're nervous based on what you're seeing? >> i'm nervous, so they're definitely probably 100 times more nervous. homelessness is -- i've never seen an issue like this so potent. it's making progressive voters moderate. because they're so upset. >> this is california. >> reporter: it's why you are seeing republican challengers hammering newsom on homelessness and cost of living. >> i was born here when the country was not nearly as affluent as it is right now. and now we have a homeless problem? are you kidding me? >> how will it make you feel if a republican is elected? >> sick. >> reporter: unwilling to vote for a republican, but willing to risk sending a message to their party. do you feel that gavin newsom is listening to you?
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>> that's a good question. >> reporter: kyung lah, cnn, los angeles. >> and thank you for watching, everyone. our coverage continues. with natural essential oils into a mist. with an extra boost of fragrance you can see... smell... and feel. it's air care redefined. air wick essential mist, connect to nature. hey, i just got a text from my sister. you remember rick, her neighbor? sure, he's the 76-year-old guy who still runs marathons, right?
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with just five days until the pullout deadline, warnings of a possible terror threat at kabul airport complicate the frantic evacuation efrforts. why a u.s. report is angering china before it is even published. plus -- coming here, and it is war. it is sometimes chaos. >> overworked and overwhelmed, nurses quitting amid the grueling pressures of caring for so many covid patients. live from cnn world headquarters in atlanta, well do to all of you wa


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