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Soon, Funeral for Daunte Wright in Minneapolis; Alternate Juror Says Dr. Tobin Testimony Convinced Her; Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH) Introducing Police Reform Bill within Days. Aired 1-1:30p ET

Aired April 22, 2021 - 13:00   ET



JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Grateful for your time today. I hope to see you back here this time tomorrow. Don't go anywhere on this busy new day. Ana Cabrera picking up our coverage right now. Have a good day.

ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Let's do it. Hello and thank you for being with me. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

Right now a heartbreaking goodbye. Less than 48 hours after former Police Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd, the family of Daunte Wright is remembering their loved one who is killed by police just a few miles away. Wright's funeral about to begin in Minneapolis.

And this morning a striking image as that casket carrying the body of the 20-year-old arrived at the funeral. People, some of them armed, created a security permanent around the hearse. Wright was fatally shot by now former Brooklyn Center Officer Kim Potter during a traffic stop on April 11th. He was unarmed.

And this morning, Wright's aunt spoke to CNN about the grief felt by her family and the larger black community.


NAISHA WRIGHT, DAUNTE WRIGHT'S AUNT: We've been fighting way too long for this, way too long to be accepted as people. And we are people. We are human beings. If doctor so-called make a mistake, they go for them.

So, again, for the people to protect and serve us, you take an oath to protect me, to protect my children, to protect Ben, to protect everybody. At the end, we shouldn't end up six feet deep.


CABRERA: Minnesota's governor calling for a moment of silence to honor Daunte. We will bring you moments of his service here this hour. Let's start though with CNN's Adrienne Broaddus outside the church in Minneapolis and Miguel Marquez in Brooklyn Center, where he was killed.

And, Adrienne, first to you. What are you seeing? What have you been hearing from family and friends on this somber day?

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, Daunte's family is saying goodbye to the 20-year-old they loved so much on the same day his grandmother turns 60. Members of the family, immediate family and extended family just entered the church. They stood side-by-side in rows of two.

Daunte's, mother, Katie Wright, and Daunte's father were the first to enter in along with Reverend Al Sharpton who will do the eulogy today. And it's interesting. I want to note, the sun is shining today. I spoke with Daunte's older brother, Damik. And he said that's one thing he will miss about his brother was his smile. The family says Daunte had a smile that was brighter than the sun.

We will hear from Daunte's parents. They will give reflections and tell us a little bit more about the son they loved. We'll also hear from Daunte's siblings, all six, as well as one of Daunte's uncles.

Now, the service will take place here. According to family, red was one of Daunte's favorite colors, so you will notice members of the family are wearing red and black today.

Inside, Daunte is resting peacefully, he's wearing a jean outfit. Ana?

CABRERA: A life lost too soon. I see you're wearing red as well, Adrienne, in honor of that life. The circumstances obviously are quite different but the deaths of George Floyd and Daunte Wright, they are linked for the people of Minnesota.

Adrienne, you learned the same funeral home handled both of these tragedies. Tell us about that.

BROADDUS: Yes. Tracy Wesley is the funeral director at Estes Funeral Chapel and he's handled some high-profile cases here in Minnesota, including names some folks don't even know about. But one thing he told me is it never gets easy. He can better accept when people pass from natural causes but when black men and women die at the hands of police and he has to comfort those families, it's tough.

In person, when he's with the family, he does his best to keep and hold his composures but he said there's been many times when those families walk out the door, he and his staff break, because as a black man, he sees himself in those families. And that was the case with George Floyd, a family he has kept in touch with all this time.

And I spoke with another young lady who is here. Her brother was shot and killed by Minneapolis Police, Estes Funeral Chapel did the funeral arrangements for that and her brother's funeral was at this same church as well. Ana? CABRERA: Too many families who have that shared grief. Miguel, give us a sense of the scene where you are, because you are in the area where Daunte Wright lost his life. What are you hearing from the community today?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. This is the place where his car came to a rest after being shot by a single bullet by former Officer Kim Potter. This is the spot where he died. It, too, sort of like George Floyd Square on the south side of Minneapolis up here on the northwestern side of Minneapolis this too has become a memorial to Daunte Wright.


Look, people are whip sawed here. This has been a really difficult couple of weeks for people across the board in Minneapolis. Today is the lain to rest, 20-year-old Daunte Wright. You had the convictions of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police officer who murdered George Floyd, then you had the Justice Department announcing it was going to do a pattern practice of investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department.

So many people have so much hope on one end because of the convictions, because of the quick charging of officer -- former Officer Potter, but at the same time they're not sure how wide that door is going to -- how long or how wide that door will stay open. And they'd like to see more. They'd like a better understanding where it's all going. They want to see basically equality, equality in the treatment by police officers, not just in extreme cases where a gun is pulled and someone dies but in those every day transactions with police officers as well.

A measure of respect in dealing with their own police department and that deadly force isn't the first thing that police officers use when they approach a black or African-American person in the street.

So it's a lot of emotions, we'll see how it plays out. But right now, people are basically reflecting, taking some time on timely and a beautiful spring day here to take in what they've lost, what they've gained and where it's all going. Ana?

CABRERA: Miguel Marquez and Adrienne Broaddus, thank you both.

For more on this, let's bring in CNN Political Commentator Bakari Sellers, CNN Law Enforcement Analyst and former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and CNN Senior Legal Analyst and federal prosecutor Laura Coates.

Bakari, here we are again, another family grieving a life cut too short. What is going through your mind as we show some of the pictures of this funeral?

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sadness, because here we are again. It seems like just a year ago that we were all watching the funeral of George Floyd, just utter sadness that we have to be here in this proverbial state of grieving. And let me just say that I utterly reject the framing of black young people, black babies, black and brown babies, like Adam Toledo or Ma'Khia, or in this case, Daunte, being murdered by officers because of split-second decisions.

I know remember doing George Floyd's funeral, I was asking that all we wanted was the benefit of our humanity. But in this case, I think it has to go a step further that I want black, especially our young men and women, to get the benefit of grace. Being black in this country, you don't get the opportunity to make a mistake.

I think about Ma'Khia Bryant. I think about Daunte. I think about Adam Toledo. I think about all of these cases where people just want to say and pile on and say and frame them as such that murdering these black babies is okay, and it's not. And so we have to have not only the benefit of our humanity but we should also be able to get the grace that showed when you make a mistake.

CABRERA: We are watching people arrive for the funeral. We see members of the family earlier and we also see members of congress, in fact, the two state senators have returned to Minnesota today, Amy Klobuchar, as well as Tina Smith expected to participate in some of the memorial events today.

Commissioner, Daunte Wright's mom said he was afraid of the police and said she could hear the fear in his voice when she spoke to him right after he was pulled over during that traffic stop. Do you think police take that fear into account often enough when they are involve in these types of encounters?

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, they should take it into account, but to be honest, there never should be fear just because you're stopped by the police. I know that's a reality but it just should not be. That's a tragedy in itself, in my opinion.

And so there's something that has to happen in order to stop that, because that is a concern. And you see it time and time again where people, you know, are stopped by police and they, therefore, react in a way in which, you know, it causes a response from the police.

And so this -- this cycle has to be broken at some point in time. I don't know how you do it. It's going to take some time. But it's just -- it just shouldn't happen.

CABRERA: At least we're talking about it. At least there's awareness.


At least people seem to care.

Laura, I can't get over that he was pulled over for simply an expired tag and yet he ended up losing his life. We've all seen the video by now. And you talked about how Daunte Wright was afraid of police, but what does the officer's behavior during that traffic stop tell you about how they perceived him? LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, first, Ana, I know we can all agree just how impactful this is. There's really no rest for the weary and this family is enduring that for all of us as part of the national conversation that for them is deeply personal. Daunte Wright is who they knew, they loved and they believed in and now no longer have the benefit of his life to share with him. So it's very sad on this day.

And you think about it in terms of the esoteric notion of what are officers entitled to do, what you see here again, Ana, is this idea of the benefit of the doubt that officers have often enter experience over the course of time over that use of force continuum. And we have presumed for a very long time as a nation that the officer use of force continuum is abided by.

And there are some sort anecdotes often reduced too that instances like these are reduced to anecdotes. We know that's not the case, and this demonstrates that yet again. But, ultimately, an officer has to justify their use of force. They're not given carte blanche as if they're 007. They have to justify their use of force and they have to constantly assess and reassess any use of force.

And remember, there are certain crimes, certain allegations that can warrant the use of deadly force and then there are others that, for many people, would have resulted in a citation, a friendly advice moment, a -- I'm going to give you a pass, get it done. The question is why that does not extend to so many people in this country, and particularly people of color.

But also we can't allow officers to simply say, hey, a split-second decision absolves me of responsibility because the Supreme Court only extended that benefit of doubt because based on if they had to truly make a split-second decision based on reasonableness. Was it reasonable to believe you were holding a taser instead of a service weapon?

Was it reasonable for you to use and discharge the weapon for otherwise citable offense, particularly when, remember, he is pulled over, they have his license, they know where to find him, he wasn't endangering, as far as we have been told, in any way, himself or other people.

And what could the officers have done to obviate the need to even use force or to move his person while he was alive, car off, closed door, behind the vehicle? Why weren't those steps taken? So there's a lot of concerns and questions. But I'm with Bakari and Chief Ramsey, the notion of this use of force continuum has never been -- wasn't not intended to be a carte blanche or just a gift to officers.

CABRERA: Bakari, I want to come back to something you said earlier, and it has to do with what we hear so often from black parents having to have the talk with their kids and explaining that black people can't make the same mistakes as white people during police interactions. If Daunte Wright were white, do you think a gun or even a taser would have been pulled? SELLERS: No, not at all. I mean, we see those cases around the country all the time. So the answer to that is no. I mean, when you're raising black children, for example, my wife wants to go to the store maybe get a water gun or something like that, the answer is no. Our children aren't allowed to play with those things, because what happens when they play with those things in the front yard and we're not around.

And so I believe that Chief Ramsey would echo this. I know that Laura would echo this, that the conversations we have to have with our children are just fundamentally different. For those who ask, does racism or structural racism still exist, ask yourself if you have to have those conversations with your children.

But oftentimes, the better conversations that we have to have, Ana, are not the conversations or knowing what Bakari Sellers is going to teach his children, but what are white families having teaching their children, how are they teaching their children to give my children the benefit of their humanity. How are they interacting with other individuals, whether or not law enforcement or not in their workplace.

And at the end of the day, we're seeing these cases more and more and more all because we have cameras but this is stories that we've been telling folks for a very long period of time and here we are in another funeral because an officer, during the heat of the moment, made a mistake. And I think about that often. I think about that narrative often and how much B.S. it is. I think about what happened, what we found out in the press release after George Floyd and what we now know today.

And so I am someone who believes that this country, by no means, is irredeemable but we still have work to do to make it a more perfect union. And I'm not someone who wants to abolish police, but I also know that we have a problem that's bigger than a few bad apples.


So we have to find some way to fix this problem. And, unfortunately, we're relying on a Congress that simply hasn't been able to get its act together and do anything. And the longer that Manchin and Sinema and others that I can call out by name continue to do absolutely nothing, we'll have more black bodies that are buried because we won't do anything to fix this problem.

CABRERA: Everybody, please stand by. Bakari Sellers, Charles Ramsey, Laura Coates, I appreciate the discussion, so much more to discuss. We will continue to monitor the events there in Minneapolis today with the funeral of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.

Meantime, the governor of Ohio says he will be introducing a new police reform bill in a matter of days. That announcement coming in the wake of another police shooting death, this time of a teenage girl who appeared to be lunging at another with a knife.

Plus, President Biden today making a bold pledge to cut green house gas emissions in half here in the U.S. by 2030, that is more than double the country's prior commitment under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

And now CDC reports more than a third of U.S. adults are now fully vaccinated, a third of U.S. adults. But officials warn, demand for this vaccine is dropping.



CABRERA: Welcome back. An alternate juror speaking out in the Derek Chauvin murder trial, saying she agrees with the jury's decision to convict former police officer on all three counts. Lisa Christensen spoke to CNN a short time ago. Here is what convinced her.


LISA CHRISTENSEN, ALTERNATE JUROR IN DEREK CHAUVIN MURDER TRIAL: Dr. Tobin was the turning point for me. Obviously, he's very intelligent and I appreciate him explaining it in the way that all of us could understand it. I understood what he was saying. I thought he was very powerful, probably the most important witness they had.

I feel like he could actually point out going through the video and saying, hey, at this instance right here is when Mr. Floyd lost his life.

I was sitting pretty much across from him, so when I was done note- taking or looking between the lawyers and paying attention to the witnesses, I did lock eyes with him a couple of times and it was a little uncomfortable.


CABRERA: Christensen was critical of the defense, saying Attorney Eric Nelson, quote, overpromised in the beginning.

In Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine says he will introduce a police reform bill within the next few days. This announcement comes after an officer in Columbus shot and killed 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant on Tuesday. Officer Nicholas Reardon is now on administrative leave while this shooting is investigated.

The department has now released a higher quality version of that officer's body cam footage. Athena Jones continues to follow the story in Columbus for us.

Athena, what are you learning about how this investigation will move forward?

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. What we know that this is now in the hands of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. That is a part of the state attorney general's officer. So they're going to be conducting an independent investigation. And they have first dibs on all of the evidence. They are the ones who talk to the witnesses first, they are the ones who looked at the -- all of the police body cam footage that has been released. It was only released after the Bureau of Criminal Investigations had a look at it.

And I should mention that the fact that incidents like this are investigated independently, completely separate from the Columbus Police Department is part of reforms that took place here in this city last summer. In July 2020, there was a memorandum of understanding establishing this practice whereby this group called the BCI, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, takes over in incidents like this, all part of an attempt to begin to reform in policing here in Columbus. Ana?

CABRERA: Athena Jones, thank you. And let's take you all to North Carolina now. We had another case that has protesters demanding answers and transparency after police shot and killed Andrew Brown Jr. Demonstrators marched through Elizabeth City last night. They're calling for the release of body cam footage. Police say they were serving a warrant. How did it turn deadly? There are just so many questions in this case. The state's Bureau of Criminal Investigation leading a probe now into what happened.

Our Brian Todd joins us in Elizabeth City now. Brian, what more are we learning about this shooting?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, right now, we do not have the answers that some of the people in this town are really demanding because we do not yet have the release of the body cam footage from the sheriff's deputy.

We're told that the sheriff was wearing a body cam footage of it, and if there is footage of this incident, they have not released that yet. That is up to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation at this point. We're pressing them on whether and when they will release it, and they have not gotten back to us on that yet.

But what we do have are witness accounts from yesterday of what happened. We talked to two witnesses who live in the neighborhood who saw and heard what transpired. One of them said she heard multiple gunshots during this incident, another one, Demetria Williams, said that she blood splattering against this house where Andrew Brown lived. You can see the mud on the house there. You can see also fresh tire marks from where apparently Mr. Brown was driving away at the time of the shooting.

We're also told by a neighbor over at the white house that there was a bullet that went through the front wall of that house and landed inside that house. And we're told by witnesses that Andrew Brown's car crashed into that tree by the red truck over there.

Demtria Williams, as I mentioned, she's a witness who saw the shots being fired at the car as it was pulling away. Hear what she said.


DEMETRIA WILLIAMS, WITNESS: By the time I got here, they were standing behind his car, he was trying to get away.

TODD: Where was the car? WILLIAMS: The car was right here at the time.


It was about in this motion, right here, you know, because it's grass, so, of course, it's spinning mud and they started. They stood behind him. I couldn't tell you who shot him. I couldn't do that. But one of the officers or maybe a couple shot him.


TODD: And witnesses also told us that after the car crashed into that tree back there that they saw deputies pulling Andrew Brown out of the car and trying to revive him, trying to apply live-saving methods to save his life. That obviously was not successful.

And we're, again, waiting for a word on whether that body cam footage is going to be released. That's going to provide answers, Ana, that this town is really demanding. People here very, very frustrated that they don't have some of those answers. They confronted city council members last night. They were pressing from the sheriff's department for answers.

The sheriff, Tommy Wooten, did say that wanted to get that footage out. That was last night. As of today, it's in the hands of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. They have not gotten back to us regarding our inquiries as to when this is going to be released.

CABRERA: And we know you are continuing to push for answers. Brian Todd, in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, thank you.

A police officer in Norfork, Virginia, now fired after city officials learned he had donated to Kyle Rittenhouse. That's the teenager pictured here. Rittenhouse faces felony homicide charges for shooting and killing two men during protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin last August.

Norfolk City manager says, Lieutenant William Kelly violated department policies and undermined its relationship with the community. Kelly may appeal his termination.

Dozens of world leaders meeting right now to focus on tackling climate change, and President Biden leading with an ambitious goal, cutting green house gas emissions by as much as 52 percent by 2030. How can he do it?