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PoliticsNation, Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Read the transcript from the Monday show

Date: March 2, 2015
Guest: Jan Schakowsky, Joan Walsh, Faith Jenkins, Paul Henderson, Jamilah
Lemieux, Josh Zepps, Tara Dowdell

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you for
tuning in. We start tonight with breaking news.

President Obama is speaking out about a controversial speech to Congress
tomorrow from the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He was
invited, Netanyahu was, to give that speech by House Republicans without
consulting the president. That snub has led to major political and
diplomatic tensions both here in the U.S. and in Israel.


think it`s a mistake for the prime minister of any country to come to speak
before Congress a few weeks before they`re about to have an election. It
makes it look like we are taking sides. I think those who offer the
invitation and some of the commentators who have said this is the right
thing to do, it`s worth asking them whether when George W. Bush had
initiated the war in Iraq and Democrats were controlling Congress if they
had invited, let`s say, president of France to appear before Congress to
criticize, or to air those disagreements, I think most people would say,
well, that wouldn`t be the right thing to do.


SHARPTON: Today, Netanyahu tried to downplay the mess in a speech to a
pro-Israel group in Washington.


show any disrespect to President Obama or the esteemed office that he
holds. I have great respect for both.

The last thing that I would want is for Israel to become a partisan issue,
and I regret that some people have misperceived my visit here this week as
doing that.


SHARPTON: Tomorrow, Netanyahu is expected to talk about how he opposes a
possible deal with Iran over its nuclear program. But some Democrats are
still furious about Speaker Boehner`s snub to the president.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: I do not want to see the Congress of the
United States being used as a prop or a photo opportunity in his re-
election campaign.

Does he speak for you?

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: No, he doesn`t speak for me on
this. He doesn`t at all --

BASH: Does that bother you when he says he speaks for all Jews?

FEINSTEIN: Yes, I think it`s a rather arrogant statement.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don`t do this in the House of Representatives. It
is wrong to do it. So a lot of people are not going to be there.


SHARPTON: So far, at least 53 Democrats have said they will skip the
speech. And Boehner`s gamble is not just backfiring here. It`s creating
major problems for Netanyahu in Israel, too. One hundred eighty retired
Israeli generals have denounced the speech.


DANNY YATOM, FORMER HEAD OF MOSSAD: What Mr. Netanyahu is doing now by
going to the -- to Washington and approached the Congress above the head of
the administration, above the head of President Obama, is a big mistake,
and a wrong step. Netanyahu ruins the Israeli/American relations.


SHARPTON: Today, President Obama`s Ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power,
said the U.S. will always have Israel`s back.


SAMANTHA POWER, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: You may also have heard
lately of tension in the relationship between the United States and Israel.

We believe firmly that Israel`s security and the U.S./Israel partnership
transcends politics. And it always will.


SHARPTON: Joining me now are Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Democrat from
Illinois. She is not attending tomorrow`s speech and Dana Milbank from the
"Washington Post" who just wrote about the controversy today.

Thank you, both, for being here.



SHARPTON: Congresswoman, let me just ask you, why do you think it`s
important not to attend the prime minister`s speech tomorrow?

SCHAKOWSKY: You know, the House of Representatives is probably the most
prestigious venue in the world for someone to speak, and now it is being
used strictly for partisan political reasons. John Boehner didn`t consult
with the White House, consulted only with the Republicans to set this up
for his own partisan political reasons.

That`s very dangerous for the state of Israel. It`s not good as a Jew, I
say, for the United States either. And beyond that, the intention of the
speech is to undermine the president and the (INAUDIBLE) -- our allies,
their efforts in order to make sure that Iran does not have a nuclear
weapon. And my question is, what are the alternatives? Seems to me a
likely one is war with Iran if we don`t have a negotiated agreement.

SHARPTON: You say to undermine the president`s strategy in terms of Iran
and his -- but you say he`s doing it for political partisan reasons.
You`re talking about his election two weeks from now at home in Israel?

SCHAKOWSKY: Well, I was mainly thinking about John Boehner, but certainly,
the timing is not appropriate for the prime minister, either. In his last
election, he used an ad that was taken on the floor of the House of
Representatives showing people standing and clapping and with the tag line,
"when the prime minister speaks, the world listens." And so he`s certainly
done it before. He may be doing it again. I don`t want to be part of

SHARPTON: Now, Dana, this is not normal.


SHARPTON: This is not regular procedure for a head of state to come to
this country without being invited by the president. This is unusual.

MILBANK: No, of course, Reverend. It is extraordinary that this has
happened. It`s clearly an effort by John Boehner and the prime minister to
make President Obama look impotent in his negotiations with Iran to
undermine that, but it`s backfired and it`s had the opposite effect and
you`ve seen the Democrats really rally around the president. It`s probably
weakened the case to impose new sanctions. Now you have the very real
possibility that Netanyahu is going it look over to his right on the
Democratic side tomorrow and see, you know, a lot of empty seats and get
self-conscious and maybe pop some altoids (ph) or something to bring it

SHARPTON: Let me -- let me zero in, in a term you just used, backfire,
because you wrote today, quote, "this all will likely backfire by firming
democratic assistance to more Iran sanctions, and in the long run by
politicizing U.S./Israeli relations." Why is this political move going to
backfire, Dana?

MILBANK: Well, in the short term, as I say, a lot of the Democrats who had
been interested in tougher sanctions against Iran are saying, OK, well, we
want to hold off on that until these negotiations are complete. And
that`s, I think, a direct response to what Netanyahu is doing, but in the
long term, you could see it at AIPAC today. I was there in the hall, and
it really has the feeling that, you know, the AIPAC lobby has gone very
heavily Conservative, very heavily Republican. A lot of American Jews
don`t agree with that. It`s split the American Jewish community. And as
you were just reporting on there, it`s had a similar effect in Israel.
This won`t by itself destroy the U.S./Israeli relationship, but it`s very
unusual for each other for us to get involved in each other`s domestic

SHARPTON: But talking about how it -- the reaction, Congresswoman, and I
mean, I think it`s a pretty strong word that Dana used saying this was done
to make the president look impotent. And then when you look at the fact
that the prime minister tried to back away from it today and then Speaker
Boehner says he`s surprised the White House was so upset. Listen to this.


wonder is why the White House feels threatened because the Congress, the
wants to support Israel, and wants to hear what a trusted ally has to say.
It has been, frankly, remarkable to me to the extent to which over the last
five or six weeks the White House has attacked the prime minister, attacked
me, for wanting to hear from one of our closest allies.


SHARPTON: But Congresswoman, if he was surprised at the White House
reaction, then why did he keep it from the White House if he didn`t think
the White House would have some questions or concerns? I mean, he even had
some justification as to why he didn`t tell the White House. Now he`s

SCHAKOWSKY: Yes, really the reaction by the White House has been mostly
against John Boehner, not against Netanyahu. And if they wanted, that is
Boehner and Netanyahu, wanted to communicate concerns about the
negotiation, probably the worst way to do it is to do it in this ultra
public setting. Clearly, the idea is to go around the president to make
the case that this is a bad deal, which by the way, has not been completed

We don`t know of all the things that are in there, and the intention of
this negotiation is to avoid a war. I think the Americans are war wary,
and for me, that`s really the most important consideration, that we get an
agreement that keeps Iran from having a bomb. There`s no light between
Israel and the United States from that.

SHARPTON: That`s important. But you know, Dana, just so we`re clear, the
United States and Israel both want to keep Iran from getting nuclear
weapons. That`s not the conflict. This all centers on Iran`s nuclear
negotiations. The U.S. wants to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon.
It wants regular inspections and it wants Iran to get rid of enriched
uranium. Iran wants nuclear power for civilians and wants the U.S. to ease
economic sanction.


SHARPTON: The president says if this works, it`s the best way to keep Iran
from having a nuclear weapon. Watch this.


OBAMA: I`m confident that if in fact a deal is arrived at it`s going to be
a deal that is most likely to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
If they do agree to it, it would be far more effective in controlling their
nuclear program than any military action we could take, any military action
the Israel could take, and far more effective than sanctions will be.


SHARPTON: Congresswoman, I see you nodding. Is this not the plan, and are
we risking it with moves like with the prime minister is doing with Mr.

SCHAKOWSKY: You know, I remember, and I saw recently people would be wise
to look at the prime minister`s speech before congressional committee in
2002, urging us to go to war with Iraq and to take out Saddam Hussein. And
saying that actually that there would be enormous positive repercussions in
the region if we did that. And that our problem was that we had to go to
war with our inner weakness, that is our weakness to -- and reluctance to
actually take the necessary step to go to war. So this isn`t the first
time we`ve heard Benjamin Netanyahu do this, come and ask us essentially, I
think, to go to war.

SHARPTON: Well, what Dana, I think we want the best terms, I think we want
the best protection for everyone, but I`m certain that this may not be the
best way to do this.

MILBANK: Well, look, I mean, very plainly, Netanyahu does not believe the
assurances of the Obama administration and what Samantha power again said
today that Iran will not be allowed to get a nuclear weapon. But when it
comes down to it, if you don`t take that course, highly unlikely sanctions
do it, does it by itself so it does becomes a matter of, well, when does
the bombing begin?

SHARPTON: Well, I think that Boehner has tried a move that is not only
backfiring for him, it probably will backfire for Prime Minister Netanyahu.
But what the real concern is it doesn`t backfire for the process of trying
to reach the goal of some kind of real negotiations with Iran to stop them
from having these nuclear weapons.

Congresswoman Schakowsky, Dana Milbank, thank you both for your time

SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you.

MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, was it excessive force? A deadly killing from the
Los Angeles police was caught on tape.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s got my gun. He`s got my gun. [ gunshots ]



SHARPTON: Plus, newly released e-mails sent years before Jihadi John
joined ISIS reveal a man with suicidal thoughts.

And the most dramatic video you`ll see today. A skydiver has a seizure
free falling in the sky and lived to tell the story.

And was it funny or was it poor taste? We debate the "Saturday Night Live"
ISIS skit.

Big show ahead. Please stay with us.



SEN. BARBARA MIKULSKI (D), MARYLAND: Do I spend my time raising money or
do I spend my time raising hell? I want to give 120 percent of my time
focused on my constituents because it`s never been about me. It`s always
been about them.


SHARPTON: Senator Barbara Mikulski today, announcing she will not seek re-
election in 2016. The Maryland Democrat has served in Congress longer than
any other woman in history. Nearly 40 years when she first joined the
Senate, women weren`t even allowed in the Senate gym, and they weren`t
allowed to wear pants on the Senate floor. She changed all that. Senator
Mikulski has been a tough progressive voice for decades and a mentor to
generations of women in congress.


MIKULSKI: But hey, we the women of the Senate with President Obama by our
side, we`re going to keep fighting. Our shoulders square. Our lipstick
on. Because you deserve equal pay for your hard work.


SHARPTON: We congratulate Senator Mikulski on her storied career, and I
look forward to many more years of her raising heck.


SHARPTON: 2015 was supposed to be a banner year for Speaker Boehner. He
finally had a fully Republican Congress. It would be great like getting a
hole in one every day. Things would run so smoothly, maybe he`d have time
to take in a few more ball game, get some cracker jacks. No more
shutdowns. No more governing by crisis. He`d finally get a chance to just
sit outside and chill ax. Of course, of course, things haven`t turned out
that way. In reality, the year`s gone from bad to worse.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE ANCHOR: Do you like your job?

BOEHNER: At most days. Friday wasn`t a whole lot of fun, but most days.


SHARPTON: Friday wasn`t all that fun. Friday was terrible. Speaker
Boehner couldn`t get his own party to vote to keep the Department of
Homeland Security running. They finally passed a one-week budget just
hours before the department would have run out of money. It was a
disaster, but this weekend, Boehner and his team tried to downplay the
whole thing.


BOEHNER: We do have some members who disagree from time to time over the
tactics that we decide to employ.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R), CALIFORNIA: We have difference of opinion in
strategy and tactics.

REP. STEVE SCALISE (R), LOUISIANA: Our members have a lot of differences
on how maybe we want to go about tactics.


SHARPTON: They`ve got those lines down. And guess who they blamed?
President Obama.


SCALISE: Our goal is to fight this president`s illegal actions on

MCCARTHY: This president has created this frustration.

BOEHNER: We all want to do things that stop the president from his illicit

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, that`s the --


SHARPTON: It`s a good set of talking points. Now all they`ve got to do is
figure out how to govern. Joining me now is`s Joan Walsh. Thank
you for being here.

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, rev. Thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: Joan, if Speaker Boehner can`t get his members to vote for
homeland security, can he do anything?

WALSH: No, I don`t think he can do anything. And I -- you know, I really
think that they put that vote on the floor, they thought that they had the
vote. They`ve done this time and again, Rev, where they try a compromise
with their members but strangely they come up short. They have to turn to
Nancy Pelosi to get anything done. And so I think that this idea that they
are only disagreeing on tactics, no, they`ve got to caucus in their caucus,
a small caucus, that doesn`t believe that government should work, that is
really comfortable shutting down the Department of Homeland Security which
can`t help but harm our security and possibly even affect the border which
is so preposterous. That is a real difference, and until they stand up to
those people, nothing is going to get done.

SHARPTON: You know what struck me, the "Wall Street Journal" --


SHARPTON: -- was out with a really tough editorial on the situation today.
The "Wall Street Journal."

WALSH: Saw it.

SHARPTON: It was headlined "Squandering a GOP majority." it says, quote "a
majority in Congress is a terrible thing to waste, but only two months into
their largest majority since the 1920s, Republicans are well on their way."
I mean, it`s this bad two months in. How much worse can it get, Joan?

WALSH: Well, it can only get worse. Never say that, Rev. We`ve said it
before and they get there`s a bottom, they find a new bottom to the bottom.
So that can still happen. But -- but, right, I mean, Speaker Boehner and
Mitch McConnell said we`re going to take over, we`re going to show the
nation that we`re going to govern. McConnell said we don`t want to be
scary, we don`t want to scare people. And now they`re in danger of letting
the Department of Homeland Security close. That is scary and they can`t
show that they have a way to govern, that they have a way pass --

SHARPTON: But you know, it`s really no surprise because he can`t handle
these conservative. He`s been whining and complaining about this for a
long time. But that far right contingent in congress, he can`t manage
them, can`t handle them.

WALSH: He can`t handle them. But you know, I really think it`s kind of
preposterous. I don`t see them mounting a challenge to him that really
matters. Yes, they ran three candidates against him earlier this year.
Eric Cantor is gone. I mean, there`s nobody that I see them coalescing
around. They could possibly make common cause with Democrats, but I don`t
see Democrats doing that. So what is he really afraid of besides being
criticized, you know, on right wing social media?

SHARPTON: But let`s take Congressman Peter King, for example. He`s gone
even further. Listen to this.


REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: I said the other night at the Republican
meeting that they`re self-righteous and delusional. We`re talking about
maybe 40, 50 people at most out of a caucus of 247. Out of a Congress of
435. We cannot allow such a small group to be dominating and controlling
the -- what happens in the United States Congress.


SHARPTON: Well, I mean, he won`t stand up to them. Maybe it`s him. Maybe
he doesn`t have the strength internally. But will we shut down Friday?
Will we go over the cliff this Friday? We only have a week extension.

WALSH: I doubt it. I think what we saw with the week extension is what`s
going to carry the day, that he will have to turn to Nancy Pelosi who
really is the power in the House at this point and he`ll have to put
something on the floor without that doesn`t defund the president`s orders
and he will have to get Democratic partners. I think he will do that
again. He has done it in the past at the last minute. I see that

SHARPTON: Joan Walsh, thank you for your time tonight.

WALSH: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, "The Justice Files." New questions about that
deadly police shooting video in Los Angeles.

And the stunning legal attack on the 12-year-old boy gunned down by police
in Cleveland.

Also, we`re hearing from the hero who saved that skydiver having a seizure.

And we`re talking about the "SNL" skit on ISIS that some say went way too
far. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Republicans know there`s only one way to truly express just how
worried you are about the state of the country. It`s by using this stock
image of a young boy waving a flag slowly. Buzzfeed has found that he`s
the star of a ton of political ads. Mostly Republican.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We understand that true freedom and prosperity doesn`t
come from the mighty hand of the government.


SHARPTON: Apparently, true freedom only comes from the hand of a young boy
waving a flag slowly. He`s also been in Freedomworks adds in Kentucky and


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Repeal the Obamacare tax on your family.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are fighting the epic fight of our generation.


SHARPTON: And nobody can fight that fight like young boy waving flag
slowly. He showed up again in ads for Marco Rubio, the Romney/Ryan
campaign even had an entire ad that was just him.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: America is more than just a place, though. America --


SHARPTON: Apparently America is also young boy waving flag slowly. I
think these conservatives have it all figured out. What better way to
express their anxiety about Obama`s America than by showing this same stock
video over and over again? Fortunately, I have a new clip they can use.
It`s called "Al Sharpton waving flag slowly concerned about why
conservatives are using the same stock video on every ad and what this says
about the lack of GOP`s imagination." But in the meantime, we gotcha.


SHARPTON: It`s time for "The Justice Files." Joining me now, prosecutor
and legal analyst Paul Henderson, and former prosecutor and host of "Judge
Faith," Faith Jenkins. Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: We start with a deadly LAPD shooting caught on camera. And an
investigation happening right now. A homeless man was fatally shot during
a struggle with officers. Police say he was fighting back after a reported
burglary. The man was wrestled to the ground and tasered. I have to warn
you, the footage is disturbing.






SHARPTON: Whoa! Oh, my God!


SHARPTON: At a press conference today, the police chief said the man`s
actions led to the shooting.


CHARLIE BECK, LAPD POLICE CHIEF: While on the ground and struggling with
the officers, the man forcibly grabbed one of the officers` holstered
pistols resulting in an officer-involved shooting.


SHARPTON: And just breaking tonight, three officers involved in the
shooting have been placed on paid leave. Faith, based on what you saw, was
it excessive force?

JENKINS: Well, you can`t see -- I can`t tell from the video whether or not
this individual went for the officer`s gun because that`s going to be the
heart of the investigation. A key part of this investigation. Did he
actually two for the officer`s gun? Was there a life or death struggle
over the gun? Because remember what that standard is for an officer using
deadly force. They`re supposed to use every other kind of force before
they result to using deadly force. That should be the last option. And
there`s been a problem in a lot of these cases and why so many people have
been so upset about these cases, Rev, because it appears that the officers
are too quick to pull out their guns and use deadly force in situations
where a lesser use of force, and I know in this situation they did tase
this man, could be used.

SHARPTON: But Paul, there are four, five officers around. Is it a
challenge for them to have to prove that this was the only thing they could

HENDERSON: Well, I think the challenge will be answered, and in looking at
that videotape, what were the facts and circumstances surrounding that
incident? So when you see that someone is struggling, and you see that it
is a big struggle, so, for instance, we saw that the batons were falling
down. That the taser was being used and the struggle was continuing.
Those are all elements that will be analyzed in determining how much force
could be used and just like Faith said, when you have an individual
reaching for a gun or actually putting their hands on a gun, it changes the
whole dynamic, so when you hear someone say "gun," everything changes and
that`s what`s going to be crucial, that`s what`s going to be analyzed when
they`re having the conversation about whether or not this was excessive
force when they actually shot him.

SHARPTON: But when we say that that`s going to be crucial, I agree. Some
eyewitnesses disagree with the police saying what happened. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Did he reach for the officer`s weapon?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Don`t see that.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You didn`t see that?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: My footage don`t say that, my eyes don`t so that, so no.
It looked like a cop just dropped his own taser on a goof ball. So, oops,
I dropped my taser and they shot the man.


SHARPTON: So witnesses are saying they didn`t see that.


SHARPTON: We don`t know what closer examination of the tape is going to

JENKINS: Well, it also in this case, at least two of the officers were
part of a pilot program in L.A. and they were wearing body cameras.


JENKINS: So, this is going to be one of the first cases where we see what
the outcome is going to be with the use of these body cameras in a case
like this because that`s what you`re going to be looking for. If there was
evidence -- this officer, he does stay on the tape, put the gun down, or
drop the gun, is there evidence to support him? Is there video graphic
evidence to support what he`s saying?

SHARPTON: All right. Now to a story a lot of people are talking about
today. The city of Cleveland is blaming a 12-year-old boy for his own
death. Last November, Cleveland police shot and killed Tamir Rice while he
was playing with a toy pellet gun. Surveillance video shows police shoot
and kill Rice less than two seconds after arriving on the scene. Now in
response to a lawsuit from the family, the city of Cleveland charges in a
court filing that Rice`s death was directly caused by his own actions,
accusing him of quote, "failure to exercise due care to avoid injury."
Meaning that he was waving around a toy gun. The city denies any
wrongdoing, but the mayor has now apologized for, quote, insensitive
wording. Paul, the failure to exercise due care to avoid injury in two

HENDERSON: Yes, this is a real issue, and this goes into the legal weeds
of actual and proximate cause, but taking such an aggressive stand against
this dead child and his family, and keep in mind, this is the exact case
that we broke the news here on your show where we talked about Ohio being
an open carry state and so that even if someone had an actual weapon out,
it`s not necessarily illegal, and so the actions of the police and the
actions of the attorneys who have filed this defense in this case, I think
is a little bit inappropriate and that`s why you`re seeing this big
reaction and you`re seeing an actual apology from the mayor --


HENDERSON: -- while the legal courts are evaluating whether or not this is
the defense that`s going to be used effectively and appropriately.

SHARPTON: Now, the video that we`re watching is him waving the toy gun
before they got there.


SHARPTON: But when they got there, in two seconds, he was shot. And it is
a state where you can have open gun, as Paul said. Now, while the mayor
did apologize, as Paul said, for the language in the filing, he went on to
say they stand by their claims. Watch this.


FRANK JACKSON, CLEVELAND MAYOR: Our law department will be filing an
amended complaint, amended answer to the complaint that will deal with
insensitivity of the language and the characterization that we use, but
also at the same time, preserve the defense.


SHARPTON: So they`ll change the language, Faith, but they still claim the
12-year-old boy caused his own death.

JENKINS: Well, these are lawyers doing their job, right? What is this
really about? Any admission on their part -- this is a multimillion dollar
lawsuit filed against the city. They have to defend. If they don`t raise
these defenses now, they could waive them further down the road. So,
they`re going to raise whatever they can right now. They know this is a
case that will probably be settled. And they will have to settle out of
court. And there`s going to be a payment made. Any admission by them will
be used against them later on. And here you have a case where you have a
police officer who was forced to resign from another force who`s now on
this police force. Responds to a phone call, a 911 call about someone
waving a gun. The caller actually says it`s probably a toy gun. That
message somehow isn`t related to these officers. He pulls up and shoots
and fires and it ends up being a 12-year-old who did nothing wrong.

SHARPTON: There`s a lot there. Paul Henderson, Faith Jenkins, thank you
both for your time tonight.


HENDERSON: Thanks for having us, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Straight ahead. E-mails the suspected ISIS murder has sent
before joining ISIS in Syria. Did authorities let him slip away?

Plus, was it funny or did to go too far? We debate the "Saturday Night
live" ISIS skit.

And dramatic video of a sky diver having a seizure midair. "Conversation
Nation" is next.


SHARPTON: It`s time now for "Conversation Nation."

Joining me tonight, senior digital editor of "Ebony," Jamilah Lemieux.
HuffPost Live host Josh Zepps. And democratic strategist Tara Dowdell.
Thank you all for being here tonight.




SHARPTON: We`re learning disturbing new details about the suspected cold-
blooded ISIS killer known as Jihadi John who was just unmasked. Here is a
new picture of Mohammed Emwazi as a teen. The years leading up to his
radicalization. And tonight, newly published e-mails sent to a British
reporter have five years ago revealed he knew authorities were closing in
and it drove him to paranoid suicidal thoughts. In one he wrote,
"Sometimes I feel I`m a dead man walking. I`ll take as many pills as I can
so that I can sleep forever. I just want to get away from these people."
In another he wrote, "I feel like a prisoner, only not in a cage, but in
London. A person imprisoned and controlled by security servicemen."

Josh, these are amazing insights into the man who is now one of the most-
wanted men in the world.

ZEPPS: Yes. I mean, it goes to show that it`s not fun to be spied on by
the security services, but I think the wrong conclusion would be that we
shouldn`t spy on people and we shouldn`t pay attention to him because in
hindsight, the security services have been vindicated and he has gone on to
be what we know him to be. It`s tricky, it`s difficult, how you strike
that balance between not alienating communities on the one hand but maybe
making sure that you`re getting plenty of intelligence on the other hand.
That`s part of a challenge. But it looks like in this case, we dropped the

SHARPTON: Jamilah, but if they had that much pressure on him, did they
slip through their hands? I mean, how come they didn`t grab him before
something happen?

LEMIEUX: I think that`s a question for those security forces to answer.
As Josh said, you know, we worry over surveillance communities which is
something that happens. We`ve seen human rights, civil rights violated by
police and security forces across the world, but you were actually watching
this person, this wasn`t an innocent picture, someone who went on to do
horrible things. And get where is he?

ZEPSS: Right. But I mean, you can`t arrest him for wanting to do horrible
things. Right? You can only arrest him for actually doing horrible

SHARPTON: But I think if he was under to this kind of intent surveillance,
then at what point did they know he was doing something or he was in
motion. As Jamilah said, we`ve seen people who do nothing and have to go
through a lot of horrific experiences.

DOWDELL: And I think that`s why we need this type of information coming
out. Because we need to better understand and develop strategies around
the type of individuals that are committing these crimes. Now, some of the
stuff we know. We know that there are certain dynamics that exist amongst
people that commit these crimes. We don`t have a full picture. And we
have to have a better process because we look at whether it be jihadist or
gang members, there`s a lot of similar traits and lot of similar dynamics
and realities that go on in those folks` lives and we need to do a better
job in figuring out. While at the same time, not, you know, assuming that
because someone fits a certain description that they are going to be

SHARPTON: All right. Now to a "Saturday Night Live" sketch sparking
controversy. It`s a spoof on a car commercial where the dad says good-bye
to his daughter as she leaves home for the military. But this time, there
was a twist.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You be careful, okay?



SHARPTON: Now, many took to social media to criticize the ISIS parody for
being in poor taste, but the "SNL" cast member who plays the dad tweeted,
"Proud of this freedom to mock is our greatest weapon." Jamilah, is it
funny or is it in poor taste? I mean, did to go too far? What do you

LEMIEUX: I didn`t think it was funny. That`s my personal opinion. What`s
good taste and bad taste can be debated but I think about this. Is the
risk worth it? My office is a block away from here on the other side of
Rockefeller Center. So if somebody wants to retaliate for this, because we
know that this is an organization and a group of people that are so
committed to what they believe, and so against the idea of this freedom of
speech, that they punish us for doing things that we take for granted. I
don`t want to be sitting in the Ebony offices and lose my life because
somebody thought it was funny to play fast and loose with ISIS.

ZEPPS: But isn`t this precisely the point? I mean, isn`t that the whole
point of free speech. That we can`t allow the parameters of our national
conversation to be dictated by the most violent voice in the room. It`s a
bit like the sunny hack, I mean, unless we want to live in a world in which
North Korean dictators and Islamists fascists are the ones who determine
what we can and can`t say, what jokes we can and can`t tell, whom we do and
do not mock, then the price of free speech is taking that risk.

SHARPTON: Well, we could have a whole other debate on the Sony hacks, but
Tara, I think that the real question here is as some raised on social
media, what about the families of people who saw their loved ones
slaughtered by ISIS? How do they view this?

DOWDELL: Well, obviously this pushes the boundary of good taste. I think
that`s clear. But I would say this. The whole point -- I`m agreeing with
Josh here -- the whole point of this is to mock ISIS, and what they want is
to make us scared. They want to instill fear in us. That`s the point of
terrorism. So this spoof, funny or not, it pushes back and shows we are
not afraid. And so I think they want to drag us into war, Josh and I had
this conversation earlier, they want to drag us into war. That`s what they
want. So, this actually hurts them.

SHARPTON: Well, comedy has been poking at people a long time. Everybody
stay with me. We`ll be right back with the incredible rescue thousands of
feet in the air. What would you have done?


SHARPTON: We`re back with our panel, Jamilah, Josh and Tara. Now, to it a
controversy involving this portrait of former President Bill Clinton from
2005. The artist says there`s a hidden message in it. He says the shadow
on the left side of the mantle is supposed to represent Monica Lewinsky.
Tara, wild story. Should the portrait come down now?

DOWDELL: Well, I -- I mean, if the President wants the portrait down, the
former president, then maybe they should honor his wishes. Now, the
problem is the President saying that he didn`t -- well, the President is
saying he didn`t ask for it, the museum saying he didn`t ask for the
portrait to come down.

SHARPTON: Because the shadow is supposed to represent the blue dress.

DOWDELL: Well, I can`t imagine that even though the museum is saying that
the President didn`t ask for it to come down, I can`t imagine he doesn`t
want that to come down. It`s just -- it`s just going to be a reminder to
people now when people look at it. Because the author, the artist revealed

SHARPTON: But, Josh, he commissioned his artist.

ZEPPS: Well, also you need to know the story in order to spot that as a
blue dress. I was looking at it going, there`s a blue dress in there?
Where`s the blue dress?

DOWDELL: Now we know the story.

LEMIEUX: You know, what? It`s interesting that the artist didn`t see fit
to leave that in history and write it in a journal in 50, 60 years from now
people discovered that. He wanted the intention right now. I think that`s

SHARPTON: Well, going into 2016, he`s going to get maximum intention.

LEMIEUX: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: I mean, I`m sure the republicans will be doing tours of the
gallery for this picture.

ZEPPS: Well, the gallery says that this is a metaphor about the shadowy
side of Bill Clinton, that he`s the most famous liar in the world. And so,
he`s trying to insert some kind of statement in there.

SHARPTON: Not a kind of guy you commission.



SHARPTON: Now to a dramatic video of a sky dive in Australia. Christopher
Jones had the midair scare of his life. Twenty two seconds after free
falling, something goes wrong. He started convulsing and flipped over on
to his back. Having a seizure. It was 9,000 feet in the air. And blacked
out. Eventually the instructor was able to grab him and release his
parachute. Jones regained consciousness about 3,000 feet above ground and
remarkably landed safely. Josh, have you ever seen anything like this?

ZEPPS: Well, I have been sky diving in Australia, and doing it once is
enough for me even in the absence of being epileptic and having a seizure.
I would just say if you are epileptic, maybe don`t go sky diving. I don`t
mean to be callous, but probably foolhardy.


DOWDELL: Well, this is the reason why I would never go sky diving. I
mean, it was something that I considered at one point and I am now -- I now
know that that I`m of my right mind to not go sky diving.

SHARPTON: Scary. Jamilah?

LEMIEUX: I`m keeping my feet planted firmly on the ground forever.

ZEPPS: Apparently there was a remote control thing. They have a backup
here. So, it is possible once people see that this is happening to trigger

SHARPTON: But it was quick thinking by the instructor. I mean, a lot of
people calling him a hero, no doubt about it.

LEMIEUX: Oh, yes.

SHARPTON: He`s really the man on the spot. Jamila, Josh, and Tara, thank
you all for joining me tonight on "Conversation Nation."

Straight ahead, what did President Obama`s task force on policing say
today? That`s next.



PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Everybody wants our streets safe
and everybody wants to make sure that laws are applied fairly and
equitably. Nobody, by the way, wants that more than law enforcement,


SHARPTON: President Obama earlier today meeting with the White House task
force on policing. Today they released their interim report with
recommendations for how to improve relations between police and the
communities they serve. It calls for independent investigations into all
police-related shootings. A key point after the Eric Garner and Michael
Brown cases. It`s something we in the civil rights community have been
talking about for years. Also in the report, recommendations on the use of
new technology, such as body cameras and full reporting on all police-
involved shootings to the federal government.


OBAMA: The moment is now for us to make these changes. We have a great
opportunity coming out of some great conflict and tragedy to really
transform how we think about community law enforcement relations so that
everybody feels safer, and our law enforcement officers feel rather than
being embattled, feel fully supported.


SHARPTON: The report is a valuable first step, but there`s more to be
done. Real lasting change has to be the goal. Movements are about drama
and bringing attention, but it must result in real change. Otherwise it is
not a movement. It`s a moment. We`ve had movements all kinds around these
issues. But now we must also have change and the movement must go until
recommendations are enforced. Federal oversight is important. Independent
prosecutors are important because it protects both the police and the
citizens. We cannot continue to go from case to case without real change
and we cannot forget the families that seek real justice.

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


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