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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Ex-Officer in Daunte Wright Killing Charged; Body Cam Video of 13-Year-Old Boy Shot by Chicago Officer Released; Testimony Ends in Chauvin Trial, Closing Arguments Set for Monday; Protesters Gather For 5th Night After Ex-Officer Charged in Daunte Wright Killing Makes First Court Appearance; Pfizer CEO: Third Shot Vaccine Dose Likely Needed Within 6 To 12 Months; Dr. Fauci, GOP Rep. Jordan In Heated Exchange Over Pandemic Restrictions. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired April 15, 2021 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Officer Evans was killed in the line of duty on April 2nd. A driver slammed into him while crashing into a barricade at the U.S. Capitol Complex. The 41-one-year-old was a husband and a father of two young children you see there grieving.
Our sincerest condolences to them, to his wife, and to the Evans family.
Thanks to all of you for being with us. Anderson starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. It has been a busy and a difficult day in addition to the first court appearance for the ex- officer -- police officer charged in Daunte Wright's killing in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota and the trial in Minneapolis of ex-officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd, a video merge today from Chicago in the fatal police shooting of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Latino.
Of course, all of the cases are different, each scenario and each investigation is unique and we'll treat each of them as such.
There is no denying the country is on edge. We'll be joined by the Toledo family attorney, our legal and law enforcement analysts are here as well, including former D.C. and Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey, who is especially qualified to talk about what he is and what isn't appropriate use of deadly force.
We want to start though where Daunte Wright was killed, Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, a town that has seen four straight nights of protests and unrest, and it looks to be bracing for a fifth.
Miguel Marquez is there. So, what are you seeing right now, Miguel?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it very much does look like it's going to be a fifth night of some sort of protest. I want to show you what the crowd is doing right now.
Look, people are out here rallying. They are out here in support of Daunte Wright. They certainly want to see justice for him. They want to see changes to the police force as well and to the way policing is done.
They are handing out umbrellas. They are handing out eye protection. They are clearly preparing for a night of making a very emphatic point to the police here of the changes that they want to see to the entire system.
The police for their side have put in extra barriers, cement barriers and fencing all the way up and down the station itself and even on some of the side streets here, so both sides sort of getting ready for another night here, but I've got to tell you that police have gotten much better at moving in very quickly when curfews go into effect and moving people, breaking up the protest and moving people out -- Anderson.
COOPER: Is there a curfew in place tonight as there has been over the past couple of days?
MARQUEZ: There is for Brooklyn Center. It's been a little patchy around the entire Minneapolis area. There's not for the City of Minneapolis. There is not for Brooklyn Park, which is just east of where we are. But for Brooklyn Center, there is one starting at 10:00 p.m.
The curfew aside though, if the police decide that it is an unlawful gathering, they will announce that and start using means to try to move the crowd on as well.
So, we'll have to see how the night progresses, but it is always a little different and we suspect that this crowd will be back again and again and again -- Anderson.
COOPER: Miguel Marquez, appreciate it.
Now, Chicago and the killing of the 13-year-old, Adam Toledo. A warning first: this is an especially difficult subject. Our Randi Kaye has the story.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's hard to watch the final moments of a 13-year-old boy's life.
The Chicago police officer's body cam appears to show the teenage boy with what police say is a gun in his right hand turning toward the officer. In less than a second, he is fatally shot, a single bullet to the chest from the officer's gun.
It happened on March 29th.
Chicago Police say officers were responding to a shots-fired-call on the city's West Side when they say they came upon 13-year-old Adam Toledo and a 21-year-old man walking down an alley.
The officer's body cam footage shows Toledo fleeing and the officer pursuing the teenager on foot yelling at him to stop.
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KAYE (voice-over): What happened next is still under investigation. But police say the body cam video shows Toledo with a gun in his right hand as the officer once again yells for him to stop.
As the boy turns around, the officer opens fire.
MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT (D-IL), CHICAGO: I've seen no evidence whatsoever that Adam Toledo shot at the police.
KAYE (voice-over): Police later tweeted out this picture of a gun they say was recovered from the scene and prosecutors say, Toledo's right hand tested positive for gunshot residue. But the family's attorney insisting the boy was not holding a gun when he was shot.
ADEENA WEISS-ORTIZ, TOLEDO FAMILY ATTORNEY: Adam, during his last second of life did not have a gun in his hand. The officer screamed at him, "Show me your hands," Adam complied, turned around. His hands were empty when he was shot in the chest at the hands of the officer.
KAYE (voice-over): She later suggested Adam Toledo may have had a gun at some point but tossed it. On the video, the unnamed officer who shot the boy immediately calls for an ambulance and tries to render aid.
Police say, 21-year-old, Ruben Roman was with the teenager and is in custody. The charges against him include felony reckless discharge of a firearm and felony endangerment of a child.
KAYE (voice-over): Adam Toledo's family first saw the body cam video of the shooting on Tuesday, the boy's mother sobbing as she questioned why anyone would kill her baby.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also saw the video before it was released.
LIGHTFOOT: It was excruciating -- watching the body cam footage, which shows young Adam after he is shot is extremely difficult.
KAYE (voice-over): The boy's family initially asked that the video not be made public right away. But later, attorneys for the family and the Chicago Mayor's Office agreed to release the video along with a slowed down version of it.
LIGHTFOOT: He is running through an alley. The raw video footage is extraordinarily jumpy. It's really hard to see anything, providing kind of a slowed down frame by frame opportunity to see what happened is going to be helpful to members of the public.
KAYE (voice-over): Adam Toledo's mother describes her son as happy, saying he loved animals, building Legos and playing with Hot Wheels. Now, so many questions about how he ended up dead in a Chicago alley at the hands of police.
Randi Kaye, CNN, Palm Beach County, Florida.
COOPER: Joining us now is the attorney you saw in Randi's report, Adeena Weiss-Ortiz, who represents the Toledo family.
Miss Weiss-Ortiz, we appreciate you joining us. So police say the footage shows that less than one second passes between the time when Toledo is seen with a gun and the officer fires a shot. If that is true, would the officer's actions be justified?
WEISS-ORTIZ: Well, let's clarify what's on the videos. There is a slowed down version of the video which the police have compiled. In the version that everybody saw today, which was the body cam, you cannot see in real time whether Adam had a gun in his hand.
There is also another scene of video from the school adjacent to the alley. In that video, you cannot see whether Adam had a gun in his hand. That video needs to be forensically analyzed, enhanced and zoomed in to determine what if anything, Adam had in his hand. Nevertheless, at the moment the officer shot him --
COOPER: Are you saying he did not -- are you are you saying he did not? I mean, you're his lawyer, his family's attorney, do you know one way or the other if he had a gun in his hand? Because, police say, not only did they find a gun. They also found gun residue on a glove he was wearing or his hand.
WEISS-ORTIZ: Well, the gun that was found was approximately five feet or more, 10 feet from Adam's body, number one. Gun residue is transferable.
COOPER: Well, what does that tell you? What does that -- I mean, it seems a big coincidence that there's a gun found right where he happened to stop. I mean --
WEISS-ORTIZ: Well, the gun was found five to 10 feet from the body. Gun residue is transferable. The defendant, Ruben Roman, who was charged was charged with unlawful use of a weapon, had red gloves in his hand covered with gun residue.
At this point, we don't know if the gun residue on Adam's hand was there when he passed away.
COOPER: Well, what you're saying is we don't know if Adam fired the gun, which is what there would be residue of, I assume, I'm not an expert on this.
WEISS-ORTIZ: No. No.
WEISS-ORTIZ: No, it is established that Ruben Roman fired that gun. It is also established that the magazine was empty. It is also established that the slide was opened. And it is also established that when Adam turned around, there was no gun in his hand.
COOPER: Okay, but yet a gun was found right by his body five or you say five to 10 feet away, a throwing distance?
WEISS-ORTIZ: Correct. Correct.
COOPER: So are you saying he did not have a gun or -- the only other option is that the associate he was being with, who is now under in custody, placed that gun there previous to the police even arriving and it's just a sheer coincidence that his body is found near that.
WEISS-ORTIZ: At this time, there is no way to establish what if anything, was in Adam's hand. It is not clear on the school video. It is not clear on the CPD video.
All the images that we have thus far of Adam's right hand is blurry. So we cannot establish one way or another whether that child had the gun in his hand.
COOPER: You've called this, quote, "assassination." Now, obviously tensions are high in Chicago and Minnesota elsewhere around the country. What makes you say that this is an assassination, which is a pre-determined, planned out, attempt to kill somebody?
WEISS-ORTIZ: Well, let's just establish one thing. This family more than anything, wants peace in Chicago. This family has called for peace at every opportunity thus far.
When I say it is an assassination, when the reporter I believe from Univision asked me about it, I have an unarmed 13-year-old child, the Holy Week of Easter shot behind an alley with his hands in the air in the middle of his chest. He was given a directive from the officer, "Show me your hands," that child complied, lifted up his hands and was shot in the middle of his chest.
COOPER: How is -- I mean, I can't imagine -- I was going to ask how the family is coping, obviously, it is beyond anything. It's the worst thing for any parent to go through.
What is the family wanting to see happen as far as the police department and possibly even the courts are concerned?
WEISS-ORTIZ: The avenues that we're taking legally will be disclosed at a later time, but they want justice for their family. They want reform. They want enhanced training for police officers. Obviously, this officer prematurely pointed the trigger at that young man when that young man complied and then he shot him.
COOPER: How do you determine that you're saying you're not clear what's on the video? And yet, you're coming to a conclusion.
WEISS-ORTIZ: No, everybody wants to pinpoint Adam with a gun in his hand. Nobody at this time can pinpoint Adam with a gun in his hand. We don't know what if anything he had in his hand. The video footage of the officer, he is running up and down. The video
footage from Farragut School is from a great distance. It is zoomed and enhanced. So when you want to pin me down on what he had in his hand, I can't do that at this time.
COOPER: Okay. Adeena Weiss-Ortiz, I appreciate your timing representation of this family and again, I am so sorry for this family's loss. It is awful.
WEISS-ORTIZ: Thank you.
COOPER: Joining us now, someone with experience running two major police departments in Philadelphia and D.C., CNN law enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey.
Chief Ramsey, I appreciate you being with us. I've watched this video. It is obviously horrific to see a 13-year-old boy shot and being attended to medically and the video is just terrific.
When you watch this video of the chase, all that we know has gone on although we've seen really just from this video what police have said and what the family is saying. What do you see or what stands out to you?
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, first of all, let me start by saying that it is a tragedy anytime someone loses their life, particularly a young person, it is a tragedy.
But I too saw that video. In addition, I saw some other videos. I went to the Civilian Office of Police Accountability website that investigates these kinds of things for Chicago PD, and they have several videos there.
In my opinion, tragic as it was, the shooting was reasonable. And here is what I saw.
What there is a video that shows the young man and an adult who is the 21-year-old walking down a street together, now, this is at 2:40 in the morning -- 2:40 a.m., a 13-year-old on the street with a 21-year- old at 2:40 in the morning.
There is another shot that shows them walking down a street, and then they turn, you see a car going down the street. You can see the taillights. They turn toward the street, and then you hear a succession of shots, probably seven or eight shots. Those are the shots that shot spotter picked up. In addition to that, I listened at the 911 --
COOPER: By the way, that shots fired, excuse me. Sorry, by the way that shots fired thing you reference, that is a program that they have in Chicago, which I was unaware of that basically, it's like a mic -- it is a listening device that picks up, when it picks up -- detects the sounds of gunfire, it alerts the police that there have been shots fired in an area and that's what had this police officer respond.
RAMSEY: Exactly, exactly. I had it in Philly in a couple of spots and I had it in D.C. as well. I'm very familiar with it. It is very effective.
There's another video that is taken to show the two of them running immediately after the shots are fired. Then it picks up with the officer getting out of the car, running behind the individual and you'll see when he comes across the adult and he kind of goes by him, but his partner actually takes that person down. I saw that body cam as well.
They get to the end of the alleyway and he is again telling the young man to stop, you know to turn around. And you can see there is a still shot with the young man with -- he still has what looked to me like a gun in his right hand, and he suddenly spun around.
RAMSEY: And that's when the officer fired a single shot. Immediately after, the officer went there began applying, you know, first aid, even CPR to the young man.
There is a gun on the other side of the -- because there's an opening there, and the gun is on the other side, maybe about five feet. But when he spins around like that, if he had a gun in his right hand, that could have easily just flown right out of his hand, either as he was shot, or he was trying to get rid of it right as he was shot, but it was less than a second, literally, less than a second from the time, the officer saw that he had a gun in his hands at the time he fired that shot.
I believe that is reasonable. I know, right now everybody is, you know, blood in the water about policing. And I have not hesitated to speak up whenever officers inappropriately use force of any kind. This isn't one of those cases.
I don't know how many people have ever chased an armed person down an alley at night. I have. And I know what it's like, believe me.
COOPER: We should point out that there was a gun on the ground in that spot.
COOPER: Again, if he did not throw it there, unless, then somebody else placed it there. And that we are seeing -- this was all happening real time. The attorney, I don't know if she was suggesting that, you know, the 21-year-old may have used the gun and it could have been there coincidentally. That seems unlikely.
When I watched the video, not the slowed down version, but just which is important to watch in and of itself, but just the real time one, you do just get a sense of the split second involved here, and in which a decision is made, and it just, you know, wherever you come down on this, it does give you a sense of the extreme difficulty of, you know, what a police officer is facing when anybody in this scenario is facing these things.
In this case, it is happening so lightning fast, late at night, it is a very difficult situation.
RAMSEY: At 2:40 in the morning, 13 years old out on the street with a guy with a gun. I mean, it's -- you know, it's a tragic set of circumstances and I'm not trying to victim blame, but sometimes people put themselves in awful bad positions.
And so you know, that time of morning, you've got a gun, you're running. If he had tossed it while he was running, you know, the video, of course, is bumpy, because the video camera is actually in the chest of an officer, that is where they carry them.
But you've jogged before and anybody who has ever jogged and run, you know that when you're running, as far as your head goes, it is relatively stable, it's in the body is when you start getting that motion, so that officer was able to see what he was looking at.
COOPER: Chief Ramsey, I appreciate it. A difficult situation.
Coming up next, closing testimony in the Derek Chauvin trial and what to make of the ex-officer's decision not to take the stand.
Later, the Congressman who sees mask wearing as a threat to personal freedom and his confrontation today with Dr. Anthony Fauci.
COOPER: And in Minneapolis, crews have been putting up razor wire around police stations in preparation for a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial. Police departments in Atlanta, Chicago and Washington also taking precautions.
Testimony ended today in court. Closing arguments will be heard on Monday. Tension as you can see from those images and as you might imagine, is running high. We have more now from Sara Sidner.
DEREK CHAUVIN, FORMER MINNEAPOLIS POLICE OFFICER: I will invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege today.
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For the first time since the start of the trial, former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin spoke in court.
JUDGE PETER A. CAHILL, HENNEPIN COUNTY DISTRICT: Do you feel that your decision not to testify is a voluntary one on your behalf.
CHAUVIN: Yes, it is.
SIDNER (voice-over): He chose not to take the stand as a witness in his own defense, leading the defense to rest its case.
ERIC NELSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Your Honor, at this time the defense rests. SIDNER (voice-over): The prosecution then brought back its star
medical witness to refute the idea brought up by yesterday's defense expert.
DR. DAVID FOWLER, FORMER MARYLAND CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER: It is an extremely toxic gas.
SIDNER (voice-over): That exhaust from the squad car's tailpipe possibly led to carbon monoxide poisoning of George Floyd.
JERRY BLACKWELL, PROSECUTOR: Do you agree with that proposition that's highlighted there?
DR. MARTIN TOBIN, PULMONOLOGIST: No, I do not. It's simply wrong.
SIDNER (voice-over): Just before that, the prosecution attempted to introduce new lab result evidence about carbon monoxide poisoning.
BLACKWELL: It was discovered yesterday by Dr. Baker. It would return a value for the carbon monoxide content and it will show whether or not that result is in the normal range or not.
SIDNER (voice-over): The defense argued such a late evidence entry by the prosecution should lead to a mistrial.
NELSON: It's our position that these new test results should not go in front of the jury first and foremost. And second, if they were, I would be moving for a mistrial.
SIDNER (voice-over): The judge agreed.
CAHILL: The late disclosure has prejudice to the defense. It's not going to be allowed.
SIDNER (voice-over): A short time later, all witness testimony came to an end.
BLACKWELL: The State of Minnesota rests.
COOPER: And Sara Sidner joins us now along with George Floyd's brother, Terrence -- Sara.
SIDNER: Yes, so we should mention too, that the jury will get this case on Monday after closing arguments, but I am here with Terrence Floyd. Terrence, if you wouldn't mind coming over to talk to me and I appreciate you being here.
Why did you decide to come to this particular spot? This is the spot where Daunte Wright was killed. The last time I saw you in person, it was at the spot where your brother was killed when you came into Minneapolis to pay your respects there. Why are you here today?
TERRENCE FLOYD, GEORGE FLOYD'S BROTHER: Well, well, we all know I'm in Minneapolis because of the trial for my brother. But as we're here for that, this situation happened, so I thought it was right for me to come and just like I came down and paid respects to my brother where he passed away, where he got murdered. I want to do the same thing for Daunte Wright. That's why I just felt compelled to come down here and just show him -- so show him some love, show his family some love.
SIDNER: Could you have ever predicted or imagined that during the trial of a former officer accused of killing your brother for kneeling on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds that another young unarmed black man would be shot dead by an officer just 10 miles away from what happened to your brother?
T. FLOYD: No, I couldn't have -- this is just surreal. I couldn't have imagined this because during this time, you would think, you know, they would be low key, try to like, you know, as I said dot every I cross, every T and just do everything by the book.
But yet and still, you know, "accidents" quote-unquote, are still happening. And we're dying from it.
SIDNER: Do you believe that this was not an accident because you said "accidents" quote-unquote.
T. FLOYD: I seriously don't believe it was an accident because I'm not sure of the color of a Taser in this part of town. But, well, from Brooklyn, New York, a Taser is yellow and black, and a gun is black. So, I don't think it was an accident because even besides the color, there's a weight difference.
Other than that, with either being a weight difference, they are positioned on different sides. So, if you are a 26-year -- you have been on the force for 26 years, and you don't know by now which side to go to, you know, I don't -- I really don't feel it was an accident, not at all.
SIDNER: Can you tell me what it was like the moment that you walked up to this memorial? You see, Daunte's name spelled out in candles. You have seen this scene before. That fist right there was taken from your brother's memorial. What was it like showing up here today?
T. FLOYD: It was, like I said -- well, my nephew said it was a damn- this-again-moment. It happened again. And just walking up here, knowing his age, that could have been my son, because my son is 18. That could have been my son, and then, it's just -- it is just mind boggling that, you know, the people that we are looking to -- looking for protection from are actually using those like, you know, being our predators.
They seem like they're coming after us. You know, and that's the way I see it right now. I'm sorry.
SIDNER: I know it is hard now. No, you're okay. You're okay.
I want to explain to you also why Terrence is so filled with emotion and at a loss for words. He literally just got a phone call, I hope you don't mind if I say.
T. FLOYD: Yes.
SIDNER: He just got a phone call from Daunte Wright's mother, and he heard her voice and he said, if his mother had been alive and George Floyd's mother had been alive, he heard his mother's voice in Daunte Wright's mother, as she was talking to him about the pain she felt, the death of her son -- Anderson.
COOPER: Sara Sidner, thank you and Terrence Floyd, thank you. Appreciate it.
Our legal team has been helping us understand the courtroom proceedings from day one, senior legal analyst and former Federal prosecutor, Laura Coates is with us and criminal defense attorney, Mark O'Mara.
Mark, if you were representing Derek Chauvin, I assume you would have advised him to not to testify.
MARK O'MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Though it is truly his decision at that moment in time, I've got to tell you that there was virtually nothing that Chauvin could have done to help himself in this case. I don't believe -- the only thing and though, I might have scripted it, he could never have gotten through it if he actually went out there and somehow apologized, somehow explained that it was based on his training, somehow came up with an explanation that might have convinced this jury to give him a lesser charge. But there was nothing he could have done to increase the chances of acquittal.
And I think he would have been devastated on cross examination by the prosecutor because there was no way that he can defend nothing other than the nine and a half minutes. So, I think it was the right decision under these circumstances.
COOPER: Laura, I don't know if one can generalize, but do prosecutors typically want to get a chance at cross examining the defendant or in some instances, are they relieved when a defendant doesn't take a stand?
LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I mean, normally prosecutors are chomping at the bit to be able to interview someone, let alone have a cross because then you're able to bring up things that you otherwise could not get in.
If there are prior bad acts for example, I know that the Judge in this case was not going to allow the overwhelming number of cases that they wanted. Not that the number was overwhelming, but they wouldn't allow the majority of the actual prior bad acts or perhaps excessive force and other instances to get in, but if he opens the door and takes that stand, he is essentially fair game. So you want the opportunity as a prosecutor.
I will say as much as the defense is trying to plant a seed of doubt, one thing that defendants can do, which is very, very troublesome to a prosecutor is they can plant a seed of empathy. Up until now, we've only heard from people who are doing no favors to try to make Derek Chauvin look bad, he did himself no favors, the nine minute and 29 second video did no favors, but the idea of how people are psychologically trained in this country, to give the benefit of a doubt to a police officer, even if they did not see a viable defense explanation, let alone justification, there is always an opportunity that somebody might see something about this individual in themselves, interpret his demeanor, his idiosyncrasies, his expressions, in some way, his remorse if he's able to demonstrate it. And they may be able to try to essentially attribute what they would feel on this person. That's the only real benefit you can have as a defendant in a case like this to try to appeal to a some sort of iota of empathy.
Unfortunately, however, if he's not somebody who was going to be able to convey that, and the overwhelming evidence has been extended already. What could he possibly have said he can't say he was trained to do this? He can't say he didn't know that the person was in distress. He can't say that he actually rendered aid. So what can you say?
COOPER: Mark, looking at to Monday, how much to closing arguments actually matter? I mean, can the case be won or lost by what lawyer saying they're summations?
O'MARA: You know, I often say that closing arguments are really there for the lawyers because it's what we learned on TV and wanted to do in law school. But I will tell you in it complicated case. And this case is complicated, not because of the facts of the case, it's easy for us to say it looks like the state prove their case. And as layman looking at it, it's pretty obvious.
But what the defense has to focus on is nothing more than that jury has to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt. And if the defense does their job of going through everything, and showing up these potential other possibilities of cause of death, not that it happened that way. That's not the defense job. The defense's job is to say, if I can give you a reason, if I can give you a piece of evidence to which you can attach a doubt. And you have a reason for that.
What it means is simply the state doesn't get their conviction because they have not proven their case beyond a reasonable doubt. You are not deciding that my client is innocent, you're simply telling the prosecution, you didn't do enough to take away all reasonable doubt. And that is the job of a criminal defense attorney because he arguments.
COOPER: Mark O'Mara, Laura Coates, stay with us. Appreciate it. Mark. Thanks very much.
I want to get Laura's perspective on today's first court appearance for Kim Potter, the ex-police officer was shot and killed Daunte Wright. What direction her case could take? We'll be right back.
COOPER: With the pain still fresh and protesters again tonight taken to the streets of Brooklyn Center, the ex-police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright made her first court appearance today. Kim Potter was arrested yesterday charged with second degree manslaughter. Again, our CNN's Miguel Marquez.
NAISHA WRIGHT, DAUNTE WRIGHT'S AUNT: My brother, my sister need this woman to be convicted.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Daunte Wright's aunt, Naisha calling for the conviction of former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter who had her initial hearing today on a single charge of second degree manslaughter.
N. WRIGHT: Can we get something? Manslaughter?
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Ben Crump the lawyer for Daunte Wright's family says the 20-year-old father should never have been pulled over to begin with for expired tags should never have even been threatened with a taser and doesn't believe the former officer Potter a 26-year veteran of the force could mistake a handgun for a taser as body cam video suggests.
BEN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR WRIGHT FAMILY: They come up with a way to justify over and over again the killing of black people in America.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Daunte Wright he says is only the latest victim of a justice system stacked against people of color.
CRUMP: That's very important that marginalized minorities in America get their day in court.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Wrights family says that Kim Potter was charged quickly is a step forward. But we'll never be enough.
KATIE WRIGHT, DAUNTE WRIGHT'S MOTHER: Unfortunately, there's never going to be justice for us. The justice would bring our son home to us knocking on the door with his big smile coming in the house.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Daunte Wright's father says his son's life was only beginning to take shape.
AUBREY WRIGHT, DAUNTE WRIGHT'S FATHER: My son was a good young man. He was a young man in the making. We were building my son up to be somebody he was going to be somebody.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Speaking at the church where their son will be eulogize next week, speaking just before going to the funeral home to see their son's body for the first time since he was killed. His 14- year-old sister speaking about her brother,
DESTINY WRIGHT, DAUNTE WRIGHT'S SISTER: My brother, he was the most delightful person I've ever met like, you can he was just -- he was everything, everything. His smile, his jokes, his everything about him.
COOPER: And Miguel Marquez joins us now from Brooklyn Center. So what is next for the Wright family, Miguel?
MARQUEZ: You know, it's a big family and it was I've met some of the siblings and they are absolutely lovely and absolutely shocked at what they are dealing with now. You know, it was really moving being in that church where his funeral will be next week. And that's the big thing that they are moving toward now. They were going to the funeral home today to see his body for the first time since he died and they are preparing for that funeral that will be next Thursday at that same church.
It is an incredibly hard time for them. It's so hard to see the father of Daunte Wright get up and speak. He had a very difficult time saying anything but wanted to speak on behalf of his son. Anderson.
COOPER: Miguel Marquez, appreciate it. Thank you.
Back with us as well now, CNN senior legal analyst Laura Coates. Laura, you heard Daunte Wright and call for the conviction of the former Police Officer Potter. Do you have any sense of how the course of this and how will it tough or easy would it be for prosecutors to deliver that verdict for the Wright family?
COATES: Well, you know, the definition of justice, unfortunately, for so many families of victims in this country is just not in line with what the laws can provide, especially when it means and come to the sentencing. But having said that, even without that universal definition of justice, Anderson, there are -- there is a charge now against this officer. And as I've said before, because of the pace of this actual charge, it could mean this is only the initial charge.
A remind people that another officer in the Minneapolis area just a couple years ago, Mohamed Noor was also charged with this second- degree manslaughter. But they also had a third-degree murder charge attached to it based on the same factual predicate of this unreasonable risk that was taken. And the unreasonable risk here is when you've created an opportunity where you could actually consciously cause somebody to die or have grave bodily harm. The question that comes down to is how they're going to be able to reconcile this notion of consciously.
Is the fact that the taser is so markedly different from the service weapon going to be enough to infer that there was consciousness. Remember, the words that we choose in a statute are very deliberate, and they have meaning. They're not just sort of terms you throw out there. And so, like to go and develop the case to figure out if they're going to be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that even if it wasn't an intentional act, if all of the circumstances surrounding it showed this was a consciously taken unreasonable risk, you could elevate these charges. Now, I'll just say this, though, Anderson, remember, one of the things that's very disturbing about officers when they are involved in these cases, especially defendants is they get the opportunity to preempt a lot of this, when that now resigned police chief that up there, he set the stage and the tone of what people believed or were led to believe, he called it an accidental discharge. With that out there in the universe, the prosecutors have to try to figure out if that's truthful, or if that is only part of the story, or an outright lie. This investigation for them has just really begun.
COOPER: And the Wright family suggested wants to see much more jail time than this case, as it now stands could potentially result in. Do you think second degree manslaughter is the appropriate charge, given what's known at the time?
COATES: Well, given what's known at the time, but that'd be, you know, information about the idea of acting with a depraved heart and some respect, which of course, also has some legal connotations. This is a good initial charge. Now, again, this is a sliding scale for many prosecutors, and I remind people another officer Jeronimo Yanez, who shot and killed Philando Castile, also had this same charge, a secondary manslaughter, and they added two additional lower charges were the Mohamed Noor case increased one.
So, depending upon how all of this is going in the investigation, it is the appropriate charge initially, but that does not mean by age or imagination. That needs to be the final charge. Particularly you have to think about the entire course of events here from the time he was pursued to stop to this officer intervening to now having the service weapon instead of the taser. All of this comes into the same statement. We've looked at the Derek Chauvin trial, which is the reasonable use of force. If that wasn't followed, the sliding scale goes up in terms of the degree of the charge, whether it's manslaughter or murder,
COOPER: Laura Coates, I appreciate it. Thank you.
Up next, we have breaking news in the vaccine front, why somebody need a third shot this year.
And a fire exchange today on Capitol Hill between Dr. Anthony Fauci and Congressman Jim Jordan, we'll be right back.
COOPER: There's breaking news tonight in the coronavirus vaccine from the CEO of Pfizer says that a third shot of its vaccine will likely be needed within a year of the original shot. In a live event on Facebook, he also said there will probably be a need for an annual COVID shot.
All this is there was remarkably heated exchange today on Capitol Hill between Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, and the Chief Medical adviser of President Biden and the conservative republican congressman from Ohio, Jim Jordan. And took place during a House Subcommittee meeting about the government's response to the pandemic and Jordan's attacks on the restrictions still in place around the country.
CNN's Kaitlan Collins now joins us with more. So, talk about what happened today between the congressman and Dr. Fauci.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, it kind of looks like I think what probably so many of us have seen or experienced over the last year, a fight between your family or your friends over COVID-19 restrictions, vaccinations, mask wearing, what's going on something that's really become a part of our daily life, except this time, it was happening on Capitol Hill during a hearing with a congressman and the nation's top infectious diseases expert, as they were openly sparring over this issue of these restrictions.
Where Jim Jordan started questioning Dr. Fauci during this hearing, hearing where some of the lawmakers were using it to get answers about what's been going on. But Jim Jordan took this route of complaining about how, you know, a year ago, you saw Vice President Mike Pence and President Trump announcing these 15 days to slow the spread and saying that it turned into too many days of restrictions. And of course, Dr. Fauci pushing back on the reason why those restrictions really stayed in place, but you kind of had to watch it to get it. So, just look at what happened earlier today on Capitol Hill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): What objective outcome do we have to reach before Americans get their liberty and freedoms back?
ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NIAID: You know, you're indicating liberty and freedom. I look at it as a public health measure to prevent people from dying and going to the (INAUDIBLE).
JORDAN: You don't think Americans liberties have been threatened the last year Dr. Fauci? They've been assaulted their liberties have.
FAUCI: I don't look at this as a liberty thing, Congressman Jordan --
JORDAN: Well, that's obvious.
FAUCI: -- as a public health thing.
JORDAN: But the --
FAUCI: I disagree with you on that.
JORDAN: Because I just want to know, when the Americans get their first amendment liberties back.
FAUCI: You know, I don't think anything was censured, because they felt they couldn't disagree with me. I think you're, you're making this a personal thing, and it isn't.
JORDAN: It's not a personal thing. FAUCI: No, you are. That is exactly what you're doing.
JORDAN: Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, I don't want you to answer my question. The American people want Dr. Fauci to answer --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well --
REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): Your time expired sir. If you need to respect the chair and shut your mouth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: That's Maxine Waters there at the end saying to shut your mouth to Jim Jordan. But you see all heated it got. And really what Dr. Fauci was saying in the end was that it has to be that the more people get vaccinated, the lower level of threat of getting infected with COVID-19 is, that's when life can get back to normal, he said.
COOPER: Did things come down after that? Or do they clash again?
COLLINS: No, they clashed again. It's really kind of become a routine thing that you've seen happen with Dr. Fauci and some of these Republicans, a lot of them big allies, a former President Trump in these hearings, where they are going back and forth on these restrictions. And you hear Dr. Fauci, and they're asking for these direct exact numbers and exact science. And I think often in briefings, you've seen some of the public health experts be hesitant to say, here's exactly where we need to be because there's so much that's unpredictable about COVID-19, with the variants and whatnot.
And this is often something you see happen at these hearings, especially with Dr. Fauci given of course, he was often a favorite target of former President Trump's. And so no, it continued from there with them clashing again over this idea of this liberty versus lives loss.
One thing I think we should note is that Republican men have been encouraged increasingly hesitant to get the vaccine. That's been a really important messaging aspect that we've heard from COVID-19 experts, people who work in the White House, people who don't work in the White House about that. And so, that is certainly an avenue that other people could explore to help end the pandemic help in these restrictions that you've been saying.
COOPER: Yes, Kaitlan Collins. Appreciate it. Thanks.
Just ahead, President Biden signaling a tougher stance against Russia than his predecessor with new sanctions against the country.
Also, new detail connected to Trump's 2016 campaign with Russia. Both stories when we continue.
COOPER: The sanctions against Russia announced a by President Biden punished banks, businesses and individuals for actions against the country against the United States stretching back to at least 2016. They also announced a president who unlike his predecessor is willing to criticize and punish Russia as well as hold out an olive branch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: We could have gone further, but I chose not to do so, to be -- I chose to be proportionate. The United States is not looking to kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict with Russia. We want a stable, predictable relationship. If Russia continues to interfere with our democracy, I'm prepared to take further actions to respond.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: More now from our Alex Marquardt on the message the President believes he's sending to Russia's Vladimir Putin, with the sanctions as well as new revelations about how Russia meddled in the past two U.S. elections.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Today, the Biden administration rolled out what the President calls measured and proportionate punishment against Russia for among other things, Russia's attempt to interfere in the 2020 presidential election and the historic hack against the U.S. government.
The massive Russian influence campaign in the 2020 election lead to 32 people and entities being sanctioned today, including for the use of disinformation websites like these, spreading lies directed by Russia's Main Intelligence Agencies. Russian efforts and operations were global, a network in Africa and companies in Pakistan. There was a new tie revealed today between the Trump campaign in 2016 and Russia. The U.S. Treasury Department targeting Russian Konstantin Kilimnik for giving Russian intelligence, both polling data and campaign strategy in that race. It was given to him by 2016 Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, a longtime associate of Kilimnik. Manafort pushed his own conspiracy theories promoting the idea that Ukraine not Russia interfered in the 2016 election and unfounded idea picked up by President Trump.
DONALD TRUMP, FMR PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: How come the FBI never got the server from the DNC? The server they say is held by a company whose primary ownership individual is from Ukraine.
MARQUARDT (voice-over): For the first time today, the U.S. also named the Russian intelligence agency behind the unprecedented cyber attack, known as the SolarWinds hack uncovered late last year, a sophisticated campaign into at least nine U.S. federal agencies and around 100 companies.
Cracking down on Russian intelligence, the Biden administration sanctioned six technology companies connected to them, and announced it would kick out 10 Russian diplomats from the Embassy in Washington, including known spies.
One issue where Russia was not punished is for the reported bounties that Russia put on the heads of American troops in Afghanistan, reports that Biden use during the campaign to blast Trump.
BIDEN: As president, I will never, never, never stand silently. In the face of intelligence reports that the Kremlin has put bounties on the heads of U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan.
MARQUARDT (voice-over): The intelligence on that Biden officials now say isn't strong enough to demand action now. Instead, they'll respond through diplomats and the military.
COOPER: And Alex Marquardt joins us now. President Biden said say that he told that they were putting earlier this week that the U.S. action was coming, what more do we know about that call?
MARQUARDT: Well, he said this call with Putin was candid, respectfully says he told Putin that the U.S. response came after they decided that what Russia had done was, in his words, totally inappropriate. He said he told Putin that more action against Russia could come if Russia continues to interfere. Now, Anderson, Biden's clearly trying to walk a careful line here, both punishing Russia for many of the things they've done while also hoping that things don't escalate between the U.S. and Russia.
The phrase that we heard from Biden today that we've frankly heard a lot from this White House is stable and predictable. That's the relationship that they want with Russia going forward. Biden talked about how these two great powers as he called them can continue to work together like on nuclear issues and arms control and Biden also proposed a face-to-face summit with Putin in Europe this summer. Anderson?
COOPER: Alex Marquardt, appreciate it. Thanks.
The news continues. Want to hand over Chris for "CUOMO PRIMETIME." Chris?