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PoliticsNation, Thursday, May 28th, 2015

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Date: May 28, 2015
Guest: Victoria Defrancesco Soto; Jonathan Cohn; Kathy Koja, Charlena
Michelle Cooks, Caree Harper, Jessica Price, Alan Van Capelle

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you for
tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, the immigration debate erupting as a defining issue in
2016. Today, we`re learning Jeb Bush is going on offense. "The Washington
Post" reporting in a conference call yesterday, Bush said he supports,
quote, "a path to earned legal status." And quote, "I find it interesting
that people who share that view rather than stick with the view and try to
persuade people about it, in many cases, have actually abandoned their
views. If we`re going to bend with the wind, then it will be hard to
imagine how we solve our problems," end of quote.

He`s going after Marco Rubio and Scott Walker, who used to support a path
to citizenship. Now Rubio`s backed away from it, and what about Walker?


GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: My view has changed. I`m flat-out
saying it. Candidates can say that.


SHARPTON: Can anyone else see this issue sinking the party in the future?
There`s a growing impact of Hispanic votes. Since 2000, the non-Hispanic
population in the U.S. grew by six percent. The Hispanic population grew
by more than 48 percent. The population is growing, but fewer are voting
for Republican presidents. And today, Jeb Bush said he could reverse that


JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: I got more Hispanic votes in my re-
election effort than I got white votes. How many people can make that
claim? And I can make it based on reality.


SHARPTON: We`re still working on fact checking that claim. But while the
rest of the GOP is going right on immigration, Jeb Bush wants to go in a
different direction. The big question, will that last in a Republican

Joining me now, Clarissa Martinez De-Castro, deputy vice president for the
national council of La Rossa, and MSNBC contributor, Victoria Defrancesco
Soto. Thank you both for being here.

ROSSA: Thank you.


SHARPTON: Clarissa, what do you make of Jeb Bush`s comments, criticizing
others in his party who abandoned immigration reform?

MARTINEZ-DE-CASTRO: Well, more to the substance of his comment, I would
say that I welcome those comments on two fronts. One, as a Latino civil
rights organization that believes in sensible immigration policies, I
appreciate his sticking to his position on immigration, which, by the way,
is a position of the vast majority of the American public.

And secondly, as an American and as a voter, I also welcome when a
politician comes under fire for positions that they have, that they stand
on those positions. And that is something to be said, whether I agree or
disagree with their positions. He did that on immigration and on common
core, which is an ash that also the national council supports.

SHARPTON: So you support the substance of what he`s saying, regardless as
to whether you question his motivation or his record.

MARTINEZ-DE-CASTRO: Well, the motivation of any and all of these
politicians, obviously, is to try to win votes.


MARTINEZ-DE-CASTRO: But I think the notable thing is that, even when
others have run away from this issue, he has stuck to what has been a lean
forward position, trying to find sensible common ground on immigration.

SHARPTON: All right. Victoria, Jeb says this now, but there are questions
for him on the issue of flip-flopping. What will he say on the debate
stage, is the question?

SOTO: Reverend, if I were a betting woman, I would say, he`s going to
stick with this. He has tried to carve out a space, because the GOP field
is going to be so crowded, he wants to stand out. And this is what he`s
picked to stand out with.

The other thing, Reverend, is, I think he`s taking a page out of his
brother`s playbook. George W. Bush took a very strong stand. If we think
back to 2000, there were also pushes against immigration and George Bush,
W. Bush, early on said, you know what? These folks are hard-working
people. They have family values. We need to embrace them rather than shun
them. So George W. Bush, in 2000, was able to court the Latino vote again
in 2004.

So I think Jeb Bush is hoping that the same strategy is going to win in the
primary. And then he`s going to be able to turn around and really
challenge Hillary toe-to-toe in a general election, if he`s able to get
there. He says it`s not a full pathway to citizenship that I support, but
a pathway to legalization. So, he is hoping that this is going to be
enough to have his cake and eat it too.

SHARPTON: Now, Clarissa, we`ll give him credit. He also made the case
today, that Republicans have to try to expand their base. Listen to this.


BUSH: You have to campaign in places where Republicans haven`t done that
well. Campaign amongst young people, campaign in the Latino communities,
Asian-Americans, where in the presidential race, at least, we`ve lost by a
pretty sizable plurality. The 2014 election, those gaps narrowed
dramatically. And I think we can build on that.


SHARPTON: Now, it is the right thing to say, but can the GOP expand its
vote among Hispanic and Asian voters?

MARTINEZ-DE-CASTRO: They have certainly done it before. We`ve heard
already and it`s documented fact that when W. Bush was president, he
managed to not only get a sizable amount of support from Latinos no his
first run, but actually increased it on the second.

Look. Latinos, like any other voter, we don`t have a Democratic gene or a
Republican gene, we want to hear from candidates who are going to make
meaningful positions on the issues the community cares about. I think
that`s what we`re hungry for. We also, like other voters, don`t like
politicians who at any given moment you don`t know what they stand for. At
least if you don`t agree with somebody on the issue, you can agree that
they have a principled position. That`s hard to do when you don`t know
where people stand on.

So is there a possibility for Republicans to increase their share of Latino
support, absolutely. But it`s not just based on words. It`s based on
meaningful outreach and a meaningful stance on the positions, on the issues
that we care about.

At the end of the day, I think that Republicans have been, where it comes
to the Latino vote, they have been their own worst enemy and Democrats`
best friend. We`ll see if they continue to do that.

SHARPTON: You know, Victoria, that`s true, I agree with that. But the
fact of the matter is, since George Bush, Republicans have been going down,
down, down, in terms of the vote that they get from the Hispanic community.
For example, "the Wall Street Journal," the reason that`s significant, "the
Wall Street Journal" had a piece recently, polls showed that in 2016,
Hispanic voters could play key roles as the swing voters. We`ve seen
Republicans do worse and worse with Hispanic voters, will that change?

SOTO: It all depends on the GOP. And I agree with Clarissa that substance
matters, not flip-flopping. But I also think the tenor manners. Because
somebody can come out and say, you know what, I don`t really agree with
expanding immigration reform, but you don`t have to attack Latinos per se
and call them a bunch of derogatory names, such as Mitt Romney used the
term, self-deportation.

So I think that even if Republicans don`t come out and say, we want
comprehensive immigration reform or even a pathway, if they tone down their
rhetoric, I think some Latinos who are maybe more socially conservative and
more fiscally conservative, will be open to listening to the Republican
message. Just here in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott, who didn`t take an
anti-Latino tone in his campaign, got 44 percent of the Latino vote in his
at last gubernatorial race. So if you expand that out, you can see where
Republicans do have a shot. But, it`s in their hands, if they want to do

Again, they have been their worst enemy in the past, so in 2016, I see it
as a fork in the rode. They could either start to recuperate the Latino
vote, or see Latinos get closer and closer to the Democratic Party and
maybe see upwards of 80 percent of Latino votes for the Democratic Party.

SHARPTON: Clarissa, I agree with something you said, that people should
vote their interests. And I say that to every community that I talk to,
people vote their interests. None of us are born with a party label
attached to our diaper. But the question becomes interests, and whether
you believe people are going to serve your interests.

I`m out of time, but tell me, quickly, what do you think Hispanic voters
want to hear from the democratic or Republican candidate that would be the
thing that would really turn out big numbers in the Hispanic community in
terms of voting in 2016?

MARTINEZ-DE-CASTRO: Forward lean on sensible policies and support for
action is galvanizing. Similarly important is to talk very specifically
about the candidates` formula to make sure that families are going to be
able to earn a decent wage to support their families with dignity.

SHARPTON: All right, Clarissa Martinez-De-Castro and Victoria Defrancesco
Soto, thank you both for your time tonight.


SHARPTON: Straight ahead, breaking news, on former speaker of the house,
Dennis Hastert, has been indicted on federal charges.

Also, the controversial arrest of a pregnant woman in California and how
the body cam video that shows what happened in the moments before.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is ridiculous! What are you doing?! What are
you doing?!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please, I`m pregnant! Please!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Quit resisting, ma`am!


SHARPTON: Plus, Speaker Boehner is proud of his Obamacare lawsuit going to
court today, even as millions of Americans have been saved by it.

But everyone`s favorite 2-year-old is at it again. Riley Curry is stealing
her famous dad`s thunder.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very, very happy and proud of how we played tonight.
You know, everybody on the court produced, made plays.



SHARPTON: Breaking news tonight. Federal prosecutors have indicted former
speaker of the house, Dennis Hastert, on banking related charges. The
Illinois Republican is accused of staggering withdrawals of more than
$950,000 to avoid the transactions being reported. He`s also accused of
lying to the FBI. Again, Dennis Hastert, indicted on federal charges


SHARPTON: House speaker John Boehner targeted the White House on a new
front today in a court of law. The goal of the lawsuit is to strip away
part of the affordable care act. The judge heard arguments today, but did
not make a ruling. It comes just a few weeks before the Supreme Court will
announce its decision on a different part of the law. And that ruling
could hurt people in 34 states, who depend on subsidies to pay their
insurance bills. Coverage for 7.5 million people is on the line. And we
cannot forget, these are people, not just numbers on a screen.


ADAM KELLY: In 2011, I was laid off from a job I had for ten years. I
called the insurance company those covering us through cobra to see how
much it would cost to continue the same coverage for my family with new
plan. They told me it would cost us $4,000 a month to get the same
coverage. After enrolling, I had a smile on my face for about a week.

VANITA JOHNSON, DETROIT: In 2012, my youngest daughter discovered a lump
on her breast. All we could do was sit and pray. Our coverage started on
January 1st, 2014. Soon after we schedule our annual checkups, we were
able to pay for prescriptions without worry. In February, my daughter was
able to have the lump in her breast removed. Thank God it was not

KAREN HINES, VIRGINIA BEACH: I`m a well-educated, middle class woman, but
I could not obtain health insurance because I`m a three-time breast cancer
survivor. Thanks to this plan, I`ve been able to receive preventative care
that I have put off.


SHARPTON: This is not a political issue or a talking point. It`s a moral
outrage. Yes, those of us in public life take different positions and back
certain things based on party or based on our positions, but then there`s
some things that pierce through that. And this is one of them, when I have
sat with people in their living room, who had pre-existing conditions, and
they had no opportunity to deal with it until now.

When I see young people that had no access to health care, until age 26
until now, when I see people with no option other than this, this is
beyond, do you support the president or are you a Democrat or a Republican.
This is real life. Let`s not forget what we`re talking about here.

Joining me now is Kathy Koja, who depends on the subsidies for her
insurance through the affordable care act. And Jonathan Cohn, a senior
national correspondent at "the Huffington Post" and author of "Sick: the
untold story of America`s health care crisis and the people who pay the
price." Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Kathy, this is -- I mean, it really gets to me, because I don`t
think people understand that we`re talking about human beings with no real
options in many cases, other than this. Why did you sign up for the
affordable care act?

KOJA: Well, because there was no other option for myself and my husband.
We`re both freelance workers with microbusinesses and to try to carry
insurance and pay the premium at a punishing deductible is just not an

SHARPTON: So you were not looking for a handout, you were looking for a
way to really deal with serious, critical issues. I mean, this is not a
social statement for you. This is real.

KOJA: Absolutely. And that`s why it`s called the affordable care act, not
the freebie care act. We just want to be able to afford health care that
makes us not only, you know, more productive workers and better citizens,
it takes the worry from everyday life.

SHARPTON: Jonathan, Republican senator been says wrote in the "Wall Street
Journal" about what could happen if the Supreme Court takes away the
subsidies. He says quote "chemotherapy turned off for perhaps 12,000
people, dialysis going dark for 10,000. The horror stories will be real.
What will happen next is predictable, a deluge of attacks on Republicans
for supposedly having caused this." Is that the mood of the Republican
Party right now on this issue, Jonathan?

COHN: Well, I think it`s certainly a fear that some Republicans have. You
know, in my conversations with Republican staff on Capitol Hill, and what
you read and what you hear on television, they sort of fall into two camps.
There is a group like the senator you just mentioned, who say, uh-oh, this
could be trouble, because, you know, lots of people are going to lose
health insurance and we`re going to get blamed for that, because after all,
we have supported this lawsuit. And if the Supreme Court rules this way,
it will become because a Republican majority on the Supreme Court ruled
this way.

But then you have another group of Republicans, who, frankly, don`t seem so
bothered by this prospect. As far as they are concerned, Obamacare is
evil. Obamacare is a train wreck. They focus on the stories of people who
have not fared so well under the law and there are people who haven`t made
out so well. But they completely ignore the millions who have gotten
insurance, the millions like Kathy and they simply pretend they don`t
exist. You know, what happens afterwards, if court makes its decision, is
I think they`ll find out that these people do exist and they`re going to be

SHARPTON: Kathy, you were actually at the Supreme Court for the arguments
earlier this year. What was that like for you?

KOJA: It was both heartening and disheartening to see that there were so
many of us in, you know, in the same boat as I am. And there were people
who had far more difficult situations to deal with every day, because of
pre-existing conditions or because of children, but it was heartening to
see so many people were willing to stand up and say, as you pointed out,
this is not a partisan issue. We are citizens. Please give us health

SHARPTON: If you could talk to politicians, trying to repeal Obamacare,
what would you say to them?

KOJA: My question would be, why? Why is this even a situation for our
country and for our citizens, and why is political animus allowed to drive
this discussion to a point that it arrives at the Supreme Court.

SHARPTON: Jonathan, this is not a game, this is real. What do you expect
from the Supreme Court? What do you think will happen and what will the
impact be?

COHN: Well, you know, I`m predicting what the Supreme Court is going to do
is awfully difficult. We don`t know. You know, the best I can say is, I
can imagine it going either way. You know, on the one hand, you have five
Republicans who clearly don`t like President Obama, who clearly don`t like
the affordable care act, and with this one vote, they can take a huge chunk
out of the law, and basically decimate it in two-thirds of the states.

On the other hand, I do think chief justice Roberts, in particular, thinks
about the reputation of the court. I think he didn`t want to be perceived
as partisan, and I think the fundamentals of this case, just from a legal
standpoint, are incredibly weak, and I think he knows that a decision like
this would be seen a lot like, you know, Bush v. Gore, a case of a
Republican majority tipping one way to help its side. And so, I think that
will weigh heavily on his mind, in particular, and at the end of the day,
you know, which way he goes, which way the rest of the court goes, you
know, it`s impossible to say.

SHARPTON: Kathy Koja and Jonathan Cohn, thank you so much for your time

And Kathy, thanks for sharing your story.

KOJA: Thank you.

COHN: Thanks for having us.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, police open an internal investigation into the
controversial arrest of a woman who was eight months pregnant. It was all
caught on tape. I`ll talk to the woman in that video.

Also, new revelations about how poverty affects kids before they even enter
kindergarten. It`s time to address education as a civil rights issue.


SHARPTON: A dispute in a parking lot leads to a controversial arrest. The
woman involved was eight months pregnant. And now some are demanding
answers. We`ll talk to that woman and her lawyer, next.


SHARPTON: Now to developing news. California police opening an internal
investigation into the controversial arrest of a woman who was eight months
pregnant. The officer involved was wearing a body camera and the whole
thing was caught on tape.



ridiculous! What are you doing?! What are you doing?!


COOKS: Please, I`m pregnant! Please!

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Why are you resisting then?


SHARPTON: It happened in January, when two women had a dispute in a school
parking lot. But those women had very different encounters with the police
officer who interviewed them. You can see the officer, first talking to
the school employee, who made the complaint.


UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: What`s going on, ma`am?

COOKS: I was right here, and I work here, and this lady is standing
there, she just comes out, and almost gets me, so I honk, and she`s like,
who the hell you think you`re honking at? And I`m like, I`m turning, my
blinker is on, you can`t drive like that in the parking lot. And she just
starts yelling at me, hurries up in front of me, parks right here, all
crazy, gets out of her car, punches my window, throws something, whatever
that brown thing is, she throws it and she is screaming at me.


COOKS: Miss Anderson is out here you can ask her.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Okay. Is your window damaged? Anything
damaged at all?

COOKS: No, she scared the hell out of me.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: I don`t see a crime that has been committed.
If there was damages, I would give you the opportunity to place her under
citizens` arrest if you wanted too. I don`t see any crime. I`m going to
document her name. Probably review her story, where, you know, it was your
fault, and then this and that. But we`ll just document that and see where
her car is and we`ll go from there, okay?


SHARPTON: The officer says he doesn`t see any crime. And he doesn`t ask
the first woman for a name. But when he talks to the other woman, he does
ask for her name. Take a look.


COOKS: She was honking and honking I`ll get out and see what she wants.
She was like, um, you cannot drive out here. This is a one-lane thing.
Um, she was like, this is a one-lane thing. I`m going to hit your car.
Just go, just go. I said, who are you talking to like that? So I parked,
walked my daughter up to here. And I was like, listen, do you have a
problem? Because you talking to me like I`m your child or something. You
know, you can say something like, it`s a one-lane thing, but I never know
it`s a one-lane thing, because I always see two cars driving through. And
she`s acting all scared and stuff, because she`s, I don`t know. I don`t

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: She said you threw something on her car.

COOKS: I didn`t throw nothing at her car. I had my daughter right there,
my daughter was scared.


COOKS: My second-grader was scared.


COOKS: Exactly. She called the police for whatever reason, I don`t know.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: You know, some people just feel like
sometimes they`re, you know --

COOKS: Well, because she`s white?


COOKS: She`s white and she`s making threats to me?


COOKS: I feel threatened by her.


COOKS: I went in there to let them know. Because I know she works here.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Okay. What is your name, ma`am.


SHARPTON: Again, he did not ask the first woman for her name, but he does
ask the second. Here`s how it plays out.


UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: What is your name, ma`am?

COOKS: I`m not giving you my name.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: I actually do have the right to ask you for
your name.

COOKS: Okay, let me make sure. Let me make sure.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Well, how long is it going to be for you to
make sure, okay?

COOKS: Let me make sure, because I`m not about to get harassed by a police

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Well, you know, one, ma`am, I have every
right to ask you for your name. Okay?


Ma`am, ma`am -- no, no, no. Michelle, what? What is your name?

COOKS: Let me get a person --

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Ma`am, I`m going to give you two minutes.


SHARPTON: The officer says he`ll give her two minutes to call someone.
But as the video shows, he only waits about 20 seconds before he moves to
arrest her.


UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Ma`am, I`m going to give you two minutes.

COOKS: Hello?


COOKS: They say something about they have to get me name and all that. I
don`t know because --

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Okay, ma`am, just give me your name, please.
Give me your name, please.

COOKS: I just told you, my name is Michelle.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Okay, it`s not good enough.

COOKS: I don`t feel comfortable right here.


COOKS: No, no, they trying to touch me! Don`t touch me! Don`t touch me!


COOKS: Do not touch me! I`m pregnant, do not touch me!

What the (bleep) is going on! Do not touch me! Do not touch me! Do not
touch me! Do not touch me! Do not touch me, sir! Do not touch me! Do not
touch me! I`m pregnant! Stop it!


COOKS: This is ridiculous! What are you doing?! What are you doing?!
Please, I`m pregnant!

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: So why are you resisting, ma`am? Why are you

COOKS: Please, I`m pregnant! Please! Please! Please stop! Please stop!

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Do you have your cuffs?


SHARPTON: It`s certainly difficult to watch. Remember, this woman is
eight months pregnant. The officer then walks her to the police car.




UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: So, you say you`re pregnant, so go ahead and
cooperate like that, so we don`t have to -- just go ahead and sit down,



COOKS: I need my daughter. She`s at school! I didn`t do anything wrong!

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Just go in there. I`m going to have to pull
you, ma`am. That`s all there is to it. We`re not going to argue this way
now. Okay? You`re going in, no matter what.

COOKS: I didn`t do anything!

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: You`re going to jail right now, okay?


SHARPTON: The woman, Charlena Michelle Cooks was charged with obstructing
a police officer. That charge has been dismissed. And last week, the city
of Barstow issued a statement saying, it is apparent that Miss Cook
actively resisted arrest. The Barstow Police Department continues to be
proactive in training its officers to assess and handle interactions with
emotionally charged individuals while conducting an investigation. This
incident was in no way racially motivated. Today, we reached out to the
Barstow Police Department for an interview. They declined. But did say
they have opened an internal investigation.

Joining me now is Charlena Michelle Cooks, the woman arrested in that
video. Her Attorney Caree Harper and Jessica Price of the ACLU, which
obtained the body cam footage. Thank you all for being here.

Al, for having us.

COOKS: Thank you.


SHARPTON: Charlene, first of all, how are you and how is your new baby,
Olive, I believe is the name? How is Olive is doing?

COOKS: I`m just watching her closely, you know, watching her development,
monitoring it closely.

SHARPTON: Because, when he grabbed you and, you were on your belly, eight
months pregnant. Am I seeing the tape right?


SHARPTON: Tell me about the incident from your point of view. What was
going through your mind when all of this was going on?

COOKS: I just didn`t understand why he was putting his hands on me. I
didn`t understand what got to that point.

SHARPTON: If you could go back in time, would you have done anything


HARPER: And you know, Reverend Al, a lot of times, that question is posed
to the victim or the survivor of excessive force, what is it that the
survivor did or could have done differently, but as you mentioned earlier,
the energy that was presented to the woman who portrayed herself as the
damsel in distress, the energy from the officers were very loving and
tender kindness. They approached my client with a totally different type
of energy.

SHARPTON: Well, what struck me, Attorney Harper, is that he said there was
no crime.

HARPER: Yes, sir.

SHARPTON: So I don`t understand why they approached like that in the first
place. And he never asked the first lady for her name, or even to prove
that she worked there. I mean, he just took her word for it. I work here.
No identity, no establishing anything. Yet he walks over to your client,
when he said there was no crime, and automatically moves towards, what`s
your name? I mean, I don`t understand how this tape does not in many ways
raise serious questions.

HARPER: It raises serious questions and we intend to have those questions
answered. We will be filing in a federal court.

SHARPTON: Jessica, let me ask you from ACLU, you, thank God ACLU was able
to obtain this tape. How did you get it, and was the officer within his
rights to ask Charlena for her name?

PRICE: So the video was presented in court by the district attorney`s
office as part of their attempts to get a conviction of Miss Cooks for
obstructing, delaying, or resisting a police officer. Thankfully, the
video came to light, because it makes it clear that the arrest is based on
her failure to provide identification. Yes, an officer can demand a person
provide identification. But generally, that person is not obliged to
answer, is not required to say anything, and their refusal to provide
identification cannot serve as the basis for their arrest.

SHARPTON: So that would not be resisting or obstruction?

PRICE: It does not qualify as resisting or obstruction.

SHARPTON: Caree, you`re a former police officer.

HARPER: Yes, sir.

SHARPTON: What could this officer have done to de-escalate this situation?

HARPER: Reverend Al, he could have done a plethora of things. First of
all, talked to her in the same manner in which he treated the blond female
at the beginning. He could have given her the scenario, what was
presented, he could have made a request. She said "Michelle." He clearly
he asked for her name. He did not say, provide me with your last name. He
did not say, if you dot no do this, we are going to take you to jail.
There was nothing that indicated, hey, by the way, we`re getting ready to
face-plant an eight-month-old pregnant woman in the schoolyard that her
younger daughter attends, in front of classmates, teachers, and other
parents. He could have treated her more humanly. That`s -- it`s just --
it`s a human thing. It`s not blue. He could have been treated her in the
way in which he treated the other female that was involved.

SHARPTON: Charlena, the Barstow Police Department says it`s opening an
internal investigation. What`s your reaction to that?

COOKS: I`m a little bit relieved.

SHARPTON: You are a little relieved. Do you feel that there can be some
justice and what would you like to see come out of this at this point?

COOKS: Just proper training, so it doesn`t happen again.

SHARPTON: And you say you`re monitoring the baby. You`re trying to
monitor in terms of, what is your concern there?

COOKS: The fall, you know, I fell directly on my stomach, so I`m not sure
if she suffered any damages from it. I just have to monitor her, you know?
She`s not able to tell me if something is wrong. So --

SHARPTON: Well, she`s a beautiful baby and God`s blessings on her.
Charlena Michelle Cooks, Caree Harper, and Jessica Price, thank you all
for your time tonight.

COOK: Thank you.

PRICE: Thank you.

HARPER: Thank you, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Straight ahead, a new study reveals how poverty in America hurts
kids as early as kindergarten. We`re going to talk about solutions.

Plus, the emotional reunion between a student who was pushed in front of a
train and the hero officers who rescued her.



PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: In every low-income community
around the country, there are programs that work to provide ladders of
opportunity to young people. We just haven`t figured out how to scale them


SHARPTON: President Obama recently speaking about young Americans in
poverty. We need to scale these programs up now more than ever. A new
report from the federal government reveals staggering numbers about
children, poverty, and education. There were 10.9 million school aged
children living in poverty in 2013. That`s up six percent from 2000. And
the report just explains how early the effects of poverty are impacting our
children. Quote, "living in poverty during early childhood is associated
with lower than average academic performance that begins in current and
extends through elementary and high school." Living in poverty during
early childhood is associated with lower than average rates of school
completion. Education is the most important civil rights issue of our
time. And we all need to work together on solutions. Every child in
America deserves a fair shot.


OBAMA: We can do something about these issues. I think it is a mistake
for us to suggest that somehow, every effort we make has failed and we are
powerless to address poverty. That`s just not true.


SHARPTON: It`s not true. We can do something about poverty. And this new
study should be a wake-up call to everyone.

Joining me now is Alan Van Capelle, president and CEO of the Educational
Alliance here in New York City. His organization runs a network of
community centers and it`s been at the forefront of the head start program.
Thank you for being here tonight, Alan.

having me, Rev.

SHARPTON: Let`s focus on solutions. What are some of the things we can do
to address the issues raised in this report?

CAPELLE: Well, the first thing is, I don`t think this report tells us
anything, those of us who have been doing this work haven`t known for a
really long time. These folks are our neighbors. And what we know is that
our neighbors are struggling. And we feel it when they`re struggling and
we feel it when they`re having good times. And every morning I stand
inside on the Lower East Side, outside of our building, that was the first
kindergarten in the city of New York, first head start program, first early
head start program, and I think of the families that walk into our building
and I think the odds are stacked against them. Because 20 percent of those
families earning less than $20,000 a year. Here`s what we`re doing.

SHARPTON: Less than 20,000.

CAPELLE: Less than $20,000 in New York.

SHARPTON: In New York.

CAPELLE: And that district on the Lower East Side has a graduation rate of
37 percent.


CAPELLE: Why isn`t there a Ferguson-style protest on the streets on that
every single night, with 37 percent?

SHARPTON: Thirty seven percent.

CAPELLE: But I`ll tell you something. Hundred percent of our kids in our
college prep program, they`re graduating high school, if you make it in.
Do you know why they`re graduating? Because we have a high persistence
rate. Because we`re the 12th largest boys and girls club of America, in
the country. Because we know every young person`s name who comes into our
building. We know their family, we know who`s doing well in their family
and who`s not. And it gets to the reality, is that if you want to help
educate children, you got to support the family, if we don`t lift up
families, you don`t have strong communities. And so, our approach to head
start education, is a two-generation approach. We have 600 head start
kids, 53 percent of our head start families are taking classes with us.

SHARPTON: Fifty three percent. Now, you know, on this show, we deal with
data, but I like to deal with real human stuff, which a lot of people don`t
do. Tell me about a family you`ve worked with, gone through your program,
with you, that`s been able to make life better?

CAPELLE: I mean, I could tell you of a ton. We have some families that
come in and speak no English. Their kids are going to head start while
their kids are in class, they`re learning English so they can speak to
their child`s doctor and their teacher. Other families, 35 of our families
right now are in college. Through CUNY (ph) a program we have with the
Berg Manhattan Community College. Fifty three percent of our 600 families
are taking courses with us, financial literacy, English as a second
language, college access courses and they`re doing it while their children
are in school and we`re smart enough to give them stipends so they keep
coming back and metro cards so they can get to us and the incentives they
need in order to succeed and keep up the persistence rate.

SHARPTON: I went to public schools in New York many years ago. And then I
went on this tour, President Obama asked Newt Gingrich and I to go with
Secretary Duncan. One of the things I kept hearing, which was striking, is
about the importance of nutrition, when young kids go to school now, and
how important that is in terms of their being able to learn, being
conducive to learning. Tell me about that.

CAPELLE: A child who is growing up in poverty can`t come to school
prepared to learn and we can`t expect that kid to do well if his belly is
empty. We can`t expect her to do well if she`s coming from a violent home.

SHARPTON: But why the bellies empty, explain to people watching, what does
that have to do with their learning?

CAPELLE: They`re distracted. I mean, food is the fuel. So we serve to
our head start students efficient, plant-based diets that are healthy. We
talk to them about healthy nutrition and then we take their parents food
shopping. And we teach them --

SHARPTON: Take their parents food shopping.

CAPELLE: And we teach them how to prepare meals, in schools. And you know
what I did, I went to one of our public schools, where we run after-school
programs. And I said to our staff, great people, I said, what can we do to
make a difference in the lives of our young people that we`re not doing
already. And they said, you can get New York City to stop throwing out the
food that they don`t serve to young people every single night, that goes
unused, because those families want to take that food home with them.


CAPELLE: Simple solutions. So what we need to start to do is listen to
the people on the ground, because they have some very common sense
solutions to some very important problems.

SHARPTON: Well, we`re going to stay on this and it`s about helping
families by dealing with the whole problem, not just scapegoating teachers.
We`ll going to stay on this. And it`s about politics. That`s why I agreed
to tour with Gin Rejonick (ph) and I think we`ve got to come together on
it. Alan van Capelle, thank you for your time tonight.

CAPELLE: Thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: Coming up, she did it again, Steph Curry`s daughter takes over
his press conference.


SHARPTON: Now for a story to make you smile, it`s the two-year-old winning
America`s hearts. Last night, the Golden State Warriors beat the Houston
Rockets to head to the NBA finals. But at the post-game presser, Steph
Curry`s daughter, Riley, stole the show again.


STEPH CURRY, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: Very proud and happy of how we played
tonight. You know, everybody on the court produced, made plays, there`s
obviously story lines all throughout the playoffs and things that you have
to get through to, you know, to win a championship, and everybody`s got to
be locked in, everybody`s got to be determined to be, you know, whatever
comes our way, you`ve got to be able to fight through it. So I was able to
give something last game. I think she`s taking advantage of the moment,
for sure. She`s way too comfortable.


SHARPTON: You got to love that. Told you you would smile.


SHARPTON: I`ll close tonight with a different look at policing in America.
This is a complicated issue. And as we talk about reform, we need to also
remember all the police officers who risk their lives to save others. Here
in New York, three transportation officers were the guest of honor at a
graduation ceremony, for a young woman who they saved from a train.

Maya Leggat had been pushed in front of a train by a deranged man. She
suffered broken bones, but a tourniquet made by the officers saved her legs
and she was able to walk to her graduation. At the ceremony yesterday,
those three officers were right by her side.


me of how lucky I am to be here today with people that I love and people
that care about me. And I`m very honored that the school would honor me in
this way and I owe them a lot in getting me here as well as these officers.


SHARPTON: Now to a story from Wisconsin. A sheriff`s deputy got a call
early in the morning about a burning car. When he got to the scene, he ran
into danger to pull that man inside to safety.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I didn`t even think about it, actually. I didn`t, it
never really crossed my mind. In hindsight, I probably should have thought
about that.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Very proud of him. I mean, didn`t even hesitate. Just
knew that, you know, the danger to his life and went in there to try to
save somebody else. So, very proud of him.


SHARPTON: Yes, we need reform, yes, we need bad cops to be dealt, but we
must remember the risks cops take every day and the good cops should not in
any way be forgotten or marginalized. We`re about better policies and
healing. We`re not about finger-pointing and selective memory.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.


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