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tv   Nightline  ABC  December 4, 2018 12:37am-1:07am PST

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♪ ♪ this is night line. >> tonight. >> say her name. say her name. say her name. say her name. >> sandra bland found hanging in police custody. >> get out of the car. i will write you up. >> ruled a suicide, but her family said the facts don't add up. >> something horrible happened in that jail. >> new details and evidence revealed surrounding the mysterious death. plus,n amecan president, george herbert walker bush, lying in state at the u.s. capital. a salute from the current commander in chief tonight. the heavy heart of a son and a former president.ouiews t theeas wi thet president on life,isveand the highest and queen of the world.
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♪ hey lo ♪ >> beyonce dropping jaws at the global citizen festival in johannesburg. but first the night light 5. (music throughout)
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good evening. thank you for joining us.
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sandra bland was pulled over for failing to signal a lane change. so, how does she end up hanging in a texas jail cell? and was her race a factor? tonight, a new documentary reveals new evidence and details in the case. >> good morning, my beautiful kings and queens. let's get to work. sandy speaks. >> in video and in person -- >> based on the history america -- >> 28-year-old sandra bland was a force to be reckoned with. >> it is not good when it comes to black and white people. >> she was bold, very unapologetic. >> courageous and unwavering. >> an impassioned activist, she used youtube to amplify her voice. tackling racists. >> i'm going to call out racism where i see t. >> injustice and police brutality. >> now would be the perfect time if you feel like your child is too young to kind of start opening the door to them and educating them on interacting
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with police. >> but six months later on a lonely road in texas, bland would fall victim to the very system she warned about. >> i will write you up. get out. >> pulled over for a minor traffic stop, she would spend three days in jail before she was found dead. police say hanging in her cell. >> as a white believe had it been a white woman this wouldn't have happened? >> 100%. >> at the core of the story is one burning question. >> how do you go from failure to signal a lane change to dead in jail by alleged suicide? >> i believe she left a note, i'll see you guys in court. >> now this complex case is the subject of a new hbo documentary. say her name, the life and death of sandra bland. >> say her name, say her name, say her name. >> here's blake woman found hanged in a jail cell in the deep south. i felt like it couldn't have been suicide. it had to be murder.
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>> film makers husband and wife duo took interest in bland's story and began filming two weeks after she died. among the new evidence they say they found, blandgerpris were n ith h nsegselfwith. and the prosecutor admits some jail logs were falsified. >> there is this list of names of black people who have died at the hands of whitelaw enforcement. and the problem with having a list like that is they're just names. >> being a black person in america is very, very hard. >> it's important for people across the country to really feel that every person who dies unnecessarily is a full-fledged human being. >> sandra's fateful story began july 10, 2015, when she's pulled over by a state trooper brian insinia. >> do you have the license and insurance? >> she complies. goes back to the car, about to hand her a warning. >> you seem very irritated. >> i am. you were tailing me so i move
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over and you stop me. >> ma'am, are you done? >> i don't know about you, but i see, are you done? you're "the mesmessing with som. >> do you mind putting out your cigarette? do you mind? >> i'm in my car. why do i have to put out my cigarette? >> you can step on out now. >> i don't have to step out of my car. >> step out of the car. step out or i will remove you. >> he reaches for bland in the car. with and when she doesn't step out -- >> get out of the car! i will write you up. get out, now! >> she eventually gets out of the car arguing about his tactics, all the while trying to film her interaction with the officer on her cell phone. out of view of the dashcam, she is still cursing and yelling when she forcibly restrains her. >> you are about to break my wrist. will you stop? stop! >> there are people who said then and people who will say now, if she simply had not mouthed off to the officer, she'd be alive today. >> uh-huh. and to that i say, what you're telling me is if rosa had simply
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sat in her seat on the bus and stayed in her place, that it would be okay for us to still be sitting in the back of the bus. >> a female officer with insinio also restrains bland. >> please stop! >> you're a real man now, you just slammed me. >> a bystander's video captures her for being pinned on the ground. she is assaulted for assaulting a public servant. she's not able to post bond. >> sandy called me on july 11 to let me know that she had been arrested. i said, what are you in jail for? she said, you know, i really don't know. and she said, my arm, my arm is hurting really bad. and i could hear her talking to the guards in the background. then she said, i'll call you back. and she hung up the phone.
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and she never called back. i wouldn't wish this hurt on anyone. >> two days later, police say bland is found dead. the medical examination called her death a suicide by hanging. in one of her youtube videos, she did discuss struggling with depression. >> it's a little bit of depression as well as ptsd. >> but her family doubts their sandy who had just gotten a new job opportunity would take her own life. >> her cell was all the way in the back corner. she was in cell number 95. >> the way they choose to phrase it is where she was did not have cameras. but i would think that that would be strange. then how are you monitoring your inmates? why was she in a cell by herself? that's a big cell for one person.
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and when they were wheeling the gurney out, i went, whoa. she's going to be on the gurney, right? oh, no, she wasn't on the gurney. >> her family then commissioned an independent autopsy. >> what do the results show? >> that sandy should be here. there are so many questions left that cannot ever be answered. >> now, in this documentary, you reveal for the first time evidence -- >> yeah. >> maybe the most disturbing one has to do with the noose that was around her neck. it did not have the sort of forensic evidence on it that one would fully expect to find in a hanging. >> what does your heart tell you what happened? >> that something horrible happened in that jail. and that it's something that we will never know. >> is ultimately the answer to your question is, unfortunately, that sandy took her own life, does that at all change? >> she should not have been there in the first place.
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the fact that she was pulled over for a failure to signal a lane change -- >> the system ganged up on her and brought her down. and to that extent, i consider this to be, in one form or another, a type of lynching. and that's what -- >> lynching, that's such a strong word with a dark history in this country. >> it is. >> lynching? >> well, sandra's race, i believe, played a role in how she was treated. i think had she been a white woman, i don't know that officer would have pulled her out at taser point. i don't know that she would have been charged with a felony. >> in the film waller counter sheriff r. glenn maintains his prison is not legally culpable for bland's death. >> do i think the legal operation that this jail have anything to do with her death? no. no, i don't. the moral responsibility at 8:00, if you had gone back there in person, maybe looked at her eyes, then seen, hey, something is going on with her a little
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different, she's stressing. moral responsibility wise, absolutely. >> we reached out to sheriff smith and district attorney elton mathis, but they have not returned our request for comment. but her family insists their sandy's death requires more than an apology. for a woman who dared to demand her dignity and an audacity that cost her her life. >> that's what we're told. if we get a good education, if we show up, then that's our ticket to be free. why do i have to purchase my ticket to be free? just let me be free and exist. >> yes. >> and that's what this issue is about. >> say her name. the life and death of sandra bland is airing now on hbo. and next, george herbert walker bush, his final trip to washington and a presidential salute.
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am i saying it well, l'chaim? l'chaim. maybe you're making merry. l'chaim! or maybe you're making cocoa. don't spill it. maybe you're with the family you got. (all) ooh! or maybe the one you've chosen. it's culture salad. maybe there's lights... there's definitely lights. maybe there's one less this year. or maybe one more. (singing) our holidays don't all look the same. and maybe that's what makes us great. make the dream yours. ikea.
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>> one step. ready, step. ready, step. >> president george herbert walker bush made his final visit to the capital today. met with a ceremony befitting the man, his last act in washington created a moment of unity. here's abc's amy robach. >> i, george herbert walker bush, do solemnly swear -- >> you must feel a responsibility to others. you must believe in serving others. i think that's a fundamental
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tenet of lived in service to our nation, from his days as one of the navy's youngestvice-pres reagan's side, he would then get his own chance as president, making friends across the aisle. his legacy now sealed as a man of great character. a man with a life well lived. today, george herbert walker bush, the 41st president of the united states, remembered fondly as he returned to washington, d.c., for one final farewell. canons fired off a 21-gun salute as hail to the chief played. where eldest son, former president george w. bush, stood fila bushyis ention with his a side, the president's casket was placed on the lincoln catapult in the rotunda where it will lie in state for public viewing
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until his funeral wednesday. ♪ ♪ >> president trump and first lady melania trump stopping by this evening to pay their respects. ♪ ♪ president bush, america's longest-living president, was flown from houston to d.c. on air force one, via special air mission 41, his trusty service dog sully followed him along his journey, waiting for the president on the tarmac. after lying by his side at a funeral home in houston. every living president is expected to attend the funeral. among them, president clinton, who forged an unlikely close bond with his predecessor, one that included fishing trips and philanthropy. president clinton sat down with abc news to reed a portion of the letter left for him by 41 when he took office. >> he said, i wish you great
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happiness here. there will be tough times made even more difficult by criticism. but just don't let the critics discourage you or push you off course. >> how did you feel when you received that letter? >> i thought it was george bush. i thought he meant it, but i also thought he was trying to be a citizen in the highest sense of the word. it was profoundly moving to me personally. >> the death of president bush marks the end of an era in washington politics. over the years, bush discussed with abc news his deep devotion to country and family. >> i've been very blessed. when you look around compared to life to others, how lucky we've been. >> president bush's legacy as a human will be one of great decency and devotion to country and family. >> so much a part of his legacy, a love story 73 years strong, the longest marriage in presidential history. president bush and former first
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lady barbara bush. >> they met at a christmas dance in greenwich, connecticut. my grandmother was wearing her red and green christmas dress. >> i said, who is this good looking girl, that beautiful girl over there? the rest is history. >> barbara bush set eyes on 17-year-old george bush, and never looked back. >> is he still the man you've ever seen? >> yes. my eyesight is getting bad. >> golly. >> will you describe barbara bush for me? >> careful. >> inside or out? >> anyway you want. >> inside. >> a kind and strong and loving person, whose priorities are family, her garden, her faith. >> i like the picture. >> would you describe george bush for us? >> well, i'd like to say ditto. very funny, george is.
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very warm, very wise, very caring. i would put faith as a very important part of george's life, and family, and friends. he's good. >> my grandfather was with my grandmother while she was sick, during her last days. and then on the day that she passed away, he was there all day holding her hand. ♪ ♪ >> at her funeral in april, president bush was next to her casket greeting mourners who would come to pay their respects. >> it absolutely amazed me. there he sat for hours shaking hands, because he knew that they wanted to see him. so, it was one last act of duty. >> after my w backft.
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>> there is breaking news. former president george h.w. bush has now been hospitalized with an infection that has spread to his blood. >> i just remember talking with my mom and my family members and just saying, we just need to get him to maine, because that's really where his heart is. >> and that is where he went, to his beloved home in kennebunk port, maine. >> i just feel relaxed here by the coast. >> he spent his last summer there, surrounded by family, in october attending the wedding of his granddaughter, barbara bush. >> family means everything to me. >> with five surviving children, 17 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, bush was a true family man to his last breath. his final words, "i love you, too," spoken to his son george w. bush on the away quietly at in houston. he will be laid to rest at his presidential library in college
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station, texas, next to his wife and daughter robin. >> i do think that you go to heaven. there is a heaven. and i don't fear it. when i was a little guy, i'd fear death. i'd worried about it. i'd be scared. not any more. >> our thanks to amy. and we'll be right back. >> announcer: abc news night line sponsored by always discrete. discrete. rwear that's actually pretty. surprised? it's called always discreet boutique. it looks and fits like my underwear. i know what you're thinking. how can something this pretty protect? hidden inside is a super absorbent core that quickly turns liquid to gel for incredible protection. so i feel protected and pretty. always discreet boutique. new color. new size.
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♪ ♪ connecting people... ...uniting the world. ♪♪ sfx: stair creak sfx: clink sfx: deep breath sfx: grunt sfx: tinny headphone music sfx: feet shuffling sfx: slice sfx: gasp sfx: inhale. exhale. sfx: lights scraping on roof
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sfx: metallic scrape sfx: grunt covered california. it's more than just health care. it's life care.
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and finally tonight, this year marks the 100th anniversary of nelson mandela's birth. and beyonce, for one, celebrated in style. ♪ ♪ >> queen bey showing her halo in johannesburg, in pink with the south african choir. honoring a man we'll never forget. ♪ ♪
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>> and that's night line for the night. when you can't stay up with us, you can always catch our full episodes on hulu. thanks for the company, america. good night.
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