tv Early Today NBC November 25, 2014 4:00am-4:31am PST
good morning. i'm milissa rehberger. a call for calm was shattered in minutes as tensions exploded. the violence was in response to the grand jury's decision in ferguson, missouri, not to indict officer darren wilson. in the shooting death of unarmed teenager michael brown. in the early morning darkness, top law enforceme officials offer the latest details on the unrest. >> i really don't have any hesitation in telling you that i didn't see a lot of peaceful protest out there tonight. and i'm disappointed about that. i'm not saying there weren't folks out there that were out there for the right reason, i'm not saying that wasn't the case. i'm saying unfortunately this spun out of control and frankly what i've seen tonight, and i've been up there all evening, right in the middle of it with captain johnson, what i've seen tonight is probably much worse than the
worst night we ever had in august. >> you know, in august we talked about the out of towners came into our community. well, our community has got to take some responsibility for what happened tonight, for what happened tonight as far as tearing our community apart. this cannot happen. we talk about peaceful protests. and that did not happen tonight. >> nearly three dozen arrests. governor jay nixon issued the call for additional national guard troops to assist in protecting the public there. and officials are still assessing damage to about a dozen buildings that were set on fire. it all began just after 9:00 p.m. eastern with this announcement by st. louis prosecuting attorney bob mcculloch. >> we determined that no probable cause exists to file any charge against officer wilson and no true bill on each of the five indictments. the physical and scientific evidence examined by the grand
jury combined with the witness statements supported and substantiated by that physical evidence tells the accurate and tragic story of what happened. >> and shortly thereafter, president obama called for peace. >> first and foremost, we are a nation built on the rule of law. and so we need to accept that this decision was the grand jury's to make. there are americans who agree with it. and there are americans who are deeply disappointed, even angry. it is an understandable reaction. but i join michael's parents in asking anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully. we need to recognize that this is not just an issue for ferguson. this is an issue for america. we have made enormous progress in race relations, over the course of the past several
decades. i have witnessed that in my own life. and to deny that progress, i think, is to deny america's capacity for change. but what is also true is that there are still problems and communities of color aren't just making the problems up. >> on our sister station msnbc host chris hayes and his guest had to stop their interview after hearing gunfire. >> sounds like gunfire nearby. very -- that's gunfire. all right. just a hail of gunfire just now. okay. we're being told to fall back. i'm going to throw to you in the studio. we'll try to get you on the phone. >> right now we go to nbc's
jennifer bjorklund in ferguson. joining me now is political analyst and columnist ellis hannicen. thank you for joining us this morning. >> sure. >> so the county police chief say the violence is worse than we saw in august, which says a lot obviously. as you recall in august, the police were criticized for their militarized response to the protesters. was there actually less of a police presence last night, or were there actually that many more protests? >> both. the answer is both. there were more protesters on the street. they were more violent, they were rougher. there were fewer of the good folks, fewer ministers, fewer people doing peaceful protest and i think the police swung back too far in the opposite direction. they were slammed back in august, and last night they were just not enough of them on the street. >> we hear all this about the national guard being there to protect the public. where were they last night? hanging back? >> they were back at the police station, guarding the command
center. but not taking a position on the street. >> the grand jury is very, very private. i served on one myself. i'm sure you have. you know it is very kwai bquiet what they heard and what they didn't. but bob mcculloch had this to say about this controversial question, was michael brown's hands up when he was shot. let's listen to that. >> subsequent interviews with law enforcement or testimony before the grand jury, many of the same witnesses acknowledged that they didn't actually see the shooting. some were running for cover. some were relating what they heard from others. the description of how mr. brown's hands raised his hands or the position of his hands is not consistent among the witnesses. some described his hands as being out to his side, some said in front of him with his palms up. others said his hands were raised near his head or by his shoulders. still others said they were in front of his chest or down by his stomach. others described his hands as
being in a running position or in fists. >> how do you think the reaction will be to this? do you think it will answer people's questions or do you fear that it might actually stoke more anger? >> it is not going to answer anybody's questions. i think the protests are likely to continue. the debates about those eyewitness testimonies are going to go on for months and maybe years. and my hope is that however we react to this specific case, you know, there are some systematic problems in that police department. >> certainly. >> and maybe in police departments across america, maybe this case will give us a chance to look at some of that stuff. >> because the grand jury did not indict, what do you think this means for the justice department's investigation, if anything? >> well, it goes on. we do not have a final answer. the civil rights division is looking into some aspects of this. there could in fact be some federal criminal charges against officer wilson. i'm not counting on it. the signs suggest that maybe this is as far as the prosecution is going to go. >> you know, it has been
suggested if he's not indicted, he could conceivably continue to work there. do you see that happening? >> well, you know, my sense is that he's not going to. this truly has changed the lives of many people. officer wilson, most particular. he has a right to continue, but i get the sense that he's not interested in doing that. >> all right. thank you very much. >> good to see you. >> good to see you too. now we go to nbc's jennifer bjorklund in ferguson. >> reporter: businesses torched, a police car ablaze, looting and violence met with tear gas, punctuated by automatic gunfire, lots of it. >> i know there at least a dozen buildings that have been set on fire. most of those are total losses. and i can tell you i personally heard about 150 shots fired. >> reporter: outcry from a community angry over a grand jury's decision not to indict officer darren wilson in the shooting of unarmed teenager michael brown. st. louis county prosecutor
robert mcculloch stressing the panel of seven men and five women, nine white, three black, are the only ones who have examined all the evidence. >> they met on 25 separate days in last three months, heard more than 70 hours of testimony from about 60 witnesses. >> reporter: witnesses and evidence he says indicate brown scuffled with officer wilson as wilson tried to get out of his patrol car, his gun unholstered, discharged twice. among the documents released, these pictures of wilson's injuries after the shooting. president obama spoke from the white house after the announcement. >> to those in ferguson, there are ways of channeling your concerns constructively and there are ways of channeling your concerns destructively. michael brown's parents understand what it means to be constructive. the vast majority of peaceful protesters, they understand it as well.
>> reporter: but the others swarmed the streets, torching buildings and destroying businesses. >> our community has got to take responsibility for what happened tonight, for what happened tonight as far as tearing our community apart. >> reporter: dealing another heavy blow to a community battered by three months of turmoil. the brown family statement asks not just for peaceful protests, but also expresses their hope for a campaign to put a body camera on every police officer that patrols the streets nationwide. i'm jennifer bjorklund in ferguson, missouri. milissa, back to you. shifting gears to weather, on a week where 46 million americans are getting ready to hit the road. good morning, bill karins. >> yeah, we're going to have some problems in the northeast and the northwest. it looks like those are the two trouble spots, mostly with snow in the east. this will be an impact wednesday this is wednesday. anyone doing connecting flights across country, ripple effects, the airport in the big cities, wednesday afternoon, evening, that's when they go from rain to snow.
interior sections of new england will get slammed. possibility of a foot of snow interior massachusetts. now, the rain has been a problem in the northwest. it has been raining since yesterday. up to an inch and a third. portland, half an inch, same in seattle. it is still raining and no sign that this is going to let up anytime soon. just continuing to come in off the pacific, so obviously the high elevations are getting the most. even the lowland areas, it is a very warm air mass, not a lot of snow, even at the highest of elevations. the paths are just fine. actual parent storm is well out here in the pacific, everything is going up and over and back into the northwest. it is a slow moving weather pattern, a couple of days of this before it ends. and the other thing is with the slow moving weather pattern, it is very nice in l.a. and southern california. still the best weather in the country by far. mid-80s. that's your nat mentioned, california is
looking sunny and nice. it looks like sunny and nice for california will come to an end. there is rain in the extended forecast. >> now it is like summer in l.a. got to love that. thank you. still ahead, late breaking details on the situation in ferguson. and around the country following the grand jury decision not to press charges against officer darren wilson. plus, the bills primetime salute to snowed in buffalo. this is "early today."
welcome back. stories making news this morning, within hours the parents of michael brown will speak to the media for the first time since a grand jury did not indict officer darren wilson. officials providing security in ferguson will address the media in a separate news conference. defense secretary chuck hagel is stepping down, following pressure from the white house.
hagel is the first high level member of president obama's national security team to submit his resignation. nbc's jim miklaszewski has details. >> reporter: less than two years on the job, a somber chuck hagel flanked by president obama and vice president biden announced he was calling it quits. >> today i submitted my resignation as secretary of defense. it has been the greatest privilege of my life. >> reporter: the white house and pentagon claim after a series of three recent meetings with the president, it was hagel who offered to step aside. the senior defense officials tell nbc news hagel was forced to resign. as the war with isis exploded in iraq and syria, the white house appeared to lose confidence in hagel as he questioned the administration's strategy. after president obama called isis the junior varsity of terrorists, hagel warned the militant force was a potential serious threat to the us us. >> they're beyond just a terrorist group. this is beyond anything we have seen.
so we must prepare for everything. >> reporter: if the white house is frustrated with hagel, the feeling is apparently mutual. republican senator john mccain said hagel was shut out of the white house inner circle and critical foreign policy decisions. >> i can tell you he was in my office last week and he was very frustrated. >> reporter: as hagel prepares to leave, former pentagon undersecretary michele flournoy, ashton carter, and jack reid are considered the front-runners for his job. >> that was nbc's jim miklaszewski reporting. the head of the troubled va hospital in phoenix, arizona, is out of a job. director sharon helman was placed on administrative leave in may. the news comes after evidence of falsified records and improper practices at the hospital brought attention to other facilities nationwide. and that historic snowstorm moved the bills/jets game to detroit ford field last night and buffalo wasted no time. this touchdown by scott chandler leads to what can only be
nbc's craig melvin will have the latest from ferguson. millions of americans get ready for the thanksgiving holiday this week, there could be chaos in the forecast. a major storm is about to hit just as an estimated 46 million americans hit the road or head to the airport. nbc's tom costello has more. >> reporter: still digging out from 7 feet of snow, buffalo dodged the worst predictions of mass flooding caused by higher temps and melting. from washington up i-95 to new york and boston weather whiplash. >> snow, sleet and freezing rain could impact holiday travel this year. >> reporter: wind, cold rain and even snow are taking aim at a big section of the country from tuesday night through thursday just in time for the great thanksgiving day escape. 5 million americans are flying between wednesday and sunday. some of the nation's busiest airports could be choke points. airports to watch include washington, baltimore, philly, new york, boston, cleveland, detroit, and chicago.
be warned, even if your flight is in the west, a major storm's ripple effect can reach all the way to the pacific. >> bill karins will have the latest on the looming winter weather in a few minutes. just ahead, the ferguson fallout went well beyond missouri's borders. demonstrators in new york, seattle, los angeles and oakland, california, out in force, making their voices heard. you're watching "early today."
let's take you through your thanksgiving day forecast. the rain in the west, from about midcoastline of oregon northward and then spills all the way back to the inner mountain west, mostly rain, even in boise. warm in southern california, even central california. 70 for your wednesday in san francisco. 87 for l.a. then as we look at thanksgiving day, for all of your plans, still -- not going to be like hopefully a pouring, pouring rain, but we are going to see wet weather in the northwest. and that wet weather saturday looks to arrive in the bay. san francisco, san jose. >> bill, thank you. the grand jury decision in the michael brown case has already caused a ripple effect. not only are protests taking place in ferguson, but in cities across the country. this was the scene in oakland, california. protesters marched on to interstate 580 monday night. the traffic became a slow crawl in both directions. meanwhile, celebrities are also taking to social media to respond to the michael brown grand jury decision.
singer katy perry said feeling stuck all the way over here in sydney seeing the news just now, sending my prayers to ferguson and praying for an equal america. musician and "voice" coach pharrell williams, i'm heart broken over the news of no indictment. let's all pray for peace. lebron james wrote, as a society how do we do better and stop things like this happening from time after time. and actress gabriel union, heavy heart, angry soul, we matter. all our lives matter. hear us, feel us, respect us all. i'm milissa rehberger. this is "early today." we hope it is your first stop of the day on nbc.
newspapers across the country are leading with news out of ferguson this morning. here is the cover of today's "st. louis post dispatch." it reads no charges for wilson. pockets of rioting, looting erupt. in "the washington post," no indictment in ferguson. teenagers killing. in brown's hometown, a pause to listen and then outrage. "the new york post" reads decision in ferguson, streets of rage, havoc as slay cop cleared. as we have been mentioning, protests are taking place across the country. from "the chicago tribune," activists gathered downtown in support of the ferguson protesters. they chanted, we are mike brown. in philadelphia, several hundred people filled the streets. police had to block access to interstate 95 as demonstrators began heading towards highways. most of the demonstrators ended up outside city hall.
from "nbc washington" 300 people protested outside the white house last night. secret service and d.c. police officers were monitoring the demonstrations there. in los angeles, about 200 demonstrators marched downtown. they blocked cars and chanted. at one point, they reached the famous rodeo drive and sat in the middle of the intersection as police looked on. and in new york city a man was arrested in times square when he threw what appeared to be red paint toward police officers and officials, including police commissioner bill bratton. here's a look back at last night's events in ferguson as anger spilled onto the streets. >> after their exhaustive review of the evidence, the grand jury deliberated over two days making their final decision. they determined that no probable cause exists to file any charge against officer wilson.
>> hey hey, ho ho, these killer cops have got to go. >> this is not just an issue for ferguson, this is an issue for america. here is a look ahead. the consumer products safety commission will hold the annual thanksgiving cooking safety demonstration. this is video from last year. among the demonstrations, what can happen if you use a turkey fryer inside your home. meanwhile, happy birthday to former nfl quarterback donovan mcnabb, 38. christina applegate, 43. and ben stein is 70. i'm milissa rehberger. thank you for watching "early today."