tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC November 25, 2014 11:00pm-12:01am PST
missouri governor has ordered hundreds of additional national guard troops to ferguson. and today the attorney for michael brown's family, benjamin crump, called the legal process broken. late today michael brown's father told reverend al sharpton he felt authorities have crucified his son's character. >> i was upset. i didn't understand. it just let me know that where we live is not where we thought -- or what i thought. it's what people been saying all the time for a nice little minute, that this was a racist state. >> also today, darren wilson broke his silence in the media. in an interview he says he has a clean conscience over his actions that day in august. >> as you know, some of the eyewitnesses have said, at that moment he turned around, he turned around and put his hands up. >> that would be incorrect. incorrect.
>> no way? >> no way. >> no you say he starts to run, stutter steps, starts to come toward you. >> at that time, i gave myself another mental check. can i shoot this guy? legally, can i? and the question i answered myself was, i have to. if i don't, he will kill me if he gets to me. >> even though he's 35, 40 feet away. >> once he's coming that direction, if he hasn't stopped yet, when it he going to stop? >> and for the second time in two days, president obama spoke out and called for peace in ferguson. take a listen. >> to those who think that what happened in ferguson is an excuse for violence, i do not have any sympathy for that. [ applause ] i have no sympathy at all for destroying your own communities. but for the overwhelming majority of people who just feel frustrated and pained, because they get a sense that maybe some communities aren't treated
fairly or some individuals aren't seen as worthy as others, 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. >> msnbc's chris hayes joins us now live from ferguson. let's start with today, the developments today. the president speaking out again. we are now hearing for the first time in public from darren wilson. michael brown's family speaking out. everybody absorbing all the evidence that was released by the prosecutors. all of that, the people have been absorbing today on the ground in ferguson. how is that going over? >> well, i think that people remain frustrated and angry, who are folks that were anticipating, or hoping to see an indictment of darren wilson. i certainly don't think darren wilson's statement put out by his attorneys last night, which failed to mention michael brown's, or his statement today that his conscience is clear in
his interview, is going to make them feel better. at this point, we're all in a strange situation of sifting through a massive amount of documentation. you know, any complex incident, any case that will go before trial, will have a lot of conflicting facts, conflicting eyewitnesses. i think what makes this process weird, it was a secret process, that now after the fact, we have a time capsule that folks are sifting through. no one here that i've talked to at least, who is sympathetic to protesters, or suspicious of bob mcculloch and the process that produced this outcome, feels any kind of, you know, any kind of -- feels any sense that things are better because there's all this documentation out there, or darren wilson is giving his account. at the same time, i think media coverage here, locally at least, really focused very intensely on the burning and the looting that happened last night. there's definitely a sense from
some people in the community that law enforcement fell down on the job, that they want to see a stronger presence in the streets, that's part of what is guiding jay nixon in ordering the national guard troops. so right now, this entire stretch where last night was kind of bedlam, to be honest, is entirely shutdown. there's no access to it. there's been police tape all day. it's entirely quarantined this evening. >> chris, there's been -- we're getting word the national guard, will have 2,200 troops in ferguson tonight. there was a lot of criticism last night -- we're looking at a live shot of the troops getting ready for tonight. there was criticism last night and today that maybe the response from law enforcement, we heard people criticizing the response from the national guard as being too light, standing back too much. what's the expectation about how they'll be handling tonight? >> i think the expectation is, they'll come in very heavy. i think last night, there are folks i've talked to here, who they have the suspicion, and this obviously is i'm just
reporting what their perception is, but basically a decision was made to let ferguson burn. i can tell you in terms of first hand accounts that the police presence i saw last night was far, far, far lighter than what i saw in response to 200 protesters, mostly non-violent when i was back here in august. there were times back in august where police would line up in front of the commercial structures to prevent looting. there was no one here. no law enforcement for two or three blocks here last night. so we're not going to see that tonight. here we've seen this area cordoned off. i imagine they'll shut down access to the few blocks to the ferguson police department. so it will be interesting to see how all this plays out as we go deeper into the night. >> all right, chris hayes live for us in ferguson. appreciate that. joining me now, julia reed and co-host of the cycle and jim cavanaugh, former special agent in the bureau of alcohol, tobacco firearms and explosives. your reaction, the president
reiterating what he said last night. what are your thoughts about what you saw last night and what you witnessed today? >> i find it very difficult to imagine a circumstance where this particular police department, this prosecutor, can be any productive relationship with the community in ferguson. we interviewed people earlier today, this afternoon, who were saying the same thing, that police essentially abandoned west florissant avenue, which is the commercial artery, the heart of commercial ferguson. and the sense that individual protesters claim -- and we weren't there -- saying they were called monkeys by police officers, just the attitude between police and the protesters is mutual, the mistrust is mutual. just the decision to make that announcement so late at night with so many angry people on the streets, i don't understand it.
i still don't understand it. >> ferguson mayor held a press conference this afternoon with community leaders, all of them calling for peace. >> we're hearing some more, what sounds like gunfire nearby. that's gunfire. all right, just a hail of gunfire just now. yeah? okay. >> we're being told to fall back. i'm going to throw to you in the studio. >> all right, that is not the mayor of ferguson. that is chris hayes last night. that was footage of what was playing out last night. but jim cavanaugh, let me pick
up on what julia was talking about, about the law enforcement response last night or lack of response as some are saying and the same for the national guard. from a law enforcement perspective, about how, what the proper approach should be. as chris was saying, over the summer, the criticism back in august, was, this is too heavy, too intense. the militarization of the police. do you read last night as sort of overcompensation for that. as chris said, there's a lot of suspicion that maybe there was something more sinister in what was going on there. >> i really don't see anything more sinister. the police want calm. they were hoping to get it. i think the chief and the captain had personally worked the community very hard, had a lot of meetings in the ensuing months, and thought they'd try a little stepback, and that
doesn't work. so with the gun shots and the arson, albeit, done by a handful of people. one person with flammable liquids can go around starting numerous fires. so they'll regroup and you're going to see it heavier tonight. you'll see more s.w.a.t. officers, bullet-proof vests. if that gunfire picks up again, you'll see more of that. they've got to have an operational plan to protect the fire crews to knock down those fires earlier. because a fire can get out of hand and burn down a few blocks. so we're going to see a change. you need to have more officers and i think you'll see that in small groups, more out in the city, so they can respond and arrest the small group of people that are shooting guns and burning buildings. and they're not citizens with the protesters. the people of ferguson, they want the police. they just don't want to be beat down by the police, or unnecessarily shot by the police, or picked up for every little infraction and charged hundreds of dollars. but they want the police. they want to live there.
they have families, businesses. i don't think we should think the community is not supporting the police because they're angry over this incident. that's not the case. they want the police, but they have to arrest the arsonists and shooters. >> i'm told we now have the sound from that press conference. the mayor of ferguson and other community leaders appealing for peace tonight. >> we work hard to build a more diverse and stronger community. >> whatever the solution is around this issue, none of it will be resolved by violence, and what we've seen in our community tonight. we're crying out to all of you all for peace and for healing with us. this is not the answer to continue to destroy us. >> we are all in this together. we are all on the same side. we want to let our police officers also know that we're on the same side. we're not fighting each other. we're fighting for a cause, together. >> we are definitely saddened by what has happened. i drove down the street before i
came here and i was in tears. it really, really looked bad. >> so we talk about what happened last night in terms of the violence, as joy said a minute ago, there's this whole debate over whether this should have been announced at the time it was last night. whether it was something that could have been announced earlier in the day. i'm wondering from a legal standpoint on this, if the grand jury makes its decision, i think i was told it was about 2:00 in the afternoon, the grand jury makes this decision, practically speaking, i guess you have to alert the officer. so there's protocols in place there. is there something that could have been held overnight without anybody finding out? what's the right way of handling it? >> they could have done it earlier in the day. and if they needed more time to do some alerts, some of which are required under law, they could have held it until the next day. as a practicing attorney and a reporter who covers this stuff, i've never seen a grand jury
conclusion, indictment or no indictment, announced late at night. period. then you add to the sensitivities there, that's why people are frustrated. so there were two traumas for a lot of folks in ferguson last night. one was the ruling itself, which again, let's be clear, if there had been an indictment, that wouldn't necessarily have been a show of support for the officer. that would just mean he gets his day in court. with a killing like this, you could have a filing straight away without the grand jury. so it was one-sided in the sense that no indictment was going to upset one side more than the other. yes, the prosecutor works with the police. but no, the folks who are patrolling don't control events. the prosecutor alerts them of what he's doing and his timing. what bob mcculloch did here, whether he meant to or not, has acted to create events in such a way that there's a lot of criticism, much of it deserved of the violence and the arson
and crimes that were committed last night. yet, there's a question here in the management of this justice whether that deliberately or not exacerbated events and that's the second trauma. because these events will continue. if folks want to protest, that may still happen. i'm not sure he did the police a favor today. >> thank you all for joining us here. protesters and demonstrators want something for the death of michael brown. the question is, will they get anything? that's up next. this is "hardball," the place for politics. when the game is on the line... okay patrick, let's go base, shark, blitz. the nfl trusts duracell quantum to power their game day communication. abort! abort! he's keeping it! duracell quantum. lasts up to 35% longer than the competition. [ shutter clicks ] hi there! [ laughs ] i'm flo! i know! i'm going to get you your rental car.
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i've never seen a civil rights law or a health care bill or an immigration bill result because a car got burned. it happened because people vote. it happened because people mobilized. it happened because people organize. it happens because people look at what are the best policies to solve the problem. that's how you actually move something forward. welcome back to "hardball." that was president obama earlier today, addressing the unrest in ferguson as the community prepares for another potentially volatile mix of protesters, police, and demonstrations as people in the streets, not just in ferguson, but all across the country, want something for the death of michael brown.
the question is, will they get anything? they will turn their eyes to attorney general eric holder's civil rights investigation, especially now that thousands of pages of investigation are in the public sphere. where do we go from here? pete williams, nbc news chief justice correspondent, joins us now. just in terms of the justice department, the obama administration, can you tell us what your understanding is of how they're looking at this now and whether or not they'll bring a case? >> they're looking to see if there's enough evidence to prosecute officer wilson for violating michael brown's civil rights. so a criminal civil rights investigation. but it's a higher legal standard than there would have been in the state to see if he violated state law. because to bring a federal case, the justice department would have to show that a police officer used excessive force willfully, meaning on purpose, with the knowledge that it was wrong. now, there have been cases like that.
the justice department prosecuted four l.a. police officers in the rodney king beating, but in that case, you had videotape to help prove the case. there's no video here, and the government would have to prove in essence, one prosecutor told me today officer wilson -- former prosecutor, i should say, they would have to prove that officer wilson didn't think he was in danger. that's a very difficult standard to meet. >> all right, pete williams, thanks for joining us. as i mentioned, thousands of pages of transcripts, interviews, forensic reports and photographs have been made public in this case. it's a complicated jumble of evidence. "new york times" headlines calls it a mass of evidence, much of it conflicting. prosecutors are taking heat for dumping all of this evidence on the grand jury and basically telling them to figure it out on their own. a former u.s. attorney and current attorney joining us. >> i'm looking at this because i've been looking over the evidence that's been presented and a couple things strike me
about it. a lot of the accounts from witnesses are very different than accounts that we heard in the media back in august and towards the end of the summer. the other thing that jumps out at me, it's all over the place, what you're seeing in that report. when you look at the evidence that we've now had 24 hours to examine, from the grand jury's perspective, do you see how they would look at that and say, i don't think we can bring much of a case right here, without any direction from the prosecutor? >> well, i think what they would do is what they've normally done with respect to the prosecutor is do what the prosecutor is communicating to them to do. this was different than any other case that the grand jury considered in their entire time seated as a grand jury. this prosecutor dumped this evidence on them, dumped all of this information on them, and like you said, said, figure it out yourself. in effect, that's communicating
to the grand jury, that we really don't expect you'll do anything with this. and remember, the grand jury is not sequestered. so they can hear and they can read and they can see everything else that's going on out here. so they also have the information coming from the outside with respect to what the expectation is from the prosecuting attorney's office. >> kendall, let me pick up that point with you. my impression of this just from afar, this is a prosecutor who did not believe there was a case here, his heart wasn't in it. but he didn't want to be the guy standing there saying, this isn't going any further. in effect, he was looking for cover from the grand jury. throws all the evidence at them and say, i don't want to make of it, maybe you do. is that a fair interpretation? >> i think it's a legitimate interpretation. there was never a strong interest on part of the prosecuting attorney, who undoubtedly is extremely close to the police community as are many prosecutors. at the same time, he picks a process that is very unusual. we know grand juries don't operate this way. usually they're led by a prosecutor with a clear sense, and they bring the credible evidence and witnesses that supports the narrative and probable cause. you don't have to potentially conflicting information, in this case, 60 witnesses that were poured all over this grand jury. so i certainly think it's consistent with the view that the
as a rationale and a mechanism for somebody else to take responsibility for a difficult decision. >> just legally speaking, what is the obligation for a prosecutor in mcculloch's position? if he's looked at the evidence and if he honestly -- his good faith interpretation of the evidence is, i don't think there's a case here, what is his obligation at that point in
terms of how he deals with the grand jury? >> if he doesn't think there's a case, he shouldn't go forward with it. but he should step up and accept responsibility for the decision and in fact explain it to the extent that it can be explained. there are a lot of prosecuting attorneys that make difficult decisions, and sometimes don't prosecute police and get a lot of resentment in the community for doing it. but typically, they own up to it. typically they accept responsibility. they don't normally throw all the information and all the responsibility on a grand jury. >> here's how officer wilson described -- i'm sorry. go ahead, lizz. >> absolutely. remember earlier in the summer, it was bob mcculloch who gave the charge to governor nixon to man up and make the decision on whether or not bob mcculloch was going to be removed from the case. i think kendall makes a wonderful point that bob mcculloch should have manned up, if he felt there was no evidence
to proceed with an indictment, instead of hiding behind the grand jury and playing in the court of public opinion that i'm giving all this evidence to them so that we can reach a fair decision. that's not true. man up and say that i don't think that there's a case and do not hide behind the grand jury. >> already, kendall coffey, lizz brown, appreciate the time tonight. up next, the unrest goes national. leaders are calling for calm as we approach another night of protests. this is "hardball," the place for politics. r credit score,
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back to "hardball." anger reverberating across the country last night with thousands taking to the streets to protest in metropolitan areas across the country. even now in new york city, more demonstrators have gathered in front of the lincoln tunnel, blocking rush hour traffic at that critical artery. there's also a bizarre episode that occurred yesterday when the city's top law enforcement official, the commissioner was
splattered in the face with flake blood, thrown by a protester. today reverend al sharpton and michael brown's family made it clear those that resort to violent do not stand with michael brown. >> those that got violent last night, those that acted in a destructive manner does not represent the spirit of michael brown. if you do anything to harm others, you're on your own side. you're not on brown's side. we are on the side of michael brown to fight for what is right. don't lower those standards. [ applause ] >> the challenge now for supporters of brown is to channel frustrations into effecting some positive change. joining me now, trymaine lee from ferguson. everybody on the streets upset by the announcement from the grand jury, but beyond that, in terms of looking forward and looking to the future, are there specific things that the protesters are looking for that can be done, that could come out of this positively speaking? >> now, there are groups that
have organized from the very beginning, their main goal under a big banner that black lives matters and under that, systemic changes they want on the ground, in terms of the way the warrants, fines and fees are used. they adopted an ordinance about the way that money is used. they want more participation in the system. if you listened to president obama's speech tonight and he talked about the frustrations that many black communities in particular have with law enforcement. he said, it's not just a ferguson issue. it's an american issue. so a lot of this is about raising awareness. those in civil disaobedience training, those who are planning disobedience in the coming days, that will be applauded. they want to make this much bigger than ferguson, much bigger than michael brown. because they'll say michael browns are all over this country. and fergusons all over this country.
>> we turn now to the mayor of baltimore, maryland. let me ask you, what played out in ferguson and we're wondering what will happen tonight, if you were talking to the protesters right now, they're listening right now. what would you tell them they should be pushing for? >> i think the key thing for elected officials to do, isn't to tell them what they should be pushing for, but to ask them, you know, what is your agenda? how can we work together? as mayor in baltimore, i have these conversations all the time. for me, it's not about telling communities what they should want, but asking, how can we work better together. i think that's a key component that was missed in ferguson. it's very clear there was not a relationship between the elected officials and the community, the police department and the community. and it's hard to backtrack and to develop a relationship after a crisis. the work needs to be done on the front end. >> you know, we talk about
potential of specific things that could come out of this, one thing i've been hearing is this idea of body cameras on police officers, and obviously, if there had been a body camera on darren wilson, i think this would have been -- i don't know how it would have turned out, but i think it would be different. it would be a different story right now, because we would have video evidence of exactly what transpired. what is the status of that when you look nationally for the push for body cameras? seems like a common-sense thing to have. >> the challenge is, i think too many people think it's the cure-all. one of the things that i'm working on in baltimore is repairing the relationship between the community and the police. that's the work that needs to be done. i invited the department of justice and doj in to work with us on our community policing efforts, on our -- to take a look at our excessive force and police brutality complaints. we have to work together to build that up. yes, body cameras are a part of it. i have a work group now helping me to implement our body camera program to make sure we get it right.
but that's just one piece of it. you know, there are plenty places in the country that have body cameras and still have those problems. if you don't have those relationships of trust, to undergrow any program with the police department, it's not going to solve the problem. so, yes, body cameras are important. i think when baltimore implements our body camera program next year, we'll probably be in the largest city in the country that has a body camera program and i'm looking forward to that. but people have to understand, it's more than cameras, you have to do the work, you have to do the work in training, you have to do the work in listening to your community. you have to be in tune and you have to encourage transparency. that didn't happen in ferguson. >> you talk about the breakdown between the community and law enforcement. i wonder, when you look at your own city and the relationship between the police and the community, do you ever -- i wonder if sometimes when there's
frustration in the community are there things about law enforcement that maybe those in the community who are frustrated with law enforcement aren't looking at, in your view, aren't looking at the right way? are there misperceptions when it comes to the community about what law enforcement is all about? >> i'm sure there's misconceptions, but the problem is, when people assess blame to that. you know, for me, it's about getting the information out there. i try, in my role as mayor, to do everything we can, to look for new ways to increase transparency, to look for new ways to communicate with the community. because it's not about -- i'm not going to tell you that your way of looking at things are wrong. i want to hear how you see things, and then we can have a dialogue. we can have a discussion about what my goals are as mayor as far as public safety and making sure that we don't have the number of homicides that we continue to have in baltimore. i'm not going to tell you what you should think, but we have to meet in ernest and to listen. if you're not doing that, it's hard after a crisis to try to do
that repair work. >> stephanie, mayor of the city of baltimore, thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you. up next, an update from the ground in ferguson, missouri. isis, ebola, lacking in the mid terms, now violence in ferguson, the ultimate test of crisis management for president obama. you're watching "hardball," the
we have an array of things on the tailgate, rock, bottle, a socket extension, looks like broken tent poles that were hurled at the officers, pieces of asphalt. small bottles filled with probably something you could drink, perhaps water or gatorade. other small bottles filled with what appears to be urine. those are things we're trying to protect the officers and the guardsmen when they're doing their jobs. when the officers are having those kinds of events, it's
really difficult for them to manage the job they're supposed to be doing as well as they can. we made 44 arrests this evening. we did make four felony arrests. three of them -- one was unlawful use of the weapon and the other were assault against police officers. i wish i could give you more details on those right now, but i'm just getting this from my desk inside. we'll be able to give you more rartding the nature of those arrests as we go on in the evening. generally it was a better night. we had no arsons. we had reports but nothing really came to pass. the police departments and the guards are keeping it closed while bob and arson schek check
on the origins of the fires. it's going to take a little while before these guys can get in there and determine exactly what happened. they're probably going to have to use things like that. generally, it's fair to say the officers acted with incredible discipline tonight. we saw protesters out there really out there for the right reason. unfortunately there seems to be a few people that are bent on, i think, preventing this from happening in the most ideal way it possibly could. with that, i would like to turn it over to captain ron johnson. >> good morning. we did have a much better night tonight. we are committed to making sure we keep our community safe. we re-evaluate our plan and we did that. we came out and worked the partnership. you know, a lot of the protesters that came out for peaceful protests actually were assisting u.s. tonight. but once again, there are those stuck on violence that embed themselves with the peaceful
protesters. we'll go back tonight and have a briefing and make sure we can re-evaluate to have a better day tomorrow. we'll continue to do that. we're here are to make sure the businesses are maintained and people still have their rights for peaceful protest. >> the guard presence tonight seemed a lot more visible as opposed to last night. and it appeared that they were more in the support role, leaving st. louis county police and the missouri highway patrol to do the ares and crowd control. is that pretty much the standard? >> that is. and really, that makes a lot of sense. these officers -- there's probably not an officer out here that's not been engaged in this in one way or another since august. these guys are seasoned. they understand what they're looking at. this guard, however, they are an outstanding support role for us. we really appreciate our volunteer soldiers out here for us.
they can really fill the gaps in for us. when you drive down here in the cold zone that we have there for the crime scene, you see guardsmen scattered out. and i really think that's a visual that in many ways, while itth's perhaps alarming to some folks, i think at the same time it's probably comforting to some, because it allows us to gain that measure of control. so the guard has been very helpful working in that role. >> might that have made a difference in dealing with last night's -- >> it's hard to speculate on what might have happened. we talked last night with the fact that squerp perhaps hopeful we would have a better night than we had. i don't think captain johnson or myself or any commander here really envisioned how bad last night was. i think that was the scale that fortunately is seldom seen here in this country.
i know captain johnson and we're happy the guard is here in a support role. >> you said you underestimated the danger, the threat in this situation. and didn't bring more guardsmen than other personnel,s a pets into play. >> well, i think if we ask ourselves as a community, none of us could imagine last night was going to be what it was last night. and i've heard that all throughout today. that none of us would have imagined last night was going to be what it was. if any of us knew last night was going to be what it was, if we had a crystal ball, we probably would have done something different. but we could never imagine that. and so, you know, we re-evaluated, and i think we're there where we need to do enwe'll continue to get better at it. and i think now we all understand what we need to do to make this community safe. and we're all on the same page. that's what i heard today. the day before, we were kind of on different pages opinion what i'm hearing today from this community, we're all on the same page to make our community hole and make sure it stays hole.
whole. >> [ inaudible ] we thought we would see it not as baz as it was. you couldn't expect that you wouldn't see. >> yok anybody thought it would be this magnitude. if you look at the recent history of our country, we have not seen anything like that. we didn't think it was going to be a cake yauk or we didn't think it would be this. >> we seen this structure before. we have not seen anything here to this magnitude. one thimg we keep saying to all of us is we maintain life. no one was injured.
no one lost their lives, and that's a blessing. for our community, it is a blessing. we can hold our hearts on and be thankful for. we can make sure our businesses stay safe. >> what are you doing now? >> well, you saw it today. the way we deployed our resources today. we made sure the resources were where they needed to be. but also we got a little help from our community today. and so it's about that partnership. and we just have to continue to make that. and that's what's going to make our community move forward, that partnership. >> can you talk about the incident outside of city hall. was city hall ever at risk for fire or anything? you talk a little bit about that. >> the molotov cocktail was seized in front of city hall. i think it's fair to say that -- was it thrown or --
>> i don't know exactly how it was recovered. it didn't break, which was fortunate. but the very upper windows of city hall were broken out. some of the office windows were broken out. we were concerned if we didn't go in there and interact with these rider, potentially anything could happen. there's a host of problems that come with that, but we were able to manage that pretty effectively. i watched that happen and i was pretty satisfied with the way that happened. we were able to get that into a situation where everybody moved on. >> when we found the incident at city hall, we were able to go there immediately. >> [ inaudible ]. >> we will get that tomorrow.
>> are you guys expecting people to come home, more or less? >> there's a lot of people in town now. we adjust to the situation that we have. we'll take a look at this. >> do you have anything to say for people coming into the area for the holiday? >> have a great time with your family. >> parade still going to go on? >> yes. it is. >> you're welcome to film these items and ask any questions. >> we've been listening to the st. louis police chief, highway patrol chief there giving another one of these evening press conferences with the events in ferguson.
and what you're seeing there on the screen, scanning some of the items police say they were able to confiscate during their patrols tonight. an evening they're saying is much better than the previous evening in ferguson. i'm joined now by an owner who's been following owl of these events and jim cavanaugh. starting with you, let me mention a couple of numbers from this press conference. police estimating tonight, 44 arrests, predominantly misdemeanors. only four felonies according to the press conference that we've just heard. both of the officers saying this was a better night. there were no arsons. tlrt protesters ute on the
secrete for, quote, the right reason. what was your thoughts on what we just heard. >> very effective command leadership. this shows good leadership. they saw the flaws last night. they came in tonight to protect the firefighters with a different strategy, to move teams out to make these arrests. four felony arrests. so people are coming out armed with a gun and armed with a, you know, a molotov cocktail to burn a vehicle or a building. so that's when you've got to stop and so good tactic, good command, good flexibility. even last night, they were more reserved. it got away from them, but they stepped right in.
>> people around the country have been watching a lot of these images coming from other cities, new york, albuquerque, los angeles, where there have been some organic and some organized ferguson solidarity protests. but talk to us about immechanicals the police are putting forward that we're seeing of the things they confiscated. what is that about. >> i think they are showing that there is a small number of people that they have to apprehend and the only effective way to stop them is to apprehend them. because the people with the gun or the molotov cocktail aren't going to listen to the plea of the civil rights leader, the president, the governor, the attorney general for peace. i do think the effect of the peaceful marches around the country is such a positive effect on ferguson. to see people in dallas, new york, nashville, oakland.
they're not doing anything disruptive. they're just protesting. that's a huge, huge effect. when the people in ferguson see that. >> a lot of those protest wes saw were peaceful. earlier in oakland, there was some window breaking and some illegal activity that looked lielk looting, but as you said, for the most part we've seen gatherings of people and not -- definitely not widespread felonies or arson, or the kind of disturbing behavior that was occurring last night. >> looking at this as well, your thoughts on the opponent there specifically about the fact that the fire department initially tonight in ferguson was not responding to one of those fires because it was under control because of a threat level. a lot of folks were critical. about the fires. >> i think it's important that firefighters did not put themselves in dinger as well. i've been involved in a lot of
crowd control situations as a lawyer working through some of those. sometimes fire departments and even law enforcement officers cannot take certain kinds of action. it's better to let the small event just burn itself out or take care of itself. and at the same time, do not jeopardize others and to create more conflict. so i think that's probably a smart move on their part. particularly if it was controlled and it wasn't going to spread to other item at other buildings and create a much bigger fire hazard. >> it seemed like some of the fires were burning without immunity? >> i think. you have to be mart. but you also have to be mindful of the optics. in this situation, there was really just a fire as opposed to multiple fires.
when you have smiepers out there with junes, you don't know what can happen in that situation. >> the press conference here, 2:55 oen the east coast, :55 in ferguson. what did you make of the claim that there was nothing like this on kale. i think some viewers would find that a little odd. >> i think the captain is probably talking about his career and experience in missouri that they haven't experienced anything on that scale. >> specifically there. >> specifically there .the captain is probably referring to his experience more than just nationally. from rodney king, maybe not so
much in st. louis and kansas city. it's a big event and they've got a lot of people there. they've worded themselves pretty good tonight. good arrests, nobody hurt, nobody killed. john makes a great point here. this is the kind of policing people want. they want just enough force to make the arrest and no more. that's effective policing. last night when they tried to turn over a car, msnbc had the video, was right on top of it. when the county officers moved in with beanbag shotguns and they topped it. if they had let that go, it would have been pors. but tonight, the car is getting turn the. it takes them farther tonight to
get there, but it's critical they go get there in force. and when they get there, they apply just enough force. you don't see them wading into the spectators with sticks or anything, lobbing massive amounts of tear gas, very good response both tame thymes. this is policing at its best. this would by any public safety account and by any account from the organizers' perspectives as well be an improvement. if your view, john, what does that do for the folks who want to keep this issue alive. because as we said, this is the case in ferguson at the very time that we're seeing protests spread around the nation. >> i think that the people who want to protest, they see that something is positive happening this evening.
i think those protesters do not want to see their property burned down. they don't want to see their city burned down and various businesses. so to the extent that they could see that it was a positive response and there was a good protest activity and good people participating, they want to do it themselves. heem are not going to start without worrying about being hurt or property being destroyed. the issue is where to go go from here. maybe that's a complex issue. but protesting is something they really want to do. if they can see that you can do it without being hurt or property being destroyed, i think they should do so. >> with chang coming here, does that reduce the likelihood of problems in the next couple of days or can we not say that? >> we would like to have the whole country get a whole lot of
turkey and get the sleeping feeling. i think it will have an effect. we all are captured in our own world, environment, country, family. i think it will probably have a positive effect. the demonstrations peaceful overwhelmingly around the country. that will have a positive effect. >> pu for joining me tonight. in ferguson, police are announcing 44 arrests. primarily misdemeanors and telling folks this was a much more peaceful and safe night in missouri. special live coverage out of ferguson and out of new york. thank for watching. please stay with us. good evening, live from ferguson, missouri, i'm chris hayes.
last night this was the scene of intense disruption, fire and arrests, complete and utter quiet tonight as police have shut down this stretch. cold has set in here, this stre. cold has set in. very, very different scene this evening. the protests have leapt across the country, in cities from coast to coast. in dallas, portland, boston. they managed to shut down fdr drive, one of the main highways in manhattan. there are protests in ferguson in wake of the announcement the number of national guard w