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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  December 23, 2015 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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12/23/15 12/23/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> why am i being apprehended? >> i said, get out of the car. i am going to drag you out of here. >> you threatening to drag me out of my own car? >> get out of the car. i will light you up. amy: the family of sandra bland demands justice after a grand jury decides not to indict
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anyone over her jail cell death. bland, an african-american woman, was arrested in july after she allegedly failed to signal a lane change. she was jailed with bond set at $5000. three days later, she was found dead in her jail cell. authorities say she committed suicide, a claim her family rejects. the family has filed a wrongful death suit and wants charges against the officer who arrested her. >> the whole process from the secretive nature of it to the evidence presented to the lack of involvement of the family screams of a cover-up. >> we feel like we have been shut out of this process from the very beginning. we are at the door knocking, waiting for the door to open, for the answers that we have asked for regardless of what they are. amy: will anyone be held to account for sandra bland's death? we'll speak to sandra bland's mother, her sister, and the family attorney. then, is freedom of speech
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welcome at the mall of america? the nation's largest shopping center tries to stop a black lives matter protest and force organizers to post on social media that it's canceled. that is what the mall wanted. the judge rejected those demands tuesday. the mall of america did manage, however, to ban three black lives matter activists from showing up at today's protest. we'll speak to one of the activists about why she's barred from the rally she helped organize. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the u.s.-backed saudi-led coalition faces increasing condemnation for the airstrikes that u.n. officials say are responsible for the majority of civilian deaths in the ongoing conflict in yemen. nearly 6000 people have died and at least 70 health clinics have been bombed since march, when the saudi-led coalition
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airstrikes began. speaking at the u.n. security council u.n. human rights chief , zeid raad al-hussein said a disproportionate amount of the attacks on civilians are carried out by the u.s.-backed saudi coalition. >> i have observed with stream concern the heavy shelling from the ground and the air in areas with high concentration or with a high concentration of civilians as well as the perpetuation of the destruction of civilian and for structure, in particular, hospitals and schools, by all parties to the conflict. although a disproportionate amount appears to be airstrikes caret out by coalition forces. u.n. security council meeting, u.s. ambassador to the united nations samantha power said the united states has urged the saudis to abide by international law, but the u.s. continues to back the airstrikes with intelligence and weapons, including a billion-dollar deal to restock saudi arabia's air force arsenal, which was depleted by its bombing campaign in yemen. the sale included thousands of
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ground munitions and so-called general-purpose bombs. the united states has also reportedly sold internationally banned cluster munitions to saudi arabia that are now being used in yemen. this comes as a new report by the u.n. and international office of migration says more than 2.5 million people are internally displaced inside yemen. meanwhile, also in yemen, tribal sources say a u.s. drone strike killed four people in the central nata district tuesday. this comes as somali government officials say a suspected u.s. drone strike hit al-shabaab training camps in the lower shabelle region overnight on tuesday. the number of casualties has not been reported. in afghanistan, british soldiers have been deployed to helmand province amid fighting between afghan government soldiers and taliban forces in the city of sangin. the british troops join u.s. special operations soldiers, who were sent to helmand province weeks ago.
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meanwhile, new details about monday's deadly suicide bombing near the bagram air base show that one of the six u.s. soldiers killed was major adrianna vorderbruggen, one of the first openly-gay female service members. she had spent years working to repeal the u.s. military's "don't ask don't tell" policy, and died one day before the fifth anniversary of its repeal. in britain, u.s. authorities have sparked outrage by barring a british muslim family headed to disneyland for vacation from boarding their flight to los angeles. the family of 11 had already been granted travel authorization. family members say they were given no explanation for why they were turned away from the plane in london. the airline said they would not be refunded the more than cost $13,000 of their flights. another british traveler, imam and lecturer ajmal mansoor, was also turned away from his u.s. bound flight two days later.
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in denver, colorado clarence , moses-el was released from prison after serving 28 years for a crime that he did not commit. in 1989, clarence moses-el, who is african-american, was sentenced to 48 years in prison after a woman said she dreamed he was the man who raped and beat her in the dark. the victim was raped and badly beaten in her apartment. initially, she named three men she had been tracking with that night as her possible attackers -- none of them was clarence moses-el. but police never investigated those men because a day and a half later, the victim said she had a dream that moses-el was the one who raped her. the police would later throw out the rape kit and any possible evidence like bedsheets and her clothing. this summer, one of those three men she originally named confessed. on tuesday afternoon, moses-el was released to a crowd that included his wife, his son, and
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several of his 12 grandchildren whom he had never met as he did not want them to see him in prison. clarence moses-el's retrial is set for next june. to see our interview with editorl's lawyer and the of the "colorado independent" you can go to in chicago, the family of sandra bland has called for criminal charges against texas state trooper brian encinia, who violently arrested the 28-year-old african american woman after accusing her of failing to signal a lane change on july 10. bland was found dead in a waller county jail cell three days later. her family and supporters have disputed authorities' claim her death was a suicide. dashcam footage from the arrest shows encinia forcibly removing bland from her car and threatening to "light her up." the family's call for criminal charges come one day after a grand jury said it would not issue any indictments in connection with her death.
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although the prison officers won't face charges, officer encinia could still be indicted when the grand jury reconvenes next month. we will have more on the case with sandra bland's family and their lawyer after headlines. meanwhile in new york public , records show the police officer who shot and killed unarmed teenager ramarley graham has received nearly $25,000 in raises since firing the fatal shot almost four years ago. graham, an 18-year-old african american, was unarmed when officer richard haste shot him dead inside his own home. faced was initially charged with manslaughter, but a judge later threw out the indictment on procedural grounds. a second grand jury elected not to indict. officer haste has been on desk duty since killing graham. federal investigation into possible civil rights violations in the case is ongoing. army sergeant bowe bergdahl, who spent five years in taliban captivity, has been arraigned tuesday on charges related to
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his disappearance from a u.s. base in afghanistan in 2009. bergdahl was released by the taliban last year in exchange for five guantánamo prisoners. he has said he walked off his post in an attempt to reach another u.s. base and report wrongdoing in his unit. the army officer who investigated his case testified against any prison time and recommended bergdahl go before a special court-martial, where his maximum possible punishment would be a year behind bars. but he has instead been ordered to a general court-martial where he faces a possible life sentence if convicted. in colombia, president juan manuel santos has signed a measure legalizing and regulating medical marijuana in the latest move by a latin american country to reverse course on the u.s.-backed war on drugs. uruguay legalized marijuana in 2013, and medical marijuana legalization bills are being considered in brazil, chile, costa rica, and mexico. meanwhile, in ecuador,
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operations have begun at the billion-dollar chinese-owned mirador open-pit copper mine. it's the first large-scale copper mine in ecuador. the mine has faced massive resistance by the indigenous shuar people, who say they were not consulted and have been forced off their lands as a result of its construction. in november 2014, leading anti-mining activist josé isidro tendetza antún was found dead only days before he was due to speak out against the mirador mine at the u.n. climate summit in lima, peru. he was found buried with his arms and legs bound and with signs of torture. activists have accused the ecuadorian authorities of complicity in his murder. speaking a year before his death at the assembly of the communities of the south of ecuador in december 2013, tendetza urged the community to stay united against threats to their ancestral territory. here, united, we have to continue forward.
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if we are not united, we don't have value. enough,he time to say that this corruption that comes to us and the threats to our territory in the ecuadorian amazon. amy: that was the late ecuadorian anti-mining activist speaking in december 2013, nearly a year before he was murdered. the israeli ambassador to the united states has announced that all holiday gifts from the embassy this year will be deliberately sourced from settlements in the occupied territories in the effort to counter the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign. the european union recently announced some goods produced in israeli-occupied land must be labeled "made in settlements." the top editor of "the las vegas review-journal" has resigned less than two weeks after billionaire and major republican party donor sheldon adelson
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secretively bought the newspaper for $140 million. editor michael hengel resigned days after the "review-journal" published an article indirectly critical of its new owners. "review-journal" columnist norm clarke reacted to the resignation tweeting -- "i've never used the word noble before but then i've never worked for someone as noble and ethical as mike hengel." in news from the campaign trail, fundraising sources for hillary clinton say they believe that bernie sanders has raised more money during the 4th quarter of this year than clinton's campaign. this comes only days after sanders' campaign announced it has received 2 million individual campaign contributions. he puts it on pace to break president obama's record. meanwhile, republican presidential candidate donald trump has continued to spark outrage and concern over his language. speaking at a campaign rally in grand rapids, michigan, trump repeatedly said he hates journalists, but that he
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wouldn't kill them. this clip begins with trump referring to russian president vladimir putin. >> and then they said to me know, he has killed reporters. i don't like that. i'm totally against it. by the way, i hate some of these people, but i would never kill them. i hate temples have no, these people -- honestly, i will be honest, i would never kill them. i would never do that. let's see. no, i wouldn't. i would never kill them. but i do hate them. amy: at the same campaign rally, donald trump sparked criticism with his continued sexist comments about rival candidate hillary clinton. verse two began talking about her bathroom break during saturday's democratic presidential debate, saying "what happened to her? it's disgusting. don't say it. it is disgusting," he said. then he began talking about her
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loss to president obama during a 2000 and presidential race saying -- "schlonged," which is the for penis.d in response, jennifer palmieri, the communications manager for clinton's campaign, tweeting -- "we are not responding to trump but everyone who understands the humiliation this degrading language inflicts on all women should." in candidate -- and candidate hillary clinton sparked a firestorm tuesday after her campaign website posted a list of "7 ways hillary clinton is just like your abuela." thousands of latinos quickly took to twitter to list the ways that hillary clinton was not, in fact, just like their grandmother. both the hashtags #notmiabuela and #notmyabuela quickly went viral, as people denounced what they saw as "hispandering" by the clinton campaign. many drew attention to the funding clinton's campaign received from private prison
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corporations with government contracts to run for-profit detention centers for undocumented immigrants. others drew attention to clinton's statements to cnn last year calling for the u.s. to send back children fleeing violence in central america who have reached the u.s. border. >> should they a bit -- be able to stay here? . >> it is safer. >> it may be safer, but that is not the answer. >> should they be sent back? >> we have to provide the best emergency care we can. we of children five and six are's old who have come up from central america. we need to do more to provide border security -- >> you are saying they should be sent back? >> as soon as it can be determine who responsible adults and their families are. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. family members and supporters are demanding justice for sandra
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bland after a grand jury failed to indict anyone for her death. bland, a 28-year-old african-american woman, was arrested on july 10 when a traffic stop escalated into a confrontation with the officer involved. three days later, her body was found hanging from a trash bag inside her jail cell. authorities say she killed herself, a claim her family rejects. they've also questioned why bland was arrested and jailed in the first place -- and why she was kept behind bars for so long. amy: sandra bland had recently moved to texas to start a job at prairie view a&m university, her alma mater. she was driving near campus when texas state trooper brian encinia pulled her over and accused her of failing to signal a lane change. police dashcam video that captured part of the arrest shows encinia threatening to forcibly remove bland from her car. >> you seem very irritated. >> i am.
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way. getting out of your you're speeding up and telling me. i move over and you stop me. yeah, i am a little -- >> are you done? >> you asked me what was wrong and i told you. so now done, yes. >> ok. do you mind putting out your cigarette, please? if you don't mind? >> i'm in my car, why dr. put out my cigarette? >> you can step on out. >> i don't have to step out. >> step out of the car. >> know, you don't have the right -- >> stepped out of the car. >> you don't have the right. >> i do have the right. step out or i will remove you. juan: as the dashcam video continues, officer encinia escalates the situation when he threatens to light sandra bland up. >> i will drag you out of here.
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>> you are threatening to drag me out of my own car. >> get out of the car1 i will like you up! get out, now! >> for failure to signal. failure to signal. failure to signal. >> get off the phone. >> i'm not on the phone. >> it's my property. >> for your phone down. >> sir? >> put your phone down, right now. at your phone down. come over here. come over here now. >> are you feeling good about your self? you feel real good about yourself, don't you? >> turn around now. but your hands -- >> why my being arrested? amy: sandra bland can later be heard accusing police of
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slamming her head into the ground. she said she had epilepsy, to which trooper encinia replies, "good." into theammed my head ground. i can't even hear. you slamming into the ground and everything. juan: sandra bland was jailed and given $5000 bond. three days later, she was found dead in her cell. on monday, a texas grand jury rejected charges against any of -- charges in regards to her death. although, the prison officers won't face charges, encinia could still be indicted when the grand jury reconvenes next month. special prosecutor darrell jordan said the case remains open. >> it is been a very, very long day for us as well as the grand jury. after presenting all of the evidence as it relates to the death of sandra bland, the grand jury did not return an indictment. the grand jury also considered
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things that occurred at the jail and did not return an indictment. there are other issues the grand jury is still considering, and they will take up those issues when we return next month. amy: bland's family is calling for charges against enciana when the grand jury reconvenes. a wrongful death suit by the family names encinia along with two waller county jail guards, the texas department of public safety and waller county. , the family has also criticized the secrecy of the grand jury, whose deliberations are sealed. on tuesday, protesters marched outside the waller county courthouse and in houston to call on the justice department to bring federal charges against the officers involved. sandra bland is one of many african-americans whose death in police custody has galvanized the nation's black lives matter movement and sparked demands for structural change in how police treat people of color.
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well, the family of sandra bland is here now to talk about the case. we will be joined by her sister in a moment, but we are joined now by geneva reed-veal, who is sandra bland's mother. and we're joined by cannon lambert, the attorney representing sandra bland's family. let's go first to geneva reed-veal. your response to the grand jury yesterday saying that they would not indict anyone in relation to sandra's death and the waller county jail? >> i'm disappointed, but not surprised. i just have to say right now that we were looking for transparency, and that is not what we have been experiencing in this whole journey here. so again, disappointed, but not surprised. juan: cannon lambert, as the attorney for the family, your
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response to this recent development? >> frankly, i think you have to first understand what it is that a grand jury does and what it is in general. a grand jury is nothing more than appendage or tool of the prosecutor. what they do many times is they will convene a grand jury for the purposes of them saying, look, we submitted evidence to a grand jury, they assessed the evidence, and then they come back and they realized there is no reason for there to be an indictment. but in reality, the secretive proceedings are shrouded with problems and shrouded with misconception. the bottom line is, you don't know what evidence is being submitted. the prosecutor acts as the judge. there is no judge that oversees the preceding. the prosecutor gets to cherry pick whatever evidence they want to submit, and then withhold what evidence they want to withhold. so they get to pick what it is they want to present. then thereafter they're able to going to using hearsay when they
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want to, unlike in ordinary judicial procedures and the like. we're not even allowed to be present. we're not allowed to in the of the evidence, we're not allowed to offer any evidence ourselves. there's a whole big problem with what it is the grand jury's did the first place. it over and above that, the problem i have in this particular case with this grand jury is that the five special prosecutors that were supposed to a point -- that were appointed by the da of waller county, they were supposed to be looking at this from the standpoint of assessing it as a homicide according to elton mathis. with the lead special prosecutor , paul deneve, two months ago in a huffington post add or article him he indicated they were not looking at waller county to determine whether or not they did anything criminal him a but instead they were looking prospectively to see if there was something they could do to suggest changes they might make in the future. they did not look at it from the standpoint of trying to establish whether or not there
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was anything criminally done. as a consequence, we find ourselves feeling very accountable about this whole process. amy: we are going to take a break and come back to this discussion. we're joined by sandra bland's mother geneva reed-veal as well as the attorney for the family, cannon lambert. and we will be joined by sanders sister sharon cooper. -- sandra's sister, sharon cooper. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "border song," by aretha franklin.
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this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. we are talking about monday's decision by a waller county grand jury not to indict anyone in the death of sharon -- in the death of sandra bland. she died in a waller county jail cell three days after she was stopped by a police officer supposedly for failing to signal a lane change. we are joined by the family attorney, cannon lambert, sandra's mother geneva reed-veal , as well as sharon cooper, sandra's sister. sharon cooper, if you could respond to the decision by the grand jury? now, it is not over. the case of brian encinia, the officer who first stopped sandra, has not been weighed by the grand jury yet. but the actual, those responsible for the death and the jail cell, have not been indicted. definitely would
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like to echo my mother sentiment in terms of i would say just from a siblings perspective and being a surviving member of something as tragic as this, i will tell you it is disappointing and it is heart wrenching, but at same time, not surprising, given the fact we are guided by excellent legal counsel and felt we were a bit prepared for this to be the case in light of the lack of participation and transparency that we have received from the das office in this case as well as the opposing side in general. i will to you that i am not all that hopeful that there will be charges brought against officer encinia because in the five months since sandy's passing, the dashcam video was made wedily available days after went to texas for the first time. so there is unequivocally no doubt that officer encinia performed in an unprofessional way and his conduct was gross,
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best, so not sure how much more time the other side needs -- how much clearer it could be for the other side. so i'm not hopeful he will even be indicted on charges. i personally believe it is a travesty because i do believe the stop and his behavior was the of this for sandy's detainment and ultimately the reason why she is no longer here with us today. juan: before we get to the officer's action, i want to ask cannon lambert about the investigation of the death of sandra bland in the cell. aboutve raised questions the evidence, how the evidence was preserved, about whether proper fingerprinting was done i think of the back in which she was found. can you talk about that as well? >> absolutely. one of the things they say they did as they did a thorough investigation. well, i've difficulty with that notion because if you do a thorough investigation and you follow the directives of the da
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like what was supposedly suggested that you're going to address this as a homicide, you would at the very least take figure prince of the instrument of death. the plastic bag, as we understand it, has not even been interpreted. how can you suggest that you did an independent and pearl investigation when you haven't even fingerprinted the instrument of death? so how is it a grand jury is going to get evidence they can make a real decision from? i mean, that is exactly the problem you have. it is an example of how whatever evidence they want to submit, they will submit. if they want indictment, they get an indictment. amy: i want to ask about the prosecutor and what he has said, prosecutor darrell jordan. he said, when i see them on the quote he gaveas a to "chicago sun-times" talking about you all, the family of sandra bland -- when i see them
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on the news stating that the left out of the process, that is not because of us. we are begging to talk to the bland family. we're begging to answer any questions they have. i've never heard of a criminal case for the prosecutor did not talk to the victims family. any parent deserves to know anything other that relates to the death of their child. can you tell us what your allegations are in terms of the lack of two medications with the prosecutor, geneva reed-veal? >> i have had no communication with the prosecutor. i am not privy to anything other than an initial contact very early on in this proceeding and i will have to let cannon, my attorney, speak to that, because he is the one that handle that. very, very very, clear. as soon as mr. jordan was appointed as a special prosecutor, he contacted us. we were in houston while he was traveling on a personal family excursion to indianapolis.
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he asked if he could meet us the following day. i told him that we were unable to do that because we were going to still be in houston, but we were happy to do so, just let us know when he would like to do that. he never again contacted us. now, he is the investigator. he knows his process. he knows his schedule. i asked him in that one conversation, what are you investigating, who are you looking at, and the like. those are the questions this family has. if users about what he says about any family should have answers to questions they have about their loved one, well, why would enhance of those questions? i can tell you he didn't. i will also tell you we never get heard from him until after they came back with their determination that the rest of indictment to be had. so now he goes on tv is a just that this is when they would love to talk to the family. you want to talk to the family after your decided there is no indictment is necessary or appropriate? that's crazy. amy: how did you learn of the
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non-indictment? >> through the media. abc 13 in houston contacted me by way of text and let me know. it was 15 minutes or so after that that i got a text message for mr. jordan. and that was the second time i had been in contact with them. the bottom line is, frankly speaking, when you do an investigation or when you're trying to make a determination, you first have to do your investigation. you don't make a determination and then back door the investigation. abouti want to ask officer encinia's actions. sharon cooper, you mention his unprofessional conduct in the original arrest. honestly, your sister would never had been in jail had he not arrested her and had a confrontation he had with her. this whole issue of whether the on his even reported official incident report exactly what happened, what do you know about that? >> i will tell you, it is
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another great example of very basic information that we don't have. this incident happened on friday, july 10. we are two days out from christmas and we still don't have the initial police report that brian encinia would have authored after this incident to memorialize all that transpired. based off what we've seen on the video and although it is painful to watch, it is imperative to watch a frame by frame so you can see exactly the improper behavior that took place by officer encinia. i think it is important to note that he clearly states to sandy that he is going to give her a warning or that he was going to give her warning, and there's a seismic shift in his behavior when he asked her -- not demanded, not lawfully ordered her, but asked her to put her cigarette out, to which she replied, "why do i have to put my cigarette out because i'm in my own vehicle." at that point he escalates the situation. although we don't have an actual police report, what i can tell
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you is if you look at that tape closely and you zero in what he is calling into his superiors, he flat out lies about what transpired at the stop. he said he tried to deescalate the situation. he says, "i don't know why she got so upset. i never told her she was under arrest." he said she was under arrest. she asked him 14 times once was under arrest and received no response. the dashcam video coupled with the strength of the bystander video, which shows the use of the excessive force used by the officer after he yanks sadie out of the vehicle and even pulled his taser and threatened to light her up. amy: after she is arrested and is a joke, she faces $5,000 bond? -- after she is arrested and is in jail, she faces a $5,000 bond? she received a phone call from a friend. i want to play the voicemail. >> this is me.
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i was just able to see the judge. i don't really know. they have me set at a $5,000 bond. i'm still just at a loss for words, honestly, about this whole process, how this turned into all of this. i don't even know. but i'm still here. call me back when you can. amy: cannon lambert, have you ever had this explained why she faced a $5,000 bond if the charge was not signaling a lane change? cannon lambert? >> i will say this to you, the bottom line is that when the bail is set, it is predicated on what the charge is. in the falsification that mr. encinia engaged in was the impetus behind that bail being set the way it was.
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so we go back again and find ourselves at least having to go back again to the stop. when he lied about what he did, he also lied about what she did. and that was the reason why she ends up in jail. now, they are saying right that they still need to go and reconvene back in january. and i'm asking myself the same sort of questions that sharon mentions, all of the evidence they need as to what brian encinia's conduct was is right on tape, and they have had a videotape or five months. what other investigation is there to do? amy: can you talk about the civil suit and the kind of evidence and information you're able to gather for that civil suit and where it stands? civil problem with the suit is that right now, we are kind of -- we're in a holding pattern. one of the things we been trying to get from the very inception is the texas ranger report. the texas ranger report includes
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all of the witness statements that were taken, all of the evidence that was gathered -- it constitutes were all of the information regarding what sandy's state was when she was first found. it will let us know of the individuals involved who found her to body temperatures, whether or not they gauged her ligor condition so we will be a political and a date and time of her death, the whole -- the whole nine yards is going to be enclosed in that texas ranger report post up well, the problem is, we're not been able to get the texas ranger report. sharon mentions the initial police report. that is one of the things that will be mentioned and contained in that texas ranger report. we can't get that right now because the defendants have -- they even claiming there is a criminal proceeding that is taking place, namely, the grand jury. well, the grand jury has made his decision. i'm specifically asking that
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darrell jordan, when he decides he wants to address the media, that he speak to the fact that there is no reason that the release of the texas ranger report would impede remainder of what it is the grand jury has to do. all yes to do is make that reference and make it clear because that is the situation and never but he knows it. if you make that representation, then there is the reason why we can't get the texas ranger report. and therefore, no reason we can't continue to afford in the civil action. juan: this tragedy has drawn national attention for months. in a statement, democratic presidential candidate and vermont senator bernie sanders said -- "there's no doubt in my mind that sandra bland, like too many african-americans who die in police custody, would be alive today if she were a white woman. we need to reform a very broken criminal justice system." in august during a campaign rally in south carolina, sanders invoked the name of sandra bland and other names of men and women
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who have been killed by police or while in jail custody in recent years. >> we must be clear we are talking about sandra bland, michael brown, rekia boyd -- [cheers] we talking about eric garner, walter scott, freddie gray, and many others. [cheers] many, many others over the years whose names we do not know. and these people died unnecessarily and wrongly at the hands of police officers were in police custody. that must change. juan: that was bernie sanders in
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august of this year. lambert, thesk mr. issue of what you're calling for in terms of federal intervention at this point, but the federal government? >> the reason we are asking for federal intervention is because, number one, the da milton mathis is the one that appointed the five special prosecutors that were supposed to be investigating the situation. if you remember back, they were saying they had full and complete access to all of the evidence and that they had subpoena power and the like. well, part of the problem with regard to mr. looney and mr. mathis's relationship is seems it is not independent. and sony don't have an independent examination of all of the evidence, and when you have the leader of that special prosecutorial group saying,
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"we're not looking to determine whether or not to renew criminal actions that were engaged in by the waller county police," then you have to ask for outside eyes to look at the situation. from the very outset it appears they never had any intention of try to determine what happened in that jail. amy: i want to go to center herself in her own words. sandra was inspired by the black lives matter movement. the shia become an outspoken supporter. she produced a series of videos called "sandy speaks" in which she discussed social justice and racism on her facebook page. >> white folks to really understand out there, black we are doinguly -- as much as we can. not all of its member but a lot of us are doing as much as we can we can't help it getting -- will we see situations where it is clear that black lives didn't matter. with those of you questioning, why was he running away?
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because in the news that we are seen as of late, you can stand there, surrender to the cops, and still be killed. amy: it is been a number of months, about half a year since sandra bland was killed. geneva reed-veal, your thoughts now as we move into this holiday season, how you're coping and the response that you have gotten to sandy's death? i'm coping right now day today. i'm coping as best as i can as a mother. and i will say to you that anyone who has to openly grieve in this manner, it is a tough thing to do but you learn how to go on day by day, just saying to yourself, "you have to continue to get justice for your child." for me right now, almost six months later, dealing with more questions than i had before and
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not being able to have access to anything, it makes it very hard to move forward when you have an open window, a cloud over your head of what really happened. so at this point, i'm still saying, what happened to sandra bland? i cannot be expected to believe what i have not been able to receive as evidence as it pertains to what has happened to my daughter. and that is what i am being byed to do in some cases great lengths of folks. you have people who are totally supportive of the family that i am grateful for. i'm grateful for those people because they will show the world that this is a problem. there is a problem here. and the fact that it is continuing to be talked about over twitter, over the internet, social media, there is a problem that exists that people want an answer to. to thewant a fix
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situation. and so being a parent and watching all of this and knowing that my daughter's death has reignited gray's concerns --grave concerns, it is awesome. just the support is overwhelming. and i can't even begin to say thank you enough to those who still stand in the gap, to those who still go out, to those who still talk about sandy's life, death every day. there is something out there about her case every day. and it is great to see that people are still aware regardless of the lack of evidence that has been shown to , peoplee world, really are still aware and people are still keeping up with this because they want to know what happened. amy: cannon lambert, while we are talking about the grand jury reconvening in the case of officer encinia now, usually, if a person is involved with an
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assault or their is a question, and arraignment happens within days. now granted, this is a police officer, but can you explain the order of how this is being investigated? flex i wish i could, but it doesn't make any sense. the reality of it is, i don't believe the police should be treated any better or any worse, frankly, than any other citizen when it comes down to when you break the law, you break the law and should be held credible whether you wear a badge or not. the bottom line is, when we look at this situation before us, it is a situation you can clearly see an unlawful order was issued, he used excessive force, reports,alsified his you know, he illegally searched and violated her fourth amendment rights, and he should be held to account. why it it comes down to is that they are seeming to say they need more time to assess i would benduct was,
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frank with you. i think we are all flabbergasted by that will stop he does not make sense. that is the easiest part of this entire situation to assess because it is caught on tape. amy: i want to thank you all for being here, cannon lambert, family attorney, sharon cooper, sandy sister, and geneva reed-veal, the mother of sandra bland, speaking to us from chicago. is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. when we come back, we go to the mall of america that attempt to stop a protest from taking place today, attempted to try to get black lives matter activists removing from their facebook pages the call for the protest and posting a cancellation of that protest. a judge ruled against the mall yesterday, but also rolled some of the organizers cannot show up to the protest today. we will speak with one of them. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "black rage," by lauryn hill. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. the mall of america in minnesota is the nation's largest shopping center. but despite its mammoth size over 4.8 million square feet, it , apparently has no room for protest. that's the message being sent after the mall tried to stop the group black lives matter from holding a rally there today. black lives matter has organized the demonstration during busy pre-christmas shopping to protest last month's fatal police shooting of jamar clark. the mall of america took protesters to court, trying to bar them from its property. but on tuesday, a judge rejected the mall's attempt to ban the rally and to force its organizers to post a cancellation message on social media. in a victory for the mall, the judge did agree to ban three
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black lives matter organizers from attending. activists say the protest will go ahead as part of a series of actions demanding justice for jamar clark. police claim clark was shot after a scuffle with officers. but witnesses have said clark was shot while handcuffed. black lives matter wants the release of police video and the prosecution of officers involved. amy: the mall of america's failed effort to stop the protest comes amid a tense climate for minnesota activists. alleged white supremacists opened fire on a protest over jamar clark's death last month, injuring five people. police have arrested four people and may treat the shooting as a hate crime. activists have called for federal terrorism charges. officers have also raided the protesters' encampment outside the 4th police precinct. in one incident, an officer dressed in fatigues and carrying what appeared to be a gas-launching gun pointed his weapon at congressman keith ellison's son, jeremiah. the photo went viral. the mall of america protest showdown also comes just weeks after charges were dismissed
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against black lives matter organizers for a similar protest at the mall a year ago. it later emerged that members of an fbi joint terrorism task force had tracked the demonstration, which drew over 3000 people. for more, we are joined by two guests. kandace montgomery is an organizer with black lives matter minneapolis. she's one of the defendants named in the case filed by mall of america against black lives matter activists. in tuesday's ruling, she was one of the three organizers barred from attending today's protest. jordan kushner is a civil rights and criminal defense attorney in minneapolis. he's representing the black lives matter activists who have been sued by the mall of america. i wanted to start off by asking kandace, you are one of the people -- you had a half victory with the court. the judge said she can't roll you have to say the protest is canceled, but you yourself are one of three organizers that she has ruled to not attending protest. will you be going? headed to the mall
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of america? well, we continue to still hold down the protest and we're not going to be intimidated by mall of america's tactics. juan: the why specifically yourself and two other organizers were single doubt and told -- singled out and told by the judge you could not attend? >> i think because the mall had me tied up as well as in the is in and the public library under the misconception we're the only three organizers of black lives matter minneapolis. it really, we are a leaderful movement across the country, specially minneapolis, there many other people who are holding down and part of planning the protest as well with me. amy: jordan kushner, can you respond to the sort of mixed ruling of the judge? how unusual is it? >> i think the case is unusual,
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present-dayiven the law were there were not only seeking to bar people from the specific activity, but try to govern people's speech. they were trying to order that the people there were suing anyone associated with them could not promote any kind of protest that they had a post on facebook and twitter that the protest was canceled and that they wouldn't be allowed to promote the protest on facebook or twitter. request forhe unusual and, unfortunately, they were denied. it was also unusual because they did not ask to ban anyone from the property, they just said they can't demonstrate -- which itself is really vague. what does that mean? does that mean you can go to the mall with a group of people and talk about police killings? was think the way the case handled probably wasn't unusual,
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but the kind of case the mall of america brought where they were trying to abuse her power and money in a way that so violates people's first amendment rights is unusual. juan: and could you talk, jordan kushner, about the legal history of this battle over the mall of america being a private -- a private operation? clearly, malls in the united states and major cities have really taken the role almost of a public square or town square because so much of the public ends up at them on any particular holiday or weekend. so what is the history, the court history, over this issue? >> it is been a really highly contentious issue. that is really coming to fruition here. there was a state supreme court's kate -- case where protesters tried to challenge the right to be of exercise the first amendment rights in the mall and the minnesota state
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spring court rejected that and stated on very clear terms that they considered the mall to be private property, and they had a right to decide what could take place on that property. and because of that, there hasn't been any ability at this point to establish any right through the courts to have free speech rights in the mall. it really taken on the role of appropriating the traditional public forum instead of the town square on the public sidewalk where people could congregate and talk about politics and do it all say want. the mall has taken over that role. they have all kinds of entertainment and gathering spaces. meanwhile, they can govern the speech and restrict it in a way that is only conducive to their profit-making and doesn't serve any other kind of community function. , thei want to ask kandace whole issue -- protest around jamar clark, can you explain what happened to him and what you're calling for?
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>> absolutely. so on the night in which jamar clark, many of which are saying was executed by the minneapolis police department, witnesses are overwhelmingly accounting that he was handcuffed while shot in the head. following that, immediately, the committee called for action. they held a march. black lives matter began the occupation of the fourth precinct in north minneapolis, minnesota. and that was held for 18 days until shut down by the minneapolis police department and our mayor betsy hodges. around that, we are really continue to demand the release of the case incident to ensure justice for him as well as long-term structural change for black folks in the community. juan: your group has often linked the racial violence or racial attacks by police through anti-muslim bias, specially in
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minneapolis where there's a large muslim community. could you talk about that? >> absolutely. that is one of the large reasons we're going to the mall. they have their own -- they have their own police force. they have their own counterterrorism unit inside of the mall. on top of using public resources for that, research has been done around the racial profiling and that happens, especially to our muslim brothers and sisters and east african immigrants inside of the mall. while also employing those people at under livable wages and lacking quality jobs. they discriminate from them also profiting off of them. so we want to call the connection between anti-black violence and islamic phobia and how that happens everywhere, including the mall of america.
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amy: a want to ask about the shooting we talked about in the lead. last month the minneapolis five , black lives matter protesters were shot and wounded while they were gathered at an encampment outside a police precinct where they were protesting the police killing of jamar clark. they say the shooters were white supremacists, at least one of whom was wearing a mask. activists say the white supremacists opened fire after a group of protesters attempted to herd them away from the encampment. jie wronski-riley described the shooting to the minneapolis star tribune. >> been it was like they turned around and just ordered shooting. sure i waswasn't like, are they shooting firecrackers? they were so loud. the result of this sulfur or whatever. then it was like the person was right next to me on my left went down. the person on my right went down. and i was like -- amy: that is -- >> their shooting bullets at us. , as we wrap up, how does activists who are shot are
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doing right now and again, let's end where i began, what your plans are today when this rally is expected to take place? >> absolutely. those activists are doing ok. i think that all of them are continuing to deal with the mental trauma that was inflicted on them from that incident. many still need support with medical bills. also, housing and food. there is one young brother who was shot in the stomach who is still continuing to do with medical difficulties and is still in the process of healing. as far as our plans today, we're asking folks to join us at the mall of america at 1:30. we will continue to hold a peaceful protest demanding justice for jamar clark. demand justice for many of the bodies -- black bodies slain across the country and across the globe. amy: kandace montgomery and
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jordan kushner, thank you for being with us. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by
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