For years I have worked with attorney S. Lee Merritt,
covering the stories of innocent unarmed black men
and women, some murdered in cold blood,
many times without immediate consequences.
Frankly, I'm sick and tired of booking him on the show
over and over to talk about the same story
with just different names and different scenarios,
but all involving victims with the same color of skin.
Now this is a man that I have come to respect greatly
because of his passion and his sincerity,
and it is time to join him in taking action.
I'm standing up and speaking out, and I encourage
all of you that are watching right now to do the same.
Lee, thank you so much for joining us once again.
It's so sad that we have to do this,
but I'm glad to join you in such an important fight.
Dr. Phil, thank you for having me again,
and I really appreciate your willingness to take this on
on a broader level, as opposed to, like you said,
a case by case scenario.
Well, you know, you've been the go-to guy.
I mean, you're the one that steps into the breach
and helps these people, but now you have essentially
become the national spokesperson.
You take these families and you lead them
through this maze, and right now
there are black people in America,
they've been at war since you were born, Lee.
This is something you've just absolutely grown up with.
This time is really reminding me of where I was--
I was born in South Central Los Angeles
during the L.A. riots that preceded
the brutal beating of Rodney King
and the murder of a young girl named Latasha Harlins,
who was shot in the back of the head
by a liquor store owner
because she suspected her of shoplifting orange juice.
Neither the men who assaulted Mr. King
or the woman who killed Latasha Harlins
ever spent a day in jail,
and a lot of that is impacting how I'm reacting
to the reaction in the streets today.
Why is this continuing to happen
and what is your involvement in George Floyd's case?
I believe it finds its root
in a system of racialized control
that has existed in this country
since the advent of slavery.
Black people in America have always been subject
to forced labor, to control.
It's the system of white supremacy
that has changed forms in this country.
It's moved from slavery to Jim Crow to now
a system of mass incarceration,
or the criminalization of blackness itself.
Until we deal with the heart of the matter,
I think this will continue to happen,
and I don't think the nation is ready for a reckoning yet.
You and I have a mutual friend in Ben Crump,
who has been a mentor to me,
and we've worked a lot of these cases together.
He's helping me out in the Ahmaud Arbery case,
and he asked me to come and help him out
on this case involving Mr. George Floyd.
You and Ben and I have worked together before,
and we were together just, sadly,
not very long ago, on Ahmaud's case,
and when you got involved in this case,
I mean it was so tragic to watch that video,
and then we see this first autopsy that came out
about George Floyd.
What is the latest autopsy?
What does it say, and how does it contradict
the first report? Well, the latest autopsy
tells us what really anyone's eyes would have told them,
that the cause of death for Mr. Floyd was asphyxia,
cut off of circulation of air and blood to the brain
as a result of deep compressions,
both to the neck and to the lungs,
depriving him of oxygen and causing his death.
Now, the first autopsy report didn't say that,
but again, Dr. Phil, you know this,
those autopsy reports are not highly reliable
and they often have conclusions that support the state,
even when the physical evidence
and the facts don't bear that out.
Well, you talked about the dehumanization of this.
As I watched this tape,
and saw the use of the knee to the neck,
which you and I both know
is just absolutely not approved,
and during that time,
George is not even regarded as a human being.
He's not listened to, there's no eye contact.
He is completely disregarded as he's pleading for his life
and bystanders are pleading for his life.
That is indicative of a culture
where officers know that that is okay.
How is that happening in Minneapolis, Minnesota?