Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  November 15, 2018 8:00am-9:01am PST

8:00 am
11/15/18 11/15/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> this is unprecedented in american history, never, never andthe speaker of the house the majority denied a member of congress a vote on matters of war and peace. amy: house republicans block a resolution to end u.s. military support for the saudi-led war in yemen by sneaking in a one line
8:01 am
rule change to an unrelated bill about wolves.. we speak with the resesolution's sponsor, comommerce memberer ro khananna, an o outspoken crititf u.s. support of the war in yemen, where the u.n. says a child now dies every 10 minutes. then to chicago, where community members are demanding answers after a black security guard jemel roberson was gunned down by a white police officer after restraining a shooter who opened fire in a bar. >> he had somebody on the ground with his knee in the back. everyone was screaming, he was a security guard. and they still did their job in southern what man with a gun and basically killed them. amy: we speak with jemel roberson's lawyer and jemel's partner, who is pregnant with their second chihild. then to vermrmont, where a actis are suing ice, the deparartment
8:02 am
homeland securitity, and t veveont department of motor vehicles in a major wswsuit clclaiming immigraration agentse targeting undocumented organizezers for their political work. >> but as we stand up and fight for our rights, we are hunted down and targeted by ice and that is why we're here today, to stand up for our rights and fifiled his lawsuit against ice and the vermont department of motor vehicles. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace rereport. i'm amy goodman. house republicans have quashed debate on a resolution that aims to end u.s. military support for the saudi-led war in yemen. congressmembers voted 201 to 187 on the bill wednesday, approving a provision that blocks the democrats from forcing a vote on the u.s. role in yemen under the
8:03 am
war powers act. the house vote came just one day after an airstrike by the u.s.-backed saudi-led coalition killed at least seven people in ththe port citity of hodeida.. the e airstrikike targeted a buf civilians whwho were fleeieing viviolence. ththe united nations is warning4 million yemenis are on the brink of famine as the u.s.-backed, saudi-led invasion rages o one new study is estimating the war has killeded at least 57,000 pepeople since t the beginning f 2016. we'll have more on this story after headlines with ro khanna, democratic congressmember from california. in saudi arabia, thehe public prosecutor has announced 11 indictments and will seek the death penalty for five of the accused men in the murder of saudi journalist jamal khashoggi, who entered the saudi consulate in istanbul on october 2 and was never seen again. the saudi prosecutor affirmed turkey's account that khashoggi was given a lethal injection before his body was dismembered and smuggled out of the
8:04 am
consulate. the prosecutor, who enters directly to the saudi prince, crown prince, blamed the operation on a senior intelligence officer, not crown prince mohammed bin salman. earlier this week, new details emerged about a turkish audiotape that reportedly capture the last moments of khashoggi's by. a member of the assassination is reportedly heard the saying on the phone to a top aide to the crown prince "tell your boss and the deed was done." in california, at least eight more deaths have been reported from the northern california camp fire -- already the deadliest wildfire in the califofornia's history with cloe toto 300 people still missing. another debt was reported in the los angeles-area woolsey fire, bringing the statewide total to at least 59 people killed. the camp fire forceded more than 50,000 people to evacuate the town of paradise and surrounding communities. many of them are now sleeping in
8:05 am
cars or donated tents in a walmart parking lot in the nearby city of chico. interior secretary ryan zinke toured the devastation wednesday as he attempted to strike a more cooperative tone after president trump initially blamed california forest management and threatened to cut off aid. this is california governor jerry brown speaking wednesday. >> this isis so devastating thai don't really have the words to describe it. it looks like a war zone. it is. it is the devastation and only fires of this kind can bring about. nobody was really expecting it. amy: cal fire says five firerefighters w were injured dg the camp fire's firsrs24 hours, including to the incarcerated firefighters who suffered burns. california's incarcerated firefighters make just one dollar an battling on the front hour lines, but are rarely eligible to get jobs as firefighters after their release. to see our special report on prison firefighters from northern california, you can
8:06 am
visit our website, a new report in journal nature finds that climate change intensified rainfall in hurricananes katrina, irma, and maria by up to 9%, making the storms deadlier and more destructive. scientists predict that increasing temperatures could further intensify future rainfall in hurricanes by up to 30% in the most extreme cases. in florida, recounts of the tight senate and gubernatorial races are scheduled to end today, as multiple counties have reported a range of issues during the machine recount process. palm beach county and has asked for an extension for providing the final recount tally after machines over-heated, causing discrepancies in the results. in heavily republican bay county, votes submitted by fax or email were reportedly counted, even though such ballots are not legally allowed. democratic incumbent senator bill nelson has filed several lawsuits, including a motion to extend the deadline for the machine recount. meanwhile, flolorida's govevernr and republicican senate candidae
8:07 am
rick scott traveled to washington, d.c., to attend freshman senator orientation wednesday, even though the race has not yet been called. in new jersey, former obama aide democrat andy kim has flipped another congressional seat, beating incumbent congressmember tom macarthur. kim is the first korean-american congressmember to be elected in new jersey and the first korean-american democrat elected to the u.s. house of representatives. in georgia, police arrested 12 black lives matter protesters wednesday for holding balloons in front of the capitol building that spell out "340,134" -- which is the number of voters believed to have been wrongly purged from georgia voter rolls by then-secretary of state brian kemp. he is also the republican candidate for governor. their protest came as a federal judge ordered georgia election officials to review every provisional ballot cast during
8:08 am
last week's midterm election while barring the state from certifying election results before friday. kemp repeatedly has had the election is over, even though his challenger, stacey abrams, pointst .2 percentage from forcing a runoff election in december. the florida and george recounts continued as president trump blamed republican losses in the midterm elections on voter fraud. in an interview with conservative website the daily caller wednesday, trump said of democratic voters -- "sometimes they go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again." trump also repeated an earlier false claim that people are required to show i.d. to purchase groceries, saying "if you buy a box of cereal -- you have a voter i.d." during the same interview, president trump issued a warning
8:09 am
to the anti-fascist move went known as antifa. trump said, these people, like , they better hope they don't mobilize because if you look, the other side it is the military, the police, a lot of very strong, a lot of very tough people, tougher than them and smarter than them, potentially much more violent and antifa is going to be in big trouble, the president threatened. pentagon chief jim mattis is defending president trump's decision to send thousands of troops to the u.s.-mexico border, saying it's providing the soldiers with good training for war. mattis toured a newly constructed military base near the border in mcallen, texas, wednesday alongside homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen. when asked by a soldier what the objectives of the deployment are, mattis responded, long-term, it is somewhat to be determined." the visit came as someme migrans arriving at the u.s.-mexico
8:10 am
border in california attempted to enter the u.s. wednesday. at least nine people were arrested by border patrol. in new york, the immigrant rights group the new sanctuary coalition has launched a sanctuary caravan to assist migrants arriving at the u.s.-mexico border as part of the central american caravans. the sanctuary caravan will bring volunteers to the border where some are planning to camp out for 40 days and 40 nights as they offer assistance on both sides of the border. president trump is backing a criminal sentencing reform bill in what many are praising a bipartisan effort to overhaul the way certain crimes are sentenced in the courts. the proposed r reforms inclulude rehabilitatation programs for foformer p prisoners and a r ren mandatory minimum sentences for certain crimes. the first step act has been endorsed by the fraternal order of police and is supported by many conservatives, including senate majority leader mitch mcconnell and the koch brothers.
8:11 am
a number of progressive groups, including the aclu, which had previously opposed an earlier house version of the bill, have also come out in support. some democratic lawmakers are seeking improvements to the bill before endorsing it, including senator booker of new jersey. in more news from d.c., deputy national security adviser mira ricardel has been reassigned within the administration following first lady melania trump's statement tuesday, calling for her dismissal. in los angeles, police officers arrested lawyer michael avenatti wednesday on suspicion of domestic violence. avenatti emerged as a public foe to trump over the past year, representing stormy daniels in her defamation lawsuit against trump over hush payments trump allegedly made to silence her over a a 2006 affair. avenatti also represented julie swetnick, who accused supreme court justice brett kavanaugh of attending student parties where gang rapes regularly took place. in july, avenatti announced that he was exploring a presidential
8:12 am
run for 2020. avenatti has denied the charges of domestic violence against him. in new york, a taxi driver took his own life earlier this month, becomingnghe eighth driver-for-hire e in the city to die by s suicide over r the past year. 5858ear-old roroy kim of queenes acquirired his new y york city i medallioion just last t year ans reportedly strugglg g with a debt of overr $500,000. new york taxi workers alliance executive director bhairavi desai said -- "owner-drivers have suffered a deep and vicious slide from the middle class into crushing poverty in a just a few short years. banks and lenders need to work with the city and philanthropy to write off 20% of outstanding debts, lower interest rates, and restructure contracts." a new report by "the new york times" reveals that facebook
8:13 am
executives, including mark zuckerberg a and chief operating officer sheryl sandberg, were aware of a russian misisinformation camampaign on fafacebook, and took a serieiesf private acactions to preserve ee company's reputationon. facebook reportedly hired the republican opposition-research firm definers to discredit critics of facebook, linking them to the billionaire liberal donor george soros. facebook also allegedly lobbied a jewish civil rights group to condemn criticism of the company as anti-semitic. in washington, d.c., the republican-controlled senate on wednesday blocked legislation aimed at protecting special counsel robert mueller's russia probe. the bill, brought by republican senator jeff flake of arizona with support from democratic senator chris coons of delaware and other democratic senators, was blocked by majority leader mitch mcconnell, who argued the
8:14 am
investigation is not under threat. senator flake vowed to withhold his vote on judicial nominees if the republican leadership continues to block a vote protecting robert mueller. in britain, prime e minister theresa may received the backing of her cabinet wednesday on the draft brexit deal, arrived at earlier this week after talks with the european union. in spite of may's announcement, two members of the prime minister's cabinet resigned today in opposition to the deal, including brexit secretary dominic raab. israeli defense minister avigdor lieberman resigned wednesday in response to the egypt-brokered ceasefire between israel and hamas-led factions in gaza. lieberman will retain his position as foreign minister and prime minister benjamin netanyahu will take over the position of defense minister temporarily. lieberman's resignation may imperil netanyahu's leadership by weakening the right-wing coalition he leads in parliament. lieberman also called for early elections in israel. and a newly declassified report reveals the cia considered using
8:15 am
a so-called truth serum drug to interrogate 9/11 suspects in the aftermath of the september 11, 2001 attacks. the report, released tuesday, details a research program known as project medication, in which the cia worked with medical professionals who ultimately decided against asking the justice department to approve the use of any such drugs. attorney dror ladin highlighted violated the doctororof aquaticic both. he said they have a history of experimentnt with drugs on dedetainees. >> the ciaia would apply l lst o people without t them knknowing about it. when thehe public found out abat the incident hearings i in 1970's, therere's a a tremendous blowback against thehe cia and
8:16 am
they vowed to nevever do it aga. all of these prorohibitions were jusust 30 yeaears later, the cia was considering it again. in a twisted way, some of the medical professionals c convincd themselvlves that t they found a truth serum, maybe they can stop torturing people. so instead, they have been injecting them with drugs against their will. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodmaman. nermeen: and i'm nermeen shaikh. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. house republicans have quashed debate on a resolution that aims to end u.s. military support for the saudi-led war in yemen by sneaking a single line into an unrelated resolution about wolves. the house voted 201 to 187 on the bill wednesday, approving a provision that blocks the democrats from forcing a vote on the u.s. role in yemen under the war powers act. for nearly fouour years,s, the united states has played a key role supporting the saudi-ledd
8:17 am
invasion, which has devastated yemen, creating the world's worst humanitarian crisis. the u.n. is warning 14 million yemenis are on the brink of famine. one new study has estimated the war has killed at least 57,000 people since the beginning of 2016. we're going to o be joined in a minute by ro khanna,a, democratc congressmember from california, who introduced the legislation in the house. but first, let's go to him responding wednesday to the republican move. >> this is unprecedented in american history, never my never andthe speaker of the house the majority denied a member of congress a vote on matters of war and peace. this is basically rendering ineffectual the war powers act. ,nd what the majority is saying that if the e president of the united states and the speaker believe we should be at war we
8:18 am
should be at war. it doesn't matter what members of congress think. and when history is written, they're not going to say, jim mcgovern did this or ro khanna did this, they're going to say, how did the congress not allow a vote while hundreds of thousands of kids were not allowed food and medicine? amy: this s all comes as the trp administration is facing growing pressure over its close ties to saudi arabia following the murder of saudi journalist jamal khashoggi inside the saudi consulate in istanbul last momonth. the trump administration recently announcnced the u.s. wl no longer provide refueling to saudi planes bombing in yemen, but it did not end other forms of assistance to the saudi-led coalition, including intelligence and weapons sales. the house vote came just one day after an airstrike by the u.s. by coalition killed at least seven people in the port city of hodeida. the airstrike targeted a bus of civilians who were fleeing violence.
8:19 am
for more, we go directly to washington, d.c., where we are joined by congressmember ro khanna. welcome back. explain what happened on the floor of the house yesterday. >> thank you for having me back on. it was really an outrage. in american history, the precedent is any member of congress can bring a war powers resolution to force a vote on matters of war and peace. in the congress has to allow for a vote within 15 days. stopought a resolution to a refueling and logistical support of the saudis and a bombing campaign in yemen. under the rules come under the statute, we were entitled to a vote within 15 days. the republicans did not allow us to have that vote because they feared they would have republican defection. as it is, 15 republicans stood up against the speaker, against this move.
8:20 am
so they know the public opinion, even in her own body, is changing, and they did not allow her to have a fair vote. nermeen: can you explain what are the fear of the broader implications of what the republicans did yesterday? >> congressman new house that, why can't you just wait until january when you are in the majority? that statement comes from ignorance. we know that 500,000 children face death because of malnourishment, because they are not getting basic food, medicine. and the reason that is the case is the coalition is bombing the port of hodeida. humanitarian workers are not allowed to get food and medicine into yemen. i believe the coalition has been more to blame than the hoputhis. the houthis do not have c clean hands. they are back in some cases by iran. a put asidede the policy.y. everyone whether you're more
8:21 am
sympathetic to the coalition or nows their needs to be an immediate cessation of violence. it is the saudis bombing the ports that are not allowing food and medicine in. all this resolution would hahave done is stop that violence to allow humanitarian aid in. unfortunately, we're going to have to wait months. every day we wait, a yemenise child is dying. there are reports a child dies every 10 minutes in yemen. amy: let''s go bkk to republican congressmember dan newhouse, suggesting the vote should take place when the democrats gain control the house in january. bubut he began his remarks b by saying your resolution is based on a full to premise. >> no onone is afraid to debate anything on the house floor. the fact is, the u.s. is no longer providing the very support that the resolution considers, makingg this s action
8:22 am
unnecessary. it is based on affection faulty premisise. we're not invololved in stililities in y yemen, so the r powers act should nonot apply. even if this r resolution passed both chambmbs, dod would not need to alter any of its activities. amy: that is dan newhouse. your response? >> it is not based on an understanding of what is going on. we are involved in logistical support with the saudis and involved in helping them with targeting. we have green berets that have been involved in the saudi campaign in yeyemen. the republicans used to argue we were not refueling or thahat refueling saudi planes did not constitute engagement in hostilities. madison pompeo, fortunately, have announced they're going to stop refueling. but that is not a binding decision. theyey could restart that fuelig in a month if they decided. makewe need is congress to it clear we'rere going to
8:23 am
personalally stop refueling, but we also need to stop a logistical support and intelligence support that we're giving the saudis. amy: what does your resolution have to do with wolves? >> absolutely nothing. this is what people hate about congress. the republicans wanted to have a resolution that would allow for hunting of wolves and not have wolves be listed on the endangered species act. and they knew many republicans would want to vote for that. so they linked a vote on my resolution to the vote on wolves so that republicans who would vote against my resolution coming to the floor if they agreed with t the position n of wolves. there was a parliamentary maneuver. we have never seen those kind of shenanigans with the war powers resolution. here is the sad thing. not just hurting children in yemen and the humanitarian
8:24 am
crisis, they are undermining their own role as members of congress. the framers intended congress to be article one of our constitution for a reason. they thought congress was the most powerful branch that would haveve jurisdiction over matters of war and peace. in fact, madison was so concerned about congress, he thought commerce would have too much power given they had a direct relationship with the public. he could never have imagined that congress would voluntarily give up its power to the president. that is what this republican congress is doing. nermeen: congressman khanna, i want to go back to what you talked about which is was secretary of state mike pompeo and defense secretary mattis said. both of them seem to emphasize, even though they said the cease-fire should occur now, they both seem to emphasize that the burden of the cease-fire lies with the houthis in yemen.
8:25 am
could you explain why that is, whether other republicans share that view, and what that means about what they're asking come ultimately, saudi arabia to do? because if saudi arabia is stopping airstrikes is contingent on what the houthis do, are they really calling for the saudi-led coalition strikes to cease? >> that is exactly right. this is what many congress to make it clear there should be an unconditional requirement that the saudi's stop the bombing. the republican view, pompeo's view, several of the neocons in congress, view, is a rim poses a threat to the region, that iran is aiding me to the --houthis. and while the saudis are not perfect actors, we should be supportive of the saudis to contain iran's growing influence in the region. that is why we have had a policy more sympathetic to the
8:26 am
coalition. now i think pompeo and mattis so the same pictures all of us did in "the new york times" of young kids starting to death." they knew there was finally an outcry in this country. the policy that have announced is conditional on the houthis changing the behavior. regardless of whether you think the houthis are to blame in some way or not, what we need is a cessation of the bombing in the port of hodeida. that is thee immediate task. that is why food and memedicines not being able to get to the kids and to the civilians in yemen. and so any person who is looking at this fairly would say, let's have the cessation of bombing and then y can have mimigrated at the u u.n. negotiate w with e prproper politicical solution sd be between the houthis and the saudis. amy: clearly, the trump administration felelt vulnerable the close ties to the saudi regime after the killing of the
8:27 am
washington post columnist khashoggi on october 2 in the saudi consulate. and so they started to talk about some kind of cease-fire. although, it looks like they are trying to stop the kind of moves that you are involved with now on the floor of the house. earlier today, the saudi prosecutor, who answers to the saudi crown prince, said they're going to be putting fivive of te murdererers to death, who they s said murdered khashoggi. cacan you talk about t this investigation? presumably, they have finished their investigation, that president trump and his son-in-law jared kushner, very close to the crown prince, have endorsed? what do you make of today's announcement by saudi arabia? >> i think the saudis are trying to deflect blame.
8:28 am
there are reports the crown prince was aware that khashoggi was going to be murdered. and it is important to wasrstand why khashoggi murdered. his last column in "the washington post" was calling for the end of the barbaric campaign in yemen. he was murdered precisely because he was speaking for hundreds of thousands of yemeni civilians who did not have a voice. i am glad that khashoggi's murder has awakened the conscience of the united states and the world community about what was going on in yemen. at the way we honor khashoggi is not simply to speak -- seek retribution of the killers who took his life, it is to make sure the killers who are taking the lives of children in yemen and hundreds of thousands of yemeni civilians are brought to justice and that stops. that is really the bigger issue that khashoggi was concerned about. nermeen: congressman khanna,
8:29 am
what about the role of the united arab emirates and what u.s. support for the uae is a sever from saudi arabia? >> they have been part of the coalition. the majority of the bombing is still being conducted by the saudi regime. but the uae has participated in the bombing, participated in that support. and to your earlier point, one of the reasons pompeo and mattis ofled for a cease-fire violence, they knew they were losing support in congress. they knew this war powers resolution was pending, that it was going to come for a vote, that they have 50 to 20 republicans defecting -- many from the freedom caucus. they wanted to try to preempt that. they did it in language, as you pointed out, that gives them a loophole so they can blame me houthis and the cycle of violence continues. but mike lee even to republican colleagues is, look at the humanitarian catastrophe.
8:30 am
it is in no with interest that kids and women continue to die and that you have a famine, as you pointed out, could affect 14 million people to put that in context, 800,000 people died in rwanda. 100,000 died in bosnia. the famine, worst in recorded human history, at least recent history, 3 million people. if we don't do something here, you could of almost 14 million people not have food or medicine. a is an issue that is proportionate suffering, indescribable suffering. we need to act. amy: very quickly, is your next act point of the once there is a democratic house, and your response to the tape recording that has been released by turkey to a number of governments, including the u.s., where a member of the saudi kill team responsible for the fascination is reportedly heard saying to the phone, to the top eight of the crown prince, "tell your boss the deed was done"?
8:31 am
>> i think there is series concern at the crown prince knew about the killing. it makes sense he would know about the killing. you don't just have a journalist be taken to a consulate and at theby 10 to 15 people highest levels of government not knowing about it. especially when the journalist is criticizing the government's policies in a war. so i believe personally the crown prince did have knowledge about what was going on. you may have even authorized it. it's, we need to continue to investigate it. but there is emerging circumstantial evidence that that is the case. our next step is to things. first, the senatate may take up the resolution. bernie sanders has been a very strong, clear voice for over a year and a half on this issue. i am hopeful he will take this up in the senate with mike lee and rand paul. if the senate passes it, we will
8:32 am
bring it up again in the house before the lame-duck session ends because we don't have time to waste. if the senate passes, we will push to have this done in the first weeks of january. at the saudis should know the resolve of congress is to bring this war to an end, that they're given relationship -- that the relationship with the united states is altered. amy: congressman khanna, thank you for being with us democratic , congressmember from california. he has b been a leading critic f u.s. suppoport for the saudi led bombing in yemen. when we come back, what happened outside chicago when a black afterty guard in a bar shooters opened fire tackle the shooter and then the police him, theand killed
8:33 am
african-american security guard. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
8:34 am
amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace repoport. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. we go now to chicago, where a community is demanding answers for the police killing of a black security guard in the chicago suburbs. 26 year-old jemel roberson jumped into action early sunday morning when a shooting broke out at a bar where he was working as a security guard. roberson was restraining a shooting suspect outside when several police officers arrived on the scene. a white police officer from the midlothian policice departrtment then opened fire, shooting roberson. witnesses said the police officer opened fire even the police at the bar were screaming that roberson was a security guard. roberson was armed and held a valid gun owner's license. this is adam harris, who witnessed the shooting, spspeakg
8:35 am
with wgn tv in chicago. groundad somebody on the with his gun on them, don't move. everybody was screaming he was a security guard. and they still did their job and saw black man with a gun and basically killed him. amy: meanwhile, the illinois is defending the actions of the police officer. a report by the state public integrity task force claimed roberson was not wearing a security guard uniform and toored for both comments drop his gun. witnesses have contradicted the state report claiming he was wearing the uniform and a hat that was labeled security. an attorney for roberson's family told "the new york times" -- "we are three days into this and their same preliminarily it was a good shoe? they traditionally take nine-month or longer." amy: jemel roberson's death comes in the wake of a series of mass shootings in america, including the massacre at a pittsburgh synagogue last month, where a gunman killed eleven jewish worshipers.
8:36 am
president trump said if there had been armed guards inside the synagogue, the results would have been different. this is community activist eric russell of the tree of life justice league, who protested outside the midlothian police station tuesday. >> the president of the united states says the best way to stop a mass shooting is a good guy with a gun. but i think with the president really wanted to say is as long as that good guy isn't black. is a hero.son he prevented mass casualties. amy: jemel roberson was father of a nine-month old son named tristan. his partner, avontea boose, , is prpregnant with their second child. for more, we go to chicago where we're joined by avontea boose, partner of jemel roberson, and civil rights attorney lee merritt who is representing the children of jemel roberson. we welcome you both to democracy now!
8:37 am
a profound condolences on the death of your partner. >> thank you. amy: can you tell us what you understand took place? it was in the town of r robbins, the midlothian police. jemel was a security guard there that saturday night? >> yes. amy: and what is your understanding of what then took place? >> just crazy. i wish it never happened. , you aremerritt representing the children of jemel roberson. can you talk about what the state police are saying now since it was state police that shot jemel dead? give us the scenario that you understand at this point. he was working at the bar and someone opened fire and shot the
8:38 am
bartender? >> yes. .e had to expel several patrons moments later, they return. one of them with a gun. they opened fire on customers, similar to what we saw in sherman oaks, california, just the week prior. jemel sprung into action. he brandished his own legally owned firearm, which you display. witnesses say he was wearing a security shirt, security vest and hat that said security in big bright white letters. he actually did what we expect law enforcement officers to do. jemel answer the question as to how we expect law enforcement officers to deal with deadly situations. he pursued the suspect who adjust fired and shot four people. he was able to disarm him and hold him until police arrived. ii talked to some of his friends were security officers as well as the they said they could only
8:39 am
imagine the relief he felt when law enforcement finally did arrive because he had to keep this person, without taking this suspect's life come under control and to law enforcement arrived. the calvary arrived. they showed up and shot him to death. they did not give him time to explain that he was doing his job. witnessesed several who have come forward to say they announced the law enforcement immediately. that security guard, when they started shouting commands and threats to jemel, there was a crowd of people to say, no, he is a security guard. they shot him m anyway. afteree them now three days the shooting began to lay out a justification for the shooting -- there can be no justification for it. we need to deal with the e realy ofof the fact ththat not o oy implicit bia but are peissive culture or law-enforcement officers are allowed to kill african-americans in the most absurd circumstances. i can't think of fax more absurd
8:40 am
than a hero, almost a superhero, and the since it not only did his job, he went above and beyond and not only save possibly dozens of lives, but even preserved the life of the person so they could stand trial. that is what we expect of law enforcement, and that is what he was denied. theeen: lee merritt, midlothian police department has diet release the name of the has not yet released the name of the officer that shot him. have you learned anything about who the policeman was or policewoman? >> that is the most infuriating aspect of this. they have offered lipservice to the family to say -- one statement released by the midlothian police department was that this was almost like a friendly fire incident, as of one of their brothers in blue had been killed by another brother in blue. that is the lipservice they are offering, but they failed to behave like this was actually a
8:41 am
crime. they have not arrested the officer. he is still gainfully employed. more importantly, they fail to id him. the community has not had a chance to say this is an officer may be with a reputation that has used brutality before, that they may have information probative of the shooting. we don't know enough about him. he is not being properly interrogated and scrutinized by the public, let alone the process of policing the police. anything that we need to know in order to properly investigate. amy: the state police officer was white, right? >> from witness statements, the officer was a white male. jemel roberson was black. amy: what about the shooter he tackled? >> i have not learned anything about the identity of the shooter. amy: i want to go to the associated press to reported that reverend marvin hunter told the associated press that
8:42 am
roberson was an upstanding young man who played organ at his church. hunter, interestingly, is the great-uncle of laquan mcdonald, the black teenager who was shot and killed in 2014 by jason van -- by a white police officer. his killer, just found guilty of second-degree murder. jemel also played organ and was hoping to become a police officer? >> yes. amy: the reports are that that night that he went to work as a security guard, the other guard said, you have an early morning church were you''re goingng to y oregon, you don't have to come in tonight. for hisanted to show up job. is that right? >> yes. she was telling me he was trying to pick up extra shifts and get some additional pay because of their pregnancy and
8:43 am
because there were coming up on their first child's first christmas and his birthday. he was looking forward to that. this would have been his first christmas he celebrated as a father. it is interesting you bring up the laquan mcdonald shooting and the relation to this case. that same public integrity unit that investigated laquan mcdonald and justify that shooting prior to a judge coming in and releasing that tape -- and it was public pressure that caused the indictment of the officer who shot laquan mcdonald. -- causes me to give pause to any conclusions the public integrity unit comes to because in a shooting that was clearly unjustified, they found no wrongdoing on behalf of that officer. it took over a year and continued community pressure and exposure before the truth was arrived too. we're in for the same fight. we'rere not going to simply rely
8:44 am
on their conclusion. nermeen: what are the steps you're going to be taking with the investigation? running a parallel investigation of our own. only get to the bottom of some of the information they're refusing to release. on behalf of the family, we are gathering witnessed it was. we're going to supplement the state attorney's office investigation so they're not only relying on the police to police themselves and relying on the reports. we believe cap fox, if she is the proper information in her hand, and that is the state attorney here, the district attorney, will be responsible for prosecuting this officer, she can present a proper case before the grand jury, return an indictment against justice for the family. ,j's mother filed a lawsuit. are you planning to sue as well? >> i will answer that question. i am sorry for her.
8:45 am
we want to put the proper emphasis on the criminal investigation. a civil suit is appropriate to hold the department accountable. there will be a time for that, but we feel the suit that has been filed is premature. and while that is a part of the reason we are investigating, the reason we are involved, as a community, as a family, on children, weel's want justice. we want to put first things first. , i know this is incredibly hard. you have a nine-month old and you just learned you were pregnant with your second child. what will you tell your children about their dad jemel? >> he was a hero. he loved his son. he was a protector of anybody he knew. amy: well, we will certainly continue to follow this case. , again, oure
8:46 am
condolences on the death of jemel. lee merritt, the civil rights attorney representing mitchell and of jemel roberson. democracy now! when we come back, we had to vermont to learn about a lawsuit against the vermont department theotor vehicles, ice, and department of homeland securitiy on behalf of migrant justice. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
8:47 am
amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. we end today's show with a major new federal lawsuit claiming that immigration agents are targeting undocumented activism inor their vermont. the suit claimims immigration's customs apartments, department of homeland security, and the
8:48 am
vermont department of motor vehicles carried out a multiyear campaign of political retaliation agagainst members of theroupigrant justice. accordrding to the l lawsuit, mimigrant justicice was filtltrd byby an informant t and itmemems were repeatey subjected to ectronic surveillance. at least 20 0 active membebers f migrant jujustice have b been arrested a and detained d by ic. an eagle o on wednesday,y, migrt jujustice memberers and their rs marcrched to the f federal courththouse and burlington,n, vermont. this is one of the plaininffs enrique "kike" balcazar. >> but as s stata up and fight for ouour rights, we a are huntd awn and tarargeted by icece, that is why we're here today, to ststand up for o our rightsts ad filed thisis lawsuit againinst e and d the vermomont departmtmenf mototor vehicleses. in the p past twyears s one, there havave been over 40
8:49 am
communy y members asassociated with migrant justicece w have been a arrested -- [boos]s] mamany of them have sincnce been depoported. in nine ofof these cases, , we e clear evidenence that ththese ararrests we retaliatory, targeting peoplple because ofof their invovolvement in m migrant juststice. >> ice h has been persecuting u, susurveilling migrant justiciced its membership with the objective to repepress our voice keep as q quiet, to stop us from organizing for our rights, and to take retaliation against us for the way we express ourselves and we expose the abuses of power. amy: that wawas enrique "kike" balcazar. he was arrested by ice and help from his two weeks. democracy now! reached out to icice, dhs, and the vermont dmvo
8:50 am
comment on the lawsuit. ice responded saying -- "in keeping with ice agency policy that we do not offer comment on pending litigation, we are going to decline to comment on this legal action." the lawsuit was filed by the american civil liberties union in vermont can the center for constitutional rights in new york and the national center for law and economic justice national immigration law center. for more, we go to burlington, where we are joined by will lambek. he's an organizer at migrant justice, a vermont-based group founded and led by immigrant workers. welcome back to democracy now! explain what migrant justice is, what it has to do with the dairy farms of ne vermont come and talk about this novel pursuit. >> migrant justice is an organization founded and led by dairy workers here in the state of vermont. immigrant 10 years, farmworkers are essential to the state's economy, holding up one of its most important and iconic industries, have been organizing
8:51 am
for their human rights. particularly to improve conditions on the dairy farms. and successfully doing so through the milk with dignity program. and during those years, they have been targeted by ice for a tele-tory arrests. the organization has been surveilled. ice has done so with the assistance of the department of .otor vehicles this lawsuit is seeking an injunction asking a judge to put an end to ice's targeted campaign. nermeen: can you explain how you came to know of this surveillance? has arrested over 40 people in the last two yeaears alone who have been part of 20rant justice, including active members of the organization. so the pattern of targeting was very clear to us. in the past year, we have been engaged in litigation to have
8:52 am
ice release internal documents under the freedom of information act. and those documents have demonstrated even more clear evidence of their surveillance and targeting of the organization. nermeen: why did the dmv get involved in this? >> migrant justice was key to passing a law in vermont in 2013 allowing f for the creation ofof something called the drivers privilege card, which is a drivers license availilable to anybody regardless of immigration status. this i is omar e emojis step fod -- thiss is a momentous step forwrward for human rights. most immigrantnts live in isolatioion on rural farms with cess to public transpoportation. --y were spinning people reported living like prisoners on their farms. vermont pass this law by afterrkers, , but in i italy
8:53 am
its implementntation, the dmv oe about t underminining its implementation by passing on information, confidential information, of drivers license applicanants to ice. in t the case of in risque who u heard on the tape, the dmv sent ice, just days before his arrest, his license plate information as well as his drivers license application on which they had written undocumented in block letters on the top. year, he was amongg those arrested by undercover ice agagents in burlington when leaving the migrant justice office. shortly after he was released, he appeared on democracy now!. i think yourself or about 10 days. he described the immigrant organizing work he was doing at the time of his arrest, particularly the milk with dignity campaign that he cofounded.
8:54 am
>> in vermont, there is a united community. we work in the dairy industry and we know they are like e all over the world, in violation of human rights. things we really do not want to and/or, so we organized and we meet in the community to talk about the problems we are facing and issues of health and so on. so now we are in a campaign, which started based on community priorities, after having meetings and doing inquiries in the community about what people wanted to do. we created the milk with dignity cacampaign, which is to guarante our human rights, to get human rights for dairy workers in terms of wages, work hours, and living c conditions. the big companies responsible because they are getting rich off of us. the immigrants in that state. kikeecause of that is
8:55 am
balcazar. will, among the companies that migrant justice has taken on is for months own ben & jerry's. if you can talk about what was won thereby migrant justice, and also migrant justice's were passing the d driver privilege card. cooks that's right. in october 2017, ben & jerry's ice cream signed an agreement with migrant justice, becoming the first dairiry compmpany to n migrant justice's milk with dignity program. it is a binding commitment that requires their suppliers to up hold a farm worker-authored code of conduct guaranteeing rights and wages, housing, health and safety, scheduling, and to be able to organize free from retaliation and discrimination. now over 300 workers in the state of vermont are covered
8:56 am
under this program thanks to ben & jerry's commitment, and the company is paying a premiumum to ththose farms in order to redistribute profit down the supply chain so more money gets into the pockets of both farm workers and also struggling farmers. and we are campaigning to expand this program to cover more dairy compapanies.e e dairy this is an example of the type of courageous and transformative organizing the vermont immigrant gary workers are involved in. it is protected by the freedom of speech. people are coming together, assembling and speaking out for their rights and for their pains they are being targeted for surveillance, harassment, arrest, detention, and deportation. nermeen: i want to go to the comments that immigration and customs enforcement has made on the case, rejecting claims that it targets immigrant rights activists. the acting deputy director
8:57 am
stated -- "u.s. immigration and customs enforcement does not target unlawfully present aliens for arrest based on advocacy positions they hold or in retaliation for critical comments they make. any suggestion to the contrary is irresponsible, speculative and inaccurate. ice focuses its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security." can you respond to that, to what ice has said? >> it is false. both in the case o of migrantt justice and also nationally. this lawsuit is one of a number happening around the country right now by immigrant community leaders and human rights offenders who have been unfairly targeted by ice in retaliation for first amendmenent activitie, from new york to washington ststate, mississippi -- immigrat leaders have been targeted by ice in a de facto national
8:58 am
policy of retaliation. but i should say that this campaign against migrant justice predates the trump administration. this was happeningng in 2016 unr the obama administration and continues to this day. in some ways we sesee migrant jujustice l leaders may havave n the canary in the coal mine showing what would be to come under the trump administration paulson amy: will lambek, an organizer at migrant justice, a vermont-based group founded and led by immigrant farm workers. we will follow this lawsuit and theice and dhs department of motor vehicles. that does it for our show. acceptingnow! is applications for internshipsps n her education, spanish outreach, social media departments. the deadline to apply is today. you can go to for more information. again, the deadline is today. these are paid internships here in new york city. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who
8:59 am
appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
9:00 am
annenberg media ♪ and: with additional funding from these foundations and individuals: and by: and the annual financial support of: ♪ ("american cinema" theme playing) ♪


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on