tv Melissa Harris- Perry MSNBC December 6, 2014 7:00am-9:01am PST
eric garner case. but we start with breaking news from overnight. an american photojournalist who held hostage in yemen was killed by al qaeda militants. al qaeda posted a video earlier this week threatening to kill luke somers in three days. somers, a british born u.s. citizen was abducted a year ago where he worked for the yemen times. a second hostage was also killed in the rescue attempt. president obama condemned the killings as barbaric. he explained the mission in a statement, saying in part, earlier this week a video released by his terrorist captors announced luke would be killed in 72 hours. other information indicated his life was in imminent danger, based on this assessment and as soon as there was reliable intelligence, i thorsed eauthor rescue attempt yesterday. i authorized the rescue of any other hostages held in the same location as luke.
chuck hagel released a statement that said yesterday's mission is a reminder of the unrelenting commitment to the safety of our americans. i commend the troops who undertook this and the service and valor are an inspiration to all of us. this was the second failed attempt to rescue somers in two months. you can follow the story throughout the day on msnbc. right now we'll turn to news here at home. this week a grand jury in new york declined to indict the police officer involved in the choking death of eric garner in staten island. this decision came one week after the st. louis grand jury decided not to indict now former ferguson police officer darren wilson for shooting and killing michael brown. this decision comes in a week when we have learned that the police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old tamir rice on a cleveland playground just two seconds after arriving on the scene, previously was deemed unfit for duty by a neighboring
police force these deaths and the sense of injustice surrounding them will forever mark how americans remember 2014. prigt now i want to invite you to draw your focus wider and think not only about this year, but also this decade. ten years ago in january of 2004, 19-year-old timothy stansbury jr. decided to take a shortcut to his friend's birthday party. as he emerged from a stairwell. he was shot to death by a police officer patrolling the area. no indictment was issued against richard niri, the officer who shot the unarmed teen. that same year, a decade ago in 2004, the hollywood blockbuster "crash" premiered at the toronto film festival. this reported to illuminate america's ongoing racial angst byintertwine ed human stories. the key moment is when white lapd officer saves a
african-american woman from a burning car. but you see, the fictional officer ryan is no stranger to this woman he encountered her earlier in the film when he ghanded she and her husband exit the car during a traffic stop. when she refuses to comply with his demands, officer ryan sexually assaults her, under the guise of a standard patdown. and this violation of a black body by an armed officer for the sole purpose serving his power and authority is a gut wrenching scene. but the scene where the same officers saves his victim from certain death risking his life to drag her to safety wipes the slate clean of the residual evil. it restores his humanity and shows the audience that no one is all bad. crash went onto win the academy award for best picture. ten years alaska in this country, we created, consumed and applauded a cultural product that redeems rather than
punishes a white police officer who abuses and degrades a black body. according to the cbc, between 1968 and 2011, black people were between two to eight times more likely to die at the hands of law enforcement than whites. in august of 2005, less than a year after crash premiered, hurricane katrina caused a massive failure of federal levies that were supposed to protect new orleans. low lying african-american communities were hit hardest. but elected officials reacted with more concern for property than for the men, women, children and elderly trappeded in the flooded city without adequate food, water or medicine. the democratic governor, kathleen blanco was reporteded to be just furious about the lawlessness and pledged we'll do what it takes. the city's african may american mayor ordered the police force to all the rescue efforts and to
concentrating on stopping looters who had grown more aggressive. and then on december 4th while the city was still in chaos, four new orleans police officers opened fire on the bridge. two were killed. one was 17-year-old james bursett. it took nearly six years to obtain a federal sieve rights contribution of the officers, but that conviction was overturned when it was revealed that prosecuting attorneys were posting messages in the online comment section of the local paper. there is still no resolution for the families of that unarmed man and boy gunned down by police officers in the aftermath of a storm. between 2003 and 2009 the department of justice reported that 4,813 people died while in the process of arrest or in the custody of law enforcement. three years after katrina america did something extraordinary. with an unprecedented multiracial coalition that
spanned from coast to coast and broke the south, america elected an african-american democrat to be president of the united states. the next year, henry louis gates, the university professor and director for the hutchins research was arrested by cambridge massachusetts police for breaking into his own home. when the new president had the audacity to offer his opinion that arresting a tenured professor from harvard for entering his own property instituted acting stupidly, the opinion about who was victimized in this moment shifted dramatically. in the end the officer who arrested gates was invited to the white house for a beer. according to the bureau of justice dcs african-americans were twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with police. in 2011 state of georgia
executed troy davis for the murder of a police officer in 1989. he was executed over the objections of a global community of activists. executed despite the fact that serious questions remained about his guilty. even though many of the witnesses whose testimony secured his conviction had recanted. and 96% of states where there have been revuzs of raising the death penalty, there was a pattern of race of the victim or racial discrimination or both. in 2012, 17-year-old trayvon martin was shot and killed in sanford, florida, on his way home from the store. while he was carrying skittles and ice tea. it took 46 days for george zimmerman to be charged with second-degree murder for killing the unarmed teen. later that year we reelected president obama. six months after president obama's second inaugural address, george zimmerman was found not guilty. 80% of black men voters, 18 to
29 voted for president obama in 2012. and now 2014, july 17th, 2014, eric garner dies after being put in a choke hold by new york city police officers arresting him for selling untaxed loose cigarettes. no indictment. august 5, 2014. john crawford is shot to debt by police in suburban ohio walmart. he was walking around the store holding a bb gun that is sold in the store. no indictment. august 9th, 2014, michael brown is shot and killeded by ferguson police officer darren wilson, brown was unarmed. wilson initially stopped brown for jaywalking. no indictment. writing for the guardian pulitz prize winner considered the temporary deaths against a backdrop of american lynching, writing not terribly long ago in a country that in meek remember
if they knew it at all, a black person was killed in public every four days for the most mundane of infractions or rath accusation of infraction, for making boast florida remarks, for stealing 75 cents. the penalty could be an hour long spectacle. no trial, now jury, no judge, no appeal. now as a family in ferguson, missouri, buries yet another american teenager killed at the hands of authorities, the rate of police killings of black americans is nearly the same as the rate of lynchings in the early decades of the 20 century. every three or four days an african-american has been killed by a white police officer. wilkerson invites us to a world known by our grand parts. one of encoded second-class citizenship enforced by the traf of lynch law.
the world our parents changed when they marched and spoke and sat and demanded equality. a world my students an whirn were never supposed to know. this generation who cast their first ballot to realize a never fully arkansas ticklated but profound desire to experience the american state embodied in a black body. this generation was spoetzed to inherit an america, to be a nation by and for all the people. a country governeded by laws. a union in the blood of the martyred, but blooming forth with the unrealized potential for equality, the art of the moral universe was meant to be bending finally towards justice. instead, they inherited this decade. the decade of young, black bodies felled by bullets. a decade of assault on the dignity and bodies of black people that goes unrecognized and unpunished.
even as the same black bodies are held lethally accountable for the slightest infraction, the most minor crime, or even a trespass against someone else's sense of security. a decade where even in our blockbuster imagination, where we can imagine life on other planets, we cannot bring ourselves to imagine holding police accountable for their actions against black bodies. this is the decade when they have come of age and so this generation lies down in the streets in new york, in detroit, in chicago. in d.c. in ferguson. they lie down as though dez, asking, is this the only acceptable position for a young black body? is this the only future we can expect? and with their bodies stretched
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this week as we awaited the decision of a staten island grand jury in the choking death of eric garner, ferguson, missouri, was still dealing with the aftermath of the st. louis grand jury's decision in the case of aurns darren wilson. tuesday the st. louis announced they were investigating lewis head, the the slain teen of michael brown. because of what he said november 24th. he joined his wife, brown's mother, lest see mcspaden along with a group of protesters outside the ferguson police department when the decision came that they would not indict
darren wilson. as it came out, she broke down in tears and head, who you can see in the black and green shirt, after confronting his emotionally deaf stated wife turneded to the crowd with this response -- [ bleep ], [ bleep ] that night, some in ferguson committed acts of arson, vand lichlt and theft. and by the next day 12 commercial buildings in the city had been destroyed by a fire. and now st. louis county police are considering whether to charge him with inciting a riot with his comments as part of an investigation into those alleged offenses. wednesday head releaseded this statement. something came over me as i watched and listened to my wife t mother of michael brown jr., react to the gut wrenching news that the cop who killed her son
wouldn't be charged with a crime. my emotions got the best of me. this was my family, i was angry and full of raw emotions, as so many others were, and granted i screamed out words i shouldn't have screamed in the heat of the moment. it was wrong. and i humbly apologize to all of those who read my pain and anger as a true desire for what i want for my community. it wasn't. but to place blame solely on me for the conditions of our community and country after the grand jury decision goes way too far and is ang wrong as the decision itself. joining me now, the drek ter of the center for the study of first amendment issues. also a writer and actor in lyrics from lockdown. and also author of "the ugly side of beautiful: rethinking race and prisons in america." janae nelson, associate counsel for the naacp fund.
and political director for russell simmons. you're new to our table, tim. let me start with you. >> sure. is this exciting, is that moment of emotional outburst as? >> first of all, i don't think it's a good prosecution. but it would have to connect what you said to the actual burnings. in other words, there's a clear and present danger standards where if you have a group of people, let's say us, and i say go burn that thing down, that could be a crime. or hay you, kill her. that's not free speech. but there's a different line than expressing anger and emotion. i don't see a direct link. you would have to pruf it was more an incitement to do this right now. we're allowed to be angry in the country. >> when you say that, we're alloweded to be angry in the country, that's part of where i want to go. when i saw there was discussion of an indictment.
i thought to myself, maybe we're not allowed to be angry that there is some kind of civil rights rule about how you are allowed to publicly grieve the loss of your loved one, particularly if you are african-american. >> that's absolutely right, if your unarmed teenage son was murdered in the street, you would want a trial. if you were white in america you would get one. that's the state of justice in america right now. this whaling utterance of a grieving father, you know, the the idea that could be pros kus is ridiculous. i think it brings home the context in missouri. the same slave state that denieded dred scott access to his freedom, to his citizenship his humanity. black folks right to be human, to grieve and mourn the loss of our kmirn. that's the strategy of this situation. >> i thought about it some, michael, in that there are these extraordinary mostly women's but some men as well that we've seen recently who have lost their son
or their husband in these very public ways and we -- i mean, you look at sabrina fulton, the mother of trey son martin and her absolute composure. her extraordinary strength in the face of it. and we applauded. of course, we should. so then it becomes an imperative so you can't scream out, and have that anger. >> i had the pleasure to sit with mike brown's mother leslie the day after dinner when she was in new york. these are extraordinary people dealing with terrible, untrnt circumstances. where mr. head was about a ten-mile distance from where the the actually burnings happened. so the idea about the right to be angry, angry does not mean violence. for the protesters in general, there is a painting or a whitewashing of the protesters, because you are angry, therefore
you are violent. folks who looted the stores are looters. the folks who stood out there for 110 plus days from protesters exercising their first amendment rights. >> and arson and looting, while illegal and not things that i support and also counterproductive are also not necessarily violence in that they are they are violence against property, hean that does carry a legal difference, right? i mean, violence against property ought to be different than violence against bodies. >> certainly harming a human being is worse than burning down a building. >> it should be. >> it is. the penalties attached to each of those would be quite different. but there has to be some channel for this anger and rage. the picture painted of the protests focused on these abhorrent acts as opposed to the three months of peaceful and passionate protests that have
really called the nation to take a look finally at how black lives are being disregarded and abused ultimately by law enforcement. >> as i was watching him, i was remembering richard martinez. his son was killed in san diego as part of the shooting spree that occurred. i want us to listen to him for a minute to remind ourselves when we have allowed a parent to be angry like this in public. >> chris died because of irresponsible politicians and nra. they talk about gun rights. what about chris' right to live? when will this insanity stop? when will enough people say stop this madness! we don't have to live like this! too many have died. we should say to ourselves, not one more! >> i mean, there is no way not to feel the humanity of that
moment. i'm sorry. killed in santa barbara, not san diego. but that is what is human. it's not race, and so the idea that we can't allow these other families to feel that -- we're going to talk more about the question of speech in one second. but i want everybody to hang on. before we go to break, there's an update on the news from overnight. another kind of killing. the killing of an american hostage by al qaeda militants bu during an attempted rescue mission. let's go to the white house north lawn where kristen welker has details. kristen? >> melissa, just moments ago i spoke with senior administration officials who gave me all of the details of this failed rescue attempt. they tell me that when aqap, that terrorist organization released a video on thursday of luke somers, threatening to execute him in three days, u.s. officials say with the help of that video and other credible intelligence they assessed somers would be killed today. that set in meetings about how
to rescue them. the the president did have credible intelligence about where luke somers was and again that aqap would execute him on saturday if he wasn't rescued. so on friday president obama approveded the mission to try to rescue luke somers and any other hostages who may have been held with him. i'm told the time line specifically was late afternoon or early evening east coast time on friday. senior administration officials telling me approximately 40 u.s. special forces went to an area described as a remote area of the government. that is in central yemen. once those u.s. special forces got on the ground, a firefight ensued with a terrorists there. senior administration official telling me that one of those terrorists ran into the compound where it is believed that the hostages were being held and the administration officials think at that point the hostages were
exkuded. want to make it very clear, melissa, they didn't die at the the scene. when i asked how they were executed, they wouldn't tell me specifically. they didn't wave me off of the reports that the hostages were shot. both were treated and evacuated. one of the hostages did die. the second hostage, which we believe is luke somers died on the navy ship where they were evacuated. i'm also told no civilians at this point in time, this is an early assessment, no civilians were killed but several terrorists were killed in that attempt to rescue luke somers. one government official telling me the entire u.s. government is mourning today. that this was a whole of government effort, a hort and soul efrt to try to bring luke somers hope. they're devastated it couldn't happen. >> certainly our hearts go out to those families. thank you to nbc's kristen
welker at the white house. up next, from this to this to this. ♪ mmm mmm mmm mm mmm mm mmmmmm here we go, here we go, here we go. ♪ fifty omaha set hut ♪ losing feeling in my toes ♪ ♪ nothing beats that new car smell ♪ ♪ chicken parm you taste so good ♪ ♪ nationwide is on your side ♪ mmm mmm mmm mm mmm mm mmmmmm
that's not just paint on the wall. they're a part of society. they have emotions. they have concerns and feels about what's taking place in and around the environments. >> that was olympic medalist jan carlos speaking on "all in". we're feeling it and seeing it emerge in these pop culture places where now we have these athletes, the sat lout. louis r hands up in the sense of solidarity. what is the value in this larger narrative that we're having? >> as a big fan of sports, i have it in my office. i think it was an amazing moment for the country. these folks that really put
their careers on the line for the st. louis rams to put their hands up, it was 100 plus days after michael brown was killed. never too late. i think it meant a lot to the community in ferguson. we're not just going o enjoy athletes on saturday and sunday and tell them to shut up on monday. it's important for them to have a voice. if they feel strongly about something, you may disagree, but let them speak. >> so i was thinking about this, because it feels like we are often asked, and by we, i mean activists or people invested in the moment like us. let the system work. so i can remember in the context of the trayvon martin and george zimmerman situation, we're not even asking for guilt. we're asking for an arrest. shouldn't a person be arrested when an unarmed child was shot. in this case, just get an indictment. no longer even asking for a guilty verdict. and that is almost more that,
that sense that there is no system that can work for us. >> right. >> they reporteded every 28 hours a black person is killed by a police officer, security guard or vigilante in this country. so that's a context we're living in now. we have a time honored condition. from paul robinson to lebron james of our athletes standing up. this is something we should support, celebrate and ask the other teams in the nba to follow suit. that's a challenge we should put out to them. where are you on this? the stands the rams took is the right stand. we should applaud them and celebrate their courage for doing that. >> so that raises sort of a question for me then about free speech, relative to employment status. the nfl has stood behind the players because they don't apologize to anybody. >> right. >> so we are not allowed to just say anything we want. we're not allowed to weet anything we want.
i am wondering about where your employment status bumped up against your spree speech. >> some of the gresest in the country is by employers and not the government. you're employer can have much more control on what you say or don't say. >> you can't be arrested, be u yo can be fired. >> which is moralistic. so the real speech code in the country is set more by employers, and often it's more oppressive than anything the government does. it's often employers. >> so when we come to that then, i guess part of what i want us to start thinking about in this context of speech and how we're going to use our voices because i keep hearing from friends, from family, from activists, i just feel so powerless, and so what people can do is to tweet or cry out or to speak. but part of what i'm wondering is how do we move away from feeling powerless to feeling like there's something we can do about what feels like again, a decade -- a century of
injustice. >> absolutely. i think making sure that we keep this issue on the front burner, that we keep this matter in the public eye is special. that's the only way we're going to get systemic and structural and transformative change out of these tragic incidents. and it's true that we have these opportunities, and i love that these sports athletes have used their platform to do this. back in 1968 when kommy smith and juan carlos raised their fists, this was connected to a broader movement. and we have always connecteded this issue to both civil rights and human rights, so we have an opportunity to really bing bring this to a broader platform. we need to use the first amendment rights to do that. >> putting their hands up is linkeded to that broader movement. we're going to stay on the the issue of speech. this was a moment.
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on monday the supreme court heard arguments in a landmark case that for the the first time asked the court to considered online threats and whether those threats institute speech that is protected by the first amendment. at the center of the case are threats posted to facebook in the form of rap lyrics. a pennsylvania man went by his rap name tone dougie. they were lengthy, violent screams, most of which were detailed fantasies about brutally hurting or killing his ex-wife. he was charged under a federal law that makes it a crime to use interstate communications to threaten or injury someone. but he insists his lyrics were not innocent to be taken seriously. during arguments, the chief jus stis john roberts pushed the lawyer for the government to clarify the circumstances in which threatening rap lyrics could be prosecuted by
temporarily turning himself into a hip hop emcee and citing some of the lyrics in which eminem threatens to kill his wife. what about these pages? "dada make a nice bed for mommy at the bottom of the lake, tie a rope around a rock." this is during the context of a domestic dispute between a husband and a wife. "there goes mama splashing in the water, no more fighting with dad" all that stuff. >> the decision in the case is not expecteded until january or february at the earliest. tharng god he is now worse than me trying to do kara swan's black cop on air, which was a low point in my life. but, in both this case and in the trial in san diego in which is a rapper is on trial for not actually doing anything but for
making an album. and the charge is because he made the album, he's benefitting from gang activity, of all the things that are causing social chaos, are we focusing on the wrong thing here? >> yes. yes. i mean the ku klux klan is calling for vengeance against everyone that supports them. >> where? is. >> in ferguson. record recruitment want rates in ferguson right now for the ku klux klan. . record gun sales at the same time. in that context, it's a little bit absurd. for an artist who fought censorship myself. my book being banneded in prisons. i'm inclined to come to bat for artists. i also feels like this speaks to me of black face -- this white pseudo rapper trying to defend his sexist attacks of a woman, using his performance of black culture, that disturbs me.
eminem called himself the worst thing since elvis. the history comes to mind for me here. >> so you just did something like on the tv that was representative of this thing that we're talking about. you used the "n" word in it's full n-i-g-g-e-r word. i have no idea whether or not we're allowed to do that. but i -- i jumped back a little bit in part because i do think about this question of the ways in which we self sensor or sensor around, right? and so, like, you're doing that in part as adds the shock vol to demonstrate what it's like to hear that. and i'm responding to it like, whoa, now i'm having feelings having hard that word on a saturday morning. that's what i'm wondering about what it is we think the problem is. is the problem is the word exists and can deployed into the world by the clan, or is the problem that hip-hop somehow makes the word acceptable to
use? >> i don't think hip hop has made it more acceptable to use. people have had a long history of misunderstanding hip-hop. i'm probably not the one to speak about it. the interesting thing in the case you brought up is whether when people say or use hip-hop lyrics, whether they really mean them or it's just lyrical 6789 an that's actually a hard question. of all the cases, the eminem case is the hardest. he made direct threats to his wife. it is and should be a crime to actually intend to send someone an incredibly threatening letter. it's close to -- it's so close to the borderline that that's a true threat. >> and we've talked with on this show about the kinds of threats that come particularly to women through social media. so part of me as a woman gets those threats and says, yes, we have to talk about whether this is legal. and on the other hand, i feel
like we're e looking at the wrong space for what is terrorizing communities. >> certainly, any threat towards women should be investigated and looked at and taken very seriously. this man has made many threats. but when talking about free speech and going back to the st. louis rams. the spokesperson for the police association in st. louis is attacking them and saying the nfl must criticize them when the state should be protecting free speech. whether you like it or not. in san diego, we have a history of attacking hip hop and free speech from two live crew onto today when his laws about gang afalluation because his album, he talks about being in the gang. and he was photographed with gang members, taking conspiracy to a whole different level, and we're saying you are associated or using a hip-hop lyric, entherefore we should stop your speech or charge you with a crime. >> conspiracy is already misused. . this case is going another level. and criminal law should really
focus on when there's actual violence or harm. and like the situations with police officers are killing people. instead the situations with people being arrested or indicted because they might be danger ouz before they have done anything. the priorities are backward. >> and it's exactly that distinction. here's a father they're talking about indicting for his sadness and grief. here's a rapper who has been indicted for making songs, but then here are police officers who we know have taken the lives of unarmed men and boys who are not being indicted. that is the thing that makes it feel so painful. >> that's right. we have to look at these laws that are premiseded upon this presumption of criminality among black folks in particular. this is not just a one off. this is really engrajed in our legal culture. there's no reason that three-strikes laws came out in the way it did with the impact on african-americans. the crack-cocaine distinction
and the impact it had on communities of colors and these types of laws that criminalize affiliation with gangs in this way. certainly no one is suggesting that we want to protect that sort of activity or that the lyrics and words that came out of this young man's mouth were not entirely problematic. but this is the wrong focus here. and we need to stop thinking about this as a hip-hop issue. many other generas of music have problematic lyrics. >> it goes to your point about which bodies. thank you for shaking it up this morning. and also to janea nelson. up next president obama weighs in. ] the wish we wish above all...is health. so we quit selling cigarettes in our cvs pharmacies. expanded minuteclinic, for walk-in medical care. and created programs that encourage people to take their medications regularly.
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♪ come in and use your starbucks gift card any day through january 5th for a chance to win starbucks for life. on monday president obama announceded a new task force that he said will recommend concrete ways to build trust between the police and the communities they serve. he also said his administration
will improve oversight of the program that provides law call police departments with excess military equipment, and he proposeded $75 million in new federal funding for police body cameras. also on monday the president met with eight young activists who are on the forefront of the racial justice movement. >> one of the most powerful things that happened today was i had the opportunity to meet with some young people. what made me concerned was the degree to which they feel as if they are not heard or the reality of what they experienced has been denied. what made me greatly encouraged is how clear the voices were when they were i heard and how constructive they are in wanting to solve these problems, and i think anybody who had a chance to listen to them here today felt the say way. >> we'll get to hear more exactly of what those young activists had to say to the president of the united states when two of them join us live
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joining me now, two of the activists who met with president obama this week to tell him what they think about the state of policing in this country. phillip is the executive director of the dream defenders, an organization created in the aftermath of the killing of trayvon martin. ashley yates a cocreator of a grass roots organization based in ferguson, missouri, so i was thrilled to discover that both of you were at the white house. but i know you have been critical, even of the invite. so let me start with you. in a recent piece you said that we recognize that the white house had more to gain from this meeting than we did. tell me what you mean by that. >> you know, it's been over 100 days since mike brown was murdered, and the president hasn't found his way to ferguson. so as we know that this meeting was earned by unrest every single day by an up rising of people from around the country,
we knew that the pr machine from the white house was a little bit stronger than ours and the visual the president needed with organizers and activists from around the country, supports the notion of a dialogue that's going on, when in actuality for years and decades and certainly months and weeks, our voices have gone unheard at all levels of government. we know things are happening at the top level of government and it trickles down eventually. progress takes time. progress is slow. but quite frankly, this meeting is long overdue. >> so let me do two things. you used the language of murder. i know you're claiming an ethical and moral position here. i just have to as the host of the show say murder is a legal destination. and of course, we didn't get an indictment, right? so we have a killing. that said, this is precise pli what you mean when you say your voices haven't been heard. and there's part of me that thinks your voices are the most
powerful thing emerging from this in the sense that it is the activism of young people that has shifted our focus. so when you did get a moment, a hearing with the president, what did you say to him? >> well, we had a frank conversation, and we told him, you know, the reality that we live as young black people in america, that's very hard for certain people to understand, of a class stature, certain people of certain age to understand, and definitely the president who is very far removed. he's isolated because he's the president. so we brought the reality of what we live day-to-day. the street harassment we incur from the police. the way the police interact in the communities. the way in which they speak to people. el definitely we talked about the ticketing system and how you're taken and taken until you have a warrant and then you're taken in and jailed for minor and petty offenses. >> parking tickets. >> parking tickets, it's like our subway system. you can be jailed for that. we brought that reality to him and really painted a portrait of
what it's like to live in this country. >> it's so interesting for you to hear -- for me to hear you say the president is removed. he was working on the south dakota -- south side of chicago. he was thought of that as central of his identity. did any of that, the the sort of young obama, the before he was president obama, did any of that emerge in the way he talked with you all? >>. >> he definitely spoke to us from a perm place, as a formal organizer. let let us know the struggles that we're going to run into. some we have already ran into. the hurdles we need to overcome. he encouraged us to take it gradually and not be discouraged. >> defeat is part of it. >> exactly. he spoke from that place and let us know he is still a black man in america. that's wh we wanteded to remind him of. we are his family in that regard. and that he needs to also be
president of black america as well. >> and one thing he actually said is he's also a father pof two daughters that are going to a live in america after he is president. so what are we building towards? what is the nation that his daughters are going to raise up and be reared up and raise children in? >> so that was the big thing we talked about with the president. look, we find common cause with you. i'm from west englewood, chicago. those streets. my parents lived around the corner from you in hyde park and saw your flyers. things happen slowly in washington but quickly on the grounds. just in hours while ashley and i are here, there's going two be a lot going on on the ground. things shift dramatically. >> two seconds after the police arrived on that cleveland playground there is a child that is dead. that's right. stick with us. i know you're going to hang out with us for a little bit more. thank you for being here. i hope you will come back to nerd land and con to have your voice heard. maya wylie is counsel to the new
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good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. we have a lot to get to in this hour. but we begin with breaking news from overnight. u.s. officials say al qaeda militants killed an american hostage and a second captive during a rescue attempt by u.s. commandos in yemen. this was the second failed attempt in two monthses s tto american journalist luke somers who was abducted last year. militants threatened to somers by the end of the week unless the u.s. met their demands. joining us now is white house correspondent kristen welker. kristen, what is the latest you have on that faileded rescue
effort? >> reporter: good morning. i spoke with senior administration officials a short time ago. they say they believe based on the video released by that terrorist group and intelligence that somers would be executed today on saturday if the administration didn't try to rescue him. so after a series of meetings, high level meetings after the secondary of defense signed off on a rescue plan. and after the administration was confident they had the accurate intelligence to know specifically where luke somers was, president obama gave the green light for that rescue mission on friday. now i am told the rescue actually took place late afternoon, early evening on friday. about 40 u.s. special forces went to an area in central yemen. it is a remote area in central yemen. i should say. they went to a cam pound where hosz tajs were being held. once special forces arrived, a fire fight ensued.
an official tells me one of those terrorists ran into a compound where the hostages were being held. it is believed at that point in time, the hostages were attempted to be rescued. i mean, to be executed. neither of them actually died inside that compound. when i asked specifically how they were executed, this official wouldn't tell me, but also wouldn't wave me off of reports that the two hostages were shot. at that point in time, medics, u.s. special forces tried to evacuate the hostages. it was luke somers as well as a south african hostage. one died while being evacuated and the second hostage died on a navy ship after they had been evacuated. bottom line, they didn't die at the scene. they died afterwards. u.s. government telling me at this point it doesn't appear as though any civilians were killed and several terrorists were killed. they're still trying to assess the situation on the ground. they tell me this was a whole of government effort to rescue the
hostages and they say that everyone here is heartbroken this morning. melissa? >> thank you to nbc's kristen welker at the white house. we'll have more on this story throughout the day here on msnbc. we turn now to the continuing protests here at home. for a third straight night protesters in new york and other cities across the country took to the streets last night to protest the decision by a staten island grand jury not to indict new york police officer in the choking death of eric garner. for many, the outcome was especially troubling in the wake of the grand jury decision in missouri. you see, that grand jury refusal to indict aurns darren wilson was complicated by conflicting witness testimony. with no camera to catch what happened, officer wilson's four hours of testimony without cross-examination was the only direct account of the fatal encounter heard by jurors. after the decision many wondered if things would be different if there were video of the struggle
l or shooting. if he were wearing a body cameras, at least we would have one more witness to tooechbts. the camera. despite the sense of frustration and helplessness that so many felt after that grand jury decision, the reremained hope of a policy that could make things different. we have heard from activists, organizers for michael brown's parents and even from president obama and advocacy for police body cameras. just this week the white house announced plans to spend $75 million, to make body cams ra available to police departments across the country. in wake of ferguson, it felt like at least a step in the right direction, until wednesday, when the staten island grand jury revealed its decision because this time we did have the video. wre did see the police officer after attempting to arrest him for selling untaxed cigarettes. we did hear garner repeatedly say i can't breathe. yet the outcome was the same as it was in missouri.
no indictment. what is different and maybe encouraging is the reaction of city officials. this time officials in new york seems to be focused on cracking down on mistrust between police and the communities they serve. one day after the garner decision, new york mayor bill de blasio outlined a series of planned changes. including strategies to get suspects to comply without the use of force and exposing officers to the realities of the communities they're asked to patrol. he spoke not only as a mayor. but father of a son who shares a unique vulnerability to racialized policing and with the understanding that this has deep roots in american history. >> people of all backgrounds utter the same basic phrase. they said black lives matter. and they said it because they have to be said.
it's a phrase that should never be said. it should be self evident. but our history, sadly, requires us to say that black lives matter. as i said the other day, we're not dealing with a problem in 2014. and we're not dealing with years of racism dealing with it or decades. that is how profound the crisis is. >> with me now. a former new york city police officer now with john jay coverage. and also a former new york city police officer. and maya wylie, counsel to mayor bill de blasio. you were a regular many times on the show before being in this role in the de blasio administration. clearly this mayor is responding very differently than we saw with governor nixon or the ferguson officials, but let me ask, is it enough to talk about retraining police officers? >> first let me say that i think
the entire administration has been deeply disturbed by the video. our harpearts go out to the fam of eric garner and michael brown. our first answer is miles to go before we sleep. we see this as a critical first step. and certainly one of the things we have to do to ensure the safety of the public is good, strong, constitutional policing. that's the way the police department is approaching it. the commitment that they came out with very shortly after eric garner's death, which was to commit to 35,000 people being retrained. the new york city police department is the largest in the country, but it's the largest by a very big margin. this is a huge department. it's everyone from the top down. it's not just that the patrol police themselves will
retrained. management has to be retrained to support the shift happening within the the department. so it's not the only thing that we're doing. >> so the officer not indicted, who was involved in the case, we're now seeing reports that he was -- there were cases brought against him. previously for actions of aggressiveness. previous aggressiveness. part of what i'm wondering is, was there an accountability set of missteps or that people knew but simply didn't care that he was back in the community. >> i can't speak to that because i don't have knowledge of it. there is a process under way now within the police department to look at his actions and evaluate whether or not there should be disciplinary action taken against him. as you know, one of the other things that happened in new york that was different from ferguson -- >> many things. >> was that immediately he was off the streets and without a gun.
and so i think that it was an important signal to the community that we take very seriously. both the desires to protect the rights of officers to be heard. there has to be due process, but we will protect the public and the public trust at the same time. >> so let me ask this. so, this officer who is again, not been indicted but there's at least several cases here. he said in his own statement abecame a police officer to help them and help those who can't protect themselves. this is what he's saying about what he want a police officer. i'm left with the question when i look at these acts of overaggression, is the problem that we recruit people who are likely to behave in this way? is the problem that we train people in ways that allow this? or is it that over time there is kind of a residual process of coming to dislike the very communities? >> i'm sure you don't become a police officer to arrest people
for selling loose cigarettes. that's a leadership issue and goes beyond the city. the police are being over assertive. it's a conversation way too heavily weighed in at the bottom. not the top. >> it's an interesting point. he's incentivized. >> we can talk about all of it. leadership, administration and training failures from the very top of the organization. >> so even as we -- so this is an interesting to me. as we start thinking about -- so where the uz the problem rest, it may be easiest to go to the one bad al apple. if there are incentives -- so here is mayor de blasio saying things need to change. and the the police union immediately says you threw us under the bus. we were reporting many minneapolis about a mayor trying to make changes. her police union coming after her. and i'm thinking, so who has the credibility to make change from the top? >> well, i agree with eugene. i think we have to examine the
top, and we have technology. yes, training is fine. training is important. training is necessary. technology is fine, important and necessary. the conversation is fine, important and necessary. but there needs to be a significant mindset. there needs to be a shift in the mind set and mentality. part of that shift requires that we deal forthrightly with race. until we get to the point that we can deal honestly and openly and forthrightly with race, we will always get to the same position. because you cannot train out racist mentalities. you can affect a person's behavior, but not their mindset. so we're really talking about significant shifts in behavior. behavioral modification as opposed to just training. >> but i want to play this and then have you respond. i want to listen to mayor de blasio saying something about race we have very rarely heard.
particularly from a white elected official, quite honestly. >> we have had to talk to dante for years a about the dangers he may face. good young man, law-abiding young man who would never think to do anything wrong. and because of a history that still hangs over us, the dangers he may face, we've had to literally train him as families have all over this city for decades. in how to take special care in any encounter he has with the police officers who are there to protect him. >> so i think this is one of the key differences that the community should be hopeful about what's happening in new york city today. we are willing to talk about race and confront the fact that there are issues we must confront as a kmunlt, as an administration. let me go back to the question of what this means in terms of making change. i absolutely agree obviously
that we want to change hearts as well as minds. but when it comes to policing, the thing is, it is critically important to change behavior. i think that one of the important steps that we've taken as administration, one of the first things the mayor did when he came to office was actually to end to the stop and frisk policy. the reason it's so critical is we have seen a dramatic decline, literally over70% decline in therefore in those stops. when the stops happened to his point about loose cigarettes, when we are able to intervene, have more options per summonses or for reducing the stops nor the first place, that's where we actually see dramatic change. and this is a national issue, obviously not just an issue for new york city. but one of the things that we're so proud of, is not only that, but already in just two weeks have seen a dramatic drop in low level marijuana fence stops. >> and there's more we can do on when we issue summonses.
the more we reduce the contact between the police and the community that don't need to happen. >> right. stick around here. i have more questions about who it is exactly that needs to be trained thank you so much for being here and speaking to the key differences that are happening and still the the pain and ang wish here in the city of new york. more when we come back. is america's largest and most reliable 4g lte network: verizon. with xlte, our 4g lte bandwidth has doubled in over 400 cities. and now, save without settling. get 2 lines with 10gb of data for just $110... ...or 4 lines for just $140. and get a $150 bill credit for each smartphone you switch. only on verizon.
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the officer says he told that driver to this show his hands, but brisban stuck them into his waistband. according to a police spokesman, the officer drew his gun and he ran towards nearby apartments. when the officer caught up he says there was a struggle and that's when the officer believed he felt the handle of a gun while holding the suspect's hand in his pocket. if yet to be identified officer fired two shots, killing brisban. in his pocket, a bottle of pill ls. back at the table, phil lib lip agnew. and the president of the center of mr.sing equity. so here's my question to the former police officers, if you resist, and what would count as resisting? are all bets off? is a police officer allowed if you say, as eric garner did, hey, stop messing with me? i really want to know where the line is here. >> i'm hearing people say training, training. i get it. they think it's not significant.
it's a very significant issue. it have cops are left to their own devices here. so they're going into the situations and not able to read that probably a gentle giant, mr. garner. once here's on the ground, he's not able to move at all. just a little bit of training would direct you. you can't cover everything you can do certainly more than we're doing. tla days is wonderful to get a little bit of hands-on training. i don't think it's a punt. i think it's a significant issue. you don't know what to do. >> so i guess that leaves me then, to question whether or not it's about not knowing or not caring. so when this large african-american man is saying i can't breathe and they're just like well, and walking away. i guess i'm wondering do they simply not believe that it is possible for a black man's body to be incapable of getting air. you can breathe, man.
whatever. >> when you fail to recognize the humanity then you get individuals that will see somebody walk around them and just kick rocks. something very important in the scene of eric garner. the extended version of the video where you saw mr. garner obviously unconscious and several police officers in the area. you had black and latino. most poignantly, there was a black female sergeant, a supervisor, right in the background. she was also kicking rocks. so i think when people have the discussion about ethnicity and changing the color of the police department, you can't change just the the color of complexion without the behavior
modification if not, relate the story with what dr. king said to him. like sending moi peop ining my burng house. it needs restructured and rebuilt from the bottom up. >> and this is what you do. how do you start making those changes? >> well, you start with the voices of the community mattering. because, you know, policing in a municipal sense. the fs very difficult to set up in the first place. because the people that got set up in the uk said we don't want armed people inside of where they live. that's the military. so number seven, and the most important one. the public are the police and the police are the public. and when we get away from that, we get away from the things that differentiate between law enforcement and occupying military. so we start there and then we work back to the policies where they can recognize humanity first and deal with coercion second, third and fourth down the line.
>> stick with me. i have to take a break. i need to ask them about going back to mayor de blasio talking about training police but also to train his own son about how to engage. i want to talk about what it means to be young and black and facing the police when we come back. there are a million moving parts to keep track of. and almost as many expenses. receiptmatch with quickbooks lets you sync your business expenses. just snap your business card receipts with your smartphone, tag, and transfer to intuit quickbooks. only with business cards from american express open. i'm john kaplan, and i'm a member of a synchronized world. this is what membership is. this is what membership does. this is what membership is. this is the equivalent of the and this is one soda a day over an average adult lifetime. but there's a better choice. drink more brita water. clean, refreshing, brita.
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okay, we're back and continuing to talk about the aftermath of the grand jury decision in the eric garner case in new york. we heard mayor de blasio say what was extraordinary that he himself has had to train his son despite the fact that these officers now work for him in the context o f being mayor. that's part of what i want to ask them. as we're talking about the changes for police, what it means to be trying to keep yourself safe as a young person of color. >> we ran a session on monday where a mother had to have the talk with her son about how to interact with the police. i'm going to speak personally.
i have never felt safe around police. lights behind me while i'm driving never presented a soothing feeling for me. i think we're in an interesting time. what was once invisible is very invisible around the country that black people, brown people, poor people do not feel safe around police officers. and so i don't think that we can go on without having this conversation with our children and our young people, but the conversation needs to happen with our police officers. quite frankly. and we've talked about training and policy things that we can do. but we need a cultural shift. if every day, and i've talked about this before, if every day as a human being, let alone a police officer, at the top of the hour is administering black face, on cops as a black man being dragged out no amount of training will you black out is
going to prevent that privilege fr prejudice from seeping in. think we need conversations that need to happen to keep us from daying in the hundreds and thousands every year. >> so it's so interesting when you say this about never feeling safe. one of the things that i do because i get sometimes credible physical threats or death threats is when i go to give public lectures, there's almost always a uniformed police officer, someone who i do not know, who nonetheless is putting themselves potentially at risk for me, standing with me, walking around a city with me that i don't know. and honestly those guys make me feel safe. that have guy in that moment comes, miss perry, and we talk, and and so every time i'm having this conversation i pause and be like, is there something going on in the world that they are encountering, and in the workplace that they are encountering that is turning young men and young women who have come to do good to doing bad. >> and the morale is set before you engage them.
>> that's right. there's a front loading of safety, but when i call a police officer about something going on in my community, those parameters are not set, and the empirical evidence that i have is that a police officer is going to judge me first as the criminal. and that guns and there's two americas here. right? >> right. and i'm talking about one of great privilege in that moment. >> i don't need to validate that point at all. i just want to second that and then add another layer to that. as i was a police officer in the police department, there was that concern that you mentioned, phil. so it's that real. when i'm in the agency itself, in the capacity that i have some concern at different situations my fear was greater because i carried a weapon at that point, as you can imagine what was going on. so you multiply the level on the
street, multiply my anguish. and that's what needs to be shown. >> and talking about modifying situations and not deinvolving the situation into one about character. i say this when i'm lecturing. do you know someone you think of is a lieer? yes. do they lie all the time? we would call them the opposite truth teller and they would be the most reliable person they ever met. they lie when they think they can get away with it, they're motivated to or the punishment is relatively low. you know who else lies? everybody. situations are more powerful. and it can create the situations where humanity can become the first thing that people encounter. >> and i'm sitting here thinking, maya says 35,000 people work for the police department. it cannot be a mass layoff. right? so there's got -- if we're going to have some sort of solution that includes police as our
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as the nation reacts to grand jury decisions in both michael brown and eric garner cases, the most gut wrenching moments are those revealing the pain felt by their families who lost a loved one. their beloved taken from them, and then compounded by the news that the officers who responded will not face criminal charges. that experience along with the public and media scrutiny that accompanied it have become far too common. but few can truly comprehend. one woman who can't understand is nicole paltry bell. she's the fiance of the late sean bell. he was 23 years old and unarmed in 2006 when he was fired on 50 times by new york city police officers while leaving a queens nightclub the night before his
wedding. though the officers responsible for bell's death were indicted by a grand jury, they were eventually e quitted on all charges. since john's death, nicole has become an activist, speaking out against excessive use of force by police and she's the founder and president of when it's real it's forever. and advocacy group that combats police brutality and civil rights abuses. what do you know these families are going through right now? >> i have to say after eight years of being vocal about these tragedies, i can say i'm stronger than i was eight years ago. but when you turn on the news and i did a phone call that there's another family that is going through what we wept through this en, after all the the fights and the marches and protests i know that these families will never be the same.
and we've said it over and over time after time again. my daughters are growing up with t without sean. nothing can ever, ever fill those shoes. >> what the you tell your daughters about the police? >> we watched the decision of michael brown no indictment. and my daughter was see disappointed. not knowing what to think. she's at a age in middle school which is a crucial age. she knows that the police officers killed her dad. she knows not all police officers are bad. but at the same time, they're the only ones who can kill an innocent person and walk away from it and not be held criminally accountable. and that's the only thing the families want. no one is asking for the death penalty. we're asking for fair treatment. >> particularly the folks who are -- my daughter is 12, and similarly, i'm struggling with how do you help them feel like they're safe to walk through the
world, but also be honest about the nature of these injustices, and i guess it's been eight years. are you to be an activist, you have to still have hope. do you have hope still in this moment? >> i do have hope. i feel every day we're facing change. the world is outraged as you turn on the news. everywhere you look the countries are marching. and it's -- if you look in the crowd, everyone is not black. this is not just a black issue. this is a human issue. and too many times we're seeing our men, husbands, sons, uncles, relatives being killed. no one is being held accountable. it's unfair. it's time for the federal government to come in, and the justice department. under obama's administration. we need reform that will help these families, our families get justice. and to stop this whole, you know, everyone is a thug, everyone is a criminal mentality. that's not the case.
>> i can remember after sean's death there was an attempt to paint him as something other than who and what he is. i want to play for you, and this is tough, but this is a 2012 interview with one of the officers who fired on sean that night. i just want to play a moment. it feels like it connects back to what happened today. >> as norah says, he does feel for the loss of the bell family suffered but insists he's not at fault. >> i'm not looking back. >> no apologies? no regrets? >> i came to grips with what i did. >> what is it -- i think that's part of what we heard from officer wilson as well. he said he was doing his job, he was following his training. in addition to the the legal piece, what does it mean to not get the recognition of a sincere apology or something. or does that even matter at a certain point? >> it's like a script that they
read after an ininnocent person loses their lives. you ruin the family, and regardless if you were held accountable, you killed someone. and in america when you kill someone, you go to jail. and at least there's a trial that will lead up to that in. in our case we did have a trial. in 2006 there was a mention about the fourth man that mysteriously disappeared. then they came out and said, oh, no, it was our fault. there was no fourth man. we few that. this is a part of the smoke screen they put up to deter and distract everyone who is watching. and it's completely insensitive. you know, my daughters have to grow up without their father. you don't have any apologies. these mothers have to go on without their children. and it's unacceptable. and i will never be able to accept these things that shouldn't be allowed to continue to go on. these families need justice,
accountability, criminally. >> nicole, you had to go from being a bride to an activist overnight. i can't imagine having to make that transition, but you have done so so beautifully over these years, and i hope some day we're sitting here and talking about how many long, long years it's been since anything like this happened. thank you so much for being here. up next, the latest on the shooting of 12-year-old tamir rice in cleveland. how much money do you have in your pocket right now? i have $40, $21. could something that small make an impact on something as big as your retirement? i don't think so.
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attention over police killing with unarmed men and boys. he quickly became a symbol, a media story, a talking point. but more than 100 friends and family gathered wednesday to recall tamir, the 12-year-old child who enjoyed drawing, loved basketball and was sweet on a girl in his class. one of his teachers spoke about him at the service. >> tamir enjoyed life. it just exuded from his very being. he loved to joke around and compete against other students. tamir consistently came to school every single day. he didn't miss a day. >> just as we were learning more about who tamir was, we also learned a lot about the police officer who shot him. 26-year-old timothy loehmann, a
personnel file released to the public showed he resigned from his previous job as an officer in the cleveland suburb of independence after being deemed unfit for duty and, quote, distracted, weeping and unable to communicate clear thoughts at firearms training. the deputy chief also wrote on november 29th, 2012, due to this dangerous life of composure during live range training and inability to manage personal stress, i do not believe patrolman loehmann shows the maturity need to work in our employment. i do not believe time or training will be able to correct or change the deficiencies. five days later loehmann resigned. he joined the cleveland police force this last spring. back at the table, eugene o'donnell. phillip agnew. now an essay for parade magazine
and syndicateded columnist. what is going on in cleveland? why is the circumstance so mad? >> well, as you know, melissa, on the heels of this funeral for this 12-year-old boy, i can't say that enough, a 12-year-old boy with no weapon, he had a pellet gun, the justice department came out. eric holder announced the findings of an almost two-year investigation, and it is damning as a report can be about police brutality, about police shooting when they shouldn't be, about them retaliating after they handcuffed people because they lipped off to them, and so they use tasers on them, and they kicked them and they used the butt of their guns to hit them. so this is as i said from my police at politico that ran yesterday, if that investigation had been ape nounnounced the da before tamir rice had been ka killed, i can't help but wonder. >> exactly when you said that, i'm thinking the garner decision
is harder to take in some ways and in some ways that tamir rice, the most horrifying is that these 12 years old and unarmed. also to know the the doj was in there, was investigating. we all keep thinking maybe this is our solution to this problem. >> well, i think the the doj report is this. we have a window in time where everyone is now watching. and i mean, i can't tell you how happy i am that you're doing a segment on this. that means the nation is watching. this is an opportunity that we have to exploit to the fullest. it has been an ongoing problem. clearly the police did not anticipate this report coming out in the way it did. why would they continue in this conduct. when you look at that video. it is haunting. he had two seconds. >> they zoom up within feet of him and he is on the ground. and when you watch it, thank god for the video. it countered the description given initially by police.
>> let me turn to gino here. can any officer assess any situation reasonably in two seconds? >> if you have an honest belief that your life is at risk. this is a training issue. you're not automatically shoot people. you're supposed to make an assessment. he deserves a lot of credit for the panel. he may not be liked at this table. but doj goes into these departments and find out the most basic things are not happening. maybe we don't just take these departments over after people get killed. maybe with the president's initiative we can have every chief in america take a look and say, are our use of force policies right? are we putting human dignity at the center of what we're doing? chief ram see, who is very respected by cops, the president deserves a lot of credit for picking chief ramse y. >> i have a lot of critiques of ramsey. >> also supports mi--
>> the person i would put at the top would be very different than someone who does have the respect of officers. is that a reasonable argument? >> i think regardless of who is going to head this task force, it's important for the task force to be as comprehensive and as wide as possible. and quite frankly, part of widening that you need to collect data, you need to collect data in a different way that's normally being done. i think the work that phil has been doing with center for police inequity is vital. you can't fix it if you can't define it, calculate it, and point towards the data. we're there. that's where we are right now. as far as the heads and who is in charge of the committee themselves, the task force itself, i don't think it will have a lot of baring. what should happen is a revolutionary transformation. >> yep. >> i'm hopeful in regards to the the task force because the
president said it's a short time frame for. i want input. i want results in a short period or time frame. once again, we got to get back to modifying the behavior. and that has to be, not only do you get the carrot but the stick. when you start applying the stick, behaviors get modified, even in police departments. >> i only have 30 seconds, but i have to ask you this. do you think this story of tamir rice ends differently than the ones for eric garner and michael brown? do you think we will see some sort of justice? >> i think some of that is going to depend on the community of the cleveland, and i mean including the suburbs of cleveland. including white residents of cleveland, standing together and insisting differently. they have to feel an enduring sense of pressure. >> thank you to kane schultz in cleveland, ohio. but also thank you to phillip ag ag ag
agnew. i didn't get back to you guys. i have so much more i want to talk to you about. but up next we have to lighten the mood a little bit. if you stay with me, you are going to finally leave this show with a smile. rescued. protected. given new hope. during the subaru "share the love" event, subaru owners feel it, too. because when you take home a new subaru, we donate 250 dollars to helping those in need. we'll have given 50 million dollars over seven years. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. you'rbam!ean. charmin ultra strong cleans so much better it meets even the highest standards of clean. with a soft duraclean texture, charmin ultra strong is 4 times stronger. and you can use up to 4x less. charmin ultra strong. here we go, here we go, here we go. ♪ fifty omaha set hut
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these past few weeks have been tough marred by police violence and the sense of injustice. so when we find a bright spot out, it is a pleasure to pause and highlight it. our foot soldier this week is an 8-year-old girl from cleveland, ohio. her name? >> madison. read it on my sweater. >> nbc affiliate wkyc caught up with madison last month at the grand opening of a brand-new little free library. unfamiliar with the concept? let's hear from madison. >> we can get a book, in the same token, we give a book back. so the environment isn't without a book. we have a book. but we also give a book. so we both win. >> little free library is a
non-profit organization with an estimated 15,000 boxes around the world where, as madison explained, you can take a book and leave a book. madison not only intends to make use of the little free library for herself, she wants to get the whole world involved. >> there are a lot of books and it will be a good time to exchange them. if i had to give two books to every person in the school, i would do that. and i would just put the books they give me in the little free library, read them and give them back to kids who need books. the world needs books. what would the world be like without books? they fuel our mind like cars and gas. the cars can't go without gas. our brains can't go without books. the world needs books. we need books. >> and madison's enthusiasm does not wane from there. just listen to her preach.
>> it would break my heart if one book was lost, just a page, just a word, just a letter was gone. i would be heartbroken. what would the world do without books? the world would be empty, it would be empty like a bucket without water. like a brain without knowledge. like a file cabinet without papers. we need books! >> for her inspiration and her impromptu, impassioned speeches and for her sheer nerdalicious love of books and just for making us smile in a week we all needed a reason to smile, madison reed is our enthusiastic foot soldier of the week. that's our show for today. thanks for watching. see you tomorrow morning at
10:00 a.m. eastern. we'll be joined by jacqueline woodson to talk about her new book. right now, it's time for a preview with alex witt. >> i'm just hanging it up. there's no way any of us can compete with madison. she was amazing. thank you for that, melissa. we do have new details on the failed hostage rescue. i'll talk with a colleague of the american who was killed. we're also going to hear from nbc's richard engel on his experience as a hostage and how difficult rescue operations are. important parts of that gang rape story at the university of virginia are coming into question today. i'll talk with someone covering that story. and there's good news as it involves an important part of most americans' lives. [ telephone rings ] [ shirley ] edward jones. this is shirley speaking. how may i help you? oh hey, neill, how are you? how was the trip? [ male announcer ] with nearly 7 million investors... [ shirley ] he's right here. hold on one sec.
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wow! [ narrator ] on a mission to get richard to his campbell's chunky soup. it's new chunky beer-n-cheese with beef and bacon soup. i love it. and mama loves you. ♪ failed rescue attempt, new details at this hour on the breaking story from yemen. what happened when the u.s. tried to save an american captured by al qaeda? a story unravels, or does
it? uncovering what exactly is true in that "rolling stone" story about an alleged gang rape at the university of virginia. i'll talk with someone who's been covering it. fighting for her political life. runoff day in louisiana again. the last-ditch efforts by the democratic incumbent to save her seat. fleeing the storm, more than 500,000 people are evacuated in a part of the world still reeling from another huge storm last year. the latest in minutes. welcome, everyone, high noon here in the east, 9:00 a.m. out west. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." we have this breaking news to share with you at this hour. new details in the attempted rescue of american hostage luke somers in yemen. somers died during the rescue attempt. senior u.s. military officials tell nbc news that two dozen navy s.e.a.l.s in two hecks were involved in this operation. gunfire was exchanged with al qaeda fighters. a handful of militants were killed in the exchange.