tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC February 24, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PST
that was due to happen today but they're going to wait. we will be covering the full story of this tomorrow on "morning joe." that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. hi, there, i'm stephanie ruhle live at msnbc headquarters in new york city. it's wednesday, february 24th. let's get smarter. we start with the big news in the fight against coronavirus. we just learned within the last 30 minutes the fda is endorsing johnson & johnson's single-shot vaccine, putting it on track to become the third vaccine available to the general public. the staff endorsement sets the stage for the fda's committee hearing, which will take place friday. meanwhile, capitol hill is busy. more of biden's cabinet nominees could learn her fate today, including one who could lose her bid to join the administration. at the same time we're watching
the second of three straight hearings on the capitol riots. the intelligence failures that led to it and all of the damage that left it left behind finally, could a $15 minimum wage become a reality across america. a little-known senate aofficial could decide that question as early as today. all of that is coming up. but we've got to start with breaking news. golf legend, cultural icon, tiger woods waking up in a hospital this morning after suffering devastating leg injuries in a car crash. his hall of fame career now potentially in doubt. meagan fitzgerald is in california, outside harvard ucla medical center. meagan, what is the latest? >> steph, the hospital said while he's alert and awake, he suffered catastrophic injuries on his leg. he went through a lengthy surgery yesterday, this emergency surgery, and his ankle and foot, for example, are being supported by pins and screws. now, i want to take you to the
scene of this crash. it was yesterday just after 7:00 a.m. local time here in california that the los angeles county sheriff's department says tiger woods likely traveling at a high rate of speed, and careened into a media, crashing into a sign in the southbound lane where he hit a tree, the vehicle crashing several times. he's trapped inside this car, where you can see incredible images of the entire front part of the car just smashed in. and it took firefighters' tools to try to pry him out. we heard from the deputy, who was the first person on scene there, who said tiger woods was responsive. he identified himself. i want you to listen to how this deputy describes it incident. >> i've seen collisions that didn't look as serious, where the occupants were injured much, much more severely. i think that's just a testament to the fact he was wearing a seat belt, air bags worked as
intended modern vehicles are much more safe than they ever used to be. >> now, investigators say that they do believe that speed was a factor here. of course, it's still an ongoing investigation but they say there's no evidence to suggest tiger woods was impaired in any way. steph? >> meagan, thank you. i want to dig deeper and bring in msnbc medical correspondent, our friend dr. john torres. there was a lot of medical language that came in a statement overnight. can you explain his injuries? >> you bet, stephanie. let me break down what they're talking about. they mention multiple injuries and multiple things that happened. first they mentioned the word come u nated. what that means is there's multiple fractures throughout the bone and what that means is there are so many fractures, they have to use pins and screws. talking about an open fracture, an open fracture means the bone has caused a break in the skin
and that can lead to an infection. if it gets to be a bone infection, that can cause a lot of issues. probably the most important thing they talk about there is the last line they talk about the surgical release of the coverings of the muscles to release that pressure due to swelling. that's a condition called compartment syndrome. compartment syndrome means there's so much swelling in that area, in this case the lower leg, it can cause enough pressure to cut off blood circulation and start damaging nerves. that's the medical emergency. that needs to be taken care of very, very quickly. out of all of his injuries, that's the one that could prove to be the most threatening because they have to go through the muscle to open it up. if they had not done that, they're talking about an amputation. luckily they got there in time to be able to do that. then they mentioned the foot, having multiple injuries in the foot requiring screws and plate, that could cause an issue with mobility later on, stephanie. >> but once you get through this first day, that risk of amputation is gone? >> the risk of amputation at this point, other than getting an infection or surgical
complications, that risk of amputation from the compartment syndrome, the pressure, is gone at this point. they need to monitor it to make sure other areas don't have the same type of issues. but once it's relieved, you're usually good beyond this point. but surgical complications such as infections are the big ones they need to watch for. >> they didn't bring him to the nearest hospital, they brought him to a trauma center. what does that mean. >> when they take them to the trauma center, they do it for a very specific reason. they're following protocol. when they see a certain type of accident, as this case, multiple rollover, they take him to a trauma center because there could be injuries that are not noticeable. what they typically do there is go through a step set process we look for. we go head to toe and do abcs, airway, breathing, circulation. even though we know the injuries in the leg, we look at the entire body to make sure we're not missing something because
it's easy to miss. the thing you miss can be life-threatening and that's why they do that at a trauma center because that's what they're trained to do and staff to do. it makes sense given the mechanism of the accident they bypass the mirror hospitals and go to the large trauma center. not only can they evaluate them better, they can surgically take care of them much faster and that's the point to not just save his life but save his leg as well. >> even before this, tiger has had all sorts of medical injuries, issues, surgeries. what's the best-case scenario of a recovery of something like this, that he plays professional golf or he hopes to walk his daughter down the aisle? >> tiger is a very athletic guy but he's also 45 years old. he's gone through five back surgeries, four knee surgeries. after a while, your body starts -- it starts taking its toll on your body. when you get something like this that's such a huge injury, it's hard to recover from at any page but the older you get, the even harder it is. the main concerning thing looking at his injuries for golf
is that ankle. if he doesn't get that mobility back, it depends what they had to do during the surgery, but if he doesn't get his mobility back, that's really going to affect his golf game. best-case scenario, he will play again. worse-case scenario, it's walking his daughter down his aisle at their wedding, i doubt he'd have any issues with ambulating, with walking, but the concern is, can he play to the level he needs to play with? time will tell. we'll see. >> dr. john, i had about ten more questions but when you come on my show and start talking about 45-year-olds being over the hill, feeble and struggling to recover, i end those conversations right there! dr. john, good to see you. thank you. you made us smarter today. i want to bring in "time" magazine senior editor and sports correspondent sean gregory. you have been covering and you know tiger woods very well. i want to get first your reaction to the news of the crash and extent of his injuries. >> i mean from a very human
perspective, i was terrified it was a lot worse. when you saw the damage floating around on the internet yesterday, it was heartburning. you heard the deputy say the seat belt saved him, air bag saved him. he's very, very lucky. hearing dr. john's prognosis, the good part, sounds like he will come out of this and odds are he's going to be able to walk his daughter down the aisle. the golf question is obviously, it seems the least important right now but that's obviously up in the air. >> talk to us about tiger and his impact on the sport. you wrote an article back in 2009 asking if golf could survive without tiger woods. in the years since he was about multiple times with injuries and yet even when he was off the course, to the nongolf enthusiasts, he still remains the only household name in the sport. what is it about tiger woods that put him in that spotlight and kept him there for so long? >> it's so many factors.
he came up when he was so young. in 1997 won the masters and dominated. when that happened, we had never seen anything like that before. we had never seen a black golfer dominate like that before. he looked different, felt different. he was phenomenal, amazing athlete. kept winning, kept winning. and what's kind of over the last decade attracted more people to him is his story. i mean, the epic rises and falls, you know, he's dominating golf for years and then he has this personal issue that blows up in the public, a scandal. and that took a lot of the wind out of him. and no one ever would have thought all of these sponsors would drop him when that happened in 2009 when his extramarital affairs became public and huge scandal. he comes back, starts to play okay, and gets all of these injuries. in 2017, memorial day weekend, he got into an accident and we find out he had painkiller addiction for all of his surgeries. then you're thinking it's over.
he just turned 40 and it's like he was ranked 1,000th in the world. then 2019 he wins the masters. something -- one of the greatest, if not the greatest sports comeback stories ever written. now we have a situation where you just wonder, can he write it again? if anybody can write a comeback story of that proportion, it is tiger woods. however, as dr. john said, he is 45 years old. the oldest player to ever win the masters was jack nicklaus. he was 46. i just hope he's okay and makes it back to the course. if he doesn't, listen, the guy's had an unbelievable career. >> knowing him as you do, does he have the will, the drive, the mental fortitude? many people who went through the public life that he had years before now would have said, i want to get out of the spotlight and go live my really nice private life. he never did. >> he never did. >> is he going to want to get back on the course and prove that he can do this again?
>> i think as long as the process of getting him back on the course does not affect his everyday life to the point where he can't walk around with his kids and that kind of thing. he's definitely over the last few years, we've seen a side of him where family is first, he's become, you know, just kind of more human and more of a family person. so he's dedicated to his kids, he's talked about his kids a lot. yes, he wants -- he's the most competitive athlete perhaps ever. if anybody can do this, it's him. my only caveat to that would be if the rehab process keeps reinjuring him and reinjuring him and he can't kind of cope with everyday life, you can imagine and sympathize if he just said, you know what, i have to call it a day. >> we are sending him a speedy recovery. thank you for joining us. think about this, for years people used to debate whether or not golf was a sport or activity and then came tiger, the most competitive athlete maybe of all time. now we have to turn to some
breaking medical news on the fda staff endorsing johnson & johnson's single-shot covid vaccine ahead of the fda's meeting friday. i said i didn't want to talk to him anymore but because we have breaking covid news, i'm bringing back dr. john torres. i want to start with that. what does the staff endorsement mean? i'm not familiar with that. >> what the staff endorsement means is essentially a few processes to go through here. the staff endorsement says, yes, we looked at the data we got from johnson & johnson. we like the data, we think it's safe and effective. we want to move it on to this advisory committee. the committee is meeting friday. they're moving forward and will look at it. they will look at it friday and recommend for our against emergency use authorization. once they do that, the fda looks at it, they take that advisory committee advice and they say, okay, probably on saturday time frame they're going to look and say yes or no, we're going to give it emergency use
authorization. once beyond that the cdc gets ahold of it and recommend dosing, intervals, how people get it and deliver it and those things and then it starts getting shots in arms. so we think it will move very fast. fda said we endorse it. let's move to the advisory committee. they will look at fine details, the experts, who will give advice to the fda and look at the authorization. >> how fast, weeks, months? >> days. this is going to be days. what will happen, you will see now the ver pack, the advisory meeting will meet friday. it will go to the fda. if it follows the path of pfizer and moderna, the fda will decide on saturday, cdc get ahold of it sunday and they will basically recommend either sunday or monday. so by and mod we'll know if this is good to go, which by all indications it will be, and then both johnson & johnson will start shipping it out, shots in arms immediately after that. it wouldn't be surprised to see shots in arms by tuesday. >> this is a global pandemic.
we need it taken care of everywhere if we want to stop it here. how different is it, how important is it that this is a single-shot vaccine, especially in terms of getting to remote communities in the u.s. and globally? >> stephanie, you bring up a great point. what i always talk about, you can have herd immunity in your community but if the community next door doesn't have it, nobody has herd immunity and that goes for the globe as well. we need to make sure around the globe. in some areas, especially areas where they're more rural, don't necessarily have the infrastructure we have, getting that ultra cold temperature, frozen temperature, isn't going to work. getting transportation logistics isn't going to work. having a shot like this, number one single shot but also takes normal refrigeration is a fuj step forward around the world to get that shot in people's arms and get this pandemic under control. this is going to make a huge step forward and not just here in the u.s. but around the world, stephanie. >> dr. john, i didn't want to have you back but i'm glad you came. thank you. that is very, very good news.
we are continuing to follow the developing situation down in texas as well. a lot of news this morning. after millions of people went days without power, heat or water, yesterday five ercot board members resigned. that is the board that oversees the safety power grid. they're no longer going to be part of that board. ercot was largely blamed for widespread outages last week. multiple counties announced new investigations into the failure and there's a whole host of lawsuits. many in a state governor abbott said he welcomed the resignations, adding ercot made false assurances they were prepared for the winter storm. up next -- the clock is ticking on the covid relief stimulus bill the president is trying to get through. how far is president biden willing to go to get this thing passed? i'll be asking the director of his national economic adviser council brian deese next. how did a memo warning on the threat of the january 6th
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shannon petty, senior white house reporter for nbc news, joins us with more. where do things stand on the bill overall? any chance republicans support this thing in the house? >> no, steph, it looks like this is largely going to be along party lines. and while that is no surprise for washington, given all of the polarization here, it is a bit surprising about this bill because it has gotten a lot of public support. a number of polls show pretty widespread public support for this and a lot of republican governors have come out to support it. but in washington despite efforts from the white house, we're still not seeing any republican support outside of maybe a bit of the margins here. >> how about minimum wage? yesterday we heard tom cotton arguing against raising it immediately when his own home state has the higher minimum wage. where do things stand? >> republicans put up counterproposals. there's a big answer to a question whether this can even be included, which we hope to get today or tomorrow.
the senate parliamentarian is supposed to rule if this $15 wage could be included in the bill because of the budget pro-is ses it's going through. anything in the bill has to have impact on the budget, which the congressional budget office says it does. we will see in the next day or so how she rules, if she says this cannot be included, while some democrats are going to try to get it included anyway and have the vice president override that, it's expected that will throw this out and the administration has suggested they will try to get a $15 minimum wage in some future legislation, potentially this infrastructure stimulus plan they are working on to follow this one. >> shannon, thank you. let's head inside the white house and bring in brian deese, he's director of president biden's national economic council. brian, always good to see you. the house is likely going to pass this $1.9 trillion package. it's going to be a lot tougher to get it through the senate. is there anything you'd be willing to bend on, maybe minimum wage? >> well, stephanie, it's good to see you. i would say, number one, this is
an urgently needed piece of legislation. we're in the middle of an economic crisis, we're in the middle of a public health crisis as you have been talking about this morning. and this is a clear prescription for that crisis. so we need to act quickly and that's has been the president's focus all along. number two, we have been over the course of the last month open to incorporating ideas left, right and center, wherever we see them make sense. and you see that already reflected in the bill, whether it's the targeting of the direct payments, relief to small businesses, making sure localities, the smallest towns and cities get relief. all of those things are already being incorporated in the bill. and we're going to keep having conversations and making sure where we can, we can incorporate ideas. i think you heard the president say he will not compromise on the need to move fast and with the kind of speed and size we need to finally, finally get out of this economic crisis and put us on a positive trajectory.
>> is he currently speaking to any republicans about this bill and trying to convince them? >> so we're in constant conversations across the white house, senior economic team, including the president and all down. we're going to have a conversation later today with a bipartisan group of members around vulnerabilities to our supply chain and to american jobs where we'll have republicans and democrats down here to talk about that urgent issue. so we're continuing to have conversations throughout. obviously, we're staying very focused on the congressional process because we need this action and we need this bill to pass. >> this is a much more complicated recovery than we've seen before. you've got a portion of the country, those who are working from home, who own their houses, who are invested in the markets, many of us are doing better than ever. and at the same time a portion of this country is in absolute dispair. how hard is it for this white house to actually convince the
entire country to care about their fellow american? >> well, i think in sort of an optimistic perspective, it's actually striking the degree to which the american public recognizes the need for urgent action and supports urgent action. the american rescue plan is broadly supported across the american public, including, among members of all political parties. i think that reflects an understanding that even for those who have done relatively well in this crisis, they recognize that this crisis is affecting everybody. it's affecting our communities, it's affecting our health workers. the to your point, we talk about the k-shaped nature of this crisis a lot, but i think that understates the pain and anxiety and fear and the human suffering that exists on the bottom end of that k. when we talk about 30 million americans who last week reported that they didn't have enough food to eat, this is a unique
crisis, and i think people recognize that that's the case and people are willing to not only support the kind of action we need but get behind it. i think that's an optimistic stake and it may not be that we find that kind of connectivity across washington but i think we are seeing that among the american people. >> released this morning a letter 160 ceos signed asking congress to pass this relief bill quickly. that's a big positive for you. however, we know big business is on board with a whole lot more money being pumped into the system. more money in the system, more money for the american people to spend on those businesses. are those same ceos as willing to sign off and say, yes, we will accept a corporate tax hike, which is a priority for president biden? >> well, i got that letter right in front of me and i agree with you. it's important signal again of the kind of breadth of support we're seeing for this rescue plan. i would say it's not just big
business. earlier this week we announced a set of changes to paycheck protection program, which is a lending program to really try to target the smallest businesses. those businesses with less than 20 employees. and 90% of businesses in america are less than 20 employees. what you see from those businesses is an even more urgent call for action. both directly to support them as a bridge to recovery but also to help provide additional demand into the economy so they've got customers to -- to come to their businesses. to your question about the broader agenda, it's a conversation that we're going to have. we're going to keep making the case. and certainly the conversation we're having later today about supply chains is an important one. if we have a corporate tax code that encourages companies to take production offshore, we're fighting against the recovery we want to see here at home.
that's one of the things the president will be reinforcing with members of the congress and ceos and elsewhere. >> but will the ceos accept the fact they have to pay their way too and that may look like a 28% or 29% tax rate? >> we'll see. traditionally we've seen difference of opinion in the business community, with some being willing to support that type and some not. i certainly hope, we certainly hope there's a recognition now, particularly in the wake of the tax cut in 2017 where there were a lot of promises made about the overall impact it would have that really didn't materialize. and also a sponsorship in america where times like there, there's such disparate outcomes, that as a broader economy, we need to do what's best as a whole, that we can make that case and certainly we know the american people are behind that type of action. >> the ppp changes are important. they're what we've all been
calling for. we know how many businesses were eligible but didn't need the money and happily took it. but are you worried for those very small, vulnerable ones that it's too late? we've already lost lost hundreds of thousands of businesses in the last year. >> 400,000 small businesses lost already. it's a tragedy and it is going to be too late for some of them. but it's not too late for the ppp right now. and this is important for small businesses out there that are watching, for the next two weeks starting today, we're going to have an exclusivity period where businesses with less than 20 employees are the only type of businesses that can apply. and there's a significant still outstanding resources available for those businesses. and we're talking about, you know, the smallest businesses, the sole proprietors, single employee business. and that's particularly important for communities that have been hardest hit. you know, 90%-plus of black and brown businesses in the u.s. are actually single employer -- single employee firms.
so we're doing a lot of outreach to try to make sure that people know that this is a resource that's available. you can apply. there is still -- there are still lending available here and we're going to keep making that case between now and the end of march when the program expires. >> 2.5 million women have left the workplace since the pandemic began. last week vice president kamala harris called that a national emergency. we have millions of kids out of school. what is in this covid relief package that's going to address this emergency? >> well, we couldn't have a more urgent issue here because not only have we seen a disproportionate impact on parents and women coming out of the labor force but we know that with every passing month somebody stays out of the labor force, it affects their lifetime earnings because it's a lot harder to come back if you have been out of the labor force and we know employers look negatively on people who have been out of the labor force. the american rescue plan was
really designed to get at this issue in a couple of ways. first, resources to get the schools open. if we're getting parents back to work, we have to get kids back in school. second, support for childcare and particularly childcare facilities. this is not just about k to 12. it's about childcare facilities in the zero to 5 range that are really struggling to stay open and stay open safely. there are significant resources that would go directly to them. third is continued support for paid leave. one of the things we know that is forcing parents and women out of the workforce is they don't have access to paid leave, that could be a trigger, somebody in their family gets sick, they need to deal with a parent or a kid, they have to leave their job all together. having paid leave is not only good pandemic policy, because it reduces the transmission of the disease, but it's great economic policy as well. all of those things are in the plan. we can make a lot of progress over the course of the spring if we had those resources and those tools. >> you want to get people back to work, address the lack of good, safe, affordable childcare
in this country. before the pandemic, we were in a childcare desert. now it's gotten significantly worse. brian, thank you so much for joining me this morning. i appreciate it. we're going to leave it there. coming up next, moments from now, the second of three straight days of hearings on the january 6th riots will kick off. we'll look at what we learned so far about the massive security failures. or crohn's disease? i did. until i realized something was missing...me. my symptoms were keeping me from being there for him. so, i talked to my doctor and learned... humira is for people who still have uc or crohn's symptoms after trying other medications. and humira helps people achieve remission that can last, so you can experience few or no symptoms. humira can lower your ability to fight infections. serious and sometimes fatal infections, including tuberculosis, and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure.
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january 6th attack on the capitol. this comes after four top security officials testified before the senate and largely blamed a lack of intelligence for what occurred on that day. noting that they did not see a crucial memo from the fbi specifically warning about the possibility of violence. they also pointed to a slow response from the federal government as the chaos was erupting. >> the chief was pleading for the deployment of the national guard and in response to that, there was not an immediate yes of the national guard is responding, yes, the national guard is on the way, yes, the national guard are being restaged from traffic posts to respond. the response was more asking about the plan, what was the plan for the national guard? i was just stunned that i had officers out there literally fighting for their lives, and, you know, we're kind of going through what seemed like an exercise to really check the
boxes. >> fighting for their lives with no backup. joining us to discuss nbc capitol hill correspondent garrett haake and clint watt, nbc news national security analyst and distinguished research fellow at the foreign policy research institute. clint, what was your biggest takeaway from what you heard yesterday? >> my biggest one, stephanie, was i just didn't buy the intelligence failure argument at all. it was very clear this was going to happen a week out. i added additional researchers to my team regarding this. there was fbi communications to the intel unit it sounded like based on "the washington post" this morning. when you look out the front door of the capitol, you can see there were thousands of people out there dressed in body armor, some carrying weapons. so i just don't buy that it was a big intelligence failure or breakdown. i'm really interested to hear what the federal officials say when they come to testify, particularly the department of defense, because there are
accounts even out in open source now they knew this was coming as well, they were preparing for it and trying to repair a response. so i'm having a hard time fitting all of these pieces together. i think we're going to get a lot of contradiction between witnesses over the next few hearings. >> because of that, do you think there's a greater chance we're going to get this 9/11-style commission? we've got three more hearings on this attack this week and next week. could we get more conflicting information as clint points out that basically forces this commission to investigate? >> oh, almost certainly. we've got more hearings this week, more hearings next week, just announced an all-senators briefing on capitol security today. and mitch mcconnell i'm told is going to speak on the floor about this possible 9/11-style commission this morning. right now that prospect is bogged down in politics of sort of who gets put on and how they divide up the seats. but i think the interest is
there in getting to the very bottom of how this happened and how to protect the future. but that was a long-term commission. 9/11 commission took two years to come out with their report. but there's also a need to address security issues much more hastily than that. >> clint, can we talk about misinformation from our own lawmakers? when people want to tell my parents who are in their house, when they want to lie to them about who is any a caravan coming from central america, confuse them about a call with a foreign leader, they can do that. my mom and dad can't see that. but reheard senator ron johnson a few weeks ago say he didn't believe it was an armed insurrection. he said yesterday maybe they were fake trump supporters. that's absolutely false. all of us know this. we have seen the videos over and over again. what would be the reason for pushing these lies and how dangerous are they? >> stephanie, the big takeaway of 2020 was lies, and can
conspiracies drive violence? and we're still in a perpetual cycle today. we see it in the vaccine rollout. one of our biggest concerns is we can see violence at a vaccine distribution point. here you have a senator perpetuating that. i testified to this senate committee two years ago about domestic terrorism. again, senator johnson was deliberately trying to not address the fact much of this violence, much of this conspiracies, many of these lies come from political officials, and talking about an intelligence failure or failure of imagination, why should our law enforcement, why should our military and our citizens have to imagine our elected officials will make up lies and conspiracies that would advance violence against them? it's an impossible situation and that senator johnson perpetuate this and many other elected officials, senator hawley to be one, continues to push and promote these conspiracies, it will only lead to more americans
being hurt and killed. >> i want to switch gears, garrett. it's problematic how long it's taking to get president biden's cabinet members confirmed. when you think of what we're dealing with the pandemic, the fact we don't have an hhs he secretary or education secretary, it's a problem. but i want to address the problem today. two of the nominees are in trouble, neera tanden for omb and xavier becerra for hhs. how big of a blow is neera tanden's chances? >> they got off to a late start and made slow and steady progress since then. this week is the trickiest for confirmations thus far. tanden have two committees that have to vote on her nomination and they decided to postpone today. that tells me democrats are worried they may not have the votes at the committee level, much less on the floor level. my colleague and i wrote overnight her nomination is hanging by a thread and that was
before these committees were postponed. i think she's in real trouble. becerra had his first hearing yesterday. he's got another today before senate finance. there are a lot of his sort of chief republican critics on that panel, so he may get grilled today. but so far there's no indication democrats are breaking on becerra. as long as all 50 democrats stay in support of him, that will be enough. will he get any republican support? that seems unlikely at this point. but, again, he at least thus far, has democrats lined up behind him where tanden has not. >> garrett haake, clint watts, thank you both so much. the fbi is still tracking people down who participated in the insurrection. images released appear to show former nypd officer and marine thomas webster swinging a metal pole at capitol police. another angle shows him tackling an officer, a fellow officer, and trying to rip his face shield and gas mask off. he surrender to the fbi on monday to face charges.
prosecutors say he was trying to help lead the crowd past the barricades. his defense lawyer says he was taking part in a protest called for by president trump, and plans to plead not guilty. of course, as a former officer, he knows exactly how the law works. and it's important to know when webster worked for the new york police department, officials say he was assigned to guard city hall and the mayor's mansion. coming up next -- peaceful protests overnight in rochester, new york, after a grand jury decides not to bring charges against police officers in connection with the death of daniel prude. as alabama is set to introduce a new law which will make it harder to protest for social justice. ice. nt... ♪♪ it's the easiest because it's the cheesiest. kraft. for the win win. ♪ limu emu & doug ♪ hey limu! [ squawks ]
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against police officers for their role in daniel prude's death. police responded last march after prude's brother called for medical help when prude was in an apparent mental health crisis. the officers put him in a spit hood because, according to them, he said he had covid-19. daniel prude died a week later. an autopsy released by the family found that the death was caused from complications of asphyxia with the drug pcp of a contributing factor. his death led to weeks of protests against police brutality. and today's news comes as other states are cracking down on demonstrations. later today, an alabama lawmaker will introduce a bill to punish protesters that are deemed rioters with very harsh penalties, like being barred from public office. it is one of many anti-protest bills we are seeing after last year's racial justice movement. supporters say it will prevent violence but civil rights groups say it could chill free speech and target people of color. let's go right to nbc's chris
jansing in montgomery. you spoke to the governor introducing this bill in alabama today. why is he doing this? >> yes, alan tread away said he knew this would be controversial but he spent 31 years in law enforcement and after watching the protest following the death of george floyd, he said he determined that the laws in place were not sufficient and that there were a lot of people coming from the outside trying to hijack a cause. he didn't call them protesters, he calls them rioters. but the people on the other side say, listen, this is going to suppress free speech, it's going to stop due process. take a look at the provisions in this bill, including if you get arrested during a protest, you can be held for 24 hours without bail. and if you block an interstate, it will be considered a felony. take a listen to the arguments from both sides. >> if you take a brick and you throw it through a window and loot a store or you take that brick and you bash a head in of a police officer, i want
mandatory minimum sentencing to serve. we see what the destruction that's left behind when you don't have law and order. this is a law-and-order bill. >> we have heard the words law and order in other context where it has directly affected our families and it has not been what he says it is. >> it is going to give police more reason to cause brutalities on black people, indigenous people and other communities of color. >> opponents say there's a consistent miscasting of protesters as agitators. all across the country though this is happening. spoke with folks at the aclu and at the tell me there are at least 60 bills, they've never seen anything like it, 60 similar bills in at least 26 different states and that they are tracking them very closely. they call them un-american, unconstitutional and unnecessary. but we just got off the phone with alan treadaway, he said in just the last day he's gotten 12
supporters for this bill. the simple fact of the matter is, stephanie, republicans have a super majority here. if they want to get this bill through, they won't have any trouble doing it and that could set a precedent for some of these other states. >> chris, thank you. contributor to the grio and professor of politics and journalism at morgan state university. we also have brittany packknit cunningham. brittany to you first. if anti-protest bills like this get passed what does that mean to peaceful protesters? >> well, what we have to remember is that 93% of the protests from this past summer were deemed peaceful and without incident, and much of the 7% were actually caused by white supremacists and people who were using the cover of these nonviolent protests in order to
cause chaos and damage and have black protesters across the country cast exactly as we are. so what this will mean is a doubling down on the punishment of audacious black people, audacious indigenous people and folks who stand up for what's right across the country. this says far more about what the alabama gop and what i would say is the national gop. they're not just talking about punishing people of color most often who are protesting, they're also talking about making it illegal to actually change the systems that are causing at harm in the first place. why are people protesting? because the police keep killing people. what is proposed in this bill is that any government entity in alabama that defunds a local law enforcement agency will lose eligibility for grants, revenue and more. look, we know in the state of
alabama that they will arrest and charge and convict people who not only protest for their rights, but who are assaulted by police just shakesia clemens was. this law is unfortunately par for the course with alabama but we have to be clear that this is an insidious attempt to punish black people to live freely and to make it illegal to change the institutions that continue to kill us. >> jason, is this a double-edged sword? because we need actual rioters to be held accountable. when we think about the insurrectionists who stormed the capitol on january 6 and we watch them get to go home on bail, get to go to mexico on vacation and we're furious about it. the law is we don't have domestic terrorist laws in the u.s. if we did would that not excessively harm peaceful protesters who want racial justice? >> right, stephanie, because comparing what happened on january 6 to what happened last summer is completely conflating
the issue. what happened last summer is mostly peaceful protesters who were attacked by police officers. what's really problematic about this law is not just the things that brittany mentioned, but at the core of it who on earth determines when something moves from a peaceful protest to a riot. figure to a protest and someone downtown throws a rock into a window, these kinds of laws mean that you can grab everybody in the patty wagon and throw them in jail. what they want to do is come up with an excuse to just throw black people and protesters in jail. these arguments we're trying to stop outside agitators, they were saying the same thing about mr. chairman and the scl c60 years ago. it's just an attempt to stop these attacks. for domestic terror i have to say we have laws on the books, i have said from the very beginning, if you were in the capitol building on january 6 all we have to do is track your cellphone. you're trespassing on federal property. they could have snatched all of those people. the reason they're not getting arrested and prosecuted is because of larger problems we
have in our criminal justice system. >> i want to remind our viewers of what happened when police in colorado stopped elijah mcclain over a year ago. watch this. >> stop. ave right to stop you because you're being suspicious. >> okay. >> turn around. >> stop. stop tensing up. >> no. let go of me. no, i am an introvert. respect boundaries that i am speaking. i'm just going home. >> a violinist, an introvert who was wearing a mask after he got an iced tea. we learned officially that aurora police had no good reason to stop him, but they put him in a choke hold, paramedics injected him with a sedative dose for a man 50 pounds heavier. he died of course and no criminal charges. the da says there was not enough evidence to support them. what's your take? >> unless of course also remember that this now independent investigation found that the original investigation done by aurora detectives was
incomplete and actually shouldn't have been conducted in the way that it was. the police cannot police themselves. but, you know, honestly, stephanie, the specifics of this case or daniel prude's case or any case isn't actually the point. this cycle is. the question is how many times does this cycle have to repeat itself for us to get sick of it? the police will harass, maim and or kill someone, that person will disproportionately be black or indigenous, a video may be released, the country will get outraged, a grand jury will be assembled, the police will investigate themselves and let themselves off the hook and that grand jury will most often not return an indictment. if they do they will not return a conviction because less than 1% of the people -- of the police who kill black people are actually convicted of that crime. the city will then get sued and the families will rightfully often win a cash award, but the police don't pay that cash award, the taxpayers who are already suffering under overpolicing are the ones who
pay that bill. and then there's more outrage until the country decides to move on and then there's another name, another hashtag, another video and the cycle continues. frankly, stephanie, it is insulting to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result, especially when we become obsessed with accountability and we don't even talk about prevention. this is not working. the only way to actually change this is to fully transform a system that continues to kill us. anything less is unconscionable. >> jason, i was going to give you final thought, but brittany just dropped the mic so we are going to have to leave it there. it's too bad because i really want to know why the wine bottle behind you has snoop dogg's face on t i didn't know he was a wine guy. jason, brittany, thank you so much. that wraps up this hour. i am stephanie ruhle. hallie jackson picks up breaking news coverage on the other side of the break. p breaking news coverage on the other side of the break live bookkeeper for peace of mind. your books are all set. so you can finally give john some attention.
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