tv PBS News Hour PBS May 21, 2019 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour hinight: former house counsel don mcgahn skips his hearing before the u.s. house judiciary committee, as some congressional democrats ratchet up calls to begin impeachment proceedings against president trump. then, trouble in the persian gulf. the leaders of the u.s. senate foren relations committee, on the latest tensions with iran. plus, two worlds, one state. a collegprogram in illinois seeks to bridge the divide between urban and rural students. >> we make this assumpti that anyone on the left believes a kind of rigid phil anyone on the right believes a rigid philosophy that's never changing. and one of the things that this reogram is getting students to ize, is that there's a tremendous amount of nuance that
exists. >> woodruff: all tha tand more, onight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> for projects around the nduse, home advisor helps local pros to do the work. you can check ratings, read customer riews, and book appointments with pros online at oumeadvisor.com. home advisor is prd to support pbs newshour. >> kevin. >>evin! >> kevin? >> advice for life. life well-planned. learn more at raymondjames.com. >>ext night and day. >> catch it on replay. >> burning some fat. >> sharinghe latest viral cat! >> you can do the things you like to do with a wireless plan designed for you. with talk, text and data.
consumer cellular. learn more at consumercellular.tv >> bnsf railway. >> babbel. a language program that teaches spanish, french, italian, german, and more. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutins: >> this program was made possible by the purporation for ic broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: a war over congressional subpoenas io intensifying in the investig of president trump. former white house couefel don mcgahned to appear today before the house judiciary committee, under presidential orders to ignore a subpooma. later, thettee subpoenaed hope hicks, a former close aide to the president, and ane
donaldson, who worked for the white house counsel. separately, the president appealed a federal court ruling that upheld a subpoena seeking his finaial records. we will get the details, right after the news summary. a severe weather front spawned utw tornadoes and flash floods today, across the rn plains states. in oklahoma, a muddy red lake of flood water drowned entire sections of yukon, near oklahom cigulfing homes and cars. and, interstate 40 had to be closed due to high water. in wheatland, missouri, a powerful storm last night estroyed parts of a speedway. >> we think a tornado had to have come through, the way it's looking. some people say strong winds, but by the looks of everything, we're thinking probably a tornado. we've lost campers in the casgrounds area, our bleach up top. we've lost the infield. we've got a little damage to the grandstand section up top, too. then we lost our off-road structure, wpoch is the main ion back there. >> woodruff: the governor ofri
misseclared an emergency today in 13 counties. abortion rights supporters staged rallies today to pa test ve of new state laws restricting abortions. in washington, hundreds gathered outside the u.s. supreme court, joined by members of congress and severademocratic presidential candidates. proteste also turned out in some of the states that have recently passed restrictive laws. president trump's top national icials briefed congress today on tensions with iran. secretary of state mike pompeo, acting defense secretary patrick shanahan and general joseph dunford, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, met privately with house members and senators. meanwhile, iran's president r hassan rouhaected talks with the u.s. we will explore the day's events, later in the prongam. this evethe u.s. state department warned that there are signs that syria's government is
again using chemical weapons. it cited an alleged chlorine attack this week, and it warned that the united states will respond quickly to any use of w chemicpons. in indonesia, president widodo has officially won a second term, but the challenger is refusing to give up. ficial results released today showed that widodo is winning by ten points. in response, former general prabowo subianto vowed a court challenge. and, in jakarta, hundreds of people protested the results. riot police faced off nst the crowds, who gave out flowers, and said their decracy is at stake. >> ( translated ): we are concerned after seeing fraud happening during this election and no actions were takemp the prabowo gn team filed complaints, but no actions were taken. we think indonesia'semocracy is hurt in 2019. >> woodruff: subianto is an ultra-nationalist who has aligned himself withist s.rd-liners. ompanies will now have a 90-day grace period before
restrictions kick in on sales to chinese tech giant huawei. the commerce department announced the extension on monday. it ce as president trump pressures china to agree to a tradhideal. but in today, huawei's founder and c.e.o. told a news conference that u.s. constraints do not matter. >> ( translated ): maybe sene of our loweproducts on the periphery might be hurt. but our most advanced products will not be affected. at least, our 5g technology won't be affected. and not only will it not be affected, but after two or three years, no one will be able to catch up with it. >> woodruff: huawei is the world's largest telecom provider, but u.s. officials say it is tied to china's government, and is a cyber security risk. and, on wall street, news of the grace period for huawei boosted tech stocks. the dow jones industrial average gained 197 points to close at 25,877.
the nasdaq rose 83 points, and the s&p 500 added 24 still to come on the newshour: the escalating calls for impeachment among congressional mocrats. two senators weigh in on the latest tensions with iran. asylum seekers on a greek island face brutal living conditions and xenophobia. plus, much more. >> woouff: the showdown over the balance of power played out again today on capitol hill, as congressional democrats seek aners from the white house and the trump administration exerts executive privilege. our lisa desjardinhas the latest. >> desjardins: another hearing about the mueller report, and anotr empty chair. >> our subpoenas are not optional. mr. mcgahn has a legal obligation to be here for this
scheduled appearance. if he does not immediately correct his mistake, this committee will have no choice but to enforce the subpoena against him. >> desjardins: former whiteun house l don mcgahn, a key witness in special counsel robert mueller's investigation, ignored a subpoena to appear before the house judiciary committee today. president trump has instructed mcgahn and others not to testify before congressional oversight committees, which he and other republicaniks,doug collins of georgia, argue are political theater. >> the chairman orchestratnt today's confion when he could have avoided it, because he is more interested in the fight than in actualct- finding. >> dutesjardins: many house democrats see a constitutional issue, and are debating how to respond. in the past day, rising sentiment that the house suld open an impeachment inquiry.ac masetts congressman and presidential candidate seth moulton. >> it's past time to have this debate, and frankly, i think we waited too long waiting for the
mueller port to come out. >> desjardins: but house speaker nancy pelosi has cautioned against speeding toward impeachment. congresswoman karen bass of california agrees. >> i think that this lawless administration is probably going to force us to impeach, but i don't believe that we are there today. >> desjardins: this as the president is on offeie, with a mong tone in pennsylvania last night: >> angry democrats, they're like little embers that are burning. they're going crazy because when the mueller report was finisheds thd no collusion. >> desjards: house democrats have called a meeting for tomorrow morning to talk about their next steps. for thpbs newshour, i'm lisa desjardins. >> woodruff: joining us now from capitol hill is congressman jamie raskin, a democrat from maryland. he's a member of the house judiciary committee.
congressman raskin,me backed to newshour. >> thanks for having me, judy. >> woodruff: absolutely. you are a member who is callingc for imment preeldings to begin, but as you know, speaker pelosi is saying it's too soon. she's saying democrats need to focus on the issues, and esides, there are oher avenues that haven't been exhausted yet. >> right. well, you know, a numbeof members on the judiciary committee, probably a majority of the judiciary committee, now feels that it's time to launch an impeachment inquiry. that's different from impeachment, and the press has framed this a impeachment o no impeachment. the real question is should we have an inquiry that loks into whether there has been high crimes and misdemeanors. i think there has been such overwhelming evidence presented to us from the special counsel in theueller report of presidential obstruction of ntstice, 11 diffepisodes of it, that it's staring us in the face. since the mueller report finally came out after that agonizingap
choreoy by attorney general barr, we have had even moreon obstrucrom the white house, the president is essentialliardered everybody in the ecutive branch not to comply with our subpoenas, not to render testimony to congress, not to produce documents and so on. so it's a completely unacceptable situation, an untenable situation, and we nd this to be on the table along with everything else that we're doing. i >> woodruff: bi could just interrupt, even with the definition, oy, you're saying it's an inquiry rather than an impeachment formal proceeding. you still have a the speakers and others e say you ho go to the courts, you need court rulings on the definition of executive privilege, other constitutional qoustions. caneally proceed in any meaningful way unless you have with yo >> well, i think first of all the courts are going to be with us starting with yesterday's excellent ruling for the oversight committee in its
desire and our desire, because i serve on that committee, too, in our desire to obtain the inormation from the president's accountants. the court there made the critical point, which is that ic gress has the power under article one two impeach the c president, wtainly have the lesser power to investigate the prident for criminal deeds, but you have the executive branch going around and saying the ngress isn't a prosecutor, they can't get information from us abouta fncial improprieties or other crimes that may have beenommitted, and the court completely repudiated that argument. so we have the authority to get eel of that stuff, and the supreme court has very clear that the fact finding function is an essential prerogative of the legislative branch of government. >> woodruff: what about speaker pelosi's point, though, congressman, that unless there iss bipa agreement on this in the senate, which there is not now, you're just in effect spinning your wheels. >> welk we love our speer and
we love her because of her political judgment, and i think that that is precisely what se'll have to be discussing we move forward. obviously there is erwhelming sentiment for launching an impeachment inquiry in our party. and we've heard from a lot of even more conservative members that they want the democratic party to stand tall and stand strong for the rule of law and for the constitution. you know, the question of what the senate willo, andwe say this with respect to everything, ru know, we just have prescription drform to lower everybody's prescription drug prices. we passed gun safety to try to close the internet loophole andu the privat show loophole. we don't know what the senate will do. mitch mcconnell seems to beve sitting onthing. he calls himself now the grim reaper because he wants the senate to bthe grayard for all of the good legislation we passes in the house, but we have to ignore that and go on and do our jobs ad try to encourage them as much as possible to do their, too.k i this situation is no
different. >> woodruff: but it's not just the senate. the latest poll we did came out earlier this month and it showed only 39% of americans think that impeachment proceedings should begin. >> well, and you know, ias not part of that 39%. i was part of the 61%. i think a lot of us were on the committee. we were encouraging our peoplese to say, let' if we can make this happen through contempt citations. let's see if we can get the administration to behave reasonably. i think the whole country can see now that this president is acting in a lawless and totally unprecedented way when he says we are not going to cooperate with congress at all. so ty're operating with wht they think is immunity from the constitution and absolute impunity. i flipped over last week i was where most people were in saying, give it some more time, but now i have seen enough. edi think we do neo move forward at some point. i hope quickly to anmpeachment inquiry. >> woodruff: can you move ahead on this if you don't have
yo leadership support? >> new york i think we have to be together as a team. and we have a great leader on the committee in chairman nadler and we have a great leader as speake the democrats are unified in trying to stop this lawlessness. judy, it is not an easy situation, as you know. we are dealing with the most lawless president of our life "tim," and we're all trying to figure this out together. i think we have great unity ansd darity within our caucus, and we'll move together as one to try to get thi done. >> woodruff: congressman jamie raskin of maryland, who is a member of the judiciary committee, thank youor >> thank youaving me. >> woodruff: tensions th iran are on the rise. the trump administtion claims onran is planning attac u.s. forces and on allies in the middle east. but mr. trump also says he does nt war with iran. nick schifrin reports on how
today the senate was briefed on the intelligence underlying an increase of americans in the region. >> schifrin: this afternoon, top national security officers arrived on capitol hill to brief the house and senate. and afterward, acting secretary of dense patrick shanahan described recent u.s. military moves as "measured." >> we received credible intelligence about threats to our interests in the middle east and to american fors. >> schifrin: today's briefing comes at the end of a dramatic few weeks. on may 5, after the administration said it received intelligence of a "imminent" attack on u.s. forces and relies, national security advisor john boltoased a statement promising any iranian attack would be met with epnrelenting force." he accelerated theyment of an aircraft carrier group and bombers to the middle east. >> we sent some messages to make sure that it wth clear to iran we recognized the threat and we were postured to respond to the threat.
>> we have not received the economic benefit that we were promised to receive based on the nuclear deal. and then we were left no other option. >> schifrin: on may 13, four oil tankers were attackeia and u.s. off told the newshour they believed the attacks were directed by iran. alarmed allies urged the u.s. to avoid escalation. >> the most relevant attitude to take-- the most responsible attitude to take-- is, and we believe should be, that of maximum reraint. >> schifrin: on may 15, the u.s. withdrew non-emergency personnel from iraq, citing ir threat from an. but by then, president trumpif tried tose tensions. he told acting secretary of defense patrick shanahan he didn't want wa and on may 16, he said this: >> mr. president, are we going to war with iran? >> hope not! >> schifrin: but on may 19, a
rocket attack landed l fs than a milem the u.s. embassy in baghdad. iranian-backed militia commanders later disavowed the attack. and today, shanahan suggested that mil prevented iranian attacks. >> schifrin: we now hear from two senators who were at today's briefing. we begin with new jersey democrat robert menendez, ranking member on the senate lcreign relations committee. senator menendez, e back to the newshour. were you reassured by the intelligence that was presented today and the u.s. actions in response to that intelligence over the last couple weeks? >> well, not reassured that we don't have an environment in which a miscalculation on eithen sideake place. ormiscalculation that then can accelerate into ae major conflict. and so that is deeply concerning to me. and still remains concernlying, especifter everything i heard. and the second part that i am also very concerned about is that i doot get a sense from
the administration thathey have a strategy to take their maximum pressure campaign and turn it into a diplomatic n'portunity to resolve ira nuclear desires at a neg slating table.na the come bon of those two things leaves me very unsettled after the hearing. >> schifrin: i want to ask you about the strategy in a second, but out the intelligence itself, just a couple of words from some of your replican colleagues, senator graham said that the intelligence revealed the ayatollah himself directed some of the attacks that we've sedl in the meast in the last few days and mike mccall, the ranking member of the house foreign affairs committee, a republican, said iran carried out and launched several of the attacks. so is that what the intelligence shows? >> first of all, i don't knowca how on comment on the intelligence itself, because it's classified. but i will say this: the
environment has changed as a result of the maximum pressure campaign that has been brought against iran. yes, that has changed. has the ayatollah said that we are in the midst of a challen and how do you respond to that. yes, that has chan but the reality is that i don'tn know that id direct evidence of what my colleague suggested. i think that's an extrapolation that's a bit too far.ri >> sch over the last couple weeks we've seen u.s. militaryove both an aircraft carrier group, bombers to the region, patriot missiles. the administration calls this defensive, calls it deterrence. administration officia say that has successfully prevented iran from attacking. is that what you believe? >> well, don't know that, in fact, an attack didn't take
place because of the u.s. actions. i will say that to characterize the intelligence, there was a heightened concern. i understand that. d there was a response to that concern. i don't know that one can say that, in fact, there were no actions as a result of that. and i'm not sure that in the midst of having all of that presence inhe region and a continuing maximum pressure campaign that has no off ramp that we are not building a pressure cooker that eventually, if there is no pret,ssure out will explode. >> schifrin: and that brings us back to the strategy senator. the administration says their maximum pressure campaign has been successful. theyfically cite it that hezbollah is less able to conduct actions in the middle east. do you believe the strat been successful so far and will be successful going forward. >> woodruff: >> well, the maximum pressure campaign, the success of it is measured ultimately by whether or not you can get iran back to
a negotiating table to fix the deficiencies in the jcpoa to ensure it does not have pathway toward nuclear weapons. that will be the ultimate determination. i think it's a little early to declare mission accomplished.u as a r of the maximum pressure campaign. , yes, has iran been affected by the new leveling of sanctions and other decisions the administration has levied, absoy tely. are thrting in their economy, absolutely. but the fundamental question, rowhat i walked away this briefing not having any sense of is that there is parallel track to cash in on t maximum pressure campaign, which is to get iran back to the negotiating .able and i think that that's a dangerous proposition. s ifrin: senator robert menendez, democrat of new jersey and ranking member of the seat foreign relations committee,
thank you very much. >> thank you.ri >> sch and we now we turn to the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, idaho republican jim risch. senator, welcome back to the news hour. let's start with the big picture and what you just heard from senator menendez there, fears about the sttegy and fears that the u.s. isn't, as he put it, cashing in. y believe that the u.s. has a strategy that is successful right now?iv >> you know, i believe that. also believe there are options. our options are very, veryna ow. i have real confidence in the strategy that is beinrsg ued and also the team that's pursuing it. we had a number of people in front of us today briefg us, including the secretary of state, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, acting secretary of defense, who talked about how they came together and responded to the recent uptick he activity on the part of iranians. i think they handled it absolute ly as well as it could be handled.
look. we do not want warith iranians. yes heard the president say that. there isn't anybody in this builng who wants war with th iranians. having said that, the wall is in their court. thy are -- every d they commit malign activities that is designed to aggravate us to, hurt us, indeed there's thousands of u.ssoldiers that have been killed or injured in rcent years in the middle east all because of iran's malign activity. so the ball is in their court. .ney've been told by the what they can't do, and they know that the malign things that they're ing, like being the chief sponsor of terrorism in the world really, that that can't continue. you know, this business o launching a rocketed attack on our embassy ins iraq an attack against u.s. soil. goople are saying, oh, the president wants too war. if he wanted to go to war, he
tad a perfect excuse righ there. >> schifrin: let me ask you about that attack. forgivme for interrupting, but let me ask you about that attack. are you suggesting that iran specifically ordered that attack on the u.s. embassy? >> i am. i think that what you have is ople who are either iranian or who are proxi who have been armed, trained, and ordered to commit those attacks, and i include this one in thoseha attacks, ang done that. so look, whether it's iranians or whether it's the proxy, hezbollah or the huities or whether it's radical shia groups in iraq, if they're rmd -- armed and trained and ordered by iran to commit attack, as far as i'm concerned, that's iran fmple you hire somebody to do y somethin can't say, i'm not responsible. of course they're responsible. >> schifrin: sena minute or so that we have left, as you heard senator menendez said thismocrats ha
all day, that they risk a miscalculation, that they risk increasing u.s. forces to the region where u.s. forces are operating near iranian forces. there could be some kind of accident, some kind of miscalculation. do y worry about that? >> of course, everybody worries about miscalculatio, but it willbe miscalculations on the part of the iranians. we know what we're doing. we know where we're going. we know what the intelligence is. i think the irians have a tendency to miscalculate. i really believe that the action that's been taken by the administration, sending the naval forces that they did, sending the bombers that did, convinced the iranians that they were miscalculating it, ane ifkeep picking at us like they are, they're going to have direct action from the they need the stand down. they need the recalculate and recalibrate what they're doing, and everything will be just fine if thell that.
>> schifrin: senaetor jami raskin, republican of idaho and chairman of the senate foreign relations committee.uc thank you very. >> thank you. >> woodruff: stay with us. ming up on the newshour: the new york city police officer who killed eric garner stands trial in pole court. bridging the divide between urban and rural college students in illinois. plus, poet willie perdomo shares his "humble opinion" on the lost art of letter writing. >> woodruff: threats from the middle east are changing the polics of europe. this thursday, right-wing letionalist parties are expected to do well in e.u.ions. s eir support is largely driven by votary of mass immigration. the european union says the migration crisis is ov, with dwindling numbers of new arrivals. but as special correspondentol mabrabant reports, on the
oeek island of samos, the crisis is far fromver. perhaps it's worse than ever. >> reporter: welcome to what they call the jungle. the uninitiated might think that after four years, this frontline island would, by now, have t infrastructure to cope with the flux, especially as the european union has given greece over $1.5 billion. migrants and support groups claim the squar has reached a new low. >> it's too bad. we're sleeping in tents. snakes, wolves, wild animals, every night come here. and shouting. it's too bad. >> reporter: iyad jebril from gaza landed six months ago, and says he's been told itd take two years for hlum application to be heard. he fears this shack will be an open prison cell for the duration.
>> i think the pictures are more clear than anything i can say. we have bad conditions here. no doctors, no good food, no bathroom. we can't sleep very well. the place here is not for humans. the animal runs away from this place. >> no good. samos no good. police no good. reporter: more than fou years after europe's migration crisis began, people are still comingn their flimsy boats, apparently undeterred by the poor conditions on the islands and the fact that most will find it impossible to leave greec but people are still dying out there. while we've been here, a boat carrying three afghan families ff the turkish coast. the turkish coastguards say they recovered the bodies of five children and fr women. two other people were feared drowned. >> ( translated ): how are you? >> ( translated ): i'm well. >> ( translated ): what's your edme?
>> ( transl ): my name is amjad. >> reporter: kareem eshtewi fled gaza to escape politic persecution by hamas. >> bonjour. bonjour means goning. >> reporter: he's learning french, but has little chance of ecauhing france, b greece's frontiers have been sealed for over three years, >> ( translated ): we came here to serve the countries which will save us. >> reporter: samos'surden is disproportionate to it, due to its geography and because greece's northern land border is closed to migrants. the island and its 33,000 inhabitants are just five miles from the turkish coast. the official camp, run by the state, is supposed to accommodate 700. rbt as many as 4,000 live behind and outside the wire abovs' main town, vathi. there are 40 nationalities here. most are african. bogdan andrei runs a group called samos volunte. >> people are saying that
arintentionally, conditione kept like this, so it's a deterrent for new people to arrive, which is cruel. it's inhumane. how can you say that we are maing to keep people living in squalor, in in conditions, just to deter other people from coming? >> reporter: miltiades klapas heads the migration ministry, which is respocaible for alloting the e.u.'s $1.5 billion ndout in refugee aid. where has that money gone? >> big part of this money went to the construction of facilities, approximately 34 in total, including the reception and identification centers across greece. >> reporter: do you think it's acceptable? >> everyone who criticizes today ne not-so-good conditions some of the cilities, forget that europe today does not contribute to resolving th issue. >> reporter: a day center run by the volunteers offers temporary
respite for asylum seekers, who are bored, frustrated,nd angry at being trapped on the island. >> some greeks, they treat you bad. i'm sorry to say, because you are greek, like racist, because we are black. some even close their nose when vey see you come. ity bad. >> reporter: at the day center, womeescape the pressure cook of the jungle. there are as many migrants in the camp as there are greek residents of the main volunteers praise the people of mos for their generosity but spokeswoman agus olivieri, a former political advisor in argentina, warns the islanders' mood is changing. >> they're tid, they're frustrated, they've been left alone by their government, justv as much as thenment has left alone the refugees. so in a way, the tensions are growing and the tensions are getting quite high. >> reporter: it's the migrant chdren that are in the frontline. poor living conditions in the jungle are being used by some greek parents to try to stop migrant children going to
school. they've erected banners telling them to sty. they fear disease and that some may be violent because of the trauma they've endured. sonia paschalaki is the parents' representative. >> (anslated ): once the living conditions improve, once proper accommodation is provided for these people, dignified,da humane acction, then we'll be happy for them to come n school to led become educated. >> reporter: with echoes of the 1950s integration battles in the deep south, a handful of migrant children turned up for class. freshly scrubb, smartly dressed, enthusiastic. most of the greek children had left for the da. speaking on their families' behalf is majida ali, a syrian granted asylum in greece who has stayed on samos to help her fellow refugees. >> 100% it is really important for them because they start building their future. and without education, they cannot continue this building.
>> reporter: but teacher marco pecconi believes some form of segregation is necessary. >> there arexisting structures where they could be taught in a separate way, because definitely the level. you cannot teach someone who does n know greek the same way that someone who knows greek definitely. is it not? so what do we finish by teaching? sign language or just doing drawing in the last ass of primary school? if the goal is to reduce the level in general of education, there's no better way to do it. >> reporter: across the e.u., far-right parties are expected to prosper during may's election the european parliament. ioannis lagos belongs to golden , wn, which greek prosecutors allege is a crimino-nazi organization. along with other lawmakers, he's out on bail while a court decidewhether golden dawn conducted attacks on immigrants. despite the accusations, lagos says support is growing. >> we've seen that the european union's insolvent li for the
last 40 years has demolished europe's values and principles. they want to turn us, europe, into a different continent. they want to islamicize us whether we want it or not. but fortunately the europeans do not want this anymore. >> reporter: if the far-right increases its influence across europe in the elections and tightens anti-immigrant legislation, wllhat ecome of refugees like majida ali? unlike m y victims from the middle east and beyond, she's been willing to say publicly that she was raped after being arrested in syria. she was held in the notorious sednaya prison near damascus, compared by former inmates to a nazi death camp. >> the first time they arrested me, the military, they takme with a family. the family, it was a mother with ree children and one boy he was 12 or 13 years old. and they raped the mother in front of her child, the boy. and then, because the child
tried to protect his mum from be rape, then they shot t in front of his mum. >> reporter: majida could have lefthe darkness of samos for the greek mainland, but believes ele has a duty to stay and h the authorities are planning islanders are angry that their rmce-idyllic holiday destination may soon have two ent ghettoes samos is bracing itself for another summer of overcrowded rubber boats. here, the migration crisis is never-ending. for the pbs newshour, i't malcolm brab samos. >> woodruff: "i can't breath." those were some of the last words of eric garner. his death at the hands of new york city police sparked national outrage and helpefuel the black lives matter movement.
the police officer at the center of the case is now facing an administrative hearing.mn asnawaz reports, the outcome is not expected to call for significant penalties. >> nawaz: judy, that's right. in july 2014, police detained eric garner on suspicion of selling untaxed single cigarettes on the street. during that encounter, officer daniel pantaleis accused of using an unauthorized chokehold. the moment was captured on cell phone video. take a look. >> don't touch me! i can't breat. i can't breathe! >> nawaz: eric garner, who hadma asdied as a result.
in a column earlier this week, jim dwyer of the "new york times" reports, many in the neighborhood where garner died believe his death won't lead to real change, or lasting ceconsequences with the po he's been following the ongoing r,aring, and joins me now. jim dwelcome to the newshour. very briefly, if you can, just lay out for us what both sides are arguing in this hearing. >> well, it's an administrative hein the police department's own trial room, so they conduct disciplinary hearings there. and officer pantaleo, who is the arresting officer and the sergeant who oversaw him, are charged in pantaleo's case with using a chokehold recklessly and causing his death, eric garner's death as a result of that, these eant is accused of failing to oversee him. se defense is saying eric garner was a verck man. he had asthma, hypertension,
weighed almost 40 pounds, and his death was the result of esseially incidental contact that triggered this veryll man's fatal asthma attack. >> nawaz: so it's an administrative hearing. it's not a criminal proceeding. what is theost serious consequence that could come for er pantaleo offic a result of this? >> well, it's what the poance departmento to him, which is fire him, and you know, i think that's the top penalty. they may also cause him as of that penalty to forfeit any accumulated vacation or sick time that he has. or it can go all the way down to a few day suspension or a loss of vacion time, or ife's not found guilty, he will go back to work. >> nawaz: so there cou be no consequences as a result of this, is that right? >> well, if that's not found guilty, sure. >> nawaz: so the hearing we should not te, it's fire the public has really been able to hear any key rts accounts around mr. garner's death and
the process that followed it.th overlast five day, what new things have we learned from the hearing? >> a couple things. one is that the city medical examiner found out the injuries on mr. garner's neck on the tissue inside of it showed that there had been a chokehold. there were injuries to four layers, according to the medical examiner. they showed some photographs of that. and it was this that triggered garner's asthma attack that caused his death. that was e thing that came out. another thing that came out just today was very interesting, that when mr. garner was in thee ambulad either dead or very near death, the officers' partr took it on himself to write up the arrest warrant charging mr. garner with the felony, sale, d andtribution of untaxed, unlicensed cigarettes. now, he clmed that garnerad
10,000 cigarettes. in fact, garner, as the officeri ed today, only had five packs of cigarettes with him. so there was an effo apparently from this testimony to dress up the story to make garner seem to have been doing something more serious than selling a few individual cigarettes. >> nawaz: there was also a text message exchange that was revealed in whicone of the lower-ranking officers was communicating th a higher supervisor, and that supervisor wrote back to him to say, not la big deaen referring to eric garner potentially dying as a result of that encounter. how did that go over in the hearing? >> well, people were shockehe particularly garner family, members and friends who were there. and it was a srtling, startling statement. the officer, the lieenant through his representatives, his union representatives, said that he was merely trying the comfort tis subordinates who were upse about, this but in a way the lieutenant was actually right.
it has not been a big deal we're five years on. there has been no crinal charges brought against anyone involved in thisen terrible there was a state grand jy in statin i'll. they voted not to charge anyone. the federal grand jury siing in brooklyn with several rights prosecutors from washington, involvey have not yet released anything, but at this point it's quite unlikely as the statute of limitations runs out o an fifthiversary of the death, july 17th t ofs summer. >> nawaz: jim, you've beeneo talking toe in that neighborhood, five years on now, ais one video, this one encounter spark national movement. it sparked national attention to an issue that had been long going on in terms of lawmaker and how they can sometimes mistreat people in poor minority ighborhoods, the black lives matter movement was sparked as a
result of this. what dyou think the impact will be if there is no consequence as a result of this hearing. >> i think people were already very upset when it came out that the local grand jury, the state grand jury was not going to charge him. and actually there were significant protests in the ste of new york when that happened about two years ago or so. and i expect that if the trial board decides that anyone was guilty or not guilty, you know, the reaction is going to be almost perhaps a shrug of the, shoulde because -- >> nawaz: you're saying this is something people don't expect much of at all? something will have to follo the trial has been delayed. jim dwyer of "the new york times," we'll have to leave it there. thank you very much for your time. >> sure thing.
>> woodruff: our special series on "rethinking college" continues, with a look at t unique progrt aims to inspire a generation of leaders by bringing rural and urban college students together to talk about their differences. hari sreenivasan has our reporto our regular education segment, "making the grade." >> sreenivasan: it's only a three-hour drive, but it might as well be a world away.e thesban college students from chicago are trading skyscrapers for silos, as part of a univeity program to bring together rural and city the university of chicago and eureka collegeogreated the prm, called bridging the divide, to address harsh political rhetoric that emerged after the 2016 elections between rural and urban commun eies. >> welcorybody to eureka college. we're happy to have you here, and i'd like to tell you a little about our campus. >> sreenivasan: professor junius
rodriguez is a history professor at eureka, a college in politically conservative centr illinois. what is the divide about? >> we've forgotten how toe communicth one another, in so many respects. i think that one of the things about modern-day politics is, we make this assumption that anyone on the left believes a kind of rigid philosophy that's never changing, and anyone on the right believes a rigid philosophy that's never changing. and one of the things that this progm is getting students to realize is, that there's a tremendous about of nuance that exists. >> sreenivasan: leading the program from the chicago sidis david axelrod, former senior advisor to president barack obama, and the director of the university of chicago's institute of politics >> what is very, very clear is that people in our metropolitan areas, and oftentimes on campuses, view the trump supporters as kind of toothlessa ig racists. and that really isn't fair. byhe same token, you know,t is not right to assume that w
everyo opposes trump is for open borders-- also unfair. these are the, these are the caritures we're trying to penetrate. >> sreenivasan: organizers of rae bridging the divide pr hope that educating college students on the hot topics of the day, especially how they are inrceived by rural and urban populations, wilire a better dialogue for the leaders of tomorrow. >> so just follow me along... >> sreenivasan: each school group visits the other's community. >> we're going to visit something called the r.gan peace ga , sreenivasan: on this tr students from arrupe college, a two-year degreogram in the heart of chicago, and students from the university of chicago amvisited eureka'ss in rural illinois. one of the republican party's greatest icons, president ronald reagan, is a graduate of eureka.
during these visits, conservative and liberal-leaning students are pushed to talk about their different perspectives. >> they are skeptical about politics a direction of things, but they're not cynical. and they really believe that they have the capacity to change things. >> sreenivasan: the students also watched focus groups. one, a group of trump voters from a rural community, and the other, a group of hillary clinton voters from the city. political opinions ran deep. we were asked not to identify focugroup participants. >> do you think it's fair to say that the both of the groups we saw lived in a bubble? i'm eageto hear your reaction. >> i noticed in the focus groups how closed-minded they each are. they both talk abo how the only way to bridge the divide is to sit down and talk, but they both raised the issue that the other party doesn't want to talk. >> there is just a lot of gering, and i think that was evident in the way they discussed illegal immigrants,
just the fear-mongerinthat takes place. >> sreenivasan: the students heard hurtful stereotypes in bo groups they watched. some rural students heard participants from the hillary clinton supporter focus group describe their communities in ways that they felt were offensive. >> they definitely didn't understand what i'm abou et me, but they dropped words like uneducated and ignorant. s >> they almoreotyped us down here as like, sexist, racist for being a trump supporter. >> sreenivasan: while some urban students felt issues surrounding race were dismissed. >> i think coming from their perspective, they were saying, "well, where i come from, we don't see color, we see everybody as equal." e you don't see my color, then i feel lu don't see me. ignoring a person's self- identity is not helpg the policies that have been implemented. that hurts black and brown communities.
>> sreenivasan: each focus group was followed by deep dives into hot topic issues, like immigration d job security. community leaders in both urban and rural settings led tours of homeless shelters, job training sites, and immigration centers, engaging students in lively discussions. >> i think it's justice for them to come down and see our side of things, likeal, our town minds, because we are republicans, you know. chicago is blue, but the rest of illinois is red. and i just think it's nice for them to get our perspective on things, and how we see trump. >> i sort of got this feeling of, that maybe i would not be welcomed in an area like this, a rural area where maybe they have not had much experience with a hispanic person. but i haven't experienced it. g one thing that a sense of, is a sense of community, and how a lot of peoe really rely on each other, more tonn they rely ublic aid, or governmental aid.li
they say, "yeah, we really pride ourselves on knowing our ighbors, and helping each other out, if need be." >> i think knowing when to eak, and knowing when to listen, is a big tool that i'm gaining here. the students that i'm interacting with, my opinions differ from theirin and i am leahow to keep that to myself, at certain points, and to also discuss certain points, in order to understand more about why we feel differently, and what sort of shapes that. >> my favorite thing that i've got to do is talk to the people from chicago. i mean like, they're insightful, and they're willing to listen and converse. and i think that if this group of people right now were to ep into congress tomorrow, we could change a lot of things and make the world a better place, honely. >> sreenivasan: organizers axelrod and rodriguez agree. >> for those who are depressed about the future, it's a real tonic to see the relationships unfold between these kids, and kind of awakening about world larger than their own silo.
>> politics is the art of the possible. and be able to make that happen, you have to have this willingness to dream, but you've al got to be willing to engage, and you've got to be persistent.gi you can' up on the system. and we're hoping that's what they pick up >> sreenivasan: for the pbs newshour, i'm hari sreenivasan in eureka, illinois. f: >> woodrexting and emailing technology has revolutionized the way we communicate. it has pertted us to be more efficient, to stay in touch easier, and has likely changed the dynacs of some of our most important relationships. but within that volution, what have we lost? tonight, poet willie perdomo, urges us to take up pen and paper because, in his "humble opinion," a letter exp more than just words. >> these ds, humans are
growing lonelier by the gigabyte. hookup and social apps connect us before we actually meet. bullies thrive anonymously. google completes our sentences. it takes only three emojis to say "let's have a martini and redance; it's going to be" words have lost their intent, eir impact. the role of writing letters has become an almost extinct practice in our daily lives. the envelope in the mail is just a bill. i used to be a passionate letter writer. i wrote my letters by hand, so w my friene able to see my redactions and second thoughts. they were privy to my flaws, celebrations, and conflicts. one iend told me she carried one of my letters from east harlem to paris like a charm. i wanted my letters to be a familiar voice in a new city, a blues song replayed in a st village. on occasion, i sent and received
letters from friends who were trapped in the prison industrial complex. t they likcall letters" kites." for them, ink, blank pages, and time were at a hr h premium. thtters were usually full of promises, epiphanies, and requests for poetry. i would return their kites with shout-outs from the city. here, i would say. fly the kite for a day, if not your full sentence. letters are where we argue, say goodbye,ream, fail, forgive, tell secrets, and send regrets. we can't filter oulives or curate our feeds in letters. letters are where we at ttempt o te truth and wait. people tend to believe handitten letters. or, as one friend suggested," you can't hide from a letter so easily." n cently, my wife wrote me from her childhood homeerto rico. she uld've easily sent emoji of sunshine and palm trees, or a squared photo of her doing a mountain pose on a local beach. but instead, she shared her she cried post-hurricane maria tears in her letter.
she left splotches of coffeees stains and smuf ink on the margins. i believed her. some of us still write letters; it's our resistance against loneliness. where we witness. writa letter to someone you love, and if you can't write, have someone write it for yo surprise a friend, a classmate, a coach, a beloved, a mentor; tell them a story, let them know you're paying attention. letter writing is a pure act of devotion;t a place where-- if storytellers-- we all become human again. >> woodruff: great advice. and on the newshour online right now, homemade sunscreen recipes shared on social media claim to offer more natural protection, but a new study shows they lead to harmful skin damage. you can read more on our atbsite, www.pbs.org/newshour. and s the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again here. tomorrow eveni for all of us at the
pbs newshour, thank you, and we'll see you soon. p>> major funding for thebs newshour has been provided by: >> babbel. real-life conversations in a new language, like spanish, fren, german, italian, and more. >> consumer cellular. >> financial services firm raymond james. bnsf railway. ti home advisor. >> the ford founn. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engament, and the advancement of international peace and security. at carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing support