Category Archives: crime

Tip Your Huge Media Market Giant

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A team of reporters from WSB-TV Channel 2 television news was there; someone apparently tipped them off to the arrest beforehand. The station has had exclusive access to the court proceedings since then.

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Now I can’t speak to the matter of terrorism-related charges brought on anyone, let alone a Clayton County, Georgia woman who wanted to kill all the whities via YouTube. (Although this particular burden never stops Matthew Charles Cardinale, the editor of Atlanta Progressive News. But he’s in law school now, so off he goes. Go Matthew go.)

I can, however, speak to the stinky little underhanded and exploitative way in which virtually all federal and state-related arrest media straight out of Atlanta (that good ‘n juicy perp-walk stuff) gets handed to market-dominating WSB-TV (Cox Enterprises) alone, on a silver platter, by someone at WSB-TV’s brother who happens to work in federal (or state) law enforcement.

So let’s recap: someone who works in government serves up exploitative tidbits to a single, for-profit entity, Cox Enterprises. Over and over and over again.

This sleight-of-media-hand trick has been going on in the Atlanta media market for decades: exclusive access to media/news-gathering opportunities (those folk in big trouble with the law) which no doubt many other players in this same media market would also love to exploit for their organization’s financial gain.

May be legal, but it ain’t right.

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Exploitation of Georgia’s Children In Reality TV Programming

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After telling the officers in Douglas County, GA that she's a gangbanger, Deja'neke continues the jail tour in shackles. Photo courtesy of AETV.

After telling the officers in Douglas County, GA that she’s a gangbanger, Deja’neke continues the jail tour in shackles. Photo courtesy of AETV.

Shame on Douglas County, Georgia. Shame on Disney (A&E’s parent company) for supporting and funding (but mostly exploiting Georgia’s children), for profit, the production and broadcasting of the reality show Beyond Scared Straight on A&E.

The episode airing tonight, Thursday July 25, 2013, on A&E’s Beyond Scared Straight at 9pm features a juvenile reform program in Douglas County, Georgia that was created and implemented using tactics and practices of fear, violence and intimidation.

Of such tactics, Leonard Witt of Kennesaw State University’s Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, has this to say in an editorial:

They (academics studying conflict management) can tell you a few things about how violence begets violence and why piling trauma on kids who have suffered trauma their whole lives is not such a smart approach. Ever hear of programs like restorative justice?

Governor Nathan Deal should weigh-in on this media matter, as he has spoken out recently on matters of criminal (and juvenile) justice reform in Georgia, and he, Deal, fully supports reforming Georgia’s juvenile justice system.

However, this exploitative show features a method of “reform” that is not only dangerous, cruel and unusual, but has been demonstrated to be grossly ineffective; thus significantly undermining the effort, and new legislative mandate too, to legitimately and wisely reform our system of juvenile justice here in Georgia.

Atlanta Sickened By Crime Wave

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From Kyle Keyser of AtlantansTogether.org: Atlanta crime victims tell their stories. In full.  No soundbites. Scary stuff. I would know.

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My Personal Crime Map From APD

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Here’s how my jack-up at Ansley Mall looks on file with APD:

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Seems I was a Robbery and an Aggrevated Assault. What are you? You can map your own personal Atlanta crime here. Although I tried to do so myself and it crashed my browser. Thanks to @sarawara for sending this picture above.

Hey Atlanta, Show Us Your Crime Case Number,

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Here’s my Atlanta Police Department (APD) case number (080011828) for that particular moment in time when some thug tried to jack me up at gunpoint. It was New Year’s Day, 2008, at the Ansley Mall Bank of America drive-up ATM on Monroe Drive, right in the heart of the quite lovely 30324 Ansley Park neighborhood, surely one of the toniest zip codes in the entire city of Atlanta.

I’m curious to see just how APD classified that particular case. Surely they would have marked a case involving a weapon to the face of a woman alone as “violent” wouldn’t they?

Given Mayor Franklin’s and Chief Pennington’s magical thinking and now-shrill insistence that violent crime is down so much in intown Atlanta, the cop who responded to my panicky 911 call (a relatively concerned cop I should add) likely just checked ye olde “Generic Crimes” box and never thought about it again. Maybe “Assault” at best. Honestly, I don’t know how APD would have classified that particular crime, but, again, I’d sure like to find out.

And yeah, I got away from my attacker… only because he was really really stupid (is there any other kind?) , and I am a quick, reflexive action-taker when under attack. Plus, I was in a car and thus plenty faster than my would-be assailant was once he decided to exit his own vehicle and approach mine.

I instantly and instinctively put my own car in reverse and got the hell outta Dodge, totaling my built-like-a-tank Volvo wagon in the process, but I escaped unharmed. I got lucky… if you can even begin to label the deep and extreme trauma caused by a masked assailant screeching up in a car in front of you to cut you off at a drive-up ATM then jumping out waving a gun in your face as anything remotely approaching “unharmed” and “lucky.”

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The Anatomy of Yet Another Unnecessary Murder: How the Justice System Failed Eugenia Calle and Is Failing Us All

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From Tina Trent’s Crime Victims Media Report. Background: Eugenia Calle was murdered in her midtown Atlanta condo on Tuesday, February 17, 2009. Shamal Thompson is charged with her murder. This is Trent’s research on the criminal record of Thompson.

The Anatomy of Yet Another Unnecessary Murder: How the Justice System Failed Eugenia Calle and Is Failing Us All

Introduction

What follows is a preliminary effort to piece together Shamal (aka Jamal) Thompson’s long and troubling journey through Georgia’s broken criminal justice system prior to February 17, 2009, the day he murdered* an innocent cancer researcher named Eugenia Calle.  Ten months earlier, a DeKalb County Superior Court Judge named Cynthia J. Becker let Thompson walk free from what should have been a ten-year sentence for burglary.  She did so on the grounds that he was a first-time offender.

He was not.

I gathered the records of Thompson’s many other criminal charges and pleas merely through Internet searches and a few phone calls to court clerks in Fulton, DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties in Georgia.  These counties and jurisdictions vary quite significantly in their commitment to making public safety information available to the public.  Fulton County’s public records system is almost uniquely shameful in comparison to similar courts throughout the country, while DeKalb County’s records are impressively detailed and easy to access on-line.

This information is preliminary, based only on a few phone calls and web searches.  If you choose to reproduce or quote this article, please understand that I am unable to guarantee its absolute accuracy at this point.  Court records themselves often contain errors, and I can only reproduce what is entered on-line by the courts.  However, I include the public records case numbers for every case I cite, and if anyone involved in the justice system (or not) wishes to offer corrections or add to this account, please contact me through this website.

Why Didn’t Judge Cynthia Becker Do What I Did?

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