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PoliticsNation, Thursday, August 14th, 2014

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August 14, 2014

Guest: Lacy Clay; Jamelle Bouie; Umar Lee; Ryan Frank, Jamelle Bouie, Jim
Cavanaugh, Cedric Alexander

from Governor Jay Nixon. After days of unrest following the death of
unarmed teenager Michael Brown, the headline tonight, the Missouri state
highway patrol will take over supervising security in Ferguson. The
governor moved to restore calm saying he`s making a change -- an
operational shift.


GOV. JAY NIXON (D), MISSOURI: This is the place are where people work, go
to school, raise your families, go to church, a diverse community, a
Missouri community. But lately it`s looking a little bit more like a war
zone. And that`s not acceptable. We need to address some very immediate
challenges. That`s why today, I am announcing that the Missouri highway
patrol under the supervision of Captain Ron Johnson who grew up in the area
will direct the team that provides security in Ferguson.


SHARPTON: Captain Ron Johnson, the new man in charge grew up in Ferguson.


the anger and fear that the citizens of Ferguson are feeling. Our police
officers will respect both of those.


SHARPTON: The change came after a day of mounting pressure nationwide.
Missouri senator, Claire McCaskill, spoke out for demilitarizing the police
and criticized swat teams saying quote "this kind of response by the police
has become the problem instead of the solution." And senator majority
leader Harry Reid said quote "it is hard to think that the scenes unfolding
in Ferguson are taking place in the year 2014."

Also today, attorney general Eric Holder briefed President Obama on the
situation in Ferguson and made news saying the justice department is
offering technical assistance to local authorities. President Obama called
the for peace and calm saying there is no excuse for police to use
excessive force.


violence against police or for those who use this as a cover for vandalism
or looting. There is also no excuse for police to use excessive force
against peaceful protesters or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully
exercising their first amendment rights.

And here in the United States of America police should not bully or arrest
rest journalists who are trying to report to the American people what they
see on the ground.


SHARPTON: Tonight, Missouri authorities are making a change as the nation
braces for what`s ahead. Joining me now in Ferguson is`s Jamelle
Bouie who has been covering the story on the ground in Ferguson, Jonathan
Capehart from the "Washington Post" and on the phone is Missouri
Congressman Lacy Clay whose district includes Ferguson.

Thank you all for being here.

REP LACY CLAY, MISSOURI (via phone): Thank you for having us, Reverend
Sharpton. And let me thank you and the National Action Network for coming
to St. Louis and meeting with the family of Michael Brown. I have been in
touch with Ms. McSpadden as well as her attorney Crump. And our heartfelt
condolences go out to the family. And I assured her that I am seeking
justice for her family and for the death of her son, for the murder of her

SHARPTON: Let me ask you, Congressman.

CLAY: Go ahead.

SHARPTON: Are you happy with the governor did today and do you want more
action from the federal government?

CLAY: I am fully supportive of what the federal government has done so
far. We have been in constant contact. And I will continue to work with
the governor until we get justice for that family in Ferguson, Missouri.

First and foremost, they and the St. Louis community deserve justice for
the murder of an 18-year-old young man. And so, I will continue to urge
the governor to go for a fair prosecution and I will continue to urge Eric
Holder to take over the prosecution of this case so that there are no
tricks by prosecutors in St. Louis County. So that there is no cover up by
the same as county policeman (INAUDIBLE). There is confidence in either
one of those authorities in St. Louis now. And so, we have to move beyond

SHARPTON: And now, let me ask you, Jamelle. You have been covering this
from the beginning. The head of the highway patrol said protesters will
see a different approach tonight. Listen to this.


JOHNSON: When we talk about boots on the ground, my boots are going to be
on the ground. And actually, I plan on tonight myself walking to the quick
trip that has been called ground zero and meeting with the folks there
myself tonight. And so, we are going to have a different approach.


SHARPTON: Now, Jamelle, you were out there last night in the thick of
these attacks by police with teargas. You were out there. You smelled it.
You inhaled it. You saw and felt firsthand what many of us saw on
television. I mean, I had just gotten back from St. Louis and I couldn`t
believe my eyes.

From the vantage point of the protesters and those covering it, what do we
need to see? What changes do we need to see from authorities and describe
to us what it felt like being out there last night.

JAMELLE BOUIE, SLATE.COM: So you know, with regards to last night, I will
say that I was on the peripheral of the teargasing and the shooting of the
rubber bullets. I was there. But most of the protests like stepped away
into another area for a bit, came back and by that point everything had
just broken loose.

So did smell teargas and I heard all the shooting. I wasn`t directly in
the thick of it. I will say that what I think protesters want from the
police is just a totally are proportional approach to crowd control. I
think we can agree that when there are big demonstrations, there should be
a police presence in case people get injured, in case things do get out of

These hasn`t been getting out of hand at all. They have only escalated
once the police brought in armored vehicles, once they brought in heavy
weapons and once they brought in the things that shouldn`t -- the police
have no interest in communication.

So I think for tonight, and for this evening, what I hope we see is a
standard police response, regular uniformed police. You know, not training
heavy weapons, not raining rifles on the crowd, just doing their best to
make sure people that don`t get hurt and don`t get injured.

SHARPTON: Because I think that is part of the misnomer, Jamelle and
Congressman. I keep hearing people say there were riots every night, there
was looting and violence and wrong action on Sunday night. But when I was
there on Tuesday, we had a huge rally, as Jamelle knows, with hundreds of
people. I didn`t see any violence. And people were coming together. It`s
when they rolled this other equipment out that I think tensions began

CLAY: And what I have heard today, Reverend Sharpton, is that the police
force who get this military equipment are not even properly trained to use
it. And for them and for these folks demonstrator who are my constituents,
don`t deserve to look into the barrel of a machine gun in order to
peacefully assemble. And all of that needs to be addressed in the same
community as well as an entire national conversation about this.

SHARPTON: Now Jonathan Capehart, there was a huge political wave that
really came with real strength today to kind of push back against what we
saw last night from the police. Tell us about the impact of impact of
that. I mean, from the president of the United States, attorney general
Harry Reid, on and on and on. This was a big political shift in how we
address this case as well as how we address how they are dealing with
policing the protest.

shift began with the public around this time yesterday when the pictures
were coming out from people on the ground there like Jamelle showing the
armored personnel carriers. The cops in riot gear. The police in their,
you know, put their sniper rifles on top of these vehicles training them
down on protesters. And that those images kept being tweeted and retweeted
as the hours went along. And then the live streaming of the teargas being
thrown at protesters as we are seeing on the screen now.

The pressure was mounting on elected officials to do something, say
something, show that what we were all seeing on our televisions and on
twitter was unacceptable. I myself yesterday several times tweeted out
where is Governor Nixon? Where is Mayor Knowles? Where is the police
chief Tom Jackson?

With all of this happening, it seemed like no one was in charge. That yes,
there was lawlessness but not on the part of the protesters. But on the
part of people who were supposed to protect and serve.

And so, last night, I do want to say one thing. Of all those public
officials I was calling out for, there was one public official who actually
-- at least by twitter was letting it be known that she saw what was
happening and she was on the phone with the justice department and others
and that was senator Claire McCaskill, the junior senator from Missouri.
She was engaged and involved. And to his credit, Governor Nixon did
tweeted some things out around midnight. But we didn`t hear from him or oh
see from him until today.

SHARPTON: Well, let me go back to the congressman on that. Because one
thing I notice, Congressman Clay, is no county police were at the
governor`s press conference. Is that a signal of something? Should we
read anything into that? Do they know they`re out?

CLAY: Sure. For sure. And for you and Jonathan, any of this (INAUDIBLE).
What`s important is what happens over the next week on how we deal with
policing in our community. It`s OK to tweet and to put out signals. But
what do we do to actually change the dynamic of how police could police the
African-American community.

And so, that`s going to require systemic change. And I`m willing to say
that now, and I hope my colleagues like Senator Claire McCaskill are
willing to work with me along with Governor Nixon. I have been in constant
contact with Nixon all week, urging him to make changes in the policing
method. And then -- and when you think about it, that`s the spark that
ignited all of this, was the murdering of an 18-year-old young man in
Ferguson, Missouri by police.

SHARPTON: Let me go back to you, Jamelle. You`re on the ground. You`re
there. What do you expect tonight? Will there be protests, peaceful
protests? What do you expect to see tonight?

BOUIE: So for the past two hours, there`s been a peaceful demonstration by
the quick trip that was burned down Sunday night. And earlier today, there
was a similar demonstration across from the police department and city hall
. So we should expect both things to continue through the evening.

I think a large group of people have begun walking down the street we are
on now. And I expect, you know, yes, there is going to be continued
demonstrations from, you know, a wide variety of people. I think what
folks need to understand about this demonstrations is they are diverse with
a broad crowd.

SHARPTON: Yes, they are.

BOUIE: This is very much a concern for the entire Ferguson community.

SHARPTON: And it`s been multiracial of all ages clearly. And at the big
rally that I spoke at the other night, it was clear that people were not
making conclusions. They just want a fair process. And that`s the spirit
of the area and Congressman Clay is represented it awhile. And he is
always said let`s be fair.

Thank you Congressman Lacy Clay for being on by phone. Jamelle Bouie and
Jonathan Capehart, thank you for time.

Still ahead, will today`s operational shift stop another night of chaos?
We`ll hear from journalists and film makers arrested and even teargased by



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See, they`re media, too.


SHARPTON: Also growing concerns about the Michael Brown investigation. A
new witness comes forward to talk about the shooting.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The kid body jerked as if he was hit. And as his
body jerked he turned around, he put his hands up. And the cop did
continues to walk up on him and shoot him until he goes down.


SHARPTON: Also, this is America, not a war zone. Do sniper rifles and
military vehicles belong on our city streets? That`s ahead on a special
edition of "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is their everyday life. They`re mad. They`re
mad. I`m mad. We should all be mad, man. We should all be angry because
of what`s going on right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How can we feel like we can have free speech if there
is a guy staring down a sniper rifle as we speak?



SHARPTON: The Missouri state police will take over security in Ferguson
after officers dressed in riot gear, arresting journalists. How did this
happen and what can we expect tonight? Next.



OBAMA: And here in the United States of America, police should not be
bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and
report to the American people on what they see on the ground.


SHARPTON: President Obama today condemning the disproportionate show of
police force toward some journalists in Ferguson, Missouri. Wesley Lowery
of "the Washington Post" and Ryan Reilly of "the Huffington Post" were in a
McDonald`s in Ferguson last night when officers dressed in riot gear told
them to leave, Lowery caught part of the exchange on video.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Grab your stuff. Let`s go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m working on it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop videotaping.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have the right to videotape you, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hurry up. Let`s go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please don`t wave your gun at me.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are see me working.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t tell me --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please don`t wave a gun at me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are down to 45 seconds. Let`s go.


SHARPTON: The two reporters were arrested, put in a holding cell and later
released. No the rights were read and they didn`t get any answers.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you`re saying there is not going to be an arrest

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. We are not arresting or detained.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were told a litany of charges. Officers had a lot
to say to us. Despite that there won`t be any --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They told us to release you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where is the chief?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to go out that door.


SHARPTON: What was that? Arrested with no reason given? They weren`t the
only ones targeted. A photo journalist from the NBC affiliate KSDK was
shooting footage when a bean bag round hit his camera equipment. Officers
also launched teargas and a crew from Aljazeera America. Even though
reporters said they identified themselves as press. Officers dismantled
the crew`s lights and pointed their cameras toward the ground.

St. Louis alderman Antonio French was also arrested last night. He said
officers dragged him out of his car where he`d gone to escape teargas.
Demonstrators then protested alderman French`s arrest outside the police
station. And a local film maker and columnist covering the protest were
arrested, too.

There is no justification for the police force we have seen against
peaceful residents. And intimidating the journalists trying to shine light
on this story is shameful.

Joining me now are the two men arrested while they were covering that
protest, Ryan Frank and Umar Lee. Thank you both for being here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re welcome.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you for having us.

SHARPTON: Umar, let me start with you. Why did the police say they were
arresting you?

arresting us for failing to obey an order. But we were standing on a
public sidewalk monitoring the events. You know, they have been using
teargas through the night, rough house tactics, riot to the streets I grew
up in and tanks, sniper rifles. And we wanted to monitor what they were
doing because the public has a right to know. When you don`t have a free
media you don`t have a free society.

SHARPTON: That`s true. Ryan, what was going through your mind? What was
your reaction when the police were going to arrest you during your
journalistic profession?

that point. I was walking up -- I`m sorry. Somebody was talking to me.

Go ahead.

SHARPTON: Umar, let me go back to you.

LEE: All right. Go ahead.

SHARPTON: What was going through your mind? Did they know y`all were

LEE: They knew who we were. One of the officers pointed at us and said
there is nothing special about them. And Ryan, he is a film maker. I`m
just a local independent journalist. They had no reason to arrest us

FRANK: Al, I was watching twitter and I was seeing reporters that were
getting attacked. They were getting arrested. And we felt it was
important to go down and cover the protests late night because we heard
journalists were being pushed out. So we were down to monitor the
situation and keep an eye on it. And I was shocked what I saw. Peaceful
protesters were all of the sudden approached by a convoy of county S.W.A.T.
who were intimidating us with assault rifles and batons.

SHARPTON: Now, I went the control room to put up the footage that is going
on right now. This is live of the new protest is going on right now as I
speak in the town of Ferguson, Missouri. These are people obviously
peaceful, not lots of people. But clearly making their statement. They
are marching as we speak to you.

Umar, what do you expect now that you have heard that the governor has
changed who will be handling the protests there. What do you expect?

LEE: Well look, Reverend Al, this is the show me state. We are going to
have to see. They`re talking but we have to see. You know, there are a
lot of politicians over there last week. there is a lot of preachers with
over the last week and there is a lot of good things to see. But we need
some action demonstrate here in the community.


LEE: North St. Louis county isn`t just Ferguson. It`s been burning for
30-some years without no systemic redress to the problems in the community.
Now, we could use this to improve the community or we could use it to go in
the other direction.

SHARPTON: One of the politicians I mentioned was Alderman Antonio French.
He was arrested. I want to play to you what he said afterwards. Listen to


ANTONIO FRENCH, ST. LOUIS ALDERMAN: I think they rounded up anybody they
could see. Inside the jail is nothing but peacekeepers. They picked up
the wrong people. It wasn`t the trouble makers. It was peace makers. You
have reverends in there, young people organizing the peace effort. They
picked up the wrong people.


SHARPTON: Ryan, do you agree with that?

FRANK: Yes, sir. I mean, I don`t know what the right and the wrong people
is. But all I saw peaceful protesters that were spirited and enthusiastic.
They were exercising their rights to assemble. You know, I was shocked to
see the convoy roll up and make us all leave. And that`s why we didn`t
leave because we felt it was all right to sit on the sidewalk. You know,
freedom of assembly.

SHARPTON: Umar, how were you treat had had in jail. What did you see in
there? I heard what the alderman was saying. What did you see and how
were you treated?

LEE: The jail was filthy. The jail was cold. There was a man in there
having a seizure which the guards paid no attention to whatsoever. Think
about this. We are the people in the community. We are the people that
got a microphone. What about the average person to pick up although like
my friend the other night who I grew up with. They shot his dog, robbed
him and beat him, OK. So that`s what they are doing. We got the
microphones so they treat us a little better, that they are going to treat
the average people.

SHARPTON: All right. I have to leave it there. And I`m sure that you
will continue in covering this story. Ryan Frank and Umar Lee, thank you
both for being here tonight. And great reporting, by the way.

LEE: Thank you.

FRANK: All right. Thanks.

SHARPTON: Coming up, new developments in the investigation into Michael
Brown`s death. President Obama talked about the secrecy.


OBAMA: Now, when something like this happens, the local authorities,
including the police, have the responsibility to be open and transparent
about how they are investigating that death and how they are protecting the
people in their communities.


SHARPTON: But there are still so many basic questions that are left

And is this a war zone in an American city? The militarization of police
in America. Wait until you hear what actual military veterans are saying.



is that, we haven`t hurt anybody. Nobody`s gotten injured or killed. With
the chaos that`s going on right now, I am at least happy that nobody has
gotten seriously injured.


SHARPTON: Ferguson police Chief Thomas Jackson talking about the police
tactics in Ferguson. But residents are for a very different account.
Teargas burns the eyes, nose and throat. And rubber bullets cause real
pain. This photo on twitter apparently shows the bruise suffered by a
woman during the protest. Despite all that, protesters are marching again
tonight on the streets of Ferguson, calling for justice for Michael Brown
whose tragedy lay at the heart of all of this. As President Obama reminded
us today.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: It is important to remember how
this started. We lost a young man, Michael Brown, in heartbreaking and
tragic circumstances. He was 18 years old. His family will never hold
Michael in their arms again.


SHARPTON: Why are police refusing to answer even the most basic questions
about Michael Brown`s death. That`s next.



OBAMA: When something like this happens the local authorities including
the police have a responsibility to be open and transparent about how they
are investigating that death and how they are protecting the people in
their communities. Now it`s the time for an open and transparent process
to see that justice is done.


SHARPTON: President Obama today calling for more transparency in the
Michael Brown investigation. He has directed Attorney General Holder to
investigate. But five days after Brown was shot and killed by a police
officer, local police still refuse to provide even basic information about
what happened that day.


JACKSON: All the evidence has to be examined. All the ballistics have to
be examined and most importantly all the witnesses have to be, you know,
talked to extensively. And when all that is done and the toxicology
reports ran and Mr. McCaul (ph) is going to have a very clear picture of
what happened out there. And we`ll going to present that to the grand
jury. We`re going to have a conversation about release of the name.


SHARPTON: We still don`t know the name of the officer who shot Michael
Brown. We still don`t know how many shots were fired. We still don`t know
how long Michael Brown`s body was on the street and still we don`t know
what the police incident report says about any of this. There are still so
many unanswered questions about the shooting and the investigation. And
now another eyewitnesses come forward to tell us what she saw when Michael
Brown was killed.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I get closer when I see them through the window. Like
the kid was pulling off and the cop was like pulling in. The first gunshot
came from the win so I could start getting out of the way because the shots
just came after that. At this time, after the shot the kid breaks away.
And he started running away from the cop. The cop follows him, kept
shooting. And the kid`s body jerked as if he was hit. And as his body
jerked he turned around, he put his hands up and the cop just continues to
walk up on him and shoot him until he goes all the way down.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is Jim Cavanaugh, MSNBC analyst and retired ATF
agent. And back with us is Jamelle Bouie. Jamelle, why is it taking so
long to get information about this investigation from officials in

JAMELLE BOUIE, SLATE: So, no one actually knows why it`s taking so long to
get information back. It really does seem like the police are stone
walling. I mean, the fact that we don`t know the name of the officer who
shot. It`s really shocking and really stunning. Nor do we know how many
bullets are fired or nor do we know really anything other than what Brown`s
friend described and what witnesses described this -- that there is no
indication that Brown tried to escape and that the officer fired several
times killing him. But aside from those physics, we don`t know anything
and the police have been extremely reluctant to release any information.
They won`t release the officer`s name claiming safety concerns.

SHARPTON: But Jamelle, when I was down there just a day and a half ago, I
found a lot of what was driving a lot of the outrage was the secrecy.
People not getting the answers. Dragging it out for whatever reasons feed
the distrust in the community I`m picking up, more than anything.

BOUIE: I think that`s absolutely right. Everyone I have talked to
whenever I asked them what can the police do right now to begin to heal the
risk between the community. They said, release the name. They said, begin
to treat this as if it were a tragedy and not just a mistake you need to
cover up. And so, you know, if the police can do that, I think that may
begin to less intentions. But at this point to run the situation where the
initial decision not to release any information, the initial harsh, you
know, harsh response to demonstrators and demonstrations has created even
more distrust. The distrust has been feeding on itself. So, I`m not
really sure if even releasing the name at this point would really satisfy
people. But I do think it would have satisfied people on Sunday or Monday.

SHARPTON: Jim, you have been in law enforcement. And I have been around a
lot of questions on law enforcement for a long time. Isn`t this unusual?
I can`t recall five days later we don`t know the shooter. We don`t know
how many bullet wounds, we don`t know anything. Why are we having this
kind of delay here?

JIM CAVANAUGH, MSNBC ANALYST: Reverend Al, that is the most curious thing
about the case. Because I think if you follow the case closely as you
have, as I have, and many of the viewers have, then you have watched all of
these witnesses interviewed on NBC and MSNBC. I have watched every one of
them. This young woman you just had described the scene, looked at what
the chief said and everybody. Tried to see what possibly could have
happened here. And even if you take the most favorable description of the
case from the officer`s point of view, even if you did that just for the
sake of argument it`s still murder.

And there is no report that`s going to change that outcome of those facts.
And so we have a crisis. We have a policeman killed a young man, who was
unarmed, who was shot surrendering. There were at least three eyewitnesses
I saw talk about it. And we have the gun. We have the bullets. We have
the autopsy. And we are saying, we are waiting for a toxicology report
that might take a number of weeks.

But look, Reverend, the toxicology report doesn`t matter what it says. In
reality if they are both completely sober it changes nothing. If the
policeman is on cocaine it changes nothing. If Michael Brown is
intoxicated and the policemen is not, it changes nothing. If they`re both
intoxicated, it changes nothing. It`s still going to be a cold-blooded
shoot down of an unarmed man in the street. The toxicology won`t change
any of that. So, I dismayed.

SHARPTON: Now, Jim, the thing that I find interesting. This young lady`s
testimony corresponds with the other witness that we have heard. I mean,
almost the same story. And as far as we know they don`t know each other.
You`re saying the fact that even if you take the police version that there
was an altercation, struggle for the gun. How does it become murder? When
after the struggle the policeman, according to two witnesses, kept walking
him down and shooting?

CAVANAUGH: You know, let me break it down for you quickly, Reverend Al.
Because I think it does illustrate really what happened there. There`s
words. The officer, you know, kind of, curses at him, tells him to get on
the sidewalk. And then he backs up. The door is opened. There is an
altercation. I don`t think any of that that`s in dispute either from the
officer or from Michael Brown`s friend or the witnesses. So now there is a
struggle at the car. That`s not in dispute what the witnesses is Michael
Brown`s neck is grabbed and there is some pushing and pulling. The officer
winds up with a bruise on his face.

So, let`s just take it, the version that happened there completely for the
officer`s side. Let`s just say he was punched in the face, maybe Michael
Brown went for his gun, I don`t believe that happened really. But let`s
just say it did. And then the officer shoots him. And let`s just say for
discussion that`s a justified shoot. When Michael Brown turns his back and
walks away, that`s over. If that was a justified shoot, that`s over. If
he gets out of the car and shoots him in the back, that`s murder.

If he follows him up, and turns and surrenders, that`s murder. So, even if
the officer`s version is believed, which I think it`s not really believable
from the other witnesses but even if you took it, it`s still murder. So,
it`s not going to change the facts. So, I`m sort of dismayed that the
United States attorney hasn`t got a complaint and, you know, made an arrest
on this case. Because I think we are sort of waiting for the facts in

SHARPTON: I think your frustration is shared by many. And certainly by
me. Jamelle Bouie and Jim Cavanaugh, thank you both for your time this

These are live shots of protesters right now that have marched to the scene
where this young man was killed. They are live. You see the protesters
peacefully at the scene where this young man was, Michael Brown was shot
and killed by a policeman five days ago. We`ll be right back.


SHARPTON: We are back with breaking news. Live pictures from a protest in
the streets of Ferguson, Missouri. Protesters gather at the site of the
Michael Brown shooting. So far tonight we are not seeing images like these
from yesterday. Police armed with military weapons on the streets of an
American city. This vehicle is called an MRAP Mine-Resistant Ambush
Protected truck. It`s the same kind of vehicle used by the U.S. military.
The police are also using a sonic cannon called an LRAD. The long-range
acoustic device that emits powerful and painful alarm to control crowds.
LRADs are commonly use by the military and can cause permanent hearing
loss. Today, Ferguson`s police chief defended his officers and their


JACKSON: The whole picture is being painted a little bit sideways from
what`s really happening. And it`s not military. It`s tactical operations.
It`s S.W.A.T. teams. That`s who`s out there. It`s police. We are doing
this in blue.


SHARPTON: We`re not seeing officers in blue, we`re seeing them in
camouflage. Armed with automatic rifles, dressed in riot gear, wearing
helmets and Kevlar vests. Why are the police snipers aiming assault rifles
at protesters in broad daylights? It`s making Ferguson look like a war


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This is the Police Department. You must leave the area.


SHARPTON: Joining me now live from Ferguson is Chris Hayes who is hosting
his show live from there tonight. Thanks for being here, Chris.


SHARPTON: This week we have seen a larger problem all across the country
that you have covered a lot on your show. The problem of police outfitted
as though they are military troops. What`s your reaction been?

HAYES: Well, this has been something -- this has kind of been waiting to
happen. Because we have seen really all the way back since the 1990s when
the S.W.A.T. team was created, the first S.W.A.T. team was created in Los
Angeles. And that idea of having a S.W.A.T. team started to spread to
Police Departments. It really took off after the war on terror when the
Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. military started essentially
using surplus military equipment that was being generated and then not used
by the military.

Those MRAPs you spoke about before that we saw the pictures of -- there are
late model MRAPs that are actually being used deployed oversees. And that
means that earlier model MRAP are sitting around, not being used. And it
takes about a one form sheet from any local police office essentially to
get a spare MRAP.


HAYES: And what happens with people and fancy gadgets and toys in all
walks of life and all kinds of people, as if they can get them for free,
they will get them. And what you have is very small Police Departments
with very very heavy, sophisticated machinery that is not for civilian use.

SHARPTON: Now the federal government has been, it really has a surplus of
military equipment. It`s been sending to Police Departments around the
country since 2006. Four hundred thirty five armed vehicles. Five hundred
and thirty three aircraft. Over 93,000 machine guns and 432 mine-resistant
armored trucks. Chris, help me out. Why does the Police Department need a
mine-resistant armored truck? I mean, are there mines on the streets of
Ferguson, Missouri, right now?

HAYES: There are no land mines in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri. And
there is no reason to have an MRAP in the hands of a Ferguson Police
Department of frankly, I think for the St. Louis County police. I mean, I
would even be skeptical that those are really needed very much even in very
large Police Departments. There are some very rare cases, active shooter
situations, you know, people barricaded inside compounds in which a
tactical team might be used. But as -- Balco has documented in his
fantastic book about this, what happens is if you give them a hammer then
everything looks like a nail.

So, if you have the MRAP sitting there and you have the sound cannon and
you got the fancy, you know, rubber bullet assault rifles, then when a
hundred people -- let`s keep in mind it was a hundred people last night in
this intersection behind me late at night. When a hundred people show up,
that`s when you decide it`s time to take out the MRAP because the MRAP is
sitting in the garage and this is the perfect time to use it.

SHARPTON: Chris, please stand by. I want to bring in Dr. Cedric
Alexander, the president of the National Organization of Black Law
Enforcement executives. Thank you, Dr. Alexander.

ENFORCEMENT: Thank you for having me, Reverend.

You know, today we have seen democrats and republicans speaking out against
the militarized police. Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted, quoted, "This is
America, not a war zone. The people of Ferguson just want answers. We all
want answers." Senator Rand Paul released a statement saying, quote, "The
images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than
traditional police action." I mean, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill
talked about it as well. Watch this.


SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSOURI: We began equipping Police Departments
with all kinds of tools that had not been typical of policing in this
country. And maybe it`s time to look at all of that. And make a
determination as to how effective is a show of what is military force in
obviously an intensely emotionally charged environment.


SHARPTON: As a police chief, how do you respond to that? How do you see

ALEXANDER: Well, let me say this, Reverend Sharpton. First of all, under
the circumstances in which we are looking at there in that city in
Missouri, there were certainly a lot of equipment there that creates a lot
of pause with all of us, particularly the fact that you`re talking about
citizens who are trying to march peacefully. It didn`t have a good image
attached to it whatsoever. We all agree with that. And there are going to
be some changes obviously going to be made in there tonight with the state
police coming in.

I think you are going to see a much softer approach to those that are going
to march in peace. And for those who may go outside the law, those few
that may go outside of the law, they will be managed individually. But you
cannot assert or make the assumption that just because a number of people
marched peacefully that they should have to be confronted by such heavy

SHARPTON: It`s not only artillery, Dr. Alexander. We have seen police use
teargas to disperse the crowd which is really disturbing because teargas is
a chemical weapon that the Geneva Convention bans from use in international
warfare. It is banned for military use but we are seeing it being used on
citizens of Ferguson, Missouri, by their own police force.

ALEXANDER: Absolutely. And that is certainly of concern to all of us that
sit and watched this every night for five nights in our homes. But the
important peace here is that a change is going to be made. We all glad to
see that change. We`ll welcome that change. And for those who will go
out, and march tonight in peace, in remembrance of a young man who lost his
life, we can all applaud the State Police who are going to come in and who
are going to manage and respect the citizens there in that community.


ALEXANDER: But let me say one other thing, Reverend Sharpton. I will be
there. I will be in the city on Saturday. And I hope to have an
opportunity and I will have an opportunity as I have had on a couple of
occasions to speak with Chief Tom Jackson. And certainly have an
opportunity to share some ideas and thoughts with him going forward.
Because as of now he`s still the chief of that city. He still has a Police
Department that he has to protect. But we are going to sit down and work
with him and do some things to help him and his department move forward.

SHARPTON: I`ve got to move on. Let me thank you, Dr. Cedric Alexander.
Chris Hayes, you`re there, you`re on the scene doing your show from there
tonight. What can we expect to see?

HAYES: Well, it was quite a day here in Ferguson and in St. Louis and the
state of Missouri. We attended the press conference of Jay Nixon. He was
forced to speak. After a while, we just saw a nonviolent protest as it
marched down the street. And this one was different because it was being
led by Captain Johnson of the state highway patrol, the man newly appointed
by the governor to oversee the, quote, "security situation." He`s an
African-American man, he grew up here. He was marching and hugging, he was
hugging the protesters. So far there is a different tone. But there has
been a very different tone between day and nightfall. So, we will see what
night brings tonight.

SHARPTON: Chris Hayes and Dr. Cedric Alexander, thank you both for your
time tonight.

ALEXANDER: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: And be sure to watch a special edition of "ALL IN WITH CHRIS
HAYES" live from Ferguson tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. We`ll be
right back.


SHARPTON: Stay tuned to MSNBC for all of tonight`s breaking news from
Ferguson. Thanks for watch watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts
right now.


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