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Derek Chauvin Trial Continues; Deadly Minneapolis Police Shooting. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired April 12, 2021 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: You are watching CNN on this Monday afternoon. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me.
We have got a lot of breaking stories to get through. Breaking news, yet another unarmed black man killed by police in the Minneapolis area. This happened almost 10 miles from where Derek Chauvin is on trial and in the very same county where the nation watched George Floyd take his last breaths.
Twenty-year-old Daunte Wright was shot and killed Sunday during a traffic stop in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center. Police say, after Wright was pulled over, officers discovered that he had an outstanding warrant or warrants and that they tried to then arrest him.
That is when a scuffle ensued. And the police chief has just said the officer accidentally fired her gun instead of her Taser. The police chief did release the full body-cam video. We're playing part of it for you. It's very difficult to watch, so just a warning, it's disturbing, but important for transparency in this case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's got a warrant.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll Tase you! I'll Tase you!
Taser! Taser! Taser!
Oh, I (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I just shot him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, wow.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
TIM GANNON, BROOKLYN, CENTER, MINNESOTA, POLICE CHIEF: During this encounter, however the officer do their handgun, instead of their Taser.
For informational purposes, we train with our handguns on our dominant side and out Taser on our weak side. So, if you're right-handed, you carry your firearm on your right side and you carry your Taser on the left. This is done purposefully and it's trained.
As I watched the video and listened to the officer's commands, it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet.
This appears to me from what I viewed and the officer's reaction and distress immediately after that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright.
I have asked the BCA to conduct an independent investigation into the shooting and death. Once they are completed, I expect they will submit their findings, independent of me, to the appropriate authorities, the property attorneys, that will look and review this case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: And the update now is that that police officer is currently on administrative leave.
CNN's Adrienne Broaddus is live with me. She has a closer look at that the just really difficult-to-look-at body-cam video from the police.
But, Adrienne, I was listening to that police conference so -- press conference so carefully. And I heard your voice asking that police chief a number of questions. And it was your question that got him emotional just speaking about the nature of his job and trying to protect his community. What did he say to you?
ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Brooke, he said his job, his role is to keep the community safe.
And, right now, people who live in his community don't feel safe. You know, you could feel the pressure and the intensity in that room. When the chief played that body camera footage, there were community activists inside of the room where the media was getting the update.
And at the moment the officer spoke the word three times "Taser, Taser, Taser," and then use some colorful language to say, in a nutshell, "Oh, no, I shot him," There were gasps, audible gasp inside the room.
BROADDUS: A close friend of Philando Castile was also in the room. You may remember Castile was shot and killed following a traffic stop, not here, but in another suburb of the Twin Cities.
And Castile's friend who was inside just began to cry. He wept. He could no longer watch. He turned away from the camera.
And then members of the community who were in that room became upset with the chief after we learned what led to this initial traffic stop. The chief told us Daunte Wright was pulled over for expired tags. Everybody knows we're in the middle of a pandemic. And here in
Minnesota, the rules have somewhat been relaxed, because, during the pandemic, everything was closed. People were not able to get to the DMV to get their tags.
So, there were a lot of questions about that. And members of the community are calling for change. They are calling for swift change. They want the officer who deployed that gun fired. They want the chief to resign.
I asked the chief if he would resign. He said, no, he has no intentions of resigning. I asked the chief more about the officer. I wanted to know, how long has she been on the force? What was her state of mind? And all he would tell me, Brooke, is that she was a senior officer.
BALDWIN: I -- keep asking all those tough questions, because the answers are important, not just for this community and not just for Mr. Wright's family, but for this entire country, you know, in the midst of this Derek Chauvin trial, now grappling with this death.
Adrienne, I'm going to let you go for now. As soon as you get more information, we will put you back in front of that camera.
An excellent, excellent job there that news conference.
I want to talk about all of this with former federal prosecutor Elie Honig, also a CNN legal analyst, and also joining me, Charles Ramsey, former Philadelphia police commissioner, former D.C. Metropolitan Police Chief.
And, Chief Ramsey, just starting with you.
Listening to that Brooklyn Center police chief saying the officer drew her handgun, instead of her Taser, and that it appears it was an accidental discharge, I'm sorry, but how the hell does that happen?
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, apparently, it did. I mean, it's incredibly unfortunate.
The reason you carry the Taser on the opposite side of your handgun is to avoid that kind of thing from happening. If you recall the BART shooting in 2009 with Mr. Grant, that officer had both his handgun and his Taser on the same side and reached for the gun, thinking he was reaching for the Taser. At least, that's what he claims.
So, clearly, though, when you watch the tape, and you listen to it, there was no justification for the use of deadly force. And so this is, without question, a tragedy, should not have happened. And we will see how it unfolds. But that it just shouldn't happen.
BALDWIN: Chief, you hear her yelling, "Taser, Taser, Taser."
BALDWIN: Have you ever heard of someone, other than what you just pointed out, the BART shooting a number of years ago? How rare is this?
RAMSEY: Well, it's very rare. Now, the shouting "Taser, Taser, Taser" is part of the training. That alerts other officers that you're about to deploy your Taser and to stand back.
That's why they say "Taser, Taser, Taser." It's also an indication that she thought that's what she was doing. But the consequences, I mean, are the same. I mean, she killed somebody. And so that becomes something that is going to have to be dealt with, no question about it. There was no justification for the use of deadly force in this particular case.
BALDWIN: Chief, I'm going to come back to you in a second.
But just, Elie, in terms of next steps, you heard Adrienne is trying to ask the question, who is she, state of mind, how many years on the force? Chief said she was a senior officer.
What does happen if she's on administrative leave? What happens to her next, just legally speaking?
ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Adrienne asked the exact right question.
First of all, that press conference, the good thing that we saw was that the police showed us the body camera footage very promptly, within, 24 hours of this incident occurring. Transparency is so important in a situation like this.
HONIG: The rest of that press conference was a debacle.
For the chief to stand up there and say, I'm not going to discuss the details, I'm not going to get into this, this officer is entitled to due process, but it was accidental? That makes no sense.
You're saying, I refuse to discuss the details, but I'll give you the ultimate bottom line, based on what little I have.
There's really a contradiction there. There needs to be an investigation internally, administratively, and criminal investigators need to take a look at this, the BCA, they call it, in Minneapolis.
One other thing to keep in mind, even if it was an accidental discharge -- it may have been -- we don't know yet, as Commissioner Ramsey said, there's still facts that need to be gathered -- under Minnesota law, it can still be manslaughter if someone acts negligently, carelessly.
And we know that because that's count three right now against Derek Chauvin, negligent manslaughter. So there needs to be administrative review and criminal review.
BALDWIN: Chief, you saw the crowds of protesters in the wake of the shooting last night into the wee hours of this morning. And then, when they hear that this appears to be accidental, that
another black man in this country has lost his life, if you are the Brooklyn Center police chief, what are you doing? What are you telling your officers?
RAMSEY: Well, you gear up and you bring in some added support, because there'll be additional protests tonight.
But not everything you saw last night was a protest. There was some looting took place. And I want to be clear. Looting is not protesting. There are people that are legitimately concerned, and rightfully so, exercising their First Amendment. But breaking into stores and so forth is not part of that.
So they have to gear up and be ready to allow people to peacefully protest, no question about that, but at the same time guard against any vandalism or looting. So, he's in a tough position, no question about it.
In terms of the -- saying it's accidental, I stay away from those terms. I would use unintentional.
BALDWIN: What's the difference? What's the difference?
RAMSEY: Well, I mean, listen, with your proper training and so forth -- and it's negligent. It's what it is. But unintentional means, I didn't mean to actually shoot the individual. I mean, maybe it's just a play on words, but I just say is an unintentional discharge, or a negligent discharge is really a more accurate description, as opposed to accidental.
Accidental is going to kind of make people a little more upset. I mean, a man is dead. And so it's not a term that that you use. But I do think that the chief did the right thing getting that -- that body- worn camera footage out as quickly as he did.
Bad news does not improve with age. So get it out there, because it is what it is. But at the same time, they have got a -- really, they should have had a plan before they walked into that press conference on what they were going to address, how long they were going to stay, and so forth, because it really was not good, the press conference.
BALDWIN: Let me play everyone -- I want to play this clip, though.
This is what Adrienne was alluding to. This was -- she was asking the question which really got this police chief emotional. Everyone, watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GANNON: I'm the leader of this department. And they expect me to lead, create a safe city. That's what I'm trying to do.
So, that's it. And, yes, I'm emotional.
BROADDUS: That's just being honest.
GANNON: I'm just trying to be honest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: That's Adrienne, just you're just trying to be honest.
On the one hand, you appreciate his emotion and just the -- what has happened with one of his senior officers. On the other hand, you have a life lost and a number of folks are saying, great, you're crying. We have all been crying. We have been crying for years.
Chief, what do you say to that?
RAMSEY: Well, I mean, again, he's in a very tough situation when it comes to that -- this particular case.
There's nothing good about it. And so he's doing the best he can to try to deal with it. As far as people calling for his resignation and so forth, I mean, I -- he shouldn't resign. He serves at the pleasure. If the mayor or city manager wants him to step down, they will deal with that.
But him resigning at this point in time is not going to change anything. And so, yes, it's just a tough situation to be in. I have been in those situations before myself. And, believe me, it is -- it's tough.
I mean, you hate to see these things happen. You understand people are upset, rightfully so. A man is dead. You can't bring him back. I mean, there have to be consequences to this, no matter what.
BALDWIN: Commissioner Ramsey, stand by.
Elie, stand by. I have a bunch of questions for you coming up on this -- this Derek Chauvin trial, as they're still in lunch recess.
But before we even get there, I have got to tell you about another traffic stop. This one in Georgia ended with one suspect dead and three officers injured following a police chase that stretched across multiple jurisdictions. A second suspect is in custody.
Georgia State Patrol says this whole thing started early this morning when a trooper clocked a driver driving more than 100 miles an hour, led to a chase. And at one point, officials say the car's passenger pulled out a rifle and shot at the troopers' car.
The two suspects kept driving, then fired at more officers, who then were only chasing faster. One officer was hit and then ultimately struck a utility pole, and then the suspects fired at even more police officers, hitting one officer twice. A third sheriff's deputy was also shot in the arm. All three officers
were taken to the hospital and an investigation is under way there in Georgia.
As I alluded to a second ago, just moments away. Testimony will resume in the murder trial of the former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. We will bring that to you live and all the analysis between the commissioner and Elie.
Also ahead, President Biden is to host a bipartisan group of lawmakers in his new push to pass that massive infrastructure package. We have new details on that this afternoon.
You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. We will be right back.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
PETER CAHILL, HENNEPIN COUNTY, MINNESOTA, JUDGE: ... the explanation for why they are not granted immunity.
I think, even as the Souper (ph) case cited by the defense notes, immunity, the grant of immunity is strictly an executive branch function. It's not really subject to judicial review. And so, regardless of what the state's reason was for refusing to give immunity to Mr. Hall, it is not reviewable by this court.
So, the request that the state provide a reason for not granting use immunity is denied.
With regard to the statement given by Mr. Hall -- and this assumes that he is not going to be answering any questions, even if I order him to do so. I'm going to find that none of the statements in the question-and-answer statement are admissible.
First of all, Johnson v. Fabian, that noted the basic standard for a Fifth Amendment claim and how broad it is, and it tends to be much broader than Rule 804(B)(3). The Fifth Amendment answers that would themselves support a conviction or that would furnish a link in the chain of evidence needed to prosecute the claimant are incriminating for purposes of the privilege.
And, in fact, in discussing that -- that was from Johnson vs. Fabian -- which is 735 Northwest 2nd 295, which was cited by the state.
They also note that the privilege allows an individual to refuse to answer official questions put to him in any other proceeding, civil or criminal, formal or informal, where the answers might incriminate him in future criminal proceedings.
That standard is obviously fairly broad. And so if it might incriminate the defendant or provide a link to other evidence that might incriminate, the invocation of the Fifth Amendment privilege is appropriate.
In contrast, 804(B)(3) states, in part, pertinent part states: "A statement which was at the time of its making so far tended to subject the declarant to civil or criminal liability that a reasonable person in the declarant's position would not have made the statement unless believing it to be true."
In other words, if somebody goes into the police department and confesses to a murder, generally, people don't do that, because -- unless it's true, because it so clearly tends to subject the declarant to criminal liability. And that is judged from the time of the statement's making.
And the statements that are contained in the question-and-answer statement are, in fact, not the type that would clearly be so far contrary to the declarant's penal interest or subject that person to criminal liability that they would not make them less true.
Most importantly, for example, Mr. Hill (sic) totally denies providing controlled substances to George Floyd. He talks about how he was appearing tired and all that, but the entire statement seems to be Mr. Hall describing what does not incriminate him. He's willing to do that.
But when it comes to anything that he might have done, he denies engaging in any activity like dealing.
There are some sporadic references to dealing on the street, but there's nothing specific as the time, date, location, persons involved, that the person would be subjecting themselves clearly to criminal liability.
Accordingly, it does not fall under 804(B)(3). Under 807, a statement not specifically covered by rule 803 or 804 may be admitted, but it must have equivalent circumstantial guarantees of trustworthiness.
I see nothing internally within the question-and-answer statement that Mr. Hall's statements had any guarantees of trustworthiness. And, accordingly, it is not admissible under the rule for that reason.
Defense does have a right to a complete defense. But since there are witnesses who can testify as to what and have testified as to what Mr. Floyd looked like at the time, I don't think that the rules of evidence must give way completely to any claim of this evidence is necessary for a complete defense.
I find it is not. And, accordingly, it is not admissible.
Any questions about that ruling from the state or from the defense?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, Your Honor.
CAHILL: All right. We have other housekeeping things, but we will handle those after the
jury, unless you wanted to take care of some of those now. We can do that after because we're going to be done before 4:00. Is that correct?
All right, why don't we deal with the housekeeping things and that afterwards? All right. We will be in recess the jury is ready.
Maybe we can get them out maybe in five minutes. Will your witnesses be available?
BALDWIN: OK, Elie Honig, I know that this is the judge here. This is the Derek Chauvin trial.
The judge addressing Maurice Lester Hall. This is the gentleman who was in the car with George Floyd back on May 25 of last year when all of this happened. What were they -- what are they trying to figure out with him?
HONIG: Yes, Brooke, so, bottom line, Mr. Hall, who was the passenger in George Floyd's car, will not be testifying at this trial.
The defense wanted to call Mr. Hall, presumably because they wanted him to testify about what he saw George Floyd doing or how he saw George Floyd acting shortly before the police arrived. What happened was, Mr. Hall invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self- incrimination.
And, as the judge just said, it's a very broad right. It doesn't have to be just admitting to a crime. It could be anything that places you near a crime or in the link. The defense challenged that. The defense said, well, Judge, we can still question him around those issues.
And the judge said, no, it just doesn't work. There's too many things in his testimony that could incriminate him. So he has invoked his Fifth Amendment right. The judge has upheld the Fifth Amendment right. Maurice Hall will not be testifying at this trial.
Let me just continue on asking you all questions as we wait for -- we should be out of recess and the trial will resume in a matter of minutes.
Elie, we were just talking about, obviously, the shooting in Brooklyn Center. And I know that, this morning, the judge denied the defense's motion to sequester the jury because of that, because of all the protesters and everything swirling literally mere miles from this courthouse in this Derek Chauvin trial.
What did you make of the judge's decision?
HONIG: I think he did the right thing there, Brooke.
First of all, sequestering a jury, meaning you don't let them go home at night, they have to stay in a hotel, under guard, that is a very dramatic thing to do. It's a very stressful thing to do to a jury.
Second of all, the judge said, look, we have to rely on our process here. We already put all of these jurors through an extensive question-and-answer process. We remember, jury selection took three weeks. All of them have told us that they will judge this case based only on the evidence in this courtroom, not on anything else.
If issues arise, if a juror finds that he or she has a problem now, we can deal with it. But I think the judge did the right thing here to keep this jury on track, to keep this trial on track.
I have a number of other questions for the two of you, but, while they're in break, we will take a break here on CNN.
We will be right back.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
CAHILL: (OFF-MIKE) just for a second. Counsel sidebar.
BALDWIN: We're about to hear from Philonise Floyd. This is George Floyd's brother.
This is the person we have seen on television a number of times, testifying in front of Congress. And here he is preparing to sit in that witness stand and speak about his own brother's death last May. Let's listen.
CAHILL: All right.
Mr. Floyd, please, do you swear or affirm, under penalty of perjury, that the testimony you're about to give will be the truth and nothing about the truth?
PHILONISE FLOYD, BROTHER OF GEORGE FLOYD: Yes.
CAHILL: Please have a seat.
FLOYD: And, sir, if you would feel comfortable doing so, if you could remove your mask, that'd be great.
And we're going to test out the microphone.
First have you state your full name, spelling each of your names?
FLOYD: PHILONISE O'NEIL FLOYD. P-H-I-L-O-N-I-S-E, O'Neil, O-N-E-I-L, Floyd, F-L-O-Y-D.
CAHILL: Mr. Schleicher.
STEVE SCHLEICHER, MINNESOTA PROSECUTOR: Thank you very much, Your Honor.
FLOYD: Good afternoon.
SCHLEICHER: Sir, you're here to testify about your brother, George Floyd; is that right?
SCHLEICHER: And before you tell the jury about your brother, I'd like you to introduce yourself to the jury a little bit, so they know something about you.
Are you -- how old are you?
SCHLEICHER: Was George your older or younger brother?
FLOYD: He was my oldest brother.
SCHLEICHER: Are you married?
FLOYD: Yes, sir.
SCHLEICHER: And do you have children?
FLOYD: Yes, sir.
SCHLEICHER: How many children do you have?
SCHLEICHER: And, sir, where do you -- what state do you live in?
FLOYD: Houston, Texas.
SCHLEICHER: I'd like you to tell the jury a little bit about your brother George Floyd.
First, can you tell the jury where and when he was born?
FLOYD: He was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, but he left at a young age. He -- we moved, like, to Houston, Texas.
And I have two other sisters that are older than us. It's Jaja (ph) Floyd, LaTonya Floyd, then became George Floyd. And I'm next, Philonise Floyd, and my other brother Rodney Floyd, who's my mom's baby boy.
SCHLEICHER: All right.
And was he born on October 14, 1973?
FLOYD: Yes, sir. SCHLEICHER: And you say that he -- the family left Fayetteville
shortly after he was born; is that right?
FLOYD: Yes, sir.
SCHLEICHER: And you all grew up in Houston together?
FLOYD: We all grew up in Houston.