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Transcript: The ReidOut, 4/26/21

Guests: Benjamin Crump, William Barber, Marq Claxton, Michael Harriot


Families demand answers after police shootings. DOJ will investigate Louisville, Kentucky police practices. Sheriff has not released bodycam footage. Eyewitness describes North Carolina police shooting. Son says police executed his father. Family calls for release of bodycam footage. Seven sheriff`s deputies on leave in wake of North Carolina shooting. Chauvin had history of using excessive force. Conservatives deny systemic racism is a problem. A COVID variant has been spreading like wildfire in Michigan, and it`s the younger people who are being hospitalized.


ALICIA MENENDEZ, MSNBC HOST: A big congratulations to all of last night`s winners.

That does it for me. Ari Melber is back tomorrow. A reminder, you can catch me every weekend 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. Eastern on AMERCIAN VOICES. "THE REIDOUT" with Joy Reid is up next.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: -- moment the conviction of Derek Chauvin gave us hope and brought a sliver of relief to many around the country. But like so many things that moment now feels like a distant memory. Roughly 24 hours after Tuesday`s verdict, it felt like reality came crashing back down on us.

On Wednesday in Virginia, Isaiah Brown was shot multiple times by a deputy. Brown was unarmed and remains in critical condition. That same day in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, yet another black life came to a premature end after a police interaction. Andrew Brown Jr. was shot and killed by multiple sheriff`s deputies who the sheriff`s department claims were carrying out search and arrest warrants. He now joins Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, Ma`Khia Bryant, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, just to name a few other black Americans killed by police, and that`s just recently.

Also today, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Department of Justice would investigate whether there was a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing in Louisville, Kentucky, which may have led to the death of Breonna Taylor. And we`ll have more on a little bit later.

For several nights now, hundreds have taken to the streets in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, demanding that the sheriff release the body cam video of Andrew Brown`s killing. Elizabeth City Mayor Betty Parker has joined those calls, and so has Governor Roy Cooper, writing in a tweet that Brown`s death is extremely concerning and body camera footage should be made public as quickly as possible.

Now, we know about Andrew Brown Jr.`s death is murky because the sheriff`s department has not release very much information. Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten has not made himself available to the public since a press event last Wednesday. The deputies who shot Brown were wearing active body cameras at the time of the shooting. Sheriff Wooten declined to identify the officers involved and declined to say how many shots they fired.

Media reports citing police scanner audio indicate that Brown seems to have been shot in the back while in his car. And today a family lawyer told reporters that Brown was shot in the back of the head. One eyewitness told the Raleigh News and Observer that she heard the first shot and ran outside and watched deputies continue firing. She said the deputies unloaded on him, meaning Andrew Brown Jr.

Here is what another eyewitness told NBC News.


ASHLEY BECHTEL, SHOOTING EYEWITNESS: He was sitting in his car, and about that time, the police had pulled up behind him, and he started to drive off, and they started shooting. And you could see mudslinging up on the side of his house everywhere. And they shot out the back window of his car and he lost control and he ended up across the street in Mr. Mike`s yard. And he hit a tree. They crowded around his car. They shot -- were shooting the front window of his car.


REID: And on Saturday, Sheriff Wooten posted a Facebook live video reading from prepared remarks, he said he would release the video if granted permission.


SHERIFF TOMMY WOOTEN II, PASQUOTANK COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA: Only a judge can release the video. That`s why I`ve asked the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to confirm for me that the releasing of the video will not undermine their investigation. Once I get that confirmation, our county will file a motion in court, hopefully on Monday to have the footage released.


REID: The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is leading a probe into the shooting. Today, Andrew Brown Jr.`s family was allowed to view body camera footage, but only after deputies redacted it. And Brown`s family was ultimately allowed to see only a 20-second snippet of the video. It remains unclear when or if the full video will be released to them or the public. The video has not been viewed by NBC News.

Joining me now, Bishop William Barber, Co-Chair of The Poor People`s Campaign and a former president of the North Carolina NAACP, and Ben Crump, attorney for the Family of Andrew Brown Jr.

And, Ben, I saw that press conference today. There were a lot of angry folks there, a lot of angry local people. I want to play a couple of them. This is Andrew Brown Jr.`s son, Khalil Ferebee.


KHALIL FEREBEE, ANDREW BROWN`S SON: It`s like we`re against all odds in the world. My dad got executed just by trying to save his own life.


REID: Multiple people calling that an execution. Were you able to see that video yourself, Ben, and would you characterize it as an execution?

BENJAMIN CRUMP, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, Joy, our co-Counsel, Chantel (ph), got to see the video (INAUDIBLE). And the reason was this county attorney, they are for whatever reason, and we don`t understand it, they continue to try not to be transparent. They said no lawyers who were not barred in North Carolina could come with the family to see the video.

So we had Attorney Lassiter go in and see the video, and she took copious notes of the 22nd video that said three main things to us, Joy, and it was number one, the fact that when they turned on the video, they were already shooting. And so we don`t know what transpired to them shooting the video. They were swearing at him, telling them to show the hands. He had both his hands on the steering wheel.

And you can see that clearly from the video, his son, as well as Attorney Lassiter said, and the fact that he never used a car to put them in any jeopardy or danger. He was evading them the whole time. They were shooting at him from the side and behind while he was getting away from them.

And the final point is it confirmed what we had already heard, that all the shots were from the back.

REID: Right. And let me quickly play Bakari Sellers. He is also counsel to the family. And here he is talking about the redactions.


BAKARI SELLER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: How do you redact body cam video without the prosecuting agency?


SELLLER: Right. So if I`m outside and I commit a crime, you can`t have somebody that works with you every single day redact the video.


REID: And he also mentioned that the prosecutors are very extremely belligerent toward him inside of that meeting. This is a statement from Michael Cox, he`s the Pasquotank County Attorney on the redactions before the family could view a single allows us to blur some faces on the video, and that process takes time. This may be done when necessary to protect active internal investigations. This is the same county attorney who did say that Bakari said I`m not going to be f`ing bullied to him.

So this is one more to you, Ben. Do you feel like this is an attempted cover-up? I have never heard of a video being redacted before even the family could see it. Does that sound normal to you?

CRUMP: It doesn`t at all, especially when it`s the family. We`re not talking about what`s released to the public. Bishop Barber knows Eastern Carolina better than I will ever know. But the one thing that just was appalling to us was the fact that not only would you only show them 20 seconds, you redacted their faces, but you then release the warrant and all the criminal history of Andrew Brown to assassinate his character, but you will blot out the faces of those officers and not give their names. Well, we want to see their rap sheet since they are putting out the rap sheet of Andrew Brown.

And finally, Joy, my eight-year-old daughter could understand that, that if you`re only showing 20 seconds of a video, then you`re hiding something, because of Andrew Brown would have did something bad in there, we wouldn`t need a judge to silent. They would have that all over the news.

REID: Absolutely. And, Bishop Barber, tell us about this community, because this is a small town I understand. This is not like a very big city. Tell us about this community and what the reactions are from the people that you`re talking with.

BISHOP WILLIAM BERBER, CO-CHAIR, THE POOR PEOPLE`S CAMPAIGN: This a city where there is state university is. It`s in Eastern North Carolina. There is a long history of police conduct in Eastern North Carolina. And people know it. They know the arrogance. This is where Jesse Helms and others had his stronghold.

You should also add to your list, Joy, Donovan Lynch and what the (INAUDIBLE) list of those who have been killed since the trial. But this is the Eastern North Carolina. And also we should be putting pressure on the D.A.

So what the sheriff didn`t say, was that he didn`t have to go the FBI. The FBI said, actually, you don`t have to do that. They could have went, gone straight to the judge. The D.A. could have done that. It`s been 120 hours. Think about this. And I was thinking about what Crump and other lawyer, Daniels and Bakari, they were there. A 120 hours have passed. They only got to see 20 seconds. 120 hours have passed, they only got to see 20 seconds.

And that`s why tomorrow the local pastor -- one local pastor`s call for the North Carolina NAACP, Repairers of the Breach, the North Carolina Council of Churches and the AME Zion Church, we`re calling together pastors to declare there`s a moral -- a state of moral emergency. Now they call it a state emergency. No, the real emergency is this moral emergency, this judicial emergency, and this is not a matter of national security. That`s when you redact. The national security is the killing of black folk.

And it doesn`t matter to us whether it`s because of black or white. When you engage in violence toward people and shoot unarmed people and people fleeing away, and we think that that there may have been a major rifle, assault, like a SWAT team kind of going after this one young man with no history of violence.

But what people should also know about Eastern North Carolina is people in North Carolina, they might be slow, but when we move, we would take deep root, and we stand. Some of the strongest work came out of Eastern North Carolina.

So this fight will occur. The people will be nonviolent. But they will be vigilant. They will be vigilant. And we`re going get to the bottom of this in this county. This cannot stand. This young man, seven children, two grown, five minors, he is a nephew, he is an uncle, he is a son. 42 years old, shot in the back, shot in the back. This is something that cannot stand and it won`t stand. And we must put pressure on the sheriff and the D.A.

Lastly, Joy, you should know, I talked to the attorney general of the state along with Dr. Spearmon. You should know this. The D.A. right now, Brother Crump knows this as well, could call the state attorney general, just like they did in Minnesota, and say take this case. Now, North Carolina, the local has to ask for it. The state can`t take it from him. But the local D.A. could right now say, this is too messy, we`ve messed it up. Give to it the state A.G. and they can handle this. All that could be done in 20 seconds.

REID: Yes.

BARBER: The same amount of time they let the family see this tape after 120 hours.

REID: You know, and, Ben, that is a really good point. I mean, they`ve already -- three deputies, from what I hear, have resigned already, seven have been put on leave. That seemed to be awfully, awfully quick. I mean, Pasquotank County had only 55 sworn deputies. Out of those deputies, ten of them have either resigned or gone on leave.

I just want you to clear up something first in the law. People keep talking about the fleeing felon rule. You said something today that I thought was very important to repeat. You said the most dangerous thing apparently to police is a black man running from them. Under the fleeing felon rule, police are not allowed to shoot somebody simply because they are fleeing, correct?

CRUMP: Absolutely. The United States Supreme Court has a rule that it is not against the law to flee from police. And it should not be the death penalty just because you`re black and you`re running away. We never hear about them Joy and Bishop Barber shooting white men in the back. But them shooting black men in the back in America is almost like a cliche. I mean, Jacob Blake Jr., in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Walter Scott in South Carolina, Laquan McDonald in Chicago, Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Christian Hall, Oakland, Pennsylvania, I mean, Anthony McClain in Pasadena, California, who literally ran out of his shoes and they shot him in the back.

So we have to get this George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed, and hopefully, Bishop Barber, Eastern Carolina can be added to the list of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and Jacob Blake as reasons why we have to act now. We cannot hold this off.

REID: And, you know, Bishop Barber, Merrick Garland, the attorney general of the United States has announced a pattern and practice investigation in Kentucky. Do you think that there needs to be one in North Carolina?

BARBER: Yes, there needs to be. First of all, we need passed to be a right man in the North Carolina House of -- in the North Carolina State Assembly that would open up body cams for public. That needs to be done. But we need accountability. The only way you get accountability is you have to have proper investigation.

Then you have to have proper -- when you find that someone has murdered someone, shot them in the back and they`re a police, a warrant, a badge and a gun is too much powerful for someone trigger-happy, there needs to be prosecution without immunity, there needs to be imprisonment and there needs to be fellow investigation of pattern and practice. It`s been a long time overdue in Eastern North Carolina. This case needs to make it happen.

And you`re right. We need to get these things passed. We don`t need Sinema or Manchin blocking this. This is serious business. This is about people`s lives. And we can see clearly if you don`t have the kind of federal law to standardize this stuff, then you have one thing happening in one county, another thing happening in other county, depending on the sheriff, depending on the D.A. No. We need accountability, transparency and truth, and we need it right now.

REID: Absolutely. And I will add to that, just from my -- you know Bakari Sellers said something. He is very familiar with the media, to people in my profession, don`t fall for the banana in the tailpipe. Don`t run with Andrew Brown Jr.`s history, because police do this on -- Rudy Giuliani used to do this when he was Mayor of New York. Police would kill somebody, and their whole juvenile record comes out, everything about them, well, they`re not a choir boy. Don`t fall about that. This is not about this dead young black man`s history. This is about him getting killed. Don`t fall for that.

We don`t want to hear stories all about whatever he ever did wrong in his life. We need to know why he was shot and killed, whether he was shot in the back while he was driving away. That is the story that just my plea to those of us who are covering the story. Bishop William Barber, Ben Crump, thank you both very much. Really appreciate you both.

And up next on THE REIDOUT, America`s reckoning on police reform, and why it is so hard to get rid of bad cops. You`re going want to hear these stories in our next break.

Plus, Attorney General Merrick Garland, as I mentioned, announced the investigation at the Louisville Police Department following the killing of Breonna Taylor.

And George Wallace became a conservative star with talk of law and order, which really meant racism and civil rights violations. Well, now, a current southern governor is mimicking George Wallace, and he is tonight`s absolute worst.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.


REID: Last week`s guilty verdict in the murder trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was heralded by many as a step in the right direction for racial justice.

And while Chauvin will now face the consequences for the brutal killing of George Floyd, this was not the first time that Chauvin used excessive force during his 19-year career as a police officer.

In 2017, he was accused of using the same force against a 14-year-old teenager, responding to a 911 call about a domestic assault. The minor was slow to comply with Chauvin`s demands and was met with force. According to court documents, Chauvin struck the child multiple times in the head with a flashlight, before applying the same type of neck restraint, with his knee for nine -- for 17 minutes -- that`s 17 minutes -- as the boy and his mother pleaded with Chauvin to stop and that the boy couldn`t breathe.

Now, fortunately, he`s survived. At least three other people of color have come forward with similar stories of excessive force at the hands and knee of Derek Chauvin. "The New York Times" points out that Chauvin`s conduct before George Floyd led to at least 22 complaints or internal investigations, but only one resulted in discipline.

So, while Chauvin will finally have to serve time in prison for his actions, the question we need to ask is, why are officers like Chauvin allowed to remain on police forces in the face of such horrendous practices?

Joining me now are Marq Claxton, director of the Black Law Enforcement Alliance and a retired NYPD detective, and Michael Harriot, senior writer for The Root and the person who alerted me over the weekend to all of this background from Derek Chauvin.

I will confess that I knew that he had 22 past incidents in his record, Michael, but I didn`t know the specifics until I saw that in The Root.

Talk to me about how egregious of a police officer this guy was.


We know that he`s had at least 18 complaints of force alone. We know that he`s shot or been involved in three shootings, he shot two people, he killed one, before he ever arrived to arrest George Floyd. We know this about Derek Chauvin.

And he was allowed to stay on the force. He was never disciplined, except once. And my point about this, right, when you see people talking about systemic racism, this is the point that we`re talking about, right? It`s not about one guy doing one thing to one other person on one day.

It is about a system that allows a person like this to stay employed to move up the chain of command and to flourish in a system that brutalizes black people. We can`t forget that police officers in Minneapolis used -- and they have choked someone out 370 times in the past three years; 60 percent of those people were black in a city that is 18 percent black, meaning black people were six times more likely to be choked unconscious by a police officer in that city.

That`s the systemic part. When stuff like this happens, you wonder why. This guy must be crazy to have his hands in a pocket on camera while people were looking. No, the city allowed him to get away with that year in, year out repeatedly.

And so he knew what was going to happen when he got called out on it. Nothing at all. And that`s why he continued to do it.

REID: It`s shocking to hear this, Marq, except that the Tamir Rice officer was -- got in trouble at his previous place of employment as a police officer because he had some psychological evaluations that he failed.

He was able to resign, probably pocket a pinch, and go on to Cleveland, where he then kills Tamir Rice in what looked like a jump-out. It was almost like a drive-by shooting. He jumped out of the car shooting this 12- year-old kid.

You can go on and on and on. Police officers, we just saw one that was busted for apparently planting evidence. It just keeps going. How are these officers in some cases who are deadly, literally, for the community allowed to stay in their jobs for so long, and collect a pension, at taxpayer expense?

MARQ CLAXTON, BLACK LAW ENFORCEMENT ALLIANCE: This is a tragically repetitious pattern. And it will continue into the near future.

Listen, in every other profession, when you know better, you do better. Each profession has an opportunity to evolve, to turn better, to become better, to educate better, to train better, to select better. Not policing.

Policing so mired in the muck of the toxic culture that it reflexively is stubborn and defiant and entrenched. And it will continue to be that way until we get to the point where we talk about moving away from the current structure. There`s no escaping it.

Realistically, we can no longer coexist -- black people can no longer coexist with this policing model. It has to be transformed into more of a public safety model, which incorporates other disciplines and allows the police, if you have what are termed police to focus in on crimes, on offenses outside of what should be social issues that are involved.

Right now, this policing model is lethal to black and brown communities. And it`s defiantly stubborn. Look at North Carolina, what`s happened. Look at the reaction. Look at the lack of situational awareness as to what`s going on, how they are responding in such a way.

And to point one other thing out in North Carolina, Joy, I`m just stuck on this, is because they`re playing good cop, bad cop with the media, with the attorneys. They`re pretending that the sheriff really wants to release this video and the other entities don`t.

It`s a classic case, but it`s typical in -- it is typical in toxic police environments.

REID: Absolutely.

And, Michael, because you are in the business I`m in, you`re in the journalism business, I mean, you have police rushing out to try to demonize Andrew Brown Jr. You need to know that he`s got these drug arrests. You need to know. That they did the same thing with Ma`Khia Bryant. Well, you need to know these bad things about her. You need to know these bad things.

They rush out information, even with George Floyd.

Meanwhile, here`s a piece in "The Wall Street Journal." A "Wall Street Journal" review last year found officers in a Minnesota police department who face criminal charges during the past 15 years have been routinely allowed to return to the fourth. Half of them were still working there. For cases involving the use of force, seven out of nine were reinstated, including two officers in Minnesota police department.

One more item, "USA Today." Less than 10 percent in most police forces get investigated for misconduct, yet some officers are consistently under investigation. Nearly 2,500 have been investigated in 10 or more charges. Twenty faced 100 or more allegations, yet kept their badges.

Michael, we don`t get to find out the records of these bad police officers, but we get all the information about somebody that they have shot.


And that`s one of the reasons that we should be pushing for this George Floyd Justice in Policing bill, because that`s one of the things that they are -- that is included in that bill, a database of police officers and their misconduct.

And I think that`s one of the -- you rarely see an unarmed person killed by police for the first time. Like, that police officer has usually shot someone. He has usually been complained about for numerous times before they even get to the point where they can just blatantly kill someone.

They foster this injustice and they foster these criminals. It`s a culture of criminality. And one thing I`d like to point out about what Marq said earlier, the main part about this is that it doesn`t work, right?

REID: Right.

HARRIOT: Like, they`re not solving more crime, right?


HARRIOT: Like, 42 to 48 percent of all crimes in America go unsolved.

It`s not like they`re stopping people from being hurt in neighborhoods. It`s not like they`re solving these drug cases. It`s not like they`re putting the people who import drugs into black communities in jail.

It doesn`t work, other than killing black people. So, the only thing that you can surmise is that that must be the goal. Dead black people must be the goal, because nothing else works, right -- no other business in the world would operate this inefficiently and hurt as many of its customers and still continue to operate in the same way.

REID: Yes, absolutely.

I should point out that it`s not just police. The medical examiner in Maryland who testified on behalf of Derek Chauvin, now he`s having all his cases reopened, because now people want to see, because he`s also written off some past police abuse as, oh, that person died of a heart attack. He`s done that before.

So, it`s not even just police. It`s their friends. It`s the people who help them.

Marq Claxton, Michael Harriot, it is mind-blowing, amazing. Thank you guys both for being here.

Still ahead: As the good old -- ah, the good old days, ah, yes, the good old days, when you could hit someone with your car for exercising their rights to peaceable assembly and free speech.

Well, one modern-day Southern governor is making sure everything old is new again, which makes him tonight`s absolute worst.

Stay with us.



GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): It is the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country. There`s just nothing even close.

We also have penalties for people that commandeer highways, which we have saw in other parts of the country. They start to do that, there needs to be swift penalties. And that`s something that just cannot happen.


REID: Well, that was Florida`s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis rolling out his new anti-protest law last week.

What he didn`t say in that press conference is that the new law grants civil immunity to motorists who just happen to hit protesters in the streets with their cars, effectively absolving those drivers of civil liability.

Now, when we covered that news on this program last week, I compared DeSantis to former Alabama Governor George Wallace, something that upset some of the usual suspects on the right.

Now, it`s a comparison that I have made to Donald Trump in the past. But whereas Trump talked a lot like George Wallace, even using violent rhetoric against protesters at his rallies, DeSantis is actually governing like the former Alabama governor, especially with his new anti-protest law.

And that makes him tonight`s absolute worst.

After all, George Wallace made no secret of what he would do to protesters if they were lying in the street in front of his car.


GOV. GEORGE WALLACE (R-AL): I have said, in California, that if I come to that state, I go to New York or come to Seattle, and a group of anarchists lie down in front of my automobile as president, I`m going to wean them of lying in front of automobiles.



REID: Now, by specifically cracking down on street protests, DeSantis is taking a page out of the Wallace playbook.

In fact, Governor Wallace actually cited possible traffic violations as a justification to ban the historic civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965.

That, too, was an unlawful assembly, according to Wallace, who unleashed state troopers on the peaceful protesters, including John Lewis, on a day that would go down in history as Bloody Sunday.

In gleefully signing that anti-protest bill last week, Governor DeSantis also brought in the sheriff of Polk County, one Grady Judd, who gave a patronizing lecture to warn potential demonstrators about the consequences of this new law.

But with his tough guy threat, Sheriff Judd sure sounded a lot like a throwback to another Florida sheriff, Walter Headley. As the chief of the Miami Police Department, Headley was famous for his tough talk and tactics against civil rights protesters in the 1960s.

He`s the guy who warned that, when the looting starts, the shooting starts, something Trump as president would notoriously repeat.

And if you watch their respective press conferences, Sheriffs Judd and Headley practically complete each other senses.


GRADY JUDD, POLK COUNTY, FLORIDA, SHERIFF: Pay attention. We have got new law, and we`re going to use it if you make us.

WALTER HEADLEY, MIAMI, FLORIDA, POLICE CHIEF: My job is to protect life and property. That`s the job of every police officer here. And we`re going to use any means at our disposal to accomplish this.

JUDD: Peaceful protest, we encourage, and more riot. We can tell the difference.

HEADLEY: People know the law they`re violating as well you do and I do.

JUDD: You can compare and contrast. Look at Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis.

HEADLEY: That`s the reason that some of the incidents that have happened in the North have been as serious as they were.

JUDD: Don`t register to vote and vote the stupid way you did up North, or you will get what they got.




REID: Florida is among four states to sign anti-protest bills into law. And, coincidentally, they all come in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

But, according to one Republican senator, there is no systemic racism in this country. It just doesn`t even exist.

And that is coming up next.


REID: On Sunday, South Carolina Senator Lindsey graham managed to peel himself away from his AR-15 to offer a presidential version of "I have a black friend."


CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Senator, is there systemic racism in this country in policing and in other institutions?

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): No, not in my opinion. We just elected a two- term African American president. The vice president is African-American- Indian descent. So our systems are not racist. America is not a racist country. Within every society, you have bad actors.


REID: That`s right, America. Thanks to President Obama, Vice President Harris, and let`s throw in Oprah while we`re at it. There is no more racism, ta-da! Poof. Magic.

Meanwhile, Arizona Republicans are doing everything they can to dismantle the fair election that put a black and Asian woman in the White House to begin with. Recounting again and six months after the election the nearly 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County, the state`s most populous county. This partisan taxpayer funded fake audit is being run by a private vendor called the Cyber Ninjas, you just can`t make this stuff up, whose founder has promoted pro-Trump conspiracy theories.

Joining me Jonathan Capehart, host of the "SUNDAY SHOW" on MSNBC, and Republican strategist Susan Del Percio.

Susan, unfortunately this lands with you, my dear. Tweets from the Arizona Republican Party last Wednesday, the long-awaited hand counted forensic audit of Maricopa County starts Friday. Processes will be live streamed nationally, exclusively to OANN viewers, will be non-partisan, full transparency. No one`s allowed to see it.

Our Vaughn Hillyard tried to get in and was told you can`t get in. You`re not from OANN.

Your thoughts?

SUSAN DEL PERCIO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: You can`t make this stuff up. You`re absolutely right calling it a fake audit. This is not an audit. These are Oath -- members of the Oath Keepers and QAnon representatives who have appointed this group to count some ballots. Now we have no idea if they`re actually even counting them.

There is actually no proof that they`re actually counting these ballots. They`ve come out with some wild accusations. There is no reason to believe a single word that comes out of their mouths. Even the Republicans election supervisors are against this audit. They know that it was done right three times. Now if Donald Trump wants to lose a fourth -- lose Arizona a fourth time, so be it. But I don`t even look at this as a real count. It doesn`t exist.

REID: I`ll bet you they`re burning the ballots and dancing around a maypole. That`s what I think they`re doing. We can`t go if you`re note OANN. Let`s talk about another person, Rick Santorum, who decide he wants to take racism all the way back to the early 17th century.

He said the following. Let`s just play it. Let me just let him speak for himself. Here is Rick Santorum speaking.


RICK SANTORUM (R-PA), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: We came here and created a blank slate. We birthed a nation from nothing. There was nothing here. Yes, we have native Americans. But there isn`t much Native American culture in American culture.


REID: I think the Iroquois confederacy would have a word. I`m sure you do too, Jonathan. It`s your turn.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC HOST, "THE SUNDAY SHOW": Ooh, Lord Jesus, help me. Blank slate? Okay, sure. You know what? He has a point. They did start with a blank slate. But it`s blank because of genocide.

That`s why. That`s why, what Rick Santorum had to say is not surprising because Rick Santorum has been saying these things for a very long time on another network. And it sort of -- anyone who has paid attention to even a couple of minutes in a history class, assuming they still teach history classes, that what he said is not true.

He is still part of this legion of people who are sort of living in this fanciful mythical view of how this country was formed, how this country started. And were it not for projects like the 1619 Project and a whole slew of books that have been out there that shows that this country`s origins were not pure as they`re portrayed. They were not beneficent as they`ve been portrayed.

That in making this country, there was a lot of pain, there was a lot of killing and murder and genocide and a whole lot of other stuff that we as a nation more than 200 years after our founding, we still try to ignore. And if there is one silver lining about the year of hell that we`ve been through, and I`m not even talking about the pandemic, I`m talking about the killing, the murder of George Floyd is that at least there are a few more eyes that are open to the history of this country and why these things still persist.

I`m sorry, Senator graham. There is systemic racism. Were there no systemic racism, well, one, we wouldn`t be talking about you. But two, George Floyd would still be alive.

REID: Yeah.

CAPEHART: There wouldn`t be this fear of black people that is pervasive in every aspect of our lives. And I have to give a shout out to Carol Mason, the president of John Jay College who yesterday on the show said that is the one issue that this nation has yet to address.

REID: Absolutely. And by the way, the people that Rick Santorum thinks were the be all and end all, a fair number of them believe witches were real and burned them at the stake. I don`t think they got that from Jesus. I`m pretty Jesus was not burning people saying they were witches. To stay with you for just a moment, we`ve also got Newt Gingrich, because why let Rick Santorum be alone on the terrible`s list. Here is Newt Gingrich saying some things about he doesn`t like the flags that are flying at some embassies.


NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: If you listed every idiotic thing that the Biden administration has done in the first 100 days, you begin to realize whether it`s threatening everybody who believes in the Second Amendment or it`s attacking everybody who believes in right to life or it is attacking people of traditional values who are appalled that this administration would fly the gay flag at American embassies all over the world.


REID: So irony died the minute that Newt Gingrich who was married thrice, and I think he divorced one of the wives while she was sickened with cancer is talking about family values. But I`m going let you handle that one, Jonathan.

CAPEHART: Oh, no you just stole my thunder, Joy. That`s exactly what I was going say. I refuse as an out gay married man who is also black, I refuse to be lectured to by Newt Gingrich, refuse. Don`t even fix your mouth to say anything about anybody given your personal life.

REID: Hw many times you been married, Jonathan? How many times have you been married?


REID: Okay.

CAPEHART: And that`s all any LGBTQ person wants to be able to do, not any. Some do. Wants to be able to get married. But what we all want is to be able to live our lives in peace in this country.

REID: Amen. Let`s go to one more. We got to get one more in. This is Kevin McCarthy, because I feel like the sort of connective tissue to all of this, you know, Susan, is just this non-belief in reality and in the modern world.

You have Rick Santorum wanted to go back to 1619 thinking that was the good old days and thinking those people were sort of carrying the banner. You`ve got Newt Gingrich who I guess maybe two marriages ago believed in marriage. I really don`t understand his ideas on marriage.

Now here is Kevin McCarthy attempting to rewrite his January 6 call with the former president. Take a listen.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I was the first person to contact him when the riots was going on. He didn`t see it. When he ended the call telling me he`ll put something out to make sure to stop this. And that`s what he did. He put a video out later.

WALLACE: Quite a lot later. And it was a pretty weak video. But I`m asking you specifically, did he say to you some people are more concerned about the election than you are?

MCCARTHY: No, listen. My conversations with the president are my conversations with the president. I engaged in the idea of making sure we could stop what was going on inside the Capitol at that moment in time. The president said he would help.


REID: Susan, is that the kind of coward das that makes a man speaker of the House?

DEL PERCIO: No, it`s not. What`s even funnier, he thinks that kind of talk will help him with Donald Trump. That`s exact language that Donald Trump jumps on and will seek to make him not majority leader.

I mean, that`s the funniest thing that these Republicans don`t get. Donald Trump was never for you, he is only against something.

And listening to Kevin McCarthy try to kiss up to Donald Trump and erase part of our history which at one point actually recognized is disgraceful and it is the things that cowards are made of.

REID: I suspect that Donald Trump would not recognize K McCarthy if he walked on the golf course and handed him a Diet Coke. Don`t know you, don`t care about you. None of you all.

Anyway, Jonathan Capehart, you should watch on the Sunday show, every weekend, every Sunday right here at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. And, Susan Del Percio, our friend, thank you very much.

Up next, a COVID variant has been spreading like wildfire in Michigan, and this time, it`s younger people who are being hospitalized. The (ph) Republicans` vaccine hesitancy keeping the pandemic rolling right along.

We`ll be right back.


REID: With more than 900,000 COVID cases reported, Michigan remains a national hot spot, and now, cases are rising among younger adults. According to the "New York Times", in some of the state`s hospitals, entire units are filled with younger and middle age adults with life-saving equipment again in short supply.

The spike in sick younger people reflects a national trend as well. The reasons range from a new more contagious variant to something else that the officials are desperate to counter, vaccine hesitancy.

Joining me now is Dr. Farhan Bhatti, a family physician in Lansing, Michigan.

And, Dr. Bhatti, thank you so much for being here.

What the hell is going on in your state?

DR. FARHAN BHATTI, FAMILY PHYSICIAN, LANSING, MI: Well, good evening. Thank you for having me.

What`s happening in my state is a combination of two things. Number one, we have more cases of the B117 strain compared to any other state in the nation.

REID: And which is that? I`m sorry, just to be clear, is that the Britain -- the U.K. strain or what strain is that?

BHATTI: Yep, that`s the U.K. strain, quote unquote. And that strain doesn`t follow the rules of the previous COVID-19. So, you know, they used to say, it`s disease of the elderly, it`s the disease of people with pre- existing health conditions. It`s no longer true. It`s more variant and that means more contagious and if you look at every age group between ages 0 to age 60, if you look at each decade, 0-9, 10-19, all the way up to age 60, we have seen a 500 percent increase in the number of cases of COVID in Michigan because of the B-117 strain. So, that`s on the one hand.

And on the other hand, we have a very toxic political environment in my state --

REID: Yeah.

BHATTI: -- where we have a Democratic governor and a Republican led legislature, House and Senate that is blocking her at every turn. They have sued her to try to take her powers away successfully in the Supreme Court, and you know, the echo chamber in which the Republicans exist as well as their supporters over the past year, they have heard from President Trump as well as all of his surrogates that it`s not a big deal, it`s going to go away, and it`s nothing other than the flu.

And so, that trickles down to the supporters. And we are vaccinating people in my clinic every day. And the bottom line is, I need to get as many shots in to as many arm as possible.

And I`m hearing from way too many patients that live in that echo chamber that watch the news channels and that go on the social media channels that the same thing, oh, this is just like the flu. I`m going to take my chances. I have not gotten sick yet. Why should I get the vaccine, it`s overblown.

And when I hear those kinds of things, I get really, are sad. As a public health leader and physician, I know that if we don`t get to the 80 percent herd immunity, we`re not going to be able to go back to the lives we want to live, to the lives they want to go back to living. That`s the strong irony.

REID: Yeah, that is what is scary. We have polling showing people 61 percent of Americans say they think the worst is behind us. You have about 8 percent of people not going back and getting their second dose. People feel, I got my first dose, I`m good.

Is this a case of over optimism, or you are sounding like you are saying it`s not over optimism, it`s people who are refusing to accept the reality of COVID even though there`s new strains and they are living like there`s no COVID and winding up in the ER?

BHATTI: That is exactly right. In our ERs in hospitals across Michigan, we are seeing people who didn`t take this seriously, didn`t think they were going to get it and then, you know, they found out the hard way to really, really -- it`s really, really sad and unfortunate.

You know, I just saw a statistic today, 43 percent of all Republicans in United States are saying that that they are never going to get the vaccine.

REID: Yeah.

BHATTI: Never. And it as an individual physician, it`s difficult to deal with that.

You know I`m spending so much time on each and every patient trying to convince them about the safety and when we have conversations about safety, I generally can win people over.

REID: Yeah.

BHATTI: But when we have conversations that are based on an alternate reality where people are telling me things that are not true and people are telling me that this isn`t real, that you`re just making a big deal out of nothing, that I don`t know anybody that got sick with COVID, that it`s just like the flu, and, oh, it`s only --


REID: Are your patients that have COVID doubting they have COVID?

BHATTI: We have encountered people in ER that were told they have COVID and they were like, well, you must have given it to me, because I did not have it before coming if here. I mean, the alternate reality is laughable but to that extent, where people are so convinced that there`s some kind of conspiracy going on that we are trying take their liberties and freedoms away, we being physicians.

REID: That is absolutely batty. I have never heard anything like that. Unfortunately I have heard it from nurses and doctors that have been on the show.

The last thing I will say, has Johnson & Johnson issue played in though that as well, do you any? Very briefly we are almost out of time.

BHATTI: It has, to some extent and I`m able to explain that away. And able to tell people that it`s good that the FDA and CDC looked in to it, there`s a rare blood clot associated with it about 20 people out of eight million, but you know what if you get COVID-19, your risk is 40 out of one million.

REID: Exactly, and by the way, people are without second thought putting all sorts of junk food and things into their bodies and they don`t ask what is in it, they just eat it and drink it and drink sodas and everything.

Anyway. Dr. Farhan Bhatti, thank you so much. Good luck, stay in the fight out there.

Before we go, a quick programming note on Wednesday night, immediately following the REIDOUT, we are going to get the band back together. Join me and my pals, Brian Williams, Richard Maddow, Nicolle Wallace, for President Biden`s first address to a joint session of Congress, Wednesday night, 8:00 p.m.

That`s tonight`s REIDOUT.