Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

President Biden Meets with Japanese Prime Minister; Closing Arguments Ahead in Chauvin Trial; Indianapolis Mass Shooting. Aired 3- 3:30p ET

Aired April 16, 2021 - 15:00   ET

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


[15:01:05]

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: We continue on, hour two on this Friday. I'm Brooke Baldwin. You're watching CNN. Thank you for being with me.

America suffering through one national tragedy on top of another, the latest, a mass shooting in Indianapolis that has left eight people dead, five more wounded.

This rampage erupted when not just one, but three deaths tied to police officers gripping the country, the most recent a boy named Adam Toledo. The city of Chicago released bodycam video of this police officer shooting the 13-year-old just days after Brooklyn Center police showed the final moments of Daunte Wright's death outside of Minneapolis.

And that happened just miles from the trial of the former accused officer accused of killing George Floyd.

Now, in Indianapolis, police say the whole mass shooting was over by the time first responders actually arrived at this FedEx facility, and the suspected gunman killed himself.

Also just in, audio of the police scanner reveals the chaotic scene, as Indianapolis police officers made their way into that building. They knew of multiple victims, but officers did not know the number of shooters.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are a lot of obstacles in there, guys. Take it nice and slow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm getting information that he is still inside the building from somebody pulling off the lot.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

BALDWIN: And then, later, you hear confirmation that the gunman is dead. Listen.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Attention all units, there's only one shooter, gunshot wound to the head. He is down.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Today in a hotel near this FedEx facility, families are being forced through the worst uncertainty of their lives, the wait to find out if their loved one lived or not.

Cameras actually captured this one moment where prayers for one family were answered.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, thank you, God.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: CNN's Miguel Marquez is live in Indianapolis.

Miguel, what more do you know about what happened?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, look, everything that we know is that this happened without warning. It was incredibly fast. It was incredibly deadly.

Police saying that, just after 11:00 p.m. last night, this gunman came to this massive facility. This is a huge, huge FedEx facility, one of the biggest in the -- for FedEx globally here just near the airport in Indianapolis. About 4,500 people work here.

The gunman came to the parking lot, began shooting, and then continued inside. Here's how law enforcement authorities say it played out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRAIG MCCARTT, INDIANAPOLIS METROPOLITAN DEPUTY POLICE CHIEF: The suspect came to the facility. And when he came there, he got out of his car and pretty quickly started some random shooting outside the facility.

There was no confrontation with anyone that was there. There was no disturbance. There was no argument. He just appeared to randomly start shooting. And that began in the parking lot. And then he did go into the building, into the facility for a brief period of time before he took his own life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARQUEZ: Now, we know that authorities are serving search warrants and looking for more information this individual.

While they have not named him officially so far, CNN has learned through a few different law enforcement sources that this was an individual that was known to state, local and federal law enforcement officials, that a family member had called in a warning to them that this individual had a propensity for violence, that there was an investigation open, but, at some point, the FBI closed that investigation, saying that there just wasn't enough information to continue it.

It is not clear why it was closed. But then, of course, this happened. So, I'm sure they will go back and look at it all again. But, right now, the city of Indianapolis and this is part of Indianapolis, this sort of mass the landscape of warehouses in this area, now trying to grapple with America's latest mass shooting -- Brooke.

[15:05:08]

BALDWIN: Miguel, thank you.

Police say they do not know the motive for the shooting there in Indianapolis. We are learning that federal authorities were at one point warned about the suspect. This is what Miguel alluded to.

But let's go to CNN senior justice correspondent Evan Perez with a bit more.

What do you know about this gunman's history?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, that's just exactly what I think the investigation is now focused on as we try to figure out what the motivation was.

They are now looking at that previous contact that Miguel was talking about. At some point, a family member called authorities to notify them that there was some concern about the behavior of this suspect, the suspected shooter, and raised concern about the potential for violence.

And so the local authorities and the FBI both investigated. The FBI opened a preliminary investigation, and then closed it, it appears, because they determined that there was not enough evidence at that point to continue that.

Now, the question is, and what they're going through now is, is there something that was missed at that point? As you know, there's a lot of -- we have a lot of these shootings in this country. And so, a lot of times, you go back and you see what perhaps the agents may have done at that time that may, in retrospect, have been done differently.

And that's what -- the process that's going on right now. We know, as Miguel pointed out, there is a search of an address associated with the with the suspected shooter. They're going to talk to the family members. They're going to look through social media, look through the devices to see if he left behind anything to explain why this happened.

It may turn out to be a mix of motivations. Again, there's some indication that there was some concern from a family member in the past about him. And so we will see whether there is something more recent that has come forward. At this point, Brooke, though, the fact that these things keep

happening and law enforcement -- as you know, these things are very difficult. These investigations are very, very difficult to do, especially if someone hasn't actually done something at that point.

And, Brooke, let me just close one -- right here by saying, we're going to miss you.

I know this is your final show here. And it's sad that, yet again, we're dealing with something like this.

BALDWIN: I know.

PEREZ: But this is how -- this is how things are these days.

BALDWIN: I know. I -- when I woke up this morning, and knowing it was my last day, I just couldn't believe it, although--

PEREZ: Yes.

BALDWIN: -- I should believe it, because this is what happens in America.

Evan Perez, I love you. Thank you very much for all of that.

Now to the latest on this deadly police shooting. Chicago police say less than one second passed between the time 13-year-old Adam Toledo was seen holding a gun and the time this officer shot him and ultimately killed him.

New bodycam video released from the Chicago Police Department shows the moment his officer made the split-second decision to shoot this 13-year-old, after police say the teen was seen holding a gun at the end of this chase. This happened end of March.

The video also shows Toledo raising his hands an instant before a single bullet is fired, hits him in the chest.

CNN's Ryan Young joins us now with the very latest from Chicago.

And, Ryan, what do you know?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, clearly, a lot of questions about this shooting, this police-involved shooting here in Chicago.

There's also a lot of mistrust between the community and the police department. So, you understand that, when the police released this video and said the teen had a gun, there were people who still didn't believe it. The police did their due diligence in releasing video.

And you can see the spot shadow in which they say the teen had a gun in his hand when the officer confronted him.

This all started about a few weeks ago, when a ShotSpotter technology heard gunshots in a neighborhood in Chicago. It was eight gunshots that it was recorded. The officer arrived to the scene to know that he was looking for somebody who obviously had been opening fire somewhere.

He engaged with the teen. It was about 19 seconds in terms of the total chase to when the shot was fired. It was a split-second decision. Now, the family attorney doesn't believe the officer had to fire that fatal shot, because they believe the teen had already discarded the gun when that shot was fired.

Still a lot of questions in this city. And then on top of that, you have protesters who are taking to the street, last night, less than 100 protesters.

But there is a belief that larger protests could be scheduled for tonight. And all across Michigan Avenue, businesses have started boarding up. They have hired extra security just in case, because we had violent protests last summer.

So, you understand there are some people who are worried about what could happen. But, at the end of the day, Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old, was shot and killed by a police officer. And they say, of course, the police department, he had a gun.

[15:10:00]

Brooke, not a lot of easy answers in this case.

BALDWIN: Not at all.

Ryan Young, thank you for that reporting out of Chicago.

Coming up, we have new details on how the cities of Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center are preparing for the weekend after the death of Daunte Wright.

Plus: Even as the U.S. continues to vaccinate Americans at record pace, nearly half of the states in the U.S. are seeing increases in COVID cases. And one state's hospitals are nearing capacity. We will talk about that with an E.R. doctor from there.

And President Biden is reversing on a campaign promise, keeping the cap, the maximum on the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. at the same level set by the Trump administration.

You're watching CNN on a Friday. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:15:29]

BALDWIN: We're back. You're watching CNN, I'm Brooke Baldwin.

For a fifth straight night, protesters peacefully took to the streets of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, over this deadly police shooting of 20- year-old Daunte Wright. It all happened just hours after Kim Potter, the now former police officer charged with second-degree manslaughter in Wright's death, made her first court appearance. Her next court date is set for May.

And CNN's Adrienne Broaddus is live for us there in Brooklyn Center.

And how is the city preparing going into the weekend, Adrienne?

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brooke, here in Brooklyn Center and beyond, members of the National Guard will be seen overnight in the surrounding communities.

Let's take Minneapolis, for example. National Guard troops have been -- or members have been stationed there at least for the past few nights around the Third Precinct, which is -- or one of the precincts which is in downtown Minneapolis. The Third Precinct, we know, burned.

Nevertheless, the Guard will be on standby as we head into the weekend. And people from the community still plan to stand up for what they call justice, this after Kim Potter was charged with second- degree manslaughter.

She made her initial court appearance yesterday. It lasted less than five minutes. During that hearing, the reading of the criminal complaint was waived. And Daunte Wright's mother was watching from a device. And this is what she had to say:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATIE WRIGHT, MOTHER OF DAUNTE WRIGHT: I was on a Zoom call yesterday watching her in court. And she waved into the camera when they asked if she was present.

That made my heart break 10 times more into a million pieces. I felt anger. I felt sadness. I felt lost. And I felt helpless. And I don't want to feel helpless. I need my son to have justice, along with everybody else's son, daughters, people who are murdered by the police.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROADDUS: And protesters are echoing the message that Wright's family has repeated day after day since his killing.

They want Potter charged with more serious charges. There was a sign hanging on the fence that keeps people away from the police department. It says, "Bring" -- it said: "Bring charges against Kim Potter," specifically murder.

And, Brooke, I want to tell you something we have seen out here today, members from the community engaging with the National Guard. They're off to my right side. It seems like some folks in the community have built a relationship with the National Guard members.

They were playing rock, paper scissors, and they're talking about things. Now, while these fences are up to keep them away, some protesters are finding a way to get to them and talk -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Community engagement, so needed.

Adrienne, thank you for pointing that out. Thank you for your reporting.

And just down the road there, Minneapolis, we may be just days away from learning the fate of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd. Closing arguments are set to begin Monday.

And then, of course, all eyes turn to the jury, as we wait for their verdict in this case. Derek Chauvin is facing multiple charges, second-degree manslaughter, third-degree murder, and second-degree unintentional murder, that final charge bringing with it up to 40 years behind bars.

Elie Honig is back. He's our CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor. Charles Ramsey is back, CNN law enforcement analyst and former Philadelphia police commissioner, former chief, Metropolitan Police there in D.C.

And, Chief Ramsey, I want to start with you here, because this is all happening in Minneapolis, right, against the backdrop of all of these other shootings. I know the jury is not yet sequestered. How could all of what is swirling affect them and the outcome of this trial?

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I hope not. I know that's a big concern of everyone.

And the judge has been very clear, asking them not to watch the news and so forth. So let's hope that they're able to not have it affect their decision on the Chauvin case.

But it is tough. I mean, you got a lot going on there now, between Brooklyn and between Minneapolis. You got have police stations being fenced off with razor wire around -- I mean, it's -- this is -- these times are just absolutely crazy that we're living in right now.

[15:20:05]

BALDWIN: They are. They are.

Final arguments, Elie, Monday, closing arguments. What do you expect will be the driving message from each side?

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Brooke, I think, if you think back to opening arguments, which were about two-and-a-half weeks ago, I think a lot of people were surprised at how straightforward, sort of matter-of-fact, nondramatic they were.

That's the nature of opening arguments. Closings are a different ball game, however. Closings are going to be more dramatic. Lawyers are allowed to be argumentative, where they're not in opening.

So, I look for some more fireworks. The key in any closing is focus. As the prosecutor, you are saying, focus on this defendant. They will say focus on that 9:29. And the defense, really, I don't say this in a derogatory way, but tries to put the focus anywhere else.

That's the job. Focus on the carbon monoxide. Focus on the bystanders. That's what often happens in these cases. All the defense is trying to do is create reasonable doubt. So, I think this is going to be a really heated exchange of closing arguments, and then it will be in the jury's hands.

BALDWIN: You mentioned carbon monoxide. I'm going to come back to you in just a second.

But, Commissioner, over to you.

We know that the defense really hammered home these three main arguments, George Floyd's drug use and underlying health issues, the -- quote, unquote -- "hostile crowd of bystanders" and what they deem as an appropriate use of force.

In your opinion, and we can't crawl into the hearts and minds of the jury, but how strong was their case?

RAMSEY: Well, they talked about everything except nine minutes and 29 seconds.

And that's the problem. I mean, how can you use that force for that long a period of time against an individual who's not struggling? I mean, that is going to be a huge mountain for the defense to overcome, because you have to keep going back to that.

And to think that that action did not significantly contribute to the death of George Floyd, even though, yes, he had heart disease, yes, he had drugs in the system. I mean, he had all that. Maybe he took -- inhaled some carbon monoxide. Who knows?

But do you honestly think that kneeling on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds did not contribute to the cause of death? I mean, it just defies any logic to think otherwise.

BALDWIN: Which makes it hard to believe, Elie, to your -- the point you have made, it would be hard to believe that this whole thing could come down to carbon monoxide in George Floyd's system.

But, as you have pointed out time and time again, all it takes is doubt to creep into the mind of one juror.

RAMSEY: Yes.

BALDWIN: Elie, was that a miss for the prosecution?

HONIG: Well, I think the prosecution actually ended up coming out of that piece OK, because, if you remember, on the cross-examination of the defense witness, Dr. Fowler, who gave us this carbon monoxide theory, they got him to admit -- the prosecutor said, do you have any data behind that?

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: Hang on, guys, just one second. Sorry.

We're going to get -- we're going to see the president with the Japanese prime minister just into us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yoshi and I have had some private time together, a little lunch and tea. And it's great to have him with us.

As you know, this is the first foreign leader to visit me in my presidency. And I'm really pleased to welcome such a close ally and good partner.

The United States and Japan have a big agenda ahead of us. And we are two important democracies in the Indo-Pacific region. And our cooperation is vital, in my view, and I think in both our views, to meeting the challenges facing our nation, and ensuring the future of the region to remain free and open and prosperous.

So, I'm looking forward to speak with the prime minister, and our teams are tackling a shared agenda. We are ready to -- ready to get to work.

So, welcome, Mr. Prime Minister. As we say in the body I used to work in, the United States Senate, I yield the floor to the prime minister.

It's all yours, Yoshi.

YOSHIHIDE SUGA, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Thank you very much.

Thank you for accepting me as the first foreign leader under your presidency. My deepest gratitude to you.

And, yesterday, there was a shooting in Indianapolis, so I heard, and causing much casualty. I would like to express my condolences to the victims and my sympathies to the families.

Innocent citizens must not be exposed to any such violence. Freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law are the universal values that link our alliance, that is prevalent in the Indo-Pacific. And this is the basis the foundation of prosperity and stability of the region and the globe.

[15:25:04]

And the importance of such values has heightened to unprecedented level. And upon my visit to the United States, I wish to reaffirm the new and tight bond between us.

And in order to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific, there are many common challenges, as well as emerging global issues, including COVID- 19 and climate change. I wish to spend time with you to again confirm the close ties between

our two countries. And thank you again for accepting us.

BIDEN: -- (OFF-MIKE) sentiments.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Just listening in on any questions there.

But this -- this is significant. You see it on your screen. This is the first face-to-face meeting that President Biden has had with a foreign leader there at the White House.

So, just wanted to note that.

Also just into CNN, Russia retaliates against the United States now for the new round of sanctions, banning this list of top U.S. officials from the country. We will tell you who next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)