Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Prosecution Questions Minneapolis Police Sergeant & Lieutenant; Biden Speaks on State of the Economy, March Jobs Report. Aired 11- 11:30a ET

Aired April 2, 2021 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[11:00:02]

STEVE SCHLEICHER, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: You can see -- is this Officer Arriola (ph) here?

SGT. JON EDWARDS, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: And he appears to be holding something? Is that right?

EDWARDS: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: Is that the crime scene log?

EDWARDS: I believe so.

SCHLEICHER: So you testified at some point you learned that Mr. Floyd had died. Correct?

EDWARDS: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: And do you recall how you received that information?

EDWARDS: It was later on in the night, Sergeant Dale actually informed me that he had -- Mr. Floyd had passed away.

SCHLEICHER: Was that pretty shortly after Dale and Zimmerman had arrived?

EDWARDS: Yeah. Yes.

SCHLEICHER: About 10:13 p.m.? Is that right?

EDWARDS: It was sometime after Sergeant Dale and Zimmerman arrived.

SCHLEICHER: And after that point, were there arrangements made for transport officers to bring Lane and Keung to City Hall pursuant to critical incident protocol?

EDWARDS: There were.

SCHLEICHER: Did you watch that happen?

EDWARDS: Yes. Officer Wolenski (ph) and Officer Ashoff (ph) responded to the scene and they were Officer Keung and Officer Lane's transport sergeants.

SCHLEICHER: Publish exhibit 90. Additional body worn camera footage. Do you see officer -- Sergeant Ashoff in this photo?

EDWARDS: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: Would you take your stylist and draw a circle? And Wolenski?

EDWARDS: I don't see Wolenski in this photo.

SCHLEICHER: Is this according to a time stamp 22:18:14. Is that right?

EDWARDS: Correct.

SCHLEICHER: Okay. And that was around the time that the transport officers arrived and I'm assuming the transport would have happened shortly after that?

EDWARDS: Correct.

SCHLEICHER: And they transported Lane and Keung to room 100 within city hall?

EDWARDS: Room 100.

SCHLEICHER: And was it about shortly after that about 15 minutes or so later that the BCA took over the scene?

EDWARDS: Yes. I was notified by Lieutenant Zimmerman that the BCA is on their way and they'll be taking over the scene. So, we requested -- me and my guys were requested to just stay put for scene security.

SCHLEICHER: Do you recall when BCA arrived?

EDWARDS: I don't remember what time they arrived, no.

SCHLEICHER: Show you exhibit 91. Do you remember the name of the agent?

EDWARDS: Yes. I believe his name was Special Agent Michael Phill (ph).

SCHLEICHER: Can you tell the jury what you see here in exhibit 91? Who are these people?

EDWARDS: That appeared to be special agent Michael Phill standing alongside Lieutenant Zimmerman.

SCHLEICHER: Okay. Here?

EDWARDS: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: And that's at 2300? Is that right?

EDWARDS: Correct.

SCHLEICHER: That's the proximate time then that BCA took over the scene?

EDWARDS: Approximately.

SCHLEICHER: You saw Special Agent Phill have a conversation with Lieutenant Zimmerman after that conversation took place, did you have a conversation with Lieutenant Zimmerman?

EDWARDS: I -- I believe I had a conversation with both of them afterwards.

SCHLEICHER: Okay.

EDWARDS: Brief interaction.

SCHLEICHER: When did -- did Lieutenant Zimmerman remain at the scene after the BCA took over or did he leave?

EDWARDS: He came up to me and just told me pretty much that it's in the BCA's hands now and they'll be here and just to ensure that myself and my officers remained on scene for scene security until the BCA tells us they're done with their job and that we can take down the crime scene tape and leave.

SCHLEICHER: Publish exhibit 92. Is this Special Agent Phill?

EDWARDS: Yes, that is.

SCHLEICHER: During the period of time you were speaking with him and getting instruction on what to do at the scene?

EDWARDS: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: Did he ask you to do anything with squad 320?

EDWARDS: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: What did he --

[11:05:01]

EDWARDS: He told me that they were taking custody of both the squad and Mr. Floyd's vehicle. And we noticed that the squad was still running. He asked me to open it up and power it down, which I did.

SCHLEICHER: Okay. Did you remove anything from the vehicle?

EDWARDS: No, sir.

SCHLEICHER: Now at this point in the BCA has the scene and you're no longer taking any investigative steps or collecting evidence, is that right?

EDWARDS: Correct. SCHLEICHER: But did you make observations of other officers doing

these things? Watching the BCA?

EDWARDS: Such as --

SCHLEICHER: Such as anything with the vehicle?

EDWARDS: No. No.

SCHLEICHER: Did you see --

EDWARDS: I didn't see anybody doing anything with the vehicles. Any other officer if that's what you're asking.

SCHLEICHER: Did you see other officers taking photographs, looking at the vehicle.

EDWARDS: No, sir.

SCHLEICHER: Did you see any forensic scientists or people you recognized to be forensic scientists come on to the scene?

EDWARDS: Just the team of people that special agent Michael Phill had with him.

SCHLEICHER: And those --

EDWARDS: Those are several BCA people there.

SCHLEICHER: Those are the folks allowed in the scene, is that right?

EDWARDS: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: At some point, did you watch the -- Mr. Floyd's vehicle be actually towed away by the BCA?

EDWARDS: Yes. Ultimately, Special Agent Phill had both the squad car as well as Mr. Floyd's vehicle towed from the scene.

SCHLEICHER: And you watched them do that?

EDWARDS: Yes, I was still on scene then.

SCHLEICHER: Publish exhibit 94. All right. Is this an image of the BCA towing away squad 320?

EDWARDS: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: And they'd already towed the SUV at this point, is that right?

EDWARDS: I believe so.

SCHLEICHER: Can you tell the jury then what you did with the scene after the vehicles were towed away? EDWARDS: After the BCA had the vehicles towed away, it wasn't very

long after that special agent Michael Phill told me that they were all finished now and we could take down the crime scene tape and leave.

SCHLEICHER: Did do you so?

EDWARDS: Yes, sir.

SCHLEICHER: Publish exhibit 95. This is at 3:34 and 54 seconds. What does this -- what does this image show?

EDWARDS: That's at 3:34 a.m. and that's me -- those are my hands helping take down the crime scene tape.

SCHLEICHER: Okay.

And so, at this point, the crime scene was clear, no longer needed to be secured and you would be able to exit the area, is that right?

EDWARDS: Correct.

SCHLEICHER: All right. Thank you very much. I have no further questions, Your Honor.

(INAUDIBLE)

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everybody. I am Bianna Golodryga. We are in day five in the trial of Derek Chauvin.

We have been watching the testimony of Sergeant Jon Edwards, a Minneapolis police sergeant who came to the scene in the moments and hours following at the death of George Floyd.

I want to get our panel, Laura Coates to come in here and weigh in with Charles Ramsey to get their take on what they just heard and the impact, if any, from Jon Edwards' testimony.

Laura, what did you take away?

LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it might seem like a very sort of benign or, you know, obtuse thing going on. But what the prosecution has to do is make sure they're meticulous about presenting evidence. What happened all the way through the end of it being a crime scene? They speak to witnesses? Were any witnesses compromised? Was there anything that was tainted on the scene in any way shape or form?

They've got to lay it out. They don't want the defense to be able to articulate at later time that something was awry in the investigation or development of the case, or that there were some evidence or something that is important to their defense.

GOLODRYGA: Chief Ramsey, this is the first time I believe we have heard from a police officer throughout this testimony this week. Anything stand out to you from what we just heard from Sergeant Edwards? CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, there is

procedural differences that are different from anything that my experience in dealing with these kinds of things that they do in Minneapolis.

[11:10:07]

For example, Officers Keung and Lane were still on the scene when the sergeant arrived.

(CROSSTALK)

GOLODRYGA: Excuse me. I'm sorry. Chief Ramsey, we are going back to another witness. Hold your thought.

JUDGE PETER CAHILL, HENNEPIN COUNTY COURTHOUSE: Mr. Frank?

MATTHEW FRANK, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: Thank you.

Can you please tell the jurors what you do for a living?

LT. RICHARD ZIMMERMAN, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE: I'm a police officer with Minneapolis Police Department.

FRANK: How long you have been a police officer?

ZIMMERMAN: Since June 3rd of 1981.

FRANK: And all that with Minneapolis?

ZIMMERMAN: No. The first four years from '81 to '85 I worked for the Fillmore County Police Department in southeast Minnesota.

FRANK: What did you do there?

ZIMMERMAN: I was a patrol deputy responding to 911 calls.

FRANK: And so then it was, 1985 that you started with Minneapolis.

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I had the weekend off and started in Minneapolis, in June 5th of 1985.

FRANK: And are you a licensed peace officer in the state of Minnesota?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I am.

FRANK: When did you first obtain your license?

ZIMMERMAN: I'm sorry?

FRANK: When did you first obtain your license?

ZIMMERMAN: June 3rd of 1981.

FRANK: And as a police officer, having that license, are you required to do certain things to maintain that license?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

FRANK: What kinds of things do you have to do?

ZIMMERMAN: We have to do continuing ed, like any other professional license. And we have to do 40 hours of different education, professional education, in a certain time period. I'm not sure if it's one or two years.

FRANK: If you don't, somebody's going to let you know, right?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, they will.

FRANK: And so since 1981, have you done all that has been required to maintain your license?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I have.

FRANK: When you started with the Minneapolis Police Department in 1985, what was your job? What were your duties?

ZIMMERMAN: I was a patrolman. I worked the north side precinct, called precinct 4. And I worked the third precinct, called precinct 3, of course. And then the permanent assignment is the fifth precinct which is, Lake, Franklin, Nicollet, Hennepin Avenue, Lake Street.

FRANK: So when you were working as a patrol officer, what kind of things do you do?

ZIMMERMAN: Well, we respond to 911 calls. We, you know, deter crime or try to deter crime, I should say. And yeah, that's kind of what we do. Traffic control. That kind of thing.

FRANK: Out on the streets every day?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

FRANK: At least every day you work, right?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

FRANK: And so then did your job duties change eventually?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes. In 1990, I -- crack became prevalent in the late '80s, so I joined the crack team in the fifth precinct where there were four officers and a sergeant. And we would, you know, do search warrants looking for drugs, that kind of thing.

FRANK: And so what year was that? I'm sorry?

ZIMMERMAN: Pardon me?

FRANK: What year was that?

ZIMMERMAN: 1990 to 1993. FRANK: And what did you do then in 1993?

ZIMMERMAN: I took the sergeant exam and passed it and was assigned to the adult sex crimes unit.

FRANK: So what does it mean to be promoted to sergeant?

ZIMMERMAN: Well, you take a series of tests and once you're promoted, you express your interest as patrol or investigations. And so I talked to the lieutenant in charge of the sex crimes unit and expressed my interest.

FRANK: So you mentioned having to take an exam?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

FRANK: Just like sitting down and like we do in school, taking an exam?

ZIMMERMAN: Yeah. It was a written exam. Once you passed that phase, then you take an oral exam. And then you were given your scores.

FRANK: And so you became a sergeant. Did some supervisory responsibilities come with that?

[11:15:00]

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

FRANK: Can you just describe for the jurors like what supervisory -- what kinds of responsibilities a sergeant takes on?

ZIMMERMAN: Yeah. Well, as an investigative sergeant, you know, you're assigned a case to follow up with the victims. And you do search warrants. And when you do search warrants, you have officers that assist you. So you'll assign them duties that, you know, such as, you know, assisting with the search warrant.

FRANK: And also have responsibilities to make sure the officers underneath you are properly trained?

ZIMMERMAN: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. When I do search warrants, I would explain to the officers that we don't want anyone to get hurt, either the officers or the subjects.

FRANK: And so just continuing with your history then, you went into the sex crimes unit as a sergeant and subsequent to that, did your responsibilities change?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

FRANK: Can you tell the jurors about that?

ZIMMERMAN: Yeah. In 1995, the homicide unit was expanding, because of the amount of murders that were occurring in Minneapolis in 1995. So they brought in myself and one other guy from the robbery unit. And we were assigned partners in the homicide unit.

FRANK: And which unit do you currently work at?

ZIMMERMAN: 1995.

FRANK: And which unit do you currently work in?

ZIMMERMAN: Oh, yes, I'm sorry. The homicide unit.

FRANK: So from 1995 to today, you've been in the homicide unit?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

FRANK: And did you at some time during that period receive another promotion?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

FRANK: Tell the jurors about that please.

ZIMMERMAN: Yeah, in 2007, I took the lieutenant's exam, or 2006, I took the lieutenant exam. That is a series of, again, written tests. And oral -- if you pass that phase then you go on to the oral interview phase. And you're notified of your results.

FRANK: And so you were promoted to lieutenant?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I was.

FRANK: So, how did that change your responsibilities, your job duties?

ZIMMERMAN: Well, usually when you're promoted, you're assigned to a different unit than you worked. But they ask me to stay in the homicide unit because of my experience.

And so I took over the job in 2008, November of 2008. And the duties are -- I get called for every death, suspicious death, deaths where, you know, it's clearly a homicide. Deaths where officers have any question about how a person may have died. I go out to the scenes.

FRANK: And do you also supervise other officers?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I do.

FRANK: Just describe for the jury your responsibilities and supervising other officers?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, we have, right now we have 12 detectives in homicide that make up six teams. They worked with the partner in homicide, and they're on a rotation basis for being on call. They're on call Monday through Monday. And when a team is on call, I go out to a scene, assess, you know, what the death may be involved and I'll call the on call team to come in and start working the case.

FRANK: So you still respond to scenes? ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

FRANK: But you also supervise the work of the investigators?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes. I -- every morning when I come in I -- I'll pull up -- it is called pulling up the cases. And we pull up every death report in Minneapolis. And I'll look through each report and I'll assign a case that I might have some questions about.

And I'll talk to the detectives, explain why I think this needs to be looked into. And that's Monday through Friday kind of thing.

FRANK: And so are you their direct supervisor then?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

FRANK: So you started with Minneapolis Police Department in 1985.

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

FRANK: Do you know where you are in terms of seniority in the Minneapolis Police Department?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

FRANK: Where is that?

ZIMMERMAN: I'm the number one officer in seniority.

[11:20:04]

I hate to say that. But I am.

(LAUGHTER)

FRANK: Understood.

Were you called out to a scene on May 25th of 2020?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

FRANK: And do you recall -- well, why you were called to that scene?

ZIMMERMAN: Yeah. Homicide response -- or I respond to critical incidents. And a critical incident can be anything from a death to a serious injury of either officers or the public. And so I was called in on this one.

FRANK: So, were you technically on duty at that time?

ZIMMERMAN: I was at home. And I was notified by my commander of the incident that happened at 38th and Chicago.

FRANK: And so then did you respond to that scene?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes. FRANK: And do you recall about what time it was you arrived at the

scene?

ZIMMERMAN: It was a little bit after 9:00 p.m.

FRANK: And the location of 38 and Chicago, are you -- were you familiar with that location at that time?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

FRANK: Fair to say no stranger to calls of violent incidents at that intersection?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes. Absolutely.

FRANK: When you arrived, can you just describe for the jury what you first saw when you arrived at that location?

ZIMMERMAN: I arrived on 38th Street and I parked on southwest corner on 38th street. I saw yellow tape up. It is crime scene tape around the intersection.

I saw Sergeant Edwards who I know from work on his cell phone. And I saw two officers. He was like in the middle of the scene kind of. And then I saw two officers standing on the southwest -- or the southeast corner of the intersection.

FRANK: And did you then approach those two officers?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes. Sergeant Edwards appeared to be busy on the phone. So I jut walked up to the two officers.

FRANK: And I'm going to show you -- well, we had an opportunity before court to show you a piece of body cam footage, shows you approaching the scene, correct?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

FRANK: And that appeared to be a true and accurate representation of your approach to those two officers?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, it is.

FRANK: And that reflects the time as well?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

FRANK: Your honor, I offer exhibit 96.

CAHILL: Any objection?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No objection.

CAHILL: Ninety-six is received.

FRANK: And we'll publish 96. (PROSECUTION EVIDENCE)

FRANK: This is the intersection of 38th and Chicago?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

FRANK: It looks like the time reflected here is 21:56.

ZIMMERMAN: Yeah.

FRANK: For those of us difficulty with that math even, what is the real time?

ZIMMERMAN: Yeah. It's four minutes until 10:00.

FRANK: OK. So a little closer to 10:00 when you arrived?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

FRANK: Right. And there is an individual. It's dark and hard to see. Do you know who the individual is in the cross walk there?

ZIMMERMAN: I don't know.

FRANK: Okay. All right. Let's continue.

(PROSECUTION EVIDENCE)

FRANK: Stop right here if we could, please.

And just for the record, 21:56:53, you see across the intersection there appears to be a person walking towards us?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

FRANK: And do you know who that is?

ZIMMERMAN: That would be me.

FRANK: All right. And we'll continue, please.

(PROSECUTION EVIDENCE)

[11:25:15]

FRANK: All right. You can take that down.

So it appears that you came to the scene in street clothes, right?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

FRANK: All right. And that's the moment where you walked up and talked to the two officers?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I did.

FRANK: Did you recognize those two officers?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes -- no, I didn't.

FRANK: And you appear to be on the phone. Do you recall who you were talking to?

ZIMMERMAN: I don't know if it was my commander or a deputy chief. I'm not sure.

FRANK: Okay. So then when you arrived there, those two officers --

GOLODRYGA: And we're going to briefly break into the trial of Derek Chauvin and go to the White House where President Biden is delivering remarks on the economy and jobs report for March.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm looking forward to it.

Well, good morning.

This morning, we've learned that our economy created 900,000 jobs in March. That means the first two months of our administration has seen more new jobs created in the first two months in any administration in history. But we still have a long way to go to get our economy back on track after the worst economic and job crisis in nearly a century.

But my message to the American people is this, help is here. Opportunities coming. And at long last, there is hope.

So for so many families -- so many families, credit for this progress belongs not to me but with the American people. Hard-working women and men who have struggled through this pandemic, never given up and they're determined to get the country back on track, as well as their families.

But I think it's also reflection of two things we're doing here. First, the new economic strategy we've launched, one focused on building from the bottom up and the middle out, and one that puts the government on the side of working people. And that rewards work not wealth.

When we invest in the American people, it's not just those at the top that make our economy grow. They're the ones that make it grow, ordinary Americans. We saw the economy gain traction in March as the American Rescue Plan moved and got past, bringing new hope to our country. We're going continue to implement that law in the weeks ahead.

By April 7th, next week, over 130 million households will have gotten their $1,400 per person rescue check. Funds are on their way to local communities to put educators, health care workers, home health care aides, police, firefighters, sanitary workers back on the job. They're getting more aid for small businesses. We're also going to hang on open sign again on the door to rehire folks that had to be let go.

And in the months ahead, a new childcare tax credit will cut taxes and provide help to millions of families with young children. There's nothing, nothing -- I know you're tired of hearing me say this, but I mean it (ph) -- there is nothing the American people cannot do if we give them a chance.

And the American Rescue Plan does precisely that for hard-working middle class folks at long last.

Secondly, today's report also reflects the progress we made on my other key priority, getting the American people vaccinated. We've turned around a slow moving vaccination program into being the envy of the world.

Yesterday, we set an all time record for Thursday vaccinations, ending a seven-day period that was the first ever where we've administered 20 million shots in 70 days -- in seven days. That's 20 million shots in a week. No other country has come close to doing that.

So we made significant progress on that front. But the fight is far from over. We know that vaccines are safe and effective. We're vaccinating more people than any other country on Earth. We also have progress on jobs and progress on vaccinations.

But in the face of this great news, I need also to make this clear and direct statement to the American people. The progress we've worked so hard to achieve can be reversed.

On the economic front, the benefits and the impact of the American Rescue Plan are temporary by design. It was a -- it is a rescue plan.

But as we get the economy back on its feet, we need to do the hard work of building back better for good -- not just for a while, but for good. Not just a short term, but for good.

That's why I propose American Jobs Plan on Wednesday in Pittsburgh. It's an eight-year program that invites and -- let me put it another way.