death of George Floyd TRANSCRIPT: 6/1/20, All in w/ Chris Hayes
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: –1 the song they
play at Yankees Stadium at the conclusion of every Yankees` game. So we
will see if they`re also playing that in New York at a baseball game this
summer. We`ll find out. Thanks for being with us. Don`t go anywhere. “ALL
IN” with Chris Hayes is up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN. This is America 2020. Video
conference hearings in the United States Senate, teleconference hearing in
the Supreme Court, Trump`s taxes, his job performance the subjects at hand.
Senator Kamala Harris is here.
Plus, former Attorney General Eric Holder will join me as Bill Barr and
Donald Trump work to corrupt the Department of Justice. And the new Biden
ad that hits Trump with his own words, a new polling that says Trump is on
the wrong side of most Americans, when ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Even as Donald Trump in
the White House continue to try to essentially consign the coronavirus at
the past, we`re over that. We`re on other things. As they push states to
open up and as they tell people to go out, get back to work, and throw
their bodies on live grenade that is the coronavirus, Donald Trump`s own
government knows that`s not the case. The virus is very much not over.
A buried report obtained exclusively by NBC News and compiled by the White
House`s pandemic Task Force shows this. Coronavirus rates are spiking in
heartland communities. The report details how 10 top areas recorded surges
of 72.4 percent or greater. Those surges include places like Nashville,
Tennessee, Des Moines, Iowa, Amarillo, Texas, and on top of the list,
Central City, Kentucky.
This unreleased report is of course at odds to the president and what he is
telling Americans. Just yesterday, he said that all throughout the country,
the numbers are coming down rapidly. The data, this data shows it`s not the
case. Well, it`s true, in the aggregate, the national numbers are trending
down. There are places throughout the country that are likely about to see
a huge spike.
And that`s the thing with the virus we keep coming back to. It is intensely
local. Right now, there are huge regional variations throughout the
country. Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control released a report
finding the death toll in New York which is trending down now, thankfully,
maybe much worse than the official count, more than 5,000 deaths that may
have been caused by the coronavirus. These are not accounted for as of now
in the official death toll.
The Associated Press released data showing that the 15 U.S. counties with
the highest per capita infection rates are all homes to meatpacking and
poultry processing plants or state prisons. Not to mention within the close
quarters of the White House itself or at least two White House staffers
that we know of have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Keep in mind, that is a place that is testing more than anywhere else in
the country. And yet here we are, with the White House still fighting the
huge outbreak. Different places are going have different trajectories for
this pandemic. And we`ll have to make different local policy decisions
about what to do. And if only there were some guidelines to help out with
that complicated decision. Well, there are.
You might remember just about a month ago, on April 16, the President
himself held a press conference where he rolled out his guidelines for
opening up America again. They published a guideline from the White House
website in conjunction with the CDC. It`s not some huge booklet, it`s 18
pages. You can read it. It`s – they`re good. It`s specific
recommendations. It outlines three phases of reopening, guidelines states
should meet before proceeding to the next phase, right. You walk through
For example, before proceeding with the first phase, it calls for a 14-day
downward trajectory of reported symptoms in cases and a “robust testing
program in place for at-risk health workers.” Also, that different places
at different points in the trajectory can make decisions that make sense
for where they are.
The President put out these detailed guidelines in mid-April, and then
basically got impatient almost immediately and just started pushing
everyone to just reopen quickly. The Trump administration then went on to
bury additional CDC guidance about reopening, a step by step advice to
local authorities on how and when to reopen restaurants and other public
They were supposed to put that 17-page report out last week, but agency
scientists were told the guidance would never see the light of day
according to a CDC official. The Trump administration right now is
producing guidelines and documents to reopen the country, written by
experts by scientists and public health officials. And they are then
essentially asking people to totally disregard them, or they`re burying
them so you can never read them. Instead, the President is out telling
everyone – telling to ignore what his own experts are saying.
And all of that set the scene for today`s remarkable Senate hearing which
took place under some very strange conditions. Committee Chairman Lamar
Alexander, a Republican of Tennessee led the hearing remotely from his
home. He`s got a nice camera there. That`s a good camera. He is self-
isolating after one of his staffers tested positive for the coronavirus.
Several other senators including Patty Murray and Mitt Romney also
participated from home, while the few attending in person maintained
significant physical distance.
Tim Kaine was there in the hearing room. He appeared with the bold
handkerchief covering his nose and mouth. Rand Paul appeared to not wear a
mask, although he`s the only member of the Senate as far as we know, to
have had the virus and gotten over it. All four top health officials, the
witnesses in this testimony, they did – they testified remotely. Three of
them are currently in some form of quarantine after coming in contact with
someone who tested positive for coronavirus.
And while the president often uses the podium to tell people to ignore his
experts, today, Dr. Anthony Fauci was able to clearly talk about the virus,
and in many instances contradict the President`s favorite talking points.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS
DISEASES: The idea of having treatments available or a vaccine to
facilitate the reentry of students into the fall term would be something
that would be a bit of a bridge too far. When you talk about will this
virus just disappear, and as I`ve said publicly many times, that is just
not going to happen because it`s such a highly transmissible virus.
What we have worked out is a guideline framework of how to safely open
America again. And there are several checkpoints in that with a gateway
first of showing depending on the dynamics of an outbreak in a particular
region, state, city, or area that would really determine the speed and the
pace with which one does reenter or reopen.
I have been being very clear in my message to try to the best extent
possible to go by the guidelines which had been very well thought out and
very well delineated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The guidelines have been very well thought out. He`s right. They
have. The experts like Dr. Fauci and others have done the work. And they`ve
put it in writing in these guidelines that have been publicized to
But the president, the person who runs the administration that`s issuing
these guidelines, the president who sits and watches Trump T.V. all day and
just raised tweets about the most insanely baroque issues. He`s decided to
just run right over his own experts to steamroll his own government so he
could listen to some tiny little very loud vanguard of activists and people
wearing long guns in the Michigan Capitol and members of the donor class
who want to get their factories humming again to open up the country. And
it`s going to end poorly, most likely, because the virus just doesn`t care.
Joining me now for more on what Congress is doing to help America get
through the pandemic, Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat of California.
Senator, you come from a state that has managed its outbreak fairly well.
There was an announcement today That L.A. County is going to keep its
Shelter in Place Order for the duration of the summer. It looks like three
months. How do you think the CDC guidelines and the President`s messaging
are interacting in terms of what message is getting sent out to the country
about how we go forward?
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): Well, Chris, frankly, nothing has really changed
about the President`s disposition and failure to embrace truth and speak
truth to the American people. The CDC, obviously, did the work they had at
the – it`s about at least a dozen pages, this document, of recommendations
that they`ve made, and yet again, Donald Trump is attempting to suppress
the work and the word of public health professionals.
And this is after a long line of activities by him that have been about a
failure of leadership, from rejecting the seriousness of it, calling it a
hoax, to train the muscle the voices of public health professionals. So
this is just more of the same. Thank god For Dr. Fauci. Thank God for him
to having the courage to speak truth. God only knows what kind of
repercussion he`s going to face for speaking the truth. But obviously he
has the well-being of the American people as his priority as opposed to the
political patronage that this President thinks he`s doing.
HAYES: There was a really interesting tweet thread today from a staff
member of one of your colleagues who was a Democratic staffer talking about
where we are in terms of the economic consequences, and worrying that the
scale of the bills and the legislation is not equal to the depth and
breadth of the pain. Are you – are you worried about that mismatch? Do you
– do you think there`s more to be done?
HARRIS: Absolutely, very much. In fact, look, we have 33.5 million people
who lost their jobs in just the last seven weeks. One in five working
adults in America is now unemployed, not to mention the fact that one in
five mothers has described her children as being hungry in America today.
So our country has been devastated. Working families are suffering. We have
a hunger crisis in America. And this is why among the number of initiatives
that I`m leading are part of, one of them along with Bernie Sanders and in
Senator Markey is that we`re saying that instead of a one-time payment of
$1,200 that was in one of the previous bills, American families are making
less than $100,000 a year or those who are unemployed should be able to
receive $2,000 a month through the course of this pandemic and for three
months after that. Because families are suffering. They`re not able to buy
food, they`re not able to pay rent, much less other bills, and we have to
lift them up and not let people drop through the cracks. Until we can get
through this process, we need to give them assistance.
And what we`ve done has been inadequate. We have failed to require paid
sick leave. We have failed to provide family leave. We have failed to
provide affordable childcare and free childcare, especially for those first
responders and frontline workers who sadly we keep referring to them, of
course, as essential workers, and yes, they are. But let`s not allow them
to be sacrificial workers.
So there`s a lot of work yet to be done and mostly to focus on working
people and poor people in America and make sure that they`re not going
hungry, and make sure that we lift everyone up through this crisis so that
we can survive, and then ultimately recover.
HAYES: I want to ask you a question about the Attorney General, because I`m
going to be speaking to the former Attorney General Eric Holder a little
later. So, William Barr has made a lot of news. I want to play – it was a
remarkable moment in a hearing back in May of 2019, where you asked him a
question that he could not seem to answer that has haunted me ever since.
And it looks like we may have our answer now. So I want to play that clip
to you and ask you a question. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: Has the President or anyone at the White House ever asked or
suggested that you open an investigation of anyone? Yes or no, please, sir.
WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES: The president or anybody
HARRIS: It seems you to remember something like that and be able to tell
BARR: Yes. But I`m trying to grapple with the word suggest. I mean, there
have been discussions of matters out there that they have not asked me to
open investigation, but –
HARRIS: Perhaps they`ve suggested.
BARR: I don`t know. I wouldn`t say suggest.
BARR: I don`t know.
HARRIS: Inferred. You don`t know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There are now – the president and some people in his circle are
making noises about essentially the Department of Justice going after Obama
administration officials. Where do you think we are right now in terms of
this attorney general and the rule of law?
HARRIS: This attorney general should resign. He has not been an attorney
general representing the people of America. He has not been the people`s
attorney. He has been the hand of Donald Trump. And let`s look at it. When
we talk about the work of the United States Department of Justice, it is
supposed to do justice.
Well, when you have an attorney general in Barr, who allows Michael Flynn
to withdraw his plea when he pled guilty to two counts that were violations
of federal law, that`s not justice. When you look at Bill Barr allowing
Roger Stone and reducing the recommended sentence from I believe it was
seven to nine years to something like three years, that`s not justice.
When you look then at Ahmaud Arbery, and the fact that he was a young man,
25 years old taking a jog, and was cut down in life. And I`ve asked the
Department of Justice and Bill Barr to investigate that and open an
investigation into the police department there, the DA`s office there, and
the civil rights violation and investigate whether there was one.
When you look at Brianna Taylor, a woman who`s 26 years old Chris, an EMT.
Today is International Nurse`s Day. This young woman had a dream of
becoming a nurse. And she`s sitting in her apartment when she is killed by
the police who were at the wrong place trying to serve a warrant. There
should be an investigation. That`s not justice what has happened for those
two young people.
There is not justice coming out of Bill Barr`s Department of Justice. He
should resign. He should let the career people who are there who thankfully
are still sticking in with it. Let them do the work of justice. This man
doesn`t understand what it means to do justice. He does whatever it is at
the pleasure of Donald Trump and he should resign.
HAYES: Senator Kamala Harris of California there in Washington while the
Senate is in session, thank you so much for making some time tonight,
Senator. I really appreciate it.
HARRIS: You`re welcome. You`re welcome.
HAYES: Still ahead, the fight for the President`s taxes went before the
Supreme Court today. How the massively consequential, historic cases played
out? Right after this.
HAYES: Today, the Supreme Court heard probably the most consequential set
of cases on checking presidential authority and executive transparency
since the infamous Richard Nixon tapes case back in 1974, one Supreme Court
unanimously decided against Nixon. And because this is happening in the
middle of the pandemic, they`re not having arguments in the actual physical
Supreme Court. The cases are being argued by conference call and the public
can listen in real-time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELENA KAGAN, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: What it
seems to me you`re asking us to do is to put the kind of 10-ton weight on
the scales between the President and Congress, and essentially to make it
impossible for Congress to perform oversight and to carry out its functions
where the President is concerned.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan on conference call,
arguing the Congress needs the ability to perform oversight of the
President. Here`s the thing about this case though. The actual substance
the documents being sought, Donald Trump`s financial records, his tax
returns, I think they`re probably not that big of a mystery in the grand
scheme of things.
I mean, remember, in 2018, the New York Times published a Pulitzer Prize-
winning article exposing the fact that in their words, President Trump
participated in dubious tax schemes including instances of outright fraud.
And every bit of reporting throughout the decades, has showed that Trump is
extremely dodgy about his finances.
There is, of course, a lot more that will be useful to know about the
finances of the man who serves as our president in terms of who he owes
money to and for what. The stakes today were crucially about, basically,
the President and his relationship to Congress and to the law. Is he above
it? Can the president tell Congress to basically take a long walk off a
short pier when they request documents and subpoena them from third
parties? Can you basically keep everything hidden from any outside legal
Joining me now to break down what happened today, Melissa Murray, she`s
professor of constitutional law at NYU, and co-host of the podcast Strict
Scrutiny. So, Melissa, there`s two cases here. One of them are
congressional subpoenas against to financial firms Mazars and Deutsche Bank
requesting it. And so that was the first case that was heard.
And I want to just play a little bit of Justice Kagan on that question,
right? Can Congress compel third party entities that have the President`s
financial records to turn them over? This was a point that Justice Kagan
made. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAGAN: This isn`t the first conflict between Congress and the President, as
many of my colleagues have pointed out. We`ve never had to address this
issue. And the reason is because Congress and the President have reached
accommodations with each other. And sometimes one has gotten more and
sometimes the other has gotten more. But there`s always been this
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The Justice there is putting the context that is weird that this has
gotten to the court, right? That`s sort of the fundamental question before
the court is, it hasn`t gotten this far before because usually it gets
MELISSA MURRAY, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: Usually
it does get worked out. Typically, this is subject to your kind of
interbranch negotiation where Congress asks for something, and the
President says no, they go back and forth, and eventually they come out
with some mutually amenable result.
But here, that kind of negotiation process has really been stymied, because
the President has essentially stonewalled and refused to give anything to
Congress really preventing it from doing any kind of oversight and
requiring the courts intervention.
HAYES: So what were the arguments being made by the council for the House
today about why they should be able to get these documents on the council
for the President and Department of Justice saying why they shouldn`t?
MURRAY: Well, the President has basically argued that congressional
oversight essentially amounts to harassment of this particular president.
And the House, of course, is simply saying that this is part of our
constitutional duties to conduct oversight, and we need to be able to
exercise these powers.
And the court is sort of caught in the middle trying to balance these two
interests, responsible oversight on the one hand and this fear that the
President, and not just this president, but any occupant of this office
might be in a position in the future to be harassed or harangue by Congress
by these ongoing floods of requests for different documents.
HAYES: Yes. There was a sort of this question of – that came up was like,
what is the limiting condition here? Like, could Congress ask for anything?
And I wonder if that – was that resolved in the arguments as far as you
MURRAY: Well, this is a place where the House General Counsel Doug Letter
had a little bit of a difficulty getting to a clear answer. He got there
eventually, but the question was like, what is that limiting principle and
he had a hard time articulating that. And they went back and forth. Could
it be medical records? Could it be personal records of that nature?
And it seemed like Justice Sotomayor and some of the other justices were a
little bit skeptical that it could go so far to include personal records
about the President`s health, but they were interested in finding someplace
where they could balance a legitimate need for oversight with the
President`s need to withhold certain things.
HAYES: So it seemed to me that the justices were a little were more
skeptical of the House`s case and perhaps a little less skeptical of Cy
Vance`s case. Cy Vance is the District Attorney in Manhattan. He has issued
subpoenas again to third party entities basically in pursuit of possible
criminal investigation following on Michael – the things were revealed in
the federal case against Michael Cohen.
What was the argument there? How different was the argument about Congress
about power to do this versus a local district attorney who says, look, I`m
following the facts where they go. We`re trying to do a criminal
investigation. We`ll see what happens.
MURRAY: So the New York District Attorney`s Office seem to have an easier
time of it with the court today. And again, as you say, they are very
different cases. In the congressional case, the question is really, how far
can Congress go and what is the scope of legitimate legislative authority.
For the New York district attorney`s office, the real question is, we have
this ongoing criminal investigation for which we need documents to inform
that investigation. Can the president really be immune from participation
in what is essentially a part of the criminal justice system.
And it would seem that the court was more skeptical today that the
President could basically take himself out of the possibility of
participating or aiding in a criminal investigation or even being subject
to a criminal investigation.
HAYES: Quickly, final question. The last two cases are sort of along this
line, right, which is there`s not a whole ton of them, but there`s – the
Nixon tapes case unanimously found that Nixon had to turn the tapes over.
Clinton v. Jones unanimously found the President had to sit for that
deposition for Paula Jones. Is there any chance of unanimity here in the
same kind of way from this court do you think?
MURRAY: I don`t think we saw a chance for unanimity today. I mean, it did
seem that the court was sort of fractured. We had the conservative wing of
the court, including Justice Thomas and Alito, and Kavanaugh seeming to be
very skeptical of the idea of Congressional oversight here.
We had the liberal wing of the court, Justice Ginsburg, Justice Sotomayor,
Justice Kagan, really believing that – or at least seeming to believe that
congressional oversight was important. And so again, I think we have this
really odd situation where Chief Justice John Roberts, who is the most
stalwart observer of the court`s legitimacy and institutional legacies
really going to be in the hot seat here trying to find a third way, carving
out here some kind of balance between the two.
HAYES: Melissa Murray, it`s great to hear from you. Thank you so much for
making time tonight.
MURRAY: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: Next, my exclusive interview with former United States Attorney
General Eric Holder about the crisis of leadership in the White House and
the DOJ. He joins me next.
HAYES: We`ve been following the national capital conversation. There has
been a lot of debate and questions about who is responsible for the scenes
of destruction. Based on everything we`ve seen, and in my own experience
over a number of years covering protests that have ended in these sort of
activities. I`m positive there`s not some simple answer, like those people
What we do know, and what has been borne out in places after place is it`s
a numerically small percentage of people participating in street action who
engage in destruction. There are some who clearly are pursuing it as an
explicit political tactic, right. Their plan it and then they execute it
for their intended purpose.
And that also does not always go over well with the thousands of other
protesters. There`s been lots of arguments and fights about this sort of
We saw in this video from Washington, D.C., one person using a hammer to
break up the sidewalk apparently to make throw-able chunks of cement to use
against the police and then you see all these other protesters just swarm
him aggressively. They restrain him. They even drag him over to the police,
you know, at an anti-police brutality protest, right. The crowd applauding
as they drag him out. This is the end result of that melee there.
Amidst the unrest, we`ve also seen some really, really disturbing images of
police violence and some pretty striking examples of leadership. One of
those police leaders joins me next.
HAYES: My experience covering protests, there is always this particular
attention and anger and resentment in the air when protesters are
specifically targeting police brutality and misconduct. People are mad at
the police, and the police are right there, and that can lead to some
extremely ugly behavior by police officers who lose their cool.
And there are some moments I`ve also seen police officers react in ways you
wouldn`t necessarily expect or see coming. There`s been a lot of examples
of that recently. One that caught a lot of people`s attention, comes from
someone who has made a name for himself as a fascinating figure: Houston
Police Chief Art Acevedo. This is part of what he said to a group of
protesters in his city over the weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ART ACEVEDO, HOUSTON POLICE CHIEF: They want people of color to be talked
about as being thugs and we`re bums; and my people, as an immigrant, we are
rapists. But you know what, we built this country.
I will not allow anyone to tear down, because this city this is our city.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don`t have to do that.
ACEVEDO: Pay close attention, because these little white guys with the
skateboards are the ones who are starting all this (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
ACEVEDO: …people are angry and knowing that they will start. If they
start it, we won`t follow. Don`t follow that (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I have never quite seen an address quite like that from a police
chief. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo joins me now. Let me start with
this chief, how do you understand what is happening right now in this
country, and in your city?
ACEVEDO: Well, there is a lot of anger in our country. And there is a lot
of indignation in our country because of a lot of reasons, not just the
death of George Floyd, but obviously a lot of those social inequalities in
And I think what I want to make clear is that everybody is pointing out,
and pointing out only the bad protesters and the looters, and making it all
about people of color. We need to be honest. There are anarchists out
there, and there are people out there that are not people of color that are
trying to start things by harnessing the anger, and starting that match,
lighting it, knowing that with the emotions the way they are, that we will
And it is important for us to speak the truth. As an immigrant, I just
spoke with my heart. And what I love about this city is we are lead by a
mayor, Sylvester Turner, who is man of faith, homegrown, and we serve a
city, and a city served by a department that is minority majority, and just
like our city is we are homegrown and we are reflective of this community,
so we are just standing up for the rights of our citizens.
HAYES: You know, I remember someone talking to a young man in Baltimore,
edges the protests over Freddie Gray, who said that, look, if things
weren`t burning you wouldn`t be here right now, no one would care. And I
wonder what you say to people who say, look, yeah, there is destruction,
there`s broken windows and there`s things being lit on fire, but no one
seems to care otherwise. Thousands of people walk peacefully, and it gets
covered maybe for a day. This is the only thing that wakes people up.
ACEVEDO: You know, let me tell you what I say to that. I was in L.A. as a
California air patrolman and acting sergeant when the Rodney King riots
occurred. And things changed. But let me tell you why we haven`t affected
the change that we need in this country, and that is because a lot of the
same people we are seeing throwing bricks and bottles and angry, they are
not exercising their rights to vote.
We all need to vote. And quite frankly, until we all do that, we are not
going to see the change that we really need in terms of accountability. And
we need to hold each other accountable and we need to hold public officials
accountable, and we need to stop letting the extremes of the political
spectrum carry the day with all these safe congressional districts in this
country and safe political districts that makes both extremes, that have
one thing in common, they`re are extreme, and they don`t focus on good
policy, they focus on good politics. And until we have no safe districts at
any level of government, we`re really not going to see the change.
And so I hope this is a wake-up call. And we will see some meaningful
change coming ahead. And I really believe it is coming.
HAYES: On the question of accountability, the Houston Chronicle, of course
your hometown paper, with an op-ed about people that have died at the hands
of the Houston police, six of them, and calling for further investigation
and the release of videos – this is the editorial board of your hometown
people, the Houston Chronicle. What is your response to that?
ACEVEDO: You know, first, the most important thing is the people need to
remember we have a balance here. I believe in transparency. I believe that
everything should be released at the appropriate time, but I also believe
our number one responsibility is to the family of the deceased individual
that was killed in the officer involved shooting.
We have a lot of competing interests. And just in our city, one of the
shootings involved a Mr. Adrian Madearis, who was an African-American
gospel leader. His brother called for the release of the video.
Well, we spent three hours, with Adrian. And whose – we`ve actually kind
of connected. And after he saw everything, he`s asked us not to release it.
The most important thing is that I worry as a police chief that in a case
where an officer does get indicted, if we create too much publicity prior
to it – this is a melting pot. I know you have been to Houston. Look at
the city. We`re minority-majority city. We`re the most diversity in the
country. An officer gets indicted and the unintentional consequence if we
are not careful is there a change of venue to a community that is not
reflective of this big melting pot progressive place, then we have an
acquittal and now we have a separate set of problems.
But I think the most important thing is have transparency at the
appropriate time. But we also have to have the conversation and the dialog
with our activists and with the community so they understand the unintended
consequences and we can be thoughtful. I`m waiting for Mr. Madearis who has
asked me not to release that one. Tomorrow, we have another family coming
in at 9:00 a.m., because under Texas law, and we support this in law
enforcement, we can share the video with the family so that – without them
having to go sue – and we still maintain the ability to not release it if
that`s the family`s wishes.
But ultimately, once the grand jury process is done, I believe that we
should release everything to the community.
HAYES: Speaking of videos, just as a police officer, as someone who is
clearly a thoughtful individual, thought about all of this, talked about
all this, your reaction when you saw the video of George Floyd, and Officer
Chauvin, with his knee on his neck?
ACEVEDO: It was – I was sickened by it. And I have yet to find a police
officer that was not sickened by it.
When you have a man that`s handcuffed with four police officers, it was
just inhumane. It was criminal. And my heart goes out to the Floyd family.
My heart goes out to everyone who sees in what happened to him, sees their
own family member.
We had an 80-year-old woman here murdered, little old lady, two or three
weeks ago, exiting a Walgreens. And I saw my mother`s face. People don`t
understand the anger for the black community when they see George Floyd`s
face, they see their brother, their sister, their son, their uncle, their
cousin. And so we all need to take a step back, breathe, and remember our
And we are supposed to be a Judeo-Christian society. And we to start
lifting up each other in prayer if we`re really going to move this country
where it needs to be.
HAYES: All right, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, thank you so much for
taking some time tonight on what I am sure is a busy night. I appreciate
ACEVEDO: Thank you, be safe.
HAYES: Ahead, the unsettling and violent scenes that play out this weekend
had some police out-fitted for war confronted protesters. The
militarization of the police in equipment and mentality after this.
HAYES: Over the last several days there have been these really gruesome
and striking images of police essentially treating people like they are
battling an insurgency.
And this posture of occupation and military mindset. It`s not new, in fact
it`s become central, unfortunately, to modern-day policing. Here is an
example, back in 2012, the Minnesota State Patrol, that`s the state patrol,
they told the Pentagon its SWAT team could use a mine-resistant vehicle,
quote, “the team does not have a vehicle capable of providing any level of
ballistic protection, which greatly increases the risks during
deployments.” Not for police work, but for deployments.
Just today, during the president`s call with governors about what is going
on around the country. Listen to this, this is the Secretary of Defense,
head of the Pentagon, Mark Esper, he says, “I think the sooner that you
mass and dominate the battlespace, the quicker this dissipates and we can
get back to the right normal.” That battlespace he`s talking about is
comprised of Americans all across the country.
To help understand what effect this kind of policing can have on our
society, our democracy and on demonstration and peaceful protests, I`m
joined by Brittany Packnett Cunningham, who is the leader in the Ferguson
protest movement where we saw all sorts of military gear on the streets;
and Radley Balko, opinion writer for The Washington Post and author of “The
Rise in Warrior Cop.”
Brittany, let me start with you and just that quote by Esper about
dominating the battlespace and getting back to the right kind of normal.
What do you hear when you hear that?
BRITTANY PACKNETT CUNNINGHAM, CO-HOST, POD SAVE THE PEOPLE: America is
once again waging war on its citizens. That is a war that I have been
unfortunately was subject to when I was stood peacefully on the streets in
Ferguson in 2014, and again in Baltimore that next year, and again in Baton
Rouge the next year, and again in St. Louis City the next year. It is
exactly what we are seeing happening across the country right now.
And the idea that this president and not just this president, and not just
this president, but their governors, and mayors, and police chiefs, are
fundamentally not just OK, but are proud of the idea that they should be at
war against the constituents who pay them and give them legitimacy, is
precisely the problem that brought us to this point.
Look, David McAtee died at the hands of police last night in Louisville. He
was one of people`s favorite chefs and the barbecue man in town.
Philly protesters were tracked yards away from the police while the police
projectile shot tear gas at them.
Chicago protesters were trapped by police last night when they pulled up
the draw bridges over the Chicago River so that they were actually unable
to even abide by the curfew that was set.
And just a few minutes ago, a few hours ago, miles from my home, White
House protesters were gassed 25 minutes before the curfew was even going to
take effect. Also a president, who told black people, we didn`t have
anything to lose with him, could invoke fascist iconography with a bible in
front of a church across the street from where he lived.
If people don`t believe us now, when we have been saying for years that the
police have been waging war on us and not the other way around, I don`t
know what else is it is going to take.
HAYES: Radley, your book, which is incredible, and I would recommend to
anyone, whether interested in the topic or not, it`s just a fascinating and
incredibly reported piece of work, is about the fact that this mentality
has really suffused modern policing both in training, in mentality and in
equipment, that – to think of what you`re doing as some version of
Now this caught my eye, this was the Minnesota Department of Public Safety
on Saturday saying the coordinated Minnesota National Guard, and law
enforcement presence, will triple in size to address a sophisticated
network of urban warfare.
Now say what you will about what was happening in Minnesota, and it was
unruly and disordered and in some cases quite dangerous in terms fires,
urban warfare is a specific thing, just like domestic terrorism is a
specific thing. And it seems dangerous to throw that around.
RADLEY BALKO, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yeah, I mean I think we tend to focus a
lot on the gear, the equipment, the guns, the armored vehicles, but I
really think it`s the mentality and the mindset that`s scarier than any of
You know, if you take a police officer, and you dress him like a soldier,
and you arm him like a soldier, and you train him like a soldier, and you
tell him that he`s fighting a war, whether it is on drugs, or crime, or
terrorism, or ANTIFA, or whoever the enemy is – the latest enemy is – we
shouldn`t be surprised that they start to treat people, you know, the
people that they`re supposed to be serving not as citizens with rights, but
as potential enemy combatants, and I think that`s what we`ve been seeing
over the last few days.
HAYES: Brittany, I want you to respond to something that I heard from
certain quarters and you`re hearing from some mayors and police chiefs and
governors, which is basically the following, look, we know that there is a
small group of people that are inciting, looting, or breaking windows, or
lighting things on fire, but we can`t just like, you know, retreat and
allow them to have the street, we need order, we need to bring order,
whatever that takes, and that`s the first priority, that`s what we`re
elected to do. What do you say to them?
CUNNINGHAM: Chris, I`m going to have to be all the way honest with you.
All the black women in me are tired. We are tired of repeating ourselves
and reminding people that you wouldn`t have to worry about anything being
out of order if you actually created justice in the first place. And we are
reminded by the civil rights heroes of our time, and others, that justice
requires more than order, it actually requires people experiencing lives
that are equitable and that are fair. If you want true peace, you have to
invoke justice, and not just wish for order.
We are tired of folks telling us that this is the first time they have ever
known that this is what black people were suffering. It`s not the first
time black people have been photographed or filmed when we`ve been killed.
This is not the first time black people have endured multiple crises at one
time. This is not the first time that we`ve been enduring this kind of
racial terror in this country.
The police are killing more people, not less, than they were in 2014. And
they`re killing just as many people as they were before Coronavirus as they
are right now. So I don`t need people to tell me that they`re more
concerned about property than they are about people.
I keep saying this, fix the conditions that get people this angry in the
first place and you won`t have to worry about your precious land.
HAYES: Radley, there has been a lot of reporting on targeting of
journalists. This is something that I witnessed firsthand. I`ve been
threatened by police in the middle of a protests numerous times, it happens
a fair amount, but it does seem to have tangibly escalated.
“Police target journalist” is a headline in The New York Times as Trump
blames lamestream media for protests. We have a local reporter in
Louisville who was hit by a pepper ball by an officer. We have seen rubber
bullets, we`ve seen tear gas, we`ve seen batons.
Do you think there is an escalation against journalists as far as you can
BALKO: I mean I think we`ve seen more of that in the last few days than I
can recall seeing in any protests since I have been covering this issue. I
think somebody – I saw some statistics somebody tweeted that 100
journalists or so have been attacked in the last three days in some by
police, which is more than the last several years combined.
You know, I think it is important, not because journalists have special
rights or that we have more rights than anyone else, but I do think there
is something particularly horrifying about it, because journalists are the
ones who are supposed to be there to tell the story. And when you are
deliberately targeting the people who are supposed to bring transparency to
what`s going on, I think it shows that you have something to hide when
you`re trying to intimidate those people. And I think that`s what`s really
kind of frightening about this.
It is not that we have special rights, it is that we are the people who are
supposed to be telling the story.
HAYES: Brittany, finally, for you, and quickly, I`ve talked to a bunch of
people who felt very hopeful over the last few days, that they see people
in the streets in response to injustice, and it makes them feel hopeful,
and large multiracial crowds, people of different ages, are you finding
hope in this moment?
CUNNINGHAM: You know, I am the daughter of a Baptist minister and the
descendant of a whole lot of black people in America, so I know how to find
hope in desperate times, and I certainly find it now.
I`m hopeful that you and other folks are having conversations that are
correctly placing responsibility on those who swear to serve and protect
the citizens. And I`m hopeful, because unlike six years ago, we have got so
much more clarity on the pathway forward. We know the data. We know the
research. We can win. And we can get this done.
Brittany Packnett Cunningham and Radley Balko, thank you both so much for
making time tonight.
That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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Copyright 2020 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are
protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the