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Transcript: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 4/12/21

Guests: Kirk Burkhalter, Marq Claxton, Cedric Alexander


At Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, people are protesting the police killing yesterday of 20-year-old Daunte Wright. The prosecution rested its case today in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. Army Lt. Caron Nazario filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the two police officers.


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Thank you, Rachel. We`re going to continue the live coverage, also. We`re going to Ron Allen in just a minute. Thank you for your live coverage, Rachel. Appreciate it.

We are going to begin tonight in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, where protesters have gathered in the cities near the city`s police headquarters.

We are going to be joined by Ron Allen who is there at the scene.

Ron, what is the latest situation there?

RON ALLEN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: So, Lawrence, we have a lull at the moment. But where we are here we`re down the street from the police station, just a little ways. You can see there in the distance but the crowd left this area and gone back there and now standing in front of the police again. It is this face to face standoff that`s been going on for hours now. And they`re not leaving.

For the last half hour or so, there was an exchange back and forth of tear gas. The protesters are setting off fireworks. You could see some things being thrown over the fence there and now you can perhaps see here in the distance people are starting to run this way again.

Here they come. And I can see a big plume of smoke over the court yard, the front yard in front of the police headquarters there. I don`t smell any irritant in the air at the moment but again this is going on all night.

Periodically, the police come out and announce the fact that there`s a curfew. People need to disperse and go home. They`re staying out here. They`re angry, upset. They don`t like the explanation from the police about what happened.

That the officer mistook or somehow thought she was firing a Taser and fired a weapon, that the boy, the young man, had been stopped for a vehicle infraction because his license plates were expired. It just is something that people find just completely unacceptable.

So here we are. They want the officer fired. The mayor also called for that. The police chief said that they will have due process but the bottom line is this has gone back and forth. There`s been some ebb and flow.

The crowd is larger and smaller as the night has gone on. Now again, after leaving the front of the police station, they`re back there and this is all up to the police to some extent, if they let the people stand there and protest. Will they do that? Or as they did last night and earlier tonight will they fire tear gas? Try to disperse them. Last night rubber bullets and flash bangs. It was very violent.

So, we are on hold, waiting, seeing. People are angry and not leaving here, they`re not going home -- Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Ron Allen, thank you for that report. We`ll come back to you throughout the hour as the news develops there. Thank you very much, Ron.

When police officers reach for their guns they are usually terrified. That calm and confident cop in the Hollywood movie and the TV shows who fearlessly jump into gun battles they`re the fevered dreams of Hollywood directors and actors who have no idea how terrified cops are when they reach for the gun, and that`s why they reach for the guns because they are afraid.

Sometimes they should be afraid because they`re facing a deadly threat to their lives but sometimes like all of us, they are overreacting to their fears. And tonight, we are covering two of those stories at the beginning and the end of this hour, two stories of police overreacting to fears.

At the end of the hour, we`ll see a video that emerged in Virginia this weekend showing terrified police officers, angry terrified police officers with the guns drawn aimed at a completely law abiding army lieutenant who was driving home with his dog in the back of his SUV and did absolutely nothing wrong. But he was driving while black and that seemed to be enough to get him pulled over by two small town police officers in Virginia with guns drawn on him and screaming at him.

The victim of that police abuse is alive tonight. Daunte Wright is not. An autopsy report on Daunte Wright was released today saying that his killing yesterday was a homicide and that the cause of death a single gunshot wound to the chest, and that single gunshot caused the clashes last night with police in Minnesota and what we`re seeing tonight, the kind of night that`s become all too sadly familiar to the people of Minnesota since the police killing of George Floyd there last year.

One of the jurors in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd which completed the 11th day today is living under that curfew tonight. In that Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center where Daunte Wright was shot and killed by a police officer yesterday. The curfew went into effect at 7:00 p.m. tonight.

The chief of the Brooklyn Center Police force said today that when he showed -- said this today, when he showed police body cam video of the shooting that the killing of Daunte Wright was an accident. The chief identified the officer who fired the shot as a woman who was a senior officer in the department, the state`s bureau of criminal apprehension has identified that officer as Kim Potter. She`s a 26-year veteran of the police department.

The police chief said that she thought she was reaching for her Taser and intended to fire the Taser at Daunte Wright but instead fired her gun. And so, the chief described today was in effect another deadly demonstration that police training does not work. That police experience does not work. Twenty-six years of experience is not enough.

We need police training in deadly force to work for everyone who takes that training just like we need pilot training to work for everyone who`s trained as a pilot because with police training and pilot training. If it doesn`t work, people die.

And this police officer like every police officer was fully trained on the difference between reaching for a gun and reaching for a Taser. But in the moment when it counted on the street under that self imposed pressure, all of her training disappeared.


POLICE OFFICER: The officer drew their handgun instead of their Taser. For informational purposes, we train with our handguns on our dominant side and our Taser on our weak side. So if you`re right handed you carry the firearm on the right side and the Taser on the left. This is done purposefully and it`s trained.

As I watched the video and listen to the officer`s commands, it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy the Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet. This appears to me from what I viewed and the officer`s reaction and distress immediately after that it was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright.


O`DONNELL: The police chief explained that Daunte Wright`s car was pulled over because it had an expired registration and then the additional crime of air fresheners on hanging on the rear-view mirror which is apparently against the law in Minnesota and then they discovered an outstanding warrant for Daunte Wright for a misdemeanor. And so, three potential misdemeanors are why the police decided to make their move on Daunte Wright that ended in his death.

Daunte Wright called hid mother Katie Wright just as the police pulled him over yesterday afternoon at the location where her son was shot and killed. Katie Wright said this.


KATIE WRIGHT, MOTHER: He said that they pulled him over because of air fresheners hanging from his rear mirror. I heard the police officer come to the window and say, put the phone down and get out of the car. Daunte said, why? And he said, we`ll explain to you when you get out of the car. I heard the police officer say, Daunte, don`t run. Like a minute later, I called and his girlfriend answered which is the passenger and said that he`d been shot.


O`DONNELL: The police chief decided to release the police body cam video today as soon as possible. He said the state investigators did not want that bodycam video released so early, but he believed the community had a right to see it. This network has a carefully considered policy on showing video of people killed by police, including the video in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. The network policy almost never allows us to show the entirety of the video because it is so disturbing to see and many of you told me personally how disturbing such videos are for you to see.

And so, this video is unedited up to the point where the gunshot is fired and then the video frame freezes but the audio continues and you will hear what the officer said after she fired that shot. You will hear her voice shift from being terrified of Daunte Wright to being terrified by what she just did, when she says I shot him.



POLICE OFFICER: You have a warrant.

DAUNTE WRIGHT, 20-YEAR-OLD: I`m not doing nothing. I`m not doing nothing.

POLICE OFFICER: I`ll tase you! I`ll tase you! Taser, Taser, Taser!

Oh (EXPLETIVE DELETED! I just shot him.




O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Kirk Burkhalter, criminal law professor at New York Law School where he is the director of the 21st Century Policing Project, and Marq Claxton, director of the Black Law Enforcement Alliance. Both are former NYPD police detectives.

Let me begin with you, Professor Burkhalter. And your reaction to what we`re seeing on that video and the police chief`s interpretation today of that video and what she said afterwards that this was an accident, reaching -- thinking she is reaching for the Taser when she is reaching for the gun.

KIRK BURKHALTER, NYU SCHOOL OF LAW CRIMINAL LAW PROFESSOR: Sure, Lawrence. Thank you. I would like to focus on the word accident.

Under the law, even if one necessarily intend to do something, however, if they do so negligently, recklessly, meaning they repeat the action and have the same result, you can be culpable and the fact it`s no longer an accident. And we have seen repeatedly that there is a difference in how the force is administered by police departments against people of color and with respect to others.

So at what point does it stop being an accident? I can understand the chief`s approach with regards to this individual incident but we hear this over and over. Oops. I`m sorry. Oops. It is an accident.

But it only happens with one segment of society. This was a low-level misdemeanor arrest. And whether force should be used, perhaps that`s a discussion for another day but at the end of the day, we consistently see death, dismemberment, serious injury over low-level arrest. Not a crime of the century.

That`s not an accident. It is a form of bias. And arguably you cannot train or educate that away. That is something that someone brings with them to that police department.

So perhaps the first stop on the train is identified those who harbor those form of biases and perhaps this is just simply not the job for them because that`s what leads to these types of accidents. There is a difference based on who a person is and we saw this in the George Floyd trial and seeing it now as to the reason for escalation of force and that reason is quite often based on who that person is. For some reason, this person is more of a threat because it is a young black man.

So it`s quite disturbing to watch the excuse that it`s an accident. And then we can certainly discuss some of the technicalities of how someone could possibly mistake a .9 millimeter handgun for a Taser given the difference in weight and balance and materials and so forth and color.

So, you know, the word accident here seems wildly inappropriate when this young man has been killed.

O`DONNELL: Marq Claxton, how would you describe what you are seeing on that video?

MARQ CLAXTON, BLACK LAW ENFORCEMENT ALLIANCE DIRECTOR: To tell you the truth, Lawrence, it feels as if we collectively as the community, black community are stuck like the Bill Murray community in the "Groundhog Day" caught in a time loop of repetition so day every day you`re in the same incidents and occurrences.

Listen, over the last several couple weeks we have been having discussions about use of force, the use of force continuum which quite frankly has Kirk alluded should be called the code of color continuum at this point. But too often, the guidelines, the continuums, the rules and regulations, even the law are just no match for toxic police culture which is propped up by bias both implicit and explicit bias, intolerance and racism. And all too often it leads to avoidable interactions and worse fatal encounters.

This is not the first time that you had a police officer allege to assume that the police officers allege that this because the chief, although indicated that he was staying out of the investigation gave this, quote/unquote, excuse if you will but when you think of it Oscar grant, same situation.

There was another case where volunteer deputy sheriff in Oklahoma had the same kind of, quote/unquote, excuse for a fatal shooting. What`s the common denominator? A black victim.

So we have to examine the realities and what it is that we`re facing and get out of this time loop and this repetition and escape from our Groundhog Day nightmare.

O`DONNELL: Professor Burkhalter, almost all deaths in automobiles are as a result of accidents. But some of those accidents are ruled to be manslaughter because of recklessness and other factors.

Where is the line here in this kind of conduct between accident and manslaughter?

BURKHALTER: The line here with regards to manslaughter quite often depending on the state it may be a criminal negligence standard. So if a prosecutor can prove that someone should have known that their actions might have a particular result, if they were not careful, or if they did know if they were not careful and the actions would have a particular result and that result in either case led to death, it could be a manslaughter challenge.

This is what`s so difficult and why police officers are rarely prosecuted for manslaughter because proving what they should have known and did know, this goes back to how they`re trained and educated and so forth. You need to bring in as we have seen in the trial of Derek Chauvin and so easy to say the trial of George Floyd but it`s the trial of Derek Chauvin, he`s the one that`s on trial, the litany of police officers and police officials who were responsible for the training.

So that`s to demonstrate that Derek Chauvin`s actions were reckless, that he should have known the result, the danger that could occur. But this is - - that trial is an outlier and why it`s rather difficult to prosecute the cases and show what someone would have known.

In this case, this positioning of where to carry the Taser versus the firearm certainly might lead to a form of charge of manslaughter. But a lot remains to be seen and dependent on the investigation that takes place here.

O`DONNELL: We are going to continue this conversation with Marq Claxton and Kirk Burkhalter across this commercial break. When we come back to consider the prosecution resting its case today in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, taking place ten miles away from where those protesters are tonight.

We`ll be right back.


O`DONNELL: We are continuing our live coverage of the situation tonight in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, where people are protesting the killing by police there yesterday. We are joined by NBC`s Morgan Chesky.

Morgan, what is the latest there?

MORGAN CHESKY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Lawrence, good evening. We just had to retreat within the last 30 seconds because the security team tells me that rubber bullets are deployed into the crowd that`s been in and around the Brooklyn Center police station for the last several hours.

That curfew now has been in effect for several hours here, but you can still see quite a crowd behind me. I know it`s dark but there`s several hundred people around the intersection of the Brooklyn Center Police Department. Just where those lights are in the distance, Lawrence, that`s where a crowd of at least 100 police officers are and National Guardsmen have been advancing for last 15 or 20 minutes or so essentially clearing block by block using tear gas to do so as they`ve inched the way to our location here.

I`m in a parking lot of a strip mall vandalized and looted last night. We`re seeing that happen again and told by several people here that are doing that saying don`t turn that camera around on us. You don`t want to do that.

So at this point in time -- oops. Excuse us. You can see people are obviously having some issues with the tear gas used here and right now, a significant law enforcement presence in place and it looks to stay that way for at least the time being.

One of our biggest concerns here is getting in between the protesters and the police here. We heard the governor say earlier, Tim Walz of Minnesota, that you can mourn the loss of Daunte Wright but anyone trying to take advantage of the situation, it will not be tolerated and we`re witnessing that firsthand now.

I think as they make the way towards this area, the looting that`s happening behind me. Take a quick look around here. Just to show people the scope of where everyone is gathered right now. We witnessed these people break into these windows, walk into these stores within the past hour and essentially take whatever they wanted to.

Everyone crowded on the sidewalk essentially has whatever they want to at the disposal with the stores. I spoke to a local business owner here who owned a nearby gas station. I said will you close down early? He said, no, I have extra family members come here. We`re going to stay inside our shop and try to protect it if at all possible. He is concerned that they`re going to have to deal with some of the damage firsthand and that really is the fear here as the night goes on.

This is a community that remembers all too well what happened following the death of George Floyd. There`s still very much healing from that. And so, when I was at a vigil for Daunte Wright this evening there were repeated calls saying mourn his life but don`t do any damage to this area.

Now, there`s a lot of debate on who is doing what. However I can tell you that this is a different group than those I gathered with earlier today who remember the life of that 20-year-old man.

Taking a look back the lights in the distance that is right in front of the police station here at this point in time we know that that massive group of National Guardsmen and police are standing in front of that and not made the way closer to us. Hopefully that is a safe perimeter for them at this point in time and I can tell you that right now with that curfew in effect they will be clearing this area some point.

And I can tell you that right now, with that curfew in effect, they will be clearing this area at some point, it`s a matter of when -- Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Morgan Chesky, thank you for that live report. We`ll be coming back as the scene as the news develops there tonight. Thank you, Morgan.

Well, today on day 11, just ten miles away from where Morgan Chesky is now on day 11 of the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, the prosecution rested its case after calling three more witnesses. George Floyd`s younger brother described his memories of life with George and something Minnesota law allows the victim`s families to do in murder trials. The defense did not ask any questions of George Floyd`s brother.

Cardiologist Dr. Jonathan Rich testified that heart disease had nothing to do with the death of George Floyd. He said that George Floyd died because the police crushing his body against the pavement deprived him of oxygen.


DR. JONATHAN RICH, CARDIOLOGIST: George Floyd died from a cardiopulmonary arrest. It was caused by low oxygen levels. And those low oxygen levels were induced by the prone restraint and positional asphyxiation that he was subjected to. I believe the death was absolutely preventable.

JERRY BLACKWELL, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: Were there critical points in time during his subdual and restraint on the ground when you feel measures could have or should have been taken that would have preserved his life?

RICH: Yes, do. I think there were several junctures actually.

BLACKWELL: Would you tell us about those?

RICH: Sure. Well, the first of course was to not subject him to that initial prone restraint positioning that he was subjected to. I mean, that is first and foremost. So if that was not the case I don`t think he would have died.


O`DONNELL: The final witness for the prosecution today was a former police officer who is now a law professor at an expert in police use of deadly force, Professor Seth Stoughton testified that Derek Chauvin using force that he should have known was deadly force and that that force was unreasonable.


PROSECUTOR: Do you have an opinion as to whether defendant`s use of force whereby he restrained Mr. Floyd in that prone position for nine minutes and 29 seconds on May 25, 2020, was reasonable as viewed by a reasonable police officer on the scene?


PROSECUTOR: And what is that opinion?

STOUGHTON: No reasonable officer would have believed that that was an appropriate, acceptable or reasonable use of force.

PROSECUTOR: Was the force, did the force -- was the force unreasonable as it started and ended?

STOUGHTON: From the time it was initiated and throughout the duration. Yes.

PROSECUTOR: And, finally, do you have a degree -- I`m sorry, opinion to a degree of reasonable professional certainty as to whether the defendant appropriately rendered medical aid to Mr. George Floyd on May 25, 2020, in accordance with generally accepted police practices?

STOUGHTON: I do, yes.

PROSECUTOR: What is that opinion?

STOUGHTON: The failure to render aid to Mr. Floyd both by taking him out of the prone position and by rendering aid as his increasing medical distress became obvious was unreasonable, and contrary to generally accepted police practices.

PROSECUTOR: Thank you very much, Professor Stoughton. I have no further questions, your honor.


O`DONNELL: Back with us, law professor Kirk Burkhalter and Marq Claxton, both former NYPD detectives.

Marq, your reaction to this final testimony today, the sequence of it, including the cardiologist saying absolutely no health condition contributing to the death, it was all a result of the police force used against him, and then like you, a former police officer and now turned law professor like Kirk saying this force, this use of deadly force was completely unreasonable.

CLAXTON: Well, it`s quite clear that the prosecutors are tripling down. Not even doubling down but tripling down and want to make it clear about what caused the death of Mr. Floyd and quite clear by that. Both the medical experts and the use of force expert was very clear and convincing and defining the positions.

And also, it should be noted that the job throughout the course of the trial that the Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell has done is exemplary because he allows on direct and redirect the witnesses really to shine and has such a tone and tenor that`s very comforting, reassuring. So I think that will resonate with the jurors as it has with me not being the legal expert that Kirk is.

O`DONNELL: Kirk, I have to say I have never seen in a police case like this, never seen a prosecution case go in more flawlessly and more fully than this has.

BURKHALTER: I would have to agree, Lawrence. This really came through today. So what we saw today, the prosecution reinforced the two things that it had to prove and reinforced the one thing that it really wants to resonate with the jury.

So the two things the prosecution had to prove, first of all, causation, right. Had it not been for the actions of Derek Chauvin, George Floyd would still be alive. And that`s what we heard the cardiologist testify to, who was by the way, an excellent expert. He was able to take quite complex subject matter and explain it to the jury.

The other thing they had to prove was that this was unreasonable, the actions of Derek Chauvin and therefore unjustified, not justified. And that was the final witness.

And finally what they wanted the jury to remember, and as you mentioned this is very much unique to Minnesota, George Floyd was a person with all his flaws, with all his good attributes. He is a human being just like all of us with all our flaws and positive attributes but he was a brother. He was a son and so forth. And that was the testimony from his brother.

So the prosecution really put those three nails, so to speak, in their argument and that`s what the jury is left with prior to the defense starting its argument.

O`DONNELL: And Marq, the essential point that they need to make to this Minnesota jury is that what you`re seeing Derek Chauvin do is unreasonable, not necessarily from the perspective of the jurors themselves or from individuals out there watching, but it`s unreasonable from an experienced police officer`s perspective. That`s the perspective they were using today.

MARQ CLAXTON, DIRECTOR, BLACK LAW ENFORCEMENT ALLIANCE: Right. And they made that point quite clearly during the course of today`s testimony about what is the level of expectation. And that is the reasonable police officer standard itself.

So I think the prosecution`s done an exemplary job at presenting that and even breaking it down and making it impactful to laypersons like myself. And I`m sure that the jurors are being impacted by the same things as well.

Listen, I don`t -- I can`t imagine beyond a hypothetical case what the defense is prepared to do but I`m sure that whatever the defense does attempt, it`ll be in a shorter time frame and the prosecutors will have an opportunity to really beat back some of the most ridiculous assertions which I`m sure they`re going to make.

O`DONNELL: Also entered into the testimony today through the police expert was that George Floyd at no point represented a threat. He kept -- they kept showing individual points on the -- while he was being held down saying is he a threat now? Is he a threat now?

And Kirk, at no point was he a threat. The big suspense going into the presentation of the defense case is, will the defendant testify? The most important questions that the defense has to answer can only be answered by the defendant. But in this defense you run an awful lot of risks by putting him on the witness stand.

BURKHALTER: I just cannot imagine Derek Chauvin testifying. If I`m the prosecutor, and on cross I am going to play that video and I`m going to stop it every five seconds and ask him what were you thinking here? What were you thinking here? And I want that jury to see how long his knee was on George Floyd`s neck.

The only possible way that he might testify is if he feels -- the defense feels he has absolutely nothing to lose. You know, it is unlikely but those things have happened.

that he does not -- the defense does not have to prove that Derek Chauvin was innocent. The defense only has to prove that he is not guilty by reasonable doubt, and make that argument rather, because the prosecution must prove that and you can expect the defense to come in during their closing summation with a time line -- or rather a number line that goes from zero to 100 and shows how far close to 100 beyond a reasonable doubt is.

So I don`t see him testifying. I think that`s a last-ditch effort. I think that would just be food for the prosecution.

O`DONNELL: Kirk Burkhalter and Marq Claxton, thank you once again tonight. Really appreciate it.

And we`re going to continue to cover the situation at Brooklyn Center, Minnesota live where people are protesting the police killing yesterday of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.

MSNBC`s Ron Allen is joining us now. Ron, where are you? What is the latest?

RON ALLEN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: We`re still in the same place, Lawrence. We`re about a hundred yards or so from where the police station is but in the last half hour or so the police have started a move. They`re trying to clear the street in front of the police headquarters and they brought in what looks like a big armored vehicle and the police have made a line across this wide boulevard.

What they`re trying to do is push the protesters back down this area. And we have heard people in the crowd urging everyone to stand tall, to stand strong and not move away.

It is about attrition. The police are just trying to wear them down essentially. We have not seen much tear gas lately. We`ve heard reports of rubber bullets, but we have not seen any of that on this side of the crowd but what you can`t see is way down the other side of the street. The police also seem to be pushing in the other direction. They`re basically trying to create a big open space in front of the police headquarters to try and make sure that their officers are safe and that the headquarters are safe and to try and get the crowd to disperse.

But again, people are not going home. The people that we talked to out here say they are determined and we can hear now in the distance -- one more warning. We hear these periodically. The police over a loud speaker telling people that they are in violation of the curfew which happened at 7:00 p.m. local time here several hours ago.

But people we talked to are determined to stay out here. This is how they feel that they`re going to get justice for this family, for this latest family to be in this situation.

And of course, obviously there`s a lot of emotion, a lot of passion.

Also, Lawrence, we could tell you, in this direction over here if you look over there you can still see that there are people at that Dollar Tree store and some of the other stores along here. It is open season. This is a big parking lot and people have just been going in, taking what they want and leaving.

But look this way because when we point the camera that way, people are going to get very angry. Bottom line is the standoff continues, Lawrence. People are not going home. They`re determined to outlast the police and the police are gradually slowly pushing.

We just heard a couple of loud explosions. I can see the smoke. Where`s my gas mask? Where is the gas mask? Emily.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- immediately disperse to the north. Leave the area.

ALLEN: We see -- there`s a big plume of gas. Ok. Let`s move back. Let`s move back. Let`s move back. Let`s -- let`s move back. Let`s move back.

Let`s move back.

People are very emotional.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every single white person --

ALLEN: People are very emotional.


ALLEN: It seems like the police have just really made a big move, Lawrence. And they`ve --

I can see a big police vehicle that just kind of moved away. They just made a big push in the last couple of minutes and as you can see now, people are trying to figure out what to do next. The protesters are trying to figure out what to do next.

All right. All right. I hear you. I hear you. I hear you. I hear you, man.

O`DONNELL: Ron, do we have any --

ALLEN: You can see another -- yes, Lawrence?

O`DONNELL: I was just going to ask about the size of the crowd. Do we have any estimate of that?

ALLEN: It was several hundred people but it`s getting dispersed. The police are being very aggressive and they`re pushing. We need to move -- we need to move way back, guys. We need to move way back. We need to -- way back.

Watch, watch, watch.

All right. The crowd now is really just kind of dispersed. In the other direction I can see some police cars. They`re threatening to arrest people. We don`t think they`ve made any arrests at all tonight but that may be ending now. And I can also see over there where they`re moving they`re trying to protect some of those stores and businesses that are being robbed and looted.

Now you can see behind me the street`s pretty empty. You can see the line of police over there now with the illuminated, yellow vests. They`re trying to move cars out, put this area now, over here to the left in the parking lot there you can the police line as well.

They pushed out -- they pushed out at least 100 yards from the police headquarters and you can see that advancing slowly. And you can see it over here, too. The cars are moving -- the cars are moving out.

The police have obviously had enough of this. And they are moving everyone out. And in the middle of all that, you can see that big bright light. That`s a huge armored vehicle so I think, guys, we`ve got to move.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got to move right now.

ALLEN: We got to move fast. Ronnie, we got to move.


ALLEN: We`re going to get out of here, Lawrence because they have warned everyone that they would be arrested.

O`DONNELL: Ron, I`m going to let you keep moving and we will take a break here.

We will come back to Ron Allen after this break. We`re going to let him position himself safely in the midst of that moving now. It is a moving protest.

We`ll be right back.


O`DONNELL: We are continuing our live coverage of the situation tonight in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Our reporters Ron Allen and our crews there are repositioning themselves to a safer location now that the police line is moving there trying to control a crowd gathered in protest, protesting of the police killing of a 20-year-old black man there yesterday.

Police officer -- police chief today said that the killing was an accident because the police officer thought she was reaching for her taser when she was actually reaching for her gun and fired one shot -- one gunshot into the chest that was the cause of death.

We will be back with our crews there as soon as they are safely positioned to get the latest update from the situation in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.

In another case of police use of force, unnecessary force you got a police officer fired. And you did that by making a video go viral. Watching the video as it was going viral this weekend of a police officer aiming a gun at an army lieutenant for no reason. And pepper spraying him for no reason and then letting him go because the army lieutenant had actually done nothing wrong.

And that police officer who was -- was never, ever going to be fired, the police officer was fired today because of that. He was never going to be fired if the video of that incident did not go viral.

The police department in Windsor, Virginia is six people -- a chief, a sergeant, a detective and three patrol officers. And with last night`s firing of one of those officer it now only has two patrol officers.

The police body cam video, you`re about to see has been in police position since December 5th and they have done nothing about it.

Police Chief Rodney Riddle was not going to do anything about it until last night when that video went viral.

We`ll also be showing you a video angle, when we show you this video of the police body cam video, we`re going to show you an additional video angle from inside Army Lieutenant`s Caron Nazario`s car, from the position where he put his phone during his interaction with the police officers.

Here is that video.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of the car.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of the car now.

NAZARIO: What`s going on?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s going on is you`re fixing to ride the lightning, son.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of the car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You received an order. Obey it.

NAZARIO: I`m honestly afraid to get out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. You should be. Get out.

NAZARIO: I didn`t do anything. Whoa. Hold on. What`s going on -- Hold on. I just -- watch it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of the car. Get out of the car and get on the ground now or you`re going to get it again.

NAZARIO: I don`t even want to reach my seatbelt. Can you --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take your seatbelt off and get out of the car.


O`DONNELL: After all of that and more, the police did not arrest Lieutenant Nazario telling him they were doing him a big favor by letting him go so that the military would not be penalizing him for getting arrested.

Lt. Nazario`s attorney says that he informed his military supervisors of the incident almost immediately.

Lt. Nazario`s who is 27 and a graduate of Virginia State University filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the two police officers and after the video emerged publicly this weekend, the Governor of Virginia said the video quote is "disturbing and angered me".

Governor Ralph Northam said he is directing the Virginia state police to investigate the matter.

Joining us now Cedric Alexander former public safety director and police chief of DeKalb County, Georgia. He`s a member of President Obama`s task force on 21st century policing. Also with us Jonathan Capehart, opinion writer for "The Washington Post" and host of "The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart" on MSNBC.

And Jonathan, let me begin with you on this because of the reaction that we all have when we look at these videos and this time we have the two angles. We have the police body cam and then we have the lieutenant`s own video that he set up on the dashboard of his car, capturing this from his perspective.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC HOST: What we saw in that video, Lawrence, is why a traffic stop is never routine when you are black and particularly a black male in America.

I continue to be impressed. And I`m sorry I have to be impressed because we have to be that Lt. Nazario had the presence of mind to go to a lighted area, to fire up his phone and set it to record and put it on the dashboard so he had his own evidence to show that he followed -- he could hear all the conflicting demands made of him by the two officers and then not put himself or give those officers a reason, an excuse -- not a reason, an excuse to shoot him.

Watching that video. And I don`t know -- it`s Sunday. And I allow you to have a weekend, Lawrence, but I don`t know if you saw the show yesterday. I actively resisted watching that video all weekend long until I had to show it on my show.

And it made me very angry because I am tired of seeing black people and black men in particular going about their lives, at least trying to, and then always having a problem. And in these two cases -- Virginia and Minnesota. What got Daunte -- I`m blanking on his name right now --

O`DONNELL: Daunte Wright.

CAPEHART: Daunte Wright -- what got him pulled over? A license plate issue. What got the Lt. Nazario pulled over? A license plate issue. And we can go around the country and look at and find examples of black men pulled over for the pretext of a license plate issue and then things going awry.

Seeing that video particularly the one of Lt. Nazario is maddening. It`s enraging. And it`s also frightening because Lt. Nazario could have been Daunte Wright.

O`DONNELL: Cedric Alexander, Officer Gutierrez, the one who does the pepper spray after screaming and screaming and screaming and then doing the pepper spray, he got fired last night. But he got fired on information that that police department had since December 5. He got fired because of what we see on that video. And he wasn`t going to be fired apparently until we got to see it on the video instead of just the police chief.

CEDRIC ALEXANDER, FORMER POLICE CHIEF, DEKALB COUNTY, GEORGIA: Well, that is a problematic in itself. It speaks to that police department. It`s speaks to that city leadership. Because if they knew that that video was out there and the egregious acts that their officers committed and involved themselves in that night to a U.S. Army soldier, who was respectful and quite frankly, who was the only professional person there on the scene and the way that they treated him was inhumane. And not just the fact that he was a lieutenant in the army but they didn`t treat him with a sense of respect.

And look, this whole idea about this being a felony traffic stop. That`s the part that really ticks me off the most. That wasn`t a felony traffic stop, not really because you can`t see a license plate. And to come out of your car with guns drawn because he just drove a little bit further down the road to find a lighted spot. He did everything that we train our friends and families and everyone to do. All of us.

But yet, even after he did all that, as you heard Jonathan so well articulate it just seems like no matter what we are asking our citizens to do, particularly if they are of color, it just seems to come back to the same place.

I have been in policing -- I had been in policing in and out for 40 years. And I tell you, this was the most disgusting traffic stop. The interactions that take place -- they are becoming sickening to the American people. And I don`t care what color you are, everybody is sick and tired of it. This is troubling.

And policing across this country and even good police are going to have to suffer behind those who are acting egregiously, illegally and unconstitutionally as what we saw the other night there in Virginia.

O`DONNELL: And Jonathan Capehart, you have been sharing the screen as Cedric is sharing the screen with the protesters in Minnesota tonight. The news media will record that this protest is about what happened to Daunte Wright. Because that is the neighborhood where it`s happening.

But those protesters also know what happened to this army lieutenant in Virginia. They know what happened to George Floyd. They know what happened in all of these cases. And surely they have more than just this most recent case in mind when they go out there tonight.

CAPEHART: Right. And from what I understand there have been other instances in Brooklyn Center, interactions with the police that have enraged the community.

I mean look people are angry and they`re angry for a reason. They are justifiably angry. When you have the state in the presence of law enforcement that is able -- that`s able to kill people and they`re tired of and they`re demonstrating against it.

And one last thing, Lawrence, we need to make sure we make a distinction between the people who were standing in front of the police station trying to have their voices heard and the knuckle heads who were looting the store yards away. Two completely different people -- groups of people.

O`DONNELL: Jonathan Capehart, Cedric Alexander -- thank you both for joining our discussion.

CAPEHART: Thanks Lawrence.

ALEXANDER: Thank you for having me.

O`DONNELL: We`ll be right back.


O`DONNELL: And we`re going back to our live position in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota with NBC`s Ron Allen. Ron, what`s the latest there?

ALLEN: Well, you can see across the street, there`s a huge police presence there, clearing out the gas station there, began grabbing and arresting people out of the crowd.

We were told we had to move across this major street. So we think we are in a safe place right now.

But if you look that way and as you come pan the other way, all here -- you can see the police advancing even further with that big huge armored vehicle in the center. It goes down that way about 100 feet or so.

There must be several hundred officers. And they`re now well down the street from in front of the police headquarters.

Where the protesters have gone, we don`t know. People have just scattered. And we have also seen many people arrested. Don`t know what the number of that is yet but bottom line is this night the police have just said this is over. Get out of here and go home or you`re going to be arrested. They`ve ran out of patience. And you can see a huge presence.

Lawrence, back to you.

O`DONNELL: NBC`s Ron Allen, thank you. Thank you for that live coverage during this hour, Ron. We really appreciate it.

MSNBC`s breaking news coverage continues right now on "THE 11TH HOUR WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS".