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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


QUINYETTA MCMILLON, MOTHER OF ALTON STERLING`S SON: He`s 15 years old. He had to watch this as this was put out over all the out lets and everything possible to be shown.

ALLYSZA CASTILE, PHILANDO CASTILE`S SISTER: This is like it`s live. So I`m watching him fight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fight for his life.

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

RICK ZAMARRIPA, FATHER OF SLAIN OFFICER PATRICK ZAMARRIPA: All this hate has to stop. My son paid ultimate prize, you know. I don`t care if you`re black, white, green, purple. It needs to stop. We are all God`s children.


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


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


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

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

Jacob, what`s the mood where you are?

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

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

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

SHARPTON: Jacob Rascon, thank you so much.

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

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

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

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

Back to you.

SHARPTON: Sarah Dallof, thank you for your report.

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

First of all, thank you both for being here.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STERLING: Yes, sir. On Friday.

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

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

STERLING: OK. Thank you.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SHARPTON: William Yeomans, thank you for your time.

YEOMANS: It has been my pleasure.

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

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

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



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


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

Other conservative politicians and pundits were also quick to criticize the president.


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BUTTERFIELD: Thank you, Rev.

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

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


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


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have some very deep divides in our country, and if we don`t start addressing them and that`s a matter of urgency and it`s not just for some people to do it, but it`s for all of us to do it, then I believe that we will find ourselves in an even worse downward spiral.


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


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


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


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


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



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

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


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

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

JOAN WALSH, THE NATION: Thanks, Reverend.


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

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

SHARPTON: And he actually read.

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

SHARPTON: But he called their names which is different.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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



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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My thoughts on where we go from here is next.



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


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

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

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

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