tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC April 1, 2021 2:06am-2:36am PDT
tiger woods. investigators saying they now know the cause but won't reveal it. the bombshell involving republican matt gaetz the federal investigation into an alleged relationship with a 17-year-old girl gaetz denying it, saying he's the victim of learned. the suspect arrested in a brutal attack on an asian woman in new york, the shocking crime he was convicted of in the past. president biden unveiling his $2 trillion infrastructure plan. what it could mean for jobs and your taxes. and the new irs warning, the scams to watch out for this tax season >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news with lester holt. good evening, everyone it's hard not to watch the video of george floyd's deadly encounter with police and not wonder what would i have done had i been a bystander and watching the burden and trauma of being present for those excruciating 9 1/2 minutes was at the center of the testimony at the derek chauvin murder trial today in minneapolis
the youry heard from one bystander who tearfull recounted his efforts to communicate with floyd as he was held down today store surveillance introduced capturing floyd in the minutes before police arrived. the clerk who flagged a fake $20 bill floyd had used, also testified, describing his sense of guilt as he watched floyd under the officer's knee it's where we begin tonight with gabe gutierrez. >> reporter: this surveillance video from inside the cup foods shows what george floyd was doing minutes before minneapolis officers arrived at the scene he appears animated, dancing a bit before buying cigarettes from cashier christopher martin, who noticed something during a brief conversation >> it appeared that he was high
>> reporter: today for the first time, we heard martin's gripping account of when floyd handed him a $20 bill >> when i saw the bill, i noticed that it had a blue pigment to it, kind of how a $100 bill has, and i found that odd, so i assumed it was fake. >> reporter: martin then made what turned out to be a fateful decision. >> the policy was that if you took a counterfeit bill, you have to pay for it out of your money or your paycheck i took it anyways, and i was planning to just put it on my tab until i second-guessed myself and, as you can see in the video, i kept examining it, and then i eventually told my manager >> reporter: martin says his manager asked him to go talk to floyd, who got in his suv outside. martin told jurors he went out twice with co-workers, but floyd would not come back inside the store that's when martin says his manager told another employee to call police. after officers arrived, martin says he noticed the commotion. >> i saw people yelling and screaming. i saw derek with his knee on george's neck on the ground. >> reporter: in this video from outside the
store, martin seen with his hands on his head clearly anxious, the weight of the world seemingly on his shoulders. >> what was going through your mind during that time period >> disbelief and guilt. >> why guilt >> if i would have just not took the bill, this could have been avoided. >> reporter: now fired officer derek chauvin has pleaded not guilty to charges of second and third-degree murder plus manslaughter his defense team is arguing floyd died from underlying health conditions and drugs in his system, rear rather than the 9 minutes and 29 seconds prosecutors say chauvin had his knee on his neck. today chauvin's attorney asked martin why he turned away another person who tried to use a counterfeit bill earlier but not floyd. >> i thought that george didn't really know it was a fake bill. >> reporter: so far trauma has been a recurrent theme as bystanders have testified. today jurors also heard from charles mcmillan, the man heard on video telling floyd to calm down as floyd struggled with officers >> i have had an
interaction with officers myself, and i understand, once you get in the car, you can't win, you're done >> reporter: but as the encounter escalated, mcmillan told jurors he felt helpless >> i don't have a moment that i just -- >> reporter: today he sobbed as he watched the video in court >> oh, my god. >> reporter: and late today, prosecutors for the first time playe video from derek chauvin's body camera which fell underneath the squad car during the struggle. lester >> and, gabe, there was also concern with a juror today. what can you tell us about that >> reporter: yes, one juror told the judge she was having a stress-related reaction and was having trouble sleeping, lester >> all right, gabe, thank you. progress and setbacks tonight in the covid crisis pfizer announcing
early trial results in teens showing its vaccine is 100% effective. more than 97 million americans have now received at least one vaccine dose but miguel almageur reports on some new red flags. >> reporter: if the nation does reach a fourth surge, it'll likely be fueled by the young. americans under 50 now entering ers in greater numbers than those 65 and older the sobering stats come amid a shot of good news for kids. pfizer says in early trial results, its vaccine shows a 100% efficacy rate in children 12 to 15. the drugmaker also conducting clinical trials in children 6 months to 11 years old. >> our goal is to get this information submitted to the fda as soon as possible. >> reporter: last week lester spoke exclusively to pfizer's bill gruber, a pediatrician overseeing the company's clinical trials for children. >> if all goes as planned, the vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds could be ready as soon as the start of the next school year >> reporter: as the global pandemic cripples countries overseas, today france announcing a month-long lockdown as cases surge.
here in the u.s., covid was the third leading cause of death in 2020. nationwide, new infections rising 17%. >> the cases are coming into the e.r., into the clinic, people are younger, but we feel it >> reporter: many of the newly infected, say doctors, are those who recently traveled. a new study also showing high-risk americans don't regularly wear masks >> as a doctor, i'm horrified. we know what works we know what doesn't work >> reporter: tonight as the virus threatens to make another surge, vaccines are offering hope and soon the youngest of americans may also be protected tonight, we are learning after a mix-up at a manufacturing plant in baltimore, an unclear number of doses of johnson & johnson's one-shot vaccine had to be tossed out this does not affect current doses in use, but it's a setback lester >> all right, miguel, thank you. make plans to be ready when it's your turn for vaccination.
visit planyourvaccine.com for more just breaking, authorities in los angeles county determining what caused tiger woods to crash his car seriously injuring the golf legend. anne thompson is with us anne, what do we know? >> reporter: lester, this is strange. the los angeles county sheriff's department says it knows what caused the crash that injured tiger woods, but it's not releasing details citing unspecified privacy concerns for the golfer the crash happened last month woods' suv drove off the road, rolling multiple times landing in a ravine. he suffered severe fractures to his right leg, foot and ankle. so tonight, to release the cause, the sheriff' department says they need permission from woods. lester >> all right, anne thompson, thank you. in just 60 seconds, the high-profile republican congressman under investigation for possible sex trafficking.
now to that bombshell investigation involving congressman matt gaetz and the possible sex trafficking of a teen. gaetz is denying the allegation and making one of his own, that he is the victim of an extortion plot more now from sam brock. >> reporter: tonight, one of the most polarizing republicans in congress is facing a red hot spotlight. >> i have not had a relationship with a 17-year-old. that is totally false. >> reporter: congressman matt gaetz's adamant denials come after the revelation that he's being investigated for an alleged sexua relationship with an underage girl and paying for her travel, possible breaking federal sex-trafficking laws first reported in the "new york times. >> it is a horrible allegation, and it is a lie. >> reporter: gaetz also telling fox news he's the victim of a $25 million extortion plot >> i know that there was a demand for money in exchange for a commitment that he could make this investigation go away along with his co-conspirators. >> reporter: the man gaetz accuses of extortion, former federal prosecutor
david mcgee, has been in private practice for the last 25 years. mcgee's law firm saying gaetz's claims are both false and defamatory law enforcement officials also confirming to nbc news they're investigating gaetz's allegations he's being extorted and say the separate sex trafficking investigation began last year. today, the top house republican saying gaetz's seat on th powerful ju tish area committee could be in jeopardy >> those are serious implications if it comes out to be true, yes, we would remove him if that was the case, but right now, as matt gaetz says, it is not true we don't have any information. let's get all the information. >> reporter: late today, gaetz father telling politico h was working with the fbi on the extortion investigation. he even wore a wire. matt gaetz is calling the fbi to release tapes, but the fbi is not commenting lester >> all right, sam, thank you. president biden unveiled his plan to upgrade the nature's nation's infrastructure and tackle climate change at a steep cost of more than $2 trillion. promising millions of jobs but also a major tax hike to fund it. here's kelly
o'donnell. >> reporter: this is a presidential road trip the pitch to repair and rebuild the nation's infrastructure president biden choosing america's steel town, pittsburgh, to unveil an infrastructure plan so massive, it will cost more than $2 trillion the white house claims it could create millions of jobs >> it's a once in a generation investment in america, unlike anything we've seen or done. >> reporter: among the key investments, $620 billion for transportation infrastructure, $650 billion to expand broadband, the electric grid, green energy and clean water with a goal of eliminating carbon emissions from the power grid by 2035 unlikely this will bridge the political divide president biden wants tax increases to pay for it including a jump in the corporate rate from 21% to 28% with republicans
slamming it as a tax and spending spree that will push u.s. companies and their jobs overseas. >> it seems less about infrastructure, more about tax increases and more about the green new deal. >> reporter: while in west virginia, charleston's mayor says her city needs the help repairing bridges like this. >> these bridges and these roads are going to continue to deteriorate, plain and simple. >> reporter: to promote the plan, tomorrow president biden will hold his first cabinet meeting moving to the east room to meet in person at a distance. lester >> kelly o'donnell at the white house, thank you. an arrest has been made in the brutal attack on a 65-year-old asian woman caught on camera in new york city on monday the suspect, a 38-year-old man on lifetime parole after he was convicted of stabbing his own mother to death in 2002 he faces hate crime charges. police said today no one who witnessed the attack called 911. with the teams now set for this weekend's final four, the ncaa found itself battling in a different court today.
student athletes telling the supreme court they deserve more for their contributions. here's pete williamssketball is a huge moneymaker generating billions for the schools but not the athletes the association says it's essential that they remain amateurs, but former student athletes like richard jefferson, a standou for the arizona wildcats, says that's not fair. >> we're focused on amateurism but paying millions of dollars for people to run this quote/unquote amateurism. >> reporter: the ncaa is now fighting in court for limits on some education-related benefits for student athletes including computers, musical instruments and scholarships or internships after they're no longer playing. those rules keep college sports amateur, not pro, the ncaa says, and are allowed under antitrust law, but justice brett kavanaugh was among those skeptical. >> the anti-trust laws should not be a cover
for exploitation of student athletes >> reporter: a majority of the court seemed likely to say those modest student benefits should be allowed but sonia sotomayor was among college sports >> how do we know that we're not just destroying the game as it exists. >> reporter: and lurking in the background is a much bigger issue in college sports >> this could be the gateway to answering the question of whether student athletes can paid to play. >> reporter: the student athletes seem likely to win this round that could weaken the ncaa's ability to limit how much they can benefit from all the money their play generates lester >> all right, pete williams, thank you. the pentagon today reversed policies from the trump era that largely barred transgender people from military service. the new rules will allow transgende people to enlist and serve in their chosen gender and help them get medical treatment for gender transition. up next, why you may now need a vaccine passport
back now with the price you pay and the new warnings about tax scams and identity fraud. our jo ling kent has details. >> reporter: tonight, new warnings from the irs about tax scams targeting millions this week, the federal tax agency alerting college and university students and staff, anyone with a .edu email address that fraudsters are impersonating them sending out phishing emails with th logo and subject lines like tax refund
payment or recalculation of your tax refund payment asking you to click a link and submit personal information like social security or driver's license numbers to claim a refund the irs is also sounding the alarm about a growing number of text message scams falsely offering new economic relief payments that are rolling out nationwide the agency emphasizes do not click or share any personal information, saying they never reach out to taxpayers online and rarely by phone. >> the irs does not communicate with sending you a text message, with sending you an email, sending you some type of social media the irs does not operate in that fashion. >> reporter: what do you do if you go to file taxes and find out someone filed in your name? >> there is a form on the irs website. you can fill out that form and report it and then you will work directly with the irs and with their investigative arm. >> jo ling, we're also hearing about concerns involving vaccination
cards you get after your shot. what is happening there? >> lester, so many excited people are posting pictures on social media with this little white card revealing their full name, date of birth, giving fraudsters even more opportunity to steal your identity and file a tax return in your name. lester >> it's always something. jo, thank you. beyond vaccine record cards people get when they receive their shots, there has been talk about carrying vaccine passports. our tom costello has what you need to know about that >> reporter: spring break and the nation's airlines say leisure travel has come roaring back passenger volume pushing 1.5 million each day this week a million more than a year ago >> it's nice tha at united airlines we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. >> reporter: with so many paa today say it will stop blocking middle seats on may 1st but will americans need so-called vaccine passports, proof of vaccinations to ge into sporting events,
concerts, sports sporting events or even travel. the white house says it's up to the private sector. >> the government here is not viewing its role as the place to create a passport, nor a place to hold the data of citizens. >> reporter: the governor of tourist hot spot florida says he will forbid local governments or businesses from requiring vaccination proof. >> you don't want to create separate classes of citizens based on whether somebody received vaccines. >> reporter: with no national standard, states, companies and health care providers are now coming up with their own options. new york state releasing excelsior pass for people to upload digital vaccine information and covid test results. while overseas many european country, japan, israel and global airlines are pushing their own vaccine passports hoping to jump-start tourism. in the u.s., there is no vaccination database this is what you get when you receive your
vaccine. the question is whether this is enough for a potential vaccine passport lester all right, tom costello, thanks a short cryptic tweet from the u.s. strategic command which controls the nuclear arsenal, led to all kinds of speculation. was it some kind of a code well, turns out a toddler was playing with the home computer of the person who manages the twitter account and managed to hit send just an innocent mishap i call it defcon toddler. everything is okay. up next, how faith led him to hollywood at age 98.
finally our week-long series on faith and the movie about miracles that launched a career for the ages >> i saw god on the other side of the lake. >> reporter: it's the story of faith through the eyes of a child. >> did you say a prayer for me? >> reporter: the gir who believes in miracles opening this weekend explores the power of prayer. >> all you have to do is believe in god. >> reporter: the cast includes some familiar faces, including oscar winner mira sorvino. but behind the scenes, a newcomer, whose story some might consider a miracle of its own. larry jaffe is producing his first feature film at the age of 98. this is your first film and, oh, by the way, you're 98 what do you have to say about all that >> well, i just feel so lucky to be part of this >> i'm not sure what 98 is supposed to look like, but i don't think you look 98. how do you feel?
>> i feel not like 98 and i get a lot of joy out of people guessing my age. >> reporter: jaffe says a friend brought the movie idea to him. >> we're getting a lot of buzz about this movie. >> reporter: and he thinks the country could use a film like this. is there something especially timely about this film in your opinion >> we've been through a very, very difficult year, and it's my belief that people will come away from this film feeling good. >> reporter: jaffe, a world war ii marine corps vet, returned home from the war an enjoyed a long and successful career in marketing. his mantra, look forward, not backward. urging his fellow seniors to take faith in themselves. >> you're never too old to start something new and to succeed at it go with it, man. don't let anything stop you >> i'll take that to heart. that's "nightly news" for this wednesday thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of
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