All In With Chris Hayes, Monday, November 24th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Monday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: November 24, 2014
Guest: Charlie Dooley, Jamilah Nasheed, Francis Slay, Rasheen Aldridge,
John Gaskin, Ashley Yates, Tef Poe, Daryl Parks
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from Clayton, Missouri. I am
Chris Hayes with a special live edition of ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES here.
I`m standing in front of the Justice Center, Clayton, Missouri, is the
county seat for St. Louis County. That`s the county that surrounds the
city of St. Louis, and it is in county in North County, about 10 miles from
here in Ferguson Missouri where on August 9th, an unarmed teenager named
Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer named Darren Wilson.
We are awaiting an announcement in the next hour of whether Darren
Wilson will be indicted. It is a culmination of a long process in which a
grand jury has been hearing evidence now for several months. That grand
jury has been listening evidence from the office of Bob McCulloch. He is
the St. Louis County prosecutor, a very polarizing, controversial figure --
a man that many people wanted removed from the case early on, a man with
very deep ties to law enforcement community, including a father who was
killed in the line of duty as a police officer. He has overseen this long
process and now, it all comes down to this announcement tonight expected in
the next hour in which we believe St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch
himself will be announcing what, if any, indictment or charges this grand
jury has found in the killing of Darren Wilson.
Joining me at my side, Trymaine Lee of MSNBC.com, who`s been reporting
on and off for months now.
You`ve been down here for a few months already. What has the
atmosphere been like here in the days leading to this announcement?
TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC.COM: I mean, of course, leading up to this
moment, people have been waiting for this for a long time. There`s a mix
of tension and anxiety, some fear and still, anger.
Now, I spoke to one protester earlier who said, you know, earlier,
when it first happened, we were angry, now, we`re organized and angry. And
so, while you may our may not see that kind of spontaneous anger that we
saw in those early days in August, demonstrators plan to come out. They
still plan on taking the streets and that it`s waiting for this moment.
But it`s kind of tightly wound and everyone is so anxious and is ready
for this announcement.
HAYES: Yes, we should say that everything that has happened over the
course of the last several months has essentially had the effect of
heightening the tension because there has been such anticipation, because
people have seen a series of leaks from the grand jury. That people are
constantly trying to read the tea leaves. Does this mean that he`s not
going to be indicted or he is going to be indicted?
People have seen a declaration of the state of emergency in advance of
the event. Again, a highly anomalous choice by Governor Jay Nixon.
How has that affected anticipation that folks have both on the
protesters side, residents, law enforcement officials here?
LEE: Well, first of all, every one is kind of fearing the worst here.
And so, protesters who are veterans of those early days fear that the
police will once again respond with these kind of heavy-handed tactics.
The police are also fearful that, you know, if things get out of control,
will someone get hurt? Will property be damaged? And, you know, will
residents feel the pain?
But also, each step along the way, as you`ve mentioned, there have
been leaks. There has been recent revelation that there had been this
promise that if Darren Wilson is not indicted, that all the evidence will
be released. And then pulling back saying a judge didn`t agree to that
deal. All of this has added to this mistrust already in the system. So,
here we are on the verge of this moment, and, still, everything is up in
MADDOW: An update on that. I believe we have word that the
prosecutor`s office has announced that they will, in fact, be releasing
some of the files from the grand jury proceedings if, in fact, he`s not
indicted, despite the fact that a judge had balked initially at that. They
withdrew that order. They`re now making the unilateral decision. Again,
everyone right now trying to read the tea live e leaves, trying to figure
out what`s going to happen.
You can feel the tension. You know, the tension in August was thick
and palpable. It was hot. People were out in the streets. It was raw
emotionally. Here, you can feel the people. Everyone is on edge. There
has been I think comings in some senses from officials, the kind of
subliminal, sometimes contextual, and sometimes just straight up open
language to suggest that they are fearing violence, disorder, property
It seems useful to remind people that what we saw back in August was
the scale of property damage back in August was roughly on par with the
riots in San Francisco after the Giants won the World Series. I think
probably less property damage that we saw in Keene, New Hampshire, at the
pumpkin fest in Keene, New Hampshire. So people should be keeping all of
that I think in perspective.
LEE: Yes, especially when there`s the perception that the entire city
was burned to the ground, when you had establishment, the QuikTrip, and no
one is condoning that kind of property damage. But it was one story.
We never saw that mass of 500, 600 people turning on police or turning
on property. We simply didn`t see it. And we did some looting. The
police had a hands-off approach and kind of letting it happen.
So, I think the narrative is kind of unfurled in a certain way, but
the reality is different.
HAYES: And what has the dynamic been? There have been protesters.
We`re seeing now the protesters are already gathering in the Ferguson
Police Department, which has become the site of most of the intense
protests in the months since August, right? What have those interactions
been like since police and protesters?
LEE: The last few days, as we`ve seen again, as this tension is kind
of bubbling over, you`ve seen arrests. You`ve seen what some believed is a
return of some, more aggressive tactics by police where at least one young
journalist they say was arrested for standing on the sidewalk and refused
to move. And so, if this sign of the things that come, it has spun
completely out of control. But it seems that there has been a stepped up
aggression in that situation at the police department.
HAYES: I want to bring in Ari Melber, who`s been closely following
the legal dimensions here.
And, Ari, I was just saying on HARDBALL, that, you know, that there is
a strangeness to this whole thing, a surreality of the fact that we are
anticipating the announcement of a grand jury finding. It`s strange. It`s
not usually where one finds one`s self as a reporter. Of course, verdicts
get a lot of attention. But this is a grand jury proceeding.
Walk us through what is a process that`s led up to this and what are
the possible things that we might hear tonight?
ARI MELBER, THE CYCLE: Sure. As you`ve been reporting and
emphasizing, Chris, this is just basically, in plain language, a determine
nation by these jurors with vote of nine or more out of 12 over whether
there`s evidence that suggests probable cause. And in plain English, that
means whether this evidence suggests a crime probably occurred. Not
definitely. Nowhere near beyond a reasonable doubt, but probably with
enough suspicion there that it should be pursued within the rest of the
system and go to a full trial.
When you talk about the charges that could be there, because this is
about a killing, it breaks into two, murder or manslaughter. And then you
get into degrees that people remember from "Law & Order". First-degree
murder, which doesn`t apply in any way here because you don`t have the kind
of premeditation or planning that`s associated with that. Although, in
some unusual ways, the prosecutor said he`ll put all charges including
first degree before this grand jury. Second-degree murder, which would be
an intentional killing or happening in basically with passion in some way.
And then manslaughter would be voluntary, an intentional manslaughter or
involuntary, which we often think of in terms of mistakes, like vehicular
involuntary manslaughter. You`re driving, you caused the death of another,
but in no way did you intend to.
Much less common do you see that kind of charge when it`s related to a
firearm death or particularly the official use of a firearm here by an
individual who, whether he had justification or not, was probably not
shooting without regard to whether it would cause injury. So, those are
the basic charges. And then, in the process, to the second part of your
question, if you get an announcement of any kind of indictment tonight, all
that would mean is that then, the full trial process would begin. That`s a
long process that is more adversarial than a grand jury and would proceed
to if it wasn`t thrown out of court, some kind of trial before a jury of
your peers. That would be a full jury that would decide whether there was
guilt or not guilty verdict further down the road.
HAYES: If a grand jury were to return no indictments tonight,
obviously we have a system that bars doesn`t jeopardy. If you`re acquitted
of a charge, you cannot be retried on that charge. Does it mean the end,
essentially, of any criminal proceedings for Officer Darren Wilson if in 45
minutes, we hear Bob McCulloch announce grand jury has found no indictment?
MELBER: No, as a legal matter, it does not bar the possible filing
of, for example, a separate criminal charge, which prosecutors can do when
they think they have probable cause anyway. Or, potentially, and we`re not
saying that this would happen, but to your question of, does it bar
anything the way the actual verdict would? You could always empanel
another grand jury to hear evidence that would only typically be done if
some new evidence came to light or some other, what lawyers would call
malfeasance. Some other improper conduct came to light that made you want
to do it over before a grand jury.
As a practical matter though, the reason why everyone is so focused
tonight where you are and where you`re reporting from, Chris and Trymaine,
is obviously this is seen as the be-all, end-all with what this particular
prosecutor wants to do. So, while there could be a civil suit from the
family, be federal charge separately. People rightly perceive this as the
probable end of the line for this prosecutor`s case here.
HAYES: Ari Melber, thank you very much. Stay with us. We`ll be
checking back with you.
You`re seeing some protesters start to assemble in Ferguson, around
the Ferguson Police Department.
We should know the family of Mike Brown has issued a statement asking
for a moment of silence 4 1/2 minutes of silence after the announcement of
the decision by the grand jury. That 4 1/2 minutes has the significance of
4 1/2 hours being the amount of time that Michael Brown`s body laid in the
street in Canfield Drive in Ferguson after he was shot and killed by Darren
Joining me now is the county executive for St. Louis County, Charlie
Mr. Dooley, good to have you here.
CHARLIE DOOLEY, COUNTY EXECUTIVE, ST. LOUIS COUNTY: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: What is the message that you`re sending that are to folks
around the world are looking at St. Louis County tonight?
DOOLEY: We want to send a message that we want justice to be served.
But even more importantly, whatever the decision is, to be calm, step back,
take a breath and hope things will work out. This is a peaceful community.
People have got opportunities to come together. We have our challenges
like any other community.
But this is not the time for emotions running rampant. Let`s stop.
Let`s not destroy anything. As the Michael Brown family indicted, they
want peace. That`s the main thing, peace.
HAYES: Now, I heard your press conference earlier. You were at that
press conference earlier. I`ve heard people, officials, talk about the
words calm and peaceful as if they`re synonyms, right? It strikes me that
protesters are -- if, in fact, there`s no indictment, we do not know what
the announcement is going to be. But it`s possible they will be angry,
that they will be yelling. That it`s possible that protesters can conduct
themselves in a peaceful way that isn`t necessarily calm.
DOOLEY: That is true. And I agree with you a hundred percent.
HAYES: Right, the First Amendment protection as well.
DOOLEY: Yes, that is true. Constitutionally, they can holler, they
can scream, they can talk. We`re talking about is unlawful acts. That
cannot be tolerated. But again, we don`t want to stop protesters from
HAYES: How important is it to you and to Mayor Slay and to the
governor, how much do you see it as your job as protecting those First
Amendment rights for folks that may want to protest this evening?
DOOLEY: Again, America is a country of freedoms. One of the freedoms
that we enjoy in this country is the right to disagree. I`m going to
protect that as best we can, as long as they abide by the law. Now, again,
if that means someone is speaking or talking or walking, as long as they
don`t do something serious, bodily harm to someone, we`re not here to stop
the protests. We`re here to protect the protesters.
HAYES: You`re -- you`re a long time member of this community. You`ve
seen a lot. What is your feeling? What do you want to see from this grand
DOOLEY: Well, what I want to see, everybody in this community wants
to see what is right is done. I`m not privy to the information. So I
can`t make that judgment call, OK?
But, again, people want justice in America. Let me be clear about
this. In this great country, African-American, young males have a
challenge in this country.
Now, some people don`t understand that. Some people ignore it. But
it is a fact of life. Where do we put the price of life in this country?
And I think that`s ultimately, that`s going to be the question to this
entire country. What do we put the price on life to young African-
Americans and people of color in this country?
HAYES: Do you think that Governor Nixon has gotten the tone right,
has taken the proper actions that are both prudent and non-provocative in a
run-up to this, that the very unusual step of announcing the state of
emergency and so forth?
DOOLEY: Again, I don`t have all of the particulars. Some of the
things he may have done, I may not have done those things.
HAYES: For instance?
DOOLEY: For instance, if I want to have the National Guard, I might
not have announced it, but just done it.
What I`m saying to you is this. I don`t want to heighten people`s
fears because they are afraid.
Yes, the fear is palpable. Protesters are scared that police will
escalate and we saw some really sort of ugly militarization of police and
tactics there. Police are probably scared they will e there will be
violence. Officials are probably scared, property owners, and citizens, et
You`re one person who`s been saying from the beginning you`re
expecting peace. Do you think that message has gotten out to metro St.
Louis? Because as soon as you get off the plane here, people are acting
like they`re going to see something truly terrible happen tonight.
DOOLEY: I think the majority of the people believe, for the most
part, there will be peace. Now, you can`t guarantee 100 percent of people
coming to this area come with the same intent. So, again, the vast
majority of the protesters, the vast majority of the people who live in
this community believe it`s going to be calm. That doesn`t mean it will be
100 percent calm. That doesn`t mean that what I call peace is not peace.
What I`m saying is that, my hope is that no one is hurt, no one`s life
is taken, and that`s the thing we need to stress that has not been
stressed. No one has been seriously hurt and no one life had been taken
doing this protest.
HAYES: County Executive Charlie Dooley, thank you very much. I
really appreciate it.
DOOLEY: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: I want to bring in State Senator Jamilah Nasheed.
Senator, back here in August, you were one of the leading voices for
the Governor Nixon using his state of emergency powers at a time to appoint
a special prosecutor to replace Bob McCulloch. It got to the point at one
point, you deliver petitions. McCulloch himself even said if the governor
were to appoint a special prosecutor, I would respect that and step aside.
That did not happen. It has Bob McCulloch`s office that has presented
evidence to the grand jury, sitting here awaiting an announcement from Bob
McCulloch about that grand jury.
Were your suspicions or fears confirmed? Or were you pleasantly
STATE SEN. JAMILAH NASHEED (D), MISSOURI: Well, I would not be
surprised nor would I be shocked by the outcome of a non-guilty verdict.
The day that the statutes are structured here in the state of Missouri,
they`re way too vague.
So, what I`m looking to do moving forward within the next couple of
months is craft a piece of legislation that tightens the language of lethal
force when it comes to police-involved shootings.
HAYES: It`s interesting you bring that up. It sounds to me like you
are already anticipating that the grand jury will return no indictment
tonight. Is that correct?
NASHEED: Well, again, I am not optimistic.
HAYES: Aside from legislation, Senator, about the use of lethal
force, if that is the case, what do you tell your constituents, what you
tell protesters? What do you tell moms and dads, and men and women, and
girls and boys, who live in metro St. Louis, who live in North County, who
live in Ferguson, what do you tell them about what lessons to learn, what
they should do next, what the next step is to move forward if your fears
that there will be no indictment are realized in just about 40 minutes?
NASHEED: Well, within the last four months, the city of St. Louis,
we`ve gone through a very strenuous process in terms of anxiety levels.
What I would say to the protesters tonight, it`s OK to protest. It`s OK to
be angry. But it`s not OK to damage property. It`s not OK to burn down
I think now is the time to begin the healing process. This will
define the city of St. Louis or the state of Missouri. Moving forward is
what will define St. Louis in terms of how we change the problems that`s
plaguing African American communities, as well as those that are
impoverished, the systemic problems that they see each and every day that
you have young men that are coming out of prisons and they cannot find
We`re going to have to begin to deal with those issues. We`re going
to have to begin to deal with the issues of young folks going out looking
for jobs and they can only find minimum wage jobs and the mothers having to
leave their children at home alone because they cannot afford child`s care.
So, we have very systematic changes that needs to be made, and
systemic problems that exist in this city that we`re going to have to deal
with. And until we deal with those issues, only then will we see progress
for the city moving forward.
HAYES: Senator Jamilah Nasheed, thank you very much.
NASHEED: Thank you.
HAYES: You`re watching special live coverage right now. I`m Chris
Hayes, live here in Clayton, Missouri, the county seat for St. Louis County
is in the building behind me at the justice center where in just a little
bit, Bob McCulloch, the county prosecutor for St. Louis, will be announcing
the findings of the grand injury that has been hearing evidence of the
shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, at the hands of
Officer Darren Wilson.
We`re looking at live footage outside the Ferguson Police Department
in Ferguson, Missouri. That has become a rallying point for protesters in
the months since the fatal shooting of Michael Brown on August 9th. You`re
seeing people begin to assemble. You`re seeing them do the "hands up,
don`t shoot" chant which was immortalized back in August during that first
round of protests.
Reference to several eye witnesses, more, several at least four or
five I believe who said they saw Michael Brown making the widely recognized
sign of surrender and putting his hands on the air, just instance before he
was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson.
We are awaiting an announced from the St. Louis County prosecutor`s
office in just a little bit. We are here tonight and it is a strange feel
in the air right now here because there is so much anticipation. As we
said earlier, Governor Nixon has already declared a state of emergency.
And we have with us now Mayor Slay of St. Louis.
Mayor, what is your mindset right now?
MAYOR FRANCIS SLAY, ST. LOUIS, MO: Well, like many other people, I`m
just sitting and anticipating, and anxious about a decision from the grand
jury in St. Louis County.
I can tell you that, you know, whatever the decision is, I do expect
that a whole lot of St. Louisans and others will be loudly and passionately
expressing their views.
And we`re going to have some of the best police officers in the entire
country protecting the protesters and their rights to speak, their
constitutional rights, and to protect their constitutional rights, and also
making sure that others and their property are safe so that everybody can
go home safe. That`s what I`m certainly hoping for.
HAYES: Do you think that residents of your city, residents of St.
Louis County and the surrounding metro area, have an active understanding
of just how likely some sort of large scale disruption violence are?
Because it feels to me that perhaps folks here think the chances of
something truly terrible happening in terms of widespread damage
destruction, lawlessness, et cetera, is perhaps larger than it actually is.
SLAY: Well, you know, that`s something that I guess, certainly, a lot
of people have their own perspective and views. And certainly, you know,
there`s a high level of anger and a high level of anticipation and a high
level of frustration, and certainly a high -- a high level of anxiety from
a lot of people who are wondering what`s going to happen, what the
decisions are going to be.
I can tell you this that there`s it covers a broad spectrum. So, you
really can`t characterize it in one category. I can tell you this, that
over the last several weeks, we have been working very, very hard to
communicate in many, many ways so the people of St. Louis and throughout
the country, that what we`re going to do as we approach is this we make
sure that we protect people`s rights to express themselves from a
Also, make sure that we protect people and property. And we`re also
going to make sure that we don`t just have --and I think this is in an
important component, we don`t just have a law enforcement response to what
happens and what the decision is. We need to make sure that we continue
our efforts in even a stronger way to show the world how we can come
together as a community.
How we can heal. How we can address those deep-seeded issues, pretty
much revolving around race, racial disparities, inequities, that Senator
Nasheed was talking about what just a minutes ago, because until and unless
we do that in a very, very effective way, we will not be responding
appropriately to this tragedy that occurred. We need to make sure that the
shooting of Michael Brown, whatever the decision is of this grand jury, we
want to make sure that something good comes out of it. Not just for St.
Louis, but for our entire nation.
HAYES: Mayor, what`s the one biggest thing you`ve learned in the
intervening time since Michael Brown`s death and the protest?
SLAY: Well, the biggest thing that we`ve learned is that what you
can`t do is you can`t paint protesters, you can`t paint police, you can`t
paint elected officials with one broad brush. That there`s a lot of
differing views out there, a lot of people have their own motivations. And
the other thing is that everybody looks at the same set of facts, the same
situation, from behind different glasses. And just because somebody looks
at something differently than I do or if you look at something differently
with somebody else, doesn`t mean that you`re right or they`re wrong or I`m
right or they`re wrong.
It means that we`ve got a community of a lot of different ideas, of a
lot of different perspectives. And we need to come together and realize
that that we`re all in this together. We need to talk. We need to
communicate. We need to work together. We need common ground and we need
to find ways to address these real deep-seeded issues and make our region a
more just and more fair place for everybody.
HAYES: Finally, Mayor Slay, do you know what decision the grand jury
SLAY: I do not.
HAYES: All right. Mayor Slay of St. Louis, thank you, sir. I
SLAY: My pleasure.
HAYES: All right. We are announcement just shortly in the grand jury
finding of Officer Darren Wilson`s shooting death of Michael Brown. We
will be right back. Don`t go anywhere.
HAYES: All right. We are live in Clayton, Missouri, the county seat
of St. Louis County, where in just a little bit, moments in fact, we will
be anticipating an announcement from Bob McCulloch, the county prosecutor,
on the findings of the grand jury and whether there will be indictment on
any criminal charges against Officer Darren Wilson. He, of course, the
Ferguson police officer who shot and killed, Michael Brown, on August 9th
Joining me now, John Gaskin, he`s on national board of NAACP, and
Rasheen Aldridge, Jr. Rasheen has just joined the Ferguson committee which
has been empanelled by the governor to discuss what`s next for Ferguson.
Rasheen, let me start with you. You`ve been a protester. You`ve been
outspoken in the community back in the August protest. You`ve now joined
this committee put together by the governor.
What -- how are you feeling tonight and what are you anticipating?
What are you expecting?
RASHEEN ALDRIDGE, JR., DIR., YOUNG ACTIVIST UNITED ST. LOUIS: I`m
just like everyone else here in the community. Awaiting, you know, we`re
on pins and needles awaiting the decision of if there will be indictment of
Darren Wilson or if there`s no indictment. Just ticking and tocking.
HAYES: Do you anticipate protest actions in the nights, days to
follow if there is no indictment? What do you foresee as what that
reaction would be like?
ALDRIDGE: I mean, I think there is an indictment, if there`s not
indictment, the young people have been here for 108 days. We`re going to
continue to protest either way because this is, the indictment of Darren
Wilson and no indictment of Darren Wilson is just a start of long term
that`s going to continue to go on because the system has to change. The
reason that we`re here is because of Mike Brown, but there`s so much tied
deeper as the system that`s holding people back, holding communities back
from starting at the same place of other people.
HAYES: John, what do you see as the lessons have been so far? Has
the process in a way it`s played, has it given you more or less confidence
that the institutions of governance here are responsive? Are aware of
exactly the underlying issues that have brought us to this moment?
JOHN GASKIN III, COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: My confidence in the justice
system is at an all-time low tonight. You`ve had many groups, many
protesters that have called for a special prosecutor, the governor fell
asleep at the wheel when he had an opportunity to step up to the mantle of
leadership and appoint a special prosecutor. He ignored those calls.
And now, all of the sudden, he comes to ground zero to participate in
what I would view as simple political dialogue to further his political
You know, confidence is at an all-time low. We`ve seen this thing
play out. Many of your legal analysts on your network has said, the
prosecutor controls this narrative in terms of the grand jury situation.
He -- if there is no indictment, it`s simply because prosecuting attorney
Bob McCulloch does not want there to be one, plain and simple.
HAYES: John, would your confidence be restored if there some kind of
criminal indictment return tonight? Would that sort of retroactively
change the way that you feel about Bob McCulloch, about the governor, about
the sort of structures of government here?
GASKIN: I don`t know if it would change my confidence. However, it
would send a message that people within this community on that grand jury
sit, saw and see that there`s something wrong, that something took place,
this should not have happened on Canfield drive back in August. I don`t
know how much confidence that would put in the criminal justice system, but
still, a trial has to take place.
And the prosecutor would have to, obviously, prosecute this case. And
quite honestly, what we`ve seen thus far, he`s completely not the person
that should be taking care of this right now.
HAYES: Rasheen, you are on this new panel that has been empanelled by
the governor? What do hope that comes out of it, what do you see to people
that say this is a political stump by the governor to basically, you know,
release some pressure and district people from the issues?
ALDRIDGE: Well, being on this commission, I`m not quite sure what`s
going to come out of it. I also feel like that if he really wanted to get
some type of change or if he really wanted to hear the voices of the
people, there would definitely be more young folks on this commission.
Let`s speak, once again, 108 days young people have been out here
peacefully protesting. The reason there is a commission is due to the
young folks that have been out here for the last 108 days planning actions,
going to trainings and out here peacefully protesting for their human
I hope that I`ll have the chance to talk to as many young people
as possible to figure out what is the real issue and concerns that we have.
And what is it that is holding us back from having the same human rights
that other folks have.
We`re tired of being treated like we`re not human. We`re tired of
just walking down our streets, driving and being pulled over and harassed
by police officers. It has to stop. That`s why we`re out here. We`re
going to continue to be out here either way if there`s an indictment or no
indictment, we have to change. We cannot have another Michael Brown. We
cannot have another VonDerrit Myers, we cannot have another Congene Powell
We`re fed up.
HAYES: Rasheen Aldridge, Jr. and John Gascon III, thank you,
gentlemen. Appreciate it.
We are Live in Clayton, Missouri tonight. In just 30 minutes we are
anticipating, we will hear an announcement from St. Louis County Prosecutor
Bob McCulloch. He we will be addressing the media in that building just
behind me in the justice center here, here in the county seat in St. Louis
County to announce whether the grand jury that has been working for several
months now has returned any criminal indictment on officer Darren Wilson.
The eyes of the country, in fact, much of the world right now, on that
building, on that podium. Don`t go anywhere.
HAYES: We are live here in Clayton, Missouri outside the justice
center where in just a few moments we`ll be hearing from county prosecutor
Bob McCulloch about whether the grand jury that has been impaneled here to
investigate the shooting death of Michael Brown at the hands of police
officer Darren Wilson has returned any criminal indictments. Joining me,
Trymaine Lee, my colleague from
MSNBC.com has been down here since November 12.
There -- Harold, what do you think the effect of the last two or three
weeks of how this process played out has been on people`s psyches here.
There was this spate of leaks that happened and then it was any day, any
day, any day rumors flying, rumor flying. I was hearing from people
texting you back and forth, happening tomorrow. I heard from this person,
everybody`s got an uncle or a cousin who works in some police department or
works for the school district, that kind of -- and now we`ve come here.
It`s 9:00 at night. A lot of people are asking a lot of questions about
why now? What is this? What is this announcement supposed to do?
TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC.COM: I think it`s been emotionally and
psychologically draining for so many people, especially those who have been
on the ground for so long. We`re talking about 105 days or so.
And so the idea that now there`s these leaks and then you have the
assembly of the National Guard, and don`t be violent and -- but sustain and
maintain the progress of the movement.
It`s all been so -- you talk to folks, they`re tired. So the last
couple of days they`ve been trying to relax, because they know that once
the announcement is made, now they`re going to kick in
to high gear.
So, it`s been draining for folks, but now it`s kind of it`s game time.
HAYES: You know, it feels a little bit like -- I think the most
cynical interpretation of some of the moves that have been made by some of
the officials here is if you have a bottle of carbonated soda and you shake
it up, right. You just sort of let it out as slowly as possible so you
don`t get this explosion. And so a lot of people widely interpreted some
of those leaks that we were seeing two or three weeks ago as kind of
preparing the ground.
And then the National Guard and then all of this is sending these
signals to people essentially without saying, look, there`s going to be a
no indictment. And again, I have no idea what`s going to happen, as I
think you have no idea, that people are interpreting
a lot of these actions as basically officials preparing people
for the fact that there will be no indictment so that there isn`t some
massive, wrenching outrage of disappointment or surprise when that`s
LEE: Now, to some degree, I think it`s kind of -- if that was the
intention -- whether it was intention or not, it kind of worked. I mean,
by prolonging this process and kind of letting that emotion
kind wan a bit.
On the other hand, though, it seems to have been driving this divide
even deeper. So folks who didn`t trust the system before really don`t have
that trust now. And they believe all along that this was all building
blocks leading to what some presume will be a non-indictment.
HAYES: Yeah, that issue of lack of trust, which you and I saw -- have
been seeing firsthand here -- we saw it in August and we`re seeing it
throughout. I mean, no one I`ve talked to on the ground here from the kind
of community/protester side has found this process to be, in anyway
reassuring or in anyway to repair some of the sense of alienation and
frustration and anger they have about Michael
Brown`s death, right.
The process to them -- I hear the phrase the fix is in. I`ve heard
that, you know, a ton. That`s how a lot of people have perceived this.
LEE: Exactly. And that where it`s fueled so much of this, because
they say we came out en masse in the beginning because an unarmed black boy
was killed and he lay on the streets for four-and-a-half hours. And that`s
where that initial fervor came from.
And so in response to their anger over the situation, then they were
beaten back. And then you have the system, which they believe is piling
on. And so here you are today which may presumably be a non-indictment.
Now, I`ve talked to some folks who are holding onto hope, because we
don`t know they say perhaps the deliberation they`re taking may lead may
lead to an indictment.
HAYES: Trymaine Lee, MSNBC.com. Stick around, right.
We, of course, do not know what will be the announcement from Bob
McCulloch in just a little bit, but we are monitoring it closely. We are
here live. You`re seeing protesters begin to assemble outside
the Ferguson Police Department at this hour. That has become a rallying
point for protesters in the last few weeks and even months.
There are a lot of folks here who have been training. You heard
Rasheed just say earlier that there will be protests whether there is or is
not an indictment because, in his words, this is bigger than
the death of Michael Brown.
We are awaiting an announcement from Bob McCulloch and that grand jury
about Officer Darren Wilson in just a few moments. And we have with us
right now -- oh, we`re going to take a break and we will be right back.
HAYES: All right.
Joining me now, we have Tef Poe who is an activist co-founder of
Hand`s Up United. Ashley Yates, co-founder of Millennial Activists United.
Ashley, what is your mood right now? What are you expecting in just
20 minutes when we hear county prosecutor Bob McCulloch announce
whether the grand jury has returned an indictment.
ASHLEY YATES, COFOUNDER, MILLENIAL ACTIVISTS UNITED: Chris, I have
absolutely no idea what we`re planning to announce. Everyone here is
acting out the expectation that we`re going to see a gross injustice
served. That is what has happened throughout this country every time that
police brutality has occurred, every time the police have murdered an
innocent civilian that is black, we have seen that the system has refused
to hold them accountable, which is why you have seen the response that
you`re seeing today and you`ve seen the response that you`ve seen for the
last 100 days.
So we are anticipating a non-indictment. But I am one of those
hopeful that (inaudible) they spoke of earlier in which I`m holding out a
little hope for the system that they will actually do the right thing and
announce that there is enough evidence to just take this trial, because
that`s really what we`re waiting on is just them to say that there`s enough
evidence to take this to trial.
HAYES: Tef, there`s been a lot of messages directed at protesters and
activists such as yourself coming from a whole variety of officials here
from County Executive Charlie Julie (ph) who was just standing by my side,
Mayor Francis Slay of St. Louis, who we just had on, Governor Jay Nixon,
how are you hearing those directives, those pleas and treaties and orders
from officials about the nature of the protests that may ensue in the wake
of this decision?
TEF POE, CO-FOUNDER HANDS UP UNITED: I mean, it`s too late to decide
to jump on board and try to restore order. Order should have been restored
when Mike Brown laid in the middle of the street for four-and-a-half hours
and bled to death in front of his parents. I mean, it`s a true hypocrisy
to wait until the very moment, to the dawn of all hell breaks loose to say
that you want to lead.
Leading was a matter of stepping forth when the community clearly
stated that we are wounded, we are hurt, that this is an issue of racial
I think the fact of the matter is, is that we`ve all been treated like
imbeciles, as if our opinion is not valid, as if what many of the witnesses
saw was not valid, as if this is -- we don`t have legitimate complaints.
And the truth is the fact of the matter, this would have never gone
this far had they chose to step up and lead and be responsible. Everyone
is playing hot potato with the responsibility of the issue. You don`t know
if it`s Governor Jay Nixon calling the shots, you don`t know if it`s Bob
McColluch calling the shots.
All of the sudden, Charlie Dooley (ph) isn`t even in office, now he`s
trying to call the shots. Francis Slay has a few bodies on his hands
thanks to Chief Dodson that he needs to take responsibility for as well.
I`m just a regular concerned citizen that felt an emotional attachment
to the situation. I was outraged. I was hurt. I shedded tears and I
responded in that manner. And I wished that they would do the same.
HAYES: What do you -- I should just clarify that you`re referring to
shooting deaths by St. Louis officers of VonDerrit Myers and Kajieme
Powell, both of which have happened over the past few months, Kajieme
Powell and in just the past few months. Mike Brown in august, VonDerritt
Myers a few weeks ago. Those were both men who were shot and killed by St.
Louis Police Officers, both of those were ruled justified.
I just want to -- if folks don`t follow that.
Tef, can you explain to me what your personal plan of action is? What
-- if in 17 minutes, Bob McCulloch grand jury found there was no reason to
indict Darren Wilson and everybody goodnight and that`s it. What are you
going to do?
POE: My personal plan of action is just to support the people,
support my friends and family members that feel the way about this issue.
I`m just here literally for a position of support.
YATES: We`re going to go out and we`re going to do the same thing
we`ve been doing for 108 days, which is tell the system that this is not
As long as we have to see our dead, black children lay out in the
street and gunned down unarmed, we are going to make sure that they feel it
as well. We`re going to make sure that this issue stays at the top of
their list until we see some real accountability, until we see some real
We`re doing the same thing across 75 cities in America. This is not
just Ferguson. And if they want to keep saying it`s Ferguson, take a look
at all the 75 cities that are telling you we`re not going to stand for it.
Cleveland is toting an action right now for Tamir Rice. There`s a 12-
year-old boy that was gunned down unarmed. This is a nationwide problem.
So, we`re not going to go away until they address it as a nationwide issue.
You cannot keep killing innocent black civilians. It just can`t happen.
HAYES: Do you feel that way, Ashley, even if an indictment is
returned in just 15 minutes when we`re expecting an announcement? Do you
feel that the work you`re talking about in this being bigger than Michael
Brown`s death means that that movement that has being built here is going
to continue even if there`s an indictment?
Like I said, just here in St. Louis, since the killing of Michael
Brown, we`ve seen Kajieme Powell who was unarmed gunned down, we`ve seen
VonDerrit Myers who, by all accounts, was unarmed. They have yet to
produce a gun that they said existed.
We have seen in Cleveland, Tanisha Anderson, an unarmed woman that was
bashed and killed in Cleveland. This is like I said, this is definitely
not going away. This didn`t start with Michael Brown and didn`t end with
Michael Brown. But we are definitely going to make sure that we don`t have
to see one more black citizen gunned down with unaccountability.
So, yes, indictment or not indictment, we are going to address this as
a systemic issue that it is.
POE: And to coattail off of what Ashley is saying it`s time to take
a real approach to racial profiling. It`s time to honestly look at racial
profiling, attack it, and eradicate it, abolish it. It`s time to step up,
take responsibility. If you`re a politician, step up. Jay Nixon, step up.
Barack Obama, step up. It`s time.
HAYES: Tef Poe and Ashley Yates, thank you very much. Appreciate it.
YATES: Thank you.
HAYES: We are now joined by Daryl Parks. He is one of the attorneys
for the Michael Brown family.
And Mr. Parks, has the Brown family been informed in either way
about what they will be hearing in the next 15 minutes when Bob McCulloch
makes this announcement?
DARYL PARKS, ATTORNEY: They have no been informed as to what they
plan to do with this indictment. All they know is there is going to be an
announcement and that`s it.
And you know, obviously, they have serious concerns about the process,
but yet they`ve still continued to hold out that there may be hope that
this grand jury will indict.
So, we all have to wait and see in 15 minutes what the prosecutor
does. But they are of the opinion that there have been some serious,
serious, serious concerns with the process that has been used in this grand
jury situation. It certainly hadn`t been the
typical grand jury process that you would see typically.
So hopefully, we pray and hope that it goes right. But whatever
result we get will certainly be a result of the process that was used here.
HAYES: Is it your belief that Bob McCulloch essentially went into
this not wanting an indictment and essentially constructing a
process that would yield that result? Is that your belief? Is that the
PARKS: Yeah, I mean, they have strong concerns about, one, for
example, his decision to just dump all the information from the grand jury.
That`s not the process you use when you want to make sure that
you get an indictment, you give all of the evidence that`s favorable to
getting the indictment that would you know be written by the grand jury.
You don`t give them everything even if the exculpatory evidence that would
tend to prove that the person may have a defense or what have you, that`s
not what the purpose of the grand jury is.
However, number two, though, is just -- you know, normally in the
process like that when you`re trying to get an indictment, it`s rather
clear to the grand jury that the prosecutor wants you to indict the person.
They`re putting the information there because they believe they have what
they need to indict and they need your blessing on it.
Well, we don`t have any indication that he`s done that yet.
Hopefully, we`re wrong. We pray we`re wrong. Hopefully, he has been
forceful before them and has given them enough evidence that led them to a
point where they can indict.
We`ve always been of the opinion, Chris, that there`s ample, ample,
ample evidence here for this grand jury to indict. And if he puts forth
all the evidence that we are aware of and the public is aware of there`s no
way that this grand jury should not come back with an indictment.
HAYES: If, in fact, there is no indictment, what legal remedies exist
for Michael Brown`s family?
PARKS: Well, there`s several things. Number one, you already know
that the Department of Justice civil rights division has an ongoing
investigation into possible civil rights violations that may have resulted
in Michael`s death. That`s number one.
Number two is obviously is a possibility of a civil suit for the
wrongful death of Michael Brown, which is something that we are very
intimately involved with in terms of how we -- moving forward, although it
hasn`t been filed yet. That`s a big part of our purpose, a big part of why
we have Dr. Boden (ph) do our own autopsy as well.
HAYES: Daryl Parks, attorney for the Michael Brown family. Thank you
for your time tonight, sir.
PARKS: Thank you for having me, Chris.
HAYES: All right.
Joining me now, my MSNBC colleague Craig Melvin who is on
the phone right now. He is at the Ferguson Police Department, that is that
live shot you see there where folks have begun to assemble. They started
getting there about an hour, hour-and-a-half ago.
And Craig, what is the seen like there?
CRAIG MELVIN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Right now, Chris, I can tell
you we`ve got about 25 Ferguson police officers. They are standing out
front of the police department, but not -- they`re not donning the helmets
that we came to see in the days after the shooting.
They`re not in riot gear. They`re standing. And you`ve probably got
-- I`d estimate it again, you know, it`s tough from this vantage point.
I`d say maybe 300, 400 folks who have come out, many of these people I`ve
talked to, many of these protesters are obviously waiting on the verdict --
not the verdict, excuse me, awaiting on the grand jury decision to be
A good portion of the street in front of the police department has
been shut down because of the crowd. It`s been peaceful so far. There
have been no arrests so far, but you`ve got lots of folks
chanting, lots of signs. And that`s the scene right now.
But again right now the (inaudible) as everyone here, again, waiting
for that decision to be read.
HAYES: And, Craig, from what I can tell from the live shot that we
have right now, it looks like, actually, the police presence is
relatively minimal. Certainly, when you think about the ratio of
protesters to police, it`s the inverse of the kind of ratios we saw in the
first days of the protests down on West Florissant of Michael Brown`s death
when there would be a handful of protesters and 50 or 60 police officers
armed to the teeth in SWAT tactical gear and riot gear.
But we`re seeing a far less sort of aggressive police posture at this
moment, is that correct?
MELVIN: That is correct. In fact, I`d say maybe 15 to 1, 15
protesters to 1 officer. I mean, there`s a natural barricade, there`s a
fence that exists in front of the police station. They`ve got another
barricade that`s been erected in front of that.
And you`ve gotten -- you know, you`ve got a handful of folks with
megaphones who will periodically will go up to the fence and scream things
at the officers, but that`s about it. In fact, I`d say right now, there`s
a good 20, 25 feet between the officers and the protesters, at least --
yeah, a good 20, 25 feet. You`ll have to excuse me while I`m talking to
you. I`m keeping my head on a swivel here.
I mean, it`s -- the crowd has continued to grow since we`ve arrived
here maybe 10, 15 minutes ago.
This, of course, Chris, as you know, over the past few weeks,
especially, this has been ground zero for the folks have gathered outside
the police department every night, usually fairly small crowds. This is
the largest crowd that I`ve seen since we`ve been here this time around.
And every night, there have been just a handful of arrests, typically
unlawful assembly or refusing to get out of the streets, things like that.
The protests heretofore, in front of the Ferguson Police Department have
There was one incident four nights ago, the first time that we saw
pepper spray used in awhile, but it was an isolated incident, nothing like
I can tell you I`m standing next to one, two, three Amnesty
International observers who are here and they said that they`ve got roughly
a dozen folks here in front of the police station.
I`ll tell you else I see, Chris, is I see a lot of gas masks, a lot of
folks who seem to have shown up prepared for whatever the night might
HAYES: Craig Melvin live outside the Ferguson Police Department.
We will continue to check in through the night.
We`ve just gotten some news. We just learned that Bob McCulloch,
county prosecutor will, at the top of the hour, that`s just seven minutes
from now, give a 20 minutes statement apparently and then take questions.
That what we`ve just learned about the nature of the announcement of the
Grand Jury`s finding in the shooting death of Michael Brown at the hands of
Officer Darren Wilson
I want to bring Ari Melber who has been following the legal
controversy of this closely.
And Ari, can you refresh our memory about what the standard is that
grand juries need to find in order to indict? We know beyond a reasonable
doubt is the standard for a conviction. What`s the standard that grand
juries when presented with evidence have to find in order to move for an
ARI MELBER, MSNBC: yeah, that`s a great question. beyond a
reasonable doubt being that highest standard for criminal law when you have
a full trial that`s up here. This is not that case. You mentioned earlier
in your discussion with a lawyer, a civil suit where you have a
preponderance of the evidence, more likely than not
This probable cause standard is even lower than that. This is the
kind of standard that we use in the law when officers say they have
probable cause to search your car, not because they know something bad is
in it, but because they have some evidence, some articulable (ph) facts
that something bad might be in it.
This is the standard that basically says the evidence provided
suggests something bad may have happened, a crime may have occurred,
typically one crime, maybe more than one. And thus, the grand jury in a
case like this would be saying if they found probable cause of that, that
that it`s worth a full trial. And as we all know innocent until proven
guilty, no matter what we hear in five minutes if there were an indictment
and any indictment that individual still innocent until proven guilty.
There has just been a finding of probable cause that there should be a
In this case, Chris, as we`ve discussed the charges we would be
looking at and that we might hear about either way that the grand jury goes
would be these murder and manslaughter charges here.
HAYES: Ari, when you put it that way -- I just want to hone in on
that for a second -- the same standard for whether police officers search
your car is the standard that`s at issue here? Like that phrase, probable
cause, which is used in both contexts, that`s actually the same standard
we`re talking about?
MELBER: Yeah, it`s basically the same standard. We should note, of
course, that different -- we`re talking about state laws
here and different states have different precedent. But it is.
If you`re trying to ballpark it, yes, it`s the same kind of
And as you`ve mentioned on your show and you`ve reported before,
Chris, that`s why sometimes you don`t need a grand jury, sometimes you
simply have a probable cause hearing when a prosecutor takes charges to
court, files a criminal complaint, brings someone to court based on the
evidence. And sometimes the first thing a defense lawyer will do, then, is
say well this should be thrown out on probable cause.
That`s the same kind of standard a judgment that would be made in that
case by a judge in this instances by the grand jury. And what we know, as
you reported just now, that we`re going to hear about 20 minutes, according
to the prosecutor`s office, some sort of statement, some sort of
information and offering about what happened and then we`re told, of
course, this prosecutor will take questions.
But we certainly would expected either way and we don`t know the
ruling or the decision yet, but either way, we would expect questions about
the standard and what those jurors decided.
HAYES: Ari Melber, thank you very much. You`re going to be staying
throughout the night as we continue to cover this.
I`m back with my colleague, Trymaine Lee.
So we just learned that Bob McColluch is going to give a 20 minute
statement, which strikes me as a long statement. And that`s just in three
minutes now and then take questions. Your reaction to that?
LEE: You know, I don`t want to be presumptuous or dive into too much
speculation, but it seems I guess a long statement.
HAYES: That was surprising to me. I was anticipating him to come up,
him to make an announcement quickly and finish and walk out. I didn`t even
think he would be taking questions.
LEE: But there may be a need for some extended explanation on how we
arrived at this moment and where we are.
HAYES: Yeah, it sounds like whatever the actual finding of the grand
jury is, given the fact that he`s giving a 20 minute statement there is
going to be explanation. And I would imagine a defense of
the process, because the process as you`ve heard from attorney Daryl Parks
for the Mike Brown family, as you`ve been hearing from a lot of legal
observers, as you`ve been hearing from protesters and folks here, that
process has been incredibly -- people have viewed it very skeptically.
LEE: Right. And people are going to want answers. And people have
been asking for transparency in this whole process the entire time. Every
step along the way, it seemed that there was a fog in that transparency.
You couldn`t really see in and around very well.
And here we are at this moment. and I guess we`re getting close.
HAYES: Yeah, we are, just to reset here. We`re about two minutes
away from what we`re expecting to be a statement from Bob McCulloch, the
county prosecutor after several months in which a
grand jury has been hearing evidence in the shooting death of Michael
Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black teenager at the hands of Darren Wilson,
an officer with the Ferguson Police Department. They`ve been hearing all
the evidence in the decision to Bob McColluch to present all of the
evidence to them, to not ask for specific charges, to not just give them
the evidence they would need to meet the probable cause standard to return
indictment, which is the more common way in which a prosecutor would
present evidence for a grand jury,.
He has, instead, taking a strange anomalous choice in providing him
all of the evidence.
We are going to hear from him and what we are being told is a 20
minute statement, which I imagine will be an explanation and defense of
that process. He will then take questions.
Right now, there are protesters who are already assembling at the
Ferguson police department. That`s the live shot that you see that`s in
Ferguson itself. We are in the other part of St. Louis County in the
county seat of Clayton. It`s a very different demographic here in Clayton.
It`s where the justice center is. It`s where Bob McColluch is about to
address the cameras and give his statement. And we will be bringing that
to you of course live. We will also have live reaction. We will be live
tonight at 11:00 p.m. Live from here in St. Louis as everyone turns their
eyes now to Bob McColluch, County Prosecutor for St. Louis County to
announce whether the grand jury has returned a criminal indictment in the
shooting of Michael Brown at the hands of Officer Darren Wilson. Don`t go
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