The Ed Show for Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
THE ED SHOW
December 3, 2014
Guest: Karen Desoto, Daryl Parks, Gregory Meeks, Al Green, T-Dubb-O
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES, (D) NEW YORK: We renew the call for the department
of justice to step in today.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Another closely watched grand jury decision involving
a police officer...
TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC NATIONAL REPORTER: Sources tell NBC news that there
will be no indictment in this case.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An improper chokehold was a factor in the death of a
black suspect Eric Garner. The officer is seen taking Garner down in an
apparent choke hold.
GWEN CARR, ERIC GARNER`S MOTHER: They treated him like an animal. They
treated him worse than an animal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a case here on video...
DANIEL DONOVAN, STATEN ISLAND DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The grand jury has been
diligently listening to evidence.
WILLIAM BRATTON, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: There will be an
ability that people will get to have their voices heard without
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They a different and better relationship with the
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If Ferguson was not a wake up call this case better
CARR: This has to stop.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good to have you with us tonight folks. Thanks
Today a New York City grand jury decided not to indict an officer on the
NYPD in the death of Eric Garner. We are expecting remarks at any moment
from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. We`ll bring that statement to you
shortly. President Obama reacted to the Grand Jury decision just moments
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: There was a
decision that came out today by a grand jury not to indict police officers
who had interacted with an individual named Eric Garner in New York City.
All of which was caught on videotape and speaks to the larger issues that
we`ve been talking about now for the last week, the last month, the year
and sadly for decades.
And that is, the concern on the part of too many minority communities that
law enforcement is not working with them and dealing with them in a fair
way, and as I said when I met with folks both from Ferguson and law
enforcement and clergy and civil rights activists. I said this is an issue
that we have been dealing for too long and its time for us to make more
progress than we`ve made.
And I`m not interested in talk. I`m interested in action and I am
absolutely committed as President of the United States to making sure that
we have a country in which everybody believes in the core principle that we
are equal under the law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The New York Democratic Congressional delegation had an emotional
reaction to the news earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFFRIES: The decision by a grand jury not to indict in the death of Eric
Garner is a miscarriage of justice. It`s an outrage. It`s a disgrace.
It`s a blow to our democracy.
REP. CHARLIE RANGEL, (D) NEW YORK: A human was killed. He was surrounded
by policemen. No one else touched him. And the grand jury did not say
that he committed suicide.
REP. JOSE SERRANO, (D) NEW YORK: The fact is here that a grand jury could
not even come up with a misdemeanor is certainly a miscarriage of justice.
REP. NYDIA VELAZQUEZ, (D) NEW YORK: How could you sit there as juror,
watch this video and issue a no indictment?
REP. GREGORY MEEKS, (D) NEW YORK: Here`s an individual that couldn`t
breath. And yet the choke never stopped.
REP. YVETTE CLARKE, (D) NEW YORK: I can`t believe that in the 21st
century, in the United States of America we cannot get a simple indictment
for the murder of a man that was caught on tape.
REP. JOSEPH CROWLEY, (D) NEW YORK: I respect our judicial system. I
respect the grand jury system. It doesn`t mean I have to agree with every
decision that`s made. And I certainly don`t agree with this decision.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The incident that caused Eric Garner`s death is well documented.
On July 17th Garner was confronted by police for allegedly selling untaxed
cigarettes on the street. Most of the incident was caught on camera.
During Garner`s arrest he was placed in a chokehold by Officer Daniel
Pantaleo. After he was slammed on the sidewalk Garner repeatedly told
officer`s he couldn`t breath.
Garner died on the street a few minutes after the incident. Chokeholds
were banned by the NYPD back in 1993. A chokehold is any pressure to the
throat or windpipe which may prevent or hinder breathing or reduced intake
New York City Medical Examiner ruled Eric Garner`s death a homicide. The
Medical Examiner also said Garner`s asthma, obesity and hearth disease were
contributing factors to his death. This sparked nationwide protest similar
to those that unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri. New York City Police are
preparing for mass demonstrations following the grand jury decision today.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the people have the right to peacefully protest
and the city will respect that. This case is much different than the
Michael Brown case in three major ways. First of all, there is video
evidence which clearly shows what happened.
Second, a New York City Medical Examiner ruled Eric Garner`s death a
homicide, and third the officer broke department rules by putting Garner in
a chokehold. Meanwhile there was still no indictment for Officer Pantaleo.
Officer Pantaleo released a statement later this afternoon saying, "I
became a police officer to help people and to protect those who can`t
protect themselves. It is never my intention to harm anyone, and I feel
very bad about the death of Mr. Garner. My family and I include him and
his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal
condolences for their loss."
The other officers involved in the incident were given immunity. We have
quite a discussion on this tonight. But first I want you to get your
cellphones out. I want to know what you think from what you know of this.
If you were on the grand jury would you have voted for indictment?
Text A for yes, test B for no to 67622. You can always go to our blog and
leave a comment at ed.msnbc.com. We`ll bring you the results later on in
I want to start tonight with Karen Desoto, former prosecutor and Professor
at New Jersey City University, also with us tonight Daryl Parks Attorney
for the Brown family and New York Congressman Gregory Meeks who is also a
former prosecutor. Great to have all of you with us tonight.
Karen, you first, how could the grand jury possible come to the conclusion
that these officers or the officer in question did not cause the death of
KAREN DESOTO, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well I could sit here for an hour and try
and explain that to you. Obviously I haven`t read the grand jury
transcripts. But what I can say is that, police officers are given great
deference. When I take my civil rights cases and police brutality cases I
look at three things.
I look at the police officers, the sheer brutality, the internal affairs
report, OK? And their jackets to see how many complaints they have against
them and whether or not they broke police procedure.
Now I`m not a grand jury. I`m not in -- I don`t get all of those great
details, the facts and the specifics so I can`t sit in their position. But
what I can say is that, if you believe that the followed procedure and it`s
a bad procedure, no matter if they did or not it doesn`t rise to
criminality and so the jurors are looking at this from the criminal not a
civil, not whether he is just a bad police officer.
And I think there is a lot of confusion over what police procedure is if he
broke it. If he was doing what he was told and what he was trained to do
Ed, as sad as that is then jurors and grand jurors aren`t going to indict
somebody who feels that they are just doing their job and were trained to
do exactly what they did.
SCHULTZ: Daryl Parks, your reaction to the no indictment which was ruled
by the Grand Jury today, considering the fact that there was technique that
was used by the officer in question that was banned by NYPD back in 1993.
PARKS: I guess I`m like most Americans today. I`m dumbfounded by the fact
that they could come back without indicting this officer, given the fact
that this officer actually used a chokehold that had been banned.
Obviously the New York P.D. banned the chokehold because it was highly
likely to cause great injury and death and did so in this case.
The fact that he did not follow protocols in of it self should be at least
an indusia (ph) of a criminal activity. And, I mean people, you know,
black American and Americans should be fed up with officers being able to
do this type of conduct and get away with it. It`s totally unacceptable.
PARKS: And something has to be done. And I agree with our President. We
need some action. Talk is over.
SCHULTZ: And Congressman Meeks, you`re a former prosecutor, if this had
not gone to the grand jury a prosecutor do you think you could have gotten
a conviction based on what you know of this case?
REP. GREGORY MEEKS (D), NEW YORK: Well absolutely, I know I could have
gotten an indictment because of what you just -- how you opened your show,
Ed. Look, the way I would have gone in there at the beginning is just used
the three elements that you talked about and did they advocate that way.
One, it`s a violation of police policy that a chokehold is known to cause
death to that -- the medical examiner rule this a homicide, that the cause
of death was the chokehold.
So, I mean, just based on that, so can you go to a jury, a grand jury where
only probable cause have to be established. You don`t have to prove a case
beyond a reasonable doubt. All you have to show that probable cause that a
crime was committed and that the person accused is the one that committed
that crime because then you have the camera.
You have the body cam. More than a body camera, you have better camera
than what a body camera would show, showing what took place. A man being
held on the ground saying I cannot breath. And there is no easing up.
And there was no aggressive move by Mr. Garner, in fact he was started (ph)
back, you know, in both for complaining and talking about members all over
this -- in Congress and other places with their hands up. Well, hands up
is symbolic for this all over America.
Because Mr. Garner`s hands were up and he was moving back. But -- event,
the chokehold that killed him. And that`s how I think the case should have
been presented to the grand jury and why I think that the testimony and all
of the proceedings that took place in the grand jury should be opened up
and -- and I would like to know whether D.A. Donavan asked the grand jury
for an indictment when he finished presenting his case as most D.A.s do
when they present a case to the grand jury.
SCHULTZ: And Karen how unusual is this because of the video tape?
DESOTO: Having video tape, it`s not that unusual. I mean there are a lot
of video tapes now. It`s unusual in a police case to have such a specific
evidence and be able to see frame by frame what was going on, what the
procedures are being followed.
The one thing that I do see a problem with this, that everyone is calling
it a chokehold, I believe that the procedures or during the grand jury that
it wasn`t called a chokehold per say. Wasn`t defined as a chokehold, it
was defined as some other type of move. So there in could lye some
problems there with semantics Ed.
SCHULTZ: But the definition of a chokehold is to cut off the air
SCHULTZ: I mean, so there`s different kinds of chokeholds.
SCHULTZ: So is this -- I`m asking you to render judgment.
SCHULTZ: Is this poor prosecutorial work?
DESOTO: I think that in these cases, there should always be a special
prosecutor. I think prosecutors curry favor with police officers in these
types of an incident to keep it on the up and up and arm`s length. And
even unconsciously, not curry favor towards the police officers. You have
to bring in a special prosecutor.
SCHULTZ: So Daryl, what`s wrong here? What has to happen to get an
indictment of a law enforcement officer who in the minds in the public I
think is clearly wrong and goes against procedure? What does it take, if
you can`t get an indictment here, where do you get it?
PARKS: Well, I have to agree with the previous speaker Ed. You have to
have a special prosecutor who has not connection to that community. Think
about what we`re allowing to happen, we`re allowing the prosecutor`s office
who deal with the same police departments day in and day out and reliant on
those officers to prove their cases. These prosecutors trust these
officers, the trust of their offices everyday.
They are not going to go in and aggressively go against that particular
office because they`re more than likely will have an effect on the other
officers who also...
SCHULTZ: So the remedy for that is what? A federal law that says if --
when cops are involved, people from the outside are brought in, is that a
PARKS: It doesn`t have to be a federal law but states have the potential
to bring in other people who have no bias within that particular jury`s
SCHULTZ: Congressman what do you think about that? Is this the time now
for the presentation of a federal law and of course, Republicans now own
the Senate and the House, they`re going to do something that law
enforcement doesn`t want to have happen to them. But, I mean it seems to
me, the only way to remedy this, this relationship between prosecutors and
police departments is to have some kind of intervention from outside to
have someone rendering judgment that has not connection to the police.
What about that?
MEEKS: Well here again is where I think that -- unfortunately especially
those of us who want better America has to rely on the federal government,
to look into the relationships especially with reference to the prosecutor
in Ferguson and the prosecutor here in Staten Island. So that we can dig
MEEKS: ... what took place and what did not took place.
SCHULTZ: And also Congressman -- there`s such a conversation about body
cameras. You got a body camera, you got a lot of video tape right here and
you still can`t get an indictment, what the hell is a body camera going to
MEEKS: Listen, that`s exactly what I said at our press conference.
There`s been this big thing that body cameras are going to solve these
problem, body cameras clearly are not going to solve these problem because,
what happened -- I mean in this case is, who are you going to believe?
Your lion (ph) eyes or somebody else that came (inaudible) -- here was
clear, you see -- everything that you were to see was there. So body
cameras are not the answer. There`s a deeper problem in America that we
got to resolve.
SCHULTZ: Karen your thoughts on that?
DESOTO: My thought is this, is that the shame of this case is that you
could see in the beginning of the videotape him talking the two police
officers stand there, a trained professional officer could have diffused
that situation. This is using phycology and the training that you use in
the academy and apparently it was not used there, it never had to happen.
SCHULTZ: I mean, looking at this videotape, it`s like -- who wants to pick
a fight with the cops, OK. Especially when there`s, how many are there in
the tape? It looks like there`s about six or seven of them. There`s one,
there`s two, one in the front, one behind, here comes the backup, three,
DESOTO: Had enough time to talk.
SCHULTZ: Plenty of time.
MEEKS: What was the urgency?
SCHULTZ: That`s -- is it a training issue?
DESOTO: Absolutely, it absolutely. A good police officer could have
talked that man down.
SCHULTZ: What about the medical examiner? Coming to the conclusion that
the cause of death, it`s a homicide. Is the medical examiner wrong?
DESOTO: Well, anyone who`s dying in the hands of somebody else is going to
be ruled a homicide.
SCHULTZ: That`s one I can`t understand. Is that how can the grand jury
come to the conclusion that this man`s death was not caused by the people
who jumped all over him, Mr. Parks?
PARKS: I don`t know how they can come to that conclusion at all. And I
guess -- and hopefully at some point we`ll learn how they came to that
decision and obviously will never agree with them because -- I agree, we
should believe our own eyes. I mean it`s rather clear what happened there,
there`s really not much they could tell me to defend their action.
PARKS: When we have a camera, see this guy crying for help, yet they
continue to choke him and kill him. I mean, this has to stop and has to
SCHULTZ: All right, another one. And Karen please explain the immunity
that some of the police officer were given here.
DESOTO: Well, that`s up to the prosecutor. The prosecutor can give
immunity to whoever they want to, effectuate testimony. So, that is
judgment call on behalf of the prosecutor and that`s what happened here. I
mean we can go on and on about the fact that prosecutors and judges being
elected versus ones that are appointed and whether or not that has
something to do with the decisions that are made.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, if you could do one thing to remedy what is
unfolding in America, what would it be?
MEEKS: Well right now, I think that we do have to call on all American
citizens of every race, of every religion, of very gender, I do think that
we need to have peaceful demonstrations and let individual know that we got
to make sure that there is justice in America, that there has to be -- and,
you know, for example, I refer it back to the 1960s when you had Bull
Connor and they were beating folks back then.
And no police officer was getting arrested. There was nobody that was
being indicted. But Americans didn`t came to say, "We got to save our
country." Well clearly if you have this kind of video tape and you have no
MEEKS: ... we need Americans to speak up and say that we don`t want this
to happen because this is a violation of human rights right here in
America, when we talk about people having violation of human rights all
over the world...
MEEKS: ... and show -- we got to do it right here in America.
SCHULTZ: Would it be too much to ask that every officer involved hold a
press conference and explain to America, now that you`re not being
indicted, now that you`re legally off the hook. Can you explain in the
country what in the hell were you thinking when you did this? Can we get a
teletactor out and get some play by play, and break it down on, "OK, this
is why I did this, this is why this officer" -- I think America needs an
If I`m a black kid and I`m on the streets of America and a couple of cops
come up to me, I`m thinking today, this could go south really fast and I`m
probably -- be pretty scared. We got to -- we have to hear I think from
the officers who were involved. They are the ones that have to explain to
America right now, what happened.
Karen Desoto, Daryl Parks and Congressman Gregory Meeks, thanks for you
time tonight, we`ll talk more about this as we move along.
Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the screen,
share your thoughts with us on Twitter@edshow, like us on facebook and
thanks for that.
We`ll have much more on the Eric Garner case. New York City Mayor Bill de
Blasio is about to speak, we`ll bring you that live here on the Ed Show.
We`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show.
We continue to follow the breaking news. A grand jury here in New York has
found no reasonable cause to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo and the
death of Eric Garner.
The grand jury was made of up 23 members with 12 votes needed for a
decision. Sources familiar with the say that of the 23 members, 14 are
white, 9 are non-white, and at least 5 members were black Americans.
Now, for more, I am joined tonight by Congressman Al Green of Texas also
with us Joy Reid, Host of the "Reid Report" here on the MSNBC 2:00 Eastern
Congressman, your reaction to this and is there a different reaction to
this on Capitol Hill than maybe other new stories that we`ve seen that have
dealt with police incidence.
REP. AL GREEN, (D) TEXAS: Well, we are stunned, we are shocked but we also
believe that there is a remedy for this.
I am about the opinion that we must first, let people know that what has
occurred today is something that is unacceptable. We also have to say to
people that, if we don`t change this, what we`ve said to people most
specifically the police officers is that this is OK. We`re saying you can
do this. We cannot allow the perception to exist that you can do this.
I would also add that we live in a world where it`s enough for things to be
right, they must also look right. It doesn`t look right for you to go
behind closed doors and get a no bill in a case like this.
These cases don`t have to go grand juries. They can be taken to probable
cause hearings before a judge. And a judge can make a decision with the
eyes of the world viewing. And once we get that kind of transparency, I
believe we can get different results.
But I would also add one more thing Ed if I may. We have a duty to bring
this kind of behavior to an end. We cannot allow people in the world to
see us, continue to go through these kinds of deliberations and end up with
no results that people can understand.
Because we`re not talking about a conviction, we`re merely talking about an
arrest, an arrest, a person being arrested. I don`t know whether there
will be a finding of guilt by a jury but I do know that there`s a probable
cause to arrest. That`s what we are talking about.
SCHULTZ: Police procedures on the street Congressman. Every department
seems to be different. Some chokeholds are good in some places.
Chokeholds are not good in New York City.
Is there a federal move here on how people on the street should be
approached? And if the, you know, an officer goes through training. What
about the training? How could all of those officers involved in this
videotape be trained to do what they did to this man and then defend it?
GREEN: Well they shouldn`t have been trained to do what occurred. There
should be some additional review of training. We believe that what the
President is proposing is inline of what we need and that is additional
training for police officers. I think that`s a good thing.
And let me also say that not all officers should be condemned. This is not
a broad-brush that we`re painting with. We`re talking about this incident
now. And we want to make sure that this type of thing doesn`t happen
again. But I do concur with you, there needs to be more training and I do
also believe that if we do not, if we do not take the time to talk to each
other about these things rather than yell at each other.
We`re not going to make the progress that we need to get behind -- get us
beyond this debate. Too often we`re yelling at each other now. People
have gotten to the point that they don`t want people to protest. Peaceful
protest is a means by which people can express can themselves.
There is a move in this country to prevent people who legitimately want to
stand and protest peacefully from doing so. People who commit crimes ought
to be prosecuted. But we got to allow people to protest this kind of
SCHULTZ: Joy, what do you anticipate being -- the social reaction here?
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST, "THE REID REPORT": Well, I think people are going to
be, you know, shocked obviously and a lot of people are going to be very
angry. I for one -- I`m no longer shocked by these things. I have come to
expect that when a police officer is in a situation like this, they will
not be indicted and if indicted they will not be convicted.
That is just my blanket belief and that`s because of the experience of
seeing these cases unfold not just -- decade over decade. And Ed you said
something about training and policy. I think that the problem is that
neither training nor policy are particularly relevant in this particular
case of Eric Garner. And that`s because the policy of the NYPD says
explicitly not implicitly that you may not use a chokehold.
It very specifically described what a chokehold is. And then the law and
the potential charges against an official who was put before grand jury
includes the compression of the neck which was also in the report that said
this was a homicide by the medical examiner.
So when you put it together, all the policy said that if you compress
someone`s throat or neck and therefore do a chokehold, it is against
policy. Very clear.
The law says that they`re in the criminal charge that attaches to actual
compression of the neck that causes death. Very clear.
If you can`t get an indictment of a police officer with all of those facts
and evidence and a videotape, that means you actually cannot get an
indictment of a police officer in any situation because this was the most
easy probably or obvious kind of case for, at least in the minds of the way
to public reads it.
The reason that`s important is because the police are the government and
the public has a right to be able to constrain its own government`s ability
to use deadly force against the people. And in this case, African-
Americans do not believe there is any constraining authority on any
application of force, even deadly force against the black people. That is
SCHULTZ: What you`re describing and what you`re putting out for our
audience tonight, which is outstanding. It`s going to take a heck of a lot
more than a conversation to change what you just played out. I mean,
there`s going to have to be some real structural changes about the do`s and
the don`ts of arresting officers.
REID: And I think...
SCHULTZ: OK. So, how do we do that?
REID: I can tell you Ed, the history of the United States is that there
was a time when police forces no matter what was on books knew that they
had impunity. And impunity is very important. It`s not just about -- I
know a lot of police officers. I have friends that are police officers.
My dad`s (ph) brother was an NYPD officer.
Everyone is trained. Everyone understands their training. Everyone
understands what they are supposed and not to do. But if you have the
belief and the feeling that this prosecutor is our guide, we`re going to be
The sense of impunity is something you can`t train out of. And what police
officers are being taught by the law and the application of it is that
prosecutors are their guide. And even if that is a factually in fact --
that`s the perception, and the public perception is what makes law work.
So I think what you have to do is look to the past, in the past when local
and state police were not applying the law to black people. The way that
black people we saw being applied to white people, the federal government
had to come in and super impose order and law on them.
SCHULTZ: What about the...
REID: And the federal government, they come in here and needs to say that
if there`s deadly use of force against citizen, then it will not be the
local prosecutor, it`s your guy that`s going to apply the law and they`re
not going to be able to hide behind the grand jury.
The federal government has a role to play, President Obama, the Justice
Department. It`s time for the federal government to weight in.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Green, your response to that, to get...
GREEN: Well, I absolutely agree. I absolutely agree. We do have to
SCHULTZ: Do you think Republicans would go along with that on a federal
GREEN: Well, I don`t know whether they will but I know that the right
thing to do is to ask and to try to get it done.
We can`t continue to do what`s being done. We cannot allow the perception
to be that is all right.
GREEN: It`s OK to do what you`ve done because that`s what we are saying
when we don`t get an indictment, we don`t get an arrest.
And I also would add that Ed, this kind of circumstance is something that
we can change. We have to have the will. If a good prosecutor could have
gotten a true bill in this case, a good prosecutor could do it. So...
GREEN: ... if you have a dog that wont hunt, Ed you got to get a new dog.
We got to get prosecutors who are willing to fight for the rights of
victims and not for the rights of people who are charged with the offense.
The best defense attorney, these victims, these...
SCHULTZ: Got it run Congressman.
GREEN: ... these police officer have as a prosecutor...
SCHULTZ: Got it run. We`re going to take now live -- you`re looking at
Staten Island, New York and of course the Mayor of New York City, Bill de
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, NEW YORK CITY: ... elected officials and community
leaders here in Staten Island. And a lot of pains and frustration in the
room this evening and at the same time a lot of purposefulness.
Everyone here having spent so much of their lives trying to address some of
the divisions that afflict us. Particular our brothers and sisters who are
members of the clergy having devoted themselves to comforting and
supporting people in all sorts of situations. Yet tonight there was a
particular sense of challenge and of pain.
I want to thank everyone who gathered together in common purpose. I want
to thank Mr. Brown for hosting us, for his leadership. I want to thank
Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Public Advocate, Letitia James. I want
to thank Borough President Jimmy Oddo.
I want to offer a special thank you to council member Debi Rose who has
been in the center of so much to what`s happened in this months to help
people understand what we have to do together to move forward but also to
listen and absorb the pain and the frustration so many people have faced.
I know it`s not been easy, council member but I want to thank you for your
And so many of the clergy that you worked with who have been such important
partners in reminding people we have to find a way forward. And we have to
find a way forward together by definition.
It`s a very emotional day for our city. It`s a very painful day for so
many New Yorkers. That is the core reality.
So many people in this city are feeling pain right now. And we`re grieving
again over the loss of Eric Garner who was a father, husband, a son, a good
man, and he should be with us and isn`t.
That pain, that simple fact is felt again so sharply today. I spend some
time with Ben Garner, Eric`s father, who is in an unspeakable pain.
And, it`s a very hard thing to spend time trying to comfort someone you
know is beyond the reach of comfort because of what he is been through. I
can only imagine. I couldn`t help but immediately I think what it would
mean to me to lost Dante.
Life could never be the same thereafter and I could feel how it will never
be whole again. Things will never be whole again for Mr. Garner.
And even in midst of his pain, one of the things he stopped, said so
squarely was there can`t be violence. He said Eric would not have wanted
violence. Violence won`t get us anywhere.
He was so sharp and clear in his desire despite his pain. I found it
noble. I can only imagine what it took for him to summon that.
No family should have to go through what the Garner family went through.
And this tragedy is personal to this family but has become something
personal of so many of us.
It`s out in stark perspective relationship between police and community.
These issues come to the floor again, and we have to address them -- we
have to address them with all our might. We can`t stop. We have to act.
With the assumption that it is all of our jobs, is never have a tragedy
again, that`s what we have to fight for. As this profoundly personal for
me, I was at the White House the other day and the President of the United
States turned to me and he met Dante a few months ago and he said that
Dante reminded him of what he look like as a teenager.
He said, I know, you see this crisis through a very personal lens and I
said to him, I did. Because Chirlane and I have had to talk to Dante for
years about the dangers that he may face.
Good young man, law-abiding young man, never would think to do anything
wrong and yet because of the history that still hangs over us, the dangers
he may face, we`ve had to literally train him as families have all over
this city for decades in how to take special care in any encounter he has
with the police officers who are there to protect him.
And that painful sense of contradiction that our young people see first,
that our police are here to protect us and we honor that and at the same
time there`s a history we have to overcome because for so many of our young
people, there`s a fear and for some of our families there`s a fear.
So I`ve had to worry over the years for, Chirlane had to worry. Was Dante
safe each night? There were so many families in this city who feel that
each in every night, "Is my child safe?" And not just from some of the
painful realities, crime and violence in some of our neighborhoods but they
say from the very people they want to have faith in as their protectors.
That`s the reality.
And, it conforms to something bigger that you`ve heard come out in the
protests in Ferguson and all over the country. This is now a national
moment of grief, a national of moment of pain and searching for a solution.
And you`ve heard in so many places people of all backgrounds utter the same
basic phrase. They`ve said black lives matter.
And they said it because it had to be said. It`s a phrase that should
never have to be said, it should be self-evident. But our history sadly
requires us to say that black lives matter, because as I`ve said the other
day, we`re not just dealing with a problem in 2014.
We`re not dealing with years of racism and leading up to it or decades of
racism. We are dealing with centuries of racism that have brought us to
this day. That is how profound the crisis is.
And that is how fundamental that task at hand is. To turn from that
history and to make a change that is profound and lasting.
In the hearing now, so many New Yorkers will ask the question, what will
happen next? They`ll ask, "Will there be full airing of these facts? Will
there be some investigation that means something to them?"
And I think the truth is important here. One chapter has closed with the
decision of this grand jury. There are more chapters ahead. Police
department will initiate now its own investigation and makes its own
decisions about the administrative actions it can take. The federal
government is clearly engaged and poised to act.
Just before the meeting began the leaders here on Staten Island, I received
the phone call from United States Attorney General Eric Holder, and from
U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch. They made clear that the investigation
initiated by the U.S. Attorney would now move forward. That would be done
expeditiously and would be done with a clear sense of independence and
there will be a thorough investigation.
There was a palpable sense of resolve, the federal government will exercise
its responsibilities here and do a full and thorough investigation and draw
We`ve experienced one challenge after another in these last weeks. The
events in Ferguson may have most sharply framed this discussion nationally
for all of us here, what`s happened in our own communities and what we feel
most deeply. It was hard for anyone of us as a human being and
particularly any of us who is a parent to not be deeply pained by the death
of Tamir Rice in Cleveland, 12-year-old boy.
Something that`s very, very hard to fathom. And all of these pains add up
and demand of us action.
It is powerful even in the midst of this pain that our President is acting.
It is powerful that our President is focused on changing our approach to
policing. And folks on community policing focused on the value of body
cameras as a new tool for accountability and transparency
It`s powerful that our attorney general is focused. These things will
matter. These things will lead to change. Here in the city, change is
happening even at this moment people are feeling pain and frustration and
confusion. Changes happening right now and I said in the meeting, change
is happening because the people willed it to happen.
We`re leaders, we all strive to serve and help our people but the people
will this change to happen. The people believed the broken policy of stop
and frisk had to end and it has ended.
The people believed there were too many young people of color arrested and
saddled with a record the rest of (ph) life simply for possession of a
small amount of marijuana and that policy has been changed. The people
demanded something different.
It`s my responsibility and responsibility to everyone standing here with me
to achieve that on behalf of the people. When I named Commissioner Bratton
as our police commissioner, I know him to be -- I knew at that time I`ve
seen it even more since, I knew him to be one of the greatest reformers and
change agents in policing in the history of this country.
I have seen that ability and those values play out each and everyday, I saw
all today at the New York City Police Department Academy. We`re not only
did we talk about what body cameras will mean in terms of changing the
relationship between in police community, we talked about the retaining of
the entire police, something that has never been done in this city before.
We talked about helping our officers to understand different ways to defuse
confrontations. We talked about bringing our officers closer to the
community from the point of their training, from the first moments of their
experience as law enforcement officers, emphasizing the partnership they
needed with the community.
And I`ll remind you, my face and Commission Bratton us based on the actions
he has taken over decades. And it`s also based on the clarity of his
message to all of us. Ge gathered his top commanders a few weeks ago. It
was well reported, he said very publicly, the department will act
aggressively to ensure any officer is not meant to be in this work, no
He talked about those who don`t live up to the values to the uniform who
are "brutal", who are corrupt, who are racist, who are incompetent. This
was our police commissioner making clear his standard, that people who
sadly fit those descriptions would not be members of the NYPD. These
changes will matter, they affect millions of people.
They will take time but that does not in anyway an excuse or unwillingness
on our part to do anything about the fastest change we can. It`s an honest
leveling with our people that not every change can happen overnight but
they`re happening resolutely and forcefully.
More happening everyday, each change builds upon the next (inaudible) a
momentum for change that will be felt in every neighborhood in the city and
again, it doesn`t come first and foremost from City Hall from one police
(inaudible). It comes from the people in the city who have demanded it.
This change is about the values of our people, the will of our people, the
goodness of our people, that`s where change comes from. And everyone has
an opportunity to play a role in that change by continuing to work for it.
And that is across every community.
I have to emphasize and we`ve seen this all over the country but I know its
truth here. And I have an experience from last year that I think is
evidence. This is not just a demand coming from the African-American
communities. Not just the demand coming from the Latino communities. It`s
coming from every community.
It`s coming from people of all face who want a city of fairness, who want
violence to end, who want no family to go through the tragedy the Garner`s
So, people will express themselves now as they should in a democracy. I
ask everyone to listen to what Ben Garner said and what Eric Garner`s sons
said as well. If you really want to dignify the life Ben Garner, you will
do so through peaceful protests. You will work relentlessly for change.
You will not sully his name with violence or vandalism. That that doesn`t
brings us closer to a better community.
The only thing that`s ever worked is peaceful protest, nonviolence social
activism it`s the only thing that is ever worked. And the Garner family
has made that abundantly clear. Michael Brown`s family made that
abundantly clear. People should listen to those we say we stand in
solidarity with, fulfill their wishes and work for change the right way.
I`ll just finish a couple more points and there was a something Spanish
before I depart. We -- so many of us stepped in the teachings of Dr. King,
there`s many leaders but perhaps no one more definitional in the work of
social change in the work of justice than Dr. King. And he said something
so fundamental to remind us, we need to handle this moment. And he said,
"In justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
This is a problem for all New Yorkers. This is a problem for all
Americans. It has to be treated as such. Anyone who says to you this is
problem only felt by people of color only pertinent to young people misses
what`s going on here. It`s all our problem.
And anyone who believes in the values of this country should feel call to
action right now. And anyone who cares about justice that American value
of justice should understand it is a moment that change must happen.
Changes as good as the people that we represent. I just want to say in
SCHULTZ: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is consoling the community
reacting to the grand jury`s decision today not to indict a police officer
from the New York City Police Department. Calling Eric Garner a good man
who should still be with us and drawing on his personal experience of
raising a son of color. He is of course an interracial marriage and has
been for years and talked about that very personal experience of counseling
his son on what he has to do to protect himself.
Black lives matter was the theme I think that could be taken from that
short press conference over in Staten Island. And also the Mayor of New
York City saying that there will be an investigation that he has spoken
with Loretta Lynch, the U.S. Attorney and also Eric Holder, the Attorney
General and that there will be more chapters, this is one chapter done.
And also, the Mayor making a plea to all protesters in the city tonight to
abide by the law and peacefully protest and that`s how you get things done
and there are people gathering at Time Square and also in Union Square
And Joy Reid, I am sure that there will be thousands of people out tonight.
Very effective and I thought Mr. de Blasio drawing on his personal
experience of what it`s like to be a parent and a son of color and what
we`re facing ahead. Your impression.
REID: Yeah, I think it`s very important that he do that because, you know,
Bill de Blasio uniquely among a lot of white American can understand the
personal fear that parents like myself and my husband feel for our young
black men or black boys and teenagers who aren`t even thought of as boys,
no matter how young they are. You think of Tamir Rice.
And who we understand that, if the worst should happen to your child, the
chances of you getting justice will depend on a prosecutor who needs the
police, who works with the police, who depends on the police and who will
accept often times uncritically diversion of events by an officer who in
fairness is fighting to save his own freedom.
And so his version of events becomes operative regardless of witnesses,
regardless of video tape evidence, regardless of anything. If the
prosecutor is in that position which is an attainable position for
prosecutor, I don`t exactly envy there position, they need the police, they
need their trust, they need their loyalty and if they are then going to
uncritically accept whatever the officer said.
And I think that goes for society too because we also have a society that
would further rather demonize your child than not believe on critically
whatever the officer said. That`s not attainable situation.
Society depends on people being bought into the social compact. And if we
don`t believe that there`s real simple justice available when a police
officer is the person who does the killing, society can`t function.
SCHULTZ: Let`s bring in Trymaine Lee, MSNBC National Reporter also with us
tonight T-Dubb-O who is a St. Louis Community Activist and Daryl Parks,
Defense Attorney. Gentlemen first of all, Trymaine where are you right
now? I wasn`t told that and tell us what the scene is where you are.
LEE: I`m outside of the court house here in Staten Island. And the tone
has thinned out a little bit but earlier there was a sense of release and
let down, not so much anger but hopelessness. In Mayor Bill de Blasio
speech he talked about this dangerous contradiction of trying to raise his
son and arm him with certain tools in how to deal with police officers that
are there to protect him.
And I was still with a Vietnam Veteran earlier today who said there is a
contradiction even here in this liberal bastion with some would say is the
most liberal mayor in the country that you have a systemic issue here. As
Mayor de Blasio has supported a broken windows policy that has police
targeting very aggressively low level and minor offenses which was kind of
the architect of -- was architect by his commissioner Bill Bratton.
And so many say that the very situation that led to Eric Garner`s death was
the over policing of community to color but also this very aggressive
targeting of low level offenses. And so some would say there is a
contradiction here. And so while there needs to be massive change within
the department and within society it starts with the way that police are
policing these community and interacting with the community itself.
SCHULTZ: T-Dubb-O, what is your response to the grand jury not indicting
the officer in question today? What does this mean in the big picture and
putting that the perspective in the heels of your meeting with the
President at the White House earlier this week?
T-DUBB-O, ST. LOUIS ACTIVIST: It`s completely what I expected. I`ve had
several interviews after the President decided to rollout his -- what he
decided to do with the body cameras and the $263 million budget for the
body cameras. And I made a statement that putting a camera on police
officer is not going to do anything but provide a game tape of me being
murdered as we see in this case. The entire incident was recorded, but
there still won`t be an indictment.
How I feel, and just me being completely transparent is there`s two sets of
laws in this country, one for a black and brown people and one for police
They talked about crime in the neighborhoods and this is why things happen
because our neighborhoods normally have a higher crime rate but following
reflects leadership. How you can you expect anyone in their right minds to
follow the laws that you`re supposed to uphold if you don`t follow the laws
yourself. They say police officers have the right to go home. I believe
every American citizen in this country also have the right to go home.
And the fact that they automatically take the word of police officers over
our average everyday human is saying well (ph) politicians as if they are
immune to sin, as if they`re a god. It`s sickening. It`s disgusting.
T-DUBB-O: It`s disgusting.
SCHULTZ: Well T-Dubb-O let`s talk about the video tape that has constantly
being played of the incident that transpired back on July 17th, the death
of Eric Garner. What does this do to the conversation and the emotions of
America because despite the fact that there was no indictment, it is so
terribly damaging. What do you think this videotape means moving forward?
T-DUBB-O: It means that it`s absolutely legal to kill a black person
whenever you feel like it if you`re a police officer. It`s legal in the
United States of America to steal, hang and lynch people of color without
any type of accountability. That`s what it means.
SCHULTZ: So now that you`ve had a few days to think about this and post
your meeting at the White House, give us a solution. What do you think
should be or has to be done?
T-DUBB-O: The solution is accountability. The fact that I can be invited
as an unsigned rapper, someone without a college degree and sit in the Oval
Office with the First African American President of the United States and
he agrees that there`s a problem and tells us he`s proud of us and respects
everything that we`re doing.
But we have yet to have a conversation with our Governor Jay Nixon or yet
to have a conversation with our Mayor and him get up there and acknowledge
there`s an issue just like Mayor de Blasio just did and salute to him. I
sat in that second meeting with him as well.
People just need to -- there needs, there`s a serious issue with
accountability. We need to be able to hold these police officers
accountable, the fare seat (ph) that withhold their Federal purse. They
shouldn`t be spending more taxpayer dollars $263 million dollar to issue
body cameras. It should be standard anyway like the taser especially if
they can upgrade to new body of charges, every year that one comes out.
That should be standard issue.
We need to be able to hold them accountable. The Feds need to come in and
indict and hold individual indictments when these situations occur. Stop -
- stop sitting on your hands waiting on the governors and the grand juries
to make a decision when their predominantly filled with people who don`t
care if we die everyday.
SCHULTZ: What your advice be to protesters tonight, T-Dubb-O?
T-DUBB-O: Keep the fight alive, stay peaceful but keep fighting. We can`t
stop even if there was indictment we can`t stop because an indictment is
not going to stop people from continuing to do this. It`s not going to
stop police to continue to target us, harass us, extort us, rob us, murder
us and shoot us down in the middle of the street like we`re third-class
citizens. Keep fighting.
SCHULTZ: How do you know when there`s change, T-Dubb-O? How do you know?
What has to happen? I mean, OK, we`ve had this conversation till, you
know, we`re exhausted on it. But change is what? Change is police
officers not doing what they did and how do we know when that happens?
T-DUBB-O: Change is people who look like me having the freedom to walk
down the street and buy a pack of skittles and tea from a store. Change is
people who look like Vandera Meyers, able -- having the freedom to be able
to go to their local corner store and get a sandwich and make it back home
without being shot in the back six times, being chased into a gangway by a
police officer whose off duty performing a stop and frisk.
Change is not being cursed out by an officer whose suppose to support,
serve and protect the community because you`re in the middle of the street
and you`re on your way to your grandmother`s house. Change is me not being
pulled over with Rica Taylor (ph)in the car, and Bassem Masri in the car
just because we`re peaceful protesters and being surveillance and having
guns put to our head and told us -- and telling us not to ask any more
questions before people have to protest for us.
Change is us being able to work everyday and earn a decent wage not being
paid $7.25 an hour and we`re able to actually feed ourselves. Change is us
going into a corporation and actually applying for a job and being
qualified and not being overlooked strictly because of the target we was
born with. Change is us being treated like citizens of this country.
SCHULTZ: T-Dubb-O, I appreciate your time tonight. Thanks so much. I
want to turn now to Daryl Parks, Attorney for the Brown Family. What`s the
Federal process here now legally, Mr. Parks? Where do you see this going?
What can the Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney do?
PARKS: Well the experience that I have in both the Trayvon Martin and
Michael Brown Ed, is that the Federal Government has the ability to bring
as many agents as they need to the area to interview the people who are
involved in this case. They have the ability use all of the laboratory and
all of the scientific equipment that`s available to the FBI that some
departments don`t have to investigate this case.
And so, they have assets that are far bigger than most jurisdictions.
Obviously New York is a very big place. But they have the ability to bring
the agents, to have the U.S. Attorney`s Office as well as to use the
resources available to the Department of Justice in D.C. whether it`s the
Civil Right Division or Criminal Division.
SCHULTZ: So, Eric Holder is going to do what? What do you want him?
SCHULTZ: What should he do at this point and it would seem to since the
country is focused on this, time is of the essence isn`t it?
PARKS: Well, I`m pretty sure he already has made it clear to the U.S.
Attorney there, in this Ms. Lynch that there -- I`m sure they have agents
on the ground. I`m sure they have lined U.S. Attorneys assigned to this
case. I`m sure they also have U.S. Attorneys from D.C. assigned to this
case and working on this case.
So, I`m quite sure they are on top of this issue and are investigating. I
must say it`s been quite impressive what Attorney General Holder has done
in his leadership, and being fair to give a fair investigation.
PARKS: It`s not a complete indictment on the officers. But, it assures
the public that the Federal Government is on the job and doing a proper
investigation in this case.
SCHULTZ: Joy Reid, what T-Dubb-O was talking about was police procedures.
I mean that he -- they believe, you know, the protesters out there, of
people of color in this country think that there is a real heavy handed
operation taking place in law enforcement in this country. And how do you
REID: Yeah, no and I think what T-Dubb-O was talking about was being an
American and feeling fully -- feeling fully a citizen and feeling like the
laws are applied equally to you. It`s not just that the law is just but
that it seems to be just. And I think he very eloquently stated that for a
one-seventh of this country there is a feeling that the law is not just.
And but for the grace of God, you know, if this awesome power, lethal,
deadly power in the hands of the states armed genre armed gets turned on
some other group then they will understand what were talking about here.
And then, remember, that the law has to be applied in a way that no one
feels that could ever happen to them. I think the Federal Government has
taken over police forces. They`ve come in before. Federal is the way to
go. The solution has to come from the Federal Government.
SCHULTZ: Joy Reid, thank you, Trymaine Lee, thank you so much, Daryl Parks
and also with us tonight T-Dubb-O from St. Louis.
That is the Ed Show. I`m Ed Schultz.
"Politics Nation" with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.
Good evening Rev.
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