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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  May 11, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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05/11/16 05/11/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york this is , democracy now! klux the president understands the president bears -- the united states bears responsibility in the united states is still a abuse nuclear weapons. amy: barack obama will become the first u.s. president to visit the japanese city of hiroshima but officials say he will not apologize for the 1945 atomic bombing. we will look at how the trump campaign named a leader of the white nationalist movement to be a delegate in california. >> to those who are concerned about the role we will take in
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the ensuing years, i greet you. my name is wayne jonathan. i'm a white nationalist. amy: the trump campaign claims johnson was picked due to a database error, but is there more to the story? we will speak to the mother jones reporter who broke the news. then to "madness." >> what i found at the date -- date correctional facility, this is as dramatic as severe as those taking place at guantanamo. amy: we will look at shocking new expose about how mentally ill prisoners in florida have been tortured, driven to suicide, and even killed by guards. we will speak to author eyal press and a psychotherapist who blew the whistle on the abuse. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. a car bomb has exploded in a crowded market in the iraqi capital baghdad, killing at
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least 64 people. another 87 people were wounded. the blast hit the predominantly shiite district of sadr city during the morning rush hour. isis has claimed responsibility. vermont senator bernie sanders has won the democratic primary in west virginia. his victory comes a week after his surprise victory in indiana. while rival hillary clinton leads in the delegate count, sanders has vowed to remain in the race. he spoke in salem, oregon. >> when the voter turnout is high, we do well. we win. next tuesday here in oregon, let us have the highest voter turnout in oregon democratic primary history. [cheers] and let the great state of
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oregon, the progressive state of oregon -- [cheers] saying, yes, we want a political revolution. amy: sanders' victory comes amid new signs he may be influencing clinton's rhetoric. after months of criticizing sanders' call for a single-payer healthcare system, clinton appeared to shift her stance monday, saying she would support allowing people as young as 50 to buy into the medicare system. sanders has called for a "medicare for all" system. last week more than 2000 physicians signed onto a proposal backing single-payer healthcare. meanwhile on the republican side, donald trump won the republican primaries in nebraska and west virginia tuesday. his rivals senator ted cruz and ohio governor john kasich have both dropped out of the race. president obama will become the first serving u.s. president to visit hiroshima in japan later this month. the white house said obama will
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not apologize for dropping an atomic bomb on the city towards the end of the second world war. the attack on august 6, 1945 caused massive and widespread destruction. shock waves, radiation and heat , rays took the lives of some 140,000 people. three days later, the u.s. dropped a second atomic bomb on the japanese city of nagasaki, killing another 74,000 people. obama is expected to tour the site of the world's first nuclear attack with japan's prime minister shinzo abe. we'll have more on the visit after headlines. brazil's senate is set to vote today on whether to suspend president dilma rousseff and put her on trial on accusations of tampering with accounts to hide a budget shortfall. on tuesday, brazil's solicitor general asked the country's supreme court to suspend the impeachment process. if rousseff is suspended, vice president michel temer would take over during her trial. he has been implicated in brazil's massive corruption
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scandal, and several of his top advisors are under investigation and just last week he was ordered to pay a fine for violating campaign finance limits. speaking tuesday, president rousseff said brazil faces a decisive moment. >> look, for me, it is a very important moment. it is a decisive moment. it is a decisive moment for brazil's democracy, a moment we are going through today. without a doubt, we're going through a time when the people feel we are making history. the history of this country. amy: tuesday marked mother's day in parts of latin america. here in new york city, a group of mothers and community activists rallied in front of the honduran consulate to honor slain environmentalist berta caceres who was murdered in her home in la esperanza, honduras last month. for a decade, she led the struggle against the agua zarca dam, planned along a river sacred to the lenca people. honduran authorities have charged five people in connection with her death, including a honduran army major and employees of desa, the company behind the dam.
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her family has called for an independent investigation. on tuesday, the protesters presented a mother's day card honoring caceres to a representative from the honduran consulate in new york. >> i am originally from mexico. we are here today outside of the honduran consulate to bring justice to berta caceres for mother's day. she was fighting for all of the environmental rights that everybody deserves. today is a day to celebrate the motherhood of all days outside the honduran consulate. >> we are gathered here today to demand an independent investigation of her murder, to end u.s. military aid to honduras, and to stand against the coup in 2009 at led -- amy: in mexico, mothers of children who have disappeared gathered in mexico city to demand justice for their loved ones.
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two. mothers of missing sons spoke out about why they do not celebrate mother's day. >> no, we don't celebrate, we search. we search for justice and look for our children. our children who were taken away in the government does nothing to look for them. >> the authorities should make an effort to return our missing who are not just the 43. thousands of missing people. the figure goes up every day. amy: in alberta, canada, a massive wildfire continues to spread in the sprawling forest outside the city of fort mcmurray after all 88,000 residents fled. two fires have merged and spread to more than 880 square miles. the fire in the heart of canada's oil sands region has shut down most of the oil sands industry. scientists have long warned of the risks of climate change to forests in the region. in ethiopia, flooding and landslides caused by heavy rains
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have killed at least 50 people. the devastation comes as ethiopia faces its worst drought in half a century. such extreme weather has also been linked to climate change. in the united states baltimore , a police officer has chosen to face trial before a judge rather than a jury over his role in the death of african american freddie gray. gray died of spinal injuries last year after he was arrested and transported in a police van. his family attorney said his spine was 80% severed at his neck. officer edward nero faces trial for his role in arresting gray after officers said he made eye contact and then ran away. he is the second officer to go on trial in the case. the first officers trial ended in a hung jury in december. the citadel military college in south carolina has refused to allow a prospective muslim student to wear a hijab with her uniform. in a statement, the college president, lieutenant general john rosa said, "uniformity is the cornerstone" of the citadel's educational model.
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the council on american-islamic relations said it's considering legal options to challenge the decision. in a statement, cair said -- "we believe the desire to maintain an outdated 'tradition,' which was the same argument used to initially deny admittance to african-americans and women, does not justify violating a student's constitutional rights." ash carter has presented henry kissinger with the distinguished public service award, the pentagon's highest award for private citizens. writing in the nation magazine, professor greg grandin said -- "carter himself deserves an award for understatement, for calling kissinger the man who is responsible, directly or indirectly, for the deaths of millions of people in southeast asia, east timor, bangladesh, and southern africa, among other places 'unique in the annals of american diplomacy.'" kissinger has been drawn into the 2016 election after hillary clinton praised kissinger while
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sanders blasted kissinger's role in the u.s. bombing of cambodia and the u.s.-backed coup against chilean president salvador allende. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. it is great to be back in new york, that we are still on the road. the white house has announced president obama will become the first serving u.s. president to visit the japanese city of hiroshima later this month. but officials said he will not apologize for what happened on august 6, 1945 when the united states dropped the first nuclear weapon in history on the civilian population of hiroshima. the attack destroyed the city. shock waves, radiation and heat , rays took the lives of some 140,000 people. three days later, the u.s. dropped a second atomic bomb on nagasaki, killing another 74,000 people. president obama is expected to tour hiroshima with japan's prime minister shinzo abe.
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on tuesday, white house press secretary josh earnest was -- said obama will not issue an apology. >> the president intends to visit us in a much more forward-looking signal about his ambition for realizing the goals , a planet without nuclear weapons. this is also an opportunity for the visit to highlight the remarkable transformation in the relationship between japan and the united states. amy: despite the administration's call for the elimination of nuclear weapons, the united states is pursuing a 30-year, $1 trillion program to modernize its nuclear-weapon arsenal by designing nuclear bombs with smaller payloads. retired general james cartwright recently told "the new york times," "what going smaller does is to make the weapon more thinkable." to talk more about the significance of obama's hiroshima visit, we go to washington, d.c., to talk to kevin martin, president of peace action.
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kevin, welcome to democracy now! your response to president obama going to hiroshima and the press secretary making clear he would not apologize for the dropping of the bombs in hiroshima and nagasaki? >> we are very glad that the president is going to hiroshima, but we don't want it to be just another pretty speech where he talks about some day, maybe having the right conditions to nuclearard eliminating weapons. he has done that before. he has some accomplishments to show for his presence -- presidency, which we can talk about, but we want them to go with concrete actions. in his bit of time left administration and he needs to take concrete action to further that goal. we can talk about various steps. as far as the apology is survivors the a-bomb are not asking for it. the japanese government is not asking for it -- for all kinds of reasons. you administration has ruled it
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out. i think while i personally would like to see an apology, what might be more meaningful is it andeeds with the survivors talk about why he is not doing more to move toward the elimination of nuclear weapons. if you will take some concrete depth and asking forgiveness would be unnecessary. amy: can you talk about what you're demanding? klux as you just mentioned, this 30-year, $1 trillion cockamamie , a colleague of ours called it a trillion dollar trade wreck, to totally upgrade all of our nuclear weapons complex from the research laboratories to new warheads to new missiles, bombers, summaries. i can't think of a worse misappropriation of our tax dollars. and predictably, every other nuclear weapons state has followed suit saying that are going to upgrade their nuclear weapons as well. it totally shreds any credibility that the united states has on nonproliferation.
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that would be the first thing, cancel that. there are other steps you could take, taking our nuclear weapons off of hairtrigger alert, separating the warheads from their delivery systems, initiating negotiations for the elimination of nuclear weapons globally, initiating talks on a middle east zone free of weapons of mass destruction, taking unilateral executive action that does not require a long treaty process negotiations with russia and ratification, which would be difficult. we could cut our reserve nuclear weapons, get rid of a bunch of those. and even the current deployed nuclear weapons, we did go down to 1000 or fewer as the pentagon has suggested in the past and the u.s. wanted to do with russia, and the challenge russia to reciprocate. those are some of the steps that would be meaningful and worth a trip to hiroshima. amy: i want to turn to the words of the acclaimed japanese novelist, recipient of the nobel 1994 prize for literature.
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when democracy now! was in japan in 2014, i interviewed kenzaburo oe and asked if president obama should apologize for the bombing of hiroshima and nagasaki. >> i'm not seeking an apology whether from the president or any kind of person in regards to this issue. i believe the fact that humanity could create these weapons as a crime that all of humanity is responsible for. i believe this is an issue of a much greater scale than any individual policy that the president can make an apology for. i think would have a great meaning it president obama would come to hiroshima and hear the experiences of the survivors. i do not believe what we should be seeing here is an apology from someone on behalf of the united states, the people, for dropping the bomb. i believe of mr. obama were to come to the memorial ceremony in hiroshima and nagasaki, he could come together with the survivors
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and share that moment of island and also asked is considering the issue of nuclear weapons from the perspective of all humanity and how important nuclear abolition is from that perspective, i think, would be the most important thing in the most important thing that any policies or representative to do at this time. thelieve the issue or experience of nuclear weapons is something too large for any individual to apologize for. it is the responsibility for all humanity to take on board. rather than an apology, i believe what is important is to call for an expression of the will and the dedication to create a world free of nuclear weapons. so if any influential politicians even french to come to hiroshima and nagasaki, that is what i would like to hear. that is the acclaimed japanese oe.or kenzaburo i interviewed him in japan in 2014. i also want to turn to the words of the hiroshima survivor i
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spoke with during that same trip. koji hosokawa was 17 years old when the united states dropped the atomic bomb on hiroshima. his 13-year-old sister, yoko, died in the bombing. he gave us a tour of the city. speaking to us near the a-bomb dome in hiroshima, one of the few structures in the city that survived the blast. >> the a-bomb was dropped in hiroshima and also nagasaki. and i think a-bomb dropped not just on our cities, but on the whole human beings. so i have many things to talk
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about about my experience of the a-bomb. next one, an a-bomb, is to be dropped, then the earth will be annihilated. understand this the earth ise -- going to be annihilated. so whenever i talk, i want them to understand this. the peace memorial park until .he a-bomb, people lived here everything was destroyed. everyone died around this area. these memorial park is a beautiful part today with so
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many trees. but later they planted small trees and after decades, these trees became bigger and now very beautiful park today. i tell the visitors about this, to. i want them to understand people lived here. please, tell the people that people used to live here. war makes everyone crazy. hosokawa, 17koji years old when the united states dropped a bomb on his sister. -- dropped the bomb on hiroshima. his 13-year-old sister, yoko, died in the bombing. he spoke to us next to the a-bomb dome, one of the few structures in the city that survived the blast.
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i want to ask you, kevin martin, head of peace action, you have been to hiroshima a net with hiroshima survivors, both in hiroshima as well as your home state of new jersey. withpresident obama meet the hiroshima survivors? >> i certainly hope so. i think he needs to hear their stories, listen to their wisdom, listen to their sense of forgiveness, which is just on sparring as for as i'm concerned, and the only thing the survivors one, of course many of them are very elderly, is to see the abolition of nuclear weapons so that this never happens to anyone again. i was in new jersey just a few weeks ago for a dinner that new jersey peace action had. i was honored to me -- i had met her again. she was 13 years old when the bomb was dropped. she was a hiroshima maiden wrought to the united states for surgery and adopted by norman
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cousins, an american peace activist. and she said she will be in hiroshima and wants to sneak through the security line and meet president obama and shake his hand and not let go until he promises to eliminate nuclear weapons. i can't imagine they're going to 84-year-old grandmother, but hearing those stories could be transformative for this president who already is committed to nuclear disarmament, but just hasn't done enough during his presidency to move us toward that goal. amy: and the significance of being prime minister shinzo abe taking him around? i interviewed the prime minister at the time of the fukushima meltdown, who was a big supporter of nuclear power before the meltdown, now is one of the leading proponents in the world against nuclear power and weapons. what about shinzo abe's relationship with obama and his rizing japan?clea
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>> shinzo abe is a nightmare. he is a militarist, in league with the united states and the so-called asia-pacific pivot to china andculate russia. he is shredding article nine of the japanese constitution. i think yes to pay lip service to the goal of nuclear weapons abolition. i think most japanese national politicians have to do that, but he is no ally as far as i'm concerned or the japanese peace groups or japanese survivors are concerned. amy: kevin martin, thank you for being with us. president of peace action. we will link to your peace and counterpunch headlined "president obama should meet , a-bomb survivors." this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, we look at a delegate chosen by the trump organization to represent trump
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in california. they say it was a database mistake that the white supremacist was chosen. we will look deeper. and then we will talk about "madness." what happens to mentally ill prisoners in a prison here in the united states. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are on the road, but back home here in new york. donald trump's campaign is facing criticism after it named a prominent white supremacist leader to its list of delegates in california. william johnson is the head of the american freedom party which aims to preserve "the customs and heritage of the european american people." over the years he has advocated for the creation of a white
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state and the deportation of almost all nonwhite citizens from the united states. johnson's name appeared on a list of delegates published by california's secretary of state monday. after mother jones broke the story on tuesday, the trump campaign blamed johnson's selection on a "database error." and remove 10. -- and removed him. but correspondence published by mother jones shows the trump campaign was in touch with johnson as recently as monday. the southern poverty law center has described johnson's american freedom party as "arguably the most important white nationalist group in the country." earlier this year, johnson made -- johnson superpac funded this pro-trump robocall to voters. >> the national superpac makes this goal to support donald trump. i am william johnson, a former and what nationalist. the white race is dying out because we are afraid to be called racist. this is our mindset. this r.o.k. our government destroys our children's future,
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but don't call me racist. it's ok to give way our country for immigration, but don't call me racist. it is ok that few schools have the majority beautiful white children, but don't call me racist. i am afraid to be called racist. donald trump is not a racist but he is not afraid. don't vote for donald trump. this call is not authorized by donald trump. amy: a pro-trump robocall from white nationalist leader william johnson. joining us now from san francisco is josh harkinson of mother jones. his piece, "trump selects a white nationalist leader as a delegate in california," was published on tuesday. so explain exactly what happened, josh. william -- i to have been speaking with william johnson over the last few months and i checked in with him on monday and he told me yet a big announcement coming. we did not know what it was.
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he would not tell us. he had mentioned his interest in being a delegate, so i realized and several people in the office realized on tuesday morning and our meeting that the delegate list had been released, so we looked at it and there was his name, william johnson. amy: so explain further what then happened. >> sure. obviously,m and william johnson is a pretty common name. i asked him, are you a california delegate? he said he was. i asked him to send me proof just to be sure. you forwarded me the e-mail -- he forwarded me the e-mail he received from the trump campaign. i asked him for comment and he did not respond. we put the story out. it has been picked up pretty widely since then. amy: talk more about who he is, he is and what exactly the conversations that you understand, what the communication has been with the trump campaign.
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>> sure. he leads the american freedom party, which has -- it is a white nationalist little party. probably has just a few thousand members at most. they have never suspects fully test successfully elected a candidate yet. they're arguably the most important white nationalist group in the country because of the people involved. they are sort of like the brain trust for the white nationalist movement such as it is. some of their members are sort of intellectual, whether -- there is a former california state professor, a former reagan appointee on their board of directors. they talk about -- they don't consider themselves to be white supremacists. they argue that they don't claim that the white race is superior to other races, but they do want america to be a separate white
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ethno state, so they would like to kick out the nonwhites from america. amy: last year during an interview in pennsylvania, william johnson openly called for the formation of a white state. this is what he said. >> we are seeing a dispossession of the majority of this country, and it does not just the illegal immigration, it is through legal immigration. america is being replaced by other people. a group of people should not willingly open up their borders and allow other people to take it over. what has happened in the last 50 years, there is been a relentless onslaught of propaganda, antiwhite propaganda. if you stand up and say, i want to preserve this country for our own people, your called a racist. as a result, every aspect of our society has gone downhill. we have to address that issue. >> would you close the borders entirely? >> even if you close the borders entirely, it is not going to
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correct the system. if you look at the demographics that the white children are the vast minority in the school districts everywhere in the u.s. we need to look at it a totally different way. we need to create a separate white as snow state. this diversity is a failure. amy: that is william johnson speaking on wfmz in pennsylvania. josh harkinson, talk more about -- i mean, this is a person who is extremely well-known list of this is in someone you had to research their background to figure anything out about. >> exactly. he has spoken at many of the major white supremacist conferences around the country. he is well known in that world. but he should also be well-known to donald trump because he has taken a robo calls in support of trump in seven different states. trump -- the trump campaign has responded to that already, distancing themselves from
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albeit somewhat tepidly. he should be known to them pretty well by now. aboutalk about what it is donald trump that attracts this kind of support. i mean, i want to turn back to a clip we played a few times in february, donald trump coming under criticism for wavering on whether or not he wants the leader of former klan david duke. speaking on cnn's "state of the union" with jake tapper, trump refused to disavow duke's support or the support of other white supremacists. >> just so you understand, i don't know anything about david duke. i don't know anything about what you're talking about with white supremacy are white supremacists. i don't know. did he endorse me? about david duke. i know nothing about white supremacists.
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when you're asking a question i'm supposed to be talking about people that i know nothing about. >> i guess the question from the anti-defamation league is, even if you don't know about their endorsement, there are these groups and individuals endorsing you, would you just say unequivocally you condemn them and you don't want their support? >> well, i have to look at the group. i don't know what group you're talking about. you would not want to condemn a group i know nothing about. i have to look. if you would send me a list of the groups, i will do research on them and certainly i would disavow if i thought there was something wrong. the you may have groups that are totally fine and it would be very unfair. give me a list and i will let you know. >> i'm just talking about david duke and the ku klux klan here, but -- x honestly, i don't know david duke. i don't believe i have ever met him. amy: that is donald trump's the thing on cnn. "the new york times" quoted donald trump in february 2000 talking about the reform party saying it includes a klansmen, mr. duke, and neo-nazi.
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that was trump's words. josh harkinson? >> trump later claimed that he was having your views problems when he was on the set and did not understand what cnn was saying. also similar to what he has said in response to this latest with william johnson. he claimed it was a database error. so basically, it prevented him from -- yet already excluded johnson from a list of potential delegates, but there was some problem with the database in the computer system. he seems to be having an unusually large number of technical problems whenever the issue of his support for white nationalists are waste from assist -- or white supremacists come up. amy: would you say trump is legitimizing white nationalism,
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white supremacy in this country? >> well, i think he is. the question is also is, is that what he is intending to do? you can debate that, but i think the effect of his rhetoric has been to normalize things that people didn't used to say that were considered too extreme to say in polite company as to whether it is his comment comparing mexican immigrants to rapists, whether it is his stated policy of wanting to prevent muslims from emigrating are traveling to the united states. i think those are things that do get associated with racists. so people who are racist and are proud of it are rightfully ecstatic that trump is saying these things. amy: josh harkinson, thank you for being with us senior , reporter at mother jones.
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we will link to your peas, -- piece "trump selects a white , nationalist leader as a delegate in california." when we come back, we look at a florida prison and "madness" and the issue of holies brutality -- police brutality. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we turn now to a shocking new expose and the "new yorker" magazine called, "madness: in florida prisons, mentally ill inmates have been tortured, driven to suicide, and killed by guards." in it, journalist eyal press documents how prison guards at the dade correctional institution have subjected mentally ill prisoners to vicious beatings, scalding showers, and severe food deprivation.
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press notes the guards act with near impunity since prison staff, including mental health workers, often fear reprisals for speaking out. according to the article, prisons have become america's dominant mental-health institutions. the situation is particularly extreme in florida, which spends less money per capita on mental health than any state with the exception of idaho. meanwhile, between 1996 and 2014, the number of florida prisoners with mental disabilities skyrocketed by 153%. according to bureau of justice statistics, an estimated 56% of state prisoners, 45% of federal prisoners, and 64% of jail inmates suffer from mental health issues. for more we're joined now by two guests. eyal press who has just written on this issue for the new yorker. the piece is called, "madness." he's also the author of, "beautiful souls: saying no, breaking ranks and heeding the voice of conscience in dark
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times." eyal press is a puffin writing fellow at the nation institute. in miami, florida, we're also joined by george mallinckrodt, a psychotherapist, author, and human rights activist. he is a whistleblower who lost his job after reporting on abuse of his patients in the dade correctional institution's transitional care unit in 2011. his book is called, "getting away with murder: a true story." we welcome you both to democracy now! eyal press talk about how you discovered this story in particular cases inside the florida prison. >> i discovered the story through people like george mallinckrodt, and various other counselors and psychotherapists who worked at his present you just mentioned, the dade correctional institute. what interested me, in the abstract, these are people who worked in the mental health ward. when they saw abuse, they have a duty to report it. that is part of the basic medical ethics.
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yet they are in reality beholden to the guards for their own safety and security, for their ability to do their jobs. so i wrote about various people in that ward, personnel, who witnessed the abuse and felt stifled, felt unable to say anything about it. particular counselor, harriet, who early on noticed that inmates were being verbally abused. she also -- they told her, actually, they were not getting their meals. they were being starved will stop when she reported this to her supervisor at the time, she was told, look, we have to have a good working relationship with security. very quickly after she began to she sent an e-mail expressing concern she wasn't thing allowed to let these inmates out into the rec yard. this was their only fresh air during the day. soon after she did that, she experienced reprisals. guards disappeared suddenly,
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leaving her alone with inmates. guards left her alone in the rec yard and a lung which was conducting psychoeducational groups. she kind of got the message, you don't say anything that might offend the guards. as a consequence, as she is more ande abuse more severe, she does not speak out about it and know it at the prison does. amy: when people speak out, they are called hugathugs? >> that term is a kind of insult that is used to characterize their press and counselors -- therapists and counselors who think the inmates are victims, who sort of imagine when they report abuse or complain about it, that they are need. and this therapist, herriot, when she took the job, she did not believe the inmates and their stories. she was quite skeptical. i think george mallinckrodt as
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well was skeptical. it took quite a long time for them to kind of become aware that actually the abuse was real. and everything the inmates were telling them was actually happening. amy: tell us the story of carol tims dead and i'm going to bring george mallinckrodt into this as well. >> the abuse -- the murder in this story that i wrote about inmated in 2012 when in named aaron raney, a schizophrenic was severely schizophrenic inmate was locked in a shower stall and exposed to scalding water that was 180 degrees. he was left there for two hours. when his body was found, he had burns on 90% of his body. as i said, no one reported the incident, even though it was well-known to the staff. at one person who did report it was an inmate named harold hempstead. it is only reason that we know
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that has happened to darrin rane y. amy: george mallinckrodt, tell us about this other prisoner harold hempstead and what he talked about when he described what happened to raney. >> well, he described the theation where he was in first floor area below the shower, but he could hear darrin raney begging for his life. from what i understand, harold hempstead exactly suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder as a consequence of this event, even though it is june 23, will be for years, after his death. so this deeply affected him. i is always -- i've always given harold hempstead credit for
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maintaining his perseverance in trying to get the department of corrections of florida to open a case. i found out about darrin raney two days after it happened in a frantic phone call from a former coworker. i launched my own effort to get darrin raney justice, but it fell flat. one of my responses was to write my book called "getting away with murder," never actually imagining they could get away with murder. amy: explain what the shower is. the fact that he was burned on 90% of his body, and what harold hempstead heard being imprisoned right below the shower, what he heard that day. >> i know from working there that the water was extraordinarily high. you could not hold your hand under it for a split second
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before it burned. but to hear darrin raney beg --he kept saying, please, let me out, let me out, i won't do it no more! what he is done apparently was he defecated in his cell and the guards response was to put him in this scalding shower that was specially rigged where darrin raney had no control over the water temperature. we found out from other accounts that at least four other patients in the unit were tortured with this hot water treatment before they left darrin raney in there to die. , howtalk about eyal press as -- n to become known
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what's he said he wanted to report this and he was disturbed by it. he was told, don't tell us too much. if you tell us too much, we will have to write an incident report. that will get you in trouble and of course what they also meant was, will get us in trouble. with the guards, with the oc, the department of corrections. hempstead had been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder. he pressed on. he kept sending out these complaints for many of which he sent me copies of. amy: that is what it takes to get these complaints out, obsessive-compulsive disorder? >> essentially, yes. one would have to conclude. he since these out and gets no response. dish he sends his out and gets no response. he gets a response, but they take no action. he sends them out to the medical examiner and to the police will stop nothing happens until the miami herald publishes a story about his allegations from a
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cover story, and he had essentially with the help of his sister reached out to an editor at the herald who ended up following up. amy: and he himself has an unbelievable story. how long he is serving in prison, harold him step, for the particular crimes he was convicted of. >> he was convicted of involvement in his early 20's and a string of burglaries. he is serving 165 years for that. 165 years. since that time, he has been, as you mentioned, a whistleblower who has risk his own safety to expose these abuses. been nothere has indication from the governor of florida that he will get clemency or that his case might be reconsidered. it is quite an extraordinaire story. by the way, florida is second in the nation when it comes to people serving lifetime sentences for nonviolent crimes. herald"he told "miami
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and you noted in your piece, eyal press, i made a lot of mistakes my life but nothing i did resulted in somebody dying. george mallinckrodt, what happened to the guards who burned raney to death in the shower? well, in the florida department of corrections, there is very little accountability. both of those guards ended up resigning and one of them actually works for the miami guard police and the other works for the bureau of prisons. so nothing has happened in the time since his death. no charges have been filed. amy: i want to ask you about another case, george mallinckrodt, about a prisoner who was found dead at lowell correctional institution in ocala, florida, last year. -- in 2014. she died just days after telling
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her family and fellow prisoners and officers at the women's state prison that a guard had threatened to kill her. ellington's aunt, algarene jennings, spoke to the "miami herald." >> on the 21st, she wrote a letter to me. she was telling me about being taken into some room and he told her, she talked too much. and he would muzzle her like a dog and kill her and the other take his radio and bust her in the head with it. she feared for her life. she was afraid of him. she tell me she could not fight these people.
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she told me to please call. and i did. i talked to major pattison september 30. october the first, she was dead. less than 18 hours after i talked to him, she was dead. amy: that was algarene jennings. her niece, latandra ellington, was found dead at lowell correctional institution in ocala, florida, in former lowell 2014. sergeant berend bergner also spoke to the "miami herald." he said he faced reprisals for voicing concerns about ellington's safety. >> the tone of voice that she can tell,rying -- you especially after 10 years of working with the department, you can really tell when it inmate is being sincere and when they are not sincere. and she just seemed so sincere and distraught. she started to tell me what she was upset about, and then some other inmates had come in the
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dorm. she automatically just stopped and she just -- you know, stayed really quiet. i had her fill out a witnessed a man. after i took the report that morning from inmate ellington, several staff members had threatened me for taking a report from that inmate because they knew that it was true what she was putting in the report, and they did not want that to get out. they actually pulled me off to the side away from a bunch of the inmates and staff, and they threatened to take care of me in the parking lot is what they told me. amy: that is former lowell sergeant berend bergner. george mallinckrodt, he was speaking to "the miami herald." talk about this case. for our listening audience, there was an image that passed by of the prison guard in a kind pose. america, bodybuilder most of explain who he is as
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well. >> this was sergeant q. latandra actually feared for her life as he had made threats against her. latandra was a young woman with four children and she was serving a short sentence. but the thing is about the florida department of corrections, this type of retaliation and retaliation is the norm for any inmate that speaks up against a guard. inmates will speak up, but they know they will pay a price. every single prison in florida is rife with corruption. i have heard from inmates from all over the state that no matter what you want in prison, if you have the money, you can get it. you name it,drugs,
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you can get it. and one way it gets in is with the guards. so any inmate that questions these types of activities, thatding fight clubs guards have inmates perform in, there is retribution, retaliation. that is the norm. it is not surprising that latandra was killed. we have seen evidence of other inmates dying suspicious deaths, too, after they raised issues about guards the a beer. amy: george mallinckrodt, and your experience working in a guard ever found guilty of abusing prisoners? have, but in my unit, that would be a resounding no. in fact, a coworker was an eyewitness to a beating. she saw how guards handcuffed in
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inmate, threw them to the floor in a hallway where there were no cameras, and they started to kick the crap out of him -- literally. thathappened from that was she said on the incident report that she did not see anything because she feared retaliation, but in terms of what happened to the guards, absolutely nothing. and the sergeant who orchestrated the beating has since been promoted to lieutenant. and we are finding out that this is somewhat normal for the florida department of corrections as well. amy: can you tell us, eyal press , about daniel geithner? >> in my story, i mentioned that at least eight other inmates at dade were put in the shower where darrin raney died. one of them was daniel geiger. he was put in there from what we know more than once, punished. severely -- he was suffering
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from mental illness and this was the punishment administered to him when guards wanted to meet it out. i interviewed his mother and, heartbreakingly, she was not aware that this had happened to her son. she was not aware, as we also know now, he was among the inmates who was starved. she had spoken to him and he seemed to be slurring his words. , butemed alarmingly thin she did not know the back story that he was in this mental health ward where abuse was being administered systemically. i should say, in my "new yorker article" it makes clear this was not just one case or one prison, but in a way i think that as much as it is important for guards who do these things to be held accountable, in some respects, the guards are the easy targets and i think it would be a mistake to walk away from this saying, well, if we just told a couple of growth accountable, we will have accountability in the system.
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the problem is much, much deeper. the problem is we have used prisons as a safety net for mentally ill prisoners country, particularly poor people who become homeless who then get involved in petty crimes and end up being funneled into the criminal justice system. very producible result of that, when you put them in prisons where the security staff is not equipped to deal with them, they have not been trained today with him, they're understaffed and overworked, what is going to happen? what is going to happen is a system of sadistic abuse and i think that is what george has described and the other people i interviewed witnessed and solved. amy: what do you think has to happen? >> first of all, we have to expand the debate about mass incarceration to look at not just how many people we put in prisons, but the conditions that prevail within those prisons. this is a very hidden world. as a reporter, it is extremely difficult to get information. and if you don't have whistleblowers like george mallinckrodt of people
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interviewed in my article who are willing to speak on you essentially don't hear about these things. it all takes place behind the walls. we have to expand the conversation and we also have to expand the conversation about how we treat the mentally ill who were released from state psychiatric hospitals decades ago and are now winding up in jails and prisons. amy: george mallinckrodt, as a whistleblower yourself from the florida prisons, what you feel needs to be done? >> well, as a psychotherapist, my focus is on ending the mass incarceration of the severely mentally ill. and the primary way to do that is to address the source. every single man and woman suffering from severe mental illness was a child once. the point being, we need to address this at a level in our schools and communities. the mental health safety nets that exist right now are just a
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patchwork quilt, and few people actually get the treatment that they need. i once worked for a program that targeted middle school children that had some fairly serious psychiatric diagnoses like schizophrenia, bipolar, major depressive disorder. and i worked in the 90 day county public school system, which was the fourth-largest school system in the united states. and program has been ended the agency i worked for is now bankrupt. so in this system, there is no way to treat these children that have these diagnoses. so we need to shore up our foral health safety nets children, adolescents, and young adults. and keep in mind, anybody with a lifelong history of mental
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illness, by the time they were 14, 50% of these people had symptoms. 75% hadge of 24, symptoms. so we are seeing this early, but we don't have the resources to deal with the problem. think of it this way -- amy: five seconds. >> children who get treated early, it is equivalent to a woman finding a lump in her breast early. that is the time to treat, children. amy: george mallinckrodt and eyal press, thank you for being with us. we will link to your fees, eyal press, "madness: in florida prisons, mentally ill inmates have been tortured, driven to suicide, and killed by guards." george mallinckrodt, lost a job after reporting prisoner abuse of his patients at the kalief -- statedemocracy now! is looking r feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to outreach@democracynow.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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