tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC April 21, 2021 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
6:00. >> next you probably notice when you go to the grocery store, the cost of every day essentials are on the rise. we have some tips to manage your budget. >> tp getting expensive again? >> it is. lester holt is next. we'll see you again at 6:00. >> bye. tonight, the first image of derek chauvin from prison after the guilty verdict and the new investigation into minneapolis police the former officer now in maximum security as he awaits sentencing up to 40 years the day after chauvin was found guilty in the murder of george floyd the justice department announcing a sweeping probe into minneapolis police what it will be george floyd's family hopeful this is just the beginning of change and floyd's brother. what went through his mind as the verdict came down. also the body cam. police in ohio fatally shooting a 16-year-old black girl investigators say she was lunging at someone with a knife we'll tell you about the growing outrage.
and the black father of ten killed by police in north carolina his family saying he was unarmed. we'll tell you what we're learning president biden announcing the u.s. has hit its goal of 200 million covid shots in his first 100 days but many appointments still unclaimed. what he's calling on all employers to do. new images from the border migrant boys rescued from the rio grande. our team is in arizona where the national guard is being deployed and the price you pay. why it's going up on everything from toilet paper to detergent >> announcer: this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt good evening, everyone the george floyd story does not end with the conviction of his killer hours after the jury spoke with its verdict against derek chauvin, the u.s. attorney general spoke on what happens next a wide-ranging federal investigation into the minneapolis police department the case and its outcome an inflection point in the struggle
over police brutality. congress under new pressure now to pass a package of police reforms. and tonight activists who demonstrated and called for justice in minneapolis now reflecting on what has changed. none of it happening in a vacuum as there are new deadly encounters with police to report tonight, leaving other communities struggling to understand. we'll get to all of it, but let's start in minneapolis with gabe gutierrez. >> justice at last we got justice at last >> reporter: from relief to reflection >> i feel good we got justice >> reporter: today as the country exhaled following the verdict the justice department launched an investigation into the practices of the minneapolis police department >> yesterday's verdict in the state criminal trial does not address potentially systemic policing issues in minneapolis. >> reporter: now a wide-ranging federal review of how the department does its job is under way from use of force during public demonstrations to handling people with mental health problems
to discrimination in hiring practices >> i think this is arguably the most significant moment in our city's history >> reporter: mayor jacob frey wants congress to pass federal police reform. >> i think there is now a renewed sense of urgency like never before >> reporter: george floyd's brother says he prayed for 30 minutes before the verdict. >> i was excited it was a pivotal moment for me, my family, the world. >> reporter: after being led away in handcuffs for murder, derek chauvin is now being held in a maximum security prison in segregation for his own safety today this new mug shot was released as he awaits sentencing two months from now. he faces up to 40 years in prison for the most serious charge of second-degree murder though legal experts say a first-time offender like chauvin will likely get shorter sentences. three other former officers are charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter in this case they're scheduled to go to trial together in august. >> this signifies the beginning of -- a new beginning because of
-- it's going to put pressure nationwide for everybody to, you know, put pressure on the cops to actually do their jobs the right way. >> reporter: for donald williams the verdict capped an excruciating trial where he offered dramatic testimony he was among those haunted by watching floyd die. he listened as the defense labeled them an angry crowd of bystanders who supposedly distracted officers >> it was just crazy that they tried to blame it on the people for this man actually murdering george floyd when we were all just pleading for his life. >> reporter: for many in minneapolis the trial's end is actually a beginning >> i was on the verge of tears it was just a very overwhelming feeling of hope. >> reporter: you think that something changed here >> i don't think something changed. i think something began possibly >> and gabe, late today a development in the security situation there. >> reporter: yes, lester authorities said that some national guard
members had been demobilized as well as some law enforcement personnel that had arrived from other states to help lester >> all right gabe gutierrez tonight, thank you in minneapolis and beyond many are calling the verdict a starting point, as you heard there. perhaps a pivotal moment they hope will lead not only to broader police reform but to greater social justice. ron allen has more >> reporter: while the guilty verdicts brought celebration, today brought minneapolis back to reality. how much of a turning point do you think this is? >> i think that it's huge >> reporter: nekima levy armstrong is a civil rights attorney and activist who thinks what happened to george floyd is changing policing. >> several jurisdictions have changed some of their policies, their practices, they're re-examining how they operate. they shifted resources. that wouldn't have happened before may 25th >> reporter: she says the justice department investigation will help miami police chief art acevedo told us the biden administration has to do more to lead the way. does this really
change things with policing on the ground >> no. i don't think it changes things it's going to take more than just the policing it will start with education, economic, public health, mental health, drug addiction. everything else. we can eliminate the conflict >> reporter: john thompson, activist turned lawmaker, says he's always thinking about his friend philando castile, killed by a police officer during a traffic stop in 2016 the officer cleared of second-degree manslaughter >> so many people saying george floyd changed the world. you don't necessarily think so >> no. because they said the same thing about philando they said the same thing about tamir rice they said the same thing about ahmaud arbery why do we have to die to change policing too many sacrificial lambs have died. >> reporter: minneapolis already mourning another person killed by an officer. the wake for 20-year-old daunte wright held today. and here tonight in brooklyn center protesters say they plan to gather once again in wright's name his funeral is planned for tomorrow lester >> all right, ron, thank you.
just before yesterday's verdict a police officer shot and killed a 16-year-old black girl in columbus, ohio saying she was threatening others with a knife police body cam video was quickly released our kevin tibbles has that story and i need to caution you, the images are difficult to watch >> reporter: police body cam video shows ma'khia bryant's final moments. when a columbus, ohio police officer responding to a call gets out of his car -- >> hey >> reporter: -- and seconds later fatally shoots the 16-year-old girl >> get down! [ gunshots ] >> reporter: authorities say bryant was threatening two other girls with a knife. >> it's a tragedy. there's no other way to say it. it's a 16-year-old girl >> reporter: officer nicholas reardon, who joined the force in december of 2019, was responding to a 911 call >> we need a police officer here now >> reporter: video shows reardon approaching a group of young people in this driveway
>> what the video shows is the female with the knife attempting to stab the first female >> reporter: reardon fires his weapon four times, striking bryant officers are seen and heard performing cpr body camera footage shows a knife on the ground the city released video from the incident within hours and launched an independent investigation. >> we have to ask ourselves, what information did the officer have what did he see? how much time did he have to assess the situation? and what would have happened if he had taken no action at all? >> reporter: the columbus mayor pushing for transparency during the investigation. >> that investigation will help us determine whether or not there was a violation of any laws, policies or procedures and if there were the officer will be held accountable. >> reporter: officer reardon has been placed on administrative leave for the duration of the investigation. meanwhile, tonight
here in columbus civic leaders are calling for calm lester >> okay. kevin, thank you and tonight authorities in north carolina are investigating after a sheriff's deputy shot and killed a black man while executing a search warrant in elizabeth city the dead man was identified as andrew brown jr his family reportedly said he was unarmed and was a father of ten. the deputy was placed on leave, pending the investigation. in just 60 seconds, the president battles over police reform and the migrant surge at the border.
after the guilty verdict against derek chauvin president biden pledging to help pass a police reform bill named after george floyd but how realistic is the goal kristen welker tonight on that battle >> reporter: in the hours after the verdict president biden calling on congress to act. >> we're going to continue to fight for the passage of the george floyd justice in policing act so i can sign the law as quickly as possible.
>> reporter: but can he turn that pledge into reality the bill calls for reforms including changing police immunity laws, which shield officers from many lawsuits, and bans chokeholds at the federal level. but it would need ten republican votes to pass the senate and republicans say the democrats' plan goes too far against police, particularly removing that protection from lawsuits >> if we open up liability for everyday police officers that don't make a whole lot of money, i think you'd have a very hard time recruiting new talent and new police officers >> reporter: all of it a major test for president biden, who campaigned on his ability to work with republicans but attracted no republican votes on his covid relief plan. >> why should people have confidence that president biden will be able to win over republican support for the george floyd bill when he hasn't been able to do so on his other legislative priorities >> i will say, kristen, that look, the president doesn't believe that he alone can pull the george floyd act, policing act across the finish
line that is going to be up to congress. >> and kristen, i know you pressed the white house about how hard the president will personally push for this >> reporter: lester, the white house told us the president will reach out to bipartisan lawmakers and civil rights leaders. meanwhile, senator tim scott, the only black republican senator, has been leading the gop's efforts on this. scott said today they could be on the verge of an agreement. lester >> kristen welker at the white house for us thank you. the president also heralding that covid vaccine milestone. 200 million shots have now been given with more than 134 million americans getting at least one dose but resistance to the vaccine is a growing problem. here's miguel almaguer >> reporter: today the nation met the white house's goal 200 million shots in the first 100 days of the biden administration though reaching that vaccine benchmark came quickly, tonight the pace has dramatically slowed at some super sites and pharmacies across the country
>> are you ready >> reporter: the president now trying to reach americans who are hesitant or with less time and access to a vaccine, proposing business tax credits to offset lost work hours >> i'm calling on every employer, large and small, in every state to give employees the time off they need with pay to get vaccinated >> reporter: but a new poll shows 20% of americans are not at all likely to get a vaccine as soon as it's available still, a new snapshot also reveals despite the johnson & johnson pause vaccine confidence is rising meantime, there's new trouble at the baltimore plant where millions of j&j doses were ruined in a manufacturing mix-up an fda inspection obtained by nbc news at this emergent facility found serious violations with basic measures like sanitation, training and improper storage of ingredients
for its part johnson & johnson says quality and safety are paramount, adding the company will increase its oversight. as for its vaccine, it remains on pause ahead of friday's cdc meeting. tonight as covid cases continue to push some states toward a fourth wave experts say vaccinating the nation is critical but it's also becoming increasingly difficult. miguel almaguer, nbc news tonight we're also keeping our eye on the southern border, where 250 national guard troops are being deployed in arizona to help handle the unprecedented migrant surge. nbc's dasha burns is there for us tonight >> reporter: tonight, facing a record migrant surge, arizona's governor deploying the national guard. >> the u.s. border patrol is overwhelmed. >> reporter: declaring a state of emergency in multiple counties sheriff's deputies along the border as these two men were apprehended by border patrol we asked them why they
came to the united states "to work to provide for my family," one man told us in march border patrol seeing a 20-year high in the number of migrants they've encountered crossing the border >> hear them leaving their camouflage on the fence as they're trying to come across. >> reporter: sheriff mark dannels tells us that even as the number of migrants crossing into arizona is soaring the border patrol help he counts on is now being diverted to deal with the surge of unaccompanied children elsewhere. what do resources look like >> we've lost a lot of our federal support. they've been reassigned for childcare, processing and things like that >> reporter: around 23,000 children are now in u.s. custody after the biden administration changed border policy, allowing unaccompanied children and many families to stay in the u.s. while they await court hearings this new video shows border patrol agents rescuing 7 and 13-year-old boys from
honduras, abandoned on an island in the rio grande tonight officials tell us those boys are thankfully in good health the 7-year-old placed with a non-profit shelter, the 13-year-old in hhs custody. lester >> dasha burns in arizona. thank you. we're going to turn now to our week-long series "the climate challenge" with an exclusive look at the environmental and human toll of a war the u.s. was involved in. richard engel reports on the devastation in northern syria >> reporter: northern syria practically floats on oil. but instead of making the people rich the oil is killing them. a decade of war has left oil facilities here in ruins and created an environmental catastrophe. dozens of rivers and streams now run black. the water is lifeless and undrinkable. and these are the children's playgrounds. abdi abdallah, a village leader, says the land is poisoned "we do not want oil,"
he says. the people in northern syria are close american allies, the kurds. their oil has long been their curse when isis took over, the terrorists seized the oil facilities to fund their murderous caliphate. when president trump finished driving isis out, he wanted the oil too. >> we're keeping the oil. we have the oil. the oil is secure. we left troops behind only for the oil >> reporter: but the oil pumps were never really secured unmaintained, they spew day and night unregulated black market refineries pollute the air. many children work the sites. oncologist dr. danish mohammed says lung, thyroid, and skin cancers are now rampant. "every day we see four or five new cases of cancer, just in my clinic," he says i spent years following the plight of the syrian kurds. they fought off isis
with u.s. special forces now they're fighting what's beneath their feet and losing u.s. troops continue to patrol here, looking for isis holdouts, but there's still no stability and the environmental fallout from the toxic mix of war and oil means millions of syrian refugees will have a far less welcoming homeland to return to. the u.s. military did not respond to our requests for comment there are no plans currently to clean up the oil contamination, and any cleanup would be expensive and difficult because of the ongoing conflict and this is just a glimpse of the environmental degradation in syria lester >> yet another cost of war. okay, richard, thank you. up next, which essentials are about to get more expensive?
for kids like us, and all the amazing things we're gonna learn. over the next 10 years, comcast is committing $1 billion to reach 50 million low-income americans with the tools and resources they need to be ready for anything. i hope you're ready. 'cause we are. just days after prince philip's funeral queen elizabeth is marking her 95th birthday. in a message the queen said she is deeply touched by all the support and kindness since her husband's death. here at home we're talking about the price you pay, and it's surging on household staples. kristen dahlgren explains why. >> the end of the line for the toilet paper >> reporter: one year after the great toilet paper panic get ready for the toilet paper price hike some of the nation's biggest manufacturers announcing they are raising prices by nearly 10% in the next few months thanks to increases in the cost of wood pulp used to make paper, surging gas prices along with stress on
the entire supply chain during the pandemic >> we're going to see price increases like we've never seen before now we're seeing it on packaging, on transportation, on just about everything.ve alsoa roleericans spent an extra 2 billion on rolls in 2020. and it's not just toilet paper prices for diapers and feminine products are also going up. but there are ways to save >> the key is real simple look for your great prices online. shop around. and make sure that you have that product that you need without overstocking >> reporter: while some lower prices may return at some point, experts say many high prices may be here to stay the price of the pandemic coming soon to a store near you. kristen dahlgren, nbc news up next for us here tonight, the life-changing surprise that's inspiring america.
finally, i want you to meet a remarkable woman who had an impact on generations of college students how they paid her back is inspiring america ♪ happy birthday dear jessie ♪ >> jessie may. >> reporter: for 14 years jessie hamilton was the backbone of lsu's phi gamma delta fraternity as the house cook. >> she just cared for everybody and she wanted to make sure that everybody was taken care of. >> we're here to thank you for that >> reporter: so when
the alumni gathered to celebrate her 74th birthday, they decided to take care of her. >> we're going to pay your mortgage off. >> that day was the best thing ever happened to me in my life for those young men to help me. this was jessie's day. >> jessie's day. >> reporter: jessie's day came with a big check. more than $50,000. >> thank y'all thank y'all. >> reporter: enough to pay off her mortgage >> it was apparent from the first phone calls that everybody felt the same way about her that i did >> reporter: andrew fusaiotti contacted 90 former fraternity brothers after hearing jessie was still working two jobs and was there to present the check. >> there's no way i could ever repay you but i can always pray for you. >> jessie, you've already paid me back more than i could ever give to you. >> just a person when
you think about her it's like that's who i want to be in life and it is not easy to be that person >> reporter: a once-in-a-lifetime gift for a woman who's had a lifetime impact on so many >> i love them and i know they love me when you love a person you show them. and they showed me >> what a thank you, huh? that's "nightly news" for this wednesday thank you for watchi right now at 6:00, they know the pain. george floyd's family is feeling. they just didn't get the same result in court. >> i started crying on the way to work. i didn't realize it was going to get me so emotional. a san jose family whose father was killed by a federal agent reacts to the derek chauvin conviction. and also, is it too many options or people choosing not to get vaccinated in santa clara county? >> we are seeing that people are
doubtful about getting the vaccine and they are not showing up in places where appointments are not required. >> that major vaccination site in the south bay with plenty of doses but you can see not enough people showing up. plus the dreaded "d" word, the drought declaration from the governor, and what it means for all of us. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good wednesday. thanks for joining us. i'm janelle wang. >> i'm raj mathai. in many ways today is a new beginning. derek chauvin is now in a maximum security prison while communities across the country are swinging into action for police reform. chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the killing of george floyd, miss mug shot released today. he will be sentenced in eight weeks. today u.s. attorney general merritt garland launched an investigation into the minneapolis police department. this probe will include a comprehensive review of that department's policies, training, and use