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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  March 30, 2018 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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5:00. reminder kate snow is next for lester holt with "nbc nightly new news". >> hope to to see you at 6:00. bye. autopsy on the unarmed man police in sacramento shot and killed. >> truth will win out. >> the autopsy finding stephon clark was shot from behind. another member of president trump's cabinet under scrutiny for reportedly getting low-cost housing that's connected to an energy lobbyist. she was charged with helping her husband plan the pulse nightclub massacre. tonight, the verdict in the trial of omar mateen's wife. the show of force by russia testing a sophisticated new ballistic missile raising fears of a new arms race. emergency open heart surgery for arnold schwarzenegger. a late update on the actor and former california governor. and you won't believe this one.
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>> who is this guy? >> an nhl stand-in with a day job gets the call of a lifetime and takes his team to a thrilling finish. this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt. >> good evening. i'm kate snow in for lester tonight. there's growing outrage tonight after new details emerged regarding two separate police shootings in this country. one the recent case that has prompted protests in sacramento. the other the death of alton sterling outside a convenience store in baton rouge, louisiana, back in 2016. for nearly two years now, sterling's family has been demanding to see surveillance video of what happened. late today, baton rouge police released it. we'll have more on that in just a moment. but we begin with new information about the death of stephon clark in sacramento last week. an autopsy ordered by his family shows he was shot multiple times in his grandmother's backyard. joe fryer is in sacramento with more. >> hey, show me your hands!
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>> reporter: when two sacramento police officers confronted stephon clark in his grandparents' pack sxwrn yard. backyard. >> show me your hands! >> -- they fired 20 shots. today the doctor commissioned by clark's family to perform a private autopsy said the young man was hit eight times, all from behind or the side. >> you can reasonably conclude that he received seven gunshot wounds from his back. >> reporter: the autopsy was performed by dr. bennet omalu who is credited with discovering the brain disease cte. omalu believes clark was facing his grandparents' house when he was shot. hit first on his left side near his armpit spinning him around before he was shot six more times from behind. omalu says clark, who did not immediately receive medical treatment, died three to ten minutes later. >> my heart is heavy, and i'm hurting. >> basically stephon clark was murdered for what would have been a misdemeanor.
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>> reporter: police were responding to reports a vandal was breaking car windows when they encountered clark. the officers said they thought he had a gun, but after firing, discovered it was actually a cell phone. >> he came up, and then he kind of approached us hands out and then fell down. >> the findings of his autopsy contradict many of the narratives that the sacramento police put forward. >> reporter: the county also conducted an autopsy, but that report won't be released to the public until the case is over. sacramento police say it's inappropriate to comment until the official report is released. meanwhile, another protest is scheduled for tonight. kate? >> joe fryer, thank you. now to that other shooting making headlines. late today police in baton rouge, louisiana, released surveillance tape of the deadly encounter with alton sterling, a 37-year-old black man and announced disciplinary action
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against the two white police officers who shot and killed him. and we want to warn you, the video is disturbing. gabe gutierrez is in baton rouge tonight. >> reporter: the newly released video show the moments leading up to the deadly encounter for the first time publicly. >> i'm going to shoot your [ bleep ]. >> reporter: this body camera footage shows officers blane salamoni and howie lake responding to a 911 call in 2016. >> we got an individual at the triple s. he's selling cds. he's got a .9 millimeter, whatever, in his pocket. and he draw it. >> reporter: a man claiming that alton sterling, who was selling cds outside this baton rouge convenience store, had threatened him with a gun. the officers confront sterling and the encounter escalates quickly. >> [ bleep ] [ bleep ] [ bleep ]. >> reporter: previously released cell phone video from a bystander showed part of the struggle, but this surveillance video from the store shows the moments before and after as officer salamoni yells at sterling.
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[ bleep ]. >> reporter: what do you see in this video? >> a black man being murdered. >> reporter: an attorney represents some of sterling's family members. >> i don't care if you're black, white, hispanic, asian, you have to know and see for yourself that this is wrong. >> reporter: the officers claim they thought sterling had been reaching for a gun in his pocket. on tuesday, louisiana's attorney general concluded the shooting was justified and that sterling's blood tested positive for several drugs including cocaine. and last year, the justice department decided against bringing federal civil rights charges. >> these actions were not minor deviations from policy as they contributed to the outcome that resulted in the death of another human being. >> reporter: the two officers had been on paid leave since the shooting. late today the police chief here announced that officer salamoni had just been fired. officer lake will serve a three-day suspension. salamoni's attorney plans to appeal. kate? >> gabe gutierrez, thank you. there are calls tonight for another
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member of president trump's cabinet to step down. epa administrator scott pruitt faces new ethics questions over who he paid for a room he rented in washington. we get more from white house correspondent kristen welker. >> reporter: tonight, growing concern inside the white house stemming from what appeared to be an unusual living arrangement. epa administrator scott pruitt reportedly paid $50 a night to live in a washington apartment partially owned by the wife of a top energy lobbyist last year under terms that allowed him to pay only for the nights he stayed there instead of a monthly rent. and late this afternoon another revelation. according to abc news, last year pruitt's security detail broke down the glass panel front door of that condo when the administrator was not reachable. earlier this year pruitt came under fire for flying first class on official business with his staff, a move he defended. >> i don't make any of
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those decisions. they place me on the plane where they think is best from a safety perspective. >> reporter: now democrats are pouncing. >> if scott pruitt doesn't resign, then president trump should fire him. this is not good for citizens' confidence in our government. >> reporter: government watchdog groups say it all raises red flags. >> every dollar that's wasted on travel or security that's unnecessary is money that's not going to protect the health and environment for the american people. >> reporter: ethical questions have dogged other trump cabinet secretaries. former v.a. secretary david shulkin coming under scrutiny for an official trip to europe that was mixed with personal activities and housing secretary dr. ben carson testified about spending taxpayer money on more than $30,000 for office furniture, an order he ultimately canceled. tonight the epa tells nbc news as epa career ethics officials stated in a memo, administrator pruitt's housing arrangement for both himself and
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family was not a gift and the lease was consistent with federal ethics regulations. as for president trump, he'll spend the holiday weekend at mar-a-lago, his resort in florida, kate. >> kristen welker at the white house tonight. thank you. now to a long awaited verdict today in florida. a jury finding the wife of the pulse nightclub gunman not guilty of charges that she helped her husband, omar mateen, plan the attack that killed 49 people. kerry sanders has those details. >> reporter: tonight noor salman leaving the courthouse without a word. >> it's a great day for ms. salman. >> reporter: her attorneys reacting to the not guilty verdicts. >> i think she was overwhelmed. i think we were all overwhelmed. >> reporter: but outside the pulse nightclub where salman's husband omar mateen launched his massacre killing 49 people, outrage from victims' families. >> she knew that her husband was doing what he was doing, and shame on her. >> i am in disbelief. i just feel like we've been slapped in the face. >> reporter: during the trial, prosecutors said this video showed mateen about to attack
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disney springs but was scared off by the presence of police. and they allege salman knew her husband's plans, that she'd been on an alleged scouting mission at the same disney location, that she joined him when he shopped for ammunition. at the center of their case, her statement, an fbi agent saying she admitted her husband was preparing for jihad. salman herself writing, i'm sorry for what happened. i wish i'd go back and tell his family and the police what he was going to do. >> we really did pursue the truth. >> reporter: defense attorneys charge that statement was coerced, that she has a low iq. her uncle, al salman. >> i say that from day one that she's innocent. >> reporter: her family saying she, too, is a victim betrayed by her now dead husband. tonight expected to head back to california to reunite with her young son. kerry sanders, nbc news, miami. in kentucky, a solemn procession of police officers today honoring an off-duty colleague who was shot and killed.
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the suspect was reportedly posing as a policeman when he pulled over off-duty officer phillip meacham and opened fire. the motive unknown. the suspect escaped, stole a truck, setting off a multi-state manhunt that ended in a parking lot in tennessee where he was then shot and killed by police. with tensions rising between this country and moscow, russia tested its newest intercontinental ballistic missile. russian officials say this missile could reach any target in the world. we get more from our chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell. >> reporter: a show of force from vladimir putin today. testing a missile launched near the arctic circle moscow claims will have hypersonic speed and multiple warheads able to overcome u.s. defenses as putin threatened earlier this month. warning of a new arms race. but u.s. officials say today's missile is only in the early stages of development. still, they tracked its short flight, coming amidst a diplomatic freeze not seen since the cold war.
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today a russian charter jet at dulles airport as boxes and crates are loaded. moving day for russian diplomats expelled from the u.s. embassy in washington and a consulate in seattle. punishment for the kremlin's alleged poisoning of a former russian spy and his daughter in england, but nearly a month after that crime, the president has talked to putin, met with foreign leaders, visited mar-a-lago twice, given a campaign-style speech in ohio. >> remember, you can't win unless you win the state of ohio, right? >> reporter: but has not said a word publicly about the attempted assassination. >> we have russia really engaged in actively hostile measures against the united states that needs a much tougher response. it needs president trump to respond personally. >> reporter: the president last week even surprising aides by congratulating putin in a call and suggesting they meet. >> and i suspect that we'll probably be meeting in the not too distant future to discuss the arms race which is getting out of control.
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>> reporter: but two officials telling nbc news he also told putin, if you want to have an arms race, we can do that, but i'll win, but telling aides not to talk about his warning so he does not appear to be caving in to critics toward his friendly gestures towards the leader. tonight foreign expert policies saying if the u.s. wants to get putin's attention, it should hit him where it hurts with economic sanctions against his cronies, the billionaire oligarchs. kate? >> andrea mitchell, thank you. u.s. military officials say an american and a british service member were killed in northern syria today when their vehicles were hit by an improvised explosive device. a reminder of the dangers still faced by american forces as they try to destroy isis. president trump now saying american troops will leave syria very soon, but could that allow isis to make a comeback? here's our chief foreign correspondent richard engel. >> reporter: just this month, general jonathan braga showed us the battlefields of the war on isis.
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vast terrain liberated from isis control. what are these ditches? >> these are mass graves. >> reporter: american commanders say the u.s.-led war in syria killed nearly 65,000 isis fighters over the past four years. >> we're on the 2 yard line of finishing the physical destruction of the caliphate. >> reporter: and following that progress, president trump now effectively declaring the war over. >> we'll be coming out of syria like very soon. let the other people take care of it now. >> reporter: but here in syria many u.s. military commanders worry withdrawing without a plan could jeopardize everything they've accomplished. nearly all of the ground combat has been done by these u.s.-backed kurdish-led fighters, but they are now under attack from turkey. if the u.s. leaves, they could be wiped out. at a graveyard for some of the 4,000 men and women who died
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fighting isis alongside u.s. forces, this kurdish commander told us the u.s. was already betraying them. americans need to remember the sacrifices we've made, she says. we liberated this land together. and we should protect each other. and without the trust and cooperation of our allies, isis could make a comeback. >> i don't think we can go backwards. i don't even want to contemplate that future. that's not a world i want to live in. >> reporter: richard engel, nbc news, northern syria. and you can see much more of richard engel's reporting tonight at 9:00 eastern on msnbc. still ahead for us tonight, emergency heart surgery for arnold schwarzenegger. we'll have an update on the actor and former california governor. also, who was that guy who took the ice in chicago last night? it's the game everybody's talking about.
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arnold schwarzenegger is recovering tonight
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from open heart surgery after a planned heart valve replacement became more complicated. the actor and former governor of california is awake and talking with doctors after undergoing a risky procedure in los angeles. national correspondent miguel almaguer has more. >> reporter: after emergency open heart surgery arnold schwarzenegger is in stable condition tonight at l.a.'s cedars-sinai hospital. the 70-year-old checked into the hospital thursday for a heart valve replacement when a common heart procedure became high risk. >> this is a very complicated procedure on a very important organ that takes a lot of skill, a lot of talent, a lot of people and equipment to do. >> all right, everyone. chill. >> reporter: in 1997, schwarzenegger, the actor, elected to have surgery because of a heart defect. this week the minimally invasive operation to replace that valve was planned. but when the option
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didn't work, an open heart surgery team was ready. >> that second team is the heart surgeon who can open up the heart and the chest, the equipment that can be used to take care of it if they need to, because if something goes wrong, like it did in this case, they only have seconds to react. >> reporter: a body builder turned movie star -- >> hasta la vista, baby. >> reporter: -- before becoming california's governor. arnold schwarzenegger is already back in form. his spokesman says his first words after surgery -- >> i'll be back. >> reporter: -- were, in fact, "i'm back." miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. when we come back, the $521 million reason you might want to stay up tonight.
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half a billion dollars. that's the jackpot in tonight's mega millions lottery drawing. $521 million just to be precise. it is only the fourth time in the game's history that the jackpot has surpassed the half a billion mark. no one has won the mega millions since
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january. odds of winning, about 1 in 300 million. it was a combination of luck and trepidation on the ice last night in chicago as the blackhawks pulled off a stunning victory, but that only begins to tell the story. kevin tibbles tonight on the chance of a lifetime for a chicago guy and a new kind of miracle on the ice. >> who is this guy? >> reporter: talk about a pinch me i must be dreaming moment. >> go get 'em, kid. >> reporter: 36-year-old scott foster, mild mannered accountant by day, and nhl goalie by night. >> a few hours ago i was sitting on my computer typing on the ten key, and now i'm standing with you guys just finished 14 minutes of nhl hockey. >> reporter: foster played college hockey and now plays in a local beer league. but thanks to an obscure rule, he was pressed into emergency action when both chicago blackhawks starters were injured. >> i don't think i heard anything other than, put your helmet on. >> reporter: he
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stopped all seven shots fired in his direction helping the home team win. >> now we got a foster chant. >> reporter: 22,000 fans were chanting his name. teammates even awarded him the coveted player of the game belt. >> look at the euphoria for this kid that nobody knew before tonight. >> reporter: 14 minutes in goal, 15 minutes of fame and a memory to last a lifetime. kevin tibbles, nbc news, chicago. just terrific. when we come back, lester holt on the real superstar of march madness. activists are cat
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"sneaky." the policy just uncovered in one bay area county that they say is skirting sanctuary law. also -rising tension around tomorrow )s warriors game in sacramento. the message coach steve kerr gave his players. next tomorrow night in san antonio, loyola
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will take on michigan in the men's final four, but it's someone off the court who is stealing the show. and by now she needs no introduction. lester holt tonight on the woman giving new meaning to team spirit. >> reporter: she hasn't scored a single basket, but sister jean has clearly won us over. >> sister jean, sister jean. >> reporter: the 98-year-old team chaplain of loyola university has captured america's hearts. >> it's great for me. it's great for my congregation, for loyola. it's great for the nation to have something fun to look at. >> reporter: a broken hip hasn't slowed her down. sister jean prays with the team, attends practice, offers scouting reports and even sends e-mails to players after every game. >> each one of them gets just a little sentence or two saying, you know, you did well or why didn't you make those threes. >> reporter: she played basketball herself when she was
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young. sister jean dolores schmidt has been at loyola since 1981. >> she's the light of the university of chicago. >> reporter: the sister lives on campus, of course, in one of the dorms. >> when jean walks around the campus, she includes everybody, and you would think every student on that campus was her best friend. >> reporter: she is especially beloved by her longtime friends, fellow nuns. >> her joy radiates from her. she's a lot of fun, you know, and we have a few laughs. >> we've always thought of her as a star. she's always been such a leader and such an inspiration to us. >> reporter: and fans can't get enough of her. there are t-shirts, socks and even a bobblehead that's become a must-have item. >> i love some of the memes that have been on social media. like the air jean figure where she's jumping into the air. >> this is the most fun i've had in my life. it is. it's just so much fun for me to be here. >> reporter: sister jean soaring beyond the court becoming the sweetheart of march
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madness. >> she is a superstar. thanks to lester for that. that is nbc "nightly news" on this good friday and passover. i'm kate snow. for all of us here at nbc news, thanks so much for watching. have a great weekend and good night. igniting anger rights groups. the move by one bay area sheriff )s office that has them right now at 6:00, igniting anger from immigrant rights groups. the move by one bay area sheriff's office that has them crying foul. >> the news at 6:00 starts now. good evening. thank you for joining us. i'm janelle wang in for jessica aguirre. >> i'm raj mathai. it is a practice gaining national attention. the contra costa county sheriff's department is publishing personal information about jail inmates including when they will get out of jail. activists say that is as good as handing undocumented inmates right over to ice agents. nbc bay area's correspondent
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joins us with the details. robert handa? >> reporter: right, word began spreading fast especially on a holiday when immigrants rights is the topic of the day. >> sanctuary for all! >> decision by the sheriff generated anger all the way to san jose. activists at this immigrants rights march called the policy to post the names of all jailed inmates their personal information and release dates, a devious way to help ice. >> honestly shame on you. like why are you doing that. you should be protecting your people, even if they're undocumented. >> the contra costa county rights alliance points out california values act, in effect since january 1 bars law enforcement from cooperating with ice directly. >> shouldn't be trying to find ways to skirt around it. very concerning to us that sheriff livingston is indicating he would rather work with -- ice than work with the community. >> but some law enforcement advocates scoffed. >> the people in jail earned the right to be there. and, so the fact

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