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PoliticsNation, Friday, September 26th, 2014

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Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: September 26, 2014

Guest: Drew Courtney, Karen Finney, Midwin Charles, Lisa Bloom, Joseph
Crowley; Emanuel Clever; Martin Luther King III


REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you for
tuning in. I`m live tonight in Washington, D.C.

We start with breaking news tonight on the air strikes against is in Syria.
Just minutes ago, dramatic new video of ISIS fighters in Iraq. This video
shot by NBC`s Bill Neily and his team traveling with Kurdish fighters near
Kirkuk in Iraq. The ISIS fighters in this video standing just 100 yards
away from the camera position.

We`re also learning more about the executioner in the beheading videos, the
cold-blooded murder, who outraged the world. We know he has a British
accent. People have been calling him Jihadi John. But now the FBI says
they have identified him.

But it`s a chilling story here at home in Oklahoma that`s raising new
questions for law enforcement today. An American man is accused of
beheading a woman at a food processing plant where he worked. Police say
he stabbed another woman before being shot by an off-duty sheriff`s deputy.
You can hear what may be those gunshot wounds in this 911 call.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that him? He`s back?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it sounds like he`s running around out here. And
that, that`s a gunshot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s gunshot?

Got a gunshot. Units responding to Vaughan foods, be advised we do now
have gun shots. OK, do you know where he`s at now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s in the hallway outside of the center of the
building.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

The suspect, 30-year-old Alton Nolen is expected to survive. Workers at
the plant told police, Nolen had recently tried to convert several
employees to Islam. Because of the nature of the attack, local police
called in the FBI.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Are you looking at a possible act of terrorism
at all? Because I know you had said he was looking to possibly convert
fellow co-workers to Muslim. I know ISIS.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just based on statements made by co-workers, that`s
what brought us to go ahead and contact the FBI, just to get assistance on
a background investigation in that nature. As far as specifics, that is
under investigation and I can`t really comment on those.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Authorities tell NBC News, there`s no evidence at this time the
beheading was inspired by is or any extremist ideology. But clearly there
are many questions for the FBI to answer.

Joining me now is Congressman Joseph Crowley, Democrat from New York and
Evan Colemann, NBC terrorism analyst. Thank you both for being here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Congressman, I want to start with this dramatic new video
showing ISIS fighters in Iraq. How big a threat is ISIS to the United
States?

REP. JOSEPH CROWLEY (D), NEW YORK: Well, I think, Reverend Al, that ISIS -
- ISIL, is a threat to our country, certainly a threat to our interests in
the region, as well as to our allies. And left unabated, will become a
direct threat to the United States. And I think that`s why the President
has asked for the action that`s taken place so far and that`s with the
support of 50 other nations now in this effort against ISIL.

SHARPTON: Now, Evan, I want to ask you about the suspect in the Oklahoma
beheading case. Because co-workers at the food processing plant said he
recently tried to convert employees to Islam, but officials said they found
no evidence, no information so far connecting him to terrorism. And he was
recently fired from the plant. I mean, what do you make of this profile?

EVAN COLEMANN, NBC TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, look, it certainly looks like
him being fired was a predicating factor in what he did. But nonetheless,
if you look at the facts that occur here, in the absence of other evidence,
it`s very difficult to imagine that the events of the past few weeks did
not influence this man somehow. You don`t just go and behead a co-worker.
That doesn`t happen very often.

Now, if this does prove that this has been inspired by ISIS, and I doubt it
was something, you know, coordinated by ISIS, but if it was something
inspired by what ISIS did in Iraq, it illustrates exactly the problem we
have with lone wolves. It is that you don`t have to have a Ph.D. to murder
someone, you don`t have to be sophisticated, you don`t have to operate on
somebody else`s orders. And even as someone unsophisticated, someone who`s
a crank, you can still hurt a lot of people. And I think this is exactly
evidence for why this is such a problem.

SHARPTON: Congressman, how tuned in are members of Congress to these
threats and different acts like this in the United States. I mean, are
they tuned in to what people are fearing may happen, and seemingly in some
cases are happening in the homeland?
CROWLEY: Well, I think we`re as tuned in as we possibly can be, given the
fact that we`re not here in Washington, doing what we ought to be doing,
the people`s business. Having said that, I am aware of these allege
threats to the New York City subway system, and look, we are a threat
because of what we stand for. We`ve lived through 9/11, we know what the
potential is.

I was great to see Governor Cuomo, Mayor De Blasio respond by riding the
New York City subway today. But certainly I agree with, you know, what`s
been said so far. There are copycat is out there. We see it happen when
we see mass murder here in the United States. We always fear about a
copycat incident. And I don`t think anything -- I don`t think we can
expect anything less on the world stage when someone like -- what is so
depraved and really baseless that ISIL has been involved with in terms of
beheading. That if someone is vulnerable, mentally disturbed, that it may
have an influence on them. I think that may be what happened here. I hope
it`s not the case.

SHARPTON: Now Evan, let me get to a story that really dealt with a lot of
international outrage. We`re getting new details on how the FBI has
identified the mass executioner in the beheading videos. "The Times"
reports intelligence agencies have used voice recognition technology,
overhead imagery and records of western fighters who are believed to have
joined the group. How much do American authorities know at this point
about this execution?

COLEMANN: Well, they have some idea. I don`t think they`re 100 percent
sure, but they feel confident they have an idea. There`s a relatively
fixed number of westerners that have gone to Iraq and Syria to fight there.
There`s about 500 Britons, but most of those people, at least we think we
know what their identities are. So by going to the family members, by
showing them the images, by looking at previous images, let`s not forget
this is the social media generation. So all these guys have taken photos
and video of themselves long before they ever went to Iraq and Syria.

So there are ways of trying do voice recognition, of having family members
try to identify folks. It isn`t 100 percent and I don`t think the FBI -- I
think the FBI is being careful here. That they think they know, they have
some confident that they think they have identified this person, they`re
not 100 percent sure. And even if they have, unfortunately, right now, it
doesn`t do us a lot of good because this person is in Iraq or Syria and is
far outside of our reach.

SHARPTON: Now Congressman, they really want this guy. I mean, there`s a
visceral reaction to this guy and understandably so. Will they act if they
get this guy and he`s the right guy?

CROWLEY: I don`t think there`s any question they won`t just like they did
for Osama bin Laden. If we have information to believe that that is the
person, I hope they will. But the nature of these beheadings, the barbaric
acts that they are, they are like needs response. I quite frankly don`t
know why they wear the hoods because I think with modern technology, we
will find out who they are and they will have no corner. There is no
question about that.

SHARPTON: Congressman, let me ask you this. There was we saw today the
debate in the UK, and that only raises even more why there has been no
debate and vote in the Congress of the United States. We`re watching great
Britain go through a debate and a vote. Will there be a vote here?

CROWLEY: Just one slight correction. We did have some vote in terms of
the authorization for the half billion dollars to move.

SHARPTON: All right.

CROWLEY: I do think we needed to have more debate and more time dedicated
to it.

SHARPTON: The vote was only in fairness, on training. There was not a
vote on action. There was not a vote on airstrikes, and there was -- it
was on training.

CROWLEY: That`s true. And I believe eventually we`ll have that vote. I
disagree with speaker Boehner. I think we should be in Washington right
now having that debate. On this issue and on a myriad of issues, but
certainly on this debate because it`s so critical in terms of the role of
Congress being involved. I admire what our British cousins have done in
this particular case, had a very thorough debate on this issue. And I
think we need to do that here in Washington as well.

SHARPTON: All right, Congressman Joseph Crowley and Evan Colemann, thank
you both for your time tonight. Have a good weekend.

COLEMANN: Thank you.

CROWLEY: You too, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, so much for the GOP rebranding effort. The real
Republican Party is on display today at a summit here in Washington. And
folks, it isn`t pretty.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Your commander in-chief, well, we
then will salute him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Also GOP smears against the attorney general. One right-winger
even called Eric Holder a modern day George Wallace as he vowed to keep
fighting for voting rights.

Plus, a reverend is Tasered by police, literally while sobbing over the
body of his murdered son. How could this happen? It`s in tonight`s
justice files.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`ve been getting reaction on our facebook page to attorney
general Eric Holder stepping down.

Wendy says, why Eric Holder? Your work has been so courageous and so
notable.

Rod posted, somehow I feel the country will suffer. Hopefully there will
be a great replacement.

Chime in on our facebook or tweet us @politicsnation. More on this story
ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I woke up today and I was still the
attorney general of the United States. In the meantime, there remains, I
think, a great deal that needs to be done. I have no intention of letting
up. I have no intention of slowing down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Attorney general Eric Holder this morning, a day after he announced his
resignation. Making it clear, he`s still on the job. He spoke at the
annual conference of the congressional black caucus, vowing the justice
department would continue its fight for voting rights.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOLDER: My colleagues and I are acting aggressively to ensure that every
American, that every American can exercise his or her right to participate
in the democratic process. We will continue this fight until all Americans
have equal access to the ballot box, no matter who they are and no matter
where they live.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The attorney general is right. The fight is far from over.
Today we learn that about 200,000 voters in Virginia may lack the proper
identification needed to cast a ballot in the November midterm elections,
because of that state`s voter I.D. law. And Ohio`s Republican secretary of
state is asking the Supreme Court to reverse a ruling that would block cuts
to early voting, calling it a matter of, quote, "protecting states`
rights." This attorney general has shown his stark commitment to
protecting civil rights, and there`s a lot of work left to be done.

Joining me now is Martin Luther King III, and Congressman Emanuel Clever.
Thank you both for being here.

REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D), MISSOURI: Good to be here.

MARTIN LUTHER KING III, CIVIL RIGHT ACTIVIST: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Martin, attorney general Holder`s resignation comes at a key
time in the fight for voting rights. But he has been a great champion,
hasn`t he?

KING: Absolutely. In fact, perhaps, we would have been further behind had
he not been at the table doing what he was doing, raising the issue, making
sure that people could serve and they vote in the last election and doing
all he can do to ensure that everybody has the opportunity to vote in this
upcoming election.

SHARPTON: You know, Congressman, many of us said immediately and reached
out from advocacy groups that we`re more concerned that the work continue
and none of us really trying to advocate on behalf of a particular
candidate. And I think that a lot of people are very concerned that some
of the things that the attorney general was working on is now jeopardized
unless there`s a real commitment around certain things like voting rights.

CLEVER: Yes. The department of justice, prior to Eric Holder`s watch, had
a civil rights division that had become a civil wrongs division. And he
came in and he`s turned all of that around. In fact, I`d like to say, and
I agree with Martin III, I think Eric Holder will go down in history as one
of the great AGs of all time.

Keep in mind that difficult times often call for great men and women, who
would not have normally been great but for the challenges they faced. And
he faced a myriad of challenges. The voting rights act, prosecuting big
banks on mortgage fraud after the 2008 collapse, and continuing to bring
the justice department into areas like Ferguson, Missouri, right down the
street from my home.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, the Congressman, Martin, referred to some of the
things that he faced, the obstacles. In the 24 hours since he announced
his resignation, the right media has revived this ugly smear campaign
against the attorney general. Listen to this.

The right has called him a Stalinist, a modern-day George Wallace, and they
said, quote, "he ran the DOJ much like the black panthers would." These
are quotes. Can we expect this same kind of treatment for our next
attorney general?

KING: Well, you know, Rev., I don`t know that any of us can predict what
we can truly expect, but it really depends on whether or not people come
out and vote in this upcoming election. It`s most important that we do all
that we can to bring everyone out at this election and that perhaps will
determine how Congress or anyone treats the next AG. But hopefully it`s
always going to be respectful.

SHARPTON: Now, Congressman, North Carolina residents were recently mailed
a so-called official voter application form, sent by the Koch-funded
Americans for prosperity group. This mailer, it gave voters an incorrect
deadline to register, the wrong address for the state board of elections,
and false voting procedure information. I mean, this sounds like a mailer
intended to deliberately mislead voters.

CLEVER: Reverend, there`s no question about it. And anybody in this
country who walks around with their chest out, professing to be patriotic
on one hand, and on the other, trying to put barriers in the way, to
prevent American citizens from voting, is a hypocrite. And I think we see
a lot of that today.

We needed an attorney general who would step forth fight against voter I.D.
I hope that the new appointment from the White House, from the President,
is someone who will say, look, there are certain things that I am going to
challenge. And if you don`t want me to challenge it, don`t approve my
confirmation.

We must have a strong attorney general now for reasons of fighting terror,
but also for trying to make sure that Americans, just Americans like my
dad, who is 92 years old in Texas, and if he had to pay an I.D. fee to get
an I.D., it`s comparable to a poll tax. And we need an AG who will stand
up to that.

SHARPTON: That`s why, Martin, working with this attorney general has meant
a lot to -- I know in my work, I`ve gone through several attorney generals.
I never saw one that would be this aggressive on voting rights. He
actually went in some states and sued and stopped them from changing some
of the voting laws. You and I were in Ferguson several times. He came to
Ferguson. I`ve never seen an attorney general in history that would come
to the site themselves of a civil rights accusation. Bobby Kennedy never
did that for your father.

KING: Well, absolutely. And I mean, this attorney general has done an
incredible job under very difficult circumstances. One of the things that
we think about is the sentencing laws that are modified. That is
phenomenal. Because there are so many people of color who are in jail
because of unfair sentencing.

But voting is probably the most important, because if we get people at the
ballot box, voting, participating, then we can elect the elected officials
that truly will represent the interests of the people. And this attorney
general has over and over and over again stood up to make sure that
everyone in our nation can vote.

SHARPTON: Congressman, voting is extremely important. We had midterm
elections, and if their vote does not go the way the Democrats want, you
could lose the Senate. And no matter who`s nominated, unless they`re
confirmed before January, the President may not be able to confirm a new
nominee.

CLEVER: Many of us on the hill have been talking about that all day. We
started yesterday. And I hope people around the country understand that
the President can name someone, it doesn`t mean that they`re going to make
it. Because in the Senate, we have these arcane rules that will allow 60
votes to prevent -- to get a confirmation on a cabinet member.

So we could get a bad human over there eventually because if they hold it
back past January, and the Republicans take over the Senate, the President
won`t be able to get anyone through who has a strong and visible history of
enforcing certain laws, civil rights laws. That`s just the facts. I wish
it is which were not so, but it is.

SHARPTON: Martin Luther King III and Congressman Emanuel Clever, thank you
both for your time tonight and have a great weekend, both of you.

CLEVER: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, no facts, no problem. One of GOP`s rising stars
falls right into tonight`s "Goy You."

Also today, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul were falling all over each other, trying
to be -- trying to throw red meat to the base.

Well, could a blast from the past be the real surprise in 2016?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Tom Cotton was just busted for not telling the truth. And
what`s worse, he doesn`t care. The tea party congressman is running to
unseat a democratic senator in Arkansas. The polls are tight. And now
Cotton is trying to justify his deeply unpopular vote in his rural home
state against the farm bill.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. TOM COTTON (R), ARKANSAS SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: He taught me early.
Farmers can`t spend more than they take in, and I listened. When President
Obama hijacked the farm bill, turned into a food stamp bill with billions
more in spending, I voted no.
(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Hijacked by President Obama? Food stamps have been part of the
farm bill for decades. The program was started by FDR after the last time
a Republican President crated the economy during the great depression. And
four Republican Presidents have signed farm bills into law that included
food stamps funding.

So President Obama didn`t hijack anything. "The Washington Post" fact
checker gave Cotton`s ad, four Pinocchios. So of course the campaign is
going to take down the ad, right? Don`t bet the farm on it. The cotton
campaign is now increasing the size of the ad buy. No facts? No problem.
Here`s how Cotton defended his false ad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COTTON: I don`t think liberal reporters who call themselves fact-checkers
spent much time going after a farm. No county would blame Cotton` s I
think. I know a little bit more about farming than they do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Congressman Cotton, I didn`t grow up on a farm either. But I
can smell when someone`s shoveling something pretty stinky. And we could
debunk this one until the cows come home. Nice try, but we "Got You."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Republicans have spent the last two years talking about how much
they want a change. How they want to be more broad-minded and appealing to
new voters. It`s all part of a strategy aimed at actually winning national
elections. But today, at the conservative Values Voter Summit, we could
tell this party hasn`t changed at all. It was like a greatest hits album
for the GOP.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: We are going to sign legislation repealing every
word of ObamaCare.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: The President acts like he`s a king. He
ignores the constitution.

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Do you think it`s time to abolish
the IRS?

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Then there was the trillion dollar
stimulus, I guess that didn`t work so well.

LT. COL. OLIVER NORTH (RET.), FOX NEWS HOST: Must demand accountability
for a string of horrific scandals and cover-ups, fast and furious,
Benghazi, the IRS` enemies list, government spying on American citizens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: All the old tunes, ObamaCare, oh, no, be afraid. Obama`s a
king. Oh no, ruining the constitution! But did you catch the last guy?
He`s Oliver North, the man who was eyeball deep in the Reagan era Iran
contra scandal, selling on for hostages. Now he`s lecturing the crowd on
supposed scandals and cover-ups in the Obama administration. It would be
laughable if it weren`t so offensive. And typical for today`s Republican
Party, and one panelist in particular couldn`t wait to go after the
President on foreign policy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALIN: The media`s favorite president, he just can`t stop telling lies.
You know, he just said that, um, the Islamic State, ISIS, isn`t Islamic.
You know who that is news to? The Islamic State. Our honored military, on
behalf of all Americans who do support you and we honor you, we respect
you, on behalf of all Americans who feel like I do, to your commander in
chief, well, then, we will salute him.

(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The President was lying when he said the Islamic State didn`t
reflect the true tenets of the Islamic religion? And mocking his salute.
She can`t be serious. And clearly this party isn`t serious about changing
either.

Joining me now is Drew Courtney, director of Communications at People for
the American Way. Whose blog, right wing watch, monitors far right-wing
activity. And MSNBC`s Karen Finney. Thank you both for your time being
here tonight.

DREW COURTNEY, PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY: Thanks for having me.

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Hey, Rev.

SHARPTON: Is values voters a place where republicans really let their hair
down and act like themselves?

COURTNEY: Well, I mean, I think that might be the case. It will be one
thing if it was surprising what went on there. But the people who have
been going to values voters for years upon years are some of the most
extreme people in the GOP coalition. People who say that if gay marriage
becomes the law, Christians will be rounded up into box cars and there will
be a holocaust. People who say that the Sandy Hook massacre was
attributable both to God`s punishment for legalized abortion. So they`re
going to pander to these people, the most extreme wing of their party, and
if they`re going to do it, I think they need to be held accountable for it.

SHARPTON: Karen, you know, Sarah Palin wasn`t the only person that values
voter summit fear mongering over terror. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He`s unwilling to listen to his real professionals,
that`s the military professionals, because he doesn`t trust them. Because
they represent something that he`s never been able to understand, and
that`s a love for America.

LT. GOV. DAVID DEWHURST (R), TEXAS: Prayer rugs have recently been found
on the Texas side of the border in the brush.

BACHMANN: And I believe that if you have an evil, the order of this
magnitude, you take it seriously. You kill their army until they wave the
white flag of surrender. That`s how you win a war.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: You know, Karen, the President launched 200 air strikes against
ISIS. And she says he`s not taking this seriously. I mean, will anybody
buy this?

FINNEY: No, of course not. And, you know, here they`re criticizing him on
this when at the same time, you know, we`ve been having a debate, both from
the left and the right, about, you know, waging this war against ISIS. So,
no, I don`t think anybody will take anything any of these folks have to say
seriously. I mean, as you pointed out in your opening, we`ve heard them
attack the President for not loving this country. Means a lot of the same
rhetoric and the same attacks. And certainly the way they cast him in
terms of foreign policy is, again, you know, saying he didn`t act quickly
enough, he`s not being decisive enough. I would say, if you take a look at
those photos they shown from some of those air strikes, it was very
decisive action on the part of this president and our military.

SHARPTON: You know, republicans across the country, Drew, are running on
terror too. I mean, check out this ad against Georgia democrat Michelle
Nunn.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Michelle Nunn`s own plan says she funded organizations
linked to terrorists. She`s for amnesty while terrorism experts say our
border breakdown could provide an entry for groups like ISIS.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, this ad is completely baseless. So why would they run
it?

COURTNEY: Well, I think that`s really interesting, this kind of attack is
actually really typical in one way. You know, there`s nothing the far
right loves more than saying that every democrat is in league with ISIS.
The facts don`t matter. It has nothing to do with the facts.

SHARPTON: Right.

COURTNEY: What I think is really interesting is who is pushing this ad.
So, David Perdue ran and won the primary as this establishment candidate
will apparently beat back the far right candidates and yet here he is
launching attacks against his opponent that would sound comfortable coming
out of the mouths of Michele Bachmann or Louie Gohmert, some of the most
extreme people in the party. And I think what it shows is that, the
difference between the fringe right of the party and the establishment is
less and less. That`s not because the fringe is getting less extreme.
It`s because the establishment has been dragged to the right along with
them.

SHARPTON: You know, Karen, I know this is going to sound completely crazy,
but there are rumblings that Mitt Romney may run again in 2016. I mean,
one columnist is writing about it in the conservative Washington Examiner.

FINNEY: Yes.

SHARPTON: And this week on FOX News, Ann Romney definitely didn`t rule it
out. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX BUSINESS ANCHOR: You have the name recognition. You have
the Reagan example of, the third time was the charm for him. And that it`s
been done before. And that would be appealing?

ANN ROMNEY, WIFE OF MITT ROMNEY: Well, we will see, won`t we, Neil?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, what does that say about the state of the party, Karen?

FINNEY: It tells you that the party, they have no new ideas and they don`t
really have anyone that they think can appeal to the country and win a
national election. I mean, you know, a lot of the rhetoric that we heard
today, and Drew is right, the party, the Republican Party has very much
been dragged to the far right, and it`s interesting that some of the same
people who were attacking Mitt Romney when he ran for president are now
sort of fantasizing about the idea, if only Mitt Romney would run for
president. You know, I don`t take it seriously. I suspect that it was one
of those comments that was made, because you know, as long as the myth is
out there that you might be running, people will take you seriously as a
potential candidate. So I don`t think it`s real, but I think it`s
certainly, you know, who doesn`t like having their name in the mix, I
guess.

SHARPTON: Well, plus, they like the oldies, so that includes Mitt Romney,
I suppose. Drew Courtney, Karen Finney, I`m going to have to leave it
there. Thank you both for your time tonight. Have a great weekend.

COURTNEY: Thank you so much, Rev.

FINNEY: You too, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, tonight`s Justice Files. Why did police tased a man
who was sobbing over the body of his murdered son?

Also, the grandmother who was repeatedly punched by a state trooper in this
video wants to know why he`s not behind bars. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back with tonight`s justice files.

Joining me now is former prosecutor and current trial attorney Midwin
Charles, and attorney and legal analyst for Avvo.com, Lisa Bloom. Thank
you both for being here.

MIDWIN CHARLES, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Thanks, Rev.

LISA BLOOM, AVVO.COM: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: We start with a disturbing story out of Pittsburgh. A man is
tasered by police officers while mourning over his dead son`s body. Twenty
three year old Mileek Grissom shot and killed in 2012, trying to break up a
fight. His stepfather, reverend and community activist Earl Baldwin, Jr.,
rushed to the hospital. You can see him sobbing next to his son`s body in
this surveillance video. Baldwin says, he was praying next to his body,
but within moments, things took a turn for the worse. Police officers
tried to restrain Reverend Baldwin, and when he didn`t move from his son`s
side, tased him in the back, causing him to fall to the ground.

Police say they tased Baldwin because he was preventing doctors from
treating his son. But Baldwin says the young man was already dead and no
one was trying to revive him. The hospital has released a statement
saying, clearly this was a stressful situation and a tragic loss for this
family. However, the allegations about the circumstances are inaccurate.
Baldwin has now filed a federal civil rights lawsuit, claiming police
brutality.

Midwin, why would police tase a father who was literally sobbing over his
son`s body?

CHARLES: Good question, Rev. I mean, typically police officers are
supposed to use force whenever they feel that their lives are threatened,
or that someone poses a threat to others around them. And clearly if you
look at that videotape, that doesn`t seem to be the case. This is a father
who was mourning the loss of his child. He didn`t pose a threat to anyone.
He wasn`t a fleeing felon. So the circumstances under which they decided
to use the taser are dubious at best. And of course the videotape speaks
for itself. And for them to say that they were trying to get hospital
staff to assist this guy, this child who was already deceased, you don`t
see that on the videotape. There is no one trying to assist this child, so
it doesn`t make any sense.

SHARPTON: Lisa, do you see anything that justifies tasing this man?

BLOOM: Absolutely not. I represent victims in excessive force cases every
day, and you think I would be used to these by now. But I`m not. This is
absolutely appalling. Not only is he a father, not only is the young man
deceased and therefore not capable of any medical care, but this is a
clergyman and he`s praying over his deceased son. Are you kidding me! And
we have police officers pulling him off of the young man`s body and tasing
him. So, I think this is a very well founded case, I hope it does well.
And I also think we can`t ignore the role of race in this case. You know,
too often it`s African-Americans who are victims of excessive force by
police and I think this is yet another example of that.

SHARPTON: I clearly agree that this seems to be something that is
outrageous at best. And I think that we will follow the lawsuit from
Reverend Baldwin.

An update on the police beating of a grandmother on a California freeway.
Marlene Pinnock has reached a settlement with the California highway patrol
for being punched over and over again by an officer back in July. She`ll
get $1.5 million, and the officer is expected to voluntarily resign. But
her attorney says they are still seeking criminal charges against him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We are not going to be done with this until he gets
actual time in custody. She is going to testify in the criminal
proceedings against this man.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Lisa, the officer resigned. But why wasn`t he fired for his
actions?

BLOOM: Yes. Absolutely. And he doesn`t have to pay that civil penalty
out of his own pocket. So he doesn`t have any personal repercussions from
the civil case. That`s why criminal charges are absolutely so important.
And in so many of these cases, Reverend, thank goodness we have the video.
Right? Which is why every police officer in America should have a video on
his badge, so we don`t have to guess, we don`t have to wonder, we can know
exactly what happened.

SHARPTON: Right. You know, Midwin, the fact is, that to let him resign,
it means that he walks away as not have not been penalized at all.
Suddenly the criminal charges are something that they want, and something
that clearly are to be looked into, in terms of pursuing them. But the
least the Police Department can do even now is say, no, you did this,
you`re fired. And let that be on your record. Why give him the option to
resign like he did nothing wrong?

CHARLES: You know, the answer is pretty much in your question, Rev. By
not firing him, they send the message, not just to that police officer, but
to the community at large, that this police officer is supposed to serve
and protect, that what he did doesn`t amount to or doesn`t rise to a
firing. And that`s what makes this such a dangerous precedent to set. But
I will say this, the one thing that I find interesting about this, this
police officer is resigning. In other words, he is not going to be in that
position any longer, so that no one else can get hurt. So, on the one
hand, it sends this message that what he did doesn`t rise to the level of a
firing, in other words, you`re not that bad of an employee but on the other
hand at least he isn`t on the job and no one else is going to suffer the
fate that this woman did.

SHARPTON: Yes. I agree with that, Lisa, but I still think it`s a very,
very bad precedent, and I admire Miss Pinnock for saying, you can give me
the money, but I still want him to go to jail. You can`t pay me for the
right to beat me.

CHARLES: And that`s right. Absolutely.

SHARPTON: I respect her taking that position.

CHARLES: Absolutely.

BLOOM: Yes. He`s punching an unarmed woman over and over and over again
on the side of the freeway. He`s responsible from a criminal perspective
for every punch that he threw, just like Darren Wilson and the Mike Brown
case, he is responsible for every bullet that he fired. He has to be
accountable for that in the criminal case. And all of our police officers
have to be accountable for their actions when citizens get harmed.

CHARLES: But also Rev, I have to say that the irony in all of this, is
that the police officer said he did this in order to prevent her from
walking on to the highway and being harmed by cars. And from the looks of
that video, she might have been better off walking out onto that highway.

SHARPTON: I`m not impressed with his preventative work.

CHARLES: Not at all.

SHARPTON: Thank you both for your time. And again, I think we cannot have
a precedent where we just paid people to have their lights violated.
Midwin Charles and Lisa Bloom, thank you both for your time this evening.

Still ahead, an amazing moment from my hometown city and for sports fans
everywhere. Derek Jeter`s farewell game and respect from stars like LeBron
James, and Spike Lee.

Also, the first lady hits back at critics of her healthy school lunch
program. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Right-wingers, eat your heart out, as students head back to
school this month, many are finding new healthier lunch options, thanks to
First Lady Michelle Obama. It`s been a big target for the right in the
past.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: No soda, no snacks, no choice. How the First Lady`s
task force on childhood obesity is cutting into our diets and our rights.

GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Once again, progressives no better than
you. First it`s nudge, then it`s shove, then it becomes shoot.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Taking the nanny state to the new level,
Michelle Obama is suggesting what you should feed your children.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Keep it up, 30 seconds left.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Despite the attacks, the First Lady hasn`t let up, pushing for
healthier school lunches with her "Let`s Move" campaign. The First Lady
sat down with Channel 1 to talk about making the tough choice to eat right.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: Food matters. You know, and I think that`s
one of the things I talk to my kids about all the time. Change is hard.
And the thing about highly processed sugary, salty foods is that you get
addicted to it. I don`t want to just settle because it`s hard. I know
kids are grumbling because they have to make changes. Trust me, my kids
roll their eyes at me. You don`t have to finish your dinner, but you have
to finish your vegetables. But I know that I`m doing it because I`m giving
my kids the best that I know I can give them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Finish your veggies. It`s a good message according to a CDC
study, obesity has more than doubled in children in the past 20 years. In
2012, one out of every three children was overweight or obese. Those
numbers should concern everyone, no matter their personal politics. And
it`s good to see that, thanks to our first lady, schools are beginning to
make big changes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Today reaction and respect for Derek Jeter from the sports world
and beyond. His farewell game last night was one for the ages. Twenty
seasons in Yankee pinstripes, ending with a game-winning hit in the ninth
inning. You just can`t see this moment enough.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN STERLING WFAN: Base hit to right field. Here comes Richardson.
Here`s the throw from Markakis. Richardson is safe! Derek Jeter ends his
final game with a walk-off single. Derek Jeter, where fantasy becomes
reality. Did you have any doubt?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: After his game-winning hit, the captain celebrated with his
team, as fans across the stadium broke out in cheers. One fan in
particular caught our eye. Derek Jeter`s nephew, tipping his cap to honor
his uncle. What a special moment.

After the game, Jeter gave an emotional on-field interview and thanked the
fans who have supported him all the way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEREK JETER, NEW YORK YANKEES: I want to thank everyone here. I`ve said
it time and time again. You know, everybody`s chanting "Thank you, Derek"
and I`m thinking to myself, for what? You know, I`m just trying to do my
job. So thank you, guys.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Jeter`s impact extends beyond the world of baseball. LeBron
James posted a photo of himself, tipping his cap to number two, writing,
quote," salute to the captain." Russell Wilson tweeted, my buddy Derek
Jeter is the greatest of all time, respect. Justin Timberlake tweeted,
"Jeter, no words for that." And Spike Lee posted a picture of himself in a
Jeter jersey, writing, "Derek Jeter, New York`s finest." I`ve had the
pleasure of meeting Derek over the years and as a life-long New Yorker, I
want to congratulate him on how proud he`s made this city. In a time we
hear so much, some true, some false, about entertainers, athletes all over
the world of leisure, it is quite refreshing to see one walk off the field
after staying focused, not being distracted, and doing his job, to the
ultimate, and walking away with his head high, and walking away with his
dignity intact.

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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