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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

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June 25, 2014

Guest: Emanuel Cleaver; Jess McIntosh; Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, Joe
Madison, Jimmy Williams

Schultz. "Politics Nation" with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.

Good evening, Rev.

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you
for tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, the Republican plan to sue President Obama. Today the GOP
confirmed it will try to turn an absurd right wing fantasy into reality.
Speaker Boehner said he will push forward with the lawsuit directed at
President Obama.


President regularly ignore the law, he brags about it and he brags about
his willingness to change it unilaterally. That`s arrogance and
incompetence tense right down the line. In my view, the President has not
faithfully executed the laws.


SHARPTON: The President has not executed the laws? Really? Which one
specifically does the speaker have in mind?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: What specific executive action are you
planning to challenge in court?

BOEHNER: When I make that decision, I`ll let you know.


SHARPTON: He hasn`t decided which executive action to focus on. He
doesn`t even know why he wants to bring a lawsuit. It`s so ridiculous that
even some on the right realize it.

GOP congresswoman Michele Bachmann went on FOX News after Boehner spoke,
probably expecting to take a victory lap. But what happened next was not
what she expected.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are far more important things that you guys have
to be addressing than filing lawsuits past each other. By the way, what is

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Listen. I`m not the one talking
about that. What I`m saying is what`s very important is the President
trying to establish lawlessness in the United States. That`s a big issue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Democrats said George Bush said the same,
Congresswoman. I`m just saying, each side claiming, it is waste of time.
Waste of time.

BACHMANN: So what we need to do is defund the executive branch number one
and then defeat executive --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the -- congresswoman! If Democrats said we will
defund President Bush, we are going to defund the -- would you have
laughed. And so you should have been. Acting Democrats will be in their
right mind to laugh you out now. Defund them.

BACHMANN: Listen. The House has the power of the purse. This isn`t a
small power. We can do this but we can do something further. I hear your

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, congresswoman.

BACHMANN: What we can do further is impeach the elected officials.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, man, oh, man, oh, man. What is burning and you are
filing. All right, respectfully disagreeing. Congresswoman --

BACHMANN: That`s kicking them out of their -- what else do we do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not, it`s not. We`ll have more after this.

BACHMANN: Then what do you do?


SHARPTON: Laugh you out? Wow. House Republicans are now getting openly
ridiculed by FOX News. They`ve totally gone off the deep end. It`s time
for them to do some real work in Congress or at least let the President do

Joining me now is Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, Democrat of Missouri and
former Pennsylvania governor, Ed Rendell.

Thank you both for coming on the show tonight.


REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D), MISSOURI: Good to be with you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Congressman, do even some Republicans know how absurd this
lawsuit is?

CLEAVER: Well, it is absurd. I don`t think they realize they are going to
be ridiculed for something like this. It makes me want to go and join in
with some Republican legislation to stop frivolous lawsuits.

The other thing is, that as I`m thinking about this (INAUDIBLE), I`m
thinking of filing some kind of a class action for -- on behalf of the
veterans who not getting unemployment benefits and malpractice on the part
of the Republican leadership because we`re not getting anything done.
That`s failure to function. They ought to be a lawsuit for that.

And I think what is going on right now, is so silly, that it is going to
help Democrats. All we have to do is sit back and watch laugh-in from

SHARPTON: Well, governor, along with other things that are like over the
top, we keep hearing the "I" word, impeachment. Speaker Boehner was asked
directly about impeachment. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Could this lead to an impeachment proceeding
against the President?

BOEHNER: This is not about impeachment. This is about his faithfully
executing the laws of our country.


SHARPTON: I mean, Governor, this is the speaker`s take on it. How do you

RENDELL: Well, look. I think you and Congressman Cleaver both said that -
- and even the FOX commentator, the real reason they are doing this stuff
is to distract from the fact they`ve done nothing. They have not passed a
jobs bill. They have not passed immigration reform. They have nor passed
an energy bill. They have not passed an education bill. The country is
literally burning and they are sitting by fiddling with these ridiculous

President Bush had 290 executive orders in his eight years. President
Clinton had 308. President Obama, is at 187. If he keeps up at the same
pace, he will have far less than either President Bush or President
Clinton. So it is ridiculous. They should stop it. Get down to work.
Pass a jobs bill.

In Pennsylvania, people want to go back to work. They want the middle
class jobs. They want infrastructure bill. They want to build up the
country. These guys are fiddling with this absolute junk.

SHARPTON: Congressman, let me pick up on that. Because I want to deal
with facts.

To this date, Republicans accuse the President of ramming his agenda
through the executive actions and orders. But to date, President Obama
again, as the governor said, has issued 180 executive orders, fewer than
President Bush issued at the same point in his presidency, 209.

And this chart shows the average number of executive orders signed by
presidents each year since 1901. President Obama signed fewer per year
than anyone. But for some reason, I don`t recall Republicans trying to
swoop past GOP presidents, including President Bush over executive orders
or for that matter, suing democratic presidents over executive orders.

CLEAVER: Right. It`s slide of hand. They want, as governor said, want us
to look at something else other than their failures.

Look, executive orders are important. While I hope it doesn`t happen in my
lifetime, there probably will be another Republican president. I would is
hate to have taken something from him or her.

Now, look. President Obama is a piker compared with other presidents.
Truman for example, had 3500 executive orders and some of them were good.
For example, the emergency work administration of which in the middle of
the depression. Harry Truman, executive order 9981, desegregated the
troops. And one that I will never hope that people forget is (INAUDIBLE)
proclamation. It was an executive order. It was not a vote of Congress.
And so, they are important.

And the Republicans need to be careful not to play with this because they
will do damage it future administrations when we need a strong executive to
do something. This is not what about what President Obama is doing with
executive orders. It is about some other thing. It is silly and wasting

SHARPTON: That`s the real point, Governor. This is about some other
things. I mean, let`s be real candid. They were meeting the night of the
first inaugural ball planning to undermine this president. And you can see
from the frustration in Michele Bachmann where even a FOX News anchor man
was chastising her. They are just grabbing at anything.

This is about undermining this president. This has nothing to do with
executive action. Has nothing to do with not executing the law. This is
all about they were determined from day one to undermine President Barack

RENDELL: You`re right, and it hasn`t stopped. It`s got a viciousness and
personal quality to it that unlike anything I`ve ever seen. Even the
Clinton impeachment wasn`t as personal as vindictive and hateful as this

But you know what, Rev.? We said it last week on your show. They are
doing things and I think Congressman Cleaver would agree with me, they are
about to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. They are giving us
ammunition to go to the American people and say, these guys are crazy.
They are doing completely out of the box things. They are no merit. And
they are not doing their job.

We haven`t passed the job`s bill. We have people who don`t have
unemployment compensation who desperately need it. We don`t have a minimum
wage increase.

Come on, American people. The only way you can change this, the only way
to change this is give us a democratic Congress again. We will get those
important things done. We will have an infrastructure bill. We will have
a jobs bill.

SHARPTON: Congressman Cleaver, can this translate to a movement in the
midterm elections to change the Congress? That`s the question.

CLEAVER: I think so. I do think so. I think that a combination of
things. I think the fact that many Americans are angry because they
realize that Congress is dysfunctional and they want something done and I
think when you see people talking about impeaching the President and filing
lawsuits that can probably be also used in some kind of cartoon on Sundays
in the newspaper, they are come together conclusion that something is wrong
in Washington. And it could very well back fire on Republicans to the
benefit of Democrats.

And in cases like this, we should not interfere. Stand back, let them play
with whatever they want to play with and do damage to themselves.

SHARPTON: All right, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver and Governor Ed Rendell,
thanks to both of you for your time tonight.

RENDELL: Have a good night, Rev.

CLEAVER: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, the tea party darling in Mississippi loses. Now
loyalists like Sarah Palin are floating the idea of a third party. Good
luck, GOP. And this happened.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I wonder what the campaign slogan
was in Mississippi the past couple days? Uncle Toms for Thad?


SHARPTON: Plus, it`s been one year since Wendy Davis became a household
name fighting for women`s rights in Texas. Today, a fight goes on.

And it is also one year ago, the voting rights act was gutted by the
Supreme Court. Wait until you see what Republicans did since then. We
can`t, and won`t, let them roll back progress.


SHARPTON: Our facebook page is very busy today with reaction to Speaker
Boehner`s plan to sue President Obama.

Michael says, going after President Obama is the only thing they know how
to do.

I agree, Michael.

Ernest says, wish they would put this much effort into creating jobs.
Imagine that.

And Wendy says, it`s the worst Congress ever.

This won`t help, Wendy.

We want to know what you think. Please head over to our facebook page to
join the conversation.



STATE SEN. WENDY DAVIS (D), TEXAS: The actions intended by our state
leaders on this particular bill hurt Texans. There is no doubt about that.


SHARPTON: That was Wendy Davis.

One year ago today in a filibuster that sent her into the national
spotlight in the fight for women`s reproductive rights. Wearing now famous
hot pink sneakers, the Texas state senator spoke for 13 hours to delay the
passage of a bill that would impose harsh restrictions on abortion clinics
and institute a 20-week abortion ban. And when Republican tried to inter
filibuster and hold the vote, the citizens seated in the gallery took over.


SHARPTON: But despite those heroic efforts, the Texas legislature passed
the bill later, one year ago Texas had 42 abortion clinics. As of today,
only 21 remain and by September that number is expected to drop to six.

It is not just Texas. It is happening all over the country. A woman`s
right to a safe and legal abortion is federal law. But getting access in
some states is nearly impossible. But politics matters. What Wendy Davis
did a year ago today matters and the fight is only beginning.

Joining me now is Jess McIntosh and Victoria DeFrancesco Soto.

Thank you both for coming on the show tonight.



SHARPTON: Jess, a year ago, Wendy Davis tried to stop that restrictive
bill from passing. What`s the situation like in Texas a year later in.

MCINTOSH: What an amazing night that was. You know, I think that that
filibuster was about something bigger than the bill that she came so close
to defeating. Because you can`t look at it and see that the bill passed
and think that we lost.

The voices that came out in Texas that night I think surprised I think
absolutely everybody. The idea that women all across the state could stand
up together and shut down a government that wasn`t doing anything to help
them, I think inspired people all over the country. I know it inspired
people as far as the coasts.

And now we`re seeing Wendy Davis in an amazing campaign for governor. And
she is joined running for lieutenant governor as fellow state senator, the
woman who famously said, at what point does a woman need to raise her hands
to get recognized by her male colleagues on the floor, that set of sent the
chamber into eruption like that.

So these two women are campaigning, running a great race statewide in
Texas. And I think in November there`s a good chance that Republicans will
be just as surprised as the volume and veracity of women who come out to
vote too.

SHARPTON: Now Victoria, I mentioned this in -- that this is spreading.
State legislature is trying to end abortion services in the south. Take a
look at this.

These states have passed laws that could shut down the few clinics that
they have left.

In Alabama, there are three clinics left. But if the law goes into effect,
there will only be two.

In Louisiana, there are five. But that could drop down to two.

Mississippi only has one clinic that is left. They are hanging on by a

And in Oklahoma, they have three for the entire state, but could end up
shutting down all but one.

Roe versus Wade might be law, but for a lot of women, it is becoming
meaningless, Victoria.

SOTO: You know, the irony here is that the states in the south which have
the most restrictive abortion bills are also the most fiscally conservative
that want to cut government assistance for head start programs, for
educational programs, for feeding assistance.

So, if you are really concerned about lowering the number of abortions and
not putting women in the tough spot of having to make those choices,
provide the funding for the family and stop fighting the contraceptive

So Republicans, GOP say they are the party of the family, but really all of
their actions are speaking contrary to that.

SHARPTON: You know that, Jess, this week, just this week, those
restrictive laws have forced another clinic to close.

We`re learning one of Alabama`s last abortion clinics is losing its license
because of a law that says their hallways are too narrow. These laws are
sweeping the country. Twenty seven states have similar laws. These laws
will get challenged in the courts for being unconstitutional. So why are
we seeing this push under state level?

MCINTOSH: You know, I think that the laws are designed exactly to get
tried in court. This is all in an attempt to get the Supreme Court to
overturn Roe V. Wade. Of course, the Republicans can`t say that because
seven out of ten Americans want Roe V. Wade to stay exactly as it is. So
they have to try to chip away at the margins and hope that they are looking
at things that the average voter went understand like the hallway
structure. That doesn`t seem as strange as overturning a right that seven
out of 10 Americans want to keep in place.

And Victoria is absolutely correct. I mean, the majority of women who
choose to have abortions are already mothers who have decided to put the
limited family resources that they have toward the kids they are raising.

So the idea you could take away these rights at the same time making it
harder for women who make ends meet for their family. That just -- it is
party that is entirely out of touch with the people they are asking to vote
for it.

SHARPTON: So Jess, is that why we are not seeing a lot of challenges --
let me direct this at you, Victoria. Because the pro choice people want to
see this go to the Supreme Court? So, is that why we are not seeing a lot
of challenges to these things in lower courts?

SOTO: I do. And I think jess is absolutely right, there. You know, the
other thing I wanted to add on that Jess mentioned earlier is that I think
we are seeing overreach. And because they are trying to ultimately push it
to the Supreme Court, it is going to backlash on them. Because we saw the
mobilization in Texas that really sparked battle ground Texas and Wendy
Davis`s campaign.

So I think that in this effort to block abortion rights, to essentially
overturn Roe V. Wade, you are seeing Democrats across the country and
independents too say, you know what, we`ve had enough. We need to support
this right of a woman to choose.

SHARPTON: And that`s what I`m saying, Jess. I said pro choice but I meant
pro lifers. Pro lifers really want to get this in front of the Supreme
Court to deal with Roe Versus Wade.

MCINTOSH: I think those are the serious hard core activists. But your
average American who identifies as pro life actually does not want their
lawmakers focus on abortion restrictions.

They want, and I`m talking about your average Republican independent
moderate, they call themselves pro life, they want their law makers focused
on jobs and economy and health care and education. They don`t like this as
priority for the Republican party.

So I think the overreach that Victoria is talking about, it is going to
backlash on them even in their own party. We have seen it in Virginia in
the Ken Cuccinelli race. He probably campaigned the hardest and most
unapologetically on being anti-choice. And he lost single women by 42
point. That`s not just Democrats. I think, you know, I think we will see
this across the board in November.

SHARPTON: Jess McIntosh and Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, I`m going to have
to leave it there. Thank you both for your time tonight.

SOTO: Thanks for having me.

MCINTOSH: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, the tea party sore losers come out after their newest
star losers. But is Sarah Palin going rogue? She is floating an idea
after third party.

And five years ago today, the king of pop died. Tonight, I remember my
friend, Michael Jackson.

Please, stay with us.


SHARPTON: The Republican shut shutdown. I remember like it was yesterday.
Ted Cruz reading "green eggs and ham" during his phony filibuster. And
Republicans saying furloughed government workers were on a quote "paid

The GOP shutdown brought us quite a few memorable moment. But perhaps none
more than this.

Republicans racing to the World War II memorial to grand stand and take
pictures with elderly veterans. They were just outraged the memorial was
closed. But they conveniently forgot to mention, it was all their fault!


BACHMANN: We are going to let these world war II vets used as political
pawns. And so, that`s why we showed up today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This belongs to the people. We are here to show our
solidarity with them. And that this is not a tool to be used against them
in a political fight.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Our veterans shouldn`t be about politics. It is
shameful that administration is barricading and trying to shut down


SHARPTON: Our veterans should be above politics. But the GOP is all talk
and no action.

A report out today finds 285,000 unemployed veterans will lose access to
jobless benefits by the end of June, 285,000. All because Republicans in
Congress. Yes, those same Republicans refuse to pass an extension.

This was a nice walk down memory lane. But did Republicans and Congress
think we`d forget where they really stand on veteran`s issues? Nice try.
But remember this one, we got you.


SHARPTON: It`s one of the biggest political surprises we`ve seen in a long
time. Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran holding off Chris McDaniel. His
Tea Party challenger for the republican nomination. And McDaniel wasn`t
happy about it. In fact, we`ve got a clip from his speech last night.
Woops, that wasn`t Chris McDaniel`s. Here is how he actually reacted.




UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Are you crying? Are you crying! There`s no crying.
There`s no crying in baseball!


SHARPTON: There`s no crying in politics either. But last night, Chris
McDaniel came pretty darn close.


strange. There is something a bit unusual. About a republican primary
that`s decided by liberal Democrats.


This is not the party of Reagan. But we`re not done fighting. And when
we`re done, it will be.


SHARPTON: We`ll keep fighting? Usually after you lose, you try to start
moving on. That`s not what we`re seeing. He`s upset because Senator
Cochran reached out to Democrats and particularly African-American voters
to win the primary. And it really did help him win. The ten counties
where the incumbent senator improved most were those where African-
Americans make up 69 percent or more of the population. But that tactic
has the Tea Party hopping mad. Just goes to show that rift in the
Republican Party isn`t going away any time soon.

Joining me now are Joe Madison and Jimmy Williams. Thank you for both for
being here.



SHARPTON: Jimmy, a lot of been in this from the Tea Party today, just
moments ago, Chris McDaniel released this statement. Quote, "In the coming
days our team will look into the irregularities to determine whether a
challenge is warranted. After we`ve examined the data, we will make a
decision on whether and how to proceed." Is this just sour grapes or is he

WILLIAMS: You can keep asking the girl at the bar to go out with you over
and over again. Even when she says no, that means she says no. But you
can keep asking. That`s OK. So keep asking to girl at the bar to go out
with you. This guy has, you`re right, he has a bitterness left over. He
won the original primary with less than the run-off number. He lost last
night. He lost convincingly last night, 6,000 votes. Now, here is a
bigger problem that I have with what McDaniel is suggesting and what Sarah
Palin is suggesting.

That Democrats can vote in a republican primary. Here is the problem with
that. When John McCain picked Sarah Palin in 2008 to run as vice
presidential candidate, that ticket got 10 percent of the democratic vote.
Is this some sort of ethnic cleansing that McDaniel and Palin are
suggesting should happen? Some states have closed primaries, some states
have open primaries. But this is the sort of tactic, if you will, that if
you try to discourage voting by any ethnic group, then what you`re
basically saying is, no, you`re not good enough to vote in our primaries.


WILLIAMS: That`s not an smart way of going about it. So I would suggest
to McDaniel and Palin that they might want to try to get votes anywhere
they can, including African-Americans.

SHARPTON: Well, talking about African-American votes, you know, the
African-American votes was really key for Cochran`s win, Joe Madison, and
they`ve gotten some ugly reaction from the right. Listen to the head of
the party, Rush Limbaugh.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK HOST: I wonder what the campaign slogan was in
Mississippi the past couple days. Uncle Toms for Thad. As I thought it
was the worst thing you can do is as an African-American and vote for
republican. Insider Republicans in the Senate bought nine percentage
points, eight or nine percentage points from the black Uncle Tom voters in


SHARPTON: So when you vote against the Tea Party, your black Uncle Tom.
But when you vote for Republicans that they like, then you`re a responsible
black that stay away from the likes of Sharpton and Madison, Joe.

MADISON: Yes, you`re right. Jimmy Williams made the analogy about asking
the woman at the bar for a date. You also have to treat the woman at the
bar with respect.

WILLIAMS: Respect, yes.

MADISON: If you want that date. Now, understand, Thad Cochran had several
things going for him. One was constituency service. Everyone recognized
that. Republicans, Democrats. Number two, I think Rush Limbaugh should
recognize that the black community in Mississippi as well as around the
country, we are now sophisticated voters that have come of age since 1965.
And so therefore that sophistication showed in that primary yesterday. And
number three, as you know, Reverend Sharpton, all it takes in a very tight
primary race, when there`s low voter turnout, you can get one or two mega
churches with large congregations that could in fact be the margin of

But you also have to keep in mind finally, that McDaniel did not have
respect for black voters. When you make comments like, let`s take
Mississippi back to better times, because he remembers how good things once
were, well, black people also remember Mississippi back then, too. And
they weren`t good times.

SHARPTON: Well, you know, let`s go back to this though, Jimmy. A lot of
conservative talkers, I want to go back to your point, they could barely
handle this loss by McDaniel`s. Listen to this.


LIMBAUGH: What happened in Mississippi was that the most electable
republican candidate was thwarted by the republican establishment.

GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I`m just sick to my stomach. I thought
I was living in a country where liberty had a chance. Where fair play had
a chance.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: The Republican Party doesn`t get their act
together, you would consider moving third party. Explain.

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Well, if Republicans are going to
act like Democrats, then what`s the use in getting all gunning hoe about
getting more Republicans in there?


SHARPTON: Jimmy, you`ve got Sarah Palin talking about a third party.
You`ve got Glenn Beck saying he`s sick. Because a republican won. I mean,
is this how divided they are?


SHARPTON: A republican won.

WILLIAMS: Yes. Well, I mean, that`s not good enough for them, I suppose.
Listen, I continue to say this and I`m going to continue to say this. I
will ask a rhetorical question. If someone can tell me where the
headquarters for the Tea Party is, I would like to know where it is. I
would like to go visit it and pay homage to that political party. But oh,
wait, here`s the problem. The Tea Party doesn`t exist. It`s never
existed, it`s never going to exist, because it is nothing more than the
republican base. I continue to say to my republican friends, I want you to
own your people. Own your crazies. They are in the middle of a divorce
right now.

It`s a family that hates each other. They are going to have to figure it
out. And as I said to a friend of mine who used to work for Trent Lott, he
and I worked in that same building back there together for almost seven
years. I said to him this morning, I said, when you and I worked there, we
did deals, we got along and nobody complained about it. And we took care
of the people from Illinois and Mississippi. Today, that`s not good enough
because of the republican base. They have no idea what is happening within
their own party except that they hate each other. And until they hit rock
bottom, they`re not going to come out of this downward spiral. It`s a very
sad situation frankly.

SHARPTON: You know, Joe, Ted Cruz didn`t endorse McDaniel but he really
did seem disappointed too. Listen to this.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: You saw the Washington republican establishment
put millions of dollars into that race to preserve an incumbent. And they
encouraged an awful lot of Democrats to vote in that race and won a razor
thin race. I think that demonstrates that there`s a lot hunger for change.


SHARPTON: So Joe, it`s not just the talk that seems like the guys in
Congress too are very much divided in fighting this time.

MADISON: And don`t insult the intelligence of our voters in Mississippi.
Like I said, we`ve come of age. You can`t -- you can spend all the money
you want. But you know, people vote their conscience. They vote what they
think is best for --

SHARPTON: And they vote their interest. I`m going to have to leave it

MADISON: And most importantly vote their interest. I disagree with Jimmy
about the Republicans. I don`t think you own them. I think Jimmy quite
honestly, you put them out of their misery. And if Sarah Palin and them
want to start a third party, I would encourage them to go right ahead and
do so. Because there are political grave yards full of third parties.

I will have to have you all duke that out on another night. Joe Madison
and Jimmy Williams, thank you both for your time tonight.

WILLIAMS: Thanks very much.

MADISON: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, the tragic death of the king of pop. Where were
you when you learned that Michael Jackson died five years ago today? Also,
the truth about the crime rate in Chicago. Police say they turned the city
around. But are the numbers too good to be true? My colleague, Chris
Hayes, joins me with a special report.



PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Last year, there were 443 murders
with a firearm on the streets of this city. And 65 of those victims were
18 and under. So that`s the equivalent of a Newtown every four months.


SHARPTON: President Obama last year talking about the epidemic of violence
in Chicago. He spoke after the murder of Hadiya Pendleton made national
headlines. A 15-year-old girl who was shot and killed just a week after
attending the inauguration. The violence in Chicago was a crisis. The
city ended 2012 with 507 murders. More than any other city in the nation.
Last year I travelled to Chicago and helped call attention to the violence.
And in November, kids were still telling me they didn`t feel safe.


SHARPTON: When you leave school, how afraid are you all about gun

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It is always on my mind. Yes, like what if this
happens, what if that happens.

SHARPTON: What would you say, any of you, that you would like to see done
to make the city safe?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Like law enforcement, high schools. Like when you get
on the bus, a big old crowd.


SHARPTON: But then, suddenly, Chicago police announce that crime had
actually dropped in 2013 to the lowest level in decades. It was positive
news. But was it too good to be true? My colleague Chris Hayes has been
investigating Chicago crime and how people there feel about it, here is
part of his report.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Even in those neighborhoods with the most shootings and
murders, police statistics indicate that violent crime rate has fallen. A
new problem for city officials is that affected residents don`t believe the

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: There are still people getting killed and people still
being shot every day.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Do I do think it`s safer? I think it the same.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I come out in the daytime, and I`m back at home at

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We`re not going to rest until people feel the reality of
these numbers.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is Chris Hayes, host of "ALL IN WITH CHRIS
HAYES." Thanks for being here.


SHARPTON: So Chris, murder is down 18 percent last year. Overall crime
down 16 percent. Are the numbers too good to be true?

HAYES: Well, I think the context here is that crime has been dropping in
Chicago for the last 10 or 15 years.


HAYES: The homicide rate particularly has been stubbornly resistant to the
kind of dramatic drops that we`ve seen in New York and Los Angeles.


HAYES: And the drop in 2012 to 2013 was remarkable. Two Chicago magazine
reporters decided to look into it and they found evidence of ten different
homicide cases they say were improperly classified. Away from homicides to
being noncriminal death investigations. Our investigation centers on one
of the cases. Twenty-year-old woman by the name of Tiara Groves found
naked in a warehouse, abandoned 90 days after she disappeared, evidence in
the death certificate suggesting she had been bound and gag and a medical
examiner death certificate that reads homicide. Homicide as -- means.
That was classified as homicide at one point, and then reclassified towards
the end of 2013 in December by the CPD as noncriminal death investigation.

SHARPTON: Now, I want to show a clip from your report on how police
reclassified the murder of this young woman named Tiara Groves.


HAYES: The Chicago Police Department reclassified the homicide
investigation of Tiara Groves as a noncriminal death investigation. That
means that the 20-year-old found with evidence that she had been bound and
gagged in a warehouse, whose death certificate reads homicide, to this day,
was not counted in 2013`s homicide numbers. And the Groves family is still
waiting for answers.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: It is just a nightmare. She is gone, just like that.
She`s gone.


SHARPTON: So her death was ruled a homicide. But the Chicago police
didn`t include her death in the city`s murder rate and murder count.

HAYES: That`s right. Because in December it was reclassified as
noncriminal death investigation.

SHARPTON: So, this reclassification says how you get a lower --

HAYES: Well, yes. Let me just say this. The Chicago Police Department
strenuously objects to any implication they are cooking the books.

SHARPTON: All right.

HAYES: They say that this is due to information that came to light in the
course of the investigation. But you know, in the case of Tiara Groves,
the specific case, it is very hard to look at the facts of this case, facts
of this young lady`s death, and not conclude this is someone who was

SHARPTON: All right. But it`s not just murders. It`s also -- we are
seeing, from your report, reclassifying other crimes too. Like burglary
and assault.

HAYES: Yes. And we speak on the record to an alderman from the relatively
affluent north side, Scott Wag (ph) is back, he says, I don`t believe the
numbers. He just said that straight to us on camera. I think the
statistics are wrong. I go to talk to people in my community and they
don`t think there is a mismatch in Chicago right now. Whether or not the
statistics are right, there is absolutely a mismatch between people`s
perception of the city`s crime rate and the probability of being victims of
crime, and the statistics that are being produced by the CPD.

SHARPTON: Now the reason this is important, the reason why the country
should care, is we can`t have real solutions unless we really know and
become honest about the problems. And when we`re dealing with the

HAYES: That`s correct. And I mean, the mayor says, I believe the numbers
because I make my decisions based on the numbers. And I believe in the
integrity of the people of the CPD. And I believe in numbers. And the
people that have -- some of the reporters that have looked into this say
look, there is so much pressure on the CPD at this moment to bring crime
down, people are reamed out, they`re punished if they miss their numbers in
this CompStat meetings, CompStat meetings that happens once a week, right?
That there is this -- the cascades to the department to nudge things in one
category and other to make the crime rate look lower.

SHARPTON: Wow! Chris Hayes, thanks for your reporting and thanks for
being on show tonight. Be shower to watch Chris`s full report on Chicago
tonight on "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Coming up, a year ago the Supreme Court struck down a key part of the
voting rights act. Since then we`ve seen Republicans move to suppress the
vote. We can`t let it happen.

And remembering my friend, Michael Jackson, five years after his tragic
death today. Please stay with us.



UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Reports conservatives today followed through on a threat
they made four years ago to strike at the heart of the voting rights act
unless Congress updated it. Congress did nothing and today the court left
that key part of a law all but dead.


SHARPTON: That was one year ago today when conservatives on a Supreme
Court gutted the key part of the historic voting rights act. Trying to
undue nearly 50 years of Congress. It undermine one of the great chimes of
the civil rights movement. In the year since Republicans have raise ahead
with new laws to suppress the vote. In 15 states this year, will be the
first federal election with new voting restrictions in place. The
progressives are fighting back. In recent months, federal judges have
ruled against voter suppression laws.

In Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ohio. And the Justice Department is still
challenging voter suppression laws in other states. A year ago the Supreme
Court tried to roll back the clock but it won`t work. No matter how long
these lines get, no matter how hard we have to fight, we will make our
voices heard.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, five years ago today, Michael Jackson died.
The little boy from Gary, Indiana who became the biggest pop star on the
planet, we will never see another Michael Jackson. Nobody has been able to
reach his commercial success or his worldwide fame. Five years ago, I
remember going right to the place he loved, the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
And it was where Michael`s career took off. I knew Michael since we were
teenagers. In 2002, he came to my National Action Network Headquarters,
rallying for fairness in the recording industry. We worked together on a
lot of issues. And when I spoke in his memorial service in Los Angeles, I
had a message his kids.


SHARPTON: I want his three children to know, there was nothing strange
about your daddy, it was strange what your daddy had to deal with, but he
dealt with it.



SHARPTON: As I looked at Michael`s casket and then at his children, I knew
that Michael would not be concerned about the tabloid papers that called
him wacko and wouldn`t be concerned about the critics. I knew that he
cared about what his children would know. I know because those of us that
have had to deal with controversy seem to know to tune out those that will
never turn around and care about those that have to carry on. We are
carrying on, Michael, and we will never forget, not your dress, not your
some kind unique ways. But how you entertained the world and made us one
and understand that life can be better.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton, "HARDBALL" start right now.


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