Tag Archives: Darren Wilson

Army Special Forces Veteran Shares Something in Common With North Saint Louis County Residents Facing Fines

To those people who think it’s a stretch to compare turmoil in the lives of residents in and around Ferguson, Mo., to the turmoil that has permeated the life of a former Army Special Forces Soldier, I say, “YOU”RE WRONG!” Below, I explain why.

For many in North St. Louis County — an area that includes Ferguson, the town of 20,000 made famous by violent protests that followed the officer-involved shooting death of 18-year-old Mike Brown in August — anger has festered over an issue unrelated to Brown far longer than it has over the grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for killing Brown. The anger stems from being on the receiving end of warrants — in some municipalities, the average number was five warrants per year — one too many times. In some case, fines and court costs that result from appearing in municipal court to deal with those warrants total hundreds of dollars, according to Radley Balko’s Washington Post report published Sept. 3. That leaves those people facing difficult decisions.

If they miss work in order to make their court appearances, they risk being fired from their jobs. Conversely, if they make their court appearances and pay the fines associated with their infractions (i.e., speeding tickets, moving violations and other infractions), they risk not being able to pay their monthly bills and/or feed their families. In the town of Pine Lawn, for instance, Balko reports the fines total $1.8 miilion or around $576 per resident, an amount equal to 4.5 percent of an average resident’s annual income!

Some will argue that the individuals stopped by police in North St. Louis County deserve the tickets they receive, and I’m sure some do. At the same time, however, I empathize with those people — and I think it’s a large population — who, when faced with making the difficult choice between paying the monthly bills and using the same money to pay off city-issued fines imposed by overzealous law enforcement agencies, opt against paying the fines and court costs.

Fortunately, one Missouri legislator, Sen. Eric Schmitt recently introduced a municipal court reform measure in an effort to reign in overzealous municipalities who are currently allowed to bring in up to 30 percent of revenues through traffic tickets. If the measure becomes law, the income threshold will drop to 10 percent.

“Where does the former Green Beret fit into this equation?” you ask. Allow me to explain.

Kelly Stewart & Toby Keith

After spending several years behind bars at the U.S. Military Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., as part of the sentence imposed on him following a two-day military trial during which he was tried and convicted on sexual assault charges, Kelly A. Stewart served his time, finished his parole and was trying to live his life as best he can with a “sex offender” label hanging over him while he ekes out a living from a job that pays barely $10 an hour. That’s when the former Green Beret medic received a letter, informing him that he owes the Army approximately $27,000 and much begin paying it back at the rate of $700 per month.

Obviously, someone who spent his life savings defending himself in court against false rape and kidnapping allegations levied against him by a then-28-year-old German woman — and former mental patient — can’t possibly afford to make remuneration of $700 per month. So what does he do?

Should he fail to make payments to the Army, the equivalent of a Ferguson resident failing to appear in municipal court to answer for an outstanding warrant, he faces the likelihood of returning to federal prison. It’s a lose-lose proposition, and Stewart doesn’t have a state senator writing legislation on his behalf. Instead, he needs the American people to learn about his case and make conscious decisions to help — quickly!

To learn more about his case, order a copy of my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August (October 2011), in which I chronicle this highly-decorated combat veteran’s rough encounter with the military justice system.

For a snapshot of his situation and how you can help, read this letter and/or read my recent article, HELP: Former Green Beret Faces Possible Return to Prison! Thanks in advance!

UPDATE 4/19/2015 at 1:16 p.m. Central: Check out the limited-time free-books offer here.

If you like this article and my other efforts, please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

EXCLUSIVE: Hammers Attack Video From South St Louis

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Joel Currier’s article about a Bosnian immigrant being murdered by hammer-wielding teenagers fails to mention the possibility that at least some of the teens were black until deep into the article. Conversely, a video shot by a resident of South St. Louis’ Bevo Mill neighborhood reveals heretofore-unpublished details about what happened near the intersection of Gravois Avenue and Itaska Street before the attack that left Zemir Begic, 32, dead.

At the 45-second mark, the woman who recorded the video — whose name I will not share for reasons of her personal safety — says, “And, of course, it’s a white kid, right after black people running up and down the street saying, ‘Eff the white people, kill the white people.’ This is what we have.”

Coming amidst the protests that followed the grand jury’s decision not to indict now-former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, this attack could unleash a powder keg.

UPDATE 12/1/2014 at 1:13 p.m. Central:  The Gateway Pundit picked up the story.

UPDATE 12/1/2014 at 1:21 p.m. Central:  On the Facebook page of the woman who shot the video above, she tells a friend that “a Bosnian man was attacked last night by 4 black teens.”

UPDATE 12/2/2014 at 6:18 a.m. Central:  The video above has been viewed more than 80,500 times during the past 20-plus hours. The general public seems more interested in the truth than in what St. Louis officials say about the crime as highlighted in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article, Mayor, police say race played no role in hammer slaying of Bosnian immigrant.

UPDATE 12/3/2014 at 5:12 p.m. Central:  A new development has surfaced in the form of a report from the UK’s Daily Mail about the deadly attack by hammer-wielding teenagers Sunday that left a 32-year-old Bosnian immigrant dead in South St. Louis’ Bevo Mill neighborhood. Read about it here!

UPDATE 12/5/2014 at 7:55 a.m. Central:  The video above has been viewed more than 211,000 times in four days. To read other posts on this topic, click here.

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Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Twenty-Five Structures Burn After Jay Nixon Fails Ferguson

Five hours after sharing Ferguson news with 10 updates, I awoke to find this KSDK-TV video. Coming on the heels of the St. Louis County grand jury decision against indicting Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, it stands as perhaps the most-disturbing evidence of unrest in Ferguson, Mo.

Twenty-five structures plus 10 cars at a car dealership set ablaze!

Turning to Fox2Now.com, I watched and listened as a man — I think he was a local business owner, but have not found a video clip to share yet — was being interviewed about the unrest and issued a call for Gov. Jay Nixon (D-Mo.) to resign. The man said the governor failed to deliver on his pledge to protect Ferguson despite having had three months to plan.

Stay tuned for updates!

UPDATE #1 Nov. 25, 2014, at 8:40 a.m. Central:  The Fox2Now.com report aired again and I learned that the man calling for Governor Nixon’s resignation is former Ferguson mayor Brian Fletcher!

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Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

NO INDICTMENT OF OFFICER DARREN WILSON!

in the case of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced at 8:20 p.m. Central that the 12 members of the grand jury could find no grounds upon which to issue a criminal indictment against 28-year-old police officer Darren Wilson. More details coming soon.

UPDATE #1 Nov. 24, 2014, at 8:31 p.m. Central:  USA TODAY

UPDATE #2 Nov. 24, 2014, at 8:35 p.m. Central:  St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s website overloaded (see pic below).

STLCOPA_website_timeout

UPDATE #3 Nov. 24, 2014, at 8:40 p.m. Central:  Item by item, Prosecuting Attorney McCulloch effectively shredded the case against Officer Wilson. Said he will release evidence after he finishes making announcement. Now, it’s going to be extremely interesting to see how members of the protest crowd react. Praying all involved use wisdom and common sense.

UPDATE #4 Nov. 24, 2014, at 8:55 p.m. Central:  Prosecuting Attorney McCulloch refuses to fall for slew of loaded questions from reporters appearing to be agenda-driven. Said federal investigation ongoing. Said several alleged witnesses disappeared and could not be located for questioning.

UPDATE #5 Nov. 24, 2014, at 8:58 p.m. Central:  Prosecuting Attorney McCulloch showed empathy toward parents of Michael Brown Jr., but said the fact that the case involved a justifiable use of self-defense does not lessen the fact that a tragedy took place.

UPDATE #6 Nov. 24, 2014, at 9:02 p.m. Central:  Parents of Michael Brown Jr. issues statement, saying, they are “profoundly disappointed” Officer Wilson won’t face charges.

UPDATE #7 Nov. 24, 2014, at 9:09 p.m. Central:  Congressional Black Caucus Chair Marcia Fudge on Monday categorized a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to criminally charge the police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown “a slap in the face” that underscores “an unwritten rule that Black lives hold no value.”

UPDATE #8 Nov. 24, 2014, at 9:19 p.m. Central:  While watching Obama speak, I see on Fox2Now.com that protesters are trying to flip a police car as tear gas is deployed (See pic below).

Obama_Riots_PhotoUPDATE #9 Nov. 24, 2014, at 9:35 p.m. Central:  1st District U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) playing race card. In reference to federal investigation, says matter isn’t over.

UPDATE #10 Nov. 25, 2014, at 1:55 a.m. Central:  Unified Command officials just wrapped up a 20-minute press conference in Ferguson.  St. Louis County Police Chief John Belmar described events in general terms before admitting that he and Missouri State Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson never expected things to be so violent and destructive. After saying how disappointed he is about the fabric of the community being torn apart, he noted the “good news” — no one had been killed. Captain Johnson followed by reiterating the disappointment factor and how damaging the evening has been to the community and the region. In response to questions from reporters, Chief Belmar said something that stumped me — he thought they had “a good plan” to deal with the protests.

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Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Guest Writer Believes Race Relations Near Tipping Point

EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is a guest post by Paul R. Hollrah, a resident of Oklahoma who writes from the perspective of a veteran conservative politico who served two terms as a member of the Electoral College. Even if you disagree with him, this piece will make you think long and hard.

My eighty-first birthday earlier this week was to have been a happy occasion, featuring a great dinner with friends at Tulsa’s finest German restaurant and many cards and letters from far-flung children and grandchildren. But a late email printout detailing events in Geneva, Switzerland, took a bit of the luster off the day.

Click to view full document (PDF) submitted to UN Committee Against Torture.

Click to view full document (PDF) submitted to UN Committee Against Torture.

The email I received was a copy of a 13-page document titled, United States Compliance with the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment. It was subtitled, Written Statement on the Police Shooting of Michael Brown and Ensuing Police Violence Against Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. The document was filed with the 53rd Session of the United Nations Committee Against Torture, meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, from Nov. 3-28, 2014, after being delivered to Geneva by Michael Brown’s parents, Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden.

The cover page of the complaint asserts that the complaint was submitted by the Brown family, who hand-delivered it to Geneva, as well as organizations called HandsUpUnited, Organization for Black Struggle, and Missourians Organized for Reform and Empowerment.

In a CNN interview, Brown’s mother insisted that, “We need the world to know what’s going on in Ferguson and we need justice… We need answers and we need action. And we have to bring it to the U.N. so they can expose it to the rest of the world, what’s going on in small town Ferguson.”

But, all emotion aside, what are the facts? We know that, on Aug. 9, 2014, Michael Brown Jr. a 6 ft. 4 in. 292 lb. black teenager, was identified on videotape as the individual who engaged in the robbery of a convenience store in Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis. In the video, Brown is seen taking a box of Swisher Sweets cigars (valued at approximately $49) from the checkout counter of the convenience store, a 2nd degree theft under Missouri law.

As he and a friend prepared to exit the store, Brown is challenged by a store employee who attempted to lock the door before the two could leave the premises. However, Brown prevented the clerk from locking the door and as he and his accomplice walked out the door, he grabbed the store clerk by the lapels and shoved him backward into a display rack. And when the store clerk continued to protest, Brown turned and approached him in a threatening manner.

Minutes later, Brown and his friend, Dorian Johnson, a fugitive from justice on a theft charge from Jefferson City, Mo., were seen walking defiantly down the middle of a street near the convenience store they’d just robbed. Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, on routine patrol, arrived on the scene and instructed Brown and Johnson to “get the [expletive] off the street.”

At that point, one must assume that Brown, having just robbed a convenience store and assaulted a store clerk, feared that he was about to be taken into custody in connection with the robbery he’d committed just minutes before. With that thought in mind, he decided that he would not allow himself to be arrested and taken into custody, with a potential jail term to follow. Instead, when Officer Wilson prepared to exit his police cruiser, Brown attacked him and forced him back into the vehicle. Having been physically assaulted by a young man, much younger and stronger than himself, Officer Wilson was then justified in the use of deadly force. However, as the officer prepared to unholster his sidearm while seated inside his vehicle, Brown reached through the open window and attempted to wrest the weapon from the officer’s hand. A struggle ensured during which two shots were fired, one of them striking Brown in the wrist.

According to Officer Wilson and several eye witnesses, Wilson then exited his vehicle and attempted to take Brown into custody. At which time Brown, who had been walking away from the scene, turned and charged the officer. Certain that he could not survive an attack by a man 6 ft. 4 in. tall and weighing nearly 300 lb., the officer fired four additional shots before Brown dropped to the pavement.

But this is not the story that Brown’s fugitive friend told police and the media. According to his version, Brown was walking toward the officer with his hands in the air, attempting to surrender. An autopsy showed that Brown had been shot six times in the front of his body. What is not clear is the source of the unsubstantiated charge that Brown was shot in the back.

Nor is it the story that Brown’s parents told in their testimony before the U.N. committee in Geneva. According to their account, “Midday on August 9, 2014, Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black male, was walking down a small street in the middle of an apartment complex with a friend when they were approached by a white police officer. According to his friend, the closest witness to the afternoon’s events, the officer approached them in his SUV police vehicle, told them to ‘get the [expletive] off the sidewalk,’ which then escalated into a confrontation. After a struggle, the officer began to shoot the teen. Brown ran away, as he was hit by the officer’s bullets. The officer chased the teen on foot, and according to multiple witnesses, even after Michael Brown raised his hands to surrender and begged the officer not to shoot, the officer continued to fire. No witness reported any orders given to Brown as these shots were fired.”

Nowhere in their testimony is there a hint that Brown and his friend had just committed a strong-arm robbery of a business establishment. Nowhere in their testimony do they speculate about their son’s state of mind… how he may have concluded that he and his friend were about to be arrested as suspects in a felony crime and, in an effort to avoid arrest, attacked and wounded a police officer. Nowhere in their testimony do they mention that their son was first shot in a struggle over the police officer’s handgun. Nowhere in their testimony do they mention that their son’s friend, Dorian Johnson, himself a fugitive from justice, may not be a credible witness. And nowhere in their testimony do they suggest that the officer told the boys to “get the [expletive] off the street.” Instead, they testified that the officer told the boys to “get the [expletive] off the sidewalk.”

The Browns testified that, “The teenager was hit by at least six shots, according to an autopsy performed by a pathologist not affiliated with the government. The autopsy further revealed that the final shots included one that entered his eye, and another at the top of the head, which may have indicated his head was lowered as he collapsed or kneeled to surrender. The intentional, arbitrary killing of Michael Brown, shot to death by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, amounts to torture under Article I of the Convention.”

Was the pathologist “not affiliated with the government,” an expert hired by the Brown family, a credible witness? And is it even within the realm of possibility that an experienced police officer would “execute” a teenager, in cold-blood, in broad daylight, as he knelt to surrender? Is it not more reasonable to conclude that Brown was shot in the top of his head at close range as he lowered his head to charge the officer?

But now the nation is threatened with a massive outbreak of violence if the St. Louis County grand jury refuses to indict Officer Wilson. The demonstrations and rioting that have followed the shooting are a blot on the black community. And if the grand jury concludes that Officer Wilson acted in self-defense, which they likely will, we can expect unprecedented violence in the streets where the black community in and around St. Louis will loot neighborhood business establishments and burn many homes to the ground.

Brown’s mother told a CNN reporter in an interview, “We need the world to know what’s going on in Ferguson and we need justice… We need answers and we need action.”

Justice? Answers? Action? These are not what the professional race hustlers want. What they want is revenge, not justice. Nor are they going to like the answers they’re likely to get from the St. Louis County grand jury. And while the “action” they want is the indictment of Officer Wilson, the only “action” they will get is a lot of grief raining down on the heads of black people across the country as they loot and burn many of the businesses where they work, and burn their own neighborhoods to the ground.

And while we can all empathize with the Brown family for the loss of a son, Brown’s parents should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be so blatantly used and taken advantage of by professional race agitators, the attorney general of the United States included. But then, it’s not every day they’re treated to an all-expense-paid trip to Geneva.

If black people across the country are looking for something on which they can vent their anger and outrage, the killing of Michael Brown is a very poor choice. They would be better advised to take a closer look at Barack Obama’s Chicago, where black-on-black murders spiked to 516 in 2012, the second time homicides have surpassed 500 since 2003.

And they might want to take a closer look at white liberals and Democrats who have raised their expectations to the skies and then did nothing of substance to help them achieve the promised social and economic progress.

At this writing, the St. Louis County grand jury has not handed down either an indictment of Officer Wilson, or a finding of self-defense. And while it is understandable that members of the grand jury, whose names and home addresses are almost certainly known throughout the black community, are afraid to hand down a ruling that would exonerate Officer Wilson, the obvious jury nullification debacle of the O.J. Simpson trial and the violence that occurred in South Los Angeles in the wake of the Rodney King police beating is still far too fresh in the minds of the American people. We are at a tipping point in race relations and we should all be very afraid.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.