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Floyd Death TRANSCRIPT: 5/29/20, The Beat w/ Ari Melber

Guests: John Thompson, Pramila Jayapal, Marc Morial, Paul Butler, Marq Claxton

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: THE BEAT starts right now. Ayman Mohyeldin is in for Ari.

Good evening, Ayman.

AYMAN MOHYELDIN, MSNBC HOST: Hey. Good evening, Chuck. What an incredible hour. Lots of news there. A lot developing.

Thank you very much. We will watch you on Sunday morning, for sure.

Welcome to THE BEAT, everyone. I`m Ayman Mohyeldin, in for Ari Melber this evening.

And at this hour, we are watching live pictures in cities all across the nation, as protesters gather for the fourth night in a row, an overnight curfew in place for the city starting in three hours and running through the entire weekend.

Today the big news, though, former Minneapolis P.D. officer Derek Chauvin arrested and charged with third-degree murder. And we start the show tonight with a number, a time, to be more specific, two minutes and 53 seconds.

And on the screen, you will see a clock counting up to that time to convey just how much activity can occur and how much information can be relayed in that interval, because, late today, we learned it is the length of time that Chauvin allegedly had his knee on Floyd`s neck after, after he was unresponsive.

The total time his knee was on Floyd`s neck was over eight minutes. Now, the official complaint states that, after Floyd stopped moving, another officer checked his pulse, checked his right wrist, for a pulse, and said, "I couldn`t find one."

And that is all on body camera video that we have not even seen yet. The footage was obtained by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and depicts that whole scenario.

Now, Chauvin, now arrested for third-degree murder, is accused of causing Floyd`s death -- quote -- "without regard for human life," but also without the intent to kill.

The complaint also says that the preliminary autopsy results do not find evidence of strangulation. Here is the county attorney today making that announcement.


MICHAEL FREEMAN, HENNEPIN COUNTY, MINNESOTA, ATTORNEY: Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged by the Hennepin County`s attorney`s office with murder and with manslaughter.

This is what we have charged now. The investigation is ongoing. I`m not going to speculate today of the other officers. They are under investigation. I anticipate charges.


MOHYELDIN: Now, the prosecutor said that there could be more charges coming, but not only for Chauvin, but also for the other officers involved.

And new details are emerging about the surprising history of these two men. They reportedly worked at a nightclub together, in fact, the former building owner telling local news that they overlapped security shifts but is not sure whether or not they actually knew each other.

Now, all these developments as the microscope focuses now on the troubled history of the Minneapolis Police Department. We`re going to get into that as well.

And we`re going bring you Trump`s reaction to all of this. In fact, he tweeted overnight, threatening military violence against the looters.

All of this as the country, amid the pandemic, has its attention on Minneapolis, where, last night, protesters set the police precinct on fire.

Joining me now is MSNBC`s Ali Velshi, who is in Minneapolis covering all of this for us.

Ali, a lot of developments there. And we have had this clock ticking since the beginning of the show to give our viewers two minutes and 53 seconds actually looks like and the information that can be conveyed during all of that.

But give us a quick synopsis of what you`re seeing as we descend into evening.

ALI VELSHI, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Ayman, we`re three hours away from the imposition of a curfew from 8:00 p.m., Minneapolis time, 9:00 p.m. Eastern time, until 6:00 a.m.

We`re not sure how that`s going to work. The police have put it out there that they want everybody inside. They want everybody off the streets. But, remember, here in South Minneapolis 24 hours ago, the police didn`t even have a presence here, let alone control of it.

Now, what we have here in the streets of South Minneapolis is, we have got some protesters that have been gathering through the course of the day. There is no Minneapolis police force presence where I am right now.

What you have is a very, very heavy State Patrol presence and other police forces and National Guard. You can see on either end of these state police barricades there are National Guards. They put up these Jersey barriers here. We`re about three blocks away from the police station, the precinct that was taken over by protesters about 11:00 p.m. last night.

And what the police have done is made sure that everybody is away from that center of gravity. So, it`s moved out about three blocks here. Lots of tension, Ayman, between the National Guard and the police and the protesters over here.

But the numbers are much, much smaller than they were yesterday at this time. Again, we don`t really know what`s going to happen when 8:00 hour time comes along, 9:00 Eastern.

Do people dissipate? Are police going to force people off the streets? Is tension going to dissipate? The question a lot of people here is, what`s going to happen to the other three police officers.

And one of the questions that keeps coming up is, no one has seen the so- called perp walk. No one has seen the arrest of this officer. So, a lot of people saying, what is the story? What is going on? Why does this not feel like the wheels of justice are in motion?

A lot of dissatisfaction in this crowd about the way this has been handled. But what we`re really looking for is to understand what`s going to happen in the next few hours.

The fire, by the way, seemed to be put out, Ayman. Last night, there were several fires. You can just see a little bit of it, Miguel. You can see there`s still some smoke over there. And beyond that is the police station, the police precinct.

But, right now, for several blocks around this hot spot, the place that has been a hot spot for the last two nights, they have now cleared it of people. So, if you can argue that the police are in control of it, I don`t know what it means, because protesters can`t get to it.

But these are residential areas. And it is important to understand that, while there were commercial buildings that were mostly attacking in the looting, these are residential areas. And the mayor did say last night into the wee hours of the morning that the police have to be able to protect this area, the 3rd Precinct.

It`s not, again, entirely clear that that`s happening. But there is a very heavy presence of authority here which wasn`t here yesterday, Ayman.

MOHYELDIN: And, Ali, just as we were coming to you, that clock hit 2:53.

But it gives us a sense of just -- it felt like an eternity to get to you with that time and the information we were able to convey to our viewers. It certainly feels like a long time for a police officer to react to someone saying he can`t breathe and at the same time being told by others, he doesn`t have a pulse.

Let me ask you really quickly, Ali. I noticed some of the folks behind you directing some comments towards the police. What are some of the folks there behind you saying to those members of the State Patrol and the National Guard?

VELSHI: Well, it`s mostly State Patrol here and the National Guard on the side.

And people are sort of asking them, why are you here? What are you doing here? Why were you -- they`re referring to them, police generally. These are state police. But they are saying, why were they defending the home of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who was arrested?

There`s -- like we saw last night here, the protests here -- there are various protests. There is one in Hennepin County. There are other ones around. This one is about the police. This one is broadly about police violence.

And, Ayman, as you know, this is a city who for a few years -- which for a few years has had problems with policing. There have been several incidences here. So, you are hearing a lot of the protesters saying the names of other people who have died at the hands of police, also saying the names of people across the country who have died at the hands of police.

So, is very -- become very broadly a protest about police powers and how justice works when police are involved and the victim is African-American.

And there is a lot of heat here. Again, I want to emphasize, it`s a completely peaceful protest, but it`s hot. It`s antagonistic. But there is the nothing other than that. There are people who are angry. They`re demonstrating. They`re yelling at the police. They`re yelling at the National Guardsmen.

MOHYELDIN: All right, Ali Velshi live for us on the ground there in Minneapolis.

Ali, thank you.

Joining me now is Maya Wiley, a former counsel to the New York City mayor`s office, as well as a former chairwoman of the NYC Civilian Complaint Review board, an independent police oversight agency, and John Thompson, founder of Fight for Justice Enterprises.

Maya, good to have you with us.

So, let me first get your reaction to the criminal complaint, the charges that were filed today. What do you make of them overall?

MAYA WILEY, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Overall, they`re devastating to read, Ayman.

You put the time clock up there, two minutes and 53 seconds. And that`s just the two minutes and 53 seconds after which Mr. Floyd had stopped moving.

And one of the chilling things about the complaint is, it makes very clear that officers -- not only was Mr. Floyd raising -- saying he couldn`t breathe. The officers themselves started asking, should we flip him?

And Mr. Chauvin is basically like, no. And this went on for well over eight minutes. So, that is obviously an extremely disturbing read. The charges themselves, I think we have already heard from the family that they wanted to see a murder charge.

It`s -- you can see the thinking behind the prosecutors in this complaint when they charge third-degree murder. You know, the issue that prosecutors have as a legal matter is whether or not they can establish the intent, the intent that a murder charge requires.

I think there is a question about second-degree murder vs. third-degree murder. We can talk than more, if you like.

But I think the bottom line is, it will be very important to see what additional information comes forward about the culpability as well of those other officers. Certainly, Mr. Chauvin should have been and is absolutely rightly facing this criminal complaint.

MOHYELDIN: Yes, and we`re certainly going to get to the issue of third- degree murder charges in just a moment.

But I wanted to get your point on something that you raised as well, which is the other officers involved. We know from that criminal complaint that certainly body camera footage is critical in them piecing together that exchange between one of the officer, the second officer, saying, I can`t find a pulse, telling Mr. Chauvin, should we flip him over, which is in accordance of what most police manuals suggest, is, once you a person subdued, sit him upright, so they could possibly breathe better, not keeping him on his stomach.

Are you surprised, though, that knowing that critical piece of information and knowing that the body camera footage has not been released, that, A, it should be released, and, B, those charges should have already happened with the other officer?

WILEY: Yes, you know, I think this is a question that we are all going to look for the answers for when we see more information.

I would expect those that those body cam -- that that body camera footage absolutely should be public. I think, as we heard the governor say in his press conference, you want to build trust, you have to be transparent. And that means share the video that you have.

Let the public see it. Help the public understand whether or not it feels that the prosecutors in this case are following the facts and are acquitting themselves appropriately. I`m not suggesting they`re not, but I think it`s critically important that that be transparent to the public.

In this kind of case, we saw video footage today from a different angle that showed that two other police officers appeared to be pinning down Mr. Floyd.

So it`s critically important to know how much were they participating physically in this, but also absolutely to what degree should it have been clear to them? It seems to me should it be absolutely clear to police officers when they should intervene to save the life of someone who is under their care.

Mr. Floyd was under their care. It was their responsibility, since he could not do harm to them or to the public laying on the ground in handcuffs, that his health, his life was absolutely part of their legal responsibility.

MOHYELDIN: John, let me get your thoughts on this, because, as we watched the protests begin 72 hours ago, there were a lot of questions as to whether or not these charges should have come sooner.

Some people speculated that the delay in the charges coming was probably because they were going to go for more of an aggressive charge against the arresting officer in this case. But now it`s only third-degree murder and manslaughter.

And there should be the caveat, of course, that that could be upgraded and could change over time as more evidence emerges. But should police -- or -- excuse me -- should the attorney have done this earlier and possibly quelled some of the anger on the streets?


And I think Mike Freeman should have -- Mike Freeman knew exactly what the law is. He knows the law better than me. And so he could have charged -- it was probable cause to charge. We have seen black men in our jails here in Ramsey County and Hennepin County that are locked up right now on a probable cause.

And he could have locked his own stuff on probable -- a former officer, by the way up on probable cause.

MOHYELDIN: Maya, you brought up the issue of third-degree murder, and I wanted just to read for you, if I can, that actual statute from Minnesota`s third-degree murder statute, "whoever without intent to affect the death of any person causes the death of another by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind without regard for human life."

I guess the question then becomes, do you see any further charges? Now that we know he kept his knee on his neck almost three additional minutes after he had been subdued and was unresponsive, is that an indication that he had a different intention?

WILEY: You know, especially when his fellow officers were asking, should we roll him over, were expressing some worry, and bystanders were as well.

And at one chilling point, someone feels for the pulse of Mr. Floyd and can no longer feel it. And he keeps his knee there, and none of the officers step in and stop him either. So I think, yes, there are real questions here. Yes, the prosecutors can supersede, we call it, this complaint. They can amend it.

The question I have is, there is a black man who I have seen in the news who is charged with second-degree murder because his child died, and the evidence suggests that he was physically abusive to his child.

Now, if that`s a second-degree murder case, why isn`t this a second-degree murder case? I think that`s the question that the public has the right to hear the answer to.

MOHYELDIN: John, let me get...

THOMPSON: I`m not calling it racism. I`m not calling it racism, but if it looked like a duck, it got a beak like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it`s probably a duck.

MOHYELDIN: All right.

So let me ask you specifically about another issue that today a lot of people are saying was a result of race. That was the arrest and ultimate release of a CNN camera crew there.

Do you think race played a role in the apprehension or the arrest of that particular reporter, who was just doing his job live on the air, presented his credentials, told people that he was -- or told the police specifically that he was a reporter for CNN, and they still took him away?

THOMPSON: Hey, listen, we just had a Klan rally -- I mean, a Trump rally right outside the governor`s mansion just a week ago.

And there were people outside with AR-15s, right outside the Minnesota governor`s mansion. They were -- they had their guns out, protesting to open the state back up. And I seen zero police presence, zero police presence.

When these protests first started, there was...

MOHYELDIN: All right. It seems like, unfortunately, we lost John Thompson there.

Maya Wiley, let me just pick up on that point really quickly, if I can.

Why do you think there is that contrast, really quickly, between what John was just describing, that scene at state capitols in various states in Michigan and elsewhere, predominantly white protesters, armed, not being pepper-sprayed, not being tear-gassed, not being shot at with rubber bullets, and what we see play out on the streets of Minneapolis?

WILEY: There is a tremendous amount of stereotyping of black people as violent, as dangerous. Very little of it has basis in fact.

But, unfortunately, the fact that the stereotype exists means we see the behavior that takes that stereotype, imprints upon people that behavior, whether or not they`re engaging in it or not.

I have to say, there was footage of police officers in a different state, with a white man coming at them with a machete, and I mean coming at them with a machete in a violent stance, and they put -- the officer put his two hands up and backed away to de-escalate the situation.

I think, all too frequently, it doesn`t matter, as we saw in that shocking video with the CNN reporter, that no matter your behavior -- that man was the epitome of respect, of saying, just tell me what you want us to do, we`re journalists, we`re here together, all of us, with cameramen, and still not directed where they wanted him to stand, which he was absolutely reporting that he would do, but literally taking him and saying, you`re under arrest, and him doing what any of us would do and saying, could you please tell me why?

Then we see a report that another reporter had a -- who was white had an exchange with different state troopers, who said oh, OK, you`re the press, fine.

That is exactly the reason why black people are protesting all around the country, because this kind of treatment isn`t -- it`s horrific, what happened to George Floyd, but the reality is, those kinds of interactions at the level of just day-to-day activity is something that black people experience in this country every day.

This isn`t an explosion just on this one horrific case, although it merits it. It`s an explosion about the fact that these kinds of humiliations -- and the Muslim community experiences it, the Latino communities experience it, Native American communities experience it -- that the stereotypes that are carried in this society about whole groups of people often put those people at risk.

And that is why we have to change how we think about each other and how we treat each other. And it has to be embedded in law. It has to be embedded in policy, and it must be embedded in the practice and the accountability for when those policies aren`t followed.

MOHYELDIN: All right, Maya Wiley, stay with me, please.

John Thompson earlier, we lost him, but thank you very much for joining us.

And we should also emphasize, as we see there on the screen, in all these protests happening across the country, they are multicultural, multiracial, and, as I mentioned, people from all walks of life joining that cause.

Coming up: President Trump using racially charged language to talk about the national crisis that is unfolding.

Plus: a special minute-by-minute breakdown of the video in this case, why that is so important, and why we still need to see the police body camera footage.

Also, new details about Derek Chauvin`s past and the troubled history of this police department.

I`m Ayman Mohyeldin, and you`re watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.


MOHYELDIN: All right, so the officer who pinned George Floyd down has been charged with third-degree murder.

It comes as new video emerges showing another angle of the incident.

NBC News investigations reporter Emmanuelle Saliba combed through the new video, along with new security footage and police reports to piece together the last minutes before Floyd`s death. Watch.


EMMANUELLE SALIBA, NBC NEWS INVESTIGATIONS REPORTER: Police said they found the suspect in his car.

The first officer approaches the driver while his partner walks around to the passenger side. The interaction between the officer and Floyd can`t clearly be seen from this angle, but the driver of this black vehicle filmed part of it on his phone.

The officer struggles to get Floyd out of the car. His colleague walks over to help him put the handcuffs on.

The black car drives off. Floyd falls briefly to the ground. The officer helps him back up, before leading him towards the sidewalk, where he directs Floyd to sit on the ground.

A Park Police car shows up to the scene. Redacted body cam footage from that new officer was released by the Park Police chief. The officer exits the car to see his two colleagues questioning Floyd and two people who were just in the car.

A few minutes later, the officer helps Floyd up off the ground. The video has no sound, so we don`t know what was said between the two officers and Floyd in this moment.

They walk him across the street, back towards their squad car. Floyd falls to the ground once more. Police originally said they noticed Floyd going into medical distress and called an ambulance to the scene.

Another police car pulls up, obstructing our view from this angle. It`s hard to clearly see what unfolded in the next four minutes, but behind the vehicle`s open back door, we can make out what may have been a struggle.

Whatever was happening between Floyd and the officers at that very moment caught the attention of this passerby, who stops to watch. Two minutes later, a witness standing on Chicago Avenue captures part of the scene unfolding behind the squad car.

One officer looks over as three of his colleagues restrain Floyd, who is lying face down on the ground in handcuffs. We don`t know how Floyd ended up on the ground.

One officer is pressing his knee into Floyd`s neck, which we see clearly in this video, taken only seconds later by another witness standing in front of the grocery store. She captured the next 10 minutes of his deadly arrest, up until he is taken away in an ambulance.


MOHYELDIN: All right.

Paul Butler is a former federal prosecutor and Georgetown law professor. He is also the author of "Chokehold: Policing Back Men." He joins us now.

Paul, good to talk to you again.

So, when you see that damning piece of video there compiled together somewhat forensically, do you think that the attorney got the charge right with third-degree murder?


So, the third-degree murder goes to the intent of the defendant. Intent to kill does not have to be proven with third-degree murder. With second- degree murder, it would have to be.

First-degree murder, interestingly enough, in Minnesota is if you kill premeditatively or you kill a police officer, you`re guilty of first-degree murder.

The reality, Ayman, is, when you go to the big house, and that`s where this officer will go if he is convicted, and they ask that famous question, what are you in for, you say murder. You don`t say first-degree murder or second-degree murder. You say murder.

So, if this officer is convicted, he will carry that stigma. The punishment for third-degree murder is significantly less. It`s up to 25 years in prison, as opposed to life in prison for first-degree murder.

But 25 years is a long time for anyone to do, and we`re actually a really long way from getting a conviction. This is just the first step.

MOHYELDIN: We -- one of the more important things in that video that has been compiled is that you actually see at one point from one of the videos shot by a bystander other police officers kneeling next to the body of George Floyd.

I`m curious to get your thoughts on that, because the prosecutor was asked about the other three officers. Take a listen to what he said.


FREEMAN: I`m not going to speculate today of the other officers. They are under investigation. I anticipate charges, but I`m not going to get into that.


MOHYELDIN: What other charges or what charges would you consider if you were in that position?

BUTLER: I`d consider the same charges as this first officer got.

So, if you hold a man down, he is on his face, on his stomach on the hard concrete, his hands are handcuffed behind his back, he is saying he can`t breathe, now, if your foot is on this -- or if your knee is on this man`s neck, you`re culpable.

I don`t know if you`re any less culpable if you`re holding him down by his back or his neck as these other officers were. And so while I would hope that their charges would reflect the seriousness of their conduct, I expect that we will see something like accessories, helping the officer who is charged with murder commit the crime.

And those could carry a significant less of a penalty, but, again, we have this horrific situation where, four days after the fact, an officer who is seen crushing a man`s neck on videotape is finally charged with the crime.

Three other officers who were very involved in the same enterprise, the same criminal enterprise, they`re still in the street. They haven`t been charged with a crime yet.

Ayman, I have to say, as a black man in America, I didn`t know it was that hard to get arrested.

MOHYELDIN: Paul Butler there, thank you very much for that thought and for your insight, as always. Thanks for that.

Turning next to the Minneapolis Police Department and the history of complaints against it, which is driving so much of the anger on the streets tonight.

We are back in 30 seconds.


 MOHYELDIN: All right, today`s arrest of the officer in the George Floyd case is the first time he has faced any kind of discipline, despite a history of complaints.

In fact, records show at least a dozen conduct complaints that have been filed against Derek Chauvin with zero action taken by the department. In fact, since 2012, only 1 percent of officers with complaints lodged against them have received any kind of disciplinary action.

And this department has made national news before for all the wrong reasons. It was a Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile back in 2016. The incident was streamed on Facebook Live by his girlfriend. The officer was charged, but later acquitted and got a $48,000 payout from the department.

Clearly, though, this is a troubled organization. It was so bad, in fact, that the current chief of police once sued the department, claiming the leadership tolerated racism.

That police chief is now facing questions about whether the department has changed fast enough.


QUESTION: So, you came in on the promise of reforming the department. What impact does this incident have? Or how does that sort of fit into...


So, I know, as chief, that this journey, certainly for me, it`s -- you have to look at it as a marathon, not a sprint.


MOHYELDIN: All right.

Joining me now is Marq Claxton, a retired NYPD detective and director of public relations and political affairs for the Black Enforcement Alliance.

Good to have you with us again, Marq. I`m curious to get your thoughts, first of all.

Are you surprised to hear about the history of complaints against officer former -- Officer Chauvin?


I mean, oftentimes, what is usual is that, once you have this situation where a police officer may kill someone, you end up hearing a lot of information on the victim. There is an extensive victimology, the background, rumors, school records, prior criminal conduct and behavior, you know, previous social media posts, et cetera.

Rarely are you given insight into the offending officer`s information. But -- so, I`m not surprised that this information is coming out. It should come out. It`s relevant -- if the victimology, the victim information is relevant, offender information is just as relevant as...

MOHYELDIN: I think a lot of people are going to be watching this, and with a certain degree of frustration, that a history of a police department like Minneapolis is so troubled, has a lot of examples just in recent years of violence, police brutality.

How do you even go about trying to fix a police department like the one Minneapolis finds itself in?

CLAXTON: That is a major challenge.

My organization and other organizations that deal with law enforcement and law enforcement community have often called for and have actual programs and ideas about reforming law enforcement, policing specifically, and there are many steps that are required in order to do that.

You look at the situation in Minneapolis. Chief Arradondo is a tremendous leader. He may have a tremendous vision and ideas about moving forward, but it`s the institution itself that needs reform. It needs to be comprehensive, national reform of policing.

Absent that, really, he is just sticking his fingerer into the dike, because -- and he knows that full well, I`m sure. So he says all the right things about shifting the culture of his individual police department.

But larger cultural change in law enforcement requires a standardized national reform movement that focuses on professional standards across the board and across the nation.

These police officers and others can commit offenses in one jurisdiction and one police department, and roll over to the next police department and start all over again.

That`s unacceptable, when you consider this law enforcement -- policing is a profession, and we should have clear national standards moving forward.

MOHYELDIN: So, speaking of those national standards -- and I think a lot of people always bring up the point of how important it is for police to be a part of the community -- only 8 percent of Minneapolis police officers actually live within the city limits.

How does that impact the way they police and the way they see the constituents of that community, if they don`t even live in it?

CLAXTON: There is a direct impact.

Listen, people -- you tend to appreciate and value those places that you live in. If you have connections and relationships with the individuals in the community, you tend to perform better.

The problem is that, oftentimes, officers, even those who come from the community, become kind of consumed by the larger police culture, and they will throw out or discard all of their upbringing, all of the intentions that they had coming into police work, et cetera, because the police culture has been poisoned or is not as pure as it should be.

So, once again, it goes back to shifting the entire culture. And you have to do it nationally in order for it to be effective.

MOHYELDIN: All right, Marq Claxton, thank you so much, as always, for joining us.

Ahead, blowback to Donald Trump`s statement this morning, accused of glorifying violence and echoing civil rights era racism.

Plus, the contrast in style of leadership, as former President Barack Obama speaks out. I have a special guest on that.


MOHYELDIN: All right, so the officer who pinned George Floyd charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

After days of protest, Trump took to the Rose Garden today, but, believe it or not, did not even mention Floyd or Minneapolis.

Later in the day, though, he said he -- he said the family is entitled to justice.

Now, this was hours after protesters set the police precinct ablaze last night. Trump tweeting out, "When the looting start, the shooting starts."

Now, that phrase coming from a white supremacist Miami police chief in the 1960s. Trump then using the White House account, calling the protesters thugs.

Today, Democrats are rebuking Trump for inciting violence. Trump responding moments ago.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: that`s the way that was meant, and that`s the way I think it was supposed to be meant.

But I don`t know where it came from. I don`t know where it originated. I wouldn`t know a thing like that. But I will say, it`s very accurate in the sense that, when you do have looting, like you had last night, people often get shot, and they die. And that`s not good and we don`t want that to happen.


MOHYELDIN: All right, George Floyd`s death is one of many high-profile police killings of black Americans recently.

Breonna Taylor was killed in March, after police stormed into her apartment trying to serve a search warrant, Ahmaud Arbery killed in Georgia while jogging when white men chased and shot him.

Attorney General Barr says the FBI and the DOJ are looking into whether civil rights were violated in any of those cases.

But Barr never charged the officer who killed Eric Garner, with no civil rights charges in other high-profile cases. In fact, the House Judiciary Committee is now demanding investigations into these killings.

Joining me now is a member of the Judiciary Committee, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.

Congresswoman, it`s great to have you with us this evening.

First of all, let me just start by asking you, what is it that you want to find out from these hearings?

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): Well, I think what`s incredibly important is that the Justice Department takes this racism and white supremacy seriously, and executes its job of conducting pattern and practice investigations and holding people accountable.

I mean, this is -- what we`re seeing is not just George Floyd, as you mentioned. It is a series of incidents that are extrajudicial executions.

And I think the rage that you`re seeing is a reflection of what this means to black people across the country, what it means to have a police officer put a knee on the neck for nine minutes, have three officers watch, and then apparently be told that there was no intent to kill.

I mean, I think these are very difficult times, and I think that we want to see the Justice Department take its responsibility very seriously in conducting these investigations, as a pattern, not just as individual cases.

MOHYELDIN: I want to play for you, if I can, some of Joe Biden on a new interview with my colleague Craig Melvin just about an hour ago.

Watch this.


JOSEPH BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The vast majority of police aren`t cruel, but, my lord, when you see a bad cop, they should be prosecuted. They should be taken out in terms of off the force. They should be punished for what they do.

People have to be held accountable for what they do.


MOHYELDIN: So, on one hand, it sounds like he is saying there is a handful of bad apples and they needed to be taken out and dealt with.

From what you`re describing, though, and what others have said, it seems that there is a systematic problem in police culture in this country, and that needs to be completely reworked. Which side do you see more in this scenario?

JAYAPAL: Well, I think there is a systematic problem. It doesn`t mean that every single officer is bad.

But I will just give you an example. Here in Washington state -- I represent the Seattle area -- and we passed a number of things by initiative, first of all, an initiative called De-Escalate Washington that was really about taking away this idea that you have to have malice, and you have to have bad faith in order to prosecute any police officer.

That was a standard that was so high, that it was impossible to actually bring accountability in.

Also, the Washington state Supreme Court did something very important. It looked at jury selection, and it actually passed a law that allows us to not have discrimination within jury selection.

So, there are systemic problems within the justice system, but there is also systemic racism and white supremacy. And you cannot get away from that. And when you have the president of the United States sitting in the White House and using phrases and words and context that are directly related to that white supremacy and promoting those ideas, that obviously is incredibly dangerous.

And it puts us back even further than we already are.

MOHYELDIN: I want to play for you -- or read for you -- excuse me -- a little bit of President Obama, former President Obama`s statement about this.

"Remember that, for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly normal, whether it`s while dealing with the health care system or interacting with the criminal justice system or jogging down the street or just watching birds in a park."

I have been curious about this. Does this country need some kind of Truth and Reconciliation Commission on a national level to reopen and reinvestigate and address a lot of the injustices that we`re seeing play out?

This is the third case in 30 days that have now garnered national attention of black people in this country being killed, for whatever explanation is given.

JAYAPAL: We absolutely do.

And there are bills. Barbara Lee and Sheila Jackson Lee -- Sheila Jackson all have bills to do exactly that, Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We also have an anti-lynching law that we passed that would make lynching a federal crime, which would give us more tools.

For example, you mentioned the case of Ahmaud Arbery. I mean, this was a modern-day lynching, and we need to make these kinds of things federal crimes, so that they can be prosecuted.

The House already passed the Anti-Lynching Act. The Senate has not taken it up. That would be an important thing to take up right now. Let`s take up the idea of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, because unless we recognize and call out the white supremacy and the racism that has pervaded this country and that makes every black American, every black person across this country reluctant to even send their kids out at night, to know that they`re going to come back safe, I mean, this is a tragedy of epic proportions.

And I just don`t think that we can really understand the pain that is caused. And we -- if we`re not black ourselves, we should be talking about anti-blackness in our own communities. We have a lot of work to do, each of us.

And the federal government is -- needs to be front and center in helping this country to take on this legacy that we have from slavery, white supremacy, and so much more.

MOHYELDIN: Yes, I know the work has to be done on the grassroots level in the communities. But I can`t imagine it goes forward without some kind of national mechanism in place as well.

JAYAPAL: That`s right.

MOHYELDIN: Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, always a pleasure. Thank you very much for joining us.

JAYAPAL: Thank you.

MOHYELDIN: We are going to be right back with civil rights leader Marc Morial.


MOHYELDIN: All right, welcome back, everyone.

You`re seeing a quad-screen split-screen of the protests, demonstrations taking place across the country, from Minneapolis, New York City, Houston, and Atlanta, several other cities as well, a multicultural, multiracial wave of people taking to the streets to demand action against police brutality in this country.

Joining me now is Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League.

Mr. Morial, it`s a pleasure to have you with us.


MOHYELDIN: So, yes, let me start off by just getting your big-picture perspective on what we`re seeing unfold in this country.

We`re in the middle of a pandemic, and yet people are going to the streets angered by what they have seen play out over the course, not just with George Floyd, not just with Ahmaud Arbery, but also with dozens of other cases.

MORIAL: Let`s look at this in the last decade.

The last decade, we had Trayvon Martin. No accountability. We had Michael Brown. No accountability. Tamir Rice. No accountability. Over and over again.

And just in the last week-and-a-half, we have had the Arbery case, the video come out, the incident in Louisville with Breonna Taylor, and now this. And in every instance, it has been clear that there was wrongdoing.

So, the anger you see, the outrage you see, the concern, the hurt, the pain is a buildup that people will not be -- a police officer will not be held accountable, a vigilante, whether it`s a George Zimmerman or these two men down in Georgia, will not be held accountable for killing an unarmed black man who did not deserve to die.

And this is a justice moment in this nation, when the criminal justice system and the system of police has to come to a reckoning that substantial reform is in order and that we`re going to work and demand it now.


And so let`s talk a little bit about what that reckoning might look like. What do you want to see happen? Because the challenge in this country, as you very well know, is, you`re dealing with local police departments.

But this is clearly a systematic and systemic problem across the country.

MORIAL: A local police department can be cleaned up and can be reformed.

My experiences in New Orleans in the 1990s are exhibit A for cleaning up a corrupt, brutal, ineffective department and turning it into a national accredited model.

It took will, it took a coalition, it took a plan, and it took the determination that we are going to fix a broken institution. Number two, there is a role for the federal government. This current administration has not brought one pattern and practice investigation in now nearly four years in office.

The tool is there to investigate unconstitutional policing by municipal police departments across the country. But whether it was Attorney General Sessions or Attorney General Barr for some reason, they have resisted and refused to use that tool.

Number three, the law, the federal law, that people tend to hide behind by not prosecuting police officers, which requires a willful, if you will, act, and a willful act on the account of race, by a police officer in order to bring a federal criminal civil rights claim, that law needs to be reformed. It needs to be updated.

The congresswoman talked about what happened in Washington, when they change the standard. That has to happen at the federal level.

Look, there are things that can be done, that should be done, that must be done at the local level and at the federal level. And now is the time.

So we need justice...



MORIAL: ... for Mr. Floyd, for Breonna, for Arbery. We need justice.

But we need to fix this system of law enforcement in this nation.

MOHYELDIN: Yes, it is long overdue. We certainly hope it does get done.

Mr. Marc Morial, as always, sir, thank you very much for joining us.

MORIAL: Thank you.

MOHYELDIN: We will be right back.


MOHYELDIN: Thanks for watching.

That does it for me.

Joy Reid is next right here on MSNBC.