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tv   Fault Lines  Al Jazeera  November 24, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm EST

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what does your time on the ground say if possible? >> well, tony, it's hard to tell. we've been coming here pretty consistently since those early days. and we've been looking into problems with the criminal justice system here. it's been now over three months since the shooting happened, and this process has taken extraordinarily long time. there has been a lot of criticism from within the community, but it seems to have taken so much time to get to this point. definitely there has been anger building. it's pretty hard to tell what's going to happen when that comes out. if there is going to be no indictment that's going to go down extremely badly with the community. we've been told to keep these protests peaceful--i've not
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seen the media that is. they're lined up to hear what the verdict will be. as soon as the decision is made, the ripple affect will be very quick, and we'll going down to west florissant avenue, and gauge the sense there, but right now the situation is pretty tense but wal calm at this point. >> sebastian, i had dante barry, executive director of the million hoodies organization. and he asked a pretty provocative question. he asked, would an indictment even mean justice for ferguson? he's alluding to issues beyond michael brown, and more generally speaking the way african-americans are policed in that community. i see you nodding your head, and
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i can see you know what i'm alluding to hear. >> you hear this all the time. this is much bigger than michael brown. this is about a system where people in the community say there is racial profiling, the police department is every day involved in low-level harassment against young black males who were arrested in very high numbers. certainly an indictment would be a start to make this community feel accountability and severe problems with the way the criminal justice operates. that would be the beginning. it would not an prosecution. at the same time there are other shootings that happen. even in michael brown there was a seen where an 18-year-old was shot dead by the police. there have been other shootings, shootings before michael brown as well. certainly the community feels this is just the tip of the iceberg and there is systemic problems that need to be addressed here. the anger is going to continue pretty much whatever the decision of the grand jury is.
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this decision also is extremely important. this could really tip the balance. and there is a lot of frustration and criticism that now we're hearing the prosecutor may not release the details of the proceedings immediately after the decision-- >> michael: wait a minute decision-- >> wait a minute, is he bashan, wasn't that the promise made that this would be a transparent process, and the public would have a look at the grand jury file on this case? >> that's exactly right. they were very clear on record saying that if there is no indictment the proceedings of what has been, you know, a process all carried out behind closed doors. all of that would be released to the public. he made that promise. now it seems that's not the case. we're hearing that the details may not necessarily be released. they may not necessarily be released immediately, and possibly not at all. there is a lot of anger around that. there has been a lot of
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criticism of this process since the beginning. and i think the decision when it comes down is just going to be the start of the fall out for this. it's not necessarily going to be an end of any sorts whatever the decision is. >> sebastian, let me get to the crux of it here. the time on the ground. the contact that you made in that community, you've certainly reached out to them on this afternoon an in anticipation of some kind of an action in response to the decision from this grand jury. what are your contacts on the ground saying to you? >> well, to be honest they're saying probably the likelihood is going to be what we saw in those early days there is going to be a lot of anger. what we saw was anger, community really traumatized from the shooting of michael brown, and you know, emotions ran high, and things got out of control. but the point that the community has been making to me, the
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protesters i've been speaking to, back then they see the police response as really what inflamed the situation. they point to those militarized vehicles being deployed. the tear gas, the police in full-riot gear, that's what they blame for things he is collating. they say we're going to peacefully protest and make our objections known if there is no indictment, but they're asking for the police to do the same. given what's happened in the past its hard to tell how things are going to go. we'll be here reporting throughout the evening. we'll certainly be keeping up. >> sebastian walker in clayton, missouri, thank you. earlier i was joined by missouri state representative courtney allen curtis, and i asked him about his expectations for the announcement in missouri. >> i'm expecting a non-indictment, but the fact that they've had to go back in and look at more evidence, i'm
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hopeful and optimistic that they'll come back with an indictment because there are serious issues that people are protesting for and enough that some people feel that it has to go to trial. >> you said there was a closer look. what prompted the closer look for more evidence, can you share that with us? >> that i'm not sure. i know that they had the ability to ask for and look at additional evidence, so it seems that's what dragged this on so long. i hope that it was something that caused them to come to something that the community can be at ease with and they can actually go to trial given that's what the majority of the community wants. >> what do you think the community can be at ease with from my time in ferguson it seems to me that nothing short of an document of officer wilson, and this case going to trial, would satisfy the community. >> likewise. i think that anything short of that would be a disappointment,
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but the most important thing is that it doesn't end today no matter what the announcement is. there's serious changes that need to be made, and i think the protesters have shown that they're willing to go the distance. if they don't get what they're looking for today they're going to be active to make changes to the system. >> changes like what? >> i michael, anything from changes that make up police force, a candidate that they can support at prosecutor. sign ups to make sure that they can be on the grand jury and holding officials accountable and more changes that call for or asking for our community to do more and be more involved, and to be more positive and act accordingly. >> it sounds like you would need for some of those changes to take place you would need
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african-americans in that community, african-americans makeup three-quarters of that community in ferguson, to participate in the political process, which means registering, going to the polls, and voting. we understand that voter participation was not impressive in the last midterm election cycle, just a couple of weeks ago. >> i can't speak to what the ferguson participation was. what was widely quoted in the press was ferguson township, and that includes more than ferguson. that's roughly three communities that make up ferguson township. it's still a process. we need for all of our elected officials to go out, knock on doors and get more people engaged in the process. everything should change from here on out in the way that we get people involved in politics. we have to let them know that the only way you can truly change things is to being involved in every level. >> what do you expect from this community?
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there have been all kinds of calls for calm, peace and restraints. if this community does not get the decision from this grand jury that it is looking for, what do you expect? >> i expected for the community that live there to be very peaceful. if not in their actual homes. the people that come from the outside that want to cause trouble, i expect for them to do that. but with all of the plannings that the unified command has done, i think they should be capable of isolating those individuals and keeping it to a peaceful calm so that everybody who wants to peacefully protest can do so. the others will be isolated. >> let's bring in ray suarez from washington, d.c. he is, of course, the host of al jazeera's "inside story." ray, good to see you again. you know, i want to you take up a question that i brought up
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with dante barry, jimmy floyd and sebastian walker just a moment ago. this is so much more than michael brown. this is more than ferguson. this is a conversation that is happening and needs to happen. >> these vents are all standing on each other's shoulders, and there is now, really finally, a kind of national conversation certainly among some americans about the fairness of the criminal justice system, the fairness of the criminal justice system particularly towards black and brown men. but in minority communities overall. just in the last couple of weeks a young man walking down the steps in a brooklyn housing project shot in the chest by a rookie policeman. wasn't a suspect. was not involved in the commission of a crime. was not as far as commissioner brattan said doing anything but walking down the steps. he's now did. a 12-year-old in a cleveland park playing with a toy pistol
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shot dead by police. of course, the internationally known case of trayvon martin, and with michael brown there are some disturbing parallels, certainly seen by observers in minority communities that in many of these cases details about the pasts of some of these men were leaked out, whether they were true or not, talk of a criminal past, of a thug life. he's no angel, as if a sudden encounter with a police officer can legitimately end in death when no crime was been committed when you're someone quote/unquote no angel. repeated polls are taken, showing different attitudes towards police in different communities across america whether or not the officer in ferguson is indicted or not, it seems that that innocence is
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totally lost, and now maybe more americans are starting to take a look at how these cases go down. >> terrific, ray, ray suarez for us in washington. thank you. a prime minister benjamin netanyahu has vowed to pass a controversial bill that could deepen tensions in the region. the proposed bill would formally identify israel as a jewish state. now critics say the bill is racist. >> reporter: she has a lot on her mind. the english literature major has exams to study for, but she's finding it hard to focus. she's distracted by the approval of the jewish state bill by israel's cabinet. >> it's basically an apartheid law. the policies related to this law are not new. we as arab palestinians, who are
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the natives, who are the natives here, we have always been treated as second-class citizens. >> the proposed law, which still requires parliamentary approval, would change the definition of what israel is as a nation. according to the 1948 declaration of independence the country is defined as a jewish and democratic state. the new measure would redefine it as the national homeland of the jewish people. something that a palestinian muslim is against. >> this would enshrine more racist rules. >> it would become a part of israel's basic laws, the measure would not only recognize israel's jewish character it would constitutiona institutiona law forsh any further legislation.
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>> the bill has sparked a bitter debate which could bring down prime minister benjamin netanyahu. critics say it is racist. >> some disagree. >> this is just a basic law that is saying what is clear to every country. that israel is jewish and democratic. >> the controversy over the bill comes at moments of heighten the tension across israel. while the bill would do little to calm the situation, some believe it would pass parliament in its current form. whatever the case prime minister benjamin netanyahu has bought time to get more support of the bill t of how the state should
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be defined. >> allegations of gang rape have led to fraternities and other organizations to be suspended. it comes a a dispute, and the school's governing body will meet to determine how to move forward. >> reporter: founded by thomas jefferson, uva is one of the nation's top ranked university steeped in tradition with an honor code that for bids lying, cheating and stealing, but the "rolling stone" article paints a very different picture of the prestigious public university. reporting that drinking is widespread and sexual assault far too common, especially at fraternity parties. the author told al jazeera that the school was uncooperative and would not allow her access to key administrators. >> i think they've known for a
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long time that a great harm was done to this particular student and many students. they're only taking action now because there has been a great harm done to its reputation, and it's always been paramount to them. >> the article talks of protests on campus. students and professors demanding that the administration crackdown on sexual violence. victories profiled in the magazine article said that when they did have the courage to report assault the school rarely took action against perpetrators. the head of uva sexual assault support group said that the campus needs to change. culturally and institutionally. >> we as students in the role that we play, we're hear saying we're unified against this issue. >> the fraternity at the heart of the article at the fraternity
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where the gang rape took place was suspended by the school's president until january 9th, the start of spring semester. >> when i read the article i was simply sick to my stomach. >> president teresa sullivan has asked the charlottesville police to investigate the incident, and asked anyone who knows what happened that night to come forward. >> it does cast a negative light on the fraternity culture, and a lot of people that i know and i'm friends with, i think it was best that the article was written, and people have to face the harsh reality of what is going on. >> a reality that some students say has been swept under the rug far too long. lisa stark, al jazeera, washington. >> let's take a look at other stories making headlines across america. ines.
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>> reporter: yes, tony, in brooklyn, new york, family members of an unarmed man fatally shot by police say it was a homicide, a rookie police officer was patrolling the staircase of a housing project when the gun discharged and hitting the man in the chest. also in new york, a judge said that the confession of a man suspected of killing si six-year-old eden pac in 1979 can be used in his murder trial. he confessed to choking the child but did not plead guilty. the judge did not determine whether the confession was true. only that it was obtained legally. the attorneys say that the confession was imagery.
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in louisiana a teen admitted that he fell asleep driving his family down an interstate hay. six members were ejected from the car. five died. district attorney jerry jones said that he felt it unnecessary to add to the family tragedy by filing charges. a bus crashed where one person was killed and 30 injured when a bus ran off a california fray and overturned. just yesterday a bus crashed into a denny's restaurant. no one was injured. police say driver fatigue may have been to blame for most accidents. also in california a teenager said she was dragged towards a swimming pool by her gym teacher. a classmate used a cell phone to video a teacher dragging the opportunity to the swimming pool. >> i sat myself on the stairs thinking that he would stop.
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but he grabbed me by my ankles. i was telling him stop, leave me alone. you can't be touching me. >> the teacher was charged with a misdemeanor and placed on paid leave after the video went viral in how long. and they're preparing to take the school district to court. >> paid leave? did you say paid leave? >> yes. >> there must be something else that i'm missing in that story that is not on the video. that's always possible. i don't believe that. thank you. thank you. >> there after heavy snowing in buffalo, new york, there are fears of flooding. the water weight may cause roofs and buildings to collapse. >> we are on guard. yes, we're very conscious of what damage this particular creek can do, but we're asking everyone to keep a watchful eye on their homes, and we'll do our
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job the best we can with the resources we have. >> the state has stock piled pumps and boats. and they're ready with food and water. let's go to kevin who has more on weather conditions in that area. >> meteorologist: that's right, tony, there is a lot of water in that snow. we're not going to melt all of it, but the incredible warm up that we've had in this area. the rain that has gone through which has brought that snow back down that made it more dense. the flood warnings are extending down here towards the pennsylvania border. we're going to be watching this through tomorrow. we have wind on top that have. if you take those 50-degree temperatures and bring the wind over the snow that will make it melt faster. the temperatures have have come down just a little bit. we're talking about 49 degrees in buffly. we're going to see the temperatures in the freezing market. if that wasn't enough, we're going to be seeing those temperatures drop down below freezing so any of the water that is on the ground, tony, is
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going to turn to ice. very dangerous situation driving. this is going to go through the holidays. >> oh, that will make that drive home from grandma's house difficult. thank you. coming up, we'll take you out to breaking news in ferguson. the decision whether the grand jury has indicted officer darren wilson will come out soon. we'll have more next.
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>> okay, we're following breaking news. we'll learn if the ferguson grand jury will indict the officer involved in the shooting of teenager michael brown. [ coughing ] no, no, stay there. folks who watch this show are used to this at this point. we're expecting to hear from the
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prosecuting torn and mayor of ferguson. we've learned that several school districts have let kids out of school early and canceled programs. in the meantime, many claim that things will never be the same. >> hitting all the right notes. the river view garden high school jazz band on sage in st. louis. they practiced hard and it wasn't easy amid the anger, frustration and occasional violence of michael brown's death. >> i leave mind the riots and everything. it's important to sleep at night and think about it, getting up in the morning, being up there, getting to school safety. i'm here today. >> protests and tension have dominated the school year so far disrupting classes, racing stress levels. many of the students at river
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view saw these scenes unfold in their neighborhood. there are fears that a grand jury decision against indicting the white police officer who shot michael brown will be a catalyst for more trouble. >> that concert might not had happened at all had violence broken out makes it more special. students, parents and the school, the area is going through terrible trauma, but today it's all about the music. >> between sets backstage these young musicians are as relaxed as they've been in months. the music they play so well has helped them cope. >> i dream about music. i go to school with music in my head. i eat and i think about music. music saves my life. >> teachers face their share of the there's of the past months. these are high school students, and getting them ready for college and adult life cannot be put aside even for what this area is going through. >> my parents made me come straight home after school because of the violence
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happening in the communities, the looting and all of these things. but these students worked hard. they practiced, and i'm one of those teachers with an iron fist. that's how i was raised. >> the last song is ending but the fears and concerns of a community remain for one night at least the show did go on. daniel with al jazeera, fergus ferguson. >> ines? >> tony, a lot of stores have boarded up already, and ferguson and nearby. you can see this store here being boarded up. you also have this memorial in ferguson completely covered with duct tape here. and you have this store here at a gallery mall closed. some police are blocking a parking lot here. this was tweeted out by an activist, and even this male box right here with a lock on it so
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people passing by here you can't do anything with that male box, and police here in this video are filling these barricades up with water. >> that's interesting. >> and also governor jay nixon tweeted stopped by the ferguson burger bar. and earlier the st. louis county police on their facebook page put this out. they're asking for donations. they say anyone who would like to donate items for police officers who are working around the clock. >> that's good. that's good. appreciate it. see you back next hours. >> coming up, coverage of breaking news coming out of ferguson, missouri, on the grand jury indictment of whether or
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not to indict officer darren wilson coming up.
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i don't wanna be stuck here. >> catch the whole ground-breaking series. "edge of eighteen". thanksgiving marathon. friday. 9:00 am eastern. only on al jazeera america. this is al jazeera america. live from new york city. i'm tony harris with a look at today's top stories. breaking news. the grand jury has reached the decision in the case of a ferguson, missouri, police officer. that announcement expected tonight. defense secretary chuck hagel resigns, and nuclear at a talksh iran are extended seven more