Defense attorney Mark Geragos on Tuesday argued over the objections of retired NYPD Detective Harry Houck that the shooting of an unarmed South Carolina man was just the latest in an “epidemic” of police officers killing black men.
After video surfaced on Tuesday of North Charleston Officer Michael Slager, who is white, shooting 50-year-old Walter L. Scott in the back as he fled, Van Jones explained to CNN host Anderson Cooper that there would have been no murder charges if the incident had not been recorded by a cell phone.
“We see this over and over again, the police report says, ‘This black man is dangerous, ‘I was so afraid for my life, oh my God, I had to do something, he was going to kill me,'” Jones noted. “And now we finally have something where nobody can say that the police report was true, and you get this murder charge.”
“But what if there had been no video? What if it had just been another situation where another unarmed black man was killed and the police officer said, ‘Well, he grabbed me, he had my weapon,’ and we would have all gone on as if nothing happened. We have to start dealing with the fact that there are two standards of justice in this country.”
Geragos agreed that similar incidents happened “all too frequently.”
“The police always come up with the same thing, it’s like a standard script that they teach at police university 101: always say that there is a threat, always say that he reached for your gun, and then say he wrestled for your gun,” Geragos remarked. “This is an epidemic in the various communities of the U.S. And unless somebody sees it with their own eyes — this is what’s so crazy about it — they will not believe that this is possible.”
Houck, who started a private consulting firm after retiring from the NYPD, admitted that there was no reasonable defense for Officer Slager’s actions, but he vehemently denied that black men dying at the hands of law enforcement was a problem in the United States.
“This does not happen all the time,” he said. “Alright? These are very few incidents for the millions and millions of police officers that interact with people every day, alright? This is not epidemic proportions… What happened in Ferguson and here in New York, even the U.S. Attorneys office is not going after them for civil rights violations. Those two incidents, those officers were justified in what they did, alright?”
“I understand you’re a cop and you’ve got your position,” Geragos shot back. “I could tick off a hundred examples in the last two years. The only reason you’ve got to fess up at this point is because there’s a video tape.”
“Let me just tell you something, Harry,” he continued. “It happens all the time and it happens in these communities generally where they do not have a voice. And the problem is that unless there’s a video tape, nobody wants to believe that it happens.”
Geragos said that he had observed a pattern in 30 years of practicing law.
“There’s one thing that happens repeatedly, is you hear the same story every time, virtually almost as if it’s a script coming out of the cop’s mouth whenever there’s a shooting,” Geragos observed. “It’s going to be the usual script that they read from. The fact remains that he was pulled over for a broken tail light.”
“You know, my father was a prosecutor for many years [and] used to say, there’s more guys in state prison for broken tail lights than any other offense. Broken tail light means go hassle somebody of color. That’s what it’s code for go pull over — some B.S. justification.”
Watch the video below from CNN, broadcast April 8, 2015.
‘I’ve got nothing’: MSNBC conservative left speechless after he’s scolded for denying white privilege
Republican political strategist Jason Johnson, a former adviser for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), claimed on Sunday that he does not have "white privilege" because he grew up in a trailer park.
The angry remarks came during an MSNBC panel discussion about the role of racism in the White House.
MSNBC media analyst Eric Deggans argued that President Donald Trump and White House aide Stephen Miller are "trying to expand the definition of what we would turn acceptable discourse about issues that are connected to race."
"They want to narrow the definition of racism so that they’re able to talk about these policies and enact measures that normally saying five years ago or ten years ago we would have clearly consider racist," he pointed out. "If you look at the impact of their policies and the groups that years ago were advocated for these policies, you see their roots and prejudice and racism and you see why so many people of color are concerned about."
Trump fans smacked down for whining the president is being called a ‘racist’ in righteous rant
Addressing complaints from both White House officials and fans of Donald Trump that they are tired of hearing the president called a racist, "AM Joy" regular Tiffany Cross fired right back saying they better get used to it.
Following clips of White House adviser Stephen Miller attempting to explain the White House's policies on immigrants, the co-founder of The Beat DC stood up for labeling the president as a bogot.
"It's accurate, you have to call a thing a thing," she began. "I think that's part of the reason why we got here because in 2015, when he kicked off his campaign with a bunch of racist rhetoric, there was a hesitancy to call it out. And there was the first two years of his presidency when he introduced ridiculous white supremacist policies and would follow that up with additional racist rhetoric and we have an echo chamber of people repeating these things, so we have to call a thing a thing."
‘That is ridiculous’: Andrew Gillum obliterates Santorum for claiming guns aren’t ‘problem’ in mass shootings
CNN contributor Andrew Gillum called conservative pundit Rick Santorum "ridiculous" on Sunday for suggesting that guns are not the problem in mass shootings.
During a CNN discussion on gun control, Santorum criticized calls from Democratic candidates for the government to buy back assault-style weapons in addition to banning them.
"The truth is something has to give," Gillum said. "The stranglehold that the NRA seems to have over Congress, over Washington, D.C., in my opinion, is insane. How can we put the priorities of one interest group above the safety, the security of the American people?"