George Floyd TRANSCRIPT: 5/29/20, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O'Donnell

Guests: Marq Claxton, Orlando Patterson, Yamiche Alcindor, William Barber

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Vanita, again, and honor to have you with us tonight. Thank you for being here. Thank you for making time.

VANITA GUPTA, CEO, LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE ON CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS: Thank you, Rachel.

MADDOW: Again, we`ve got live images tonight that we are keeping an eye on. You see that large crowd in Sacramento, California. They had stopped, I think, of their own accord to listen to one of their own leaders, one of their own activists among them speak just moments ago.

We are watching tense confrontations unfold in Brooklyn, New York, in Atlanta, Georgia, in Las Vegas, Nevada. This was a night where obviously all eyes continue to be on St. Paul in Minneapolis where things have been so difficult for the past three nights with these ongoing protests.

But this is a nationwide protest movement now of outrage and pain after the death of 46-year-old George Floyd at the hands of a group of Minneapolis Police Department officers. One of whom has been charged with both manslaughter and murder.

Our live coverage continues now and through this evening. Do stay with us tonight. My colleague Lawrence O`Donnell is taking over right now. Good evening, Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Rachel. We`re going to get straight to the live coverage. Thank you, Rachel. Thank you. We are now one hour into the curfew imposed in Minneapolis and the adjacent city of St. Paul tonight.

The curfew will last until 6:00 a.m. and then go into effect tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. Minneapolis time. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey first resolution imposing the curfew says during the curfew, all persons must not travel on any public street or in any public place.

We`ll go to Ali Velshi on the streets of Minneapolis in a moment to get the latest on the situation there. We have seen protests of the Minnesota police killing of George Floyd in several cities around the country today including New York City, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Houston, Denver, Los Angeles and San Jose, California where protesters temporarily blocked traffic on a freeway.

Today, fired police officer Derek Chauvin who is seen on video crushing the life out of George Floyd with his police uniformed knee on George Floyd`s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, is now defendant Derek Michael Chauvin.

And this is his mug shot taken after he was arrested today. County Attorney Mike Freeman announced the charge today at 1:07 p.m. Minneapolis time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE FREEMAN, HENNEPIN COUNTY ATTORNEY: Good afternoon. I`m Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. I`m here to announce that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is in custody. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged by the Hennepin County Attorney`s office with murder and with manslaughter. Questions?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, what charge of murder?

FREEMAN: He had been charged with third degree murder. We are in the process of continuing to review the evidence. There may be subsequent charges later.

I failed to share with you a detailed complaint will be made available to you this afternoon. I didn`t want to wait any longer to share the news that he`s in custody and has been charged with murder.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about the other three officers involved?

FREEMAN: The other - the investigation is ongoing. We felt it appropriate to focus on the most dangerous perpetrator. I must say that this case has moved with extraordinary speed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: But it was not fast enough to stop protesters from burning down the police station last night where Derek Chauvin used to report to work. We turn now to Ali Velshi who once again tonight is reporting from the streets of Minneapolis. Ali, what`s the situation there right now?

ALI VELSHI, MSNBC HOST: The curfew has not worked, Lawrence. I`ll tell you what happened. We are probably a quarter mile from the police station. The police line was another half a mile beyond that, about three blocks.

At 15 minutes to curfew the police made announcements that you`re in violation of the curfew if you don`t assemble. And the police and National Guard started moving backward in this direction and firing tear gas.

That standoff lasted for about 30 or 40 minutes all the way to about this point. And then suddenly, the police were gone. The National Guard was gone. The tear gas has cleared and the crowd has walked that way, apparently downtown.

Now it became more of a march than protest at that point because they weren`t pushing the police back. But it does seem apparent the protesters had pushed the police and the National Guard out of the way. So what you`re seeing is relatively empty streets.

There are now more fires burning. There are some heavy smoke back toward where we started so I`m trying to figure out - I`m on my way there to figure out what`s going on there.

But the march, the protest has overcome the police. Now, we don`t know whether that`s strategic, Lawrence, in that the police moved backwards to dissipate the crowd, which may have been the case because it`s end up being a slow walk. As you can see we`ve got some attention right now, Lawrence. I`m going to come back to you in a couple of minutes.

O`DONNELL: All right, we will go back to Ali Velshi in a few minutes. MSNBC`s Ali Velshi has been on the streets of Minneapolis for the last couple days doing extraordinary work for us.

Joining our discussion now Paul Butler, law professor at Georgetown University. He`s a former federal prosecutor and an MSNBC contributor, and Marq Claxton is with us. He is a retired New York City police detective and director of the Black Law Enforcement Alliance. And Paul Butler, let me start with you and your reaction to the murder charge lodged today.

PAUL BUTLER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: So after four days, several videotapes, eyewitness identifications, we finally have an arrest in this case. Now, I think this has been a teachable moment for many African-American men. We didn`t know it was this difficult to get arrested.

As a former prosecutor, I do know how difficult it is to convict a cop especially of murder. And that`s why I think the murder three charges in here are appropriate.

If the prosecutor had charged murder one or two, he would have had to prove intent to kill. That`s very difficult to persuade a jury beyond a reasonable doubt what`s going on in a defendant`s mind especially when the defendant is a police officer.

Now, what they have to prove this reckless indifference, the frayed indifference to human life and the evidence of that is the videotapes. It`s Mr. Floyd`s own words as he narrates his demise saying I can`t breathe.

So, we want the prosecutor to win this case and statistically, even with these charges, the odds are against them. About 150 officers have been charged with murder and manslaughter in the last several years. The vast majority of them have walked. If justice means a criminal conviction, then murder three I think is the best way of getting that.

And when this former police officer goes to the big house, if he`s convicted and he`s asked what are you locked up for, they will say murder, not murder one, murder two, murder three. They will say murder. If he`s duly convicted, he deserves that shame, that stigma of being labeled under the law a murderer.

O`DONNELL: And the murder charge he faces carries a maximum sentence of 25 years. We want to go back to Ali Velshi at his camera position on the streets of Minneapolis, if he is there and available. Ali, can you hear us? There he is.

VELSHI: Yes, we`re here, Lawrence. So what we`ve got is we`ve got traffic started on here. We have heard that the protest has moved its way into downtown so we`re going to be following up with that in just a moment.

But again, the protests, this is all the distance that it has come. I would estimate that it was a distance of about two miles before we broke off from it to get back here and get in front of it. This protest has gone all the way down there.

Somebody just came by and told me that there is another police precinct that may be on fire. We don`t have that information confirmed and we`re going to check it out. But the curfew, the idea that no one is supposed to be on the street right now is not in effect.

If you can look around me, there are people kind of everywhere. There is one big fire burning in the distance. There is black smoke coming from over there. This is the Target that you probably have seen for the last couple days. It`s across the road from the police station.

This is where fire was set and there was a lot of looting. This parking lot in fact next to the Target was the center piece for all of the assemblies and the protests around the third precinct for the last several days.

So, people are out and about here. There`s traffic moving. There`s -- this curfew has not worked. As I was saying to you, we were interrupted in a few minutes ago when we were talking.

It may have been a strategic effort on the part of the police and the National Guard to back off and literally cause everybody to walk down this road because eventually, once the face-off stopped and the face-off was right here.

This is the point where the police drew the line. This is an overpass here. You probably saw this earlier on Rachel`s show. This is where all the tear gas was. The police and the National Guard were on this side. The protesters were here.

And we were stopped here probably for about half an hour while the gas was moving over into the protesters. For whatever reason, they didn`t back off. We`ve got masks. They didn`t have masks and they stood there. They were pouring milk over their faces and trying to cleanse themselves of the stinging effect in your throat and your eyes of the gas.

And then they just started walking through this way and the police and the National Guard left. And we haven`t seen tear gas in probably 45 minutes. We haven`t seen police and National Guard in as long.

So, whatever the strategy is of the police, the curfew that is supposed to be in effect here in this part of Minneapolis is not in effect. And what we are hearing now, we`re going to follow-up on that very shortly, is that the protest has moved into downtown.

As of last night, businesses downtown that were open for take-out had even shut down. They boarded up their windows. Minneapolis downtown at night is not the most vibrant scene in the commercial area so there is not a lot of activity there.

It`s unclear exactly what the target of the protesters would be if they`re headed down that way, but that is the situation as it stands. There are no protesters in this area. There is no National Guard and there are no police, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Ali Velshi, thank you very much. We will come back to you throughout this hour. I want to go to Mark Clakston. Quickly Mark, on the difficulty of enforcing a curfew with your police experience, the mayor there has said that he values human life much more than property. What are the challenges the police are facing tonight trying to enforce a curfew?

MARQ CLAXTON, DIRECTOR, BLACK LAW ENFORCEMENT ALLIANCE: Really, there are huge tactical challenges especially when you have a combination of your local law enforcement, with state law enforcement.

Perhaps, you know, the logistics of it makes it very challenging because you have to have a centralized command. And theoretically, you all have to act as one as a unit and that`s extremely difficult when you`re not accustomed to working hand and hand with one another.

And you have to be clear about the lines of supervision. Is the supervisor of the police department are going to be supervising over National Guard or absolutely not? And who takes command? So, it`s still logistical issues that are a challenge for law enforcement on the street there.

But make no mistake about it, it`s important people understand that this is the job of -- part of the job of law enforcement that is often times the individuals place themselves in harm`s way, in difficult situations even when they have their owner emotional feelings or visceral feelings about what has occurred.

They have an obligation and a responsibility to protect and preserve the sanctity of human life as very important.

O`DONNELL: We`re going to go to Louisville, Kentucky now to Cal Perry who is covering the protests in Louisville. Cal Perry, what`s the situation there?

CAL PERRRY, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Lawrence. We`re just going take a look at our live shot here. We`re sort of at the front line of protesters and as it escalates -- I`ll get out of the way, Mark, just show. As it escalates, police have been using tear gas. They`ve been firing some kind of defensive round. We think it`s those rubber bullets. You can almost hear them bouncing off the pavement.

This city last night saw these protests and then they saw a mass shooting on top of it. Seven people were shot just about a block from here which is why police have come out in force so early in the evening. They want to try to avoid what they saw last night.

Keep in mind, this city is also dealing with its own trauma when it comes to law enforcement. In mid-March, Breanna Taylor, a young woman, 26-years- old, she`s actually a vital worker, one of those essential workers, a nurse, was shot in her home by police who came in the door without knocking.

It was called a no-knock warrant. She was shot dead eight times. That is one of the reasons that this city is boiling over. It`s not just what happened in Minneapolis. It`s what`s happened here. Those are flash bang grenades going off. Here comes another one, Lawrence.

So this city has a very tense relationship with its police force, as well. There have been a number of recent incidents in the last few months which have led to this point. It`s culminated in what happened last night. Again, with seven people shot.

Police seemingly want to shut this down early but Lawrence, these folks here in the downtown area are not going anywhere, at least not yet.

O`DONNELL: Cal, how long have they been protesting today? When did it become this active?

PERRY: It became this active about an hour ago. The protesters came out around 6:00 p.m. and just kind of walked this downtown area about a block to our left from your camera left is a number of administrative buildings.

There is the local city jail. There is the county courthouse. There is the sheriff`s office. And what`s been happening is police have been blocking folks in and now they`ve got us all sort of pinned into this intersection.

What you`re looking at now, you can see the protester behind that white board. Police are firing rubber bullets that seem to have some tear gas on it and it`s about to make its way down here. And you can see that one protester, Lawrence is not moving. We`ve seen this game of chicken go on all night here in downtown Louisville.

O`DONNELL: I want to go back to Markq Claxton again. Marq, with the question of police tactics and the choices that they have in these different protests around the country, and they are -- they will come up against that question of the preservation of human life versus the preservation of property.

CLAXTON: Yes, and see, and part of the responsibility that law enforcement has and is intrinsic in policing is preserving human life and that`s what makes, you know, what occurred with Mr. Floyd and so many other cases so horrific and so tragic.

Is that those individuals who are charged and have this (inaudible) responsibility too often are not adhering to their own philosophy and principles about protecting and preserving human life and the sanctity of human life.

And to always operate with empathy and humanity. And that`s part of the problem the demonstrations are looking to address those issues as well.

O`DONNELL: And let me go to Paul Butler again on the criminal charge in Minneapolis. You see the third degree murder charge as the reasonable legal charge given the state of the evidence right now.

BUTLER: I do. So, when you have to persuade a jury beyond a reasonable doubt what someone was thinking, that`s a daunting task for a litigator. And so the question for murder one or two would be did these officers intend to kill Mr. Floyd?

They were unspeakably cruel. One held Mr. Floyd by the neck. Another grabbed his leg. A third cop pushed his back down. So maybe they intended to kill him, but it looks like torture to me. And, again, under the law, that makes a difference.

And so, again, what we want is the easiest case for prosecutors to present to the jury. You do want that murder stigma and, again, that comes with murder three.

And so in terms of the keeping the eye on the goal, getting this man locked up for a long time, I think that third degree murder is the best way of trying to achieve that.

And as I suggested, looking at statistically what happens when cops are charged with homicide, it`s not a slam dunk even with this extraordinary quality of evidence.

O`DONNELL: We will be continuing to cover the -

CLAXTON: Lawrence, can I add something?

O`DONNELL: Yes, go ahead, quickly.

CLAXTON: I was going to say just quickly, I think the key point, Paul makes excellent points. Of course, this (inaudible) his analysis is excellent and people are really looking for a statement on whether or not extrajudicial executions under the color of law can be fully punishable under the current system.

That really is the question communities of colors are looking at and not necessarily the hyper technical things that Paul explained so well.

O`DONNELL: That`s former NYPD detective Marq Claxton joining in our discussion there. And when the jury is considering that case, and by the way, we will be covering the protests as we can, develop coverage of them around the country tonight especially in Minneapolis.

We`ll be going back there. But as the jury is considering the murder charge against Derek Michael Chauvin, they will be wondering what he was thinking as Paul Butler just said. What was he feeling if anything? Was he thinking that he was killing a man? What did he feel? What was he experiencing?

And one of the chilling things about the imagery of it is just that silent confidence that you see there that makes it look like just another day at work for a white American police officer with his knee on the neck of an unarmed and handcuffed black man.

We turn tonight at this hour for more guidance on this subject and what we`re seeing in this image and what we`re seeing in these protesters from a world renowned scholar whose work I have admired since I discovered it in college.

Joining us now is Harvard sociology professor Orlando Patterson. And Professor Patterson, first of all, what is it that you think you`re seeing when you look at that video that has changed America`s focus today, this week from 100,000 dead from coronavirus to this one man dead under the knee of that police officer?

ORLANDO PATTERSON, SOCIOLOGY PROFESSOR, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Yes. Thanks for having me on your show, Lawrence. What I saw was very chilling. What I saw was really not even a hate crime. It was worse than that.

With a hate crime, you have a lot of emotions. People are disgusted by others. People don`t like the ideas, the beliefs of how (inaudible) the way they look at some. But at least there are emotions. At least there is recognition of the other person as a human being even if you hate him so much you want to kill him.

What I saw here was a lack of emotion. What I saw here was a sort of the base and the basing inhumanity. So this is a crime of inhumanity. The expression on his face, as you mentioned, the fact he had his hand in his pocket, the ultimate expression of nonchalant indicates to me someone who did not recognize that he had a human being under his knee.

It`s as if you`re euthanizing an animal and that is what is so very chilling about this, that the lack of recognition of the humanity of the victim. And it reminds me of what I have called banality of evil, when in fact chilling becomes routine, when it is not exceptional.

And for that, I blame not just this inhuman person but the organization to which he belongs. There is something fundamentally wrong with the American police department.

The way they recruit, the kind of people they recruit, the way they train their officers, the organizational culture which sees the community not as something you belong to and which you protect, but as the enemy, the warrior mentality.

And that culture in fact, persists not only in Minneapolis, but in many other departments. And that`s why by the way it really makes little difference whether the chief is a black person or not. The chief in Minneapolis is a black man, but it`s not surprising that it made little difference because the culture.

The organizational structure, the set of assumptions is one which makes violence and the use of violence a first result rather than another (ph) result which sees the community as the enemy and which sees killing as routine. It`s chilling and as I said, it`s worse than a hate crime. It`s sort of the normalcy of killing.

O`DONNELL: Professor Patterson, you have been studying and writing about racial issues in America since the 1960s. You`ve watched the tear gas canisters fly in situations like this since the 1960s.

What are your feelings tonight as you watch these very familiar scenes that have been now familiar to you for decades that we`re seeing in these American cities tonight?

PATTERSON: Well, it takes one back to the `60s. It`s the final expression of outrage. The fact that once humanity is not being recognized, you know, this is not an accident. This occurs over and over.

And I think, you know, we`re -- I`m taking a ride back to the `60s and to that collective expression of outrage that enough is enough. We need to be recognized as human beings who belong to this community and if our basic human rights are not recognized, we will have to resort to violence.

You know, but I got to, I mean, let me emphasize that America has changed for the better to a considerable degree. But what has not really changed very much is the policing in America.

You know, I lived in Britain during the `60s, and for many years the police there were just as racist in many respects as Americans. And so racism is there, but it`s secondary because the British police are racist and they harass newly arrived West Indian, especially Jamaican youth mercilessly.

But as far as I can recall, there is not a single killing and the reason for that, of course, is that one, they didn`t have guns and secondly, there is a culture, there is an organizational frame work which prevented even the most sort of the base racist from killing.

And you get this in other European countries. So there is something fundamentally wrong with American police training, police culture, police organization which has to change and until it does, black lives will not matter.

O`DONNELL: Professor Orlando Patterson, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Your perspective on this is invaluable. I`m so glad you`re able to join us and share your views with us tonight. Thank you, professor.

PATTERSON: Great being with you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: The murder charge against the fired police officer who killed George Floyd says, "Derek Michael Chauvin caused the death of George Floyd by perpetrating an act of imminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life."

Another white man evincing a depraved mind without regard for human life tweeted today, "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." That incitement of mass murder forced Twitter to cover Donald Trump`s tweets saying that it is glorifying violence.

Today, former Vice President Joe Biden discussed the situation in Minneapolis with Craig Melvin.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRAIG MELVIN, MSNBC HOST: Cities are now being torn apart, not just in Minneapolis, but protests in Louisville and New York and L.A. If you are elected in November, where do you start?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I start by talking about what we must be, making no excuses, talking about our obligation to be descent, our obligation to take responsibility, our obligation to stand up when we see injustice. I talk about that.

Look, the words of a president matter no matter how good or bad that president is. A president can, by their words alone no matter who they are, make markets rise or fall, take us to war, bring us to peace. The words of a president matter.

And think about this, you know, you`ve heard me say before because we`ve talked about this in a different context that our children are listening. Think of the millions and millions and millions of American children who saw what happened on the television.

How can we not show the outrage and the commitment to see that it doesn`t - - we can`t guarantee it won`t happen again but to change the culture -- a culture? The vast majority of police aren`t cruel, but my lord, when they see a bad cop, they should be prosecuted. They should be taken out in terms of off the force.

They should be punished for what they do. People have to be held accountable for what they do and you do that. You also give some life. Imagine -- anyway. I just think we have to speak to it, not hide it. Speak to it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now, Yamiche Alcindor. She is the White House correspondent for PBS News Hour and an MSNBC political analyst. And Joy Reid is with us. She is an MSNBC national correspondent and of course, the host of "A.M. Joy."

And Joy, let me begin with you on the stark contrast we have once again on this time, the issue of the day, the issue of the week in Minneapolis, the stark contrast between the two presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Yes. And you know, what was interesting about watching Joe Biden, who by the way, is at his best when he is talking about loss. It`s something that he has felt and you`ve interviewed him on this.

He feels loss so personally and so deeply because he lost so much at such a young age. Losing his wife and his daughter and then raising his two boys and he gets married again and then the older son grows up and then passes away of cancer.

So he has felt loss. The best Joe Biden is the Joe Biden who is grieving with other people. So, to watch him perform what is really the ceremonial job of the president, right, the president has certain powers.

But the real power that he has is to speak to us in times of pain. Bill Clinton did it. Ronald Reagan did it. You know, I`m quite sure even Richard Nixon could accomplish it in a way that Donald Trump just can`t.

Because Donald Trump can`t access that thing, that empathy, the thing that you need to have in you in order to grieve with us or in order to feel our pain. What Donald Trump did instead is he essentially challenged sort of a George Wallace.

He -- there`s a guide in Walter Headley who was the police chief in Miami, the city of Miami for 20 years. And in 1967, he said when the looting starts, the shooting starts. He was one of the most violent police chiefs in America. He was a Bull Connor.

That`s who Donald Trump relates to. That`s who he speaks like. He speaks like George Wallace. So you could not have a starker contrast between Joe Biden who say whatever you want about, you know, are his political skills perfect, no.

But he is an empathetic man and he`s a descent man and he`s a good man. And for all of whatever little gaffes he may make around, you know, around his campaign, he`s a good guy. And Donald Trump is not a good guy. He`s not an empathetic man and so he can`t evince what he doesn`t have.

O`DONNELL: Yamiche Alcindor, do we have any reporting from White House sources today indicating who wrote that line for Donald Trump because it`s impossible that he would actually know word for word segregationist language that was used in 1967 and 1968. It sounds like a Steven Miller research project possibly, but do we know where the phrase came from and how it got it into Donald Trump`s tweet?

YAMICHE ALCINDOR, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, PBS NEWSHOUR: Well, let`s remember Donald Trump sent that tweet in the middle of when the nation was reeling from protests, in the middle of the night almost where he was leaning in on his political instincts and thinking about the idea that he uses bombastic language that he is someone who wants to be seen as macho and be seen as in charge.

And then what Joy said in some ways what the, of course, the Chief Critics of President Trump say which is he`s not someone who can be a Calmer in Chief who can be an empathetic person who can tell the Nation I know that everyone is hurting we`re in the middle of pandemic Africans, Americans are fed up with the way they are being treated by police but we`re going to get through this, as an America we`re going to be able to figure this out.

The President didn`t do that last time, instead, what he did was leaned in on the idea that he, of course, himself has taken the side of the police even when they are unjustified thinking about this idea that he is joked about people not protecting the heads of people when they were being taken into police custody. He`s criticized black lives matter, several rights, leaders and then you have Joe Biden who is saying look, I can be the President who maybe I`ll misspeak and maybe I`ll say things that will make people cringe but at the end of the day, who I will be, will be somebody who can really lead this country, who can be empathetic.

That`s what people and supporters of President, of Vice President Biden seeing him. What I will say though is, as we think about where we go from here, we have to think that for eight minutes and 46 seconds, a white officer kneeled on the neck of George Floyd and for two minutes and 53 seconds of that, George Floyd was unconscious.

That`s why people are still in the streets. That`s why Americans can`t sleep tonight. That`s why people are needing a voice that`s going to be empathetic and have credibility and that`s I think why President Trump is having a real hard time doing that because his own issues, his own background as a birther is complicating his ability to have credibility on this issue.

O`DONNELL: Yamiche, when the Trump team watches Joe Biden in that interview on MSNBC today with Craig Melvin and other statements he`s made on this situation like this, do they understand that what they are watching there is Presidential and that that is not what they`re getting out of Donald Trump?

ALCINDOR: I mean, I think the Trump campaign and supporters of the President would say that the President has his own style and that there are people that like his style that there are people who like him being aggressive they think he`s adopting politically correct when he`s saying when the looting starts, the shooting starts but I think that the Trump campaign also realizes in Joe Biden they have affordable opponent that they have someone that is going to give them a run for their money in Pennsylvania, in Ohio, in Arizona, in Georgia.

That`s why you see the President and his allies doing all this polling, trying to figure out ways to talk about the fact they think mail-in voting is a fraud even though, of course, that`s a baseless claim. They are getting ready for November because they know that this is going to be a dog fight and Joe Biden even though he is not really left his home that often in the last few months, they understand in their campaign, they are feeling very confident in the idea that they cannot only win black states but they can win black red states.

That`s what people on Joe Biden`s campaign are - is saying. So when they look at him and Joe Biden`s look at what he`s doing, they say if the boss gets something wrong, he still doing what he needs to be doing to win this election.

O`DONNELL: Yamiche Alcindor, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Joy Reid is going to stay with us. She`s going to join us later in the show. We have a quick programming announcement for next week - for this week actually, this Thursday night 10:00 p.m. special guest for "The Hour" will be former Vice President Joe Biden. You can send in your questions for this town hall that Joe Biden will have here.

We want your participation in the questioning and we will have information for you about how to participate in the questions. You can see it there on the screen. Submit your questions to msnbc.com town hall. We`ll be right back after a quick break. That`s Thursday night 10:00 p.m.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Joining us now with the latest from the streets of Minneapolis`s NBC News Correspondent Morgan Chesky. Morgan, what`s the situation there now?

MORGAN CHESKY, CORRESPONDENT: Lawrence, we`re going into a Friday night unlike any we`ve seen before here. We`re hoping it`s not a carbon copy of the past two nights with so much destruction in the ten block square area but that`s yet to be seen. We`re just around the corner from The Third Precinct Police Station that was taken over a last night by protesters and we would have been right in front of it however about five minute ago we put a bit of a buffer between us and the building because people started to running outside saying that they had lit a fire inside the interior of that building. Others walking out with anything from Lysol wipes to Legar books taking whatever they wanted as a souvenir.

In the meantime, that big group protestors that we watched grow in size here over the afternoon has, still has yet to return to the area. They have since marched at least a mile from where I`m standing towards another part of the city after tear gas was deployed on them. In the meantime here we`re surrounded by burned buildings. It has become a bit of a free for all, Lawrence.

We have been waiting to see for any sign of Minneapolis police or the National Guard or those State police officers who created such a firm perimeter earlier today by wearing the riot gear and staying put for hours on end. They are nowhere to be found at this point in time and so while we`re waiting to see what response will come from this continued looting in this area, we are wondering and just what will happen on this fourth night since the death of George Floyd.

We do know that the arrest of that police officer was a bit of a relief for the crowds that we spoke to today but they say that`s maybe basically a first step and they say there is still much more to come. Some saying that that third degree murder charge that was leveled against him is nothing but a slap on the rest. So tensions are still very high here, Lawrence and as we look around, we`re not seeing the crowds that we`ve seen in nights past but that could certainly be changing. One, with the return of that massive of people that left this area and two, with no sign of law enforcement now basically repeating what we saw last night. Lawrence?

O`DONNELL: Morgan Chesky, thank you for that report. Appreciate it. After the destruction in Minneapolis last night, the Governor of Minnesota today said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. TIM WALZ (D-MN): We cannot have the looting and the recklessness that went on. We cannot have it because we can`t function as a society and I refuse to have it take away the attention of the stain that we need to be working on is what happened with those fundamental institutional racism that allows a man to be held down in broad daylight and thank God a young person had a camera to video it because there`s not a person here or listening today that wonders how many times that camera is not there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Derek Chauvin the now accused murderer of George Floyd was arrested today because a 17-year-old girl in Minneapolis did the right thing. And only because she did the right thing, four Minneapolis police officers have now been fired and one has been charged with murder. The other three police officers are awaiting the decision of State and Federal Prosecutors about what happens next to them as Minneapolis sees it`s fourth day and night of protests.

Tonight, those four police officers were not fired because of what they did on the street. They were fired because of what 17-year-old Darnella Frazier did on that street. She pressed record on her phone and she stood there and held her ground for ten minutes videoing the police knee on George Floyd`s neck that appears to kill him right there on the video that she recorded.

Without that video recording, that Darnella Frazier made, nothing would be happening to those police officers, nothing. No one would be charged with a crime. No one would be fired because no one in law enforcement would have believed the hand full of witnesses on the scene without non-stop video recording of those ten minutes to prove what happened.

Minneapolis police department actually took the police officer`s word for what happened at first and the Minneapolis police department put out a first statement declaring as a fact, not as a claim made by the arresting officers, but as a proven fact that George Floyd quote physically resisted officers. The resisting arrest story always works inside every police department in America, always. Unless there is video.

I`ve been reporting on and writing about police use of dead deadly force since the 1980s and I can report to you that the resisting arrest story has always worked until video came along to tell a different story. Here is Officer Derek Chauvin with his deadly knee on George Floyd`s neck. This image comes from Darnella Frazier`s video.

The accused murderer is looking directly at her as she records the video, and seconds after that Derek Chauvin threatened her and other witnesses with mace, but Darnella Frazier held her ground and she held her focus. She has been on this earth for only 17 years, but that was enough time for her to learn how to do the right thing under pressure, under police pressure.

Every minute that this brave 17-year-old girl was doing the right thing, every police officer on the scene was doing the wrong thing. Every one of them. Each police officer there was in a position to save George Floyd`s life to get Derek Chauvin`s knee off of George Floyd`s neck and not one of those police officers found in himself what it takes to do what a 17-year- old Darnell Frazier did, the right thing.

And so we have the ten minutes of video that is now clearly the decisive evidence in the prosecutor`s murder case. It is from that video and that video alone that the prosecution`s first filing in the case is able to say court the defendant had his knee on Mr. Floyd`s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in total, 2 minutes and 53 seconds of this was after Mr. Floyd was non-responsive.

The only way the prosecutors know that is from Darnella Frazier`s video recording that`s the only way. We have repeatedly shown you ten seconds of the video in which George Floyd says I can`t breathe, please. The knee in my neck, I can`t breathe. We have shown you seconds of the video in which George Floyd calls out to his mother who died 18 months ago as his life slips away. He`s calling out to his mother on that video. There is much more disturbing evidence on the video that the murder jury will consider. George Floyd repeatedly says I can`t breathe. I cannot breathe. He says it until he can no longer speak. And about six minutes of that video shows George Floyd lying absolutely motionless, speechless and for some of that time perhaps dead.

The medical examiner will try to determine exact time of death but we already know that George Floyd did not have a pulse when a medical technician first arrived on the scene and when that knee first came off his neck. During the excruciating six minutes when George Floyd appears lifeless the witnesses at the scene increasingly protest directly to the police officers. We hear people saying he`s not even resisting arrest. How long are you going to hold him down? And then we hear the authoritative voice of one very persistent witness, Donald Williams who while trying to stay calm and trying to get through to the police officers repeatedly says I trained at the academy.

He says I trained at the academy. You`re stopping his breathing. He`s not responsive. Check his pulse. In increasing frustration at what he`s seeing, we hear one witness say directly to Derek Chauvin, you`re enjoying it. Every single thing that the witnesses said to the police was correct. Everything they said was more reasonable than what the police were doing.

The witnesses, the protesters of that police conduct as it was happening were the responsible citizens in that scene and the police were the exact, towards end of the video, we hear one of the police protesters saying he has not moved not one time and then we hear another say did they kill him? And then we hear another say. They just killed that man. Those witnesses on the scene of what the county prosecutor now calls a murder were the very first protesters of the police conduct in this case as it was happening.

Every bit of their protest was true and honest and just and now that protest has grown in the aftermath to include many more people in Minneapolis and other cities and all of those protesters all across the country are all protesting the murder that they were able to see only because a 17-year-old girl did the right thing. This story is horrific. This story is a tragedy.

Sometimes tragedies have heroes. And the full truth of this story can only be told thanks to the heroism of a 17-year-old girl, Darnella Frazier. That is heroism. Joy Reid and the Reverend William Barber will join us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: The distinguished Princeton Professor Eddie Glaude the Chair of the African American Studies Department reflected on the anger and frustration we have seen in Minneapolis this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EDDIE GLAUDE, CHAIR, AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES DEPARTMENT, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: I wonder what happens on the inside, in your bones when you have to deal with the ravages of a virus and hatred at the same time, when you have to deal with the trauma of loss, the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, having to stand in line, long lines for food banks, trying to figure out how you`re going to pay the rent, and then see images, to see images of a man dying right in front of you at the hands of the police or at the hands of white people who think they want to police us. The stress, the trauma, the terror of having to navigate this in a time of a pandemic, it`s unimaginable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now is the Reverend William Barber. He`s the President of the Repairs of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People`s Campaign. Joy Reid is back with us. They are both hosting a special this Sunday on MSNBC "American Crisis: Poverty and the Pandemic".

And Reverend Barber, I want to ask you about the point that Professor Glaude makes, and he begins with that question of how does it feel inside your bones when you have to deal with the ravages of a virus and hatred at the same time. What`s your reaction to that that feeling that Professor Glaude has just raised?

REV. WILLIAM BARBER, PRESIDENT, REPAIRERS OF THE BREACH: Well, thank you so much, Lawrence. That`s one of the reasons Joy and I are having this special because even before this pandemic and before this moment, people were hurting. 700 people were dying a day a quarter million people a year from poverty and low income. We`re going to deal with the pain of systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy.

You`re going to hear testimony from a lady named Polly who even before this was talking about being forced to go to work without PPEs in a nursing home made her feel like it was policy-based murder. What we are seeing is what I call a code 666 DBR, death by racism. And this racism is not just a spectacle that happens every now and again. It`s systemic, whether it`s the knee of a policeman on the neck of a person that kills him in front of others or whether it`s the weight of the deadly policies that kill black people and brown people and people of color day in and day out.

That`s what these screams are. They`re guttural scream. They`re screams that are saying this is screwed up and we can`t take it anymore and even people that are saying we`re committed to non-violence, but we`re no longer committed to non-action. I know it would do America well to hear these screams and notice that the screams are so bad, they are so bad; it`s not just black folks screaming.

It`s white people in the street marching. It`s brown people. It`s gay people, its straight people. It`s transgender because the pain of racism is so bad; it`s hurting everybody at a gut level. But those who it is inflicted upon the worse, black people, are saying we just cannot stand this anymore. And in fact, we`re screaming because we tried everything else, and we need to continue to scream because it is killing us. It`s killing us. It`s killing us. And it`s killing the soul of this country.

O`DONNELL: Joy Reid, on Monday many of us were experiencing for the first time in our lives that a deadly killer could get us at any time, without any hint, sneak up on us and get us, this coronavirus. And it turns out that it didn`t matter. It didn`t matter at all what George Floyd was doing to save himself from the coronavirus because on Monday, a knee was going to get him. And that`s the way it was going to end for him.

JOY REID, HOST, AM JOY: Yes. And it didn`t matter that Breonna Taylor was trying to save other people from COVID as an EMT. You know, the challenge, and I think Bishop Barber has really explained it well, is that black people were already dying disproportionately from poverty, from want, from violence by police. This was already happening. And by the way, white people were already dying in huge numbers that are not usually acknowledged from poverty, from want, rural poverty in White America is as vehement as in Black America.

But you think about the fact that, you know, we talked to - we have - there`s a package we have in this special where members of the United Food Workers can`t get enough protection to make sure that they don`t get sick and die serving up the things that Donald Trump`s favorite protesters are screaming for. Go in there, get in that factory and get me my steaks.

Well, okay, they have to risk their lives for that. And the Union that is there to protect them can`t protect them and keep them alive and make sure that they have enough PPE. But the police union in this country is the only Union left with significant power, with almost impenetrable power, so that four police officers can participate in the killing of a human being and only one of them ends up being charged for quite a long time.

Neither of them even get arrested. They can go out there and stare, thank you for doing that segment previously, because those officers stared right into the eyes of a 17-year-old child and had no fear. That`s the difference between the kinds of Unions that represent poor folks and the kind of Unions that represent police.

O`DONNELL: Joy Reid, thank you for that. The special this Sunday is "American Crisis: Poverty and the Pandemic" with Joy Reid and the Reverend Barber. Thank you both very much for joining our discussion tonight. We really appreciate it. We`ll be watching it. We`re going to Cal Perry in Louisville with the latest from Louisville. Cal?

CAL PERRY, CORRESPONDNT, MSNBC: Hey, Lawrence, there`s just been a break out here. Police have lost this ground, and I can show you. This is downtown Louisville in the middle of the street. And people have taken out trash cans, other debris and have lit it on fire. As I said, police are trying to circle the area. All right, Lawrence, I`m going to toss it back to you.

O`DONNELL: All right. Cal Perry is going to have to get into another position. And as we close our coverage tonight, we have been covering as much as we can of the protests around the country. Most of the protesting by most of the protesters has not been violent in any way, has not involved a lighting fires of any kind in trash cans or buildings.

There have been thousands upon thousands, tens of thousands of protesters on the streets around this country protesting peacefully, protesting what they saw on that ten minutes of video recorded by Darnella Frazier when she held her ground in the face of the misconduct and the crime that she knew she was witnessing that the Minneapolis police were committing when they took the action that has now, today, officially been called murder by the County Prosecutor in Minneapolis. These protests will continue.

Our coverage of these protests, our coverage of this story as it continues to develop, our coverage of the prosecution of this case as it continues to develop will continue. That is tonight`s last word. "The 11th Hour" with Brian Williams is next.

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