All In With Chris Hayes, Friday, August 22nd, 2042
Read the transcript from the Friday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
August 22, 2014
Guest: Lizz Brown, Maria Chappelle-Nadal, Patricia Bynes, Christopher
Dickey, Taurean Russell, Tef Poe, Mustafa Abdul-Hamid, Web Suber, Capt. Ron
CRAIG MELVIN, GUEST HOST: Good evening from Ferguson, Missouri. I`m
Craig Melvin, in for Chris Hayes.
Today, after almost two weeks, we finally got a look at Ferguson
police department`s incident report on the fatal shooting of Michael Brown
by Officer Darren Wilson. And you -- you may notice something a little
strange about the report.
Take a look there. It`s almost completely blank. That`s because as
NBC News reported last night, they turned the case over to the St. Louis
County police almost immediately. The county released a similarly blank
incident report earlier this week, and we`re told that`s because documents
related to the case will not be made public until the grand jury
investigating the officer-involved shooting finishes its investigation.
That could be mid-October.
But there is one piece of information worth noting on that county
police report. It wasn`t reviewed by a supervisor until Tuesday, 10 days
after Michael Brown was killed. We also learned today about the makeup of
that grand jury that will ultimately decide whether to indict Darren
Wilson. It`s composed of three black people, two women, one man, and nine
white people, three women, and six men.
The county clerk`s county pointed out that`s a higher percentage of
African-Americans than represented in the St. Louis County population. And
now that the streets are calm, now that the National Guard has left town,
the focus here in Ferguson now turns to where this community goes from
At a roundtable today with some young people from Ferguson, one young
man said, that`s what`s happened -- that what`s happened here has changed
the conversation about racism in this country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAUREAN RUSSELL, ORGANIZATION FOR BLACK STRUGGLE: This is going to
open up the national dialogue. I believe that if you get more young
people, more of the youth, more people with new minds, new ideas, to have
an open dialogue, you know, we can`t be afraid to hurt anybody`s feelings.
You can`t come in, you know, with a backpack full of hurt in the
conversation. You have to come with your big boy pants on to get some
solutions, because that`s what we need, because racism is a global -- it`s
a global system that`s affecting everyone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELVIN: Their big boy pants. We`re actually going to talk a little
bit more with that young man later here in the broadcast.
St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, a fixture of these protests, is
helping to start a movement called Heal STL. Heal St. Louis. He talked
about that with Chris on the show last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO FRENCH, ST. LOUIS ALDERMAN: What I`m trying to do here is
trying to take a lot of this energy, especially among the young people, and
try to train the next generation political leaders and activists, get them
involved in organizing their community, registering every person out here,
especially African-Americans, to vote. And try to change the face of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELVIN: And this weekend, Michael Brown`s family will be appearing at
the annual peace fest here in St. Louis, along with Tracy Martin, father of
Trayvon Martin. It is an event that happens every year here, but you can
bet that this year it will have a whole different meaning.
Last night on the show, Chris reported on a Go Fund Me page that`s
actually raising money for Officer Darren Wilson, $150,000 in just 3 days.
By today, that was up to $235,000 before they closed that page and started
a new Go Fund Me page, that one already raising another $21,000. Compare
that to the Go Fund Me page for the Michael Brown memorial fund, that`s
raised just under $175,000 in 9 days at last check.
Think about that. More money raised for the man who fired at least
six shots than for the family of a teenager that was killed.
And what`s especially disturbing, some of the comments by people who
donated to Wilson. For example, this one: "Thank you, Officer Wilson, for
doing the community this favor. We appreciate your service in the animal
control division of the Ferguson Police Department."
Go Fund Me said in an e-mail to "Business Insider," quote, "The
content of the campaign, itself, is not in violation of Go Fund Me`s terms
of service. However, some donor`s comments have contained content that is
in violation of Go Fund Me`s terms and has been removed accordingly."
Lizz Brown is a columnist for the "St. Louis American."
And we`ve spent some time with you this week. Let`s start there with
the Go Fund Me campaign. How much does that surprise you?
LIZZ BROWN, ST. LOUIS AMERICAN: It doesn`t surprise me at all because
the difference with the Go Fund Me campaign for Darren Wilson is that the
people that are giving to that campaign are clear on their issue. This is
an "us versus them".
So, they don`t need any nuances about why people didn`t vote. They
don`t discuss any things about the climate of the community. They don`t
have any other issues to decide on is it`s "us versus them", we always give
MELVIN: Not surprising one bit.
BROWN: Not surprising at all. But, and also, another group that has
given to that campaign, it`s been reported that the KKK has also given
money to them.
MELVIN: I saw that report. I haven`t been able to confirm that
report, but I did see that. Let`s talk about something that -- one of the
good things --
MELVIN: -- that may come out of all of this. We were talking before
the broadcast started. So much has been made of the lack of political
involvement in many parts of this part of St. Louis.
MELVIN: Is that something that you see changing as a result of what
we`ve seen take place over the past two weeks, and how so?
BROWN: Well, see, because the challenge with political involvement is
that there has to be a clear understanding of why I need to get involved.
Then there have to be mechanisms in place to constantly engage people in
the political process.
And the history that -- part of the history that has gotten Ferguson
to the place that it is, is that many African-Americans move to this
community as a result of the things that were going on in the city, the
political engagement that was coming down on the African-American
community. So, African-Americans either through rules in banking that
didn`t allow them to get second mortgages, they could get cheaper homes out
here. They came out here with the understanding that we can live here in
peace. We don`t have to worry about political engagement.
So, generation after generation then became less and less politically
involved, and they endured what they receive here.
So, now, yes, we have an opportunity. But, I mean, it`s wonderful to
register people to vote, but we have to make sure that all of the
institutions that can engage people and keep people engaged in political
involvement are on board, too. For example, churches. Have you ever --
how often have you heard a church say, you know what? You need to vote on
the school board this year, you know? You need to involve yourself in
That`s not necessarily, except for the election of President Obama --
BROWN: -- that churches get involved in political advocacy. And
that`s something that could be done that could engage a lot of people and
they could also engage people and they could also get more parishioners as
MELVIN: Let`s talk about the scene right now that, you know, we spent
so much time here this week, previous week as well. This is very, very
different from what we saw here seven days ago.
BROWN: Very different.
MELVIN: Don`t see a lot of protesters. Don`t hear a lot of chants.
Looks like a small pseudo block party popped up across the street. Why do
you think there aren`t as many people as we saw here earlier in the week?
BROWN: I think there`s been so much energy on representing to the
world that we`re not who the people that did burning and looting. So, I
think there`s a real effort by people, the humanness in people, saying,
we`re not them.
The challenge, however, is that it`s the agitation that brought people
like you and me to the scene. Right? It`s not the protesters. The
protesters have been marching --
MELVIN: Are you saying that the media would not have shown up had
there not been the looting, the fires?
BROWN: How about this --
MELVIN: The vandalism?
BROWN: How about this, they wouldn`t have lingered had there not been
that. You know, I just -- I wonder how many people would have shown up if
1,000 people marched down the street peacefully and that was it.
It`s the agitation that keeps people -- that gets people`s attention.
It`s the agitation that makes the change. You can`t make change without
agitation, so I think some of that agitation spirit has been removed from
people and the problem is this is where the hard fight starts, right? We
have a prosecutor that is making a decision that appears to be working in
conjunction with the potential defendant.
MELVIN: Bob McCulloch.
BROWN: Yes, Bob McCulloch, yes. And so, the community should be very
engaged with this. We should be raising the questions of, the
impartiality, the lack of impartiality of this particular prosecutor.
There are many, many reasons to continue the movement of activism with this
MELVIN: Always good to see you, Lizz Brown, thank you so much.
BROWN: Thanks for having me.
MELVIN: A great resource to us as well since we`ve been here.
While we were having that conversation, we were showing viewers at
home the scene here on West Florissant, again, what you`re looking at right
now for folks who have been following what`s happening, what`s been
happening in Ferguson. This is a far, far different scene that what we saw
play out over the past few days.
I want to bring in now a state senator, Maria Chappelle-Nadal. She
represents parts of Ferguson. Also Patricia Bynes, Democratic
congresswoman of Ferguson Township.
Thanks again for being with me on this Friday night.
Let me start with you, because we were talking, again, before the
broadcast about Bob McCulloch and about the prosecution, if you will -- or
not so much the prosecution but about the specter of prosecution.
Where does that stand right now?
STATE SEN. MARIA CHAPPELLE-NADAL (D), MISSOURI: Well, you know, Bob
McCulloch has stated that he would freely take himself away from this case
if the governor made that decision.
MELVIN: For folks, really quickly, Senator, who have not been
following the story perhaps as closely as others -- why is it that so many
people in Ferguson want McCulloch off this case?
CHAPPELLE-NADAL: Well, historically, he`s had more cases that have
made African-Americans go to jail, so he has a record of having African-
Americans prosecuted, and this community has a natural mistrust of him.
I have a great working relationship with him when it comes to the
state, but when it comes to home politics, this community just doesn`t
trust him. And, so, he has freely said, if the governor makes that
decision to remove him from the case, he would abide by that. It`s really
in the governor`s hands at this point.
MELVIN: The governor said several times that he`s not going to do
that. What would be the governor`s motivation? Why won`t Governor Nixon,
in your opinion, why won`t he take McCulloch off and appoint special
CHAPPELLE-NADAL: As we were speaks earlier today, it is my belief the
governor does not want to move Bob McCulloch because he does not want to be
blamed if there`s not a conviction. And so, the governor, in my
estimation, has always had his own political interest at heart. And so, if
there is not a conviction, this community is going to be mad and they`re
going to be looking at someone to blame.
And the governor does not want to accept that blame.
MELVIN: Patricia, characterize the mood for me here in Ferguson
tonight versus the mood in Ferguson seven days ago.
PATRICIA BYNES, DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSWOMAN OF FERGUSON TOWNSHIP: Wow.
So, the mood`s really different. I really, really like what I see right
now. It`s Friday night. I do expect a lot more people to be out because
it is Friday.
But right now it seems -- it`s better because I think people are
seeing motion moving. They`re seeing the Department of Justice getting
involved. Eric Holder coming out. They`re seeing, you know, more
petitions being signed to take McCulloch off. They know there`s a grand
jury process going on.
So, there`s movement.
MELVIN: How significant was the attorney general`s visit earlier this
BYNES: I think it was extremely significant.
BYNES: Because it alleviated fears that, one, nobody was paying
attention. It alleviated the fears that the feds were not going to get
involved. And it showed to the community just how serious that this case
is being taken, to know that they`re conducting their own investigation.
That they are going to be looking at everything separately from the county,
not just overseeing the county investigation, but doing their own
investigation as a check and balance to what the county is doing.
MELVIN: Where do we go from here? I mean, it appears as if the
protests that made headlines, violent clashes with police and tear gas, it
appears as if all of that`s over. What`s next?
CHAPPELLE-NADAL: Right. Well, I keep telling my constituents we need
to get into phase two. And for me, phase two is becoming politically
active, going to city council meetings. On Tuesday, we`re going to have
our second city council meeting since this incident occurred.
And I expect it to be a full house. If it is not, it will be a
terrible situation, but this is an opportunity for people who have been in
this community for such a long time to identify who their council members
are, know their names and communicate some of the interests that they have.
MELVIN: So, I mean, some have suggested that there`s not necessarily
just a political solution here, at some point this has to be about changing
hearts, changing minds. I know it`s a tired cliche, but there`s truth to
How much of that is true here in Ferguson?
BYNES: I think it`s very true. We have to change the culture. When
I hear articles and when I see interviews where there are certain people in
Ferguson who -- I didn`t know there was a race problem, everything`s good.
MELVIN: The mayor said that. Your mayor said that.
BYNES: That is scary, because what they don`t understand is the
status quo is a problem. For some people, it`s fantastic. They like the
way things have been going. Ferguson will never get back to business as
usual. That`s what I`m going to make sure is happening, that`s what Maria
is going to make sure is happening.
Ferguson is not going to be business as usual. So, it`s time for
community leaders, it`s time for clergy, it`s time for people who have
never been involved. It`s time for us to get together and make this work.
CHAPPELLE-NADAL: And added to that, what I will say, in fact, one of
your writers at MSNBC.com said, wrote a tremendous article today that was
published and he talked about the two cities within Ferguson, the tale of
And it`s kind of interesting when you go into Corner Coffee and people
are selling the "I love Ferguson" signs and they don`t realize there are
people who have a complete different understanding of what Ferguson is to
So, what`s really important is there`s an open and honest conversation
about what a certain portion of this community feels and what they think
and in order for us to overcome any of these barriers, that is going to
have to happen first.
MELVIN: Thank you. Thank you, both. Thank you so much for spending
time with me on Friday night. Have a good weekend to you.
State Senator Marie Chappelle-Nadal, who`s become quite a familiar
fixture here on MSNBC this week. Thanks to you as well, Patricia Bynes.
Coming up today for the first time, the White House called the
execution of James Wright Foley by ISIS, they called it a terrorist attack.
How, then, will the United States respond? That`s on the other side of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNDIENTIFIED FEMALE: Thought you`d have to stay there for some days.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just got out a couple, 12, 13 hours ago.
UINIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was like, where`s Tory, he`s not free yet?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELVIN: My conversation with one of the protesters here who just got
out of jail. Still ahead.
MELVIN: The execution of American photojournalist James Foley by the
group ISIS, also known as ISIL, is still reverberating strongly around the
world, and, of course, very much here in the United States. Foley`s family
is speaking out about his life and his siblings have questioned whether the
United States did enough.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLI.P)
MICHAEL FOLEY, BROTHER OF JAMES FOLEY: I really, really, really hope
that in some way, Jim`s death pushes us to take another look at our
approach, our policy to terrorists and hostage negotiations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELVIN: Foley`s parents have also started to criticize the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN FOLEY, FATHER OF JAMES FOLEY: Certainly, we feel that the
negotiation process was very uneven, and we pray at this very moment that
Steven Sotloff is spared and the other American hostages. We pray from the
bottom of our soul.
DIANE FOLEY, MOTHER OF JAMES FOLEY: That Jim`s death will make a
difference. That our international community will realize that we must
come together, good and love and all that free in the world must be
together, you know, to fight the evil and the hatred.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELVIN: A French journalist held prisoner for months with Foley has
claimed that he has a rough idea as to the identity of the suspected
British killer, suspected London-born jihadist, known simply as John.
British intelligence has vowed to find Foley`s killer.
Meanwhile, U.S. Central Command said today, airstrikes against ISIS
targets are continuing. Again in the vicinity of the Mosul dam. Since
August 8th, American forces have conducted a total of 93 airstrikes across
Iraq. That`s according to CentCom.
At a briefing today, the deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes,
would not rule out U.S. airstrikes against ISIS in Syria.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Has the president signed off on airstrikes against ISIL in
BEN RHODES, DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: Well, again, I don`t
want to get ahead of decisions. The president hasn`t been presented with
specific military options outside of those that are carrying out the
current missions in Iraq, but we would certainly look at what is necessary
in the long term to make sure we`re protecting Americans.
Again, the long-term strategy is going to have to involve people on
the ground taking the fight to ISIL, and that is Iraqi and Kurdish forces,
that is Syrians who we are supporting on the ground.
But if we have a need to protect Americans, and to take action in --
when we see plotting against the United States and our interests, we`ll
reserve the right to do so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELVIN: If -- Christopher Dickey, foreign editor at "The Daily Beast"
joins me now.
Christopher, if the United States attacks ISIS and we attack them in
Syria, does that then not align us with the Syrian government? I mean, do
we become allies with the Syrian government and, or is it a bit more
complicated than that?
CHRISTOPHER DICKEY, FOREIGN EDITOR, THE DAILY BEAST: Oh, it`s all a
lot more complicated than that. Basically, what`s going to have to happen
is that the United States, which has played a kind of a dirty game with the
Free Syrian Army, giving it little bit of arms, little bit of training here
and there, is now going to have to ramp up its relationship with this
guerrilla group that`s opposed Assad and give it the wherewithal to start
fighting against ISIS, and I think that`s the plan.
The other thing is that the United States with drones and air power
can do a lot of damage to ISIS. ISIS does no anti-aircraft capability. It
has been on a roll because nobody has used air power against it. But once
air power really comes into play, I think that a lot of its assets can be
damaged or taken away from it, including some of the oil fields that have
made it the richest terrorist organization probably in history.
MELVIN: How many fighters, how many ISIS fighters are we talking
about, or do we know?
DICKEY: We don`t know. The Pentagon doesn`t know. I don`t think the
CIA knows. I think the number changes all the time.
Admiral Kirby briefing at the Pentagon today said the number probably
changes weekly, daily and really he doesn`t know. But we`re talking
upwards of 10,000, I think.
And a lot of those are people who have been attracted to the idea that
ISIS is on a roll, that it`s winning, that it`s going to establish this
caliphate. I don`t think they`re really necessarily even very religious
people. I mean, some of them have been ordering "Islam for dummies" from
But they are enthusiastic about the idea of being on this winning side
in this new war against whatever. And I think that once you start to
really strike back against them, and ISIS doesn`t look like it`s on a roll
and doesn`t look like it`s winning, then we`ll start to see them being
peeled away from its ranks.
And eventually, ISIS can be reduced to what it was in the beginning, a
terrorist organization, not an empire or a would-be empire.
MELVIN: The administration, as you know, has really ramped up its
characterization of just how big and how sophisticated a threat ISIS poses
to the U.S. mainland is. This is President Obama talking about is just two
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ISIL has no ideology,
of any value to human beings. Their ideology is bankrupt. They may claim
out of expediency that they`re at war with the United States or the West,
but the fact is they terrorize their neighbors and offer them nothing but
an endless slavery to their empty vision and the collapse of any definition
of civilized behavior. One thing we can all agree on is that a group like
ISIL has no place in the 21st century.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELVIN: OK. So, Christopher, juxtapose that with this. This is what
the president said in "The New Yorker." This is from January. Quote, "The
analogy we use around here sometimes," talking about the White House, of
course, "the analogy we use around here sometimes, I think it`s accurate,
is if a jayvee team puts on a Lakers uniform, that doesn`t make them Kobe
Bryant. I think there`s a distinction between the capacity and reach of a
bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots
against the homeland, because jihadists who are engaged in various local
power struggles and disputes, often sectarian."
DICKEY: Money. Money is what changed.
The ISIS leadership, whoever they are, there`s a lot we don`t know
about who they are, are very damn smart, and they set out to build a
territory in Syria and Iraq that included some significant oil resources.
Then, they found ways to smuggle that oil and sell it.
They have been involved with ransoming hostages before. They`ve
earned millions of dollars doing that. They have literally what you`d call
a war chest that is unrivaled in the history of terrorism. Once you`ve got
that in the modern world, you can do a lot of things.
But they`ve also been very smart militarily. They`ve hit weak spots.
They`ve probed. When they`ve seen weakness, they`ve seized on it. When
they seized Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, they had a capital the
likes of which bin Laden could never have imagined.
I think all of that moved so quickly that it took the administration,
and frankly, it took the world by surprise. Nobody had really anticipated
that. But they moved into this rotten vacuum in Syria and in Iraq, and now
they have to be eliminated.
MELVIN: Christopher, really quickly here, I want to end on what James
Foley`s brother said to Yahoo! earlier today, that the United States should
rethink, perhaps, its policy of not negotiating with terrorists and not
DICKEY: No. I think --
MELVIN: Should we?
DICKEY: -- the United States is right about that. The United States
should not pay ransom for hostages being held by terrorists, and in fact,
it needs to do more work to discourage the Europeans from paying ransom for
MELVIN: Christopher Dickey, Christopher, thank you so much. Always
enjoy your insight, always enjoy your perspective -- foreign editor of "The
DICKEY: Thank you, Craig.
MELVIN: Did Russia -- did Russia just start a war with Ukraine?
MELVIN: In the battle between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists
in the eastern part of that country, growing alarm today. A Russian convoy
of more than 200 trucks crossed into Ukraine in what the Ukrainian
government called a direct invasion.
Russia says it is all humanitarian aid and some, some, but not all of
the trucks were inspected and found to have wheat, rice, sugar, and water.
That is according to "The New York Times." But, the convoy, which does not
have Red Cross escorts, is being condemned by both Ukraine and the United
Pentagon Spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said the convoy was
unauthorized and called for its immediate withdrawal. Kirby also said the
numbers of Russian troops amassed at the border was far from his only
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: More worrisome than the
number is the readiness and the capability that exists in these battalion
tactical groups. They are, as I have described before, combined arms
capable; armor, artillery, infantry, air defense. They are very ready.
They are very capable. They are very mobile. And, they continue to do
nothing but just increase the tension on the other side with Ukraine. So,
we are seeing -- we are seeing a lot of hardware going across that border
on a routine basis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELVIN: The Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko has backed away from
previous desertions to use all forces available to stop the Russian convoy.
The Russian foreign ministry meanwhile insists the convoy is humanitarian,
not shy with its own rhetoric.
The Russian foreign ministry also says that the United States is
opposing this non-confrontational act. It is because Washington is
determined to continue the armed conflict in Ukraine. We will be back with
more from Ferguson, Missouri, in a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAUREAN RUSSELL, ORGANIZATION FOR BLACK STRUGGLE: The mother came
out, uncle, just neighbors are trying to cover up the body because people
were just distraught. Kids, babies -- It was -- it was a sad scene when I
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELVIN: Not long after Taurean Russell talked on the show Tuesday
night about the scene after Michael Brown was killed. He was marching in
the streets of Ferguson when he says he was singled out by police and
arrested and charged with failure to disperse. I talked to Taury, also
talked to a rapper, Tef Poe, this afternoon after they appeared at a forum
for youth in this community.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELVIN: Taury, when did you get out?
TAUREAN RUSSELL, ORGANIZATION FOR BLACK STRUGGLE: A little after
midnight. I would say about 12:40. I walked out.
MELVIN: 13, 14 hours ago?
RUSSELL: 14 hours ago. So, I was in there on Tuesday a little bit
before midnight and I got out about 12:30 --
MELVIN: I saw you Tuesday. Tuesday night.
RUSSELL: Yes. I walked off the set with Chris Hayes and I met -- and
I showed him the distance between Ferguson market and Camp Hill and we
did not get all the way down the curb. Shots fired. I was pointed out.
And, when they got me, they said, "Yes. We got him. This is the one we
want, right here, Gray shirt.
MELVIN: You were singled out.
RUSSELL: I know I was, because I was pointed at prior to. So, it was
MELVIN: So, you got locked up.
RUSSELL: Locked up.
MELVIN: What was it like in jail?
RUSSELL: It was weird. I mean, from the people, like, you know, like
I said, I was locked up, a photographer, Canadian, journalists, all kinds
of people. Rich people came down just to see how I was, locked up with me;
scrapes, bruises, gashes.
From the people in there that was locked up with me was good. Police,
they already knew my name which was, you know, kind of confirmation that I
knew who I was. So, they was like, "Yes, Russell. We waiting on this
person to come get you."
MELVIN: Did the police say anything to you while you were in there?
RUSSELL: I mean I was called a (EXPLICIT WORD).
RUSSELL: Yes, by the police officer, by a city police officer when I
was actually being detained on the street. I was called fat. I mean, I
have been called fat before. Animal.
MELVIN: They called you the "N" word?
RUSSELL: Yes, by a city police, uniformed cop. No badge. No I.D.,
of course. You know, unless that is their procedure, I guess.
MELVIN: That is going to be one of the headlines out of all of this
after it is all over, the treatment of the protesters, as you know.
MELVIN: Is that one of the reasons you think the protests started to
RUSSELL: I do not think it actually dwindled. I think people are
actually waiting for what is next. So, they are waiting on people like me
and Tef and the correlation to come with the next steps. So, we have next
steps, you know, with the walkout, the college walkout on Monday at 12:00.
We asked for all college students to walk out with their hands up as a
sign that, you know, Mike Brown was supposed to -- it was supposed to be
his first day in class. So, we are going to walk out, because we have that
opportunity. You know, 40 years ago they did a sit-in, we are going to do
MELVIN: Tef, you were one of the first folks who was here, correct?
TEF POE, RAPPER: Well, yes. Initially, one of the first outside
community responders, I think. Yes, I would say that.
MELVIN: And, you sent out a tweet that got the Calvary here as well.
POE: Yes. I came down here. Initially, I was at home. I heard
about the shooting. My younger brother called me and he was in tears
because he knew a few people who actually knew Mike. And, I came down to
check it out. When I got here, I could tell the situation was not a
People were riled up. I mean there were cops` cars everywhere. It
looked like a scene from like "Die Hard" or something. I mean every cop
jurisdiction you could think of was in the street. There were police
officers across the street putting on bulletproof vests. But, the thing
that I noticed the most is I did not notice anybody from the community with
any weapons or anything. Only people I saw with weapons and aggression
were the police.
MELVIN: What was -- maybe I should say what is, because it sounds
like -- what is the movement about now? I mean the protests. They have
kind of subsided. What is it about? What is going --
RUSSELL: It is really moving forward.
POE: It is really all about justice for Mike Brown, man and showing
that he did not die in vain. You know? I look at his mother on
television, and I feel that pain. That is real pain, and we just want
justice. We just want what is right and what is fair. You know? We all
could have been easily Mike Brown.
I was a 17-year-old kid from North County who once walking around,
dreaming of being a musician. I had hopes to be a rapper, and I am from
the same exact community. And, I could relate to the story, you know?
Because his story is my story.
MELVIN: You do not think there is any chance that a year from now --
year and a half from now, this is another one of those, you know,
unfortunate situations that we have forgotten about? That we have stopped
talking about? You do not think this is something that is going to be
RUSSELL: No way, man. Like we said, this is a long process, so on
the pursuit, you know, trying to correct 400 years of nonsense and racism,
we are going to try to walk it down day by day. It is not going to be
easy. Some people are -- you know, some people are a little deterred by
the weather, but we are expecting big numbers. We have 15 Howard students
coming out protesting.
MELVIN: So, the protests are not over?
RUSSELL: Oh, no, we are not over. We will be moving the protests to
other places. See, that is some of the things we are getting out. We are
heading to the department of justice. We have demands. We want the
department of justice to step in. Remove Bob McCulloch. He is the County
prosecutor. He needs to be removed.
We need a special prosecutor in. I mean there are a lot of things
that we need, you know? People are not going to stop until Darren Wilson
is fired, prosecuted, and, you know, indicted on some kind of charge. We
need an indictment.
Not a grand jury where we are playing a play game of charades in the
courtroom. We need indictment, you know? Not giving the defense enough
time to recant or make up more stories like they released.
POE: That is the first step to helping this community rebuild.
People always ask me, what can we do next? That is what we are trying to
do. Put pressure on the lawmakers, the legislators, and anyone that is an
elected official to do the right thing in this situation. I think, you
know, we are not asking for much. We have the -- they have not given us
anything as a community --
POE: -- In response to the murder of Mike Brown, and that is all we
want. We just want what is right.
MELVIN: Thank you. Taurean, appreciate it.
RUSSELL: Thank you.
POE: Thank you.
MELVIN: Tef, thank you. Thank you both.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELVIN: Three impressive people I met here in Ferguson, including
Captain Ron Johnson, that is ahead.
MELVIN: Much more live from Ferguson, next. >
MELVIN: This week I have learned a lot about this city and the people
who call it home. One of those folks, Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELVIN: How close -- you said you were from around this area,
CAPT. RON JOHNSON, HIGHWAY PATROL OFFICER: Yes.
MELVIN: How close by?
CAPT. JOHNSON: I grew up, back when I was a lot younger. I could
walk from -- it was a decent walk -- but I could walk from my -- where I
grew up to up here, or ride a bike to this area, so it is not far.
MELVIN: And, you still have family in the area?
CAPT. JOHNSON: Yes. And, I still live in the area. And, that is why
I live here because my family lives here. My friends live here. As a
matter of fact, a young lady in the store there just informed we graduated
from the same high school in 1981. And, so that shows that this community
-- a lot of people still live here. I want to say they have been broken
into twice since the incident.
MELVIN: All of the windows have been knocked out.
CAPT. JOHNSON: Yes. That is why this morning, I want to come around
and talk to them and tell them we are going to do everything we can to
sustain and ask them to stay here after it is over. And, that is not
coming from the Policeman Ron Johnson. That is coming from the person that
lives in this community. I want them to stay open.
MELVIN: Are you going to stay open, no matter what?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Well, I am trying. I do not know how
long. If it continues, I might close it down. I do not know. At the
moment, I am just trying to, you know, survive.
MELVIN: How long have you been here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: 20 years.
CAPT. JOHNSON: 20 years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Yes.
MELVIN: 20 years and all he is asking is, "Help me, help me."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELVIN: Captain, how much of this is about race?
CAPT. JOHNSON: I think it is about racial feelings. That I believe
it is truly about racial feelings.
MELVIN: What do you mean? What do you mean?
CAPT. JOHNSON: I think that there has not been a balance within the
community. This community has changed over the years, and, you know, right
now this community is 70 percent African-American; but if you went back in
the `70s, that percentage may have been 1 percent or 2 percent.
So, it is truly changing, and I think that the people of the community
feel like that that balance and that understanding and what is believed as
a sense of fairness and equality has not grown with that percentage. And,
so, there is a lot of issues going on here that are beyond the death of
Mike Brown, but the death of Mike Brown has let everyone know that that
wound had never closed.
You know, there has been talk about the wound is re-opened. I think
that we are finding through this, and the feeling of the community that the
wound never closed. And, the voices that we are hearing is saying it is
time for it to close, and the peaceful voices that we are hearing are
saying that it is time for it to close.
MELVIN: If the officer was charged tomorrow, if there was an
indictment tomorrow, do you think that these streets would be empty the
CAPT. JOHNSON: I do not know. I do not know. I do not know that. I
do not -- I do not know that. I do not know that because the --
CAPT. JOHNSON: The criminal element -- that is not their concern.
That is not their concern. And if -- if charges were brought tomorrow, our
peaceful people would still -- I believe they would be out here because
they have been peaceful. It is not their issue. I cannot think like the
criminal mind, but if the criminal element is going to be out here as long
as they know that they can create havoc and cause issues.
CAPT. JOHNSON: They are going to be here. They are going to be here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELVIN: They are going to be here. Today, I talked to two very
impressive young men from St. Louis who are among the peaceful protesters
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELVIN: Mustafa, what was it like growing up here in St. Louis?
MUSTAFA ABDUL-HAMID, ST. LOUIS RESIDENT: You know what? I mean, to
be honest, St. Louis is a tremendous place, and I love my city. I have a
lot of respect for my city. But, I tell you, you know, if you go to
certain places, and we talk about it here, you go down south, a lot of
times you will -- we are talking about racism here and prejudice.
You will be able to look in someone`s eye or know certain places where
that does not fly, where you do not feel comfortable or people may
discriminate against you. But a lot of times here in St. Louis, things
have been swept under the rug. So, there is a veil that covers your face
where you do not feel that people sometimes see you.
And this -- this incident -- the incident between Mike Brown and
Officer Wilson and the response, there has been an outpouring on social
media. And, it has revealed a lot about the character of this city. I
think, one, it has revealed a lot about -- you know, there were -- and west
was there, people standing in front of these anarchists and people that
were trying to hijack the protests.
You have strong communities here, but also on social media, you have
people that do not want to recognize that the issues are here, that race is
a part of this, that it is a greater issue that not only affects the black
community, but all of our communities. And, so, it pits those two, that
positive dynamic and it pits that right against something where we like to
avoid the true nature and the true reasons and conflict that sometimes
exist in our communities.
MELVIN: How does Ferguson recover from this? How does this area
recover from this? Or does it?
WES SUBER, ST. LOUIS COUNT RESIDENT: I think that is a very good
question. I think, you know, I guess I am in no -- I can give my opinion.
I think -- I think it is almost near impossible. You almost have to
realize that at some point, like, going forward, there is a complete loss
of respect and understanding for what police do, because now the narrative
for what they do has completely changed; because everyone gets to see what
is actually happening, like Mustafa alluded to earlier.
You cannot just keep sweeping things under the rug and expect it not
to flare up into a burst that looks like a protest, that looks like a riot,
that looks like a loot, because, you cannot keep holding people down. You
are literally putting your knee on their neck and saying, "All right, you
can only protest in this one square over there. You can only do this in
this one instance right here, but if you -- as soon as one person acts out,
we are not going to get that one person, we are going to persecute the
ABDUL-HAMID: Think about the young folks in this community, right?
That are now seeing and experiencing this for themselves. Their
understanding of law enforcement, their understanding of their civil rights
and civil liberties is forever skewed. And, it will take a lot of work to
re-instill some confidence into them.
So, I hope, and I pray that we have not lost a generation to more
distrust. That has been -- you know, I have had the experiences and Wes
has had the experiences. I remember being 7 or 8 years old and being
accused of stealing. My mother being accused of stealing, and then the
officer, you know, made her take everything out of her purse in the mall
and then he was very assertive and it became more and more aggressive.
And, then they pushed us off into a corridor, right? But, this is an
unfinished corridor. All concrete, no cameras, no people, and it continued
to escalate. So, things like that resonate with you. I have this common
issue that some of the things I have seen, just like some of these kids
But, I have also had the experience of seeing the positives of law
enforcement. You know, my dad used to work with a group of anti-gang and
anti-drug task force and they would march and they would march in the
community and the police would coordinate it and they would help.
And, so, this community policing that we have been hearing so much
about is entirely possible. But, my fear is that these kids are not going
to get to see that other side. And, so what happens to them then?
MELVIN: I will be back with some personal, final thoughts from
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD: Do not shoot! Do not shoot! Do not shoot! Justice! Now!
Justice! Now! We are not leaving until we have justice! We are not
leaving until we have justice!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST OF "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES": And, whoa --
MELVIN: Hey, hey, hey, hey. Watch out, Chris.
CROWD: We are one! We are one! We are one! Hands up! Do not
shoot! Hands up! Do not shoot!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELVIN: What a difference a week makes. All hell had broken loose
here in Ferguson one week ago tonight. The world watched as hundreds of
protesters, if not thousands, genuinely hurt, genuinely angry, marched and
chanted up and down the street behind me. There are very few protesters
And, the police presence that rivaled something that you might have
seen when we were battling for hearts and minds in Iraq a decade ago, that
is also gone. But, the sadness and fear and distrust remain in Ferguson.
Countless people have told me so this week. And, I am not talk about just
your regular run of the mill distrust between black and brown people and
the police were to protect them.
I am talking about a deep cross generational distrust of the system.
Not parts of the system. The entire system. Between the folks who make
the rules and the people who enforce them. That is what we have seen
manifest itself here in Ferguson, and yes, there have been people here who
took advantage of the situation, including some outsiders who tried to co-
op what this was really about for so many.
But for the overwhelming majority of people that I have had the
pleasure to meet here, the shooting death of Michael Brown touched their
heart and soul in such a way. They felt they had to do something. They
had to let the world know they were sick and tired. That is what we saw.
We have also started to see something else here in Ferguson, though.
People are now starting to talk about how to make things better. More
police officers that reflect the community they serve; dash cameras, body
cameras, conversations about how to bridge a real racial divide.
It made my heart smile to see teachers volunteering to spend their
mornings picking up the trash left by protesters the night before. I
watched a slew of folks eat barbecue together at a spot vandalized and set
on fire just a few days before, because the owner knows that good food
brings good people together.
Everyone in Ferguson is not a racist and everyone is not a looting
thug. They are good people here. And, they want to make sure that what
has happened here leads to some good. They want justice for Michael
They like the rest of the world want to know precisely what happened
on August 9th, and what we can all do to try and prevent it from happening
again in another American City to another young man, who looks like me.
That is "All In" for this Friday evening. The "Rachel Maddow" show starts
right now. Rachel, good evening to you.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Craig that was an amazing show tonight.
Well done. That was great. Congratulations.
MELVIN: Thank you.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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