tv CBS Evening News With Katie Couric CBS July 23, 2009 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
may be a little biased here. i don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. but i think it's fair to say number one any of us would be pretty angry. number two, that the cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home. and number three, what i think we know separate and apart from this incident, is that there is a long history in this country of african americans and latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. that's just a fact. >> couric: today, the president said he is "surprised" by the c surrounding those comments. he didn't take it back, but he did add that he understands the sergeant who made the arrest is a "out standing police officer."
today, that officer, james crowley, and his department, responded. here's jim axelrod. >> reporter: with the cambridge police department squarely behind him... >> based on what i have seen from the other officers, he maintained a professional decorum during the course of the entire situation and conducted himself in a professional manner. >> reporter: ...today sergeant james crowley pushed back against both the president's comments. >> i support the president of the united states 110%. i think he's way off base wading into a local issue without knowing all the facts as he himself stated before he made that comment. >> reporter: and the idea that he should apologize to henry louis gates. >> the apology won't come from me. i've done nothing wrong. >> reporter: it's now been a week since gates, a professor at harvard and a leading thinker about african american culture was trying to push open his jammed front door when a woman passing by called the police thinking gates was breaking in. >> it wasn't her fault, it was the fault of a policeman who couldn't stand a black man standing up for his rights right in his face.
>> reporter: crowley responded finding gates inside his house. crowley asked gates for his i.d. and to step outside. gates provided the i.d. but refused to leave his house asking crowley for his name and badge number. gates says crowley ignored him, walking out of the house. when gates followed him, he says to demand that information, he was arrested for disorderly conduct. >> what it made me realize was how vulnerable all black member are. how vulnerable all people of color are and all poor people to capricious forces like a rogue policeman. and this man clearly was a rogue placeman. >> reporter: an 11-year veteran of the force, crowley is an expert on racial profiling, teaching a police academy course on how to avoid it for five years. he says he asked gates to step outside for his own safety, standard practice since crowley didn't know if there was a suspect inside. in his police report, he said gates replied "yeah, i'll speak with your mama outside." >> a lot of yelling, there was
references to my mother, something you wouldn't expect to from anybody that should be grateful that you're there investigating the report of a crime in progress let alone a harvard university professor. >> reporter: as for the president, his press secretary is trying to walk back mr. obama's remarks saying the president was not calling the sergeant stupid, just remarking that cooler heads should have prevailed. katie. >> couric: jim axelrod. jim, thank you. there is, of course, a long history of tension in this country between african americans and the police. and wherever there's a suggestion that race may be involved in a confrontation with an officer, emotions still run high. bill whitaker explains why. >> reporter: when it comes to matters of race... >> both of them exercises poor judgment. >> reporter: the professor skip gates incident is like a national rorschach test. what you see depends on who you are. today, many african americans see racial profiling. >> this is not right. this is happening all over the
place. >> this is a racist incident? >> reporter: others a cop performing his duties. >> this is a cop doing his job. >> reporter: this latest incident spotlights a history of mistrust between police and minority communities. in may, a white new york city cop mistook a black colleague for a criminal and shot him dead. in oakland, a transit officer fatally shot an unarmed black man in the back on new year's day. ryan robertson was arrested on his way to exams at harvard in000 3 when he yelled at a cambridge officer who questioned whether he actually owned his b.m.w. it still hurts today. >> there is no scripted reaction that you can have for being dehumanized by an authority figure. >> reporter: black mistrust of the l.a.p.d. fueled the deadly riot of 1992. current chief william bratton has been applauded by blacks and whites for making racial fairness the centerpiece of his reform effort. still, there's a fine line between what some call profile
and others good policing. >> all aspects of sensitivity is in the back of the officer's mind but keeping himself and his partner and the community safe is paramount initially. >> reporter: when barack obama was elected president, there was much talk that the u.s. was becoming a post-racial society. the heated debate over this latest incident shows there's still a long way to go. >> we need to understand how to recognize when race is operating at a subconscious level and also overtly. and i don't think we are being honest with ourselves when we try to pretend it isn't there. >> reporter: right now we're doing a lot of talking, but is anyone listening? bill whitaker, cbs news, los angeles. >> couric: meanwhile, president obama is keeping up the pressure on congress for health care reform. but while campaigning for it in cleveland today, he got word that it's not going to happen as fast as he had hoped. our chief white house correspondent chip reid is traveling with the president. >> reporter: at a town hall in
the cleveland suburbs today, the president finally conceded that congress won't meet his demand of passing health care reform bills before the august recess. >> that's okay. i just want people to keep on working. >> reporter: he appeared to take it in stride. a dramatic change from just days ago when he was still insisting on his deadline. what happened? a bipartisan group of senators, struggling for compromise, pleaded for more time. democratic leader harry reid said yes. >> and i don't think it's unreasonable. this is a complex, difficult issue. >> reporter: some democrats worry that a month-long delay will give the president's critics time to mount a campaign and turn public opinion against health care reform. but house speaker nancy pelosi said today she's not concerned. >> i'm not afraid of august. it's a month. >> reporter: and the president insisted his deadline for final passage is still firm. >> i want it done by the end of this year. >> reporter: missing the august
deadline is a rare defeat for president obama. some republicans say it's a clear sign he's beginning to lose his clout on capitol hill. katie? >> couric: chip reid reporting from shaker heights, ohio tonight. thank you. to business news now and a u-turn for ford tonight. it's making money. ford is the only one of the big three detroit automakers that did not take bailout money or file for bankruptcy. today it reported its first profit in more than a year-- $2.3 billion in the second quarter. ford stock soared 10% as a result. now, many stocks rose today as wall street continued its rally after news of a big rise in home sales. the dow shot up 188 points and closed above 9,000 for the first time since january. the nasdaq finished up for the 12th session in a row. now to a major corruption case in new jersey. 44 people were arrested in a federal sting today, including three mayors and five rabbis. kelly wallace says the
allegations include everything from bribery to selling organs. >> reporter: there were so many suspects, f.b.i. agents needed a bus. leaders of some of new hampshire's most prominent towns and rabbis from new york and new jersey being led in handcuffs. >> this case is not about politics, it's certainly not about religion, it is about a shocking betrayal of the public trust. >> reporter: these are two nearly separate investigations. their common link: what the government calls a cooperating witness, reportedly this man, soloman dwek, who became an informant two years ago after being accused of a $50 million bank fraud. in what reads like a "sopranos" episode, he wore a wire for the f.b.i. handing out envelopes stuffed with cash to public officials in parking lots and laundering $3 million with the rabbis. hoboken mayor peter cammarano, sworn in only three weeks ago, is accused of accepting $25,000 in cash. he told the cooperating witness
"you're going to be treated like a friend." and of the people who oppose him "they get ground into powder." >> politicians willingly put themselves up for sale. they existed in an ethics-free zone. >> reporter: separately, the cooperating witness gave what he said were illegal gains to the rabbis who allegedly hid the money using charitable organizations. one suspect even offered to find a human kidney for a transplant. this is all part of a ten-year public corruption information that has already yielded two other high-profile indictments. officials say some politicians don't seem to be getting the message. >> new jersey's corruption problem is one of the worst, if not the worth, in the nation. >> reporter: notoriety that no state wants. kelly wallace, cbs news, newark. >> couric: coming up next here on the "cbs evening news," young girls caught up in a world of prostitution and the judge that's trying to say them.
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las vegas strip there's a seedy underworld. >> seven dates tonight. you're getting $100 bucks a date? that's pretty good. >> the reality is a lot of people come to las vegas and think think prostitution is legal so when they come here and it's an adult playground, think think that kids are for sale. >> couric: some of the kids are as young as 12, part of a massive work force of prostitutes-- some 35,000 strong-- who operate in casinos, clubs, hoe hotels, and the streets along the vegas strip. >> she's just west of the marquee now. >> couric: we spent one night with an undercover vice squad with the city's police department. six women were arrested in five hours. two of them under 18. >> how come you're down here on the strip this hour of the night? >> i'm just walking. >> just walking? there's a lot of bad things that can happen out here to a girl your age.
you know that, right? >> couric: tina, who we disguised for her own safety, used to be one of those girls. raised by an absentee mother who worked as a call girl, she was lured into prostitution by a pimp posing as a rap star looking for girls to star in a music video. >> you know, i remember turn mig first trick at 12 years old and after that it was kind of like, like a whatever thing. i did it once, might as well do it again. >> couric: by 17, tina was strung out on drugs, had been arrested several times and was being abused by her pimp. she hit rock bottom. >> i would looked at myself in the mirror one day and i didn't recognize myself. i cried. i just cried and i said "what am i doing with my life?" i didn't care about anything. i didn't want to live anymore. >> couric: after her last arrest she was placed in a group home where a former prostitute helped her find a job and get off the streets. tina's story is hardly unusual. underage prostitute in sin city is on the rise. in the last two years, nearly
400 girls under the age of 18 have been arrested or detained by the vegas vice squad. half the pimps arrested this year had prostitutes who were under age. and these girls are not all from nevada. 60% come from other states all across the country. >> i believe that children have now become a commodity for these pimps, no different than drugs and running guns. they're just reusable. >> couric: reusable and caught in a vicious cycle. because they're underage, the girls are not jailed. instead, they're temporarily placed into detention centers or group homes where resources are limited. as a result, 80% run right back to the streets and into the arms of their pimps. >> all rise and come to order. >> reporter: for judge william voy, this is unacceptable. for the past four years, he's
been the only judge presiding over the teen prostitution court in las vegas. >> she needs to commit to me that she's going to stay put. >> couric: his frustration is& apparent. >> let's focus on how to keep this child alive until she's 18. >> couric: how is the system failing these kids? >> we're failing these children because we're failing to recognize the problem. we get one jurisdiction that deals with the problem effectively, they just move them somewhere else. you need a concerted nationwide effort. you need national attention to this. >> couric: this small plot of land on the outskirts of las vegas is where judge voy hopes to build a model for the nation. he wants to establish a specialized safe house staffed by probation officers and social workers who can deprogram girls who believe pimps are their protectors, a place where the girls are not permitted to leave. he's driven by the faces he sees
everyday, part of a generation of young lives already destroyed before they've even had a chance to grow up. >> seeing that 12-year-old or 13 or 14-year-old standing in front of you, looking at that child and go "oh, my god, this is what's happening to you and has been happening to you." i can't let that persist. >> couric: the recession has put his vision on hold, so the lot sits empty. and in the city of bright lights countless teens live in the shadows with the odds against them and nowhere to turn. until public funds become available, judge voy is looking to the private sector to help fund his idea of a safe house. and for more on this series, you can go to our web site at cbsnews.com. coming up next, it's one of the rarest feats in baseball, and it happened today. ol does two jobs... at once. one: kills weeds to the root. two: forms a barrier,
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>> couric: major league baseball has been around since 1871 and in that time, nearly 400,000 games have been played. but in chicago today, mark buehrle did something that's only happened 18 times in the majors: he pitched a perfect game. dean reynolds has the play by play. >> reporter: the white sox left-hander was invincible. >> buehrle has it going. >> reporter: retiring every single tampa bay batter he faced. three up and three down every inning. >> yes, it's 18 up; 18 down. >> reporter: buehrle walked no
one, struck out six and was backed by errorless play from his teammates en route to perfection. >> i don't think it's soaked in. i think it will soak in later. >> reporter: in the ninth, center fielder dewayne wise made the catch of his life. >> what a play by wise! mercy! >> reporter: to preserve the masterpiece and two outs later >> yes! yes! history. >> reporter: the 30-year-old pitcher got a phone call later from the team's most important fan, president obama. >> thank you, sir. >> reporter: and why not? it was the team's first perfect game since 1922 when warren g. harding was in the white house. dean reynolds, cbs news, chicago. >> couric: and coming up next, a final good-bye to walter cronkite.
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>> i loved my dad. i admired my dad. he was just a reporter, he'd say he just handed... ended up reporting bigger and bigger stories. thanks for being such a good role model saying to mom as you patched her in the hall or kitchen saying "shall we dance" and then taking her for a few turns around the room. >> walter was such a good friend. i can't get over it. we met in london. we were both covering the eighth air force. walter was with the united press and i was with the army newspaper "stars and stripes." you get to know someone pretty well in a war. i just... i just feel so terrible about walter's death that i can hardly say anything. he's been such a good friend over the years.
please excuse me. thank you. >> he had this bizarre idea once that he would ad-lib the newscast. well, we tried it and walter insisted that when it came time to roll a piece of film he would brush his nose and that would be the cue to... (laughter) i kid you not! that would be the cue to the director to roll the projector. and we never made it, okay? it was utter chaos. >> sailing with walter was not for the faint of heart. spray flying port and star board, the brave crew hanging on for dear life, walter hunched over the helm would catch my eye grin, and holler "sensational!"
tonight" in high definition. the raid on michael jackson's doctor. we'll reveal what was seized. >> 21 documents. e-mails and cell phones. >> are police building a case for mans laulter. plus, why was michael's former nutritionist subpoenaed? legendary newsman walter cronkite remembered. we're at his new york city funeral today. then, new fallout from the espn peephole scandal. >> could this happen to you? >> inside a clock radio, it has a camera built in. the stars of the twilight sequel with "e.t." today and they're spilling new movie secrets. >