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21st Day Of Protests As Police Killing Of Black Man In Atlanta Intensifies Demands For Racial Justice; New Modeling Projecting There Will Be More Than 201,000 Total Coronavirus Deaths In The U.S. By October 1st. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired June 15, 2020 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And thanks so much for joining us. AC 360 with Anderson starts now.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Good evening. After nearly three weeks of nationwide protests and soul searching over injustice and unequal treatment of black Americans and with all eyes on the police, yet another family is grieving tonight. That grief and anger is being felt on the streets of Atlanta.

Protestors out in numbers today and over the weekend. They're marching for Rayshard Brooks who was shot twice from behind by a city police officer Friday night.

Three weeks since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, it's happened again. George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery -- civilians, Breonna Taylor. Now, Rayshard Brooks and another grieving family asking this of the police.


TOMIKA MILLER, RAYSHARD BROOK'S WIDOW: Do they feel sorry for what they've taken away? That's what I want to know. You know. If they had a chance to do it again, will they do it the same way or would they do it totally different?


COOPER: In a moment, we'll be joined by a former police captain and a former federal prosecutor for their take on what you are about to see which is the interaction between the police and Mr. Brooks, which resulted in his death.

It began when police were called to a Wendy's drive-thru in Southwest Atlanta. They found Mr. Brooks in his car asleep.


OFFICER DEVIN BROSNAN, ATLANTA POLICE: My, man. I'm going to let you go back to sleep. You've got to move your car. Don't go back to sleep. He went back to sleep. Okay, why don't you move your car into a parking spot? Okay. Right now. RAYSHARD BROOKS, KILLED BY POLICE: All right.

BROSNAN: All right. Don't go back to sleep. Just pull over there.


COOPER: Mr. Brooks does. He pulls into a parking spot and one of the responding officers begins questioning him.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just walk back here. Do any weapons on you or anything like that?

BROOKS: I don't have anything on me.


COOPER: Well, having determined he is unarmed, they perform a series of sobriety tests and administer a breathalyzer which comes back they say over the limit.

Now at this point, as you'll see in the next clip, the officer decide to handcuff him. Mr. Brooks resists. A scuffle breaks out. The officers try to use a taser on him.

The body cam video is incomplete because both officers' cameras somehow ended up on the ground. However, you'll hear profanity, apparently a taser used and then the fatal shots.


BROSNAN: Hands behind your back. Hey, stop fighting. Stop fighting. Stop fighting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're going to get tased. You're going to get tased.

BROSNAN: Stop. Stop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're going to get tased. He is [bleep] taser. He has the taser. He has the taswer. Stop fighting.


COOPER: The sound of gunshots, two hitting Mr. Brooks in his back and buttocks according to the medical examiner. A police dashcam actually shows the scuffle. You can see the office wrestling with Mr. Brooks.

You see one of the officers pull out a taser and see the struggle over it after which Mr. Brooks gets a hold of it and pointed back at the officers to no apparent effect.

It's at this point that one of the officers pulls his taser and fires at Mr. Brooks whois running away. Now a restaurant surveillance camera picks up the rest of it and we've slowed it down very slightly. You see Mr. Brooks being pursued by one of the officers, turning back with the taser at him. The actual shooting happens off camera but was captured on video from a restaurant surveillance camera at a drive- thru.

From that angle you can see moving from left to right Mr. Brooks being pursued by one of the officers turning apparently pointing the taser back at him and finally, the officer appearing to open fire.

And we should mention right here that police do not consider a taser a deadly weapon, at least that's what they say when they use it themselves.

In addition, the officers had already determined Mr. Brooks had no firearms on him. As CNN law enforcement analyst and former Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsay put it, the officers had his car. They knew who he was and where to find him -- where to find him.

Rayshard Brooks was 27 years old. In addition to his widow, he leaves behind three young daughters and a teenage stepson. The medical examiner has ruled is killing a homicide. Today, Atlanta's Mayor called it murder. Garrett Rolfe, the officer who did the shooting has been fired. His partner has been put on administrative leave. Charges may come as early as Wednesday. Atlanta's Police Chief has stepped down.


MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D), ATLANTA, GEORGIA: We saw the worst happen on Friday night with Mr. Brooks It angered me and it saddened me beyond words. But I know that it is my responsibility as Mayor of this great city for us to continue to work to put that anger and that sadness into action.



COOPER: Joining us now is Paul Howard, Jr., District Attorney of Fulton County, Georgia. District Attorney Howard, thanks for being with us.

You've said that a decision on possible charges against the officer who shot Rayshard Brooks would be made sometime around Wednesday. Can you just go through which charges may be under consideration?

PAUL HOWARD, JR., DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA: There are three major charges that we are considering. The first charge being murder, which addresses an intent to kill. The second charge felony murder, which occurs when death arises out of an underlying felony and in this case, the underlying felony would be an aggravated assault. And the third charge that we're considering is voluntary manslaughter, which is a death in a heat of passion.

COOPER: And I want to play something that Mr. Brooks' widow told CBS about the officers. Let's play that. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MILLER: I want them to go to jail. I want them to deal with the same thing as if it was my husband who killed someone else. If it was my husband who shot them, he'll be in jail. He'll be doing a life sentence.

They need to be put away. I feel like even though everything happened so fast, it didn't take them but a split second for the other officer to say, hey, calm down. He could have told his partner, calm down, so all of them needs to be sentenced the same way.


COOPER: She is saying the second officer involved who didn't fire his weapons should be sentenced the same way. I'm wondering what you make of that, because right now he's on administrative leave, I believe or administrative duty.

HOWARD: Well, we are considering both of the officers. We're not just considering one of the offices, and so the charges that we are exploring are charges that could possibly be lodged against both of the officers involved.

I think one of the things that I hear Mrs. Miller addressing is what people from the community continue to say is that is they want one system of justice, and she is right. If this had been a civilian, there's a possibility that charges would have been lodged against them already.

And I think what people around the country are saying is, we want one system so that both the police and citizens are treated equally. And that's what we're hoping to do by making our decision on Wednesday.

COOPER: And do you have a sense of what the -- what should have happened in this -- in their interaction from the get go? I mean, is there a standard procedure that you can point to that say that wasn't followed? Is there something that needs to -- what do you make of what you've actually seen in the video?

HOWARD: Well, I think that when I saw it, knowing that Mr. Brooks would end up dead, when I saw it initially, my first thought was, I expected to see someone who was resistant, someone who did not cooperate with the police, who was not very friendly, but that was exactly the opposite of what happened with Mr. Brooks.

He was very compliant, very casual, very informal. And so when you see it, it's kind of difficult to wrap your hands around why he ends up getting killed.

So I think that what it does, it creates this kind of classical example, for police departments all around the country when we're talking about de-escalation. Because there's really no reason for Mr. Brooks to end up dead because he fell asleep in the drive-thru or that he was intoxicated.

Whatever those incidents might have added up to, it certainly didn't merit the final outcome in this case.

COOPER: Certainly, if this goes to trial and whatever the charges may be, the attorneys for Officer Rolfe will say well he may have been compliant early on. When the handcuffs were -- just from what was in the video -- that when the handcuffs were being put on, he resisted and according to them grabbed the taser.


HOWARD: Yes, I think the the the video and the evidence will show that he grabbed the taser. But the critical point that we are examining and the critical point, I believe in this case is what happened at the exact moment of the shooting.

Because at that time, under Georgia law, unless Mr. Brooks posed an imminent threat of bodily harm as I sometimes say it colloquially just to say was the police officer -- was it necessary for him to shoot Mr. Brooks to save his life or to save someone else's life, because if Mr. Brooks was shot for some other reason, then it is not justified.

COOPER: District Attorney Howard, I appreciate your time. And thank you very much. Look to see what happens in the days ahead. Thank you.

Joining us now CNN legal analyst and former Federal prosecutor Laura Coates, also Ron Johnson, formerly captain in the Missouri Highway Patrol and the author of "13 days in Ferguson."

Laura, you just heard what with the District Attorney said, the Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms today called this murder. What do you see and what kind of charges do you think might be levied here?

LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's important, if we are ever considering charges, you have to think about what the actual facts are, what are the hurdles that you may have in a jury or a grand jury and what you have to actually overcome here and unlike the cases we have seen, just recently, of a Breonna Taylor, of a George Floyd, we have a real issue about use of force whether it was justifiable to use it or whether it was criminal and you engaged in that behavior.

It all is going to come down to this notion, was he in a kill or be killed scenario? That's what the proportional use of force is about. Did Mr. Brooks present a danger to the general community? Or could lethal force had been used as a last resort?

And we're looking here at the DA statements when he says look, was it for some other reason? Was it to try to catch up to him? Failure to be able to catch up of somebody running away from you is not going to be enough to actually use lethal force, knowing full well, that a taser was all he had.

And so the real inquiry for this DA is going to be about how use of force was used and whether he mentioned, heat of passion. There was enough time that went by that he could have as the Georgia statute say, some humanity or commonsense and reason to enter his mind that would suggest to you that did he have enough time to make a different choice? He knew who he was. He knew how to find him. It's going to be a decision for this DA to make.

COOPER: Captain Johnson, I'm wondering what you make of this interaction, and given your experiences as a police officer, as somebody who has been in this profession. What should -- what would appropriate force in a case like this -- I mean, if somebody is resisting, if somebody has grabbed a taser, but the underlying reason they were called out is he was asleep in a line at Wendy's.

It's not as if he was, you know, robbing a bank and holding a hostage. So what do you do in a situation like this, or what went wrong here?

RON JOHNSON, FORMER CAPTAIN, MISSOURI HIGHWAY PATROL: Well, I think if everybody said he knew his identity, he knew that he was unarmed. And even when he runs away, he shoots the taser. What that meant for me with that taser, chances that he would be able to engage that taser again is really slim.

So he had already a shot the taser missed you. And so in a sense that danger had lapsed. You know, and so he was running away, he didn't pose a threat to the officer, he didn't pose a threat -- even if he got away -- to the community.

And so that's one of those things where we knew where he lived because he told you how close he lived. And so, it's hard to see the threat and what we've seen so far in the news clips.

COOPER: And so, in a case like this -- I'm sorry, we had connection problem.

JOHNSON: If you caught up with them, you would have to struggle with him again, that would be your use of force that you would continue to use if you caught up with him.

COOPER: Laura, in terms of -- you know, what the District Attorney was saying was, you know, in the moment the shot was fired, is it doesn't necessarily go all the way -- you know, the consideration does not go all the way back to the underlying reason the police were called in the first place. It's in that moment.

You know, was it to prevent something worse that might happen, you know, if he got away or something like that, is that -- is that I mean, what a jury would have to decide or even what the DA's office would have to decide just like what happened in that second, or do they look at all the incidents leading up to it?


COATES: A totality of circumstance is going to be considered. You know, you're talking about not only the reason they were there, but also about the entire interaction from what -- 10:40 p.m. to about 11:20 p.m. at night on Friday.

You had this whole arc of their interactions to take into consideration. Remember, they know full well, he's not armed. They don't feel in danger for all of that period of time. Field sobriety, et cetera.

His struggle was something that people did not necessarily predict. It shocked people to know that it happened. You hear the audio of people surprised this is actually happening, but the DA is right to consider this in a more narrow context because in use of force, totality is important, but also it is about whether at the time the officer engaged in lethal force, he was justified to do so.

And that particular clock is going to realistically run from the DA's mind. From the time the struggle ensued until the time that he actually discharged his weapon.

He will consider whether or not -- I think in the video, I believe that the taser is, I think it's yellow, about my shirt color it practically is. And so the idea that he would mistake it for some other weapon that did have lethal force is pretty absurd to think about, if that's in fact the case.

But the real clock will start about that calculus during that struggle. But it also has to consider here, Anderson, the fact that you cannot shoot somebody, a fleeing suspect, simply because you cannot catch up to them.

There are a whole host of things at an officer's disposal, back up, time I chase the idea that this person was already in inebriated in some form or fashion which could be disadvantaging his own escape.

I mean, all that has to be taken into consideration whether last resort really was lethal force or was it a knee jerk reaction? And really if it's a knee jerk reaction, that is going to be the main consideration of this DA.

COOPER: Laura Coates, Ron Johnson. I appreciate it. Thanks very much.

Coming up next, the President's new answer to the coronavirus pandemic. Apparently, it's just stop testing, even as a new forecast predicts more than 200,000 fatalities by October in this country. Keeping them honest, next.

And later, the Police Chief who knelt protesters will join us after members of her SWAT team quit because of her kneeling. We'll be right back.



COOPER: We have breaking news tonight. New modeling from the University of Washington projecting there will be more than 201,000 total coronavirus deaths in this country by October 1st. That's up about 30,000 from the last projection.

With that as the backdrop, the President of the United States apparently believes that when you close your eyes to something it goes away or if you don't report on something, it never happened. Now, I've been reading a lot about babies lately, and that's something babies grow out of by about 18 months. It's called object permanence, meaning the thing is there whether you are looking at it or not.

Well, the President perhaps hasn't reached that stage yet, at least not when it comes to the virus that has now claimed more than 116,000 lives in this country.

Today, as you'll hear, he expressed the notion that if you just stop testing for it, coronavirus wouldn't be a problem anymore, which sounds pretty simple. It means that somehow, figures show the number of cases rising and all those states you see in light and dark red there on the map, they have nothing to do with people actually showing up sick at hospitals or put on ventilators or still dying in this country.

Nope, instead, according to the President, just stop testing. Then the problem is solved because it goes away because no one knows about it. So therefore it doesn't happen. Here's what Mr. Trump said today.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our testing is so far advanced and so much bigger and better than any other country that we're going to have more cases. We're always going to have more cases.

If you don't test, you don't have any cases. If we stop testing right now, we'd have very few cases, if any.


COOPER: No, keeping them honest, that makes no sense. I mean, in the twisted logic of hiding facts, if that's your plan, yes. If you don't test anyone, you won't know how widespread the virus is spread, and you won't be able to respond and prepare and save lives.

But there would still be just as many cases. You might hide it, which the President clearly would like to do, but people will still be sick and some will die.

Texas today reported a record number of people hospitalized with COVID-19. Not really testing positive, but actually sick and sick enough to go to the hospital.

According to forecasting from the C.D.C., as I mentioned, by July 1st, anywhere from 2,500 to 12,000. People will be hospitalized with new cases of coronavirus every single day.

Now again, those are actual people getting truly ill, and they won't stop getting ill if testing stops. They won't stop dying. You just won't know why they got sick. They'll still be showing up at hospitals, still spending weeks in ICUs and still dying.

What's so stunning about today's statement by the President is that it's actually not the first time he has used this ridiculous logic or sad, ridiculous and contradictory and frankly, false things about testing. He's had many things to say. Take a look.


TRUMP: Oh, we're testing everybody that we need to test.

Anybody that wants a test can get a test.

We took over an obsolete broken testing system.

There's not a lot of issues with testing.

The governors are supposed to do testing.

We are lapping the world on testing.

We have so much testing. I don't think you need that kind of testing or that much testing.

We've done more testing than every other country combined. So in a way, by doing all of this testing, we make ourselves look bad.

I've always said testing is somewhat overrated.

Something can happen between a test where it's good and then something happens and all of a sudden --

This is why the whole concept of tests aren't necessarily great.

But testing certainly is a very important function. And we have prevailed.



COOPER: We have prevailed, he said, but it's overrated, he said, but we're the best in the world. America is first in testing. Also first in deaths, but we make ourselves look bad because we're first in testing.

Notice what's missing is any real conception of what testing is truly for. The early warning it can give, of the deaths it can prevent. By the President's formulation, testing is either something to boast about or make him look bad.

And it's not just testing, it's suspension of disbelief that the virus is still a grave danger. So much so that he's insisting on holding a massive rally indoors in Tulsa on Saturday.

And today, when asked, Vice President Pence talked about why the idea of cramming 19,000 people, many of them old and from all parts of the country into a crowded arena for hours on end, was actually a good idea.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Oklahoma has really been in the forefront of our efforts to slow the spread. And in a very real sense, they flattened the curve and today, their hospital capacity is abundant.


COOPER: Now, keeping them honest, that is simply not true. What's fascinating about Vice President Pence is his whole job is to sound folksy and stable and broad shouldered and make sense, make it sound like there's a rational person who is actually listening to what the President is saying and agrees with it and is communicating exactly what the President is saying.

Here's the daily case rate for Oklahoma over the last two weeks. The line represents a five-day moving average and as you can see, that line is up at the end of those 14 days. It's not down.

And over the weekend, Tulsa's top public health official had this piece of advice concerning the rally, quote, "If you want to stay safe, don't go."

More now in the public health and political aspects of what the President said today. Joining us CNN's Jim Acosta at the White House, and CNN Chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Jim, what the President is saying about testing is -- I mean, it is ludicrous. It was actually also kind of dangerous, given the fact that, you know, there needs to be as much testing as possible in order for people to go back to work.

Has there been any reaction from the Taskforce? Are they still in the witness protection program? They have disappeared, I mean, like, they're only now occasionally here or there. I don't know. You know, I haven't seen Dr. Birx on TV. You know, I don't know where they are. Are they allowed out?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, despite all of that, Anderson, I did manage to get in touch with a source close to this Taskforce earlier this evening, who had one word for what the President had to say earlier today, and it was quote, "yaiks." Anderson -- and that is a direct quote.

Anderson, this is a President who hates metrics that can be used by people to hold him accountable, whether it's where the stock market is, where the unemployment rate is or where the number of cases is from the coronavirus.

But Anderson, make no mistake. This is an extension of not just what the President has been saying but other top White House officials in recent days, that the reason why we're seeing an uptick in cases from the coronavirus is because we're doing more testing.

And I talked to an administration official who is close to this Taskforce, who said that is simply not the case. That yes, in some cases, sure. There are more cases because they're doing more testing, but also because there has been a spike in infections in certain parts of the country and there's just no denying that unless you're the President.

COOPER: Sanjay, I mean, against the backdrop of the new University of Washington model, you have the President's upcoming rally in Tulsa. Now, the venue apparently holds 19,000 people. It's indoors. Is that an event I mean -- beyond the political reason for it, I mean, just -- would you go to any event that had 19,000 people inside?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's the worst case scenario. And, you know, I think most people sort of realized that by this point. There's a contagious virus out there. It's still out there. We've forgotten about it, maybe, but it hasn't forgotten about us.

We'll put up the risk factors for various things. We know that the least risky way, if you're going to have a gathering of some sort, is to do it virtually. But the most risky sort of thing is to do a large indoor event where people are coming from all different locations. You can't practice social distancing. They want to fill it to the rim. They're going to give out masks, but not mandate that you wear them. You have many common public areas.

There will be infections that come from this. If there's a super spreader event, a lot of people could get infected. They then take those infections back to their communities.

And as you pointed out, Anderson, many of these folks are older, maybe vulnerable. There's real risks here. This is the exact opposite thing of what we should be doing.

And one thing just about the testing, Anderson, because we have been talking about this for what? Five months now.


I cannot believe then June now, that the idea that we should pull back on testing has become a thing even. It is the -- again the exact wrong direction that we should be going in.

In 24 hours 600 people died. There are more people who died in this country in the last 24 hours than entire countries through this whole pandemic. We don't even know what we don't know anymore with regard to testing in this country. It is it really, really worries me as we go forward into the rest of this year.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And Sanjay, I mean there's been obviously a lot of concern about a second wave. Apparently, we're still in the first wave and correct me if I'm wrong about this. Dr. Fauci is said in any type of real normality might not return until next year, and yet you see images of people really pushing things out in parks, no mass, no social distancing. Obviously, look, even the outdoor rallies you have people in very close quarters. Yes, you're outside. You're on the move. People are wearing masks. But I mean, how badly could all of -- mean, it says there is a real kind of sense of people are just had it or just too tired with it or, you know, feel that whether it's the political rally for Trump or rallies out in the street that is more important to voice your opinion and stand up and be counted at a time like this.

But how badly could all this backfire? I mean, what you --

GUPTA: It could have when you look at those IMH models, again, which we followed, you know, since the beginning, Anderson, you remember that they said initially, at one point, they said 30, 40 50,000 people by August 4th, they kept saying, right, so here we are beginning of June, and what is it 120,000 roughly, now, people have died. So more than double that people have died, then the projection thought would die by August 4th.

Now they're saying 200,000 people may die by October 1st. Sadly, and I get no joy whatsoever in saying this, but I think those models are vastly under projecting at this point. I mean, you know, when we decided to stay at home, put those stay at home orders in place. You know, there were fewer than 80 people who had died in this country between four and 5,000 people who'd been infected. That's when we decided to go into the stay at home mode.

Now we're reopening and there's 110,000 -- 120,000 people who have died and 2 million people --


GUPTA: -- who become infected. It makes no sense, right? It makes no sense. And if people aren't abiding by the basic principles of mask wearing and doing things that we know can have an impact it everyone is going to be worried I get that.

COOPER: Yes. And the reason we're that I mean, let's remember the reason we're not hearing from the Coronavirus Task Force every day and the President every day, and Mike Pence every day on coronavirus is because the President, the last time they actually had a briefing, the President so embarrassed himself by suggesting people get experimented on -- with by injecting disinfecting into them that they stopped the Coronavirus Task Force briefings, because the President embarrassed himself and got mad that he was called out I call down there's lies about it.

Sanjay Gupta and Jim Acosta, thank you very much.

Up next, the police chief who accept the resignation of SWAT team members after she took a knee with protesters.



COOPER: Tonight protesters are calling for policing reform following the police killing vid another African-American man this time in Atlanta, and 21 days after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Some of the protests nationwide police leaders have been kneeling in solidarity with the demonstrators like this one in South Florida from last week. In the crowd there is Hallandale Beach Police Chief Sonia Quinones. Because of her kneeling all 10 members of the city SWAT team have resigned from those posts but are staying as members of police department.

Police chief joins us now. Chief Quinones, you met with the SWAT team this afternoon and the mayor this evening? What came with those meetings? What was their -- why were they upset that you had taken a knee?

SONIA QUINONES, POLICE CHIEF, HALLANDALE BEACH: So thank you very much for having me on here. And we saw what happened with George Florida and Mr. George Floyd did not have to die. So when our community came together for a protest in solidarity with an a memory of Mr. George Floyd, they asked me, Chief and any other law enforcement officers, would you like to join us? And I saw that as an opportunity to stand with them, to kneel with them. This is our community that we protect and serve and constantly building community. But it was important for us to show that we're together. This is not us against them. This is us working together, collaborating, and it was in reference to our police department, our community working together.

COOPER: The Vice Mayor today and I know the SWAT team felt that you knelt, you're kneeling for Howard Bowe Jr., who has man who was killed in a raid by the Hallandale SWAT team back in 2014. Officers were cleared of wrongdoing. The city reportedly made a close to half a million dollars a payout? Is that what you understood the protest to be or for you was this about George Floyd?

QUINONES: So this was in reference to the community in solidarity. I knelt with our community in memory of Mr. George flowing not against police, not against our officers, not to reopen a case. I support our officers. It's important that everybody understands we have a lot of great men and women that work for the Hallandale Beach Police Department and across all nations. And this was a case of simply working together with the community hand and hand. So not against police. Police, we have a great deal of great officers that work with us.


COOPER: So what happens -- I know the SWAT team also says that they have not received enough training, though I believe you upped the amount of training but it's still not as much as other place, other SWAT teams. For residents who are worried the city doesn't have a SWAT team anymore should they be? Can you use our resources from elsewhere?

QUINONES: So I just want to say I'm extremely disappointed, very disappointed that they walked away from their assignment. They never talked to me in advance. Let me know that there were concerns. I scheduled the meeting today to meet with them because I believe in -- if we're not connecting, if we're not communicating that we're not resolving concerns. So I wanted to have an opportunity to speak to them and hear them out. Listen to their concerns. What they stated in a memo was not accurate. We've provided increase in training hours we've provided over $100,000 in the last two years and SWAT specific equipment, and then they inaccurately and falsely stated that I took a knee in solidarity with the vice mayor, which was not the case it was in reverence with our community.

COOPER: Chief Quinones, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

Up next, the historic decision from the Supreme Court it gives more civil rights to gay, lesbian, transgender people at the workplace. It's an extraordinary ruling that's going to affect workplaces across the country. We'll be right back.



COOPER: With everything else going on today, you might have missed a landmark ruling from the Supreme Court in a 63 decision, the court said the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer workers from workplace discrimination. The ruling makes it illegal nationwide for an employer to fire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's first appointment to the court and Chief Justice John Roberts, join the courts for liberal members in the majority.

Joining us now for this reaction -- for his reaction, this historic ruling is Eric Cervini, author of a remarkable new book called The Deviants War, The Homosexual Versus The United States Of America.

Eric, I'm halfway through your book. It's incredibly well written and such a fascinating story, that you have an untold story, and I think it's such an important book, and I'm so glad you wrote it and the fact that it's come out on the, you know, days right before the Supreme Court ruling is incredible. Reading it, I was so moved today to hear this decision by the court because talk to me, talk to our viewers just about the generations of gay and lesbian and transgender people who have been fired from jobs unable to work simply for who they are.

ERIC CERVINI, AUTHOR: Well, thanks so much for having me Anderson. Yes, as you said, this did not begin with Stonewall or even with, you know, the late 1960s. This decision is the culmination of a 60-year battle that began when a disgraced government astronomer Dr. Frank Kameny, was fired simply for being gay. And he became in January 1961, the first openly gay man to assert his rights as an American citizen as an employee of the federal government saying that the civil rights of homosexuals were just as valid as any other minority group.

COOPER: Which was revolutionary at the time, and that's what your book really brings to life. I mean, J. Edgar Hoover was getting like daily briefings about this guy Frank Kameny, this astronomer. Frank Kameny had no money, I mean, he was starving at times. He couldn't get any jobs. He refused to give up on this quest. He was the first gay person to testify in front of Congress about gay people, which is just blows your mind. He was -- he actually wrote his own brief to the Supreme Court trying to get them to take this up. I mean, and he actually even got the first demonstration in front of the White House in the late '50s, which at the time was, I mean, if you can't even overestimate how startling that was to America. CERVINI: And I'm glad you mentioned the FBI because of course, if you were protesting for your rights as a gay or federal employee, then there were a very good likelihood that photographers would be there taking your photograph at the demonstration and then calling up the State Department calling up your private employer and saying, did you know that your employee is a sexual deviant? So he was as you said, the really the first to fight back and more directly to today was the first (INAUDIBLE) the American Civil Liberties Union that gay rights, that queer rights were a valid civil liberties issue because until Frank Kameny, that was not a concept that was widely regarded in the legal community. So with ACLU as an important figure in this own case, then we have to thank him and all the attorneys were so heroic.

COOPER: And also at the time, I mean, gay people were still being arrested, still being sent, you know, to mental institutions. You know, people had low bottom ease, shock treatment. I mean, it was really incredibly brave is such a minor word for this, if you would just talk to also the debt. I think that that gay people, lesbian people, transgender people in this country, especially white, gay, lesbian, transgender people owe to the black civil rights movement and the fight for equality for black Americans, because so those -- Frank Kameny and others really borrowed the methods of the people for non violent protests of the civil rights movement.

CERVINI: And there's been a lot of great discussion in recent weeks about how Stonewall was a riot and led by people of color, but I think that actually minimizes the role of the black freedom movement in our attainment of our own rights. As you said, you know, this is a 1964 bill that was written in response to the 1963 march on Washington, which itself was organized by a gay black man, so it is not just Stonewall --

COOPER: By Bayard Rustin.

CERVINI: Exactly by Bayard Rustin. And so we owe not just the riots in the people who fought there, but all the figures within the black freedom movement figures like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, who later established the framework and the foundations for the legal fight of today.


COOPER: Yes, the book is The Deviant's War, the Homosexual Versus United States of America. It's really just a fascinating read, and anybody interested in American History or queer history, I urge them to read it.

Eric Cervini, thank you so much. Really appreciate it. Thanks for writing the book.

CERVINI: Thanks for having me.

COOPER: Coming up next, what an investigation revealed when looking into President Trump's hurricane Dorian map scandal and know his actions at the time.


COOPER: Want to check it on Christie what he's working on for CUOMO PRIMETIME. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: How you doing Coop? So we have the attorney for Richard Brooks family on tonight. I have a tough conversation about what this situation says to them. And what his argument is about what justice is, and this is will not be an easy case. It's going to fuel a lot of controversy, a lot of anger. And I think a lot of division. And we're going to take that on, we're going to talk about it.


And we're also going to talk about an emerging problem we have with this pandemic. I mean we may have stopped paying attention to it not here. But people are tired of it as you know, Coop you and I hear it in our private lives all the time. But that doesn't mean the virus went away. And it's doing what the virus does. And we're really going to have to redouble efforts to figure it out. Otherwise, we could take a big step backwards this fall. So we'll take it on. But, you know --


CUOMO: -- there's just so much sadness, fear and worry in this country right now. That it is it is palpable, you can almost smell the anxiety. And it's hard doing the job in this environment, but we got to keep talking about what matters.

COOPER: Yes, thanks, man, Chris. Appreciate it. See in a few minutes.

Coming up next, a sharp review for the President's sharpie moment when he tried to steer a hurricane with a stroke of the pen.


COOPER: Earlier the program we're talking about the President trying to deny the reality the coronavirus pandemic. Finally tonight remember when the President used a sharpie to include Alabama in the path of Hurricane Dorian? Well, as you may remember, it wasn't in the path because, you know, science but the President tried to change that to match what he'd been saying which was not true.

Today, an independent panel investigating the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency's leadership concluded that they violated the agency's own scientific integrity policy, when they put out a statement supporting the President without including input from the office in Alabama. Those officials dispute finding.


The news continues want to hand over Chris for "CUOMO PRIMETIME". That seems a long time ago, doesn't Chris?