tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC May 25, 2021 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
drive-in movies more, and dine-in more often, and parties in people's backyards. >> maybe we will bring it back. lester holt joins us from los angeles next. >> bye. tonight, the rallies and memorials across the nation one year after the death of george floyd. moments of silence and marches from coast to coast in memory of the man whose murder touched off a racial reckoning in america today floyd's family meeting with president biden at the white house. the president's deadline for congress to pass police reform in floyd's name, where that effort stands tonight. and scary moments near minneapolis at george floyd square a gunman opening fire. the memorial day rush is here it's expected to be the biggest travel holiday since the pandemic hit, but it comes as unruly passenger behavior surges one flight attendant
attacked, losing two teeth. promising news from moderna its covid vaccine safe and effective for 12 to 17-year-olds. but when could younger kids finally get a shot the report breaking as we come on the air. the grand jury convened and expected to decide whether to criminally indict former president trump. what we're learning. the first summit announced between president biden and vladimir putin amid rising tensions. nearly a year after the remains of her children were found, a couple now charged with murder. and a health alert. the surge in ticks this summer. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt >> good evening. in this digital age, we've become used to cell phone video exposing the soft underbelly of policing but no image has been more jarring than the slow and excruciating death of george floyd captured on a minneapolis street corner one year ago today. his life squeezed out of him by a police officer. today his murder and
all that it came to symbolize was remembered by many in this country, including president biden, who met privately with floyd's family at the white house, where he had hoped to mark passage of a police reform bill named for floyd that bill, however, still held up in congress tonight floyd's encounter with police, which began with his questioning over a counterfeit bill, ended with his death, igniting a protest movement that spread across the u.s. and beyond and still resonates tonight. gabe gutierrez has details. >> reporter: today across the country, moments of silence commemorating the agonizing 9 minutes and 29 seconds a police officer knelt on george floyd's neck. >> it was a murder, and we need to be reminded that what happened to him was not an accident. >> reporter: in washington, floyd's relatives met with lawmakers. >> good morning, everyone. >> reporter: including house speaker nancy pelosi and later president biden. >> if you can make federal laws to
protect a bird, which is the bald eagle, you can make federal laws to protect people of color. >> reporter: a federal police reform bill has stalled in the senate because of republican opposition to certain proposals such as restricting qualified immunity, making it easier to sue police officers >> he did let us know he supports passing the bill, but he wants to make sure it's the right bill and not a rushed bill. >> reporter: this morning in minneapolis, chilling moments as gunshots rang out near where floyd died it's unclear why police say at least one person was shot and went to the hospital still it was a day of reflection in the past year, there have been changes at the state level. at least 3,000 policing-related bills have been introduced in legislatures. more than 30 states have enacted new police oversight and reform laws. but more than 1,000 people in the u.s. have died following police encounters since floyd's death. what has changed in america? >> nothing nothing has changed. >> reporter: we sat down with three women who now share an
unwanted bond, but george floyd's sister, bridget, is hopeful about the social justice movement >> what has changed the most is unity throughout the country. >> reporter: alissa charles-findley is the sister of botham jean, who died in 2018 when a white dallas police officer mistakenly entered his apartment and shot him she was convicted of murder has congress moved quickly enough on police reform? >> no. >> is that a broken promise to you >> of course it is. >> reporter: gwen carr is the mother of eric garner, who died in 2014 in new york city following a police chokehold. that officer was not charged. >> people think it's over it's not over with because they are still killing ou >> gabe, despite those gunshots earlier today, it appears people are still gathering there at the square >> reporter: yes, that's right, lester today was a major milestone for minneapolis but there's a lot on the horizon for this community. sentencing for derek chauvin is now scheduled for late next month, lester.
>> gabe gutierrez tonight, thank you a huge increase in travel is expected as we head toward memorial day with millions planning to fly or hit the road. the tsa urging patience while officials cite an alarming increase in bad behavior on planes here's tom costello. >> reporter: from the highways to high above, expect the biggest explosion in getaway traffic since the start of the pandemic aaa predicts up 60% over last year. >> incredible numbers of people. i've never seen the charlotte airport so crowded. >> reporter: this past sunday, nearly 1.9 million passengers moved through the nation's airports, the most since the lockdown began with airlines reporting much stronger than expected bookings, the tsa is adding 6,000 more officers this year the advice for passengers, expect longer lines, fewer empty seats. and with 50% of americans still not yet vaccinated, masks are still required for everyone in airports and on planes. the tsa says there are no plans to change that yet
meanwhile, the faa reports another alarming jump in unruly and dangerous behavior fist fights, drinking, verbally and physically assaulting flight attendants. 2,500 cases so far this year. 1,900 involving mask disputes a southwest airlines flight attendant lost two teeth during an assault on sunday. southwest's ceo says the assaults have reached an intolerable level. 60 tsa officers also assaulted this year. the homeland security secretary today. >> we're not going to tolerate behavior that threatens the well-being of the public, the employees that bravely are on the front lines to facilitate the travel for individuals who want to reunite with friends and family >> reporter: interfering with a flight crew is a federal offense. fines up to $35,000, jail time, and possibly banned for life from flying lester. >> tom, what can you tell us about this do not travel advisory for americans going to japan just ahead of the olympics
>> reporter: yeah, the cdc and the state department saying do not travel to japan. they're in a state of emergency. cases are up deaths are up. vaccination rates very, very low but the ioc says the olympics are still on, lester >> tom, thanks today moderna announced results of its vaccine trial for kids ages 12 to 17 as more than 164 million americans have now gotten at least one dose dr. john torres joins us now john, the moderna results appear to be positive. >> yes, lester this is great news an fda authorization would give the u.s. a second vaccine for adolescents and significantly increase the country's supply almost 4,000 kids wereerna's d the company says not a single one who got both doses ended up sick, making it 100% effective. so if it's given emergency use authorization, we could see it in pharmacies this summer. >> and where does approval stand now for younger kids
>> reporter: well, pfizer and moderna are currently in clinical trials for children 6 months to 11 years old but experts say they probably won't be done until the end of the year lester. >> dr. john torres, thank you. just breaking, prosecutors in new york have reportedly convened a grand jury to consider possible criminal charges against former president trump, his company, and its executives pete williams is following this for us. pete, what do we know? >> reporter: lester, this is the next step that prosecutors would take in pursuing possible criminal charges. it doesn't mean charges will be filed. it does mean the case is entering a new and not unexpected phase the d.a. is investigating a host of issues involving the trump organization's taxes, how it reported its assets to get loans, and how top executives were paid. this development reported by "the washington post" suggests the d.a. believes there's evidence of a crime, but it will likely be months before we find out whether this results in any actual charges. lester. >> all right pete williams in washington tonight, thank you.
high tension likely next month as president biden announced he'll meet with russian president vladimir putin for the first time kristen welker has details. >> reporter: the high-stakes summit between president biden and president putin comes as tensions are at their highest level in years. >> i've spoken with him a number of times. >> reporter: the biden administration imposing sanctions for russian interference in the 2020 election and for the solarwinds cyberattack. but president biden is also facing bipartisan criticism for handing putin a political win by removing sanctions against a russian company that will allow the completion of a gas pipeline putin wants. tonight republican senator ben sasse saying, instead of treating putin like a gangster who fears his own people, we're giving him his treasured pipeline and legitimizing his
actions with a summit. this is weak tonight we pressed the white house. >> why not wait until they've shown some good faith on some of these issues before setting up a summit? >> we proposed the summit because we feel that it is an opportunity to move forward our national interests and our agenda. >> reporter: among the topics they'll discuss, russian ally belarus and its forced landing of a ryanair plane. lester. >> kristen welker at the white house tonight, thanks. in the middle east, secretary of state blinken met with israeli and palestinian leaders trying to make sure an egyptian-brokered cease-fire holds andrea mitchell is in jerusalem tonight. >> reporter: tonight secretary of state blinken pledging $112 million in emergency aid to rebuild gaza and meeting with palestinian authority president mahmoud abbas, sidelined by the trump administration. >> we will work with partners to ensure that hamas does not benefit from these reconstruction efforts. >> reporter: blinken's overall mission,
cementing the fragile cease-fire between israel and the hamas militants who run gaza israel's prime minister, benjamin netanyahu, warning -- >> if hamas breaks the calm and attacks israel, our response will be very powerful. >> reporter: i asked secretary blinken what assurances he's getting from both sides. did you get any commitments from prime minister netanyahu to not evict palestinians from the east jerusalem neighborhoods, and did you get any assurances from the palestinian authority today that they could have any influence over gaza? >> any steps that either side takes that either risk sparking violence or, over time and ultimately undermine the prospect for returning to the pursuit of two states, we oppose. >> reporter: but a third-generation resident of disputed east jerusalem is not hopeful. >> no. our life before the cease-fire and after the cease-fire, it's a lot -- it's the same
>> reporter: blinken says he wants israelis to stop evicting palestinians and demolishing their homes and palestinians to stop inciting violence and paying terrorists in prison no promises from either side. lester. >> andrea mitchell in jerusalem, thank you. as a manhunt continues here in california for the shooter who killed that 6-year-old boy in a road rage attack, news of another road rage shooting in d.c with that, here's miguel almaguer. >> reporter: the grainy surveillance video has no audio but captures the moment a motorist driven by road rage jumps out of a silver maserati and opens fire on another vehicle in washington, d.c. moments later, the suspect unloads on another driver in a car just off-screen. one woman was shot and two children in her car could have been killed it happened just days before 6-year-old aiden leos was killed in the backseat of his mother's car after another incident of road rage in southern california >> he just didn't deserve that
no one deserves that >> reporter: with a $150,000 reward offered after aiden's death, police conducting both investigations have released few details and made no arrests. over the last 12 months, at least 25 deaths have been connected to road rage shootings. a growing number of violent confrontations have been captured by cameras, and now police in washington, d.c. and southern california hope video and witnesses can help solve their cases before someone else gets hurt. miguel almaguer, nbc news nearly a year after the remains of her two children were found in idaho, lori vallow daybell and her husband, chad daybell, have been indicted on two counts of first degree murder. chad daybell was also indicted in the murder of his former wife. texas is about to become the latest state to let people carry a handgun pretty much without restrictions
morgan chesky now with that story >> reporter: tonight in texas, getting hands on a handgun about to become even easier lawmakers in austin passing house bill 1927, allowing anyone 21 and up who is legally allowed to buy a handgun. no license needed. >> anything that allows our law abiding citizens to protect themselves and their family is a good thing. >> reporter: nationwide, similar handgun measures already exist in 20 states in texas, the law eliminates not only the license but also the written test, training, and state background checks. does this make your job harder >> i think it does. >> reporter: mike mata is president of the dallas police association. >> supporters will say more good guys with guns makes your job even easier. >> well, my answer to that is how do i know you're a good guy? you might go to a scene and now you have three, four, five people that are openly carrying a firearm. >> reporter: the bill also turning attention to recent mass shootings. just last month, a gunman opened fire in
bryan, texas, using a handgun to kill one co-worker and wound five others. and despite the bill's popularity, at gun ranges like this one, statewide polls still have 58% of texans opposed. governor greg abbott says he'll sign the bill as soon as it hits his desk. lester. >> morgan, thank you. up next, the urgent new warning about ticks.
when you're born and raised in san francisco, you grow up wanting to make a difference. that's why, at recology, we're proud to be 100% employee owned with local workers as diverse as san francisco. we built the city's recycling system from the ground up, helping to make san francisco the greenest big city in america but we couldn't do it without you. thank you, san francisco. gracias, san francisco. -thank you. -[ speaks native language ] let's keep making a differene together. a new alert as the weather gets warmer. kristen dahlgren now on the explosion in potentially disease-carrying ticks.
>> reporter: on a recent expedition in coastal connecticut, this researcher was amazed >> 200 longhorned ticks on myself. that's within two minutes. >> reporter: the longhorned tick first found in the u.s. in 2017 it's known to devastate livestock. researchers are still investigating what it could pass to humans he also found gulf coast ticks, common in the southeast, now spreading into new england. other research shows black-legged ticks similar to ones known to spread lyme disease are now prolific near northern california beaches. scientists calling this year the perfect storm. a mild winter and abundant rain just as people are heading outside in droves. doctors recommend wearing light-colored clothing, tucking pants into socks and spraying with repellent. changing clothes and showering asap and always do a tick check on you and your children the lab is usually sent 3,000 ticks a year for testing they've already gotten
2,200 in the first five months of 2021, a sign ticks are out in force and a warning more may be on the way. kristen dahlgren, nbc news now to an issue that hasn't gotten enough attention amid the pandemic, the surge in opioid-related deaths. here's morgan radford. >> reporter: stuck inside during the pandemic, sabrina hart turned to an old habit. >> i got me some heroin i went into the bathroom, snorted it. >> reporter: one that nearly left her dead how did the pandemic affect your drug use >> well, i was clean for five years i hadn't touched anything i sat at home every day. i had no idea what to do i think it was all the stress that was in my head, and i just picked it back up like i had never left it. >> reporter: nearly 200 americans are dying every single day from opioid overdoses, an increase of 34% during the pandemic, leading to the highest one-year death toll from overdoses ever recorded how big did the
problem get in the pandemic >> between april and may of 2020, our numbers tripled. >> tripled >> yes. >> reporter: here in west virginia, the state with the highest overdose death rate in the country, cabell county was once the epicenter. is this what people around here are hearing all day? >> yeah. >> reporter: that's why local officials built quick response teams like this one, complete with a police officer, emt, treatment counselor, and faith leader so this is the quick response vehicle >> yep. >> reporter: to bring help where it's needed most. >> they're not going to come to us, right so we found that it's best to go to them >> how do you find the people who overdose? >> every time an ambulance is dispatched on a call, we have to go. >> i have track marks there, there this is a track mark this is a track mark >> reporter: for courtney, who just got out of prison in august for possession, the pandemic became a perfect storm. >> covid hit, and everything's been different. >> you think that played a role, the pandemic >> yeah. isolation, can't go
nowhere, can't do anything that's when you're stuck in your head when you're by yourself and nobody's around and you're thinking, thinking, thinking, you obsess. >> reporter: four days before our interview, courtney overdosed again. you had an o.d. saturday >> yeah. saturday if i wouldn't have jerked when i did, i'd be dead. >> reporter: but thanks to huntington's quick response team -- >> how are you >> i'm fine. >> reporter: -- she and others like her are finding their way forward. do you have hope >> i have hope you have to have hope. >> reporter: morgan radford, nbc news, huntington, west virginia. i'll be back with some final thoughts.
before we go, we want to share this image of a poignant moment george floyd's daughter entering the white house to visit with the president today on the anniversary of her dad's death. a personal tragedy for her and one that is still jarring and shaping this country what happened one year ago was shocking in its brazenness, the knee, the seeming indifference both to george floyd's suffering and the cameras and citizens who bore witness in that roughly ten minutes of video, we saw a legacy of abuse suffered by blacks at the hands of police officers a shock to some who saw it a reality to others.
hardly anyone could be unaffected, and it demanded change. and we've seen it in some of those police reform and accountability bills and laws passed since then but the roots of behavioral change, how we see and treat each other, are not so easily legislated. the ignorance that has fueled a wave of anti-asian violence and anti-semitic attacks in the months after george floyd's murder show just how far we must travel to act better, to be better we've also seen more violent encounters between police and black individuals. none exactly like the other. some met with swift accountability others left to question under a lack of transparency. trust abused over time is not easily restored >> george floyd! >> say his name. >> george floyd! >> george floyd didn't die for an idea. he wasn't a martyr for a cause.
he was murdered under the color of authority. and to forget that and him is to ignore what we saw with our own eyes and ignore the need to press forward for change that's "nightly news" for this tuesday. thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night