Skip to main content

tv   News  Al Jazeera  November 25, 2014 12:00pm-12:31pm EST

12:00 pm
>> on the turkey-syria border. >> venezuela. >> beijing. >> kabul. >> hong kong. >> ukraine. >> the artic. real reporting from around the world. this is what we do. al jazeera america. [ gunfire ] ♪ >> protests turn to riots in ferguson, missouri after a grand jury decides not to put a white policeman on trial for shooting dead an unarmed black teenager. ♪ hello, i'm martine dennis in doha. welcome to al jazeera. also coming up, suicide bombers attack a packed market in northern nigeria, killing at least 60 people. pope francis warns the european parliament not to let the mediterranean become a vast graveyard.
12:01 pm
the final results are in, tunisia's presidential election is going to a runoff late next month. ♪ around 60 people were arrested in the u.s. city of ferguson in missouri on monday night as protests turned to riot. fire crews are still dealing with the remains of at least 12 buildings that were set on fire. the riots broke out after the grand jury decision not to charge a policeman who shot an unarmed teenager earlier this year. angry crowds set fire to buildings and cars. police say there is heavy automatic gunfire. officers respond by firing tear gas and smoke canisters. [ gunfire ] >> reporter: senior police officers told a late night news
12:02 pm
conference, the violence was at a shocking level. >> a lot of gunfire. er i'm disappointed in this evening. i didn't see a lot of peaceful protests out there tonight, and i'm disappointed about that. i'm not saying there weren't folks out there that were out there for the right reason, but unfortunately this spun out of control. frankly what i have seen tonight is probably much worse than the worse night we ever had in august. >> reporter: the unrest follows a grand jury's decision not to prosecute a white police officer for killing michael brown. >> they determined that no probable cause exists to file any charge against to officer wilson. the physical and scientific evidence examined by the grand jury, combined with the witness statements supported and substantiated by that physical
12:03 pm
evidence, tells the accurate and tragic story of what happened. >> reporter: michael brown's parents called for calm. in their statement they said: there were also protests in other u.s. cities against the grand jury's decision, including new york, and the capitol washington, d.c. president obama called on those who want to protest to be peaceful. and he also had a message for the local police in ferguson. >> our police officers put their lives on the line for us every single day. they have got a tough job to do to maintain public safety and hold accountable those who break the law. as they do their jobs in the coming days, they need to work with the community, not against the community to distinguish the
12:04 pm
handful of people who may use the grand jury's decision as an excuse for violence. >> reporter: not surprisingly darren wilson, the police officer who shot michael brown has welcomed the grand jury's move. his statement said he had followed his training and the law. but many in ferguson clearly don't agree, and they have been making those feelings known on the streets of this racially divided city. a violent start to an evening that ended in relative calm. but the question moving forward will the protested against the decision of the grand jury be as peaceful as the organizers insist, or will the scenes of violence that we saw here on monday night dominate the message that this community is trying to send to the rest of the united states? let's go live now to another of our correspondent in ferguson. it is mid-morning there, and
12:05 pm
what does it feel like? what is the mood there on the street? >> reporter: well, local residents, local business owners, the police department, everyone i think is taking stock of the damage this morning, and hoping for a better night ahead. you can look being hind me and see some of the worst damage. one of the 12 buildings that was burned to the ground. this was a local laundromat, and you can see investigators on the scene, local media, again, business owners coming to take stock of the damages that were done. two kilometers down the road next to this business is where the police department and major demonstrations that took place yesterday were, but the major damage from demonstrators took place further down, west floer
12:06 pm
sand there. that's where the major looting, more buildings were burned, windows broken, and so on took place. it's pretty concentrated, the area of damage. you see broken glass and windows, but more of business as usual. but obviously the concern is that this will be repeated again tonight, and that is hovering over everyone today as things are certainly calm, but with concern that there might be more ahead. >> well, last night it seems the police took a rather [ inaudible ] approach with only around 60 people arrested. is that -- are they continuing with that now, or is there a big police presence that you are aware of? >> reporter: more national guard troops have been called into the
12:07 pm
area. police are still very visible on the streets, but the protests that are taking place today have been peaceful, and i should say that there are demonstrations ongoing. about two kilometers in another direction in an area known as clayton where the business district is, and lots of county offices and so on, there are more demonstrations taking place. trying to disrupt business there. this is the kind of non-violent action that activists have been calling for leading up to the decision yesterday. this is what the family of michael brown, the victim of this shooting, was calling for, peaceful demonstration aimed at efforting change in the system here. in a short time we will be hearing from the family of michael brown and getting their reaction to the decision not to press charges against police officer darren wilson. we also should point out that this is not the end of the road for the ferguson police
12:08 pm
department and their scrutiny and their coming under scrutiny. they have another federal investigation, looking at the shooting of michael brown that is still ongoing, there is a federal investigation into broader police practices here, and whether or not there is a pattern of civil rights abuses in this community. so while there was a lot of disappointment at the decision not to press charges locally, this is not over yet, there is still more investigation, more looking at the police department, as i said, and that is what the activists say that they want to focus on in working on change going forward. the majority of the activists who say they are not the people who do this kind of damage, and they don't support that kind of damage, which was done by a relatively small amount of people. >> okay. for now, kristin thank you very much, because within the hour, we're going to be going to live press conference being given by
12:09 pm
the parents of michael brown. so we'll bring that to you live at al jazeera. but in the meantime, let's have a look, a little bit more closely about the process, and what brought us to this point. the missouri grand jury heard evidence for months as it weighted whether to indict officer darren wilson. it was composed of 12 men and women drawn from the local community. nine of them were white. three were black. they heard from 60 witnesses over a three-month period. several witnesses said brown charged at officer wilson. others said brown was shot in the back. but some changed their account after forensic evidence revealed brown wasn't shot in the back. during four hour's of testimony, wilson said brown approached him and punched him while he was sitting in his patrol car.
12:10 pm
wilson said that: wilson testified that brown then tried to wrestle his gun out of his hands saying: well after firing two shots from inside the car, wilson says he got out and chased brown. wilson says at some point brown turned and ran towards him. it was then that wilson fired again and killed brown. now these are pictures that were released after the decision from the grand jury not to press charges. they show bruising but no serious injuries. st. louis country prosecuting attorney spoke on monday about the specific challenges surrounding this case. >> the most significant challenge encountered has been the 24-hour news cycle, and it's
12:11 pm
insatiable appetite for anything to talk about. following closely behind with the non-stop rumors on social media. i recognize the lack of accurate detail frustrates the media and general public, and helps breed suspicion among those already distrustful of the system. yet those details give law enforcement a yardstick for measuring the truthfulness of witnesses. eyewitness accounts must always be challenged and compared against the physical evidence. a car bomb killed at least 60 people in northeastern nigeria. a female suicide bomber targeted those who went to the recue. here is our update from the capitol. >> reporter: there has been no claim of responsibility, but
12:12 pm
boko haram of course is believed to be the primary suspect behind the explosion. if you look at the location of the attack, at the heart of the city, in this very crowded area, it really is quite indicative of just how -- if they are responsible, how boko haram is able to strike at will despite the repeated attempts by the military to flood the area and prevent boko haram from entering the city. it's the seat of the infantry division specifically tasked with leading the fight against boko haram. so is a very important site for the military, and despite their attempts to push out boko haram, in august out boko haram, in august a lot of soldiers flooded the area, but still clearly boko haram able to challenge the military at the heart of one of its main cities.
12:13 pm
pope francis has criticized europe for not doing enough to help migrants escaping persecution. he also said it is time for europe to change its values. >> reporter: this was only the second time that a pope has addressed this institution, and there has been some tension between the two in the past. the european union prides it's a on how secular it is. but the pope was warmly welcomed here. and he said he was bringing a message of hope, but it was also a message full of criticisms. and i think the pope feels the european union was moving in the wrong direction. he said he felt there was too much loneliness. people were disconnected from the european union and its
12:14 pm
ideas. he felt the elderly were being abandoned. he said there was a throw-away culture, the gaps between the rich and those who have very little were growing all the time. he also made clear references for the need for europe to do more on migration. he went to lampedusa -- that was one of his first visits he made, and he mentioned it again today. he said he hoped the mediterranean sea never became a vast cemetery. but above all, i think he felt that the european union has almost become divorced from his spiritual roots. and he also finished off his address by saying the european union needs to put human beings first. i think many people feel, the
12:15 pm
pope clearly, that the economic necessities have been put above those of the human, and i think that was the pope's final message in his speech which received a very warm and standing ovation. still to come, 3,000 policemen are ordered to clear the protest sites in hong kong. i'm andrew simmons on the tram line that links occupied jerusalem to the west of the city, and i'll be addressing the fear that exists in palestinians and israelis alike.
12:16 pm
12:17 pm
>> on the stream >> csi environment we talk with scientists who helping to pinpoint pollution culprits by creating a way to fingerprint fracking waste water >> the stream only on al jazeera america hello, i'm del walters in new york. we continue to follow the
12:18 pm
developing news coming out of ferguson, missouri. this is a news conference that the family of michael brown is going to be holding along with reverend al sharpton. they are expected to begin at any minute. all of this, of course, coming after those violent protests broke out overnight following the announcement that a grand jury did not indict officer darren willson, the police officer that shot and killed michael brown on august 9th. then the violence spilled out on to the streets last night. as many as a dozen buildings were burned and cars were set on fire as well. we want to go now to jonathan clark, a blogger in st. louis. mr. clark thanks for being with us as you have out there this controversy. now that we are almost 24 hours into the wait that began last
12:19 pm
night at this time. your thoughts of what happened. >> well, i -- i don't think that anything about this decision does -- does anything to bridge the gap between the community and law enforcement. between the community and the prosecutor's office. the community certainly doesn't trust law enforcement. but i would also be willing to bet that law enforcement doesn't trust the community very much either. and it is going to take quite a bit of work to bridge the gap between those two. if the gap can be bridged at all any time in the near future. >> as this story going forward, it will take two paths, the first to be trying to understand what got us here, and then where do we go from here. michael brown is dead. officer darren wilson now has been i guess in a sense
12:20 pm
vindicated by the grand jury, but the violence we saw last night, did that achieve anything? and if so, where did they come from? >> you know, i think in the long run the violence from last night obviously hurts the people in the community. it hurts the people who depend on the stores that -- that were burned down. it hurts the people who work at those stores and businesses that were burned down, but i would suggest in response to your lead-up that there is a third path that has been unexplored and that's this -- this -- this path that seeks to really understand the evidence in an open court. i think there's -- there's certainly a feeling of insult that -- that this case never came to open court. that officer wilson never really had an opportunity to explain under some sort of cross-examination what happened. so there's this path that never was explored. it's a road not even less
12:21 pm
traveled, a road untraveled, and that's going to speak very loudly to the sense of mistrust of the community. >> that being said, and i am a child of the 60s, one of the criticisms that came out of the riots in the civil rights era was that neighborhoods of black people burned to the ground. what was accomplished last night by the violence in st. louis and ferguson, missouri as a result of what happened. and was that constructive or just destructive? >> i think there's a certain sense of outrage. and we don't want to excuse the outrage or the violence. and i wrote about this a few months ago, saying that the violence and particularly the looting, there is no place for that. that in the long run it winds up hurting the community.
12:22 pm
the only possible positive was that it got some sort of attention here. but i don't know that it was positive attention. so in the long run i don't think it ends up helping the community and right now the destruction winds up hurting so many lives. >> so what happens now? >> well, i think everyone is talking about healing. personally i think it's too soon to even have that conversation. whatever you heal a wound the first step is to stop the bleeding. the bleeding hasn't stopped yet and it won't stop any time. and there is going to be scarring afterwards. so we need to get past this week. there's a sense of disjointedness. i was out there last night, standing next to one of your al jazeera crews, and we were
12:23 pm
standing in front of the police department debeneath this banner that stretched across the road that said season's greetings. we're about to step into a holiday season and there's this disjointedness right now between the joy that ought to be associated with this holiday and what we're experiencing right now. somehow we have got to get through this, and that is going to be the difficult task ahead of this community and so many communities around the country. >> i want to take our audience back to last night. i want to show you a pea peace -- piece of tape that we have from john terrett. he was doing his reporting. and this is what happened. take a look. [ screaming ] >> john, get in the car! >> no, it's okay. >> you are not going to be okay in a minute.
12:24 pm
>> that's that season's greeting banner that you were talking about. it was such a contrast of what was and what is in ferguson, missouri. now there is the avenue of the federal civil rights investigation. what do you expect to come out of that investigation, and if it does not please the crowd are we looking at a repeat? >> in fact, i was actually standing near john last night when -- when that scene unfolded so i was able to see that up close. i was in the crowd, in fact, that was tear gassed last night. so now as we step forward into the next phase, we have got to see if we get closer to something that some people might call justice. there is this chant that has become popularized called no justice, no peace. the question is, how do you define justice?
12:25 pm
that depends on who is defining it. there is a group of supporters of officer wilson who feel as if we have reached justice, and they are a group to be reckoned with just as well. and then there are others, and in this case i think i might have to include myself who feel that while the justice process has played itself out, that we all could have benefited and could benefit from hearing more of this in open court. >> mr. clark to that point, and i want to remind our audience, that we are awaiting that news conference by the family of michael brown and when that begins, we'll take it to you live. you can see they are setting it up now. to that point that the officer says that justice was served, since day one the people that took to the streets of ferguson, missouri said they wanted a trial. and i asked one of the questions
12:26 pm
then and will ask it now. if there was only one outcome that in the eyes of the people of ferguson, missouri was acceptable, what is the difference between that and a lynch mob? >> yeah, i -- i don't know if the terminology lynch mob really is appropriate or applicable here, because it's so supercharged. the group that you allude to simply wanted some sort of cross-examination -- >> but if they weren't willing to accept whatever the decision was by the grand jury, if there was only one acceptable outcome, was that really a fair process for officer darren wilson? >> so what you are speaking to is how they had their heels dug in from the beginning. >> exactly. >> but actually all sides here had their heels dug in from the beginning. the supporters of officer wilson had their heels dug in from the
12:27 pm
beginning, believing that only one outcome would be acceptable for him. they weren't as vocal as the supporters of michael brown were, but we make a mistake that only one side had an outcome that was acceptable to them. michael brown's supporters and his family, there was going to be only one outcome, but they weren't the only side who had a single acceptable outcome for them. >> jonathan thing you very much. we want to go live now to mike viqueira who is in washington, d.c. there is a very interesting political process playing out as well, the president going on prime time television calling for calm, but the split screen told a different story. >> yeah, i think it was inadvertent del that the split
12:28 pm
screen and having the president come into the briefing room in the immediate tait aftermath of the decision being publicized, really did democrat straight the limits of the presidency, and sort of made the president seem like he was without power. you have the president of the united states on one side calling for calm patiences, and peaceful protests. we spoke of the tensions, and the disproportionate arresting and detainment of black male youths in this country from everything to traffic stops as well as homicides in the communities, and on the other screen you have unrest in the streets. del? >> these are the images coming from st. louis. that is the reverend al
12:29 pm
sharpton. his news announcement is about ready to begin. this is ththe family's attorney. >> good afternoon, i'm attorney benjamin crump along with my co-counsel. we will initially address this press conference, the family's response to the announcement by the prosecutor yesterday. reverend al sharpton and michael brown, sr. will come and address you after the attorney's make their comments. michael brown, sr. will say very little because he doesn't want to misspeak because of such emotions that are going through him that will later be held
12:30 pm
against him. so with that said, we will take a few questions after that agenda is completed and we will try to respect the family of michael brown, jr. in this most terrible, unforgiving hour that they are facing. attorney grey and attorney daryle parks and myself, we objected back in august to this prosecutor. we even wrote a letter to the governor requesting a special prosecutor to be appointed. we objected when he informed us the process that he was going to use that was different than anything else, different than any normal grand jury that you would have