All In With Chris Hayes, Thursday, August 14th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
August 14, 2014
Guest: Stefan Bradley, Maria Chappelle-Nadal, Ronnie Robinson, Michael
Willis, Jelani Cobb, John Gaskin, Patricia Bynes, Lizz Brown
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from Ferguson, Missouri. I`m
Chris Hayes. And this is ALL IN.
It is this area right here, about a block and a half away from here,
that just a few days ago an 18-year-old man, Mike Brown, was shot. He was
unarmed and he was killed by Ferguson police officers.
That has sent into motion uprising and protests and a very, very
forceful response from the police, and it was just last night right here on
this corner that images were broadcast around the world of tear gas, of
rubber bullets being shot at sniper rifles appearing to be pointed at
Tonight, protesters are back in this space, and much has changed.
We`re going it tell you all about what brought about that change. That
right there, that is the QT Mart that was burned down on the very first
night of protests, a small element of looters and rioters.
For the most part the protests and everyone here will tell you have
been peaceful. There have been a few bottles thrown at the edges. Today
has been an entirely peaceful undertaking and the reason for the change
today is that last night at 11:00 at night Eastern Time, 10:00 central, as
the images were being broadcast around the world, they were reaching the
White House. They were reaching the office of the governor, Jay Nixon, in
Missouri, reaching up and down the political order and across the world and
people realized that something had to change.
And so, today, there is some change. Here`s one thing you`ll notice.
If you look at, you`ll see hardly any police presence here. Last night, on
this corner, there were massive armored vehicles. There were about 70
police officers in SWAT gear just up here and in camouflage.
Tonight, look around, you`ll see hardly any police and you`ll also see
some very, very dangerous elements here, some possible looters, some folks
you really, really, need to protect from right over here.
This is actually a pretty good image of what these protests have been.
They are not the image necessarily that has been shown, I think, on the
media thus far.
So, last night, a lot of questions about the absence of the governor,
or the absence of the president, in fact. And so, we got today all ranks
of officialdom weighing in.
The president of the United States had this to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There is never an
excuse for violence against police or for those who would use this tragedy
as a cover for vandalism or looting. There`s also no excuse for police to
use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in
jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights. I know that
emotions are raw right now in Ferguson. And there are certainly passionate
differences about what has happened.
There are going to be different accounts of how this tragedy occurred.
There are going to be difference in terms of what needs to happen going
forward. I`ve asked that the attorney general and U.S. attorney on the
scene continue to work with local officials to move that process forward.
They will be reporting to me in the coming days about what`s being done to
make sure that happens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It`s not just the president, it was Attorney General Holder
who issued a statement saying the department was offering technical
assistance to local authorities to help conduct crowd control and maintain
public safety without relying on unnecessarily extreme displays of force.
And then, there was the governor. Today, the governor announced a
press conference after taking a lot of heat last night on social media and
in the press for his absence. Late last night, he issued a statement
saying he was canceling his events at the state fair today.
He had a press conference today and announced a change in leadership
over the security situation here in Ferguson, Missouri.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JAY NIXON (D), MISSOURI: Today, I`m announcing that the Missouri
highway patrol under the supervision of Captain Ron Johnson who grew up in
this area will be directing the team that provides security in Ferguson.
Now, what I`m announcing today does not affect the responsibility of those
involved in the investigation. And I would once again like to thank
General Holder, for agreeing to my request that the Justice Department
conduct a parallel investigation into this matter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I was at that press conference with Governor Nixon and asked
when the police are planning to release the name of police officer who shot
Mike Brown and whether Missouri law compelled them to do so.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Governor, the ACLU has filed for an open records request for
the incident report that will contain the name of the officer who shot Mike
Brown. It seems pretty clear under state law that that is an open record.
Should that be released?
NIXON: First of all, I don`t know the name of the officer is. I`m
not conducting either of the investigations. I spent a better part of my
career doing that sort of stuff. But that`s not --
HAYES: I mean, does Missouri state law?
NIXON: What -- I don`t want to get into a debate about what the law
is or is not other than to say that I would hope that the appropriate
release of that name, with the security around it, if necessary, to make
sure that there`s not additional acts of violence be done as expeditiously
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We`re going to talk more about the efforts by these protests
and many others to get the name of that officer who believes it should be
public information. But we also should note a real difference tonight. I
said it at the top. The atmosphere here is very, very different. Every
single person I`ve talked to who was here last night and was here tonight
says the difference in the lack of police presence, it was just a few hours
ago that a nonviolent, very peaceful march was led down this street right
here which has been the main site of protest.
And at the front of it was Captain Ron Johnson of the State Highway
Patrol, the man that was announced as being the director of security today.
He was hugging people. He was apologizing to people on behalf of the
police for what happened last night.
Joining me now to talk about what things feel like tonight, versus
last night, I have Dr. Stefan Bradley. He`s a professor.
And I have State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal.
It`s great to have you both here.
Tell me about what is it like tonight versus last night?
STATE SEN. MARIA CHAPPELLE-NADAL (D), MISSOURI: It feels as though
1,000 pounds have been lifted off my shoulders. I feel great.
STEFAN BRADLEY, SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY: Well, like I said, there`s a
difference between what you saw last night and what you see tonight.
Tonight, you see people able to walk around while breathing. Last night,
they had some problems with that. So, it doesn`t look militarized as it
HAYES: There`s also a sense here tonight, I mean, people seem like
they aren`t scared. And you can feel the difference because you could see
the people -- I mean, I had journalists, some journalists who have been in
war zones who are tweeting out photos like, I do not like looking down the
barrel of a gun.
CHAPPELLE-NADAL: Well, people are expressing their right to assemble
and speak what they`re feeling. And so, they`re so happy not to be
intimidated by police officers. Finally, after three nights of tear gas
and rubber bullets, we finally have the freedom to express ourselves, and
that`s what these young people want.
BRADLEY: And let me clarify, that there was no fear last night.
People that are holding up their hands saying, don`t shoot, they`re not
afraid anymore. They`re not afraid. The fear was things could continue
the way they were going, so they`re not afraid anymore.
HAYES: What do you mean by that, continue the way they`re going?
BRADLEY: Well, the reason why this happened, of course, what set it
off is the death of Mike Brown Jr. But this had been stewing. This had
been boiling over for a long time. It was a perfect storm for something
like this to happen. The only surprise is that it didn`t happen sooner.
HAYES: Do all of you here, do you feel like you all have a story
about an interaction with a cop that made you want to come out here
tonight? You all feel that way. How routine is that?
CHAPPELLE-NADAL: The first interaction I had with a police officer
that was no fault of my own, I was 15 years old, I was leaving my school
and they decided they want to start macing and tasing us.
The next altercation, a firefighter in my school allowed us to stand
on a truck. A police officer walked up with his gun drawn, yelling at us,
telling us we needed to get off the truck, we had no business being there.
We were in the wrong. Basically kind of treating us like criminals.
When I was 21, I left a party and got assaulted with a baton. He said
I was in his way. So, that was his excuse for doing it.
HAYES: That sounds to the folks I`ve been talking to line that fairly
One of the things also I think maybe have been getting the wrong
impression is that my sense, I was just looking at the FBI statistics, is
that Ferguson is not a very violent place, right? Like, it`s not -- we are
not talking about a place that is extremely crime ridden, people are afraid
to walk outside in which there`s tremendous amounts of gang violence,
right? It`s not -- that is not the case.
CHAPPELLE-NADAL: People are happy here, and we`re integrated. A lot
of people want to make this a race issue, but white and black have been
fighting and protesting together in peace for six days now.
And so, it`s completely contrary to what people are wanting to express
nationally. We are working together as a community, as a family. We have
new family members now because of what we`ve gone through for the last six
HAYES: Senator, I got to get your response because you tweeted some
frustration and anger directed at the governor.
CHAPPELLE-NADAL: Yes, I did. And the governor has been absent from
the minority communities for decades now and only comes to --
HAYES: You`re all nodding your head.
CHAPPELLE-NADAL: Yes. This is how my constituents feel. He`s cut
SNAP benefits and TANF benefits. He`s done other things to take away
privileges and benefits for the minority community. He just vetoed a bill
helping minorities who need help in education opportunities.
He`s done so many different things, and he only comes to this
community when it`s politically expedient. And so, I say to him that he`s
And here`s the other deal. I mean, the other part of this is we`ve
wanted to express ourselves for such a long time. This is the governor`s
Katrina. He still has not come to ground zero. He`s been in a
municipality to the north of us, a municipality to the south of us, but he
has not been at ground zero, just like George Bush was not at ground zero
when we had Katrina.
This is about young people. This fight is only about young people and
them being respected and having dignity and being able to succeed and
thrive. These young people finally have an opportunity to express
themselves, get rid of the anger and the hurt that they`ve had in their
hearts for a very long time.
So, that`s why I`ve been standing with the young people because they
are the victims and the governor has only assisted in their victimization
in the last six days. And I thank him for finally coming to the vicinity,
but he needs to come to ground zero where people are hurting and crying.
HAYES: I should say we invited the governor to talk. I would love to
have the governor on at any point. Tomorrow, I`ll be here.
So, the question is, OK, what -- what is next here, right? So, we`re
not -- like, I think everybody -- everybody -- you guys were here, but let
me tell you outside, around the world, from Seattle to Kurdistan, people
were looking at these images saying what the hell is going on? Why is this
happening? Why is this happening?
So, hopefully, we`re not going to see that anymore, right? What --
BRADLEY: Well, these thing, this can be any town in the United
States. These kinds of things have been cooking, like I said, for a long
time. You can`t have a situation where you have 70 percent of the
population is African-American, but the police force, there`s three
African-Americans and 50 Caucasian Americans. You can`t have a situation
The amount of citations and stops for -- I know the senator said it`s
not a racial issue. But at the baseline of all of this, there are things
that point to that. And since black people have been moving to the county,
they have been experiencing these kinds of problems.
HAYES: How -- take me through the trajectory of the way this county
has changed if I was here 20 years ago or 10 years ago.
BRADLEY: Yes, well, all of this has to with deindustrialization, with
when black people were finally able to afford to move to different kinds of
neighborhoods. They were able to move to the county. When they moved to
the county, white people started moving out of the county.
HAYES: This is a universal truth about humans is that they just want
to get to the suburbs.
BRADLEY: Well, they want to get to a place where they can have good
schools. Where they can live --
HAYES: Have a yard.
BRADLEY: All those sorts of things.
HAYES: And that`s what this represented for folks that were moving
out of St. Louis and out of other areas around here.
BRADLEY: Absolutely. When you think about these young people, one of
the things I`m glad you`re here and it`s designed the way we have these
young people behind us it the images of the young people that have been
going out around the world haven`t always been so positive. When talk
about Mike Brown, the police officer had an image in his head of what black
men are. I wouldn`t say that these young people represent that kind of
image. And most of the young people around here don`t. So I think that`s
Now, I`m part of the young citizens council. That`s one of the major
things we`re trying to push is the idea that young people, you ask what`s
going to happen next, maybe we`ll find out what the name of the officer was
that shot Mike Brown.
HAYES: Is that important to you?
BRADLEY: I think that`s crucial, essential. If we can have -- if we
can have a dead body on the street for hour, find out the name of every
looter, so-called looter around here, if we can find at all that kind of
stuff, why can`t we find out the name of man that the people pay? That`s a
The second -- after that, you`re going to need to improve the police
force with regard to racial diversity and by that I mean hiring black
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See how many black folks --
HAYES: I had someone tell me about going for a traffic stop in
Ferguson, and showing up at traffic court, and he was the only white guy in
traffic court. And that -- I think I read that half of the revenue of the
municipality is coming from traffic stops.
CHAPPELLE-NADAL: And also, Chris --
HAYES: Wait, I just want everyone in America to think about that,
think about government that has nothing but an incentive to squeeze you for
as many traffic stops as possible then layer on top of that the fact you
BRADLEY: St. Louis County.
CHAPPELLE-NADAL: There are some objectives we`re looking at. First,
we do need dashboard cameras. That`s what was missing in this entire case.
That`s why my constituents have such distrust in the police right now.
The next thing, we have to work on institutionalization, racism within
institutions. As I said before, the community is very intertwined. It`s
BRADLEY: Not at the top.
CHAPPELLE-NADAL: Not at the top.
Other thing we have to focus on, every police officer should have a
relationship with residents where they are not in fear, and that is what
has been missing the entire time. And they also need diversity training
and changing the composition of the police department. I think those are
some objectives. Where do we want to start?
HAYES: I think -- I think the need for training is something that is
now unanimously been seen by everyone in the world.
State Senator --
BRADLEY: One more thing --
BRADLEY: One more thing, citizens review board is crucial that the
people who are paying for these police officers have to have some sort of
oversight over the authorities. It`s not a militarized place. Civilians
run the show.
HAYES: Professor Stefan Bradley, thank you very much.
State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal --
CHAPPELLE-NADAL: Thank you.
HAYES: -- thank you.
CHAPPELLE-NADAL: Thank you.
HAYES: Stick around. We`ll be right back.
HAYES: Protesters returning to the scene where last night, there was
so much intense police force. Tonight, barely a police officer to be seen,
and a kind of joyful ecstatic scene. People with their hands up in what
has become the universal sign of protest in the wake of Mike Brown`s death.
We`ll have much more here from the scene in Ferguson, Missouri, right after
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She got tear gassed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were throwing things at little kids and stuff
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For me, when you see your niece, if you can tell
that Captain Johnson apologizes and says he`s sorry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: All right. I`m back here in Ferguson, Missouri. What you
just saw is the man appointed by the governor to head up security at the
scene after the, frankly, disaster that was the last several days.
I`m here with Major Robinson of the St. Louis City police force.
As a member of law enforcement, what was your thoughts when you saw
what was going down here the last few nights?
MAJOR RONNIE ROBINSON, ST. LOUIS POLICE DEPT.: The last few nights I
wasn`t here. Just watching it from television, listening, watching the
news, everything that was going on, I saw a cry for help.
My agency, chief saw a cry for help. We need to take an approach and
get out here and listen to the people and find out exactly what`s going on
and what they`re feeling.
Tragic incident. The platform that started, what got us to this
point, needs to be focused on and the attention was going away from that
issue. We`re out here communicating with the people, talking to the people
and giving them the nourishment that they need.
This community is crying out for help. It`s an ill situation. And
we`re out here to do the best we can to bring peace to the community.
HAYES: Do you -- do you have trust, you know, there has long been
discussion of the sort of wall of blue, and the kind of solidarity between
members of law enforcement when something happens to their own,
particularly when one of their own commits an act that might be the wrong
thing to do.
Do you have trust and faith we`re going to get accountability and a
fair and full investigation of what happened?
ROBINSON: Oh, yes. Yes. The world spotlight is here now. These
people have accomplished, I believe there was an entity involved with this
incident and right within this crowd that wanted national attention and
ended up getting world attention.
And I think transparency, justice will prevail in this case.
Everybody`s got their eye on St. Louis and what`s going to happen in
Ferguson, Missouri, with this issue. All the entities as far as law
enforcement is coming together. The governor has made it clear he wants it
to be fair and he wants to be professional and my chief put it out here to
make sure that`s going to happen.
HAYES: All right. One more question on this. Is it ever acceptable
for an officer of the law to point a weapon, point a weapon at an unarmed
ROBINSON: No, unless that officer is in fear of their life or to keep
peace. Other than that, no, sir.
You have the right to protest peacefully. And we`re going to make
sure that happens. If they want to protest peacefully 24 hours a day,
that`s what`s going to happen. We`re going to make sure it happens.
HAYES: Trymaine Lee, you and I spoke on the phone last night as you
were wiping the tear gas out of your system. What`s your reaction to the
scene here tonight?
TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC.COM: The scene right now is distinctly different
from last night when the militarized vehicles lined up and essentially drew
a line in the sand over there. And so, protesters had no choice but to go
face to face with these officers.
Now, the mood seems much lighter. Yesterday, you could cut -- it was
so tense, you could cut it with a knife. Now, it`s almost more of a
celebration. Something has been won, something has been achieved.
HAYES: Like the victory is we don`t have 70 people in SWAT camouflage
gear and armored personnel carriers.
LEE: Because at first, people wanted their voices to be heard. They
wanted a protest. They feel there`s an injustice that have been done and
they want a full, thorough investigation.
What they got in trying to voice their opinions and voice how they
feel was, you know, officers with M-16s, sniper rifles on top of
militarized armored vehicles, which exacerbated the attention. What you
see here is horns honking, people with their fists and hands in the air.
Now, again, we don`t want to speak too soon, too quickly, but the mood
is completely different now than what it was yesterday.
HAYES: Yes, we should note some of the worst stuff that`s gone down
in the reaction has happened after nightfall. There`s been a real
difference in police response to what happens during the day and what
happens during the night. We are now, you know, heading into nightfall.
It does seem, though, it is palpable, right?
The message was gone from on high, probably from the White House,
since President Obama spoke to Jay Nixon today, no more.
LEE: Right. The president said it`s a time for healing and time for
peace. And it always has only been a small segment of the protesters that
wanted to voice their opinions violently, you know, aggressively.
Most people I`ve come across, we`re peaceful. Now it`s Senator
McCaskill saying it`s a new day. President Obama saying it`s a time for
healing. Attorney General Eric Holder weighing in for the second time.
It seems that penetrated. Again, let`s wait for nightfall. Let`s see
what happens then.
HAYES: And to me, it`s also about now we are shifting into a broader
conversation of let`s: "A", not lose sight of the facts of the matter of
Mike Brown. We now have three witnesses, three witnesses who give very
similar accounts from three different points of view that this was a man
who was shot prone with his hands up and killed and shot multiple times by
a police officer. You know, if that`s half true, there is very serious
legal accountability that has to be faced.
LEE: Oh, certainly. Because of all the uproar here, what they`re
calling ground zero, we are forgetting what brought us here in the first
place was the shooting death of an unarmed teenager. And if you listen to
their accounts, it`s pretty horrific, gripping stuff that the officer
grabbed him through the driver`s side according to one witness, squeezed
off a single shot from inside the car.
HAYES: Inside the car.
LEE: Inside the car ,which might explain why there`s a shell casing
inside the car. And then when the young man run, officer trails him, pops
off several more shots while his hands are in the air. Some may be in the
back. But as long as the police department holds close to the vest the
information of the autopsy result --
HAYES: I just want to say, one young man just rode down the street on
horseback, which is not something you see every day.
LEE: It`s a new day.
HAYES: Yes. That would not have been happening last night. I think
it`s fair to say. And I think also there`s been a -- so the question now
is, where does this go locally? And then also, the fact that Mike Brown is
one of four young African-American men shot and killed by police officers,
I think in the last 10 days, if I`m not mistaken.
LEE: And because the media has honed in and focused on Ferguson,
Missouri, the same way we had in Sanford and across the country. Look at
Eric Garner a few weeks ago in New York city. And even from talking about
on high. President Obama is my brother`s keeper.
It`s high time to start evaluating how do we as a society value the
lives of young black men? And again, cases like this exemplify it. A
simple interaction between police get the F on the sidewalk, according to a
witness, ends with a young man dead.
HAYES: In about 60 seconds, that witness tell me.
Trymaine Lee, who`s been doing just outstanding reporting for
MSNBC.com -- thank you, man.
LEE: I appreciate it.
HAYES: We`ll have much more from here, live in Ferguson, Missouri.
HAYES: All right. We`re back. We`re back live here in Ferguson,
This gentleman, Michael Willis, is a resident of St. Louis County and
came up and told me something I`ve heard from a number of residents. So, I
want him to tell you directly. What were you telling me?
MICHAEL WILLIS, RESIDENT OF ST. LOUIS, CO: I am telling you it is not
just Fergusons, Missouri. It is the north county Missouri. As soon as you
come across, if you are coming from the north side, as soon as you come, it
is Moline acres. It is Dellwood, it is -- I cannot even --
HAYES: All of these small municipalities.
WILLIS: And not just Ferguson needs to change. All of these places
need to change.
HAYES: Because, why? Because the police forces, you feel the same
way about them throughout all of them?
WILLIS: Exactly. And, even if thing like Moline acres has black
police officers,, but they still treat you like you are not supposed to be
there. It is like they are using traffic money to support their cities.
If you come on a Tuesday night and go outside of Dellwood, it is a line
wrapped around the corner for people going to traffic. And all of them are
black people. It is just that simple --
HAYES: So, you just feel like as soon as you cross a certain border,
you are a target?
WILLIS: You are a target. Exactly. The second you cross the border
HAYES: And, what are those interactions like when you get pulled
WILLIS: Well, some of them have been positive, but most negative.
And, sometimes I was in the wrong, but each time that I was stopped, I
should not have been stopped. But, sometimes I did not have a driver`s
license and things were not right. You know, but each time I was stopped
just for being black. My license plate was right. I was not speeding, and
I was just stopped and there it is.
HAYES: Thank you so much, Michael Willis.
WILLIS: No problem. Thank you.
HAYES: Take care, man. I will be back with much more here from
Ferguson, Missouri, right after this break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Who is in charge on making those decisions
and are they going to be held to account for mistakes that you clearly
think of being --
GOV. JAY NIXON, (D) MISSOURI GOVERNOR: I think -- that was yesterday.
Tonight is tonight. Tomorrow is tomorrow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Who is in charge at that point of making
those decisions --
GOV. NIXON: I am not looking backwards. I am not going backwards. I
am looking forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We are back here in Ferguson, Missouri, at the site of the
protests in the wake of the shooting death by police of young Mike Brown,
18-year-old, and unarmed when he was shot and killed just a block away --
block and a half away from here. For several nights in a row, there have
been protests. Those protests have been met with very intense police
Those protests have by in large, nonviolent. There have been some
disturbances. There was -- this QT burned down. There was some looting on
the first night. There was some few bottles from last night. But, by in
large, nonviolent protests have been met with overwhelming police force.
That question at the press conference today to Governor Jay Nixon about
whether there will be accountability for that overwhelming force.
And, we got an answer. He wants to look forward and not back. In
terms of looking forward, the mood tonight as you can tell here is
completely 180 degrees different. There is a kind of jubilation in the
air. There are police intermingled in the crowd. They are talking to
people. There is not a single S.W.A.T. team in sight. There is not a
single armored personnel carrier. There is not a single police gun
unsheathed in sight.
In fact, to give you a sense of just how different things are, we just
saw a man riding a horse down the middle of this street, which last night
would have ended in a very, very, very ugly situation. All right. Here to
talk to me now. I have Patricia Bynes. She is a Democratic Committeewoman
for Ferguson Township, and John Gaskin. He is the Spokesperson and local
member of NAACP. Committeewoman, what do you think of Jay Nixon`s
performance today in his press conference?
PATRICIA BYNES, DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEEWOMAN FOR FERGUSON TOWNSHIP: I
think the governor -- he could have done a little better. I do not think
he held himself very much as far as getting a lot of love and support for
this community right now.
HAYES: The history of Jay Nixon, Democratic Party and the racial
makeup of the Democratic Party is a complicated and tortured one. Your
eyes bugged out when you said that.
BYNES: Yes, it is. I am not going to lie. Yes, it is. There is --
We do not feel like we are represented. The African-American vote always
feels like it is taken for granted. We are supposed to come through
democrats, but we do not always get what we need from the party.
HAYES: Do you feel that is the case with this Governor?
HAYES: I should say you are a democratic committeewoman from here.
HAYES: I am getting you in trouble right now.
BYNES: No. I think I am representing my people very well. I have
been out here every night with them and I am out here to make sure things
are going like they should be going in the community. And, it is my job to
voice those concerns up higher.
HAYES: Can I ask you a question? So, we have all been hearing this
statistic, this little township of 2010 people, is 2/3 African-American,
and 1/3 Caucasian more or less. It is got a white mayor. Basically, all
white city council except for one member. It got essentially all white
police force except for few exceptions. What is going on? Like, are folks
not voting? How does that work?
BYNES: It is a classic disenfranchisement of the African-American
community. And, if you look at the socioeconomic makeup of the African-
American community here, they are low income. So, most people are worried
about, "Can I get a job? Can I get to work? What am I going to have to
eat on the table?"
When that Election Day, Tuesday, comes around, it is not, "I am going
to vote." It is, "I need to go to work." So, that is how people do not
wind up voting and the ones who are in a better socioeconomic place, they
own homes and they are going to vote and they are going to ask for
decisions that are going to be in their best interest, which are not of the
majority of the population.
HAYES: So, you are just saying there is a huge divide between who
shows up to vote in Ferguson local elections between people of color and
white folks, basically?
BYNES: Yes, basically. Thank you. Yes.
HAYES: John, what was your reaction to some of the comments? I am
curious what your -- the President`s comments today about this. How you
reacted to this?
JOHN GASKIN, SPOKESPERSON/LOCAL MEMBER OF NAACP: Well, we are so
happy to see that President Obama has used the power of his office to
finally speak out about this. As you know, he has been noted to speak out
about police brutality, especially with the Trayvon Martin case. And --
HAYES: Do you really feel like he spoke out today?
GASKIN: I think he made a statement.
HAYES: That seems more accurate --
GASKIN: I think he made a statement. What happens further down the
road as this case, you know, goes on, and what he views as power of office
with the justice department, it remains to be seen. But comment on what
you said about Governor Nixon, we are finally happy that he finally decided
to make St. Louis county and north county a priority because honestly we
have been put on the back burner for way too long.
HAYES: And, it sounds like the governor is sort of based his support
geographically sort of in the far suburbs of St. Louis. That is where he
is from, kind of St. Louis. You feel like this area has not gotten much
BYNES: Correct. Basically, they feel that the urban area is going to
come out and vote democrat anyway and they have to work for the rural
votes. Certainly, feel like the African-Americans are going to vote
democratic. So, I think that this is what happens when we know that we do
not get what we need from a governor or someone in a power of position who
can help us.
HAYES: Senator Claire McCaskill was down here today. She was talking
to demonstrators. What did you think of her reaction?
BYNES: I really appreciate Senator Claire McCaskill. I think she is
awesome. And, I like the fact of what she said, and the way it is moderate
and makes sense. We have to do common sense things and really look at what
is going on here.
HAYES: Senator McCaskill, of course, talking about kind of rolling
back the militarization we are seeing of this very small police department.
I think part of what is so shocking to everyone was to see the gear that
was in the hands of a police department that has at last I checked 55
officers, is that correct? Something like that.
And, then the question becomes, you know, ultimately here is about
political empowerment. Do you think this is a kind of tipping point for a
kind of political sensibility? Like, are these people who are here being
politicized in this moment? Are they seeing the kind of way power works in
this place and how it can be changed?
GASKIN: I think tonight -- I think people have had a wake-up call.
They see that when you get your message out there, when you use your voice,
I think this is going to be a real encouragement for folks to make it out
in November. Absolutely.
BYNES: I am a democratic committeewoman. I have to do my job and the
answer is going to be yes by the time I get finished.
HAYES: Thank you, both. Patricia Bynes, John Gaskin, thanks a lot.
All right -- hi, you are on the phone. I cannot talk to you now. No. No.
We have to go to break. She is on the phone. That is why I am going to go
HAYES: All right. You are looking at a live picture of Times Square,
just a few blocks away from where I would normally be doing the show. And,
hundreds, little more than 1,000 miles away from where we are right now, a
protest in the name of Michael Brown and other young men and other young
people and other people who have been killed by police nationwide.
Part of a national moment of silence that took place across the
country today in various cities and towns. Mourning the loss of Mike
Brown, demanding justice in his name and raising awareness about the fact
that the policing in this country and the way the criminal justice system
currently functions leaves a lot of people feeling like justice is not at
all done. Joining me now to talk about the sort of the national
implications of this, Jelani Cobb, who is a Professor at Hartford, am I
JELANI COBB, PROFESSOR AT UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT: University of
HAYES: University of Connecticut, and Lizz Brown is a local columnist
here in St. Louis. You joined me last night. Jelani, so we have been
talking about -- we have kind of been working out in circles about issue
here. There is the interaction that happened in that moment. Where that
police officer, it appears, from the facts as we know them, had a
conception of who these people were. That he was ordering to get off the
street. Again, this is according to eyewitness testimony.
HAYES: And, then it goes out to what that police force looks like and
goes out to what the structure of this town looks like and it goes out to
North County, Missouri. But, the fact of the matter is, Los Angeles and
New York -- I mean you have a police department in New York that is
majority nonwhite and Eric Garner is still on the ground.
COBB: So, what we are looking at here is something that is systemic,
something that is broad, something that is nationwide. And, so there is a
terrible overlap in this. That is that Tracy Martin, Trayvon Martin`s
father was scheduled to already be here. He is going to be here on Sunday.
Three weeks ago, he agreed to come here for an event that was going to
be celebrating nonviolence in this community and now he is coming here in
the wake of yet another young black man being dead under really, really
And, so it says something about, you know, the fact that this can
happen anywhere, that this particular instance we are talking about
something that happened in Ferguson, Missouri. But, what we are also
looking at what happened in Staten Island. We are looking at what happened
in Sanford. We are looking what happened with Renisha McBride in Dearborn
Heights, Michigan. And, so this is a nationwide problem.
HAYES: If you had to say what the problem is, in a sentence, what is
COBB: The fundamental problem I think is the inability to recognize
the humanity of African-Americans. When we look at the person who is
walking down the street, when we believe that this person is someone other
than a citizen; that this person is not entitled to the fundamental rights
and respect that any other citizen would be entitled to, and therefore the
interaction takes a different direction.
HAYES: Is it a belief or is it a sort of set of kind of subconscious
prejudices upon which a whole bunch of institutional actors are acting? I
mean I have say like, I have known a lot of police officers in my life and
I also know a lot of them have -- it is a cannot-win job many times.
You were called upon as a police officer all the time, to essentially
litigate things you can and adjudicate disputes you cannot adjudicate.
There is a tremendous amount of authority invested in these people. And,
so, it seems to me like there is subconscious and institutional things that
are working through people rather than some kind of an affirmative belief,
this person is not a citizen.
COBB: But, Chris, that is why we hire professionals. That is the
idea. That if you are a professional, you are supposed to be an exacting
standard at which you perform your tasks, at which you perform your
professional tasks. And, when people fail to meet that as in the instance
here, there can be tragic catastrophic outcomes. So, nobody is going to
say human beings are perfect, human beings are flawless.
But, we do expect that when problems break down again and again and
again, not randomly but within particular communities time and time again,
you will say, "OK. No, this is not just a matter of human error. This is
a matter of a systemic problem that needs to be addressed." How many
summers do we have to have rallies about dead people who are at the hands
of police or the hands of sub-authorized police like Trayvon Martin? And,
so, we cannot look at this and just say, "OK, this is just kind of
HAYES: Lizz, Missouri obviously is an interesting case
geographically. It is kind of both of the south and both of the Midwest.
LIZZ BROWN, ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI LOCAL COLUMNIST: Exactly.
HAYES: Do you feel like things have gotten better here in the time
you have been living here? What is the trajectory in terms of relations
between the community and the policemen, general sort of empowerment and
full citizenship across the border?
BROWN: Of course, nothing has gotten better since I have been here.
HAYES: Hold on. Wait a second, wait a second. That is a lot -- I
mean, of course? Of course, really of course?
BROWN: Absolutely, of course. And, all you have to look at for
evidence are the things that are happening 2014 are the things that were
happening in 1995. The things that are happening in 2014 were the things
that were happening in 1985. So, things have not gotten better. What is
what we have here right now is we finally reached, maybe -- maybe the good
news is maybe we have reached our bottom, you know?
Maybe that is where we are right now, because what you have in
Missouri in this region, look with happened when Martin Luther King was
executed, right? All over the region, people rioted. St. Louis did not.
East St. Louis, Chicago, they all rioted. St. Louis remains silent in
that. So, you have years and decades and decades of pent up non-addressed
issues of how people are being treated within our community. So, no. No,
no, no, no, things are not better.
HAYES: Do you feel that way, nationally, that things are not better?
COBB: I think what we have is a paradox of progress. We see on the
one hand the ability to elect an African-American president, at the same
HAYES: The Attorney General of the U.S. and the President today both
issuing statements on this, that the chief law enforcement officers of the
COBB: Right. And, they also have a kind of false even handedness in
both of the statements. And, we saw what President Obama said and what
Attorney General Holder said and in both of those instances it made it --
HAYES: People, hold on one second. I just want to direct the camera
over here. There is a police car driving down the main street here. Folks
have rallied to its side. They are holding their hand up -- Whoa. Did we
just -- are we good? Did we just lose our feed? We are feed? We are
good. We are good. You see folks there who are putting their hands up in
the kind of gesture that has become the universal gesture of protest in the
wake of Mike Brown. Things do seem to be calming down now. I am sorry
Jelani, I did not mean to cut you off.
COBB: I just want to say one thing really quickly. The manner in
which people are policed makes a huge difference, because you, last night
the tension out here was incredibly thick. The police were here in a kind
of a Militia formation. As you see it now, people are very animated and
sometimes raucous and do not have the foreboding energy --
HAYES: We are going to go see what is going on. Come on. There
seems to be an incident going on down here. Do we have the camera?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: No justice!
CROWD: No peace!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: No justice!
CROWD: No peace!
HAYES: There is a lot of cameras. Whatever is going down is going to
be seen. We are going to take a quick break, actually. We will come right
back. We will be camped out and see what is going on.
HAYES: Hi, we are back in Ferguson, Missouri. Sorry for the abrupt
leave. We wanted to make sure there was nothing gong down. There is a
little disturbance. Someone apparently took ill. That seems so have
resolved itself. There is a kind of intensity near, right now. I have to
be completely honest. There is a lot of folks out. There is a lot of cars
coming down. People are behaving themselves of course.
They are remaining peaceful. They are putting their hands up in the
air, but there are definitely a lot of people out here, right now. It is a
very different scene than last night, when by this time we had S.W.A.T.
teams and we have armored personnel carriers out there. I am back with
Lizz Brown, who is a local columnist.
We got a bunch of folks around, hands up. And, you are saying you do
not think it is getting better. This might be some kind of breaking point.
What do you want to see happens? It is striking to me how organic this is
and frankly how not organized it is, like it does not seem organized to me.
It seems like people are fed up, and they are frustrated. They are angry
and they are out mere and they are upset, but it does not seem like -- it
is like what are the demands and what happens next?
BROWN: Well, your observation about that is does not feel organized
speaks to the honesty of the emotion that is going on right now. It speaks
to the fact that this is real. These are the circumstances that people
have lived under for decades and decades. In terms of what can happen now,
I do not know. I do not know what can happen at this point because of the
lack of organization.
When you do not have organizational structure, sometimes direction is
missing. So, I do not know what can happen, but what I hope will happen in
this is the effort of people to find out, to reach out and come to an
HAYES: What do you want to see happen?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE PROTESTER: You say what I want what?
HAYES: What do up so see happen?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE PROTESTER: I have already seen what I want to
see. I have seen my people out here standing up for something we never
stood up for. All right, that is what I want to see. I see happiness. I
see we are doing something for a change. Hands up, do not shoot.
CROWD: Hands up!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE PROTESTER: Do not shoot!
CROWD: Hands up!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE PROTESTER: Do not shoot.
HAYES: That is the crowd behind me. That has become the rallying cry
for people of course. That based on the eyewitness testimony that we have
now gotten from three separate witnesses about the shooting death of Mike
Brown. The tragic, tragic shooting death of an 18-year-old unarmed
teenager, just a block and a half away, who it appears based on witness
testimony, one of the witnesses I interviewed was holding his hands in the
air in the universal posture of supplication and submission when in fact he
Of course, that has not been confirmed by the independent
investigation that are going on. There are two independent investigations
at the moment. The FBI is conducting one, as well as local St. Louis
county prosecutor`s office. And, we still on this day do not know the name
of the officer. We do know the names of people that have been looting or
have been accused of looting. We have their mug shots.
There is genuine frustration and anger around here about the fact that
there is a mismatch in who is being identified and who is not being
identified. As I brought up with the governor today, in the press
conference, it is fairly clear that under Missouri open records law, the
name of that officer, which was contained in the incident report that was
filed when Mike Brown was killed. That name is in that incident report and
that incident report is as a matter of law a public open record.
Local police in Ferguson have expressed, and I think very sincere
concerns about the safety of that officer given the amount of anger and
frustration that has built up here. Governor Nixon today when I asked him
about precisely this, at first seemed to hedge and then later kind of
indicated he would like to see it be done expeditiously and indicated that
if there are concerns about safety, those concerns about safety can be
taken care of in ways other than withholding the name.
Of course, as the days go by, there is also a vacuum created by the
absence of the name of this officer. You begin to see it filled by social
media. You begin to see rumors going around and groups saying that they
have hacked the police office and names being whispered among the crowd.
It seems to me far safer if that name is made public and all efforts are
made to make sure that that man, who is of course, accorded due process and
representation and the full accounting of the law is protected and can face
the law with his head held high as a fellow citizen.
Right now, sun is setting here in Ferguson, Missouri. As we said, it
is a very different scene. You see folks coming out. There are a lot of
more people here tonight than there were last night. That is probably due
to the fact that they are not facing down. The barrel them 16. They are
not looking at snipers, training guns on them. There are no armored
personnel carriers. There are no S.W.A.T. teams. There are no police here
in camouflage on this evening.
There are police mingling among the crowd, but there are folks handing
out food. There are young children here. There are people handing out
water. It is a very, very different scene and frankly looks a lot like the
America that I think all of us wished we were seeing last night. That does
it for this special live edition of "All In" in Ferguson, Missouri. We
will be back live again at 11:00. Right now, I hand it to Rachel Maddow.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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