tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC July 1, 2020 12:00am-1:00am PDT
the state's senior senator, republican roger wicker, was on hand as a temporary flag with the mississippi state seal was put in place. that does it for us tonight on "the 11th hour." thank you for being with us. on behalf of all my colleagues . on behalf of all my colleagues at the networks of nbc news, have a good night. tonight on a special edition of "all in" -- a nation in the grip of crisis amid a raging pandemic and a national reckoning on race and policing. tonight for the hour, four mayors of four major cities tasked with leading their cities through this critical moment in american history. this is all in america, frontlines of change. good evening from new york, i'm chris hayes. for the next hour, we're going to be talking about the issues of policing and race amidst a crippling pandemic. i'll be joined by mayors from four major cities across the
country and i'll be asking some of the questions you submitted online. it's never been a more important or difficult time to be a mayor of a big city in america. over the last month, mayors have faced unprecedented challenges, a once in a century pandemic that's forced mayors to make timely and difficult decisions under tremendous pressure. decisions that if they get wrong, could cost thousands of lives. then, in the wake of the police killing of george floyd, we have seen a once in a generation movement. huge street protests and calls to end police brutality, but more deeply to fundamentally reorder the priorities governing the agendas of cities, to undo the decades of systemic racism that have resulted in everything from mass incarceration to health and racial disparities. s all of that is happening in that fraught moment. because big city mayors are navigate thing, they are negotiating the calls for safety and health, equity and justice being made. it's been over a month since
george floyd was killed by a minneapolis police officer. there are still people protesting in the streets across america, night after night for a month. the protests are not stopping and they have created a cascade of policy changes at the local level. in minneapolis, the city where george floyd was killed, there's been incredible tumult over the police department. the mayor of the city who ran as a reformer was shouted down by protesters for not doing enough to reform police. there's also been a spike in shootings since memorial day, with over 100 people shot. like many other cities, atlanta also saw huge protests following the killing of george floyd and the tension in the city only increased after atlanta police officers shot and killed a man named rayshard brooks in the back as he was running away after he failed a sobriety test and grabbed a taser from an officer trying to arrest him. one officer charged with felony murder and the city's police chief resigned. in los angeles, where 30 years ago the lapd was the central
focus of the last round of major unrest in the wake of police brutality. police also came under fire for using what seems like using obviously excessive force against protesters. the mayor proposed $150 million in budget cuts to the police department that had been met with outrage by local law enforcement officials. los angeles is also a city that is seeing spikes in coronavirus cases. in new orleans, a city with a very ugly history in policing, a police force that's currently operating under a federal consent decree, implemented by the obama administration to clean up the force after years of corruption and brutality. that consent decree is now in its eighth year, and the mayor has called for it to end and has been talking to other mayors around the country about federal oversight. so we thought told take some time tonight in this perilous and important moment to talk to some of the people at the center of this, representing cities around the country, cities that are diverse in many cases and are thriving. and also places that are currently struggling deeply.
cities that are engines and mobility of economic growth and cultures and jobs and also sites inten intense segregation, intense deprivation, poverty and violence and battling against this pandemic and the fallout from public health measures that put a strain on every single citizen and resident and every city budget and every government, as well. joining me now are mayor key la lance bottoms of atlanta, mayor jacob frey of minneapolis -- sit great to have you all. i've been looking forward to this conversation. and it's obviously an incredibly difficult but incredibly important moment. mayor frey, i thought i would start with you. in this moment around the reckoning of police started in minneapolis. and i wanted to ask about that moment that people saw on tape where you went out to a protest in a mask, and there were protesters who were making very concrete demands of you to sign onto an agenda that would
fundamentally have essentially undone, right, sort of unbuilt the minneapolis police department, and you wouldn't go along with it. you were jeered and booed. i think there's a sense sometimes in these protests of a which side are you on dynamic, to you, the other mayors here. right? you're a democrat. i think you view yourself as a progressive. you're not donald trump, but you're administering a city and a boss of the police department side are you on. what is your answer to them? >> mayors around the country, including myself, are on the side of massive structural change. and i think right now we need to be heeding the calls of george floyd's family, and they said clearly that george floyd is going to change the world. this can't be half measures, this can't just go halfway, this can't be minor policy changes. this needs to be a full rethinking and reshaping of the way that our police department does business that has, for decades, harmed black and brown people. and so in terms of the shift
that we want to see, if we're talking about decriminalizing addiction, count me in. if we're talking about making sure that mechanisms like more affordable housing and health care are prepared and ready so that we don't have crime, count me in. if we're talking about being open to other strategies beyond policing, absolutely. mental health co-responders, yes. social workers, absolutely. but if we're talking about abolishing all law enforcement, no. cities around the country, including minneapolis, need law enforcement. we need to abolish the behavior. we don't need to be abolishing the police. >> mayor lance bottoms, in atlanta, obviously you have dealt with protests in your city. you have dealt with a very high-profile killing of a resident of atlanta as well recently. what was your -- how was it communicated to you in the time that rayshard brooks was shot and killed, what had happened, and what was your message to the police department in the midst
of that, given that it came on the tail end where after weeks of these protests, precisely against police violence against residents? >> well, first of all, thank you for having me. the way it was communicated to me is the same way that i receive information about any number of noteworthy events in the city. i usually wake up to text messages during the night. i get them throughout the day. and this came in as a police involved shooting. and initially, i was not told that mr. brooks was deceased, and i later found out that he was. and so i immediately, the next morning, went into city hall and gathered our police chief and our command staff and we began looking at the videos. and so i sat and i watched 40 minutes of the interaction with mr. brooks and the officers. the most heartbreaking thing in watching that interaction was
knowing that you knew how the story ended. it was a lighthearted interaction, and there was so many other ways that this could have ended. and mr. brooks talked about his daughter's birthday and wanting to be at her birthday party or giving his wife some money for her birthday party. and i think for me, it really -- looking at the ending of this really has called into question how we have these encounters with our police officers. and within these encounters, black men particularly, and we know in the case of breonna taylor and so many others, black women aren't immune, but that people are not humanized in these encounters. >> let me just follow up on that -- >> that's the biggest challenge in front of us. >> why -- i want to get to that,
but i want to follow up on that, that lack of humanity, the sort of dehumanization we see, we have seen so many videos of various departments or from social media of these petty indignities, dehumanization by police officers. what is your explanation for the root cause of that happening in your city, under your stewardship, the first black woman mayor of the city of atlanta, a city that's had an incredible legacy, an incredible class filled with incredible culture and diversity. why is that still happening in your police department? >> well, i'm actually the second african-american woman to serve as mayor. >> i'm sorry. >> but in this encounter, the encounter was a cordial, polite encounter until it was not. so i think that is the question that we have to all ask ourselves, how are we training our officers, what are our expectations in outcomes when there are encounters like this? so we have already put into place things related to a requirement for deescalation. but it doesn't bring mr. brooks
back. i think it goes to this larger conversation that we have to have across this country that we are having across this country on what it means for us to see each other as human beings, no matter our race and no matter what our title is. and i think that's a challenge, not just in atlanta, and i think if anything, it's evidence that if it can and it did happen in atlanta, the cradle of the civil rights movement, then certainly it is something that can and will happen in cities across this country. >> mayor cantrell, your department has a particular history and interesting one. it was entered into a federal consent decree in 2010 under the obama administration. there's been lots of reporting to indicate the department has improved along a variety of metrics. given that other mayors are fighting so hard to bring this kind of structural change to cities, given the sort of institutional impediments to that, why would you want to take
the federal government out of supervising a department if it has had a saluatory effect on your community? >> the consent decree has absolutely mandated practices we have embraced 100%. as it relates to constitutional policing practices, of course a culture of accountability. and also aggressively investing in social and community programs. one, is that when you lean on that consent decree, it easily becomes politicized and one that you're spending millions of dollars, we spent over $55 million, over $7 million annually and the ghost post just continues to move as you are making progress. we have turned the curve in the city of new orleans. we have demonstrated our effectiveness. we have emberatesed the eight
can't wait policies that our protesters have been asking for and weaver gone above and literally beyond that. we created e.p.i.c., ethical policing is courageous, as well as duty to intervene. we have social workers imbedded in our department. so my things is this. and the residents of new orleans approved -- voted to change the charter to have an independent police monitor, which is the foundation for continuing the success of the rormeforms that we've made, but wanting to satisfy the consent decree so that we can reinvest those dollars back into public health, which is also public safety, so i don't believe that cities across the country have to go and involve the doj in order to turn themselves around. they can make the improvements, leaning on one another, looking at best practices, and we've demonstrated these best
practices, teaching police forces across the country. but we do not need to be beholden to doj and the level of dollars that we're spending on the consent decree. mind you, when you have a police monitor, when it's seen they're coming in town, good events coming in town, jazzfest, mardi gras, that sort of thing. we need to get away from that. i believe that we are and i applaud the partnership with the judge and the monitor, but now it's time to let new orleans continue the reforms, but the sustainability of those reforms. we're prepared. >> mayor cantrell just talked about some of the reforms under her leadership, mayor garcetti. it serums to me there aems to m categories people are talking about policing. police departments are too big.
they do too much. we put too many resources in the city into them. you have just proposed a budget cut for the lapd. it has been met with quite a bit of anger from some law enforcement officials and spokespeople in l.a. what -- what caused you to take that up? what do you think you're doing in proposing that budget cut? >> well, thank you, chris, and let me join the chorus of thanking you for doing this. it is always an honor to be with my brother and sister mayors and all the viewers who have shown up tonight to take this conversation from a moment to a movement and to make sure we meet this moment and not miss it. here in los angeles, we're pretty resilient. not because we're any better than any other city. we just went through this pain that other cities are going through in past years earlier. before we had camera phones, we had rodney kings. we had watts before that. we had a rampart scandal and a consent decree just as mayor cantrell has gone through. those things made us better and stronger and fairer, even if we
still have a while to climb up to the peak, maybe we're midway up the mountain. for me, this isn't about punishment and just what we take things away from. we have thrown too many solutions on the shoulders of our police departments and our police officers. and, yes, it is about accountable behavior. it's also about making sure we don't just hold bad behavior accountable, but lifting up good behavior. it's all making sure what we can do to make sure police aren't the solution to everything. that we can call 911, and as we're doing here, working together with our county to look at what we can do in a mental health crisis to have trained professionals who are mobile just like police officers who can roll out and maybe have better and lasting outcomes than police officers going back and back and sometimes tragically to these dangerous situations if that's not what they're best trained for. it's about gang intervention. we've cut gang crime in half in los angeles. remember movies when most of us growing up, los angeles was synonymous with gang culture. we've done that not just by strengthening and holding
accountable the police department, but moving resources from policing to gang reduction and youth development. former gang members, people with lived experience who can be the peacemakers when things flare up more effectively than police officers in certain situations. i agree we're always going to need police for certain situations and we need to rethink that model and we need to kind of create that -- co-create that with communities of color that bear the brunt of that disrespect when it comes, but we also have to look for solutions inside communities and make sure we broaden this out so this is not just a conversation about public safety. if we care about black lives and the lives of the people that we represent, this has to be about wealth building and health building, too, because we know even with the most accountable police departments in the country, reimagining some of those models, most black people in america will have shorter lives or find death because of health and economic disparities. so these have to to be braided in together if we are sure this moment doesn't come to pass with
a few reforms, pats on the back and everyone says back to business as usual. >> we're going to get to some of that. much more to come on this special edition of "all in." next, how are calls for reform being heard from law enforcement. i'm going to talk to the member of the memphis police union. how he's responding after this. of the memphis police union. how he's responding after this 49... 50!
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us into being embarrassed about our profession. well, you know what? this isn't stained by someone in minneapolis. it's still got a shine on it, and so do theirs. so do theirs. stop treating us like animals and thugs and start treating us with some respect. >> that is the president of one of the largest police unions in the u.s. represents officers in new york city. it is often the case that some of the loudest voices in the debate over policing in america are police unions whose rhetoric tends to run very hot. few weeks ago amidst nationwide protests against police brutality, the president of another new york police union said, quote, they would win this war on new york city. the head of the minneapolis police union called protests in that city in the wake of george floyd's killing a terrorist movement. president of a cleveland police union, which referred to the citizens of his own city, as the depression of society. police union leaders across the country talk like this all the time. as a reporter who covers them,
as if they're fighting a war. the unions are also not particularly representative of the departments they represent. the new york city police department, for example, is 47% white. and as you can see, that is very different from the makeup of this group of union leaders and members. in fact, of the 15 largest police departments in the nation in which a majority of officers are people are color, only one, only one has an african-american at the helm of the police union. that is michael williams. it's a 20-year army veteran who spent ten years as a uniform patrol officer and now represents 3,000 members of the memphis police association. last week his union held a cops against injustice rally where officers showed their support for the fight for racial equality. and michael williams joins me now, and it's wonderful to have you, sir. thank you very much. >> thank you, much, for having me, chris, i appreciate it. >> you know, i want to start -- i want to talk a little bit about your reaction to this moment we're in, particularly the killing of george floyd, but i want to talk on this question
of police unions and their rhetoric and the way they communicate publicly. what goes through your mind when you hear a police union representative talk about war and dregs of society and this very, very kind of aggressive language? do you understand why that is alienating to a lot of people? >> i just think that a lot of individuals are very frustrated in this age and in this era. the advent of what happened to mr. george floyd was heinous. it was something that nobody wanted to see. when you see someone that's on somebody's neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, i don't care if you're a police officer, i don't care if you're a citizen of any city around the united states, that is heinous. and it should be treated as such. period. i think that, you know, we have to get out of trying to defend wrongs that have been created or
perpetrated by individuals, even if they are a part of the police structure. we held that rally, officers for injustice, because we had a lot of officers who wanted to protest. a lot of good officers in the city of memphis because we definitely tried to stay in touch with the community. many of us are of the community. 56% to 60% of the police department in the city of memphis is african-american. the makeup of the city is approximately 65% african-american. a lot of us were born and raised here, educated here, we still live in this city, and we care because a lot of the individuals are our relatives in this city. so we've definitely tried to maintain community police relations. and a lot of the things that have happened all across the country, i can tell you have not happened here in the city of memphis. so we kind of approach it a little bit differently, i assume, but i know that on all
sides you have police that are being injured since the incident with mr. floyd. you've had hundreds of officers that have been injured all across the country. and sometimes people just don't understand if you haven't been in combat, if you haven't been suppressed in life or if you haven't had incidences with the police, i tell the story where as, you know, i became the police because i didn't like the police. and sometimes you have to change it from the ensign as opposed to the outside. and that's a lot of the things -- and i encourage a lot of the young people within the city of memphis to become police officers. if you don't like it, be a part of it. change it. from the inside. treat people the way that you want to be treated as opposed to allowing other individuals the ability to police you. and that's exactly what i did. >> you just -- you just spoke about this -- this feeling of frustration, and i think a lot of police officers -- police officers i've spoken to even in the last week or two who feel
under threat, they feel ashamed, they feel misunderstood. there does seem to be -- and obviously police officers have come under verbal abuse and they've had things thrown at them and there have actually been several shootings that happened throughout the country directed at law enforcement officials. do you -- what is your thinking about the psychology of your officers in these moments that they don't essentially end up replicating the same kinds of indignities and brutality and violence and overreaction that has produced this moment? what are -- what are you saying -- what is a conversation like amongst police officers about that, is there a conversation on that? >> there's definitely a behind the scenes conversation that's going on. as a matter of fact, i was on the phone with a particular officer for probably about an hour prior to me starting some interviews this evening, and they're very frustrated. we've had 12 incidences where officers have been shot at here in the city of memphis.
this time last year, we had about 659 shootings. shots fired calls here in the city of memphis. it has risen to over 1,500 for the same time this year. juvenile crime is up. violent crime is up. a lot of the individuals are operating under the auspices of what has happened to mr. floyd, unfortunately, and mr. tamir rice and all of the other individuals around the country that have succumbed to their injuries or the incidences with police officers. and we're having individuals that are being stopped and they say, oh, you can't stop me. or you can't operate under the -- aren't you guys not supposed to be doing these certain things? so you have officers that are very frustrated. you know, you're getting calls to armed party calls and it's 14, 15, 16-year-old individuals because memphis is like the third most violent city in the nation per capita, per the fbi. so we have a lot of crime that's
going on in this city. and officers are kind of confused, you know, because if they engage these 14, 15, 16-year-old individuals and they happen to kill them because we're pulling skss, ak-47s, automatic weapons out of a lot of cars around here. and it's just a matter of time before something happens. nobody wants to happen what happened to mr. floyd or anybody else. that individuals are standing up for. but at the same time, we can't let the pendulum swing too far to the left and overreact and put officers' safety at risk or try to say that they don't have the same constitutional rights that normal citizens have. because at the end of the day, they are normal citizens. >> right. but police officers are more than normal citizens. i mean, police officers have authority that normal citizens don't. police officers have the elevated standing of essentially being the tool by which the state enforces its monopoly on
violence. they can shoot people. they can arrest them. they can do all kinds of things. i can't walk down the street and tell someone, oh, i don't like what you're doing, i'm going to talk to you for a second. i'm going to write you a ticket and put you in handcuffs. it seems there is a mismatch of the victim hood of blifpolice officers who understandably go through tremendous stress in the job they do and face tremendous stresses and dangers and the authority they wield. and is there a way to think about policing that doesn't end up leaning heavily on that authority in a way that ends up taking people's dignity away? >> well, without order, there is chaos, chris, and you have to -- you know, we all grew up afraid of somebody. i was afraid of my mother, okay? so if we want to get to the point whereas you're not afraid of anybody, that means you can do what you want to do. now, in saying that, i don't think any officer should overstep his bounds. i don't think he should use his authority in the wrong way or
manner. and if, in fact, they do that, they should be held accountable. i am one of those individuals that say we don't want bad police officers. if you're not going to operate within the scope of your duties, you don't need to be the police officers. within our community, we've probably gotten more officers to resign that don't want to be the police officers. but you are also going to find in this environment a lot of the millennials or young people that are coming up now that have bachelor's and master's and phds, they don't want to be the police. they choose to do something else. there is a shortage of police officers all across the nation. and if we continue in this manner, it's going to get even shorter. so we have to make sure that we have a balance. i have said there's nothing wrong with reform. any time you don't want to change, something's wrong because times change. so therefore you have to implement changes. but at the same time, you can't throw the baby out with the bathwater. >> yeah. >> you know, i had a
conversation about 40 minutes about choking, using choke holds here in the city of memphis. i asked the question, when was the last time an officer choked somebody in the city of memphis or somebody died? never. so we have uniquenesses throughout the country. and everybody can't use this cookie-cutter method to be able to address the issues in their particular cities. we have a crime problem. we haven't had those type of situations. what -- i don't know what's happening in new york. i don't know what happened in minnesota. i don't know what happened in other places except for what has been shown on tv. police answered over 10 million calls last year. out of those 10 million calls, i think the fbi said you had about 1,000 and some individuals that were shot. out of that 1,000 individuals, you had 400 that were armed or unarmed. i believe you had 19 caucasians that were shot and killed by the police last year. you only had nine african-americans that were
killed by the police last year. now, don't get me wrong, anybody that is killed needlessly, that's wrong and it needs to be address, but at the same time, i think that we're definitely putting a lot of emphasis on the police when we have in this city 222 individuals were murdered in this city last year. >> memphis police association president michael williams in the city of memphis. thank you so much, sir. i appreciate it. >> thank you. all right. stick around. we'll take a look at the idea behind growing call and the national protest defund the police. after this.
we're back here with the mayors of atlanta, minneapolis, new orleans and los angeles, and i just wanted to get your reaction to some of the things that michael williams, the police union hid there in memphis said. obviously an extremely interesting perspective and unique, as i said, mayor. mayor bottoms in atlanta, you know, there's -- i think this
idea that he articulated, which i think is core to most of the police officers i ever talk to, that without order, there is chaos. the police are essentially the cliche the thin blue line that divides, you know, ordered civilization from, you know, complete mayhem. and i wonder what you think of that idea because it's so central to police identity and so central to many of the big city politics around crime and policing for decades. >> i agree with so much of what he said. and like memphis, atlanta's full of good police officers. many of whom grew up in our community. many of whom i went to elementary school with. so by and large, i think atlanta's representative of what you do have across the country, police officers who get up each and severevery day looking to d honest job and have pure and honest interactions with our communities. but the problem is this. that when you have officers who
don't have those same intentions, and this is happening repeatedly, and we are now seeing it. then there is a problem that's before us that has resulted in what we are seeing across america. and i've met a couple of weeks ago with some of the student activists, and i love what one of the young men said. he said, this is -- we've got to stop having the conversation about us versus them. this has to be a we conversation. and so in the same way our police officers are concerned about the morale of officers, i thanksgiving o think our officers also have to be concerned about the morale of the country. we're not making up these things that we are concerned about. when my nephew was murdered, we called the police to solve his murder, so i know the value of our police officers. but to the extent that we are somehow getting it wrong, and it is resulting in this excessive
use of force, it's killing people before our eyes, then we have to have this "we" conversation and do this "we" work to get it right. >> mayor frey, you're nodding in agreement. >> i am. this is a "we" conversation, and what we need to be focused on collectively right now is a culture shift. you know, i'm a believer that culture eats policy for breakfast. and to a certain extent, culture is about people. it's about personnel. it's having the ability to bring in and retain good officers and having the ability to get the wrong officers with the wrong mentality out. and right now you have mayors and chiefs around the country that are hamstrung by several elephants in the room. whether it's a police union or a collective bargaining agreement or an arbitration provision,
which we have in minnesota, that by the way, returns more than 45% of the cases back to the police department. so in other words, the chief or i can discipline or terminate an officer and then 45% of the time or more, that decision is then overturned. that prevents the necessary culture shift that we need to see. and so, sure, we should be focussing on the policy. there is a whole lot of work we can be doing unilaterally or that we can advocate for, but if we're not focussing on that culture shift and we're not precise in our terminology, we're gonna lose this opportunity to see that transformational change. and nobody wants that. >> but that culture shift -- mayor garcetti, let me talk to you because los angeles went through this trajectory, right? so it's pretty clear, i think, the lapd is a different creature that it was in the early 1990s under daryl gates and rodney king. you can talk to people of color
in los angeles who can rattle off to you awful interactions they've had with police officers who have acted dictatorially toward them. who have robbed them of their dignity. who have assaulted them. the question is when you think about the direction things are moving, is the direction correct and we just need to go further or is there some core problem not being gotten at of this bad apples problem, people in policing for the wrong reason or acting this way. which of those do you think it is? >> i absolutely think it's both. chris, you can see changes we've made in policy and procedures the last five years. we've seen fatal officer-involved shootings cut in half. those policies actually work. when people have to warn somebody they're going to be shooting, when somebody is accountable for their use of force, when you daylight discipline, those things work. but there is also a culture that is independent from that, too, and i don't think you have to compromise between accountability and being deeply respectful of people who devote their lives to law enforcement. i deeply respect law enforcement
officers. i've been with their families when they've lost their son to a shooting of a police officer. but it also means accountability should broaden this conversation out. so that we're looking at that culture that isn't unique to policing. it's american culture. let's be clear. racism doesn't just exist in traffic stops. it exists in banks. it exists in housing. it exists wherever we are. so, you know, instead of just talking about what we defund, i want to talk about what we refund. are we going to refund affordable housing that's been cut in this country? public schools that have been cut. looking at a mental health system both for our officers and for communities of color that have gone through trauma. these are the things that i think can look at the culture and the policies together, and that's certainly the way we've looked at it in los angeles. you can't just do one. you have to do both. >> mayor cantrell, one of the points that mr. williams made is another point that i've heard often. which sort of kind of theorizes a spectrum between, you know, going too easy or overreacting. and somewhere in the middle is
sort of the right place to be in which you can police in a constitutional manner and still control crime. and the idea behind it, and you heard mr. williams articulate it, it's a common view i think of police officers, if you go too far, if you give people too many rights, if you're too, you know, constrained, you'll see violence and disorder and mayhem. your city has had deep changes to the police department and also seen over a long period of time a decline in crime. how do you think about those two -- those two sort of twin interests? >> well, i think that absolutely balance is important. you know, we are a destination city hosting, you know, 18 million visitors a year, and, of course, protecting and serving the residents of the city. we do not want to be confrontational. kind of allow you to be, you know, who you are. and respecting that, you know, and also billing those relationships with community as well as with the police. much like memphis.
the city of new orleans is majority african-american. 60%. and over 50% of our force is african-american as well. so you do have to -- we have to deal with the -- the nuances are different in terms of how we interact with our people. and so i believe that accountability -- bottom line, that's it. you have to act swift. you know, you have to act with haste and get the bad opeapplest of there. that's one of the policies for us, although it's voluntary in terms of releasing footage from our video, our body cams. also cameras in the vehicles. while we don't have to do it by law, we do it, and we release it within ten days. we believe transparency is very important and it goes hand in hand with countless. that builds trust in your community and it has built trust within the city of new orleans. you know, when you have imperfect people, you're going
to have imperfections, but, again, accountability. you can -- you have to stand up. >> mayor frey, there has been -- there has been, i think, mr. williams talked about an uptick in shootings in memphis. in the wake of the protests in ferguson, there were a variety of critics who looked at uniform crime reporting data and fbi data who coined the term "ferguson effect" to say that, look, this is what happens. you demand that police treat everybody with kid gloves and all of a sudden crime spikes. and this was a very popular thesis. rahm emanuel, mayor of chicago, essentially signed on to it. what is your understanding of that? do you think that's what's happening right now to the people who say, oh, look what you've done. you've abandoned the streets to the protesters and now people are shooting each other. >> well, let me be clear that our officers are out there every day doing what they can to keep our communities safe and the violence that we're seeing now
only compounds the grief and is a distraction from actually getting the necessary culture shift and reforms that we all know are needed. and let's also be clear that this is about more than just those 8 minutes and 45 seconds worth of horror. you know, this goes back generations and decades and even centuries. this -- this all started with slavery to jim crow to reconstruction to intentional segregation and restrictive covenants that ran run with the land. there was a whole lot that has compounded to ultimately reach this moment. and so what i think needs to happen right now is the violence needs to stop, first of all. and we need to harness that collective energy and sadness and grief and then channel it into something productive and specific because that's the only way that change is ultimately going to come about.
we're back with the mayors of new orleans, los angeles, atlanta and minneapolis. we want to get to some of the questions from people who also live in those cities. mayor cantrell of new orleans, we'll start with a question for you. >> hi. my name is mark raymond and i live in new orleans. i serve as the president of the legacy committee and we restarted the movement to rename all landmarks that memorialize the confederacy and white supremacy. it is time for new orleans to send a signal to the rest of the world that we are stepping away from our confederate shadow. mayor cantrell, what are your thoughts about this movement and how can we do this work expeditiously? thank you for your leadership in this challenging time, and thank you for all you do for new orleans. >> thank you, mark, for your
leadership and even serving on the regional transit authority board, representing our residents who are living with disabilities. so, appreciate you. also, when you're leading this effort, you know that i just made an appointment to our city council's commission formed for street renaming. and so that work is getting under way. i fully support it, 100%, but, you know, i'm grassroots all the way. i came to this work as a community organizer. so i believe in bottom up. so any process that is driven by the community and really a reflection of the community, you will have my full support. as i've demonstrated. so, expeditiously, the process is under way and we're going to get it done, but according to the residents of the city of new orleans. >> all right. mayor frey of minneapolis, next question is for you. >> hi. my name is marcel. i'm originally from south
carolina, and my question is for mayor frey. many jewish people receive and still receive reparations as a result of the holocaust. will you join some of your fellow mayors in petitioning congress to approve reparations for black americans whose ancestors endured the horrors of slavery and subsequent racial terror? why or why not? >> marcel, thank you so much for the question. and as a jew who lost extended family during the holocaust, i -- i have been told stories about the impact that this has had on our family and our lives, and, yes, reparations need to take place. and we have seen over throughout history and many generations systemic racism that has been put in place, whether it's
around financing or housing or intentional segregation, and we've seen black people systematically been deprived of both money and property. and if you look over time from generation to generation, that ultimately leads to significant wealth gaps, to gaps in housing, to gaps in ownership, to gaps in businesses. and so, yes, absolutely we need to be making those changes. i would be happy to sign on to any petition that would go towards congress to be doing that at a national level. again, thank you for your advocacy and i'm proud to stand with you. >> all right. the next question is for mayor bottoms of atlanta. >> hello. my name is diana danellia. i'm from atlanta and also a college student here. i was wondering if there are any
concrete measures taking place to combat voter suppression across counties, and also if there are any measures in place to make atlanta a more environmentally friendly city? thank you. >> thank you for your question. so as it relates to voter suppression, the reality is that we have a secretary of state who refuses to accept that voter suppression is real and that it comes in different forms. and so what i would encourage you and all of our students and everyone across this country is to show up and vote in numbers so there is no margin for error. because voter suppression comes in forms like purging people from the voter rolls, and also making people stand in line for six to eight hours, as we saw during the last election. and as it relates to what we are doing for the environment in atlanta, we are continuing to place equity at the top of every single thing that we do. and part of that conversation is making sure that all of our communities, including those with the highest asthma rates in the country, have the same
access to resources to, one, inform our communities, to empower our communities, to make sure that our communities are a safe place for everyone to live and that everyone has access to clean water and to clean communities. >> all right. next question, a topic that i wanted to get to tonight, and i think we can close out some of the rest of the time we have here on, that this question is for you, mayor garcetti, and i'll follow up afterwards. >> hi, my name is julia ursic, i live in los angeles, california, and immunocompromised due to lupus. my mayor for question garcetti is we have more cases here than we did when you issued the stay-at-home order, so why aren't we under a stay-at-home order now? >> mayor, why -- >> do you want to follow up on that? >> i know that you've made some pauses. >> okay. >> but that question is to you. >> no, absolutely.
a hard pause, and for anybody immunocompromised or who is over 65, we're saying do stay at home. we're seeing across not just our city where we actually have a smaller percentage of the county cases in the county which is now a smaller percentage of our state cases with aggressive testing. we're the first city in the country to allow testing for people with and without symptoms. the way that we kind of pioneered mask-wearing in the country as the first city to mandate that. there is no question we need to tighten this up. mayors, a lot of people don't understand, don't have health departments. so those are coming from the county and the state, but i've spoken to both our county leaders and our governor to support the closing of bars, to look at any other measures we need. these next two weeks we got to show what we showed at the beginning, which is that we saved thousands and thousands of lives and we need to do that again. i'm so glad you asked. because i strongly recommended last night that if you do have
pre-existing condition medical conditions, if you are over 65, these are two good weeks to stay at home and everyone else should stay at home whenever they can. no backyard parties, no more cheating. it's like folks who are eating at midnight every night and not losing weight on their diet. this is time for us to really get serious and take the gains we won in the last 2 1/2 months and push them forward as well. >> mayor bottoms, i want to go to you on this because you're in a state that does have rising cases. it's in the sunbelt. it's not as bad as we've seen in arizona, texas, california, florida, but are you concerned with where this is rising right now? >> i'm extremely concerned. i was looking at our numbers today. we are up almost 20% from seven days ago. and so it is -- as you know, we were one of the first states to open up. and so i think that opening up so aggressively, we're now paying for it on the back end. and when you look at the rates of asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, especially in black and brown communities, it puts atlanta at even higher risk. >> mayor cantrell, quickly,
your city is renowned for its night life and its bars, and there's a lot of evidence to suggest that is a key course of spread as cities opened up. you're seeing them retrench is the first thing. how do you think about bars and night life in the context of an epidemic? >> well, the city of new orleans, as you know, was a hot spot for covid-19. we flattened that right at 94%. i have been more restrictive than the state of louisiana for a reason because we've been disproportionately impacted. we have allowed for bars to open at 25%. i'm telling my folks, you know, we need to stay on track, and if we continue to do that, we'll be just fine, but if there is any regression, you know, in terms of noncompliance, we will close them down, and i've been very much up front about that. but i'm proud, though, of the progress that we have made and we continue to make. but my issue is new orleans is an island right now. in the state of louisiana, and even in the south. >> i do not envy any of you navigating this period right now.
it is extremely difficult job for all of you and i want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules. mayor keisha lance bottoms of atlanta, mayor jacob frey, mayor latoya cantrell ♪ good evening once again. i'm steve kornacki in for brian williams. day 1,258 of the trump administration. 126 days until the presidential election. tonight the white house is caught between two crises and trying to keep them from spiraling out of control. new coronavirus cases are escalating in more than half of the states, and there are more questions tonight about when the president knew about intelligence indicating russia may have offered bounties to kill u.s. and coalition soldiers
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