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Transcript: The ReidOut, 4/14/22

Guests: David Wallace-Wells, Ralph Godbee, William Taylor, Rachel Roberts, Rachel Bitecofer


Republican-led states continue to pass abortion bans. The political will to combat climate change is examined. Russia loses its flagship in the Black Sea. The killing of an unarmed black man by police in Grand Rapids, Michigan, sparks outrage.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, everyone.

We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with the Republican Party`s outright war on women.

Ever since the conservative Supreme Court justices made it extremely clear that not only would they refuse to block extremist laws, like the Texas bounty law, but that they are on track to fulfilling one of the Christian right`s most durable goals, toward creating an American theocracy, and, frankly, the reason each of those members of the right-wing court was put on that court in the first place, namely, gutting or just going all in and overturning Roe v. Wade.

And since the conservative Supreme Court majority has made that clear, Republican-led states have been just tripping over themselves, jostling to one-up each other with the most draconian extreme abortion restrictions. There`s Florida, where, today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a law banning abortions at 15-weeks, with no exceptions, none, for rape or incest, following Arizona Governor Doug Ducey`s lead two weeks ago.

And Idaho, which, like Texas, passed a six-week ban, before most women even know they`re pregnant. That law is being held up temporarily by the state`s Supreme Court. But Oklahoma saw the Texas law and said, hold my beer, with Oklahoma making it a felony to perform any abortion except one performed to save the life of the mother.

All of these bills are dependent on what the courts decide, and they don`t take effect immediately. But now one state has succeeded in becoming the very first state since Roe v. Wade was implemented almost half-a-century ago to force all of its abortion clinics to close.

And that is Kentucky, where, yesterday, Republicans were able to override the Democratic governor`s veto of a law that immediately bans abortion after 15 weeks and the receipt of an abortion medication by mail.

It also requires that clinics cremate or bury fetal remains. And it`s that last stipulation and other regulations like requiring the state to certify providers that dispense abortion medication that have caused Kentucky`s two abortion clinics to stop taking patients.

Providing for the cremation or burial of fetal remains could add hundreds of dollars to the cost of an abortion. The law also requires a new electronic monitoring system to track abortions, which would cost the state $1 million and provide zero funding to create this massive government surveillance system.

Today, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU sued to block the law. But even if that works temporarily, God help the appeals, because we`re very likely careening towards the end of Roe v. Wade, based on the extremely conservative 6-3 Supreme Court, who are likely just waiting eagerly for an appeal of one of these laws to land at their door.

And make no mistake, we got here because of a campaign that started in the late 1970s and `80s, when conservative leaders realized they could rally voters around abortion, which was far better P.R. than their original obsession, protecting this tax-free status of segregated schools.

Ever since, it`s been their fevered dream to take over the courts and overturn Roe. It`s the promise that they made to conservative Christian voters that helped them to secure Senate seats and sometimes the White House. It`s part of how our disgraced, twice-impeached former president won in 2016, by promising to nominate judges who would overturn Roe, even though he messed around and said the quiet part out loud, that women, women should be punished for having abortions.

And Addison Mitchell McConnell brought that dream to fruition with a Senate that refused to even hold hearings for Merrick Garland, and instead jammed in three new right-wing justices. But here`s the thing. This campaign has worked for Republicans all this time because abortion has been legal.

One in four women will have an abortion at some point in their lives. And a majority of Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

There is just no telling what happens once that right is gone and tens of millions of American women wake up in Gilead with their pregnant bodies as state property, rape and incest victims having to risk their lives to have abortions, teenagers and young women saddled with the huge costs of raising children they never planned to have or didn`t want to have, with their red states saying, well, that`s your problem now, because we don`t provide free preschool.

We don`t provide Medicaid. Just the sanctimonious right-wing counting the babies. So are Republicans ready for the political consequences of achieving one of their biggest dreams?

To discuss, I`m joined now by Kentucky state representative Rachel Roberts and Rachel Bitecofer, political scientist and strategist, as well as a host of The Cycle on Substack.


Representative Roberts, I do want to start with you to talk about Kentucky. I mean, Kentucky I guess has won the race to the bottom, because these states do seem to be trying to one-up each other to say, no, I -- we can be the most restrictive.

Talk about what that means for Kentucky women.

STATE REP. RACHEL ROBERTS (D-KY): So, this bill was House Bill 3.

And it was called regularly the abortion omnibus bill. And many of us called it the ominous bill. It was a Frankenstein`s monster of a whole bunch of ideas from other states crammed into one bill with the express purpose of limiting care for women across the state.

Lawmakers on the floor said it wasn`t their express intention to close clinics, but we knew that it was. And today`s that day. And it`s a hard day. There are women who were expecting to have medical services today that were turned away.

REID: And the thing is, just to be pragmatic here, forcing women to give birth is not the beginning and the end, right?

I mean, luckily, Kentucky is a state with a Democratic governor. So there was an expansion of Medicaid. They didn`t at first know it was Medicaid. It was Connect, right? But at least there is a Medicaid expansion there. So at least there`s health care for women.

However, this is one of the poorest states in the country, the highest poverty rates, I`m sure high child poverty rates. I doubt that Republicans also passed a bill -- did they pass a bill for free preschool to make sure that these children have child care? Did -- no bill that way?

ROBERTS: No, you`re...

REID: Was there a bill to like help maternal mortality or to help anything to do with raising children and making sure that they didn`t starve? Can they get free meals at school, anything like that?

ROBERTS: You`re exactly right, Joy.

And the state of Kentucky has problems in this area. We have -- 9 percent of children in Kentucky are being raised by their grandparents, which is in large part due to the opioid epidemic that we have in the state. There`s about 90,000 children being raised by their grandparents.

We have -- we`re number seven in teen pregnancy in the nation. We have some of the worst maternal health care outcomes in the state. And it`s even worse for women of color. It`s three to four times worse than it is for Caucasian women.

And here in Kentucky, we are at double the national average for poor maternal health care outcomes. We are a state that should be looking for ways to encourage people to have healthy families, if, when and how they are ready to, and encouraging passing laws to help those families be able to thrive here in the state.

And that is not what we are doing. Instead, we are saying loudly that we do not trust women to make their own health care decisions. And it`s even worse than that. I proposed an amendment to this bill to say at least, at least could we please put provisions in here for the victims of rape and incest. That amendment was not only shot down.

But, as legislators, we have the choice to vote or not vote on those things. You can abstain from a vote, but 68 of my colleagues, 68 of them are willing to put their name on the board and shoot down that amendment to say that not even in the cases of rape and incest will we make this care, this vital care, available to women and Kentucky.

REID: Under his eye. And I can tell you why. There`s states not too far away that are saying you can marry a 12-year-old or 13-year-old or 14-year- old. So that`s rape, right, if you`re trying to impregnate little kid, but they`re like, you know what, we`re not going to stop that either.

Rachel Bitecofer, let me bring you in here.

There is going to essentially be Mason-Dixon Line, where below the Mason- Dixon Line is Gilead, where women -- and they can claim they don`t want women to be arrested. B.S. Women will be arrested. There was already one arrested in Texas, and they said, oopsie, because they realize it`s bad P.R. Don`t do that yet. But that`s where we`re going.

Let`s show this map. There are 26 states that are already itching to outright ban abortion. And it`s going to look like a map of red America. They`re doing this because it helps them get elected among evangelical voters, Rachel Bitecofer.

But the majority of women and men don`t want this, if you look at the polls. Why is this still so effective for Republicans? And why have Democrats not been effective in pushing back, when it`s not what people really want?


I mean, when you look at polling within these red states, these bills are far more radical. I mean, it is -- they`re a little bit more "pro-life" -- quote, unquote -- leaning in those red electorates.

But they -- their distribution is not much different. They want -- relatively want safe legal access to at least early term abortion in those states. And what they`re going to wake up to is Gilead. And I will say this.

I mean, part of the reason why the Republicans are doing what they`re doing is that they are -- they have kind of designed and are also operating in a system where they have immunity. They have -- there`s no Democratic accountability in these states anymore, because they have spent the last 10 years de-democratizing them.

What we`re seeing now is a hyper effort, but that infrastructure has been a long time built. And it is true that evangelical voters want this. This is like the treasured egg, but it`s really important to remember movement politics, the right movement politics, that stuff is all articulated by strategy.


Somebody looked at the issue of abortion in the 1970s, late `70s, realized there was a potential to wedge it if they defined it in this -- moral terms, because, up until then, people were thinking of it in more medical terms, and then weaponized this electorate.

And it has actually proven to be an incredibly powerful thing, right? But its use is going to run out. And if we see any of these laws upheld at the Supreme Court level, if we see a severe erosion of Roe -- and don`t get me wrong -- 15-week bans with no abortion -- or no exemptions for rape or incest, that is radical, radical stuff right there.

There`s nothing...

REID: Well...

BITECOFER: Yes, nothing moderate about it.


REID: Well, let me ask you a question.

Absolutely ask the question, because it`s all cool until the body starts being shown. And I have worked in local news. You have some teenage rape victims that are dying because they tried to get -- do a self-abortion and take too many of whatever the pills are they get under -- do that underground and refuse to go to the clinic because it`s illegal and they`re scared, it`s all cool until people start dying.

And good luck trying to hide that. Ask Vladimir Putin how that works out.

I want to ask you, Rachel Bitecofer, whether or not this has been a good issue because abortion was legal.


REID: Now that it`s going to be illegal across these red states. What happens? Because white women, let`s just be clear, have voted majority Republicans since the 1960s. It`s been very solid, even when there`s a woman on the ballot often, right?

But what happens to that vote? Do you see that vote starting to get shaky when their daughters are the ones who are in the crosshairs of this, when their sisters? Do you see them moving somewhat off the team if you start to see this -- the death, the bodies, the people starting to die or suffer?


BITECOFER: And you don`t even need to wait until that moment happens, right? Because here`s the thing.

Abortion politics over the course of the `90s, through the 2000s, it benefited them. They coined -- I mean, they`re so good at rhetoric, right? And they coined the pro-life movement. That really started to define abortion. You saw a small erosion in access support from that effort, right?

But -- and now the politics are the opposite. We`re under a five-alarm fire. There`s no need to wait until somebody actually dies. What you have to do is paint a picture for the electorate of what`s coming. And especially in these -- I mean, there`s a lot of different targets and ads that should go out to this community to people who would be sensitive to this.

But the one that I really want to see run is in suburban America, letting these mothers know, of all races, white women and all, what will happen if they try to outsource an abortion out of state. They are going to jail. That is what these laws are adding in provisions...

REID: Correct.

BITECOFER: ... so that it is true it will be inequitable. Poor people always suffer from restriction to abortion.

But, at the end of the day, their goal is to is to control women, right?

REID: Yes.

BITECOFER: And they`re leaving a loophole for white educated suburbanites.

REID: That`s correct. They`re going to -- they want control all women.

I`m going to -- last question to you, Representative Roberts. Does this wind up impacting the 2022 election? I hate to be completely politically crass, but, at this point, politics -- and politics is power. Let`s just be clear. Does this wind up impacting the 2022 race, in your view?

ROBERTS: I certainly hope so, because I think women, myself included, have been somewhat complacent on this issue. We just sort of assumed it wouldn`t get this bad. But here we are.

REID: Yes.

ROBERTS: Ms. Bitecofer is exactly right.

I mean, I have to hope that the Republicans in the majority here in Kentucky have overplayed their hand, and that this will be the motivator that tells people, look, if you ask someone straight up if they`re pro- life, they may very well say yes, but if you ask them, in all cases, with no exceptions for any of these reasons, they say no overwhelmingly.

These are extremist bills. These are radical bills.

REID: Yes.

ROBERTS: I do hope that this is going to start to wake people up.

REID: And when the bodies start, when somebody dies or somebody suffers greatly, this is a new area, you all. We will find out about it. We will know about it. We will talk about it.

Kentucky state Representative Rachel Roberts, Rachel Bitecofer.

The producer of this segment is also Rachel (ph). So I want to thank all the Rachels who were involved in making this happen. Girl power. We appreciate you all. We will be back.

And Rachel Bitecofer will actually be back with me later.

Up next on THE REIDOUT: Remember the Ukrainian soldiers at Snake Island who refused to surrender to Russia? It is now commemorated with this postage stamp. Well, that flagship of Russia`s Black Sea Fleet has sunk. And Ukraine says, we did that.

Also, the killing of an unarmed black man by police in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and what it reveals about all the things that are still wrong with policing in America.



DOLLY PARTON, MUSICIAN: We should pay more attention to how we`re treating our mountains, how we`re treating our world, how we`re just treating everything. We`re just mistreating Mother Nature.

That`s like being ugly to your momma.


REID: The queen, Dolly Parton, speaking the truth as only she can.


The climate crisis is growing worse ,and there`s very little political will to do anything about it.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.


REID: On this 50th day of the Russian invasion, Russian -- Ukrainian forces may have handed Russia a major setback. The Russian warship Moskva, seen here in satellite images, sank in the Black Sea today after Ukraine said a missile struck and badly damaged it.


Russia confirmed the sinking, blaming it on an unrelated ammunitions fire. U.S. officials could not confirm the cause of the damage. Despite the conflicting claims, the demise of the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, named after the Russian capital and better known as the vessel that demanded the surrender of Ukrainian forces on Snake Island early in the invasion, to which they were told to go F themselves, is significant, both symbolically and tactically, as Russian forces regroup for a fresh assault in the east.

Meanwhile, there was more tough talk from Russia today. Dmitry Medvedev, former president and deputy chairman of Russia`s Security Council, threatened that Russia would deploy nuclear weapons to the Baltics if Sweden and Finland joined NATO.

Those two countries could be weeks away from requesting admission to the military alliance in response to Russia`s invasion of Ukraine. It comes as the Biden administration is readying an additional $800 million military aid package for Ukraine and as the administration is considering sending a senior official to Ukraine as a show of support in its second month of war,

Today, President Biden says that he is still weighing that decision.

And joining me now is former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor, now vice president for Russia and Europe at the U.S. Institute for Peace.

Always great to talk with you, Ambassador Taylor.

Let me ask you about the sinking of the Moskva. What do you think is the significance psychologically for the Ukrainians and for the Russians?

WILLIAM TAYLOR, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: It`s the flip side. It`s the mirror image. You`re exactly right, Joy.

The Ukrainians are ecstatic. This is a big boost for them. They have got several big boosts. They ran the Russians out of Kyiv. But this sinking of the Moscow, the Moskva ship is -- which is the lead ship. It was the lead ship in the Black Sea for the Russians. And it sunk.

And the Ukrainians are so pleased that it was sunk by their own weapon, their own missile. They designed this missile, Joy. So this was not something that was given to them from the United States or from NATO. No, this was their own missile that they designed, employed and used for the first time, obviously, very effective.

And so they`re happy as can be. And the other side, exactly right, the Russians are devastated. I don`t think it`s too much to say. I mean, they are -- again, another big setback for the Russians, for the Russian military. This is the Russian military that was supposed to be the second best in the world. And it turns out, it`s not.

REID: Yes.

TAYLOR: It turns out that the navy`s not so good,the army is not so good, the leadership is not so good.

So this is a -- this is devastating to the Russians.

REID: Yes, so much for Donald Trump calling Putin a genius. And he`s clearly not that.

What about this idea of expanding NATO and having Finland and Sweden join? It seems to me that would be the best route, that would be the best comeuppance for Russia is if NATO expanded. What do you make of this prospect?

TAYLOR: Joy, I think you`re exactly right. I think you`re exactly right.

What the Russians are doing is demonstrating to all of Europe why NATO is so important. They are -- the Russians are trying to apparently scare the rest of Europe. And the rest of Europe, including the Swedes and the Finns now, are saying: We need some security from NATO. So we should join.

They`re considering joining. So the Russians are doing the exact opposite of what they want. And this business about being reminded -- the Russians continue to remind that, oh, we have got nuclear weapons. Well, that also makes it more attractive to join NATO.

REID: Yes, there`s a few other things I will just report for the audience.

France -- Reuters reporting that France is looking to move their French Embassy back to Kyiv, which I think would be a very great symbolic thing. Europe, reluctantly -- I love the word reluctantly -- readying a Russian oil embargo. I think that would be huge.

But I want to ask you before we lose you for time, this idea of a senior administration visit to Kyiv, when I saw that -- let just put up Boris Johnson now, the Russian -- I mean -- the Russian -- the U.K. prime minister, visiting, I saw that and, as an American, I was a bit envious.

I would love to see President Biden go to Kyiv. Would you?

TAYLOR: I would. I would. And good for Prime Minister Johnson. I mean, and good for all those other presidents in European nations who went there. That`s a demonstration of solidarity,a demonstration of support that is unlike any other, when you show up in a capital and you talk to citizens like this and you talk to President Zelenskyy standing right behind him.

This is a demonstration of support. So, sure, I think that was great that he did that. I think it would be great for the U.S. government to have some senior person in there as well.

Joy, I will tell you that the last time a sitting U.S. president went to Kyiv, I was in -- I was the ambassador there. It was in 2008. And it was H. -- George Bush. George W. Bush was the last one there.

And so it`s been a long time since a president showed up there.

REID: I agree that -- yes, I agree he should go. I do.


And the thing about it is, I can`t think of a reason not to go, right? I mean, standing -- Boris Johnson obviously needed the good P.R. to stand next to the great President Zelenskyy. So it`s good for him to. But I can`t think of any reason not to go. I really do hope that President Biden and Vice President Harris go.

I`m going to put my vote in for that.

Ambassador William Taylor, much appreciated, sir. Thank you very much.

And still ahead: to protect and serve, a motto coined by the LAPD in the 1960s to describe the role of police in America. But is it accurate? We`re going to take a closer look next.




ERIC ADAMS (D), MAYOR OF NEW YORK: To my fellow New Yorkers, we got him.

KEECHANT SEWELL, NYPD COMMISSIONER: We were able to shrink his world quickly. There was nowhere left for him to run.


REID: When the New York mayor and police authorities made that boast, it was not the whole story.

Now, for sure, there was an all-out manhunt for the Brooklyn subway shooter involving the NYPD, U.S. Marshals, the FBI, the ATF and more. But according to a 62-year-old suspect, Frank James` lawyer, the Crime Stoppers called ticked off police to his location came from Frank James himself. He reportedly told police he was at a McDonald`s, but when officers arrived, he was already gone.

Ultimately, he was caught because alert citizens like this man...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m fasting now, because this is Ramadan.

Like, I was working in the store, and I was -- see that guy. And I called - - when I see that guy, he was bag -- he have bag. And his -- he was walking on the sidewalk. I thought about it. Yo, this is the guy. He killed the seven people, I`m sure, I`m sure.


REID: Now, the unpretty truth is that most crimes don`t get solved or even reported. And the ones that do get solved often get solved because the perpetrator makes a mistake or leaves behind evidence or turns himself in.

In fact, according to August 2020 research by Shima Baughman, who teaches criminal law at the University of Utah, in which she reviewed 50 years of national crime data, as police report, they don`t solve most serious crimes in America. But the real statistics are worse than police data show.

In the U.S., it`s rare that a crime report leads to police arresting a suspect who is then convicted of the crime. The data show that, consistently, over the decades, fewer than half of serious crimes are reported to police. Few, if any arrests are made in those cases.

In reality, about 11 percent of all serious crimes result in an arrest and about 2 percent ends in a conviction. And real talk, police don`t really prevent crime either.

Journalist Jack Crosbie put it bluntly in a recent post about the Brooklyn subway shooting -- quote -- "Police in Brooklyn and basically everywhere do not do the job that society thinks they do. You will notice that I am not saying that police are not good at their jobs. In many cases, they are. The issue is that their jobs often have nothing to do with serving or protecting civilians.

"The police`s ability to prevent crime is basically zero. They can only respond to it, which happens to be the part of their job that they are the worst at. The part of the job that police are good at is projecting physical force onto whichever elements of society the state deems to be undesirable. In nonacademic terms, that largely means they`re good at beating up people who annoy them or harassing people that local governments want to minimize."

Which brings us to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where newly released video shows a police officer fatally shooting a 26-year-old black man, Patrick Lyoya, in the back of the head after an altercation following a traffic stop for a tag violation, a tag violation.

The incident was caught from multiple angles on the officer`s body camera. Dash-cam video appears to show the officer grab Lyoya before he pulls away and starts to run. The officer then tackles him to the ground, where the two engage in an extended struggle.

Interestingly, the officer`s body cameras switched off during the struggle. So the horrific final moment was captured by the cell phone of a man standing on the sidewalk nearby.

Now, I should warn you this video is disturbing. We have frozen the video before the fatal shot now.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, he didn`t grab no Taser. I didn`t see that. I see that.


Drop the Taser!



REID: Joining me now, Jack Crosbie, MSNBC contributor and co-founder of the Discourse Blog, and Ralph Godbee, former Detroit police chief.

And I want to start where we ended there, with you, Chief Godbee, and just show you a little bit more. I`m just going to show 32 more seconds. And this is the actual body camera from this officer who shot Mr. Lyoya.






Let go of the Taser!


REID: We have seen so many instances of black men in particular, Chief Godbee, ending up dead over something that wouldn`t even put them in prison, minor traffic crap. Why does that happen so often?

RALPH GODBEE, FORMER DETROIT, MICHIGAN, POLICE CHIEF: Mr. Crosbie, I read your article, and you summed up 250 years worth of policing in America in the most succinct way.

We have oversold what police bring from a value standpoint relative to crime reduction. And nothing about that stops, say, crime reduction. What you saw is contempt of cop. And we get to a point where, when behavior of a black or brown individual is contemptuous to a cop, the solution unfortunately too many times is becoming a dead black person that is unarmed at the end of the altercation.

In reality, what we need is strict liability for vehicle owners. If a car is unregistered, then send a civil citation to that owner and let them deal with it. It`s the -- but the predication for traffic stops as some way to control traffic and make traffic safe, it`s a ruse.

These are predications for stops, and they are overused in black and brown communities. And Mr. Lyoya is the latest of the victims. And to do the same thing the same way and expect a different result is the definition of insanity.

REID: No, absolutely.

And I agree with you, Jack Crosbie. I`m going to join in the praise for your article, because the reality is, somebody having the wrong tag on their car or an expired tag on their car changes no lives, saves no lives, makes the community no safer. Who actually cares?

Having an air freshener dangling when it`s not supposed to, so what? And if he even ran away from an officer, you have the car. If the car is stolen, you have it. So it seems like so many of these stops are pointless. But they still end up being able to use deadly force, because we have written into the law that, while most of what you`re doing is broken windows nonsense, you have the power of life and death.

All you have to say is the magic words: I feared for my life. I thought he had a gun. Feared for my life. Thought he was getting my Taser.

This Taser had been deployed twice. That Taser was useless. Doesn`t matter.


REID: Your thoughts, Jack?

JACK CROSBIE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, so I think this ties into what we have been seeing in New York recently as well, which is this massive surge in exactly what you`re describing, broken windows policing.

Eric Adams has flooded the subway system with police officers in an attempt to crack down on a wave of crimes that we have seen happening, many of which have been perpetrated by marginalized individuals in society, the homeless that don`t have anywhere else to go.

And the response to this has been more policing of the kind that you see in these traffic stops. It`s essentially -- for these homeless people, it`s street vendors down there, it`s giving them fines. It`s giving a homeless person a fine or kicking him off the train for trying to get some sleep down there.

And what this does is, this doesn`t address the root problems that are putting those people on the subways. Between 2014 and 2019, New York City spent $41.1 billion on the police. We spent $9.9 billion on homeless services and $6.8 billion housing.

Those two latter statistics that I suggested, those are what stopped the problems. What Chief Godbee is saying is investing in civil services that make sure that that expired tag never makes it to a police altercation. That`s a civil thing that`s handled through the mail...

REID: Yes.

CROSBIE: ... or through an online thing. He gets an e-mail says, hey, your tags expired, you need to pay this fine, or you need to do something like that.

We have to address these problems before they even reach the point. And when you look at New York City, I just think of this image. And I`m sorry. I will get back to it.

But the Strategic Response Group in New York City, which is a counterterrorism unit, one of these elite units that`s supposed to be keeping us safe, while the shooter was being arrested On a street corner on St. Mark`s Street down there, the SRG was in Tompkins Square Park a couple of blocks away destroying a homeless encampment.

So what`s the point? What are they there for? Who are they protecting?

REID: Yes.

CROSBIE: And who are they serving?

REID: And, Chief Godbee, it does seem that most of the time, what people - - what police are protecting our affluent people`s feelings.

They feel safe because they see police. They feel safe because they`re rolling homeless people away and moving them off the street. It`s -- but the actual job itself is mostly mundane.


REID: And so when you take people who have the power of life and death and may have a bad attitude or may be in a bad mood or really authoritarian and want complete compliance, and you add mundane work, where you`re just basically rolling over people who are drunk on the street, I feel like it`s inevitable we`re going to have this.

Why isn`t that what police reform is about?


GODBEE: Well, because we have oversold what policing really is.

It goes back to the Kansas City study in the 1960s. There`s this belief -- and the chiefs will try to sell you on this -- that response time has some correlation to reduction in crime. But the reality is, once someone hits those three digits, 911, that means the crime has already happened.

REID: Right.

GODBEE: So how fast you get to the crime isn`t a measure that reduces crime.

So we have to have a much more intelligent, nuanced conversation. We have got to stop allowing the tough-on-crime folks to continue to dominate the conversation, because it`s a ruse. And it`s really not getting to the root causes, which are homelessness, which goes to disenfranchisement, someone that`s hungry that`s trying to eat. And we`re criminalizing being poor, which is really what`s happening.

And there are two levels of police services, one for the affluent, and there`s one for the marginalized and (AUDIO GAP) people. And until we address the root cause issues that bring us to these points that the police shouldn`t even be involved in the first place, and that overreliance on police for every answer.

And it scares me that Mayor Adams, every time you hear him speak, his answer is more police officers. That is throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks. It sounds good, but it`s really not a holistic answer to solve some of these very deep social issues.

REID: It`s also good politics, because it`s a really good middle-class job and one of the last jobs with a pension.


REID: So you`re giving people who you don`t have to get a college degree to get it, and you get a pension. It`s partly politics for working-class Americans of all races who can get that job and that pension.

Let`s just be real with it.


REID: Jack Crosbie.

I recommend everybody read Jack Crosbie`s piece. I`m going to post it on my social media.

Chief Ralph Godbee, Jack Crosbie, you guys are great. Thank you both very much.

And up next: Take a look at this. You see this big, beautiful blue ball? It`s the only one we have got, folks. And it`s under threat, and the call is coming from inside the house. So why is there so little political will to address the climate crisis? And what can we do about it?

We will be right back.



REID: On this show, we try to give voice to the voiceless, including shedding light on the atrocities committed by Russia`s invading forces in Ukraine, police injustice and voter suppression.

But, tonight, I want to shed light on something that is happening to all of us, not just here in America, but across the globe. And that is the climate crisis.

There are currently around half-a-dozen wildfires burning in New Mexico and West Texas. The two areas have seen an early start to the fire season because of severe drought; 200 homes have burned down in New Mexico. And children have been forced to evacuate their schools. On Tuesday, a series of tornadoes that touched down north of Austin, Texas, injured 23 people and left a path of destruction.

That same day, about 900 miles away, two tornadoes hit Iowa. Just one storm system was responsible for several weather -- severe weather across the South and the Northern tier of the country, pummeling the Northern Plains and dumping as much as four feet of snow in Montana and nearly three feet in North Dakota.

In South Africa, the province that`s home to Durban was pummeled by one of the worst storms in the country`s history. More than 300 people were killed, including this man`s child.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it was -- they tried to assist me. It took two hours, after two hours. I survive. But, unfortunately, my child didn`t survive.


REID: Scientists warned that the four billion people living in places like South Asia, Central and South America and sub-Saharan Africa are living in global hot spots primed for climate catastrophes.

In the Philippines, a tropical depression these days of pounding rains, which caused landslides and flooding. Nearly 100 people have been killed and 200,000 had to be relocated.

Now, sadly, this is the new normal, according to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.


ANTONIO GUTERRES, UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL: We are on a fast track to climate disaster, major cities underwater, unprecedented heat waves, terrifying storms, widespread water shortages, the extinction of a million species of plants and animals.

And this is not fiction or exaggeration. It is what science tells us will result from our current energy policies.


REID: So, what do we do about this here at home, when you have a Republican Party that doesn`t seem to care and dirty energy companies that pay them not to?

We will get some answers next.



REID: The world is at a critical juncture.

A U.N. report says we could still stop the climate crisis, but we have to act right now. Well, is that even possible under our current political climate?

Back with me is Rachel Bitecofer. And I`m joined now by David Wallace- Wells, who next month is launching a "New York Times" newsletter focused on climate. And he`s the author of "The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming."

Well, what a title, David Wallace-Wells. And I did read the book, and it scared the hell out of me. I don`t even think I finished because I was too scared.

But talk a little bit about this, because it is very difficult to get people to focus on things like climate change, unless they`re like a young person. But most Americans go, meh.

What`s happening to our planet?


So the planet is only a little more than one degree warmer than it was before the Industrial Revolution, which doesn`t sound like very much, but it actually means that it`s hotter today than it`s ever been in the entire history of human civilization. And that means that our new normals are going to be more extreme and that our new extremes are going to be even more extreme.


And to illustrate just what that means, last month, we had simultaneous temperature anomalies in the Arctic and the Antarctic, which have basically never happened before. And the Antarctic one, the anomaly was 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It was 70 degrees warmer than it should have been.

That`s the equivalent today in April in New York City of a 130-degree day. And, yes, it happened in the Antarctic, where things are happening faster than in places like New York City, but it happened this year. It`s a sign just how many more extremes we`re going to be dealing with, and how much more regularly we`re going to be dealing with images like the ones that you have shown so far.

REID: And just -- to stay with you for just a moment, I mean, we`re talking about climate and weather are two different things, but just in our own sort of weather life, we`re seeing it go from like snowing one day to like really hot two days later.

We`re seeing these massive storms, wildfires, all of these sort of events that you have got to attribute to the change in the climate. Why do you suppose that those extremes and the cost that they`re putting on societies, the cost in terms of immigration, which is people are pouring across borders because of climate, the cost of having to fight these wildfires, having to deal with extreme cold -- does it surprise you that that has not changed policy?

WALLACE-WELLS: Well, in parts of the world, it has. In Europe in particular, they`re moving a little bit more quickly.

In the U.S., we have been stubborn. On the other hand, our private sector is doing a relatively good job as far as private sector action goes in decarbonizing. The problem is, we`re just not moving fast enough. And I think the basic underlying issue is that we have some cognitive biases here that prevent us from really thinking about the future clearheadedly.

We see new extremes every year, and yet we just normalize them and start to think of them as normal, rather than alarming and terrifying harbingers of an even worse future.

REID: Yes.

WALLACE-WELLS: But if we take the extremes seriously that we`re experiencing now, we really have to take action to limit future damages, and that means decarbonizing at an unbelievably breakneck pace, much faster than the private sector is doing today, even as we`re making progress.

REID: Well, this brings me to our number-crunching friend Rachel Bitecofer, because here`s the thing, the polling.

According to Pew, Republicans think of climate change as a very low priority. They think of -- only 10 percent think it`s a top concern; 58 percent say it`s not important at all.

And there was a -- one of our great booking producers made the point of, people also have a disconnect between, what am I doing? Like, do I recycle this jar? Is that going to really even do anything, if the Koch brothers still say you have to use oil and Joe Manchin says we`re not getting rid of coal, right?

How do people think about what I`m doing vs. what my society is doing? And is there real political pressure on people like Manchin or Republicans to change their ways?

BITECOFER: Yes, let me take this in a little bit different direction, because so your other guest mentions this -- cognitive biases.

But all humans have these biases. And it`s only in one place where we`re not seeing action, right? So it obviously is something institutional. And that institutional impediment is the Republican Party. And it`s really important to understand that that public opinion data that we saw, overall reaction to climate change, back in a few years ago, it might have been about whether climate change is a hoax or not, that stuff is all articulated from the GOP`s strategy to muddy up the water for climate change.

If they created denialism, which is an intentional thing they hired the tobacco lobby to do for them, then they didn`t have to act, right? So when you ask me, like, why are we losing the public opinion end of it, it`s because we`re not -- we`re not accepting, number one, this is a partisan issue.

We wanted bipartisanship, because that`s how you get action in a healthy, functioning democracy. You build a coalition. But it`s quite clear the Republican Party intends to take us all down with it. And it`s now time to clearly define for voters, A, what the personal cost is. And it is nice that climate materializes as weather, because you can micro-target it for people on the coast about flooding in and tornadoes here and wildfires in California.

But the point is, you don`t just show them the stuff and say, this is happening to other people. You want to present that information in a way that makes it clear that they personally are under threat from these weather changes and from other climate external -- negative externalities.

And if you do that, you can start to move them to want action. At this point, what we need is a mad public directing their anger clearly at the Republican Party. Yes, it`s corporations that fund it and banks and oil polluters, but where are they getting the political control? They`re getting it through this party.

We must make that very clear to an electorate who`s really looking for someone to blame on the inaction.

REID: Yes.

We`re out of time, David Wallace-Wells. But, lastly, I think the other thing people fear is, they`re going to lose their SUVs. They`re going to lose their stuff. Is that going to happen?

WALLACE-WELLS: All the companies are now making electric vehicles and are actually ending up production of ICV vehicles.

So, we don`t have to choose between big cars and green cars anymore.

REID: If you can get them charged. I have a hybrid, and there`s not enough chargers. They were supposed to do Build Back Better and get some chargers, and they didn`t do it.

Anyway, Rachel Bitecofer and David Wallace-Wells, thank you both very much.

That is tonight`s REIDOUT.