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tv   CNN Tonight with Don Lemon  CNN  June 1, 2020 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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vantage point in the streets here. what they're doing is saying they want to keep demonstrating through the curfew. you have a lot of people here saying that's what they're going to do. but you have a number of folks who shea we want it to remain a peaceful demonstration. we don't want the message to get lost. it's 11:00. if you're essential you are allowed to be out. if you are non-essential you're supposed to be home. you have pokfolks not obeying curfew and continuing to march. >> standby, everyone. it is the top of the hour. 11:00 p.m. in new york city where i am. and a curfew is in effect in new york city. you can see people are still out in force. saying they are going to defy
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the curfew set by the mayor and the city. you hear the president of the united states threatening military force if cities didn't calm down. and send out military out on american citizens. we have been speaking to jason carol in brooklyn. in manhattan. pictures now this aerial shot. not sure where they are in this city of new york. all the protestors were supposed to be off the street of new york city by 11:00 p.m. it is now 11:01 and continuing. protestors are on the street. what wondering what will happen? will police arrest them or detain them or wait? we don't know. maybe continue to let them protest. again, with the very latest. where are you and what's dpoigo
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on? >> we're still making our way towards the barically center. the crowd is still bottlenecked here. waiting to see if some of the people are going to start going home and peel off. or continue towards the center. which is what you're hearing folks saying they're going to do. you have a couple different groups in the protest. they want to get the message out. we don't want to see any vandalism or looting. we want the message here to be clear. the message to be focussed on police brutality. having said that, you have also a nurl of people saying we want the message out by not honor the curfew. we'll have our message heard and keep marching throughout the nite. again, it has been peaceful. we have seen police. a number of police along the route that we have been walking on. so far, no arrests.
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and again a number of the protestors how are you going to play this? they will watch ask see what the police will do. and respond in kind. so, take that with grain of salt. we'll see what happens. it's now just passed 11:00. curfew in full effect. we have thousands here still marching towards the center. in brooklyn. >> i want you to standby. we are keen to know your progress and what's happening. i want to get to brian. you are in midtown as i understand. and i know downtown in midtown in the so ho and the village. the looting went on. >> pretty widespread looting in midtown. especially the eastern portion. we're talking about areas near
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trump tower. along fifth avenue. madison avenue. i witnessed an eyeglass shop being looted. in some cases just windows being smashed. and other cases stores are being broken into. this has been going on for two hours. i have arrived back home. between 9 and 11:00 p.m. it was a sense of anarchy on the streets. along park avenue and madison. fifth and sixth avenue. areas around harold square and the macy's store. have been broken into. some fires and trash cans. by and large there was wilding. as police describe it. young people on the streets committing acts of vandalism. some urging friends not to do it. but very much a by the hundreds. hundreds of people swarming the streets entering stores. property damage is nowhere near as important as physical loss of life. protestors are rite to be
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speaking out against loss of life. i want you to know the property damage is widespread. we're talking about a neighborhood of city that's been shut down due to the pandemic. stores have been closed. now those stores are having to board up. some of the workers are boarding up as fast as looters arrive. talking about best buy, some high end boutiques. i mention some is very close to trump tower. i was watching windows being smashed. there's a store that opened after two months. that is damaged as well. we are seeing widespread looting. >> standby. i want you to continue to work with me and help me out. it's recognizable when you look at it. you can't put your finger on it. i think this is from broad way. midtown. you can see looters now running
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because police are showing up. i would imagine. >> that's what i was witnessing. this is nearby. a real cat and mouse game with the police and vandals. police are protecting certain part rs of the the city. cathedrals and big buildings and police precincts. i thought that were out numbered. there was attempt to make sure no fires were set. this is a fluid situation in midtown. we have seen looting and windows smashed on edges of of sometime square and diamond district. lexington and madison. eastern midtown. >> it looks to me as if -- just watching this on tv. it looks like the looters get in and mix in to the protests and
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get ahead of the protests. >> that is so tragic. >> just before they come. they go in and steal things and run or mix in. >> it's so tragic. >> they pass and do the same thing. >> because we're seeing beautiful pictures from brooklyn. people protesting with their civic right. the curfew is in effect. but mostly irrelevant to the young people who are out tonight. police are shutting down streets to stop traffic. we're seeing what happens. what i witness is you have people out there who are taking advantage of the situation. who will put their hands up in the air when they say police officers but engage in vandalism when the police officers are gone. that is so disappointing. for this movement. this i can't breathe movement. which needs every individual it can have. on the side of the peaceful protest. >> the mayor said no curfew until tonight.
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he said he wasn't. and decided to do one. the governor of new york, governor cuomo was on earlier and said no thank you to the use of military or national guard. in new york city. as of now. said no, thank you to the president of the united states. this is a curfew that is being violated. it is not the end of the world. it is really awful for people who own property and businesses and those businesses are being looted again not by the protestors who are out in the street. from the looters who are mixing in with those legit hat protestors. and are stealing. this a nike store. you can see folks passing there. i want to get to caitlyn collins joining us now.
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and i want to bring in cnn political analyst. along with her. what is happening in d.c. tonight after the president's announcement? >> i want to note something for you that we have noticed as we're over looking the square. where you saw the president walk through earlier fwoing to the church to take photographs. they are constructing a fence on the edge of the square. normally there is not one. they put up short barricades about the size of a bike rack. now we are watching them construct this fence. it looks to be about eight feet tall. a tall black fence out ling the edges of the park. we'll zoom in here. it's really noticeable. i have never seen this here in all the time in washington. this is exactly where the protestors were earlier today before they were forced out by tear gas and flash bangs. they are constructing this large fence outside of the square.
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outside the white house. >> i want to bring in david. and talk about the scenes that you're seeing over the country. specifically new york. this is what president wanted governors to dominate. what was happening here. what's happening now here in new york. >> yeah, it's really sad to see. we have to separate these scenes out. and these stories out. so what we're covering live what's happening in the streets of new york is not a protest in the name of george floyd. it is not part of a movement. it's lawlessness and crime. maybe people are frustrated and taking it out. we have no idea. we know that people have come in and taken over what are peaceful, purposeful protests and committing crime. what does it have to do when you go loot a business or destroy a business? it happened throughout in a
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checker board way throughout the district of columbia. that is not the aim. yet when there were peaceful protests, near the park tonight. then you have the police using tear gas to clear it for the president's photo op. which is offensive. which makes no sense. we have different layers of this story going on. we have to be able to hold them in our head at the same time. >> when you heard the president say what he said today and what he did today, you have covered the white house. you are a big political player journalist in washington. what did you think? >> i just thought he is so out of balance. he began his remarks referencing and condemning the killing of george floyd. but it almost felt like short
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tripped. he stamped his feet and said we won't put up with the lawlessness and again i think falsely describing the majority of the protests is being taken over by mobs and comparing it so domestic terrorism. we have to be able to separate these things out. so many of the protests have been with purpose. and have been peaceful. they get mixed in with people who are not protesting who are actually destroying property. he wants to align himself with one thing. that is he's going to kick butt around the country and clear the streets and if you're not doing that, you're not being tough enough. that's not what a president does. a president needs to do is calm down -- speak to multiple constituents at once. he has to speak to the pain, the trama, the anger, the frustration. the sense of why should we play within the rules when the law and order meant to protect us isn't protecting us on streets? and at the same time say to
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people who are watching on tv, what does this have to do be george floyd? the destruction of businesses. he just came down with the one. suggesting it was terror. and it's so political. it's meant not to bring the country together by appeal to one element. his political base. that is looking at this like we're in 1968. kp nixon at the republican convention saying he's the law and order president. that what you're seeing on the streets the protests and like that is not america. it is america. it's america today going through a deadly pandemic. 40 million people out of work. and people of color around this country who are being abused in their communities. it makes people really frustrated and angry and sad. it's not just people of color. we are all feeling that way. just as we're feeling sad and sickened by looting in the streets of new york. or washington.
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or other communities. >> very well said. thank you. i appreciate that. you're watching live pictures from very near madison square garden. the curfew started at 11:00 p.m. about 14 minutes ago. need to tell you tomorrow the curfew will be extended except mayor of new york says the curfew will be extended until tuesday. more violence and property destruction occur in new york city. on monday. tuesday curfew is set to begin at 8:00 p.m. according to a tweet from de blasio. it began at 11:00 p.m. tonight. 8:00 p.m. tomorrow night. we'll continue to move on here. as we continue to watch the pictures. we'll take a short break. when managing diabetes you can't always stop for a fingerstick. with the freestyle libre 14 day system, a continuous glucose monitor, you don't have to.
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break news. louisville, kentucky. we have been seeing louisville scenes there play out. since the beginning of this. this is the seventh nite of the protests. some of the protestors talking to police. this looks peaceful. which is good. we did see a number of clashes with louisville on friday last week and earlier in the week. and over the weekend as well. many of the cities are on curfew under curfew orders. new york city as a matter of fact just about 20 minutes ago. there are still a number of protestors on the street. i believe that louisville may have a curfew. not exactly sure. there's so many cities and curfews. it's hard to keep track. producers, check it out. people are still out. and lots of horn honking that i can hear of now. but, so far, from my vantage
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point, where we are, not many conflicts going on. president trump claiming he is an ally of peaceful protestors at the same time peaceful protestors were tear gassed outside of the white house gate. joining me now to talk about it. the coleader of the national women's march. the senior organizer of community change action. a president of the louisville urban league and director of the denver school board. i'm so happy to have you all on. thank you so much. trying to get everybody on. i saw you guys at the press conference the other day. i was like man, we have to get them on the show. thank you. how are you feeling tonight ability the direction the protests have taken?
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>> i really have been trying to promote peaceful protests. i'm here in the city in denver. we have had agitators tla are spray painting black lives matter part of the movement but allies or supposed to be allies in the fight. and we didn't ask for that to be done in the city. >> how do you handle looters who show up at your protest? >> we told them we said if yur leer to loot and destroy. go home. we're not playing games with you. you won't destroy the city in the name of black lives matter and we feel the blame. that's what the media will say the black lives matter protest did this. >> what are you feeling tonight? happening in cities across the country. >> how i would handle looters. i would arrest the cops. get people off the streets and home and be able to determine
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who maybe looters and criminals. and who are actually protestors. rite now everyone is on the streets together because the police officers killed george floyd. have not been arrested. the police officers who killed bre taylor haven't been arrested and the men who killed ahmaud arbery have been arrested. haven't been brought to full justice. we have to have real conversation in america about what's happening here. looting and violence that and the vandalism and all of that is one part of the issue. the true violence started when a man was killed on camera and yet a week later we do not have anything that looks like justice. >> i think -- to clarify. arrest the police officers who were involved with george floyd and his death.
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>> actually, not really. police officers who have taken innocent lives all over america. i don't think is just about george floyd. what we're seeing happening on the streets. >> go ahead. i see you shaking your head. >> i think she's kpagtly right. it is about years and years of lack of access to justice and accountability on the police department. it's about good officers not calling out bad officers. black people feeling like their lives don't answer and no accountability. the other part we cannot forget if there were no video in george floyd's case he would have been characterized as some horrible criminal. he resisted arrest. they couldn't control him. they had to do it. he killed himself. if there were no video in ahmaud arbery. really it's not even just about what police are doing, this stuff is happening on the street
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is about white people not wanting to hear us. to see us and feel our pain. that is what this is about. you can't keep pushing that down and thinking it's never going to boil over. our cities are boiling over because people are in pain. they cannot continue to be ignored. imagine her mother. you make the call and say when you get home from work, call me. covid-19. you're child is working. taking care of people on the front line. risking her life. mom, i'm home and lays down and now she's dead. and nobody has been held accountable? unacceptable. >> we all have that call. i'm an old man. my mom still if i don't call her and let her no i'm home. she checks.
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i get text after text and wake up and say mom i fell asleep. yes, i made it home. standby. i want to ask the police chief in your city was fired today. talk about that. >> the police chief in my city was allowed to resign a couple of weeks ago. i can't remember. i was under the impression the conversation went like listen we're going to fire you unless you resign. i guess that wasn't it. today was the last day and the mayor decided he would cut the police chief. that's fine. we need a new police chief. we have to handle these officers. we have to have accountability for the officers. they need to be terminated and prosecuted. >> we see several arrests or at least at this moment. people are being detained. this is oakland, california. i want to ask you, mike, you can weigh in-over whatever i want. answer this question and talk about what you want. the president saying he'll call
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in military. if governors don't dominate. that's a quote. dominate the streets. how are people supposed to peacefully protest if he's threatening escalation of force? >> part of the first amendment right in america is to be able to peacefully protest. the only way black folks in this country can get white people to listen is protesting and voting. donald trump is a front to america, it's a front to black folks freedom. we need to be able to protest in this country. for white people to be able to listen to us. why? because there are systemic problems that are happening in this country. i have sat here in the apartment for three months and watched you explain to the nation the black people are more likely to get covid-19 and die. not because we are inherently different than white people.
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because there are structures in the country set up to make me more likely to die from is it. ray tack the structure of what's happening. we can put police officers on every corner in the street of minneapolis. what's happening in new york city is exactly what happened in minneapolis. they can escalate with police and a curfew. these are band aid solutions. unless we fix the big problems long term, we'll be back here in three months and six months or a year. when i'm the next person to die. or my next brother or nephew. >> standby. i want to get to oakland. let's get to oakland. we find cnn dan simon. >> we have several dozen protestors being arrested. police warned them they were in violation of the curfew. and now these folks are taken into custody.
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you can see all of these protestors lined up against the wall. police officers are talking too them. police officers had told them if they didn't evacuate the streets or disperse by 8:00 p.m., local time. they would be arrested. that is what's happening now. this follows a very peaceful protest. that we saw this afternoon. we saw hundreds of youth throughout oakland marching throughout the streets. there was a rally at a local high school and came down. and you have several of the folks who joined in the rally. these do not appear to be young people. at least not high school. the folks who organized the rally earlier. and as you can see now they are trying to get the streets evacuated and disperse. looks like they'll be here for quite a while. >> in oakland.
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this will play out throughout america tonight and for the coming days. i want to get back to my guests. our time is short. because of all this going on. i want to thank you for the work that you do. and invite you to come back any time, please. and continue to be safe. and keep up the fight. thank you so much. i appreciate your time. >> thank you. a seventh night of protests. as protestors are tear gassed near the white house so the president can stage a photo op. how it happened, next. ♪ ["good job" by alicia keys] ♪ you're the engine that makes all things go ♪ ♪ and you're always in disguise, my hero ♪ ♪ i see your light in the dark ♪ ♪ smile in my face when we all know it's hard ♪ ♪ you're doing a good job a good job ♪
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♪ you're doing a good job ♪ don't get too down ♪ the world needs you now ♪ know that you matter
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a stunning scene in washington this afternoon. military style trucks rolling through the white house complex. onto pennsylvania avenue. filled with national guard troops. right before police fired tear gas on peaceful protestors. we have the latest. >> demonstrations at the park across from the white house. peaceful. until this. >> all of a sudden they're eyeball to eyeball. >> law enforcement in riot gear approach. protestors hands up in the air chanting don't shoot. that's exactly what they did. shooting tear gas and rubber bullets. these horrifying sounds heard in the white house rose garden. where the president starts to speak. >> i am your president of law
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and order. and ally of the all peaceful protestors. >> the realtime split screen tells a different story. peaceful protestors forcibly moved. the president mostly sidestepped the frustration and despair triggered by george floyds death at knee of a white police officer. instead condemning violence in cities across the country. >> these are acts of domestic terror. the destruction of innocent life. and the spilling of innocent blood is an offense to humanity. and a crime against god. america needs creation not destruction. >> a warning to governors and mayors. n >> if a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend life and property of the residents, then i will deploy the united states military and quickly solve the problem for
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them. >> then the reason peaceful protestors were forcibly moved became more clear. to make way for the president to stage a photo op. >> i'm going to pay my respects to a very special place. thank you very much. >> a walk across the street for the cameras. aids in tow. through the park. destination, historic st. john church. where presidents prayed since james madison. this president did not come to pray. a fire damaged part of it the night before. a useful backdrop. >> we have a great country. >> he didn't use many words. they weren't necessary. the image holding up a bible in front of the church was what he wanted to convey. inviting up staff. all white. perhaps not part of the script he intended. but a stark visual non-the less. >> one of the reasons the president was so eager to get out of the white house is
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because of the reporting that he was in a bunker on friday. and he was concerned according to our colleague that that made him look weak and so one of the reasons he wanted to get out and try to counter that image. and another thing i should tell you the white house is insisting that the protestors were moved part of a larger effort to expand the perimeter near and around the white house. in advance of the 7:00 p.m. curfew in washington. >> thank you. i appreciate that and the nice try for them on their part. joining me now. cnn historian and political analyst. i appreciate you joining us. gentlemen, what happened in washington today? it was extraordinary. the president says that he is
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the president of the law and order. but, is what we saw chaos? at the president who is i don't know at his most chaotic? >> i think what we have seen from the white house today was what we have seen from the white house for the last four years. not a president who is interested in uniting the country. not a president who is interested in the taking the most of what will be the most logical or constructive action. one interested in making a political point. he takes the bible -- >> standby. i need to get to breaking news in los angeles. i understand there are arrests. >> this is on sunset boulevard. in hollywood. this is what we are looking at. i'll have my camera man zoom in. we have to be at a bit of a
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distance. these are people who violated the curfew. you can see stla their hands behind them. hands are zip tied and law enforcement has them looking at plywood. why is the plywood there? that business has put up the plywood to try to protect it. because there were reports of these protests coming straight down through hollywood. it's a little difficult to exactly count how many people here. dozens of people. we don't know if they were just walking about. i don't see any signs. i don't know how they got here. you can see for yourself the police at this time here in los angeles taking this curfew very seriously. when we were walking up here, we could we heard police cars. officers in their squad cars
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shouting out that it's a curfew. your car will be impounded. you will be arrested. and this group at least is certainly looks like they potentially could be loaded onto a bus and be ticketed. we don't know exactly how law enforcement will handle them. dozens of people here on sunset boulevard with their faces against plywood and hands zip tied for violating curfew here in l.a. we were in the middle of a march for hours. we walked with protestors. and it was largely peaceful. there were -- i couldn't count. hundreds of people. you couldn't see the beginning more the end of the march. that was peaceful. there are reports of some looting here in the hollywood area. and other parts of los angeles. we don't know if the people here
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that you see behind me are connected at all. to the looting. certainly for violating curfew, they can be ticketed and possibly taken in. >> potentially loaded in a bus and taken away. >> thank you. reporting live from los angeles. i want to bring you back in and finish your thought. pardon me. i asked about what happened in washington today. was it the president was trying to establish law and order. was it him at his most cay yours trulyic? >> yes. you are on the right point. the president bathes in chaos. he hasn't shown interest in being a unifying figure. saying the things sometimes even his advisers urge him to do. it's not a role he's interested in playing. the one is one that's about the political show. we saw another one of those today.
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what was the really striking thing about that, moments after saying he's the president for peaceful protest. violates that within minutes. >> it was during. as he was saying it. >> that statement couldn't even last the breath in which it got out. it sticks with people. not only just the type of president who hasn't shown interest in unifying the country. someone when violates their own words within minutes and seconding of saying it. >> as we continue we scroll through the cities. oakland and los angeles, kentucky. new york city. this screams of a parallel to richard nixon 1968 election campaign. running on law and order. and appeal to white anxiety. is this all about president trump's reelection?
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>> it's absolute lit about his reelection. for april and may of 1968 when johnson was president, deciding not to run because oflt vietnam war. we had riots break out in 125 cities in the united states. due to martin luther king, jr.'s death. lbj kept trying to heal the country and words of reassurance. like the civil rights act in 1965. to unite people. nixon sought to divide things with the idea of law and order and the fact it worked for him. nixon won in 1968 and continued on law and order and won in 1972. over the biggest landslide in american history. and so this trump taking a nixon page. mixed with the reality tv star the apprentice. i found it despicable it watch the president do a stunt like that. spray tear gas and the public
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people's park of protest. fire rubber bullets at people. go in some demagogue hold the bible like it was upside down. in front of the church that president's go to really pray at. since james madison. it was a shameless piece of theater by the president of the united states. it makes me frightened for what we're looking for. this is no longer the summer of covid-19. it's the summer of anarchy. i don't know. everything is unraveling quickly. i don't know how we can deescalate this. the president of the united states sure isn't helping the matter. >> we have more scenes of young people who are out being detained for whatever reason. peaceful protest or we don't know. looting or what have you. not sure, we're not there on the ground. thank you. many americans sure not to forget this come november 3.
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whether they are for or against this. this will be sered in the minds of americans. dallas and our affiliate. a reporter there on the scene. this is new york tonight curfew in effect for 45 minutes. protestors are still out. they are marching and walking. defying this protest. so far, we have not heard or seen any arrests. but we'll check in with our crews on the scene. just to make sure. these protests all started with the death of george floyd. today the independent autopsy report it was released showing how he died. those results in the attorney representing floyd's family. next. chances are you know us. yoo-hoo, progressive shoppers. we laughed with you. sprinkles are for winners. we surprised you. on occasion, we've probably even annoyed you. we've done this all with one thing in mind. to help protect the things you love. and if we can't offer you the best price
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breaking news. shimone, what are you seeing? don, it's a tough night here in new york city. and i think tomorrow, most of us who live here in the city are going to wake up to a very different city. it's just looting. widespread looting, all across the city. all across manhattan. i was talking to a source, law enforcement, it was a friend of mine. he's out here. he's working. and he explained to me that it's bad, from north to south of manhattan.
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dozens and dozens of stores being looted. for the last several hours, all you could hear in this city are police cars racing to the different scenes where this looting is taking place. and it's not that the police are outnumbered but it's really in some ways, just sheer chaos. i've never experienced anything like this. i was talking to someone earlier here, who said that he hasn't seen anything like this since the '77 blackout. that's how widespread some of this looting is. everywhere from the upper eastside to lower manhattan. we, ourselves, caught images of people looting a store. and what i'm seeing and from what i can tell, it's a very organized effort. i've seen people walking with duffel bags, like duffel bags that they brought with them to -- to manhattan. where they have stuffed items that they've looted from different stores. i'm behind macy's here. this is the famous macy's here
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on 34th street. it was boarded up to protect it from looters. they got inside. police actually chased the looters in there, and they arrested five of them. and you still see, there is a curfew here at 11:00. there are people still on the street walking. no one has been arrested for violating the curfew. and that could be because the police are dealing with all the looters and that is what is taking up a lot of their time. the source also told me what he described as tons of arrests. and they're dealing with a pretty chaotic situation. it has been quiet now. i'm not hearing the same sirens that i was hearing earlier. but i just point out that tomorrow, when people wake up and when they walk the streets of manhattan, they're going to see a very different city than what -- than when they went to sleep. let me just make one other point. the mayor's office says they are now changing the curfew time to 8:00 starting tomorrow. >> i've got to run for time,
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shimon, thank you very much. i just want to make it clear as well. i'm not sure macy's -- some of the stores were boarded up because of corona -- because they were closed so long for coronavirus. but yet and still, i'm not sure if macy's was one of them. but yet and still, people should not be going in there looting them. it's just really, really awful. your point is well taken. thank you very much. shimon prokupecz out in the streets. curfews in most american cities, protestors are out for the seventh day. let's discuss now what's happening. attorney for the floyd family. ben, thank you so much. we appreciate you joining us once again. the county says mr. floyd's death was homicide resulting from being restrained. how does that jibe with the independent autopsy commissioned by the family? >> well, it was interesting, after the family's independent
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autopsy, dr. michael biden and alicia wilson came to the conclusion that the cause of death, medically, don, was mechanical asphyxiation based on the knee to the neck and two knees to the back for almost nine minutes. that compressed his lungs. that did not let them contract. and it caused him not to be able to have airflow and blood go to his brain. the legal cause of death was homicide. and so, now, the county medical examiner has agreed with us on that position. >> let me point some stuff out here as our time is short because of the breaking news and i apologize, in advance here. you point out the independent autopsy report shows it was compression of the neck, as you said. but it's also compression of the back. so it's not just about x officer chauvin. but the other officers, too, that you are saying are also. >> exactly, don.
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and so, hopefully, attorney general keith ellison will now consider that as he looks at the other officers, quite -- quite literally, don, the ambulance was the hearse for george floyd. that ambulance that picked up because he was dead at the scene. >> how's -- doing? because we had that moment yesterday on the air where he got to speak. through sara sidner to the police chief in minneapolis. and then, get his response. how -- how is he doing? and how is the family doing tonight? >> don, they are taking it one step at a time. but they want to thank you, don. that was a very powerful exchange for all america to see. and right now, they're just taking a breath. you know, george floyd autopsy resulted that he literally was starving for air. he needed a breath.
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so the floyd family and i am asking everybody in america, let's take a breath for justice. let's take a breath for peace. let's take a breath to heal our country. and let's take a breath for george. >> thank you very much. benjamin crump. we appreciate it. our regards to the family. woel' see you soon, you be safe. so police and protestors facing off nationwide. but there are also moments of people coming together. in flint, michigan, the sheriff put down his baton and listened to protestors. >> we want to be with y'all, for real. so i took my helmet off, they laid the batons down. i want to make this a parade, not a protest. that's it. we got little ones here. you got dogs. so what's up? so listen. i'm just telling you. these cops love you. that cop over there hugs people so you tell us what you need to do. >> walk with us! walk with us! walk with us!
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>> let's walk. let's walk. >> that was genesee county sheriff chris swanson and he joins me now. sheriff, i'm sorry our time is short. for the breaking news, you understand what's happening on the streets all over the country. you are being called an inspiration for how you worked with that march and just -- and for peaceful -- making things peaceful. what was going through your head in that moment? >> i'm going to tell you i couldn't do my part if i didn't have johnny franklin, quon adams, jeff hawkins. they were community leaders in that group that saw that i wanted to hear what they had to say. that we wanted to let them voice their opinion. that's what the frustration is. you need to let the people talk. and when those three brothers stepped up, and i gave a big bear hug and i said what do you need? they said walk with us. and that's the change. you got to listen to the people and walk with them. i'm telling you.
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it starts from the grassroots. >> let me jump in. it's very different of what we saw today. the sort of militaristic state playing out in washington and the president saying he's going to deploy the military here, in america, to prevent violence. what's your reaction to that? do you want that in your city? >> in flint, michigan, we had protestors. we had protestors, who remembered the message of george floyd. just like mr. crump said. that's the focus that we had that day. we have been blessed to have community leaders that saw the message, that acted, and have set the tone across the nation. my heart -- my heart breaks for those cities. you know, your report on new york city. we're being watched by the entire world. and we are one nation, one blood, and i'm going to tell you. it's -- it's -- the protestors who put that voice out that needed to be heard. we can't not lose that focus. >> uh-huh. there are calls all across the nation for police reform. i'm wondering what that change means because you mentioned the name george floyd, john, alton
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sterling and on and on. what does that mean? what does reform mean to you? >> 100%, we have to be held to the highest standard. law enforcement can stop calling wrongs right. we have to do the right thing. there should be no such thing as a bad cop because if they're bad, they shouldn't be the police. we need to root those people out. that means terminations. that means charges, if they do wrong. the public expects more. george floyd changed american policing. and that's why people want to be talked to. that's why they want to be listened to. and it starts with the police, don. we have to be the ones who start the conversation, take the initiative, and bring it to the street. >> you got any advice? i know that's partial advice. you got any advice for departments along the country looking to improve in the short time we have left? >> yeah, absolutely. don't give up on the people. no matter what's happening thin your city, don't give up. they are the ones we protect and serve. you walk into your communities. you use your power, your influence, your grassroots, your leaders, and you ask them will you walk with us?
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because we want to walk with you. that's what happened in flint, michigan. >> that's exactly what sheriff chris swanson did. he walked with the protestors and he understood and he had a conversation with them. and you met them where they -- where they are. and that's what we need. that's what america needs. thank you for your service. i appreciate you joining us here on cnn. >> thank you. >> and thank you, everyone, for watching. our live coverage continues now with my colleague mr. chris cuomo. chris, that's how you do it, brother. >> well, i'll tell you what. they serve the community. they're supposed to be part of the community. the community is supposed to have the trust that the police are a phone call away for them. not a moment away from coming after them. and it takes time to build it and it's lost in a moment. so that sheriff was right. he was right to do what he did. but as i heard -- i forget who it was -- i think it was cedric said it on your show earlier tonight. it's important now, but it's important when there isn't a dead, black man in the


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