The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 01/12/15
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Rachel. I`m in Los Angeles
tonight where, as you know, people are very concerned with performance.
And I have just a little performance note –
RACHEL MADDOW, “TRMS” HOST: OK.
O`DONNELL: – about what you just did.
When you said Tom Coburn is gone, exclamation point, it actually sounded
like that was a good thing.
MADDOW: You know, I`m feeling a little feverish. I might have been having
an emotional blip there. Terribly sorry.
O`DONNELL: I understand.
MADDOW: Well-done. Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Thanks, Rachel. Thank you.
Well, today, two police officers who shot and killed a homeless man were
charged with murder.
And the hunt for terrorists involved in last week`s massacre in Paris is
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Other suspects are still at large.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police are still hunting for possible accomplices.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police here are reportedly still searching for six
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Up to six accomplices.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are six people, and there could be 60 people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of those suspects has reportedly been linked to
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who authorities believe participated in last week`s
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s finally been tracked down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the woman that all of France has been looking
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The threat is still present.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are going to see more police on the streets.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The survivors of the massacre are back at work.
Cartoonists of the satirical “Charlie Hebdo” are working on their next
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yesterday`s unity rally in Paris.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An estimated 1.5 million people showed up in defiance
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was the largest crowd in the modern history of
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think the president himself
would have liked to have the opportunity to be there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Breaking news at the Defense Department.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cyber vandalism.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: CentCom`s Twitter and YouTube accounts have been
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Control essentially of CentCom`s Twitter account.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Compromising social media accounts isn`t the same as
compromising the dot-com servers.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If we`re going to be
committed, then we need to be protected.
O`DONNELL: There are reports tonight that France will begin to debate its
own version of the Patriot Act tomorrow, which could include stopping the
radicalization of those in French prisons, stopping Internet recruitment
“The Associated Press” is reporting today there could be as many as six
members of a terrorist cell involved in the Paris terrorist attacks who may
still be at large. NBC News has not independently confirmed these reports.
France is deploying 10,000 soldiers to protect sensitive sites, including
France`s 717 Jewish schools after last week`s attacks that killed 17
people, including four at a kosher market.
The French defense minister said it is, quote, “the first mobilization on
this scale on our territory.”
The girlfriend of the terrorist who killed four people in the kosher market
before being killed by police crossed into Syria last week before the
attacks occurred in Paris, according to Turkish officials. This video
shows her at passport control in Istanbul on January 2nd arriving in
Turkey, and cell phone records indicate she crossed into Syria on January
8th, the day that police killed her boyfriend on the day Coulibaly at a
kosher market and the brothers killed including two people on Wednesday at
the offices of “Charlie Hebdo”, including two police officers.
An undated video that appears to show Amedy Coulibaly also surfaced over
the weekend where Coulibaly is heard declaring his allegiance to the
Islamic State and says he was working with the Kouachi brothers. NBC News
cannot verify under what circumstances this video was taken.
Another video shows a 23-year-old Cherif Kouachi rapper. The video is from
a 2005 documentary by a French television station France 3.
Yesterday, on “Meet the Press,” Attorney General Eric Holder said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: One has to understand that it is very
difficult to maintain a good contact, to stay in touch with all the people
who are potentially going to do these kinds of things. That is the thing
that I think keeps me up most at night, this concern about the lone wolf
who goes undetected. But we are doing, as I said, the best we can,
marshalling resources that we have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Attorney General Holder was in Paris yesterday for a security
summit but did not attend Sunday`s solidarity march where more than three
dozen heads of state march.
The United States was represented by the American ambassador to France, and
today White House press secretary said the administration now thinks that
that was a mistake.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EARNEST: I think it`s fair to say we should have sent someone with a
higher profile to be there. That said, there is no doubt that the American
people and this administration stand four-square behind our allies in
France as they face down this threat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me now is Laura Haim, the White House correspondent for
France`s Canal Plus, and Brian Jenkins, terrorism expert with the RAND
Laura, you asked a question at the White House briefing about the
president`s absence yesterday. Were you satisfied with the answers that
you heard in that briefing today?
LAURA HAIM, CANAL PLUS: I think Josh Earnest was brilliant in his
communication by saying, OK, we didn`t succeed, we didn`t realize what was
going to happen, and we should have been there. He didn`t say the
president should have been there, which was quite interesting. He said, we
should have been there.
It was quite a (INAUDIBLE) in France, but let me say something, it is not a
big story in France today. Just the French people missed yesterday the
best American friend who was President Obama.
O`DONNELL: Laura, let me ask you one thing, though, about the imagery that
comes out of it as a result of no recognizable American presence there on
the front line. There is that notion out there in the world, and
especially among some of these – groups like the Islamic State, that the
United States of America controls all of this apparatus that opposes them
in the world. And is there any image advantage to the United States not
being so visually prominent in those images yesterday to kind of dismantle
that notion that the people there, including possibly the French president,
are in some sense puppets of the American president?
HAIM: No, I don`t think so. Again, I think the question for the French
people was quite emotional. And we hope that last night on French TV, and
we did many reports this morning on French TV, why President Obama was not
there. They didn`t want John Kerry. They didn`t want Eric Holder. They
didn`t want the U.S. ambassador from France.
They just wanted the people in the streets, Barack Obama on the front line.
He wasn`t there, that was a question. He didn`t come.
Why? Was it about the Secret Service, the security or whatever? It was a
disappointment. And then now the situation, he`s moving to another level.
What is going to happen next?
Brian Jenkins, quickly on this security issue for the president – talk
about security challenges facing the White House and the Secret Service on
a sudden trip like this to France, to be exposed out there, as we saw they
all were yesterday – and especially at this time where we know the current
operations of the Secret Service have not been as effective as we`ve all
expected them to be.
BRIAN JENKINS, RAND CORPORATION: Oh, I don`t know what the story is here.
Honestly, I don`t know that with security considerations or other factors.
Sometimes these things occur. Sometimes people just make wrong decisions
as the White House spokesman said. And I think sometimes we try to read a
great deal into it. I myself, I don`t know why.
The security of the president is always a challenge, but the president
moves through public areas, whether it`d be a much more difficult thing in
Paris, it would be a challenge. But they would be up to it.
O`DONNELL: Laura, tell us about this new legislation that`s pending now
that will be debated in France that is essentially their version of what we
called our Patriot Act.
HAIM: Yes, it`s the huge story in France. Does France is going to adopt
the Patriot Act? Can you believe the French people talking about adopting
Patriot Act? But that`s what`s going to happen.
O`DONNELL: Laura, are they using that phrase, Patriot Act?
HAIM: Absolutely. They`re using this phrase, this expression, Patriot
Act, and in the past 10 hours, I had to do multiple reports about – is it
going to be a Patriot Act in France? What`s the Patriot Act in America?
So, people are extremely, extremely interested by the notion of the Patriot
Act. Tomorrow, at the national parliament, the French prime minister is
going to introduce something about that. And already today, there was a
kind of meeting with all political factions, involving the prime minister,
involving opponents of the prime minister and of the French president to
speak about how we can protect ourselves better.
And it was really fascinating to observe (ph) because they`re talking about
wiretapping, they`re about how to go to prison and to avoid the
radicalization of young Muslim in prison. They`re talking about hate on
the Web. And they`re definitely are going to restrict some freedom that
the French have. And it`s fascinating to observe (ph) politically speaking
and humanistically speaking.
O`DONNELL: Brian Jenkins, to what we`ve seen in Paris, is this the new
form of terrorism that we should be alert for, that where it seems to be
not necessarily lone wolves, but people who are on a very, very long leash
of sometimes years since they`ve been in training or in very close
association with a particular group?
JENKINS: I don`t think it`s particularly new. We`ve seen attacks that
have had this form, that is armed shooters going after targets. That part
is not new.
The fact that there was a period of time between the last known visit of at
least one of the brothers to Yemen and the execution of the attack doesn`t
necessarily mean that this was planned in Yemen and kept under wraps for
all these years. It could just be a matter of these individuals were
steadily radicalizing, at some point made a decision to carry out an
attack, and then they did so.
And this is – this is behavior that we`ve seen before that is an evolution
within the minds of the people who move from toward radicalization and from
radicalization into violence, and some of them move in toward it fairly
quickly, some dash around the edges and move in and out for a period of
O`DONNELL: And, Laura, it sounds like in this French Patriot Act, that`s
one of the things they`re going to try to get at, especially in prisons –
in French prisons, the radicalization that`s occurring there.
HAIM: Yes, that`s a big problem, and it was real interesting because some
French wanted to speak to a guy who was the preacher of one of the
brothers. His name is Farid Benyettou and he did an interview with French
TV and he was talking to the reporter by saying, OK, I met a brother in
prison and he was not very religious, and then he asked me how to become
And that`s something you see and watch when there is a terrorist action.
Those young people who are out speaking marijuana, stealing something,
they`re going to jail, and then suddenly, between 18 years old and 21 years
old, they met someone in prison who will radicalize them, and then when
they`re going out of prison, not only they`re more dangerous, but they`re
virtually a terrorist.
They want to a foreign country to train. They`re completely radicalized.
One of the goals of the French government in the weeks ahead is going to
try to avoid this radicalization inside the French prison.
O`DONNELL: Brian Jenkins, the increasing religiosity among some inmates of
all faiths is something we`ve seen as phenomenon in prison for decades, for
many, many years – how will the authorities ever be able to tell which of
these kinds of increased religious devotion is dangerous?
JENKINS: I think it has to do with really vetting those who are
responsible for ministering to the prisoners. Look, often people in prison
are in a life`s crisis and it`s not unnatural that they will reach out to
some belief system which offers them comfort, offers them a way back, and
that`s not necessarily a bad development.
Prison administration has been oblivious to this for many, many years
because prisons were interested in keeping order. So, anything that
maintained order, whether it was through Christianity or Islam or other
faiths was key.
What one wants to be careful does not happen is that those who are
responsible, for being the pastors, the imams, that come to this, are not
themselves representing the most radical, dangerous forms of these
ideologies, who then come into these prisons not to deal with fate but to
recruit potential terrorists.
O`DONNELL: Brian Jenkins and Laura Haim, thank you both very much for
joining us tonight.
Coming up, the hacker group Anonymous vows to attack terrorist Web sites.
And, two Albuquerque police officers are charged with murder for shooting
and killing a homeless man.
And on the lighter side tonight, because we`re going to need that, if you
missed the three-hour broadcast of the Golden Globes last night, we will
show it all to you in tonight`s “Rewrite” in three minutes. The Golden
Globes in three minutes, that`s coming up.
O`DONNELL: Six days ago, Senator Marco Rubio sent a letter to the White
House calling for all meetings with Cuba be canceled until Cuba fulfill its
promise to release 53 political prisoners. This morning, the United States
confirmed that all 53 of those political prisoners have been released.
Up next, last year we showed you video of the Albuquerque police shooting
and killing a homeless man. Tonight, those police officers are facing
O`DONNELL: Today, two Albuquerque police officers were each charged with
murder in the shooting death of a mentally ill homeless man who was camping
in the hills of Albuquerque in March of last year.
After a four-hour standoff, officers shot 38-year-old James Boyd. Police
said he was armed with small knives. In the month after the shooting, the
Justice Department, which had already been investigating the Albuquerque
police department, released their findings that, quote, “Albuquerque police
department engages in a pattern and practice of use of excessive force,
including deadly force.”
Here is video of that shooting of that homeless man from one of the police
officers` helmet cams.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES BOYD: All right. Don`t change up your agreement. I`m going to try
to walk with you.
OFFICER: All right.
BOYD: (INAUDIBLE) try to harm you, keep your word. I can keep you safe,
Don`t worry about safety. I`m not a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) murderer.
I`m not going to harm you. All right?
OFFICER: Do it.
OFFICER: Get on the ground! Get on the ground! Get on the ground!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: There have been more than 40 officer-involved shootings in
Albuquerque since 2010. According to the district attorney`s office, this
is the first time an Albuquerque police officer has ever been charged in
connection with an officer-involved shooting.
Joining me now is Albuquerque District Attorney Kari Brandenburg. She is
charging the two Albuquerque police officers with murder.
Also joining us, the executive director of Progress Now New Mexico, Patrick
Davis, who is himself a former police officer.
District Attorney Brandenburg, how did you present this case?
KARI BRANDENBURG, ALBUQUERQUE DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Well, we didn`t present
the case. What we did is we determined that there was probable cause, and
that`s a legal standard. And once we have probable cause, then we can
proceed either by way of grand jury or by preliminary hearing.
And we decided that transparency was of the utmost importance, so we are
going to go ahead and proceed by way of preliminary hearing. And that
means that there will be somewhat of what we refer to as a mini-trial,
where we will present evidence and the defense will have a chance to cross-
examine and present evidence that they feel is relevant.
And a court will decide or a judge will decide what the appropriate charges
will be, if any, to bind the officers over at the conclusion of the
O`DONNELL: Now, we`ve seen other district attorneys around the country
faced with the same choice, who went to grand juries in Ferguson saying
that, we want to present every speck of evidence we possibly can to a grand
jury. It turns out they were also introducing perjured testimony, they
were introducing incorrect laws to the grand jury. We now know having seen
the grand jury transcript there.
Were you mindful of the public criticism of the grand jury process in these
kinds of cases when you made this decision?
BRANDENBURG: Actually, we have been presenting cases that involve officers
and other high-profile individuals by way of preliminary hearing. Most
recently an officer for vehicular homicide that ended up going to trial.
And so, this is not something we decided to do based upon anything that`s
happened across the country in recent months.
O`DONNELL: Patrick Davis, as you know, most police departments the size of
Albuquerque go through a year – typical year without any shootings at all,
without killing anyone. The numbers there are extraordinary.
What is your reaction to this prosecution?
PATRICK DAVIS, PROGRESSNOW NEW MEXICO: Well, it`s historic without any
doubt. As you said, Lawrence, we`ve had more than 40 police officer-
involved shootings in the last decade, and the police process here as
allowed the department to investigate itself, and the grand jury has had to
rely on those police investigations.
And so, in this case, it`s historic, but it`s starting to bring some sense
of hope and vindication to the people who have been marching and protesting
and asking for change for a really long time. And so, unlike other cities
in the country, I think people in Albuquerque are taking a look and hoping
that we`re going to turn that new corner in the way we deal with our police
department and hold them accountable.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what one of the defense lawyers for one of the
officers said about these charges today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAM BREGMAN, KEITH SANDY`S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: He spent his whole career and
life protecting people. And the idea that he`s charged with murder because
he`s protecting a fellow officer, you can imagine that goes right to his
core. It hurts.
That officer is alive, and, unfortunately, Mr. Boyd lost his life. But
when a mentally unstable, unpredictable, dangerous man with two knives is
eight feet on higher ground away from an officer who does not have a gun
drawn, he is justified in protecting that officer and shooting that man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Kari Brandenburg, why do you see that evidence differently?
You`re both looking at exactly the same video.
BRANDENBURG: Right. Why do we see – well, he`s an advocate for his
client, and he`s zealous and very capable advocate for his client.
We`re looking at the laws, and we were looking at it through a totally
different lens than he is, and we feel like we have probable cause. Now,
all of this will be aired in public in an open courtroom, and a judge will
make the ultimate decision based upon all the evidence that`s presented.
So, the defense will get to present that evidence and then we`ll present
the entire investigation, the forensics, any kind of criminalistics. And
the court will have the benefit of all the information, and the public will
also have the benefit of all that information.
O`DONNELL: Now, we`ve seen cases where people have been – Michael Brown
shot and killed completely unarmed, and here is a situation where the
person who is killed does apparently have a knife or knives, one possibly
in each hand, small knives.
Why weren`t you reluctant to charge given the fact that there were weapons
BRANDENBURG: Well, I think that – and I said today at our press
conference that I don`t want to get into the facts of the case. That will
be decided as the preliminary hearing convenes. But I think there were
other options available to the officers at that point in time.
And that is – what we try to do is try to get inside the officer`s head to
determine if they were in fear of their life or in fear of someone else`s
life or great bodily harm, and whether that fear was reasonable. We know
that the Supreme Court, the New Mexico Supreme Court, gives officers
broader discretion in using deadly force, than you or I would have in using
O`DONNELL: And, Patrick Davis, what`s so striking about this prosecution
decision is what we`ve seen in other cases if there`s any hint of a weapon
even possibly being used, more prosecutors around the country in my
experience rely on that as the reason not to move forward in any way, and
they don`t do an analysis of exactly how much real danger was the police
officer in when each one of those shots was fired.
DAVIS: That`s right. But as a police officer, you know, I was always
grateful to have that and the public is right to do that.
But I think what`s unique in this case is that of the 27-something cases –
shootings before and the 15 or so since, this is where body cameras showed
us exactly the officer`s perspective blow by blow and step by step as this
incident sort of progressed, and people were willing to take a look at
that, or say, no, I think that officer went too far. You know, as we look
at what`s happening in Ferguson and New York and other places, this is the
first one I`ve ever seen where the public can follow the officer and see
And I think most of us said that this look like an example of – really the
first time the public has gotten to see the militarization of our police
department. I mean, for a department to call out officers in tactical
gear, with police dogs and flash bang grenades for a man who was campaign
alone by himself in the desert for a misdemeanor crime, I think to most of
us sort of says they just went too far. And watching that video I think
most people look at that and said, that they think the police went to war
in that and the video gives us an insight that we didn`t have in many of
these other cases.
O`DONNELL: District Attorney Kari Brandenburg and Patrick Davis, thank you
both very much for joining me tonight.
Up next, the cyber attack against the United States Military Central
And later, the NYPD seems to have proved a point by deliberately reducing
the number of arrests in New York City. But it`s not exactly the point
they wanted to prove. That`s coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE TRANSLATOR: Attacking freedom of speech is attacking
Anonymous. We will not permit it. Any organizations and enterprises linked
to those terrorist attacks should expect a massive reaction from Anonymous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That is an announcement by the hacker collective Anonymous
taking on Islamic terrorist organizations online with a campaign called
Operation Charlie Hebdo.
Anonymous says it will attack the Twitter accounts and Web sites of
terrorist groups in response to the attacks in Paris last week. The FBI is
investigating a hacking attack on the United States` Central Command`s
Twitter and YouTube pages earlier today by hackers purporting to be a part
of the Islamic State.
Hackers changed the Twitter page to read, “Cyber Caliphate,” plus put put
Islamic State propaganda videos on CENTCOM`s YouTube page and posted
threatening messages to U.S. Military as well as contact information for a
number of generals.
CENTCOM, which oversees the military`s operations in the Middle East,
called the attack, quote, “a case of cybervandalism.” One official called
the hacking clearly embarrassing.
But CENTCOM says its, quote, “initial assessment is that no classified
information was posted.
The hacking happened at the same time that President Obama was on stage to
speak before the Federal Trade Commission on Cyber Security.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: If we`re going to be connected,
then we need to be protected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me now, Major General Brett Williams, former United
States Cyber Command official. And Cory Bennett, a cyber security reporter
for “The Hill.”
General, first of all, your reaction to this hack, if it is purportedly
associated with the Islamic State of CENTCOM`s public accounts.
MAJ. GEN. BRETT WILLIAMS (RET.), FORMER U.S. CYBER COMMAND OFFICIAL:
Lawrence, the first thing I would – I would have to – have to say is that
we should really differentiate between a cyber attack and what occurred
with CENTCOM today.
Sony suffered a cyber attack. There was damage there in all sorts of ways.
There`s no indication that CENTCOM proper was hacked in terms of any
access, any military computers or any type of information like that. What
happened here was somebody gained unauthorized access to a Twitter account
and a Facebook account.
And they were able to use it for their propaganda purposes. So, I think
it`s important to differentiate and scale these types of things that happen
in cyberspace because one of the things that we haven`t done very well,
either domestically in the United States or internationally, is really
define what are the red lines, what`s acceptable behavior, and what are the
consequences going to be.
So, I think, putting that in perspective is helpful.
O`DONNELL: Cory Bennett, talk about Anonymous and what their track record
is in these kinds of situations. And then – and also, I guess, what took
them so long. If they`re interested in what they say they`re interested
in, why did they not get more interested in going into these so-called
terror Web sites.
CORY BENNETT, CYBER SECURITY REPORTER, “THE HILL”: Anonymous is a group
that is hard to define. And I think that probably answers your last
question in the fact that their organization is not hierarchical.
There are not very explicit goals. Anonymous – Anonymous, excuse me, has
been around for over 10 years now, which is kind of amazing to think about.
Their goals are very much against government surveillance, against any sort
of censorship, against any sort of authoritarian regime, against extremism
generally. So, we can see why those goals dovetail with what they`ve
started to do against the jihadi Web sites.
You know, it`s including ISIS Web sites, it`s including al-Qaeda Web sites.
But they have not always had a pattern of very directed attacks.
It ranges – excuse me, it has ranged from – we saw, after the Ferguson
protest, for example, they went up to the Ferguson Police Department,
conducted what`s called the distributed denial of service attack, where you
overwhelm a Web site with traffic and shut it down.
That`s kind of been their calling card. So, they do have a wide range of
things that they do.
So, it`s not surprising to me that it has taken them this amount of time to
get on to this. They`ve never had one or two directive goals.
O`DONNELL: We have a – there`s a list here of the targeted Web sites that
Anonymous has indicated, they`re interested in going after.
And, general, I`d like to ask strategically about this. What are the
strategic issues involved in going in them going into these Web sites.
And I`m wondering if, in Cyber Command, that they must be looking at these
Web sites all the time. And is there – is there some strategic interest
in actually allowing them to operate so that you can monitor or collect a
certain amount of information by allowing them to operate.
WILLIAMS: Well, first of all, in terms of monitoring the Web sites,
obviously, that`s something throughout our Intelligence community. We
refer to that as open source information.
So, we regularly monitor those for a variety of Intelligence collection
purposes. I think the real issue here is what I would phrase as
And it`s that something that we want to encourage, you know, for Anonymous
or any other group, to use the Internet to protest for all aspects of free
speech, for whistleblowers with a legitimate cause.
All of that make sense to me.
But you cross a line when you start taking actions that would constitute a
cyber attack. As Cory said, this denial of service would constitute an
And a country of laws like ours, there are certain people that authorized
to take those types of very deliberate actions to stop an activity.
And, I think, whether we`re talking vigilantism in physical space or
cyberspace, that we have to draw a line there. And so, understanding the
challenges that Anonymous puts on us from a policy perspective is important
The other thing is that even though you may look at this in the public as
something that`s favorable to our cause or something that we would support
from a policy position, that larger national security policy is much more
So, for example, when Anonymous was thought to be taking some actions
against North Korea in the summer of 2013, from what I saw, that
complicates our policy and complicates how we deal with that.
So, I think, there`s a difference between free speech, protests, those
sorts of things and crossing line into what I would call vigilantism. And
I think that`s something that we really have to look at and understand how
we maybe try to control that.
O`DONNELL: I wish we have more time for this. I`m sure we`ll be coming
back to it.
Major General Brett Williams and Cory Bennett, thank you both very much for
joining me tonight.
Coming up, New York City police, who have been deliberately making very few
arrests as a way of showing their anger at the mayor of New York,
apparently have proved that before their work slowed down, they were making
far too many arrests.
And in the “Rewrite” tonight, all three hours of the Golden Globes in three
minutes. Basically, after you cut off the commercials, there`s really not
that much left.
And coming up next, it`s going to be time for the good news.
O`DONNELL: And, now, for the good news. On a cold night last month, a
British art student was stranded in the city of Preston, without cash or
debit card or anything, in the middle of the night.
A homeless man offered her his last three pounds, so she could get a taxi
She, Dominique Harrison Benson, didn`t take that money, but she was so
touched by the homeless man`s generosity that she found him again and set
out to raise money to help him.
She set a goal of 500 pounds. She ended up raising nearly 33,000 pounds,
that`s nearly $50,000.
The man known only as Robbie as been homeless for seven months. The money
Dominique raised will go to help him and other homeless men and women in
Our “Rewrite” of the Golden Globes is next.
O`DONNELL: In tonight`s “Rewrite,” we will rewrite the Golden Globes. If
you missed all three hours and three minutes of the Golden Globes last
night or, like most of us, you can`t remember who all the winners were,
here is the executive summary of the Golden Globes.
The Golden Globes in three minutes.
TINA FEY, ACTRESS: Tonight, we celebrate all the great television shows
that we know and love, as well as all the movies that North Korea was OK
AMY POEHLER, ACTRESS: North Korea threatened an attack if Sony Pictures
released “The Interview,” forcing us all to pretend we wanted to see it.
FEY: Would you rather Colin Farrell or Colin Firth?
POEHLER: OK, Farrell all day.
FEY: Firth for a polite amount of time.
JENNIFER ANISTON, ACTRESS: And the Golden Globe goes to –
J.K. SIMMONS, ACTOR: Thank you.
JOANNE FROGGATT, ACTRESS: Thank you so, so much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 1: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 2: Thank you so much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE 3: Thank you so much.
MATT BOMER, ACTOR: Thank you very much.
ANDREI ZVYAGINTSEV, DIRECTOR: Thank you very much.
BILLY BOB THORNTON, ACTOR: You can say anything in the world and get in
trouble. I know this for a fact.
So, I`m just going to say thank you.
RICKY GERVAIS, ACTOR: I`ve been practicing saying that last name, so I
don`t have a John Travolta moment. I`ll go away with it.
I still watched that everyday on YouTube. He`s brilliant there.
AMY ADAMS, ACTRESS: Thank you so much.
JOHN LEGEND, SINGER/SONGWRITER: I`m so honored. I was brought on at the
last minute, but I`m so honored to be a part of this amazing film that
honors such amazing people that did great work and is so connected to
what`s happening right now.
We still are in solidarity with those who are out there fighting for
justice right now. And we`re so grateful to write this song, hopefully, as
an inspiration to the them.
THEO KINGMA, PRESIDENT, HOLLYWOOD FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION: Together, we
will stand united against anyone who would repress free speech, anywhere
from North Korea to Paris.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
JARED LETO, ACTOR: (Speaking in another language)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Thank you.
MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL, ACTRESS: Thank you so much.
PATRICIA ARQUETTE, ACTRESS: Meryl, thank you for giving me a hug. I hope
your DNA transferred to me.
FEY: George Clooney married Amal Alamuddin this year. Amal is a human
rights lawyer who worked on the Enron case, was an adviser to Kofi Annan
regarding Syria, and was selected for a three-person U.N. Commission
investigating rules of war violations in the Gaza strip.
So, tonight, her husband is getting a Lifetime Achievement Award.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: I`ve had a pretty good year myself. And I`m not
just referring to the fabulous reviews of the Monuments Men.
JULIANNE MOORE, ACTRESS: I want to thank the people who actually made the
EDDIE REDMAYNE, ACTOR: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Thank you.
KEVIN SPACEY, ACTOR: This is very encouraging. Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To love.
MICHAEL KEATON, ACTOR: My bestfriend is kind, intelligent, funny,
talented, considerate, thoughtful. Did I say kind? He also – he also
happens to be my son, Sean.
GINA RODRIGUEZ, ACTRESS: My father used to tell me to say every morning,
“Today is going to be a great day. I can. I will.” Oh, Dad, today is a
great. I can and I did.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
O`DONNELL: The most recent losing vice-presidential candidate who will
never be president is, as they all eventually do, coming to grips with that
reality. In a phone interview with NBC News today, Paul Ryan said, quote,
“I have decided that I am not going to run for president in 2016.”
In other loser news, Paul Ryan`s losing running mate, Mitt Romney, has
shocked the political media by saying he is considering a third run for the
The political media is shockable by statements like that because most
members of the political media do not understand men like Mitt Romney,
which is to say, they do not actually understand politicians. NBC News has
learned that in his Friday meeting with donors, Mitt Romney said, “I want
to be president.” As well, apparently, as several other things everyone in
the room probably already knew.
Up next, a new report on chokeholds by the New York City Police Department
shows that no officers have faced any serious discipline for using
chokeholds, which are technically against the rules in the NYPD but,
apparently, only technically.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL BRATTON, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: Overall arrested down
above 44 percent, compared to a decrease of 59 percent last week. So, that
trending is also showing improvements with more arrests now being made by
We are still concerned with the levels of activity, but they are returning
to normal with each passing day, each passing week. Those numbers are
going back up to what we describe as normal levels.
At the same time, in every category, as I referenced you, housing, transit
in precincts. Every borough in the city has experienced a crime decline
for the first 12 days of this year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That was New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton today,
referring to the slowdown in arrests and law enforcement generally by the
New York City Police Department over the last few weeks.
The slowdown came after Police Union officials said the mayor of New York
had, quote, “blood on his hands” because of the murder of two New York
City police officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu on December 20th.
Crime has not gone up during this police work slowdown, which now makes it
more difficult for the police department to take full credit for the
dropping crime rate in the last two decades in New York City, especially
since the crime rate has been dropping nationally at the same time.
Joining me now is Blake Zeff, politics editor for Salon.com. Blake, I read
your article about this today. And this is clearly the worst possible
outcome for the New York City Police Unions, who say they did not organize
this work slowdown.
But, certainly, they seem to be in favor of it. And what they`ve shown,
the implications are truly enormous. Go ahead.
BLAKE ZEFF, POLITICS EDITOR, SALON.COM: Yes, there`s no question about it.
I mean, whether they claim they organized it or not, there`s no doubt that
cops in New York City engaged in a slowdown of sorts.
They stopped, you know, traffic summonses and public lewdness. Those types
of crimes, they did not give tickets for. And, as a result, major crime
did not go up.
You know, the Broken Windows theory that says you`ve got to crack down on
the small stuff in order for the big stuff to go down. It just didn`t
happen. And so, you know, again, it`s only been a couple of weeks, so you
don`t want to draw any major conclusions from it.
But I think you`re quite right to say that the result that happened is not
what they were anticipating.
O`DONNELL: Well, it sounds like what the commissioner`s statistics
indicate is that they`ve realized what a bad idea this was for themselves
and for their own claims that New York City has a lower crime rate today
exclusively, and exclusively because of the NYPD`s work, which is never
Crime rates never behave strictly according to law enforcement practices.
It has all sorts of societal factors, which is why we`ve seen it going down
ZEFF: Exactly right. And one of the things I write about in the article
that you cited before is that stop and frisk was this very aggressive
strategy done in New York over the last decade or so where, basically, they
were going up to people in New York City.
All they needed to see, the cops, was something called “the furtive
movement.” That word “furtive” is sort of vague.
And what it basically means is if the cops had any suspicion that something
was wrong. They could come up to you, ask you some questions, and start
patting you down and frisking you.
And they did this to the tune of 700,000 times in 2011, mostly black and
Latino young men. In fact, so often to the young black men that they
actually had more stops of young black men in 2011 than there were young
black man in the city that year. And the claim, the defense of people who
– of the police department – this was under Michael Bloomberg and Ray
Kelly at the time, was that if you don`t do this kind of aggressive
policing, we`re going to go back to the bad old days when in the 1970`s and
1980`s, crime ravished New York.
Well, a court found that this practice was unconstitutional in 2013. And
so, the practice has gone down over the last year or two.
With the new Mayor de Blasio – and guess what happens, crime went down
even more when stop and frisk stops happening at these rates.
O`DONNELL: Quickly to the inspector general. The Police Inspector General
report that came out today about the chokeholds, use of chokeholds.
They sampled 10 cases in New York City. Seven of them during the previous
administration, so that would be Commissioner Ray Kelly.
Not one of them, not one of them gets disciplined. And they clearly find
that each one of them, according to the report, was a violation.
The three that have occurred under Commissioner Bratton`s tenure have not
yet been adjudicated. But this really shows that they have been in
practice, accepting the use of chokeholds even though it`s against their
ZEFF: There`s no doubt about it. This is independent watch dog agency
that did this report, looked into all these chokeholds over a period time.
They recommended discipline and the police department under Ray Kelly, as
you said, refused to do anything. So it`s clear this practice was being
O`DONNELL: Blake Zeff, great article in Salon today. Thank you very much
for joining us tonight, Blake.
Chris Hayes is up next.
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