Democracy Now! August 26, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! August 26, 2002
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 


[Headlines: African-Americans protest against police shootings in Minneapolis] World Summit On Sustainable Development opens in South Africa, and police attack protesters: we ll go to Johannesburg Thousands of farm workers marCh on the California capitol: a conversation with actor Ed Begley, Jr. Attorney General John Ashcroft appeals a ruling by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court; we ll take a look at the top secret court Rape survivors and the wrongly convicted prepare to protest the LAPD s destruction of biological evidence in over a thousand rape cases: we ll talk with a woman who mistakenly identified her rapist, and the innocent man who spent 11 years in prison 9:01-9:06 Headlines: AFRICAN-AMERICANS PROTEST AGAINST POLICE SHOOTINGS IN MINNEAPOLIS The mayor of Minneapolis appealed for calm yesterday in a neighborhood that erupted in protests and rioting after a 10-year-old African-American boy was hit by a bullet that ricocheted from a police officer's gun. Tensions between the community's black residents and police were already running high since an incident last week in which police shot a 19-year-old black man four times in the back as he was running away. Dozens of people shouted at police, smashed windows, and assaulted members of the media covering the shooting. GUEST: Michelle Gross, Communities United Against Police Brutality 9:07-9:15 WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OPENS IN SOUTH AFRICA, AND POLICE ATTACK PROTESTERS The World Summit on Sustainable Development opened today in Johannesburg. Over 65,000 people have gathered for the largest United Nations meeting ever. President Bush has declined to attend. Already, the event has been marred by police violence against protesters. On Saturday, police fired concussion grenades to halt a peaceful march led by South Africa's Anti-Privatization Forum. Eyewitnesses report at least two women were hospitalized after the police attack. Last Wednesday, police also arrested 70 members of the South African landless people s movement. GUEST: NAOMI KLEIN, author of No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies CONTACT: 9:15-9:20 THOUSANDS OF FARM WORKERS MARCH ON CALIFORNIA CAPITOL On Sunday, thousands of California farm workers marched the final leg of an 11-day, 165-mile trek to Sacramento the state capitol. The march retraced the steps of Cesar Chavez s historic 1966 trek that has been compared to the great marches of the civil rights movement The farm workers are calling on Gov. Gray Davis to sign legislation that would give farm workers the right to binding arbitration in labor disputes. Although California produces $30 billion in agricultural goods annually, only one in ten farm workers have insurance in part because many are still not covered by labor agreements. In 1975, 428 companies voted to join the newly formed United Farm Workers, but 25 years later only 185 firms have reached deals with its workers. Guest: Ed Begley, Jr., actor who participated in the march. 9:21-9:30 ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN ASHCROFT APPEALS A RULING BY THE FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE COURT Attorney General John Ashcroft has appealed a ruling by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. In a unanimous ruling made public last Thursday, the court rejected a secret request made by the Justice Department this year to allow broader cooperation and evidence-sharing between counterintelligence investigators and criminal prosecutors. The court found the request was "not reasonably designed" to safeguard the privacy of Americans. The court also said it has identified more than 75 cases in which it was misled by the FBI in documents in which the bureau attempted to justify its need for wiretaps and other electronic surveillance, according to the first of the court's rulings to be released publicly. But in a legal appeal made public Friday, Attorney General John Ashcroft said the judges failed to recognize the Patriot Act expands coordination between law enforcement and intelligence officers to allow them to protect the public in investigating threats. Today we re going to take a look at the significance of this dispute, and just what this secret court is. GUEST: James Bamford, author of the only two books on the National Security Agency, Puzzle Palace: A Report on America s Most Secret Agency and Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency from the Cold War through the Dawn of a New Century (2001). GUEST: Patrick Poole, civil liberties expert and privacy researcher. 9:30-9:40 RAPE SURVIVORS AND THE WRONGLY CONVICTED PREPARE TO PROTEST THE LAPD S DESTRUCTION OF BIOLOGICAL EVIDENCE IN OVER A THOUSAND RAPE CASES: WE LL TALK WITH A WOMAN WHO MISTAKENLY IDENTIFIED HER RAPIST AND THE INNOCENT MAN WHO SPENT 11 YEARS IN PRISON An op-ed piece in the New York Times published two years ago is as relevant today as it was then. It was written by a woman named Jennifer Thompson and begins like this: In 1984 I was a 22-year-old college student with a grade point average of 4.0, and I really wanted to do something with my life. One night someone broke into my apartment, put a knife to my throat and raped me. During my ordeal, some of my determination took an urgent new direction. I studied every single detail on the rapist's face. I looked at his hairline; I looked for scars, for tattoos, for anything that would help me identify him. When and if I survived the attack, I was going to make sure that he was put in prison and he was going to rot. When I went to the police department later that day, I worked on a composite sketch to the very best of my ability. I looked through hundreds of noses and eyes and eyebrows and hairlines and nostrils and lips. Several days later, looking at a series of police photos, I identified my attacker. I knew this was the man. I was completely confident. I was sure When the case went to trial in 1986, I stood up on the stand, put my hand on the Bible and swore to tell the truth. Based on my testimony, Ronald Junior Cotton was sentenced to prison for life But Jennifer Thompson was wrong. When authorities finally did a DNA test a decade later, they discovered Ronald Cotton was innocent. The frican-American man had spent a decade in prison for a crime he did not commit. DNA testing has the power to dramatically reduce the number of people who are wrongly imprisoned, but police departments around the country are slow to do the tests and in some cases even destroy evidence. In Los Angeles, it recently emerged that LAPD officials accidentally destroyed biological evidence in over a thousand sexual assault cases since 1995. Tomorrow, rape survivors, the wrongly convicted, and supporters plan to rally outside the Los Angeles Police Department in protest. Today, the New York Times is reporting on its front page about another man who has spent over a decade in prison after being convicted of rape and, in this case, murder. His lawyer plans to present DNA evidence today, proving that Eddie Joe Lloyd is innocent. Lloyd was in a mental hospital at the time of his arrest. He says the detective gave him the details of the case and told him to confess, in order to smoke out the real killer. GUEST: Jennifer Thomson, rape survivor who mistakenly identified Ronald Cotton as her rapist. Cotton spent 11 years in a North Carolina prison before he was exonerated by DNA testing. GUEST: Ronald Cotton, wrongly identified as a rapist, spent 11 years in prison until he was exonerated by DNA testing GUEST: Karen Pomer, a founding member of the Rainbow Sisters Project, a Los Angeles-based group that lobbies and educates on behalf of rape survivors. She was unable to identify her rapist. CONTACT: , (310) 645 9249 GUEST: Christopher Plourd, San Diego attorney and DNA expert. He helps train police officers around the country. He represented Ray Krone, the 100th person to be exonerated based on DNA evidence. He is also on the Justice Department's National Commission on the future of DNA Evidence. 9:41-9:58 DNA, CONT D 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
August 26, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
August 26, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. August 26, 2002
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