OTR Interviews

Columnist: Why justice was served in Ferguson

'Daily Beast' columnist Ron Christie: Facts, not ideology, drove the grand jury's decision in Michael Brown's shooting death. #Ferguson

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," November 26, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, GUEST 'ON THE RECORD' HOST: Well, it's not just in Ferguson. Last night, and again today, demonstrators across the nation protesting the grand jury's decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson.

But "Daily Beast" columnist, Ron Christie, writes, "Justice was served and there is a much bigger problem in our country."

He joins us now. Ron, thanks for being ON THE RECORD tonight.

RON CHRISTIE, COLUMNIST, THE DAILY BEAST: Nice to see you.

GUILFOYLE: Provocative column and article. Tell us where you are coming from. And you were in the middle of this last night.

CHRISTIE: I was. Where I'm coming from with this is that justice was served. We know, as lawyers, that under the Fifth Amendment, you have to have an indictment or presentment in order to move forward on a capital case. It's based on facts and based on evidence. My contention in my column for "The Daily Beast" was a lot of the folks that we saw protesting already had a predetermined outcome: If the white officer was not indicted, America was racist and bad. If he was indicted, America is racist and bad. And coming home from FOX News last night, yes, I ran into the middle of this in New York City. I thought, I respect your right to peacefully protest, but I don't respect your right to bang on the windows and scratch the car and to do physical damage for someone who is just trying to do his job and to go home.

GUILFOYLE: That's what you said. You said you felt horrible for the guy who owned the car that was driving, trying to do his job, get you to your assignment, and they scratched his car. To me, they lose such credibility when you engage in this willful and wanton criminal conduct -- vandalizing, looting, burning, a lack of respect for people who have worked hard to try to put something forward and try to make a living.

CHRISTIE: Absolutely. You look back to the civil rights movement, you look back at what Martin Luther King did, he did it through non-violent protests. And the power of his voice and the power of those who were behind him to actually say, we need to fight this injustice, it's wrong, but let's do it peacefully. And what did he say? Do not drink from the cup of bitterness. And what I saw last night was a lot of bitterness and hate, and it's just so misplaced in the 21st century.

GUILFOYLE: And a false narrative. It didn't matter, regardless of the facts, the circumstances, the grand jury transcripts, the testimony by the officer, the multiple criminal and forensic experts. It was disregarded. It was an inconvenient truth. That's what is so troubling. As a country, we have made so many accomplishments through the reasonable rhetoric and leadership of people like Martin Luther King Jr. I think he would be disappointed with what he saw in Ferguson.

CHRISTIE: I agree with you, Kimberly. What you said about an inconvenient truth is spot on. Look at an icon from the civil rights era, John Lewis, who is now a congressman from Georgia. For him to compare what's going on in Ferguson with Selma is just such a disgrace because it gives a voice to people who say, well, this is an icon from the civil rights movement, we are right, we need to go out and burn and loot and protest, which is absolutely wrong. I just wish the Congressman hadn't said that.

GUILFOYLE: Where do we go from here?

CHRISTIE: Where do we go from here? It's that we're better for this as a country. We are stronger. We can move beyond folks who are rioting. We can move beyond folks who are looting. We can move beyond this because we are Americans and we believe in the rule of law.

GUILFOYLE: Yeah. And rebuild communities, work with the police. Police, you know, community policing. I think I have seen it work so well in Los Angeles and gang-ravaged neighborhoods. People want safe neighborhoods for their children, for the schools and for the businesses. I hope we can move forward.

Certainly, been a pleasure to spend time with you tonight, Ron.

CHRISTIE: Happy Thanksgiving, and good to see you.

GUILFOYLE: To you, as well.