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PoliticsNation, Thursday, August 28th, 2014

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POLITICS NATION
August 28, 2014

Guest: Patricia Bines; Elijah Cummings; Brian Katulis, Karen Finney,
Krystal Ball, Claudia Towns, Chris Stewart


ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR, THE ED SHOW: That`s "the Ed Show." I`m Ed
Schultz. "Politics Nation" with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.

Good evening, Rev.

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

Tonight tonight`s lead, lessons not learned in Ferguson. In the weeks
since the death of Michael Brown, we have heard a lot of calls for change.
Both to prevent police shootings and to reconsider the militarization of
local police. But apparently some people don`t see a need to change. St.
Louis county police chief Jon Belmar is defending the use of military
equipment by local police and just listen why.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHIEF JON BELMAR, ST. LOUIS COUNTY POLICE: A lot of that equipment is in
my opinion and other chiefs across the country necessary. Every one of our
agencies have equipment similar to that in urban areas because we have a
responsibility to mitigate serious crimes and terrorist events.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Of course, we do need to be ready for terrorist events. But he
thinks officers need military equipment because they patrol, quote, "urban
areas." Communities need to trust their police officers. And that trust
wasn`t built in Ferguson when the streets looked like a war zone. Has
chief Belmar forgotten this?

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)

SHARPTON: I guess the police chief thinks that`s all OK because it
happened in an urban area. Thankfully, not everyone agrees. Missouri
senator Claire McCaskill plans to hold Senate hearings next month on the
militarization of police departments. Congressman Adam Schiff is urging
the attorney general to help local police departments buy body cameras.
And a group of civil rights groups and lawmakers wrote a letter to the
president asking for the justice department to help make other changes to
local police forces.

They want to make racial bias training mandatory to implement diversity
hiring, and retention guidelines so police reflect the communities where
they serve. And to appoint a police czar to watch for egregious activity.
These are the kinds of steps we should take. But claiming police need
military hardware because they are patrolling, quote, "urban areas," that
demonstrates a profound misunderstanding of what the last few weeks have
been all about.

Joining me now are Congressman Elijah Cummings, Democrat of Maryland who
signed on to the letter urging the justice department to change police
practices, and Patricia Bines, committeewoman of Ferguson township. Thank
you both for being here.

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: It is good to be with you, Reverend
Sharpton.

PATRICIA BINES, COMMITTEEWOMAN, FERGUSON TOWNSHIP: Thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: Congressman, this new comment about military gear in "urban
areas," doesn`t it highlight what we need to renew and review as we renew
our commitment to serve and protect? I mean, we need to review police
tactics all over the country.

CUMMINGS: Yes. No doubt about it, Reverend. Our citizens should never be
in a position where they are paying people to protect and serve and the
next thing you know they found out those very people are attacking them as
if they are in a war zone. And so it`s very important that police have
training and have certain sensitivity.

You know, Reverend, under this 1033 program, whereby the local police
departments get this equipment, a lot of the equipment, you talk about
bayonets, grenade launchers, all kinds of stuff.

SHARPTON: Right.

CUMMINGS: And a lot policemen -- first of all, the equipment has no place
in an urban area. But second, a lot of policemen aren`t trained to use
these equipment. They want to use it because they`ve got it. It`s like a
toy. And they want to use it. Unfortunately, it puts people in a position
where they can bring a lot of harm and do more harm just with the
presentation of those kinds of equipment than they do good. And so we have
to look at that.

And also got to look at the composition of this police departments. That`s
another thing the letter talked about. We cannot have a police department
that have 53 officers, only three African-Americans.

SHARPTON: In a community that`s 67 percent African-American.

CUMMINGS: That`s right.

SHARPTON: But Patricia, what`s the over reaction to the chief`s comment
about urban areas.

BINES: Well, it sounds like, and I really hate to say it, it sounds like
code language for what urban is supposed to mean. it sounds like it`s
almost as if saying, well, we were policing black people so this is the
tactic that we needed to use. And it does not sit well at all with the
community. While they had tanks and teargas, you know, people may have
been throwing rocks and bottles.

Is this an appropriate response? It doesn`t feel -- protesters aren`t
domestic terrorists. I can see in situation where is you need this type of
equipment, and I know how things escalated out there. I was out there
every single night. We need to question was this the correct response and
are we just doing this because these were a majority of black people
protesting or would another people throughout America, if they were white
protesting would it have been the same reaction.

SHARPTON: And we are not condoning rocks and bottles.

BINES: Not at all.

SHARPTON: But we are talking about an overreaction.

BINES: Yes.

SHARPTON: In fact Congressman, there was a lot of military equipment in
Ferguson. The Pentagon confirmed it sent the St. Louis police county
police six pistols, 12 rifles, 15 weapon sights, three helicopters, seven
humvees, two night vision devices, one bomb disposal robot. And the
smaller Ferguson police department got two humvees, one generator and one
cargo trailer. I mean, do we need to review whether police departments
really need this kind of gear from the Pentagon, Congressman?

CUMMINGS: No doubt about it. We are going to review it. Keep in mind in
over the last 20 years local and state police departments have gotten $4.3
billion worth of equipment from the military. And again, there is a view
of the urban areas as if they -- they act as if they have to police them in
a way where they are almost like they are looking at you like the enemy.
These were people peacefully protesting. Peacefully putting out the word
that they were very much upset with what happened with Mr. Brown. And the
vast majority of them were protesting peacefully. So the next thing you
know, you have these folks coming in with this heavy equipment and the kind
of equipment that really causes people to say, you know, wait a minute.
What`s going on here? And I acted like I said, that just exacerbates the
problem as opposed to helping resolve the problem.

SHARPTON: And some of the citizens they are claiming to protect are
inhaling teargas.

CUMMINGS: They are inhaling teargas. That`s right.

SHARPTON: You know, Patricia, "the Hill" reports that police groups are
lobbying to keep their hardware, arguing it helps protect the public and
they are gearing up to fight with lawmakers in the Obama administration.
Even if the program continues, shouldn`t there be some kind of change, even
if it`s more training?

BINES: There needs to be significant amount of change. Now that things
have cool down here in St. Louis, I think we all need to recalibrate. And
now, we really need to be asking the tough questions. If we had a
terrorist attack in St. Louis, I definitely think we are equipped for that.
There need to be strict guidelines on when you pull out, you know, the
teargas on anyone and especially citizens. We need to look at everything,
every policy, and make sure that even in the heat of things when things are
heating up, the right decisions are being made. I think we can question
that over the past few weeks.

SHARPTON: Congressman, you know, one thing I have been saying is that
national figures, particularly those that are being touted as potential
presidential candidates ought to be speaking out. And I`m happy Hillary
Clinton has now come and weighed in on Ferguson. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Nobody wants to see our
streets look like a war zone, not in America. We are better than that. We
can do better. We cannot ignore the inequities that persist in our justice
system. Inequities that undermine our most deeply held values of fairness
and equality.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I think that`s a strong and good statement from Hillary Clinton.
I`m hoping that Jeb Bush and Chris Christie and others weigh in. But will
we, in your opinion, Congressman, see more and more pressure put on, this
whole question of the way we have seen what we saw in Ferguson, the
militarization of the police departments.

CUMMINGS: I think we`ll see a lot of pressure. And thanks to the people
like you, Rev. And I want to thank you for your leadership. You have been
absolutely great on this.

But you know, we`re going to have to do it ourselves and we are going to
continue to pressure. But there is one other thing that we should keep in
mind. This cannot just be a black effort. We have to have a coalition of
people and you always talk about that -- coalition of people. And that`s
why I`m very pleased that (INAUDIBLE) and Dr. Blackwell are putting this
letter together. They emphasize having a diverse group of people. It is
not just African-Americans, people from corporate America, White, black,
Hispanic and coming together saying we want a better America, we want a
better policing situation. And I think that is very significant too. But
we have to keep the pressure going on.

SHARPTON: So -- and Rand Paul spoke out.

But you know, a reporter, Patricia, asked the St. Louis police chief what
they used military equipment for in the past. Take a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: What other purposes have you used that
equipment for in the past.

BELMAR: Armed barricades, search warrants. That`s pretty much it. And we
done ever really use them for search warrants very often.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Military gear for search warrants. I mean, not that often. Why
have it?

BINES: I don`t know what happened. I think that they got in the heat of
the moment. I think that there may have been biases that played out and
seeing that it is a largely black crowd and maybe they felt to control the
crowd, they needed to resort to this.

I hope it never happens again anywhere in America to this extent. Because
beyond what you see in the streets, now those of us that live here, there
is a rift between the law enforcement community here and people that live
here in feeling policed, over-policed, and serious questions of excessive
force which we have some trust issues we need to work on now.

Congressman Elijah Cummings and Patricia Bines, thank you for your time
tonight.

CUMMINGS: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

BINES: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, a family fight for justice. A young man dies in
police custody after being repeatedly tasered while in handcuffs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s (INAUDIBLE)N how`s that? And as my partner
quoted, "that`s what killed him."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

We`ll talk live to the victim`s mother.

Also President Obama`s call to action on ISIS. He made it clear he`s
rallying the world to fight that growing threat, but he`s not about to
launch a new war.

Plus, the video that`s lighting up the web. A kid`s priceless reaction to
some big news from his mom.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m pregnant!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What were you thinking? Why you have to just get
another baby? You just had two! So why -- this is exasperating.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Exasperating. Adorable! The rest of the video ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Today, President Obama called on the entire world to mobilize
the terror threat from ISIS. He also tapped the brakes on those calling
for war. This as we are learning that ISIS terrorists are apparently
copying torture methods used by the U.S. during the Bush era. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Because of our strikes the
terrorists of ISIL are losing arms and equipment in some areas Iraqi and
Kurdish forces began to push them back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: President Obama this afternoon on the continued air strikes in
Iraq against the terrorist group known as ISIS. While many of the right
have been banging the drum to escalate the fight against ISIS with the new
bombing campaign in Syria, the President made it very clear today the
United States is not on the brink of going to war. Instead the president
again laid out a long-term plan for a coalition of nations to fight is
together.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: As I have said, ruling out a cancer will not be quick and easy.
But I`m confident that we can and will working closely with our allies and
our partners. It`s not simply a military issue. It`s also a political
issue. It is also an issue that involves all the Sunni state this is the
region and Sunni leadership recognizing this cancer that`s developed is one
that they have to be just are as invested in defeating as we are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now Brian Katulis, senior fellow at the center for
American Progress.

Brian, thank you for being here this evening.

BRIAN KATULIS, SENIOR FELLOW, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: Great to be
with you.

SHARPTON: There has been a drum beat in recent days about air strikes in
Syria. Why do you think the president decided to tapped the brakes on that
today?

KATULIS: Well, first, we need to know what we might strike before we
actually take any strikes. And the president, as you know reverend Al, he
is a look before you leap kind of guy and I think that`s a good thing.

Clearly, the last couple of weeks that ISIS is a great threat. It is a
threat to the region as the president said. But I think also, as the
president said, that region actually has to do more to pull its weight.
And I think that`s the right message to be sending right now for decades.
People in the region have taken us for fools or suckers, you know, simply
thinking that we are going to solve their problems. And I think what the
president is trying to say is yes, there might be a need some action at
some point by us. But first and foremost, the people of the region, the
leaders have got actually help us deal with this threat as well.

SHARPTON: You know, ISIS released a propaganda video showing what they say
with 250 Syrian soldiers marched in their underwear to be executed. The
video is too graphic to show after this point. What purpose does the
release of the video serve is this, Brian?

KATULIS: Well, the first thing is to try terrorize people of the region,
and to instill even more fear. And this is a very -- it`s a brutal group.
And it`s been effective in terrorizing the population. Second, I think it
is trying to send some sort of distorted recruitment call to people who
want to come and go after troops and get involved in the war. It`s a very
ugly thing. And as we have talked before, it`s having an effect. You have
thousands of people from outside Iraq and Syria including some Americans
flocking there to join this fight. And that what makes the threat really
complicated.

SHARPTON: "The Washington Post" reports today that ISIS use water boarding
against, at least, for prisoners. Quote "James Foley was among the four
who were water boarded several times by Islamic state militants who is
appeared to model the technique on the CIA`s use of water boarding to
interrogate suspected terrorists after the September 112001 attacks. Is
this more blowback to the Bush administration`s initial invasion of Iraq 11
years ago, Brian?

KATULIS: Yes. That`s part of it. But it is also a wake-up call to remind
everyone that just as we are debating whether to release this report the
U.S. Senate has on the use of torture and water boarding and things like
this, that for us as a Democratic society, we actually need to have
transparency. We need to have justice because when injustice is done by
anyone and President Obama is clear about this in trying to respond to
ISIS. But when we have done some things as well we need to hold people to
account. And that`s still very much a live issue on whether there is
enough check and balances and enough oversight over the sort of things we
have done throughout the year.

SHARPTON: You know, let me ask me. You are an educated gust. What is the
time period before more air strikes against ISIS in Syria.

KATULIS: Well, look, in Syria, I don`t know. I think it is going to take
some time. If you recall, Reverend Al, in earlier this summer around June
10th, ISIS went to Mosul. And It took a month and a half for the United
States to put in place surveillance and get enough intelligence to have
strikes that were actually were precise enough. And one could conceive of
a perhaps a longer time frame inside of Syria because quite simply, our
human intelligence is not what it should be. We have amazing capability to
conduct surveillance from the air and other places. But I think we may
have some time where we are trying to figure out what we know, where are
people, where are some of these Americans who may be held by groups. So it
actually could take time.

SHARPTON: Brian Katulis, thank you for your time tonight.

KATULIS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, the RNC is desperately trying to spin away a
devastating new report on the GOP`s problem with women. The only catch,
it`s a Republican report.

But first, oops. Rick Perry did it again. We`ll tell you why he`s back in
tonight`s "Got You."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Everything`s bigger in Texas, including the flubs. The
notorious moment Rick Perry has been trying to live down for almost three
years is back with a vengeance. The Republican governor got himself into a
Texas-sized mess during the 2012 presidential primary debates with this now
infamous moment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: It`s three agencies of government when I get
there that are gone. Commerce, education, and the -- what`s the third one
there? Let`s see.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can`t name the third one?

PERRY: The third agency of government I would do away with the education,
the --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Commerce?

PERRY: Commerce. And let`s see -- Oh, my. The third one I can`t. I
can`t. I`m sorry. Oops.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Oops. He couldn`t remember. Since that failed campaign, Perry
has attempted to remake his image, grabbing headlines for sporting stylish
black-rimmed glasses, all in a possible attempt to run for president again.
But the image many Americans now have of him is this one, his mug shot.
Governor Perry is currently facing two felony indictment counts. But when
asked about the indictment recently, oops, he did it again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY: I have been indicted by that same body now for -- I think two
counts. One of -- bribery, which I`m not a lawyer, so really understand
the details here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He doesn`t understand the details of his own indictment?
Bribery isn`t even one of the charges. He`s being indicted for abuse of
official capacity and coercion of a public official. Nope, not bribery.
But maybe that just slipped Governor Perry`s mind.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY: I can`t. The third one I can`t. I`m sorry. Oops.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Oops. Nice try, but we "Got You."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: When it comes to their standing with women voters the Republican
Party isn`t doing so great. But you don`t have to take my word for it.
That`s what republicans are saying. A new GOP commission poll shows that
female voters say that the Republican Party is, quote, "intolerant, lacking
in compassion, and stuck in the past." In fact their poll shows 49 percent
of women nearly have viewed republicans unfavorably. Ouch. Remember how
after their party`s train wreck in 2012 they vowed to turn it around?
Well, here`s the kind of outreach to women we have seen from republicans so
far this year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I don`t really see this that there is some
sort of war that`s, you know, keeping women down.

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: I find this war on women rhetoric
just almost silly. It is republicans that have led the fight for women`s
equality.

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The republicans don`t
have a war on women. They have a war for women, for them to be empowered
to be something other than victims of their gender. Uncle Sugar coming in
and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because
they cannot control their libido?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Uncle Sugar? This rhetoric is bad but their policies are even
worse. This year, republicans blocked the paycheck fairness act and even
delayed passage of the violence against women`s act. And unless the GOP
responds to this wake-up call, they are going to stay stuck in the past.

Joining me now are Karen Finney and Krystal Ball. Thank you both for being
here.

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you.

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC HOST, "THE CYCLE": Thanks for having us.

SHARPTON: Krystal, why are republicans shocked to learn that they still
have problems with women?

BALL: You know, honestly, I don`t think they are shocked. I think that
they know they have an issue. That`s part of why they are commissioning
these polls, that`s part of why they talked about it -- that infamous
autopsy after they lost the 2012 presidential election. That`s why they
have held these training sessions about how to talk to women. But the
problem is, they are not willing to change their policies.

SHARPTON: Right.

BALL: So as long as they are the same party that is saying, no, we don`t
believe in equal pay for equal work and we are actively going to stand
against that and block it then they are still going to be a party stuck in
the past so women are going to see them as the party that stuck in the
past.

SHARPTON: You know, Karen, you would think the Republican Party would take
this poll to heart since it is their party, since it`s their poll.

FINNEY: Right. Exactly.

SHARPTON: And really take a long hard look at their policies. But here is
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, this morning on MSNBC.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The polls just wasn`t the republicans are stuck in the
past.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Mm-hmm.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The gist of the poll was 50 percent of the women are
saying they have a negative view of the Republican Party and 40 percent of
the women are saying they have a negative view of the Democratic Party.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So the report is called republicans and women voters. Huge
challenges, real opportunities.

FINNEY: Right.

SHARPTON: And his take away is that this report is bad for the democrats?

(LAUGHTER)

FINNEY: You know, Rev., this goes to something that you talk about a lot
and that is getting out to vote. Republicans are hoping that women will
not turn out, particularly unmarried women won`t turn out to vote, that
somehow they will just forget about all those policy issues that they care
about that the republicans are so horrible on and just not show up to the
polls. So, what I would say to women is, you know the Republican Party is
terrible on these issues. You know that`s not where you get respect. You
know there is a war on women. Women need to turn out to the polls this
fall and make themselves heard on that.

SHARPTON: You know, a perfect example of the right`s war on women is
Governor Bobby Jindal`s assault on abortion rights in Louisiana. You know,
Krystal, an anti-abortion law he signed in June is scheduled to take effect
on September 1st. And it would shift three of the state`s five abortion
clinics due to lack of admitting privileges for doctors. We have seen this
repeated in five other states already.

BALL: That`s right.

SHARPTON: If republicans want to appeal to women voters maybe they should
stop attacking women`s reproductive rights around the country.

BALL: Yes. I think that`s a good place to start. And it`s not like we
haven`t seen this script before, as you are pointing out. Most notably
perhaps in Virginia. You had a massive attack on women`s rights. And
there was a huge voter backlash so that even the republicans had to sort of
say, they went too far and backed down. Look, voters are mixed on the very
difficult issue of abortion. That`s the reality. But the other reality
is, when you are the party that`s leading with abortion.

When you are making that a priority and you can see that they are making it
a priority with the massive number of laws just like the one in Louisiana
that are passing across the country. When you are leading that, when you
are essentially in all but name making abortion illegal in your state, you
were way out of line with where women and where most Americans, the
majority of Americans are.

SHARPTON: You know, Karen, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is making
headlines with some revelations in her new book. She says male colleagues
called her chubby, porky, and fat. We are talking about senators now.
Senators, congressmen, even an adviser. What does this say about the
attitudes towards women in D.C.?

FINNEY: Well, it`s disgusting. I mean, number one, it`s disrespectful to
think that a senator would speak that way to a colleague, period. Right?

SHARPTON: Yes.

FINNEY: And actually, I am a friend of Kirsten`s. And I remember when she
was dieting, and trying to lose the baby weight. And I was like, you just
had a baby. It`s OK. And yet, you know, those comments are so harsh. And
they set a tone for, you know, these insidious sort of sense of what`s
beauty for women. And there are no male politicians other than Chris
Christie that I have ever seen get comments on their weight or as Kirsten
talks about in the article, get touched, you know, have their waist
touched. I mean, it`s really disgusting.

SHARPTON: And they don`t do it to men.

BALL: I don`t think so.

FINNEY: No, they don`t do it to men. And they don`t, you know, and they
don`t disrespect their male colleagues in this way. And that`s -- they
don`t understand that talking to another colleague like that is incredibly
disrespectful. It say as lot about what they think about women and what
women should look like and what`s appropriate.

BALL: I mean, that`s the thing here. This is how they talk to their
colleague. Their colleague. To her face. Can you imagine the sort of --

SHARPTON: And it`s not about obesity. It`s a gender thing. I mean, I`m
certainly -- since I have gotten slimmer on people about weight, but I
mean, it`s not based on gender, it`s a health thing.

BALL: It`s all about the fact that women are judged. Right? No matter
what you do, no matter what you look like, you are always judged on your
appearance, on how you are on the world on whether you are working or not
working, whether you`re a mom or not a mom. There is no way to be perfect.
And the fact that someone as incredible as Senator Gillibrand in the
highest body in our land is facing those kinds of comments is astonishing.

SHARPTON: By colleagues.

BALL: By colleagues. By colleagues.

SHARPTON: But there has been progress, Karen. Fifty years ago in 1964
there were only 14 women serving in the U.S. Congress. Today there are
102. Women still only make up 19 percent of the membership. But it`s
moving in the right direction.

BALL: Well, we need more women. We need more women in Congress for lots
of reason. Not the least of which they would never talk to each other or a
colleague like that. But they would also get a lot more done in general.

SHARPTON: All right. I`m going to have to leave it there. Karen Finney
and Krystal Ball, thank you both for your time.

BALL: Thanks, Rev.

FINNEY: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: And be sure to watch Krystal on "THE CYCLE" weekdays at 3:00
p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC.

Straight ahead, I will talk to the mother of a man police allegedly tased
more than a dozen times while he was handcuffed. Today his family filed a
wrongful death lawsuit.

And we`ll look at some strange reaction online to the president`s press
conference today. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The fatal shooting of Michael Brown is shining a light on
tensions between police and the communities they are sworn to protect,
including the tactics and tools that police use in the line of duty.
Today, one of those tools used the taser is at the heart of a new wrongful
death lawsuit filed by the family of 24-year-old Gregory Towns, Jr. They
are suing the city of East Point, Georgia, and two of its former police
officers.

The suit claims that in April of this year, towns was unjustifiably tased
more than a dozen times while handcuffed by Sergeant Marcus Eberhart and
Corporal Howard Weems who are responding to a domestic dispute call.
Sergeant Eberhart has resigned and Corporal Weems was fired and is
appealing. The metal guard examiner was ruled it a homicide citing the
manner of death as, quote, "Use of drive stun conducted electrical device
by police." Today the family`s attorney talked about the tasing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS STEWART, ATTORNEY FOR TOWNS` FAMILY: Sergeant Eberhart pulled his
taser ten times for a total of 47 seconds of shock time. Corporal Weems,
four times for a total of 27 seconds shock time. That`s an electrocution
time of a minute and 14 seconds. And we want people to understand how
serious that is. That`s a minute and 14 seconds of that. As my partner
quoted, "that`s what killed him."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The county district attorney is still waiting on evidence before
deciding whether to take the case to a grand jury.

Joining me now are Claudia Towns, Gregory Towns` mother. And Chris
Stewart, an attorney representing the family. First, thank you to both of
you for being here tonight.

STEWART: Thank you for having us, Reverend.

CLAUDIA TOWNS, SON DIED IN POLICE CUSTODY: Thank you.

SHARPTON: We want to note the Associated Press reports that after your
lawsuit, Officer Eberhart couldn`t immediately be reached for comment.
Officer Weems lawyer and the city`s attorney declined the comment. First
of all, how are you and your family doing?

TOWNS: Well Reverend, we`re doing the best we can, thanks to the lord.

SHARPTON: You know, Miss Towns, what do you want to see come from this
lawsuit?

TOWNS: I would like to see them prosecuted, I would like to see a change.

SHARPTON: You`d like to see the officers involved prosecuted.

TOWNS: I would like to see the whole system change.

SHARPTON: According to the East Point Police Department, taser guidelines,
and I`m quoting use of advanced taser under the following circumstances is
not authorized. For coercion or intimidation to escort (inaudible).
Attorney Stewart, do you believe the officers broke the guidelines set
forth by their own department?

STEWART: It`s not just a personal belief. It`s a fact. It`s directly
from their police reports, from the statements and their reports. They
simply started tasing Gregory because he wouldn`t get up and walk to the
police car fast enough. And so, they used their tasers as a prod as if
he`s some type of animal or cattle that you can shock him and make him get
up and walk.

SHARPTON: And he was handcuffed at the time.

STEWART: He was handcuffed. The tasering started after he was handcuffed.
He was already submitting. He wasn`t cursing, he wasn`t doing anything
outrageous. He was simply tired. And even in the police report, he`s
quoted multiple times begging to rest. To just have a seat and sit down
and then he would be tasered. It`s a travesty.

SHARPTON: An attorney for Corporal Howard Weems who was appealing his
firing said, quote, "use of drive stun to gain compliance is permitted
under federal and Georgia law." Attorney Stewart, how do you respond to
that?

STEWART: We`ll find out in court if that`s accurate. As you see from the
exhibit, you`ve already seen so far. We are taking things directly from
the East Point policy and procedure. That`s a direct violation of their
own guidelines of how to use a taser. And we`ll see if they are following
up with training to make sure that that`s exactly how you are supposed to
use it because it`s wasn`t like that -- in this situation.

SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you, how did you find out Miss Towns about your
son`s death?

TOWNS: I found out through the GBI.

SHARPTON: And was with it immediate? How did the GBI --

TOWNS: Actually, it was probably six or more hours after he was.

STEWART: That`s the problem, Reverend is they did not tell her that they
had just taken part in a situation that killed her son. They waited six
hours for her to find out. But they had the nerve to come to her home and
have a discussion with her about a subject totally not related to her son
and leave after her son had just been carted off in an ambulance.

SHARPTON: Wow! And here`s one study of tasing incidents in America found.
Between 2001 and 2012, at least 500 people died after being shocked by
taser even during their arrest or while in jail. Let me ask you Attorney
Stewart, does there need to be more attention given to the way police use
tasers in this country?

STEWART: Definitely. And -- the former chief of police at this point,
they`re needed to be retraining for all the officers there on use of
tasers. But after that, you know, he was suddenly -- and hasn`t given the
reason of lie. He left the jolt but that can be a weapon that has deadly
consequences. So, being used multiple times on a human being, they have to
be properly trained and certified to do that. This isn`t just a travesty
for the Towns family or for African-Americans. It is a human tragedy.
This could happen to anybody.

SHARPTON: Are African-American police involved?

STEWART: Yes.

SHARPTON: So, let me ask you this Ms. Towns, tell me more about your son.
I mean, who was he?

TOWNS: Gregory Towns my son, he was the father of a three-month-old boy.

SHARPTON: Three-month-old?

TOWNS: Three months old. Gregory has two sisters, Tiara and Charity.
Gregory was our family. He was our only family. Greg had never been to
jail.

STEWART: Greg has never been to jail.

TOWNS: Greg has never been to jail.

SHARPTON: Never been to jail.

TOWNS: No priors, no, sir.

STEWART: And 24 years old.

TOWNS: And 24 years old.

SHARPTON: So in this particular lawsuit, you`re questioning police
procedures or police stepping over the line. And again, we are not talking
race here, we`re talking about questioning any police that have a situation
that may lead to an unjustified use of deadly force.

STEWART: Exactly. We just want answers. We want to know why the
ambulance was called off and delayed from coming by one of the officers on
the scene. Why wasn`t it allowed to come immediately? We want to know,
why would he be tasered that many times when it was documented in their own
police report that he wasn`t doing anything but saying I`m tired. Why was
he tasered in the water after he fell off a cliff by one of the officers?

SHARPTON: Wow. In the water?

STEWART: In the water, one of the officers climbed down into the creek
after him. He was already handcuffed behind his back and was mad enough to
try and taser him in the water.

SHARPTON: Well, Claudia Towns and Attorney Chris Stewart, we`ll be
following this. Thank you for your time tonight.

STEWART: Thank you, Rev.

TOWNS: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Our prayers are with you and the family and that young baby,
Miss Towns.

STEWART: Thank you very much. Thank you very much.

SHARPTON: We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back with a moment captured on video that just might have
broken the world record for cuteness. It`s already been shared over
230,000 times on Facebook and growing. A mom telling her older son she`s
expecting a baby.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I`m pregnant.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Oh! What was you thinking? Why do you have to, um,
just, just get another baby? You just had two! So, why do you -- this is
exasperating.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Exasperating? Amaya.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Because you just got two. So, why do you want to get
another baby and just replace one of your babies if there`s too much?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Baby, we would never replace you and Amaya. You`re
just going to have another brother or sister that you have to help take
care of.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: That doesn`t make no sense. This makes no sense.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Why is it don`t make any sense?

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Because if it makes sense then you just had two babies
and you keep loving them forever, not having another baby between us.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Amaya looks happy. Amaya, are you happy you`re going
to have another brother or sister?

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: What kind of baby is that?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I don`t know. Might be a boy, or might be a girl.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Boys crying is even worse.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: How do you know?

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Because when I saw a baby crying out at my school
because I just heard the crying. I was like, this is even worser than
Amaya`s crying.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Well, Trey, I don`t know what to tell you about the
crying. You`ve just got to get used to it. OK?

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: OK. And buy me some ear plugs, too.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Buy you some ear plugs? OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Something tells me that little boy will have a word or two to
say about those ear plugs.

Coming up, what everyone on social media is saying about President Obama`s
suit today.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We know republicans are pressing a lawsuit against President
Obama. But today, there was a different suit on everybody`s mind. The
president came out this afternoon to address serious issues, like ISIS and
Ukraine. But all twitter could talk about was his tan summer suit. One
person tweeted the president was just trying to get this suit in before
Labor Day deadline, obviously. Another wrote his tan suit looks like one
of those suits you would see a deacon wear on a second Sunday at your local
black church. As a reverend, I can vouch with that. Even Congress is
weighing in.

Congressman John Dingell tweeted, "I see no problem with the suit, along
with a picture of him in a similar get-up." The president`s tan suit even
has its own twitter account and hash tag. But important questions remain
unanswered. President Obama once told Vanity Fair, quote, "You will see I
wear only gray or blue suits." Will republicans say this is just another
broken promise? I`d like to consider myself a man of taste. So, maybe I
can offer the president some style tips for the future.

When the leaves start turning, make sure you have a warm scarf like this
one. A bold red suit can also offer a pop of color on an autumn day. And
you know what? I have been known to wear a tan suit myself. Don`t forget,
a POLITICS NATION baseball cap is always in style.

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

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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