tv 1968 CNN June 13, 2020 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
brooks. they have shut down an entire interstate. they have appeared to set a fire. they're looting where rayshard brooks was shot and killed last night. police were called about a man sleeping in a car in wendy's drive through. around 10:30. they say he failed a field sobriety test. and then he resisted arrest. i'm going to walk you through the videos right now, i want to warn our viewers the videos are disturbing. look at this one, this video taken by a bystander, you can see a struggle. the yellow object in the officer's hand is a taser.
eventually the suspect takes off with the taser. watch this. >> surveillance video released by the gbi picks up where that video ends. you're about to see brooks running from the police. he appears to turn back toward the police officers and discharge the taser before turning back around and continuing to run. you then see him fall to the ground and once again this video is disturbing. >> there's the moment rayshard
brooks appears to discharge the taser. the officer fires once more in slow motion. here's what the attorneys representing the brooks family say happened next. listen to this. >> we talked to some witnesses today who said that officers went and put on plastic gloves and picked up their shell casings after they killed him before rendering aid. we counted 2:16 before they checked his pulse. and people wonder why everyone's mad. watch the video as he lays there dying the officers stand around. one kicks him and flips him over. the witnesses tell us, which we can't see on camera, they filmed
it, they went and picked up the shell casings i wonder why. so all of you can't know how far away he was when they shot. so you can't find their positions when they used the weapon? they appear to be carrying more about covering tracks than providing aid. >> chris stewart, one of the attorneys representing the brooks family right now. natasha chen has been following the story all day. first of all, i know you were confronting by some of the protesters, are you okay? is the crew, are the photojournalists, producer, our security guy, everybody okay right now? i want to update our viewers? >> yes, thank you for asking, wolf. we all kind of regrouped back at cnn center. we're meeting back here to continue covering this story as
we discussed with you earlier. protesters were angry about us filming the people who were destroying the wendy's building. we saw that people were throwing things at the windows, breaking the glass and setting fire to one of the patio umbrellas. and i was trying to record some of that on my cell phone while our photojournalists were recording that with our cnn camera, that's when a few of them got very aggressive with them and our camera broke. i do want to say that i have been in touch with rayshard brooks family in the last 15 minutes or so. i saw them this evening in the crowd right after tear gas was deployed, and that's when his cousin who spoke with us on camera earlier today told me he really wanted the protesters to know -- he wanted this to be peaceful tonight. and when i was at the wendys
trying to record some of this. i spotted him in the crowd. and so i texted him to say, are you okay? and he said, yeah, i left, because i didn't want any part of that. so that's at least how the cousins are reacting right now. >> looks like something's going on on i-75 right there. you see police -- some of the protesters clearly the police want to clear that interstate 75 to allow traffic to resume. but that stand-off is continuing right now. natasha, one thing -- explain what you know and you've spoke tonight family, to others there on the scene. how this escalated to the degree that it has? >> you know, when it was earlier in the evening, i even saw families out there with their babies. they brought their children to protest peacefully, i would say up until 8:00, 8:30 we were
seeing a large crowd standing in the middle of the intersection chanting the names of people who had been killed at the hands of police. and peacefully standing there, with -- i would say it was closer to 9:00 when people started really gathering at a liquor store on that corner, in the parking lot of it, which is just a half a block from the wendy's. there were folks gathering around a police squad car and blocking that car in. that's when things started to get a little more aggressive. and we could tell from a safe distance. police were trying to get that vehicle out of there. shortly after that, that's when the tear gas was deployed. from that point on, we saw people trying to get on to the ramp of the freeways. on different ramps, and you saw the people actually getting around the police line who had blocked the ramps, going up the grassy hill, up to the interstate. and when people felt that was
i know you heard the lawyers representing rayshard brook's family. saying in the words of the attorneys have destroyed the image of policing once again did any of them have any positive image of the police going back three weeks following the death of george floyd? >> you know, a lot of these people i spoke to have been consistently protesting over the last 2 plus weeks. the only hesitation i heard today was when i asked one of the protesters her reaction to the mayor calling for the termination of the officer involved in last night's incident. she said to me, i don't know about that, i don't have a comment about that. because this was shortly after gb if released the surveillance video. it seems as mr. brooks had
turned around in the last minute to point the taser at the officers, you are looking at someone who pointed a taser at an officer, then the officer fired with a gun. and so that's the only person who hesitated. everyone else who has been out there over the last couple weeks, this is an example of why more resources need to be redirected to other types of services. who could have helped deal with this situation of a person sleeping in a vehicle in a drive through. and not have this escalate to the point where someone is shot in the drive through. their answer to me often times is, it should have never gotten to that point. >> very quickly, before i let you go, you're not going to be
anywhere for too long. what part of atlanta are we -- is all of this unfolding in? >> this is south of downtown, the wendys that we're stalking about is on university avenue and right by the interstate -- i-75. >> it's a major interstate in the atlanta and georgia area. >> stand by, natasha, the attorney for the family of the man killed rayshard brooks, delivered an emotional press conference. just a moment ago, we had it live here on condition krng. he's joining me now, thank you so much for joining us i watched all of your statement. i heard what justin miller and the other attorney had to say. both of you very strong and powerf powerful. tell us why you're frustrated over what happened.
the atlanta mayor, the atlanta police department will act quickly, decisively, to invest gate the killing of rayshard brooks. >> it's frustration and hurt. think about how long you and i have been talking about these cases. you covered walter scott five years ago, and we're right back in walter scott part two. it's frustration, because i don't want to lose hope or faith in the police department. but at a certain point. enough is enough. i respect law enforcement, but i'm not respecting how it is affecting african-americans. it's gone on too long, and it has to change. everybody has to get off the sideli sidelines. this is anti-loss of life, loss of fathers and enough is enough. >> give us the context of what
you're learning about how this shooting unfolded. we've heard that rayshard brooks was simply in his car, he fell asleep in the drive through, cars going around him in this wendys, pick up what happened based on everything you've learned over the past 24 hours. pick up what happened next? >> we've been talking to witnesses. it was a nonviolent, noncriminal situation. he fell asleep in the drive through, which happens to people all across this country all the time. witnesses said that he did not get a field sobriety test, there was a discussion with him and the officers, and suddenly they decided to put his hands behind his back. and, of course, like any person. he's wondering why, and he turned around like why are you all trying to arrest me.
a discussion could have ended this. why not talk to him as a human being and say, hey, buddy, maybe you had too much to drink. leave your car here, take uber. i've seen it happen before. that didn't happen, instead they got physical, he ran he did have the taser. a taser is not a lethal weapon, he didn't have a lethal weapon. it didn't need to happen. it didn't need to happen. >> you know, he -- we're seeing the video, our viewers -- he seems to turn around and fire that taser. did he actually fire it, we do see a little flash there. >> no, we don't have any information on that, we don't know if that was the first shot where the glare of taser, who
has a light caught him getting shot the first time, either way it goes, according to law enforcement. i've had cases where officers used tasers own my clients and their defense is, it's not a lethal weapon. you can't have it both ways. you did not have to kill him. you could have tracked him down, you had his license, his information, you had backup coming. why kill him? that's just what hurts. why kill limb? when i was watching your news conference, i was moved when you said, i don't know what justice is any more. just elaborate for our viewers. >> it's just -- we just got back, you know, we also represent giana floyd, george floyd's daughter. i don't know what to tell the world any more about justice, we
keep saying we want justice i don't know what it is any more, do we want someone fired, arrested. we're losing hope, when you lose hope, you have this chaos. i don't want people burning down their own communities and burning down anything, you lose hope. and what's the answer, the there has to be a total reform of policing. the first thing that has to be drilled into officer's mind is deescalation. community. community above a gun. it has to be that way, maybe if we start over from scratch, whatever it has to be, change the standards, the requirements, police officers are the only job in this country where they can take your life, liberty and freedom. it's the most powerful job in this country. >> yeah, and i was really moved. i'm sure our viewers were as well. when we heard you speak about
rayshard brooks family. one of his daughters celebrating her eighth birthday this weekend. tell us about that. >> just imagine, let's take color out of it. a human being is sitting in a living room with a 1-year-old and a 2-year-old climbing on them, an 8-year-old in her birthday dress waiting on her dad to come and pick her up and finish the birthday party they started yesterday. and knowing that he's not coming in that door. and that he died from a nonviolent offense. yes, he shouldn't have hit the officer, yeah, they tussled. but he ran away, and should have just been arrested for whatever it may be. but not murdered. you cannot be a judge, jury and executioner because you lost a
scuffle. we've seen too many videos where if he was white, that wouldn't have happened. it's frustrating playing with someone's children again, in a situation where their dad should simply be alive. but for the decision of someone who pulled a trigger instead of having a conversation in the beginning. i don't want to hear anything about what he shouldn't have fought them. he shouldn't have done this. they should have had a conversation with him in the beginning and they should have let him run and catch him. we didn't need walter scott part two. >> did that little 8-year-old girl celebrating her birthday this weekend, does she know her dad is dead? >> no, she doesn't understand. she thought he was going to show up at any moment. her mother who you will hear
from monday tried to generally explain. but children don't understand that concept fully. and it's just sad that all his children, the three girls and his little boy are going to have watch their dad be shot while running away when they get older. just like giana is going to have to watch her father have a knee put on his 234ek. deandre phillips in atlanta is going to have to watch her father be killed when he tried to run. i could go on and on, but there's no need to list names, most people don't even care any more. >> so heart breaking. when we see these little kids who lose a father, george floyd's daughter. we saw her sweet little
6-year-old, and now we're seeing more kids who are going to be suffering without a father as a result of what happened late last night. how big -- and i know you've studied this for a long time. how serious is the problem in the atlanta police department right now. >> well, it's just not atlanta. it's everywhere. there has to be fundamental changes, not just to the policies, but to the mentality, the mentality that of course officers have a tough job. i have great friends that are officers, but yes you have to carry a speer in a shoe. and often you have to use the speer, but you're the shield of the community. you wear the shield on you, you're the shield, you protect the community above everything. you use the shield when someone has a gun and is running into school. not when someone's asleep at a wendy's. too often that concept, the mentality has been lost. and i think that's just because
of the divide of -- officers need to live in the community where they police. it's hard to kill a black body when you interact with it every day. >> really really sad development. we're showing our viewers these live pictures coming in from atlanta. you know the area, obviously, very, very well at that wendys, the interstate and some of the streets below. protesters very angry, and they're still on the street. police have a tough job to deal with all of this tonight. what's your message if you -- if they're watching right now, folks in atlanta. folks all over the country. what's your message to the protesters who continue to be outraged. >> it's more to the people watching the outrage. people have been silent for years, they watched walter scott, they watched alton sterling, there were no violent protests like this understand the sense of helplessness, of,
if we're quiet and we're docile, that didn't work, they're still killing for no reason. if we're out rioting and the violence and protesting, that didn't work. what are people supposed to do? nobody condones violence, because i just don't want more people arrested. that will ruin their lives. of course, that's not the answer, burning down your own community. but you have to give them some type of answer. some type of definite change. not we're just going to institute a new taser policy. i did that, we got a policy changed, but you have to give them something concrete. we are changing the culture of policing. we're going to have officers from your community policing your community. we're going to have officers living there, we're going to change the mentality, where the first thing someone thinks is, i'm going to kill another human being who is not threatening my life. let me stop myself, let him get
away, and we'll find him later, because this wasn't a felony. >> we've been showing our viewers, chris -- i don't know if can you see it, some cars are beginning to move over there on the interstate. i'm not sure if these are regular vehicles or police vehicles. we're showing pictures of what's happening below at that wendys. that wendy's now seems to be on fire right now, looks like looters went in -- it looks like traffic is beginning to move on that i-75, an area, chris, you know, very, very well. but the fact that it is deteriorated. it was a peaceful protest that all of a sudden not so peaceful any more, it -- and it -- that's a disturbing development. >> the family does not want his memory or name to end in flames and destruction. what they do want it to end in is change fundamentally. and for this officer to be held
accountable for using lethal force when that wasn't necessary. but you have to understand where -- >> by the way, we're showing chris, this is the wrendy's, where the incident occurred last night, it's been torched and it's burning up right now. i don't see any effort by the fire department to get to the scene. maybe they can't get to the scene because the roads are all blocked. but this is the wendy's where rayshard brooks was in that through through, he was in his car, he fell asleep, and clearly wendy's had nothing to do with any of this, but the anger is clearly visible right there. you see this wendy's now torched and burning up. >> it's frustration, wolf. it is anger and pain of living this cycle over and over again. and, of course, that's not -- burning down a wendy's is not going to fix anything, it's not
going to change the situation. we've all got to come together. white, black, conservative, liberal, we've got to fix this, or this is what society will be. >> yeah, it's a really sad situation. and give me your thought while i still have you, chris, it happens less than three weeks after george floyd was killed. 46 years old, in minneapolis. and we saw -- obviously we all saw the 8: 46 second video with the police officer on his knee on his neck. people are still protesting. 19, 20 days later they're still protesting right now. now we see this incident involving rayshard brooks. it's quadruply sad that this is unfolding here in the united states of america. >> it is. and 2020 has been something, but you have to look at the message.
god is trying to tell the united states of america something in 2020. normally these happen once a year, a couple times where some big cases -- they're happening back to back to back. he's trying to open our eyes to wake up, change this, and get to what you're supposed to be as a country. >> are you hopeful as you look down the road, you see this as a turning point or are we simply five years from now, you and i are going to have the same conversation? >> no, i'm hopeful. because when we were in minnesota marching for george floyd's family, the diversity, i had never seen that before. when i look around the world and there's protests around the country for george floyd, just like there will be for this case, i've never seen so many people unifying for change for once. and that's the true power, when it's all of the people coming together to change. and that's why i won't lose hope
and i'll keep fighting these cases and go against officers that do something like this, and i'll keep saying and acknowledging officers that do the right thing. i have hope, and you can't lose hope. so -- >> you know. >> before i let you go, one final question, chris. walk us through the next steps, you're the attorney representing the rayshard brooks family now. what happens in the coming days? >> keep getting more information. in one day of investigating this, we found witnesses who said the officers picked up their shell casings before rentering him aid. if you watch the video, 2: 16 before they even touched him. they could have saved his life. some more information will keep coming out, and we'll get down to the bottom of it, and we'll await the word from the district attorney on if charges are coming. >> it looks like that traffic is
beginning to move on that interstate over there. you can see the wendys. it's still blazing, still on fire right now, i don't see any firefighters on the scene at all. very disturbing development. chris stewart, i know you have a lot going on, it was kind of you to join us, our viewers here in the united states and around the world. are grateful to you, thank you so much. you want to make a final point before i let you go? >> don't lose faith, anybody. don't lose faith. answers and change will come, as long as we keep demanding it. >> we're not going to lose faith, we're going to demand change and we're with you. thank you so much, l. chris stewart, representing the family of rayshard brooks killed by police last night in atlanta. these are live pictures we're seeing right now, we're watching all of this unfold. very tense situation unfolding in atlanta. let's take a quick break and resume our special coverage
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natasha, jen is with us, update our viewers on what we know right now. clearly this remains an extremely tense situation in atlanta. >> so tense that the fire department tells me they're not going in right now, i got off the phone with sergeant cortese stafford. he tells me that the fire is in the dining room, is spreading through the drive through window, but right now there are protesters in the streets, so it's not easy for them to access the building right now. without backup assistance, and right now they're watching this situation to make sure that the fire doesn't jump to another structure, and because they have no reports of anyone inside, and right now it looks to be contained to the one building. they are observing at the moment, because they cannot access the building, wolf. right now they're hoping it stays contained to the wendys with no one getting near it.
they will stand by and it doesn't get worse, because they will need backup assistance because they need people in the street. >> natasha, we're going to get back to you shortly, we're watching all of this unfold. chief ramsey, what do they do right now in atlanta. you see the fire is blazing at that wendy's, a major interstate still blocked. firefighters can't get to that, to deal with that fire right now. because so many streets around there are blocked off. what do they do. >> the fire department is not going to come in as long as they don't feel it's a safe situation. you've got a situation where you have streets blocked, you have people out in the street. i guess they're a little uncomfortable as to whether or not the people in the street might attack them or whatever.
i don't think that's going to happen. there is some concern, there's so much confusion going on right now, it's a shame, fires don't solve a problem. and i'm sure that the vast majority of the people there to demonstrate are not happy to see that sort of thing taking place right now in atlanta. >> when you see what's going on in atlanta, right now, what do you think? >> it saddens me, because it takes away from the message. clearly the family is asking people to protest peacefully, they don't want destruction, property damage and the like, associated with their loved ones name. and listen, let's be clear, there's a segment of society who are not going to feel any sympathy for this family because of the actions of others.
they're going to dirty up this young man's name because of the actions of others. it's sad for me to have lived through this in 1992 and watch areas of los angeles never recover because of destruction. >> cedric, i'm anxious to get your thoughts as well. what do you think? >> i am hopeful that reform is going to come very quickly. and i think we've heard from a number of your guests tonight the importance now of beginning to have those conversations, but they have to move from conversations and as you heard, the victim attorneys say we have to do more than just rewrite policies. we got to set up a whole different methodology in terms of how we deliver service to the communities in which we serve
and in doing that, how do we do it in a way in which the community can begin to trust the police again. because in many parts of this country. and you're watching it tonight right there in atlanta, you're seeing people who have totally lost trust in and i know the leadership are working very hard to maintain their trust. it's going to take time. i think they have incredible leadership there in atlanta. i'm hopeful, and i love the mayor's leadership there and her decision making, she has to make decisions in tough periods of time whether people agree with it or not. she's a leader of that city. reform needs to take place quickly, and it's going to have to happen at a local level.
there's federal legislation being pushed forward by the congressional black caucus who did an outstanding job this week. and i think some reform is going to be seen at a federal level. but at a local level. some things clearly have to change and they have to change now because we can't continue to have nights like this in our country. we have to feel like someone's paying attention to them. >> by the way, we're seeing on the right, pictures from atlanta, you see the flames, the smoke continuing. on the left, this is washington, d.c., where protesters have gathered as well. they're clearly angry about what's going on. they're blocking traffic right now at the same time, we're watching what's happening in the nation's capitol, we're watching what's happening in atlanta. we're checking our affiliates around the country to see if these protests are going to
expand to other cities as well. this is a tense moment indeed. cornell william brooks, the former president of the naacp. he's president of the harvard kennedy school right now. give us your thoughts. >> as i look at a restaurant being burned in atlanta. one of the things that comes to mind is we have a building burning, we have the patience of the people across the country and around the world also burning. so, in other words, when we're in this moment where we clearly appreciate the danger of violence. but the problem has been here to for, we talk about the violence of the protesters, not the violence of the police. and we are at a moment where we need nonviolence. those wearing blue uniforms and gold badges. not merely calling for nonviolence from those who are
in protests and demonstrations. as a christian minister, i deeply deeply believe. not only the moral efficacy of nonviolence. but the legal positivity of nonviolence. we have to be clear. if we can use diplomacy and deescalation with respect to the north koreans who had nuclear arms, why can't we teach police departments to use deescalation with respect to unarmed civilians. we've heard guests talk about this being a local problem. it is a local problem. 18,000 police departments, 19,000 jurisdictions across 50 states. we cannot wait for this problem to be solved, department by department, hash tag by hash tag. we need a national will. in other words, we need a sense of urgency, think about this, in our streets, we have deadlines on protests we call curfews.
when it comes to police brutality, there is no deadline. where's the sense of urgency, when do we put this on the calendar, we deployed national guardsmen, because we want police in the streets. the president threatens to bring in the u.s. military, because we want piece on the streets. and we want it at a timetable. when it comes to police brutality, be clear, time's up, we arrived at the deadline, we need police departments to now establish protocols -- whole scale transformation, and we need to defund what doesn't work and invest and fund those things which do work. and this form of policing that we have today, which results in 1,000 people being killed a year, must change and has to change now. that's what millions of people are saying right now.
that building you're seeing on the left part of your screen, that used to be the wendy's, the restaurant where this incident occurred last night, that whole building is now being destroyed, the flames continue to go through it, and no firefighters on the scene. it's too dangerous for them to get there. so many streets are blocked off. we're going to continue our special coverage right after a quick break. this is hal. this is hal's heart. it's been broken. and put back together. this is also hal's heart. and his relief, knowing he's covered by blue cross blue shield. and this is our promise, with over 80 years of healthcare expertise: to be here for you now. and always. this is medicare from blue cross blue shield.
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very awful situation has unfolded in atlanta. you're looking at live pictures coming in from that wendy's over there, where the incident occurred last night. look at that building, it's now totally engulfed in flames. that's where rayshard brooks was in his car, simply going through the drive through. he fell asleep, cars were going around him. the police showed up and then that situation deteriorated. big time, resulting in rayshard brooks being shot and killed by police. there are a lot of angry folks in atlanta. they blocked off i-75, a major interstate in the atlanta area. firefighters can't even get to the wendy's and other places in the area, to deal with that fire. that fire continues right now
with no firefighters on the scene. arriva martin is still with us, a civil rights attorney. arriva, as you see the situation, it was a peaceful demonstrate, but then things quickly deteriorated. >> yeah, we've seen that happen throughout the country as we watch these protests erupt following the brutal murder of george floyd. we minimize the pain of the protesters when we only focus on the fires or the looting. we -- i don't think we can even understand the pain that the african-american community and communities really all over the world are feeling as we watch these deaths play out. being killed by the police is the sixth leading cause of death for black men. we are way beyond policy changes, we're way beyond body cams or policies as it relates to tasers, we have to have that incredibly uncomfortable conversation on this country that focuses on systemic racism.
we get close to having that conversation, we teeter around the edges of it, but we retreat from it. until we have that conversation, we can enact policies at the local level. we can enact policies at the federal level, but they're not going to be carried out in anyway that respects the dignity and humanity of african-american men. we keep seeing that over and over again. walter scott as crew stewart talked about, michael brown. trayvon martin, we can do a role call of all the african-american men who have been killed by police, and what happens in the aftermath, there's intense media scrutiny of the death. there's protest, call for change, and then we go back, we retreat back into that place that's safe without pushing through and having this conversation about systemic racism and how it permeates police departments around this country. and we have to have that conversation at this moment oar we'll be right back here -- not
in five years, but probably next week and definitely next month. >> i want to bring in l.a. honig our cnn legal analyst. i want to read to you a statement that we just got from the georgia governor, brian kemp, he issued the statement via twitter on the death of rayshard brooks, who was shot and killed by the atlanta police. at the atlanta police department's request, the gbi, the ga launched an investigation into the conduct of two atlanta police department officers that led to the death of rayshard brooks, i am confident gbi director rick reynolds and his team will follow the facts to ensure justice is served. as always we stand ready to provide resources and support to protect giorgians who are peacefully protesting. that statement from the georgia governor. ellie, let me get your reaction to that and your thoughts on
what's happening. you see the wendys where this incident occurred, it's totally emplacened right now. >> that's an important statement by the georgia governor, the first thing that has to happen is a thorough and clean investigation. they need to get all the facts here. they're going to have difficult decisions to make at the prosecutorial level. the first question is, was this shooting legally justified? police are allowed to use lethal force but only as a last resort. only if there is an imminent threat of death or serious body injury to the police officer or another person. if this shooting was found to be unjust phied then prosecutors are going to have to consider which charge is appropriate here. under georgia law there's a murder statute for murders with malice aforethought. a statute i thought it was really interesting when the attorney for the family mentioned he has talked to witnesses who said the police --
>> i think we just lost our connection. we'll try to reconnect with him as well. charles ramsey the former d.c. police chief, former police commissioner for philadelphia is still with us as well. so you see these images and you see what is going on in atlanta, chief ramsey right now. you see that wendy's engulfed. those flames could quickly spread to other parts. there's been several fires and you saw interstate 75 blocked off as well for quite a while trying to slowly reopen it but this is clearly a very tense situation for the protesters as well as for the police. >> yes. that looks like a gas station right across the street there. i hope they are able to secure the area and get the fire department in there because that is not good no matter how you look at it. they got to get that fire under control. >> that fire could quickly spread elsewhere in that area and there is no sight of
firefighters anywhere. we are told by our reporter there on the scene natasha chen that the fire department basically says they can't get there. the streets are blocked off. and it is impossible to get there. what do you think the police can do right now, chief ramsey? >> unblock the streets. you have to coordinate with the fire department and figure out a route to get in and clear the road for them. it is not just a wendy's. i don't know if there is another building a adjacent but if that is a gas station and it looks like it would be a gas station if the wind shifts and you get embers in that direction you have an even larger problem there. again, it takes away from the reason why people are demonstrating to begin with. there is a legitimate issue that is taking place across the country around police use of
force and it has to be dealt with but when we have things like this occur, it does take away from it. i don't think it is going to slow things down. i hope it doesn't. these demonstrations are really important. change happens as a result of crisis. this is definitely a crisis and hopefully will force police and force legislators and force everyone to really take a real hard look at what is going on and make substantive changes. one of your guests earlier said the violence has to stop and that is true but all violence needs to stop. this is not a good situation whether we're talking about police use of force, whether we're talking about violence that takes place in our communities. we have just got to find a way to end it all because it is just lives are being lost and it is senseless. >> we can see the flames
continuing. let's hope they don't spread. there is a gas station right there. other shops very close by if the wind comes those flames could easily pick up elsewhere. an extremely dangerous situation unfolding in atlanta following the shooting death of rayshard brooks 27 years old last night at that wendy's, now totally destroyed, flames coming in from the wendy's. our special coverage will continue after a quick break. don't get mad. get e*trade and get more than just trading. investing. banking. guidance. the first and only full prescription strength non-steroidal anti-inflammatory gel available over-the-counter. new voltaren is powerful arthritis pain relief in a gel. voltaren. the joy of movement.
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we're watching what's happening in atlanta. you see the flames there where the wendy's drive through restaurant, where the incident occurred last night involving rayshard brooks where he was shot and killed by police. they are hoping those flames will not spread. there is a gas station, other shops right nearby. firefighters have not been able to even get close. a lot of the streets are blocked off by protesters right now. our national security analyst is with us. when you see what is going on in atlanta right now and clearly the protesters are very angry over the shooting death of rayshard brooks, what do you think? >> i think we need to separate the issues. it is the justified protest over another police shooting and what needs to be dealt with tonight which is to de-escalate the situation so there's going to be three approaches.
the first is of course life matters more than a wendy's. buildings can burn. i know that is hard for people to see but you don't want to put firefighters in harm's way. you also don't want to harm members of the community and neighborhood so you'll just focus on protecting life at this stage. while the building fires look bad they are secondary to protecting life. the second is you want to contain the situation. there are peaceful protesters who probably far out number or we know far out number what is going on with a small group that is either setting things on fire or finally protesting so you just want to contain them. you need political and community leadership to de-escalate the situation. it is still relatively early. 11:00 p.m. you want to try to de-escalate the situation. those things together hopefully will then lead to a conversation and even protests over what may have been an unjustified
killing. i think that is just important to focus on because you want to protect the community tonight which is essentially in harm's way as well with some of this violence. >> it must be so frustrating to folks in atlanta watching this to see this building in flames potentially spreading and firefighters can't get close to the scene. it is hard to watch that. i recognize that. you're just making tactical decisions. you need to protect your first responders in particular the firefighters who are not armed. you don't want to escalate a situation in which police have to come in to save firefighters if situations get out of hand so these decisions are made all the time. then you want to minimize the impact of the fire spreading. we can't see it but just the way firefighter incident command works is there is likely firefighters prepared to ensure it does not spread past the wendy's.
the wendy's is essentially gone. we see that now. just want to make sure it doesn't spread. it is frustrating to see. there is a prioritization at this stage which is to protect the community and to protect the free expression, the protests against another police shooting. >> stand by. the top of the hour, 11:00 p.m. here on the east coast. we welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. this is a special edition of the situation room. we're following the breaking news out of atlanta. it's been one site of the nationwide protests for 19 days now following the killing of george floyd but tonight a new name is chanted there, rayshard brooks. right now deep anger and frustration have erupted. protesters have set fire to the wendy's where police shot and killed brooks last night after an altercation in the parking lot there. the georgia bureau of investigation says police were called in around 10:30