All In With Chris Hayes, Thursday, May 14th, 2015
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: May 14, 2015
Guest: Sam Stein, Jen Williams, Kim Stephens, Robert Gonzalez, Eric
Sanders, Steve Osborne
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --
MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS: Would you have authorized the invasion?
JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: I would have.
HAYES: Jeb Bush comes full circle.
BUSH: I would not have gone into Iraq.
HAYES: Tonight, Jeb Bush`s disastrous week dealing with his brother`s
legacy, and why it`s the exact reason primaries are important.
Plus, kayak-tivists descend on Seattle to stop Shell from drilling in the
Arctic. We`ll have a live report from the protests.
And, examining the decisions police make when they decide to shoot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Step up to the center of stage.
HAYES (on camera): Officer Hayes in effect.
(voice-over): Tonight, the training police get to prepare for potentially
(on camera): I`m going to need you to stand back there.
Drop the weapon.
(voice-over): ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Big news tonight from the 2016 campaign trail where Jeb Bush finally
appears to have landed on a position on the Iraq war. After several
attempts to define his views drew fire from conservative media
personalities and rival Republican candidate this week, Jeb proved today
with an air of weary resignation that the fourth time is a charm.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: If we`re all supposed to answer hypothetical questions, knowing what
we know now what would you have done, I would have not engaged, I would not
have gone into Iraq.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was the endpoint of an early week long evolution on the one
big issue you`d think Jeb`s advisers would have prepared him to address.
The disastrous war started by his ex-president older brother. Jeb`s Iraq
nightmare all started with what should have been a pretty straightforward
interview that aired Monday on FOX News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?
BUSH: I would have. And so would Hillary Clinton, just to remind
everybody, and so would almost everybody that was confronted with the
intelligence that we got.
KELLY: You don`t think it was a mistake?
BUSH: In retrospect, the intelligence that everybody saw, that the world
saw, not just the United States, was faulty. And in retrospect, once we
invaded and took out Saddam Hussein, we didn`t focus on security first.
And the Iraqis in this incredibly insecure environment turned on the United
States military because there was no security for themselves and their
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: On Tuesday, doing damage control on Sean Hannity`s radio show, Jeb
was still unable to come up with a response.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY: So, in other words, in 20/20 hindsight, you would make a
BUSH: Yes. I don`t know what that decision would have been. That`s a
hypothetical. But the simple fact is that mistakes were made, as they
always are in life. This is not a -- in foreign policy. And so we need to
learn from the past to make sure that we`re strong and secure going
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HAYES: By Wednesday, the likely candidate had an excuse for his inability
to answer the question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: When I was governor, I felt I had a duty, I didn`t have to, to call
all the family members of people who lost their lives. So going back in
time and talking about hypothetical what would have happened, what could
have happened I think does a disservice for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: OK. But today, Bush gave into the public`s insatiable desire for
hypotheticals, which are, let`s be clear, pretty much what campaigns boil
down to, what would you do if you were elected?
And in the process of flailing and generating bad headlines all week, Jeb
Bush has managed to do something remarkable, something even his brother
couldn`t pull off, creating a Republican consensus that the Iraq war was a
Joining me now, Sam Stein, senior politics editor for "The Huffington
Sam, you`re laughing but it`s true.
SAM STEIN, THE HUFFINGTON POST: No, it`s true.
HAYES: It`s sort of amazing because I was asking conservatives at the
beginning of the week after that interview aired with Megyn Kelly, I was
generally asking, so what`s the consensus position here? Do people think
that, knowing what we know now, that we shouldn`t have, we should have?
And what happened was through the kind of dynamic process of politics, of
competitive primary politics, the Republicans seem to have arrived at the
correct position, which is no, of course not. As Laura Ingraham said, are
you an idiot?
STEIN: Yes. And it wasn`t -- this is relatively new. I was researching
this myself looking at poll positions, where the commentary was on the
Republican side. At the ten-year anniversary, which is 2013, the
predominant theory was that all in all, bad things happen, mistakes were
made, as Jeb said, but on the whole, it was worthwhile because we got rid
of Saddam Hussein.
So, we`ve clearly moved a bit further away from that in the successive
years here, and obviously politics has a role to play in it. But, you
know, I do happen to think this is not the right question to ask. And
anyone can look back and say, was it a mistake to knock over that first
domino on a horrible, costly war based on terrible pretenses?
The tougher question is back then, knowing what you knew back then, would
you have authorized it back then?
STEIN: And I think that`s the question that people like Jeb and Marco
Rubio, and all these other candidates, including Hillary Clinton, should
have to answer.
HAYES: There`s something to be learned here I think about the benefits of
HAYES: Which we saw play out this week. And I really it`s illustrative
and important. I mean, here you have Jeb Bush out there. He`s having
interactions with folks, he is making mistakes. Those mistakes are being
pounced on by his competitors -- and all of that is producing, through this
kind of competition, producing actual substantive policy commitments that
the party is now going to own.
STEIN: Absolutely, yes.
HAYES: And I think for the better. I think actually this is a good week
for the Republican primary field in arriving at this position.
STEIN: I totally agree. And, you know, it`s tough to separate this
conversation in the hypotheticals that we are having from the very real,
tangible debate over what`s happening with Iran. You know, we had this
whole debate 10 years ago, even further back, about the concepts of
preemptive war, where we have a threat out there. Do we engage militarily?
Is that the smartest route to take?
And, you know, the same very basic dynamics apply. These are Iran and with
this nuclear deal. I do agree. I think producing substantive policy, at
least philosophical markers by which the next president will have to be
HAYES: And yet, at the same time, we have seen -- even though there`s been
a sort of coalescing around this position, we`ve also seen in Marco Rubio`s
speech this week a generally quite hawkish, aggressive set of rhetoric, you
know, when you`re talking about what`s going on now with ISIS or Iran from
this candidate field.
STEIN: Yes. I mean, they are trying to have it both ways in some respects
to be super militaristic, ultra engage, but to say sort of I wouldn`t
really use the military the way that George W. Bush did. You know, I`m not
committing myself to a war with Iran. You wonder where the line is
And, you know, I was talking with Richard Pearl today, one of the
architects of the Iraq war and I said, well, you know, where is that
threshold? At what point do you cross, where we say, OK, the threat is
sufficient enough where you do have military as an option and, you know, he
said it`s tough to decide these things. It`s difficult.
He, of course, was on the side of using the military. But like you said
earlier, this debate helps illuminate this. It puts Marco Rubio in a tough
situation where he has to get into the specifics and it basically tells us
where each of these perspective presidential candidates would stand on
these very weighty questions.
HAYES: And it would be very interesting right now if you had a competitive
Democratic primary happening on the other side. And there is -- I mean,
there`s Bernie Sanders, and there is Hillary Clinton, reporting indicating
Martin O`Malley is going to get in the race. If you have a similar dynamic
on the question of, say, Iran, and whether the deal struck or the framework
that has arrived over the White House is the right thing.
STEIN: Yes, what you said about Republicans this cycle was totally
applicable to Democrats in 2008. This is obviously what defines the
primary between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the question of
authorization of using military force in Iraq.
And I think because of that, because of the seat of the next eight years of
the Obama administration, we are now in a place in the Democratic Party
where virtually all the top contenders will come down and say we should
pursue a diplomatic solution to Iran`s nuclear program where they`re much
more hesitant to be aligned with the neoconservative world view, and
essentially the use -- the idea that the military can be used to affect
regime change. I don`t think I see any major Democratic politician in this
cycle applying that world view.
HAYES: Yes. Although, again, if we had the same situation, at some point,
Hillary Clinton on the Libya question is going to happen very harsh on
that. Sam Stein, thank you very much.
STEIN: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: All right. Still ahead, we`ll live to Seattle where kayak-tivists,
you heard me right, are staring down a shell oil rig entering their city`s
port. Then, legendary actor and activist Danny Glover on the struggle to
preserve the post office.
And an absolutely crazy story out of Australia as Johnny Depp`s dogs are
ordered to leave the country or face death.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we start letting movie stars, even though he`s the
sexiest man alive twice to come into our nation, why don`t we just break
the laws for everybody? So, it`s time that Pistol and Boo buggered off
back to the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In the seconds before Amtrak regional train 188 went off the rails
in Philadelphia, the train was actually accelerating as it headed into a
dangerous curve where the speed limit drops to 50 miles per hour.
According to data the NTSB obtained from the train`s black box, the train
188 picked up speed from 70 miles per hour to 106, more than double the
speed limit, in the space of about a minute.
According to his lawyer, the train`s engineer Brendan Bostian suffered a
concussion and doesn`t remember what happened. Bostian`s last memory
before the crash, his lawyer said, was hitting the emergency brake before
the curve, a move that came too late.
The NTSB is planning to interview Bostian at some point in the few days.
And the death toll has been moved to eight with the discovery of another
body inside one of the wrecked train cars.
All eight victims have now been identified.
We`ll continue to bring you update as we get them. Keep it right here.
MADDOW: All right. Breaking news at this hour, a major confrontation
taking place between Shell Oil and activists in Seattle. Shell suspended
its Arctic drilling operations in 2013 after a series of costly and
embarrassing accidents and an investment of more than $4.5 billion. The
company is now trying to restart its Arctic drilling operations. Also got
a sign off from the Obama administration and has made plans to use the port
of Seattle at its base of operations in a deal that has outraged Seattle
environmentalists and many elected officials there.
Now, last month, Greenpeace activists boarded one of Shell`s drill rigs,
the Polar Pioneer, as it was being transported across the ocean, spending
almost a week camped out on the rig`s platform to protest Shell`s plan.
Today, Shell towed that same rig, you can see it there, the 400-foot long
Polar Pioneer to the port of Seattle. But it did not arrive under the
radar. The rig was met in the port of Seattle by a flotilla of activists
in kayaks, who were calling themselves, naturally enough, "kayaktivists",
and were hoping their presence might make a difference.
Joining me now on the phone is of those activists, Jen Williams, who`s
currently in a kayak in the port of Seattle facing down the Shell rig.
Jen, are you there?
JEN WILLIAMS, KAYAKTIVIST (via telephone): Yes, I`m here.
HAYES: OK. So, can you explain -- first of all, that thing is huge.
WILLIAMS: It`s so huge. It`s bigger than anything on the Seattle skyline.
HAYES: So, are you actually able -- are you guys -- how many of them are
you and what is the spatial configuration that you have right now? Can you
actually get in the way of it coming into port?
WILLIAMS: Well, our plan was not to get in the way of it coming into port
today. But just to register or defense with the project of drilling in the
But as far as spatially where I am about 150 of us pushed off on kayaks at
about 2:30 or 3:00 as the Polar Pioneer was making its way into the port,
the coast guard as well as the city police, the state police, were out in
force to make sure that all of us kayaktivists were remaining behind a 500
So, no one attempted to cross into that 500-foot boundary today. We just
wanted to be out here to show our resistance.
HAYES: So the police enforce sort of a wide berth so that thing could come
into port. They can`t hide it now. It seems to me it is going to be a
point of tremendous activism and contention as it starts there looming over
the entire port.
WILLIAMS: Agreed, absolutely. It`s a force.
HAYES: Eventually, they`re going to -- eventually they want to service
this and bring it back out. There`s an ongoing sort of legal fight about
whether Seattle is going to continue to host it. Do you feel like there`s
momentum in your direction?
WILLIAMS: Absolutely. You know, Arctic drilling is controversial, not
only in Seattle, but around the world and shell expects resistance every
step of the way. It was met with opposition when it came off the ocean and
to Los Angeles. The other rig entered the port of Everett yesterday.
Tuesday, excuse me.
Also, you know, the few people in kayaks out there as well as all the
people on land who are opposing any kind of drilling by Shell, especially.
So, it`s on the port of Seattle, it`s on a very tight timeline, from what
we understand. It needs to be up in the Arctic at the end of the month.
So, it`s probably not going to be very here for very long. Money doesn`t
really matter to Shell, they`ll pay any fine lobbied against by the city.
They`re going to do what they`re going to do, no matter what the cost.
HAYES: Yes. The window of time, because of the weather, is narrow. It`s
possibly if legal proceedings are taken that effectively block it, they
could miss that window.
HAYES: How long have you been in the water?
WILLIAMS: Well, I`ve been in the water since about 2:00, 2:30. It`s a
beautiful day. There`s nowhere else I`d rather be.
HAYES: And you think you might be back out there again when they try to
take it out?
WILLIAMS: Absolutely. Well, there`s a huge, you know, family friendly
rally. We`re expecting hundreds if not thousands of people in kayaks on
Saturday. People want to have their voice heard and several local
organizations are organizing an event.
So, there will be thousands of people out over the weekend. And then we`ll
see what happens from there.
HAYES: All right. Jen Williams coming to us from -- in the water, in a
kayak, in thee port of Seattle, dwarfed by that massive Arctic drilling rig
that Shell has just managed to tow into their ongoing battle.
OK, Jen, thanks a lot.
HAYES: All right. Still ahead, an in-depth examination of the training
police officers go to, when to use deadly force.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I`m going to need you to stand back there. Whoa, Jesus. Drop the
well. Stand back. I need you to get up, get up and stand --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Johnny Depp, who`s been in Australia for a fifth installment of
"Pirates of the Caribbean", is facing a countdown. He has just over 24
hours to get his Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo, out of the country or
the Australian government is threatening to kill them. That`s really
Allow Australia`s agriculture minister, a man by the name of Barnaby Joyce,
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARNABY JOYCE, AUSTRALIAN AGRICULTURE MINISTER: A gentleman by the name of
John Christopher Depp, 51 years old, otherwise, aka Jack Sparrow, and he
has decided to bring to our nation two dogs without actually getting the
proper certification and the proper permits required. Basically, it looks
like he snuck them in. We found out he snuck them in because we saw him
taking them to a poodle groomer.
Now, Mr. Depp has to either take his dogs back to California or we`re going
to have to euthanize them. Why is this important? There`s diseases such
as leishmania, rabies, leptospirosis, Alicia, and all these that we want to
keep out of our country. There is a process if you want to bring animals
in. You get the permits, they go into quarantine, and then you can have
But if we start letting movie stars, even though he`s the sexiest man alive
twice, to come into our nation, then why don`t we just break the laws for
everybody? So, it`s time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The Australian press has been reporting that Depp is expected to
leave the country, along with his wife and dog ahead of the deadline. TMZ
is now reporting the dogs` life saving departure is just hours away.
Joining me know by phone is Kim Stephens, journalist, breaking news chief
of the "Brisbane Times".
Can you explain the context of this? Because this entire thing seems
insane and a little extreme.
KIM STEPHENS, BRISBANE TIMES (via telephone): You guys over there must be
wondering what the hell is going on over here, I imagine.
HAYES: Yes. I saw that and I thought it was a joke. The agricultural
minister is threatening to kill Johnny Depp`s dogs.
STEPHENS: I actually think Barnaby Joyce fancies himself as a little bit -
- as a leading man in this, because it`s almost going to be showdown to it,
doesn`t it? Like, you know, get your dogs out of our country or we`re
going to kill them.
I think this is a bit extreme. I don`t think there has ever been any
intention to kill Boo and Pistol. I think what their position or what he`s
using is to try and say is that no one is above our quarantine laws. And
as he did mention in the clip that you played, we do have very, very strict
quarantine law necessary this country because when you do come in for
anyone who has ever visited, animals are subject to a 10-day minimum period
in quarantine just to ensure they`re not bringing in a lot of the diseases
that do not exist here.
And after the ten-day period, if they`re cleared, they can then go to their
owners. So what happened here is that Johnny Depp, he returned to the set.
He`s been down on the gold coast, which is a lovely part of Australia where
he`s been filming. He came in on a private jet to the Brisbane airport.
And normally, if you come in on a commercial airline, you`re subject to
quite strict customs measures. It supposedly also apply to a private jet,
but in this case, he didn`t declare he had the dogs on board and they kind
of just slipped in unnoticed.
HAYES: Can you ask you this question, too? So just the context here,
obviously, island nation, has had bad experiences before with sort of
invasive infections or viruses or diseases, animal born, that have come in
and wreaked havoc because, obviously, it`s a highly specialized population
because you`re sitting on an island, right?
STEPHENS: Yes. That`s right.
HAYES: That`s the concern there. Here is my question in this. When Joyce
says we saw them bring it to a groomer, is there dog surveillance you have
going on there? Did the grooming place drop a dime on the terrier?
STEPHENS: Quite easily could have gotten away with coming into the country
and leaving again when filming wrapped without ever having been detected.
What happened was he took them to a dog groomer, or his minders took them
to a dog groomer, who then posted them on social media. So, saying it was
such an honor to groom Johnny Depp`s dogs because they were lovely.
And that made the local paper and that, obviously, got someone thinking,
hang on, I don`t think he actually declared them when he came into the
country. And then the whole thing just exploded and, yes, ended up with
the minister threatening to kill the dogs.
HAYES: I`m imagining some sort of siren going off in the minister of
agriculture`s office, we`ve got death carriers. We got the intel --
STEPHENS: I don`t think this has been a very -- I don`t know, explicit way
of publicizing our quarantine listed. They have always been regarded as
almost infallible, so this kind of shows that perhaps there are some things
that need tightening.
But yes, I think -- I think perhaps the extreme is saying they`re going to
euthanize them. That is actually the law, if they have -- if anyone is
discovered to have brought anyone in undetected, they get 72 hours to have
them leave again or they are euthanized.
So, apparently Johnny Deep has heeded Barnaby Joyce`s warning and he and
his wife and the herd are booked on a private charter to leave the country
again tonight. So, it`s morning here at the moment.
HAYES: There you go.
STEPHENS: Apparently they`re supposed to leave this evening. Unsure at
this stage what this means for filming on "Pirates of the Caribbean." it
has been interrupted before. He injured his hand in February and he
returned to America for treatment and then it was when he came back to film
that the whole Pistol and Boo thing blew up.
HAYES: Well, the best week in Barnaby Joyce`s life is coming to a close.
Kim Stephens, thank you very much.
STEPHENS: Yes, that`s exactly.
Someone did suggest that perhaps he might have been a little jealous of
Depp being twice named the sexiest man alive.
HAYES: Up next, legendary actor and activist Danny Glover.
HAYES: In January, the U.S. Postal Service closed 82 mail processing
centers throughout the country. The decision to do so is part of a larger
plan by the Postal Service calling for $20 billion in cuts by 2017.
According to reporting last summer in the "Federal Times" the Postal
Service made plans to reduce its workforce by up to 15,000 employees in the
2015 fiscal year. It already shrunk by 350,000 employees since 2000.
Today, the American Postal Workers Union coordinated a national day of
action with 120 events scheduled across 45 states to protect jobs and
protests reduced mail services.
Among their biggest supporters, right out there with them, is actor and
activist, Danny Glover, whose parents were both postal workers.
Earlier this week, I got a chance to sit down with Mr. Glover and asked him
what needs to be done to make sure an institution like the Post Office is
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANNY GLOVER, ACTOR: The Post Office has been diminished in so many
different ways, attempts of privatizing a portion of their services, things
like that, cutting back the number of distribution services, post offices
So there`s been a whole -- distribution centers. There`s been a whole
attempt to kind of narrow the Post Office in an attempt to stream line it,
and most people think it is a bad word to privatize it.
How are you going to privatize something that belongs to all of us? The
Post Office makes its revenue from the services that it provides. If you
provide more services, it will make more revenue as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Much more with my conversation with Danny Glover touching on mass
incarceration and the new civil rights movement will be here tomorrow night
at 8:00 p.m.
HAYES: Up next, my visit to a police training facility in New Jersey where
I had the opportunity to try out a state of the art simulator to help
police make better split second decisions when faced with a potential
threat in the field.
I came out with a better appreciation of how difficult those decisions can
be. In one simulation, I encountered a man illegally dumping debris from
his truck and attempted to de-escalate the situation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: OK. Can you drop that, please, for me, that concrete block?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want me to put the block down?
HAYES: Yes, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, put the block down.
HAYES: Whoa, whoa, whoa.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Coming up, I`ll be joined by three former New York City police
officers to talk about decisions law enforcement must make every day in
cities across America.
And if you have any questions for them or one of our producers during the
segment or afterwards, you can ask them on our Facebook page,
HAYES: In New York City yesterday, surveillance video captured a police
officer shooting a suspect who just attacked another officer with a claw
hammer. The entire incident begins and ends in mere seconds.
It was the latest in a series of police shootings caught on camera. While
some of these shootings appear to be justified, many others do not. It
helped draw the rise of a protest movement particularly against young black
While protesters show malice in cases, police say the public does not
understand how difficult it is to make those split second life or death
decisions when anyone you encounter might be harmed. I wanted to get a
better perspective so I set out to approximate that experience for myself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get on the ground!
HAYES (voice-over): It looked like a routine traffic stop until Lavar
Jones reached for his wallet. South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Sean
Gruber said he thought Jones was going for a gun.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did you shoot me?
HAYES: Jones survived and Gruber was fired and arrested. Now faces up to
20 years in prison. It was just one of a state of horrifying police
shootings caught on camera.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Move back. Move back. Move back.
HAYES: ALL IN wanted to find out how police train for such situations. So
we went to the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy in New Jersey
where police recruits first learned how to make split second decisions, not
in the streets, but here inside a 300 degree virtual reality simulator,
designed to teach officers when they should and shouldn`t use deadly force.
Sergeant Paul Carifi Jr. runs the training.
SGT. PAUL CARIFI JR., MORRIS COUNTY PUBLIC SAFETY TRAINING ACADEMY: It`s a
decision-making process, whether they`re going to use verbal commands,
escalate to maybe pepper spray, hands on or move on to deadly force.
HAYES: The simulator is interactive with Carifi at the controls deciding
what the actors will do and say based on how the trainee responds.
CARIFI: The actors will respond to your commands. So depending on how
that goes, it could start off at a very high, intense scenario, but based
on you being able to de-escalate through verbal commands and decision, it
now comes down and the problem is resolved.
HAYES: I was outfitted with a real gun, modified to shoot a laser as well
as a can of pepper spray that mimics a real thing and an impulse device
clipped to my belt which would give me an electric shot to indicate I had
been shot. Most scenarios being with information from police dispatch.
DISPATCHER: Neighbor is reporting a male subject dumping materials out of
a pickup truck into a vacant lot on the northwest corner.
HAYES: My first call is about a man illegally dumping debris from his
(on camera): OK, can you drop that please for me, that concrete block.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want me to put the block down?
HAYES: Yes, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, I`ll put the block down.
HAYES: Whoa, whoa, whoa, easy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, all right.
HAYES (voice-over): Afterward, Sergeant Carifi reviewed my decision.
CARIFI: OK, now, you drew your weapon here.
HAYES (on camera): I probably shouldn`t have.
CARIFI: OK, right. Because even if he attempts to throw that block at
you, how far can he throw that block? You are able to step back --
HAYES: Right. Yes.
CARIFI: Also, what are some of the other options you have on you?
HAYES: Pepper spray.
CARIFI: Would you be -- if guy is going to attempt to throw this block at
you, could you have pepper sprayed him?
DISPATCHER: Caller reporting a male subject, yelling at a female in a
vacant lot on the northwest corner.
HAYES (voice-over): My next call, dispatch says a male subject is yelling
at a female in a vacant lot.
(on camera): Turn around. Hold on a second.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Man, everything is cool. Don`t even worry about it. I
got this. I`ll take care of it.
HAYES: Hold on a second. Can you please tell me your name, Ma`am?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t worry about it. She`s with me. I`m going to
take care of it.
HAYES: Hold on one second, take a step back right now. I`m going to need
you to take a step back. Ma`am, can you tell me your name? Do you need
any medical assistance?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, man, I`m taking her home. Ain`t no crime here.
Take off. Thank you.
HAYES: OK, I hear what you`re saying. Step back. Ma`am, I`m going to ask
you if you need any medical assistance.
(voice-over): At this point, the man runs away, leaving me with the woman.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don`t you come near me. Leave me the (inaudible)
HAYES (on camera): OK, calm down. All right, are you OK? I`m going to
ask you to put that needle down, please. Put the needle down. Put --
thank you very much.
CARIFI: Do you feel this would be a deadly force, that this would warrant
CARIFI: No. It would not. It`s only a little needle. Yes, if you were
stabbed by it, depending on what could be on that needle, but could you get
away? You have your pepper spray, you have many other options.
HAYES: You know what`s also interesting is the way you perceive threat
between a man and a woman. That dude, that seemed more threatening, a guy
with a cinderblock even though that wasn`t that much more threatening than
her with a needle, but it seemed a lot more threatening.
CARIFI: It`s one of the things when we train the officers and especially
the new recruits is a woman can hurt you just as much as a man can.
HAYES (voice-over): I ran through a number of additional simulations,
usually arriving upon a scene of disorder, but the possibility of violence
HAYES: Whoa! Jesus Christ.
(voice-over): The training conditions you to remember that anyone might
have a firearm and they may take it out at any time and try to kill you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Creepy.
HAYES (on camera): OK, I`m going to need you to stand back there. Whoa,
Jesus. Drop the weapon. Stand back. I`m going to need you to get up.
Get up, get up and stand --
(voice-over): In the vast majority of real situations, of course, the
suspect does not pull out a gun. I asked Carifi how he could train
recruits for the worst without create ago police force that is too ready to
CARIFIN: We instil in them that, listen, you need to train for these
things should they happen, but the majority of the time, it`s not going to
happen. I`ll bet you that if the media reporting on this were to actually
go through that training.
They would have a whole different perspective on what a police officer has
to go through and that split second timing that they have to make that life
or death situation, that decision.
HAYES: I did just that. I definitely came away with an appreciation for
how hard the job is. But also, an appreciation for just how easy and how
dangerous it is to come to see everyone you encounter as your enemy.
HAYES: With me now, three former police officers, all of whom served on
the streets of New York City. Steve Osborne, former commanding officer of
Manhattan Gang Squad and author of "The Job: True Tales in the Life of New
York City Cop."
Dr. Robert Gonzalez, a 20-year veteran, former NYPD assistant commissioner
for training, responsible of putting in place new programs for the largest
police force in the country.
And Eric Sanders, a retired NYPD officer, member of the National
Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and now an attorney
representing clients in civil rights and criminal cases. We are going to
talk about police training, a whole lot more about life as a cop. That`s
ahead. Stick around.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Stand back. I want you to get up, get up, get up and stand --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We`re back with three NYPD veterans, former Manhattan Gang Squad
Commander Steve Osborne, retired NYPD officer and Attorney Eric Sanders,
and Dr. Robert Gonzalez, who developed new training programs for NYPD
All right, so first we`re just talking about this training. There are only
about 55 of these in the country, I think. Did you guys go through this?
That didn`t exist when you were training, I imagine.
DR. ROBERT GONZALEZ, FORMER NYPD ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER FOR TRAINING:
Right. No. We actually did, actually. The NYPD did the research on the
particular device you went through, which is a 300-degree system. It`s a
phenomenal system. It`s actually real to life.
It puts you in a real life scenario, adrenalin, you know, and it tests your
judgment and reactions to certain types of scenarios and situations. The
NYPD currently has a couple of these devices that they purchase.
And they actually use them and bring them out to community meetings so that
the community can actually participate in some of these scenarios to get a
feel for what it`s like to be a police officer and make these judgment-
HAYES: Before we get to force, before we even get to that, here is one of
the things that struck me is I think we watched cop shows, police
procedural. And it`s about crime.
There`s been a murder and then they show up and they -- you know, the
tweezers with the bullets and the -- we all know that, right? So you think
that`s what being -- you know, from the training and also from police
officers I interviewed, a huge amount of being a cop is you just show up on
the scenes of disorder.
Two guys tried to go for the same parking place, they crash into each
other. And ex has showed up at the house and the current love interest is
there and they`re screaming at each other. That was one of the scenarios.
And what struck me was I have zero equipment to deal with this. There`s
nothing illegal happening here necessarily. It`s two people screaming at
each other so I don`t know, stop yelling at each other. How do you train
ERIC SANDERS, RETIRED NYPD OFFICER: But you do have equipment. You know
the most important equipment a police officer has? The brain. That is the
most important equipment a police officer has, to use their logic to think
STEVE OSBORNE, RETIRED NYPD OFFICER: There`s an old saying that in police
work a cop`s mouth is his greatest weapon, to go into a chaotic situation
where everybody is yelling and screaming, sometimes there`s alcohol,
there`s drugs involved, to be able to talk everybody down. When you see a
real experience cop do that, it`s a magical thing.
HAYES: Right, but then the question is how do you train to produce that
magical thing because it occurred to me if I was 25 years old with a gun,
showing up with two people screaming at each other, I literally don`t know
-- I consider myself a pretty smooth talker.
Talk for a living, right? I don`t know. So from a training perspective,
it`s like, how do you create the training conditions to actually produce
the skills in people to do that before anyone is doing anything with any
sort of weapon?
GONZALEZ: Well, the key was what you just said, which was skill. Being a
police office is in fact a skill. We take six months of academic education
followed by some sort of hands-on experience that we get hopefully from a
These skills that you get as far as de-escalation about how to
communicate, you know, using voice tones and things of that nature, all the
things that come with time, they come with seniority and they come with
skill. It`s not something you have when you get out of the police academy.
It`s something you develop.
HAYES: Let me ask you this, the "New York Times" are in this piece and
they said this was the typical cadet training, how to use a gun, 58 hours,
defensive tactics, 49 hours, how to calm situations without force, 8 hours.
Is that the right balance?
GONZALEZ: More or less, I mean, there is a certain standard depending on
what state and jurisdiction.
HAYES: Not is that the correct balance. Is that the right balance? Like
should those numbers be what they are?
GONZALEZ: Well, you only have a certain amount of hours to educate a
police officer within six months and you have to prioritize what`s
important. The real hands-on experience takes place after this great.
So you have to formulate some sort of academic curriculum. It`s probably
accurate. But the real skills training, the hands-on experience doesn`t
take place until after you hit the street.
SANDERS: I said from the beginning, and my philosophy, again, part of the
problem is, and it`s going to be a little too short for this, it`s how you
screen the people then. It`s who are you bringing into the police
Police work is not for every person and I think that`s part of what the
major component is. I don`t think the training is necessarily a problem.
I think it`s --
HAYES: What kind of person is going to respond to those?
SANDERS: Have you seen it and --
HAYES: But here is the other thing I have to ask. Let`s say I go in, I`m
a cheerful guy, I`m an optimist, I love people, OK? This is a serious
point. And then every day, all day long, I just see people at their worst,
all day long, screaming, domestic violence, someone beating up the person
that he is married to.
People in the depths of addiction, grips of addiction, people being
violent, duplicity, all I see all day, how are you not -- terrible and
expect terrible things from people every time you encounter them?
OSBORNE: One of the benefits of being a cop is we get a lot of vacation
time. And the reason you get it is some days you have to get away from it.
You know, if things have been busy day after day, month after month, and
sometimes you just have to -- I`m taking a week off. I need to get away.
GONZALEZ: You have to kind of detox like he said, from the vigorous daily
routine of dealing with people at their worst. Unfortunately, that`s the
downside to policing. You get called to a scene and things are not good.
SANDERS: Another component that no one thinks about. Police officers, you
know, especially in New York and other places, they used to interact with
lots of people on the streets. That`s not necessarily the problem.
You know what really burns police officers? What goes on internally,
that`s what burns them more than anything else, as far as quotas, times,
things you have to do, that`s a bigger burden to the police officers.
HAYES: You`re saying the organizational policies? Yes.
GONZALEZ: Most police resignations are not a result of dealing with the
community. They`re a result of what`s happening in the station house,
things of that nature.
HAYES: Now let`s talk about use of force. One thing that occurred to me
was -- another thing that occurred to me is that training would be very
different in Belgium or Japan or a country where no one has guns.
A huge part of the way you are trained to think about is yes, they have a
gun. Is that true, do you think?
OSBORNE: Over the years ago a cop and a supervisor, I was involved in
literally thousands of arrests. And everything goes smooth, everything
goes smooth, it goes smooth.
For me, it was when I least expected it, I had little to no warning, you go
to ring the guy`s doorbell, there was some wall street guy, I went to go
lock him up, he answered the door with a gun and a vest on.
Stopped two guys in the street just to question them, the guy pulls out a
gun for me and the next thing I know I`m in a fight for my life so you
always have to be prepared.
HAYES: But here is the question. This is the thing I wanted to see in
this training. How do you strike the right balance? Because you don`t
want to -- you need to train officers to focus on that moment that`s going
to be the worst, most dangerous moment.
But what you don`t want to do is create a false impression of how calming
that`s going to be, they have this aggressive expectation that they saw
play out with that South Carolina state trooper where a guy goes for his
wallet, how do you do it?
GONZALEZ: We set up scenario based training where we put officers in
training and critique their actions. We have a fun house or attack house
where they bring you into this tactical village and they go and assess how
you handle particular situations.
And the first thing we assess when we look at those types of incidents is
that you don`t run into it overzealous. If you remember from your
scenario, you had your gun out when you didn`t even need it.
HAYES: You`re right. Yes.
GONZALEZ: So we want to make sure that when we do training that we
actually have scenarios that you don`t have to use force.
HAYES: But are they doing that well enough? Are they striking that
balance well enough?
GONZALEZ: Like we said earlier, there are hundreds of thousands of
contacts that we have on a regular basis and they become routine. The
public critiques those high profile cases when police officers may do
something that may seem like borderline and it makes us seem like that`s
all we do is borderline contacts.
OSBORNE: But the NYPD handles about 4.5 million 911 calls per year, 80,000
involves weapons. You don`t hear about any of that --4.5 million calls for
service and 80,000 of them --
HAYES: But there`s a reason we hear about it when something goes wrong
because it`s a big deal when a police officer shoots someone. It`s a big
deal with when a police officer is shot. But these are the people that we
entrust to product us.
And in a case where -- there`s been a few cases recently, a mom calls and
her schizophrenic son is having an episode and he ends up dead. That`s the
worst possible outcome. That makes someone think twice about calling the
GONZALEZ: That`s true. That`s absolutely correct.
HAYES: Can we talk about bias for a second?
HAYES: We know as a matter of social science, people have implicit --
there`s a -- there`s an experiment on a shooting game, right? Where you
have to decide if someone has a grocery bag or a gun and, you know, shows
and video simulations people are more likely to shoot black suspects than
they are white even if the black suspect is unarmed. We know this. This
is an established thing.
The police training we talked to didn`t seem to have an active mod you`ll
to attack that. Does the NYPD and are police departments doing enough to
attack a thing that is preconscious? It`s not --
GONZALEZ: Well, I mean, right now, especially nationally, we`re trying to
diversify our agencies, make our agencies more reflective of the
communities that we serve so that the officers that come in know that
they`re born with a culture and hopefully they`re going to behave and --
HAYES: Why are you laughing?
SANDERS: No, we`re not doing enough. This goes back to the screening
process. We know there`s bias. We know there have been studies going way
back to 2000, 2002 famous studies done on this saying police officers do
engage in a bias. The problem is, the screening processes don`t deal with
HAYES: Neither screening nor diversity solves the problem. The thing we
know from the research is that everybody has it even African-Americans,
Latinos, have anti-black bias in those simulations.
OSBORNE: Experience and maturity, that`s the answer. Over the years, I`ve
had a very rich white guy pull a gun and try to shoot me, a black man
pulled a gun and try and shoot me. When I look at somebody, I treat
everybody evenly, unfortunately after all of those incidents, you kind of
look at everybody as a threat sometimes.
HAYES: Equality is achieved by complete unanimous skepticism.
OSBORNE: Survival on the street.
HAYES: Former Manhattan Gang Squad Commander Steve Osborne, Retired NYPD
officer and attorney, Eric Sanders, and Dr. Robert Gonzalez, who developed
training for NYPD recruits, thank you all. I really learned a lot from
A reminder, all three of our guests might be answering any questions you
might still have. Go to our Facebook page, facebook.com/allinwithchris and
pose your questions. That`s ALL IN for this evening. The "RACHEL MADDOW"
show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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