tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC November 26, 2014 12:00am-1:01am PST
last night this was the scene of intense disruption, fire and arrests, complete and utter quiet tonight as police have shut down this stretch. cold has set in here, this stre. cold has set in. very, very different scene this evening. the protests have leapt across the country, in cities from coast to coast. in dallas, portland, boston. they managed to shut down fdr drive, one of the main highways in manhattan. there are protests in ferguson in wake of the announcement the number of national guard would be tripled.
they and police officers faced off with protesters in an intense stand-off. craig, where are you and what are you seeing? >> we don't have craig just yet. we have seen protesters squaring off with national guard and police. we saw police moving into lines. the national guard forming a line behind them. 15 or 20 minutes ago the protesters left the scene of the police department. it appears there was a police car set on fire. that briefly burned. that was put out. that live shot largely an empty scene. a new protest tactic that has been employed by many of the
naup violent protesters across the country is to shut down highways. it happened in los angeles. it's happened in new york where i mentioned fdr drive was shut down. tonight the officials pledged a far more tern response to the protest. we have seen more police in the street. we have seen far, far fewer protesters or anyone, really, out on the street tonight in ferguson. there are three people who were directly involved in the incident august 9th. michael brown the unarmed teenager who was shot down by
the police officer. he was walking down the middle of canfield avenue when with he encountered the police officer. a few days after michael brown's death, he talked to us. you can read his testimony. while they sync up in crucial ways, they also differ in ways. >> my reaction is the same reaction we have seen from most of the community. anger, frustration, disappointment. my client dorian johnson was
victimized out here. witnessed first happened the slaughter of michael brown. we had a prosecutor who was clearly app a thetic, who put a sham presentation to the grand jury so he could give a 20 minute explanation of why there was no indictment. it's embarrassing, it's frustrating, insulting to citizens who have to endure this. the way things are right now, it is tragic and horrible for any citizen, particularly an african-american in this community. >> how did you feel yesterday when you heard the announcement? >> i was upset, very upset. we did what we supposed to do, stand up, tell what we see and be brave enough to say what you saw. nothing is being done about it.
i feel like, you know, he could have did something, he did have done something different. >> i want to talk about your testimony and darren wilson's testimony. in the key moments they are consistent. a lot of the stuff fwoet of you are relaying independently to the grand jury syncs up including mike handing the sig a really owes to you. i want to read this to you. this is officer wilson, you are right here, walking this way. his car is coming down canfield drive. he says why don't you walk on the sidewalk. is that what he said to you? >> he did not say that to me. he did not saw -- he said get
the f on the sidewalk, exact words. so from the beginning it was a hostile interaction, get the f off the sidewalk? >> yes. >> he backs his car in reverse, right here, right? he says -- he tries to open the door and mike brown slams it shut and said what what the f are you going to do about if, slammed it shut. >> that's not what i saw what happened. that's notz what happened. >> what did you testimony to the grand jury. >> he reversed his vehicle in a way he would have struck me and mike brown if we did not get out the don't go away. he could not open the door without striking us with his door. >> so he is close enough --
>> ricochet off our body onto the car. >> an altercation starts in the scar. officers wilson testified there was a punch from michael brown. >> no. his fist was open. >> dorian johnson observed this but was not on trial for his life. officer wilson was giving self-serving grand jury testified was at risk of being indicted. if properly presented, this grand jury would have resulted in an indictment. >> he says he was hit here on the side of the face with a fist. you testified mike brown's hands were not inside the car. >> correct. >> there is forensic evidence saying it might have been. >> did not go in the car. >> you testified about how you
are looking ing around like freaked out. these guys are getting heated. what was going on in that moment? >> like i testified today, it wasn't wrestling, it was tug of war are you said officer wilson initiated it have. >> correct. >> they were wrestling. >> tug of war. >> are they cursing at each other. >> of course, they are both loud and angry, but it's not wrestling. they were never grappling each other, one body on top of the other. darren wilson was pulling away from the vehicle and michael bran was pulling away from the vehicle. >> gunshots go off inside the
car, is that correct. >> he shot from inside the car. he was never outside the car when the first shots went off. >> you fall to the ground? >> no. i was standing up. >> and you are right next to mike at this point. >> i was standing next to him. i saw he was struck and fwlood was on his chest. he had on a white shirt. >> what did he do? >> we ran. that's when we ran. >> the car is still parked here? >> there was another car parked here. at this time while we were running there were other cars. >> so there has been a traffic stop because this car -- the officer's car pulled in here. >> yes. there is other cars in line. they can't get past but we were running, running past.
>> does mike brown stop and turn around? >> not until a second shot was fired. >> a second shot was fired, mike brown turns around. officer wilson said he saw mike brown did a hop, like an olympian about to go a long jump. did you see that? >> no. >> what was his demeanor in that moment when he turned around. >> pain and anger. he had already. shot for sure once, at the car i witnessed him being shot. the second time was iffy. i know for a fact he was shot and was hurting at that time. he has been fired upon and we don't have a weapon. he is firing a gun at us. >> the officer wilson testified his hand was at his waist as he
came towards -- >> michael brown's. >> do you recall seeing his hand at his waist? >> his hands were never at his waist. he had on basketball shorts. he didn't have a belt on. it wouldn't stay at his waist. even if he did have something at his waist it roont stay at his waist. he said he did not have a weapon but why are you shooting me. >> how far officer wilson testified that mike brown was eight to ten feet from him when he distance? >> in the moment of fearing for my life and, you know, just watching a traumatic, you know, tragic incident, i wasn't aware of the exact feet and measurements that they were apart.
all i can see is my friend being brutally murdered and he couldn't do anything about it. >> do you think -- you were there. and this sounds like -- it sounds like this entire thing went from nothing to death just so fast. and that's consistent in the testimony darren wilson. it's consistent in your testimony. how did this happen? >> i don't know how it happened. i wish it could have went a different way. you know, it did not have to result in deadly use of force. he did not have to kill him at all. he was never threatened that much. like i said, i never did anything that made him think i was going to help. he never told me, hey, dorian, i'm not shooting at you. i'm only shooting at mike brown. he was shooting and we're running away. like, we're trying to get away from you, so we're not trying to attack you. >> so mike brown does not rush him at any point?
>> he does not rush him at any time. >> and important to note that no one is saying this, officer wilson is shooting as they're running away from him. and there has been no mention of that be mr. mcculloch when he gave his long soliloquy. it certainly points to the fact that that level of of force was not justied. it's because he came upon two young men who he didn't value as human beings. >> early this morning, police found the body of a man inside a parked car near the cramfield apartments where mike brown was shot and killed.
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there's a poignant scene with a woman who was in the front of the screaming demonstrators and protesters. at that point there had been a couple of things thrown at the officers, at the guardsmen, nothing like what we saw last night. folks were throwing things. this woman started screaming at what she called, you out of towners. they start screaming back, and she shouts them down. she said this is about mike brown. if you are not here for mike brown, then you need to leave it. at that point, a group of clergy members as well stepped forward. they worked to diffuse the situation. we did not see that. tonight was the first night that we saw that. maybe 15 or 20 minutes later the party, so to speak, moved a half mile that way. we don't have a lot of information at this point about precisely what's being done. i was in front of city hall earlier today. there were not national guardsmen in front of the city hall.
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it might sound to the untrained ear like a transparent process that was bending over backwards to be fair, but it is very important to remember the way that bob mccullough handled that grand jury in the darren wilson case was truly unusual, in the opinion of some, unprecedented compared to how grand juries usually operate. the norm is for the prosecutor to present just the evidence
that supports a prosecution. a prosecutor has zero legal obligation to present evidence that makes a defendant look innocent. a prosecutor is free to line up all of the evidence that makes a defendant look culpable, that is why it is so incredibly easy for a prosecutor to obtain an indictment against a defendant in a typical grand jury proceeding. according to the bureau of justice statistics, u.s. attorneys, federal prosecutors, prosecuted 162,000 cases in 2010, the most recent year for which we have data. grand juries declined to return an indictment in 11 of them. again, out of 162,000 cases in all but 11 grand juries chose to indict. that is a 99.99% rate of indictment. darren wilson's case was heard in state court, not federal court, but legal experts agree if a prosecutor wants an indictment, he or she almost
always gets one. we've repeatedly reached out to bob mccullough to appear on the program, he has thus far declined, but he has suggested the way he handled this case was routine. >> i don't know how anyone can say it was, you know, we're passing the buck by gathering all this information and evidence and meeting with the grand jury. it's something we do on a weekly basis. we do it day in, day out, week in, day out. it's certainly not passing the buck. >> i wanted to talk to someone who has some experience in the courtroom on the other side of bob mccullough and find out if this process was, in fact, something mccullough's office does day in, day out. paul, a st. louis criminal defense attorney. paul, thank you for joining me. you represent clients who are being prosecuted by bob mccullough's office. is it true the kind of grand jury process laid out is something that office does, quote, day in and day out?
>> no. no, not really. i think he's twisting a little bit there. routinely cases are presented to a grand jury when the prosecutor wants to get an indictment, when they want to protect the privacy of witnesses or the integrity of an investigation, they want to protect undercover police officers or child victims of sex crimes. so they present it to the grand jury. that doesn't give me as a defense attorney the opportunity to cross examine those witnesses, build the defense, or discover evidence prior to indictment, so while in a grand jury is convened almost every week in st. louis county and does return indictments on a routine basis, having all of the evidence and the grand jurors instructed on what the law is and told what the defense is and that they can find that there is no evidence to support an indictment, that's unusual. >> when you talk about instructed on what the defense is, what do you mean by that? >> well, it is unusual for a
prosecutor to present the statutes to the grand jurors other than the indictment itself, which is usually already drawn up and present it to them with the elements of the crime, and, of course, the evidence is presented by the prosecution without the defense there. it's not an adversarial proceeding, so the grand jurors say, okay, there's enough evidence there, the elements have been met, this person should be brought to trial. in this case, the prosecutors presented the statutes on self-defense, on how a police officer can be justified in the use of deadly force in making an arrest, for example, and were presented with multiple options of what homicide can be and, of course, when a person should not be charged with a homicide offense. that doesn't happen every day. they are not presented with the options to say if you've heard testimony before you during these months that says darren wilson was justified in his use of force, you don't have to indict him. that is not what a prosecutor routinely does. >> are you anticipating that
when you next face -- have a client who's being prosecuted by mccullough's office this is going to be a new kind of procedure in which the office will present all the evidence or notify the grand jury they don't have to return an indictment? >> no, i wish that were so, but that's not the role of the grand jury. i've heard some people say this was a special grand jury, that it was an investigation of a grand jury, meaning not just the routine grand jury who hears evidence to return indictments. grand jurors are sometimes convened to investigate corruption or investigate perhaps overcrowding in the jail or civil rights violations that may occur, but they are not used in this way, so i don't expect any time soon that my clients, if they are arrested and charged and their case presented, are going to be given the opportunity to present all of the defense, testify in their own defense, and present defense witnesses. we don't have that power. we can't insist on that, and any time we want to present
something to the grand jury, we have to be invited to do so by the prosecutor's office. that doesn't happen very often. >> is bob mccullough a good prosecutor? does he reliably get indictments and get convictions? >> yes, he's a good prosecutor. yes, he's a very good prosecutor. he can get convictions. he can try cases. this is a different case, though, this was a police shooting. it was handled differently. even though lots of people want to say, including mr. mccullough, that the case was handled the same as any other case, why not be honest and say when there's a police shooting, it's handled differently than other shootings, because it was handled differently. >> thank you so much for your time. all right, for the first time since michael brown's death we're hearing from the man who killed him. officer darren wilson speaks next.
at that time, can i shoot this guy, you know, legally, can i? and the question i answered myself was, i have to. if i don't, he will kill me if he gets to me. >> even though he's 35, 40 feet away? >> once he's coming that direction, if he hasn't stopped yet, when is he going to stop. >> we now have officer darren wilson's explanation for why he shot and killed michael brown, an interview today with abc
news, and in the grand jury testimony released late last night, wilson cast brown as so aggressive he had no choice but to open fire on the unarmed teenager. wilson testified that the confrontation started when he drove up to brown and his friend because they were walking in the middle of the street. wilson said when he told them to move to the side, brown responded, quote, "f" what you have to say, cursed at him again, and slammed the door closed. all this was happening, wilson testified brown was, quote, staring at me to intimidate me or overpower me and wilson said when he tried to open his car door again, brown slammed it shut and started punching the uniformed police officer in the face through an open window for no apparent reason. wilson who is 6'4", weighing 210 pounds testified when he grabbed brown he, quote, felt like a 5-year-old holding on to hulk hogan. wilson also said when he pulled
his gun on brown, brown immediately grabbed the gun and said, you are too much of an expletive to shoot me. in wilson's telling, the two struggled for the gun with brown trying to shoot wilson and wilson fired a shot in brown's direction, something he said enraged the teenager further. brown had, quote, the most intensive aggressive face after the gunshot, wilson testified. he added that brown looked like, quote, a demon. wilson claims that after the gunshot, brown punched him again, wilson fired another shot, and brown took off running with wilson in pursuit, eventually wilson testified brown stopped, turned back toward the officer, and did a stutter step back in his direction. wilson maintained in the interview today that brown did not put his hands up in the air. his left hand goes into a fist and goes to his side, wilson testified. his right one goes under his shirt, in his waistband, and he starts running at me, then wilson said he started shooting. he testified he saw brown get hit, but that the shot didn't slow brown down. it looked like he was almost bulking up to run through the
shots, wilson testified, like it was making him mad i was shooting him. only when brown was within ten feet of wilson, according to the officer, that he fired the shot that ended mike brown's life. there are specific reasons to question wilson's story, including a discrepancy between how far the officer says brown ran from the car and where brown's body was found. there are also major differences between wilson's testimony and dorian johnson's that i interviewed earlier today. then there was a larger question why mike brown, 18 year old on his way to college, his whole life ahead of him, would act in such an aggressive manner one almost guaranteed it would appear to get him shot in dealing with a police officer. because he only testified before a grand jury, officer darren wilson's account was never directly challenged on the stand. the person who pointed this out earlier today in a series of tweets is lisa bloom, joins us now, legal analyst for nbc news. lisa, you had a series of tweets today about darren wilson's
testimony. what struck you about it and the way it was emitted to evidence in the grand jury proceeding? >> well, overall there was not a single tough question asked of him, and as a trial lawyer, so much jumped out at me as fertile ground for cross examination. for example, he says mike brown socked him hard in the face twice. he said, using the full force that mike brown had. mike brown being a pretty big, strong guy, and yet when you look at those photos, you really have to look carefully. this is probably the best photo where you can see a bit of pinkness and redness, but that is not consistent with being punched hard in the face a couple of times. it also doesn't make sense he'd be punched in the right side of his face when he's sitting in the driver's seat and mike brown is punching him right handed. the bigger picture is that darren wilson was not cross examined by these prosecutors. here they had their golden moment, defendant testifying, they could have asked him, for example, about how he told a police investigator mike brown struck him ten times and here in the grand jury room he said mike brown struck him twice. explain that discrepancy. explain the discrepancies in the distance, stand up and
demonstrate how physically some of this stuff can work when, frankly, it just doesn't work as a matter of physics, but they didn't do any of that. they let him come in, testify, talk about what he wanted to talk about, then he was done. >> bob mccullough pointed out yesterday, he said, look, you guys in the media have gotten this all wrong from the jump, listening to social media, listening to eyewitness accounts, those eyewitness accounts contradict each other and some of the evidence so we have these disputes and this testimony from darren wilson that appears to show this as a justified shooting. what's your response to that? >> yeah, you know, he's so right, chris, it's our fault in the media for talking about this, for transparency, and, of course, if there are conflicting witness statements, you could never have a prosecution. and on that theory, i guess we should open up all of our jails and let everybody go free.
i've been practicing law 28 yearsment i've never had a case there wasn't conflicting witness testimony. that's why you have a trial, but instead, he chose to have this sort of secretive trial where very clearly he did not want charges to be filed, so he set up a whole system. he didn't give them an indictment form, didn't give them any recommended charges, and he got exactly what he wanted. by the way, to the point of your last segment where he said this was just routine, in fact, on the record, on the transcripts in that grand jury room, bob mccullough started the proceeding by saying this is going to be very different, ladies and gentlemen of the grand jury, from the other cases that you heard and his two assistants continued that theme throughout, telling them, this was very different. >> one thing that strikes me when you put together all of darren wilson's account is, a, it's a kond of posthumous trial for mike brown, what kind of person was he, was he capable of the set of very aggressive actions that were alleged by darren wilson, but also, what was the motive? when you string it all together, someone starts by cursing a
police officer, slamming the door against them, punching them, reaching for the gun, daring them to shoot them, then when they get shot, runs away, stops, turns around with the officer, then decides to do a stutter step to run and bulk themselves up into a hail of gunfire, it is possible, of course, that that's what happened, but when you put all that together, that is, you know, if it did happen that way, it is a highly, highly, highly unusual way for a person to act. >> yeah, you're touching on something that's so important, again, as a matter of trial strategy. i might be a little bit of a wild-eyed radical in real life, but when i'm in trial, i want to occupy the center. i want to be the reasonable one, i want to have a theory that makes sense, that comports with everyone's common sense, so i'm not going to have a theory of mike brown is walking on the street on a sunny sunday afternoon with his friend and all of a sudden in a snap turns into a homicidal, suicidal maniac, reaching for a police officer's gun, which everybody knows is suicidal, pulling away, running away, then stopping,
turning back around, charging at a police officer who's already shot him twice. it just doesn't make a lot of sense, and again, darren wilson in that grand jury room was not pressed on this story. >> lisa bloom, thank you very much. last night we were in the thick of it here in ferguson, 61 arrests, 21 fires, looting, gunshots, and today the governor of missouri announced he was sending in thousands of national guard troops. tensions are high. what will happen tonight? we'll talk about that next.
st. louis county police have notified the public they have tear gas for attempting to burn a police car near the ferguson police department and city hall. usa today reporter is on the scene and has been watching the remnants of the protests that began at the ferguson police department. where are you, what are you seeing? >> right now i'm at the ferguson police station, because we were
out there, several protesters were outside city hall and then they were told that they were unlawfully assembling and they pretty much all scattered, and then police were kind of standing around and it was then i saw police starting to basically all turn and go up, basically, north. so i'm not sure where they are going, but the city hall is kind of quiet again. ferguson police, it's pretty peaceful here, but there must be something going on, because i saw at least a dozen cop cars going towards some unknown direction. >> earlier this evening, if i'm not mistaken, you saw someone attempt to throw a molotov cocktail or successfully threw one into a parked police car, is that right? >> yeah, so i was at the ferguson police station and about -- i mean, i would say more than 100 protesters marched to city hall. when they got there, it was unclear what they were doing,
then someone with what looked like a hammer started hammering at a police car, breaking all the windows, then they started rocking the police car, then i saw a young man with his face covered, looked like a handkerchief throw a molotov cocktail into the car and set his glove on fire, kind of celebrated for getting it into the car, but then started screaming because he realized he was also on fire. >> there's a metaphor in there somewhere. what became of the car and the gentleman? >> the car was not completely engulfed as in past -- as in yesterday. police officers arrived and they basically went to work and there's a lot of smoke, but the car was not completely damaged, however, most of the windows were broken out, turned on its side, so i doubt anybody's going to be driving that car any time soon, and police are saying they lobbed tear gas in response to that and i was standing there when police arrived in armored trucks with dogs and started lobbing tear gas at people and starting to tell people they couldn't be in that area, that they needed to move.
>> by and large at this point it sounds like the mass -- i mean, there were only at the peak, what, several hundred, a hundred or more protesters that has essentially dissipated at this hour? >> that's dissipated, but i'm now at the ferguson police station, so i'm not sure if they've reassembled somewhere else, because like i said, there's what sounds like a helicopter and like i said, dozens of police started going in some direction, so i'm almost positive something else is happening. i can't say there aren't hundreds of protesters assembled somewhere else that i'm not. >> yeah, we're watching a live aerial shot we've been seeing officers sort of scrambling back and forth over different parts of the area. there does seem to be a relatively large cluster of individuals underneath that "seasons greetings" sign, which is somewhat ironically strung above the ferguson police
department, but that is where you are, and we're not seeing a whole bunch of other folks assembled at this hour. the national guard has largely stayed back, as i understand it. they've kind of enforced a line in front of directly the police department, while the police have been in front interacting with protesters, jumping into the crowd to arrest some of them. that's basically been the approach tonight, right? >> that's been the approach, the national guard, from what i can tell, has not left the ferguson police station. when i saw city hall almost being set on fire and a police car being turned over, i thought the national guard would show up, but again, it was just the st. louis county -- not just, but the st. louis county armored vehicles that showed up and it was the officers -- it was officers in regular -- not regular plain clothes, but officer gear, versus the fatigues that the national guard is wearing, so i haven't seen any national guard in the street patrolling, however, i heard from my understanding there are
joining me now from ferguson action and msnbc national reporter. let me start with you, you've been here for months engaged in nonviolent direct action, training out doing actions tad, i saw you on the streets last night. how are you thinking about the shape of these protests after what happened last night? >> last night what we saw is a broken and beleaguered community that's been abused by every level of government. martin luther king often noted in march of 1968 that a riot is the language of the unheard, and what we saw last night was not
only buildings burning, but we saw democracy on fire, because it has betrayed the promise that it has given to these young people. >> reverend, is there some part of you, we were talking today about getting footage of some of the nonviolent direction actions. there are some protesters congregating outside ferguson police department right now, there's been some arrests, but also been some marches across the country, in l.a., in new york, in oakland. is there some part of you that wonders whether burning buildings are always going to attract more cameras than folks peacefully exercising their first amendment right? >> i mean, there's the sensationalist part of that, but there's something more at stake. for over 100 days, these young people, who are engaging in the second longest nonviolent civil disobedience engagement since the montgomery bus boycott, they have opened up the space, they have set a precedent for folks to be marching all over the country.
right now folks from our own beloved congregation are shutting down i-93, so these young people have inspired in a great and mighty way. they've been largely nonviolent and the images we saw last night is a response to the grand jury -- the grand jury did deliver in an indictment last night, and it was an indictment on american democracy, an indictment on our criminal justice system, and so they are going to stay in the streets and that is ultimately going to be for the long haul. the infrastructure that they are building and the organization that they are creating. >> trumaine, you were out reporting today, talking to folks. what were you hearing, how are people kind of processing the combination of last night's announcement and the night that followed? >> you know what, it's a lot to deal with. a lot of weight. and everyone is kind of sorting through the pieces.
one, there's the physical debris of last night to sift through, the buildings being burned down, all the hurt feelings, still tear gas and pepper spray used, so people trying to sort through all that, but then we were talking last night, how does the movement pivot? last night you had an organic, spontaneous eruption of anger, will they come out the way they did in august and spark things, you know, the way they flowed? so now many of the traditional organizations, those that formed in the wake of michael brown's death, they are holding back for a couple days. i talked to organizers who said we need to figure out how we're going to do this moving forward as we are going to be dealing with a lot of those angry young folks out in the streets now, but as reverend mentioned, there were still organized acts of civil disobedience, so again, how will this take shape moving forward? and one thing to piggyback on what daniel mentioned earlier, all or nothing kind of thing. folks are talking about we're upset you brought the national guard in, but then bring them in to protect the property and they didn't protect the property. there were other places as the buildings were burning there didn't seem to be any law enforcement present, then after everyone cleared out, then they
are marching down the street. so folks are trying to process not just the weight of the nonindictment by the grand jury and figure out what that means, but now on the ground with this actual movement they are building upon, where do they go from here with a narrative shifting the way it is. >> reverend, do you agree with that? >> well, i think the reality is that while some organizations are trying to make some sense of what's happening, today over 1,000 people marched on the department of justice, they occupied the martin luther king bridge here in st. louis, went to city hall, so there is still a combination of folks who are still trying to make some sense of this moment by continuing to push forward and continuing to organize. and then when you look at the question of what has happened with folks with the policing last night and the tear gas and the images that we saw last night, it is still that we should be celebrating young people who have been largely nonviolent for some 100-odd days, and we want to keep track of that, lift that up, because those angry young people will be the salvation of america. >> thank you gentlemen both. >> thank you. >> thank you.
>> it is a crystal clear frigid night here in ferguson, missouri. we'll be right back. things at this hour in ferguson, missouri, are relatively calm, as the last of protesters have assembled outside the ferguson police department. many at this hour have dispersed. of course, there are protests now across the country. reports coming in from new york
things at this hour in ferguson, missouri, are relatively calm, as the last of protesters have assembled outside the ferguson police department. many at this hour have dispersed. of course, there are protests now across the country. reports coming in from new york to los angeles to austin, texas, people shutting down freeways and expressing their frustration, chanting "black lives matter." thank you for joining us.