Lawrence O'Donnell

Darren Wilson’s Grand Jurors Were Told To Base Decision On Law Ruled Unconstitutional In 1985 (VIDEO)

Addicting Info

On Wednesday’s Last Word, Lawrence O’Donnell highlighted a chilling fact about the Ferguson grand jury proceedings:

“With prosecutors like this, Darren Wilson never really needed a defense lawyer.”

O’Donnell found a glaring problem with instructions the grand jury was given directly before Officer Darren Wilson testified. Jurors were instructed to base their decisions on an outdated law that was ruled unconstitutional decades ago.

“I’m going to pass out to you all, you are all going to receive a copy of a statute, It is section 563.046, and it is, it says law enforcement officers use of force in making an arrest, And it is the law on what is permissible, what force is permissible and when in making an arrest by a police officer,” Assistant District Attorney Kathy Alizadeh told jurors as she handed them a copy of a 1979 Missouri law that, O’Donnell points out, was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1985 before Alizadeh’s legal career began and before Officer Wilson was even born. O’Donnell went on to say:

“But it was helpful to officer Darren Wilson that the Assistant District Attorney handed the jury an old, unconstitutional law which said incorrectly that it is legal to shoot fleeing suspects simply because they are fleeing. By handing the Grand Jury that unconstitutional Law the Assistant District Attorney dramatically lowered the standard by which Darren Wilson could be judged.”

“She was telling the Grand Jury with that document that Darren Wilson had the Right, the legal Right to shoot and kill Michael Brown as soon as Michael Brown started running away from him,”  “She was telling the grand jury that Darren Wilson didn’t have to feel his life threatened at all by Michael Brown. She was taking the hurdle that Darren Wilson had to get over in his testimony and flattening it. She was making it impossible for Darren Wilson to fail in front of this grand jury.”

The portion of the law that was ruled unconstitutional says that an officer is “justified in the use of such physical force as he or she reasonably believes is immediately necessary to effect the arrest or to prevent the escape from custody.”




“That was ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 1985. It was legal to shoot and kill fleeing suspects in most states until the Supreme Court made it illegal in 1985 — and everyone in law enforcement knows that. Everyone except the two assistant district attorneys who were presenting the evidence in one of the most important cases of police use of deadly force in this country since 1985.”

“There is nothing more helpful the Assistant District Attorney could have done for Officer Darren Wilson right before his testimony than show that incorrect, outdated, unconstitutional law to the grand jury,” he said, noting that jurors heard Wilson speak with the belief that everything he did was legal the moment Brown’s feet began moving. O’Donnell continued:

“The District Attorney’s office allowed the grand jurors to travel back in time to the good old days of American law enforcement when the cops could shoot people for running away. Before Darren Wilson was born, that’s how far back in time they went. The assistant district attorneys did that by using the old, unconstitutional law as the window through which the grand jurors would evaluate Wilson’s conduct.”

Some will defend this devastatingly ignorant “mistake,” but O’Donnell pointed out that no correction was issued just as the jury was to consider what charges. if any, they would vote for. It was only then that jurors were told the actual law in a manner that seems designed only to further deceive them.

More than two months after jurors were told to take a trip back to 1984 when an officer could execute a teenager in the street simply for fleeing, Alizadeh told jurors that the majority of their considerations were based upon a lie. She told jurors:

“Previously in the very beginning of this process I printed out a statute for you that was, the statute in Missouri for the use of force to affect an arrest. So if you all want to get those out.  What we have discovered and we have been going along with this, doing our research, is that the statute in the state of Missouri does not comply with the case law.”

“And so the statute for the use of force to affect an arrest in the state of Missouri does not comply with Missouri supreme, I’m sorry, United States supreme court cases,” Alizadeh added. “So the statue I gave you, if you want to fold that in half just so that you know don’t necessarily rely on that because there is a portion of that that doesn’t comply with the law.”

The assistant district attorney then handed jurors something from this century. Alizadeh said:

“That does correctly state what the law is on when an officer can use force and when he can use Deadly Force in affecting an arrest, okay. I don’t want you to get confused and don’t rely on that copy or that print-out of the statute that I’ve given you a long time ago. It is not entirely incorrect or inaccurate, but there is something in it that’s not correct, ignore it totally.”

When one juror asked if “federal court overrides Missouri statutes,” O’Donnell says that she ignored a simple, clear, one-word answer, “yes.”

“That is why we no longer have segregated schools in this country. The Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional and illegal to have segregated schools,” he said. “And that is the only reason states like Mississippi and Alabama and Arkansas and, yes, Missouri, no longer have segregated schools.”

O’Donnell explained that Alizadeh “couldn’t bring herself” to say yes. “Instead,” he told his audience, “she actually said ‘Just don’t worry about that.’” Assistant prosecutor Whirley added that, “We don’t want to get into a law class.”

O’Donnell went on to say:

“But that is not the worst, most unprofessional aspect of ADA Kathy Alizadeh’s presentation to the Grand Jury about this law. The very worst part of it is that she never, ever explained to the Grand Jury what was incorrect about the unconstitutional statute that she had given them and left with them as one of their official papers for weeks and weeks and weeks.”

 “You will not find another legal proceeding in which jurors and Grand jurors are simply handed a law, and then weeks later handed a correction to that law; and then the Grand jurors are simply left to figure out the difference in the laws by themselves. That is actually something you would do in a law class,” O’Donnell said. “Figure it out by yourself.”

Watch the segment, below:

Lawrence O’Donnell destroys O’Reilly’s racist rants with actual science

Lawrence O'Donnell blasts O'Reilly's 'narrow, uneducated' comments on Black Americans [MSNBC]

Lawrence O’Donnell blasts O’Reilly’s ‘narrow, uneducated’ comments on Black Americans [MSNBC]


The Raw Story

Citing decades of scholastic research, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell rebuffed his Fox News counterpart Bill O’Reilly’s attempts to play “amateur sociologist” regarding the circumstances that led to the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012.

“Never mind that Trayvon Martin was the son of a very involved and loving father and never mind that [President] Barack Obama grew up without a father and went on to do rather well for himself and be a credit to his single mother,” O’Donnell said on Monday.

In the wake of the July 13 acquittal of Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, O’Donnell explained, O’Reilly has used his network platform to sneer at “Hollywood people” and “derelict parents” within the African-American community while insisting that America’s history of slavery and institutional prejudice did nothing to foster the country’s current social climate.

“The struggles of Black America have nothing to do with slavery in Bill O’Reilly’s very narrow and uneducated mind,” O’Donnell said mockingly, before citing not only the 1965 Moynihan Report, but later studies by Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson and Harvard University professor William Julius Wilson.

“Professor Wilson and his friend, the former Harvard Professor [Daniel] Moynihan, would never consider discussing or analyzing family structure in the Black community if that discussion did not begin at slavery and include all the dynamic factors — good and bad — that have shaped the Black American experience since slavery,” O’Donnell said.

Watch O’Donnell take O’Reilly to task, as aired Monday on MSNBC, below.

Lawrence O’Donnell Rips Mitt Romney, Ted Nugent, and the Silent Republican Outrage Machine: VIDEO

This video is a couple of days old, yet note-worthy.  H/t:  View From The Middle Class

Lawrence O’Donnell And Charles Blow Give George Zimmerman Pal Joe Oliver Epic Grilling

I saw Lawrence O’Donnell’s show last night and was absolutely floored by O’Donnell and Charles Blow (NY Times columnist) ability to dissect Joe Oliver’s story methodically and succinctly.


On Tuesday night’s The Last WordGeorge Zimmerman friend and former news anchor Joe Oliver finally ran into an interviewer who has beenwatching the game films, and the result was an epic two segments of television that left Oliver’s premise, that he knows Zimmerman well enough to know he couldn’t have killed Trayvon Martin in cold blood, in tatters.

This interview, with host Lawrence O’Donnell(possibly still steaming from last night’s walkout by Zimmerman’s lawyer) and The New York Times‘ Charles Blow, is amazing on many levels, and covers many of the points I’ve raised about themisleading, nonsensical things Oliver has been saying, and challenging the closeness of his relationship with Zimmerman. By the second segment, when WaPo’s Jonathan Capehart tagged in, Oliver began to actually dispute the characterization of him as a “close friend,” and told all three that “My role in this just doesn’t make sense.”

Some highlights include Oliver’s weird evasion of O’Donnell’s questions about whether Oliver and Zimmerman were ever co-workers. By the end of the second segment, Oliver acknowledged that “we’re co-workers.” He also made several stunning admissions, including volunteering that “George may have been drinking” the night he was arrested in 2005, then quickly adding that he’s never, ever known Zimmerman to drink.

Aside from the blistering barrage of questions, there were a few unrelated, priceless moments, like when O’Donnell is quizzing Oliver about anger management counseling, and looks like he’s about to slug some guy at the bar. Then, toward the end of the first segment, some of the lights go out in Oliver’s studio, leaving him in a sinister half-light. That should have been a clue to Oliver that things were not going to get better.

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with a friend trying to help out a friend by attesting to his fine character, but what Oliver was doing went well beyond that.

I can’t figure out, for the life of me, why Oliver hung in there for two whole segments of this, but the result was as compelling as anything I’ve seen on cable news. I’ve seen O’Donnell do the pit bull thing before, with varying results, but tonight, he got a subject he could really sink his teeth into.

Here’s the interview, in two parts.

Donald Trump Slams Lawrence O’Donnell: You’re A Poor Man’s Ed Schultz And Al Sharpton

Lawrence O’Donnell cannot stand Donald Trump and lets his audience know this as often as he can…


On Thursday, Donald Trump lit into MSNBC’sLawrence O’Donnell on Twitter, going on a lengthy tirade, mocking him that his show will soon be cancelled. “Lawrence O’Donnell will soon have another cancelled show to go along with his three cancelled TV series, “Mister Sterling”, “The Kill Point” and “First Monday”,” Trump tweeted.

RELATED: Lawrence O’Donnell Breaks It To Donald Trump: ‘Romney Knows’ He Is ‘America’s Biggest Loser’

“@lawrence is a poor man’s Ed Schultz (who replaced @Lawrence) and Al Sharpton,” Trump continued. “He was moved to 10PM due to bad ratings and taken off Friday due to being totally irrelevant. He desperately needs to keep making up false statements about me to get attention. Without clips of me, his show would be completely dead and he knows it. As I have said many times before @Lawrence is the dumbest man on television. He is only angry because I would never have wasted my time doing his completely irrelevant show.”

O’Donnell responded humorously that The Donald was wrong:

(h/t HuffPo)

The Last Word – Ginger White apologizes to Cain’s wife

The Last Word – MSNBC

See Video here…

Ginger White said Thursday she was “deeply sorry” for any pain she might have caused Gloria Cain or her family.  The Atlanta woman, who alleged carrying on an affair with presidential candidate Herman Cain, made the apology during an exclusive interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell.

“My heart bleeds for this woman because I am a woman and being in a situation like this cannot be fun. And I am deeply, deeply sorry if I have caused any hurt to her and to his kids, to his family,” said White, a mother of two. “I never wanted to hurt anyone and I’m deeply sorry.

“When initially asked if she had a message for Cain’s wife, she replied “no comment.”

White said that’s the first time she was ever asked that question, and it took her “aback.”White, who described Cain as an “intelligent” and “fun-loving” guy, said their relationship offered her a “getaway” from the normal “hustle and bustle” of daily life.

She said the presidential candidate gave her cash payments during their alleged 13-year affair though, she declined to give the exact amount to MSNBC.

White also said she did not take any money to come forward with her story. “This has never been political,” she said. “This has been a very, very difficult situation for me, for my family, his family. It’s been very tough.”

Continued here…

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell rips ‘unprovoked police brutality’ at ‘Occupy Wall Street’

Speaking truth to power, the Lawrence O’Donnell way…

The Raw Story Replay

MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell on Monday condemned the “unprovoked police brutality” that occurred at the “Occupy Wall Street” protest over the weekend.

Video recordings showed female protesters being rounded up in an orange-colored mesh pen by police and subsequently sprayed with mace without any provocation, and other protesters beingdragged across the street by police.

“The reason that man is being assaulted by the police is because of what he has in his hand,” O’Donnell said, while showing a video clip of a man with a video camera being tackled by police. “He’s holding a professional grade video camera. Since the Rodney King beating was caught on an amateur video camera, American police officers have known video cameras are their worst enemy. They will do anything they can to stop you from legally videotaping how they handle their responsibility to serve and protect you.”

“Everything those cops did this weekend to those protesters they’ve done to someone else when no video camera was rolling,” he later added.

Watch video, courtesy of MSNBC, below:

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