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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Thursday, July 18th, 2013

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THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
July 18, 2013
Guests: Maya Wiley; Peniel Joseph; John Wilson


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: Tonight, "Boston Magazine" has an answer to
"Rolling Stone" magazine`s treatment of the Boston marathon bomber.
Photographs obtained today by the Massachusetts State Police photographer,
a police sergeant, who was there the moment Dzhokhar Tsarnaev came out of
that boat in Watertown.

And tonight, Trayvon Martin`s parents spoke to the man whose help they
sought in the pursuit of justice, the Reverend Al Sharpton. We will show
you that interview and Al Sharpton will join me.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN`S MOTHER: This trial was not about
Trayvon Martin, this trial was about George Zimmerman and what he did that
night.

MARTIN BASHIR, MSNBC HOST: The parents of Trayvon Martin speak out
for the first time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Speaking out in their live interview since George
Zimmerman was acquitted.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Both parents said the verdict was stunning.

TRACY MARTIN, TRAYVON MARTIN`S FATHER: I was in disbelief. I felt
his life was made a mockery of.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The real story here is understanding the jury.

FULTON: They put more responsibility on the child and not the adult.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We saw for the first time a lack of respect for
humanity.

MARTIN: The system was not fair.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We had to have a bigger discussion about race.

ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: The issues of race and justice
continue to dominate the national conversation.

BASHIR: The national conversation have grown more fevered.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over a thousand demonstrators gathered in Orlando,
Florida Wednesday night.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are looking for a repeal of the law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Florida`s "Stand Your Ground" law.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is very difficult to repeal the law. Does it
die down and go away? Or does something come out of it?

MARTIN: We founded the Trayvon Martin Foundation.

FULTON: We want to make sure that people are listening to what
happened. And we make positive change.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: Four hours ago, the Reverend Al Sharpton devoted his full
hour on this show with a discussion to Trayvon Martin`s parents who chose
not to be in the courtroom when the verdict of George Zimmerman was read.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Do you watch the attorneys after the
verdict, their press statements, the defense attorneys, when they held a
press conference?

FULTON: Yes.

SHARPTON: What was your reaction to what they had to say?

MARTIN: I have not watched any of the press releases. I just
couldn`t get myself in front of the TV to see what they had to say. I just
felt that, as a father who had lost his child, I felt that his life had
been made a mockery of. So I couldn`t just stand in front of the TV and
watch them parade (ph), so to speak, on national television.

SHARPTON: Why do you feel that Trayvon`s life was made a mockery of?

MARTIN: I just didn`t feel that the jurors -- not all of the Sanford
police, but some of the Sanford Police Department didn`t take this serious
at all. And I just as I said, I just didn`t feel that his life value meant
anything to them.

SHARPTON: Sybrina, you said you saw some of it. What was your
reaction to the press conference by the defense attorney?

FULTON: I am -- let me just go back. As I sat in the courtroom, it
just seemed to me as though Trayvon was on trial. And this trial was not
about Trayvon, this trial was about George Zimmerman and what he did that
night. But it just constantly seemed to me like they were trying to just
bring things up that Trayvon had done. I mean, who hasn`t done things as a
17-year-old, you know?

So, I mean, they put responsibility on the child, Trayvon, and not the
adult, George Zimmerman. So the comments that they made was based on that.
The comments were -- to me, some of the comments were just distasteful.
You know, you can tell me you`re sorry for my loss, and then stabbing me in
the back at the same time.

So, I understand that. I understand what -- you know, the concept and
everything that was going on.

SHARPTON: Did -- when you say that all of that stabbing in trying
Trayvon rather than Zimmerman, do you think it was a fair trial?

FULTON: I think the state of Florida did their best. I think Angela
Corey`s office did their best to try to get a conviction. I don`t know
about the jury or the defense. I think the judge was fair in her rulings
of the different motions. But it just seemed -- just like when the verdict
came, it just seemed like, wow, you can get away with murder. So now our
kids are targets.

You know, it is a scary feeling. How are we going to reassure them to
feel safe walking down the street? Going home, minding their own business
with a drink and some candy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now, the host of MSNBC`s "POLITICS NATION", the
Reverend Al Sharpton, and MSNBC contributor, Joy Reid.

Al, once again you delivered an important interview, and a lot of
viewers are still on their way home from work at 6:00, and I want to give
you another chance because it is so important to them.

But I want to read to you and Joy a statement just released by
Governor Rick Scott of Florida. He has met with some of the protesters and
he has released this statement.

Today, "Governor Rick Scott met with the leaders of the group of
protesters at the Florida state capitol. Governor Scott released the
following statement following the meeting this evening: I asked to meet
with the protesters this evening to personally hear their concerns
following the jury`s verdict in the George Zimmerman case. I expressed my
sympathies for the Martin family and all of those affected by Trayvon`s
death. Earlier this evening, I also spoke to Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon`s
mother, to again give my condolences on the loss of her son and to let her
know that she and her family remain in our thoughts and prayers."

Here is the key part, Al and Joy. "Tonight, the protesters again
asked that I call a special session of the legislature to repeal Florida`s
`Stand Your Ground` law. I told them that I agree with the task force on
citizen`s safety and protection, which concurred with the law. I also
reminded them of their right to share their views with their state
legislators and let them know their opinions on the law."

He talks about a statewide day of prayer this Sunday, July 21st. And
he said that although emotions run high it is even more important that we
join together to strengthen one another.

So, Reverend Al, there you have it. He does continue to support the
"Stand Your Ground" law.

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Well, I think you cannot deal with this
situation without dealing with that law. And the person I think that
really brought that point home was the jury that went public, said a lot of
things that many disagree with. What she said, that I did what the law
compelled me to do and the law must be changed if we`re going to deal with
this situation differently.

This is a juror who voted to acquit George Zimmerman. You cannot get
around the fact that the Stand Your Ground law, which she said they
deliberated on even though it was not in the trial. But it certainly
impacts how self defense is instructed by a judge. It certainly impacts
the fact that George Zimmerman was released today. He killed Trayvon
Martin using that law.

We now have a law on the books that is now also in 32 other states
that gives people the right to go and use deadly force without any kind of
backing up, with any kind of retreat, is the language in the law. And you
could be wrong.

What people are escaping in this debate and discussion around the law,
Lawrence, is that you cannot in any way shape or form tell anybody what
Trayvon Martin did wrong. He went to the store to get some Skittles and
ice tea and was going home.

He did not commit a crime. He was trespassing. There was no reason
that Mr. Zimmerman would have approached him at all.

When he did, you`re saying that Trayvon didn`t have a right to defend
himself in any way after he was under attack. It seems like the law only
worked for George Zimmerman. And this is based on the law and the fact
that the judge gives discretion on how the law and who the law will work
for. And I think that is why this law is so unfair and unjust, is why
people around this country are mobilizing.

Saturday, we`ll be in 100 cities with vigils saying that. The mother
will be here with me in New York at the vigil, because people are saying,
wait a minute, you can`t have a law if somebody is doing nothing wrong, you
can use deadly force and jury says you did not commit a crime, like human
life has no value.

O`DONNELL: You know, a lot of commentators are getting it wrong when
they say that "Stand Your Ground" because Zimmerman did not technically
claim a "Stand Your Ground" defense. But as we have seen, the "Stand Your
Ground" law changed the jury instructions that the jurors were felt bound
by. And it changed them to include "Stand Your Ground" concepts.

But, Al and Joy, I want to get to something that Trayvon Martin`s
father said to you, Al, in this interview that I think is the most clear
statement I have seen about why he thinks that there was a separation
between him and those jurors and why that bring of comprehension could not
-- could not be met between the two of them. Why that jury was never going
to understand Trayvon Martin and never going to understand Trayvon Martin`s
parents.

Let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTIN: I don`t think they could connect with them in the sense that
they`re not looking through the eyes of an African-American parent. They
don`t know what it`s like to be an African-American. They don`t know all
of the trials and tribulations. So, the -- I think the disconnect was,
maybe they have kids and they never figured that their kids would ever have
to be put in that position. Whereas we, on the other hand, we understand
that society is cruel. And I just don`t think that they saw it coming from
our perspective.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joy Reid, your reaction to that.

JOY REID, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I think he is absolutely right. Tracy
Martin in a sense challenged what we heard from Juror B-37, who essentially
e espoused the view that she couldn`t think of the idea of George Zimmerman
as anything other than a victim, nor could she even formulate in her mind
the notion of Trayvon Martin as, A, a child, or B, a victim, or C, afraid
of George Zimmerman. She just couldn`t fathom it. That`s the reason why
she went in as an acquittal juror from the very beginning.

And I think that also illustrates another problem with "Stand Your
Ground", because the problem is those kinds of disconnects, between the way
people relate to one another, the concept that people fear one another
based on race, based on dress, based on appearance, "Stand Your Ground"
encourages people to push through that fear, get into a conflict.

And, you know, it sounds like Rick Scott is listening without hearing
or hearing without listening, because what people are saying including the
Trayvon Martin Foundation is they want a Trayvon Martin amendment to stand
the ground saying you can`t be the aggressor, start a conflict, shoot
someone dead, and then claim "Stand Your Ground." So, that`s what people
are looking for, in Florida and elsewhere.

O`DONNELL: I want to go to something else that Trayvon Martin`s
father told the Reverend Al today about the jury`s deliberations, the fact
that the new revelation that half the jury voted for guilty in the first
vote -- two guilties on manslaughter, one guilty on second degree murder.
And that fascinated Trayvon Martin`s father. He couldn`t fathom how they
went from those guilties to a complete not guilty.

Let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTIN: I just didn`t -- I just couldn`t understand how can you come
from three people feeling that he was guilty to manslaughter to all six
people feeling that he was innocent. That`s the part that I am having
trouble grasping, because that shows me that there was -- there was thought
in their mind that he was guilty. And how you go from second degree to not
guilty at all, that troubles me, it baffles me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Reverend Al, we heard a lot of legal analysis about that
initial vote and how it changed. But to hear it from the parents`
perspective, how painful that would be, the jurors changed their minds
about his son during those deliberations.

SHARPTON: When you look at the tape of the juror that did the
interview, the B-37 Juror that Joy referred to, she said the law and she
said "Stand Your Ground." which was not brought in trial, but she clearly
said it was in deliberations.

The way that I could only surmise the way they were able to turn the
votes around, is saying, but the law said this, which was why the parents
are correct and the civil rights community said you must hit the root
problem, which is the law.

And the law is not used equally. You have a young lady named Marissa
Alexander, who was beaten, assaulted by her husband, hospitalized. He
ended up having a peace warrant against him. He came back, got into a
confrontation with her, threatened to kill her, she fired a warning shot
not aimed at anyone, didn`t hit anybody, didn`t hurt anyone.

They refused -- the judge refused to let her have "Stand Your Ground".
She is doing 20 years in jail in Jacksonville. How do you have a law when
innocent young man going home gets killed, being approached by his killer,
being followed by his killer, he`s acquitted, young lady with a record of
violence against her from her husband -- her husband, warning shot after he
threatens to kill her, she is doing 20 years in jail?

We can`t have a nation that has those type of laws on the book. And
we think that we`re a nation that represents what is fair and equal for
everybody.

O`DONNELL: Joy Reid and Reverend Al, stay with us. We`re going to
have much more of this interview coming up. Including what Trayvon`s
mother would say to George Zimmerman if she had that chance.

Also ahead, a stunning response to the "Rolling Stone" controversy. A
police sergeant`s incredible photographs of the moment Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
came out of that boat in Watertown and into custody. Those pictures and
what has now happened to that police sergeant for releasing them. That
story is coming up.

And Darrell Issa tries and fails to rewrite himself in tonight`s
rewrite.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Do you feel that Trayvon is with you and watching and
seeing what y`all are doing?

FULTON: Absolutely.

MARTIN: Definitely.

FULTON: Absolutely. It is little things that happen around us, which
gives us confirmation that not only God is there, but our angel is watching
us, too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Back with me are MSNBC`s Reverend Al Sharpton and Joy
Reid.

And, Al, I want to go to Trayvon Martin`s mother`s answer to the
question of what would you say to George Zimmerman if you had the chance.
Let`s listen to that answer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FULTON: I would pray for him. I would tell him my favorite Bible
verse which is Proverbs 3, 5, and 6, and I would tell him how I feel, which
is, you shed innocent blood and you`re going to have to account for that.

And I would pray for him, I really would, because I don`t want to
block my blessings by having any hatred in my heart for him. So I would
pray for him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Reverend Al, you`ve known the family now for over a year.
You have prayed with them yourself. Did that answer surprise you at all?

SHARPTON: No, I didn`t. That was the attitude from day one when I
was first called in just to say we want a trial. Would you put some
attention? And then we rallied people to say they deserved a trial because
the police had closed the case. We never were called until then.

And I found her then to be very spiritual, and very noble. I remember
when there was some saying, we`re going to put out a reward to go get
Zimmerman since the police won`t do anything. And there was no prosecutor
involved yet. She said, Reverend Al, we`re going out to denounce that, and
had a press conference and did that.

She always said, we want to make the system work. I want Trayvon to
be known for correcting this, not added to the violence and hatred and
bitterness, and I refuse to have that as part of me.

And even tonight, with a broken heart, less than a week after the on
who killed her son was acquitted, she said, I will pray for him and quoted
Scriptures, and said he will have to be held in account, in a spiritual way
raising that.

And I think if America looks at this man and this woman and how they
can behave. And then, you look at George Zimmerman who sat on a national
interview and said he had no regrets, he wouldn`t change anything he did.
Even though he knows now that he was wrong to try and say he suspected
Trayvon Martin of doing some wrong or something suspicious.

And to still say you have no regrets, I think you see the difference
between the two sides here.

O`DONNELL: Al, I think what is so valuable about these interviews,
last night with Rachel Jeantel and tonight with the parents, is that we`re
seeing these people who are not accustomed to be speaking publicly,
speaking on television or speaking in courtrooms, and we get to see them
speaking with someone who they can relate to completely, who they feel
completely comfortable with, who they know will understand their
perspective and what they have to say.

And I think it has opened them up both nights in a way we haven`t seen
before. And I want to show what they said to you. When they were telling
you about what it felt like to see photographs of their dead son, medical
examiner photographs and so forth, things that no parent ever expects to
live long enough to see, a dead child of theirs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FULTON: To see my son laying on the ground, to see my son at the
medical examiner`s, just to not see my son smiling and happy and alive --
you know, it bothered me a great deal. And when I felt that I could not
sit in the courtroom and listen to it, we did have a little room we went
into. And in that room, I just -- took some time out, just so that I was
not so connected to every single thing that was going on. But it helped me
a great deal and I couldn`t -- I couldn`t take everything.

SHARPTON: Tracy?

MARTIN: Just to see the lifeless body of an individual that we knew
was full of life, full of energy. Just to see him laying on the medical
examiner`s table, that was -- it was disturbing. It was hurtful.

It was -- it is something that -- those are photos that you really
don`t want to look at. But at the same time, you want to see what this
monster in fact did -- I wanted to see what this monster did to my son.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joy Reid, you don`t have to do much when you hear that
described like that to imagine what they went through.

REID: No, it is hard for us, again. And you know when I was watching
the interview that Rev did tonight, I keep thinking to myself, you know,
the prosecutor has also been talking to this family for over a year. Yes,
they represent the state of Florida, but they also represent this family.
Why didn`t they -- when they put Sybrina Fulton on the stand, why didn`t
they talk to her more and listen to these parents about how articulate they
were talking about their child, about talking about who he was as a person.

It just baffles me that the questions were so brief with her, the
prosecutor didn`t try to draw her out, and make that jury look at this mom
and understand her the way that the defense kept George Zimmerman`s bestie
on the stand forever and he was completely irrelevant, and he had this
little hearsay story. They kept him so long. They put the Vietnam veteran
guy on to talk about George Zimmerman.

And where was the prosecution in putting Tracy on? Look, Tracy Martin
was in Sanford at the time of this killing. Why wouldn`t you want to put
the parents on as the prosecutors, and use the sort of theatrics of the
courtroom the way that the defense did.

So, watching this, I kept thinking to myself wow, gee, why didn`t
Angela Corey and her team do what Reverend Sharpton did tonight, show you
who this family was so they could tell that jury who clearly had no
sympathy for this child, make them sympathize, make them understand this
was somebody`s baby.

I don`t understand why they didn`t do that.

O`DONNELL: Well, Reverend Al Sharpton knows how to talk to people in
a way that is a little more human than trial lawyers do.

Reverend Al, Joy Reid, thank you both very much for joining me
tonight.

SHARPTON: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: The full interview is available at MSNBC, at Al show`s Web
site, our LAT WORD Web site, we`ll link to it. You really should take it
all in.

Again, Al, thank you again --

SHARPTON: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: -- or another impressive interview. Thank you.

Coming up, the conversation about race that America has been busy
avoiding for decades.

And Darrell Issa is back in the rewrite tonight trying to rewrite
himself.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: South Africa and the world celebrated Nelson Mandela`s
95th birthday today, with news that the former president`s health is
improving. Nelson Mandela has been hospitalized since June 8th for a lung
infection. Today, South Africans spent 67 minutes helping others in honor
of Nelson Mandela`s 67 years of public service.

Coming up, new photos of the Boston marathon bomber, official police
photographs and the police officer who released them is now in big trouble.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR, POLITICS NATION: What is all 100
years from now, what do you want American history to say about Trayvon
Martin.

TRACY MARTIN, TRAYVON MARTIN`S FATHER: That Trayvon was definitely a
pillar in this time, in his generation, that his killing may have had
something to do with the ending of the senseless violence. We want to
learn from this. You know, and I think it is -- I think we, as a people in
general, as a whole, should take heed to this and learn from this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now, Professor Peniel Joseph, director of the
center for the study of race and democracy at Tufts University and Maya
Wiley, founder and president of the center for social inclusion.

Professor Joseph, in the piece you wrote today from the Grio entitled
"Trayvon, race and American democracy," you say, to beige about the racial
lurking behind this tragedy scratches the surface of a larger conversation
about race and democracy in America society. The paucity of the
historically based dialogue on national race relations allowed for a
stunning development throughout the Zimmerman trial, one wherein the
deceased victim was turned into a criminal.

Professor, what do you think that that court and jury ignored about
the history of America and race relations that should have been included in
the framing of Trayvon Martin`s story?

PROFESSOR PENIEL JOSEPH, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF RACE AND
DEMOCRACY, TUFTS UNIVERSITY: Well, I think the biggest thing they ignored
was the fact that when you think of this republic, we`re founded on racial
slavery. And when we think about American democracy, we have made huge
strides since the heroic period of the civil rights movement, from 1964 to
1965.

When we think about the voting rights act that was passed, the civil
rights act that was passed, it has only in the last 50 years that we have
fair juror representation for African-American, historically African-
American had been viewed as a problem. W.E.B. Du Bois said that.

There has been a condemning of black people. Black people have been
feared, marginalized and stereotyped. So the jury should have been
explained the history of American race relations and also the history of
stereotyping a young, black man. Trayvon Martin is not the first black man
to die just because of his race, because people feared him. There is a
loathing of black male bodies historically in the United States. And this
goes back to the 18th and 19th century.

So when we think about this jury, this jury was disallowed from
empathizing with Trayvon, and really confronting the history of race and
democracy in the United States.

O`DONNELL: Well, and your piece also says that this lack of
historical framing allowed Trayvon Martin to be transformed as you put it,
transformed from a racially profiled victim into a predator capable of
instilling dramatic fear into his assailant. And it is not surprising
considering this nation`s long history of cultural racism that de-humanizes
black men and women as criminals. The failure to discuss this history
proved to be a second death for Trayvon.

And Maya Wiley, how can we now attempt to get that history mainstream
to the point where you could kind of randomly select a jury in Florida who
would have this kind of frame in their heads?

MAYA WILEY, FOUNDER, PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR SOCIAL INCLUSION: Well, I
think it is an important question. This conversation of history is very
important to where we are in society. I think what we are seeing is that
the law has not kept pace with what brain science tells us. All of this
history that we are talking about has also produced a culture in which we
constantly see images of people who are black in low income communities.
We see images of black people being arrested and handcuffed.

And what that means is for those of us who do not live together.
Those of us who live in segregated communities, remember that Sanford,
Florida is 80 percent white, 20 percent black. Very segregated in many
ways. We actually don`t know each other in ways that break down the
stereotypes, that help us see that there is this image of a person that is
not actually who the person is or what the person is.

Our laws actually don`t recognize that that produces what we call
implicit bias. That means that at a conscious level, even if we say as a
society, we think it is wrong to be racist and many people will say that at
a conscious level. It is wrong. That doesn`t mean we don`t still react to
images, to stereotypes. So seeing a tall black boy in a hoodie actually
evokes a stereotype that our brains are making a decision on in a nano-
second. And that is why we have things like shooter bias.

And our laws don`t really recognize that science. And we have 15
years of established scientific data, that establishes that, you know, what
we are talking about is cultural racism is actually now becomes neuropath
ways in our brains.

O`DONNELL: And Professor Joseph, you talk about the notion that we
have reached that end of racism, which is touted by and often a lot of kind
of commentators on the right. You say color blind racism touts end of
racism methodology.

JOSEPH: Absolutely. When we think about this notion of color blind
racism, it basically says that racism is over and it announces racial
equality as a fact. When in fact we see all of these huge racial
disparities whether it is mass incarceration, whether it is in poverty or
unemployment.

The Barack Obama`s election was a watershed in our history and really
a transformation of American democracy. But it is also glossed over,
perpetual racism and institutions of inequality. So, I think many
Americans of goodwill hoped that Barack Obama`s election in presidency
would usher in a post racial era in the United States.

Sadly, that is not the truth. And right now, what we need now is a
national conversation about race and democracy that is linked to public
policy. Fifty years ago, John F. Kennedy made a brilliant speech on June
11th 1963 where he talked about race and democracy and said that America,
for all of its hopes and all its boasts, would not be free until all
Americans are free. We`re still waiting. We are still -- we require
leadership. And leadership is not just from the president, but from
Americans of good will at universities, at churches, in street corners.
And what is needed now is to confront racism. Talking about race does not
make someone a racist. Our lack of forthright analysis and honest dialogue
about race and racial inequality. And this goes beyond the black and white
divide. I`m talking about Latinos, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, is
crippling our democracy. So, we need a national dialogue on race and
democracy that is connected substantively to public policy.

O`DONNELL: Maya Wiley, I`m fascinated by your discussion of how
deeply racism resides in the brain, and some brains. I have to tell you
that many of the most convert racists I have known would never ever think
that they are racists, sir.

We are out of time for this discussion for tonight. We have to have
more of it.

Doctor Peniel Joseph and Maya Wiley, thank you both very much for
joining me tonight.

WILEY: Thank you for having us.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the response to "Rolling Stone`s" cover on
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a Massachusetts state police sergeant revealed his
photos today of the capture of that Boston bombing suspect. And what has
happened tonight to that police sergeant who took those photographs? He is
in big trouble. Photographs and that story coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Darrell Issa now wants to rewrite what he said about the
IRS and the president, but we have the video of what he said. And that is
next in the "rewrite."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: In tonight`s rewrite, Darrell Issa rewrites Darrell Issa,
and some Democrats who have been watching this program don`t think we need
to rewrite 501(c)(4) law on tax exempt organizations involvement in
politics. They think we just need to enforce the laws that says those
organization just can`t be in politics.

Here is Darrell Issa on May 14th on what he assured the world was a
great scandal at the IRS that he was going to use his committee to
investigate. Remember, on May 14th, when he said this, he had done no
investigating whatsoever.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: This was
the targeting of the president`s political enemies effectively and lies
about it during the election year so that it wasn`t discovered until
afterwards.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And then here is the ever judicious Darrell Issa chairing
his latest hearing on the IRS scandal today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ISSA: I hope that both my side of the aisle and the ranking member`s
side of the aisle will be very careful and cautious in what we say. It is
important that we understand that words matter, nuances matter and that we
not go one step beyond what we know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Not one step beyond what we know. That is the new Darrell
Issa who is terribly embarrassed by the old Darrell Issa. Darrell Issa who
just a couple of months ago, the leading Democrat on the committee could
not believe what he was hearing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: Our chairman led the charge
saying this was quote "targeting of the president`s political enemies."
The chairman certainly did not with hold judgment. He rushed to it with no
evidence whatsoever. The responsible answer is that we have no evidence at
all to back up that claim.

ISSA: Well, I have never said it was the president. I never said he
directed it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Darrell Issa is not quite as good at back peddling on his
high horse as Mitt Romney`s dancing horse is.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)

O`DONNELL: Yes, OK, that is not exactly Mitt Romney`s dancing horse.
That was just the only video we could get at the last minute of a horse
walking backwards. The committee heard from two IRS witnesses today, one
of who was from the infamous Cincinnati office. Republicans were deeply
disappointed to discover that she must have left her smoking gun at home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CUMMINGS: During the transcribing of the interview with the
committee, you were asked if you were aware of any politic bias by
employees in the Cincinnati office against tea party organizations. And
you responded no, quote, "no, I am not," is that correct?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, sir, that is correct.

CUMMINGS: And you still stand by that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, sir.

CUMMINGS: You also asked this question, quote "are you aware of any
political motivations behind the developing and screening and grouping of
tea party cases" end of quote. And again you responded quote "no, I am
not," Is that correct?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes sir, that is correct.

CUMMINGS: And is your testimony the same today?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, sir.

CUMMINGS: OK, so based on your own personal experience did you ever
receive direction from anyone in the White House concerning your handling
of the tea party applications?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, sir, I did not.

CUMMINGS: You know, we heard exactly the same thing from every --
just to let you know, we heard the same thing that you just said from every
single person we interviewed, 16 of them -- of you all. So I don`t
understand why this keeps -- these allegations keep cropping up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The other witness was an IRS tax attorney in the
Washington headquarters. He confirmed the fact, revealed in the original
inspector general`s report that the issue of how to handle tea party
applications for tax-exempt status reach as high as the IRS chief counsel`s
office, something Darrell Issa tried to pretend was not routine and was new
information today.

Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth asked the question on that one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. TAMMY DUCKWORTH, ILLINOIS: Do you have any reason to believe
that this decision to have the IRS chief counsel`s office review tea party
cases was motivated by political bias?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I do not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Some Democrats isolated the problem the same way this
program has, which is the conflict between the law as written and the 1959
regulation, written by the IRS which misinterprets the law. The law, as
most viewers of this program now know, requires that 501(c)(4), status be
allowed only for civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit
but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.

In 1959, an IRS regulation written somewhere in the vowels of the
Washington headquarter said suddenly that 501(c)(4)s could be primarily
engaged in social welfare, not exclusively, primarily. The 1964
bureaucratic change you surfed congressional power in a truly scandalous
way has created the problem we have today. IRS agents trying to determine
if an organization is primarily engaged in social welfare, which most tax
attorneys representing political organizations have decided to interpret as
meaning that the organization is 51 percent engaged in social welfare, 51
percent is primarily, according to the lawyers. And 49 percent can be
engaged in politics. The tax attorneys have simply made up this 51 percent
rule. And the IRS has never actually challenged them on it for decades.
And the real fix to the problem is obviously you simply enforce the law as
written and make 501(c)(4) tax exempt status available only to
organizations engaged exclusively in social welfare.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Forgive me for getting out the statute. But it
says concerning the social welfare organizations, that they must be
operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Yes, that is right. In Darrell Issa`s committee, and in
fact, in most congressional committees you have to beg forgiveness for
actually reading the law that the hearing is about.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wouldn`t want to be in your position, to look
first at the words exclusively, then primarily and then trying to figure it
out.

REP. MICHELLE GRISHAM (D), MEXICO: It seems based on the testimony
today and prior testimony that the clear way forward if we`re going to
solve the problem, which seems to me what we should be doing from here on
out is that we should solve it. Let`s make the 501(c)(4)s go back to what
Congress intended, exclusively for purpose of social welfare.

REP. CAROLYN MALONEY (D), NEW YORK: Would it make your professional
life easier if you were not retired and still working? If it was just very
clear in the law that no, not for profit that engages in political activity
shall receive in any way, shape or form a tax relief from the IRS. Would
that make your life easier in doing your job, Mr. Hall?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I think it would.

MALONEY: How about you -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I agree with Mr. Hall.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And so what are the chances that the Republican House of
Representatives will agree on a way to make life easier at the IRS?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: When I heard today that one of the official police
photographers who was on the scene when Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested,
released photographs, I thought there was something very strange about that
and it was pretty strange. She has been relieved of duty. That story is
next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: The Massachusetts state police sergeant who was a tactical
photographer who released photos of Boston marathon bombing suspect,
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, from the night Tsarnaev was taken into custody has been
relieved of duty.

In the wake of the outrage in Boston over "Rolling Stone`s" cover
photo of Tsarnaev, Sergeant Sean Murphy released a series of photographs he
took during the manhunt, including three photos showing the moments when
Tsarnaev was found in a boat, in the backyard of a house in Watertown.
Tsarnaev is bloodied, and the red glow of the sniper`s rifles laser aimed
squarely at his head. The photos were published by Boston magazine online
today along with the words written by sergeant Murphy. I hope that people
who see these images will know that this was real. It was as real as it
gets. This may have played out as a television show. But it was not a
television show. Office Dick (INAUDIBLE) almost gave his life. Officer
(INAUDIBLE) did give his life. These were real people with real lives.
And real families.

Joining me now by phone, the author of the Boston magazine piece about
these photographs today, editor-in-chief, John Wilson.

John, the full statement that this police officer made today had some
very bitter words for "Rolling Stone" magazine, this was very directly his
reaction to the magazine cover, wasn`t it?

JOHN WILSON, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, BOSTON MAGAZINE (via phone): Yes, I
think that is absolutely right. He was solely motivated by that cover and
sort of the effect that he felt it had on the families of the victims, some
of whom he has been in touch with personally. He also works as a liaison
to some families of fallen law enforcement officers.

O`DONNELL: And John, you know, I thought when I heard this that he
must have had full permission to release these to you, and this was in
effect the police establishment there in Boston responding in their way to
"Rolling Stone" and just kind of pretending that he was letting you have
these on his own. But it turns out he was, it seems, acting completely on
his own?

WILSON: Yes, he was, somewhere around 7:40, I don`t have the exact
time, two state police lieutenants and a sergeant showed up at his house
and confiscated his computer, his badge, his gun and his ammunition, and he
was essentially suspended, a formal suspension. And he will be relieved of
duty and there will be hearing next week to look into the sort of longer
term consequences.

O`DONNELL: And John, in your account -- accompanying the photographs,
you do mention and obviously acknowledge that this was provoked by the
"Rolling Stone" piece. I have to ask you as a magazine guy yourself what
your reaction was to the "Rolling Stone" cover and to the story.

WILSON: Yes, you know, I was quite up front, actually with sergeant
Murphy that I did not feel necessarily that that cover was as bad as he
did. I had written something yesterday where I mentioned that I did think
it was offensive in some ways to the victims, mostly because I felt that it
painted Tsarnaev himself as a victim. But I also felt that I understood,
at least, what "Rolling Stone" was trying to do. It was just to show how
unlikely it was that this kid would have been the guy that do this crime.
But I did stand as a wrote yesterday, I felt that the execution was poor on
that. They could have done a better job with that. And because of that, I
do think that it did offended and hurt a lot of people. City is still
fearing this. It is pretty raw here.

O`DONNELL: And you are going to have more of these photographs in
your September issue.

John Wilson of Boston magazine, thank you for joining us at the last
minute tonight and getting tonight`s "Last Word."

WILSON: My pleasure. Thanks so much.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.

END

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