ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Thanks for watching THE BEAT tonight. We will be back at 6:00 p.m. Eastern tomorrow. Keep it right here on MSNBC.
CRAIG MELVIN, MSNBC HOST: And a good Tuesday evening to you, Craig Melvin here tonight.
Cities across this country are preparing for an eighth night of protests and potential unrest. A live look right now at Washington, D.C., at Boston, at Seattle, at New York, where tens of thousands have been in the streets throughout the day.
In New York, demonstrations continue at this hour. Last night, an otherwise peaceful day of protests turned chaotic when looters took advantage of the situation. Mayor Bill de Blasio responding by earlying up the city`s curfew from 11:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. He`s extended that curfew through the end of the week as well.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, earlier today, said that the mayor of New York City and the NYPD essentially dropped the ball last night.
Meanwhile, in Washington D.C., the 7:00 P.M. curfew in effect for the second straight night. Today, in our nation`s capital, demonstrators holding a peaceful gathering outside Lafayette Square. This was the scene behind that eight-foot high fence that was installed overnight. They are being watched over by a contingent now of military police and National Guard.
Last night, those peaceful protestors in D.C. were cleared from the park, you remember, so that President Trump could walk across the street to St. John`s church for a photo op, as he held up a bible.
Today, the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, delivering a speech in Philadelphia condemning Trump`s response as exploiting division.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Using tear gas and flash grenades in order to stage of a photo-op, a photo-op in one of the most historic churches in the country, or at least in Washington, D.C. We can be forgiven for believing the president is more interested in power than in principle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELVIN: And meanwhile, the family of George Floyd, whose killing in police custody eight days ago fueled the nationwide protests, said that Biden would be attending his funeral in to Texas next week.
Meanwhile, in Minneapolis, where a service to remember George Floyd is set for Thursday, protesters gathered for a second day at the site where the 46-year-old father of two died. Today, the State of Minnesota filed a human rights complaint against the Minneapolis Police Department in connection with Floyd`s death. We`re going to have more on that part of the story a bit later in the hour.
President Trump`s response to what he is seeing, to continue putting the pressure on governors, like the aforementioned governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, with some of these governors let the National Guard in to crack down on protesters.
We have our reporters fanned out all over the country. We start with MSNBC Correspondent Garrett Haake once again there in Lafayette Square. And, Garrett, it would appear as if those protesters are once again taking a knee.
GARRETT HAAKE, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Craig, that`s right. These protesters are going nowhere. We`re a few minutes after 7:00 now, which means we are a few minutes in D.C.`s curfew and none of these folks are going home.
You see these protesters, kneeling, raising a first, chanting this is what democracy looks like. This is a city with a very proud protest history and heritage. And folks are out doing it tonight.
I want to bring in Daniel. He`s one of the protesters here who I am earlier. You`ve been here a couple days in a row now. Just tell me why feels like it`s important to keep coming back out here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a job to touch the pavement. Too many of my brothers and sisters are being killed in these streets. Our job is to continue to fight. Continue to fight. Continue to fight. We cannot continue to be quiet. We must have our voices be heard. And the only way we`re going to have our voices heard is touching the pavement, touching the pavement every day.
HAAKE: You were here yesterday when federal police cleared these streets. What do you expect to see happen tonight? What do you want to see happen tonight?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As long as we continue to peacefully protest, man, I don`t think no charge will happen. I think with Trump having his speech, I think that brought urge for him to bring out the government yesterday and push us back. With him not being out here speaking and not want to take his walk, like he did yesterday, I don`t think they are going to charge just like they did.
People continue to peacefully protest. We could be out here for a couple more hours and forget the curfew.
HAAKE: Daniel, thank you very much.
Craig, I think he made a good point here. The decision by the president yesterday both to clear this park and to come across to that church galvanized this city a little bit in an additional way. I have seen and spoken to a number of people who told me they weren`t sure this was their fight. But the way the president handled themselves on the streets of their city made it feel like this was their fight. And they wanted to come out and be physically present here today, and now into tonight. Craig?
MELVIN: You know, Garrett, it`s interesting. I was pretty much, where you standing right now 24 hours ago. It was such a different scene as those protestors being forced back using tear gas and officers on horses. That fence went up overnight. That fence was not there this time yesterday. I also understand that the military presence, the National Guard presence, a bit more prominent than it was. Is that what you are seeing as well?
HAAKE: Yes, Craig, it`s interesting. I mean, last night, especially driving home at the end of our coverage, it looked like when you would be in a city where there was just a hurricane. There were National Guard vehicles at a number of the interactions around downtown D.C. that have very visible presence. I have not seen as much of them in the daylight hours today.
But I can tell you the entire alphabet soup of federal law enforcement agencies are deployed in Washington, D.C. in some capacity, whether they`d be customs officers, or U.S marshals, or the DEA agents. The full force of the federal government is spread out in this city to compliment the city`s own police force to be prepared for whatever mayor may not happen tonight.
Again, yesterday`s protests were entirely peaceful. Today`s have been as well. We`ll see what happens when and if there is a decision made to try to enforce that curfew.
MELVIN: All right, Garrett Haake, on the ground there, in our nation`s capital where, again, that curfew went into effect some six minutes ago.
Let`s go from Washington, D.C. now to New York city. My colleague, Katy Tur, MSNBC Host, who is standing by there in New York. And, Katy, I`m not exactly sure where you are right now. So where are you and what do things look like there?
KATY TUR, MSNBC HOST: We are in Columbus circle. We`ve been marching throughout this city now for five, six hours. And we went all the way at Upper East Side, at 89th Street, we have backed down 5th Avenue. I was wondering if they were going to go by Trump Tower but there were police barricades up well before Trump Tower that redirected us along 59th street.
But now, this crowd which has been on the move, non-stop pretty much since 1:00 P.M., is stopping and they`re stopping in front of Trump International Hotel here in Columbus Circle. They could not get to Trump Tower but they are in front of Donald Trump`s Marquee Hotel here in the city.
This protest, Craig, has been non-violent. It has been peaceful. There have been moments of tension as protesters chided the police officers that they have come across. But there has never been, from what I have been able to see, a confrontation between protesters and the police.
We are less than an hour to curfew here in New York, an 8:00 P.M. curfew. But the mayor of the city extended for every single night through Sunday night. There are tens of thousands of protestors here. I`m not sure how they try to enforce that curfew at 8:00 P.M. and what might happen. I`m not sure what happens to this crowd, whether they voluntarily or willfully disperse.
But I can tell you though earlier, about 30 minutes ago -- 45 minutes ago, there was a chant of, F your curfew, using more colorful language than I can use, but basically saying, we`re not the going to abide by your curfew.
The mayor has had a tough time keeping things orderly here in this city, not necessarily during the day because the protests during the day have become increasingly peaceful as the week has gone on. But the governor today criticized Mayor de Blasio, and he criticized the NYPD, said that they were not doing a good job. The governor openly talked about how he has the authority to remove the mayor, or remove aim (ph) there. How governors have that authority, and then he moved on.
The mayor and the NYPD have both defended their response. At one point, the mayor asked the NYPD commissioner earlier today to be clear about where the looting was last night, where the chaos was last night. It was in small pockets in the city, along 5th Avenue, SoHo and the Bronx. It was not throughout the city. The mayor was trying to underscore.
He also said that looting, even though at times it looked like there wasn`t a police presence and looters were able to break windows and go in to stores that will, they said -- I`m focusing on both. I`m focusing on both. They said that those were criminals and that they would be arrested. And that gentleman is right. This is not about -- this is not about the looters.
And the NYPD, and so as the mayor, they are both making the distinction between what you`re seeing -- the vandalism your seeing and building and stores. They say those are outside agitators. Those are anarchists. They are groups that are organized and they are intending to undermine this effort. He says -- and the NYPD say -- and what we seen is these tens of thousands of people that have come out are here to be heard. They are here to say they`re not going to let the status quo continue. They`re not going to let black men and black women be targeted by police, be treated differently by police as if they are a threat.
And what you`re seeing right now, at least a couple times throughout the day, as we have been marching, the entire crowd takes a knee, and throws their hand up one arm in the air, one fist in the air. And remarkably, we walked by Memorial Sloan Kettering a little earlier and then we walked by Lennox Hill Hospital.
Craig, I know you are familiar with both. From the coverage of pandemic and the way that this city has cheered on where healthcare workers every day at 7:00 P.M., well, those very same healthcare workers came outside as this protest was walking by and they cheered them on, they clapped and some of those nurses, some of those doctors, some of those workers took a knee, returning the support that this city has shown them over these past few months.
MELVIN: It was a remarkable image, Katy. And I actually saw it right before we went on the air on one of your social media accounts, seeing those nurses, presumably some of which had just gotten off a 12-hour shift, return the favor from just a few weeks ago. Be safe out there, Katy Tur. We would like to check back in with you.
And just a bit, again, as Katy pointed out, we are just 50 minutes away from the curfew going into effect in New York City. A number of streets have already been shut down, the traffic in the Big Apple. 30 Rockefeller, where we work, where we call home, shut down at one point. There was an NYPD helicopter above 30 Rockefeller because of what happened last night down there. Again, that peaceful protest being co-opted by vandals and looters as the sun goes down.
Let us go now from New York -- actually, excuse me this is Boston. This is the scene in a Boston, Massachusetts, a live look above what`s happening there. You can see a crowd of protesters, we should point out, we do not have control of this camera. But what you see now, it would appear as if law enforcement and protesters right now seem to be letting each other have space there in Boston.
We`ll keep an eye on what`s happening in Boston. We have actually seen those crowds swell over the last few hours. But as you can see in Boston, Massachusetts, heretofore, a largely peaceful protest, as you see those police officers move through those sea -- move through that sea of protesters there. We`re going to keep an eye on Boston.
Let`s go to Houston right now. NBC News Correspondent Priscilla Thompson has been in duty there in Houston Texas throughout the day. And, Priscilla, there was that march there in George Floyd`s hometown. It was a sizable march, as I understand it. I saw a few pictures earlier. How did the march go? What are they expecting tonight?
PRISCILLA THOMPSON, MSNBC REPORTER: Craig, more than 55,000 people were here today, we`re told by officials, so quite a sizable march. We actually just saw the dump trucks that were blocking traffic move. And so as you can see, this protest is wrapping up. We`ve got folks making way their down from city hall back to the park downtown where this protest began, and largely peaceful here today.
You know, we`ve seen the officers out in their riot gear. There actually some hanging out over here but sort of hanging out and just monitoring the situation, because we haven`t seen any sort of violence or any issues like that. But we did see a couple of police car race by just now. So it`s unclear where they were headed.
But as far as we seen incredibly peaceful out here today, and that exactly what the organizers and the folks who are out here wanted. The Houston rapper, Trey the Truth, actually helped to organize this protest. And he told folks, if you see someone out here who looks like they`re going to be inciting violence, stop them, like talk to them. We don`t need the police to monitor that here. We can do some of that ourselves. And so that was really the message here.
And, you know, the organizers telling me that they really wanted this march to be about honoring the family as they prepare for the services that will start up in Minnesota on Thursday. And prepare to bring the body back here to Houston next Monday and Tuesday to say their final farewell, Craig.
MELVIN: Priscilla, as you`ve talk to protesters there, demonstrators on the ground, what have they told you about when they plan to stop taking to the streets every day? Will it be the arrest of these three other officers? Will it be something more than that?
THOMPSON: Craig, I think that`s an open-ended question for a lot of folks out here today. I talked to one woman who was a mother of twins, and told me that she had never protested before whenever there was an incident like this. But she felt compelled to come out today because she saw that video and she does want type of change and some sort of justice.
And I asked her, well, after this week, after the body is laid to rest, will it be over? And she said, I don`t know that it will be over for me until we have some sort of solution to this problem.
MELVIN: Priscilla Thompson at Houston, Texas for us there, 6:15 in Houston, 4:15 in Los Angeles. That`s the left side of your screen. You see just a swarm of demonstrators who also appear to be taking a knee. We just saw the same thing in Seattle.
We will continue to monitor the situation from coast to coast. These curfews, again, start to take effect here on the east coast within the next hour or so. Washington, D.C. already under curfew.
Up next, President Trump rejecting the idea of toning down his rhetoric. Instead, it seems as if he`s ramping it up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: Today, I have strongly recommended to every governor to deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELVIN: For a nation in crisis, what`s the likely fallout from this escalation from the White House?
Much more to get to here, stay with us. This is MSNBC.
MELVIN: After calling for the use of military force against demonstrators on Monday, President Trump today praising the heavy-handed tactics that were used in Washington, D.C. last night. Trump touted the many arrests, saying, quote, great job done by all. Overwhelming force. Domination. He`s now telling New York City to call up the National Guard, saying -- quote -- "The lowlifes and losers are ripping you apart."
All of this coming after the president on Monday threatened to use the military to dominate the streets, language that many Democrats say crosses the line.
Senator Ron Wyden saying -- quote -- "The fascist speech Donald Trump delivered verged on a declaration of war against American citizens."
Senator Kamala Harris said: "These are not the words of a president. They are the words of a dictator."
We saw the president`s heavy-handed tactics on full display before the curfew in D.C. last night. I was in the middle of that crowd when Park Police, the National Guard, when the Secret Service, when they all suddenly cleared protesters from Lafayette Park, all of that clearing the way for the president to pose with a Bible for a photo-op in front of St. John`s Church, which had been set on fire Sunday night.
Today, sources confirming to NBC News that Trump`s unannounced walk to that church was his idea, because he wanted the visual. "The New York Times" reporting that one of the visiting priests attending to St. John`s was sprayed with tear gas when police cleared the way for the president.
I`m joined now by Peter Baker, chief White House correspondent for "The New York Times." Also, Michael Steele is with me, the former chairman of the RNC.
Gentlemen, good evening to both of you.
So, what are they saying, Peter, at the White House today about the president`s stroll over to St. John`s?
PETER BAKER, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Well, for the president and his inner circle, they`re very happy with it. They think this worked out exactly as they hoped it would.
It`s projects, from their point of view, an image of toughness, of resolve. He loves the photographs that emerged from it. It`s already been recirculated by his campaign aides. Some of them made it into their home page, in fact.
So, this is exactly what he wanted. Now, there are other things in the White House, though, who are worried, who think that the inner circle probably got it wrong, that they don`t seem to understand how that message looked to other people other than his core audience.
They noted, for instance, that the team didn`t even have a single person of color join the president in that walk across the square, which came across as a little off -- off-base, at a moment when the streets are roiling with unrest about the killing of George Floyd.
And so there`s -- it depends on who you talk to. From their point of view, they think they got what they wanted out of it, but, again, some of his own people are worried.
MELVIN: You know, it was interesting, Michael Steele, this contrast that we saw in Wilmington, Delaware, yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden, the apparent Democratic nominee, full face covering there, praying in the church, and then just a few hours later, President Trump holding up a Bible in front of St. John`s.
Vice President Biden spoke about it earlier today. This is part of what he said:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The president held up the Bible at St. John`s Church yesterday. I just wish he opened it once in a while, instead of brandishing it.
If he opened it, he could have learned something. They`re all called to love one another as we love ourselves. It`s really hard work. But it`s the work of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELVIN: Michael, what do we make of this contrast between the, again, apparent Democratic nominee and President Trump?
MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think largely prayer vs. pugilism.
Do you want to -- do you want to pray and actually apply the words of the Gospel that you are holding in your hands, or do you want to use -- as Joe Biden noted, use that gospel as a cudgel to beat back protesters, protesters who, by right under our Constitution, are allowed to gather and to stake their claim before the government?
So, yes, you saw this contrast. It was very clear. I think for those inside the White House who are high-fiving and opening the champagne bottles and loving the visuals that they concocted, the reality of it is, this is not playing well across the country.
And it`s not playing well across the country, because those senators who walked single file past the bank account cameras, those Republican senators had nothing to say. They could not justify it. They could not approve of it.
And the reality of it is, they know how this is playing back at home. They know what the voters in their districts -- what do they say to a black voter in Ohio, in Michigan, in Florida, California, New York, South Carolina, North Carolina? What do you say to them?
I mean, what -- you walk with your head down. You can`t even look a camera in the eye and say to the American people that what the president did yesterday was despicable, to use religion, to use the church as a prop, and then to do it again today?
I mean, so this is -- this is a space where, amidst all the protesting that`s going on, the American people are taking into their soul what all of this means. And we will see how they resolve it.
But, right now, the photo-ops aren`t good. The imagery is not powerful for the president. It shows a man who`s weak, who`s afraid, and doesn`t know really what to do at this hour. That`s why he was in the bunker, as opposed to actually gathering those protesters in front of him and talking to them and understanding exactly what their problem was.
And that`s what Joe Biden did. He took that risk. Given all the things that are swirling around him, right, he took that risk, and sat down with protesters and sat down with the black community to understand better what the argument is that they`re making.
MELVIN: Speaking of imagery, we were just showing a picture of a sea of protesters right in front of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.
That was a very large group just a short time ago, just a few -- there`s the scene right there in front of Trump Tower. That`s on the right side of your screen, again, largely peaceful, actually, from this vantage point, totally peaceful.
On the left side of your screen, those protesters are still kneeling and seated there in Seattle, Washington.
The Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C., strongly objected to the president`s photo-op at that church on Monday night. This is how the bishop of Washington, the Right Reverend Mariann Edgar Budde, this is how she described it to me this morning, Michael.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BISHOP MARIANN EDGAR BUDDE, EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF WASHINGTON: After making a highly charged, emotional speech to the nation where he threatened military force, his officials cleared peaceful protests with tear gas and horses and walked onto the courtyard of St. John`s Church, and held up a Bible as if it were a prop or an extension of his military and authoritarian position, and stood in front of our building as if it were a backdrop for his agenda.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELVIN: Despite criticism from religious leaders, the president holding what appeared to be pretty much another photo-op today at a shrine for Pope John Paul II, a move that earned him a rebuke from the Catholic Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington.
Archbishop Gregory saying -- quote -- "I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles."
So, in the span of 24 hours, rebukes from a number of religious leaders, Michael Steele.
MELVIN: But yet the president still enjoys -- at least at last check, still enjoys a good chunk of evangelical support. How can that be?
STEELE: Well, that has been -- that has been a question of the ages at this point, because those folks who profess all of this Christian purity and this idealism, you know, have hitched up to a guy who doesn`t reflect any of that.
It baffles a lot of us Christians who some of these folks are and how they get there.
I stand with Archbishop Wilton Gregory. And it is baffling. And it is not just something that`s disturbing, but it is something that is problematic. To have the president, as was noted, wielding this Bible around on church property, as a government official, it just -- it is the height of authoritarian action, the galling nature of it all, and then to not care, Craig, to not care.
And you know why? Because this is good for those folks who actually -- they see this authoritarianism as strength. They think it`s a good thing. But heed this word, until it turns on you, until it turns on you.
And then what do you do? You can`t fall back on the Constitution at that point. You can`t fall back on these folks who are out here protesting, under the Constitution, exercising their civil liberties. You can`t fall back on that.
When you cede that ground to Donald Trump, it`s gone, baby. So you got to think about these things. They do matter. There`s a reason why this country was framed the way it is. Yes, we got problems. And that`s what these protests are about.
But we don`t throw out our liberties, and we don`t abuse the privilege that our Constitution gives us, the rights the Constitution gives us, the way this president does. It`s just unimaginable. And yet here we are.
MELVIN: It should also be noted, for the purposes of this conversation, that the bishop of Washington also told me this morning when I asked her if the president was a regular worshiper at St. John`s, she responded sort of quizzically.
She said: Well, no, I don`t think so. In fact, I`m not sure he`s been back since Inauguration Day.
Peter Baker, thank you. Michael Steele, always appreciate your insight as well.
STEELE: Thank you.
MELVIN: This is a live look at America`s third largest city. This is Chicago, Illinois, a sea of protesters making their way down that thoroughfare.
STEELE: Thanks, guys.
MELVIN: I`m not exactly sure which street or highway this is, but you can see those demonstrators there, largely peaceful, again, from this vantage point, so far, totally peaceful.
From Chicago to Philadelphia.
MSNBC`s Ayman Mohyeldin has been on the ground there in the City of Brotherly Love for several days now.
Ayman, what`s the scene there in Philly tonight, after a fairly tense day yesterday?
AYMAN MOHYELDIN, MSNBC ANCHOR: Yes, Craig, you could actually see right behind me a crowd of marchers, protesters, very peaceful.
This is about as peaceful as it gets, multiracial, multigenerational. We have seen people from all walks of life. You can hear the chants. They are the chants that we have grown to learn over the past couple of days. They are saying the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor.
They`re condemning the racist cops and systems that lead to police brutality and what have you.
So, this is what this protest is about tonight. We`re about an hour away from the curfew. And, interestingly enough, as you mentioned, Philadelphia has had some tense days. The curfew has actually been set at about 6:00 p.m. But, today, it has been extended because it is primary day. Polls are open until about 8:30.
And you can see the protesters took advantage of that and maintained their presence out on the streets as this curfew is set to begin in about an hour from now.
Throughout the course of the day, this protest has had incredible stamina. We have been walking with them since about 2:00 p.m. this afternoon. They have made their way in and about the city of Philadelphia. They were at one point in the center of the city, where George -- where -- excuse me -- where Joe Biden spoke earlier today.
And even as the sun sets, they`re still continuing their march. Now, this comes on a day after very tense moments with the Philadelphia police. There is that video we saw yesterday where Philadelphia police fired tear gas into a crowd of protesters, very much similar to this, walking on a major road expressway in the city.
And that essentially trapped some of the protesters on the embankment. It was a very scary situation. But, today, it is a very different scene. There is a very strong police presence in the front of the protest, in the back of it.
And, as you can see, there has been no confrontation tonight so far. Now, there`s always the growing concern that, as night descends and these protesters begin to end their peaceful march, that the more dangerous stuff happens.
And, in fact, we saw that yesterday. One individual was shot and killed by a gun shop owner. He says that there was a looting attempt taking place, and that`s what led to that shooting.
But tonight, so far, it has been a very peaceful protest, as I mentioned, again, the crowd here beginning to thin out a little bit, but the march continuing as it has been, Craig, for several hours.
MELVIN: Ayman Mohyeldin in Philadelphia.
Ayman, thank you, sir. Thank you, as always.
Up next: the combustible situation in America`s cities. What`s the proper way, the proper way for police to respond to demonstrators, to protesters in American cities?
Also, will the death of George Floyd change policing? Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton is going to join me on the other side of this break.
MELVIN: Well, we`re following the protests from coast to coast.
Joined now by Gadi Schwartz. He`s been on duty for us in Los Angeles for the past several days.
Gadi, it would seem as if you`re in the middle of a -- of a peaceful protest.
GADI SCHWARTZ, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, a very peaceful protest.
In fact, this is a very recognizable scene. You can`t see it because of all the people here. But this right here is Sunset and Vine. And you can see that these protesters have sat down right here in the middle of the intersection. And they are expressing their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
A lot of them are standing in front of -- let me just show you back here. A lot of them are standing in front of a company of National Guard from the 18th Cavalry -- we`re just going to work our way back here -- and the LAPD.
They have been talking to some of the members of the 18th Cavalry here. In fact, a little while ago, we saw this really emotional moment between one woman and one of the captains here.
And I`m going to show you what they have -- what they have got set up. So, you can see that the National Guard is set up all the way down here. They`re set up here in front of the Bank of America.
Now, it got really, really emotional during this -- this talk between this captain and this young woman. She was basically expressing her anger that they were there to protect them. They feel like the soldiers and the military, their first responsibility is to the citizens.
And they were asking for these soldiers to march with them. The captain actually said that he would be able to march with them, going from that street over to this street, but this is what they were in charge of protecting, and they couldn`t march any further.
Then we started hearing chants, "Take a knee." Then we saw the company take a knee. First, it was those first three soldiers. And then, after that, they gave the order for the entire company that`s present here to take a knee. And then you saw all the soldiers take a knee. Pretty emotional.
A lot of people started clapping. However, that young woman and a lot of other people in the crowd said, this is not enough. They don`t want to see soldiers kneeling. They want to see soldiers marching in solidarity with them. And they want to see soldiers not attacking them if protests escalate tonight. They want to see soldiers protecting them.
So, these are some of the things that what`re hearing from protesters out here. So far, everything we have seen today has been peaceful. We`re talking about crowds the size of which we have not seen in Los Angeles so far.
This one is tiny. This is just a splinter group. We were marching a little bit earlier with a protest that was 10,000-strong, stretched a mile down Hollywood Boulevard, and now, we`ve got protests popping up all across Los Angeles.
It`s 4:40 right now here on the West Coast. We`re about an hour and half away from curfew going into effect -- Craig.
CRAIG MELVIN, MSNBC HOST: Gadi, I -- I was watching as you were on the streets and the nights are starting to run together, I can`t recall if it was last night or the night before actually. But you were showing the looting in real time. And we have seen it all over the country, unfortunately.
Have you noticed a discernible difference between the protests during the day, when the sun`s up. Lights out, and when the sun goes down.
SCHWARTZ: Yeah, it`s really tough, Craig, because you`ve got -- I mean, this is almost like a perfect storm of crimes of opportunity and frustration, and anger. And many of those things are completely separate.
But you`ve got to consider that there are tens of thousands of people that are taking to the streets in solidarity, protesting what they believe to be police brutality. They are extremely passionate, and that is their singular message. So, you`ve got tens of thousands of people in all directions. You`ve got police engaging, sometimes cordoning them in one direction, sometimes pushing them back.
But it`s a very tense situation and then you got to imagine that everybody is wearing masks because of the pandemic. So, everyone is basically anonymous. And as you have, in every major city, obviously, there`s going to be some small criminal element that may have nothing do with the protests but they`re going to see this as opportunity. You`re also going to have some people that are extremely angry and want to express their anger in violence.
And so, it`s a perfect storm of anger and frustration. Some small groups of opportunists, some crime, some pain -- it`s just this mix every single night as curfew goes into effect plays out in the streets of Los Angeles and we`re going to see if it plays out again tonight -- Craig.
MELVIN: All right. Gadi Schwartz for us there in Los Angeles, where, again, the curfew set to take effect roughly an hour and a half from now. Gadi, thank you. Stay safe.
We are about 30 minutes from the start of tonight`s curfew in New York City. Actually, we are about 18 minutes away from the start of that curfew in New York City, bracing for another night of protests.
This morning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo criticizing Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD for not doing enough to stop last night`s looting and destruction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: The NYPD and the mayor did not do their job last night. I believe that. Use the police, protect property and people. Look at the videos. It was a disgrace.
I don`t think they`ve used enough police to address the situation because it`s inarguable but that it was not addressed last night.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELVIN: All this coming as larger questions are being raised about policing with President Trump calling for a more militarized response.
I`m joined now by Bill Bratton, of course, former NYPD commissioner. He`s also run a police department in some of the America`s largest cities, including Los Angeles, where we just were. He`s also, of course, an NBC News law enforcement senior analyst.
First of all, Commissioner Bratton, your reaction to Governor Cuomo. I mean, did Mayor de Blasio, did the NYPD in any way, shape or form drop the ball last night?
BILL BRATTON, NBC NEWS SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Craig, obviously, the governor feels that`s the case, but, obviously, the mayor and the leadership of the NYPD do not feel that was the case. NYPD clearly indicates they have a difficult time dealing with the widespread looting and violence that they are experiencing. Those strong differences of opinion.
What you saw in New York last night, and some of the more iconic buildings and images in America, Macy`s, which sponsors the Thanksgiving Parade, the fireworks every year, probably more attention paid to that.
But that looting and violence is occurring in every major city in America. Santa Monica was featured very significantly over the weekend. Philadelphia. It is a plague at the moment that is afflicting every city in this country.
MELVIN: You know, Commissioner, I was in D.C. for a few nights. And last night, it was markedly quieter than it was the previous nights. Say whatever you may about the tactics of law enforcement there. Whatever they did last night appeared to be more effective than what they did the night before, extending the perimeter, being more aggressive with demonstrators and protestors.
The president, as you know, is calling for this more militarized response.
Do you -- do you think that`s -- that`s the solution? Do you think that`s how we -- we get folks off the streets?
BRATTON: Effectively, what you`re looking at is -- we have been dealing with the coronavirus, and wrestling with it, trying different ways to deal with that for months. Similarly with these demonstrations, it`s like a doctor with a patient who is ill that he is trying to make better. So what the police, government are attempting to do is incremental try to find what will work to allow them to demonstrate at the same time mitigate and reduce the violence and the looting that`s working against the cause that is being supported in the daytime and being undone in the nighttime.
So, tonight, New York, they are going to try a curfew at 8:00. Last night, they tried 11:00. You don`t want to real start a curfew in the middle of the night. The idea is to start it in the daylight.
They`re going to try that tonight. Let`s see how it works. If it doesn`t work, let`s try something else.
They may end before the end of the week actually bridging in the National Guard if they are not able to control the violence and the looting.
But it is the idea of -- policing is like medicine, the practice of medicine. The idea is to try to police in a way that do you the least amount of harm when you`re dealing with resistance. Doctor tries to do the least amount of harm, when he`s dealing with a virus that`s eating at the body.
So, we`re dealing effectively with a unicorn, this situation in America today. We have never seen anything like it. I`ve been at in this business 50 years, dealt with demonstrations, Los Angeles, Boston, New York -- I have never seen anything like it. So, we are learning as we go, it`s the reality of it.
MELVIN: I know you started your career in Boston. In fact, we`re looking at some images here above the protest in Boston.
Commissioner, really quickly here -- part of the debate that is going on right now is over police tactics, specifically the use of chokeholds by police officers to detain suspects, to subdue suspects. I know that the New York council is going to be taking up a bill that will criminalize the chokeholds.
What say you? I mean, should chokeholds still be used in 2020 by police officers in this country?
BRATTON: I`m absolutely amazed that they are still authorized and used. I couldn`t belief it when I saw the statistics from Minneapolis, that they still are authorizing chokeholds and knees -- I didn`t think that still happened in American policing -- certainly maybe because of the experience I had in 2014 with the tragic death of Mr. Garner in New York City, what was eventually determined to be a chokehold.
No, chokeholds that cannot be taught should not be used. In certain moments, they are going to be chokeholds that might last for seconds, might last unfortunately -- a horrific event that has precipitated this, the serious of events, that is, you know, really out of the ordinary, and let`s hope it stays out of the ordinary. A chokehold, there`s no really place for them in American policing today.
So, if nothing else comes out of this, the banning of them, the criminalizing of them -- I`m sorry, that would take a much longer discussion. I had to look at many of them while I was in New York City. Tell me what was described as a chokehold, on occasion would be an officer in a scuffle pulling on somebody shirt and then that would be described by review board as a chokehold. But the language has to be much more defined and refined.
MELVIN: Bill Bratton, Commissioner, always appreciate -- always appreciate your insight, always appreciate your analysis, sir. Thank you. Thank you for your time this evening.
BRATTON: Great to be with you.
MELVIN: As cities brace for more protests, we want to get a live update from the city where all of this started, Minneapolis, Minnesota. We`ll take you there live, right after this.
Stay with us.
MELVIN: Welcome back.
Earlier today, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announcing a civil rights investigation of the Minneapolis Police Department, while protests continue on Monday night in the Twin Cities. It was the third night of calm following last week`s unrest. Tonight, a curfew there remains in place.
NBC`s Shaquille Brewster is in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Shaq, always good to have you. First of all, what does the governor`s announcement, what does it mean?
SHAQUILLE BREWSTER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, yeah, Craig. We had some pretty big updates today in terms of this George Floyd case and the investigation. And as you mentioned, the state announced that civil charge against the Minneapolis police department. They`re looking into systemic discriminatory practices of that police department. The governor said it`s not just the George Floyd incident they`ll look at, but they`re going to investigate the department`s policies, procedures, and practices over the past ten years.
And he really credited the protesters that you`ve been seeing out there in Minneapolis, in St. Paul, for pressure this action. And we`ve seen protests continue here in Minnesota. I was in St. Paul.
The reason why I`m in the car right now on the phone with you is because there`s been a thunderstorm that came through with lightning. So we`ve moved to the car to stay safe. But earlier today here at the state capitol, there were 2,000, 3,000 people on the lawn of the state capitol.
Over at the scene where George Floyd died over a week ago, hundreds of people still gather there, still bringing their families, their cards, flowers to commemorate his legacy. In addition to that announcement from the governor, we also had an announcement from that attorney, the family attorney. And the family attorney said, Benjamin Crump, he told Gabe Gutierrez, in an interview earlier today, that he expects charges to be filed against those three remaining police officers, the ones fired in connection with George Floyd`s death, he expects charges for those officers by the time George Floyd is laid to rest.
Now, we know there are some ceremonies going on Thursday, a ceremony in Minneapolis, a ceremony in North Carolina where George Floyd was born. But he will be laid to rest in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday. So the family attorney saying he expects those charges to be filed against the three remaining officers who were fired by the Minneapolis Police Department. He expects to see those charges filed by Tuesday -- Craig.
MELVIN: There`s also some talk of the officer, who is charged with third degree murder, having that charge perhaps upgraded, as well.
Shaq Brewster there on the ground for us in St. Paul, Minnesota -- Shaq, thank you.
We will be right back.
MELVIN: Stay with MSNBC tonight for all the latest developments on the protests across the country. Thanks for being with us.
"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" is up next. He`ll be joined by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END