All In With Chris Hayes, Friday, July 24th, 2015
Read the transcript from the Friday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: July 24, 2015
Guest: Charles Pierce, Terry Landry, Ruth Conniff, Jamelle Bouie, James
Peterson, Tracy Siska
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --
COLONEL MICHAEL EDMONTON, LOUISIANA STATE POLICE: These two
individuals had a vision, had a name, had a future. It wasn`t to die as
they did horribly in this theater here.
HAYES: A gunman opens fire in a movie theater, three dead, including
the gunman and nine injured.
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: You never think this could happen
in your backyard.
HAYES: Tonight, a new call for gun reform amid criticism for
Then, a doozy of a political ad that PhotoShops President Obama with
the president of Iran.
AD NARRATOR: Preventing Iran from getting the bomb is essential to
HAYES: Plus, new details on the Chicago oversight scandal.
So, are you saying this was essentially rigged?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that`s exactly what I`m saying.
HAYES: And a racist rant lands Hulk Hogan in hot water.
HULK HOGAN, WRESTLING SUPERSTAR: It`s tough.
HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Police today identified the two women killed in last night`s shooting
attack at a crowded point of view theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, where a
gunman injured nine people. Thirty-three-year-old Jillian Johnson, hosted
a popular local radio show and played the ukulele in an all women country
folk band. Twenty-one-year-old Mayci Breaux was preparing to start
radiology school, her 16-year-old sister told MSNBC that Breaux had taught
her to be a good person.
As this now become routine in the wake of these kinds of attacks,
people are seeking an explanation for the violence, someway to make sense
of why it happened.
The gunman, John Russell Houser, who took his own life after the
attack, had a history of mental illness, described as a drifter by police.
Houser had a history of venting fury at women`s rights, minorities and
Last night`s attack marked the third time in less than six weeks that
a gunman opened fire in public and taken multiple lives. Dylann Roof in
Charleston on June 17th, killing 9 African-Americans in a church. Mohammed
Abdulazeez in Chattanooga on July 16, killing four marines and a navy petty
officer at a naval reserve center. And now, John Russell Houser.
These killers had different political beliefs and different
motivations and they almost nothing in common, except for two things. They
were all men and they all had access to guns.
Yesterday in a BBC interview just hours before last night`s murders,
President Obama talked about his biggest frustration as president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is the fact that the
United States of America is the one advanced nation on earth in which we do
not have sufficient commonsense gun safety laws, even in the face of
repeated mass killings.
And, you know, if you look at the number of Americans killed since
9/11 by terrorism, it`s less than 100. If you look at the number that had
been killed by gun violence, it`s in the tens of thousands.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Charlie Peters, writer at large for "Esquire"
magazine and staff writer at "Grantland."
And, Charlie, there is something very dark and unsettling about the
routine-ness with which we are now about it parse these, even the way that
our newsroom processes an active shooting, has been done so many times,
people aren`t panicked in the control room. People know the drill because
this has now become something it almost appears in the American psyche like
tornadoes or wildfires or hurricanes.
CHARLES PETERS, ESQUIRE: I want someone to make the argument as
honestly as possible that one of these shootings every two weeks is the
price we by a for our freedom in this country. I want someone -- I don`t
want both of those divorced anymore. One of the people opposed to sensible
gun laws to please make that argument that this is just something we have
to take as a population because we have a Second Amendment. The honesty
would be refreshing at this point.
HAYES: You know, we don`t, there are -- in every individual case, you
will go through and talk about this in a bit about, well, oh, this person
should have failed a background check or didn`t or gun laws wouldn`t
applied. The issue is more broadly, right, when you zoom out, what the
president said is undeniably true. Mass shootings of the kind that we have
now become totally accustomed to, even inert to, are absolutely an outlier
that lies solely with us.
PETERS: Yes, the two words that I think should be eliminated from the
dictionary when dealing with another mass shooting are unspeakable and
unthinkable, because quite honestly, if at this point you cannot think
about how one of these things happens, then you haven`t been paying
attention and if we don`t speak about it, then they`re going to keep on
I mean, I think when you say Bobby Jindal gets up and says who would
believe this happened here? Well, I mean, let`s go through the history of
Louisiana. Shall we? I mean, the riots in 1866, there was the Colfax
massacre, the Thibodaux massacre, the battle of Liberty Place.
According to Brian Stevenson`s group in Alabama, there were 540
lynchings between the 1880s and 1950s in Louisiana.
So, don`t tell me that public violence is unthinkable. We`ve thought
about it a lot.
HAYES: There is going to be, obviously, another round of the thing
that happens in the wake of these, a conversation about gun violence, a
conversation about gun safety.
You have been chronicling politics for a long time. You`ve seen ups
and downs. You`ve seen issues stall and then break through. What is your
take on where this issue is?
PETERS: I mean, I have been covering politics long enough that I
remember when sensible gun control was a very much a bipartisan issue.
When everybody I mean in the wake of the assassinations of Martin Luther
King and Robert Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, who at that point was the lamest
duck you could possibly have in the White House managed to get a gun
control bill passed, because both sides recognized something need to be
The transformation of that is almost the dark side of the
transformation that we as a nation have taken towards tobacco.
PETERS: In which tobacco was completely main streamed when I was
growing up now is in anathema. Guns have gone the other way.
HAYES: That is a great point, too, because a part of what made
tobacco anathema was the argument about the massive and human social cost
of tobacco, that people -- that states were paying hundreds of millions if
not billions of dollars, that huge amounts of human misery that would be
preventable, that was cascading through a society that we could reduce all
of that misery and that cost with a whole bunch of policy, not outlawing
it, right? Not saying you can`t smoke, but all sorts of policies around
And the same holds true for gun violence if we understood in the same
PIERCE: Yes, for some reason, we are complete -- I give credit -- and
I mean, I give credit in the most general sense to the dark magic of the
National Rifle Association for divorcing what is plainly a public health
problem from the politics of it. Our politics now seem completely
incapable of viewing gun violence as a public health problem that it is.
The other thing that I think that has not taken hold with guns that
took hold with tobacco is that you had faces attached to the people making
a buck off human misery.
PIERCE: We don`t yet have that with guns.
HAYES: That is right. The tobacco companies were much more front and
center. One they have done is act as a kind of heat shield for the actual
gun industry. The gun industry is very -- it`s difficult to come up with
the names and face of those folks, everyone can Wayne LaPierre. That`s
part I think of actually the role of the NRA plays.
PIERCE: Yes, I mean, the primary constituency of the National Rifle
Association as an organization are gun manufacturers, not gun owners.
That`s been plain for years.
HAYES: All right. Charlie Pierce, thank you very much.
PIERCE: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Louisiana where last night`s attack took place has the
nation`s second highest rate of gun deaths, as well as some of the weakest
gun laws in the country. Louisiana`s Republican governor, Bobby Jindal,
who is now seeking the nomination, has an A-plus rating with the NRA and he
has reportedly signed in law at least a dozen gun-related bills, most
intended to weaken gun safety regulation or expand access to firearms,
including bills allowing people to take guns into church and into
restaurants that serve alcohol.
Jindal regularly posts photos of himself with guns on his Twitter
page, including this one from earlier this month, which he captioned,
quote, "My kind of campaign stop."
Last month, after President Obama called on the country to do
something about mass shootings in the wake of the murder of nine people at
a church in Charleston, Jindal called the president`s comments completely
shameful and accuse the president of, quote, "trying to score cheap
political points, adding that it was a time for prayer, not politics."
Yet, after a gunman killed five military service members earlier this month
in Chattanooga, Jindal released a statement saying, quote, "the shooting
underscores the grave reality of the threat posed to us by radical Islamic
terrorism every single day. It`s time for the White House to wake up and
tell the true."
In the wake of last night`s tragedy, Jindal again called for prayer,
and late today, he rejected calls for immediate conversation about how to
address gun violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JINDAL: There will be a long time for that conversation. We`re less
than 24 hours out. We got two families that need to bury their loved ones.
We`ve got families waiting for loved ones to leave the hospital and they`re
praying for their full recoveries. I think now is the time to focus on
There will be an absolute, appropriate time for us to talk about
policies and politics. I`m sure people will want to score political points
off this tragedy, as they`re trying to do in previous tragedies. Right
now, let`s focus on these families.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Louisiana state representative, Terry Landry,
a Democrat who represents Lafayette, where last night`s shooting took
Representative, I wanted to get your thoughts as a representative of
Lafayette, as a man who served the police department for many years in law
enforcement. Your response to the governor saying that people were trying
to score cheap political points by raising this policy matter in the wake
of the horror that happened in your town?
STATE REP. TERRY LANDRY (D), LOUISIANA: Well, I`m -- Chris, I`m going
to leave the government comments to the evaluation of the American people.
I think they understand and know and can discern what is political and not
political. We are all grieving for these families and at this very tragic
incident. But we also are aware that the area that I live in, the district
that I represent has four unsolved murders. We have four unsolved murders
in this district.
So, I`m going to leave the governor`s comments to his political
ambition, and let the people make an evaluation -- make an assessment in
who`s politicizing this and who`s not politicizing it.
HAYES: Do Democrats in the House and in the Senate in that state, do
you have concrete policy plans on gun safety that you could be pushing that
you have tried to push and have been stymied by the governor?
LANDRY: Well, Chris, this is my first term serving, and four years
ago, we had been playing strictly defense. We`ve been playing with the gun
proponents and expansion of guns in this state. We have been playing
political defense with them, simply because we have one of the most liberal
gun law, a concealed handgun. But it has restrictions. They`ve gutted the
restrictions of those concealed handgun laws and made it basically a shell,
and they continue every year to come back and chip away at all the
restrictions that are in place not only in the Second Amendment but on
those laws that apply here in Louisiana.
So, I got to be honest with you. We are playing defense and
continually trying to prevent this expansion where it`s a -- everybody who
wants to carry a gun can carry a gun. That`s not the best position I`d
like to be in.
Hopefully, hopefully, prayerfully, but after some of these mass
incidents that we can move and have a conversation. The thing that`s
erratic with me, the people don`t want to have a conversation. You hear
the same old thing, guns don`t kill people. People kill. I mean, when are
we going to have a debate?
I think when we put gun rights in front of human rights, we`re on a
slippery slope as a society as a country and definitely as a community.
HAYES: Well, one of the things I should note here. We have reporting
about the origin of the gun that this individual used in the murders last
night. It was purchased legally. It was purchased in Alabama which shows
two things, one, gun regimes tend to go state by state. But as people in
Illinois will tell you. If you are adjacent to say Indiana, that`s going
to bleed over into your state. In this case, it appears to be the case.
And second of all, the gun was purchased legally, and finally, the
information we`re getting about the individual who did this, there are so
many red flags. I mean, if there was going to be a test case of an
individual who had done things in the past that indicate he might be
violent, who had been flagged by people close to his family, who had
apparently booby trap his house when he sold it to people, ranted and
almost committed to a mental institution against his will -- this should
be, it seems, the test policy case for an individual who should not have a
LANDRY: Well, I agree with it. Chris, we don`t have any boundaries.
You can go from one state to another. If you don`t like the provisions in
one state, you can go to another state and purchase the gun. All have you
to do is fill out a background at a legitimate gun store.
But these face-to-face exchanges that are happening at gun shows,
where people have no idea who the person is, those are the loopholes that
are causing us a problem. I am definitely not advocating we have a massive
amendment to repeal the Second Amendment.
I`m a provider. I`m a protector of the Second Amendment. I served
the country not only in the Army, but I`m a Vietnam veteran. I have spent
30 years of law enforcement. I carried a weapon every day to protect the
rights and Constitutions of our citizens.
But my problem is, and my concerns is, the proponents of gun, of the
Second Amendment -- and, by the way, there is a key words, the Second
Amendment says well-regulated. To me, there is some restrictions.
I believe in the Second Amendment as I do in the First Amendment. But
we have to have restriction of those amendments.
So, we are not advocating people go out and remove all the guns, or we
take all the guns. We`re just trying to close the loopholes that people
who don`t deserve to have guns, are not capable of making rash decision and
put people in the position that were put here in Lafayette last night,
three weeks ago at the armory, the Sandy Hook killing. I can go on and on
When are we going to really be serious about having a conversation
about keeping it out of the hands of the people who don`t deserve them?
HAYES: Louisiana State Representative Terry Landry, thank you very
Still ahead, the political ad that photoshopped President Obama
shaking the hand of President Rouhani of Iran.
Plus, `80s hero, Hulk Hogan, fired after racist rant was reportedly
caught on tape.
Then, as Donald Trump surges to new highs in the polls, his fellow
2016 contenders vie for attention wherever they can.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We now know that when
the majority leader looks us in the eyes and makes an express it
commitment, that he is willing to say things that he knows are false.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Even for a famously bombastic grandstander, it was an
extraordinary attack. Senator Ted Cruz taking the floor of the U.S. Senate
this morning to call his own majority leader a liar.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: The majority leader looked me in the eye and looked 54
Republicans in the eye. I cannot believe he would tell a flat out lie and
I voted based on those assurances that he made to each and every one of us.
What we just saw today was an absolute demonstration that not only what he
told every Republican senator but what he told the press over and over and
over again was a simple lie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The issue, a vote that senator Mitch McConnell has scheduled
on the Import-Export Bank, a federal agency Senator Cruz opposes. However,
calling the majority leader a liar is, as "The New York Times" points out,
a breach of Senate decorum and perhaps its rules, which preclude a senator
from using any form of words to impute to any other senator or to other
senators any conduct or motive unworthy, or unbecoming a senator.
Now, aides to Senator John Cornyn, a fellow Texan, said the Senate`s
number two Republican is reviewing Mr. Cruz`s speech. Of course, all this
is happening while Ted Cruz battles against 15 of his fellow Republicans to
get on the 2016 debate stage. The latest on that fight, ahead.
HAYES: First term Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is almost
unanimously seen as one of the most vulnerable Republican incumbents in the
2016 cycle. He`s expected to face off against Democrat Russ Feingold, the
man that he defeated in 2010. And a super PAC supporting Johnson is
already running ads trying to scare the bejesus out of the good people of
the Badger State.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NARRATOR: In dangerous times, the American people deserve the facts.
Iran is the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Iran even
played a role in helping the 9/11 killers and Iran`s radical Islamic
leaders have made it clear the worst is yet to come.
Iran is funding terrorism not just in the Middle East but in Africa,
Asia, South America and right here in the United States.
Some of our leaders, like Ron Johnson, understand that preventing Iran
from getting the bomb is essential to our safety.
Others like President Obama insist on signing toothless agreement that
makes us less safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Wow, how about that terrifying footage. It`s pretty scary
because some of it actually comes straight from ISIS propaganda videos.
And can you -- this is really amazing. Can you believe President
Obama actually shaking hands with the president of Iran?
Of course, he never did that. That never happened. The two leaders
had never met in person. It would be monumental news if they had. The
image appears to have been PhotoShopped from this one on the left, of
President Obama`s greeting India`s then-prime minister in 2011. Different
leaders. Different countries. Different men.
When "BuzzFeed" noticed the picture and contacted the group
Restoration PAC, their spokesmen responded, "I don`t know what you are
talking about. You are saying that`s a PhotoShop. Can you explain what
you are talking about?"
In a follow up statement to FactCheck.org, the PAC explained the photo
has been widely circling on the Internet. There are no articles claiming
it`s fake, which is again hilarious, because if Obama and Rouhani managed
to just sneak off to get together for a secret grip and grin, that would
really be something.
But nevertheless, out of, quote, "an abundance of caution," the PAC
revised the ad with a more accurate.
So, Senator Johnson`s allies are a little unclear about the state of
the U.S. Iranian relations, but at least their guy doesn`t have too much
role in that realm, like say, I don`t know, serving on the Senate Foreign
Oh, wait, here he was here at the Iran deal hearing, quizzing MIT
educated nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz, the energy secretary, on some
let`s just say charitably pretty fringe theories about the threat of
electromagnetic pulse weapons or EMPs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RON JOHNSON (R), WISCONSIN: An EMP attack, of course, would be
conducted by somebody like North Korea or Iran, and it can be conducted
from a ship off our coast using a Scud missile.
I`m highly concerned. As you secretary of energy not even aware of
these recommendations that were made public in 2008.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Ruth Conniff, Wisconsin native and editor-in-
chief of "Progressive" magazine.
That moment yesterday in the hearing, where this nuclear physicist in
person of Ernest Moniz, basically has to indulge the frankly really fringy
paranoid theories of EMP weaponry and kind of pretend that the gentleman
from Wisconsin may be has a point and he`ll look into it.
I mean, that was really -- that was something.
RUTH CONNIFF, PROGRESSIVE MAGAZINE: Oh my God. You know I mean I
actually asked a few people what they think we need to say about Ron
Johnson and the mind reels, because every time our senator is in the news,
it`s something like this. You know, it`s just unbelievable.
And then he went on and told the energy secretary that he would gather
sources for him, some stuff he`d read on the Internet, and sends them to
him so he can fill them in on this little known technology.
HAYES: Hopefully, it`s not coming from the same place that has
photoshopped together Rouhani and the president.
He -- Ron Johnson strikes me as someone who was, had the good fortune
of running in the right year when he won in 2010. Is that a fairer thing
to say about him?
CONNIFF: Absolutely. I mean, it was a tidal wave, backlash reaction.
The Tea Party was strong. Ron Johnson is the Tea Partyist of the Tea
Partiers. You know, he defeated somebody who is a brilliant lawyer. If
you watch the debates, which poor people in Wisconsin did, you saw a really
brilliant man debating a man who gets his information on the Internet.
It was horrifying when Johnson won. And I don`t think he can do it
again. I mean, I think that the people of Wisconsin first of all haven`t
seen him. He`s not big on constituent service. He`s not big on showing up
for anything. When he does show up, it`s in right wing media appearances
to say things like the children of Milwaukee or in inner city schools are
idiots, or that college debt is not a problem because college is really
easy and fun, and he paid for his own college. That`s when the tuition at
the University of Minnesota was about 600 bucks a year.
You know, he says these things. He says global climate change is
caused by sun spots. He doesn`t believe in evolution. It`s one of a few
votes against human trafficking and the Violence Against Women Act.
The list goes on and on and on with Ron Johnson. He`s worse on
science. I mean, when he gets to science, is when you really cringe. But
every time there is a story about him, it`s like this and I think, you
know, he can`t last in a non-backlash year.
HAYES: First of all, you mentioned, we should talk about this
comment, inner cities children are idiots. I actually it was an offensive
comment because it was lampooning liberals, but he wasn`t actually inner
city school kids are idiots. It was an interview in which he was speaking
supposedly in the voice of liberals who have consigned inner city school
children to a lifetime of poor education and cast them off as idiots --
still offensive another constituency.
CONNIFF: Right. Well, I mean, the real importance of that statement
is Ron Johnson, an Ayn Rand acolyte, who bought a giant statue of Atlas
Shrugged and put in Oshkosh so everybody could share his beliefs, is a huge
privatization fan. And he believes that anything the government does,
whether it`s regulation, or spending money in public schools is bad, and
the private market does everything better.
So, he`s derisive of liberals who send kids to private school and his
point is that inner city kids in Milwaukee should have voucher school. The
problem is voucher schools in Milwaukee are a bunch of fly by fight
operations, and really, the results of those schools have been abysmal.
They don`t -- the kids don`t do as well as they do in the regular public
schools. And there are some really terrible schools. I visited them.
Store front operations where kids are learning a curriculum based on
Bob Jones theory, there`s no such thing as evolution, where it`s -- you
know, it`s really shocking to see the conditions that some of these kids
are in and to call this public education.
So, that`s what Johnson is putting forward. He`s a huge defender of
private business. It`s why before he was in the Senate, he testified
against an extension of the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse,
on lawsuits against clerics, because he gave this really impassioned
defense of private business, and how they would be harmed from lawsuits
from abused children.
I mean, it`s a really extreme ideology that`s anti-public sector,
HAYES: There`s a wide expectation, Russ Feingold is going to declare
against Ron Johnson for the seat he lost to Ron Johnson. What do you think
his odds are?
CONNIFF: Of winning?
CONNIFF: I think fine gold has an excellent chance of winning. I
think in a presidential election in Wisconsin, which despite our history
and enormously divisive governor we have is still a blue state. And I
think Johnson is not doing himself good and is not doing well in the polls,
and has tiny polls and constituency of really hard right Ayn Rand thing.
HAYES: I can`t believe the Atlas Shrugged in Oshkosh detail. That`s
a pretty good one.
Thank you, Ruth Conniff.
CONNIFF: Great to be with you, Chris.
HAYES: All right. Up next, a big endorsement, big, huge endorsement
for Donald Trump, as he continues to dominate the Republican 2016 polls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Men and women, and they
just want to do their jobs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There are basically two races right now in the Republican
presidential campaign. There`s the race to lead the pack, which is
currently dominated by Donald Trump now at 28 percent in the latest poll of
Republican voters, double the runner up Jeb Bush.
Trump also got a crucial endorsement today from one of the foremost
diplomats, Dennis Rodman, who tweeted "Donald Trump has been a great friend
for many years. We don`t need another politician. We need a businessman
like Mr. Trump. Trump 2016."
And then, as we`ve been covering the show, there`s the race or 10th
place. You see, Fox News is hosting the first GOP debate about two weeks
from now on August 6, and only the top ten candidates in the most recent
national polls get to
participate. With 16 major Republican candidates in the running, the
battle is on to take that tenth spot.
And desperate times call for desperate measures. This weekend in New
Hampshire Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki and Carly
Fiorina are all attending an event hosted by a guy named Frank Gaffney.
He`s a wide discredited conspiracy theorists who has advanced the claims
that members of the Muslim Brotherhood are infiltrating the U.S. government
and that immigration reform is part of a Communist plot of marginalize the
Chris Christie, clinging to ninth place, just on the bubble. He is
taking a different approach. His campaign just took out a $250,000 ad buy,
which seems very transparently targeted at getting him into the debate,
because the ads are only on Fox News.
So at least while Donald Trump is dominating the actual coverage on
Fox, Republican voters will get a glimpse of Christie in the commercial
HAEYS: This week we brought you two troubling interviews with former
investigators with the Chicago Independent Police Review Authority, or
IPRA, the body investigates police misconduct and police shootings. And
these two former investigators both said on the record, on camera, they
were not actually able to independently do their job and follow the facts
where those facts led when pursuing cases of police misconduct.
To understand why this is such a damming allegation, you have to
understand the context of this independent review`s very existence. It was
created in the wake of one of the worst police misconduct scandals in the
country`s history. A police commander, named John Birge, was
systematically running a torture operation where out of Southside police
precinct where he tortured more than 100 suspects over two decades starting
in the`70s for a variety of means, including electrocution, often garnering
false confessions, some of which led suspects to
death row wrongly.
As this scandal unfolded, many Chicagoans asked the obvious question
this behavior was allowed to go on for so long? And the answer was, no one
policing the police.
So, the Birge scandal, though not the Birge scandal alone, helped lead
to the creation of the Independent Police Review Authority. The
authority`s own web page
says that it is headed and staffed by civilians, independent and separate
from the Chicago police department.
But those two former investigators were willing to go on the record in
front of the camera and say that institutionally it was biased in favor of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LORENZO DAVIS, FRM. IPRA INVESTIGATOR: I came to conclusions and then
the boss has reviewed my work or the work of my team and decided they did
not agree with our conclusions.
HAYES: So are you saying this was essentially rigged, that basically
your supervisors at IPRA were to turn to get a finding of justified and if
your team went out and did the legwork and found it to be unjustified and
came back with that and say, no, overrule you?
DAVIS: Yes, that`s exactly what I`m saying.
ANTHONY FINNELL, FRM. IPRA LEAD INVESTIGATOR: Particularly with some
officer-involved shootings, the evidence didn`t support the officer`s
statements and then when the investigators tried to present those cases --
to close those cases and present those cases with an unjustified finding,
the cases were never pushed through.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Tracy Siska, he`s executive director of the
Chicago Justice Project, which chronicles police misconduct issues in
Chicago and IPRA.
And Tracy, can you give us a little context about IPRA and its
functioning and what its reputation is?
TRACY SISKA, CHICAGO JUSTICE PROJECT: Well, its reputation has never
been great. I mean, it came out of an office that was already had a
horrible reputation. When they originally brought in the first chief
administrator, she was independent, she had never been a police officer or
a federal agent. There was some thought she was coming at the job
independently. There was good communication skills with her. You could
criticize her, and she would listen and she would take it to heart about
what changes needed to be made.
And then recently she left and her first deputy was promoted and
things have changed.
HAYES: Things have changed in what respect?
SISA: Well, he is an ex-Drug Enforcement Agency officer. He was with
the DEA for many years. He`s retired now from the DEA.
He -- it certainly seems like he doesn`t take criticism. He doesn`t
engage with communities anywhere near as well as his predecessor did and
there is definitely a lot more rumblings within the agency of a lot more
issues, and this is just two of them you are seeing now.
HAYES: Yeah, my sense, now I should be very clear the gentleman in
question has issued a statement. He has said he`s defended the integrity
and the independence of IPRA. He has also said that some of the issues --
I`ll read this: "a few [Davis]" -- this is Lorenzo Davis -- "worked on were
found to be incomplete by all three levels of management above him, all
with equal or greater experience, because they did not include all
available evidence and some cases were built on assumptions. In addition,
in some cases, Mr. Davis rejected the recommendations of his subordinates
and told them to change their recommendations."
But what I want to be clear about here are the stakes, which is to say
I cannot say whether these allegations these two gentleman are making are
or. I can report what they`re saying it, and they`re willing to go on the
record with them.
If they are true, though, it does call into question the entire reason
of IRPA as a body and more broadly accountability for police in Chicago.
SISKA: Yeah. And this is a problem systemically throughout the
country with police accountability. This is not just a Chicago thing, this
just happens to be highlighted right now in Chicago.
There`s no doubt -- I mean, you`re looking at since IPRA was created,
some 400 police shootings, only one of them being found out of the
guidelines. I mean that blows all statistical charts out of the water.
How is that possible?
And they`re so not transparent. They`re so covered up in everything
they do. And you see it from this statement. Why didn`t the chief
administrator Scott Ando sit down with reporters, hold a press conference,
sit down and answer questions? Because it`s not the way it`s done.
And if you look at the statement where he issued -- there`s a report
locally at least that that was written by the mayor`s press office.
HAYES: I want to extend the invitation as we have to Scott Ando to
come on the program, of course, and talk about IPRA. We would give him
time to talk about the work they`re doing there.
I want to zero in on a statistic you just said, which strikes me more
in some ways more unsettling than any actual complaint lodged by the two
individuals we talked to. 400 officer involved shootings, police shootings
investigated by IPRA, and only one found to be unjustified or outside the
SISKA: Yeah. And it`s very -- you know that`s what they look at.
They only look at the Chicago Police Department`s rules as they`re set up
and then whether
the shootings at the moment the trigger was pulled, whether or not they
were within the guidelines. And that gets very tricky because there is a
rule on there that
says -- and it might be a right one -- but it says, if an officer is in
fear of losing their weapon, they can shoot. And all they have to do is
the perception. What was their thinking? Was it reasonable to think
possibly, remotely you might lose your weapon. And if you can, you can
shoot. And that justifies a lot of
HAYES: I want to be clear here, that is distinct from fear for their
life. You are saying in the rulebook of the Chicago Police Department, if
an officer, not just is in fear for their life, if they are in fear for
losing their weapon they can fire that weapon.
SISKA: Yes. But understand, that that to officers and to many people
would be one and the same.
SISKA: Because if you get overpowered and use your weapon, you`re
most likely thinking that person is going to shoot you.
So, it makes some sense. But what IPRA looks at just that moment.
They don`t look at the totality of circumstances. What happened when you
pulled u, you know, and whether or not bad tactics were used that led that
led to that shooting. And that`s a really big issue.
And I get texts from officers at least a few times a year, look into
this shooting, look into this shooting, it was bad tactics.
And, you know, one other issue that people need to know about the
independence of IPRA, if there is anything, is that IPRA doesn`t even
maintain their own data system.
SISKA: So all of the data that they enter about the cases they
investigate, they actually enter into the Chicago Police Department`s
HAYES: That runs through the Chicago Police Department.
SISKA: Right, so it`s all maintained there.
HAYES: Thank you for your time. Appreciate it.
Still ahead, Hulk Hogan reportedly caught on tape using a racial slur
now fired by the wrestling company he helped make famous.
HAYES: We`ve got some great news today that you basically won`t be
hearing anywhere else. Great news, particularly great news for Obamacare
doesn`t seem to exist, because the only news you get about Obamacare or
government spending or so-called entitlements is scary headlines about
runaway costs and when they`re going to bankrupt the entire country.
But when things are going better than expected: crickets. So, here it
is, the most important long-term federal driver of costs is Medicare. If
Medicare and health care costs continue to grow at insane rates year over
year, we are basically fiscally screwed. If its cost curve comes down
considerably, we`re fine. Literally those are the things: screwed, fine,
depending on how those curves go.
And here`s what`s happening. The blue line in this chart is the
projection for Medicare as a percentage of the economy: the GDP, and it
shows Medicare costs
flattening out at 6 percent of GDP all the way through 2080 according to
trustee`s report on the financial health of Medicare.
Look at the red line, that was a projection in 2005 which showed
Medicare climbing and climbing and climbing through 2070 at a rate more
than twice as bad.
In other words, Medicare is projected to cost half as much, half as
much over the coming decades. This is based on a mountain of information
projection, some of
which could, of course, change like the actual cost of future medical
But you get the picture, the primary new factor between then and now
is Obamacare and the affect it may be having on slowing run away medical
costs. So the sky is not falling, in other words, but don`t expect to hear
that anywhere else.
HAYES: More news today in the continuing depressing saga of 1980s
icons that get revealed as deeply flawed human beings.
According to a joint report from Radar Online and the National
Enquirer published this morning, wrestling legend Hulk Hogan was secretly
videotaped in 2008 using the "N" word and saying he is racist.
According to the partial transcript published by the two
organizations, Hogan bemoaned how a black billionaire guy offered to fund
his daughter`s music career saying, quote, I don`t know if Brooke was f`ing
the black guy`s son.
According to the reports, he continued, quote, "I mean, I don`t have
double standards, I mean, I am a racist to a point, f`ing "N" word. I
mean, I`d rather if she was going to F some "N" word, I`d rather have her
marry an 8-foot "N" word worth $100 million like a basketball player. I
guess we`re all a little racist. F`ing word.
That`s not text I ever expected to encounter in my teleprompter, but
there you have it.
The tapes were reportedly revealed as part of the wrestler`s lawsuit
with the website Gawker. NBC News has not seen the tape, nor verified the
transcripts. The WWE has since severed all ties with Hogan, appearing to
have scrubbed all mentions of him from their website and online store.
Today, Hogan himself apologized for the remarks saying in part, quote,
"it was unacceptable for me to use that offensive language. There is no
excuse for it. And I apologize for having done it. I am disappointed with
myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own
Now, the famed wrestlers comments come right in the middle of a
nationwide racial reckoning, one that has addressed not only the practice
of racial inequality, also the legacies of white supremacy like the
And now the reckoning extended the crown jewel of fundraising for
state Democratic Parties across the land, the Jefferson-Jackson dinner.
For over 100 years, the who`s who of Democratic politicians have attended
fundraisers named for the founders of the Democratic Party. The problem
with that is that Thomas Jefferson was rather famously a slave owner and
Andrew Jackson, who also owned slaves, was guilty of the worst ethnic
cleansing in the nation`s history.
Well, now that Connecticut Democratic Party has become the first state
party to rename the event, citing the two president`s ties to slavery,
according to the Connecticut Post.
My question is, is that the right thing to do? We`re going to talk
about it next.
HAYES: Joining me now to talk about a racial reckoning from Hulk
Hogan to Andrew Jackson, Jamelle Bouie, staff writer at Slate and MSNBC
contributor James Peterson, director of Africana studies at Lehigh
Jamelle, by the way, you have been doing this fantastic podcast on
slavery at Slate that I would recommend everyone check out.
And what do you think? I have always thought as a Democrat, it`s
weird when I have been to sort of Democratic functions that it`s weird to
call it the Jefferson-Jackson dinner for very obvious reasons and it is
surprising to me that
Connecticut is going to take the name off. That is a big step. What do
you think of it?
JAMELLE BOUIE, SLATE: I am with you. I have always thought it was
weird. And it is a beg step, since it`s been -- it`s just been a legacy,
right. For so long, we have had Jefferson-Jackson dinners, despite the
fact that the modern Democratic Party really is very attenuated from Thomas
Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. There`s no real particular connection
between the Democratic Party then and the one of now other than the fact
that they shared the same name.
I think if you were going to have a name a dinner after the actual
founders of the modern Democratic Party, it would be something like the
Roosevelt-Johnson dinner, right, that actually tells you something about
But Jefferson-Jackson, there is no connection and I`m glad Connecticut
is doing it. I think it`s about time.
HAYES: James, it also seems to me that this is -- you know, I think
there is a question, or I had a question after the Confederate flag came
down in South Carolina whether there was kind going to be a kind of social
sense of, like, OK, well we got rid of that bad flag, and maybe we should
get rid of Mississippi, too, but that`s sort of it, but you see Mitch
Landrieu in Louisiana talking about taking down monuments to Confederate
generals, you see discussion about things being renamed across the country.
And this to me is a concrete sign that reckoning isn`t quite over yet.
JAMES PETERSON, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY: Its true. And Chris, I appreciate
comments on this, because we don`t want to get caught up in the trappings
of symbolism, right, one flag coming down doesn`t erase systematic or
You know between like Sally Hemings and the Trail of Tears, if we`re
not going to change the name of the Jefferson-Jackson dinner, we should at
least think seriously about excavating that history around it. So, I don`t
know if we have to throw out the legacy, you know, but we should at least
confront and talk about what
those figures represent, that`s one way of reckoning with the history of
And I think the lesson is clear for all of us here is that there are
great symbolic things that happened, like the election of the first black
president, but we still have to sort of keep our eyes on the prize in terms
of the substance of policies and the substance of progressive change when
it comes to issues of institutional racism in our country.
HAYES: All right, I want to talk about this little mini brouhaha
erupted in the presidential campaign about the phrase Black Lives Matter
and All Lives Matter.
Martin O`Malley got up at Net Roots nation and he used the phrase All
Lives Matter and that made some people upset. And they sort of challenged
him on that.
He later apologized for saying that, basically because that phrase has
been used as a kind eraser of a certain kind of claim for equality and
Jeb Bush was then asked about O`Malley`s apologizing for saying All
Lives Matter. This was his response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB BUSH, FRM. GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: No, for crying out loud. No.
I mean, but we are so uptight and so politically correct now you
apologize for saying lives matter? Life is precious. It`s a gift from
god. I start -- I mean, I frankly think that it`s one of the most
important values we have.
I know in the political context it`s a slogan, I guess. Should he
have apologized? No.
If he believes it: white lives matter, which I hope he does, then he
shouldn`t apologize to a group that seemed to disagree with it.
HAYES: All right, two things, first of all, obviously, no one thinks
only black lives matter. The statement is black lives matter, too, right,
that`s obvious to anyone. And second of all, if you want to say All Lives
Matter, fantastic, then let`s act like all lives matter. All lives matter
means that we would have national mourning and grief when a young boy in
Pakistan is accidentally
killed by one our drones. It means that we would have huge percentages of
our GDP devoted to getting rid of malaria in the developing world. It
means that we would be in the constant state of mourning and grief if we
were to actually seriously take that seriously if we really, really meant
with that All Lives Matter.
But of course no one actually means that in American politics.
BOUIE: No, not at all.
PETERSON: Absolutely not.
BOUIE: Even on something as simple as do we want to have child
poverty. The answer, judging from the policies that we actually pursue is
yes, we`re perfectly okay with the fact that huge numbers of American
children live in sort of crushing poverty.
If we really believed All Lives Matter, then that`s a problem we could
relatively easy. That`s not a tough problem to solve.
HAYES: And James, there`s, you know, Nate Silver had crunched these
numbers about the mortality rate for black men in America, resembling in
terms of their
sort of likelihood of them being killed early equivalent to Rwanda, right.
I mean, there are huge disparities at play here?
PETERSON: Yeah, the data is absolutely clear here.
The irony about Jeb Bush`s comments, here, Chris, is that I`m not
at all that he`s tone deaf about the conceptualization of the Black Lives
Matter movement and what the slogan actually means.
What`s interesting is that he doesn`t get the fact that the irony of
his comments is, is that the All Lives Matter is the politically correct
trying to saying it. That`s the politically correct sort of (inaudible) in
the discourse, right?
I mean, black lives matter is the progressive piece. And listen, to
all politicals, I`m going to give free political advice, all you need to
say is, yes, black lives matter is important. We have to act knowledge it.
The reason why we have to acknowledge is because when we look at the
data, the disparate impact on black lives in terms of the criminal justice
system is such
that we need to have this slogan in place. It`s very simple.
HAYES: Yeah, it doesn`t. Let`s just be clear, I have never
encountered it in my life people except for like a few cooks who used to
hang out in Times Square back in the 1990s in New York, people who think
that only black lives matter, OK. That is an opinion that really is.
PETERSON: It`s not the purpose of it.
BOUIE: Jamelle Bouie, and James Peterson, thank you, both.
That is All In for This Evening, the Rachel Maddow Shows starts right
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