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Transcript: The ReidOut, 4/19/21

Guests: Ralph Godbee, Nekima Levy Armstrong, Michele Norris, Stuart Stevens


Protesters gather as Chauvin jury deliberates. Chauvin jury currently deliberating verdict. Chauvin jury will decide on charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Judge Cahill says, I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case. The plan among some House Republicans to create a so-called American First caucus died this weekend, but however short-lived, it confirmed anti- immigrant racism is in the modern day Republican Party.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Tell me your favorite on planet on there. We might choose some of the responses on air. And you can always listen to THE BEAT or any MSNBC program on the Tune-in App, on any device. So check that out if you`re interested.

"THE REIDOUT" with Joy Reid is up next:

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, everyone. We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with the country bracing for a decision trom12 jurors chosen to decide the fate of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. Protests have already begun tonight. Something we could see every night until the verdict is reached over the killing of George Floyd.

And while we don`t know how long it will take for the now sequestered jury to reach the verdict, the decision by these 12 people will almost certainly reverberate well beyond the confines of the courtroom. The question at stake is simple. Will yet another death of a black person at the hands of police be overlooked? Will George Floyd`s name be placed alongside Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Philando Castile and so many others in which the officer involved in those killings were not held accountable? And, of course, that doesn`t cover the countless others who never even had their day in court to try to hold their killers accountable.

Or will a family in this country finally see some justice against someone who took an oath to protect and serve. Will there be some accountability for what can only be described as a continued and growing epidemic of police violence in America.

Before the jury begin deliberated, the prosecution and defense made their closing arguments. The prosecution told jurors they just need to believe their own eyes and their common sense.


STEVE SCHLEICHER, PROSECUTOR: The knee to the neck, the knee to the back, twisting his fingers, holding his legs for nine minutes and 29 seconds, the defendant`s weight on him. The lungs in his chest unable to expand because there wasn`t enough room to breathe. George Floyd tried. This wasn`t policing. This was murder.


REID: And the prosecution also described Chauvin ignoring Floyd`s final cries for help and how Chauvin may have been affected by the crowd but not the way that the defense had portrayed them.


SCHLEICHER: The defendant facing down that crowd, they were pointing cameras at him, recording him, telling him what to do, challenging his authority. His ego, his pride, not the kind of pride that makes you do better, be better, the kind of ego-based pride that the defendant was not going to be told what to do. He was not going to let these bystanders tell him what to do. He was going to do what he wanted, how he wanted, for as long as he wanted.


REID: Remember, at one point, eyewitness Charles McMillian told Floyd, you can`t win, and Floyd cried out, I`m not trying to win. But as the prosecution pointed out, Chauvin was trying to win.

For its part, the defense rested its closing argument telling the jury that they didn`t actually see what was clear on all of those videos. That while police officers can make mistakes, the blame for George Floyd`s death, at least for the defense, rests with George Floyd himself.


ERIC NELSON, CHAUVIN DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You have to be convinced that the defendant`s actions caused the death of Mr. Floyd, actions that happened before Mr. Floyd was arrested that had nothing to do with officer Chauvin`s activities are not the natural consequences of the defendant`s actions. The drug ingestion, right, the bad heart, the diseased heart, the hypertension, all of these things existed before Mr. Chauvin arrived.


REID: In its rebuttal, the prosecution made this final statement to the jury.


JERRY BLACKWELL, PROSECUTOR: You were told, for example, that Mr. Floyd died, that Mr. Floyd died because his heart was too big. You heard that testimony. And now having seen all the evidence, having heard all the evidence, you know the truth. And the truth of the matter is that the reason George Floyd is dead is because Mr. Chauvin`s heart was too small.


REID: Joining me now from Minneapolis is NBC News Correspondent Meagan Fitzgerald. Meagan, I`m assuming this has been quite a tense day in Minneapolis. Give us a sense of what you have seen and heard.

MEAGAN FITZGERALD, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Joy, absolutely. In fact, shortly after the jury got this trial, shortly after closing arguments, a crowd of protesters started forming. Where we are right now is just outside of the courthouse.

And I want to give you a look around of what we`re seeing here, hundreds of people coming out from all over this community, but also all over the country. We have talked to people who flew in because it was important for them to be here, they said, to call for justice for George Floyd.

So we`re asking people, we`re talking to people, what does justice look like? And certainly, what they`re telling us is not only do they want Derek Chauvin to be sentenced, to be found guilty, but they`re also calling for systemic changes.

There`s a sense of tiredness, people who are just tired and exhausted, because they find themselves in the same situation, here, obviously, in Minneapolis for George Floyd, but just last week, it was Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, or Minnesota, and I was actually there when they released the video of the officer shooting Daunte Wright. And a man crying out that it was murder. And then proceeding to say, it keeps happening. This man saying that they continue to keep killing us.

So, Joy, what we`re seeing is that there`s this collective trauma that`s happening not just here in Minneapolis, in Minnesota, but all across the country, people calling for change.

Earlier today, Joy, we were talking to a group called Principals for Good Trouble. So this is a group of principals and of assistant principals from all over the twin cities that have come together, and they realize that their role is critical. And so what they`re doing is they`re here protesting, but they`re also trying to educate students within their school, because they understand that this is deep. And that they have a role in trying to educate these students so that they understand why this is happening.

These principals also say that they`re being very open with their students about what`s happening in the trial, teaching them about it, also listening to their black and brown students about their lived experiences and allowing them that space to vent.

So, Joy, a lot of people out here calling for justice, and we know that they`re going to continue to be out here throughout the course of the deliberations. Joy?

REID: Meagan Fitzgerald, thank you very much. I really appreciate that information.

And with me now is Paul Butler, George town Law Professor, and former Federal Prosecutor, and Joyce Vance, former U.S. Attorney and MSNBC Columnist.

And, you know, Paul, we talk about this far too often. You wrote a book called Chokehold. And I think one of the things when I read your book that stood out to me is how obvious some of these cases of brutality seem and how disparate the result is. It`s very difficult to convict a police officer of brutality, rven in a case like this that seems so obvious. I think about Rodney King when I think about this case. What do you make of the way the prosecution has acquitted themselves so far and the defense, and do you have any sense of how it`s going for either side or how it went for either side? I guess it`s done now.

PAUL BUTLER, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, you`re absolutely right, Joy. It`s really difficult to convict a police officer of any crime. The few times they get charged with murder, they usually beat the case. And when it`s a white officer accused of killing a black person, it`s even more likely to be a not guilty verdict.

But this case may be different, in part because in almost all previous prosecutions, a police officer shot somebody. Jurors are sympathetic when it`s a split-second decision but Derek Chauvin had nine minutes and 29 seconds, and that may make a difference for jurors.

REID: And you know what, Joyce, I thought it was one of the most effective arguments that Mr. Blackwell was making, is that there was no split second here. This was nine minutes that he had to reassess and reassess, and he didn`t. You know, law enforcement friends that I have talked with said the worst thing for Chauvin is that he kept his knee on George Floyd`s neck for at least three minutes after he had no pulse and after he was being told by other officers that, you know, it was clear he was passed out and that`s where the danger lies.

Let me just go through for the audience, here are the options, second- degree murder, which would mean that Chauvin caused Floyd`s death while committing a felony, meaning he was committing an assault on him and then caused his death. Third-degree murder, Chauvin caused Floyd`s death through a dangerous act without regard to life. And he just said, indifference to human life. You got 25 years for that. And then second-degree manslaughter, which is a ten-year potential sentence, meaning he was just negligent. He took unreasonable risks with his life.

And I wonder if you can see in any of those charges the possibility that the prosecution sort of nailed one of them.

JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC COLUMNIST: It`s really hard to talk about the prosecution nailing a case because prosecutors look at the evidence and how it comes in. But, of course, the decision is made by a jury. And in this case, we haven`t even been able to see the jury and watch their reactions. So I`m confessing to the limits of my crystal ball, Joy.

But that said, I think the prosecution has put in significant evidence that would support a jury verdict for any of these charges if an appellate court were reviewing it. A court would not look at a conviction and say no, there`s not enough evidence, evidence is insufficient, so we`re going to reverse. The question really here is how will the jury view this evidence.

REID: Yes. And let me ask both of you on this question, because I have talked to folks who say that they could see particularly if it`s just going on and on, a compromise verdict, like let`s say the jury decides to compromise because you have one or two people who don`t want to convict on second-degree, they do like second-degree manslaughter or third-degree murder, and then that happens, and then it goes on appeal.

A couple issues, first, Paul, then Joyce, one of them, the fact that so many police officers testified against Chauvin, which I have never seen before. I don`t of you if you`ve seen it before, Paul. But they had this exhibit which we`re going to put on screen that shows all these other officers testifying against Chauvin, whereas he didn`t have a bunch of officers coming and testifying for him. That`s one issue.

And then the second thing, is that the defense tried to bring up Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who has nothing to do with the case other than she, like everyone else, is watching it and traumatized by I think with all the rest of us, and said if there -- it`s said sort of the obvious, if he walks on something like this, you know, there`s going to be more protests. People are going to become really depressed and dejected because if you can`t convict on this set of evidence, what can you convict on? You know, now the defense wants to try to say that that could be an issue on appeal. I want both of you to weigh in on that. Paul, first and then Joyce.

BUTLER: The judgment overboard on the Maxine Waters issue in its rhetoric but not in this legal ruling. So, yes, Judge Cahill can slap a gag order on the prosecution and the defense but not the whole country, not Maxine Waters. The jurors have been instructed to avoid news about the trial, and so the judge correctly denied the defense request for a mistrial.

REID: Yes. And, you know, Joyce, so, okay, I want to read a little bit from Elie Mystal who wrote a really great piece. I think everyone should read. It`s in The Nation. Chauvin`s defense is so basic that an attorney straight out of law school could pull it out. The lawyers are simply arguing the cops have a right to kill people if they think they need to. The law allows an individual cop`s own frailties, their fears, their racist misconceptions and even their own hysteria to define the scope of their acceptable behavior.

We know that if you go through from Michael Brown all the way to Daunte Wright, all the way -- police officers rarely even get charged let alone convicted of murder, you know, Philando Castile, if we could go through all of them, we can put them all on screen.

If in this very rare instance there is a conviction, could the comments of people who are just watching the trial, like everyone else, the congresswoman is still an American citizen and a human being and gets to make comments about the trial, could that be an issue on appeal if you get a rare conviction here, in your view, Joyce?

VANCE: No, I don`t think that that`s an issue on appeal. And I agree with Paul here, the judge used strong rhetoric and then the ruling was correct. You know, the only problem here, and I think the reason the judge spoke as sternly as he did was to send a signal to folks to try to calm down a little bit while the jury is deliberating. Because if by some horrible chance one of the jurors should be exposed to some of these comments, and if they form some of the basis for deliberation and then if down the road the defense were to find out that that happened, well, that would be grounds for reversal on appeal.

But, look, this is still America, where people get to talk about cases and express anger and concern about cases. And, of course, Congresswoman Waters is a leading political figure in this country. And so her remarks were appropriate in the context of her role.

What we`re really seeing here is the collision of two things, the trial of an individual police officer, Derek Chauvin, and the trial of American policing as a whole. You know, that`s not something that this jury is responsible for. That`s our responsibility as Americans to take on the need to transform policing in this country.

REID: Absolutely. And if you`re going to talk about Maxine Waters, let`s just recall that she is from the place where the Rodney King case and verdict took place, in which we all watched Rodney King get his behind beat, getting beaten down in the street, and those officers walked. And if it hadn`t been for a federal -- set of federal charges, civil rights charges, those officers would have faced no repercussions for it.

And it`s weird because this current defense attorney for Chauvin seemed to have plagiarized his defense of Chauvin using exactly the same defenses that were used in the Rodney King case. He was superhuman, he was on drug, he was going to jump up off to being beaten and commit mayhem. I mean, he just borrowed the same defense, and it worked to that case. So I think a lot of people are traumatized. I don`t think it`s just Congressman Waters.

Paul Butler, Joyce Vance, thank you very much. I appreciate you both.

Right now, the jurors are indeed continuing their deliberations in the Derek Chauvin murder trial.

And up next, Minnesota and the White House prepare for what that verdict might bring.

Plus, the prosecutor tells jurors that police are not on trial, but that`s not exactly true. In many ways, as you just heard from Joyce Vance, they are.

And tonight`s absolute worst, from the smoldering ashes of the Republican Party comes the attempt to launch a white supremacist caucus devoted to, quote, uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions, whatever those are. We`ve seen this before in history, and there`s no mistaking what they want.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.



SCHLEICHER: This case is called the state of Minnesota versus Derek Chauvin. This case is not called the state of Minnesota versus the police. It is not. Policing is a noble profession and it is a profession. You met several Minneapolis police officers during this trial. You met them. They took the stand. They testified.

Make no mistake. This is not a prosecution of the police.


REID: During his closing argument, prosecutor Steve Schleicher argued that this case is about Derek Chauvin and not about the police.

But, for far too many members of the community, including those who actually witnessed the death of George Floyd, that`s really not the case. They were reminded of that when Daunte Wright was shot to death in his car by a police officer in a Minneapolis suburb.

In the court of public opinion, policing is on trial. And if Chauvin walks, it`s hard to imagine that the community will recover. That`s why Minneapolis and cities across the country are on edge, waiting to see what the jurors decide.

In fact, the implications of this trial are so momentous that multiple administration officials tell NBC News that President Biden is expected to address the nation after the jury renders a verdict.

This afternoon, the governor of Minnesota, Tim Walz, and the mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, tried to calm the community`s nerves by vowing to make real changes.


REP. TIM WALZ (D-MN): The things that we need to do on systemic racism, I said, we`re a proud state, but we`re a state that needs to come to grips with our own history. We`re a state that needs to have that conversation. We`re a nation that needs to have that conversation.

I pledge to do all I can. This is our moment, Minnesota, to draw around our common humanity. The jury will decide that fate. I don`t know what will come back. But what I do know is, is that we`re going to be shaped by the response, both in the coming days and in the months and years to come.

JACOB FREY (D), MAYOR OF MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA: We ask not for acquiescence or assent, but for peace. The kind of peace that we seek here in the coming days, it must propel us forward to a better version of our city, to a better version of ourselves.


REID: Earlier today, students from dozens of Minnesota schools walked out of their classrooms in a coordinated protest against racial injustice.

And with me now is Nekima Levy Armstrong, civil rights attorney and former president of the Minneapolis NAACP, and Michele Norris, contributing columnist for "The Washington Post." She`s a native of Minneapolis and grew up 10 blocks from where George Floyd was killed.

Thank you both for being here.

I do want to go to Nekima first.

Right now, as we are -- we saw earlier our Meagan Fitzgerald, our NBC reporter, was talking about the crowds that are gathered. We`re showing some of that now. I don`t see a lot of police sort of bearing down on them, which is a relief.

But we do know that thousands of National Guard members are out there somewhere in fatigues. They`re stationed on street corners. Businesses are boarding up. They are surrounded by razor wire. I`m reading here. You have Twin Cities residents indoors or under curfews. You have got the curfews and you have got all of these sort of concerns about -- quote, unquote -- "law and order."

Give me a sense of what the mood is, and -- because I just assumed that everyone is holding their breath waiting to be disappointed and devastated by this verdict, because of the way police verdicts -- verdicts against police usually go. What is the mood?

NEKIMA LEVY ARMSTRONG, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, I`m here right now outside of the Government Center, where a large protest is being held.

And rather than sit back and wait for the verdict, we`re continuing to press forward in the fight for justice. That`s how we got here. If it weren`t for people taking to the streets, shutting down freeways, disrupting government meetings and press conferences, Derek Chauvin never would have been charged for killing George Floyd, along with the three other officers who did so.

Neither would the officer who killed Daunte Wright just over a week ago. And so we know we can`t sit back and wait on a system that, unfortunately, has shown that it does not typically deliver justice to black people who have been killed by police.

REID: Right.

And we know that the Mohamed Noor case was the exception. This was a black police officer who was convicted of killing a white tourist from Australia.

And, Michele, this is your hometown. It does feel like we`re going through this exercise where, if there is something other than a conviction, then there are three other officers who go on trial. And one would hope that they will go in a -- one would think that they will go in a similar direction.

Let me let you listen to -- this is Kimberly Handy-Jones. And she went out on the acting police chief. His name is Tony Gruenig. And I believe she`s also had an experience with a family member -- losing a family member to police violence. Let`s take a listen.


KIMBERLY HANDY-JONES, COMMUNITY MEMBER: I`m just really concerned that the acting chief here, he can`t wrap his head around that, what went on with Daunte Wright.

I wrap my head around it every day. You can`t wrap your head around it? But you go home, and you wrap your arms around your kids every day, every day. I`m going to need you to wrap your mind around it.

I`m going to need you to get in tune. I`m going to need you to put your boots on the ground and act like you care about black, brown and indigenous bodies.


REID: You know, Michele, Jonathan Capehart wrote a piece over this weekend that said, being black in America is exhausting.

I heard and felt her exhaustion. I think we all feel this exhaustion. Let me let you talk about this. This is your hometown.

MICHELE NORRIS, "THE WASHINGTON POST": It is. It`s exhaustion. It`s anxiety. It is palpable fear.

When you talk about what`s happening in Minneapolis, you can`t drive a block without seeing National Guardsmen on the corners. They`re literally tearing up the streets to prevent people from getting downtown, literally like taking jackhammers to the streets.

And that`s what I think a lot of people feel in Minneapolis about what`s happening to their heart. It`s been a jackhammer to the heart to see this happen.

And this will happen three more times. As you noted, it`s not just this case. The prosecutor said that the police -- police department is not on trial. A lot of people do feel like it is. And a lot of people feel like perhaps this is the moment that people who have not paid attention to this will finally understand what one officer did to an entire city, and you could perhaps say an entire state, because there`s not a person who lives in Minneapolis or the Twin Cities who is not impacted by this in some way.

And you could almost say that about the entire nation. And it`s time that we take a look at what`s happening in policing and take a look at the attitudes that lead to this and the training that leads to this.

I take Governor Walz at his word when he says that Minneapolis will change. I think it probably well. But there are 18,000 police departments around the country.

REID: Yes.


NORRIS: And the question is, what kind of change will you -- not just in Minneapolis, but everywhere else in the country, because we keep seeing this.

It`s like living in Groundhog Day. Since the 29th of March, 64 people have died at the hands of law enforcement officers. Something is wrong with the system.

REID: Something is wrong.

And, Nekima, I wonder, what is the breaking point for the community there? I mean, I don`t know how much more people can take, honestly, nationally. But you can speak for the community there.

LEVY ARMSTRONG: We have already reached our breaking point.

And to Michele`s point, she talked about some of this in her book a long time ago. And people started to have these conversations around race. But, unfortunately, they stayed in a Minnesota nice bubble, and they didn`t go out and try to critically examine the systems that are producing this oppression.

So, we have already reached a breaking point. That`s why we take to the street. That`s why we have shut things down. Many of us ran for office. So, in 2017, I ran against Jacob Frey on a police accountability platform, and I said, if we don`t rein in MPD, we`re going to become the next Ferguson.

They didn`t listen. Why? Because they don`t listen to black people. The evidence is there. The statistics are there. But they want to continue to appear progressive. And that means silencing the voices of those whose experiences don`t mirror white Minnesotans.

REID: Yes.

LEVY ARMSTRONG: And, even now, our government leaders are speaking all this rhetoric. They`re not serious about transforming systems.

It`s going to be the people who make that happen.

REID: Michele, the Rodney King case was in 1991. George Floyd was still being accused of his own murder with the exact same terms, the same he was going to jump up from the dead and be a threat.

Do you feel like -- I mean, Groundhog Day was a good way to put it, I guess.

NORRIS: And it`s -- it hasn`t -- we`re seeing that defense all over again.

And he offered us a smorgasbord of excuses for why this was reasonable policing. This -- this moment invites us to think about what reasonable policing looks like, because you have to ask yourself if what you saw in that nine minutes and 29 seconds was reasonable policing.

And to the point made earlier about Minneapolis and Minnesota really being a progressive state, in some ways, it makes it even harder to have these conversations, because the hardest people to awaken are the ones who think they`re already woke.

And so a moment like this will perhaps open people`s eyes again to what`s happening with policing, and that there will not just be a conversation, but a dismantling of the system all the way out -- all the way down to take it apart and build it back up again in a way that the department truly is there to protect and to serve a public that right now does not trust them.

REID: Yes, it`s -- I think you -- you two just said a word. So I`m going to leave it right there.

Nekima Levy and -- Nekima Levy Armstrong -- sorry -- and Michele Norris, thank you both very much. Really appreciate you both for being here tonight.

And, as we have said, and we have been talking about, it is not just Derek Chauvin on trial. It is -- in Minneapolis. It`s the entire American system of policing. Dozens of Americans have been killed by police since this trial got under way, and it doesn`t have to be like this.

We will talk about that when we come back.


REID: As the jury deliberates in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the reckoning around race and policing in this country is ongoing.

Today, "The New York Times" reported that, since testimony began in the Chauvin trial on March 29, at least 64 people have died at the hands of law enforcement nationwide, with black and Latino people representing more than half of the dead, an average of more than three killings a day.

That includes, tragically, Daunte Wright, who was shot and killed by a police officer just 10 miles from where George Floyd died. And while outrage over yet another police killing during a trial for a police killing has brought outcry and protest nationwide, those protests have also brought more evidence of aggressive policing.

On Friday, in Brooklyn Center, after protests pushed against a fence surrounding the police station, police responded with tear gas and pepper balls, and more than 136 people were arrested. No journalists were among those arrested, but several covering the protest alleged police harassed them, forced them onto their stomachs and took pictures of them.

Meanwhile, there were massive protests in Chicago over the police shooting of Adam Toledo, demanding justice for the 13-year-old who was shot with his hands up on March 29.

With a verdict in the Chauvin trial now in the hands of a jury, the country is now bracing, not only with outrage over the ongoing crisis, but also for what comes next.

And joining me now is former Detroit police officer Ralph Godbee.

And, Chief Godbee,can we address this issue of police responding to protests about police brutality with brutality?

RALPH GODBEE, FORMER DETROIT, MICHIGAN, POLICE CHIEF: It is the most counterintuitive thing that anybody could do, Joy.

And you can`t make sense out of nonsense. That has become one of my favorite sayings. And my heart is just so heavy today. Just looking at what law enforcement is, I don`t believe at all that Malcolm, Medgar, Rosa went through what they went through for us to be at the state of policing that we are in the United States right now.

And I`m afraid to say, people are afraid of the word defund, but what industry can you pay for something, and the people that you pay have the power to kill you indiscriminately when they get a chance to? Who would pay for something like that?

We have to have the conversation, because to do the same thing the same way and expect a different result is the definition of insanity. And there has to be fundamental on-the-ground change as to what law enforcement looks like in United States.

REID: Thank you for saying that, because I think people keep forgetting, the police are the employees of the citizens they`re protecting and serving. The second part is serve.

And so, particularly in black communities, where there -- more tickets are written, to glean -- to glom money off of these communities by having people write tickets, black communities and brown communities are literally paying the police to kill them.

And it actually is bizarre.


GODBEE: Literally paying for it.

And, Joy, you bring up something that I think people really may not have an appreciation for, why we have to structurally change policing. It`s incentivized for officers to write tickets, because they write tickets, they go to court. That`s extra duty.

REID: Yes.

GODBEE: So, if you have got a bill that you need to catch up on, you write some extra tickets.

We, as law enforcement, we have lost and we do not deserve to have the unfettered just ability and to use discretion in pretext stops in issuing tickets. If you look at any vehicle code in any state in the United States, it is so voluminous that you can justify stopping anybody.

And we have to wrestle that back. The citizens need to get control of those types of things. Some of the things, even looking at Daunte Wright, the fact that even there`s a specter of the fact that he was stopped for obstructed view because he had an air freshener hanging from his mirror, I dare you to go into an affluent white community, rich suburb, and make a stop of a Bentley or stop of a Mercedes-Benz of a corporate individual.

REID: That`s right.

GODBEE: That person would be in the mayor`s office yelling and screaming, demanding that person`s job.

Yet this is what`s enforced in our communities routinely. And it`s a ruse. It`s not for protection. And it`s not protecting our communities. And we`re -- we need to take an oath somewhat like doctors, the Hippocratic oath, do no harm. And we`re doing too much harm to black and brown communities.

REID: And I`m so glad that you`re saying all this, because we have, on one weekend, an Oath Keeper talking about how, yes, we have got police in here. Police are part of the Oath Keepers, the people who helped storm the Capitol.

You have got the Proud Boys, all of these stories, "New York Times" and others covering too-close relationships with police, police among those who stormed the Capitol. There are so many reasons for people to just have a basic lack of trust for policing.

I mean, the George Floyd Act is out there. It`s -- it has some good stuff in it. Is there a law that you could pass that would fix this?Because it feels like we -- police are losing the consent of the governed.

GODBEE: They are.

REID: We do not consent to having police use us for revenue, like revenuers, glom money off us with pretextual stops, and then kill us when we don`t comply.

This is not something that -- no community would ever consent to. But police are demanding that black and brown people consent to it. Is there a law that can fix this? What fixes this?

GODBEE: Well, see, I think this is where there has to be a national initiative to enforce some of these things, because there are 18 -- your previous guest was right on point.

There are 18,000 police agencies in the United States of America, give or take, average of about 50 officers. So, we get so excited and say, I have a good chief. Well, that`s one out of 18,000. And, systemically, you cannot make the necessary change.

So what I would -- what I would opine, we have to look at a different way of funding law enforcement. Courts cannot be driven by revenue from the communities that can least afford it, because you`re robbing those communities of resources, and you are creating criminals.

The second thing you have to find a different way to compensate police officers. Number one, we don`t need as many as we have because we`re over- policing in our communities. But we have to find a different level of compensation because if there is a financial incentive to your enforcement, it is ripe for corruption.

And then you add to that, and this is no secret, this is not new. The FBI told us years ago, that white supremacists were infiltrating the ranks of police departments, i.e., Proud Boys, i.e., you know, the Ku Klux Klan. They don`t have to wear masks anymore. They put on uniforms and they terrorize our communities.

So, we have to make that change. If this country is going to rebound and be what it potentially has to be.

And I put out a challenge to President Biden, black people put you in office. And we need you to stand tall for us. And make the change necessary. If you have to get rid of the filibuster, whatever is necessary, protect black and brown people from being killed indiscriminately by police, it needs to be done.

REID: Well, you can get an amen. It`s not Sunday, but you get an amen. I hope the president gets in touch with you.

Ralph Godbee, thank you so much for everything you said tonight.

President Biden, call Chief Godbee, he has some good ideas for you.

Thank you very much, sir.

There also is a difference. Wow, that was real. There is a difference between the GOP flirting with the idea of white supremacy and just bringing it in for a big old sloppy wet smooch. Of course, if you`re going to go ahead and form a white supremacy caucus in Congress, that puts you in the running to be the night`s absolute worst.

Stay with us.


REID: The plan among some House Republicans to create a so-called American First caucus died what so much as a whimper this weekend. But however short lived, it confirmed anti-immigrant racism is in the modern day Republican Party.

According to Punchbowl News, the idea for the America first caucus began with two of the most extreme Republican members of Congress. The QAnon conspiracy loving Marjorie Taylor Greene and nativist Congressman Paul Gosar, who spoke at a white nationalist conference in February.

It was bad enough that their proposed caucus intended to push the values of former President Donald Trump, but their seven-page mission statement, which leaked to Punchbowl News on Friday, is a manifesto that`s guaranteed to appeal to white nationalists. It explicitly champions, quote, Anglo- Saxon political traditions. To that end, it details the existential threat that it says immigrants pose to America`s unique culture.

It complains that those who immigrated here after the 1965 Immigration Act come at the expense of the native born. And it even says that pausing immigration has been essential to weeding out those who could not abandon their own loyalties. As "Vanity Fair" put it, Greene and Gosar were basically starting a white supremacy caucus.

Even after their embarrassing anti-immigrant screed was leaked to the press, there was at least one Republican who was still eager to embrace them, Congressman Matt Gaetz who is under investigation for possible sex trafficking, which he denies, publicly endorsed that platform, say he was proud to join the America First caucus.

But by Saturday, even Margie Q herself was trying to disown the group she tried to create. She claimed on Twitter they released a staff level draft proposal from an outside group that I hadn`t read. When in doubt, blame the staff, but she still defended the proposal by attacking the journalists who accurately reported what it said, accusing the media of taking it out of context. That`s why Greene and her America first cohorts are clearly the absolute worst.

And while they may not be forming an official caucus in the House, the ideas they put in their manifesto are consistent with the direction the party is heading. Just consider that people like Tucker Carlson and Senator Ron Johnson are openly embracing white replacement theory.


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: The gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term replacement, if you suggest the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters from the Third World, but they become hysterical because that`s what`s happening. Every time they import a new voter, I become disenfranchised as a current voter.

SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): This administration wants complete open borders. You have to ask yourself why. Is it really they want to remake the demographics of America to ensure that they stay in power forever? Is that what`s happening here?


REID: But Republicans behind the America First caucus went further with their pledge to protect Anglo-Saxon traditions and that term has a darkest history, which we`ll explore coming up next.


REID: Decades after the civil war, the term Anglo-Saxons was thrown around a lot by former confederates in the South, and not in a good way, according to historian Kevin M. Levin. In 1908, Wiley Nash dedicated a Confederate monument in Lexington, Mississippi, honoring the fathers and forefathers of our dominant and ruling southern Anglo-Saxon element.

Likewise, in the 1903 dedication of another Confederate monument, in South Carolina, Judge William T. Gary said the highest type of Anglo-Saxon manhood may be found in the states at the South.

In a similar speech, a day before the 1898 election in North Carolina, Confederate veteran Alfred Moore Waddell said: You are Anglo-Saxons. If you find a Negro out voting, tell him to leave the polls, and if he refuses, kill him, shoot him down in his tracks.

Did I mention that days later, he led an insurrection to overthrow the bi- racial government in Wilmington.

Fast forward one century and we now see a group of House Republicans like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar and Matt Gaetz, all pushing for an America First caucus in the House which happens to embrace the need to defend Anglo-Saxon political tradition.

Joining me now is Jason Johnson, professor of politics and journalism at Morgan State University, and Stuart Stevens, chief strategist for Mitt Romney`s 2012 presidential campaign.

And, Stuart, your new book kind of touches on this stuff. I mean, they`re bringing back the old-timers, the sort of bad, old days of talking about Anglo-Saxons needing to rise up against, you know, black voters and immigrants. It`s pretty gross.

Your thoughts?

STUART STEVENS, CHIEF STRATEGIST, ROMNEY 2012 CAMPAIGN: Well, look, I think it`s fitting that you brought up those statutes from the era of the lost cause. I grew up in Mississippi. I`m a seventh generation Mississippian, I was -- grew up very much in this lost cause mentality.

And the same sort of things is happening now with the whole insurrection. There`s sort of an attempt to rewrite history about what it was. And we should be clear. It was an attempt to disenfranchise largely African- American votes because they didn`t vote the way that the white 147 Republicans who voted to do that wanted to support.

And this is just a battle of what is America. Is it a country of immigrants, is it a great melting pot, or is it a place where white people should by some sort of natural law govern? And there`s no compromise with this. One or the other of those two visions and sustain itself.

REID: I think you`re absolutely right. And, you know, there`s a sense, Jason, that this is sort of a lost cause part two, right, when they try to deny that January 6th happened, rewrite it when they deal with the Civil War, try to institute some sort of, you know, minority rule when white Americans become the demographic minority.

But there is also a part of it that feels like GOTV, right? Marjorie Taylor Greene is raising a whole lot of money off of this. You know, she`s sending out political fundraisers. You know, Republicans who were campaigning at some of their court filings, that listen, this is how we get our people to vote. We`ve got to tell them this, or they won`t vote.

So, how much do you think is sort of genuine throwback, let`s go back to the 1920s really, and how much of it do you think is purely about getting out their vote?

JASON JOHNSON, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Cash rules everything around the GOP. That`s all this is, Joy. That`s literally all of this.

This is a way to raise money. This is a way to raise profiles. It`s not about policy. Most of these people don`t care about governing one way or another. But you can raise a lot of money off of white grievance.

And I think what`s important to understand is that other guest mentioned. Look, America is never a melting pot. America is even gumbo or fix to. America is a country run by white people who have occasionally, as 200 years have passed, become more and more accepting of the fact that the black people who got dragged here and the non-white people who moved here actually occasionally have some rights, too. That is an honest assessment of how this country has operated.

What we`re seeing from people like Paul Gosar, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Matt Gaetz, who`s really just sort of flailing for his life at this particular point is they`re holding on to the last remnants of a white society that doesn`t accept that other people live here. You can make money off of that, but you can`t win an election that way.

REID: Right.

JOHNSON: And that`s what we have to realize that a lot of the GOP at this point is about individually raising people`s profile and raising money, not governing.

REID: Can I just play for you, the former prime minister of Australia who was on CNN, and did a really extraordinary interview. I hope people have seven minutes to watch it. But I want to play a little bit about what he said, because Jason talked about how it`s great making money off of this, here is what this gentleman said about, Mr. Turnbull said about News Corp. Take a listen.


MALCOLM TURNBULL, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA: It does not operate as a conventional news or journalistic operation any longer. Its influence in the United States and Britain, in all of the countries where it is to be found, is now utterly partisan. What Murdoch has delivered largely through Fox News in the United States is exactly what Vladimir Putin wanted to achieve with his disinformation campaigns -- turning one part of America against another. What they`ve created is a market for crazy.


REID: And, you know, what I found fascinating about this, Stuart, this is Malcolm Turnbull, who used to be a prime minister there, is he`s talking about the fact that News Corp operates sort of multinationally, as almost its own political party, for aggrieved white people not just in America but in Australia and New Zealand, all over in Europe.

And it`s sort of is that, isn`t it? And it`s very lucrative for that family.

STEVENS: Yeah, I mean, I`m pro-immigration. But Rupert Murdoch is without a doubt the most dangerous immigrant in America. He a perfect example of someone who never assimilated to American values.

You know, there`s always been a market of hate in this country in our politics. Father Coughlin in the `30s. I mean, there`s always been something there. The difference in this moment is, it`s largely been adopted as policy by a major political party, the Republican Party.

REID: Yeah.

STEVENS: And this has never happened before. I mean, the platform that the Republican Party ran on was basically a fuhrer oath to Donald Trump. And this is really different and we should not confuse this with other moments we`ve been in. It`s a radically different vision of America, pro-democracy or autocratic. And how this is going to end up, I think, is very much in doubt.

REID: And, Jason, it`s the evolution of the Republican Party into the white interest party. So, I wonder, what is, you know, sort of response to that because the Democrats, they`re now the party of everybody else?

JOHNSON: Well, and, Joy, I want to make something else clear. Malcolm Turnbull is from the liberal party. He`s a conservative. It`s the conservative leadership in Australia that are saying this guy is dangerous.

So, when the white conservatives are saying the -- basically, that the Murdoch family, who are basically the war secession (ph) if you`ve never seen it; when they`re saying that these people are a danger to democracy, they`re saying, even though we aligned with them, they`re dangerous to the entire process that we have here, and that`s what I think people have to understand.

And if it`s not Fox in America, it`s OAN. It`s what`s been happening at Sinclair.

REID: Yeah, it`s Newsmax. It`s a whole ecosystem.

Jason Johnson, Stuart Stevens, thank you guys both much -- thank you guys both very much.