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tv   Nightline  ABC  April 8, 2015 12:37am-1:08am EDT

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this is "nightline." tonight, killer cop. the south carolina police officer appears to gun down an unarmed man, firing eight shots from behind, and all the world can see on this disturbing recording. now he's facing murder charges as the victim's family reacts. a mother's quest to get her children back from the barricades of the fdls. this crowd keeping her from her own young ones even after she finally got custody. how they exert so much control of this corner of america. and welcome to the oval office madam president. meet julia
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>> i'm back! but first, the "nightline" five. the average american visits about seven different websites before booking a hotel. i totally get that. we want to be sure we get a great hotel for a great price. next time before you book check on trivago. they compare live prices from more than 150 different websites to make sure you find the best price for your ideal hotel. hotel --
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good evening. thank you for joining us. tonight, in a disturbing and
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dwrafic video obtained by abc news, a police officer shoots an unarmed man repeatedly as the man tries to flee. now the officer has been charged with murder. abc's steve osunsami is on the ground in south carolina where the video will almost certainly be a key piece of evidence in this case. >> reporter: this chilling video, obtained by abc news. [ gunfire ] >> reporter: police officer michael slager fires victim. it happened saturday morning at this intersection in south carolina. it was a routine traffic stop. officer slager pulled scott over for a broken taillight. according to the police report scott ran away and the officer chased him up the street behind a pawnshop and into this empty lot. >> black male tee shirt.
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>> reporter: this abandoned lot becomes a killing field, and it's all recorded on a cell phone by an eyewitness no one sees. first officer slager appears to reach out toward scott. then scott breaks free running away with what appears to be a line attached from the officer's stun gun. that's when officer slager fires his gun eight times at scott's back as he tries to get away, and he falls to the ground. officer slager walks over to him. he cuffs the dying man, and then he and another officer come to look scott over. authorities believe five of the eight shots fired hit scott and that two of those bullets killed him. >> he needs to know that that wasn't an animal that he killed. he was my son! >> reporter: his family is beyond hurt. >> i lost him. i absolutely lost it. i knew that this started from a
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traffic stop. and i'm like, how can you go from a traffic stop to someone being dead? >> reporter: there were bench warrants out for scott's arrest because of unpaid child support. scott's family says that's no reason for what they see as an execution. >> i never had a problem with him. doing anything stealing from us or bringing the wrong people home. >> reporter: over police radio and in the incident report slager says he fired in self-defense, that scott had taken his taser, causing him to worry for his safety. >> shots fired. subject is down. >> reporter: but in the video, it's not clear who has control of the stun gun. you can only see that the stun gun cord is between the two men. it does appear from the video that slager walks back and appears to drop something next to scott but it's not clear what. we were in city offices while local police were seeing the
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video for the first time. >> i can tell you that as the result of that video and the bad decision made by our officer, he will be charged with murder. >> reporter: tonight officer slager is behind bars and he has been denied bail. what's happening tonight in south carolina is so different than the shooting death of michael brown in ferguson missouri that sparked anger and protests across the country. and not just in the details of the case. this is nothing like the ferguson case. >> in ferguson the more you dig into the case, the more you read the report, the more the police officer's account is supported. here, you see this video. and it tells the story. and it's a story that seems almost indefensible from the police officer's perspective. >> reporter: in a world where there's a camera in every pocket, i asked about the importance of the video in the news conference just hours ago.
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if it weren't for this video would he be charged with murder at this point? >> that's a question let me ask the chief. >> you're asking us to speculate. the video is very demonstrative of exactly what happened. without the video, it would be difficult to ascertain exactly what did occur. >> reporter: they say in this case, an officer violated protocol. >> police officers can use lethal force discharge their firearm when they believe that their life and safety is in jeopardy or the life and safety of individuals in the vicinity is in jeopardy as well. it's very difficult to make a legitimate case for the use of lethal force when the suspect is running away in the manner depicted in the video. >> reporter: the police chief almost in tears clearly overcome with emotion as he condemned the officer's actions,
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saying this one policeman doesn't represent them all. >> been around me a long time, and you know that i think that all these police officers on this force, men and women, are like my children. so you tell me how a father would react to seeing his child do something. i'll let you answer that yourself. >> reporter: but the police department's reaction was definitive. if convicted of murder slager could face the death penalty or a term of 30 years to life in prison. >> this is not going to be an easy defense. this video is devastating evidence against this police officer. >> i just know that there's two families that are in bad way right now. our prayers and thoughts go with both of the families. >> reporter: tonight scott's family taking some comfort in the authorities' quick action. >> all we wanted was the truth. and i think through the process
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we've received the truth. and we can't get my brother back. and my family is in deep mourning for that. but through the process justice has been served. and i don't, i don't think that all police officers are bad cops. >> reporter: we were with scott's family and his three children tonight after they heard the news. >> we have a little bit more of a process to do because a charge is not being convicted. once a conviction is put in place, i'll feel a whole lot better. >> reporter: the family is considering filing a civil suit. >> i will miss my [ crying ] just pray it doesn't happen to anybody else. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm steve osunsami in north
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charleston, south carolina. next the woman who fled a radical fundamentalist church and then had to go back for her own children. and later on "nightline," julia louis-dreyfus talks presidential ambitions. and i'm arnold palmer, professional golfer. know what we have in common? we talked to our doctors about treatment with xarelto®. me, when i had a blood clot in my leg that could have traveled to my lungs. that's why i took xarelto®, too. xarelto® is proven to treat and help reduce the risk of dvt and pe blood clots. i took xarelto® for afib... an irregular heartbeat that can lead to a stroke from a blood clot. xarelto® is proven to reduce the risk of stroke in people with afib, not caused by a heart valve problem. hey, well i'm glad we got together. for people with afib currently well managed on warfarin there is limited information on how xarelto® and warfarin compare in reducing the risk of stroke. i tried warfarin before, but the blood testing routine and dietary restrictions had me off my game.
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you're about to witness one mother's dramatic and high-stakes fight. this is no normal custody battle. when this woman decided to leave the flds the fundamentalest sect of the mormon church she
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left behind her children. she went back for them only to be confronted by a crowd. here's dan harris. >> reporter: this is what happened when a mother tried to retrieve her four children from a community dominate the by the flds, fund amountalist mormons who practice polygamy. that is sabrina right there in the van swarmed by women in traditional prairie dresses. it was eight years ago that she left the flds, a group still allegedly controlled by their imprisoned, pedophile prophet warren jeffs who is doing time for marrying and sexually assaulting underage girls. when she decided to leave her husband and quit the church she left behind her four young children. >> in the flds the church teaches that you that the church owns the children. >> reporter: long time activist and former member flora jessup
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says she was on the phone with kesner during much of the time that her van was surrounded. >> they were kicking her vehicle, trying to put chickens into the vehicle. >> reporter: in the years since sabrina kesner left the church she has remarried and had another child. but while she did have visitation rights with her other kids she was only recently awarded full custody. however, when she showed up this past friday here this this remote desert community along the utah/arizona border the children's aunt who had been caring for the kids, refused to hand them over. a crowd formed and the standoff began. we're not in america anymore, basically? >> oh, no. you basically drove off the map. >> reporter: i recently spent time here with sam brower who's been investigating the flds for years and was on scene when the situation with sabrina played out. what is life like for flds kids? >> very mundane. they don't have toys.
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they have tools to play with. you don't see any bicycles. you don't see any toys. >> reporter: brower who wrote a best-selling book about his experiences with the fldss says little girls here are groomed to be brides to older men, and the boys are trained to be workers. >> the boys are slaves basically. their hope in life is that to be assigned some girl that could be their wife. >> reporter: but the odds are slim, he says because there are lots of older men here and not enough females to go around, which is why according to brower, many young men are simply kicked out or runaway. >> what happens in your home and with your family and what happens to your loved ones is hell. >> reporter: when this young man, willie steve, who came from a family of 38 children and three wives, left the church, he went to live with a foster family who had to teach him how
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to read. >> dog. no, no. >> that's it. dog and then -- >> dogs. >> reporter: he says he got so little education in the church because he'd been put to work starting at age 8. >> you're doing flooring, unpacking rolls of carpet. they work you to the outer end. >> reporter: ten months after he left the church willie steve had begun to reclaim his lost childhood, taking a roerkt ride balancing on a board, learning how to navigate facebook. >> i learned that i can walk away from life and leave everything behind. happy birthday. >> reporter: as he celebrated his 19th birthday he made a wish -- for a family of his own but he was quick to add, not a polygamist family. >> i'll stick with one. >> reporter: this is exactly the kind of future that sabrina kesner is apparently hoping to give her children the opportunity for a life outside
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of the flds. and as you watch this standoff drag on for hours and hours, you might ask, where were the local police? the marshal service that patrols these two towns? >> the marshals are an extension of this organization. >> reporter: on my recent visit to the area i conducted this exclusive interview with barlow. he said the officers would work hand in hand with church security. they're sometimes known as "the god squad". and while we in town we believe they followed us repeatedly. can we ask you a quick question? barlow is now cooperating with federal investigators who say the local governments here are controlled by the church a charge these members of the town council didn't seem eager to discuss when i showed up at one of their meetings.
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it's a pretty serious charge. i would think that you would want to answer it yourselves. an attorney for that town council later insisted that officials here do not take orders from the church but it is clear from this incident with sabrina kesner just how many people here are loyal to warren jeffs. it was only after a search warrant was obtained that the children were released and backed inside the van which drove off. on her facebook page tonight, this message. thank you defenders of children and all those involved to help reunite me with my babies. our deepest gratitude to everyone who reached out to us. >> it's going to be difficult for several months if not years. these kids have been taught that their mother's a delve, that she's apostate she's evil wicked. their salvation depends on them getting back to the prophet. >> reporter: but the uproar over
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sabrina's children shows just how far this community has to go. so where do you predict things are going? >> it could go anywhere. i worry a lot that there could be some kind of violence. that would be warren's style, to go out in some kind of blaze of glory, as a martyr. >> reporter: this is dan harris along the utah/arizona border. and next she's used to playing the sidekick, first on seinfeld, next on veep. now julia lou we dreyfus is stepping into the spotlight. our brain with centrum silver men. multivitamins with 20% more vitamin d. my heart beats 100,000 times a day sending oxygen to my muscles... again! i can lift even the most demanding weights. take care of your heart with centrum silver men. multivitamins for the most important parts of you.
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is the world ready for a female president? actress julia louis-dreyfus is already commander in chief on the hit show veep and tonight she shares hard-earned wisdom with katie couric. >> reporter: madam president? >> oh, no way. no, you didn't. >> reporter: it's a suite fit for a president. isn't this great? or at the least someone who plays one on tv. julia louis-dreyfus plays selena meyer on hbo's veep. an irrelevant vice president turned incompetent commander in chief. >> so help me god. >> reporter: we still don't know whether the president meyer is a democrat or a republican. >> we don't know. but i will say that she's, she's
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an aisle straddler. and. >> reporter: who isn't. >> which doesn't sound very lady like, i know but that is what she does. >> reporter: known for those quick come backs. >> i am putting out two fires in there, and i turn around to find out that you have set fire to the [ bleep ]! >> reporter: and her quirky staff on hbo's louis louis-dreyfus has plenty of experience dealing with such characters like elaine on seinfeld. she's proving that she's more than just a seinfeld sidekick. you did some shows prior to veep. so it must be so gratifying now to have this show that has found an audience and is doing so well. >> listen, i've had my share of knocks, believe it or not, and i've been doing this a really long time this thing called show business. come on, it's great.
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it's a great gig, and you can't beat it. >> reporter: with a big election around corner president meyer is already crafting her political playbook for 2016. >> i want to get away from the politicos. i want to talk to you, the regular joes! >> reporter: what advice would president meyer have for hillary clinton? >> her advice would be get out of my way. >> reporter: rand paul's slogan is going to be defeat the washington machine, unleash the american dream. >> okay. well, i'm just going to say this. you know what selena meyers' campaign slogan is? continuity with change. suck it rand paul! [ laughter ] >> our thanks to katie. you can watch her full interview tomorrow on yahoo. thank you for watching abc news tune in to good morning america. and as always we're always online at abc goodnight, america.
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today's first contestant made over 500 index cards, a trivia spreadsheet and has been studying around the clock. all he needs is 14 of those index cards to be questions today, and he is walking with $1 million. from san francisco, california please welcome ed chang! [cheers and applause] >> how's it going? >> yeah! wow. so you've been studying around the clock. i mean, do you think you're prepared? >> i sure hope so. >> okay. [laughs] then let's go. here is the millionaire money tree, 14 questions spread over two rounds with money values going from 100 bucks all the way up to $1 million. [cheers and applause] round 1 has ten questions from $100 to $25,000.


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