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Police Release Bodycam Footage of Fatal Minnesota Shooting; Japan to Release Treated Fukushima Water into the Sea; Biden Meets Bipartisan Group to Discuss Infrastructure Plan; Some Migrants Expelled by U.S. Face Danger They had Fled. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired April 13, 2021 - 04:30   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: More now on our top story, a second night of clashes between police and angry protesters in Minnesota. The demonstrations began after police fatally shot Daunte Wright, an unarmed black man during a traffic stop on Sunday. Police fired tear gas and stun guns to disperse crowds that were defying a curfew Monday night. Authorities say protesters were throwing bottles, fireworks and bricks. Police say they made some 40 arrests.

We are learning more about Wright's killing. Police have released bodycam footage. A warning, though, this report from Shimon Prokupecz contains graphic content.



SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Less than 10 miles from where former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the death of George Floyd ...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, (BLEEP). I just shot him.

PROKUPECZ (voice over): Twenty-year-old Daunte Wright killed during a traffic stop with Brooklyn Center police officers. A shooting the police chief called an accidental discharge. Police bodycam footage released Monday shows the deadly Sunday afternoon altercation. Police in Brooklyn Center just outside of Minneapolis pull Wright over for an expired tag and then try to take him into custody for an outstanding warrant on a gross misdemeanor. The police chief released the video.

CHIEF TIM GANNON, BROOKLYN CENTER POLICE DEPARTMENT: I felt the community needed to know what happened. They needed to see it. I needed to be transparent, and I want to be forthright.

PROKUPECZ (voice over): After being shot, Wright drove away before hitting another vehicle just blocks away, authority said. Police and medical personnel attempted life saving measures following the crash, but Wright died at the scene. The traffic stop leading to yet another fatal police shooting of a black man.

GANNON: There was an expired registration on the vehicle. When he walked up to the car, he discovered that there was a hanging item from the rearview mirror.

PROKUPECZ (voice over): Wright's mother was on the phone with him when he was stopped, and she told CNN affiliates that he said he was pulled over because he had air fresheners hanging from his rearview mirror.

KATIE WRIGHT, DAUNTE WRIGHT'S MOTHER: A minute later I called, and his girlfriend answered which was the passenger in the car and said that he'd been shot.

PROKUPECZ (voice over): Without identifying the officer who shot Wright, the Police Chief says the officer is a senior veteran in the department who fired her weapon accidentally.

GANNON: 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 in distress immediately after that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright.

PROKUPECZ (voice over): Hours after the shooting, hundreds of protesters took to the streets.


They were followed by looters and vandals who the Police Chief called out during a contentious press conference.

GANNON: Here I was front and center at the protests, at the riot. We did not --



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was no riot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... don't do that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was no riot (INAUDIBLE) ...

GANNON: There was.


GANNON: So I am wheedling the officers that were putting themselves in harm's way were being pelted with frozen cans of pop. They were being pelted with concrete blocks. And, yes, we had our helmets on and we had other protective gear. But an officer was injured, hit in the head with a brick. PROKUPECZ (voice over): And tonight, a 7 p.m. curfew has been ordered in three counties, which include the cities of Minneapolis, St. Paul and Brooklyn Center to try to contain the unrest. Minnesota's Governor addressing the state on their all too familiar grim circumstances.

GOV. TIM WALZ (D) MINNESOTA: Those that are angry, heartbroken, sad, fed up, tired, all of the things that they have every reason to feel, but we also know, and we saw it again last night, those that would try and take advantage of this to create chaos or damage will not be tolerated.


CHURCH: Shimon Prokupecz with that report.

Well, there are legal restrictions to police officers' use of force. CNN senior legal analyst Laura Coates explains how it pertains to the deaths of Daunte Wright and George Floyd both at the hands of police.


LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: A fleeing suspect still deserves to have the use of force continuum applied. You don't just get to use deadly force or some sort of excessive force or even force in general to pursue a fleeing suspect unless there is some basis to believe that the amount of force you're using is reasonable, necessary and proportional.

We've been doing this for the better part of two weeks in the Derek Chauvin trial, this force continuum. Nothing about the calculus changes even if the person does have a warrant short of being somebody in an active pursuit of an ongoing deadly shooting spree or a crime of some sort. Officers need to actually assess the amount of force they're using.


CHURCH: With every wrongful death of a black American comes the pain of a system which is still flawed. Sabrina Fulton has experienced that pain every day. Her teenage son Trayvon Martin was shot and killed while unarmed in 2012. She says policies may be in place to keep black-Americans safe, but they are not being enforced.


SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN'S MOTHER: If we can see a video of a man being killed, a man's last breath, a man calling out for his mother, we definitely need to do some more reforms. We definitely need to do -- make sure that we have different policies and procedures and they're being enforced. And I think that's the problem. I think we have policies and procedures in place but they're not being enforced. So we have to witness people being killed, people being shot in the back, people with a knee on their neck, people just for trivial things being killed.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHURCH: And still ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, Japan plans to release

treated wastewater into the sea triggering major concern from China and South Korea. We will have a live report from Tokyo next.



CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well Japan says it plans to release treated wastewater into the sea from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. If approved the release will start in two years. The water was contaminated after the 2011 nuclear disaster. China and South Korea say they oppose the decision, but Japan insists the water is safe and the U.S. says the move meets global standards.

So let's bring in CNN's Blake Essig, he joins us live from Tokyo. Good to see you Blake. So what is the latest on reaction to Japan's decision to release this water into this sea?

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, the criticism same swift, especially from South Korea and China who referred to Japan's decision today by saying that they have grave concerns for the idea of dumping this treated, but once -- once upon a time contaminated water into the ocean.

South Korea specifically talked about the 30,000 tons of seafood that they buy from Japan on a yearly basis and said that officials would reconsider buying that fish from Japan if the water is disposed into the ocean. We are talking about 1.25 million tons of water that is currently being stored in 1,000 tanks at the seaside plant there in Fukushima.

And so three quarters of it at this point are still contaminated, they need to be treated again in order to reach the level where they are safe -- where it's safe to be able to be released into the ocean. Now, we talked to the general director of the International Atomic Energy Agency recently to talk about the environmental impact of dumping that water into the ocean.


RAFAEL MARIANO GROSSI, IAEA DIRECTOR GENERAL: There is no impact of any kind to the water, to fish or to the sentiments. And I should say this is not an essay, this is not a try out. This is being done and has been done for many, many years in different nuclear power plants in every continent.


ESSIG (on camera): The local criticism has also been very loud, especially from the fishermen who make a living off the coast of Fukushima. Here is their reaction to today's decision.

KINSABURO SHIGA, MEMBER OF ONAHAMA TRAWLER FISHING UNION FUKUSHIMA PREFECTURE (through translator): They made a promise to us fisher men that they will not release the water unless they talk to us and get agreement from us, but they broke it today by the single word of the Prime Minister. They are not thinking about us at all, at least they should have explained to us before they did this.


ESSIG (on camera): Rosemary, perception is reality and the reputational damage that dumping this water into the ocean could do to the fishermen is a big concern.

CHURCH: Absolutely. Blake Essig joining us live from Tokyo, many thanks.

Well, the Biden administration has been struggling with an influx of migrants and thousands have been sent home.


JENNIFER HARBURY, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: People are being hurt, raped, attacked and killed in northern Mexico because we have sent them back. That's not humanitarian.


CHURCH: Ahead, the difficult decisions parents face after being expelled from the U.S.



CHURCH: After violent protests over the death of Daunte Wright in Minnesota the U.S. president says the upsetting circumstances do not justify violence or looting. And he quoted Wright's mother.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The anger, pain and trauma that exists in the black community and that environment is real, it's serious and it's consequential. But it will not justify violence and or looting. We're calling for peace and calm and we should listen to Daunte's mom who is calling for peace and calm.


CHURCH: The president made those remarks while meeting with a group of lawmakers, hoping to drum up bipartisan support for his infrastructure plan. Here is Phil Mattingly with more.



PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: For an hour and 40 minutes president Biden sat down with a group of eight lawmakers, four Republicans, four Democrats, to start the process of walking through his next cornerstone agenda item a $2.25 trillion infrastructure and jobs package. Now it is a heavy hill to climb, and I think everybody here at the White House understands that.

Republicans have been very clear from the get-go that they are opposed to what President Biden has put on the table. However, during that discussion according to people that were involved the president was engaged throughout, spent most of the time talking about his proposal but also getting into the details of different elements.

One major hang up, well, how the president proposes to pay for that proposal, largely on the back of corporations, raising the corporate rate from 21 percent up to 28 percent. That corporate rate was moved to 21 percent by Republicans back in 2017 under then President Donald Trump and for Republicans tinkering with that corporate rate at all is basically a nonstarter. That was something that was said in the meeting with the president today. However, it's very clear the president wants to negotiate. Take a listen.

BIDEN: I'm prepared to negotiate as to how -- the extent of the infrastructure project as well as how we pay for it, but if we can get a serious conversation about how to do that. I think everyone acknowledges we need significant increase in infrastructure. It's going to get down to what we call infrastructure.

Some people don't think that -- I'm not suggesting anybody here has that view, but there are a lot of folks saying that the fact that we have millions of people not able to drink water because there's lead that's coming through lead pipes, I think that's infrastructure. I think broadband is infrastructure. It's not just roads, bridges, highways, et cetera. That's what we're going to talk about and I'm confident everything is going to work out perfectly.

MATTINGLY: Now all that being said the reality is the two sides are extremely far apart at this point in time. However, in good faith the president is in terms of how he wants to negotiate, Democrats on Capitol Hill are only willing to give Republicans a couple of weeks to come on board, put their proposals on the table and see if there is a way to thread the needle between the two sides.

Keep in mind, President Biden plans to propose a second part of his infrastructure proposal in just a couple of weeks. Also expected to be in the 1 to 2 trillion dollar range something Democrats are considering putting into a single bill and trying to move it through Capitol Hill. Whether or not Republicans come on board, well now it seems rather unlikely but President Biden acknowledging that this is going to be a very lengthy process, months on end, serious legislative negotiations on Capitol Hill and here in the White House. He is at least willing to have the discussion.

Phil Mattingly, CNN, the White House.


CHURCH: And the White House says it has cut deals with neighboring countries to ease the migrant crisis along the southern U.S. border. Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala have all apparently agreed to increase security at their borders to prevent traffickers and smugglers from heading north. U.S. customs and border protection caught more than 170,000 people trying to cross into the U.S. in March. And some of those migrants are now living in limbo and in fear. Rosa Flores explains.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Some of the more than 100,000 migrants expelled by the Biden administration last month ended up here at a plaza located in the crime and kidnapping hot spot that is Reynosa, Mexico, living in squalor and with impossible choices.

Idalia Payes says her husband and daughter face certain death if they return to El Salvador where their family business couldn't cover a $200 a month extortion fee to criminal gangs. She says she just wants to work and provide for her daughter.

In Reynosa, she and so many expelled migrants are now surrounded by the same dangers they fled. Like this 31-year-old woman from Honduras who is now in a faith-based shelter clutching a pink rosary. She says she promised to carry the beads during her journey for protection. We can't show you her face, because late last month, she says she was kidnapped from a street near the dangerous plaza, kept for three days, beaten and raped.

Her 9-year-old daughter with special needs was with her. Wiping away her mother's tears. She says it was moments of terror. With her faith intact, she says she escaped with her clothes and tatters crossed into the U.S. again. But says immigration officials dumped her right back into Reynosa.

Attorney Jennifer Harbury has been representing migrants like her since 2016.

JENNIFER HARBURY, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: The problem created by President Trump is so enormous that it's not settled yet.


FLORES (voice-over): And while President Joe Biden is perceived as more humane than his predecessor, some of his decisions --

JOSEPH R. BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're sending back the vast majority of the families that are coming.

FLORES (voice-over): -- have Jennifer urging Biden to consider their true impact.

HARBURY: People are being hurt, raped, attacked and killed in northern Mexico because we have sent them back. That's not humanitarian.

FLORES (voice-over): And it leaves many moms like this one from Honduras with a Sophie's choice. With her special needs child in arms, she says she didn't want to separate from her 12 and 16-year-old sons on the banks of the Rio Grande.

They had been expelled to Mexico twice under the pandemic public health rule which allows for the swift return of migrants to Mexico. When her oldest son told her, he wanted to cross alone with his brother because the Biden administration was allowing unaccompanied children to enter the U.S.

She says she felt she was dying as she watched her sons cross the river hand in hand, in tears and then gesture good-bye. She says she misses her sons who are now in a shelter in New York.

As for Idalia and the migrants who are stuck in this dangerous plaza in Reynosa, their American dream is still alive despite having to sleep in shifts to watch each other's backs.

FLORES: If you're sitting at home wondering how is it possible that these migrant mothers are allowing their children to enter into the United States alone, you have to think of it this way. Some of these mothers have been returned into Mexico for multiple times straight into Reynosa, and they're there with their children. But they are surrounded by danger. Exposed to kidnapping, extortion, human trafficking. And then they learn that the Biden administration is allowing unaccompanied minors to enter the United States, that they're not rejecting them and some of these mothers see that as giving their children a chance at life.

Rosa Flores, CNN, Hidalgo, Texas.


CHURCH: It is a desperate situation.

I want to thank you for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. "EARLY START" is up next.