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Chief Bill Scott, San Francisco Police Department, Discusses Chauvin Trial & Police Reform; Ohio Police Officer Shoots, Kills Girl Wielding Knife; Biden Delivers Remarks on COVID Fight & Vaccines. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired April 21, 2021 - 13:30   ET

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


[13:30:00]

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You put out a pretty powerful statement yesterday: "We must build trust where we have it and restore trust where we have lost it and earn trust even where we never had it."

Chief, if you look at the initial Minneapolis police report, they essentially blame Floyd's death on a medical issue.

We wouldn't be here today if a 17-year-old girl had not filmed that incident, the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police.

We found the truth but it did not come from those sworn to serve. How do you build trust after something like that?

BILL SCOTT, CHIEF, SAN FRANCISCO POLICE DEPARTMENT: Well, we -- it needs to come from us. I mean, transparency starts with us. And, again, don't be forced. It should come from us.

That goes a long way. And that's what we try to do in this city with this department. It's demanded from us from the public here.

And when we have an incident we have to be transparent about it. And we put out videos consistently when we have an incident of that nature.

And as hard and difficult as they are to watch and as hard and difficult as it is to admit your own faults and liability and culpability, it's the right thing to do. So it starts there.

And we have to deal with the history. You know, there's a long history in our nation of -- and reasons to mistrust. We can't just brush that aside and pretend that it didn't exist.

Part of the process is a reckoning and a reconciliation, if you will, of those things.

And when people say that's the past, well, no, the past and the future and the present are connected. One of the ways we're trying to reconcile that is we're talking about the past so we can get to the now.

You know, it's really powerful to acknowledge the wrongs of the past so we can get to a place where we can move forward. And that's a part of the process.

CABRERA: I do want to at least acknowledge some of the work you have done and the impact it has had since that DOJ investigation or assessment of your department's policies and processes began in 2016.

Use-of-force incidents went down 30 percent from 2016 to 2019. Chokeholds are now banned. And most recently, your department announced police are no longer responding to noncriminal calls. It sounds like progress there.

And yet, the most recent data from your department, looking at itself and putting it out there -- and you are talking about transparency -- it shows black and Hispanic people in San Francisco have a disproportionate amount of encounters with police relative to their overall representation in the city. That was just in the last quarter.

How do you explain that?

SCOTT: Yes, that's absolutely a problem. We are so focused on changing that narrative right now.

It's a problem. It's been a problem for a long time. Part of our reform effort is constructed to address that.

First of all, we have to figure out what part of this we own. You know, we can't address a lot of the social underlying causes, the root causes, that may lead to some of what happens in some of our communities.

And I am talking about disparities in education and wealth and all of these things.

We own part of this. And we have to understand what part of this we own.

Our policies, is it the way we go about our enforcement strategies? Is it culture? I think it's a little bit of all that. So let's unpack that.

And part of our reform effort is working with academic partners who help us, from an academic research-land, really understand what we own. Because that's the part we have to impact.

And we have made some progress in that area. But we have a long, long way to go because it's still way out of whack.

We have to acknowledge that. We can't make excuses. We can't blame. We can't rationalize it away. We have to own it. That's the first part of the process.

So we are there. We own it. Now what are we now going to do about it?

(CROSSTALK)

SCOTT: Thankfully, we have some wind behind our sails right now with everything that has happened in this nation in the past year that pushes us even harder to fix that problem.

CABRERA: Well, we are rooting for you, that's for sure.

San Francisco police chief, Bill Scott, really appreciate it. Thank you.

SCOTT: Thank you.

[13:34:17]

CABRERA: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: Welcome back.

CNN has just learned that President Joe Biden has been briefed on the deadly shooting of a teenage girl by police in Columbus, Ohio.

Chaotic new body cam video shows the teen, identified as Ma'Khia Bryant, holding what appears to be a knife before moving quickly toward one girl and lunging toward another.

We have to warn you, this video is disturbing to watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SHOUTING)

UNIDENTIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: Hey! Hey! What's going on? What's going on?

(SHOUTING)

UNIDENTIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: Get down! Get down! Get down! Get down!

(GUNFIRE)

(SHOUTING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: And CNN's Athena Jones in Columbus.

I know we are awaiting a press conference next hour, but what more have you learned?

[13:40:02]

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. We know that police responded to a call yesterday afternoon at 4:32

p.m. from somebody indicating that, quote, females were there trying to stab" them and put their hands on them.

This is according to Columbus' interim police chief, Michael Woods.

We don't know yet who made that 911 call. We expect to learn more information next hour at a press conference with the mayor and authorities.

I want to play for you the slow-motion video that the police released, because it's much easier to see what happened here.

Again, this video is disturbing to watch.

And we should note some of the faces are blurred because it's police policy to blur the faces of minors.

This is the body cam footage from the first officer to arrive on the scene. That is the only footage that's been released so far.

That's the officer that shot Ma'Khia Bryant.

You can see on the video, Bryant moved toward a girl with what appears to be a knife in her hand. That girl falls to the ground. They officer yells, "Hey, hey, hey, get down."

Then we see Bryant appear to lunge at a second girl with the knife - armed raised with the knife in her hand. The officer says, "Get down, get down, get down," and then shoots in the direction of Bryant four times.

At one point after Bryant is on the ground, slumped there against the car, you can see what appears to be a steak knife on the ground. You can see the officer tending to her.

At a press conference last night, Mayor Andrew Ginther said, quote, "We know, based on this footage, the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community."

The interim police chief says, look, "Defense of self and defense of another, these are two reasons that can justify a shooting."

So that is what authorities -- the preliminary conclusion at this point.

There's going to be an independent investigation from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, part of the attorney general's office here in Ohio that will draw conclusions -- Ana?

CABRERA: Athena Jones, in Columbus, Ohio, thank you.

George Floyd's death just didn't just spark protests and activism on the nation's streets. Athletes made their voices heard on the court, on the field and beyond. Reaction from the sports world and what happens next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:45:33]

CABRERA: We go live now to the president speaking about the coronavirus pandemic. Let's listen in.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- administered 100 million vaccine shots during my first 100 days in office.

And at the time, some people said it couldn't be done and it was awfully ambitious. But we did it in 58 days because of the incredible staff I have.

So I set a second goal, to deliver 200 million shots in my first 100 days in office. A goal unmatched in the world or in mass vaccination efforts in American history.

When tomorrow's vaccine and vaccination numbers come out, it will show that today we did it. Today, we hit 200 million shots on the 92nd day in office. Two-hundred million shots in 100 days -- in under 100 days, actually.

It's an incredible achievement for the nation. And here's the context.

You know, at the pace we were moving when I took office, it would have taken us more than 220 days, almost seven and a half months, to reach 200 million shots.

Instead of marking this milestone in April, we would not have seen it until early September at the earliest.

Some experts say that our rapid vaccination effort has already saved tens of thousands of Americans lives. We'll never know exactly but we know it saved lives that otherwise would have been lost.

I am proud of the work of my administration has done to get Americans vaccinated.

But more than that, I am proud of the American people, the volunteers who showed up to staff vaccination sites in their neighborhoods, drover senior citizens to get their shots.

FEMA, the military, the National Guard, state and local health departments, providers, running sites safely and efficiently. Retired health care workers coming back to give life-saving shots to people in their communities.

This is an American achievement. A powerful demonstration of unity and revolve, what unity will do for us. A reminder what we can accomplish when we pull together as one people to a common goal.

Now that we've reached this milestone, we're entering into a new phase of the vaccination effort. As of Monday, at my direction, with the support of 50 governors,

Republicans and Democrats alike, everybody over the age of 16 will be eligible to get vaccinated.

The first three months of our vaccination program focused on targeting vaccines to specific high-risk groups. Now our objective is to reach everyone, everyone over the age of 16 in America.

Wherever you live, whatever your circumstances, if you are 16 or older, you are now eligible for a free COVID-19 shot. And we have the vaccine to deliver.

As we head into this next phase, it's important for us to look at where we stand.

After three months of targeting vaccinations largely to health care workers, frontline workers and people with high-risk conditions, nursing homes, nursing home residents and seniors, the progress we have made has been stunning.

Let me point out a few achievements.

First, as of this last Sunday, more than 50 percent of adult Americans have had at least one vaccine shot. We still have a long way to go but that's an important marker of progress.

When it comes to our target groups, the largest groups we focused on in these past 92 days have been seniors, Americans aged 65 and older. They account for 80 percent of all the COVID deaths before we started vaccinating.

When I took office, 8 percent of the people over 65 had received their first shot.

I am pleased to announce that, by tomorrow, that total will exceed 80 percent of the people over the age of 65. And 80 percent of American seniors of all races, religions and political views will have had at least one shot.

It will be another month or so before we see the full benefits of this effort as many seniors still need the second shot, plus the two weeks to gain that protection after the second shot.

[13:49:58]

But already, we have seen a dramatic decline in deaths among people over the age of 65. An 80 percent reduction in deaths in people over the age of 65.

Still, far too many lives lost. But also a lot of lives saved. In the weeks ahead, as more seniors reach full vaccination, that number of lives lost will continue to decrease.

You know, we made great progress with another group as well: educators, school staff, bus drivers and childcare workers. Back in February, when many of our schools were fully or partially

closed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, issued guidelines to help reopen our schools safely.

Then in March, Congress approved the American Rescue Plan to fund the safe reopening of our schools.

One thing was clear. Many educators were understandably anxious about going back to a classroom without being vaccinated. Many parents were understandably nervous about sending their kids back as well.

So on March 2nd, I launched a program directing all states to make educators, school staff, school bus drivers, childcare workers eligible for vaccination in every state so the schools and childcare centers could open with a peace of mind.

Within a month, 80 percent had received at least one shot. And schools and childcare centers all over the country are reopening.

Now, to be clear, we still have some work to do with our target groups. We've made remarkable progress.

As we continue, as I said, the time is now to open up a new phase of this historic vaccination effort.

To put it simply, if you've been waiting for your turn, wait no longer. Now is the time for everyone over 16 years of age to get vaccinated.

Unlike the target groups, where we made such great progress, the broad swath of American adults still remain largely unvaccinated.

In a number of states, they weren't eligible for the vaccination until this week.

Too many younger Americans may still think they don't need to get vaccinated.

So let me explain two reasons why we need everyone over 16 years of age in America to get vaccinated and share what we're going to do to encourage it.

The first reason, quite simply, is to keep you from getting very sick or dying.

Hundreds of Americans are still dying from COVID every day. The data could not be clearer at this point.

If you are fully vaccinated, two weeks beyond your last shot, you are nearly 100 percent protected against death from COVID, no matter what your age, no matter what your health history.

Until you are fully vaccinated, you are still vulnerable. The vaccine can save your life.

The second reason to get vaccinated is to protect your community, your family, your friends and your neighbors.

Vaccines can save your own life, but they can also save your grandmother's life, your younger co-worker's life, the grocery store clerk or the delivery person, helping you and your neighbors get through the crisis.

Now, that's why you should get vaccinated.

Let me talk about how we're making it easier for you to be able to get vaccinated.

First, there's some steps I announced previously that are hitting the ground this week. And 90 percent of the American people now live within five miles of a place where they can get a shot.

Under our federal vaccination program, shots will be available at nearly 40,000 pharmacies coast to coast.

If you can go into a busy -- buy your shampoo or toothpaste, you can stop and get vaccinated.

The vaccine is free. It's convenient. It's increasingly available.

But I know that isn't enough.

As we move into the vaccination campaign focused on working-age adults, one concern I have heard from so many Americans is that they can't afford to take the time off to get vaccinated or lose a day's work because they are feeling slightly under the weather after their shot.

So today, I'm announcing a program to address that issue nationwide. I'm calling on every employer, large and small, in every state to give employees the time off they need, with pay, to get vaccinated.

And anytime they need with pay to recover if they're feeling under the weather after the shot.

No working American should lose a single dollar from their paycheck because they chose to fulfill their patriotic duty of getting vaccinated.

[13:55:06]

We're already seeing employers, large and small, stepping up to meet this historic moment.

The grocery store, Kroger, offered employees $100 to get vaccinated. It helped pushed the vaccination rates from 50 percent to 75 percent among their associates.

Patty Young owns a hair salon in Springfield, Ohio. She's also dedicated to getting her customers and employees vaccinated, that when they leave the salon -- saloon -- the salon. Maybe they're going to a saloon, I don't know.

(LAUGHTER)

BIDEN: But when they leave the salon, the receptionist helps sign you or your family up a COVID vaccine and where to get it. They have scheduled more than 200 shots so far.

Businesses and employers, like Patty, should be supported for doing the right thing.

So to make sure this policy comes at no cost to small or medium-sized businesses with fewer than 500 employees, the IRS is posting instructions for how employers can get reimbursed for the cost of providing paid leave for employees to get vaccinated and recover from the side effects, if they have any.

That reimbursement, which comes through a tax payment, is thanks to the program I launched in the American Rescue Plan.

So, again, every employee should get paid leave to get a shot. Businesses should know they can provide it without a hit to their bottom line.

There's no excuse for not getting it done.

In the weeks ahead, I'll have more to say about other new developments in our vaccine program.

We'll also continue moving aggressively to build our progress -- to build on our progress and race to the finish line here.

But let me close with this. Back on March 11th, I outlined a vision of what America could look like by the Fourth of July. An America, that was much closer to normal life than we left behind more than a year ago. We remain on track for that goal.

In the weeks since then, more than 120 million shots have been given since I announced the July 4th goal. More of our kids are back in school.

After a long and painful year, more grandparents are able to hug their grandkids again. It's great progress.

But if we let up now and stop being vigilant, this virus will erase the progress we have already achieved, the sacrifices we've made, the lives that have been put on hold, the loved ones who have been taken from us, the time we're never going to get back.

To celebrate our independence from this virus on July 4th with family and friends in small groups, we still have more to do in the months of May and June.

We all need to mask up until the number of cases goes down, until everyone has a chance to get their shot.

To Americans 16 years and older, it's your turn now. Now. So go get your vaccine before the end of May.

We can do this. We'll do this as long as we don't let up.

Thank you all very much. As I said a long time ago, we're going to beat this as long as we do it together.

I want to, again, thank my COVID team. I want to thank the vice president. I want to thank Jeff Zients, behind me, and the entire COVID team for putting this together.

May God protect our troops. And may God bless you all.

Thank you, thank you.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER:: The point where decreasing demand for vaccines is now the biggest challenge instead of increasing supply?

BIDEN: Not yet. But I -- you asked about, what about a broad -- helping abroad. We're in the process of doing that. We've done a bit of that already.

We're looking at what is going to be done with some of the vaccines that we are not using. We want to make sure they are safe to be sent. And we hope to be able to be of some help and value to countries around the world.

We have talked to our neighbors. As a matter of fact, a fellow who is working really hard to take care of his country and deal with this, I was on the phone with for about half an hour today.

The prime minister of Canada. We helped a bit there. We're going to try to help some more.

But there's other countries as well that I'm confident we can help including in Central America. And so -- but it's in process.

[14:00:02]

We don't have enough to be confident to give -- to send it abroad now. I expect we'll be able to do that.

Thank you.