‘This Week’ Transcript: Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon

ByABC News
August 17, 2014, 10:21 AM
PHOTO: ABC News Contributor and Democratic Strategist Donna Brazile, Echelon Insights Co-Founder and Daily Beast Contributor Kristen Soltis Anderson, and ABC News Senior Washington Correspondent Jeff Zeleny on 'This Week'
ABC News Contributor and Democratic Strategist Donna Brazile, Echelon Insights Co-Founder and Daily Beast Contributor Kristen Soltis Anderson, and ABC News Senior Washington Correspondent Jeff Zeleny on 'This Week'
ABC News

August 17, 2014— -- Below is the rush transcript of "This Week" on August 17th, 2014. It may contain errors.

ANNOUNCER: On ABC's This Week breaking news -- state of emergency.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Return to your homes immediately.


ANNOUNCER: Overnight, a curfew in Ferguson, Missouri.




ANNOUNCER: Dramatic measures after nights of looting and violence following the release of this video the feds did not want you to see. Martha Raddatz is on the ground asking the tough questions, searching for answers, leading our team coverage.

Terrorists targets -- the U.S. unleashes a major new wave of airstrikes in Iraq. Can ISIS be stopped?

And Texas Governor Rick Perry indicted. He's fighting back with some surprising allies.

From ABC News, This Week with George Stephanopoulos begins now.

MARTHA RADDATZ, HOST: Good morning from Ferguson, Missouri. I'm Martha Raddatz where we've seen another night of chaos and violence in the streets despite authorities declaring a state of emergency and imposing a five hour long curfew.

Police firing tear gas, making at least seven arrests, at least one person was shot by an armed protester and is in the hospital. We're tracking every angle this morning. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will be here shortly.

But first all the breaking developments from ABC's Steve Osunsami.


STEVE OSUNSAMI, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: As soon as the governor's curfew began, so did the night's chaos.

CROWD: No justice, no curfew.

OSUNSAMI: Overnight the SWAT teams moved in firing smoke canisters and tear gas at people in the streets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You must disperse the area immediately.

OSUNSAMI: Someone was shot by an armed protester and had to be hospitalized, now in critical condition. Police, who had promised to be kindler and gentler, are now defending their use of tear gas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got a report of a shooting victim. They did deploy tear gas in an effort to move back and get to the shooting victim.

OSUNSAMI: All of this comes after Missouri's governor declared a state of emergency Saturday.


CROWD: No peace.

OSUNSAMI: During the day, families protested loudly but peacefully. At night, the thieves went to work robbing and burning down businesses. Black families who met with the governor at a church were furious and made sure to let him know it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You need to charge that police with murder.

OSUNSAMI: Friday, police finally revealed the identity of the officer who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown. 28-year-old Darren Wilson is a six year veteran. He was moved from his home out of fears for his safety. Police then lit the fire by releasing this video of the shooting victim in the middle of what they said was a strong arm robbery just 15 minutes before Brown died, video the Justice Department asked Ferguson police not to release.

Demonstrators called it character assassination.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have two boys, 19 and 21 and they could have been one of them.


OSUNSAMI: And Steve is with me now. Steve, you've been here all week. You've tracked this so closely. What do you think has to happen at this point to calm things down?

OSUNSAMI: I think that people here are demanding and hoping for the prosecution of this officer. And absent that, I'm not sure what slows the protests down at night in the streets.

There needs to be much more communication between the police and the public here. Information coming out a lot sooner.

RADDATZ: OK, thanks very much, Steve. And a good way to transition to Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.

Governor Nixon, thanks for joining us. You heard what Steve said just now. What do you think it will take and how soon? And will there be a prosecution of this officer, do you believe?

JAY NIXON, GOVERNOR OF MISSOURI: First of all, we started out with a very tough week, the loss of Michael Brown, shot in the street. The young man, you know, touched a nerve not only here in Ferguson, the St. Louis area, but across the nation and the world. These acts, unfortunately, bring a great deal of emotion.

Over the last few days, as the Department of Justice has ramped up its investigation and local prosecutors working, this is an opportunity for them to step up and get justice with these investigations need to be complete, thorough and get justice.

RADDATZ: But you understand why people were angry all over again this week. You saw Chief Jackson go out and present that surveillance video. Did you want that present? The Justice Department didn't.

NIXON: We were unaware they were going to release it, and we certainly were not happy with that being released, especially in the way that it was. It appeared to, you know, cast dispersions on a young man that was gunned down in the street. It made emotions raw. And one of the reasons why, after the first night of bringing in a highway patrol and Captain Jackson, we had a pretty calm night that first night. That second night, late, we saw folks get upset and that's why we -- it got the curfew last night.

I'm really proud of everybody's effort last night, especially from the community -- with thousands of people out there, you know, only seven arrests, the majority of those from outside the area, not a single shot by a police officer, I thought that last night with the help of the community, a solid step forward was made.

RADDATZ: But people are angry with you, personally. Your press briefings have been town halls, people venting their anger, wondering where you were early on. I know you issued statements after about 72 hours, but you didn't come to the scene for five days. What responsibility do you bear?

NIXON: Well, I mean, I've been here almost every day. The bottom line, we've been focused on meeting with groups, meeting with the parents, making sure that we were set up and then taking the unprecedented action on Wednesday to replace and to bring in the highway patrol and Captain Johnson to do security and then following up that, making sure that we were continuing to provide security here.

So, you know, there's a lot of emotion out there.

RADDATZ: I want to talk about the training, governor. There is a lot of emotion, but I want to talk about the training of your police officers and how this was handled, especially in those early days. This is your state, your police officers, it looks like a military.

NIXON: Yeah, all of us were thunderstruck by the pictures we saw. I mean, the overmilitarization, the IMRAPs rolling in, the guns pointed at kids in the street, all of that I think instead of ratcheting down, brought emotion up. And that's why I made the unique decision to bring in our highway patrol, to have a local leader, Captain Johnson from that community in that community, which he has been, and to put a much different face on law enforcement there, and I think it has paid off while respecting and allowing the appropriate first amendment rights for people to grieve and to speak.

RADDATZ: But more in a different kind of training for your police officers? This is about state of mind, too.

NIXON: It really -- it's very important -- I mean, policing is something where you are involved with the community if it's succeeding. And in those situations where folks are rolling up heavily armored and they're pointing guns at folks, that's impossible to have a dialogue.

There are times when force is necessary, but we really felt that that -- that that push at that time was a little aggressive, obviously, and those images were not what we were trying to get to. This is legitimately -- people are legitimately upset. I mean, an 18 year old Michael Brown was shot in the street of his hometown, and that scratches a nerve and opens old wounds.

RADDATZ: OK. Thanks very much for joining us, governor.

Now to the eyewitness accounts of the dramatic protests and unrest here in this normally quiet suburb, including this riveting story from a local leader who has watched it all from day one.


RADDATZ: When I walked through town with St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, everyone wanted to shake his hand.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Antonio, how are you?

RADDATZ: He became a folk hero after he drove into Ferguson to take videos of police actions and ended up in jail.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have a reason whyÉ

ANTONIO FRENCH, ACTIVIST: I asked him why I was being arrested and he said because I didn't listen.

RADDATZ: We walked the path from the makeshift memorial to the so-called ground zero of the unrest following the killing, the Quick Trip gas station on West Florissant Avenue.

Then he took us back to where it all started, where it ended for 18 year old Michael Brown.

Michael Brown's body lay there for two hours?

FRENCH: No, close to five hours.

RADDATZ: Five hours.

FRENCH: Yeah, close to five hours.

RADDATZ: And then what really incited things?

FRENCH: So, that night you know this had really become kind of a memorial site, which included rose pedals and little candles right on the site where his body lay. Over the course, a dumpster back behind the apartments, somebody put some barbecue charcoals in there and it caught on fire. So the fire truck came down here and they had some officers with them and they started putting out the fire. And they actually had those officers stationed on top of the fire truck.

Some people started shouting at those officers and so they called for back-up and all of a sudden over a dozen or more police cars came flying down here. So it's just lined up flashing lights.

Got out with the dogs to start getting the crowd back, and it just agitated them even more.


RADDATZ: Joining us now, Dr. Cedric Alexander from the National Organization for Black Law Enforcement. He is also the public safety director of the DeKalb County, Georgia Police Department and came to Ferguson at the request of police chief Tom Jackson.

What have you talked about with Chief Jackson? You know, a lot of the controversy has centered around Chief Jackson.

CEDRIC ALEXANDER, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR BLACK LAW ENFORCEMENT: Yes. Well, he and I have had an opportunity to have a number of in depth conversations regarding what's been occurring over the last week. And he certainly do agree there are some -- has been some missteps that he has made.

But really the thrust of the conversations we've had is really has been around how do his department begin to develop a relationship with the community as they move forward.

And it is clear and -- I think from what's being evidenced continually, is the fact there's really been a lack of -- of -- of communication between police and community. And to...

RADDATZ: I have to say, I -- I saw something yesterday, and -- and not only the lack of commencement, but the diversity.


RADDATZ: I'm looking at -- you know, I was at the site where...


RADDATZ: -- Michael Brown was killed.


RADDATZ: Eleven police cars rolled in there yesterday...


RADDATZ: -- right by that memorial.


RADDATZ: One black officer. They said they were answering a call. There was no communication with...


RADDATZ: -- the community when they came at a very sensitive time.

How do you change that?

How do you change that state of mind and the diversity?

ALEXANDER: Well, that's one of the observations that is clearly made and everyone across the country sees that. And one of the things he and I talked about is that he's going to have to find a way, along with his seat of -- city leadership -- is how do they begin to diversify that part -- department that is more representative of that community, as well, too?

And that will occur over time. But they're going to have to do -- develop a strategic plan in order to -- to deal with that, because even when you talk with people in the community, that is one of the first things that comes to mind.

It is a department that has 55 officers and only three...

RADDATZ: That's what they're saying, communicate.

ALEXANDER: -- only three are black. But you have to communicate that. You have to sit with the community, come up with a strategy as to how you're going to recruit persons of color to come into that organization as attrition takes place.

But it becomes increasingly important that they start to talk to each other and communicate with each other. And that has not, very clearly, been the case whatsoever.

And here again, we see that evidenced every day.

RADDATZ: And it seems like a -- they have a long way to go and this could take a lot of time.

ALEXANDER: It's going to take some time. It certainly is going to take some time. But it is doable and it can be done.

RADDATZ: Thank you very much for joining us.

ALEXANDER: Thank you for having me.

RADDATZ: Now, another look at the growing memorial marking the spot where Michael Brown was shot and killed. The street is quiet this morning. There will be another rally here later today. Members of Michael Brown's family will be there and so will our next guest, a Brown family attorney, Anthony Gray.

Mr. Gray, you are a local attorney. You know the family.

What do you expect today with the family?

What do they want to do today?

ANTHONY GRAY, ATTORNEY FOR BROWN FAMILY: Well, they want to reiterate their call for calm and peace while we urge for a fair impartial investigation. So that message will be reiterated today with the support of national leaders that are coming into town to reinforce that message.

RADDATZ: The -- the release of the surveillance tape that police say shows Michael Brown in that convenience store.

What was the reaction of the family to that and how were they told?

GRAY: Well, well, they -- first of all, they were very appalled by it. They saw it for the first time, at least glimpsed of it, on nationwide TV. They had requested an opportunity, through the attorneys, to see any video footage before it was released. That request obviously was not honored.

So quite naturally, the reaction was very -- on the part of the family, they were very disturbed by it.

And I would just point out that no one from the family was given the opportunity to even authenticate that there was actually Mike Brown, Jr.. in the video.

RADDATZ: But they believe it is?

GRAY: Well, they haven't really examined it for that purpose. There is no reason not to believe that it -- that it -- that it's him, but much like when you identify somebody who is deceased, you have a family member that come in and make a positive ID. And they have not had -- had the opportunity to do that.

RADDATZ: What -- what do you think investigators should be doing that they're not doing?

GRAY: Um, I don't know, because I'm not sure what they're doing, so it's hard to criticize what they should be doing that they may not be doing. But I don't know what's going on at this present moment.

I can only hope that they are conducting a fair and impartial investigation, that they're being thorough, that they're being complete, unbiased, and that the results of their investigation would depict that.

And so that's our hope. And so that's my hope for the investigators and that's what the family hopes for.

RADDATZ: OK, we thank you very much for your thoughts. And the family there at the rally this afternoon.

I was at that memorial yesterday. It is a very moving spot, indeed.

GRAY: Thank you.

RADDATZ: Now to a community literally caught in the crossfire and the residents desperately trying to bring back a sense of calm.

Check out this photo which caught our eye in "The Washington Post." That's Reverend Willis Johnson, who's church is just a couple of minutes from here. He is counseling a young man in the middle of the mayhem.

This weekend, we sat down with Reverend Johnson and two young men who have been right there as the protests unfolded, Alvin Ransom (ph), who went to the same high school as Michael Brown and Brendon Hart (ph), who attends Johnson's church.


RADDATZ: Brendon, you say you've had a very hard time containing your own anger this week.

BRENDON HART: It's just really hard, especially -- especially on us, on the young people, on the young African-American people. We know the struggle. We've been through this. This is just a lot of dirty cops out there. It's hard because sometimes I don't get looked at for my intelligence, I get looked at as my color sometimes. And it's hard for me to show people who I am, because they already think that I'm this type of person.

RADDATZ: And when you say the cops are dirty, have you had experience with that or the mistrust is just so high?

HART: I had experience, especially my -- my skin color. They will pull you over, search through your car, slam you on top of the hood and say things to you, put the handcuffs on your wrists very tight.

RADDATZ: When you heard this week that Michael Brown might have been involved in that robbery, what did you think?

HART: I think that was not the point. The point was why did he get shot several times with his hands up?

They're supposed to protect and serve. They didn't protect and serve. They destroying us out here.

RADDATZ: Do you behave in a way that will keep you safer?

ALVIN RANSOM: I feel like in fear. I do. I react out of fear. So I have to tighten up a little bit. I have to -- I have to make sure I'm not sagging (ph), because they look for things like that. We have to put on a show that we are perfect.

RADDATZ: So if you saw police officers coming at you, what would you do?

RANSOM: Hope to God that they don't -- they're not coming to me. I would hope that -- I don't know.

RADDATZ: Is this a real fear for you guys, that you could get shot by police at any time?


GRAY: And at any age.

RADDATZ: And at any age?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doing anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel the same. I mean when -- when I see blue lights in the rearview mirror...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- I'm hoping they're going past...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- and not stopping me. And I know I have nothing in the car.

RADDATZ: Reverend, I -- I want to go back to that picture. You were with Joshua Wilson, a young man 18 years old. He was angry at a protest.

What was that moment like?

REV. WILLIS JOHNSON, PASTOR, WELLSPRING CHURCH, FERGUSON, MISSOURI: It was obviously real. It was -- it was a moment of helping each other and it was a moment of trying to speak to a son, whether it's my son, someone's son, our son, um, so that we did not have to experience what Mrs. Brown and so many others have had to experience previously.

RADDATZ: So what did you say to him?

JOHNSON: I said, we need you. I said, I need you. If you need to get mad, if you -- get mad with me, but don't -- don't give them -- don't do what they want and expect us to do.

RADDATZ: I -- I want all of you to tell me what you would want to tell people watching -- about the importance of what happened here and what you do about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's sad to say this tragedy, but it has brought us together. I've seen people who were enemies standing together hand in hand, fighting for one cause, and that's to bring justice for Mike Brown.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look -- look how everybody coming together now. Look how big we got. Like we standing strong. Like we standing on our feet now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mahatma Gandhi said we must become the change we wish to see. It's made me look at me. And I think there's not a person who's experiencing this that has not had to go through that.


RADDATZ: Powerful thoughts.

Coming up, the U.S. launching another wave of air strikes in Iraq.

Plus, the new fears about the prize Jihadist fighters just captured.

And then, the Texas stunner -- Governor Rick Perry indicted. His reaction plus the brand new signal he's now sending about 2016.

Back in just two minutes.


RADDATZ: Now our closer look, breaking developments in the crisis in Iraq. The U.S. launching another round of air strikes. And this morning, there are real fears that the ISIS jihadist army is gaining momentum.

Chief foreign correspondent Terry Moran has the very latest from northern Iraq. Good morning, Terry.

TERRY MORAN, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Martha. The main battle in Iraq right now is about 80 miles west of here. U.S. air power, supporting Kurdish troops on the ground in a desperate effort to retake that huge dam outside of Mosul, which in ISIS's hands is a potential weapon of mass destruction.


MORAN: The Mosul dam fell 10 days ago, now defended by a few hundred ISIS fighters. U.S. and Iraqi officials are deeply concerned that ISIS might blow up that dam, which could release a wall of water 60 feet high through the city of Mosul and flood Baghdad 250 miles away.

The new U.S. strikes across Iraq this weekend are aimed at breaking the ISIS juggernaut. They've got all the initiative right now.

More than a third of Iraq is now under ISIS control, including major cities like Mosul, Fallujah, and Tal Afar, and much of the border between Iraq and Syria. And everywhere they go, ISIS spreads terror in the name of their god.

On Friday, another massacre of Yazidis, the religious minority despised by ISIS, scores of men killed, women and children kidnapped.

We spoke with a man from that same village. He fled with his family, 10 children, this week. We showed him pictures of the atrocity.

There is no place in Iraq for us anymore, he told us.

And as they squat outside of the already full UN refugee camp, there is no place for them to go.

For This Week, Terry Moran, ABC News, Irbil, Iraq.


RADDATZ: Thanks, Terry. Let's break down the strategy here with ABC contributor Colonel Steve Ganyard. And, Steve, tell us the significance of these air strikes. This is different. It's moving beyond helping people, it seems.

COL. STEVE GANYARD, ABC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's been an incredible week, really, for American air power. You think about what we've done in just a few dozen strikes. We've held Irbil. We've prevented a fall of Kurdistan. We've prevented a humanitarian disaster up on top of Mount Sinjar. We've opened up an escape route for those refugees. And now we're conducting strikes around the Mosul dam in an effort to prevent a humanitarian disaster that could potentially affect hundreds of millions -- or hundreds of thousands of people.

But the president has said that these strikes will only be used for humanitarian purposes and will only be used for protecting U.S. citizens.

So air power cannot defeat an ideology. It is still up to the Iraqi government to beat ISIS.

RADDATZ: So what happens going forward? I mean, air power alone can't do it. You're a pilot, you know that I think.

GANYARD: You're right. It will be just things -- the only thing that the U.S. air power will be used for will be things that will protect U.S. citizens, so people that are in Irbil, or the consulate in Irbil or in Baghdad, or if there's another humanitarian problem.

But the White House has no stated strategy against ISIS itself. And so it really remains the responsibility of the Iraqi government to use the U.S. air power as a crutch to stand up on its own two feet and push ISIS back across the border again.

RADDATZ: Steve, I want to read something quickly. I saw a tweet of yours this week that caught my eye. The tweet said yesterday, a $28 million American Reaper shot a $70,000 Hellfire that blew up a $600,000 MRAP, which was given to Iraq, which was stolen by ISIS. Your tax dollars at work.

Just a quick comment about that?

GANYARD: Yeah, it's one of those unfortunate consequences -- unforeseen consequences of war. We spent hundreds of millions of dollars in a decade training the Iraqi army only to watch them fall at their first test. And lots of U.S. equipment fall back into ISIS's hands.

So, unfortunately the American taxpayer gets the bill coming and going.

RADDATZ: Thanks, Steve.

Now to weigh in, two members of congress, both veterans of the Iraq War. Democrat Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii, and Republican Adam Kinzinger from Illinois who is headed off to National Guard duty next week.

I'd like to start with you, Congressman, do you think the U.S. is doing enough?

REP. ADAM KINZINGER, (R) ILLINOIS: Well, look, I want to be very careful to say, you know, it's good that we started doing something. But what we're watching in Iraq and in Syria, frankly, is the worst case scenario for the Middle East. This cancer that's growing, that's consuming all over the place.

Back in January I called for air strikes against ISIS, in fact, on this show. When they were just about 1,000 or 2,000 people. Today we see them in the tens of thousands and they are only continue to metastasize.

I think what we begun doing is very good, but I think we have to get even bigger and realize that the crushing and the pushing back of ISIS, not just in Iraq, but also in Syria, is utmost priority. And allowing the Free Syrian Army who now finds itself in Syria surrounded by both the regime in Syria, al Nusra, and ISIS, has got to be emboldened to be able to fight them back. They need the equipment and the weapons.

This is the worst-case scenario. And it's something that we have to be involved in stopped with the Iraqi government, with the pesh merga. And I think we're on the right start, but there's a lot more to do.

RADDATZ: Troops on the ground?

KINZINGER: No. But, you know, look at the end of the day I think the defeating of ISIS is the mission. And so I think everything has to be on the table for that end result.

I understand the president doesn't want to put troops on the ground. I don't either. You can't reintroduce 200,000 American troops.

But I think things like special forces embedded with the Iraqi military as the Iraqi military regrows its spine to take its country back is going to be essential and important. You never publicly take anything off the table, even if you take it off the table privately, because it just shows the enemy what you're not willing to do. And when you show them what you're not willing to do, it makes your movements all that less effective.

RADDATZ: Congresswoman Gabbard, President Obama says he has taken combat troops off the -- out of the equation. Should he have done that?

REP. TULSI GABBARD, (D) HAWAII: Martha, I think it's important as we talk about whether or not there should be troops or exactly what tactical strategy should be used moving forward we're missing a critical question here, which is what is our mission? What is the United States' mission. What are we trying to accomplish here?

You know, Adam and I both enlisted, joined the military after 9/11 because we heard our nation's leaders say after that attack that we would go and take out these Islamic extremists wherever they are. We would fight against those who are waging war against the United States.

That stated mission after 9/11 has been lost. And as Steve mentioned earlier, and as we heard from White House officials last week, they said, and I quote, these airstrikes are not an authorization of a broad based counter terrorism campaign against ISIS, end of quote.

So if our mission is not to take out the Islamic extremists who continue to threaten and wage war against us, then I think we've got a real problem here. If we focus on that mission, which I think we should, then we can look at what are the tactics that we need to take them out.

Right now we're seeing in Kurdistan, we need to arm the Kurds with heavy weapons, because they are doing the hard work on the ground, they are fighting against ISIS. And we can augment that and support that wit hour targeted air strikes.

RADDATZ: Congressman Kinzinger, just very briefly, the ISIS threat is really, really growing. How worried are you?

KINZINGER: Well, even about the situation in general I'm very worried about what's happening, because, you know, what the reality is they have made it very clear that they want to strike us in the United States of America. They've made it clear that they want to strike Europe. And they have the means to do it.

So they have the intention and they have the means, the means being, you know, passports and westerns fighting with ISIS with the ability to get back into the United States or to get back in Europe.

I think we have to have a goal of saying, we need to crush ISIS.

I understand that the American people are war weary. I mean, I hear it a lot. But the reality is, is after World War II, Harry Truman didn't look at the American people and say I know you're war weary, so Russia is Europe's problem. He talked about the bigger issue of what American strength means and what it means for security of our land. And he said we're going to leave troops in Europe.After losing hundreds of thousands of people and having an economy that was based just on, you know, executing this war, we still stuck it out, because we knew the dangers. That's where we are today. And I think the president has got to stand up in front of the American people and say, look you may be war weary, but in five or 10 years we don't want to look back and say that we missed all the signs, all the signals of the intention of these extremists and this is -- it's definitely there and it's very serious.

RADDATZ: OK, congressman, thank you very much. And thank you Congresswoman Gabbard.

RADDATZ: Much more from Ferguson a bit later, but now let's go to Washington and my colleague Jonathan Karl -- Jon.


Coming up next, Texas Governor Rick Perry indicted on public corruption charges. Did he commit a crime or is this all politics?

And one powerful Democrat is calling the charges against Perry sketchy.

But first, the powerhouse roundtable's big winners of the week.

Back in just two minutes.


KARL: Back now with once and possibly future presidential candidate, Texas Governor Rick Perry defiant in the face of an abuse of power indictment. Perry is blasting the charges outrageous. Here's senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny.


JEFF ZELENY, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Rick Perry was on the rebound, eying a second bid for the White House. Now, a new hurdle, he's charged with two felonies in Texas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to set up a time for Governor Perry to come before court to be arraigned.

ZELENY: Count one, abuse of power. Count two, coercing a public servant.

He's accused of trying to pressure a Democratic district attorney to quit, or cut funding to her office.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get the cuffs off of my now.

ZELENY: He says this woman Rosemary Limberg (ph) lost the public trust after being arrested for drunken driving and belligerent conduct. She pleaded guilty, but refused to resign.

She'd already gotten under Perry's skin as head of the state's public integrity unit, investigating corruption and cronyism.

On Saturday, the governor pushed back, saying the grand jury charges smacked of politics.

RICK PERRY, GOVERNOR OF TEXAS: We don't settle political differences with indictments in this country. It is outrageous.

ZELENY: An unlikely Democrat defended him, David Axelrod, long-time aid to President Obama tweeted, "Perry indictment seems pretty sketchy."

The indictment presents a fresh political challenge, just as its comeback tour just as this comeback tour was going strong.

It's been nearly three years thisÉ

PERRY: -- Commerce -- and let's see, I can't. The third one I can't. Sorry. Oops.

ZELENY: When we caught up with him on a trip to Iowa, he was filled with optimism.

How tough is it, do you think, to make a second impression on these Republican voters.

PERRY: Oh, I think second chances are what America has always been about.


KARL: And Jeff joins us on the roundtable along with Democratic strategist Donna Brazile and Republican pollster Kristen Solstice Anderson.

But let's start off in Austin and get the latest from the man who knows more about Texas politics than anybody, Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News.

So, Wayne, the charges are serious here. Look, this is maximum penalty, 99 years in prison. But what is the bottom line. Did Perry commit a crime or is this all politics?

WAYNE SLATER, DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Yeah, you look at this in two parts. One is the legal side. What is just hardball politics, that's what politicians do, and what's illegally trying to muscle out of office a political opponent who had been duly elected by folks in her county? And that's what a jury will have to decide. Perry obviously thinks it's the former, the prosecutor thinks it's the later.

The other implications of this obviously are political, just as Jeff eluded to in the piece out of Iowa.

I was just with Perry in Iowa. Perry is very well received among a group of Christian conservatives and Tea Party activists in that state. It's never good to run for president -- and that's what he is doing, the prospects of running for president, if you have the word indicted associated with your name.

KARL: Yeah, no doubt. But again, give us a sense -- you're on the ground -- how is it playing in Texas.

SLATER: Well, you know, there's really a division here. Obviously Perry has a number of people who have jumped to his side. These are pretty much Republican allies and operatives and so forth. Even some Democrats privately tell me that they think this is going to be a stretch. It's one thing to get a grand jury indictment against someone, it's another thing to get a conviction in a court of a sitting governor.

In a case like this, where again the question is was he just engaged in hardball -- and not very pretty politics -- or did he do something that he shouldn't have been doing? And, again, people are divided.

KARL: All right, Wayne, thank you very much.

Now back to the roundtable.

Donna, I've got to come to you. We heard from -- in Jeff's piece, David Axelrod tweeting that this is pretty sketchy, these charges against him. We also heard from Democratic congressman Joaquin Castro saying that for the good of Texas, Perry should resign. Who is right?

DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, first of all the evidence is sealed. And we don't know, really, what the grand jury looked at. We don't know exactly if it was as we've been told, and maybe what David was responding to, that this was a political vendetta by the governor, and maybe that is sketchy. Maybe under Texas law you can, you know, exercise your veto power to take out an entire department funding simply because you disagree with the individual.

But the bottom line is that he's going to go before a judge, he's going to get a trial. This will play out over the next couple of months right as Rick Perry is trying to win support in Iowa and New Hampshire. I don't think it's good for the governor, but you know what if this is Texas size justice, we'll see what happens in a few months.

KARL: But you know it took Tom Delay five years, was it, to finally get acquitted when he was charged.

KRISTEN SOLSTICE ANDERSON, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: But I think the question is what exactly are they accusing Rick Perry of? And in this case it sounds as though he's being accused of issuing a veto threat, which isn't something that even if this does drag out over many years, even if it does drag out over the course of a hypothetical 2016 campaign, it doesn't sound to me like--

KARL: Well, he was trying to remove this DA. He wanted her to resign, that's why he--

ANDERSON: And I think that the tape says it all. And I think that the video of, you know, why somebody is heading a public integrity office, who has broken the law -- you know, I don't know that he's necessarily in the wrong for calling for someone to step down.

The real politics here was that, again, that she was a Democrat, he's a Republican governor. It's likely he would have replaced her with a Republican in the office--

BRAZILE: There was a prosecutor appointed by Bush that took this evidence to a grand jury. So I think the notion that this is partisan I think that's foolish.

KARL: So you think Axelrod is wrong?

ANDERSON: It's incredibly partisan.

BRAZILE: It's Texas sized justice, that's what it is.

KARL: OK, so Jeff, the bottom line is Perry is scheduled to be in New Hampshire, you know, maybe at the same time he's supposed to appear at the Travis County Courthouse. Is he going to go? How is he handling it?

ZELENY: He is going. His advisers say he is proceeding all systems go. He's going to New Hampshire on Friday.

And the fact is, he is gaining a lot of second looks out there. I was in Iowa last week, . If you talk to Republican activists, they say, you know, we're going to give him a second shot at this. So, you know, all this sort of aside, this is going to be playing out sort of at the same time on split screens, if you will. But he is not going to shy away from this, he is going to keep pressing forward with his 2016 bid.

And he's starting early this time. I think that is so important. He, you know, is getting advice from foreign policy advisers, other things. So it's too early to rule him out.

KARL: Well, I mean, look at the headlines he's been getting. He's been getting some really good coverage. I mean, the oops moment is a long time ago. He's getting some glowing coverage because of his handling of the immigration standoff. So I really have two questions for you, Kristen, a, does it hurt his presidential chances? And B, does Rick Perry really have any presidential changes to begin with.

ANDERSON: So I'll answer your second question first, which, yes, he does, as does pretty much anyone at this point on the Republican side who throws their hat in the ring. I mean the polls consistently show all of these guys hovering somewhere between 5 and 10 percent depending on, you know, which day it is.

So I think any of them have a chance. I think the second incarnation of Rick Perry, hipster glasses Rick Perry instead of cowboy Rick Perry, I think is very interesting. I think he will bring a lot to a potential presidential field.


ANDERSON: But I don't think that this will hurt -- (CROSSTALK)

ANDERSON: -- I think it only makes him stronger.


BRAZILE: -- second look is not going to make Rick Perry any -- look any better. The problem is, is that, you know, his record is still out there, his record as governor, record, you know, on health care, on education. He will be judged by that, not by the size of Texas and its electoral votes only.

KARL: All right, we have to take a quick break.

We don't have time for our Powerhouse Puzzler.

But when we come back, many thought the election of President Obama would bring a post-racial America.

Has that dream died?

Back in just two minutes.


KARL: We're back with the roundtable.

And, Donna, I want to get to developments -- to the -- in Ferguson, Missouri.

You know, it seems that every 12 months ago -- or so, there is some major issue that puts the issue of race front and center nationally. Some had hoped that the election of President Obama would lead us to that goal of a -- of a post-racial America.

Are we ever going to get there?

BRAZILE: Of course we will get there. We've gone -- we've -- we've come a long way in the last 50 years. I often think about the signing of the Civil Rights Act in July of 1964.

So one generation, you're not going to erase centuries of dehumanization, of racial animosity. You're not going to eliminate any of these issues overnight simply by, you know, proclaiming the country to be post-racial.

I think the country will -- we need to have moments like this, when we can have an honest conversation about what's undergirding all of this. When you materialize the police, the police that look upon its citizens as enemies, not as law-abiding citizens, when you provide resources in a community that is often shortchanged by people who can't relate to them, you will have issues.

I hope they resolve this.

My heart hurts for the people of Ferguson, for the parents of Michael Brown, for the community. My heart hurts, also, for every young man and woman today who are still being judged by the color of their skin.

Jon, but we have so much we can do together and no one person has all of the answers. But we have to have a -- a conversation that goes beyond just these incidents.

KARL: Let me just ask you, quickly, President Obama has been criticized by some for waiting so long, for too long, to weigh in on this. Some thought he was too measured in his comments.

But do you think he struck the right tone?

BRAZILE: Yes. When he spoke he -- he always strikes the right tone.


BRAZILE: But the -- the problem is, I don't want President Obama, nor do I want anybody else to -- to -- to have all of the answers, because that's not going to solve the problem.

We have to make sure that we equip these communities so that they can empower themselves, that children know that they can grow up without being singled out by the police if they're law-abiding, if they're doing wrong. You know, we -- we need to have the resources to help these young people.

KARL: Rand Paul weighing in on this in a very interesting way. He said, you know, first of all, he understands why African-Americans could feel targeted with our justice system.

And look what he said in "Time" magazine: "If I had been told to get out of the street as a teenager, there would have been a distinct possibility that I might have smarted off. But I wouldn't have expected to be shot."

So, Kristen, he said that we have to stop this militarization of local police.

What is up with Rand Paul?

Is he an outlier on the Republican side or are Republicans taking a new approach to (INAUDIBLE)...

ANDERSON: I've been very pleased, not just with him, but with a number of voices within the party who have taken a sort of similar tack in the -- in recent months. It's not just Rand Paul. You also had Senator Mike Lee from Utah, who, in a bipartisan effort with Senators Dick Durbin and Pat Leahy have put forward legislation to deal with sentencing reform, because in this country, we so often incarcerate particularly young black men for non-violent drug offenses. And -- and it -- it sort of ruins the rest of their lives.

And so seeing bipartisan effort, this is one of those areas where you've got the left and the Tea Party right coming together to support changes to policy that hopefully can fix our justice system.

KARL: On Ferguson, does Paul represent where Republicans are on this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not necessarily. But Senator -- Senator Rand Paul's -- this isn't the first time he's talked about this. He is doing speeches on sentencing reform. He is trying to go into the heart of black communities and things.

So this is an important message. If you have a Republican presidential candidate, I think -- or a Republican nominee, perhaps, talking about this, it is significant for the party.

But I'm not sure the base of the party is with him. But he is leading the way. We're seeing this liberal libertarian sort of strain coming together on this and other issues.

KARL: All right, we'll be back in 30 seconds.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm finally who I'm supposed to be.

Do you understand?

I can't go back.


KARL: "Orange is the New Black," one of its breakout stars, Laverne Cox, a woman born biologically male, became the first transgender Emmy acting nominee. There she was on the red carpet just last night, although she didn't win.

Cox is using her fame to shine a spotlight on transgender issues.

Here's ABC's chief national correspondent, Byron Pitts.



LAVERNE COX, ACTRESS: You've got the wrong girl.

BYRON PITTS, ABC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She's one of the stars of Netflix's hit show, "Orange is the New Black," actress Laverne Cox, a transgender woman in real life playing a transgender inmate in a female prison.

COX: There's so many trans folks who've said that they see themselves reflected in this character.

PITTS: Cox's role is just one in a growing number reflective of the transgender community now coming of age in mainstream America.

On Broadway, Neil Patrick Harris winning a Tony for his performance in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." Online with Facebook users now able to choose between 56 different options for gender identities. And in fashion, with Barney's Department Store featuring an ad campaign with transgender models.

All a far cry from cox's childhood as a young boy in Alabama.

COX: As trans, I was bullied and -- and it internalized a lot of shame about who I was as a child.

PITTS (on camera): Bullied because?

COX: Bullied because of my gender expression, bullied because I didn't act the way someone assigned male at birth was supposed to act.

There is a cultural environment where trans people are told who we are is a mistake and that we should try to be someone else.

PITTS (voice-over): It's estimated there are nearly a million transgender men and women in America, many of them teenagers like 18-year-old like Isaac Barnett (ph) and 17-year-old Michael Galvin (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wasn't actually a girl except physically. I don't have to live a lie anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I suffered for so many years because people said it was just a phase and that I'd grow out of it. And when I look in the mirror now, I see myself.

PITTS: High school classmates in Kansas City, Isaac and Michael were born girls. They came out to the world as transgender in a YouTube video.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been living more like a guy since elementary school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It used to be thought that one in 40,000 people had gender dysphoria. Now, surveys are suggesting it may be as high as one in 250.

PITTS: Gender dysphoria is now a medical diagnoses for those feeling a disconnect between their assigned and perceived gender.

Despite the latest research and growing numbers, there is push back. California's controversial law, A.B. 1226 allows transgendered children in public school to use facilities and participate in activities based on their gender identity.

Opponents call it "The Co-Ed Bathroom Bill."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to protect all children and -- and especially the 99 percent that are going to have their privacy invaded by this intrusive law.

PITTS: But according to the latest polling, 89 percent of Americans agree, transgendered people deserve the same legal rights and protection. Even Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel waded into these ever shifting waters.

CHUCK HAGEL, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity.

PITTS: As for Laverne Cox, her success on television has given voice to many who once felt voiceless.

COX: Having your story told validates your experience. It's like I'm not alone anymore. And maybe I will be OK.

PITTS: For THIS WEEK, Byron Pitts, ABC News, Kansas City.


KARL: Thanks, Byron.

Here now, Mara Keisling from the National Center for Transgender Equality, and Sabrina Rubin Erderly, who's covered this issue extensively for "Rolling Stone" magazine.

Thanks to both of you for being here.

Mara, you've been active on this issue for at least a dozen years. And now you see we've come to the point "Time" magazine has said we are at a tipping point. You've had progress in the courts. You've had now, Laverne Cox coming in and, you know, being nominated for an Emmy Award.

What's your sense?

Have we reached a critical moment here now for this movement?

MARA KEISLING, NATIONAL CENTER FOR TRANSGENDER EQUALITY: Oh, I think absolutely. And, you know, we're winning policy change faster than we ever thought we could. The culture is changing really, really fast.

But -- but, still, the truth is, while that's happening and while that's all really great and important, there are a million tragedies happening every day with people having judges take away their kids because they're trans, people being disrespected out on the street, people being murdered.

We had one of our worst months of transgender murders this past June. And all this summer has just been -- been a bad month for -- for violence.

So that stuff is still going on. Maybe that's partly because there's so many more of us out there educating and...


KEISLING: -- and living our lives.

KARL: And, Sabrina, you -- you've written a lot about the challenges. And this is still a very marginalize community.

SABRINA RUBIN ERDERLY, JOURNALIST: Absolutely. I mean this new acceptance of trans people is certainly something to get very excited about. But I think that is important to bear in mind that it flies in the face of the most basic day to day reality for most trans people, which is that they face a shocking amount of violence.

Trans people make up maybe 10 percent of the LGBT community, but they make up a shockingly huge, disproportionate number of their hate crime statistics.

KARL: So how are institutions handling this?

I mean I ask you as a Vassar College graduate.

How -- how are women's colleges -- are they -- are they accepting transgender females?

ERDERLY: On the collegiate level, there has actually been a huge acceptance of -- of transgendered women. There has been a lot of accommodation for bathrooms and dorm rooms.

But I think that one place that there's actually been a good deal of progress has been -- it's been interesting to see how it's been playing out in terms of transgender -- the parents of gender non-conforming kids.

Now that there's a new awareness of the kind of harms that come to trans people, that they are more likely to be homeless, that they're more likely -- and that there's sort of a cascade of harm that can come to them once they're homeless, they're more likely to be at risk for drug addiction, suicide...


ERDERLY: -- that parents are now being much more supportive of their kid's decisions to live as their preferred gender.

KARL: All right, Sabrina, Mara, much more to talk on this, but thank you for joining us.


ERDERLY: Thank you.

KARL: Now, back to Martha in Ferguson, Missouri.

RADDATZ: Thanks, Jon.

Next, a man who captured a week of unforgettable images, after this from our ABC stations.


RADDATZ: Back now with a final note from Ferguson.

A moment with Lawrence Bryant. He's a photographer for "The St. Louis American," the major African-American newspaper here.

And when this suburb transformed into a national flashpoint, Bryant was right there with his camera.


LAWRENCE BRYANT, PHOTOGRAPHER, "THE ST. LOUIS AMERICAN": I saw anger. I saw -- I saw pain. I saw hurt. I'll never forget when the -- the sniper locked eyes with me right after I took his picture. I saw the pretty girls running through the -- the tear gas coughing, just everybody in pandemonium. I felt like I was almost in Beirut or Vietnam, running through the streets, trying to get away from the police.

I would never have suspected to see tear gas and military tactics going into the neighborhoods of Ferguson.

We started taking pictures of the SWAT trucks. And then I saw a guy just pop out of the top and throw a -- a tear gas right at us.

The police was already looking like they were ready for war and the crowd, the community was not going to let them come in and push them around.

I just felt it was my obligation as a photographer to capture history.


RADDATZ: Powerful images.

And now, we honor our fellow Americans who serve and sacrifice.

This week, the Pentagon released the name of one soldier killed in Afghanistan.

That's all for us today.

Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us.

Check out "WORLD NEWS WITH DAVID MUIR" tonight.

So long from Ferguson, Missouri.

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