George Floyd TRANSCRIPT: 6/9/20, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O'Donnell

Guests: Adam Serwer, Irwin Redlener, LaTosha Brown

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Rachel.

And we`re going to be joined by a voter later in the hour, a voter from Georgia who waited three hours to vote at her polling place, then got in her car, drove over to a white suburban neighborhood and saw no waiting line for voting over there. Completely different story over there.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Wow.

O`DONNELL: So it sounds like the Republican voter suppression machinery is working as designed.

MADDOW: It`s a -- it is a -- it is a thing that makes me want to say profanity on television what happened today in Georgia, and it is very worrying.

O`DONNELL: Oh, no, no, no. Oh, no.

MADDOW: I don`t -- I won`t go there. But it is very worrying in terms of what`s going to happen in Georgia specifically in November. But it also is very worrying in terms of what the Republican battle plan is going to be in every state they think they can do this stuff between now and November. And it`s just -- it is -- it is enraging.

O`DONNELL: Rachel, also if his plane lands on time, the Reverend Al Sharpton is going to join us at some point in this hour.

MADDOW: Great.

O`DONNELL: After the day he has been through.

MADDOW: Well done. Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel. Thank you.

Well, two weeks after George Floyd drew his last breath, after four police officers were arrested and charged with his murder and after two autopsies of his body and after daily protests that began in Minneapolis and have stretched around the world, George Floyd was buried today, in his hometown of Houston, Texas, with his body arriving at the cemetery in a horse-drawn carriage.

It was a funeral fit for a president and it included an appearance by a vice president who hopes to be president who delivered a message to George Floyd`s 6-year-old daughter, Gianna, that he clearly considered as important as the message he was delivering to the nation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOE BIDEN (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: To George`s children and grandchild, I know you miss your dad and grand dad.

But to Gianna, as I said to you when I saw you yesterday, you`re so brave. Daddy is looking down and he`s so proud of you. I know you miss that bear hug that only he could give. The pure joy of riding on his shoulders so you could touch the sky. The countless hours he spent playing any game you wanted because your smile, your laugh, your love is the only thing that mattered at the moment. I know you have a lot of questions, honey.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: More than one speaker referred to the current president of the United States without mentioning his name. Here is George Floyd`s niece, Brooke Williams.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BROOKE WILLIAMS, GEORGE FLOYD`S NIECE: Why must the system be corrupt and broken? Laws were already put in place for the African-American system to fail. These laws need to be changed. No more hate crimes, please!

Someone said, make America great again. But when has America ever been great?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And then came the eulogy from Reverend Al Sharpton.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST, "POLITICS NATION": Who taught these cops that they can do this to George or those elected let the cops before get away with this? And when they have the highest level of government that excuses it, when some kids wrongly start violence, that this family don`t condone and none of us do.

The president talks about bringing in the military, but he`s not said one word about eight minutes and 46 seconds of police murder of George Floyd.

Oh, he said the family has my sympathy and all of this. He didn`t give those on the other situations his sympathy. He challenged China on human rights. But what about the human right of George Floyd?

The signals that we`re sending is that if you are in law enforcement, that the law doesn`t apply to you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: We then hear before, one of the reasons the protests against the murder of George Floyd have been so intense is that we have been here many, many times before. But at none of the funerals of any of the unarmed black men killed by police have we ever heard anything like what Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SYLVESTER TURNER, MAYOR OF HOUSTON: As I speak right now, the city attorney is drafting an executive order, an order that I will sign when I get back to city hall. And what that order will say is that in this city, we will ban chokeholds and strangle holds. In this city, we will require de- escalation. In this city, you have to give a warning before you shoot.

In this city, you have a duty to intervene. In this city, we will require comprehensive reporting. In this city, you must exhaust all alternatives before shooting. And there will be other things in this executive order.

But I want you to know, it goes beyond just policing. Because I have been talking with business owners and CEOs over the last several weeks, and what I`ve said to them, when we invest in communities that have been underserved, and underinvested in, when we haven`t done the investments, then you don`t have to spend as much on policing. If you take the necessary funds and invest in our communities.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Police murder of unarmed black men has been an American way of death across centuries. I have been studying and writing about this subject for 40 years. I testified to Congress about it 35 years ago, and I have never felt hopeful about changing this pathological streak in American policing.

I left hope in this arena to the naive. I left hope to the people who don`t understand police culture, the people who don`t realize no police academy has ever trained a bad person to be a good person.

But today, after listening to the mayor of Houston`s executive order, after seeing the radical action in the Minneapolis City Council is prepared to take, and after yesterday seeing the most comprehensive police reform bill ever introduced in Congress, I`ve begun to wonder if now is the time, if now is the time the protesters finally win. Win something. I have for the first time begun to wonder if now is the time for hope.

For the answer to that question, we must turn to wiser voices than mine. And so leading off our discussion tonight, Professor Eddie Glaude. He is the chair of the Department of African-American studies at Princeton University and MSNBC contributor.

And Adam Serwer is a staff writer for "The Atlantic."

Professor Glaude, let me start with you and let me start with that basic question -- is this time different? Is there a cause for hope this time?

EDDIE GLAUDE, CHAIR, DEPARTMENT FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDIES, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: I think there is potential. We see, as you rightly note, Lawrence, that there is an opening.

But at the same time that you lay out what the mayor of Houston just said and the legislation in New York state, the legislation passed by the House, we heard Donald Trump and his ilk talk about there`s no systemic racism in the criminal justice system and in policing. We heard language about being tough on crime. We heard comments about Democrats being soft on crime.

So as we see protesters and as we see movement among certain politicians and in certain houses and in the House of Representatives, we still have in existence this broader frame of policing that you have been fighting for 30, 40 plus years. And so, I`m hopeful that there`s some movement possible here. But I`m also realistic.

You know, it`s almost like that line from W.E.B. Du Bois "The Souls of Black Folk." It`s to hope, not hopeless, but unhopeful.

O`DONNELL: Adam, what is your sense of where we are and how this particular killing by police might be the one that points us in a hopeful direction?

ADAM SERWER, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: I think that`s almost the wrong way to look at it. This is the one that the most recent one to spark these protests, but I think the protests are, in fact, in part a reaction to the succession of videos that we have seen since the proliferation of cell phone cameras that offer white Americans a window into what are all too common interactions between black people and law enforcement, in which a black person becomes subject to violence and brutality.

And I think that it`s not just about George Floyd, it`s about all of these people, all of these names that we have learned over the years, and I think it`s finally sort of, because of a confluence of other factors, it`s finally exploded into the sentiment of this is too much, this is enough.

I think the question of where we go from here depends on a lot of things, because when it comes to policing reform, it`s not enough to do changing at the federal level. You also have to do changes at the local level. And there are so many different local police departments and so many different local jurisdictions, and different rules for all of those jurisdictions in which, you know, police unions and various other factors make the police not simply a public service, but a strong, political faction in those areas that is difficult to defy whether you`re a Republican or Democrat.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to more of what Reverend Sharpton said today about George Floyd.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: God took an ordinary brother from the Third Ward, from the housing projects, that nobody thought much about, but those that knew him and loved him, he took the rejected stone, the stone that the builder rejected, they rejected him for jobs. They rejected him for positions. They rejected him to play certain things.

God took the rejected stone and made him the cornerstone of a movement that`s going to change the whole wide world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Professor Glaude, what was your reaction to that?

GLAUDE: I thought it was a powerful moment. You know, it wasn`t -- you know, when we think about the Montgomery bus boycott, we think about Rosa Parks, that we forget about Claudette Colvin. And in some ways, Claudette Colvin did not represent what many thought was respectable enough to mobilize around.

But what Reverend Sharpton did in that moment, in his eulogy was to show the stark class differences and to say this man from the projects of Houston served as the kind of symbol irrespective of his background, no matter what Candace Owens and her ilk are saying, right? He became the basis for a certain kind of argument to be made for a more just criminal justice testimony, in some ways to overturn an entire frame of thinking about policing in the country.

It was a radical gesture, a gesture that in some ways speaks to the least of these in a very concrete way. I thought it was a powerful moment within the service. I thought it was a powerful moment.

O`DONNELL: Adam, your point about the protests that we`re seeing today have in them an accumulation of anger, of rage, of objection, to a long string of incidents like this, and unfortunately, as part of this tragedy and as part of this funeral today, many of the family members of some of the famous names in that line of tragedy were there. Reverend Sharpton made a point. There was a very important point for him that they be there, in effect, making within the service the point that you have made here, that it is what we`re seeing on the streets now, is an accumulation that has been building over years through several incidents.

And at the same time, during these weeks of protest, the police have not have been able to control themselves and have delivered so many examples of police abuse of protesters.

SERWER: Right. I mean, I think, you know, these protests are out here, they`re protests against excessive force by armed agents of the state. In the face of that accusation, we have many, many examples of the police in response using excessive force, as if to validate their critique. And I think that`s one of the reasons why you`ve seen such a tremendous shift in public opinion, from 2014 to today. Back when Ferguson happened, it was less than a majority of Americans who believed there was a problem with systemic racism in law enforcement. Now that is almost 70 percent.

And the reason for that is partially the accumulation of evidence to that effect. But it`s also the reaction of the police in the face of that evidence, which is, you know, almost an attempt to silence the people who are making the point, and in doing so, making it for them.

O`DONNELL: Professor Eddie Glaude and Adam Serwer, thank you both for starting our discussion tonight. We really appreciate it. Thank you for joining us.

And we turn now to MSNBC`s Shaquille Brewster. He is in Minneapolis tonight.

Shaquille, what`s the situation there tonight on the night of the funeral?

SHAQUILLE BREWSTER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Lawrence, as the funeral was going on in Houston, here in Minneapolis, you saw the commemorations continue, as the memorial service was going on, people were bringing flowers to the site where George Floyd was killed two weeks ago yesterday.

You also saw people bringing their families, bringing their children. I saw so many children at that memorial site. One father telling me that he was trying to avoid showing his 6-year-old the scenes of George Floyd in that video of George Floyd under the knee of an officer for nine minutes, but she happened to see it and started asking him about the protests and about George Floyd, and that`s why he brought his two daughters to the scene there.

But as those emotional scenes were happening at the site where George Floyd was killed, you also have protesters calling for big systemic change. So far, they feel like they`re starting to see those wheels turn. They`re starting to see some of that happen. We heard about the ban on chokeholds in the Minneapolis department.

Also the move to put the duty on officer it is they see other officers committing or involved in unauthorized force, the duty to report and intervene in those instances. And then we also heard the pressure from the city council saying that they now support disbanding the Minneapolis department.

So, they`re starting to feel like there`s some movement happening. They`re starting to feel like they`re going to get some change from the death of George Floyd that people`s eyes are opening up to what needs to happen, and that`s the mood you`re starting to feel here in Minneapolis -- Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: And, Shaquille, there`s been an arrest in the dramatic burning of the third police precinct there that we saw live on television as it happened. What can you tell us about that case now?

BREWSTER: That`s right. We saw a 23-year-old St. Paul man in federal court today. He was accused of aiding and abetting that arson that happened at the third police district station there on May 28th. Officials say that he confessed to being inside that police precinct. When they found him, he was wearing body armor. He had a baton from that police district.

He was not the only one who was in federal court today, by the way, connected to protesting, connected to fires set during those protests. Two 19-year-olds were also in court. Federal court again, from St. Paul. They were found on surveillance video setting fire to a health and wellness store in St. Paul.

You`re getting the sense that the FBI, in conjunction with Minneapolis and state police are doing all they can to track down that video, look at those pictures and follow up on the damage that was caused and the protests and the results of George Floyd`s death.

O`DONNELL: Shaquille Brewster, thank you for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.

BREWSTER: You got it.

O`DONNELL: And when we come back, White House staff say they`re working on a speech about race relations to be delivered by Donald Trump. Will that speech be better than his tweets? That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: The Trump White House leakers have told some reporters that the utterly incompetent Jared Kushner and the profoundly hateful Stephen Miller are working a way in the West Wing of the White House on a presidential speech in which Donald Trump will address the nation with Trump recommendations for improving race relations in America.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump is sharing his thoughts on Twitter where today he offered the theory that the 75-year-old man who was knocked to the ground on video by buffalo police officers last week is what Trump called a provocateur.

And as if he`s a basketball referee, Donald Trump said, I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. The president of the United States is saying a man who you can see bleeding from the head on that video after that fall, faked the fall.

That produced outrage in Washington, including from Republican senators. Well, two out of 53 Republican senators.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R-AK): I just saw that this second. It just makes no sense that we are fanning the flames at this time. This is not good.

SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): I saw the tweet. It was a shocking thing to say, and I won`t dignify it with any further comment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining us discussion now, Malcolm Nance. He`s an MSNBC counterterrorism and intelligence analyst. And, Professor Eddie Glaude is back with us.

Malcolm, your reaction to Donald Trump, what might be the first draft any way, of his race relation speech, that tweet today with his judgment about that 75-year-old man?

MALCOLM NANCE, MSNBC COUNTERTERRORISM AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: You know, the most shocking component of that tweet is not that he called a 75-year- old man a provocateur and blamed him for hitting the ground harder than he should have, had he been knocked down by a policeman. I don`t actually think that`s the most amazing component of that. The most amazing component is he quotes OAN, One America Network report, which is actually hosted by a Russian former sputnik Kremlin reporter, who is narrating this exact conspiracy theory almost right into Donald Trump`s head.

And he took it as gospel. He did not see the indignity of a man being knocked to the ground, blood coming from his head and his ears. And all of us who wanted to -- when we saw that video, help pick him up, help him, who was put into the ICU in serious condition, Donald Trump only saw an enemy of his state.

O`DONNELL: Professor Glaude, what was you reaction to these now leaked reports indicating that the White House is drafting at least a race relations speech to be delivered by Donald Trump?

GLAUDE: Lawrence, honestly I can`t say what my reaction -- I can`t use the words actually, because it`s absolutely insane. Can you imagine Stephen Miller, the man who authored "American Carnage," Stephen Miller, the fellow who was behind immigration policies that snatched babies from their mothers, Stephen Miller, who was upset because they stopped allowing the sale of Confederate flags at a certain moment, he`s going to write a speech? He`s going to co-author a speech about race in the United States?

Donald Trump should not open his mouth on this issue. He has nothing -- he sowed nothing but division. He`s exploited white resentment since he was elected in 2016. He doesn`t engage in racial dog whistles, he blows the damn foghorn.

So, what does -- what does he have to say? What I think he`s going to do is play the typical playbook. We`re going to hear him talk about what has happened to black folk on the Democratic rule in cities and the like. He`s going to put forward a whole range of issues.

And the one thing we do know, Lawrence, whatever he says that`s probably going to make sense, he`s probably lying. So I think he has nothing to offer on this issue. I`m sorry to be so forthright in this regard, beyond the ignorance of the tweet with regards to the 75-year-old man, we`re going to hear ignorance with regard to race and a bunch of lies from the president of the United States.

O`DONNELL: This is the strange point we`ve reached where the best you can hope for is silence from the president. Malcolm Nance, your reactions to the possibility of a race relations speech being delivered to this nation by Donald Trump?

NANCE: If it wasn`t so terrible, it was be laughable. I agree with everything Professor Glaude just said. I think we`re going to see the black carnage speech. And I think what you`re going to get is the most incredible white splainin` that has happened since the articles of succession in the civil war.

I mean, literally, he is going to tell us what`s good for us as African- Americans. And it is -- it`s going to be gasoline by the bucket loads on the fire.

You know, his entire being, he exists to make you better as opposed to assisting you or hearing you or feeling empathy for you. He doesn`t care about any of those things. This will be about coronating himself as king of Vantus (ph), so to speak.

I really think this is going done -- you know, we always say this, and I know Nicolle Wallace likes to say this, there is no bottom here. We are now about to see a really good example of something that I`m sure that, you know, Governor Wallace would never have dared spoken. The only thing that`s going to be missing there, I`m sorry to say, will probably be an epitaph.

O`DONNELL: Congratulations to both of you for meeting that challenge on commenting on the unthinkable. I myself could not come up with a word about it.

Malcolm Nance, Professor E. Glaude, thank you both very much for joining us tonight. We really appreciate it. Thank you.

GLAUDE: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: And when we come back, Dr. Irwin Redlener will join us after Dr. Anthony Fauci said today that we are just beginning -- just beginning to understand the real effects of the coronavirus.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: A new Harvard analysis indicates that the coronavirus may have started in Wuhan, China much sooner than we realized. And 14 states in Puerto Rico have just recorded their highest ever seven day average of new coronavirus cases. One of those states is Arizona, where the seven day average of new cases has increased by 256% in the last two weeks from 306 to 1,091 cases on average. Arizona now has 300 cases per 100,000 people, which ranks 25th in the Nation.

Arizona is urging hospitals to fully activate emergency plans to increase bed capacity. As of tonight in the United States, there are 1,983,337 confirmed cases of coronavirus. And as of tonight, this country has suffered 112,518 deaths from coronavirus. And today, at a biotechnology conference, Dr. Anthony Fauci said we`re just at the beginning of really understanding the full range of effects of the disease.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE: I thought that HIV was a complicated disease. And it`s already in manifestation. And it`s really simple compared to what`s going on with COVID-19. Like oh, my goodness. When is it going to end? It really is very complicated. So we`re just at almost the beginning of really understanding, and the thing that we don`t yet fully appreciate is what happens when you`re infected and you get serious disease and you recover? What are the long-term durable negative effects of that infection? So there`s a lot we need to learn.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining us now Dr. Irwin Redlener, a Clinical Professor with the School of Public Health at Columbia University and the Director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University. Dr. Redlener I want to begin with where Anthony Fauci just left us, which is the astonishing complexity of this disease, this was really big news to me, the idea that HIV was a less complex for him to grapple with than what he`s working with now. And that we`re at the very beginning of understanding it. What more - can you expand on that for us?

IRWIN REDLENER, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL CENTER FOR DISASTER PREPAREDNESS, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Yes, sure. This is - it`s always been called a novel virus, meaning that no one has ever been exposed to it before. So we don`t really know anything much about the behavior of this virus. And there are many, many issues as Fauci was saying, that are just coming to light for example. People have long term neurological problems. They have memory issues, exactly their function issues.

There are people who had the disease many weeks ago, but still have not regained and they never regain their sense of taste or smell. And then we have a whole series of pediatric complications that occur long after the child has presumably got the infection, now being called this multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, which has hospitalized hundreds of children around the country. So this is a learn as you go process, Lawrence. We don`t really have anything to compare it to, and we`re basically in a wait and see game, just as Dr. Fauci was talking about. But we do have a long way to go.

And clearly talking about the end of this happening, and any time in the near future, we`re just unfortunately, kind of, kidding ourselves in a way. What we have now is a lot of chaos about the information, about the data reporting, about how many fatalities are there really, and on and on and on. And what I`m afraid of, is this absence of information and this data chaos is creating political opportunism that people will be able to say whatever it is they want, including whatever it is Trump is planning to how - what his narrative is going to look like in the first week of November.

O`DONNELL: Speaking of confusion about the data, we have these Harvard analysis satellite photographs of Wuhan and noting the traffic in the hospital parking lots. And noting a very big surge in the traffic, in the parking and the hospital parking lots, beginning in August, August of 2019, where previously we thought the earliest activity there might have been November of 2019.

REDLENER: Yes.

O`DONNELL: We`ve been constantly pushing back in time what we think might be the beginning of this. And now we could be all the way back to August. What does that tell us then about the curve of this pandemic, if we really were to begin it in August?

REDLENER: So, Lawrence, this is more confusion, more chaos. We`ve had trouble from the outset understanding what China was actually saying. Was it accurate? Was it withholding information? What was its relationship with the World Health Organization and on and on and on, and of course, refusing to allow western scientists from entering the country?

So I say we`re operating in a vacuum in terms of when this actually started, how severe it was, and how rapidly it was transmitted. But we sure as heck would have liked to have known, because would it have made a big difference in how rapidly we reacted. We did even reacted that obviously that quickly when we did know something was happening on a global scale, there kept being these constant denials by the President. But that being said, it really is important information that this actually might have started last summer. It`s absolutely incredible new information, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: And Doctor, before we go, what is your recommendation for people who have joined the protests? We do see some social distancing in these protests. They`re definitely further away from each other as than they would normally be during a march, most of them wearing masks. Should they be tested after they have participated in these big gatherings?

REDLENER: They probably should be. But Lawrence, I have a view that may not be consistent with all my colleagues in public health. This is a moment of tremendous opportunity to do something about the 400 years of injustice, Jim Crow and institutional racism. And I think it reminded me immediately of people walking across the bridge in Selma in the `60s, in spite of phenomenal risk to their personal health and safety at the hands of police and police officers, et cetera. I think there`s just some times when you are taking a risk, this is definitely a risk for COVID and people should do the best they can, but you can`t dismiss the impact and import of this.

O`DONNELL: Dr. Irwin Redlener, thank you very much for joining us tonight. And thank you for that important historical perspective on what we are seeing in this country tonight. Thank you very much, Doctor. I really appreciate it.

REDLENER: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: And when we come back, the republican machinery of voter suppression is on display once again today. This time in Georgia, LaTosha Brown is the leader of "Black Voters Matter", who waited in line for three hours to vote today before driving to a white suburb where she saw no delays in voting at all. She will join us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: You`re looking at "New York Times" video of team lining up in Atlanta today. LaTosha Brown had to wait three hours to vote at her Atlanta polling place, then she got in her car and drove to the suburbs, predominantly white suburb the polling place and she told political that she was "near tears as she saw no line, and people easily walking in and out.

I came over to this side of town, and white folks are strolling in, said Brown. On my side of town, we brought stadium chairs." Joining us now is LaTosha Brown, Co-Founder of "Black Voters Matter". So you had a three hour wait today, we`re reading reports of others, five hour wait, a longer waits than that. It seems like the voter suppression machinery is working as designed.

LATOSHA BROWN, CO-FOUNDER, BLACK VOTERS MATTER FUND: It is working as designed. I waited for three hours, and I saw something very different in the polling sites that I went that were majority white voters. And right now, Lawrence, as we speak, and it`s 10:45, there are over 300 people that are in line on my side of town in South Fulton, right now as we speak that are waiting to vote out in the dark. The irony is it`s at a nursing home. So here it is in the middle of a pandemic, we`ve got hundreds of people that are going to a nursing home to vote. And it`s 10:45 p.m. in Atlanta, Georgia.

O`DONNELL: And of all people to have trouble voting today, it happened to Stacey Abrams. She got an absentee ballot. And The Guardian is reporting that Abrams said she had requested her absentee ballot in May but was unable to vote with it, because the return envelope arrive sealed shut, after unsuccessfully trying to steam it open, she said she went to vote in person on Tuesday. So even with the mail-in votes, there could be a problem there, too.

BROWN: It is. It`s been a colossal disaster. The secretary of state should be accountable - held accountable, there is no reason. My nephew went to vote, early vote on Friday. He stayed in line for six hours. A Nikema Williams was a State Senator actually sat in line with her husband for over five hours. It is unconscionable what happened. As a matter of fact, the election has been moved twice. And so there was more time given, and a new machine, so here we are, we have new machines and we`re still seeing the same old problem. Something is awry.

O`DONNELL: Is there anything the government of the City of Atlanta can do?

BROWN: Well, we are - well, some of the places where I live, I live right outside of Atlanta in a county. And so they`re really responsible for the elections. But the secretary of state, that`s his one job. He is responsible for making sure that there`s an effective and efficient voting, particularly access to the ballot, particular when Georgia made headlines in 2018.

You would expect that they would get it right, after two years, not only does it seem that it hasn`t gotten better, it`s actually gotten worse. And so we have got to deal with this. There are major voters suppression. We`re talking about democracy - democracy is on life support right now. We have got to take this serious and we`ve got to really make a core issue, a fundamental issue around voter suppression and voting rights in this country.

O`DONNELL: What can you do between now and November to get a fair Presidential election in Georgia?

BROWN: Well, we`re fighting all kinds of levels. I think we`re going to have to sue. We`re going to have to start to see some lawsuits. We`re going to start to have a hold people accountable and put pressure on the secretary of state and the election board. We`re going to have to start informing people that to make sure that put a demand that is not just mail- in voting. Because we saw how that went, right.

We can`t leave that up. We need all kinds of options. We need to make sure in the middle of a pandemic, you would think that you would want all of the polling sites open, as well as mail-in ballots so that people wouldn`t have to vote in a concentrated way that would really risk their lives in order to vote. This is just completely unacceptable. It`s undemocratic.

And what we are doing, we`re prepared to fight, and there are other organizations like the new Georgia projects and 9:00 to 5:00 and others, we`re coming together and we have decided that we`re going to hold people accountable and that we are going to do everything we can do to really organize to prevent this from happening in November.

O`DONNELL: LaTosha Brown, I`m sorry for what you and other voters had to go through today. But we are very appreciative of your reporting of what happened to us tonight. Thank you very much.

BROWN: Thank you, Lawrence for having me. Be well.

O`DONNELL: Thank you. And after this break, the Reverend Al Sharpton, who has just returned from George Floyd`s funeral will get tonight`s last word.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Reverend Al Sharpton`s plane has just landed on his trip home after this long and emotional day in Houston, Texas. And joining us now is Reverend Al Sharpton, who of course you know as the Host of MSNBC`S "Politics Nation" and who has been fighting this fight for a lifetime.

Joining us from the car on the way home, Reverend Sharpton, thank you very, very much for doing this. And I just want to get your reflections as you finally get to sit back at the end of this long and emotional day of what you`re feeling as you return home tonight.

REV. AL SHARPTON, HOST, MNSBC, POLITICS NATION: Well, it is a feeling of determination to keep fighting for justice. To sit in that church before I gave the eulogy and then to go to the cemetery and join the Floyd family and join the mother of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner`s family and the family of Ahmaud Arbery and so many of the families that we brought in, it was to really have a sense of pain and commitment, Lawrence, because we should not have a club of families that are victimized by racial and police violence.

We should not have a reunion like that, but they go to comfort another family and commit his body to the cemetery. So I left there with a sense of the personal pain that mothers and brothers and sisters of a deceased person that should have never been killed feel and a sense of determination that this must stop. This is deeper than a rally or a hash tag or a march that I or somebody else may lead. This is people`s loved ones, and we have a responsibility to make this society better.

O`DONNELL: I know you have multiple roles in a situation like this. You`re a political activist. You have political objectives, you`re going to try to achieve now in the policing of America. You preside at these funerals. You are the clergy presiding at these funerals. You are a consoler to these families. And I want to go to something that Joe Biden said directly today to George Floyd`s daughter. In his statements, he was talking about the questions she would have. And he said, no child should have to ask questions that too many black children have had to ask for generations. Why is daddy gone? Reverend Sharpton, you`ve had to answer that question for those black children for decades now. How do you handle it personally with those little girls like George Floyd`s daughter that we saw?

SHARPTON: I handle it by trying to tell them the truth, that there are those in society that are not fair and that we have not done enough collectively to make society more fair, and that hopefully by the time that little girl from George Floyd comes of age, this will be part of history. I explained to those that are in that family that were young that there was a time that blacks couldn`t drink out of certain water fountains or use certain public accommodations. I did not know that time. By the time I have came of age, my mother`s generation had corrected that, and I hope we can correct what we are dealing with now so by the time she comes of college age, she`ll be studying about it rather than having to confront it.

O`DONNELL: How hopeful are you tonight?

SHARPTON: I`m very hopeful, Lawrence, because through all the decades I`ve fought, I`ve never seen so many different types of people - white, black, Asian, American Indian, Latino marching together in a pandemic, risking their health to say this has to stop. I think this movement has too much energy and vigor that legislators are not going to have any choice but to pass new laws and prosecutors are going to have to enforce. I think that we`re seeing the beginning of the end. It`s not going to be without challenges. It`s not going to be something that happens automatic, but I think the energy is there to stick it out, and we all intend to stick it out.

O`DONNELL: You pledged that today to George Floyd`s family, that you would stick it out, and you also pledged it personally, that you will be around no matter how long it takes and you`ll be in their lives. What is that part of your life like because we know that these families all over the country have your cell phone number in their pockets, and they must call that number once in a while. What is that part of your ongoing ministry to them like?

SHARPTON: It`s very personal. I talk to the mothers on a holiday because I know that`s a bad day for them. I make myself available to them, not the people that actually - actually they are working in their office not just to call to lead a march like they`re going to in D.C. on August 28th, but how are you feeling? Do you need to talk to somebody? Because these people, unlike me, did not choose to be involved in a movement. They did not decide this is my life. I decided this is what I was called to do.

They were thrust into this, and I try to always communicate with them and help them because they woke up one morning, and their whole world turned upside down, and they still years later are trying to figure it out, and I have try to help them figure it out. And also they feel in some cases abandoned, that people used their name of their loved one and moved on when the news cycle moved on or when the case moved on. And I want them to know that I`m there. I`m like a member of their family. I`m in touch with people I fought cases for 22 years ago because I wasn`t there for a media season. I was there for a justice reason.

O`DONNELL: Reverend Al Sharpton, thank you very much for joining us tonight from the car as you leave the airport and head home after this very, very long day for you, this historic day. It means the world to me, Rev that you decided to join us and get the last word tonight on this program. And I know it means everything to the audience to hear from you one more time today. So we really appreciate it. Thank you very much.

SHARPTON: Thank you, Lawrence, always.

O`DONNELL: Thank you. Al Sharpton gets tonight`s LAST WORD. "THE 11TH HOUR" with Brian Williams starts now.

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