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Judge Denies Public Release of Bodycam Video of Andrew Brown Jr Shooting; Federal Investigators Raid Giuliani's New York Apartment; Soon, Biden's 1st Address to Joint Session of Congress; Manchin "Very Uncomfortable" with Biden's Trillion Dollar Plans. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired April 28, 2021 - 14:30   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: We are also following breaks news out of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and the fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr.

A judge has denied the media's request to publicly release the bodycam video. But it looks like the family will get to see more of the footage.

CNN's Jason Carroll is live for us in Elizabeth City.

So they'll see more than the 20 seconds they were allowed to see yesterday?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. They're going to see a lot more than that.

It will just be one family member. That's because special superior court judge, Jeffrey Foster, basically ruled, in part, there was a compelling reason for the family to see what is on these bodycam recordings.

So he ruled that just one family member. That's going to be Andrew Brown's son. He will be able to see five bodycam recordings of what happened last Wednesday when that shooting took place.

He ordered the release in no less than 30 days and no more than 45 days.

Again, also, there was a request by the media to have those recordings released to the public. That request was denied.

But there are a lot of other significant developments that took place in the courtroom as well. We learned a lot more about what may have been happened last Wednesday.

The D.A. basically arguing that Brown's car allegedly made contact with the deputies twice before those deputies opened fire. The D.A. arguing that Brown's car made contact once when he backed up, and then made contact again when he moved forward.

Basically, this ruling, Alisyn, was met with mixed reaction by both sides.


HARRY DANIELS, BROWN FAMILY ATTORNEY: Let's not get distracted. An innocent man was gunned down. Shot in the back of the head. Vehicle riddled with bullets from the rear.

And I heard statements being made, well, he might have hit the deputies, or we might have did that. Well, show us the video. Show us the video. Show us the tape.

TOMMY WOOTEN, SHERIFF, PASQUOTANK COUNTY, NC, SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: We're going to continue to do everything we can to be transparent to the community.

I have to respect the D.A. and the judge's wishes. So we're going to do that and following North Carolina law.

And we do have some disclosures that we're going to try to do here as soon as we can get everything ready, so.

CARROLL: So is this the outcome you were hoping for?

WOOTEN: Not totally, no, sir.

CARROLL: What would have been the ideal outcome for you?

WOOTEN: Release.

CARROLL: Full release? Because?

CARROLL: For what?

WOOTEN: For the community, transparency.


CARROLL: Again, both sides wanting full transparency, wanting those tapes released out to the public as soon as possible.

But again, only going to be released to a family member. And that will be in about 30 days from now -- Victor?

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Jason Carroll, for us there. Jason, thank you so much.

Gwen Carr is the mother of Eric Garner, who was killed during a chokehold by a former New York police officer. She has been spending time with the Brown family.

So, Mrs. Carr, thank you for your time. First, your reaction to the decision by this judge?

GWEN CARR, MOTHER OF ERIC GARNER: I think the decision is very disrespectful to the family.

First of all, now that they're saying that they're going to let them see more than 20 seconds, which is a disgrace, 20 seconds of a video where there was at least seven or eight bodycams, and why would it take 30 to 45 days?

There's so many discrepancies in this case. One of the people -- one of the officers who were shooting has since retired. Two quit. The others are on administrative duty. Can you tell me that this doesn't stink?

Now they want to take 45 days. What are they going to do in the 45 days or 30 days that they can't show you now?

BLACKWELL: So, from my understanding, after watching the hearing this morning, is they will allow a family member and one North Carolina bar attorney to watch the attorney within 10 days.

But that has to be redacted to blur the faces of the officers, name beige, no identifying information, and clipping off conversations on either end, four bodycams, a cruiser cam.

And then, potentially, within 30 to 45 days, release to the public to hold off, to continue an investigation. That's what I gleaned from the judge today.

But let me ask you about one element we heard from the D.A., Mr. Womble. You know, we've had heard from the family's attorneys, what they saw in the video, the narrative from the family.

This is what the state is saying happened on that video also.

Let's watch.



ANDREW WOMBLE, PASQUOTANK COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: As it backs up, it does make contact with law enforcement officers.

At this point, the car is stationary. There's no movement. And officers are positioned around the car.

The next movement of the car is forward, it is in the direction of law enforcement, and makes contact with law enforcement. It is then and only then that you hear shots.


BLACKWELL: Now, does that change at all your assessment of what the family attorney says -- (CROSSTALK)

CARR: Are they showing this? I'm not seeing this. Are they showing you the video parts of the movement as they're saying?

BLACKWELL: No, and that's part of the point.


BLACKWELL: They're not showing it.

CARR: Well, then the only way that -- if they're going truthful, show us the video. Why do you have to redact the faces and the guns of the people who actually murdered that man?

That's all a cover-up. That's what it seems to me.

I know cover-up. My son was murdered seven years ago. And there was big cover-up. You can smell cover-up when there's a cover-up. That's exactly what this is.

First of all, if they were being truthful, they would have shown the family the bodycams from the very beginning.

Why do you need time? It looks like you want to doctor them or show exactly what you want them to see.

It's not right. It's not right. They have some crazy laws there.

BLACKWELL: You know, it's been at least five years since you stood with Congressman Hakim Jeffries to support a bill in your son's name, the Eric Garner Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act.

Then there's the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act, there's the George Floyd Policing Act as well, named for all these victims who is have lost their lives at the hands of police.

Tonight, President Biden will make an appeal to the Senate to pass the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act, which includes a ban on chokeholds.

What is your appeal to the members of Congress to pass that legislation?

CARR: Yes, they should pass that legislation, because actually that legislation is a continuation of the legislation that we have in New York City, New York City -- New York State, sorry.

If we get national laws, then things like this would be curb. But right now, every state has their own law.

They do what they want. They murder the citizens. And then they're so disrespectful to the families and to the family's lawyers once this tragedy happens.

It should not be state-to-state law. Because some of these states have laws that are back from 1920.

BLACKWELL: Mrs. Gwen Carr, listen, I've watched and listened to you over the last seven years after the loss of your son. You have stood with these families. You're now standing with another one.

And I thank you for their time today. And I know they are grateful for the time you're spending with them as well.

Thank you so much.

CARR: You're welcome. Too many families, just too many families.

CAMEROTA: She's so right.


CAMEROTA: I mean, Victor, they're all part of this club that none of them ever wanted to be in, these tragic clubs of grief.


CAMEROTA: And these moms, who never intended to be activists, but who have had to learn all of the laws and how to find their voice, I guess.

BLACKWELL: Lucy McBeth, after her son, Jordan Davis, was killed, she ran for Congress and now she's in her second term.

And we list off legislation named for their children that they're still trying to give through Congress.

We'll see and hear what the president has to say about it tonight.

CAMEROTA: Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani is expected to speak shortly. It will be his first comments since the breaking news of the federal agents raiding his New York City apartment.



BLACKWELL: Moving forward on our breaking news now, federal officials raiding Rudy Giuliani's apartment. And we expect to hear from Giuliani very soon.

The federal search warrant marks a stunning turnabout for Giuliani. He was the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

And in the early '80s, Giuliani was associate attorney general, one of highest positions in the Justice Department.

CAMEROTA: CNN's John Avlon joins us now.

And John was Giuliani's chief speechwriter when he was the mayor of New York.

So, John, what are your thoughts on this raid on his apartment today?

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, let's separate the personal from the political.

As you just mentioned, I worked for Rudy Giuliani a long time ago in city hall. Therefore, I care about him as a person. I know him. I'm proud of the work we did in city hall.

One of the tragedies of this sort of self-inflicted opera, which is sort of how Rudy likes to think about his life, in some respects, is that he was a legendary U.S. attorney, a prosecutor before he was mayor of New York.

So there's a genuinely tragic twist in the fact that the Southern District of New York, the division he led and really broke the back of the mob in New York under his leadership, is now investigating him.

Politically, it's no secret that he and I have had profound differences.

But this is not a political calculation. I'm sure that Rudy will say, as his lawyer has already said, that this is thuggery, that this is politicized, that you don't typically raid someone's apartment at dawn for investigating a FARA violation or lobbying.

That said, we know from the reporting that the Trump DOJ apparently pumped the breaks on the investigation of Rudy Giuliani.

And now that Merrick Garland in charge, this may not be political so much as a removing of that particular muzzle.

No crimes have been concretely alleged. But the fact they had to get a subpoena from a judge, as Rudy well knows, is serious.


So this is a serious and tragic turn for a man who was rightly known as America's Mayor, who, 20 years ago, led the city through 9/11.

BLACKWELL: John, we talked today about comparisons to Michael, Cohen, the president's other former personal attorney.


BLACKWELL: Former president's attorney.

And Michael Cohen said that he would never testify against or speak with investigators about the former president. Not only did he speak with investigators. He testified in Congress. Wrote a book. Does interviews.

Because you know him personally, do you expect that Rudy Giuliani would ever do that?

AVLON: No. There are fundamental differences between Michael Cohen and Rudy Giuliani. I think Michael Cohen realized that loyalty with Donald Trump is a

one-way street. His entire career has been acting as a consigliere to Donald Trump. And he turned on him.

And that is not an act of disloyalty, I think, as moral recognition in the criminal case of Michael Cohen.

In the case of Rudy Giuliani, here's somebody who had a much higher profile in government, a much more success record in governing than Donald Trump ever did. Somebody he was not particular close to when he was mayor of New York.

But he has sacrificed his reputation almost entirely by being Donald Trump's ultimate loyalist. He did not get the jobs he wanted in the administration.

Instead, he became his lawyer. That led him down a path that is apparently being investigated. And quite a serious one at that, unfortunately for his legacy.

Because I think this last chapter may define him in peoples' minds. But I think he should be defined in the totality of his career, as a prosecutor and a mayor before this chapter.

BLACKWELL: And of course, we're expecting to hear from the former mayor pretty soon on this raid of his apartment.

AVLON: That's right.

BLACKWELL: And "New York Times" reports his office on Park Avenue as well.

John Avlon, thanks for much.

AVLON: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: So President Biden is just a few hours away from his historic address to a joint session of Congress.

A key member of the president's party says the price tag of Biden's ambitious agenda is making him "very uncomfortable."



BLACKWELL: So for nearly 50 years, Joe Biden has been a spectator when a president makes an address to Congress, a joint session. But now, in just a few hours, it will be his turn.

Not behind, not in front, but at the podium for his first address to the joint session of Congress. It will mark his first 100 days in office.

President Biden will call for another trillion-dollar public investment. This time, towards free education, childcare, paid family leave.

CAMEROTA: And this joint session will look very different than previous ones, with a much smaller audience because of the pandemic.

And for the first time, two women will be seated behind the president. That's House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris.

CNN's Phil Mattingly joins us now.

Phil, beyond those optics, what do we expect to hear from President Biden tonight?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It's day 99 of the presidency. Obviously, one day short of that vaulted 100-day mark that nobody is really sure why it became an official thing.

But I think that means the president is most certainly going to look back. He's going to look back at his first few months in office and what he and the White House officials believe he accomplished.

Obviously, top of the list, 215 million doses, vaccine doses delivered, more than 100 million stimulus checks deployed.

And that's going to be a key component in the look back but also to press forward.

When you talk to White House officials, they talk about how the president is going to look back and say, this worked. Government can work. Allow me to keep working.

The idea being those significant -- very ambitious economic proposals he has on the table right now. Obviously, $2.25 trillion infrastructure and jobs proposal already unveiled.

And tonight, he'll be rolling out that $1.8 trillion proposal White House officials refer to as the Human Infrastructure Plan.

We're talking about hundreds of billions of dollars, for childcare, universal pre-K, free community college, anti-poverty tax credits.

Just very ambitious Democratic priorities that the president will put on the table.

Again, the idea not necessarily wanting to narrow in on one or two legislative items. But this big idea that government can work. The president believes the first 100 days have shown that.

And he wants to continue to do that with these big, ambitious legislative proposals in the weeks and months to come.

CAMEROTA: Phil, we're also just getting this information in that the influential Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin, is, quote, "very uncomfortable" with the cost of the president's plans.

So, does the White House plan to respond to that?

MATTINGLY: You know, I think, look, this is the reality right now. It's not just Joe Manchin on one side.

You also had, I'm told, several prominent progressives fiercely lobbying the White House for two items that didn't get into the proposal at all, talking about the expansion of Medicare and also a prescription drug plan.

So the White House is already hearing it from both sides. And I think this kind of underscores the reality of this moment.

Everyone looks at the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, so far, the cornerstone legislation achievement of this White House, and says, that got through pretty easily.

The president put $1.9 on the table and the president got 1.9. That's not necessarily real life for legislation, especially dealing with things like tax policy, energy policy, health policy as well.

This is a thicket, whether you're dealing with Republicans or just intraparty.

So, yes, Senator Joe Manchin, obviously, is a key vote. Just a reminder, though, every single Democrat in the majority that they hold, 50/50, with President Harris as a tiebreaker, is a key Democrat.

So there's a lot of work to go. I think this will take months when it comes to this plan.

But obviously, the White House keenly aware that members on both sides need to be at least somewhat happy if they want this to move forward -- guys?


CAMEROTA: Phil Mattingly, thank you very much for the preview and all of that context.

BLACKWELL: And be sure to join CNN tonight for special coverage of the presidential address. Jake Tapper, Abby Phillip, Dana Bash, Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer lead our coverage. It starts tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

CAMEROTA: OK, back to our breaking news coverage. Federal agents executing a search warrant on Rudy Giuliani's apartment. What they're looking for, what it means for Giuliani, and for his former client, Donald Trump.