tv America Tonight Al Jazeera December 9, 2015 9:30pm-10:01pm EST
what the teddy bear toss means in a very important season. >> mr. mateson thanks for explaining this. we appreciate it. >> my pleasure. >> that is our show today, i'm david schuster in for ali velshi. thanks for joining us. the news continues here on al jazeera america. >> on "america tonight," an officer, a gunshot, another teen shot and killed. >> there was no reason to have pulled the trigger on my nephew and shoot him in the back of the head. no reason for that. >> "america tonight's" sarah hoye and another search for justice against the law. thanks for joining us, i'm joie chen. this year it's become a center piece of focus our conversations
about the police and the communities they serve. officer involved shootings especially whether the victim is a person of color have ignited protests, led to federal investigations and forced us all to consider how much it takes to bring a suspicious person under control. although it has been a key headline over the last year and a half it is not a new phenomenon and the frustration even the outright anger many survivors have can go unresolved for years or forever. "america tonight's" sarah hoye with a mother still searching for answers. >> reporter: it's mid morning and sherise wells is easing into her day of work. soon this mother of three will be hosting her extended family over the holidays but there won't be one member of her family at the dinner this year, her son, robert chambers.
this sunday will mark five years sings ront died. since robert died but she still needs answers. >> do you think you would have closure? >> only if i know what happened i would have closure. >> before the deaths of black men like eric garner in new york, la quan mcdonald in chicago at the hands of white police officers sparked outrage, robert chambers was shot here in the small military town of warren robbins georgia out of the national spotlight. despite conflicting reports of what happened that brisk january morning, those who know robert chambers, include his uncle chris wells, say one thing's for certain, a good kid is gone too soon. >> he was an awesome kid. i mean he was very fun to be around. always smiling.
always full of, like, life. he was just really just kind of happy. everybody liked him. everybody liked him. >> in january of 2011, a houston county deputy shot robert in the back of the head after police say he burglarized a home. deputy stephen glidden said when he came across robert in the woods nearby, robert was armed. glidden fired a single shot. while robert lay dead on the ground, his mother who worked two jobs including second shift as a nurse at a nearby hospital was asleep when police knocked at her door. >> so he you know proceeded to say we believe that he was in a prior crime that led up to the shooting and killing of his
death. i'm like crime? death? and so at this moment i'm shocked. >> you watched the news and you heard the reports that your son was part of a robbery, was trying to hurt a police officer, was this your son? >> no. robert wouldn't even fight his baby sister back. he was never a fighter. robert was probably 135 to 140 pounds soaking wet. he didn't have fight in him. you know what i'm saying? he was the walk-away type of person. >> on the day of the shooting, robert, who was working on his ged, was walking home from a local car dealership where he sometimes worked detailing cars. >> they just bring chills because this is where my son last moments of his life was. >> it didn't make sense for him to burglarize someone's home. it didn't make sense for him to have a gun to try shoot police, none of that made sense.
but because of the respect we have for the law we said, you know, at some point, maybe something crazy happened. i don't know. maybe but it just doesn't make sense. >> so you tried to justify it. >> we did for the police officer's sake. i told my sister if i was a police officer and someone pulled a gun on me i would want to go home to my family. would i want to go home to my family -- i would want to go home to my family. the most horrible thing for me was giving him the benefit of the doubt and found he shot my nephew in the back of the head. >> when you found out he shot him in the back of the head -- >> that made me feel he was no threat to the officer. no reason for him to pull the gun and shoot him in the back of the head. no answer.
>> she filed a wrongful death lawsuit in 2013 against the deputy and the howston sheriffs department. the decision was the use of force was reasonable under the circumstances. >> what was your immediate reaction when you heard they would not move forward? >> i felt like a stab like oh -- >> i was furious, i blew my top. >> angry, chris wells started looking for lawyers that represented other families whose loved ones were killed by police officers. >> i said, you know what? we might need to go out of state with this. >> reporter: that's when he found jonathan moore, the attorney who represents the family of eric garner. >> justice is that we find out exactly what happened here. and that we, if in fact he did something wrong, then let's
prove it. let's put all the cards on the table and let's let a jury decide what happened. >> after combing through pages of documents, moore and fellow attorney luna druby were convinced that the cause of robert's death was being covered up. >> if you are accused of committing a felony, to an extent that you felt compelled to shoot him in the head and you don't even check to see if the gun allegedly found at the scene matched the fingerprints of robert chambers? that defies belief. >> in the current climate, where does this fit in and why is it important to be paying attention to this? >> this is the kind of aggressive policing that's been going on in this country for years and years. that's why we have this disconnect between communities of color and police departments. not just in new york or chicago, but throughout this country. >> reporter: is this bigger
than robert? >> yeah, it is. this kind of case is in the highest tradition of protecting civil rights. and when we protect one person's civil rights we protect everybody's civil rights. >> reporter: this october they filed a motion arguing that the new evidence suggests that the gun and the cell phone were both planted after deputy glidden shot robert. attorney druby also says there are major inconsistencies in the case, including no fingerprints ever confirmed robert was in the burglarized home. she also said a taser video shows robert, was on the ground. in a deposition, glidden maintained that robert was
trying get up. this is a gun officials say they recovered from the crime scene. >> the gun that went missing from the home was black. i mean that's the very basic comparison. one is very clearly blue steel, one is very clearly black. they just made a statement and we are all to believe it and that's hugely problematic. there is evidence that could exonerate robert from this burglary and therefore clear his name. >> in an october court filing, attorneys called the new evidence conspiracy theory, evidence that the detective acted properly when he shot chambers. at the time of the file, chief attorney. >> we contend and stand by our officer. he is certainly regretful that it happened. he never went in there with the intentions of hurting or killing
anybody but at the time that it happened, and it happened so fast, that he was in fear of his life. and we honestly believe that if he had not reacted, and events had not had come down like he did, that he could have been seriously injured or killed. >> at the end of the day, before robert ran he was still on the ground, saying sir i ax on the ground. so what really happened? >> the attorney for deputy glidden and the howston sheriff's department would not speak to "america tonight," citing the ongoing investigation. meanwhile, the deputy remains employed siting a ruling from a federal judge. >> what if you don't win this time around? >> you know what, if we don't win this time around, at least we have the information that we were looking for from the beginning. all the evidence and all the things we were asking for, this
stuff has told the story for us. >> robert's mother says her fight for justice gives purpose to the pain. >> i hope you take away a clear vision of robert. and i hope you take away that we know that this was wrong. we want more answers, and justification behind this. >> sarah hoye, al jazeera, warren robbins, georgia. >> "america tonight's" sarah hoye joins us. now sarah, this is not the first time you've covered an incident like this, where there's a shooting where there's a young person involved where there's an officer involved in the shooting. a case like this so many years after the original incident. is there anything in the current climate that might allow this case to be reopened? displr and that's what the attorneys are -- >> reporter: that's what the attorneys are hoping for, when
the family decided to reach out to that law firm in new york city. we are hearing about these cases more, there is a bigger spotlight on police departments on investigations that with the current climate, with the current affairs with these current events that are happening, this is causing more attention, more entitled or more heightened scrutiny into a lot of these cases, so although this case here is five years old, and the family is hoping that they get another chance to have it possibly reconsidered for a trial, they are hoping that this current climate is going to help them. >> sarah, the family has been told though this is not likely to be reopened for trial. so what would the next step be? >> well, if the judge decides to ignore or to throw out this motion to reconsider, to take this to trial, then the law firm will appeal again. however if that appeal fails, this will just end there. but the family is hopeful and saying even though they aren't even given chance to have there
go to trial they have learned so much more throughout this process, they have more access to details with this new law firm that they signed up with. so they have a better feeling if you will about the case and the facts that happened. they just want justice to be upheld. they want some type of accountability other than this just going away but even still if they doesn't go to trial they've said that they have exhausted all the measures they can and they are happy to know they fought as much as they could on this. >> "america tonight's" sarah hoye, thank you. next, the long reach of a bitter history, why one of america's favorite cities is still shadowed by its past. and could medical devices that save lives, be subject to cyber-attacks. lisa fletcher, and where's the
♪ >> standing against bigotry in all its forms the president taking a firm stance on the speech that some saw as a rebuke of donald trump's campaign rhetoric. but mr. obama's forum was the commemoration of the passing of the 13th amendment, the one that ended slavery 150 years ago. it is a beautiful legacy for charleston, south carolina where earlier this year the scarf racism was ripped open again by the church massacre there.
"america tonight's" christof putzel visited a community still shadowed by darkness. >> i found fingerprints here. >> you never know that these are the fingerprints of the slave that -- >> that made that particular brick. i found these fingerprints right here. >> joe mcgil who works at charleston's old slave mart museum scours the streets of his city. >> that is an indication that it could be a female or a child making these bricks. >> there's no reference that there are slaves this made these bricks. but they're all over the place. >> charleston's cobblestone streets, historic churches, horse drawn carriages, looking for a sense of the old south. but the vision of antibel antebm
gentility. >> charleston had already established itself as a prominent place for people who would be enslaved and surrounded by buildings on this street, state street as once served as those places where these people were sold. >> these places here? >> some 40% of enslaved africans who reached these shores came through the port of charleston. some black residents even before the church massacre left nine people dead inside emanuel ame church says charleston pays too little attention to the past, the enduring legacy of racism and slavery. >> slavery is so deep and it goes back so far, there should be a marker every time you are walking, you should be tripping
over them. >> charles came in for a master's in history and stayed on for outreach. >> as i try to tell the students, any point in history i can give you an event that happened in charleston that affected the nation. >> why do you think charleston choose he ts to only be showinge side of history? >> because the other side of history for charleston is very deep and dramatic and sad and tourists won't want to come here because they don't want to be depressed. you want everyone to leave happy and say that was a beautiful place. >> darren's last name comes from the man who owned and enslaved his ancestors. john c. calhoun. the 19th century vice president and the preeminent author of slavery. stands at the heart of charleston, only a block away from emanuel ame church down the
street that bears his name. >> every day i would drive down calhoun street and i would see that statue and there has not been one statue i've despised more in my life than that calhoun statue. this was a file, racist, quote unquote states rights man. but his everything that he went -- everything that he believed in everything that he stood for goes back to slavery. goes back to the oppression literally of my people, of my ancestors. and i had -- they say you are not supposed to hate people but i hate that man i honestly do because he oppressed my people. >> after emanuel someone spray painted the statue of calhoun. one of the few indications of charleston's troubling past can be found at the old slave mart museum. >> how many slaves were sold here? >> thousands, thousands.
we don't have any records to indicate how many exactly. but as we proceed through the museum, we can see prices. we can see buildings where they were housed. >> this market was one of 40 in downtown charleston during the mid 1800s. >> no one can't help being in the space it's so small and could confined. >> the thing is you don't need a lot of space to buy and sell people. in my definition, i think the space is too big. this is one of the largest operations in charleston. this was a space created buy city councilman and a slade trade person. >> but things have changed here, pointing to the change across the city, by diverse communities, rejec rejecting the ideology of dylann roof.
this man's ancestors fought for confederacy. >> never dreamed something like that would happen anywhere, certainly not charleston. the coming-together of the people in charleston, the outpouring of love has been just incomprehensible for me, and i'm from here. and more importantly, to hear the victims' families speak, in such forgiving and loving terms to me is mind-boggling. that hate that came into this city and did that particular act is something foreign to charleston. i believe i actually don't know white supremacists, i was not only a prosecutor but a defense lawyer and i've represented a lot of people and i've seen a lot of horrible acts in charleston. and i just don't think that is you know, that is something that is part of charleston.
>> for richard stoney, dylann roof's manifesto, along with a gallery of poses of co confedere flags. shows a man trapped in the past. >> what do you think of that? >> as osoutherner, the confederate flag is such an emotional, as a son of confret war veterans, it's such an emotional image, we all believe the war was fought for reasons other than slavery when we all in reality any student of history anyone who is true to their heart true to their mines, know that the civil war was fought 99.9% as a result of slavery, it's been labeled and camouflaged as state's rights but it was fought. it's over, it's been a long long
time. >> another charleston native, retired history professor willmott a. frazier, is trying to create a symbol in his home of slaves. >> we didn't try tell the story of african american except in the black community context. >> professor fraser believes the last kerr at emanuel ame grew out of a person's ignorance. >> a person couldn't go in a church and murder nine people unless he believed those nine other people were not people. there is a law in south carolina that actually we pushed to pass during the 1970s. that says you have to teach african american history. but it isn't done.
and because it's not enforced and not done, it was possible for a young man to come up in a time he came up, and not recognize at all what african americans had contributed to his state and to his city, you know a lot of folks are satisfied with gone with the wind, mint jewejuleps, hoop skirts, a lot f people are comfortable with that. to go beyond that is offensive to some, abrasive to some but it is still part of the story, needs to be told. >> in charleston where the past has become a tourist destination, the challenge is to present a complete depiction of history even if it results in a challenging result. christof putzel, "america tonight." >> cyber security of completely
>> cyber-hacking, of course we've he heard heard about it. other important financial information. have you ever considered how technology could impact your medical care? not just your medical records but the equipment that can be critical to saving your life. turns out that gear can be very vulnerable too. in a look ahead at her report tomorrow, "america tonight's" lisa fletcher vectlisa fletchere risks. >> the infusion pumps, the
antibiotic,s, away you don't know will shock you. >> every gaming console that you can buy at the toy store, the nintendo, the x box, the device that you're about to be looked up in the hospital has more than likely not gone through any formal cyber security at all. >> you're telling me a sony play station has more cyber security review than an infusion pump? >> true. >> shocking report, more from lisa fletcher tomorrow on the program. that's the program. tell us what you think at aljazeera.com/americatonight. talk to us on twitter or fakes and come back, we'll have more of "america tonight" tomorrow.
>>...have an organized right-wing movement trying to kill others. >> searching for a strategy. if we win it with a large arab force, the turks, and the egyptians and other sunni nation, and go in there and take those people out... >> congress demands answers and offers suggestions for the fight against i.s.i.l. the other i.s.i.l. threat. >> abu bakr al-baghdadi, the leader of i.s.i.s. is now focussing his energy on libya. >> why the fight