Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

New Police Video Shows Shootout Between Deputies, 12 and 14- Year-Old; Michigan Elections Committee Advances Bill that would Impose New Voter I.D. Requirement on Mail-In Ballots; Biden Floats Lower Infrastructure Price Tag, Wants GOP Concessions. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired June 3, 2021 - 10:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:30:00]

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN NEWSROOM: We're now seeing how deputies responded in real-time to a violent shootout involving two children in Florida. The Volusia County Sheriff's Office has now released a compilation of body cameras and aerial videos of the shootout as it was under way.

Listen, we say this all the time, but it is just difficult to watch this play out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shooting out the rear window toward my direction. Stand by.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't make me do this. Don't do this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

POPPY HARLOW, CNN NEWSROOM: You're hearing the sheriff's deputy there saying, don't make me do this because that's a 12-year-old and a 14- year-old inside with a shotgun with, a handgun and with an AK-47. Although you cannot see it in the video, deputies reiterated that the 12 and 14-year-old were firing at those deputies.

We're joined now by the head of Volusia County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Mike Chitwood. Thank you for being here. And I'm so sorry it is under these circumstances but we appreciate your voice this morning.

SHERIFF MIKE CHITWOOD, VOLUSIA COUNTY, FLORIDA (voice over): Good morning, Poppy. I really appreciate you letting America hear and see what really transpired out there on Tuesday night.

HARLOW: I would encourage people to watch the whole little over nine minute video that you posted on Twitter so that they can see more. You've said you never seen anything like this in your 35 years in policing. And the charging affidavit says that the 12-year-old, Travis O'Brien, told detectives, quote, he knew they were cops when he shot at them and shot at them to harm them. How do you reconcile that in your head?

CHITWOOD: Yes. I mean, he says earlier in that affidavit too that the 14-year-old told him, we're going to roll like it's GTA, referring to the violent video game, Grand Theft Auto.

We're all at a loss for words. I mean, the deputies out there, they are moms and dads, they have kids the same exact age. But I have to tell you, from our perspective, we get this thing called restorative justice thrown down our throats. Restorative justice is great for kids who are round peg that can you fit into round holes. What about the kids that are violent and suffer from different mental disorders? You can't put them in that round hole. They need in a secure facility and some need to be under constant supervision and getting constant treatment.

What we're learning about the 12-year-old, one of his foster parents had called and said that when he was placed there at the Department of Children and Families, nobody told her about his violent tendencies and how uncontrollable he was as a foster mom. I couldn't take care of him. I think the system lied to me. This is a kid that needs intense help. He needs intense counseling. He needs intense supervision. And, clearly, the system isn't doing that.

SCIUTTO: A failure, Sheriff. It's Jim Sciutto here. How did the children, again, emphasizing children, managed to get that weapons cache, I mean, including an AK-47, literally a weapon of war?

[10:35:00]

How did they manage to get their hands on it?

CHITWOOD: Yes, let's back up and I'll how it starts. It starts at 5:00 P.M. when the 12-year-old and the 14-year-old walked off of a non-secure juvenile home that they're living in. The 12-year-old suffers from diabetes and he needs his insulin every four hours. So when we get the call, two runaways and, obviously, in the call says, hey, this kid at any moment could have a medical emergency. So that is the auspice that starts this. The deputies are out trying to locate a 12-year-old and get him back to a safe house before he had the medical episode.

At around 7:00 -- a couple times we spot them, they run from us. And around 7:30, there is a real popular bike trail that runs behind that home, we get alerted to a young juvenile male and a young juvenile female just smashed glass and entered into a residence. And when they ransacked the residence, they recover the firearms that the homeowner had get locked away inside of his home. And the homeowner tells us the AK-47 was disassembled. So we're really want to know how they learned how to assemble the AK-47.

SCIUTTO: Jesus.

HARLOW: Wow. What would you do, Sheriff? You talk about rehabilitation programs. We heard your emphatic plea in the Tuesday night press conference. As someone who has had so much experience in it policing but has never seen anything like this before, can I ask what you would recommend for the rehabilitation of kids, like proposals for fixing a system that you say is broken?

CHITWOOD: Absolutely. The model has to be turned upside down on its head. The bureaucracy needs to be blown up. There are good men and women that work in the Department of Juvenile Justice. They are professional people that work at the Department of Children and Families. But they're the ground level workers. They're the ones that had the solution. They see these kids. They know what programs work and what programs don't work.

HARLOW: They did tell us, Sheriff, sorry to interrupt, but they did tell us this morning, the Department of Juvenile Justice, this was not one their program, not one of their homes, but continue.

CHITWOOD: Well, they're not telling the truth, because what they do is they score every juvenile that comes in contact with us. And then they decide whether they want to place them in secure custody or not. The female set six lots on fire, almost burned houses to the ground. She was arrested for arson. According to the Department of Juvenile Justice, that doesn't score out. And a serious felony appears as a serious crime.

So they're putting these kids that are extremely violent into these low-level homes. And that's where the issue becomes.

SCIUTTO: Sheriff, one commonality we find and we sadly are covering shootings every day almost around this country is just the prevalence, the availability of guns, all kinds of guns, right? You know, to all kinds of people, and here 12 to 14-year-olds. I mean, from your experience, what would make a difference there?

CHITWOOD: You know, you're a homeowner, you live in the -- he lives in the woods, basically. He doesn't have little kids in his home. He has a right to store firearms in his house, you know? Take a step back and realize these kids were probably active school shooters as well. The 12-year-old was in trouble and suspended twice in the last month for threatening to beat a kid with a brick and wanting to disembowel his classmate and spill his guts all over the gym floor.

So, imagine had we not interrupted the burglary had they got the weapons and then decided a lot of fun to shoot the school up. But you've got to remember, you do have the right to protect and bear arms, especially in your home.

SCIUTTO: Sheriff Mike Chitwood, we're sorry your deputies had to go through this threat. It's a remarkable view to see it as it is playing. Thanks so much for joining us this morning.

CHITWOOD: Thank you. I'm extremely proud of the way they handled themselves.

HARLOW: Sheriff, thank you very much.

CHITWOOD: Thank you.

HARLOW: Well, restrictive voting laws being pushed through by Republican legislatures really across the country. What does this mean for Democrats? What is the next step to fight against this? We're going to be joined by the chair of the DNC, Jaime Harrison, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:40:00]

HARLOW: One after another, Republican led state legislatures are pushing false claims of voter fraud to pass restrictive voting laws, the latest example, what we're seeing right now in Michigan. Yesterday the Michigan state senate elections community advanced a bill that would require voter I.D., requirements on mail-in ballots, stricter I.D. requirements for in-person voting.

This comes as Republican state lawmakers from Pennsylvania actually traveled to -- went to Arizona to see the so-called partisan audit going on in Maricopa County, saying they wanted to see, perhaps, the same thing would happen in their state.

Let's talk about the Democratic response to all of this, what do they do now? Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison is with me. It's great to have you on. Thanks for the time this morning.

JAIME HARRISON, CHAIR, DNC: Thanks for having me, Poppy.

HARLOW: Okay. So you actually went to visit your grandmother, good grandson, last week, but you talked about this. And I'm just really interested in the perspective she gave you given what she lived through.

HARRISON: Yes. My grandmother grew up here under Jim Crow here in South Carolina. She and my grandfather couldn't always vote. And they saw all of the things that went on during the civil rights movement. They lived through it all. And she always told me stories about the different water fountains and sitting at the back of the bus and sitting in different sections of the movie theater and the fact that they could not always vote here in the state of South Carolina.

And so she is scared because she's seeing and hearing some of the same things that have happened in the past. And the question, what are we going to do about it? And we have to do something about it.

We can't allow our kids to grow up in similar times to the way that they grew up.

[10:45:05]

And I'm going to do everything in my power as chair of the Democratic Party to make sure that we don't go back. So that means fighting from the statehouses to the courthouses, to the houses of Congress, we have to do everything that we possibly can to push back against the Republican effort to upend our democracy.

HARLOW: Okay. So let's break that down and unpack the state part of it and talk about Texas and SB-7, which you have called a break last moment in all of this. The thing is, yes, the Democrats sort of won the battle by walking out of the chambers. But now, some lead Republicans in the state of Texas are saying, well, we're going to re- craft this and come back with something new. And the risk is, Jaime, that it's even worse in Democrats' opinion.

Let me read you this from Briscoe Cain, the chief architect of that Texas voting bill on the house side telling The New York Times after the democrats walked out, he said, at the end of the day, this turned out to be a good thing. We'll come back with better legislation and more time for it.

Was that a risk that was worth the Democrats taking?

HARRISON: And the word better, better for whom? For the Republican Party? Because what we see here is that they are doing everything that they can to cheat in order to win. You know, when you are fearful of allowing American citizens to go to the polls and exercising their right, it means that your policies are corrupt. Your policies aren't good enough. Your candidates are not good enough.

I'm happy and I would be happy if 100 percent of American citizens could go to the polls. And why am I happy about that and why would I be comfortable about that? Because I'm confident enough in our policies and in our people who run under the Democratic Party to know that we can go into the arena and win when we talk to the American people. The Republicans aren't confident in that. And they know that the only way that they can win is by cheating. And that's what you see this happening in Texas. And we should not allow that.

I remember how Republicans back in 2004 and 2005 when we went into Iraq and how went to the floor of the House of Representatives and celebrated the fact that Iraqis were dipping their fingers in that purple ink and how we sent our sons and daughters overseas to make that happen, to risk their life and limb, all the while you got Republicans in this country who are doing every damn thing that they can in order to keep Americans -- American citizens from exercising their right to vote. There is nothing -- Ronna McDaniel liked to talk about integrity. There is nothing honorable about that fact.

And we as Americans have to push back. We can't allow this to happen.

HARLOW: But what are -- I mean I hear -- we all hear it in your voice, but what are you going to do about it? Because if Republicans just take the Texas example, have the power when the special session gets called, they're going to get through what they want, and on the federal level, you do not have even the support of all of the Democrats to break up the filibuster for this? So I'm not sure -- I mean, you know, it doesn't look like For the People is going to move on a federal level. What else -- what other tools do you have?

HARRISON: Well, I don't know if that's the case. You know, I am right now calling through all 50 Democratic senators in the United States Senate to have conversations with them about the necessity of this. And not just because I'm the chair of the Democratic Party, as an American, we should all be up in arms about the fact that this is happening. Because once they're able to chip away at some of our rights, then they're going to try to chip away at all of our rights. And we can't allow that to happen.

And so I'm having some really honest heart to heart conversations with the members of the Democratic United States Senate about moving forward.

HARLOW: Like Manchin and Sinema?

HARRISON: Well, I haven't chatted with them yet but they're on my list. They're coming up next week. And I'm putting in calls. Because at the end of the day, when history looks back at this moment, and this is going to be a crucial moment, when history looks at who is standing up for our democracy and who is standing against it, I think Democrats, Republicans and Independents, all of us have to ask where do we want to be? How do we want to be treated by that history (ph)?

HARLOW: We have to go, but come back after you talked to Senators Manchin and Sinema, okay?

HARRISON: Sounds good, Poppy.

HARLOW: Thank you, Jaime Harrison.

HARRISON: Thank you.

HARLOW: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:50:00]

HARLOW: So, President Biden is offering to bring down the price tag of his infrastructure package as long as Republicans increase their proposal.

SCIUTTO: That's right. Because, remember, the Republican proposal has only, well, less than $300 billion in actually new funding. CNN's Jessica Dean joins us.

Jessica, I mean, when you look at the real numbers in new money, the two sides are still far apart. Can a deal still be reached?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. I mean, that's where you need to be looking is in the new spending. And that is the trillion dollar question at this point. Can they find some middle ground?

If you look at the broad numbers, you see President Biden coming in at $1 trillion and Senate Republicans coming in around $928 billion. You think, okay. But when you look into new spending, what amount of new money would be spent here, they are very far apart. President Biden wants roughly $1 trillion in new spending. Senate Republicans want roughly $257 billion.

[10:55:03]

So you see how wide the gap is there.

He did meet with the lead Senate negotiator yesterday in the White House. We're expecting the Republicans to bring in a new offer as early as tomorrow. But time is ticking away. June 9th, it kind of have been this day that they wanted to see some movement by.

And the question remains, how will they pay for it? Biden apparently did not talk about the Trump tax cuts but instead different tax increases in that meeting yesterday. Jim and Poppy, again, we're just going to have to see if they can find some middle ground between $1 trillion and $257 billion.

SCIUTTO: And a lot of those target dates including for the crime bill coming on. Jessica Dean on the Hill, thanks very much.

HARLOW: Thanks, Jess, and thanks to all of you for being with us today. We'll see you right back here tomorrow morning. I'm Poppy Harlow.

SCIUTTO: And I'm Jim Sciutto. At This Hour with Kate Bolduan starts right after a quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:00:00]