Confessions of a Lawman

*This post was written by a deputy at the ECSO.

There is a problem in Escambia County. It is a problem that starts with the ECSO and its administration. The problem is not a typical workplace issue. The problem that faces the ECSO is one of greater proportion. It has become a plague that is reflected in the community. Staff members would want you to believe the problem is caused by disgruntled employees with agendas or grievances or because of the low level pay scale. They would say there are generational or societal differences causing friction within the administration. Point of fact, there could be cases that demonstrate any one of those scenarios. Any business with as many employees as the ECSO will have some cases of bad employees. It just is not possible to have a MAJORITY of employees images.duckduckgo.jpgthat are unhappy or that fall into these categories.  A fish rots from the head down. The most likely cause of the anathema in the ECSO is that the leadership has failed.

David Morgan may have had good intentions when he decided to run for the office he now holds. He likely believed that his ideas would improve our community. His vision was based in the understanding that he had from the point of view he could have as a civilian.  I say civilian because he never had any LEO certification, training or experience enforcing the law. He has shifted that stance from outside civilian to now assert experience via uncorroborated military service. Please never make the mistake of believing he had any law enforcement experience based on the jobs he performed in the Air Force. One could not claim to be a chef because they can microwave a frozen burrito to perfection.

Becoming a law enforcement officer takes much dedication and commitment. It takes the ability to apply yourself to a change the way you view everything you ever learned. You understand that the authority that is given to you is a huge responsibility. You must learn to use the power that comes with being an effective law enforcement officer so the best outcome is reached even in the most difficult of circumstances. Morgan never had the opportunity to discover the path that leads an officer to the good even if there is only evil lurking along that path. The ability to make good choices isn’t taught in a classroom. It is impossible to read about the correct way to reached desired goals. Accomplishments are gained through experience and exposure to the real-life situations that are encountered each day as a law enforcement officer. Often the best lessons are taught through making a mistake.

Early into Morgan’s “career” as a law enforcement officer he was thrust into a very rare type of case for any officer. A murder with multiple victims. Morgan found himself in the spotlight. The cameras and lights in his face. All attention given to his every word. His one liners taken as candid talk from a law enforcement professional. Very sexy to hear the story but could not be further from the truth.  Morgan got the opportunity to narrate a story contrived without all the facts in record time with a record number of suspects. Any seasoned officer with experience with homicide investigations will tell you that the case was too complex to unfold in this fashion under the scrutiny of the press and the community given all the factors involved. It was implausible at best to wrap the case up that quickly and self-serving and malicious at worst. But everyone liked him. The media loved his persona and bought the shoddy result without so much as a second glance. Morgan’s MO is to define a narrative from the onset then when facts come in, they are bent to fit the narrative. That’s what rookies do. The facts are supposed to structure the narrative. But Morgan is a storyteller. He tells a story, such as the humdinger or the “ritual” witch killing. The story led the investigation in both cases.  The only things investigated were those things that went along with the story. There is no justice in that and by the way, how is that police work?

Morgan was given a taste of fame and importance. He began to believe he was the person that the media made him out to be. This is where the story takes a sad twist. Morgan started to act as his presence bestowed favor to the ECSO. Morgan believed he was such a capable individual he could understand a job in only a few months that takes veteran officers decades to fully understand. He believed he was beyond any person that has ever walked through the doors of the ECSO. Morgan sealed his destiny when he allowed his ego to guide his actions.

Take a moment to ask yourself a few questions. List all the accomplishments that are a positive result of Morgan and his leadership since being elected into office. I would guarantee that the first thought that came to your mind was either a campaign effort to lock your doors or that Escambia County was in the top spot for crime in Florida. Neither should be on your list. Telling citizens to lock the car door is not law enforcement it is common sense. Escambia County did not get to the top spot in crime because our doors were unlocked. Our county is at the top because we have robberies, murders, burglaries, and so many other violent crimes in our community.

Give one example of what David Morgan has done to decrease crime in this county. You could not say he has the manpower up. Our county has less experience on the street now than ever in the history of the agency.  Our officers are working with less training and less guidance than should be allowed. There is not a doubt that Eric Haines would argue that the agency has more training than ever before and give you a total number of hours each officer spends a year in training. Understand that artificially inflating hours of training does not mean that the training is useful or beneficial to our community. It can be information to rely on when you are making a pitch to create the illusion that you have been useful in the leadership of the ECSO.  It sounds amazing when you are on a radio show several times a week for convincing the public this agency-our agency–is above all others. I question why there needs to be constant reminders of why I should feel safe and not just feel safe.

The truth is our agency has developed into a public relations machine to further the iconic David Morgan and his celebrity status. We hire news reporters and public relation assistants. We have numerous radio and television programs. We have a studio that is dedicated to the production of scripted news reports and propaganda created by the Morgan machine. Why? Criminals will not be deterred by the “top cop” being popular. A criminal is reluctant to commit crimes when a law enforcement agency is strong on the enforcement of laws. If Morgan had performed as a law enforcement officer he would not have to be told that. He would know from experience that strong enforcement equals reduced crime. I guess that makes the point that Morgan was not ever a cop so he needs to be told.

 

This is why crime is so high in the county. Morgan has turned our agency into a public relations apparatus. A sheriff should not be a huckster.

How Morgan & the PNJ Will Be Downfall of the Billings Convictions

Criminal Justice expert Dr. Edward J. Bronson recently analyzed the pre-trial publicity in the Billings Murder case. It was a fascinating look at just the local newspaper coverage. The reason he was called to look at this has to do with the fact that it has become an inarguable fact that press coverage prior to trial impacts jury verdicts. There have been 44 empirical studies with 5500+ people by dozens of social scientists over the last three decades.

The biggest shocker of Dr. Bronson’s analysis was that the Billings Murder case–overall–is the 27th highest publicized case EVER. This case rivals OJ, the Lindbergh baby, Bundy, Zodiac, Son of Sam and Jon Benet Ramsey just for starters. The average high publicity case has around 100 articles written about the case, pretrial. The PNJ & InWeekly did 250 articles on this case. Each of these articles were biased against the defendants, particularly Pat Gonzalez Jr. Not one of these articles were by anyone close to Gonzalez Jr or who advocated his character in any way, despite his contributions to the community, although the Sertoma club “Man of the Year” award was mentioned in passing as was high martial arts career. Not one of these articles offers any other theory of the crime or any leads outside the narrative the Sheriff concocted.

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled to delay a trial by 9 mos because of 1 news comment by an attorney on a Sunday morning at 6 AM. The judge determined the attorney had the potential to have tainted the jury pool with this one appearance. In comparison, Sheriff Morgan held press conferences up to twice a day locally; he spoke on Dateline NBC, Nancy Grace, Oprah Winfrey and Larry King to name a few. He said things like, “extremely gruesome scene”, “hateful, senseless crime” “bad seed” (speaking of Gonzalez Jr.), “stupid thugs” and referred to the Billings as “very good Christian people”.  Adding on to the fact, Morgan greeted the Grand Jury panelists prior to the indictments of Gonzalez Sr and Jr. He shook each person’s hand and said things like, “I’ve done my job; now it’s time for you to do yours”. This seems like a directive from the highest law enforcement officer in the community.

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The PNJ articles were extremely damaging as they are the only point of printed news in the area. 174 times the death penalty was mentioned in relation to this crime—prior to any trial commencing.  This is extremely damning because the implication is that these people deserve death, before the facts of the case or the defenses were laid out.

Dr. Bronson noted that he had never seen more inflammatory comments within the PNJ by the reporters and in letters to the editor prior to trial. There was no possible way a reasonable person could consider that an unbiased jury could be had in this community. Judge Geeker doesn’t think this is an issue but ultimately this will go to the US Supreme Court, who has no ties to Escambia County corruption.

As for the media circus that propelled Morgan’s career and ultimately kept him in office, here’s the take away: David Morgan whored himself out to every news outlet possible. He was the source of most people’s knowledge of this case. As the community and world has seen with every instance in Morgan’s tenure where he smiles pretty for the camera, he seldom is the most accurate point of information. He stretches the truth and even lies to make himself seem important. Why would it be any different with this case? Good news for all the defendants, because if Pat Gonzalez gets a new trial, the flood gates of motions and lawsuits will dominate what was the old news of this case….with Morgan as the punchline.

not a sheriff

Dr. Edward Bronson Expert Testimony exhibit2-expert test.

VMO 2016 #3 Morgan has made Escambia County & Pensacola Look Like Reality TV

#3 Morgan has made Escambia County & Pensacola Look Like Reality TV

Any of those closely associated with Sir David or has been in proximity to him when a live camera was within earshot can vouch for his, “kid in a candy store” persona that makes him the butt of national journalists and late night television. He is a legend in his own mind.

If in doubt look at the following photo op’s that Sir David has been so proud of:

       

These are just a few of his portfolio.

              

Even though he is the probably the most photogenic sheriff Escambia County has ever had, he most certainly is the dimmest as well. Here are just a few remarks Morganisms that make Escambia County so proud:Morganisms

First off, late me take issue with the title ‘African American’. We’re Americans. I am fourth generation Welsh. I or my family do not pretend to be nor do we say we are Welsh Americans. We are Americans. I was not born in Wales and the blacks that currently reside in the United States of America are not from Africa. Those sorts of terms that society has come to use are divisive in nature. So what are the issues in the minority community in Escambia County? Many are real, and many are perceived, and I will tell you that I think most of them are perceived and here’s why. And again, let’s go back to the history of our nation and where we currently are today. Not too many years ago, the thought of electing an African American president would have been unthinkable in the United States of America and I would remind black Americans that you are a little less than 13 percent of the entire population of the United States. Less than 13 percent–and now that’s every man, woman and child in the United States of America of black ancestry. Had every one of those people been voter eligible only 13 percent could have voted for President Obama, but President Obama has won two elections as President of the United States. Now what does that mean? That means a whole host of white people, and Hispanic people and Asian people and American Indians cast a vote for President Obama. The statistics are that we’re such a racist nation, why do we currently have an African American president? Why was General Chappie James the first four-star black general and why was General Colin Powell promoted to Chief of Staff and later to Secretary of State? Why do we currently have an Attorney General, Eric Holder, who is also a black American? So I would tell you statistically to anyone who makes an argument that the United States is a racist nation is focusing on specific incidences of where we might have had problems with race relations, but it certainly does not paint any organization or any individual any nation is racist. We have unfortunately, in the black community, embraced a “thug culture. One that agrandises foul language, shooting cops, abusing women….”

“I say this with great sadness, three months ago within a month period, I fired two officers for falsifying police reports. They falsified accident reports. When the information came in, my approach–when I took office, I told folks, I have one cardinal sin and that’s when you lie. When you lie, you’re done in law enforcement. What you’ve done, you’ve indicated to me that you have a proclivity of not telling the truth, what you call perjury in criminal justice system. If we can’t trust you, when society can’t trust you to tell the truth about the facts of the case as you see them, then you are of no use to law enforcement because our society and our criminal justice system is based on the truth. If we’re all about lying in business or government, then what kind of society is that? “

“those of you in the white community must overcome your fear of being labeled a racist. Because that’s what we all fear in trying to open a dialogue with minority communities. It’s when we enter that first juncture of the disagreement we will be called a racist. Anybody want that label?”

“you couldn’t just waltz into a second-hand shop with military memoriabilia and buy a medal of honor and put it around your neck. Why? Because you didn’t earn a medal of honor. That shows such dishonor and disrespect to the men and women who earned that honor through, most of the time, sacrificing their lives. They’ve passed (legislators) it and it’s called the Stolen Valor Law. “


“I believe there must be term limits. IF I GO STUPID AND RUN FOR A THIRD TERM, DON’T VOTE FOR ME. (laughter in crowd). I’m serious. I need to go back out into the real world and learn how to use a checkbook.” 8/4/2011- Pensacola BizNet-Cordova Lanes

Speaking of books about Winston Churchill…”… The frightening thing about these volumes is this: If you switch the word “Nazi” to “Muslim”, you’ll have an intersting eye opener with history and with the way the world is progressing today.”

“those of you in the white community must overcome your fear of being labeled a racist. Because that’s what we all fear in trying to open a dialogue with minority communities. It’s when we enter that first juncture of the disagreement we will be called a racist. Anybody want that label?”

Two weeks ago, two Florida deputies shot 15 rounds at a 60-year-old unarmed Florida man who was looking for his cigarettes in his mother’s car, parked in his own driveway.  Sheriff David Morgan of Escambia County hastily took to the airwaves to explain that “the tragedy of this is the noncompliance to the directions of law enforcement officers….Right now we are comfortable from a training perspective that our officers did follow standard protocols. [t]his is a common occurrence. We live in a very violent society.”–Dahlia Lithwick, TheSlate.com

“It’s witchcraft. I’ll say that right now. Well, again, the time of the blue moon every three years, the method of the murders and also our person of interest is known to practice this.”

 Truly I could go on for pages, but you get the point. His words of wisdom, most of which were said in front of a national audience, denigrates the people of Escambia County.