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tv   MTP Daily  MSNBC  April 1, 2021 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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firefighters arrived? >> yes. >> what did you do at that point? >> i believe at that point i started working on getting -- working on iv access. >> was there sort of a switch of jobs when the firefighters came in? >> yes, at some point the officers stepped out and i just kind of moved down to near where he was sitting. >> when the firefighters came, did you feel like there were enough people to do what you needed to do for mr. floyd in order to get him where he needed to go? >> yes. >> you said the officers stepped off. did one of the firefighters take over with respect to what you were working on in the airway? >> yes, the airway was established so they're working on squeezing that bag to breathe for the patient. >> maybe you can just describe how that works. does someone need to squeeze the bag in order to provide -- how does it work? >> it's just a bag where you're
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going to squeeze roughly every five, six seconds to breathe for the patient. >> after you were up, did one of the firefighters take over? >> from what i remember, yes. >> did you just assist with the iv, can you describe that? >> i just worked on trying to get iv access. >> was there some difficulty with that? >> a little bit. i believe we had io access at some point. >> what is io access? >> it's a needle that drills into your bone in your leg. it's another way of giving medications. >> why would you need to have that kind of access? >> same reason, to give medications to try to resuscitate them. >> if you can describe why you
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could initially going from one location to moving to io access? >> io is often done if you're having difficulty with iv access and it's common to do in a cardiac arrest. >> io stands for? >> inter ox sis. >> and iv is -- >> intravascular. >> at some point did that get established, an io line? >> yes. >> is that the way the medications were administered? >> i would need to look at the documentation to be for sure on that, but i believe that's how they were administered. >> in any event, do you recall he was administered those medications? >> yes. >> what did you do after that? >> we continued working on resuscitating for a period of time and then i -- i kind of had
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everything done we wanted to and then i went to the front and started driving to the hospital. >> maybe you could just explain was there something you needed to accomplish before you felt comfortable moving again, getting, driving the vehicle elsewhere? >> yes, i think there's a standard set of -- we call it like acls guidelines from the american heart association. it's how we're trained and how we do provide care and resuscitation like this. we have all of those things in place. >> what things, generally, what are you trying to do? >> i had highlight, chess compressions, breathing and medications. >> is it your objective to have those things in place before you transport to the hospital? >> yes, it's time sensitive to have them done so we need to get them done right away.
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>> and maybe you can explain, why -- was time sensitive about, the resuscitative processes? >> just the longer the patient goes without receiving resuscitation, the lower likelihood they will be resuscitated. >> in your training as a paramedic, when you're talking about time sensitivity, when it comes to resuscitative efforts or things like cpr or anything like that, what are you trained to do in terms of timing? >> can you rephrase the question? >> yes, that was not a good question. is it important to start resuscitative efforts immediately after someone that does not find a pulse? >> it can, yes. >> why is that? >> to -- primary goal i would say is circulating blood through
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chest compressions. >> you previously testified if there's a delay, does that lessen your likelihood of success? >> objection. >> rephrase. >> what happens if there's a delay? >> based on my understanding that's not good for his outcome. >> so ultimately after you had the things in place that you just described, did you then transport mr. floyd to the hospital? >> yes. >> and were you the driver? >> yes. >> i'm going to put on the screen just for you, and it's been admitted as number 67. can you see that? >> yes. >> does this image fairly and
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accurately show you and your partner and the firefighters unloading mr. floyd at the hospital? >> yes. >> your honor, i would offer exhibit 67. >> any objections? >> no objection, sir. >> state's evidence is received. >> permission, thank you. and once you got to the hospital, did you assist in moving mr. floyd, transferring him inside to the hospital with the others? >> yes. you can take that down. thank you. what happened at that point in time once you were bringing him to the hospital? >> there's a room called a state room for vertical patients, bring him to the er. brought him there and moved him over to the hospital bed.
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>> what was his condition? you talked about asystole at the beginning of your interaction with him. once you brought him to the hospital, what was his condition at that point in time? >> i don't know what his exact cardiac rhythm was at that point but his overall condition did not appear to change. >> had you noted any changes -- was there a period of time of pulse activity? >> at some point. >> was that be a point of after asis ole. >> yes, i can't tell you when exactly that was. >> so we know what we're talking about here, what are we talking about pulsive activity? >> it's essentially picking up an organized rhythm of electricity over your heart but we don't feel a pulse anywhere.
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so it's not pro fusing and we continue chest expressions. >> not profusing, what does that mean? >> we don't feel a pulse so there's no blood pumping through the body to your organs. >> if you -- as someone is being worked on or compressions are being given, can things change in terms of the heart rhythm in your experience as a paramedic? >> yes. >> but if you have pulsive electrical activity, does that -- what does that mean in terms of the change? >> it's -- as far as how we're going to be resuscitating him, it's the same as asystole.
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>> severe course of action, remain the same. >> yes, assist ole and pea is the same thing for how we resuscitate. >> when you first arrived he was in asystole, at another point pea. at any other point did he regenerate a pulse or come to? was he revived? >> no. >> ultimately at the hospital, was there a report given at the hospital about his condition and things you did? >> yes, my partner would have given that report at the hospital. >> were you assisting with the other needs as well -- were you part of that process? >> yes. >> and what did you do after the patient was -- mr. floyd was handed off to medical staff at
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the hospital? >> i would have just been bringing equipment back to our truck and putting it back together. >> over the course of your interactions with him and treatment of mr. floyd, did you notice any positive change, any revival? >> no. >> nothing further. >> mr. nelson. >> good afternoon, sir.
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>> good afternoon. sorry, hi to check the time. thank you for being here. i just have a few followup questions for you. i wanted to understand sort of the very brief -- very, very briefly the progression of your education and kind of differences. is cpr training different than being an emt? >> you're talking about like a cpr certification? >> yes. >> yes. it's part of it, but yes, they're different. >> so the basic kind of resuscitative training somebody could receive would be a cpr certification? >> yes. >> and then kind of a higher level of education would be an emt, right? >> yeah. >> and higher level than emt is a paramedic? >> yes. >> and then up through -- all the way up to doctors and stuff, right? >> sure. >> okay. and you are a paramedic. you said you've been about four years now?
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>> i was ems and paramedic elsewhere. >> how long totals as a paramedic? >> i started as a paramedic in 2013. >> for hennepin county, do you frequently service calls in the city of minneapolis? >> yes. >> do you frequently call -- service calls where police officers are involved? >> yes. >> do you -- have you arrived at a scene where you have seen officers on top of a person before? >> yes. >> objection, your honor, relevance. >> have you been called to other calls where a suspect has struggled with the police? >> yes. >> what does it mean to stage as an ems?
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>> what does it mean to stage? >> uh-huh. >> if you're referring to like staging for safety purposes? >> correct. >> if a scene is not safe, we will stage in the area and wait for police to give us a code that it's safe to come in. >> and just for clarification purposes, you were not asked to stage in this event because of the crowd? >> no, we were not. >> generally speaking it's common for police to arrive at a scene dealing with whatever the circumstances, and then ems is called in after police has dealt with the danger of the situation, right? >> can you say that question again? >> sure. it's kind of long-winded. police will frequently go to a
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call before ems to deal with some dangerous situation, right? >> yes, it completely depends on the type of call. >> right. >> over the course of being a paramedic have you responded to other overdose calls? >> i have responded to overdose calls, yes. >> has it been ems policy to have police respond to those calls with you? >> yes, they do usually. i can't reference a policy, but my practice, my experience is they do respond with us. >> is that because when people are sometimes resuscitated or treated for an overdose, they become aggressive and violent? >> objection, your honor, relevant. >> i'm sorry, can you say that again? >> is it the practice to have police respond to those calls because when people are
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resuscitated or revived from an overdose, they can become violent or aggressive? >> it can happen sometimes, yes. >> have you personally seen that happen? >> yes. >> so turning your attention to may 25, 2020, you were the driver of the ambulance that day, correct, or for this call i should say? >> for that call, yes. >> and after all of this, you would agree that you have met with law enforcement officers during the course of the investigation of this case? >> yes. >> and you have made the statements and know those statements were recorded? >> yes. >> do you know that -- have you had an opportunity to review a transcript of your statement prior to today's testimony? >> yes. >> okay. you have also met with the prosecution team a couple of times, is that correct?
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>> yes. >> preparation including as late as last night, correct? >> yes. >> and you kind of just talked about what your testimony was going to be today, right? >> yes. >> all right. on may 25th, when you arrived, you testified that you saw or the of a crowd standing out around the police officers, correct? >> yes. >> and when you arrived, the ambulance actually pulled ahead of where mr. floyd and the officers were located, correct? >> yes. >> and that would be for ease of loading him into the ambulance, correct? >> yes. >> so that basically the back of the ambulance would be in line with mr. floyd's and mr. floyd to kind of get him into the ambulance? >> yes. >> so when you got out of the ambulance and you walked back towards the office, would you have had to walk back towards the officers, correct?
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>> yes, i can't -- i don't know which side of the ambulance they walk back on, but, yes. >> if you were the driver you would have gotten out of the driver's side and walked on the driver's side of the car? >> doesn't necessarily mean i walked that side to the back of the ambulance but i may have gone around. >> okay. do you recall describing to acts the position you saw mr. floyd in at that time? >> yes, i remember talking about it. >> you remember talking about it? >> yes. >> what did you tell the acts about how you observed mr. floyd's body position to be? >> i can't remember but he was on the ground and had handcuffs in place. >> do you recall saying primarily he was on his left side? >> i think i did say that, yes. >> is that what you recall today? >> he wasn't -- i don't remember
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if i clarified that at all. to me it seemed like he was leaned to his left is what i was trying to say. >> he was leaned to his left and i think you said he was rolled forward onto his stomach a little bit. >> yes. >> would you dispute me if i said that's what the transcript refers to? >> no. >> so you and your partner decided to do what's called a load and go, right? >> to get into the ambulance, yes. >> in and to leave? >> we didn't leave, we moved to a different location, yes. >> and that was out of concern because of the people that were around, right? and the general atmosphere at the scene at that point? >> yes. that was part of it, yes. >> in terms of -- i forgot to ask you one question, generally
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speaking, in terms of your response to calls where police are struggling with an individual, does hennepin ems carry ketamine with them? >> yes. >> what was the purpose of the ketamine? >> >> it has multiple purposes. >> is one of them to sedate someone if they're struggling? >> it is able to be used for that, yes. >> obviously, you didn't apply ketamine in this case? >> no. >> so you loaded mr. floyd into the ambulance, correct? >> yes. >> and one of the four minneapolis police officers you observed at that seen got into the ambulance, correct? >> yes. >> it was one of the same officers you observed on mr. floyd at the time, correct
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somebody. >> i wasn't keeping track of swho was who at that point. i believe he was near mr. floyd. >> so the photos we looked at, those came from what appear to be a body-worn camera, correct? >> yes. >> there's no camera in the care of ems ambulance, correct? >> no. >> and you do not wear body cameras as paramedics? >> no. >> so those photographs came from an officer's body-worn camera? >> yes. >> that offer initially started assisting with compress impressions of mr. floyd? >> yes, i wasn't in back when that would have happened. >> your partner was? >> yes. >> and he would probably be the person to ask about that? >> yeah, you could see in the footage we watched but i was there for a brief period and then went to the front. >> in so you have seen the body-worn camera footage from
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inside the ambulance? >> yes, i have seen a good amount of it. i don't know if i have seen all of it. but i've seen a good amount of it. >> you describe the lucas device, or you described that lucas device that does the chest compressions, right? >> yes. >> it was your partner that was putting that on with the police officer, correct? >> no, i was putting that on with the police officer. >> so you and he -- you were in the ambulance when the officer was performing chest compressions? >> yes, after i pulled over on 36th and park and gotten in the back, he would have been doing chest compressions. >> first thing do you, load mr. floyd into the vehicle, drive to 36 and park, and while you drove that distance to 37 and park, the officer was in the back performing chest compressions? >> i'm assuming i want in back.
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>> but when you got back to assist your partner, that was the officer performing chest compressions? >> what i remember he was doing them at that time, yes. >> you and he actually attached the lucas devoice to mr. floyd. >> yes. >> and it was a little louisville to get on? >> yes. >> there was a latch problem or something? >> yes. >> at some point you did i think you called it i-gel airway device? >> airway. >> airway, i'm sorry. you inserted that into mr. floyd's mouth, right? >> yes. >> does that actually go down into the throat? is it like a tube that goes through the throat? >> partially, yes. >> and difficulty getting that in? >> no, it wasn't difficult, it went in fine. but the first one i grabbed was
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too small. >> there's different sizes? >> yes, there are different sizes. so initially i grabbed that one in and had to pull it out and put a larger one in. >> so there was nothing obstructing your ability to insert that device into his mouth and throat? >> no. >> and medications you described, sodium bicarb and epinephrine were applied and some other medications as well? >> yes. i'd have to look at the report to know exactly what meds were given, but, yes, those meds were given. >> once you got the initial three things described done, excuse me, at some point fire came out as well? >> correct. >> let me ask you one question i forgot to ask you about the initial call, the initial call you said was code two, correct? and it got updated to code three meaning lives and science. >> correct. >> and that was about a minute
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and a half after the initial call, agreed? >> basically when i looked at the times from what i have seen after, it looked like it was about a minute and a half. >> and the time from when it got upgraded to you arrived on scene, would you agree that's about 6, 6 1/2 minutes, something like that? >> i believe it was close to that, yes. >> and then was it you who added fire to the call or was it your partner? >> i believe -- i can't say for sure because i believe my partner said it first over the radio. >> and that's when fire gets dispatched and ultimate will you you understand they went to cup foods first? >> i have heard that afterwards, yes. >> you didn't know it at the time. >> no. as we were moving to 36th and park, i went over the radio and told our dispatch that we were
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going to be moving to have fire meet us there. >> the information you had as you were initially responding was there was a mouth injury, correct? >> yes. >> and there was information that the male may be intoxicated or impaired? >> yes, there were some notes about -- i can't remember the exact wording but there's something about substance use or -- i can't remember if it said narcotic or substance use concern and then there was a note saying he was on top of the vehicle. >> you remember seeing that in the computer rate of dispatch? >> yes, i saw that on the way to the call. sorry, that would have been my partner that would have seen that. >> okay. >> and then the -- there was also some information that police had mr. floyd restrained on the ground, right?
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>> in their cad notes. >> driving? >> yes, i'm not sure, there was a note that popped up right when we were arriving so i'm not sure if you're referring to that but i don't recall if it said he was restrained or not. >> fair enough. i have no further questions. >> you were asked some questions about responding to scenes where someone might be violent or struggling or things of that nature. do you remember those questions? >> yes. >> when you got to the scene, was mr. floyd struggling or violent in any way? >> no. >> did it appear to you he was
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already dead when you got there? >> objection. calls for an opinion. >> if you know. >> i wouldn't know when i pulled up on scene but i did not see him as i testified earlier, when i was standing by the ambulance, i didn't see him moving or breathing. >> from what you saw, did you see someone who appeared to be unresponsive? >> yes. >> and in cardiac arrest? >> as we learned, yes. >> and you were asked some questions about ketamine, things of that nature. is ketamine a drug that's given to people that are alive and struggling? >> sometimes, yes. >> is that a treatment option for you for somebody who is exhibiting those behaviors that you were asked about, violence and struggling, that sort of
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thing? alive and moving basically, is that right? >> yes, it's profound agitation, so for somebody who is really violent. >> you would not give that to somebody who is dead or in cardiac arrest or responsive, is that right? >> correct, we would not give it, no. >> and you're asked about responding to overdose, overdoses as part of your job. when you respond to overdose death or opioid overdose death, what do you look for in terms of someone's pupil? >> we look at them to see if they're small, the pupils are really small. >> when you say small, is that like pinpoint? >> pinpoint, contradicted, yes. >> do you know what mr. floyd's pupils looked like when you and your partner arrived on scene? >> i don't recall looking at
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them myself. like i said, my partner checked them initially. >> and did you receive a report about that from him? >> yeah, he would have -- he did say something. i would be guessing. i believe i know what he said but -- >> we'll move on from that. you were asking questions about the crowd, and whether that was the reason to remove mr. floyd to another location? >> yes. >> you remember those questions. >> yes. >> you testified there were a number of things to consider when you determined to move somebody? >> yes. >> was having a crowd one of those things that you might consider? >> yes, one thing to consider, yes. >> but you also talked about how you need a significant amount of equipment that was in your ambulance, is that right? >> objection.
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>> rephrase. >> what are some of the other things you consider in terms of why to move somebody to another location? >> asked and answered. >> overruled. >> you can answer. >> so, i'm sorry, can you talk about the last part one more time? >> what is one of the things you take into account when you zud to move somebody to another location? >> yes, in that case moving into the ambulance the equipment was a consideration of that and being in a good environment to resuscitate. >> did you also -- i believe you may have testified about this but does it require focus on your part? >> yes. >> are all of those things part of your consideration on a scene about what to do? >> yes. >> if i may have just a moment.
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we are back. welcome to "meet the press daily." we're in the lunch break of the derek chauvin trial. i'm chuck todd. you're watching the fourth day of testimony in the trial of derek chauvin. we had a lot of news happening. you just missed president biden's first cabinet hearing. but in the trial we heard what the medic who first arrived to resuscitate george floyd and what he saw when he arrived at the scene. >> i was standing a little further away, my partner would have a more accurate description at that point but from what i could see where i was at, i didn't see any breathing or movement or anything like that. >> earlier we heard emotional
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testimony from courteney ross, floyd's longtime girlfriend, about their relationship and their own struggles with addiction. >> floyd and i both suffered with opioid addiction. we both suffered from chronic pain. mine was in my neck and his was in his back. we -- we got addicted and tried really hard to break that addiction many times. >> prosecutors are not shying away from george floyd's past, his opioid addiction, likely to be a big part of the chauvin defense. jurors saw the last moments of george floyd's life, what led up to it was shown and made public for the first time. yesterday jurors were shown survey lens video of george floyd inside cup foods just minutes before his deadly encounter with the police. and surveillance video from outside the store as the crowd
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watched the lifeless body lifted into the ambulance, as well as cell phone video showing police officers confronting floyd after he left cup foods. and then there's the body camera video from all four officers involved in floyd's death from the time they arrived on the scene to the moment he was placed in the ambulance. that includes never-before-seen video from derek chauvin's body camera, including this moment after floyd was taken to the hospital, attempting to justify what had just happened. >> that's one person's opinion. i was trying to control this guy because he's a sizable guy. and he was probably on something. >> shaquille brewster has been covering the trial for us from minneapolis and i'm joined by our experts and former federal prosecutor shawn olloy from cochran branch.
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shaq, let me start with you once again, perhaps the most interesting strategy to look at with this is prosecutors, they're essentially trying to take whatever the defense may use of george floyd's past, they want to make sure this just sees that the prosecution is not afraid of anything in george floyd's past? >> that's right. they used someone very sympathetic to george floyd, very close to george floyd to help do that, courteney ross. she started her testimony, it was emotional almost instantly, starting her testimony with how she met george floyd and the story about how she didn't know him and floyd saw her in distress and offered to pray with her and that sparked that connection between the two. and she also personalized george floyd and talked about that opioid addiction that he suffered through, saying he suffered from chronic back pain and that eventually turned into a opioid addiction and she looked over at the jury and said, a classic american story. that was the moment when you
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look at the poll report, her testimony when she looked over, that was something they somewhat responded to and there was the eye contact you saw there. she also got extremely emotional and pool report -- when i say pool report, i say the accounts from two reporters in the courtroom, that was the time you saw one of the jurors possibly look emotional. it's hard to tell beyond that but one of the jurors, a black man put his happened over his forehead for a second as she was breaking down coming fully emotional talking about george floyd. the other aspect is when we heard her testimony, that also opened the door to the defense to start making their some of points. they harped on the drug use, they talked about specific pills. they asked where she got those pills from and whether or not those pills were still in existence around when george floyd died. it is very clear the defense is going to make the drugs in george floyd's system the key part of their process of focal points, when it's their turn to make their case, it will be a
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big part of what they're arguing there. then we hear from the paramedic, chuck. the paramedic is another essential bystander for the end of the process, what happens when the ambulance arrives. the paramedic said when they first encountered george floyd he was pulseless, he was unresponsive, he didn't have a heartbeat and when they finally got him on the ambulance, nothing really changed. of course, the paramedic could not produce someone dead. that requires a doctor or physician. but when you listen to the description of george floyd's state by the time that knee was still on the neck, by the time the paramedic arrived and told the officers, it's time to go, let's load him on into the ambulance, you got a sense of just how bad george floyd's state was and that was something the prosecution was trying to make very clear by having this paramedic come up and testify in front of this jury, chuck. >> shaq, i think these various witnesses to this scene, whether it was the store clerk
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yesterday, the younger children that were watching it, the paramedic today or i guess we went through the various versions of what his training was with the lawyer but emt today, all of them paint i think a very emotional picture that c thoughts today about specifically the prosecution's decision to -- i guess it's called fronting, is that the term of art, i think that's one what one of our legal analysts calls it? >> sometimes it's fronting the bad evidence or evidence that is a little less appealing to the jury. we typically call it drawing the sting. we want to pull the sting out of evidence you think is going to be viewed by the jury as perhaps less than favorable of your case or of your witnesses. i will tell you, when i watched courteney ross, george floyd's girlfriend testify, it was
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painful to watch not only the loss she suffered and how she would light up from time to time when she was remembering how george really loved to play football, he loved to work out. you can see the sort of passion she had for her former boyfriend. but she was also made to talk about her own illegal drug use, her own opioid addiction, her boyfriend's opioid addiction. chuck, even though i was a prosecutor 30 years, i winced when she was asked, okay, who's selling you those drugs? when you're having to talk about the drug dealer, the person from whom you're getting illegal drugs, that is a really difficult and potentially dangerous area of testimony for a witness. so she felt very much like a victim by extension because her boyfriend was killed and now she's trying to relive that while not only 12 jurors watch her but the nation watches her. >> you know, shawna, i was
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struck, glenn just referred in some ways she was a victim too. and i have been struck by all of the testimony by various either eyewitnesses or the personal witnesses who knew, character witnesses on behalf of george floyd, just how much pain they've been in. it's been emotionally, i would imagine it's had an impact on the jury. if you're the defense team, how do you deal with -- they've chosen many times not to even bother cross-examining at times. what do you think was going through their minds on this? >> at times there is no value in trying to cross-examine a witness that's bringing something that's very emotionally charged. no matter what you ask, it's going to be perceived as being aggressive or not being sensitive. the smarter tact sometimes with those type of witnesses is not to actually engage or ask anyone questions. when you're looking at these emotionally charged testimonies, really what you want to do is
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put it into perspective and focus back on the facts, which what i think he tried to do. he offered his sympathies, addressed her addiction and moved it quickly into facts. he has to get out of the emotional realm for this defense and move into the factual realm. >> shawna, do you think the defense team is going to have to spend some time providing character witnesses on derek chauvin? i mean, are they going to have to improve his image after all of this is done? >> they definitely need to improve his image. right now it is not a good image. but we have to remember the state is still running -- the prosecution is running their case. this is their witnesses. they're going to bring forth their strongest witnesses and then he will have an opportunity to bring forth what is considered his strongest case, which will be more the science, the medical, the drug use, those are the things he will bring forth. this is a chess match. it's not necessarily going to be
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decided in these first couple of days but he will have to address it. the next question is if derek chauvin takes the stand. he has the right not to. it will be intriguing to see if he decides to speak because no one heard his side of the story. >> that's for sure. a lot of parlor games there i'm guessing if we see him, a lot of people think that will be because they don't feel good about their case. we shall see. anyway, a long way to go. shaquille, glenn and shawna, thank you all for getting us started. as you know, they're at a lunch break. and we, of course, will pick up coverage of the trial after they come back. during, right just minutes before they went to the lunch break, president biden convened his first public cabinet meeting of his administration. due to social distancing parameters, his first cabinet meeting was in the east room because they wanted to keep folks separated a bit. instead of in the actual cabinet room, president biden used the
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occasion to announce five cabinet people for selling the sweeping structure plan he unveiled yesterday. >> today i'm announcing i'm asking five cabinet members to take special responsibility to explain the plan to the american public. working with my team here in the white house, these cabinet members will represent me in dealing with congress, engage with the public in selling the plan, and help work out the details as we refine it and move forward. these five members will be pete buttigieg, jennifer grant holm, marsha fudge, marty walsh and gina rimando. >> joining me now from the white house is my nbc news colleague monica alba. monica, ron klain was out there doing interviews today. it's interesting, they want to -- it seems like the message is, hey, we're not going it
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alone yet. >> exactly, chuck. they're trying to build that runway so then later if there is no republican support for this structure plan, they can say hey, at least we tried. and you did hear that also from the transportation secretary, pete buttigieg, who was on msnbc a few hours ago, saying he's privately talking to lawmakers from both parties about this and then you have the president saying he's going to be inviting those lawmakers into the oval office in the coming days. in the meantime, he did hand out those home work assignments to the five cabinet secretaries representing, of course, transportation, energy, commerce, labor and hud. and he has essentially asked them to report back before the next cabinet meeting on their progress in terms of seeing not just how they sell this on capitol hill but also to the american public. that was a signal to me, again, they're going to do what they did with the covid relief bill. they will tout how popular infrastructure is in polling among voters to say something
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this is something constituents desperately need. this was notable, chuck. we lived through this the last four years of the trump administration. cabinets meetings were a completely different beast. he normally, the former president would bring in cameras, sometimes allowing them to stay 60 to 80 minutes. you have a feature length film of the cabinet meeting and it was often very fawning, heaping praise on him. this was more of a movie trail trailer version of that. a couple short minutes. the president made very brief remarks. he thanked the press for being there but said i'm not taking any questions now, essentially ending the spread and the cabinet could have their first meeting behind closed doors and we will get readouts later. and it's a very different approach and departure and using the venue, the east room, due to covid restrictions. this is probably the largest group of biden officials we've seen together in one room since the beginning of the administration due to the pandemic, chuck.
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>> monica, one of the other, i guess i would call it predictable event i'm awaiting an announcement on, has to do with when are we going to see the first high-profile group of republicans to talk infrastructure with president biden, a type of meeting that will happen sooner rather than later? >> the president hinted that in his speech in pittsburgh yesterday. he said i'm going to invite them to come to the table. i want to hear their ideas and when they will see common ground. it's a very different approach what he had with the american rescue plan, where he said i don't care how this gets passed, no ifs, ands or buts and we will do it, ultimately, without the republicans supporting it. before he said that, he said i want to have the face-to-face with the republicans, and he said they will come in the oval office in the next couple of weeks while the cabinet secretaries are doing the more behind-the-scenes work but they will make a more public display of it. we saw a little bit of that with
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the covid relief bill but we will see more of that here because the white house said what they unveiled yesterday is far more than a starting point. they're really open to making changes. again, very different from the first major police of legislation they got across the finish line, chuck. >> they have technical challenges. if they want to use reconciliation to fund this infrastructure project, they may actually have to get bipartisan support in order to create some of the vehicles they want to use in reconciliation. you don't get to create new spending in reconciliation or create new agencies or ideas. you have to do that separately in order to use it. this is more complicated in the way covid relief work. monica alba, thank you. on the campaign trail, president biden called climate change an ex-sinceal threat of our time and taking steps to confront the crisis including rolling back trump-era policies and rejoining the parisian climate agreement during the first week in august. the sweeping plan unveiled
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yesterday includes electric cars and billions in climate research and domestic development. this white house said a national climate adviser and former obama epa director gina mccarthy, who leads the task me now as the white house national climate adviser. good to have you. >> thanks, chuck. good to be here. >> before we get into details of your job, this is a brand new position. i've described it in shorthand as the national security adviser for climate. how would you describe it? is that -- and i just say that structurally. how would you describe what your position is? >> that's not a bad description, because climate change is a national security issue, but, you know, i'm just here to make sure that the president is served in terms of his interest in addressing climate change. i bring together the cabinet. we work together, really, as a whole of government approach,
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recognizing that climate change impacts everything we do. and what's so exciting about the package that you see is that it's not all focused on climate, and yet it is. it's underpinned with an understanding that we need to have an infrastructure that's resilient, we need to grow workers in this country, we need to build hope and opportunity. so for me it's a very exciting moment in time for us to marry the work of the federal government and what we do to actually build a climate-resilient country but also one that grows jobs, union jobs, good-paying. when the president says he hears the word climate, he thinks jobs. and i think that's great. that's exactly how we should be talking about this as a big, bold opportunity to invest in america again, especially the communities that have been really systemically disinvested. it's time to build hope for
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everybody and every worker. >> i'm curious, in order to do some of these bigger things, it's going to take some bipartisan acknowledgment. when it comes to climate, because for whatever reason, whether it's the far right propagandas or whatever that demonize the word "climate," it's made republicans uncomfortable, yet the business world does seem to want to see some resilience built in. what do you see doing between the public who wants to do these things but fear the politics? >> part of what we wanted to do with this package is show that it is underpinned by the business interest of the community, by the interest of our workers. this is going to be a very popular package because it is simply building the infrastructure that our country needs to succeed. so we're working with the automakers. we talked to all of the big ceos yesterday after this was unveiled, and they were excited
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about it. because it's an opportunity to actually build an electric vehicle infrastructure in this country that's going to allow us to capture and win that market and bring the supply chain back into the united states. we're talking to the utilities sector. everybody knows we have to move to clean energy. this allows us to build the transmission grid that's actually going to serve it and not have us have people stranded and understand that they can't get the kind of heat they need like what happened in texas. this should all be a people issue, not a planetary concern. it is about winning jobs in america. it is about good jobs and building our middle class, which the union built and the union will build it again. so we're excited, and i'm excited to not talk wonky but to talk people in what we need today. >> let's talk about a specific person in the state of west virginia, and i say this because
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he's head of the energy committee, joe manchin. >> yes. >> he's obviously concerned about the coal industry and what it means to the state of west virginia. how do you sell this plan to west virginia voters? >> well, i think one of the exciting parts about president biden's work here in the infrastructure in his head that he brought to this is one of the challenges we have is to look at the job transition issue. we've made it front and center, not hiding it. so we've talked to senator manchin, and we've talked to folks in wyoming and montana and other places that are seeing shifts away from coal and towards clean energy. and the task is for us not to bury that but to work to figure out how we grow jobs in those communities. and part of this plan is all about that. you look at sections that talk about the old abandoned oil and gas wells and coal mines that have never been closed that actually we can provide resources to communities like
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those in west virginia that will grow jobs, plugging those leaks that will be helpful to reduce methane, which is harmful to climate change, but also allow them to get back to work. now, it's not a forever, but it is a great opportunity because there's hundreds of thousands of them. exact skill sets, same community, get them back to work, let's keep talking. one of the infrastructure investments is in broadband, which we know that rural communities need to have available, if you really want to attract economic development. so we think we shouldn't deny that there is a transition afoot, we should embrace it, we should invest in the jobs of the future for every community. >> well, speaking of transition, there is some to the left who think this is not aggressive enough, this does not do enough -- does not do enough mitigation on climate to have
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the impact necessary. to me it sounds -- so the future of fossil fuels. is this -- do most folks have to realize we have to view this as a transition, it's not something you can wean yourself off immediately? >> no, and this is about growing our economy. this is about doing it at a pace that science demands but also doing it in a way that our economy is going to be strengthened. so that's extremely important. and, you know, we have folks on the other side that are saying we're doing too much. i guess we win the goldilocks prize. maybe we are just right. but i know that the president is interested in working with congress and he's going to listen to those who think we should do more and find a good way to pay for that investment, and we're going to think about those who maybe think we're being too aggressive, and we can talk to them about how aggressive should we be after coming out of a pandemic with
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nearly 10 million people out of work. how aggressive should we be in getting people back to work? so we think this is the sort of just right. >> gina mccarthy, the national climate adviser for president biden. thanks for coming on and sharing your perspective. i appreciate it. see you again soon. >> appreciate it, thanks. thank you all for being here this hour. we'll be back tomorrow with "meet the press daily." my friend katy tur continues right after this break. right after this break
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