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All In With Chris Hayes, Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Read the transcript from the Tuesday show

July 15, 2014

Guest: Phillip Agnew, Rebecca Traister, Lenore Skenazy, Dorothy Roberts,
Chip Berlet, Beto O`Rourke, Brian Beutler


JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS, JOURNALIST: I was one of these kids who was
smuggled in this country when I was 12.

HAYES: The rush to deport. A Pulitzer Prize winning journalist is
detained by Border Patrol As calls for more deportations increase.

Then, the escalation in Gaza. Israel promises to intensify the
offensive as the first Israeli citizen is killed by Gaza rocket fire.

Then, Mitch McConnell tries to erase the memory of Paul Ryan.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, MINORITY LEADER: I voted for the Ryan budget
this week.

HAYES: Florida Governor Rick Scott finds himself with some explaining
to do.

GOV. RICK SCOTT, FLA.: I`m very proud. I`m very appreciative. I`m
very appreciative. I`m appreciative.

HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn`t answer that question.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and activist Jose Antonio Vargas, a
frequent guest on this program, was taken into custody today in Texas,
handcuffed and detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents at the McAllen Airport
this morning.

Vargas famously came out as undocumented in a first-person essay in
"The New York Times" in the summer of 2011.

Last week, Jose Antonio Vargas flew down to the Rio Grande Valley in
Texas to report on the ongoing humanitarian crisis unfolding at the border
and to support the migrant children there.

Record numbers of unaccompanied children continue to arrive from
Central America, seeking refuge in the U.S. But this morning when he tried
to fly back out of Texas, Vargas was apprehended at the McAllen Airport by
the Border Patrol.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): Do you have your visa?

VARGAS: No, there`s no visa.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don`t have a visa?

VARGAS: No, that`s just for ID.

HAYES (voice-over): Vargas has since been released but he issued is a
statement saying in part that the lives of undocumented immigrants are,
quote, "filled with fear in simple acts such as getting on an airplane to
go home to your family."

The Obama administration has overseen record numbers of deportations
driven by apprehensions at the southern border. And as the crisis
continues, we are seeing a push by political forces in Washington towards a
policy of faster, more aggressive deportation for the families arriving at
our southern border from Central America.

A new bill being pushed by House Republicans would make it easier to
deport unaccompanied Central American children more quickly. Or in the
words of one of the bill`s sponsors, it would close the unaccompanied
children immigration loophole.

That so-called loophole is a provision in a 2008 anti-trafficking law
that gives unaccompanied children from Central America the time and
resources to apply for asylum before being shipped back to the home country
that they`ve just fled.

That protection, according to House Republicans, a loophole needs to
be closed. Of course, this latest push to eliminate special protections
for unaccompanied children comes just as the first wave of Honduran
families arrived back in Honduras in what the administration is calling
just the initial round of expedited deportations.

Joining me now, Congressman Beto O`Rourke of Texas, he represents the
border town of El Paso.

Congressman O`Rourke, your reaction to the new bill that`s being
introduced by your Republican colleagues, among them Darrell Issa, Duncan
Hunter, that would essentially create an expedited process in which
children from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, would be deported right
away with no hearing for asylum.

REP. BETO O`ROURKE (D), TEXAS: This is absolutely the wrong way to
respond to this crisis. We`ve been hearing firsthand accounts and reading
story after story of kids like Anthony, age 13, in Honduras and Sanpedro
Soula (ph) who goes missing; his 7-year-old brother, Kenneth, goes looking
for him.

Days later they`re found dead, tortured, beaten along with five other
kids. And the story is repeated over and over again. These aren`t kids
exploiting a loophole. These are kids fleeing a very desperate, very
violent and very deadly situation.

I think we need to do everything within the power of this country to
see these kids through this difficult time, not speed their deportation
back to instability and potentially death.

And it also speaks to ultimately our need to reform this country`s
immigration laws and have a much more sane, rational and humane process for
everyone involved including and maybe most importantly right now these kids
from Central America.

HAYES: Let me ask you to weigh in on your colleagues from Texas,
Senator John Cornyn, Henry Cuellar, another border representative, a

They have introduced legislation that wouldn`t completely get rid of
the process for these kids, but would give them essentially expedited
review. There would be judges that would render a decision I think within
a week and basically be able to make a aye or nay decision. And if it`s
nay, they get sent back.

Do you support that legislation?

O`ROURKE: I have a 7-year-old son, Ulysses. I can only imagine him
having to appear before an administrator or immigration judge within a 72-
hour period and determine whether he`s going to take an asylum or non-
asylum track to petition for residency within this country when he`s
fleeing violence, has maybe had his friends, his brothers, his sisters
killed; he may, himself, have been threatened.

He`s just passed through a three-week grueling process to move up
through the interior of Mexico to present himself for asylum at the U.S.-
Mexico border. Absolutely not. The wrong way to go -- I know both men,
Henry Cuellar, John Cornyn, good people with good hearts. I just think
this is not the best thought-out proposals and would have some terrible
unintended consequences for these kids who are fleeing violence right now.

Remember, these are kids, these are 7-year olds, these are 11-year
olds, these are people who are leaving a situation that is intolerable by
any measure. And by way of comparison, Nicaragua, which is the second
poorest country in this hemisphere after Haiti has sent almost no children.

We`ve seen 2,000 family members in El Paso, not one single one of them
has come from Nicaragua. This is a unique situation to Honduras, to
Guatemala, to El Salvador. I think we need to respond accordingly.

HAYES: Congressman Beto O`Rourke, it`s a pleasure to have you on.
Thank you very much.

O`ROURKE: Thank you. Appreciate it.

HAYES: All right. Today dozens of anti-immigrant protesters showed
up in Oracle, Arizona, just as protesters did earlier this month in
Murrieta, California, to try and stop busloads of unaccompanied migrant
children they heard would be entering facilities in their town.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): The conflict came to Oracle, Arizona.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Protesting the invasion of the United States by
people from foreign countries.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): They`ve been told a bus was coming,
bringing Central American kids to detention. Some blew a welcome. But
many are frustrated that migrants who came illegally aren`t going straight

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have relatives that have already snuck across
the border in this country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, that`s a whole different issue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And our president is taking these kids and sending
them to those illegals.


HAYES: The protests were peaceful but at times confusing for some.
"The Arizona Republic" reporting, quote, "At one point several buses
approached the protesters driving east. The crowd started to confront the
buses but the protesters were told the buses were carrying kids from the

"`How do we know it`s the YMCA?` a few protesters shouted, but the
buses were allowed to continue east on the highway."

And after all that, HHS confirmed to NBC News that there were never
any plans for the migrant children to travel to Oracle today.

The kind of protests that lead to the confrontation of random buses of
children aren`t new in American politics or even in recent memory. In 2005
and 2006, when an immigration bill co-sponsored by John McCain and the late
Ted Kennedy looked poised to move forward, anti-immigration forces


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a sad day in this nation that people who are
here illegally can storm the streets of our cities in numbers greater than
those of American and Allied forces storming the beaches of Normandy and
while they are there, they demand upon the United States taxpayer to
continue to provide them with welfare, social service programs, free health
care and education of their children.


HAYES: Again, in 2009 and 2010, fears of immigration drove in part
Tea Party protests across the country. By 2012, Mitt Romney lost the
Latino vote by a historic 44-point margin and suddenly it started to look
like Republicans were ready to change their tune.


BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: In Washington this evening, here`s
something we haven`t been able to say in a long time. There is new hope
for a broad bipartisan agreement, this time on the issue of immigration

After Republicans took a historic shellacking among Hispanic voters in
the November election, what has been one of the most divisive issues in our
recent politics suddenly has lawmakers on both sides ready to make some
sort of a deal.


HAYES: Despite the momentum, there were the predictable efforts to
sink a comprehensive immigration deal.


MICHAEL LYNCH, FILMMAKER: There are people who are coming here who
want to come to cut your lawn and have a better life. But there are people
who want to cut your throat.


HAYES: Even after protests like that, Senate Republicans helped pass
a bipartisan comprehensive immigration bill last summer. Today the
thousands of desperate children coming to the United States seem to have
erased all that.

Joining me now, Chip Berlet, coauthor of "Right-Wing Populism in
America: Too Close for Comfort," and curator of Building Democracy.

Chip, you`ve been covering anti-immigration movements, nativist
movements for decades. It seems to me there was a kind of period of --
there was a lull in their activism and this crisis seems to have sort of
awakened a sleeping giant in some respects.

CHIP BERLET, AUTHOR: Well, it`s a lull in repeated periods of
nativist, racist panics in the United States. I mean, the idea that hordes
of illegal aliens are invading the country, bringing crime, disease,
radical subversive ideas goes back to the late 1700s when we passed the
Alien and Sedition Acts to keep the Irish in America from creating an
insurrection in the U.S. like their brothers and sisters were doing in
Ireland in the 1790s.

So this is nothing new. It happens periodically. It`s a nativist
anti-immigrant panic.

HAYES: Yes. The language I`ve been -- it`s been striking to me how
familiar some of the tropes being used are all this worry about disease,
particularly, which we`ve talked about a bit on this program, which seems
from a clinical perspective vastly overhyped. That`s a reliable thing
we`ve heard time and time again.

BERLET: Yes. Well, it`s a triad. It`s disease, crime and radical
ideas. And a scholar named Hyams (ph) said these usually targeted in the
earlier 1800s and early 1900s Catholics, immigrants that didn`t come from
the Anglo-Saxon world, including the Irish and the Italians and radical
ideas, Bolsheviks, in the form of Obama in the White House now apparently.

HAYES: In fact, there was a conservative website that ran an expose
on what appeared to be a track suit abandoned in the desert, which they
called a prayer rug, to get to your radical ideas right, there`s -- if you
go into some corners of the Right, there`s this idea that actually this is
a kind of 5th Column Muslim invasion of the U.S. under the cover of
children from Central America fleeing violence.

BERLET: Yes, that`s a major change. It used to be Catholics. And
that lasted for quite a while. And just a few miles from where I`m sitting
here outside Boston, a Protestant mob burned down a Catholic convent in
1834 because of the sinister, seditious things that were happening.

So, again, if you replace Catholic, fears of Catholics with fears of
Muslims, you still have the same --


HAYES: So what drives these kind of occasional outbursts? I mean, is
there some correlation between when we see our politics manifest in this
way and what the circumstances are on the ground?

BERLET: Well, it turns out it`s not directly linked to fears of
economic problems although they are part of this.

If people fear a challenge to their prestige and power in economic,
political or social arenas, they can then decide that the other has to be
expelled and because that`s the only way they`re going to keep their status
in the society.

And we have to admit that, you know, for a lot of Americans who are
involved in this movement, they`ve had a pretty tough time and neither the
Republicans nor the Democrats have taken their fears seriously.

HAYES: Yes, it`s definitely the case that there`s a lot of pent-up
angst around a lot of factors that folks face in America. I think these
kids fleeing violence have become the scapegoat for it.

Chip Berlet, thank you so much.

BERLET: You`re welcome.

HAYES: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky running for
re-election has run into problems when answering questions about health


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should Kynect be dismantled?

HAYES (voice-over): Hmm. Take away health care coverage for nearly
half a million Kentuckians or hand the microphone over to Rand Paul?

You want to take this one, buddy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should Kynect be dismantled?

MCCONNELL: I think that`s unconnected.


HAYES: Well, he`s done it again. That`s ahead.


HAYES: Florida Governor Rick Scott is up for re-election. There`s
nothing better than a solid campaign appearance with law enforcement. This
was July 7th at a campaign stop in Tampa. Uniformed officers standing
behind Governor Scott in an apparent display of endorsement.

Here`s the thing. Florida law does not allow public employees to do
campaign work while on duty. So, Rick Scott has some explaining to do and
here`s how he dealt with the questions.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you really think that all of those deputies
were off duty?

SCOTT: I`m very proud that last week the police chiefs endorsed me.
I`m very proud that 40 sheriffs have endorsed me. I`m very proud of all
the support from the law enforcement. We`re at a 43-year low in our crime
rate, so we invite them to our campaign events. And I`m very appreciative
of the ones that came.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But did you think it was a problem to have on-
duty law enforcement there?

SCOTT: I`m appreciative of both their support and those that come to
my events.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn`t answer that question.

Should there be discipline?

SCOTT: Look, I`m appreciative of everybody who comes to my events
and, gosh, we`re at a 43-year low in our crime rate. We should be very
supportive of our law enforcement.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think it`s OK for them to be there on

SCOTT: I`m very appreciative. Our police chief`s endorsement last
week, the association, 40 sheriffs did. We have law enforcement come to a
variety of events and others. And I`m very appreciative of anybody who
comes to an event and supports my race.


HAYES: All right. You got to tip your cap to the governor there,
Rick Scott. In a crowded field, he wins the gold medal for slavish
unyielding devotion to talking points.

Oh, but that is not the only story about Florida law enforcement in
the news this week. Not by a long shot. We will bring you two truly
stunning ones ahead.


HAYES: It`s a record-setting day for Kentucky`s Alison Lundergan-
Grimes, the 35-year-old secretary of state is giving Senate Minority Leader
Mitch McConnell a run for his money. She may be the most promising
Democratic challenger in the current election cycle and today she cemented
her status as a fundraiser to be reckoned with announcing a second-quarter
haul of more than $4 million, smashing Kentucky state records.

Grimes is running neck in neck with McConnell in the polls. She
recently got a visit on the campaign trail from progressive star Elizabeth
Warren. And just last week she released her first attack ad, hitting Mitch
McConnell over his support for Medicare changes in Paul Ryan`s budget.


Lundergan-Grimes. And this is Don Disney from Clover Lake, Kentucky. And
he has a question for Senator McConnell.

DON DISNEY, RETIRED COAL MINER: Senator, I`m a retired coal miner. I
want to know how you could have voted to raise my Medicare cost to $6,000.

How are my wife and I supposed to afford that?


HAYES: You can always tell when an attack ad draws blood by the level
of defensiveness it inspires. On a scale of 1 to 10, I`d say this was
about a 10.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As Barack Obama`s Kentucky candidate, Alison
Grimes repeats the same falsehoods Obama does, but news media call the
Grimes-Obama Medicare attack laughable, using shaky claims to
mischaracterize Mitch McConnell`s record.


HAYES: OK. On the facts, the McConnell campaign is right here. That
$6,000 estimate was revised down and the guy in the ad would most likely
not have been affected by the proposed Medicare changes.

And also, technically, Mitch McConnell never voted to pass the Ryan
budget when it was originally proposed in 2011. He voted for it in a
procedural test vote, a bit of theater, if you will.

In a statement to, the McConnell campaign said, quote,
"There`s just no way to speculate if McConnell would have voted for final
passage without having debated the amendments."

Here`s the thing. The Ryan budget was clearly going down in the
Senate and, at the time, everyone watching understood that test vote, that
procedural vote as an opportunity for Senate Republicans to go on the
record with their support for the Ryan budget.

And it`s not just me saying so. McConnell, himself, expressed his
support for the plan in an appearance that week on "MEET THE PRESS."


DAVID GREGORY, NBC HOST: I`m just trying to understand where you are,
particularly on how to change Medicare.


MCCONNELL: Well, let me tell you --

GREGORY: You`re not -- you don`t believe that the Ryan plan is the
basis of where you`re going to get agreement?

MCCONNELL: I voted for the Ryan budget.

GREGORY: But do you believe --

MCCONNELL: I`m personally very comfortable with the way Paul Ryan
would structure it in the out years.

GREGORY: On Medicare reform, would you concede it`s got to look a lot
different than the Ryan plan?


GREGORY: You haven`t even said publicly whether you`re for the Ryan
plan. So you`re not behind that version of Medicare --

MCCONNELL: I voted for the Ryan budget this week.


HAYES: Wait a second. Did you catch that? Let me play it again.


GREGORY: You haven`t even said publicly whether you`re for the Ryan
plan, so you`re not behind that version of Medicare --

MCCONNELL: I voted for the Ryan budget this week.


HAYES: Joining me now, Brian Beutler, senior editor at "The New
Republic." Wrote a great piece pointing out the inconsistencies here.

So, that vote, I mean, at the time, McConnell, it was equivocal; he
was voting for the Ryan plan and the Ryan plan would have changed Medicare
in all kinds of ways that it`s hard to think a lot of rank-and-file voting
Kentuckians would have liked.

BRIAN BEUTLER, "THE NEW REPUBLIC": Right. What he`s doing here is
he`s trying to use sort of Senate procedural chicanery to distract Kentucky
voters from everyone who follows the legislative process and the budget
process understands, which is that when parties issue a draft version of
their budget, it is sort of like a statement of the party`s policy

HAYES: Right.

BEUTLER: Everyone understands in Washington and anyone who follows
politics closely understands that the Ryan budget, whether it was the 2011
version, the 2012 version, whatever, is basically a statement of what the
Republican Party would do, were it given complete control of the

And he`s completely comfortable with what Paul Ryan and the rest of
the Republican Party want to do, should that electoral outcome ever, ever
be handed to them.

Now, obviously there`s the budget process, where you start with that
and you amend it a bunch and, in theory, the, you know, final outcome of
that process could yield something that maybe Mitch McConnell wouldn`t
support. But that`s not really what he was voting on. He was voting on
the platonic version of the Paul Ryan budget.

HAYES: That`s right.

BEUTLER: The path to prosperity and he supports it 100 percent.

HAYES: And the key here, I think, and the thing that makes the
McConnell race so fascinating, and Mitch McConnell as a political figure so
fascinating, is that here`s a guy who represents a state that has a lot of
poor folks in it. It`s a state that -- where a lot of people are dependent
upon disability, in which people are dependent upon different programs of
the federal government.

It`s a state in which the Medicaid expansion has been massively
popular and successful. And it`s a state that he has gotten political
success in by essentially bringing home the bacon time and time again.

And yet he is the guy who have running this sort of Tea Party
obstructionist wing of the Republican Party and he has got to find a way to
sell himself to Kentucky voters without being associated with the policy
ramifications of what that Republican Party in Washington wants to do.

BEUTLER: Kentucky is a pretty red state, right? It would sort of be
like if Democrats in 2007 or 2008 had put forward an agenda for the
presidential candidates, including universal health care, they all ran on
universal health care. Then you get to the general election and suddenly
Barack Obama says, well, I`m not so sure I`m for universal health care.
We`ll see what the Congress comes up with in the end.

Nobody would buy that. And voters, I think, would treat that as being
absurd beyond belief. Like clearly somebody is trying to pull the wool
over my eyes.

But I think there`s a problem here that the Republicans sort of face
pretty consistently, which is that they have this agenda that is, on the
one hand, very plutocratic but on the other hand they represent states
where there`s a lot of rural poverty and things like that.

So they need to find other ways to sell the agenda and it`s only when
there`s focus on those agenda items that they end up in these, tripping
over themselves with these sort of false claims.

HAYES: I`m amazed by the enduring ability of the Paul Ryan budget to
screw over Republican politicians and I remember at the time, I mean,
Rachel and I remember on air talking about why would you vote for this
thing? It`s not going to pass and you just committed yourself to a whole
set of wildly unpopular policies.

And here it is, years later; it was painfully destructive for Mitt
Romney. I think the data bears that out. Here we are in 2014, Mitch
McConnell`s got a race on his hands and he`s trying to distance himself
from the Ryan budget in 2014.

BEUTLER: Right. So the way I view the Ryan budget, starting in 2011
and on until today -- and I guess it sort of got interrupted by the 2012
election, but it was a priming mechanism for Republicans in Congress.

The idea was the economy`s bad; the president`s signature agenda is
unpopular. He`s become very unpopular. There`s a real chance here that we
could take the White House, we could maybe take both houses of Congress and
we`ll have the kind of opportunity that has only been afforded to Democrats
in the past under FDR, LBJ, Obama, to impose an entirely conservative

And we can do it very quickly. And if they had won, they might have
had a chance to do it. Instead, they lost and now they`re stuck with the
Ryan budget even though there`s no opportunity on the horizon for them to
implement it.

HAYES: Brian Beutler, thank you so much.

BEUTLER: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Governor Rick Scott tries to answer questions about his use of
uniformed officers in a campaign event.

And in another story, Florida police officers allegedly connected to
the Ku Klux Klan. That`s ahead.


HAYES: Today brought the first Israeli fatality in what has become
the deadliest confrontation between Israel and the Palestinians in more
than five years as a 37-year-old civilian who had volunteered to distribute
food to Israeli soldiers was killed by mortar fire from Gaza.

The overwhelming majority of those killed in this round of violence
have been Palestinian. In fact, Palestinian officials say that after eight
days of Israeli air strikes, the death toll in Gaza now stands at nearly
200 people with another 1,500 wounded, many of them civilians, including


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Here, a mother sees her son for the
first time since he lost his leg and was badly burned.

"Osama, Osama, your mother is here, wake up," the doctor says.

"Please, God," she prays, "heal my son."

He doesn`t wake up and she leaves.


HAYES: It took less than 24 hours for a cease-fire proposal brokered
by Egypt and initially welcomed by the Israeli government, which
temporarily halted its attacks, to unravel.

The Hamas spokesman saying Hamas did not even receive the proposal nor
was consulted on it. Hamas is vowing to continue its rocket attacks until
its demands are met, including the opening of closed border crossings that
greatly restrict the movement of goods and people in and out of the 25-
square-mile Gaza Strip.

In Israel today sirens blared as Hamas rockets continued to fall. The
AP reported that before dusk more than 40 Hamas rockets hit Israel in just
a few minutes, including one that fell on an empty school.

In the Israeli town of Surgut (ph), which overlooks Gaza, citizens
have taken to setting up chairs to watch the bombardment of the
Palestinians as well as the rockets fired in their direction.

Meanwhile the Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, called on
his country to reinvade Gaza and topple Hamas. And with smoke clouds
billowing over the Gaza skyline amid a new round of airstrikes, Israeli
prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that the attacks would only


would have been preferable to have solved this diplomatically. And this is
what we tried to do when we accepted the Egyptian proposal for a cease-
fire. But Hamas leaves us no choice but to expand and intensify the
campaign against it.


HAYES: With the possibility of a ground invasion by Israeli forces
now on the horizon, today the Israeli military placed automated phone calls
to more than 100,000 Gaza City residents, warning them to evacuate their
homes by early Wednesday.

One resident of a neighborhood likely to be targeted told the AP he
wasn`t going anywhere.

"We know it`s risky," he said, "but there are no secure places to go


HAYES: Has not been the best week for Florida law enforcement. There
was Governor Rick Scott yesterday, refusing to give a straight answer to
some very pointed questions about a bunch of uniformed cops lined up behind
the governor at a campaign event a few days ago in Tampa. That is an
apparent violation of Florida law.

And there`s this story.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two veteran Fruitland Park police officers are off
the job this weekend because of their alleged involvement in the Ku Klux


HAYES: According to a confidential FBI report, Deputy Chief David
Borst, who has since quit, and Corporal George Hunnewell, who has since
been fired, were associated with the Klan. Borst, according to his police
chief, denies any involvement with the KKK.

The ex-wife of Officer Hunnewell, who is also a police officer in the
department, is now saying that she and her husband joined the KKK as part
of an undercover operation, because, quote, "they were trying to find out
if another officer was a KKK member."

She said that was in 2008.

And it turns out in 2009, another Fruitland Park officer was accused
of having Klan ties. That man, James Elkins, quit the force after it was
discovered he was a KKK recruiter. Here`s a picture reported to be of
Elkins in full Klan get-up over the top of his police uniform, including
his gun and badge.

But the craziest story this week just might be out of Miami-Dade
County, where, thanks to some great reporting from our affiliate, we
learned that the full story today of a botched sting operation three years
ago, in which 100 Miami-Dade police officers were setting a trap at the
house for a home invasion crew they say were responsible for dozens of

A police informant had lured three other men to a house and told them
drugs and money were stashed inside.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Bettencourt, the informant, was
supposed to drive the invaders to the trap and stay in the car.

BETTENCOURT, INFORMANT: You heard everything, right? The problem is
he wants me to go with him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Bettencourt balks.

BETTENCOURT: I`m not. I got three kids.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): A bit later, Bettencourt makes what
is likely his last call to his wife.

BETTENCOURT: OK? Bye. I love you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Then as officers listen in,
Bettencourt utters the code phrase prosecutors say was supposed to signal a

BETTENCOURT: After this, I`m heading to Disney World.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): But instead of aborting the operation
or moving in to rescue their informant, Miami-Dade police let the men
continue to their violent deaths.

HAYES (voice-over): All four of the men were shot to death, including
Bettencourt, who is seen on aerial surveillance with his hands up, slowly
getting on the ground, surrendering as instructed by officers.

The last man to be killed by police that day was Roger Gonzalez, who
was unarmed when he was shot.

A warning, the video we`re about to show you now is violent and


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Four officers surround the unarmed
man and, when they say he moved for his waistband, unleashed 52 rounds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shots fired. Shots fired.


HAYES: Although prosecutors say only one of the killings was
justified, they say there wasn`t enough evidence to support any criminal
charges against the officers.

Joining me now, Phillip Agnew, the executive director of Dream
Defenders, who`s working in Florida to challenge police brutality and

And Phillip, you guys have been organizing in Florida around issues of
police community relations and police law enforcement.

What`s your reaction to this story and the broad trends in Florida in
terms of how law enforcement conducts itself?

PHILLIP AGNEW, DREAM DEFENDERS: To us, it`s nothing new. We`ve been
saying this since the Michael Dunn verdict that there`s nothing that has
changed in the state of Florida. There`s nothing new.

The videos that are now coming out, there`s been video of children
being assaulted. There are stories in Miami Gardens of rampant stop-and-
frisk. So this is not a new story for us. It should come as no surprise
that a police department is now finding that some of its members are in the
ranks of the KKK, something that many young people and people of color have
felt when they encounter an officer.

They`re encountering someone that hates them every single day. And so
it`s really no surprise to us when we hear a story like this come out,
because it`s been very obvious and apparent to us.

But it`s in times like these that we don`t worry so much about the
ones pictured in the hoods, but the ones who are not, the ones who are
gunning down people, like Israel Hernandez in Miami, the ones that are
pulling over thousands of kids in Miami Gardens, the ones that shot up a
man 40 times in an open field in Polk County, Florida.

It`s those people that are a lot harder to see and it`s a lot more
uncomfortable for a sheriff to remove deputies out of their office that are
doing things that are perpetuating hate, that are resulting in the death of
young black and brown people.

HAYES: You just mentioned a shooting in Polk County. You guys are
doing some targeted organizing in Polk County.

Tell me about what`s going on in Polk County?

AGNEW: We`re organizing. Next week on Monday through the next
Wednesday, we`ll be having a freedom school, where we`ll be bringing
together hundreds of young people from around that community to begin to
engage them in a discussion about what kind of Polk County they want to

We`ve got a sheriff there, Sheriff Grady Judd, who, years ago, passed
a law that allowed for young people to the age of 5 years old to be
incarcerated in adult prisons.

We`ve got immigrant populations there who can`t live like first-class
citizens because his department operates a dragnet over that community.

You`ve got young people, you`ve got people in schools who want to be
educated but are being put into prison at record rates.

And so we`re organizing with that community there. And there are a
number of partners that are building, they are organizing. Elijah
Armstrong is down there right now, he`s a native of Polk County.

And we`re going to build something there that says, hey, this is a
community and how we want to be policed. We think we can do it better than
you and the way you`re doing it is wrong and immoral.

HAYES: What do you think is the path forward?

Obviously there are structural questions and legal questions about
internal affairs and in the case we just mentioned it seems there`s not
enough evidence to prosecute.

But how much of this is about empowering people that are in a
community like Polk County, to demand accountability? How much is about
electing a new sheriff?

What is the path forward for a police department that doesn`t look the
way that some of the worst ones do?

AGNEW: I mean, there are a lot of models around the country. We`re
advocating for a community policing model, a model that says the police
officers that say on the side of their car that they`re there to protect
and to serve should really truly be doing that.

Racial profiling isn`t the way to do it and it`s been proven. Stop-
and-frisk isn`t the way to do it and it`s been proven. Police harassment,
police beatings, mass incarceration of people is not the way to do it. So
there has to be a better way forward. We`re not the ones with all the
answers. We believe that the community should be out front --


AGNEW: -- in figuring out how best to keep them safe. That`s what
we`re putting forth and that`s what we`ll be doing in Polk County and in
communities around the state over the next few weeks.

HAYES: Phillip Agnew of the Dream Defender, thank you.

AGNEW: Thank you very much.

HAYES: The headline: "Mom Jailed because She Let Her 9-Year Old Play
in the Park Unsupervised."

The details ahead.


HAYES: Did you hear the one about the mom who was arrested for
letting her 9-year-old daughter play at the playground?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): It`s an afternoon of fun in the water
at Summerfield Park in North Augusta, but investigators say it wasn`t
enjoyable for one little girl. Public safety investigators say 46-year-old
Deborah Harrell confessed to leaving her 9-year-old daughter alone in the
park for several hours while she went to work.


HAYES: Deborah Harrell works at a McDonald`s in North Augusta, South
Carolina. As one of our next guests, Lenore Skenazy, found out through
talking with Harrell`s lawyer, Harrell`s daughter will come to work with
her at the McDonald`s and play on a laptop Harrell had scrounged up the
money to purchase.

Sadly the Harrell home was robbed and the laptop was stolen so the
girl asked her mother if she could be dropped off at the park to play

Harrell agreed to that arrangement, gave her daughter a cell phone and
an adult in the park noticing Harrell`s daughter was alone asked the girl
where her mother was. She told the adult her mother was at work.

The cops were called. And Deborah Harrell was then arrested and
charged with the unlawful neglect of a child. Her daughter was reportedly
taken into custody by South Carolina Department of Social Services.

Deborah Harrell is just the latest in a series headline-making cases
in which parents have been arrested for not caring for their children in a
way the state expects them. And the questions is, is that expectation in
this case and others appropriate?

Should this woman have been put in jail for this and is the kid better

Joining me now, Rebecca Traister, senior editor of "The New Republic,"
and Lenore Skenazy, author of "Free-Range Kids."

Lenore, you wrote a piece a while back about letting your 9-year old
ride the subway. And you -- you`re the one that sort of pulled out this
story and talked to the lawyer.

What caught your attention about it?

LENORE SKENAZY, AUTHOR: What caught my attention is that I think we
all remember spending hours, as the mother confessed to letting her child
do, spending hours of our summer days at the park and nobody considered our
parents negligent or abusive, because the idea of being at a park with a
lot of other kids with sprinklers is a wonderful way to spend the day, not
a terrible way that a bad mom had the temerity to let her child go off, be

What kills me about the reporter that you had, it`s like, she
confessed to letting her child go alone to the park.

Well, it wasn`t alone at a park. This is a popular park.

HAYES: Right.

SKENAZY: Lots of kids. And apparently lots of busybodies. That to
me is a safe park except for the busybodies.

HAYES: Well, this is -- this is something that has to do with --
there`s two things happening here. There`s the enforcement of a law in a
bad way, Rebecca.

There`s also norms and expectations about how kids have to be looked
over and those have changed over time. I mean, it is true that the norm
about how much parents have to attend to their kids 30 or 40 years ago was
very different than the norm that is being enforced now.

to have changed in tandem with women increasing their power in public and
economic spheres, not that Harrell, in her job at McDonald`s, was
necessarily somebody who was economically threatening.

But it is true that our norms for how kids are to be parented, and
let`s make no mistake, mothered, how they`re to be cared for by their
mothers, have changed absolutely in line with women moving into workforces
and out of homes and out of partner dependency relationships on men, in
which men are the earners.

And the pressure is on them to take care of their children in very
specific, very attentive, very time-consuming ways, have being ratcheted up
as a reaction, a cultural reaction to women moving out of homes.

HAYES: Here`s the data on that. The amount of time married mothers
devoted to childcare -- this is fascinating -- increased from 10 hours a
week to over 14, between 65 in 2011. This is during the time --


TRAISTER: When Betty Friedan wrote "The Feminine Mystique," those
feminine mystique housewives were spending less time with their children
than working, employed, paid mothers now spend with their children.

HAYES: OK. So play devil`s advocate, Lenore, in this case. You`re a
parent at the park, you see this kid a few days in a row. You notice there
are no parents around and you say, innocently, where are your parents?

She says she`s at work.

Is it so crazy to think this is not an OK arrangement?

SKENAZY: Well, I would think if you were somebody who`s truly
concerned about a child and you see her without a parent, are you scared?
Are you hungry? Are you lonely? Do you have a phone?

She wasn`t scared, wasn`t lonely, wasn`t hungry, had a phone, asked
her mother to please drop her off at the park that day, at which point I
would be, if I was still concerned, I would keep my eye on her because
that`s what a good Samaritan does.

They don`t assume what a terrible mother. She`s doing it wrong. I
better call the cops.

Why have we decided to criminalize parents who trust their kids and
trust their community?

I was happy that my mom let me play outside when I was 9 years old.
And I`m glad that she trusted me; I`m glad I had the time to make up games
and play.

Why are we treating this woman like a criminal?

TRAISTER: Because it`s easier to treat women like criminals to
evaluate, judge and criticize the way they are mothering, parenting, than
it is to actually make policies that would help the children. The idea
that this is all out of concern --


HAYES: Yes. What is she supposed to do?

TRAISTER: We don`t make any legislation or laws or policies like
providing childcare, like providing higher minimum wages for McDonald`s
employees to pay for childcare, we don`t put money into improving our
public parks or our public schools. We don`t legislate against guns that
would make those parks, McDonald`s and schools safer for 9-year-old girls.

What we do do is throw them in jail.

SKENAZY: Right. So we`re putting our money into more cops, who are
going around -- and if you have the wrong idea, if you think that times are
more dangerous and that there are more, you know, predators and pedophiles
and people scary that are going to hurt your child, well, then, of course,
you`re going to be scared for your kids.

HAYES: That`s right.

SKENAZY: But that`s the opposite of the truth. The crime rate is at
a 40-year low. We are still lucky to be raising our kids now in safer
times than any time in the `70s, `80s or `90s and it`s not just because
we`re helicoptering our kids.

The crime rate is down for adults, for cars, for men. The crime rate
is down. It makes more sense to let our kids go out and less sense to have
all these cops worrying that their parents are negligent if the child waits
in a car for five minutes during an errand or if they play in the park on a
sunny day with sprinklers.

HAYES: That`s right. The key sort of paranoia I think driving this
is the terrible fear parents have of some stranger abducting a kid who`s
unattended. That threat is so remote.

TRAISTER: So remote.

HAYES: Statistically that there are -- saying you getting in car to
drive your kids somewhere is much, much bigger threat to their safety than
having them play in a park.

Rebecca Traister, Lenore Skenazy, thank you both.

TRAISTER: Thanks, Chris.

SKENAZY: Thanks, Rebecca, too. That was great.

HAYES: Deborah Harrell isn`t the only mom facing charges. A story of
meth, pregnancy and a new Tennessee law ahead.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Madison Vells Mallory Loyola (ph)
gave birth Sunday. A couple days later she found herself locked up at the
Monroe County Jail, charged with simple assault for illegally using drugs
while pregnant.


HAYES: Last week 26-year-old Mallory Loyola will become the first
woman to be arrested and charged for breaking a new Tennessee law that
criminalizes mothers for using drugs while pregnant.

Local authorities say that Loyola admitted to smoking methamphetamine
just a few days before giving birth and both she and her newborn baby girl
tested positive for the drug.

The Tennessee law is the first of its kind in the nation, clearing the
state legislature with bipartisan support. Republican State Senator Mike
Bell explained why he voted against the measure, noting, "I represent a
rural district and there`s no treatment facility for these women here.

"And it would be a substantial drive for a woman caught in one of
these situations to go to an approved treatment facility. Looking at the
map of the state, there are several areas where this is going to be a

Joining me now, Dorothy Roberts, professor of Africana studies and
director of the Race Science and Society program at the University of

Professor Roberts, I think a lot of people have a broadly shared
intuition that it`s a really bad idea to do drugs while you`re pregnant.
This seems to be, this Tennessee law seems a policy expression of that

Why do you think it`s bad policy?

because there`s no evidence that it actually protects children from
maternal drug use. That`s a health problem that should be treated as a
health problem, not by punishing women.

There`s also lots of evidence that these prosecutions are racially
biased. There have been hundreds of them in the United States and the vast
majority of women who are prosecuted are black women who use crack cocaine
during pregnancy.

And it also diverts attention away from the real reasons why children
are vulnerable, from poverty, racial discrimination, the difficulties of
raising children in poverty and blames their mother`s conduct instead of
looking at the real roots of why children are in jeopardy in this country.

There`s research showing that -- yes?

HAYES: That research, I want you to talk about that research in a
second, but I wanted to bring it back to crack cocaine, because you`ve
written on this. You published on this and followed it.

Of course, there was this wave of legislation during the 1990s, when
there was a lot of worry about so-called crack babies.

What did that legislation do and what did we later find out from the
research about the actual science of women that were ingesting crack
cocaine while they were pregnant?

ROBERTS: Exactly. So during the late 1980s into the 1990s, the major
targets of this kind of prosecution were black women who used drugs during
pregnancy and they were prosecuted under criminal laws that already
existed, like distribution of drugs to a minor or child abuse or even
assault with a deadly weapon.

And this was based on the myth of the crack baby that, for some
reason, crack cocaine, unlike other drugs, caused irreparable damage to
children, even causing them to have social problems, to become welfare
dependents and criminals, all total nonsense, totally unsupported by
scientific evidence.

And the most recent research that actually tracks these children shows
that their outcomes are no worse than other poor children in their
neighborhoods. And the real harm to children is poverty, lack of good
nutrition, lack of good housing and the other damages that can be caused by
not having the resources that mothers need to raise their children.

HAYES: The study you`re alluding to, I think we reported on the
program, was a longitudinal study that actually tracks kids born during
this era, all in poor neighborhoods, some whose mothers had used crack
cocaine, some who hadn`t.

The conclusion basically was the biggest problem these kids have is
being poor, that crack cocaine was essentially trivial when compared to
that poverty.

ROBERTS: Exactly. There was never evidence that crack cocaine use
caused any particular harms to children or was worse for children than
harms of poverty or that the reason that doctors were seeing certain health
problems in children was because of their mother`s crack use.

That was an excuse, as I said, to divert attention away from the real
systemic problems we have in this country based on racism, poverty, gender
discrimination against women, trying to control pregnant women`s behavior
instead of looking at those problems, blaming mothers, especially poor
black mothers for the problems their children are facing.

HAYES: Dorothy Roberts, thank you so much.

That is ALL IN for this evening. The RACHEL MADDOW show starts now
starring a suited and spiffy Steve Kornacki.


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