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tv   Nightline  ABC  May 16, 2017 12:37am-1:08am PDT

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apologize to matt damon. we ran out of time. "nightline" is next. good night! this is "nightline." >> tonight the breaking news. a stunning report that president trump shared classified information about possible terror attacks with the russians. but vehement denials tonight from two top administration officials. plus, a family's pledge. >> it looked like he got hit by a car. he was in bad shape. >> the family of the penn state student who died after a fraternity hazing ritual speaking out about those heartbreaking hospital moments. >> the nurse brought me forward, told me to kiss him good-bye. >> new details from a grand jury report that shocked his long-time girlfriend. who the family now says must be held accountable. >> they treated him like a rag doll, like he was road kill. and made in the shade. fifth harmony singer normani
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kordei opening up about the interview mishap that led to months of cybertorment. >> i got bullied like terribly on social media. it was really ugly. >> how she turned her darkest days of catching shade and racist hatred into that perfect score performance on "dancing with the stars." >> 10! >> there you go. >> but first here tonight, the "nightline" 5. and number 1 is coming
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jts . good evening. and tonight you are going to hear wrenching words from a family living a nightmare. their beloved 19-year-old son tim piazza died after an alcohol-fueled night of hazing at a fraternity house in penn state university. for nearly 12 hours the frat brothers allegedly let tim suffer without calling for any help. and now his family is on a mission. >> he was all covered up with warming blankets. we were trying to find a spot of skin to touch. >> reporter: the heartbreaking final moments between a mother and her child. evelyn piazza grappling with the senseless alcohol-related death of her son tim after he was allegedly left dying for hours at a pledge event in a penn state university fraternity house. >> the nurse brought me forward and told me to kiss him good-bye. it was hard. and that's what you think of
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when you close your eyes. >> it looked like he got hit by a car. he was in bad shape. he was on full life support. his eyes were half open. he wasn't there. >> reporter: piazza's death has once again raised serious questions across the country about the dangers of hazing in the greek system. tim's older brother mike is also a student at penn state. >> were you specifically worried about the hazing and drinking? >> i knew that there's kind of a culture of partying with penn state greek life, but i didn't expect anything like what happened. i had no expectation for any of that. >> reporter: friends and family remember tim as a caring and fun-loving 19-year-old. can you tell me about the wrist bands you're wearing? >> our family had wrist bands made that say live like tim and never stop laughing. >> this is tim's thumb print. having this is like holding his hand. >> reporter: his girlfriend kaitlin tempalski says she met
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tim in a prevention program that among other things educated teens about alcohol abuse. you were surprised that he wanted to join a fraternity in the first place? >> i was a little bit. i just think he was looking for that brotherhood. but unfortunately that's not what he got. >> reporter: on the night of february 2nd prosecutors say tim and 13 other beta theta pi pledges participated in a hazing ritual called the gauntlet, consuming four to five drinks in just two minutes. >> they had to go from station to station and chug alcohol. >> reporter: tim then reportedly had a catastrophic fall. one brother allegedly texting another, "he fell 15 feet down a flight of stairs, hair first. going to need help." tim was reportedly lying unconscious on the stair landing and was then carried to a couch. >> after he got hurt, they treated him like a ragdoll, like he was road kill. they slapped him. they threw water in his face. they punched him. they sat on him. >> reporter: kordel davis who was in the room and has not been charged in tim's death says he did everything in his power to get somebody to help his friend.
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>> i lost it. i was like -- i was screaming and yelling, i was saying we need to take him to the hospital, we should call an ambulance, dial 911. >> it's nice that he had good intentions at the time. but i don't know why anybody didn't pick up a phone. >> reporter: a grand jury report released on friday sheds light on what allegedly happened inside that fraternity house, detailing surveillance video that the report says captured nearly eight hours of the sophomore's increasing distress. >> this was the worst possible debauchery and depravity that you could possibly have. the acts of callousness toward a young man who was horribly wounded and was left to die. >> reporter: after 10:00 a.m. the following morning tim was reportedly found lying on the couch breathing heavily with blood on his face. >> he had very serious injuries. he had irreversible brainstem injury. >> reporter: but allegedly, no one immediately called 911. the report says at 10:35 a.m.
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one brother was searching on his phone for the phrase "falling asleep after head injury" and a few minutes later at 10:41 a.m. "binge drinking alcohol bruising or discoloration, cold feet and cold hands." then at 10:48 a.m. the report says the brothers finally decided to call 911, nearly 12 hours after tim's fall, raising little alarm on the call about tim's dire condition and giving the dispatcher precious few details. >> when they finally did call for help, they did not tell anyone that he had fallen. >> reporter: tim died the next day in the intensive care unit. his blood alcohol level was .40. five times the legal limit according to the report. prosecutors allege his frat brothers were trying to cover up their drinking and coordinate a story. >> of course it's a tragedy. but that doesn't mean there was any intent involved in any of this. >> reporter: my colleague gio benitez spoke with the d.a.
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handling tim's case. >> this was a death caused by recklessness, and it didn't have to happen. >> reporter: penn state has now permanently banned the fraternity beta theta pi stating "hazing and dangerous drinking are not permitted." and in a statement to abc news today penn state said, "this is heart-wrenching for the family and our entire community," adding "while penn state has one of the most aggressive student misconduct policies in the country it is complicated by the fact that fraternities at penn state and other universities are independent from the university, which is why we must work together." do you have thoughts about what specific changes you would like to see on campus life across the country? >> they should have no underaged drinking whatsoever. they should have bouncers and bartenders at any fraternity function where there's alcohol being served. >> reporter: 18 beta theta pi members are facing an array of charges related to tim's death. eight of them charged with involuntary manslaughter and assault and recklessly endangering a life. all have pled not guilty and are
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out on bail. >> hazing has to be a felony in all states. it's not in pennsylvania. >> reporter: 44 states have anti-hazing laws. but pennsylvania considers hazing a misdemeanor. the consequences of hazing can be dire. at least one person has died from the practice every year since 1969. among them 19-year-old chun michael deng. in 2013 authorities say members of the pi delta psi frat from baruch college forced deng and his fellow pledges to run across a frozen field blindfolded, weighted down with 30-pound backpacks, all while being assaulted. >> he was singled out, and he was treated harsher than the other pledges. >> reporter: deng lost consciousness, and police say it took the students nearly two hours before they drove him to a hospital. he later died. >> a lot of individuals who refused to cooperate, they lied to the police, they hid and tried to hide evidence. >> reporter: just today four brothers from pi delta psi pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter
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and hindering apprehension in the michael deng case. later this week the frat brothers charged in tim piazza's death will face a judge in a preliminary hearing. >> we will not stop until justice is done for them and for tim. >> reporter: penn state says it has placed a hold on the fraternity members facing charges who were scheduled to graduate this spring. as for tim's family, they say they're considering filing wrongful death lawsuits against penn state, the fraternity, and the individual fraternity members. >> we have to be the advocates for change. tim is not just our son anymore. he represents every son and daughter of every family that has someone that they want to send to college that they want to participate in greek life. >> to everybody in greek life i just want to say if you truly value your brotherhood or sisterhood hold each other accountable. you have the opportunity to be pillars of leadership on campus. do the right thing.
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>> and we do move on now to the breaking headline tonight. the white house is denying some potentially damaging allegations. and here's abc's david wright with this story. >> reporter: what did donald trump tell the russians in that chummy closed-door meeting last week in the oval office? tonight, this exclusive "washington post" story is causing a major stir, alleging that in that meeting trump revealed classified information about an isis plot to use laptop computers in terror attacks aboard airplanes. "in his meeting with lavrov, the russian foreign minister, trump seemed to be boasting about his inside knowledge of the looming threat," writes the post. the post says the information the president shared was code word clearance, highly classified, and shared privately with the u.s. by a foreign government, a key partner in the fight against isis. >> if it's true, obviously it's
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disturbing. but i think we've got to find out more before i could comment. >> reporter: the meeting with the russians was already controversial. the morning after trump fired the fbi director who was overseeing the investigation into possible collusion between trump associates and the russians during the 2016 campaign. according to the "post" the president not only shared with the russians what he knew about the alleged plot but also what city in syria the alleged ally uncovered it in. the identification of the location was seen as particularly problematic, officials told the "post," because russia could use that detail to help identify the u.s. ally or intelligence capability involved. >> the story that came out tonight as reported is false. >> reporter: tonight trump's national security adviser issued a carefully worded denial. >> at no time, at no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed. and the president did not disclose any military operations
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that were not already publicly known. >> reporter: he wasn't the only top white house official to take issue with the "post's" reporting. deputy national security adviser deena powell said, "this story is false. the president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced." i'm david wright for "nightline" in new york. next here on "nightline," fifth harmony singer normani kordei on confronting social media hate. i sure had a lot to think about. what about the people i care about? ...including this little girl. and what if this happened again? i was given warfarin in the hospital, but wondered, was this the best treatment for me? so i asked my doctor. and he recommended eliquis. eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots and reduces the risk of them happening again. yes, eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots. eliquis also had significantly less major bleeding than the standard treatment. both made me turn around my thinking.
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fifth harmony singer normani kordei says she has confronted racism her entire
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life but even she was shocked by the deluge of bigotry from anonymous internet trolls that she says drove her off social media. her response, a deeply personal performance on "dancing with the stars." here's abc's nick watt. >> the first couple who will be dancing in the finals next week is normani and val! >> reporter: earlier tonight normani kordei made it all the way to abc's "dancing with the stars" final three. ♪ i know you're always on the night shift ♪ she is of course one fraction of fifth harmony. ♪ we can work from home yeah. "work from home." >> i felt really alone. >> reporter: but it's the 20-year-old's bold confession from last week that will live so much longer in the memory. >> i got bullied like terribly on social media. i did an interview. it was taken out of context completely, and there were images. people were calling me like the n word.
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like it was really ugly. >> reporter: and the contemporary dance that inspired. ♪ ♪ freedom she won over len, the traditionalist. >> they were spellbound, and so was i. >> reporter: scored a perfect 40. >> 40 out of 40! ♪ looking for freedom >> reporter: dancing to "freedom" by anthony hamilton and elena boynton, the message, be yourself, love who you are, ignore the haters. then she sat down with us. are you ever concerned you're going to stir up the haters again? >> i think it's a conversation that needed to be talked about. and it's my responsibility to talk about it. >> reporter: fifth harmony was touring when normani gave this interview to "galore" magazine. >> very quirky.
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>> reporter: that tiny pause unleashed a torrent of vile trolling. >> i was getting racial slander. images of me being hung, whipped, beaten. and it really affected me. >> maybe i'm just being a naive middle-aged white man, but i'm surprised at the racial aspect of this. i really am. from a younger generation. >> right. >> reporter: apparently, some people thought she was dissing a bandmate. >> being shady as they call it, as the kids call it nowadays. and i was not. >> reporter: she apologized for any inadvertent offense. it got worse. do you know who any of these people were who were attacking you on social media? >> no. just trolls. >> reporter: sadly, cyberbullying is now an ever-present fear for middle schoolers and stars alike. brought into sharp focus last summer when "snl's" leslie jones was forced to quit twitter after racist and misogynist trolling when the all-female "ghostbusters" reboot came out. she tweeted "it's just too much. it shouldn't be like this. so hurt right now."
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twitter took action, banned the ring leader. then jones' website was hacked. she hit back with humor on "snl." >> if you want to see les leon jones naked, just ask. [ laughter ] >> reporter: normani last summer was also trolled into quitting all social media. >> and i feel like then i became the more reserved and closed-off person and i get afraid of letting people in. >> reporter: normani came to fame back in 2012 on "the x factor." one of the team girls molded by simon cowell into fifth harmony. young stars of the internet age. >> normani kordei and val. >> reporter: that's normani's "dancing with the stars" partner val chmerkovskiy. >> the older generation isn't really understanding what that is. you know, they look at oh, it's just a computer, don't read it. >> you need to have a social media profile. >> i do. it's part of my job. >> reporter: normani was raised in new orleans. >> i went to a predominantly white school, and i stuck out because i was the black girl,
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but i would get teased for the color of my skin and wonder why. i remember we were playing outside and the first thing that this girl, this little girl could tell me was "leave me alone you burnt biscuit." where do you get that from? especially being so young. >> is it worse the second-grader in the playground or the multitudes of faceless people on social media? >> it honestly felt the same. ♪ >> reporter: so does dance every monday night on tv for entertainment and maybe just a little more. >> going back to the dance i hope i was vocal enough. i think at the end of the day us as humans we just need to really be more sympathetic toward each other. >> do you still get some of that hate? >> yeah. every day. what i learned in how to deal with it is recognizing that it has absolutely nothing to do about me. it's genuinely an insecurity that other people have, with themselves or something they lack that you may have. >> i was scared for so long to say exactly what it is that i
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had felt. it's just taking courage, and luckily people have supported me, and a lot of people were inspired by my story too. >> reporter: i'm nick watt for "nightline." ♪ what a wonderful world los angeles. next, why the internet is having a meltdown over statements from the new miss usa. when you're close to the people you love, does psoriasis ever get in the way of a touching moment? if you have moderate to severe psoriasis, you can embrace the chance of completely clear skin with taltz. taltz is proven to give you a chance at completely clear skin. with taltz, up to 90% of patients had a significant improvement of their psoriasis plaques. in fact, 4 out of 10 even achieved completely clear skin. do not use if you are allergic to taltz. before starting you should be checked for tuberculosis. taltz may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. tell your doctor if you are being treated
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and finally tonight, another vivid indication that the trickiest part of a beauty pageant may not be the swimsuit but instead the interviews. >> miss usa 2017 is -- district of columbia! >> reporter: kara mccullough beaming, accepting her crown as miss usa, besting 50 contestants and getting lots of attention, maybe not so much for the formal or swimsuit rounds but for what she said in the always unpredictable interview segment. host julianne hough asked the 25-year-old nuclear chemist -- >> do you think affordable health care for all u.s. citizens is a right or a privilege, and why? >> i'm definitely going to say it's a privilege. as a government employee i am
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granted health care, and i see firsthand that for one to have health care you need to have jobs. >> miss d.c.'s answer on this contentious topic quickly sent twitter into a frenzy. some voicing their support for mccullough while others were less than pleased. mccullough now says she hopes to use her platform to get kids interested in math and science. and you can tune in to "gma" tomorrow for an exclusive interview with miss usa. thanks for watching abc news tonight. as always, we're online 24/7 at
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