The murder charges filed against North Charleston police officer Michael Slager for fatally shooting Walter Scott has reignited debate over whether officers should wear body cameras. Police were forced to change their story that Slager fired his gun because he feared for his safety, after Feidin Santana came forward with video of the encounter he filmed on his cellphone. The video shows Slager fired eight times as Scott was running away from him. The original police report said Scott took Slager’s Taser and that officers tried to revive him with CPR. The video appears to show neither claim is true. On Wednesday, North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey announced a new order for police body cameras. Today, investigators are expected to release the dash-cam video from Slager’s patrol car. Many cities have installed cameras in their patrol cars. The Police Executive Research Forum surveyed police departments in 2013 and found about a quarter of respondents required body cameras. We are joined by Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst with the Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at the American Civil Liberties Union. Stanley wrote the 2013 report, "Police Body-Mounted Cameras: With Right Policies in Place, a Win for All," and updated it this year with new ways to address civil rights concerns.
As Video Exposes Walter Scott Police Killing, Why is the Man Who Filmed Eric Garner's Death in Jail?
As a South Carolina police officer faces murder charges after his fatal shooting of unarmed Walter Scott was caught on video, we look at what happened to the man who filmed Eric Garner’s fatal chokehold on Staten Island. While no police officers were indicted for Garner’s death, the man who filmed the attack, Ramsey Orta, is now locked up in jail after facing what he described as harassment by local police. Orta was first arrested on an unrelated gun charge the day after the Staten Island coroner declared Garner’s death to be a homicide. He was later arrested and jailed on a drug charge. His mother, brother and wife have all been arrested, too. Supporters have accused the New York City Police Department of targeting Orta’s family for releasing the Garner video. We are joined by Ramsey Orta’s aunt, Lisa Mercado, as well as Orta family attorneys William Aronin and Ken Perry.
A federal jury has found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on all 30 charges for his role in the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three and injured hundreds two years ago this month. Tsarnaev was also convicted in the murder of a police officer in the ensuing days. During the trial, Tsarnaev’s defense attorneys admitted he joined his older brother, Tamerlan, in setting off two explosions. The jury will now choose between the death penalty and a sentence of life without parole. Massachusetts bars the death penalty, but the case is taking place at the federal level. We are joined by James Rooney, president of Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty.
- Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Found Guilty in Boston Marathon Trial; Jury to Weigh Death Sentence
- Dozens Protest Walter Scott Shooting in South Carolina; Indicted Officer is Fired
- North Charleston Mayor Orders More Police Body Cameras After Fatal Shooting
- Feidin Santana, Witness Who Filmed Walter Scott Shooting, Speaks Out for First Time
- Yemen Toll Grows amid Continued Fight for Aden
- Iran Asks Pakistan to Reject Saudi Request, Calls for "Political Solution" in Yemen
- Kerry to Iran: U.S. Won't Tolerate "Overt Warfare" Across Borders
- Red Cross Demands Immediate Access to Besieged Yarmouk Camp in Syria
- 3 U.S. Servicemembers Wounded by Afghan Soldier
- Pakistani Court Orders Charges Against CIA Officials for 2009 Drone Strike
- U.S. Deports Salvadoran General Linked to Murders, Torture
- U.S. Seeks Extradition of Salvadoran General Tied to 1989 Jesuit Killings
- Obama Endorses Petition's Call to Ban Anti-LGBT "Conversion Therapy"
In his new book, "My Journey with Maya," the television and radio broadcaster Tavis Smiley pays tribute to the late Maya Angelou, chronicling their nearly three-decade-long, multi-generational friendship. Smiley was 21 and Angelou was 58 when they first met in the mid-1980s. The book brims with the renowned poet’s words and Smiley’s remembrances of how she guided him through challenging moments in his life. The book’s release coincides with the U.S. Postal Service’s unveiling of a new limited edition forever stamp in Angelou’s honor.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has won re-election in a hard-fought runoff against challenger Jesús "Chuy" García. Emanuel defeated García with a margin of around 55 percent to García’s 44 percent. Emanuel raised $23 million for the campaign, more than three times García’s $6 million. García, the son of Mexican immigrants, shocked the nation’s political establishment by forcing Emanuel into the runoff earlier this year. Emanuel faced public dissatisfaction over his closing of 50 schools in mostly African-American neighborhoods, his handling of a 2012 teachers’ strike, and the city’s high murder rate and levels of gun violence. We are joined from Chicago by Rick Perlstein, a reporter and author who has been covering the city elections for In These Times.
Ferguson has made history in the Missouri town’s first municipal election since the police shooting of Michael Brown and the release of a scathing Justice Department report documenting racially discriminatory practices by police and local courts. For the first time in Ferguson’s 120 years, the six-member City Council will have three African Americans. Ella Jones and Wesley Bell were elected with record voter turnout of nearly 30 percent in an area that usually sees about 12 percent of registered voters go to the polls. When Brown was killed last August, Ferguson’s mayor, the police chief, the city manager and the municipal judge were all white. Since the shooting, all but the mayor have resigned. The newly elected city council members will be charged with hiring their replacements. We are joined by Patricia Bynes, Democratic committeewoman of Ferguson Township. Bynes helped register residents and get out the vote, and served as a campaign manager for two candidates.
A white South Carolina police officer has been charged with murder after a video showed him shooting an apparently unarmed African-American man who was running away. The killing happened Saturday morning after North Charleston police officer Michael Slager stopped Walter Scott for a broken brake light. On the video, Slager is seen shooting at Scott eight times as he tries to flee. The North Charleston Police Department had initially defended Slager after he said he feared for his life and claimed Scott had taken his Taser weapon. But the video shows Slager shot Scott in the back at a distance of about 15 feet. The video also appears to capture Slager planting an object next to Scott — possibly the Taser gun. The video does not appear to show Scott in possession of the officer’s stun gun at any time. We are joined by longtime South Carolina civil rights activist Kevin Alexander Gray, editor of the book "Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence."
- White Officer Faces Murder Charge After Video Shows Fatal Shooting of African American Walter Scott
- U.S. Speeds Weapons Deliveries to Saudi Arabia for Yemen Campaign
- Obama Rejects Israeli Demands for Iran Nuclear Deal
- White House: Despite Order, Venezuela Not a National Security Threat to U.S.
- U.S. Expects to Remove Cuba from Terrorist List Ahead of Panama Summit
- Report: DEA, Justice Dept. Tracked Billions of U.S. Phone Records Before 9/11
- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Defeats Activist Challenger in Runoff Vote
- Kansas Becomes 1st State to Ban Second-Trimester Abortion Method
- Rand Paul Announces Presidential Candidacy; Clinton Could Be Next
- Mumia Abu-Jamal Supporters Seek Independent Medical Team After Hospitalization
The Intercept revealed last month that it is quite easy to be deemed a "suspected terrorist" at airports in the United States. A leaked checklist used by the Transportation Security Administration shows an expansive list of "suspicious signs" for screening passengers, including yawning, fidgeting, whistling, throat clearing and staring at one’s feet. All of these, according to the TSA, are considered behaviors that indicate stress or deception. Well, now The Intercept has revealed who the program actually targets: not terrorists, but undocumented immigrants. Taking a five-week period at a major U.S. airport, The Intercept found that 90 percent of all those arrested were detained for being in the country illegally. Not a single passenger was arrested or suspected for ties to terrorism. The overwhelming detention of undocumented immigrants bolsters criticism that government screening programs have targeted passengers with racial profiling. We speak to the reporter who broke this story, Jana Winter.
Cowspiracy: As California Faces Drought, Film Links Meat Industry to Water Scarcity & Climate Change
As California experiences a massive drought, we examine the overlooked link between water shortages, climate change and meat consumption. With some 98 percent of the state suffering from a water crisis, California Gov. Jerry Brown ordered residents and businesses to cut water use by 25 percent. It is the first mandatory statewide reduction in California’s history. One group not facing restrictions is big agriculture, which uses about 80 percent of California’s water. According to the Pacific Institute, 47 percent of a Californian’s water footprint is in meat and dairy products. We are joined by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, directors of the documentary, "Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret." The film contends livestock is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution despite many environmental organizations’ relative silence on the issue.
As Saudi Arabia continues U.S.-backed strikes in Yemen and Washington lifts its freeze on military to aid to Egypt, new figures show President Obama has overseen a major increase in weapons sales since taking office. The majority of weapons exports under Obama have gone to the Middle East and Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia tops the list at $46 billion in new agreements. We are joined by William Hartung, who says that even after adjusting for inflation, "the volume of major deals concluded by the Obama administration in its first five years exceeds the amount approved by the Bush administration in its full eight years in office by nearly $30 billion. That also means that the Obama administration has approved more arms sales than any U.S. administration since World War II." Hartung is the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, and author of "Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex."
The death toll in Yemen continues to rise amid a Saudi-led military campaign and clashes between Houthi rebels and forces loyal to ousted President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The most intense violence is in the southern city of Aden, with more than 140 people reportedly killed in a 24-hour period. The United Nations says hundreds have been killed and more than 100,000 have been displaced since Saudi Arabia launched a military campaign two weeks ago. The Saudi regime has asked Pakistan to provide soldiers, heightening the possibility of a ground invasion. The International Committee of the Red Cross has warned of a dire humanitarian situation and demanded access to besieged areas. We are joined by the journalist Safa Al Ahmad, whose latest documentary, "The Fight for Yemen," premieres tonight on Frontline on PBS stations nationwide. She was granted extremely rare reporting access to the Houthis as they advanced in Yemen.
- UNRWA: Crisis in ISIL-Controlled Palestinian Refugee Camp "Beyond Inhumane"
- Yemen: 140 Killed in 24 Hours amid Fierce Clashes
- Kenya Launches 2nd Round of Airstrikes Targeting al-Shabab in Somalia
- Iraq: Investigators Comb Through Mass Graves in Tikrit
- Pentagon Chief: TPP "As Important to Me as Another Aircraft Carrier"
- 6 Greenpeace Activists Board Shell Arctic Oil Drilling Rig
- Study: West Canadian Glaciers to Shrink by 70%
- Transportation Safety Board Calls for Changes to Oil Tank Cars
- Jury Considers Fate of Boston Marathon Bomber
- DOJ Voices Support for Transgender Georgia Prisoner
- Illinois: Unarmed Black 17-Year-Old Shot in Back Twice by Police
- UVA Fraternity to Sue Rolling Stone over Retracted Gang-Rape Story
- Jeb Bush Identified Himself as "Hispanic" on Voter Form
- Kiriakou: CIA Officials Knew Torture Victim Maher Arar was Innocent
- Artists Install 100-Pound Edward Snowden Statue in New York City Park
- NYC Labor Leader Victor Gotbaum Dies at 93
A leading association for pharmacists in the United States has instructed its members to stop providing drugs for use in lethal injections, a change that could make carrying out executions even more difficult for death penalty states. Late last month, delegates of the American Pharmacists Association approved a declaration saying the organization "discourages pharmacist participation in executions on the basis that such activities are fundamentally contrary to the role of pharmacists as providers of health care." The association, which has more than 62,000 members, is responsible for determining pharmacists’ ethical standards, but cannot legally force its decisions. Pharmacists now join physicians and anesthesiologists in having national organizations with ethical codes that discourage their members from partaking in executions. We are joined by Dr. Leonard Edloe, a retired pharmacist who co-wrote the American Pharmacists Association’s new policy against supplying lethal injection drugs. Last year, he received a lifetime achievement award from the association. He now serves as a pastor in Virginia after owning and operating a community pharmacy for four decades.
Louisiana Denies Compensation to Dying Exonerated Death Row Prisoner as Former Prosecutor Apologizes
After three decades on death row in Louisiana, Glenn Ford was freed in March 2014 based on new evidence clearing him of the 1983 fatal shooting a jewelry store owner. Ford is African-American and was tried by an all-white jury. In 2000, the Louisiana Supreme Court ordered an evidentiary hearing on Ford’s claim that the prosecution suppressed favorable evidence related to two brothers initially implicated in the crime. Then in 2013, an unidentified informant told prosecutors that one of the brothers had admitted to shooting and killing the jewelry store owner. Shortly after Ford’s release last year, he received a second death sentence: stage 3 lung cancer, which has now advanced to stage 4 and spread to his bones, lymph nodes and spine. His attorney says he has entered hospice care in New Orleans. Ford filed a federal lawsuit claiming prison officials and medical authorities knew he had cancer in 2011 but denied him treatment. Glenn Ford is one of the longest-serving death row prisoners ever to be exonerated. Under Louisiana law, he can ask for a maximum of $330,000 in compensation. But last week a judge denied his request, saying Ford was involved in two lesser crimes. We are joined by the lead prosecutor in Ford’s murder trial, Marty Stroud, who has come out in favor of his compensation. In a three-page letter to the Shreveport Times, Stroud said he no longer supports the death penalty, and apologized to Ford. "I apologize to Glenn Ford for all the misery I have caused him and his family," he wrote.
Days after being exonerated and freed from an Alabama prison, Anthony Ray Hinton recounts how he got through nearly 30 years on death row as an innocent man. Hinton was convicted of murdering two fast-food managers in separate robberies in 1985, based on scant evidence that later turned out to be false. Hinton is said to be among the longest-serving death row prisoners ever to be freed after presenting evidence of innocence. Hinton joins us along with his attorney, Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative, who says race, poverty, inadequate legal assistance, and prosecutorial indifference to innocence conspired to create a textbook example of injustice. "This is a very powerful demonstration of the critique of the American criminal justice system, which we contend treats you better if you’re rich and guilty than if you’re poor and innocent," Stevenson says.
- Kenya Hits Al-Shabab in Somalia After Garissa Massacre
- Obama Seeks Public, Congressional Backing of "Robust and Verifiable" Iran Deal
- U.S., Iran Differ on Pace on Sanctions Relief under Final Deal
- Netanyahu Campaigns Against "Historically Bad" Iran Deal
- Red Cross Seeks Fighting Pause in Yemen as Civilian Toll Mounts
- U.N.: "Grave and Desperate" Crisis Inside Palestinian Refugee Camp under ISIS Control
- Rolling Stone Retracts University of Virginia Rape Story After Probe Finds Errors
- Relatives of Missing Mexico Students Continue U.S. Protests
In Kenya, officials say at least 147 people, mostly students, were killed when al-Shabab militants stormed a university in Garissa, making it the worst attack on Kenyan soil since the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy. Al-Shabab militants reportedly went through the university dorms, separating Muslims from Christians and killing the Christians. The Kenyan government said at least 79 people were wounded in the assault. The siege lasted about 15 hours before security forces killed four militants. Al-Shabab has carried out a series of attacks inside Kenya following Kenya’s 2011 invasion of Somalia. We speak to Leslie Lefkow, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Africa Division.