Politics Nation with Al Sharpton, Transcript, 7/10/2016

Edmond Jordan; Sandra Sterling; William Yeomans; G.K. Butterfield; Evan Siegfried; Marc Morial

Date: July 10, 2016
Guest: Edmond Jordan; Sandra Sterling; William Yeomans; G.K. Butterfield;
Evan Siegfried; Marc Morial


REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good morning. I`m Al Sharpton.

And on this Sunday morning millions of Americans will pray for those who
has lost their lives in this week`s terrible tragedies. They will also be
praying for us as a nation as we try to make sense of what`s happened and
where we go from here.

Tonight President Obama cutting his overseas trip short returns home to
face a country on edge. Live protests this weekend, a wave of reaction to
this week`s senseless tragedies. Overnight in St. Paul, Minnesota,
demonstrators facing off with police officers, said protesters were
throwing object, 100 people were arrested.

In Baton Rouge, protest grew tense at times, more than 30 arrests. Now the
search for answers. We are learning more about the gunman in Dallas, Micah
Johnson, a former army reservist who wrote in his journal about sniper
tactics. And we are learning about the funeral arrangements for those who
lost their lives.

We are seeing images like this one from Dallas of the herds carrying
Officer Michael Krol. And a vigil in Washington at the national law
enforcement memorial.

We are witnessing the grieving of families reacting to private tragedies
under a national spotlight.


had to watch this as this was put out over all the out lets and everything
possible to be shown.

I`m watching him fight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fight for his life.

CASTILE: And I`m trying to tell her to go faster.

has to stop. My son paid ultimate prize, you know. I don`t care if you`re
black, white, green, purple. It needs to stop. We are all God`s children.


SHARPTON: President Obama will travel to Dallas this week. He is calling
for unity.


anger, there is confusion about next steps, but there`s unity in
recognizing that this is not how we want our communities to operate. This
is not who we want to be as Americans. And that serves as the basis for us
being able to move forward.


In a moment, I will be speaking with Alton Sterling`s aunt, the woman who
raised him and who is now deep in her grief.

Let`s first go to Dallas where NBC`s Jacob Rascon is standing by outside
police headquarters.

Jacob, what`s the mood where you are?

JACOB RASCON, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: So it`s early here, Al, but we`ve been
spending a lot of time at this memorial. There are hundreds of notes and
flowers left on the patrol cars outside of police headquarters. Any time
an officer dies in the line of duty they pull up a patrol car in front of
the headquarters and other divisions, but this time the outpouring of
support from the community has been much different, of course, to the level
of tragedy. And you have officers out here who have never seen this kind
of support.

We have been speaking to officers, black, white, Hispanic officers. And
one African-American officer yesterday was telling me that he has never
seen this kind of support. He was very frank with me in telling me that
out on the streets every day, he doesn`t hear people simply tell him that
he is appreciated for the work that he does and he was a bit overwhelmed to
see the kind of support that he`s getting.

As far as those who are coming and actually leaving notes, some are family
and friends of the officers who are actually wounded or killed but most the
overwhelming majority are strangers who may never had any interaction with
police or at least these police officers at least. One woman I spoke to
who was a good example of how some are feeling, she said she was so
conflicted that her heart went out to the African-American community. But
then her heart also went out to the law enforcement community. And she
broke down in tears asking, why is there so much hate, why can`t we love
each other? You have a lot of that out here. A lot of people astounded at
the level of grief.

SHARPTON: Jacob Rascon, thank you so much.

Now let`s go to NBC Sarah Dallof in Baton Rouge outside the convenience
store where Alton Sterling died.

Sara, dozens of protesters were arrested this weekend. Do you expect more
protests today?

SARAH DALLOF, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we do, Reverend. It was another
tense night here in Baton Rouge, filled with protesters, arrests as you
mentioned and police in riot gear. Now, demonstrators first marched from
city hall to the state capital about 500 people carrying signs, chanting
the name of Sterling, the man who was shot and killed by police in front of
this convenience store there behind me. There was a second protest site as
well, that`s what you`re seeing on your screen right now. That one was
near police headquarters. It is about three-and-a-half miles from where
I`m standing. And you saw protesters facing off with police there in riot

Right now we know of at least 30 people arrested. Police say they also
confiscated two guns. Now among those arrested were prominent black lives
matter activist Duane McEvans. At this point, it`s not clear if he or any
of the others arrested last night have been charged yet. (INAUDIBLE) is
currently the number one trending hashtag on twitter. So many of these
protests and so many of these voices finding an additional platform on
social media, Reverend.

Back to you.

SHARPTON: Sarah Dallof, thank you for your report.

Joining me now is Alton Sterling`s aunt, Sandra Sterling who is live in
Dallas this morning, and Edmond Jordan, attorney for the sterling family.

First of all, thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: First of all, again, Sandra, my condolences for your loss as I
have expressed to you in talking to you. How are you doing today?

STERLING: I`m doing very good. I slept very well last night. I am still

SHARPTON: You know, you have expressed that you want the name of Alton,
who you raised, his mother is not with us, to be associated with violence
and police killings. Is that why you`ve traveled to Dallas to give – to
give that message nationally that you do not want Alton`s pursuit of
justice to be confused with any violence against police?

STERLING: That`s true. I don`t promote violence. We never did. I want
to reiterate, I am Alton`s auntie. My sister died. But he was, in fact,
raised by my other two sisters (INAUDIBLE). Again, we don`t promote
violence. And there`s too much going on. I`m to the point where I don`t
know who to trust, the public, the police. I`m OK before because I was OK
with everybody. But I`m confused right now.

SHARPTON: What do you say to the families of the fallen officers and to
the family of Philando Castile who was killed in Minnesota?

STERLING: Again, I say, I`m so sorry to (INAUDIBLE). We don`t promote
violence. What that man did had nothing to do but we are trying to
(INAUDIBLE). We want justice for Alton, but not promote violence. And I`m
really sorry that that happened to him. They feel now what I`m feeling.
It is not what I wanted to happen. I just wanted justice.

SHARPTON: Attorney Jordan what would justice look like for the sterling

JORDAN: Well, Rev., I`ll tell you what, justice initially right now would
look like Baton Rouge police department returning that surveillance video
to the owner of Triple S food mart. That video being released to the
public so that we can put everything in its proper context and also these
officers being prosecuted. And Rev., what I`m going to do when we get back
to Baton Rouge today and tomorrow I`m going to formally request that our
attorney general, attorney general Jeff Landry appoint a special prosecutor
to look into this matter. Now, I know it may not happen until the FBI
completes their investigation but that`s what we want. Because not only do
we want federal charges, brought we also want the state to look deep into
this matter and bring charges as well.

SHARPTON: Sandra tell me about Alton Sterling. What kind of person was
he? And you said he made everybody laugh.

STERLING: He did. Even as a little kid he made everybody laugh. And he
grew up with that making everybody laugh. He was a good kid. He didn`t
get what he deserved. That tape was horrible. It was horrible. It is
horrible to watch. He was a good kid.

SHARPTON: As you prepare for his funeral services and I know you`ve
invited some of us to come in, the families coming together and still
mourning and you intend to lay him to rest this week, Sandra?

STERLING: Yes, sir. On Friday.

SHARPTON: Sandra Sterling and Edmond Jordan, thank you for your time this

And, again, our thoughts and prayers are with you and we will be joining
you later this week.

STERLING: OK. Thank you.

SHARPTON: Joining me now is William Yeomans. He is a fellow in law and
government at American University and previously served as acting assistant
attorney general for civil rights. Thanks for being here.

Reverend. Glad to be here.

SHARPTON: First, you served nearly three decades in law enforcement at the
justice department. What are your thoughts this morning as we reflect back
on this week?

YEOMANS: Well, it`s been a tragic week, obviously. And I think that the
starting point has to be that we need to think about unity. We can`t
divide further. We need to find our common values and start to build from
there. But what we need to do, we need pursue justice in all of these
cases. So we need to, in Baton Rouge, and in Minnesota we need to pursue
those cases with vigor and we need to find out fully what happened in
Dallas. And we need to think as we go forward about what we can do to
avoid future situations like this. And I think that recipe involves
continuing to press for improvements in policing and making sure that
police officers have the training and the resources that they need to do
the best job possible because most of them do want to do the best job
possible. And we need to reassure communities that they will get good
policing. So I think that`s starts, obviously, with pursuing criminal
investigations, pursuing them vigorously.

But we need to recognize the limits on those criminal investigations.
Police officers as defendants quite properly have all the protections that
criminal defendants have so they are represented by counsel. They have
right against self-incrimination. They can cross-examine the witnesses
against them and the government has to prove its case beyond a reasonable
doubt. All of that makes it difficult.

And the fact of acquittal should not mistakenly be taken as a statement
that nothing wrong happened. We know from the videos that things went
horribly wrong, and the push to improve policing should not stop with a
criminal verdict.

SHARPTON: The justice department is investigating the shooting in Baton
Rouge but hasn`t committed to doing so in Minnesota. What explains the

YEOMANS: Well, I think we don`t know for sure. But I think part of it is
that in Baton Rouge everyone from the governor to the chief of police
requested that the federal government come in and take over the
investigation. In Minnesota the Minnesota investigative bureau is pursuing
– seems to be pursuing a vigorous investigation. The Ramsay County
district attorney is very engaged. And traditionally the department of
justice in these cases will step back and allow state authorities to go
first if it looks like they are pursuing a good faith vigorous

And so the situation in Baton Rouge is a little unusual to have the federal
government, have the FBI, the U.S. attorney`s office and civil rights
division come in before the state does an investigation.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, talking about Minnesota, in the case of Philando
Castile, he was stopped for 52 times for traffic offensives, everything
from speeding to driving without a muffler. He paid over $6,000 in fines
and fees. I mean what does that tell you?

YEOMANS: Well, I think, you know, it suggests, and you know, I don`t have
the facts to prove this. So it suggests that there is racially bias
policing going on. And that is one of the problems that we have seen
across the country and it is one of the things that we need to address.
And I will say that the justice department not only has the criminal
authority but it also has the authority to bring civil cases to address
patterns of constitutional violations. And one of the constitutional
violations that it looks at closely is racially bias policing, racial bias
in stops, searches, arrests, and it has found significant problems.

The Ferguson report that the department of justice issued was, I think, a
stunning document. And it detailed enormous racial bias in policing. And
I think that is not an isolated problem, to say the least.

SHARPTON: William Yeomans, thank you for your time.

YEOMANS: It has been my pleasure.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, turning tragedy into action. Some critics already
attacking President Obama`s leadership for speaking out on guns and
violence. We will talk to the chair of the congressional black caucus.

Plus, how the tragedies are affecting the presidential race. Two very
different reactions from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Also how can America emerge from this stronger and more united? We hear
from Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League. Stay with us.



OBAMA: Because I believe that I speak for every single American when I say
that we are horrified over these events and that we stand united with the
people and the police department in Dallas.


SHARPTON: President Obama trying to you night a divided nation in the wake
of this week`s events. The tragedies in Dallas, Louisiana and Minnesota
quickly turning political. Republican congressman Roger Williams whose
district includes north Dallas said the president had quote “contributed to
the modern day hostility new are witnessing between the police and those
they serve.”

Other conservative politicians and pundits were also quick to criticize the


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think this is a time when real leaders bring people
together and don`t split them apart. He doesn`t need to interject
political arguments like gun control.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an example of a weakness when our president
goes overseas and has a terrible tragedy like this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Challenge the Hillary Clintons and Bernie Sanders to
say American lives matter. All American lives.


SHARPTON: Meanwhile other voices were calling for action on policy.
Members of the congressional black caucus urged a new focus on legislation
to reduce gun violence.

Joining me now is the chairman of the CBC, Congressman G.K. Butterfield.
Thanks for being here, Mr. Chairman.

REP. G.K. BUTTERFIELD, NORTH CAROLINA: Thank you. Good morning, Reverend
Sharpton. Let me begin this interview this morning, Rev., by extending by
condolences to the sterling and to the Castile families and the other 500
families this year who have lost loved ones at the hands of police
violence. Also to the families of the police officers in Dallas who were
senselessly assassinated this week. We give our heartfelt sympathy to all
of those families.

SHARPTON: What`s the reaction to the criticism that we`re hearing against
President Obama who has also given condolences to all as we all are. But
what`s your reaction to the criticism that he`s had for speaking out on gun
violence this week?

BUTTERFIELD: Reverend Sharpton, this is not a complicated issue. The fact
is that police officers all across the country, some of them are using
lethal force when it is unnecessary in making an arrest. Five hundred and
twelve individuals in this country have been killed by police officers
unnecessarily. We need to train and retrain our police officers, the
federal government has a role in investing in programs that will make that
happen. Police officers need to use lethal force as a last result and not
a first option.

SHARPTON: You know the head of the national law enforcement advocacy group
accuses the president of waging a war on cops. Watch this, Mr. Chairman.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Obama administration is the Neville chamberlain of
this war. Their continued appeasement at the federal level with the
department of justice, their appeasement of violent criminals, the refusal
to condemn movements like black lives matter actively calling for the death
of police officers, that type of thing, all the while blaming police for
the problems in this country has led direct try to the climate that has
made Dallas possible.


SHARPTON: I mean, how do you react to that? Clearly many of us that have
called for police reform want to make it clear we`re not, as the family of
both of the victims this week who were killed this week have said they
don`t want anything to do with calling for the death of police, but how do
you react to them trying to connect the president to extreme statements and
extreme forces that they are blatantly trying to connect to the president.

BUTTERFIELD: I want to first set the record straight on black lives
matter. The congressional black caucus not only supports black lives
matter but we embrace their movement because it`s a nonviolent movement.
And to connect black lives matter to the violence that`s taking place
against police officers is absolutely absurd. And so I want to set the
record straight on that.

And secondly to connect President Obama to the violence that`s happening
and the misconduct of police officers is also absurd. What we must do as a
nation is to have legislation. We have challenged speaker Ryan and I have
had substantial conversations with speaker Ryan over the last three days.
And we have asked him almost to the point of demanding of speaker Ryan that
we have hearing, we have a hearing next week on police misconduct and
excessive use of force by police officers and I`m encouraged by his
response. He understands the crisis we have in America. President Obama
certainly understands it.

But the police departments across the country need to have sensitivity
training and unconscious bias training and training and retraining of
police officers must be the way we go forward. We cannot continue to have
500 innocent Americans, many of whom are African-American murdered by
police officers. But 99 percent of our police officers are good solid
police officers but there`s that one tenth of a percent that`s doing damage
in our communities and it must stop. We must do our part as legislators we
must pass legislation.

SHARPTON: Well, let me talk about that before we have to go. Let`s talk
Congress. We had the sit in in Congress led by John Lewis and yourself and
others. It didn`t result in a gun control vote but the Senate filibuster
did, but nothing passed. What`s next in that fight, Mr. Chairman?

BUTTERFIELD: Well, we have two issues going, Rev. First of all, it is the
murderous acts of police officers against innocent Americans but it is also
the issue of high capacity guns that are on our streets. There`s no reason
that an AR-15 needs to be in the hands of any person on the street. That`s
a battlefield weapon. And so, what we want in Congress is not right now to
ban the high capacity weapons because politically that`s not going to
happen. But right now we are asking for legislation to take guns out of
the hands of terrorists and would be terrorists, those who are on the watch
list. They have no reason to own a gun. We must forbid that.

We must also require background checks. Before you can buy a gun you need
to be investigated to determine if you`re law-abiding and capable of
handling that weapon. That`s where we want to begin. Background checks,
no-fly, no buy. We are demanding, we are demanding of the Republicans to
give us a vote. So far they have refused. But I believe there`s going to
be a break through soon. But all of this says reverend that we got to
participate in the November election and make sure that those that make the
laws are responsible.

SHARPTON: Congressman Butterfield, chair of the congressional black caucus
thank you for your time this morning.

BUTTERFIELD: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Next, recent tragedies hit the campaign trail. How the
candidates are reacting. That`s next.

Plus President Obama heading back to the U.S. in the wake of these string
of tragedies. We`re waiting for new comments from him. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: The tragedies this week have also altered the contours of the
presidential race. Each campaign struck a different tone in the last few
days. Donald Trump called the Dallas shootings quote “an attack on our
country.” While Hillary Clinton called for national conversation on race
in America.


divides in our country, and if we don`t start addressing them and that`s a
matter of urgency and it`s not just for some people to do it, but it`s for
all of us to do it, then I believe that we will find ourselves in an even
worse downward spiral.


SHARPTON: And she addressed the tragedies again at the AME convention in


CLINTON: We know there is something wrong with our country. There is too
little trust in too many places between police and the communities they are
sworn to protect. With so little common ground, it can feel impossible to
have the conversations we need to have, to begin fixing what`s broken.


SHARPTON: Trump`s main response came late Friday in a Facebook video,
where he addressed both the officers shootings and the two men killed
earlier by police.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The deaths of Alton Sterling in
Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota also make clear how much more
work we have to do to make every American feel that their safety is
protected. We must work together and stand together. We will make America
safe again.


SHARPTON: So, how will the shootings impact the 2016 race? Will either
candidate emerge as a unifying voice? That`s next.



CLINTON: There is too much violence, too much hate, too much senseless
killing, too many people dead who shouldn`t be.

TRUMP: We must stand in solidarity with law enforcement which we must
remember is the force between civilization and total chaos.


SHARPTON: The presidential candidates speaking out in response to these
tragedies that have stunned the nation. And divided people all across the

Joining me now are Joan Walsh, MSNBC political analyst and national affairs
correspondent for “the Nation” and Evan Siegfried GOP strategist and former
Rudy Giuliani campaign aide and author of “GOP GPS, how to find the
millenials and urban voters the Republican Party needs to survive.” Thank
you both for being here.

JOAN WALSH, THE NATION: Thanks, Reverend.


SHARPTON: Joan, Clinton gave several interviews at a major speech. Trump
released a Facebook video. What do you make of that?

WALSH: Well, I never praise Donald Trump but I have to say somebody wrote
him a pretty good statement that day.

SHARPTON: And he actually read.

WALSH: And then he actually read it. When he read it, it sounded more
fierce and tough. He did neglect to note that two men killed were African-
American or any of the racial –.

SHARPTON: But he called their names which is different.

WALSH: But he called out their name. He used their names and you know,
talk about them with a tone of respect. So that`s a start. I mean
Secretary Clinton did much, much more than that and as we would expect.
She tried to talk about both, we don`t want violence against police of
course but we can`t drop these issues of policing and training and justice.

And I also really like the fact, Rev., that she talked about it as a white
person, as white people we need to listen to what African-Americans are
telling us. We need to be the ones to do the work, not that African-
Americans need to just keep trying to get it through our white thick skulls
that they are dying at the hands of police. So it`s kind of rare that you
hear white people talk about themselves as white people and talk to other
white people. I really liked that.

SHARPTON: Same question to you, Evan. What do you take, what was your
takeaway, what do you make of both candidates and how they responded to

SIEGFRIED: Well, I think they both responded in trying to get to their
particular bases. They didn`t really reach out towards the middle because
like me I both believe that all-black lives matter as well as being pro cop
and the two – you can`t be one without being the other.

Donald Trump could have gone out and addressed two major criticisms about
his campaign in this statement. He could have gone out and reached out to
the African-American community but he didn`t. And then he could have also
gone out and actually given details in how he is going to make America safe
again. But he didn`t.

SHARPTON: Why? Why do you think he didn`t reach out to the African-
American community? Why do you think he didn`t detail what he`s going to
do about these kinds of issues?

SIEGFRIED: Because he doesn`t know himself what he is going to do. Let`s
be honest. Donald Trump is in over his head when it comes to issues of any
policy. So he could have gone out and talked about how police body cameras
would help that and they would reduce wrongful shootings, how these
shootings were tragic. He did go actually further than NRA who only
referred to it in a Facebook post on Friday afternoon as a situation in

SHARPTON: Who, by the way, in both cases you have people with guns that
were killed by police legally. In one in the (INAUDIBLE) in Louisiana, you
have to have a gun permit. And NRA (INAUDIBLE) in advocating on their

SIEGFRIED: That`s going to come back to bite them. Conservatives right
now are very upset because they say, OK, the NRA has made a – has made
their point to be standing up for gun owners and you have two gun owners
who has no voice for them. That`s absolutely –.

WALSH: And there`s some push back among members.

SHARPTON: In general, there is a “New York Times” this morning, a story
this morning talking about how – I read on several sites where some of the
NRA members are fighting back which is why I raised my bite.

But let me go back to Trump for a minute, Joan. Corey Stewart, a
Republican gubernatorial candidate in Virginia and the chairman of Trump`s
election in the swing state posted on Facebook blaming Clinton for the
Dallas shooting saying quote “liberal politicians who label police as
racists specifically Hillary Clinton and Virginia lieutenant governor Ralph
Northam are to blame for essentially encouraging the murder of these police
officers tonight.”

Now the Trump campaign has disavowed Stewart`s statement and later took it
down. But is this kinds of rhetoric helping or hurting the Trump campaign
and the base?

WALSH: Well, those are two different things. It helps him with the base
but it doesn`t help the campaign since we are now in the general election
and he really needs to begin reaching out beyond that maybe 30, 35, 40
percent of the public and that staunch GOP base. I think that they are two
different things and Donald Trump and his campaign haven`t learned that.

SHARPTON: Evan, I mean, you`re the Republican among the three of us
talking this morning. Is this helping to expand? Is this playing his
base? And does his base really be Hillary Clinton would encourage that?

SIEGFRIED: I don`t know what his base believes because they have been
listening to him and his conspiracy theories. I think Donald Trump`s
campaign need to distance itself from its own conspiracy theories. There
is Ted Cruz`s father who assassinated JFK.

Corey Stewart is the chairman that Donald Trump deserves in the situation.
What he said was atrocious. It shouldn`t have been said. It further
divides us. He could have talked about hey, this was - there were three
tragedies that took seven lives in three days and it should have happed.
But instead, he just pushed us further apart. And that is not going –.

SHARPTON: Will any of this affect the tone coming this weekend as we head
into the Republican convention?

SIEGFRIED: Absolutely. It`s going to be – we`re going to see a very
divided tone and that`s a very sad thing. Because I think there is a lot
of common ground, the Republicans and Democrats can work towards to
actually solve these problems and prevent further tragedies in all side.

SHARPTON: Will it affect tone, Joan, going into the Republican convention?

SHARPTON: I think it will because I really was struck. Let me, you know,
praise a couple of other people. Marco Rubio made a really important
statement. Paul Ryan said wonderful things and I - he is trying to find
common ground with the president. These people who were blaming the
president and Hillary Clinton, and saying that the critique is that the
cops, all cops are racist which is totally false. That`s not the critique
are divisive. And I think they are now starting to divide their party.

SHARPTON: Joan Walsh, Evan Siegfried thank you for your time this morning.

Still ahead the president traveling overseas before heading home later
today. We`re expecting remarks from him soon from Spain.

Coming up, next, I`ll talk to Marc Morial from the national Urban League
about race and policing in America. Stay with us.


LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: After the events of this week,
Americans across our country are feeling a sense of helplessness, of
uncertainty and a fear. Now these feelings are understandable and they are
justified. But the answer must not be violence. The answer is never
violence. I urge to you remember today and every day that we are one
nation, we are one people, and we stand together.



ROBERT F. KENNEDY, FORMER SENATOR: What we need in the United States is
not division. What we need in the United States is not hatred. What we
need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness. But is love and
wisdom and compassion towards one another. And a feeling of justice to all
those who still suffer within our country whether they be white or whether
they be black.


SHARPTON: Robert F. Kennedy`s speech in Indianapolis the night Dr. Martin
Luther King was assassinated. Nearly 50 years later these issues of race
and violence are still with us. After the Dallas shootings, the “New York
Post” this cover declaring a quote “Civil War.” It was widely condemned on
both the left and right because in times like this we need an honest but
constructive conversation. And on Friday, the Dallas mayor offered this
blunt but emotional assessments.


MAYOR MIKE RAWLINGS, DALLAS: We as a city, as a state, as a nation are
struggling with racial issues. This is on my generation of leaders. It is
on our watch that we have allowed this to continue to fester. That we have
led the next generation down a vicious path of rhetoric and actions that
put one against the other.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is Marc Morial, president of the National Urban
League. First of all, thanks for being here, Marc.

Thank you.

SHARPTON: Isn`t the mayor right, these issues of race and poverty,
policing and justice, they are not new issues. Haven`t they been allowed
to fester without action?

MORIAL: Seems to be an ugly repeat of the past. It seems to be an
escalation of challenges that somehow maybe we pretended that we gotten
past but we have not gotten past. And, Reverend, this is, he`s right, on
our watch. Because it`s on our watch, this generation, we have to confront
it and deal with it or the legacy we leave our children is an America far
worse off than even the America of the challenges of these times and today.

SHARPTON: You know, when I watched Robert Kennedy speech, I remember I was
13 when Dr. King was killed and I just joined his organization. And I
thought that when our time came, our generation we would have made such a
difference and in some ways we did. But now we are here and we are seeing
some of the same strife, maybe not as in terms of mass rioting, some of the
same strife and the challenge for us to legislate and really change things
with policy as a lot of the next generation and your organization and mine
and other moments are saying we want answers.

MORIAL: And you put your finger on it when it comes to policing. It
requires changes in practices, in policies, in procedures, in training, in
hiring, in disciplining at each and every local level in the country. It`s
not a magic wand. It`s not a single legislative act, but policy changes,
Reverend. The 1960s taught us something. Activism and protests has to
lead to meaningful change. And what we have had is conversation.
Conversation is good, but now we need conversation at least to action.

So my appeal is for people of goodwill across spectrum. This idea of
looking to blame people, whether it`s the “New York Post” very inflammatory
cover or people in politics trying to say this candidate or that candidate,
it`s not constructive because it distracts from the real underlying
challenge. We have a cycle of violence that`s being played out in too many
ways, police officers being shot. I condemn that forcefully.

Citizens having their lives taken away in an unjustifiable way, we condemn
that forcefully. People in the community, gang bangers and others taking
lives of others, we should condemn that forcefully all the way across the

SHARPTON: You have been not only the leader of the National Urban League
the last decade but you`ve been mayor of New Orleans. And one of the
things that I have known in my activism down through the years is a lot of
the policing issues come down to the city and the local police chiefs and
all, and the national administration, the White House and all can do
certain things and certainly the Congress can legislate, but it is executed
on a very local level.

MORIAL: Reverend, the powers of the presidency, the Congress and the
justice department are considerable. But when you really get down to this
issue, you can change it on a local level. You can change, change it. My
experience in New Orleans in transforming that department told me that
local leadership, mayors, city council members. And I would encourage
them, don`t look to Washington for all your solutions. Deal with it
locally. And so, that`s why I think you have got not only local activism
but that this conversation and the public policy changes we need are going
to have to happen city by city, county by county, community by community.

SHARPTON: The president is going at some point to Dallas, as complicated
with federal investigations of him to go to where the police shootings
were. I don`t know what he`s going to do but he`s got to deal with fact
that there are open investigations and how that could be made to appear.
But he has said he is going to deal with the recommendations from his task
force and from his meetings with people like you and I who lead civil
rights organizations and faith leaders. The tone he sets will mean nothing
if it`s not legislated and those at the local level.

MORIAL: The president is in a unique position and important position. And
I was pleased to see him step up even though he was overseas immediately
and make statements. And I know we`ll support his efforts to follow
through those 21st century policing recommendations. Every city ought to
get them and work on implementing them now.

SHARPTON: Marc Morial, thank you for being with me this morning.

My thoughts on where we go from here is next.



REP JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: We must learn to live together as brothers
and sisters. If not we will perish as fools.


SHARPTON: Learn to live together as brothers and sisters. But how do we
do that? We need real direct and concrete steps.

When I joined the civil rights movement as a youngster, at 13, we were
taught you have demonstration, but it must thread leverage allocation and
then reconciliation. We can`t get to reconciliation without fundamental
real concrete change. In policing, in how to community deals, even in how
we deal internally in the community with the gun control issue and the use
of gun violence one to another.

This is a very difficult time. But it takes real people that are willing
to do hard things. Come outside their comfort zone to make society adjust,
to heal what we see by taking concrete action. You may have to reach
across the aisles that we have all backed into different corners. But we
got to do it and we got to make it permanent law and permanent policy. So
that we have equal protection under the law and equal respect for one

That does it for me. Thanks for watching. I will see you back here next



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