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CNN NEWSROOM

Body Camera Video Shows Officer Shoot Daunte Wright; Two Tragedies Tear at Racial Divides in Twin Cities Metro; Experts Agree the Floyd's Death was Preventable; Vaccines Arrive Too Late for Canada to Avoid Third Wave; Merkel Meeting with Cabinet on Curbing Third Wave; Tehran Blames Israel for Natanz Outage, Vows Revenge. Aired 4- 4:30a ET

Aired April 13, 2021 - 04:00   ET

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


[04:00:00]

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world you are watching CNN NEWSROOM and I'm Rosemary Church.

Just ahead, a tense night in the U.S. state of Minnesota, protesters are angry after another unarmed black man is killed at the hands of the police. Just miles from where George Floyd's family seeks justice for his death.

America's top infectious disease doctor says he would eat outside or see a ball game, but Anthony Fauci still wants everyone to be smart about COVID guidelines.

And later, danger at the U.S./Mexico border as the Biden administration's decisions are pushing people back across the border and into harm's way.

Thanks for joining us. Well, tensions have boiled over for a second straight night in Minnesota over the deadly police shooting of 20- year-old Daunte Wright. Authorities say protesters hurled bricks and fireworks at officers in Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis Monday night. Police responded with tear gas and stun guns to break up the crowds who were defying a curfew. Police also made dozens of arrests with numerous reports of looting and break-ins at businesses in the area. All of this is happening after police announced that an officer may have accidentally fired a gun instead of a taser killing Daunte Wright during a traffic stop. We will have more on what we know about the last moments of his life in just a few minutes.

Well, meanwhile, police have released body camera footage of the deadly altercation and a warning, it is disturbing to watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll tase you. I'll tase you. Taser, taser, taser. I just shot him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Holy [bleep]. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Daunte Wright's aunt was very emotional of course speaking to CNN's Don Lemon saying there is no way this could have been an accident.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NAISHA WRIGHT, DAUNTE WRIGHT'S AUNT: Accident? An accident? No, come on now. Everybody in this world saw that gun. You mean to tell me you thought it was a taser? I have owned over a 20,000 volt taser, they don't feel nothing like a gun. Nothing like a gun. So y'all tell me how would y'all feel if y'all got that call? That was my nephew. That was my blood. That was like my heart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[04:05:00]

CHURCH: And this is all happening just miles away from the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former officer accused of killing another black man, George Floyd, just last year.

Now, these two tragedies in the Twin Cities metro area have been tearing at racial divides and adding to the tension. Our Sara Sidner has been closely covering both cases and explains what she witnessed on Monday and what led up to it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The crowd was there, you can see the police all out. We are getting a huge amount of CS gas, you are hearing some of those flashbangs, but you are also seeing people throw fireworks towards the police department and so you're getting a lot of back and forth. When you hear those pops, a lot of times that's fireworks. That's a firework. But you see it there. But then you will also hear these very loud booms, that is usually a flashbang and then you will start seeing gas come flying over the fence there.

People have been trying to break through that fence. The police have been reacting by trying to do less than lethal rounds at the crowd, but you know, we are in a neighborhood. By the way, look to my right here, these are apartment complexes all the way around, this is one big apartment complex. And so you have folks that are living here, you can see people in the windows looking out, but it is a really, really rough scene right now.

And this is all we have to remember because of a police-involved shooting where a female officer shot and killed Daunte Wright. He was in the car -- folks are running because the CS gas is strong -- but he was in the car, he was trying to get out of handcuffs as they were trying to arrest him. He got in the car, the officer yelled taser, taser, and ended up using her firearm instead and you hear her curse and then say, I just shot him.

The police chief came out right away and said here is the video of what happened because there were a lot of rumors going on and he showed that to the crowd. That didn't necessarily calm things down because people are so incensed that another young black man has been killed by a police officer.

I have been here since the beginning of the altercation with George Floyd that left him unable to breathe with former officer Derek Chauvin and the other officers. We have been here for the jury selection. We've been here for the trial. And there's been this sense of underlying tension this whole time because people are watching this trial, feeling all these really strong emotions and now you have another police officer shooting that took the life of a 20-year-old.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Now, earlier the mayor of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, asked those protesters outside the police station well past curfew to go home and he expressed his condolences to Daunte Wright's family.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE ELLIOTT, MAYOR OF BROOKLYN CENTER, MINNESOTA: The family is just so gracious, even in this time of hurt and all they want -- all they want is just justice to be done for their son, for there to be full transparency and accountability and that is what we are committed to doing. So, you know, I'm calling on all of the folks who are -- who care about what happened and the folks who are protesting, protesting is your right, it is important. I'm asking everybody to go home. We need to keep the peace in our city. We need to make sure that there's a time where people can gather peacefully as well and continue to express their grief.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Now, this is happening in the Minneapolis area where Derek Chauvin murder trial is taking place. Attorney Benjamin Crump who is representing the family of George Floyd spoke to CNN earlier about the shooting of Daunte Wright, blasting the disparity in how police handle white and black suspects.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BENJAMIN CRUMP, FLOYD FAMILY ATTORNEY: The fact that this young man hadn't killed anybody, hadn't harmed anyone and was not putting those officers in danger. He was trying to get away from them and yet again like Jacob Blake, like Anthony McClain, like so many other young black men who are running from the police not putting them in violence or fear or threat, they shoot first and ask questions later.

The fact that you have young white men like the ones in Atlanta who shot the people in the Asian spas, you take them alive, but yet you always end up killing us. When you had people like the young white man in Parkland, Florida, who shot up the school, you took him alive, but then you shoot us. Just like Dylann Roof who shot up the church in South Carolina, you took him alive. But you shoot this young man who we believe should have never been stopped in the first place, especially when we're dealing with something so senseless going on in Minneapolis.

[04:10:00]

So, Don, it is an emotional time because we're just tired of them killing us unjustifiably over and over and over again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And alongside family lawyer Ben Crump there was George Floyd's brother Philonise. He took the stand Monday in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin. He discussed his testimony with Don Lemon and reacted to the latest officer-involved shooting sending a message out to Daunte Wright's mother.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PHILONISE FLOYD, GEORGE FLOYD'S BROTHER: At times like this we can't have this because I miss my brother and she's going to miss her son and we will stand in solidarity with her and speak up because we have to stop this violence right now. Being in that courtroom, I seen my brother killed over 100 times every day, constantly, and I know over 1,000 times within this year. My brother, I know he's looking down right now and he's proud of me for the things -- and my family for what we're doing. But at the same time, Don, we have to get justice for my brother because justice for George Floyd means justice for all right now. If a black man can't get justice for this, what can a black man get justice for in America?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And CNN's Omar Jimenez is in Minneapolis and has more on Philonise Floyd's emotional testimony inside the courtroom.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEVE SCHLEICHER, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: The state calls Philonise Floyd.

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the first time the family of George Floyd took the stand against the man accused of murdering one of their own amid a trial that's remained personal throughout.

PHILONISE FLOYD, BROTHER OF GEORGE FLOYD: This is my mother. She's no longer with us right now, but that's my oldest brother George. I miss both of them.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): A different type of expert testimony, an expert on who George Floyd was.

FLOYD: He showed us like how to treat our mom and how to respect our mom. He just -- he loved her so dearly.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): The same mother he cried out for in some of his final moments. But it wasn't just emotion Monday. Excessive use of force returned as a subject of testimony. SETH STOUGHTON, USE-OF-FORCE EXPERT: Both the knee across Mr. Floyd's neck and the prone restraint were unreasonable, excessive, and contrary to generally accepted police practices.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Medicine also remaining a familiar theme, this time in the form of a cardiologist.

JERRY BLACKWELL, PROSECUTOR: Do you have an opinion as to whether George Floyd would have lived if not for Mr. Chauvin's subdual and restraint of him for nine minutes and 29 seconds on the ground?

DR. JONATHAN RICH, CARDIOLOGIST, PROSECUTION WITNESS: Yes, I believe he would have lived.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): His testimony falls in line with doctor --

DR. LINDSEY THOMAS, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: There's no evidence to suggest he would have died that night except for the interactions with law enforcement.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): -- after doctor.

DR. MARTIN TOBIN, PULMONOLOGIST: A healthy person subjected to what Mr. Floyd was subjected to would have died as a result of what he was subjected to.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): -- who has taken the stand in the trial.

RICH: I believe that Mr. George Floyd's death was absolutely preventable.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): He rejected two pillars of the defense's argument that the drugs fentanyl and methamphetamine could be the cause of death or maybe a heart problem.

BLACKWELL: Did you find any evidence that Mr. Floyd had any negative heart conditions?

RICH: There was absolutely no evidence to suggest that at all.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Turning the tables on Chauvin's defense attorney when he suggested it was the actions of George Floyd that led to his death.

ERIC NELSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: If Mr. Floyd had simply gotten in the back seat of the squad car, do you think that he would have survived?

RICH: Had he not been restrained in the way in which he was, I think he would have survived that day.

JIMENEZ: And the judge in this case says the defense on Tuesday will begin to present its case. That means they will be able to start calling witnesses just like the prosecution has. Prosecution has called more than 30 over the course of this so far. And then when you look ahead the judge says he expects closing arguments in the trial for Derek Chauvin to begin on Monday, April 19th. At that point, the jury will be sequestered and then we will await a verdict.

Omar Jimenez, CNN, Minneapolis.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: The White House adviser for COVID response says the U.S. is on track to hit its vaccination goals. And in a matter of days all adults are expected to become vaccine eligible. America's top infectious disease expert who is fully vaccinated explained what he would be comfortable doing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, U.S. NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE: I would -- I mean, in an outdoor restaurant right now where we are, I would not hesitate to do that.

[04:15:00]

But the fact is I just haven't done it. I would not hesitate to go to an outdoor baseball game. I would wear a mask because I'm out there in the community. My risk would be extremely low, particularly if I wear a mask. I'm someone that is a bit risk averse, but I would not hesitate to sit in an open stands and watch the Nats play at all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: In Michigan vaccines can't come fast enough, but federal health officials have rejected the governor's request for additional doses as COVID cases surge in her state. Instead they are sending more vaccinators to get shots out quicker.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDY SLAVITT, WHITE HOUSE'S SR. ADVISER FOR COVID-19 RESPONSE: The variants that we've seen in Michigan, those variants are also present in other states. So our ability to vaccinate people quickly in each of those states rather than taking vaccines and shifting it to playing whack-a-mole isn't the strategy that public health leaders and scientists have laid out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Well Montreal's latest COVID curfew has been met with protests. The city like many parts of Canada is seeing a spike in cases. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the next few weeks are crucial to give a chance for vaccines to take hold. But as Paula Newton reports the vaccines likely arrived too late for Canada to avoid a third wave.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TASLEEM NIMJEE, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN, HUMBER RIVER HOSPITAL: That's hard to stomach, it's really hard to stomach.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Doctors frustrated, exhausted as a growing third wave of COVID cases spreads across Canada even more serious than the first two, and vaccines are arriving far too late to stem the surge.

One horrifying look inside Canadian ICUs filled to capacity and beyond and it's clear, doctors say, Canada's vaccine shortage is now their problem.

NIMJEE: We went through a period where we were rapidly trying to immunize our health care workers both first and second doses to, all of a sudden, we're not getting the supply that we thought we would. We have nothing and it went down to I remember weeks where there was no vaccine. Vaccines change the game of this pandemic.

NEWTON (voice-over): And Canada is still on the losing end for a country that had categorically claimed to have secured more doses per capita than any other in the world, doses have not arrived in time and doctors say the early vaccine drought will cost lives.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada no longer has any domestic production capacity for vaccines, and unlike the U.S. and the U.K. was not able to ramp up domestic manufacturing so Canadians are at the mercy of imports, not even from their American neighbor but from Europe.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: We continue our discussions with the American administration on getting more doses into Canada.

NEWTON (voice-over): The Biden administration sent is 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Canada in recent weeks. But is no announced plans so far to send more, and from Europe, Canada has received more than 8 million total doses, all of it not enough for a country of nearly 38 million people, forcing most Canadians, including front line workers, to get only one dose with the second shot postponed as long as four months.

That's prompted the head of the world renowned University of Ottawa Heart Institute to plead with the Ontario government to quickly get a second dose to medical staff.

DR. THIERRY MESANA, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA HEART INSTITUTE: It's not a small problem. It's not a small problem. People are exhausted. We see staff not coming to work because they may have COVID and are not so sick, they are not hospitalized, but they have symptoms, and they stay home even with the potential one dose.

NEWTON (voice-over): And the weeks ahead will be more gut-wrenching still. Many provinces are now locking down and triaging and transferring patients, activating surge capacity in its health care system that is now under threat of COVID-19 like never before.

Paula newton, CNN, Ottawa.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Well German Chancellor Angela Merkel is meeting with cabinet members to discuss measures to slow a third wave of the virus. She says vaccines must be administered quickly to get the pandemic under control. Chancellor Merkel and other regional leaders have called for a brief sharp lockdown as Germany tries to vaccinate more people. Today alone Germany has reported almost 11,000 new COVID cases. And for more on this I want to bring in CNN's Jim Bittermann who joins us live from Paris. Good to see you Jim. So Germany is really struggling to contain the virus. What is the latest on these efforts to get it under control?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're calling, Rosemary, this lockdown in German, the "Bundesnotpausem," which is to say a "national emergency break." One of the things about Germany is that the federal states basically the 16 federal states have had control over the vaccinations and over the way that restrictions are handled.

[04:20:02]

So now Angela Merkel is going to push -- for at least according to reports -- is going to push for a unified approach, so a nationwide approach rather than a state by state approach. And the reason for that is because the incidence rate is climbing rapidly -- that's the incidence rate is the number of cases per 100,000 population. It was 129 on Sunday, today it's 140. So you can see in just a couple of days how fast it's going up. ICU beds are full. The ICU association said that health care workers are at their limit.

And so because of all those things the Germans now realize they've got to take some measures, the kind of measures they are going to be taking and the kind that are being talked about, perhaps more lockdowns, more business closures, as well as curfews.

And, by the way, Rosemary, I should say it's not much better here in France where the incidence rate is up almost double. In fact, double the rate in Germany more than 300 and here the ICU bed occupancy in France is at a level that it hasn't seen since April 17th of 2020, last year, nearly a year ago -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: Just incredible, isn't it? Jim Bittermann joining us live there from Paris. Many thanks.

And still to come, Iran access Israel of sabotaging one of its nuclear facilities, an incident that now threatens to undermine nuclear talks with the United States. We're back in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:25:00]

CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, the U.S. and Iran are set to resume indirect talks tomorrow on returning to the 2015 nuclear deal. This comes just days after an apparent attack on the Natanz nuclear facility in Iran. Tehran access Israel of sabotaging the site and is calling for revenge. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is vowing Iran will never get a nuclear weapon. CNN's Fred Pleitgen is following this story from Berlin.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's still unclear how big the damage has been to the Natanz nuclear facility, but the Iranians certainly do seem to be very angry about this incident but also very defiant in its aftermath. Now what we're hearing from that of Iran's Atomic Energy Agency is that repair work has already begun on the Natanz facility and that also an emergency power system has been restored as well.

Of course, the Iranians from the very beginning have said about this incident that there is a power failure. However, they said no one was seriously injured and that no radiation was leaked either.

Meanwhile, Iranian politicians blasting Israel. For instance, Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif saying, quote, Zionists want to take revenge on the Iranian nation for their success -- meaning Iran's success -- in the course of lifting sanctions but we will not allow the Zionists and we will take revenge from the Zionists for this action.

Now the Iranians not saying what exactly that revenge is going to look like but one of the things that they have said is that Natanz is going to continue operating. And the Iranians have said that they are going to put more advanced centrifuges into Natanz to make it, as they put it, more potent and more effective than it even was before.

Now of course, all of this comes at a very important juncture as the U.S. and Iran at least indirectly are negotiating about trying to salvage the Iran nuclear agreement. The Iranians of course have always been saying that they don't want a nuclear weapon. The Israelis say that they, for instance, don't believe that.

But right now, in Vienna, there are negotiations going on to try and bring the United States back into the nuclear deal and try to bring Iran back into full compliance. Both Iran and the United States have said that they want to save the deal. Of course, we do know that the Israelis are vehemently opposed to the nuclear agreement.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: And earlier I spoke with Yaakov Katz, editor in chief of the "Jerusalem Post," and asked him about Iran's warning of revenge.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

YAAKOV KATZ, EDITOR IN CHIEF, JERUSALEM POST: How could that revenge look? It could be a number of things. Iran is known to have terrorist proxies throughout the Middle East, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas and Islamic jihad in Gaza, the Houthis in Yemen. They could activate one of these proxies to launch an offensive along Israel along one of its borders. They could do something like what they did to the Saudi Arabian Aramco oil refinery about a year ago where they launched killer drone and ballistic missiles. They have the capabilities, and we shouldn't assume that they won't use them. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Yaakov Katz talking to me last hours.

And still to come, protesters on the streets of Minnesota for a second night. We show you the fatal moment that sparked these demonstrations.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)