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tv   News4 This Week  NBC  December 5, 2015 5:00am-5:31am EST

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>> announcer: welcome to "news4 this week." hi, everyone, i'm veronica johnson. we'll show y y m mee i ierertit ororssakakggewew t tss ekek among them, decisions that are leading to some of the biggest debates of our day. we go behind the scenes to see how local officers are trained in the use of force. plus why those amazing prizes you see in the window when you go shopping this weekend may just be window dressing. and how one of dc's favorite reporters ended up with a dc flag on his arm. first from chicago to minneapolis, baltimore to ferguson, in cities all over the country, the use of police force is under more scrutiny.
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now more than ever. so we want to give you an idea of how police are trained in the use of force tactics. of course, it varies by department. but we discovered it's a pretty complex series of judgment calls. now, we reached out to a couple of different agencies. prince george's county police invited aaron gilchrist to see how officers get a person under control. >> reporter: it's a training scenario every officer goes through every year, making the call on drawing a gun and firing on a suspect. officers are taught to consider several other steps before a bullet ever leaves the chamber. >> to be able to use force to protect citizens, protect themselves, enforce the laws. >> reporter: the sergeant runs the specialized training unit, the use of force team. he says training starts in the classroom, ethics,
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constitutional law, and videos of what's right and what's not. in the field, he says an officer's professional presence is usually enough to defuse a situation, as the officers showed us. >> domestic assault. i need you to place your handed behind your back. >> we spend at much time training officers to use verbal techniques as physical phoen techniques. >> reporter: that can include yelling or short commands. >> if you don't obey those commands, i can put my hands on you, sir, i need you to step over here or back away. >> reporter: officers are trained to meet resistance with the appropriate level of force to get control. that could mean a strike with the hand or baton, a control hold, or takedown like this. >> get down, get down! >> pepper spray falls under active resistance. now you start flailing, pushing, things like that, the officer
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will back away, create distance. he's going to give a verbal warning, i'm about to spray you. >> reporter: officers are constantly assessing and deciding the best tactic to gain control. sometimes the appropriate response might be a taser. >> most of our taser deployments are people that are physically assaulting the officer or other person. now that would be justification to use the it is a taser. >> reporter: officers are put in a scenario that tests their judgment. in the simulator, instructors change variables based on officers' decisions. >> open the door! >> put the the gun down! >> our force policy says the suspect must pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury to the officer or other person. >> reporter: this training scenario sends officers into a
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mock office building. the man shows up with a gun after threatening to kill his wife and being served with a protective order to stay away from her. here, hesitating to shoot the suspect in the back turns the situation into a difficult scene. >> would this justify shooting somebody? >> absolutely. >> sergeant gleason points out 98% of calls don't require any level of force. but he says officers who don't follow the training have to face the full consequences of their actions. he's not officially on the job until monday but metro's new gm is already answering tough questions about security including personal terrorist threats. >> this is not anything new to the agency or the law enforcement or security people. you know, this is not something that because of this video all of a sudden they woke up and
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said, oh, my gosh, we have to deal with this. >> he says his top priorities are safety, security, and reliability for you, the rider. he says you should not expect to see fares going up anytime soon. you'll have a chance to meet him in person. he's taking part in a forum hosted by the metro riders union. that's coming up december 14th at 6:30 p.m. at martin luther king junior library in northwest dc. he sat in prison for some 27 years for a crime he did not commit. now a local man will get more than $600,000 for each of those long, hard years. donald gates settled with the district for $6.6 million. he's 58 years old now. he was released six years ago and given just $75 that day and a bus ticket.
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in 1981, he was wrongly convicted of murdering and raping a student. >> in some cases the city, and we work with federal prosecutors, and it's just that in some cases we're responsible even if it happens at the prosecution's level. >> gates was released when dna exonerated him. prosecutors eventually acknowledged they used a discredited fbi analyst and a paid informant as witnesses during his trial. it's been nearly a year since a gaithersburg man lost most of his family when a plane hit their house. as angie goff reports, ken gemmell's bond with his daughter has only gone stronger as they discover pieces of the past they had thought they wanted to forget. >> reporter: it's a routine morning for most. but another day when ken is
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trying to keep up. >> getting her hair back into a ponytail is a challenge. >> reporter: this past year was incredibly painful for ken, who suddenly found himself raising a child alone. >> the biggest blessing i have is having my daughter around. without her it would have been just hard to move on, just knowing that everything i used to have is gone. at least i have her to kind of remind me of my wife and my other kids. >> reporter: on december 8th, 2014, while ken was at work, a plane crashed near their gaithersburg home. the wing hit his house, setting it on fire. he lost his wife, a daughter, and a son he barely got to know. almost a year later, this grieving foather and daughter ae finding peace by revisiting the past. >> she asks, why don't we do memories again? usually when we're getting closer to halloween we talk about all the halloween costume
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themes we had over the years. >> reporter: this time of year is especially tough. the birthdays were all in october. thanksgiving will be ken andar abel's first without everyone. but they have each other. >> she's brought me in her pillows and stuffed animals, saying, i thought these would bring her comfort, daddy. >> reporter: while they decided to stay in the area, the one place they won't return to is here, on drop forge lane, where they lost so much. a lot has changed in the last year after the house was torn down. ken recently made the hard decision to rebuild and sell their house. >> it's a place i could never move back to. even if the house is laid out different, the yard, the area would have too many memories for me. >> reporter: as for work, ken left his job with a cleaning service so he could be with arabelle more. while home he's had time to go through the home that was sav e savaged on that day.
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>> it's heart warming to see my son like that. i don't want to forget. i want their memories to stay with me. that's all i have left of them. >> reporter: from member mentos and photographs, to his daughter's smile. >> she's always kind to other people. marie was like that. >> reporter: while there's a lot of pain, there's also a new sense of purpose. >> we only really have one chance at life. i don't want to sit back in five years and say, what did i do for the last 5 years? you have to find the good parts of your life. >> reporter: angie goff, news 4. >> he says despite all that's happened, his daughter is excelling not only in school but also on the soccer field. a virginia family was able to have a thanksgiving right at home thanks to the good timing by police. how a chopper crew saved their lives and their home. and the christmas spirit is showing up on capitol hill with
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the arrival of one big massive tree. why it brought one tourist to tears.
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i was at my shop tied up with a customer when i realized the time. i had to get to the bank before it closed, so i made a break for it. when i got out it was almost closing time. traffic was bad. i knew i was cutting it close. but it was ok. i use td bank.
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it's got the longest hours and stays open an extra ten minutes every day. i'm sid. and i bank human at td bank. the crew on board a local police helicopter may have saved the lives of a family. >> is that a house fire? it sure looks like it. >> the crew in fairfax 1 spotted smoke earlier this month while returning to base. it was 3:30 in the morning. the crew used an infrared camera to locate the fire and alert the fire department. one person and three kids were asleep in the home but they all made it out just fine. everyone's favorite giant panda will be staying in dc a little while longer. the national zoo announced the giant pandas will stay here for at least 5 more years until december 2020. the agreement with china says china still owns the animals but
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will keep to keep the two-year-old and three-month-old until they turn 4. the zoo in china will make them available for research. the flag ship stores just want to get us all to buy. when we return, erika gonzalez uncovers the it seems to me some outlets are accused of pulling to make you feel like you're getting a deal. plus our food for families campaign was a huge hit. we'll reveal how much you helped us raise.
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right now, capitol hill is looking a little more like the holidays. you're looking at a time lapse video of the capital christmas tree being hoisted off the truck this week. the 74-foot spruce isn't decorated just yet. but the giant tree is already making a big impression.
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news4's milette green says she saw people singing even before it reached its fine destination. >> reporter: it rode into town after 4,000 miles. >> rocking around the christmas tree! >> reporter: not yet dressed for the holiday season but already getting lots of attention. this is the first capital christmas tree to come from alaska. >> i liken it to traveling with a celebrity. wherever you stop, the tree gets all the attention and you do whatever it needs. >> reporter: but this tourist from maine is staking her state's claim to at least part of this tree's journey. >> i did discover that the trailer is registered in maine. so something maine is involved with this tree. >> reporter: the 74-foot spruce not even at the perch at the capital but already making a big
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statement. >> when i just came, walked down capitol hill, and came around the corner, and saw the tree, and the capitol, it's like i'm really proud of her country. i think this makes a statement about our unity, our values, our families, our communities. and it really hit me. and now i'm going to cry about it. >> reporter: once the capital tree is in place, some 4,000 decorations will go on it. the children in alaska made those ornaments. and 2,000 lights will make it glow through the holiday season. house speaker paul ryan will light it december 2nd. it will stay that way until january 2nd. on the west lawn of the capitol, molette green, news4. >> we've posted more information on the tree on our app. you may be planning a trip to the stores to shop for the
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holidays. but are you saving as much as you think? consumer reporter erika gonzalez explains what landed some popular retailers in court. >> reporter: people shop outlet stores for one reason. >> you get more for your money. >> reporter: consumers say they save big. >> i think you get a better deal. when you go to the outlets, it's almost like 50% off. >> don't believe the price tag. >> reporter: he's a class action lawyer who has filed lawsuits against seven major outlet retailers. they accuse the stores of fraud, displaying deceptive savings on their price tags. >> they've made up this comparison price. >> reporter: the price tags look like this. a "compare at" or manufacturer's suggested retail price followed by a substantial savings. but since the item may never
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have sold at a regular store, consumers think they're getting a better deal than they really are. >> people get excited about the discounts. and these manufacturers and these retailers understand that very well. so the bigger a discount you think you're getting, the more likely you are to buy things. >> reporter: in court documents, the retailers have denied the allegations against them. we reached out. most said they will not talk to us about pending litigation. nordstrom's did tell us the allegations have no merit. the retailer admits in court documents it manufactures products to be sold only at nordstrom rack about says they're not lesser quality versions of original items. kohr's initially denied the allegations and later settled, admitting to pay $5 million but without admitting to wrongdoing. >> it no longer says msrp with a
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line stricken through it. they've moved to a much more clear model. >> reporter: as part of it agreement michael kohr's places the word msrp with the word "value." >> the more consumers have knowledge, the better they can equip themselves to really shop in a responsible way. >> reporter: erika gonzalez, news4. >> yes, we all have to be wise shoppers this holiday. he loves the district and now he has a permanent way to show it. we take you there, next.
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oh, it would be a stretch to call her own tom sherwood a rebel. but he's a man of his word. he now has some permanent ink to his body. he got a dc flag tattoo.
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he has been saying for years he would get it if he got a major donation. he finally got the flag of dc on his shoulder. kojo got a black flag on his forearm. i love it. finally, we would like to thank all of you who participated in a great day of donations for nbc 4's food for families. we were able to raise $50,000 in donations. many of you stopped by the verizon center to see pat muse and crew, thanks pat, donating a tractor-trailer full of food. it helped us feed more than 4,000 families with a thanksgiving meal. a big thanks to all of you. that's all for "news4 this week." i'm veronica johnson. thanks for joining us today and every day. we leave you with time lapse video of the fog that rolled through the dc area recently. remember, be safe, be kind, be happy.
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for 60 months plus 1,000 dollars holiday bonus cash on select vehicles. see your local ford dealer. welcome to redskin chronicles. each week we take an in depth look at a legacy. today is dallas week. not one but two of the greats. number 2 and 43 will make an appearance on the show. they both like the cowboys and love the game. we're talking about charlie taylor and

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