All In With Chris Hayes, Wednesday, April 8th, 2015
Read the transcript from the Wednesday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: April 8, 2015
Guest: Phillip Martin, Mark Sanford
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from North Charleston, South
Carolina. I`m Chris Hayes.
And in just a moment, we are going to bring you the first-ever extended
interview with the man who shot the instantly iconic horrifying video from
his cell phone, that video that depicts the shooting death of 50-year-old
Walter Scott at the hands of North Charleston Police Officer Michael
Earlier today, Michael Slager was arraigned, formally charged with murder
here in the city of 100,000. That, after a shooting on Saturday, which
originally police had said happened because Officer Slager feared for his
life, telling 911 dispatcher and also in the police department that Walter
Scott had grabbed his taser and he feared for his life.
And then, yesterday, in the afternoon, this video released.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
HAYES: Earlier today, my colleague, Craig Melvin, got to talk to the man
who actually shot that piece of video. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRAIG MELVIN, MSNBC ANCHOR: Walk me through it. What did you see is? And
what did you do?
FAYDEN SANTANA, SHOT VIDEO: What I saw, as you can see in the video, the
shooting, you know, after the victim was dead. Before the video, I was
walking to my job, I was walking to my job, and I witnessed Mr. Scott
coming out of the -- coming out of the auto part, you know, running --
MELVIN: The auto part store.
SANTANA: Yes, running through me, and then I saw maybe five seconds later
a cop after him, chasing him, you know, yelling at him to stop. My first
thought, you know, I thought that something would happen about it, so I
just went to the scene to see what`s going on. When I saw him, you know,
that they were on the floor. I didn`t know if he just fell down or maybe
tackled by the police, I see he was down and the police was up, trying to
get control of him.
I approached to the scene, when I see that, you know, the police was
pushing (ph) him and tasing --
MELVIN: You saw the police tase him?
SANTANA: Yes. You can hear the sound before I started the video.
I just decide to take my phone out. You know, maybe to try to see that the
cop was over there standing there, you know. And I started recording.
That`s when everything happened over there.
MELVIN: So you`re watching this. And what`s going through your mind?
SANTANA: You mean the scene?
MELVIN: Yes, the scene.
SANTANA: Well, like I say, I never expect this, you know, to come out this
way. Never thought I would have the policeman shooting him. Like I say,
the man was running away from the police. He -- I believe that he maybe
was scared of the taser, you know, maybe like it hurt, the taser. And he
just was looking for a way to get away from the police. And like I say,
it`s very -- it was very (INAUDIBLE)
MELVIN: Did you hear the officer say anything before he fired the shots?
SANTANA: No, not really. He just say, you know, before they get on the
ground, he was saying stop. That`s what I hear. And after that, after he
shoot, he just say, you know, that he fired, he fired. He was on the
ground. Mr. Scott was on the ground.
MELVIN: Did you hear Mr. Scott say anything during all of this?
SANTANA: No. No. Nothing. I saw, you know, I see him -- maybe,
(INAUDIBLE) because he was hurt by the taser.
MELVIN: At the end of the video that you shot, you see the officer put
SANTANA: I saw that now on the video. I didn`t catch that part when he
dropped. I did notice that he went back when he was standing -- when he
was with Mr. Scott. He did pick something up. I never saw him that he
dropped. I just saw when he picked it up, and picked it up again beside
MELVIN: But you couldn`t tell what it was that he picked up?
SANTANA: No. Not on the victim`s side. But over there, I knew it was a
taser, when he went back again to get the taser. But never saw that he
dropped the taser, like I say. But I guess I saw that he picked something
up. I didn`t know what it was.
MELVIN: After you viewed this video from your cell phone, then what did
you do with it?
SANTANA: After that, I kind of thought, you know, in my head, I just --
like I say, I won`t deny that I knew the magnitude of this, and I tried to
-- I even thought about erasing the video.
SANTANA: I don`t know. I felt that my life, you know, with this
information, might be, like I say, in danger. And I tried to -- I thought
about erasing the video and just getting out of the community of North
Charleston, you know, and leave to someplace else.
MELVIN: Leaving town?
MELVIN: Because you`re that scared?
SANTANA: Yes. I saw the video, I knew that the cop didn`t do -- didn`t do
the right way, the right thing. And like I say, I feel kind of scared
MELVIN: But you decided instead of deleting the video, you decided to do
SANTANA: I decided -- I looked at the police report. I went home after
working. Like I say, I went home. Like I say, I was -- people went to the
barbershop, talking about what happened. And over there, next to my house,
because it`s right there.
And I saw the police report. I read it. It wasn`t like that, the way they
MELVIN: You read the police report?
SANTANA: Yes. And I saw on the news, and I say, you know, this is not the
right -- this is not what happened. A friend of mine, I showed the video
to him. I tell him what I witness. And he agreed with me.
So, he told me think about what you want to do with this, like I say. And
I just put myself in the position of the family, you know, that I know if I
had a family member, like I say, I didn`t -- I couldn`t tell what was going
to be the decision in this case, if the policeman would be charged or not.
But I would want them to have this and do something about it, because I
know if I wouldn`t give it to them, nothing would happen.
MELVIN: I understand at one point you also went to the police, is that
MELVIN: And what did you tell them, and what did they tell you?
SANTANA: Well, in the video, I said he wasn`t abused in the video, I said
a couple of times -- and after that, I get frustrated, and maybe mad about
it. And when everybody was there, they told me to leave the scene.
MELVIN: Who told you to leave the scene?
SANTANA: One of the police told me to leave the scene, because he say that
someone was coming over here. So, I don`t -- like I don`t really catch it
at that time.
MELVIN: He said to get away from here? But he didn`t know that you had
shot the video?
SANTANA: No. The position I had the video, it wasn`t, like I say, I
didn`t have it in a position that people would tell that I`m recording.
Like at the moment when the victim was down. Like I say, I didn`t really
try to catch the video the way I did. I was just witnessing it with my
eyes. I let the phone do the work.
And I say to the officers, you know, that he wasn`t abused, I witnessed
everything and I had a report to make with me. One of them asked me if --
asked me, you know, if that was true. He say to wait there. And like I
say, when he say that, I just -- I knew that maybe something --
MELVIN: You got scared?
SANTANA: Yes. One minute I was at my work, you know, working. And I just
run out of there. Like I say, I was -- I knew that they were looking for
me. Maybe they were looking out for me for this information. Because I
tell them that I have that information in my possession.
MELVIN: Are you still scared?
SANTANA: Yes. Like I say, but I feel -- I felt like I did the right thing
with the family. And I believe that this can help other people, you know
to, like I say, to not do this kind of stuff. Like I say, but I feel -- I
felt like I did the right thing with the family.
And I believe that this can help other people, you know to, like I say, to
not do this kind of stuff. Like I say, nobody`s -- you know, nobody have
the right to take the life away of nobody, like I say, without -- for no
reason, you know.
MELVIN: If you had not captured all of this on your cell phone, what do
you think would have happened?
SANTANA: Nothing would have happened. I don`t think nothing would have
happened. Like I say, that`s why I took my decision of turning it in to
MELVIN: What makes you say that? What makes you so sure that nothing
would have happened?
SANTANA: That`s when I saw the report, the police report, you know. And I
saw that it was going the wrong way. You know, it was going the wrong way,
like I say.
And that`s something that maybe -- that got me mad, you know, because it
wasn`t like that. That wasn`t the way I saw it. I didn`t know the police
would be charged this, or, you know, like I say, that -- I didn`t know what
was going to happen. I just have the evidence for the families.
MELVIN: I want to go back to Saturday. Did you see the officer administer
CPR? Did you see the officer try to do anything to save Mr. Scott?
SANTANA: When you say officer, are you talking the officer -- which
MELVIN: The officer who shot him.
SANTANA: No. Just saw that he --
MELVIN: Checked his pulse?
MELVIN: And at what point did you see the officer handcuff him?
SANTANA: Yes, I saw that. After he went down, (INAUDIBLE) he allow him to
get arrested, you know. Put your hands on your back. I remember that very
MELVIN: When he screamed to put your hands on your back, at that point is
his body limp? I mean, is he moving? Is he making any sounds?
SANTANA: I think he was unconscious, you know, when that happened. There
was no need to do that. But like I say, maybe the police saw it a
MELVIN: After he handcuffed him, what did the officer then do?
SANTANA: After he handcuffed him, he just went to get the taser.
MELVIN: He went to pick up the taser?
MELVIN: Did he call in, shots fired?
SANTANA: Yes, yes.
MELVIN: You heard him say, shots fired?
SANTANA: Yes. Before arresting the victim.
MELVIN: OK. Could you hear anything else?
SANTANA: No. That`s what I heard.
MELVIN: Were there other people around who saw this with you?
SANTANA: I don`t think so, no. I don`t think so.
MELVIN: You just happened to be there?
MELVIN: That`s the way you go to work every day?
SANTANA: It was. Yes.
MELVIN: You say it was? You`re not going that way anymore?
SANTANA: I don`t think so.
MELVIN: Anything you want to add? Anything I didn`t ask you?
SANTANA: Well, like I say, this is a very complicated situation. And I`m
from the Dominican Republic. And in the Dominican Republic, we look for
the authority of the United States. You know, we follow over here, you
know, what they -- the way, over here -- you know, the people, like I say.
Not just from the Dominican Republic, let`s the whole Hispanic countries,
you know, and all over the world.
MELVIN: You look up to us.
SANTANA: Yes. I don`t think this is a good way to, you know, for us to
see this, you know.
MELVIN: What do you hope happens because captured that scene in your cell
phone? What do you want to come from this?
SANTANA: Well, I hope, like I say, I`m putting myself out here, you know,
just like I say, to talk, and to express this can`t be happening. Not just
in Charleston, but in the whole nation, in the whole world. This needs to
stop, you know, the cops taking advantage of their power to the minority,
and to the people.
HAYES: Joining me now, Craig Melvin, MSNBC anchor and national
correspondent for the "Today" show, and a South Carolina native.
Phenomenal interview. I just -- this young man, Fayden Santana, 23 years
old, in case people didn`t quite get the arc of what he said, I want to
sort of highlight, he takes a video.
HAYES: He considers erasing it from his phone because he was scared of
what would happen to him.
MELVIN: He said he thought about leaving town because he was so scared.
HAYES: He realized he`s holding something that is extremely powerful and
possibly dangerous. He then sees the police coverage, the police report
and local news coverage that characterizes the officer saying he was
fearful for his life. And that prompts him to walk into the police office?
MELVIN: He goes to the station. And says, hey, I`ve got this video. I
shot this video. You should know.
And the officer suspiciously, you know, really? You really have this
And I think at some point the officer becomes convinced that he does, in
fact, have it. And says to him, wait right here.
HAYES: But he doesn`t show it to him. He says he has it.
MELVIN: Right. He says he has it. The officer says, right here. The
officer leaves, and Santana basically told me he knew how that movie was
going to end and decided at that point it would probably be a good idea to
get a lawyer.
HAYES: So, he goes, he gets a lawyer.
HAYES: I mean, it`s just a remarkable thing to do. There`s a lot of
people I think on Twitter right now, and I think watching at home thinking,
like, is this young man, does he have representation, does he have people
that has his back? Is he prepared for the -- not even just the possible
recriminations, although people are worried about, but also just the
tremendous glare of the national spotlight that is now going to come down
MELVIN: I think we`ll find out in the next few days. He does have an
attorney, an attorney that has ties to the area. And he also, you know,
there was a guy with him today, you know, just kind of making sure that he
MELVIN: But here`s a guy that cuts hair at a barbershop, ten minutes away.
This is the path that he takes to work.
HAYES: And a Dominican immigrant, works in North Charleston, and just
happened upon this, was just motivated by essentially pure conscience to do
MELVIN: Yes. And again, you hit on this in the beginning -- you have to
wonder, had the coverage -- initial coverage not been what it was, or had
the police report not been what it was, would we have ever seen that video.
HAYES: And he seems quite certain that had the video not surfaced, none of
the charges that we`ve seen filed would have happened.
HAYES: Craig Melvin, fantastic work. Thank you very much for sharing that
MELVIN: Good to see you as always. Thank you.
All right. Lots more to report for you tonight. Joy Reid got a chance to
sit down with the Scott family.
Also, big news out of Boston today, we have a verdict in the Dzhokhar
We`ll bring you all that, ahead.
HAYES: The family of Walter Scott has shown tremendous poise on this
unfathomable grief. Today, Joy Reid got a chance to sit down with the
family. We`re going to bring that interview to you, as well as a timeline
from Trymaine Lee of how a shooting that happened on Saturday morning
became a national outcry by yesterday afternoon.
Plus, the congressman that represents the district in which Walter Scott
was killed. Congressman Mark Sanford will be live with me here.
HAYES: Walter Scott left behind two brothers, Anthony and Rodney Scott.
And today, Joy Reid got a chance to sit down with both of them to talk to
them about their brother and his death.
JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There were four days that passed
between the shooting and the release of the video. In that interim period,
what were police saying happened to Walter Scott?
CHRIS STEWART, SCOTT FAMILY`S ATTORNEY: Well, the disappointing thing
about the entire situation is that the police department came out publicly,
in the statement, their spokesperson recounted the story that the officer
had told them, saying that the officer fought with Mr. Scott and took the
taser and tried to use it on the officer, and then he quickly had to fire
in fear for his life.
And that perpetuated the wrong thoughts and beliefs on what happened.
People immediately started writing it off as, oh, he deserved it, oh, you
know, just another situation of a guy fighting a cop. Just another thug,
why would you run? He`s African-American. It perpetuated the immediate
wrong assumptions that occur.
REID: How did the family, Rodney, deal with this initial story? Before
the video came out, as your attorney said, that was the story. That was
going to be the story about how Walter died.
I know your mom, you know, obviously had to hear that story, too. How did
the family cope with it?
RODNEY SCOTT, VICTIM`S BROTHER: We were grossly traumatized from the
story, from seeing what had happened, you know? All the lies that were
told about what may have taken place. We were just traumatized. We knew
that wasn`t my brother`s character.
REID: And, Chris, I`ll ask you, how did it come to be that the video came
STEWART: A gift from God. A person happened to be in the right spot at
the right time to see this incident. And be quick enough to pull out that
phone and record it.
And not only that, that probably happens all the time. Right now,
somebody`s probably filming an incident that if they step forward, it would
help that person. But they`re going to keep driving, or keep walking, or
say, I don`t want to get involved or feel threatened or scared. These are
just the everyday usual stuff.
This person, this hero had enough fortitude and felt so sorry for this
family, that they came forward and approached the family and said, you need
to see this. What the news is saying, and that cop is saying, is not true.
REID: When you saw the video, and you saw the part of the video where the
officer appears to drop something near the body, which is presumably the
taser, what did you make of that?
ANTHONY SCOTT, VICTIM`S BROTHER: A setup.
REID: What do you mean?
ANTHONY SCOTT: A setup. I mean, trying to cover his story. I mean,
because it was obviously not a fight, not a struggle. He already put that
in his claim, that that`s what happened. So, to move it from one place to
another place, and place it there, then you can cover your story.
REID: There is now, as we said, a federal inquiry into what happened. You
know, what do you make as a family of all of the attention that this case
ANTHONY SCOTT: I think it`s needed. But I don`t -- I hate that it had to
be a video to prove that it had to get taken to this level, because we have
fallen brothers all the time, all the time. They just fall for different
reasons, different parts of the country. And they`re not investigated, or
taken to this level. And I think that it should be looked in deeper,
REID: As the brothers of this man, are you hopeful that there will be
justice, what the family believes is justice in this case?
ANTHONY SCOTT: Oh, definitely.
RODNEY SCOTT: Absolutely.
ANTHONY SCOTT: Definitely hope for justice. And like Chris has said
earlier, I won`t be satisfied until I hear guilty verdict. That`s when
I`ll be satisfied.
REID: And, Rodney, do you believe that`s what will happen?
RODNEY SCOTT: I hope so. I truly hope so. Just like Chris said, all the
things that my brother had planned to do, and wanted to do with his kids,
because he is definitely a family man. I mean, we talk about him buying
this big van, you know --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s OK.
RODNEY SCOTT: Taking his kids to Disneyworld. He`ll never be able to do
that. I mean -- I said, why don`t you take two at a time? He said, no,
Rodney, no, I`m going to take them all, one time. I`m like, man, that`s
going to be so cool.
We were trying to plan to do that soon. He and I, and -- oh, man. Every
time I think about it, just the small things. Talking to my brother, we
won`t ever get to do it again. He`s gone forever.
I love my brother. I mean, he was my best friend. We bathed in the same
tub in this house together. When mama come home and we didn`t do what we
were supposed to do, we got -- we did everything together. I washed the
dishes, he dried the dishes, you know?
My cousin made a comment the other day, the picture of him on the news, and
said, I can see Walter saying now, what y`all going to do now? Look what
they did to me. What y`all going to do?
REID: What do you want people to do? What would you like to see done?
RODNEY SCOTT: I want to see -- I really don`t want to see any other family
go through what we`ve gone through. The way I watched that video, and
watched my brother run to his death, I`m still trying to consume all this
information that`s going on.
But all I pray is that God help my family get through it. But I`m broken.
I am really broken.
And I`ll say this also. For the shooter, I forgive him, because he is
going to have to give account for that. You know? I hope he can make his
peace with God for what he has done, you know. I don`t ever want to see
any other family go through what we`re going through.
And the gentleman behind the camera, that`s my brother. I mean, he is a
definite hero, to come stand forward and do what he did. He will never,
ever be forgotten.
HAYES: All right. Joining me now, Joy Reid, national correspondent.
HAYES: The last point from Walter Scott`s brother -- it`s really powerful,
the guy that took that video is my brother.
REID: Yes, absolutely. You can see this is a very close family, very
close-knit religious family. These are three brothers who were each two
years apart. Walter was the middle brother. And he has special
relationships with each of them.
So, the younger brother you just saw there, that got really emotional,
Rodney called him his best friend. Said they had a really special bond.
That he literally lost it when he went to the scene. He couldn`t even get
himself together to explain who he was.
He was not allowed to cross the police tape, but he broke past the police
there and try to get to his brother. And Anthony, who`s the older brother,
who you say sitting on the right side, you know, really kind of holds
But even before we started taping, they had this ongoing joshing back and
forth, big brother/little brother dynamic. You can just imagine that, you
know, they feel this ache because there`s just one par of that trio
HAYES: Did you get a sense of their level of confidence in the system?
Obviously, the prosecutors and the police moved very swiftly upon the
video. He`s been arraigned, he`s charged with murder, he`s denied bail,
you know. But that`s not the end of the process.
REID: And it wasn`t the beginning of the process either. I think a really
important point that was made by the family was that in the first four days
of this shooting, the cooperative, proactive police department that we`re
seeing now is not what they experienced. And their feeling was, at the
scene, Anthony, the older brother, said he started taking pictures trying
to document what was happening to his brother and had his phone confiscated
by the police, had to go get his phone back. They took his phone away from
He believed he was treated rather callously at the time, in the moment.
And then they make the point that for four days, the officer`s narrative
was believed. And we know it`s common in a lot of police department. It`s
not unique to hear. But without the videotape, they were very clear on
saying that the person who shot that cell phone video to them is a hero
because they don`t think they would have gotten justice without it.
HAYES: They also -- I mean, you saw in that interview that the idea that
he would a police officer just seemed completely out of character to them,
but the idea that he would run, maybe not so much.
REID: Not really so much. They said that it didn`t ring true to them that
he would get into an altercation, but I did directly ask the brothers
whether or not they thought that their brother, Walter, would run from the
police, and this is what Rodney said to me about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RODNEY SCOTT, BROTHER OF WALTER SCOTT: My first thought was him hearing
that he ran, is becuase I know that he`s on child support. And we talk
about it all the time. And he said that`s what he would do. He would run,
because he`s not going to jail for child support.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, the police, today there was a press conference and Police
Chief Eddie Driggers talked about them being proactive, basically said, we
didn`t have to turn this over to SLED, which is the state law enforcement
division. Take a look at what happened when he said that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDDIE DRIGGERS, NORTH CHARLESTON POLICE CHIEF: We have turned -- and we
are under no obligation to turn an investigation over. We could have
investigated this ourselves. But -- but -- but we chose to turn it over to
SLED because that`s the right thing to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Chief Driggers is not quite right. I mean, in fact one of the
remarkable things about South Carolina and how they handle officer involved
shootings is it is automatically investigated by the state law enforcement.
REID: Yeah, absolutely, this thing called SLED.
But it was interesting, but that was also the point at which that press
conference went completely off the rails. That was the last thing that
Chief Driggers said, becuase he was answering a question from a reporter
about what it was that in their view the officer dropped near the body at
time, after the shooting. And rather than answer the question, that`s what
he said, which set off this torrent of protest in the room. And then the
mayor basically took over the press conference from there and answered all
HAYES: Mayor Keith Summey coming to the lectern to save his police chief.
Joy Reid thank you so much.
REID: Thanks a lot, Chris.
HAYES: All right, ahead a verdict in Boston: guilty. We`ll give you the
HAYES: In a federal courthouse in Boston today, the jury returned their
verdict. The case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the two brothers
responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings, that killed
three, and the death of an NIT police officer. In a grim silent room, the
jury read out count after count, 30 counts in all, guilty for each count,
17 of those counts carrying with them the possibility of the death
The penalty phase of the trial will now begin probably next week, as early
possibly as early in the week monday or tuesday.
Joing me now is Phillip Martin, senior investigative reporter for WGBH
Phillip, there was something extremely intense about sitting in that
courtroom, or what I would imagine listening to the -- from the overflow
room, to count by count being read out and knowing that the families were
in there, and all eyes on Tsarnaev himself.
PHILLIP MARTIN, WGBH RADIO: Chris, that`s right. I mean, you think about
this. Nothing was unexpected in the sense that his lead attorney had
already said he did it, that part was clear. The -- I think what was
particularly jolting, however, was simply waiting, knowing what the outcome
would likely be, knowing that you had survivors and victims in that
courtroom, and knowing that we are only at the beginning of another phase,
that phase of course as you pointed out in your introduction, is the
penalty phase of this case. And that`s when the, if you will, some of the
real intense emotion will come out, because that`s when it`s going to be
determined whether this man will live or die, based on the most
extraordinary evidence you can imagine that we heard over the last few
weeks, including video, graphic photographs showing an 8-year-old child
literally blown apart.
We heard from witnesses who talked about the devastation wrought on
individuals like Kristen Campbell. And then the other victims of this --
of the marathon bombing.
So today was a part of that. It was, if you will, a summary of several
weeks of graphic testimony and the beginning, the incipient part of another
phase, and that phase of course being the pentalty phase of this trial.
HAYES: The -- essentially the defense is making in proceeding in the way
they proceed essentially by not contesting the basic facts in the trial
phase, is to hope to essentially build up credibility, and I think achieve
some kind of catharsis so that they have a better chance in the penalty
phase. And obviously, you can`t speak for the jury, but it did feel today
that there was a sense in Boston from the coverage I read and the people I
saw online talking about this, some sense of anguish, but some emotional
catharsis associated with this verdict.
MARTIN: Catharsis is an interesting, and I think, a very good way of
describing what we`re talking about, both in the courtroom and in the city
of Boston itself.
Look, the strategy all along has been to keep Dzhokhar Tsarnaev alive. The
only way to do that in the face of incontrovertible evidence showing that
he in fact did it, was to basically suggest to the jury that he could not
have done it without the influence of his brother.
His brother was a kickboxer. He was a domineering figure in the words of
the defense. And that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was subordinate to him, according
to the defense. So, that`s the only thing they could possibly do.
And it didn`t seem to work, however, Chris.
HAYES: Phillip Martin, from WGBH Boston, thank you so much for joining us
tonight. Really appreciate it.
MARTIN: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Coming up, more from South Carolina. We`ll have a walk through the
scene where Walter Scott was shot next.
Plus, congressman Mark Sanford, whose district is located just a few yards
from where the shooting was. He will be here with me.
HAYES: It was 9:30 in the morning on Saturday when North Charleston
officer Michael Slager radioed into dispatch to tell them that he had fired
his weapon on the suspect and needed backup.
My colege Jermaine Lee went to the site of the shooting to retrace the
steps of how we got here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC REPORTER: On saturday morning, around 9:30 in the area
of Remount and Craig roads, Officer Michael Slager pulled over Walter
Scott. Apparently, there was a busted taillight on the vehicle Walter Scott
At some point after that, a foot chase ensues and the two of them run in
this direction several hundred yards. So what began just a few hundred
yards away, continued down this path here. A mostly grassy area, few yards
behind a pawnshop and a shopping center. This is where it all ends for
The chase ends in a confrontation in which Officer Slager shoots Scott with
a taser. Scott takes off running. Officer Slager then raised his pistol and
fired a total of eight shots, striking Scott four times in the back, and
once in the ear. Scott is fatally wounded.
As Scott lay dying, Officer Slager put hand cuffs on him. He then jogs back
to where the
altercation began. He picks up an object off the ground, comes back to
Scott`s body, and drops that object right near his feet.
Unbeknownst to Officer Slager, there was a witness filming the entire
episode from this side of
the fence. He captured the last horrific moments of Walter Scott`s life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me is Trymaine Lee, national reporter for MSNBC. Trymaine
you came here straight from Ferguson, where there are elections and we`re
going to talk about that later in the week.
But, you know, I`ve been talking to a few people here since I got here
today, talking about the context against which this happened. And, we saw a
little bit from Fayden Santana, the young man who shot the video.
People telling me this is not Ferguson. There are some real key
differences. But there are also some key similarities. Obviously we`re not
seeing the (inaudible) arrest, we`ve seen the officials move in a very
quick, unanimous way. And there`s not the same kind of fraught sense of
And yet, some of the complaints about police stops sound very similar.
LEE: Especially in this community. It`s basically, talking to folks, they
say it`s divided by north and south. The south part is traditionally black
and poor, the north side is more developed.
They say folks on the south side day in, day out, deal with the brunt of
the confrontations with the police, are targeted disportionally, ecetera.
But when you go to the scene of where Walter Scott was killed, it all
started with the police stop of a broken taillight. Several hundred yards
away he gets shot there. Folks are pleased that at least the process seems
to be working. The charges of murder. Yet a man is dead.
And we heard from his family earlier that he won`t go on any trips and his
family will miss him,
And so, what does justice actually look like? You know, folks are saying
get the black lives matter crew out here, and more coming from Ferguson
actually tomorrow to be here in this community, To push forward, even
though the criminal justice system is rolling, that more needs to be done
to prevent this kind of thing from happening.
HAYES: This is also a place where, you talked about sort of the divide. I
mean, this is also a place in which you do have a city that`s a 37% white,
47% black, has a white Republican mayor, who seems to me, from the folks
I`ve talked to, is fairly well liked. But also has political power, is
still in the hands of predominantly older white folks here. The police
department, 80% white again in a that`s 47% black.
LEE: Even with the police department, they say for years there have been
But there`s a new police chief, and they said things seemed to be getting
better in recent months.
That the complaints have kind of gone down. And this only reignited all the
issues that the folks have been talking about for so long.
HAYES: That`s very interesting.
Trymaine, my man, it`s always a pleasure to have you on. Thank you.
We have much more ahead from South Carolina, including an interview with
congressman Mark Sanford.
The shooting happened just a few yards from his district, he was out there
today talking with some of the protesters.
He will be here with me coming up. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAND PAUL, KENTUCKY SENATOR: The whole purpose of doing this is to bring
money home. There`s two -- let me finish. Hey, hey hey. Hey Kelly, hey,
shh. Calm down a bit here Kelly. Let me answer the question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was part of Kentucky Senators Rand Paul`s interview on CNBC
back in February. He later said, quote, I`m human, I get mad sometimes.
Well, this morning Senator Paul was interviewed by Today Show`s Savannah
Guthrie. Here`s part of that exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, TODAY SHOW: You have had views in the past on foreign
policy that are somewhat unorthodox, but you seem to have changed over the
You once said Iran was not a threat. Now you say it is. You once proposed
ending foreign aid to Israel, you now support it, at least for the time
being. And you once offered to drastically cut...
PAUL: Well, before we get there...
GUTHRIE: Well, wait, wait, wait, once drastically wanted to cut defense
spending, and now you want to increase it 16 percent. So I just wonder if
you`d mellowed out?
PAUL: Hey, before we get there -- before we get a litany of -- yeah, why
don`t we let me explain instead of talking over me, okay?
Before we go through a litany of things you say I`ve changed on, why don`t
you ask me a question -- have I changed my opinion?
GUTHRIE: Have you changed your opinion?
PAUL: That would be sort of a better way to approach an interview.
No, no, no, no, no. Listen, you`ve editorialized. No, no, no, no, no.
Listen, you`ve editorialized, let me answer a question. You`ve asked a
question and you say, have your views changed, instead of editorializing
and saying my views have changed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: He plays the part of candidate, and editor.
Rand Paul will be here in South Carolina tomorrow as part of the Stand with
Rand tour. He`ll be holding a rally in at the USS Yorktown in Mount
Pleasant, here in the Charleston area.
Former South Carolina governor and current U.S. congressman Mark Sanford
will be joining
Senator Paul tomorrow on that stop, and he`ll be joining me here tonight,
HAYES: Earlier today, the site of the shooting of Walter Scott there were
a few protesters, there were also some ministers, and a local politician
stopped by to talk to them, shake their hands, listen to their concerns.
That was congressman Mark Sanford, you see him there. He represents a
district that is
adjoining just a few hundred yards from where that happened.
Sanford served in Congress during 1994, served two terms as governor of
South Carolina, ran for Congress successfully again last election.
Mark Sanford joins me now.
REP. MARK SANFORD (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Thank you for having me here.
HAYES: Thank you very much.
Why did you go down there tonight?
SANFORD: I guess the reason you go to a funeral of a friend. You know, to
mourn with them, hear a little bit about what`s on their mind, what they`re
You know, this is a community. I think it`s important to be part of that
that occurred here this afternoon.
HAYES: Did you -- how did you find out about the video?
SANFORD: You know, somebody on the staff said you need to look at this.
HAYES: What was your reaction to it?
SANFORD: Horrified. I think it fits with I`m sure what has been a
multitude of different visits for you.
But, I mean, it was horrifying, it was scary, it was repulsive, and, you
know, it left me with a
bad gut feel.
HAYES: There is a sense, some of the people I`ve talked to, and the man
who shot the video himself, who we interviewed earlier today, Fayden
Santana, that if it weren`t for the video, this would have just been an
officer involved shooting, and police officer said, I fear for my life,
there`s no witnesses, and people trust that officer, particularly the
people that work with him, which is actually understandable.
HAYES: Do you feel that way?
SANFORD: I hope that`s not the case. And we`ll never know. But what we do
know is, since that video has come out, action has been swift.
And so I credit the forks within North Charleston and associated
governments and police force.
I would credit Charlotte Wilson, who`s the local solicitor who brought
forward the charges of
murder, and, I think that`s something that, when people see a video like
that, they expect, and I think
appropriately believe in, again, if action is not taken, they`re going to
do something. Which I think has a lot to do with Ferguson, and other places
around this country. And I think you`ve seen a different response here.
I give local folks a lot of credit on that front.
HAYES: The federal government has provided funding for local departments
to purchase body
cameras. There is some body camera legislation introduced in the state
here. Obviously you`re not a state legislature, but it is your community
that you represent.
HAYES: There`s a lot of people who are looking at this and saying, well,
wouldn`t it be good to have video of all this all the time. What do you
think about that?
SANFORD: I think that`s going to be a larger debate. I think it ultimately
should be decided at a local level based on municipality`s need.
I mean, some small hamlets have very different needs than some of the
bigger cities in our state.
I think that that debate has been fast forwarded. I have had a couple of
conversations with different legislatures at the state leveltoday, and what
they have said is that this is in essence changed their vote. The events of
HAYES: From --
SANFORD: From where they were maybe a week ago, correct.
HAYES: To being for it?
HAYES: Has it changed your mind on the issue?
SANFORD: Again, law enforcement`s traditionally been done at state level.
When I was a governor, we had highway patrol, we had public safety, we had
a lot of different things at a state
level umbrella, more driven at a local level.
I don`t think it should be ultimately driven at a federal level. So,
Corinne Brown, for instance, has a bill with regard to cameras. But I don`t
think that should be, in essence, you know, dictated from Washington, D.C.
I think it needs to be decided community by community and state by state.
HAYES: Mark Sanford, congressman of the first district, good to see you.
HAYES: Alright, we`ll be right back.
HAYES: Behind me in the front of the North Charleston City Hall, there`s a
small group congregating. A few have just started to chant hands up, don`t
shot. There are others who are just quietly paying vigil, holding signs,
demanding justice for Walter Scott.
One of the things I noticed after Ferguson, in the midst of the Ferguson
coverage, is a certain contigant of people who came to believe that what
happened in Ferguson was because of the media`s presence there.
And I think you`ll see tonight a very, very different reaction in this
place because it is a very different place with a different set of
dynamics. And the tremendously, tremendously fraught, tense dynamics of
Ferguson, which exsisted in Ferguson long before any cameras showed up, and
existed in Ferguson after cameras pack away and go home.
That said, there are some commonalities. North Charleston is a place that
Barack Obama won 70% of the vote, and the mayoral election turnout hovers
around 10%. The white Republican mayor has been here for 20 years, he seems
to be generally liked. Of the city council`s ten seats, three are held by
African Americans. There is a disconnect between political power and
demographics of the citizenry here. And a disconnect, I imagine, if you ran
the numbers, in police stops for things like taillights being up.
That`s going to do it for us tonight in North Charleston, South Carolina.
Hand the show over to Rachel Maddow, in the anchor chair in New York.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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