death of George Floyd TRANSCRIPT: 6/1/20, All in w/ Chris Hayes

Kamala Harris, Melissa Murray, Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Radley Balko, Art Acevedo



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.




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.




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

the phases.


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.





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.




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.




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.





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.


HARRIS: Hinted.


BARR: I don`t know.


HARRIS: Inferred. You don`t know.




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.





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.




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.




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

accommodation seeking.




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

worked out.



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

could tell?


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

over there.


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.




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).




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

our country.


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

see rioting.


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?



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

tell here?


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.







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