Andrea Mitchell Allows Ferguson Protester to Bash Police Unchallenged

On her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Tuesday, host Andrea Mitchell invited on Ferguson protester Rasheen Aldridge, whom she praised for having "made such an impact" and getting the attention of the Obama White House. Aldridge proceeded to slam the police: "I believe we really need to get down to the meat of the problem and really figure out, how we hold the police accountable for their actions?...the reports and statistics and everything is out there of how they're making their money – 20 and 40% off the back of ticketing young African-American men and women."

In a follow-up question, Mitchell wondered: "Do you think that training can be a big part of the answer? Can people be trained to ignore, let's say, their built-in biases? Can they – can they learn new attitudes?" Ironically, Mitchell has never been concerned with shedding her own liberal "built-in biases" when it comes to her reporting.

Aldridge seized the opportunity to launch another attack on police: "...it's a culture thing. If it's in their head that they already have – that they don't – are not used to working with a group of people and it's already into their head that a group of people are demons, and that they're, you know, huger than other folks, that's something that a training is not going to be able to get out of their head."

Not once did Mitchell attempt to challenge any of the assertions of the left-wing activist.

Instead, she gushed: "I hope that you'll come visit us again and keep us updated on whatever progress or lack of progress we see as this very difficult – this difficult situation..."

Aldridge continued his rant: "We need to figure out ways that they understand the community. Ways that they'll be able to understand the people in the community so they don't just go in there with no understanding and then just releasing their rage upon this – upon a community."

He added: "And it's not right, they need to be held accountable for the actions that they do. And there needs to be some type of trust within the people in the community. And that's not going to start on the people's side, the police need to start that."

Mitchell not only avoided countering such claims, but actually helped him make his case: "Because they're the ones who have the guns." Aldridge replied: "Yeah, we're not – we don't have the guns."

Here is a full transcript of the December 2 interview:

12:16 PM ET

ANDREA MITCHELL: I'm joined now from St. Louis by Rasheen Aldridge, a member of the Ferguson Commission who was at that meeting at the White House yesterday. And we talked last week, Rasheen. Thanks so much for joining us again. Do you think this time-

RASHEEN ALDRIDGE: Thanks for having me back.

MITCHELL: Well, it's so glad to see you because you made such an impact. I know that the White House was watching our interview last week. And I know that the President gave you a shout out yesterday. Do you think this time will be different because of his involvement?

ALDRIDGE: I mean, I think this is – what the President is doing is definitely – it's a starting point of something. I think we'll figure out as it starts rolling out if something is really going to come out of it. But I believe we really need to get down to the meat of the problem and really figure out, how we hold the police accountable for their actions?

I mean, the reports and statistics and everything is out there of how they're making their money – 20 and 40% off the back of ticketing young African-American men and women. And that they continue to be able to investigate themselves, but we already know that they're a brotherhood, so there definitely need to be like an independent body of people that investigate all fatality shootings.

This is just – it's a start. I appreciate that the President is definitely starting somewhere, but we really need to figure out some real change, some real solutions on how to hold the police accountable for their actions.

MITCHELL: What did you hear yesterday from the President in that meeting? It's remarkable seeing you sitting there with Police Chief Ramsey and Mayor DeBlasio. That had to be quite a vantage point for you.

ALDRIDGE: Yeah. I definitely appreciate the President of the United States allowing me and other young protesters all across this nation who've been part of this movement to be able to come and voice our concerns of what's going on, on the ground, and how we're being treated every single day. And being able to sit in on that briefing with a lot of elected officials and mayors and police chiefs on ways that we can figure out and hopefully get down to the problem of why communities really feel like that. That the police don't represent them.

But I think, like I said, I think that's the start of this. That's not how we're really gonna get down to the actual problem of the police. We really need to figure out a way, how do we hold them, you know, accountable for their actions? How do we make sure that the things that they're doing are not just going to be able to happen and just be able to walk away from it?

MITCHELL: Do you think that training can be a big part of the answer? Can people be trained to ignore, let's say, their built-in biases? Can they – can they learn new attitudes?

ALDRIDGE: The training and the body cameras, I mean – the training is something that is only going to help, but it's a culture thing. If it's in their head that they already have – that they don't – are not used to working with a group of people and it's already into their head that a group of people are demons, and that they're, you know, huger than other folks, that's something that a training is not going to be able to get out of their head. And it's not something that's gonna be able to stop they're everyday work if this is something that they've been used to and they grew up with.

So I don't think the training is a solution. And I think the body cameras is also not the solution. It's something that's once again going to be a start of something. But body cameras is not going to be able to get every visual of everything's that going on when the police is interacting with the person that they're interacting with. So we need to – we really need to get some like real solutions and trainings and body cameras. I don't think that's gonna get us there.

MITCHELL: Well, I hope that you'll come visit us again and keep us updated on whatever progress or lack of progress we see as this very difficult – this difficult situation – I mean it just seems as though there two completely different perspectives from those who support law enforcement no matter what they do and those who in the community who are deeply suspicious. And there doesn't seem to be a coming together.

ALDRIDGE: I mean, we in the community, all the people in the community definitely understand and respect the job that law enforcement do, but there has to be mutual respect as well and the law enforcement have to respect the ones that they are supposed to respect and serve. If they don't respect us or even understand us, how can they protect and serve us in our communities?

We need to figure out ways that they understand the community. Ways that they'll be able to understand the people in the community so they don't just go in there with no understanding and then just releasing their rage upon this – upon a community. And it's not right, they need to be held accountable for the actions that they do. And there needs to be some type of trust within the people in the community. And that's not going to start on the people's side, the police need to start that.

MITCHELL: Because they're the ones who have the guns.

ALDRIDGE: Yeah, we're not – we don't have the guns.

MITCHELL: Thank you, Rasheen Aldridge.

ALDRIDGE: Thank you.

MITCHELL: Good to talk to you again.

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