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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Protesters Marching In Brooklyn Center, Minnesota; Chauvin Defense Calls First Medical Expert; CDC Vaccine Advisers End Emergency Meeting Without Voting On Johnson & Johnson Vaccine; Women Describe Drug Use, Sex And Payments After Late-Night Parties With Gaetz, Others In New CNN Report; Pres. Biden Orders Troops Withdrawn From Afghanistan; Says No Further Benefit Would Result From Staying. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired April 14, 2021 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: But they also all made this decision that now is not the right time.
And we should note that he did say today he called former President Bush yesterday to let him know of his decision and we've also found out he also called President Obama as well -- Erin.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right, thank you very much, Kaitlan.
And thanks very much to all of you. Anderson starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Protesters are out again tonight on the streets of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, A city that once again is under curfew starting three hours from now. Demonstrations come after another fast moving day in the wake of Daunte Wright's killing by police during a traffic stop on Sunday.
Yesterday saw the Police Chief resign along with the officer who fired the single fatal shot. Today, that former officer, Kim Potter was arrested and charged with second degree manslaughter. She was booked into the Hennepin County Jail, but her prosecution is being conducted in nearby Washington County to avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of any.
Potter's home meantime is now surrounded with fencing and jersey barriers, a sign outside warning the area is under 24-hour surveillance.
Speaking today alongside the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Stephon Clark, Eric Garner, and Michael Brown, attorney Ben Crump, who represents Daunte Wright's family questioned Kim Potter's judgment from the beginning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY: It boggles the mind why she will pull him over in the first place, or is it the rules are set aside when you are really being targeted for driving while black? Because when you get down to the crux of the matter, when you look at what this officer did, she over policed from every point.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: In a separate statement, Crump cast doubt on the idea that she shot Daunte Wright accidentally after mistaking her gun for a Taser. I'm quoting him now. "A 26-year-veteran of the force knows the difference between a Taser and a firearm." And according to the prosecutor's office, the particular way Potter carried the two weapons made it especially hard to mistake one for the other. Her gun was holstered on the right, her Taser on the left in what's called the straight draw position.
This means, she would have been forced to use the Taser left handed and the gun with her right. Now, looking at her body cam video, you can see a piece of paper in what appears to be her left hand and her gun in the right as the officer struggle with Wright.
Whatever her training or intentions, if that's indeed her left hand, it was busy holding something other than a Taser. But she proceeds as though she's got a Taser in her right hand even though according to the Washington County attorney, she could only have drawn her gun with it.
She shouts, "Taser, Taser, Taser," and then fires the gun. Just to underscore how quickly this all unfolded, here is the video in real time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll tase you. I'll tase you. Taser. Taser. Taser.
Holy shit. I just shot him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: You can hear using an expletive, then saying, "I just shot him."
Early today, Potter posted bail which was set at $100,000.00. Her first court appearance is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. Miguel Marquez joins us now from Brooklyn Center.
So, what's been the reaction to the charge against former officer Potter?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There is relief certainly that she has been charged and been charged so quickly. The fact that she resigned, that the Police Chief resigned and that these charges have come have all been met with elation by the crowd that is gathered here for a fourth night now, but they also say it's not enough.
They want not only her charged with greater crimes, essentially murder charges is what they'd like to see, but they want all those everyday transactions between African-Americans, people of color and police to cease. This case like the George Floyd case before it, like so many before
that has just become a rallying cry for people to show up here night after night after night -- Anderson.
COOPER: And are more protests expected tonight?
MARQUEZ: I want to show you a little bit what's going on here. They are. There are more protests expected tonight. It is a bit of a rally, a bit of an organizational events.
They are making speeches. There is music. They brought food in tonight so that people have something to eat.
The weather is a little bit nicer than it was yesterday with the snow, but I want to show you sort of what the Brooklyn Center Police Station looks like tonight.
Protesters along the fence. The Sheriff's Office is again taking the lead in all of this and then several different levels of Sheriff's Deputies in full riot gear who are protecting the police station.
The curfew as you said goes into effect in a couple of hours, or a few hours, and we will see. They are handing out a legal number because they understand that many of the people who are coming here want to have their voices heard, but many more that are here, they want to take it directly to the police and they want to be here every single night, they say until that equality is at a much greater level -- Anderson.
COOPER: Miguel Marquez. Miguel, thanks very much. Joining us now is Janee Harteau, former Minneapolis Chief of Police.
Chief, thanks for coming on. When you look at the body camera video, I'm wondering what your reaction is to how this shooting unfolded.
JANEE HARTEAU, FORMER MINNEAPOLIS CHIEF OF POLICE: First, Anderson, thanks for having me, and I do want to say my heart not only goes out to the Wright family, but you know, I have family and friends still in the Minneapolis area in Minnesota, and I know that they are all struggling right now. And so I am there with them.
When I look at the body camera footage, I think to myself how rapidly things unfolded, and how to me it highlights the need for police actions and for those in policing to really look at the ability to slow down and to have some critical thinking.
I realized things happen quickly, but I felt like there was other things that potentially could have been done. The idea of shooting a Taser, even, let alone a handgun inside a vehicle has had historically bad outcomes.
COOPER: It seems like there were a number of mistakes, even just procedural mistakes, even having this encounter take place in front of an open door of a vehicle makes it easy for anybody to get back into the vehicle, quick to drive off as it seems like this young man was trying to do. That's not really standard procedures.
HARTEAU: No, it's not. I mean, there certainly seemed to be some tactical errors. I mean, generally, we would want to bring a subject to behind the vehicle or back to the squad car.
I believe, the engine was still running. We would want to make sure that the car was turned off. We usually ask the drivers to shut off the vehicle when we approach them.
And so I think that in and of itself set up a multitude of things. I don't know if it was the training officer -- not the FTO which was Officer Potter, but the officer she was training that was making those decisions, but I think it helps set up a very bad outcome.
COOPER: How in your view could a 26-year police department veteran mistake a gun for a Taser especially if indeed they were carrying the Taser on the opposite side of the body? Because you heard the Wright family attorney, Ben Crump says he thinks this was intentional.
HARTEAU: Yes, I mean, officers do -- they are trained to carry it on the opposite side. That's where it is. It's very intense training, the Taser training. Officers are actually shot with a Taser, so they know how it feels. They get recertified every year.
Clearly, it's a different color than your handgun, but the unfortunate reality and I do believe it might have popped up this time, I don't know, I have more questions than answers just like everybody else, but it's muscle memory. And there is the potential that 26 years of probably reaching for your handgun versus not as many years with a Taser is the only thing that I can think of that would impact somebody to make that mistake.
She is a field training officer. That's probably on her mind. She is responsible for everything that's happening. And so I've said, I have those same questions myself. It is really hard to understand for anybody.
COOPER: Yes, this tragedy obviously happened not far from the courthouse where Derek Chauvin is on trial for the murder of George Floyd. What do you say to those who wonder if there is some essential problem or inherent problem in police training in Minnesota and you know, writ large.
HARTEAU: So, you know, in Minneapolis and in the Minnesota area, we actually have highly trained officers. We are all very versed in best practices. We're very progressive in our training, and I think it goes beyond training. It goes beyond the classroom.
It is what is happening from the time we train our officers to when they're out on the street, when there -- is it police culture? I think there's something to be said about that. There's always been this kind of conversation of well, you know, that's the classroom, this is real life. This is where things happen swiftly.
And I think we need to look at what does transpire on the street versus training because we have incredible training in the State of Minnesota.
COOPER: The Mayor of Brooklyn Center says that none of the officers who work in that community actually live in the community. We've seen that obviously in a lot of places around the country, a lot of cities, how problematic is that in terms of establishing relationships, trust with residents?
HARTEAU: Well, I think there's nothing to date. I mean, we've really looked at coming up with ways to incentivize officers to move within the city, but there's nothing concrete that really says that an officer living in the city that they patrol makes them more caring, more empathetic.
We're looking for good quality officers that have high levels of character integrity, and I think we don't want to necessarily make the pool of candidates, those good quality candidates smaller because we're requiring them to live in the city. And I think if we could correlate that that would be one thing. But that is, I don't think is much of a more concrete solution in the situation we face.
COOPER: Chief Harteau, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
HARTEAU: Thanks for having me.
COOPER: Just ahead, the Chauvin trial, the latest from the courtroom today. Defense witnesses claim suggesting that heart problems and even car exhaust fumes could have played a part in George Floyd's death. We'll tell you what the prosecution said about that as well.
Next, more on the training police get that is supposed to prevent police from thinking they're reaching for a Taser and instead drawing a gun.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Show me your hands. Show me your hands. Drop the knife. Last time. Taser. Taser. Taser.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And later, the one question that left Congressman Matt Gaetz speechless. Plus, all the new allegations CNN has uncovered involving drugs and sex and late night parties he attended.
COOPER: There appears to be something going on in Brooklyn Center right now. Let's go back to Miguel Marquez. Miguel, what's happening?
MARQUEZ: Yes, the picture that you're looking at right now is sort of the front gate to the police station here and you can see the protesters have sort of some of them -- most of the protesters are listening to speeches in a rally just not too far away, but many of them have now sort of crowded up to this front gate, sort of the weak spot. That's why they have this big military vehicle right here.
This is the Sheriff's Office, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office. The way that they cleared protesters last night has only in some ways angered them more. There are about 60 individuals that were rolled up and arrested last night, many of them are still in jail today.
The sheriff's personnel in full riot gear have now moved up to that gate and this is very much how it started last night. This is earlier than it started last night, but this is very much the same way that it started last night with this particular area being the focus of protesters, ire and anger and then the pepper spray will start and the flashbangs and they will start pushing them back as they feel that the station here is being threatened.
What they do want to avoid at all costs is a repeat of what happened last summer at Precinct 3 for the Minneapolis Police when protesters took that over and burned it down, so they have a very, very heavy police presence, as heavy if not, it is a lot heavier that they had last night at this station to ensure that protesters aren't able to get through these barriers and have any sort of threat to the station itself -- Anderson.
COOPER: They have pushed the curfew back, correct?
MARQUEZ: It is 10:00 p.m. local. Last night was a bit confusing because different cities -- now, this is not Minneapolis. This is Northwestern Minneapolis, but it's a different city. Different cities put them in for different times.
Tonight, it is 10:00 p.m. for Brooklyn Center. Other areas, other neighborhoods, other cities may have slightly different times that they are on curfew. There is no statewide curfew, but it did cause some confusion because some of them started at eight, some of them started at nine, some started at 10. For Brooklyn Center tonight, it starts at 10:00 p.m.
But they've already made announcements that they need to step back. That this is an unlawful assembly. They are blocking traffic here on Humboldt. It's a major sort of thoroughfare in this area. And there is clear concern that these protests are not going to end.
The protesters are saying they will be back every single night. The death of Dante Wright has really sort of solidified the anger at police and years of mistrust between communities at the worst possible time, just as this just horrific evidence in the Chauvin trial has been telecast every single day.
COOPER: Yes. Miguel Marquez. Miguel, thank you. Appreciate it. Just a reminder, this all comes after ex-officer Kim Potter was charged with second degree manslaughter, those charges being filed today.
Even if at very best, her use of her service weapon instead of a Taser was simply a horrible, horrible mistake, it would still represent a failure of training or procedure or both. Our Gary Tuchman reports on how police departments do try to prevent the next incident like this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that's how we're going to do it.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This is the gun range at the Camden County, New Jersey police department.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Taser. Taser. Taser.
TUCHMAN (voice over): And this is where Taser training is also conducted, and while some police departments have different protocols, this is what's most commonly done.
TUCHMAN: If you're a righty, your gun is always on your right side. Your Taser is always on your left side.
DET. STEPHEN MARAKOWSKI, CAMDEN COUNTY POLICE: Correct. And vice versa, if you're a left-handed shooter, right, your Taser is going to be on your right hand side.
TUCHMAN: You never have both weapons on the same side.
MARAKOWSKI: Absolutely not.
TUCHMAN (voice over): You're about to enter the department's virtual reality de-escalation studio.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Male is armed with a knife, roll me additional units and start ODMS.
TUCHMAN (voice over): This is the scenario training these cops do with on-screen actors. Do they use their guns or their Tasers, which weigh less and are yellow, helping to differentiate them?
This is a cafeteria.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything is good. Anybody else in here with you?
TUCHMAN (voice over): Police quickly learn there is a woman with a knife. It's a threat, but not an imminently deadly threat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last time. Taser. Taser. Taser.
TUCHMAN (voice over): And then the man who had been on the ground pops up with a gun.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Suspect. Suspect.
TUCHMAN: The deadly threat leads to the officer using his gun, all part of the critical decision making that is emphasized here.
CAPT. KEVIN LUTZ, CAMDEN COUNTY POLICE: The sanctity of life and the preservation of life is the core of what we do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gun is on my right hip, the yellow Taser on my left hip, much heavier on my right side, very clearly much heavier.
TUCHMAN: I am then given some of the training a new police recruit would get.
SGT. RAPHAEL THORNTON, CAMDEN COUNTY POLICE: Sir, we're here to help you. Remember Introduce yourself.
TUCHMAN: My name is -- my name is Gary Tuchman. I'm with the police. Happy to help you, sir.
TUCHMAN (voice over): We are told this man is threatening to stab a child.
TUCHMAN: Sir, we are here to help you out, sir. I can promise you.
THORNTON: Use active listening. Active listening. See what he is saying?
TUCHMAN: I'm going to listen to what you're saying, sir. Tell me what you're saying. And then we're happy to help you. Sir. No, no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know who I am, you better back off.
TUCHMAN: Sir, we're not messing with you. We're not messing with you, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know who I am?
TUCHMAN: Who are you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: [Bleep]. That's who I am. You don't know who I am to you.
TUCHMAN: Sir -- sir, we want to help you. Please, just listen to me. I'm happy to talk to you and listen to everything you want to say. Please. We want to defuse the situation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: [Bleep].
TUCHMAN: Sir, please. Sir, please, Sir. Sir. Taser. Taser. Taser.
THORNTON: Okay. No gun here. No gun. That's a Taser, everybody.
TUCHMAN: Did we do it right?
THORNTON: We did it right. At this time, you will walk up to the individual and secure him. So right now, we want to do --
TUCHMAN: So, he is okay though.
THORNTON: He's okay.
TUCHMAN: And that was the right way to handle it. THORNTON: That was the right way to handle it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got two male subjects shot --
TUCHMAN (voice over): The training is intense, and part of the training says the Chief is never to use a gun or a Taser unless you absolutely have to.
CHIEF GABRIEL RODRIGUEZ, CAMDEN COUNTY POLICE: If you identify the person they get away, you're going to still find them. There is still time. Slow things down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to be okay. Everything's going to be all right.
TUCHMAN (voice over): Gary Tuchman, CNN, Camden, New Jersey.
COOPER: A lot can happen in the heat of the moment. Perspective now from our legal and law enforcement team, CNN law enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey, former top cop in Philadelphia and the District of Columbia; also CNN senior legal analyst and former Federal prosecutor, Laura Coates.
Chief Ramsey, so you see Gary's piece, I'm assuming a lot of that is very familiar to you. What do you say to those asking how an officer with more than two decades experience could get it wrong like this, between a Taser and a gun?
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, nothing's going to be failsafe, but I think you see from that training, the training is pretty intense. So, you know, this is a situation where I don't know how much experience she has in really dealing with really highly critical situations or not, but it was negligence.
I mean, to mistake your Taser and firearm is not that easy to do. You can see that the weapon looks different. It feels different. The weight is different. It's on a different side of your body.
You know, I don't know how she wound up doing it. I don't think it was intentional, only because of when you listen to the audio, you could hear her reaction when she fires. But that doesn't take away from the negligence that took place during the encounter. Plus all the tactical mistakes that were made that actually led up to the event to begin with.
COOPER: Laura, did the speed with which prosecutors announced the secondary manslaughter charge surprise you? I mean, what is the bar that they will have to meet for conviction?
LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, frankly, they're going to have to meet this bar of saying that the person actually created an unreasonable risk and then consciously disregarded the risk and that's going to be important here. You're only talking about intentionality, but really about consciously
and so there's a lot going to be made about whether her, oh, expletive comment after shooting was indicative of an accident or not. What steps beforehand created the unreasonable risk and how likely it was that she truly did accidentally fail to distinguish her Taser from her gun.
It's not unheard of, for a prosecutor to be able to make quick assessments, but it often doesn't end the inquiry for prosecutors. The initial charge might just be the initial charge. It doesn't have to be the absolute ceiling.
If more information comes out to suggest that this was in fact intentional, or not simply accidental as the now resigned Police Chief would have us believe, then they may be able to develop more about that incident.
But again, this word, "consciously" to disregard it, to consciously do something, in a way is going to really lead the prosecution here because it's similar to intentionality. But it's more so about whether you were aware and made a decision to disregard the risk that you created. That's a bit of a bar.
COOPER: Do you think prosecutors charged the case appropriately, Laura?
COATES: You know, of the available laws that are available in Minnesota right now, there's not really just pure negligence where you don't have this culpable negligence standard of consciousness regard. You could have lower charges.
In fact, the person who shot and killed Philando Castile, Jeronimo Yanez several years ago was charged with not only second degree manslaughter, but also firing his firearm with reckless disregard.
Now, he was acquitted on all of those charges, but there are available things, but right now, the evidence we have, this prosecutor finds this prudent, but I doubt it's the end of it.
COOPER: Chief Ramsey, just quickly, how, if someone, when you hear someone who has been on the force for 26 years, does that automatically mean that they do have a lot of experience in actual, you know, policing on the street?
RAMSEY: No, it doesn't. I mean, that one -- this is a smaller jurisdiction. I don't know anything about it, but they only have 49 officers. How often they're in high stress situations? I really don't know, I couldn't tell you.
But the length of time on the job depending on your assignment, things that you've experienced during that period of time. You could have an officer with three years working in some areas. They could have experience equal to somebody in a slower jurisdiction with 20 years.
So it all depends on what they've encountered during that period of time.
COOPER: Chief Ramsey, appreciate it. Laura Coates, thank you. And Laura is going to stay with us because we want to shift focus to the trial of the former Minnesota police officer in the killing of George Floyd, Derek Chauvin's attorneys called their first medical expert today and we'll discuss which of any of his arguments could influence jurors when we come back.
COOPER: Derek Chauvin's attorneys today called their first medical expert witness to rebut prosecutors' case as they sought to place more blame on the death of George Floyd on Floyd himself. Omar Jimenez has details.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do.
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Day two of defense witnesses in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, and the topic shifted from use of force to cause of death for George Floyd.
ERIC NELSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR DEREK CHAUVIN: Did you form in your opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, which you thought was the principal cause of Mr. Floyd's death?
DAVID FOWLER, FMR CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER, MARYLAND DEPT. OF HEALTH: Yes.
NELSON: And what is that?
FOWLER: Cardiac arrhythmia due to hypertensive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease during restrict.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): In other words, a bad heart while being restrained by police. No mention of asphyxiation as other doctors have testified or low levels of oxygen brought on by being chest down on the street, handcuffed with the weight of three officers.
Dr. David Fowler went on to testify about what he thought were several possible contributing factors to George Boyd's death.
FOWLER: So we have half the (INAUDIBLE) because it's too big. There are certain drugs that are present in your system that make it put it at risk of an arrhythmia.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): He added the potential for carbon monoxide from the squad cars exhaust.
FOWLER: It is an extremely toxic gas.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): Fowler also testified that the force applied by the knee of Chauvin would not have directly impacted George Floyd's ability to survive.
NELSON: Is it your opinion that Mr. Chauvin's knee in any way impacted the structures of Mr. Floyd's neck?
FOWLER: No, it did. None of the vital structures were in the area where the knee appeared to be from the videos.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): But outside of this trial, Dr. David Fowler faces his own legal issues, among others accused in a federal lawsuit filed of covering up police responsibility and the 2018 death of 19- year-old Anton Black in Maryland and falsely attributing the cause of death to a heart condition, bipolar disorder and/or other natural causes, thereby blaming the victim for his own death and obscuring official responsibility, according to the complaint.
A representative from Fowler's legal team told CNN, our cases in litigation and we cannot comment.
Back in this trial, during cross examination, prosecutors push back on the doctors assertions.
NELSON: So yes or no question.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): They specifically focused on the cause of death, the central argument in this trial.
JERRY BLACKWELL, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: If a person dies as a result of low oxygen, that person is also going to die ultimately have a fatal arrhythmia. Right?
FOWLER: Correct. Every one of us in this room will have a fatal arrhythmia at some point.
BLACKWELL: Right. Because that's kind of how you go.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): Taking the witness to a familiar bottom line.
BLACKWELL: Do you feel that Mr. Floyd should have been given? He needed emergency attention to try to reverse the cardiac arrest.
FOWLER: As a physician, I would agree.
BLACKWELL: Are you critical of the fact that he wasn't given immediate emergency care when he went into cardiac arrest?
FOWLER: As a physician, I would agree.
JIMENEZ: Now, in the courtroom, by all accounts, jurors, were taking lots of notes on Dr. Fowler's testimony, though I should mention, they did not hear about what we learned in regards to Dr. Fowler's prior controversy. But nonetheless, they seemed engaged at times even talking to each other during sidebars. And this was really the defense's opportunity to try and encounter medical witness after medical witness to prosecutors brought to the stand over the course of last week and into this one Anderson.
COOPER: Omar Jimenez, appreciate it.
We're getting perspective now in today's testimony from two legal experts. Back with us, former federal prosecutor and CNN senior legal analyst Laura Coates, joining us as criminal defense attorney Mark O'Mara.
So Laura, I mean, obviously defense is trying to do everything possible to convince jurors at something other than Derek Chauvin's knee is what led to George Floyd's. Did what you heard today is incredible compared to the prosecution's case thus far?
COATES: Absolutely not. I mean, I found myself saying are we two hours, three hours in and we still have not heard any mention of the use of force. When you fail to address the very obvious elephant in the room in front of a jury, if you're an expert, you fatally undermine your credibility, not to mention the idea of suggesting alternative theories of death, including carbon monoxide poisoning because George Floyd's head was near an exhaust pipe without this expert ever examining whether the car was turned on, whether it was emitting anything.
And by the way, it wasn't as if George Floyd, even if that were true, that he was down on the ground voluntarily. And so you had these moments where even obvious concessions that could have been made led for the jury to have the opportunity to question. If this person is unwilling to essentially call, you know, the -- a ball and a strike, then what else can't we trust this person on and that's a really stark contrast from what we saw last week for the pulmonologist, cardiologist, the forensic pathologist and a medical examiner.
COOPER: And Mark, how did you think this defense witness acquitted himself?
MARK O'MARA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, we have to remember that the defense's here any defense attorney's job is to highlight the potential of reasonable doubt. So, this testimony from one perspective is literally changing three or four or five degrees, a view of the very same facts.
He didn't change the facts very much, he gave his interpretation of it. And if the defense can do their job and saying, look, then we're not going to blow out of the water, two weeks of very strong state witnesses. But here's some alternatives, interestingly, the carbon monoxide coming to the forefront.
And again, isn't it, it's going to be viewed as a cheap shot without evidence, maybe, but the defense job is to get one or several of those jurors to think I have a doubt now as to how it may have fully happened, what the true cause of death was. And here's the reason I can attach to that doubt. The defense does not need to prove up their case. They need to show reasonable doubt. And that is where he's starting to try and go today.
COOPER: Laura, I want to play another portion of the testimony of this Dr. Fowler.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FOWLER: In my opinion, Mr. Floyd had a sudden cardiac arrhythmia or cardiac arrhythmia, due to his atherosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease or you can write that down multiple different ways during his restraint (INAUDIBLE) restraint by the police.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I mean, it's interesting to me that he called Floyd's death sudden, obviously, you know, the jury knows how long have Mr. Floyd was restrained and on the ground for?
COATES: Let's, I mean, the idea of word choice being important and not only was the word sudden important in the context of things because there's nothing sudden about nine minutes and 29 seconds of contemplative action when somebody is imploring you to stop for multiple minutes, four or more, the person is not even breathing and not conscious, and by all accounts of the EMT appear to be dead when they arrived.
The other aspect of is that were during though Anderson. Did you hear him say the word during as if somehow there was a coincidence or occurrence here? That at this exact moment in time, it wasn't George Floyd who was in the wrong place at the wrong time under the knee of Derek Chauvin, it was Derek Chauvin who was at the wrong place the wrong time. Because George was going to die at this moment anyway, that were during rubs people the wrong way, because it's so disingenuous and belies the logic of this case.
COOPER: Yes, Laura Coates, Mark O'Mara, appreciate it. Thank you.
We have breaking news, up next, CDC vaccine advisors just ended an emergency meeting on that pause of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine. We'll tell you what they're saying, when we continue.
COOPER: And breaking news tonight from the CDC, a day after recommending a pause and the use of the single shot Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine, a panel of CDC vaccine advisors decided to end their emergency meeting without making decision whether to continue the pause or recommend the vaccine be put back in the nation's delivery systems. Members of committee said they needed more information about the extremely rare cases of blood clots discovered among a handful of women.
Joining me now is CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Ala Stanford, a pediatric surgeon and founder of the Black Doctors COVID Consortium.
Sanjay, what additional information does the advisory committee want to know before making a recommendation on the Johnson & Johnson so called pause?
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, so first of all, this is an advisory committee. So, you know, they would give some recommendations ultimately to the CDC. I think, you know, listening in on the meeting, what they really want to sort of figure out is, are there certain things that tie these six women together? Are there certain common denominators, certain medications that they may have been taking, or anything else that may have increased the risk for this, trying to sort of piece this together?
But I think also more practically speaking, Anderson now that this is out there, clinicians around the country are hearing about it. They weren't trying to figure out are there more people out there that may have had this same problem? We just haven't heard about them yet, as one committee member put it, is this sort of a needle in a haystack? Or is this the tip of the iceberg? They want to get a better sense of the scope of this problem? Still sounds like it's very rare to be clear about that. But I think those are some of the questions they still want to answer.
COOPER: Dr. Stanford, you started administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on March 12th I understand. How has the policy impacted your efforts? And what do you think of the pause?
ALA STANFORD, FOUNDER, BLACK DOCTORS COVID-19 CONSORTIUM: Well, I think it was the right thing to do. When you see something that can be potentially so catastrophic to an individual and there is an association, you have to dig a little deeper and make sure there aren't some preventative things we can be doing.
For us, we did vaccinate yesterday. We changed everything on our social media and let people know that we would not be administering Johnson & Johnson and to stay tuned for more information which we'll be doing some of that tomorrow.
COOPER: And Dr. Stanford, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, poll, vaccine hesitancy among black Americans had dropped in recent weeks, and 55% of people polled said that they had been vaccinated or plan to be, you started combating vaccine hesitancy last fall? Are you worried there's going to be now more in the days ahead?
STANFORD: A little bit. But, you know, yesterday, we still had our typical 700 to 1000 people to get their Moderna second shot and first shot. Yesterday, I was going room to room telling folks about Johnson & Johnson and letting them know that we'd have some more information coming out with educational sessions, the remainder of the week, so people can get their questions answered.
COOPER: And Sanjay, we learned today that at least four out of the six women who develop his blood clots were given the wrong treatment at first. How dangerous was that? GUPTA: Well, that that can be quite dangerous, Anderson. I mean, this is a complicated problem. The way that sort of think about this is that you have to almost the opposite things happening at the same time. This blood clot so you're getting a collection a blood clot in one of the blood vessels that's draining blood away from the brain.
So, typically, if you get a clot, you may think well, let's give blood thinners like heparin because of that clot. The problem is that you're collecting a lot of the clotting, platelets in one area so that you're also at risk of bleeding in other parts of your body. So you wouldn't want to give heparin in this case. It's a lot to absorb I realize. But you're clotting and potentially at risk of bleeding at the same time --
COOPER: Heparin is the blood thinner.
GUPTA: -- it serves medications like heparin. Heparin as a blood thinner. Now, there are other blood thinners which may work better in this sort of situation, or other types of medications altogether. It's not that common a problem. So again, I think that was also part of the reason for the pause to say, hey, look, these cerebral sinus thrombosis, that's the name of it, it needs to be treated in a specific way. Let's make sure we're sending a message to clinicians out there so that they're reminded of that.
COOPER: But Sanjay, and correct me I'm probably wrong about this, but people have in COVID, in autopsies, they see a lot of blood clots. Is that --
COOPER: I mean, is it -- is that the -- is the blood clots that these few individuals in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been? Is that related to COVID?
GUPTA: Well, so yes, first of all, you're right. The COVID itself, the disease COVID is real is a cause of blood clots, and you've had people who develop deep venous thrombosis in their legs, people who have had strokes as a result of that COVID toes may be a component of blood clots as well. But this is a different sort of blood clot. The location is typically in these blood vessels in the brain, but also the cause of this blood clot is different. So you can't sort of lump all these clots together.
A lot of people have been saying well look, maybe it's the birth control pills that have increased the propensity for this possibly, but those typically cause different types of blood clots if the woman's taking those and develops one.
COOPER: I see. Sanjay, Dr. Ala Stanford, thank you. Appreciate it. Good to have you.
Still to come, what happens when CNN tries to ask Congressman Matt Gaetz about that federal probe? Also, new CNN report involving allegations of drugs and payments and house parties attended by Gaetz and local Republicans, when "360" continues.
COOPER: Likely of interest the federal probe Congressman Matt Gaetz are new allegations CNN has uncovered involving drugs and late night house parties attended by the Florida congressman and some local Republicans. Two women in attendance who spoke to CNN said though women were asked to put away their phones by their (INAUDIBLE) prevent anything being documented.
According to receipts reviewed by CNN Gaetz an associate us digital payment apps to send hundreds of dollars to at least one woman who attended the parties. Separate sources tell CNN that associate Joel Greenberg has been providing information to federal investigators since last year, including on Gaetz. The normally vocal Gaetz was quiet when CNN caught up with him today.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congressman Gaetz, have you spoken with the FBI? Have they seized your phone? FBI seized your phone?
REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): Today I'm working on Armed Services (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you shared nude photos of on the House Floor? That members have told us that you did? Have you spoken to Leader McCarthy about the situation about the investigation? The FBI hasn't taken your phone?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: Well also of interest investigators in 2018 trip to the Bahamas with friends and young women that CNN has previously reported on, Politico has new reporting on that.
We're joined by Matt Dixon who shares the byline in the story. So what have you learned about gets his time in the Bahamas?
MATT DIXON, POLITICO, FLORIDA BUREAU CHIEF: Well, what is most notable about it? I heard in that the clip that you played there that he wouldn't answer questions about if the Fed seized this phone, they certainly have seized his phone in December, they seized his ex- girlfriend's phone also in December. And so, that that is sort of a new development in the trip to the Bahamas back in 2018 is all sort of part of this, you know, extended investigation that we're all, you know, you guys included sort of digging through.
And there was at least five women involved. They, you know, came in and out of Orlando, and they got stopped by customs in and out. So there's, there's several elements and several data points that have helped us sort of put this together based on his cell phone being seized, and also that Bahamas trip. But there's, you know, obviously so a lot of questions to take a look at.
COOPER: I mean, he has clearly intimated that, you know, he has paid for travel of people he was dating. Is that I mean, I guess that's what authorities, one part of this that authorities would have to figure out is, is this -- are these people he was in a relationship of whatever sort with or it was this a professional relationship. Wasn't a transaction?
DIXON: Right? Well, it's incredibly important to point out that Matt Gaetz has not been charged with anything at this point. These are allegations at this point. He is being investigated by the Feds. And you're right that the pushback or unnecessary the pushback, his version of this is that it's not illegal to pay for travel of women that you're dating or seeing in some romantic fashion of age.
So, that is absolutely his version of this. There, you know, seems to be other elements and the Feds are investigating that story and trying to poke holes in it as we speak. But you're right, the point you just made is certainly valid. And that is Congressman Gaetz's version of it.
COOPER: There have also been questions asked about the ages of some of the women on this trip.
DIXON: Yes, no, without question. I mean, the underlying allegation, the biggest allegation that Congressman Gaetz is facing is that he had had sex with a 17-year-old and that, you know, there's a traffic allegation across state lines. Sources, we have reported this public and political stories, we have sources who are saying that the women were all over 18, specifically on the Bahamas trip.
So, we're talking about the trip that is to the Bahamas in September of 2018 that is being investigated. We have we have folks telling us everyone is of age, but key to this investigation is whether or not Matt Gaetz had had, you know, sexual relations with someone who was under age.
COOPER: And you're saying you have you have clear reporting that the Feds took Matt Gaetz's cellphone?
DIXON: Yes, both his cell phone in December of 2020. His cellphone number abruptly changed at the point we didn't know exactly what that meant. We couldn't quite figure it out. Now, through hindsight, several months later, it's our understanding that his cellphone was taken. And then an ex-girlfriend of his cellphone is also taken and seized by the feds as part of this sort of broader investigation. Yes.
COOPER: In any sense of where the Feds are in their investigation?
DIXON: Not at this point from a timeline perspective is CNN, The New York Times, Politico of all reported his, you know, friend or former friend Joel Greenberg, who is a local Florida elections official is facing some serious time with the President is cooperating with federal investigators. At this point, I think that's the extent to which we know from a timeline perspective, so that that's kind of where we're at this point.
COOPER: Well Matt Dixon, I appreciate your reporting. Thank you very much.
DIXON: Thanks so much.
COOPER: Just ahead, President Biden announcing America's longest war will soon be over. He's ordering the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan after 20 years. What some of his most senior advisors told him before he made his decision, when we continue.
COOPER: President Biden says that the last U.S. troops will leave Afghanistan by September 11, on the 20th anniversary of the attack in the World Trade Center that triggered the country's longest war. Speaking from the same room that President George W. Bush used to announce the start of the war, President Biden said no further benefit would result from keeping troops there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan, hoping to create ideal conditions for the drawl and expecting a different result. I'm now the fourth United States President to preside over American true presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans, two Democrats. I will not pass this responsibility on to a fifth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: But multiple current and former officials tell CNN that some of the President's most senior advisors were against his decision among them, General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell came out against the move, and retired Admiral William McRaven, who was an overall charge of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden says he quote, does not trust the Taliban at all, and thinks they will try to establish a pre-9/11 presence in Afghanistan.
After making his announcement, President Biden traveled to Arlington National Cemetery to visit Section 60. The final resting place the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in America's most recent wars, including Afghanistan. That's where Biden said it was time to end what he called America's forever war.
That's it for us. Thanks for watching. The news continues right now. Let's head over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME."
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right, Anderson, thank you very much. I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.