All In With Chris Hayes, Thursday, December 4th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: December 4, 2014
Guest: Jonathan Moore, Eric Adams, Elijah Cummings, Letitia James, Michael
Eric Dyson, Nina Turner, Harry Segal
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York, from the streets
of New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Shouting "Eric Garner, Michael Brown, shut it down, shut it down,"
hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets here in New York City and
across the country tonight, one day after a grand jury in Staten Island
declined to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the choking death of Eric
Garner. Hundreds thronging downtown New York beginning around 5:30
tonight, now marching through the streets, fanning out, shutting down parts
of the West Side Highway it appears, possibly also the Brooklyn Bridge.
In Minneapolis, protesters shut down a highway there. In D.C. as
well. Last night`s protests resulted in 83 arrests according to the NYPD.
And folks here in New York are expecting protests to continue throughout
The day began one day after this shocking, if I can say that decision
by the grand jury, one day after that. The day began with Mayor Bill De
Blasio announcing the unveiling and details on a new training program for
the NYPD. The training program set to begin this month that is intended to
help officers maintain a non-threatening posture, to de-escalate
situations, and be more precise in how they use force.
Here`s the mayor talking about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: The relationship between
police and community has to change. The way we go about policing has to
change. It has to change in the city. It has to change in this country.
I am fundamentally convinced it will change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The mayor getting very emotional last night in the wake of the
decision of the grand jury, address the city before a microphone, talking
about his own son Dante and having to warn him about his interactions with
A lot of people in New York felt the mayor was hearing them at that
moment. There were some very harsh and negative reactions today to those
statements from the mayor from the head of the Patrolmen`s Benevolent
Association. Patrick Lynch, the head of the police union, firing back at
the mayor he says threw them under the bus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICK J. LYNCH, PRES., NYC PATROLMEN`S BENEVOLENT ASSN.: What
police officers felt yesterday after that press conference is that they
were thrown under the bus. That they were out there doing a difficult job
in the middle of the night protecting the rights of those to protest,
protecting our sons and daughters, and the mayor was behind microphones
like this throwing them under the bus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Today, a lot of continued head-scratching and hard questions
about just how the grand jury in Staten Island reached the decision it
Unlike the case in Ferguson in which Bob McCulloch released the
totality of the grand jury record to the public, something we`ve been
sifting through now for over a week, Staten Island District Attorney Dan
Donovan has declined to file to do the same to Staten Island. A judge
today issuing a very cursory summary of the findings there.
We know that there were 50 witnesses, 22 of whom were civilians, the
rest, cops, EMTs and doctors. Jurors saw 60 exhibits, including four
videos and that grand jury sat for nine weeks.
We did, however, get a little glimpse into the proceedings from one of
the most key witnesses in the whole affair, that`s Ramsey Orta. That is
the man who filmed the now infamous video of Eric Garner yelping "I can`t
breathe, I can`t breathe," as he has a chokehold placed around his neck.
Mr. Orta in an interview with "The Daily News", saying he went to the
grand jury expecting he would be testifying for hours and instead testified
for about ten minutes. "Nobody on the grand jury was even paying attention
to what I had to say," he told "The Daily News". "People were on their
phones. People were talking."
Also, a lot of backlash today against the officer in question, who has
escaped criminal indictment, Daniel Pantaleo. Mr. Pantaleo was sued
earlier this year. The city had to settle a civil suit, a civil rights
case for Officer Pantaleo doing a strip search in public.
There are many calls tonight for the officer in question to be fired.
The NYPD, of course, has an internal investigation that has been ongoing
for several months. There have been no conclusions. As a protester
shouting down Bratton and wanting to see Police Commissioner Bratton fired
over what they see is a continuation of policies they thought they had
Joining me now, Jonathan Moore, he is the attorney for the Garner
Mr. Moore, thank you for being here.
JONATHAN MOORE, ATTORNEY FOR ERIC GARNER`S FAMILY: My pleasure.
HAYES: Were you surprised by the grand jury decision yesterday, or
did you have some feeling as this was going on that we weren`t getting that
this was going to happen?
MOORE: Well, I was actually stunned by the decision, although I
wasn`t surprised. What I mean by that is if you look at the evidence, the
evidence is overwhelming that something wrong happened here. That these
officers, not just one but several officers were engaged in misconduct. It
wasn`t surprising to me because it`s been the result in a lot of cases
where there`s overwhelming evidence of misconduct. So, it was a stunning
HAYES: What is your reaction to that interview that Ramsey Orta gave
today? I mean, there is a sense in Ferguson, whether it`s true or not, but
definitely there are some people who say Bob McCulloch never wanted an
indictment and the way he conducted the grand jury was to assure that
outcome. Do you feel the same way about Donovan in Staten Island?
MOORE: Oh, I certainly do. What Mr. Orta said illustrates that. But
there`s even more important illustration of that, he gave all the officers
who were present other than Pantaleo immunity so that their testimony --
for their testimony so they would be immune from any kind of criminal
prosecution. How he could do that in the face of the fact that Mr. Garner
was we believe killed by not just one officer but a group of officers who
not only compressed his neck but compressed his chest.
So, from the beginning of this process he granted immunity to officers
who should have been suspects.
HAYES: So, let me get this straight. He granted immunity -- we see a
number of people in that infamous video, of course.
HAYES: Daniel Pantaleo is the man who applies that arm to the neck.
And he was the one who testified for two hours. But the other officers had
already been granted immunity in exchange for their testimony, although
some people would say, well, that`s a good prosecutor trying to get people
to roll on the person who was there.
MOORE: You had videotape. You didn`t need their testimony. You had
You had Mr. -- Officer Pantaleo saying he didn`t apply a chokehold.
The medical examiner said there was a chokehold. There was particular
hemorrhage on the neck which was evidence of a chokehold. So, he didn`t
need these officers to make -- to get an indictment.
Understand, we`re not talking about a conviction. We`re talking about
a reasonable cause, probable cause to believe a crime had been committed.
And that`s all they were supposed to be looking for.
HAYES: Was there anything in the conduct through these nine weeks,
this grand jury -- did you have a morning one day where you woke up
following this case and thought, I don`t like the way this is going?
MOORE: Well, the fact they took so long disturbed me because what
happened is I think what happened in Ferguson, they made this grand jury
into a trial. But it`s a one-sided trial. It`s not an adversarial
So, I was concerned. But when I heard about the immunity, which I
didn`t know until actually two days ago, it seemed to me the fix was in.
HAYES: The officer in question, there`s a lot of people calling for
him to be fired, Daniel Pantaleo. What do you think?
MOORE: Well, you know, he killed somebody unjustifiably. I don`t
think he should be an officer in the city of New York. We don`t need those
kind of officers.
There are a lot of very good officers, dedicated people who do their
job day in and day out and do it because they want to help people. Their
reputation, their job is made harder by bad officers who are not weeded out
and are not fired from the force.
HAYES: What does it say to you that the city had already filed a
civil rights suit against him, settled a civil rights suit against him for
$30,000 for what appeared to be a pretty humiliating moment in which he had
strip searched two gentlemen, stripping them down to their underwear in the
MOORE: Right. That kind of conduct suggests fairly outrageous
conduct by an officer. You don`t do that. That`s clearly against the law.
It`s not unusual for officers to have complaints and to have nothing happen
I can`t tell you how many cases I`ve had over the years where we`ve
had officers caught on tape engaged in misconduct, officers who juries have
found have violated constitutional rights, where juries have found acted
with malicious and willful intent so that the jury gave punitive damages
who nothing happens to them in the police department, in fact they get
HAYES: Jonathan Moore, attorney for Eric Garner`s family. Thank you
very much. Really appreciate it.
HAYES: When we talk about what`s happening with Eric Garner or
Michael Brown or Tamir Rice in Cleveland, there`s a sense in which people
talk about black lives matter and they talk about police and they talk
about the kind of gap that opens up between communities of color in
particular and police. But there are, of course, many people who live in
both of those worlds. My next guest is one of them.
Eric Adams is the borough president of Brooklyn, but he spent 22 years
as an NYPD officer, as a captain, in fact, was the founding member of 100
Black Law Enforcement Officers who Care. It`s an organization of black law
You then went on to be a state legislator. You`re now Brooklyn
That sound from the head of the Patrolmen`s Benevolent Association,
that the mayor threw them under the bus. What`s your reaction to that?
ERIC ADAMS, BROOKLYN BOROUGH PRESIDENT: No, I don`t think that`s
true. The PBA, Pat Lynch, he`s going to protect his members. The mayor
has to protect all the people of the city of New York and ensure that we
have effective policy. So, he`s going to do and say what he believes is
necessary. But there`s an overarching and important position that the
mayor`s taking right now. And it`s the right position.
HAYES: So, having spent 22 years in the NYPD, what do you think the
locker rooms and precinct houses around the city were yesterday when that
ADAMS: Well, I think that it probably makes -- some guys may have
looked at it as saying you know what, we didn`t expect this. Some may have
thought they did. But I think we need to emphasize that many of those
officers are going to hit patrol, they`re going to do their job and they`re
going to do it effectively.
But those who aren`t doing it effectively would need to ensure that
it`s corrected and have the training that`s needed.
HAYES: So, there`s a few ways people think about what we`ve seen
here. One of them is talking about stop and frisk. OK? Stop and frisk of
course a policy -- I`m sorry, broken windows a policy inaugurated under
Rudy Giuliani. A kind of concept of crime prevention that says you
penalize people and you enforce small infractions as a way of sort of
creating a sense of order.
And a lot of people pointed out the fact that Eric Garner`s infraction
was selling loose cigarettes allegedly, untaxed cigarettes. The mayor and
Commissioner Bratton say they believe in this kind of policing still. What
do you think about that?
ADAMS: I do as well. I don`t want to --
HAYES: You really do?
ADAMS: Yes, I do. I don`t want to return to a city with people that
urinate on the street, where people are discourteous to everyday New
Yorkers. What you do is you use the right amount of force to correct small
Someone should not lose their life because they`re selling loosies.
And that is the difference. How you approach someone for a minor
infraction should be the same way throughout the city. And we`re not doing
HAYES: As a police officer, as someone who has dealt with I`m sure
thousands of situations throughout your career in which you`re making a
judgment in the moment about de-escalating, escalating, danger, threat,
what do you say when -- what do you think when you see that tape? When you
see that officer come in in the situation that another officer seemed to
have under control?
HAYES: And escalate?
ADAMS: And that`s at the heart of what we`re looking at. In certain
communities, on Park Avenue in Manhattan, we use calm and collective and
reasoning, and on Park Place in Brooklyn, we believe we go from zero to
We can`t continue to use this high level of force for minor
infractions. And that`s what the commissioner and the mayor`s looking at.
How do we effectively let police know there`s one standard of policing in
the city and we`re not doing that for 20 years. We`ve got to remember
that. A rookie cop that started 20 years ago was indoctrinated in policing
that was ineffective policing.
HAYES: What do you mean by that? What was that indoctrination?
ADAMS: Stop and frisk, no longer looking for bad guys but for any
guys, using marijuana arrests, infraction. This whole process of believing
that the answer to all the issues is arrest first.
That is not the policing we need to look for. We need to keep calm
and order and not disorder. And the answer is not only in apprehension and
HAYES: Should this officer in question be fired, Officer Pantaleo?
ADAMS: Yes, I believe. I believe anytime an officer takes the life
of an innocent person, they should no longer wear a blue uniform. They
can`t just merely be placed on a desk. I don`t believe you can
accidentally take the life of a person and remain a police officer.
HAYES: How much faith do you have in the training announced by the
ADAMS: This was great training. When you look at what they`re --
HAYES: Does training really -- doesn`t -- can training change the
things that we`re talking about here, which is the snap judgments,
preconceived bias, a set of cultural assumptions about people you`re
dealing with? Do you think that can be trained out of people?
ADAMS: I think your question is a great question. I can`t modify
your heart, but I can modify your behavior. And if you can`t modify your
behavior, I must remove you from the agency.
What we are doing differently now is that when officers leave the
academy, within six days, they forgot about all that good training when
they go to communities of color or impoverished areas. They keep that good
training when they go to great communities that they perceive as great
communities. When it`s even --
HAYES: What is that dynamic about? Why does that happen?
ADAMS: Because many people believe the indoctrination once you get
into a police precinct and have real conversation, and an old-timer tells
you forget about that stuff what you did --
HAYES: You`re in the bunker now.
ADAMS: Exactly. This is how you handle it.
And when someone tells you and you begin to believe you that no long
your want to treat the people in that community with the same level of
respect because of their economic conditions, then you have a problem. And
that`s what we have to change.
That is at the heart of this problem, that we`re not treating all New
Yorkers the same.
HAYES: Borough President Eric Adams, former New York City police
officer, thank you very much. Appreciate your time.
ADAMS: Take care.
HAYES: All right. You can see protesters now fanning out across the
city, yelling shut it down, shut it down. Last night, several key transit
points in the city shut down. Cars backed up for long distances. We see
protesters now in what appears to be the West Side Highway. They marched
up through downtown as they fan out and shut down traffic across the city.
Some protesters have headed across the Brooklyn Bridge into Brooklyn.
And as we walk the protests not just here in New York but in
Washington, D.C., that have also shut down some major traffic arteries, as
we see them in Minneapolis and protests planned as well in Boston and some
in Los Angeles, there is a question about whether this will add up to
anything in terms of national policy. Is there anything Washington can do
about the way this country is policed?
Joining me now: Elijah Cummings, Democrat from the House, who has some
strong feelings about this.
Congressman, are there national solutions on Capitol Hill to the
discontent being expressed that we`re seeing right now?
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: First of all, I think there is a
tremendous amount of frustration. Not only were the people who we`re
watching in New York protesting but all over this country. And yes, there
are some things that we can do. And I think the president has begun to
shine a light on these problems.
Keep in mind, Chris, a lot of people when they heard about police
misconduct said, oh, no, that can`t be. But I think this case actually
illustrates that these things do happen and they`re happening more often
than the public even can imagine.
And so, on a national -- from a national level, again, this whole push
by the president for body cameras, I think that`s a good idea. I think
it`s a good idea to do the task force. We need to look at things like
these military weapons in neighborhoods and policing -- used by police in
various communities. We need to look at diversity with regard to how does
the DOJ, can they have an impact on making sure that police departments are
And Borough President Adams just said something very interesting when
he was talking about the whole idea of training. Training is important. A
lot of times there are biases and there are issues.
Maybe police don`t even know the impact that they`re having on people
but it can be very, very negative.
And basically, Chris, I can tell you, I live in the inner city of
Baltimore, in the area where "The Wire" was filmed. And people are
basically looking for respect. They simply want to be respected.
And so, again, I like the way the mayor in New York has handled this
so far. And I think that`s part of the reason why you have the peaceful
demonstrations there, because somebody`s saying, wait a minute, let`s at
least take a look at this, try to figure it out and try to address these
HAYES: You know, we saw in this country this massive spike in crime.
It started in the late 1960s and 1970s. It sort of reached a crescendo if
you look at the data in the late 1980s, early 1990s, and then we`ve also
seen this remarkable thing happen. In city after city that had different
police tactics different dynamics we`ve seen crime fall, pretty
Do you think that has changed the politics on Capitol Hill or are the
politics on Capitol Hill still very much mired in the kind of crime
politics that were central in the 1980s and `90s?
CUMMINGS: I think that politicians everywhere are looking at crime
from a different perspective. Keep in mind that a lot of the crime that
we`re talking about, that you`re talking about was drug related, and a lot
of -- we`ve got people sitting in jails today, Chris, who have gone to
prison for years for non-violent drug offenses. I think that Congress is
taking another look at that and many jurisdictions are thinking about to
look at that.
And the interesting thing, you`ve got people in Colorado lined up with
dollar bills buying marijuana while I`ve got people in Baltimore sitting in
prison for buying and selling marijuana. So, again, yes, I do think the
policies have changed.
One of the things we found here in Baltimore is we had more of a -- at
one time we had more of a stop and frisk and they were arresting all of
these mainly African-American men and they had -- and they thought that was
the right thing to do. But when the mayor comes in, she then reduces those
-- that stop and frisk, and we found that our crime rate actually went
And so, a lot of this is about respect. We`ve got to get back to
that. And, by the way, body cameras are not enough. There`s some kind of
way we`ve got to police and the people that they are supposed to protect
and serve have got to come together.
HAYES: Congressman Elijah Cummings of Baltimore, thank you very much.
CUMMINGS: Thank you.
HAYES: You heard the congressman talk about body cameras. The
president, of course, announced a pilot program to purchase body cameras.
And there`s a lot of people in the wake of the Eric Garner decision who I
have seen saying wait a second, if we had this on tape, what difference
will body cameras make? Well, I`m going to talk to one of the most
outspoken advocates for body cameras here in New York after the break.
HAYES: Live in the streets of New York City here tonight. Police are
now reporting that 5,000 protesters are headed south downtown toward the
Staten Island ferry terminal, protesting the decision of the grand jury not
to indict the officer who had his arm around the neck of Eric Garner.
We`ll be back with much more live in New York after a break.
HAYES: All right. Joining me now is the public advocate for New
York, Letitia James.
You have been one of the most prominent advocates for police body cams
in New York. And I have seen so many people sort of despair of body cams
in the wake of what happened to Eric Garner because it seems like even a
body cam wouldn`t give you an image as good as a cell phone video.
LETITIA JAMES, PUBLIC ADVOCATE FOR NEW YORK: Listen, Chris, we
wouldn`t be in this position but for that videotape. And the reality is it
revealed the flaws in the criminal justice system and it also revealed
And so, I`m not prepared to say that it was a hollow victory. The
reality is that body cameras give an objective view of individuals` street
encounters. And I`m glad to have supported it and I`m glad to have pushed
HAYES: So, but has it changed your thinking at all? I mean, have you
-- what was your reaction when you saw the video and then you saw the
decision by the grand jury?
JAMES: I was very disappointed. But body cameras were not the end-
all be-all. There were clearly a number of other issues we`re pushing in
the city of New York going forward, including but not limited to the fact
that we really need an independent prosecutor, whenever it comes to police
shootings or whenever it comes to any deaths. And so, we are urging
Governor Cuomo to appoint a special prosecutor in cases like this.
HAYES: So, would this be -- now, the governor in my understanding has
the power to do that. He had the power to do it in the case of Donovan.
He chose not to.
JAMES: Chose not to.
HAYES: So, do you think it should be written into law or you just
want to see the governor make that regular practice?
JAMES: So, I want to make it a regular practice. It would be great
if it could be written into law, but the reality is going forward on any
cases where there`s police misconduct resulting in death or serious injury,
we should have a special prosecutor because there`s an inherent conflict in
local prosecutors and because they rely upon police officers.
HAYES: So, I`ve heard about -- I`ve heard -- I think the body camera
issue is interesting. I think it`s really caught fire in the wake of these
various incidents. Obviously, the president has endorsed his pilot
Is the idea in your mind that we have an objective record of what
happened or is the idea that it acts as a kind of check on the worst
instincts of police officers who know in the moment that they might do
something this they shouldn`t be doing that they`re being watched?
JAMES: All evidence suggests is that when police officers wear a body
camera, their behavior comports to, you know, certain behavior. So, it`s
clearly -- it will change their behavior. And all across this nation as we
study body cameras, when police officers wear body cameras it automatically
changes their behavior.
HAYES: And we`ve seen this in some places in pilot programs in
California. They`ve used it, right?
JAMES: In Rialto, California, it has reduced the number of claims,
false claims against police officers. It`s resulted in the exoneration of
police officers clearly going forward. And right now, in New York City, we
spend $212 million in claims as a result of police misconduct.
So, when you have a camera obviously, it will reduce those claims and
it will give us -- it will provide us with an objective recordings. But --
HAYES: Say that number again.
JAMES: $212 million.
HAYES: Not annually.
JAMES: Last year.
HAYES: $212 million in police --
JAMES: In claims, yes.
HAYES: In claims, in claims, in claims.
JAMES: In claims.
HAYES: Wow. That`s a lot.
JAMES: That`s a lot. And clearly, you know, obviously police
cameras, body cameras are just one part of a larger discussion regarding
aggressive policing in the city of New York and nationally.
HAYES: Do you think the direction of policing here in New York City
is going -- is headed in the right direction?
JAMES: Mayor De Blasio has set the right tone. He`s framed the
narrative. Working with him on a wide range of issues. Today, he
announced retraining. We`re talking about again issuing summonses for non-
violent offenses and for serious -- and for relatively minor offenses in
the city of New York.
And so, there`s a wide range of things including providing diversity
to the department above the office of captain.
HAYES: Public advocate Letitia James, thank you very much for joining
JAMES: Thank you so much. Thank you.
HAYES: Really appreciate it.
All right. Protesters continue to walk up the West Side Highway, and
some are headed downtown to the Staten Island ferry terminal as hundreds,
thousands throng the streets here in New York protesting the decision not
to indict New York City police officer in the choking death of Eric Garner.
We`ll be back with much more.
PROTESTERS: Whose street? Our streets! Whose streets? Our streets!
HAYES: At this hour New York City protesters just down a few feet
from us streaming up Park Avenue, blocking traffic, taking over the street,
shouting through bull horns, "justice for Eric Garner." This happening as
out across the city, some headed down to the Staten Island Ferry.
Protests in 80 cities around the country tonight in the wake of that
grand jury decision not to indict Eric Garner.
And reaction to the non-indict the officer that put the choke hold
around Eric Garner. The reaction to that non-indictment of Officer Daniel
Pantaleo hasn`t cleaved to the normal or expected red-blue liberal-
For instance, here`s how Glenn Beck reacted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN BECK, CONSERVATIVE TALK SHOW HOST: I don`t know exactly how
this happened, but I will tell you this: the decision of the grand jury in
New York on the death of Eric Garner, here`s a guy who was not resisting
arrest, was not being
a jerk. The video is very, very clear. How this cop did not go to jail,
was not held responsible, is beyond me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, that`s...
BECK: Not even indicted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, he`s not even indicted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Glenn Beck isn`t alone. In fact, there`s been a huge array of
conservative thinkers and writers and media personalities who are more or
less saying the same thing that I think most people say when they see that
video, which is something horrible happened here and there should at least
be a criminal indictment.
But the big difference seems to be between liberals and conservatives
and frankly between a lot of black folks and a lot of white folks in how
they understand this is the degree to which race played a role in this.
Last night Mayor Bill de Blasio used the phrase "black lives matter," which
has become a
rallying cry in the wake of several deaths of black men at the hands of
police around the country.
But that, well, that sticks in the craw of a number of commentators on
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, FRM. MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: First of all, there was
racism in this case. There`s no indication this was -- if this man were a
man resisting arrest at that same size the same thing would happen.
REP. PETER KING, (R) NEW YORK: From my knowledge of the case, there`s
absolutely no element of racism here and there was no intent by the police
officer to cause any type of deadly harm or physical harm at all to the
decedent here, to Mr. Garner.
BILL O`REILLY, HOST, O`REILLY FACTOR: I think this would have
happened to a white guy doing the same thing. I don`t think it had to do
with skin color. I think it had to do with poor judgments made by the
group of police officers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, MSNBC political analyst Michael Eric Dyson.
Michael of course got into it with former mayor Rudy Giuliani on Meet
the Press recently on precisely this issue.
Michael, what is your reaction to that? On the one hand, you`ve got
many folks saying look, this was messed up, it`s hard to look at that tape
and think it wasn`t messed up, but this isn`t about race, you know, this is
about the just the police or this sort of thing is a kind of tragic
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, Well, a couple of things, Chris. On the one hand
it makes me know that what I`m doing is so important in schools where I`m
trying to teach young people that racism ain`t just about calling someone
the N-word or feeling negatively about black people in your mind or soul.
You know, Professor Eduardo Banil Silva says that you can have racism
without racists. And you have structural impediments and obstacles that
prevent people from flourishing in that reference to racial realities but
may not appeal to somebody`s conscious racial bias and we`ve got to really
help people understand that.
Number two, from the perspective of many of those commentators, of
course they don`t think it has anything to do with race because they are
engaged with the peril and the terror of wondering is their blackness the
cause of some kind of alienation, estrangement, fear, or trepidation on the
part of people who engage them?
So they don`t have to think about race, therefore they don`t. And so
they don`t see the connections that many of us and many other of our allies
understand when it comes to race, that what we`re trying to say here is
that the like likelihood of this kind of event occurring to a big white guy
is rather minimal when compared to it constantly happening to so-called big
And you don`t have to be big, of course, but it certainly exacerbates
the tensions that`s are already there just beneath the surface.
HAYES: You know, I`ve seen this argument used by a few people, Bill
O`Reilly being one of them, but others who say look at the numbers. Yes,
there`s actually a sort of shocking number of deaths at the hands of police
in the U.S. We don`t actually have a great count of it. It could be not
counting as many as 500, but if you compare it to other countries it`s just
way out of whack. But you know, in the grand scheme of things we`re
talking 140 or 150 or 200 African-Americans killed at the hands of police,
you know, and then they say, what about crime, what about, quote, black on
black crime? Like what is that argument about to you?
DYSON: You know, it`s about doing everything but what is necessary to
do. It`s about acknowledging the nose on your face. It`s about trying to
most obvious. I don`t want to invoke Occam`s Razor here, whether it`s been
misinterpret or not, but the problem is, is that we just don`t want to
plain deal with the fact that race makes a difference in a lot of stuff
that goes on in this country. And to call it into question is to really be
on the defensive because a lot of people say oh, no, all you`re doing is
being racially paranoid, you`re being racially obsessed, look at all the
black people killing each other, look at the relatively minor numbers of
police people who kill black people.
But there`s been a brilliant deconstruction of that kind of, you know,
what we call statistical myopia by Bill O`Reilly. And there`s been a
challenge to the use of those numbers and what we end up seeing is lies,
damn lies and statistics.
But let`s put it this way. You know, those are minor numbers. And it
doesn`t make a difference except if it`s your life. If you lose your life
something that`s wrong, one is too much, much less 300 or 400 of the like.
So the reality is the way in which those numbers fuel other racial
realities in this country that have to be dealt with -- poor schooling,
horrible neighborhoods, the way in which people are racially profiled in
retail stores, then you put the police overlay on it.
So it`s the aggregate of all the data that we can command here to
suggest there are tremendously difficult things that black people and brown
people and other poor people have to deal with who are people of color.
And I`ll tell you what else, Chris, which is amazing to me, is that what
many of our white brothers and sisters don`t understand again is that the
same kind of arguments they`re
making now were made against Martin Luther King Jr. You`re an interloper,
exaggerating, you`re addicted to the media, you`re coming into places where
black people get along with white people without your kind of intervention,
there`s not much racism here, you`re making it up. The same thing was said
in the `50s and `60s and `70s. I know. I`ve done the history. I know
what was said.
Martin Luther King Jr. had a letter written to him by, what, seven
Protestant clergy and a rabbi. You know, you`re creating trouble, you`re
creating tension, this is a problem here. So Dr. King said, you know, what
we have to do is to understand that America is so deeply infected with
racial bias, both conscious and unconscious, that we just can`t even begin
to understand how deeply indebted we are to certain kinds of racial logics
that make what many white brothers and sisters
think seeing common sense and what black people think is paranoid and
invented and made up.
HAYES: Michael Eric Dyson, always a pleasure. Thank you.
DYSON: Thank you, my friend.
HAYES: All right, Attorney General Eric Holder got before a
microphone today and dropped some jaw-dropping truth about the police
department in the city of Cleveland. The worst parts of that, ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: We have determined that there is
reasonable cause to believe that the Cleveland Division of Public Police
engages in a pattern and practice of using excessive force and as a result
of the systemic deficiencies including insufficient accountability,
inadequate training and equipment, ineffective policies and inadequate
engagement in the community.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: As Attorney General Eric Holder today in Cleveland announcing
Department of Justice report that is incredibly damning about the patterns
and practices of the Cleveland Police Department, a police department
into the public eye recently with the shooting death of the unarmed 12-
year-old Tamir Rice, who was holding a pellet gun, among the shocking
findings in the report, this one caught my eye. This is something that
"We observed a large sign hanging in the vehicle bay of a district
station identifying it as a forward operating base, a military term for a
small secured outpost used to support tactical operations in a war zone."
Throughout the last few months in the wake of Ferguson you`ve heard
people talk about feeling as if the police were an occupying force. Well,
this police station in Cleveland apparently embraced that identity.
Another finding in accountability-regarded matters, in terms of police
investigating deadly use of force or excessive force, this again from the
"Deeply troubling to us was that some of the specially trained
investigators who are charged with conducting unbiased reviews of officers
use of deadly force, admitted to us they conduct their investigations with
the goal of casting the accused officer in the most positive light
Joining me now, Ohio State Senator Nina Turner. And Senator Turner,
this report I would imagine is probably not news to a lot of people in
Cleveland but certainly pretty damning document.
NINA TURNER, OHIO STATE SENATOR: Yes, Chris. And some of those
details that you just read are pretty surprising. You know, one bright
side to this, though, in all of this is we cannot forget that the mayor of
the city of Cleveland did ask for the Department of Justice to come in and
to do this investigation. And we as a community have to stand and be ready
and be committed to make these changes, be ready, not to be afraid to deal
with what is right in front of us, that we have a very real problem not
only in the city of Cleveland police department but all across this nation,
as you have been highlighting in your show.
HAYES: We also got some new information today, again, also fairly
disturbing, about the officer, Timothy Loehmann, who shot and killed Tamir
Rice, the 12-year-old boy holding that pellet gun. We found out he had
unsuccessfully applied to be a New York City Police Officer, he was turned
down. He then had
joined a suburban police department, Independence, Ohio, and was asked to
leave after less than a year at that police department, described as
emotionally unstable, unfit for duty, including handling of firearms
described as dismal.
It appears the Cleveland Police Department never checked his past
record. How is that news being met there in Cleveland?
TURNER: You know, it`s very disturbing. He should have never, based
that evidence, he should have never been allowed to join the Cleveland
Police Department. There is much work to do, is that revelation. You
the fact that young Tamir Rice did not even stand a chance, Chris, that he
was shot less than two seconds from the time the police reached the scene,
that is unconscionable. It is totally unacceptable.
And we, the collective we, the police culture has to change. We have
to deal with the subliminal biases that police tend to have. And not all
police, because the report was very clear that the vast majority of
Cleveland police officers do the right thing, but there are components
within that police department that need to be changed and we have to have
the courage to deal with that.
A little 12-year-old boy lost his life. His family is reeling from
that, a community is reeling from that. And we cannot ignore that. And so
something has to be done. And I`m certainly glad to see that the mayor has
a commitment to make those changes that the DOJ is talking about, it`s a
partnership. I`m very hopeful to that, something has to happen because
Tamir Rice`s death cannot be in vain.
HAYES: State Senator Nina Turner in Ohio. You`re seeing live images
now in New York City as throngs take to the streets protesting the death of
Eric Garner, the decision of the grand jury not to indict the officer who
put him in a choke hold. Much more live from New York after this break.
HAYES: The second night of protests here in New York City as
protesters fan out across the city, stopping traffic, shouting "black lives
matter" and raising a ruckus in reaction to Eric Garner`s death and what
they see as the lack of accountability for that death at the hands of the
New York City Police Department.
We`ll be back with much more live from New York after this.
HAYES: Protesters snaking their way through the streets of New York.
Just moments ago a throng right behind us marching saying "hands up don`t
shoot," a chant popularized in the wake of Michael Brown`s tragic death in
One of the things that`s made this Eric Garner decision so difficult
for people, has made people so angry, is the fact that we have videotape of
the incident itself. You`ve probably seen that tape.
But there`s more tape you probably haven`t seen that might be even
more upsetting. We`re going to show that to you ahead.
HAYES: Throngs of protesters now flowing through the streets of Lower
Manhattan tonight at this hour, walking in the streets, stopping traffic,
chanting "whose streets, our streets," "no justice, no peace." A huge
group coming in now,
coming up from downtown New York. You can hear the chant. The last
moments of Eric Garner`s life, "I can`t breathe, I can`t breathe."
CROWD: I can`t breathe! I can`t breathe!
HAYES: That chant of course is a reference to the last few moments of
Eric Garner`s life that were caught on camera. But the tape of that
continued after that, and what came afterwards is almost more upsetting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFEID MALE: Where`s the ambulance? Where`s the ambulance?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back off. Back up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, let`s go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re going to have to do it yourself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ma`am, could you back up, please? We`re trying to
give him some air. we`re going to get him an ambulance, all right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Back up. You all got him on the floor, you all
got him on the floor. You got him on the floor and you`re talking about
back up? You hear this?
Now they`re trying to get him an ambulance after they harassed him,
slammed him down, NYPD.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go. Come on, guy. Breath in, breath
out, all right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nice try.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys, clear the sidewalk, EMS is coming down the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did anyone call the ambulance?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE; Sir, does anything hurt you right now? It`s
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, EMS is here. Answer their questions, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He can`t breathe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, it`s EMS. Come on, we`re here to help, all
right? We`re here to help you. We`re getting the stretcher, all right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re going to try to get him up on the stretcher.
It`s going to take six of us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why ain`t nobody doing CPR?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nobody did nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because he`s breathing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because he`s breathing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After they beat him up, did whatever they did to
HAYES: Joining me now, Harry Segal of the "Daily News" who wrote
about that portion of the tape.
What you said was more chilling even in some ways than that first part
of the tape. Why?
HARRY SEGAL, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Because this man is lying there, he
attention, he was a threat to nobody, and he`s treated literally like a
piece of meat, he`s tossed on a gurney. An EMT comes out, touches him for
a second to see his pulse, doesn`t clear his airways, does nothing. And
then he dies of a heart
attack on the way to -- I think on the way to the hospital.
HAYES: And you have these people standing around. There is no sense
of what the urgency of the situation actually demands. I mean, you`ve got
standing there arms folded, there`s just like absolute total casualness to
everyone on the scene.
SEGAL: No. Not to the people who are filming and the people they
inside stores, clear the way, clear the way. And they`re saying he can`t
breathe. And the cops are just utterly dismissive.
And this man`s on the ground. He`s unconscious. He`s unresponsive.
And there`s no care, it`s not the way you want to see a human being
HAYES: We see in the last frame of that the officer in question, the
one who the grand jury declined to indict, Daniel Pantaleo, waving at the
camera, which is, given everything that`s happened, pretty shocking and
SEGAL: He didn`t know that this man was going to die. He had taken
him down. I`m sure he`s taken down lots of guys. I know there are three
suits against him the city had to pay out for for doing pretty rough
things, all to black people. And I think he thought, hey, this is just
another day on the job up until he died.
HAYES: You chronicle -- you`re a columnist at "The New York Daily
News." You`ve been chronicling this era of policing. What does this mean
for this era? You know, we had a mayoral election that was covered
nationally because it was about in many ways turning the corner from a kind
of -- a style of policing that
people had come to really resent, particularly people of color in this
Where is that turn now in the wake of the garner decision?
SEGAL: This mayor, who is very progressive and sincere and the police
commissioner are trying very seriously to turn the page. You see these
protests here. They are so different from Occupy Wall Street and the ones
under Kelly and Bloomberg. There`s just a lot more space for people.
They`re trying to let pressure out. They changed policy dramatically
on pot arrests. There are many less misdemeanor arrests and the crime
numbers are still going down and that`s the pressure, because if the crime
numbers start going up this whole narrative of reform goes away.
HAYES: But yet at the same time there`s polling that says people
don`t believe -- people thought crime was going up, right, that these old
habits die hard about how people think good policing looks.
SEGAL: Well, part of that is "The New York Post" and the police
unions, which have a narrative of urban apocalypse.
HAYES: Every day.
SEGAL: Every day.
And they hate this mayor. They think Chirlane is black Lady Macbeth,
and it`s gotten very nasty. And the unions in the meantime are saying
things, they complain so much about quotas under the last administration.
Bratton says I`ll give you discretion and their response is to threaten a
work slowdown. The police.
HAYES: It`s really remarkable.
SEGAL: It`s outrageous.
HAYES: Harry Segal of the Daily News. Thank you so much for your
SEGAL Thank you for having me.
HAYES: All right, that is All In this evening.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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