October 26, 2016: BREAKING: Feds Take Garner Case. Sinkholes: Buried Alive! Stars Shine For LGBT Youth! “Africa’s Gentle Giants”

Tonight, new developments in the Eric Garner case are making headlines today as the Justice Department shakes up the investigation against Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer responsible for putting Garner in the chokehold that became the catalyst for his death. Garner’s last words, “I can’t breathe,” caused national outrage and have become a mantra for Black Lives Matter protests and the conversation surrounding the use of force in police encounters. The New York Times reports that the Justice Department replaced the federal investigators handling the case in Brooklyn with their counterparts from Washington D.C. While New York feds are furious about the decision, saying that the shuffle is a move to make an example of Pantaleo, some believe that it’s a step in ensuring that justice is served. Tonight, former NYPD lieutenant Darrin Porcher weighs in on this case and the significance of this shift in power.

Next, earlier this year, a water main break on the Upper West Side flooded the streets, damaged basements, and opened up a large sinkhole on Amsterdam Avenue that swallowed an SUV. This is hardly a first for New York. Last year an even larger sinkhole swallowed a whole intersection in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. This phenomenon of the ground suddenly and unexpectedly collapsing beneath our feet is occurring more frequently around the globe and is a dangerous and sometimes even fatal occurrence. The threat they pose and their causes are documented in the NOVA film, Sinkholes— Buried Alive. Tonight, we’ll take an in-depth look at the film with its producer Larry Klein.

Then, while there have been monumental victories in the fight for equality among the LGBT community, advocates are quick to point out that there is still a long way to go. In fact, many LGBT youth are rejected by their own families and forced to leave home because of their sexuality. Studies show that LGBTQ youth make up about 40 percent of the homeless youth population in New York City. Not only that, but LGBTQ youth on the streets experience higher rates of sexual assault, violence, trauma, HIV infection, mental health issues, and substance abuse compared to their heterosexual peers living on the streets. The Ali Forney Center is dedicated to helping this vulnerable part of the population, providing safe shelter, health care, and a nurturing environment to get young people back on their feet. In this latest installment of Giving Back, we Listen In to a recent benefit gala the Ali Forney Center held to honor the legacy of the late Bea Arthur, an actress who fought for LGBT rights and was a key benefactor for the center’s work.

Finally, dealing with big oil, poachers and gunfire is nothing new to animal rescue missions in Africa. But while much attention has been paid to the real possibility that elephants and rhinos could be extinct within two decades, wildlife experts may have let giraffes slip through the cracks to suffer their own “silent extinction.” One particularly committed giraffe researcher, however, has not ignored their plight, and with his family and extended rescue team, has committed himself to relocating and protecting these long-necked-leaf-eaters before it’s too late. PBS Nature’s executive producer, Fred Kaufman joins us with a look at the series’ new documentary Giraffes: Africa’s Gentle Giants which shines a light on the efforts to protect these threatened animals.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS' BREAKING NEWS AS THE FEDS SHAKE UP THE INVESTIGATION INTO THE CHOKE HOLD DEATH OF ERIC GARNER.

I CAN'T BREATHE.

I CAN'T BREATHE.

THERE WE HAVE THE LATEST.

> IT'S A PHENOMENON THAT STRIKES WITHOUT WARNING AND WITH DEADLY CONSEQUENCES.

SINKHOLES.

BURIED ALIVE.

'NOVA' TAKES A DEEP LOOK.

> STARS SHINE IN SUPPORT OF LGBT YOUTH.

WE'RE ON THE SCENE.

> AND GIRAFFES ARE AFRICA'S GENTLE GIANTS.

BUT HAVE THEY BECOME AN ENDANGERED SPECIES?

PBS'S 'NATURE' HAS THE ANSWER AND WE HAVE A PREVIEW.

ALL THAT AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

Announcer: THIS IS ''METROFOCUS' WITH.

Referee: AEL P. ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANIGAN.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY -- CORPORATE FUNDING FOR 'METROFOCUS' WAS PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY.

AND BY PSE & G, SERVING CUSTOMERS STRENGTHENING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND INVESTING IN THE FUTURE.

> GOOD EVENING.

I'M WILLIAM JONES, AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

WE'VE GOT SOME BREAKING NEWS TONIGHT OUT OF 1 POLICE PLAZA.

THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IS CHANGING TACTICS IN ITS INVESTIGATION OF NYPD OFFICER DANIEL PANTALEO FOR THE CHOKE HOLD DEATH OF ERIC GARNER, THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN STATEN ISLAND MAN WHOSE DEATH BROUGHT NATIONAL OUTRAGE.

TWO YEARS AFTER THAT FATEFUL ENCOUNTER FEDERAL INVESTIGATORS IN BROOKLYN IS HAVE BEEN REPLACED BY THEIR WASHINGTON, D.C. COUNTERPARTS.

THE MOVE COMES AS SOURCES SAY NEW YORK OFFICIALS WERE RELUCTANT TO BRING CHARGES AGAINST PANTALEO.

BEHIND THE SCENES, HOWEVER, WORD IS THE NEW YORK FEDS ARE FURIOUS ABOUT THE DECISION, THEY FEEL THAT WASHINGTON IS LOOKING TO MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF THE OFFICER.

IN RESPONSE TO THOSE DEVELOPMENTS GARNER'S DAUGHTER ERICA TWEETED THAT 'THE MOVE TO REPLACE PROSECUTORS WILL BE A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION TOWARD JUSTICE FOR HER FATHER.'

HERE TO DISCUSS THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IS DR. DANIEL PORCHER, FORMER LIEUTENANT WITH THE NYPD.

ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU SPEAK WITH US.

LET ME START WITH THIS.

THE INVESTIGATION IS NOW MOVING INTO UNCHARTED LEGAL WATERS.

WHY THIS MOVE NOW FROM THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT?

THIS GOES BACK AS FAR AS TWO YEARS AGO WHEN THEN ERIC HOLDER WAS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.

WHEN ERIC HOLDER FIRST VIEWED THIS THROUGH THE OPTICS OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS PERSPECTIVE, HE BELIEVED IT WAS A CIVIL RICE CASE APPARENT.

HOWEVER, LORETTA LYNCH AT THAT TIME WAS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR -- EXCUSE ME, WAS THE PROSECUTORIAL ATTORNEY IN THE EASTERN DISTRICT, WHICH COVERS BROOKLYN AND STATEN ISLAND.

NOW, INITIALLY THIS MOVED FORWARD WITH A TEAM OF INVESTIGATORS CONSISTING OF PROSECUTORS AND FBI AGENTS FROM THAT EASTERN DISTRICT AREA.

THEY STARTED THIS INVESTIGATION TO DETERMINE IF THERE WAS IN FACT AN ELEMENT OF CRIMINALITY OR POSSIBLY A CIVIL RIGHTS ACT THAT WAS COMMITTED AGAINST ERIC GARNER.

MOVING FORWARD, LORETTA LYNCH WAS SUBSEQUENTLY PROMOTED TO BEING THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, AND SHE THEN -- THIS INVESTIGATION WAS NOW MOVED INTO HER OFFICE.

AND SHE WAS OKAY WITH HAVING THE INITIAL ENTITY OF THE FBI AGENTS FROM THE EASTERN DISTRICT AND THE ATTORNEYS PROSECUTING THIS CASE.

HOWEVER, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THAT WE HAD MORE SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS WHO WERE THE INDIVIDUALS THAT WERE PART OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.

THOSE INDIVIDUALS FELT THAT THE INVESTIGATION THAT TOOK PLACE IN THE EASTERN DISTRICT WASN'T SUFFICIENT.

THEY FELT AS THE SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT THEY COULD PROVIDE MORE TEETH IN CONNECTION WITH GAINING A PROSECUTION.

MOVING FORWARD, A CANTANKEROUS RELATIONSHIP EXISTED BETWEEN THE EASTERN DISTRICT INDIVIDUALS AND WASHINGTON WHERE WE HAD THE INDIVIDUALS THAT WERE PART OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS BUREAU.

THE CIVIL RIGHTS BUREAU FELT THAT WE'RE GOING TO TAKE THIS AND WE'RE GOING TO MOVE FORWARD.

HOWEVER, THE PROBLEM MOVING FORWARD FROM A PROSECUTORIAL PERSPECTIVE IS THIS WAS NOT -- THIS WAS NOT A NEUTRAL INVESTIGATION.

WHEN WE LOOK AT IT FROM A PERSPECTIVE OF NEUTRALITY, THE INDIVIDUALS IN THE EASTERN DISTRICT DEEMED THAT THERE WAS NO NEED TO MOVE FORWARD WITH A CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.

HOWEVER, BASED ON I WANT TO SAY POLITICAL OVERTONES OR PUBLIC -- THIS CANTANKEROUS RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN POLICE AND COMMUNITY HAS DRIVEN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO SUBSEQUENTLY MOVE FORWARD AND PROSECUTE THIS.

YOU MENTION POLITICAL OVERTONES THERE.

AND THAT WAS WHEN WE LOOK AT THE LEGAL TEAM TODAY FOR THE OFFICER, THAT WAS VERY MUCH THE MESSAGE COMING FROM THAT LEGAL TEAM, THAT THIS IS BEING DRIVEN BY POLITICS RATHER THAN JUSTICE.

BUT MANY PEOPLE WOULD LOOK AT THAT VIDEO FROM TWO YEARS AGO AND SAY WITH WHY ON EARTH HAS IT TAKEN THIS LONG TO GET TO WHERE WE ARE NOW?

AND THE OTHER ARGUMENT IS THIS IS SUCH A MUDDLED INVESTIGATION, ISN'T LORETTA LYNCH TO BE DOING HER JOB BY TAKING THIS MUDDLED INVESTIGATION AND TAKING IT ON A NATIONAL LEVEL TO ALMOST SORT OF SMOOTH IT OUT?

WELL, IN CONNECTION WITH LORETTA LYNCH DOING HER JOB, REMEMBER, SHE WAS AT THE TIME THE U.S. ATTORNEY IN THE EASTERN DISTRICT WHEN THIS FIRST INITIATED.

HER DOING HER JOB, I MEAN, IT COULD BE SUBJECTIVE.

MANY PEOPLE WILL SAY THAT SHE'S BEING PUSHED BY OVERTONES OF THIS BEING AN ELECTION YEAR BECAUSE WE HAVE HILLARY CLINTON RUNNING AND SHE'S OFTENTIMES EXPRESSED A CANTANKEROUS RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN POLICE AND COMMUNITY.

IF SHE'S ABLE TO COME INTO OFFICE, SHE WILL ENSURE THAT THERE WILL BE A LEVEL OF QUELL AND SHE WILL PRESENT A MORE COGENT ARGUMENT TO THE COMMUNITIES OF COLOR.

AND I THINK THAT FALLS ON THE BACK OF WHAT WE HAVE HERE.

GIVEN THE SHIFT NOW TO WASHINGTON, D.C., INEVITABLE WITHIN THE MONTHS AHEAD WE'RE GOING TO SEE CHARGES BROUGHT AGAINST THIS OFFICER FROM.

CHARGES CAN BE LEVIED AGAINST THE OFFICER.

BUT ONCE AGAIN IT GOES BACK A GRAND JURY PROCEEDING.

THIS CASE WOULD HAVE TO BE REINTRODUCED TO A GRAND JURY TO SEE IF THE GRAND JURY WOULD OFFER A TRUE BILL.

WHEN I SAY A TRUE BILL I MEAN AN DIEMT SO TO SPEAK.

I THINK IT'S HIGHLY UNLIKELY YOU WILL SEE A TRUE BRILL IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE BECAUSE WHEN WE REFLECT BACK ON WHAT THE INITIAL ENTITY WITHIN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATED THEY DETERMINED IN FACT THAT THERE WAS NO ASPECT OR ELEMENT OF CRIMINALITY NOR POSSIBLE CIVIL RIGHTS INTRUSION THAT WOULD HAVE CAUSED THIS TO MOVE FORWARD.

IN GOING BACK TO ERIC HOLDER, ERIC HOLDER STATED THE SAME THING.

HE -- WHEN ERIC HOLDER WAS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, HE AGREED THAT LOOK, IT'S HIGHLY UNLIKELY THAT WE WILL BE ABLE TO PROSECUTE THIS OR EVEN RECEIVE A TRUE BILL FOR THAT MATTER.

HOWEVER, WE'RE SHOULDERED WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PROVIDING QUINTESSENTIAL LAW ENFORCEMENT IN OUR POSITION IN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE.

DURING YOUR TIME AT THE NYPD YOU WORKED IN THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS BUREAU PF TAKE ME INSIDE THE MIND OF THOSE OFFICIALS THAT HAVE LED THIS INVESTIGATION AT A LOCAL LEVEL WHO ARE NOW SEEING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ESSENTIALLY GETTING INVOLVED.

WHEN I WORKED AS A LIEUTENANT IN THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS BUREAU, WE WERE TRADITIONALLY INVESTIGATING THESE TYPES OF INCIDENTS.

HOWEVER, BASED ON IT BEING A FEDERAL INVESTIGATION, THE LOCALIZED POLICE DEPARTMENT SUCH AS THE NYPD HAD BEEN REMOVED FROM THIS EQUATION AND THE INVESTIGATION IS BEING SOMETHING THAT WAS CONDUCTED AMONGST THE FBI, SO TO SPEAK.

THEREFORE, THROUGH THE LENS OF AN INTERNAL AFFAIRS INVESTIGATOR IT'S VERY DIFFICULT FOR ME TO ASSESS WHAT TYPE OF CREDIBLE INFORMATION THAT THEY DID HAVE.

ONE THING I WILL SAY WHEN WE TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE VIOLATION OF THE DEPARTMENT POLICY, IT IS SAFE TO SAY THAT OFFICER PANTALEO DID USE AN ILLEGAL -- I WANT TO SAY AN UNAUTHORIZED CHOKEHOLD.

HOWEVER, THAT UNAUTHORIZED CHOKEHOLD WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS INFRINGEMENT ON DEPARTMENT POLICY BUT IT WAS NOT AN ILLEGAL ACT.

THIS MOVE COMES AT A TIME WHEN TENSIONS BETWEEN POLICE DEPARTMENTS AND COMMUNITIES THEY SERVE NOT ONLY HERE IN NEW YORK BUT ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE TENSE TO SAY THE LEAST.

DOES THIS KIND OF MOVE ACT AS A CATALYST IN ANY WAY TO SOOTHE THOSE TENSIONS?

IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO SAY.

YOU HAVE TWO SIDES TO THIS.

BOTH SIDES, WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE COMMUNITY AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT LAW ENFORCEMENT, THEY'RE BOTH STRIVING TO BRING SUITORS UNDER THE TENT TO ABIDE BY OR UNDERSTAND WHAT THE PHILOSOPHY IS.

SO YOU HAVE POLICE INDIVIDUALS THAT WILL SAY OFTEN, MANY POLICE PEOPLE WILL SAY THAT HEY, LOOK, WE POSSIBLY HAVE A DOUBLE JEOPARDY CAUSE HERE WHEREAS OFFICER PANTALEO HAS NOT ONLY BEEN PROSECUTED IN A STATE COURT BUT HE'S NOW BEING PROSECUTED IN A FEDERAL COURT, WHICH BEGS THE QUESTION OF THE DOUBLE JEOPARDY CAUSE, IS THIS EFFECTIVE.

HOWEVER, WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE COMMUNITY, MORE PARTICULARLY THE COMMUNITIES OF COLOR, THEIR ARGUMENT IS THAT THEY ARE THE RECIPIENTS OF A MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE, THEREFORE IT'S NECESSARY TO MOVE FORWARD WITH ANOTHER PROSECUTION SO OFFICER PANTALEO CAN BE SOMEWHAT SUBJECTED TO POSSIBLE CRIMINAL ACTION MOVING FORWARD.

DR. DARREN PORCHER, A FORMER NYPD LIEUTENANT, NOW CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROFESSOR.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

IT'S ALWAYS A PLEASURE.

ONCE AGAIN FEDERAL OFFICIALS NOW TAKING CONTROL OF THIS INVESTIGATION INTO ERIC GARNER'S DEATH.

HIS FAMILY CALLING THIS MOVE A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION WHILE THE LEGAL TEAM FOR OFFICER PANTALEO SAYING THE POLITICS HERE IS GETTING IN THE WAY OF JUSTICE.

WE'LL BRING YOU MORE ON THIS DEVELOPING STORY AS IT COMES FORWARD.

> EARLIER THIS YEAR A WATER MAIN BREAK ON THE UPPER WEST SIDE FLOODED STREETS, DAMAGED BASEMENTS AND OPENED A LARGE SINKHOLE ON AMSTERDAM AVENUE THAT SWALLOWED AN ENTIRE SUV.

THIS IS HARDLY A FIRST FOR NEW YORK CITY.

LAST YEAR AN EVEN LARGER SINKHOLE SWALLOWED A WHOLE, IN IN THE BROOKLYN NEIGHBORHOOD OF SUNSET PARK.

BUT THE CATASTROPHIC COLLAPSE OF THE GROUND BENEATH OUR FEET IS A DANGEROUS AND SOMETIMES FATAL EVENT THAT'S HAPPENING WITH GREATER FREQUENCY WORLDWIDE.

THE 'NOVA' FILM 'SINKHOLES: BURIED ALIVE' EXPLAINS THE UNDERLYING CAUSES OF THESE LIFE-THREATENING CATASTROPHES.

LET'S TAKE A LOOK PB.

GLOBALLY AS MORE SINGHOLES EMERGE NEAR INFRASTRUCTURE, HOUSING AND OTHER FORMS OF DEVELOPMENT, ONE THING IS CLEAR.

SINKHOLES CAN BE ACCELERATED OR EVEN TRIGGERED BY VARIOUS HUMAN ACTIVITIES.

Reporter: POORLY DESIGNED AND OVERLOADED SEWAGE SYSTEMS HELPED CREATE THIS ENORMOUS SINKHOLE IN THE CENTER OF GUATEMALA CITY.

DAMNING THE JORDAN RIVER HAS MADE THE DESERT EDGE OF THE DEAD SEA LOOK LIKE THE SURFACE OF THE MOON.

AND MELTING PERMAFROST FROM GLOBAL WARMING COULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR SPECTACULAR HOLES IN FAR SIBERIA.

20% OF THE EARTH'S LAND SURFACE CONTAINS THE SOLUBLE ROCKS OF HARSH TERRAIN.

THIS MEANS THERE ARE MILLIONS OF ACRES IN SCORES OF COUNTRIES WHERE HUMAN ACTIVITIES CAN INCREASE THE RISK OF SINKHOLES.

AND JOINING ME NOW IS 'SINKHOLES: BURIED ALIVE' PRODUCER LARRY KLEIN.

LARRY, WELCOME TO THE SHOW.

THANK YOU.

GREAT TO BE HERE.

SO AFTER SEEING THAT CLIP, WHICH IS A LITTLE BIT FRIGHTENING, GIVE US AN UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT EXACTLY IS A SINKHOLE AND HOW DOES IT OCCUR?

SO THERE ARE NATURAL SINKHOLES.

IF THERE WAS NO ONE ON EARTH, THERE WOULD STILL BE SINKHOLES BECAUSE THERE ARE CERTAIN REGIONS CALLED KARSHED REGIONS, PRIMARILY AREAS WITH LIMESTONE UNDERPINNING OUR FEET.

THAT DISSOLVE.

OVER TIME LITTLE CRACKS FORM AND WATER COMES IN AND DISSOLVES THOSE ROCKS.

AND ANYTHING ON TOP OF IT AS EARTH GATHERS, AS DIRT GATHERS, AS HOUSES ARE PUT UP THERE.

UNDERNEATH, THOSE SINKHOLES ARE GROWING.

AND EVENTUALLY, YOU WILL SEE A GROUND COLLAPSE.

NOW, THINGS LIKE SINKHOLES ON AMSTERDAM AVENUE IN NEW YORK, THEY'RE CAUSED BY A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT FACTORS.

BUT THE REAL GEELOGIC CAUSE OF SINKHOLES IS THE DISSOLVING OF THESE SOLUBLE MATERIALS THAT GEOLOGISTS CALL KARST.

DOES THAT MEAN THEY'RE INEVITABLE, IF THERE'S GOING TO BE MORE DEVELOPMENT THERE'S GOING TO BE MORE SINKHOLES?

ABSOLUTELY.

YOU KNOW, FLORIDA IS THE KIND OF SINKHOLE CAPITAL OF THE U.S.

AND THAT'S PRIMARILY BECAUSE GREAT PORTIONS OF THE STATE SIT ON THIS KIND OF KARST TERRAIN.

SO HOUSES THAT ARE BUILT THERE WILL ALWAYS BE VULNERABLE.

BUT THEN THERE'S SEWERS AND RUNOFF AND COLLECTION PONDS.

ANYTHING THAT WE DO THAT WOULD TRIGGER -- THAT CAN TRIGGER THESE SINKHOLES WILL DO IT.

NO MATTER WHAT.

SO IN THE CITY, FOR EXAMPLE, IF THERE HAS BEEN LEAKAGE UNDER THE STREET FOR A LONG TIME, IT WILL -- EVEN IN NON-KARST AREAS THAT LEAKAGE WILL EVENTUALLY COMPROMISE THE UNDERSURFACE AND THAT'S WHAT YOU SEE A LOT IN GROUND COLLAPSES IN CITIES.

BUT THE REAL DANGEROUS AREAS ARE THE PLACES THAT HAVE THIS KIND OF KARST TERRAIN.

IS THERE ANY WAY WE CAN ENGINEER OUR WAY OUT OF THIS?

IS THERE A WAY TO STOP THE SINKHOLES FROM HAPPENING AS MUCH?

WELL, SORT OF.

YOU CAN'T STOP NATURAL SINKHOLE PROCESSES.

BUT YOU CAN TELL THAT THEY'RE HAPPENING.

AND THAT'S OF COURSE THE REAL ISSUE HERE.

HOW MUCH DO PEOPLE IN THOSE KARST AREAS, FOR EXAMPLE, ACTUALLY WANT TO KNOW?

IF YOU'RE A DEVELOPER, DO YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW THAT THERE'S POTENTIAL FOR A LOT OF SINKHOLES UNDER YOUR PROPERTY?

YOU CAN DO THAT.

THERE'S GROUND-PENETRATING RADAR THAT CAN SEE VOIDS IN THE EARTH.

THERE'S ALL KINDS OF WAYS THAT WE CAN FIND OUT.

IF AN AREA HAS ALREADY BEGUN TO DEVELOP THE KIND OF PROCESSES THAT WILL CAUSE THE SINKHOLE.

BUT UNFORTUNATELY, A LOT OF PEOPLE JUST DON'T WANT TO KNOW THAT BECAUSE THEY DON'T WANT TO BE LIABLE WHEN THEY SELL THE LAND.

SO THEN YOU -- I GUESS YOU CAN'T BE HELD LIABLE SHOULD A SINKHOLE OPEN UP EVEN THOUGH YOU'VE BUILT AN ENTIRE COMMUNITY ON LAND THAT'S SUSCEPTIBLE TO THIS.

THAT'S CORRECT.

IF YOU CAN SHOW -- I'M NOT A LAWYER.

BUT YOU KNOW, IF YOU DON'T KNOW, THEREFORE YOU'RE NOT HIDING ANYTHING.

THEN IT'S UNFORTUNATELY -- IT'S DIFFERENT IN DIFFERENT STATES.

LET ME ASK YOU VERY QUICKLY, THOUGH, ARE SINKHOLES A THREAT TO PEOPLE'S LIVES?

CLEARLY THEIR LIVELIHOOD, YOUR HOME, YOUR BUSINESS, YOUR CAR COULD BE GONE.

BUT DOES IT KILL PEOPLE VERY OFTEN?

NOT VERY OFTEN.

THERE'S ONLY BEEN A COUPLE OF DEATHS ASSOCIATED WITH SINKHOLES.

THE ONE THAT WE FEATURE IN THE FILM THAT HAPPENED IN FLORIDA.

A COUPLE OF WORKERS, PEOPLE ON KIND OF OIL RIG, WATER RIG KINDS OF SITUATIONS HAVE GONE IN.

FOR THE MOST PART THEY'RE NOT DEADLY.

THEY ARE, HOWEVER, SCARY.

AND PEOPLE WHO ARE LIVING IN HOMES, IN AREAS WHERE THEY CAN SEE, THERE ARE WALLS CRACKING, THEY CAN SEE THEIR DRIVEWAYS STARTING TO COLLAPSE, THEY'RE WORRIED THAT THEIR HOUSE IS GOING TO COME DOWN ON THEM.

I'M SURE THAT WOULD FRIGHTEN JUST ABOUT ANYBODY, JUST TERRIFYING.

OH, MY GOD.

TO SEE THE EARTH OPEN UP LIKE THAT.

LISTEN, LARRY, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

AND SHARING WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE EARTH OPENS UP BENEATH OUR FEET.

THANK YOU.

AND TORE MORE INFORMATION ON WHERE YOU CAN WATCH NOVA'S 'SINKHOLES: BURIED ALIVE' VISIT US ONLINE AT METROFOCUS.ORG.

> MARRIAGE EQUALITY HAS BEEN A GREAT VICTORY FOR THE LGBT COMMUNITY, BUT ADVOCATES ARE QUICK TO POINT OUT THAT THEIR WORK IS FAR FROM DONE.

FOR EXAMPLE, AT HOME MANY LGBT YOUTH ARE REJECTED BY THEIR FAMILIES AND ALL TOO OFTEN FIND THEMSELVES OUT ON THE STREETS.

THE ALLI FORNI CENTER IS DEDICATED TO HELPING THIS VULNERABLE POPULATION BY PROVIDING SAFE SHELTER, HEALTH CARE, AND A NURTURING ENVIRONMENT.

AT A RECENT BENEFIT GALA THE ALI FORNI CENTER HONTD LEGACY OF TV LEGEND BEA ARTHUR.

THE ACTRESS WAS A CHAMPION OF LGBT RIGHTS AND A KEY BENEFACTOR OF THE CENTER'S WORK WITH HOMELESS KIDS.

LET'S LISTEN IN.

THIS YEAR'S PLACE AT THE TABLE GALA IS PARTICULARLY SPECIAL AS AFC IS MONTHS AWAY FROM OPENING THE BEA ARTHUR CENTER.

YAY.

BEA FIRST LEARNED ABOUT AFC WHEN A FRIEND TOLD HER ABOUT THE FACT THAT THOUSANDS OF LGBT YOUTHS ARE KICKED OUT OF THEIR HOMES DUE TO THEIR SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND/OR GENDER IDENTITY.

BEA HOSTED ONE OF HER LAST PERFORMANCES FOR AFC, REVIVING HER ONE-WOMAN SHOW, 'JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS.'

AT THE TIME IT WAS AFC'S LARGEST FUND-RAIING BENEFIT.

A COUPLE OF YEARS LATER WHEN SHE PASSED, WHEN SHE PASSED AWAY, SHE LEFT AFC IN HER WILL.

THAT IS AMAZING.

YEAH.

EVERYTHING THAT SHE DID FOR US WAS JUST SO EXTRAORDINARY, JUST SO GENEROUS.

AND IT WAS REALLY TRANSFORMATIVE FOR US AS AN ORGANIZATION.

IT REALLY PUT US ON THE MAP.

IT BROUGHT THE PLIGHT OF HOMELESS LGBT YOUTH TO SO MANY MORE PEOPLE'S CONSCIOUSNESS.

IT'S A TERRIBLE NATIONAL CRISIS.

ESTIMATED THAT THERE ARE APPROXIMATELY 2 MILLION HOMELESS YOUTH IN THE UNITED STATES AND THAT 40% OF THEM ARE LGBT.

NOW, AT BEST ONLY 7% OR 8% OF YOUTH ARE LGBT.

SO IF HOMELESS YOUTH MAKE UP -- IF LGBT MAKE UP 40% OF THE POPULATION IT SHOWS AN LGBT YOUTH IS EIGHT TIMES MORE LIKELY TO EXPERIENCE HOMELESSNESS THAN HETEROSEXUAL YOUTH.

AND I KNOW BECAUSE WHEN I CAME OUT MY CATHOLIC MOTHER BEAT ME UP AND THREW ME OUT OF THE HOUSE.

I MADE MY WAY TO MY BROTHER'S DORM ROOM, AND THEN MY FATHER TOLD HER THAT I NEEDED TO COME BACK HOME.

SIX MONTHS LATER I WENT OUT AND GOT AN APARTMENT.

BUT YOU KNOW, IF NOT FOR MY FATHER, I WOULD HAVE BEEN ONE OF THE HOMELESS LGBT YOUTH.

SO THE WORK THAT YOU DO IS SO INCREDIBLE BECAUSE WITHOUT ALI FORNET, WITHOUT MY FATHER, WE WOULDN'T GET TO THE PLACES WHERE TODAY.

.

> DEALING WITH BIG OIL, POACHERS, AND GUNFIRE IS NOTHING NEW TO ANIMAL RESCUE MISSIONS IN AFRICA.

BUT WHILE MUCH ATTENTION HAS BEEN PAID TO THE REAL POSSIBILITY THAT ELEPHANTS AND RHINOS COULD BE EXTINCT WITHIN TWO DECADES, WILDLIFE EXPERTS MAY HAVE LET GIRAFFES SLIP THROUGH THE CRACKS TO SUFFER THEIR OWN SILENT EXTINCTION.

ONE PARTICULARLY COMMITTED GIRAFFE RESEARCHER, HOWEVER, HAS NOT IGNORED THEIR PLIGHT.

AND WITH HIS FAMILY AN EXTENDED RESCUE TEAM HAS COMMITTED HIMSELF TO LOCATING AND PROTECTING THESE LONG-NECKED LEAF EATERS BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE.

A NEW PBS NATURE DOCUMENTARY 'GIRAFFES: AFRICA'S GENTLE GIANTS' SHINES A LIGHT ON EFFORTS TO PROTECT THESE THREATENED ANIMALS.

HERE'S A LOOK.

I'VE NEVER SEEN THAT IN THE WILD.

THERE'S SO MUCH WE DON'T KNOW ABOUT GIRAFFES.

THIS IS REALLY EXCITING STUFF.

BUT WHAT WE DO KNOW IS ALARMING.

THEY'RE DISAPPEARING.

THIS SILENT EXTINCTION.

I'M ABSOLUTELY AMAZED THAT NO ONE HAS A CLUE.

Reporter: THIS MAN WILL LAUNCH A RESCUE MISSION FROM ETHIOPIA TO UGANDA TO BRING THESE GENTLE GIANTS TO SAFETY.

AND JOINING ME NOW IS 'NATURE'S' EXECUTIVE PRODUCER FRED KAUFMAN.

FRED, WELCOME BACK.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

FRED, TWO BIG SURPRISES ABOUT GIRAFFES ARE REVEALED IN THIS DOCUMENTARY, WONDERFUL DOCUMENTARY.

AND THE FIRST ONE IS JUST HOW LITTLE WE KNOW ABOUT GIRAFFES.

HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?

YEAH, THAT WAS A TAKEAWAY I REALLY GOT ALSO FROM THIS WHOLE STORY.

AND WHEN IT WAS PRESENTED TO US.

THAT WE KNOW SO MUCH MORE ABOUT SO MANY OTHER ANIMALS.

AND YET WE KNOW SORT OF EMBARRASSINGLY LITTLE ABOUT THIS HUGE ANIMAL THAT'S REALLY PART OF THE AFRICAN LANDSCAPE.

AND I'M STUNNED WE KNOW AS LITTLE AS WE DO.

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?

I THINK PART OF IT IS YOU HAVE BIG MARQUEE ANIMALS IN AFRICA.

YOU HAVE ELEPHANTS.

YOU HAVE RHINO.

YOU HAVE BIG CATS.

YOU HAVE CHIMPS.

YOU HAVE GORILLAS.

I MEAN, AND THEY'RE ALL STRUGGLING AND THEY'RE ALL AT SOME LEVEL OF ENDANGERMENT.

AND A LOT OF MONEY GOES TO HOME.

AND A LOT OF PEOPLE FOCUS THEIR RESEARCH ON THEM.

AND GIRAFFES DON'T QUITE OCCUPY THAT SAME LEVEL IN OUR CONSCIOUSNESS.

YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU'RE IN AFRICA AND YOU SEE THEM, THEY DON'T LOOK AS MUCH AS INDIVIDUALS AS THEY LOOK LIKE THEY'RE PART OF THE LANDSCAPE.

I GUESS THAT'S RIGHT.

THEY'RE NOT PREDATORS.

YOU KNOW, SO THEY'RE NOT ATTACKING THINGS.

THEY SORT OF -- THEY'RE BY THEMSELVES.

THEY EAT LEAVES.

AND ANOTHER THING I THINK IS SORT OF INTERESTING.

THEY'RE 18 FEET TALL.

WHEN YOU SEE ONE, THEY'RE ACTUALLY BIGGER THAN YOU WOULD THINK, IMAGINE.

AND SO YOU DON'T HAVE THAT EYE TO EYE CONTACT YOU DO WITH OTHER ANIMALS.

THEY JUST -- THEY'RE NOT QUITE AS IMPRESSIVE OR AS CHARISMATIC AS THE OTHERS.

THE OTHER SURPRISE OF COURSE IS THE MORE DEVASTATING ONE, IS THAT THEY ARE IN FACT THREATENED.

PERHAPS EVEN CLOSE TO EXTINCTION?

TALK ABOUT THAT.

WHAT IS THE THREAT?

THEIR NUMBERS ARE REALLY LOW.

THEY'RE ABOUT 90,000 OF THEM.

AND PART OF IT IS THEY'RE POACHED LIKE OTHER GREAT ANIMALS IN AFRICA FOR THE BUSH MEAT.

YOU KNOW, THEY'RE BIG ANIMALS.

THEY FEED A LOT OF PEOPLE.

THEY'RE KILLED FOR THEIR MEAT.

THEY'RE ALSO KILLED FOR THEIR SKIN, WHICH CAN BE USED IN A LOT OF DIFFERENT WAYS.

THEIR TAB HAT IS SHRINKING.

AND THEREFORE, THERE ARE LESS OF THEM BEING ABLE TO MATE.

THEY'RE FACING THE CRISES SOME OTHER ANIMALS ARE FACING.

BUT NOBODY'S PUBLICIZING THIS FACT.

UNTIL THIS MOVIE WAS MADE AND UNTIL JULIAN FENNESSY BEGAN TO SPEAK OUT.

HE IS THE RESEARCHER, GIRAFFE RESEARCHER WHO'S TAKING ON THE TASK OF PROTECTING THEM.

WHAT'S HE DOING TO PROTECT THE GIRAFFES?

I THINK HE'S FUND-RAISING 37 I THINK HE'S DOING ALL THE THINGS YOU WOULD TO BRING ATTENTION TO THESE ANIMALS.

BUT IN THE FILM WE REVEAL SOMETHING THAT WAS NEWSWORTHY.

IT MADE SOME OF THE PAPERS.

IT MADE 'THE NEW YORK TIMES.'

EVERYBODY THOUGHT THAT ALL THE -- THERE WERE SUBSPECIES OF GIRAFFES.

THERE WERE NINE SUBSPECIES.

HE DISCOVERED THAT THERE WERE ACTUALLY FOUR DISTINCT SPECIES.

SO IT'S LIKE A POLAR BEAR AND A BLACK BEAR.

THEY'RE NOT THE SAME.

THEY WOULD NOT MATE.

AND THE SAME THING IS TRUE WITH GIRAFFE.

AND BY DOING THIS NOW HE'S FOCUSING HIS STUDIES ON THE DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN THE SPECIES AND ISOLATING THE ONES THAT ARE REALLY IN TROUBLE AND THE ONES THAT ARE DOING BETTER.

HE'S TRYING TO GET THE MESSAGE OUT.

HE'S TRYING FOUND RAZE.

HE'S TRYING TO DO ALL THE THINGS THAT CONSERVATIONISTS DO.

HE'S ALSO RELOCATING THEM BECAUSE SOME OF THE GIRAFFES IN AFRICA ARE ON OIL-RICH LAND THAT'S GOING TO BE DRILLED.

SO HE DID THIS INCREDIBLE PROJECT OF GETTING THEM ACROSS THE NILE RIVER.

BY THE END OF THE DOCUMENTARY WE DON'T KNOW EXACTLY IF THAT WORKED OR NOT.

DO WE KNOW SINCE THE FILM WAS COMPLETED?

WELL, IT HAS.

AND THE MAJORITY OF THE FILM IS THIS RELOCATION OF THESE GIRAFFES.

THEY HAD LIKE TWO WEEKS TO HERD 20 GIRAFFES AND RELOCATE THEM ACROSS THE NILE TO MORE PROTECTED LAND.

AND THEY'RE DOING REALLY WELL AND THEY'RE NOW A BIT OF A TOURIST ATTRACTION.

BUT THERE'S REALLY VERY DRAMATIC FOOTAGE OF TRYING TO TRANQUILIZE THESE GIRAFFES AND ACTUALLY TAKE THEM INTO SORT OF A MOMO, WHICH IS A BIT OF A CORRAL, TO HOLD THEM THERE.

AND WHAT'S GREAT IS HE'S WORKING WITH NATIVE AFRICANS.

IT'S NOT JUST WESTERNERS COMING OVER AND TELLING PEOPLE HOW THEY SHOULD LIVE.

IT'S NATIVE VETS AND RANGERS, ET CETERA, AND THEY'RE ALL, YOU KNOW, LEARNING HOW TO TRANQUILIZE AND ROPE THESE GIRAFFES AND ULTIMATELY GUIDE THEM INTO THESE TRUCKS.

AND FOR SOME IT'S A BIT DISTURBING.

IT'S PRETTY INTRUSIVE THE WAY THEY TRY TO PROTECT THEM.

VERY MUCH SO.

THEY'RE STRUGGLING AND YOU PUT SOMETHING OVER THEIR EYES TO TRY TO CALM THEM.

BUT ULTIMATELY IT'S NECESSARY TO TRY TO SAVE THE SPECIES.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

IS IT CONCEIVABLE THAT THE GIRAFFE COULD GO EXTINCT?

I DON'T THINK IT WILL GO EXTINCT, BUT WHAT I THINK IS FAR MORE LIKELY IS THERE WILL BE HEALTHY POCKETS OF POPULATIONS OF ANIMALS IN WELL-PROTECTED RESERVES BEING LOOKED AT VERY CAREFULLY BUT IN TERMS OF THE WILD IN AFRICA WHERE YOU WOULD FIND HERDS OF ANIMALS ALL OVER THE PLACE I THINK THAT MIGHT BE GOING AWAY IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF DECADES.

BUT I THINK THEY WILL BE PROTECTED.

BUT IT WON'T BE WHAT WE'RE THINKING.

YOU KNOW, THE NUMBERS ARE GOING DOWN.

AND THE MORE SOMETHING BECOMES RARE THE MORE VALUABLE THE HIDE OF THE GIRAFFE HAS BECOME, THE MORE VALUABLE IVORY BECOMES.

IT'S A VICIOUS CYCLE, IN OTHER WORDS.

EXACTLY.

AND I THINK ULTIMATELY IT'S IN EDUCATING THE PEOPLE AND KNOWING THIS IS PART OF THEIR LEGACY AND THEIR CULTURE AND HOPEFULLY THEY WILL HELP PRESERVE THEM.

IN DOCUMENTARY CERTAINLY CONTRIBUTES TO THAT.

FRED, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

'NATURE'S GIRAFFES: AFRICA'S GENTLE GIANTS' AIRS TONIGHT AT 8:00 P.M. ON PBS.

CHECK YOUR LOCAL LISTINGS.

Announcer: FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY -- ♪♪

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

WNET

© WNET All Rights Reserved.

825 Eighth Avenue

New York, NY 10019