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tv   Cuomo Prime Time  CNN  November 22, 2021 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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here they are practicing for a st. patrick's day parade, and here they are showing off their holiday moves at a christmas parade two years ago. ♪ >> reporter: the grannies are anywhere from their 50s to their mid-70s according to their website. the only requirement for membership is to be a granny, and they say among them they have approximately 100 grandchildren, and even some great grandchildren. they practice together once camaraderie, they say the smiles they see while performing is the reason why they do what they do. the milwaukee dancing grannies say those who died were extremely passionate, whose eyes gleamed with the joy of being a granny. gary tuchman, cnn atlanta. >> such a loss. the news continues so let's hand it over to chris for "cuomo prime time." >> thanks, john.
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i'm chris cuomo. welcome to "prime time." tonight we have a big guest to take apart this post-acquittal interview with kyle rittenhouse that just aired on the network with news in its name, but it hasn't been acting like a news organization. even tonight, now kyle rittenhouse who wants to tell his story, who wants to be understood for his own words, his own deeds, not what the media likes, not what the left likes, not what the right likes. sat across from a man, the same animus that's feeding on kyle rittenhouse, and that complicates for things and for a 17-year-old who says they went somewhere to protect a community that their father worked in, that they felt a connection to, he's become everything that is ugly about the battle between white and black and right and wrong and justice and injustice in this country. now, he was acquitted in this case, and people were upset buzz they said, well, what about the
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lesser charges. you really have to understand this, okay? once you decide the question as a jury of whether or not kyle rittenhouse reasonably used deadly force to defend himself, once you answer that question yes, he did, the charges are irrelevant. they are irrelevant because he is justified under the law in whatever the charges were. you see what i'm saying? the jury didn't skip it. they obviously looked at the charges, right? they came out. they asked the question, they wanted to watch the video, but you have to understand that part legally. it has nothing to do with politics. it has nothing to do with the jury. nothing. once they decided he was justified in using deadly force to defend himself, it was reasonable or whatever they feel, the charges go away. he's justified: it's an important point. now, we have his lawyer here
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tonight, and his lawyer mark richards had concerns about the prosecution. kyle rittenhouse talked about that a lot tonight. now, appreciate you being with us again tonight, mark, first what i want to know is as his counsel, how did you feel about what your client said and the context of which it came out tonight? >> well, i watched a little bit of it. i think it was -- it was his feelings, the way he felt treated by the system, maybe his two first lawyers and those types of things. i think he acquitted himself well. i think he's well spoken for an 18-year-old. he knows what this is about. >> and in terms of what this is about, are you comfortable with t prosecution against him being couched by his interviewer and by proxy, you know, by kyle because he's sitting there across from the guy that this was about politics, this was about the media wanting to get
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him. this was about a mob mentality. do you really believe that his arrest and the prosecution was exclusively a function of politics? >> nothing is exclusively a function of politics, but there was definitely -- i think politics played a huge factor in the rush to judgment in this case and not doing a thorough investigation for first degree murder charges were put on paper. i mean, he was arrested less than six and a half hours after this happened on murder charges. they hadn't even found all the evidence. they hadn't done the interviews, and they never once they got all the evidence, they never went back and looked at it. they just went forward. and i think it's pretty clear when the boss of that office was just a ghost throughout this trial and all these proceedings. you never saw him. he didn't want his hands
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anywhere near this because i think in the long run, he knew it was going to blow up. >> now, there was a lot said tonight about the first legal team, and just to make sure, anybody who was listening to the int interview tonight or reads about it. kyle rittenhouse was not talking about the guy on the show right now, okay? he's talking about his original legal team, specifically a man named linwood. now, what i thought was a little confusing tonight, mark, and i want your take on this, is that why is lynn wood a bad guy? he's a bad guy because of how he handled this case and because he is certainly one who co-opted kyle rittenhouse for political ambitions, no? >> yes. and, you know, i've been threatened with a lawsuit for what i said on your show on friday night. i stand by what i said. it's my opinion. they were using kyle to raise money. john pierce and lynn wood, john
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pierce and i'll say this because it's the truth and we have the bills to back it up -- was billing this kid at 1,200 bucks an hour for going out and buying a shirt for him, for taking his family to breakfast or lunch. it's ridiculous. and there might be some attorney somewhere on the earth that's worth $1,200 an hour, it's not john pierce. >> now, look, one of the things that didn't come out tonight and it didn't come out for a bad reason. it has nothing to do with your client, it has nothing to do with you, but it does have to do with the situation and the venue. lynn wood is a suspicious character because he has been peddling the same kind of trumpy rigged election stuff as the guy who interviewed your client tonight. and does that concern you at all about what it attaches an 18-year-old to? >> well, i mean, kyle had the common sense and good judgment to get away from lynn wood, and
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i give him credit for that. you know, lynn said -- and it's what he said to me when he threatened to see me, i wasn't his criminal attorney. if he wasn't his criminal attorney, he shouldn't have been inserting himself in the decisions that were being made in his criminal case, and that means having him interviewed by "the washington post." he denies that. but other attorneys in the case all know that it's true, and i'm not going to mention their names because it's just going to cause problems for them. i'm big enough i'll take it, but you know, i spoke to lynn wood's attorney today. there won't be a retraction for what i said because it's the truth, and i don't know what lynn's game is. he's got enough problems than to start one with me, i guess. who knows. >> let's give some context as to why you feel as strongly as you do. here's what your client had to say about his former attorney.
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>> 87 days of not being with my family for defending myself and being taken advantage to -- being used for a cause by these -- by john pierce and lynn wood trying to solicit -- not solicit, trying to raise money so they can take it for their own benefit, not trying to set me free. >> do you agree with that? >> i agree with the premise of it and what he's saying. i mean, the only thing i have a bit of a slide with on kyle in that is they still did raise the 2 million bucks to get him out, and that was a huge positive. it made my life and meeting with kyle preparing for trial incredibly easier, i should say, than anything else. you know, when you have to go and meet with a client in the jail, you're being monitored. you're worried about people listening in on your conversations. i was able to meet with kyle in my office in my conference room
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alone. if kyle had been in custody and not been able to make that bond, we wouldn't have been able to do the mock trials, test out our theories. it could have been a difficult result. so we're thankful that they got him out. they did have the money to get him out much earlier, and i don't think they worked to do it until there was some squawking by wendy, kyle's mother. >> do you believe that it is fair to paint kyle rittenhouse by way of his mom or by himself or the people around him as being about what lynn wood is politically, what tucker carlson is politically, that's why he had fox following his defense. he's one of their people? >> i don't think it is. i mean, kyle's been through a lot, and he's, i think, feeling his way along in the world. i've talked to him about politics. i've talked to him about things
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that happen in one's life, and i don't think he's a crazy right winger. that's what i would say. >> but you believe that those people did latch onto him and see him as the face of something. what do you think they wanted your client to be? >> well, i mean, they wanted to portray him as a militia member who is fighting and protecting the world from an inept government, and kyle wasn't a m militia member. he was, you know, at the time, by law a child. he was 17 years old, young adult and he went there to help somebody who he felt had been harmed. he wasn't there to send some message or be some member of some organized or unorganized militia. he was trying to help out a friend's past employer whose business had burned down the night before and had two
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businesses left. >> in your investigation, did you find that he had any affinity to or affiliation with the proud boys or any similar group of white sympathizers? >> no, and that was one of the big things the state wanted to do. they went through all of his social media. he voluntarily opened his apple iphone, which was encrypted to show that there was nothing there, and thaft was brought ou at trial. you know, john pierce took him to that bar where there were the people who i think were 3%ers and were supposedly providing security. that's a whole 'nother story with what pierce did in taking him down to miami and introducing him to enrique ontario. as soon as kyle found out who that was, he called his mother and got out of florida.
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this kid has better judgment than many people have portrayed. he did not want to be involved in the things that pierce wanted him involved in. i think pierce used him as an entree to some of these circles and you see it in the people who john pierce is currently representing. >> and you said the last time we spoke that if kyle could do it over again, he wouldn't even have been there that night? >> correct. >> why? >> because look at what happened to him. you know, he went there thinking he was going to do good by somebody, help them out. i don't think he thought that anything like this could ever happen. he now knows that something like this could. he almost lost his life, and if he didn't lose his life, he almost lost his freedom, and you know, i talked to kyle today, and he's -- he's processing it all, but he reiterated today i would never do that again. you know, i didn't mean to cut
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you off. >> no, go ahead, i'm here to hear you. go ahead. >> you know, and i get all these emails from people who want to give him another ar-15, and you know, that's not something we're interested in. he wants to go on with his life. he wants to be, you know, relatively quiet and go to college and get a degree and be a productive member of society quietly. >> what do you think of those efforts and those moves by satellite to this situation saying, hey, let's have a kyle sale until thanksgiving, a sale on guns because we're celebrating or the politicians who have said, oh, i want to give him an internship without knowing anything about the kid, just knowing that he was acquitted. what kind of messages do you think that sends? do you think that's something that kyle endorses? >> i don't think it's something he endorses. i think it sends a message that certain people are morons.
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you know, they know that if they say the word rittenhouse in a provocative manner, people are going to cover it, and they're going to get publicity for it, and maybe amongst some of their constituents, you know, some people refer to it as the base, it's going to advance their cause. it's profiting on a tragedy. >> are you worried about civil litigation now, different standard? you don't need unanimous -- obviously a unanimous decision from the jury. are you worried about that? >> not really. you know, the defense are the same, and who were the agg aggr aggressors. you know, the one lawsuit that is currently going on, kyle is not even a named defendant. you know, and any lawyer who wants to be successful knows that a third of zero is zero, and i just think the lawsuit against kenosha county, the city
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of kenosha and the law enforcement, i think it's laughable. the complaint filed against kyle on behalf of mr. gross wits doesn't mention the fact he was armed with a firearm when he went off kyle. it's based upon one statement somebody from an m wrap saying we appreciate you guys. i don't think that's enough to show that kyle was acting under color of law or anything along those lines. >> mark richards, you said a lot of people were commenting on what you said. just to balance it out, we had an avalanche of people saying that you were shocking in terms of your candor, your straightness, and being very even in terms of what you see and what you don't see in this situation and why, so on balance in this day andage age, i think you came out of this pretty good so far. i appreciate you doing this interview and being straight with us once again. it's an important night.
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>> appreciate the time. i hope eventually we can fade into the dark. >> mark richards, have a very good thanksgiving. >> thank you, you too. bye. now, to the newest wisconsin ho horror. it doesn't have anything to do with kyle rittenhouse. it doesn't really have to do with any of the things that we're struggling with, except one. crime. and how it's treated or not treated. the christmas parade attack in waukesha, he's a terrorist. he's not a terrorist. he's someone who shouldn't have been on the outside and free. that's why five people are dead. that's why nearly 50 others are injured. the driver was out of jail on a bail that was a joke for a guy like him with what he's accused of and what he's done in the past. and you know who believes that? the authorities now. the system failed, and he is just an example of it.
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he's not the worst. this happens all the time. is this proof of an overcorrection in our system? let's discuss with somebody who will take the other side. van jones, next. that's why they customize your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. [ ferry horn honks ] i mean just cause you look like someone else doesn't mean you eat off the floor, [ chuckles ] or yell at the vacuum, or need flea medication. oh, yeah. that's the spot. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪
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heart protection with your stomach in mind. try new liquid-filled vazalore. aspirin made amazing! so kyle rittenhouse is trying to get people to understand who he is and who he is not. he goes on tv tonight with a guy who says if kyle rittenhouse can save his own life, you can too. what kind of message does that send? well, we know what it sends. that's why people are trying to have kyle rittenhouse gun sales. and you see that the anti-defamation league says it's noticed a surge in right wing calls to arms online, especially after the verdict. see, that's what rittenhouse has gotten looped into. he says, his lawyer says it's unfair, it's not who i am. and the response to that on the left has been, well, this is something that we have to put down. we have to put down rittenhouse
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as one of these people. and that even went all the way to a campaign ad for president joe biden who used a picture of kyle rittenhouse as a white supremacist. he's not that either. here's his take on that. >> what did you make of the president of the united states calling you a white supremacist? >> mr. president, if i could say one thing to you, i would urge you to go back and watch the trial and understand the facts before you make a statement. it's actual malice, defaming my character for him to say something like that. >> now, look, i know what you're thinking. he's sitting across from a guy who gives shelter to ugly ideas of white whatever you want to call it on a regular basis. this guy is not tucker carlson. i know he was there. i know they gave access. those are bad choices, but i think that there's a lot of bad going on here. let's discuss now with van
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jones. in terms of what kyle rittenhouse and this verdict means and what it doesn't mean, what's your take? >> well, listen, i'm glad he's speaking for himself. i think the reason that you have a lot of shock and anger and frustration from the black community and from progressives is there's never been an african american kid, you think of 400 years of provocations and bad stuff that's happened and threats against us. there's never been an african american kid that's walked around with an ar-15 and shot three kids and got hailed as a hero. it's never happened. there's just from the very beginning there's a sense that there's a two-tiered system here where we don't have the right to self-defense in the same way. i don't have a second amendment right in the same way. if van jones walked down the street with an ar-15, you know what you'd say about me? it sure was nice knowing van jones because i'm not going to have a chance to explain myself. you're just dealing with the pain of people. listen, he got a fair trial. nobody's arguing anything negative about the jury.
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biden himself said respect the verdict. people respect the verdict, but there's still pain here about the sense of difference. we don't have the right to self-defense and second amendment in the same way others do. and you do have this vigilante edge that is grabbing onto this, the vigilante edge thinks a certain group of people, almost always white men can get guns themselves and impose the law whenever they want to. that is a negative. >> certainly tucker is playing at that when he says if rittenhouse can save his own life, you can too. that couldn't be less of the right takeaway from this case. by the way, that wisconsin law sucks and is part of this move towards stand your ground that removes the duty to retreat. and that you can only use deadly force after you've exhausted all other means. in deference to the outcome of this case and why i believe it was the right decision in terms of the correct decision under the law for the jury. this guy, rittenhouse did retreat. he ran away more than once, which gave him a veil of protection with this jury
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obviously. now, law and order matters. i think the message here should be everybody should get a trial like this. a judge that polices the prosecution, a jury that's open and doesn't buy into the agenda circling around a case, and a verdict that made sense under the law, and it's a bad law and the law should be changed. that's not what happened in this other case. this waukesha, wisconsin, case, the guy plows through a christmas parade in an suv, kills five people, injures dozens of others. the suspect had a terribly long criminal history. he had been released from jail less than two weeks ago in a domestic abuse case on a $1,000 bail that prosecutors now say was inappropriately low. this guy should not have been on the outside. yes or no? >> agree 100%, i mean, and that's part of the challenge here with bail reform and with all reform is that, first of all, it's a heartbreaking, horrific situation, and you know, my heart goes out to
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everybody who's affected. not just people who were killed, you got almost 50 people injured and we don't know how they're going to make it. this guy should not have been out on bail. here's what's going to happen. you're going to see people try and politicize it and make it be about, quote, unquote, bail reform. which is a complete non-issue. bail reform has nothing to do with criminal justice. a harvey weinstein could submit million dollars and go free and somebody else with no money in their pocket has to wait two years to see if their convicted. this guy shouldn't have been able to get out with a thousand dollars or a million dollars because look at his behavior. this is a situation where the system failed, but do not use this as an excuse to say that literally tens of thousands of other people who have done nothing wrong except get arrested, who have not been convicted should have to sit in jail for years because they don't have enough money to come out. most of the time this is what happens. the person -- i mean, the vast majority of the time the person is released on bail. they harm no one, and they come
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back, and often their charges are dismissed. that's the vast majority. you can't legislate around the exception to the exception as this case is. as painful as it is, it's the exception to the exception t. is not the rule. >> well, we're going to take it on in what's happening in san francisco. there's no question that bail can be unfair, but you got to make sure that the remedy makes things better. van jones, i know that's where your interests lie, and i appreciate you for being here to talk to us about it. >> thank you. now another trial, why do we have so many trials going on? well, because we have opportunities to see metaphors for where we are as a society. it's unusual to see them bunched up like this. i'll give you that, but we're not hunting for them. we're not searching for them. they're just there. this ahmaud arbery trial is another one. closing arguments are almost over. the prosecution always gets a chance at having a rebuttal. they don't have to take it obviously. that's what will happen tomorrow. you had the prosecution go, the defense went. now they have a chance to do the rebuttal, they do that tomorrow, and deliberations start.
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it should be a slam dunk case for the prosecution. they've got the video. they've got the law, and they've got the facts. the defendant who killed arbery admitted that arbery didn't threaten him in any way before he trapped and shot him. he admitted he could have gotten back in his car and left and chose not to. the jury now has to make a decision after the rebuttal. will they buy the defense arguments for the three on trial? we'll take you through what those arguments are and what gives these defendants any chance, let alone the best chance, next. i strip with the guys. i strip all by myself. breathe right strips open your nose for relief you can feel right away, helping you take in air more easily, day or night.
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just getting by. it's an ongoing struggle. that's why president biden and democrats in congress have a plan to lower costs for america's working families. lower costs of health care premiums. and the price of prescription drugs. pay less for electric bills by moving to clean energy. we do it all by making the ultra-wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. it'd be a win for the everyday american family. right when they could really use one. congress, let's get this done.
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- san francisco can have criminal justice reform and public safety. but district attorney chesa boudin is failing on both. - the safety of san francisco is dependent upon chesa being recalled as soon as possible.
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- i didn't support the newsom recall but this is different. - chesa takes a very radical perspective and approach to criminal justice reform, which is having a negative impact on communities of color. - i never in a million years thought that my son, let alone any six-year-old, would be gunned down in the streets of san francisco and not get any justice. - chesa's failure has resulted in increase in crime against asian americans. - the da's office is in complete turmoil at this point. - for chesa boudin to intervene in so many cases is both bad management and dangerous for the city of san francisco. - we are for criminal justice reform. chesa's not it. recall chesa boudin now.
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closing arguments are nearly over in the ahmaud arbery murder trial. today the prosecution went further than it has before on the race issue saying the quiet part out loud, about what may have motivated the three white men in their pursuit of arbery, a 25-year-old black man out on a jog. >> all three of these defendants made assumptions, made assumptions about what was going on that day, and they made their decision to attack ahmaud arbery in their driveways because he was a black man running down the street. >> the defense countered by putting the blame on arbery casting him as the boogeyman. >> he was a recurring nighttime
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intruder, and that is frightening and unsettling. turning ahmaud arbery into a victim after the choices that he made does not reflect the reality of what brought ahmaud arbery to satilla shores in his khaki shorts with no socks to cover his long, dirty toenails. >> what was that about with the toenails? let's bring in marilyn mosby and mark o'mara now. mark, do you believe the defense has a chance of getting any of the defendants off on some if not all of these charges? >> yes, i do for a couple of reasons. geography matters in a case like this. this case is being tried in brunswick, georgia, there is a skew in favor of the defense as far as the racial makeup of the
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panel, and more importantly, you've got roddie bryan who i thought give credit where it's due with his attorney did a pretty good job of showing him to be sort of a dolt who really didn't do all that much wrong. so that's going to be a difficult for the state. i even suggested i wasn't sure why the state didn't keep roddie out of this trial. but and dad mcmichael as well, you got to look at him and say, yes, he was certainly part of the chase team, right, and that brings him into it. that principle theory we have, but we said it way in the beginning when we first talked about this case, chris, travis was going to say that when ahmaud arbery took that left-hand turn maybe responding to words we've never heard, that that put the gun in play and made it necessary for him to defend himself. i don't think if it was a panel of law professors they would all be convicted, but that's not what we're talking about.
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>> you say skewed, it's 11 white guys and one non-white person. that's a pretty good sky. roddie's the kind of guy that should have been turned by the state, frankly. and he should be a witness in this trial. what do you think the expected outcome is? >> so, i mean, i have to be really candid with you, chris. i think the prosecution has the advantage of rebutting each and every one of the defendant's arguments and it will be fresh in the minds of the jury as they begin to deliberate, but if i'm the prosecution, i wouldn't -- i would continue to not be afraid to talk about the elephant in the room, which is race. the prosecutor has to be unafraid to challenge the notion that ahmaud arbery, who committed no crime other than running down the street while black was only perceived as a criminal because he was black and because three white men were actually threatened by his mere existence, which i would argue does not reasonably justify the imposition of his death. the prosecution should call out greg mcmichael's attorney who in
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her closing argument attempted to vilify and criminalize the victim in the eyes of the jury. i would call out the attorney's attempt to appeal to the ideals and the values and the life experiences of at least 11 while jurors through her coded language that would lend sympathy to her client. she purposely talked about the need for safety and security and comfort for the people we care about in good neighborhoods where we help police, we -- i would question who is she talking about when she says "we." she goes on to describe how children and dogs in communities based on the united states constitution deserve to never have to fear intruders and rather intentionally proceed to call ahmaud arbery a recurring nighttime intruder who had no legitimate reason to be on the vacant property. she then says ahmaud arbery was not an innocent victim and calls into question why he was there in the first place with khaki shorts and socks to cover his long and dirty toenails.
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i can't even begin, chris, to tell you how offensive and disrespectful her recitation and characterization of the victim is to me. and while the defense attorney's attempting to appeal to the ideals of the jury, it's a risky strategy to vilify ahmaud arbery in the way she did. there may be one or more people on that jury who will rightfully take offense to her vilification of the victim. >> the idea of referencing dirty toenails is that anything other than just a dirty tactic? >> no pun intended, that was a dog whistle to those 11, what she perceived to be friendly white jurors to, again, as was just said by ms. mosby to vilify ahmaud, to call him without saying the words that we can never say on tfrv or in a courtroom, that was what she was trying to get across to this
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jury, and i'm hoping that they take umbridge with it. i'm concerned she may be talking to members of the community that she knows better than i do. >> the interesting thing they should have learned in that trial is a lot of people went in and out of that build site, just like they did at my build site, and they go to build sites all the time, just like i've walked into them. he didn't take anything. they didn't see him do anything, and it's so interesting in a case -- we just came out of the rittenhouse trial -- the message is everybody should get a trial like that, a judge that's scrupulous and goes after the prosecutor, and a jury that can see past the noise. we'll see if if that's possible when we get this verdict in this one. mosby, o'mare ao'mara, thank yo. if i don't speak to you again, i'm thankful for you both. have a great thanksgiving. >> same. >> god bless. what happened in waukesha with that guy driving through, it's not about terror. it's not about terror, and it's not about, hey, it's a brown guy now, go after him the way you did against rittenhouse. this has got to stop, okay?
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there's a good conversation to have here, which is are we protecting communities or not with the changes that we're making. because this guy should have never been out on the street, and there's a crime wave that we have to look at, sweeping san francisco, other cities too, but san francisco more so, organized retail crime, mobs swarming into high end stores, coordinated robberies, also pharmacies walgreen's. it's a growing trend, why? it's not being policed. why? next. [ coughing and sneezing ] cold season is back. bounce back fast with alka seltzer plus. with 25% more concentrated power. alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh, what a relief it is ♪ so fast!
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why? in san francisco they've seen video after video of brazen sho shoplifting, scenes of thieves walking right out the front door arms loaded up with stolen goods. chicago last week it was a louis vuitton store hit to the tune of 120 grand in stolen merchandise. >> it's not something that is limited to san francisco. it's happening all over the country. san francisco is a focal point now. >> the numbers are higher in san francisco, and we'll talk about that in the next segment, but you know, it's being felt by people who would probably never step food in a nordstrom or louis vuitton. walgreen's says the cost of, quote, organized retail crime is why they're closing stores in san francisco. closing pharmacies, like walgreen's, cvs, you know who that hits? it hits the poor the hardest, but you see those mobs coming in and out? they're from those communities also, or at least that's what we're told. now, walgreen's is closing
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stores all over the country for all sorts of reasons, but the keyword here is organized. you don't get 80 people to hit a store on one night without someone putting together a plan, right? we've also seen where all that stolen stuff ends up. warehouses like this one after the people who busted in sell it to other people working for bigger groups. >> we've allowed criminal networks to create a business model selling stolen goods online, and that is what's put this problem on steroids. >> well, okay. if you want to play with the steroids line, fine, but what is the syringe? the syringe is a change in law enforcement that you don't go after these people the same way, why? a lot of reasons good and bad. the organization is fueling the idea of it, san francisco's 9.1% jump in property crime from last year. that's part of the problem. they also don't prosecute it the same way. why? well, the good reason is to go after higher value crimes,
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rapes, murders, so the docket's not as full with these petty larceny. store owners say they keep seeing the same people over and over. >> some of these people are chronic offenders, the police know who they are. >> cities become a poster child for more lenient policing. the voters said that's what they wanted. really? yeah, 2014. the voters, not the legislature changed the law there. a prosecutor can't bring felony charges unless you steal at least $950 wrtorth of stuff. in san francisco they elected a d.a. who campaigned on no longer prosecuting lower level offenses for the reason they gave you. that's a campaign promise kept. prosecutions for theft and petty theft are down compared to the predecessor. we'll see if voters still want that. the district attorney is facing a recall next year. one push by members of his own party. that d.a. is here, and he says it's unfair. let's get after it next.
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can't have people running in and out of the stores stealing stuff in bulk. it's a campaign commercial to get you kicked out of office. that's why the governor of california is promising exspendg to fight the organized shoplifting in places like san francisco. now, the district attorney in san francisco has gotten caught up in the political ranker of this. his name is chasa. welcome. >> thanks for having me on. >> they're coming after you on this. there are even democrats, members of your party who say it's the right move here. what do you say to your critics about the crime? >> let it be clear, i'm doing everything in my power to keep san francisco safe and to make sure that people who come to our city to commit crimes are held
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accountable. this is no one person job and it's not a problem that's limited to san francisco. as you pointed out a few moments ago, we're seeing these kinds of brazen robberies and burglaries all across the country. without regard to who is in effected office. what we need to do is make sure every agency plays its role. the police have the job of arresting and investigating these crimes and when they do that, and when they bring me and my office arrests, we file charges and we prosecute and then it's up to the judges to impose the appropriate sentence. everyone has a job to do and i'm focused with my investigative resources on detecting, disrupting and dismantling the organized crime networks that make fencing these stolen goods so profitable. >> but don't the policies here matter also? aren't you prosecuting fewer larceny kies and petty thefts t the d.a. before you? >> it only true if you cherry
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pick statistics during the pandemic. we know all of us are living through historically challenging times. the covid-19 pandemic dramatically changed everything about how we live our lives, how we investigate and prosecute crime and even changed the kinds of crimes that are occurring in san francisco and across the country. we launched a retail theft task force specifically to focus on more effective and more efficient ways to intervene in disrupting organized retail theft. the fact is as you look at my charging rates in 2021 after the pandemic settled down, we're charging rates at a higher number than current district attorneys in other counties around the bay area and at higher rates than my predecessor in 2018 or 2019. so we're doing everything we can and we need police to continue to make arrests and to bring us higher quality investigations. take the incident in union square a couple days ago. we know that more than 30 individuals were involved and the reality is only eight of
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them have been arrested. i'm planning on announcing criminal charges, felony charges against all eight tomorrow and we're going to work with the police to ensure they can bring the other individuals responsible to justice. >> how can it not be a policy argument, as well? i mean, property crime is up 9%. walgreens says that the theft rates in season fran are five times higher than their national average. something is going on there, right? or is san francisco just breed crime? >> well, historical context matters here. san francisco has led the country in property crime for over ten years. that's not a new problem and the fact is property crime dropped well over 20% my first year in office. so overall, 2021 property crime is lower than it was before i took office but regardless of what the statistics show, if people in my city don't feel safe, if they can't go about their business and live their lives in safety and comfort, then we have work to do and i'm going to do whatever it takes to
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make sure that everybody who lives in san francisco, who works in san francisco, that everybody who visits this great state is safe and feels safe every day they're here. >> you know, there used to be a time when crime like this was ramped, not in this organized fashion. this is new. it was called the broken widows policy because you have to bust the smaller crimes because it stops people from committing bigger crimes. here you have it in bail reform where 55% of the people out on bail of those released before trial were accused of a new crime while free. can you correction go too far? >> well, there is no question any policy can go too far. we got to be open to following the data and evidence. we've got to learn from mistakes that we make and i believe we made a lot of mistakes including broken window theory. that didn't work. the evidence is overwhelming the
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black and brown communities starved us of resources we need to invest in things like health care, public housing, education, job training, mental health, services, drug treatments, things that actually build safe and vie bbrant communities. we're committed to following data and evidence and intervening in ways that target root causes of crime. that's why we're expanding mental health care. that's why we're expanding diversion programs and that's why when police bring us cases involving felony conduct, we file charges and hold people accountable. >> we'll be watching and we wish good things for the people of san francisco. good luck. >> thank you so much, chris. appreciate you. happy thanksgiving. >> we'll be right back. with voltaren arthritis pain gel. my husband's got his moves back. an alternative to pills, voltaren is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory gel
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