tv America Tonight Al Jazeera August 24, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
now. >> this is it. >> and elsewhere in the heartland, looking ahead to the political season. >> people always ask why is iowa so important? iowa is not first in the nation because it's important. it's important because it is first in the nation. >> correspondent sheila maacvicr on the butter cow and the field of political dreams in iowa. good evening.
thanks for joining us. welcome to "america tonight," the weekend edition. a new week begins with the same fears in ferguson, missouri where more than two weeks after a police officer shot and killed 18-year-old michael brown, his funeral will be held tomorrow. this there's concerns that emotions will reignite street demonstrations and anger. activists say it's being driven by the same questions about the use of excessive force, police force that they see in other communities large and small. case in point, the death of a menltly ill man at the hands of an lapd officer just days after michael brown'death. michael oku found strong echoes of the missouri case. >> reporter: protestors marching on the streets downtown los angeles by the thousands raising hands over their heads and chanting the signature slogan against police brutality.
>> don't shoot hands up. >> they came to protest against the killing of another unarmed black man at the hands of law enforcement to protest what they say is a rising epidemic. >> i want to remember my cousin as a human being. he's a human being. just like the rest of us. we're all equal. >> there's no equality at all. black or brown civilians are getting killed for no reason at all. >> on august 11th, some 1800 miles away 25-year-old ezell ford, a mentally ill man well-known and like in the community was walking in the tough south los angeles neighborhood he called home. what's clear is two veteran officers approached him, and that some time after they caught up to him, ford was killed. everything else is in dispute.
the lapd declined our request for an on-camera interview, but they spoke with al jazeera america by phone saying after the officers tried to speak to ford, he continued walking and made suspicious movements including attempting to conceal his hands. when officers got closer and attempted to stop ford, ford turned, grabbed one of the officers. during the struggle, they fell to the ground and ford attempted to emove the officer's handgun from the holster. police say the other officer fired his handgun, and the officer on the ground fired his backup weapon. neighbors claiming to have witnessed the shooting offer vastly different accountses of what happened. >> he put his hands up, and they wregsled him down to the ground. one shot went off, and two seconds went by and another shot and then i see the other officer said to shoot him again. >> these officers have a tenth or a hundredth or thousandth of
a second to make a decision, and they do it. it's not a mental think. it's intuitive. >> steve heading up the police commission over seeing the shooting. he wishes body cameras were on every police officer's lapel, but despite recommendations made over the past 20 years, the police commission was able to secure private funding only last year. lapel cameras have been in the trial phase since january, and many l.a. police officers don't have them. >> if these cameras would be on, this would be, first of all, a lot of problems wouldn't even happen and they wouldn't escalate. second of all, everybody here would love to know the truth with a t. the truth sets you free. >> it's unclear exactly why the police approached ford that night. the lapd says the officers were conducting what they call a legitimate investigative stop. >> what's that? what's an investigative stop?
>> radio host and political analyst earl hutchinson has been an outspoken advocate in l.a.'s african-american community. are you saying is there a suspicion he broke in the liquor store? was a car stolen? >> is there a suspicion that drugs are dealt on the corner there? do you follow where i'm going with this? is there a suspicion of an actual crime? that's typically why you stop people. >> a smattering of district protesters gathered daily to pay tribute on the sidewalk where ford was killed. >> it was a cop. >> she says word in the neighborhood is the day before ford was shot, he and a few friends had a laugh at an officer who clumsily dropped his gun clip. >> i don't have the exact words, but he threatened to hurt him. the next day ezell who everyone in the community knows struggled
with mental health issues and unarmed walking down the street. the two cops pull up on him. he raised his hands, and the cops tackled him. there are people in this community that heard the cops shoot him, and it was three shots they heard and they were not three shots in succession. they were either two shots and a pause and then another short or a shot and then two shots after. there was a pause. >> which suggests? >> which suggests that the cops, whatever last shot or last two shots, were intentional to kill him. >> residents of this south l.a. neighborhood say ezell ford's death is like too many involving the police and young black men. senseless. the differing accounts between the lapd's version of events and those of so-called eyewitnesses who have not yet stepped forward just increased the mistrust the community feels is simmering
right below the surface. just momented later steps from the he was killed, lapd officers chased down a suspect. at one point he appears to be reaching for an officer's gun. neighbors quickly gathered to jeer at the officers. the lines are drawn. we don't know why the man was arrested, but each moment is an expected one. high-tension from law enforcement, and it's easy to imagine how nerves on both sides could cause this situation to escalate quickly. by the end the man is in custody, no one is hurt, and the crowd's dispersed still angry. there was tension, too, at a town hall meeting this week. >> have some respect. that is the wrong --
>> as lapd chief charlie beck faced a gauntlet of black community members, many of whom complained the police unfairly target their men. >> i see it every night, because i respect the people in this room. i hope you respect me. if we treat each other that way, and if we treat this investigation that way and we treat where we live and work that way, then we're going to have this. >> there's been the suspicion but the charge that the police do two things. they overpolice in african-american communities, and they overprosecute young african-american males. so now you have michael brown in ferguson. you have ezell ford in los angeles. a few weeks ago you had eric garner, the chokehold in new york city. so things are coming together
all at the same time, and people are asking, is there a war? is there a targeting against young african-american males especially? maybe occasionally females, too. >> why have we not seen the same reaction here in los angeles to mr. ford's death? >> here in l.a. you have a some of civil rights organizations. as soon as something happens, you have press conferences. they're out there. they're having marches and demonstrations, so there's an instant reaction here. so it's like people have have an outlet here, where in ferguson it's just like the wild west. we have nothing. >> lessons for both the community and the police have been taken to heart since the l.a. riots sparked by rodney king's beating 20 years ago. relations have not completely healed between the lapd and communities like ezell ford's in south l.a., a community that is now experiencing a fresh round of grief. michael oku, al jazeera,
los angeles. when we return, we'll have an exclusive look at the young man whose death inspired a movement. >> no matter what picture has been painted of him, he was a kid. kids do things. kids can be forgiven, and move on. michael did not deserve what was presented to him. >> correspondent sarah hoye with exclusive insights into his story, the kids that graduated with him and why his death is such a shock to them. >> al jazeera america presents... labor day marathons >> our government is allowing an invasion >> our most acclaimed series.... back to back to back... toughest place... >> i call that a lot of hard work for next to nothing >> the system... >> a justice system run by human beings can
back now on flash point ferguson and the shooting death that ignited in the community outside of st. louis. details have trickled out now, though the investigation is still continuing. we've heard far less about the 18-year-old's life. tonight we get exclusive insight with sarah hoye with those who knew him for many years and a friend that remembers his final weeks. >> i was angry. i was sad. i was very emotional about everything that happened, because he was supposed to start college that monday. >> smith is still? shock after hearing the news his classmate, michael brown, was shot and killed by police on august 9th. >> there ain't no words to describe that emotion, period. i know his family. i mean, i know that they're hurt. >> smith was at home when he got the call.
>> i had a question. >> what was your question? >> what do we tell our children as far as what happened to michael brown? what would i tell little brother or little sister or nephew or niece, what does a parent tell their son or their daughter about what has transpired on that day, broad daylight? we're supposed to know that the serve. >> smith describes brown as anything but the negative image that's been portrayed of a threatening young man. >> he was very friend lly and genuine. there was no different side. there was a name that we called him. the gentle giant. i guess the media is portray him as, that's not how we know him. >> sparked by the shooting death of brown, anger and mistrust the community felt towards police exploded onto the streets. the civil unrest lasted moirn a
week and included riot police marching through crowds, firing tear gas and rubber bullets. smith was you among the protesters. >> i went at first to show my respect and get out and see us as a community coming together. i felt that presence of race trying to overcome something that has been just a dark cloud over our youth. >> as none straighters called for justice one of the rally cries, i am mike brown, hit home for smith. >> in the words of my mother, it could have been me. >> smith and brown graduated together in may. both were heading off to college. major feats for the kids from the wrong sides of the tracks in st. louis. >> to be so parallel, we both graduated and we both were starting college, you know. we both came from the same background as far as poverty communities.
he didn't grow up in wealth, but i know the neighborhood he grew up was similar if not the exact same, one of the largest obstacles for a young, black male is not falling in the lines of being a statistic. >> ophelia troup and deidre are brown's former elementary school teachers. it had been years since they had last seen brown. their final encounters were with him this summer. troup reconnected with brown at his grad kwags. who was michael brown? >> he was a wonderful child. he was an awesome person who knew where he was going. no matter what picture has been painted of him, he was a kid. kids do things. kids can be forgiven and move on. michael did not deserve what was presented to him.
>> sealy spoke with brown on her way home from work in june. she's lost six former students over the years. >> i have kids who i've seen that were problematic, and i could see things perhaps happening them along their journey. he was definitely not one of them. he was not one that i would have ever thought anything would have happened to him at this magnitude. all these things that have happened to make him infamous, that postmortem . that's what's sad. he won't know these great things happen. we hope something good comes out of it. >> the last time smith spoke fwroun was around graduation. >> spoke words of you, you know, encouragement to one another. he seem aw me and walked up to me like, we made it man. >> he's getting ready to leave for college on friday, a journey michael brown will never take. sarah hoye, al jazeera,
ferguson, missouri. >> last words shared with a friend. mike brown's last journey was up a quarter-mile stretch in ferguson. the demonstrations left a strong and disturbing impression of the community and has been called a war zone. the most dangerous street in america. for the people who live and work along west flor sent, it's just home. [ sirens ] >> these sounds have turned to anger. night full of shouts and smoke. each daylight bringing new signs of getting back to normal. behind the now boarded-up storefronts, questions about what the next bit of news might bring. someone like buffy blanchard who has cut hair at her aunt's shop,
the cliff appeal, for years doesn't even recognize the block she's seen on tv night after night. >> 4:00, 5:00, 6:00 when the sun comes down, it's a different neighborhood. one that you can't even phantom by being here and living in this neighborhood. you're like what is really going on. >> the trouble on this block, she says, is mostly caused by outsiders. local demonstrators, she says, respected the small businesses here. >> every night that i leave here, i sit at home and watch the news and flip from channel to channel to channel. i wake up and it's still on. i'm like, what's going on in the neighborhood now? every day the funny thing is you look at our shop. i'm like did the windows get busted today? did we get looted today? knock on wood, we've been very lucky. >> the daytime demonstrations she tells me are no problem.
they're just out to make a point. it's the anger of the night and the police response, buffy says, that makes her block a frightening place to be. >> the armored trucks with the assault rifles pointed directly at me, and i was like -- i was trying to move out of the way. it's scary. it was scary. it really was that first woke. it really was that first week. >> that is echoed on the street where even in the daytime calm the police are present and visible. the community senses an attempt to intimidate. >> i don't know who is more dangerous, the bad cops or citizens? >> yvonne says her neighbors do want police to make them feel safe again, but the fear and the mistrust have grown so great, finding a way back to community will be tough.
>> i think their problem is, you know, they start believing in good cops when you turn the bad ones in. the ferguson police department has been a problem for years. >> they just opened this up? >> it opened up another can of worms. ferguson is probably the most feared police department. nobody likes going to ferguson if they're from another county, because they harass people. they follow people for no reason. so most citizens including myself are used to the treatment. i'm used to driving my car and being involved just because. i can be at the local grocery store? >> just because what? >> because they want to. i feel it's because of my color. >> because you're black? >> yes, ma'am, because i'm an african-american. >> as we hear over and over again on west florissant, how long can this go on?
can the police keep pushing back? can the media keep the focus on what's happening on this half-mile stretch? how long can a protester, even one that feels protected by faith, believe west florissant will ever be a stretch of roadway again, no longer an intersection of the battle between a community and its cops. fears in the community led the local school district to delay the first day of school twice, but the kids are expected back in class tomorrow morning. children, even very little ones, were visible throughout the demonstrations, an opportunity as correspondent laurie jane said teached them about civic action and the events that made it the centerpiece of a national conversation. >> as jessica wilson's house, mom has more help than usual unloading the groceries. school is closed because of the unrest in ferguson. that means 12-year-old walter
stayed home and instead schooled his baby sister in a few subjects. >> i teach my sister how to sing her a, b, c and 1, 2, 3s. >> they live in the neighboring community of jennings where, like ferguson, administrators shut down school monday and tuesday. >> their education is very important, and i feel like it's not a whole bunch of stuff going on during the day for the kids not to be in school, that's unacceptable to me. >> no school allowed williams' family to stay up later during monday night's protests. they spent several nights getting involved. >> i heard cursing. i saw al sharpton. i hear marching. i heard almost everything that can possibly go on in the world. >> how do you decide to take your kids to the protests? >> i just wanted them to see how it really is, and just because it was on tv it wasn't fake. so i wanted them to see that
this is really -- this is really happening. in st. louis we're making history right now. i want my kids to know this is real and we need to stand up for justice for everyone. >> walter says he's learning a lot after dark but is anxious to go back to class. >> i miss science and math, and i miss my friends. >> some of the people that we see are people that live in the community that just joined in. >> walter's superintendent dr. tiffany anderson brought her staff to florissant avenue to help clean up after the protests. she's preparing them to welcome students back to campus knowing there will be many questions about what happened here. >> i think it's really important to have many different avenues to talk with kids. it's not just the teacher but our counselors and social workers and principal. it's the custodian. we try to show kids we're a lifeline. >> do you have a plan for teachers to bring this into their lesson plan, or how are you bringing it up in the
classroom? >> we do those lessons all the time. you shouldn't talk about race and violence and inequity because of an event. that's a reactive way. you should bring up hard conversations about bias and equity and all of the isms and racism and homophobia. we talk about that in the classroom. we don't shy away from it. >> in ferguson teachers like jennifer stevens will welcome kids back next week. >> we need to establish routines and norm alcy . we will set aside time to talk about this, and they'll bring it up, i'll bring it up, we'll read about it and write about it. we'll discuss. >> i feel that it shall be a topic or a discussion to where they talk to the kids and stuff like that about what's going on. how do they feel about the situation, because behind this a lot of kids might need counseling or something. it's hard to adapt to the situation.
any situation, and when this happening in our own city, these kids are scared. >> williams wants her children to learn constantly. after the last few days he wants her town to learn some lessons, too. what's your ultimate hope for the community? >> i just hope for it just to be a change, period, all around within the community, within the police department, within people. people come together as one, and not only just stop killing each other, too. >> "america tonight's" reporting from ferguson with a different sort of education for its children. they're due to go back to school tomorrow. >> this is right in the heart of atlantic city. it open more than a century ago, and it's nostalgic and it's fun like that was the original driving force of this city's economy. based on the crowds you see here, you might never imagine that other aspects of this city's economy are in big trouble.
the new al jazeea america mobile news app. get our exclusive in depth, reporting when you want it. a global perspective wherever you are. the major headlines in context. mashable says... you'll never miss the latest news >> they will continue looking for survivors... >> the potential for energy production is huge... >> no noise, no clutter, just real reporting. the new al jazeera america mobile app, available for your apple and android mobile device. download it now it's been four decades since voters in new jersey approved what at that time was a radical plan to revitalize atlantic city and put casinos on the legendary boardwalk. it was the only place outside of nevada where gambling was legal and welcome, but in the last eight years gaming rev nyes plummeted 45% and now iconic hotels are planning to soon close causing some to write the city's obituary.
adam may went to atlantic city and found it's down but not out yet. >> this is seal pier right in the heart of atlantic city. it opened more than a century ago and is nostalgic and it's fun like this that was the original driving force of this city's economy. based on the crowds you see here, you might never imagine that other aspects of this city's economy are thoroughly in big trouble. [ music ] >> it's late afternoon, and hundreds of casino workers have just finished their day shifts at the trump plaza. in july the famed resort shocked everyone here by announcing it would close at the end of the summer. sales are down 26% from a year ago, putting it in last place
among the city's 12 casinos. adding insult to injury, the man who founded it, donald trump, announced he was suing his own partners to get his name removed from the property as well as what used to be the crown jewel of the boardwalk, the trump taj mah mahal. dawn england has been a cocktail waitress at the trump plaza for more than 30 years. since the announcement she's a regular at the rallies leading fight to save more than 1,000 jobs. >> you tell them what you want, and you want it now. >> i grew up in a union family. my father worked as a brick layer his whole life, and two of my brothers have followed suit with that. you know, i was instilled with a really strong work ethic, a sense of commitment and i have my teeth in this thing. it's not just about closing the building. it's about everything inside of it.
a building is nothing until you put people in there. it's about everything inside of it and around it. >> reporter: it's not just the plaza in danger of closing. a wave of competition from neighboring states has already swallowed one of the city's most celebrated properties. the atlantic club hotel and casino used to be a hot spot. in 1983 it was the highest-grossing casino in atlantic city, big names stayed here like frank sinatra and dean martin. at the beginning of the year, it closed doors. some fear three more casinos could fold in the coming months. among them, the city's newest casino, revel, a modern, luxurious glass towers built for $2.4 bill. it's now bankrupt and shutting down in september. more than 3,000 jobs will be lost. the mayor of atlantic city was hoping to save revel. he took office last year,
outraged by the city's decline. >> there's a proliferation of casinos all over the united states, especially on the east coast. with so many casinos in our town and our tired economy only wrapped around casinos, we knew when the bottom hit. we didn't know how bad and we didn't realize it would come at the same time. >> with much of the city behind him, mayor don guardian is looking back to the future. he says it's time to return to the old atlantic city, before casinos came in and took over. >> the days of casinos and casino monopolies are over. casinos are going to be closing, not opening up. casinos that open up will close down another casino. >> there are things you can do inside the casino. not only gamble. >> she's hey housekeeper at the
trump plaza. she left new york to work here 18 years ago now, and with two young daughters to care for, she fears she may have to start over. >> i own my home. i pay a mortgage. it's going to be tough, but if they close, and if they do, then i'll just try to look somewhere else where, you know -- there is a lot of other things to do. >> unfortunately, some of the people are going to move out of atlantic city because gaming is what they know and what they want to stay in. they'll be moving to casinos that are recruiting them now as we speak. for some of the individuals it may be an early retirement. for the remainder we need to find new jobs. >> this isn't the first time atlantic city has had to reinvent itself. from its beginning as a health resort in the mid-19th century to a mob haven at the height of prohibition. in the early '60s lyndon johnson convinced the democratic party to hold its convention here.
delegates said conditions were appalling. by the 1970s the city was in desperate need of a lifeline. voters approved a plan to allow casinos on the boardwalk on the promise they'd raise funds for public services. suddenly atlantic city became the only place outside nevada where commercial casinos were allowed. by the end of the '90s, the model had spread to 11 different states across the country. today commercial gambling is available in 23 states including all of atlantic city's neighbors. >> hello. >> hi, how are you? >> great. >> frank knows atlantic city as well as anything. he and his institution. they've been leaving here for three generations, so for him the current crisis is personal. >> this is 61 #. going to be popping in on ohio
avenue, and i'm going to make an eastbound trip. we feel like we're under siege from the national media, believe it or not. it's true that we have casinos closing, but casinos have been here for 30 years, 32 years, i think. they've opened and closed throughout the history of gaming in atlantic city. right now we're going through a transition where for the last few years there's been a contraction. now you can go to any casino all up and down the east coast anywhere. they're building them in iowa for crying out loud. >> you made a big investment to become a jittney driver it your town. how crucial is it to your business is this. >> it's everything. >> two and a half miles away from the boardwalk sits a glimmering exception to the rule. while casino revenues aren't what they used to be, executives here at the borgatta hotel say the cards are stacked in their favor. >> business is good this summer.
we're selling out the weekend and during the week. we're happy this summer. >> just 11 years old they adopted the strategy spend money to make money. big name entertainers, famous chefs, and luxurious amenities set them apart from their struggling competitors. >> we have a different caliber of customer than comes to the convenient style locations that are in maryland, new york, and pennsylvania and even some of the properties in atlantic city. we spent $50 million on our room renovation where other properties were bought for 30 million. our product is a differentiator not only in atlantic city but abroad. >> las vegas, they spend over 100 million a year to market the city as a whole. we have never done that in our history until two years ago. we're way behind, but i think atlantic city as a whole has a chance to reinvent ourselves. it wouldn'ting the first time.
>> we were america's playground. we need to go back to that again. >> a place to play. it's what made this city famous in the first place. why do you love this city so much? >> sand in my shoes. that's a phrase. sand in my shoes. once it gets in your blood, it's in your blood. the people here just love showing off our city. >> while the sun may have set on the casino economy, atlantic city is in many ways flying high ready to rebound at any time. adam may, al jazeera, atlantic city. >> new jersey governor chris christie will hold a summit next month for the future, but that will likely be too little and too late for the more than 3,000 employees at the rebel casino. next up on "america tonight," were the wild run of presidential politics begins.
especially in iowa long regarded as the all important first test for presidential candidates with the state fair, of course, an essential stop. it ended last night with fireworks and after more than 900,000 visitors including potential contenders passed right through. "america tonight's" sheila mcvicker reports why all roads in the political season lead to iowa. >> the iowa state fair. with its corn dogs, butter cow, and wholesome farm-bred competition is a heaping portion of america's star-spanningled and deep fried and gigantics. iowans are the first in the nation to cast votes in the iowa caucuses. it's been that way since 1972. >> why is iowa so important? iowa is not first in the nation because it's important. it's important because it is first in the nation.
>> so far at least a dozen presidential hopefuls have made visits to iowa. even though the presidential election is more than two years away. texas governor rick perry is one of them, making an appearance at this year's fair just days before an indictment cast a shad doi on his prospects. >> the speaker is governor rick perry of texas. welcome back to iowa. >> if you want to toss your name into ring to become president of the united states, you have to come to iowa, and you really have to come to the iowa state fair. politicians love to go out to the state fair. you can show how brave you are by eating food on a stick. >> kathy is a political "the des moines register." >> those things make toed good tv and make for good photo opes. >> more than good photo-ops a tril to iowa and fair is a signal you're considering a run for the president. this year it's dominated by
would-be republican contenders. democrats we're told are sitting it out until hillary clinton announces her intentions. >> it's a big stage. it's a big microphone. it's iowa. people are going to cover it. even if they're thinking about running in 2016 a potential candidate, they're going to show up. >> paul vander platts runs the family leader in iowa whose endorsement is coveted by republican candidates. is it possible to be elected president of the united states without coming to iowa and without if you're republican coming to this event? >> whether you win iowa or not is irrelevant. you need to be here to get your message out so you can play in the other states as well. >> it's nice to meet you. what's your name? i like all your at that time to say. >> it shouldn't come as a surprise louisiana governor bobby jindal made an appearance at the iowa state fair this year. he insists he won't make a
decision about running or not until after november, but -- if you were to make that decision, would there be a path to white house that would not involve iowa? >> no. iowa has always been for a good long time and it's a great traditi tradition. the folks here take our responsibility very seriously. >> candidates who ignore iowa and iowans do so at their own peril. this state of just 3 million people punches above their political weight. >> iowa is a place the process starting. in history candidates have tried to skip iowa. look at rudy guiliani. he's not going to do that in iowa and might be too moderate for the republicans here and start in florida. by the time the race got to florida, it was too late and over. >> iowans don't always pick the eventual nominee. iowa republicans largely influenced by vander platts
endorsement picked huckabee in 2008 and rick santorum in 2012. >> you got to try it. >> i'll one here. >> filmmaker a.j.schneck directed the documentary caucus and spent months following presidential candidates in the last race. >> it's good for the candidates because they're learning how to run for president. when they arrive in iowa they may not be good at running for president but for governor or for congress. running for president is a very different thing. >> in 2012 governor rick perry played the texas card hard. boots, buckles, bales and all. he's more urban hipster, square glasses and polo shirt and dress shoes, des-driving a new image in iowa. iowans get to meet the candidates and look a candidate in the eye is key.
>> it's politics. it's hard to imagine a better place than iowa if you want to be part of the national dialogue and really interact with these figures. you will get to meet them all. even if they have security, even if they have some handlers, it's early enough in the campaign you're not held behind a velvet rope. >> in this case roberts is one such voter. he's met just about everyone in the last two election cycles . >> the beauty of being in iowa, you make up your mind after meeting them three or four times. the state fair makes that happen. we can size them up and ask questions and put them on the spot a little bit. it's my hope it makes they better candidates. >> we've earned a street cred a little bit. we vet the can beeds well on the democrat and republican side. they have become real to people. that's a visit one on one. kitchen tables. they can't buy it on tv. >> texas senator ted cruz was another potential presidential candidates taking his turn on
the soapbox at the iowa state fair. >> i spent much of last month back in washington, d.c., so it is great to be back in america. >> trying out campaign themes and even laugh lines. >> you look at all of these fantastic booths, and it reminds you of the new diet popular in washington. it's called the obama diet. you just let putin eat your lunch of day. >> with this crowd that joke falls flat. chuck grassley has come to the state fair his whole life. >> you don't think jimmy carter would be president if he hadn't carried iowa in the democratic caucuses in 1976. nobody knew who that georgia governor was, but he came and lived in iowa for two years. he only got 22% of the democratic vote at the caucuses, but that set him up and apart from everybody else. he went on to be president the united states.
>> in 2007 barack obama, a little known illinois senator also came to the iowa state fair. >> all you'd have to do is ask president obama to find out how important is iowa. he doesn't beat hillary clinton if it's a different way. >> i will say to the iowa caucus, my faith in the american people was vindicated. what you started here today swept the nation. >> iowans will see plenty more politicians in the months aheld hoping it will se serve as a springboard to dizzying heights in washington. al jazeera, des moines, iowa. ahead in the program's final segment this hour, year in the life of "america tonight." from maine to hawaii, alaska to alabama where we've been in our first 12 months, and why you want to join us on the next ride.
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we wrap up this hour with a thought about the stories of our nation and marking the passage of time and tally of days. one year ago "america tonight" was tasked with telling stories of our community. our "america tonight" team took up that challenge reporting from every one of the 50 states reaching out to find the stories no wujs has taken on. on our first anniversary, we're proud to say we plan to keep going forward looking for those important stories behind the headlines and bringing you "america tonight." [ music ]
>> water wells all over the county are drying up. >> i turned the water on, and that's when i went, oh, my god. >> we are a town that greed destroyed. >> it's actually one of the most isolated areas along the texas-mexico border and for miles all you see is desert shrub and that in the distance. >> they know in some cases more about me than maybe some of my friends orel actives know. snoo they know more about you than you know about you. >> annie and andrea believe sexual assaults on comps are still underreported. >> we see these crimes are committed, and universities sweep them under the rug, the department of education not holing anyone accountable and students say this is not okay. >> the city is controlled by the religion. there's not a one of those
people that's working for that city that isn't a member in good standing of the lds church. >> that entrance goes into the police dispatch, and the cameras are all over there. there's a camera on top of the roof there. >> they know there's an outsider, and they know you're here? >> right. they knew i was here the minute i hit town. >> why do you care? why are you here? >> i care because the love was given to me in my neighborhood. i told my grandmother if i ever made it, i would never forget where i came from. >> this is incredibly beautiful, general. >> that's why i wanted you to see it. >> every single day the companies are operating, there's risks that something terrible could happen. >> it goes beyond risk. gamble. >> it has a shotgun and a mounted light. >> when i carry, my main goal is protecting me. i'm not there to protect society.
>> we do what we have to do to survive. >> you'd kill somebody this way? >> yeah, i can. if they are reaching for it. >> the rock, several million tons of it, has already been dynamited away. >> how excruciating is this work? >> not excruciating. it's big and a challenge for many reasons, but it's a labor of love. >> this is where victims were sterilized and taken to the hoements and families. the end was to develop a superhuman race we associate with nazi germany. >> how many stairizations did you observe during your career there? >> i couldn't begin to tell you. >> it appears they used the taxpayers dollars like an open pocketbook. >> a personal piggy bank? >> a personal piggy bank that totaled up over a period of time.
>> you say that can't be happening. you can't make that kind of stuff up. >> you all saw me going through all of this stuff to expose it. i was like an inspector. i was acting like an archaeologist. >> i realized there was something here i didn't know about, and neither did anybody else. >> bragged to someone the only way i can lose this election today, is if they catch me in bed with a dead woman for a live boy. >> you're known for your colorful brain. >> that's a nice way of putting it. >> your mother taught you how to do this? >> my grandma taught me. >> this is a tradition? >> it is. >> it goes back how long? >> thousands of years. >> what seems inevitable if you have this many people all in one place, mostly dudes. >> there's a lot of testosterone going around. >> some of the hotels along the strip actually have floors that are bought out by pimps.
wherever the money is and wherever the men are. >> is the state's passage safe? >> no, it's not. >> they won't be able to protect themselves let alone our children. >> they're still stuff out there contaminating our land right now. what are we going to do about it? >> there was a flash flight in my face and guns drawn. step outside. you're under arrest for first-degree murder. you son of a bitch, and that's the last time i saw cambridge, maryland for eight years, 19 months and 19 days. two years on death row for something i didn't do. >> i told my kids you never know
what you're going to be in this country. god bless america. >> i'll do this as long as i can get away with it. >> i don't want to let life pass me by and regret it later. >> it's about not traveling the same road twice. >> that's the fun part of it. joo why should the rest of america care to replenish beaches in new jersey? >> because when mississippi or alabama or iowa along the rivers or other places in the midwest, tornadoes, we don't ask, you know, why would you want to rebuild that. we stand up for other americans. [ music ]
>> i'm ali velshi, the news has become this thing where you talk to experts about people, and al jazeera has really tried to talk to people, about their stories. we are not meant to be your first choice for entertainment. we are ment to be your first choice for the news. >> good to have you with us. this is al jazeera america. i'm thomas drayton in new york. let's get you caught on the top stories of this hour. a major earthquake strikes california's wine county. tonight - assessing the extent of the damage. we'll have a live report. an american journalist captive in syria turned over and freed this morning. michael brown's family arrives for calm as they bury their son.