tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC November 25, 2014 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
police. on the whole, just an absolute difference from 24 hours ago when the streets felt very unsteady, very charged, very angry. tonight, very cold. the national guard has been deployed. we will continue to monitor the developments. that is "all in" for tonight. >> good to see you out there, chris. stay safe. thanks to you for joining us at home this hour, too. right now, 24 hours after the grand jury announcement, the announcement that set off a night ofriot iing, as well, anda number of cities around the country. tonight, there were protest vigils and marches planned at over 120 cities around the coup tri. in ferguson itself tonight, as chris has been reporting from
those streets, the streets in ferguson tonight are relatively quiet. few protesters are out tonight. there are recent reports tonight that the national guard and law enforcement presence out numbers both the protesters and the media assembled in ferguson right now. that's a live shot of ferg son-in-law, missouri. people are out showing their solidarity in new york city tonight. hundreds of people poured into times square. they brought traffic to a standstill there. they also blocked entrance to the lincoln tunnel. as of about an hour ago, five people were arested in those new york city protests. protesters there layed down in the middle of the street. for a second, a large crowd assembled outside l.a.p.d. head quarters. there were protests and rallies all over the country and in atlanta. and in miami and milwaukee, wisconsin and dallas, texas. in minute yap lneapolis, mi
there was this scary scene when a car plowed through the demonstrators. as you saw, one person hit and dragged by that car. the police are currently investigating whae ining what h there. that incident obviously greatly angered the people in the crowd. and ferguson itself last night, authorities made more than 80 arrests. police say a dozen buildings were set on fire last night. a number of businesses were looted. there were approximately 700 national guard troops deployed in and around ferguson, missouri last night. the deploy. ment would be more than tripled to 2200 tonight. no charges for wilson. arson and rioting erupt in ferguson. this is the front page of the new york times today. a protester in front of police
vehicles with his hands up, hands up, don't shoot is cometed to be the rallying cry for protesters up set by the decision. >> the l.a. times led with this full color photo. this was the page of the boston globe today. this was usa today, this morning, front page the moment just after the grand jury announcement was made last night when protesters rocked and then smashed the windows of a st. louis county police car.
>> the headlines show it is a matter of intense concern. ef enbecause of a matter of intensity or the destructiveness that has been vented to that response to the police shooting, it's a national story because this has been a touch tone for national anger and dispair and frustration and organizing around race and policing and this ancient question in our country of whether or not black commune tiffs in this country are protected by america's police officers. or whether actually black communities need to be protected from america's police officers.
when i say up set and dispair, this is what i mean. they've built essentially this graphic template for people to announce protests and rallies. so any group wanting to organize in response to the announcement could just use this testimony pl template to plug in where you wanted to hold your rally. almost all of these events were tagged for the day after the announcement. people picked a specific time in order to organize. so we have been seeing a response all around the country today and into tonight. and, again, these have been overwhelmingly peaceful, if, at times, angry demonstrations. there have been some incidents of violence, there have been
some arrests. but overwhelmingly, this has been a peaceful response. peaceful but up set. in the background since the shooting first happened in august, it's become a national focus point. president obama today addressed the issue for the second time in two days. last niekght, he spoke from the white house an hour after the grand jury announcement was made. today, president obama made a trip to chicago after his recent announcement on immigration policy. but he prefaced his remark about what happened last night in ferguson and else where around the country, sponding to that grand jury dgsz. >> as i said last night, the frustrations that we've seen are
not just about a particular incident. there are deep roots that have a sense that are not being enforced fairly. that may not be true everywhere and it's certainly not true for the vast majority of law enforcement officials. but that's an impression that folks have and it's not just made up. it's rooted in realities. that have existed in this country for a long time. separate and apart from the particular circumstances of ferguson, which i am careful not to speak to because it's not my job as president to comment on on going investigations and specific cases. but the frustrationings people have general ly those are roote
in some hard truths. maybe because they're not seen as worthy as others, i understand that. i understand that. and i want to work with you. and i want to move forward with you. your president will be right there with you. >> president obama speaking tonight in chicago. speaking about that grand jury decision last night in ferguson and the response to it. the president went out of his way to say it would be inappropriate for him to talk about the specifics of the case in ferguson, the specifics of the case. the president saying he couldn't weigh in on those facts fwauz that case is the sube subject on going federal i believe e investigations. attorney general eric holder today also spoke to that same point.
>> i emphasize that we have two investigations that are on going. the department's investigations will continue to be thorough. they will continue to be independent. and they remain on going. >> one thing that seemed to bring a calm was the visit by eric holder to ferguson at the height of the protest. and it was during that visit when coles started calling from the community, that the federal government should be stepping in and taking over the prosecution in the michael brown case because of the lack of trust in local authorities in ferguson in st. louis county to fairly handle this case. that lack of trust that local authorities could handle this fairly, that didn't just come out of nowhere last night after the grand jury made their
announcement. the calls for intervention from the federal government to get out of local authorities and put them in the hands of the feds, those calls have been there all along. and it's not unheard of for the federal government to bring a case when local prosecutions or state prosecution won't. famously in the rodney king case. that caused 5 days of riots, a billion dollars worth worth of damage in los angeles. eventually, there were federal civil rights charges that were brought against those two officers and two of them were eventually convicted. so it's not impose even when a nonprosecution isn't brought in the first place or is brought and then it fails to convict. i have to say nobody is under any illusions that that would be an easy thing to do in this
case. and frankly, if you're asking my opinion, i don't think that there is any realistic expectation that a federal civil rights case is going to be brought. it is possible, but i don't think e think there is an expectation that it will be brought. it is possible that the family will bring in civil case. it's possible to be held liable for a wrongful death. not as a criminal matter, but as a civil matter. that's another way to approach a different kind of justice in a case like this. michael brown's family and the brown family attorneys have held open the possibility that they might bring a civil suit in this case. they certainly haven't filed that suit, but they have kept that open as a possibility. here's where we get to the really interesting question. whether there is a federal case or a civil case or both, every future proceedings on this case, any further effort to get justice through the system, through the courts, any of those efforts would all depend on the
same evidence that the same grand jury has seen. the physical evidence, the autopsy reports, the witness statements. witness statements. and that factor brings us to the latest bewildering, jaw-dropping development on the part of the local authorities. when the local prosecutor brought out the dgsz, he made his own decision that he wouldn't just announce to the world that there would be no indictments in this case. he wouldn't even just leave it at the anomalous and, itself, remarkable decision to both anoups the grand jury's decision and to release hundreds of pages of evidence about the grand jury's proceedings. he decided, in adigsz to that, as remarkable as that was, he would also choose to read all allowed a more than 20 minute narrative of his review of the case. he's not required to do that. but he decided to. essentially volunteer his own
leng lengthy, legal defense of officer darren wilson in this shooting. his own case of why darren wilson should not have been indicted. and in order to make that case, the county prosecutor is not charged with anyone. nor did he have to say anything last night. but, in order to make this lengthy case that he decided to make, the prosecutor also went out of his way to try to hamper any further legal proceedings on this matter that might ever happen in civil court or potentially in federal court. anything that might involve witnesses to the shooting testified about what they saw. because part of what this county prosecutor volunteered last night was his own view about how noncredible and craven and unreliable many of these terrible witnesses were. whether knowingly or unknowingly, that is what he did. and, again, he didn't have to say any of this. but he chose to volunteer it. to the nation over and over and over again.
>> many witnesses made statements inconsistent with other statements they made. some even admitted that they did not witness the event at all, but merely repeated what they heard in the neighborhood. statements changed, witnesses were confronted with the inconsistencies. some witnesses admitted they didn't actually see the shooting or only saw part of the shooting. or only repeating what they heard on the street. some others adjusted parts of their statements to fit the facts. others stood by original statements, even though their statements were completely discredited by the physical evidence. >> can we get a cro cross-examinati cross-examination, please? oh, no, this isn't a trial. after volunteering this l litany about how terrible these witnesses were, one of the
reporters in the room listening asked, in the room listening asked, if these witnesses were terrible and telling all of these lies, was the prosecutor going to bring perjury charges about? if he's saying they're lying over and over and over again, how about perjury charges against them? the answer for the prosecutor was saying, nah. he's not going to do anything about it. he just wants everybody to know that they're all liars. >> do any rise to the level of you going after perjury charges? >> no, i think there are a number of witnesses, in all honesty, that truly believe what they said. some of the others, yes, they're making it up, but they all pretty much acknowledged that, you know, they saw parts and then made up other things. >> they were making it up. don't believe anything you hear from a supposed witness in this case. the decision by the county prosecutor to announce the grand jury's decision not to indict at
8:30 at night last night, with no advanced notice given to the governor of the state or schools or any of the other local people, that was a remarkable dgsz. the timing was remarkable. the decision by the pros cue xx to read a lengthy, defective, a personal defense of the would-be defendant in this case. the cnn legal analyst jeffrey toobin called that an entirely inappropriate and embarrassing disz plaid by the prosecutor. he described what bob mcculloch did by the prosecutor last night as an extended whine. but this decision by the prosecutor to unilaterally call the witnesses to this crime or this case, at least, the shooting, right, to call the witnesses liars and fab ewe lists, witnesses in this case have been totally discredited and should never be believed. that decision, not only reflects on what brought us to this point
in ferguson. it may very well reflect on what's going to happen next there,too. the prosecutor at the county level here appears not only to justify his own decision, that there will be no local prosecution for the dgsz, but, also, in his own statement, ae tries to be materially effecting any other legal are e discourse by the family of the deceased in civil court. since that 18-year-old young man died, and was left by police lying in the street in the august heat for 4 1/2 hours on that saturday afternoon, people up set by that shoot iing including what happened, have been trying to get recourse. and they've been trying to recourse through the system. there is also a deep distrust that this kind of a system will ever offer a fair hearing, a real chance at justice. equitable recourse.
it is not irrational to both demand and expected that the system should work for everyone. joining me now is daryl parks. mr. parks, thank you for joining us. i know it's been a very busy, difficult day for you. >> good evening. >> now that we know that there will not be state criminal charges, i just have to ask if your legal team and the family has made a decision about what they will do next. >> obviously, a civil possibility exists. that's something we'll move on at the appropriate time. but now, we have all the full faith that the federal and the
department of justice will do a very thorough job in its investigation of the action of the officer. certainly we realize that the standard is very different. >> also, to read his own lengthy, narrative of the case, and to release the information that he did from the grand jury, it struck me that the prosecutor was essentially trying to discredit a lot of the witnesses, who came forward and saw some of what happened that day back in august, is that the sort of thing that could materially affect your preparation for a civil suit? >> not at all, rachel. first of all, i think you have to think about this prosecutor.
we objected to this prosecutor a long time ago when he was first apointed. we put it in writing for many dicht reasons. we got no redress from the governor or the prosecutor. this prosecutor was hellbent on making sure that this case stayed within his control. and he decided to handle this case far differently than he's handled over grand juries, meaning that he's decided to dump all the information on these folks and not decide on any of the charges that he's put in front of them. he knew the outcome would be flawed because the process is flawed. so we have what we have as a result. so there should be no surprise
given those things that existed and that his approach to do it. we all know as the old adage goes in america, you can indict a ham sandwich. if the prosecutor show he's totally in control of the evidence, if he wants an indictment, he gets an indictment. >> daryl parks, attorney for michael brown's family. again, i know it's been a difficult, long day, sir. thank you. i really appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> thank you. all right, as you've been seeing tonight, we've been able to show some live images in terms of protests around the country. there's definitely a lot of national guard and a lot of law enforcement out in missouri. these are images of new york city where protesters have blocked some major art ris. there's been other roadblocks set up by protesters and cities like los angeles. there are protests happening in more than a hundred american cities tonight. we'll keep you posted as things continue to unfold. stay with us.
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california. you can see protesters blocking part of a freeway. this is an aerial view of new york city. a roadway you're seeing blocked there. i'm pretty sure that's the f.d.r. drive along the east river on the east side of manhattan in new york city. we've also got a street level view of another protest in a deferent part of manhattan. this is in chelsea, which is on the west side of manhattan, at about the same height. we're told this is probably a little bit below where it is in f.d.r. drive, in chelsea, 6th or 7th avenue in new york city. we've also got a protest in los angeles, a pretty substantial group. it's about 6:30 local time in los angeles right now. about 9:30 on the east coast. we also have a live shots of what's going on in ferguson, moe mo, outside the ferg son-in-law police department. today, the national guard in and
around ferguson was tripled as compared to what it was last night. we've been hearing from our reporters on the ground in ferguson. there is a large law enforcement presence. and we know there's a lot of national guardsmen and women on the scene. again, a lot of people protesting. a vast majority of them peaceful. but they're also, in many cases, angry. >> in 1995, john diulio came up with this idea. the coming of the super-predators. it was meant to sound scary. on the horizon, tens of thousandings of juvenile super-proed e predators.
that was john drksz iolio writing in 1995. when george w. bush
became the next president, he named jop diolio to the office of faith-based. he named teenage super-predators that could be predicted at age 7. the state started locking up tens of thousands of kid criminals in adult prisons for life. it was very scary stuff about remorseless superpredators. he said it was about to happen. demographically, it was a time bomb. here's the juvenile arrest rate
for murder into the 1990s. he starts writing about that in 1995. and then his very raeshlized, very scary predictions coming just over the horizon, they did not pan out. and then, ultimately, john diolio it back. in a court filing, john dilulio had just written back. he signed a briefing saying he had been wrong when he predicted a murderous future for all of those 7-year-old boys he was so afraid of. sorry about the super-predator thing. sorry about all of those kids doing life in an adult prison. but it turned out the glassy-eyed super-predator was just a racial fantasy.
yesterday, in missouri, the documents were generated by that grand jury proceeding. as part of that, we got to see the grand jury testimony of the grand jury. we got to see what happened with his encounter of 18-year-old michael brown. the encounter that left michael brown left laying dead in the street with 12 bullets expended from the officer's gun in the process. he describes mr. brown as look at him with, "the most intense, aggressive face". the only way i can describe it, he told the grand jury, it looks like a demon. that's how angry he looked. officer wilson testified that michael brown was huge. he told the grand jury, "i mean, he's obviously bigger than i was and stronger. now, it is true that michael\was a big guy. 18 years old, 6'4", 290 pounds.
darren wilson himself also stands 6'4". although he's not quite as heavy as michael brown. darren wilson is not a small guy. 6'4", 210. but
faced with what he describes as a demonic-seeming young man, a young man he called "it" to the grand jury, darren will son-in-law said he felt like a toy,like a kid in that actual kid's presence. he said, "when i grabbed him, the only way i can describe it is i felt like a five-year-old holding onto hulk hogan. that's how big he felt and how small i felt just from grasping his arm." that's the way he said it to the grand jury according to the tript. and then, tonight, in an interview with abc news, darren wilson said it again. >> i reached out and grabbed his forearm. i just felt the immense power that he had. and the way i described it, it was like a five-year-old holding
onto hulk hogan. that's how big he was. he was very large. very powerful man. >> you're a pretty big guy. >> yeah, i'm above average. 6'4", armed, trained police officer inside a police car. the 18-year-old, he says he struggled with, also 6'4". but, to the officer, he seemed like hulk hogan. and the officer comparatively was a child. to the officer, that young man seems like a demon. hoe told the grand jury that after he started shooting 18-year-old michael brown, the officer said he kept shooting further shots at him because of the way michael brown looked to him after he started shooting him. he said the teenager, after he had been shot, looked like he, "he was almost bulking up to run through the shots. like it was making him mad that i'm shooting at him kwgts. bulking up to run through the shots. officer darren will son-in-law was afraid for his life, he says
chlt he says that wufz his defense. he thought that he met hulk hogan. a larger-than-life threat. and even then, that he would somehow bulk himself up to make himself immune to the shots because he was so angered by him. gunfire only made him angry, this demon. we are two decades out from the super-predator panic from the mid '90s. we now know that that was just a racial fantd sill. the fact that that was two decades ago and there hasn't been a policy since doesn't mean that that fantasy is still gone. that that fantasy is still gone. .. a 10,000 gallon water fish tank. otherwise... he do what you do. drives to work, listens to his music, ...get's caught up in a wire-based headphone situation.
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and often even more. it's reliable. just like kung pao fish. thank you, ping. reliably fast internet starts at $89.95 a month. comcast business. built for business. what is the purpose of mr. mcculloch trying to undermine the credibility of the witnesses, undermine the credibility of the victim, still has not explained to us how you have a man on the force that feels like he's a child up against hulk hogan. so what kind of training and policing do you do? >> reverend al sharpton today with some poignant questions in the way that he announced the decision last night of the grand jury not to bring an diemt in
the michael brown case. reverend sharpton is the head of national action and also the host of "politics nation." >> thank you, rachel. >> first, i want to ask you first just at a personal level how michael brown's family and the people that are close to them in this scenario watching his mother erupt and his stepfather erupt last night with so much grief and anger. i just wonder how they're doing personally? >> they're very pained. i've been since day one involved when the grandfather called and asked he to get involved. it's been a very agonizing, painful thing for them. and it has been exacerbated by watching on live world television the disparaging of their son. i think that would have made it so painful for the mother and father and the family was to
have him so disparaged. you're talking about an 18-year-old young man who can't defend himself. and this is a prosecutor giving this profile to the world. it was like pouring salt in the wound for them. >> rev, one of the things you raised today at the press conference that you did with members of the brown family, was that this prosecutor, in giving his own, personal narrative about the case, essentially, a lengthy legal defense of officer wilson and a justification for him not being indicted, you, essentially said that he impugned the integrity of the witnesses and raised the prospect that that might affect the abeighty akt antibiotic to other federal proceedings in the case. what do you think will be the results of that prosecutor's decision? what do you think he was trying to do? >> well, i think that what is
clear to me is that he set a premise that whatever proceedings go forward, let's say there's a federal grand jury to determine civil rights charges. you would have to wonder if the potential federal grand jurors from this district have in any way be prejudiced against witnesses that come before them. because the local county prosecutor has basically put a blanket over all of them that they're liars. the same with a civil jury. and this is so far out of the norm, if a prosecutor chooses not to prosecute or a grand jury sells them that they voted against that, it is very rare. i've never heard of it. where they decide to come on national television and say not only are we not going to prosecute, we're going to
castigate and call liars the witnesses. the first thing you have to ask yourself is if the witnesses were not credible in your judgment, then why did you put them in front of the grand jury? the grand jury is at the diskregdi discretion of the prosecutor to bring witnesses that would lead to probable cause to indiet or not indict. for you to bring them on that you found to be not credible, inconsistent and/or liars, means in and of itself, you're making a mockery of your own proceedings. >> reverend al sharpton, host of msnbc's "politics nation", rev, thanks for being here. all right, there's still a lot to cover tonight, including big protests in los angeles, oakland, in new york city. stay with us.
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mplgt we've been keeping an eye tonight on protests around the country in response to the news that there won't be an indictment on the michael brown shooting. we' been watching is boston. this appears to be one of the larger protests around the country tonight. shut down of some major roadways in and around boston tonight. significant-sized protests tonight in new york city, both in manhattan and in brooklyn. also in oakland, california, in los angeles, california, again this is boston. we've heard reports of protests in lots of cities around the country. again, more than 100 cities announced plans for protests. over the course of the evening, the way they're happening is they're largely free form but they're rnl targeting roetdways to shut down for a period of time. on the same day yesterday, when
we got the news out of ferguson about the grand jury, one of the things that that news overshadowed was a scoop early yesterday in "the new york time times". the "times" reported that president obama proem had asked for the resignation of defense secretary chuck highle. the "times'" scoop was proven correct. the president made the announcement himself himself. >> last night we determined that having guided the department through this transition, it was an appropriate time for him to complete his service. >> now that announcement does not make chuck hagal the shortest lived defense secretary that goes to clinton's aspen who made it almost a year. chuck hagel made it almost two years. so the announcement that he is out on his ear after basically no time on the job, it does raise immediate questions. first, why did they push him
out? was it just personality, which is what the beltway press always focuses on when anyone gets canned. or was it policy? second their hagel vocalized reluctance to move prisoners out of guantanamo. in the past four days, six prisoners have been transferred out of guantanamo. on saturday, "the new york times" had another scoop anonymously sourced fwi the white house deciding to basically restart the afghanistan war. although president obama has long said u.s. troops will end their combat role in afghanistan this month, the times said in secret discussions, the military pushed back an the military pretty much got what it wanted. and so now, the war will keep going for at least another year. it's even got a new name apparently. operation resolute support. well, if the "times" is right, civilian advisers to president obama got overrun and overruled
on this decision and this extension of the war in afghanistan is chuck hagel one of the civilian advisers who objected to that? does the reported decision to extend the war have anything to do with chuck hagel leaving? either in terms of who fed that story to the "times" or how the fight over that policy has gone inside the administration. and yes, the belt way has moved on immediately to the question of what's going to replace chuck hagel. this is a former top pentagon official widely respected. she would be the first female defense secretary if she were nominated and confirmed she's probably the press favorite in terms of speculation. but she pulled herself out of the running for defense secreta secretary. she told her colleagues she's asked the president to take her out of consideration to be the next secretary of defense. the new name on the white house's short list for the job is reportedly this man, jay johnson, turcurrently the secrey of homeland security, former
general counckoun counsel at th. he's been tauktded about as everything from a potential supreme court nominee to a potential attorney general. so even though it would be a little soon after he took over at homeland security, the possibility of him being moved out of there and enstid beings named to run the pentagon, that is not an incon sooeable thing for somebody like jay johnson. as fascinating as all that is, as much as everybody likes to gossip about musical chairs and who might get who's job and who doesn't like who, before we get to that, before we get to who replaces chuck hagel, maybe the best conceivable outcome here is that the fight over chuck hag hagel's eventual successor might actually be an occasion to fight other this important poll circumstance as opposed to letting it all run on autopilot, never debated, never debated by congress, just leaked to the "new york times" as a young deal while the democracy looks on impotently as if the decision to start and end wars has nothing to do with us.
apparently we are getting another year of combat in afghanistan and a new name for the afghanistan war and everything, not to mention our new undebated on, war in iraq and in syria as well. washington hads given s given u debating and deciding on war these days. maybe replacing chuck hagel at the pentagon will be an occasion to fix that. this has been a very big news week and it is only tuesday. chuck hagel out at the pentagon. who knows who's in in his place. all eyes on ferguson, missouri, again tonight and arnold country as people continue to protest the grand jury decision. lots more still to come. stay with us. as people continue the grand jury decision. lots more still to come. stay with us. country as people protest the grand jury decision. lots more still to come. stay with us. as people continue the grand jury decision. lots more still to come. stay with us. country as people protest the grand jury decision. lots more still to come. stay with us. . it's called grid.
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pictures from union square in new york city and a few other protest sites around the country tonight as they continue to react about the grand jury decision in ferguson, missouri. you're looking at oakland, california, and also st. paul, minnesota. we've seen protests sort of coalesce and then breakup and coalesce in many cities arnold country tonight. chris hayes, our colleague who has been covering the story has spent a lot of time in ferguson. he got an interview with dorian johnson who fs with michael brown when officer darren wilson shot and killed him. watch what happened in this interview. >> one big point of departure is how this all started. i want to read this to you. this is officer wilson saying you guys are right here, you're walking this way, right? his car is coming down canfield drive this way. you guys are in the street.
you're in front and he says why don't you guys walk on the si sidewalk. is that what he said to you? >> he did not say that to me. he did not say -- he said get the f on the sidewalk. exact words to me. >> that's a key difference. when you testified, it was a hostile interaction. it was get the f off of the sidewalk. >> yeah. >> you can watch that coverage. live coverage continues right now on "last word" with lawrence o'donnell. good evening, lawrence. >> thank you, rachel. we are watching live protests from around the nation happening right now. there has been much comment on the strange process that prosecutors designed for the grand jury that chose not incite officer darren wilson. i have found no better example of just how strange it was than the treatment of the district attorney's favorite eyewitness, who appeared before that grand jury. an eyewitness whose testimony never could have