tv Politics Nation MSNBC April 17, 2021 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
good evening and welcome to "politicsnation." tonight's lead, a national embarrassment. right now there's no place deep enough for americans to bury their heads in because the nation is drowning in images of black and brown death from disproportionate police violence. and tonight, protesters are in their seventh continuous night over the police shooting death of daunte wright in brooklyn
center, minnesota. while less than 20 miles away, the defense has rested its case in the trial of derek chauvin for the killing of george floyd. jurors set to hear final arguments on monday. of course, we cannot call minnesota some kind of singular symbol of what's wrong, not when the entire nation is grappling with this problem. tonight, whether it's a development in an existing case or yet another nauseating video of a wholly unnecessary police killing, but this week, one video in particular outraged the nation. in just a minute i'll talk to the mayor of chicago whose police department is wrestling with perhaps the grimmest police encounter on film since the killing of george floyd. as the police shooting of 13-year-old adam toledo
reescalates the past year's conversation around police reform, intersecting with this latest political battle over guns in america. of course in the background is the building struggle between a biden administration that is trying to reduce social inequities, among them, policing, and a republican party dead set on exploiting them to stay in power. we'll update you on the ongoing fight over voting rights later in the show. but first, our national embarrassment. and we have the perfect guest to take us through those burning topics, attorney benjamin crump is a civil rights lawyer who has represented many of the families affected by police violence. i call him the attorney general of black america. and lori lightfoot, mayor of chicago, where video was released of police fatally shooting a 13-year-old. later in the show, congresswoman
sheila jackson lee, democrat of texas, who is part of a delegation of the congressional black caucus who met with president biden earlier this week. i want to start with you, attorney crump. closing arguments in the trial of derek chauvin are slated for monday. you and i have been here so many times before. so i want to ask you to predict the verdict. but i will ask to you predict the impact that this case will have on policing and how misconduct trials are handled. given that, if nothing else, we saw most police in minneapolis that testified rejected chauvin's actions when they were on the stand, something we don't often, if ever, have seen. >> reverend al, i want to thank you publicly as we have thanked you privately for coming and praying with the family of
george floyd every day as they had to endure this trial of watching george be killed over and over again with the horrific video. it is my belief, reverend al, that george floyd's killing and the prosecution of derek chauvin will set a precedence in america that will hopefully finally have marginalized minorities to expect equal justice under the law and make the american promise of liberty and justice for all true for black people too. the prosecution led by attorney general keith ellison made a very compelling case on why derek chauvin should be held criminally liable, because even though we had one of the most horrific videos of torture that has ever been witnessed in america of a citizen by the
police, we know that still is not enough to guarantee a conviction of a police officer when they kill a black person unjustly. so i expect this to be a precedence, and i see in daunte wright already george floyd's prosecution is having an impact on equal justice. >> now, in line with that, attorney crump, i want you to take a listen to attorney general merrick garland who spoke at my national action network convention this weekend as you did. i want you to listen to this part of the speech to us. >> the civil rights division is already hard at work on a long agenda. it will work hard to ensure accountability for law enforcement misconduct. that will be made by our grant-making components to help police departments around the country improve their practices through funding and technical assistance, leverage to promote policing policies that benefit
communities, and enhance trust. >> now, those are strong promises. they're going to make it a priority, they're going to do other things. but a justice department talking about we're going to focus on policing by this new attorney general, your thoughts on that, counselor? >> reverend al, as you and i both know, we didn't see that in the last four years of the federal leadership in america. so that is welcomed. but to really deal with this issue of systemic racism and discrimination in policing, we have to have our federal leaders from the department of justice as well as our leaders on the local level like mayor lightfoot, everybody being responsive together saying we can work together to finally try to eradicate this problem that
has been long ignored. you've done this over and over again since selma. we've been dealing with this with no accountability. that's why we're so profound when we had the mother of trayvon martin, the mother of michael brown, the mother of stephon clark and the mother of eric garner at your national action network convention. there are now charges on daunte wright right at the time when we were having that discussion and those mothers were given advice to katie wright who had lost their child that they were going to charge this policewoman. what was so profound about that is the blood of their children that has helped us finally get to this point where we expect the police officer to at least be arrested and to have their day in court. and i think the federal government and the department of justice should always be doing investigations because we don't
know if we can trust local d.a.s who have a relationship with the local police departments. this is about a more just, fair america for all american citizens, reverend al. >> and that panel we had of mothers that you moderated for us in new york -- we thank you for coming up -- with the mothers of the movement, and then we went outside and held a press conference supporting the mother and father of daunte wright. but we also stressed federal law. you and i and others have been promoting the george floyd justice in police act because we cannot depend that every state is going to have a keith ellison as minnesota has who did such a job in the case of derek chauvin. whatever the verdict is, we don't know, but we can say the prosecution put on a job in terms of bringing experts and police that we've not seen.
you need federal law for it to work in all 50 states, and people need to understand in the civil rights movement, they didn't get state laws, they got federal laws, civil rights act, '64, federal, voting rights act, '64, federal. we need federal policing laws from the legislature. >> exactly, reverend al. and the fact that keith ellison did the best prosecution that i have seen in my lifetime prosecuting the police officer for killing a black person unjustly is such a unique and unusual experience. we're used to the prosecutors not pressing hard to hold the police accountable, so right now hopefully president biden, vice president kamala harris can take the leadership and use their influence to help the united states congress, especially the united states senate, finally
pass the george floyd justice policing accountability act because when i testified before congress, reverend al, i told them if we don't do it within 30 days, we're going to see another unjustified killing of an unarmed black person and it's going to create another hashtag. so please, we are asking for leaders to be responsible and responsive to this ongoing epidemic where a traffic stop far too often for black people leads to a death sentence. >> all right. well, thank you for being on, attorney crump. i'll see you at national action network on monday in minneapolis to have prayer before the closing arguments. >> thank you for agreeing to preach the eulogy for the family of daunte wright on thursday. >> yes, sir. i'll be there. i'll be there to do that as well. man has got me committed. i want to go to chicago. i want to go to the mayor of
chicago, lori lightfoot. first of all, madam mayor, thank you for coming on. you asked to be on "politicsnation" this evening after earlier this week you said that you found the video of the killing of adam toledo as incredibly difficult to watch, especially with you as a mother of a 13-year-old yourself. what is the message you have tonight for those watching us right now? >> well, first and foremost, i have to say, again, incredible condolences and love and support for the toledo family. his mother, his father, his siblings. he has a big family who is mourning this tragic loss of this young man. no mother should've to walk in the shoes that elizabeth toledo is now walking in every single day with the loss of her child. we just have to keep that loss
front and foremost in our own minds. this is a tough thing. it is a tragic, tragic thing that this 13-year-old boy was lost. but as i've also said, we have to unravel a lot of the circumstances that led to that young boy being in that alley at 2:30 in the morning with another adult who clearly led him astray. so there's a lot that we have to understand and reckon with as a city, but first and foremost, we have to mourn and support and love this family, and we have to wrap our arms around your young people that much more. we've done a lot in my time as mayor, but clearly this -- this horrible, tragic loss reminds me and reminds all of us that we've not done enough and we failed adam and there's a lot more that we need to do to make sure that adam's tragic death is not in
vain. >> we failed adam, is your words. but we saw the tape, and it appears clearly that adam's hands was up and is policeman shot him. why is that policeman still on the force? >> well, reverend al, we have a very specific process here. there's an independent investigation that started the minute that those shots were fired. we have to respect that independent civilian investigation. in addition to that, our district attorney also investigating this case. it's important that we provide space for those two simultaneous independent investigations to happen. the officers involved are as a matter of course on desk duty. they're not on the street. we have to let the investigations play themselves out. they need to be thorough, they need to be complete, but they also need to be expeditious. from day one, myself and our
superintendent urged the release of the video, even knowing how difficult it was going to be for folks to see it. but i worry about -- is retraumatizing this family, retraumatizing young people across our city who have already borne a huge rate of trauma and depression as a result of the things that have arisen during the course of the pandemic. i would be remiss if i didn't say there's a long history of police violence against communities of color, which is what is erupting in the outrage and anger that we're seeing on our streets. >> now, mayor, the chicago police department is currently under federal consent degree, which is noteworthy this week, because attorney general merrick garland has rescinded the previous administration's order to curtail their use in reforming other urban police departments.
chicago's consent degree mostly stayed in place under president trump. critics point to where the department has repeatedly failed to meet reform deadlines, particularly on use of force and officer accountability and suggesting that chicago pd does not take reform seriously. what deuce to those that saw the killing of adam toledo as a result of that alleged failure? >> well, first, let me clarify one thing. we're actually under in federal court, but under the state attorney general's lawsuit under the consent dreerks and i support the consent degree, but i supported as a floor, not the ceiling. there's a lot we've already done over the course of my tenure as mayor, but more that has to be done. we have reformed our use-of-force general order in conjunction with the independent monitor and with a lot of input from our residents here in
chicago. we have upped the training of our police officers, which basically was nonexistent after you left the academy. now this year, 40 hours of mandatory training, which, of course, includes use of force, but also procedural justice, and a lot of other civil rights acts that we didn't have in place before. now, the reality is, we're operating in an atmosphere where there's a significant lack of trust. so we got to continue to build those authentic relationships with people in the community and the police department really has to accept primary responsibility for building those relationships in a difficult atmosphere. but a difficult atmosphere created by a abuses that are decades long. but we've got to keep moving forward, and i'm committed to bridging that divide because the reality is we're also operating in a world where, unfortunately, in too many neighbors across our city, violence is common place.
one thing that didn't get record this week was there was a 17-year-old young woman killed as a result of gang violence in the same community in which adam toledo lived. so we are dealing and grappling with very difficult, challenging circumstances, but we must come together as a community. we must express ourselves and do it peacefully. but we can't sugar coat anything. we got to dig down to the root causes of the violence, the root causes of racism, and root them out as a community going forward together. >> now, briefly, in your press conference this week, you lamented how saturated the nation is with guns. you just mentioned a killing. your city, of course, is held up as a national symbol of gun crime, but the state-to-state geography, the guns are smuggled
into your city. i ask, what is missing in the president's recent actions on guns that you need to curtail the problem? what do you need from the federal government, not just to get guns off the street, but to minimize the kind of police actions that we saw with adam toledo's final moments and deal with gun violence? >> there's a couple of things that i think the federal government is uniquely qualified to do. you know, the police came to the scene that early morning of march 29th because an illegal firearm that was purchased in a parking lot in indiana made its way into the hands of a 21-year-old who was clearly leading adam toledo astray. so you're right, we're right on the border of indiana and michigan and wisconsin, and those illegal firearm purchases in those states make their way to the streets of chicago. what the federal government can do is pass background checks, strengthening the oversight of
federally licensed gun dealers. what i talked our u.s. attorney here is we need a federal task force across jurisdictions to deal with gun trafficking and sales by purchasers. there's a lot more that needs to be done because we are awash in illegal firearms in chicago. our police department is working hard to address that, but we can't do that without federal partnership. and i've been talking to the biden administration and local federal authorities here about just that. they've all got to step up and do more, but we got to get common sense gun control legislation out of the congress and onto the president's desk. >> all right. you have a lot to do. i was out there when you won. seems like so long ago. you've come in and had a lot to deal with in your city. that's why on may 16th urban one is honoring you. mayor of chicago lori lightfoot, thank you for being with us. with me now is texas congresswoman sheila jackson
lee. congresswoman, this week you had the honor to be part of a small delegation of the black caucus to visit the white house. senator cory booker even shared this selfie on twitter with the caption "the congressional black caucus' first visit to the white house in four long years." that's his quote. the goal of the meeting was to push the president on the caucus legislative agenda. what are the things that are at the top of that agenda? >> so good to be with you. as you well know, the congressional black caucus has been called the conscience of the congress, and it is. john lewis represented that kind of standard. and that's simply what we did with the president of the united states. we did not mince words and we went right to the heart of the issues we think are vital, and that is to stamp out the pandemic, if you will, of voter suppression and oppression. we spoke about the imperative
nature of supporting even before daunte wright's death and video of the lieutenant and certainly another young man of color, mr. toledo, hispanic, about the importance of passing the george floyd justice in policing act. i hope to expand on that more importantly than ever before. we talked the day before the historic vote on hr 40 and we talked about the importance of finally acknowledging the bondage that black americans experienced for 250 years by passing hr 40, the commission is studying reparation proposals. but we talked about academic loss, the amount of dollars we needed because of the pandemic, covid-19. our children have gotten further behind. we insisted that that money goes to the school districts who are fighting against red states that are holding those dollars. we talked about equity and the american jobs plan that we did not want to see a $2.25 trillion commitment to this nation, and
again, people of color, minorities take a backseat to jobs, to contracts, to investment in our communities. we're very firm on that. and i must say the president listened. a 30-minute meeting went on for two hours, and i think that we were heard on the issues of overcriminalization, on the issues of jobs. this is not our only meeting. we'll be back again with the president, but it was a breath of fresh air. vice president kamala harris, they were knowledgeable and informed, and they were committed. we're going to work to get these things done for the american people and for the people in the african-american community. >> congresswoman, i do want to pivot while there's enough time to congratulate you on your legislative win this week. as you and house judiciary democrats advance legislation to establish the first commission to study and consider reparations for black americans. it passed over unified objections from republicans on
the committee predicting the fight to come should the legislation advance to a vote. i won't ask you to disparage your republican colleagues, but is it possible to reject the idea of reparations outright without racial animosity, at least in sensitivity guiding that rejection in your view? >> it's certainly possible, reverend. i thank you. the debate yesterday -- a couple days ago, you're right. my good friends on the other side of the aisle were using deflections, distractions, untruth, and misrepresentation. i hope that they will find the light and the truth. we didn't do this in anguish. the debate was factual, informed, passionate. we're going to ask our republican friends to join us. the way to heal this nation is to have the facts of the
original bondage and sin. the george floyd trial right in front of us is evidence of the mistreatment of african-americans, the conspicuous hesitation that black folk have about whether a just justice will come about with a jury trial. in the midst that have, the tragic loss of this young, beautiful man, daunte wright. so i think the facts are there. we're going to be determined. more and more members are joining. i want to thank my cosponsors from the south, the northeast, and the west. but this will work to be part of the healing the nation as well as passing the george floyd justice in policing act. reverend, i want to say to my colleagues, stop dillydallying around. i appreciate your concerns about that legislation on policing, but even police understand the importance of ridding themselves of conduct that results in loss of. the need for training is all in
the act. just today, i was with the george floyd family. what a wonderful statement they made. >> they are a beautiful family. we talk every day. i go down there two or three times for national action network to stand with them. thank you for being with us, congresswoman sheila jackson lee. coming up, instead of doing actual work, the gop is doing what it does best, making baseless attacks against the busy biden administration. but first, my colleague richard lui with today's top stories. >> some of the stories we're watching for you this hour, the global death toll from covid-19 surpassed 3 million people today. the u.s. represents over 18% of those deaths, over four times the global average. offsetting that today, more than 202 million vaccine doses were administered. nearly a quarter of americans are now fully vaccinated. the funeral for prince
philip was held today. the procession was led from windsor castle. the queen, prince william, and prince harry were in attendance. boris johnson sent his regards to the royal family. only 30 mourners were able to attend due to pandemic restrictions. prince philip and queen elizabeth ii were married for more than seven decades. more "politicsnation" with reverend al sharpton right after the break. seeing blood when you brush or floss can be a sign of early gum damage. new parodontax active gum repair kills plaque bacteria at the gum line to help keep the gum seal tight. new parodontax active gum repair toothpaste.
for this week's gotcha, i want to address the desperation from the republican party as they contend with the growing popularity of the biden administration's agenda. even their own base overwhelmingly approves of biden's covid response and proposed infrastructure plan. so the gop is turning to more personal attacks like this bizarre complaint from texas republican senator john cornyn this week. after four years of a reality show president whose administration was all talk and no action, maybe cornyn has forgotten that the president's primary job is governing, not public relations, because his most urgent concern with joe biden's job performance is apparently that he doesn't tweet enough. it's an interesting criticism
from cornyn considering the way he used to avoid questions about inappropriate tweets from biden's predecessor. >> senator cornyn, can you stop at the mics for a second? what do you make of the president's tweet this morning and does the president need to be more cautious about what he tweets? >> and while there doesn't seem to be any polling yet on biden's use of social media, a poll last year found that nearly two-thirds of american adults thought trump tweeted too much. meanwhile, cornyn doesn't pull any punches when he's the one tweeting. he fold up his criticism of biden's twitter habits with the bad-faith question about biden's governing style. quote, is he really in charge? the implication, which republicans have tried to stoke since kamala harris joined the
ticket last summer, is that the vice president is somehow controlling things in the biden administration, an ugly weaponization of the aggressive black woman stereotype. but republicans can't even get that line of attack straight. on wednesday house minority whip steve scalise brand i should a prop milk carton with the vice president's face on it, accusing her of, quote, missing on issues at the southern border. this at the same time harris was holding a public event on that very issue during which she announced further action. >> so our focus is to deal with the root causes and i'm looking forward to traveling hopefully as my first trip to the northern triangle stopping in mexico and then going to guatemala sometime soon. >> republicans can't get their attacks on joe biden to stick, so they attack his vice
president. but they can't decide whether to portray her as overbearing or lazy, both racial attacks often levied against black women, by the way. but biden and harris have a skill that republicans seem to lack, leading by example. so to john cornyn and steve scalise and the rest of the gop caucus, you can keep slinging baseless accusations and pulling juvenile stunts while the biden administration continues their early successes on behalf of the american people. and you better believe the american people will remember at the ballot box which party was all talk and which one finally took action. i gotcha. moon. it doesn't ring the bell on wall street. or disrupt the status quo. t-mobile for business uses unconventional thinking to help you realize new possibilities. like our new work from anywhere solutions, so your teams
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communities have a long way to go in reforming law enforcement in boston. a new mayor is trying a new approach and making a bit of history of her own in the process. joining me now is the first black female mayor of boston, kim janey. thank you, madam mayor, for being with us. >> thank you so much for having me. >> now, you're the first black person and first woman to be the mayor of boston, a major victory when it comes to a city that has a long, complicated history with racism. you were born and raised in massachusetts. what does being mayor mean to you? >> it is definitely a historic moment being the first black mayor, the first woman mayor of our city after 199 years of never having any representation other than white males in our city. and so for me, someone who has lived through a number of
challenges, i can bring that unique perspective, my lived experience to this job, to this work, and pushing for a better city, a stronger city, a more equitable city, a more just city. >> cities across the country are coming face-to-face with issues that they have seen in their police forces, causing a national reckoning for how our streets are policed. this week you introduced an executive director for the new office of police accountability and transparency. you have also proposed a $3.75 billion budget, which includes investing in racial equity training for officers and for emergency mental health calls to be handled separately from police by a team of mental health experts. tell me about this. >> i think it's important that we meet this moment in our
country's history. right now we are grappling with the trial of the murder of george floyd, the chauvin case. we have seen a killing since then, including a 13-year-old boy. as a grandmother of a 13-year-old boy, i'm deeply concerned about what we're seeing all across our country, and i know in boston we have work to do around accountability, around transparency so that we can build trust here in boston. and part of what i'm looking to do is reimagine how we do policing in boston. and so some of that investment around mental health so we can see how we can best respond to crisis in our city and whether or not police officers are the best equipped to answer those types of calls. so we're exploring that here through our budget investment.
>> now, there is outrage across the country over the police shooting of 20-year-old daunte wright in minnesota, which you referred to. now your own city residents are calling for the cases of terrence coleman and burrell ramsey wright killed by police to be reopened. in both incidents, the officers involved were not charging. white was killed in 2012 and coleman was 2016. as mayor, do you think it is time to reopen investigations into these two deaths? >> well, we will certainly be using the office of police accountability and transparency to look at a number of cases in boston. i am releasing a case that involves an officer who was accused of sexual assault against a child, and so i'm releasing those files.
i'm not sure what the direction of our district attorney or the attorney general wants to do involving those cases, but certainly we'll cooperate fully should there be interest in looking at those cases. i think we need to look at how things are handled overall. there are a number of cases that will need to be examined. >> starting monday all adults 16 or older in massachusetts will be eligible to receive the covid-19 vaccine. as mayor of boston, what are you doing to ensure that this distribution will be both equitable and accessible to all city residents? >> well, as you already note, we were dealing with multiple pandemics. certainly racial injustice is a pandemic. in terms of covid-19, it is essential that we have equitable distribution of the vaccine. i'm making sure that communities that are hardest hit, that are
disproportionately impacted by covid deaths as well as cases and here in boston that is the black community and the latinx community, have access to the vaccine and we are meeting folks where they are through a number of mobile vaccination clinics and priority clinics. this is essential to our recovery, reopening and renewal here in boston. >> all right. mayor kim janey, thank you so much for being with us tonight. >> thank you so much. up next, the legal community joins the corporate american community to fight gop voting laws, and they mean business. that's after the break. never k don't settle for silver #1 for diabetic dry skin* #1 for psoriasis symptom relief* and #1 for eczema symptom relief* gold bond champion your skin
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leaders in business, law, and even hollywood are pushing back on this latest attempt to suppress voters. hundreds of american companies have publicly decried the new law, private law firms are organizing to fight the restrictions in court. actor will smith pulled the production of his new movie, "emancipation" out of georgia in protest. joining me now is jeffrey sonnenfield, senior associate field for leadership studies at the yale school of management, and michael waldman, president of the nyu brennen center for justice. michael, first it was corporations, then faith leaders. now some of the biggest private law firms are organizing what they're calling legal s.w.a.t. teams ready to fight the georgia law and its copycats in other states. what will that look like in
practice? >> i think it's very significant. what this lets legislators know if they pass discriminatory voting laws, if they pass laws that make it harder for their fellow americans to vote, the legal community will be there, will be ready to fight it, will be ready to go to court, and ready to build the record for the voting rights act and other important laws. >> now, jeffrey, in your recent "wall street journal" piece, you talked about america's historical relationship with politics, quote, ensuring social cohesion in democracy is part of a ceo's job. are there any relevant examples of corporate activism from history, or are we in a unique moment? >> no. actually, i'm so glad you asked because even the business roundtable was founded in 1970 as a reaction against the national association of
manufacturers and the u.s. chamber of commerce that was taking reactionary objection positions. you had a group of forward-thinking, progressives that were out there looking in favor of diversity and inclusion issues, of looking at sustainability issues. and it was looking at a lot of workforce retraining issues and trying to say that you could be on the same side of society. they don't want hostile communities. they don't want angry finger-pointing workers and shoulders at each other and consumer blabbers. a divided nation is not good for business, markets, or the economy. sadly, some gop legislators say it's good for their positions but it's not good for business. >> you recently urged democrats to split for the people act.
how do you think this recent outpouring of anger over voting restriction measures from corporations and hollywood would impact that effort? >> i think the public outcry can only help and is helping the for the people act, only help and is helping the for the people act, s-1 and hr-1, it helps voting rights and gerrymandering and campaign finance and all of the other ways that our democracy faces a crisis and this bill would stop these voter suppression laws cold. it would override them and that's why this outcry can lead to legislative -- >> hollywood is in a particularly tight spot with georgia being the top filming look in the country and while will smith has already pulled his latest movie from the state, "black panther ii" director
coogler is keeping that film in georgia while working to overturn the law. do you think hollywood can meaningfully move the needle on this issue? >> i think it is very hard when you look at the role of economic boycotts. nobody in georgia for the left or the right has been calling for that and some very important activists like stacy abrams have been maliciously mischaracterized within the state of georgia saying she and others were calling for boycotts. they weren't. mayor bottoms, mayor of atlanta. there are people outside the state saying we're not comfortable going in there, so major league all-star game responded not because the values were offended so much so, but players themselves said we don't want to go to a place where we feel unwelcome or a where our voice can't be heard and can't vote. we'll see how hollywood responds because that's an interesting split that we see right now and
they don't want to take jobs from front line workers and the jobs will be there, just a different state will get those jobs. >> all right. let me thank both of you for being with us. jerry sonnenfeld and michael walden. my thanks to both of you. up next, my final thoughts. stay with us. ext, my final thous stay with us , it's more treatab. i'm cologuard. i'm noninvasive and detect altered dna in your stool to find 92% of colon cancers even in early stages. tell me more. it's for people 45 plus at average risk for colon cancer, not high risk. false positive and negative results may occur. ask your prescriber or an online prescriber if cologuard is right for you. i'll do it. good plan. your mission: stand up to moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. and take. it. on... with rinvoq. rinvoq a once-daily pill can dramatically improve symptoms... rinvoq helps tame pain,
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this week national action network ended its four-day conference, convention this afternoon, and during the convention, as we sat and planned in the midst of still a pandemic, how to deal with the issues of criminal justice and voter protection and economic development, dealing with this for our 30th year, 30 years old this year and we had an array of the biggest influencers and grassroots activists be a part of this convention and thousands
watching virtually said it was very limited in terms of attendance due to covid-19. we started wednesday morning with the president of the united states joe biden giving a tribute to this organization national action network as he spoke to us on his policy, but this is what he said about the national action network. >> this organization has always been an essential voice, but never more essential than it is today. upholding and advancing the security and prosperity of health and well-being, dignity and possibilities of all black americans. >> we also heard from the majority leader of the u.s. senate, chuck schumer and the speaker of the united states house of representatives nancy pelosi, but then we heard from the mothers of the move am, the mother of trayvon martin and the mother of michael brown from
ferguson, missouri, the mother of stephon clark from sacramento, california, and the mother of eric gardner in new york city, citien island, as we talked about the policing act and attorney ben crump led that panel. we had faith leaders. we had business leaders and some of the top business leaders in black america and youth activists who on their own, many of them, have done a lot of direct action, a lot of movements around the country and then many that mobilized across racial and gender lines that was exemplified at our march on washington last august led by martin luther king iii and i. it was not a week to gather and socialize. we don't do that even when there isn't a covid-19. it was to plan, and we come out
saying that we must pass federal legislation. floyd bill on policing and the bill senate 1 on voter protection. those are the legislative agendas that we come out with as well as dealing with the economic inequities from jobs to how we deal with c suites and contracts where a business will sometimes give charity and do not have parity on how they award contracts. those four areas are how we come out of national action networks' convention. that is why we're not stopping to pat ourselves on the back because we had record numbers of thousands watching virtually. we are on our way to minneapolis, to deal with the floyd case. let me also say one of the highlights is when the first
black woman to be president of a national cable station rasheeda jones was honored with her son looking on, she's the president of msnbc and martin luther king iii and gave her that award showing that that was what dr. king fought for, the right for us to be judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin. she symbolizes that. that does it for me. thanks for watching and i'll see you back here tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. eastern for another live hour of "politics nation." my colleague alicia menendez picks up or coverage now. >> thank you, reverend sharpton. on one hand, growing protests and demands for accountability in the streets following deaths of 13-year-old adam toledo and