Via America’s Lawyer: Protesters file lawsuits against police departments nationwide alleging police brutality, the very issue that demonstrators were rallying against. Brigida Santos joins Mike Papantonio to explain more. Then, media analyst David Lamb joins Mike Papantonio to update us on the 2020 election. Trump’s approval rating continues to slide following his controversial Mount Rushmore address, while Biden is at a crossroads determining which Democrat would serve best as his running mate.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: Victims of police abuse have filed several class action lawsuits against police across the nation for violating their constitutional rights. RT’s Brigida Santos joins me now to talk about this. Brigida, actually there are lawsuits flying both ways. And I think it’s interesting. Some of these folks that believe that, you know, they’ve gotten away with burning down a building or whatever, they’re, they were on camera and the police now are pursuing them. They’re finding them on eBay. They’re, they’re searching for them on eBay. They’re going after them with film footage. So it’s, it’s this thing’s going to pick up. How many class action lawsuits are there so far and what are the crimes that the plaintiffs are seeking justice for, I suppose?

Brigida Santos: Well, people who accused police of brutalizing them during the George Floyd protests have filed or are preparing to file class action lawsuits against law enforcement in the cities of Richmond, Los Angeles, Denver, Portland, New York, Philadelphia, Oakland, Phoenix, and more. Now plaintiffs are suing entire cities, police chiefs, and even individual officers for reportedly violating their first, fourth and 14th amendment rights. Photos and videos obtained during the protests reveal systemic human rights violations and excessive use of force, including beatings, pepper spraying, tear gassing, firing rubber bullets and trapping.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. So what you’re going to see in the defense what’s, it’s already lining itself up. These folks believe that the best way to handle these cases is to go after the people that they’re trying to say, did something wrong. They’re actually searching on eBay to see if somebody, if there was any kind of looting going on. Was an item, did it show up on eBay, trace that back to the person who has possession of it. They’re taking film footage of people that were actually planted in the protest to take films so the police could now follow these folks, find them. And I think what you’re going to see based on what I’m seeing very early on, early on, is this vengeance that’s taken place from the police department to, to try to push back on this very thing you’re talking about. In response to widespread state sanctioned police violence, Colorado, they passed a comprehensive police reform bill. What are some of the highlights of that bill, Brigida?

Brigida Santos: Senate Bill 217 has now passed in the Colorado general assembly. Now the comprehensive reforms include requiring every officer in the state with a few exceptions to wear body cameras and activate them when responding to calls. Police who break the law could face criminal liability. It also bans choke holds and under the new law officers are required to intervene to stop other offers, officers from using excessive force, or they could face misdemeanor or criminal charges themselves. Officers who are convicted of inappropriate use of force will permanently lose board certification and be listed in a public database. But some of these reforms are a bigger deal than others because police abuse is often captured on body cameras and we don’t see justice for those crimes.

For example, choke holds are banned in New York, but that didn’t stop officer Daniel Pantaleo from killing Eric Garner with an illegal choke-hold. So for me, the biggest police reform in Colorado is the state’s decision to remove the qualified immunity defense for law enforcement officers. This is going to allow victims of police abuse to file civil rights cases against officers in court. And Colorado is now the first state in the country to stop shielding police from nearly all accountability in misconduct and murder cases, and hopefully other States follow suit.

Mike Papantonio: Brigida, let me tell you about another interesting development. Right before the Supreme Court right now, there’s a coup, there’s a case it’s called, it’s called McKesson V Doe. And, and, and so what the case is about is to go, to go after the people who organized or had any part of organizing the protest, where there was loss of life or where there was property damage. For example, they’re using that the, the whole idea is to use that to go after these very people who were saying, hey, you’ve, you violated our constitutional rights. And they’re saying the people who organized it are going to be responsible for personal injury cases, death cases, property damage. And they are, this case, my prediction is that it is going to be affirmed by the Supreme Court. So that’s a whole new development. But let me close with this. I got about 30 seconds. Not all States are tackling police brutality as the same way in Colorado. What’s happening in New York?

Brigida Santos: Well, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the civilian complaint review board is holding video hearings for police misconduct investigations, but police unions are urging NYPD officers not to show up for those video hearings. Arguing that board members should not be allowed or board members shouldn’t be allowed to work remotely if officers have to physically go to work during the pandemic. So basically police unions are using the pandemic as an excuse to postpone investigations and the police department says that it’s not going to discipline officers who skip those video hearings. And some of the officers that are being summoned include one that was seen on camera during the George Floyd protests, allegedly flashing a white supremacist hand sign.

Mike Papantonio: Brigida, thank you for joining me. Obviously, this story is going to be lot more parts to this story out there on both sides. It’s going to be push, push and push back. Thank you for joining me.

Mike Papantonio: As November creeps closer, president Trump’s independence day address, and Joe Biden’s ongoing search for a running mate, they become big news. Let me begin with this. I’ve got Dave, I’ve got David Lamb with me, probably the foremost expert in this area. And I thank you for joining me. Okay.

David Lamb: Glad to do it.

Mike Papantonio: Let’s, let’s begin with the notion of approval rating. If I’m talking to you as the, as an expert in that area, what is the significance of approval rating as it relates to this particular, this game?

David Lamb: The number to remember with approval ratings is 40%, below 40% is, is a cemetery. Above it the, the options are much better. Gallup recently published their approval ratings. Trump’s approval rating is at 38% as we speak, in early May it topped off at 49%. A couple of interesting notes about this. You remember the concept of Reagan Democrats, right?

Mike Papantonio: Yes.

David Lamb: So Democrats that would cross the aisle believed in what Reagan was talking about and signed on. In those 38%, 91% approval rating among the GOP 2% among Democrats, the lowest in the history of the Gallup poll.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. Okay. So let’s talk about, my memory was is that, that HW Bush had this problem.

David Lamb: He did.

Mike Papantonio: He lost.

David Lamb: He did.

Mike Papantonio: Jimmy Carter had this problem. He lost.

David Lamb: Right.

Mike Papantonio: But there’s also this notion that, that you hear talked about is at the same time of where we are in this election cycle, Obama had a less than 40%. Is that, is that accurate?

David Lamb: That is, Obama was right at 40%. And that’s the silver lining for the Trump supporters, because from summer to fall, Obama had a 6% bump, which got him closer to 50% by the time the election took place. So if Trump is able to, to pivot in some way and pull that approval rating out, by the way he handles the Coronavirus, maybe with the, what happens with the economy, how he handles all of the protest and the tearing down of the monuments, all of that, there are opportunities. But at 38%, like you said, HW Bush, Jimmy Carter, both lost. The last president Harry Truman in 1948 had a 40% approval rating. That’s how far back you’ve got to go to find an incumbent that gets reelected.

Mike Papantonio: Wow. Okay. So this is, this is a big number. Watch the approval rating.

David Lamb: It’s key.

Mike Papantonio: If, if, if you can have, if the turd blossom Karl Rove can raise that approval rating for Bush above 40%, he at least is still in the game. Is that your?

David Lamb: That’s the magic number.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. Let me ask you about the Mount Rushmore speech. I don’t get this. It was so divisive. I mean, you had the New York Times, it’s racist, it’s divisive. You know, this is the worst thing that could possibly happen. The media was just like, you know, their hair was on fire, hysterical about this. What, what, what does the right say about it? What, what is his core, what is, is his core say about it?

David Lamb: The whole, some of the phrasing that the president used in that speech was a culture war, and this issue typifies it. The left thought, like you said, that the New York Times some of what they said about how far left and, and, and radical, how, how scary the speech was. The right love that speech. In fact.

Mike Papantonio: Now, when you say the right, was that just his core.

David Lamb: His core.

Mike Papantonio: But was it beyond that?

David Lamb: No.

Mike Papantonio: Okay.

David Lamb: It was not. But his core.

Mike Papantonio: His core is 40%.

David Lamb: 40% and it was red meat for his core. But again, is Trump having to still rally that base to make sure to shore that base up as he heads toward November.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. Well, again, the question is, can he do it? And as he’s looking at this, you know, you have to, you have to wonder, because you do have Biden. Is he still in the cellar?

David Lamb: He he’s, he comes out every now and then. He’s done some fundraising lately that has done some.

Mike Papantonio: But it’s working for him.

David Lamb: It is.

Mike Papantonio: I mean, let’s call it what it is. He’s in the cellar. He’s, he’s avoiding any kind of real controversy. They’re not letting him talk, which is a really good idea, but it’s working. That’s the main thing. But as we, as we approach this election, I saw that Trump had raised a bill, is it, is a billion dollars?

David Lamb: It’s nearly a billion dollars, it is.

Mike Papantonio: So does, can a billion dollars move these favorables that you just talked about? Is there a way to do that? Or can you move favorables by attacking the other side? Tell me what you think.

David Lamb: Well, I think with that bill, that billion dollars that has been raised between Trump and the RNC and $250 million cash on hand, you’re seeing some signs as to what they’re going to do with that, because that’s a considerable advantage. The Biden team is not even releasing how much cash they have on hand. I don’t know, but I would say that’s a bad sign for the Biden camp if they don’t want anybody to know what they have in the bank. But what has happened, the Trump campaign has committed a hundred million dollars in ads for Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, as well as Wisconsin. So key States, States that he won, but also that’s where he’s committing money to.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. So now we’ve got, if you look at it right now, it doesn’t look like a race. I mean, it really just doesn’t look like a race and you’re, and you’re saying the only thing that changes that if he can get above 40%.

David Lamb: Right.

Mike Papantonio: If the billion dollars that he has can be used by Karl Rove the turd blossom to somehow raise the favorable. I don’t know how you raise favorables though with attack, with attack ads. You see what I mean? And it seems to me that that’s why that money is, is in the, why he has that money right now. So right now you got Biden who has to make a really important decision and that’s who is his VP. I really liked Tammy Duckworth. What a great VP.

David Lamb: The Senator from Illinois.

Mike Papantonio: I mean, you’d understand that, okay, if he doesn’t make it through the first term, Tammy Duckworth would be there. I really like this, this woman. Let’s talk about it.

David Lamb: She’s a Senator from Illinois, a former army Lieutenant Colonel. She’s a pilot yourself, Pap, an army helicopter pilot. She’s a double amputee and a purple heart recipient. So the resume is very impressive. And the reason she stands out for the Biden camp, one of the things that with that billion dollars that the Biden camp knows that Trump’s going to do is attack them. How, how do you go about attacking someone who has, who has that sort of resume? So that’s what makes Tammy Duckworth so, so attractive to Biden and his team.

Mike Papantonio: And so the call, your call would be out of everybody he’s considering that’s the one that moves the numbers?

David Lamb: That, that is certainly the one that diffuses, because really at this point, if the numbers are anywhere close to accurate, Biden has around a 10, 10 point lead. At this point, you’re just protecting the lead. That’s all you want to you’re, you’re kind of playing defense. So this choice of Duckworth really kind of takes some ammunition away from Trump and the Trump campaign and their efforts to, to call the Biden, Biden camp and the Biden presidency, a far left wing, radical, takeover.

Mike Papantonio: Right. It takes all that away.

David Lamb: It takes it off the table.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah, and I think that’s brilliant. Of course the Democrats advisers have never done the brilliant thing. They’ll end up with somebody that’s, it’s an incestuous process. You know, who’s been around the longest? You know, who’s who has been part of this committee and that committee? Who’s raised money? That’s how they think. This woman can make the difference.

David Lamb: She can make it happen.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. David, thank you for joining me, okay.

David Lamb: Thank you.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.