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Protests over Ferguson Shooting Gone Nationwide; President and Attorney General Aim Tensions between Minorities and Police; Wave of Synthetic Drugs Usage Threaten American Youth

Aired December 03, 2014 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. First up this Wednesday, President Obama has announced a new taskforce: its job - study

police practices, work with law enforcement and community activists to build accountability and trust between communities and police. This has to

do with Ferguson, Missouri. Racial tensions flared when a white police officer shot and killed a black 18-year old on August 9. After hearing

evidence, the grand jury decided not to charge the officer with wrongdoing.

Another round of violent protests followed. Police cars, businesses and property in Ferguson were destroyed. President Obama and outgoing Attorney

General Eric Holder say distrust between police and minority communities is a national problem.


ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: The reality is that what we see in Ferguson is not restricted to Ferguson. There are other communities around this

country that have these same issues that have to be dealt with, and we at the Justice Department are determined to do all that we can to bridge those



AZUZ: Those divisions are deep. For example, the president wants limits on the ability of law enforcement agencies to buy military style equipment.

In the initial protests after the August shooting, some demonstrators and officials accused police of using unnecessary force by firing rubber

bullets and tear gas on sometimes violent protesters. But after protests last week, some officials say not enough was done to protect the community

that more armed members of the National Guard should have been there.

Protests over Ferguson have been nationwide. Many demonstrators say Officer Darren Wilson should have been charged in the shooting of Michael

Brown. Others say it was Michael Brown`s actions that led to his death.

Five players for the St. Louis Rams took the field Sunday with their hands up showing support for the witnesses who said Michael Brown`s hands were up

when he was shot.

The gesture angered the St. Louis Police Officers Association who cited evidence suggesting Brown didn`t have his hands up when Officer Wilson

opened fire.

You can see how this has touched a nerve among Americans. President Obama believes body cameras worn by police could help. He`s asking Congress to

approve funding to cover half the cost for them with states expected to pick up the other half, but they are not cheap.


ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I want to show you a body cam, this is an example of one, this is a recording device, this is the actual camera.

Police here in Daytona Beach, Florida, started testing these out in 2011, and they say the cameras have helped ease tensions in several cases.

Daytona Beach police have 75 cameras right now with plans to add 50 more by the end of the year. Each camera costs $950. And the department is paying

$23,000 a year to store the video. It`s a lot of money, but Chief Chitwood (ph) says it`s money well spent.

CHIEF MIKE CHITWOOD, DAYTONA BEACH POLIE DEPARTMENT: I can just tell you just from the few incidents that we had here, how it`s been just a God-sent

for us (ph).

MACHADO (on camera): So why is there so much resistance? Why doesn`t every police department in the country have these body cams?

CHITWOOD: Change is number one, cops don`t like change. Cost is number two.

MACHADO (voice over): And another reason, according to critics .

BERNARD KERIK, FORMER NYPD COMMISSIONER: Every single thing you say is going to be recorded, scrutinized and so forth, and I think that would put

a hindrance on cops, it would create a problem with them in dealing with the everyday public.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel that I can do my job a lot better now.

MACHADO: Officer Dale Kelig (ph) uses a body camera every day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This camera will protect me .

MACHADO: We were with him as he responded to a call. His body camera engaged capturing his drive to the scene and what he did once we arrived.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s your name?

MACHADO (on camera): When would you say the camera is most useful?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say any time that you come in contact with the (INAUDIBLE).

MACHADO (voice over): We wanted to see for ourselves, how the cameras work.

(on camera): So, right now, you are recording.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now we are recording.

MACHADO: Everything you see, everything you hear is being captured by that camera.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s correct.

MACHADO (voice over): After a brief demonstration, Officer Mike Terry (ph) helped me gear up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wind it up with the tabs and push down until it clicks. Good.

MACHADO: The recording device on my belt, the camera on my head.


MACHADO (on camera): It`s not that uncomfortable.


MACHADO: It`s kind of like wearing a headband.

(voice over): I turned it on.

(on camera): All I have to do was just .

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You press that button twice.

MACHADO (voice over): And went for a walk recording my every move.

(on camera): Right now we are in the shade.


MACHADO: So if I were to work out into the bright sun, what would happen?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The camera will adjust.

MACHADO (voice over): The technology, Chief Chitwood says, is invaluable.

(on camera): Is this the future?

CHITWOOD: In my heart, this is the future, it`s here. We might as well embrace it .


AZUZ: Concussions and football: legal cases involving how leagues have handles these injuries already exist at the professional and college

levels. A new one has been filed at the high school level. It`s only in the state of Illinois, but the attorney involved says he hopes to sue every

high school athletic association in the U.S. to change the rules to make football safer.

The suit was filed on behalf of a 29-year old man who played high school ball between 1999 and 2003. His lawyer says he had many concussions, but

wasn`t educated about the risks or the effects of them. And that more than ten years later, he still has migraines and memory loss.

The non-profit Illinois High School Association which regulates the state`s athletics, says concussion management remains a top priority. Some

neurosurgeons say because adolescents are still developing, concussions are especially dangerous for them.

Synthetic drugs, or designer drugs are incredibly dangerous, and they are hard for police to keep track of.

Many are made overseas, mostly in China. According to the U.S. government. It`s substances like bath salts, spice and K2 are constantly being altered

to help makers avoid breaking laws against known drugs. They are popular among teenagers, they can kill in one use.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In a week of June 10, 2012, law enforcement in Grande Forge were dealing with an outbreak of violent

overdoses, a mystery drug on the streets had already killed two teenagers.

TIMOTHY PURDON, U.S. ATTORNEY, DISTRICT OF NORTH DAKOTA: We`ve got multiple overdoses, we`ve got two young men that have lost their lives. I

mean what`s more serious than that?

GRIFFIN: Tip Purdon is a U.S. attorney for North Dakota.

PURDON: That was unprecedented, you know, I had - I`ve a U.S. attorney now for going on four years. This is the only time we`ve reached out to a

school system, to the university and said hey, there is this danger on the streets right now that people need to be aware about.

GRIFFIN: As the emergency warnings were being issued, investigators were desperately trying to find out just what this drug was, and more

importantly, where it came from.

CHRIS MYERS, FIRST ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY, DISTRICT OF NORTH DAKOTA: It took lab analysis to determine the true nature of these substances. When

we learned what they were, 2C-NBOMe, 2CC- NBOMe that was new to us.

GRIFFIN: 2C-NBOMe and 2CC- NBOMe are synthetic designer drugs, chemicals designed to imitate the high of the band drug LCD. North Dakota`s top

federal drug prosecutor had never heard of them, and neither had Christian Bjerk`s parents.

DEBRA BJERK, CHRISTIAN BJERK`S MOTHER: I had to go to the Internet and look up information on it. And I really didn`t understand the whole

synthetic drug, I didn`t know what it was, didn`t know who dangerous they were.

KEITH BJERK, CHRISTIAN BJERK`S FATHER: The message we got after we went on the Internet was that somebody said it was OK for these drugs to be on the

street, and they`ve been tweaked. But that`s all we know.

GRIFFIN: Synthetic LSD has been blamed for at least .

Parents across the country are now learning the painful truth about synthetic designer drugs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Investigators say he overdosed on the synthetic marijuana.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Otherwise known as K2.

GRIFFIN: With deaths and overdoses reported almost daily.


GRIFFIN: Hi, guys. This is Drew Griffin. I want to thank Carl for letting me speak to you just a little bit. You know, there have been 300

of these so called designer drugs. They are chemical poisons. That is what they are. When they come out of these laboratories in China, they are

stamped, not for human use. Research chemicals. And that`s why the DEA, the parents, all want to send out the warning that listen, you shouldn`t

try these because nobody knows the potency or just how dangerous they are.

AZUZ: When a lot of people hear the term "maverick" they think "top gun". We think Madison, Mississippi, that`s where the mavericks are watching

today. Great to have you aboard over a Germantown High School. One state east, in the city of Auburn, Alabama, we are calling on the Tigers. They

are at Auburn High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It`s home to Broughal Middle School. It`s where rockets are blasting off.

We may be away from having packages delivered by drones, but robots are helping move products around warehouses. They look like a fleet or rumbas,

and they are mighty. They are not advanced enough to pick things off the shelves, but they are strong enough to pick up the shelves and move them to

Amazon`s warehouse workers.

An analyst says, they will eventually replace jobs, Amazon insists they won`t. There`s no denying they save workers a lot of steps.

Tried to interview them, they were kind of robotic. They seemed really remote, and they just tended to drone on. But they drive circuits around

the warehouse. They take a lot of orders, and they still find their tasks fulfilling. We are shipping more stories and punch (ph) your away

tomorrow. I`m Carl Azuz.