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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  April 28, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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officer michael fanone, one of the hero police officers of january 6th telling me tonight what he wants people to understand about that terrible day. >> i want people to understand the significance of january 6th. i want people to understand that, you know, thousands of
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rioters came to the capitol hellbent on violence and destruction and murder and that 850 mpd officers responded there and really saved the day. >> that as the president, joe biden, in just hours set to deliver his first address to a joint session of congress in the very room where those rioters tried to prevent him from becoming president. biden expected to tout his pandemic response and push his jobs and infrastructure plans for the nation. plus the fbi announcing a civil rights investigation into the fatal shooting of andrew brown jr. by north carolina deputies last week. as cnn obtains new surveillance video of the moments leading up to the shooting. and the cdc issuing new guidance on what you can do. fully vaccinated americans can now go without a mask outside most of the time. let's bring in our white
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house correspondent john harwood and political analyst astead herndon to discuss a lot of issues. what's going to happen tomorrow, also the interview i had last hour with the officer michael fanone. thank you very much, gentlemen, for joining. astead, i want to play more from that interview with officer fanone about the insurrection. watch this. >> it's been very difficult seeing elected officials and other individuals kind of whitewash the events of that day or downplay what happened. some of the terminology that was used like hugs and kisses, and very fine people. very fine people is very different from what i experienced and what my co-workers experienced on the 6th. i experienced a group of individuals that were trying to kill me to accomplish, you know,
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their goal. and i think that -- whew. sorry, don. man, i didn't think i'd get this emotional. yeah, i mean i experienced the most brutal, savage, hand-to-hand combat of my entire life. >> president biden is planning to reference the january 6th riot in his speech. this big lie is the backdrop really. i mean speak to the significance of that, astead. he's going to be delivering it, as abby said earlier, basically at a crime scene. >> absolutely. i think that's how we should continue to think about what happened on that day and how we should think about the insurrection and the attempts to overthrow democracy. and what we're seeing at that
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moment you're showing from that officer is really one that speaks to how close it got on that day. i don't think that's something that should be forgotten, but we should also know that the republican officials involved, particularly those who are beholden to president trump, have foregone their promises to back law enforcement, have foregone their promises all in the sake of their political means and their political goals. i think that actually speaks to what those values actually were to them. it was not a real principled support of law enforcement. it was not a kind of morally rigid stance from them. what they were doing was simply supporting them for the purposes of demeaning other social justice movements. even now you have republicans talking about, oh, it was black lives matter in the matter. it was antifa in the crowd. that is not supported. that has not been proven by evidence. that is a lie, and we know that to be true. and if these republican officials were following fact, that would be something that would be easy for them to admit.
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but we know that this is about a political aim that requires for them to be beholden to the former president and to be beholden to the lie that he helped spread. >> john, do you think he will call out the republicans who are doing the whitewashing, or is that not joe biden's thing to do? >> well, i think that's not going to be at the forefront of what he's trying to do, but i think astead's point is well taken. and you're exactly right that that insurrection is the backdrop for the speech. i think there's three things that joe biden is going to do in that speech. the first is to celebrate the progress in getting the pandemic under control, which has been his number one priority. announced the relax of the mask guidance today. 200 million shots in arms. we're getting closer back to a return to normal. the second thing is to use that success and say, i know what i'm doing. here's a plan to get our economy back. the recovery plan, families plan, jobs plan, all of the
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components of that, $4 trillion, and try to build momentum for that. but the third thing is to raise the stakes and say, this is about showing that democracy can still work, that we can compete with autocracies like china. and this is an argument that works on a couple of levels. it accommodates the possibility that republicans may somehow come around to participate in passing a big portion of his plan, though that's a long shot. but in the event that that does not happen, which is likely, it sets the stage for him to say to democrats, if we're going to save democracy, it's not going to be a republican party whose president encouraged that insurrection and many of whose members are trying to whitewash it now. it's going to be on you democrats to show that democracy can work, and he'll count on that to try to hold his party together behind some of the controversial elements of this plan. >> astead, there's also been a plague of police shootings of black americans on his watch.
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according to a new cnn poll, most americans, 53% say that policing needs major changes or a complete overhaul. 32% say it needs minor changes. and only 14% say it works pretty well. this is still a big challenge. >> oh, absolutely. this is going to be a theme that continues through this. i mean this was a challenge for any -- for his predecessor and former president barack obama, right? this is going to go forward. i think what we also know is that his promises to black americans were robust. i mean this is a president that came in very explicitly saying that this is the community that help put him in office and that he owes them something. so i think what we're going to see here when we look forward to the midterms, when we look forward to his re-election in 2024 is a black community that's saying, what did you do with that investment, that the initial kind of backing of joe biden was about beating donald trump. i talk to black voter after black voter who was thinking about electability, who was
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thinking about who could win and certainly his rhetoric of unity. it includes a robust set of issues that the community cares about, and we say every night it's going to come up again, that senate filibuster. it's going to come up against the realities of a divided congress. but that does not change the expectation of the people who put him in the oval office, who will expect for him to deliver on that. >> astead, john, thanknknkou so much. i appreciate it. i want to turn now to the latest on the police killing of andrew brown jr. cnn's jason carroll live for us in elizabeth city, north carolina, tonight. jason, good evening to you. there's a curfew in effect. the public has still not seen the body cam footage. >> reporter: there is surveillance video, and the surveillance video shows the
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sheriff deputies just as they're arriving at brown's home, just moments before the shooting took place. an attorney for brown's family basically saying that they've been able to pull together certain aspects of what's happened on the surveillance tape. they say just moments after that pickup truck arrived at brown's house, they estimate that about four seconds later, they started shooting. and basically what they've had to do, don, is taken things like surveillance tape, 911 tapes. they got an opportunity, as you know, to look at about 20 seconds of body cam footage. this is what they've been able to do to sort of pull together what's happened. that's why they're asking for more transparency from the county sheriff's department here on the ground. more accountability. they want the sheriff's office here to release all of the body cam footage that they have, to release all of the body cam footage that they have. but, again, they're having to piece together what happened to brown based on things that
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they've been able to gather through their own investigative process. >> and, jason, let's talk about this private autopsy because the attorneys for the brown family released a private autopsy. >> reporter: right. >> what did they find? >> reporter: something else that they've done, don. you're absolutely right. they had their own autopsy done here. basically what they found is they say it's been prettying telling. they found that brown was shot five times. they say that the first four shots hit his right arm. they say once again that his hands were on the steering wheel. they say the filthfth shot was fatal shot. >> we now know because we have not been able to get any official documentation concerning this shooting that this, in fact, was a fatal wound to the back of mr. brown's head as he was leaving the site, trying to evade being shot at by these particular law enforcement
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officers, who we believe did nothing but a straight-out execution. >> reporter: so, again, don, you've got the family getting their own independent autopsy together as part of their evidence. you've got them pulling together and finding surveillance video, 911 tapes. again, this is why what they're saying is what they need here on the ground is more transparency, and they need it from the county's sheriff's department. don. >> jason carroll reporting live for us tonight. thank you so much. i appreciate that. i want to turn now to harry daniels. he is an attorney for andrew brown jr.'s family. attorney daniels, i appreciate you joining us. thank you so much. what stands out to you and the family in this new video showing sheriff's deputies rolling up in a pickup truck to arrest andrew brown? >> it confirms what we already suspected.
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this was an approach towards andrew, blocked him in, trapped him in. once the deputies got in the truck, moments -- seconds later, they start shooting. the autopsy report shows that andrew was shot in his arm as he tried to get away, tried to back up, tried to get away. once he maneuvered his vehicle and tried to flee to save his life, he was shot in the back of the head. that proved to be the fatal shot. >> cnn looked at the video, and it is not exactly clear what is being said when the shooting started. but certainly the body cam footage would answer a lot of these questions, right? >> it would. it would. that's exactly what we're seeking. seeking the release of the body cam footage, the entire body cam footage. the 20-second snippet that was showed, the redaction, once the video started, it already -- the
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shooting had already begun. it already started, which is consistent with the street video camera that we was able to obtain, that the shooting had started. the county attorney's issue was they were only going to show the pertinent part. you would think a pertinent part would be once gunfire started, that would be pertinent in a shooting death investigation. but the county saw that wasn't pertinent. but we believe that the full body camera being revealed would show exactly what happened. >> attorney daniels, the private autopsy -- i talked to jason. jason discussed it a little bit before we brought you in. but this private autopsy that you all released shows that andrew brown was fatally shot in the back of the head. what does that tell you about the officers' response? >> well, i mean it speaks for itself. you had not just shot in the back of the head. you had bullets riddled in the
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back of mr. brown's vehicle, on the right passenger side, the back rear quarter panel. and ultimately the kill shot was in the back of the head. so if it's in the back of his head, he's obviously trying to get away. he's not a danger to officers. there's no indication that he was trying to hit anybody, run anybody over. in fact, what the video revealed based on the counsel in the room based on mr. brown's son, khalil, that he was still trying to avoid injuring the officer or any threats on officers. they were the only threat that day. so a person who has been shot at, he's still trying to -- he's still concerned about their safety. obviously they weren't concerned about his safety, nor were they concerned about his life. >> has the family gotten any information from the police about what they say happened or why? >> no. no. the information that was reviewed, the snippet was the only bit of information that we
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received. and let me be very clear, don. that snippet is horrific. it shows mr. brown's arms -- hands on the steering wheel. mr. brown getting shot while his hands was on the steering wheel. mr. brown trying to leave. so he's not fleeing. let me be very clear. he's not trying to resist arrest. he's not fleeing. this is a man getting shot at. he has a right just as anybody else, a right to life. and he's trying to exercise that right by saving his life while others are trying to execute him. and even when he's going to get away -- he's going to get away, don, he's going to save himself, boom. shoot him in the back of the head. kill him. his vehicle strike a tree and he's gone. seven children fatherless, brother lost, son lost, grandson. absolutely hole in this community. elizabeth city, pasquotank
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county, this is a tragedy on both ends. tragedy that mr. brown lost his life prematurely. tragedy that this county government, the county commissioners, the district attorney, the county attorneys, no accountability. don, they redacted the officer's face. they redacted the officers' guns. these people are paid by the taxpayers. the guns are paid by the taxpayers. the taxpayers have a right to see the public officials operating in their physical capacity. in this case, you don't have the right according to pasquotank county government. you don't have a right. but they're allowed to shoot and kill one of their own and no accountability thus far. >> thank you, attorney harry daniels. i appreciate you joining us. thanks so much. the private autopsy finds andrew brown jr., as we've been reporting, according to the family shot five times. i'm going to ask a forensic
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pathologist what that autopsy tells him. >> it's obvious he was trying to get away. it's obvious. and they're going to shoot him in the back of the head. that's not right. that's not right at all, man. nor to remove the toughest stains without pre-rinsing for dishes so clean they shine. join finish and skip the rinse to save our water.
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so as we have been discussing, the family of andrew brown jr. releasing a private autopsy that found he was fatally shot in the back of the head. lawyers for the family say that brown had been shot four times in the right arm and was trying to drive away from officers when he was hit in the head. so i want to bring in now forensic pathologist dr. sarah wecht. doctor, thank you very much. let's talk about this autopsy revealing that four shots to the right arm and one fatal shot to the head based on this information that you are reading about and that you see here. what can you tell us? is it clear that andrew brown was trying to drive away from the deputies at the time that he was shot, as they say? >> well, it's clear to me that his back was turned to the officers. the bullet wound that killed him entered in the back of his head and moved slightly to the right
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and forward. that shot clearly was fired with him facing away from the police. in light of the other four shots in the right arm and shoulder, it seems to me, based on the information i've been given that that is correct, those shots having been fired through the windshield, that he had attempted to depart. he was backing up and then turned around, and as he turned around in the car, that is, then they shot him. so it's incredible. i look at the shots in the arm, by the way. it looks to me like he was already -- ask this is reconstruction on my part. i don't have all the information and the measurements from the information given to me. but it looks to me like he was shot, and the one bullet in the
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arm, then moved somewhat toward upward a little bit. this is bottom to top. that's upward. and then the other shots similarly looked like he was ducking and juking, turning to his left. and that's the way the shots, two of which were grazing wounds. none of these four shots was fatal. none of these four shots would have led to death. i don't know if any major vessels were perforated. the pathologist does not state that in the couple of pages i received. but there is no mention of any significant hemorrhage. so he clearly was wounded, and he was attempting to flee as i reconstruct it looking at the autopsy report. and then inexplicably, he's shot in the back of the head. what i don't understand, as a
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medicolegal consultant, i do that work as a med ico legal consultant and also as a forensic pathologist. i understand they're there with a drug search warrant. i don't see any reference to any kind of weapon. i don't see anything that posed a hazard, a threat to any of the police officers or to any byst bystanders. why this kind of shooting ensued. they knew they were there, i believe, at his home. his car, where he lived. so what's the problem? where is he going to drive? to south america or europe? what is the problem here? what is the problem? taking out the guns. and i don't know, by the way, whether they're all from the same gun. only a fragment of one bullet was recovered. the other bullets apparently had been recovered by the original pathologist. we don't know that but we can
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infer that reasonably. so i do not understand. as a former coroner, if i were reviewing this case and conducting an inquest, i would want to know from the police officers what in the world were you doing? >> dr. cyril wecht, always great fo information from you. i appreciate you joining us. >> thank you, don. take care. conspiracies, lies, gaslighting, is that all the gop has now? plus a new incentive for getting that vaccine.
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take this. the gop outrage machine churning out another lie in a futile attempt to dunk on democrats. this time republicans promoting a story with no evidence that copies of the vice president kamala harris' children's book titled "superheroes are everywhere" were given to migrant kid at the california shelter in their care packages. okay. so the chairman of the republican party, that's the one spreading the lie online, asking if the v.p. is profiting from biden's border crisis. and the former trump white house press secretary sean spicer, well known for his lies about crowd size, complaining the biden white house has yet to answer for the fake story. cnn fact checker daniel dale finding that it was just one of
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harris' books donated from a book drive. for the folks watching at home, do you feel like you're having deja vu? you are not. it was only last night that we talked about republicans freaking out over a fake biden policy to cut people's meat intake even though no such policy existed. we did this a few weeks ago over dr. seuss, and who could forget the lies peddled about president biden's health or all the covid mistruths? this is a vicious cycle created by republicans with lies promoted as truths as a way to score political points really. and then there's the biggest lie of them all, the one that incited a deadly riot at the capitol. the big lie that donald trump won the 2020 election. it didn't end in 2020. in arizona this past week, republicans recounted millions of ballots even though there is no evidence of widespread fraud in that state. hours wasted to prove something that simply does not exist.
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are you tired of it? it's not real, republicans, trumpists. the election wasn't stolen. just stop it. it's exhausting. you're wasting your time. there's no doubt truth remains under fire from republicans. but at a certain point, you have to accept. that's how they like it. that's who they are. lots to discuss. cnn's senior political analyst john avlon is here, cnn's political commentator amanda carpenter. we're going to talk about this b.s. next. you'd never wash your dishes in this. your dishwasher looks clean but, when grease and limescale build up, it's not as hygienic as you think. use finish dishwasher cleaner its dual-action formula tackles grease and limescale. finish. clean dishwasher. clean dishes.
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republicans moving on to the next big lie about the biden administration, spreading a false story about vice president harris' children's book being given to migrant kids at a california shelter in their care packages. that is after they pushed bogus claims about president biden wanting to force americans to eat less red meat. and there's another one and another and another. joining me now, john avlon and amanda carpenter. i wanted to get your thoughts on the officer michael fanone interview as well. let's start with these things
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and knock down some of these lies and conspiracy theories first. good evening to both of you. amanda, first it was dr. seuss, mr. potato head. now the right is spreading full-on lies about biden and burgers, harris and children's books. is the gop willing just to latch onto anything to try to smear the biden administration, and the real question is does it speak to how desperate they are to get something on joe biden since he seems to be doing very well -- not seems to be doing. he's doing very well and he's polling well. they're just try to find anything, throw it against the wall, see if it sticks? >> yeah. i mean it's kind of incredible. most of these stories a couple years ago wouldn't have even made it to the topics list for "fox & friends" because they're so -- well, they're false. but they're just so incredibly frivolous. i think this speaks to the hold that donald trump continues to have on the republican party from his golden hermit palace down in florida, is that they
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really don't know how to have a policy discussion because they're still so scared of alienating him. and like no one knows -- donald trump never had a real policy agenda. so how can they actually fight the biden administration on anything substantive when they don't know when he's going to pop up and decide to tweet this or that? i'm surprised he's been this quiet for so long. but i really think they are only doing these frivolous things because of that. >> yeah. john, biden passed a nearly $2 trillion covid relief bill. he is hitting his pledges on vaccines, working on his massive infrastructure plan. are they doubling down on all these conspiracies and lies because they have no good answers to his policies? >> they could have answers. they should have answers, but they don't have the muscle memory, right? i mean the disinformation is so dumb, it reeks of desperation. that's what's key here.
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yeah, lies are the whole oxygen of this ecosystem. that's a given right now. but look how desperate it is to try to create these manufactured controversies out of whole cloth and hope they stick. and from dr. seuss on down to the banning burgers and the nonsense about the kamala harris book. and look what the reporter who resigned from "the new york post" said. quote, she was ordered to write an incorrect story. and that speaks to a deeper kind of corruption, a rot that's gotten in this right now. we are a deeply divided country, but they are still running that same play. but it is desperate. it is a sign of weakness, make no mistake. >> well, listen, amanda. we are a deeply divided country, but we don't have to be deeply divided in that way. i think the interview with officer fanone showed that. but think about it. the whole reason that someone like officer fanone is in the position that he is in, suffering the injuries that he suffered in the middle of a riot, is because of another big
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lie by trump and the republicans. >> i know. and the mattparty has not even close to coming to grips for the role in played in foe metro -- fomenting that insurrection. we haven't had a real conversation, and i was so thrilled that he decided to talk to you, don. you could tell that you earned his trust and we're all better for it, for hearing his side of the story because people like him have been forgotten. they were on the front lines, and it's really -- it's really hard to think of how somebody like kevin mccarthy walked into the capitol today past police officers who put their lives on the line and continues to downplay this thing. and people like senator ron johnson, who says it was a festive atmosphere, and you have all these maga mouths and other networks talking like it was no big deal. it was an extremely big deal,
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and i just -- i can't say enough good things about officer fanone. and god bless him and protect him and every man and woman like him. >> john. >> that's right. that interview was so powerful because of its authenticity, because you took the time to build a relationship, and it read. and it breaks down all of these artificial divides that too often dominate our debates. you know, that he is a capitol hill police officer who was attacked by a mob that bought into the big lie, showing that you can be pro-cop and anti-big lie, and these things that are used to divide us are fundamentally false. they don't reflect reality and the way we live. and that's why it was so powerful. >> yeah. he's actually with the metropolitan police department -- >> my apologies. >> i'm picking up what you're putting down. the interesting thing, though, john is i think that out of that interview -- and i want to talk about this. this is a lesson for republicans and democrats.
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and quite frankly i think it's a lesson for republicans and even for law enforcement because people sit at home and they think because i and others have to report on what happens with law enforcement and police-involved shootings, that we are therefore anti-police, and we are not. >> that's right. >> what we're for is we're for the good police officers, making police departments and policing better in america. and i think michael fanone is really, you know, the poster officer for that movement. and so one can report on how police departments need to change without being anti-police. yet the folks, amanda, who are supposedly pro-police are the ones who are saying that what happened to officer fanone was fake and that it was celebratory and that it was somehow good or what he experienced was not real or does not exist. >> release the footage. i thought that was one of the
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most important things he said. he want his body camera footage released. it's his footage. it belongs to him. if he wants it out, my god, let's see it because he said it would prove how violent that riot was. i think that would be important. that should be consensus between republicans and democrats. when there's footage available of these kinds of events, put it out so we can have consensus on what happened. >> you're right. release the footage. metro police, mayor of d.c., release the footage. the public deserves it, and the officer as well -- the officers. thank you, guys. that's got to be the last word. i appreciate it. thank you very much. want to dine outdoors with friends? the cdc says go for it if you've been vaccinated. does my aveeno® daily moisturizer really make my dry skin healthier in one day? it's true jen. really?! this prebiotic oat formula moisturizes to help prevent dry skin. impressive! aveeno® healthy. it's our nature.
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new guidance from the cdc today. they say you don't need to wear a mask outside if you're vaccinated. the exception being if you're in a big crowd. the president says it's another good reason to get vaccinated. >> for those who haven't gotten their vaccination yet, especially if you're younger or think you don't need it, this is another great reason to go get vaccinated now. now. >> so let's break this down here with the cnn contributor and professor at the university of
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massachusetts-dartmouth, the very smart gentleman with the very smart glasses on your screen right now. aaron, hi. so let's go through it here. the cdc guidelines for people when they're outdoors, they're saying everyone can safely walk, run, bike outdoors. are those rules essentially the same for vaccinated and unvaccinated people. >> yeah, and they've been that way for a long time. we've known that outdoor transmission is really rare, like 20 times less than indoors, maybe even much, much more than that. we've hung on to that particular guidance for such a long period of time just because the number of cases, the hospitalizations that we've seen, they've just sort of put this full-court press on trying to control the infection rate. but, you know, transmission outdoors, unless you're in a really tightly packed, crowded space, masks are really not needed.
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>> okay. so, now, when it came down today, i was at an outdoor place, right? and some people had masks on. others didn't. now, if you had a private -- maybe this is not your bailiwick. if you're in a private establishment, can they still demand that you wear a mask? >> when you go into a restaurant or bar -- >> or gym. >> just the same ways they can say no shirt, no shoes, no entry, we've all got used to that. so why not with the mask? >> got it. just wanted to make sure. and if you're vaccinated, they say you can even safely get together and dine outdoors with friends. is the main difference that you can now do that with people outside of your own household? what's the difference here? >> yeah. so i use a slightly different guidance, but what they've put forward falls into line with what i'm doing. so in the past where i used to wear a mask, i now don't wear a
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mask. so if i'm outdoors with mixed households, i don't field the need to wear a max because i'm vaccinated. the outside presents a much lower risk. where i used to avoid places in the past such as restaurants, tightly packed shopping centers, things like that, i now will go to those and wear a mask. so the vaccination has allowed me to shift what my daily activities are, you know, by substantially so that i can sort of reengage into society a little bit better. so they just give -- the mask has come off for me in certain places. now i'm going into places that i wasn't in the past. >> isn't it a little bit dangerous, though, i think or how do you know? how do you know who is double vaxed or fully vaxed? everyone is calling it the double "v." they'll walk around and say that. but how do you know if people are double vaxed or not?
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>> yeah. i mean you don't. so it's your own individual risk assessment that you're doing. so i look at my family. you know, my wife and i are about the same age. we've got two young children in good health. the risk to our family for severe disease is really quite low. we don't mix with older people. our grandparents live in australia or they live in virginia, so we don't see them very much. so our chances of being infected and then infect somebody that could be -- you know, have more severe outcomes is very low. so for us, we're able to take a little bit more. you know, if you're living in a multi-generational home, you've got people that potentially could be susceptible, you do need to keep the guard up to provide that extra layer of protection. so it needs to be an assessment that each person does and the cdc provides you with guidance on where and when but it also floods to be an individual choice as well. >> you still need to be careful. i would think, listen, i'm
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pretty much going to wear my mask the same way that i was wearing it before for now. it's just that if i'm outdoors running or exercising or with a group of people walking or something like that, then i probably won't feel the need to wear a mask. but indoors and restaurants, i'll probably have the same sort of behavior until more people get vaccinated. is that a fairly safe place to be? >> yeah, and it's going to be a really confusing couple of months now as we're sort of with that half vaxed, fully vaxed side of things. >> i got to tell you, though, in the winter months, i'm going to be wearing that mask. you know why? because i usually get the flu every year, and i didn't get it this year, and it's because of the mask. i know it because i always get the flu, and i didn't this time. thank you, sir. i appreciate it. thanks for watching, everyone. our coverage continues. rapid wrinkle repair®
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