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Outrage After Trump Says It's "A Great Day" for George Floyd; NFL Commissioner Says NFL Was "Wrong" Not To Listen To Its Players About Racism; 11Th Night Of Protests Over The Death Of George Floyd; New Calls For Minneapolis Police Union Chief To Resign; Police Searching For Cyclist Accused Of Assaulting 3 People Posting "Black Lives Matter" Flyers. Aired on 8-9p ET

Aired June 5, 2020 - 20:00   ET




For 11 days now, we have been hearing the call for change in this country. It's coming from the ground up, and people of all races and backgrounds, in the middle of a pandemic.

Just think about that for a minute, as you look at the live demonstrations on your screen, not only are people risking their safety by speaking out, and confronting police, which is something most people never do in their lives, they are also putting themselves at a greater risk for a virus that's already killed 109,000 people in this country, a virus which is still here, still transmittable, still killing people all around the world.

That is how urgently people one real, and lasting change, in the wake of George Floyd's killing by police nearly two Mondays ago. It's how badly they want an end to his been a long running and deadly injustice to African-Americans in this country, and, to redeem the country's long-standing promise of equal justice under the law, because you cannot have law and order without equal justice under the law.

And polling shows a majority of Americans, most who you do not see marching, agree with them. The question tonight, how will those who right now hold power respond to the calls for change?

Keeping them honest, events have shown the answer is mixed at best, and something else entirely at the very top. Today, Minneapolis City Council, pending the final OK from a judge, approved an agreement barring police from using neck restraints and chokeholds.

New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced a new police reform bill that he said would bring more accountability and transparency to law enforcement. At the same time, and remember, this is in the middle of a national protests over police brutality, we have continued to see instances of police hitting people with batons, not when they're under threat or provoked, but just because they could.

And we have seen moments like this.


COOPER: Police in Buffalo, knocking a 75-year-old man on the pavement, leaving him lying there with head injuries that sent him to the hospital.

By contrast, we've also seen police doing their jobs responsibly, and some police even taking a knee with protesters. Or Houston's police chief, with protesters cheerfully recounting George Floyd's last moments.

In all, whether it's rank and file, their bosses or elective officials higher up, there has been a spectrum of responses over the last 11 days, who had the very top, that is not the case.

Today, the country got some good news. The economy gained about 2 million jobs, out of 20 million lost in the pandemic, which clearly is ways to go, but it's progress on the economic front, and the president understandably wanted people to know it.

In an impromptu press conference he held this morning, he wanted people to know a lot of things. He did a victory lap on the economy, on the pandemic, on the veterans bill he claimed could only get past, even though it passed in 2014, the seats by the way, were deliberately not arranged for social distancing, because in the word of the deputy press secretary, it looks better. So much for all of those warnings by Dr. Fauci, and Dr. Birx, and the coronavirus task force. The president has clearly decided the virus is not a winning topic for him anymore.

He then began at 10 30, and just to give you an idea of what the president's priorities are, after 11 days of these stunning protests, and the day after memorial services for George Floyd, it took him 22 minutes to mention Mr. Floyd, and this is how he chose to do it. Here's what he said.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We all saw what happened last week. We can't let that happen. Hopefully, George is looking down right now, and saying this is a great thing that's happening for our country, it's a great day for him, it's a great day for everybody.

It's a great day for everybody. This is a great, great, day in terms of equality. It's really what our Constitution requires, and it's what our country is all about.


COOPER: Not Mr. Floyd, not George Floyd, not the brother whose body whose sister will grieve over tomorrow in North Carolina, not a friend and community member who is memorialized yesterday in Minneapolis. Not the longtime neighbor who will be laid to rest in Houston next week, the president said nothing about that, nothing about the fact that an ex-police officers charged with murdering him, and three others, for abetting that murder.

He couldn't even bring himself to utter the man's full name, to grant him merely a simple dignity, dignity that has been denied to generations of black, men and women. No, instead, to the president, who is just George, smiling down from heavens above, happy what a great day this.

As for injustices leading up to his killing, or how to and then going forward, how to end them for millions of Americans, about that, the president had nothing to say.


REPORTER: Mr. President, why don't you lay out a plan to address (INAUDIBLE)?

TRUMP: I'd like to sign this bill. It's a very different bill. And, by the way, what's happened to our country, and what you now see, has been happening, is the greatest thing that can happen for race relations, for the African American community, for the Asian Americans, for the Hispanic American community, for women, for everything.


REPORTER: What's your plan?

TRUMP: Because our country is so strong, and that's what my plan is. We're going to have the strongest economy in the world. We are almost there now. If we have the economy anywhere in the world, and now, we're going to have the economy that's even stronger.

REPORTER: Sir, how would a better economy --

TRUMP: I'd like to sign it.

REPORTER: Yes, just to follow, how would a better economy help protect George Floyd?

TRUMP: Do you mind if I sign?

REPORTER: Sure, I'll ask after.

REPORTER: Will you take questions after, sir?

REPORTER: Black unemployment went up by 1.1 percent, Asian-Americans unemployment went up by 0.5 percent, how is that a victory?

TRUMP: You are something.


COOPER: That's PBS' Yamiche Alcindor, in case the president only knows her by her first name.

The president had no answer today when it comes to affecting change or writing systemic injustice. He's made it plain and words and actions, that he seems to see this fight for ending racial injustice as a fight against anarchists, and thugs, as he says. He has made it clear he sees all this as a chance to divide us further, and score points with his base.

On orders of his attorney general, peaceful protesters were assaulted, and beaten, outside the White House, so he could pose with an upside down bible that he doesn't read, in front of a church where he doesn't worship.

On orders of who knows who, and accountable to no one apparently, unidentified armed forces have been brought to the capital, and helicopters flew low to intimidate and drive away protesters, all while the president shelters behind a ring of new fencing, or at one point in the White House bunker, which he claimed he only went to because he suddenly felt compelled to inspect it.

In the height of the Vietnam War, President Nixon went to the Lincoln Memorial to talk with protesters, this president neither protested a war nor took part in it. It is his latest actions, though, that has persuaded some of the military's top retired commanders, including his former defense secretary, to speak out against him this week, calling him a threat to the Constitution, calling Monday perhaps the beginning of the end of the American experiment.

And whether in fact it is, and we can all hope it is certainly not, what happened there did send a signal about the president's priorities, which don't seem to be about addressing systemic racial injustice, or making policing more accountable. He calls repeatedly on governors to dominate the streets with military force and doesn't believe in a peaceful act of taking a knee, which quarterback Drew Brees recently apologized for critical remarks about.

The president tweeting today, quote: We should be standing up straight, and tall, ideally with a salute, or hand on heart. There are other things you can protest, but not our great American flag, no kneeling.

For some, that might be a deeply held belief, and it is, but does anyone really believe it is for this president? Or just more red meat for the base?

Just moments ago, the NFL commissioner weighed in on the issue and totally changed his position, it seems, from just a few years ago. We'll have more on that tonight.

Also, today, Washington's mayor, sending a message. She renamed a portion of 16th Street across from the White House, Black Lives Matter Plaza. The city put up a sign, painted in letters big enough to be seen from above, whether in low flying military choppers, or Air Force One.

Joining us now, the mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms.

Mayor Bottoms, thanks very much for being with us.

I mean, at this point, do you have any confidence that President Trump will be able to lead the U.S. toward the kind of change, or at least even discuss the kind of change that this moment requires?

MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D-GA), ATLANTA: No, Anderson. And thank you for having me. I don't think he is capable of it.

And I've had to make a conscious decision over the past few days to stop expecting something from him that he's incapable of giving. And every minute than I give to Donald Trump is a minute less than I have to give to people and things that actually matter. And so, what I'm encouraged by is when I see Secretary Mattis, and others, speaking up, when -- even you see the first lady tweeting things that are contrary to the hatred and division that the president speaks. That encourages me, and I hope that we see more of that.

COOPER: When -- when protesters talk about police reform, and systematic change, and there's a lot of different people from different walks of life who had different ideas about it and exactly what they want to see. What does reform of the criminal justice system, of -- frankly, of police departments around the country, what does that look like to you?

BOTTOMS: I think criminal justice reform takes on all different shapes. So, in Atlanta, we've eliminated cash bail bonds. We're transitioning our jail into a center of equity. We've allocated or reallocated a large portion of our Corrections Department budget towards some equity initiatives.

But I also think on the other side of that, it is actual -- actual reform in the police department. You know, earlier this week, President Obama put out a call to action to mayors across the country to look at our use of force policies. We are doing that in Atlanta. I signed an executive order to make that happen immediately.

So, I'm going to receive some recommendations in the next 14 days, and then we'll take an additional 45 days, and get input from the community, and begin to move the needle, because we don't have time to wait.

COOPER: You know, there has been talk of -- you know, we've seen reforms in police departments throughout the ages. I mean, I remember as a kid growing up in New York, in the '70s, it was a very different police force than it is now. They changed the education requirements for officers, for police officers who are joining the force. There used to be a lot of corruption in the police force in terms of bribes and things like that.

So, there -- when you have systematic changes like this, but -- obviously, I mean, I think everybody agrees more needs to be done. Just seeing the videos of how, in some cases, and they may be isolated, but we're seeing it time and time again, you know, officers whacking people with batons when they don't need to, but there -- you know, maybe it's the emotion of the moment, I -- I'm not sure what's going through their minds, or pushing that man down in the street, or tasing, you know, the two -- two college students in a vehicle.

How does police reform actually happen now?

BOTTOMS: Now, Anderson, it's very frustrating, because for every video and tragic story that we see, there are so many other good stories on the other side of it. COOPER: That's true.

BOTTOMS: So, we have police officers who volunteer with our kids in our Centers of Hope. They do diversity and sensitivity training at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. They're mentoring kids in our Police Athletic League. And those stories don't get told.

What gets told are the stories where the bad officers do bad things, and it's unfortunate, but I think that's why it's incumbent upon us as leaders to make sure that we don't let up, and we don't miss this moment, and go back to business as usual. We've got to take a really close look at what our policies, what -- how are we training these officers? What is their mental and emotional state?

Right now, I know we have fatigued officers on our streets who are working 18-hour shifts because of what's happening in this country. This does not excuse under any circumstances excessive use of force, but, I think it is incumbent upon us to make sure that we have the best, and the most mentally and emotionally fit officers on our forces across this country.

COOPER: I know you know there are a lot of protesters out there holding up saying "defund the police". I talked to the mayor of Houston about this yesterday, and he was saying, look, that's frankly the last thing you want to do. You actually want better training, you want more resources, you want, you know, the best, and the brightest that we -- that we -- that we have to be in the police force.

BOTTOMS: Well, we -- we reallocated money from our corrections budget in the same spirit, but what I know is that when my 18-year-old nephew was murdered, I called the -- we called the Atlanta Police Department, and they solved the murder. When my house was broken into, we call the police department.

So, we need police on our streets. We need them in our communities. And we all call upon them at one time or another.

But, again, we can't let these -- these bad actors overshadow the partnership that we're supposed to have with our police departments. They're not there to be guardians, they're -- I mean, they're not there to be warriors, they're there to protect us, and to work alongside us. And I think that's a part of the 21st century policing plan that President Obama and Vice President Biden left on Trump's desk just alongside the pandemic plan that he never bother to read.

COOPER: Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

BOTTOMS: Thank you.

COOPER: Let's get perspective now from CNN's political commentator Van Jones, and CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger.

Van, when you hear about police reform, I'm wondering what your thoughts are on it?

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, listen, out of this tragedy, something incredibly extraordinary is happening. You are seeing Black Lives Matter rallies of 1,000 people, with only white people at them holding up signs saying black lives matter. I mean, we've crossed a threshold.

The NFL, Roger Goodell coming out and saying they were wrong in the way they handled the kneeling protests, the nonviolent kneeling protests. They sure look a lot better now than, you know, they were seen as so scandalous at the time.


And he's -- you know, he's acknowledging that should have been handled way differently.

There are reforms that are bipartisan that we could get done this year. I guarantee you next year -- next week, you're going to hear a lot of proposals coming out of Congress, possibly out of the administration, possibly out of governors' offices, saying, why don't we ban the chokehold, why don't we train for de-escalation rather than escalation, why won't make it easier to sue police officers for really egregious stuff?

Obviously, you want cops to be able to do their job without losing their house, but if you do something totally atrocious, you should be able to go into civil court against an officer. Right now, you really can't.

There are common sense reforms can be done this year on bipartisan basis that would reduce the amount of unlawful violence. Also, you're seeing the best and worst of law enforcement every day. You got cops who are kneeling with protesters, who are calling community meetings, who are doing beautiful, heartbreaking, heartrending stuff. And you got cops hitting people upside the head and acting like idiots.

And that's what we face in the black community every day. But now, people are seeing both good and bad face. And problem is bad face is never corrected. Even the police officers who shoved that man to the ground, a 75-year-old man to the ground and left him there bleeding, his -- which was wrong, anybody knows that's wrong, 50-plus officers have resigned supporting the bully cops.

So we've got a problem here but can be resolved. It can be resolved this year. We could -- a big, big chunk of this could be knocked out and I hope it is.

COOPER: You know, Gloria, we saw the president today speaking on the economy, about Mr. Floyd briefly, looking down from heaven and saying this is a good day, it came on the heels of meeting between president Trump and his campaign advisers. How much do you think of what we've been heard today and frankly what we've been hearing from this president these last 11 days and more is basically just about getting reelected?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: A hundred percent, all of it, every bit of it. And he's looking at polls, he understands what he sees. And for the same reason, Anderson, that he skimmed over the number of

deaths in coronavirus and didn't meet with the families of those victims, he doesn't talk about social unrest. And, you know, I talked to --


COOPER: You talked about social unrest, but he talks -- what he talks about is looting and, you know, anarchists. I mean, I didn't know there were so many anarchists in the world.

BORGER: He can't talk about -- right, he can't talk about the peaceful protests because, of course, they were disrupted by, you know, bullets and helicopters, et cetera, et cetera. This -- I talked to somebody close to the White House, he said to me, look, the president is not conversant, as we all know, given the way he acted, tying the tragedy of George Floyd's death to bright spot in the economy today, which was, you know, beyond tone deaf.

They know he can't speak this language. They know he doesn't feel it. The only thing he can talk about is the economy, because it's something he understands being a businessman for many, many years. And so, they're now talking about transition to greatness, which is not actually a great campaign phrase, but it's something perhaps terra firma for him.

But he feels and they believe that that is their only key to re- election right now, to make people feel good. So, like he's told us, I'm a cheerleader during COVID. He's trying to be cheerleader now while walls being built around the White House to keep him from protesters? It's a remarkable picture.

COOPER: Van, do you have a sense where this goes? I mean, next week, we're going to see funeral for Mr. Floyd on Tuesday in Houston. Where does this go, do we know? Does anybody?

JONES: Well, there are two directions here negative is lot of lip service, no legislation passes, the cops don't actually get convicted and then we're on the pathway to more and more unrest. By end of the summer, you could have five to ten American cities on fire. That's one direction.

But I think something has happened last few days. I think Keith Ellison, the attorney general of Minnesota who I've known for many years, stepping into the breach and charging those cops. I think the violent, disruptive protests calming down at the same time that the peaceful protests are actually growing, it shows another possibility. And that possibility is to pass some good laws, to have better conversations, and bunch of corporations are stepping up.


Michael Jordan stepped up and he said he's now put $100 million on the table to try to help communities that are suffering. You're having a flourishing of new conversations, new philanthropy, hopefully some new lawmaking and we could actually wind up stronger and better than we've been.

But it's up to us. We're at crossroads. We are absolutely at the crossroads. This could go either direction.

And, you know -- you know, I'm pulling for us to notice the new common ground. There is common ground between African Americans, white folks and other folks that there's something wrong with our law enforcement system that can be fixed, that racism is real, and we can do more about it.


JONES: That is a new -- that's a new continent that's emerged of common ground that we should take advantage of.

COOPER: Yes, Van Jones and Gloria Borger, thank you.

Coming up next, more breaking news. Tonight's sea change and protest in racial justice from the commissioner of the NFL. Aaron Jones, Benjamin Watson and Christine Brennan join us.


COOPER: Even as the president shows no inclination to change his views on racial injustice and peaceful protest, calling attention to it, the commissioner of the National Football League tonight has. Roger Goodell saying that the league admits it was wrong, quote, in silencing our players from peacefully protesting.

Now, this first came to national attention with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others began kneeling before games while the national anthem played to protest police brutality.


ROGER GOODELL, NFL COMMISSIONER: We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people. We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.


COOPER: Commissioner Goodell's statement follows a video from NFL players calling on him to say precisely that.

Joining us now is CNN sports analyst and "USA Today" sports columnist Christine Brennan.

Christine, first of all, how did this come about? I mean, do we know it was Goodell feeling pressure from players, fans, owners or is he just sensing a change in the country?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: I think it's more the latter, Anderson, sensing the change. We are hearing that he was not pressured by the Donald Trump statement earlier, that he didn't need feel to react when Donald Trump, of course, was saying positive things about Drew Brees. So, it wasn't that.

Certainly, this has been four years in the making, so it wasn't exactly a rush job in the sense that Colin Kaepernick was speaking out in August of 2016, and, of course, here we are now.

I do think -- I have known Roger Goodell for a long time, Anderson. We kind of grew up together, he on the PR side and me as journalist, and I do think that these are things he cares about. And I know a lot of people criticize him all the time, but I can see him watching what's going on, listening to his players, as he said in that statement, he said, if there are no black players, there's no National Football League. He knows that and he means it.

And I would have loved to see him apologize to Colin Kaepernick. I would love to see him say something about Kaepernick, but maybe that's for another day. But I do think the NFL has gone out in big way and I'm sure one of their biggest fans, Donald Trump is not happy about this today.

COOPER: Would the owners have had to agree to Goodell saying this?

BRENNAN: The owners usually agree or -- and/or Goodell does what the owners want. That is a great question, I have not yet been able to get the answer to that. As you probably know, many of your viewers know, that at least ten NFL owners have given to Donald Trump's campaign. They are big, big Donald Trump supporters, including Jerry Jones with the Cowboys, Dan Snyder here in Washington.

And so, I'm going to guess some of them are not entirely pleased about this either because they're Trump guys and they have not signed Colin Kaepernick, obviously, no one has. And they definitely put their money where their mouth is with Trump.

So, now, you've got Roger Goodell going against the wishes of Donald Trump. That's a fact. I think that Roger Goodell is sensing the mood of the nation and I think he's certainly with the majority of the nation, and something that should be said, young fans are big fans of Kaepernick. They bought all those Nike jerseys and Nike t-shirts a couple of years ago with the Kaepernick in 2018, that was so successful marketing campaign with Nike.

And so, for the future fan base, this is a very, very a positive move. Maybe not older people, but those fans are going to be around 50 years buying season tickets, I think (AUDIO GAP) what Roger Goodell did.

COOPER: I want to bring in Benjamin Watson, former NFL player and I believe he's the author of "Under Our Skin: Getting Real About Race and Getting Free from the Fears and Frustrations that Divide Us."

Benjamin, I mean, you wrote about this in "Under Our Skin", I'm wondering how you -- what do you make of Roger Goodell's statement?

BENJAMIN WATSON, FORMER NFL PLAYER: Well, I think we all have certain reactions about whether he is sincere or if he's insincere. I think great good can come from this. And you listen to what he said, we the NFL condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people. The next obviously is just start addressing that within the NFL. And

so, this is a good thing. This is a great acknowledgement and I agree that I do think that Roger Goodell cares about the issues.

But now that we look internally into the NFL, and we just watched the NFL draft, we saw on our screens where there weren't many blacks in "C" level positions, or many minorities much less black people in ownership, just three head coaches that are black.

How do we address those issues in the NFL? That's where the proof comes. That's where the action comes, is by addressing the nepotism problem that I believe still exists in the NFL. That's what we can kind of take the statement, great statement, we applaud it, whether it was out of pressure of players, which again I applaud our players for leading this.

Now, let's go to the next step in action and let's see the proof when we look at NFL clubs now moving forward.

COOPER: And, Benjamin, your former teammate Drew Brees obviously had controversy this week when he said he'd never agree with NFL players how knelt during the national anthem. He since apologized for saying that. Do you accept that apology?

WATSON: Of course, of course. I know Drew. It's no secret I played with Drew for several years. Love him and his family. I think that we have to collectively understand that when someone says something that they didn't mean or something that was misinterpreted, and they apologize, we forget them and we move on.

Drew said perfectly in your statement that he is going to with his actions, prove how he feels. I think the biggest thing though, is that he said he's going to listen. And that's the same thing you heard Roger Goodell say, I'm going to listen, like we live in a country where we can have a multitude of different perspectives. If Drew doesn't agree with people kneeling for the flag, that's fine. What he does have to do and what we all have to do is understand the plight of others, understand the pain of others, and be willing to step into their shoes and say, you know what, I may not agree with that, I may not understand that, but because I love you, because I love your humanity. I'm willing to listen to where you're coming from, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that's what he'll do.

COOPER: Christine, it's interesting, because when this was being discussed, you know, when with Colin Kaepernick and others, you know, there were a lot of fans who seem to not appreciate the idea of players taking a knee. Certainly the President didn't and it seemed like the pendulum went once, you know, game started again and games are being played. It seems like a lot of the owners backtracked as well.

BRENNAN: Right. I think things have changed dramatically. And obviously this is far beyond football. Of course, Anderson, this is about our country and what we're seeing and what you're talking about every night on air. And, and the NFL is a part of our culture. And clearly they are seeing this. And so everything that we thought might have been the case a couple of weeks ago, is no more.


BRENNAN: And I can -- oh, I'm sorry.

COOPER: No, no, no, go ahead.

BRENNAN: Well, so I just think that this shows if anyone is doubting how big a deal this is, and the tragedy of George Floyd and all of the issues that we're talking about with Black Lives Matter if anyone doubts that this is one of the watershed moments in our nation's history, something like a sports league seems insignificant, except it's the NFL that our national pastime.


BRENNA: And if Goodell is giving us that kind of statement today, which he did that signals, that things have changed dramatically.

COOPER: I want to bring in Aaron Jones running back for the Green Bay Packers. Aaron. Thanks for being with us. You're in the league right now. How do you think Goodell's message is going to be received by the players and how is it being received by you?

AARON JONES, NFL PLAYER: All this (INAUDIBLE), I'm just glad to see that he's listening and that came back and noticed that he's (INAUDIBLE) open his eyes open ears to what's in store ahead though. I mean, I think everybody's going to kind of take it away. It may be if you're not, I can't I can't tell you how somebody else is going to react.

COOPER: Yes. Benjamin, when you did an interview, just I think it was yesterday and you were talking about how you had racist teammates. Do you wish that this came from Goodell a lot earlier?

WATSON: Well, Anderson I wish we weren't dealing with any of this. You know, the truth of the matter is, we live in a fallen world, we have sin in our world, it manifests itself many times in a bunch of different things, including racism. And so my wish would be that we won't have any of this going on. But we do.

And so yes, of course, I wish that not just a statement be made, but I wish that we wouldn't be dealing with the disparities that we're dealing with in our culture, that we won't be dealing with, you know, the years 200 you know, the 200 years of slavery, 250 years of Jim Crow, redlining, residential segregation, the list goes on and on incarceration. I wish we weren't dealing with any of those things. But here we are.

And so the question is, how are we collectively? Why black, rich, poor? How are we going to make this country better? And so that's what this has to be about. This has to be about America looking in the mirror because what we're seeing right now is a reflection of ourselves and deciding what we're going to do to make it better.

COOPER: Aaron when the season finally does start again, and play are on the field. How do you think these changes things?

JONES: I'll get two things (INAUDIBLE) much back then we knew what it was about solidarity, we are new (INAUDIBLE). For us is nothing's really going to change. We're going to continue to grow ourselves the way we do (INAUDIBLE)

COOPER: Aaron Jones, I appreciate you joining us, thank you so much Benjamin Watson as well and Christine Brennan. Aaron, I'm apologize we tried to get you on camera and obviously had some technical issues even with the phone. Really appreciate you coming. Benjamin Watson, great to have you and Christine thanks so much.


We're going to have a closer look at the policing that we have seen as people protest current policy, current policing. We've seen extraordinary images from the police in a positive way and also some sticking incidents as well. This in Buffalo, the fact some officers are now defending the officers involved. We'll be right back.


COOPER: We mentioned the top -- you're looking at a lot of pictures at about Park Avenue at 81st the Upper East Side in New York. We've seen a couple of arrests. There are large numbers of police, we're not sure exactly what the situation is. Curfew began at 8:00, so it was 40 minutes ago.


We mentioned the top how these protests are brought out the best in many people and the worst in others, looters and summon law enforcement. CNN's Jason Carroll tonight has closer look.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After 11 days of nationwide protests a growing number of disturbing police incidents on video are emerging from across the country.

In Buffalo, New York, two officers have been suspended after a 75-year old protester was pushed and left bleeding on the ground. Initially, police said the man tripped and fell, but the video clearly shows two officers pushing him before he falls backwards to the ground.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): When I saw the video got sick to my stomach.

CARROLL (voice-over): All 57 members of the Buffalo Police Emergency Response Team have resigned from the team but not the department. They said the suspended officers for simply executing orders.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my God, that was so scary.

CARROLL (voice-over): In Tacoma, Washington. New video posted to social media appears to show officers violently striking Manuel Ellis as he lies on the ground. A second video also appears to show officers holding Ellis while he's on the ground and telling him to put his hands behind his back. Ellis died after being physically restrained by police. His family is calling for four officers involved to be fired. The medical examiner rolled his death a homicide.

MARCIA CARTER-PATTERSON, MOTHER OF MANUEL ELLIS: He was a blessed child. OK, he was blessed. He was good and did not deserve to be murdered. At the hands of the police.

CARROLL (voice-over): And in Atlanta, new video of a woman being body slammed by a police officer breaking her collarbone at a protest May 29th. No word yet from the Atlanta Police Department of whether the officer involved will face disciplinary actions.

While in New York City last night, a small sign of hope, as a police chief in Brooklyn, deescalated a situation with protesters by shaking hands and listening.

(on-camera): As an African American law enforcement officer. I mean, how does that make you? How does that fit with you?

JEFFREY MADDREY, NYPD COMMANDING OFFICER OF PATROL, BROOKLYN NORTH: Well, I'm a black man, but I love being a police officer. So I'm not resigning. And I want to continue to make sure everybody's safe.

CARROLL (voice-over): Jason Carroll, CNN, New York,


COOPER: Joining us now is someone's familiar with both what communities and what police are experiencing. He's Miles McPherson, senior pastor of the Rock Church in San Diego, author of The Third Option Hope for a Racially Divided Nation.

Pastor McPherson, thanks so much for joining us. You reach out to me on Instagram and I saw your words and I just thought I really was so happy that you're willing to come on, because I think you have really a unique perspective on this. Your dad was a police officer. Your son is currently a police officer. And you've had some really profound comments about what is going on and for you right now what do you think needs to happen in this country? In this moment?

MILES MCPHERSON, SENIOR PASTOR, ROCK CHURCH: I'm so glad you ask. I'm so glad you -- well, thanks for having me. I'm so glad you asked, we got to get to solutions. You know, I wrote this book called The Third Option, because we live in us first them culture and everybody's trying to get their way. And you're forced to pick a side you're either for or against the police for against blacks or whites. And the third option is that we all know what we have in common. We have more similarities than differences. And if we would focus on that all of us are in a journey. I mean, we're all bleed red, we all have, you know, like our sleep, like our food, but we all want to get along and have peace. And so we got to do take steps to bridge that gap.

And I would say one of those things is to acknowledge that we have blind spots. A blind spot is you not knowing what you don't know. There are a lot of times we don't even know when we're offending somebody is that is the gap between your intent of what you do and the impact of what you do. A lot of times people will say things that are offensive, they don't even realize this. For example, when you say I don't see color. People are trying to build a bridge, but in fact, the person of color just feels like you invalidated everything that they are, this color has certain burdens within certain things has been true. And when you say you don't see color, you're telling someone you don't see them, and that you do not acknowledge what they've been through. And then therefore, you can't really love them properly because you're not even acknowledging the pain they've been through.

A lot of times the color we get, the tan we get in Hawaii, we celebrate, but the tan someone gets in the womb, we invalidate.

COOPER: You know, there are a lot of folks who are watching these protests and they see different things. I talked to Kareem Abdul- Jabbar about this, who wrote about in the L.A. Times recently, I thought very eloquently. You know, people, we can look at one protest and see completely different things depending on what side of the aisle they're sitting on or what, you know, zip code they're in or whatever, you know, whatever point of view they have.


I'm not sure how one overcomes that. But I think there's a lot of people who are still not sure about where this goes and maybe more. Some people focus more on, you know, law breaking and looting and others focus more on, you know, police actions that are brutal and yet the vast majority of police and the vast majority of protesters have been, you know, trying to follow the law and peaceful and how -- do you get away from the us versus them? And this polarization which is stoked by our political leaders? And, you know --


COOPER: -- by the media by everything?

MCPHERSON: The first thing you have to acknowledge that it is us first and that you have blind spots. Our social narrative is a story that helps shape how you see the world. It's the information you got from your parents, your school, your neighborhood, and it develops a lens through which you through a filter through which you interpret everything. So your social narrative is going to tell you how to interpret the news, how to interpret what you watch on television, the people writing or am protesting how you interpret that how you interpret the police and what we all have to realize is that my social narrative is one of 7 billion. I don't know everyone's.

And that's why I have to humbly say, what helped me understand your perspective. And that's why as people coming together and talking, listening to each other, learning from each other and learn to love each other, but if it has to be my way versus your way, we're never going to get anywhere. One of the ways to do that is to rename people, everybody was made an image of God, every person, and even the people who are looting were made an image of God that just doing bad things, but they're still made an image of God and have the potential to live productive lives. And if we can see them not through the name of a looter or a thug, all the names, we get people and see God's potential in them and treat them that way. Then we can start to move the ball forward.

COOPER: One of the things I've always believed in as a reporter and traveling all around the world is the importance of walking in someone else's shoes and trying to kind of see things through from a different vantage point. I saw online somebody said the other day, you know, they think to themselves what if I'm wrong and I think a lot of us don't really think that thought very often and I think it's a really important you know thought to think like what if my perspective is actually wrong on this and being open to that possibility even I think can lead to interesting places.

MCPHERSON: Brother you hit it on the head. I think when people saw George murdered that the reason people on the streets some of them are because they're just fed up with it. Absolutely. But I believe a lot of people are out there because they realize I was wrong. Kneeling he was kept was nearly for good reason and if we would heat it his kneeling on the field, we might not be mourning the kneeling on George. And so I think people realize a man maybe I had this wrong.

You know, I write in my book, The Third Option about having a race consultations, not race conversations, we do see color the only time we see say we don't see colors when we see it, but because we do see color have all these assumptions about who we see? And instead of, instead of taking those assumptions and claiming that they're fact, we should suspend them and have a race consultation, what I mean by that let people self-disclose to you who they are, because your assumption might be wrong. The lady in New York City who said, an African American man is harassing me or whatever, because she didn't have a dog on a leash.

COOPER: Right.

MCPHERSON: He was a he was a Harvard grad. She saw one thing but had it all wrong. So I think we need to listen to people, learn from people and get to love them.

COOPER: Pastor Miles MacPherson, wow, this confirmed that I think makes me feel like Instagram is worthwhile. I really appreciate you reaching out.

MCPHERSON: I appreciate you DM me, I appreciate you responded.

COOPER: And it's great, it's great to talk to you and I'd love to come to the service or you sometime.

MCPHERSON: The Rocks Church in San Diego as the rocks are calm.

COOPER: All right, Pastor Miles McPherson, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Up next, the push for reform within the Minneapolis Police Department why protester said this union leader is promoting a toxic culture and should resign in Minneapolis. Will tell you about that. And later the search for a cyclist accused of assaulting a group of people including children, who are just putting up Black Lives Matters flyers, look at this guy. It's like hitting me up white privilege. We'll be right back.



COOPER: In Minneapolis, demonstrators are calling for the removal of the Police Union Chief Lieutenant Bob Kroll. He's one of the only few people who's defending the actions of the four ex officers involved in Mr. Floyd's death and he wants the officers to fight for their jobs.

In a letter to rank and file obtained by the Star Tribune, he said, quote, they were terminated without due process. And critics say there that says that for there to be real change, Lieutenant Kroll should turn in his badge. More now from our Randi Kaye.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bob Kroll has always had a hardnosed approach to policing. As head of the Minneapolis Police Union, he's been a proponent of what he calls warrior style police training, which critics say encourages officers to use more force.

Just last year when the mayor of Minneapolis banned such training, Kroll began offering it to every officer who wants it while the mayor is in office. Kroll has also been accused of excessive force and racist remarks.

Back in 2004, Kroll was suspended for nearly three weeks after he had another off-duty police officer allegedly punched and kicked a man for brushing against their car with his backpack, Kroll denied any wrongdoing.

On race, Kroll has had harsh words for Black Lives Matter.

LT. BOB KROLL, PRESIDENT, POLICE OFFICERS FEDERATION OF MINNEAPOLIS: I don't see black lives matter as a voice for the black community in Minneapolis. Real black leaders will tell you that that this is a terrorist organization that puts out false narratives

KAYE (voice-over): And according to a 2007 lawsuit brought by five African American Minneapolis police officers suggesting racism in the ranks, Bob Kroll referred to then U.S. Representative Keith Ellison as a terrorist. Ellison now Minnesota's Attorney General is a Black Muslim. The same lawsuit also accused Kroll of wearing a motorcycle jacket with a white power patch on it. Kroll denied the allegations, and the lawsuit was settled for $740,000.

Despite his history of controversy Kroll found a supporter in the White House.

KROLL: The Obama administration and the handcuffing and oppression of police was despicable. The first thing President Trump did when he took office was turned that around, got rid of the holder Loretta Lynch regime and decided to start taking and letting the cops do their job, put the handcuffs on the criminals instead of us.


KAYE: A review of Kroll's 26 years on the forest by the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper revealed that Kroll had at least 20 internal affairs complaints against him including excessive force, civil complaints and wrongful arrest lawsuits. Now three of those complaints did end in disciplinary action.

Now Kroll told the paper that he is not a racist. He also told the Minneapolis city pages that he is not the boogeyman that some people have made him out to be. Meanwhile, our calls and e-mails to Bob Kroll were not returned. Anderson?

COOPER: Randi, thanks so much. Randi Kaye.


Because so much of this has been concerning and interesting and troubling to kids. A lot of kids have questions about all this. CNN is tackling on tomorrow morning along with Sesame Street, it's called Coming Together Standing Up To Racism, a CNN Sesame Street Town Hall. It gets underway at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time right here.

Up next, what happened to the popular bike trail in Maryland when a group tried to put up Black Lives Matters flyers, some little kids were trying to put them up. Why police are now asking for the public's help and finding that guy in his biking gear?


COOPER: The Maryland National Capital Park Police are asking for help they're said they're looking for cyclists was caught on video assaulting a group of people including children who were putting up Black Lives Matters flyers, take a look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, leave her alone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do not touch her, do not touch her. She has nothing, do not touch her sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leave her alone. Sir, just walk away.





[21:00:08] COOPER: Happened on Monday, park police had the suspect 50 to 60 years old. Clearly a white guy waddling around in his biking cleats. About six feet in height with short brown hair. The men recorded video says he's been back on the bike trail he won't let this incident stop them. He's putting out more signs and others have offered to help him. That jerk.

The news continues. I want to hand over Chris for "CUOMO PRIMETIME". Chris?