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PoliticsNation, Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

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August 19, 2014

Guest: Lisa Bloom, Paul Henderson, Courtney Allen Curtis; Jef Poe>

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you
for tuning in.

Breaking news tonight, a new phase of the investigation into Michael
Brown`s death begins. According to "the Washington Post," St. Louis county
prosecuting attorney Bob McCulloch plans to present evidence to a grand
jury tomorrow to consider charges against officer Darren Wilson who shot
Michael Brown last Saturday.

Also tomorrow, attorney general Eric Holder will travel to Ferguson where
he will meet with FBI agents and prosecutors from the Justice Department.
There are some 40 FBI agents on the ground. They are now and they have
interviewed more than 200 people. Clearly the attorney general isn`t
waiting for results from the local investigation to try to figure out what

Law enforcement sources also confirm to NBC News today that a federal
autopsy on Michael Brown`s body is complete. And today in nearby St.
Louis, another fatal police shooting. The St. Louis police chief says two
officers shot a 23-year-old African-American man after he brandished a
knife at him. He says the officers drew their weapons after they told the
man to drop the knife and he didn`t do so. This new incident appears
unrelated to the Ferguson protest. It drew a crowd saying hands up, don`t

And St. Louis Alderman Antonio French who has been a frequent presence at
the Ferguson protest spoke to the crowd.


ANTONIO FRENCH, ST. LOUIS ALDERMAN: The last thing we need is violence in
our neighborhood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know our rights.

FRENCH: You know your rights. I know your brother, too. And I am going
to make sure this man`s rights are recognized, too. And we will find out
what happened.


SHARPTON: It`s unrelated to Michael Brown. But clearly struck a nerve
with the community demanding justice. Piercing through all of this is the
voice of a grieving mother who will bury her son on Monday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Ms. McSpadden, what will bring peace to the
streets of Ferguson?

peace, I believe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Only if that justice results in the arrest and
charges being filed against officer Wilson? Is that what it`s going to

MCSPADDEN: Yes. Him being arrested. Charges being filed in the
prosecution. Him being held accountable for what he did.


SHARPTON: So, will there be an arrest? And what is it like underground
right now?

Joining me now from Ferguson are`s Trymaine Lee and Missouri
state representative Courtney Allen Curtis whose district includes most of
Ferguson. Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Trymaine, Michael Brown`s mother says arresting officer Wilson
would bring calm to Ferguson. Is that what you are hearing from protesters
and people on the street?

LEE: Most certainly. People on the street are saying they want a number
of things. One, is they want to be heard. All the past grievances that
have involved the police. And then even it comes to Michael Brown`s case,
they want a clear and transparent investigation. But a step beyond that,
they want an arrest and prosecution. They have said for days on end they
feel Michael Brown was murdered and left in the street like an animal and
they want answers. So justice from this side of the case is nothing short
of an arrest and eventual prosecution.

SHARPTON: All right. Trymaine, hold one minute. Stand by. I want to go
to some breaking news out of Texas. Governor Rick Perry is appearing at
his arraignment on abuse of power charges. The governor was indicted last
week for trying to remove a democratic district attorney. The governor
called the charges an outrageous political attack. Let`s listen.


GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: -- someone who lives up to the high standards
of conduct and personal integrity. And this issue is far bigger than me.
It`s about the rule of law. It`s about the constitution that allows not
just a governor, but every citizen to speak their mind free of political
interference or legal intimidation.


PERRY: This indictment is nothing short of an attack on the constitutional
powers of the office of governor. There are important fundamental issues
at stake. I will not allow this attack on our system of government to


PERRY: I`m going to fight this injustice with every fiber of my being.
And we will prevail.


PERRY: And we`ll prevail because we are standing for the rule of law.


SHARPTON: That is Governor Rick Perry going inside to be booked. He was
indicted for trying to remove a democratic district attorney. He has said
from the beginning this is political and bogus and will not stand, but it
may have political implications since he has been widely expected to run
for president again in 2016.

Again, he`s going into the courthouse where he is to be booked on an
indictment for trying to remove a democratic district attorney charged with
abuse of power among other things.

Let`s go back to Ferguson. We are talking with, of course, Representative
Courtney Allen Curtis and Trymaine lee.

Representative Curtis, I was talking with Trymaine about the arrest, the
mother saying this morning she wants an arrest. Trymaine saying people
there saying they want a fair and even investigation and that there is
probable cause there. Is that what you are hearing? And how do you react
to what the mother said this morning?

CURTIS: Obviously, we want what the mother wants as well. But I`m hearing
that and it`s even going further as of today. There is roughly about
24,000 wards within the city of Ferguson. And they are actually calling on
the mayor now to recall or get rid of those wards because of the over
enforcement of the law in Ferguson. But even outside of that, they are
even asking for conviction, you know, not just arrest and prosecution. But
now people are starting call for a conviction just because, you know, the
communication hasn`t come out the way they wanted to. And now, the list of
demands is even growing.

SHARPTON: Now Trymaine, there are still a lot of things about the shooting
and the officer Darren Wilson that we don`t know. Questions like where is
he, has he been questioned, why did he shoot, how many times did he shoot,
will he be charged. Would it help calm Ferguson if these questions were

LEE: Most certainly, Rev. The longer authorities and officials wait to
release this information, you`re going to continue to see the kind of
twirling of the rumor mill. We already know emotions are at a fever pitch.
People are angry.

Now, of course, as we believe this latest shooting incident in St. Louis
has nothing to do with this case. But again, it fans the flames of people
who say police and law enforcement officials have been so heavy-handed,
particularly in the black community.

And so, until we get the answers, particularly how many times did the
officer fire? Some of the ballistic evidence that corroborates with the
witnesses I have said. People in this community aren`t going to be happy.
And again, it is calm now. The police have done a pretty great job
neutralizing the streets. They have blocked off one end and have a
checkpoint at the other. So going on tonight, we`ll see again if anger and
if, you know, all the emotions that we have seen un-furling into violence.
And the police put back, it would get in to that tonight, Rev.

SHARPTON: But in my visits down there with the family and the churches, I
keep hearing people saying there is no transparency. Nobody is coming
forward, no police report, nothing. How in that atmosphere, Representative
Curtis, can you expect people to find any level of trust when they are
being told nothing.

CURTIS: We absolutely can`t, you know, operate in this environment. Even
outside of that, nobody knows what the investigative process is. I, myself
and others have actually, you know, personally asked for individuals to
release what the investigative process looks like to at least provide the
public some information so they know what to expect or what actions have to
take place before they can get to what they are looking for. We have yet
to see it come out. And McCulloch hasn`t said there is a time frame. But
at least release the information with regard to the investigative process.

SHARPTON: Now Trymaine, one of the things that`s interesting also is that
there are some officials down there that deny there is a racial divide at
all. You know, the mayor, James Knowles spoke with my colleague Tamron
Hall. And this is what he said earlier today. Listen.


MAYOR JAMES KNOWLES, FERGUSON: There is not a racial divide in the city of

your perspective or do you believe that`s the perspective of African-
Americans in your community?

KNOWLES: That`s the perspective of all residents in the city, absolutely.


SHARPTON: Not a racial divide. Do you think he`s listening to his
constituents, to the people you talked to, Trymaine, since you have been
down there?

LEE: I mean, I think it`s one thing to say there is no racial undertone
here. But then in practice, it`s almost like an apartheid state. When you
look at the school board not a single African-American on the school board
yet the community is 70 percent African-American. You have three black
police officers in a force of 53. You talk about later the opportunity.
Young people feel there are none. The schools, many of them are failing.
And the state is already embroiled in controversy about a transfer program.

And so, while he says it, he`s probably listened to his constituents.
There is a great article in the "New Republic" are where they polled, you
know, white folks in St. Louis and how people talk about what`s happening
in the community. It`s the people themselves destroying their community
and the coded language. So there are clear issues here. I don`t know if
he`s trying to do a PR move or what. But clearly, black folks in this
community feel it is a long and, you know, terrible history here.

SHARPTON: Representative Curtis, you are an elected official there. Do
you and others of your colleagues -- well, not that many in that area. But
that serve in elected office that are black feel there is no racial divide
there in Ferguson as the mayor said.

CURTIS: We absolutely know there is a racial issue here. It`s unfortunate
but it is north county. If you look at some of the elected offices, if
there is a complete divide. And typically when you speak of your
constituency you speak of the individuals that vote. Sadly, not enough of
the individuals in the Ferguson area vote. So if you are talking to your
constituents, may feel one way but the broader constituency and the
citizens in the area definitely could feel a different way.

SHARPTON: Now, tomorrow, are Trymaine, U.S. attorney general Eric Holder
will be there and he`s going to be meeting with the federal prosecutors and
others tomorrow. He has an on op-ed in the "St. Louis Post Dispatch" and
wrote, quote, "at a time when so much may seem uncertain, the people of
Ferguson can have confidence that the Justice Department intends to learn
in a fair and thorough manner exactly what happened." How important is

LEE: It`s very important. The fact that this case has, you know, climbed
to the heights of our government and it`s also par for the course for the
attorney general and the president. That they are identifying zero
tolerance policy this is school. That they are putting their finger on the
prison -- the school to prison pipeline.

And so, they clearly have an understanding of what particularly young black
and brown people are going through. And so, the people of this community
certainly feel that they have at least have a friend, someone that will be
give an honest look and put pressure on other officials to take an honest
and clear look at what`s going on here.

SHARPTON: Trymaine Lee and stet representative Courtney Allen Curtis,
thank you both for your time tonight.

LEE: Thanks, Rev.

CURTIS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, more on the breaking news tonight. The grand jury
sits tomorrow. What might happen behind closed doors. Will there be an

Plus, after another night of clashes, what police -- what`s happening
tonight? MSNBC`s Chris Hayes is live in Ferguson.

And how can police maintain order without stepping on people`s rights? Our
Craig Melvin rode along with the man in charge of that, Captain Ron
Johnson. That`s ahead.


SHARPTON: The city of Ferguson, Missouri, is bracing for a tenth night of
protest. Tonight as protesters continue to demand answers from police
about Michael Brown`s death. Seventy eight protesters were arrested
overnight. All but three for refusal to disburse.

This morning NBC`s Gabe Gutierrez spoke to a few of those arrested as they
were leaving jail.


itching for a reason to do something to be ready, you know. And we were
that reason. They have (INAUDIBLE) because were shooting teargas from one
way, telling us to go the other way.
KYLE MERE (ph), PROTESTER ARRESTED LAST NIGHT: Cops just, they are out of
control. I mean, they just -- they`re treating us like we are nobody. I
just want to support the cause. I mean, that kid did not deserve to die.


SHARPTON: Ten days after Michael Brown was shot, protesters are still
calling for justice. And the nights are tense.

Joining me now is MSNBC`s Chris Hayes, host of "All In" who`s doing an
amazing job on the ground in Ferguson. Thanks for being here.


SHARPTON: Is there a specific call from the protesters for something in
particular to be done?

HAYES: So as far as I can tell, I mean, one of the things about the
protests on the ground is they are pretty organic. It`s not like there are
big organizations that are bringing a whole bunch of folks out here to,
you know, to rally and they`ve got printed-up signs and they have got
concrete demands. I mean, to the extend the folks I have talked to have
expressed demands, there`s basically two.

People want to see Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Mike Brown be
charged criminally. It`s particularly galling to them that he`s on
administrative leave which means that he`s paid now. That`s come up in a
lot of conversations with folks. They are upset. They feel he`s basically
on vacation.

And number two, there are a lot of people who don`t trust that the county
prosecutor Bob McCulloch, the man who will ultimately be the person to
bring charges of possible, if he does bring charges, if he chooses to
indict against Darren Wilson, they do not trust them. And there are calls
including from state senators, state reps, local county counsel, including
the county executive Charlie Dooley to have Bob McCulloch taken off the
case. And for the governor possibly to appoint a special prosecutor.

When I talked to the governor last, and I pressed him on this. I asked if
he had the power legally to appoint a special prosecutor. He didn`t answer
the question. I came back to him and he basically acknowledged that he
does, indeed, have the power.

SHARPTON: No. It`s clear he has the power. And for my business there,
everyone I talked to does not trust McCulloch. And a lot of it is because
they say in the past he`s not moved on the cases. And I think many of us
just want to see a fair process.

But you are right. A lot of it is organic and have different views, but
all around that which leads to the fact that the grand jury of Bob
McCulloch starts tomorrow. He`s proceeding. He is proceeding even though
he`s been asked to step aside. And there`s been no confidence expressed by
large segments of the African-American community. But at the same time the
federal investigation is moving forward. How can it work out, Chris?

HAYES: So a few things here. First of all, federal investigation that`s
being conducted by the FBI on the ground here and Eric Holder be coming,
that`s an investigation that could lead possibly depending on the facts
found in federal civil rights charges. Those civil rights charges can be

But it should be very clear here. Charges like manslaughter, negligent
homicide, first degree homicide. Charges of those kinds were they to be
broken. That`s what the fact bare out and they are charging attorney, they
are charging prosecutor here, that`s not something the federal government
can prosecute for. That`s not within their, you know, their statutory
jurisdiction. And so the person that would bring those charges is Bob
McCulloch. The hope that I heard express by folks here --

SHARPTON: Or a special prosecutor could bring those charges.

HAYES: That`s right. Now in the absence of a special prosecutor if it is
the case that Bob McCulloch is going to be the person who prosecutes this,
the hope that I have heard here expressed by numerous people is that the
presence of federal investigators keeps local prosecutors honest which is
to say when local prosecutors know and local prosecutors office knows that
every witness they are talking to has also talked to the federal
government, has also given an account to the feds that they will be
essentially kept honest. They are going to be on their toes. They are
going to be doing their work with more vigor and diligence knowing that
essentially their work is being checked by a separate entity, that being
the department of justice division of investigators now.

SHARPTON: Well, the federal government can also charge excessive force by
the state as a violation of civil rights. They have leeway there. And the
federal government can investigate the investigation if there is reason to
believe somewhere down the line something was done wrongly so. I think
their presence there might suggest that it put a little more heat on
everybody. And I think you are right that that (INAUDIBLE) everywhere.
Let`s see where it goes.

Chris Hayes, thank you for your time and for your great reporting you have
been doing from Ferguson.

HAYES: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: And be sure to watch "All In with Chris Hayes" tonight at 8:00
and 11:00 eastern right here on MSNBC.

Ahead, the grand jury, it starts tomorrow. Will the officer who shot and
killed Michael Brown be arrested?

Plus, the pressing question ahead of nightfall. How to maintain order
without stepping on people`s rights. Our Craig Melvin rode along with the
man in charge of that, captain Ron Johnson.


SHARPTON: The protests in Ferguson got the attention of the entire
country. One of those who`s been part of the peaceful protest is my next

Joining me now is Jef Poe, a recording artist from St. Louis who is using
his influence in the community to rally for peace. Thank you for being
here tonight, Jef Poe.


SHARPTON: Why did you get involved in the protest?

POE: I got involved because I`m from this community. The same exact
streets that Michael Brown has walked, I have walked. The Quick Trip that
was moved down, I have been there numerous times. This is my community.
And I had to do something to get involved and show people how to protest

SHARPTON: What`s your focus and your involvement? And what experience
have you had with police in this same town of Ferguson?

POE: My focus is to just give the young people an avenue to express
themselves and release anger in the right way. I think with the death of
Michael Brown and the way he died we are all angry because it could have
been any one of us honestly. So that reality strikes a little bit closer
to home given the fact that it happened in our own community.

I`m looking to just, like I said, give young people an avenue to get out
here, show them how to peacefully protest and resist the cruelty of the
Ferguson police department. I have had many experiences with them myself.
One time I was pulled over and the police officer simply asked me, where is
the guns and where`s the dope?


POE: He didn`t ask my name. He didn`t ask for my driver`s license. That
was all he wanted to know. And we are just fed up with being treated like
this. It`s not just Ferguson. It`s St. Louis county as a whole. And as
you may have hear, a young man was unarmed and shot allegedly shot by St.
Louis police earlier today.

SHARPTON: I hear a lot of frustration about the stops over and over again.
The stops, how people are stopped. They feel harassed. I mean, give us a
sense of that. You just said you went through one yourself.

POE: Yes. I mean, it`s the culture of St. Louis county. As a young black
man you know you can`t drive down certain streets at certain times of
night. There are times you will take an entirely different route or not
even go out that night to avoid coming in contact with certain police

It`s a really open ended scenario. They can pull you over for virtually
anything. And once you are pulled over, the way the city works is you more
than likely have a ticket attached to your name and ticket more than likely
develops into a warrant. And then before you know it, you are in jail with
murders, rapists and killers. And it is just nothing that you can do about

SHARPTON: Now, one of the things that concerned me is that the country is
not seeing a lot of the peace activities that I see with young people
around Ferguson. People doing positive things. Large numbers of young
people and older people. Not getting the national coverage. Smaller
numbers doing violent things which is wrong. Tell us about your peace

POE: Well, we had one of the earliest protests of peace the day that the
riots actually broke out. Me and my comrades organized a peaceful sit-in,
it was actually started by two young guys that decided that they were done
praying and they were done singing and they wanted to take some action.
So, they walked out into the middle of the street and stopped traffic. At
that time I didn`t know that from a -- but a couple of my friends decided
to take a stand with them. So, we blocked off traffic that night. And we
sat down in the street in-front of the police department. And we had a
peaceful sitting. People bringing food, water. And we taught people how
to exercise their right to assemble the right way. That didn`t get
immediate coverage. Because we weren`t out blowing stuff up, and acting a

SHARPTON: Wow! Well, are you going to be out there tonight Tef Poe?

POE: I`m out every night.

SHARPTON: I`ve got you. All right. Thank you. And I respect you and
others that are trying to keep the peace and fight for justice at the same
time. Thank you so much for your time tonight.

POE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, the grand jury will sit tomorrow. What might happen?
Will we see an arrest? Our legal panel weighs in, next.


SHARPTON: You`re looking at live pictures of today`s first protests on the
ground in Ferguson. It`s peaceful. But tomorrow all eyes will be on the
grand jury and the question, will Officer Darren Wilson be arrested? The
breaking news the Washington Post reports a Missouri grand jury will be
hearing evidence tomorrow. The prosecutor`s office say Officer Wilson will
have a chance to testify about the shooting of Michael Brown. The world
hasn`t heard his account yet. But in an interview not confirmed by NBC
News, a friend of Wilson said she`s heard his version. It appears to
contradict eyewitnesses who say Michael Brown raised his arms and gave
himself up. Instead, the claim is that Michael Brown rushed toward the


friend. They get to be about 35 feet away. And you know, Darren`s first
protocol is to pursue. So he stands up and yells, freeze. Michael and his
friend turn around. And Michael starts taunting him. Oh, what are you
going to do about it, you know, you`re not going to shoot me. And then he
said, all of the sudden he started to bum rush him, he just started coming
at him full speed. And he just started shooting and he just kept coming.


SHARPTON: Again, in this version, it alleges Michael Brown allegedly bum-
rushed Officer Wilson. But the eyewitness who saw it unfolds from her
balcony and who took this cell phone video is firmly disputing that


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: No. At no time did I see him move toward that police
officer. He may have taken one centimeter of a step forward before he was
gunned down.


SHARPTON: And she along and two other witnesses say, Brown had his arms


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He didn`t stop what he was going and stopped to turn
around with his hands in the air.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: He turned and put his hands up. That`s when the
police continued to shoot until he was down.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: He put his arms up to let them know he was compliant
and that he was unarmed.


SHARPTON: So will there be an arrest? All eyes are on the grand jury.

Joining me now, Lisa Bloom, attorney and legal analyst for and
prosecutor and legal analyst Paul Henderson. Thank you for being here
tonight, both of you.



SHARPTON: Lisa, what do you make of this new narrative alleging that
Michael Brown bum rushed the officer?

BLOOM: Well, this friend was not there so this is second hand. And as you
pointing out, it flies in the face of the witnesses. Three witnesses who
gone on camera with their name. And in fact, there are two more witnesses.
One who was live tweeting the event. A man by the name of Emmanuel
Freedman (ph) and an anonymous witness who`s also given an interview. So,
out of those five, four say that Michael Brown had his hands in the air in
the universal symbol for surrender. Also making a very clear to the police
officer, there was no threat at that moment at the time he was shot.

And I think the autopsy results that were disclosed yesterday substantiate
that. Because there was a shot through the hand, there`s a shot through
the forearm. And in fact, I think that shot on the forearm is the most
significant. Because most people don`t stand in that position, palms
forward, arms down. If you put your hands in a normal position, palms, you
know, facing each other, when you`re running your arms go back, your arms
naturally pump when you`re running. And I think that forearm shot is a
shot from behind. So, I don`t see how this officer`s story via his friend
on a radio show is at all substantiated by the autopsy or the witnesses.

SHARPTON: Paul, you have done a lot of cases. What do you think?

HENDERSON: Well, one of the things that I paid attention to was when they
were saying that it was from 35 feet away. So, 35 feet away is not a zone
of danger for an armed officer when you`re talking about an unarmed person.
But just to speak on one of the point that Lisa brought up, all of this
information is typically presented to a grand jury because you know the
standards are a little bit different than a regular court of law and a
trial. So, you`re allowed to bring in all of the hearsay evidence and all
of the information. And that grand jury will hear a lot of the information
when they make a determination as to whether or not they are going to
indict or not. But that won`t be the end. Because the prosecutor has an
independent means of making an indictment in spite of what the grand jury
may say or what they suggest.

SHARPTON: Now, Paul, one of the things that was interesting to me is
Dorian Johnson, the friend of Michael Brown`s and a witness, he told me
here on POLITICS NATION that Michael Brown was first shot during the
initial struggle in the police car. Listen.



DORIAN JOHNSON, WITNESS: After the first shot went off, if stepped back
and I looked at my friend and I see the blood coming down his right arm.
So I know that he was hit. And when I see him, my eyes get big. He looked
at me because he didn`t even look at himself because he was in shock. We
were both in shock from hearing the gun so close.


SHARPTON: So, if he was shot in the struggle that meant according to this
person he bum rushed the cop who beat him in the struggle and he was shot?
That`s going to be a lot for a jury to be asked to believe.

HENDERSON: It is. And this is exactly why I was just saying yesterday how
important it is that we get the full autopsy results so that we get the
gunshot residue and we get the full chronology of when and how he may have
been shot leading up to exactly what happened. Because now what we are
getting here are a lot of this second and third-hand versions from what may
have happened. And we still don`t have the version from the officer
himself defending his actions, telling us how this incident occurred. And
what he`s using to justify the shooting of Mr. Brown.

SHARPTON: Now, Lisa, assess the eyewitness testimony we have heard from
about three so far. Give us a general assessment of what they are saying
and what the officer will have to counter if in fact these three
eyewitnesses are credible.

BLOOM: Well, I think the three eyewitnesses are very credible, and very
are important. Remember, every detail of the story that they tell does not
have to be substantiated. Eyewitnesses typically get a couple of things
wrong. If we saw something now we would probably get the details wrong.
That doesn`t mean the person is lying. The question is whether the essence
of the story holds up with the other eyewitnesses and with the physical
evidence. And so far it does. And the most shocking fact is the one that
everybody seems to relate independently that Mike Brown had his hands up at
the time that he was shot.

And the way that people tell that with the emotion in their voice, the
horror in their voice is really what leads them to come out publically in
this very scary situation and tell their story. I think that has the ring
of credibility. And by the way, contrast that with the officer`s story
where Mike Brown would have to be suicidal to bum rush an officer who has
already shot him once who was standing there with a gun. That`s what we
have to believe if we believe the officer`s story.

SHARPTON: Paul, I see you nodding at that. Give me your response to what
she just said. And the eyewitnesses, will they be going in front of that
grand jury as early as tomorrow?

HENDERSON: Well, I actually agree with everything that Lisa is saying in
all of her analysis is actually absolutely correct. One of the interesting
things about the grand jury is that you are allowed to bring in hearsay
evidence and summations of reports. So, a lot of the comments that we are
hearing being played out in the media is actually likely to be introduced
to that grand jury. I`m actually happy that they`re going to hear that
information. Because I believe just as Lisa said, a lot of that
information seems to be corroborated with each other and it`s even
corroborated with the brief autopsy report that was released from the
family yesterday. And so what`s going to happen next is going to be really
interesting over the next few days.

SHARPTON: All right. I`m going to have to leave it there, Lisa Bloom,
Paul Henderson, thank you both for your time tonight.

HENDERSON: Absolutely.

BLOOM: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up today`s first protests on the ground in Ferguson.
We`ll go there live. And finding the balance between policing and
protesting. Captain Ron Johnson is in charge and our Craig Melvin rode
along with him today. That`s next.


SHARPTON: As we enter the tenth night since the shooting of Michael Brown,
law enforcement is trying to strike a fine balance between calm and chaos.
MSNBC`s Craig Melvin got exclusive access to Captain Ron Johnson as he rode
along with him today. They visited a food mart that had repeatedly fallen
victim to looting.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This is the food mart. And I want to say they have been
broken into twice. Since the incident.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: All of the windows have been knocked out.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Scared, you know. But what can I do? It`s my

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: How many times have they broken in?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Since this incident, this is the second Sunday in a row.
The very first Sunday they got propane here. And there were about 20 kids.
And they wiped out my merchandise. All the liquor, cigarettes, money,
cash, everything.


SHARPTON: But distinguishing between protesters voicing their first
amendment rights and trouble makers is not easy.

Joining me now from Ferguson is MSNBC`s Craig Melvin. Thanks for being

CRAIG MELVIN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Rev, good to see you. Thank you so
much for having me. I can tell you now by the way that the size of the
crowd here is starting to assemble in Ferguson. The size of the crowd is
considerably smaller than it was last night. And they are also, as you
know, they`re peaceful but they have been peaceful at this point until the
sun goes down. But I can tell you that the crowd is smaller. They seem to
be heeding Captain Johnson`s requests that the peaceful protesters do their
protesting during the day and leave the nighttime stuff to the criminal
element. That`s the language that he used. Going back --

SHARPTON: Let me stop you there. Because you spoke to the captain. He
also said he doesn`t believe the criminal element is going anywhere. Even
if charges were brought forward. Let me play this clip.


justice system is fair and honest in the application of justice. If
charges were brought tomorrow, peaceful people, I believe, they would be
out here, because they have been peaceful. It`s not their issue. I cannot
think like the criminal mind, but the criminal element going be out here as
long as they know that they can create havoc and cause issues. They are
going to be here. They are going to be here.


SHARPTON: So, he really believes they are going to stick around. I mean,
what can we expect the police are going to do to control this?

MELVIN: You know, that`s the question I asked here, Rev. And as you know,
every day they have tried something different. They brought in the
National Guard. They lifted the curfew. One thing that we have seen
that`s worked night after night in terms of clearing this main drag is the
teargas. You know, I asked Captain Johnson today the same question we have
been asking over and over the past ten days. Is that a justifiable
response? It was really interesting. Because we went into this
neighborhood. And as we were talking, one of the neighbors walked up to
us. And he found one of these teargas containers. And take a look at what
happened next.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We have several of those in this neighborhood.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What is that, captain?


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Teargas canister.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Do you think that our response to try to stop what we
should be doing, we should be out here letting them do what they want.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes, we`re doing the right thing. These people would be
dead out there in the street.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: So, you`re all OK with the teargas?



UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: That`s a little bit too much.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The smell is going through the house. We have a newborn
in the house.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: How do you confront somebody with a gun? You can`t
expect us to walk up to someone with a gun. I can tell you that that
teargas or smoke if it makes them run away, we`d rather them run away. I
would rather my eyes tear up a little bit, and maybe your eyes tear up a
little bit. But I would rather them run away instead of having a gun


MELVIN: But that`s what we found. I mean, we really found a community
that`s divided. And you know, I don`t want to say 50/50 split. But we did
probably talked to just as many people who said, you know what, they go too
far. We have women, you got children here who suffered the effects of it.
Journalists as well. But then we also talked to folks and you just saw it
there who have said and continue to say night in, night out if that`s what
it`s going to take Captain Johnson, we are OK with that.

SHARPTON: But you also have a lot of people right from the area that are
part of the peaceful protesters that are against the violence. But also
don`t want their rights taken in terms of protests. Unlike what a lot of
people were reporting, most of the people that are arrested last night were
right there from Missouri. They were not from other places. These are
people that are right there, too. That have said, they want their right to

MELVIN: Yes. And Captain Johnson, he mentioned that today. You know,
Rev, you have been covering this thing from the beginning. I mean, you
hear these reports that you have lots of folks in from California and
Chicago. And there may be some of that. You know, Captain Johnson today,
you know, he said he didn`t know whether all of that was true. But while
there are some outside elements, there are some folks who have taken these
protests, these largely peaceful protests at least during the daytime.
They have taken these and they have capitalized on them.

SHARPTON: There is no doubt about it. And there is no doubt there are
some that want to protest that are right there in the area.


SHARPTON: Craig Melvin --

MELVIN: They`re doing it now.

SHARPTON: That`s right. Thank you for your time. And the great work you
are doing down there reporting.

MELVIN: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, fighting for change in Ferguson, and turning anger
into action by voting.


SHARPTON: While the Ferguson community is still reeling from the death of
Michael Brown, the town has been consumed with protesters. Some clashes
with police in the midst of this unrest. Authorities have decided to keep
Ferguson public schools closed for the week. The school year start date
has already been postponed twice. Leaving many asking what children are
supposed to do out of class and away from school lunches. One teacher in
North Carolina has raised nearly $80,000 to help feed students from low
income families in Ferguson who would normally get free lunch at public

Teachers in Ferguson are pitching in, too. With their day off some
teachers took to the streets to help clean up. Others spent a day at the
public library, holding signs that said teachers here to teach. And school
closed, bring your students here. I hope students showed up. During this
difficult time one thing is for sure, all of these teachers get an A plus
from me.


SHARPTON: The death of Michael Brown has rocked the Ferguson community to
its core. It exposed both tremendous outrage and deep pain. Some of these
feelings can be traced back to the lack of representation of the black
community in Ferguson. In a town that 67 percent black. The mayor and
police chief are both white. On a police force, 53 officers only three are
black. There`s only one African-American on the city council. And zero
black members of the school board.

But it doesn`t have to be that way. This town can be more representative
of citizens. The solution is the vote that was part of my message to the
Ferguson community at a peace rally on Sunday.


SHARPTON: Some of y`all made today but you would not vote and would not
register to vote. And don`t show up.


People marched. People died. People shed their blood to give you the
right to vote. And you sitting up on election day, too lazy and ungrateful
to go to the polls. Leadership comes from both sides. They`ve got to open
up and you`ve got to get up.


SHARPTON: I know the people of Ferguson can get to the polls. Because in
the 2012 election, 54 percent of black voters turned out. But last year in
the 2013 Ferguson municipal election, black turnout dropped to six percent,
six percent. So as we challenge those in the criminal justice system to be
fair and do what`s right and let the evidence bring you to your conclusion
and not have it imbalanced in any way, we must also challenge those in the
community that we must do our best to have representation and to be
involved and make sure our children see that we can with empower ourselves.

We cannot be like the `60s where after almost a decade of nonviolence and
progress we had some violence and it led to a Richard Nixon becoming
president. Because they can use the violence against us if we don`t
empower ourselves in a strategic and peaceful way.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.


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