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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  August 8, 2015 9:00pm-9:31pm EDT

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their own beat. whether it's to the sound of a drum or the crow of a rooster, regardless of what paris is time for the sports news i'm del walters in new york. "america tonight" is next. on "america tonight", the weekend edition - racism, violence and clashes with the police, not where you think. >> nobody talks about the police, deals with the police, everyone is afraid of the police. >> stunning reports from south america and the community echoing the calls to make black lives matter also, return to the flashpoint. a year after michael brown's
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death in ferguson, lori jane gliha with a man the community counted on for change. >> i think we are seeing things move forward in a small way, but things didn't get this way overnight in our nation, and it will take time thanks for joining us, i'm joie chen. one year ago firs was no more than a quiet community in north st. louis until the death of michael brown at the hands of local police, which ignited a flashpoint on race and communities of colour flashing with law enforcement. away from the headlines ferguson struggled to recover from an unintended moment in the spotlight. lori jane gliha followed up in ferguson more than half-a-dozen time since the other national media faded away and gives us an indepth look at what changed in the place where a movement
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began. >> reporter: this is west florissant avenue, the main drag cutting through ferguson, missouri. looking at it now, it may be hard to believe this street was the epicentre of mass protests last august. now, boarded up buildings and graffiti are stark reminders of what happened here. the scene is different from a year ago. [ chanting ] >> reporter: last summer the street was filled with thousands of people. protesting the death of michael brown, and an intense police crackdown. i remember hearing gunfire and ducking for cover. >> tear gas. >> and wearing a mask to protect from the tear gas in the air. police had riot gear and rode in military-style vehicles. >> get out of the street or you'll be subject to the arrest.
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>> the local quick trip rumoured to be a store na michael brown wrobed before being -- robbed before being shot to death burnt to the ground. >> i am sure a lot of people thought it stole from the quick trip. 27-year-old bodene was among the first protesters. >> the protesters didn't start it. there was orsonists that kicked that off. kicking off the first right. >> reporter: what did you think. >> >> this is crazy. >> burnt to the ground, man. >> this is footage shot on the cell phone during the first few days of protest. >> when you look at it now, it's so different. >> i used to come here every night to get snacks and stuff like that, and just to see, like it gone, it's still hard to believe.
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for something this big to in my city. it inspired me to talk about it. >> even with all of the attention on the city. and the ground-breaking of a new job center on the site of an old quick trick. he said there's a long way to go. one year later, this area looks a lot different. is this area different? >> it's still the same. still the same. still a lot of things that need to change, not just within this area, st. louis in general. policing and black relations. not every cop is bad. not every black person that they run into is a thug or trying to
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you know what i'm saying, kill them. this is the place it began, where officer deron wilson shot and killed michael brown. >> a year later a single dove marks the spot where michael brown's body was left for hours. for months, many came to pay respect, building a shrine to michael brown. >> reporter: what did you see when you went outside last year? >> i saw a heavy police presence, and there was a dead body in the middle of the street for five hours. >> chris lives and works at the apartments. >> do you remember what you welt when you saw michael brown. >> i thought it could have been me. >> reporter: he says his community is healing, and every day he does his part. he walks a quarter of a mile up to west florissant, picking up trash. >> how would you say ferguson as
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a whole as changed in the last year? >> probably the most peaceful it's ever been. >> reporter: last year he says his friends would not visit often because police control his community. >> they would be in different parking lots and stuff like that. people drive by rks you pull them over, you see them being toed. this was always at the end of the month. what do you feel in inside. when you see a police car here. it was more so to money as opposed to making the community feel safe. >> reporter: how do you think the police community interaction changes in the last year. >> we see a lot less of them. it's like they are there when you don't need them. not when you do. >> what should they be doing. >> just patrolling. i'm not saying they have to get out and talk to people. just patrolling, letting them know hey, we are here.
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>> newly promoted ferguson police sergeant recognises investigations between the mostly white police department and black community were far from perfect. >> ferguson changed for the better. there's things that were brought to light that we didn't know or overlooked. i'm looking forward as a new sergeant to implementing different types of programs that will help and for other departments who have issues like the past year. i'm learning from mistakes. >> what specifically have you noticed that has changed at your department since last august. >> interacting with the citizens more and the officers being there for one another. i have never seen officers smile and hey, good morning. just the camaraderie that we have. >> last summer tensions between police and protesters were high.
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state police captain worked around the clock, trying to keep the piece. today he insists he sees a change, more dialogue and listening. progress. i seen the community come together and reach out to each other, and we are seeing families living outside the north country coming in and sharing and the healing and change. i think we are seeing things move forward in a small way, but things didn't get this way overnight in our nation, and it will take time. many people were affected by what happened in ferguson. the shooting sparked months of protest.
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and the a movement nationwide. for sum, like the owner of the strip mall. it's been a time of rebuilding. >> this man owns what is left of this popular strip mall on west florissant avenue. over the past year, vandals ransacked several of his ferguson areas businesses multiple times. in november, this building burnt to the ground. >> national guard guarded the gas station, standing here with a gun. no one came here, stopping the guys. the guys torching the building town. >> also, they owned a market down the street. the august 2014 - he shared surveillance video with "america tonight", showing someone shooting out his windows in a large group, looting his store. >> all your hard work and life savings. >> do you remember what we were standing on a year ago. >> smashed bottles and scratch-up tickets. all my things were right on the ground. >>
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>> how much do you think the community has changed. they've gone through a lot in the last several months. has it changed? >> i think so. i think so. not only ferguson, this happened so many different places in america. i think people are more aware and more concerned. i think everybody learnt lessons, and also the police department. now ha they can't schoot and ask questions later, as they did before. i think it has changed. >> much has changed on the streets for business owners and residents. for ferguson native, the fight started after michael brown was killed, a fight for justice continues. . >> to be honest, not much has changed. there's still an ongoing struggle l every day which they are fighting for justice. >> seal stood with bodene and michael brown's mother on the night they learnt there would be no indictment against the officer. >> i'm glad it was recognised on a global stage.
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so many around the world don't understand. they say the attention has not done much. >> something is terribly wrong with our system. it needs to change. we need to talk about what they'll do and what should be done. seal says he's doing his part to help fix up the area where he grew up. he recently helped convert a school into a gym to get kids off the street. he is ready for a new beginning. many like him are ready for ferguson to move out of the spotlight and into a future bringing everyone together next, a second look at another spark that ignited furore in ferguson. the armed forces, america's
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police departments. later, black lives matter, in a place you might not expect. why the deaths of michael brown and freddie gray are immortalized in brazil. brazil.
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we tend to see the only spark ta ignited ferguson, as the death of michael brown, at the hands of a local police officer. investigation into brown's death uncovered a grim reality that simmering tensions between law enforcement and the community saw citizens locked up to minor offenses and tickets handed out were the real fuel that burnt in the flashpoint. a year later, with the reality
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exposed, "america tonight"s lori jane gliha went back to ferguson to find out what, if anything, has changed. >> this was once kiarna williams home, and the car she was in when police arrested her last june. >> i went straight to gaol and stayed for two weeks. >> it's not the first time she was locked up in st. louis county, but enough to make her stop driving. >> how many times do you think you have been to court, jam, gotten -- gaol, gotten fined and fees? >> oh, my gosh, a lot. all mixed together, about 50. >> reporter: 50 times. >> about 50 times. >> reporter: the 37-year-old says she's not a hardened criminal. >> you have $300 two years later for many of the same case numbers. she's guilty of traffic violations and years of failing
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to pay the fines and fees that go with them. what would have happened if when you got the first ticket, you were able to pay that in fuel. >> i imagine my life being very different. i imagine finishing my degree. i imagine being able to earn a living. i imagine i wouldn't be sitting here today. >> reporter: williams' story is not unique in st. louis, a region with 90 different municipalities within a mile of each other. 81 have their own local court, many imposing gaol time on those that fail to play. in a march report the department of justice said the city's revenue-driven court system imposed hardship on vulnerable residents, especially those
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living on or near poverty. the city took action, eliminating unnecessary fees or punishments for failing to appear in court. in june, city leaders brought in a municipal court judge to manage the reforms. >> i have the blueprint of the justice department. i have the blueprint of the supreme court. so i have the direction in terms of what needs to be done. some of those processes have taken place. >> in his first national tv interview, he told "america tonight" that he's going to make important changes in ferguson. >> i do not make my decisions based on revenue, i make them based on justice. i understand the problems of the poor. i understood what it was to be poor. i have been poor, i've had problems consolidating paying bills. >> with him in charge, he'll be on the bench for 10 months, he's
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74 years old and has to retire by 75. how much can you accomplish in 10 months? >> i think you can accomplish a lot. much has been accomplished. we have addressed most of those concerns. it's not a difficult process to address the concerns. >> i think a lot of people are just now learning their power, and just not going to allow the things to continue on. i think that's a good thing, you know next - a black community in conflict with its police, but not where you might expect. other stories of ferguson, stat jen island, north charleston are echoed in brazil's "black lives matter" movement. matter" movement.
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for all the coverage of police clashes with minority neighbourhoods, ferguson, stattan island and the rest, you might think conflict between law enforcement and the community's colour is a phenomenon unique to this country, but it's not. brazil, with a higher rate faces serious allegations of excessive police force against minorities. police there have killed more black brazilians in the last five years than african-americans killed in the last three decades. we go to the streets of brazil - there's racism in both countries. >> i am 23 years old. i'm from west baltimore
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maryland. being black in americas means living in a world designed to make you believe your life has no value. i never believed that. i was taught the truth. i thu that my people -- knew that my people loved this country. i became obsessed with comparing systems with brazil. so coming here, i took it. being outdoors is to be connected to africa. whether it's the food you eat, the music you play. those things come directly from your culture, from west africa. brazil is home to the second largest group of african descendants in the world. 90% of the population in
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salvador is black. the celebration of african culture is everywhere here, it's important to salvador. i'm able to be myself in salvador. the level of freedom i have here is huge. i developed an ease in my skin living here. here everyone is like me. in salvador, i see black faces of different shades. i feel a sense of amazement because we weren't supposed to survive, basically. people who - people who were slaves, every country treated us differently in regards to how they wanted to get rid of us. brazil, specifically, their plan was if we import white people
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and let them procreate the blacks will disappear. it did not, whites disappear, and you have brazil as we know it. that, for me, is wild. the connection between salvador and baltimore is very strong. salvador was elected by the government and genderfication passed. just like we have to give baltimore an advance on black people. it's always there. a terrifying situation. there has been struggle of the black persons from the state. >> right now, we are at a site where 13 young black men were massacred during a carnival. the police lined them up against
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the wall and shot them. >> negligence - it's like he didn't care. >> it opens up to america. proud noise. el salvador... . in el salvador no one talks about the police, we don't deal with the police, police can kill you, they come to the marches and take pictures of the people, and like we are coming for you. they have military-type guns,
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and they come through. this kind of violence is still common. it's normal. even though black people are the majority facing abuse from police. the counters thing is many police officers are black themselves. it doesn't matter. they'll kill you for no reason. if they see something from a person that's not brazil. he's dying. you may watch it. someone pick pockets and you tell the police, he'll be shot on sight. i came toll brazil the month
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michael brown was killed. i grew up near baltimore. most here were with the people of baltimore, they knew what was going on. that was great. michael brown and freddie gray were on the wall. i wasn't at the riots, but i see here other blacks. the fact i was here in brazil during the incident and watch someone commemorate here is cool. and to know that initially i thought a lot of people know, but people walking past "i know them from tv", it's nice. it's a good memorial and all that stuff. >> it's not nice to know ferguson and baltimore are known as a place where people are killed.
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still very sad. today i'm getting a tattoo. it's a portuguese translation of some of us are brave. i felt like that summed up what it means to be black and female. that's what i learnt in el salvador. my journey is about being brave. el salvador always you see it. i'm not looking forward to being thrust back into the anger and hate. i've been living in one of the most dangerous cities, with one of the most violent forces against the people. and they are still there.
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even in their misery and suffering, they smile at each other, and they are affectionate. they have not lost site of that. it's survival a view from brazil. >> that's "america tonight". tell us what you think at"america tonight". talk to us at twitter or facebook and come back when we have more of "america tonight". >> it creates a huge opportunity for the small business owners. >> these are all different strains.
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