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Four People Dead, 130 Rescued As Flood Waters Deluge Nashville; Michigan's Top Health Official State In Third COVID-19 Surge; Two Killed, Eight Injured During Multiple Shootings In Virginia Beach; Interview With Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA). Aired 3-4p ET

Aired March 28, 2021 - 15:00   ET



FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello, again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

All right, developing today in Nashville. Dangerous flooding killed at least four people and left dozens more in need of rescue. People posted video on social media showing just how fast the water was moving in some areas.

Residents of one apartment building said they had to be rescued as the floodwaters rose. Nashville's fire department says it has helped rescue at least 130 people so far. The City's Mayor said but fortunately and unfortunately they have past experience.


MAYOR JOHN COOPER (D), NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE: Lessons from the 2010 flood did help us prepare for an improved flood response. Now, these include well-trained, swift water rescue teams and improved real-time information sharing between Metro Departments.


WHITFIELD: CNN's Martin Savidge joining me now live from Nashville. So, Martin, what kind of damage -- I see that one building behind you, but is this widespread, just like that?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is widespread but with a limited footprint, what I mean by that is that this was not the 2010 storm that covered such a large significant part of Nashville. This one is a little different, but the areas it hit, the damage is significant.

And what it shows you is the power of water. This was flash flooding, so you can see there's no water around us now. That water is gone.

But when it was here, it was able to take this building and move it about a quarter of a mile. Well, it didn't just push it, most of the contents are still inside so that would imply that this thing pretty much floated all the way here.

Every home on the street and most of them are single-storey homes have been impacted by water and now you can see the after effect as people try to either salvage what they can, dry out what they can or eventually sort through it and then throw it away. Flooding is awful when it comes to a cleanup.

It happened around 11 o'clock last night that's when people say the first bout of the bad weather came and the water rose here with a tremendous force and very fast so that by the time people started to think about leaving their homes, well, the river was pretty much where the road was and vice versa.

Some people did go down to a neighbor's house down the street that has two stories and they waited it out there. They really didn't know how bad it was going to be. Manuel Chavez is one of those who had to think quickly.


MANUEL CHAVEZ, NASHVILLE RESIDENT: You can see the level -- the level about right here. This is the level of the water --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How scary was it last night?

CHAVEZ: Very scary.


CHAVEZ: What happened is, it started raining so hard. Lightning, thunderstorm.

We lose everything. Everything -- mattress, couch -- everything, everything, electronics this tall -- everything goes.


SAVIDGE: Everything in the neighborhood often ends up in what were just ditches or creeks, but turned into torrents and now you can see that there's just all kinds of people's belongings even mailboxes ripped out even though they have cement baes. That's the power of a flash flood.

Four deaths as we reported already and the reason for that is that often, people in their vehicles or that they are on foot, simply get carried away by the force of the water. Fred, back to you.

WHITFIELD: Wow. I mean that demonstrates just how powerful the force of that water is indeed. Martin Savidge, thank you so much in Nashville.

And this just in to CNN. The top health official in Michigan tells CNN that state is now in its third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials are seeing community spread across the state and cases are rising in school-aged children especially between the ages of 10 and 19.

Evan McMorris-Santoro is joining us now. Evan, what do they believe is causing this spike? EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Fred, we've been

watching Michigan for a while now. As the entire country gears up of what could be a third surge as these cases seem to be rising all over the country, but Michigan has been particularly bad and what they say there is now they are in that third surge, which they are attributing to as you say community spread, some events at schools and things like that.

What the state is trying to do is what everybody is trying to do which is dramatically expand access to vaccines. Starting April 5th in Michigan, everyone over the age of 16 is able to get a vaccine and officials are urging people to go ahead and sign up now ahead of that April 5th date to try to get on the calendar and get those vaccines in their arms.

That's what they say is the best way to slow this down, but also they're of course saying double down on masks, social distancing, all the things we've been doing for the past year to keep doing those things even though the weather is getting nicer, even though travel is becoming more easy to do, right now is not the time to take your foot off the gas, say people in Michigan and all over the rest of the country -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, Evan McMorris-Santoro, thank you so much.


WHITFIELD: All right, meanwhile, the community of Virginia Beach demanding answers after a deadly police involved shooting. An officer opened fire on a 25-year-old black man, but did not have the body cam activated at the time. That shooting, just one of three incidents taking place in the same area of that city Friday night leaving an additional person dead.

So in all, two people did, eight injured. CNN's Brian Todd is in Virginia Beach for us. So Brian, what more are we learning?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, Fredricka. We do know that police earlier today executed a search warrant at apparently someone's home. They're not giving much information other than to say the search warrant was an effort to gain some evidence.

Evidence is what they need, information is what they need and what we need because little of it has been forthcoming by police so far, whether they know something and just don't feel like they can release it or whether they're still piecing a lot of this together, we don't know, but they have executed a search warrant.

We have another update for you this afternoon that four people remain hospitalized at least one hospital, Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, four people hospitalized this afternoon. Two of them may be released this afternoon, but a total of 10 people were injured in this chaotic shooting, series of shootings that unfolded on Friday night.

Now a key question, the key question regarding that officer involved shooting, the killing of Donovan Lynch, a 25-year-old black man, was he armed? Was he not armed during that confrontation?

The Police Chief, Paul Neudigate addressed reports that said that Mr. Lynch had not been armed. This is what the Police Chief had to say last night.


CHIEF PAUL NEUDIGATE, VIRGINIA BEACH POLICE: I've seen some of the community concerns about Mr. Donovan being -- or Mr. Lynch being unarmed. What I can tell you is that there was a firearm recovered in the vicinity of where this incident occurred. We would like to be more forthcoming, but unfortunately, we do not have body cam footage of this incident. The officer was wearing a body cam, but for unknown reasons at this point in time, it was not activated.


TODD: Now that intersection down there on 20th Street and Pacific Avenue here in Virginia Beach, that's what you're looking at. That's the scene of where Donovan Lynch was shot and killed, that intersection there, but this shooting was very chaotic in nature.

The first a series of shootings occurred over here where at least eight people were injured. Nobody killed in that set of shootings. But then another shooting unfolded on this street, 19th Street and Pacific Avenue -- 19th Street -- well, it apparently unfolded down that way a little bit on 19th Street. That's when a bystander, Deshayla Harris was shot and killed, 29-years-old.

And then a little bit later, the Donovan Lynch shooting occurred again, just down the street here. So that's just how chaotic this was. Why the officer's body camera was not turned on? We have not gotten that answer. We've been pressing police all day.

Another extraordinary thing that we learned last night from the Police Chief, Fredricka, as of last night, a little less than 24 hours after the shootings occurred. They had still not spoken to that officer.

We've been pressing the police on why they have not spoken to him, whether that's changed since last night. Has that officer hired an attorney? Has he or she said anything? We're not getting those answers right now, Fredricka, we hope to get them later.

WHITFIELD: Right. And that amount of time passing only elicits more questions. How long does it take to answer why the body cam was not activated? How long does an answer -- you know, all the other questions of surrounding the circumstances.

All right, Brian Todd, thank you so much.

All right. Up next, the Biden administration facing increasing pressure to address the surge of the increase of migrants at the border, especially unaccompanied children. Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who just visited the southern border joins me next.


WHITFIELD: The Biden administration is defending its handling of influx of unaccompanied migrant children at the southern border. On Thursday, there were more than 18,000 children in U.S. government custody. That's an increase of more than a thousand from the day prior.

This, as we're also getting a new look at the conditions inside a crowded Border Patrol facility. The video coming from Republican Senator James Lankford showing people crammed together on the floor, inside pods covered with Mylar blankets at the facility in Donna, Texas.

For more on this, let's bring in Arlette Saenz. Arlette, what is the Biden administration saying about how it plans to address this situation?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, the Biden administration is trying to do a number of things to address this issue and that includes expanding the number of H.H.S. shelters which will ultimately hold these children on a temporary basis.

As you mentioned, more than 18,000 unaccompanied migrant children are currently in U.S. custody and about 5,500 of those are in those border processing facilities that you saw there in that video that was posted by that Republican senator.

And so what the President has said that they are trying to do is expand the capacity and the number of beds at these H.H.S. shelters, which will be more suitable for children.

And take a listen to White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki. She talked about this a little bit on one of the Sunday shows this morning.


JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The Trump administration was turning away kids at the border, sending them back on the treacherous journey, or they were ripping kids from the arms of their parents. We're not doing that.

We are committed to allowing cameras into the Border Patrol facilities. Absolutely. I will also say we're committed to solutions. That's why I noted that we reopened or opened three facilities that have almost 7,000 beds to allow for processing these kids more quickly out of the Border Patrol facilities.

We absolutely agree. These are not places for children. And our focus is on solutions and moving them as quickly as possible.


SAENZ: Now, in addition to that, President Biden has said that they need to address the root causes of why these people are leaving those countries down in Central America. That is why you heard the President appoint Vice President Kamala Harris as the point person to lead the diplomatic efforts with these Central American countries to try to address those root causes and stem the flow of migration.

Now, the White House argues that these people who are coming to the border, that this is cyclical, but it is so hard to compare this to years past when you have issues like the pandemic and other issues down in those countries that is affecting this migration. But the White House has made clear that this will not be an easy fix and they are anticipating that there will be more people coming to the border in the coming months -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Arlette Saenz, thank you so much for that. All right, the number of lawmakers from both parties have been making trips to the border for a firsthand look at the situation, and this week, Congresswoman Barbara Lee joined a handful of Democratic lawmakers who toured a migrant holding facility at the border.

And the Congresswoman joining me right now to talk about what she saw. Barbara Lee, good to see you.

REP. BARBARA LEE (D-CA): Good to see you, Fredricka. Thank you for having me.

WHITFIELD: Great. So, Congresswoman, I'm wondering before I ask you about your impressions of what you saw, just listening to a Jen Psaki was saying there with, you know, three facilities housing 7,000 children, do you believe that's a temporary fix? Is that enough?

LEE: It's got to be a temporary fix. Because first of all, the narrative has to change as it relates to immigration and migration. People are looking for a better life. The root causes, of course, the corruption, violence, instability in the northern triangle countries. And so I'm very pleased that the Biden administration is focusing on that, which is the long term solution.

I had the privilege to Chair the Subcommittee on Appropriations of State and Foreign Operations, which really looks at the funding and how we prioritize funding to address the root causes and the underlying causes for this.

No one wants to leave their home. These children would rather be home. The parents would rather be home. So we've got to see this as a long term problem that we -- that has been a long term problem that we must now fix.

WHITFIELD: So you're encouraged that the Vice President, this will be one of her, you know, focus, which will be how to stem the flow of migration, what to do, what to offer before migrants make it to the southern border? How hopeful about that are you?

LEE: Well, it's going to be hard.

WHITFIELD: Because it's going to take the cooperation of those countries. LEE: Yes, it is. And that's what we have to do. We have to start

working with these countries to address corruption, violence, instability, poverty, and we have to work together to make sure that we prioritize our tax dollars to do just that.

But let me say we have to have also the short-term solutions. I visited with Congressman Joaquin Castro, the refugee resettlement center in Carrizo Springs, right outside of San Antonio. And let me tell you, they gave us many suggestions in terms of how to make sure that these young people are processed more quickly so that they can get to their parents or their sponsors or whomever will be responsible for them.

I also visited with Congresswoman Veronica Escobar at the border and the facilities in El Paso, Texas, which, of course, I'm proud to say is where I was born in an immigrant community. And let me tell you, the Border Patrol there -- the Border Patrol, the Customs and Border Patrol are not prepared to take care of children.

We have to make sure we have more nonprofits in more places and an expedited process for these children to get to places where they're not held in confinement, because these -- the Border Patrol needs to do their job, and that is patrolling the border.

And so we have to see this differently. We have to provide social workers and medical staff and more individuals who can really help process these children.

First of all, they need to be embedded now in the Customs and Border Patrol facilities until we move them out. But also we need to expand the number of sponsors and expedite the process for children to be able to get out.

WHITFIELD: So, then tell me of your impressions from the recent tour that you had where many of these unaccompanied minors are, you know, finding refuge, at least temporarily. And were you -- did you see the same kind of scenes that was provided in video from Senator Lankford? I mean, are you looking at the same thing, overcrowded facilities, children under Mylar blankets? What did you see?

LEE: Absolutely. I saw that in El Paso and that's why I'm saying the Customs and Border Control, they need to do their job in terms of patrolling the border. We need to have more resettlement centers. We have to have sponsors who can take these children quick -- more quickly and process them.

We have to have the parents and family members ready to accept the children and go through the case management that's required.

I visited McAllen, Texas when the Trump administration was separating children from their families. I visited Homestead. It was a total disaster. It was awful, the pain and suffering and trauma.

We still have a long way to go and so the Customs and Border Patrol facilities are to hold people, hold adults. They're not prepared to take care of children, so we've got to reprioritize our resources. [15:20:22]

WHITFIELD: Are the conditions different or the same than what you saw during the Trump administration?

LEE: Well let me tell you, the Office of Refugee Settlement in Carrizo Springs for example is a lot different. The staff there is run by a nonprofit and they're trying to make sure that these children at least have six hours a day school, that they have three meals a day, that they're processed more quickly.

They need a lot of help though. They need more staff and they need a system that allows the transfer of these children more quickly.

WHITFIELD: All right, let me shift gears, if I could ask you about the battle over voting rights. Georgia passing this new voter restriction bill, critics saying it unfairly targets black voters, Democrats and this all comes at a time when the by the administration does have its hands full with several situations, pandemic, this crisis at the border.

The administration promising to launch a real effort for correcting infrastructure, addressing infrastructure. This is what Senator Warnock said the administration can do simultaneous to embarking on infrastructure.


DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Let's talk about some of the potential solutions for what you're talking about. President Biden, of course, called efforts to restrict voting in your State of Georgia and elsewhere an atrocity. He said it was Jim Crow in the 21st Century, but he also said the next big initiative is still going to be infrastructure.

So should the President prioritize Federal voting rights and legislation to do that over infrastructure or anything else?

SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): Oh, we can walk and chew gum at the same time. We've got to work on the infrastructure of our country, our roads and our bridges and we've got to work on the infrastructure of our democracy.


WHITFIELD: So how concerned are you, you know, that the only way in which to really address the Georgia new law is to try to get voter protections legislation passed on the Hill?

LEE: We absolutely must do that. We have to have Federal protections. When you see what is taking place throughout the country, now, especially in Georgia. We have got to protect our democracy and protect the right to vote.

This is a defining moment for our democracy and we have to do everything at once. There are many challenges. And so Reverend Warnock is absolutely correct. We have to seize this

moment and pass H.R. 1 which protects access to the ballot. We have to protect voting rights and pass H.R. 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

And so we have to do these things and we have to pass these bills immediately because we see all around the country where the right to vote is being taken away, the constitutional right to do vote --

WHITFIELD: But in order to do that, you need Republican support.

LEE: Well, we have to if -- I personally believe we should get rid of the filibuster. We have to do something as it relates to the filibuster so it can get through the Senate, but I think the President and the Senate, they're working together to try to figure out ways to make sure that we get these passed.

But this is an emergency on all fronts in this country. We have a pandemic. We have to pass an infrastructure bill. We must make sure that our democracy is protected.

People elect us to do the hard jobs and so I think that we're going to get there, but it's going to take a heck of a lot of work and a heavy lift, but we can't afford to go back to the days of Jim Crow and beyond past that.

I mean, the disabled deserve the right to vote, senior citizens, our young people. These voter suppression laws are affecting, yes, African-Americans, but there are so many, many people in our country and it's time to stop the voter suppression.

WHITFIELD: And you are indeed in the midst of a big heavy important job. Congresswoman Barbara Lee, thank you so much.

LEE: Thank you very much. Nice being with you.

WHITFIELD: Thank you. Up next, elected officials in one Arizona county thought to greenlight a F.E.M.A. vaccine site after the state initially rejected the offer. One of those elected officials, who is also a doctor, joining me next.



WHITFIELD: All right, at first, Arizona said no to accepting help in the form of a F.E.M.A. COVID-19 vaccine site, then an about face.

Reporter, Valerie Cavazos of our affiliate KGUN explains.


VALERIE CAVAZOS, REPORTER, KGUN-9 (voice over): F.E.M.A. can work with Pima County, but Dr. Cara Christ says the State will not be involved in providing any resources or funding. Pima County would be responsible for that. Listen to what Dr. Christ says followed by reaction from supervisor

Dr. Matt Heinz.


DR. CARA CHRIST, DIRECTOR, ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES: Pima County has, you know, provided their assurances that they will be able to support these sites. We are hoping that is without having any impact on any of the other currently operating sites.

CAVAZOS (on camera): We heard from the state, what's your reaction?

DR. MATTHEW HEINZ, SUPERVISOR, DISTRICT 2, PIMA COUNTY, ARIZONA: It is much faster and just better overall if we can have this direct relationship between the county and F.E.M.A. like this.

CAVAZOS (voice over): The county had pulled out all stops to get F.E.M.A. to set up vaccine pods at two sites in at-risk minority communities, El Pueblo Community Center and the Kino Event Center. The Board voted on a resolution requesting help from Homeland Security which oversees F.E.M.A. and Arizona's congressional delegation to make that happen.

Dr. Christ answered my question whether that played a role in the reversal.

CHRIST: I didn't specifically hear from congressional delegation either. So that didn't play a role. It was more of F.E.M.A. assuring us that the vaccine would not come from the State's allocation and then Pima County's reassurances that they could support this without the state having to reallocate resources.


CAVAZOS (voice over): But the reversal comes with conditions and concerns. In a letter to F.E.M.A., Dr. Christ writes: "The state is skeptical of the county's ability to provide needed resources and personnel." She says, "If the county cannot ensure the state-run site at the U of A will be impacted, then it would pull back its authorization."

County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry tells us he'll respond directly to Dr. Christ saying the county has run multiple sites without incident or State help. He says the county will resume its planning with F.E.M.A. and begin giving out doses as soon as possible.

Valerie Cavazos, KGUN-9, on your site.


WHITFIELD: Dr. Matthew Heinz was featured in that piece that you just saw. He works as a hospital physician and an internist and he's also a district supervisor in Pima County. Good to see you, Dr. Heinz.

HEINZ: Hello.

WHITFIELD: All right, so how hopeful are you about this vaccine site provided by F.E.M.A.?

HEINZ: It's a really fantastic opportunity for my county and to get over 250,000 vaccines working in this partnership with F.E.M.A. to establish a Federal, actually two Federal vaccine sites, as you heard in that piece, to really help impact both in my district to really focus on lower income and underserved areas and predominantly Latino parts of Pima County.

As we know, the Biden administration has made it very clear that vaccine equity of distribution is a major priority and that's why we fought so hard to make sure that we could get this relationship and bring these extra vaccines into Pima County.

WHITFIELD: So the underserved would benefit the most.

HEINZ: That's correct.

WHITFIELD: And how are they feeling about this new access?

HEINZ: Yes, very, very positive reaction so far, unfortunately, when the Governor was for almost a week, actually more than a week trying to, I guess, prevent the county from doing this, you know, a lot of my constituents, a lot of folks in these communities said, oh, you know, we kind of figured, and that was really heartbreaking to hear that they weren't surprised that the State Administration was trying to deprive them of this opportunity.

So I'm really thrilled that we're going to be able to bring these folks who need it the most access to the vaccine like this.

WHITFIELD: And overall, how is Arizona doing in the vaccine rollout?

HEINZ: It's slow to start. I mean, all across the state, we've seen vaccine scarcity outpaced by demand. This is not surprising early in this kind of a process. It's really hard to -- I mean, this is all unprecedented.

Pima County specifically has been doing very, very well, and I'm really proud of the efforts that my county has directed, whether it's mobile vaccine sites going into underserved neighborhoods.

Just in general, ever since we started doing this, we've been putting a focus on making sure that the Latino community and others who are at more risk and not getting access to a vaccine really are able to benefit.

And so we are vaccinating a significant number of these communities and these families throughout this process. And we're at about 25 to 30 percent of the folks -- residents in my county have received at least one vaccine at this point.

WHITFIELD: Michigan health authorities are reporting that they believe they're experiencing a third wave right now, a spike in COVID cases. How concerned are you about that trend perhaps being duplicated in your state potentially? HEINZ: Yes, no, you know, on a very granular level, I believe I'm even

starting to see that a little bit. The past couple of night shifts that I worked, last night and the night before, admitting more COVID patients and that's concerning, you know, to hear one there that I was almost seeing no COVID patients for the better part of a month, and now, I'm starting to see them come back in.

WHITFIELD: Why do you believe that is?

HEINZ: And with significant disease. You know, frankly, the Governor, not on the F.E.M.A. issue, but the Governor just this past Thursday, attempted to rollback all of the local mask mandates and other public health mitigation efforts that cities and towns and counties across the state have been doing, including my own.

Now, those are still in effect in Pima County here, but not helpful, giving that message out to people that everything is okay. Spring break is coming.

Humans want to interact with other humans, I understand that. And that's exactly what we're going to see. We're going to have a third surge, a third wave here, just like Michigan is seeing because the Governor and the State are rolling back these protections and these mitigation efforts and that's what concerns me most.

WHITFIELD: All right. Dr. Matthew Heinz, thank you so much. Continue to be safe.

HEINZ: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right, in this quick programming note, don't miss an unprecedented event with Dr. Sanjay Gupta when the medical leaders of the war on COVID break their silence, CNN's Special Report, "COVID War: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out" begins tonight at 9:00 p.m.




ANNOUNCER: In an unprecedented event, the leaders of the war on COVID break their silence.

DR. DEBORAH BIRX, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: They wanted to make sure that we stopped saying that the risk to Americans was low.

DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, FORMER DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: I finally hit a moment in life where I said, you know, enough is enough.

ANNOUNCER: What things saw --

DR. STEPHEN HAHN, FORMER COMMISSIONER OF FOOD AND DRUGS: That was a line in the sand for me.

FAUCI: We're in for a disaster.

ANNOUNCER: What they believe --

REDFIELD: People are not being transparent about it. You know, I could use the word cover up.

BIRX: I knew I was being watched. Everybody inside was waiting for me to make a misstep.

GUPTA: Were you threatened?

ANNOUNCER: And what's next.

DR. ROBERT KADLEC, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: As bad as this was, it could be worse and there will be another pandemic, guaranteed.

ANNOUNCER: Join Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

GUPTA: We were not testing enough?

REDFIELD: I agree with you.

GUPTA: Why not?

ANNOUNCER: CNN Special Report "COVID War: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out," tonight on CNN.




WHITFIELD: Opening statements begin tomorrow in the televised trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Under the knee of Chauvin, George Floyd's public death sparking intense debate over racial injustice, police accountability and the criminal justice system as a whole. Chauvin faces murder and manslaughter charges in Floyd's death.

CNN's Omar Jimenez has a preview of the high stakes trial.


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The eyes of a movement, one that sparked protests worldwide in the name of George Floyd shifts to a courtroom in Minneapolis.


JIMENEZ (voice over): Now to opening statements in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer has pleaded not guilty to the charges he faces: second degree unintentional murder, second degree manslaughter and third degree murder in the death of George Floyd.

Outside the courtroom, emotions will be running high. There have already been multiple protests throughout the city.

CHIEF MEDARIA ARRADONDO, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE: They've done so peacefully and they've assembled and gathered peacefully. We will continue to expect more demonstrations.

JIMENEZ (voice over): But the destruction that happened in May 2020 in the aftermath of Floyd's death is still fresh on the minds of city officials and it's why the building that houses the courtroom has virtually become a fortress due to increased security measures with the Mayor saying there's more to come.

MAYOR JACOB FREY, MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA: Residents should be expecting a gradual increase in law enforcement and National Guard presence as we progress through the trial.

JIMENEZ (voice over): The first step in this trial ...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm okay with that.

JIMENEZ (voice over): ... was getting through jury selection which lasted exactly two weeks.

CAHILL: You will serve on our jury.

JIMENEZ (voice over): Resulting in 15 jurors, 14 of which will be a part of the trial.

CAHILL: We have a 15th juror was to make sure that we have 14 people show up on Monday.

JIMENEZ (voice over): Their identities remain unknown for now. Attorneys for the Floyd family are pleased the trial can now proceed and wrote: "This is not a hard case. George Floyd had more witnesses to his death than any other person ever," and it will be witnesses who now come to the stand called by both prosecutors for the State and defense attorneys for Derek Chauvin.

Among what we know will be talked about, a portion of a 2019 George Floyd arrest for which he was never charged, but one more he ended up being sent to the hospital instead of jail, an interaction with police defense attorneys for Chauvin argued was similar to May 2020.

The paramedic from that day in 2019 is also expected to testify.

CAHILL: The whole point to here is we have medical evidence on what happens when Mr. Floyd is faced with virtually the same situation, confrontation by a police at gunpoint, followed by a rapid ingestion of some drug. RICHARD FRASE, CRIMINAL LAW PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA: Our

system of justice is a bit on trial. Can we give Mr. Chauvin a fair trial? Because that's essential. Can we give the State a fair chance to find him guilty under the law and the evidence?

JIMENEZ (voice over): The trial is expected to last up to four weeks, all the while a city, a family, a movement watches anxiously over what criminal accountability looks like in the death of George Floyd.


JIMENEZ (on camera): And there will be a vigil later tonight with the family of George Floyd, a reminder of what many feel is at stake with this trial and despite all of the pressures in the eyes on it, really what matters now is what happens inside those walls of the courtroom specifically looking at George Floyd's cause of death and Derek Chauvin's intent.

All of these charges are going to be considered by the jury separately, so Chauvin can get convicted on all of them, some of them or none of them.

The opening statements will be given by Special Assistant Attorney General Jerry Blackwell tomorrow when everything gets going at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, Omar Jimenez, thank you so much.

So, let's delve into some legal analysis here. I want to bring in CNN's senior legal analyst, Laura Coates, a former Federal prosecutor and host of "The Laura Coates Show" on Sirius XM. Laura, we will be watching you all week long as well.

So we know this courtroom you know will have television cameras, but how does that potentially affect the tone of the attorneys' presentations, the use of evidence and the demeanor or even how the public in court might see this case and the defendant, Chauvin?

LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So the last of it, Fred, the idea here that the court of public opinion is going to be watching is an understatement of the year. They are going to be watching to figure out how the presentation of evidence goes whether -- although, former officer Derek Chauvin is the one on trial, whether it somehow transforms to having George Floyd on trial.

The idea of the opening statements being an opportunity for the entire world to see what the burden of proof will be and how they intend to actually meet it and the defense, an opportunity to figure out and preview for us what they intend to rebut.


COATES: But overwhelmingly, although it's televised these prosecutors have to be focused on those jurors in the room. It doesn't matter what the court say, a court of public opinion out in the world, what's going to matter is what these jurors who they have all picked in the voir dire process, whether they believe the government has met their burden.

So the tone will be urgent in the sense of trying to have justice prevail if you're the prosecution. It will be urgent if you're the defense trying to say, listen, let's humanize this person and likely try to vilify the person with whom is the victim in this crime.

And so, you're going to have all these coming together, but ultimately, Fred, I think people are going to be a little bit surprised about how the sausage is made when it comes to justice in America and the idea of while his death was illustrative of so many things, the focus of these prosecutors must be on what happened in that moment, those eight minutes and 46 seconds.

And so, if people are expecting to see a world where justice in general is on trial, they're not going to get it, but this former officer being on trial in the pursuit of justice, they will see that.

WHITFIELD: But you also said and alluded to George Floyd, too, will be on trial. We heard the Judge's explanation there and justification as to why that videotaping of a previous arrest is admissible, but at the same time that could go very wrong.

I mean, these attorneys have to be mindful of the makeup of the jury. They know there are 15 made up of six men, nine women, nine white, four black, two of mixed race. So what do they have to be mindful of in how they present both sides of this case to that jury?

COATES: Well, these are human beings and to err is human, to have bias is going to be human, to be able to bring things in either when they're told not to use any of their prior knowledge, to come in with a clean slate -- all of those are direct in a very likely possibility for every juror in any case, we cannot guarantee.

They will have a blank slate, a blank mind, but we hope to have an open mind and when it comes to bringing in evidence and video of the victim, George Floyd in a prior interaction, they're going to have to be very specific as to why they're presenting it.

What is it trying to prove? Is it trying to prove that in a prior interaction between George Floyd and officers were the circumstances similar without the actual asphyxiation? That that officer was more prudent and he ended up in a hospital and live to tell the story?

Or are they going to show that this particular officer did all that he could and but for George Floyd's actions, his death resulted or would not have been able to be prevented?

And so, how they actually craft the narrative, how they present it is going to be very important. It can go both ways, you're right.

WHITFIELD: Right, how they present the biggest piece of evidence, which is the video that the world has seen many times over, those minutes in which George Floyd slowly dies.

Laura Coates, thank you so much.

And stick with CNN tomorrow for full coverage of the trial, and we'll be right back.



WHITFIELD: Global outrage this afternoon after a damning report details the brutal violence underway in Myanmar. The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund now says that at least 35 children have been killed by Security Forces since the military seized power in the country last month.

This, as those same forces have been cracking down on anti-coup protests reportedly killing 114 civilians on Saturday alone.

CNN's Will Ripley is following the situation for us. So, Will, certainly a lot of outrage over this report, but tell us more.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there certainly is, Fred, outrage from both inside Myanmar where you have the U.S., the U.K. and the E.U. embassies in Myanmar condemning the killings calling for an end to violence. You have a group of deposed government leaders saying that it was a day of shame on Saturday, and military leaders they say are murderers for reports that 114 people at least, were killed.

And this was happening in 44 towns and cities according to the Independent News Agency. Myanmar, now, we can't independently verify these numbers, but when you look at the overall picture, well over a hundred people reported killed in one day, which was supposed to be Armed Forces Appreciation Day.

Ironically, you had the leader of the coup, staging himself a parade, giving a speech promising to protect democracy, and yet his own soldiers were shooting to kill in the streets across of Myanmar and many of these young people who are getting injured and killed because many of the protesters are younger. They grew up before the 50 years of brutal military dictatorship. They don't have memories of what it used to be like.

We have a statement from the United Nations calling what happened, " ... shameful, cowardly, brutal actions of the military and police who've been filmed shooting at protesters as they flee and who have not even spared young children, and they must be halted immediately."

"The international community has a responsibility to protect the people of Myanmar from atrocity crimes."

And now many including, you know, leaders around the world, human rights groups, they are issuing stronger condemnations of what's been happening, Fred, but the question is, will those words turn into more concrete action? That's certainly what people on the ground in Myanmar want to know.


WHITFIELD: All right, Will Ripley, thank you so much. And thank you everyone for joining me today, I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

The NEWSROOM continues with Ana Cabrera after this.