tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC December 1, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm PST
included five-day weeks. someone read it. someone actually read it. >> and they're going to do six in a row. i'm telling you, it's a great recommendation, but they're going to drop like flies. well, president obama brought the discussion of ferguson to the white house today. >> when any part of the american family does not feel like it is being treated fairly, that's a problem for all of us. >> ferguson is on the president's mind. >> to enhance understanding and cooperation between law enforcement officials and local communities. >> there's got to be a way we can do better. >> is meeting together for the first time since the grand jury decision. >> we don't want it to become another bureaucracy, taking the information and doing nothing.
>> i'm here forever screaming, crying, praying. >> i'm a citizen of ferguson, i'm depending on you. >> darren wilson resigned from the ferguson police department. >> in washington, d.c., demonstrators blocked traffic, staged a die-in protest at st. louis county retail stores. >> five players came out with their hands up. >> the assistant district attorney handed the grand jury an old, unconstitutional law. >> the protesters really believe that michael brown was targeted. >> which said incorrectly, that it is legal to shoot fleeing suspects, simply because they are fleeing. >> protesters are still looking for some sense of justice. darren wilson, who shot and killed the unarmed 18 year old michael brown resigned from the police department on saturday.
he will not receive any severance or benefits package. in a letter he said, it was my hope to continue in police work, but the safety of other police officers and the community is of paramount importance to me. it is my hope that my resignation will allow the community to heal. ferguson will need more than just darren wilson's leaving. the person who led the grand jury investigation clearly sided with officer wilson. the analysis of the grand jury transcripts reports quote, the prosecutors rarely asked skeptical questions of officer will s&p and frequently let testimony supporting him pass unchallenged while boring in on the statements of witnesses whose accounts conflicted with the officer's. the most positive assessment of the grand jury's work was that
she was utterly and completely incompetent. the other possibility is that she was actively biased in darren wilson's favor and acted in an unprofessional and unethical manner on her bias. as i pointed out on this program last week, in a stunning burst of incompetence or deliberate misdirection, she handed the grand jury a copy of what she said was the law governing police use of deadly force. but it had not been the law since 1985, when the united states sleep court ruled it unconstitutional. cathy alezadeh handed the grand jury a copy of an old, unconstitutional law that had not been the law during her entire legal career. it was a law, very favorable to darren wilson, because it said
police in missouri had the right to shoot any fleeing suspect simply because the suspect is fleeing. the supreme court ruled that unconstitutional in 1985, but cathy lease day did not tell the grand jury that. she let them sit through virtually all the testimony believing the old law was still in force. and only at the very end of the grand jury's process, just before they were ready to deliberate, did cathy alezadeh hand them a new document, specifying the correct law on police use of deadly force, and she told them as she handed them the law, that does correctly state what the law is on when an officer can use force and when he can use deadly force in effecting an arrest, okay? i don't want you to get confused. and don't rely on that copy or that printout of the statute that i've given you a long time ago.
there is not entirely correct or inaccurate. but there is something in it that's not correct. ignore it totally. now we all learned the answer in high school. it is one word, yes, but she could not bring herself to give that answer. that simple one word answer. instead, cathy alezadeh who took an oath as a lawyer, to guide that grand jury in the most honest and ethical way possible refused to answer that simple question from a grand jury. does the supreme court override the missouri statute. and instead, kathi alizadeh told the grand jury, quote, just don't worry about that. the other district attorney with her in the room chimed in, we don't want to get into a law class. the grand jurors' question didn't require a law class. it required a single word
answer, yes. kathi alizadeh never explained what was incorrect about that old constitutional law that she had given them, and she never explained to the grand jury the specifics of the new law that she handed to them on a piece of paper at the end of their investigation. kathi alizadeh's name does not appear in most reports and analysis of the michael brown case, but no one had a stronger influence on the grand jury's decision than kathi alizadeh. we have invited robert mcculloch and kathi alizadeh on to this program. and we have submitted the following questions to the district attorney. how many times has kathi alizadeh submitted the wrong law to a grand jury for its legal framework for an investigation?
how many times has the district attorney's office as a group submitted the wrong law to a grand jury as the legal framework for that grand jury's investigation? and is the michael brown case the very first time that the district attorney's office submitted the wrong law to a grand jury for the legal framework for its investigation? we have received no answers to any of those questions. joining me now is kendall coffey, a prosecutor. john burris, i want to go to you, because we're now at the stage where the question is, what's next. there's two possible questions here. one is the federal investigation and a possible federal prosecution and secondly, what
civil remedies does the family have in bringing a lawsuit? >> two things. in terms of a federal prosecution, the u.s. attorney's office or department of justice can bring a criminal lawsuit against the officer under 18 us 242. and race is not required. it is just really the use of excessive force under the color of law. that can be done. that's not that challenging of a case. it's not any different than bringing a murder case against a police officer. that actually can be done, although people think it can't be, i think it easily, it can be prosecuted. there's plenty of evidence to show technically when an officer says that he contemplated his legal right to take this shot, the last two shots. that certainly suggests to mow that was a reckless disregard. now of course they can bring a federal civil rights case under 42 usc 1983. these are common cases that are
brought all the time. i've brought many of these types of cases, and, again, it's the question of whether excessive force was used. in this particular case, the standard and burden of proof is less, it's preponderance of evidence, whereas in a criminal case, it's proof beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a much higher standard, but it's not any different than the standard you have in a regular criminal case. so i think either one of those can be brought, i know the civil case has to be brought. that's easy enough to do. that's a private matter, can be done by private lawyers. on the other hand, the criminal case has to be brought by the u.s. attorney's office or it can be brought out of the department of justice in washington, d.c. that also can be done. >> we had that in the rodney king case. here i think the concern is that the state, prosecutors have messed up the case by their examination of the various witnesses. and making it very difficult to bring another case. but at the same time, if you listen to the officers'
statements, those statements in and of themselves seem to constitute the basis upon which a civil rights case can be brought and won. because of his statements to shoot a man who had been wounded two or three times, who was walking, woundedly, he claims that he had some supernatural strength and he took the necessary effort to shoot this young man twice, in the face and in the head, and he did that when he was 30 or more feet away. that's murder. >> kendall coffey, your reaction to how this grand jury worked. i went through last week about kathi alizadeh submitting the wrong law as the framework for this investigation, before officer wilson testifies, and at the very last minute, one of the last things she does before that grand jury goes off to deliberate among themselves is she hands them the right law. but in both instances, she hands it to them on a piece of paper. she doesn't explain the law to them.
>> there's no excuse for misstating the law at such an unfortunate time in front of the critical witness. nor can it be justified that there was an ambiguous attempt to correct the misstatement toward the very end. and i think what this illustrates, and i want to get back to the point that john just made is that the federal process should take a very independent look at these facts, not relying on the grand jury determination in the state and local process. because as we've seen, there were many flaws in that process. i'm saying this with the utmost respect to the individual grand jurors but a lot of concern about the process itself. so that should not be a process that causes the feds to say, hey, they couldn't meet the state burden. we can't really seriously consider whether there's enough evidence here to meet the admittedly higher federal burden of showing some intentionality. it's not a burden to show race-based discrimination or
conscious thought about the constitution, but you do have to show reckless degree of intentionality and the with use of excessive force. and if you take the preponderance of witnesses who said they saw some sort of gesture of hands being raised. if you take some of officer wilson's statements and examine them through a window that says, what if he was lying. he said there was a hand reaching for the waist band on the part of michael brown. no other witness seems to have said that. he, officer wilson didn't seem to see the hands being extended up, as a number of other witnesses said. so if you piece together, not only the witness testimony that favors a homicide prosecution, but also what a prosecutor might say are false, exculpatory, that is to say statements by officer wilson that inaccurately attempted to portray a picture of innocence, you could add up to a case, it wouldn't be an easy federal case, but it is
israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu may be forced to call for special elections next year because of his approval rating. it has dropped to 38%. after soaring to 77% in august during the gaza conflict. netanyahu still polls above his closest competitors, but 47% of israelis are opposed to him seeking a fourth term as prime minister.
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the league as to what happened that night. the arbitrator disagreed finding, i did not find that rice misled the league. that the league did not realize the severity of the conduct without a visual record also speaks to their admitted failure in the past to sanction this type of conduct more severely. the washington post reports today that the nfl is considering changing its personal conduct policy to allow someone other than roger goodell to make discipline decisions, but the league insists that goodell would still handle appeals. espn reports that at least four enlightened football teams have shown interest in re rice. here is a preview of matt
lauer's interview with ray rice that will air on the today show tuesday morning. >> reporter: what do you think it would take for another owner and another group of fans to put the images of that video behind and say we'll take a chance on ray rice? >> one thing i think that, you know, they would have to be, you know, willing to, you know, look deeper into who i am and realize that me and my wife had one bad night, and i took full responsibility for it. and one thing about my punishment and everything going along with anything that happened is that i've accepted it. i went fully forward with it. i never complained or i never did anything like that. i took full responsibility for everything that i d and only thing i can hope for and wish for is a second chance. >> in her interview with matt lauer, janay rice addressed her controversial apology during the may press conference. >> reporter: did anyone at the
ravens say, janay, it would be really good if you issued some kind of an apology. >> they suggested it, yes. >> did they come up with the wording? >> no, not specifically. they gave us the general script. >> i do deeply regret the role that i played in the incident that night. >> reporter: that really started it. >> mm-hm. and that was frustrating for me because obviously people took it that i was taking light of what ray did. i was basically not doing what i was told but at the same time i didn't think it was completely wrong for me to apologize because at the end of the day i got arrested too, not taking anything off what ray did because i agree with everybody else, it was wrong. >> reporter: but had it not been for the ravens suggesting or urging you to apologize you would never have been at that press conference and would you never have apologized? >> no.
>> laura, there's janay rice saying they put her up to doing this apology and she wouldn't apologize if they didn't make her do it. within that statement, she says i got arrested too, so i did something wrong too. she said that to matt lauer. she was, in effect, apologizing within her retraction of the apology. >> yeah. and it's incredibly sad, isn't it, that she would do that. but i completely understand, because we live in this culture, in this society where we have this blameocracy where the team is writing a script. why wouldn't she feel some sort of responsibility or blame for that? it makes perfect sense. that's how everyone's telling her it's going to be. >> jordan, there's an espn report saying four teams are interested in signing ray rice.
and therefore, laura, i assume they're willing to put up with, i don't know, hundreds, thousands of protesters outside the stadium? they're willing to take on a controversy that's bigger than what the washington football team contends with? >> yeah. that's a good point. i will say this, there has been more reports saying now there's really only two teams, some teams are backing off, including new orleans and indianapolis. he is 28. if a team wants to make the playoff push, ray rice is one of those guys that a lot of people feel like could help. my thing is, roger goodell, it's easy to lead when it's convenient, now you're seeing what's happened with hem in the nfl, especially the player's union. >> there's an interesting line in what the arbitrator said, laura, where she's finding fault with roger goodell for not understanding what happened even
without seeing the individual of the punch of what happened in the elevator. she refers to the inadequacy of words to convey the seriousness of domestic violence. we all heard about this thing that happened inside the elevator. without seeing the video of what happened inside the elevator, we had no idea how hard a hit that was or exactly what his attitude was, what we could pick up about attitude after the punch. it seems to me that that video inside the elevator does change everybody's perception of it, including goodell's, had he seen it before he claims he saw it. that video does change things. >> it did for a lot of people, although i have a hard time understanding why. what do people think happened in that elevator to knock a woman completely cold and unconscious? it had to take an assault like this. if this was a stranger who had
done it to some random person on the street we'd be calling it a brutal assault. but we refer to this as domestic violence that it's somehow less than an assault. we should be horrified no matter what kind of abuse or domestic violence this is. >> this rice family campaign to get back, there is a serious flaw in it since it involves an attack on roger goodell. there's janay saying roger goodell's not saying the truth. what nfl owner is saying you can say that about roger goodell today and i will hire you tomorrow. >> that's why i don't think ray rice is playing this season. i do think he gets another shot. but you've got to understand, it's not just the ray rice in terms of the assault, hardy, ray mcdonald. it's been a consistent theme with roger goodell.
that's why if i have to really be honest with you, i don't think ray rice plays this season. you have to understand, if roger goodell says he's only going to be responsible for appeals, doesn't that create a situation that he's not the leader that he once was. he's operating under a lens where he's acting and not pro acting and his responsibility is minimized. coming up, republicans are looking for ways to edit what the president did with his executive action on immigration. we'll see if they're able to do that. and next, the faa is going to start regulating about those drones that are flying too close to airports. they need to do so much more than they've been doing. [ narrator ] mama sherman and the legion of super fans.
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every month now the federal aviation administration receives about 25 reports, 25 a month of unmanned drones, flying in restricted airspace or flying too close to commercial or private aircraft. the faa currently regulates the recreational use of drones. according to the wall street journal, the faa will issue new rules for commercial use of drones. reportedly, the new regulations will limit flights to 400 feet during daylight hours and
require operators to be certified pilots. joining me now is former air force chief of safety and drone expert, fred roggero. what are you getting as a sense of what the commercial regulations are going to be? >> i think that those rules that you outlined are a first step, a very positive one that we need to take. this is a revolutionary industry. this industry can bring a lot of jobs to the u.s. as a matter of fact as we delay and delay and don't get into it, we see a lot of jobs in these capabilities going to overseas markets. so we feed to step it up. but we also need to do this in a very safe manner, and that's
what, that's what we're trying to do with resilient solutions is help those companies that want to operate commercially, but they don't really have that aviation safety culture, if you will, that 70 years of operating airplanes, drone operators are tending to pick up and move out without being able to capture those lessons learned from aviation mistakes. >> it seems that commercial operators of drones will have all the right incentives to do the right thing. they will be conscious of liability. they will be afraid of jeopardizing people in any way. but it's these recreational drones around airports that seem to be the most dangerous thing out there in the sky these days, and the operators of those drones may not have any idea what the regulations are. >> lawrence, you're exactly right. there's a large group of operators, from my experience, that are very responsible.
they know the rules, and they fly by the rules. and the ama, the american modeler's associate does a terrific jock of self-policing those activities. but there is a small segment that knows the rules but yet chooses to disobey the rules. can you go on youtube and see plenty of those types of individual yeses. but what's really concerning as you well point out, lawrence is that there's a larger group that's growing every day, cyber monday, today, a lot of people probably purchased their first drone today, but there's this larger group that purchases the drones but doesn't know the rules. and then they start to fly their drones, which are very simple to operate, it's very high-tech equipment, but very easy for anybody to learn how to operate in less than a minute. and they don't know that they're within five miles of an airport or they don't know how high 400 feet is. and those are the ones we have
to educate, as a community, into showing them what risk they're putting onto those people in the airplanes that are airborne while the drone operator stands firmly and very safely on the ground. >> seems like there's going to have to be some arrests in some of these cases, too, as an example. i mean, if you don't learn the rules the easy way, there is the hard way. >> that's true. enforcement action is going to have to take place so that that message does get across. and then it's also incumbent on all of us, if we see somebody operating a drone in an area that they're not supposed to, we need to say something. we need to put it on ourselves and local law enforcement needs to get involved as well. >> thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you for having me, lawrence. coming up, so republicans are so angry at the president over his immigration executive order that they'll do anything, anything, or they say they will. we'll try to figure out what they'll really do.
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difficult for me to stand up and answer question actively to the teacher. >> that's mazdar remembering a school in malawi that had no desks. he was one of the exceptional students who made it all the way through elementary school. even today only 52% of learners in malawi complete elementary school. he is now the head teacher at an elementary school in malawi that until this year had no desks for any of the students. >> when we are going out for break, we are barefooted. when you step into the mud you come into the classroom with the mud. so if you sit on the floor, it means you get dirty.
nowadays we just, if they sit at the desk, their clothes will be clean as they came from their house. >> many of the barefoot children i've seen at malawi schools have one shirt, one pair of pants or one dress, and keeping that outfit clean in a school with no desks is impossible as mazdar just told us. in malawi culture this is more of a problem for girls than boys. >> previously when i was teaching in a school without desks we had a lot of challenges, some of the challenges being that the moment we asked elena a question, in order for her or him to answer, it was very difficult for him or her to stand up.
more especially for the girl elena. she was fighting problems to stand up. because the moment she tries to stand up, she was supposed to clean herself, because she's a girl. so it was very difficult for a girl to stand up quickly. now, nowadays, as we are asking questions to a girl elena, it is very simple for her to stand up quickly and respond to our questions. >> mazdar's school has desks now, thanks entirely to you. the kind fund, kids in need of desks, a partnership that i created with unicef has filled his school with desks. desks just like this one. made in malawi, by workers who now have jobs and can feed their
families, again, thanks entirely to you. >> since we started making the desks, we had to increase our workforce, because we need a lot of people to make the desks. a lot of processes going through that. you have welders, people cutting the tubings, people polishing the edges, assembling the desks, and yes, it does create a lot of employment, and most of the malawians have big families. so although you have one person, he is supporting like another ten people, so that goes a long way. >> sense i announced the creation of the kind fund on this program, you have repeatedly opened your hearts and wallets and have contributed over $7.5 million. the audience of this program has done that. this is the only forum we have for encouraging contributions to the kind fund. it's all up to you.
and it has been all up to you from the start. and your outpouring of support has literally changed the odds for kids in malawi schools. before the kind fund, only one in five learners in malawi schools had desks, now two out of five learners in malawi schools have desks. we have a long way to go for the 5 million public school students in malawi to all have desks, but we're getting there. hundreds of thousands of kids in malawi have now sat at these desks that you have provided for them, and their schoolwork is improving. >> previously, as they were writing, they were writing using their knees. so it was very difficult for them to write, to have very good handwriting.
now, nowadays, since we have these desks, it is very good for the elenas, because they are writing, using the desks. so they are having a very good handwriting as compared to the previous time. that's the importance of the desks now. >> and your desks, these desks, that you've contributed, are improving school attendance. >> we had dropouts in the villages, not willing to come back to school. but as the desks arrived and were at the school, those dropout elenas have come back to school. >> school attendance drops off dramatically during the high school years in malawi, for several reasons. most importantly because public high schools are not free.
most students cannot afford the fees for high school. girls suffer the most when families make their decisions about school fees. parents are more likely to pay for a boy's education than a girl's. that's why we added a girls scholarship fund to the kind fund, free high school tuition for as many girls as we can support. when you contribute to the kind fund, you can specify that your contribution should be used for desks or for girls tuition. for that person who has everything on their gift list this season, you can give one of these desks in his or her name and unicef will send a gift card showing that a desk or a girl's tuition has been donated in your gift recipient's name. and like all charitable giving, a kind fund gift is tax-deductible. i couldn't make a visit this year because i spent a few months on the disabled list
recovering from a broken hip. so the interview we showed you today was not conducted by me. it was done by a group of journalism students at montclair university, led by steve mccarthy. the interest of american students in the kind fund is crucial to its success, because the kind fund has years and years of work ahead. as cyber monday draws to a close and you make your final online purchases of the night, you might consider taking a few of the dollars that you've saved today in those amazing online sales and going to the kind website. lastworddesks.msnbc.com. and if you can't afford anything you can still help by tweeting or posting on facebook a link to the kind fund at lastworddesks.msnbc.com. you can call 1-800-4 unicef.
kids don't know that they need these desks because they've never actually seen desks until that magical day when these desks suddenly arrive. >> i tell you that the desk delivered at the school, that's christmas for these kids. christmas comes in december 25th and pretty much nothing happens in their lives. when a desk is delivered to them at the school, that is christmas. you have made their day. you have made their year. you have made their lives. >> the work men who accompany the delivery of these desks to a school never have to carry the desks into the classroom. the kids always do that themselves. spontaneously, without anyone telling them to do that.
when i was a kid, i was never more excited than on christmas morning, and i've seen a lot of other excited kids on christmas morning, but i've never seen anything like the excitement and joy of kids in malawi who have never received a gift in their lives, carrying their new desks. their desks. into their classrooms. and they always, spontaneously, without anyone telling them to do it, they always say thank you in song. ♪ you can get out of the c-max hybrid. it's about how much life you can fit into it. ♪
i'i like to think of myself as more of a control... enthusiast. mmm, a perfect 177-degrees. and that's why this road warrior rents from national. i can bypass the counter and go straight to my car. and i don't have to talk to any humans, unless i want to. and i don't. and national lets me choose any car in the aisle. control. it's so, what's the word?... sexy. go national. go like a pro. i am here to announce what i'm sure will be the most talked-about executive action of this month. [ laughter ] >> today i am taking an action fully within my legal authority, the seam kind of action taken by democrats and republican presidents before me.
to spare the lives of two turkeys. >> the executive action john boehner and congressional leaders will be talking about tomorrow morning when they meet to discuss strategy will be the president's immigration executive action. house and senate republicans are still furious over president obama's executive action and are looking for a way to do something about it with just ten days to pass a bill to keep the government running. boehner is doing everything possible to convince his caucus, especially the tea party that a government shutdown is not a good idea. according to today's "new york times," alternatives include cutting off funding for federal immigration services or senate republicans refusing to confirm presidential nominees, including loretta lynch for attorney general. one said if i were john boehner, i'd say send us your state of the union in writing, you're not welcome in our chamber. joining me now is reporter for
the washington post. robert, might we not have a big state of the union address next year? >> i think the president will be invited to come to the house. that is just talk you hear on the hard right, not in the mainstream part of the republican party, but you're certainly seeing a lot of pressure from national republicans, establishment republicans to not have a showdown. i staked out a fundraiser on capitol hill, bush, in his private remarks urged officials and donors to not have a shutdown, to fund the government and move on. >> and what are the chances of these republican leaders being able to get that done, having to control the tea party faction at the same time? >> it's going to be difficult. they returned to the floor and had a series of evening votes. and on the floor they huddled. boehner wants to try to get
something through to fund the 12 appropriations bills, at the same time, expect some sort of statement bill to emerge. there's one that is expected to push back. but at the same time they're looking for something to avoid a government shutdown. >> are any of them talking seriously about legislating a response to what the president has done? >> sure, leaving the meeting, senator rob portman of ohio said the only logical step to take is not some sort of fiscal standoff or shutdown but to pass stand alone bills. can republicans come together with any kind of message besides anger? that's going to be the question for boehner and mcconnell. >> and outside of immigration,
are they trying to establish some kind of ground rules about how to respond to this, like saying whatever action we take, it has to be relevant to immigration, meaning we don't hold up nominations for this, we do things that are relevant to immigration? >> privately you're hearing no talk of censure or impeachment, but there's not a real push back from the leadership because the leadership in the senate and house are weary of hitting conservatives too hard. they're trying to handle this in a very delicate way. almost slip through government funding in december and then fight next year when they have a grip on power. >> so we're going to pencil in the state of the union address at this point in our calendars. thank you for joining us tonight. leading the way. let's play "hardball." ♪
♪ good evening, i'm chris matthews back in washington. i'm back and i'm thrilled to see how president obama is leading this country across what has been for centuries, the san andreas fault of american life. i'm talking about race. what the president said today carries power and truth to both sides of this red hot topic we now call ferguson. and like the word watergate, the name of this community in missouri carries far more meaning. it means something historic, something deeply rooted and whether people like to hear it or not, real as hell. and thoughtfully the president was not out there today giving soothing speeches, talking about the blue states loving the red states. he was talking about real problems, deadly problems, american problems. and just as thoughtfully a lot of us were hoping he's talking solutions. changes that can restore peace and save lives, like cameras on police officers and mandatory