tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN April 1, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
his supervisor at the minneapolis testifying that there was no reason to use force on george floyd after he stopped resisting officers. so why did chauvin keep his knee on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds? also we're learning about the justice investigation into congressman matt gaetz. there are now questions whether he used cash and drugs with young women. and there is another problem. sources tell cnn, gaetz showed other lawmakers nude pictures of women he said he slept with, showing the photos while on the house floor. i want to get right to the dramatic testimony today in the trial of derek chauvin. sara sidner was in minneapolis. >> yeah. i was going to call and have you come out to the scene here. >> reporter: the jury heard newly released audio. officer derek chauvin talking online to his supervisor to explain his version of events on may 25, 2020.
>> we had to hold the guy down. he was going crazy. it wasn't going -- >> reporter: from the witness stand, chauvin's sergeant recalled chauvin's version of events omitted key details. >> did he mention anything about putting his knee on mr. floyd's neck or back? >> no. >> reporter: the sergeant said he soon arrived on the season to talk to the police officers involved. then went to the hospital with chauvin and other officers to check on george floyd. >> someone approached me and let me know that he passed away. >> do you have an opinion as to when the restraint of mr. floyd should have ended in this encounter? >> yes. >> what is it? >> when mr. floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers. they could have ended their restrain. and that was after he was hand cuffed on the ground and no longer resistant. >> correct.
>> reporter: the tears were immediate for thursday's first witness. courteney batya ross. >> when was it you first met mr. floyd? >> it's one of my favorite stories to tell. >> reporter: she testified the first time she met george floyd, he was upset. he, a stranger, consoled her. >> he has this great deep southern voice, raspy. assist, you okay, sis? i was not. >> reporter: ross eventually became george floyd's girlfriend. >> we had our first kiss in the lobby. >> reporter: in their floorly three-year relationship, she testified though both struggled with prescription pain pill addiction. >> floyd and i both suffered with opioid addiction. we got addicted. and tried really hard to break that addiction many times. >> reporter: the defense honed in on where the drugs came from
and the time line of their drug use, including an overdose in hospital visit for floyd two months before his death. >> you did not know that he had taken heroin at that time? >> no. >> it was your belief that mr. floyd started using again about two weeks prior to his death, correct? >> i noticed a change in his behavior, yes. >> in redirect, prosecutors highlighted his history and built-up tolerance for opioid pills. >> when he took those, he didn't die, right? >> no. he did not. >> he was okay after using them? >> yes. he was playing football, hanging out, eating. >> this video introduced in court today showed the moments paramedics loaded floyd into their ambulance. paramedics and firefighters testified they had initially been called to a nonemergency patient with possible intoxication and a mouth injury. >> the information you had as you were initially responding was that there was a mouth injury, correct?
>> yes. >> reporter: the call was later upgraded. when they arrived, floyd was unresponsive. >> i thought he was dead. >> i want to bring in now cnn's sara sidner who was in the courtroom today covering the trial. good evening, by the way. how was the jury reacting to the testimony? >> you know, from the moment that you get close to the court, you know things are very different here in minneapolis where i've spent a lot of time. and i quite love the city. when you enter the court, you realize you're in a different place because you have to go through two gates that are locked. you have to have someone come to the gate, usual lay sheriff's deputy. he opens the gate for you. you come in. you go inside that gate and then you have to walk into the court which by the way is all boarded up on the bottom half of the court. you get inside the court. you go up to the courtroom where
you are met by several more deputies. once you're inside the court though, don, it is a surreal place. often court rooms filled with people and a trial of this magnitude. this time it is pin drop silence throughout the entire time of testimony. you only hear the judge or the witness or the attorneys asking questions. there's not even a ruffling of papers. as you sit there and look around the court, you can see the jury sitting there. they are self-distanced. you can see very clearly the two chairs that are sat in the back of the courtroom. one of them is for a mental of the floyd family. the other is for a member of the chauvin family. and what we have seen is that only one of those chairs has been filled every day. that is a member of the floyd family has been there. today it happened to be felonis floyd. it was torture for him.
he is watching his brother dying. and he's watching it over and over and over. you can see the commitment that this family has to making sure they are watching with eagle eyes every single bit of this trial, don. >> now the accused, what about derek chauvin, what is he like in court? >> it is really interesting. when you are sitting in court, and i got there early. there are times judge, before the jury shows up, for example, this evening, he calls all the employees. he had them come into his chambers. at that time, it was literally me, one other reporter, and derek chauvin and the bailiffs who were in court just sitting there. he has clearly lost some weight. he looks a little bit different than i remember him in the beginning of all of this in may. he is quiet. he is constantly writing notes when you hear from witnesses.
he is writing notes whole time. and he is just face forward. you don't see any stregs because he is wearing a mask the whole time in court. but it is a really surreal scene to sit there, knowing what happens in the end. knowing how the story ends, if you will, and the life ends of george floyd. and the ripple effect that has had. let's have some real talk here, don. the truth of the matter is what we are seeing in court, why it has been so impactful in this particular trial is because we're hearing the story of america. the opioid addiction epidemic. we're hearing about violence and how that has played out in people's lives. we're hearing about police indifference and how that has played out in people's lives. and you're hearing all the stories about personal struggles. but all of this is around this one major issue in america. and that is race and policing. and that's playing out every sent day in court.
>> cameras are trained on and it america is focused on it. it is really something to watch. we'll see you soon. joining me now, professor cornell west. good evening. >> how are you doing, my dear brother? >> i'm doing okay. as well as can be expected under the circumstances. >> this trial, it is gut wrenching. sara summed it up. the man begging for his life, pleading to be seen as a man like the rest of us. from the video, george floyd dying over and over and over again. what does this say about us as a country? how we all see race? >> it takes us to the most fundamental question that has always sat at the center of not just america but the four 00 years that you and my ancestors have been here. which is do we have the will to stay in contact with the rich humanity of black people?
to stay in qucontact with black people, the tenderness of black people, the soulfulness of black people. when you talk about brother george, perry floyd jr., you're talking about a human being. about a precious son of george perry sr. and precious larsenia jones floyd. what it means to open yourself to get beyond the stereo types and acknowledge that for the first, nearly 100 years, america failed only question. didn't stay in contact with the humanity of young people. you tortured us. enslaved us. you tried bar barized us and we responded with more love, more freedom. we came back another 100 years of slavery. we failed on that again. it looked like we were making a breakthrough. it looked like it under barack
obama. we're making some progress. here comes the back lash again. here we are in 2020 saying very much how you started the show, my brother. do we have what it takes to really acknowledge the rich humanity of black folk to treat us fairly, like human beings? because if not, you're going to lose your democracy. you're going under. you're going fascist. black women voters, what about the name trump. and this is good news. this is easter week. it was tomorrow they put my sweet jesus on the cross. the roman empire put him on the cross. going through that temp mr., and that was a huge place. hundreds of troops. what we hear from courtney, i stayed in contact with the rich humanity of brother george. i knew he was a tender man. i knew he was a soulful man. i knew he was a kind man.
i knew he was a human being, faults and foibles like all of us no matter what gender or sexual orientation. but thank god we've got some acknowl acknowledgement. if the police can't do it, then we've got to do it ourselves. i'll tell you this, too. let me add one thing. brother george, i thought about my brother and my father and my grandfather. i'm not going to stand there for no 9:26 and watch somebody murder my father. no, no! huh-uh, no, no, no. martin luther king jr. talked about pacifism. and i believe in nonviolence but i'm not going to watch that kind of murder i love my brother charles mcmilian. we are not going to do that. some of us black folk, some of us black men, we are not going on stand there. you aren't going to kill us like that and we remain spectators.
somewhere i read, silence is not an option. i don't stand with silence. that's the last two of your letter to your next ufl america needs to understand that, too. we've got to self-almost. we've got to self-defense. and we intervene when you start killing us like that. >> i'm sorry. >> we intervene out of love. >> oh! let me ask you this. everybody i saw, everyone i saw on that video, i asked this earlier. everyone i saw had some empathy, saw the humanity, felt the
humanity in george floyd. as you said, foibles and all. we're not thinking that when someone is on the pavement in that situation like what they've done wrong. we're thinking about, when you're taking the life of a human being, why is it that every single -- under the police thing. everybody saw his human an and felt it except for the police officers who were there. >> because they've been getting away with it decade after decade after decade. even the good policemen in the language of the main stream. they remain silent. and they allowed gangsters in their ranks who have been mistreating folk. and keep in mind. it's that just black folk who have been treated like this. you've got some white brothers and sisters treated like this. but we get three times. we get 36%. we only 12.8% of the population. we are concerned about everybody. we're not confined to just the
chocolate side but i'll be damned that we don't start with the chocolate side of town with our blacks and browns and indigenous folks and asians. it is in the name of love but love sometimes can get real tough. love can protect, respect and correct. and we won't stand there and just be victims. no, no, no. that's not baptist church. that's -- that's not gladys knight and the pips. >> you know i went to -- >> talking about that swimming. >> you know i went to shiloh missionary church as a kid. that was my church. and you just called it out. professor, i'm going to do with my family members and the people i know. let me let you go. let me let you go because i've got to deal with some things and you're making me cry on the tv
and i have to compose myself. love you, brother. >> stay strong. >> thank you. i'll see you soon. be well. it is hard to hear the testimony about the last moments of george floyd's life second by second. if you're having trouble dealing with it, speak up and ask for help. we've got some resources on the screen for you. we'll leave it up for a second. and we will be right back. (announcer) carvana's had a lot of firsts. 100% online car buying. car vending machines. and now, putting you in control of your financing. at carvana, get personalized terms, browse for cars that fit your budget, then customize your down payment and monthly payment. and these aren't made-up numbers. it's what you'll really pay, right down to the penny. whether you're shopping or just looking. it only takes a few seconds, and it won't affect your credit score. finally! a totally different way to finance your ride. only from carvana. the new way to buy a car. i'm searching for info on options trading,
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plus, now all patients can get 20% off their treatment plan. find every reason to smile. every day at aspen dental. call 1-800-aspendental or book today at aspendental.com so here's the breaking news. the justice department now investigating whether republican congressman matt gaetz used cash and drugs in his dealings with young women. there are also new allegations he showed other lawmakers photo and videos of nude women that he says that he slept with. paula reid has the story. >> reporter: good evening. multiple sources tell cnn congressman gaetz showed other lawmakers photos and videos of nude women he claimed to have elementary school with. one source said he shared the images on his phone even while on the floor of the house. another source said it was a
point of pride for gaetz. there's no evidence the justice department is looking into this issue or that these were photos of minors. his office has not responded to our reporting but all of this comes as cnn is learning new details about the scope of an entirely separate criminal investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by gaetz. tonight new details on the sex trafficking investigation into matt gaetz. cnn has learned prosecutors are looking into a relationship with a woman that began when she was just 17. and whether his involvement with other young women broke sex trafficking and prostitution laws according to two sources briefed on the matter. those sources say investigators are also pursuing allegations that gaetz may have used cash and drugs in his dealings with young sxem and they've looked at whether any federal campaign money was involved in paying for travel and expenses.
an attorney for gaetz declined to comment. >> it is a horrible allegation and it is a lie. that's verifiably false. people can look at my travel records and see that is not the case. >> reporter: sources now telling cnn the investigation began as part of a broader probe into trafficking allegations of this man. joel greenberg. two sores familiar with the man say federal investigators were told by a witness that gaetz was seen with greenberg on an internal office surveillance system looking through drivers licenses on a weekend evening in 2019. greenberg had access to the surrendered licenses as head of the tax collector's office. there's no indication that the licenses seen handled on the video were used for illegal purposes, but according to the court documents, greenberg allegedly used the surrendered licenses to create fake i.d.s. greenberg has entered a plea of
not guilty. attorneys for greenberg and gaetz had no comment. cnn has learned former attorney general bill barr received multiple briefings while he was in office on the sex trafficking investigation into gaetz. barr does not take issue with the investigation which began in the final months of the trump administration. also cnn has learned that fox news host tucker carlson was angered at the congressman's attempt to rope him into the scandal. according to a source familiar with naert, carlson was livid. >> you and i went to dinl better two years ago. i brought a friend of mine. you'll remember her. and she was threatened by the fbi. >> i don't remember the woman you're speaking of or the context at all, honestly. >> reporter: carlson distanced himself afterwards. >> that was one of the weirdest interviews i've ever conducted. >> reporter: gaetz tried to distract by connecting the criminal investigation to a separate alleged extortion plot
against him. cnn has also learned the scope of this criminal investigation into possible sex trafficking has expanded to start to examine whether gaetz may have used federal campaign funds to pay for travel or other expenses for his alleged victims. don? >> paula, thank you so much. now i bring in my guests. i'll start with you. it is really hard to keep one these bizarre allegations involving the congressman, congressman gaetz. help us understand, what is going on here? >> when i was in law school, we had these things called issue spotters. they were long, incredibly factual scenarios where you had to identify the legal issues. so the matt gaetz story is an ongoing issue spotter. the first issue that's clear. sex crimes, right? so potentially, sex trafficking or prostitution. the cash and drugs piece is
important here in terms of evidence, if that's something the fbi uncovers. because sex trafficking requires force, fraud or coercion with minors to he said gauge in commercial sexual activity. so there has to be kind of a transactional component. so if he's paying, if somebody is paying for this, or using drugs to coerce them, it then fits more tightly into that particular definition and statute. the other piece that we -- >> go on. go on, please. >> oh. lots of issues. the other piece is the campaign finance violation. if he was using campaign funds to do this. that's entirely separate because you are prohibited from using campaign funds for personal useful if you'll remember, the former u.s. representative duncan hunter was sentenced to 11 months in prison for doing
exactly that. if you do it knowingly and willfully, it can be a criminal violation and that is completely separate from you know, whether he was using it, whether the person was under age or, if it was for personal use then it falls into that category. >> yeah. you were answering my next question. i was going to say it involved cash and drugs, right? the allegations here. the investigation. if campaign money was used then that is a lot of trouble that he's facing, right? did you want to finish what you were saying or are you done? >> i think this just gets to, once the fbi gets the ball rolling, the tent cals start spreading. matt gaetz seems to have come under the fbi's radar because of another investigation into a different individual. and so i think, you know, it remains to be seen not only what else will they uncover but will other people get ensnared who will become witnesses or people who can drive information.
if i were him, i would be worried about that as well. >> so amanda, you've been sitting patiently. there's a lot to go over here. so she talked about the legal trouble, right? let's talk about the political trouble. it's not just the doj investigation. sources telling cnn that gaetz showed other lawmakers photos and videos of nude women that he said he had slept with. some of the video on the house floor. okay. so it's not sex trafficking as is alleged in the other thing but how do republicans stand by him for these sorts of things? >> yeah. just based on the story of the nude pics on the house floor, this guy should be toast. it is incredible how fast this story went from something strange and curious to something seriously enraging. at this point you have to ask, who knew, how much did they know, and why did they let it
slide? right now this just wreaks to me of a political culture that embraced, and it is no coincidence that matt gaetz is one of donald trump's biggest champions in congress. this is the culture of what it is. we turn our eye when it comes to the mistreatment of women. if you're a republican. because that's what you had to do to get through the last four years. and what really bothers me, and i can't get it out of my mind, is the fact throughout the summer, matt gaetz was at a big political tour stumping with the likes of donald trump jr., rick grenell, for this turning points usa group which is directed at college and high school students. if you looked at the way some of these events went down, it was criticized at the time. they would put up these girls in tight outfits, almost bikini shots. you can look at that culture that was being created. like we're the cool guys. we're the bmp ros.
this is how it is now. it was just disgusting to watch these young, impressionable political minds be given this kind of show. so just, everyone should take a step back. this investigation is going to take a long time. it is extremely serious. but just on the picture story, just on the culture that has been created in republican politics, directed at young kids is enough to cause serious rereev rereevaluation. >> thank you. we've been reporting, he is denying all of it, congressman gaetz denying all of it and saying, part of it he claims is extortion that he claims he's being extoward. there are now more than 360 different bills making their way through state legislatures. that will make it harder to vote, right? nearly 360.
the texas senate passing a restrictive new voting bill that critics say will make it harder for people of color to cast their ballots. it is up with of more than 360 bills that could live in access to voting which are moving forward and 47 states across this country, according to a new tally by the brennan center. a 43% rise in just a month. more tonight from cnn's diane gallagher. >> the bill has passed. >> reporter: in the wee hours this morning, the texas state senate sent a sweeping election bill over to the house that could change the way the people in the lone star state vote. >> we want a system where it is easy to vote and hard to cheat.
>> reporter: senate bill 7 seems to target voting in the recent strong hole of harris county, home to houston, one of the most diverse cities. and democrats say that it will make it harder for people of color to vote. >> every minority mental of the texas senate, all nine of us, believe this bill will impact minorities negatively by making it more difficult for african-americans and mexican americans to vote. making it easier to be harassed by overzealous poll watchers, and diminishing the likelihood that election outcomes will represent the preferences of we the people. >> a new tally by the brennan center finds that 361 bills with provisions that would restrict voting have been introduced in 47 states as of march 24th. that's a 43% jump in the number of bills cynic brennan released the last report a little over a month ago. most of the bills target absentee voting. nearly a quarter seek to impose
stricter voter i.d. requirements. a handful of states have already reacted. including georgia where some are calling for economic consequences in response to the state's new voting law. >> this boycott is against coca-cola, delta airlines -- >> including pulling the mlb all-star game set for july out of atlanta. the commissioner says the timing would make that difficult. but president joe biden said if the players want to change location, he supports it. >> i would strongly support them doing that. the very people who are victimized the most are the people who are the leaders in these various sports. and it is not right. >> georgia's business leaders under public pressure are now speaking out. >> let me be crystal clear and unequivocal. this legislation is unacceptable. >> the ceo of delta, the state's largest private employer, blasting the law is based on a lie of 2020 election fraud. saying in a memo, it is evident that the bill includes
provisions that will make it harder for many underrepresented voters, particularly black voters, to exercise their constitutional right to elect their representatives. that is wrong. in response the georgia house passed an amendment revoguing the jet fuel tax break. >> we will start. >> he took it away. >> but the effort died when the senate failed to he at a it up. have the republican governor said the companies are caving to public pressure. claiming these concerns were not raised during conversations with delta before the bill was signed. >> i'm not going to be bullied by these people but i'm also not running a public corporation. they'll have to answer to the shareholders. there are a lot of people who work for them and have done business with them who are very upset. >> meanwhile in michigan, republicans have introduced nearly 40 bills that could make it harder for people to vote. even raising the possible of trying to side step an all but
certain veto from the democratic governor. >> the fact is this is a solution in search of a problem. and it is unacceptable and so if and when those bills get to my desk and they're aimed at making it harder for people to vote, they will get vetoed. >> reporter: so how could michigan republicans get around a veto from governor whit mir? there is a quirk that allows the legislate tower enact without the governor's signature if they can obtain 340,000 signatures. now, don, democrats have already warned if they try to force through restrictive measures, there will be legal challenges. >> thank you. so. next, american's lieutenant governor tells us how democrats are trying to fight against restrictive voting measures proposed in the gop-controlled state legislature. and ahead, new information on just how long covid vaccines should last. ng fingersticks? with the new freestyle libre 2 system,
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the republican control state legislature in michigan has proposed 39 bills that will impose new restrictions on voters. my next guest is calling on the u.s. senate to fast for the people efforts to make voting harder. joining me, the alone governor of michigan. we love having him on. thank you so much.
appreciate you joining us. 39 bills, many imposed voter restrictions. take us through what is in these bills and how they suppress the vote. >> these bills, there is only one phrase to describe them. anti-voter turnout. in michigan we saw record voter turnout in the 2020 election west saw record mid-term turnout. they not only elected governor whitmer and i but also passed an enormous set of reforms to make voting easier including absentee voting that helped turn out during the pandemic. but this is introduced by the republicans and is seeking to overrun the will of the voters and make it more difficult for people to vote. destroying to get the legislature more power and decrease the power of the local canvassing boards that certify the election because they believed the big lie. the republicans refused ed to
accept the results so they've now tried to suppress the vote. >> you heard what she said. she's got her veto pen ready for any legislation. but republicans said they have a plan to get around her veto. how can they do it? >> the irony is not lost mow and it should not be lost on anyone. that literally, rather than earning the support of people in michigan, they want to circumstance up convenient it. to find loopholes to undermine the right of the very voters who elected us in the state of michigan. so they'll try to use a valid process or republicans need to be ready. i think there's a big grassroots movement that is ready to protect voting rights in michigan and these claims, because the voters in michigan elected democrats across the board in the executive branch of government and the governor's office, the attorney general's office, we're going to challenge these to, at every opportunity. >> let's talk more about that.
a in 2018 they approved it by a 2-1 margin that guarantees mail-in access to everyone in the state and mandates same-day registration. so all that would be moot? >> well, some of that would be undermined and it is a demonstration that three years later, republicans are running away from voters. they are so out of 2. the will of the people in michigan that they are going to make it more difficult to vote instead of expanding access to voting. and i don't think why they're so afraid of voters. we want more people to vote. it makes our democracy stronger. but passing laws that make it more difficult for some people to vote. that is anti-voter and anti-democratic. >> so republicans are pushing these voter suppression laws all over the country. so what's the answer? can democrats do anything to stop it? what is the plan?
>> well, this is absolutely a nationally coordinated anti-voter strategy. you've seen it in georgia. you've seen it in 47 states have had legislation introduced and that includes the 39 bills introduced in the state of michigan. but i'm proud that the u.s. house of representatives has passed hr 1, the for the people act. and i'm calling on the senate to do the same. so there can be federal protections for voters across the board so the state laws cannot work to undermine voting rights anywhere. >> thank you so much for your time. i appreciate it. >> thank you for having me. >> new information coming out on just how long vaccines should last. we've got that for you right after this.
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moms want healthy... and affordable. land o' frost premium!!! no added hormones either. it's the only protein i've really melted with. land o' frost premium. fresh look. same great taste. health experts, urging americans to get vaccinated, as cases spike all across the country. fears growing that the spread of variants could drive another surge. good news. more than 56 million americans are already, fully, vaccinated. joining me now to discuss, cnn medical analyst, dr. jonathan reiner. doctor, thank you. that was my -- the crowd applauding you here. the socially-distanced crowd. i just spoke with michigan lieutenant governor garland gilchrist. what do you think about what is happening in michigan? >> it's just as you said.
there's -- there is a big surge, and i think it's probably a combination of pandemic fatigue, you know, loosening of -- of people's guard. insufficient vaccination. but, you know, despite -- despite that, you know, there is -- there's good news to talk about. you know, what we are seeing now is, out at six months with the pfizer vaccine, really great data showing that, out at six months, the efficacy of the vaccine remains above 91%. with very robust protection against severe illness. and almost-100% protection/effectiveness against the south african variant. so, we are seeing, you know, very good data from the pfizer vaccine. and what this means is, with renewed vaccinations around this
country. with -- with -- with renewed enthusiasm, we can get ahold of this pandemic. >> you know, there is -- i -- i put on social media, how i got my shot. and it was -- i know, everyone doesn't have the same experience, but it was very efficient and very quick here. and painless. and i hope, everyone, when it's their time. you know, i was the age to do it and lucky enough to get it done. but, everyone, do it. everyone should do it, regardless of, you know, ethnicity and however you feel about it. just do it. just do it. today, i want to talk about what -- what president biden is urging religious leaders to do, and that's to get vaccinated during this holy season. also, telling them to spread the word on vaccinations. how critical is it to have faith leaders onboard? >> it's really important. as, you know, we have spoken about in the past, there is a lot of vaccine hesitancy in this country. and we need to reach people, through the people that they
trust. and for a lot of people, lot of people of faith, it's their -- their leaders, their ministers, their rabbis. so, it -- when -- when -- when people of -- of -- with -- who hold a -- a position of respect, in a community. show their leadership, by getting vaccinated, and preaching about the importance of that, it really resonates. in order for us to get to herd immunity, we are going to reach -- we need to reach all the people in this country. or at least 80% of the people in this country. and the last-20-to-30 percent are going to be the hardest. so i love the idea of reaching out to faith leaders, at this time, and getting them to talk to their parishioners about vaccinations. i want to take vaccines to churches. let's do vaccine events at churches. as -- as we, you know, get into the later spring, and early
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to reach 50 million low-income americans with the tools and resources they need to be ready for anything. i hope you're ready. 'cause we are. rely on the experts at 1800petmeds for the same medications as the vet, but for less with fast free shipping. visit petmeds.com today. derek chauvin had plenty to tell his supervisor from the scene of the arrest, that killed george floyd. he had nothing to say, though, about his knee on the man's neck. jim sciutto, here, in, again, for anderson, tonight. that's what the police supervisor told jurors, today. a day, which also saw testimony from george floyd's girlfriend and th