Skip navigation

'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Read the transcript to the Wednesday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed

THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
September 17, 2014


Guest: Bruce Cooper, Dana Jacobson, Jordan Schultz, Beverly Gooden, Tim
Daly, Lloyd Doggett



LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Well, we begin with breaking news tonight.
Another NFL player has been deactivated after being arrested on domestic
violence charges.

Phoenix police arrested Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer today
for two separate incidents that allegedly took place at husband home July
21st and July 22nd, involving his 18-month-old child and the child`s
mother.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SGT. TRENT CRUMP, PHOENIX POLICE DEPT.: After she was physically
assaulted, he took a shoe and threw it at their 18-month-old child. When
she attempted to call police on July 22nd, that he took a cell phone that
she was attempting to use for that and ultimately threw it from the second
floor of their residence, preventing her from calling police. Shortly
after both of these incidents occurred, the victim fled the state with
their child in common, alleging safety concerns for herself. He has been
interviewed by our detectives. He has admitted involvement in the
incidents, however, has denied allegations of physical assault.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Jonathan Dwyer is charged with aggravated assault for causing a
fracture, aggravated assault involving a minor, assault preventing someone
from calling 911 and two counts of criminal damage.

Almost immediately after the news of Dwyer`s arrest broke, the Arizona
Cardinals released this statement: "We became aware of these allegations
this afternoon. When notified by Phoenix police and are cooperating fully,
given the serious nature of the allegations, we have taken the immediate
step to deactivate Jonathan from all team activities. We will continue to
closely monitor this at it develops and evaluate additional information as
it becomes available."

An NFL spokesman said tonight, "This will be reviewed under the NFL`s
personal conduct policy."

Joining me now is the sports director at KPNX-TV in Phoenix, Bruce Cooper,
co-host of the morning show on CBS Sports Radio, Dana Jacobson, and sports
columnist for "The Huffington Post", Jordan Schultz.

Bruce Cooper, tell me about this news has landed locally in Arizona?

BRUCE COOPER, KPNX-TV SPORTS DIRECTOR: Well, I got to admit, I was
absolutely stunned and shocked. Given the nature of what we`ve seen here
recently, with the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson situations, you would have
thought the players would be on their P`s and Q`s and stay low profile.

That word early this afternoon that a few plain clothes policemen went to
the Cardinals facility this afternoon and led a player away. They didn`t
identify who that player was. Later through contacting the local police
department here, we learned that that player was Jonathan Dwyer.

And, you know, regardless of if it was a star player or not, and keep in
mind Jonathan Dwyer is not a star player. He doesn`t bring that same star
value that the Petersons and Rice brings, but he is an NFL player that`s
added to what has already turned out to be just the season from you-know-
what.

O`DONNELL: Well, let`s listen to what Sergeant Trent Crump had to say
about this, because some people are wondering, well, why if this just
happened in July, are we just hearing about it now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUMP: Both of incidents that occurs in July were reported to Phoenix
police and they were reported by neighbors who heard the fights that were
occurring at that location. On the first occurrence when we were called to
that residence on the 21st, officers were met at the door by the victim who
denied that there was anyone else in the home with them and had indicated
that she was in a verbal argument on the phone only at that point. And
those officers ultimately left the home after a short discussion with the
victim.

We later learned that the arrested person or suspect in this case was in
the home at that time and he was hiding within a bathroom of the home until
the officers left.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Well, Dana Jacobson, an awful lot has changed in the NFL since
July 21st when these incidents happened. And one wonders if the events of
the last week have had something to do with this information coming out
now.

DANA JACOBSON, CBS SPORTS RADIO: Yes, and especially hearing it wasn`t
reported until September 11th, which was in the midst of all of this going
on. You have to wonder if the woman possibly felt the courage to go
forward, to come back, because from what I read, she moved out of the state
after the incident happened. And they started gathering this information
once the report went through.

But it is so much piling up on the NFL right now. You really are -- I
joked this afternoon with somebody, I couldn`t even get through a workout
without something coming up. Tonight, I left here, before I was home, it
had all changed again. It needs to stop at some point. It just feels like
right now, we`re still in this tornado of a cycle.

O`DONNELL: And Jordan, Bruce`s first point, you think these guys would be
extra careful in their behavior now. They may be right now, but this is a
reach-back to a July incident, and that indicates that you could get reach-
backs to other people`s behavior in August or May or, you know, at anytime.

JORDAN SCHULTZ, SPORTS COLUMNIST, THE HUFFINGTON POST: Well, the
firestorm, as David mentioned, 57 arrests during Roger Goodell`s tenure,
eight years for domestic violence. And that tells you all you need to
know. And I think there`s been so much covering up here, Lawrence and
Dana, about what`s going on and it`s not just this, it`s obviously with
concussions, with head trauma. And the NFL needs -- Roger Goodell needs to
create institutions for victims of domestic violence and to show -- send a
message to his guys, not only to his guys but to his fans and players and
his organization that this cannot be tolerated, because it has been.

JACOBSON: At least -- can I say that at least we finally had a team who
this happened and they did something right away? At least the Cardinals in
this case --

(CROSSTALK)

O`DONNELL: Yes, but they had an advantage. They watched the other --

JACOBSON: There were two teams, three teams who haven`t gotten it right.
But at least finally, somebody has done that.

And in talking with some people who have been in the NFL and covered the
NFL for a long time today, this idea of the cover-up or how things were
getting shoved aside, it`s more the idea of what`s the structure that`s
there now? We know what the world used to be. You didn`t have Twitter,
you didn`t social media. Things weren`t getting out on video and all of
it.

So, you have that ability to say maybe this happened, it gets pushed to the
side. We don`t live in that world now. Who`s in that NFL front office
making Commissioner Goodell, who should be aware of his own, but saying,
let`s wake up and look at these teams now and these problems in the world
that we live in.

SCHULTZ: Yes, and the problem is Commissioner Goodell can`t come down as
the emotional high ground as that hammer he has for so long because of how
he mishandled the situation with Ray Rice. He can`t be that guy right now
and that`s why I think you see him in hiding.

O`DONNELL: Well, also now in these cases have social media plays into it.
Video, as we saw it in the Ray Rice case. We saw it in the Adrian Peterson
case. He was texting to the mother of that child after beating that child,
and texting with some pride about his skills as a disciplinarian, texting
it turns out is part of this latest case.

Let`s listen to Sergeant Crump again talking about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUMP: Yes, they were threatening text messages and most of them were an
indication that he was going to harm himself because of what had been going
on. The suspect`s threat of committing suicide, at least as it`s reported
to us, occurred in an attempt to keep her from calling the police on the
night that the first incident occurred. It is my understanding that when
that text message was sent to her, that was the same type of insinuation
that was being given when the photograph of the knife was sent to her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Bruce Cooper, prior to today, what was Jonathan Dwyer`s image
generally?

COOPER: Jonathan Dwyer is a very quiet guy, very unassuming. We`re
talking about a player who entered the NFL in 2010 as a sixth-round draft
pick out of Georgia Tech. So, he didn`t come in with a lot of high value
to begin with, but he was a hard worker who made his way on to an NFL
roster, played four years with the Steelers before arriving here in Arizona
in year number one.

Now, I do need to ask this, the Cardinals recently signed a practice player
named Chris Rainey who was also a teammate of Dwyer`s in Pittsburgh. Now,
Rainey, we looked up him and we found he had a domestic violence issue.
So, we asked head coach Bruce Arians about this and Arians said, hey, look,
you know, I talked to a couple players who vouched for him. You know, two
former Pittsburgh Steelers, Larry Foote and, yes, Jonathan Dwyer. Oh boy.

O`DONNELL: Wow.

Dana, can you explain to me what`s going on with the Vikings situation?

JACOBSON: How much time do you have?

O`DONNELL: By the way, they`re kind of, like -- they were going to be the
big NFL story tonight because they versed the policy. Now, you know,
Adrian Peterson is out. But he`s getting paid, what is this getting paid,
not playing?

JACOBSON: So this exemption list has existed for a while. And it`s one of
those special things, we have this list where just in case we need to put
somebody to the side for a while but it doesn`t fall within the bylaws that
the NFL Players Association would necessarily be OK with. We`ll put them
there, they`ll get paid so the NFLPA will leave us alone, but they`re not
going to be associated with the team.

So, this is rarely used. And now, in one day, we`re seeing it used twice,
not just Minnesota, but also Greg Hardy with Carolina. It`s sort of he`s
still getting paid. His contract is almost $12 million. So, he`s getting
a lot of money, but the idea is at least they`ve removed him from the team
for what is what now --

O`DONNELL: Jordan, why wouldn`t they just go right to suspension, and now
pay?

SCHULTZ: Not pay? That`s --

O`DONNELL: I mean, just as a financial matter, if you`re not going to play
the game for me, why am I paying you?

SCHULTZ: Well, that`s the biggest question I think a lot of fans are
asking now, because this exempt list is not used a lot. It`s happened
twice now in a very short period of time.

I think teams are saying hey, we`re falling on our sword by not playing
guys, deactivating them. We`ll lose and we`ll also pay them and somehow
it`s better than the other.

JACOBSON: It`s the due process word that we hated yesterday that we were
talking about. I do think they are considering -- I will say this also.
There`s an idea at least in some of the team front offices, they are
somewhat afraid of the NFLPA and what they do. I may do a wonderful thing
and suspend him without pay. They`re going to come back. I`m going to
have to pay him anyway and play him. So, I think they`re trying to find
that middle ground and then say --

(CROSSTALK)

O`DONNELL: If the players association comes at you and they win, it`s not
going to cost you any more money. Just pay the guy his salary --

JACOBSON: At least the rest of the team can have some semblance of
normalcy of he`s gone. We don`t have to deal with it. It`s not what he
did to himself. He`s here he`s gone, he`s here, he`s gone.

SCHULTZ: The league, as have the organizations have been so reactive to
the fans now, and not proactive enough. They keep getting behind in this.
You mentioned Arizona, they have a week head start in this. But let`s see
what happens now, because obviously, they`re not getting it right time
after time.

O`DONNELL: Bruce Cooper, thank you very much for joining us from Arizona
tonight. Dana Jacobson and Jordan Schultz, thank you very much for joining
us tonight.

JACOBSON: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you all.

Coming up, Meredith Vieira told her story today about staying in an abusive
relationship and why she stayed. We will hear Meredith`s story next.

And the House of Representatives today overwhelmingly voted to arm Syrian
rebels, authorized the president to do that. We will be joined by one of
the congressmen who voted against it.

And in "The Rewrite" tonight, I find myself in rare agreement with the head
of the New York City Police Union and the president of that union spends an
awful lot of his time depending some of the indefensible things that police
officers do. And now, he`s criticizing the civilian complaint review
board, and I am, for once, I`m in complete agreement with him.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Can you imagine staying in a relationship where you are
physically abused? Well, Meredith Vieira did that. And today she told the
story of why she did that on her show. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAY RICE, NFL PLAYER: I think my wife has something to say. I don`t want
to be the only one who, you know, we`re in this together. So, Janay, you
got something?

JANAY RICE, WIFE OF RAY RICE: Yes. First I want to say thank you for all
of those who have supported us throughout this situation. I do deeply
regret the role I played in the incident that night, but I can say that I`m
happy that we continue to work through it together.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Last week when TMZ revealed video of what Ray Rice did to his
fiancee and now his wife on that elevator in Atlantic City. Many women
took to social media using the hashtags, #whyIstayed, and #whyIleft.

Today, Meredith Vieira shared her story of abuse.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEREDITH VIEIRA, TV HOST: I wanted to explain to you why I stayed. I was
in an abusive relationship many, many years ago as a young woman. I talked
about this.

It started out -- I love this guy, it started out, we would have a fight
and he would sort of grab my arm. I didn`t think a lot about it. And then
it turned into pushing me into the wall.

Then, it went beyond that to actually taking his hand and grabbing my face,
saying, I could ruin your career if I wanted to and no one would want you.

Now, this is going on -- I`m a smart woman. A lot of people say, well, who
would stay in that situation? Somebody who maybe doesn`t have the
wherewithal to get out, the means to get out, I had that. I had a job at
the time.

And I kept in this relationship and I`ve done a lot of thinking about why,
and I think part of it was fear. I was scared of him, and scared if I
tried to leave, something worse would happen to me. Part of it was guilt,
because every time we`d have after fight, he would then start crying and
said, I promise I won`t do it again and I would feel like maybe I
contributed somehow to this. And they`re saying this about Ray Rice`s
wife, you know, it takes two to tango.

And then, there was the night, we shared an apartment, and he threw me into
a shower naked in scalding water and then he threw me outside into the
hallway. And I hid in a stairwell for two hours until he came again crying
saying, I promise I won`t do it again.

And I continued to stay in that relationship until I was offered a job in
another state. That`s where I felt I had the ability to get away.

So, when people talk about domestic violence, it is really, really a
complicated issue. It`s not so easy to just get away. You think it would
be, but it is not.

Having said, if my daughter Lily who is now 21 was in an abusive
relationship, even if she thought she loved this man, I`d say go. Just go.
We didn`t have shelters when this was happening to me and there was no
hotline. I`d say call the hotline, if you`re going through this. Get
yourself to a shelter. But my all means, tell somebody what`s going on.
Let somebody know.

That`s just my experience with it. And I just know that it`s rampant in
this country and we all have to accept the fact that it`s not just an issue
with the NFL, it`s an issue in all of our lives. And until we take it
seriously, more and more women are going to get abused. No question about
it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now, the creator of the #whyistayed, Beverly Gooden.

Beverly, it has been extraordinary hearing these stories emerging, first
for me last week watching them on Twitter, just amazing little accounts
that could be squeezed into the size of a tweet. And then you hear someone
like Meredith Vieira. It seems there`s been an opening that this has
created for these stories, like nothing that`s really ever occurred in our
public discussion of it before.

BEVERLY GOODEN, CREATOR, #WHYISTAYED: Yes. Definitely. When I created
the hashtag I didn`t figure it would be this much of a movement. It would
become this big. was angry at the response to the video, how everyone was
asking Janay Rice why she stayed and putting the blame on her, for her
being the victim of a crime as opposed to him.

And so, when I created it, I was just kind of, you know, angrily responding
to that response. And it just kind of turned into something else. And I
think that speaks to how big of an issue this is, how intricate it is. How
it affects people from all income levels regardless of race or
socioeconomic status.

And so, it`s become something that`s really important. And I`m excited
that everyone is talking about it now and listening to the voices of people
who survive.

O`DONNELL: One of the big things that I think is one of the easiest things
for people to understand, because what Meredith was talking about there
involves a complex set of romantic and complicated and psychological
interactions. But what it doesn`t include is the economic problem of I
cannot afford to leave. I want to leave. I would love to walk out that
door. But if I walk out that door, I`m homeless.

GOODEN: Right.

O`DONNELL: I`ve talked to many people over the years where that was the
problem. The economics of leaving were prohibitive.

GOODEN: And it`s a reality. It`s reality a lot of people face.

In my situation, he was the breadwinner. He controlled the finances. If I
left him, I left everything that I had.

I had nothing without this person who funded our whole life. So, It`s a
reality. I think it`s important and it`s valid.

It`s something that people really have to take into account. When someone
is saying, you know, I can`t leave, that may be the issue. It could be
financial, it could be economic. It could be love. It could be fear.

You know, all of these reasons that we`ve seen come out via the hashtag.
They`re all important and they`re all valid.

O`DONNELL: And there`s also, I think, in some cases an issue of
identification. Where the relationship is a large part of a person`s
identification. I am the wife of the head of this hospital, or in the case
of a football player, I`m a wife of this NFL star. I`m an NFL wife.
There`s a unique status to that.

And you see that in some of the things that Janay had side where she says
things like, you know, I love you Ravensnation. It`s almost like these are
the perfect NFL wife phrasings that are going on there.

GOODEN: Yes.

O`DONNELL: And being an NFL life may be -- and I can`t speak for her,
we`re not inside her head, but to generalize it to other, but something
like that could be a very large part of a person`s identification, and you
know walking out the door ends that particular part of your identification.

GOODEN: Right. Identity is important, especially when you built a life
with someone, and that person is who you`re with and who you plan to be
with. It`s not so easy to just, you know, say, hey, walk away when this
person is part of your identity and you may even have a child together.
But, you know, your identity is tied in that. So, that`s definitely an
issue. It`s yet another reason why people stay.

O`DONNELL: And, Beverly, quickly, the part Meredith was talking about, now
suddenly the guy is crying. I mean, there`s a very, very dramatic response
on the guy`s part going to the height of drama to be able to hold on to her
and pull her back in.

GOODEN: And it really speaks to how the domestic violence situation can
mess with your mind. You know, on one hand, you have someone who`s hurting
you, but on the other hand, you have someone that you love and you see is
hurting. So you want to take care of them, you want to hold them, you want
to fix it.

So, it`s very complex. I love that Meredith said it was complicated
because it is. There was so many elements and I think we have to start
addressing all of these elements before making a judgment.

O`DONNELL: Beverly Gooden, thanks for joining us. And thank you very much
for starting the #whyIstayed stories that we`ve all been reading.

GOODEN: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

GOODEN: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, one of the members of Congress who voted against
arming the Syrian rebels today.

And in "The Rewrite" who judges the people who judge police? This is a
very important rewrite tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: In the "Spotlight" tonight, war against the Islamic State. The
United States House of Representatives voted today to train and arm Syrian
opposition groups by a vote of 273 to 156, in what "The New York Times"
described as a vote divided along, quote, "unusual and unpredictable lines"
-- 159 Republicans were joined by 114 Democrats and voted to provide
support to the Syrian opposition in the fight against the Islamic State.

Following today`s vote, the White House hosted the annual congressional
picnic on the South Lawn. And the president thanked Congress for its
bipartisan support.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to start off by
saying thank you to house members, Republican and Democrat, who came
together today to pass an important component on our strategy for dealing
with this terrible terrorist organization known as ISIL. I want to in
particular thank Speaker Boehner and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi for
showing us that when it comes to America`s national security, America is
united.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Here`s what Secretary of State John Kerry has to say today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), FOREIGN RELATIONS CMTE.: Is it your view that the
Syrian opposition is viable? Hello.

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Hello, Senator. I`m taking you so
seriously, I`m running a note.

MCCAIN: Is it your view the Syrian opposition is viable?

KERRY: The Syrian opposition has been viable enough to be able to survive
under difficult circumstance, but they still have some distance to go and
we need to help them go that distance.

MCCAIN: Right. They obviously need our assistance in weapons and training
which you`re going to embark on. Are you surprised sometimes to the degree
of disinformation members of Congress will swallow hole like there has been
a ceasefire agreement between the free Syrian army and ISIS put out by
ISIS? Does that surprise you sometimes?

KERRY: Senator, sometimes, sometimes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: It is like one of the President`s tough war advisors telling
senators on Tuesday that he wouldn`t really allowed boots on the ground.

This morning, President Obama once again said he will not commit combat
troops to that region.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: But I want to be clear. The American forces that have been
deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission. They will
support Iraqi forces on the ground as they fight for their own country
against these terrorists. As your commander-in-chief, I will not commit
you and the rest of our armed forces to fighting another ground war in
Iraq.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now is Democratic congressman Lloyd Doggett who
voted against today`s funding for the Syrian opposition. Congressman, why
did you cast that vote?

REP. LLOYD DOGGETT (D), TEXAS: Well, with the experience that we`ve had,
Lawrence, with the Bush-Cheney invasion of Iraq, the tremendous cost being
entangled in that conflict, I think we have significant disagreement here.
There was bipartisan agreement today that we do need a firm response to the
atrocious savagery of ISIS. And we all hope that the president will be
successful in the response that he delivers. But some of us are very
concerned about becoming entangled in a long-term conflict in which
Americans do all the dying and all the paying.

O`DONNELL: Congressman, much has been made of General Dempsey saying
yesterday that it could come to the point where he does recommend to the
president that he send in troops, the dreaded boots on the ground concept.
But to be fair to the president, it remains the president`s public resolve
not to accept that recommendation if he`s given it. Do you have confidence
in the president`s resolve to hold to that position?

DOGGETT: Well, I`m hopeful about it. Though he is the leader of the free
world, he doesn`t control all the players. And I think if he has
significant input from advisers that he must bring in ground troops, that
there`s a real danger that that could happen.

You know, when you refer to boots on the ground, I refer to it in my speech
today to a communication from a constituent in San Antonio Texas, Gloria
Flores who said although we all use those terms, that she doesn`t. Because
it`s someone`s son or daughter, like the nephew she lost in Afghanistan.
And she was asked why it is that the Jordanians and the Saudis and the
other people in the area are not carrying all the load and why that load is
being put on young Americans. And I can`t answer that question because
secretary Kerry said today, they have a committed single ground troop over
there. It ought not to be Americans carrying all the load on a
questionable venture.

O`DONNELL: Congressman, did this vote feel connected to the vote that you
cast against the Iraq war in 2003?

DOGGETT: Well, I think we can`t keep making the same mistake over and over
again. And yes, I strongly opposed this war of choice by Bush and Cheney.
We learned that there`s not a military answer, as brave as our military may
be, to some of these issue, and that`s very true here in Iraq. I don`t
believe that the president`s prudence is a weakness. I think it`s a
virtue. And I want to encourage him to continue exercising that prudence.

And I think that was true certainly of the 85 Democrats who voted today.
We wanted to send a strong message to the president that for every rant
that he might here when Dick Cheney comes out from his bunker and starts
yelling bomb somebody, shoot somebody when something bad has happened, that
there are those of us who very much resist long-term entanglement in Iraq,
and know that have it will not make our family safer any more than it made
us safer to invade Iraq in the first place.

O`DONNELL: Congressman Lloyd Doggett, thank you very much for joining us.

DOGGETT: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

Coming up, an actor who I thought was my friend has done the most creative
ice bucket challenge yet and in the process he challenged me. He will be
joining me at the end of the show and he better not have one of those ice
buckets with him.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: OK. So what do you think would happen to a member of the
civilian complaint review board, the group that overseas, investigates
misconduct in the New York city police department. What do you think would
happen so one of the members of that board if one of those members got
caught on video starting a fistfight that almost broke into a big brawl?
Well, he hasn`t been fired yet, and that is next in "the rewrite."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: On Monday, two NYPD officers were convicted of assault in the
Bronx thanks to just about the only kind of evidence that can get a cop
convicted of assault -- video of the assault. Officers Jose Ocasio and
Joseph Murphy cornered a 17-year-old boy in an alley and viciously beat
him, while unbeknownst to them, every one of their punches and kicks were
being captured by a surveillance camera.

The NYPD is one of the best trained police departments in the country and
the world. But still, something like that probably happens almost every
day in New York, and we never hear about it because there is no video, no
way of proving excessive use of force. That`s why New York City`s civilian
complaint review board is so important.

If you have a complaint against a New York city police officer, 34,500
police officers, what is the chance of one of them doing something against
the rules every 24 hours. If you have one of those complaints, there`s a
place for you to go, and there has been for 60 years.

The NYPD was way ahead of the rest of the country when it established the
civilian complaint review board in 1953. The trouble is, there were no
civilians on the board. The civilian complaint review board was run by
three deputy police commissioners who did not turn out to be very
sympathetic to civilian complaints, big surprise.

In 1965, New York`s Republican mayor John Lindsey decided it was time for
the civilian complaint review board to actually have civilians on the
board. The president of the police union was, of course, outraged and no
doubt cleaned up what his private version of this statement must have
sounded like when he told reporters, quote, "I`m sick and tired of giving
into minority groups with their whims and their gripes and shouting," end
quote.

Major Lindsey appointed four civilians to the civilian complaint review
board and the police union immediately went to work, collected signatures
for a ballot measure to bar civilians from having any form of oversight of
complaints against police. The ballot measure one big time in New York
City and once again, the civilian complaint review board had no civilians
on it. But in matters of public relations, police officers can be counted
on to be their own worst enemies. Over the years, public opinion slowly
swung towards having civilians on the board after highly publicized cases
of police misconduct, including a police riot in Tompkins square park in
1988 when police officers hiding their badges were caught on video beating
defenseless people on the ground who posed no threat to them.

In 1993, New York`s first and still only African-American mayor David
Dinkins finally created the civilian version of the civilian complaint
review board in which all of the board members are civilians.

Mayor de Blasio has appointed a new chairman of the civilian complaint
review board who may become the most effective chairman the board has ever
had. Veterans civil rights attorney Richard Emory is their new chairman.
But he is still stuck with some board members who have been there too long
and one who shouldn`t be there one more day. And on this, I find myself in
rare agreement with the police union.

Last month, civilian complaint review board member Mitchell Taylor was
caught on videotape starting a fight in a hotel lobby. In the video you`re
about to see, Mitchell Taylor is the man in the suit coat talking to the
man in the orange shirt. This is silent surveillance video. It`s from the
hotel lobby.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)

O`DONNELL: There you see Mitchell Taylor highlighted there. That was him
throwing that first punch push, getting this fight started. Now you see
this crowd gathering of workers at that hotel. And this is going to
stumble out of the lobby door, outside there. You will see as this goes on
that Mitchell Taylor is going to end up knocked across that pavement a bit
where he will then pick up a pickax right here when he gets knocked down
there. He`s going to get himself back up. This time come back at these
people with pickax. Enough people, though, have gathered. He drops the
pickax and this fight starts to break up right about there.

And after this story broke and the video became public, Taylor issued a
statement saying I let my passions get the better of me on August 8th while
champions for jobs for the people of Queensbridge and have apologized to
the people of the community and in the media.

Mr. Taylor, who runs a nonprofit organization in the neighborhood says he
was at the new hotel trying to get jobs for people who live in that
neighborhood. The "New York Daily News" reports that the hotel owner says
Mitchell Taylor tried to extort his company for a percentage of the
salaries paid to the neighborhood residents. The "New York Post" and "New
York daily News" reports that the NYPD is conducting an extortion
investigation.

Mr. Taylor said, that is unequivocally not true and absurd. That`s not how
we do business. Mr. Taylor explained what sparked the fight this way to
the "Daily News."

At that split moment, the Queensbridge came out of me. It was like, don`t
get in my face like that. In Mitchell Taylor`s position on the civilian
complaint review board, he is supposed to sit in judgment of police
officers like officer Daniel Pantellio (ph) whose chokehold technique
killed Eric Gardner.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t touch me (bleep). Don`t touch me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can`t breathe. I can`t breathe. I can`t breathe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That`s a video about how important the civilian complaint
review board`s works. It is the work on the civilian complaint review
board is way too important to be left to people who lose their tempers and
start fights because someone gets in their face. Their job is to judge
police officers. Their job is to among other cases judge police officers
who lose their tempers because people get in their faces.

The president of the police union Patrick Lynch says that Mitchell Taylor
cannot remain a member of the civilian complaint review board quote
"because, as a graphic video makes clear, he hasn`t the judgment or
temperament to pass fair judgment on the actions of New York city police
officers."

Pat Lynch is absolutely right. And I may never say that again about
anything. But don`t expect Pat Lynch to be terribly disappointed if
Mitchell Taylor continues to cling to his position at the civilian
complaint review board because there are few things that the president of
the police union enjoys more than attacking the credibility of the civilian
complaint review board. And no one has done more to undermine the
credibility of the civilian complaint review board than board member
Mitchell Taylor.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Speaker John Boehner explained today that he has trouble lining
up votes in the House of Representatives because, quote, and this is a
quote you can`t believe, it is amazing, but it`s true, "on any given day,
16 of my members decide they`re going to go this way and all of a sudden I
have nothing. You might notice I have a few knuckleheads in my
conference," end quote, his words, knuckleheads. Boehner added that,
quote, "dealing with Democrats is one thing. Dealing with the knuckleheads
is another."

I have a knuckle head to deal with, my next guest, who an actor friend of
mine who has challenged me on this ice bucket thing. And he better not
have an ice bucket with him. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About 15 years ago, I moved from jersey to Hollywood.
Broke into the biz. It was a dream come true. I was making money, I had
the beamer, the actress girlfriend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (bleep) Emmy. It`s gold plated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Melt it down, man. Look, I told you $15.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on! This is, like, huge! This (bleep).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it were an Oscar, maybe I could give you something.
An academy award. But TV? What else you got?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know. I got a laptop in my car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, OK. Cool. I`ll check that out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was Tim Daly playing my worst nightmare in "the Sopranos"
in a role that he was nominated for an Emmy. And just when I thought I was
going to escape the ALS ice bucket challenge. Tim Daly, a guy who I
mistakenly thought was my friend, posted this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM DALY, ACTOR: Hi. I`m Tim Daly. And I`ve been nominated for the ice
bucket challenge by Sam Daly, Steven Weaver (ph) and Paul (INAUDIBLE). I`m
going to be a little less douche and accept your challenge and write a
check to project ALS. I would like to nominate to the ice bucket challenge
my friend Lawrence O`Donnell, Dana Bash and the one and only, Morgan
Freeman. Morgan freeman. Do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That is the most creative ice bucket challenge thing I have
seen yet. The one big horrible offense in there -- what have you got in
your hand there? This is very threatening. This is very surprise
threatening thing going.

DALY: You have nothing to worry about, my friend. Tim Daly, you know,
other friends of mine, a couple have emailed me, texted me and said hey,
I`m going to do the ice bucket challenge and I was thinking of mentioning
you but I don`t want to do that if you don`t want me to. I said don`t,
don`t, don`t. I don`t remember -- I check my email. I don`t remember
getting something from you saying hey, as a friend, which is a word we used
to use with each other.

DALY: You know, I thought that this was would be like Christmas and
Halloween and Fourth of July on your birthday all wrapped up into one
beautiful present.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

DALY: You could give back to something that`s important.

O`DONNELL: As I understand the deal, you can just come up with money.
That`s what the dignified and graceful President Obama did when he was hit
with this thing, right? He didn`t go up there and you don`t disgrace the
office, right? He just wrote a check.

DALY: Well, actually, my --

O`DONNELL: You did ditched the money and --

DALY: I did. I did both. So I humiliated myself and was it was
dignified. Sort of a unique position.

O`DONNELL: How is Morgan Freeman doing on this?

DALY: I don`t know. I`m going to see Morgan tomorrow.

O`DONNELL: You are?

DALY: You see, I`m going to put a little pressure on him.

O`DONNELL: And you have one of those cups with you?

DALY: Yes. I might take the whole bucket. And my challenge is actually
politically motivated because I thought about our strategy in Iraq. So I
went in with shock and awe, but I didn`t have an exit strategy, so
literally if the camera had kept rolling you would have seen a bunch of
people like high fiving. That`s awesome. That was really cool with me
screaming.

O`DONNELL: I mean, listen. I know a little bit about, you know, film
stuff. I can`t figure out how you did that.

DALY: That`s good.

O`DONNELL: Are you ready to reveal the secrets to America? That`s
amazing.

DALY: No, no, it all came together in about 15 minutes.

O`DONNELL: Was your genius son involved in this?

DALY: He was not. Although we did something similar on "the Daily Show"
not to be confused with Jon Stewart, the rip off.

O`DONNELL: The "Daily Show" is something you do on one with your son, D-A-
L-Y show.

DALY: Correct, yes. And it`s sweeping the nation. By the way, I brought
you a special gift, a little less douche bracelet that you can -- you just
snap it like this.

O`DONNELL: Thank you very much.

Now, I`m going to buy my way out of this thing, OK? Because I don`t, you
know, this whole -- I don`t get that, the whole dumping.

You know actually, on this side of the table, I have two things. I got my
water cup and I got something else that only these guys know about.
Sometimes during commercial breaks as an actor, you would know this, you
have to clear your throat, but you have to really clear it. And this is a
new one of these is every night. It is actually the official "Last Word"
spittoon. So in the bottom of that cup -- so there is actually --

DALY: Is this going to be a spit bucket challenge?

O`DONNELL: Yes. This little spit cup challenge, would bring this into
Matt Damon territory.

DALY: Well, you`re going to have to think of another charity and do the
spit bucket challenge.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

DALY: Then have the entire country chewing tobacco and trying to spit on.

O`DONNELL: Why don`t we do this. Why don`t we talk about the new show you
have coming up instead of me pouring something on me.

DALY: OK. That sounds great.

O`DONNELL: And it is a Washington based thing. It is kind of a political?

DALY: It is. It is called "Madame Secretary." It is about a woman who
under unusual circumstances becomes secretary of state.

O`DONNELL: And you are playing that woman?

DALY: I play Mr. Secretary.

O`DONNELL: You do?

DALY: Mr. Madame Secretary.

O`DONNELL: All right. And that`s starring with, Madame Secretary is?

DALY: Tia Leoney. It`s start this Monday at 8:00.

O`DONNELL: She`s on every bus in Manhattan. If you live her, no one miss
her.


Watch The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell each weeknight at 10 p.m. ET


Sponsored links

Resource guide