tv News Nation MSNBC August 15, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PDT
nationwide is on your side. good morning, everyone. i'll alex in for tamron hall. this is "newsnation." we begin with the developing news. the ferguson chief of police released the name of the officer who killed michael brown. >> the officer that was involved in the shooting of michael brown was darren wilson. he's been a police officer for six years. >> the chief says wilson was treated for injuries that occurred during what police describe is a struggle with brown who was unarmed. releasing the officer's name was one of the biggest demands throughout the protests, which for the first time since saturday night, took a calmer tone overnight. the dramatic shift is largely being credited to the new leadership and police strategy after governor jay nixon ordered
the state highway patrol to take over security. governor nixon said the release of the officer's name is an important first step and discuss the the change in law enforcement while appearing on morning joe today. >> this is a really clear example, i think, of a discussion we need to have. not only about some of the underlying racial issues and challenges we face there, but from a law enforcement perspective. what is the adequate force to protect folks but not intimidate a community or take away first amendment rights? >> the man in charge of the force highway patrol captain ronald johnson. he grew up in ferguson and vowed to regain the trust of residents. >> i look around and this is my community. these are restaurants i eat at that are boarded up. we're out here protecting citizens, the businesses, but also, protecting rights of the people that are marching. >> the scene was a stunning contrast to the scene that unfolded throughout much of the week with police in riot gear
carrying assault weapons. meanwhile groups and cities across the country include, chicago, los angeles, and baltimore marched in solidarity with the residents of ferguson, missouri. among the biggest was here in times square where they chanted hands up don't shoot. on the heels of that we bring in tremaine lee who has been in ferguson and suffered from tear gas and the like. you're doing excellent reporting. let's talk about the latest you're hearing today. >> so now with the release of the name of the officer that was involved in the killing, darren wilson, a bit of the fog has lifted. people have been -- muddle with racial undertones and long history of violence between the police and the community. this is a clear step.
but now we're at the next step. for awhile we got away at the focus which was the killing of michael brown. it's a clear development in the direction that the investigation is kobtding and opening up. >> let's talk about the investigation, though, on a local level and a federal level. apparently federal agents have known men with brown's family. what do you know about that? >> i just got off the phone with freeman bossily, an attorney for the witness that was with michael brown when i was killed. he admitted he said he told federal officials and county officials that michael brown did, indeed, take a pack of minicigars. it's not a revelation. and the fact that the officer's name doesn't tell us much. the family had been pushing for the release of the name. they want transparency in the investigation. they want to know how their son died and under what circumstances and who was behind the trigger. >> okay. tremaine, i want to pick up on what you talked about this fact that michael brown was known to
have taken this pack of sicig rl lows from a store. tell me what happened. what is the latest reporting on that? >> apparently when you look at stills released from the department, there seems to be a large man in front of a smaller one. the larger one presumably michael brown. that's what the police would allege. there seems to be some sort of mild confrontation. a hand pressed up against the other man. the police describe it as a strong arm robbery. when i talked to the attorney of the witness who was there with michael brown when he was killed and before at the store when he took the cigars said there was no strong arm there. he simply stole the cigarettes. but apparently something happened. there was some sort of minor interaction between the two. >> i'm going to actually read from a note you gave to us here that gives a quote from the attorney freeman bostonly. we need to see the tape, my client did tell us and told the
fbi they went into the store. he toll the fbi he did take the cigarettes. he told that to the doj and the st. louis county police. tremaine, how much does this complicate things and do you think might instill uncertainty within the community which has become calmer overnight. >> there's going to be no uncertainty within the community. they feel that mike the brown was murdered in cold blood. if you look back at prior cases, especially the trayvon martin case, once you get into court of public opinion and each side try to use whatever they can to sway the public opinion, it may complicate things. some will want to connect the fact he may have stole a back of cigarettes that cost $1 at the store to his characteristic as a person. whether he was a thug or violent. which could have lead with a violent confrontation with police.
out the case the facts have to matter. as we learn more about what happened i think it will be clear, you know, what happened in those moments right before the police officer fired the first shot. that's what matters. again, i'm not, you know, an investigator or a prosecutor. we'll let the folks decide what matters. but clearly what happened in that store and then, you know, the 30 minutes or so later, what happened in the streets over here, two completely different circumstances. >> absolutely. are police saying anything that the officer darren wilson was made aware of this alleged theft of this dollar plus pack of cigarettes. would that have warranted his following him and looking for him? >> the police say prior to dispatcher sending a call there was an armed robbery at the convenience store. >> wait, an armed robbery? they're saying he had a weapon? >> well, they describe it as an armed robbery. >> huh.
and yet we're told he when he was shot -- >> i'm sorry. not an armed robbery. a strong arm robbery. a strong arm robbery. >> okay. before the dispatcher sent the call about the strong arm robbery. there was a call for a sick person earlier that the officer responded to. somewhere between him leaving the scene where that person had been sick and the ambulance had responded to. he was making his way to this part of town when the dispatcher sent the call out. he was aware of something. >> i know that michael brown has been described as a gentle giant. we're looking at pictures now. he certainly, you know, a large young man there at 18 years old and about to head off to college and certainly looks to be overpowering whomever that person is in the photograph. somebody else. join me in listening here. >> i think it's important that we also get a sense of the full video. i think as the attorney said. it's a critical point. stills may or may not take things out of context.
>> absolutely. we have some of the new witness that come forward. i want to play what she had to say. >> he was pulling in and pulling out and then the shot came through the window. that's whenever, like, michael pulled back and yanked away. >> so, tiffany, could you see michael's hands when the first shot was fired? >> yeah. >> okay. do we have any idea how far away the store is from the location where michael brown was killed? >> it's several blocks in walking distance. it's not too far at all. >> okay. and talk about the place behind you that has been torched. does that have anything to do with it. is that store or unrelated in that's a convenience store that got scorched. >> here we're calling ground zero for the protesters you see behind the burned out store had nothing to do. it was in the aftermath of the killing in part of the first
night of rioting. it has nothing to do with the circumstances surrounding the alleged strong armed robbery. >> tremaine, the new sound we played from the eye witness, how much does it match up how closely with what the previous eye witness story and johnson, a friend of michael brown, who said he was feet away from him. how much do the two stores match up? >> the testimony of this new witness correspondent is almost perfectly with more detail than from what we heard from dorian johnson who stood feet away. she was standing about 20-feet away. described it almost the same way. michael brown was on the side of the police cruiser, that the officer grabbed him through the driver's side window. there was some struggle. appeared the officer was trying to pull him toward the car. michael brown was trying to push away. she said that brown had his hands on the suv pushing away. after that first shot, he turned and ran. she said the officer followed
firing several more shots. at one point she said that brown turned around with his hands up and the officer fired again. that's almost to a t exactly what dorian johnson, the first witness that came out, that's how he described the situation. >> okay. tremaine, i want to thank you very much. i'm going ask you to sit tight. we may be coming back based on the new information about the pack of cigarettes that may have been involved. we're going to get more details and reemphasize what we have seen so far, everyone, are still shots from a surveillance camera and clearly an video of exactly what happened and whether or not that, indeed, was michael brown needs to be looked at closely now by all parties involved. will have jim kavanaugh join us after a short break on msnbc. stay with us. she needed a good meal and a good family. so we gave her purina cat chow complete. it's great because it has the four cornerstones of nutrition.
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welcome back at 13 past the hour. we continue the breaking news coverage from ferguson, missouri. joining me now jim kavanaugh. a atf special agent. let's talk about the release of the officer's name. in terms of the time that it took, this incident happened on saturday. should it have taken this long in your opinion? >> no. i think it's a good lesson, alex, for police executives to understand a that if the officer's name had been released earlier and the incident report on the strong arm robbery would have helped the situation earlier. i don't think it changes much, but we can talk about that as you will. >> we will. jim, with regard to the strong armed robbery, do you think that police knew about that at the beginning and they were able to put, you know, from point a to point b here or might it have taken awhile. we're not 100% certain that the man in the pictures who is
allegedly doing this strong-armed robbery is michael brown, first of all. so, i mean, might that have been premature had they released it right away? >> well, the police knew because i read the police report and the didn detectives said he went to the market and got videos and pictures and looked at michael brown who is deceased and he identified him in the police report as man who perpetrated the strong-armed robbery. police were sure michael brown was responsible for the robbery. it's pretty clear in the still photographs. it's clear from the police report and the photographs it's a strong-armed robbery the pack of cigarillos. >> this is a pack of cigarillos, strong armed robbery or not, that certainly can be defined at varying degrees, then michael brown, if again, he's in the
picture, police are saying it but we haven't gotten official word. the fact that the police officer followed him, probably put on patrol to look for whomever did it. but individual roll lcigarillos? it doesn't change the outcome or. none of that changed. the only fact that changed is the initial encounter with the officer. how did it transpire. what may come out, alex, the way prosecutors look at the case is a biforcandidated way. even if you take everything that happened in the car, the confrontation with michael brown in the best light for the officer maybe he was punched by mike the brown, michael brown might have choked him and he shot michael brown. even if you take that in the
best light for the officer, the shots after that where he ran and shot in the back that is still murder. you now have a strong armed robbery instead of jaywalking but it doesn't change how the officer can act later. it still unjustified to murder michael brown. it might have been justified in the first shot, possibly, but the rest of the shots are are unjustified. >> how do you explain the discrepancies in the account of what happened. we have the police story of what happened and two eye witnesses that say something all together different >>well, that's pretty normal. eye witnesses are not exactly the same. when you talk to witnesses everybody see it is a little different they're positioning where the event occurs is different. their distance is different. their per seepgss and hearing eye sight and age. it's always a little different. the little differences tell you
the truth. if everybody has the exact same too story it sounds like they got together and made it up. these are complete strangers. mr. johnson, tiffany that was on last night, and the young woman on theba balcony. these are not con spore or spir. the fact that michael brown and took the cigarettes, it's a minor thing but the strong armed robbery would make it felony. but it's not armed robbery. that's a big difference. it's not armed robbery with a firearm or knife. and we're back to strong armed robbery and murder. >> i want to confirm, you've seen the police report, right? ? >> yes. can you put together a time line from what you've seen of the reporting of the strong armed robbery to the point there's got to be a report that shots have been fired. there's a victim on the ground.
and this allegedly being just a few blocks from the store the strong armed robbery. is it adding up in your mind? have you done the math? >> i haven't done the math on the time. it might have been a half mile, one report says. normally we would walk it ourselves to see if you could walk from the store to where the shooting occurred. that would be a normal investigative process. if you read the police report, michael brown went in and they say, for sure, the police report that it's michael brown. that's what the police are saying. they went into the back of the store and the bathroom that he came back that he grabbed a back of cigarillos and the clerk said you have to pay for that. he grabbed more and gave a pack to mr. johnson. mr. johnson put back on the counter. then he -- michael brown went to walk out. according to the police report and the clerk called 9-1-1 and
went to the door and said you'll have to pay for those. he gave them back to the clerk, apparently, or gave some back and pushed the clerk against the rack which would institute a strong-armt ed strong-armed robbery. pushing or punching or any kind of physical interaction during the theft of the property is a strong-armed robbery. if he were to take the cigarettes and not physically touch the person, that would be a theft, you know, a minor theft. a misdemeanor theft of cigarettes. once you engage physically with the person that elevates to the felony charge of strong-armed robbery, which of course, is less aggravated that an armed robbery. then he might have walked out. >> is there anything, jim, in the report that says a pack of cigarillos was found on the person of michael brown? >> no. the report about the strong-armed robbery stops with the detective basically saying that he went to the scene of the shooting and he interacted or
looked at michael brown. i'm not sure if it was at the scene or medical examiner. he looked at medical brown and he's certain the same person. then it stops. he said it's related to the shooting. so that's where the police report stops. it gives us a picture of what the encounter, why the uniformed officer might have been encouraged michael brown. he may have fit the description given out in the strong armed robbery. >> okay. jim kavanaugh, thank you for going through the latest development. we appreciate that. we'll be talking with you again. for you, we'll be right back with more on the breaking news coverage. i'll be speaking with st. louis louis e reid a. a short break. (birds chirping softly in background.) (loud engine sounds!) what! how's it going? heard you need a ride to school. i know just the thing to help you get going. power up with new cheerios protein.
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information the fact that the officer's name has been released and information about the strong armed robbery of a dollar plus theft of cigarillo. your reaction? >> first. whether cigarillos were taken or not has nothing to do with the central matter here and that's where the de-- is needed in thi case. one thing that is sure we have an 18-year-old kid that is going to college that is now dead. the matter of whether a pack of cigarillos was stolen or not isn't anymore relevant of a cost of a taxi ride in new york. because in this case, when the officer recorded the original statement from the police department, when the officer came upon the kids, he asked
them to move out the street, and sometime, you know, during that time of him asking him to move out the street, a struggle ensued. a shot was made from within the car. and the car died. shot several times between the car and 35-feet away from the car where he died. and i just don't see any way that deadly force was needed in this case. the fact kid was 35-feet away from the car when he died. either one are 0 two thing happens. he was in retreat and running away, or two, he had his hands up at least two witnesses have come forward and said now and shot multiple times after having his hands up. >> there are conflicting reports he may have been hit by a bullet and backed away from the car then was further shot. have you heard those reports? >> yes, i heard those reports
where the officer pulled up alongside him, stuck his hand out the door window, grabbed the kid by the neck, and the kid began to try to push the officer away from him. the officer took his pistol and shot through the door hitting the kid, and michael and his friend began running away from the car. that's when the officer shot him in the back a second time. michael turned around had his hand up and the officer unloaded his weapon. i've heard that from multiple witnesses, also. >> louis, do you think a lot of unrest in ferguson might have been avoided had not only the name of the officer been released but more details about the circumstances. again, this incident happened saturday afternoon around 2:00 in the afternoon your time. here we are approaching a full six days later. >> absolutely. i think that several mistakes
have been made. denying people's rights to peaceful protest. they arrested people for sitting in parking lots and singing and chanting. that was a problem. that escalated the nonrest. i think, you know, the police department escaladed the situation. certainly not getting any clear information from the police department like the officer's name caused problems within the community as well. >> louis, also, the attention has been paid to the militarization, if you will, of the officers. the kind of equipment they use as part of a defense department, pentagon program. i mean, they're outfitted like they would be on the streets of iraq. how much has that exacerbated
the situation. the fact the police officers were training armed guns on its own citizens when they were peacefully trying to gather. >> it had a lot to do with a lot of what you saw happening on the streets. last night it was peaceful. it was almost a festive atmosphere last night. >> what was the difference? what made the difference there? was it time lapse people are exhausted or feel the police are listening to them. why was there a different tone? >> the different tone had to do with two things. number one, when they brought ron johnson to take over the entire investigation, and the tactical part of the thing, that was a major step. and the bay the officers began to engage with the residents made a major difference. it wasn't time. i guarantee if the officers had
showed up in full tactical vehicles and weapons pointed at the protesters and shooting tear gas and rubber bullets at people, i'm telling you it would have been more unrest. i'm happy to see that was not the case last night. and again, it was a festive atmosphere. you had to be here. pictures and things don't do it much justice. especially if you're within a crowd and you see an automatic weapon or snipe or rifle pointing at you. >> i'm getting word at the produce err. perhaps the director can put up the still images where the strong arm robbery was happening. police are confirming that is michael brown. they made a official statement. it was indeed or waiting for the confirmation. we know that was michael brown in the last half hour or so of his life depending on the length of time it took him to walk from
the store allegedly with the pack of cigarillos he had taken to where he was ultimately shot. we also know, louis, one of your colleagues was arrested during the protest wednesday night and since been released. let's play a bit what he had to say yesterday afternoon. >> okay. >> i think they rounded up anybody they could see. i know, inside the jail is nothing but peace keepers. they picked up the young people. it wasn't the troublemakers. it was the peacemakers. and, you know, you have reverends in there. you have young people organizing the peace effort. they picked up the wrong people. >> putting all that together that may be a lot of reason why the governor has put someone else in charge of security there, chief jackson from the highway patrol. but with regard to the ferguson police department, louis, can they ever win back the trust of their citizens? >> i think it's going to be difficult. again, take a look at what
happened just this morning when the request for the officer's name to be released they finally came forward with the name. along with that comes by i think will be viewed by a lot of people as a smear campaign on michael brown. if he took the cigarillos, if he took the cigarillos, okay. that's breaking the law. it's against the law to drink and drive. and when people go to baseball games if they have two beers within the last 15 minutes and get behind the wheel and drive home, it would -- people would be outraged if police officers began pull those people over, take them out of their cars and shoot them. when you look at this, it's the exact same thing, i think. so i think that we need to focus on the relevant part of this case and was deadly force required or needed?
the police department said that michael brown did not have any weapon on him. all of the eye witnesses said michael brown did not have a weapon on him. michael brown was found 35-feet away from the police car. not by the police car. and the police officer unloaded his weapon on him. so i think that the evidence certainly points toward the fact that deadly force was not needed or required in the case. >> louis reed. thank you for your time. up next more on the death of michael brown and the new calls to equip police officers with body cameras. i'm speaking live with a member of the aclu in missouri who wants cameras on all cops. like chocolate, honey nut and cinnamon, with no artificial colors or flavors. and it's gluten free. chex. full of what you love. free of what you don't.
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out of ferguson. we heard from the president yesterday. what was your read on how he address the situation. >> he was vsh much trying to deescalate the situation. you saw on wednesday how excited things got in terms of you had tear gas. you had reporters arrested, that drove the white house to have the president speak. his message was used the word healthing. to ramp down things. and it seems to have worked. it's not all about obama. today it looks like it's calmer there. that's his message to suggest the shooting was bad, of course, any kind of riot is negative. he wanted to get people to calm down a bit. >> yeah. we saw lawmakers with big national profiles. they were weighing in on the situation. you had rand paul who had a person personal. he honed in on the racial issues
that play here. given the racial disparities in our criminal justice system it's impossible for african-americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them. he then goes on to say, perry, anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if ined aer hadt inadvertently -- he's not adverse to taking on controversial issues. >> e with talked about him trying to reach out to african-americans and speak more c candidly like racial profiles. like the number of black men going to prison. yesterday's statement was profound. i think he's the only person that talked about the racial sbaukt of this and talked about the number of killings by police of african-americans. his statement was really out there. it was particularly for republican but anybody that took a lot of --.
you he so a lot of people follow what he said in terms of militarization. you saw a lot of liberals praising him for the remarks. they thought they were courageous. >> you talk about the militarization. it's a growing debate. it seems like no town in this country is too small to have military style vehicles and weapons within its armor. and a lot of equipment is coming directly from the defense department, the pentagon. a program put in place after 9/11. do you think congress will take a second look at this? >> i do. i think this will be the biggest policy change what is happening in ferguson. i'm not sure congress will do it or if the president in some ways in his executive authority. i think either way there's we have national assistance around the fact we probably don't need to have police officers wearing the dressed like they're in iraq when they're policing the streets of their own cities in the u.s. you will -- i'm not sure it will happen. if it's a bill in congress or
the president could tell the pentagon in some ways stop sending police officers kinds of weapons. i think you'll see a policy change in a reduction of this amount of military gear going to police officers. police departments. >> perry, thank you for the political fallout from everything that is happening there. up next everyone we'll have more on the death of michael brown and the outrage that followed. i'll speak ryan riley arrested earlier this week in ferguson. and that became our passion. to always build something better, airplanes that fly cleaner and farther on less fuel. that redefine comfort and connect the world like never before. after all, you can't turn dreams into airplanes unless your passion for innovation is nonstop. ♪ (birds chirping softly in background.) unless your passion for innovation is nonstop. (loud engine sounds!) what!
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>> good morning, alex. as of yet we don't have the records. as you noted yesterday, we filed the litigation following date before a formal written request under the sunshine law. we have done that because it's important that the community have assurances that the government is acting and transparent matter. we're hopeful that they'll provide the report to us. >> jeffrey, the chief handed out a packet with a lot of information this morning. as you know there with the aclu, the release of the officer's name came about an hour or so ago. are you satisfied with that. did you want that? you are the aclu, you're all about protection of individual's rights. tell me how you feel about the release of the officer's name. >> right. what the aclu has done is focus on the principles of law. we defend the constitution whether you're left, right, center. whatever side of the question you're on. why we asked for the incident report is because the missouri sunshine law specifically designates that report as a public document.
we think it's important that the police and the government when following a procedure es spushlly at the time like this follows rules specifically. they have not yet done that. it was never about the officer's name. it was about complying with our rules and regulations. until it occurs, we don't have confidence that the government will be doing the right thing. >> okay. jeffrey, you think long-term big picture here. what are the implications of the name release. does the publics' right to know trump what could be a danger to the officer and family? >> long-term big picture. we need to remember this is part of a large context. what is that context? that african-american men are targeted, are arrested, shot and killed in numbers out of proportion in percentage to their population. we can't lose sight of the big picture. what we need to do is go back to what we first called for. what everyone called for is a full thorough transparent
investigation. the release of the officer's name is part of that. it's only a small part. the officers and the police know how to protect an individual whether it's a crime suspect, whether it's a victim, whether it's the public. we have confidence they will do that. >> in terms of aiding a investigation. there's a bunch of buzz how it may not have happened if police officers had cameras. ferguson police don't use dash cams like many police departments across the country. many departments have officers now wearing cameras. but would that violate an officer's or a suspect's right to privacy? >> what is the aclu stance on that? >> that's a great question. the aclu nationally are calling for dash cam and body cams. it's a great tool. when the police interact with the public to have an actual report of what occurs is helpful both for the individual and the police. that way we avoid any of this he said he said situations. we have an actual document which
show what occurred. for the cops, most are doing the right thing, it's a good document and evidence. for those cops who might want to misbehave, it's a check on their behavior. >> all right. thank you. >> our breaking news coverage continues next. we'll be right back. and with the quicksilver card from capital one, you earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on everything you purchase. not just "everything at the hardware store." not "everything, until you hit your cash back limit." quicksilver can earn you unlimited 1.5% cash back on everything you could possibly imagine. say it with me -- everything. one more time, everything! and with that in mind... what's in your wallet? ugh. heartburn. did someone say burn? try alka seltzer reliefchews. they work just as fast and taste better than tums smoothies assorted fruit. mmm. amazing. yeah, i get that a lot. alka seltzer heartburn reliefchews. enjoy the relief.
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at 50 past the hour, we are learning details, new ones from the police report released just a short time ago in ferguson, missouri, detailing the events before michael brown was fatally shot by a police officer. now according to this report, surveillance video from this convenience store shows brown and his friend, eyewitness dorian johnson in an altercation with a store employee. johnson's lawyer is telling msnbc at brown took some cigars from the store. police have released these still pictures of the incident this morning and police chief thomas jackson described the incident at that convenience store as a strong-armed robbery.
meantime, johnson's attorney wants to see the entire tape and said he and brown did indeed go into the store. also the officer who shot brown was searching for a suspect nearby, responding to a description provided by police dispatch. that officer has been recently identified as darren wilson. he is white. he has been on the police force for six years. no disciplinary action has been taken against him. he is currently, though, on administrative leave. i want to bring in huffington post reporter ryan reilly. you were -- you weren't arrested, correct, but you were detained, and were you roughed up by ferguson police when you were sitting in that mcdonald's just trying to file your report? >> yeah, i was on the way out of the building. the officer slammed my head into the window on the way out. yeah it wasn't a great experience. >> but you weren't arrested? i want to be clear about that. you were detained and let go on
your way with no explanation? >> there's going to be some sort of report. they didn't give us any information about when we were released or the names of the officers. i'm focused on getting back to my job and report on what's happening on the scene. >> we've just gotten this in. missouri state highway patrol captain ronald johnson is now in charge of the investigation. he spoke with reporters a short time ago. he's the officer we've been seeing marching with residents, hugging residents. he's a local resident there. let's hear what he had to say. >> everybody wanted that information. and yesterday when i was here last night i was asked that question and told people, give me some time. give me some time and we'd have some different demographics within the next 24 hours, and that's happened. we'll probably need to talk about how that information was presented out and we will discuss that information on how it was presented out. as you saw last night, a calm
crowd, everybody was calm and we think that will continue today. yesterday showedee wee just want answers. people want answers and want to have a chance to voice their opinion. and that happened last night. we had very few incidents. >> of course, the captain referring to the information, the release of the officer's name as well as the incident around this theft from a convenience store that has been identified as michael brown in the still photos that we have. talk about the different tenor since this captain has taken over, and if you have any evidence to suggest that with this information release, things might get stirred up again or will it continue to calm? >> we don't know. protests continue here but last night it was a complete 180 of what we'd seen on wednesday night with the sort of convoy of over 70-plus fully uniformed -- fully outfitted sort of s.w.a.t. team members, i guess, going out through the xhoonity and aiming
sniper rifles at peaceful crowds during the daytime. it was sort of over the top reaction and sort of stirred up a lot of passion, understandably, within a community. what we saw last night was really more of -- they took over and were directing traffic and police officers from st. louis city in ferguson here and sort of mingling with the crowd talking with other individuals, not having gas masks on, not, you know, having massive weapons. just normal sort of street cops. >> yeah. ryan, ferguson is a city, a town with a population of just over 21,000. have you ever seen anything like this, a town of this size being outfitted with the kind of equipment that you would see on a battle field? >> yeah, i mean, there's obviously police mobilization is
a big issue for this country. when you have these technologies that aren't necessary. actually before all this happened and before i was detained on wednesday, during the press conference, i asked the police chief here about what was, you know, why these sort of mine resistant vehicles were necessary. he said because people use bombs these days. there's no evidence, really, of that. these were vehicles that were designed for overseas combat. they weren't designed to be going through neighborhoods during the day, during peaceful protesting. >> the aiming part. his anyone given an adequate explanation, anyone in authority, as to why these officers had their guns trained on their own citizens, armed guns, pointing at their citizens? >> no, absolutely not. everyone you deal with is completely uncooperative, at least on wednesday they were during this circumstance. nobody has name tags on so it's impossible to actually identify anyone by their individual wrongdoing.
it's just this weird situation where you have these anonymous police officers you can only recognize their face and maybe hope to see later when you can possibly identify them during the day. so it's just a very weird situation. >> well, huffington post reporter ryan reilly, we appreciate your time. that does it for "news nation." i'm alex witt in for tamron hall. she'll be back on monday. i'll see you tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern and noon for weekends with alex witt. first, "andrea mitchell reports" up next. ♪ [music]
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surveillance appears to show him and a friend in a confrontation with a convenience store employee. all this after a peaceful march last night. once the police had been ordered to demilitarize by the new top cop in town, head of the missouri highway patrol and ferguson native ron johnson. >> we had no police line here. as you can see, none of the officers have gas masks around their waists. so -- and i don't have one on either. and so we're going -- we're in this together. >> good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchel in washington. we are waiting for missouri governor jay nixon to give a press conference at any time. this comes only hours after the police chief identifiedar