tv America Tonight Al Jazeera October 23, 2014 12:00am-1:01am EDT
a staten island man, sarah hoye says it's easy to take the choke hold too far. >> i'm resisting, i'm choking, i can't breathe, i'm trying to tell him, i can't breathe. >> and a true american hero, he sacrificed all in the bloodiest battle of the civil war. >> lieutenant, let's get you to -- he says no, i'll stay and fight or die in the attempt. >> the highest military honor, why it took a little old lady in wisconsin to give him his due. >> why were you so interested? >> because no one else was i think. >> and why alonzo cushing is still waiting. >> and good evening, thanks for
joining us, i'm joie chen. a shooting in a national capital building with country's leaders just footsteps away would itself be cause for alarm but the still developing news out of canada this hour may have even more disturbing implications with serious suggestions that it might be connected to a terror plot hatched half a world away. we begin our report with a view of what happened, from "america tonight's" sheila macvicar. >> an unprecedented chaotic scene inside canada's seat of power. police in pursuit after a gunman stormed the parliament building. inside, lawmakers were holding their weekly caucus meetings. >> just taking off my jacket to go into caucus. heard pop pop pop, possibly ten shots, don't know, for construction rather than anything else. >> reporter: police gun fire ultimately killed the gunman. >> shots fired.
we may have multiple patients. one soldier has been hit. >> reporter: the attack started just a few hundred feet away at the national war memorial. it was just before 10:00 a.m. when a tourist snapped this picture. two canadian soldiers in dress uniform, an honor guard at the senate, witnesses heard someone get out of a car and two shots. >> i was walking along the front of the war memorial. i was just passing just over here, and all of a sudden just heard a shot, turned around, and there was a guy with a rifle just around on the back corner. and just pow, pow. >> in spite of passers by giving immediate age, corporate nathan cirillo, 24 years old, was dead. it's too early to find out why, or how this happened but it comes just two days after
another canadian soldier was deliberately run over by a car and killed. officials call that incident a targeted terrorist attack. killed by police, called a radical islamist, had had his passport seized to prevent traveling to syria. just days earlier, are the government had raised his threat from low to medium? the canadian military recently joined the fight against i.s.i.l, sending six fighters two surveillance and a tanker. "america tonight's" sheila macvicar will join us in a minute. but chris you got to the national memorial just moments after i understand. >> when i arrived there it was a scene of as you can imagine high drama. there was a soldier, we know now who eventually died.
but at that time, he was receiving frantic cpr from a woman that appeared to be a civilian. she was surrounded by police officers, and other people. at that point, there wasn't a great police presence at the war memorial. but as you can imagine that changed very quickly. heavily armed officers arrived at the scene, and myself and other reporters began interviewing witnesses which were plentiful. >> and some of the witnesses do say they think they saw this individual the shooter get off into a car and get away? >> yeah, just to sort of circle back, one of the witnesses probably the fellow who had the most information, talked about seeing this individual, a man with a scarf wrapped around his neck, and a hat on, stride sort
of methodically, but also with purpose, right towards one of the soldiers who was standing in a ceremonial type role, beside the memorial. and this individual had a long barreled weapon and raised it and fired a couple of times we understand at the soldier's chest. the soldier obviously dropped and then this man scene. what happened next is again a bit murky but we do know there's video of a man getting into a car right beside the memorial, and he eventually made his way to parliament hill and entered what's known here aas the center block which is the main building for canadian parliament. and a gun battle ensued there. some reports say up to 20, 30 shots. and again, what we do know here is that the sergeant at arms,
the man responsible for security on -- in the center block building, ended up shooting and killing the suspect. >> now, just back up for a moment here. you say that the witnesses were able to describe him pretty clearly the scarf the hat, and everything. did he say anything, give any comment, any explanation of what he was doing? >> people we talked to said he didn't say anything, at least they didn't hear. what they do say is after the shots rang out everybody was absolutely stunned as you can imagine and there was silence. people didn't quite, couldn't comprehend what was happening. >> chris goldrick thank you so much. >> thank you very much. >> as u.s. officials are watching closely they have not followed suit but there was some alarm at the white house this evening after a
another person validated over the security fence kicked a dog and got into the white house before he was subdued. "america tonight's" sheila macvicar is here. security protocols are around washington, d.c. but canada with the much more serious situation here must raise alarm and shock. >> don't forget canada sent its soldiers to afghanistan, they fought alongside u.s. in afghanistan. there is an assumption, it might seem to the american ear as naive, that canada is safe. they don't like to see a lot of guns in public places, they don't like to see guns around houses of parliament. there is security there, it is relatively low key. that everyone is saying is likely going to change in some way. but we will see how they evolve that situation. but what is most interesting,
what links these two countries so closely together right now is the battle against i.s.i.l. canada sent its jets this week to join the u.s. led coalition to attack i.s.i.l. targets in iraq. i.s.i.l. has published videos online calling on people radicals here in the united states, in canada and elsewhere, that if they're unable to join the fight in syria, to carry out attacks here at home. >> and that's why we saw earlier this week, attacks on two other military individuals. >> we saw a man very much like today as today's shooter run down two canadian service men killing one and that man was himself killed by police. he is very much like what we know about today's shooter. >> which is not very much yet. >> which is not very much yet. we do know that both of them were on this rcmp watch list. 90 people who were suspected to
go to syria to fight with i.s.i.l, have had their passports lifted so they can't travel. they were already being watched. what is of particular concern is the authorities had no awareness that either one of these men were preparing to carry out a terror attack. >> very concerning, certainly accomplices being looked at. "america tonight's" sheila macvicar, thank you vm "america tonight" will bring you more, you can stay with us on that. on the story, that ignited flash point ferguson, after a black man was gunned down by a white officer. the report could have a dramatic impact on what continues to be a controversial case. the leaked autopsy made it into the st. louis post dispatch though it wasn't supposed to be made public until the grand jury finishes its investigation.
two other pathologists also examined michael brown's autopsy. the results of the justice autopsy still sealed but michael brown's family made public the other autopsy earlier and it does confirm the first autopsy. the report indicated discoloration and bits of discharge around that wound. that might support the notion that the teen had reached for the officer's gun when it went off, that he was attacking. but the st. louis medical examiner who did not take part in this autopsy told "america tonight" that even that finding isn't conclusive. even if there is smoke on the wound it does not mean that he was reaching for the gun. and that conflicts with the brown family's autopsy which concluded mike brown was shot from at least a foot and as far as 30 feet away. that matches what brown's friend reported after the shooting. >> he started to tell the
officer he was unarmed and you should stop shooting me, before he could get his second sentence out the officer fired several more shots into his head and chess area. >> but the officer said the two struggled inside his vehicle. and one shot was into his hand, that wasn't the fatal shot. michael brown michael brown's family's autopsy, officer wilson at the patrol car what we want to know is why officer wilson shot michael brown multiple times and killed him even though he was more than 20 feet away from his patrol car. on the streets the tensions arising again as the results of the grand jury's probe are expected soon. and in the wake of other police involved shootings in the area recently. in a bid to reassure the
community, governor jay nixon sure a commission will take up the issues. >> willing to come together in good faith. endure the fierce crucible of public opinion and lead the hard work of change. >> joining us now forensic pathologist dr. cyril wecht. when you have seen this and you have seen this particular one does it in any way change your picture of what's going on here? >> not really. we now have confirmation of something that was i think widely believed previously, namely, that some altercation occurred in or near the car. so you're back to where you were talking about this case weeks ago. namely, what was the position of mr. brown when he was shot by officer wilson?
was he lunging towards officer wilson, posing a threat, or was he falling after having been shot, and then he sustained those shots to the head and the chest as he was falling downward? >> and in your view? >> well, i can't be certain. the shots in the arms with the slightly upward direction would fit with the arms somewhat flexed like this. so that he's falling and the bullets come in and they hit one in the upper arm, slightly upward, one in the forearm slightly upward. that would fit then with the position of hands up. >> can two pa thotions look at the same -- pathologists look at the same body and interpret two different ways? >> you see the same thing, you make the measurements in an objective precise fashion. can they interpret it
differently? yes. while it's surely professional and reasonably contemplated, that doesn't mean that we are free of bias just because we're million examiners. so there is a tendency, not because of some preconceived and known bias, but because it's -- you know it's part of human nature. whom you work with, whom do you relate to, et cetera. and that's why one has to be careful about arriving at opinions. >> already there's been a lot of concerns expressed within the community that this report was released. but it seems to have come chain. are you as a professional concerned about the release of this sort of report into the public apparently leaked by somebody into the process? >> yes i ax and it bothers me greatly and i think it's up to the presiding judge to determine who leaked this in violation of the rules. this is improper unethical professionally irresponsible and
should not have happened. >> forensic pathologist cyril wecht. appreciate your being with us. >> thank you. >> in our next segment the pressure is on after the death of a man under police choke hold growing complaints, if it's not allowed why to can police still do it? >> after i told him, it was too tight, it kept getting tighter and tighter around my neck. >> "america tonight's" sarah hoye goes in depth on this controversial law enforcement tactic. later in the hour new rules for entering the united states. what aid workers journalists and new england else in the ebola hot zone must face to get back into this country. >> pain killer addiction on the rise >> i loved the feeling of not being in pain >> deadly consequences >> the person i married was gone >> are we prescribing an epidemic?
>> the last thing drug companies wanted anybody to think was that, this was a prescribing problem >> fault lines, al jazeera america's hard hitting... >> today they will be arrested... >> ground breaking... they're firing canisters of gas at us... award winning investigative documentary series... opioid wars only on al jazeera america
>> america votes 2014 >> the race is still a dead heat >> filmmaker aj schack turns his camera towards elections in the swing states >> it shows you who these people are... in ways that you don't get to see from the short appearances >> unconventional... >> if i can drink this... i don't see why you should be able to smoke that... >> unscripted... >> we gonna do this? >> ...and uncensored... >> are you kidding me? >> america votes 2014 midterms the series continues only on al jazeera america
>> it's an old police tactic that goes by different names, 96 neck restraint, choke hold, most jurisdictions don't allow it anymore but that doesn't mean it doesn't get used, sometimes it's the only way to restrain a suspect. however, the death of a suspect in new york raises new alarm about the practice. "america tonight"'s sarah hoye goes in depth as the choke hold put cops under pressure. >> it could have been me. >> two years ago, angel martinez was on his way home with a friend when he says two officers approaches -- approached him and started patting him down. >> the officers say get off the bike. i already know the deal, already know what he wants to do. >> when martinez objected to
being frisked without explanation, things escalated. his face was slammed onto the sidewalk. >> i was in a choke hold. first it was not that bad, regular choke hold. then the hold get heighter. i'm trying to say to the best of my ability, i'm not resisting, i'm choking i can't breathe, i'm trying to tell him i can't breathe. >> when martinez was on the ground, he says he was punched in the stomach. >> he punched me three times, in the stomach. the more i talked the tighter, the more he tensed up his muscles. it just kept getting tighter and tighter around my neck. >> police use of choke holds was banned by the nypd more than 20 years ago but the practice remains. the nypd came under
july. in the viral video of the encounter garner was repeatedly saying, i can't breathe, i can't breathe. his death was ruled a homicide. following his death, an independent agency that reviews replies misconduct complaints released a report this month of choke hold complaints in the last five years. attorney richard emery, is now it's chairman of the board. >> in the wake of the eric garner incident in staten island in the middle of july, i immediately felt that we had to play a role in this because the civilian complaint review board has this unique position of being the repository of 7,000 complaints per year of interactions between citizens and police officers. no one else has that information.
and to the extent it revealed anything about the use of choke hold i.t. was important to mine that -- holds it was important to mine that data. >> according to the report over the last year, the ccrb shefd itrb receivedits highest numberd complaints since 1991. the reason emery said is the rules have been watered down. nypd policy says a choke hold includes any pressure to the neck or throat that may hinder breathing. emery says in the past decade changes to the rule have left police officers unchecked. >> in order for choke holds to be a violation there had to be actual interference with breathing and the officer had to intend to choke the person. that changed the rule
dramatically. as a practical matter that meant that the ccrb and the prosecutors in the police department were no longer charging choke holds under the rule, but they were charging under this new standard that had been adopted in the trial bureau, which was much more forgiving of police officers activities. >> a confusing definition leaves investigators either under reporting or mis misclassifying choke holds. emery says the new report could help alleviate the problem. >> we have the makings much an early warning system. understanding the patterns and being able to train people without accusing them. no individual officer need be accused of choke hold activity in order to identify that officer and properly retrain him
or her, so that it won't happen the in the future. >> what was your initial reaction when you heard the news about eric garner? >> my first reaction was yo, that could have been me! seriously for me i was tearing up when i thought about it because i was in the same predicament as he was so i knew his fear, you know? so for that person to die because of that, it's just a shame. i -- i think what i really think about it, it makes me cry because i've been in the situation. and i know the fear that he must have felt, the not knowing, to not know why this is happening to me. >> martinez says he's repeatedly been the target of what's called are stop-and-frisk. he says his 2012 encounter went too far.
>> maybe if somebody spoke up and maybe somebody had reported the incidents more, there would be probably more incidents, they probably look harder into the choke hold thing and something they would not tolerate. >> in addition tot to filing a complaint with the ccrb following the incident martinez also filed a federal civil rights lawsuit. >> what do you hope to accomplish? >> to me they beat me up. i've been in routine stops and this is knock routine at all. from the moment i was in the car i was like, you're not going to get away with this. >> martinez wants to raise this for people like eric garner who can no longer speak for himself. >> a ruling is still pending in martinez case, we'll follow up and report. when we return a clean bill of health for one ebola patient but
new fears about the spread in the hot zone. an aid worker just back from west africa tells us what he's seen. later this hour a 150 year long battle to give an american hero his due. >> he was pivotal at the most important battle in american history and he and his men saved the union. >> and he's your guy? >> he's our guy born just feet from where we're standing right now. >> how a 22-year-old officer abatement a legend in his home town and a hero to the nation but he might still be remembered for his death without honor.
>> it's a chilling and draconian sentence... it simply cannot stand. >> this trial was a sham... >> they are truth seekers... >> all they really wanna do is find out what's happening, so they can tell people... >> governments around the world all united to condemn this... >> as you can see, it's still a very much volatile situation... >> the government is prepared to carry out mass array... >> if you want free press in the new democracy, let the journalists live. swl now a snapshot of stories making headlines on "america tonight." the pentagon confirms i.s.i.l. fighters got their hands on a carb o
cache are weapons. a video uploaded shows i.s.i.l. soldiers with a box of weapons. 14 unarmed rakes, one of the guards was charged with first degree murder which carries a mandatory life sentence, others, voluntary manslaughter. blackwater private firm that provides security. the company has since changed its name. darren vann the man accused of a string of indiana murders, gave the court the silent treatment. the judge was forced to reschedule the hearing. accused of killing 19-year-old airveg 19-year-oldafrica
heardy. five airports, jfk, newark, washington's dulles and chicago's o'hare. will get thermometers to monitor their temperatures twice a day. amber vinson, doctors can no longer detect the virus in her body and nurse nina pham's condition has been upgraded from fair to good. ashoka mu mukpo, is leaving the hospital. ebola has killed more than 4500 people in west africa and mukpo called his recovery a blessing. in west africa the spread is not slowing, the world health organization has recorded nearly 10,000 cases of ebola as of october 19th.
and aid agencies working on the front lines of the crisis are finding it more and more difficult to recruit staff. sean casey, his is one of only two ngos actively treating patients on the ground. we caught up with him on a visit to london, where he says the biggest situation is fear. christof putzel has the story. >> i worked on other outbreaks in the past, i led the cholera response in haiti for a while. and refugees in south sudan. >> as an aid worker, sean had seen outbreaks but nothing like this. >> they were well resourced, hundreds of organizations in both countries working on humanitarian needs. staff weren't as afraid to come. i mean they were definitely
afraid after the earthquake in haiti and the earthquake in south sudan but they would still come. here we are seeing seasoned workers who are afraid to come. >> the need is even greater. this ebola treatment 81th has 200 staff but many are on short term rotations. meaning turnover is constant. >> we need people to vowment, we need financial -- volunteer, we need financial resources. we need more governments to step up and send staff and send money and send resources, send supplies. we need more of everything quite frankly. and the only way that we're going to stop this is to dramatically scale up the response now. before it spreads again. >> for sean like many aid workers tragedy is part of the job. >> our first patient was a young boy and his stepfather.
i went with the ambulance to pick him up, both were displaying symptoms, the boy's mother had died, the boy climbed into the ambulance itself, when i say ambulance, it was a converted pickup truck. he climbed in himself. we drove an hour and a half to the unit, when we got there he wasn't able to walk. about five minutes afterwards the boy died. so that was our first case, that was a hard one. >> but there are triumphs and in some cases, comfort. >> one of our greatest success stories, a nurse called comfort was infected. she was with us for a couple of weeks. we treated her in the ebola treatment unit, she was released cured. a couple of weeks ago. i gave her her cured certificate, which was one of my favorite moments when we started
doing this work. she was one of eight nurses that was infected, six of them died, it was great to see her survive and she's actually well to come back and work with us once she's fully recovered. >> since awg sean i august sean is living full time in liberia. >> it's difficult to get in and out. right now in liberia there are only two flights going, two airlines flying. many have cancelled flights, services have been scaled back, borders are closed. it feels a bit of an island sometimes and it's unfortunate bass it doesn't keep anybody safer. >> also unfortunate, sean's reception in london. instead of getting a hero's welcome, he and others traveling in and out of west africa, are treated like outcasts. >> some friends have decide they don't want to see mee. a colleague of mine a nurse was meant to come back to london and
her flat mates asked her not to me and stay with them. >> that conversation with aid worker sean casey and "america tonight's" christof putzel. after the breakment amount of follow-up to an "america tonight" investigation. correspondent adam may first told us of horrific treatment of inmates in the arizona prison system. now there's more to it. a settlement and when care those prisoners are going to get as a result.
the law protects them for inhumane treatment. private for profit companies provide prison services. class action lawsuit ensued and now there's more to the story. arizona officials have decided to settle the lawsuit, increase health care screening, cancer screenings and follow care for patients with chronic conditions. adam may with his original report on what inmates suffered. >> one of the happiest days of our lives. hopefully, we won't have to do this again. >> waiting forthis day, her release from an arizona prison after serving two years for a drug conviction. >> having someone waiting for you.
>> that someone was her baby daughter delivered while reagan was serving time in prison. but the reunion with her daughter isn't easy. >> hello, can you say hello? >> 11 month old rylan has been living with her grandparents ever since she was born. she's only met her mother a handful of times during brief prison visits. >> it is pisses me off. >> it shouldn't. >> it does. >> glad to see rylan so health after receiving medical care in prison she says shockingly substandard. contracted 50 state. she said it was so bad she feared for her child's life. >> i wanted an ultrasound, every
time i would go in i would measure at least three weeks under. and i wasn't gaining enough weight. so i kept telling them, i don't think this due date is right. but they never gave me an ultrasound. >> although reagan had doubts about the due date, doctors sent her to the hospital to induce labor anyway and eventually performed a c section against her wishes. >> you said they performed ac section because they didn't want you in the hospital. >> because they had to pay for it. >> that was just the beginning, "america tonight" began investigating the privatized medical care in arizona prisons that year. at that time, reagan called us from prison to tell us what happened after she gave birth. >> after you had the c section what happened to her? >> in the morning i found out i looked down and it was coming open so
i went and i told them i need to be seen right away. >> back up for a second. how big was the wound? >> it was big enough for me to be able to put my fist in it. the worst thing i ever saw in my life. >> reagan claimed guards refused to let her see a doctor for two weeks. when she was finally admitted to the hospital, medical staff couldn't believe what they saw. >> they shocked i was like that. they told me i could have died, coy have got crazy infections. >> what kind of treatment did they give you? >> they put me on a wound vac, for four or five weeks, where it got small enough to where i didn't have to use it anymore. they decided to use sugar, kitchen sugar. >> what do you mean kitchen sugar? >> the packs like at
mcdonald's, the packets of sugar. >> sugar was used to treat wounds before the advent of antibiotics back in the early 1900s but it is no longer accepted medical practice. and reagan is not the only prisoner claiming she was mistreated. the aclu filed a class action lawsuit alleging prison health care has put inmates here at substantial risk of pain amputation disfigurement and death. it allegation care fell to unconstitutional levels at the state of arizona privatized health care and signed a contract with corizon. in the last five years sued for malpractice 660 times according to the miami herald. >> i feel betrayed by the
company because they're supposed to keep the environment safe for all of us, the inmates and the co-workers. >> until now no corizon employee has spoken publicly. teresa was a health care technician, she allegation corizon is trying to cover up a scabies outbreak. >> she needed to report to work but she felt it was unethical to treat patients while she was still contagious. teresa short lost her job. inside these prison walls, short says the prisoner who infected her still has scai scabies.
she claims scabies is just the beginning. >> what are the things you noticed when you went to work for corizon? >> lack ever staff. because of the short staff we had to stand there for hours to try to feed them and it was not permitted. sometimes they would have to -- they would skip a meal. >> did you get to every inmate you had to get to? >> unfortunately not. some of them would be incontinent, some of them would be dirty. >> uh-huh. >> did you see any inmates die as a result of inadequate health care? >> yes. we had one inmate who had dementia, a vascular cat. he kept meting with the vac collar cath. at 5:00 in the morning when i
went back to the cell, i could smell blood before i went in the room and when i turned on his light, it looked like somebody had been murdered. there was blood all over the room. i screamed for help. basically what he had done is he had unplugged the vascular cath and he bled out in a very short period of time. >> how could his life have been saved? where was the failure? >> supervision. he needed to be watched. >> and you had told others that he needed supervision? >> yes. requests? >> i don't know. i don't know. >> to be perfectly clear there is no scabies outbreak in tucson. >> richard pratt is the director of health services for arizona's department of corrections. after numerous requests by "america tonight," he finally agreed to speak to us briefly outside his office. >> before it was privatized and after privatization, what is the
difference in staffing levels when it comes to the medical care? >> staffing levels are basically the same. in fact i would tell you that corizon statistical level has been coming up on a monthly basis. the staffing exceeded the contract requirements. >> you're very confidence that corizon is providing adequate good health care within the prison system? >> i am, yes. >> reporter: but that is not true according to a watchdog group. staffing levels and health care spending plummeted after the state privatized health services. even though corizon promised state officials that it would provide cares at a reasonable cost.
>> provides service of resources and resourcefulness. >> now, reagan is trying to make up her time with her baby. she may have made mistakes but that doesn't justify the treatment she received in prison. >> she received her just punishment but oh my goodness, they are still human beings, take care of them. >> adam may, al jazeera, tucson, arizona. >> ahead this hour in our final segment. the story of an american treasure. >> the bama records are very accurate, very precise. we know where alonzo stood, what kind of ammunition he used, the records are perfectly accurate, ah lon doe was a hero. >> why this american hero had to wait 150 years for his medal of >> in the middle of san francisco sits a bee farm with a
dozen hives and up to a million bees, run by volunteers who plant flowers and fruit trees to attract and build the bee colony that produces honey for the neighborhood. now, this lot's owner and other interested land owners have an extra incentive for setting up community gardens, a new city tax break. someone paying $10,000 in taxes before would now just pay about $100, their property accessed as farmland instead of prime real estate. another part of the sweet deal... urban farms must sell or donate produce to the community or act as a teaching site. but there are few empty lots in san francisco and advocates have no illusions about how many plots can sprout up. >> we're not necessarily naive to think that we're gonna be able to feed ourselves in a city like san francisco, but how much can we do? >> this urban farm serves those living below the poverty line. >> during the year it'll provide over 1000 pounds of food that gets given away to people who
waiting. >> finally this hour there is no higher recognition for members of our military services than the medal of honor. it's often called the congressional medal of honor because it actually takes an act of congress to award one. the medal was conceived more than 150 years ago, ironically though it's taken even longer for that last warrior of that battle to get his overdue melt. alonzo cushing is still waiting. many men died here at getysberg, the bloodiest battle of the civil war. the best estimate is that in three days of fighting as many as 10,000 died on the battlefield.
the climax came on cemetery ridge when general lee sent his infantry against union positions in what came to be known as pickett's charge. >> what did it feel like? >> on july 3rd, 1863, it was 87°. you've got all this intense heat. and all the dead, plus in the fields were still wounded. some wounded would be there for weeks before they were found. >> kent brooke was gripped by ge gettysberg, the young union officer struck down but valiantly fighting on. that was alonzo cushing. >> when he woke up on july 3rd that's what he and his men faced. was a deplorable situation. >> terrifying, horrible?
>> horrible. to odor, the stench. >> the heat and just the fear. >> right, right. and they knew that something big would happen today. >> cushing, a 22-year-old west pointgrad was already a respected leader but on this field of heroes he became legendary. >> cushing loses all his guns. in fact he loses everyone but one. some of his men began to run after their 51 was hit and cushing took his pistol out, already wounded now, took his pistol out and pointed it at the gunner, told him, you don't get back here i'll blow your brains out. >> h brown expense years studying cushing. the guy who just won't given up. >> the painting really depicts alonzo cushing's final moments.
>> final seconds, yes. when the artist portrays him here, cushing has received two wounds. one in his right shoulder and then one in his groin, which was possibly a fatal wound. it -- he was bleeding profusely. he was probably going into shock. >> but he tells his men, we're going to keep going. >> and his first sergeant comes up to him, lieutenant lee, get you out here. he says no, i'll stay here and fight it out or die in the attempt. >> unfortunately, that is what happened. others were awarded the medal of honor for their heroism in that battle, but cushing never was. he was remembered in his birth place, a town now called delafield, wisconsin. >> cushing is present everywhere in delafield.
>> cushing park, cushing road, cushing memorial. >> alonzo, with his brother william, are the favorite sons of delafield. at one point someone suggested naming the town cushing. but delafield had a better ring to it thought his aunt. >> he was pivotal at the most important battle in american history and he and his men saved the union. >> he's your guy. >> he's our guy born feet from where we are standing right now just on the banks of the bark river. >> but cushing never received that highest of all military recognitions until one woman set out to change that. >> my name, margaret zurwick. >> now 94 years old,
zurwick began what she called a project to give alonzo cushing his due. >> why were you so interested? >> because nobody else was, i think. >> you must really like history. >> oh yeah, it pays to know what happened anyplace you live you want to know what happened there. and is there some gold hidden someplace, buried? but you never know. >> alonzo cushing story is like gold? >> yes. yes. >> zurwick became a prospector, and launching a four decade long campaign. hundreds of letters to senators, local leaders and presidents. determined to see him awarded a medal of honor. >> he needed that recognition and people needed to know. not only what he did, but what
had to be done. people still don't understand the civil war. what that was about. they really don't know. isn't that amazing? >> the town joined in. the mayor even named dave krieger head of a one man committee to get cushing his medal . bureaucracy and political wrangling held the medal up, one senator asked, how anyone could prove daring deeds. but there was plenty of testimony on cushing's daring deeds on that day. >> we know exactly where alonzo stood, where he fought and what kind of ammunition, the records are perfectly accurate, alonzo was here. >> all of this none of this would have happened without one person. would he have gotten this without margaret? >> i don't believe so. i think -- i think her ability
to keep the story in front of washington, d.c -- >> for four decades. >> for four decades. it's nothing short of miraculous. >> the miracle finally happened a few weeks ago. when 151 years after alonzo cushing's death, the white house named him as a recipient. >> he's finally going to get the medal of honor. what do you think about that? >> i think that's marvelous. but you know, it's been so long that i've been working on it that i can't get excited anymore about it. and i want to go to washington, and because there's nobody in the family left anymore. except me. and i'm not even related. >> which brings us to the final irony of alonzo cushing's story. because he died young and unmarried, it's not clear who should receive his medal.
traditionally the medal is given to the honoree or a direct citizen adapt and cushing doesn't have any. the option might be cushing's final resting place, his beloved west point. >> he loved the army so much. his letters showed it. he loved the army, he loved the people he associated with in the army. that was his family. as a young man. >> others suggest his boyhood home, fredonia, new york, might be appropriate. as you can imagine though, margaret zurwick has an opinion. >> where do you think that medal should go? >> well i think it should go to delafield and all i can think of is to put it in the office building, the public library on the wall. so that everybody can see. because where else could it go? where?
>> so after 151 years, alonzo cushing and his home town will have to wait a little longer. but after all this time, margaret zurwic is not about to take no for an answer. >> i won't bet against margaret for anything. she tends to win. >> even if it takes 40 years? >> even if it takes 40 years. >> fortunately she is patient. the white house has not yet announced when the medal will be issued for cushing or who will get it. tomorrow on "america tonight," zmapp, the experimental drug used on ebola, "america tonight" will introduce you to the scientists who helped create the vaccine. if you want to know more log on
to aljazeera.com/americatonight. join us on twitter or facebook at any time. good night, we'll have more of "america tonight," tomorrow. >> canada's parliament rocked by deadly gun violence. we will take you to ottawa for the latest. also a new report on the shooting in ferguson reveals critical details. and we'll go to sierra leone with a medical system stretched to its limits. i'm lisa fletcher in for antonio mora, welcome to "consider this" those stories and more straight ahead. >> terror, north of the border. a canadian soldier is killed, a