tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC July 8, 2016 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT
this is a whole of government effort. we're going to keep at this. you're correct to note that the situation and environment has changed since the department of homeland security was created in 2003. we've got to are adjusting to i. >> all right. secretary of homeland security jeh johnson, thank you for joining us. appreciate it. >> thanks for having me, chris. all right. live from dallas, that does it for all in this evening, but msnbc's coverage continues next. reach maachel has the night tonight but she will be back on monday. this is atlanta, georgia, right now. just a joint protest that's been going throughout the night, throughout much of the afternoon and the evening. this is philadelphia within the hour, and there are also ongoing protests in baltimore and new york and likely protests of varying sizes all over the country. we have a lot to get to tonight, but it is worth taking a moment to consider just how we got here. it's been just a horrifying,
gut-wrenching, exhausting, crazy 72 hours in america. it's been hard to wrap your mind and your heart around everything that's happened. first we were confronted with a dhiling image of a man in baton rouge, louisiana, named alton sterling being killed by police. alton sterling was a father of five. the next day in falcon heights, minnesota, a man named philando castile was shot dead by an officer during a traffic stop. his girlfriend, whose 4-year-old daughter was in the back seat, broadcast the aftermath live on facebook. the back-to-back killings of black men at the hands of law enforcement were so disturbing that president obama, who had just arrived in poland for a nato summit, made a lengthy statement to the press shortly after landing, urging us as a country to, quote, do better. last night, thousands of black lives matter and other protesters gathered in peaceful demonstrations in cities across the country. and then during one of those peaceful protests in dallas,
just 24 hours ago, all hell broke loose. during a march in downtown dallas, shots rang out in what we now know was a targeted attack on police. five officers were killed. seven were wounded. two civilians were also injured. after an hours-long standoff, police killed the suspect with a bomb delivered by a robot. a robot usually designed to disarm bombs. but there was also widespread confusion about whether there may have been more than one shooter and whether others were in custody or still at large. president obama stepped to the podium to give a second statement hours after his first one, this time about the vicious, calculated and despicable attacks in dallas. today, a man accused of a shooting rampage on a tennessee highway early thursday morning, a shooting that left one woman dead and three others injured, including a police officer.
that man told police today he did it because he was angry about police violence against african-americans. so this is what has happened in just the last 72 hours, and we're still learning new information by the hour about the attacks in dallas. authorities have now established that there was just one shooter in that attack. he was micah xavier johnson, who is 25 years old and served a tour in afghanistan as an army reservist from november 2013 to july 2014. according to the dallas police chief, johnson told a hostage negotiator he was upset about recent police shootings, and he wanted to kill white people, especially white police officers. dallas mayor mike rawlings said this evening that johnson was moving around, firing at officers from different levels of a building. sources tell nbc news he used an sks rifle, a long gun that generally serves as a semiautomatic weapon, and a handgun. and he was also wearing body armor. when police searched johnson's
home, they found bomb-making materials, ballistic vests, rifles and ammunition. and what they described as a, quote, personal journal of combat tactics. johnson had no criminal record. investigators say they have found no links between johnson and any extremist groups. we've also learned the identities of the five officers who were killed. 43-year-old brent thompson, a dallas area rapid transit authority officer. he was the first d.a.r.t. officer killed in the line of duty in that agency's history. dallas police officer patrick zamarripa, who served three tours of duty in iraq with the navy. 40-year-old michael krol, an eight-year veteran of the dallas p.d. whose friends say he became a cop so he could help people. michael smith, who first joined the dallas police in 1989. and lorne ahrens, a senior corporal, who spent 14 years in the department. so that's what we've learned. what we know at this hour. but we're still left with many questions. what led to this? how much premeditated planning went into the attack, and was it meant to be connected to last night's protest, or was the
shooter just looking for any opportunity? was anyone else aware of his plans? and perhaps most all, can we have a co-heeszive national reaction to all of this that improves things rather than making them worsz. joining us now is judge jenkins. thank you for your time tonight. i know this has been a really difficult time for you and the citizens of dallas. let's start by asking how your community is doing tonight. >> the think the community is strong. they've really shown a lot of support for the officers. i know the first responders and the people that are out working this crime scene behind me, they feel that support. we're really feeling that from our community. but understandably, people are shocked and horrified by what happened, including the officers who had to work straight through the night on this, who knew the people who had died. so it's a very difficult evening and day for them, and i'm very
proud of the work that they've done. >> and have you had an opportunity to speak with the families of any of those officers who were killed? >> i haven't. i've been in the emergency operations center, working with the officers that are doing the sweeps of the areas, the logistics, the investigations. but i understand chief brown had an opportunity to reach out to each family. these were not my officers. these were the city of dallas officers and d.a.r.t. officers. >> and talk a little bit about -- you said, you know, obviously these were d.a.r.t. officers and they were city officers. can you give us sort of a sense of what the policing culture was like? the person who is now deceased, so he'll never be able to be questioned about this. the indications are that he had animus against police officers and, quote, white police officers. can you talk a little bit about what the kind of police community relationship is like to your knowledge in dallas? >> statistically, it's a good
relationship. but, you know, we have racial division in this country, and our county of 2.5 million people is not immune from that. we have, you know, racial divisions and issues with that like any other community. but we do regularly see protests happen in the downtown area of dallas, it's a pretty progressive community here in dallas county. and our officers intermingle with the protesters, and these things are done peacefully all the time. unfortunately in this situation, mr. johnson targeted officers and killed and injured people. >> and do you have a personal concern, sir, that an incident like this that has so shaken the police officers in dallas county and in the city of dallas could actually worsen the relationship between police officers and the community? are you concerned about that? >> well, that can happen.
but, you know, mr. johnson chose his path, and he chose his actions. and now we get to choose ours. the leadership is calling for unity and calling for -- what i'm asking is that our fellow men, we would try to look at life through the eyes of someone who is not like us. if you're white, try to understand what it's like to tell your children there's a different set of rules for your middle schoolchildren as they grow up than for your neighbors'. if you're not the family of a first responder, try to imagine what it's like when you send your loved one away to work and wonder if they're going to come home. and if we can look at the world through the lenses of others, i think the result of this can be more unity and bringing us closer together. we cannot let an act of hate tear us further apart. >> well, judge jenkins, i think no truer words. those are very poignant words
and hopefully people will take that very sage advice. dallas county judge clay jenkins. thank you. protests are still taking place across the country tonight. the pictures you're looking at now are out of atlanta, where hundreds if not thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets. it remains a peaceful protest, much like the scene we saw in dallas last night before tragedy struck. joining us now is kell lon nixon, who attended yesterday's protest rally with his son. do we have kell onnixon? >> hello? >> as we continue to look at those protest pictures from atlanta, georgia, just some of the protests taking place across the country. as we said, we're trying to get kelley onnixon on the line. but as you can see, what happened in dallas certainly hasn't stopped americans from coming out in these outpourings of grief. i think it's fair to say that people are mixing their grief about the deaths in baton rouge, louisiana, and in minnesota with sorrow for the families of
though officers in dallas. all right. we have kell onnixon on the line right now. thank you so much for joining us. appreciate you being here. let's talk a little bit about the protest that you attended. >> it's kellen. >> i'm sorry, kellen. i mispronounced your name. i'm sorry. thank you. >> no problem. >> talk about the protest was going before this happened. why you came to protest and what was happening before those shootings erupted. >> well, i -- i came to the protest because i wanted to have a voice amongst those who couldn't speak for themselves, for those who passed recently. as far as the march and the rally, it was peaceful, very peaceful. again, i say the people were peaceful, the police officers were peaceful up until the end, and i hated for it to end in that manner because that was not what it was supposed to be. >> if you could -- and i know this has been a really horrific experience for you, describe
what unfolded, what you saw last night as that horror broke out. >> well, i -- luckily, i believe by the grace of god, i decided to leave just a few seconds early, you know, maybe about 45 seconds, a minute early. as i was crossing the street to leave, the shots began to ring out. i saw exactly what you described. i saw horror. i saw, you know, people running. i saw police just as afraid as any protester or any rallier was. we were all afraid. we were all trying to live. that's what i saw. i heard shots. i didn't see a shooter, and i just saw mayhem. >> and did you have the sense, as you said, seeing this mayhem take place that there was any particular target? did you feel that in a sense, everyone there was a target, that the protesters themselves also could be targets of those gunshots? >> to be honest with you, i didn't have time to think of that. i had just the time to think
about protecting my son's life and my own life in that time. and to be honest, i feel ashamed now that that was all i could do and that was all i could think about. but, you know, in times like that, that's your first instinct. >> yeah. no, kellen, as a dad, i think you did exactly the right thing. i want to just ask you about some of the commentary that we've heard. thankfully not most of the commentary, but some of the commentary that we've heard about what happened in dallas has tried to vilify the black lives matter movement writ large for what happened even though, as you said, you were in the crowd. the people who were protesting and marching were just as much at risk of that shooter as the ultimate targets, the police. what do you say to people who try to blame black lives matter as a movement for this antagonism toward police? >> i say that that's a blatant lie. i hate the fact that any individual that was a part of the organization of this event last night would ever be
considered a part of what took place last night. what really took place last night is what's been taking place across america forever, and that's hatred. you know. >> it wasn't black lives matter. it wasn't police. it wasn't any of those. it was pure hatred. until we resolve our hate issue, we'll continue to see these things. >> you talked about bringing your son to that protest. can you tell us what message were you hoping to convey to your little boy by bringing him to that protest? to you, what is the point of these marches? >> to me, the point is to shed light in darkness. you know, we're the light of the world. we're the salt of the earth. stand up for me, son. we're the salt of the earth. if we don't expose the light, then it will only get darker. then it will only become more dim. so i wanted him to see that he can have an impact and that he can have a voice. >> yeah. well, i think that you did that, sir, and i'm glad that you and your son were safe. kellen nixon, thank you so much
for joining us. >> hey, can i say one thing? >> of course. >> hey caitlyn, hey judah, hey mercy, hey katie, i just couldn't get out of here without saying hi to my children and my wife. they've been cheering for me all day. thank you for allowing me to be on here. i just want to say this last thing. a lot of people want me to hate. a lot of people want me to come on and hate. they want me to say kill, kill, kill. i've been getting these messages on social media. but i just want to continue to spread the message of love. i want to continue to tell us to love one another, to love your neighbor as yourself. to love in the traffic, to love on your job, to love on social media. everywhere you can, love. we got to make our love louder than their hate, and that's the only way that we're going to have any kind of change. i thank you guys for having me on. >> thank you so much. i'm so glad that you were here, kellen nixon. you're a good dad and a good day. really appreciate it. we are keeping an eye on some of the massive protests happening around the country tonight, and we'll also head back to dallas to speak to one of the organizers of yesterday's rally.
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a lot has happened in the almost 24 hours since the shooting in dallas, texas, last night. but it is worth keeping in mind what the mood was like in dallas before those shots rang out, before at least one shooter took the lives of five officers and injured seven more. with 800 bystanders scrambling for cover. the reason they were all there was because of events that took place hundreds of miles away. the death of 37-year-old alton sterling in baton rouge, louisiana, shot multiple times by a police officer while he was held to the ground. and the justice department and the fbi have opened an investigation into his death. today, the mother of sterling's son put out a statement in support of the families of the victims in the dallas shooting. quote, responding to violence with violence is not the answer. the other event that brought 800 people to downtown dallas last night was what took place the night after sterling's death in falcon heights, minnesota. philando castile's final moments, a police officer pointing a gun at him as he lay bleeding in the front seat of his girlfriend's car, were
captured and streamed live on facebook by castile's girlfriend, diamond reynolds. hundreds of demonstrators protesting castile's death converged outside the governor's residence in st. paul last night, where they remained until early this morning. it's unclear at this time whether the justice department will open an investigation into his death as well. but as those two deaths, the deaths of alton sterling and philando castile, on top of months, years, decades of shooting deaths of people of color at the hands of police officers is what led to the peaceful demonstrations last night in belo garden park in dallas, texas. 800 people, men, women, mothers, fathers, children, activists alike chanting, enough is enough and no justice, no peace, and black lives matter. but the rally, while tense, like those that took place all over the country last night, were peaceful throughout. by all accounts, police were on hand in dallas not to antagonize, but to protect the protesters as they walked with them, even stopping to take pictures with them at times. that was the scene in dallas last night.
protest and peaceful until approximately 8:58 p.m. when shots rang out. now, to say what took place next was precisely the opposite of the theme of the rally in march is a huge understatement. that has not stopped people from taking to the streets again tonight. thousands gathered in atlanta, georgia's centennial park. they also marched through downtown atlanta, blocking traffic. they marched in new york's union square and in philadelphia and in baltimore. the rallies continue. joining me now is dominique alexander, the president and founder of next generation action network. one of the organizers of yesterday's protest. mr. alexander, thank you so much for being with me. >> thank you for having me. >> let's start by talking about the purpose of the protest that you organized. what was it? >> well, the purpose of the protest was i was traveling to baton rouge, louisiana, and met with the family of alton sterling. and we organized this protest because we know that in the city
of dallas, we have some alton sterlings. we have some clinton allen's, in many cases. here in the city of dallas, there has not been an officer indicted in over 40 years in an officer fatal shooting. so we have these type of cases. we have them in oklahoma city, where charles pettit jr. we have many cases in these instance, and we wanted to come out and stand up and fight for justice. and then while we was planning this in the last few hours, we hear of the death of philando castile. so people are tired, and enough is enough. and we wanted to come out to say and stand with the united states that were outraged with these shootings of young black men being shot and set in the puddle of their blood. >> just trying to piece together, i think obviously is
trying to go back and think how it was possible for the shooter to take a sniper pogsz and be in such a position to commit such lethal acts. did you file a parade route with the city. was it known what the route of your protest was going to be? >> no. we never had any route or anything of that nature. it was purely once we left belo park, we just took a route, and there were many officers inside of the crowd that was not dressed up. a lot of officers from dignitary protection that were, you know, navigating us through the crowd and different things of that nature. so there was no route given to the dallas police department. there was no route that we had planned. we was pretty much merely just going however the energy of the crowd was going, and prior to the shooting, we were two blocks from basically ending the actual protest that night. you know, we was -- we were on
our way back to the park in which we started at. >> and how did you publicize the march? how would people have found out where to meet you to be a part of what you were doing? >> well, we did it on social media. if you go on social media, justice for hashtag, alton sterling hashtag, philando castile, you'll see that over 1,500 people was able to come out last night, and that's how we got our word out. we got our word out through local media. we got our word out through local radio. in many instance, we have built a strong coalition with our media to address these issues and put these situations when we're trying to galvanize people to fight for justice. >> it does seem there was a tremendous amount of coordination between your organization, between the protest organizers and not just the dallas city police but also d.a.r.t., who also lost an officer to the sniper attack. would you say the coordination was good with the police because
they seemed to also be mixed in in a lot of cases with the crowd? >> correct. well, you know, if anybody is trying to make the fact be that we were not in correlation or we were not talking with the dallas police department, we talked with them many times. the only thing that was not discussed was a route prior to. there is no one's fault on this incidence. it was clearly unexpected and shocked us all. you know, a lot of these officers that died last night, we do many protests inside of downtown dallas. so the same officers come out, and many of those officers we have saw time and time and time again as we come down here and protest in the city of dallas. so, you know, we -- we definitely stand prayerful for their family, and we stand prayerful for all of the victims that have lost their life to violence across america in this
past week. >> i want to give you an opportunity to talk back to some of the people who have criticized these rallies and sort of tried to blame organizations like yours for violence against police. i want you to listen to texas governor dan patrick as well as -- lieutenant governor dan patrick and the former mayor of new york city. take a listen. they were on the air today. >> all those protesters last night, they ran the other way expecting the men and women in blue to turn around and protect them. what hypocrites. >> i do blame former black lives matter protests. last night was peaceful, but others have not been. >> i think the reason that there's a target on police officers' backs is because of groups like black lives matter that make it seem like all police are against blacks. they're not. they're the ones saving black lives. black lives matter is not saving anybody black lives. it's the police officers that are doing it. >> i have my own sort of feelings about those two sound bites that you just heard, but i
want to give you an opportunity to respond. >> those type of ignorant statements in that magnitude is the reason why we have the rhetoric that we have and why we have so much hate. that's only feeding into the problem which everybody is protesting about. that's not going to bring -- if they feel like the black lives matter movement and the next generation action network and many of the peaceful organizations, the organizations that's addressing police brutality condone violence in any kind of way, we came out here to address the issue of police brutality. we came out here to address the issue of hate, not to inflict hate in any kind of magnitude on anybody. that's the -- that's the problem that we have in america is that our elected officials want to play the tit for tat game, and our local chief and our local mayor, let it be known that we have had peaceful protesting prior to this. this has never happened in any
kind of way. and let it be known that this guy had nothing to do with the organizations that organized this protest. and we do not condone violence in any kind of way. but we will say this, is that until the issue is addressed with police brutality and the issue of poverty is addressed, we will have situations. the sad part about it is that we will have situations in this magnitude, and that's the truth. we need to allow our -- and petition our local elected officials to address these issues and not keep on going back with the political talk. there is a problem in america when it comes to police brutality, and there is a problem when it comes to gun violence, and that didn't start yesterday. that started years before my life. so this is not a new subject. this might came out -- been the same problem when lieutenant dan patrick was born. this is not a new issue, and
they need to stop the rhetoric and continuing the rhetoric. but him to come down here in dallas and put that rhetoric in this city, where this city is trying to stand together, is the problem. it's the very well problem why we have in texas. it's the very well problem why we can't get justice for sandra bland, and he allowed his department, his state department to justify her murder down here in that jail house down there in waller county. this is the problem that we have in america, and that's why we were protesting yesterday, because of the rhetoric from our officials in that capacity. >> yes. well said, dominique alexander, the president and founder of next generation action network and one of the organizers of yesterday's march in dallas. thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> thank you. still ahead, a look inside the dallas police department. a department that has made major strides in recent years in its policing. we'll be right back. raises your rates... maybe you should've done more research on them. for drivers with accident forgiveness,
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in november 1963, it was a sniper's bullet that struck president john f. kennedy as his motorcade traveled through the streets of downtown dallas. >> president kennedy has been given a blood transfusion in an effort to save his life after he was shot in an assassination attempt in downtown dallas. >> once again parkland hospital, and the city of dallas as a whole have witnessed a national tragedy. in the early morning hours, dallas police officers lined up in formation outside the doors
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largest city in the united states, dallas, texas, chief david brown got the worst news imaginable. his 27-year-old son who carries his name, david, shot and killed an innocent bystander driving with his girlfriend and two children in a suburb of dallas, in lancaster. he shot him more than a dozen times. but it didn't stop there. >> officer craig shaw was answering a disturbance call yesterday evening when gunfire rang out. he was killed, and so was another man along with the son of dallas police chief david brown. channel 8's rebecca lopez has exclusive details on who police believe shot the officer. >> news aid has learned that chief david brown's son is believed to be the shooter that killed a lancaster police officer. sources tell us brown's son is also believed to have killed another man before he shot and killed the officer. >> when police officer craig shaw arrived on the scene to respond to the shooting, david
brown jr. shot and killed him too. shaw was the first police officer killed in the like of duty in the suburb of lancaster. killed by the dallas police chief's son. it was a horrible tragedy for chief brown on so many levels, and it happened just weeks after he got the job. after taking some time off to mourn his son's death, he addressed his 3,600-member department, saying, quote, the past few days have been very troubling and emotional for all of us. my family has not only lost a son but a fellow police officer and a private citizen lost their lives at the hands of our son. that hurts so deeply, i cannot adequately express the sadness i feel inside my heart. that was june of 2010. but that was not the first time chief brown was touch the firsthand by violence. more than 20 years earlier in 1988, he responded to an officer-involved shooting in a suburb of dallas. upon arriving on the scene, he immediately recognized a pair of eyeglasses on the ground. they were the same ones that were worn by his former police academy classmate and partner. his partner later died in the
hospital. brown said, quote, i really relate to all of those in the line of duty deaths on a much more personal level. you lose a partner. you just never get over it. that was august of 1988. three years after that, his younger brother was killed in the phoenix area by drug dealers. that was 1991. david brown is a police chief who has been through a lot of strife and violence in his life. he's experienced firsthand and on a personal level, and yesterday he had to face that again in his own city. the dallas police department under chief david brown has embraced reform. they've put an emphasis on community policing. they're trained in deescalation. back in 2013, chief brown began reviewing his department's policies after a grand jury cleared a dallas police officer in a fatal shooting of an unarmed man. he said he wanted to make changes voluntarily to make things better. he wrote an op-ed in the wake of the unrest in ferguson, missouri. he wrote about how he believed in transparency. his department has tracked and
publicized its officer-involved shootings, and they've seen their arrests go down. they've seen their excessive force complaints go down. between 2009 and 2014, excessive force complaints dropped by 64%. they've seen a decline in shootings. the murder rate has gone down. they've really reformed themselves, and while they've improved a lot, they still have a higher per capita rate of police involved shootings than houston, chicago, and new york city. of course the department is not perfect. they even made mistakes last night. they were the ones who tweeted out a photo of the wrong man, calling him a suspect, a photo which i'm not going to show you. officers were quick to make statements in the heat of the moment that liter did not pan out. but overall, dallas has been pretty widely praised for their performance. they're a textbook example of the kind of change we all want and need to see in policing. perhaps because they're led by a man who understands loss in the same way that many of the citizens whom he and his department protect and serve understand it. joining me now is phillip atika gov, a founder and president of
the center on policing equity. from goff, thank you so much for being herement i want to talk to you first of all. dallas aside, they have tried to be aggressive about changing the policing culture perhaps because of who that chief is, his own personal experience with loss. what is the right way to reform a police department that's lost trust with its citizens? >> so the right way to reform any police department is to think about this intergenerationally. we were talking just before we went on about how if you start the process and you're working against a culture, there are people there who say, i've seen chiefs come and go, right? the average career span for a chief, particularly in a major city, is about three years. so they will wait you out. they'll sit in the precinct. you can't just say, well, my tenure for however long it's going to be, i'm going to do everything. you have to start creating structures that are going to last intergenerationally. and you begin at the speed and
with the power of trust. >> and so if you're a police chief that's coming into a situation like this, there was also a turnover in stanford, florida, after the trayvon ma martin case. you're coming in and that's the culture. the lieutenant said, we'll just wait you out. are there things that a keechie can still do, despite the culture, despite the contracts that give them tremendous rights over the average citizen. are there things the police chief can do to change the mentality. lieutenants? >> so changing mentality is frequently the first instinct, and it's often the first mistake, right? so they go in and they say, i'm going to change the way that you think about keeping yourself safe. that never really works out well. what you can do is you can change the accountability structures. so what you've seen is many chiefs walk in and the first thing they do is say let's find the right people to be in my corner, in mica dre, and let's find the right people to let go. they don't need to be part of this department. but here's the extra tricky thing. you talked about collective
bargaining agreements and what the union has power to do and that's been up because campaign zero has just put something out and that word has been spreading. but beyond that, right, you've got civilian oversight that sometimes understands and sometimes doesn't. but you can fire a bunch of people for doing terrible things and they get reinstated. and what kind of power do you have over an organization when you can't choose your own staff and you can't fire people for cause? >> and is there -- there is this underlying, you know, sort of theme, particularly in the minnesota shooting of fear, of police officer fear. you talk about how can you train people not to be afraid? can you train people if they are afraid of a type of person, if they're afraid of african-americans, if they have a fear response when they see a black motorist, is there any training in the world that can change that? >> so yes. but i don't think that should be our focus. so it's possible, but it's very difficult. it's incredibly intenszive, and i think we should be caring a lot less about hearts and minds. in the last several days we've been seeing, in the same days that we've worked and you've
done wonderful work to humanize the lives of people who have been tragically struck down by this. we've been seeing some of the humanization of law enforcement. what i work with every day, i spent the last two days as you know with the budget police chiefs trying to do the right set of things. you can do all of that, but it's not just about that last-second decision. in fact, almost every last-second decision is a result of several tactical decisions that you've learned and been trained on. >> yeah. >> and it's those mistakes -- if i'm reaching into the car after you, i've already made about ten tactical mistakes that are deliberative that you can management so if i've got a fear of black people, that's not affecting me when i'm a mile back or when i'm 20 feet away and you've just pulled over and stopped your car. that's not -- we shouldn't reduce it to the life or death, you know, five-second, half a second decisions because that's not the full reality of even a law enforcement context. >> we've got to start with the accountability. i wish we had more time. we will bring you back and talk to you about this more. thank you so much. appreciate it. still ahead, the shootings
this week, one after another, have spurred protests. but will they lead to action in washington? our next guest is one of the few people who might be able to get something done on that issue. stay with us. clean food. words panera lives by. no artificial flavors, preservatives, sweeteners. no colors from artificial sources. 100% of our food will be clean by year's end. that's food as it should be. ♪
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within the space of 18 hours. upon arrival in warsaw last night, the president spoke out about the deadly police involved shooting which took the lives of alton sterling and philando castile. this morning, the president paid tribute to the police officers who lost their lives in dallas, and he followed that with a call to action on gun control. >> there is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement. today is a wrenching reminder of the sacrifices that they make for us. we also know that when people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately it makes attacks like these more deadly and more tragic. and in the days ahead, we're going to have to consider those realities as well. >> the 2016 presidential candidates also weighed in today. in an online video, donald trump said the shooting in dallas had shaken the soul of our nation, while in philadelphia, hillary clinton urged all sides to come together after the combined tragic events of the past 72 hours.
>> we do need police and criminal justice reforms to save lives and make sure all americans are treated equally in rights and dignity. we do need to support police departments and stand up for the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect us. and we do need to reduce gun violence. we may disagree about how to do all these things, but surely we can all agree with those basic premises. surely this week showed us how true they are. >> and joining us now is connecticut senator chris murphy, who previously represented newtown as a congressman and staged a 15-hour filibuster on the senate floor to draw attention to the issue of gun control. thank you so much for being here. i want to ask you, we've had the newtown horror. we've had the charleston massacre. we've had the victims being young teenagers as club goers.
now we have also added police officers to that ghastly ca dre of victims, do you think your colleagues will now have a conversation with you about gun reform. >> well, color me skeptical. i mean we had 20 first graders dead on the floor of their classroom in newtown, connecticut, and that didn't move congress to action. we had young men and women just going out for a night of dancing gunned down because of their sexual orientation and their ethnicity, and that didn't move congress to action. we've had horror after horror in the streets of chicago littered with dead bodies over the course of the fourth of july weekend and memorial day weekend. that didn't move congress to actionment and we now have the intersection of terrorism and guns, knowing that isis is actively recruiting lone wolf attackers in the united states to go to gun shows and buy assault weapons to be turned on civilians. i'm not sure that it can get any worse. this is horrible. this is horrific, these brave
police officers being gunned down by a sniper. but if america hasn't moved congress to action already, i guess i'm skeptical this is going to do the job. the nra right now effectively owns the house of representatives and a significant degree of the united states senate, and until the american public clears some of those people out that aren't voting with their constituents and listening to a gun lobby instead, it's going to be hard to get change. >> you know, i'm not sure there's ever been a poll of individual police chiefs around the country. but you talked with individual chiefs and people in law enforcement, and one of the things they are very wary about is open carry. because as was the case in dallas, it makes their job harder when they see somebody brandishing a weapon, and they're not sure if that person is, you know, a suspect, or if they are just somebody exercising their right to hold a gun. is it possible that police chiefs might be enlisted as allies for the democrats who want to see some reform? >> well, remember when we
announced the reintroduction of the assault weapons ban in 2013 right after sandy hook, there were police chiefs and police officers standing with us. and i remember a chilling conversation on the day of the shooting in sandy hook in which a police officer was talking about frankly how fortunate it was that the shooter killed himself because they worried about being overpowered by the kind of weaponry that he had in that school. so, you know, for a long time police officers and police chiefs have been supportive of a lot of measures that we've been pushing. they have not been absent in this fight. they've been very present. now, maybe they will step up their advocacy, but we haven't been losing these fights over background checks and assault weapons bans because police officers haven't been speaking up. they've been speaking up, and even with them by our side, we still haven't been able to beat the gun lobby in congress. >> yeah, not heartening, but we hope that you will continue the fight and keep us posted on what you're doing and your progress. connecticut senator chris murphy, thank you so much for
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we may never know exactly why the dallas shooter did what he did. we just have snippets of what his moment was and the hint of his anger of the killing of black men by police. while no sane person can relate to what he did, the underlying anger is something everything black person in america understands and feels and has spent the last 72 hours feeling. as you watched black body after black body lying on the ground, covered in blood in ferguson or shot down in a walmart in ohio, or killed as police jump out of a car while a child is playing with a toy gun in cleveland, or choked to death in staten island, or tossed into the back of a van like trash in baltimore, or dead amid scattered cds he was selling in baton rouge, or covered in blood in the passenger seat of his girlfriend's car in minnesota. seeing that year after year, decade after decade in your
community, in your country, is bad enough. in recent years, you also get to consume it on your social media, on your phone, on your twitter feed, on facebook. and over the past week, black americans have added learn how to use facebook live to their ever growing list of strategies, not to make sure you survive a traffic stop, but just to ensure that your death will be documented correctly. a list that now includes make sure your loved ones can close your facebook page so it can't be mined for quotes that the media will use to paint you as a menace. and have good, attractive pictures of you and your loved ones posted and available to combat the inevitable attempt to paint you as a thug who deserved to die. be ready to record the entire encounter with police on your phone, and know how to update it somewhere quickly. those methods have to now be learned and paired with the classics like, don't move. be exceedingly polite. follow instructions, so that hopefully they won't kill you. and above all, understand that sometimes, as in the case of philando castile, even doing all
three won't keep you alive. and then at the same time, police have also been victimized in the last 24 hours. five officers murdered last night, innocent lives taken for no good reason. you have to wonder how do police officers, some of whom have their own psychological baggage, maybe fear of black people or distrust or alienation from the communities they serve, police a community that fears and distrusts them? how do you go about conducting that next traffic stop with that fear in your head and in your heart, armed with the knowledge that the person in that car is likely just as terrified and maybe even angry at you? what is it like? what is it going to be like on either end of that job, especially in the wake of the shooting in dallas? all of this is hard enough for adults to reconcile. but what about kids? what happens to the psychological makeup of that 15-year-old boy, crying for his daddy live on tv? the children of alton sterling and philando castile and sergeant michael smith.
these kids have been irrev rev co-ably derailed and now face a lifetime of trauma, of fear, of emotional damage that does not go away. how do they recover from that? how do any of us? i want to read something tonight that i read on red state.com. this is from leon wolfe, conservative writer. quote, people's willingness to act rationally and within the confines of the law and the political system is generally speaking directly proportional to their belief that the law and political system will ever punish wrongdoing. and right now, that belief is largely broken, especially in many minority communities. and it's the blind uncritical belief that the police never or only in freak circumstances do anything wrong that is a major contributing factor to that. if you grow up consuming that and living that reality year after year and imbibing a paralyzing fear of police, and you chase that with a sense of total futility as each of these killings result in no
explanation, no prosecution, no consequences for the officer, no matter what the circumstances. when that is your everyday, there has to be a psychological impact. i mean it even affects reporters who cover these cases, death after death after death. i know it's affected me. and that does it for us tonight. rachel will be back on monday, and i will see you in the morning as we continue this conversation on my show, a.m. joy. good evening, lawrence. good evening, joy, thanks. i'll be watching in the morning. this is msnbc's continuing coverage of the deadly attack in dallas. 24 hours ago when what appears to have been a lone gunman shot and killed five police officers and wounded seven police officers. two civilians were also injured. here's what we know at this hour. police used a robot to d