Skip to main content

tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  January 18, 2015 10:00pm-11:01pm EST

10:00 pm
many people that have perished. >> lost lives are relived. >> all of these people shouldn't be dead. >> will there differences bring them together or tear them apart? >> the only way to find out is to see it yourselves. >> which side of the fence are you on? borderland, next sunday at 9 eastern, only on al jazeera america. >> on "america tonight": the weekend edition. on the campus that thomas jefferson built, a second look at justice. in the wake of an exposé that core. >> do you feel that the judgment. >> i hope tonight there is a jury. >> "america tonight's" christof putzel after the school stood
10:01 pm
accused of harboring a rape culture on campus. >> and also, the law against the law. four decades after speaking out against his own nypd colleagues what his experience tells us about ferguson and other flash points between communities and police. >> you don't talk about your own kind. you know you don't expose your own kind. or maybe they'll expose you. >> frank serpico on police brutality and that thin blue line. and it's a small world after all. that's led to a rapidly spreading and frightening outbreak of measles. "america tonight's" michael okwu. what a group of families in california did that helped spread the decease.
10:02 pm
>> good evening, i'm joie chen. student suicides and abduction and murder and then just before the holidays, explosive allegations of a gang rape inside a popular fraternity house. then the rolling stone exposé that ignited the controversy, came up against scrutiny itself. as uva tries to recover its reputation on and offs campus. "america tonight's" christof putzel reports. branded as a rape culture after a rolling stone article, uva is now dealing with the aftermath. as classes began, the administration lifted the ban it had
10:03 pm
imposed on all fraternity and sore report sorority activities. certain events guest lists and security guards at the door. but will it make a difference? we reached out to all 47 of uva's fraternity as vorts. sororitie succession. >> a stereotype that's applied to greek letter organizations that by no means could ever describe every single person or even a small fraction of them that are actually part of the system. >> ryan duffin should know about stereotypes. made no toe your by the rolling stone article. ryan says he was the first
10:04 pm
person jackie called. >> i got a call from jackie, she said something bad happens, come meet me outside this dorm. she was sitting on a picnic table and it looked like she had been crying. >> i walked over and when i got here -- >> ryan told me first, he believed jack ea but things didn't add up. >> there wasn't anything about her appearance that indicated she needed to go to the hospital. i did indicate, we need to go to the police with this. that does ring true. the social part of reporting a rape, said that alex, katherine and i decided not to report it because we thought we wouldn't get into fraternity parties. >> that's not true? >> that's not true at all. >> initially, they believed what was true. >> enough channels to make sure that that kind of thing is true?
10:05 pm
>> andrew elliot is the managing editor of the school paper the cavalier daily and since november he's been covering one of the biggest stories in uva recent memory. >> words were happening from the front of the classroom, nobody was paying attention, every single laptop screen was the image of that girl in front of the frat house. >> like third year student elizabeth ballou. >> oh oh not again, because students were, you know, saying things like, well i know stories like this. i too have been assaulted or raped at a frat. and while i was glad that all of these things were coming out into the open so that we could hopefully do something about it, it was again this thoughts of how could all of these things happen, was i blind? we're we blind? >> the
10:06 pm
phi kappa psi house was vandalized. not only did the president close all fraternity activities for the rest of the year but, thomas turner, junior at uva his father is a uva professor. >> would you say this is a rape culture at uva? culture. i don't think i've metten 9/11 who doesn't think rape is a serious thing. >> no greek letter activities until the new semester suggest she had accepted the charges as true just shocked us. >> and it was surprising to see that almost nobody was willing to denounce the article when it came out just because of fear of being able to label the rapist or supporter of rapist. >> in the weeks that followed,
10:07 pm
jackie's story began to fall apart. >> there was definitely anger, there are people that will say rape culture doesn't exist and all of this is being made up which is of course not true but this does add fuel to the fire. i do feel that even if her story is not true or parts of it are not true, that doesn't negativate negatethe fact. >> the police released the findings of their investigation. there was no substantive basis night. >> do you feel that the rolling stone article has damaged u va's reputation? >> absolutely. >> i hope there is a jury. i think it will have too come from the fraternity but at least the fraternity ought to sue and both the reporter and the newspaper. >> whatever the facts of jackie's story the campus is now preoccupied with making sure
10:08 pm
that it could never happen here in the future. >> what are fraternities doing now going forward? >> i think there is an awareness among the greek system that fraternities are trying to be more active in making slur that everything is running safely. i think that if increasing safety comes with the cost of needing to deal with new policies and new regulations i'm completely okay with that. should. >> it seems problematic to me, because a lot of it is self-enforced and fraternities are not going to always be the best judges of tear own basically but i do think that change has to start somewhere. i think this semester will be a trial period to see whether it actually works or not. >> awareness of sexual assault on campus has grown over the last two years. from 2011 to 2013, sexual assaults more than doubled but what happened to elisabeth,
10:09 pm
assaults are problematic. >> probably everyone knows that no one has been expelled in recent memory from uva. for sexual assault. the board is trying but it hasn't been enough and i'm not sure if i know what more should have been done. it last he clearly failed people so many ways. >> our policy might not be the best but they want to sort of figure out what that best policy might look like. >> this semester, the school will conduct its first survey. on sexual assault. whatever the truth of jackie's story it has made a big difference for at least one student. last month, elizabeth ballou
10:10 pm
reported to the system that she's a victim of assault. >> it's possible to start creating change. we do. we have the eyes of a lot of people on us and i think student administration and the like feel like we can't let them down. >> christof putzel. al jazeera. >> next on "america tonight," a measles outbreak and how parents in southern california contributed to it. >> so when a doctor says to you, you know, these methods are safe, they're effective and they're necessary, what do you say? >> i think that's their opinion. i disagree. >> "america tonight's" michael okwu on parents just saying no to vaccines that could save lives. >> tuesday. from race relations to foreign policies, terrorism and the economy. >> if this congress wants to help, work with me. >> ali velshi kicks off our special state of the union
10:11 pm
coverage at 7:00. >> we'll take an in-depth look at our nation's financial future. >> then john seigenthaler breaks down the issues. >> we need to know what's going on in our backyard. >> plus, objective analysis and live reports from across the nation and reaction from around the world. the state of the union address. special coverage begins tuesday, 7:00 eastern. right here on al jazeera america.
10:12 pm
real reporting that brings you the world. giving you a real global perspective like no other can. real reporting from around the world. this is what we do. al jazeera america. >> saturday. >> visibility was 3 to 5 nautical miles. >> weathering the storm. >> we want to show people how to replace property against the worst mother nature has to offer. >> experts forecast how to stay safe. >> i'm standing in a tropical windstorm. >> in extreme weather. >> oh my god. >> techknow's team of experts show you how the miracles of science... >> this is my selfie, what can you tell me about my future? >> can affect and surprise us. >> don't try this at home.
10:13 pm
>> "techknow" where technology meets humanity. saturday at 7:30 eastern. only on al jazeera america. >> disease detectives tracking a me msmeasles outbreak. have tracked it to the happiest place on earth, it is a small world. helping to spawn the biggest measles outbreak in years. it started in the disneyland complex in anaheim california. epidemiologists say all it took was one sneeze from that infected person. spread to six counties in the southern california and one in
10:14 pm
the bay area, colorado, as far west aas washington state. all in all many had not had the measles vaccine. growing concern that parents concerns about their children's health had grown. >> so we don't vaccinate our kids. >> reporter: that might shock many parents but holly bloomhart and her husband shannon are part of a growing minority in southern california. >> i think we are very aware of being very organic, nongmo, we want to have the healthiest family we can. >> reporter: instead of vaccines they rely on holistic regimens that include chiropractic adjustment.
10:15 pm
she and her husband own a chiropractic office that cater to parents. the military required she get several vaccines before being deployed. she linked vaccines to illnesses like asthma and add and there were other concerns. >> i started learning that the vaccines had aborted fetal tissue. and cells from insects. >> it has been shown that these matters, military career. but she has no regrets. >> what would happen if nobody
10:16 pm
vaccinated their kids at all? >> i think we would be a lot healthier. >> you do? >> i do. >> as opposed to the fact that we might be exposing ourselves to deceases that admonish more easily? >> i do. the body is a self-healing organism. >> when a doctor says to you they're safe, healthy and necessary, what would you say? >> i think that's their opinion. i disagree. >> reporter: many parents agree with her. in fact in the county's wealthy beach front communities vaccination rates are plummeting. now that has dr. matt zahn of the orange county health care agency worried. >> you have to realize that when your child is not getting vaccinated, they are generally safe against measles. they are hitching a ride on the
10:17 pm
hope that all the other kids are getting vaccinated. if we have our numbers drob, in orange county or around the country. we will see increases in numbers of cases of measles. >> and that's exactly what's happened here. the county is battling the state's largest rash of cases in recent memory. the latest outbreak believed to have originated in what is often called the happiest place in the world. but what started at disneyland is now spreading. 22 confirmed cases in california, two in utah and one each in colorado and washington state. 26 in all. in la mesa, california an urgent care clifng recently clinic briefly closed because of the number of patients, dr. bob sears, half his young patients are not vaks natalled. >> i
10:18 pm
tell -- vaccinated. >> i tell these parents it's an okay decision. >> but if a whole lot of other parents made that decision there are consequences that we might face? >> i find most parents don't consider the public health benefits, when they make the decision for their own child. should they consider those issues, yes. do i fault them for not considering those issues? not so much. i don't hold that against them. >> that view has made him controversy in medical circles but a hero to many parents. >> does dr. bob sears bear any responsibility for this outbreak? >> well as clinicians we all bear the responsibility to do the right thing to keep our children safe. the science is really solid behind the notion of getting
10:19 pm
vaccinated between 1 and 4 years of age, is a safe thing to do. people are entitled to different opinions, they are not entitled to different facts. the information out there from dr. sears is it's just measles. measles just happens, nobody has died from it. it's just a disease. the reality is of the 22 persons we have identified with measles, seven of them have been hospitalized. it could get you badly ill. one out of a thousand will die. it is certainly not a disease to trifle with. >> even for parents who do believe in vaccines, dr. sears offers a variation. three-year-old twins col
10:20 pm
colton and gunnar are off the hook. thanks odr. sears, no vaccine for another two months. while most children are fully vaccinated already per cdc guidelines, dr. sears tell the parents it is okay to slow down the schedule. >> why do this? just because it's hard to see their kids suffer? >> some babies don't handle the vaccination cycle very well, there are severe side effects that sometimes occur. >> such as? >> brain swelling, encephalitis seizure reactions. >> but those are extremely rare right? >> they are, they are very rare. but parents don't want to be one of those statistics. >> you have to realize that the persons who are at most risk for these diseases are young kids. so if you wait until older in
10:21 pm
life to get vaccinated, get your child vaccinated but you may miss the boat in terms of the highest risk period of time when they can get sick. >> orange county is not only wealthy area struck by measles outbreak. the trend is playing out across the country. affluent area from new york city to san francisco have seen vaccination rate drop and measles cases spike. the issue has become a political lightning rod. all 50 states require schoolchildren to be vaccinated with exemptions for medical or religious reasons. but 19 states including california allow parents to file philosophical exemption abouts . >> ice 21, nos 14, the bill has passed.
10:22 pm
>> would you be signing exemption forms? >> ism i've been signing hundreds of exemption forms. they're easy to sign. i do find it slightly infringes on people's rights having to make medical decisions. >> reporter: to combat falling vaccination rates, the county has launched vocational education programs. we listened in as these school nurses talked to parents at schools. this one in anaheim the center of the outbreak. >> i want you to know how important it is to keep the vaccination up to date. >> these parents have told us they have all vaccinated their children. how concerned are you with the measles outbreak in orange county? >> it bothers me a lot. i had a little girl who was two
10:23 pm
years old that passed away from measles. how old were you? i was seven years old. >> reporter: fanning the flames of the antivac sikh seen movement are hollywood celebrities like christian cavalerri and alicia silverstone. and jenny mccarthy who blamed her son's awe tim on vaks vaccinations. >> i think we'll take the me measles and the mumps any frickin day over autism.
10:24 pm
>> numerous comprehensive studies have looked at the relationship between vaccines and autism for over a decade and found no link. >> i think that people have to realize that all evidence, all information out there is not created equal. when the cdc says that they have conducted studies that have looked at thousands, millions of people who have received the mmr to look at safety and whether the vaccine works, that's really very good information. not only that the vaccine works but that the vaccine safe. overwhelmingly is that the vaccine safe. this overwhelming of the immune system, there is no scientific basis behind it. >> which is a pretty way of saying it's poppycock? >> there is no scientific evidence behind it. >> the stories have not been told yet, these stories of
10:25 pm
measles outbreaks, the beauty is that we have a way to keep your child safe. get your child vaccines. >> michael okwu, al jazeera, orange county, california. >> when we return. rolling papers. the buzz about this new critic's blog. >> right now you feel pretty good about this one? >> this is a great -- a really well done teenage way. >> colorado's recreational pot law has quickly taken root.
10:26 pm
10:27 pm
>> when colorado legalized recreational marijuana one year
10:28 pm
ago, new money rushed in giving a buzz as it were to retail sales. that was expected, of course but a new industry is growing up now among the weeds. now as she follows america's year on pot? "america tonight's" lori jane gliha found others make use of that rocky mountain high. >> i've merchandising to talk to people about a book deal and television deal all of these things because i have this job. >> the job is smoking pot. jake brown is a pot critic. and for the past year, the 32-year-old cannabis connoisseur has been getting a lot of buzz for his willingness to be buzzed. >> and right off the bat you pull through all of that orange, sometimes it will have a very definitive smell but it doesn't come through in the taste or this is the exact opposite. >> so right now you feel pretty good the about this one? >> this is a great, a well done tangee. and it is just as good as the
10:29 pm
first hit. >> is there a way about like breathing it in that you you have perfected in order to be able to taste the flavors? >> it's pretty much inhaling. >> brown has been inhaling since high school. and it's this experience that helps secure him a freelance gig at the denver post where he's a pot reviewer for an online blog called the comibst. comibs -- cannabist. >> for them to be in my shoes as i go through a review i think makes it more personal for people. >> the site featuring brown's blogs is now getting hundreds of clicks. the cannabist rolled out just a year ago, after colorado's recreational pot law.
10:30 pm
>> chem 4, alien dog, grape stomper, skywalker, and girl scout cookies. i've reviewed and had the mob boss number 4 haven't reviewed that yet. >> how do you know when you are smelling more? >> you're going to get some rubber or diesel or gas in there. >> this smells kind of like a christmas tree i think. do you ever feel like peach are not going to take you seriously, coming up with intricate words for pop. >> if you open a microbrew and it's a stout, you might smell coffee or chocolate notes. it's very comparable, a new arena. i understand people are skeptical. but when you see it firsthand they are definitely very unique strains. >> a year ago, making a living smoking pot for a venerable
10:31 pm
newspaper like the denver post might be incomprehensible, even ludicrous, but they wanted pot reviews, breaking news and hard hitting marijuana news together in one place. >> what did you think when this job opportunity came to be? >> i at first was a little bit nervous. immediately i knew i wanted it. it was a brand-new beat to me. i had written on marijuana, but i also was not the most knowledgeable person about marijuana and i wasn't the biggest stoner in the newsroom. so they said yes that's why they want you. >> tasked with hiring a small staff to manage a big goal making marijuana journalism mainstream and interesting. >> were you skeptical at all of being a marijuana editor?
10:32 pm
>> not at all. if you have been in colorado for the last years you recognize this is becoming a big business and normal. normalization is real, this is paradigm shifting and there's a reason why people from all over the world from uruguay and spain and israel not to mention people from washington who came here before their sales started in july, people from california and nevada and maine who are trying to legalize it in 2016. this is the epicenter, this is important that it be covered from legitimate perspective. >> one of baca's best a's highest goals, appearing on the colbert report. >> what will your responsibilities as the pot editor for the denver post be? >> i'm hiring a pot critic.
10:33 pm
>> i need them in my editing room. >> suddenly i had 500 applications for pot critics. these people are experts and i'm more than happy to leave it to experts. it started, i saw you on stephen colbert and now i'm writing. >> britain was brittany was the first one to apply. >> i was watching the colbert report and my husband said you should write in. it definitely seemed surreal. and it still seems surreal when i first think about it. to be paid to smoke and smoke weed is very different. >> driver's blogs evolved into something different. >> all right. >> pot and parenting. >> i think you're right. oh, good job!
10:34 pm
>> two-year-old elliot is her son. >> we had just sort of discussed what other articles i could potentially write. and one of them was, well let's write an article about what it's like to be a mom who also smokes. and i think my first column was, just a call to hey, where are the weed smoking moms at? i can go to the playground and see two moms connect and say hey we'll go have wine at the place around the corner. it's not as usual saying, hey do you want to smoke a joint after the kids go to bed? >> how much did you say, i really want to put this out there, this is what i'm doing? >> didn't put that much thought into it. i'm kind of an open book for the most part so knowing that there weren't a ton of moms, smeafl females in general, saying i smoke weed, i'm
10:35 pm
intelligent, nothing is wrong with me. if i have the opportunity to do that, i should. >> concerns about marijuana laced candy at halloween to a serious conversation about breast feeding or even when to do if someone calls child protective services on a pot smoking mom like her? >> you did feel comfortable to talk about this and write about >> uh-huh. >> are you still a little bit nerves about what will happen as a result? >> i really expected cps to show up on my door stop. i'm a mom, and writing about a different strain every week. they say they liken it to alcohol. but if i'm in here drinking, people outside aren't going to smell that. necessarily. if someone, one of my neighbors calls, i smell marijuana from this home, that's enough for cps
10:36 pm
to come out and talk to me. >> you what? he doesn't like the weather? >> driver says she doesn't smoke pot around elliot. only after he goes to bed. but it's part of her life, she says and she's glad it's part of her job, one she never imagined could be possible. >> it's awesome. it's great to have people know who i am. i've gone to places where people will say you're brittany, from the cannabis. that's cool. >> so far, things are looking up for the staff of the cannabist. >> that's something i'm ready proud of, i was concerned this might be a flash in the pan you know, and i wasn't sure we would see a falloff the same way as weed sales fell off in colorado, but we have seen nothing but
10:37 pm
increase in terms of traffic and i'm really happy about it. >> baca says he knows there will come a time when pot journalism will no longer be exceptional. and his status will come to an end. until then, he's enjoying the trip. lori jane gliha, al jazeera, colorado. >> in a moment, ferguson and other flash points, those sworn to protect them, a familiar face from the past speaks again against the law. >> you know it's this blue wall they talk of. like the mafia's you just don't talk about what other cops do. >> frank serpico, yes, he's back, and once again, he is
10:38 pm
10:39 pm
>> against the law in recent times that's been communities, ferguson, new
10:40 pm
york, find themselves at odds with the sisters sworn to protect them. communities that have spoken up and out, against injustice, but long before michael brown, and tam ir tamir rice's and eric garner frank serpico, please are out of control. >> my name is frank serpico. i'm a retired new york city police detective. >> 42 years after he left the force. frank serpico never thought he would still be fighting for police reform. but the legendary whistle blower says little has changed over the years. >> i say this in all sympathy
10:41 pm
and brotherhood and camaraderie. that maybe all these people that are protesting are not really wrong. >> we are. >> mike are brown. >> we is. >> mike brown. >> from ferguson to new york city, protests against police excess of force have brought thousands of people to the streets, mostly people of color, deaths at the hands of police officers, and rarely face consequences. in ferguson, the night officer darren wilson was cleared of charges in the killing of michael brown, frustration turned to fury.
10:42 pm
>> do you expect to hear in people's hearts and minds that they are killing their children? >> we caught up with serpico, 78 years old. speaking on camera for the first time in years, a far cry from 1973 when his story was made into an oscar-nominated film, in the 1960s serpico was behind one of the biggest scandals the nypd ever faced. >> i testified before a grand jury exposing widespread corruption throughout the department. that eventually led to the nap commission and they exposed you know police officers selling drugs, guns, shields, favors
10:43 pm
murders, it was a nightmare. >> when serpico spoke out he was shut out by the police force and even left for dead by a fellow officer after being wounded in the line of duty. >> i still have a bullet in my head and i was lucky to come out with my life. you don't talk about your own kind. you know, you don't expose your own kind. or, maybe will expose you. >> he says the insular police culture is responsible for many of the problems we see today. >> when an honest, self-respecting police officers finds something wrong within the ranks of the department, and tries to expose it, instead of being supported and rewarded, he gets shunned. and it somehow -- you know it's that blue wall that they talk of. it's like the mafia
10:44 pm
zomerta, you don't talk about what other cops do. >> the new york native says it can only be cracked if officers are held accountable to people outside their circle. >> the district attorney works with the police, they work hand had hand every day and -- hand in hand every day and that's why you need an outside investigator. >> serpico joined an every to accomplish that in wisconsin where the governor signed a law the first in the nation requiring that police shootings be investigated by an independent agency. this new law is a culmination of a ten year fight by michael bell whose 21-year-old son was shot and killed by police. >> can you tell me about your son. >> 21 year old kid, had some flaws, had some promise, that picture right there was the last picture i ever took of him
10:45 pm
. >> in 2004, the incident was captured on the dashboard camera camera. >> get in the van now. get in your van right now. >> police say bell's son was going for an officer's weapon. an internal investigation cleared officers of any wrongdoing. michael bell says the investigation was a sham. he began researching how police shootings were held in wisconsin and was disturbed what he found. >> in 129 years since 1885 we couldn't find a police department an inquest juror a fire commission that said any shooting was unjustified. >> he vowed to fight for asimple change. >> if a -- a simple change. >> if a police officer takes a life, let's make sure that the
10:46 pm
police department doesn't investigate itself. >> ben bell pressed for reform. finally, after pressing for reform, he found bill signed by the governor last november. >> we were signing right behind the governor as he was signing the bill. >> when serpico heard about bell's campaign he volunteered to act as an advisor. >> mr. bell is working on it for ten years. now new jersey is interested, i spoke to a legislature in new york is interested. >> for bell and serpico it's a good first step but wisconsin's new law was put to the test in case of dantre hamilton an unarmed man killed by police. an independent investigation was launched but the district attorney still declined to bring charges. hamilton's family lawyers say the probe was not truly independent as the investigators were former police officers. from the vantage point of more
10:47 pm
than 40 years observing the police, serpico says there's still a long way to go. >> some officers with i have to say a low mentality, think that i'm the law, this is me. i am the law. no, you're not the law. you were sworn to protect and serve. and respect that law. and enforce that law. on all, equally. >> let us rededicate ourselves. >> serpico sees evidence of that police mentality in recent events in new york. rows of officers literally turned their backs on new york's mayor at a funeral for two policemen who were gunned down by a man who said he was motivated by recent police shootings. police rank and fire were angry at the mayor for statements he made supposedly against the police. >> if i was the commissioner i'd fire them. that is setting a bad precedent
10:48 pm
not only to the society, to other police officers, it's just that they have too much power. and they don't want to give up that power. >> serpico says the protests across the nation should not fall on deaf ears and that it's finetime for his former brothers in uniform to listen. >> no one could turn their backs on this vital issue at this crucial moment in our nation's history. we are all in this together. and the sooner we realize that the better. >> christof putzel, al jazeera new york. >> frank serpico speaks. this week on "america tonight," we're going to continue our look at who's policing the police. >> when it comments to his natives right away you got to pull out a gun, you can't do away? >> this is based on criminal behavior and has nothing to do
10:49 pm
with race. >> the divide between officers and people of color, it extends far beyond america's inner cities, call for justice and reform in a remote and often forgotten community. ahead here tonight a transformation from blight to beauty. >> this place became less and less attractive, more and more danger are dangerous. a place i remember when i was growing up i was not allowed to visit. >> spray paint and a concrete campus. how street artists turned an eyesore into an inspiration.
10:50 pm
10:51 pm
10:52 pm
>> finally from us this hour, an image that takes us from street crime to the culture of community. on this tablet, a work that is unexpected usually uninvited but that has found a home in an otherwise abandoned building. al jazeera's jonathan martin with the images in new orleans. >> reporter: working in a hurried yet careful rhythm. >> graffiti is a fast medium it's meant to be fast, if you are slow you get caught. >> this is often unappreciated. >> often on a borderline, people have this idea whether it's gang associated which the ridiculous. >> once known as de
10:53 pm
gaulle manor manor, filled with faces of his personal heroes. >> it started here? >> yes, this here. >> but it stopped when the property owner showed up. >> i thought uh oh, this isn't good. >> there was no stopping there was curiosity, wanting to know about the images and the stories behind them. >> eventually led to me pitching the crazy idea. >> odoms wanted to turn entire complex into a street art exhibit and open it. after more stories and more convincing the owners agreed he could use the property. >> literally this space was transformed in 15 days give or take because most of the artists did not take that much time. >> quickly make ing five story buildings into their canvas.
10:54 pm
odoms was adamant that it would not be full of bulky lettering but would tell the stories of the neighborhood, it would just be. >> towards the '80s, people no longer worked, crime started to grow, poverty started to grow. this place became less and less attractive, more and more dangerous. a place where i remember when i was growing up i was not allowed to visit. >> the whole first floor of this building was program. >> malik dpraim wasik graham was proud to see his fame among the paintings. in 2006 after a change in ownership and increasing crime problems he says everyone was evicted from the property. >> there was a a real community. you had real god-fearing people. you know, living here, just by chance. and by politics
10:55 pm
poor. >> there is also a tribute to george carter, a popular teen whose murder remains unsolved. >> yes, he was murdered, and look what happened. >> what was supposed to be a one weekend exhibit is still open two months later attracting several thousand visitors including many school groups. >> i cried a couple of sometimes. i felt happiness and i also felt sadness. i was happy because someone remembered these people and their lives and what they have done throughout history. >> most would consider this an eyesore just a couple of months ago. what do you call it now? >> from the surface i call it beautiful. >> but soon the buildings and the art will come down. developers have plans for a sports complex and hotel on the property. >> it's not temporary because this will live on. for other people who have seen
10:56 pm
it, i won't forget it. >> graffiti is hardly ever permanent. but brandon odoms feels he and the other artists have created something that's lasting. while doing what he says street artists rarely do, use paint to connect to a community, leaving it better than they found it. jonathan martin, al jazeera, new orleans. >> the people speak out. here in washington, the president is set to lay out his plan for the year, in his state of the union address. we're curious what you think our nation's priorities ought to be right now. "america tonight's" digital team wants to hear from you, in the award winning editor podus project. we asked you to weigh in and thousands of you did tweeting and e-mailing us about the issues you wanted washington to take on.
10:57 pm
this year we've reached out to some people we've met on "america tonight," like sarah wolf a remarkable woman who did almost the impossible. she got lawmakers of both parties to back her bill, the able act, allowing people with disabilities to save for their own futures, without receiving penalties to their benefits. sarah has already a box for tuesday night and another item on her to-do list for president obama. we will report on a family who what happens when the person comes home. cin kinsey says, her message to the president, end a ban on medicaid
10:58 pm
fund he abortions. try to keep it short, take a lselfie, and e-mail it to sharingmy mystory@al you can find more information about the podus project on our home page. special coverage of tuesday's state of the union address begins at 7:00 eastern. analysis leading up to and after the speech and live response from the republicans, after the president's address. remember if you would like a comment on any of the stories you've seen log on to our website good night. we'll see you for our next
10:59 pm
"america tonight." >> you know how they say that everybody has a purpose in life? well, at one time, i felt that selling cocaine was my purpose. >> we was starvin', just lookin' for a way to succeed. >> the first time i seen rock cocaine was 1980. >> the murder rate was sky-high. >> south of the 10 freeway, was kind of a "no-man's land". >> you know, we're selling it for the blacks. i said, you go into these neighborhoods, there's no cops you can sell it where you want and when they start killing each other, nobody cares. >> i was going through like a million dollars worth of drugs just about every day. >> that's like gold! >> we can make a fortune! >> he was maybe the biggest guy in l.a. >> freeway rick was getting his dope from a very big operator.
11:00 pm
i think we're into something that's bigger than us. something we really can't deal with. >> they had been trafficking on behalf of the united states government. >> she could prove what she was saying. >> [rapping] crack in the system. >> [rapping] this is los angeles. >> this is al jazeera america. i'm richelle carey in new york with a look at today's top stories. belgium is asking for the extradition of a suspect and israel launches a deadly attack inside syria. several are killed including the son of a former tom commander. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> the faithful dignitaries and even a marching band gives pope francis a sendoff as he