The Ed Show for Friday, August 15th, 2014
Read the transcript to the Friday show
THE ED SHOW
August 15, 2014
Guest: Benjamin Crump, Ronald Johnson, Marcia Chatelain, Steve Cohen,
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Americans, welcome to The Ed
Show, live from New York. I`m Michael Eric Dyson in for Ed Schultz. Let`s
get to work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Break the cycle of violence, diffuse the tension and
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Too many questions that has not been answered.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The officer that was involved in the shooting of
Michael Brown was Darren Wilson.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New facts are out...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The allegations say that he stole some kind of tobacco
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nothing could deter figuring out how and why Michael
Brown was killed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This community are all in mourning.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This tragedy has brought to the surface all that
devices that community of Ferguson.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve all been deeply troubled by this crisis.
BARACK OBAMA, CURRENT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Now is
the time for healing. Now is the time for peace and calm on the streets of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Six days of protest turned the suburban of Ferguson, Missouri into
a national symbol for police brutality and racism. Now, new questions are
Earlier today, local police identified the officer who on Saturday shot and
killed unarmed 18-year-old African-American teenager Michael Brown.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF THOMAS JACKSON, FERGUSON, MO: The officer that was involved in the
shooting of Michael Brown was Darren Wilson. He`s been a police officer
for six years, has had no disciplinary action taken against him. He was
treated for injuries which occurred on Saturday. Again, I won`t be taking
any questions at this time but the packets will be handed out by my
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Those packets Chief Jackson referred are 16 pages of documents
detailing the robbery allegedly committed by Michael Brown which occurred
less than 15 minutes before he was fatally shot by Officer Darren Wilson.
According to the documents, Brown was the primary suspect in the robbery of
a Ferguson convenience store. Surveillance stills and video were also
Police say the footage shows Michael Brown and another suspect strong
arming a convenience store worker after allegedly stealing a box of mini-
cigars. But police did not release a picture of six-year police veteran
Darren Wilson who shot Michael Brown. They also did not release two
incident reports of the shooting itself. With those revelations, the
feeling among members of the community who`ve been demanding justice and
begging for transparency for nearly a week is changing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I figured it will be a whole lot different (inaudible)
took over. We`re seeing more progress. We`re getting a whole lot more
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s not as much tension but I feel great positive
for us that`s in the air. There`s a lot of hope.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was extremely excited, almost emotional to the
point of tears because the unity between the people regardless of the race,
everybody holding hands, lifting up their hands...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: There`s another big shift on the streets. Point person duties have
been handed over to Missouri Highway Patrol`s Captain Ronald Johnson.
Here`s what he said earlier today at the news conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPT. RONALD S. JOHNSON, MISSOURI STATE HIGHWAY PATROL: Last night was a
great night, it`s a great night. There were no calls for service, we did
not deploy tear gas, we do not have any roadblocks, we do not make any
arrests it was a good night.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: While the FBI has opened an investigation into the shooting,
lawyers for the family of the unarmed 18-year-old man are renewing their
calls for a fair investigation. They are calling today`s document release
a character assassination of their son following a brutal assassination of
this person in broad daylight. They released this statement through their
attorneys a short time ago.
"The prolonged release of the officer`s name and then the subsequent
alleged information regarding a robbery is the reason why the family and
the local community have such distrust for the local law enforcement
agencies. It is no way transparent to release the still photographs
alleged to be Michael Brown and refuse to release the photographs of the
officer that executed him."
Benjamin A. Crump attorney for Michael Brown`s family joins me now.
Attorney Crump, thank you for joining us, my friend.
BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL BROWN`S FAMILY: Thank you for having
me Dr. Dyson.
DYSON: Now, the family thinks that this timing is strategic to release
these photo montages and then the video of Michael Brown allegedly
committing a robbery through a strong arm in order to undermine and subvert
his reputation and to smear him posthumously so as to distract attention
away from the fact that the photographs of the police officer have not been
released. What is your thought about that?
CRUMP: Well, Dr. Dyson, the family was beyond outrage, they were very
upset to say the least. But I told them, you know, its just police 101 and
you`ve written about this before in your books. That they always try to
attack the victim, its character assassination and, you know, it`s trying
to distract you from the real issue. The real issue here is that this
young man was executed in broad daylight, I mean, there is no other way to
say it when you look at the trajectory of the bullets and how many times he
was shot and for what? Whatever transpired in that store, he put his hands
CRUMP: All of the witnesses say he put his hands up. That`s the universal
sign for surrendering and he kept shooting almost hardened criminals, Dr.
Dyson. In the history, once they put their hands up, we didn`t execute
them. Now it`s dumb (ph) to say not anybody, but he was executed on the
street and that`s what we got to get down to, not about trying to
assassinate his character.
DYSON: Well, earlier today, there was some confusion. Initially, people
assumed that the police chief was suggesting that there was a correlation
between the release of that videotape and the fact that the officer was
informed about the robbery and therefore saw him as a suspect but later on,
he clarified it and said, "No, there was no relationship between the two
that the police officer Darren Wilson did not know that Michael Brown was a
suspect in that robbery", does that an even more fuel to your fire to
suggest that we have to disentangled these two particular events and
suggest that this man is due process in the courts and also should not have
been executed as you claimed he was?
CRUMP: Absolutely. When you think about what was that release this
morning? You know, they release 15-pages report -- all about something
that has absolutely nothing to do with what everybody in Ferguson and
indeed everybody all across America want to know. There`s a colorblind
curiosity as to what happened to cause a police officer to shoot multiple
times at unarmed teenager in broad daylight.
Now, that`s the report we`re waiting for. To chief, we`re not want to have
you try to assassinate his character, to spin the mind and the resources,
we want the report as to what happened, the trajectory, the autopsy because
then, we can get you the crooks that matter and people can see of Michael
Brown`s family is going to get justice.
DYSON: Do you think images of the police officer should also be released?
CRUMP: You know, transparency is the key, and a lot of people are saying,
well, that was being (ph) transparent then they released stuff on Michael
Brown, but how does be a good will with the community who`s already
distressful, Dr. Dyson? Of local law enforcement, when they won`t release
a photograph of the man who executed Michael Brown but they tried to
release pictures of Michael Brown in the most threatening man and so forth.
And it`s just not fair to disseminate priceable (ph) information that is
for your benefit and not for due process for everybody.
DYSON: All right. All right, Attorney Benjamin Crump, thank you so much
for your time today.
CRUMP: Thank you for having me, Dr. Dyson.
DYSON: Joining me now by phone is Ron Johnson, captain of the Missouri
Highway Patrol. Captain Johnson, thank you for joining us.
JOHNSON: No problem.
DYSON: Your presence in Ferguson last night made a huge difference. Do
you think that`s a case and an argument in defense of community policing
because, you know, people were in this -- police people were in the street
walking with and marching with the protesters out there and you as
specially be very poignant when you suggested that you came from that
community, that, you know, you knew the restaurants, and you knew the
people there, that`s an argument, it seems to me for community policing.
JOHNSON: I believe community policing is definitely the key to our
relationships with our communities.
DYSON: And earlier today, you stepped away from the microphones to make
sure the community could hear the things that you were saying, because you
said something very important. You said, look after the media`s gone and
after all the cameras gone and everybody else, you and the people there
would still be there. Tell us what tone were you setting and what message
were you sending?
JOHNSON: I think the message that law enforcement is a part of the
community. We answer to everyone that lives in this community no matter
their age, or the gender, or the race. And I just want to make sure that
they understand and I believe in that, and that`s what will be the term
(ph) out here, in the days that I`m here and the days to come.
DYSON: Right. And you anticipate no trouble then tonight because the tone
has been shifted dramatically by your presence and the presence of others
JOHNSON: The tone was much better last night and the tone has changed a
little bit with the release of the video this morning. We`re working to
try to work through that and provide some understanding of what occurred
DYSON: And, you know, it`s important I think for people to understand that
when the police treat people like human beings and not like animals, they
respond in kind like human beings and not like animals. Is that an
important message that police departments across the nation needs to
understand? Yes, you must keep the peace for sure but you must also treat
people with the dignity and respect.
JOHNSON: I think dignity and respect are two great wards to describe how
we must treat all the citizens that we serve.
DYSON: Well, tell us about this, you`re obviously an African-American man.
You said this was not about black or white, and indeed it`s about right
versus wrong. But tell us as a black man from that community and a police
officer, there`s obviously some skepticism well-earned in the black
community toward the police and yet you are acting in a way that is
dignified and respectful of those people. Tell us about your understanding
of the skepticism that black people have toward the police and what we can
do to resolve it.
JOHNSON: Well, I think I talked about earlier the way that my parents
brought me up and raise me, the way that I think policing must be. And
that`s all I know and -- and so yesterday, my actions were based off of all
that I know and all that I`ve been. And I think that, we have to treat
people they way we want to be treated. And that has to continue and -- in
this community. If I was in another community that I wasn`t brought up and
raised in, my action would be the same.
DYSON: All right, Captain Ron Johnson, thank you so much for joining us
JOHNSON: Thank you.
DYSON: Now, let me bring in Karen Finney, MSNBC Political Analyst and
weekly columnist for The Hill, also Dr. Marcia Chatelain Assistant
Professor at Georgetown University. Karen, there are lot of jurisdictions
involved her. Captain Ron Johnson who we had just heard from with the
Highway Patrol, the Ferguson Police Department and the Saint Louis
Community Police, could the investigation get a bit crowdy by, you know, so
many hands so to speak involved?
KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: It could, but it shouldn`t. I
mean, I think as you were pointing earlier when you were talking to
Benjamin Crump. I mean, there are different pieces to what happened. I
mean, there is the one piece that relates to the video that was released
today and that robbery which, as you pointed out, that has nothing to do
with the shooting that took place just 15 minutes later on the street.
So, my hope would be and I think part of what you`re saying there is a
level of incompetence frankly from the police department. So I hope that
as the investigation proceeds, we will see much more clarity in terms of
separating out which -- what the issues are and -- sort of where the
various crime scenes are, and the investigations around each of those crime
scenes. So that we stay clear and focused on what the real issues are
DYSON: Right. So, Marcia is it possible the documents released today
could cause further community outrage or at least unrest or do you think it
will temp (ph) it down a bit because people at least getting a bit more
DR. MARCIA CHATELAIN, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Well, I think that there`s
been excellent leadership and new tone has been set by Captain Johnson.
So, I think that the real issue will be, people focusing on moving forward.
This distraction of the character assassination hasn`t worked because
people have been focused on the long-term struggle with the police, over
The underserved school that Michael Brown and other people in the community
have worked and lived and attended. And more than anything else I think
that there`s a real sense that this is the turning point and this is the
moment for Ferguson. So these documents are going to be taken in the
spirit that they were released.
DYSON: I want to ask you briefly and then Karen briefly, just very
briefly, what about the federal response to this, do you think something
needs to be done more to intervene?
CHATELAIN: Well, I think the Department of Justice has pledged some of its
resources to Ferguson. I have 100 percent in faith in Eric Holder that
he`ll take this seriously based on the things that he said in the past
about police brutality. I know that many believe that Obama`s message fell
And I think in a lot of ways it did because this is again not just about
Michael Brown, but it`s about the policies and the procedures that allow a
town like Ferguson to exist, the lack of proportional representation in
terms of race, the school system and the fact that the police believed that
they could actually get away with this.
DYSON: Right, Ms. Finney?
FINNEY: Well, look I think it`s very important in this instance, given
what we`ve seen in terms of, you know, Officer Johnson did a fantastic job
last night, helped to change the tone as you`ve pointed out. But we know
that the police department there has horribly mishandled this situation.
When you have, you know, reporters having tear gas thrown at them, you
know, protesters having tear gas thrown at them, such a militarized, you
know, state, if you will on the street.
In the aftermath of a situation like this, then the video released, I think
it shows the need for some oversight of this investigation because frankly,
I don`t think this police department is ready for prime time. I don`t
think that they quite are -- I don`t think they can be trusted in terms of
their competency. I`m not suggesting that they`re, you know, maliciously
trying to hide anything but they`ve just made bad decision after bad
decision after bad decision, and I think with a real tone deafness to the
reaction in the community and to the needs to sort of restore that sense of
trust in the community. So I think it`s certainly important that the...
DYSON: All right.
FINNEY: ...Department of Justice have some oversight at this point.
DYSON: All right, Karen Finney, Marcia Chatelain, thanks so much for your
FINNEY: Thank you.
DYSON: Coming up, American neighbors and neighborhoods turning to
militarize zones. Congressman Steve Cohen joins us to discuss.
And later, looking for more leadership in this time of crisis. The Rapid
Response Panel weights in. Keep it right here.
DYSON: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Relative calm in the town of
Ferguson, Missouri today is a stark contrast to the events over the past
few days. 18-year-old Michael Brown`s death after being shot by a police
has brought the issue of over-policing in America front and center.
Thursday, Congressman Steve Cohen, John Conyers, and Robert Scott demanded
action. In a letter to the judiciary committee, the congressman wrote,
"The use of overwhelming force by a police against unarmed citizens
requires our urgent attention. It is imperative the committee convene to
examine these issues as soon as possible".
There`s no doubt action needs to be taken. The tragedy of an unarmed teen
being shot by a police escalated into violence in the street. Rather than
police being there to protect and serve they`ve become armed for combat.
Police in Ferguson were armed with military-style assault rifles and
armored vehicles. These police don`t resemble anyone`s typical view of a
police officer. Officers in Ferguson look like they are straight off the
battlefield in Afghanistan. Citizens of Ferguson are taking notice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TYSON MANKER, FMR. U.S. MARINE: I didn`t go to Iraq to defend Iraqis to
come home and watch my neighbors get brutalized. Responding with tanks and
snipers to a peaceful protest is ridiculous and we`re showing solidarity.
There should be no tanks on U.S. streets. It`s absurd.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: These three senior Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee want
to hold hearing to examine the handling of the violence that erupted in
Ferguson. Congressman Steve Cohen of Tennessee joins me now. Congressman,
what response have you gotten so far to your call for a hearing on the
REP. STEVE COHEN, (D) TENNESSEE: Well, we haven`t got any response. We
sent our request to the Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte. And I`m not sure
if he`s available at the present time, but I hope that we will have a
hearing and just -- I think it`s important that we have hearing and
determine what the necessity is of military-type equipment being in the
hands of local police.
DYSON: Do you see this trending upward that is, this trend toward over
policing, is it something that`s getting on a worse trajectory?
COHEN: Well, it appears to and, you know, you never saw these type of
display before. Unless you were looking at something in the Ukraine or
maybe 20 somewhat years ago at Tiananmen Square and the way the Chinese
dealt with the unrest. You don`t see it America, and there`s not a need
for armored cars and MK47s and camouflage and all these who (ph) plot that
put people on certain state of mind that could have evolved into an even
more serious situation than it was already on the scene.
COHEN: I think the fact that the Missouri officials brought in the
National Guard and things have calmed down. The police exacerbated the
problem and bringing the force that they brought didn`t suit matters, they
worsen the matters.
DYSON: Yes, it was exacerbatory to be sure, Senator Claire McCaskill is
saying it`s time to reconsider tactics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL, (D) MISSOURI: After 9/11, in sometimes in knee jerk
fashion, we began equipping police departments with all kind 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Do you agree with Senator McCaskill?
COHEN: Oh I think we have to reexamine it. I mean, I can understand the
need possibly if there`s a terrorist threat and if there -- and there could
be a terrorist threat with people with high -- cartridge, ammunition and
weaponry. Where they might need to respond with some type of -- something
like that, although the National Guard will be called out, but not against
our own citizens and not against their own citizens when there is civil
unrest, civil protest. And even if they got to the point that they did it,
when they`re breaking some glass, that`s the reason to come with a amount
of force and appearance that was brought by the police in Ferguson.
DYSON: Thursday, Congressman John Lewis called for President Obama to
federalize the Missouri National Guard to take control of the streets, what
would that kind of action do?
COHEN: Well, I think we -- what the Missouri authorities did was
sufficient to calm the situation. I think that would have done it as well,
and I think shifting the Ferguson police out with their paramilitary style
equipment and bringing in the -- I believe that the government brought in
the National Guard or the State Troopers. But who you ever brought and
calm the situation it was effectively dealt with by the local authorities.
DYSON: And finally, shouldn`t there be more accountability for police
COHEN: Oh no question about it, they`re have been killings, particularly
of African-American males throughout this country. There was one in New
York, fairly unarmed man, a man in Los Angeles, again a fairly unarmed it`s
just that the young man wasn`t in Ferguson, Missouri. There`s a pattern,
and the pattern is disturbing. And the pattern is one of -- not looking at
young African-Americans and African-American males as being, people that
should get due process and get respect and get resort to deadly force and
not use it on just impulse.
DYSON: Representative Steve Cohen. Thanks for joining us tonight.
COHEN: You`re welcome, Michael.
DYSON: Coming up, Rand Paul weights in on the Mike Brown tragedy.
And later, Louie Gohmert`s case against what he calls undocumented
Democrats. The congressman lands in tonight`s pretenders. Stay tuned.
DYSON: We`ve got a lot of tough news today in the show, but I wanted to
share some very exciting news with you. Mo`ne Davis of Philadelphia just
threw a two-hitter game with no runs. She just propelled her team to the
next round in the Little League World Series. She`s one of two girls in
the series right now and the first girl to appear for United States team
I mean, this girl is throwing fire, if you would just -- for the difference
between Little League and Major League in terms of the pitcher`s mount and
it`s distance to home plate, she`s basically throwing at 90 miles per hour
fast ball, that is heat and fire, that`s by the blue Bob Gibson. That`s
some of the greatest Clayton Kershaw, that`s Verlander, that`s great
pitching. A little girl, yes, you think girls can`t do it? Girls been
throwing fire, son.
Stick around, the rapid response panel is next.
MORGAN BRENNAN, CNBC HOST: I`m Morgan Brennan with your CNBC Market Wrap.
Stocks close up from session lows. The Dow finishes down 50...
... in a day, the S&P ends about flat and the NASDAQ gains 11 points.
Consumers are a little less confident this month. The University of
Michigan sentiment index rose less than expected, and sell compared to last
month. Meanwhile, producer prices were little change in July and that
thanks to lower energy cost. And factory output increased for a sixth
straight month, that`s according to the Federal Reserve.
That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide.
DYSON: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Civil unrest broke out in Ferguson,
Missouri following the killing of an unarmed 18-year-old. Racial tension
surfaced immediately. Heavily-armed authorities lined up against
protesters who say that Michael Brown`s only crime was the color of his
skin. According to the most recent census data 76 percent of residents in
the suburbs are black, while most of the Ferguson in St. Louis County
Police are white.
A militarized police force posted against a predominantly black population
was not lost on the national audience. Politicians from both sides of the
else called the war zone environment in a U.S. city simply unacceptable.
Republican Senator Rand Paul penned an op-ed echoing his speech to the
urban league a month ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY: Our nation has come a long way since the
civil rights movement, but we must realize that race still plays a role in
the enforcement of the law Anyone who thinks that race does not still,
even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice is just not
paying close enough attention.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: The governor tapped Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway
Patrol who we heard from earlier today to take charge of policing in
Ferguson. He immediately emphasized respect as a necessity in the Police
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: I grew up here, and this is currently my community and home. And
therefore, it means a lot to me personally that we break this cycle of
violence, diffuse the tension, and build trust showing the utmost respect
for every interaction with every citizen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Johnson says he understands the frustration of the people because
he is of them, but what about our Commander-in-Chief. The Presidents
commentary on Ferguson cast neutrality that ignored the reality. Police
must protect and service, this is not a selective or subjective
responsibility. President Obama failed in his leadership to say what he
really knows and has lived a black man in America.
Mr. Obama, you know, this is deeper than Michael Brown. This is about the
constant harassment to which black people and brown people and others are
subject. This is about an unjust criminal justice system that continues to
demonize black boys and girls. This is about you understanding in your
body and skin, where you live existentially the plight and predicament of
black people who are being surveilled by, occupied by a police force that
refuses to acknowledge their fundamental humanity.
You are a constitutional scholar. You know that this nation has not done
just by its people and as the vox populi, as the voice the people, as the
person that we depend upon to tell the truth. In the two years you have
left you must relinquish your fear. You must stand up and tell the truth
as only you can do. You wrote one of the most brilliant biographies of
self autobiographical narratives and memoirs that told the truth about what
it means to confront a complicated black identity
We cannot let President Obama off the hook because we know he is capable of
pushing a larger and necessary dialogue of race injustice in this country.
Yes, you may take a hit but you take a hint when you talk about Iraq. You
take a hit when you talk about gay marriage. You take a hit when you talk
about what is happening in the environment. So please sir, stand up for
another section of the population, the very people from whom you emerged
and by whom you are represented across this nation.
You gave a press conference talking about Iraq and a people who were -- a
minority people under siege in a community. There was another one in
America under siege and you failed them, sir. I say this as your friend
and I love you in surrogate twice, but step up and be brave and courageous.
Joining me now is our rapid response panel, political commentator John
Fugelsang, and MSNBC contributor and director of Africana Studies at Leigh
High University James Peterson. Dr. Peterson here`s what President Obama
said about police confrontation in Ferguson at his press conference this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: There is never an excuse for violence against the police or for
those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting.
There is also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful
protests. Put simply, we all need to hold ourselves to a high standard,
particularly those of us in positions of authority.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: do you think President Obama is telling the whole story there?
JAMES PETERSON, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I wish he would have led that a little
bit differently because reality is the issue is not necessarily about what
the response was to Michael Brown`s murder. But Michael Brown`s murder
itself and what that`s indicative of. So, if he would have led with
there`s no excuse for these unjustifiable homicides that we`re seeing
occurring not just in Ferguson but we`re seeing it also this week in L.A.
Two weeks ago we saw it in New York with Eric Garner. There`s too much of
a pattern, the issue is both too volatile but also too poisonous for him
not to have led with that in terms of this. So, I wish that he could have
placed more emphasis on what the real issues is. To me the issue is
certainly not violence against police.
How could you expect that community to respond after what they have gone
through being terrorized by that murder and the leaving of that body in the
street for hours? How could you expect them to respond to the militarized
front that was setup in response to their peaceful protest?
PETERSON: Set up in anticipation of how they might respond. And so, I
think you`re right Doctor, the President missed the mark here. It would
have been to me, a much more bolder and much more assertive and much more
accurate statement to lead with what the issue at hand was. And the issue
at hand was -- is the murder of this young man. And for all we know, for
all the evidence even the most recent stuff, it still seems to me
DYSON: No doubt. John Fugelsang, we know in light of Dr. Peterson`s
analysis there. We know that the President is in a difficult position and
at the same time, you know, he feels that if he speaks about race he takes
a hit. But, you know, what is he stands to loose now with two years left
and the reality is that he`s got to make a mark in terms of his legacy in
regard to this central issue to America.
JOHN FUGELSANG, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR. Well he stands to loose the senate.
That`s what he stands to loose, and this equivocation on the President`s
part is all about the midterms. He is being very cautious and I am very
sympathetic to him. I`m trying to walk and chew gum mentally on this at
the same time. Just as its very difficult to be a policeman but very easy
to be police man who doesn`t shot unarmed black kids. The President finds
himself in a very, very precarious position where if he shows the outrage
we want to see, we know the limbo and hate machine will call him
unpresidential, an angry black man, and we already know that the right-
DYSON: They`re going to do that anyway.
FUGELSANG: They`re going to do it anyway and as for frustration we know
that their 23 percent is going to show up in vote. I`ve said before, we`ve
seen Obama the Vulcan. I want to see Obama the Han Solo. I want to see
the passion because it is one thing to be cautious in the name of not
damaging the Senate for the Democrats.
FUGELSANG: But I think passion and inspiring people turn a lot more voters
out and I wish that we would see that side of the man because he is very
capable of sticking up for righteous law enforcement while still sticking
it to the injustices that upset just as many white folks as minorities.
DYSON: Well that`s a great point. And Dr. Peterson to pick up on what
brother Fugelsang is saying here, because we don`t want the price of
admission to the club to be the denial of our participation as black
people, because we don`t have to have an either or. We don`t want to loose
the senate, but we don`t want to loose our dignity and respect because,
well beyond the senate`s election or laws of the election is the concrete
dignity that black people should at least be the recipients of. So, how
does the President balance a consideration of what Mr. Fugelsang said
there, but at the same time pay attention to the need to address some
serious issues with some of his citizens?
PETERSON: Well, I think passion or rather compassion is certainly called
for in these kinds situations. He showed us some of that when he spoke
publicly about the Trayvon Martin-Zimmerman situation. But I`m asking for
accuracy here though, Doc.
PETERSON: I think -- again, just more accurate to be speaking about what
the real challenge here is. And when you look at these cases and you look
at the frequency of these cases, the real challenge is not about us
American citizens trying to protest and resist powerful militarized police
The challenges are the biases in our criminal justice system, policies like
stop-and-frisk and the ways in which policing has somehow gone unchecked
and in a lot of ways out of control and resulting in the deaths of young
people of color, both men and women.
FUGELSANG: The (inaudible) present pipeline...
DYSON: Doctor -- right.
FUGELSANG: As we`re trying to talk about it right now. This is a
president who still hasn`t addressed mass incarceration, it`s a president
who still has never words prison industrial complex. And make no mistake,
this kind of violence we see is not the problem, poverty is the problem.
This violence is the symptom of this problem.
DYSON: Right. To both of you, Mr. Fugelsang and then Dr. Peterson. Jay
Nixon the Democratic Governor of Missouri has been castigated for keeping a
distance, almost being clinical from, you know, the scene of the crime so
to speak and not being connected to the people. Is President Obama, you
know, in one sense guilty of the same?
FUGELSANG: Well, this kind of -- this is the big rap on Democrats isn`t
it? That liberals have with some (ph) democratic leaders, and they`re like
Clark Kent without a phone booth, that we want to see them step up and take
a risk, because it`s when you take those kind of risks that you inspire
people to go to the polls. Playing it safe is not going to help you keep
The GOP`s 23 percent, they`re showing up. The Koch brothers will be
busting into the polls, and this guy has to get the other disaffected 77
percent of demoralized Americans to show up in the vote. And I think you
get a lot further without standing up for all Americans against police
brutality because this stuff happens to poor white folks too.
DYSON: Absolutely. Dr. Peterson, what are you thinking about?
PETERSON: Yes for Governor Nixon, I mean the stakes are very for him as a
Democratic governor of Missouri. Obviously he`s quite vulnerable
unfortunately anytime speak out against anything that`s even perceived as
law and order. It`s kind of death note for them as politicians, but I
would love to see our political leaders step outside of the political bus.
If you`re Governor Nixon, you`ve got to get on the ground. As others have
PETERSON: ... before, this is your Katrina, you got to be there. And the
reality is, that to me transcends you political office. When you state is
falling apart in that way. When citizens are being confronted by -- and
engaging a militarized police force over the death of a young black boy,
the reality is, is that politics has got to be set aside.
DYSON: Well, is it saying...
PETERSON: You got to intervene to the fray as a citizen and as leader.
DYSON: Very briefly, the same for President Obama?
PETERSON: The same goes for the president. Now, he doesn`t have to be
there on the spot, but he`s got to be accurate here and it`s got to be
beyond political interest, it really does.
DYSON: All right John Fugelsang, James Peterson thank you so much for your
FUGELSANG: Thank you Doctor.
PETERSON: Thanks Doc.
DYSON: Coming up, a new look on stop-and-frisk policies across the country
in the wake of the Michael Brown case. We`ll take a deeper look at what it
is really like to grow up as a young man of color in this society.
Keep it right here.
DYSON: In pretenders tonight, worried sick. Louie Gohmert, the Texas
congressman has pre registered all undocumented immigrants as voting
Democrats in his latest immigration tirade. He says the Obama
administration stops deportation for a reason.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LOUIE GOHMERT, (R) TEXAS: We need a message going back that, "Hey
we`re back. They sent us back". And that would stop it overnight. But
this administration doesn`t have the desire, doesn`t have the will to
actually stop it. Because they see people coming across as undocumented
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Never mind this administration`s deportation record. Louie Gohmert
isn`t hard pressed of facts. The congressman also cautioned that the
children fleeing violence in Central America carry Ebola.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOHMERT: So, they want to keep that surge of people coming in illegally,
even though it includes a big spike in other than Mexicans, OTM`s as we
call them. It includes a spike in people from countries where terrorism
abounds. We have people coming in from countries where Ebola is located.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Ha, don`t know much about geography huh, Louie Gohmert? He missed
the mark by an entire continent. The congressman says his reasoning isn`t
fear mongering. Ebola is contagious but it`s not coming from children in
South America. If Louie Gohmert thinks his ignorance isn`t as contagious
as Ebola, he can keep on pretending.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s a level of frustration and despair that comes
with seeing people, black and brown people being gunned down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That attack on him is attack on anyone. How can you
trust the police that smiles at you but will shoot your neighbor?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police brutality, police murder, police racism, it`s
just not going to be tolerated anymore.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We deserve to be protected by the police. Black men
do not deserve to be targeted and gunned down. Every time it happens, you
want to hope that it`s the last time, but then it`s not.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do I feel comfortable knowing the people who were
supposed to serve and protect are the same ones that are brutalizing you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Protesters across the country join
the residence of Ferguson, Missouri to express their frustration Thursday
over the police involved shooting death of Michael Brown. This latest
incident of police brutality has renewed the focus on law enforcement
policies that target African-American and minority men and women. One of
the most notable is the NYPD`s controversial stop-and-frisk policy.
The New York Time, Up, Dock (ph) series spoke with one man who said he was
stopped over 60 times before his 18th birthday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TYQUAN BREHON, TEEN, STOP-AND-FRISKED OVER 60 TIMES: When I was young I
used to be alive with my parents. So, they always told me you should a
lawyer. I use to play around and watch a lot of stuff like "Law & Order".
I love that show. That`s why I was so confused the first time it happened,
because I thought they you had to do something for them to actually stop
you, but after that I think that you`d do not need to stop.
Most of the times that I get stopped I`m walking down the block. They
never say this is why I`m stopping. When you`re young and you`re black, no
matter how you`d look you fit the description.
The cop car pulled over here. It was a patrol car and then two cops came
out, they lined us up against the wall and they started tying (ph) me down.
So I said why you`re stopping us? And then the cop looked at me, and he`s
like are you trying to be smart ass. He grabbed me off the wall and he`s
was like, "Oh, you were doing graffiti and then he put the cuffs on me.
So, when he turned me around and I`ve seen the wall I was like how am I
doing graffiti if it`s black and I have a pink highlight in my pocket.
I`ve been taken in a lot of times because if you`re stopping me I want to
know why and that`s when you can hear a change in their tone. They start
to get a little more aggressive. And they feel threatened. They were like
if you`re going to talk back we`re going to take you in. If you`re going
to ask question we`re going to take you in. I sit in the precinct for
like, I would say like eight, nine hours with a bunch of people you don`t
know. They put to cuffs already (inaudible) and it stings and you don`t
get a say.
All this time (inaudible) they just kept me there. (Inaudible) backdoor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Joining me now is New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams. Thank
you for joining us here tonight.
JUMAANE WILLIAMS, NEW YORK COUNCILAMAN: Thanks for having me.
DYSON: So, has the death of Michael Brown move the conversation at all on
WILLIAMS: I think the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Gardner
in Staten Island. And I want to give shootout to Debbie Rose my colleague
where they, doing a great job -- is at least bringing it to light. The
problem is, I think there are three things that we have to deal with in all
of this whether stop, question, and frisk, whether it`s broken windows
theory. Fundamentally, we have to acknowledge there`s a problem with the
way the police people, based on race and class.
We have to deal with discretion of officers and we have to deal with the
accountability which is basically nil when it comes to shooting unarmed
particularly black man. And if we don`t deal with those -- these things,
honestly, any theory you put on top of that is going to fall into
WILLIAMS: So, you know, we spend time fighting abuses of stop, question,
and frisk. Now people are dealing with broken widows too. But you do all
of that and if you don`t deal with the cultural shift that needs to happen,
that you can put the best police policy on top of that, we`re going to fall
into historical patterns, and I`m really hoping like in the 60s, the
television, the advent of television really showed us what was happening.
And now, with the advent of the cellphone video, I think the same think is
happening now. And I think it`s hard for people to ignore that race and
class is an issue here, and if you ignore it, it`s a problem. And I think
even in New York City there`s still a reluctance to say that. And if you
don`t validate people`s experience, how do you take the next step forward?
DYSON: That`s a very good point. Sherrilyn Ifill, who was the head of the
NAACP Legal and Defense Fund, suggested there`s a culture that we have to
deal with here, within that pervades police departments across America.
So, do you see a relation between that culture to which she refers and the
over policing of minority communities?
WILLIAMS: Oh, a hundred percent. And we, just throughout the nation`s
history have over policed black and brown communities. And we try to use
excuses to do so. But you look at, what broken windows so you go after,
and I don`t -- actually, the theory itself makes sense but again, it`s the
application. And so between 2008 and 2011, per year in Park Slope, let`s
say where you have 8, 9, 10, a year of people getting some municipal
bicycles (ph) primarily white neighborhood and (inaudible) the same time
period over 2,000.
You look at the marijuana arrest, where we know at least people use it the
same but black and brown people get at the most. I do know that -- if you
look at the heroine epidemic and the social response to that was police now
carry antidotes for heroine overdose.
WILLIAMS: And the way we do these things, it`s amazing and people act as
if it`s not race and it`s not class. If we don`t get to the core of this,
and we have to do a cultural shift no amount of retraining, no amount of
anything is going to deal with that.
We shouldn`t be afraid to do and say what we know is happening and can see
what`s happening. And until we do that, what`s the point? We call for new
commissions. We call for dismantling of theories. If we don`t get to the
heart of it, if we don`t validate people`s experience and say, we have done
WILLIAMS: We are now going to correct it. What do you expect to happen?
DYSON: So that`s interesting. So they carry antidotes for the heroine
because now, they treat those citizens as human beings.
DYSON: . who have an addiction as opposed to criminalizing them. Do you
think there`s an over criminalization of African-American and Latino people
-- that people don`t believe that there is any kind of possible way out of
-- them arrest? We find ourselves in -- and except for over policing?
WILLIAMS: So we, even with the violence model and I`ve said it before.
When the violence was a difficult collection (ph) of a -- elite (ph) that
time said, well, these people need jobs and need education. So all the
programs that came out was to give people jobs and education.
WILLIAMS: And when it happen to us, as Dr. Muhammad (ph) says (inaudible),
they said, the social elite said they`re victim to their own self
WILLIAMS: They`re killing each other, they`re animals and that same thing
didn`t happen here. So I`m happy to say that at least Mayor de Blasio took
a lot of the recommendations from the (inaudible) coach in but it`s often
real. And we`re actually moving that direction.
WILLIAMS: .when it comes to New York City which I`m excited about. And I
hope the nation watches what`s going on here. As a nation, if we don`t
acknowledge the truth we`re not going to be able to move forward.
DYSON: All right. Councilman Jumaane Williams, thanks so much for your
That`s the ED Show. I`m Michael Eric Dyson, in for Ed Schultz.
Politics Nation with Reverend Dr. Al Sharpton starts right now.
Good evening Rev.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2014 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Copyright 2014 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>