All In With Chris Hayes, Friday, July 12, 2013
Read the transcript from the Friday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
July 12, 2013
Guests: Lisa Green, Seema Iyer, Glenn Greenwald, Ryan Coogler
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: Good evening, from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
It was 16 1/2 months ago, February 26th, 2012, the altercation between
Trayvon Benjamin Martin and George Michael Zimmerman took place in Sanford,
Florida. Tonight, the fate of George Zimmerman rests in the hands of a
jury of six.
There`s other news tonight, including an actual appearance of Edward
Snowden in Moscow. We`ll show you later.
But we begin, of course, in Florida, where 5 1/2 hours ago after 12
days of testimony, the jury was handed the case of the state of Florida
versus George Zimmerman, the man that`s charged with second-degree murder
in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Mr. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty,
claiming self-defense. The jury has ended its deliberations for the day
and will resume at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time tomorrow. They`ve already asked
the judge a question, in the short time since their deliberations began.
They requested a list of all the evidence they were presented with and
the judge has arranged to have that list delivered. Today, we saw the
dramatic conclusion of the case as the defense attorney, Mark O`Mara,
presented his closing argument and prosecutor John Guy gave the state`s
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK O`MARA, ZIMMERMAN DEFENSE ATTORNEY: So this is what happens in a
criminal case. The state has to take you from somewhere down here before
there`s any evidence, and he sort of presumed to be not guilty. All the
way up the list in your mind. The person who decided that this is going to
continue, that it was going to become a violent event was the guy who
didn`t go home when he had the chance to. It was the guy who decided to
lie in wait, I guess, plan his move.
Does it really help you decide this case when somebody who is not
George Zimmerman`s voice screams at you or yells at you and curses at you?
No. I would contend, listen to the tape, don`t listen to Mr. Guy. I
think Mr. Guy is trying to sound like him with his really -- F-ing punks.
You know, do we need that? And then it was said how many times was it
said that Trayvon Martin wasn`t armed?
Now, I`ll be held in contempt if I drop this, so I`m not going to do
some drama and drop it on the flood and watch it roll around. But that`s
cement. That is sidewalk. And that is not an unarmed teenager with
nothing but Skittles trying to get home.
Let`s just talk about self-defense. Do we think he might have acted
in self-defense? Not convinced. I have some doubt. Have some concern
that he just may have acted in self-defense, and if you reach that
conclusion, you get to stop. You really do. Why? Because self-defense is
a defense to everything.
JOHN GUY, PROSECUTOR: And the defense attorney can make the finding
of the way I say it. But it`s not my voice that matters. It`s yours.
Was he just casually referring to a perfect stranger by saying F-ing
punks? He put on a timeline that was 10 feet long, and the only thing he
skipped was those two words at the bottom of the screen. The only thing --
the common sense that tells you it`s the person talking like the defendant
who had hate in his heart. Not the boy walking home talking to the girl in
That defendant gets to his gun, the only way Trayvon Martin was
getting off of him, or he had backed up so far on his legs that he couldn`t
hit him, couldn`t touch him.
The defendant didn`t shoot Trayvon Martin because he had to. He shot
him because he wanted to. Listen to when the screaming stops at the
instant of the gunshot. Silence. Nothing.
He was a son. He was a brother. He was a friend. And the last thing
he did on this earth was try to get home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Judge Debra Nelson read the jury lengthy instructions before
the deliberations began including the ultimate choice they must make on the
fate of George Zimmerman, guilty of second degree murder, guilty of
manslaughter, or not guilty.
Joining me, is Lisa Green, attorney and legal analyst; James Peterson,
MSNBC contributor, and director of Africana studies at Lehigh University;
and Seema Iyer, a criminal defense attorney.
All right. I thought the defense closing was strongest when it was
talking about reasonable doubt. And I think actually reasonable doubt is
just an incredibly important concept in American jurisprudence, and in the
context of the closing, it really, they did a very good job of emphasizing
what the constitutional bar is that you have to get over, and it`s for a
good reason. It`s a pretty high bar. And I thought just hammering on what
reasonable doubt meant, what it meant in this case was incredibly
SEEMA IYER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: What was most effective, what
Mr. O`Mara did and what he`s supposed to do is read the facts and the law
and repeatedly, repeatedly implore to the jury, you have to find reasonable
doubt. There is reasonable doubt.
And the standard is beyond a reasonable doubt. Where you hit home
with the jury is, we`ve got one, we`ve got 10, we`ve got 20 and he named
HAYES: And there was a sort of thermometer illustration.
IYER: I loved that. Very compelling.
HAYES: I thought in terms of the visuals that had been used at the
trial, was one of the most effective. Here`s a little bit just of O`Mara
going through this reasonable doubt argument.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O`MARA: So this is happens in a criminal case. The state has to take
you from somewhere down here, before there`s any evidence, and he`s sort of
presumed to be not guilty, all the way up the list in your mind, so that
you have no doubt for a tactical reason or no reasonable doubt to the
essential elements of the crime and that George Zimmerman is guilty of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LISA GREEN, ATTORNEY: You know, what`s critically important here is
in the self-defense context, if -- this is in the jury instructions that
Judge Nelson gave to the jury. If the jurors have a reasonable doubt that
George Zimmerman may have felt it was necessary to act in self-defense,
George Zimmerman goes free. And that`s a powerful example of how important
HAYES: This is really important to me, because it seems the standard
keeps floating back and forth in my head. Is it a reasonable doubt that
George Zimmerman may have had a reason to fear for his life or bodily
injury? Or a reasonable person -- because this seems important to me,
because if it`s just the George Zimmerman standard, it seems like we have a
completely subjective justice system in which any maniac with any notion in
their head about what is dangerous to them can possibly get away with
JAMES PETERSON, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY: Well, that is what we have. I
HAYES: Well, that cannot be what we have.
PETERSON: Well, listen, dependent upon who`s defending, who the
lawyers are, when I see all the charts and all the sort of demonstrations
of the defense today, I`m wondering, what is their budget for that stuff,
what are their resources? What`s being brought to bear on this particular
case versus the other side?
So, at the end of the day, subjectivity is quite important here.
HAYES: Explain the testimony.
IYER: Let me explain. It`s a great question because people are
constantly confused. Is there an objective standard, is there a subjective
There are both. It is what would a reasonable person feel, do, in
George Zimmerman`s shoes?
The reasonable person standard is your objective. George Zimmerman`s
shoes is your subjective.
GREEN: Right. And the jurors are now, or tomorrow morning, again,
going to put themselves in George Zimmerman`s shoes, assume them feeling
like reasonable people, we have every reason to think they are, and they`re
going to try to make that analysis. I just want to say when it comes to,
you know, the defense`s budget, versus the prosecution`s budget, I see this
is a different way. And it`s really sort of the evidence the prosecution
was able to amass versus their ability to appeal to a motion.
And I think what we saw a lot of today, that`s another interesting
point, prosecution understandably trying to appeal to the emotions of the
jury against a really pretty well-amassed pool of evidence. You saw that,
I think, in O`Mara`s closing today, he was sort of methodically goes
HAYES: What I tried to do today, to put myself, everyone who was
watching this put yourself in the jury`s shoes about this. And what I kept
come away with, was I find myself, as a person watching the trial, nothing
more than that, I`m not a lawyer, basically saying, yes, there`s a lot of
discrepancies, I don`t trust a lot of what George Zimmerman said. A lot of
it seems dodgy to me. The character of Trayvon Martin seems impossibly
cartoonish. You`re going to die m-fer, and all this kind of nonsense.
HAYES: At the same time, it`s like, well, do I think, where am I on
that? I`m 80/20? Like, what is -- at what point did I cross a level where
I don`t feel like I trust him enough, such that I have crossed the valley
of reasonable doubt to the point where I can send this person to prison?
IYER: Well, my first question actually, since you`re watching this,
my first question to you is, at that point do you want an explanation for
the inconsistencies? Because what you`re saying to me is you`re going back
to George Zimmerman`s lies and his inconsistencies.
So, Chris Hayes, on the jury, do you want someone to explain that to
you? And O`Mara did not. Well, he did so many things. He didn`t explain
GREEN: He said one thing that really stuck with me in the lengthy
summation, and take it or leave it. But he said, anyone who tells the same
story the same way twice is a pathological liar.
I thought, you know what, you might like that, you might not, but
there`s a succinct summation.
He did something similar are Trayvon Martin`s girlfriend, or friend
who was on the phone. And he said, you know, if you ask me four weeks
after a conversation with my wife what we talked about, it`s entirely
possible I won`t remember at all. You see the sort of parallel tracks.
HAYES: How did that read to you?
PETERSON: Well, you know where I am on the case.
PETERSON: It doesn`t read that well to me because too when of the
lies are too strategic. They`re strategically in George Zimmerman`s favor.
So, at the end of the day, that sort of the idea that he`s not
calculated and this doesn`t ring true for me. It`s difficult to think
about what the jury sees and what the jury is thinking about. I feel like
on the outside of these trials, we have a very sort of surgical sort of
assessment what`s going on. But it seems to me that the prosecution,
particularly attorney Guy at the end there, that appeal to emotions and the
sort of pathos there is very, very important.
You`ve got to remember the history of Sanford, those folk are from
that area. They understand the history of race relations, the elephant in
the courtroom, without it being spoken. So --
HAYES: Which was kind of spoken about today.
PETERSON: He was at the time, yes. There was this strange invocation
at one point. I thought the weirdest moment was Mark O`Mara, you know,
part of the defense`s argument, right, of course, is that if George
Zimmerman could cross the reasonable standard threshold, right, reasonably
fear for his life, this person had to be reasonably threatening and
reasonable fear-inducing, right?
And so, what they have to do is create a Trayvon Martin who is that
way. And this is when him looking at these horrific autopsy photos, which
we have not shown, or tried not to show, he says when -- this is Mark
O`Mara telling the jury when you look at those autopsy photos, they`re not
telling the whole truth about the size of Trayvon Martin.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O`MARA: The other thing about the autopsy photographs is that there`s
no muscle tone because there`s no nerves, there`s no movement. He lost
half his blood. We know that.
So, on that picture that we have of him on the medical examiner`s
table, yes, he does look emaciated.
But here`s him three months before that night. So it`s in evidence.
Take a look at it. Because this is the person, and this is the person who
George Zimmerman encountered that night.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I thought that was ghoulish and ghastly and if I were sitting
in the jury box would have been offended by --
GREEN: Highly unpleasant, but -- highly unpleasant but I presume the
effort here was to say even the most damning piece of evidence, jurors, the
one that`s going to really make you think something was wrong and we ought
to find, can be attacked in a way that might create reasonable doubt.
HAYES: I would like to think the jurors sat and looked at this photo,
this is the photo I remember. What I`m about to say does not impute the
will of the defense. We are just putting on defense as they are
constitutionally required to do, right?
That photo that he`s showing, I saw on the white supremacist site,
Storm Front --
PETERSON: That`s right.
HAYES: -- in the wake of the news of it.
PETERSON: Used to demonize Trayvon Martin.
HAYES: Oh, you think this is some innocent kid, check out what this
kid really looks like. When I saw that held up, I had this strong,
powerful reaction against it.
I want to talk about the slab of concrete moment as well, and John
Guy`s rebuttal and where this sort of leaves the case right after we take
HAYES: Republicans in Texas are steaming ahead with a bill designed
to shut down most of the state`s abortion clinics. That bill has already
passed the House and made its way to the Senate floor today where it`s
being debated at this very hour.
After being blocked last time they tried to pass the same bill in the
Senate, Republicans made it clear this time around, they were not going to
let some pesky lady protesters get in the way of the very important job of
shutting down abortion clinics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst says the Senate
is determined to fend off a filibuster and gallery outbursts which
prevented the abortion bill from becoming law.
There you see it. Dewhurst says there will be extra police at the
capitol today, and anyone who breaks the rules will be thrown in jail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Apparently that crackdown involved the confiscation of
tampons. Yes, you heard me right. Tampons.
This photo of tampon confiscation was posted to Twitter as people were
filing into the Senate chamber to watch today`s proceedings.
So, we reached out to the Texas Department of Public Safety and asked
if they were confiscating feminine hygiene products and if so why.
We received this press release in response indicating they had
information that people planned to, quote, "use a variety of items or props
to disrupt the senate proceedings." As they searched for the notorious
props, they say they found, quote, "one jar suspected to contain urine and
18 jars suspected to contain feces." Quote, "all of these items as well as
significant quantities of feminine hygiene products, glitter and confetti
were required discarded, otherwise, those individuals were denied entry
into the gallery."
In other words, once they took them, I guess they could go into the
gallery. And also, suspected feces seems like a thing you could test for
So, there you have it. Check your suspected jars of feces and tampons
at the door, ladies. The Texas Senate has some work to do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE DEBRA NELSON, SEMINOLE COUNTY, FL: For two centuries, we have
lived by the Constitution and the law. No juror has the right to violate
rules we all share. At this time, if all of you will please take your
notes with you and follow deputy Jarvis back into the jury room.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Those are the last words Judge Debra Nelson spoke to the jury
before handing the case of the State of Florida versus George Zimmerman
over to them. So, the six-member panel could begin deliberations.
Still with me at the table, legal analyst Lisa Green, MSNBC
contributor James Peterson, and attorney Seema Iyer.
All right. I want -- can we show the video of the moment where the
defense attorney O`Mara takes a slab of concrete, which, again, this always
struck me as the most kind of tendentious and implausible part of the
defense`s case that Trayvon Martin wasn`t unarmed.
GREEN: Was weaponized.
HAYES: Was weaponized because there was concrete.
And the fact they seem to, like, want to double down on it in this
kind of preposterous manner. Again, this always seems -- I don`t know.
What am I missing here? This always seems to me like a ridiculous
IYER: Right. I think what you`re saying is that sometimes we feel
awkward seeing attorneys running around doing little skits. And it makes
jurors uncomfortable. And if you don`t sell it, if it doesn`t work, then
it falls flat.
HAYES: But it also goes to this point of, like, you can put on this
defense without demonizing Trayvon Martin.
HAYES: Maybe that`s -- maybe if you do put on that defense without
demonizing Trayvon Martin, without blowing him up in this brutal figure
that uses the can concrete to bash his head, you have a worse shot I guess
at -- every time that would come up in the defense, I would just get angry.
GREEN: I know. You know, here`s the thing, though, the self-defense
defense works at its best, the more threatening Trayvon Martin seemed. And
we talked about the 40 seconds, the key 40 seconds, right?
You -- if you`re the defense counsel, you need to make it clear to
jurors that Zimmerman reasonably needed to do what he did. The best way to
do that is really --
PETERSON: You`re exactly right, but the problem with doing that in
this case is that it requires to sort of finger the festering sore of
racial profiling and racial injustice in this country.
So, at the end of the day, what`s happening is they`re conceding and
endorsing racial profiling.
Because they were African-American males who committed crimes
previously in this community is OK.
HAYES: And the defense quite explicitly did this, in so far as they
introduced someone who said, broken into. The suspect was a young black
man. And today, in the closing arguments said, look, reasonably suspicion,
the suspects have broken in before. It was -- hey were not implying this,
they were explicitly saying this was a totally logical --
PETERSON: And in this criminal justice system, in this society, with
these kind of vigilante killings, unfortunately, are not uncommon, at the
end of the day, we -- that`s not a reasonable thing to deduce from the fact
that someone previously in the community that was racially identifiable
with the victim here allows you to be this racial profiler.
I hope the jury doesn`t buy that.
IYER: Well, here`s the situation I think that people aren`t really
talking about and that is this case is about race. It is about culture.
It is about politics.
These jurors aren`t just deciding State versus Zimmerman. These
jurors are deciding what happens in our country going forward. And I think
we`re being foolish and, frankly, naive to think that there may not be
riots, and if there are, there`s an acquittal, there should be.
Why are you shaking your head?
HAYES: I don`t think there will be riots and I don`t want to call to
them. Because I don`t think there should be riots. I think --
PETERSON: I`m also not calling for peace, either, right? Because at
the end of the day, I want people to feel what they feel at this particular
case and maybe action is the way you respond. Maybe it`s about getting out
and maybe affecting some of the policies that shape this case.
But at the end of the day, the call for peace to me, feeds into this
idea of is somehow the black community is waiting on the sidelines menacing
IYER: There`s plenty of Indian people and Asian people in that
community holding hands and ready to go if this guy is acquitted. And this
is also -- the issue is not whether Zimmerman did this. The issue is did
the people prove it? Did the state prove it?
GREEN: You know --
PETERSON: Because he did do it. He murdered Trayvon Martin.
HAYES: No, he killed Trayvon Martin.
HAYES: Whether he murdered him is up to the jury to decide from a
GREEN: Justification. But I want to take, move this conversation and
shrink it a little bit back to those jurors in that jury room. That`s
where before we speculate about anything else, the very next thing that
will happen is they`ll come back at some point and tell us.
HAYES: I want to come back to this at the end of program. How people
are looking toward this verdict. What the bated breath feels like right
Legal analyst Lisa Green, MSNBC contributor James Peterson, and
attorney Seema Iyer, thank you much.
IYER: Thank you.
PETERSON: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: There will be continuing live coverage of the Zimmerman trial
tonight on MSNBC. But up next, where in the world is NSA leaker Edward
Snowden? We have an answer tonight.
Stay with us.
HAYES: Today, Edward Snowden, the elusive NSA leaker who we have not
seen since he reportedly landed at a Moscow airport three weeks ago, has
resurfaced. This time, we have pictures to prove it.
This morning an absolutely crazy scene unfolded in ,Moscow`s
Sheremetyevo Airport where reporters who have been camped out in the
airport for almost a month without ever seeing Snowden got word he would
finally be speaking to a group of human rights activists.
Reporters mobbed the attendees as they were leaving the meeting hoping
for any bits of news. It was reportedly a tense scene where at least one
fistfight erupted between two cameramen who punched each other in the ribs.
Snowden spoke to the group for 45 minutes opening with the description of
the life he left behind captured by the Russian news outlet, Life News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDWARD SNOWDEN, NSA LEAKER: A little over one month ago, I had a
family, a home in paradise and lived in great comfort. I also had the
capability without any warrant of law to search for, seize, and read your
communications -- anyone`s communications at any time. That is the power
to change people`s fates.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: According to a transcript released by WikiLeaks, Snowden said
his goal is to get to Latin America. In the meantime, he`s requesting
asylum in Russia until such time as these states accede to law and my legal
travel is permitted.
Russia at this point hasn`t confirmed they received the asylum
request, but repeated that Snowden should, quote, "refrain from action
inflicting damage on our American partners if he wants asylum."
Now, if tensions before today are high between the U.S. and Russia,
they`re now next level bad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I would simply say providing
a propaganda platform for Mr. Snowden runs counter to the Russian
government`s previous declarations of Russia`s neutrality. I think we
would urge the Russian government to afford human rights organizations the
ability to do their work in Russia throughout Russia. Not just at the
Moscow transit lounge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Within the last few hours, Obama and Putin actually spoke by
phone about Edward Snowden. We don`t know what was said on that call and
don`t know what will happen to Edward Snowden.
But, today, we do know that Edward Snowden is in Russia and working in
some capacity with the approval, at least, of the Russian government. The
White House is not at all happy about it.
Joining me on the phone from Rio de Janeiro is Glenn Greenwald,
columnist on civil liberties and U.S. national security issues for "The
Guardian" newspaper. Glenn broke the Edward Snowden story in "The
Glenn, my first question to you is, why do you think after this
holding pattern, after these long weeks where we hadn`t seen Edward
Snowden, why did today happen?
GLENN GREENWALD, THE GUARDIAN (via telephone): The reason is because
his ability to get to the countries where he`s seeking asylum, and hopes to
receive asylum, has been thwarted by the willingness of the United States
government physically to block him from being able to get there. They
revoked his passport which prevents him from traveling.
They`ve signaled to the world that they will physically impede an
airplane which they did with the jet carrying the Bolivian president that
they thought had Edward Snowden on it. They put pressure on all the
countries that could be possible refueling stops in order for him to get
And that`s why the ACLU and Amnesty are both warning what the Obama
administration is doing is threatening this very well-recognized right of
asylum. There`s simply no way for him to get out at the moment. That`s
why he sought the help of these human rights organizations.
HAYES: So one concern I think a lot of people watching this have, and
I will actually count myself among them as someone who is happy to know the
things I know because of Edward Snowden, happy to have information, think
that information is crucial, and we`ll talk about the Microsoft story in a
second. Is that he`s now being - it is unclear to me with how much
autonomy this man could possibly be acting. I mean, we know the nature of
Vladimir Putin, we know the nature of the Russian state at this moment.
And in fact, any state, if the Russian version of Edward Snowden showed up
at the Miami International Airport, the CIA would be there the next day.
So it does not seem ridiculous to me to assume at this point that those
10,000 files that he has with him, that he brought to you to screen with
rigor and clarity are now in the hands, conceivably, of Russian
intelligence, and that does not seem like the best way for this to have
GREENWALD: I think what you just described is exactly what you called
it, which is an assumption, and I would add it`s a very speculative
assumption, one for which there is no evidence, and I think that runs
counter to the evidence that we know. Remember, this is a person who threw
away his entire life, as he`s said in the beginning of that statement that
you just played. He had a girlfriend, a long-time girlfriend, a family who
loves him. I get emails from them all the time asking me to pass on best
wishes and love to him. He had a very stable career, a lucrative job, and
he threw it away because he wanted not to destroy the United States or harm
the United States, which he could have easily have done by selling the
information, but to provoke a debate, and he was willing to sacrifice all
of his interests, including his freedom, in order to have that. So the
idea that he would then suddenly start turning over secrets to Russia or
China, which he could have done early on, and gotten a lot of money for it,
is very implausible to me, especially since I`ve been in contact with him
over the past week, and he is very clear about the fact that he`s free to
leave Russia at any time. That the only barrier in his way is the United
HAYES: And you think that is true? You do not think that he, I mean,
has he talked to you about - I mean, I`m not saying this is about the
nature of Edward Snowden. I am talking about the nature of the Russian
state and Vladimir Putin, who spent his whole life in the KGB, and like,
you know, does not necessarily play pattycake when this stuff is on the
table. So you are saying that he just has not had interaction with Russian
GREENWALD: I think there is a lot of different factors at play,
besides the fact that the Russian government would like to get their hands
on this information. It`s the same thing with China, you know, the New
York Times basically made up the claim, which they phrased in terms of this
might have happened, that the Chinese government drained his laptops.
Something that he insists did not happen, that in all the things I saw when
I was in Hong Kong with him, simply didn`t` happen, because there is a lot
of different considerations that the Chinese had, including wanting him
gone so that they did not complicate their relationship with the rest of
HAYES: And it`s possible Russia would like to see him gone as well.
HAYES: Quickly, there is a scoop you had yesterday about the NSA and
Microsoft working together. What do you think the significance of it? I
read it and it seemed to me that the most charitable interpretation
possible is that they are creating the technical capability to be able to
in the future execute lawful kind of searches for items they want. What do
you think is worrisome about that scoop?
GREENWALD: The Silicon Valley companies have continuously said that
they only do the bare minimum the law requires to work with the NSA, and
what this shows is that this is a constant collaboration and collusion on
the part of Microsoft to build systems to allow all sorts of access, to
Skype, to Outlook, to all these cloud systems, way beyond what the law
requires. And the idea that they need a warrant in each individual case is
untrue. They only need a warrant when they are targeting American
citizens, not when they are scooping up (inaudible) communications,
including ones involving Americans.
HAYES: Glenn Greenwald from the Guardian, thanks so much, appreciate
GREENWALD: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: We`ll be right back with click 3 (ph).
HAYES: If you haven`t heard of 27-year-old Ryan Coogler yet, you can
expect to be hearing a lot about him soon. He wrote and directed an award-
winning film about the life and shooting death of an unarmed, young black
man from his own home town of Oakland, California. The film is opening in
major cities tonight to enthusiastic Academy Award speculation and, of
course, it`s a plot line eerily resonant today as we as well as in the
verdict in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
I`ll talk to Ryan Coogler next.
But first, I want to share the three awesomest things on the internet
today beginning with one institution`s attempt at getting hip with the
kids. Unfortunately the term YOLO is a thing. It`s been happening for a
hash-tag, originally coined by the rapper Drake, and it stands for, "You
Only Live Once." YOLO.
What`s so bad about that? Well, plenty, as Urban Dictionary
uncharitably explains it. YOLO is basically "Carpe Diem" for the stupid
people. Lots of people are using it to excuse irresponsible or reckless
behavior like, "I wanted a YOLO while doing it," it`s all good.
Well, the admission`s office at Tuft University caught wind of this
whole YOLO thing and now the little arts` college wants to know what YOLO
means to the class of 2018. I expect the students are asked to choose from
several essay questions including the following, retrieved in part," Have
you ever seized the day? Live with no tomorrow? Or, perhaps, we plan to
shout YOLO while jumping into something in the future. What does hash-tag
YOLO mean to you.
I can just imagine from the incoming essays. Dear Tufts, sorry about
my SAT scores, but you know, YOLO. Not to be outdone, MIT is now asking
students to contemplate the meaning of DERP.
The second awesomest thing on the internet today brings us what might
be the dunk of the year. (inaudible) posted this video of high school
senior Christian Terril, a 6-foot, 2 shooting guard of Jacksonville,
Florida. Seriously watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I have no joke about this. In fact, there`s not much more to
say other than Christian says, he`ll go to Florida Gulf Coast University in
the fall, but I`ve watched this clip no less than 27 times. And if this
isn`t awesome, I do not know what is.
And the third awesomest thing on the internet today, Sharknado, of
course, you may have heard. It was a movie on the sci-fi channel last
night, a 2-hour bacchanal of bad acting and special effects or, in simple
terms, Tara Reid, Steve Sanders from 90210 and flying sharks. And as this
graph shows, it pretty much broke the internet captivating Twitter
followers all across the country. The sheer volume prompted this from
comedian Patton Oswalt, "Based on the Twitter attention it got, Sharknado
is our Arab Spring."
There are plenty of Sharknado bites like this one, following Steve
Sanders getting swallowed by a flying shark and chainsawing his way out of
it. Guess we should have issued a spoiler alert on that one.
One blog even listed 28 possible Sharknado sequels, some based on
suggestions from Twitter. Here`s a few of our favorites that we thought
merited the Sharknado treatment. Crustaceans get swept up in intense dust
storm or hubub, it`s crubub, all about alpacalypse, the fur will fly, when
the world ends and, perhaps, the most terrifying of all, shesunami.
They didn`t spare the budget on this flick. Run for your lives or
that massive canine wave may slobber all over you.
To find all the links to tonight`s Click 3 on our website
Allwithchris.com. We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SON: I`m scared.
FATHER: Scared of what?
SON: I hear guns outside.
FATHER: You know, baby, those just firecrackers. You`re safe inside
with your cousins.
SON: What about you, Daddy?
FATHER: Baby, I`m going to be fine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was a clip from the new movie, Fruitvale Station, opening
in theaters in major cities today. The film, which won both the audience
and Grand Jury prizes at Sundance this year, which is already getting a bit
of Oscar buzz, chronicles the final day of the life -- of the real life of
Oscar Grant, who was shot in the back by the 27-year-old Johannes Mehserle,
a white Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer.
At the time of the killing, Grant was unarmed and lying facedown on a
subway platform in Oakland, California. Captured on cell phone footage by
several witnesses, the shooting happened in the wee hours of the morning of
New Year`s day in 2009. Shortly after police responded to reports of a
fight on a train stopped at the Fruitvale Station. Grant was detained on
the platform when Mehserle fired a single round into his back.
Mehserle testified the shooting was an accident caused when he
mistakenly grabbed his firearm instead of an electric taser, but because of
pre-trial publicity, the trial was actually held in Los Angeles. The
prosecutors, at the time, had not won a murder conviction in a police
shooting case since 1983.
Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. He served half of
the 2-year sentence. For the family of Oscar Grant, the movie, Fruitvale
Station, is both painful and surreal. Oscar Grant`s uncle said the movie
really brings back everything that happened that night. It`s like watching
him get murdered again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, all right. I hear you. Damn, bro,
man. You arresting us? Cuz we ain`t do -- you was going own us?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The master saying this whole time that she don`t
want to listen with her cute ass.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`s drunk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`s drunk?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where your friends at, huh?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We ain`t got no friends.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They ain`t got no friends. I see one of those
punks right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the platform, you need to back up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now is the 27-year-old writer and director of
Fruitvale Station, Ryan Coogler (inaudible). Thanks for being here.
RYAN COOGLER, DIRECTOR, WRITER, "FRUITVALE STATION": Well it`s nice
to be here with you. Thanks for having me.
HAYES: Why did you want to make this movie about Oscar Grant, and why
did you decide to make it as a fictionalized feature film rather than a
COOGLER: Well I think one of my biggest motivations to make the film
was the actual incident it show -- you know, I was right there in the Bay
Area when it happened. It touched a lot of people who (inaudible) in a lot
of different ways. You know, (inaudible) had a life taken, you know, on
camera like that, it (inaudible) deeply, and Oscar was the same age as me,
you know, and I happen to be African-American myself, you know, and his
friends look like my friends
And seeing that tape, I couldn`t help but to imagine myself, you know,
in that situation and watching the fall-out to happen afterwards with his
character coming out -- pushed forward in different depending on peoples`
political agendas. You know, I really thought it was a great tragedy that
nobody was looking at it as a human issue, at this young man. He didn`t
get to make it home to the people that loved him the most.
I think it`s the reason I wanted to make it as a fiction film was two
reasons actually. A lot of my favorite documentaries, you know, take a
very long time to make.
COOGLER: And I thought this film was something that was very
immediate, that could benefit from on sooner. You know, and the other
reason is that I wanted to bring people to a close proximity with a
character like Oscar, you know, and unfortunately if I was making a
documentary, Oscar isn`t around anymore, you know, I couldn`t have Oscar
HAYES: So he has to be absent from the film.
COOGLER: Yeah, if it was a doc, you know, he`s not alive, you know,
he`s not here.
HAYES: What you`ve done in the film is create a really incredibly
compelling human character. It`s the last basically 24 hours of his life,
HAYES: And there`s been a tremendous amount of praise. There`s a
great review in the New York Times about how human he seems, and there`s
also been some criticism because we see Oscar Grant falling back into
dealing drugs, being deceitful with his girlfriend and his mom.
HAYES: How do you navigate portraying someone who isn`t here anymore
and making them as human as possible?
COOGLER: I mean -- I think that if you talk to anybody, you know, I
mean, you`ll find any (inaudible) in a relationship that are closest to
them. You know, and for Oscar, it was close relationship with three women
in his life. His mom, his girlfriend and with his daughter. And you know,
for me to ignore the struggles that he was facing, at that time, Oscar was
dealing with a lot, you know, dealing with a lot of internal struggles,
dealing with a lot of issues in his life.
For me to ignore those things would have been a tragic thing because
those things that he was dealing with greatly affected the people that he
loved. You know, and everybody -- every single human being has pluses and
has minuses. We all have struggles that we deal with, and humanity exist
in a gray area, you know, it doesn`t exist in black and white. But too
often, people like Oscar are only shown, you know, through the media in one
HAYES: Do feel that that`s the case -- obviously this is now
happening with this tragic coincidence of this film that`s coming out as we
as await the trail -- the verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman accused
HAYES: ... killing, murdering Trayvon Martin. Do you feel that we
lose sight of the humanity of the person at the center of it as these
stories become stories?
COOGLER: Absolutely. I mean, I think it`s no question, you know, and
I think it`s really unfortunate because we made this film, you know, when I
first started writing the script, Trayvon hadn`t been killed yet. You
know, and it kind of speaks to the fact that these things are ongoing, not
just these types of crimes, but also black-on-black crime. You know, young
African-American males lose their lives at an alarming rate, you know, all
the time throughout this community.
And it seems like people don`t really see us as human beings. Like
often times even ourselves, you know, and I think that`s a great tragedy,
HAYES: What do you want people to walk out of the movie theater
thinking? What do you want them to have floating through them after they
saw the film they didn`t have when they walked in there?
COOGLER: I mean for me the film was about humanity and about love and
about relationships, you know, and I hope that people can watch the film
and see a little bit of themselves, you know, in Oscar`s character
regardless of where the audience comes from, whether they`re white, black,
Hispanic, Asian, American, you know, watch the film, see a little bit of
their struggles and Oscar`s struggles, and see a little bit of their
relationships and his relationships that he had. You know, everybody knows
what it`s like to be young and trying to figure things out.
Everybody knows what it`s like to have a mom and have somebody that
they love, you know, and I hope that people can see that, you know, in
Oscar and maybe have a little bit of empathy and maybe write a little bit,
you know, moving forward.
HAYES: You`re 27 years` old, right?
COOGLER: Yes, sir.
HAYES: And this is a first-time film, first time writer-director, and
this movie is getting incredible feedback. How does it feel to be in the
middle of this tornado?
COOGLER: Oh, I mean, I think it`s a little bit overwhelming, you
know, it wasn`t something I ever saw. I`m surprised anyone, you know, to
be standing with you, and to have a film, you know, received well when it`s
received at all. For us, making the film was all about just getting the
story out there and making something based on a real event. You know, you
got to make decisions about how you want people -- how you want people to
receive it, you know.
And I think that for us, it was about humanity and any time the film
that gets played and anyone watches, it`s a huge achievement for all of us.
HAYES: Ryan Coogler, writer and director of Fruitvale Station, which
opens today. Thanks so much, man, really appreciate it.
COOGLER: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: There are some people that felt that justice was not served in
the Oscar Grant case, and in these tense hours, as we wait for the jury to
return in the Trayvon Martin case, many people are anticipating another
verdict that doesn`t satisfy their thirst for justice.
When we come back, we will discuss the possible ramifications of that
verdict whenever it does come down.
HAYES: Joining me now to talk about how names like Trayvon Martin and
Oscar Grant can become bywords for the killing of young, black men is Maya
Wiley, founder and president of the Center for Social Inclusion, and Jelani
Cobb, associate professor of history at the University of Connecticut,
contributor to New Yorkers News Desk blog where I really recommend you read
with your (inaudible) because he`s a phenomenal writer.
So reliving through the Oscar Grant case is pretty heavy as we sit
here right now with six jurors in Florida deciding the fate of this case.
And there`s been a lot of the subcontext, I think, as we look towards this
case is what will happen if there`s a "not guilty?"
I mean, that`s the elephant in the room, right? In fact, on FOX, it`s
not the elephant in the room, it`s the elephant that they`re talking about.
Here`s Bill O`Reilly basically sounding the alarm warning of the unrest
that will result from a "not guilty" verdict. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O`REILLY: If the prosecution did present a weak case and that, again, is
the consensus of the media following it, even the liberal media, and he
does get acquitted Mary Katherine, I mean are you expecting people to run
out and cause trouble? So you both agree there`s a possibility for damage
to be done to the fabric of the nation if this verdict comes in as an
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What do you think when you hear that?
MILEY: I think that we`re afraid of black people, and that`s the
bottom line, and certainly, it`s a rational question in the sense that
after Oscar Grant, there were riots. After Rodney King, the acquittal of
(inaudible) Rodney King, there were riots. That doesn`t mean we`re always
HAYES: Right. I should also say with Oscar Grant there was -- after
Oscar Grant, there was massive anger.
HAYES: A huge peaceful mobilization in the city of Oakland, a huge
peaceful mobilization (inaudible). There were riots as that demonstration
essentially broke up. There were about 80 people, I believe, arrested, but
these were not mass riots. The vast majority of the people that came to
express their displeasure after Oscar Grant were, indeed, peaceful.
MILEY: And remember Reika Boyd, who was shot by an off-duty police
office two months after Trayvon Martin. She was an innocent bystander. He
was shooting at someone who was going for a cell phone, so it`s a very
similar kind of -- you know, someone who was not violent, hadn`t done
anything wrong. There were no riots after she was killed, so it`s not
simply that every single time. There are actually social conditions that
produce violence and it`s complicated.
COBB: Yeah. I think -- I`ve been saying this all along. I think
that people riot when they expect justice and they don`t get it. I don`t
think that black people expect justice in this case. I think there`s kind
HAYES: That`s an incredibly intense statement.
COBB: I think it is. I think it`s the kind of same scenario on a
different day, and looking back to Oscar Grant, you know, not to take the
focus off that, but that happened the same month that President Obama was
inaugurated. And it wasn`t the only time. There were two other African-
American men. There were three that same month. Unarmed, who were shot by
law enforcement, one in Dallas, one in New Orleans and, of course, in the
Bay Area, with Oscar Grant.
And even during the campaign, you know, the question came up with the
Shawn Bell verdict, you know, about the young ...
HAYES: Here in New York City ...
COBB: ... boy who was shot in New York City. This is not a kind of
tangential thing. This is something that we`re very familiar with and an
overwhelming majority of these (inaudible) people have not rioted. And I
think the people may just be depleted, you know, I don`t think that they
expect things to turn out differently.
MILEY: It`s also that, and a lot of times when we see riots, we see
one -- a couple of different things. Black people have been humiliated in
a variety of ways over a long period of time, either by repeated police
brutality. Usually coupled, also, with very high unemployment rates, and
so it becomes the tender, you know, the spark that actually hits them very
dry and tender and turns into a bonfire.
HAYES: The other thing I keep thinking about as we await the verdict,
and this is just a really important point when we talk about the fate of
black in the criminal justice system, what their lives mean to the criminal
justice system when they are the victims of violence. What their lives
mean to the criminal justice system when they are accused of being the
perpetrators, is that we all have a tendency, because trials are
fascinating, gripping things and we cover them a lot, understandably,
because they really are dramatic, 98 percent of what happens in this
country`s criminal justice system is that people are cranked through this
machine in which there is no verdict.
There is no big deliberations and long jury selection. It`s plea,
plea, plea, plea, plea, and you can go down to 26 and California in
Chicago, I have, and go to the court house there in the nightshift and
watch the arrestees brought in, and they are booked, booked, booked, and
people are plea, plea, plea, and I`m like that is criminal justice in this
country? That`s the other side of it, you know? The other side of it is a
lot of young black and brown men being run through the system.
MILEY: Well it`s also that we forget, you know, we`re talking about
Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, these are black men who were feared even
though they hadn`t done anything in the instance in which they were killed.
Our fear of them is also because we`re constantly turning non-violent
offenders. So what you`re describing, Chris, these aren`t people who are
going around and hurting people. In fact, five times as many whites use
drugs than are arrested compared to blacks for drug use.
COBB: Well, I think the other too is that this is about resources.
People who are kind of in this mill being, you know, plead out, and you
know, sent to sentences and so on, they are the people who don`t have
resources, and there`s a reason why George Zimmerman has the resources he
People have been ...
HAYES: Because ...
COBB: They`ve given him hundreds of thousands of dollars and ...
MILEY: More than Trayvon Martin`s foundation.
HAYES: Maya Wiley from the Center for Social Inclusion, and Jelani
Cobb from the University of Connecticut. Thank you both so much.
COBB: Thank you.
MILEY: Thank you.
HAYES: That is All In for this evening. MSNBC`s coverage of the
George Zimmerman trial continues next.
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