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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  June 17, 2019 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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06/17/19 06/17/19 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> hong kong people do understand we have to take to the streets, we have to continue our protest in order to get -- by the government in order to get the extradition bill be withdrawn and also carrie lam to step down. amy: up to 2 million people fill the streets of hong kong in the territory's largest protest in decades. the protests have forced the
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suspension of the extradition bill butut activists are now demanding hong kong's top official to resign as well. we will go to hong kong for the test. then " s shots a w docucuntary looks at the 2014hihicagoolicice lling g 17-year-d laquancdonald d an chicago's cover-up >> there is dacam video that ntntradis ththe ficialaltory. >> what we s saw, in our opini,, wafifirst-greeee mder. >> the is an escalatioofof volvlvemt fromomeople across the city. justice for uss jajasovan dyke being convicted of the murder of laqu mcdonal amy: we will speak to rick rowley, the director of "16 shots." all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the e war and peace e report. i'm amamy goodman. in hong kong, as many as 2 million people took to the
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streets s sunday for another mas demonstration against a proposed bill that would allow the extradition of hong kong residents to maiainland china, which critics say would infringe on h hong kong's independence ad the legal and human rights of hong kong residedents and sisitors hong kong's chief executive carrie lam suspended the bill and apologized for her handling of the situation but protesteres are calling for its full withdrawal. protesters also called for the resignation of carrie lam. meanwhile, prominent pro-democracy activist, 22-year-old joshua wong, was released monday after a month behind bars and has vowed to join the protest movement. >> hong kong people, we will not undere under this president xi and carrie lam. otherwise i believe in the next few weeks before the anniversary of hong kong's transfer of sovereignty, more and more hong kong people, not only one
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million or two laypeople, will come and join our fight until we gett back our basic human rights and d freedom. amy: m more on hong kong after headlines. iran's atomic energy agency announced it is just 10 days away from reaching the limit of their enriched uranium stockpile permitted under the 2015 iran nuclear deal. iran started rolling back its compliance with the landmark agreement last month, following the u.s. withdrawal and re-imposition of sanctions lasat year. on saturday, iranian president hassan rouhani reiterated his ultimatum to european nations and other signatories that they must show "positive signals" in upholding the pact for iran to maintain its commitment as well. russian president vladimir putin -- this comes as the united states continues to blame iran for attacking two oil tankers in the gulf of oman without offering any new evidence. mike pompeo said the u.s. is considering a full range of options. some of the u.s. claims have been directionally contradicted by the japanese owner of one of the tankers. iran has denied any involvement
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and accused the trump administration of trying to sabotage diplomacy. -- sabotage diplomacy for fueling the threat of war. reports emerged friday of a six-year-old migrant girl from india, who died d of heat stroke in the arizona desert last week after being smuggled into the u.s. with her mother and three other indian nationals. border patrol found the body of gurupreet kaur wednesday near lukeville, arizona. the temperature hovered around 108 degrees fahrenheit that day. the girl's mother had gone to search for water, while she stayed with two of the other migrants in her group. the volunteer humanitarian group no more deaths, which provides water and other assistance to migrants crossing the harsh sonoran desert, tweeted -- "asylum seekers have been forcibly turned away from the nearby lukeville port of entry. we need #waternotwalls." a new report by "the new york times" has revealed the youngest child to be ripped from their family after migrating to the u.s. via the southern border was a 4-month-old baby. the child, constantin mutu, was
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taken by u.s. officials under trump's zero-tolerance family separation policy and put in a foster home. his father was put in an immigrant prison before being deported to his native romania. konstantin has since been reunited with his parents and has displayed signs of emotional and develolopmental issues. his parents say he is not walking or talking. immigration and customs enforcement has put 5200 immigrants in quarantine after they were exposed to mumps or chicken pox. 3939 immigraration prisons aroud the countrtry are affected by te outbreak. in south america, power has been partially restored after a massive blackout hit argentina uruguay, and parts of paraguay , on sunday. officials say the unprecedented blackout occurred after a failure in the transmission of electricity from a hydroelectric dam that feeds the regional electrical grid. argentina has vowed to fully investigate the reasons for the system's failure. president trump lashed out at "the new york times" after it published a piece saturday saying the u.s. is ramping up
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cyber intrusions into russia's electric power grid. trump tweeted "the new york "virtual act is a of treason." the report asserts that the u.s. is deploying new cyber tools in a warning to russian president vladimir putin over interference in u.s. elections. the report also said that military and intelligence officials have avoided sharing the full details of such operations with trump in case he countermands them or discloses the information with foreign officials. india has imposed new tariffs 28 u.s. products, in response to the trump administration's hike on steel and aluminum taxes, as well as the decision to withdraw india's preferential trade status earlier this month. the new tariffs will affect goods including apples, almonds, lentils, and chemical products and in some cases be as high as 70%. in guatemala, voters headed to the polls sunday in highly contested presidential and congressional elections. as votes continue to be tallied, former first lady sandra torres
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is leading in the presidential race with around a quarter of the votes, but a run-off is expected in august between the two leading candidates. torres has been plagued by accusations of money laundering and ties to drug traffickers. critics have warned of widespread corruption leading up to the elections. telma aldana, a former attorney general who helped prosecute hundndreds of cases against guatemala's political and busisiness elite, was believed o be a favorite to win before being banned from the elections over what many believe are trumped up allegations of embezzlement and tax fraud, which she denies. aldana has left the country after facing death threats and a warrant for her arrest. in sudan, ousted former president omar al-bashir made his first public appearance sunday since his overthrow in april. he was taken to the prosecutor's office, where he was charged on several counts of corruption, including accepting illegal gifts and hoarding foreign money. al-bashir was charged in may for his involvement in the killing of anti-government demonstrators during the months-long popular uprising that led to his ouster. protesters are continuing to demand the country's ruling
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military hand over power to a civilian authority. in somalia, a car bombing saturday near a checkpoint for the presidential palace in mogadishu killed at least eight people and wounded another 25. the militant group al-shabaab claimed responsibility. al-shabaab also claimed responsibility for the death of 10 kenyan police officers who were killed saturday after their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device near the border with somalia. in spain, barcelona's leftist mayor ada colau was sworn in saturday for another term after she managed to keep her post, despite losing by less than 5000 votes to a catalan separatist candidate during last month's european parliamentary elections. mayor colau was re-elected by city hall representatives after members of the socialist party and representatives, backed by former french prime minister manuel valls, voted for her in an effort to prevent a catalan separatist from becoming mayor. president trump will officially
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kick off his presidential 2020 bed with a massive rally in orlando, florida. it comes just over four years after trump's dissentnt down the golden escalator in trump tower two announces 2016 candidacy. media allen's are reporting the trump campaign has fired several pollsters after leaked numbers showed him trailing former vice president joe biden and bernrnie sanders in several battleground states. in maryland, police are investigating the death of zoe spears, a 23-year-old black transgender woman who is at least the 10th known case of deadly violence against trans women this year, all of them african-american. spears' body was found on the street with several gunshot wounds last thursday in fairmount heights, just outside of washington, d.c., only a few blocks away from the site of another fatal shooting in march of a black trans woman named ashanti carmon. the two women were friends and the police are trying to determine if their murders are connected. ruby corado, executive director of lgbtq community center "casa ruby" and a close friend of zoe spears, said that spears moved
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out of her apartment fearing for her safety following ashanti carmon's murder. the fallout for prosecutors in the central park five case continues. the prosecutor resigned from her lecturing position at club you law school after a petition started by the black law students association calling for her firing gathered over 10,000 signatures. this comes after former prosecutor linda fairstein was dropped by her publisher and forced to step down from several nonprofit boards, as well as vassar college's board of trustees, due to renewed public scrutiny following the release of a netflix series about the case which saw five harlem teenagers of color wrongfully accused and convicted for a rape in 1989. to see our our interview with ava duvernay air, the director, go to in arizona, phoenix's mayor and police chief both apologized after a video showing officers pointiting guns and yelling at a
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black family outside a familily dollar s store caud widespread outrage over the weekend. the officers say they were responding to a report of shoplifting when they drew their firearms and started screaming orders, using profane language, at a father, a pregnant woman carrying a baby, and a four-year-old girl. the girl had left the store with a doll which was not paid for. [bleep] >> are you recording? >> yeah, i'm recording. >> put your hands up. hands up. >> i can't put my hands up. i have a baby in my arms. i am pregnant. amy: the woman can be heard saying she is unable to hold her hands up because she is holding her baby and that she is pregnant. the parents say the police officers violated their civil rights and are filing a $10 million lawsuit. and those are some of the
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headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we begin today's show in hong kong, whwhere as many as 2 2 min people took to the streets sunday calling for the withdrawal of a bill to allow the extradition of hong kong residents to mainland china. protesters also called for the resignation of hong kong's chief exexecutive, carrie lam, and otr top offificials who pushed for e extradition bill. facing mounting protests, lam has apologized f for her hanandg of the legislation and h has indefinitely delayed a vote on the bill, but the bill has not been fully withdrawn. sunday's protest came days after riot police fired tear gas, rubber bullets, and pepper spray at tens of thousands of demonstrators. itit is one of the largegest prt hong kong has seen since before britain's and over of hong kong in 1997. since then, hong kong has erated under a different legal and political system as mainland china, a setup known as "one country, two systems." critics of the extradition bill say it would infringe on hong
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kong's independence and the legal and human rights of hong kong residents, as well as the people visiting hong kong. one of the most prominent pro-democracy activists in hong kong, 22-year-old joshua wong, was released after a month time bars. in 2014, he helped lead the umbrella movement, which protest protest -- silentill not be kept under this under president xi and carrie lam. carrie lam must step down. otherwise i believe in the next few weeks before the 22nd anniversary of hong kong transfer of sovereignty, more and more hong kong people, not -- will come and join our we get back our basic human rights and freedom. amy: we are joined now b by two guests. in hong kong, nathan law, a pro-democracy activist who helped lead the umbrella movement. he andnd joshua wong have been
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nominated for the nobel peace prize for their activism. he was with joshua just after his release today. and here in new york, minky worden, director of global initiatives at human rights watch. worked and lived in hong kong in the 1990's. we welcome you both to democracy now! nathan, can you describe what took place this weekend, what your demands are, and whether you feel they have been met? >> i think after the 2 million people marching down last sunday, carrie lam did issue an apology i'm a but it is that enough. our demand is very clear and sound. she has to retreat the proposal. she has to investigate the police brutality. and she has to step down. i think of these demands are not met in the future, then there will be more and more protesters and rallies. amy: can you explain what the law is and why protesters will not accept it? country, to's one
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system with china, one of the most important features, is that we have separated legal systems. in hong kong we have independent justice, a trial, and rule of law. these are not found in china. if this law is passed, it allows china to extradite people in hong kong with fabricated cases and they have e to be extradited back to china to face unfair trials. so it imposes danger to all of us. amy: can you t talk about the police response to these massive protests -- protesters are putting the number somewhere around 2 million people in the streets of hong kong? >> well, the most brutal repression to ththe protesters happens last wednesday when we had a gathering outside a legislative complex w were the gegeneral meaning of our body tk
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place. the police tried to disperse people with tear gas and rubber bullets. and these are unprecedented forces and definitely in proportional. the police were out of control. they were detaining people who are lying down on the ground without any resistance. they were firing gunfire to the heads of the protesters. these are violating every ordinance or every rule that they have to obey in order to protect the safety of citizens. amy: on saturday, hong kong's chief executive carrie lam addressed the people of hong kong. this is what she said. >> i feel deep sorrow and regret that the deficiencies in our work and various other factions have stirred up substantial controversies in society following the relativelely calm period of the past two years.
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disappointing many people.e. we will adopt t the most sincere and h humble attitude to accept criticism and make improvements so that we can continue to connect with the people of hong kong. amy: nathahan law, your response to the chief executive of hong kong? this pressdo believe conference, the performance of brought more people down to the streets. even though she said she opposed the bill, but she also said the bill was good, with good intentioion and good purpose, jt people do not understand it. liesis kind of rhetoric that carrie lam saidid during a press conference made a lot of people more angry and she also defended the police brutality saying the protest on wednesday was also a riot, that it
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legitimized suppression or the police brutality they have been taking. and these things also really upset the citizens so that our number of people marching down to the streets increased from one million to 2 million within a week. so carrie lam must be the one who made this happen. about china'salk overall rorole in this? on saturday was celebrating his 66th birthday with russian president vladimir putin. beijing won't let hong kong's leader carrie lam step down even if she wants to, some say. your thoughts on this, nathan law, and what this means for the mainland as well? and forarrie lam beijing, they say it is not an initiative from beijing, it is from carrie.
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the information i got from different sources, we also know that it was an initiative from carrie and she tried to push over the proposal so beijing's power in hong kong could be more centralized and strengthen its grip to hong kong about money and also arresting political dissidents and so on. but she misjudged how the public would react post of the public anger is much larger than she expected. i think even though the beijing government is backing her, the possibility that the beijing government -- they wanted to preserve the reputation or show they are lenient and rational, they may sacririfice carrie lamf needed. amy: i want to go back to hong kong pro-democracy activist joshua wong who was just released from jail today. as he spoke, nathan, you're standing right next to him. >> it is time for us to urge
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carrie lam to withdraw the extradition law proposal and it is her responsibility to step down and to face how to million people already joined the fight politicalher -- responsibility. in the future, i would join the fight and i hope more of you can join our protest. amy: can you comment on what release, just his released earlier today, and the significance of this, why he was imprisoned and what it means for the whole movement? >> joshua was not in jail because of his participation in the umbrella movement. so after almost a month just sentence, he came out and immediately went to the protest site to see what was going on. in a prison coming up very limited resources of information. he had to keep up the pace a no
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more about things in order to make a good gesture on a .trategy at the end of the day, he is very concerned. we will continue to fight. with this but dissipation, our fight will be more stronger and more firm. amy: why is it called the umbrella movemenent? can you describe your intentions and founding at? >> the ebola movement happened five years ago. it is named because people were very peaceful. and when they faced police using the pepper spray, they only block it with an umbrella. -- a linesee a sea of of umbrellas facing the police and the police were spring pepper spray. so the name ebola movement -- umbrella this movement started from this iconic scene. amy: overall, where you think --
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the g20 is happening later this month. president trump will be meeting with xi jinping. what do you want to see come out of that and can you comment on the u.s.-china relationship and how it affects what is happening in hong kong? >> well, secretary pompeo just said president trump will discuss the hong kong issue with xi jinping monday at the g20. i think it is an opportunity for the u.s. to say they have interest in hong kong and they share the same liberal views with hong kong people so that we want china to really treasure the demands of hohong kong peope and stop suppressing them. very important a message because it is not only about hong kong's interest, but the interest of the whole free world in the interest of america. i think if president trump meets president xi in the g20 him it
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is done only about economy or trade, but is about something way much more important. amy: nathan law is a pro-democracy activist who has also helped lead t the umbrella movement. both he and joshua wong have been nominated for the nobel peace prize for their activism. nathan, i what you just a with us but i also wantnt to bring in minky worden of human rights watch. even following this movement in detail, lived in hong kong. if you could talk about the significance of a movement that was -- some described it as a failed movement until now. >> first of all, i would like to say that joshua wong getting out of prison today is a very significant moment. he published an article that had echoed the letter from the birmingham jail. i think that helped put this movement in the context of protest movements worldwide, but also through history.
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the amber alert movement when it happen in 2014 -- the umbrella movement it happen in 2014 was landmark step especially for young people who were not born at the time of the hong kong movement. saying we understand only in ,ong kong with a rule of law press freedom, religious freedom, our ability to protest freely, we understand these and freedoms are very precious and we are prepared to stand up and defend them. the umbrella movement itself, nathan law was actually and eled to the legislature in a landslide. he was the youngest legislator when elected. yet within a year, he was thrown out of the legislature. and that was a series of moves that have been made by the hong kong government to assert control of the legislature, throwing out elected leaders, and i think -- there is been a question of whether there was a legacy from the umbrella
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movement. and last sunday with one million people tururning out into the streets, usefully, and yesterday with as many as 2 million people turning out, i think you can see the umbrella movement has had no enduring legacy that continues to this day. amy: can you talk about the extradition law, more about it, what seems to be the latest in a blurring of lines between mainland china and hong kong? and how much conontrol -- for people to understand, does china exert over hong kong and where you see this all headed? >> the extradition law is the latest in a series of moves from china to undermine hong kong's autonomy and human rights. i think if you were to look at all of the things that distinguish hong kong from china -- religious freedom, a functioning rule of law, a judicial system that is largely independent, free press is absolutely essential, and the ability to protest -- all of
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these rights and freedoms have been under steady assault from china. but in the way the inteternatiol community really was not paying a lot of attention. certainly, it cost enormous fear and concern in hong kong. in the 22 years from the china,r from britain to it is largely been left a hong kong people. every time there's been a crisis like this, they have stood up. what the extradition law does that is so pernicious is that it would actually legalize kidnapping. it would, , i think in rececent years s we have seen the abductn businessmen. and there was a businessman abducted from the four seasons. amy: hotel. >> yes. a businenessman was abducted and five publishers. then several of them made forced confessions. i think for hong kong people,
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they see this as a fundamental assault to the values, their core values, where you have the right of due process, for example, in the courts. the extradition law itself could legalizeze kidnapping. amy: whyhy is china pushing for this at this time and what does this m mean for xi j jinping? >> i don't know there is evidence this is coming from china. hong kong is supposed to be an autonomous system and has an enormous bureaucracy. there's a big question whether this was the hong kong leader carrie lam, who is not elected by the hong kong people, moving a piece of legislation where she could show beijing how much she was in control. as nathan law said, it tax fired spectacularly -- it backfired spectacularly. what is going to happen next? carrie lam said they will suspend the law but knowledge arririved. there are parallels in recent hong kong history where the previous chief executive moved a piece of legislation on subversion that would have
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undermined human rights in hong kong. in that situation, half a million people took to the streets. the lalaw was withdrawn and ultimately the chief executiveve was tosseded out of office. i think there e is a parallel in recent hong kong history, but the concern is now xi jinping is in china. amy: your final thoughts, nathan law? ofwell, definitely is kind legalizing kidnapping imposes threats to hong kong people, and that is why we have 2 million people marching in the street on sunday. we hope by continuing our pressure to the government, they will listen to us, even though they are not democratically elected. with the power of the people must be shown and the power of people must be respected. amy: nathan law, thank you for being with us, pro-democracy activists in hong kong and nominated for nobel peace prize. minky worden is director of global initiatives at human rights watch.
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when we come back, the story of laquan mcdonald and the chicago cover-up. ♪ [music break] amy: this isis democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amamy goodman. we turn to a r remarkable neww documentary that just premiered on showtime. "16 shots."called
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it examines the 2014 murder of african-american teenager laquan mcdona i in chago.o. this is the trailer. >> chicago police partment averagesaybe 30 lice ootings a year. a lel ofk it people bngesensitid from the vlence. >> when yolook at the poli reports th were sied off, it is a justied shootg. >> if meone gs near y with an on kni -- >>'m rry, but that is threat. >> wt the loll news puout there -- >> an individual with a knife cong at thofficer. >>hat t isot thehetory. this boyas been otnd that is a l of bull holes ihim. >> there is -- can veo that
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contdidicts e ofoffial story. >>hat we saw, in our opini,, s first-greeee mder. therere is anscalation of vovolvemt frfromeople e ross the city. >> justiceoror us is jasovan dyke being convicted oththe murdrder of laquan mcdond.d. >> he was their son, tir brothe he was them. >>hicago h not had to reck withhahat hpepens wn yoyou holdolks and law enforcement accountable. >> almost erernigh thehe per of legitimacy the city institutions cratered. 16 minutes are msing. >> the luan case was not a cover-up. it is thststory ourur rial ghtmararin this country. acquitted. amy: the trailer to "16 shots," a new documentary on showtime. former police officer jason van
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dyke was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to six years and nine months in prison for mcdonald's murder. van dyke was also found guilty on 16 counts of aggravated battery -- one count for each of the 16 bullets he fired at mcdonald. democracy now! recently spoke with rick relic, director of "16 shots." i began by asking him to lay out how this film chronicles this case, beginning with the day laquan mcdonald was murdered. >> we showed the moment every single actor along this process kind of steps in, from the beat cops who initially respond -- the first thing they do is -- it seems clear, they destroy evidence. they erased this surveillance video from burger king across the street. 80 minutes are erased off the machine. they shoo away witnesses. they take some witnesses back to city -- some described for the first time on camera in the film, described being threatened by officers and being co-hours
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into trying to say they did not see what they saw. trying tocoerced into say they do not see with a cell. the leader of the police union creates the first version of this story. that is the story that goes out to the press everywhere. and that is almost always the first and last story. there are 30 to 60 police shootings in chicago every week or every other week. in the course of my lifetime, that is thousands of people who have been shot. the case is all and in the same way. a a small number i in the pressd then we turn the page. amy: i want to go bacack to burr king where the p police coming o the burger king that has closed circuit tv. they do not have a warrant. what do they do? >> they demand access to the surveillance system. they don't have a warrant and they don't have any legal rights to go in and sees the equipment, but they do anyway.
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we can see them on the surveillance footage messing around with the computer system and the next day, 87 minutes from all of the cameras is just missing. we actually did a bunch of researchch. we conontacted t the engineers o install l the systems. this does nonot ever happen. not ononly is it missing, but there are backups on the machine that are alslso missing. it seems evident the officers on the scene erased that footage and just made it disappear. amy: therere were witnesses, nonpolice witnesses, at this late night killing. these other witnesses in your film to the shooting. but first, xavier and jose torr. i hava lot ofriends tt arpolice oicers. i prettyseng th much he lt the trtn the poce.
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we we travelg northbnd on polaski. caractual the fir that pled up athe scen >> after coming home frowowork, i was heeded to rgerer kg. i s see guy- running next to my windo he was getting chad d by t co. ey were chasing him. >> we have the seeeetligs. we were able to get a gooview ofhat was going on. the were aotot of licece officece. it just seemed like he w trying to ge away from what was going on the first shots came iand he drdroppe >> he drops. he literally dropped seen laquancdcdonal move. it d not seelike he s geing up, st like was in pa. that i when all of thehots e e comi in.n. he was on the ground more sho c came in.
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>> the gunshots were goi in and his bodyap jumng. rememr, thing i yeing "sto soting. he is dead alrdydy." >> said, what are theytitill shooooti him?? he is on the gund. >> theetectiveas comin over theyook us to t precinct. they sepated us three differen rms. theput me ia small fice d startequestiong me and askinge what hpened. >> ialked toeveral detectiv. th kept asking me the se questions erer andverrgain, what didou see? how manyunshots d you hear? the more kept teing them of what i saw, eyey wer trying -- they were teing g metuffff le,
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were watating the video a a your story ds s not match. and said, we, if it doesn'tt tch,h, then you have video, wh am ioingere? they sd, well,t is notood l. they rlly want me to cnge etory abo how manshots i had hed. if i did not tell them what i wanted to hear, i definitely thought i was going to go to jail. >> talking about what she saw and who's a and xavier torres before her. compare these eyewitness reports to the spokesperson in the head of the fraternal order of police. clearly, he arrived on the scene and he immediately packages for the press the official police response, which is that this was a violent offender who was waving a knife in a menacing way and had to be shot. the stunning thing is even after the video is released, even fob, the spokesman for the
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dean angelo, the forormer head f the fob of the time come and get mccarthy, the police chief, even after they saw the video, they looked at it and said this looks like a justified's shooting. amy: but van dyke was not the first officer on the scene. >> yeah. one of the interesting things are poignant parts of the story, the first responding officers, responding to a 911 call saying there's a kikid who might be breaking into trucks. they show up. it is two officers. they do everything kind of by the book as you would expect law-enforcement officers to do with it. mcdonald. provoke they follolow behind him m 10 ps back with their lights on and colin and asked for a teaser for the only kind of nonlethal enforcement they have. they follow him for a a significant amount of time. more and more officers are arriving. the taser is on its way. and suddenly, van dyke's carpels
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of them he jumps out, and in under six seconds, he is unloading his clip into laquan mcdonald. these officers have now just witnessed an atrocity. anand they go and they all haveo make their statements. the statements from nine other officers on the scene, most of the statements say that -- tell a completely un-factual account of what happened, that laquan was waving a knife, advancing on officer van dyke --which is obviously a lie. several of the officers say "i did not see anything." the officer driving the car that has the dashcam in it claims they did not see anything. that was the greatest act of resistance probably imaginable for an officer at that time. tellng that even if you the truth, nothing is going to happen to this officer because nothing ever has in the 180 year history of the chicago police department.
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be only outcome is going to you're going to end your career potentially and put yourself in danger. anyway come all of the officer statements, corroborate this completely untrue storyry that laquan was the aggressor. amy: let's go to the clip. it begins with the fop spokesman -- my do, none of these guys are .n power in office right now and then to the head of the fraternal order of police come also not there. and ultimately, the police chief , garrmcmccart, wawas red as ll.. >> as you look a something frame by frame, again, without th emotions that a involved, you cadraw conclusion. the officion was did wh he had do protect himself. that isituation gotten away.
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where everybody's head iat in that situation. thereris a kni. i'm sorry, but tt is a teat. s someo getets ar you, thin 21eet of y, wh anan op knif you cou die. > as you w and i have seen, laqu mcdonalwawas murdered. this family wants juste to be served. and justice for is jason van dyke being convicted of the murder of laquan mcdonald. amy: which of these people is not like the other? which of these people just doesn't belong? hunter at thestor end, the grand uncle of laquan mcdonald. of -- one of the remarkable things is in spite of all of the facts we have about this case, in spite of the video, in spite of all of the
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evidence that has come forward, those facts are not enough to secure the narrative. even in the face of those facts, there is another story, a competing story, that is very powerful in this country and it is built on racial fear. and that is what was being mobilized on the other side of this sort of discourse. so you see that unfold in the trial, the defense invokes it constantly. there are these amazing moments where dan herbert, the defense attorney for officer van dyke, talks about this as a horror film. he says imagine you're watching a horror film and the monster suddenly turns and looks at you and then the music starts to play. that is what happened here. so he is casting laquan mcdonald as a monster. teenager low says, the former head of the fop, says to the producer and interviewer, people need to recognize no one is accepting the fact what we need
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to do is go after that monster who doesn't belong in the street with you or my wife or my daughter. oldestly, invoking the nightmare american racial nightmare there is. dayct. 20, 2014 is the laquan mcdonald is gunned down by jason van dyke also van dyke then controls the narrative or blessing he felt his life was threatened. no assault otherwise so this was just par for the course. talk then about how this case develops, how it changed from that night. >> that would have been the end of it ordinarily. in any one of these thousands of other cases where this has happened. but two things happen that were not expected. first, a whistleblower in law enforcement got in touch with an investigative journalist c calpe and d told him there was a video out there. he was worried it might be destroyed if no one started
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asking for it the other parallel thing that happened was the family began to ask questions. pastor marvin hunter, the great uncle of laquan mcdonald, when laquan's body was delivered to the funeral home, the funeral home called him up and told him, in the news they were saying he was shot once in the chest but he was full of bullet holes. so they took teachers and took us to an attorney and begin the process of exploring litigation around the case, which ended up opening up a second line off inquiry that helped rip the case open. amy: rick rowley of the new documentary "16 shots." we will be back with him in 30 seconds. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, i'm amy goodman. we continue our discussion with rick rowley, director of "16 shots" that just premiered on showtime. just about public officials changing their mind or video coming out from an insider in the police department. this is about people on the ground who could not take it anymore. explain how that movement built, and who is will callaway? >> that is definitely true. one of the central processes through this is everyone in the system plane by the roles that is existed for over 100 years. they know they're going to win because they always have. but what they don't realize is outside in the street and in culture, the roles are changing.
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a ve in a a different world by ththe end of t this case t thane beginnining because e there is a socialal movement t that changnd thatat world. carruthehers, the foformer headf bybyp100 and wilill calallaway,d activist who becamame involved n this case from the very beginning, are responsible in a large way for those changes that happen. will, and activist working on please issues, on the review board shooting that happened in chicago a year earlier. when he read jamie calvin's piece that really -- revealed there was a video out there, he fought for the video. along with a bunch of other media outlets. they were denied. is toa typical logic that play whenever people want to keep things hidden. everyone else rocked it. will did notot drop it. he sued the cityty.
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he sueued the city and w won. it wasas another unprecedented moment for transparency in the city. amy: talk about what happened next. the judge ruled it would have to be released within a few days. >> yeah. so suddenly, the city realizes that this entire machine, that they had faith and will continue to function, had fallen apart will stop it had exploded. so the statates attorney immediately brings murder charges against officer van dyke. this is the first time in officer's ever been charged for murdering a black citizen. a day before the two is released. the video is released and it leads through the city because this video -- there are a lot of videos of the shootings that are circulating now. most of them are shaky cell phone videos, partial recordings that the recording begins
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partway through the encounter. this video is unparalleled in its entirety. it is lock stop shot from the dashcam of a police car. you see every second of officer van dyke's interactions with laquan mcdonald. you see his carpal of them him jump out, and began to fire. you see everything. because it is happening on a street with the lane lines painteted, it might as w well he been taken on graph paper. you could seal upon moving away. you can see he is no threat. and you can see his body lying on the ground while van dyke continues to shoot into him. it is unprecedented in its clarity. you see.orror amy: all of this is playing out before the video is being released. in the mayoral reelection of rahm emanuel. explain what happened exactly
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when the video dropped in the process of his campaign. and also a settlement the family made thahat people did not know about for quite some time. >> we know from internal email and to medications that have -- journalist sued for and have been released, that the city was obsessed with the case. all of mayor rahm emanuel's senior staff were discussing it. they were circulating stories about it. they were talking about the video, butut there was no lawsut filed about it. yet. so rahm emanuel is in a very tight runoff. he did not win -- it is a runoff. it looks like he might lose. the video could be released at any moment by the family if they decide to bring charges. tothe lawyer for the city the mayor's office since their lawyer to make a $5 million settlement with laquan mcdonald's family. before any charges have been
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filed. it is a primitive settlement. $5 million to delay the release of the video until after the election is over. amamy: you interview several tis the states attorney who does not bring charges against jason van dyke even though she clearly has seen this video. what did she have to gain by not bringing charges? it was great because when heads really started to roll around this case and the institutions inside the city turned against each other, people began to be against each other. we were able to get much more candid interviews from everyone. it is a great moment to be a documentary filmmaker when that happens. we interviewed anita alvarez walsh was still states attorney. she makes a class she saw the video right away but says, it is ricardo prosecute police officers. and we thought we would lose. -- is abouteo is in to be released, she is worried
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so she charges and duck with murder the day before the video is released to try to preempt the anger that everyone knows is going to roll out into the street. amy: set up this next clip. have been brought against van dyke the day before this video is released. the whole city is expecting -- does not know what to expect. the police are on high alert. people are talking about riots. when the whole city clusters around the phones and computers to watch the video of the moment is released. it ishey see it, shocking, graphic, it is horrific. the protesters pour out into the streets on black friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. amy: the d day after thanksgivi. >> and they shut down the
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magnificent mile in downtown chicago. amy: this begins with charlene carruthers. >> he was shot 16 time 1, 2 3, four. five. 7. , 10 to 11, 12, 13, , , 15, 16. he was shot 16 times. >> he was their son. he was their broth.. wasas them. how many times ianan frothe licece gwing u u in the city how many times was put in a positi where c ccago police pull gs s on me?
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when i saw laquauan. i saw me. amy: will callaway. when i saw laquan, i saw me. >> that is sentiment that was felt throughout the movement. will described it as different times as a kind of divine justice, a divine poetry that laquan mcdonald, a figure that was so marginalized in a city that he was practically invisible up until the moment of his death, ended up taking down the most powerful people in the city of chicago. amy: so the trial takes place september 2018. describe the moment of the verdict. been thisal has amazing kind of public spectacle in chicago. the focal point of the city's attention for the week that it happens. -- as the cases
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given to the jury and they go into deliberate, the city is on the edge of his seat. people are fearing riots if there is an acquittal. when everyone is called back, because a verdict is ready, i am filming in front of city hall or 200 one or -- 100 activists have gathered in front of city hall and they are certain it is going to be a not guguilty verdict. it is unimaginable a police officer would be found guilty of murdering a black citizen. so their plan is to go inside city hall and shut it down. backit down if it comes not guilty. and be arrested. so we're standing outside. the whole group is leaning into their cell phones, playing the video over microphones or the audio over megaphones. it is this incredible moment. and as the verdict is read them a first, guilty of second degree
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murder, and then the 16 counts. one for every shot. shot one, guilty. shot to, guilty. as those shots are being read out, people are weeping. they are in tears. something unimaginable has happened. it is like a tear is open in the fabric of political reality and something else is visible on the other side of it. i i have seldodom seen moments f that kind of intense publicic intimacy. i i was incredibly grateful to e able to be there and see it. there was a feeling amongst everyone there that a page had been turned and that something -- we were in a new moment, a moment we were going to all have to find out what meant. amy: ultimately, while he was found guilty of each of those 16 shots, while jason van dyke was found guilty of second-degree murder, his sentence.
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>> months later in january this days two things happened apart. first, there was a conspiracy trial for the other officers on the scene where they were charged with conspiring to cover up this murder. all of them were acquitted. the next day, van dyke was sentenced and the judge decided not to consider the 16 counts of aggravated battery, one for each shot them only consider the second-degree murder, and gave him 6.5 years eligible for release in three yeaears. we talked to the jurors who felt betrayed. so each count of aggravated battery carries six to 30 years per count. they thought they were giving a verdict that would mean van dyke was going to jail for the rest of his life. instead, it was shortened to less time -- there are hundreds of people in cook countyty jail right now awaiting trial for more than three years because
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they cannot afford the $500 it would take to make bail. amy: so what do you think is the lesson today as the activists continue in the streets of chicago and what this means for the country as showtime broadcasts your documentary? >> there are two things that cut through this for me. thefirst is, you know, scale, the massive scale of the cover-up. this is not a scandal. this is not three people in a room decided they're going to clear this one bad officer. this is every institution in the city being complicit in this in some way or another, and small or large ways. the other lesson is, for all of the strength of this machine, it broke down.
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that wall of silence was shattered in this case. it was shattered because dozens of people at crucial moments came forward and took brave stance and broke it. and also because of the sustained attention and pressure. this is a story that is four years long. people stayed on this. they stayed in the street. they kept pushing. awe of the people of incago and the journalists the social movements who maintain a pressure throughout and managed to win victories that have been elusive in every other city in this country. amy: rick rowley, director of the new documentary "16 shots." he was nominated for an academy award for the film "dirty wars." to julie crosby worthr partner on the
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of their baby. welcome to the world. 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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