tv Democracy Now LINKTV November 27, 2018 8:00am-9:01am PST
11/27/18 11/27/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, , this is democrcracy now! >> i wasn't expecting it. we nevever thoughtht they were g to throw these arms were the words children because thehere were lots of children, not just minene. therere were more children with mothers there. they also started running, too, just like me. amy: the united states is facing widespread condemnation after border authorities tear gassed asylum seekers at the
u.s.-mexico border. we will go to the border for the latest. plus, we will look at the recent acquittal of a border patrol agent who shot dead a mexican teenager through the border fence. >> if you go to any major law enforcement agency in the country in the united states, killing or shooting rock throwers using guns to shoot rock throwers would be for been by police agencies across the country. it is interesting that border patrol claimed -- amy: why is karl taylor dead? a new marshall project investigation looks at how the nation's prisons have become our mental wards and how one fatal case in new york shows where that can lead. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy n now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president trump called monday for mexico to deport central american asylum-seekers a day after u.s. border patrol officers fired tear gas on a
group of migrants in tijuana as they attempted to cross the heavily militarized border near san diego. on monday, trump tweeted -- "mexico should move the flag waving migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries. do it by plane, do it by bus, do it anyway you want, but they are not coming into the u.s.a. we will close the border permanently if need be. congress, fund the wall!" mexico has asked the u.s. to investigate the use of tear gas on children. speaking from mississippi monday, trump defended the use of tear gas for a second time, and place the blame o on parents of migigrant children, suggestig some people which haven'n't aret guardians but so-called "grabbers" who simply use the children to gain asylum. pres. trump: white is a parent running up p into an area where they k know teargas is flowing d
they're running up with a child? in some cases, they are not the parents. these are people called grabbers. they grab a child becacause i think they're going to have a certain -- they're going up a certain n status by having a child. you have certainin advantages in terms of our crazy laws. amy: an estimated 5000 migrants are currently in tijuana hoping to apply for asylum in the united states. one of them is maria meza, a 39-year-old honduran woman. a reuters photograph that went viral shows meza rushing her two young daughters to safety sunday as a cloud of tear gas spreads nearby. scared, andit sadad, wanting to cry, that is when i grabbed my daughters and wante started running. we ran and fell into the mud and struggled to get up amidst the gas. the young man gave me his hand and pulled me to my feet. amy: after headlines, we will go to san diego to speak with pedro rios, who witnessed the u.s. border patrol using tear gas on migrants along the border on sunday.
general motors is cutting up to 15,000 jobs and closing five plants across north america. the cuts would primarily affect workers in ohio, michigan, maryland, and the canadian province of ontario. gm says it will cease production on six of its car models in response to low sales and focus on the development of electric and driverless cars. democratic ohio senator sherrod brown called the move corporate greed at its worst, adding that "the company reaped a massive tax break from last year's gop tax bill and failed to invest that money in american jobs." president trump called the news "not good" monday and said that gm better put something else in to replace the lost manufacturing jobs. trump has repeatedly taken credit for reviving american manufacturing and creating jobs. in 2017 at a speech h near the m plant in youngstown, ohio, he told supporters that jobs were all coming back. he told locals -- "don't move. don't sell your house." general motors cited tariffs levied by the trump
administration on imported steel as one of the reasons for the u.s. layoffs, saying the tariffs cost the company an extra $1 billion. president trump said monday he does not believe the findings in last week's government report on climate change. 13 federal agencies contributed to the report, which warns that human-driven climate change threatens to shrink the u.s. 10% by by as much as 2100, while destroying infrastructure, worsening air quality, destroying crops, and leading to more frequent disease outbtbreaks. this is trump speaking with reporters on monday. pres. trump: i have seen it. i have read some of itit. it is fine. >> [inaudible] pres. trump: i don't believe it. i don't believe it. and here's the other thing. you're going to have to have china and japan and all of asia and all of these other countries -- it addresses our country.
right now we're at the cleanest we have ever been. it is very important to me. we are clean, but every other place on earth is dirty. that is not so good. so i i want clean air. i want clean water. very important. amy: turkish authorities are inspecting two villas south of istanbul as the search for slain saudi journalist jamal khashoggi's body continues. one of the properties is said to belong to a saudi businessman close to crown prince mohamed bin salman. the businessman, mohammed ahmed al fauzan, reportedly spoke to one of the saudi agents involved in khashoggi's murder one day before khashoggi entered the saudi consulate in istanbul, october 2, where he was killed. meanwhile, the saudi crown prince has reportedly asked turkish president recep tayyip erdogan to meet at this week''s g20 summit in argentina. this comes as human rights watch is asking argentina to investigate the crown prince for khashoggi'i's murder, , as wells saudi war crimes in yemen. argentina recognizes universal
jurisdiction for war crimes and torture, which means they would be a able to press charges agait the crown prince once he is on argentine soil. abc news is reporting that trump adviser and son-in-law jared kushner urged the white house to inflatate the numbers of possibe arms deal with saudi arabia in order to strengthen the image of the two countries' alliance. kushner allegedly pushed for the administration last year to use the number of $110 billion in possible arms sales rather than the $15 billion figure officials believed was more accurate. cnn is reporting that the u.s. has "slammed the brakes on" a u.n. security council resolution on a ceasefire in yemen. the move is reportedly part of the trump's administration's fear of compromising the u.s.'s relationship with saudi arabia but seems to counter recent statements by both u.s. ambassador to the u.n. nikki haley and senior white house officials, defense secretary jim mattis, and secretary of state mike pompeo -- who last month called for the ceasefire.
the nato-led mission in afghanistan is reporting that three u.s. service members have been killed and three others wounded after an explosive device detonated today near the central afghan city of ghazni. a u.s. civilian contractor was also reportedly wounded in the blast. ukraine has declared martial law in parts of the country following russia's attack on three ukrainian ships the bill sunday. passed in ukrainian parliament monday gives president petro poroshenko extensive powers as tensions with russia are at their highest since russia's invasion and illegally annexation of crimea in 2014. in response to the crisis coming u.s. ambassador to the u.n. nikki haley called an emergency meeting of the security council, calling it yet another reckless escalation -- russian escalation, and no way for a law-abiding civilized nation to act as the president trump on the other hanand said he wass "t happy about it at all," but refused to condemn russia's actions. trump is planning to meet
vladimir putin at the g20 later this week over the objectiononsf many u.s. lawmakers. trump's last meeting with putin in june was held off the record with only a pair of translators allowed into the closed door meetings. in a court filing monday, the opposite special counsel robert mueller said former trump campaign chair paul manafort repeatedly lied to investigators , invalidating his plea deal. the court documents do not but prosecutors for the special counsel and manafort's lawyers have asked the judge in the case to move to sentencing manafort. meanwhile, former trump adviser george papadopoulos reported to federal prison in wisconsin monday to start a 14-day sentence. papadopoulos pleaded guilty last year to lying about his communications with russian contacts during the 2016 presidential campaign. utah republilican congress membr mia love slammed president trump in her concession speech monday after losing her congressional seat to democrat and salt lake county mayor ben mcadams.
this is love responding to a question about trump's lack of support for hecacampaign >> this gave m me a clear vision of his world. nono real relelationshipsps, jut convenieient transactitions. thatat is an insufficient way tt implplement service and policy. amy: in 2014, mia lolove became the first, and only, black woman republican ever elected to congress. in her concession spspeech, shse blasted her party for failing to reach out to voters of color. after the midterm elections, trump blamed republican losses on their refusal to embrace him. pres. trump: those are some of the people, you know, decided, for their own reason, not to embrace -- whether it is me or what we stand for, mia love gave me no love and she lost. too bad. sorry about that, mia.
amy: in more election news, the associated press has retracted its call in an ongoing house race in california. republican incumbent congress member david valadao was originally declared the winner but democrat t.j. cox pulled into the lead monday by just a few hundred votes. if democrats win the seat in california's 21st congressional district, they will reach a net gain of 40 house seats. in mississippi, nooses were found hanging outside the state capitol monday morning ahead of today's senate runoff between republican incumbent cindy hyde-smith and democrat mike espy. hyde-smith has come under fire for saying at a campaign event days before the midterm ---- "if he invited me to a public hanging, i'd be on the front row." last week photos emerged showing hyde-smith in a confederate army cap and posing with a vintage rifle, sword, and other confederate artifacts. her opponent mike espy is african-american. meanwhile, president trump appeared at two rallies in mississippi monday to campaign
for senator hyde smith. disease control has confirmed 116 cases of the rare polio-like disease afm this year. it causes muscles and reflexes to weaken and in some cases, become paralyzed. it is not known what causes the condition. lugar this month, the fda launched a task force to further investigate and, the spread of the illness. an autopsy released monday reveals roxsana hernandez rodriguez, a 33-year-old honduran transgender woman who died while in ice custody in may, was physically assaulted prior to her death. hernandez rodrigiguez arririvedn the united states seeking asylum in early may of this year, after traveling with a central american caravan. she was fleeing persecution and had survived a gang rape in honduras. at the time of her death, ice said she died of dehydration and complications related to hiv. in an interview with the daily beast, her family's lawyer andrew free said -- "she journeyed thousands of miles fleeing persecution and toure at home only to be met with neglect and torture in this country's for-profit human cages."
she was held in a detention center run by corecivic, the second-largest private prison company in the united states. in washington state, a russian asylum seeker held at the northwest detention center died saturday. 40-year-old amar mergansana had been on hunger strike for 86 days when he was transferred to a hospital earlier this month after losing consciousness. mergansana arrived in the u.s. last december via the u.s.-mexico border and was taken into ice custody. he began his hunger strike to protest conditions at the northwest detention center, which is run by for-profit prison company geo group, and his possible deportation. the group northwest detention center resistance is demanding an investigation intnto his dea. and here in new york city, activists and members of community groups protested at an amazon bookstore monday to call out the recent decision to host part of amazon's new expended headquarters in queens. speakers included immigration activists, transit, and housing
advocates. this is a homeless activist. >> amazon, $3 billion home while we have to be homeless and sleep in shelters every night. they are trying to you raise us -- erase us s from new york. so many of us have been evicted and pushed out of our neighborhoods. and shiny new buildings go up all around us. we cannot afford to live in them. it is said to get worse when amazon comes in. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. to you raisethe mexican governs demanding a full investigation after u.s. border authorities fired tear gas into a crowd of sunday desperate central american asylum seekers as they
tried to push their way through the heavily militarized border near san diego. among those attacked were mothers and small children who were left gagging and screaming as tear gas spread. the migrants are mostly from honduras, guatemala, and el salvador and are fleeing widespread violence, poverty, and mass unemployment. one photograph of the scene captured a honduran mother grabbing the arms of her two five-year-old twin daughters as they ran from a tear gas canister spewing fumes. one of the daughters is in diapers. the other is barefoot. the mother, maria meza, later spoke to r reuters about what happened. >> while i felt sad, scared, and wanting to cry, that is when i grabbed my daughters and started running all stop at that moment, i thought i was going to die with them because of the gas. we ran and felell into the mud d struggle to get up amidst thee gas. a young man gave me his hand and pulled me up to my feet. i wasn't expxpecting it. we nevever thought there were going to fire these bombs where
there were children. because there were lots of children, not just mine. there were m more children with moththers there. they also starteted running, , , just like me. it wasn't right. they know wewe are human beings are the same as them. it wasn't right but they did that to the chchildren. god is the only one who will open the doors to us to see if we can get into the u.s. or stay here in tijijuana and for doorso be o open so that maybe we c cae given papapers to o work here al stop because i am a mother and i need a job, work to allow much of an to survive. amy: she was photographed at the border being tear gassed, along with her twin daughters come on sunday. the border patrol's use of tear gas has been widely condemned. the american academy of pediatrics said in a statement -- "the use of tear gas on children -- including infants and toddlers in diapers -- goes against evidence-based recommendations, and threatens their short and long-term health." on monday, president trump was
asked about the tear gassing of children. he sawdid you feel when the images of the women and children running through the tear gas? are. trump: i do say, why they there? first of all, the tear gas is a very minor form of the tear gas itself. it is very safe. the ones that were suffering to some extent were the people that were putting it out there. fair say. why is a pair r and up i into na were they know the tear gas is forming and it is going to be formed and they're running up with a child? amy: meanwhile, trump has urged mexico to deport the thousands of central american migrants who are at or approaching the u.s. border in an attempt to seek asylum. for more, we go to send you go, californrnia, where we are joind by pedro rios, the director of the american friends service committee's u.s.-mexico border program. he witnessed u.s. border agents tear gassing the migrants at the u.s.-mexico border on sunday. welcome to democracy now! can you describe what h happene? >> thank you for having me on the show.
i was gathered with the number of people on the u.s. side. we were witnessing, as many of the migrants were, coming over to the primary fence next to the pedestrian crossing. shortly thereafter, border patrol agents began firing what seemed to be these gas canisters into the crowd. we heard popping noises and whizzing noises. we also witnessed how a helicopter flew down low enough to use its rotors to push this plume of smoke of tear gas into thee canal where many y of the migrants w were gathering, had formed. it was clearly an aggressive action meant to debilitate all of the people who were there. and my concern especially was for the children who are breathing in these toxic fumes. juan: was there any warning issued by the border patrol to disperse before e they a actualy started firiring the tear gas?
>> the firstst shot that i heard did not come after any sort of warning. it was very quickly shot. it was one shot that i heard, one bang. subsequent shots of tear gas, i did hear some sort of muffled a vocalor at least announcement. i believe that might've been some sort of call for disbursement. but the very first one did not follow any sort of warning. juan: i want to ask you, this comes in the days just before a major change of government in mexico. obrador is scheduled to be inaugurated as the new president this weekend. reports in "the washington post" over the weekend that the mexican government was arranging some kind of a deal or that lopez obrador's people were raging some kind of deal with the u.s. government to keep the central american asylum-seekers in mexico, possibly for months or
even years, while their claims are being processed on the u.s. side. it in the mexican government seemed to backtrack. your sense of what is going on now in the change of government in mexico and this enormous crisis at the border? >> that is exactly right. there was an announcement through a publication that there was some sort of deal reached in which mexico would serve as a waiting room for people who have presented themselves at the port and were fighting for an asylum claim must of been mexico would house them in some sort of way while they waited or wait years for their claim to be processed. incomingthe mexican -- mexican administration has stated that is not entirely true, that there are some sort of discussions taking place but there has not been any deal reached. in any case, i think what that changes that would tremendously impact migrants who are, at this point, already
waiting months, especially in tijuana where there is at least a 5000 to 6000 waitlist. that could extend up to three to four monthths while theyey try o figure out how to make their ends meet. we're looking at the shelter that has turned into a recent muddy mess with the rain. we are expecting rain this week that will exacerbate some of the concerns we have, especially the health conditions that they're living under, especially the children who are appearing in san diego with upper respiratory illnesses and your infections. this is clearly a humanitarian crisis that we are seeing that both governments, the current mexican government and the trump administration, are not responding to as they should. amy: speaking to cnn on monday, the chief patrol agent of the border patrol send it was sector rodney scott defended the decision to tear gas the migrants. >> thihis was a a peacefulul prt or the majority of these people
were claiming asylum. we ended up making about 40 to arrest. only about eight of those were females and are only a future in involved. the vast majority of people are dull males. similar to what we saw the first wave of the caravan that came up about a week or so ago, a group of medially started throwing rocks and debris at our agents, taunting the ages. once the agents were assaulted and the numbers started growing, we have two or three agents at a time initially facing hundreds of people at a time. they been deployed tear g gas to protect ththemselves and protect the border. amy: that was the chief patrol agent of the border patrol's san diego sector rodney scott. later he acknowledged none of his agents w were seriously injured. pedro rios, if you can respond to what he said? in this excuse the trump administration has used saying it is mainly men, but than acknowledging it is children but trump saying the gas is safe. >> it is inexcusable and completely unwarranted that the
border patrol would resort to this sort of violence. it response to is part of the political fear that the trump administration is theng to configure that border community is out of control, that there is unnecessary response of violence that they need to respond to buy bringing troops to the border. it fits the narrative the trump administration wants. they want more money in their budget for border walls. this absolutely will be partrt f the debatete that will be incomg with the continued resolution ending on december 7. so the continuation of that discussion will surely be impacted by some of the images manufacturethe crisis the trump administration is building and are community. it is unfortunate because our communities are feeling the ysidro alone.
in the time that the cross-borderer traffic was stopped, more than $5.3 million were lost in revenue just in the small border town in said igo county. this has real significant impact to our community. juan: i want to ask you about what is going on in terms of the toican societies response the central america and. apparently in some cities, they were welcomed as the caravans were moving north but in tijuana, there is a mayor who sounds awfully like a president here in the united states in the way he talks about immigrants. could you talk about this new nativism developing within mexico? >> it is really interesting. thank you for bringing it up. the mayor has espoused very similar statements that i would say as you mentioned sound like donald trump. his anti-migrant rhetoric essentially has been fanning the flames of recent rise of
nativism in tijuana. but it is a small group of people. i was a most people from tijuana have b been supportive of the migrants, especially around where the shelter is located. so it is a very similar response as we saw of mexicans that were welcoming and providing to some degree protection as they were making their way up north through mexico. in this case, we have identified at least three individuals who were involved in that anti-migrant protest of about 300 people that actually work and reside in the u.s. will stop one of them has been a clear proponent and fan of donald trump and her facebook page indicates that she is a resident which is thea, second-largest city in san diego county. it is an opportunistic way of
anti-immigrant people to travel to tijuana and fan the flames of nativism -- which the mayor of tijuana has also been doing. it is an unfortunate response, and clearly degrades the conditions of migrants who need to be -- need to have their humanitarian needsds met versus being attacked by these sorts of espouse of people that these sentiments. amy: what does it mean if trump to five u.s. law, says asylum seekers come into the u.s. to have tor asylum, but apply in mexico? how does that change the process for them? >> on the one hand, i think it places a larger burden on mexican society. especially with the municipal government not taking the full responsibility and obligation that it should be, as well as
the state and federal government in mexico. it places much greater tensions and frustrations for migrants who are trying to figure out how to make ends meet. the u.s. is trying to absorb itself by the trump administstration n not taking te full responsibility that it should, not ensuring as their obligated to to take in people who are seeking asylum, and places people at greater risk, especialally those who are in border towns like tijuana where there has been an increase of violence because of infighting by the drug cartels. and so migrants will find themselves in the crosshairs of some of these dangerous circumstances. and the trump administration is simply trying to wash its hands and using this false narrative of a border out of control to justify more money for increased enforcement, as well as his
vanity wall. amy: pedro rios, thank you for being with us, director of the american friends service committee's u.s./mexico border program. when we come back, we will be joined by john carlos frey, the emmy award-winning investigative reporter to talk about what is happening there and the acquittal of a border agent who shot through a fence and killed a mexican teenager on mexico side. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: they were performing on the u.s.-mexico border. this is democracy now! i am amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we turn now to tucson, arizona, where a jury found border patrol agent lonnie swartz not guilty of involuntary manslaughter for shooting and killing 16-year-old jose elena rodriguez through the u.s.-mexico border fence in
2012. there was a hung decision on whether to bring a charge of voluntary manslaughter, leaving it unclear whether prosecutors would seek to try swartz a third time. a previous jury acquitted swartz on murder charges but deadlocked on lesser manslaughter charges. amy: authorities claimed jose elena rodriguez was throwing rocks at agents over the border fence before swartz opened fire. but medical examiners say jose was shot as many as 11 times, with all but one of the bullets striking from behind, leading them to conclude the teen was shotn n the ckck as layay o the grndnd. this is jo''s mothther, areli rodriguez,ndnd hisrandndmoer, taidide ena, s saking just after the verdict la w wedneay. >> they are givingimim baca certification to keep killin because they declared h n not guililtyfter h hing killed a teenenag with 1010 bullets in hs
body, they are giving him a greenn light and permissiototo ntininueillingng >> what happened herwawas in injustice, in inststice caususe this ia crime more clear than wate ani stililcannot understand hoththey c sayay t man i inot guilty when n the evidence is so clear. righ now one is le with anger, fling heless, ssolutio with thlaws of the unid states amy:ast wednday'verdict came aer presint trumpaid ldiers dloyed tohe borde cod use delyorce andfter suggest soldiercould respond migrantthrowing rocks th gunfi. we're joid now by jn carlos frey fe-time ey , award-wiing inveigative repoer and p newshou specl corresndent. recentlreturnedromm reportintrips s guatema, meco city,nd tijua where he was docenting t migrant carava he haseported tensivelon jose ena rodriez, the mecan teener killeby lonn swartz 2012. yo responsto the acqcquial, jo carlos -- thanyou for being ths. exain this case further to us.
>> i'm not surprised. i hate to say that out loud. this is protocol. this is procedure. this is how the border patrol operates. they are free to fire their weapons at r rock throwers. they consisider rockthrowing or projectile rocket a lethal weapon. they considered to be as lethal as a gun, so they can return fire. and since 2012 -- 2010, i document in 10 cases for the us border patrol has fired its weapon into mexico. as a elena rodriguez was standing in sovereign country, a foreign country in mexico. we have agreements with mexico where we not supposed to fire weapons into that country. it has happened 10 times since 2000 and six of those 10 cases, we'll actually killed people standing on mexican soil as was with the 15-year-old. i have stood where the boy was standing. the fence itself is probably 40,
50 feet away and then the fence height is probably another 60 feet, 70 feet up. it stands on a hilltop. for a young kid who is a pretty small boy to throw a rock over the fence and to start striking border patrol agents is almost next to impossible. police report issued on this particular case. on the night of the incident, it appeared that there were rocks being thrown as a couple of individuals were trying to climb back over the fence into mexico. according to the report, these individuals were carrying bales of marijuana. they were trying to evade border patrol. they were climbing back into mexico. rocks were being thrown and one of them struck the border patrol agents dog. the dog yiped. myn he did so, someone said, dog has been hit. they opened fire. i'm not quite sure what police agency in the united states would allow for their officers opened fire on some of throwing a rock and hitting a dog, but
that seems to be exactly what incited this, at least from the police report. protocolol in this particular kd is verye at the border clear. if there is an incident south of the border on the mexico side, if something is happening and we witness it or u.s. agents witness what is going on on the mexico side, the border patrol agents in this case should have called mexican authorities. if there was rockthrowing going on on the mexico side, we are supposed to alert authorities on the mexico side. they are supposed to take care of their own country. we're not allowed, by agreements, and opened fire. so that wasn't necessarily part of the case. the case basically hinged on the fact that border patrol agents are allowed to fire on people throwing rocks. there have been studies -- go ahead. one cup given the number off year, talking about 10 bullets in the back, you're saying you reviewed the police reports from
the mexican side on the situation? did they recover the actual bullets because if -- if you was shot while on the ground, the bullets would have been in the ground after having hit him. what do the forensic say the how these shots were fired. >> this is young boy who had a cell phone and is pocket. that is all he was caring. he was not armed. was not suggests he throwing rocks. there was no residue on his hands or fingers that even a good he was one of the individual throwing rocks. it appears by forensics and the anger -- angle of the projectile the first bullet hit his head. he fell to the ground. as he did so, the agent continued to fire and unload his weapon. he unloaded his entire revolver into the back of the individual. the boy was lying flat on the sidewalk as the agent continued to fire his weapon. he was already down. he did not pose a threat. if he was throwing rocks, he stopped after the first bullet
and the rest of recent issued another eight or nine bullets into the back of the individual. that is the case there. the case hinged on the fact whether or not the agent was allowed to fire his weapon. protocol indicates he was. the only agency in the united states that is allowed to return gunfire after being thrown rocks. is notjectile, the rock dangerous. border patrol agent's continue to fire weapons at individuals who are throwing rocks. there's never been a order patrol in the history of border patrol, and the 100 he history, that is been killed by a rock. in the history of the united states, in regards to rockthrowing, since 1792 when records were first cap, there is only one police officer in those over 200 years that has been killed by a rock. it is not really lethal force. the fact that border patrol agents are allowed to fire their
weapons at rock doors is something that we don't even agree with in international arenas. the state department condemns rockthrowing and opening fire when it happens in foreign countries. in the israeli-palestinian conflict, israeli soldiers have been condemned for opening fire on rock throwers. in egypt, we have done the same thing but we allow the border patrol to actually opened fire on rock throwers. amy: let's go to president trump escalating his attack against central american migrant caravans come including warning soldiers could shoot migrants for throwing rocks. trumka we're not went up it up with that. if they want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back. i told them, consider it a rifle. when they throw rocks like they did at the mexico military and police, i say, consider it a rifle. amy: "considered a rifle," john carlos frey.
you put that together with the increased every border patrol agents, now thousands of u.s. soldiers along the border. >> if you look at the incidence of border patrol agents opening fire, there is over -- the statistics does the last statistics available about 300 incidents in 2014 of rockthrowing at the u.s.-mexico border. the border patrol agents opening fire about 20% of the time. so this is common. this is what the agents do. there are many ways that border patrol agents can protect themselves. they can drive away from the scene, step back, use shields to protect themselves. there are many ways instead of using lethal force. there are many protocols in law enforcement that basically say agents should use commensurate or equal force. if 70 hold a gun to you, then you're allowed to open fire. it is 70 throws a rock, i don't see it as an equal amount of force coming back. i'm not saying order patrol
agents are not in danger and they don't experience rockthrowing, but as i have said before, not one border patrol agent history of the border patrol has been killed by a rock. i'm not sure why we're allowed to return lethal force. i've spent time -- go ahead. juan: i want to take it to a broader scope on this issue. yoyou traveled throughout mexico and trying to deal with -- and report on how these caravans and central american migrants and refugees have developed. i'm wondering if you could talk about two aspects that don't get very much attention in terms of what drives the mimigrants in te refugees. one is the issue of the growing drought recently in central america. and, two, this issue of the weretation of felons who convicted in the united states, may be raised in the united states but originally were from
el salvador or guatemala, honduras, and have been deported in recent decades. i think "the washington post" reported el salvador alone, over 20 years, 95,000 people were deported from the u.s. after getting out of prison back to el salvador. that is 1.5% of the entire population of el salvador. people deported back to the country after serving time here in the u.s. the impact of these criminals then going down to the country were maybe were born in but they don't really know and developing the kinds of drug gangs that then force people to flee. goodu bring up two very reasons for people to leave central america. and the one you were just mentioning, we have a program in california and now in the united states were we will support -- support people who have green cards, people who are in the country legally if you are a gang member. it really doesn't matter if you have been in the united states
must of your life. it also doesn't matter necessarily what crimes you may have committed. if y you are a getting memember, we're goioing to depoport you. we have evevery right to send yu back to the country of origin, even if you came to the u.s. as a child. that is what we have done. that number, 95,000, is a bigger number than i even thought. but we have deported tens of thousands of gang members back to central america, many of them back to el salvador. el salvador just experienced its own civil unrest about 25, 30 years ago. we were deporting a criminal entity into a country that did not even have law enforcement. they were not stable. so what happened is, these gangs reconstituted in el salvador and they are now ruling the country. they joined back up in the prisons. the criminal entererprise in el salvador, also in guatemala and honduras. for the most part, they're running the show. that is where the violence is coming from.
the seat we played it from the united states and the countries that were done stable, we did not even give any sort of a dossier or any sort of paperwork that allow the countries to understand who and what we were deporting. we did not give them the crimes they committed, how much time they had served in prison, or who these individuals were. we basically said, you guys deal with this problem, we're going to wash our hands of it. now we're reaping the rewards -- rewards of deporting this criminal element. you mention the drought. there is a four year to five year prolonged drought in central america in a region known as the dry corridor. it encompasses parts of honduras, guatemala, and el salvador. this year was one of the worst years of the drought. in some regions, there was 90% to 100% crop failure. 80% of the region of the strike corridor is rural. it relies solely on agriculture as the base of the economy. if the crops fail, there are no other jobs. there is no orioles to go and
people are starting - -- nowhere else to go and peoeople are starving. i've interviewed people that are part of this particular migrant caravan who are hungry. they cannot feed themselves or their fafamilies. theyey have lost t their crops. they don't have any other way to make a living. they are coming to the united states basically for food. i talked to a woman who was 25 years old with her two year old. she was living on one tortilla a day. she can because there was no other way for her. we are not dealing with these factors that are sending people here, putting wire up at the border is not going to solve someone's poverty where the violence in central america is really not going to put food on the table, which is why people are coming. amamy: you spent time in t tiju. talk about the situation. >> take 5000 people, put them in a city with no place for them to go. there is no place for them to sleep. there is still place for them to eat. the city is doing its best to
make makeshift shelters for that large of a population. i stayed in a baseball camp, baseball stadium which was a makeshift shelter. the migrants are living outdoors in the elements. people have provided tents and blankets. they are shipping in food on a daily basis. there are port of parties, outdoor showers. i think pedro mention all of the children. many of the individuals are women and children and families that are coming from central america. and for the most part, this is a large group of people who are homeless. i did not see me buddy with a gun. i did not see me buddy who was a terrorist or a drug dealer or what i can determine to be a criminal. these are families looking for a better life, looking for a better situation. many of them are asylum-seekers. ies who some of their families had been threatened with their lives and they were fleeing violence. laws, they mayum
qualify. they have a right to claim asylum. these people are not, for the most part, unlawful. i physically traveled with them. i walked with them. i hung out with them for days on end. i never felt threatened. i don't understand how the president of the united states could point a gun at the poor. because that is what i what is. a witness for the most part, poverty and desperation. and for the united states, a beacon for immigrants and a place that used to welcome immigrants of such background, is pointing guns at them and building taller, higher, stronger fences is not the country that i understand to be. amy: and the tear gassing this weekend as you just left tijuana? >> i don't really see what the need for tear gas is. we had a mighty u.s. border patrol force. we have the military at the border. they have helicopters at their disposal. they have all kinds of equipment to be able to defend the border
that is what they need to do. and they can arrest people if they're coming across the border. inr gas is not even used theaters of war. you cannot control where it is going to go. as i said and pedro said, many of the people are women and children. tear gas has negative effects. it appears to me that this is a stage for the president and for politicians to stand on, to look tough, to look like they arere protecting the united states. that indeeeed, they're protectig them from people who are not even a threat. i find it to be cowardice. amy: john carlos frey, thank you for being with us five-time emmy , award-winning investigative reporter and pbs newshour special correspondent. just back from the border area. this is democracy now! i just wanted to read the the global opinions editor for "the washington post" happens to be jamal khashoggi's editor. she set about what happened on the border -- on "this is how
american media would describe this. if this happened in a non-western country, american security forces under the trump regime used chemical weapons in a cross border operation against unarmed asylum seekers, including children." attiah ended her tweet by writing, "my god." this is democracy now! back with tom robbins in a moment. ♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: why is karl taylor dead? that's the question asked by the marshallll project in a major nw investigation out today that looks at the mental health crisis in u.s. prisons by diving crisis in u.s. prisons by diving deep into the story of karl taylor, an inmate at a maximum-security prison in the catskills of new york who was killed by guards in 2015. karl taylor was serving out a minimum 27-year sentence for a
rape conviction when his life came to a sudden end at the sullivan correctional facility in april of 2015. the african-american prisoner had been diagnosed with delusional disorder and paranoid personality disorder when he was taken into custody in 1995. by april of 2015, taylor was housed in a special unit at sullivan for prisoners classified as mentally ill. he had spent nearly 10 years in solitary confinement. that's when he got into what would turn out to be a fatal altercation with a prison guard. amy: investigative reporter tom robbins looks not o only at karl taylylor's death, but also at hw people repeatedly failed taylor over the 20 years he spent in prison. the result is a sweeping look at the state of mental health in u.s. prisons as the number of prisoners with mental health issues continues to rise despite the overall number of people in prison decreasing. at the time of karl taylor's death, one-fifth of the prison population in new york's state correctional facilities were diagnosed with mental illness for more, tom robbins joins us
in our new york's studio, author of "why is karl taylor dead?" the investigation from the marshall project in partnership with the atlantic. welcome to democracy now! tell us what happened on april 13, 2015. >> karl taylor was someone who had been in prison for 20 years at that point. and throughout -- he had twice been sent to the states prison psychiatric hospital to get court ordered medications to basically cal the demons that haunted himm. he was a man who probably suffered mental illness most of his life. we don't know whether or not anything was diagnosed before he was arrested and sent to prison for an awful crime. he was convicted of rape. but we do know the very month he was taken into state custody, they said this guy is severely mentally ill. and yet despite that, he bounced around for 20 years and some of the toughest prisons in new york
state. maximum security prisons like clinton, like attica. he ends up at sullivan in a unit that was supposed to be kind of a safe area for those who had mental problems and other disabilities, but was policed by guards who had very little training. and most of them, not much interest in dealing with folks who had those kind of problems. and he had been unwilling or unable to clean his cell, which had been searched and trashed in a way guards do it when they routinely search through people's cells. he said, i'm not cleaning it up. one guard in particular was so outraged by his refusal to do it that he kept insisting come your way to clean it up for there is one of the problems. on that morning, and altercation broke out. there are two versions of what happened. the guards sacral taylor swung first and decked a guard named
bruce tucker. every inmate that is been interviewed about this case by myself and by the attorneys who are handling the civil suits that resulted from it, give a completely opposite version that the guard named bruce tucker struck karl taylor so hard that one inmate said it sounded like a crack of a baseball bat. he was dead within a half-hour. juan: tom, this whole issue of the mentally ill in prisons. a lot of people, one, ththey d't know the percentage for some the great percentage. it also assume this is always been so. but this wasn't always so. wasn't there a period whehen our government, state governments especially, started to institutional as in the mentally ill, closing down mental health facilities and in the prison population of the mentally ill who were imprisoned then skyrocketed because they basically work on out of these mental hospitals where they were before?? >> there's a debate among experts as to whether or not you
can say that is the parallel. there is no question that is the way the numbers go. there are charts that show just like that, the number of people declining in the statement of institutions, the number of mentally ill in prisons goes out. a lot of those institutions, as you and i remember, places like willowbrook, got shut down because they were terrible places to reside in. there were terrible things being done to folks there. the idea was people would be able to get medication and stay in their community. and for some people, it worked out. the for a lot of people, it didn't. instead of figuring out an interim way to do with these folks, we just sent them into prison. we continue to do that. amy: what was bruce tucker's record, the prison guard who apparently, according to his friends, killed -- >> i have done a lot of these stories at this point. usually, you can find a long legal trail and find instances where the officers has been cited. tucker had never been disciplined for anything that
had happened, yet there was universal opinion amongst those who don't with him -- including folks who worked in a special mental crisis unit -- that tucker was known for being very rough with prisoners. one of the unique things about this story is we have extensive quotes from one of his colleagues. another guard who worked in the same unit who said, basically, he did not think tucker was cut out for corrections. he said as he was giving a deposition to the lawyers in the case, "we would not be sitting are talking about this now for bruce tucker." juan: tell us how difficult you had in ferreting out the story. -- sick, prisoners are prisons about the kind of place you just file for freedom of information request and within a few days you get a response from the prison authorities to your request. howery able to fare out the story. i've played an unusual role. reporters were supposed to usually take a stand off, just follow whatever he can find. but when karl taylor died about
three months after i finished a very long piece about attica for the marshall project in "the new york times." iring the interview for that, met with the state corrections commissioner who told me we have a zero-tolerance policy for abuse by staff. and then the death of karl taylor happen. within another week, there was another man who was killed at the same time in fishkill. i wanted to know what had happened with karl taylor. i managed to find a couple of people who are still incarcerated. i found a guy who just got now that had been a witness. his familyknew who were. they said, please, if you find ourfamily, convey condolences because they felt so terrible. i could not find them but eventually i found an online obituary that had run in the albany times union. i went to the funeral parlor, which is not far from the state capital, and just left my card and said, "i would really like to talk that the family if they would get a talk to me." later that day i got a call from
julia ramsay-nobles, who is karl's older sister. she was quite skeptical of may. she said only first set down, why does any caucasian really care about an african-american life? i was like, well, i just want to know what happened to her brother. i gave her the number of a prison reform advocate i knew and said, look, if you want to pursue this on your own, talk to this person. and she did. as a result, this extraordinary has ledy this law firm to getting documents and records that i never would have been able to get even with the freedom of information act, that helped me do the story. amy: karl taylor was in solitary confinement for a decade. what effect does that have the echo half the time he was imprisoned. >> every single expert agrees
that even short periods of time in solitary confinement disables people, that it makes same people crazy, makes crazy people much crazier. at one point after he had been in solitary confinement for a long period of time, karl taylor was observed on all four's barking like a dog. you can imagine the kind of pain the guy must have been in to be performing like that. and yet the solution to that was more punishment. they would -- they sent him twice to the state hospital. and it would work for a while, then he would be right back in the same position. juan: what about the mental health services? given the declining prison population, new york state and other states, you would think the state would have a little extra money to be able to devote to better mental health treatment for those who are incarcerated. >> the state has extensive programs for dealing with mentally ill listeners.
they will tell you they have many of these satellite units, including the one that karl taylor was in at sullivan correctional facility. and there are lots of caring doctors and nurses and psychologists who are there. i think the problem essentially is they are still in a correctional environment -- it is like being in the army. it is military rule. brianreat quote from fisher, the former commissioner of corrections for new york state, who said, what do we do with an inmate who is getting an order from a guard at t the same time he is getting an order from the voice in his head? which voice is he going to listen to? tol taylor clearly listen the voice in his head and a tragedy resulted. amy: why is karl taylor dead gecko that is the name of the piece. tom robbins, contributing writer with the marshall project and investigative journalist in residence at the craig newmark graduate school of journalism at cuny.