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tv   Caught on Camera  MSNBC  July 29, 2013 12:00am-1:01am PDT

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>> hello. welcome to "caught on camera." i'm contessa brewer. how well do you think you know yourself? in this show, we pose the question, what would you do? in situations that are confusing, dangerous, and even life threatening. some present ethical questions. some are questions of judgment.
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and others are uncomfortable. but briefly put yourself in the place of the people in these stories and ask yourself, did they make the right choice? and what would you decide? a car with its hazards on runs a red light and pulls into this hospital parking lot. with police in hot pursuit. the driver is nfl running back brian moats. earlier that evening, his wife gets an urgent phone call from a nurse telling them to come to the hospital. her mother, sick with cancer, is very close to death. >> get in there. get in there. let me see your hands. >> excuse me. my mom -- >> get in there. put your hands on the car. >> his mom is dying. >> officer robert powell gets out of his car, gun drawn, as she tries to explain. >> his mom is dying. >> do you understand? >> as i turned around, he has a
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gun pointed at me. and just a cold look in his eyes. letting me know, i don't care. >> do you understand? >> i was walking toward a cop, a hospital cop with a gun. >> what would you do in this situation? disobey a policeman with his gun drawn or stay and miss the only opportunity you'll have to say good-bye to your dying mother? for tamisha, the decision is an easy one. >> get over here. >> along with her great aunt, she heads into the hospital. >> i know a lot of people think that what i did was crazy or dangerous, but the truth of the matter is there is nothing in the world that would have kept me from going up at the time that i did. >> get over here. >> brian's faced with a decision, too. should he disobey the officer? should he go into the hospital like his wife? officer powell hasn't responded to reason yet, and moats feels he's running out of time.
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>> you ran a run late. >> my mother is dying. i waited until no traffic was coming. i got seconds before she's gone, man. >> let me see your insurance for the car. >> moats does provide his insurance to the officer, but the situation quickly escalates from there. >> are you having a problem? >> we don't have a problem. my mother-in-law is dying. i don't understand why you can't understand that. >> listen to me. you need to settle down and cooperate or i can take you to jail. >> by now, tamisha has made it to her mother's side, but he she's worried her husband is in real danger too. >> shut your mouth and listen. >> shut my mouth.
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is that how you talk to me too? >> shut your mouth and listen. if you want to keep this, i will put you in handcuffs and i will take you to jail for running a red light. you tried to illegally park. i will do that as well. i can screw you over. i would rather not do that. your attitude will dictate everything that happens, and right now your attitude sucks. >> by now, more than five >> by now, more than five minutes have passed. for ryan, it all seems surreal. what should he do to get out of this situation? what can he do? can he make it in time to say his good-byes to a woman who has meant the world to him? >> my mom's relationship with ryan was very different than a typical son and mother-in-law relationship. they were very good friends, very close. you know, my mom was like a
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jokester, so was ryan. >> when joe got diagnosed with cancer, her hair started falling out, so what i did was she bought a wig, i put her wig on and i told her, you see how good it look? i try to cheer her up. it worked. >> tamisha and ryan have been holding vigil at her mom's bed for three weeks, rarely ever leaving her side. but on march 17th, the night of the incident, jeanetta seems to be improving a bit. >> the nurses were like, you know, y'all have been here all this time. go rest, go take showers. >> they take the advice and go home to shower, eat, and head back to the hospital. but that plan would be interrupted. the moats make it home but shortly after they get a phone call. >> the nurse said, you know, she's on her last leg. you know, if you guys want to say your good-byes, you should probably come back right now. >> coming up, would you spend the last moments with your loved one or obey an officer with his
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gun drawn? >> do you have a problem? >> i put my hands up, like, what's going on? my mother is dying! >> what will ryan moats do? what will this officer do? what would you do? and a man about to jump off a bridge. >> don't jump! >> eric said to me, i might be going swimming today. >> would you risk your own life to save another? if your moisturizer leaves an oily finish behind imagine what it's doing to your pores. [ female announcer ] neutrogena® oil free moisture hydrates without clogging pores. 100% free of oil, fragrance and dyes. oil free. worry free. [ female announcer ] oil free moisture. neutrogena®.
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ryan and tamisha moats have just gotten a call from the hospital, a call nobody ever wants to get. tamisha's mother is dying, and if they'd like to say good-bye, now is the time. >> we proceeded to the hospital with our hazard lights on. >> it's late at night, past midnight, when ryan's car gets to the light right before the hospital.
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it's red. >> the light didn't change. we blew our horn and i waved to the traffic. they saw hazard lights and let me go. they, like, told us to go, so we went ahead and went. >> ryan and tamisha believe it's fairly obvious what they're doing. the other driver seems to understand, allowing them to proceed to the hospital. >> yes, i ran a red light, but at the same time i was really safe about what i was doing. i didn't just run through the red light. i stopped at the red light, got everybody's attention to let them know, hey, i'm about to come through, can i come through first? and everybody waved me on to do so. [ sirens ] >> but then as they're pulling into the parking lot, flashing lights. >> get in there. get in there. >> powell says he doesn't remember pointing his gun, only drawing it. the moats say he pointed it,
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first at tamisha, then at ryan. while tamisha goes in, ryan decides it's best to stay outside, hoping the officer will understand their situation. >> you ran a red light. >> we went back and forth for a little bit. and then i realized that i was talking to a wall. i mean, he wasn't going to listen. he didn't care. >> did i not stop at the red light? did i not -- >> stop. and then you ran through the red light. >> i waved the traffic off. >> it was still red. >> and then i turned. >> shut your mouth and listen. >> shut my mouth and listen? that's how you talk to me, dude? >> shut your mouth and listen. >> he was just, like, i can take you to jail, i can tow your car. shut your mouth. all this different stuff that i was thinking that wasn't appropriate for a cop to say to anybody. >> it's decision time for ryan. he knows if he stays he'll probably miss his opportunity to say good-bye and to be there for his wife.
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>> i was thinking i didn't want anything else bad to happen, so i was trying to stay as calm as possible. >> ryan stays and hopes he can manage to keep it cool, he will get the ticket and make it into the hospital. >> that's the nurse and she says the mom's dying right now. >> all right. >> the head nurse comes out to see if she can help. but the officer seems to be taking his time. by now, nearly 13 minutes have passed. >> for the third time. >> okay. >> the nurses say it's urgent. >> and finally ryan moats is issued his ticket for running a red light. >> okay. attitude. >> by the time he makes it up to his mother-in-law, it's too late. she's already gone. >> i was angry that he wasn't understanding. head nurse came out and told him what was going on, another police officer came and tried to talk to him. a security guard from the hospital came out and talked to him.
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i was thinking about her. i don't know if anybody's ever, you know, seen a loved one pass like that. that's a hard thing to see them actually pass. that's hard. and to deal with that by yourself is even tougher. >> it was definitely the hardest thing that i've ever had to do in my life. and just to go in, you know, and see her like that. >> the videos released to the media and the dallas police department immediately issues an apology. >> in the course and scope of everything we deal with in a year, this is more embarrassing and troublesome because it just seems to be so unreasonable based on the circumstances. >> officer robert powell issues an apology to the moats and resigns. the moats accept his apology. >> guess everybody deserves a second chance as far as proving what their true character is. so hopefully after this he'll change his ways. >> and the moats think change
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shouldn't end with robert powell. though ryan didn't try to use his status as an nfl player during the incident, after they hoped to shine a spotlight. they meet with the dallas police department to discuss greater sensitivity training, better screening of officers, and procedures for their situation. >> the fact that he was an athlete makes people pay attention, and so if we have a voice to maybe help a situation, maybe bring about some changes to where someone else wouldn't have to go through what we had to go through, then that's what we're going to do. >> but more than anything, the moats want people to know about the type of person jeanetta collinsworth was -- a teacher, a mother, and an advocate for cancer research. they' set up a foundation called joe knows children in her honor. coming up, a man is knocked unconscious in front of a supermarket, and nobody seems to be doing anything. >> many of the people that
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walked by wanted to do something but felt like they couldn't, you know? >> but why? and will someone help before it's too late? >> also -- get back. >> i'm getting back in my car. >> a face-off between a cop and a great grand ma. >> you're going to be tased. >> i'm getting back in my car. >> does this officer do the right thing?
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a vicious blow knocks this homeless man to the ground. he scrambles to his feet, but then minutes later he's pushed down again. and this time, he doesn't get up. it's 5:20 p.m. the beatdown occurs outside the pan am market, an international supermarket in washington, d.c. several people witness the knockout punch. watch as dozens of passersby sidestep the unconscious man, jose sanchez. if you saw this altercation, what would you do?
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would you call 911 or maybe even try to help him? what if you just pass a man like him lying on the street? would you bother to find out if he's okay? >> it almost becomes sickening to see that nobody actually does anything. >> mark fischer is a reporter for "the washington post" who writes a column on the story called "166 chances to do the right thing." >> i think they ought to consider the fact that a person on the sidewalk is a person on the sidewalk. there is no excuse that so many passersby, in fact 166 of them, chose to walk by. >> hector gomez grew up in this neighborhood and now runs an organization dedicated to supporting business in the area. he says as disturbing as it is, he can understand why so many people just walked by. >> there are many homeless people and intoxicated vagrants in this neighborhood and throughout washington, d.c., that are laying on the ground, and you don't know if they're there just sleeping or if they're there drunk, passed out. so you do become desensitized to
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it. >> desensitized is right. watch as five minutes pass. ten minutes. a man even loads his groceries into his minivan over the motionless victim. now it's 15 minutes since sanchez hit the ground and still people just walking by. finally, after 19 minutes, an employee in the pan am market dials 911. paramedics arrive two minutes later. by this time, 166 people either witnessed the beating or walked by the motionless body without doing a thing. the incident reminds writer mark fischer of a case from years past. >> you know, i grew up in new york city where there was the infamous case of kitty genovese. >> in 1964, kitty genovese, a 28-year-old woman, is stabbed outside her queens home, then later raped and stabbed again. nearly 40 people either see or
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hear the crime from their homes, but no one responds to her calls for help. >> that led to a lot of studies looking at what's called the bystander effect, which is when people see someone in trouble, we are far less likely to reach out and help if we see that other people are around because we assume that means, hey, the other guy has it handled, when, in fact, if everybody thinks that way, nobody helps. >> unfortunately, more than four decades after the genovese murder jose sanchez suffers the same awful fate. the ambulance rushes him to the hospital, but it's too late. sanchez dies of a traumatic brain injury three days later. >> is it possible that immediate medical care would have made a difference? we'll never know for sure, but it does seem like there is a possibility. >> hector gomez thinks the makeup of the population in this neighborhood may have contributed to the lack of response for either those who witnessed the knockout or those who walked by.
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>> many of the people that walked by this person maybe wanted to do something but felt like they couldn't, you know? you might say to yourself, what if i don't have papers and i'm here illegally and i'm scared? i just won't call. >> that said, while gomez says he understands why so many people may not have called 911, it doesn't mean he thinks it's excusable. in fact, he decides to use the incident as a teaching lesson. >> i thought to myself why is it that so many people walked by and are not calling? if i'm laying on the ground, i expect that first person to see me to call 911 right away. so i thought, well, let's make a call 911 campaign. >> immediately following the incident, hector gets together with the police, has flyers translated into several languages, and distributes them in his neighborhood. >> excuses are not valid, you know. i don't think they're valid. but i do think it's important to improve that that situation.
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coming up -- >> don't jump! >> a man jumps off a bridge. with no rescuers in the water, what will they do? and a bank robber. would you try to stop this thief? a twist the teller never sees coming.
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welcome back to "caught on camera." i'm contessa brewer. would you risk your life to save a stranger who seemingly wants to die? it's a question few people ever have to contemplate, but in our next story strangers is spending a relaxing day in the park were facing that very situation and they'll have to make a decision in an instant. a man perched at the end of a bridge contemplates life or
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death. >> oh, man. >> but as minutes tick by, the question soon becomes one for witnesses on the ground. what should they do? >> we're skating across the bridge here. >> tara johnson is roller-blading through fairmont park in philadelphia with her boyfriend, garrett couples, on may 6, 2000, when their leisurely saturday afternoon takes a turn. >> i glanced over my left shoulder and noticed there was a gentleman sitting on the bridge. >> next thing tara and garrett know, police cars and fire trucks swarm all around them. they're forced off the bridge to a nearby riverbank. >> i remember commenting to my girlfriend that if he does jump, i'm going in. but i don't think that i really believed that i would actually -- that it would come down to that. >> if it does come to that, garrett couples is qualified. he's a medical student trained in lifesaving cpr. and for eight straight summers he's been an ocean lifeguard with a perfect rescue record.
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>> i've been in the water at least 100 times. >> by now, more than 50 policemen and firefighters are on the scene, and couples assumes that with so many rescuers around they won't need his help. and up on the bridge, negotiators make contact with the man on the ledge as a crowd of onlookers gathers below. >> i see the big rescue truck there. i see police all along the bridge. >> howard gillam works for a local cable station and just happens to be driving by when he notices some commotion. >> so i'm, like, hey, i've got the camera in my car. let's get out and videotape it. >> gillam estimates by the time he starts taking this dramatic video, the man, matthew buford, has already been on the bridge for ten minutes, maybe more. >> the leg up. >> buford lets go with one hand, leaning out over the water. >> don't jump! >> police and firefighters are lining the bridge, but strangely, there's no rescue
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boat in the water. >> a mile down the river. >> but so far nearly 20 minutes have passed and no rescue boat has been able to make it there yet. >> whoa. >> the situation appears to be getting worse. >> oh, come on, buddy. don't jump. >> if buford does jump, he might survive the 50-foot fall. but no one knows if he can swim. >> garrett said to me, the guy's going to knock himself out and he's going to fall. a minute later he said i might be going swimming today. >> and then nearly 25 minutes into the ordeal, matthew buford jumps. >> there he goes. >> oh! >> what y'all going to do? >> okay. he can swim. >> after he jumped into the river, he started treading water for a while. >> swim! >> and at this time, i'm thinking, okay, where's the rescue unit at? >> no matter what buford was
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thinking when he jumped, now in the water he seems to be fighting for his life and looks like a man who needs help. >> dude ain't doing good. >> dude ain't doing too good. >> authorities on the bridge toss down a lifeline, but it doesn't come close. you can see it off to the right. >> must have a hundred boats out there. >> by this time buford has been struggling for almost go minutes in the middle of a 500-foot-wide river. >> come on, man. >> matthew buford is losing strength. for the first time his head slips under the water. there seems to be no official rescue response. what would you do? what would the bystanders do? should they risk their lives for someone who might not want to be saved? >> and then all of a sudden he went under and i turned around to look and garrett was gone. >> there's somebody out there coming. >> garrett couples, the lifeguard with a perfect record, is in the water, swimming from
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the opposite shore. buford's head pops back up, but it's clear there isn't much time. >> at that point i just freestyling as fast as i could. >> he's got a long way to go. >> couples know that when a victim goes under he has only a small window, about four minutes, to save someone from drowning. >> he goes under one more time, that's it. >> 50 yards left to swim and matthew buford goes under again. >> come on, man. about a half an hour. >> more than that. >> but garrett couples is closing in. >> i mean, my record's perfect, and i wasn't giving it up. >> we got 900 cops here. >> on the shore, all hope seems lost. >> that's it. >> but under the water, near the muddy bottom, couples is still searching. >> i dove for the bottom, about eight feet, at which point i saw something that appeared white. a flash.
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and i didn't know what it was. i took another -- maybe a half a stroke and i opened my eyes again, and at that point mr. buford and i were face to face. >> miraculously, garrett couples brings the drowning man back to the surface. with adrenaline pumping, he's lost track of time but knows the four-minute mark that might mean the difference between life and death was fast approaching. >> i heard mr. buford make a sound as though he was attempting to breathe. >> breathe, buddy! come on! >> garrett calls out for a life buoy he can use to brace buford as he brings him to shore. >> i need a brig! >> but authorities don't seem to understand. >> i gave him a second look and i noticed that now his lips were getting blue and i knew at that point it's -- you have to make a decision. >> this is a very difficult decision for couples to make. to prevent the spread of aids and other diseases, modern rescue crews carry plastic equipment so they can give
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emergency breathing without direct mouth-to-mouth contact, part of what's called universal precautions. >> i knew that it was probably going to be a couple minutes before i could get him to shore. i didn't think that he had a chance unless i -- >> he's trying to give him mouth to mouth. >> that boy is good. >> now finally, help is on the way. but it's not a policeman or fireman. like garrett, it's just another person who was out in the park that day. >> when he went under water, the clock's ticking instantly. and that's why i went in the water. >> steven lloyd is a 46-year-old registered nurse, but unlike garrett couples he's not a lifeguard. in fact, steven lloyd says he hasn't been swimming in ten years. >> he's trying to do something. >> i just asked him, do you have any training? >> and i gulped on water and i said i'm exhausted. >> i said, okay, well grab him under his arm and we're going to tow him to shore.
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>> it's been more than four minutes now since matthew buford went under when garrett couples reaches the shore. but if he expects help to be waiting, he's in for another surprise. >> come on. come on. get him over. >> i expected them to have everything possible to save this gentleman set up and ready to go. at the very minimum the bag masks we use to ventilate somebody and oxygen. i mean, that alone does worlds of good. >> get down there! >> keep the camera rolling. >> out of the way. >> but as the videotape shows, only now are authorities pushing spectators back, scrambling over the railing down to the river. >> i gave him two breaths before i handed him over and they pulled him on shore and began chest compressions. i remember hearing steven lloyd shouting at them.
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>> i said ventilate him, ventilate him, ventilate him. and they were, like, sir, we can't. universal precautions. >> now more time ticks away. you can see a rescuer carrying a plastic bag with the all-important breathing gear. only now on the way down to the river. >> the man needed to be ventilated. i really thought this guy could have been saved. i really did. >> we really tried. >> by the time philadelphia rescue crews get him up from the riverbank and to a local hospital, it's too late. matthew buford is dead. >> no one will ever know for sure whether he could have been saved. garrett couples says he doesn't blame the crowd or the police for not jumping in if they weren't properly trained. but he says it's hard to believe with so many authorities on the scene that none of them knew how to make a water rescue.
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>> i mean, it's -- it doesn't make sense to me that you have fire rescue within two blocks, marine rescue within two miles, and none of them are trained in water rescue. to me, that is -- i mean, that's unspeakable. >> after the incident, the victim's family files a complaint and the philadelphia police department conducts an internal investigation. the internal investigation concludes that their officers provided adequate service. as soon as police were notified of buford's position, they dispatch a negotiator and within minutes also call their marine unit. but the marine unit, though based nearby, had been dispatched to another river earlier that day and is miles away, pulling up abandoned cars when they get the call. they immediately head for the bridge, but as we now know, don't make it in time. as for the criticism that the
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officers present should have done more, in a letter to a local newspaper the then philadelphia police commissioner writes -- it's unfair to criticize officers for not making unreasonably dangerous efforts to rescue someone who made it clear he did not wish to be rescued and who could very easily have caused the death of the officers." [ applause ] >> when garrett couples climbs up from the shore, the crowd gives him and steven lloyd a round of applause for the choices they made that day. but while the onlookers are impressed by what garrett couples did do, he can only think about the fact that a man lost his life and wonders what else could have been done. >> i think it came down to lack of training, no protocol, and no plan of action. i don't think i'll ever truly accept the fact that i did everything i could, because i'm always going to look back on it and say, you know, was there
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something different i could have done. coming up -- a routine traffic stop. escalates fast. >> you're going to tase a 72-year-old woman. >> a shocking incident. >> get on the ground! >> and a convenience store owner has a surprise in store for this would-be robber. >> i take the gun and i just dropped off. >> what will the thief do? [ command center ] this is command center.
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every time you wear it. neutrogena® healthy skin liquid makeup. 98% of women saw improvement in their skin. neutrogena® cosmetics. a 72-year-old woman, great grandmother katherine winkfine is pulled over for speeding just west of austin, texas. what appears to be a routine traffic stop is about to get disorderly. >> get on the ground now. >> oh, oh. you're going to stun me? >> the deputy warns the 4'11" woman.
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>> katherine winkfine may be a little feisty, but does the officer overreact? what would you do if you were the officer? would you continue trying to talk the grandma down or would you follow through on your threat? here's what this officer does. >> get on the ground! get on the ground! [ screaming ] >> put your hands behind your back. >> the tasing goes viral with a tantalizing headline. >> let's move now to a traffic stop in texas that ended with a tasing, the tasing of a 72-year-old woman, a great grandmother. >> and without the full story, it seems this video will be damaging to the officer. his own dashboard cam catches him yelling at and shoving an elderly woman half his size. but watch the video again. this time listening to more of the conversation.
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it may change your opinion of the officer's decision. >> first the deputy tries to get winkfein to sign her ticket, agreeing that she'd show up for court. and when he asks her to step out of the car, he says she puts both of them in an unsafe position. his police department is defending his actions saying what he's actually doing is trying to get himself and kathryn winkfein away from a notoriously dangerous stretch of highway. >> she chose to disregard not only her own personal safety but she chose to disregard the safety of the deputy.
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>> the deputy warns her again. then she issues a challenge. >> step back or you are going to be tased, ma'am. >> i dare you. >> the officer doesn't take her up on her dare yet. she keeps moving forward. >> get back over there. >> i'm getting back in my car. >> you are going to be tased. >> i'm getting back in my car. >> no, ma'am. >> the lady was told nine times to step back and comply with the officer's request. step back, ma'am. step back, ma'am. if you don't step back, ma'am, i'm going to taser you. >> so finally the officer makes good on his promise. >> get on the ground. get on the ground. [ screaming ] >> put your hands behind your back. put your hands behind your back or you'll be tased again! >> the video sparks a national debate on morning news shows. >> okay, let me ask you, did the
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deputy do what was right or did he go over the line? >> hands behind your back. you are going to be tased again. >> i would say he went a little over the line. >> really? >> he kept shoving this 72-year-old woman. >> i think he pushed her because they're in traffic. get her off the road. she kept trying to get the door of the car. >> couldn't he just grab and -- >> she kept saying don't touch me. you are going to shove a 72-year-old woman. i think at some point -- [ screaming ] >> put your hands behind your back. >> so should the deputy have found another way to gain control? >> he had attempted to put handcuffs on her, advising her she was under arrest. and she broke away from him. that's physical noncompliance. that's physical noncompliance. if he would have forced her down to the ground against -- totally against her will, he could have broke something. he mitigated this safely, effectively, and efficiently. >> medical personnel check out winkfein at the scene an she's not hurt from the tasing. but she is charged with
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resisting arrest, a charge she's fighting. and she sends a letter to the travis county commissioner's office demanding $165,000 for pain and suffering, medical expenses and humiliation. the commissioner's office settles with winkfein for $40,000. the constable's office maintains the officer did nothing wrong and calls the payout a miscarriage of justice, insists it sets a bad precedent. the county judge says defending a lawsuit would have cost more than $40,000. winkfein tells us she's satisfied and just wants to put the whole thing behind her. sometimes decisions are made on gut instinct. there's no time to evaluate the consequences. and at a bank in seattle, washington, another man makes a quick decision. will he regret it? >> put the bag on the counter. he said this is a ransom. fill the bag with money. >> jim nicholson is the teller in this video. when the robber demands the money, caught on the bank's security cameras, jim's
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instincts kick in. >> i grabbed the bag, threw it on the ground and said where is it? referring to if he had a weapon. >> it's a bold move by the teller. the robber hesitates. he doesn't show a weapon. what would you do in this situation? would you give the robber what he wants or call his bluff? would you attempt an aggressive move? the teller makes his decision. >> i lunged towards him. he backed off. at that point i ran around the counter and chased him. >> nicholson chases the robber down the street, tackling him and pinning him down until police arrive soon after. some see jim nicholson as a hero, but his bosses at the bank don't agree. two days after the robbery attempt, he's fired. some customers are outraged. >> i just can't believe that he would get fired for doing something that i feel was right. >> bank policy says tellers are supposed to comply with the robber, give him what he wants.
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basically the goal should be to get the robber out of the bank. key bank has this to say. our policies and procedures are in the best interests of public safety and are consistent with industry standards. money, which is insured, can be replaced. lives cannot." the fbi which advises banks on the best and safest approach believes. >> in no way do we suggest physical confrontation with a robber. too many thing cans go wrong. >> but nickelson says letting this guy get away with it isn't the answer. >> i have to represent him so he cannot do this again, so he cannot come to our branch and try to rob us again. >> the robber won't be visiting this branch or any bank soon. he pleads guilty to the bank robbery and is sentenced to three years behind bars followed by three years of parole. and that's a medal of award for
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nickelson. he said despite being fired, if he had it to do all over again, he would. coming up, a convenience store owner makes a startling decision i said, please, don't shoot me.
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convenience stores are notorious targets for thieves. >> it's a change of job, you know, i'm here long time in this community. i'm here last 15 years. >> mohammed earns this shirley's express convenience score on new york's long island. he says he maintains a loyal following of customers and has managed to dodge a big bullet in his line of work -- getting robbed -- until now.
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it's just past midnight and mohammed is finishing up some paperwork before locking up for the night. >> my head is down on my paperwork and i guy come quick and say give me the money. >> the robber tosses the phone and waves a baseball bat threatening mohammed. >> he said hurry up, give me the money. >> one wrong move could have deadly consequences. convenience store murders are near the top of the list of workplace slayings in the u.s. every year. and now the phone is across the room so he can't call the cops. but the clerk has been siding something from the robber with the menacing bat. he's got a weapon of his own, a big gun under the counter. what would you do in this situation? would you fight back? break out the gun? or just give the man threatening you with a weapon what he wants. >> i had to decide myself.
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i can't call somebody to ask what am i going to do now. >> mohammed makes some choices this robber never sees coming. >> i say hold up. let me give you the money. i take the gun and i tell him drop the bat. get down. and he see my gun. that's a surprise for him. just like a shock. >> almost instantly, the thief drops to his knees and begs for mercy. >> he says please, don't shoot me. don't call the police. please, i'm sorry, i'm sorry. i have no money. i have no food. my family is hungry. my little baby have no milk. >> the thieves words weigh heavily on mohammed, so next in an extremely odd twist, the shop owner makes an unexpected decision. >> i feel bad. i'm going to help him. i tell him, listen, promise me you will never rob anybody again. >> with the promise, mohammed decides he's going to give money to the man who wanted to take it
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from him only minutes earlier. >> i come back around the counter, open the cash register, take $40 and i tell him take this money. go take it to your family and never rob anybody again. >> mohammed's compassion seems to hit the thief hard. the now kneeling robber tells mohammed he wants to change his life in a big way. >> he tells me i want to be a muslim just like you. i said you sure about that, you want to be a muslim just like me, say okay, but put your right hand up. he put his right hand up. i tell him i say [ speaking foreign language ] he does same thing. and then after the prayer, i shake hand, i say congratulations. you are a muslim. you are a muslim brother. >> mohammed knows the $40 he gave the guy will only get him so far, so he decides to do even more.
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i tell him, i say take the bat, let me grab the milk for your family. i go in the milk, i grab him milk, then i come back, he's gone. he's left. >> mohammed says he wasn't going to call the police, but because the robber chooses to run away instead of taking his mask off and facing mohammed like a man, he decides this thief's conversion may not have been completed. and now he's alone in the store left to think about the decisions he just made. first, his decision to overtake the man attacking him. >> if the person have the gun, knife, this kind of stuff, then i'm going to say okay, brother, what do you need? you want my cash register, you can have it. with i see a baseball bat, then i'm thinking to myself, i say i can handle that. >> then the decision to help the very man trying to rob him. >> some people say why don't you shoot him? i say please, i can't do these things. when i'm a little baby, my mom tell me, son, when somebody come
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to you, help him. >> so that's exactly what mohammed does, and when the cops ask the good samaritan if he wants to press charges, he declines, figuring the robber probably learned his lesson, and mohammed says he learned a few lessons too. >> you know, this thing, this helped to make me a change man. shirley is my hometown, but mostly people cannot believe it, mostly people in california are sending me checks and in future i'm going to make a charity. i'm going to help people. it's changed my whole life. >> unfortunately, less than a year after the incident, mohammed falls victim to a bad economy and is forced to close the store he ran in shirley for 15 years. but true to his word, he dough natures whatever remains on his shelves to local churches and charities. if you have a video you would like to send to us, logon to our
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website, caught on camera msnbc.com. this sunday, the state of the economy. and will washington make it worgs with another partisan showdown? the president on the road again to sell a second-term economic blueprint and to blame republicans for standing in the way. >> you can't just be against something. you've got to be for something. >> but what is the president's record on the economy? and what is his agenda? plus, will washington go to the brink of a government shutdown this fall? this morning i put these questions to the administration's point man on the economy, treasury secretary

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