ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
August 12, 2014
Guest: Antonio French, Jamilah Nasheed, Randi Mayem Singer, Mike Pesca,
Phillip Agnew, Marq Claxton; Radley Balko
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight, we are ALL IN.
A no-fly zone over Ferguson, Missouri, a day after the media
reportedly ordered by police to leave the scene of protest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need justice for my son.
HAYES: A community wants answers, including the name of the officer
at the center of it all.
Plus, death on the racetrack.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tony Stewart just hit that guy.
HAYES: What`s next for one of NASCAR`s biggest stars after he struck
and killed a fellow driver.
And the world mourns the loss of a brilliant mind.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was such a generous soul.
HAYES: Tonight, we remember actor Robin Williams.
ROBIN WILLIAMS, ACTOR: Boys, you must strive to find your own voice.
HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Three days after the police shooting death of an unarmed teenager,
Michael Brown, this image is front and center and one of many we`re seeing
out of Ferguson, Missouri, of the continuing and escalating tension between
community members and local police in the wake of death of 18-year-old
Michael Brown at the hands of local police.
Last night, after we were off air, protesters took to the streets once
again in a largely nonviolent show of their frustration and desire for
"St. Louis Post Dispatch" posted this video showing police using tear
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POLICE: This is the St. Louis Police Department. Please return to
PROTESTERS: No justice, no peace! No justice, no peace! No justice,
You go home. We live here!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Police said shots were fired at a police vehicle as it circled
a Walmart parking lot and that numerous police cars sustained damage. At
times scenes appeared to descend into chaos.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
HAYES: "The River Front Times" posted this video of what appears
people protesting from their own yards, already standing behind fence as
police instructed them to go to their homes and tear gas is fired.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my property. This is my property.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That scene was explained by multiple written reports,
including this one from the "Huffington Post." Quote, "Richie West, 24,
and a handful of friends and family members were watching from his
backyard. They decided to protest, still on his property, shouting with
their hands in the air, `you go home, you go home`."
Police told them to disperse and fired tear gas at them. West
continued to shout, "This is my backyard," and police fired again.
The police presence was felt by reporters as well. Wesley Lowery of
"The Washington Post" tweeting just after midnight, "Eventually officers
charged again. Handful reporters, photogs, threatening if we didn`t move,
your last warning, you`re putting your lives at risk."
The relationship between the police of Ferguson, residents of Ferguson
seems to be getting worse by the today.
Today, there was yet another protest outside of the office of St.
Louis County prosecuting attorney Bob McCulloch. This one appeared to go
forward without incident.
Meanwhile, today, police of Ferguson, Missouri, said they are delaying
the release of the name of the police officer who shot and killed Michael
Brown out of concerns for the officer`s safety.
Also today, the FAA issued a temporary no-fly zone extending to 3,000
feet over the Ferguson area. Officer Brian Shelman (ph) of the St. Louis
County police department saying it was requested because on Sunday night, a
police helicopter came under fire, of course, the no-fly zone also means
news helicopters cannot hover overhead.
Finally, the man who says he was the key witness in the case, the
person who says he was walking with Michael Brown when this altercation
arose, Dorian Johnson, as of last night when we interviewed him on this
show, two days after the shooting said he had not yet been contacted by the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Did Michael reach and struggle for the officer`s gun as the
police are saying he did?
DORIAN JOHNSON: That`s incorrect, sir. He did not reach for a weapon
at all. He did not reach for the officer`s weapon at all.
HAYES: And you were able to see this interaction?
JOHNSON: Yes, sir, correct.
HAYES: Mr. Bosley, have you or your client, have you been approached
by investigators? It seems like this is very key eyewitness testimony.
FREEMAN BOSLEY, JR., DORIAN JOHNSON`S ATTORNEY: Well, what is
interesting about this is that we have not, as a matter of fact, the NAACP,
through (INAUDIBLE), contacted the authorities and the police department
yesterday to make us available and make Mr. Johnson available and at that
point, they said they had some other things going on, they did not want to
interview Mr. Johnson at that time. And also wanted to indicate that Mr.
Johnson ran away and was not really a person that witnessed everything that
was going on and, of course, you know we know that is not correct.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We spoke with Johnson`s attorney just a few minutes ago. He
says today, both the FBI and the local authorities have been in touch to
schedule interviews with his client, Johnson.
Last night`s protests and the police response was covered and captured
not only by print media, but also by citizens, such as St. Louis alderman,
Antonio French. This video just another instance in which police presence
can appear to be overwhelming.
There are reports circulating online right now that riot police are
moving in on protesters at the local QuikTrip. An hour ago, I spoke with
alderman French who`s been documenting the protests. He was standing in
front of that QuikTrip. I asked him what he saw last night and how his
judgment was to how the police reacted to last night`s events.
ALDERMAN ANTONIO FRENCH, REPRESENTS THE 21ST WARD IN ST. LOUIS:
Listen, I think since this thing first happened, as soon as the -- even
while the body was still on the ground, I think the police at times have
taken a heavy-handed approach and at times that has made things worse, I
think. Last night, we had a large group of people here at the QT again
which has become a rallying point. They were peacefully protesting.
As it got larger, there were some guys that made their way out on to
the street. A few of them jumped on cars and that`s when the police came
in. And they came in very heavy. They had assault weapons, gas masks, big
vehicles, assault vehicles. And it wasn`t soon before they used tear gas.
The crowds quickly dispersed, but those guys that remained, some of
them did get hit with these pellets and suffered from some of the tear gas.
I was out here with them. I had some of the tear gas in my eyes as well.
HAYES: We`ve also gotten troubling reports I have to say as a
reporter of Ferguson police attempting, it seems, to keep reporters away
from the area. That happened last night. Did they explicitly order the
press to leave as far as you could hear?
FRENCH: Yes. So, after they cleared the area of most people, a lot
of the residents who still live in the area that was closed off were still
in here. And media was on the outside. Television stations, reporters,
photojournalists, and they were asked to leave.
At least one photojournalist tweeted he was threatened with arrest if
he didn`t leave. I even understand tonight that police have told reporters
to leave at a certain time, and so, we`ve had at least two or three
incidents where people`s constitutional rights are clearly being violated.
People being peacefully demonstrating across the street from the city hall
were asked to leave, almost a dozen were arrested. Then they did not
leave, telling reporters to leave the scene last night and again today.
HAYES: What is your feeling right now about the Ferguson police
specifically, and St. Louis County police, who I understand are also
involved in the response to this? I mean, do you think the statements
they`re making are credible? Are they doing a good job of communicating
with folks in the community?
FRENCH: I don`t think they`re doing a good job of communicating. I
think at times they should have been commended for staying away. They did
keep their distance sometimes, but other times they were very heavy-handed
and I think made the situation worse.
As far as the investigation into what this is all about, which is the
killing of young Mike Brown, there`s no trust between the Ferguson police
department and the community at this point. And there`s not much trust
with St. Louis County police department and the community at this point.
It`s only going to take an independent federal investigation to get
these people what they want which is justice for this young man that was
HAYES: Has the governing class of Ferguson, talking about -- and I
understand you`re an alderman in St. Louis, itself. Is the governing class
of Ferguson come out to address this? It seems to me the mayor, for
instance, has been notably absent amidst all this unrest?
FRENCH: Well, I think one of the reasons that you have this unrest is
because there`s such a disconnect between the government of Ferguson and
the people who live here. So, the people who live here are 2/3 African-
American. The government of Ferguson is almost all white and have been
unable to communicate, or it seems empathize with the community in this
time of crisis. And that has created a really contentious environment.
At times I think it should have been a soft hand, one of compassion,
reaching out to these young people who are rightfully angry and frustrated
and instead they got a very heavy-handed response which, again, I think
made it worse.
HAYES: So, Alderman, where does in go from here? We`ve seen
successive nights of protest. We`ve seen some pretty heavy police
response. The police have said that their helicopters have been shot at
last night. That`s been and able to independently confirm.
I mean, where do you see this going?
FRENCH: Well, I hope things get better. And I hope we don`t see the
And a lot of us have been talking to younger people and encouraging
more older leaders to come and talk directly with the young people. I
think that will help.
But, frankly, the healing hasn`t begun yet. We`re still in the
crisis. And what has to happen, what is necessary to get beyond this,
these conversations, have not even started.
And so, we`re still in the middle of it. It`s not going to be solved
overnight. It didn`t happen overnight. But we really need to get to the
business of healing our community.
HAYES: St. Louis Alderman Antonio French -- great, thanks.
FRENCH: Thank you.
HAYES: As Alderman French just noted, underlying this incident is the
relationship between community and local police. And according to "The Los
Angeles Times", African-American make up 65 percent of Ferguson`s
population. The Ferguson police department has 53 total commissioned
officers, three of whom are black and two of whom are other people of
color. The rest are white.
Both the police chief and mayor of Ferguson are white. And out of the
six city council members, one is black.
So, how did we get here?
Joining me now, Missouri Democratic State Senator Jamilah Nasheed.
Senator, what is the nature of the disconnect between the people
elected to represent and govern Ferguson, folks who live in Ferguson, at
the heart of the anger we`re seeing in the wake of this incident?
STATE SEN. JAMILAH NASHEED (D), ST. LOUIS: What you`re seeing is the
unrest of a community who has been denied and oppressed economically as
well as politically and they are frustrated.
You have 20 percent of the population in Ferguson, 20 percent of those
young men are unemployed. They cannot find jobs. They`re being excluded
from jobs, especially in the construction industry. So, what you`re seeing
is frustration and the frustration is a direct correlation to the economic
and political oppression.
HAYES: You know, I`ve been doing some reading about Northern County
which is this part of St. Louis county, and it seems that there`s been a
real transformation of parts of the sort of suburbs around St. Louis that
were once primarily white have become much more black and brown over time
and yet have kind of maintained the same folks running the political
machinery of those areas?
NASHEED: And that`s correct. However, the major issue that we`re
dealing with right now, people cannot begin to understand what`s happening
around the St. Louis area. The young man that was murdered, they are
frustrated about that because they are asking how can a young man who only
crime was walking down the street, wanting to go visit his mother who was
gunned down simply because he was an African-American man? They want to
know those answers and those answers they don`t have yet.
HAYES: Well --
NASHEED: And that`s why you see the unrest in the community.
HAYES: Now, there was a decision that was announced today by the
Ferguson, I believe it was the Ferguson police department, that they will
not release the name of the officer involved. The reason they gave,
there`s a barrage of threats on social media. The police say that they`re
getting undated with phone calls and there`s a fear for the safety of this
officer which seems like an understandable worry.
At the same time, it does seem there`s a fairly compelling public
right to know the name of an officer who committed this act, it appears
while on public duty. What is your reaction to the police department`s
NASHEED: You know, I`m appalled. The people should have a right to
know. You have -- it`s unjustifiable. How can you justify killing and
shooting down a man in the middle of the street, execution-style, again
simply because his only crime was walking in the middle of the street
wanting to visit his grandmother?
He wasn`t considered a statistic. He didn`t have any felony charges.
He didn`t have any gang activity. He wasn`t involved in any gang
He didn`t do any of those things. He wasn`t a drug dealer. He was an
upright young man who did exactly what his mother told him to do -- go to
school, get a good education, and become a productive citizen.
HAYES: Senator, can I -- can I ask you if you`ve had interactions
with any of the political officials? Obviously, you`re a member of the
Missouri state senate.
Have you had interactions? Is anyone talking to or has there been any
kind of communication between elected officials, the mayor, city council of
Ferguson, who, as far as I can tell have been remarkably absent from the
aftermath of this entire thing?
NASHEED: That`s unfortunate. Antonio French, Alderman Antonio
French, he`s been there, I mean, he`s on the ground. You also have the
Senator Nadal, she`s on the ground. So you do have elected firms that are
engaged as well as involved.
What we need more than anything, we need a fair and transparent
investigation. We need an independent investigation from the Department of
NASHEED: Because many of the people in the community, they don`t
trust the county prosecutor. They know that in the past, he sided with the
HAYES: State Senator Jamilah Nasheed, thank you for joining me
tonight. I appreciate it.
NASHEED: Thank you.
HAYES: All right. So, what this image, the one you`re seeing there,
what that has to do with what we`re seeing in Ferguson, Missouri. I`ll
HAYES: This is what the Amazon bestseller`s page for DVDs looked like
today. "Mrs. Doubtfire", "Dead Poets Society", "Good Will Hunting", "Good
Morning, Vietnam", "Patch Adams", "The Birdcage", 17 of the top 20 best-
selling DVDs star Robin Williams and 16 of them are out of stock. I`ll
talk to someone who wrote one of those films, ahead.
HAYES: There are new details tonight in the tragic death of Robin
Williams. The Marin County sheriff`s office revealed that Williams was
last seen alive Sunday night by his wife, Susan Schneider before she
retired for the evening. On Monday morning, believing that Williams was
still asleep in his bedroom, she left the house.
Roughly 11:45 a.m., Williams` personal assistant became concerned when
Williams did not respond to knocks on his bedroom door. The personal
assistant gained access to his bedroom and found Williams` body.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEITH BOYD, MARIN COUNTY SHERIFF`S OFFICE: The preliminary, and I
again say, preliminary results of the forensic examination reveal
supporting physical signs that Mr. Williams` life ended from asphyxia due
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Expressions of overwhelming grief and shock and sadness
continue to pour in today over the death of Robin Williams who had the
occasion to work with and come to know so many during a career that spanned
nearly four decades in the spotlight.
This from Nathan Lane: "What I will always remember about Robin,
perhaps even more than his comic genius, extraordinary talent, astounding
intellect, was his huge heart, his tremendous kindness, generosity and a
compassion as an acting partner, colleague and fellow traveler in a
From Williams` 25-year-old daughter, Zelda, who Williams called his
baby girl and the last picture he ever posted on Instagram, "I love you, I
miss you, I`ll try to keep looking up."
More than 30 years ago, on the episode of "Mork & Mindy", the show
that launched Robin Williams into stardom, Williams addressed what it meant
to be famous. It was, he said, perhaps the last thing some of us might
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBIN WILLIAMS, ACTOR: See, being a star, sir, is a 24-hour job and
you can`t leave your face at the office.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Isn`t fame its own reward?
WILLIAMS: Oh, yes, sir, it is, but when you`re celebrity, everybody
wants a piece of you, sir. Unless you can say no, there will be no pieces
left for yourself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought all stars were rich, live in mansions
and drive big eggs.
WILLIAMS: I know, sir. That`s the common misconception. But you
see, to get that, you have to pay a very heavy price. You have
responsibilities, anxieties, and to be honest, sir, some of them can`t take
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not buying it, Mork.
WILLIAMS: Why, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sounds to me like they have it made.
WILLIAMS: Well, most of them do, sir. But some are victims of their
own fame. Very special, intelligent people. People who like Elvis
Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Lenny Bruce, Freddie
Prinze, and John Lennon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me, Randi Mayem Singer, who worked with Robin Williams
in one of his greatest role, in "Mrs. Doubtfire." She was the screenwriter
for that film.
Randi, thank you for joining me.
Could you have made -- would that movie have been made without Robin
Williams, would it have worked without Robin Williams?
RANDI MAYEM SINGER, SCREENWRITER, "MRS. DOUBTFIRE": I can`t imagine
it with anybody else. I mean, I think if there had been a real Mrs.
Doubtfire, she would have paled in comparison to what Robin did.
HAYES: How much of what he brought to that performance, how much of
that was improvised, how much of it was scripted, and what was it like to
watch him work?
SINGER: It was amazing. First of all, anything with Robin Williams
involves improvisation. He sort of would begin with the script and then
begin take after take to salt and pepper it with Robin-isms and try
different things and toss out one thing and bring in another.
As the takes circled back to sort of the end of the take run, it would
kind of return to the script and with the best of what he had been
experimenting with. It was almost as he was keeping track of it as it was
going. Or Chris Columbus was reminding him, you know, try it with that one
thing. You know, it was amazing to watch him work I think like no other
HAYES: There`s been a lot of remembrances of him over the last 24
hours I`ve been reading, and they note two things. One, the kind of
amazing sort of manic fireworks of his comedic brain and things that were
associated with it, and also his quiet gentleness and his sadness,
actually, I`ve said on a number of accounts.
Did you get that off him? I mean, when you worked with him, what kind
of presence was he like to work with?
SINGER: He was, to this day, one of the nicest actors that I`ve ever
worked with. And he would -- there was a present normal, if you will, side
of him, discussing a scene or discussing a line of dialogue or what he
wanted from the script. But in the middle of that, he would get up out of
his chair, use the whole room, go into character, take over a restaurant,
work his way through it, sit back down and, you know, turn into a regular
There was definitely a sweet, sensitive, wonderful man in there, but
there was also this incredible comedic, you know, place that he went and it
was both. I remember thinking, it`s a good thing he became Robin Williams
because I couldn`t picture him in a desk job.
HAYES: The reason I wanted to play that monologue from "Mork & Mindy"
which I found really poignant is there`s this cliche at the center of this
whole thing that I think has been in everyone`s head about the sort of sad
clown or about the comedian who`s struggling with depression and about --
and about the kind of fleetingness of fame and stardom and how different
the lived interior life of a star is from what is seen from the outside.
HAYES: And there`s this moment in the Marc Maron WTF podcast where he
talks about fame and insecurity. Take a listen for the second.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: You know, the insecure part goes, "No, no!"
MARC MARON, WTF: What are you afraid will happen?
WILLIAMS: I guess it`s that fear of you`ll recognize that there, you
know, as you know, how insecure are we really?
WILLIAMS: How desperately insecure -- made us to this for a living.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HAYES: It strikes me this is someone who is struggling both with real
depression, as an illness but also in the world that just seems to feed the
worst part of those mythologies, frankly. I mean, any time I go to L.A.
and I`m around people who are in show business, it just seems like a
machine that`s been crafted to stoke the worst kinds of insecurity in
SINGER: You know, you -- yes, I don`t know even how to respond to
that. You see -- I see that in a lot of people that I work with. It seems
sometimes that the most brilliant artists among us are the ones that have
I can`t really say that I saw those in the brief time that I worked
with him, but I do remember there was one moment at the after-party of the
premiere party and it was at a restaurant, and we were looking around, my
husband and myself, where`s Robin? And he was outside where the
festivities were taking place just looking over a ledge at a fountain by
himself. So, we went out there and we talked to him and had the best
conversation about parenthood and raising kids and marriage and it was just
a regular conversation with a guy at a party. But it was -- it was
striking to me that he was out there and not inside with all of the
festivities going on.
HAYES: Screenwriter Randi Mayem Singer -- thanks so much for joining
me tonight. I appreciate it.
SINGER: Thank you.
HAYES: The aftermath, investigation into one of the most horrific
things to happen at a sports event ever, that`s coming up.
HAYES: You might think this summer of global turmoil has entered a
relative low, as the latest cease-fire in Gaza continues to hold for a
second day and U.S. airstrikes in Iraq may have possibly turned the
momentum against ISIS. But, cast your attention to this image. What you
are looking at is a convoy of trucks, 280 to be precise, that departed the
Moscow area earlier this evening and route to the Ukrainian border, where
they intend to cross over into Ukraine.
These trucks are part of what the Russian government is calling a
humanitarian mission to deliver 2,000 tons of aid including food, medical
equipment, and generators to civilians in rebel-held areas of Eastern
Ukraine, which have seen fierce fighting between pro-Russian separatists
and the Ukrainian military; fighting that is intensified over the last
And, while some fear the aid convoy might be a quasi literal Trojan
horse, the Kremlin insists there is nothing to see here. The whole
operation is on the up and up. And, under the supervision of the
international committee of the Red Cross, it is so legitimate the convoy
even got the blessing of an orthodox priest as you see here. Yet the Red
Cross says it does not have everything it needs to carry out this
humanitarian mission. Tweeting that "Important details still need to be
clarified" like the content and volume of the aid.
And, while Moscow says the convoys being organized by the emergencies
ministry, a nonmilitary agency dealing with humanitarian relief task, they
cannot post reports soldiers of the Russian Army bragged on social
networks, the trucks from military vehicles hastily repainted white. And,
after initially saying it would deny access to the convoy, Ukraine has now
agreed to let the trucks to enter under Red Cross supervision.
But, if the two sides have reached the deal, they seem to have very
different perceptions of what it entails. An aide to the Ukrainian
President said, quote, "This cargo will be reloaded onto other transport
vehicles at the border by the Red Cross." The Russian foreign minister
said, "Ukraine had decided against reloading relief supplies from the
convoy after its examination at the border."
All of which means we are watching these trucks right now barrel
toward the Ukrainian border and toward what could be a very ugly
confrontation in the midst of a very active war zone. We will see what
happens as those trucks reach the border in the next few hours. Stay
HAYES: There is now an ongoing police investigation into the death of
this young man, named Kevin Ward Jr., 20-year-old, died on Saturday night
at a racetrack in upstate New York. The man whose car struck and killed
him on that racetrack happens to be one of the biggest most famous names in
all of NASCAR. And, that is three-time champion driver Tony Stewart. You
During a Sprint Car Race on a dirt track, Stewart`s car appeared to
make contact with Ward`s car causing Ward`s car to spin out, as you see
there. Ward then got out of his car, walked down the track, apparently
yelling and pointing at Stewart`s car, at which point he was hit by the
right side of Stewart`s car. The sheriff investigating the accident says
footage like this video uploaded to YouTube is crucial to the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Oh, he hit him. Tony Stewart just hit
that guy, Alan. Tony Stewart just hit that guy. Holy [EXPLICIT WORD].
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Ward was pronounced dead at the hospital with the official
cause of death being blunt-force trauma. If you are like me, the first
thing you might have asked watching yourself watching this video is, why in
the world did he even get out of the car? But it is not an uncommon thing.
As "The New York Times" points out, quote, "Like many other drivers
over the years, both of the top-level racing and on dirt tracks like the
one Saturday that was the site of the fatal confrontation, Stewart has
gotten out of his crashed race cars and wagged his fingers at other
drivers." In fact, at a 2012 Race in Tennessee after Tony Stewart and
another driver, Matt Kenseth collided, wrecking Stewart`s car. Stewart got
out of his car, walked out on the track and threw his helmet at Kenseth`s
car as he drove fast.
Stewart has pulled out of an upcoming dirt track race, and there is no
decision yet if he will compete in this weekend`s NASCAR race in Michigan.
Investigation is continuing, but sheriff says there is no evidence of
criminal intent on the part of Tony Stewart and no charges have been filed.
Joining me now, Mike Pesca, host of the Slate daily podcast, "The
Gist" which I highly recommend and an NPR contributor." The video, we did
not show the worst part of that video because it is horrible. It is
shocking to watch that video. And, one of the most shocking things is that
what happened right afterwards is that the Stewart people put out this
preposterously anodyne statement that did not even name the guy and said he
was going to race the next day at a NASCAR event.
MIKE PESCA, NPR CONTRIBUTOR/HOST OF "THE GIST": Yes. So, I will look
at that maybe as kindly as I can and say they did not know how to react.
This was so unprecedented, though deaths on race courses happen, and the
phrase they used it business as usual and that was terrible. But, I think
what has happened here is that so many people watching the video have
rushed to accuse Stewart of murder.
HAYES: Yes. I mean that is -- I mean we should be clear that is not
a legal accusation right now. There is an ongoing police investigation.
There is no evidence they say of criminal intent. But, the people who
watch that video on social media, other people are basically saying, "We
are watching the guy run over a dude."
PESCA: Right. OK. So, here is what you have to know about this.
And, I just want to say, I think we do a great harm to Tony Stewart when we
do this because there is no evidence of any intention.
PESCA: So, some things to know about that race car. They have giant
wings. The site is extremely limited. It is not like a NASCAR. It is not
a hugely lit NASCAR track. It is a dirt track. He is wearing dark
HAYES: That right there is footage of what it looks like --
PESCA: I have talked to people who have driven these cars. There are
huge blind spots. The blind spots are somewhere near the right rear tire.
They are also not even designed to turn right. They are designed to turn
left. There are so many factors that would indicate that Tony Stewart did
not see them.
And, the biggest factor, since we cannot at all prove that Tony
Stewart in any way had any intentionality, I think that it is a calumny
against him to say that, you know, Tony Stewart is something of a murder.
But, you know, it is like --
HAYES: But, part of it -- we should explain. Part of that, the guy
has this notorious reputation.
HAYES: As a hot head. As a brawler.
HAYES: As a trash talker.
HAYES: You know what I mean? So, it is not like that is why, I think
people are saying that.
PESCA: Right. And, well, it is also because the way we react to
video as sports fans, we are conditioned to go over video. It is like
PESCA: Did he gain a yard? Is it first down? We are talking about
this in no different from, you know, should he have punted or gone for it?
Not we, but the public debates. But, I just want to say about Stewart
being a hot head. There are hot heads in sports. There are some things
you do not do. So, even though there are hot heads in baseball, pitchers
will throw at a guy, only one time a guy swung a bat at an opponent.
PESCA: You just do not do it. In hockey, you do not slice someone
with a skate and you never hit someone with a car.
HAYES: Part of the reason, I think, also that people have been sort
of aghast in this, you can hear the engine revving at the moment right
before, and there is lots of explanations why that --
PESCA: Well, we seem to think that. We also know that video can be
extremely misleading. And, you know -- I think there was a statement by a
friend of Ward who pretty much accused Stewart of doing something wrong.
PESCA: A guy named Tyler Graves. He was in grief, and I understand
his statement. But, a lot of the statement about saying how Tony Stewart
could see Ward -- that has been proven --
HAYES: This is one of the strangest parts of the context of this.
This is like Michael Jordan breaking someone is nose while playing a pickup
HAYES: At, like, a local park while he is still playing for the
HAYES: I mean, the whole reason -- the whole fact of Tony Stewart
racing on this dirt track is just kind of mind-boggling in and of itself.
PESCA: Well, it is sort of like Michael Jordan and the owner of the
Bulls doing that --
HAYES: Right. Right.
PESCA: He is this huge businessman with so much money riding on his
entire racing team. But, this is why people love Tony Stewart. He gets --
there is maybe a $3,000 prize there.
HAYES: He loves to race so much -- In a dirt track race.
PESCA: That is why fans love the guy and also the temper and also the
shaking of the finger. And, NASCAR has that weird relationship with it,
where they officially fined him like that track in Bristol, where he threw
the helmet. But, they kind of love it.
HAYES: That is like the NFL showing the hits of corners coming across
the middle of the field. Mike Pesca from "The Gist." thank you.
PESCA: You are welcome.
HAYES: All right. What are suburban police departments doing with
things like this? That is ahead.
HAYES: We have learned tonight that actress Lauren Bacall has died.
Bacall first burst on to the scene in the Humphrey Bogart film "To have and
have not" in 1944. She went on the starred offer aside Bogart in a string
of movies that established her as a sultry, sophisticated icon of the
golden age of Hollywood. She is reported to have died peacefully earlier
today in New York. Lauren Bacall was 89 years old.
HAYES: This image is one we showed you earlier. It flooded through
social media today. Different angles of it. It was taken yesterday in the
growing outrage over the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson,
Missouri. Images of police in riot gear walking toward a man with his
hands raised, pointing his weapons at him from a few feet away.
Of course, part of the reason we are seeing such widespread and
reverberating outrage over the death of Michael Brown outside St. Louis is
that, it comes right on the heels of other images like this one of Eric
Garner, whose death was ruled a homicide by a medical examiner after he was
put in a choke hold by a New York City Police Officer in July, or this one
of a 51-year-old African-American woman on the ground being punched by a
California Highway Patrol Officer, also in July.
But, here is the thing. It is not just those images that have led to
so much outrage and anguish and condemnations of the state of American
justice. It is those images juxtaposed against some other big stories this
year such as these pictures of the open-carry movement that showed gun
owners just strolling the aisles of a target store carrying long guns and
assault rifles, or a woman standing with her gun at an intersection reading
a flag that reads, "Come and take it," or most iconically this from the
Bundy Ranch in April of a man in sniper position aiming his rifle at
federal officers from the Bureau of Land Management.
Try to imagine if any of these people were African-American. Try to
imagine what would have happened at the Bundy Ranch if they used the
tactics of Ferguson, Missouri, last night. In 1967, images of Black
Panthers with guns walking into the California Statehouse to protest a gun
control measure, actually helped contributed to the modern gun control
Governor Ronald Reagan saying at the time, "There is no reason why on
the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons." In 2002,
Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, August Wilson articulated
the racial double standard that continues to dominate the country.
There is a difference, he said, between white and black in America. A
black man unarmed standing in a vestibule of his house is shot 41 times. A
white man waving a rifle on the lawn of the white house, 150 yards from the
leader of the free world, they negotiate with him for 10 minutes and shoot
him one time in the leg. That is the difference in being white and black
Joining me now, Phillip Agnew, Director of Dream Defenders, and
retired NYPD Detective, Marq Claxton, Director of the Black Law Enforcement
Alliance. Marq, I would like to start with you. I think -- I remember
growing up in New York in the 1980s and 1990s and there was a series of
incidents of police brutality. There was a lot of angry and unrest, then
of course culminating in LA with the Rodney King incident and the riots
Have things gotten better in the 30 years, or I guess 20 years since
Rodney King? Have things gotten better in terms of how police are trained,
about how they interact, about what they do, about whether they are held
MARQ CLAXTON, DIRECTOR OF THE BLACK LAW ENFORCEMENT ALLIANCE: No,
actually there has been a significant shift in many police models across
the nation. And, that is as far away as possible from community policing
and more towards this more militarized show of force, use of force-type
policing. It has been increasingly about producing numbers, arrest numbers
and showing force in communities as opposed to relating to communities,
communicating with communities and defusing situations prior to them
HAYES: So, you think the trajectory is actually getting worse?
CLAXTON: Absolutely. There is no question about it. I mean you show
the image, for example, of police officers in full military regalia at
civil disturbance. And, a lot of times, those type of incidents, that type
of show of force exacerbates situations. And, it really damages the
relationship that should exist. The good relationship between police
departments and the community at large. They are the client, and they
should always be considered as the client and not some entity that needs to
be forced upon.
HAYES: Phillip, you have been doing a lot of organizing around this
issue and obviously it is something that has been acutely problematic in
Florida, in certain areas of Florida; but, around the country, I mean, how
much do you see this as a trend? How much do you see this as an enduring
reality that has been like this for a long time?
PHILLIP AGNEW, DIRECTOR OF DREAM DEFENDERS: It has been like this for
a very long time. It is been like this for a very -- you know, Chris, ever
since you are born, your taught at this posture right here should guarantee
you life and liberty in your interaction with the police officer. This
should indicate to a police officer that you mean him or her no harm, that
you have no malice in your heart and that you are subjecting yourself to
the will of that police officer.
And, this is the position that for years in this country was the last
position that people that look like me, and people that look like people
around this country, died in. And, so this is an enduring trend in this
country. This should mean -- this is the white flag. I am surrendering to
you, and it is only so long. What you are seeing in Ferguson, it is only
so long that people can look in their timeline and see kids dying.
And, not react in a way that is human and that is real and that is
genuine. I cannot -- you cannot stroll past a picture of a young man in
the middle of a street on his stomach with his brains blown out and react
in any other way than people are reacting right now. This should mean, I
want to live. And, this is an enduring trend. He said it before, this is
a consequence of heavy militarized police forces that have been infused
with money from the federal government to terrorize communities.
HAYES: Marq, when we have these discussions about police/community
relations, particularly along the axis of race. There is a sort of
historic nature of distrust between law enforcement, African-Americans
distrusting law enforcement, people of color distrusting law enforcement,
particularly in urban environments. And, I wonder just how you watch this
unfold as a black man and as a former police officer and how you think
about those two identities of yourself.
CLAXTON: That is an excellent question. Let me just say, first and
foremost, I think that in large part, we have had incidental distrust of
police. You know, because as I grew up, the way that I grew up, many of my
friends and family members, et cetera, did not have this innate distrust or
dislike of police officers.
It is the interactions that we have had historically. It is the
interactions that we have had on a personal level that impact how we look
at policing in general. It is the same -- sadly, it is the same type of
mentality that occurs in communities. You can only go based on your own
The struggle and the challenge and Mr. Agnew`s emotion is clear here.
That is why it is so important for us to deal, one responsibly,
respectfully, and honestly, with the racial component and dynamic that
exists throughout the nation in law enforcement, et cetera; but, then, also
be honest about where policing is going. How far away it is going from,
you know, to serve and protect, and more toward in terms of enforcement.
HAYES: I would like to see more police officers sitting down with
Phillip Agnew and Marq Claxton.
HAYES: And, figuring out what modeling of policing that do not look
like what you are seeing in Ferguson right now looked like.
CLAXTON: Right. Right.
AGNEW: No -- and Chris, you know, I would love to see more police
officers in communities who are sitting with people, but they are not
incentivized on that model.
HAYES: Right. And, they are also not being held accountable when
things go wrong and that is why, I think, the nation`s eyes right now are
on Ferguson --
HAYES: Phillip Agnew from Dreams Defenders, retired NYPD Detective,
Marq Claxton, thank you gentlemen, both. I will talk to someone who
literally wrote the book on the militarization of America`s police forces,
HAYES: One of the most striking things about this image from
Ferguson, Missouri, is that police are wearing camouflage. When you think
about it, it seems odd considering they are not in a jungle. They are not
in a war zone. What exactly are they trying to camouflage into?
This is a tiny example of the massive militarization of police from
even small departments across the country. Military-style equipment, such
as this MRAP Vehicle used in a raid at a house in Idaho yesterday. MRAP,
which stands for Mine Resistant and Ambush Protected. Presumably there
were no mines planted in Idaho.
I am joined out by someone who has done the most thorough reporting on
this issue, Radley Balko, author of the "Rise Of Warrior Cop: The
Militarization Of America`s Police Forces." And, Radley, as you watch,
this unfold in Ferguson, what are you thinking?
RADLEY BALKO, AUTHOR, "RISE OF THE WARRIOR COP": Well, I am thinking
that this is a very predictable consequence of a, you know, a 30-year trend
toward police militarization. I think the militarization, itself, is part
of a larger trend that I think one of your earlier guests touched on. And,
that is a willingness or a policy among domestic police in the United
States of using more force more often for increasingly, you know, petty
And, really a mentality that is taken hold I think in too many police
agencies that is very much kind of us versus them. It is a mentality that
sees the people they are supposed to be serving not as citizens with rights
but as potential threats. If you look at the racial makeup of Ferguson,
Missouri, it is about 67 percent black. 52 of the 55 police officers at
the Ferguson police department are white.
So, you know, it is important that communities see their reflection in
their police force, so that they see cops as one of their own who are using
force to protect them and not an outside force as being imposed upon them.
And, it is important that police see their own reflection in the
communities for very similar reasons, and that just was not happening in
Ferguson. It is not happening in a lot of the rest of the country.
HAYES: And, there is something symbolically really problematic about
the military gear just at the basic level of kind of our constitutional
expectations of what it means to be part of a republic in which we are not
an occupied populous in which law enforcement is there as public servants
and public employees and not a force to subdue the people around them.
BALKO: Right. And, you know, it is also part of, you know, what kind
of country do we want to be? I mean, when you talk about the MRAPs, the
people who defend the use of MRAPs, which were -- again, as you said,
designed for use in Afghanistan and Iraq. The people who defend them say,
what is wrong with it? It is a big bulletproof truck. There are no guns
attached to it.
But, it is about image. It is about the kind of mentality that it
instills in the people, officers who are using it. I, several years ago,
interviewed a citizen in Keene, New Hampshire who is fighting the purchase
of an armored personnel carrier in that town.
And, she said it is not about whether or not it has guns. It is about
whether I want to look out the window in my town and see a military vehicle
parked at city hall. She said, that is not the kind of town I want to live
in. I think we need to look at these images that are coming across social
media and ask ourselves, is this the kind of country we want to live in?
HAYES: Yes. There are two questions about whether it is useful or
appropriate or makes issue better or it is needed. And, you make the
argument in your book I think really well that this has been driven by a
lot of money that has come from the federal government, much less demand
and need for this specific kinds of heavy, heavy machinery. Radley Balko,
his book, "Rise of the Warrior Cop." You should definitely check that out.
Thank you so much.
BALKO: Thanks for having me on.
HAYES: That is "All In" for this evening. "The Rachel Maddow Show"
starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>