'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Monday, August 18th, 2014
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THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
August 18, 2014
Guest: Charlie Dooley, Anthony Gray, Lizz Brown
UNIDENTFIED MALE: When you`re looking down the scope of a gun,
shooting people, not having any compassion. We cannot go that way. If it
continues to go that way, people will continue to be incited.
So, we have to those types of collective conversations, be honest
with one another and respect one another if we truly want to move forward
with justice and equality.
CHRIS HAYES, "ALL IN" HOST: Community activist Paul Muhammad (ph),
Alderman Antonio French of St. Louis, thank you, gentlemen, both.
That`s it for this edition of "ALL IN" for now. We will be back live
from Ferguson at 11:00 p.m. Eastern.
THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Amazing work, my
friend. Well done.
Thanks to you at home for joining us tonight.
There`s a lot going on in the world right now from Iraq, to Ukraine,
Governor Perry got his arraignment date today for when he gets his mug shot
taken. We`ve got two new U.S. Senate candidates this weekend and may get
two more new ones tomorrow. We`re going to get to all of that in this hour
But we start, of course, in Ferguson, Missouri. President Obama
commented on the situation in Ferguson this afternoon. President back at
the White House for one day, in the middle of his Massachusetts vacation
which is otherwise already in progress. The president came back to the
White House last night. He spoke from the White House briefing room this
And he announced that Attorney General Eric Holder is going to be
personally going to Ferguson, Missouri, on Wednesday. The attorney general
will be meeting with U.S. -- the U.S. attorney`s office there and with
Justice Department prosecutors from the civil rights division who are
already there in Missouri as well.
He`ll also be meeting with some of the FBI agents who have been sent
into that community to carry out the federal investigation into the Michael
Brown shooting. More than 40 FBI agents are already on the ground in
Ferguson, Missouri. Apparently, they`re doing door-to-door canvassing of
the neighborhood in which the shooting happened, looking for eyewitnesses
and other information about what happened last Saturday when that young man
was killed by a Ferguson police officer.
Attorney General Holder released a statement tonight about his plans
to go to Ferguson. I have to say, the statement was very blunt in its
criticism of local officials for how they have dealt with some of this so
Quote, "The selective release of sensitive information that we have
seen in this case so far is troubling to me. No matter how others pursue
their own separate inquiries, the Justice Department is resolved to
preserve the integrity of its investigation. This is a critical step of
restoring trust between law enforcement and the community, not just in
Ferguson, but beyond." Troubling selective release of sensitive
At the same time we got that public statement from the attorney
general criticizing local authorities for selectively releasing sensitive
information, we also got a quote to "The New York Times" from an anonymous
federal law enforcement official, also criticizing local officials,
specifically criticizing the local police department in Ferguson, Missouri,
for their decision last week to release images and surveillance camera
footage and an 18-page incident report from a convenience store apparent
robbery, in which police said that Michael Brown was implicated.
Several hours after local police released that information, they
admitted that there was no indication that the convenience store incident
had anything whatsoever to do with police stopping Mike Brown on the street
and ultimately shooting him, but nevertheless, they put that stuff out
there. Without warning, a local police department decided they would
release that information about the convenience store. They released it on
Presumably in the hopes of making the shooting victim look like a bad
guy. This unnamed federal law enforcement official tells "The New York
Times" that the Justice Department specifically asked the Ferguson police
department to not release that footage from the convenience store. When
the Ferguson police department released that video on Friday, it, quote,
"occurred over the objection of federal authorities."
So, the Justice Department told the local police, don`t release that
footage. It`s not relevant. Just going to throw gas on the flames on this
town, which is already on fire. Don`t release it.
Local police released it, anyway. That was Friday.
And over the weekend, the Justice Department tells "The New York
Times," we told them not to release it and they did it, anyway.
And now, today, it has happened again or at least a different version
of it. Today, two unnamed sources who are, quote, "familiar with the
official county autopsy of Michael Brown", tell "The Washington Post" that
when 18-year-old Mike Brown was shot by police in Ferguson, he, "had
marijuana in his system."
And, again, there`s no immediately obvious reason why this would be
relevant to the question of why a police officer shot this young man. It
does, however, go some distance toward trying to make the victim in that
shooting seem bad.
And, again, this selective release of information presumably comes
from local authorities. This time, anonymously. Unnamed sources who are
familiar with the official county autopsy of Michael Brown.
So, they released the incident report on the convenience store
robbery and the surveillance camera footage and some particularly damning
still images from that convenience store incident. And they released the
full unredacted 18-page police incident report from that robbery. They
don`t release any incident report on the shooting.
And now with the autopsy, somebody has leaked the fact that there
allegedly was marijuana in this kid`s system. They can release that, but
they can`t release any information about, say, how many times he was shot.
After the county did its own autopsy from where we are apparently
getting the marijuana leak, the family made arrangements to have their own
hired experts do another autopsy. The results of that private autopsy were
released formally this morning at this press conference, but the bottom-
line conclusion of that autopsy that Mike Brown was reportedly shot six
times, that information was first posted online by "The New York Times" at
about 11:00 p.m. Eastern, 10:00 local time last night.
And that was around the time that last night`s protests on the
streets of Ferguson turned into the worst night of clashes yet in terms of
violence and what police described as the threat level on the streets.
Last night was the third straight night of police shooting tear gas
canisters into the protests in Ferguson. But last night is the first time
police have said there were multiple guns on the scene and multiple shots
fired, including multiple shots fired at police.
The one night that has been relatively peaceful thus far, I mean,
rowdy and loud but peaceful in Ferguson, since the shooting of Michael
Brown, one night that has been not marked by violence or by massive
militarized police presence was Thursday night. That was the first night
that Missouri Highway Patrol under Captain Ronald Johnson was put in charge
of policing the protests.
Thursday night was the night that police pulled back from -- pulled
back to the perimeter. They got out of their SWAT gear and their armored
vehicles. Senior police officials marched with protesters that night.
There was not a single roadblock, not a single arrest, not a single tear
gas canister fired. That was Thursday.
But then, Friday, the local police released that convenience store
footage and Friday night and every night since then, it`s been back to a
much, much scarier scene after dark.
Saturday, that state police captain, Ron Johnson, and Governor Jay
Nixon stood together to announce Ferguson was being put under a state of
emergency, a curfew was being imposed. Again, this was Saturday after a
bad night on Friday night. And a sign that imposing that curfew, and
imposing that state of emergency was not going to dial things down, that
was pretty immediate right then and there at the press conference when they
were announcing it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD MEMBER: Are you going to do tear gas again? Are you bringing
back military force? How are you planning to enforce this curfew?
GOV. JAY NIXON (D), MISSOURI: The best way for any --
CROWD MEMBER: Captain Johnson?
NIXON: We`ll hear from him. We`ll hear from him.
NIXON: The best way for us to get peace is for everybody to help to
make sure that everybody gets home safe tonight at 12:00 and gets a good
solid five hours` sleep before they get up tomorrow morning and that we`re
going to -- the captain --
CROWD MEMBER: Sleep is not an option, Governor Nixon. We want
CROWD MEMBER: Why is the focus on security and not getting justice?
CROWD MEMBER: If Mike Brown had shot a cop, he would be in jail. We
CROWD MEMBER: Why was the police officer --
NIXON: If we want justice -- for those that --
NIXON: I`ll let you -- just a second. I`ll let you yell at me next.
If we want --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One question at a time, please.
CROWD MEMBER: All right, bro.
NIXON: If we want justice, we cannot be distracted. We must be
focused on making sure that people are allowed their First Amendment
rights, but we do so in a peaceful fashion. We cannot have looting and
crimes at night. We can`t have people fearful --
CROWD MEMBER: We can`t have police officers killing people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was Saturday afternoon, announcing state of emergency
and a curfew from midnight to 5:00 a.m. After a bad night of violence on
Friday night, they announced that state of emergency and curfew on
On Saturday night, this is what it looked like as they tried to
enforce that curfew. Again, there are lots of peaceful protests, lots of
peaceful protesters, lots of actually civil disobedience. But then also
violence and a police stance that did look more military than anything
else. That was Saturday night. That was the first night of the curfew.
Then, this was Sunday night. This was last night. Second night of
Again, last night considered to be probably the worst night that has
happened thus far. At around 1:15 in the morning, so early this morning,
really late last night, 1 1:15 a.m. local time, in the middle of a terrible
night during which a dozen people were injured, police say multiple shots
were fired, at one point the employees of a local McDonald`s barricaded
themselves inside their store in the storage room because they feared for
their own safety as people overran the restaurant.
After that very difficult night last night, at about a quarter after
1:00 in the morning, Captain Ron Johnson gave this press conference in
which he summarized over what happened in the course of the night and
police had to take additional security measures to try to restore order.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP
CAPT. RON JOHNSON, MISSOURI STATE HIGHWAY PATROL: Chief Sam Dotson
of the St. Louis City Police Department and I have been in discussion with
Governor Jay Nixon and Colonel Replogle who were at the highway patrol
headquarters in Jefferson City. We are planning additional steps to quiet
the violence. We are all determined to restore peace and safety to the
people of Ferguson, and I believe the continued resolve of a good people of
this community will ultimately triumph over the few people bent on violence
Have time to take a few questions before I return to operational
REPORTER: How many people have been injured? How many people --
JOHNSON: We had at least, I believe at least three people. We had a
couple shooting victims. So I think two or three people have been injured.
REPORTER: Any officers injured? Were those random shootings or were
JOHNSON: Yes, those shootings, we were responding to those
shootings. Those shootings that occurred on the field had nothing to do
with law enforcement. It was between people that were actually out on the
REPORTER: They weren`t domestic shootings?
JOHNSON: No, they were people out on Florissant.
REPORTER: Did the crowd try to take the command center (INAUDIBLE)
JOHNSON: There were no officers injured.
REPORTER: Sir, you mentioned additional steps. Can you tell us
what additional steps --
JOHNSON: We are going to go back and do some operational planning to
determine what that will be.
REPORTER: Does that mean you`re calling the National Guard in?
JOHNSON: No. At this point, we`re taking additional steps and we
will evaluate our resources.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: So, you can see the exhaustion there, and the frustration.
That was 1:15 a.m. local time this morning.
Captain Johnson saying, yes, more needs to be done by police to keep
order on the streets. We`re going to do additional operational planning.
We need to step this up somehow, this is not safe enough. But he said
explicitly this will not involve the National Guard.
That was 1:15 a.m. at 2:00 a.m., Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri
announced that he was, in fact, calling out the National Guard.
Governor explaining in a statement today that they would not be
imposing the curfew for the third night tonight, but the National Guard
would be called out. The National Guard would be deployed specifically to
protect the facility that the police are using as their operational
headquarters on the scene.
So, in this evolving, frustrating, ever-changing, chaotic, sometimes
self-contradictory array of tactics by law enforcement you`ve had just
since we were last on the air talking about this, you`ve had the curfew
declared, an announcement they would not use tear gas to enforce the
curfew, then they did use tear gas to impose the curfew. Then they said it
would not do more but would not include the National Guard. Now it does
include the National Guard, but they are not doing the curfew.
And then something new today during daylight hours today in Fergusons
as Chris Hayes has been reporting, police informing people out on the
street in what has become the protest zone that they would not be allowed
to protest while standing still. There would be no congregating allowed.
People were told by police today on the street that they would not --
police would not be allowing any static protests, meaning protests in which
people hold still.
That restriction was not a crimp on the style of this protest march
today. A march from St. Louis` Keener Plaza to the state office building a
few blocks away where protesters demanded to be let into the building to
meet with state officials. The protesters were not let into that state
office building. They ended up sitting down at the entrance, some of them,
and there were eight arrests at this protest march today in St. Louis,
including a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor, a woman named Hedy Epstein.
We also learned just hours ago from photographer for "Getty" images,
Scott Olson, who`s taken the most iconic images of the protest movement so
far, he was arrested in Ferguson at the end of the day today. He`s been on
assignment in Ferguson, captured some of the images that have been most
widely distributed of all, including this one from last night.
Here`s Mr. Olson explaining in an Instagram video why he was arrested
as he was being arrested.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT OLSON, GETTY: I`m being arrested because they said --
POLICE: Keep moving.
OLSON: -- the media is required to be in a certain area.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: So that is the chaotic process by which we got to where we
are right now. The president addressing the situation directly from the
White House today. The attorney general due to arrive the day after
tomorrow, yet more selective leaking designed to make Mike Brown look bad,
apparently from local authorities, a day of evolving standards on protests
and policing. No apparent diminishment in anger or people`s willingness to
demonstrate their anger.
And right now, it is 81 degrees and not raining in Ferguson,
Missouri. This is the scene right now in downtown Ferguson, where things
are definitely still in motion. No curfew is being imposed, but nobody
quite knows what`s going to happen tonight.
Joining us now is Charlie Dooley. He`s county executive for St.
Louis County, Missouri. He`s asked the Missouri general to remove the
county prosecuting attorney from the investigation into the shooting death
of Michael Brown.
Mr. Dooley, thank you very much for your time tonight. Thanks for
being with us.
CHARLIE DOOLEY, ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO. EXECUTIVE: Thanks for having
MADDOW: Let me ask you, first, about the decision to call out the
National Guard. The decision by the governor to suspend the curfew that
was at least nominally in effect on Saturday night and Sunday night.
What`s your opinion about the current standards by which these protests are
DOOLEY: Well, again, the National Guard is supposed to securing the
command center. That`s all they`re doing. They`ll free up the police
officers to be in the street to help keep peace and to work with protesters
and make sure they can assemble in a peaceful manner?
MADDOW: In terms of the curfew and in terms of different styles of
policing that we have seen over the past few nights, obviously, Thursday
night seems to have been the high water mark in terms of people peacefully
protesting without too much disruption and certainly without violence.
Are you hopeful that the community can get back to that sort of a
state, or do you think this is going to be a tenser, more difficult
confrontation, essentially going forward?
DOOLEY: I`m hopeful that we`ll get back to some kind of normalcy. I
understand the curfew had some issue with that. It did not do what we
wanted it to do. The outcome was not successful.
So, I guess that the thing the governor indicated was that he would
drop the curfew and work with that and bring in the National Guard to
secure the command center, to free up policemen to be out there where the
protesters are going, to make sure that they`re safe but also to make sure
that those that are disturbing the community, the bad element, that they
are arrested and pursued.
MADDOW: Why have you asked that the county prosecutes attorney, Bob
McCulloch, either recuse himself or be removed from the investigation? Why
do you think he`s not the appropriate prosecutor to look into this
DOOLEY: Well, his past has been suspect to the African-American
community, quite frankly. There`s been a Tyrone Thompson, about four years
ago. There`s no conclusion to that situation. There`s an Antoinette
Green. That situation, and the Jackson Box (ph) issue.
The things he`s said about the governor about this incident, some of
the leakage, some of the video leakage, all of those things are suspect. I
believe that the African-American community has said they have no
confidence in the prosecuting attorney, prosecuting this case. If that`s
what they feel, then he`s a part of the problem, and he is not part of the
MADDOW: The federal resources brought to bear, President Obama
announced today that the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is coming to
Ferguson on Wednesday. The Justice Department already opened its own
investigation. FBI agents are on the ground canvassing for an independent
Do you feel like federal authorities coming into this is essentially
a better direction or is this something that can exist alongside an
appropriate local investigation?
DOOLEY: I think this is the right thing to do. Again, there`s a
strained relationship between the authorities at this point in time. If
that`s not going to get the job done, we need to do something different.
I applaud the president and Eric Holder. Send in more FBI agents in
there to do the criminal investigation. That is an objective. They`re an
outside party. It gives it validity. It gives it a commitment of
transparency, which we have not had at this point.
MADDOW: Charlie Dooley, county executive, St. Louis County, Missouri
-- I know this is a very busy time for you, sir. Thanks for talking with
us. I appreciate it.
DOOLEY: Thank you.
MADDOW: All right. We`ve got lots more ahead, from Ferguson, and
elsewhere. Including a steep escalation of the federal government`s
involvement in this case which President Obama outlined today.
We`re also going to be speaking live with Anthony Gray, an attorney
for Michael Brown`s family.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: These are live images from downtown Ferguson, Missouri,
right now, where, again, there is no curfew in effect tonight as there was
Saturday night and Sunday night. But police are blocking all private
vehicles from West Florissant from the main drag downtown where protests
Again, the National Guard has been called out today. The guard is
primarily, I guess, defending would be the right word, the police operation
center which police said was threatened by protesters over the course of
We`re watching this unfold tonight. It`s about 80 degrees and it`s
not raining for the first night in a few nights in downtown Ferguson.
We`re going to speak with an attorney for Michael Brown`s family, coming up
Stay with us.
MADDOW: The last time that Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri deployed
the National Guard within his state was last year, when the Mississippi
River flooded all up and down the length of that great state. It happened
in April. It happened again in August.
And when the governor called up the guard, they deployed to rive
riverbank towns along the Mississippi and basically sandbagged until the
cows came home. They built sandbag levies thousands of feet long. The
guard was basically the skilled manual labor the state called on in bulk to
hold off the rise of the river.
The governor said at the time, quote, "We pick flood fights where we
can win them and this is certainly a flood fight we are going to win."
Well, today, tonight, the National Guard has been called out again in
Missouri and this time, the flood fight is the flood of emotion and anger
after the police killing of an unarmed black teenager last weekend, and
after the policing of the protests on the street of Ferguson has turned
into a nightmare.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I spoke to Jay Nixon
about this, expressed an interest in making sure that if, in fact, a
National Guard is used, it used in a limited and appropriate way. He
described the support role that they`re going to be providing to local law
enforcement, and I`ll be watching over the next several days to assess
whether, in fact, it`s helping rather than hindering progress in Ferguson.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: President Obama speaking today from the White House. This
started obviously as a local tragedy, a local crisis, but it is now not
just a national story, it is a federal one.
President Obama in making those remarks today, he announced Attorney
General Eric Holder will be personally in Ferguson on Wednesday. General
Holder will be meeting with the federal prosecutor`s office in Missouri and
also with Justice Department officials from the community policing office
and also from the civil rights division who have gone to Ferguson already.
The independent federal investigation of Michael Brown`s killing also
includes several dozen FBI agents on the ground there already.
And it includes the Justice Department doing its own federal autopsy
of Michael Brown`s body. That federal autopsy reportedly took place today.
That comes after the county did its autopsy and after the family arranged
for its own additional autopsy. So, the federal one will be the third one.
For those who do not trust local authorities in a case like this, is
it reassuring to have the federal Justice Department engaged in the way
they are engaged? And after the shock of so much military-style policing
of the protest in Ferguson, will it help matters or hurt matters to have
the actual military, the National Guard, on the scene at the police command
post in Ferguson? Thus removing all euphemism from the ongoing sense that
this has looked like a war zone out there.
Joining us now is Anthony Gray. He`s an attorney for the family of
Mr. Gray, thank you for joining us tonight. It`s nice to have you
ANTHONY GRAY, ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL BROWN`S FAMILY: Thank you for
having me, Rachel. It`s nice to be back.
Well, today, the results of the autopsy that was performed at the
request of the family was released. Why did the family want to do their --
want to have their own autopsy done? And what to you make of the federal
decision to do even an additional autopsy, so there will be three all
GRAY: Well, I think at the end of the day, each individual that`s
responsible in some way, or some aspects, in looking at this case, my firm
along with Ben Crump and Daryl Parks, as well as the federal government,
want to have information that they can direct, that they can trust, coming
from sources that they trust and information they can put their fingertips
on. And so, from that standpoint, I can understand why you have three
MADDOW: In terms of the family and how they`re doing, we`re now nine
days into this, nine days since Mr. Brown was killed. How is the family
holding up? And how -- I guess how are they coping? What`s their strategy
as a family to try to hold it together with so much attention and so much
pressure amid their grief?
GRAY: Sure. Sure.
Well, I don`t know how you prepare for this. I don`t know what class
you can take to cope with something like this.
And I can just tell you this, Rachel, from the very first day that
this happened, it`s been overwhelming and shocking for this family. They
have not buried their child. He has not been laid to rest yet, and so, all
of the emotions are still there from that initial day, and that initial
And so, all of what you`re seeing in the aftermath of that is just
compounding what you would have in the ordinary course of losing a loved
one, under the circumstances that we face right now.
MADDOW: When the president announced today that not only is there
this independent federal investigation, but Attorney General Eric Holder
will personally be coming to Ferguson on Wednesday to meet with federal
investigators, dozens of FBI agents already in Ferguson. We`re seeing a
very intense level of federal engagement, including the president having
spoken on this issue multiple times, I have to ask if that -- with the
concerns that you`ve expressed and the family has expressed about local
authorities being able to handle this in a just way, is that comforting to
see the federal government involved? And are they doing what the family
wants them to do?
GRAY: Well, not necessarily. We don`t know if they`re doing what
the family wants them to do because we don`t know what they`re doing. The
federal government is being left to their own devices.
I can tell you this, there`s a sense of comfort, there`s a sense of
encouragement that the family receives in knowing that the federal
government is involved and it`s pretty much conducting its own
investigation. To the extent that it provides those kind of intangibles to
the family is very welcoming.
MADDOW: In terms of the family`s opinion about how this is being
handled, I have to ask you about the decision to call up the National
Guard. National Guard is not directly on the streets, as I understand it.
They`re at the police operation center.
You spoke very eloquently here with us on Friday night about the need
to stay peaceful and dignified and to do honor to Michael Brown`s memory by
protesting this in a way that was civil and constructive. I have to get
your reaction to the deployment of the guard here.
GRAY: Well, Rachel, I can tell you this. I don`t want to criticize
those that are in operational control. I think that Ferguson has been made
out to be a laboratory in terms of the experiments that are happening with
security. I have to respect those that see that what didn`t work
yesterday, we need to change it and do something today differently.
And, you know, because we have not had this kind of behavior in the
past, and St. Louis is relatively -- I said I can`t recall a time in my
lifetime where we`ve had mass looting and rioting in the way you`ve seen
the last several days. So, what I envision law enforcement doing is
adjusting their approach as the situation changes.
So, today, we had a National Guard here. They`re going to play their
role. We`ll see how it works. If it doesn`t work out well, I`m sure that
those that are in control will go back to the drawing board and make
adjustments based on the current security needs.
MADDOW: Anthony Gray, attorney for the family of Michael Brown,
thank you for joining us tonight, sir. I appreciate you being here. Thank
GRAY: Thank you for having me again, Rachel. It`s always good to
talk to you.
All right. Since this story began, some of the most effective agents
of calm in Ferguson have turned out to be the protesters, themselves, and
some of that kind of amazing detail is ahead.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: If you have been watching MSNBC at all over the last week or
so, you`ll know that my colleague, Chris Hayes, has been doing some
incredible reporting from on the ground in Ferguson, Missouri. Chris has
been there since last Thursday. Chris has not only been anchoring his own
show at 8:00 Eastern, he`s also been providing invaluable reporting and
coverage for the whole network.
I want to show you one piece of reporting that Chris did last night
that was kind of amazing. This was the scene last night while Chris was
reporting live on the air for MSNBC. This is about two hours before last
night`s midnight curfew was set to go into effect. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, "ALL IN" HOST: There`s a, what looks like kind of a
SWAT team standing out into the darkness outside the QT between a dumpster
fire which has been set right near the QT into what`s become the infamous
gas station where things went down the first night. That, of course, the
QT where people had rumored that he`d been accused of --
POLICE: Get behind us!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s that?
POLICE: Do not pass us!
HAYES: Getting barked at by the cops not to pass them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you hold your phone up so we can hear that
a little better?
HAYES: He just said to me on air, media, do not pass us, you`re
getting maced next time you pass us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re threatening to mace you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Had a lot of conversations with Chris Hayes, they`ve never
included the phrase "they`re threatening to mace you."
That was around 10:00 local time last night as police were trying to
keep a lid on things just before that midnight curfew went into effect.
There is no such midnight curfew in place in Ferguson tonight.
In terms of our ongoing coverage tonight, you should know that Chris
Hayes will be back live at 11:00 Eastern tonight for a brand new edition of
his show, live from the streets of downtown Ferguson for that hour. So,
plan to stay up.
And we`ll be right back.
MADDOW: This is the scene in Ferguson, Missouri, tonight, as the
governor of Missouri has called off the midnight to 5:00 a.m. curfew that
was imposed last night and the night before, but he has called out the
National Guard to protect the police operation center on the scene,
apparently with a mind toward there by freeing up more police to be out
among the protesters, trying to keep the peace tonight.
The highway patrol captain who`s at least not only in charge of
policing the streets of Ferguson to allow protests, Missouri Highway Patrol
Captain Ron Johnson, he and his officers, frankly, have not been able to
keep the peace over the past three nights. In the same way that they were
able to on Thursday night.
But Captain Johnson has still been able personally to at least speak
to the situation on the ground, and the feelings of the community and the
protesters in a way that seems to strike a nerve whenever he does it
publicly, striking a nerve, I mean that in a good way.
Yesterday afternoon, Captain Johnson spoke at the greater grace
church before a large crowd and he started with a landmark apology, maybe
the first one yet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPT. RON JOHNSON, MISSOURI HIGHWAY PATROL: Good evening.
CROWD: Good evening.
JOHNSON: I want to start off by talking to Mike Brown`s family. And
I want you to know my heart goes out to you. And I say that I`m sorry. I
wear this uniform, and I should stand up here and say that I`m sorry.
This is my neighborhood. You are my family. You are my friends.
And I am you.
And I will stand and protect you. I will protect your right to
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
And I`m telling you right now, I`m full right now. I came in here
today and I saw people cheering and people clapping, and this is what the
media needs to put on TV.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
Because when this is over, I`m going to go in my son`s room, my black
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
Who wears his pants sagging, who wears his hat cocked to the side,
got tattoos on his arms, but that`s my baby.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
We need to pray. We need to thank Mike for his life. We need to
thank him for the change that he is going to make and to make us better.
I love you. I stand tall with you. And I`ll see you out there.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: I can hear the kind of reception that he got. That was
Captain Ron Johnson speaking last night in Ferguson, and as well-received
as those remarks were in that church, after those remarks, last night was a
terrible night on the streets. They say it was the worst yet. But for
every night when we have reported violence, violent police tactics,
violence between protesters, violence between police and protesters,
looting -- for all of that, there are these days, these mornings when local
folks come out to clean up, to try to make it right, to try to be
And that has happened over and over and over again. Although that is
a much lo lower-profile thing than when the looting happens under those
klieg lights and the tear gas canisters flying.
And sometimes the looting doesn`t happen, it`s because the protesters
themselves are stopping the looting from happening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re protecting our community, the store,
everything, let everyone know that everyone out here is not criminals.
Everyone out here came to peacefully -- that`s what we`re standing for
right now. I don`t know if -- only one guy behind me I know. The rest of
the guys I don`t know. We came out here and stopped the looting as quickly
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Again, tonight in Missouri police are not imposing the
midnight to 5 a.m. curfew of the last two nights.
But there was an effort by folks who want do be seen as leaders on
the ground, whether or not they are -- there was an effort at the press
conference to ask people, ask protesters to please not protest after dark,
not just tonight but for the next five nights.
Who has the credibility, locally, to make that kind of ask in this
community right now? Who had that kind of credibility coming into this
crisis, and who is earning that kind of credibility by being a leader, by
being a trustworthy leader on day nine of this crisis and presumably
heading into day 10?
Joining us now is Lizz Brown. She`s an attorney and columnist for
"The St. Louis American."
Ms. Brown, thank you very much for being with us. It`s nice to see
LIZZ BROWN, ST. LOUIS AMERICAN COLUMNIST: Thank you for having me
MADDOW: So, who would you say is the leadership, the trusted
leaders, the trusted institutions, in this community at a time when
leadership seems like it`s sorely need?
BROWN: I think that we have to start the conversation with the
observation that prior to what has happened in Ferguson, there`s been a
leadership void. There has been a leadership void politically. We have
one African-American elected official in the Ferguson area.
There`s been a political void with respect to organizations reaching
out and connecting with young people. There`s been a political void in the
sense that citizens have pulled themselves out of the political process.
So, there`s a void for leadership in this community. And I think
that some of the things that we`re seeing on the ground right now is a
reflection of the fact that there is a void.
And then what happens when you have a void? Well, you have some
people that may want to jump in and fill the void and the question becomes,
should those be the people that are jumping in to address this? Have they
earned the credibility? Have they made the connection? Have they worked
collaboratively with any other organizations?
Those are the questions that we have to ask before we even deem
anyone a leader or a non-leader.
MADDOW: And over the course of these nine days, have you seen
anything productive toward building trusted leadership? I mean, rather
than people just leaping into the void and declaring themselves in charge?
Or declaring themselves an inspiration? Have you seen anything
constructive and ground up and real in terms of people eventually earning
their way into positions of trust?
BROWN: Well, one of the things that I`ve seen, there`s a person that
I have worked with in the past who has stepped quietly in to begin to
organize young people. He`s brought together about 60 or 70 young people
who came to him withes we of what do we do?
And this person`s expertise is political. He`s a community
organizer. What he has done is he`s managed to begin to train these young
people and as of today, all 60 of those young people, before this event
they were not registered to vote.
But as of today, they are registered to vote and they`re coming
together to try to figure out a plan moving forward, because they`re being
taught that. It matters that you -- whether or not you engage yourself
politically. You have to have control of your political world.
I submit to you, Rachel, that have there been active and engaged
political activity within this community, we wouldn`t be where we are right
MADDOW: It`s been inspiring to see ordinary people putting
themselves between looters and local shops or coming out to clean up the
streets the next day. Is that all ad hoc at this point? Is that a
potential building block as the community is trying to move to sort of a
more lasting peace and a more integrated sense of taking care of their own
-- taking care of themselves as a community?
BROWN: Well, I think that that serves more to let the world know who
Ferguson is. What the citizens of Ferguson are. They`re a community.
They care about their community. That`s almost an instinctual thing. I
don`t know it`s a building thing in as much as showing the world what we do
when we`re challenged like this.
MADDOW: Lizz Brown, attorney and columnist for "The St. Louis
American", who`s been talking about these issues of leadership and context
in a way that`s been really important from the very beginning.
It`s great to have you here, Lizz. Thank you very much.
BROWN: Thank you, again, Rachel, for having me.
MADDOW: All right. Appreciate it.
All right. We`ve got some more from Ferguson ahead, but we`ve also
got some of the day`s other big news and we`ll be right back with that.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: This is live video you`re looking at here. We`re going to
have the latest coming up from Ferguson, Missouri, which as of tonight
importantly is a city without a state-enforced curfew. The National Guard
has been called out. We`ll have more live from Ferguson in just a moment.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: Today, even though he is still in the middle of his
vacation, President Obama was back at the White House for a day. The
president gave those highly anticipated remarks about the situation in
Ferguson this afternoon.
But before he did that, he spoke at length on the situation in Iraq.
Earlier in the day today, the Pentagon had announced there had been another
15 U.S. airstrikes around the largest dam in Iraq, which Kurdish forces
have been trying to retake from the Sunni militant group is.
President Obama this afternoon announced those operations were
successful. And Iraqi and Kurdish forces were able to retake this
incredibly, strategically important, and huge site from the militant group.
Congress for its part has shown no signs of wanting to weigh in at
all on what`s now looking like a long and extensive new military operation
But with nearly 900 U.S. troops there, the president today announced
at least that strategic victory at the dam in Mosul.
With all eyes on the continuing situation in Ferguson, particularly
every night as the sun goes down and the country turns its eyes to Missouri
to figure out if the protests are going to continue there another day,
there is some other news that would be front-page stuff if it weren`t
getting crowded out by this other major story.
Among other things to keep an eye on are U.S. Senate races. Friday
the last two precincts in Hawaii that had not voted in the Democratic
senate primary, those last two precincts were allowed to hold their own
mini election in which they chose incumbent Senator Brian Schatz as the
Democratic nominee to run for re-election for that Senate seat. Mr. Schatz
is heavily favored to win that race in November, if only because Hawaii is
such a blue state.
On Saturday, Democrats in Montana picked their replacement for
incumbent Senator John Walsh, who dropped out in a plagiarism scandal. In
somewhat of a surprise move, Montana Democrats picked a 34-year-old first-
term state senator named Amanda Curtis. She`s going to have what looked
like it will be an uphill race to try to win that Senate seat but it will
probably be a fun one, running against conservative Republican Congressman
And we also got news today about when we might see Governor Rick
Perry in court. Governor Rick Perry of Texas late in the day Friday hit
with a two-count felony indictment on abuse of power charges. The governor
has been defiant in response. He says these were partisan charges.
He went on "FOX News Sunday" this weekend and blamed -- President
Obama? Sure, why not. Even though this is a state matter, has nothing to
do with the federal government at all.
Governor Perry announced today he hired Ben Ginsburg, Republican
lawyer to the stars, to mount his defense in this case. A state judge in
Texas announced today that Governor Perry will be officially arraigned this
Friday, August 22nd.
It`s not yet clear when Rick Perry will be booked which will mean
fingerprints and a mug shot, but he is going to be arraigned in court this
Friday. Set your Google alert now.
I`ll be right back.
MADDOW: These are live pictures from the ninth straight day of
protests in Ferguson, Missouri. Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri state
highway patrol was asked how he thinks things are going tonight on the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Are you satisfied how things are going so far?
JOHNSON: I am, I am. I think everybody`s getting their freedoms.
They`re able to voice their opinion.
REPORTER: How confident are you it`s going to stay this way as we go
through the evening?
JOHNSON: We`re going to do everything we can to make sure it stays
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol
explaining how he thinks things are going tonight. Again, there`s no
curfew tonight in Ferguson, the way there was the last two nights.
But this is the scene live right now in Ferguson. MSNBC is going to
have continuing coverage of day nine of these protests throughout the night
That does it for us now.
It`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL".
Good evening, Lawrence.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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