How should violence in Ferguson be dealt with?

Former NYC police commissioner speaks out


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," November 25, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right. Well, that went well for the governor, Jay Nixon, who`s come under enormous criticism for how he handled last night.

He had ready, we were told, 400, 700 Guards, troops, and a lot of people asked, well, where the hell were they? They were there, but apparently in all the wrong places and guarding all the wrong streets.

The best way we can figure it all, the lighting up of whole swathes of businesses and companies that were looking all over for some sort of protection, but didn`t find it, but he is doubling down on the Guard protection right now, calling for better than 2,000 Guardsmen who will be at the ready tonight.

And, of course, that always raises the fear of an overreaction. It`s always a delicate balance.

But, former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik said you cannot err on the side of keeping your residents safe.

It looks like he erred on the side the first night, Bernie, of -- of trying not to make this a bigger crisis. But he -- he -- the criticism was, he pulled his security punches. What do you think?

BERNARD KERIK, FORMER INTERIM MINISTER OF INTERIOR IN IRAQ: You know what, Neil, it was a sad day for America last night. It`s a sad day for the law enforcement community in that -- in that area.

I honestly -- I feel bad for the cops and the first responders out there. They should have had more support. I mean, they knew what was coming. These people have said for weeks now, whether Wilson was indicted or not indicted, they were going to riot. They were going to take to the streets. They were going to do this. They have had three weeks` notice, four weeks` notice.

Come on. This is -- this is crazy. They should have had more people out there, more support for the cops. And to watch these images, to watch these buildings burn, the cars burn, people smashing through windows, you know, I said earlier today, if I was the police commanders today, I would have a team of intelligence analysts going through the video from last night, and I would make sure that every person that destroyed property, that was shooting guns, that anybody that we could capture on video, they would be held accountable for their action.

You cannot let people do what they did last night and get away with it. You just can`t.

CAVUTO: You know, Bernie, we talked to a lot of the shop owners, some of whom had decided not to board up their various businesses, A, because they weren`t in the same area of the shops and businesses that were hit back in August, but, B, because they saw a greater presence, either Guardsmen or policemen.

I don`t know to which they were referring, but obviously, that presence failed them. So now they are going to try to make up for that tonight. But, you know, you have got an agitated situation. How do you deal with that? It just the show of force enough, or -- or at the slightest provocation, the Guardsmen and/or officers have to respond swiftly, quickly, even if it means violently?

KERIK: Well, you`re going to have a show of force.

And, listen, I agree with what Sheriff Clarke said earlier. You have to use the necessary force to take these -- take this thing into -- get it under control. You cannot hope that a peaceful demonstration is just going to remain peaceful, because these people don`t want it peaceful. They have said that from the beginning.

And I want to stress this.

CAVUTO: Well, who are these people, Bernie?

KERIK: That -- and that`s the...


CAVUTO: Who do you think they are?

Are they local?

KERIK: That`s exactly what I was going to get to, Neil.

CAVUTO: Are they local agitators? More...


KERIK: No, these -- most of them are not local agitators. Most of them aren`t from Ferguson.


KERIK: The majority of them are not from Ferguson. They are outsiders.

The people of Ferguson deserve better. The people of Ferguson deserve to be safe and secure in their homes. And the police and the National Guard and the governor has to do everything in their power to get this thing under control. And if that is to use more troops if necessary, more force if necessary, that`s what they are going to have to do.

CAVUTO: What do you think of what`s been spreading around? We told you about spontaneous rising demonstrations in Philadelphia. We have seen them in New York City. Last night, it got pretty hairy here in Times Square, familiar to you, but that it`s been escalating, the crowds have been escalating.

So what do authorities do in each and one of these locales?

KERIK: Well, listen, Neil, some of these things -- I have watched some of the footage over the last 24 hours. Some of them were peaceful demonstrations.

Where it gets unpeaceful, the police have to take action. What`s disturbing to me is, we have been calling for justice. We have been calling for due process. We have been calling for an investigation. Well, we live by a Constitution. The justice was enacted. The prosecutor investigated. The grand jury`s got the evidence. They know what happened out there and they made their decision.

We, as American citizens, should live by that Constitution and their decision. And it just amazes me that there were people out there and civic leaders inciting people out there that are protesting in a manner that`s destroying and damaging property because they didn`t like the outcome.

CAVUTO: Well, is Al Sharpton doing that?

KERIK: Listen, on the front, up in front of the camera, Al Sharpton is saying we should protest peacefully.

But just the fact that he`s out there and he`s pushing this issue, you know, he -- if he wants to be a respected civil rights leader, he should look at our civil rights. He should look at the people of Ferguson that has a civil right and a constitutional right to live in safety and security. That`s what he should be fighting for.

CAVUTO: Well, he made a mockery of that grand jury decision and he said it was essentially a travesty. And now we`re waiting to hear what Eric Holder, the attorney general, is going to do, Commissioner.

And there`s talk that he will go ahead with a federal probe because he`s not satisfied with this one. Then it gets really messy, doesn`t it?

KERIK: Well, you know, Neil, listen, the Justice Department has a right to do that. They have done it in many other, you know, local and state cases that I know of.

We had it done in New York City on a number of occasions. They have a right to do that. In all honesty -- and I think I have mentioned this on your show in the past -- I assumed that they would do it anyway. They are going to do it. OK, let them do their job.

I don`t have a problem with the Justice Department doing their job. What I have a problem with is other people that`s stoking the fire and making this...

CAVUTO: But isn`t that just as much stoking the fire, Bernie? I mean, isn`t that just as much saying we didn`t like this result, we will forcibly see if we can get a different result, for whatever meritorious reasons you might have, but that is telling that community, we don`t think you`re very good at policing yourselves or grand jurying yourselves, so we will take over, thank you?

KERIK: Well, you know what, Neil? I look at it this way.

You know, I`m living by the Constitution, I`m living by the laws of this land, and the reality is that the Justice Department has a right to look.


KERIK: I would only hope that they look fairly, they look at the evidence like the grand jurors did, and nobody is unfairly prosecuted.

CAVUTO: Then how do you know? When you talk about outside agitators, how do you know who they are?

Like, when we already know in the days and weeks ahead of this grand jury decision that unusual folks are showing up in Ferguson -- I had them on, residents on my show, Fox News, Fox Business, who said, Neil, we don`t know who these people are.

But they were there and preparing for this night and this event, as I`m sure many are staying now and many are spreading around now.


CAVUTO: What do you in a law enforcement capacity then do?

KERIK: And I honestly think that the law enforcement community, when these people started coming in, they should have known who they were. They should identify them, they should make sure they are tracking them.

They should -- if something like this happened in New York and we had a bunch of agitators come in, and this happens all the time in reality, we have undercover officers that go out there and they track them, they follow them, they make sure that we -- if we believe that they are going to engage in some kind of criminal behavior, we want to know who they are.

They should have been doing this. They should have been looking at these people long before yesterday.

CAVUTO: Yeah, woulda, shoulda, coulda.

Bernard Kerik, former New York City police commissioner, thank you very, very much.

And, as the commissioner pointed out, we`re facing another night. Dusk is close. And, for Ferguson, nerves are frazzled and worries are pronounced. And they are talking about a lot more Guardsmen, a lot more policemen. For even the slightest provocation or response, we are told will be tenfold. Here we go. We are on it.

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