tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS October 27, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
>> pelley: now it's a federal case. the justice deparment opens a civil rights investigation into this violent arrest of a high school girl. also tonight, a community afraid that an underground fire may be spreading toward a nuclear waste site. why trump fell out of first, and the silver lining for him in our new poll. and a big announcement from america's record-breaking champion. >> abby said that she wanted her final world cup to be like a fairy tale, and i'm not sure that she could have written a better captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: today, the federal government jumped into the case of the deputy sheriff seen on video making a violent takedown of a teenaged girl in a school room. the justice deparment is
investigating whether ben fields, a senior deputy with the richland county south carolina sheriff's office violated the civil rights of the high school senior whose name has not been released. omar villafranca now on this latest case to raise questions about police and excessive force. >> just stand up. >> reporter: the confrontation started just after 10:30 a.m. when a female student repeatedly refused requests by her teacher and assistant principal to put away her phone. that's when richland county deputy ben fields was called in. ( bleep ). put your hands behind your back. >> reporter: 18-year-old niya kenny was in the same class. when she protested the officer's behavior, she, too, was
arrested. >> i was praying out loud for the girl and i couldn't believe it was happening. i was just crying and he was like, "since you've got so much to say, you're coming, too." >> reporter: 15-year-old aaron johnson was sitting a few desks away. >> it seemed, like, really violent, and it was really, ready heard to watch. >> reporter: this afternoon of school superintendent debbie hamm called the incident outrageous. >> clearly, something did not go right in this classroom. >> reporter: deputy fields was put on administrative leave. a 10-year department veteran, in 2008 he became a school resource officer, part of a community effort to forge better relations between law enforcement and schools. last year, he was honored by the district, but court records show fields has been accused of abusive behavior three times. a jury ruled in his favor in a 2005 case, a 2006 case was dismissed, and a case accusing him of racially profiling a student is set for trial in january. sherifsheriff leon lott says an internal investigation will
determine if deputy fields keeps his job. >> if she had not disrupted the school, disrupted that class, we would not be standing here today. so it started with her and it ended with my officer. what i'm going to deal with is what my deputy did. >> reporter: the school district would not answer questions about the teacher or the student in the classroom. scott, the sheriff department's internal investigation is expected to be completed in 24 hours but the federal investigation could take several weeks. >> pelley: omar villafranca in columbia, south carolina, thank you, omar. school-based policing is the fastest growing segment of law enforcement, and we asked our jim axelrod to look into the role of cops in schools. >> reporter: this was last month at rockdale county high school in conyers, jirgs. watch as the police officer approaches the fighting students with his taser. >> and this happens-- it's not isolated. it does happen. >> reporter: susan ferris, a reporter for the nonprofit
center for public integrity, says student behavior that leads to police intervention occurs at the rate for of six for every 1,000 students nationwide each year. virginia has the highest state rate, 16 referrals per 1,000 students. >> across the country, there are school districts that have high rates, while a school district in a neighboring county may not have any referrals at all. the way that officers are used in schools, the kinds of things that they are asked to get involved in or choose to get involved in really zero. special needs students make up 14% of the student population nationwide, but the referral rate to law enforcement is nearly double that. black and latino kids were also referred to law enforcement at rates higher than their percentage of the population. >> everything all right? you good? >> officer don bridges has worked at franklin high school near baltimore for more than a decade. >> what grade are you in now?
>> 12. >> reporter: he says the key to handling situations like the one in south carolina is to train officers to be visible and approachable. >> it is very, very rare that, that we would have to use tactics such as that. oftentimes we're able to calm situations through verbal deescalation. >> reporter: officer bridges is a member of nasro, the national association of school resource officers, which provides 40-hour blocks of instruction for any officer new to working in a school. but, scott, nasro tells us south carolina does not allow the group to provide training there. >> pelley: jim axelrod, jim, thank you. today, president obama said the media is partly responsible for driving a wedge between police and the public by "focusing on the sensational." mr. obama told the international association of chiefs of police that law enforcement is too often scapegoated for the broader failures of society.
here's our justice correspondent jeff pegues. >> i reject any narrative that seeks to divide police and communities that they serve. >> reporter: at a gathering of police chiefs in chicago, president obama cautioned against jumping to conclusions about why crime has spiked in some major cities. >> we do have to stick with the facts. we-- what we can't do is cherry pick data or use anecdotal evidence to drive policy or to feed political agendas. >> reporter: that statement appeared to be a response to f.b.i. director james comey, who spoke at the same event yesterday. >> some part of what's going on is likely a chill wind that has flown bloen through law enforcement over the last year. >> reporter: comey suggested cell phone videos of deadly police encounters like the arrest of freddie gray in baltimore, could be make law enforcement pull back. >> are officers reluctant to get out of their cars and do the work that controls violent crime. >> reporter: the number of arrests in some cities is down. in orlando, they have declined
nearly 10%, in minneapolis more than 15%, and in baltimore, there has been a 34% decrease in arrests. all three industries seen an increase in homicides. in baltimore, murders are up more than 50% over last year. still, james pasco, of the national fraternal order of police, says rank and file officers are offended by the f.b.i. director's comments. >> officers have enough stress on them as it is without their actions being second guessed or misinterpreted by high government officials. >> reporter: the law enforcement community has had its disagreements with the obama administration, but today, many of the president's comments were applauded. scott, he thanked the police today saying the country was safer for thur efforts. >> pelley: jeff pegues in our washington newsroom. jeff, thank you. in another important story, we've been reporting on an unusual number of rare cancers near an old nuclear waste dump outside st. louis.
tonight, the folks who live nearby have a more immediate worry. there is a fire burning underground, possibly within 1,000 feet of the nuclear waste. and vinita nair is following this. >> we are sick. our kids are sick. and we're dying. >> reporter: hundreds of people jammed into a bridgeton union hall last night demanding to know if nuclear waste sitting in their local landed fill could lead to disaster. >> we don't go outside. we don't open our windows. >> you can't 100% guarantee that we're okay. >> reporter: the nuclear waste was illegally dumped in the landfill in the 1970s. it was the by-product of processing uranium for america's nuclear weaponses program. an underground fire has been slowly burning at the landfill for five years. residents are worried the fire could ignite the nuclear material that's about 1,000 feet away. >> we will look at some surface temperatures. >> reporter: the environmental protection agency and the landfill owner, republic services, insist that's not
true. are you guys 100% sure that the underground fire will never touch the waste? >> we are confident that the bridgeton landfill is in a managed state. >> reporter: missouri's attorney is not so comfort. he is suing republic services saying his excerpts tell him the underground burn could reach the nuclear material in three to six months. ed smith from the nonprofit missouri coalition for the environment, says if the underground fire meets the nuclear material, he fears an environmental emergency. >> it's not some wild speculation that if there's a fire, which will disturb the surface of the landfill, that we would see the radioactivity move off site. >> reporter: just this month the county notified residents of an evacuation plan in case nuclear material is released. dawn chapman say mother other three who lives less than two miles from the landfill. >> how dare they come out and tell us everything's safe when they don't know what it is or where it is and how much they
have. >> reporter: this scenario has never happened before, so at this point, there is a lot of educated guessing going on, scott, that is little comfort to the residents here. >> pelley: vinita nair reporting for us this evening. thank you. hurricane patricia is long gone but what is left of it is still causing trouble. there was flooding today in south carolina low country. the midwest got buckets of rain today and the systems is headed to the northeast just in time for tomorrow morning's rush. in the republican presidential race, the doctor is in, first place. our new cbs news/"new york times" poll shows ben carson has staged a quiet coup, knocking donald trump out of the top spot by four point. the poll told us a number of fascinating things. here's major garrett. >> donald trump's support has eroded across every demographic group we surveyed.
among tea party-inspired voters trump's support has fall fren 27% last month to 19%. ben carson now leads here by nine points. among evangelical voters, the two were tied last month. now trump trails carson 35% to 13%. now, it's not all bad news for trump. he retains two advantages, the first, republican voters see him by almost a two-to-one margin as the most likely to win the general election next november. trump's second advantage: his support is solid. of his backery won't change their minds about the billionaire businessman. only 19% of carson voters are that sure. trump's current level of voter commitment could prove decisive since so many other candidates are dividing up the remaining votes. >> do we love these polls? somebody said you love polls. that's because i've been winning every single one of them. right, right? ( cheers ) every single poll. >> reporter: not anymore. trump is facing the first real decline in support since
launching his campaign, and republicans have some deep institutional concerns. 48% believe the federal government is a threat to their life and liberty, while 74% believe the political system is not working, despite g.o.p. control of the house and senate. this is why conventional politicians like jeb bush, markue rubio, john kasich, and chris christie remain mired in single digits. the central dynamic of this race has not changed. scott, republicans prefer a nonpolitical outsider. what has changed is the personality preference from trump to carson. >> pelley: major garrett, thanks. those frustrated by washington gridlock might be surprised to hear that the white house today has reached a budget agreement with house republican leaders led by outgoing speaker john boehner. the deal raises spending by about $80 billion and it lifts the debt ceiling until march of 2017. if passed-- and that is likely-- there will be no more government
cliff hangers in the obama administration. tonight, chinese leaders are fuming after an american navy destroyer, the u.s.s. "lassen," sailed within 12 miles of one of china's dispute artificial islandses in the south china sea. seth doane is in beijing. >> reporter: today's patrol was a blunt message that the u.s. does not recognize china's territorial claim on these islands. they've been filling in reefs to construct manmade islands since 2013. china said the u.s. is playing a dangerous game. how far is china willing to go to protect what it sees as its territory? "the chinese side is willing to resolve the diste in a peaceful way," ministry of foreign affairs spokesman lu kang said. "but if we're forced we will respond in our own way." new satellite images of the islands reveal what are believed to be airstrips capable of
handling military aircraft. last june, we travel toward subi reef, one of the islands the u.s. ship approached today. as we get closer, you can see a number of cranes up and down the length of this island. it almost looks like a city in the middle of the sea. by claiming these islands, china is also claiming its vital shipping lanes and vast oil deposits. but the u.s. is pushing back and warned today's patrols won't be the last in these dispute waters. seth doane, cbs news, beijing. >> pelley: coming up, deadly crashes-- the drivers had no idea their tires had been recalled. a cbs tv chopper crew comes to the rescue after a small plane goes down. and a firefighter shows what you might call puppy love when the cbs evening news continues.
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>> pelley: today, federal investigators said the vast majority of defective tires stay on the road even after they've been recalled. kris van cleave now on what they're doing about it. >> reporter: these four crashes in 2014 involving tire failure killed 12 people and injured 42 others, prompting the national transportation safety board special investigation. among them, this church van's left rear tire tread separated, causing the vehicle to roll over. four people were ejected, two died, an adult and seven children were injured. that tire was recalled 19 months earlier, but the n.t.s.b. found as many as 80% of recalled tires do not get fixed, leaving danger literally rolling down american roads. >> a lot of that is something the consumers don't have control over because they don't know that they're driving with a tire that's subject to a recall. >> reporter: n.t.s.b. chairman christopher hart led the panel
that recommended 11 safety recommendations, starting that tires be registered when purchased so consumers can be notified easier. the board also recommended improving how tires are labeld and how recall information is shared. if the recommendations are send, will this save lives? >> this will definitely save lives. 539 lives lost in 2013 is totally unacceptable. >> reporter: other recommendations: better guidelines and testing for aging tires. just dayses before the deadly church van crash, four people in this kia s.u.v. died when an aging rear tire failed. the s.u.v. slammed into a school bus in centreville, louisiana. 31 people on board were hurt. tire makers support n.t.s.b. plan for changing the registration recall system. tire retailers think there's a more user-friendly way to do it. scott, the n.t.s.b. surging drivers to check their tires every month for damage and proper tire pressure. >> pelley: kris van cleave reporting. kris, thank you. some cars have had to be recalled three times for the same dangerous problem.
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>> pelley: well, the first two repairs didn't work, so today, general motors announced a third recall of nearly 1.3 million cars model years 1997-2004. oil leaks have started fires in more than 1300 of these cars after they were supposedly fixed by dealers. we have a complete list of the recalled models at cbsnews.com. the crew of chopper 4 at our cbs station in miami became first responders yesterday when a small plane crashed on the edge of the everglades. the crew spotted survivors and decided to land. cbs pilot clem carfaro ran for help, joined by photographer robbin russell, who is an e.m.t. they directed ambulances to the scene to help the plane's pilot who suffered serious injuries. firefighters in san bernardino tino, california, got everyone out of a burning house last
night when the owners reported that their puppy was missing. captain kevin whitaker ran back in and found the chihuahu. whitaker, who has a chihuahu of his own, gave the little pup oxygen probably saving its life. the captain said it made its day. the president made abby wambach's day when she made a major announcement. we'll have her story next. ♪song: "that's life" ♪song: "that's life" ♪song: "that's life"♪ that's life. you diet. you exercise. and if you still need help lowering your blood sugar... ...this is jardiance. along with diet and exercise,
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stars of the american team, soccer's all-time international leading scorer, male or female, announced her retirement. jericka duncan has her story. ( cheers ) >> reporter: abby wambach is best known for using her head to win big. one of her most memorable goals, the 2011 women's world cup. the u.s. was down a goal to brazil and seconds 83 from an embarrassingly early exit, but in storms abby. >> what a moment in time, an iconic moment to be a part of. there were so many things that needed to be perfect for that brazil goal. >> reporter: that year, they lost in the final to japan, but four years later, wambach achieved her ultimate goal when the u.s. beat japan to become the world champions. >> i'm like, seriously, am i alive? i feel like this is what heffen is supposed to feel like. >> reporter: today, president obama recognized wambach in that moment. >> world champion at last,
draped in the star stars and st, showing us all how far we've come, on and off the field biker sharing a celebratory kiss with her wife. >> reporter: teammate alex morgan: what's one word you would use to describe her? >> i would say selfless. >> reporter: have you had any visions about how this will end? >> if there was any year for us to win, this has to be the one, right? it's the end for me when it comes to talking about world cups, and for me, i like storybook endings that end well. >> reporter: and it couldn't have ended any better. jericka duncan, cbs news, new york. >> pelley: one of the greates of all time. that's the cbs evening news for tonight. for a ll of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org okay.
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at 7:00, rain creeping into the metro area. this is just the start of a very wet 36 hours. thanks for joining us. >> the rain and showers are what's left from hurricane patricia. our chief meteorologist is here tracking how much rain we can get and when. topper. >> we are kind of lucky. evening commute is pretty much over and most everybody got home with a dry road. i want to widen the radar, first alert doppler. you see moisture from raleigh through southern virginia, southern west virginia to the ohio valley. it is slow to move in but it will move in in a big way overnight. most of the action in the last hour toward winchester and i81 with a couple sprinkles here and there. for the most part along i81 is where most of the activity is. notice it is all light.