Slander & Defamation from PNJ Yet Again

image.jpgIt was reported today in a big red BREAKING NEWS banner by the Pensacola News Journal “Billings Killer Mastermind Gonzalez to be re-sentenced”.  Wow…the irony just glows in this case. If the case is to be re-sentenced, a new jury would be impaneled. The jury pool is now subconsciously already being swayed with the irresponsible words that will now be forever out. “Mastermind” & “Ringleader” are 2 phrases that will easily push potential jurors to go for the more severe penalty of death.   Emma Kennedy and I had a tete-a-tete about this and Ms. Kennedy said that potential jurors have the option to not read her article using both buzzwords to describe Gonzalez. Ms. Kennedy must not know that the PNJ is the MAIN source of news for the majority of Northwest Florida. Gannett knows that. Look at their revenue in the area.

Ms. Kennedy is also ignorant to the power of the internet to keep stories alive in perpetuity.  Every story that slanders and defames Gonzalez is at the whim of any user via Goggle. You can get 250+ stories in one sitting.  Every biased comment ever slung at Gonzalez can be rounded up in a nice little bow. Not once is he ever referred to as the “alleged ringleader” or “alleged mastermind”. After all, that reference was given to him by people trying to leverage their own escape from the death penalty.

Maybe since Ms. Kennedy has been improperly trained but surely someone at the PNJ has some idea of the impact of media and the potential for denying anyone going to trial their 6th amendment right to a fair trial. They seem well versed in the 1st amendment when they feel their rights have been infringed, but forget it, if you are on the other side of the camera. The more grave the crime, the higher the stakes for the accused as well as the higher potential for confabulous stories for the “mullet wrapper”.

I wonder if I wrote 250+ posts on the incompetence of Ms. Kennedy if she may be impacted by that professionally. My blog ranks pretty well on Google. Maybe I should test that theory.

Moral of the story is that words carry power.  Not understanding the power of those words is willful ignorance for a journalist.

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Sheriff Morgan’s Dirty Little Secret?

A colleague of mine brought a case to my attention because it touched them so much. In December 2015, the obituary below came out in the PNJ. It is a solemn obituary that garnered national attention. It is for a forgotten man with an unremarkable life, who was virtually ignored wholly by society.

Darrell Evans

darrell evans
1956 – 2015 Obituary Condolences Gallery

Darrell Evans

Darrell was born on November 13, 1956 and sometime in November 2015 he drew his last breath. It might even have been on his birthday, but probably not considering the level of decomposition when his body was found. Darrell died alone in the small house he was fortunate enough to afford to rent with his disability check. At least he wasn’t homeless. But he was impoverished. I represented him on a legal matter. Who I am is not important. Darrell had family, but no one claimed his body. I hope the failure to claim his body had more to do with financial concerns then the absence of affection. Darrell grew up poor and was poor all his life. I learned of Darrell’s death when I went to his house after he had not responded to my communications in several weeks. Perhaps I should have gone sooner, but there had been other times during our relationship that he was out of pocket for extended periods of time. When I arrived at his house there was a young man in a hazmat suit removing everything from the home. He had on a breathing apparatus, I did not. The stench told me everything. Darrell was not a well man, so his death was not overly surprising. However, I know he didn’t want to die and I know all he wanted from the lawsuit was to get enough money to perhaps buy the tiny house he died in. I can’t tell you a lot about Darrell. During my representation we got cross ways every now and then because of our mutual stubbornness. He was a smart man, but with little formal education. Based upon my beliefs I know he had a soul. I hope his soul is somewhere content. I wrote this because I just did not feel that the way he died, which was so ignominious, should be the last word. It’s a for whom the bell tolls kind of thing. Rest in peace Darrell.

– See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/pensacolanewsjournal/obituary.aspx?pid=176761603#sthash.w7nIWAKi.dpuf

One of the reasons this was such a sympathetic case is because the man who wrote the obituary was seemingly the only friend he had in this world—his attorney. In digging into the lawsuit that this attorney was referring to help Mr. Evans not die penniless, was a lawsuit against Sheriff David Morgan “in his official capacity”, for auto negligence. Naturally this got my attention.

As I researched, I found in the guestbook of his obituary the reference to Mr. Evans, the following comment:

December 9, 2015

Rest in paradise, Darrell. He was a very caring guy. He would call my mom’s house or drop bye. We never really knew his name we always just the man in the yellow house or Jacksonville. I would pick up items for him. He loved sandwiches from the Yellow store. He loved seafood especially shrimp, crabs, & oysters. He was a great conversationalist. My grandson would call him Moses on the bike, because he rode a bike and carried a big stick. Rest in Paradise

Lou Adams, FL

He rode a bike and this is an auto negligence case.  I recalled the article about Morgan hitting a bicyclist last year. Was this the guy?

http://www.pnj.com/story/news/traffic/2015/07/24/sheriff-morgan-traffic-accident/30637799/

But in looking at the lawsuit, it was filed prior to July 24th; it was filed on April 5, 2015. So this is a different bicyclist. I did my due diligence because there are times when Morgan is sued for activities of the deputies. He is the ultimate the person legally responsible for them. However, no other names appear on the complaint. Also the attorney on the case is not a county attorney. It is not Gerald Champagne or Debra Little, the attorneys who typically handle “official capacity” cases. Also it appears Morgan was avoiding service to be deposed, much like he did in the Daniel Levitan case.

The implications here are clear. David Morgan hit cyclist Evans in his county cruiser, but not while “officially” on duty. My next question is, did Evans death in any way result from the accident? It is unknown because of the way he died. He died in a way that is very reminiscent of another black man who held the fate of elected county officials in his hands, Willie Junior. Could this be as nefarious? Is it possible that Morgan’s future political aspiration was complicated by this lawsuit?

Regardless of any of that, the fact that this man died the way he did is shameful. Alone, penniless and unclaimed. Could a settlement with Morgan have prevented his death? But what would the repercussions have been if that happened?  One thing is clear; Morgan got off easy because of this man’s death and in the manner of his death.  Is there any coincidence in this?

Escambia Media Hijacked?

The story:

Sir David was at the Molino Ballpark a bit over a week ago watching his grandson play. He noticed a sign on the fence that was for electing John Johnson. It was fundraiser sign purchased in sponsorship of the field/league. Sir David and his wife not being able to control themselves asked the coach of the little league team who had no authority to remove the sign. He claimed it was illegally there. A scene was made and there was some hostility from Ye Olde Sheriff. The coach being a mere coach with no true connection to the sign or the park policies said he would deal with it after the game but he had a game to coach. During the game, it seems someone called the county or league organizers (possibly Lumon May), who said just take the sign down and they would deal with it on Monday. Come Monday morning, a County Attorney (who has not been identified) ruled that the sign was legal and to re-post it.

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Courtesy of John Johnson’s FB campaign

The scandal:

So this classic bad behavior by the David Morgan should have been covered as it has covered social media for the past week,; this defines a noteworthy event, but yet no one in the media covered it. Not WEAR; not PNJ; not North Escambia; not any radio stations…NO ONE. How is this possible?  The news was not overwhelmed with more newsworthy events that over shadowed this. Someone with a pulse at these stations of mass communication should have tried to do a story.

A source at WEAR who was close to this story claims the story had been green lighted but no one from the park or Johnson’s camp would return calls. Without cooperation, the story had no legs and it was scrapped. Now cut to Johnson’s camp; they claim that they were contacted by WEAR but they wanted to wait until the County Attorney had ruled. After that, the reporter from Channel 3 called back but had to exit the call abruptly because there was something happening in the newsroom. She finally called back to say that the story had been scrapped. Rumor mill  from inside WEAR claims that the GM of the station,  Mr. Lowe, I believe (his name isn’t easily available on the site),who has been known to buffer “anti-Morgan”pieces, pulled the story.

The freedom of the press is important to this country for the purpose of keeping the government in check by telling the stories and facts as they exist no matter if they are pro or anti-government stories. In a recent interview on  TheIntercept.com, Edward Snowden made a remark to the effect that if the press did its job and did not censor the acts of the government, it wouldn’t take people like him to leak information.He’s right. Independent researchers, bloggers and freelance journalists have a place on the web because the mainstream news will not cover these stories. I have a voice because these outlets will not hold Morgan accountable for his actions.

What else does this man have to do to demonstrate how very incompetent he is at his job?  He’s stealing from taxpayers; he lies to the public about crime and the morale of his officers, as well as his own credentials; he’s endangered kids by not properly investigating crimes.

There needs to be accountability in the press. Whatever the reasons were that this story did not get aired, the result is the PERCEPTION of government filtered journalism. The fact this story is so vibrant on Facebook a week after the fact, demonstrates the need for coverage. The lack of mention of such an event looks like political cronyism. Whether it is or is not, is moot. It walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, so people see it as a duck.  Public relations people know that. What has happened in Pensacola is the media has been HIJACKED! The corruption is prevalent and controls the information–at least where Morgan is concerned. Think about the recent story of ” Sheriff Endorses Mike Hill”. Why is that a story?  The simple fact that is the story the same week that the biggest story on Pensacola Facebook, the Molino Ballpark Incident, is proof enough. This reeks of sanitation of the media in the 1920’s. The plague of corruption is spreading from government entities to the local press. It is a cancer that needs to be remedied.

In the hands of the ruling elite (nomenclatura) the media were also widely used for supporting its status quo and its activities. “This encompasses winning over people to the hegemonic ideology,mobilizing them in work and politics, and convincing them that the regime has great successes in its endeavors to better the lot of its citizens” 

Practice of Soviet Censorship In the Press: The Case of Estonia by Epp Leak

Hmmmmm…doesn’t this sound familiar? Escambia Citizens Take Back Your Media!   

By flooding your local news outlets with emails and letters asking the questions of why they are not reporting the bad behavior of the Sheriff who was such a hot button topic, you will get their attention.

stalin