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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  August 3, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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08/03/16 08/03/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> commissioner bill bratton, whose contributions to our city and law enforcement not only here but across the nation, or literally extraordinary. in september, commissioner bratton will retire from the nypd. amy: william bratton, one of the most influential police commissioners in the country, will resign. we will look at his legacy and impact with his controversial
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book in windows policy, the effect it has had on his nation. he served as your commissioner twice and had of the police department of los angeles and boston. plus, we get an update on imprisoned army whistleblower chelsea manning just weeks after she attempted suicide. authorities are threatening to punish her with indefinite solitary confinement and additional time in prison. we will speak to attorney chase strangio. >> is only through public scrutiny we can ensure the government doesn't continue to abuse chelsea manning and people like her who are sent into solitary confinement and under horrible conditions. amy: did you know when you dial 911 wall street often answers? and next was a reveals how private equity firms have increasingly taken over public services like emergency care and firefighting, often with dire affects. all that and more, coming up.
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welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. new york police commissioner william bratton has announced he is resigning next month. over the past four decades, bratton has reshaped modern policing. he has served as the new york police commissioner twice, and as commissioner of the boston police department and chief of the los angeles police department. bratton was a lead advocate of the so-called broken windows policy that calls for officers to crack down on minor infractions in an attempt to decrease violent crime. while new york city mayor bill de blasio calls them extraordinary, critics say it has unfairly targeted communities of color. in a statement, black lives matter co-founder opal tometi told democracy now! -- "william bratton is the key architect of programs that have terrorized our communities for decades." chief bratton and his policies have faced years of protests and opposition from activists. we'll have more on his
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resignation after headlines. with less than 100 left before the november election, president obama offered his strongest criticisms of republican presidential nominee donald trump so far, urging republican leaders to withdraw their endorsements of his candidacy. in his remarks tuesday, obama referred to trump's recent attacks on khizr and ghazala khan, the parents of a u.s. marine who died in iraq, which -- iraq. pres. obama: this is where you have an episodic gap. this is daily. and weekly where they are distancing themselves from statements he is making. there has to be a point at which iu say, this is not somebody support for president of the united states. even if he purports to be a member of my party.
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the fact that that has not yet happened makes some of these denunciations ring hollow. amy: donald trump attacked the khans after khizr khan spoke at the democratic national convention in philadelphia thursday. trump suggested in an interview that ghazala khan hadn't spoken because, as a muslim woman, she wasn't allowed to. ghazala refuted trump's comments, saying she hadn't spoken because of her grief. this is ghazala speaking more about her son on msnbc. >> i was really worried and i all this,him about that this is a war. and i don't want you to go out or do something stupid and don't be a hero come up please, come back. go safely. my prayers are with you. and be strong. of the khans,re
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visiting the grave of their son, you can go to we played an excerpt of "section 60: arlington national cemetery." meanwhile friction is increasing , between trump and top republican leaders. on monday, in an interview with "the washington post," trump refused to endorse the reelection campaigns of arizona senator john mccain and wisconsin congressman paul ryan. trump praised ryan's opponent saying he was running a very good campaign. ryan's opponent has defended trump's remarks about the khans. both ryan and mccain distanced themselves from trump over his comments. meanwhile, billionaire businesswoman and hewlett packard ceo meg whitman has said she will support and campaign for hillary clinton. whitman an influential , republican fundraiser, called donald trump a dishonest demagogue and said she would
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raise money for clinton, even if she doesn't agree with her on some issues. donald trump has continued to suggest he believes the november election may be rigged. pointing to recent court decisions against restrictive voter id laws in north carolina and wisconsin, trump said tuesday that the decisions increased the possibility of voter fraud. trump said -- "the voter id situation has turned out to be a very unfair development. we may have people vote 10 times." studies of voter fraud in the u.s. have concluded the type of fraud trump warned about is extremely rare. this comes after republican political operative and trump supporter roger stone warned of a bloodbath if trump doesn't win in november. speaking with breitbart's milo yiannopoulos, stone said -- "we will have a constitutional crisis, widespread civil disobedience, and the government will no longer be the government. it will be a bloodbath."
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baltimore county police killed a 23-year-old african american woman on monday after an armed standoff. korryn gaines was live-streaming the standoff via facebook on monday before her account was shut down. police say they attempted to negotiate with gaines before shooting her, and that she had pointed a shotgun at police. her five-year-old son was in the apartment with her and was injured by gunfire. police were at gaines's apartment to execute an arrest warrant related to a traffic violation earlier this year. police also had a warrant for gaines's boyfriend, who was arrested before the standoff began and later released. police have not said who fired the shot that injured gaines's son. the delaware state supreme court ruled tuesday that the state's capital punishment law violates the constitution by allowing judges, but not always juries, to recommend the death penalty.
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death penalty supporters can ask the state's legislators to amend the law's language, but such a request would likely fail. the state's senate passed a bill to abolish the death penalty last year before it was narrowly defeated in the state's house of representatives. in libya, a car bomb in ben ghazi killed at least 20 people today as libyan factions backed by the u.s. continue their fight against isis. this comes as the u.s. has launched at least five airstrikes in libya since the pentagon announced the beginning of an open-ended air camign there on monday. turning now to venezuela, the opposition to president nicolas maduro has gained enough signatures this week to begin the process of a presidential recall referendum. but speaking yesterday on his weekly television program, president maduro appeared to preempt the idea that any recall would occur this year. >> i will say it.
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if the opposition legally obtained the signatures, we will go to elections next year and i'm sure the venezuelan people will hand us a victory for the country, a victory of peace. i'm sure that next year in february, march come or april, we will win that referendum. i believe in the love of the people. i believe in history and i'm not here because i came down in a fair shoot. i'm here because i must complete a mission, a mission given to me, one i will fulfill for many years. for a long time. amy: if a referendum takes place before the end of the year, a new presidential election would be held. if the referendum occurs after the end of the year, maduro could be forced to step down but his vice president would finish his term, which ends in 2018. president maduro's government is under increasing pressure from the opposition as venezuela faces economic turmoil, that has led to hyperinflation and shortages of basic goods. u.n. secretary general ban ki-moon has said he will continue to review whether to keep saudi arabia's military on
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a u.n. blacklist of militaries that kill children. the u.n. placed saudi arabia on the list last month over its conduct in yemen. the saudis complained, and ban told them to provide evidence that they were taking steps to prevent child casualties. he defended the decision on tuesday. >> the content of the report extends, meager clear, the report may cause discomfort, but that is not the goal in itself. our aim is to protect the children by ensuring concrete change. amy: the u.n. says the u.s.-backed saudi-led bombing campaign in yemen killed at least 500 children last year. meanwhile, u.n. secretary general ban ki-moon is expected to propose reopening an inquiry into allegations that former u.n. secretary general dag hammarskjold was assassinated by a south african paramilitary organization supported by the
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cia and british intelligence. hammarskjold was the u.n.'s second secretary general and died in a plane crash in 1961. the south african government has announced the recent discovery of decades-old intelligence documents detailing the alleged plot. the cia has denied involvement. and u.s. war resisters who went to canada to avoid serving in iraq and afghanistan are asking canadian prime minister justin trudeau to allow them to remain in the country. hundreds of u.s. war resisters moved to canada in the early 2000's but faced deportation after the election of the conservative harper government in 2006. resisters still in canada say they are hoping prime minister justin trudeau's liberal government, elected last year, will make a final decision about their legal status in the country. polls suggest a majority of canadians support allowing the vets to stay. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. new york police commissioner william bratton has announced he is resigning next month, ending a four-decade career where he helped reshape modern policing. bratton was a lead advocate of the so-called broken windows theory that called for officers to crack down on minor infractions in an attempt to decrease more violent crime. on tuesday, new york mayor bill de blasio announced bratton's resignation. ,> commissioner bill bratton whose contributions to our city and law enforcement not only here but across the nation, are literally inestimable and extraordinary. in september, commissioner bratton will retire from the nypd. amy: supporters of william bratton credited him with lowering crimes rates, but critics said broken windows policing unfairly targeted communities of color.
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in a statement black lives , matter co-founder opal tometi told democracy now! -- "william bratton is the key architect of programs that have terrorized our communities for decades. his implementation of broken windows theory has wreaked havoc on communities from los angeles to new york city and beyond." over the past four decades, bratton has served as new york police commissioner twice as well as the head of the boston and los angeles police departments. bratton resigned just one day after hundreds of activists gathered outside new york city hall demanding the defunding of the new york police department as well as bratton's firing. >> i am an organizer and we are here today to demand that bill bratton be immediately fired and broken windows policing ended, that all reparations are paid to those of police brutality, and the nypd is defunded and the money is reinvested into the community. -- :
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. coming up on today's broadcast, we will be looking at ivate equity and how it affects all of our lives and we will also be talking about what is happening to chelsea manning, who attempted suicide just a few weeks ago, as well as -- attempting suicide, she went -- the authorities are saying she faces solitary confinement. juan: protests against william bratton have been escalating ever since the police killing of eric garner two years ago. officers stopped garner for allegedly selling loose cigarettes in staten island. garner,, who was an african-american father of six, died after an officer pulled him to the ground in a chokehold. officers then piled on top of garner as he said "i can't breathe" 11 times. bratton's resignation also comes at a time when the city's largest police union has been
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protesting mayor de blasio seeking a 34% pay hike. bratton will be replaced by james o'neill, nypd's top uniformed officer and a 33-year veteran of the department. amy: to talk more about the significance of bratton's resignation, we're joined now by three guests. darius charney is senior staff attorney at the center for constitutional rights and lead counsel on ccr's landmark federal civil rights lawsuit that found nypd's stop-and-frisk practices unconstitutional. nabil hassein is an organizer with millions march nyc. and joining us from chicopee, massachusetts, is christina heatherton is assistant professor of american studies at trinity college. she's co-editor of "policing the planet: why the policing crisis led to black lives matter." we welcome you all to democracy now! , it was quite astounding as they were calling
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for the firing of bratton that new york police commissioner bill bratton resigned. do you think you had any effect. >> definitely. this is a common nation of years of organizing at the new york city grassroots within the movement for black lives. there are more groups than i can possibly name that a been doing work against bill bratton and his broken windows policing. i think was best summarized by frederick douglas in 1845 when he said, "the slaveowners plan was to -- there's no evidence this policy does anything to keep any community say. juan: i would like to ask christina heatherton, if you could assess the impact of bratton on american policing? clearly, the broken windows theory was a key aspect of what he brought to the modern policing, but also his use of what is called constand, or data driven assessments that would in essence supposedly bring
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policing into the 21st century. .> yes first, allow me to say on behalf of all of the communities that have been stopped, frisk, assaulted, terrorized, and cleo -- killed under broken window policing, i would like to say to the commissioner, good riddance. bill bratton is credited with being america's top cop went, as you said, modernizing american policing with policies such as broken windows theory and comstat. this expanded police capacity from response to cranston. instead of responding to crimes, police game a authorization to moderate and police individual behavior. this is an incredible expansion of police capacity. this is followed and enormous expansion of police -- a funding for police departments at state and local levels and while his
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supporters and attractors say he revolutionized american policing, we have to think about death of ericthe garner, the death of michael brown, the death of sean bell. the implementation of broken windows policing has enabled a new intimacy of policing across the country and around the world. amy: at tuesday's news conference, bill bratton enumerated the successes of the nypd under his leadership. >> no police department in america, any time in any of the history, has ever been as well funded or supported as we have. to vial of that equipment, to provide better training, to ensure our officers that we keep them as safe as we can and keep you safe as you need to be. we began that from top to bottom. that is new training on how to
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deescalate situations and reduced stop and frisk by phenomenal amounts. said it could not be done. weontinue to reduce crime at the same time. we are reduced our use of force, civilian complaints, and launched the most innovative and far-reaching policing ogram new york is ever attempted. and it will succeed this time. amy: said that is your police commissioner and before that boston and los angeles police commissioner, bill bratton, enumerating his accomplishments. ,arius charney, you're a lawyer specifically involved in a major stop and frisk case. can you talk about his evaluation of his tenure? >> i think his tenure has been complicated. when we talk about his tenure, we're talking about not only the last three or four years, but his tenure here in the 1990's, which i think if you go back and look at the history of policing in new york city over the last few decades, commissioner bratton is the architect not
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only of the broken windows policy and all of the harmful impacts it has had in particular communities of color, but the explosion of stop and frisk that withw in the early 2000's a natural extension of the policies that he put in place in the 1990's, which were -- as a professor said earlier, a "proactive" intervention emperor -- and particularly for communities of color. i guess very jerk only in an aggressive -- draconian police tactics of which stop and frisk was one. only talk about his legacy, while he says we have reduced stop and frisk the past few years, we have to look back further and try to understand why there were such an explosion again with an i think it is a direct consequence of the policies and philosophy that he advocated for. juan: i have a lot of into -- interaction with bratton during his first stint as commissioner
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here. i once asked him in a forum because he was touting the huge reductions in new york city's crime rate, and i said to him, commissioner, how much of this is actually due to your data-driven analysis and your broken windows theory? and how much of it is due to the actual increasing of surveillance of citizens in general. atm machines, anyone who trusted your robbery at an atm machine, it automatically gets a picture of them. they may do it the first time, but they won't be able to do the second time. from easy passed a measure cars, there's so many ways that for the state to surveillance what people are doing on a daily basis that being a career criminal these days is not going to be a liquid venture because you're not going to be up to commit crimes over and over again. >> you mentioned surveillance. i think we have seen an explosion of surveillance not only on law enforcement, but the
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federal government over the past several decades. i think that reminds me of another, i guess, technological advancement the commissioner bratton's touting, which is the police body cameras. new trend inof the american policing, something the nypd is about to roll out in a widespread way. i think they are very much concerned about the privacy rights of -- there is much concern about the privacy rights of civilians, what the footage would be used for. there's going to be a huge amount of data sitting somewhere, whether in the cloud or in an nypd server, of hundreds of thousands or millions of new yorkers and at this point we have no idea what the nypd is going to do with it. you are right, juan, i think surveillance has had an impact on our society. i guess the question is, has it been for positive or negative reasons? i tend to come down on the negative side. amy: what about stop and frisk,
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the deal that has been made? explained that lawsuit, what you won, and what it means now with bradley being. >> in terms of what the case was about, anyone who lives or remember south along ago there was an explosion at the use of stop and frisk over the course of a decade where at the height in 2011 we had almost 700,000 new yorkers being stopped from oftentimes surged, oftentimes force used against them. the overwhelming majority of those folks were particularly young and black latino man. this in008 challenged federal court and in 2013, federal judge ruled the way the nypd uses stop, question, and frisk violates the fourth amendment and was also racially discriminatory and therefore violated the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment of the constitution. the prior administration didn't -- attempted to appeal that decision. when mayor de blasio came in,
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mainly due to overwhelming, i think i'm organizing and pressure from the public and the grassroots, he realized the better course was to actually accept the findings of the court and agree to change this practice, to try to end it. since 2014, we have been working with the federal monitor appointed by the court and working with the nypd, working with any stakeholders in the community who have and most impacted by these practices, to develop a set of really fundamental reforms to how the nypd polices these communities. it runs a gamut of training and monitoring officers, of how they will be held accountable if they violate people's rights, how they will be evaluated to determine if they are doing a good job or not. we are in the very early stages of that of developing these remedies. in terms of what this means now, it is our expectation and hope that nothing will change in terms of the nypd's agreement
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and thus far, commitment to making these changes. it has been a hard, very slow road so far, so i think we have to remain vigilant and continue to hold the police department accountable. juan: i want to ask nabil hassein, the new commissioner, james o'neill, has promised to will move forward on a more community policing model. from your perspective, is there any kind of form of community reduce theat would tensions and conflicts between the police and the african american/latino communities, or is it just a hopeless effort to try to reform the police department? >> we do not support community policing ultimately. couldpossible the nypd become less violent than it is now, but we envision a world without the police, without jails, without prisons. we think that is what a free society would look like.
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all of our three demands -- the first was to fire bill bratton, who is on his way out. we will have to see what kind of policies james o'neill will put in. coming in, i'm not optimistic given the fact is close work with bill bratton. i would warn him, based on the results of grassroots organizing going on against bill bratton, if he continues the same policies as his predecessor, he will meet as the same fate as his predecessor. amy: i want to turn to chief james o'neill, the department's now.niformed officer he addressed reporters on tuesday. >> i'm in full support of advocacy groups and everyone trying to peacefully protest. it is what decracy anamerica are all about. it is our job to ensure at right. th ptest in thfall of 2014 signaled change was necessary. brutale british --
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assassinations that september, it was clear the nypd had to find a new wayorward to meet the needs of every new yorker. that is when our neighborhood-based police initiative was really born. this october, our neighborhood-based policing program, which is very much a crime-fighting tool, will be in more than half of our command city wide and 100% of our public housing commands. leaving the uniform behind, fortunately and unfortunately. i love it. i have loved this is the first day of put on. it is tougher bigger and better things and i cnot wait for the opportunity to leave a great cops in this city to make new york city and even safer place. , if christina heatherton you could respond to what he says and the policy or the direction you believe the incoming commissioner o'neill will be taking the department in. >> of course. bratton saidiam there was no difference between
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broken windows policing and community policing. we should not be distracted i any proposals for neighborhood policing, tea and cookies in the community center policing. this is all the same kind of policing. i want to be clear that broken windows and community policing emerged out of the crises up policing from the mid-1960's and late 1970's. in other words, the formal end of jim crow. so where formal segregation was made illegal, a new form of policing emerged that was supposed to be responsive to the needs of communities, that was supposed to present itself as community-minded. as it was described in an interview in our book "policing the planet," the policies instituted in 1965 under the johnson administration are no different than the proposals for community policing be proposed by the obama administration, being supported by commissioner
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bratton and, you know, the new commissioner o'neill proposes to follow up on -- this is simply rebranding. amy: let's talk about where bratton is going now. the firm he is going to be working with, the private security firm? >> yes. the private security firm that bratton will be working -- transitioning into is i believe called tenius. i'm a little nervous on camera. it is worth considering this. amy: tenao. arehe media outlets presenting this as a break out of a long storied history of over four decades of public service. this is disingenuous. throughout his career, bratton has consulted with private
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security firms. he has consulted with foreign governments. he is been a part of efforts to export the broken windows policing model around the world. what we talked about in "policing the planet" is how broken windows policing is an expression of neoliberalism at the urban scale. what do i mean? it emerges in the period of the industrialization, emerges as you have an expansion of unemployment and homelessness. it emerges as you have the expansion of the real estate sector and financial is asian. suddenly, you have a lot of people out of work and out of homes in a landscape littered with actual broken windows. by turning those people into criminal problems, problems the police are supposed to manage her's is other sectors of the state, you can facilitate the transformation of cities into capital accumulation. this is what is being exported
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and globalized. this is bratton's legacy. this is how broken when is policing has traversed the world. and the company's links to the clintons? >> right. so this is a firm that was former by bill clinton's bagman, somebody who has been a key part of the clinton global initiative. he had of the clinton institute in ireland. this is douglas bland. i think what is important to think about in this regard is that, extensively, this is a democratic firm -- ostensibly, this is a democratic firm that bratton is about to move to. tony used to be on the board. of most egregious violations broken windows policing around the country have been enforced under democratic mayors, liberal mayors, mayors like bill de -- and your, los
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angeles, martin o'malley. we think about the legacy of broken windows, it is a mistake to think about it as a democrat /republican, left/right. this has had bipartisan consensus and evidenced by bratton's new job. juan: i would not be surprised, for those who remember the former police commissioner ray asly after his first stint new york city mayor, ended up going into the clinton administration working for the treasury department. i would not be at all surprised if bill bratton, if hillary clinton is elected president, ins up with some kind of a law a secondnt post in clinton administration. amy: i want to thank you all for being with us. we will continue to follow this. christina heatherton is a professor at trinity college. nabil hassein is an organizer with millions march nyc. is with theey center for constitutional rights.
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when we come back, how does private equity affect your life? stay with us. you may be surprised. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "built for love" by angelo moore & the brand new step. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: when you woke up this morning, chances are your morning routine was touched in some way by a private equity firm. from the water you drink, to the roads you drive to work, to the morning newspaper you read, wall street firms are playing an increasingly influential role in daily life. so says a compelling new article
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in "the new york times," "this is your life, brought to you by private equity." the multimedia infographic chronicles how since the 2008 financial crisis, private equity firms have bought underperforming businesses and worked to maximize profits, ly to sell them off. amy: now wall street investors are controlling critical public services in municipalities across the country, including fire and ambulance. according to the report, uer the control of private equity firms, response times for fire and ambulance services have often increased, companies have fallen into bankruptcy, and residents have been made to pay higher costs for poorer service. well, for more, we are joined by "new york times" reporter danielle ivory, one of the contributors to the series. as well as co-author of the recent article "when you dial 911 and wall street answers." welcome back to democracy now! why don't we start there, when you call 911, wall street answers? >> well, my colleagues and i
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have been spending the last year looking at how private equity has increasingly crept into the lives of americans, especially into critical services. emergency services, the fire department. what we look that are companies that are taking over ambulance companies. if you down 911 and the ambulance picks you up, you dial someone because the house is on fire and the fire department shows up, but it is controlled by a private equity coming. amy: what do you mean? >> you look at two companies deeply. royal metro and transcare. royal care was backed by royal pincus, taken into vagrancy and taken out of bankruptcy by investors. this is a company that does ambulance services nationwide and also does fire services in three states. oregon, arizona, and tennessee.
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the two services are a little bit different. it is important to separate them. but royal metro, when they pick you up in an ambulance, they may send you a large bill afterwards and go after you in court if you do not pay that bill. we also found on fire, you might think you're paying your fire department out of taxes. in fact, if you don't subscribe to royal metro service and you have a fire, royal metro might show up, put out the fire, maybe your house burns down to the ground, and then you get a bill for multiple thousands of dollars. we found numerous court cases where the on after people in court for bills that ranged up $59,000 was the highest we found. juan: why do you suspect this is occurring post the great recession? is a basically private equity seeking out new markets and trying to carve out sections of government to privatize even further? >> private equity saw this as a
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growth area. they saw towns were increasingly cash-strapped and looking to outsource services. they're expensive. yet the paper pension plans. this was really a bet. and also we had the emergence of obama's health-care reform. so along with obamacare, you had this possibility of adding more and more people to insurance rolls. in some ways, that might not have been the smartest bet. what private equity firms. they were going to see were more and more people added to insurance that would pay for these bills. but instead, more and more people were added to medicaid and medicaid restricts the most aggressive billing collection practices. amy: what happens when the companies go bankrupt? >> royal metro when into bankruptcy but was taken out of bankruptcy.
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although there were a lot of worries about the company theyng and leaving towns, stayed in those towns. services may have gotten poorer, and is was on the major markets we looked at, services did get poorer. for a company like transcare, they filed for bankruptcy in her own back yard in brooklyn in february. that is a company that filed for chapter seven bankruptcy. it closed its stores forever. towns were left in the lurch. towns were literally scrambling to find another company that could come in and perform their ambulance services and sometimes paying more money for it because of that. want to turn to an interview with "the wall street journal" in 2014. patriarch controlled transcare ems, an ambulance service which went bankrupt and closed its doors in february. >> one of the major facsf buying distressed companies is buying a brand name that people recognize.
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md helicopters was the house that howard hughes built. the helicopters go back to the the first scout helicopter. it has this great history and his great legacy, and it was going to disappear. i bu companies at their deest, darkest moment. every company i've i would not be here -- i buy but for the purchase. ok? as far down the food chain as a living. that means not everything is going to make it. that is lynn tilton who is quoted in your article as saying transcare "faced the obstacles inherent to its business model" and that its collapse was due to problems beyond patriarch's control. talk about tilton's role in transcare's demise. >> it is a very interesting thing because as we talked to lynn tilton and patriarch partners, they tried to distance themselves from the company and
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i think that is reflected in the article. they really tried to emphasize that the fund that owns transcare was solely owned by lynn tilton, not directly owned by patriarch. what we found is that lynn tilton was the sole member of the board for transcare, which is basically unheard of in the corporate world. really, as one government does governance expert put it to us, a recipe for disaster. we found because we got hundreds of pages of internal e-mails and minutes,utives meeting that had direct partners, including lynn tilton but not limited to lynn tilton, were very heavily involved in the company. and as far back as a year ago, were discussing in these meetings that the company might not make it to the weekend because it did not have enough medical supplies. end services,
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that are regular cash flow in terms of insurance reimbursements or even government -- that what about fire companies? how do these private equities get into fire companies and how do they get the revenue? thing. is an interesting i should say it is not something that was limited to the private equity ownership of royal metro, but we thought it was so unusual and interesting that it would really be a responsible not to report on it. what we found with this company is that -- and they still do this now, and they're not owned by private equity more, they're owned by a comedy called envision that aussies to be owned by private equity but is no longer owned by private a equity. they ever prescription service based on your property size. you might pay an annual bill of a couple hundred dollars. under that agreement, royal metro will show up, put out the fire, and you do not pay a dime.
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a lot of people don't understand that. ourand i would we pay taxes, that covers the fire department. someone might have a fire, call 911, the fire to permit shows up, put out the fire, and then a few weeks later, they get a bill for $10,000, 15 thousand dollars. people do not understand that. they don't understand why they're getting a bill from the fire department. they end up in court. it really ends up being this very special -- stressful situation. these are people who generally live outside urban areas, people who live off the grid. it is a really scary thing to suddenly be getting a court summons because you owe $20,000 to your fire department. amy: for people who do not understand what private equity is, explain. explain who is profiting. >> these are companies that are based on wall street and this is
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a little bit of a generalization, but the basic concept is you have investors that are looking for distressed companies that are looking for undervalued, underperforming companies. they want to buy them and make and over better performing companies, companies that will make a lot of money. in some cases, sell those copies for a lot of money. i would like to talk about the multimedia display in a moment. but there is one part where it let's see. "from the clock on your wall to the toilet paper near bathroom, wall street firms can also be found in your parking garage where they collect your cash, private equity helps oversee golf courses my builds courthouses. now you omitted to work, you might be sitting inside a building controlled by blackstone, huge private equity firm, one of the largest landlords in the country." talk about blackstone and talk about this idea of this being
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every aspect of our lives. >> it really is every aspect of our lives. some of those are not critical to your life. the clock on your wall, the computer makes the clock has been backed byrivate equity, he probably won't affect you very much at all. in this case, blackstone is one of the largest private landlords and has comen where banks have set back from mortgage practices. what we have seen is there making some of the same mistakes that the banks made during the financial crisis were of -- in the run-up to the financial crisis. juan: and a key aspect of private equities is it is not required have a lot of the same transparency is a publicly traded company would have in tes of its regular reports and its trading and who is investing what in it? >> absolutely true. a public company would have to make more regular reports, the
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fcc. they also don't save -- face a lot of the same regulations as banks as well. it is just a newer concept in some ways. in the case of fire and ambulance, private equity companies are regulated, but as ambulance. something we found very early on as we were looking at this is that ambulance companies, there really isn't a national database of ambulance response times, so it is very difficult to compare ambulances from town to town, from company to company, even within one company from contract a contract. the contracts are all different and they all ask for different things. the oversight can be patchy. amy: who ultimately is responsible? >> interesting question. ,n the topic of ambulances usually it is a local health department or the local government -- whoever has the contract with the company. like i said, they can be very, very different. for example, we looked at
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aurora, colorado. aurora easily ended its contract with royal -- recently ended its contract with royal metro. but when they were under contract, they asked for ambulance response times. they were very strict about penalizing if there were any late response times. a very close by, there was another town called edgewater, which no longer has a contract with royal metro but neighboring town that uses royal metro. edgewater's contract had an interesting thing where it said, i believe, that the ambulance company was required to arrive within five minutes, but there were no reporting requirements. there was no way the town could even know if the ambulance companies were arriving within five minutes. with fire, it is a very different thing. ,n fire, the fire departments there's actually no contract.
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what you're looking at is an area where the local fire department, minas will fire department, simply just does not serve that area will step royal metro fills that gap. that means there really isn't an oversight entity at all. amy: we're not just talking about economics, we're talking about lives. you begin with a tennessee woman slipped into a coma and died after an ambulance come it took so long to assemble a crew that one worker had time for a cigarette rate. paramedics in new york had to covertly swipe medical supplies from a hospital to restock their depleted ambulances after emergency runs. a man in a suburban south watched a chimney fire burn his house to the ground as he waited for the fire department, which build him anyway and then sued him for $15,000 when he could not pay. >> right. we're talking about companies that are really interacting with people at the most moments of their life. even though this is a relatively small portion of the ambulance
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market, we got was important to look at because these are life and. in the case of transcare, images here in new york -- which is here new york were used to be here in new york, paramedics and emts going on the record saying they felt pressured to go into emergency room's basically still supplies because they were worried there ambulances were not going to be stocked with critical medications. really incredible, mind blowing stuff. amy: we want to thank you for joining us, danielle ivory, reporter for "the new york times" and for the series, "bottom line nation." she was co-author of the latest article in the series, "this is your life, brought to you by private equity," and lead reporter of the article, "when you dial 911 and wall street answers." we will link to all of these articles at when we come back, what is happening to chelsea manning at leavenworth? attempted suicide. what are authorities trying to do to her now? stay with us.
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: imprisoned army whistleblower chelsea manning faces new charges after she tried to commit suicide last month. the army reportedly told manning she is being investigated on administrative charges that include having prohibited property in her cell and resisting being moved out of the cell. if convicted, manning could face indefinite solitary confinement and additional time in prison. it could also hurt her chance of parole. amy: chelsea manning is serving a 35-year-sentence in the disciplinary barracks in fort leavenworth, kansas. she has been subjected to long stretches of solitary confinement and denied medical treatment related to her gender identity. in a newly published interview with amnesty international chelsea manning said -- "i am always afraid. i am still afraid of the power
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of government. a government can arrest you. it can imprison you. it can put out information about you that won't get questioned by the public -- everyone will just assume that what they are saying is true. sometimes a government can even kill you -- with or without the benefit of a trial." well, for more, we go now to washington, d.c., where we're joined by chase strangio, staff attorney at the aclu. he represents chelsea manning in a lawsuit against the department of defense. chase strangio, welcome to democracy now! tell us what is happening exactly where chelsea manning is. talk about the news of her attempted suicide, or hospitalization, and what is happening now. >> good morning and thank you for having me. chelsea manning has really spent the last six years trying to survive, working to contribute her voice to the public discourse even while she is incarcerated. she is faced so many hardships and made a very sad decision on
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july 5 that her only option was to end her life. and that was unsuccessful, but now she is essentially being punished by the government for trying to die. after so many times of being punished for trying to live. she recently was given a charge. she is indicating the very act of attempting suicide was going to result in administrative charges against her. and this charge sheet was given to her while she is still in a medical, mental health observation unit at leavenworth where she is trying to recover and get the treatment that she needs from the suicide attempt of july 5. she is still struggling to regain her mental health and stability. in the midst of that, the government essentially said to her, you know, we are prepared to further punish you with these
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charges. juan: as far as you know, what led to her decision to try to take her life on july 5? under, youis living know, the constant surveillance and denial of care that is characteristic for so many. she is under an extra amount of scrutiny because she is high profile. she is a transgender woman in a man's facility. she is being denied health care related to her very well documented gender dysphoria. and i think she reached this moment of feeling like the only agency that she had left was the agency to end her life. that is a very sad and unfortunate moment for her, and one that represents, i think, the dire circumstances that so many people in prison and incarcerated in various ways are living under.
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thankfully, she is alive. but it is terrifying to think that as she survived, the government is continuing to give her the message that they will enforce punishment against her essentially, for living. amy: can you explain the conditions she is living under? where exactly is she? what would be the effect of solitary confinement? >> right now she is outside of general population. 10, she the suicide o been in general for. she's continuing to be monitored and ensured that she does not take further action to take her life. amy: in the name of the prison? the disciplinary barracks at fort leavenworth, kansas. she is been there since her sentencing in august of 2013. it is a military facility for men. andhas been living there critchett reading to public life
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-- determining to public life to her writing and now she's in a separate unit being observed for mental health status. i think one of the big concerns right now is these charges that she is facing could result in long-term solitary confinement for her. they could also result, as they did last summer, and comparable charges, and the denial of important privileges like access to funds, access to writing materials, access to the law library -- the very things that chelsea manning uses to stay connected to the world. those are the things, the human connection that people need to survive, that she needs to survive. if she is forced into solitary confinement, which could be indefinite under the terms of her charges, that will be absolutely catastrophic to her mental-health. particularly at this moment, but it is for anyone as the u.n. has repeatedly said, doctors and other mental health providers have recognized, it is a completely inhumane form of punishment that is used far too often in our country. one cup set for a while she was
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in general revelation in a facility for men. to what degree is the government recognizing or not recognizing her gender identity? >> i think there's a paradox across the country in as i did the federal government and many state governments will honor and recognize the gender identity of transgender people, unless and until they are faced with incarceration. chelsea manning has been recognized as female by the government, but they continue to impose upon her both the male housing facility in the form of the disciplinary barracks at leavenworth, but also forcing her to maintain her male hair lenght and grooming standards. that is something we are fighting in court. these barrels and damages of being forced to be punished through the denial of your core identity is something that has led to her depression. it has imperiled her health, and something that many transgender people across the country are facing on a daily basis.
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amy: very quickly. talk about hb2 and the hearing this week. >> in north carolina, the aclu and legal are headed to trial against north carolina's anti-trans law. we had our first hearing this week down in north carolina. it is going to be an ongoing fight to take down that law and other anti-trans laws and we are going to be doing that in the context in which we know so many trans women of color of being murded on the streets and we have a responsibility to fight back against all of the ways our communities continue to be targeted and killed -- in prison , bylaws, and people on the streets. amy: we will continue this after the show and post it on chase strangio, staff attorney at the aclu. representing chelsea manning in a lawsuit against the department of defense. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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