tv Stephanie Ruhle Reports MSNBC April 22, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT
to move on from the george floyd verdict and focusing on how to change the culture and the circumstances that led to his death. in the city of minneapolis, that means a new investigation by the justice department into how the city's police department operates. and in washington, d.c. it means a new push to get police reform did done in george floyd's name finally on a federal level. to this point those efforts have hit a wall but new discussions are under way, leading to hope that new federal reforms could finally get passed. but all of that is for the future. i want to talk about what is happening today. in the city of minneapolis just a few hours from now, a funeral is being held for daunte wright, the 20-year-old black man who was shot during a traffic stop in an attempted arrest just 11 days ago. at the same time, new police shootings in other states are sparking protests as well as demands for answers and accountability. in ohio, a criminal
investigation is under way after a police officer shot and killed a 16-year-old black girl, makiyah bryant. she was a young woman who had a knife. and the state of north carolina demands transparency after a black man, andrew brown, was shot and killed by deputies there trying to serve a search warrant. we've got a ton to cover this morning with reporters all around the ground. shaq, you know i'm starting with you. in the last three days, we've gotten derek chauvin's veshd, we've seen now this review taking place into the minneapolis police department and now daunte wright is being laid to rest later today. this city has been through the ringer. excuse me, daunte wright. >> that's exactly right, stephanie. there have been big headlines here, bringing a range of emotions. of course today we will be laying to rest daunte wright, 20
years old, who was shot 11 days ago, shot and killed by a brooklyn center police officer who yelled taser, taser, taser and filed that single shot into daunte wright. we will expect to hear from his family, from his friends, his parents, mother and father and from his six siblings. we'll also hear from political leaders. we will hear from the reverend al sharpton, who will deliver the eulogy. we will hear from ben crump, the family for the attorney, who will be delivering what the family is calling a plea for justice. we know amy klobuchar will be in attendance for the service. and they're also launching an investigation into the minneapolis police department looking to see if there was pattern and practice of excessive force being used, discriminatory policies. that was a move welcomed by many people here on the ground in
minneapolis, including members of the city council who in the weeks after george floyd's death called for the department to be defunded. and you heard the chief police arradondo said he welcomed the probe and would fully comply with it. earlier this week we heard the verdict, conviction of derek chauvin. we know derek chauvin is the most secure prison in this state, being held in the most secure unit of that prison. a lot going on here in minneapolis. and the focus today is on daunte wright. >> mara, take us to columbus. what is the latest on the shooting? i know they've been moving fast to get information out. >> extremely fast, stephanie. we've got one bit of body cam video the same evening that makiyah bryant was shot tuesday afternoon and more body cam video and 911 calls, the audio just yesterday. i want to show you a bit of the perspective we got from the body
cam videos but i want to warn our viewers, the images may be disturbing. >> hey! what's [ bleep ]! hey, hey, hey! hey! get down! get down! get down! [ gunfire ] >> you might be able to see makiyah bryant had a knife in her hand when she was shot. you hear the officer shoot four times total but we don't know what led up to the incident. all we know is a 911 were called to come to the site. the investigation has been turned over to the ohio bureau of investigations. her family is heartbroken. there was speculation about why a taser wasn't used or officer didn't shoot at her leg to disarm her. the police chief here in columbus defending on the use of
force faced on the training the officer received and shooting to the leg would have been a small target. i want you to hear a bit from the mayor of columbus, who acknowledges the fact there's a tough relationship between the city of columbus and the police department here and how he thinks they should work forward. >> there's no doubt about it that the communities of color in this city and cities across this country are demanding change and reform and different type of relationship with the police moving forward, going from a law enforcement organization to a community policing organization. and that is the journey we're on here in columbus and it can't happen soon enough. >> we saw peaceful demonstrations across the city last night as well as a vigil from which community members were expressing the need for police reform. here in ohio republican lawmakers introduced a bill that would call for an oversight board as well as database to track police use of force incidents. stephanie? >> republicans and democrats
calling for more oversight at the very least, bipartisanship is without a doubt what we need. take us to north carolina. information where you are has been a lot harder to come by regarding the shooting of andrew brown. what do you know? >> that's right, steph. this investigation is really still in the nascent stages. it's now in the hands of the state bureau of investigation. yesterday they had a press conference but didn't give many specifics as to exactly what happened in this confrontation. what we do know is about 8:30 yesterday morning authorities were serving a search warrant on andrew brown and that is when a deadly con can frontation occurred and he was killed. beyond that we don't have much information. we do have yet another community demanding answers, demanding accountability and transparency that includes from the city council here in elizabeth city. they had an emergency session last night and they are demanding to know exactly what happened piece by piece, a
timeline of how this confrontation occurred and please say there is body cam video that they will be reviewing in the coming days to sort of put those pieces together. as of right now, they're not saying anything about what happened in that interaction and what caused the death of andrew brown. his family here in elizabeth city, obviously in the same position as so many others. you've been mentioning very distraught, demanding transparency and answers, to understand exactly what happened in the confrontation that led to his death. steph? >> took place 24 hours ago and we are waiting to see that body cam footage. katie, maura, shaq, thank you all so much. i want to bring in reverend sharpton, host here of "politics nation" on msnbc and will be delivering the eulogy later for daunte wright on msnbc. reverend, what a week.
the chauvin verdict and now the wright funeral. where are we headed as a country? in theory we're headed in the right direction but you have stood up at that podium for decades. >> i think that we are in a very serious moment of real opportunity to deal with the issue of police reform that many of us have tried to get this nation to deal with legislatively for decades. just as though i was mentored by those dealing with segregation in the early '60s, they were able to get the civil rights act and voting rights act but that came after decades of work. i think we're at the moment now where we see the george floyd justice in policing act now before the senate, already passed the congress. because to go in a matter of days, three days after a verdict where for the first time in the history of this state where i live, minnesota, a white police
officer was convicted on two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter, it's time for us to say the time has come to really deal with how we deal with policing in this country. it is good for the public. it is good for the victims and black community and it's good for police. that's going to be part of my message at the eulogy today. when you have a young man like daunte wright that was killed by a 26-year veteran of the police department, they said she didn't know her gun from a taser, it's time for us to really look at this and see what we're doing in this country. >> reverend al, in the last ten minutes alone, we've talked about three different police shootings and it's easy to lump them together but they're very different circumstances. if you think about makiyah bryant in ohio, she was armed with a knife. we know daunte wright was not armed. and in north carolina we basically know nothing. how important is it to deal with each of these cases individually
and in context rather than lump them together? >> the thing we don't know is the circumstances in north carolina, we don't know everything about ohio, if there was another way we could have dealt with it. we don't know anything. we do know a knife was there. we know with daunte there was no knife. but one thread between all of them and many of the cases is lack of trust in the criminal justice system and law enforcement. that's why you need the legislation. every case the police may not be wrong but every case they're not right and that is why there's so much distrust because they unilaterally have always gone with the police. the police is right. don't question the police. when i stood with the floyd family the other night and heard the verdict and all of us broke out in tears, i thought about how i stood in courtrooms with
the mother of amadou diallo and shawn bell and eric gardner and others who never even got a guilty verdict. in some eric gardner's case never even got caught, michael brown's case, tamir rice's case, they never even got to court. so people are saying let's judge things one by one, which may be right but then judge them one by one when the police kills a 12-year-old boy in ohio. judge that one by one. the police have almost had immunity in terms of some areas of law enforcement, and that needs to stop by federal law. >> reverend al, thank you so much. i appreciate you joining me this morning. i know you have a pretty heavy day ahead. let's turn to washington to talk about this very thing, the push for police reform on the federal level. nbc's garrett haake, of course, where else?
on the hill. you said there's optimism around this effort. you think there's a chance this will get done? i love optimism, but, listen, we've all become jaded at this point. >> yes, let's be skeptical but not cynical about the pobltd of something happening here is the way i'm approaching this. a police reform bill cannot be done with just reconciliation or democratic votes. you have to get to 60 in the senate. that means tim scott, senator from north carolina, a pivotal figure here. he's been given wide latitude to negotiate on behalf of republicans for the kind of police reform they might see as acceptable. he told me yesterday he narrowed this down to four, five issues with karen bass and cory booker. remember, the george floyd justice in policing bill includes things like outright ban on choke holds, ban on no knock warrants. scott's bill goes a different
way. maybe we hold funding from departments who don't do this right. and the sticking issue is qualified immunity, someone affected by police violence to sue that individual officer or department. scott is floating the ideas of suing departments intentionally but not individual officers. will that be acceptable to democrats? that remains to be seen. some outside activists say that does not go far enough. but there's a goal in mind to get something through the senate by may 25th, the anniversary of george floyd's death. as long as the debate is going on, yesterday was the most optimistic i have seen the involved lawmakers be about the prospect of getting something through to president biden. >> the most optimistic, i will take it. thank you, garrett haake. let's get smarter on policing and bring in a man who knows a ton about it in this country, chief frederick alexander. he served as police chief for dekalb county, georgia. he was president of the national organization of black law
enforcement executives, and member of president obama's task force on 21st century policing. chief, i'm so glad you're here. you're the person we want to help us on this. what should the federal government be doing in terms of setting standards for training, hiring and basically how police do their jobs on a day-to-day basis? >> certainly what needs to happen here, stephanie, both sides of the aisle, both democrats and republicans, need to role model and demonstrate to the rest of this country a willingness to an attempt to do something in this very difficult time that we're in. this operation between philosophies of how they feel about this bill, that needs to be put aside for a moment and look at this for the best interest of the community that's involved. essentially, that's what it really comes down to. you have a bill here that's being presented. there appears to be some
cooperation that may happen between both sides of the aisle, but i think this is a perfect time in american history at this very moment, for both democrats and republicans to come together, role model to this country, and enact real federal legislation that's going to help move policing forward in this country, because policing at this very point, at this moment that we're in at right now, people don't feel that they can trust police in many communities across this country. they're certainly that do feel that way, but when you have any part of your larger community who feels they cannot trust their policing, they cannot trust public safety, then we have a problem in this country. and even if we look at these three incidents that occurred here most recently, and even though they may be different in terms of their circumstances, there is a similarity in all of them and that is that
communities right at this very moment don't believe anything that police say. so that is problematic in and of itself, even when video footage is put in front of you, even when people can see for themselves what the truth is, such as in the george floyd case, and recent conviction of derek chauvin. people want cooperation. people want answers. people want to be able to call the police in the most desperate moments of their life. but they don't want to feel that when they call police, that the chances of their survival lessens because they called police to the scene. that is not how it's supposed to be. i have been in this job for 40 years. i'm retired now. and i tell you, i'm tired of seeing what we are seeing every day. i struggle with it, but we all got to do something much different than what we've been doing in the past. we need our federal legislators to lead the way and role model for the rest of this country what we needs to happen.
>> then i want to ask you what this means for the men and women who serve in our police department or good men and women that might not want to going forward because we don't trust policing in this country. and i want to share a bit of what the president of the fraternal order of police said yesterday. quote, it is very obvious all of the rhetoric is having an impact on our ability to recruit the best and brightest. recruitment is down. lots of officers are choosing to take their retirement. so what we are seeing is the experience levels of departments going down. you add to that cities downsizing their agencies, putting all of these factors together, it is a perfect storm for unsafe communities. what do you say to that? >> here's what i will say to that is this, i appreciate his observation and his anecdotal thoughts about it. but let me add another anecdotal thought as a recently retired chief of police. let me say this, we have been losing police officers for a number of years for a variety of reasons, not just because we're in the moment that we're in.
we have young people, particularly millennials, who themselves have other opportunities wednesday that they're taking, not just in policing. they're not -- not coming to policing merely because of the criticism policing is under. they're also not coming in to policing because of the negative things they see police doing. it works both ways. so what we have to do if we want to recruit the best and the brightest and to retain them is we have to make sure that you pay them well, you give them good benefits, you give them a good retirement, you have to be really competitive because there's a lot of competition out there for the best and the brightest and that's no different in policing and, yes, you do have senior officers who are leaving for a variety of reasons. but here's what we do know is that in this environment we're in and the literature points this out, stephanie, young people that go into any jobs today only stay four, five, six
years so we have to have a constant rebuilding and a pipeline of men and women coming into the profession. once we recruit the best and the brightest, we also have to train them adequately to prepare them from this very complex diverse world that we live in. so we've got to look deep into who we are recruiting, training modalities, how we're training, what we're training, what we need to do train or less of, and then supervise them appropriately and then we've got to bring them into a police culture that is healthy because many of our cultures across the country can use some help right now and some change. but that change here again is going to start with some federal oversight. i wouldn't have said this four, five, six years ago, but today we need federal support in this -- with this problem. >> chief, thank you so much for joining us this morning.
we've got to leave it there because we've got breaking news in washington. president biden hosting dozens of world leaders virtually to talk climate and he just made a major announcement on this, of course, earth day. i want to go right to geoff bennett at the white house. geoff, what did he say? >> steph, president biden is pledging to cut u.s. greenhouse gas emissions by half at the end of the decade. by the year 2030. this is part of the u.s. commitment to the paris climate agreement, which is the u.s. re-entered under president biden reversing an exit under president trump. this announcement is coming, yes, on earth day but on the first day of this two-day virtual climate summit here at the white house. the president has convened 40 world leaders, including russia's putin and china's xi jinping among them. and the president said no nation can solve this crisis on their own, all of us, particularly the world's largest economies, have to step up. the u.s. faces skepticism overseas since world leaders
have seen u.s. climate policy shift dramatically, depending on who occupies the oval office. but both the president and vice president certainly want to put the u.s. back at the center of this global effort to combat climate change, steph. >> geoff bennett, thank you. keep us up as any other big announcement comes. coming up next here, the big question again this morning, do we need to wear masks outside as the u.s. marks a major vaccine milestone? we're going to explain why the most important and possibly frightening number today is 11%. stay with me, 11%. i'll tell what you that means. we didn't stop at computers. we didn't stop at storage or cloud. we kept going. working with our customers to enable the kind of technology that can guide an astronaut back to safety. and help make a hospital come to you, instead of you going to it. so when it comes to your business,
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now to the latest on the coronavirus pandemic. the u.s. reaching the grim milestone surpassing 32 million covid cases since the pandemic began. overseas india has now set the record for the most new covid infections in a 24-hour period. more than 312,000 reported. president biden outlining plans to reimburse small businesses for giving their employees time off to get vaccinated, while announcing his administration has officially met their goal of 200 million vaccine shots in his first 100 days in office. but that big announcement coming with i would say very worrying news. over the last few days, daily covid vaccinations have dropped by 11% for the first time since february. and we've got to find out why. joining us now former cdc
director, dr. tom frieden. tom, how do you explain this, a drop in vaccinations, why? >> i think a few things are going on. first, there was concern about the pause of the johnson & johnson vaccine and also there's a lack of supply of that vaccine. so that's one challenge. second, we have reached the people who are eager -- most eager to get vaccinated in many cases. now the challenge is to reach the unreached. and that is really the theme of what we need to do going forward, reach the unreached. and that's quite diverse. that includes black and la teenex people in the u.s., trump voters in rural areas and that includes people around the world who are potentially years away of having access to vaccine, unless we do much better. >> let's talk about them. you participated in another focus group of vaccine hesitant
trump supporters and i want to share a bit of what they said. watch this. >> we don't know the side effects. >> i have been out and about every day since this started, never been sick. i just don't see the rush. >> i just see so many different opinions, conclusions, contradictions that just leave me very uncomfortable. >> this group had three key points, stop talking about booster shots, don't bully them and they're sick of dr. fauci. how do you win these people over? >> first off, i think one theme that really came through in this group is that they feel disrespected. they feel like anyone who asks a question about vaccine is seen as a bad person. and that's a problem, because people have valid concerns. and we need to do more to listen to those concerns and answer them and give people just the facts about vac.
there are a lot of questions people have, people not yet vaccinated. the good news, stephanie, we're getting -- this is actually a social norm here. most adults have been vaccinated. decreasing proportion of people say they're not going to get vaccinated. so we need to reach the unreached and that means getting vaccine to communities that don't have good access, and that includes some central city areas, some rural elderly. that includes a lot of groups that don't have access yet. for that, it's crucial we work with community entities and doctors' offices. we need to get vaccine into more doctors' offices. the doctor will be the single, most effective person to convince someone to get a vaccination. we need to ramp that up. we need to aim and be more strategic how we're getting vaccines to people because that's going to do much more good. if we get vaccine to the highest risk communities, highest risk people, we will be able to crush the curve faster. >> get them more facts about
vacs. i have a few more questions and we're almost out of time. take me out of the ideal situation and get me to the realistic one, this growing debate over whether people should wear masks outside. if we don't have to wear them inside restaurants when we're in an enclosed space sitting across from people, why do we have to wear them outdoors? >> it really depends on the level of spread in the community. if you're in michigan right now, you shouldn't be in a restaurant really, frankly. also, for some outside environments -- >> go outside then. do we need them outside? >> i would say they're not essential unless there's a very high rate of spread. or you're close to people. there's an outdoors where people are packed together cheek to jowl and there's an outdoors where you're walking in the woods on your own. i know you have to take it with a context in mind. i know that's not the simple answer people like. i wear them outside here in new york city, make other people comfortable and i may quickly go
into a store for something and may not have a mask to quickly put on. i think this is one of the things that should change in the coming months. as more people get vaccinated, we will reduce case numbers and we can stop wearing masks outside in communities where we don't have intense level of spread. >> dr. tom frieden, always good to see you, you always make us smarter and safer. coming up next, the market opening -- right about now. we're getting a brand-new sign of economic recovery this morning. it's thursday. that means we get the weekly jobless number. this as republicans are sent to lay out their counterproposal to president biden's infrastructure plan. congressman kevin brady joins me live. and we've got a brand-new digital episode of "money makeovers" out today. i spoke with a woman who spent much of her pandemic saving and planning and now it is time for her to take some financial risks, invest, maybe even travel. find out what we recommended on nbcnews.com.
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dom, but this number in context for us. where is this number in terms of pre-pandemic? >> stephanie, you mentioned it just now, things are continuing to get better and that's the good news. the headline number you read off, 547,000 weekly jobless claims, it was also below the consensus estimates from economists polled as well and also lower than they were last week, which is also a pandemic low, until the new pandemic low was hit this week. so that continued drop in the number of americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits is just another sign that things are slowly getting back to normal. it could also show that the country could be getting set for a relatively robust summer if things continue on this track. more states are in the process of planning to ease covid restrictions, especially here in the tristate areas. companies are looking to hire again. that's the good news. the bad news is there are still millions of americans who remain in a situation where they've been collecting unemployment benefits for multiple weeks now. that's the so-called continuing
claims number, that stands at an unacceptable 3.3 million people. yes, much lower and to go back in time the pandemic peak, stephanie, of the continued claims number was nearly 25 million american last year in may that were collecting multiple weeks of unemployment benefits. still, it shows there's a long way to go. by the way, stephanie, still around 17.5 million people are receiving some sort of pandemic-related program assistance. i mentioned companies starting to hire again. we are hearing, by the way, anecdotes from various parts of the country about the difficulty in finding people to hire as things in the economy get going again. that will be something, stephanie, to watch in the coming weeks. >> especially in lower-wage jobs, service jobs. many people in the service industry left the industry last year. they're now working permanently in warehouse centers and to dom's point, while people are getting full-time unemployment assistance, it's hard to get them back and do part-time work.
we don't offer part-time benefits. dom, thank you. let's turn to capitol hill where in a few hours republicans are set to unveil their counterproposal to president biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan. while democrats are not likely to get on board to this plan, it could be a step in the right direction in terms of negotiations. also today a group of bipartisan -- ding, ding, ding! i like to ring a bell when we say that, bipartisan senators to meet on their own infrastructure proposal they hope both sides can agree on. leigh ann caldwell is on capitol hill. when i get to say the word bipartisan in negotiations, you know that means i'm inviting you on. what do we know about this gop counterpro bosal? >> hopefully the words bipartisan proposal come to fruition. president biden told reasons he can't just oppose the infrastructure proposal, they have to come up with an alternative and that's what they're doing. they're unveiling a framework today led by republican senator shelley moore capital of west
virginia and roger whitaker of mississippi. it will be a fraction of biden's plan of around $600 billion to perhaps $800 billion proposal. it will focus on traditional infrastructure, roads, bridges, ports. the but, steph, when you take apart the biden infrastructure plan and you just take out the traditional infrastructure, it also is just over $600 billion. so they might not be that far apart if they can agree on what the definition of infrastructure is. now the most complicated part, of course, how to pay for it. the republicans are expected to propose user fees like electric vehicle drivers who don't pay a gasoline tax will have some sort of other tax to help pay for this plan and other things like that, that is something democrats are likely going to oppose. meanwhile, while you have the democratic plan, republican plan coming out later today, then there's this moderate group in the middle who are hoping to be the goldilocks of this entire
situation and bring both sides together. they are working on a compromised proposal. once again, how to pay for it is still difficult for them too, steph. >> let's discuss how this thing gets paid for. thank you. let's bring in the top republican on the how ways and means committee, texas congressman brady. always good to see you. i know it's being led on the senate side but can you share any details on this republican counteroffer and are you on board based on what you know? >> so we're watching this carefully and, clearly, i think there's consensus that really i think the president needs to start over on this because, let's start with bipartisan support. roads, bridges, infrastructure and broadband, for example, have always been priorities for broth parties. we always worked together on those issues. why not do that again? i think refocusing it down on not just traditional infrastructure but looking at broadband issues like that make
perfect sense. of course, when he coupled that with the largest tax increase in seven years on job creators as we're trying to recover from an economic crisis, that makes no sense. in fact, the economists seem to show america is the net loser in this economically when you add those tax increases. i think this is certainly the right direction. >> let's talk through that, because even though we would get a tax increase for corporates, it's still below where we were for corporates four years ago. if you don't like the idea of corporations paying more taxes to pay for this infrastructure bill, where would we get the money from? who pays? >> so this is a proposed one-third increase on taxes on job creators. it would be a rate worse than china and the same as syria. it will mean slower growth and hiring -- >> how do you want to pay for it? >> the point is i think we will
see u.s. companies move overseas. here's why i would focus, infrastructure, especially roads and bridges, has always been tied to user fees. i would look at that. secondly, we don't make very good use, a lot of our incentives right now, our private activity bonds need to be refocused on infrastructure. i think we look at our bonding abilities. and the other thing, stephanie, as you know, there is a ton of private capital around that would love to invest in america's infrastructure. we don't do it as strongly as many other countries do. i say let's draw this private capital into these solutions. it doesn't always have to be government taxes. >> all right. here's a question for you, corporations don't want their taxes raised, but this infrastructure program would help corporate america. roads, bridges, expanded broad
band, job creation, the economy having more money, that would be great for corporations. so why shouldn't they have to pay for any of this? they'll benefit. >> it is -- it is all offset economically by these tax increases. over the long term, infrastructure does help us grow the economy, not so much over the short term, long term it does. but the tax increases, as you know, land not on the corporations. they don't pay it, they collect it. lands on their workers, customers with price increases, families counting on it for retirement. again, there's no question when our tax rates are so much worse than our global competitors, you're going to see companies moving overseas. i will tell you the tax cuts and jobs act, whether you agree with it or not, it ended the inversions as we call it, companies moving headquarters overseas, it created a giant sucking sound back into the united states. we risk those jobs and
investments with those tax increases. bottom line, why are we funding infrastructure on the back of american workers? >> then do you agree with janet yellen, who wants a global minimum tax rate that would force companies to not repatriate themselves, set up headquarters in countries overseas, do you like that idea? >> no, america already has the global minimum tax to make sure companies are not moving profits into low-tax countries. we already have that in place. the rest of the world, when secretary yellen, whom i respect, comes to them and says we voluntarily slowed economic growth and made ourselves uncompetitive, won't you please join us, i think will slough that off pretty quickly. we're doing voluntarily, sort of sabotaging our own competitiveness, why in the world would they join us? >> i have to ask you, we've seen shooting after shooting in the past months. i know it is not easy to get things done in terms of gun
control or gun reform, i should say, gun safety. but an overnumber majority of americans want something done in numbers of safety. you're retiring. you don't need to get elected again in the state of texas. is it time to take some sort of stand on guns? >> it is time to find real solutions, especially these mass shootings. >> like what? >> i have not seen them in washington. i do think we need to focus more on keeping those guns out of hands of the bad actors. none of these laws do that. the other thing i'm kind of hopeful here, we do not have a mental health system. a lot of these mass shootings are tied to it. i think covid was created for the first time telemedicine and telehealth, ability to reach people when they're in crisis, i think this gives us an opportunity for both parties to sort of tackle what we haven't tackled, which is the mental health side of this is really driving this violence. i think this could be a
bipartisan approach. >> then just before we go, you said you haven't seen a good plan in washington. you don't have to wait to see it. you can write it. you're in office. what would be your plan to make us more safe in terms of guns? >> i would focus on making sure our background checks work better, that the information about bad actors, potential ones, are in there. they're not. secondly, i would really focus on how do criminals and how do bad actors get those? that's been lost. and finally, i would really get aggressive on the mental health care side of things. >> congressman, thank you so much for joining me this morning. i appreciate it. >> thank you, stephanie. and any minute now, the senate is set to vote on a bill to fight anti-asian hate crimes. it could make the justice department speed up reviews of hate crimes related to covid-19 and give local officials support to respond to anti-asian violence. it comes months after the
atlanta spa shootings that killed a total of eight people, including six women of asian descent. vicky nguyen has been all over this story since the beginning. it's personal. how would this bill directly help members of the aapi community? >> hey, good morning, steph. if it passes, the covid-19 hate crimes act would signal to people in the aapi community that you matter, that we at the federal level recognize what asian americans have gone through over this past year, which is being the target of racism linked to coronavirus. if you breakdown the bill and actually look at basically the four parts and things it's really calling for, yes, one, expediting the review of hate crimes by the justice department, two, going and giving resources to agencies across the country at the local level to help them educate people about what is a hate crime, how do you report a hate crime, and doing that in multiple languages. it also calls for the denouncing
and condemnation of racism and rhetoric against asians. i think really the most important part of this act would be the expansion of the collection of data for reporting hate crimes. right now there's no federal database, there's no one uniform way to take a look at hate crimes across all different groups and understand what's happening so that you can actually enforce the laws and across spikes in the crime. right now the only reliable data that we have comes from a nonprofit agency called stop aapi hate. in a 12-month period that started last march as the coronavirus was starting to spread across the u.s., they reported about 3,800 incidents of anti-asian racism ranging from verbal assault all the way to physical attacks against the elderly. 68% of those crimes were reported by women. so we are getting a sense of what's happening but it's not enough. so if this passes, it would really be a step towards letting
the asian american community, 23 million asian americans in this country, letting them know you matter. >> absolutely do. vicky, thank you very much for joining us and covering this. we will leave it there. coming up -- a story you haven't heard about but you do not want to miss. dozens of major retailers we know have gone bankrupt during this pandemic. but i want to tell you who pays when the big guys go down. you know the answer is going to be the little guy. ng to be the little guy. at storage or cloud. we kept going. working with our customers to enable the kind of technology that can guide an astronaut back to safety. and help make a hospital come to you, instead of you going to it. so when it comes to your business, you know we'll stop at nothing. [♪♪] so when it comes when you have diabetes, managing your blood sugar is crucial.
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this story matters. dozens of big retailers went bankrupt during the pandemic so who pays for it when that happens? well, one paper source filed for bankruptcy, small businesses that sold them products were left in the dust with tens of thousands left unpaid, at the same time company executives asked for over a million dollars in bonuses. we got a closer look on how these vendors are helping the fallout. the pandemic wreaked havoc on major retailers. >> we are now expecting a significant number of bankruptcies potentially filed between now and june or july. >> since march of last year, a slew of big name brands have filed for bankruptcy. >> brooks brothers have filed for bankruptcy pokes. >> nyman marcus, j. crew and customer favorite like lord and taylor and pier 1 imports and lucky brand.
>> the pandemic drastically cut foot traffic. that's a recipe for a very difficult time. >> louisiana year, 628 large companies filed for bankruptcy. the most since 2011. just last month, 61 filed, nearly doubled the number from february. one of them is paper source. this stationary gift store, it filed for bankruptcy with over $100 million in debt. some of that money owed to small business owners. >> and what was your relationship like until march of this year? >> when i first got an e-mail on a purchase order with them, i was super thrilled. it was like a big goal of mine to be in there. so i was thrilled. >> for two years, the brooklyn-based illustrator surprised cards and books at 158 locations across the country. while 2020 was challenging as it was for many people, this year started looking much better. >> in 2021, they ordered a lot from me. i was very excited because it
seemed like it was turning over a new leaf and i didn't really want to question it. because i thought it was a seen of good things coming. and then when we heard that they filed for bankruptcy, it was like they just pulled the rug out from under us. >> she fulfilled the large order from paper source in late february. but now that it's in bankruptcy, she says the company hasn't paid her in full. even as stores remain opened. >> i shipped my product. they were supposed to pay me. they're not going to pay me. but they're going to be allowed to keep their doors opened and sellpy cards in over 150 stores. it feels like they're selling stolen goods. i don't understand how this is legal. >> alex also thought a large order was a sign of paper source's recovery, not impending bankruptcy. >> we thought it was something exciting and cool. it turned out to be the complete opposite. >> her company which sells chicky cards, paper goods, has been working with paper source
over five yearn. >> they placed like over an $800 in january and to place an order in february. we would see those numbers in a six-month period, not in a two-month period. >> several suppliers question why paper source placed these large orders then filed for bankruptcy, leaving them out thousands of dollars. winnie parks, the ceo of paper source told nbc news, these purchases were consistent with how paper source has always operated, where the retailer buys more at the start of the year to plan for upcoming hom days, like mother's day. as these large women-owned vendors try to get paper source to pay them the thousands they are owed, executives at the bankrupt company are requesting a combined total of a million dollars in potential bonuses for themselves. >> there is something uncomfortable in seeing executives being paid large sums while many of the suppliers are going unpaid. >> many of those suppliers
operate on slim margins. a few thousand bucks can make or break them. with a national chain like paper source if bankruptcy, it's possible they may only get a portion of what they're owed. >> bankruptcy doesn't have a social agenda. it doesn't have a social policy agenda in the sense it's trying to distribute the pain in a way that is consistent with maybe some notions of fairness. >> paper source says it started to pay back some of the vendors, at least partially in hopes to pay everyone eventually in full. >> but if we're not getting paid for what we've already supplied, who knows if we will make it to that point. >> they've made it through the pandemic but still struggle with the ripple effects. >> and that is how bankruptcy law works. the big guys file, the little guys pay. it's legal, potentially time for a change. that wraps up this very busy hour. i am stephanie ruhle. hallie jackson picks up breaking news next.
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