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tv   New Day with John Berman and Brianna Keilar  CNN  April 21, 2021 4:00am-5:00am PDT

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history. >> derek chauvin is waking up in prison this morning, the judge revoking his bail immediately after the verdict, and sentencing will take place in about eight weeks. the other three officers at the scene with chauvin go on trial together in august. president biden says he believes the conviction, quote, can be a giant step forward in the fight against systemic racism, a.m. though, he insists it is not nearly enough. >> i can't breathe. those are george floyd's last words. we can't let those words die with him. we have to keep hearing those words. we must not turn away. we can't turn away. >> we're beginning now with adrienne broaddus who is live in minneapolis. adrienne. >> reporter: good morning, bri brianna. this is a copy of that "star
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tribune," the front page, which john was talking about. you see here it says, "convicted: jury finds derek chauvin guilty of murder." this is something many people, minnasotans in particular say they hoped they would see it but feared they wouldn't see it, specifically citing the case of philando castile, a similar fashion. he was pulled over not in minneapolis but a similar suburb, a traffic stop. the aftermath of that was caught on camera. he was shot and killed. people thought because there was video the officer in that case would be not only charged but convicted. he wasn't. so when the jury read the verdict yesterday, there was a wide range of emotion. some people were quiet as they listened, just to take it all in, really processing what they had just heard. and then here in the downtown
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area just outside of the hennepin county government center where the verdict was read, there was a symphony of celebration. that celebration was led by cars blowing their horns and people crying. this is a moment people say they will remember. something else people are remembering, that 17-year-old darnella frazer who captured this incident on camera. i remember when i was working in reporting in minneapolis that day, police told us in an overnight press conference and they also sent us a statement saying a man died from a medical condition who was in police custody. we now know that man was george floyd, and the video showed us something much different. brianna and john? >> brianna, i'll take it. adrienne broaddus, thank you so much. here to explain the sentencing options, cnn legal
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analyst elie honig. he's a former state and federal prosecutor. elie, what's the maximum derek chauvin can get? >> he was charged with all three counts. murder in the second-degree, maximum sentence of 40 years and count ii, murder in the td. count iii, manslaughter in the second-degree. as a practical matter, the maximum sentence is going to be 40 years. >> maximum 40, but what do you think is likely? >> this is important. minnesota has what we call a sentencing guideline system. the sentencing guidelines are these charts that give the judge guidance on what they should be sentencing people to. let's do the calculation of derek chauvin. this is his first time being convicted of a crime. he's in the lowest category,
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which zero. then you look at the severity of the top crime charged. here, derek chauvin's top conviction was murder in the second-degree. when you go across here, you get his range, which is in months, 128 to 180. the presumptive sentence, 150 months, which means 12.5 years. >> 12.5 years. we heard a lot about aggravating factors though. that's one of the things the judge will be thinking about in the next couple of weeks. >> it's going to be so important. the prosecution is going to ask the judge to increase that sentence anywhere from 12.5 to 40 based on what the prosecution argues are five aggravating factors that make this crime particularly heinous. one, they argue that george floyd was a particularly vulnerable victim because he was handcuffed behind his back. two, they argue chauvin acted with particular cruelty because the knee to the neck as bystanders begged him to stop. three, they argue that chauvin
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abused his position of authority, meaning abused the badge as a police officer. four, they argue that chauvin committed the crime as part of a group of three or more people including other three officers. remember, the other three officers have been charged. they face trial in august. finally, there were children present. we heard from one as young as 9 years old. >> the defense decided it shouldn't be the jury that gets to decide this. it's the judge. that may have turned out to be a good decision for them. >> this was a really important moment because derek chauvin -- any defendant has a right to find that. chauvin said, i'm going to let the judge decide. as it turns out, having seen the verdict, that decision is probably one he probably made. >> the jury wasted no time in rendering a verdict. that's how much time we've talked about chauvin may be likely to be sentenced to. how much will beserve?
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>> minnesota has two-thirds. you get one third off for good time. if he gets the maximum sentence of 40 years. two-thirds of that comes out to a little over 26 years. if you do the math, he's a 45-year-old man. if he ends up serve 26 years, he'll be in prison until he's 71. if he gets less than that, take it off the top. in the moments after the derek chauvin verdict, a huge crowd of demonstrators raising their fists in george floyd square in minneapolis, a poignant moment for a city that has faced a lot of trauma in the aftermath of george floyd's death. joining me now is former minnesota state senator jeff haden. jeff, thank you so much for being with us. george floyd was killed in your disstrichlkt you live nine blocks from where this happened. how did you receive this verdict yesterday? what was it like for you? >> you know, i was really anxious. i had been out actually on the square talking to one of your
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correspondents, omar, a little before the verdict was coming in. when i got home and i was going to pick up my wife, we knew that the verdict was coming in, so we were really anxious but were very satisfied and relieved that justice was served. >> the governor, governor walz last night was talking about racial disparities. let's listen to what he said. >> i think for the state, i'm very proud. we rank near the top. that has been laid bare to the world, and i think for many of us it's like, okay, this happened. now the work really begins. if you don't fix these things, you end up with george floyd being killed. you end up with daunte wright being killed. >> now the work he says needs to begin. what does that need to be? what needs to happen? >> i'm glad the governor acknowledged that. i know the governor worked with him for a long time.
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we like to be called the land of 10,000 lakes. we're also the land of 10,000 dispair cities. we have the recovery act coming in. we have to get laser focussed to make sure we target those resources and change those policies to start to change the trajectory of what happens in our kind of secret here in minneapolis, minnesota. >> thank you very much. we appreciate your perspective. >> thank you. so what does this verdict mean going forward? i think everyone is asking that question this morning. i want you to listen to one man's reaction. >> this is something different. we've been here so many times before. the first thing i thought about
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is the rodney king situation. i thought it could have been something similar to that because we all saw that, too, and this feels like we can breathe. it's hopefully a new day in america. >> this feels like something new said to our reporter omar jiminez on the streets overnight. i want to bring in cnn political commentator van jones. i guess, van, my question is it? is it something new? waking up this morning, what if anything is different? >> well, it can be. it can be something new, i'll put it that way. this was not the system working. this was people making the system work. that's the key. don't forget, initially the police report said, oh, it's a medical ins accident. the report was a joke, something to sneeze on. people rose up and said we're not going to let this go.
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the governor step ped in and gae the case to keith ellison. he put so many resources on the table. you've never seen a prosecution like that of anything. you have to go back to the john gadi days to make sure the right thing happened. what happened is the voting worked. you can tell the young people, voting mattered. protests work. you can tell young people, marching matter. and the truth. people got involved with their video cameras. citizen engagement matters. there's a formula now to show people we can make the system work for change. that's what's new. >> there is no doubt when you look at all of the factors that contributed to this from very reasonable bystanders including -- >> -- an emt? >> -- an emt. and you had a slew of people who very clearly knew from the jump this was wrong what they were seeing. they were on the stand, a prosecution that told an amazing
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story, told the story of george floyd. he wasn't there to tell it. and also witnesses who humanize george floyd. and they didn't sugarcoat anything. this is george floyd who had challenges in life. >> a human being. >> a human being, and the jury accepted that. i guess my question is there more an acceptance in this era to see a black man more as a human being that we have not seen in the past in a way that we wouldn't have had there not been this reckoning this past year? >> i think so. also they tried to say, oh, look, he's done drugs. guess what. he's hooked on opioids. so many people have that problem. prince died five years ago today with an opioid overdose in that town, in the twin cities or near the twin cities, and so you -- listen, you'ring are going to go down the road and say somebody needs to be choked to death because they're hooked on opioids?
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you're in a slightly different era. the reality is going forward, what needs to happen. you know, you can't stop here. congress needs to act. the chrome holds have still not been banned at the federal level. there's still no national registry as she was just talking about for cops like chauvin. there's still no duty to intervene at a national level. you have cory booker in the senate. let's get it done. everybody agrees on it now. also you have an opportunity this week for joe biden to get the team he deserves. he's trying to get gupta back in the department of justice. the senate could approve him this week. you've got an ability now for this to be taken forth, but the people have to stay involved. push the senate to alkt. where's congress? the court did the right thing. the people did the right thing. where's congress. >> president biden did use last night's speech to bring up those two nominees. >> yes. it's critical.
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you've got to have a vinita gupta. you can trust her across the board. you can't sit here and say, oh, well, now the system is working. no, the people made the system work. let's keep the system working for the people. >> hey, van, can i ask? i feel like in a lot of ways we've lived history through your eyes the last several years or you've helped us understand so much of what we've seen in the last few years on a range, a whole range of things. so where does this fit? >> you know, the guy mentioned rodney king. i was 22. i was in law school. they were teaching about liberty and justice for all, and i look at tv, and i can't see it. i walk out the front door at yale school, i can't see it. i walk literally a few blocks away from campus, kids were going to prison frn drugs. kids on campus were doing drugs
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tall time and nobody called the cops. rodney king changed my life, the trajectory of my life. i worked on police issues, violence issues. i couldn't believe what i saw. if we had gotn't the opposite verdict with rodney king 30 years ago, my life would have been different. if you feel like my life doesn't matter, anything could happen to me, i could be beaten like rodney king, you feel like nothing could be done, you feel totally vulnerable. i had a law degree and i felt like an outsider in my own country, and you have a whole generation looking over a cliff of that at an even bigger scale, and instead they say, i can make the system work for me. literally the country was at a crossroads like you can't understand. the humanity of a generation was on trial, not just a system, the humanity of the whole generation. they say, i've got to make the system work.
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it's not there, but i've got a shot. we didn't feel that wake in the '90s as young black folks. we feel like we had been thrown away. this is a big deal. i can't tell you what a big deal this is for me to be able to look at my sons and tell them, hey, look guys, it's been this way and worse, but you've got a look forward. >> if you bend it. >> if you bend it. you've got to fight for it. sometimes when you fight, you win. >> van, thank you so much for being with us this morning. reaction to derek chauvin's guilty verdict is still pouring in this morning. we're going to hear from a man who shed tears on the witness stand. you'll remember this was a very emotional moment from one of the witnesses as he was recalling george floyd's murder. also, how a 17-year-old witness may have changed the world by taking out her phone, bending it toward justice. the video that may have changed everything. plus, the big blowup on
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a minnesota teen may have changed the course of history slim by taking out her phone. darnella frazier was a witness in the george floyd murder. she testified at derek chauvin's trial. this was her reaction on facebook. i cried so hard this hour. my heart was beating so fast. i was so anxious, anxiety busting through the roof, but to know guilty on all three charges, thank you, god. thank you, thank you, thank you. george floyd, we did it. justice has been served. you know, we just spoke to van
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jones on this and he said something interesting. justice can happen if we make it happen, he said. this video may have made this verdict happen. could it have happened without it? >> yeah, john. we can only assume this bystander video weighed heavily on the jury's decision. this is a woman, a 17-year-old girl, who saw something that did not look right to her. she pulled out her camera phone, began recording, and then later posted the video to facebook. the whole world saw this video. it incited anger and frustration among people who saw derek chauvin kneeling on george floyd's neck for more than nine minutes. you saw angry. george floyd has become the
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symbol for racial equality in this country. the young girl testified she wished she could have done something in that moment to help george floyd, but little does she know the difference that this video has made in the trial and thus leading to derek chauvin being convicted on all three charges. think about how many black families have suffered and not gotten a guilty verdict after losing a loved ones at the hands of police, even going back to emmett till. back then there was nor police cam videoer or cellphone videos. now that we have more videos rec recorded, more families will be able to see justice in these cases of police brutality. >> nicquel terry ellis, thank you for being with us this morning. >> thank you.
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i want to bring in two more guests. ron, i want to start with you. we had a conversation after the defense's closing arguments here where the defense kept on saying derek chauvin behaved as a reasonable officer would. the jury said no, this is not the behavior of a reasonable police officer. how important is that message, and how do you think it will be received by police forces across the country? >> you know, i believe it's not policing. i know it's not policing, and i think police across the country will stand by that. it's time for people to step up. i think leaders in law enforcement starting today should bring in men and women and have that conversation with them. >> anthony, one of the things a
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lot of people seized on as this verdict came down, knowing what we found out from the trial, was the initial press release from the police department there saying that after he got out, george floyd, he physically resisted officers, officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress. officers called for an ambulance, going on to say he died at the hospital. it is just -- it's not the truth. it omits everything that we learned in the trial and that we saw in that videotape, and the takeaway may be for there to be a lot of skepticism when it comes to what police are reporting. should that be the case? >> i think in my opinion when you first have an incident that takes place, it's so chaotic in the things that are going on, the police department should try to get out information as quickly as they can without giving too much that they don't have answers to. but the followup to that is the chief has been so courageous in
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his position. he went out front very early and talked about his disdain of the issue. also going to the trial, he was very courageous and articulate and shared his expectations of his organization like most should. >> you look at chief ramsey in d.c. he said, this is good for police. this should make police happy. this will make police jobs easier going forward. what do you think of that? >> i agree with him 110%. chuck's a good friend. derek chauvin stepped so out of line. i visit with police officers every single week. they understand that. i think as you hear that as a chief that's testified, as officers are testifying, what you get back is the police community is upset about this. i know when i first saw it, my response on linkedin is this is
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insane. i can't believe this is occurring. >> one of the other things that was so hard to believe, ron, is other officers didn't intervene. i just spoke to an officer who when she did intervene in a somewhat similar situation, she ultimately was fired, recently exonerated, but this is something that happened 14 years ago. do officers need to be prosecuted if they do not intervene in moments like this? >> is that question for me or ron? >> oh, for ron, please. >> i think officers have to be held accountable. and leadership, leadership is about stepping up and doing what's right, so everyone has to be held accountable. we have a duty to protect our citizens, and sometimes like the witness said, he called the police on police. the police have to make sure we hold each other accountable also. >> ron, anthony, thank you so much to both of you for sharing your perspective on this
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momentous day after this verdict has been reached. up next, we're going to hear from a man whose own experience with the criminal justice system was turned into a major hollywood movie, whose story you no doubt have heard. plus the testimony that helped convict derek chauvin of george floyd's murder. their love keeps you and your family centered. this mother's day, show your love with a gift from the center of me collection. ♪time after...♪ exclusively at kay. ♪time♪
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my next guest believes real change requires more truth telling about our past and our present. joining me now is bryan stevenson. he's the founder and executive director of the equal justice initiative, which works to end mass incarceration, excessive punishment, and racial ineq inequality, and you may know him of the memoir, "just mer sis." thank you very much for joining
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us. you say while today's heap can boo responsive to unnecessary violence by police, we have a long way to go. we believe that change requires more truth telling about our past and our present. you have said that america's history of enslavement and lynching -- do you see this verdict as proof that a jury and america is capable of seeing past that? >> well, yes, but i think that's with an asterisk. i mean this verdict took months of global protests. it took a nine-minute video taken by a teenager that documented all aspects of it. it should not be that hard to ask for accountability. the circumstances that creates this conviction is
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extraordinary. we can't rely on those circumstances moving four, which is why the priority has to be on shifting the paradigm, the shifting of police culture in this country. i'm sort of disappointed we haven't seen more the from police leadership trying to change the culture, moving away from the warrior mind-set that officers have to a guardian mind-set. we haven't talked enough about how we're going to confront this presumption of dangerousness and guilt that i think is behind the violence we saw in minneapolis. >> you pore over cases. so you mentioned the video. you know so many where there is no video or only shaky body cam video that leaves questions as well as answers. what about those cases? >> well, i think we -- those cases result in no accountability. they result in no justice. and i think that's the pain of the moment that we're in. if we're too focused on justice
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outcome and don't look at the broader problem, we've got people all over this country who are black and brown and they are burdened in ways that is simply not fair. you can be an army lieutenant, you can be a doctor, you can be a college student, you can be a journalist, you can be an engineer, but if you're black and brown, you have to go places where you navigate the presumption of dangerousness. your encounters with police can be lethal and life-threatening. that's not right. to do something about that we have to not only change policing but commit to the kanld of truth telling that allows us to recognize the repair, the remedy, the change that we have to have in this country. throughout most of the 20s century, black people were tortured and tormented on the courthouse lawn by mobs and there was no accountability. we've been practicing no response to the victimization against black people for so long, we're going to have to do something pretty significant to encounter that. and i think that's what this requires. >> you had an encounter with
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police, a life-changing one in atlanta when you were in your 20s that really fueled your drive to challenge racial bias and inequality in the justice system. tell us about that. >> yeah. i grew up in a pore, racially segregated policy. i could go to high school and college. i went to harvard law school, graduated from harvard, working in atlanta, representing the poor, came home one night, and police officers saw me parked in front of my apartment in midtown, atlanta. they confronted me, shined their light on me. they got out of their car and i got out of my car. he said, move, and i'll blow your brains out. i had to say, it's okay, all right, okay. i had to calm them down. they threw me on the back of the car and did an illegal search. the painful thing i realized is if that happened to me ten years
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earlier, i might have run. i might not have had the skill to judge and navigate that safely. when i walked around that community and saw young black kids, i feared their rationality. i had to go up to them and tell them, this is what you have to do. we haven't confronted the police changes and equality. >> bryan, thank you. i've been looking forward to this conversation. big fan of your book. thank you. >> he's such an inspiration. my son read his book and i think it changed the way that at that point a 13-year-old looks at the world. >> exactly. that is the difference. he and his team have pored over these cases. they have skpaully exonerated more than 100 folks who were charged and convicted incorrectly and obviously in some cases, and it's his effort that changed that. up next, he witnessed george floyd's brutal murder and he
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testified at derek chauvin's trial. >> it was definitely a helpless feeling, a frustrated feeling, a scary feeling. >> we're going to have more reaction from him in a one-on-one interview next. plus a house hearing gets out of order. >> did i strike a nerve? the law enforcement officers deserve better than to be utilized as pawns. >> congresswoman val demings joins us live next on "new day." ...protects you... ...from a lot of that. keep your car cleaner longer. armor all extreme shield plus ceramic.
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president biden says derek chauvin's conviction on all counts in the george floyd death can be a significant change. listen the moment the president call floyd family and their attorney ben crump after the
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verdict. >> we're all so relieved not just on one verdict but all three counts. it's really important. i'm anxious to see you guys. we're going to get a lot done. we're going to do a lot. we're going to stay at it until we get it done. >> hopefully this is enough to get passed to have you sign. >> you've got it, pal. that and a lot more. >> joining me democratic congresswoman val demings. she certain r served as an officer in the orlando police department for over two dozen years including three years as chief. thank you so much for being with us. you heard the president say this can be a moment of significant change. you say justice has been prevailed, but this is not a happy day. why? >> well, good morning. it's great to be back with you. look, we've all been watching this trial. we all, i think, in america and around the world saw what
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happened to george floyd. and so justice did prevail on yesterday. you know, our criminal justice system is certainly not perfect, but when everybody comes together, when all the pieces involved come together, justice can prevail. but still mr. floyd lost his life. he lost his life at the hands of the egregious actions of a police officer. his actions were reckless, they were inappropriate, and they were deadly. and so the sad day was that george floyd lost his life while in police custody, and so we're, you know, thankful that justice prevailed, but we also, i hope, understand that we still have a lot of work to do. >> well, to that point, president biden says it can be a moment of significant change.
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the implication there is if, dot, dot, dot. if what? >> well, the bottom line is it is a moment of significant change. it's something we have seen before in this country. you know, john, we are not the america that we should be, but i think yesterday signifies that we are moving in the right direction to become the america that we were created to be. what we saw in this case, number one, an attorney general who understands what justice looks like. number two, we had ordinary citizens, bystanders from a 9-year-old girl, a teenager, adults, an off-duty paramedic, and others one by one who came into the courtroom and talked about what they saw and what they witnessed. but then we also had law
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enforcement. the chief of police came in and talked about what derek chauvin did was not their policy nor was it their ethics or their values. derek chauvin's manager, the lieutenant, came in and testified and also the training officer saying, that's not what we teach. that's certainly something that we have not seen before, and so it is a turning point, and i believe it is incumbent on all of us in our respective places to keep the wheels of justice turning. we have the george floyd justice and policing act, for example, that has passed the house. is it perfect? of course, not. but i do believe it's a major step in the right direction. and so this is an opportunity for the senate to do their part in terms of helping us to become the america that we were created to be and pass the legislation. >> congresswoman, you were part of a hearing yesterday, a
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hearing that was supposed to be about an anti-asian hate crime bill. i think that's what it was about. but then republicans, including jim jordan of ohio, tried to introduce this amendment against defunding police, and i just want to play what transpired. >> mr. chairman, i want to make it quite clear that this aechlt is amendment is completely irrelevant. i served as a law enforcement officer for 27 years. it is a tough job. and good police officers deserve your support. you know, it's interesting to see my colleagues on the other side of the aisle support the police when it is politically convenient to do so. law enforcement officers risk their lives every day. they deserve better, and the american people -- can i have the floor, mr. jordan?
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>> the lady has the floor. >> did i strike a nerve. the law enforcement officers deserve better than be utilized as pawns. you and your colleagues should be ashamed of yourself. >> the jegentlelady will be sustain and it must stop. don't interrupt. you can't simply shout out. >> i agree. >> mr. jordan, you don't know what in the heck you're talking about. you know nothing about what law enforcement -- >> i know about my motive. >> and you're using them as pawns because it serves your ridiculous political -- >> everyone -- everyone will suspend. >> when you give a speech, mr. chairman, about motives and questioning motives and then motives are questioned, how do you aggress degrees that? >> the rules allow -- >> you know nothing about that.
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to utilize them as political pawns -- >> mr. chairman, i have a point of inquiry. >> what happened there, congresswoman? >> well, look. every oath that i have taken i've taken it very seriously. our primary responsibility is the protection, the safety of the american people. i remember that every day. and let's remember, yesterday's markup was about a bill that was designed to help to address the rise in violence against our asian brothers and sisters, and i think it's interesting that mr. jordan nor his colleagues, the people on his side of the aisle in that markup yesterday, didn't address that at all. now, if you're so concerned about protecting law
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enforcement, how do you not stand with let's address the crimes that law enforcement has to deal with. mr. jordan yesterday seized that opportunity to try to use law enforcement as a political pawn. we've seen it so many other times. and i am painfully reminded of what happened on january 6th. now, my republican colleagues had a lot to say yesterday, but on january 6th, i was in the house gallery when the violent mob descended upon the capitol, beat law enforcement down with anything that they could get their hands on, and mr. jordan and others and we watched over the last four years the lawlessness of our former president, to be
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reminded of the russia investigation. let's be reminded of the ukraine investigation. >> you asked jordan -- >> let's be reminded of how mr. jordan and the republicans berated the fbi and other law enforcement agencies who were trying to do their investigations. >> you said to him -- >> and so -- >> i'm just wondering when you asked him, have i struck a nerve, what nerve do you think you struck with jim jordan? >> well, i was -- the time is mine. i was giving my remarks. mr. jordan interrupted. as you saw, he was admonished by the chairman for doing that. and so if he was so determined to interrupt me when i was doing -- or giving my remarks, then maybe i struck a nerve. i asked him a question. he didn't answer. >> i'm curious what nerve -- what's the deal with jim jordan?
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i'm wondering what you were implying there. >> you know what i would love for you to do is to invite jim jordan on and ask him that very question. what i was talking about on yesterday was we need to stop playing these political games, and you know, we're dealing with a lot of issues right now. americans have been in trouble as a result of covid-19. where is mr. jordan or the republican party's plan to deal with some of the tough issues that america is facing. i don't believe they have a plan at all. the last major thing that they did do was to give almost a $3 trillion tax break to the richest of people in our country. they do not have a plan that seriously addresses the many challenges that the american people face. and so they try to use these distractions and for me,
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yesterday, i wanted to stay focused on why we were really there and that is to yet again address the increase in violence against our asian brothers and sisters. >> doesn't seem to be what he wanted to talk about yesterday. glad you can smile about it today. congresswoman val demings, we appreciate you being here this morning. thanks always for coming on "new day." >> thank you. next, george floyd's brother joins "new day" live to respond to the historic verdict. plus, we'll hear from a man who shed tears on the witness stand as he recalled george floyd's murder.
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from the center of me collection. ♪time after...♪ exclusively at kay. ♪time♪ we started with computers. we didn't stop at computers. we didn't stop at storage or cloud. we kept going. working with our customers to enable the kind of technology that can guide an astronaut back to safety. and help make a hospital come to you, instead of you going to it. so when it comes to your business, you know we'll stop at nothing. one of the eyewitnesses to george floyd's death who testified is speaking out to cnn.
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donald williams explains how this moment altered his life. >> donald williams. >> for the first time, the family of george floyd was able to meet and thank donald williams. williams was one of eight eyewitnesses whose testimony helped convict former officer derek chauvin of murder. >> i witnessed a murder. i was like, the best thing to do was call the police on the police. >> check his pulse. check his pulse. >> that's williams as he tries to get officer chauvin to move his knee from floyd's neck. williams says the experience of watching floyd slowly being murdered in front of him has changed him forever. >> it was definitely a helpless feeling, a frustrating feeling, a scary feeling. it's trauma that i deal with on a regular, on a daily, on a nightly basis thing. >> reporter: but williams says it also has propelled him to push his children even harder to succeed in life because, he says, he saw himself in george
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floyd's dying eyes. >> changed the mindset into a different frame. i'm always a father. i'm always there. what am i going to be able to leave my kids in an officer kills me next? how are my kids going to be able to survive if i don't have no income or they don't have no business to fall back on. >> reporter: while he works to secure his family legacy, he says america has much work to do on its legacy when it comes to the treatment of black americans. >> in minnesota, are we safe? no. nationally, are we safe? no. >> reporter: even in court he says it was obvious how black folks are thought of. it did not go unnoticed to williams the way the defense appeared to paint him as an angry bystander. >> you're not going to paint me as this angry black man. i'm not angry. this is my passion for me to speak up for this man. my passion. you can't say my passion is anger. i was passionate for this man's life. and that is just who i am. >> reporter: it is also not lost
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on him that it seemed all the right things had to happen to get a jury to see a former officer was guilty of murder. a video taken by a 17-year-old girl. an off-duty emt making clear the officer didn't bother to check floyd's pulse. and a neighborhood guy who tried to calm floyd but broke down on the stand after recalling floyd calling out for his mother. and williams' knowledge of chokeholds. all of these witnesses and many more agree to take the stand. now, he says, chauvin should face the same kind of harsh sentence he says is often handed down to black americans. >> put him in jail. throw away the key and make him an example like they would do any black man that robs a white lady, robs a white man, murders any other -- his own people, they're going to charge him to the maximum degree. because why? that's the law.
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>> reporter: sara sidner, cnn, minneapolis. welcome to our viewers in the united states and all around the world. this is "new day." i'm john berman alongside b brianna keilar. something is different. something has changed. that's what you're hearing people say this morning. that's certainly the hope this morning for so many americans. the jury finding former police officer derek chauvin guilty on all three counts in the death of george floyd. it took him just ten hours to reach the verdict. chauvin is in a prison cell this morning. he may be there a long time. a very long time once his sentence is handed down in june. overnight at the intersection where george floyd drew his final breath, there were celebrations overnight. >> president biden urging all americans to confront police brutality and systemic racism. he and vice president kamala harris called the floyd family very soon after the verd


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