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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  August 7, 2015 2:00am-2:31am EDT

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that are illegal. the fact is that somebody will host the content. do you want someone to be a good guy about it, or someone that doesn't give a hoot about the problem . >> it's been a year since the shooting of michael brown, an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer. brown's death brought outrage that had been simmering for years to the surface, thrusting the city of ferguson, missouri on to the world stage. a year later, that community is bracing for another weekend of protests. while the family of michael brown try to ensure that he did not die in vain. ferguson - one year later. it's "inside story".
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welcome to "inside story", i'm lisa fletcher in for ray suarez. when michael brown was shot and killed by a white police officer, the protest focused on the long-troubled relationship between police, and minorities in the country. almost a year later, the chosen for change foundation, the organization founded by michael brown's family is planning a weekend of peaceful events. to celebrate brown's life and remember his death. as you are about to see in tony harris's exclusive interview, her emotions are raw and the palpable.
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>> he shot my - my... when i get there, it was in the street. i said it once, but i had no idea, i don't know. i can't remember. >> reporter: what do you think when i mention the name darren wilson? what comes to mind? >> the devil. that comes to mind. evil. you know, if he is somebody's son, so getting a peak into his life, with his mother is something i
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would like to know. he hurt my boy, he hurt him bad. >> he may be someone's son, but he doesn't think much of your son, even to this day. >> even to the day. so how was he raised. >> it was a new interview. >> yes. >> that i don't think you are aware of with darren wilson. in the new yorker magazine. here is what he said. do i think about who he was as a person? not really. because it doesn't matter at this point. do you think he had the best upbringing? no. not at all. take that in for a second. what do you think?
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just what i said, that he's evil. he's devilish, and we definitely no he didn't have the right upbring, because those are words you don't use especially after you took someone's life, and you know you did. you had no reason to do that. what he did, last year. it hurt me really bad. so his words mean nothing to me. >> have you forgiven him? >> never. never lesley mcfad indencoming to terms a year after michael brown's death. >> michael brown's death change said ferguson and its residents, some dramatic, some subtle. lori jane gliha spent more time in ferguson. she joins
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us now from there. no doubt, what are some of the more dramatic changes. physically in the community. >> some. changes you see, one of the most dramatic ones are behind me. >> this is a quick trip, a convenience store rumoured to be the place that michael brown robbed before he was killed. it was a rallying point for protesters, eventually it was burnt to the ground. that's why you don't see it. they raised it recently. there was a ground-breaking ceremony, the urban league will put in a groundbreaking. that's a dramatic change. if you continue on, there's a lot of areas, vacant lots, places that were damaged during the unrest in november and august. a couple of weeks ago we were
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here, and i saw the demolition of a business. as far as the rebuilding process, it's happening. it's going a little slow. >> lori jane gliha talk about the less visible change, something that an outsider wouldn't notice, but something that would be recognised. >> in recent weeks, we have seen a new municipal court judge brought in to manage reforms that they'll put into the court system, trying to move it away from the revenue based system, moving it back to a justice based system. we see another new face, still don't have a permanent. a guy planning to do more training. we talked to some of the residents, a few people noticing a change from policing tactics. less ticketing. the place where michael brown
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was headed when he was killed, one of the residents said they'd seen a few police there more than in recent weeks. different to what they remembered last year? >> they'd be on different parking lots. people would drive by, they'd pull them over. you saw someone's car dragged. >> reporter: how do you think ferguson as a whole changed? >> probably the most peaceful it's been since. >> i of people frustrated. i think things are moving slowly. at the same time people recognise that things are not going to change. >> we turn now to patricia vines, a democratic woman for ferguson township. thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> absolutely, notable things
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have occurred in ferguson. a year ago we had five of the six members of the ferguson council as whites, and now it's a 50/50 black-white split. a black judge is overseeing the court. a new chief of police, african-american was hired. is it too simple to boil ferguson down to a race issue? >> yes. it is way too simple to boil it down to a race issue. there's many underlying factors of what is driving the ferguson story. there's waste, community building. police brutality. ferguson. >> let's say the new chief of police is successful and addresses the disproportionate targeting of blacks. let's say he created a better atmosphere between law enforcement and the community. he's powerless to address
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poverty and lack of development. it goes hand in hand with crime and unrests. how is the city dealing with these issues? >> you're right. we need a wholistic approach to all of the things that have come out of ferguson, because it's not just happening in ferguson or st. louis region, but in the country as a whole. i think that the members of the council, and a mayor - this is a message sent to them loud and clear. there's only so much that the government can do in job creation, in this kind are kind of thing. we need the business community to come forward as well and play a huge role in what is taking place. we see initiatives that have come down from the city council, the country council from the governor's office. we need the business world, the nonprofit world and government working hand in and are hand with the issues.
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>> do you see evidence that businesses, none profits, governments and police embraced the idea of reunification to make ferguson and places like it a better place. >> i do. you have the ferguson commission that has not come out with its report, but it has over 100 things that they are looking to tackle. and they understand that these issues are very much intertwined. you have the urban league which is setting up an office where the quick trip was, we have nonprofit coming in. a boys and girls club has opened in ferguson. and certainly the ferguson police department itself is taking a look at how it does training and police culture. i do see these things happening. it's going to be slow, they are just intertwined. it's hard to get a measure on things. we seem to move in the right direction, even though it's at a slow pace.
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>> i know that you lost your 17-year-old nephew to gun violence at the hands of a 15-year-olds, i'm so sorry. how has that changed or fortified your resolve to create a better future for the young people of ferguson? >> i've been working on the issues before ferguson sat on the board, where we worked with juveniles. tackling the issues is not new. this made it so much more personal. it brought the urgency home. myself and my person started the nonprofit. they can reach out and make better choices. this makes it more personal. >> thank you for sharing your story. when we return, a city wracked by violence, plagued with racial tensions is working to make a change. we are talking to two activists
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trying to turn something bad into something good. not in vain - ferguson one year later, this is the "inside story". >> what did you see when you went outside last year? >> there was a dead body in the middle of the street... for 5 hours. >> there's a lot of work to be done. >> they need to quite talking about what should be done and do it. >> there's clearly an issue and we have to focus on how we bridge that. >> a lot of innocent lives are still being lost.
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>> i'm lisa fletcher in for luis suarez. together on the show, ferguson, a year later, after michael brown's death. ferguson went from being a small city to a symbol of national
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debate over equality and social injustice. some good has come from the ashes of destruction. a new era of black leadership and a call for economic justice. joining us, reverend, a social activist with the fellowship of reconciliation, focused on the youth movement. and mr simmonds, director of the organization for black struggle, founded in the 1980s by students, activists, to me the black community politically, economically and culturally is there a difference of opinion between age groups when change? >> no, i would not characterise it as a difference of opinion. in fact, i think our generation is very much learning, and has learnt from the generation that held the baton before us. we are taking a lot of tactics
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that they use, things like popular education, freedom schools and using nonviolence redaction, civil disobedience, these things are embedded in what we do. i don't think there's a difference in the way we are applying tactics. there is an advance on what they do, expanding the way that we reach boats. a lot of tactics - some are open source. it's set up in such a way that we don't have to be coordinated. disruption. >> i would almost consider your organization mainstream in its tactics, it's been 30 plus years. reverend. you have been active. do you find the young people embracing the principles or are
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they looking to a new way to alter the landscape, doing something different out of box. >> first, it's an organization that is critical in the development of many of us in the greater st. louis region and we struggled along side the organization, as well as other organizations that have been around longer. the difference in this moment is two fold. one, we see the emergence the eraddicality among the black youth, those that are benefitting from the infrastructure, benefitting from older organizations, and part of what is unique is we build upon and expand the use of technologies, but ferguson is the longest rebellion. it's second to the montreal busboy in terms of duration and impact. it's a unique moment. a moment of
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montgomerie, sell ma. part of that uniqueness has to do with the way black, poor, queer, women, single mothers are at the forefront of the leadership. while some are deploying the rich and nonviolence. building upon the rich legacy of organization of black struggles, we see that it looks different. sounds different. led. >> is there unification within the black community that we have not seen in the past emerging out of ferguson. >> what we have seen - yes, what has emerged over 365 days, a global response to the delay of our son's body in the street for 4.5 hours, and the un-democratic repressed and engagement by the police forces in the greater st. louis area.
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we see it over the world. whether it's israeli, ethiopians and israel proper, whether it's black folks in paris or tottenham in london. that's global resistance inspire said by young people in a multi race, multi gender and military aged intergenerational coalition inspiring the nation to take into account the ways in which racism hamper americans. >> talk about specifically what the organization for black struggle is doing to improve its relationship. we talk about police taking the initiative to bridge the gap. what is the black community in ferguson doing to meet them halfway. to change the course of history. >> i don't want to misconstrue how work is playing out. it's not directly in conversation with police.
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our argument and these sis is that police, as institutions, out of the relationship with the community, most is with the affected people. it hasn't been affected by brutality. recommendation... >> are you making a recommendation to these people as you organise them, as to how to approach law enforcement, perhaps, in a different manner, something that may help bridge a divide. >> no, our recommendation. the biggest problem that we have seen is since august 9th, is that police. we have directly confronted. those that are involved in controlling the departments and deployment, and making sure that they treat folks like human
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being, that's an underlying issue that police officer objectify and dehumanize people who actually exist in their purview, and those they confront every day. in talking to people, citizens, voters, first and foremost you have a right, a right if you do engage in nonviolent action, you have a right to actually exist free from fear. in too many communities, here and st. louis and across the countries, police engender fear in the communities they sit ute themselves in. especially in the communities in which i live. i live in the city. they show up as an occupying force than a force for good. we are more likely to see them harassing people than solving crimes. that's our experience. >> thank you both for joining us. we appreciate your time. michael brown was unarmed when he was killed by darren wilson,
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following a struggle. a grand jury recommended that wilson was not charged. that is a decision seen by some as a piece of evidence that the minorities. >> as the call for change in how police do their job - has it gone unanswered. we explore it not in vain. it is "inside story". >> there's a line of police advancing toward the crowd here. >> ferguson: city under siege. >> it isn't easy to talk openly on this base. >> and america's war workers. >> it's human trafficking. >> watch these and other episodes online now at
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welcome back to "inside story", i'm lisa fletcher in for ray suarez. police officer darren wilson was not charged in the death of michael brown. that did not stop the ferguson police department from the reach of the d.o.j. they said in a report, that the ferguson police department, almost all whites, targeted blacks with arrest and excessive force. we are joined by the chairman of the district columbian police union. thank you for being here. >> thank you for having mean. >> the d.o.j. report was it a wake-up call for police departments across the country, particularly those that deal with issues like ferguson does. >> i think there are background issues about ferguson that are different. the political climate for ferguson, where you have a population that is 67% that did not vote to make sure the city council and the mayor's office and the police department
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reflected that. i was listening as the city council woman said they were 50/50. they are exercising the power, and the fact that darren wilson was not charged at the state level. he was investigated at the federal level and cleared. some of the bitterness towards darren wilson and that he killed michael brown. ignored the credit. turning to your question, the district is different to a place of ferguson. talking about d.c. specifically. i referenced that because they were here. did the police department step in. they came out with a report saying the police department needs to wake up. >> i think police departments are awake. as you prefaced in the early part.
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it took part in ferguson, a big part of the people in ferguson, what the people had, was the way the judicial system was set un, the courts, the municipal operation, through enforcement of traffic fines, as communities listen and pay attention, the small communities, the police departments, the 50 officers or less should take note, and the elected officials that run them, that you should not set up a scheme, because it incentivizes going out and writing tickets, which is not the way you want to the operate. >> the other issues they had, they were targeted by police, they were treated brutally, as said in the previous segment. they looked at that as less than human, they want to be respected and not targeted. >> one of the things about what was said, all police officers were painted with a broad brush. he didn't specify - i'm talking
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about the ferguson police department. if you are a policeman and you worked in ferguson, and are not engaged in any activity, god help you. you are a racist. we have to be careful of language used when we describe people. imagine if we were talking about women and blacks or some other minority or using the language that they use. language is important. we have to make sure that we talk about everybody fairly and can be fair to everyone. >> we talk a lot - especially in the wake of incidents like michael brown and eric garner and freddie gray, the mistrust between communities and police officers, and how residents don't just you trust police, does it gone both ways, do some fear the communities in which they work? >> some probably do. one of the things missing from the conversation seems to be
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missing when we have the conversation about race, we act as if racism is a police problem in the united states of america. the country was founded on the principles when the compromise was built in so some could have political power. for hundreds of years, the racial system was enforced by the judges, by police officers, by legislatures, citizens and business owners. since the 1960s, when we made tremendous progress, other entities seem to forget they were engaged in racism. everyone now think that police is the racist part of society. that is not true. america has problems. >> do you see an outlier in your community, in the black community? here you are, a black former police officers. >> i'm still a police officer. >> who is defending police in general.
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when so much of the black community is antipolice and law enforcement and has the same stories of abuse and racism. are you viewed as an outlier. >> i may be viewed that way, i'm not concerned about that. here is why. perspective is important. the black community views the police in the united states through historical racist perspective. so when we do anything to do with policing, it doesn't matter what the facts are, because your history, your narrative is that this organization, policing has always been discriminatory. discrimination. >> i live in a jurisdiction that was mostly white, and now is black. the attitudes run by those is the same as ferguson, missouri. >> thank you so much. >> thank you for having me tomorrow on the programme - we'll break down the first
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g.o.p. debate. i'm lisa fletcher. that's "inside story". on "america tonight" - speaking out for a sister and for justice. >> the emotional, your feelings . you are like why aren't they saying my sister's name? women and the law. when they are victims of silence. >> what has defined the ultimate frame of racism


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