tv NOW With Alex Wagner MSNBC August 15, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
up with alex wagner and "now." police release new images from ferguson but are they the ones that matter? it is friday, august 15th. and this is "now." >> this is not a black and white issue. >> no justice! no peace! >> the focal point here remains figure out how and why michael brown was killed. >> we have this full report they passed out. >> including surveillance video that they say shows -- >> a man who the police alleges is michael brown seems to be a confrontation with someone who may be a store employee. >> the officer that was involved in the shooting of michael brown was darren wilson.
>> they owe the family this information. >> if this had been released within 24 hours it would have stemmed a lot of angst. >> when you make peaceful protest impossible, you'll make rowdy protest predictable. >> for first time in five nights, police were not involved in heated clashes with demonstrators. >> we have an unarmed young man killed. >> scratched an old woman. >> are we perfect? no, we're not. >> it takes someone to die in order for us to have this national discourse. >> this is our opportunity to show you that you can trust us. >> dramatic developments out of ferguson, missouri in the last hour. earlier today, police announce that michael brown was the primary suspect in and alleged robbery. in a press conference moments ago, thomas jackson said there was no connection between that alleged robbery and the confrontation that led to brown's death at the hands of
the law. >> the initial contact between the officer and mr. brown was not related to the robbery. >> first, these images, security camera video that police believe but cannot confirm shows michael brown engaged in a strong arm robbery along with an incident report detailing the altercation that ended with brown and johnson leaving with a box of mini cigars. that was the information released along with the name of the officer who shot and killed michael brown, a six-year veteran with no disciplinary action taken against them. the release in conjunction with the video with the officer's name has raised serious members. chief jackson said the release of the video was because, the press asked for it. this afternoon brown's family released a scathing statement in
response saying they are beyond outraged. there is nothing based on the facts that have been placed before us that can justify the execution style murder of michael brown by this police officer as he held up his hands, which is the universal sign of surrender. the brown family blasted the video as part of a police strategy of blaming the victim. it is a swiftly moving story here. how surprised has the community been that this video, which was released this morning and would seem to impune the representation of michael brown has revealed by the police chief to be unrelated to the officer's actions later? >> reporter: i wish we could find a better word than surprise. it's only about 3:00 central standard time and the horns are blairing behind me and people
are assemble in anger. today is kind of a shell game. at first they have a press conference that says, here's the officer who shot michael brown. then here's the name. then here's a video reportedly showing him robbing a convenience store. then hours later, it's unclear -- they say it's unclear if that's michael brown in the video. then he goes on to say the robbery had absolutely nothing to do with the ip ter action between the officer and officer who eventually killed michael brown. so the people behind me are getting more and more frustrated. they are vocalizing that frustration and becoming angrier after a night of calm and peace because they feel there's a smoke screen between the truth of what happened that day and themselves. it's heating up very quickly. >> we know we're going to be hearing from the brown family this hour in a press conference. i'm sure they have much to say on the issue. in terms of the police chief and police's handling of this
situation, i think it would be to say a complicated handling, if not a complete failure. i was surprised when chief jackson gave that press conference, it was contentious and very short. if you can talk to us a little bit what your sources and what it is like on the ground in response to the overall handling of this affair? >> technically it seems like a bit of a fumble. every turn there seem to be moments where they can capture some sort of sentiment. last night after the military police were gone and s.w.a.t. teams were gone and there was peace, there felt like we had restored some sort of calm. now in the first press conference it comes out, doesn't take any questions. people are saying we demand answers. we have so many questions. so many that we don't know. then to come back again as you say in this contentious manner and spar with people and backtrack. they are not sure if it's brown in the video. they say when the officer encountered the young man he didn't know he was a robbery
suspect. because of the handling of this information and then to put it on the media and say this is information that the media requested, and i've talked to reporters -- no one knew about a robbery. they wanted information around the actual incident. >> that was the police chief's contention that this armed -- this robbery video was surfacing that they were forced to release it. at one point he said i can't sit it on any longer because you guys have been asking me for it. have you met a single reporter that even knew this video was in existence? >> reporter: not only did folks not know the video existed, i'm not sure anyone knew there was an alleged theft. we haven't heard anything about a robbery of any kind. a young man who lives nearby said this is first anyone heard of it. you had saturday the shooting and then there was a press conference on sunday morning. then temperatures are rising and angers are flaring, uproar of
sunday, monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday, here we are at friday and now there's news of some robbery for a 99 cent box of mini cigars. it doesn't make sense to a lot of people, seems like a smokescreen. >> in terms of the officer, darren wilson, have you gotten any more information about him? >> reporter: the only information that we've gotten so far and it comes from the mouth of the police chief. so in that same press conference where he said there was no connection between the alleged robbery and the altercation, he says he was a gentleman who never wanted this to happen and good police officer. that's the only thing we've gotten so far about how darren wilson is. >> i would assume, there is no online record, nothing about this person anywhere in this public sphere of information. >> caller: i'm sure we're going to find it soon. the situation is moving so quickly. it's a musical chairs of press
conferences. there have been three already. there might be another later on from law enforcement. i would imagine in the near future we'll find out more about mr. wilson. >> thank you as always for your reporting. talk to you soon. >> thank you very much. last night in ferguson there was less confrontation and a lot more keeping of the peace. taking over the protest response, missouri highway patrol captain ron johnson walked the streets with protesters and heard their voices and no tear gases and no arrests. captain johnson said the change in tone matters and it is here to stay. >> yesterday we saw what it should be. we saw what it could be. saw what it will be. >> joining me now rashad robinson. it is a study in contrast and the actions and responses of
police chief jackson in terms of calming a community and actually one what seems to be aggravating a community or at least not helping the situation. how -- you're in ferguson, how have folks responded to the latest from the police chief? >> well, i think people are angry. folks -- there was some level of calm last night. you saw that folks were able to let off steam and able to peacefully protest and get out the frustration they haven't been able to get out over the last several days. then you have the press conference which underscores how unready for prime time the local authorities are. why the state authorities and why the federal authorities need to be involved here. turn after turn the local authorities have proven themselves to not be capable of managing the situation, not be capable of providing transparency and not be capable of calming and providing a path
forward, like there was some sense of justice that was happening. >> it was -- what struck me about ron johnson who is leading the missouri state highway patrol, taking over the keeping of security in ferguson, how much of an effort he was making to interface with the public and tell the community he came from the same roots, he understood them. have you noticed tension between the the police chief was asked today about the fact that his men were effectively ordered to stand down and refused to get into that. one can only imagine there is palpable tension between the state highway officers and ferguson police. >> well, i mean, we're definitely hearing that. we heard the comments from the prosecutor, defending the local law enforcement, which obviously gives an organization like others, a civil rights organization deep concern when the prosecutor is supposed to be bringing out justice and defending -- already stepping in to defend the police. when he may be the person who has to prosecute the police in
the situation. we're definitely seeing some level of sort of breaking and tension. but, you know, what we saw last night was definitely a sea change in term of what we had been seeing the last couple of days. who knows what we'll see tonight. at the end of the day, what folks want is a sense of justice, a sense that the balance of justice will be on their side, that the information will be out there. that they will be able to know exactly what happened. right now there's really no trust for the local authorities. >> let me ask you about how you would grade governor nixon's response. he was one of the first to say we are going to release the name of the police officer in question as expeditiously as possible, maybe perhaps behind the scenes he was one of the motors to see that through. tod today. there are others who say look, he was too slow.
what more would you like to see from the governor of the state? >> as we were -- we had 90,000 people mobilized before we even heard from the governor. this situation had been erupted and become national news, not because of any political leader but because of activists on the ground and every day people and local leaders who made this a national story. the governor was late to the game. that doesn't mean that sort of over the last several hours or last 48 hours there have not been good things that have been done by the governor and we're seeing some changes, in particular sort of last night. time will tell though. right now that we have sort of a lot of competing information coming out here. there's a sense that justice still will not be heard. for people watching at home. this is not just ferguson. these situations continue to happen all around the country. for black folks in particular, who are watching and for allies of black people who want a sense of justice and want to know when
black people are put in harm's way and killed or murdered by police, that there will be a level of blgt r accountability. folks are watching and whether it's the governor or federal government, people are going to be on the line for what happens here in ferguson. >> are you confident that attorney general eric holder will help see that justice through? >> you know, we've seen a lot of great things from the attorney general. he has really stepped out in a lot of places, one of the main reasons why my organization named him in our call. we want to pull together hundreds and thousands of people and working with many other organizations to mobilize folks online through the internet to be able to say, when and if the attorney general steps out, that he has a sea of support behind him. he has the voices of everyday people who do want to stand up and say the federal government has to get involved. it was the federal government that had to walk black students into schools when they were --
when segregation. it was a federal government that had to walk people in the voting booth and time and time again had to step in when local officials and state officials have not been able to sort of move the needle forward when it comes to civil rights and equal rights in this country. and you know, we all -- so many folks in my membership and so many folks around the country stood up and said yes, we can over the past two presidential elections. so now we're saying, yes, you can, mr. holder, yes, you can, mr. obama, stand up for civil rights. stand up and come here and show the country what we can do in these situations. they are happening all around the country. we need to send a powerful message, not just here in ferguson but law enforcement all around the country that there will be accountability. >> rashad robinson, thank you for your time and thoughts. >> thank you. >> after the break, 2014 versus
1964. scenes from ferguson look a lot like scenes from nearly half a century before. i'll talk with clabout lessons on race in america. the only rinse that helps prevent tartar build-up and cavities. a little swishing. less scraping. yes! [ male announcer ] new crest pro-health tartar protection rinse. it helps you escape the scrape.
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the unrest in ferguson is calling to mind an era that many thought the nation had put behind it. in the late 1960s after the gains of the civil rights movement failed to bring about transformative economic change, race riots in american city were common place. on august 11th, 1965, almost 49 years to the day before michael brown was shot a white highway patrol officer pulled over 21-year-old marquette fry for reckless driving in the watts neighborhood. after officers pulled out
shotguns and used brutal force, a crowd began to gather and it quickly became violent. 2,000 national guard troops were called in. the protest ares were compared to monkeys in a zoo and over 1,000 injured and 34 lost their lives in the violence. watts was not an isolated incident. in 1967, the so-called summer of love, that summer saw over 150 race riots in city across the country. the assassination of civil rights icon martin luther king one year later sparked in of the worst violence. in washington, d.c. alone, over 1,000 injured and $27 million worth of property was destroyed. by that point president johnson had already established a bipartisan investigation to investigate the riots. some the commission's basic recommendations, have police live in the communities where they enforce the law and build connections with residents.
nearly five decades later, those recommendations have still not been put in place leaving in america to repeat the sins of the past as it has done for decades. kenneth clark, a civil rights scholar who testified in the 60s said at a time. it is a kind of alice and wonder land with the same moving picture shown over and over again, the same analysis, same relations and same inaction. joining me now is associate professor of political science and public affairs at columbia university and fellow at the roosevelt institute, dorian warren. it's erie and unbelievable that we haven't learned anything from the civil rights struggles from the past. not to den great the policy put in place but basic things, those who police a community should understand that community. we're seeing in ferguson, that that is not borne or put in place. the guidelines still seem like
an alien prescription. >> i think ferguson shows us that we have not come nearly as far as we should have in the last 50 or 60 years. let me also say, ferguson, as much as it is a spectacular event, this happens and what happened to mike brown happens on a mundane level every single day. a report released today in the usa today says nearly two times a week in the united states a white officer killed a black person in a seven-year period ending in 2012. that's a conservative estimate because it's based on self-reports from police departments. this happens every week. we are now focused on ferguson. but as rashad said, ferguson is not the only place this is happening. as your footage showed, when you think about riots from the '60s, those are all northern cities, not southern cities where we think of old style jim crow segregation, it was newark,
detroit, chicago, this is st. louis, ferguson is a st. louis county. these are also northern places where we don't think we have a race problem like we do in the south. >> it's also part of a broader portfolio of kind of systemic failure and i'll read this quote. when a black community loses faith in the police force and police respond by crushing the community's civil and constitutional rights, it isn't a stretch to say the white ruling class created a defacto apartheid, perhaps without segregationist intent, but functionally that's what it is. this is a searing indictment of a society. but one that is accepted class based on race that will be the dominant rule in class subjecting and suppressing another class, a minority class. >> that strong language i want to clarify because there are so many kmengss. one, you can have racism without
raci racists. it doesn't have to be intentional, it would be through a range of practices. let's look at residential segregation by race, where blacks were not allowed by law and then de facto when sellers wouldn't sell to them. we have decades of residential segregation, related to educational inequalities and labor market, who has access and who doesn't and what is the unemployment rate? the black unemployment rate has been double the white unemployment rate since the 1960s. that hasn't changed either. let's talk about policing and incarceration. >> disproportionately target and keep a sort of black minority as the majority in the lower power structure grid. also goes on to make the point, this is a continuing sort of travesty if you will. you can map the same sort of racial, civic unrest and intersection on voter
suppression laws or refusal to expand medicare in some states which disproportionately affects min orts. the stand your ground laws. the list goes on but it all fits neatly in the same dynamic. >> i like to think of it jim crow 2.0 or for the 21st century. the results are the same and nature of the policies and practices are somewhat different. in a case of policing, not so different in terms of the use of force and lethal use of force. we have to really understand as you just pointed out, stand your ground suppression laws. >> to your point, the idea there would be a jim crow 2.0, 50 years after what we're talking about. one of the most tu multiuous periods and new laws would be cropping up and great denialism, that there was any racial
outcome to those laws. >> in some cases we have evidence of intentionality behind some of those laws but that doesn't matter. the effect is the same, disenfranchises primarily black and brown people and young people and that is the effect. so we not only have to combat those new laws. we need other laws to -- >> to mitigate the effects. in terms of how segregated our workplaces are or the '65 voter rights act. we need new reforms to attack longstanding problems. >> it is a saga that continues. dori dorian warren, good to see you. >> president nuri al mallky steps down and there are new signs of unity in iraq. the latest coming up next. uh-huh (announcer) there's good more... honey, look at all these smart rewards points verizon just gave me. ooh, you got a buddy. i'm like a statue.
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unity in iraq, a day after nuri al maliki officially stepped down. al abadi taps to replaced maliki received support from top sunni leaders. they are willing to join the new administration as long as they are not marginalized as they were under maliki. the sunni leaders left open the possibility of military action against the jihadist group isis. mean while, more european negotiate nations may join the fight. they are prepared to send arms to kurdish forces in iraq. in addition, kurdish fighters are still working to free thousands of refugees trapped on mt. sinjar by the islamic militants. today an iraqly member of parliament disputed claims that the crisis on sinjar was effe effectively over and said 80,000
yazidi members maybe trapped without aid and escape route. this week clashes in ferguson almost resemble a scene from the iraq war but this is what law enforcement in america looks like today. i'll speak with chris hayes and new york times reporter about the mill tarization of america's police force. that is next.
♪ during the cadillac summer's best event, lease this 2014 ats for around $299 a month and make this the summer of style. you're going to see a bunch of smiles and hugs and conversations. >> there was a decidedly different strategy for security in ferguson and received a decidedly different response. if there is one image from this week that has been seared into the national consciousness, it is that of heavily armed police tear gassing protesters. those pictures prompted a national wake-up recall regarding the mill tearization of america's police force. >> in this situation, clearly bringing in the huge armored things incited the opposite
reaction among some folks and quite frankly, folks felt like they were under siege. that's what not policing is. >> increasingly that is policing. giving police units battlefield weaponry and technology dates back to the 1990s, specifically the creation of the 1033 program, approved by congress in 1992 and expanded again in 1997. that program allowed police departments to receive the pentagon's free unused military equipment. as a result the 10:33 program, put $4.3 billion in excess military equipment on the nation's streets. the new york times reports police forces have taken advantage and scooped up tens and thousands of machine guns and 200,000 ammunition magazines and thousands of pieces of camouflage and night vision equipment and armored car and aircraft. while the 1033 program played its part, the militarizatiomili
the department of homeland security in wake of the 9/11 attacks, granted out $34 billion, eight time as much as the department of defense to local police departments. this money is to support terrorism preparedness but small towns like population, 8,000, which last saw a murder in the year 2009, those small towns have equipped their forces with tanks and s.w.a.t. teams. and just because there isn't necessarily a reason to deploy military grade weaponry, doesn't mean the enthusiasm for using it is any less. this is the home page of the still diagno stillwater, oklahoma, police department and this is their recruiting video. [ sirens ] ♪ >> get off the car and throw the keys out the window. ♪
>> joining me now, new york times reporter and co-authors of "enemies within", matt apuz zo and host of "all in" chris hayes. there's been a dramatically different series of responses from the police department, not the police department last night, the missouri state highway patrol led a decidedly different response. tensions seemed to have increased with the back and forth regarding the surveillance video. what is it like on the ground for you? >> last night, it was almost like we were watching the police run an experiment and last night was the control. what if you removed police presence and just said, do what you want taen largely the night went off entirely without incident. a few things here and there at the margins, but today there is
a thickness of tension back in the air. the release of that video from the store has kind of pushed exactly the wound that was fresh in people. here we go again. this kid who was killed and now going to have his character assassinated for the entire nation. and i was at the ferguson market today earlier today just doing a few q and as and at that moment -- we may have footage for you. 12 officers came up, a combination of st. louis county police and they were also state highway patrol and kind of made a cordon in front of the entrance to the merg son market. that ferguson market is the site of the convenience store video and after the qt market, burned down 20 feet to my right, i would imagine the owners are worried about what happened. which prompts the question, why release the video and place into danger a business in your own community that you have to protect. >> let's talk a little bit serving and protecting in
america and how dramatically law enforcement has become weaponized and militaryized. the small towns in the u.s., 25,000 to 50,000 residents, in 1984, 26% of them had s.w.a.t. teams. by 2005, 80% of them had s.w.a.t. teams. it is a dramatic increase in militarization and weaponization. it seems to be very clearly the result of 9/11. i guess i wonder, do you think moments like this in ferguson are an inflection point where we begin to ask ourselves, is this really necessary? more importantly, is it the right thing? >> i was -- i was sitting here in washington yesterday and i kind of looked around and was wondering what city i was in. the justice department is saying it's really concerned about military hardware and members of congress, u.s. senators are saying, you know, police shouldn't be acting and looking
like the military and this isn't a war zone. because the city that i've been covering here under this sort of rubric of counter terrorism, this is the city where the only controversy over homeland security grants for these types of trucks and this type of military equipment, the only controversy has been who can get more and how can i get more for my police department? who deserves more, big cities or small towns? to hear people in government say, you know, police departments shouldn't be behaving like military and look like military or that the cities aren't war zones, it's important to remember after 9/11, this wasn't just a retore cal shift. people actually said police departments are on the front lines of a global war on terrorism. and this was policy. this is an inflection point and surprising one and i guess it tells you how much these images from ferguson have taken hold. >> chris, it's interesting,
people are starting to talk about whether law enforcement needs to be weaponized like this. but criticizing actions of you know what, i think we'll have to go to the press conference right now. the family of michael brown and the attorneys representing them are holding a news conference. let's listen in. >> the family particularly wants to thank governor jay nixon for his personal appropriate of reaching out and taking some very decisive actions to protect life and safety and make sure law is obeyed and want to thank president obama and attorney general holder for what they have done to make sure we are responsible. this family has belonged to this community for a long time. they are very proud of this community. it's important that the public know they want nothing less than law and order tonight. we want tonight to be just like last night. as we remember mike brown. and let me say, as we move forward, i'm sure the chief has other things he may put out there.
we believe the most important thing, the most important thing, not any kind of pictures, is what happened that particular day in the middle of that street, that officer killed mike. let's not lose focus of that. people will always creating side shows in situations like this to protect your own. it's my distinct pleasure, we have the fortunate of having an excellent local counsel here anthony gray. >> thank you. i won't be long. i want to reiterate some of the things that mr. parks just said and also recount some of my conversations with the family. let me be real clear to everyone here. this family has never said that mike brown jr. was a perfect kid. in fact, if you remember in the earlier interviews with the father and mother, the dad even described incidents where he had to keep his foot on his son's back. his mom described having to push her child to the point where he can have the kind of future that
he was planning just the days after he was killed, shot and killed in broad daylight. i don't want anybody to leave here with the misconception that these parents have ever portrayed that about their child. and so when you -- i anticipate that you may see as attorney parks stated, other images or other photographs or depictions that don't paint him in the noest complimentary light as he's being pushed by his parents to be the best kid he can be, to make up his decision about his future. i agree with him and those that have called me and contacted me, that that is just a major distraction about an 18-year-old child. he probably did 15-year-old stuff. i don't think there's anyone out here at that particular age who is proud of everything they've done from the day they were born until the day they became 18. i join with him and making sure that we're not distracted. and now, let me transition to
why we're really here. there's a communitywide, statewide and countrywide, international interest in this case. when i got the call that this young man allegedly by witnesses had his hands in the air as a universal sign of surrender and at this time bullets were pumped into his body, i perked up like a german shepherd. and anybody would when they learn that, law enforcement officers that have contacted me and agree that is a very disturbing scenario and we should get to the bottom of that. that also includes community for our people united the white people, black people, hispanic people, asian people. mike brown jr. could have been a white guy, asian guy. if you have your hands in the air and the police fire shots at awe, i think all of you guys would be assembling right now to
find answers to that situation. this is a communitywide, nationwide, call to understand an incident that happened on that day. i don't want to lose track of it. we're only talking about a few minutes to where these witnesses are claiming that mike brown jr. had his hands in the air before the police shot and killed him in broad daylight. what happened in the 18 years before that does not matter. all we're looking at is is this -- taking this as true, that is disturbing to everybody. if it's not disturbing to you, then you have a public interest or an interest that's different than most people in the public. now, we are here to talk about the latest events that have come out in media and the ferguson police chief's decision to release the still pictures and video. the family feels that was strategic. they think it was aimed at den greating their son, a character assassination attempt, that is pretty much the sentiments of
everyone i've discussed. they think the timing is suspect. at a time where the highway patrol is called in and we have a calm going on in the community. we finally reaching the point where things are settled down, he's now inciting the community all over again. if you get this kind of negative violent reaction to this, it won't be on anybody's part on this side. and so i want to preface that. we were getting to a point where we were starting to galvanize the questions everybody was curious about. now we're focused on a side show. thags really unfair to this family. even in spite of that, i have been asked to make a plea to those under the sound of my voice, to do not take the bait from anybody that is trying to character assassinate mike. do not take that and react negatively to people in the public. don't take that and begin to riot and loot. this family is not for that. they made that plain and clear.
i wanted to deliver that to everybody here and just make sure i convey that message to you. now it is my distinct honor to deliver you eric davis, by the way, the cousin of leslie. when she was looking at the events earlier, mr. davis actually could not get away to attend the other press conferences because she was clinging to him like vel cro. you're about to hear from the person that is probably the most closest to leslie in this whole case. you're going to hear from him but you're actually listening to leslie as well. i'll turn the mike over. >> first of all, i want to thank you all for being here today and supporting the family in their efforts to seek justice for michael brown, which we're trying to do today. earlier the chief did release a video that was basically what we think was basically smoke and mirrors to try to divert the
attention away from what really occurred. the events that took place had nothing to do with the grocery store michael may have been in or the person on the video is in. we don't know it was michael for sure. whatever that took place there had nothing to do with an individual getting down on his hands and knees, raising his hands in the air and saying, don't shoot. this is a universal call for i surrender. i can hear my cousin's voice right now as i speak saying don't shoot. yet still the officers shot him is what we're hearing from the officer and that is wrong. we want the truth to come out and as the day goes on we're asking the community to play consider us, please support us and stay with us. but do not get distractsed. we don't want to see violence in the street. police continue to peacefully protest. we thank you for your support.
>> the last thing we'll say before we take questions, at 3:00 p.m. on sunday the family will be a rally at the jefferson memorial downtown. we're asking the public to come out in strong support. so please govern yourselves accordingly. >> clarify, is that michael brown in the video? did he rob that store? >> it appears to look like him. >> i wouldn't say he robbed it but it appears to look like him. i think if you look at the video you get a better picture. for some reason the chief decided to release those pictures, right? they look a lot worse than the actual video. why would he strategically put this community and world through a whole day of seeing pictures when he had a video that was a far better betrayal. we believe he strategically did that to assassinate the character of michael brown. >> that's him? >> other questions. is that him? >> i've answered the question all right, it appears to be him. >> can you talk about what
michael brown -- what the family thought michael brown was doing? what was he supposed to be doing? did he know anything about the day before this happened? >> he was staying with friends in the area is what i've been told. >> do you know anything else about what efgs doing? >> that's all i have for that question. >> any other questions? >> yes. first of all, the family obviously we have had participated in the second autopsy for our purposes in terms of civil lawyers in this case and asked the department of justice to consider doing their own independent autopsy as well, then after that takes place the family has to honor and remember michael in their own way. they will do that after the federal department of justice has done whatever they choose to do. >> did the family know about the press? did they know it was coming? any heads up? >> this here? well, that's a good question. let me say this here.
as we talked with michael's mother today and she saw what had happened, what the chief had done, right? she was very distraught about that. as we talked with her, she said why would he do that? and why after the great night last night and so she thought it was very important before tonight that everyone here know that she is okay with where the investigation is and she wanted people to remain calm. that's very important. that's why she looked to this this man and her significant other and said this is her significant other, his mother. he said, i want you to go down there and it's important that people know that we want them to stay calm, that justice is moving now in the right direction. so she wanted that message. we didn't really want to do this. but we thought it very important that we shouldn't put people in harm's way like we believe others have done by being very
careless in how they've conducted themselves in their official capacities. >> did the police tell the brown family, did they share the names with the brown family? >> the name of the officer? no. no. >> tell them anything before they spoke? >> no. >> how many times was he actually shot? >> i won't answer that right now. >> did you say -- >> oh, yes. >> it's completed. >> it's completed. it's done and we'll talk about that later. we're not answering any questions about the autopsy at this time. we will at the time we designate. >> would you put this in perspective for the rest of the country, why they should care about what's going on here in their community? >> well, i think they should care because like i stated before, when you have witness accounts saying an officer, sworn officer to uphold the law shot an unarmed person with their hands up as a universal sign of surrender, that is so
deeply disturbing that it will rif et around the globe. you have some of the most hardened criminals in jail right now, when they gave this sign, they were taken into custody peacefully. i think about saddam hussein and think about charles manson, when those guys did this, they've done way more stuff than being alleged to have taking zbrars from a 7-eleven. when they did this, they were taken taken into custody peacefully. all we said, when a person does this, as mr. davis described on his knees and then he shot and killed immediately after doing that, that is just not a community concern. that's not a st. louis thing. that is a nationwide problem and interest. all they want to know, the world is just curious. why did you do that? why did you do that? of all of the things for the chief to talk about and release,
could he have at least released information on the justification for why this officer would shoot a person in broad daylight? could he not have the divulged to the public like mr. parks was asked, number of shots. he had facts and information he couldn't release that we're interested in but yet he chose to talk about something to darken up this man's fast aoz posed to bringing up the things to brighten up his future. >> we also talked about the timing of the release of the video. he said he released it because the media was asking for it. what's your response to that? >> there's no explanation you can give other than that, that at a time the name was the issue, he made a decision to release it then. we're going to take a few more last questions. three last questions. only media people at this time. you can ask your question privately. >> have you seen the results of
the autopsy -- and what has it told you that you didn't know prior to seeing that including how many shots fired. >> we're not going to talk about the second autopsy we did. there will be a time for that. >> two more questions. i'll come to you. >> you say strategy, that implies a game is being played. what game is being plap played? >> i think character assassination. whatever happened in that store had nothing to do with that -- in terms of the officer's mindset and his decision to shoot michael and kill him. those two are not together. any other than that, any betrayal of him is something that's meant to be a side show and diversion from the conduct of the officer at that time. we all have to consult on the conduct of the officer at that time. that's all we have. thank you so much for coming. it was important to this family that the world know that we must remain peaceful. that we've lost mike and they
are mourning. let me say -- this has been very hard for the mother and father. i can't tell you how hard -- how distraught. overwhelming as an experience can be to a person, they are going through right now. i would home you would understand why they don't have the courage to walk out here for the convenience of whoever and whatever, right? we hope to see you at 3:00 at the jefferson memorial downtown on sunday. the family will be there and do the best to try to make it there. thank you so much for coming. >> that was michael brown's family and family's attorney speaking to the press, back with me is associate professor of public affairs the columbia university, dorian warren, the family clearly believes the release of the surveillance video was strategic, called it a distraction, diversion to deflect attention from what happened to their son. and calling repeatedly for calm.
i think there seems to be from the reporters we've talked to on the ground, a real measurable difference between what happened two nights ago and they want to tell the community, it is not time for rioting, it is about peaceful protest. let's talk about the surveillance krvideo, it is har to imagine how badly the police chief miscalculated if it is in fact that benign. >> you're going to release surveillance video and report of a robbery but nothing about the shooting. then we learn in the midst of the press conference that the officer apparently fled down a couple of days ago. someone who should be charged, right, is not even in his residence at this point. >> and that i think coupled with the injustice that was done to michael brown, the feeling that the community has no relationship with the force that
polices it and that the only things we've heard from this police chief are accusations of violence from the community, a defense of darren wilson, the officer involved in all of this and the news as you point out that he's no longer in the area. >> the police chief says himself, that the officer -- that wilson had no knowledge that he was not stopping mike brown of suspected robbery. he says that at the press conference after he releases this report and this footage of robbery. it makes no -- it's so bizarre, it's mind boggling how bizarre and incompetent this police chief and all week long how he handled this incident. >> i wonder what you think from a perspective of moving the ball forward here. what -- is this an issue where the federal government needs to play an even larger role than
just an investigation. the president has called on eric holder to launch a probe into what happened here. it seems kind of clear that the ferguson police department is not perhaps up to par in terms of looking at this clear lens. do you think there are other things that should be done to ensure that justice does take its course? >> i don't know the precise legal justification for when the federal government can intervene in this case. we do no historically it has always taken the federal government when it comes to the rights and lives of people, taken convention over local control and local police. we cannot trust usually local police to serve justice. almost always is the federal government that has to come in a play a role. >> what is also surprising -- darren wilson has a gentleman and at the same time releases a video showing michael brown to be a violent offender.
the narrative there is clearly established. and plays in -- this is -- the trayvon martin case is fresh in everybody's mind, the maligning of a young black male as an aggressor to justify the disproportionate and fatal response of the perpetrator. >> again, this is why the family came out and is asking people to remain peaceful, protest, please, but remain peaceful because everything that comes out from this police chief is infuriating even more to people in the world watching. >> i want to go to ferguson on the phone. the injustice they received, tell us about the reaction from where you are. >> it is palpable, spreading from the family to all of those supporting them. they feel the timing was
dubious, a matter as smoke and mirrors. the fact it came out this morning and no one had heard anything about this before very troublesome to them. >> this is a fluid developing situation, breaking news, thanks for hanging with me. that is all for us. live from new york, i'm michael eric dyson in for ed shultz. >> the shooting of michael brown was darren wilson. >> new facts are out. >> the allegations say he stole some type of tobacco product. >> nothing should deter figuring out how and why michael bro