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tv   Nightline  ABC  April 22, 2021 12:37am-1:06am PDT

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♪ this is "nightline." >> tonight, turning pain into purpose. the families behind the headlines reacting to the chauvin verdict. >> tears just came to my eyes and i says, wow. maybe things are changing. >> from george floyd's brother -- >> it was accountability. >> to rodney king's daughter. >> that's a historical moment. i can't even describe into words what i feel. >> the loved ones helping define a moment. >> i can't breathe! plus, do not split. the oscar-nominated film activists say china doesn't want to be seen. the spotlight on protesters in hong kong fighting against china's crackdown on democracy. >> this is actually a fight between all the freedom lovers
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across the globe. >> and fears of censorship. why this year's academy awards will not air in hong kong. new dove men plant-based body wash is different. with plant-based cleansers... ...and moisturizers. for healthy and hydrated men's skin. relax your body and mind. shower with new dove men. experience clean in a whole new way. now roomba vacuums exactly where you need it. hey google, tell roomba to vacuum the kitchen counter. and offers personalized cleaning suggestions for a clean unique to you and your home. roomba and the irobot home app. only from irobot. today's ways of working may work differently tomorrow. roomba and the irobot home app. but you can work out anything with comcast business.
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family members who understand that suffering. eric garner's mother. george floyd's brother. rodney king's daughter. they all reflect on what this moment means for the movement. here's abc's deborah roberts. >> i was overwhelmed after i heard the verdict and that they were actually doing the right thing this time. convicting the police officer who actually murdered george floyd. >> reporter: when derek chauvin was led away in handcuffs, many across the nation felt a sense of relief. >> tears just came to my eyes and i says, all three? they convicted him on all three? i've never heard this before in a case like this. in fact, most of the people i know never got any type of justice. >> reporter: but for gwen carr, the mother of eric garner, the verdict also offered a glimmer of hope she had longed for. >> and i just said, wow, maybe
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things are changing. because it just seemed like no one was listening before. no matter what happened. >> reporter: her 43-year-old son dying after a new york city police officer put him in a chokehold while arresting him for selling loose cigarettes in 2014. his final words, a cry echoed by george floyd, as he was dying. >> avenge me, avenge me! >> there is video of your son on camera saying he can't breathe. then there's video of george floyd on camera saying he can't breathe. what was that like, seeing similar situations? >> just to know that this man echoed the same words that my son said. it just -- was heart-wrenching. it was like -- wow. they're still killing us. this man is begging for his life, like my son was begging for his life. >> reporter: carr, like so many others who have lost a loved one at the hands of police, says
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chauvin's conviction is bittersweet. >> is the chauvin guilty verdict about justice, is it accountability? >> it's about all of that. justice and accountability. because we usually get none of that. and sometimes it's not even justice, it's closure for the families. because there's no justice for the ones whose life you have taken. they're not coming back. they die once. and we die a little every day. >> reporter: a grand jury declined to indict the officer involved in her son's death. and derek chauvin is just one guilty verdict in a tide of police shootings in black and brown communities. in the past weeks alone, more cases gripping the mission. daunte wright in brooklyn center, minnesota. 13-year-old adam toledo in chicago. just yesterday,
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d mikiha bryant. >> when our culture and society at large sees the grief of the family, it humanizes the story. we live in a violent country. people die every day. but when you see the mother of a victim, it feels different. >> reporter: george floyd's family been front and center since he was killed last may, helping to sustain the movement that his death sparked. >> he helped change the world. he made people realize that people's lives matter. >> reporter: his brother grateful that today the man who killed george is behind bars, facing up to 40 years in prison. >> i watched him put his hands behind his back and i was like -- he had it a lot easier than my brother, because my brother's hands were pinned. but it was accountability. and i think that america, you know -- they feel that they can be free because this is the last of the free.
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>> reporter: laura king's been fighting for change for years. she was just 7 years old when her father, rodney king, was beaten within an inch of his life by four white police officers in los angeles. >> even though i was young, i remember it very vividly. very vividly. >> reporter: that famous encounter caught on camera 30 years ago by a bystander. police had pulled king over after a high-speed chase. after a mostly white jury acquitted the officers on charges of assault, long-simmering racial tensions exploded in los angeles, the city consumed in unrest for five long days in 1992. more than 50 people died. forhe blksice in america, not the justice is t other men, n for the brother man! >> reporter: yesterday, decades later, a very different outcome in the chauvin trial. >> yeah! yes! >> it was a historical moment. something that african-americans -- something that everybody has never
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witnessed. and that is three charges, guilty. i can't even describe into words what i feel. >> reporter: upon her father's passing in 2012, laura started the rodney king foundation to promote peace in his honor. many people would be surprised to know that your foundation is also trying to link arms with police. >> we need police. i couldn't imagine a world without police. however, we need like-minded police. we don't need police that are racist. i've done -- basically bridging the gaps with people. with learn hog understand, learning culture. because oftentimes if you're not used to that culture, of course you're going to be terrified. >> reporter: alison john lost her 26-year-old son botham at the hands of police in 2018. he was shot and killed in his own home by off-duty dallas officer amber guyger, who says she mistakenly entered his apartment thinking it was her own. their family, like floyd's, won a guilty verdic in court.
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>> what do you think they must be feel something. >> a sense of relief. i heard his brother tonight saying he could finally sleep. although i could tell you, up to now, i have not been able to sleep properly. because with every other death of a black man at the hands of police, it brings back that old wound. >> reporter: i first met alison jean last summer, one ofn mothers, most of whom lost children to police violence, who were feeling renewed pain. >> i didn't even want to see other people happy. i didn't want to see people laughing. because i lost a son who did not deserve to die in the way that he did. >> reporter: their bond of anguish rooted in pain, but marked by action. wanda cooper jones and tamecka palmer, members of this tragic sorority of sorts, one they prayed they'd never join. cooper jones' son ahmad arbery
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killed in georgia while jogging last spring. palmer's daughter, breonna taylor, killed last march after three louisville police officers executed a no knack warrant, looking for a suspect that didn't live there. >> you've got so much anger inside of you. so much disbelief for what happened to your child. to know that she talked about, you know, having the best day that day, going out to dinner with her boyfriend, going home to watch movies. to know she was in her house, in her own bed, and someone kicked in her door and killed her. to know that she didn't deserve it. >> reporter: alison jean the only mother in the group to see a conviction after her son's death. >> we have to remember that for every floyd family that sees their loved one's killer go to prison, there is an overwhelming majority of families who never
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get that. they don't get a conviction. they don't get a charge. they don't get an indictment. they don't get an arrest. >> reporter: for alison jean, derek chauvin's guilty verdict signalling that work lies ahead. >> what does this verdict today say to america, to you? >> look out. change is on the way. i don't see it around the corner. but every -- we're taking small steps towards the bold change that is required in america. >> reporter: in the nearly seven years since gwen carr's son eric died, she's become an advocate and activist. >> where do we go from here? we know there are other cases. >> keep fighting. we keep fighting those other cases. we keep hoping for other guilty verdicts. because we know there are other guilty police officers out there. so we don't just sit back now.
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we can't. there's too much work to do. >> our thanks to deborah. coming up, the oscar ban in hong kong. why one nominated documentary is sparking a fury over censorship. does scrubbing grease and food feel like a workout? scrub less with dawn platinum. its superior formula breaks down and removes up to 99% of tough grease and food residue faster. so you can scrub less. dawn platinum is also a go-to grease cleaner for your sink, your kitchen and to pre-treat grease on laundry. dawn's even gentle enough to clean wildlife. tackle grease wherever it shows up. dawn platinum. scrub less. save more. with dawn. (vo) pro plan liveclear, a breakthrough 10 years in the making that reduces allergens in cat hair and dander. outstanding nutrition with the power to change lives.
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china, a move sparking outrage over censorship and fears of the potential reach of one oscar-nominated documentary making waves. >> we can never take freedom for granted. >> reporter: jo is yu knows what she's talking about. >> yes, they just fired tear gas. >> reporter: she's one of the many faces of hong kong's fight for freedom against communist china's authority. >> i think it is very clear that even the very civilized or very developed city like hong kong could be turned into like the other cities in mainland china, that is, without freedom, without basic human rights, also without democracy. >> reporter: it's a dire warning to the rest of the world from a woman who took to the streets for months, protesting for her homeland. >> why did you feel strongly enough to join the pro-democracy movement? >> i have always been very passionate, keen on
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understanding social issues. i never expected myself to participate in a very large social movement as a student leader or student activist. >> reporter: the 22-year-old college student was thrust into the revolution by chance, propelled by a sense of responsibility and obligation. >> very naturally, i just got engaged in like all these organizations and all these -- organizing of like grassroot protests, demonstrations, rallies and everything. >> reporter: joey's sacrifice and determination captured in the new oscar nominated documentary "do not split." centering around the hong kong demonstrations two years ago. >> beijing put so much pressure on hong kong in order to reshape hong kong in their picture. >> reporter: 2019 was a year of global unrest, protests in hong kong spurring demonstrations across the world. the former british colony handed over to china in 1997. for the most part enjoyed some
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form of independence from the mainland. but over time the city's rights slowly eroded. in 2019, a bill was introduced that would allow criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland china, sparking massive unrest. the proposed law seen as an attack on hong kong's human rights. even after the bill was shelved, the protests raged on. >> it is not only just about any single legislation or policy that is going to be passed in hong kong, it is really about the continuous and also long-term encroachment and also crackdown from the communist party. >> reporter: over the course of a new, director anders hammer followed the hong kong protesters. >> the biggest impact was to see these young protesters going through this great trauma about losing basically their security as they knew it. >> what was it like when the tear gas started hitting and it became increasingly more militarized? >> to be honest, it was really
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terrifying. every day when we take to the streets, when we participate in demonstrations and protests, we don't even know whether we can safely return home. >> china is not known for reacting in a peaceful manner if they feel that their main political aims are being threatened. >> reporter: that's exactly why anders wasn't surprised when hong kong's largest broadcaster, partly owned by a pro-beijing contort up, dropped the oscars telecast after more than 50 years of airing the ceremony. the network called it a purely commercial decision. but some reports say "do not split's" nomination played a large role in the apparent censorship. >> in this censorship, our documentary has become a part of the story. >> it's actually a signal showing us that hong kong is really gradually becoming another mainland city. and that is really, really depressing. >> reporter: joey was born in north carolina, raised by her
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grandparents, later immigrating to hong kong at age 7. >> they have always wanted me to be obedient, to be a good girl, and then to have -- to live a very ordinary but then successful life. now obviously i have, like, exceeded the expectations and did not live the life that they wanted me to live. >> reporter: her lifelong dream was to become a teacher, a dream she had to cast aside when she joined the uprising. did you feel like you had to sacrifice your future in order to lead this movement? >> what we were really thinking about is actually the future of hong kong instead of the future of our own. so i don't see that as a very large sacrifice. because i know that there are a lot more others who are making larger sacrifices than i do. >> reporter: and while the pandemic had largely paused mass demonstrations -- thousands of activists later charged back into the streets, reigniting
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calls for democracy. to quell the unrest, china stepped in to impose the controversial national security law, making it easier to punish protesters. joey, fearful she could be charged under the new law, went into exile, fleeing to washington, d.c., determined to sustain the pro-democracy movement from afar. you know people who were arrested under the new law? >> some of them are close friends of mine. and that was really traumatizing and disheartening. almost every prominent pro-democracy leaders of hong kong have either been arrested, imprisoned, or forced into now. for now, there is a ro who are still inside of hong kong to exercise their rights to participate in demonstrations or to enjoy the freedom of expressing themselves, of expressing their political opinions. >> what is the future for the movement now? >> we have also got a lot of
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hong kongers overseas who are establishing different hong kong diaspora communities who are trying to advocate for different legislations that protect and also defends others of hong kong. >> reporter: for now, joey hopes "do not split" resonates with viewers who could carry on the battle for democracy in their own corners of the world. >> this is not only a fight between the people of hong kong to the chinese communist party, this is actually a fight between all the freedom lovers against any tyrannies across the globe. >> and a programming note, here in the u.s. you can watch the oscars this sunday evening, 8:00/7:00 central here on abc. up next, the little boy calling the shots, and the officer honored for being a golden hero. pain doesn't care how old you are. pain doesn't care if you live in a small town or in the spotlight. pain has no limits.
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thanks. i have the pleasure to present to you... thank you. dr. martin luther king. sometimes, this is what it takes. facing down hate. facing down bias. as we step out, bay area, lets step up our march towards social justice joids walk san francisco live at home, streaming on may 16. register today
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♪ finally tonight, big shot. >> this for the count! >> delaware state trooper joshua morris showing off how it's done on the basketball court. there in the game, joshua's
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number one fan, the officers gifting the young trooper a pair of steph curry sneakers. the golden state superstar inspired, inviting josh to a game, handing over his jersey. a show of love for a neighborhood hero. that's curry for the win. that's "nightline." you can watch all our full episodes on hulu. we'll see you right back here, same time tomorrow. thanks for staying up with us. good night, america.


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