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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  October 16, 2015 2:30am-3:01am EDT

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on america tonight, a dying city? pained by the loss of industry and people, can milwaukee save its next generation? >> any time you are a 16-year-old and you say i am better off dead than alive, that's how bleak it is. >> on the crime spike putting milwaukee's future in trouble. and the one thas got away. >> you have gone from a couple of fish off the east coast of from. >> north carolina to mid-brazil, everything in between.
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>> on the trail of a predator. thank you for joining us. we often focus on the violence that plagues our biggest cities but america's baltimore, new orleans, the latest to expose its crime problem is milwaukee, which you might be surprised to hear is at the top of the list of rising murder rates ai. 76% spike in its murder rate. on the fight to bring the brew city back. >> reporter: along the banks of lake michigan sits the city of milwaukee. the formidable shores a bastion of manufacturing and beyond the calm water system a city in pain. >> following breaking news out of milwaukee, a double fatal shooting. >> three people are dead
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including a toddler and teenager. >> reporter: after years of declining violent crime, many cities have seen a surge in homicides with this working class city topping the list. >> witnesses say they heard several the shows. >> reporter: so far this year, milwaukee has had over 100 100 homicides compareeo 186 throughout 2015. >> how you going to make it through the nights with all the gunshots. fuleave this room today and they close the books on your life, what are people going to say about you? >> reporter: educators and friend friends are trying to step in before anyone else gets killed. >> is there a god that exists on 28th? >> reporter: together they cofounded the i will not die young campaign to reduce gun violence in milwaukee. >> wheny my boy laid in
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the casket cold and lifeless. >> reporter: he says the death of his god son who was shot while sitting in a car in 2005 moved him to action. >> violence is a personal issue. and when you find ourselves riding through the communities and you see the shrines and teddy bears and flower aircraft lot of people are disconnected from it because they don't know the people. when it happens to you personally it's not just a statistic or news story, it's a personal thing. >> reporter: among america's mid-sized cities milwaukee's murder rait rate rae of the worst. the majority of victims are black men with guns the weapon of choice. >> the most important thing in this room today is the courage to let out what you wrote. >> reporter: they work with the milwaukee public
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schools to help teens stay away from violence by offering conflict resolution training. the spoken word artist provide a chance for students to open up. >> how do you even react to it? >> it's a mixed reaction. part of it i know is true and the other part of it is i know that there are young people who are thirsty for change. and there are young people who are thirsty for what they have been promised. >> reporter: once a manufacturing powerhouse, the city of milwaukee is a far cry from its heyday. with the majority of factories and breweries now gone, unemployment and poverty has sky rocketed here. stan is dean of the school of social welfare at the university of wisconsin milwaukee and says
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the loss of 100,000 good paying factory jobs and one of the most seggated cities had -- cellgre gated cities has had an impact. >> some places are terribly bleak, the housing and access to housing and education. the city is dying. the city is going the way of detroit. 39% of all african/american families in the city of milwaukee live under the poverty level. it's an enormous statistic and one no one is proud of. how do we deal with these issues? gun violence is symptomatic of these larger issues. >> this is my hometown and i was born and raised here and you are painting a scary picture. >> it is eandley if and if you are young. >> the police chief did not respond to multiple requests to
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talk about the surge of gun violence. however, this woman gave up her lunch to speak with us. she is part of a political dynasty that includes the first black woman elect to theitate legislator. >> it is making headlines for all the wrong reasons and you have manageed to see the glass as half-full. why? >> in a personal way because of my family, my children, a community i care about is right here in milwaukee. >> this is home. >> right. when i look at the statistics i don't see all of the bad. i see the possibility and the work that needs to be done. >> reporter: despite her optimism she says the spike in violence is taking a toll on the residents. >> there is opportunity for great things and also a lot of fear i think with young people
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and also just a lot of hopelessness. it's sad because i was born and raised here. i know the greatness milwaukee holds and how great it can be. every time i get a call or the police give me that call or i see the yellow tape or hear from a family that lost a loved one it hurts. it is for the entire community. >> reporter: when someone is lost to gun violence the impact is felt throughout the community. >> she is shot. they are in unimaginable pain. >> reporter: bullets ripped through a horse killing the girl while sitting on her grandfather's lap, reading with her older sister before bed time. her mother remembers clearly the day her father called with the news. >> and you could hear the hysteria in his voice. she's been shot.
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and so trying to gather myself to get my things to leave and i was getting a cold and i couldn't find it, it was in my seat. >> reporter: by the time she reached her parents home the road had been closeed. >> it was flashing lights. i didn't know what to think, i didn't think what to do or where to go. i didn't know anything. >> reporter: authorities say 12 bullets were fired into the home during a drive-by shooting with one hitting little layla in the head. >> it's so mind boggling because you don't know why. every day it's why? why did this happen? if i could have some type of reason why it might be a little bit of a better closeeur. >> reporter: police have yet to arrest anyone in the case but have linked the weapon to other crimes. one of the things we know about living here is
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people stay on their side of town. as it comes to this incident do you think you may have passed your daughter's killer? >> yes. the weapon has been linked to other crimes in the city and it's frustrating to know somebody is still out there and the weapon is still out there. it's a scary feeling seeing that another person that you frequently see could be that person. that put all this hardship on us. >> he shot on 17th street and laid in the alley. >> reporter: as the death toll continues to climb, they work around-the-clock in hopes of reaching as many young people as they can. starting in the classroom. >> as you know this was a bleed sumner milwaukee. >> it wasn't supposed to be like this. >> it's like you are a bunch of walk being time bombs. >> you ask your students when did things get bad? i will ask the same thing to you.
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when did things get bad for you? >> i was born and raised on the west side of chicago. my father was killed when i was 11 years old. >> how bad is it? >> how bad is it? we get a class with a young man, he is 16 years old and said i don't want to be vulnerable. he says as a 16-year-old male it is easier for me to die than it is easier for me to go on. he is saying i would rather quit than to keep fighting. how bleak is it for a young person in milwaukee? any time you are a 16-year-old and you say i am better off dead than alive, that's how bleak it is. >> joining us now is sarah hoye. this is devastating for every community that has to deal with a spike in violence.
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>> what we have heard citizen mayor traveled to washington, d.c. with other mayors of other cities experiencing the same problems and asking the feds for help. help being they want more help when it comes to background checks that bounce back and help the city deal with the issue. the police chief said in an interview a while back, listen, i could put 5,000 on the corners and it's not going to help combat the crime. the true issue, as we have heard from everybody, are economics. there is not enough jobs. >> i looks at that face of the poor layla, the five-year-old girl. it is, as they say, hard to believe a child could harm anyone. how is here family doing now? >> they are taking it one day at a time. we are coming up on a year anniversary of her death and they are taking it one day at a time and the same message to give out to other families affected is that you have to carry ohold on to the memories of the lost ones and just take
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it one day at a time, step-by-step. >> we don't think of milwaukee as being a city plagued by violence and where you grew up. this is your hometown. is it really a widespread violence or isolateed to certain communitys? >> particularly to specific zip codes and some places have a higher spike in crime than any other place. this gun violence and death toll is centered in certain areas and they are the ones with the highest povertyy and lowest incomes and higher it's not a widespread problem if you get off the airplane and have to dodge bullets if you will, but certain areas are very dangerous. >> when you were growing up in this community did you have a sense of some of the communities were more dangerous than others or what you would expect as a person who really knows this town? >> absolutely. in fact my family is one of
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those who moved during white flight. when the neighborhood we were in, the sherman park neighborhood started losing its inhabitants when the people started to move out to the suburbs our family moved to the other side of the tracks just because the neighborhood had started to decline and is on the mend now. it's not much better than when we left it in the '80s. there was a sense of have and have not, better and less better sides of town. there were certain areas you just didn't go. >> sarah hoye, thank. when we return: south to chicago. decades after police torture forced their confessions an update on the victims of the brutality in blue. later, fighting back: how an underwater beauty became a vicious menace. and making the grade. a peek into newark's classrooms after
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facebook's megagift.
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>> protestors are gathering... >> there's an air of tension right now... >> the crowd chanting for democracy... >> this is another significant development... >> we have an exclusive story tonight, and we go live... >> a fast forward look now at a brutal moment in chicago's history. there have been a few, but in this case it was violence carried out by the police in the name of justice. america tonight's lisa fletcher with one of the victims who suffered the
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consequences. >> reporter: ronald kitchen never thought he would hear these words. >> we have ways of making niggers talk. >> he was not being held against his will by men in white hoods or neo nazis. he was in the hands in of the chicago pd. >> i'll gets telephone book and the night stick and beat you over the top of the head. >> reporter: for more than 16s hours a revolving door of officers beat and interrogate him until he had no fight left. >> okay, okay, okay i'll doe do whatever you want me to do i'll do it. >> you will sign a confession. >> i'll sign. >> it was not be until years later he realized high wasn't alone -- he wasn't alone. >> these men supposed to be protectors of the law and something i didn't do and knowingly knowing i didn't do it
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willing to see me die for this. that don't make them better than the men out there robbing and killing. it makes you a premeditated murder joocial murder. >> reporter: tragic and practice of some according to legal experts tortured 100 men from 1971-1992 mostly african/american men. >> this huge white man got on top of a desk and literally kicked my ass outave chair. i didn't know who he was. found out he was john budger. >> a former commander and the face of the dark chapter in chicago's history. a decorated veteran, he was accused of using torture tactics he learned in vietnam in creating a culture of abuse to force
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confessions. that era is over now and a fast forward to a lipping fall out. another victim of his brutal regime has finally been freed. throughout his time in prison he insisted he was innocent and gave his confession under torture but still had to serve the two dozen years. next: a mighty roar. florida's fight against the lion fish. how this under waterut booy became a mens. a a mens. >> the president keeps forces in afghanistan and we look at the afghans who served and how we repaid their sacrifice. that's friday on america tonight.
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>> lots of snow birds head south at this time of year, of course, but one creature that made florida's golden shores its home is deemed a vicious threat and a threat to other specious ease and to those who try to stop it. the trail of a killer. >> reporter: it's hard to believe a fish this beautiful, this fragile looking could be a men ace. but the lion fish is just that. >> they don't fear anything. >> reporter: he has made hundreds of dives off the florida coast. he has seen 50 hand how lion fish native to the indian and pacific oceans have over taken
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local reeves. >> why are they such a problem? >> we don't have a natural predator in our waters. secondly their rate of reproduction is ridiculous. one female over 2 million eggs a year. the third thing is they are gluttonous eaters. they will decimate our native fish population. >> reporter: with no natural predator, it is just the latest inter loper to overwhelm florida. the state that has been called the ellis island of invasive species. joining the burr meas python, nile monitor, black spiny tail igjuana, cane toad and arnlg argentina lizard with no business being in florida. >> there is a wide range of invasive animals in this state that people bring in as pets and
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they release into the wild and reproduced uncontrollably. >> reporter: he is the director of the florida natural area's inventory, a non-profit be organization that collects information on the state's native wild life and the non-native invaders thriving in the sunshine state. >> a big part is our climate. animals that implant are from more tropical regions can easily find a home. >> reporter: lion fish are doing more than surviving, they are multiplying at a furious rate, gobbling up marine life around them. >> they can eat anything that will fit in their mouth about half of their body length or so. they are consuming a wide variety of ecologically and economically important species such as grouper and snappers and consuming
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consuming those who keep the reeve clean. >> reporter: here is one where the lion fish have taken over. the fight is not just to preserve beautiful reef fish, they compete directly with recreational salt water fishing in florida and that's worth more than 7 billion a year to the state. how did it all begin? household pets, a handful kept in aquariums. >> the theory that is most accepted by everybody that is working or hunting these fish is aquarium owners released their pets off the east coast of florida in the mid-'80s. >> reporter: dna samples taken from lion fish suggest the creatures decimating florida reef began with as few as nine fish. >> reporter: in
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third years vugone from a couple of fish off the east coast of florida to a range that goes from? >> from north carolina to mid-brazil. nefergeverything in between. >> reporter: that's a lot of lion fish. >> it's loaded. they were everywhere. >> reporter: with no natural predator the state is now counting on divers to keep lion fish in check. cleaning them out of reefs bihunting them one at a time. there is no limit on they can take but no one thinks hunting them am eradicate them. they can live at depths diseeper than diver cans go but divers can make a difference. >> on a local scale lion fish tournaments have been found to be effective in keeping them down. >> reporter: tournaments like this one where anglers compete for most lion fish caught.
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>> most total brought in was mike miller with 415. >> are you serious? >> reporter: researchers try to learn something about the fish causing so much harm. there is something else about the lion fish, something that gives divers pause. >> take that. >> reporter: delicate looking fins are actually 18 venomous spines, each one carries a painful sting. how did you get into in business of hunting lion fish? >> by accident. a friend of mine asked me to design something to protect scuba divers against the venomous spines of a lion fish and i said what is a lion fish? >> reporter: he learned about the fish and its sting the hard way. >> what happens? >> it is immediate excruciating pain. >> reporter: excrucerating pain. >> it's like a beesting times 40 >> r i1 eporter i0 : through
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trial and error he invented the zoo keeper a container designed to seep their speared lion fish and not risk that beesting times 40: you have the lion fish and what happens? >> the differ push its through the funnel entry and it will open around the fish and close around the spear. >> right. >> once you pull back the funnel strips the fish off the spear and it's contained inside. >> reporter: the state of florida is trying to fight the lion fish in other way, spreading the word about what good eating they make, handing out samples of the flaky white fish at tournaments like this. >> reporter: even if you are not a diver you can makes a difference and ask for lion fish at your local restaurants or sea food market. >> reporter: as at the restaurant in new york city lion fish is a best seller and on the
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menu part of what it calls its lion fish mission. >> we are helping the ecosystem and offering something that no one else in manhattan is offering at this point. for us, it's kind of a win-win. >> reporter: in florida getting the lion fish under control may be through the appetite of another predator: humans. >> taking a bite out of that. that's america tonight, please tell us what you think at al jazeera.com,/americatonight. talkitous on twitter or facebook and come back. we'll have more tomorrow. >> our american story is written every day. it's not always pretty... but it's real. and we show you like no-one else can. this is our american story. this is america tonight.
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tensions ahead of friday prayers at al-aqsa mosque in jerusalem after weeks of violence. we are there live. ♪ ♪ you are watching al jazeera live from our headquarters in doha. also coming up. the u.s. extends its military mission in afghanistan astill bana at intensify. the syrian army backed by russian airstrikes launches a major offensive in homs. plus. another sign of improving ties between washington and havana, an i