tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC April 10, 2015 12:00am-1:01am PDT
's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> the reason for the stop is because your brake light is out? >> reporter: dash cam video of the walter scott traffic stop is released. and tonight, another man comes forward, saying he was wrongfully tased by officer michael slager. that man and his lawyer and a witness join me, exclusively. then, co-chair of the obama task force on policing, on the push for more body cameras. tremaine lee on the change that came to ferguson this week. why rand paul is openly feuding with the nra. and another state is banning employees from saying climate change. >> being green is about saving green. >> "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. in the shooting death of an apparently unarmed black man by a white police officer in south carolina, there is now dash cam video.
officer michael slager has, of course, been arraigned, charged with murder for the shooting death of walter scott. officer slager was also dismissed from the north charleston police force after this video was presented to authorities, which appears to show officer slager shooting mr. scott as he runs away. the south carolina law enforcement division as well as the fbi are conducting ongoing investigations. the dash cam video shows what happens in those first minutes after officer slager pulled mr. scott over. it shows the final moments before the shooting. [ radio playing ]
>> of course, we know what happened next, after the two men disappeared from the dash cam video, because it was caught on video by a bystander. officer slager fired eight shots, five struck mr. scott, according to the coroner's report. the man who recorded that video, without which there might not be a true accounting of what happened that day met with the parents of michael scott today, for the first time since he turned over his video to the family. joining me now, msnbc natural correspondent, joy reid. joy, i know you've been down there today and you've been talking to the family. one thing that struck me about this is that the initial thought is for a third brake light being out. it was pretty clearly, essentially an investigatory, a pre-contextual stop because he saw this guy and want to search him and see what he was up to. >> yeah, absolutely. and the initial parts of this approximate three-minute video are pretty routine.
the third brake light, which i assume would be a minor violation, but it becomes very clear that walter scott did not want to continue the interaction. we're still trying to confirm at what stage he was in purchasing that car. so he clearly did not want to continue the interaction. but there was nothing in that initial stop that seemed threatening or violent in any way. but once mr. scott gets out of the car and runs, that is where the big questions begin. the hearing "taser, taser, taser." hearing, something on the order of "stop or i'll taze you," and later on saying, "get on the ground, put your hands behind your back." was he yelling that before or after the actual shooting. the taser, is that what was dropped near the body? those are the huge unanswered questions that this dash cam video does not help us to answer. >> that dash cam video getting released by the south carolina law enforcement division.
we were discussing last night how they are the investigatory bod for officer-involved shooting. some reporting today from unnamed officials basically saying, we had some questions when we showed up at the site of that shooting and saw what looked pretty clearly like entry wounds in walter scott's back. >> exactly. and we do know that there were approximately eight shots fired from officer slager's gun. five of them hit walter scott, four of them hit him in the back, one hit him in the ear. none of those shots hit him from the side, nothing from the front. he was definitively shot in the back, as we of course saw in that now-infamous cell phone video. but my biggest question would be the second officer on the scene. the african-american officer who arrives some time around the time that officer slager is standing over the body and dropping whatever that object was near the body, how much of the interaction before that, the chase, did he see, what did he do?
there's not a lot of narrative. i have not yet been able to obtain much in a way of a narrative from that officer, there's just a very short paragraph that we hear that he says he administered some sort of aid to mr. scott. but i would love to know what that officer saw and what he did and whether he reported seeing mr. slager drop something near that body. >> msnbc national correspondent joy reid, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> officer michael slager has been accused of using excessive force against another unarmed black man back in 2013. the incident in question occurred at the home of mario givens where officer slager and another officer arrived in the middle night. he said officer slager ordered him to come out of the house or he would be tased. mr. givens described what happened next to our own joy reid. >> i'm being honest, i knew if i came out of the house, he would do me all kinds, i didn't come out of the house. the other officer ended up running around to the front. he grabbing on to me too, the white officer backed up, pulled
out the taser, the black officer moved out of the way, i old my hand up and he still hit me. when he tased me now, he sat on me and twist me up. he didn't just taze me and put no cuffs on me. they sit there, sit on my back, twist my arm. >> mr. givens was not arrested, because it was apparently a case of mistaken identity. according to mr. givens' account of the incident, the police were looking for his brother. mr. givens later filed a formal complaint against officer slager, but, this is key, officer slager's personnel file shows he was exonerated of wrongdoing in the incident. but now north charleston police spokesman, spencer pryor, tells the ap that the department will review its decision to exonerate officer slager in that case. mr. givens and his attorney held a news conference today and they joins us now. mario givens, mr. givens fiancee also eyewitnessed the incident. mr. givens, let me start with you. when this incident happened, it
was the middle of the night, police knock on the door. you say that officer slager tased you, essentially for no reason, even though you were in your doorstep, with your hands up. is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> what motivated you to file a formal complaint? were you hoping that you would see some accountability for him? and did the police ever get back to you about how that complaint was processed? >> yes, i was looking to hope to get some kind of justification, because he use his power, just because he got power. and, no, they did not get back at me about the situation. when they told me they got back at it, they told me they didn't find him doing no wrong. >> miss whitaker, you watched all this happen, what was your understanding of what was happening when you saw officer slager fire the taser at mr. givens. >> say that again for me.
>> what was your understanding of the situation? did it look unprovoked to you when mr. slager fired his taser? >> well, when he fired the taser, that's when he fell to the ground, but he already had his hands up, so i couldn't understand why he fired the taser from the beginning. if he was already, you know, there with his hands out. like, not fighting, not resisting, anything. >> mr. givens, did you remember the name of the officer when you saw the news accounts, that it was this officer, michael slager, the same one that had tased you in your own home, did you immediately make that connection? >> when i saw his picture, not by the name, but his picture, yes. >> you remembered him? >> yes. when i saw his face, the picture of him, but not by name. >> what'd you think when you saw his face? >> first thing came to my mind was, if they had really honestly listened to me and investigated it like they should have, then that man would have been alive
right now and not dead. >> mr. curry, what would you like to see from the north charleston police in terms of how they did investigate this claim by your client? >> first of all, i would like to see transparency, chris. what is going on down here is there is a systemic problem. this is not an isolated case as it's been painted up to be. but there's a systemic problem about the aggression of north charleston police and the police department toward the citizenry. and what we want to address is, is there a cultural sensitivity training? are they really holding themselves accountable? are there situations where they really should look at it to see whether or not the police are doing wrongdoing? the time is out for the citizenry to be under terror and fear. police are here to protect and serve. and when you put a badge on, it doesn't make you superman, and
it certainly doesn't make you a super villain. so what we've got to do is have a sense of accountability about a systemic and systemic problem that has raised its ugly head. >> mr. curry, do you have any reason to believe that the process that was used to investigate your client's complaint was insufficient or in any way manipulated. >> well, i think it's flawed. because when you talk about the blue line effect in officers evaluating other officers, i believe that it's almost impossible to get a true and accurate accountability and transparency. we need to have an external investigation that would look at all of the complaints toward every police officer, red, yellow, white or black, against every piece of the citizens or every part of citizenry that is in north charleston. and when you do that, you can get a clearer view about what's really going on. >> mario givens, yolanda
whitaker, and mr. curry, thank all, really appreciate it. >> thank you. all right. does walter scott's shooting death make the case for requiring all police officers to wear body cameras? the co-chair of president obama's task force on policing will be here to answer that, ahead. now you can split the check almost as fast as i can slice a pizza. and i can slice it pretty fast. introducing payshare. new at papa john's. share your bill on any mobile or online order. better ingredients. better pizza. papajohns.com
right now there's breaking news out of suitland, maryland, where a gunman is apparently barricaded at the headquarters of the u.s. census bureau. he rammed the gates and then reportedly shot a guard in the chest. that guard is reportedly in extremely critical condition. the fbi still investigating. it's still an active shooter situation. a gunman barricaded at census headquarters right now. we'll keep monitoring this breaking news and bring you the very latest as it happens.
3057 is a mandate that all law enforcement agencies in the state of south carolina would be adorned with body cameras. i'm sorry it took this to sort of make people realize how bad we need this bill to become law. >> south carolina yesterday, i spoke to state representative wendell gillard, who represents charleston county, which includes north charleston, and who even before the killing of walter scott had introduced and pushed hard legislative mandating that all law enforcement in the state wear body cameras. police groups have expressed opposition to such legislation, citing privacy concerns as well as the cost of buying the cameras and then storing the data. but, in the wake of the killing of walter scott, which was captured on a bystander's video, opposition to video cameras among lawmakers may be fading,
as congressman mark sanford told me last night. >> i've had a couple of conversations with state legislators at the state level today, and what they have said is that this has, ins says, changed their vote. >> from being skeptical a week ago to being for it? >> correct. >> in december, the white house proposed spending $75 million to get 50,000 police body cameras on the street. a short time ago, i spoke to the co-chair of the federal task force on police form, commissioner ramsey, about how walter scott's killing changes the debate. >> body cameras are certainly a part of it, but clearly from the video that we saw, at least in my opinion, i didn't see any justification for the shooting. what a body camera would have done, it would have captured the entire event from beginning to end and you probably would have not have any gaps, even though recently, they just released the initial dash cam. but there is a gap in between that and the actual shooting
that took place. with a body camera, the entire event probably would have been captured on film. >> the south carolina state legislature has some members who have proposed body cameras, mandates for body cameras. the commission that you are a co-commissioner on has stopped short of endorsing an official policy solution in terms of body cameras. do you think you're going to re-visit that? >> no, well, we actually, in our tech and social media, we do spend time talking about body cameras, but we wanted to address a larger issue of technology and how quickly it's advancing the need for policy, the need to make sure that we work within constitutional guidelines. i mean, today we're talking about body cameras. tomorrow, it will be something else. so we didn't want to just focus on one aspect of technology, but certainly, most departments, including my own, are moving towards body cameras.
but i would hope that any legislature that's planning on passing legislation mandating the use of body cameras also supplies funding for that. because it is a pretty expensive proposition. >> there's also been proposals in a number of states to restrict the right of citizens to videotape police interactions with police. what do you think of those proposals? >> well, i don't agree with that. people have a right to videotape. i don't have a problem with that at all. you know, as long as they're not interfering with an arrest. if they're interfering with an arrest, that's different. but people have the right to videotape. and our actions should be such that it doesn't matter if someone is videotaping. in fact, it could actually help tell the story about what actually took place. so i think it would be a mistake to pass legislation like that. but it is appropriate to make sure that people understand that they cannot interfere with the arrest process. >> as a veteran police officer yourself, as a co-chair of this task force on police form, what do you say to the hundreds of
people who have contacted me on social media, if not thousands, to say, look at how police reported this when it happened and what actually happened. why should we believe what we hear from police officers when they self-report about some officer-involved shooting or some incident with a suspect. >> well, what i would hope people do is not stereotype and paint all police with the same brush. i mean, essentially, many people are doing the same thing they're accusing police of doing, and that is stereotyping an entire community or a group of people. we're all individuals. it doesn't mean if there's not misconduct on the part of a few police officers, but we have 18,000 police departments in this country, almost 500,000 law enforcement officers. the vast majority of whom do the job very, very well. accurately report whatever took place during the course of their tour of duty.
but there are some that don't. and those are the ones that we have to weed out and we have to deal with. i think this whole issue around videotaping is going to go a long way toward making sure that there's transparency in terms of police conduct out there in the community. and i think that's a good thing. >> philadelphia police commissioner, charles ramsey, thank you very much for your time. >> thank you. well, national attention was focusing on charleston, there was something happening in ferguson. did the shooting who showed up to vote in the first local election since michael brown's death? we go to ferguson to find out. that's ahead. listerine® total care helps prevent cavities strengthens teeth and restores tooth enamel. it's an easy way to give listerine® total care
more news out of south carolina today, as newly minted republican presidential candidate rand paul made a campaign stop in the state in front of the "us yorktown" aircraft carrier. a backdrop seemingly chosen as an olive branch for hawks concerned about his past efforts to trim defense spending. the more wars caucus isn't paul's only problem. paul complained today about the national rifle association decision not to invite him to speak, alongside almost every major republican presidential hopeful at the nra's annual meeting tomorrow. a snub that raises the question, is rand paul too extreme for the nra? we'll discuss that later in the show. plus, a wisconsin state board votes to ban any discussion sore work related to global warming. i'll talk to the lone dissenter in that vote, ahead. plus, change comes to
ferguson, missouri. we take you inside this week's historic election in ferguson. that's next. t. so why pause to take a pill? and why stop what you're doing to find a bathroom? with cialis for daily use, you don't have to plan around either. it's the only daily tablet approved to treat erectile dysfunction so you can be ready anytime the moment is right. plus cialis treats the frustrating urinary symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently, day or night. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain as it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, get medical help right away for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision or any symptoms of an allergic reaction stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. why pause the moment? ask your doctor about cialis for daily use.
i was taken back by the warm and kind reception that we received today from the family. they are an outstanding family within our community. those of you, however you choose to offer up prayers, please pray for this family and the time that they're going through. >> mayor of north charleston is a man by the name of keith summey, who has received high marks in the way he has handled the shooting death of scott. he has a reason to take this very seriously, other than the office moral outrage over what michael slager did.
summey is a white republican, least been in office for over 20 years, and up for re-election this year in a city that is 37% white, 47% african-american, and gave 71% of its vote to barack obama in the 2012 presidential election. summey happens to be the mayor of a city where voter turnout in mayoral elections tends to hoefer around 10%. battling similar voter turnout numbers in the past is the majority black city of ferguson, missouri. ferguson's mayor is white, its six-member city council had only one african-american serving on it, but all that changed on tuesday when the city held its first municipal election since the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old michael brown and the subsequent report that the city's police department from the department of justice. nbc national reporter trymaine lee was there in ferguson to chronicle the day's events.
>> i'm asking for your vote and we need to get things changed around here. >> reporter: election day in ferguson. in the city's 120-year history, only three african-american candidates have run for city council. but on tuesday, that all changed. with half of the seats on the city council up for grabs, four african-american candidates were on the ballot. and in the first municipal election since an unarmed 18-year-old was fatally shot by a ferguson police officer, a lot is at stake. >> the new council could set ferguson on a new path, helping select a new city manager, police chief, and top judge. leaders who have resigned since the doj report. >> reporter: in a city where two-thirds of the residents are african-americans, there's only one african-american who currently serves on the city council. lee smith was a candidate in ward three, home to the apartments where michael brown died. >> what do you think it is this time in ferguson and the circumstances that made it pop like this.
michael brown's death sparked in a way that few other deaths have. >> the governing body had just become comfortable with taking advantage, i think, of people that don't have power. the court system here, the law enforcement here, had became a place where there was a complete disrespect of the citizens and especially in the african-american community. >> reporter: wesley bell, smith's opponent, is a lawyer and a judge in another town. he hopes that the activism seen over the summer will turn into political action. >> you cannot effectuate sustainable change without political access. >> reporter: in ward 2, a familiar face is on the ballot. ferguson's former mayor, and the man behind the i love ferguson campaign, i ryan fletcher. he acknowledged a need for change in how the police serve the community. >> i do favor the police department staying, but we obviously have to have very,
very heavy sensitivity and diversity training with these officers and explain what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. >> reporter: fletcher's opponent, bob hutchins, sees a starker reality. >> we have a good community. there are good people. there are good policemen. but we're in a system of the courts and the police and again, economics, that is oppressing the majority of this town. >> reporter: some voters, meanwhile, remain cautiously optimistic. moving forward, what kind of ferguson do you want to see in the coming years? >> a closer relationship between the people and the political individuals. meaning the police department. meaning the mayor. meaning the ones who actually make changes. >> good evening, the world will be watching adds voters in ferguson go to the polls this week. those voters have the chance to transform the political landscape in that city.
>> reporter: ferguson voters elected their former mayor, brian fletcher, to the city council. they also elected two of the african-american candidates on the ballot. wesley bell was one of them. the ferguson city council now has three african-american members and three white members. and while a 29% turnout doesn't seem like much, it's more than double the 12% that voted last election. ultimately, history was made here on tuesday, a change was made to the levers of power. the question now is, will it be enough? >> we have an opportunity to effectuate broad, sustainable change. and i think we've got to take advantage of that. we can't look back three years from now and say, oh, we missed an opportunity. >> talking to me now, msnbc's national reporter, trymaine lee, whose voice you heard tracking that. you're now in north charleston, came straight from ferguson, where you're covering that election. in terms of ferguson, there was a lot of emphasis, effort, and attention put on that election. what was your big takeaway from it?
>> reporter: i think the big takeaway was is that over the course of seven months, the question really was always going to be, could all the organizing, all the anger and protests amount to some sort of political power? and in some ways, it did in this election, and some ways it didn't, in terms of the candidates of choice for many protesters. but as we mentioned in that package, to go from 12% turnout last election to 30%, that's an extreme -- that's an explosion. i was told by a state senator that in one polling place near canfield green apartments, where michael brown was killed, last election, four people showed up to vote. that's four. this year, when she was leaving, there were 80 people in that polling place. that's big difference. and clearly, many focuses are motivated by all of the emotions and all of the context of the last seven months. >> in north charleston where you are now, when you and i were there, we were talking to a bunch of different people who were sort of laying out what the picture of that place is like. and a lot of people, their first line was, this isn't ferguson, this isn't ferguson, which seems
to be true, both literally and also in terms of the level of tension there is. but a lot of people, i know that you were talking to, were talking about parts of north charleston that are predominantly african-american, where folks feel like their profile doesn't matter, of course. >> that's right. so the same issues that were reflected in the department of justice report out of ferguson, disproportionate stops of black folks, wide and long complaints from some community members saying they were targeted and harassed by the police. you're hearing the same things here. so why this isn't ferguson one in that the police officer, michael slager, was charged with murder, and he's locked up right now in the county jail. so the system seems to be working. but they say the killing itself just highlights, you know, the breadth of the issue here. and talking about the city council in ferguson. just in about an hour ago, a dozen or so protesters, many of them black lives matter protesters, spilled from city hall behind me. what they did is they actually read a list of demands. one of those demands was that they wanted a sit-down meeting in the mayor within 24 hours to
set a meeting within the next seven days. they want a civilian complaint review board with subpoena power. they also want to push for a voter registration drive to kind of change the complexion of what's going on here politically. but they also, outside of politics, want to start something called the do-shoot campaign, where if you see someone pulled over by the police, you pull out your camera and shoot it. many of you say, again, without video of this cooling of walter scott, there would be no arrest or murder charges. so here they're trying to figure out the same thing. how do they turn this anger into some sort of political power or power otherwise? >> trymaine lee, thank you very much. >> thank you. all right. why has the nra snubbed a guy who says there's no greater advocate for the second amendment in congress than himself? the explanation, next.
attention to shell's plans to use the rig to drill for oil in the arctic later this summer. the company has not drilled in the arctic since 2012. the rig, which the activist boarded three days ago, is now northeast of hawaii, en route to seattle, where shell hopes to base its arctic drilling staging ground. the company has now filed a complaint in federal court in alaska against greenpeace, seeking an injunction to get the activist off the rig, and to prevent similar actions in the future. the activists say they have no plans to leave, and they have hung a pair of banners to the rig to show the worldwide. earlier today, we spoke to one of the activists and asked when she expected to get off the rig. >> i'm wondering the same thing myself, in the middle of the cold, cold nights. but i really don't know. i know that myself and my teammates are all pretty committed to staying here for as long as we can and as long as it takes to get our message out and i guess we're just going to find out how long that really is.
i'm eager to meet these gun enthusiasts. >> there's a lot of folks here, and the nra, that are out here for the first time. that makes my heart grow with joy. a lot of kids and women. i mean, it's wonderful! >> it is wonderful. the nra's annual convention starts tomorrow in nashville. practically the entire 2016 republican primary field is scheduled to speak tomorrow. two notable exceptions, however, chris christie and rand paul. now, according to the nra, neither was invited to address the nra's leadership forum. new jersey governor chris christie got a "c" rating from the nra back in 2013 when he ran for re-election. but senator rand paul maintains
an "a" rating with the group. so why is an official 2016 presidential candidate who is, frankly, a gun rights maximalist, in good standing with the nra, being snubbed by the nra? the daily beast's olivia nutsy suggests that rand paul just might be too extreme for the nra. rand paul has passed ties to other gun rights groups who see themselves as conservative options to the nra. take gun owners for america, for instance, whose website has testimony from ron paul, promptly displayed, calling the group the only no-compromise gun lobby in washington. and his chief council, just days after the sandy hook has shooting, accused the nra of hiding from the press saying, quote, people see the nra as awol and a lot of people see and hear us fighting, they'll remember it. in an interview with bloomberg politics today, rand paul acknowledged the cold shoulder from the nra, but shrugged it off, saying, probably looks a little bit petty for them not to
invite a major candidate because i raised money for other second amendment groups. according to politico, the nra claims paul wasn't invited simply because they couldn't accommodate all the 2016 hopefuls. joining me now, joan walsh, editor at large for salon. i love this story. >> it's a great story. >> there's a few things here. one, it strikes me that rand paul, like chris christie, is someone that likes fighting, likes arguing, likes being in beefs with people. derives some sense of personal satisfaction from it. >> he enjoys it personally and politically. he wants to show to the right that he's a guy who will stand up to female journalists on the one hand and the nra, let's point out, on the other hand. >> the rights of the narrative is, oh, this guy, he's a jerk, like, he's beefing the nra too. >> i've come around to that point too. >> equal opportunity! i'm happy to see that. but, you know, the nra, he's right, in a way, they are being very petty. he does have an a rating and he is a top tier candidate, like it
or not. it's sort of strange, unless you look at the nra as a big racket, which it is, and he's with this other racket. on the other hand, the other rackets are really pretty shady operations, too. it's hard for me to be sympathetic to the nra, but they're pretty creepy. >> yeah, the national association of gun rights, nagr, which is basically sort of supported and have affiliates, people who are working for it, who are direct male fund-raising consultants, who are also super tight with his father, ron paul. i believe the figure is one of these figures made -- >> 20% of the money that ron paul raised in 2012 went to this guy who founded the ngra. >> okay. and he is now working for rand paul. >> right. >> so this is what this place was like, when you start getting into the world of the busy around people that love ron paul, it's frankly like, looks like a big grift.
it looks like a bunch of grifters. >> these are kind of shady black helicopter kind of grifters. i was looking at some of the letters that rand paul signed for this group today. >> and rand paul signed these. >> they're from rand paul. senator rand paul, give us all your money, because barack obama wants to take away your guns. they make up quotes from the president that he never said, they accuse him of signing the u.n. small arms treaty, which again is going to take all of our arms, which it is not, it has not even been signed, they make up lies and raise money around these very scary lives. it's a big grift, it's a big paranoid grift. >> this also raises the fact that we talk a lot about bush/clinton, bush/clinton, dynastic politics, but rand paul is a dynastic candidate in a direct sense. he worked on his father's campaigns. a lot of people around him are his dad's people, this firm being a perfect example, and he's going to have to answer for
them and deal with that world. >> you know, yesterday, one of the great things in the interview with savannah that nobody talked about was that he actually said -- he made one of the statements about iran, when he was working for another candidate, he didn't say my candidate, didn't say ron paul. there's a weird way in which he's trying to shove his father in the backyard. >> that is a great catch. just another candidate. >> can't remember his name, though. >> and the big question is going to be, those are his people, like, that's his base? that's why he's got the organization and the following that he does and i think he's a very talented politician, obviously. but those are also those people are going to be the people that come back to bite him. >> again. >> joan walsh, thanks for joining us. >> following florida's lead, the state of wisconsin also decides it would be a good idea to ban the phrase "climate change." that's next.
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now you can split the check almost as fast as i can slice a pizza. and i can slice it pretty fast. introducing payshare. new at papa john's. share your bill on any mobile or online order. better ingredients. better pizza. papajohns.com i used climate change, but i'm suggesting that maybe as a state, we use atmospheric reemployment, that might be something that the governor can get behind. [ laughter ] >> but my understanding is, at this point, is that it will require that future versions of our mission plan will be required to have language discussing that issue. >> what issue is that? >> the issue that you mentioned earlier regarding -- [ laughter ] >> i'm going to turn the chair back over. well, maybe i shouldn't right now.
>> florida governor rick scott denied reports the state agencies were unofficially banned from using the words "climate change" or "good morning global warming" to a pretty ridiculous effect seemed to tell a different story. now another agency in a different state appears to be following suit. this week, wisconsin's board commissioner of public lands voted 2-1 to ban any discussion or work related to global warming at the agency, which manages land and funds for the benefit of the state's public schools. the ban on mentioning climate change was championed by the newly elected republican state treasurer, who explained, quote, it's not a part of our sole mission, which is to make money for our beneficiaries, that's what i want our employees working on, that's it. he cited concerns that executive secretary tia nelson had spent the board's time working on climate issues back in 2007 and 2008, when she was appointed to a global warming task force by wisconsin's then-governor. nelson is the daughter of the late wisconsin governor and u.s.
senator, gaylord nelson, the very same man who founded earth day, 1970. wisconsin attorney general brad shimmel, also republican, joined in voting for the ban, saying in a statement, quote, it would be irresponsible for me to vote to prospectively permit government employees to engage in political activity while at work. i would have voted the same as to any political activity. joining me now, the lone dissenter in that vote, democratic's secretary of state, doug laffalette. is this political work they're talking about? i'm a little confused as to what the nature of the objection is here? >> this is all part of a national trend, that i find very threatening. i was trained a as a scientist. before i was elected, i taught environmental science at the university, so i understand science. and for these elected politicians, who either don't know any better or use it for
political purposes to not only deny important science, like climate change, but to forbid other people from being involved in it, even when, in the case of wisconsin, it's relevant. we manage some 70,000 acres of forestland. and anybody who knows anything about it knows that climate change is affecting the forest, the species of trees, the health of the forest. and people in northern wisconsin are concerned about this. and we should be able to work with them and analyze what climate change might be doing to the forestland that we manage. >> yeah, i just want to be clear about the relevance here. you know, there is an insect called the pine beetle, which is currently cutting a swath of destruction across the western u.s. and canada, destroying lumber towns at further and further northern latitudes as the planet warms that's destroyed planets.
you are a stuart of the north woods in wisconsin, which i've been to, which are absolutely gorgeous. huge source of tourist visits and such for the state. that is under your purview, right? >> well, exactly. and we manage that forest sustainably. the goal is to make it last as long as possible. and so that we can continue to raise money for our beneficiaries, which are the schoolchildren of wisconsin. and for these politicians, who don't know any better, or for personal vendetta. if he has a personal vendetta against tia nelson, and as you pointed out, he's tried to get her fired, because he holds a grudge, to use this scientific issue, which is probably one of the most important issues facing our planet in the next couple of decades, for political purposes, is just outrageous. >> how has the state, under the stewardship of the governor, scott walker, who i should know note is not part of the board of lands, how has scott walker's
stewardship in wisconsin done in terms of preparing for, acknowledging climate change? >> well, not very well. the fantastic force that tina nelson was on appointed by a previous governor came up with a number of recommendations that the republican legislature refused to pass. our current governor has slowed down the use of wind energy. he has eliminated the scientist from the department of national resources. he is basically doing nothing positive to deal with this issue. and i think that's a shame. >> you're a politician as well as a scientist. you had to get yourself elected in wisconsin. i wonder, do you feel that voters in a place like northern wisconsin, which is a beautiful part of the country, feel viscerally, that this is an actual issue that's going to start to show up on their doorsteps and is starting to show up on their doorsteps? >> i think the ones that are
involved in the timber industry do. in fact, a number of associations of forest management in northern wisconsin, on private land, on the national forest, have been discussing this issue. and they actually invited our staff to participate, but now under this gag rule, we're not going to be allowed to participate with the other land managers in northern wisconsin. it's ridiculous. >> you're saying the other land managers who have to manage forests up there, recognize this as an issue, including parts of the timber industry, saying, hey, let's talk about what this is going to mean for this forest. you are now -- your bureau is now banned from that, as of this vote? >> exactly. isn't that ridiculous. >> so the private industry gets to acknowledge the obvious signs. the government has to pretend to be stupid in this case. doug la folette, appreciate it. >> thank you. thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. there's a lot going on today and tonight.
tonight, there are unconfirmed but somewhat tantalizing reports that former secretary of state hillary clinton has scheduled her announcement of when she's going to tell the country that she is running for president. we're going to be talking about that a little later on. plus, president obama is having the happiest possible presidential trip abroad today. he basically crowd surfed through the entire island of jamaica today. we've got some very funny details on that, including some really funny tape. we've also got some hysterical, in a different way, news, from the american political right, about a come yunus takeover of one u.s. state and you can do about it. there's a lot going on today, there's a lot of news, we've got a big show. but late this afternoon, a new video was released by the south carolina state law enforcement division, new video of the altercation that led to the shooting death of walter scott at the hands of a north