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Exclusive: Freed Gitmo Prisoner Jihad Abu Wa'el Dhiab Speaks as Pres. Candidates to Debate Terrorism
Tonight, 100 million people are expected to watch the first presidential debate, where the topics will likely include foreign policy and terrorism. Eight years after President Obama vowed to close Guantánamo during his first year in office, it remains open. Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for the prison’s expansion. Today, in a Democracy Now! exclusive, we speak with a former Guantánamo prisoner who was cleared to leave under President Bush and President Obama but remained at Guantánamo for over 12 years. Jihad Abu Wa’el Dhiab has never been charged with a crime. While at Guantánamo, he launched a series of hunger strikes to demand his freedom, and was among a group of prisoners subjected to force-feeding. Now released to Uruguay, he is currently on a hunger strike to push for his demand to be allowed to reunite with his family in Turkey or in an Arabic-speaking country. Earlier this month, Dhiab slipped into a coma for nine hours while he was on a hunger and thirst fast, revived only by a hydrating IV while he was in that coma. The day after Dhiab awoke, Democracy Now! was able to speak to him in an exclusive interview. Special thanks to José María Ciganda, Alessandro Maradei and Andrés Thomas Conteris.
Marc Lamont Hill, journalist, distinguished professor of African American studies at Morehouse College, responds to calls by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to expand the controversial police tactic of stop-and-frisk in order to reduce crime. "We keep adding more hay to the stack ... more people to stop-and-frisk to find nothing," Hill says. He argues a range of factors have caused crime to go down already, and concludes: "We can’t arrest our way out of a problem of state violence."
Activism Works: Charlotte Police Release Dashboard & Body Camera Video in Keith Lamont Scott Killing
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have yielded to days of protests and released two videos of the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. One video is from a police dashboard camera, the other from an officer’s body camera. Police say they also have more video that they have not released. The Scott family is asking the police to release all of the videos. The dashboard camera video shows Scott exiting his vehicle and taking steps backward with his arms at his sides. Police fire four shots at Scott, and he falls to the ground. The body camera video shows Scott on the ground after being shot. "The lesson is: Activism works. Organizing works. Grassroots efforts work," says Marc Lamont Hill, journalist and distinguished professor of African American studies at Morehouse College. This comes after NBC on Friday released the gut-wrenching cellphone video of Scott’s wife witnessing her husband shot and killed at the hands of police.
On Friday, NBC released a gut-wrenching cellphone video by Rakeyia Scott witnessing her husband, Keith Lamont Scott, being shot and killed by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police. "She was trying to do what police somehow couldn’t do, which was de-escalate the situation. ... It’s really a remarkable act of courage and clearheadedness by his wife," says Marc Lamont Hill, journalist, distinguished professor of African American studies at Morehouse College. He notes this is not the first time an African-American wife has had to watch state violence take place in real time against her spouse, while being ignored and disrespected by officers.
- Charlotte, NC: Police Release Videos of Keith Lamont Scott Killing
- Police Arrest Charlotte Man in Protester Justin Carr's Death
- Protests Continue Across Charlotte for Sixth Straight Day
- Tulsa: Hundreds Pack Funeral of Terence Crutcher, Man Shot by Police
- National Museum of African American History and Culture Opens
- Clinton and Trump Debate Could Be Most Watched in U.S. History
- Ted Cruz Endorses Trump Despite Bitter Rivalry
- Israeli PM Netanyahu Meets Trump, Clinton in New York
- New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo Aides Indicted for Bribery, Corruption
- Brazil: President Temer Under Investigation for Corruption
- Britain: Jeremy Corbyn Wins Re-election as Labour Party Leader
- Washington State Police Charge Man with Mass Murder
- Iowa: 12 Arrested at Direct Action Targeting Dakota Access Pipeline
- Berks Detention Center: Detainees Say Asylum Seeker Denied Adequate Healthcare
We get reaction to this week’s Senate Banking Committee hearing where Senator Elizabeth Warren grilled Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf over a growing scandal at the major Wall Street bank involving thousands of employees who took private customer information to create 2 million fake accounts in order to meet sales targets. The scandal dates back to at least 2011, and CEO John Stumpf admits he’s known about the practice since 2013. Wells Fargo has been fined $185 million. "John Stumpf let 5,300 people take the fall for his criminal behavior," says Nomi Prins. Prins is a former managing director at Bear Stearns and Goldman Sachs and previously an analyst at Lehman Brothers and Chase Manhattan Bank. Prins’s latest book is called "All the Presidents’ Bankers: The Hidden Alliances That Drive American Power."
The police killings of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have drawn attention to policies backed by Republicans that have perpetuated racism and voter suppression, says our guest Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP and Moral Mondays leader.
For a third night in a row, protesters chanted "release the video!" as they took to the streets and called for police to release video of the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. His grieving family has been shown the dashboard and body camera videos of his fatal shooting, but Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney says he had no plans to release the video at this time. We get response from Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP and Moral Mondays leader. His most recent book is titled "Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement."
- Tulsa: Officer Who Killed Terence Crutcher Charged with Manslaughter
- Charlotte: Protesters Demand Police Release Video of Keith Scott's Killing
- Politico: Trump Paid $8.2M of Campaign Money to His Own Businesses
- Trump Ohio Campaign Chair Resigns After Racist Comments
- 75 Former Diplomats: Trump "Entirely Unqualified" to Be President
- Leaked Democratic Party Emails Reveal Clinton & Biden Schedules
- Yahoo: 500 Million Accounts Were Hacked
- Anthony Weiner Under Probe over Claims He Sexted with 15-Year-Old
- Syria Gov't Launches Strikes on Aleppo as Kerry Calls for Grounding Aircraft
- Senate Approves $1 Billion Arms Sale to Saudis, as Saudi-Led Strikes Kill 30 in Yemen
- Philippines Marks 44th Anniversary of Declaration of Martial Law
- Guatemala: Prosecutor Who Led Ríos Montt Genocide Trial Arrested
- Puerto Rico: Power Begins to Return After Island-Wide Blackout
- 50 Tribes & First Nations Sign Treaty to Fight Tar Sands Pipelines
- North Dakota: Lakota Land Defender Olowan Martinez Freed
- Claudia Rankine, Author of "Citizen," Wins MacArthur "Genius Grant"
Did Connecticut state troopers unwittingly record themselves fabricating charges against a protester? That’s what a new lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Connecticut claims. On September 11, 2015, Connecticut resident Michael Picard was reportedly peacefully protesting at a traffic checkpoint in West Hartford when state trooper John Barone walked over to Picard and slapped Picard’s camera out of his hand. Barone then confiscated Picard’s legally carried pistol and pistol permit. When Picard picked up his camera and resumed filming, Barone erroneously claimed that filming the police is illegal. He proceeded to confiscate Picard’s camera and take it back to his police cruiser, placing it on the car’s roof. What the troopers didn’t realize was that the camera was still working and recording their full conversation. In the recording, Barone can be heard discussing with Sergeant John Jacobi how to justify charging Picard, saying at one point, "gotta cover our ass." We speak with Dan Barrett, the ACLU of Connecticut’s legal director.
Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change, responds to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s support for the controversial police tactic of stop-and-frisk. "Wouldn’t it be great if stop-and-frisk was actually implemented on white billionaires?" says Robinson. "To stop and frisk them for their foundation records, to stop and frisk them for their tax records, to stop and frisk them for the ways in which the housing market was crashed and black wealth was lost, the ways in which deals are cut on Capitol Hill."
As protests continue over the police killing of Terence Crutcher, we look at how Tulsa, Oklahoma, is no stranger to racial strife. On May 31, 1921, a white mob killed as many as 300 people, most of them black, after a black man was accused of assaulting a white elevator operator. Over two days, white mobs set fire to homes, businesses and churches in Greenwood, a thriving African-American business district known at the time as the Black Wall Street of America. When the smoke cleared, the area lay in ruins. Many blacks left and never returned. The National Guard rounded up thousands of others and held them at various locations around the city. We speak with author and attorney Hannibal Johnson, who examines this history in his book, "Black Wall Street: From Riot to Renaissance in Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District."
Protests Call for Arrest of Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby for Fatal Shooting of Terence Crutcher
We go to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the community is reeling over video footage showing a white police officer shooting and killing 40-year-old African American Terence Crutcher while his hands were in the air. "They released the footage Monday, and this is day six. We’re at a standstill. No arrests," says Marq Lewis, founder and a community organizer for We the People Oklahoma, a Tulsa-based grassroots organization that has joined calls for the arrest of police officer Betty Shelby, who fatally shot Crutcher. The Justice Department says it’s investigating the shooting as a possible civil rights violation.
State of Emergency: Charlotte NAACP & Protesters Demand Police Release Video of Keith Scott Shooting
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has declared a state of emergency in the city of Charlotte, where protests continued for a second night after Tuesday’s fatal police shooting of 43-year-old African American Keith Lamont Scott, the father of seven children. Police say Scott "posed an imminent deadly threat," but Scott’s family says he was unarmed. We are joined by Corine Mack, president of the NAACP Charlotte-Mecklenburg Branch, and Bree Newsome, Charlotte-based artist and activist. They both call for the release of the police video of Scott’s killing. "There has to be transparency," Newsome says. "This distrust that exists between the police and the community is completely well-founded."
- NC Gov. Declares State of Emergency Amid Protests over Police Killing
- No Charges to Be Filed Against Officer Who Killed Mother Korryn Gaines
- Donald Trump Calls for Nationwide Stop & Frisk Program
- Suspect in NY & NJ Bombing Flagged by Feds Twice in 2014
- Hundreds Call for Release of Olowan Martinez, Arrested Blocking Dakota Access Pipeline
- South Africa: Police Attack Protesters Demanding Free Education
- DRC: Security Forces Kill Dozens Amid Protests Against Elections Postponement
- Syrian White Helmets & Others Win 2016 Right Livelihood Awards
We continue to look at the U.N. Summit for Refugees and Migrants, which produced a nonbinding declaration on developing a coordinated and humane response to the migration crisis. The United States objected to language in the original draft of the resolution that said children should never be detained. This comes as teenagers held at the Berks County Residential Center are protesting their indefinite detention. Some have been held more than a year while they seek asylum with their mothers, who are also detained. We get response from detained 16-year-old Estefany Adriana Méndez of El Salvador, and we’re joined by two guests who participated in a shadow summit focused on the U.S. response to Central American refugees. Dr. Allen Keller is associate professor of medicine at NYU School of Medicine and co-founder and director of the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture and the NYU Center for Health and Human Rights. His letter published in today’s Washington Post is headlined "A refugee crisis in our own back yard." We also speak with Elvis Garcia, a migration counselor at Catholic Charities. He is a former unaccompanied minor who fled Honduras at the age of 15.
Holocaust Survivor: Trump Jr.'s Skittles Comment Brings Back Dark Images of Children Murdered in WWII
We get response from a Holocaust survivor to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr.'s comparison of Syrian refugees to poisoned Skittles. On Monday, he tweeted a graphic reading, "If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful? That's our Syrian refugee problem." The parent company of Skittles responded, saying, "Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy." "It brings back the dark images of children being murdered," says Manfred Lindenbaum, a Holocaust survivor and advocate for refugees. In 1939, he and his brother fled from Poland to England on the famous Kindertransport just days before the Nazis invaded. In 1946, the Jewish refugee organization HIAS reunited Manfred with an aunt and an uncle in New Jersey. He has been in the U.S. ever since.
The first-ever United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants has produced a declaration for 193 member countries to conduct a more coordinated and humane response to the biggest migration upheaval since World War II. We get response from Mohammed Badran, co-founder of Syrian Volunteers in the Netherlands, who spoke at the summit; Manfred Lindenbaum, a Holocaust survivor and advocate for refugees; and Raymond Offenheiser, president of the international humanitarian and development organization Oxfam America.
We host a roundtable on police killings of black men. Protests escalated in Charlotte, North Carolina, overnight when hundreds took to the street and blocked Interstate 85 to express outrage over the police shooting of 43-year-old African American Keith Lamont Scott on Tuesday. Video footage shows people blocking the highway, where fires were lit. This comes as police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have released a video showing a white police officer shooting and killing 40-year-old African American Terence Crutcher while his hands were in the air. We are joined by Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights; Bree Newsome, artist and activist from Charlotte who scaled the 30-foot flagpole on the South Carolina state Capitol and unhooked the Confederate flag last year; and Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change. He has launched a new petition called "Terence Crutcher died for being Black. Indict Officer Betty Shelby."
- Protests Erupt in Charlotte over Police Killing of Black Father
- Protesters Demand Firing of Cop Who Killed Black Man with Hands in Air
- Kerry and Lavrov Meet in NY Amid Collapse of Syrian Ceasefire
- Ahmad Rahami Charged over NY & NJ Bombings
- WashPo: Trump Used $258,000 from Charity to Cover Legal Fees for Businesses
- Man Who Shot Photo of Skittles in Donald Trump Jr. Anti-Refugee Tweet Himself was Refugee
- Elizabeth Warren to Wells Fargo CEO: You Should Be Criminally Investigated
- Fire Destroys Greek Refugee Camp, Hours After UNGA Holds First Summit for Refugees & Migrants
- Brussels: Tens of Thousands March Against Free Trade Deals
- PA Judge Orders Immediate Release of Arthur Johnson from Solitary Confinement
- Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chair Speaks at U.N. Human Rights Council