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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  April 16, 2021 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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04/16/21 04/16/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> videos speak for themselves. adam, during his last second of life, did not have a gun in his hand. amy: newly released police bodycam footage shows 13-year-old adam toledo had his hands in the air when a chicago police officer shot him dead last month.
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the police initially claimed there was an armed confrontation with the seventh grader. we will go to chicago for the latest. then to the case of anton black. we will look at why the family of the maryland teenager killed by police is suing the state's form medical examiner who just testified for the defense in derek chauvin's trial. >> the medical examiner trying to say it was a pre-existing heart condition that caused anton's death and said interactio with the law enforcement officer contributed. we have independent reports from othe pathogists the said he died from the 60 asian asphyxia. amy: plus, we will look at president biden's decision to issue sweeping sanctions against russia and to expel 10 diplomats.
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mr. biden: russia continues to interfere with our democracy, then i prepare to take further actions to respond. it is my responsibility as president to do so. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. in indianapolis, at least eight people are dead after a gunman opened fire at a fedex warehouse late thursday. at least five survivors were taken to local hospitals with gunshot wounds, including one in critical condition. this is an indianapolis police spokesperson. >> the alleged shooter has taken his own life here at the scene. it is very heartbreaking. the officers responded, came in and did their jobs. a lot of them are trying to face -- this is a fight no one should have to to see.
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amy: this latest mass shooting comes as democratic senator chris murphy is pushing a bill requiring universal background checks for all gun purchasers. murphy represents connecticut where the massacre of 20 first-graders took place at the sandy hook elementary school in 12. a warning to our viewers, the following stories contain graphic descriptions and footage of police violence. protesters took to the streets of chicago thursday night to condemn the police killing of adam toledo, a 13-year-old latinx boy. body camera video recorded on march 29 and released thursday by the chicago police shows adam had his hands up in the air when a police officer fired a single fatal shot into the boy's chest. adam was a seventh grader at gary elementary school. the chicago police initially described the incident as an "armed confrontation," but the video shows adam raised his hands after being ordered to do
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so. he was killed within 20 seconds of the officer leaving his car to chase him down a dark alley following a report of gunshots in the area. the toledo family's attorney adeena weiss-ortiz described the killing as an assassination. >> adam, during his last second of life, did not have a gun in his hand. the officer screamed at him, "shall be your hands" and adam complied, turned around. his hands were empty when he was shot in the chest at the hands of the officer. amy: in minnesota, protesters took to the streets of brookn center for a fifth straight night, once again defying a curfew, to demand justice for daunte wright, a 20-year-old black man shot dead by white police officer kimberly potter during a traffic stop sunday. potter has been charged with second-degree manslaughter charges, but wright's family is demanding she face more serious
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charges. this is daunte wright's mother katie wright. >> unfortunately, there is never going to be justice for us. justice would bring our son home to us knocking on the door with his big smile, coming in the house, sitting down and eating dinner with us, going out to lunch, playing with his almost two-year-old son, giving him a kiss before he walks out the door. so justice is not even a word to me. i do what accountability. amy: daunte wright's family has announced plans for a funeral next thursday in minneapolis. the reverend al sharpton will deliver the eulogy. closing arguments in the trial of former mieapolis police officer derek chauvin are set for monday as the defense rested its case thursday after calling just seven witnesses. chauvin chose not to testify in his own trial, invoking his right against self-incrimination. >> have you made a decision whether you intend to testify or whether you intend to invoke or
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fit the mimic privilege? >> i will invoke my fifth amendment privilege. amy: chauvin faces murder and manslaughter charges for killing george floyd last may by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds. jurors will remain sequestered in a hotel as they begin deliberations monday. a new york court has vindicated a former buffalo police officer who was fired for stopping a fellow cop from choking a handcuffed man during an arrest in 2006. cariol horne was sanctioned by the buffalo police department, reassigned, then fired in 2008, just months before she was eligible to receive her full pension. this week's ruling makes her eligible for back pay and pension benefits. she is calling on state legislatures and congress to pass cariol's law, which would make it the duty of enforcement officers to intervene in cases of brutality. the united states confirmed more than 74,000 new coronavirus cases thursday and over 900 new deaths. michigan's largest hospital
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system is nearing capacity with over 90% of beds filled, with suburban detroit reporting some of the highest rates of infection in the u.s. on capitol hill, republican congressmember jim jordan got into a heated conversation with senior white house medical adviser dr. anthony fauci. he accused of seeking to deprive americans of their liberties by probe coding mask mandates and social distancing. >> what objective outcome do we have to reach before americans get their liberty and freedoms back? >> your indicating liberty and freedom. i look at it as a way to prevent people from dying. >> you don't think america's liberties have been threatened? th have been assaulted. >> i don't look at this as a liberty thing, congressman jordan. >> that is obvious. >> it is a public health thing. amy: pfizer's ceo says people who've received covid-19 vaccines will likely need booster shots within a year,
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with annual boosters needed to maintain protection against coronavirus. researchers still don't know how long immunity to covid-19 will last in people who've been vaccinated or who've recovered from an covid infection. india reported more than 217,000 covid cases friday, a new record, with nearly 1200 deaths. this comes as millions of people have been converging on the city of haridwar for the hindu festival of kumbh mela, the world's largest pilgrimage. at least 4 million bathed in the ganges river over just two days this week. indian prime minister narendra modi refused to call off the month-long festival to avoid a potential backlash from hindu leaders and his base. last year, indian muslims faced a torrent of islamophobic hate after an islamic missionary group held an event in new delhi which was linked to a possible brazil's senate has launched an investigation into far-right president jair bolsonaro's disastrous handling of the covid-19 pandemic, as an average daily death toll top 3000, the
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worst in the world. on thursday, the president of the doctors without borders said brazil's humanitarian catastrophe is likely to intensify in the weeks ahead. >> each week there is a new record of deaths and infections. the hospitals e overflowing and yet there is still no coordinated centralized response. health workers are physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. amy: international aid agencies are warning the crisis in ethiopia's tigray region is worsening and there is no evidence eritrean troops are withdrawing as previously announced by ethiopian prime minister. thousands have been killed since conflict broke out last november, and there have been widespread reports of rape. the u.n. says internally displaced people have started dying from hunger. the united states has imposed sweeping sanctions on russia and expelled 10 russian diplomats, accusing moscow of the solarwinds cyberattack against government and corporate
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targets, interference in the 2020 election, the occupation of crimea and human rights abuses. the sanctions target 32 russian entities and individuals and bar u.s. banks from purchasing russian government debt. we'll have more on this later in the broadcast. in hong kong, media tycoon jimmy lai has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for helping to organize a massive pro-democracy protest in 2019. four other activists received prison terms between eight and 18 months. amnesty international said the convictions are a violation of international law and part of the effort to eliminate all political opposition in hong kong. minnesota congressmember betty mccollum has introduced legislion that wld bar u.s. aid dolls to isrl from bng usedo suppre palestian rights a expand itillegal occupation of pastinian la. mccollum told "the intercept" -- "the $3.8 biion provid to israel by the state department has no country-specific conditions despite israel's systemic violations of palestinian human rights."
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the bill is backed by jewishac groupsncding j strt, if not now,nd jewish ice for peace. a grouof democtic lawmers introduced legistion thuday to eand the preme cot from nine justices to 13. this is massachusetts senator ed markey. >> the court is broken. make no mistake, it is broken because leader mitch mcconnell, the senate republican colleagues, and donald trump broke it. amy: house speaker nancy pelosi said she does not plan to bring the bill to the floor, instead throwing her support behind biden's recently launched supreme court reform commission. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. a warning to our viewers, the following story contains graphic descriptions and footage of police violence. protesters took to the streets of chicago thursday night to
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condemn the police killing of adam toledo, a 13-year-old latinx boy. police bodycam video released by the chicago police shows adam had his hands up in the air when a police officer shot him dead march 29. adam was a seventh grader at gary elementary school. the chicago police initially described the incident as an "armed confrontation," but the video shows adam raised his hands after being ordered to do so. he was killed within 20 seconds of the white officer leaving his car to chase him down a dark alley following a report of gunshots in the area. the shooting took place on chicago's west side in the largely latinx neighborhood of little village. the toledo family's attorney adeena weiss-ortiz described the killing as an assassination. >> i know all of you have seen the video of adam toledo.
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they are especially moving, saddening, distressful to see a 13-year-old boy shot at the hands of an officer. for those of you with children, you can relate to some of the pain the toledos are feeling today. those videos speak for themselves. adam, during his last second of life, did not have a gun in his hand. the officer screamed at him "show me your hands." adam complied, turned around, his hands were empty when he was shot in the chest at the hands of the officer. he did not have a gun in his hand, contrary to the report made earlier today. amy: the police officer who shot adam toledo has been placed on administrative duty. eric stillman had four use of force reports and three
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complaints filed against him since 2017. this comes as chicago police have faced intense scrutiny since 2014 when a white officer shot and killed black teenager laquan mcdonald and police were accused of of a cover-up. we go now to chicago where we are joined by two guests. rossana rodriguez-sanchez is a chicago alderwoman and rey wences is a community organizer based in chicago's little village. we welcome you both to democracy now! rey, you have been in the streets. you, too, went to gary elementary school. talk about what you understand what to and what you are calling for. >> what i understand took place is a chicago police officer murdered adam toledo, a 13-year-old. there is no other way to describe what we saw in the video but as a cold-blooded murder. amy: talk about the progression
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of when you heard that adam was killed and and how the police bodycam footage was released, in addition with the mayor said. >> i live in little village. this community is very close. many groups communicate through text message groups and things like that. so the night that adam was murdered, the community already knew that something had happened. myself, i live a couple blocks away where he was murdered. the reaction since then, community members already knew the chicago police department we try to cover this up. it is also discussing the way in which the city has manage this. shortly after finding out that adam had been murdered, we also found out his mom had gone to
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the chicago police district office, district 10, to report that adam had been missing. it took two days for his mother to find out that he had been murdered by chicago police department. so the reaction and the feeling in the community is of outrage, anger, disgust. really what we are asking for is the same thing that we have been asking for for years, since laquan mcdonald was murdered and before, to defund the police, to invest in our communities. and when the mayor goes in a press conference and cannot answer the question of how the city could have prevented this, that means she is not listening to the people that have been telling her "defund the police." "these are the reasons why people get murdered." they think more training will save lives, but it is a complete opposite. amy: chicago mayor lori
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lightfoot spoke ahead of the release of the police bodycam footage of the officer fatally shooting 13-year-old adam toledo. >> even as our understanding of this incident continues to evolve, he remains a complicated and nuanced story. and we all must proceedy with deep empathy and calm, importantly, peace. as the investigation continues, i urge everyone to reserve judgment until copa has done its work. amy: this is another clip of chicago mayor lori lightfoot speaking yesterday. >> we have to do more starting with the chicago police department's policies, particularly the foot pursuit policy. i said this in august of 2018 and here we are in 2021.
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foot pursuits put everyone involved at risk. the officers, the person being pursued, and bystanders. we have to do better. amy: that is the chicago mayor lori lightfoot. i want to bring in chicago alderwoman rossana rodriguez-sanchez. if you can respond to the release of the footage and what you learned from this footage, clearly, the city was preparing -- the mayor was preparing the city for it -- that was different from what you understood happen before? >> well, absolutely, it was a very different story once we had an opportunity to see the video. i feel like for almost two weeks, we kept hearing arguments disparaging the character of a 13-year-old, talking about two
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sides, talking about the feeli and the trauma of officers. and when we had the opportunity to finally see the video, we saw a scared 13-year-old kid that was complying with the orders of the officer, that was raising his hands. and it has been devastating for all of us. we feel more broken. amy: rossana rodriguez-sanchez, you are a mom as well? >> i am. i can't not watch that video without seeing my child's face on it because that could be any of our children that are outside in the community. amy: you think about the way young people are treated who are white versus black and latinx. i think of carl rittenhouse in kenosha, who had a long gun, was
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given water by police, who gunned down two black lives matter activists and even as people pointed to him and the police were there, he was able to walk away. he gunned them dowand killed them. >> absolutely. the lack of respect for the lives of people of color nationally by police, but clearly in the city of chicago, it is incredible. this would not have happened in a white neighborhood in chicago. this would not have happened in a wealthy white hood. -- white neighborhood. a young person would have been given the benefit of the doubt. that didot happen with adam. adam was executed without even being given a chance to fully comply with the orders of the officer. amy: so what are you calling for as an alderwoman in chicago?
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>> we have been making a really big push in the city of chicago with other socialists and progressives to look at money from police and put it into services for our communities. seems to me the city -- and nationally, particularly chicago -- we continue to be obsessed with punishment, deploying the police to communities. covid has hit as an the service we have readily available to people or police. police were to make wellness checks. the mayor spent millions reimbursing the police for covered expenses. if we don't want young people to be in gangs, then we need to give them the reasons -- resources they need, meet the needs of communities. it is unquestionable we are spending 1.7 billion dollars in police in chicago to have this
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result. the chicago police department has not complied with consent decree with -- for the third year and a row. they have missed the deadline. the chicago police department has demonstrated resistance to reform. and the only way forward is to reduce contact with the public. defund the police so we can fund the services that are going to keep our communities healthy and whole and going to be able to heal our community's. one of the things i introduced was deployed clinicians at emts to deal with mental health issues. we are being fought on this. there is no need to. the mayor allocated $1 million for a pilot for emergency crisis response, and what we are seeing in cities like ellie and your is $23 million, $25 million allocated for this kind of work.
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it is impossible to heal the city if we continue putting money into the police. amy: what about mayor lightfoot's response? >> lori lightfoot ran on transparency. she is doing exactly the opposite of that. we have a unity -- could create a civilian police account ability force. she is resisting it. even though she ran on it. i am incredibly disappointed in this mayor. we're going to continue to fight to get transparency despite the mayor. i make up adam's mother elizabeth released a statement about her son. she said -- "he had a big imagination and curiosity since he was a little
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baby. he was goofy, always cracking jokes, making everyone laugh. he loved animals and riding his bike. adam was really into it zombies and the zombie apocalypse. he even had a zombie apocalypse bag packed and ready to go. rey wences, if you can talk about the narratives that were put forward before this video was released in the last weeks to demonize him, particularly around gangs. >> just listening and reading the statement the mom gave, it reallyreaks my heart. the ways in which adam has been characterized in the last few weeks have been really disturbing. there were many instances, local media played into this by basically questioning his
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humanity, asking why he was out there at 2:30 in the morning. the reality is, this is an ongoing narrative about young people, about like an brown boys in neighborhoods like little village where it is dangerous to be a young boy and be out -- part of the community has also been organizing against the gang database because we know just how entrenched this idea like rosanna was saying, punishing in the chicago police department and how they survey a less -- surveil us. what happened adam is a combination of a lot of things that have been happening in this neighborhood. amy: what are the plans come as we wrap up, for the week and in terms of protests in the
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streets? >> we are taking to the streets. we are going to logan square, which is the neighborhood were lori lightfoot lives. this is the essence we are sending to lightfoot. she must resign. so should the superintendent. there is no room for reform and there will not be room for reform. we are and for abolishing the police and we are calling for the funding of our communities and divesting from police. part of the reason we are doing this is because things like this will happen, continue to happen if change does not come. two weeks ago was adam. before adam, before mike. before mike, there was trayvon. laquan mcdonald. the city is failing young people. we must take to the streets and demand justice for adam but also for our communities. amy: i want to thank you both for being with us. we will continue to cover this.
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rey wences, community organizer based in chicago's little village. in chicago alderwoman rossana rodriguez. both of them speaking to us from chicago. when we come back, we look at how one of derek chauvin's expert witnesses, the former medical examiner of maryland, is being sued by the family of anton black, the teenager killed by police in maryland. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. closing arguments in the trial of former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin are set for monday after chauvin's defense rested their case after calling just seven witnesses. chauvin chose not to testify in his own trial, invoking his fifth amwdment right against self-incrimination. derek chauvin faces murder a manslaughter charges for killing george floyd last may by kneeling on his neck for nine
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minutes and 29 seconds. one of the witnesses for the defense was dr. david fowler, the former chief medical examiner for the state of maryland. he dismissed an official autopsy report and blamed floyd's death on heart trouble and other issues, not the police restraint. >> he would have the toxicology, the fentanyl and methamphetamine. there is exposure to vehicle exhaust, potentially carbon monoxide poisoning or at least affect from increased carbon monoxide in his bloodstream, and the other natural disease process that he has. so all of those combined to cause mr. floyd's death. amy: under cross-examination, dr. fowler admitted there was no evidence of carbon monoxide in george floyd's blood.
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dr. fowler is currently being sued by the family of 19-year-old anton black, an african-american teenager from maryland who died in 2018 after he was electrocuted with a taser, pinned in a prone posion, and crushed under the weight of three white police officers and a white civilian as he struggled to breathe and lost consciousness. black died on the front porch of his mother's home as she was forced to stand by watching. after an autopsy, dr. fowler ruled black's death an accident, and no one was charged with a crime. the wrongful death lawsuit says dr. fowler delayed release of an autopsy report for months and covered up police responsibility for black's death. the aclu of maryland helped bring the lawsuit against fowler. the group also produced this short video about the police killing of anton black featuring his sister latoya holley. >>t was body rn camera
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that basically revealed what happened to him. one of the officer who was morbidly obese actually put his entire weight on top of anton, who was 160 pnds. antowas lyinface down on an incline, which was a wheelchair ramp. u could even hear on the camera that some of the other office on the scene we lling hito shift h weight and he did not. >> one cuff. hold on, let me get it. >> the medical examiner trying to say it was a pre-existing heart condition that caused anton's death is that interaction with law enforcement officers contributed but we have an independent report from other pathologists the said anton died from what is called positional
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asphyxiation. basically, smothered him to death. amy: that is latoya holley, the sister of anton black, 19-year-old who was killed by police in maryland in 2018. earlier this week, latoya said -- john "it is to really have been on opposite sides of the country that experienced the same treatment by two different police officers most of the medical examiner was egregious in the way he finalized anton's autopsy results. now he's been called to be an expert witness for another police officer." we are joined by two guests. sonia kumar is senior staff attorney at the aclu of maryland and richard potter is founder of the coalition for justice for anton black and president of the talbot county maryland branch of the naacp. tell us the story of anton. >> i think the story really begins with a pattern of conduct in maryland involving police violence against black people
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that then are characterized as anything other than homicide, despite clear evidence of the cause of death. what we really need to understand is just as we saw in the case of mr. floyd, in maryland, under dr. fowler's leadership, there was a clear and consistent pattern of creating false and misleading narratives that reinforced police narratives essentially covered up and minimized the role of police actions in causing death in a very intentional way. amy: richard potter, re-surprised to see dr. david fowler and anton's case called to testify in the case of derek chauvin? >> i was very shocked when i saw that. but i was not surprised because, again, the case in minnesota, there try to get a person that agrees with what it is how they want to tell the story.
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i was shocked in one sense but not surprised in another. amy: tell us anton's story and tell us the story of his death september 15, 2018. >> sure. anton was walking with his cousin in greensboro, maryland, on his way to his residence when a 911 call came in from a white woman to say this older child was kidnapping his younger child. so upon the making the entrance back on to the main highway from the bridge in which they were walking, that is when anton and his cousin were approached by officer webster. you see in the bodycam footage of the officer, the young boy walking across the street and then you see an interaction between webster and anton and you hear webster telling anton turn around and put your hands behind your back. that moment and at that time, that is when you see anton run.
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he runs in one direction and at that time, he sees the other officer who was any off-duty officer at the time with the confederate flag on his helmet starting to come after him. he turns around and runs in the opposite direction. at this point, running home. when he gets home, he is sitting in a car that is incapacitated, that could not be moved. he is sitting in the driver side. you see webster walk up to the driver's side of the window, take his baton, and break the window. then you see anton jump to the passenger side in which he is trying to get out. at that point, he is encountered by green meadows, the chief of police, who rushes him -- wrestled him to the ground of the ramp area in which the struggle began. you can see gary meadows putting his entire body weight on anton to the point where you cannot
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even see anton anymore. then of course his mother is then called out because of all of the confusion that she is hearing and they have anton in zip ties. the mother is the one that cognizes something is not right. she says, he is turning purple. something is not right with him. that is when they put him back down on the ground and you see 36 minutes of them trying to perform cpr approximately and then anton is pronounced dead at the hospital. amy: then what happened with the investigation? >> at that particular point, the reports came out in the local newspaper and there were porting this kid was kidnapping a younger child. there was inconsistencies in the way reports read. i was a about two months after that, the case went cold. there was no information coming up from the public.
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i would say october or november, the family had no information as to the cause of death. they were trying to get the bodycam footage released, which we believe was altered because we had several people tell us that is not the original bodycam footage is not what they saw once was released from the baltimore sun. we were then trying to push to get an autopsy report released. nobody was giving the family any information in terms i've a cause of death. this was september. we did not get an autopsy report until january almost and that is when governor hogan ma reference to this when an autopsreport came out. amy: and that autopsy report came out of the office of dr. david fowler, who testified in derek chauvin's case. sonia kumar, take it from there. what did the autopsy report say and why did the aclu of maryland
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sue? >> in the case of anton black, dr. fowler's office blamed everything but the actions of police. just to reiterate, in chasing, tasting, and pinning anton to th ground, handcuffing him and then continuing to hit him face down ground for at least five more minutes. instead of acknowledging the role of police violence, according to the office of the medical examiner, anton died primarily because of a heart condition. the office complained cash set a controlling cause was his bipolar disorder even though it is a psychiatric condition and sort of absurd to say contributed to death. in the report, they specifically said police force and restraint were not a significant factor. just to be clear, because of
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that false report, anton's family and the community are still searching for accountability. the professional association for medical examiner for the national association of medical examiners is very clear about what homicide is. it is dead at the hands of another. it is not about culpability like whether the person was acting in self-defense. it is about accurately and truthfully describing cause and effect. but for the person's actions would this person be alive. but what we saw was the attempt to deflect responsibility or causality to anything but the actual obvious cause, which was police use of force and restraints. and so in anton's autopsy, the medical examiner's report said several things. first, they said there was no evidence of positional asphyxia.
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that sounds pretty definitive to a layperson at first. but then you review the literature and talk to other experts who say in many instances, there will not be a physical signature. so the absence of evidence does not tell you anything. here is a real difference and the concern we had that led us to take action in th case is the difference between rendering opinions were reasonable minds can differ versus actively ncealing facts that prevent us from what actually happened. the driving force here was really anton's family but also the families that came before them. before anton in maryland, there was tyrone west's case. in that case, the other potential cause was high temperatures. we heard in mr. flights case, dr. fowler tried to blame car exhaust. in anton's case, it was bipolar
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disorder. what we saw was a pattern of locating a causal connection between everything but the actual force and restraint used on black people. and for that reason, we joined the family, joined the community in calling for accountability and educating people about the complicity of other institutions in protecting and perpetuating police violence. amy: richard potter, are very close to anton black's family. what are they calling for now? and also in seeing him testify in defense of derek chauvin, though he was, to say the least, picked apart by the prosecution? >> one of the things that family is calling for his justice. we are looking for justicen our policies, in our state so th does not happen ever again
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to another black or brown family is what theamily is calling for. and because of the call to action at the family put out, we have been advocating and lobbying for police reform bills in maryland at the general assembly, and we are grateful this session we were able to get major police reform passed, including anton's law which we have been trying to get that done for the last two sessions at the general assembly but we were successful this year, along with the other police bills. that is what the family is pushing for so that we are creating some systemic change here so we can eliminate or drastically reduce what we are seeing, the pain that black and brown families are havg to have when they are encountering situations like this. so that is what the families is pushing for. amy: and the police officers involved in anton's death, richard? >> webster is no longer a police officer.
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the training commission did decertify him. the chief of police that hired webster pled guilty to malfeasance in office and he is no longer a police officer as well. so those two we were able to get done through some investigatory work the coalition was able to do and with the help of other folks we were able to get those two immediate threats taken off of the streets. amy: we want to thank you both for being with us, richard potter, coalition for justice for anton black and president of the talbot county maryland branch of the naacp. and sonia kumar is senior staff attorney at the aclu of maryland. when we come back, we look at president's decision to issue sweeping sanctions against russia and expelled 10 diplomats . stay with us.
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♪♪ [music break] amy: "hear my voice" by celeste.
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this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. we end today looking at u.s.-russian relations. the united states has imposed sweeping new sanctions on russia and expelled 10 russian diplomats yesterday as the biden administration accused moscow of being involved in "some of the most dangerous and disruptive cyberattacks in recent history." the u.s. treasury department accused russia of interfering in the 2020 election and being behind the solarwinds hack which compromised the computer systems of nine u.s. government agencies and scores of private companies. the sanctions target 32 russian entities and individuals. they also bar u.s. banks from purchasing russian government debt. the sanctions come just days after president biden spoke with russian president vladimir putin. on thursday, biden threatened to take more action. pres. biden: i was clear with president putin, we could have gone further but i chose not to
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be so. i chose to be proportionate. the u.s. is not looking to kick off cycle of escalation and conflict with russia. we want a stable, predicable relationship. if russia continues to interview with our democracy, and prepared to take further actions to respond. amy: the biden administration has been hinting for weeks it might also take covert actions against russia as well. in march, national security advisor jake sullivan said the u.s. response would be a "mix of tools seen and unseen." russia vowed to retaliate against the new sanctions and accused the biden administration of degrading bilateral relations. biden has proposed a summit this summer with vladimir putin but the kremlin has said the new sanctions do not help making such a meeting happen. this all comes as tension is escalating on the ukraine-russian border. to talk more joined by anatol
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about it all, we are joined by anatol for responsible statecraft. he's the author of numerous books on russia and the former soviet republics. his most recent book is titled "climate change and the nation state: the case for nationalism in a warming world." thank you for joining us. can you start off by talking about these sweeping sanctions? there has been quite a week. you president biden announcing the u.s. will withdrawal all troops from afghanistan my september 11 in the crack's russia. >> the sanions could have been more sweeping. targets russian debt but russia does not have big debt so most of the debt is held by europe or china. the economic effects will be limited. i think the most dangerous aspect of this is that it introduces something new into international relations. because despite the way this
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was described, it was not an attack on u.s., it was an espionage operation -- which the s conducts in a great many countries of the world. all that in the past, the expulsion of diplomats would have been entirely appropriate. that is in accordance with international tradition. but never previously have sanctions been imposed in response to an espionage case. very good reason come every country, including the united states, engages in espionage. i think this is something new and i would say pretty that precedent. as to the other elements, well, we don't really know because there was no concrete evidence released on just exactly what russia is supposed to have done during the elections. one thing we do know is they did not actually try to rigged the
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election. there was no attempt to take over the electoral voting machines cyberspace or or whatever. it was basically an influence operation. on that, opinion is divided. of course he was also engages in operations all over the world, though in america's case, mostly they're not -- not entirely, if you look at the history of the cia. there is an inconsistency here in u.s. policy, and to a certain extent, do what i say, not what i do. the u.s. is king one set of rules for itself and another for the rest of the world -- except for israel, which just conducted not just cyber espionage, against iran. most of the world will see this as a case of double standard. amy: on thursday, the biden administration made it clear the
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sanctions were not tied to claims that russia had paid counties to the taliban to kill u.s. troops. the cia is saying it has low to moderate confidence in these intelligence reports. this was a big deal when it first came out. talk about this. >> if the ca says it is low to moderate, i think we can assume it is very low. what they also say is one of the reasons theyhink it is low to moderate is this information me from prisoners in afghanistan. a prisoner and afghanistan, especially one who has been to the hands of the afghan secret service, is going to say exactly what he thinks will please his interrogator. so no-confidence proposed in this. it also seems counterintuitive. the taliban does not need russian encouragement to attack american soldiers.
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it makes up its own mind about that. so i cannot ally understand why they mention this case at all in this context, only to cast -- well, not to deny it completely, but keep it alive, semi-alive. this seems not a responsible way to behave. in the afghan context, particularly with cause, if there's any chance of reaching a peace settlement in afghanistan and keeping settlement in play after u.s. troops withdrawal, then the key part will be played by afghanistan's neighbors including russia. so the u.s. does need russian help in afghanistan. this is not a good way to go about getting it. amy: on thursday, president biden urged russia to refrain from military action in ukraine. this is what he said. pres. biden: also made clear to president putin united states is
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unwavering in her support of our allies and partners in europe. in that vein, i expressed concern about russia's military buildup on ukraine's border and and eight occupied crimea. and from u.s. support for the territory integrity of ukraine and similar refrain from any military action. now is the time to de-escalate. amy: if you can talk about what is happening in ukraine and the significance of the wide-ranging sanctions in the context of what is happening there and your concern about possibly ukraine attacking? >> i think we should keep in mind what happened in georgia in august 2008 when then georgian government president dot had full american backing. and a consequence, launched a military attack on the breakaway territory which was be protected
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by the russian army. not surprisingly, the georgians were defeated. not surprisingly, america di not to war against russia for the sake of georgian -- i think it is very important to make clear to the ukrainians that they may be a kinda partner of the united states, but they are not an ally. america is very, very unlikely to go to war with russia, if there is a new war in ukraine. after all, it has been seven years now since this conflict first broke out. in those years, there has been no evidence of russian desire for a new full-scale war. endless skirmishes. on the ukrainian side, recently, there have been measures which russia sees as escalatory. the cutoff of water to crimea.
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not getting into the rights and wrongs of this dispute or conflict, we do need to keep firmly in mind that if a new war does start, and certainly if the crating governmentere to launch a war -- ukrainian government were to launca war, ukraine would almost certainly be defeated. the united states would almost certainly not go to war with russia. despite all of this talk of support for ukraine, the last american military reinforcement of europe over the past couple of weeks to germany was i've hundred men. if america was really thinking of the really serious possibilitof going twar with russia in ukraine, they would not be sending 500, it would be sending 500,000 men to europe.
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he would the complete reconfiguration of american military deployment. china would be put on the shelf, containment of china would be abandoned. everything would have to be focused on defending ukraine. as we see, that is not happening. so there is a strong element of show about all of this. i don't think for single second russia is going to invade ukraine because the economic crisis, including the loss of this gas pipeline to germany, would be enormous, would lead to complete breach with european union -- which would hurt russia seriously economically. but nonetheless, remembering what happened in august 2008, the biden adminiration must not give the impression that they have or support from america than they actually do. amy: again, the significance of
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biden saying he will pull u.s. troops from afghanistan, although it is clear with "the new york times goes will reporting some 18,000 somewhat intelligence people would stay there by september 11, what this means for afghanistan, what this means for pakistan, what this means for the world? >> well, what it means for afghanistan is that unless the is a political settlement, which looks terribly unlikely between the taliban and the afghan government, cil war will continue. but now with the afghan forces, more of a disadvantage, with the taliban. on the other hand, from the point of u.s. interest, the biggest terrorist threat to the united states by far is not al qaeda -- and afghanistan, a branch called daesh.
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the taliban have been fighting very hard against isis in recent years because they fight for the same territory. isis is largely made up of pakistani taliban fighters driven across the border by the army when they won the war against them couple of years ago. so pakistan is also very opposed to isis and afghanistan. there are opportunities there for any antiterrorist coalition on the ground. whether there are opportunities for stable afghan peace between the taliban and the government, that i am afraid i am much more doubtful about. one thing i am certain of having lived and worked in th regn, any long-term peace can only be guaranteed by afghanistan's neighbors. that is pakistan, india, iran, russia, china. if you don't have them on the same page and really backing the peace settlement, then that peace summit will not survive.
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amy: the attack that iran is blaming the israel of the nuclear facility, allegedly blowup the deal, the iran nuclear deal that biden wants to reinstate. your thoughts? >> it clearly was intended to blow up the deal. so far the iranians have not retaliated. i assume israel will keep trying and is some point iran's patients may crack. amy: i want to thank you so much for being with us, anatol lieven, senior fellow for russia and europe at the quincy institute for responsible statecraft. that does it for our show. democracy now! is currently accepting applications for a senior news producer to join our team here in new york city. the deadline to apply is this monday, april 19. to learn more, go to democracynow.org. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to outreach@democracynow.org or
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