Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin is now in a jail cell after being convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd. Late this afternoon after some 10 hours of deliberations in all, the jury said it had reached a verdict. President Joe Biden speaks to George Floyd`s family and to nation about the verdict. President Joe Biden calls on Congress to pass "George Floyd Justice in Policing Act". The verdict, which could send the former officer, Derek Chauvin, to prison for decades, was a rare rebuke of police violence. A teenage girl who the police say threatened two girls with a knife was fatally shot by an officer in Columbus, Ohio.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: And that happened because Darnella Frazier pressed record on her phone because she knew something had to be done for George Floyd and that was the only thing she could do. Tonight, on her Facebook page where she posted her video of George Floyd taking his last breath, Darnella Frazier wrote, "I just cried so hard, this last hour, my heart was beating so fast. I was so anxious, anxiety buzzing through the roof, but to know guilty on all three charges. Thank you, God. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, George Floyd, we did it. Justice has been served."
Darnella Frazier gets tonight`s last word. "The 11th Hour with Brian Williams" starts now.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: And good evening once again. Day 91 of the Biden administration.
Though, tonight in Minneapolis at the intersection that has become a memorial known as George Floyd Square, peaceful crowds gathered yet again not to protest, but to mark a change, a new message of accountability and just perhaps a bellwether moment in the relationship between law enforcement in our country and communities of color.
Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin is now in a jail cell after being convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd. Late this afternoon after some 10 hours of deliberations in all, the jury said it had reached a verdict.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE PETER CAHILL, HENNEPIN COUNTY DISTRICT COURT: Count one, unintentional second degree murder, guilty. Count two, third degree murder, guilty. Count three, second degree manslaughter, guilty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: And with that, it was all over. The jury was dismissed. Court officers went over to Chauvin placed him in handcuffs, led him out of the room to await sentencing two months from now.
Outside core does word spread, tension gave way to relief. Celebrations, in fact, as the gathered crowd realized Chauvin had been convicted on all three counts. Minnesota`s Attorney General Keith Ellison who once represented the area in Congress, praise the police officers who testified against Chauvin as well as those who actually witnessed Floyd`s murder.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEITH ELLISON, MINNESOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL: I would not call today`s verdict justice, however, because justice implies true restoration. But it is accountability, which is the first step towards justice. The people who stopped and raise their voices on May 25, 2020, they stopped and they raised their voices because they knew that what they were saying was wrong. They were vindicated by the Chief of Police, by Minneapolis` longest serving police officer and by many other police officers who stepped up and testified as to what they saw into what they knew what happened on that street was wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: George Floyd`s family also reacted to today`s verdict. His brothers noted the significance of the jury`s unanimous decision as well as another case involving deadly use of force.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RODNEY FLOYD, GEORGE FLOYD`S BROTHER: To get a guilty charge on all account, you know, we got a chance to go to trial. This right here`s where everyone had been in the situation, everybody.
PHILONISE FLOYD, GOERGE FLOYD`S BROTHER: Ten miles away from him, Mr. Wright, Daunte Wright, he should still be here. We ought to always understand that we have to march. We will have to do this for life. We have to protest because it seems like this is a never ending cycle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: The Floyd family also spoke by phone with President Biden who called them and said, among other things, "At least God now there is some justice."
Not long after that, the President who earlier today revealed he had been quote, praying the verdict is the right verdict appeared with the Vice President and spoke to the nation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today`s verdict sends that message, but it`s not enough. We can`t stop here. And this takes acknowledging and confronting head on systemic racism and the racial disparities that exist in policing and in our criminal justice system.
The guilty verdict does not bring back George. But through the family`s pain, they`re finding purpose. So, George`s legacy will not be just about his death, but about what we must do in his memory.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: And with that, let`s bring in our leadoff guests on this Tuesday night. Ashley Parker, Pulitzer Prize Winning White House Bureau Chief for "The Washington Post." Paul Butler, former Federal Corruption Prosecutor at the Department of Justice these days a professor at Georgetown Law. And Marilyn Mosby, State`s Attorney for Baltimore City, Maryland.
Marilyn, I`d like to begin with you. People may not realize exactly how rare this verdict is, how rare it was to see and hear fellow officers, superior officers testifying forcefully against a fellow officer. Let me play a reminder of that before you and I get on with our discussion.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That in no way shape or form is anything that is by policy, it`s not part of our training. And it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values. The defendant violated our policy in terms of rendering aid.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pulling him down to the ground facedown and putting your knee on a neck for that amount of -- that amount of time is just uncalled for.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When Mr. Floyd is no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have pinned to the restraint.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: So, Counselor, you didn`t have that in the Freddie Gray case, to name the case you were involved with. You had a wall of blue. You didn`t have the gruesome video of life draining from a human being, though we know what happened inside that police van. Does this to you, for all these factors we`ve listed, mark any kind of a turning point?
MARILYN MOSBY, STATES ATTORNEY MALTIMORE, M.D.: It absolutely marks a turning point. And you know, watching the Chauvin trial, the stakes couldn`t have been higher, not just for that family who deserve some semblance of justice for the tragic murder of their loved one captured on film. But also the stakes couldn`t be higher for us as a country, right, as the world watch America`s justice system.
And whether it was going to live up to the ideals of our promise of ensuring one standard of justice. I think that Keith Ellison and the prosecution team did an outstanding job improving every element of these offenses charge. But thanks -- it was thanks to that video, let`s be very clear that visually depicted George Floyd being callously murdered on camera that could not be contradicted.
And while I understood the prosecutors arguments of the jury, I wholeheartedly disagreed that what Derek Chauvin did not -- did was not policing in America. What Derek Chauvin did to George Floyd is absolutely policing in America for black people in this country. The infliction of excessive force, the violation of de-escalation policies, the refusal to render aid, the complete and utter indifference to the lives of black people is exactly what policing has been, and continues to be in America for black people in this country.
And so, yes, Derek Chauvin was on trial, but so was policing in America. And the reason this moment is so important, is because there`s finally an acknowledgement of what it`s been like for black people in this country, is finally a recognition that our lives matter to.
WILLIAMS: Paul, I don`t know what my first thoughts were when I got the call today that after 10 plus hours of deliberations, there was a verdict. I`m curious as to what your initial reaction was, were you surprised that that short of deliberation ended up nicking him on all three?
PAUL BUTLER, GEORGETOWN LAW PROFESSOR: I was surprised. The conventional wisdom among lawyers is that a quick verdict is a good time for the defense. But in this case with overwhelming evidence, I couldn`t imagine that that was actually true. And so, when I heard the verdict, Brian, I didn`t react as a former prosecutor or law professor or legal analyst, I reacted as a black man. And so, I cry.
This doesn`t make up for Amatil (ph) or Breonna Taylor, but it does mean that in our criminal legal system, one black man`s life matter. When he was killed by a police officer and in the United States of America, that counts as progress.
WILLIAMS: Ashley Parker, all we need to do is listen to these two lawyers who preceded you to try to begin to understand the emotion that went into today and the emotion so many people are feeling tonight. Let`s talk about the President you cover. And what a change it must be for you to learn Joe Biden`s comments about the case this morning, which would have been an issue. Had they not been sequestered?
Joe Biden choosing to call the family and the lawyers and speak candidly the way people speak. And then his choice with the Vice President by his side, also in a speaking role, to address the nation. It is quite a bit of change when contrasted with the president who was in office for the death of George Floyd and the ignition of protests in the streets across our country.
ASHLEY PARKER, THE WASHINGTON POST WHITE HOUSE BUREAU CHIEF: It`s absolutely a change from former President Trump. And it`s one of the things that President Biden promised even as a candidate even before George Floyd`s death. You know, we have to remember that Joe Biden got into this race, he said, in part because of Charlottesville, the white supremacist violence at Charlottesville. And he cast this election in terms of a battle for the soul of the nation.
And so, what you saw is a president who does feel this deeply and earnestly and viscerally. And even those comments he made earlier into the day that were, despite the jury being sequestered controversial. That`s what makes the people who do love Joe Biden loved him so much. It was sort of someone blurting out their true feelings, which were the true feelings of a lot of people in this country.
And again, Joe Biden, he`s a 78-year-old white guy, but he is someone who`s lived experiences is that of pain and loss. And you saw that night how he can step into that empathizer in chief role and that pastoral role. Although it is important to add that, as he himself said, that`s not really enough, but it was people felt like what the moment called for this evening and today.
WILLIAMS: Marilyn, I know a lot of us are thinking tonight about Darnella Frazier and think about it with a honorable mention to Steve Jobs. A young woman who had the courage to record that video, the further courage to post that video. Her video controlled this case, it`s been viewed around the world. It`s iconic.
It was the iPhone and related devices that allowed that technology. It was the iPhone and related devices that turned the hush and the crowd today into a roar when they heard the verdict. I want to play just some of her very honest and emotional and forthright testimony.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DARNELLA FRAZIER, FILMED GEORGE FLOYD`S DEATH: It`s been nights I`ve stayed up apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life. But it`s like it`s not what I should have done. It`s what he should have done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: This is a young woman who most people agree played a heroic role. Imagine carrying around that kind of guilt and sadness. Marilyn, would there have been a case without this young woman?
MOSBY: What I can tell you is that that video is the most vital piece of evidence that the prosecution had. And let`s be clear, that if it weren`t for that video that could not be contradicted, which doesn`t typically exist, we as a country would continue to claim to be willfully ignorant to the police brutality and race relations. It was because of the iPhones, the social media because of her courage in recording that video, the body worn cameras that America has now not able to refuse to understand that somebody, a police officer would have the gall to put his knee on the neck of a handcuffed citizen in a prone position for nine minutes and 30 seconds. The culture of violence and culture of overly dominant police enforcement against black people in this country would not be on full display that video.
Because of this verdict, we say to the world as a country, we`re no longer willfully ignorant, black lives do matter. We see the trauma and the violence that has been inflicted upon black people by the police every single day in this country. And we`re committed, right, to the systemic reform that will always ensure justice and accountability when black men, women, and children are killed at the hands of police.
WILLIAMS: Paul, legal question, how does it feel tonight if you`re the lawyer for the remaining three officers scheduled to go to trial in this case, or perhaps you`re the lawyer for the police officer, now former police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright?
BUTLER: You`re thinking about making a deal, because this may signal a new day with regard to holding police officers accountable. So, some lawyers say that cases are won or lost during jury selection. And this jury was actually more diverse than the city where the trial took place. It included six people of color, and seven people in her 20s and 30s. Both groups that are less likely to give the police more credit than other witnesses.
And what a lot of these jurors said during this election process was that they had concerns about whether the police treat all Americans the same way. And the judge to his credit, did not allow that realistic assessment to prevent those folks from serving on the jury. And so, Brian, this case was about the state versus Derek Chauvin, police on trial as an institution. But the movement for Black Lives has to get a lot of credit for the way that is educated the public, both black and brown people have always said that the police treat us differently, unfairly. This is a good day for equal justice under the law.
WILLIAMS: Ashley Parker, while there was celebration today, so much of it just a release valve from what was penned up since May 25 of last year. This was not a Capra ask or Spielbergian ending. In fact, the governor of Minnesota said tonight, we`re at the floor, this is not the ceiling. And Joe Biden used similar wording.
So, the question to you given your beat, what is the administration want to see now? What will they be willing to put their weight and name and heft behind?
PARKER: That`s the key question. We have some inklings, but this has not been totally at the forefront of President Biden`s administration, so far. President Biden has made clear he does want reforms to policing, the end of qualified immunity, the end of chokeholds, the end of no knock warrants, a data base where police misconduct is recorded. There is the George Floyd Justice in Policing bill that is making its way through Congress.
And on the one hand, President Biden is somewhat limited to what he can do that is not a legislative solution. On the other hand, he has the bully pulpit, he has the ability to, you know, help push what Congress does and does not take up, how much to sell it how much to travel the country selling it, how much to make remarks about this versus coronavirus versus infrastructure. And so, you saw him mentioned that this was, again, just the beginning. That`s so much had to occur for, as he said, basic accountability to happen in one rare instance.
And it will be interesting to see in the weeks coming forward how much he does is sort of spurred on by what activists even today we`re already worried about one sort of, quote unquote, good verdict is not a solution. It is not justice in how much he is going to really use his bully pulpit to help pursue that.
WILLIAMS: I know something about the day you have all had, that`s why we`re so indebted to our big three and all of our guests tonight. To Ashley Parker, to Paul Butler, to Marilyn Mosby, our great thanks for starting us off.
Coming up for us, more on what the three counts of murder in Minneapolis mean for police across our country. And later, one of our guests calls today`s verdict, a cultural makeup call. We`ll look at whether anything will really change. All of it as The 11th Hour is just getting underway on this consequential Tuesday night in our country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELLISON: We presented the best case that we could. And the jury heard us and we`re grateful for that. We had the sole burden of proof in the case. In history shows that winning cases like these can be difficult.
I`m proud of every hour every minute and every ounce of effort we put in this case. And let me tell you, we spent many hours working on this case, do we not?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: More from Minnesota`s Attorney General and former Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison, who led the effort to convict Derek Chauvin on all three charges.
Back with us tonight, Carmen Best, former police chief in the city of Seattle and Chuck Rosenberg, a Justice Department veteran, former U.S. Attorney, former senior FBI official who is better known around these parts as host of the MSNB podcast, "The Oath."
Chuck, I would like to begin with you. Turns out it wasn`t a tailpipe or fentanyl or heart disease that killed George Floyd. Turns out a police officer killed George Floyd in just the manner we suspected over nine minutes and 29 seconds of gruesome video. I would love for your thoughts on the outcome and let`s hear it please, for the prosecution, public servants, all.
CHUCK ROSENBERG, "THE OATH" HOST: Public servants all, Derrick Chauvin murdered George Floyd. That`s what the prosecution said it would prove in its opening statement. It told the jury precisely what they would hear and what they would see. And then it delivered its presentation. And I`m biased to prosecutors, because I spent a lot of time as one Brian, but its presentation was logical, it was linear, it was compelling and it was thorough.
And when the attorney general in the clip you just played turned around and said to the men and women standing behind them, we spent a lot of hours on this that was so apparent in the way everything was choreographed. I mean that as a compliment. In other words, these clips don`t play themselves starting at the right time and stopping at the right time. The questions don`t ask themselves. All of these things require dozens scores, hundreds of hours of preparation behind the scenes. And that`s what you saw from the prosecutors. They did a terrific job.
WILLIAMS: Chief Best, you recently said to "The New York Times" that changes in your line of work, changes in policing will come with knowledge of the consequences for bad policing. Is that just what we witnessed today?
CARMEN BEST, MSNBC LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I would say yes. I mean, absolutely. I think there isn`t an officer or chief across the country that isn`t recognizing that accountability is going to play a huge role in the behavior of officers moving forward. The next time an officer is in a situation like this, where they`re handcuffing somebody on the ground and in a prone position, they`re going to probably move them over to the recovery position right away, they`re going to make sure they have due diligence for the care as we are trained to do going forward. And recognizing that not doing so there will be consequences.
I mean, no one hates, you know, the bad cops worse than the good cops. And to make sure that these folks have accountability is going to be incredibly important to start to build the legitimacy and the trust that we need to have to make policing in America, you know, fair and just and accepted. So, I`m very pleased, as many people are to see justice served today. But we know that`s just the start of moving and turning the corner on this issue.
And again, I`ll say it again, that there are 1000s of officers who do great work. But you know, we also have to recognize that we have some real problems as well.
WILLIAMS: Chief, let me further ask, we`re coming up here on the East Coast, officers are arriving for the 12 to eight, they`ll be in some sort of a ready room and folding chairs, always luxurious surroundings where a sergeant or an Lt. will stand in the front of the room and give them the advisories on the marching orders for tonight`s overnight shift. Do you think the chill will already be in the room? Do you think there will be any other topic when partners drive around over that eight hour shift?
BEST: I`m sure. I`ve been in roll call probably 1000s of times as an officer and supervisor and ultimately chief and I know those conversations are happening amongst officers about what happened, about how, you know, how they`re going to move forward, how the profession will change because of this. How could they not, the whole world is talking about it. But I believe those conversations are going to be productive, moving people forward and recognizing, you know, the honor with a job. And that people will be held accountable if they violate the rules, and they don`t get a pass.
WILLIAMS: Chuck, to you on the law, sentencing guidelines are a part of American life. They remain highly controversial, and it`s been argued they take power and judgment away from judges. But in the state of Minnesota, we go through this aggravating and mitigating circumstances phase at sentencing. How much leeway does the judge have to add on, that murder two, felony murder charge on average in Minnesota, I`m told, 12 and a half years in prison, though that`s in many ways the starting point.
ROSENBERG: Right. Great question, Brian. So, as Tuesday night draws to a close, at least on the East Coast, let me get a little bit technical, but because it`s important, please bear with me. There`s two ways to think about sentencing. Second degree murder carries a statutory maximum of 40 years. That`s fixed by the Minnesota State Legislature. Judge could never go above that.
Conversely, to your point, Minnesota like many states, and like the federal government, has a set of sentencing guidelines that actually drives the sentence. I think Minnesota has the oldest set of guidelines in the nation.
And you`re quite right. For second degree murder, the guidelines presumptively recommend something between about 10 and 15 years, 12 and a half being the midpoint of those two numbers. Can the judge go higher? Yes, he can.
If he finds certain aggravating circumstances, like for instance, the crime was committed in front of a child. Like for instance, the victim was vulnerable. And indeed he was because he was handcuffed behind his back when he was murdered. Like for instance, the defendant, Chauvin, used as authority as a police officer to commit the crime.
And so, we can think about it through the lens of the statutory maximum fixed by the Minnesota Legislature. But put that aside, because really, it`s going to be a combination of the sentencing guidelines and the judges use of aggravating or extenuating circumstances.
The guidelines are really important too, by the way, Brian, because we want to make sure that whether you`re sentenced in Duluth, or St. Cloud, or in Hibbing, which by the way, is the birthplace of Roger Maris or Minneapolis, that you`re treated the same way for the same crime. And the guidelines introduce that kind of uniformity into sentencing. A very worthy goal.
WILLIAMS: You drop Roger Maris, we`re going to hear from all the Bob Dylan fans as well. Chuck, I can`t thank you enough for your candor and expertise (INAUDIBLE) to Chief Best, thank you both so much for joining us tonight after the day we`ve ha.
Coming up for us, we could think of few people better to talk about the impact of today`s guilty verdicts than Baratunde Thurston and Jason Johnson, both gentlemen standing by to join us when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. CORI BUSH (D-MO): This egregious murder that happened, we can call it murder now, this agree just murder that happened. It should not be that it has to look like that in order for us to have some type of semblance of what people call justice. This was accountability. But it`s not yet justice. Justice for us is saving lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Congress woman`s right we can call it murder now. We can call Derek Chauvin, a convicted murderer and with us to talk about it our two friends of our broadcast, Baratunde Thurston, author, activist, comedian, former producer for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. He is the host of the podcast How to Citizen. He`ll also be hosting the upcoming PBS series, America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston. And Jason Johnson back with us as well, a campaign veteran journalists contributor at The Greo, most importantly, a professor of politics and journalism at Morgan State University.
Gentlemen, good evening to you both. And Baratunde, by dint of the fact that Jason and I shared the moment in real time on live television earlier this evening. I`d like to begin with you tonight and your straight up reaction to what we`ve witnessed today.
BARATUNDE THURSTON, AUTHOR AND COMEDIAN: Relief is the word that keeps I keep feeling that, it`s not celebration, it`s not exuberance. I don`t have the energy remaining for that. But I am relieved. And unlike George Floyd, in his last moments, thanks to the murderous actions of Derek Chauvin. I can breathe. And I`ve been taking very deep, grateful breaths today. Grateful for the jury, grateful for the prosecution, grateful for the witnesses, who literally testified on behalf of the life of George Floyd and grateful for the world, almost literally, the people who took to the streets in Minneapolis and across this planet, to bear witness and demand something close to justice, something like accountability, but it`s gross abuse of power.
WILLIAMS: Jason, our friend, Eugene Robinson, wrote this in the Washington Post under the headline, Derek Chauvin`s conviction shouldn`t feel like a victory. But it does, quote, almost as important as the guilty verdict is the fact that so many Minneapolis police officers, including Police Chief Arradondo testified for the prosecution against Chauvin. Thin blue line solidarity probably isn`t gone forever. But at least we know it has its limits. That`s a start. And hopefully a precedent. Do you join the hopefulness in Eugene`s column, Jason?
JASON JOHNSON, MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR: Not at all. Because literally, Brian, when we talked earlier today, and I said, this doesn`t make me happy. It`s not satisfactory. It`s not justice. This doesn`t necessarily change unless there`s some sort of radical reform in policing of what happened. 45 minutes later, the key of Brian a 16 year old girl in Columbus, Ohio, call the police for help. An officer was on the scene. And in 22 seconds, he shot her death. An honor roll student who`s making TikTok videos on makeup and hair. This hasn`t stopped.
And I want to be really clear about how critical this is not just from the emotional standpoint, from the policy standpoint, and from the national standpoint. There is nobody in America, nobody in America who was not paying attention to today`s trial. That means every single person in this country, every black person, every white person, every cop was paying attention to this trial. And still 40 minutes after that ruling, a 16-year old girl can be shot in front of her house.
So no, I`m not hopeful. Because unless there is wholesale, wholesale change, abolishment of this institution that continues to fail taxpaying black people in this country, everything else is just fanciful thinking. And whether it`s somebody who was 10 minutes up the road, who was shot by an officer with 26 years of experience, or a guy, you know, in Virginia, who was an officer who pulled over or honestly, Brian, who knows how many black men or women in America have a knee on their neck right now in this country. And we just don`t have a camera to tell us.
So until I feel safe, and I don`t, I don`t share Eugene`s optimism. I share a pessimism that has been born of living in this country for way too long to believe that one trial is fundamentally going to change how this place operates.
WILLIAMS: Well, Jason, let me ask you about the young faces you look out on because it`s so important after hearing you out. And this requires speculation on your part, you teach at one of the great HBCUs. What are those kids likely to make of today`s three no verdict?
JOHNSON: Tomorrow, when we talk on Thursday, next class, they`re going to be surprised because as I mentioned earlier today, most of my students didn`t think he was going to be convicted, even though I always thought he was in sort of a makeup call.
But here`s the problem. They`re going to see that and then they`re going to think of Daunte Wright. And then they`re going to think of Makiya Bryant. And then they`re going to think of Tamir Rice, and then they`re going to think of the slew of other young black people who have been killed, where the police weren`t held accountable.
And I need people to sort of understand this. When someone dies, when there`s a death like this, it`s not just that person`s loss, right? George Floyd`s daughter isn`t, you know, she`s not going to have her dad at prom, she`s not going to have somebody to hug. When our kids numbers are gone those people are still suffering Makiya Bryant, there`s somebody who sits next to her a math class who`s going to have nightmares for the rest of their life because a kid who they used to have lunch with and treats and trade sandwiches with in the cafeteria is dead. That`s how this looks to my students because they`ve grown up with this their entire lives.
This country has an obligation to invest not just in the mindset and the economy, but in the lives of young black people. Because if we live every single day thinking that it could be our last, how can we actively participate in a country where we don`t think that any day is promised to us because one officer having a bad day can end our lives? That`s how they see it.
WILLIAMS: To our audience, we have a segment in our second to last segment tonight on the shooting on Makiya Bryant in Columbus, Ohio. Tonight the teenager killed after this encounter by police officers. To Baratunde, hang in there. I`m coming to you after this. Both of our guests have agreed to stick around. We`ll fit in a break.
Coming up, is this moment at all convertible into something that resembles change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Last summer, together with Senator Cory Booker and Representative Karen Bass, I introduced the George Floyd Justice and Policing act. This bill is part of George Floyd`s legacy.
The President and I will continue to urge the Senate to pass this legislation, not as a panacea for every problem. But as a start. This work is long overdue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Indeed, as we`ve heard, even in our hour long broadcast tonight, there are renewed calls for meaningful police reform emphasis on meaningful in light of the conviction of the officer who killed George Floyd.
Still with us our guests Baratunde Thurston and Jason Johnson.
Baratunde, we have a former president who takes his public role seriously. I`m referring, of course to Barack Obama, who put out a lengthy statement tonight that reads, in part, true justice requires that we come to terms with the fact that black Americans are treated differently every day. It requires us to recognize that millions of our friends, family and fellow citizens live in fear that their next encounter with law enforcement could be their last. And it requires us to do the sometimes thankless, often difficult, but always necessary work of making the America we know more like the America we believe in. Baratunde, your thoughts?
THURSTON: Yes, leave it up to Barack Obama to remind us how to channel something positive, I did something so dark in so many ways. And brother Jason, hello, it`s nice to share the screen with you. And I thank you for what you share just before the break. I want to acknowledge you for that. And you broke some news for me, which I wasn`t quite prepared to hear in terms of the events in Ohio.
I am still practicing the breathing. And I want to acknowledge the rarity of this conviction and celebrate not that but to acknowledge that what I don`t want to see is just more convictions of bad cops. What I want to see is less encounters that result in cops being able to abuse that power in the first place.
But I want to see is us living in a world where public safety doesn`t come down to over funding and over arming under qualified people to handle every possible social challenge, that they are not trained or don`t care to learn how to do better. And the opportunity for meaningful reform I think has to get much more aggressive than that. I find some hope.
In the work of the Center for policing equity, under the leadership of Dr. Philip Atiba Goff was worked with folks in Ithaca and Berkeley and hundreds of cities or scores of cities in between to actively try to reimagine how we keep ourselves safe. And how we don`t have to keep relying on a system based in subjugation, based environment, and based in non-compassion and non-mutual respect.
WILLIAMS: Jason, I was thinking on the break, this being our second conversation since the verdict today. People born with the gift of empathy are going to hurt hearing your hurt, hearing your hard earned pessimism, and they may ask themselves or their loved ones. What could make it better? What could possibly make it better for that nice man on television? And what would you say?
JOHNSON: Stop killing black people. I mean, like, fundamentally there`s a point, Brian, if you think about like the parents who suffered in Parkland or Sandy Hook, right, and they a lot of them reached that point where it`s like, we don`t want thoughts and prayers anymore. We want like gun control, because we lost our kids, we`ll never get those children back, we`ll never get to hand them off to be married or anything else like that. That`s how I feel.
At this point when I hear people say body cameras and training, that to me is passively saying you don`t really care about the endemic death of black people at the hands of the state. That`s the kind of thing that will make me better. None of these lives will come back.
I don`t want to see, as Bertrand de said, effectively, I don`t want to see more convictions. I don`t even want to see white people be mistreated in the same way that black people are mistreated. Right? I didn`t want to see Kyle Rittenhouse shot any more than I wanted to see the Makiya Bryant shot.
What I want to see is policing that is actually just in this country. And I want to hear politicians say this is unacceptable. I want politicians to have as much as zero tolerance for police violence as they did about sexual assault in the military. I want us to want to reform policing the same way that we change the Department of War to the Department of Defense.
We can do this as a country if we want to imagine it. But as long as people are continuing to say that this can be worked with, nah, I`m not going to be anything less than pessimistic because this pessimism might possibly keep me alive.
WILLIAMS: To our viewers, let me say these are good talks to have. And these are the kinds of talks you can have only with friends. Baratunde Thurston, Jason Johnson, friends of this broadcast. Gentlemen, after the day we`ve had, thank you both very much for having a painful conversation with us.
Coming up for us, as the nation awaited the verdict. In this case, as Jason said, came the first reports of another police shooting 700 miles away what you need to know about this new case when we come right back.
MAYOR ANDREW GINTHER, COLUMBUS, OHIO: It`s a tragic day and city of Columbus. Horrible, heartbreaking situation. The city of Columbus lost a 15-year-old girl. Based on this footage, the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community.
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WILLIAMS: So note a couple of things here. This is the story Jason Johnson mentioned in the last segment. This is the second Mayor now who has put out body camera video within hours of a police involved shooting. Same thing happened in the Daunte Wright case in Minnesota. But this was about 23 minutes before the Derek Chauvin verdict was read. Another fatal police shooting underway in Columbus, Ohio.
The family has identified the victim as a black 15-year old girl Makiya Bryant. Police body cam footage again released just this hour shows police responding to a scuffle outside of a home earlier today. Police say someone called 911 reporting someone was trying to stab them. We want to warn you what you`re about to see is disturbing.
There was no attempt to use pepper spray or a taser non-lethal force while a knife can be seen in the footage before the officer fires his weapon. Indeed, fire did his weapon. Police perform CPR on the scene. But the girl was pronounced dead at the hospital. And emotional crowd gathered after the shooting.
Reports on social media initially indicated it may have been the victim Makiya Bryant, who actually called police to initially report the fight outside of her home. Again the same 15-year old who was fatally shot by police. We just don`t have confirmation of that.
The officer responsible has been taken off the street. The case will go to a grand jury. This case, this story will get a lot more attention as it deserves to get over the coming days. And we will watch it as we should.
Another break. Coming up for us, a look at the long and painful road to where we are tonight.
WILLIAMS: Last thing before we go tonight, prosecution went three and O with three guilty verdicts now in hand and following the indelible sight of Derek Chauvin being handcuffed and led out of the courtroom by sheriff`s deputies. Our producers on this project led by Maura Daly thought it would be helpful to look back on the events we have witnessed and covered to get to where we are tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today, we are able to breathe again.
UNDENTIFIED MALE: Say his name.
CROWD: George Floyd.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Say his name.
CROWD: George Floyd.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Say his name.
CROWD: George Floyd.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The murder of George Floyd last summer a protest. We hadn`t seen since the Civil Rights here in the 60s.
HARRIS: It is not just a black America problem, or a people of color problem. It is a problem for every American.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Justice for Josh means freedom for all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We finally are getting close to living up to our declaration of independence that we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equally, that they`re endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that amongst them on life and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness where America that means all of us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let George know that his name has gone down in history. They may have put the knee on his neck. But he will now be a figure that we will take the knees off our necks now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: And it turns out he did. Our look at the long road to a three and O conviction by a jury of Derek Chauvin`s peers the road from here. That would be up to the rest of us.
That is our broadcast for this Tuesday night with our thanks for being here with us. On behalf of my colleagues at the networks of NBC News, good night.