IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 04/02/15

Guests: Chris Murphy, Dan Savage, Sarah Warbelow

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ARI MELBER, MSNBC GUEST HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN -- BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This has been a long time coming. MELBER: World leaders reach a frame for a historic deal on Iran`s nuclear ambitions. JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: I`m not promising anything, nor is the president. What we`ve done is opened up the opportunity. MELBER: And the president has a warning for opponents at home. OBAMA: If Congress kills this deal, then it`s the United States that will be blamed for the failure of diplomacy. MELBER: Then, Indiana Republicans rework religious freedom. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We value each and every Hoosier. MELBER: And Arkansas Republicans reword religious freedom. It is now law. (APPLAUSE) MELBER: A vast public school cheating scandal in Georgia, a wage bump for workers at McDonald`s, and Chris Rock`s police stop selfies. ALL IN starts right now. (END VIDEOTAPE) MELBER: Good evening. I`m Ari Melber, in for Chris Hayes. And we begin with breaking news tonight, of course. President Obama`s breakthrough with Iran. This afternoon, the U.S. joined with five world powers to reach the outline of an agreement with Iran to restrict its nuclear program. If Iran complies in the coming years, tough international sanction will be lifted. And while final deal is a long way off, President Obama took something of a victory lap today. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: It is a good deal. A deal that meets our core objectives. This framework would cut off every pathway Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran will face strict limitations on its program, and Iran has agreed to the most robust and intrusive inspections and transparency regime ever negotiated for any nuclear program in history. So, this deal is not based on trust. It`s based on unprecedented verification. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: One of the interesting parts of this is that many experts were worrying that as these talks extended past that symbolic deadline this Tuesday, any agreement that was reached during the overtime period might be vague or something to save face. But what we see today is this frame is very specific. Iran would only be allowed to enrich uranium at one site, in Natanz. Its Fordow site would be converted for peaceful research purposes, while the heavy reactor at Arak would be modified to protect weapons grade material there. All of Iran`s nuclear facilities also would be subject to independent regular inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Iran also accepted potential limits on its nuclear enrichment over the next 15 years, agreeing to reduce its installed centrifuges by about two-thirds, from 19,000 down, I should say, to 6,000, and to trim the stockpiled enriched uranium to 10,000 kilograms to just 300. That`s a 90 percent cut. Now, on the other side of the ledger, the U.S. and European Union would potentially suspend all nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, and the U.N. Security Council resolutions against Iran`s nuclear program could also be lifted and replaced by a new resolution endorsing this deal with an option to re-impose sanctions if Iran backs out. And while today`s agreement is historic, it is not anything like a done deal. Negotiators have until the end of June to make a plan for implementation and fill in the many further technical details. Now, in his first interview after this announcement, NBC`s Andrea Mitchell talked to Secretary of State John Kerry and asked if he thought he could get this whole thing done in time. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KERRY: I hope. Look, it`s really dependent on the same time willingness to negotiate that we just found here. You can`t negotiate, you know, just one party. You got to have anybody who is a party to the negotiation has to be engaged in working at it. So, we`ll see. I`m not promising anything, nor is the president. What we`ve done is open up the opportunity. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: That was Secretary of State Kerry there speaking to Andrea Mitchell. I just was able to speak to her a few moments ago and ask how negotiators achieved today`s breakthrough. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS: I think it`s been 18 months of very hard work. The last week has been pretty tough. They have not slept. They have gone around the clock, especially last night. I think it was in both countries` interest to get this done and not walk away from it. Iran wants sanctions relief. They really need to do something about their economy, the sanctions under President Obama have really been biting, the banking and financial sanctions, and this will give them a path to that. The U.S. wants to figure out a way around what has been 12 years of fruitless negotiations, and the fear that Iran would develop a nuclear weapon. So, it was a lot of pressure on both sides to get this done. I think there was some criticism that this -- the American strategy of setting a dead lean created a semi-crisis. But it also created some pressure on the Iranians and others to stick to it. There was some concern that the U.S. looked too eager for it and that that was a bad negotiating strategy. They`ve produced something that was a lot more specific in detail. A lot more committed than people had expected. Now the question is, can they live up to it and there are a lot of unrelated very important issues that rather unresolved I should say, important issues that have to be cleared up before a final agreement can be signed in June? And that`s going to be a big challenge, especially with critics firing at them from all sides -- Ari. MELBER: A non-proliferation agreements always involve questions over verification and inspection. But you pressed Secretary of State Kerry in your interview about that. I want to play a part of his answer. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KERRY: There are new measures that have never been applied like radio transmitter seals on centrifuges, so you don`t have to wait for the inspector to go in. You get instantaneous knowledge something is being tampered with. So, there are just lots of things here. And obviously, we`re going to have to be vigilant. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: And you mentioned the specifics in the parameters that the State Department released. They talked about continuous under surveillance for ten years. Explain that and what did you make of his answer there. MITCHELL: Exactly. Well, what he`s saying is that the Iranians now have to deliver and the inspectors will have all sorts of new equipment. They will be able to get in. They won`t be shut out as Iran has in the past and when I asked him whether, why they couldn`t agree on a joint statement. How are they going to negotiate all these technical details in the next three months if they couldn`t stand up and read the same statement as is usually done with an agreement of this importance? And he said they had their issues back home. They want to wait until the signing ceremony in June, if there is one. They want to wait until it`s done and they have something they can deliver which is the sanctions being lifted, before they tell their community at home and, you know, there are a lot of hardliners there led by, of course, the Ayatollah Khamenei, himself, who is the holder of all the keys to this nuclear program. He`s in charge of it. He makes all the decisions and they want to get as much as they can done more quietly before they get specific and risk a lot of problems back home with them. MELBER: And final question, Andrea, from your reporting, what exactly will the United States do here to sell this throughout the region where as we know, there is such concern about Iran`s growing power. Some say meddling in multiple areas. MITCHELL: Well, President Obama did not waste any time. He not only gave that 20-minute speech to the nation and the world, he called Benjamin Netanyahu from Air Force One on his way to a delayed trip to Kentucky, where he had been expected to go a lot earlier, but instead made this lengthy defense of it. He called the king of Saudi Arabia today. I`m sure he`s going to be in touch with Jordan and the other, you know, countries there, if he hasn`t. The countries in the neighborhood who really think this is not tough enough on Iran. Netanyahu, I can only imagine what that conversation was like, because he came out yesterday and again today criticizing it. So, he was criticizing it before he saw what was in it and as you know, they don`t have very close relations to say the least. So, I`m sure that that was not a pleasant conversation. Others on the Hill already are taking shots at it and he`s going to have to do a lot of work up there. I think he`s going to invite the Gulf nations to Camp David in a couple of weeks and spend more quality time with these Arab leaders than he ever has before. MELBER: Andrea Mitchell, as always, thank you for your reporting and for making time for us. MITCHELL: You bet. (END VIDEOTAPE) MELBER: Negotiators now have until June 30th to draft that final binding nuclear accord. And while that international wrangling continues, the White House has to turn to some other diplomacy, selling this deal to regional allies worried about Iran`s powers as we were just discussion, as well as selling it to American politicians who, frankly, have been quite skeptical from the start. Besides speaking with the leaders of Israel and Saudi Arabia today, President Obama said he planned to reach out to congressional leadership. But if the reactions from lawmakers today are any indication, convincing Congress and congressional Republicans this is a good deal, it could be a good deal. Not surprisingly, Senator Tom Cotton, author of that in famous open letter to the ayatollahs, he isn`t having it. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. TOM COTTON (R), ARKANSAS: There with is no deal or framework with Iran. There is only a list of very dangerous U.S. concessions that will put Iran on the path to a nuclear weapon. I`m going to do everything I can working with my colleagues to stop these terms from going forward to protect America and to stop a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: Then, there was New York Congressman Steve Israel, a member of the president`s own party, saying, "I have been skeptical with a deal with Iran. The details deserve and must get a vote by the U.S. Congress. Until the full details are provided to Congress on June 30th, you can keep me in the highly skeptical column," end quote. Joining me now, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Good evening, Senator. SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: Good evening. MELBER: What do you think of the framework that`s been released? MURPHY: Well, I mean, first, let`s go backward just a little bit. You know, the president was openly mocked for suggesting that we should sit down and talk to Iran in the first place just a year ago. Even his own administration was telling Congress that it was much less than 50-50 that they were going to get to a deal. I think this president deserves a lot of credit for building up international sanctions such that Iran had to come to the table and, you know, Secretary Kerry did something extraordinary here which was bring them to this final statement of framework principles. Listen, I think it looks pretty good. Right now, I think you can credibly say over the next ten years, we have pushed Iran`s time table to get to a nuclear weapon past a year. And really what`s most important are these inspections because they last beyond the 10-year window and really what we`re worried about is Iran going completely covert in their ambition to get a nuclear weapon. What we got here was not just inspections of places like Natanz and Fordow, but inspectors having a window into the entire nuclear supply chain throughout the country and the region. That`s going to give us a pretty good sense of whether they`re trying to do an end-around the agreement. Listen, we`re all going to take a look at it in the details, but I think they`ve hit their mark from what I`ve seen. MELBER: Yes. I mean, look, those of us who cover politics and you had to work in politics to get to the Senate, we all understand that politics can distort people`s views. But I got to tell you, it does seem a little bizarre the way some Republicans have been reacting today, because the facts in the agreement if you take them seriously show a very bellicose nation that we know has been a sponsor of terror, that we know has been a problem for us, agreeing, potentially, to very specifically giving up aspects of its hard powered and its military arsenal and agreeing to 24/7 under surveillance for years on end, potentially, which isn`t something the U.S. or its allies would ever normally agree to whatsoever. And that should seem to suggest, Senator, multilateral sanctions work to do something they don`t really want to do. MURPHY: And, of course, why not give this a chance? Because you are talking about a ten-year time horizon where you are going to have hundreds of inspectors inside Iran. You are going to have Western scientists inside their laboratories and even if you are somebody like Tom Cotton who seems desperate to bomb Iran, you are going to push them back two or three years with a military attack. You are getting ten years of protection here and the ability to snapback sanctions if Iran violates the terms of the agreement. This seems like the kind of framework that we should at least give a chance to play out. MELBER: Yes. And I want to play for you what this all started with, which was something, of course, many remember when then-Senator Obama talked about engaging fellows like Iran in the 2007 debate and he was mocked for it at the time. Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: The notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them, which has been the guiding diplomatic principles of this administration is ridiculous. Ronald Reagan and Democratic presidents like JFK constantly spoke to Soviet Union at a time when Ronald Reagan called them an evil empire. And the reason is they understood that we may not trust them, they may pose an extraordinary danger to this country, but we have the obligation to find areas where we can potentially move forward. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: From Cuba to today`s breakthrough, do you think this is a real reinforcement of a successful Obama doctrine on this diplomacy? MURPHY: Yes, I guess this is as close to the Obama doctrine that you get, which is that he believes from a strong American military, but he also believes in the potential of diplomacy. And you are seeing the results today. President Bush effectively ignored Iran. And what happened? They went from having almost no centrifuges to almost 20,000. A much more dangerous country at the end of the Bush presidency than at the beginning. President Obama says that we should engage with our enemies. I think for those concerned with all the terrible things Iran does, now we`ve taken this issue off the table, it allows us to focus on trying to cut off their support for Hezbollah, Hamas, other extremist groups to try to stop their other dangerous weapons programs. So, I think this is certainly an advertisement for this notion that President Obama has put forward that you really stand up American diplomacy next to American military might. MELBER: Senator Chris Murphy, thank you for joining us on a busy fight. MURPHY: Thanks, a lot. MELBER: There is also late breaking news out of Indiana, where Governor Mike Pence has officially reversed course today on his state so- called religious freedom laws. Straight ahead, I`m going to ask columnist Dan Savage if this so-called fix goes far enough. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MELBER: Now, we have an update on breaking news we brought you last night. The top Democratic Senator Robert Menendez indicted on 14 charges of corruption. And today, he appeared in federal court and you can see him walking in there in court and pled not guilty. He was released on his own recognizance. He had to surrender his personal passport, but as a U.S. senator, he`s still permitted to travel with his Senate passport. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: These allegations are false. I am competent they will be proven false. I look forward to doing so in court. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: While the timing appears strictly coincidental, Menendez has been a fierce critic of the Obama administration`s Iran policy. He even co-sponsored legislation to allow the Senate to weigh in on a potential nuclear deal with Iran. And today, Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland took over Menendez` place as the top Democrat on the Senate Relations Committee. That`s because Menendez has decided to temporarily step down as ranking member during his defense. Now, Menendez is accused of trading political favors with a wealthy Florida doctor in exchange for luxurious gifts and vacations and expensive flights. He was accused of giving preferential treatment to that donor. His trial tentatively set to begin in July, though it`s considered likely it could be postponed. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MELBER: Today, Republican governors in both Indiana and Arkansas signed new versions of religious freedom laws bending backlash against these laws` potential support for anti-gay discrimination. The scene in Indiana was especially unusual. There you had a Republican governor basically backing two very different versions of this bill within seven days. Now, the new version prohibits businesses from denying service to members of the LGBT community. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ST. SEN. DAVID LONG (R), INDIANA: So, in reaching the agreement to clarify the law, which will unequivocally state as the speaker said in the strongest possible terms that Indiana`s RFRA law does not and will not be able to discriminate against anyone anywhere at any time. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: And there is a lot of action today, because just hours later, the Republican controlled House and Senate of the Indiana legislature passed a similar legislative fix. This evening, Governor Mike Pence signed it. We can`t show you that, though, because he didn`t invite cameras in for that particular ceremony. The protections that will now be afforded to the LGBT in Indiana and the effort to extend those protections more broadly in that state was summed up by Chris Douglas, president of the Indiana Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, who identifies himself as a gay Republican. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHRIS DOUGLAS, INDY RAINBOW CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: The measure announced today for the first time in Indiana will establish sexual orientation and gender identity in the context of recognizing and protecting our rights as equal citizens of the state of Indiana. We know that this is only the beginning. The end is that the equality guaranteed to all other Hoosiers through the Indiana civil rights code is guaranteed also to us. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: Meanwhile, in Arkansas today, Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a religious freedom law just 24 hours after he`d ask legislators to change it, to eliminate the potential for any discrimination. Joining me now, syndicated columnist Dan Savage, host of the "Savage Love" podcast, and Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign. Good evening to you both. DAN SAVAGE, COLUMNIST: Good evening. SARAH WARBELOW, LEGAL DIRECTOR, HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN: Good evening to you, too. MELBER: Dan, you work on these issues and written about them for a long time, so I want to get your take. I ask you did you ever see the Stanley Kubrick movie "Dr. Strangelove"? SAVAGE: No, actually. MELBER: The plot is basically this small nation tries to get the U.S. to bomb it because they think like the Marshall Plan and other World War II countries. SAVAGE: No, no, you are thinking of "The Mouse that Roared." MELBER: Am I of the mouse -- SAVAGE: Yes. MELBER: Yes, you know, thank you. Have you seen "The Mouse that Roared"? SAVAGE: That one I`ve seen. MELBER: So, the idea being they wanted to be attacked so they could be rebuilt. You get a lot more money if you are bombed than you do from traditional foreign aid. I kind of got to wonder here, at this point do you feel like we`ve gone, people who support these kind of equality measure versus gone farther in the last week-and-a-half in some of these states than they would have if the starting point was just pushing an end of type protection? SAVAGE: I think you are overstating the impact of what happened today in Indiana and in Arkansas. The law that they, what Mike Pence signed today makes it impossible to use the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indiana to justify anti-gay discrimination or anti-lesbian, bi-trans discrimination. All of that is however still legal in Indiana. There is no statewide LBGT civil rights protections in Indiana. What now will happen is people will not in the municipalities in Indiana, the cities that had LGBT civil rights protections point to this law to justify discrimination, but everywhere else they don`t need to point to this law to justify discrimination. So they can still just discriminate at will against LGBT people all over Indiana. They can`t point to this law within they do it. It`s kind of a distinction without a difference. MELBER: Well, certainly, yes. I think the legal status quo there in those states is not very advanced. But the notion you have these conservative states, these Republican legislators saying, well, even in the -- OK, just confine to this law, we need to treat this as a protected class. Do you view that as progress? SAVAGE: It`s a teeny step forward. This is an exploding cigar that just exploded in the faces of the religious right that backed these laws because they wanted to legalize discrimination, then claimed they didn`t legalize discrimination and are now complaining that the laws specifically disallow the legalization of discrimination. They want it every which way. The situation in Arkansas, however, is worse because the governor of Arkansas just allowed a bill to become law without his signature that basically trumps at the state level all local municipal civil rights protections for LGBT people. So, the status quo in Arkansas is bad, has gotten worse and the amendment of Arkansas`s Religious Freedom Act did nothing to change that. Arkansas has gone backwards in the last few months and just sort of the face-saving window dressing amendment to their Religious Freedom Act doesn`t change anything and we need to make a noise about that, about what`s going on in Arkansas, because all the corporate entities that complained about Arkansas legalizing discrimination against LGBT people all over the state shouldn`t be satisfied, but what Arkansas did today because discrimination against LGBT people all over Arkansas is still the law of the land. MELBER: Right. SAVAGE: And municipal laws won`t protect LGBT people in Arkansas, in the way they (INAUDIBLE). MELBER: So, Sarah, given you work on these kind of cases, speak to that point, particularly the line Dan is drawing, that some of these companies really should be satisfied. And then, if you do need movie expertise or tips, I would recommend Dan over myself. So -- WARBELOW: Dan is absolutely right. These laws or so-called fixes don`t go nearly far enough. Each of these needs to be further refined to clarify that in no way can they be used to undermine existing civil rights in non-discrimination laws and beyond that, both of these states need to affirmatively adopt explicit protections for gay, transgender and lesbian people in every area of their civil rights law. It`s the only way to move forward. MELBER: So, what do you think of the companies then? Do you think there is a little double speak going on? WARBELOW: None in the least bit. These companies have proven over and over again they really value their LGBT employees and they want to see them protected in every area of their lives. It`s why hundreds of corporations have not only spoken out against these Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, but have explicitly called on these legislatures to adopt protections. MELBER: Dan, I want to play for you something that Brit Hume said today on FOX News comparing some of this progress -- SAVAGE: Really, must you? (LAUGHTER) MELBER: Well, you will get a chance to speak to it. But he`s basically comparing the progress here to the civil rights movement, although he has some concerns about that. Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS: This movement has now achieved something like one of the things that`s always hoped for is something like the consensus or hopes it has the consensus achieved by the original civil rights movement, where being a racist has become and has long been one of the worst things that you could be called and one of the worst tacks you could be tarred with. My own view is that there is a large number of people across this country who are not sympathetic to the way this is going. And Republicans some of whom look like they are running scared today might be well-advised to stick to their guns. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: Dan, your response. SAVAGE: Yes, there are Republicans out there who will continue to appeal to the large segment of the GOP base that is rabidly homophobic and transphobic. There are fewer and fewer votes there. And the reason we`ve advanced so quickly, the LGBT civil rights movement, is because gay, lesbian, bi and trans people are randomly distributed throughout the population. We were born into straight families. We are born to every religious communities families, every racial groups families. If people of color, if African-Americans were randomly distributed throughout the population, racism would be easier to confront, easier to beat back. George Zimmerman would be in prison and the Voting Rights Act would not have been gutted by the Supreme Court. So, we have this secret weapon in that we were born into straight people`s families. They have to look at us who we really are and not listen to demagogues like the people on FOX News or Mike Huckabee, or any of the rest of the GOP hate clown show. MELBER: It`s such an interesting point you make and, of course, backed by so many politicians who keep invoking their children in various ways, either because they have a different generational outlook or as you say, because they might be gay or whatever, and that suddenly changes people`s minds. The bigger challenge here is to try to change everyone`s mind without having to only see it on a personal level or even a self interested level. Dan Savage and Sarah Warbelow, thank you very much. Now, every time Chris Rock has been pulled over recently, he has posted it to his online following. Now, is it a joke, is it social commentary, or is it natural insurance policy against potential abuse? We`re going to talk about that, straight ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MELBER: Ted Cruz is the only major candidate to officially declare a campaign for president so far. And now this weekend, he`ll be the first candidate to run ads for 2016 on television. They`ll run in key states like Iowa and Nevada on Sunday. So, viewers of A.D.: The Bible Continues can get a little Cruz during the commercial breaks. Now, many Republicans have been dismissing Cruz as a side show with a narrow following, especially after his unsuccessful bids to shut down the government. But Cruz boosters are pointing to polls showing him on the rise right now, hitting 1 percent and thus doing better than many other big names, you can see there, like Christie or Huckabee. It`s a sign that Cruz has name recognition at least. Horse race polls, though, are rarely predictive this earlier. Just ask President Giuliani or President Lieberman, both well-known names that had high early polling and very few votes in the end. But if you like this short of thing, if you like thinking about all the potential presidents out there, you should tune in tomorrow night right here and check out all the 2016 candidates, both parties, in a specially updated airing of, yes, folks, the All In 2016 fantasy candidate draft. You don`t want to miss it. And here`s a reminder of what`s in store. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANNOUNCER: The road to the White House is littered with mediocre candidates. 25 will dare to dream. HILLARY CLINTON, FRM. SECRETARY OF STATE: what difference at this point does it make? ANNOUNCER: Many will dare debate. MITT ROMNEY, FRM. GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: I`m ready for office for Pete`s sake. ANNOUNCER: And I forget the third thing. Now, only one show lets you control the fate of the country and draft your own candidates for president. CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ANCHOR: What`s it going to be? UNIDENTIIFED FEMALE: I`m going to go with number six. MICHAEL STEELE, FRM. RNC CHAIRMAN: 21. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Number nine. HAYES: Oh, my goodness! ANNOUNCER: It`s the All In 2016 fantasy candidate draft and it`s going to be epic. GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R) NEW JERSEY: Sit down and shut up. ANNOUNCER: Tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHRIS ROCK, ACTOR: There goes the cop. And he`s coming. It`d be such a better episode if he pulled me to the side and beats the [ bleep ] out of me, don`t you think? Did he give up? JERRY SEINFELD, COMEDIAN: No, we got him. ROCK: Oh boy. Now, here`s the crazy thing. If you weren`t here, I`d be scared. I`m famous. SEINFELD: Well, let`s not be -- ROCK: And I`m black. SEINFELD: Stop it. That`s terrible. ROCK: Right now, I`m looking for my license right now. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: Couple years ago, Chris Rock and fellow comedian, Jerry Seinfeld were pulled over by New Jersey police for speeding. It`s not clear if they got a ticket from the video. What is clear, is that the whole thing seemed to make Chris Rock uneasy. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEINFELD: Were would you worried, Chris? ROCK: I was worried the whole time. I`m still worried. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: Now, despite being one of the most famous comedians on the planet, Chris Rock says he has plenty to worry about during traffic stops, and that they happen to him quite frequently. In fact, over the last several weeks, Rock has been posting selfies on his Instagram every time he`s pulled over, and it`s happened three times in the last two months. The most recent incident was just on Tuesday. Posted with the caption, quote, stopped by the cops again, wish me luck. Now, Rock`s pictures have gotten a lot of attention from fans and a range of newspapers this week, but he hasn`t made any public statement. So we don`t know exactly what the goal is here, or even the details of these stops. But, in a nation where racial profiling remains a problematic police tactic, many are invoking these pictures as a sign that even fame and success don`t exempt black men from persistent racial profiling. Joining me now is Darius Charney from the Center for Constitutional Rights. He was the lead attorney in the senator`s suit against stop-and- frisk policing by the NYPD. And, Georgetown professor, Micheal Eric Dyson, an MSNBC political analyst joins us. Good evening to you both. And, professor, what do you think of the pictures and the fact that they`re clearly sparking a lot of conversation all of a sudden? MICHEAL ERIC DYSON, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Well, sometimes pictures are worth a thousand words, or 10,000 words. And, I think in this case, Chris Rock has sparked a needed conversation about the fact that nothing can make you ultimately immune to the kind of suspicion and profiling that are routinely exercised by police departments across this country, and that even his fame and his celebrity can`t keep him safe from those kinds of stops. Beyond that, I think that we should look beyond his celebrity and fame and suggest that if this happens to him, which I think the pictures have provoked, then this could happen to anybody. And, if he feels unsafe, and unprotected in a culture where he is universally acclaimed as a comedic genius, then the rest of us who don`t have that kind of protection may be a bit more vulnerable. And hopefully it sparks a conversation, not only among citizens in the country, but among police officials themselves, who we know have a difficult job to do, but also must respect the integrity and the humanity of the people who happen to be African American in this country. MELBER: And Darius, you pursue these kinds of civil rights cases. We know that black drivers are 31% more likely to be pulled over. DARIUS CHARNEY, CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS: Absolutely. And that extends I think across the country. It also extends to pedestrians, pedestrians stop we see the same disparities. And, this is a problem that has been with us for decades, if not longer in this country. In the last year, there`s been a lot of discussion about the issue, which I think is good, but, I think where we need to move is towards what kind of concrete changes can we make to alleviate the problem, to get rid of it. MELBER: What do you say, Darius, to the argument though that some people make, which is okay, if you get stopped by the police and you have nothing to hide and nothing going wrong, then you talk to them and you cooperate and you move on? CHARNEY: Well, I think what I would say to a lot of those folks is, I would ask if they`ve ever been stopped by a police officer with a gun, in the middle of the night, where there`s no one else around watching. I think there`s a reason that Chris Rock took the pictures besides just sparking the conversation. I think he wanted there to be documentation of the fact he had been stopped in case anything happened. Because, we know from many incidents we`ve seen and read about over recently, that these stops often end very tragically and violently. MELBER: Sure. And, Professor Dyson, one of the other things that happened here is another sort of African American celebrity figure, Isaiah Washington, the actor, had this response online and then talked about it, where he said, well, maybe you`re driving too fancy a car, and if you downgrade then you won`t be stopped as much. Take a listen to what he was saying about this tonight. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What should Chris Rock adapt to? ISAIAH WASHINGTON, ACTOR: There`s something happening in his community or wherever he is on that road or coming in or out of that terrain, they`re looking for something. And, what I was doing by that tweet was doing exactly what I wanted it to do, is excite a conversation. (END AUDIO CLIP) MELBER: I should say, that was last night. Professor, what do you think of that response? Is it, to some degree, bizarre? CHARNEY: Well, I know both these men relatively well. And, I must say that I think unfortunately Mr. Washington in this point misses the broader point. That is to say, why should Chris Rock have to adapt himself to the situation. That`s like telling Martin Luther King Jr. and Roosevelt Parks, hey, if you know white people don`t want you in the front of the bus, just adjust to being in the back of the bus. Don`t wear fancy clothes, don`t wear diamonds and jewelry, don`t wear things that would provoke people to be outraged by you or somehow suspicious of you. That`s ludicrous. We exist as human beings in this country with equal rights ostensibly under the law. And, what Chris Rock is underscoring here, is that these are not being equally shared. That the presumption of innocence does not often extend to African American drivers. That there is a real fear that we have. Look, I have been stopped by the police on numerous occasions throughout my life. I can tell you, Ari Melber, I am horrified each time. And, I believe that in this country, that kind of horror doesn`t strike all people equally. So, I think that Isaiah Washington should probably adjust himself to another analysis. That is to say, why should black people have to adjust to an unjust practice and a practice that does not respect the integrity of their humanity and their citizenship rights. If all citizens don`t get subject to this, then no citizens should be subjected to this. And I think Isaiah Washington would do well to rethink his position. MELBER: It`s a conversation that has just been royaling this week. And all, as we say, because of these photos. It`s not that Chris Rock has actually said that much about it to date. Micheal Eric Dyson and Darius Charney, thank you both for joining us tonight. I appreciate it. Up next, we have a cheating scandal that is rocking Georgia. 11 Atlanta educators found guilty of a felony normally reserved for prosecuting the mafia. Now, they`re facing up to 20 years in prison. This remarkable story is ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MELBER: This is the video everyone was watching in our office today. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There he is, wandering around. Hey look, it (inaudible) the rider, Lewis Ferguson takes a horrible fall. Merrion Square, reach for it slightly, gets the other side just in front. In second place, (inaudible), trying to stay up. Down towards the last. Marrion Square, wandering around. Hey look, it (inaudible) the rider, Lewis Ferguson takes a horrible fall. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: That is very rough, but the jockey was very tough. He posted a message today saying, I would like to thank everyone for the messages. Bit of a sore head, but on the whole, absolutely fine, two exclamation points. Good for him. We will be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MELBER: Very dramatic scene in Atlanta, as a jury convicted 11 educators for their role in a standardized test cheating scandal that has shaken the Atlanta public school system. NBC News education correspondent, Rehema Ellis, has the story. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We the jury find the defendant guilty. REHEMA ELLIS, NBC NEWS: 11 out of 12 defendants convicted Monday, concluding a trial that lasted more than six months and featured over 150 witnesses, including some teachers who accepted plea deals. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was pressure to get scores by any means necessary. ELLIS: Nearly a dozen former teachers and administrators found guilty of manipulating test scores and grades of the young students they taught. In some cases, receiving bonuses and additional funding for the inflated high scores at the expense of the childrens` education. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve been fighting for the children in our community, particularly those children who were deprived by this cheating scandal. ELLIS: Testimony from students themselves helped clench the verdicts, like this teenager whose test scores were altered. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not in high school reading. I`m still in middle school reading, I think it`s the sixth grade reading level. ELLIS: It was a culture of collusion so coordinated that some teachers even spoke of having so called, cheating parties. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were changing answers on test documents. I erased and rewrote. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And is that what each of your colleagues was doing? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. ELLIS: The convictions of racketeering typically apply to mobsters and organized crime, now identified with former educators, facing up to 20 years in prison. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have made their bed and they`re going to have to lie in it. And, it starts today. ELLIS: Rehema Ellis, NBC News, New York. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: Meanwhile, McDonald`s is becoming the latest major company to offer raises to its low paid employees. But why are some workers taking to the streets today to say the company actually has a lot farther to go? That`s straight ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MELBER: Following in the footsteps of Walmart and Target, McDonald`s has become the latest company to announce plans to raise wages for its lowest paid workers. Though employees of many independent McDonald`s franchises won`t be effected. The company announcing on July 1st, it will pay U.S. workers at company owned restaurants at least a dollar an hour more than the local minimum wage. And they project the average hourly wage for workers at company owned restaurants will thus rise from 9 dollars and 1 cent today, to 9.99 on July 1st, and then up to more than 10 bucks by the end of 2016. Now, that`s for the company stores, which is about 10% of U.S. McDonald`s. The other 90% are run by franchises. The company says the change will impact about 90,000 employees. A lot of people at 15 hundred of those stores. McDonald`s also offering paid time off to crew members at those stores who have been with the company for at least a year and educational assistance for employees at both company owned and franchises. Now, McDonald`s`s new CEO, Steve Easterbrook, says the move is part of an effort to transform this struggling restaurant, which sites net income fall nearly 15% last year, into, quote, a modern, progressive burger company that can retain its workers. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STEVE EASTERBROOK, MCDONALD`S CEO: If you can retain the talent, motivate the teams in the restaurants, typically we will see better levels of customer service, and that will help us in this competitive environment we`re in. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: The change also says something about our politics and how the Grassroots fight waged by fast food workers and protesters, and the leadership of President Obama, who of course used the State of the Union to advocate these kind of changes, it shows that fight is paying off. You may also have remembered the President cited the fast food worker movement specifically in a speech on Labor Day last year. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All across the country right now, there`s a national movement going on, made up of fast food workers organizing to lift wages so they can provide for their families with pride and dignity. There is no denying a simple truth. America deserves a raise. (END VIDEO CLIP) MELBER: Today McDonald`s workers in more than a dozen states seized on this news to push the other franchises to raise their wages. Joining me now is MSNBC contributor Dorian Warren, associate professor of political science and public affairs at Columbia University. You heard the McDonald`s CEO say they`re a progressive burger company. I know you love a good, progressive burger. What do you make of this move? DORIAN WARREN, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Well, Ari, two years ago this week in fact, were the first major strikes by fast food workers. And, it is no accident that not only has McDonald`s responded to their demands to raise wages, that is a direct response to this collective action over two years, but also it came, coincidentally, the day after these workers said they were launching the biggest fast food strikes in American history on April 15th. So this is the direct result of collective action by workers. Now, you pointed out in the intro, only really one out of ten workers is affected by these changes. So, it doesn`t go nearly far enough, and I think that`s why we`re hearing workers today and will probably continue to hear them say, this is not enough, we still are demanding 15 dollars and a union, and in fact, making the argument that McDonald`s, you are the real boss over all of your franchises. If you made this choice, to lift wages and offer paid sick leave, you can make the choice to lift wages and offer paid leave for all of your employees. MELBER: So, you hit a couple of interesting things there. One, you`re talking about collective action and unions, and the fact that these folks aren`t necessarily in a union even though they`re using union tactics. And two, that a lot of things at the franchises are uniform, but apparently not this labor piece. WARREN: This is a classic argument by McDonald`s. And, McDonald`s is not unique in this regard. Most employers are making this argument. But this is the classic argument. Hey, we have no control over what our franchises do, although we do tell them which oil to use to fry the fries, we do tell them about the uniforms, everything else we control. MELBER: Can they make the arches purple? WARREN: Can they? No, of course not. And, in fact, it`s also not a coincidence there`s a pending case that between the national labor relations board right now, that`s the main agency that enforces our labor law against McDonald`s, arguing that McDonald`s is a joint employer, meaning it has legal responsibility for the conditions of its workforce at its franchises. McDonald`s is very worried about how they`ll the NLRB rule on that case.So, you can see this as getting in front of, in terms of a PR strategy, of trying to get in front of that argument, as well as responding directly to collective action. MELBER: And briefly, do you think the President`s work on this was helpful? WARREN: Every a little bit helps. Especially the use of the bully pulpit. Absolutely. I think, if nothing else, it encouraged those workers to keep taking collective action around their demands for 15 and a union. MELBER: Right. Dorrian Warren, as always, thank you for being here. You mentioned it was two years ago it started. I know Chris Hayes was interviewing you about it two years ago. One of these stories that he has certainly stayed on and it`s interesting to see some of the progress. Thanks for joining us. WARREN: Thank you, Ari. MELBER: That is All In for this evening. I am Ari Melber. I`ve been in for Chris this week while he is on vacation. He will be back on your screen tomorrow night in something you may have heard about. The updated All In 2016 Fantasy Candidate Draft, and Chris Hayes will be back in his chair live on Monday. Now, if you`re looking for more of me for some reason, you can check out my Facebook page at or my Instagram pictures, there not as good as Chris Rocks, but there are some, and that`s at or, if you`re old school, write me a letter at I check the inbox. That is our show. The Rachel Maddow show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END