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.