Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  PBS  April 16, 2018 12:00pm-12:59pm PDT

12:00 pm
04/16/18 04/16/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> my fellow americans, a short time ago i ordered the united states armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of syrian .ictator bashar al-assad amy: president trump to clear his mission accomplished as the pentagon says u.s. led airstrikes hit sites linked to series alleged chemical weapons facilities. meanwhile, the trump administration plans to impose new sanctions against russia to punish it for enabling the
12:01 pm
syrian government alleged use of chemical weapons. protest against the bombing took place across the united states. do i think that is the main reason driving u.s. policy? response fromet ramah kudaimi who is member of the syrian solidarity collective and the national committee of the war resisters league and also from chelsea manning, perhaps the most famous whistleblower of the iraq war. in new york erupt after police officers respond to 911 call shoot dead an unarmed, mentally troubled african-american man on a street corner in brooklyn earlier this month. >> you guys kill us. amy: police say saheed vassell
12:02 pm
was holding a metal pipe that they mistook for a gun. none of the officers who opened fire were wearing body cameras. the vassell family is now calling for the release of all unedited video from the area leading up to and during the shooting. we'll speak with saheed's parents, lorna and eric vassell. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the united states is expected to introduce new sanctions against russian companies with links to syrian leader bashar al-assad, following the coordinated u.s., british, and french military strikes against two chemical weapons storage facilities and a research center in syria on friday night. trump hailed the military strikes a success in a tweet saturday morning, writing -- "a perfectly executed strike last night.
12:03 pm
thank you to france and the united kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine military. could not have had a better result. mission accomplished!" the military strikes against the alleged chemical weapons facilities came in response to the alleged chemical weapons ago.k in douma over a week the attack has not yet been independently investigated. the u.s. has blamed the assad government for the alleged attack. on sunday, the united nations chemical weapons investigators began examining the scene of the alleged attack, which commitments to a brutal campaign by the syrian government to retake the rebel held district of eastern ghouta outside the capital damascus. official told "the new york times" the base had been evacuated well before the military strikes thanks to an advanced warning from russia. multiple experts say the strikes were carefully coordinated to
12:04 pm
avoid escalating the united states role in the ongoing syrian conflict. this is the u.s. ambassador to the united nations nikki haley, speaking on saturday at the u.n. >> last night we obliterated the major research facility that it used to assemble weapons of mass murder. i spoke to the president this morning and he said if the syrian regime uses this poisonous gas again, the united states is locked and loaded. when our president draws a red line, our president enforces the red line. and you go weekend, crowds gathered in cities across the u.s. and the world to protest british,he u.s., french military strikes. meanwhile, french president macron said he convinced president trump not to withdraw u.s. troops from syria, reversing trump's pledge earlier this month that he would
12:05 pm
withdraw thousands of troops stationed there. following the u.s. military strikes against syria, the u.s. ambassador to the united nations nikki haley tried to defend president trump's efforts to ban syrian refugees from entering the united states. this is ambassador haley speaking on fox news on sunday. >> not one of the many that i talked to ever said we want to go to america. they want to stay as close to syria as they can. amy: the united states has accepted only 11 syrian refugees so far this year. the united nations says about 5 million syrians have been forcibly displaced outside syria by the ongoing seven-year conflict. we'll have more on syria after headlines. in a highly anticipated interview that broadcast sunday night, former fbi director james comey told abc news' george stephanopoulos he thinks president trump's effort to pressure comey to drop the investigation into former
12:06 pm
national security adviser michael flynn may have constituted obstruction of justice. >> he says i hope you can let it go. what do you say? >> he said he is a good guy, will be good let it go. i just said, i agree, he's a good guy. there was a brief deposit and the meeting was over. >> she just said, mr. president, i can discuss this, you're doing something improper? >> may be. although, if you did not know he was doing something improper, why did he kick of the attorney general and the vice president of the united states in the leaders of the intelligence community? and why am i alone if he doesn't know that nature of the request? but it is possible in the moment , another person would've said, sir, you can't ask me that, that is a kernel investigation. -- that is a common investigation. >> is the president obstructing justice? >> possibly. amy: during the interview, which comes ahead of the release of comey's new book, the former fbi
12:07 pm
director also said president trump was morally unfit to be president. >> i don't think he is medically unfit to be president, i think he is morally unfit to be president. the person who sees moral equivalence in charlottesville, who talks about it and treats women like these is a meet, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insist the american people believe it? that person is not fit to be president of the united states on moral grounds. amy: the deputy finance chairman of the republican national committee, elliott broidy, has resigned over revelations he paid $1.6 million to a former playboy model to keep quiet about their affair. he is a venture capitalist who is but a longtime fundraiser for the republican party, which has pushed a slew of anti-choice laws nationwide. the has money to was brokered by
12:08 pm
michael cohen, president trump's longtime personal lawyer. cohen has separately admitted to paying $130,000 to adult film star stephanie clifford come also known as stormy daniels, to keep her quiet about her affair with donald trump before he became president. cohen's home, office, and hotel room were all raided by the fbi a week ago. he has now filed a restraining order to try to prevent prosecutors from reviewing the documents seized in the raids. new details have also surfaced showing cohen was under digital surveillance for months. meanwhile, mcclatchy is reporting special counsel robert mueller has evidence cohen visited prague during the summer of 2016, casting doubt on cohen's claims he did not visit prague at this time. an intelligence dossier prepared by former british spy christopher steele first described cohen's trip to prague, and says he met with a
12:09 pm
prominent russian during the visit. in afghanistan, a string of attacks over the weekend against government outposts killed at least 26 government security officers. the government blamed the taliban for the attacks. separately, at least two schools were set ablaze, including a girls' high school in logar province near the capital kabul. in india, thousands of people took to the streets of cities across the country to demand justice after an eight-year-old muslim girl was gang-raped and murdered in the northern indian state of jammu and kashmir. one of the three suspected rapists is a police officer. authorities say the motivation for the kidnapping, rape, and murder of the girl, named asifa bano, was to drive her muslim family out of their village. over the weekend, two lawmakers with the ruling bjp party were forced to resign after they helped organize rallies in support of the accused rapists, sparking widespread outcry.
12:10 pm
palestinians gathered at the israeli-gaza border for a third friday in a row as part of the ongoing "great march of return" protests. paramedics say at least 30 palestinians were injured by israeli soldiers during friday's protest. israeli soldiers have killed at least 34 palestinians since the wave of protests against israel's occupation began on march 30. ecuador's president lenin moreno said friday that two journalists and their driver were kidnapped and murdered along the border with colombia. the reporter, javier ortega, the photographer, paul rivas, and their driver, efrain segarra, were working for the daily newspaper el comercio at the time of their kidnapping on march 26. ecuador is blaming a rebel group called oliver sinisterra front for the muders. in el salvador, authorities say journalist karla lisseth turcios has been murdered. she worked for the magazine el economista.
12:11 pm
authorities say her father received a note with a death threat against her shortly before she was kidnapped from her home. her body was later found along the side of the highway. in barcelona, spain of thousands , hundreds of demonstrators poured into the streets sunday to demand freedom for catalan political prisoners. among them catalan leaders who , nine are facing trial on charges of rebellion after they helped organize a referendum on catalonia's independence from spain last october. back in the united states, protesters occupied a philadelphia starbucks on sunday to denounce starbucks of racial profiling after a video went viral of police arresting two african american men for being inside the coffee shop. their lawyer says the two men were waiting for a third person to arrive for a business meeting when a starbucks employee called the police and claimed the men
12:12 pm
were trespassing. starbucks' ceo kevin johnson has apologized, calling the incident "reprehensible." more protests are planned at the starbucks this morning. in denver, colorado of teachers , hundreds are expected to rally at the state capitol today as the wave of teachers protests continues to spread nationwide. meanwhile, the oklahoma education association says its ended its nine-day strike over funding for education, but many and teachers in kentucky also swarmed the state capitol on friday to protest cuts to education. kentucky governor matt bevin has been forced to apologize after he tried to attack the teacher'' protest by saying -- "i guarantee you somewhere in kentucky today, a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them." in south carolina, authorities
12:13 pm
say at least seven prisoners have died and 17 more have been wounded after a riot at the lee correctional institution in bishopville. it's the latest of a series of riots in recent years at the maximum-security prison. in alabama, an african american teenager named lakeith smith has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for the murder of 16-year-old a'donte washington, even though it was a police officer who shot and killed the teenager in 2015. lakeith smith was tried and convicted under alabama's accomplice law, which allows authorities to prosecute people for murder if a death occurs in the midst a felony. he and a'donte washington were, along with other teens, allegedly carrying out a burglary when a police officer opened fire and killed a'donte washington. a grand jury has cleared the police officer who actually killed the teenager of any responsibility. in new york city, a prominent
12:14 pm
gay rights lawyer named david buckel died after setting himself on fire as a protest against climate change. in a hand-written suicide note found next to his body in prospect park, he explained he doused himself in fossil fuels before lighting himself ablaze as a metaphor for the destruction of the planet. he also emailed news outlets a statement that included -- "most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result -- my early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves." and in south africa, tens of thousands of people gathered in soweto township on saturday for anti-apartheid hero winnie madikizela-mandela. winnie mandela was known widely by south africans as the "mother of the nation." under apartheid, winnie mandela was jailed repeatedly by the!"
12:15 pm
the military strikes came in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in douma over a week ago. the attack has not yet been independently investigated. on sunday, the united nations chemical weapons investigators began examining the scene of the alleged attack, which commitments to brutal campaign by the stern government to retake the rebel held district of eastern ghouta outside the capital damascus. told "thed official new york times" the bases had been evacuated well before the coordinated military strikes things to an advanced warning from russia. multiple experts say the strikes were carefully coordinated to avoid escalating the u.s. role in the ongoing conflict. this is the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. nikki haley speaking saturday at the united nations. >> last night we obliterated the major research facility that it used to assemble weapons of mass
12:16 pm
murder. i spoke to the president this morning and he said if the syrian regime uses this poisonous gas again, the united states is locked and loaded. when our president draws a red the, our president enforces redline. amy: over the weekend, crowds gathered in cities across the united states and the world to protest the u.s., british, and french military strikes. >> trump want to change the subject. do i think that is the main reason driving the u.s. policy? i think there's a longer-term policy china dominate this all region. amy: the french president said he convince president trump not to withdraw u.s. troops from syria, reversing trump's pledge earlier this month that he would withdraw thousands of troops stationed there. >> 10 days ago, president was saying, the united states should withdraw from syria.
12:17 pm
convinced him that it was necessary to stay there in syria, and i think that on a diplomatic level, beyond what happened, those three strikes, which are one element and for me that is not the most important thing that is happening in syria, we convinced him we needed to stay for the long term. we also persuaded him that we needed to limit the strikes to chemical weapons sites after things got a little carried away over tweets, as you know. a make over more, we got a washington, d.c., where we're joined by ramah kudaimi, a syrian-american activist and a member of the syrian solidarity collective. she is also on the national committee of the war resisters league. in new york, we're joined by chelsea manning network security , a specialist and advocate for government transparency and queer and transgender rights. probably best known as army whistleblower who spent seven years in a military prison after leaking a trove of documents about the iraq and afghan wars and state department to wikileaks in 2010. she is currently running for the u.s. senate in her home state of maryland. we welcome you both to democracy
12:18 pm
now! begin withmi, let's you. first, responded the attack that took place this weekend on syria, u.s., france, and britain. for having meamy, on. i think my first reaction when i heard these strikes was happening was, well, what is new? there have been airstrikes by the assad regime, by the u.s., by russia, by a whole slew of actors for years now since 2012 courses the people rose up against the brutal regime of assad in demanding their freedom and dignity. so it was kind of infuriating to see this been presented as breaking news, presented as an apocalypse that we are about to embark on world war iii, especially has been made clear again and again by u.s. actions is that this was something very limited, just to kind of send a message to bush are al-assad that you can go on and kill people with errol bombs, with
12:19 pm
anything, but don't limit your use of chemical weapons. amy: i want to turn to u.s. ambassador to the united nations nikki haley. in an interview with fox news on sunday, she outlined president trump's objectives in syria and said u.s. troops would remain until these objectives are met. >> he had three major goals that he wanted to accomplish. he wanted to make sure that chemicals -- chemical weapons were not used or weapons of mass destruction were not used in any way that could harm american national interest. he wanted to make sure that we defeated ices completely and wholly to make sure that all of that threat was gone because it is a threat to american national interest, and he wanted to make sure that we had good grounds to watch what iran was doing and they were not making a lot of aggressive headway in terms of that because iran is a national threat to american interests.
12:20 pm
i think, no, he never thought she would get out and 48 hours. yes, it is all of our goal to the american troops come home but we're not going to leave until we know we have accomplished those things. amy: ramah kudaimi, if you can respond to all of that -- again, president having recently said he was pulling u.s. troops out of syria. >> and this has been u.s. policy. what nikki haley outline has been mostly u.s. policy since under obama. nothing much has changed under trump in terms of the united states has claimed, proclaimed that, oh, he wants to see and support the surge people's revolution, that it was to see freedom and democracy in syria. but in fact, has really intervened in ways that have strengthened the regime. its primary goal, the defeat of ices, i.e. the war on terror, is really what brought the u.s. into syria through forcefully. when i started bombing syria in september 2014, it was against isis and that has really been where they focused most of their
12:21 pm
energy. once in a while, as trump did last or and this year, the obama regime target really into airfield, and d -- into weapons factory and say, see, we want assad gone with her actions have proven they want regime preservation. this is -- they're not really concerned with the syrian people's demands for the fall of regime. they're concerned with continuing the war on terror which has been the operation of the united states since 2001 and ensuring we are constantly when in"terrorists" reality with the u.s. is doing, alongside with russia and the regime, alongside with karen is the fact that everyone claims are fighting terrorists. what gets lost are certain people's lives and dreams to live in a free democratic syria. amy: and the number of troops were already on the ground and the was intervention even until this point of the bombing? >> there are about 2000 u.s.
12:22 pm
troops. they're mostly in kurdish held areas in the north east part of the country. a have been a to train the syrian democratic forces, which are mostly kurdish groups fighting against isis. the u.s. has been very clear to various rebel groups that it may have sent some arms to or some night goggles to in the past that were primary responsibility is to fight isis. we're not concerned with the regime and it is to fight isis. this kind of -- the story we tell ourselves a lot of times and antiwar circles, talking about how this week and people took to the streets to protest u.s. airstrikes, where have these protesters been? since 2012, there is been a war going on is area. airstrikes and's 2014. u.s. has let a lot of these airstrikes against isis forces. because we have accepted a lot of times a war on terror is actually a good war, as long as it is not regime change war,
12:23 pm
sadly, that is what we see. we see people who will go up in arms when the regime ivory targeted and they go completely silent when schools and mosques and community centers are attacked by various forces in the name of fighting terrorism. amy: ramah kudaimi, we're going to go to break and come back to this discussion. also, what evidence there is of the sites on the ground that have been attacked, what evidence of our is there that the syrian government was responsible for the alleged chemical weapons attack and other issues. we will also be joined by chelsea manning, one of the -- well, i guess you could say the most famous whistleblower of the iraq and afghanistan wars. she is running currently for u.s. senate for maryland. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
12:24 pm
12:25 pm
amy: "aleppo" by sinne eeg. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we get the latest on what happened this weekend with the u.s., french british bombing of syria. in his tweet on saturday morning, president donald trump wrote -- "a perfectly executed strike last night. they keep to france and the united kingdom for the wisdom and the power of their fine military. could not have had a better result. mission accomplished." and this is president trump on friday night. pres. trump: my fellow americans, a short time ago i ordered the united states armed forces to launch position strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of syrian dictator bashar al-assad. a combined operation with the
12:26 pm
armed forces of france and the united kingdom is now underway. amy: we continue our look at --ia with saheed vassell with ramah kudaimi a , syrian-american activist based in washington, d.c. chelsea manning is a network security specialist and advocate for government transparency and queer and transgender rights. she is perhaps best known as the famous whistleblower of the iraq -afghanistan war. served in the army in iraq to the seven years in military prison after leaking a trove of documents about the iraq and afghan wars and sage parmenter wikileaks and sage parmenter wikileaks in 2010, curly running for u.s. senate in her home state of maryland. chelsea manning, what was your response when you heard president trump's announcement friday night and then him tweeting "mission a college"? >> google mission accomplished,
12:27 pm
i believe i ever those words before. amy: let's go back to 2003, the time it was george w. bush. bush: my fellow americans, major combat operations in iraq have ended in the battle of iraq, the united states and their allies have prevailed. amy: that was may 1, 2003. where were you at the time? >> i was in high school. amy: but you would zynga want to iraq. >> yes, i did. amy: talk about why that matters to you, this echo of what you heard before. >> we of intervene in the middle east for quite sometime now. going back to the united states has a century at this point. -- half a century at this point. we have been involved in iran, afghanistan, now we are more
12:28 pm
embroiled in syria and so this is just a continuation -- these events are just a continuation of years of really a projection of power into the region. ,e are constantly intervening you know, for what reason? someways comes down to excuse. amy: interestingly, one of those fleischer,ed was ari who served as the white house press secretary for president george w. bush from 2001-2003. he wrote -- "i would have recommended ending this tweet with not those two words." >> exactly. , youramah kudaimi information about both the alleged attack, what we know
12:29 pm
about it at this point, and the sites that were hit in the want to put us in question to chelsea. we continue to go back to 2003 in the horrible decision obviously to invade and occupy iraq comparable because it destroyed the entire country and created, destroyed millions of lives and i think we continue to go back. we pretend the arab uprisings that happened in late 2010, 2011 did not happen. we need to really -- we need to look at and analyze syria and the rest of the region in light of those uprisings, not to take away the rubble history of the united states of intervening, the complete -- obviously, the u.s. is concerned with national interest, just like russia is kind of like saudi arabia is concerned with national interests, iran, turkey, etc.
12:30 pm
now inthese players syria have their national interests at play, not the whole country -- dreams of the surf you will deliver without a dictator, to live in freedom and dignity. i think it is very important we use -- we see places like iraq and not just assume syria, iraq, which is a very racist notion and assume all of these places that have arabs and are full of brown people are the same. let's take the right lessons learned, not just, oh, u.s. intervention is bad, and just they were that shallow analysis. in terms of what is happening in syria with the use of chemical weapons attacks, there been numerous investigations in the past few years about chemical weapons attacks. people who are claiming and crying that, oh, the reason that we are against this -- what the u.s. just it over the weekend, we need to wait and see the investigation. investigations have happen in the past and they have ignored them. last year when the attack happened in april 2017, in
12:31 pm
response trump bombed in into air field. six months later after the chemical weapons attack on the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons came out with a report an investigation, yes on the regime was responsible for that attack. no one went back and corrected themselves and said, oh, see? we were wrong claiming the regime did not do it. it just did not happen because there is this lack time between when a chemical weapon attack happens when the investigation is concluded. because we live in a media world that whether it is mainstream or even alternative left media that only pays attention to a few days and then forgets about the conflict in syria, we don't see this constant thing up actually chemical weapons attacks have happened again and again in various international bodies, whether it is the u.n., opcw, i .ound the regime guilty there is a pattern of the behavior on behalf of the regime and it should not be shocking
12:32 pm
this latest attack that happened in douma would also be response of the regime. i've heard reports that russia and the regime were blocking access for opcw investigators to the site in douma also which is something that happens. they block and then say, well, we cannot trust the u.s. but let's listen to regime in russia propaganda instead. amy: the organization for the prevention of chemical weapons, opcw, that has investigators there. interestingly, chelsea manning, you tweeted -- one "oh, so of a foreign country launched missiles at a blow depot in colorado and bluegrass depot in kentucky, it would be totally chill." explain your comparison. >> that was in response to somebody who is trying to say this isn't a war. that this was not an act of war. it is a subjective matter.
12:33 pm
if somebody did that to us, it would be -- it would obviously be a war. this is a war. this is an engagement. escalation. i just want to say this is not -- what happened in syria in the last few days has not been from the american perspective -- or western, like britain and france perspective, has not been about what is actually happening in syria. it has definite do with syria or the syrian people or the middle east. it has everything to do with domestic policy and every thing to do with russia. we have heard this constant rhetorical position again and again about russia, russia, russia and we are -- the tweets are trying to we
12:34 pm
provoke russia into a proxy war. that is a very dangerous thing to do. we are really putting ourselves closer closer to the brink every single time that we increase the rhetoric, increase the pressure, whether it is sanctions or if it -- the tweet we saw last week was about russia, not about syria. that just indicates howe this has to do with syria and every thing to do with russia. amy: british royal air force jets joined american and french warplanes and ships in hitting targets in syria saturday. in response to the reported chemical attack in douma. today british prime minister theresa may will face lawmakers as she attempts to justify her decision to launch the airstrikes against syria without a vote in the british parliament as "in britain's national interest" and meant to stop more
12:35 pm
suffering from chemical weapons attacks. this comes as jeremy corbyn, leader of britain's main opposition labour party, said it should introduce a war powers act to ban military action without parliament's approval. speaking on the bbc, corbyn also said president trump should speak directly with putin. >> quite clearly, any country that is deeply involved in syria could cause an awful lot more trouble now if they wanted to. i hope that president trump will listen to wise counsels, listen also to wise counsels outside the u.s.a. pickup the phone to putin and talk. amy: that is jeremy corbyn. ramah kudaimi, your response? >> as he was saying, this has nothing to do -- it seems like we talk about u.s. and russia and that is what corbyn is same, the u.s. and russian need to talk things out. where's the justice for the syrian people? worth the justice for the same
12:36 pm
people who were inspired by the uprisings that took place in tunisia and libya and egypt and bahrain and yemen? they were met with supporters of therewho said, it is -- proceeded to burn the country with the support of friends of the u.s. who are not friends but actually going in and looking for the national interest is. i think that is what is missing in all of these discussions about the future of syria is, where is justice and accountability for war crimes? russia is an enabler of the regime. for so long russia has been "leading -- several people will say, this time for diplomacy. there's been diplomacy since 2012. there has been talk in geneva and sochi and so many different places for years.
12:37 pm
yes, the problem is because these demand's are not around justice, they are not around an anddiate end to airstrikes putting on the table that the syrian people deserve accountability from the leaders who brought his work comes against them. until we get to that level of discussion, there is no purpose in talking about diplomacy. there's no purpose talking about cease-fire if no one is concerned with talking about the reality of what happened in syria and instead constantly saying, it is not clear, it is too complicated, these are just -- syrians are just killing each other and we should stay out of it, the u.s. should stay out of it. the reality is, the syrian people are suffering. they have made a demand for the followed the regime. everquest it support and getting that account ability -- they have requested support and getting accountability. frankly, they have been abandoned only by the powers that be him and that is expected
12:38 pm
because powers that be that are not concerned with these issues, their concerns national interest and euros security and our own war profiteering. with even remanded by an international left international antiwar movement that should yes, we support people struggle. we support revolution. we support the idea that we want to live in freedom and dignity and bring down systems of oppression. instead, the syrian people have been spit on by these people and told, you need to die in silence and stop -- amy: and who is allowed to come into the unit is they, the ban on syrians as the u.s. is bombing syria? >> this is where we need to push on u.s. policies that trump likes to present himself as some hero in this case, and demand that this muslim ban, which impacts people from a lot of countries, but very directly the syrian refugees who are trying to escape these various powers that are bombing the country.
12:39 pm
yeah, it is ridiculous. we need to be pushing. people say, there's nothing to do on syria. there is a lot. one, pushing the u.s. to accept more refugees -- not just the u.s., but the u.s. shut down its borders. countries across the globe are shutting down borders to refugees, but especially were -- especially syrian refugees. and demanding that we talk about syria based on what the syrian people rose up and amended and looking at it that way and demanding, yes, an end told airstrikes, more humanitarian aid for survival, and accountability for all war crimes. amy: chelsea manning, you're running for u.s. senate against ben cardin. the primary is in june. what about the issue of taking the u.s. bombing of syria to congress, to have it authorized? >> i think congressional obviously, no-- single person should have the power to be able to arbitrarily
12:40 pm
engage in airstrikes for whatever reason without any checks and balances or anything like that. i really think that having a president or having any single person with this much power is problematic but i also think in this instance where you have -- even if yet congressional authorization, this is not about -- you don't bring humanitarian relief by sending in missiles. that is not how this works. what we need to do -- and i completely agree -- we need to open the borders. we love 11 refugees in the last few months. 11. -- we allowed 11 refugees in the last few months. 11. we should be letting people passed through the borders because they're getting turned away in mass numbers. amy: finally, ramah kudaimi, i
12:41 pm
would ask about another issue. i'm friday, palestinians have a for protests as the israeli-gaza border as part of the great march of return protest. paramedics at least 30 were injured. the israeli soldiers have killed at least 34 palestinian since the latest wave of protests against israel's occupation began march 30. you're also the director of grassroots organizing for the u.s. campaign for palestinian rights. can you talk about these protests in the israeli soldiers killing of these protesters? >> yes. it has been inspiring watching them take up the right of return. we're going to be marking 70 ofrs of the forced expulsion palestinians to create the state of israel back in 1948, expulsions that of continue in the past 70 years as more palestinians are pushed off their lands and their land is grabbed to embolden its power
12:42 pm
over the palestinian people. unfortunately, it should not be shocking that is rural would respond in a -- israel would respond in a violent way because they are violent. i think we should note -- inspired by the bravery of the palestinians and be prepared to push the united states to end its military support of israel, the billions of dollars we send and military eight every single year that allows israel and emboldened israel to do what it does in the production of israel and all should should be noting in terms of if we want true freedom and liberation of palestine, there needs to be freedom and liberation in the region as well. we cannot separate palestine from the greater issues in the region, whether it is area or yemen or egypt or libya. these are regions that have been attacked and bombed by various forces and the impact of israel's policies against the palestinians goes beyond palestinians. it impacts palestinians first and foremost, but in syria, for
12:43 pm
example, the golan heights is still occupied by israel. israel has claimed again and again that the scene regime claims the ball at the forefront of resisting israel. in fact, their border with " border with israel" has been the quietest order for decades. syrians were making fun of the regime of the revolution for started in area in 2011 and tanks were sent to shut down -- freedom writing we want slogans on walls of their schools. the regime sent tanks and torture these children and wanted to really put down the uprising from the start. people made fun of the regime telling him, golan height is that way, why are you sending your military here? liberate our land that you claim to be. i think we need to talk as we see and are inspired by the palestinian people, we should be inspired by all of the people in the region who have rose up and
12:44 pm
really look at the struggle says very interlinked. you ramah kudaimi, thank for being with us, syrian american activist based in washington, d.c. member of the , a syrian solidarity collective. she is also on the national committee of the war resisters league. i want to thank chelsea manning, perhaps the most famous whistleblower their rack and iran, now running for senate in maryland. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
12:45 pm
amy: "no weapon" by fred hammond & the radical for christ. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we end today's show here in new york, where police officers responding to a 911 call shot dead an unarmed, mentally troubled african-american man on a street corner in brooklyn on april 5.
12:46 pm
at the time of his death, saheed vassell was holding a metal pipe that police say they mistook it for a gun. the nypd said four officers -- three in plainclothes and one uniformed -- fired 10 rounds at vassell, a jamaican immigrant. resident kenan davis witnessed the shooting by officers who arrived in an unmarked car, and described what he saw to new york daily news reporter edgar sandoval. >> i walked across the street. the cops took a u-turn. shot.ur >> in exchange of words? >> no words of exchange. >> what went through your mind? >> when i so they made a u-turn as it to my friend, the cops. i was trying to get attention.
12:47 pm
two seconds, they started shooting. amy: the new york state attorney general's office is now investigating the fatal shooting. a recent study found the crown heights neighborhood of brooklyn where saheed vassell was killed is one of the 20 most gentrified in the country. when over 1000 gathered at the scene of his death, many longtime residents expressed concerns that 911 calls from new residents in the area have contributed to the criminalization of pre-existing, low-income residents of color, especially black men. at first the nypd released edited surveillance video of vassell's actions prior to his death. then after pressure, they released video showing the cops shooting vassell. none of the officers who opened fire were wearing body cameras. the vassell family is now calling for the release of all unedited video from the area leading up to and during the shooting. for more, we're joined by saheed lornal/best parents, laure
12:48 pm
and eric vassell. can you explain what happened and were you at the time? >> i was home at the time when a heard a knocking at my door. i thought it was my son coming in. and i hear my other son say to me, dad, they just shot saheed. i said, who shot him? he said, the police shot him. anyway away. i began to cry. i cried until i heard the door open. it was my son who enter the door. i said, what happened to the young one? he said, dad, he died. and i stopped crying. i just sat there in awe. ,fter a while, i went to why.
12:49 pm
-- i went to call my wife. i told her saheed have been in an accident. she said, ok, she would call me back. i just stayed there. about how my life was when the tickets tragic news to hear that her son, who is my son, had just died. ?my: how old was saheed >> he was 34 years old. amy: talk about what you understand happened. >> understand? >> that saheed was on the street playing around with his friends. he left going to the store. he was going to the store. i get to understand that as he enter montgomery and utica police car just turned around. they did not ask him any questions. they just started to fire
12:50 pm
although shot at him. one of the guys said when he arrived, he said, no, he is an innocent person. they had already killed him. that is all i get to hear about my son. amy: saheed vassell, your son, apparently, as we have been covering this, slid into a downward spiral after the police killed his friend? >> yes. amy: is that right? >> yes. amy: talk about his mental state and what the police are saying. was dug most a couple of years ago after his friend died that he had bipolar. i got help for him.
12:51 pm
take thet want to medication. he said the medication was doing him worse. but saheed would do the best he could [captioning made possible by democracy now!] . he was just normal, do everything the same way, come in, in an out, take a shower, take food, loved to joke around. he would joke around in the house. he was not a violent person. amy: well known in the community? >> he was known to everyone. he was such a loving person. he just loved to be funny, dance around. you go out in the street and you would see saheed. one day a was going to work and i saw saheed and a police officer on the street. i said, officer, everything is ok? he said, yes, he is a wonderful
12:52 pm
young man. i know him. he is good. that is a good kid. i said, ok, thank you. and i went to work. saheed was not a violent person in no way he was violent. amy: you want with your son, eric vassell, to church a lot of mornings? >> yes. he went on saturday. he did not stay for the holy service. just come in the morning and then saheed would go home. i loved the and men. -- i love the young man. was a wonderful young man. never give any trouble on the streets. he was loved by everyone. amy: saheed was diagnosed as bipolar? >> yes. diagnosed bipolar. a parent was turned away by the city because the city say i could not be
12:53 pm
responsible for him anymore because he was of age. , then they took him police shot him. amy: i want to turn to the newer police chief terence monahan answering reporters questions about the police killing of your son saheed when he was asked about him being bipolar. the four officers who responded to 911 calls about his behavior were not specially trained to interact with emotionally disturbed people. an emotionally disturbed call. this was a call of a man pointing what 911 calls from people felt was a gun at people on the street. when we encountered him, he turns with what appears to be a gun, at the officers. amy: during a radio interview brian lehrer on wnyc, new york city mayor bill de blasio was asked why he would not release the names of the police officers who killed saheed, or more video of the shooting.
12:54 pm
this is the mayor. >> i believe the way we are doing it this way is right because there is both internal investigation and independent investigation. but we are also mindful of protecting everyone involved, and we don't want a situation where the names of the officers are out there. i don't think it is productive. later on when there is a follow-through on the process, that is when names come out appropriately. is, thebottom line here transcripts have been put out of 911 calls, the video has been put out. all the video we have and continue to get will be put out once the attorney general signs off on its release. that is been the case previously inh body camera footage situations like this as well. there's going to be a full process to find out the truth. i spoke to mr. vassell, the said tof saheed, and he me, the one thing he hopes will happen at the end of this process is that the truth comes out and justice is served,
12:55 pm
whatever that is. i said, i am absolutely committed to it and i know the attorney general is as well. amy: that is the new york mayor saying the video was withheld because the attorney general's office prevented its release. but a press secretary for the new york attorney general eric schneiderman said in a statement -- "our office played no role in the nypd's decision to release partial footage concerning the vassell case last week, and we have not objected to the nypd's release of video footage of the officers." eric vassell, if you spoke to the mayor? >> yes. i told the mayor i needed justice to be served. with the mayor is stirring -- with the mayor is saying, they won't release any video of the officers. i say that is a double standard because video and pictures of my and sent allleased across the world. therefore, just like they
12:56 pm
released my son's pictures and videos across the world, they should release every video and action of the police because in a further statement, they say he pointed the thing at them. a picture is worth a thousand words. if he did have an object in his hand, they should show him pointing that object at the police. that is the picture i'm looking for. amy: they have only shown him in this menacing position holding this bar, but there is obviously, clearly, commercial area, lots of video that you could see. this is somewhat reminiscent of tamir rice within seconds of them arriving, they shot. >> they shot him. -- i am saying is, as a police officer, if the 911 call that comes in, what are the protocol that the police
12:57 pm
took to apprehend someone with a gun, someone who is mentally challenged? because i know if they say there is a hostage crisis somewhere, there are protocols. if they say there is a man on a bridge to wanted to commit suicide, there is a protocol to approach it. they say if there's a mental person with a gun, that person have a gun, there have to be some protocol. amy: he did not have a gun. yet a metal bar that looked like a shower head. >> that is what they say. that is what they say he had something in his hand that looked like a shower head, that is what they say. amy: we have to leave it here but we will continue to investigate this case. lorna and eric
12:58 pm
♪ ♪
12:59 pm
♪ -today on "america's test kitchen"... it's vegan food for everyone. becky makes julia the ultimate vegan pinto bean beet burger. jack challenges bridget to a tasting of vegan mayo. lisa shares her favorite spiralizer tools. and elle makes bridget irresistible buffalo cauliflower bites. it's all coming up, right here on "america's test kitchen." "america's test kitchen" is brought to you by the following. -i've always been a big believer

15 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on