Return to Transcripts main page


Remembering Daunte Wright; Ohio Police Shooting of Ma'Khia Bryant; Another Black Man Fatally Shot by NC Sheriff's Deputies Serving Arrest Warrant for Felony Drug Charges; Study: 6-Month Risk Of Death 60 Percent Higher For Covid Survivors; Abrams Earns Praise From Dems After Answer To Kennedy Question On Problems With New Georgia Voting Rules; GOP Continues To Use False Claims Of Widespread Voting Fraud To Justify New Voting Restriction Laws; Capitol Police Officer Allegedly Told Units To Only Monitor For "Anti-Trump" Protesters. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired April 22, 2021 - 20:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Just as well. Vladimir, thank you very much. I appreciate your taking the time and sharing all of this with us about your friend. Thank you.


BURNETT: And thanks very much to all of you for joining me. AC 360 with Anderson begins now.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. We begin tonight with advice Daunte Wright's friend and mentor Jonathan Mason used to give him in case he was stopped by police, "Make sure your hands are on top of the steering wheel," he said. "Don't reach for anything." To which he says Daunte would ask him, "Why we've got to do all that just for people not to kill us?"

Daunte Wright's funeral was today in Minneapolis, 11 days after he was shot and killed during a traffic stop just outside town. He was 20 years old.


KATIE WRIGHT, MOTHER OF DAUNTE WRIGHT: I sat up until 3:30 in the morning, so nervous and scared about what I was going to stand up here and say about my son.

I never imagined that I'd be standing here. The roles should completely be reversed, my son should be burying me.


COOPER: Daunte Wright is survived by young son. It is haunting to think that one day someone may have to give him the same advice his father got about surviving encounters with police. According to polling from Pew Research, 84 percent of black adults said that in dealing with police, black people are generally treated less fairly than whites.

A substantial majority of white adults, 63 percent agreed.

The polling was done in 2019 before the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and of course Daunte Wright. But the perception was there in 2019 and it has been there for generations, and so has the reality.

Quoting now from a study published by the National Academy of Sciences, quote: "Black men are about 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police over the life course than are white men." And according to Stanford University's Open Policing Project, using numbers gathered from police departments nationwide spanning more than a decade through 2019, officers not only stop black drivers at higher rates than white drivers. Their analysis suggests that police require less suspicion to search them.

The authors caution that their methods have limits and that more study is called for. That said, even some police officials acknowledge the problem with perception and reality.


CHIEF BILL SCOTT, SAN FRANCISCO POLICE: We have to deal with the history. You know, there's a long history in our nation of -- and reasons to mistrust and we can't just brush that aside and pretend that it didn't exist.

Part of this process is a reckoning and a reconciliation, if you will, of those things. And, you know, when people say, you know, that's the past, you know, the past and the future and the present are connected.


COOPER: There is history, and it is disturbing, and there is the present now, which includes along with Daunte Wright, the names George Floyd, Ma'Khia Bryant, whose killing is still being investigated and Andrew Brown, Jr. who was shot and killed Wednesday by Sheriff's Deputies executing a search warrant.

That present includes a Justice Department investigation in the Minneapolis Police, the trial with three other officers, the sentencing of Derek Chauvin and trial of Kim Potter who shot and killed Daunte Wright.

Each of these threads is unique, each of these people are unique, not every killing as tragic as they all are, may turn out to be unjustified. However, they all raise the same question: is justice being served equally in black and white America?

First, Daunte Wright's funeral with CNN's Miguel Marquez.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Daunte Wright, 20 years old, his parents barely able to say goodbye. K. WRIGHT: I never imagined that I'd be standing here. The roles

should completely be reversed. My son should be burying me.

AUBREY WRIGHT, FATHER OF DAUNTE WRIGHT: Words can't even explain how I feel right now. You know, that was my son.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Wright, father of one was shot and killed by former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter who has since resigned and had been charged with second degree manslaughter. His death, a call for equal justice.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR DAUNTE WRIGHT'S FAMILY: How did Officer Potter see Daunte Wright? But more importantly, how does America see our children?

Because if she saw your child, Katie, like she saw her child, then I do not think she would even reach for a Taser, much less a gun because when they see their children, they see their future.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Two of Daunte Wright's six siblings spoke about the brother whose life was only beginning.


MONICA WRIGHT, SISTER OF DAUNTE WRIGHT: I didn't really get enough time with him. I wish I got enough. I didn't get to tell him I loved him before he left.

DALLAS BRYANT, BROTHER OF DAUNTE WRIGHT: I was so proud of the man that he was becoming, and he was going to make an amazing father to Junior.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): The service part funeral, part rally for other African Americans dead at the hands of law enforcement.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Floyd's family. Breonna Taylor's boyfriend, Kenny Walker is present here with us, Philando Castile's mother is present here.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): A call for policing and justice reform everywhere. Minnesota's Governor and both Senators attended.

GOV. TIM WALZ (D-MN): We must be steadfast in our accountability to change from the top to the bottom and not rest until we create a different future for Daunte Wright's son and every other child like him.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): It is time for Washington, D.C. to move forward on police reform and pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. We must make policing more accountable. We have to change police training and standards including banning chokeholds.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): A final goodbye to Daunte Wright, a window of hope that real change may finally be possible.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Miguel Marquez joins us now. I'm wondering what the mood in

the community is tonight after Daunte Wright's funeral.

MARQUEZ: Look, Minneapolis has been whiplashed by you know, protests over the last two weeks, the verdicts in the Chauvin trial just a couple of days ago seemed to sort of calm things a lot and Daunte Wright being laid to rest today.

Things out here in front of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, much calmer. National Guard are gone. They put up new fencing. The people who are here aren't so much protesting as they are just gathering to sort of sort through what they've been through for the last couple of weeks and hope that the future will start to look a little brighter when it comes to equality in policing and justice -- Anderson.

COOPER: Miguel Marquez, I appreciate it. Thank you.

We mentioned Jonathan Mason at the top of the program, the advice he gave Daunte Wright. He joins us now. Jonathan, you attended Daunte's funeral. I can't imagine what that experience was like for you.

JONATHAN MASON, MENTOR TO DAUNTE WRIGHT: It was a very unique experience, obviously, on the heels of the George Floyd verdict. And also knowing Daunte, it was -- it was mixed emotions.

But today, you know, it was good to -- a good feeling to feel like all of us were on the same page. I believe that, you know, justice is potentially going to come from Minnesota in a sweeping way.

COOPER: You know, it is one thing to know this as an issue, to know this as something which happens, it's another thing to know somebody who you have had conversations with about police and about the possibility of this, to know somebody who actually does end up getting killed.

When you heard the news about what had happened to him, what -- how did you deal with that?

MASON: Well, ironically, I was at another protest for another group that were protesting murders against their family members and I got about 300 calls. And I've been fighting for justice in Minnesota for a long time, so I know what that kind of means.

And all the students were calling me and saying, oh, somebody got killed over in Brooklyn Center. So I immediately rushed from that event over to Brooklyn Center and I was saying, you know, what's going on? Who is in control of the scene? I was talking to police.

And one of the students that played on the basketball team with Daunte called me and said, "You know, that's Daunte Wright, you're out there fighting for right now." And it hit me like a train and my heart went into my stomach and I said, "Daunte, no way." All of the conversations that we used to have about this stuff and, and it was him lying on the ground. And I was, you know, I was mixed with emotions that day, Anderson. COOPER: What were those conversations like with Daunte that you had?

MASON: You know, like you stated previously, I would tell him to put your hands on top of your head -- or put your hands on top of the wheel if you ever were to be pulled over. And the sad thing about it is, Anderson, is that I do this day in and day out with kids in Minneapolis.

I was -- I'm a man of color, biracial, black and white and I had to deal with it in Minnesota and I had many close calls where my life was on the line if I made one slight move or if I did the wrong thing, so I would teach kids and tell them this, that your life can be lost, and no one might be able to be responsible for it, or there won't be any consequences if a police officer does it.


MASON: And so, all of those -- all of those emotions, all of those conversations rush back to me and it just, it hurt me because this is the reality being black in America.

COOPER: You know, the officer has been charged. Police have said that she thought she was using her Taser. She is charged with second degree manslaughter. What is justice in this for you?

MASON: You know, you hear a lot of people talking about -- I went to the funeral today and I listened to Ben Crump and Al Sharpton, and many of us say, it's just accountability right now. And, you know, for -- you know, in Minnesota, we have so many killings. The disparities are so high.

We had Justine Damond who was killed, a white woman from Australia, and I was one of the first people on the scene fighting for her. But the officer, Mohamed Noor in that case was charged with third degree murder.

So when we heard about the second degree manslaughter, I'm like, well, Daunte is a human just like Justine Damond, and we have to have equal justice under the law. And I'm not asking for her to be charged significantly more than Mohamed Noor, but at least the same.

And so that's where we're all at in the State of Minnesota. We want the charges to be elevated for Kimberly Potter and I don't believe Minnesota is going to stop until we get that.

COOPER: What was Daunte like?

MASON: He was such a joyful, spunky young man. I helped get him on the basketball team over at Edison High School. Me and the coach were really good friends, so we would workday in and day out, make sure he got his homework in. He would -- you know, he was the kid that everybody looked up to, one of the cool kids in school.

And so, you know, rehashing all these stories and hearing about, you know, all the people and the relationships they have with him, it was a main consensus on who he was and to see him go in that manner and it was just -- and I watched the tape and I just was thinking to myself, no, stop, please. No, I rather him, just, you know, get a ticket or get a fine and -- or whatever the case may be and, you know, and it hurts me.

So at this moment, you know, the reality is we have a lot of work to do in Minnesota.

COOPER: Jonathan Mason, I appreciate you joining us on this difficult day. Thank you.

MASON: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: Now to Columbus, Ohio, and the killing of 16-year-old, Ma'Khia Bryant as she seemed to lunge at another young woman with a knife in her hand. As you know, police quickly released body cam video of the incident. Police identified the officer involved Nicholas Reardon. He was hired in December 2019. He has been taken off street duty pending further investigation as is normal in a situation like this.

The President of the local police union has offered condolences to the family. CNN's Jason Carroll is in Columbus for us tonight.

So, Jason, you spoke with Ma'Khia Bryant's mother today, Paula Bryant, what did she say?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, as you can imagine, it was very painful, very emotional interview, Bryant's mother made it very clear to us that the reason why she sat down with us is because she doesn't want the narrative going forward to be about the altercation or about the officer who fired the fatal shots.

In fact, she made it clear that she did not want to focus on that. What she does want to focus on at this point is the memory of her daughter.


PAULA BRYANT, MOTHER OF MA'KHIA BRYANT: She was taken from me. She was taken from me.

CARROLL: What would you like people to know about your daughter?

BRYANT: I want the world to know that Ma'Khia was beautiful. She was humble. She loved to look after people.

She loved her brothers and sisters. She wanted everybody to get along.

She was a Christian. She loved the Lord.

I'm just hurting. And I wish Ma'Khia is still here with me. I wish she was still here.

I wish I could hug and kiss her again and again. I can't hug my baby. I loved her.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Did she say what she hopes to see happen in the coming days?


CARROLL: Well, yes, I mean, we talked a little bit about that, looking ahead, you know, Anderson, I asked her if she was looking for any sort of legal accountability, if she was looking for justice in any form, and she took a deep breath, and she paused and she basically said at this point, she is just simply going to put it into God's hands -- Anderson.

COOPER: Jason Carroll, appreciate it. Thanks.

Still to come tonight, we've got breaking news out of North Carolina. A police shooting involving a black man while officer said they were trying to serve a search warrant. We will have a live report including details on what they were searching for.

And later, a stark reminder of the importance of mass distancing and vaccination still as a massive new study demonstrates just how dangerous COVID-19 can be even to those who count themselves survivors.


COOPER: Breaking news tonight in North Carolina, Sheriff Deputies shot and killed a black man while attempting to serve an arrest warrant Wednesday, a warrant involving felony drug charges. Authorities said that Andrew Brown, Jr. was shot in his car not far from his home. CNN's Brian Todd is in Elizabeth City for us tonight.

So, what more do we know about the shooting, and particularly the status of the police body camera footage?


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson authorities here have decided that for the moment, they're not releasing that body camera footage. The local District Attorney, and the County Attorney issued a statement not too long ago saying that under North Carolina law, this is not a public record and without a court order, they can't release it.

That's not saying that they're never going to release it, but they are saying right now, they don't feel like they can under the law.

We have protesters here locking an intersection of Ehringhaus Street in Elizabeth City, some protesters are holding a line down there, trying to disrupt business. We have another line of protesters holding a line over here and I'm going to speak to one of them now. His name is Kirk Rivers. He is a community leader. He's been organizing these protests.

Kirk, if you could first give us your response to the District Attorney and that decision that you and I talked about where they don't feel like under the law, right now, they can release that body camera footage, what's your response to that?

KIRK RIVERS, COMMUNITY LEADER: Our response is, release the information. It is our taxpayers that have funded the body cameras. That's what the body cameras are for -- to release -- if there's something, release it so that way we know what goes on.

Come out and talk to us. We're here taking over four blocks right now. No one is going because we just want people to come out and talk to us and then let us know what is taking place.

For the District Attorney and the Sheriff, there is a law that does not prohibit them from coming out and talking to us and letting us know what is taking place and what is going on. But we are now drawing our own conclusion. We feel because of past troubles and past lies that we've received from the justice system, we don't trust them.

We feel that if you were 24 hours or 48 hours, you're getting your story together to present to us. Come out.

If there was nothing wrong, they would release it right now. What? Are they trying to cover up something? So that's why we're here now. Every night, last night, tonight, we've asked the Sheriff, please come out. You are an elected official, come out as a Sheriff, as the elected official and tell us what's going on.

What is your plan to bring about a change to bring the community together? Are you just going to continue to let us assume what took place that you're trying to do a cover up? And that's what the body cameras are there for. Body cameras are to let us know, give us both sides of what they see. But if there was nothing wrong, release the information, if there was something wrong, release the information. That's what we're asking. That's what we're saying and the people that we have on every intersection from here for half a mile down, that's what we're standing for.

We're holding the back line here because we want justice for Andrew Brown. His family wants to know what's going on and that's what I'm upset with the District Attorney and the Sheriff for not coming and explaining and releasing so they can try to begin to have closure.

TODD: We appreciate you talking to us, Kirk and we appreciate you coming out and being so candid about your opinion about this. And like you, hopefully, we're hoping that some of that body camera footage gets released, too. So, thank you very much for talking to us.

So, they have a strategy here, Anderson, they want to block some businesses and some intersections here. And they're going to do this they say every night until they get that footage and until they get more answers.

But right now, the Sheriff's Department is not really inclined to want to release that under law, they say. They say they need a court order and so we're going to see if that court order comes in the next couple of days.

COOPER: Have officials said one way or another if Mr. Brown was armed because there's been some confusion about that?

TODD: We've talked to several family members of Andrew Brown who say that he never carried any firearms. That they believe strongly that he was not armed because he never carried weapons. Several family members have told us that and representatives of the family have told us that, Anderson.

There's no indication at this point, and the Sheriff did post a statement online a short time ago saying nothing about whether he was armed or not.

So at this moment, every piece of information we have indicates that he was not armed.

COOPER: All right, well it remains obviously more information would be -- would be helpful. Brian Todd, we appreciate that.

Mistrust of the police, you heard from the gentleman talking to Brian, the community leader there leads us to our next guest, Patrick Skinner is a violent crimes detective in Georgia. He's written a new op-ed for "The Washington Post" "I'm a cop. The Chauvin verdict is a message for me and for my colleagues."

He writes, quote: "There will be a natural desire by police, myself included, to say that the system worked, and Chauvin was found guilty by a jury of his peers and that a bad apple was sent to jail no longer around to rot the bunch. Again, this is true, but it is also relevant, a nation so tense about a single trial, so uncertain about what was going to happen is a nation in desperate need of much more."

Officer Patrick Skinner joins me now.


COOPER: Officer Skinner, thank you so much. I really found what you wrote really interesting and an eye opening. It was interesting, just listening to that -- to the community, the leader, the gentleman speaking, clearly the distrust based on history and even recent history is very real.

And I'm sure you and other police officers see that all the time. How does one overcome that distress? Because not every -- you know, some shootings are -- they're all tragic, some are justified given the circumstances that are happening. And how can people -- I mean, police have to be able to police and people have to also be able to feel safe in their communities from police.

PATRICK SKINNER, SAVANNAH, GEORGIA POLICE OFFICER: Now, thank you for having me. It's an incredibly tense time. And it's a time where this has been a long time coming. It feels like it's so imminent, but it's been imminent for a long time. It's just, this is the latest at some point. But at some point, we have to have that point and hopefully this is it.

How do we build that trust? Every single day, and it has to be by small measures every day done, do the right thing, and then do it again tomorrow.

Every city right now is one video away from a protest and that's the truth. The best cities -- I mean, I doubt that Kenosha last year thought that they would have a riot. I doubt that Elizabeth City thought that they would have a protest today.

And so every city, every police department, every community, every neighborhood is one video away and that means that something is systemically wrong and has been for a very long time.

COOPER: You know, there -- in years past there weren't these cameras. And so you know, it's unclear -- and clearly, there were there were a lot of incidents which occurred in the past, which were never seen, which never heard about, and people didn't have the information or was known locally in a community, but it didn't have a national audience.

You wrote about in the past, you sort of felt -- you said, "I believe I was wrong for some time about not taking this personally, I've often told myself to not take well deserved criticism of police misconduct and crime personally, because while as a police officer, I am responsible, I was not personally responsible."

And then you went on to write, "But I now don't think that's enough. At least for me, I think I have to take it personally. I have to be offended, I have to be outraged and I have to act." What does that lead you to?

SKINNER: It means to me that I thought everything through a professional lens. I said, you know, I wasn't to blame, and therefore I'm just going to do my job the best I can and try to make small change. And that, you know, I'm still trying to make small change every day, every encounter. I'm not going to miss an opportunity to do an act of kindness, an act of connection, actually.

But I think it's -- I think I had it wrong and I think I had it backwards. I think that I need to take it personally. I think every police officer needs to take it personally. And I think every American needs to take it personally. And that means to be outraged, it could be a muted outrage, but it has to be an uncomfortable feeling like this is unacceptable.

As well, we just saw that clip before this. It's not made up. This isn't coming from nowhere. This is, you know, the weariness, the exhaustion, the anger, this is not made up.

And just because I personally haven't done anything wrong, doesn't mean that I'm not part of the problem. And it's -- you know, I have to admit that. And so, when I say act, I mean, I have to do my job the best way I know how. I have to slow down. I have to give my neighbors the benefit of the doubt. I have to put their safety above mine.

I think most police officers do that, but we see when they don't, and we should cover that. But that's the way we change the profession, it is if we personally change.

COOPER: You know we have seen incidents where there has been officer involved shootings, somebody has died. And, you know, when you see the body camera footage, it's happened so quickly and it is often situations where I mean, it's a split-second decision, and when does an officer not making split second decisions, because sometimes other lives may be lost in that balance, civilian lives, officers' lives.

So, there's a lot of focus, obviously, on training and what that may mean and what that might look like. Is there something in training, you know, Chief Ramsey, who now is an analyst at CNN was talking about, you know, some police departments don't teach even the history of policing so that officers don't have a sense of what has occurred before in terms of relations between the police and the community, and which probably leads to a lot of the mistrust that there is today.

SKINNER: I agree. I mean, some issues are immediate, some issues or life or death.

If you come up on a scene and someone has a knife and they're trying to stab something, that is not the time for de-escalation. You might have -- you might be able to say drop the knife twice before someone is getting stabbed. So that's not -- that's not what I'm talking about because what I'm talking about is 99 percent of the other cases.

I can't control those life or death. I can control what I can do and that's by slowing down.


And I agree with Chief Ramsey, knowing the history of policing in America, and it's an ugly history for a large part of it. But also, not just having knowing your local community history because every community, every neighborhood has their own struggles, every family I mean, you can just every -- there's a book in every neighborhood and it's incumbent upon like a beat officer, you should know your beat. And if you work for a city's police officer, police department, you should know that history.

COOPER: Patrick Skinner, I really appreciate talking to you. I really appreciate what you wrote. Because I just think it's really important that we all as part of society, reflect on our own actions and our own way of thinking and our own way of seeing and I think it's really valuable. So Patrick Skinner, thank you.

SKINNER: Thank you for having me.

COOPER: And thank you for what you do.

Coming up next, more breaking news and perhaps the best argument yet for getting your COVID shots. A new study finds that even a mild infection substantially increases your risk of death once you recover. Medical professionals joining us with details.


COOPER: It's breaking news tonight that speaks loudly and clearly to the need to prevent even mild cases of COVID. A new study from Washington University in St. Louis the largest to date of people who've had the virus shows that between one and six months after getting sick, survivors had a 60 percent greater risk death compared to people who'd never been infected. Was more even a mild infection was no guarantee against higher risk because the study has such potential importance especially with vaccinations is now starting to taper off and people really chafing further disease prevention measures.


We're glad to be joined tonight by CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Leana Wen, CNN medical analysts, ER doctor and former Baltimore Health Commissioner.

So, Sanjay, the study also found that patients who had COVID had 20 percent greater chance of needing more medical care over the six months after their diagnosis as well as more medications. What is it about COVID that could be causing this?

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, Anderson, first of all, I think you said it already, which is that you don't want to get this infection, you don't want this virus, because we are learning more and more about it. Predominantly, that even though we refer to it as a respiratory virus, it affects just about every organ system in the body. I was looking at this paper was published in Nature, they talk about the respiratory system, yes, but also the nervous system, strokes, mental health, anxiety and depression, metabolism, people developing new onset of diabetes, heart failure, acute kidney injury, coagulation problems, they're single lots of different problems, this virus seems to affect the body in ways that we just don't think of with typical respiratory viruses.

It was interesting in this study, they even said, OK, let's compare this population of people also, with regard to flu. And with flu, typically, you know, symptoms, while they may linger for a while, you don't see this degree of morbidity, six months out after somebody has been infected.

So, you know, we don't know, we're still learning a lot about this virus in terms of what exactly it's doing in the body. But I think one of the things the authors really point out is that you get 30 million people confirmed to have had the infection, it could be doubled, tripled, that, you know, because we haven't tested all these people. And we have to think about the burgeoning sort of health crisis, this is going to cause for, you know, years to come as a result, people as you pointed out, who even had mild symptoms that still have those symptoms really persist.

COOPER: Dr. Wen, this was certainly looked at Veterans Administration Records are primarily involved, man. So, I said more than needs to learn about women in the long-term effects of COVID, as well as if the different variants caused different long term symptoms. Or any therapeutics in the works to help people who are specifically suffering from these long-term health problems.

LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, I hope that there are and there are some studies ongoing, but actually, these -- the treatment options for people with long haul COVID are pretty limited. And they're pretty limited basically, to symptomatic treatment. Meaning as Sanjay was saying, if you have depression, you get antidepressants. If you have kidney issues you get can you get treated for those specific issues. But there is some news that maybe the vaccine itself may reduce some of the symptoms of long haul COVID, which is really interesting.

But I also think that there's a broader point here, which is the importance of vaccination period. I am hearing more and more people say, well, what's the big deal with COVID? I'm not that old. I don't have underlying problems. I'm probably not going to die if I get coronavirus. True, but you could still have these lingering symptoms that last for many months that affect so many of your other body systems. That's the reason to get one of these vaccines that safe and effective and prevents these terrible long-term consequences from occurring.

COOPER: And Sanjay, there is some news tonight of another fatal blood clot potentially, and we stress potentially linked to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine involves a woman in her 50s who lived in Oregon. And just again, to keep this in context of course, these events are very rare. I believe it was six initial incidents, this would be a seventh if in fact it does bear out. The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization meets tomorrow to review more data on the J&J vaccine. What -- how is this going to impact it? What do you expect to happen?

GUPTA: Well, you know, one thing to keep in mind is that part of the delay here was to see if there were more patients that would actually, they would find that that developed these blood clots in response to the vaccine. As you pointed out, we're not sure about this woman in Oregon as of now. But I think the question they were trying to ask is, was this sort of finding a needle in a haystack or what they were seeing was that more of the tip of the iceberg?

As you point out, Anderson, it's rare, it's still rare. You know, maybe there's a couple more people who've developed this, but not significant numbers. Don't know what they're going to sort of recommend tomorrow as part of this advisory committee is likely if you look at what happened in Europe, Europe Medicine Association Agency, they basically said, we're going to put a caution with this, but we're not going to say that certain people should take it or not take it.

Perhaps, if you've had a history of low platelets or blood clotting problems in the past, then this caution would apply to you. But that's likely what's going to happen. I don't think they're going to get rid of the vaccine altogether. And I don't think they're necessarily going to limit it to certain people either.

COOPER: Dr. Wen, you know, that is you know, one of the things that when I've talked to and interviewed people for stories on who have long COVID or long haul are simply symptoms, after having had mild cases weren't even hospitalized initially, but six months eight months a year later are still in pain with a variety of things brain fog, COVID fog, as they call it another thing.

[20:40:13] They're often told, well, you know, it's in your head, there's a lot of -- there's some people who doubt that what they have is actually real, that is just some sort of a symptom, or syndrome. Does this study kind of put the end to that?

WEN: I think there's a lot of evidence that long haul COVID is real. I just think it's really challenging to know exactly how to define long haul COVID. As then, let's say that you're in the hospital for a prolonged period of time. When you leave the hospital, you're deconditioned, you need to -- it takes time to get all those things that went wrong with your body, with your kidneys, potentially, with your gastrointestinal system to get back on track. They're lingering effects just from being very ill. But then there are those people who were not that sick, who have mild symptoms, who still have these overall body symptoms. And I think that's what we really need to get more information about.

And I also think we need better treatments in general, we also need treatments very critically to prevent these mild cases for becoming severe cases. And that kind of outpatient treatment is really not there right now. And I think a lot more research needs to go into not just the vaccines, which are fantastic that we help them, but also treatments for patients too.

COOPER: Dr. Wen, Sanjay -- (INAUDIBLE) --

GUPTA: Yes, if one more thing, I just add, you know, one thing that the authors wrote in this paper six months out, a lot of times doctors may think this has nothing to do with a COVID infection that you had that was a mild one, six months earlier. This is a reminder, I think to clinicians and patients alike. Look, if you've had COVID, even many months ago, pay attention to those symptoms down the line.

COOPER: Yes. Sanjay, I saw this week that you have been at CNN for 20 years. Is that right?


COOPER: That's --

GUPTA: -- I have.

COOPER: Congrats. That's amazing. That's so incredible.

GUPTA: I know. It's like no one thought I'd last this long. So, I appreciate the congratulations,

COOPER: You look as youthful as you did 20 years ago. Of course, my eyes --

GUPTA: You look younger (INAUDIBLE).

COOPER: My eyes have gotten so bad over the last 20 years. I might be wrong about that. So, Sanjay, thank you --

GUPTA: (INAUDIBLE). COOPER: -- congratulations, Dr. Wen as well.

Next, push for voting rights legislation. The push back and how it remarkably exchanged between a Republican senator and Georgia politician Stacey Abrams played out during the hearings.


SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): Tell me specifically, just give me a list of the provisions that you object.

STACEY ABRAMS, VOTING RIGHTS ACTIVIST: I object to the provisions that remove access to the rights vote that shorten the federal runoff period from nine weeks to four weeks.


ABRAMS: (INAUDIBLE) strip the time that a voter can request or return an absentee ballot application and (INAUDIBLE) --

KENNEDY: (INAUDIBLE) for me because our audio is not real good here.




COOPER: As Congress works in a police reform bill, Democrats are also trying to push two major voting rights bills and Senate Democrats trying to build a case for those bills could not have asked for a well better exchange during their hearing yesterday than this one between Republican Senator John Kennedy and voting rights activist and former Georgia State Representative Stacey Abrams. It's quite remarkable. So we're going to play a chunk of it here.


KENNEDY: Tell me specifically, just give me a list of the provisions that you object.

ABRAMS: I object to the provisions that remove access to the rights vote, that shorten the federal runoff period from nine weeks to four weeks.


ABRAMS: (INAUDIBLE) strip the time that a voter can request or return an absentee ballot application and (INAUDIBLE) --

KENNEDY: (INAUDIBLE) for me because our audio is not real good here.

ABRAMS: It requires that a voter have a photo identification or some other form of identification that they're willing to surrender in order to participate in the absentee ballot process.

It eliminates over 300 hours of drop box availability.

KENNEDY: OK. What else?

ABRAMS: It bands nearly all out of precinct votes.

KENNEDY: Bands, what I'm sorry.

ABRAMS: Out of bands nearly all out of precinct votes.


ABRAMS: Meaning that you get to a precinct and you are in line for four hours and you get to the end of the line and you're not there between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m.

KENNEDY: OK. What else?

ABRAMS: (INAUDIBLE) are over again.

KENNEDY: Is that everything --

ABRAMS: Yes. No, it is not? No, sir. It restricts the hours of operation because it now under the guise of setting a standardized timeline, it makes it optional for counties that may be -- may not want to see expanded access to the right to vote, they can now limit their hours instead of those hours being from seven-to-seven, they're now from nine-to-five, which may have an effect on voters who cannot vote during business hours on during early voting. It limits the --

KENNEDY: OK. I get the idea. I get the idea.


COOPER: There was more. Perspective now from former Republican congressman, Charlie Dent and former South Carolina Democratic House member, Bakari Sellers, both CNN and political commentators.

Bakari, I don't know that -- I'm not sure if Senator Kennedy is a lawyer. I know there's some rule with lawyers or advice that, you know, don't ask a question that you don't know the answer to. I don't know if he had any idea what was about to happen when he sort of decided to challenge Stacey Abrams if she knew stuff about this voting rights law in Georgia, she certainly did.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, not only as we say that she bring the receipts. But I think her tone and tenor in the way she was able to read it, rattle it off, called Senator Kennedy off guard. But I think there is a larger point here that we have to take time. And if I had the opportunity to speak to Senator Kennedy, I would remind him, in many people don't even remember understand what Jim Crow was in this country. Senator Kennedy and many others are expecting laws to say that niggers are colored or blacks can't come here, can't vote here. But that's not the way that Jim Crow worked when it came to Voting Rights Act because of the 15th Amendment, you could not ban people from the ballot box on there -- because of their race on its face. And so, you had these race neutral laws that were passed that allowed states like Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, et cetera, to prevent people of color from voting. That is what you're seeing, and that's the litany of things that Stacey Abrams ran down for Senator Kennedy. It says that people need to watch eyes on the prize again to understand really what Jim Crow was and how it is reflected in these Georgia voting laws.


COOPER: It's so interesting, you know, again this we were talking about police actions now and how history matters in understanding what's happening now and the distress that exists now, just as Charlie, you know, what Bakari pointed out about Jim Crow laws is so vital that the law does not have to specifically say that it is targeting one particular group, which would be very obvious, but it can be supposedly race neutral and not be at all.

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Anderson, let me just say this. Look, I think the Georgia legislature has overreacted to the Trump false narrative on the stolen election that's that -- they overreacted. By the same token, I think some of the opponents of the Georgia law have overstated the case. You know, I'm holding here a Pennsylvania absentee ballot, you know, we require a driver's license number or your last four digit social security number, Georgia did the same thing. That's really not a problem at all. They define something about business hours, they had no definition of business hours, they defined that as nine-to-five that could be extended from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The big problem with Georgia law, which she did not mention, as far as I'm concerned, was that they really removed the secretary of state from the election board. That was a punitive measure. And I think that's a reason to oppose the law. But a lot of these provisions, I think, have been a bit overstated. And, frankly, their laws more liberal than Pennsylvania or Delaware's for that matter.

COOPER: Bakari, in the same hearing, Texas GOP Senator John Cornyn made the argument that a number of Republicans make that many of the provisions of Georgia's new law exist, as Charlie just said in Democratic control of states to but that they're not being targeted, like Georgia's law, states, like New York and Delaware have provisions similar Georgia, why not -- how do you -- what do you say to that argument?

SELLERS: Well, first of all, there's no excuse that the early voting is nearly non existent in the state of New York. So let's just state that outright. A Democratic state should have easier voting in the state of New York. And I wish Governor Cuomo and Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez and everybody who's making this thing about Georgia would also make this think about their laws in New York. I agree with that.

But what my good friend, Congressman Dent and many others who want to compare to Philadelphia, or other Democratic states are not telling you is that the totality of that you can nitpick one thing or another, but the totality of the Georgia law is something that's unseen. Because I guarantee you that in Pennsylvania or Colorado or Delaware, you don't limit the number of drop boxes from 93, as they were, in this past election to 24 in the four largest black counties. I'm pretty sure that's something that doesn't happen. I'm pretty sure that in many areas, when people have waited in line three of three or four hours to vote, they get to the front, usually they are allowed to cast a provisional ballot if they're in the wrong precinct. In Georgia, you can no longer do that.

I'm pretty sure that the Democratic control of Republican control legislatures in this particular area cannot take over voting boards like they can now in Georgia. So yes, it is discriminatory. Yes, it is reminiscent of Jim Crow. And I think we have to be intellectually honest in that discussion.

COOPER: Charlie, do you think some of these laws that are being championed by Republican led legislators which, you know, as you said, maybe punitive in some cases, you cited the removal of the Georgia secretary of state may have unintended consequences that actually would may hurt Republicans?

DENT: Yes, absolutely. I state I know better Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, went to no excuse absentee balloting for the first time, and they also remove straight ticket voting. Republicans did extremely well in 2020 under that law, Donald Trump did that. He did badly because it was conduct in office, primarily and his own mishandling of the coronavirus. That's why he lost while Republicans down ballot did well.

The law actually helped. Republicans in Pennsylvania are talking about repealing the law that they passed in 2019. I think it would be a mistake, it would not be returned to Jim Crow. It would be a return to the 2019 status quo and a huge detriment to Republican candidates up and down ballot.

COOPER: Congressmen Dent, Bakari Sellers. Thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Next, up were police instructed to focus on everybody or were police instructed focus on everybody but the people actually attacking the Capitol on January 6. What an investigation reveals in the controversy about it in a moment.



COOPER: Given all the unsettling details that have come to light about the Capitol insurrection already, the story still has the power to shock and surprise. The latest, California Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren citing a previously undiscovered police radio transmission of a Capitol Police Officer directing all outside units to only focus on anti Trump agitators and not the pro-Trump mob actually carrying out the attack.

CNN's Ryan Nobles is at the Capitol with details. So, how are the Capitol Police responding to this accusation? RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, they're saying that Congressman Lofgren -- Congresswoman Lofgren, I should say is taking this out of context. If this was a transmission that was early on in the day at 8:00 in the morning, and that they were specifically calling out non Trump supporters because they were concerned about skirmishes between the growing group of Trump supporters that were gathering around the Capitol at that time.

Now, they say if you listen to the transmission throughout the rest of the day, they specifically call out the Trump -- pro-Trump demonstrators as well. And they say that this just doesn't tell the full story of exactly what happened on January 6.

COOPER: Is there any movement tonight on a possible September 11th style commission to investigate exactly what occurred on January 6?

NOBLES: You know, Anderson, I think this controversy crystallizes the need for this independent commission. And we do see some movement between Republicans and Democrats. But right now, they're still at an impasse. Nancy Pelosi has offered up some changes to the 9/11 Commission that would meet the Republican standards, but so far, she hasn't conveyed them to Republicans. So right now, they're still at an impasse. But that's what many people want here an independent commission that can answer some of these questions.

COOPER: Ryan Nobles. Appreciate it. Thank you very much. Lot to learn on that still about what exactly occurred on that day. And whether or not there will be actually some sort of 9/11 style commission.

That's it for us. Thanks so much for watching. The news continues right now. Let's hand it over Chris for "CUOMO PRIMETIME." Chris.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Appreciated Anderson, how about that Sanjay 20 years now.

COOPER: I mean, amazing. It's what an incredible career and incredible contribution and particularly this last year, I just feel like he's gotten a lot of us through some very, very difficult times.


CUOMO: Oh, absolutely. And I know you were obviously joking saying hey, you've really been here 20 years.