September 27th, 2013
06:45 PM ET

Who’s policing the Houston police?

In the Houston Police Department, getting fired doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get your job back.

In June 2011, Indira Paz was sleeping in her bed next to her 4-year-old daughter. The next thing she knew, a strange man was on top of her, tying her hands with plastic ties as her daughter screamed beside her. Paz was raped in her home by an intruder who left behind a condom wrapper, crumpled tissue, and the ties he used to bound her.

Paz called the police hoping that they could help. The man who raped her just left her home with cash, electronics, jewelry and Paz’s car. When the police arrived Paz says she wasn’t treated like someone who had been the victim of a heinous crime. Paz alleges that Officer Alan Sweatt, who was one of the first officers at the scene, didn’t collect any evidence at the crime scene. She says he didn’t collect the condom wrapper, the tissue or the plastic ties. Paz says Officer Sweatt only stayed 10 minutes before leaving her home.

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Randi Kaye
April 18th, 2013
12:05 AM ET

Mother lost legs, daughter nearly died in bombing

Monday was supposed to be a big celebration that no one in Carmen Acabbo’s family wanted to miss. It was her first marathon, and she had spent the past year training for the challenge.

Her sister, Celeste Corcoran, a constant supporter, wanted to be there cheering for Carmen with her 18-year-old daughter Sydney and their other friends and family. The mother and daughter were eagerly waiting at the Boston Marathon finish line when Carmen was less than a ½ mile away.

Carmen’s husband, Rich, snapped photos of his wife along the route and followed her as she progressed through the course. He was watching for her at the end with their three young children. The four were across the street from Rich's sister-in-law and niece when a flash and loud blast went off. What happened after, changed their lives forever.

“It was surreal how loud the noise was,” said Rich. Carmen was only the length of the street away from where the fist bomb went off. “I can still hear it, it was deafening. My young son started to cry.”


February 18th, 2013
07:05 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: What will stop the violence in Chicago?

What can be done to stop the violence plaguing the city of Chicago? With news of more fatal attacks, we’re reminded that there is no easy answer.

On Friday, 18-year-old Janay McFarlane was shot to death hours after her 14-year-old sister Destini heard President Obama condemn gun violence in a speech in Chicago. Now Destini is mourning her sister. Her family says Janay wasn’t the shooter’s target, but became a tragic casualty.

Many have tried for years to help stop the bloodshed, but young people continue to die on Chicago’s streets. We interviewed kids who have no choice but to live in gang-ridden neighborhoods and carry weapons just to protect themselves.

When we asked them if they were afraid of getting caught with a gun and having to serve jail time, their responses illustrated why the problem is so difficult to solve. They told us that getting caught with a gun and serving time was a better option than getting caught without a gun and dying.


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Filed under: Chicago Killings • Crime • Guns
February 3rd, 2013
02:09 PM ET

Flavor of New Orleans draws chef back

With the Super Bowl in New Orleans tonight, the city is buzzing. What has happened here in seven short years can only be described as an amazing transformation.

There are plenty of problems that continue to haunt the town, including a crime rate that is much higher than anyone would like. Still, residents here take great pride in what they describe as a return from the depths of suffering in the wake of Katrina.

Part of the journey was a dramatic Saints Super Bowl victory in 2010 and now the revamped Mercedes-Benz Superdome is hosting the 2013 fight for the NFL title. While significant, those milestones pale in comparison to the comeback this city has seen in what many appreciate most about New Orleans: its food.


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Filed under: New Orleans • Opinion
February 1st, 2013
10:54 PM ET

New Orleans rebuilt, ready for Super Bowl

We have been coming to New Orleans every year since Katrina. With each visit we always see a little more improvement. Anyone who was here seven years ago will tell you that this city had a long way to go to rebuild.

It wasn't just the buildings, streets and homes - the residents had to bounce back too. Their spirit has made this town the place tourists from around the world know and love. But they had deep wounds that needed to heal.

Denise Herbert was one of those people. She was displaced after Katrina and had to move to Atlanta with her children. Herbert wanted to bring her 82-year-old mother, Ethel, but she was missing.


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Filed under: New Orleans
Tonight on AC360: Escape from the FLDS
January 28th, 2013
05:09 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Escape from the FLDS

We have been coming to the twin towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona for many years covering stories about the thousands of devoted followers of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who live, govern and police the towns. Also known as the FLDS, members of the breakaway Mormon sect openly practice polygamy.

Each time we come here, we are noticed the minute we drive into either town. These are not the kind of towns where outsiders would have a reason or need to stop. There aren't any shops, restaurants or businesses that cater to the outside world. So the minute an outsider does arrive, they are noticed and met with skepticism. Children ride horses and are dressed like everyone else, in traditional FLDS clothing. They are controlled and ruled by their imprisoned prophet, Warren Jeffs. You don’t see children playing with toys or riding bikes. They are usually found working on homes or in fields with their parents. FULL POST

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Filed under: FLDS • Gary Tuchman • Tonight on AC360 • Warren Jeffs
December 16th, 2012
11:48 PM ET

Family's grief and love for principal remembered as a hero

George Hochsprung was teaching class at Rogers Park Middle school in Danbury, Connecticut last Friday when a student who was reading a story on the Internet pulled him aside.

“One of the kids came up with a computer and said something is happening at Sandy Hook school,” Hochsprung said sitting with his children who were wiping tears from their eyes. The next words, he says, he’ll never forget: “Your wife has been killed.”

Hochsprung’s wife Dawn Hochsprung was the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School and was shot to death by the gunman who reportedly forced his way into the school.


Producer's Notebook: Day 2 in Haiti bracing for Tropical Storm Isaac
August 24th, 2012
06:39 PM ET

Producer's Notebook: Day 2 in Haiti bracing for Tropical Storm Isaac

In a short amount of time the rains from Tropical Storm Isaac will soak Haiti. As I'm writing this rain is starting to fall and clouds now cover what was a bright, sunny sky earlier this morning.

As we made our way through some of the camps yesterday many living there told us they were unaware that the storm was headed their way.

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Filed under: Gary Tuchman • Haiti • Tonight on AC360
Producer's Notebook: Inside Haiti bracing for Tropical Storm Isaac
August 23rd, 2012
06:44 PM ET

Producer's Notebook: Inside Haiti bracing for Tropical Storm Isaac

In an area of Port-au-Prince called "Icar", make-shift tents are all that people have for homes. We drove here expecting there to be serious concern about Isaac, but to our surprise, very few people even knew there was a storm coming this way. This is the most serious weather threat since the earthquake of 2010. FULL POST

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Filed under: Gary Tuchman • Haiti • Tonight on AC360
Tonight on AC360: Smoke jumpers parachute into Colorado fires
Photo credit: Ish Estrada
July 2nd, 2012
05:39 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Smoke jumpers parachute into Colorado fires

It's another hot day in Grand Junction, Colorado, which means another busy day for smoke jumpers who are stationed here to help put out fires in the wilderness. These men and women are not your typical fire fighting team. They parachute into hot spots to cut off the fuel that fires need to burn. There are just over 400 smoke jumpers in the United States trained to combat wildfires that way.

They typically jump from 3,000 feet in the air, landing in remote areas to cut down trees with chain saws, dig trenches and fight fire with fire, setting controlled burns to help stop flames from spreading. Special tools, parachutes, suits and helmets help them strategically battle the blaze.

They work in difficult and dangerous terrain. After the mission is done, they have to hike their way out with about 150-pound packs strapped to their backs.


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Filed under: Gary Tuchman • Wildfires
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