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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

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Date: July 22, 2015
Guest: Royce West; Eugene O`Donnell; Jim McDermott, Jonathan Capehart,
Jimmy Williams, Matt Kibbe, Alison Holcomb

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC: That`s "the Ed Show." I`m Ed Schultz. "Politics
Nation" with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on "Politics Nation," a criminal
investigation against the trooper who arrested Sandra Bland. Her family
responding to that dash cam video tonight.

Also, one of the most emotional pleas for a living wage you`ll ever see. A
woman sharing her personal tragedy just steps from the capitol.

Also, Rick Perry slamming Donald Trump, calling him toxic and a cancer on
conservatism. And that`s just the beginning.

Thanks to you for tuning in. We start with two major developments in the
case of Sandra Bland, the woman found dead in her Texas cell last week.
According to the "Associated Press," the sheriff says Bland told the jail
when she was booked that she had tried to commit suicide before. And "the
Wall Street Journal" reports the district attorney says he is investigating
whether the trooper who arrested her broke any laws. That trooper was put
on desk duty after investigators reviewed this dash cam video and
determined that proper procedures weren`t followed. And late today,
Bland`s family talked about watching that video.


SHARON COOPER, SANDRA BLAND`S SISTER: As her sister, I simply feel like
the officer was picking on her. Point-blank, period. And I personally
think that is petty. She was pulled over for something so insignificant.
And because of an officer who felt like maybe his ego was bruised and got
in the way, not once did he ever say he felt threatened. But when you tell
me that you`re going to light me up, I feel extremely threatened and
concerned. And I`m not going to get out of my car.


SHARPTON: Three days after her arrest, Bland was found hanging in her jail
cell. Her death was ruled a suicide. But now there are at least three
separate investigations into what happened. And today her sister talked
about the emotional flight home with Bland`s body.


COOPER: In the coming days, we are going to have to lay our awesome,
beloved daughter, sister, friend, aunt to rest. That`s very difficult.
It`s the longest flight I`ve ever had. I`m sure my mother feels the same
way. And my sisters do as well.


SHARPTON: The video of Bland`s arrest is sparking a lot of discussion
today, especially this exchange.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you mind putting out your cigarette, please? Do you

SANDRA BLAND, VICTIM: I`m in my car. Why do I have to put out my

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can step on out now.

BLAND: I don`t have to step out of my car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Step out of the car. Step out of the car.

BLAND: No, you don`t have the right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Step out of the car.

BLAND: You do not have the right 20 do that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do have the right. Now step out or I will remove

BLAND: I refuse to talk to you other than identify myself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Step out or I will remove you.

BLAND: I am getting removed for --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Step out or I will remove you. I`m giving you a lawful
order. Get out of the car now or I`m going to remove you.

BLAND: And I`m calling --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of the care or I`m going to remove you. I`m
going to yank you out of here.

BLAND: OK, you`re going to yank me out of my car? OK, all right. Let`s
do this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we`re going to.

BLAND: Don`t touch me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of the car!

BLAND: Don`t touch me. I`m not under arrest. You don`t have the right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are under arrest.

BLAND: I`m under arrest for what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 1098, send another unit. Get out of the car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Another unit, 298.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of the car, now!

BLAND: Why are am I being apprehended?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I said get out of the car.

BLAND: Why am I being apprehended?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am giving you a lawful order. I am going to drag you
out of her here. Get out of the car. I will light you up. Get out, now!
Get out of the car.

BLAND: For failure to signal. You`re doing all this for failure to

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get over there.


SHARPTON: In that officer`s arrest report, he does not mention pulling out
his taser. And he doesn`t mention Bland`s cigarette. When Bland later
arrived at the jail, she reportedly told officials there about a prior
suicide attempt. That`s according to the AP, citing the sheriff, she
reportedly said she was not depressed, but was upset about her arrest.

Joining me now are Texas state senator Royce West, who organized a key
meeting yesterday of elected officials and investigators in the case, and
Eugene O`Donnell, former New York police officer and professor at John Jay
college of criminal justice.

Senator West, let me good to you first. If Bland did tell the jail as
reported about a prior suicide attempt, should there have been more
television for her inside her jail cell?

STATE SEN. ROYCE WEST, TEXAS: Without question, Rev. There should have
been. If they did the screening properly and she did in fact make that
statement, if she made that statement, then there should have been -- she
should have been placed on suicide watch. I`m not saying that she did make
the statement.

SHARPTON: Nor am I am.

WEST: This is a part of this investigation.

SHARPTON: That`s the report.

WEST: Yes. That`s exactly right. And the reality is that I would hope
that the jailers who, if they did in fact say that, would be given a
polygraph examination to make certain they can pass a polygraph examination
as to that particular bit of evidence that is now being circulated.

SHARPTON: Now, Eugene, if jail officials get information like this of any
kind of mental history, how are they supposed to respond?

EUGENE O`DONNELL, FORMER NYPD OFFICER: Yes, I mean, the whole story here
is arrest is a very big deal and needs to be done sparingly. And because
the jail part of it also tells you, you`re responsible for somebody`s life
when you have them in custody and their well-being. If they`re on
medications, they need any kind of attention, you own that completely.

So going back to the inception of this, any time you`re taking somebody
into custody, you`re taking away their freedom, that is a profound
monumental decision. And every police department in the country needs to
reflect do they take this seriously enough. Pulling people over serious
enough. But to actually do a custodial arrest, as I said, not only do you
have that person in custody, depriving them of their freedom, but their
well-being is 100 percent your responsibility.

SHARPTON: Senator, what is your response to this report that the DA is
looking into whether or not the trooper broke any laws? How you respond to
that report?

WEST: Well, let`s make certain. And what the district attorney told
success they start off looking at it as a criminal investigation, unless
and until there are facts that come to their attention that there is no
criminal component to the investigation. And then they will look at policy
and administrative issues. So don`t read a lot into it. The district
attorney is looking at it as a criminal investigation to make a
determination as to whether or not there was obviously any violations.
What I hope occurs is that as we`re doing and making certain of this
transparency, that the FBI and the department of justice would also make
certain that there were no civil rights violations.

SHARPTON: Now talking about possible civil rights violations, talking
about violations, period, Eugene, you were a New York City policeman.
You`re a professor now here at John Jay in New York. According to the law,
according to police procedures, did this traffic stop have to escalate the
way it did?

O`DONNELL: There is no absolute that it had to. And the reality is a
police officer is a peace officer and needs to do everything that he or she
can to de-escalate situations, to avoid this, if you can possibly do it,
you should do that. So there is -- there is no that is apparent. And the
officer I guess is entitled to give his account.

But, again, arrest is such a significant issue. Officers can be injured.
Motorists can be injured. It`s a fundamental major intrusion. You are
under arrest when you`re pulled over. But that doesn`t mean that the
police should be making arrests unless it`s absolutely necessary. They
need to -- the reality as a police officer, you got to learn how to
deflect, not absorb, not to personalize. People say things to you all the

WEST: Right.

O`DONNELL: If you take that to heart, it`s never going to work.

SHARPTON: Senator, you don`t suppose you escalate. You are supposed to
deflect I think is the term Eugene used. You know, Bland asked the officer
at least 14 times why she was being arrested. And listen to a few of the


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put your hands behind your back and turn around.

BLAND: Can you tell me -- why am I being arrested? Why don`t you tell me
that part?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m giving you a lawful order. Turn around.

BLAND: Why will you not tell me what is going on?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are not compliant.


SHARPTON: The officer never answered her to as why she was being arrested.
Should he have?

WEST: I think he should have. And let`s be real clear about this. This
officer was going to give her a warning ticket. He was not going to arrest
her or give her a citation, but give her a warning. And frankly, it went
down-hill after he asked her to put the cigarette out. That`s when it went
down-hill. And his instincts or his professionalism, his training should
have kicked in at that point in time. Instead of going to 10 in terms of
escalating it and having the confrontation between the two of them at that
point in time, he should have de-escalated it and made certain that it
didn`t end up the way that it did.

SHARPTON: But Eugene, you go from you`re going give a warning, not even a
citation, and because someone questions you about putting out a cigarette,
you say I`m going to light you up? I`m going to drag you out of the car?
I mean, what kind of showing of training is that?

O`DONNELL: I think honestly, the police need a lot more training not only
just in human interactions. Mental health, and I don`t mean that in terms
of people with diagnosable mental illness, even though they encounter that.
People are really just overwrought. People are just stressed. The average
person perhaps in a traffic interaction wants to get out of there. But not
everybody is in that mode.

So when you have somebody who is being combative, adversarial, I`m not
saying that`s necessarily the case here. But the police should have to be
able to say wait a minute, why is this person, I`m just warning this
person, why is this person not cooperative? And if it doesn`t make any
sense, you can end it now. There is no need to ratchet this all the way up
to a bad ending. So to the extent you can, you don`t have to teach someone
a lesson. Your job is not to punish people. Your job is simply to cite
somebody or to warn somebody and to move on.

SHARPTON: Well, I think it would be good for the officer to ask whether or
not it makes sense. But if that doesn`t work, why don`t you just go by the
guidelines of what a policeman is supposed to do since you`re a public

Texas state senator Royce West and Eugene O`Donnell, thank you for your
time tonight.

O`DONNELL: Thanks, Rev.

WEST: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Ahead, Rick Perry calls Donald Trump toxic and compares his
campaign to cancer.

And then there is this. Lindsey Graham is getting a lot of attention
crushing his phone tonight.

Also, the conservative case for criminal justice reform. I`ll talk to a
key leader of the right about the new push to fix our broken system and
find common ground.

Plus, President Obama makes his final "Daily Show" appearance.


JON STEWART, COMEDIAN: Is that the advice that you then bequeath to future
president Trump?

Republicans are enjoying Mr. Trump`s dominance of their primary.

STEWART: Anything that makes them look less crazy.




SHARPTON: Ahead, the any rally for a $15 national minimum wage. The fight
came into focus today when one woman told her heart wrenching story.

And later, Donald Trump, Rick Perry, and the video that has everyone



SHARPTON: We`ve all seen the minimum wage protest around the country, but
have you heard the real stories from Americans struggling to get by? Today
we saw the human impact. Sontia Bailey was at a rally with senator Bernie
Sanders. Her words were emotional and heartbreaking, talking about the
personal price she`s paid working at two low-wage jobs.


SONTIA BAILEY, MOTHER: I work 70 hours a week, Monday through Sunday.
Working such long hours for low pay has taken a toll on my health and my
body. Three weeks ago, I lost my baby boy. I had a miscarriage at home at
3:00 a.m. No mother should wake up in the hospital -- no mother should
wake up and say goodbye to their sweetie. The truth is I couldn`t afford
to grieve. I had to get back to work so I could have a proper funeral for
my baby last Saturday. If I made $15 an hour at the U.S. capitol, I
wouldn`t have to work two jobs. If I had just one good paying job, I would
be a new mother today. We need Congress to pass 15 an hour and give us a
union. The living wages is the only way women can get ahead and stay
ahead. Thank you.


SHARPTON: Hers is just one of millions of touching stories. But the fight
to make it right is on, with some cities around the country adopting a $15
wage. Today New York State`s wage board recommended a $15 wage for fast
food workers. So remember this woman and remember these stories. This
fight is about real people. And today signs of progress.

Joining me now is Congressman Jim McDermott, Democrat of Washington. He
represents SEATAC, the first place this the country to adopt a $15 minimum
wage. And he is a sponsor in the house of the new $15 minimum wage bill
that Bernie Sanders is pushing.

Thank you for being here.

REP. JIM MCDERMOTT (D), WASHINGTON: It`s good to be here, Rev.

SHARPTON: Congressman, you saw that story today. What stories are you
hearing from constituents?

MCDERMOTT: Well, her story, as you say, there are millions of people who
could stand up on television and tell you exactly the same story. If
you`re making $15 an hour, and you work 40 hours a week, four weeks a
month, you make about $28,000 a year. That`s under $30,000. Now, if
you`re trying to raise yourself or take care of yourself and raise a couple
kids, $30,000 does not go very far at all.

Now, if you`re making $10 or $7 an hour, you have got to work two jobs.
And that means you have got to work 80 hours a week, four weeks a month
make the same amount of money. That`s why it has to be increased. You
cannot expect this mother to work 80 hours a week and then go home and take
care of her family. We say we have family values in this country. We
don`t show it to people who are working, trying to make it.

SHARPTON: That`s right.

MCDERMOTT: And we have to give them a decent amount so they`ve got enough
money so they can take care of their family and also be a mother or father
to their kids.

SHARPTON: Congressman, Sontia Bailey published an article about her
miscarriage. And she wrote, and I`m quoting from the article, "I know that
once the senators read this, they will offer me their condolences, but I
don`t want sympathy. I just want them to make sure the contractor I work
for at the U.S. capitol pays a living wage."

Can stories like hers help bridge the partisan divide and reach
Republicans, Congressman?

MCDERMOTT: I -- if they can`t, we`re going to have a huge turnout of
people in this election. Because following people we`re talking about
raising the minimum wage. If you`re not talking about raising the minimum
wage, you`re not talking about working people in this country and what
they`re facing. Because these people who are working for $7 and $8 an hour
very often don`t have even any kind of health insurance. And if they live
in a state where their governor has refused to take Medicaid, they don`t
have access to Medicaid. They don`t have nothing. They don`t have enough
to take care of their family. They don`t have health care. They are
really behind the 8-ball. And they`re going to come out and vote in this
election, and we`re going to have a change.

SHARPTON: And the facts are that since 1968, the productivity of U.S.
workers is up about 140 percent. But the value of the minimum wage has
actually fallen 50 percent, factoring in inflation. Isn`t this the real
story of the American worker, congressman?

SHARPTON: When we set the minimum wage a number of years ago, we said it
would bring you up to the poverty line. And we haven`t changed the minimum
wage, but very little over the last 15 or 20 years. And that`s why the
workers are falling further and further behind the line that the government
says is the poverty line. Never mind having a little bit extra to spend.
They haven`t even got what we consider poverty. And that`s why we have to
change this. It ought to be indexed to inflation. That`s the first thing
that ought to happen so that when things go up, when the cost of bread goes
up, so should your salary go up. That`s really how it ought to work.

SHARPTON: Congressman Jim McDermott, thank you for your time tonight.

MCDERMOTT: You`re welcome.

SHARPTON: Still to come, Donald Trump is going to the U.S./Mexico border.
What could go wrong?

And criminal justice reform. I`ll talk to a leading conservative about
something we agree on.

Plus, Jeb Bush spoke about lobbyists and K Street. He is headed to gotcha
street, next.


SHARPTON: This week Jeb Bush did something surprising. He took a big bold
stand against lobbyists.


JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It`s the relentless expansion of
government that made lobbying Washington`s premier growth industry. Every
time a lobbyist meets with any member of Congress, that should be reported
online. It`s easy for elected officials to lay out standards of
performance for others. But what are the high standards worth if they`re
not applied to themselves?


SHARPTON: He is right. You can`t set high standards for others if you
don`t expect to live by them yourself. So maybe he can explain why that
speech slamming lobbyists was organized by a group of lobbyists. The
"International Business Times" reports Bush`s speech at Florida state
university was organized by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, a private
lobbying group for the state`s business community.

In the past two years, their political committees have spent $5.6 million
to influence state elections. A lobbyist for the chamber of commerce who
is also a former Bush aide insists the Florida chamber did not host the
event. But the college provided emails that suggests otherwise.

A chamber of commerce representative wrote an email to the university
saying quote "for all intents and purposes, this will be a Florida chamber
event. However, Jeb Bush`s team has requested to pay to avoid any legal
gray areas, even though is not a campaign event.

Legal gray areas? It`s pretty black and white to me. Did Governor Bush
think we wouldn`t notice he I s saying one thing but doing another? Nice
try, but we got you.


SHARPTON: They say everything is bigger in Texas. And tomorrow we`ll see
if that`s true. Because Donald Trump is headed to Texas tomorrow. Making
his first visit to the border since his controversial comments on Mexican


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`ve been invited by the border
patrols. And they want to honor me, actually. And thousands and thousands
of them because I`m speaking up. These are tremendous people. These are
tough people. They want to do the job. And they`re not allowed to do
their job by the President, essentially. I may never see you again, but
we`re going to do it.


SHARPTON: Oh, we`ll see him again, plenty. And it will be interesting to
see what kind of reception Trump gets in Texas. Because he is visiting
Laredo, Texas, where the population is 96 percent Latino. And I don`t
expect Rick Perry to be there greeting Trump. He just had the strongest
takedown of Trump we`ve seen yet.


carnival act that can best be described as Trumpism. A toxic mix of
demagoguery and mean-spiritedness and nonsense. Let no one be mistaken,
Donald Trump`s candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be
clearly diagnosed, excised, and discarded.


SHARPTON: That cancer of conservatism will be at the border tomorrow.

Joining me now are Jonathan Capehart and Jimmy Williams. Thank you both
for being here.



SHARPTON: Jonathan, first let me get your take on Rick Perry`s slam
tonight. Will we see more from all the candidates now?

CAPEHART: I don`t know about all of the candidates, but Rick Perry has
been way out there in his criticism of Donald Trump from the very
beginning. Remember, he is the only one who called on him to quit the race
because of what he said about Senator McCain not being a war hero, and how
he liked people who weren`t captured. But I also want to praise Governor
Kerry for I think accurately diagnosing the problem for the party. And
that is Donald Trump is a problem for the party. The party knows it has a
problem with Latino voters. It has a problem with its image of being
unwelcoming to lots of people. Across the country. And that`s a problem
electorally and politically for the Republican Party if they ever hope to
win the White House in 2016 or be a national party again where they not
just win governorships and state legislatures, but actually are able to
take the White House and be a true national governing party.

SHARPTON: Jimmy, what do you think about Governor Perry calling Donald
trump toxic? Will that resonate among other republican candidates and
throughout the party?

WILLIAMS: I would suggest to you, Reverend Al, that former Governor Perry
is being ever so slightly hypocritical. First and foremost, Donald Trump
is running on the republican ticket, not the democratic. Secondly, more
importantly, if he becomes the nominee, he will become the republican
nominee for president. Thirdly, and most importantly, find me the
difference between Governor Perry`s agenda and his record on civil rights
and Donald Trump`s statements. On gay rights and Donald Trump`s
statements. On choice and abortion rights and Donald Trump`s statements.
What is the difference between those two men? And I would suggest to you
that the answer is nothing. That their policies are exactly the same. So
it`s a matter of Trump -- I`m sorry, Perry doesn`t like how Donald Trump is
saying it --


WILLIAMS: But in fact they share the exact same policies. So what is the
difference between these two men?

SHARPTON: Now, Jonathan, Senator Lindsey Graham did a really amazing thing
today. He is using Trump`s attack to get attention. He is releasing a
video after Trump gave out his cell phone number to a crowd. Watch what he


I mean, I think, Jonathan, it`s very smart, you know. It gets attention
and makes him look good. But are they having to do these kind of stunts in
order to get attention? The way Trump has dominated the news cycles?

CAPEHART: Yes. Trump is eating up all of the oxygen in the campaign room
with these 16, 17 people running for the nomination. I think Lindsey
Graham is being very clever in sort of acknowledging what Donald Trump did
to him yesterday. But also, in a clever way, rising above sort of the
pettiness of what Donald Trump did yesterday. Not only did Trump give out
his -- Lindsey Graham`s personal cell phone number, but then revealed a
private conversation in a sneering manner that he had with Senator Graham a
few years ago. So, you know, whatever Lindsey Graham can do to get
attention and punch up his numbers so that he can get on either that debate
stage or a debate stage going down the road, you know, more power to him.

But, again, because Lindsey Graham is reduced to doing something like that
shows just how, as you said, dominant Donald Trump is, and that`s not good
-- that`s not good for the Republican Party, because we`re talking about
what Trump is doing and saying in terms of personal attacks. We`re not
talking about what he stands for and specifically in terms of specific
policies that he would propose. And this is where I differ with Jimmy. I
mean, I think you`re giving Donald Trump a little too much credit in saying
that he and Rick Perry have the same policies. I don`t know other than his
rather rancid views on illegal immigration from Mexico. I don`t know what
Donald Trump stands for specifically.

SHARPTON: Yes. I don`t either. But you know, Jimmy, calling that out,
NBC News first read made the point today that Trump is tapping into a big
anti-establishment feeling. I agree his policies and issues are not there.
But I want to read this. Trump`s rise isn`t about Donald Trump. He isn`t
going to be GOP`s nominee. Rather, it`s about where his supporters or
voters go. Trump`s constituency is very real and perhaps durable, even if
they end up candidate shopping again. So the point I want to hit is Trump
is having a -- or will have a very real impact on the race tonight because
he is capturing an anger and an emotion in that party, even though he will
probably not be the nominee.

WILLIAMS: Well, I suppose after seven years of Barack Obama bringing us
back from the last republican president, I would be pretty ticked off too
if I were the republican nominees as well. And by the way, the American is
the conservative voter. Look, this is simple. Donald Trump is not going
to be the nominee. We all understand this. We all know this. It is in
our blood. It is in our DNA. It is not for him to be the president of the
United States. But he is saying what the conservatives want the other 338
republican nominees to say. And that they can`t run away from that. Steve
King, you can`t win Iowa without Steve King.

So the question is, does Steve King like Donald Trump? I would suggest to
you that their policy prescriptions are exactly the same. So no matter
what Donald Trump does, says, breathes, sleeps, or eats between now and
whenever he drops out, which he will eventually, they`re going to have to
own his stuff in their policy prescriptions. I disagree with both of you.
Donald Trump has made his points clear about marriage equality. He has
made his points clear about choice, has made his points clear about

SHARPTON: Well, all right, we can agree he has made his opinions and his
biases clear. I don`t know --

WILLIAMS: I mean, that`s what we`re going to get from that guy. Right?

SHARPTON: I think where we disagree is he has made issues in policy. We
don`t know where his policy is on immigration or his policy on same-sex
marriage. We just know he disagrees and makes some very inflammatory

WILLIAMS: He`s their problem, not ours, though. He`s their problem, not
ours, though. I will say that.

SHARPTON: That we can all three agree.

WILLIAMS: Yes we can agree on that.


SHARPTON: Jonathan Capehart and Jimmy Williams, thank you both for your
time tonight.

WILLIAMS: Thank you, Reverend.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, the bipartisan push to fix our broken prison system.
A leading conservative joins me for an important discussion.

Plus, federal charges against the Charleston gunman. Details of Attorney
General Loretta Lynch`s announcement coming up.

And later, President Obama`s final appearance on "The Daily Show."


SHARPTON: If you watch this show a lot, then you have probably heard me
give the progressive case for criminal justice reform. But here are
compelling reasons on the right to fix our system too. If you`re a fiscal
conservative, you have probably worried about the $80 billion it costs each
year to run America`s prisons. If you`re a Christian conservative, you
might be concerned that the system focuses more on punishment than
redemption. If you`re a family values conservative, you are probably
outraged at how entire families are being broken up over minor nonviolent
offenses. And if you`re a law and order conservative, you know that
studies show a drop in incarceration rates can mean a drop in overall crime
rates too. These arguments are the reason you are hearing this kind of
talk on the right from top Republicans.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE SPEAKER: I`ve long believed that there
needed to be reform of our criminal justice system. And some of these
people are in there under what I`ll call flimsy reasons.

REP. JIM SENSENBRENNER (R), WISCONSIN: Mass incarceration tears families
apart and deprives children of their fathers and mothers.

REP. JOHN DUNCAN, JR. (R), TENNESSEE: An innocent mistake is not supposed
to be criminal, but a zealous prosecutor can make even the most innocent
mistake look criminal.


SHARPTON: Joining me now are Matt Kibbe, President and Founder of
FreedomWorks and Alison Holcomb, director of the ACLU Campaign for Smart
Justice. They`re both partners in the coalition for public safety, a
bipartisan group that held a summit on reform today in Washington. Thank
you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Matt, you and Alison probably disagree on a lot of things. Why
can you find common ground on this?

KIBBE: Like you`ve said, this is an issue that brings Republicans and
Democrats, Liberals and Conservatives, Libertarians and progressives
together not just on the problem of mass incarceration, but the solutions
as well. Sentencing reform, prison reform on the back end. And this is
different than most issues in Washington where we pretend to be bipartisan
by splitting the difference on someone else`s bad idea. We`re not
sacrificing our core values. We`re looking at a perhaps well intended
federal policy in the really devastating unintended consequences. And you
have people on the left and the right who are part architects of this
problem, admitting that they got it wrong then.

SHARPTON: Now, the President, Alison, made history last week when he was
the first sitting president to visit a prison. Here is what he said when
he was asked what struck him the most during that visit.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: These are young people who made
mistakes that aren`t that different than the mistakes I made and the
mistakes that a lot of you guys make. The difference is they did not have
the kinds of support structures, the second chances, the resources that
would allow them to survive those mistakes. That`s what strikes me. There
but for the grace of God. And that I think is something that we all have
to think about.


SHARPTON: How can we prevent young people from getting into that system in
the first place, Alison?

HOLCOMB: Well, the President is speaking to exactly the reasons why the
ACLU cares so deeply about this issue. We are putting so many young people
behind bars. And what is happening with the millions of people now that we
have in our prisons and jails is that we`re depleting the resources that we
now need to be going back into our communities so that we can build
stronger families and safer neighborhoods. This is really an all hands on
deck moment. And the ACLU is pleased to be able to partner with unlikely
allies like FreedomWorks and our conservative friends to tackle this
problem. We have called on all of our affiliates in all 50 states to step
forward and join together, hands across the partisan divide to get this
work done.

SHARPTON: Now, Matt, right on that point, hands across the partisan
divide, what do people on the right think about you joining with the ACLU
and uniting on something like this? Are you getting any flak?

KIBBE: Surprisingly, I haven`t gotten any flak. And the more that I`ve
talked to my community about what we`re trying to accomplish here, what I`m
hearing back is, what took you so long to get there. I think if you look
at this issue seriously, Washington, D.C. is the last place that`s willing
to deal with a problem that everyone has been acknowledging for years. So
I think grassroots America is ahead of us on this. And also I think that
the solution comes from the bottom up with both sides pressuring both
Republicans and Democrats to get the job done.

SHARPTON: You know, the bill that has been introduced in the house to make
comprehensive reform happens to be called the safe justice act, Alison.
Here is what it does. It limits long mandatory minimum drug sentences to
the leaders of large drug organizations. It gives judges more discretion
when sentencing nonviolent offenders. And it strengthens alternative
programs like drug courts which help addicts get back on the right path.
How important is this legislation?

HOLCOMB: Oh, it`s absolutely huge, Reverend. We really have an
opportunity to start turning back the clock on four decades of devastation
of communities, putting people behind bars for extraordinarily lengthy
amounts of time for nonviolent drug offenses when the overwhelming
majority of these people suffer from their own drug addiction problems.
Why are we wasting dollars on these bars when we know that what we need to
be doing is getting people treatment in the community, keeping them
together with their families so that we`re not perpetrating the cycle of
wasted dollars and wasted lives. Now is the time to do this. And I think
there is some real energy to see some tangible concrete reforms.

SHARPTON: It`s an important issue, and we were glad to have people on both
sides fighting for change. And we`re going to stay on this issue. It must
lead to action. And action come from legislation. Matt Kibbe and Alison
Holcomb, thank you both for your time tonight.

KIBBE: Thank you.

HOLCOMB: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, he`s the late night president. President Obama
stops by "The Daily Show" one last time before Jon Stewart steps down.

And federal charges against the Charleston gunman. Attorney General
Loretta Lynch announces a 33-count indictment. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: President Obama has embraced his role as a president in the 21st
Century. In many ways, he has been the late night president, reaching out
to younger audiences through appearances on late night talk shows. With
Jon Stewart stepping down as host of "The Daily Show" early next month,
President Obama made his final appearance with Stewart last night, and
expressed what everyone is feeling about the host`s upcoming departure.

JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW": How are you? What have you done now?
You`re also senioritis. What have you got, a year? You`re on your way

OBAMA: You know, I can`t believe that you`re leaving before me. In fact,
I`m issuing a new executive order, that Jon Stewart cannot leave the show.



SHARPTON: President Obama has used "The Daily Show" as a platform to reach
millennial audiences even before he was president. Jon Stewart always
asked him the hard issues, but they typically leave time for some fun too.


OBAMA: It is true. I worry about the hype. The only person more
overhyped than me is you.


STEWART: Well done, sir, well done. That`s about the best answer I think
I`ve ever heard.

OBAMA: They`re not real sexy issues. They`re not the kinds of things that
you`re going to -- you don`t know what I find sexy.


Let me put it this way. I saw you flash that thing.

STEWART: I know. I know --

OBAMA: I know what you`ve been reading. But we`re not going to go there.

STEWART: I appreciate that.

OBAMA: I`m still the president.

STEWART: No, I understand that. I understand that.


SHARPTON: And that was your POLITICS NATION Moment of Zen.


SHARPTON: Breaking news tonight. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced
a 33-count federal indictment against Dylann Roof, the confessed gunman in
the Mother Emanuel massacre in Charleston, South Carolina. The indictment
includes federal hate crime charges, accusing roof of targeting the victims
because of their race.


LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Mother Emanuel was his destination
specifically because it was a historically African-American church of
significance to the people of Charleston, of South Carolina, and to the
nation. The parishioners had bibles. Dylann Roof had his 45 caliber glock
pistol and eight magazines loaded with hollow point bullets.


SHARPTON: Lynch was also asked why Roof was not being charged with
domestic terrorism.


LYNCH: There is no specific domestic terrorism statute. However, hate
crimes as I`ve stated before are the original domestic terrorism. And we
feel that the behavior that is alleged to have occurred here is archetypal
behavior that fits the federal hate crime statutes and vindicates their


SHARPTON: Dylann Roof`s case will go through the criminal justice system.
Justice will be done, and he will ultimately be forgotten. But the
beautiful nine, that`s who we will remember. And we will remember the
courage and grace of their families in the days afterwards. We will
remember that people stood up. But now we must also finish the work. Yes,
the flag is down in South Carolina. But now we need to deal with the
issues of civil rights and voting rights, and health care and other issues.
We must in the spirit that those families gave forgiveness and said we`re
not going to let hate win, we must not settle. And we must not stop with
just part of the journey having been traveled. We also need to question
why there is no state hate crime in South Carolina. I`m glad the federal
government came in. There are no hate statutes in that state.

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


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