tv ABC7 News Getting Answers ABC June 1, 2022 3:00pm-3:30pm PDT
>> building a better bay area. moving forward. finding solutions. this is abc7 news. ♪ kristen: thanks for joining us. today the world is reacting to the trial and verdict of johnny depp and amber heard, the jury has cited with depp on the lawsuit, awarding him more than $10 million. we will have a stanford law professor join us to discuss. also a new documentary premiering tonight tells the story of one of the city's true crime stories, the murder of kate steinle.
of the public defender's office will be here to talk about "ricochet." first, our work in building a better bay area means learning from our past to make it a better place to live for all. today, california's reparations task force is taking a groundbreaking step forward -- releasing a report documenting the harms perpetrated by the state against black americans, making recommendations to address those wrongs. joining us now to talk about that as the chair of the task force, camilla moore. tell us about the report. what are some of the recommendations included in it? >> thank you so much for having me. it's been an honor and privilege to co-supervise the release of this monumental and historic report, alongside my eight other esteemed task force members. this has been a year-long effort. this report is over 600 pages long. it chronicles the harms against the african-american community. starting with vice chair brown,
who the san francisco longtime resident says is the original scene of the crime, the transatlantic slave trade, studying, moving off from that, the institution of the u.s. slavery system, to emancipation and the broken promise of reconstruction, the genocidal jim crow and the policies that defined that period, to the harm. this report is the most expensive government should report on the african-american community since the commission by president lyndon b. johnson in 1960. it is my hope that people in california and across the u.s. really utilize this report as an educational and organizing tool, to advocate for reparations for african-americans. kristen: absolutely. california may not have had slavery like people think of, when they think of slavery in the south, but there are many
discriminatory laws that have had lasting impact on the black community. can you talk about how california played a role in supporting slavery? >> yes, and that is outlined in the early chapter of our interim report -- we invited experts like professor stacy smith, an expert on slavery in california, where she really explained in detail the state of california's role in maintaining and perpetuating the institution of slavery. we know the dominant story is that california entered the union as a free state in 1950, but that was truly only in name. people were still enslaved, people were still enslaved in the state of california. two years after california entered the union as a free state, the california state legislature -- the same legislature who had the responsibility now to enact reparations proposals -- actually enacted a fugitive slave law.
so if you were somehow free and black in california, let us say you escaped from slavery in the deep south to california, right, you could be rounded up and essentially deported back to the deep south, to be re-enslaved, or even re-enslaved somewhere in the state. kristen: wow. so, i do want to talk to a big headline -- something people talk about from your report, there's many recommendations, a big one of them is financial reparations. what are you hoping that will look like, in practice? >> yes. in this interim report, we have not fully contemplated compensation. that discussion is still an ongoing discussion. we have one year left as a task force, to present to the california state legislature a pumper has a preparations claim that will include recommendations for reparations in the form of compensation. i can't say quite yet what that might look like. but we have invited and hired on
five people to be a part of our economic consultant team. those five experts will be working with us starting from the summer to the end of the task force, to start calculating and crunching the numbers for potential compensation for state-specific harms. kristen: when you talk about state-specific harms, i know you are finalizing the details of how the reparations might be in practice. but the task force made a decision to limit reparations -- only to descendants of slaves. some wanted to expand it to all black people. why did the task force make this decision? >> the correct standard the task force voted on was to define the community of eligibility for those who can trace their lineage to a free or enslaved black person, living in the u.s., prior to 1900. the task force decided via a 5-4
decision, the statute which the task force scopes and powers are predicated on, is controlling in a sense that for instance, the statute requires the state of california not to apologize for slavery to all black people in california -- verbatim united states states, california must apologize to freed african slaves and their descendants, who were freed by virtue of the 13th amendment of the u.s. constitution and became u.s. citizens in 1868 via the 14th amendment. kristen: i see. i suppose the people on the flipside would say all black people have had to deal with jim crow laws, housing laws, a lot of laws that have been discriminatory towards the black communities. >> right. to follow-up, yes, all black people have dealt with some form of systemic racism, but this
reparations task force is not charged with ending racism -- it is tasked with repairing a particular community, that being the descendants of the freed african slaves in the u.s. kristen: for sure. we should point out what you are doing in and of itself is extraordinarily historic -- and you are the first of its kind task force in the country right now. how many people do you expect might be able to qualify for reparations in california? >> yes, according to one of our expert economists, who has written a book called "from here to equality: reparations for black on the 21st century," he has come out and stated his numbers -- he's done work around economics reparations in the past, utilizing disaggregated data -- he formed a task force that said 90% of black
californians will be eligible, because over 90% of black californians are descendants of slavery. kristen: that is a lot of people. how will people be able to prove their legibility? you said there's going to be a task force that will help with that? >> in the interim report we just released, there's a preliminary recommendation for the california state legislature to establish an office of african-american or american freeman affairs. we have also included a preliminary recommendation in that office to establish an office of genealogy -- where in theory, professional, certified genealogists would be hired by the state to assist with some of the more vulnerable populations within the black american descendant of childhood slavery community. many african-americans, we have our lineage, we know our lineage
and history, we know who we are, but in the ad meant that there are people within the african-american community who would be eligible, that might have some difficulty, the burden should not be placed on the individual, it should be placed on the state is acknowledging the harms. that office of genealogy would assist those folks. kristen: that makes sense. i just want to say -- it's not just financial reparations, there's also several other recommendations, i a graphic here showing compensating people for other harmful acts, i think we have expanding voter registration, holding violet police accountable, improving black neighborhoods. if you could take off some of these others that you are recommending the state to. >> in terms of education, there's a preliminary recommendation in the interim report advocating for free college tuition for black americans who descends from childhood slavery in public universities, in the state of
california. there's also a preliminary recommendation related to our homeless population. some preliminary recommendations related to the entertainment industry. related to homeownership. there are 13 chapters in the recommendations, they are expensive, and this is just the beginning. the final report is not until next year. kristen: it's impressive. i actually covered your very first meeting about a year ago. i covered it via zoom. it's amazing to see how far you have come. congratulations on this first report. thank you so much for joining us. >> thanks so much. kristen: coming up -- reaction pouring in as a verdict is reached and the johnny depp-amber heard trial. we will have a
kristen: welcome back. the verdict is in for the johnny depp-amber heard trial. depp was awarded $15 million in his libel lawsuit against his ex-wife, vindicating his stance that heard fabricated claims she was abused by him before and during their brief marriage. let's take a listen to part of the verdict. >> do you find mr.depp has proven by clear and convincing evidence ms. heard acted with actual malice? answer, yes. kristen: as a reaction -- as a reaction is coming in, many are wondering how the decision could affect domestic abuse victims and the #metoo movement. joining us to discuss that is professor michelle dauber. thank you for taking the time. your reaction to this news --
are you surprised? > i think the verdict is extremely disappointing and worrisome, for a number of reasons. so, first of all, i think this verdict is very likely to discourage victims from coming forward. and i think people need to keep in mind the context here was that she sought a domestic violence restraining order, which she received, then later said she had become a public figure for seeking that restraining order. and those were the statements largely that were at issue here. so this, i think, will be potentially quite chilling of victims to seek restraining orders and speak about it. kristen: both depp and heard have been found guilty of defamation against the other, but depp was truly the one here,
getting $50 million in damages, heard getting $2 million -- $15 million in damages, heard getting $2 million the discrepancy? >> i think it is very hard to understand how the verdict found that heard's op-ed she published in the washington post was made with actual malice. because she wrote an op-ed that didn't mention him. it merely alluded to having sought the order of protection and what consequences she experienced after she saw that -- sought that. she had lawyers carefully review the statement. it's very hard to see how that meets the high bar for defamation of a public figure. but i can say that accused perpetrators are more and more turning to defamation cases, as a way to address allegations of
sexual and domestic violence, and that is also a worrisome development that could prevent victims from coming forward. kristen: that's a good point you bring up -- a much higher bar for defamation for a public figure versus a private person. how much the johnny depp's star power play a role in this trial? >> it's very hard to say. there are many things that i think about this case that are for me very challenging to understand. i think the impact of it is going to be very, very harmful to survivors of intimate partner violence. and of sexual violence. i can't -- one does have to wonder what preconceptions jurors may have come into court with. and one thing that seems possible to me is that the jury simply does not agree that property destruction, such as
that we saw on video by mr. depp, kent constitute a form of domestic abuse -- can constitute a form of domestic abuse. there was a video him engaging in property destruction. it raises a question about what presumptions the jurors may have had about whether or not such property description could constitute -- destruction could constitute domestic abuse that might essentially have found that he met his hybrid and of having proved he never committed any domestic abuse, despite that video. kristen: right. this trial really played out online, with memes, on tiktok. talk about the world social media -- role social media played in this trial, was not harmful in any way for heard? >> i think what was harmful for her and all victims of sexual violence was the decision of the judge -- which i think was egregiously incorrect -- to require that heard give her
testimony on television. and via livestreaming. it is shocking to me. it is still a little shocking to me, that a woman alleging rape was forced to describe the graphic details of it on television and via video, then see it cruelly used against her on social media -- i mean, this is appalling, a terrible decision by the judge that i think really harms all victims of sexual and domestic violence, and sets back the cause of victims. by decades. . it is just absolutely terrible. kristen: yeah. i think i have to wrap up this interview, but you have really summed it up well. i will just end by seeing saying
you tweeted about an hour ago, "we will persist." >> in silicon valley, you can contact next-door solutions for domestic violence at 408-279-2962. if you are experiencing property destruction, as a form of abuse, you do not have to accept that -- you can call. there is hope. -- there is help. kristen: thank you. we appreciate it. up next -- the inside scoop on a new film that is premiering tonight at sf docgfest. --
i'm greg, i'm 68 years old. i do motivational speaking in addition to the substitute teaching. i honestly feel that that's my calling-- to give back to younger people. i think most adults will start realizing that they don't recall things as quickly as they used to or they don't remember things as vividly as they once did. i've been taking prevagen for about three years now. people say to me periodically, "man, you've got a memory like an elephant." it's really, really helped me tremendously. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
and the trial that followed, of an undocumented immigrant accused in her murder. the film is titled "ricochet," and it premieres tonight. here to talk to us about another chief attorney of the san francisco public attorney's office and an immigration attorney. thanks to both of you for being here. matt, i think a lot of people in san francisco feel like they know this case. they remember when it happened. they watched the trial. what's different about the film? what are people going to see they haven't seen before? >> i think one of the things about the way that this story was told originally was that it was a narrative very much about this undocumented immigrant, being in the u.s., engaging in the shooting. i think the opportunity to see the film now allows people to reevaluate and really ask the question, was there a different
narrative that got missed? i think there are multiple narratives. one of which is simply about the availability of guns in the u.s. and if you have hundreds of millions of guns in private hands, is it really that hard to imagine that sometimes they end up in places that we don't want them? whether it is discarded on a public street or pier or something like that or elsewhere. i think there was also a narrative here which was about the failings of the criminal justice system, the lability of the system once -- the inability of the system to step back and say, hey, maybe we've got the story wrong here -- maybe it was not an intentional shooting. kristen: francisco, immigration was at the heart of this trial. given that zarati was
undocumented. why do you think the case sparked national interest and how do you think it shaped the conversation around immigration? >> i think it was an encumbrance about tragedy, what happened. it was really hard to grapple with the loss of kate steinle's life -- the impact that had on her family. unfortunately, what happened is that it was politicized. donald trump, who had just called for the construction of a border wall, talked about mexicans in his campaign announcement, used this case took catapult his presidency and made it seem like this was some close range, intentional shooting, when the physical evidence actually showed it was an accident -- a long-distance single shot ricochet from a fully loaded weapon with no trigger safety. these accidents happen every day. more than once a day. a person loses their life to a gun accident.
unfortunately, we saw national media unwilling to look at the nuances, and simply repeat the narrative that trump offered about illegal immigration and crime -- where the reality is, immigrants actually commit crime far less than u.s. citizen counterparts. sanctuary cities are safer than non-sanctuary cities. but we get wrapped up in this concept where immigration has nothing to do with what happened. kristen: this film is the brainchild of a former public defender who passed away before the film was completed -- what was his vision for this film? >> i think he saw this case as having been the largest were more significant case in the 100 year history of the public defender office. i. think he very much wanted to show. -- i think he very much wanted to
show a public law office could really excel in the representation of someone. even any media swarm that existed in this case. viewers watch the film are going to see an accused person represented by a team, including investigators, paralegals, and lawyers -- a team that we offered to any accused person in san francisco. the kind of support garcia had was part and parcel with what it was to have a successful public law office working in your community. kristen: absolutely. francisco, how can people watch the film? >> right now, it is available at the film festival, it is not available for public viewing -- but there are tickets still, i think there may be a few left, at the indie film fest. keep track on the website. ricochetfilm.com -- there
will be film festivals coming up. kristen: congratulations to both of you on the film. i saw the trailer. it looks fantastic and insightful. i saw images of my colleague in there. thanks to both of you. >> thank you. kristen: thanks to both of you. we appreciate you being here. we will be right back. first -- a reminder. abc7 is the exclusive home of the nba finals. we will have pregame and post game programming throughout the series. it all kicks off at 5:00 with the dubs at the pregame show and and then the countdown at 5:30, game one tips off at 6:00, kristr
tonight, several breaking headlines as we come on the air. verdict late today in the johnny depp/amber heard defamation trial. the jury siding with johnny depp, awarding more than $10 million in damaging in the explosive case between depp and ex-wife amber heard. the former couple accusing each other of physical and verbal abuse. but what the jury did decide in amber heard's favor. heard's reaction tonight and what johnny depp is now saying. and reaction pouring in on both sides. also tonight, the authorities in texas changing the story again in uvalde, revising their account involving the teacher and that door left open. authorities first say it had been left open because a teacher had gone to get a phone. what they're saying now, as the community pays its respects to a hero teacher irma garcia and her husbd