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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  April 21, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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good day. this is "andrea mitchell reports" in washington. today derek chauvin is behind bars, facing a possibility of decades in prison after being found guilty on all three counts in the death of george floyd. reaction outside the courthouse, white house and across the nation. the first black vice president announcing relief for criminal justice reform. today it was announced that the federal government will investigate the minneapolis police department for a pattern of civil rights abuses. >> it will include a comprehensive review of minneapolis's training and use of force. it will affect the current
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systems of accountability and whether other mechanisms are needed to ensure constitutional and lawful policing. >> george floyd's family after a year of loss in such a horrible and public way are happy about the outcome. they talk about the moment judge cahill made that announcement. >> i hear guilty and some more numbers and guilty again. i said, lord, please let it be another one. and i hear guilty again. i was excited. i was excited. it was a pivotal moment for me, my family, the world. and gianna, she don't know that the word she spoke, my dad would change the world, he really did.
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he changed the world. >> let's begin with our legal panel. former federal prosecutor paul butler, tim alexander and former u.s. attorney chuck rosenburg. let's begin with the announcement today, chuck. a dramatic change from the justice department to have investigations, starting with minneapolis, but potentially any city's police department. >> yes. that's why we need a rigorous and vigorous civil rights division at the department of justice. it falls to the civil rights division to do those pattern and practice investigations. even in the heyday there are not all that many in a given year. i looked at the number once and it was two dozen or three dozen. but where you have a police
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department that seems to be falling well below the standards, at least at the actions of derek chauvin and his three fellow officers are any indication, this is important work for the department of justice to do. to hold police departments accountable, to try and raise standards. there is a lot of work to be done. i don't mean doing a pattern and practice investigation solves the problem of policing america. it doesn't, but it's an important step. not to be too cliche, but the journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. >> paul butler, the maximum amount of time he faces could be as long as 75 years, maximum sentences for all of these counts. in your experience, ha are the range of outcomes you would
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expect? he will have sentencing eight days from now after the presentence review. >> second degree has a maximum sentence of 40 years. under minnesota's guidelines chauvin would spend about 12 years. but the prosecutor has asked he be given more time. they say chauvin should get a tougher sentence because mr. floyd was particularly vulnerable and treated with particular cruelty and children were present when the crime was committed. >> facing aiding and abetting charges to derek chauvin's charges. how does this verdict impact their trial who are expected to be tried together in august?
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>> i think it makes them much more likely to take a plea. if chauvin was acquitted, then these officers probably would not have been prosecuted because they are charged with aiding and abetting chauvin. now they are facing the exact same time that chauvin is facing if these officers are convicted. it is likely that their lawyers are talking to prosecutors now, seeing if they can make some kind of plea bargain to do less time. >> i want to talk about that this verdict might not have happened were it not for a 17-year-old who per sited in individual -- persisted in videoing the entire 9 minutes 29
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seconds so the prosecutor could show what was happening minute by minute and second by second. >> it was so important to the prosecution. that goes to civic engagement overall. you had a community say okay, we are not able to stop what you are doing, but we are going to bear witness and make a record so when the record comes for us to tell this story it's not going to just be based on our word, we are going to have proof of what you did. i think that's the most important thing we learned from this trial. not just with the recording of the event, but the peaceful protests after and that will continue to occur until we see widespread change with the way police officers interact with communities. >> i want to talk about columbus, ohio. almost as the time the verdict was declared, you saw a teenager
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killed. different circumstance, a split second decision, police say a knife was involved and she was engaged in trying to attack another person. how do you assess that? there is outrage over this. should there have been less than lethal force used? >> a moment like that it's difficult to second-guess officer's response to what he perceived as a life threatening situation. the video showed that the young woman had a knife in her hand and looked like she was about to attack another person. i think it was important the police department was able to get out in front much the misinformation and show the public what happened, explain as much as they can kwout jeopardizing the investigation thereby creating trust and
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transparency that the people can see the officer was in a tough situation, somebody was going to get hurt. he had to take action. let's see how this bears out. hopefully we have calm throughout the duration of this investigation. >> just briefly to chuck rosenburg. the chauvin case was unique because of the video. >> every case is tried on its own merits. the video was critical. remember what the prosecutor told the jury in closing. this is not about policing in america, not the state versus minneapolis police department, it's about derek chauvin. fortunately he was found guilty. >> now i'm pleased to be join by
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mr. floyd and mr. crump. congratulations on the verdict. know how happy it made you. but how are you doing? >> i'm doing fine. people of color never get justice for anything. it is accountability that these officers had to be held to a high standard. right now i am excited. my family is excited. the world is excited because we feel like this is the land of the free. and george made freedom for all.
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>> the president of the united states, he and the first lady visited with your family months ago, he called, kept up with you. he called yesterday right after the verdict. tell us about that. >> he is an amazing person. the president has so much on his plate, but he took time off to speak with us. i find that very intriguing. you have to understand that he knows what it feels like to lose someone, especially to him in his heart. he had a heavy heart just like i had a heavy heart. he told us unfortunately george is not here, but i will be praying for you all. that's all the verification i
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need. i knew that these officers would be held to the high standard of the law. >> benjamin crump, you have seen so many cases are bad outcomes. how important is it to the other families that you represented and know about, to see this kind of outcome? >> there were so many that were denied. even like the mother of eric garner. i remember them talking to philonis said it went back to eric gardner saying i can't breathe. it harkens back to eric gardner, to all of these tragedies that
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we saw play out on video, but yet it was almost as if the police were immune when they kill minorities, especially black people in america. we are so gratified with this historical result, and we pray that it's a precedence that will make with liberty and justice for all true for african-americans and asian-americans, for all of us. >> how important is that there will be pattern and policy investigation starting with minneapolis? >> i think it's critical because we have to see systematic
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reform. there was an allegation of a fraudulent $20. they did not have to arrest him. we saw a lieutenant in virginia. it was a traffic violation, but they do the most when it comes to black people. all they had to do was give him a ticket. then daunte wright who was killed ten miles from the courtroom, trying to get justice from his brother. you saw police officers for a traffic a citation. she says she was trying to pull the taser, but there was no reason to pull the taser. it was a misdemeanor. you had the information. they are mass murderers. that's why we are happy that
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garland is going to look at that. >> how important is it to get the george floyd law? it has been sitting in the senate since march. don't we need some kind of reaffirmation so we don't have police departments making these decisions? for both of you. there is a bill, as you know, named after your brother. it has been sitting in the senate since march. what would be your message to the senate? >> the george floyd bill is important. there is blood on that. breonna taylor's blood is on it. she was sleeping and she wassins
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-- she was innocent. this is very important because we are losing people for nothing. also we need to end qualified immunity. that's one of the number one things. we have to be sure these law understand they are held accountable. you also have to think about these dash cams have to be on at all times and body cams. there is so much on this law that we have to look at. we have to push this issue over and over again. i know pelosi and all of them are energizer bunnies. and mr. crump, y'all are saying the day. >> to properly cement the legacy
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of george floyd, we need to to stop the killing of black people in america. >> thank you. again, congratulations and sympathy as you continue to build on your brother's legacy. thanks to benjamin crump and philonis floyd. you are watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. >> there is poetry in the fact where he said "i can't breathe." it feels like a breath of fresh air, the first time we can breathe. h air, the first time we can breathe. dark spots don't stand a chance.
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we feel a sigh of relief. still, it cannot take away the pain. a measure of justice isn't the same as equal justice. >> vice president kamala harris to a powerful opening to the joint white house response to the verdict of derek chauvin. the white house made it clear to congress that his administration wants further action. >> most men and women who wear
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the badge serve honorably. but those who don't need to be held accountable. one was. no one should be above the law and today's verdict extends that message, but it is not enough. we can't stop here. in order to have real change and reform, we must reduce the likelihood of this tragedy ever happening again. joining me is peter alexander and -- peter, first to you. you have the president calling for a strong response, the george floyd bill bottled up in the senate. and you have mitch mcconnell coming out strongly to two key appointments to the justice department. >> you are right, andrea on this
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specific issue. the challenge is going to be how they use this momentum and bring republicans on board. privately, when you speak to white house officials they mention the name of republican tim scott and are hopeful given his position of influence among the senate, and hoping he can do more. i am guessing that jen psaki will be pressed on that. remember, next week marks 100 days for the white house. expected that the president will put a lot of muscle to pass his infrastructure and jobs plan. they are still trying to get out enough covid shots and vaccines. there is the issue of guns and now the issue of the george floyd justice and policing act that as you know has been stalled over one issue in particular which is called
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qualified immunity. those are the legal protections afforded to law enforcement members. a lot of republicans have pushed back on the democrats' desire to insert that into this bill. the challenge for them is can they find the momentum, find the capital to do something on this now, andrea. >> the president's comments at the end of the speech about talking to george floyd's young daughter. >> i also spoke to gianna, george's young daughter. when i met her last year i told her how brave i thought she was. i knelt down and held her hand. i said daddy is looking down on you and he is so proud. she said it then and i will never forget it. daddy changed the world. i told her this afternoon, daddy did change the world.
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>> that was very touching. the president just kept taking time out for them. he is invested in this family. >> president biden did the not only connect with this family, but continued to stay in touch. he called them before the verdict and after the verdict. he also spoke in loving terms about george floyd's daughter. i spoke to the brother of george floyd and he told me he thinks that little girl is exceptional in that she can weather this as a young girl, able to with stand the pressure of seeing her father die in this way and then to predict that he would change the world and he has. the question now, as peter said, what is going to happen after this. i have talked to so many people who said maybe there was a little bit of accountability
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yesterday. he was found guilty yesterday and is a convicted murderer. but other black families are having to wake up and temg their loved ones to be careful around the police. we are living in a world where african-americans are three times more likely than white americans to be killed by police. and i have been thinking about darnella frazier, this teen who stood on the corner and filmed this murder and then testified that she apologized every night to george floyd that she didn't do more. it is that kind of thing that is spreading across the nation. that stays with us long past this. there is a big question how this country moves forward and a big question for this family. >> thanks so much. we will have a lot more on this coming up.
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senators have been briefed by the biden administration on the decision to pull u.s. troops out of afghanistan by september
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11. it's drawing a mixed reaction. >> the decision to leave was made by a previous administration. once that decision is made, you reverse it, you get into an all-out war or you have to leave. the question from that moment forward became what are we going to do. once we leave, the probability of the taliban taking over the country are very high. >> i think the president is right. we have the opportunity to get out, and i think we should. >> i have never been more concerned about the outcome in afghanistan than now. i find it impossible to believe that the environment will not deteriorate rapidly. >> joining me is the president of the council on foreign relations and a special assistant to former president george w. bush. welcome to you both.
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you co-authored a column it's wrong to pull out of afghanistan, but we can minimize the damage. why do you think it is wrong to pull out? >> a modest amount of troops, 2500. thank god we have not suffered a loss of troops in over a year. as you heard from senators and others, the risk of leaving is that you will see the country descend into civil war at a high level. the taliban will take over large parts of the country. you will see a reemergence of terrorism. you could have humanitarian crisis. we thought the costs of staying were far less than the likely
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costs of leaving. i think it's about that complicated and that simple. >> megan, one of your goals is to engage. president bush and others are concerned about what happens to women and girls if the taliban takes over. this is what president bush had to say to hoda on the "today" show. >> my first reaction was wow, these girls are going to have trouble with the taliban. a lot of gains have been made. i am deeply concerned about the plight of women and girls in that country? >> you think we should have held off? >> we will see. time will tell. the administration hopes the girls will be okay. we will find out. all i know, the taliban, when they had the run of the place, they were brutal, brutal.
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>> you were so involved in that policy. first lady laura bush did so much to secure extraordinary rights, constitutional rights for women and girls. now what is going to happen? >> you are right to point out how involved the bushes have remained even after the bush presidency, laura bush in particular. there are reasons to be concerned. the united states did not go into afghanistan to secure a better future for afghan women, but it is one of the things we can count to our credit by that engagement. there have been changes in society over the last several years, significant positive changes and those are in jeopardy because, as many of the earlier speakers noted, the probably of a taliban takeover
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is very high. i think it's incumbent upon the administration to think about what kind of strategy it can put in place to try to support society groups, through aid, humanitarian aid, but look at our immigration policy and the fact that we have 17,000 afghans who were involved. that's one area we can take action. it doesn't aleve everything, but it would be a step in the right direction. >> the general wanted to leave a force. what does this say about their relationship going forward? >> they will agree on some
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things and disagree on others. that doesn't bother me. even though i disagree profoundly with the decision and didn't find the reasons the president gave for leaving as persuasive. i think some civilians also disagreed with the president, but he is the decider. you can't fault decision for lack of process. i hope i am wrong. meghan agrees with me. we hope the cost of this decision doesn't outweigh any potential savings. but the military in and of itself, that's the way the system is set up. >> navalny is critically ill according to his doctors. they want him to be evacuated.
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if he could die, will president biden have to take action? >> i think the president has been careful not to use the phrase red line going back to when that phrase was used in syria. but president biden said this is something the united states will be watching and there will be consequences if he dies while in captivity. i think he put russia on notice. putin gave his long annual speech to the people and said clearly, anyone meddling in russian politics -- he used the term red line -- he said will come to regret it severely. i think we are seeing an escalation of words because the biden administration has takes enits gloves off when it comes
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to russia. it doesn't feel the need to cultivate a better relationship although it will try and do so. putin himself is under political pressure, the most he has been in in a long time. a year ago he stated he was going to institute constitutional changes that would allow him to state in office almost forever. a year later he is under pressure from navalny and economic situation from covid. i think he is testing the biden administration. it will be something that has an uncertain outcome because it's difficult to discern where putin intends to go. >> we will have to leave it there. richard and meghan, thank you so much. and justice and
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accountability for george floyd. what did we learn from minneapolis and where does the country go from here? you are watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. >> this is something beautiful, something different. finally, some little piece -- s- freedom has no limits. there's no such thing as too many adventures... or too many unforgettable moments. there will never be too many stories to write... or too many memories to make. but when it comes to a vehicle that will be there for it all. there's only one. jeep.
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saturdays happen. pain happens. aleve it. aleve is proven stronger and longer on pain than tylenol. when pain happens, aleve it. all day strong. the key to the chauvin verdict, according to many experts was the tale of the tape, the 9 minutes 29 seconds of video shot by miss frazier. >> when i look at george floyd, i look at my dad, my cousins, my uncles, because they are all
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black. i have a black father, have black friends. i look at how that could have been one of them. every night i stay up apologizing, apologizing to george floyd for not doing more. >> joining me now is the ceo of the robin hood, organization, one of the largest anti-poverty organizations. i wanted to talk to you about this trial and case. it must have taken courage for someone who was 17, to stand up against these officers, she took out her cell phone and videoed and she became key to this. >> she is one of the heroes of this. listening to her words and listening to at the emotion in her voice, i can't help but think about my sisters and my
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mom and my wife. hearing her talk about this injustice that she was watching right in front of her eyes, that type of weight, that type of trauma, is something that is not just going to be weighted on her, but frankly, has been weighted on a lot of people beforehand. that's why hearing those words are so emotional for a lot of us. every time we hear not just her words, but the emotion behind it. >> is this justice for all or is this verdict just a rare example of accountability? >> i think this verdict is putting us on an encouraging path towards a larger set of justice measures that need to take place. i remember when i was listening to that verdict read, i got incredibly emotional just
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hearing and watching the verdict read, watching the floyd family. it did highlight the fact that this is where we are, that something that feels so -- it was the only just answer for what we saw, that the natural verdict felt shocking. that's where we are. and so you do feel this tremendous sense of relief that would we saw in this case, that we reached the only just conclusion that we could, but it also highlights the fact of how much further we need to go and how long that march is to true justice when it comes to the way that all communities are viewed in our society and the role of policing community. >> and how unusual it is to see a police chief where other officers testified for the prosecution against a defendant. >> that was one of the things
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that was so jarring, to me, andujaring to so many of us. first of all, the fact we got a chance to see it. each and every one of us had the chance to be in the jury box and watch the entire trial. but also, when you were watching -- when you were watching law enforcement, watching the ultimate boss, the police commissioner come in and say this is not policing. this is not what we are trained to do, not appropriate behavior. i am a military person and there is a mantra we live by that you will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those that do. the last piece is often missed. the fact that law enforcement officers were saying i cannot tolerate injustice when i see it, cannot tolerate violation of law when i see it. it was empowering for our
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community and showed that as we have this conversation about reinventing relationship through community, that that's a conversation that law enforcement shouldn't only be in the conversation, but law enforcement should be helping to lead in that conversation as well. >> and it involves not just training -- the officer in brooklyn center was trained, she was a trainer. but it involves a psychological test. >> that's right ex-. we have to focus on training. how do law enforcement officers focus on deescalation, but one of the ways is to think hard and critically about situations you are introducing law enforcement officers into. i know as former military, when we showed up with our kevlar, i
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know by definition our presence escalated the situation. by definition. when we talk about training officers to deescalate, that's important. but it also means what are the mechanisms and tools we are introducing that through deescalation action can take place. we are hearing that not only from advocates and lawmakers as we watch everything from the george floyd justice and policing act which is an incredibly important action to be passed, but not everything in society requires a police response. that has to be part of that deescalation conversation. >> the justice department has announced reversal of the trump policies, they are opening investigate of the policies in
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minneapolis. but merrek garland, we heard today mitch mcconnell talk about that. >> as a resident much a city that had that consent decree adjusted under the trump administration, we saw what the impasse of that actually was. we saw after the murder of freddy gray, was that baltimore, because of the practices the police department had against black residents of baltimore. the investigation of this is real. it is real not just because of what we saw with freddy gray in baltimore, but you also had
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anthony anderson and chris brown and tyrone west. so you saw these patterns that we need to have a larger sense of investigation and a larger sense of exploration into what is happening and how to fix it. the fact we had the doj getting involved in this, this is the right and proper response that the doj should be thinking about, whether it comes to not just these issues now. >> wes, thanks again. it's always good to see you. thank you and appreciate it. as anti-asian hate crimes surge, getting set to take action. next. o take action next al customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need? just get a quote at really? i'll check that out. oh yeah. i think i might get a quote.
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spray, lift, skip, step. swipe, lift, spin, dry. slam, pan, still...fresh move, move, move, move aaaaand still fresh. degree. ultimate freshness activated when you move. amid a spike in anti-asian hate crimes in the country the senate is likely to pass a bill tomorrowly directing the justic department to expedite the review of those crimes. the measure also aims to improve how the u.s. tracks hate crimes against asian-americans. garrett haake joins us from capitol hill. where do we stand on this? it has w enough support to pass? >> it certainly seems that way. it moved through the first procedural vote with more than 90s votes in favor. the two amendments to this bill were bipartisan. one allowing for strengthening of state reporting for these
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related hate crimes and another tweaking thete language around e covid-19 elements of this bill. both the amendments attached were bipartisan so every expectation is, when this bill comes up for a final vote tomorrow, it should pass with bipartisan support. >> i also want to get your reaction to an incredible clash on the house side between former police chief and congresswoman val demings and jim jordan yesterday. this wasd judiciary. congressman jordan was falsely suggesting democrats supported defunding the police. >> i served as a law enforcement officer for 27 years. it's interesting to see my colleagues on the other side of theea aisle support the police whene it is politically convenient to do so. law enforcement officers risk their lives every day. they deserve better and the american people deserve -- i have the floor, mr. jordan. >> the lady has the floor. >> did l i strike a nerve?
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law enforcement officers deserve better than to be utilized as pawns. you and your colleagues should be ashamed -- >> the gentle lady -- >> we condemn the violence on january 6n th and condemned it last summer and today we get a lecture about how we haven't beenho consistent? you have to be kidding me. >> that broke about every rule i know about on the house side. garrett? >> yeah. i think that's a fair description. this is the second time in a week that jordan has ended up in a situation like this with a democratic female member of color. this is a recurring theme here, particularly as decorum on the house side has broken down. democrats and republicans, especially republicans who supportedub overturning the election result, are not working together or speaking with each other and sort of out of patience for one another. asti you heard there from congresswoman demings for whom this is a personal issue, she is
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very proud of her law enforcement background and clearly wasn't willing to be interrupted or t spoken to abou it by jim jordan. i suspect this is not the first or last time we will see another dust up between the member from ohio and his democratic colleagues. >> especially d the women colleagues. garrett haake -- >>es funny how that seems to ke happening. >> all right. and thanks to garrett haake and that does it for us for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." follow the show online, facebook and twitter, @mitchellreports. chuck todd is up next with "mtp daily" only on msnbc. t with "mt daily" only on msnbc possible at. instead of burning our past for power, we can harness the energy of the tiny electron. we can create new ways to connect. rethinking how we communicate to be more inclusive than ever. with app, cloud and anywhere workspace solutions,
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ideas start the future, just like that. if it's wednesday the justice department announces a sweeping probe into police practices in memberships wit the attorney general merrick garland emphasizing that broader change cannot wait. plus, the legacy of george floyd comes to washington. it's a defining moment for our leaders and lawmakers. can congress meet the moment with major legislation to change policing in america? and president biden is about to deliver remarks on vaccinations in america as the pace of shots declines for the first time in his administration. even as he closes in on his goal of 200 million shots in arms in his first 100 days.