Tag Archives: Mike Brown

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.

Bob McCarty Offers Weekly Recap: Nov. 29

The week of Thanksgiving began with a bang — or, more accurately, looting and mayhem in the city of Ferguson, Mo., following the announcement of the grand jury’s decision about the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown more than three months ago. Below, you’ll see several of my posts this week had ties to the aforementioned mayhem:

As I prepared to peel potatoes for our Thanksgiving meal Thursday, I felt like a Soldier put on KP duty -- then I realized I had been in the Air Force.

As I prepared to peel potatoes for our Thanksgiving meal Thursday, I felt like a Soldier put on KP duty — then I realized I had been in the Air Force. Click on the image above to see more photos of my Thanksgiving preparations.

Sunday, Nov. 23:  Guest writer Paul R. Hollrah shared his take on Ferguson in a piece published under the headline, Guest Writer Believes Race Relations Near Tipping Point.

Monday, Nov. 24: Not to be confused with the words coming out of the mouths of Al Sharpton and others provoking racial tensions in North St. Louis County, I asked readers to test their skills by playing, “Can You Spot the Liar?” Later that day, I shared the biggest news of the week, NO INDICTMENT OF OFFICER DARREN WILSON!, to which I would add 10 updates during the day.

Tuesday, Nov. 25: Five hours after going to bed at 2 a.m. Tuesday, I shared news about 25 structures burning down, thanks largely to the failures of Gov. Jay Nixon (D-Mo.) to manage the response to protests about the grand jury decision. Later that day, I broke the story about the owners of the Little Caesars Pizza shop in Ferguson suffering their third major disaster in four years. Soon after, I learned about a GoFundMe account being established to help them and their employees recover. After that, I contacted as many people as I could in the local and national media with details. Though the effort had raised more than $2,800 by noon today, it pales in comparison to the effort to help a cupcake shop owner in Ferguson whose business was damaged by the protests.

Wednesday, Nov. 26: Shifting my focus for a moment, I shared news related to Kelly A. Stewart, the former Army Green Beret whose life story is chronicled in my book, Three Days In August. That news came in the form of a piece written by Stewart’s father that appeared under the headline, Father Seeks Support for Wrongly-Convicted Soldier, Son.

Kelly A. Stewart's uniform was covered with signs of his life as a Top One Percent Special Forces Soldier.

Kelly A. Stewart’s uniform was covered with signs of his life as a Top One Percent Special Forces Soldier. Click image to read more posts about Stewart.

Thursday, Nov. 27: Thanksgiving Day seemed an appropriate occasion to Be Thankful for Those Serving Their Country, so I shared one photo of a Soldier working in a mess hall in preparation for the annual feast and pointed readers to my Facebook page to see more. I also helped cook up a feast and caught up on things with a friend who I had not seen in more than a dozen years. I also shared with my Facebook friends news that no riots had taken place to protest the fact that 981 black babies had been killed during abortions in Missouri since the day Brown was shot dead in Ferguson.

Friday, Nov. 28: During the day, I took a break from working to watch college football and spend time with the aforementioned friend. After he departed, my wife and I watched the movie, Chef. After that, we watched Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary, America: Imagine the World Without Her. If I had to recommend only one, it would be the documentary, and I’d make everyone I know watch it.

Saturday, Nov. 29:  Earlier today, I shared snippets from Three Days In August in my piece, Army Prosecutor Wanted Special Forces Soldier to Break Law, Discuss Classified Info in Open Court; He Refused.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Prediction: World Series Will Bring More Racial Unrest to STL

You might be tempted to label this “premature” since the St. Louis Cardinals still must win the National League Championship Series in order for it to become a reality, but indulge me for a few minutes as I wax poetic about the prospect of more racial unrest in St. Louis during the 2014 World Series.

The graphic above shows a list of the organizations endorsing "Ferguson October" Oct. 10-13.

The graphic above shows a list of the organizations endorsing “Ferguson October” Oct. 10-13.

Caveat: Because I’m not a St. Louis native, I escaped the formal indoctrination program that is part of early-education programs for all who live in the shadow of the Gateway Arch. I did, however, take part in a distance-learning version of the program. You see, as a child in my forever hometown of Enid, Okla., I listened to Cardinals ballgames on the Cardinals Radio Network via KCRC-AM 1390. That, combined with the fact I’ve lived in the area for 14 years, makes me at least partially qualified to comment on local events. So here I go.

If the St. Louis Cardinals defeat the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS and find themselves in the position of hosting at least three Major League Baseball World Series games at Busch Stadium during the final ten days of October, I predict downtown St. Louis — instead of little ol’ Ferguson, Mo. — will become the epicenter of more racial unrest and protests waged by members of the “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” crowd — still upset over the deadly shooting of 18-year-old Mike Brown by police officer Darren Wilson and unwilling to wait for the grand jury to determine whether charges should be filed against Wilson — will be hijacked by groups with no direct connection to anyone in St. Louis.

In case you haven’t heard, a practice event is scheduled to begin Friday and run through Monday. Formally known as Ferguson October, the event is endorsed by a laundry list of local, state and national organizations, many of them extremely radical (see graphic above). That list includes, but is not limited to, the following:

The Organization for Black Struggle — According to the group’s website, their program is “based upon the Black Freedom Agenda that was introduced at the founding of the Black Radical Congress in 1998 and ratified in 1999.”

Code Pink — A radical organization known, among other things, for its support of Hamas and other terror groups;

Million Hoodies Movement for Justice — “Established in March 2012 in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin,” according to its website, this group appears to advocate some worthwhile causes while also having a funny name and some seriously-misguided beliefs about guns and gun laws; and

New Black Panthers Party — After a long absence, this group reemerged on the national scene in November 2008 after some of its members were observed intimidating voters at a polling place in Philadelphia and then assisted by Obama Administration appointees who interfered with their prosecution;

The names of several other pro-union, anti-Israel, pro-Islam and left-wing political groups appear on the laundry list as well. Curiously, however, neither Al Sharpton’s National Action Network or Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition are listed on the website as being involved in this so-called “Weekend of Resistance.”  Rest assured, if the protest attracts national news media attention — and you know it will since its set to overlap with the first two NLCS games being played Saturday and Sunday — St. Louis-area residents can count on both race-baiting reverends to be there with bells on.

Factor in the possibility that gunfights — like the one that killed two and injured another in downtown St. Louis earlier this week — and Ebola might break out during the same period, and St. Louis could rocket back into the world media spotlight — and for all the wrong reasons.

“Postseason tickets! Get your post-season tickets here!

UPDATE 10/08/2014 at 12:13 p.m. Central:  After posting the piece above, I saw this article about Missouri authorities reportedly planning for possible riots if Officer Wilson isn’t indicted. Am I the only one now wondering if an announcement about the grand jury’s decision might be delayed until after the World Series? It wouldn’t surprise me if that happened. Just sayin’.

UPDATE 10/10/2014 at 7:10 a.m. Central:  Another officer-involved shooting of a young black man in St. Louis has tensions at a fever pitch. According to  this local news article, at least one police officer was injured when violence erupted Thursday night, as protesters blocked traffic, broke windows of at least one home and a business and burned American flags.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.