Skip to main content

tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  April 25, 2015 9:00pm-9:31pm EDT

9:00 pm
that a leather-clad bikie gang is a rival. thank you for joining us. i'm del walters in new york. back with another hour of new, 11:00p.m. eastern, 8:00 pacific. "america tonight" starts now. on the weekend edition of "america tonight", vegas, baby. the power behind who comes and who goes on the strip. >> they have a control over that just because they have so many connections over the period of time that they have been here. families have been in charge of some of these different companies for years and years generations, three generations in some cases. >> "america tonight"s michael oku takes a ride and gets an insider's view of las vegas's
9:01 pm
showdown. will it bring travellers to a stand still? also tonight - behind bars and behind belief. the gang leader who proclaimed i am the law. >> one woman was fixing home cooked meals, one smuggling him other matters. >> that is the tip of the iceberg. a rare look behind bars, and why baltimore prisoners may not be the oig mate running -- inmates running things on the inside. good evening, thank you for joining us. i'm saying in for joie chen. after the death of a suspect injured in police custody, it's turmoil. it's the latest in a long history of incidents shaking that community's faith in law
9:02 pm
enforcement. it's devastating, but no less shocking than another baltimore case putting prison guards behind bars. we investigate prison corruption, and discovered that no one is tracking what appears to be a frequent problem. >> does the location of the detention center play into the corruption. >> i think it plays a vital roll. >> until now ralph never talked on tv about what he witnessed from the baltimore gaol. >> you have people that are correctional neighbours inmates that become officers. >> reporter: an institution overrun with sex, drugs and corruption. >> what happened. >> it blossomed out of control when the state hired 18-year-olds. i thought it was crazy, how can
9:03 pm
you put an 18-year-old with no life experience put them on a section of 120 inmates evened inmates and expect that nothing will happen to that child. >> maryland's short-lived experiment hiring officers as young as 18 was intended to address a shortage of qualified applicants will to take low paying jobs. johnson who wrote a book say it backfiled, younger cos were inexperienced, untrained and vul ner aftenl. >> veteran inmates were seeing an innocent 18-year-old. they'd eat them alive. manipulate them have text with them and bring them in. then it was a money making operation. >> the gangs were making money.
9:04 pm
>> it evolved. >> following an investigation involving wire taps and surveillance in 201727 were indicted. allegations they helped a prison gang run drugs and money. allegations. a large conspiracy case history. more than 2 dozen correction offices indicted. what were they doing. >> they were mugling in tobacco, marijuana. cellphones. heroin crack. they were opening grills. in that way they did run a gaol because the cos empowered them. >> u.s. attorney ros rosen stephen oversaw 40 convictions
9:05 pm
in the constir si. >> a lot of people assume when criminals are put in gaol you solve the problem by isolating them from the community. gaols have sifts of correction officers and that creates a security problem. >> how did what happened there inside the gaol affect greater baltimore. >> if you remove gang members. you haven't obviouslied the problem. >> baltimore has one of the highest rates in america, leading to crowded gaols, where prisoners can sort of years before heading to prison, allowing problems to take root. where are we heading? >> down to the receiving section. >> reporter: this detention center was built behaviour
9:06 pm
abraham lincoln took action. >> the oldest gaol yes know of. >> reporter: oldest working gaol. pete france is director of maryland corrections. a few years ago the retired city police commander was hired to run the center and realised the corruption went too deep. >> when i first came, i don't know how to make this clearer much the facility didn't feel right. . >> at what point were you motivated to call in the feds? >> we had a joys. we could have done nothing or chose to do something. we had a dangerous facility here we had a facility that gepp dies life and safety of in mates and the people we asked to come to work. it revealed that one person in
9:07 pm
particular was in charge of a family gang. and wire taps he proclaimed "this is my gaol and i am the law." what was his life like in the prison. was it as lav ib as some reports indicate. it was probably - he had it better. >> reporter: how so? >> he had sex any time he wanted. he had a woman fixing him home-cooked meals. one woman smuggling personal material for himself. wine. he was not allowed to be searched. he pretty much had everything he wanted. while he was incarcerated from '09 - 2009 to 2013 he bought five vehicles a black mercedes a white mercedes a b.m.w. and a lexus. this is while he was incarcerated. >> more shocking from inside
9:08 pm
gaol he fathered five children with four correction offices. one of them smuggled in drugs, drove a fancy car had hays name dat tooed on his wrist. he was contacted of racket earring earring. >> reporter: she walked ou out on a break and brought in contraband. >> it shouldn't be possible, and that we watched her leave suggests survivors were not going their job. "america tonight" attempted to quantify the problem. we discovered no one is tracking it. the u.s. department of justice told us they don't have information on criminal charges
9:09 pm
filed against prison guards. that comes as the rate quadrupled since the 1970s. >> what do you think you'd find if we tried to quantity this. >> i think you'd find the certainly problem of smuggling contraband is nationwide. if we are about preventing violence and crime on the streets, we need to focus attention on what happens. >> since the baltimore corruption scandal, the gaol has undergone a massive overhaul. dozen of ors from fired, retired or quit. >> have you used the camera system to intercept contraband. >> it's used for everything. >> the gaol invested millions in new technology better cameras to track inmates and officers
9:10 pm
and a system blocking outgoing cellphone calls. >> what is the impact of shutting down the cell phone communication. motion use cellphones to intimidate witnesses restock supplies intimidate staff. cell fobs are a way to continue the criminal enterprise. since indictments maryland investigated task force, and investigated other claims. >> how do you think prison corruption is affecting our society. >> in urban america i do know that the communities are just extensions of the gaol and face versa. there's not a lot of deterrence you have table tv. access to sex, drugs, the whole nine yards. it's exacerbating the problem.
9:11 pm
>> for decades inmates released saw this sign as they exit the facility. now it takes on a whole new meaning. >> next, bargain bed. bad deal. new york city wakes up to new, not outlines welcome neighbours. >> people who they didn't know had keys to the front doors of the building were in the hallways, the elevators, with no explanation lori jane gliha on how temporary residents are breaking the law. air b&b. a top trend in travel. why lawmakers think it's ruining the neighbourhood. and later, the battle between uber and taxi companies hits up. could uber get a piece of the pie or be forced to set up shop elsewhere?
9:12 pm
>> addressing nasa's critics. >> we are the best nation in the world when it comes to exploration. >> and mankind's next giant leap. >> we can become multi-planet species. >> every sunday night... >> i lived that character. >> go one on one with america's movers and shakers. >> we will be able to see change. >> gripping... inspiring... entertaining. "talk to al jazeera". tomorrow, 6:30 eastern. only on al jazeera america.
9:13 pm
9:14 pm
would you ride in a car with a stranger or let someone you didn't know stay in your home alone. once upon a time you probably said "no way", but homes and cars have turned into alternative streams of income for people willing to take a rick and share the economy. air-b&b is sweeping the globe, allowing travellers to rent homes from owners. it's wearing out its welcome.
9:15 pm
lori jane gliha vects. >> it makes me feel jerfeous. >> reporter: john reid live in this manhattan building since 1992. he and others say apartments occupied by neighbours are rented from sought of town visitors for weeks at a time. >> reporter: what have you observed? >> we observe suitcases. it's transient. instead of people living here and committing to the building and neighbourhood, they are coming and going. i don't feel they have the same attitude that i do. >> reporter: air b&b is supposed to be about people sharing space in their homes. new york state senator liz kruggar said she started to hear complaints a few years ago. >> people they didn't know had keys to the front doors of the building. were in the hallways, elevators with no explanation.
9:16 pm
sometimes there were loud parties going on with large groups of people. >> in new york city, it's illegal to rent out your apartment for fewer than 30 days, unless you are living there too. a report last year from new york's attorney-general found 72% of air b&b rentals were illegal. they were short-term rentals of apartments, something called illegal hotelling. >> every time an affordable apartment leaves the market, it adds to the problem for everyone else who is trying to afford to live in the city of new york. it's a shrinking world. >> shrinking because 13,000
9:17 pm
apartments and homes in new york city are year-round short-term rentals on air b&b. >> that's according to the website inside air b&b. which strains the data. >> i rented this apartment. with rental and cleaning, it cost 325 for one night. it feels like a hotel room. it's clear no one is living here, and it's the short-term rental taking away apartments from new yorkers. here is the breakdown. rental $225. i paid a $35 service fee to air b&b. the company charges a 3% host fee. it made $44 off the one night stay. the air b&b host has a total of five units on the site, giving the appearance of he's not apartment sharing, running a business. >> this is lori jane gliha, i want to talk base. >> i tried calling to see if he would talk to me for the story.
9:18 pm
he didn't answer emails voicemail or text messages. air-b&b have liftings by people like him. lifting ult mr apartments. >> i think we need stronger enforcement. we need increased fines. if you are representing out apartments that are supposed to be available for residents of the city of new york as a business model - sorry, find a legal business. most of us have to find legal ways to make an income. >> david is the head of public policy for air b&b. the company profits off the rental. whether it's legal or not. >> we have gone through issues. people want to come and experience neighbourhoods. what is incredible is when you stay in a hotel. you stay in times square. when you come into air b&b and
9:19 pm
then you can stay in queens harlem, and everywhere else and new york, we see a big demand for that, for experiencing new york like new yorkers do. >> what would you say to the people that have multiple listings. should they get off b&b. . >> hard for me to tell them what to do. >> >> would you be happy for them to start. >> we are focused on the people that do it in their own homes. that's what is great. that's what we focused on. >> reporter: he's talking about film-maker husband. they rent a room in their brooklyn apartment on and off. >> how much has it helped your family. >> an enormous amount. i don't think we'd be in new york if we couldn't host. >> it would be the extra cushion >> i'm an actor and dresser on if one of our jobs ends and the next beginning. >> john worries it's an
9:20 pm
tournamenty to be pressured from his home his manhattan apartment. because short-term rentals bring more money than his monthly rent check. this is a phenomenon that is happening. it's not going away. it's drawing more and more nationwide. what is the happy medium? >> probably they are happy if everyone is happy. protecting the public living in the city of new york. i don't see it's a negotiation. i feel strongly that the concept of sharing, a sense of community, being responsible for each other and being responsible citizens. it's being exploited by marketing companies who have decided that using the term sharing can mask what is going on. . >> i hate to say is it, in motor other sis around the world, they
9:21 pm
recognise companies like air b&b platforms like ours are helping the citizens, experiencing new thinks. they are embracing the things of finding out where to draw smart lines. it's the only thing we need to work on. >> in new york, where most air b and b rentals are illegal, there may be more than that to work on. new yorkers like john reid don't end up singing the blues. next - show down in sin city. the popular ride-sharing service uber wants to get rolling on the los angeles strip. taxi cap companies are fighting to put the breaks on uber. >> it's the way things are done in this town. at the same time it's frustrating for someone trying to enter the market. >> next week on the programme. we begin a look back at the fall of saigon. 40 years later.
9:22 pm
"america tonight"s joie chen travels to new orleans where the largest vietnamese community outside of vietnam lives. she find out why refugees fled there after the vietnam war.
9:23 pm
. >> if you haven't already used it chances are you have heard about uber.
9:24 pm
that ride-sharing service you can access on your mobile phone. it is so hot analysts valued it at $40 billion, and it is rolling into new cities giving taxis a run for its money. at a place where a slow crews is part of the scene, michael oku found an effort to pump the breaks. >> reporter: sin city, where the strip is lined with invitations for gambling, guns and girls. just about anything goes in vegas. one thing not going anywhere is uber. the ride sharing technology it is not feeling the love from this silver state, where it has no permit to operate. there's a $400 million taxi turf war in vegas. a hand full of companies own the strip and everywhere else.
9:25 pm
uber wants in on the action. it briefly set up shop last october in nevada, before a judge ordered them to shut down. the taxi industry came out swinging. >> almost a sting organised by a cab company. >> reporter: rick is a reporter at the "las vegas review journal", and we talked. >> one of the technology guys decided we are going to get a ride. we'll hire them and call the taxi cab authority and let them know where we are going so the taxi cab authority can be ready for them as soon as they got out of the car. that is what happened. >> reporter: nevada has been the toughest market to crack. >> it's the place they want to be the most. 41 million visitors imagine home have an uber act and nose
9:26 pm
who they are. this is a recollect perfect if they -- this is a market perfect if they could operate. >> uber is used to getting its way, if legal or not. it's rolled into 41 state, many arguing laws do not apply. why? they say they are a technology cop. they try to find out the difference. >> the common person on the street asks what is the difference between a car company this gets request from consumers on the telephone and uber that processes requests through the telephone. >> technology licences software to licences. whether it be for a connection to the strip from summerland or in tom parts we connect people to food and delivery services.
9:27 pm
>> reporter: a poll by los angeles review journal shows 60% prefer uber in vegas. the taxi cartel managed to keep them out. not one taxi cap company has been allowed to open since 2001. >> uber is an unsafe operator. swars owns three cab companies. 20% of the market share. he says uber doesn't have to comply with the same rules, involving things like car maintenance and background check. uber likes to say they are a technology rather than a transportation company. do you buy that? >> i don't buy that. they are a transportation company. uber came no the state and
9:28 pm
violated the law. that's the business of this. the fight has moved to the capital, where two bills unleashed armies of lobbyist from both sides. how much lobbyist and consultants do you have working on the issue now? >> it's about so at this point. we have to compete with uber. they have 16. >> reporter: they may need all the lobbyists given the connections between the taxi cap companies and the legislature. the taxi cab companies donated $750,000s in the past year to various officials in carson city. it may have found off the the uber bill killed. the company will have to wait two years to get another bill introduced. >> we are not like everyone else times we put the brakes on
9:29 pm
progress. it's the way nevada is. >> reporter: while the rest of the country rushes to embrace the uber phenomenon nevada is going its own way and michael tells us that uber could get rolling in nevada soon lawmakers will vote on a bill next week, if it doesn't work out, the ride share service has options. los angeles wants uber and a lift to move more riders. the l.a. mayor is trying to clear the way for pick-ups at los angeles international airport. 70 million people use l.a. x every year. that is it for us here at "america tonight". tell us what you think about what you saw at"america tonight" and talk to us on facebook or twitter. come back we'll have more america tonight tomorrow.
9:30 pm
this is techknow a show about innovations that can change lives. the science of fighting a wildfire. we're going to explore the intersection of hardware and humanity but we're doing it in a unique way. this is a show about science by scientists. tonight techknow investigates gold at any cost. we travel deep into the rainforests of peru. these illegal mining operations extend for miles and miles away from the main highway. to uncover a gold rush that's turning lush jungle into utter devastation. >> high preessure water hoses and blasted out... >> and it's not just