Tags: Ferguson in Crisis | Immigration | Joe Scarborough | Morning Joe | Ferguson Response

McCaskill, Scarborough Spar Over Ferguson Response

By    |   Tuesday, 18 November 2014 11:11 AM

The conversation took a lively turn on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Tuesday when host Joe Scarborough asked Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill about safety concerns for Officer Darren Wilson and his family if he is exonerated in the shooting death in August of black unarmed youth Michael Brown.

Tensions have been rising in Ferguson, Mo., as the community awaits a grand jury decision about Brown's shooting last summer that sparked riots in the community over claims his death was motivated by race. Wilson, who is white, said Brown attacked him, and he shot him in self-defense.

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The FBI sent warnings that police officers across the country could become targets after the grand jury verdict, and Missouri Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon activated the National Guard on Monday in case there was civil unrest.

Scarborough began his questioning on Tuesday by stating agreement with McCaskill about issues of racial disparity on the Ferguson police force, but wanted to know what she would "say to Missouri residents about this police officer and how he should be treated moving forward in this community?"

McCaskill responded by talking about the two investigations being conducted on the shooting, one state and one federal, that were "looking at all of the evidence."

"Once their investigations are complete, then Officer Wilson, you know, will either be indicted, and then, of course, removed from the police department. Or he will not be indicted, in which case Officer Wilson has to decide what the future holds for him," McCaskill said.

Scarborough repeated his question about threats that had been made to Wilson and his family and how McCaskill would encourage her community to respond.

"I'm just wondering, what message you'd want to send to the people of Ferguson and the people of Missouri if he is, in fact, not indicted, either now or in the federal case," Scarborough said.

McCaskill said there were "rushes to judgment on both sides of this equation," but added they were "understandable" in the African-American community.

"The rush to judgment by some in the African-American community is, in fact, understandable, because there is driving while black in our country. There are racial disparities, in terms of how people are treated," she said.

The conversation grew tense as Scarborough pressed a third time for an answer about Wilson's safety in light of a grand jury ruling.

"I'm talking specifically about this man and his family who have had dollar prices placed on their heads by extremist organizations. Will you just come out and say, 'Respect him, and if he's acquitted then stay the hell away from him and stay the hell away from his family?'" he asked.

McCaskill answered that she thought the answer to that was "kind of obvious, Joe," but he answered that it wasn't.

"Well, no. It's not obvious. Because, I keep asking you about this officer and his family, and I'm just curious if he is acquitted, then does he get his life back? Does his family get his life back? Do they get their life back?" Scarborough asked.

"Of course, they get their life back. And, of course, he should be protected. And, of course, his life should not be threatened. There is absolutely no excuse for people threatening violence in this issue. And, I thought that was pretty obvious.

"And, I will say it. Absolutely inappropriate. If this officer is not indicted, he and his family should be safe, and they should carry on with the rest of their life, and people should respect that," McCaskill said.

In light of President Barack Obama's threat to use executive action to make changes to the immigration system, McCaskill maintained Speaker of the House John Boehner needed to be "put under a lot more pressure" to allow a vote in the House on the bipartisan immigration bill the Senate already passed.

"We can get this done if Speaker Boehner would just allow the bill to come to the floor for debate. Change it. Amend it. Put in your own bill. But, do something. Don't just make this about demonizing the president," she said.

McCaskill said she was "not crazy about" Obama issuing an executive order to change the immigration system, but added she hadn't "made up my mind" about the president moving forward independently on the issue.

"I think all of us know this is not the best way to do this. I would prefer we do it the old fashioned way. And, that is, let's negotiate a compromise and pass a bill," she said.

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The conversation took a lively turn on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Tuesday when host Joe Scarborough asked Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill about safety concerns for Officer Darren Wilson and his family if he is exonerated in the shooting death of Michael Brown.
Joe Scarborough, Morning Joe, Ferguson Response
Tuesday, 18 November 2014 11:11 AM
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