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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  April 2, 2021 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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team just beat south carolina in the final four. stanford moves on to the championship game on sunday. congratulations to them. >> yeah! can't wait to watch that. sunday? >> sunday. we'll have highlights at 6:00 of tonight's game. >> bye! breaking news tonight. the terrifying vehicle attack at the u.s. capitol and the police officer killed the car ramming two officers and slamming into a barrier at the capitol. the driver jumping out with a knife and lunging at the officers police opening fire. one of the officers and the suspect killed the capitol placed on lockdown a helicopter landing on the lawn. later, a police procession for the fallen officer the deadly incident coming less than three months after the riot at the capitol what we're learning about the suspect and the reaction from the white house. the new travel guidelines the cdc saying fully vaccinated americans can travel safely in the u.s. without tests
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or quarantine if they wear a mask. also, the new guidance to resume cruises. but with cases rising again the new warning this holiday weekend and the race to herd immunity inside the state leading the way. the first week of testimony in the derek chauvin trial. the chief homicide detective testifying that chauvin kneeling on george floyd's neck was totally unnecessary. how floyd's family is reacting and new fallout from georgia's new law restricting voting rights what major league baseball announced it's doing in protest. >> announcer: this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt good evening and thank you for joining us there is profound shock and sadness at today's violent death of another capitol police officer, killed during a confrontation that left another officer injured and a suspect shot to death. a tragic and a staggering blow to an agency still
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traumatized by the loss of their own after the january 6th attack today's horror unfolded outside the senate entrance to the man dro the officers and then rammed a security barricade before confronting them with a knife according to police the driver shot and killed by police later, the fallen officer honored by fellow officers. his body driven away in a police procession hallie jackson has late details >> reporter: you can see the aftermath of the deadly attack just steps from the capitol, where a suspect rammed that blue car into a barricade about 100 yards from the senate entrance >> i've never in my life seen this before. >> reporter: a helicopter arriving as part of a massive response >> reporter: the national guard in formation after police identified by four senior law enforcement officials as 25-year-old noah green, drove into two capitol police officers and into that roadblock around 1:00 this afternoon
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the head of capitol police says he jumped out of the car holding a knife, ignored commands to stop, and instead started to run, aggressively toward the officers. they opened fire, killing the suspect but not before those two officers on scene were hurt and taken to the hospital with acting chief yogananda pittman soon after visibly emotional as she revealed this devastating news >> it is with a very, very heavy heart that i announce one of our officers has succumbed to his injuries. >> reporter: officer william "billy" evans, an 18-year veteran of the capitol police department, killed a line of squad cars, lights and sirens on, carrying his body to the medical examiner's office in a processional through downtown washington. it's an almost unthinkable blow for a police force still reeling from what happened january 6th and the deaths of two of their own today, unlike then, lawmakers are out of town, back home for
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the easter holiday but on a typical day senators and staff would have used this intersection to get to the capitol from their office buildings across the street. that's where our own leigh ann caldwell was in lockdown today. >> i saw the law enforcement. i just thought to myself what could be happening again? >> reporter: extra fencing put up after january's insurrection came down only recently, giving more access to the center of our democracy and in the heart of washington heartbreak tonight. and we are learning late tonight that the other officer who was hit behind me here is in stable and non-life-threatening condition, lester. >> and hallie, i know they've been following this at the white house. what's the president saying >> reporter: well, president biden, lester, has ordered the flags at the white house lowered to half staff and says he and the first lady are heartbroken. they are grateful to the first responders here he's been getting regular updates from his homeland security adviser and will continue to do so as this investigation goes on.
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lester >> all right hallie jackson, thank you. we're learning more tonight about the man investigators say attacked the capitol police, including how he recently posted on social media that he was going through a crisis in his life justice correspondent pete williams has more >> reporter: law enforcement officials say tonight that the driver of this car who attacked police officers with a knife was noah green, 25, who'd been living in the norfolk, virginia area capitol police say he was unknown to them. >> we do not have the suspect on file with u.s. capitol police. so there's no indication at this time that there's any nexus to any member of congress >> reporter: a biography on the website of the college where he played football says he was born in west virginia but grew up in virginia on his facebook page in his last posting a few weeks ago he said he recently lost his job and wrote, "these past few years have been tough these past few months have been tougher. adding "i've been tried with some of the biggest, unimaginable tests in my life." and police say no sign
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this was a terrorist attack >> it does not appear to be terrorism-related, but obviously we'll continue to investigate to see if there's some type of nexus along those lines. >> reporter: since the january 6th riot when 139 police officers were attacked and three died afterward, security has been much tighter around the capitol. with anti-climb fencing around the entire building and checkpoints for everyone walking or driving in and with 2,300 members of the national guard on duty. capitol police officers have been working longer shifts too, a duty that's now much more dangerous. >> pete, what are investigators doing tonight to try to figure out the motive? >> reporter: well, they're going through his social media they're talking to friends and family members. they're working to trace his movements in the hours and days leading up to the attack and they're also looking tonight into clues that he did have some mental health issues lester >> all right, pete
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williams in our washington newsroom. thank you. the killing of officer evans sent yet another chill through the country and highlighted the dangers facing capitol police the force now forced to deal with another loss of one of their own. here's kasie hunt. >> reporter: the acting chief of the capitol police with this plea tonight. >> i ask you to please keep the united states capitol police family in your thoughts and prayers. >> reporter: the agency reeling after losing officer william "billy" evans, an 18-year member of the force, part of the capitol division's first responders unit. it's another one of their own. evans' death just weeks after officer brian sicknick lay in honor. he died after the january 6th insurrection another officer, howard liebengood, died by suicide. rioters that day explicitly targeting officers in the aftermath of the riot officers working 18-hour shifts six days a week for weeks on end to maintain tighter security >> today is just another example of what they do every day for us to put their lives on the line and officers across the country.
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>> kasie, you cover capitol hill for us. officer evans, i understand, is someone you saw regularly. >> reporter: lester, officer evans was a familiar face to me and to so many others who work at the capitol every day. he was always friendly, quick with a smile or a hello and lately after the insurrection senators, aides, reporters at the capitol would often stop to tell officer evans and his colleagues thank you and today he died manning the barricade to keep us all safe. lester >> all right thank you, kasie joining me now is former new york city police commissioner bill bratton bill, in this case the officers did their job. they stopped the suspect. but does each successive attack or entry make it more of an attractive target for others >> it actually does. at the same time it hopefully will expedite congress getting its act together to come up with a definitive plan
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how to best protect the capitol and the people who work there as well as the thousands of visitors that would normally go there. >> yeah, i mean, these buildings are symbols of our democracy, known for their openness, but will we have to accept and rethink this idea of security, that maybe what we saw post-january 6th will be the norm? >> i think you're going to see a significant step-up in security, but there's ways you can do that aesthetically in the sense of the fencing, the various barricades that need to be used, but you don't want to make washington, d.c. look like the kremlin in moscow. it really has to be a way to secure the capitol and the people that work there without effectively making it into a fortress that can in fact be done >> all right bill bratton, thank you for being with us. in just 60 seconds, critical new testimony against the former police officer on trial in the killing of george floyd. and the new guidance on air travel from the cdc. what you need to know.
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today's testimony in the derek chauvin trial cut to the heart of the case. were his actions, the way he held george floyd down, appropriate? today on the stand the chief homicide detective, who called the amount of force used on floyd totally unnecessary. gabe gutierrez is in minneapolis. >> do you swear or affirm under penalty of perjury -- >> reporter: today lieutenant richard zimmerman, the longest-serving officer in the minneapolis police department, delivered a scathing rebuke of former officer derek chauvin's use of force on george floyd. >> totally unnecessary. >> what do you mean? >> well, first of all, pulling him down to the ground face down and putting your knee on a neck for that amount of time is just uncalled for i saw no reason why the officers felt they were in danger >> reporter: for floyd's brother terrence the testimony was crucial. >> that just builds my confidence more in the system >> reporter: the
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defense is arguing that it was floyd's drug use and underlying health conditions that killed him, not the nine minutes and 29 seconds that chauvin placed his knee on floyd's neck >> the minneapolis police department policy allows a police officer to use whatever means are nec- -- are available to him to protect himself and others right? >> yes >> reporter: but on thursday chauvin's shift supervisor also said he went too far >> when mr. floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended their restraint. >> reporter: now retired, police sergeant david pleoger told the jury about his first conversation with chauvin after the incident >> we just had to hold the guy down he was -- was going crazy. >> reporter: some of the audio captured on chauvin's body camera. >> did he mention anything about putting his knee on mr. floyd's neck or back >> no. >> reporter: after a week of emotional witnesses the prosecution is now relying on law enforcement testimony to make its case that chauvin went rogue >> when the jurors are looking to make an evaluation, this is
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going to be the first time that they can actually look to other law enforcement and supervising law enforcement agents to say that this was or was not a proper use of force >> reporter: so far prosecutors have called 19 witnesses. testimony resumes monday, lester >> all right gabe gutierrez, thank you. now to the covid crisis and new cdc guidance on travel while still urging americans against non-essential travel, those fully vaccinated are now considered low-risk but tom costello reports there's concern about this holiday weekend. >> reporter: heading into the easter weekend, concern tonight that progress against the pandemic, leading to a potential fourth wave. as nearly 900 people are still dying every day. crowds expected from beaches to back yards. at airports nationwide a year of cabin fever quickly turning into the great escape 1.5 million air
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travelers on thursday alone. with 22% of u.s. adults now fully vaccinated, the cdc still recommending against non-essential travel, is also offering new travel guidelines fully vaccinated travelers do not need to be tested before or after traveling in the u.s. unless their destination requires it and there is no need to self-quarantine >> fully vaccinated grandparents can fly to visit their healthy grandkids without getting a covid-19 test or self-quarantining. >> reporter: internationally, many countries are still restricting travel but the cdc says those who are fully vaccinated and do travel internationally do not need to get a covid test before leaving the u.s. unless required by their destination. those passengers should get a negative test before returning to the u.s., but they don't need to quarantine when they get home also tonight, with air travel picking up, airlines are starting to do away with many
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of the waivers they'd issued for ticket change fees during the pandemic >> airlines right now are starting to roll back these waivers on the cheapest fares out there. the really dirt cheap advance purchase fare tickets. >> regardless of whether you have been vaccinated, you must still wear a mask while traveling. and late today the cdc told the cruise industry to create plans for vaccinating and testing both passengers and crew. lester >> all right tom costello, thank you. the number of americans who have gotten the covid vaccine is growing steadily almost 102 million have now received at least one dose and new mexico, it turns out, is leading the way toward herd immunity gadi schwartz is there. >> reporter: in the high desert of new mexico there are those that come with nervous hope >> i'm hoping to god that i get it. i need to get it i can't take a chance. >> reporter: and those who leave with relief. >> one and done. >> one and done. >> reporter: it's all hands on deck across the state, which has the fifth highest poverty rate in the country and a literal army of national guard
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soldiers, students, health care workers and volunteers >> we don't have a lot of resources you know, new mexico but we have a lot of heart. >> reporter: today new mexico is closest to herd immunity. more than a quarter of the adult population here has been fully vaccinated, outperforming the rest of the country and half of new mexican adults have gotten at least one dose far higher than the national average for the state's deputy health secretary, dr. laura parajon, speed, equity and education have been key to that achievement and she credits community partnerships at every turn >> it's not just enough to just get out vaccines out quickly it's also important that we focus on people who are disproportionately affected >> reporter: here that means a laser focus on zip codes from mass vaccination sites to outreach teams in remote areas the state even giving direction to pharmacy giants like walgreen's so they can vaccinate those vulnerable communities. a far cry from last year when new mexico was hit so hard at one point state police set up road blocks quarantining an entire city >> we had surge after
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surge and we were just -- you know, just trying to take care of as many people as possible and then now all of a sudden you can see the light at the end of the tunnel >> reporter: now the nearby navajo nation is also seeing some of the highest vaccination rates. and from the governor on down it's women at the helm of nearly every state agency tackling new mexico's vaccination program in its fight against covid-19 >> i think we just see each other as a team because we've all been working so hard to make this happen >> reporter: a team racing ahead to try to end the pandemic across new mexico's every last mile. gadi schwartz, nbc news, albuquerque. and up next for us, baseball's big protest against georgia's new voting law.
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that's me. i don't even need to see what's happening behind me to know it's covered. (screaming) this commercial is now over. logo. three. no nonsense. just common sense. there's new fallout over georgia's recently passed law restricting voting rights major league baseball announced it's moving july's all-star game and draft out of atlanta in protest the commissioner said the mlb "opposes restrictions to the ballot box." there are strong jobs numbers out tonight. the u.s. seeing a hiring surge in march, and there could be even more good news on the jobs front for this spring and summer here's jo ling kent. >> reporter: as america continues to reopen, tonight even more signs the u.s. economy is making a comeback 916,000 jobs were added back in march, pushing the unemployment rate down to 6%. the biggest gains in construction,
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education, and leisure and hospitality. while encouraging, there are still more than 3 million jobs missing in that industry alone, like derek bailey, a travel specialist for 12 years. before the pandemic his business was thriving, till travel grounded to a halt >> that's very frustrating for someone like me who's always had a plan. >> reporter: we first met derek a year ago >> three months of no income whatsoever can really go through the savings. >> reporter: he lost his job and said he had to find work in a new field, taking a $25,000 a year pay cut. has it been difficult to make this pandemic pivot? >> oh, 100%. i'm doing things i never thought i'd ever do working at a software company. >> reporter: but of the 22 million jobs eliminated since the pandemic hit, more than 8 million have yet to return. over the last year 78 million americans filed for unemployment benefits, which were often difficult to
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secure >> i've tried at 1:00 a.m., 3:00 a.m., 5:00 a.m. there's just no getting through. >> it's just a waiting game that's really unsettling for a lot of us. >> how can i survive how can i provide for them >> reporter: at the los angeles regional food bank that's the question weighing on attorney and public defender arlene galarza, who lost her job last year. >> it's been hard. yeah >> reporter: while the march jobs report was strong, it was also uneven black unemployment nearly 10% double that of white unemployment, which is at about 5%. lester >> all right, jo ling. thank you. up next, the women leading their teams to the final four making history.
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finally, the women's final four tipping off tonight, and two coaches are making history here's stephanie gosk. >> they're going to the final four >> reporter: tonight adia barnes will coach the arizona wildcats in the school's first ever final four game >> it's huge because no one but us thought we could be here >> reporter: but that's not the only history being made south carolina's dawn staley coached her team to the final four this year too. the first time two black female coaches have made it this far in the same ncaa tournament >> for this to be happening in 2021 to me is long overdue >> reporter: black women have long played basketball in college and in the pros, but
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there haven't been many black ncaa coaches. >> we do have limited opportunities, and the fact is in our business a lot of black women don't get second chances so i think that was one of my hesitations of taking the job is if i'm not successful i'm not going to be recycled >> reporter: success is no longer in doubt. >> do you have any conversations with some of your black players where they say it's so cool that you do this, i want to go do this? >> yeah, i do. >> reporter: the mom of two who played for arizona herself now embracing being a role model. >> showing my players you can be all these things and do a great job. is it hard yeah everything's hard. but we can do it so i just hope that i inspire someone. >> reporter: win or lose tonight, there's no doubt adia barnes and dawn staley are inspirations stephanie gosk, nbc news and before we go, a special note about our friend and colleague bill neely for more than 40 years including nearly a decade at nbc news bill traveled the globe, covering
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virtually every major world event. but now as bill puts it he's hanging up his mike we're going to miss you, bill, and wish you all the best that's "nightly news," everyone thank you for watching i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night >> announcer: congratulations to lester holt. the most trusted tv news anchor in america. on receiving the prestigious edward r. murrow lifetime achievement award for a career dedicated to excellence in right now at 6:00, get ready to go see a warriors game or a concert indoors. the relaxed rules for live events. also, just in time for a spring break trip with the family. >> i think it's great. i think it's a move in the right direction. >> what we learned about the cdc's new recommendation for fully vaccinated people. and the rides are back open and the boardwalk is packed. we're going to show you the return of tourists to santa cruz and what it means for visitors.
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the news at 6:00 starts right now. good friday, thanks so much for joining us, i'm janelle wang. >> i'm raj mathai. we're heading into the easter weekend with a lot of encouraging signs. three major developments that will likely impact you. first, a big milestone, more than 100 million americans have now received at least one dose of the vaccine. that's nearly a third of the country. also, new guidance for anyone hopping on a flight. the cdc says fully vaccinated people are safe to travel within the country. that means no tests or quarantines when you fly. and here's something we've been missing, live concerts, live games. this afternoon california easing restrictions allowing indoor concerts, theater performances and sporting events. >> that means the warriors,ment symphony, concerts and comedy shows can start back up in a few weeks. the new rules will all depend on what county you live in. people are excited to start enjoying some indoor nig

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